Thursday, October 20, 2016

hard at work

i snapped these pictures over the weekend as we were trying to get some chores done around the house before we fall weather leaves us and it turns to winter.  i'm beyond grateful for this husband of mine who is such a hard worker!

love, laurie

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

spicy vegan vegetable soup

i looked back, and it turns out that it has been over a month since i've posted a recipe here!  that is crazy since i'm constantly cooking/baking.  life has just been too hectic lately to stop and take the time to photograph any food.  on sunday, i had the opportunity to make a few meals for the week and actually photograph them.  one of the things i made on sunday was this soup.  i made a big pot of it, and it has been feeding us for lunch all week.  a few years ago, my mom bought us these travel soup containers, and they are just perfect for carrying our soup into work with us.

this soup is super tasty and healthy.  it's packed with 8 different veggies and it has a little kick to it too.  i love base recipes like this because you can really personalize them and make them your own by adding/omitting any veggies and you can play with the spice level to your personal taste.

spicy vegetable soup
prep time: 10-15 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
yields: 8-10 servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow cooking onion, diced
5-6 carrots, peeled and diced
5-6 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 zucchini, diced
24 oz. mushrooms, stems removed and diced
8 oz. kale, chopped
1 can (28 oz.) low-sodium crushed tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

in a very large soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil.  saute the onion, carrots, and celery until tender.  add the garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms.  cook for 5 minutes.  add the kale, tomatoes, vegetable broth, water, and seasonings.  stir well.  bring to a boil and then simmer covered for 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are all tender.  serve warm.

love, laurie

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

happy anniversary, mom and dad!

today is my parents' 36th anniversary!  we all got together on saturday to celebrate by going out to dinner at camelot restaurant and inn.  none of us had ever been there before.  we're glad we checked it out because we had a great meal.  the front entrance was decorated so nicely for fall, we just had to stop and take a photo before we left.  happy anniversary, mom and dad!

love, laurie

Monday, October 17, 2016

a love letter to sunday

sunday brought us: the opportunity to sleep in, a chance to check some household chores off our to-do list, time to actually cook and photograph several meals at home, gorgeous weather for a walk around our neighborhood, and an available evening to enjoy a very long sit on the couch with leko on our laps while eating our weight in homemade pizza and getting caught up on shows we had taped on our dvr.  it was awesome and it was just what the doctor ordered.  

love, laurie

Friday, October 14, 2016


wow, it has been a really rough couple of weeks recently!  everything has just been so nutty.  i'm keeping my fingers crossed for a calm weekend.  hopefully we will be able to sneak a little bit of relaxation in there before we spontaneously combust!  right now, the weekend forecast isn't looking too bad.  it would be really nice to have some decent weather when we're not stuck inside our offices at work!  fingers crossed!

have a good weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, October 13, 2016

creative couples costumes

yesterday, i shared a list of super simple halloween decorating ideas.  since we're getting in the halloween spirit, today i wanted to share a list of 60+ genius halloween costumes for couples.  ryan and i rarely have the opportunity or the time to dress up for halloween anymore, but after seeing these cool couples costumes i'm starting to wish that we did!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

super simple halloween decorations

halloween is right around the corner, and folks around our area take holiday decorating very seriously.  ryan and i typically decorate for fall and for christmas, but we usually don't take the time to decorate for every other little holiday.  if you're like us and you're short on time, here are a few super simple halloween decorating ideas that you can whip up in no time using things you probably already have around your house . . .

> spider webs made from trash bags
spooky glowing eyes made from toilet paper rolls and glow sticks
monsters made from rocks
pumpkins made from balloons and yarn
zombie barricade made from cardboard boxes
jack-o-lantern garland made from old k-cups and christmas lights
> tombstones made from cardboard and newspaper

happy decorating!
love, laurie

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

winterthur museum and gardens - part 2

we really enjoyed touring winterhur in delaware on sunday.  after we toured the inside of the mansion/museum, we walked around the property.  winterthur is set in a 1,000-acre preserve of picturesque rolling meadows and wooded areas.  near the home is a 60-acre naturalistic garden that looks like something right out of a fairy tale story.

walking through the gardens was like walking through a movie set.  everything was so pretty.  we were especially tickled by the fairy garden which had a thatched-roof fairy home, a witch's house, tiny little bridges, and a giant bird nest.  the details were incredible, it was nuts!

love, laurie

Monday, October 10, 2016

winterthur museum and gardens - part 1

last summer, we visited nemours mansion and gardens (the home of alfred dupont) in delaware with my parents.  we really enjoyed touring the elaborate mansion and strolling through the beautiful gardens.  my mom heard that there was another dupont mansion right by nemours, and we have been curious to check it out ever since.

on sunday, we took a trip back to delaware with my parents to see winterthur museum and gardens.  winterthur was the home of henry francis dupont.  like nemours, winterhur is also open to the public for tours.  we took a tram ride through the property, toured part of the 175-room mansion, and then strolled through the expansive grounds.

the weather held out for us, and it turned out to be a really pretty fall day in delaware.  here some pictures from our visit to winterthur . . .

^it's really hard to comprehend a 9 story, 175-room home.  in fact, it was so big, that we couldn't even find a vantage point outside from which we could see the entire building.  i really loved the roof lines and the dormer windows though.^
^this stair case was truly breathtaking.  it actually wasn't the original stair case.  the original was made of marble.  henry francis dupont was traveling and saw this stair case in another home and he had it removed from that home and put in his home.  i can't even imagine how someone goes about moving a staircase like that!^
^among the collection of china in the house was the china set off which george washington ate when he was in the white house.  that was pretty mind blowing.^
^part of the museum features a collection of campbell soup tureens.  i have never seen so many soup tureens or such elaborate soup tureens in my life!^
^found this handsome fella on the porch overlooking the grounds^
^oh, i'm telling you, those dormer windows were really gorgeous!^
^most of the property looked like a movie set.  it was so detailed and elaborate.  somehow i can just imagine a girl in a beautiful long gown descending those stairs for a fairy tale story.  it's no surprise that the property is a popular spot for weddings.  the tram driver said that there were three weddings there this weekend!^
love, laurie