Tuesday, December 6, 2016

birthday celebrations

on sunday, we got together with our families to celebrate my mom's birthday.  we went out to a seafood restaurant that we have never been to before, and it was great.  after dinner, we went back to ryan's parents' house for dessert and presents.

^everything was so good.  ryan had an ocean combo of shrimp, scallops, and a crab cake.  i had coffee/chili encrusted swordfish.  yum!^
^for dessert, we made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  some were topped with sprinkles and some were topped with coconut (my mom's favorite)!^
^when it came time to open presents, pepper just couldn't resist "helping" my mom!^
happy birthday, mama!
love, laurie

Monday, December 5, 2016

happy birthday, mama!

happy 65th birthday today to the world's greatest mom!

love, laurie

Friday, December 2, 2016

our 2016 christmas cards

december is here and the holiday season is upon us!  i can hardly believe that christmas is right around the corner.  ryan and i absolutely love sending holiday cards each year.  we especially love photo cards since they are such a nice way to share little snapshots of the past year with our family and friends.

we are thrilled to be teaming up again with tiny prints this year for our holiday cards because we love their products and because they are a one-stop shop for all of our holiday card needs.  tiny prints makes it so easy to customize cards.  all we had to do was pick our favorite design, add our photos, and add our personal message along with our names.  it only takes a matter of a few minutes from start to finish, which is perfect for our busy schedules.

we really love cards that allow us to display multiple pictures from the past year.  after looking through hundreds of holiday card options, we decided on one of the gate fold designs which are new for 2016!

we picked this card which is called "living in love" in the flint color and the pearl white shimmer finish.  it was the perfect card for us because we were able to display photos on all sides!

to accompany our holiday cards, we chose envelopes to match in the "snowflake dust" design and we embellished our envelopes with snowflake envelope liners.  to complete the look, we created personalized holiday postage photo stamps.  we chose the "merry trails" stamps in marigold.

as much as i love sending cards, it is so time consuming to write out all of the addresses by hand.

thankfully, tiny prints helps out and does the work for you by offering free recipient addressing on custom envelopes!  they printed our return address on the back of the envelopes and printed all of our recipients' addresses on the front of the envelopes.  talk about a life saver, goodbye hand cramps!

when our cards arrived in the mail, all i had to do was stuff and send them.  easy peasy!

we are beyond thrilled with the way our cards turned out this year and we can't wait for our family and friends to receive them in the mail!

love, laurie

. . . 

past christmas cards: 20152014, 2013, 2012, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2016

deck the halls

over the long thanksgiving weekend, we packed away our fall decorations and decorated our house with our christmas decor.  we also put up our christmas tree, which is leko's second favorite thing in the world (second of course to tuna fish).  as soon as we brought our tree out of storage, his eyes lit up.  he just loves chewing on the branches, it is the strangest thing.  thus begins another holiday season of me having to pluck a furry orange ornament out of the christmas tree every 5 seconds!

happy december!
love, laurie

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

adios, november

leko's disgusted expression while sitting on ryan's lap pretty much sums it up.  it's hard to believe that today is the last day of november and that there is just one month left to 2016. to be honest, i'm pretty happy about it.  over the thanksgiving break, we got together with an old friend who was in town visiting, and she mentioned that everyone she knows has had a rough 2016.  i agree, and i'm very much looking forward to a new year for many different reasons . . . but don't get me wrong, i don't want to rush through the holiday season by any means.  i love december and all that it has to offer.  the christmas season is one of my favorite holidays and it's a really special time of the year for us since we got engaged at christmas (9 years ago!).  here's hoping for a joyous month of december and a peaceful end to this absolutely crazy year.

adios, november.
love, laurie

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

snapshots of life lately, according to my iphone pictures

. . . and ryan's iphone too.

i can't believe that i haven't shared a "life lately" post since july!  here are a few photos of . . .
a lunch date at chipotle for their b.o.g.o. special, meeting up with an old friend for coffee over thanksgiving break, leko investigating dirty dishes, apple cider waffles for breakfast, and a pretty rainbow we discovered while out running errands.

love, laurie

Monday, November 28, 2016

a lovely long holiday weekend

wow, the long thanksgiving weekend came at the perfect time for us.  the weeks leading up to thanksgiving were hectic and stressful, so the three-day weekend was just what the doctor ordered.

we had a wonderful thanksgiving on thursday with our families and it was the perfect kick-off to the holiday weekend.  friday, saturday, and sunday were nothing short of magical and we savored every moment.  it was like time stood still for those three days, and i can't remember the last time that has happened.

the holiday weekend was the perfect combination of relaxing and productive.  ryan and i got to spend quality time together, and we are both amazed at how much we were able to accomplish too.  the weekend was refreshing and i feel so much better because of it.  we're now officially ready for december and the christmas season!

hope everyone had a lovely thanksgiving weekend too!
love, laurie

Friday, November 25, 2016

thanksgiving 2016

we had a great thanksgiving yesterday with our families at my parents' house!  
hope your thanksgiving was lovely too!

love, laurie

. . . 

past thanksgivings: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Thursday, November 24, 2016

happy thanksgiving!

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

have a wonderful thanksgiving day!
love, laurie

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

helpful tips for cooking thanksgiving dinner

thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means today is the big prep day for most households.  if you're in charge of cooking thanksgiving dinner this year, here are a few charts filled with prep tips that you might find helpful.  (this post is a long one, so click on "read more" below to see all of the charts.)