Kelly the Culinarian: May 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Three Things Thursday

1. It's finally deck season! It's been well into the 80s this week and our air conditioning is getting a workout. We upgraded to a quiet model that's more efficient, which also means we can enjoy our deck while it's still cooling the inside. It's a great time to be alive.

2. Another awesome sign of spring and wonderful benefit of our new home is getting out to bike some miles. We found a PERFECT paved trail near us that I'm sure will get lots of use this training season. It's 13 miles long without traffic. We could easily park and do endless 26-mile loop as we get ready for Ironman Wisconsin. It's only an eight-mile ride there, too.

3. A final sign of spring: 3Floyds moved back the date of Dark Lord Day from ever-rainy April to May. It was all sun shiny skies and smiles this year, which was a first. We ended up staying 12 hours, resulting in a few sun burns, but festivals like this on days like that don't come around that often.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Three Things Thursday

1. We went to a party this weekend and while I did not get the memo, apparently I dressed in the crew uniform for the day. Dark pants, white top with lots 'o fabric. It's a thing.

2. And because our life is a nearly constant party, we celebrated Mother's Day with the small ones last night. It's apparently National Barbecue Month, so we destroyed a family platter with all the fixings. I think my favorite was the pulled pork, but who am I kidding, barbecue is life.

3. This may seem petty, but my new purse makes me extremely happy. It's a monogrammed Kate Spade bag that I waited months to buy. I waited until it was on sale and I had a coupon, because we're frugal and all. I've already gotten a few compliments and I like that it's customized to my new initials. Winning!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lessons Learned from Our First Family C2E2

My mom noticed it's been a while since I updated my blog, so time to get back into the routine. My last month has included a family road trip, two business trips, a kitchen remodel, a holiday and a birthday. It's been a wild ride but stick with me on Instagram to keep up.

We've been meaning to attention the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo for a while and never got our act together. My sister goes every year for the duration and we keep hearing from people how fun it is, so this year, we finally bit the bullet and bought tickets for family day. Kids 5 and under are free, and passes for older kids are $10. We figured it was like taking them to a princess show or a theme park, but much bigger.
In actuality, it was somewhere between a nerdy swap meet and one of those kids play places you take your family to when the weather is -50 and everyone is stir crazy. We bought fairy wings for Z and a pikachu costume for B, which ultimately got returned because he wouldn't wear it.

The lines went very quickly when we arrived right when it opened, and we meandered through the stalls. We let the kids buy a few souvenirs, and we check out Family HQ. The conference puts together this little area with lego tables, giant lego statues, and some tables to take a breather and a snack at.

Bringing in our own food and water bottles was the greatest call ever. All that's available to purchase is crappy deep dish pizza and the only water is at fountains in the bathrooms in the middle of the center.

I also carried a backpack so when the kids inevitably decided to get rid of parts of their costumes or sweatshirts, I didn't have to carry it. Smooth move. I wish I would have worn a hat or something else distinctive because it's easy to get lost in the crowd when you're as small as I am.

What I wish I had done was tell them they each got $20 for souvenirs. Everything was incredibly expensive, and I wasn't about to shell out $30 for a stuffed magikarp doll the size of a sock.

The coolest part of C2E2, in my opinion, is artists' alley. There are a ton of very talented people, and they're all eager to show you what they're working on. It was especially fun for the kids to see how people made different drawings.

One thing I didn't anticipate was there were live animals at the show. A reptile rescue was there with a display of animals, and one of the handlers had a snake kids could pet. For a $10 donation, attendees could get a photo with the snake. Color me shocked that the more sensitive child who is afraid of things like spiders and scorpions (we live in Illinois) wanted to pose with the snake.

So based on all of this, I would suggest bringing the following to C2E2 if you're coming with kids:

  • Water bottles
  • Lunch and snacks
  • A bright hat to get spotted easier
  • Cash for souvenirs and photo opts
  • A cell phone battery bank
  • A backpack, not a purse, to leave your hands free

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Three Things Thursday

1. It's unicorn this and unicorn that lately. Everything is rainbows. I did not go and get a Unicorn frappuccino because my sister said it tasted like sugar garbage and I didn't really want to be that person at Starbucks, but you better believe I bought these rainbow bagels at the grocery store. "For the kids." They liked them, but quickly realized it's just a bagel with food coloring.

2. It's almost grilling season! Brent smoked these ribs for Easter and they were amazing. I mean, check out that crust. It's drool worthy.

3. I'm going to keep the food theme rolling. I don't buy cinnamon rolls often because they don't have a long shelf life in this household and I don't need to be eating those. But, holidays call for cinnamon buns of fun shapes. I did hearts for Valentine's Day last year, so naturally, I did cinnabunnies for Easter this year. The best part is you get a portion and a half this way.