Friday, November 27, 2015

thanksgiving 2015

we had a great thanksgiving yesterday at my parent's house!  we enjoyed spending the day helping my mom cook, eating, and relaxing with family and friends.  hope your thanksgiving was lovely too!

love, laurie

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past thanksgivings: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Thursday, November 26, 2015

happy thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving!  we have so many things to be thankful for and it is so nice to have a day set aside each year to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives.  we are looking forward to cooking with my mom, spending time with our family, and of course eating way too much today!

have a lovely thanksgiving!
love, laurie

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

thanksgiving break, here we come!

we are thrilled for thankgiving break starting after work today!  we're off work tomorrow and friday and we don't have any crazy plans for this weekend, so we're super excited about that!

leko is also looking forward to having us around too.  i snapped this picture of him the other day when i was photographing my pointe shoes.  he was sitting on the dining room table watching my every move (and watching the ribbons move on my shoes).  i might have had to pull the pointe shoe ribbons out of his mouth once or twice!  he's such a good supervisor.

hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving!
love, laurie

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

new pointe shoes!

when we went to nyc last weekend, i was thrilled to get a new pair of pointe shoes.  dance shoes don't stay clean and pretty for very long, so i thought i would take a few pictures of my new shoes before they get filthy.  did you know that a professional ballerina can go through 80-120 pairs of pointe shoes in just one season?!  that is a lot of elastic and ribbon sewing for sure!

here are a few other fun ballet facts:
- a prima ballerina can complete 32 fouette turns while staying in the exact same spot on the floor.
- the pain threshold of ballerinas to non-ballerinas is 3:1.
- it can take 60-90 hours to make a professional-grade tutu.

in other ballet-related news, i started watching flesh and bone this week and boy is it intense!  the story line is a bit much, but the dancing is lovely to watch.  looking forward to seeing where the series goes.

my old shoes fell apart on me.  all of the inside lining ripped out, the heel on one of the shoes fell off, the drawstring came out of its casing, i wore holes through the toes and heels of both shoes, and the soles came off because the glue gave out.  they're so old, they owe me nothing.  just for fun, a few side-by-side comparison shots of my old and new pointe shoes . . .

happy dancing!
love, laurie

Monday, November 23, 2015


the holiday season has arrived and with it comes lots of food.  it's no secret that we love to eat, but it's important to keep a good balance.  in addition to old fashioned exercise, we love juicing.  over the weekend we made a trip to the grocery store and loaded up on fresh fruits/veggies which we made into several different juices.

juicing is so easy and healthy.  the best part is that there pretty much aren't any rules and you can create any type of concoction that you can dream up.  you don't have to follow a recipe or exact measurements.  each juice is different.  we love hitting up the farmers markets in the warmer months and loading up on lots of fresh fruits and veggies to put through the juicer.  in the cooler months, we see what looks best at the grocery store and go from there.

the juicer that we use is a breville juice fountain plus and we absolutely love it.  our all-time favorite juice recipe is this carrot apple ginger juice.  we also really love this carrot, apple, ginger, cucumber, and kale juice too.

one staple that we always have on hand is a 5 lb. bag of carrots in our fridge.  we put carrots in almost every juice that we make because we love them so much.  they have a great color and are full of beta-carotene.  in addition to carrots, here are some other ingredients that we love to throw in our juicer . . .

apples - apples are great for naturally sweetening up juices that might otherwise be sour or bitter.

ginger - ginger is awesome.  it can alleviate gastrointestinal distress, it has anti-inflammatory effects, and it can help reduce cancer.

red and gold beets - no matter their color, beets are a good source of phytonutrients called betalains which are great for detoxing.

citrus - lemons and limes can help to strengthen your immune system, cleanse your stomach, and purify your blood!

leafy greens - spinach and kale are full of vitamins and minerals.  parsley is full of iron and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

celery - celery stalks are full of antioxidants and celery is considered to be one of the world's healthiest foods!

cucumbers - cucumbers are full of both water and fiber, and they taste wonderfully fresh.

ps: need more proof that juicing is great?  here are two juicing documentaries that we really enjoyed: fat, sick, and nearly dead chronicles a man's personal mission to regain his health by vowing to only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days.  in addition, fat, sick, and nearly dead 2 presents realistic solutions to make long-term sustainable improvements to eating behaviors and overall health.

happy juicing!
love, laurie

Friday, November 20, 2015

snapshots of life lately, according to my iphone pictures

. . . and ryan's iphone too.

follow along with us on instagram
love, laurie

Thursday, November 19, 2015

thanksgiving survival guide

the countdown is on . . . thanksgiving is one week from today!  if you are hosting thanksgiving this year and want to keep your sanity intact, here is a day-by-day guide that spreads the work out over a week to make thanksgiving day a breeze.

