Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas 2012: Perfect.

So this year, I had five magical days off for Christmas, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This is the first time I've had the whole Christmas holiday off since we've been married. And it will be the last time for a few years. I'd say we celebrated accordingly. 

We started off Christmas week with an amazing Christmas wedding. Caleb's sweet cousin Emily got married and it was totally gorgeous. I took the opportunity to get my sparkle on. In other news, I just took the rest of that black glitter nail polish off yesterday. I'm on top of things.

My nephew was the ring bearer and he was awesome. As he walked down the aisle, he saw the whole row of us and we were all smiling and waving at him and he just walked right in to sit with us. Hilarious. (Congratulations Emily and Peter!)

We spent the weekend shopping and wrapping gifts.

Pinterest always makes you think your life is not quite as good as everyone else, but it did inspire my wrapping theme for the year. I actually like wrapping with a "theme." It made things a little simpler and easier.

We hit up Crown Center to hang out with the Bellinder side of the family (Caleb's mom's side). I love that place at Christmas. And my husband is clearly dressed ultra festive.

We spent Christmas Eve with my family. We dressed up Sophie for the occasion.

My three favorite guys on Christmas Eve.

Obviously I had to get my sweet pup into a stocking for Christmas. Just tell me she isn't the cutest.

Can I just say that Christmas was perfect? Christmas Eve with my family. A sweet relaxed Christmas morning with my husband and my pup. Cooking all afternoon. I used the deck as a fridge because it was so darn cold. (I made deviled eggs, PW's potatoes au gratin, and strawberry pretzel salad)

Here's a glamour shot of us on Christmas morning. I know you are all super jealous that you don't look like this in the morning. But it was perfect.

We spent Christmas night at Caleb's parents house and had a blast playing nerts and watching the babies open gifts and trying to not let Sophie destroy things. And I took zero pictures. Fail.

Being home for Christmas was perfect. We managed it the last few years being far away in Tennessee, but this year it was just so so sweet. There really is no place like home for the holidays.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Red Velvet Cheesecake

When I called my brother up on Christmas Eve morning, I asked him what he wanted me to make for dessert that night for our family dinner. I wanted to steer away from cake or pie because Caleb isn't a big fan (so weird, I know). Brent threw out "chocolate cheesecake."

Challenge accepted.

I did a sweet little Google search and found this deliciousness and adapted it just a little. So so so yummy! I wasn't planning to blog this, so the pics aren't fantastic. But after I Instagrammed it, so many people wanted the recipe that I just had to share!

Red Velvet Cheesecake (adapted from McCormick's Red Velvet Cheesecake)

1 package of Oreo cookies (minus a couple that you eat before you make it)
1 stick of butter, melted


2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon red food coloring (I just used a whole container of it, you know the kind that comes in a package with yellow, blue, red, and green. I think it actually was a little less than a tablespoon.)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, more or less to taste
raspberries or other garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop up the Oreos in a food processor until pretty fine, then pulse in the melted butter. (You could also just take a rolling pin to a ziplock filled with Oreos!) Press the Oreo/butter mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie plate and bake for about 7 minutes, just to get it set.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time on low, just until blended.

Take out one cup of the cheesecake mixture and into that one cup, stir in the melted chocolate and red food coloring.

Pour the red cheesecake mixture into the crust, top with the rest of the cheesecake mix. 

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate for a few hours or over night. (Or just put it outside like I did, since it was super cold on Christmas Eve!)

Right before serving, make the whipped cream! Just beat together the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until you see some good stiff peaks. Cover the whole cheesecake with it. (My cheesecakes always get cracks on the top so I love covering them up.) Garnish with raspberries. You could also just use cool whip instead of homemade whipped cream! (But the homemade stuff is so darn good!)

This was super easy and super yummy! It would be a great dessert for Valentine's Day. Or for this weekend when you will be huddled inside because its supposed to be insanely cold out.

Get your cheesecake on, friends!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Aaaaaaand its already January 7th! What?! Happy New Year! 

I feel like time goes super fast. I'm so behind on all my holiday happenings that I am going to chronicle them in reverse. Starting with New Years, obviously.

Caleb went to Wichita to spend New Year's Eve with some of his college friends. Super fun. And I holed up at the hospital taking care of sick people. Also super fun. But in a less fun kind of way. Ha.

We made the best of it. As you can see, we celebrated with a massive bag of M&Ms, veggies, chips, and sparkling grape juice in Styrofoam cups. Classy.

Toasting at midnight. Love the graininess.

Sweet coworkers. Love them.

It really wasn't bad at all. I did end my night telling a patient to "make better choices next time." I'll just let you guess what that was about.

I came home to this. Perfect snow. Clean roads, but so so pretty!

I have a couple resolutions for 2013, short and sweet.

1. Read the whole Bible in a year. I know it sounds a little hard and it kind of is. But I've never done it before. And really, it just takes 15 minutes for me to read enough to stay on track every day. A whole seven days in, I'm still on track.

2. Become a runner. I hate running. You probably already know this about me. But I made a horrible error in getting a dog that loves to run, even at three months old. So she's teaching me to run. Mostly by nipping at my heels when I go too slow. So there is that. Running is free. Lots of people do it, so it can't be that hard. And I have to walk the dog anyway, so why not run? This is what I keep telling myself.

I'll be posting more about the holidays all week. I have lots of good stuff. Happy New Year! Yay 2013!