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Monday, April 30, 2012

snapshots from our weekend

since last week was so busy and hectic, we were happy that we were able to unwind this weekend and also check some things off our to do list.  we tried a few new recipes, ran some important errands, did some much needed house cleaning, reorganized our office, and saw a musical at a local university.

however, the most exciting thing that happened this weekend was that my friend nicole came into town on sunday for a visit.  nicole is one of my very best fiends and we have known each other since preschool!  nicole now lives up in maine, and since she is so far away, we don't get to see each other as often as we would like.  it was so nice to have nicole visit.  we made ice cream sundaes, took a walk along the river, and chatted away for several hours.  we really enjoyed catching up with each other (and leko loved playing with nicole too)!

as it turns out, we had such a good time visiting with nicole that we forgot to take pictures while she was here!  so, i will leave you with a few snapshots from our other adventures this weekend instead . . .

{cafe date with ryan: coffee, iced latte, and a peanut butter danish} 

{tickets to a musical at a local university}

{sunday morning nutella french toast}

{a very tired kitten}

. . .

i hope everyone had a lovely weekend!
love, laurie

Friday, April 27, 2012

our little stapler . . .

{music: heat wave by martha reeves and the vandellas}

the other day, i was very excited to find out that my doctoral tam came in the mail for graduation!  it came packaged in a cardboard box, and as soon as i opened it up, i had a little kitten who decided to help me out by "stapling" the box.  ryan and i could not stop laughing at how seriously he took his job as a stapler!  he sure did a number on that box!

have a wonderful weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, April 26, 2012

check it out

during the month of april, 
kaytee lauren has been featuring 
one of her sponsors each day 
at the end of her blog posts 
and today it's me!

check it out here

love, laurie

little letters

dear bigelow decaf english teatime tea,
you are my new best friend.  thank you for soothing my very sore throat!

dear picnik,
why did you have to go ahead and leave me?  i am beyond sad to see you go, and now i am being forced to use picmonkey instead.  if i am really nice, would you reconsider and please come back?

dear blogger,
your new layout is awful.  there, i said it . . . awful.  please change back to your old format.  pretty please.

dear pinterest,
seriously, you should come with a warning label.

dear bathroom scale,
tell me that you are lying to me and just randomly picking a number out of thin air.  that would make me feel a lot better.

dear gym membership,
you have been neglected big time.  hopefully i will be able to revisit you soon to make up for lost time (and for lost money that i spend on you each month).

dear weather,
what is going on?!  can you please make up your mind as to what season it actually is outside?  my body is confused, and i don't know how to dress myself in the morning anymore.

dear graduation,
you are approaching quickly.  (only two weeks away now.)  hip, hip, hooray!!!

dear leko,
thanks for being such a sweet kitten lately.  i love when you curl up in my arms at night and fall asleep in a cute little ball.

dear ryan,
you win the award for best husband ever.  hands down.  you are so good to me, and i am so grateful.

. . .

love, laurie

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars

we are suckers for anything with chocolate and peanut butter in it.  (really, there are few other combinations as wonderful as chocolate and peanut butter!)  over the weekend, we made no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars. they are so simple to make, and the best part is that there is no cooking or baking involved.  this dessert would be perfect for a last minute dinner party or for a quick dessert on a week night.  you can whip up these bars in just a few minutes, and then let them sit in the refrigerator to harden until you are ready to serve them.

no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars
adapted from six sisters’ stuff
prep time: 10-15 minutes
yields: 9-12 bars

2 sticks salted butter (melted)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

in a food processor, finely granulate graham crackers into crumbs.  in a bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter.  stir together the ingredients with a fork until well combined.  press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased baking pan.  (for thick bars use an 8x8 baking pan, and for thin bars use a 9x13 baking pan.)  in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in 30 second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds until completely melted.  spread the melted chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.  cover and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes before cutting into the bars.

