Monthly Archives: January 2012

One week.. 2 concerts… another goal down!

The week of January 16th I attended 2 different concerts in two different cities- and took off a couple of hours the mornings after to recover! It was a long week, but SO much fun! I may or may not have known this was going to happen before I made my manifesto… *ahem* … but one more goal down!

Concert #1 – Tuesday, January 17th

The Civil Wars w/ the Staves, Liberty Hall- Lawrence, KS

The Staves

Three sisters from north of London. Emily on vocals, Jessica on vocals and guitar and Camilla on vocals and ukulele. Together their voices are beautiful. Check them out at

The Civil Wars

One of my favorite bands- I seriously love these guys. The duet is comprised of Californian Joy Williams and Alabaman John Paul White. Do yourself a huge favor and check them out at They were amazing as always! Last time Anna and I were standing in the first row off to the side which was great, but this time we scored the actual seats in the back. 🙂

Anna and I had a blast! I just hope it’s warmer the next time they come! 😉

Concert #2 – Thursday, January 19th

Brad Paisley, with Scottie McCreery and The Band Perry

The Sprint Center- Kansas City, MO

Scottie McCreery

He sounded better live than on TV! Scotty was the 2011 American Idol winner.

The Band Perry

Love this band- I ended up recording most of their set, so I have just a couple of clear pictures of the three of them. Oh, and these guys are siblings- Kimberly Perry (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Reid Perry (bass guitar, background vocals) and Neil Perry (mandolin, drums, accordian, background vocals).  😉

Brad Paisley

Brad is one of the best performers live I’ve ever seen. Like The Civil Wars this is the second time I’ve seen him- he has a great voice, and on a guitar he’s magic. Can’t wait for him to come back to KC!

Dad and I had the best time up in the nose bleed seats.. where ironically I got an actual noise bleed. Coincidence?


Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder… A day of Culture at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Check #1 off the list! I spent the open hours last Saturday  at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with my dad- and as I suspected when I made this goal a part of my manifesto it turned out to be a great day! We got to the museum early and were standing at the doors waiting to be let in by staff on the hour.

We got the ‘museum walk’ down early:

We explored old and new areas:

Lunch was Uh-mazing:

Annnd.. so was dessert later:

We had a lot of laughs:

And I sketched a Monet masterpiece:

We took a tour from one of the guides- it was even better than expected (and my expectations were fairly high to begin with). Our guide was knowlegable about everything. Seriously, one of the best parts of the day. About 5 minutes till 5pm (closing time) we had to be told the museum was closing by several employees (very kindly of course)- mission accomplished! And as evidence, proof we were still in the museum the minute it was closed!:

I’ve been to this museum multiple times in the past- but had never noticed how so many pieces of the collection had such a sassy attitude! Enjoy! 🙂 :

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It was a great day, and I’d love to spend the day at the museum again! Preferably a warmer day- and one when my favorite water lilies painting by Monet is back from touring in St. Louis. Everybody please go visit the Nelson-Atkins or your local art museum. (And take a tour if you can! The ones at the Nelson are free of charge and they are SO informative!) Trust me, I wouldn’t lead you astray.

Another taste of Italy… 2nd January recipe test with Anna!

Check January off the list! Today (January 15th) Anna and I made our second recipe test at my place- and it’s a wonderful new recipe to add to the ranks, ‘Penne Rigate alla Vodka’ -De-lic-ious!!! Set to the background of Adele’s ’21’ CD and combined with crescent rolls, Dr. Pepper, Merlot and fresh strawberries it made for an amazing dinner. But just a warning- if you plan on trying this recipe out, dicing shallots is 100 billion % worse than dicing onions- my word, it just hung in the air and clawed at your eyes!! It was a great thing the temperature was in the sixties today because it was SO necessary to open up the kitchen windows and turn on the ceiling fan to clear the air!

Look forward to Super Bowl/Valentine’s Day themed dinners for February!

As a side note, I accomplished my first goal on my 2012 Manifesto list yesterday- #1- Spend an entire day at an art museum. Dad and I were waiting for the doors to open at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum and had to be told the museum was closing before we left. It was a great day and a lovely way to spend a Saturday. A blog will be soon to follow- I just need to get pictures from Dad’s camera to add to my collection and it’ll be up asap.

So- for the recipe. You can find it and may other healthy and healthy(ish) recipes at

Penne Rigate alla VodKA

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 356
Fat: 3 g
Carbs: 43 g
Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 9.3 g
Old Points: 6.6 pts
Points+: 6 pts
Here are your ingredients:
1 box penne rigate pasta
2 tsp. light butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced
3 oz. prosciutto, chopped (We left this out of the recipe, but I’m sure if you wanted to add it the recipe would still be great)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (Also left this out- I wouldn’t add it, vodka sauce doesn’t need to be spicy in my opinion)
28 oz. can crush tomatoes
14 oz. can diced tomatoes (Added this, but unless you like canned tomato chunks next time I would just stick with the crushed tomatoes)
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil your penne pasta per box directions until al dente (about 10 minutes).  In a large pan, heat butter on a low flame.  Add garlic and shallots and saute until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add prosciutto and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.  Add tomatoes, vodka, salt and pepper and cook on low, covered about 20 minutes.  Add basil and half and half, mix well and cook another 5 minutes or so.  Serve this over pasta and top with grated parmesan cheese.
*Note- the directions were a little out of order, so make sure you pay attention to the timing of everything- for example I would start making the penne while the sauce is simmering, call me crazy…
Happy eating!! 😀

A taste of Italy… 1st January recipe test with Anna!

Anna and I tested our first January recipe tonight- Chicken Bruschetta Pasta! It was ‘soooo yummy’ and will definitely become a repeat offender!

Here’s a copy of the recipe, enjoy!:

 Chicken Bruschetta Pasta
Ready In:
28 Min
Original Recipe Yield 4 servings *(It’s true! Leftovers!!)


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast strips
  • 1/3 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (10 ounce) tub PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 2 cups hot cooked farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • 12 leaves fresh basil leaves, cut into strips


  1. Cook chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until done. Add broth and garlic powder; cook 3 min.
  2. Add cooking creme and tomatoes; cook and stir 3 min.
  3. Stir in pasta and basil.