The Ultimate Survival Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving
{infographic source}

happy planning!
love, laurie

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

cuddly kitten

ryan and i are big fans of dancing with the stars, and we look forward to watching it every monday night.  we're not the only ones who enjoy it though.  leko loves that we are captive for 2 hours straight.  without fail, every monday night he joins us for the show and curls up on our laps for a nice long 2 hour nap. i just couldn't resist snapping a picture of him on my phone this monday.  he was sacked out and looked especially comfortable and cuddly!

love, laurie

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

sunday in the city

i mentioned before that i got back into taking ballet classes last september after a several year hiatus.  i have absolutely loved taking lessons again, but this past year really did a number on my old pointe shoes.  i dug in my heels and refused to buy myself a new pair of pointe shoes all last year because i didn't want to admit that mine were dead, but after dancing so hard on them for the recital this past june they officially kicked the bucket.  they are so old and really owe me nothing.  a few weeks ago i finally convinced myself it was time for a new pair.

on sunday, we took a quick trip to nyc.  as soon as we arrived in the city we headed straight down to chelsea.  my absolute favorite brand of pointe shoes are gaynor mindens and the gaynor minden boutique is located in a historic brownstone in chelsea.  i called the boutique a few weeks ago to schedule an appointment for a fitting because i knew that i would need to change the sizing/fit of my shoes.  having a private fitting at gaynor minden in nyc was a dream come true!  once we got there we made our way through the wrought iron doors, rang the buzzer, and entered the showroom in the residential apartment building.  it was so discreet and felt like we were entering a secret club or something.  we had the boutique all to ourselves and it was so nice.  i got to take my time making sure i found the shoes that were just right for me.  (they have over 3,000 different combinations with all of the different options for length, width, box, shank, vamp, and heel!)  i left there with a new pair of pointe shoes (and a pretty awesome bag too).  i couldn't resist posing in an arabesque with my new bag on the way out!

^since we were in chelsea, we ran though chelsea market to pick up some oil and vinegar from the filling station because we were all out at home.  i always love seeing the lights at chelsea market.^
^we worked up quite an appetite, so we headed to grab something to eat as soon as we left chelsea.  we walked down to the west village and had a lovely and leisurely sunday brunch at hummus place.  i ordered the spinach shakshuka and ryan had the falafel sandwich.  it turned out to be so much food, we couldn't believe it!  they certainly are generous with their portions, and boy was it all filling!^
^everyone has been raving about sockerbit lately, so we popped in to see what all of the fuss was about while we were in the west village.  the shop is filled with all different types of scandinavian sweets and you can create your own candy bag from the assortment of little sweets.  we picked out a few unusual things to try (like caramel marshmallow mushrooms).  we're not big candy eaters, but it's a neat novelty.^
^dough made it's way from brooklyn to manhattan and we are thrilled.  on our way back to midtown we stopped in dough in the flatiron district and picked up two doughnuts to bring home with us: pumpkin and lemon meringue!^
^we hopped on the subway and zipped up to midtown and made a quick pit stop in the shops at columbus circle to see the christmas stars hanging in the lobby.  i just love seeing them every year.^

before leaving the city, we headed up to the upper west side to grab a few things from trader joes.  oh my goodness, trader joe's on the u.w.s. on a sunday evening is no joke!  the line was out the building and wrapped around the corner!  luckily it moved really fast.  (hey, trader joe's, please open a store closer to our house!)

we wanted to grab something light, healthy, and quick for dinner which we could eat on the way home.  i had heard that sweet green was supposed to open a location on the u.w.s. in november but i didn't know when, so we took our chances and stopped by to see if they were open yet.  it turned out that they didn't actually open for two more days, but they were having a test run soft opening for the employees that night so they could learn the menu and such.  so, all salad dinners were free!!!  what?!  we each got a salad and a drink for free.  it was awesome.  thank you nyc, and welcome to the u.w.s. sweet green!

since we were up there, i peeked around the corner on 74th to see if i could pop into levain to grab a cookie for the way home but their line was out the door and down the sidewalk too.  (seriously, what was going on sunday night?!)  we didn't have enough time to wait, so we substituted with a double chocolate peppermint cookie from pret-a-manger instead.  it was good, but it wasn't levain.  (i guess it will just give me something to look forward to the next time we're in the city!)

overall, it was a super quick trip, but we had a great time.  when we got home i realized that i hardly took any pictures which is so unusual for me.  oh well, the weather was great and we had a great sunday in the city!

love, laurie

Monday, November 16, 2015

prints from alexa z design

i have been following alexa and her adorable family via her blog for several years.  alexa is a talented self-taught graphic designer who creates hand lettered and illustrated prints, greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and more which she sells via her shop.

i was thrilled when alexa sent me two of her prints to enjoy.  each print was packaged in a cello sleeve with cardboard and shipped in a flat, sturdy mailer.  they are so bright and colorful and really cheer me up whenever i see them.

i chose to frame the 5x7 "go the extra mile, it's never crowded" print and put it on my desk in my office right next to my computer.  i love the simplicity of it, and it looks great with the other simple white elements on my desk.  the saying is such a great motivational reminder every time i look at it!

instead of framing the 8x10 "have courage and be kind" print, i chose to display it with a small binder clip.  i kept the cardboard backing behind the print for support and hung the binder clip on a small nail on the wall in my office.  i especially love this print because it is a quote from cinderella, and i have had the chance to play the role of cinderella twice.  whenever i see this print it is a nice reminder of both times i portrayed cinderella on stage.  i hung it right by the door to my office, right above the light switch, so that i see it whenever i come and go.  it's such a nice reminder of how to live life.

if you are looking for whimsical prints to decorate your home and/or your office space, be sure to check out alexa's shop.

you can also follow along with alexa here: blog / instagram / twitterfacebook

love, laurie

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*please note: this is a sponsored post in collaboration with alexa z design.  however, the content of this post is based solely on my own personal opinion and experience.