love, laurie

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

jitty joe's

on sunday night, after our mexican dinner date, we decided to go out for ice cream even though it was really cool and rainy.  jitty joe's is one of our favorite local ice cream spots, and they are only open for business during certain months of the year.  we were excited to have our first jitty joe's ice cream of the season . . . even if the weather outside didn't really look like ice cream weather.  (really, there's never a bad time for ice cream!)

have a great day!
love, laurie

Monday, April 23, 2012

rain date

lately, we have been insanely busy.  i mean, even busier than normal for us.  however, over the weekend we finished one project that has been keeping us so busy, and we were thrilled to be able to finally check it off our to-do list.  this weekend we also finally started feeling like human beings again after having such horrible colds last week.  so, to celebrate we decided to have a little date night.

since it was cool and rainy outside, we went for mexican for dinner last night.  there's nothing better than fresh salsa, a sizzling fajita, and tilapia fish tacos to brighten up an afternoon.  the warm and vibrant colors in the restaurant were the perfect thing to make us forget all about the dreary rain outside!

i hope everyone had a great weekend!
love, laurie

Friday, April 20, 2012

thank goodness it's friday!

for the duration of this entire week, both ryan and i have been sick with a nasty cold.  at least we have this cute little kitten who makes us feel better just by looking at him.  (the other day we could not stop laughing because he fell asleep like this propped up against a wall.)  we are so happy that it is friday.  we are looking forward to trying to get rid of our colds this weekend!

have a wonderful weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, April 19, 2012

view from the top

last week, we made an effort to enjoy the nice weather by taking time to do some biking and walking.  we also enjoyed the nice weather last week by going on a hike with our friends kelly and geno.  kelly and geno showed us a trail in our area that we never knew existed.  after bundling up in multiple layers, we hiked for five miles.  even though it was incredibly windy, the view from the top of the mountain was so amazing.

we had a lovely afternoon enjoying the outdoors with great friends.  
thanks for a good time (and a good work out) kelly and geno!

love, laurie

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

nap time for kitten

whenever ryan sits down on the couch, 
leko loves to curl up and take a nap on ryan's lap.  
we just can't resist how cute this silly little kitten is when he sleeps!

happy wednesday!
love, laurie

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

baked creamy chicken taquitos

when catherine posted this recipe for baked creamy chicken taquitos over on her blog fest, i knew that we had to make them for dinner.  they were so simple to make, yet so delicious.  they even reheated well for lunch the next day.  these taquitos made for an awesome dinner, but they would also be great appetizers for a party too, served with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream!

love, laurie

Monday, April 16, 2012

the 100th anniversary of the titanic

this weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the titanic, and along with all of the hype from the titanic movie being re-released in theatres in 3D, there were plenty of other interesting news clips about the titanic this weekend too . . .

one news clip in particular that caught my attention was this article which mentioned that two cruises have set sail to recreate the voyage of the titanic.  on board these cruises are the exact same number of passengers as the titanic, including relatives of passengers who died on board the titanic 100 years ago.  now, i'm not necessarily a superstitious person, but i don't know how comfortable i would be on either one of those cruises!

another news clip that caught my attention was this article which mentioned that for the past few weeks, a british publishing house has been tweeting updates, in real time, about the titanic's maiden voyage.  the tweets explain the events leading up to the sinking of the ship, and they are written from the perspectives of the crew, passengers, captain, engineers, and other key figures.  pretty cool.

i loved the original version of the titanic movie, but i decided not to see titanic in 3D this weekend.  that's alright, i think it might have made me sea sick anyway . . . (pun intended).

love, laurie
{images via}

Friday, April 13, 2012

our little kitchen helper . . .

the other day, ryan and i quickly whipped up a basic vanilla cake to take to our friends' house for a strawberry short cake dessert.  after i was done beating the ingredients together with my kitchen aid hand mixer, i walked over to the sink to wash off the beaters.  however, the beaters were intercepted by our silly little kitten before i got them into the sink.  ryan and i could not believe that leko actually liked the cake batter!  thanks for licking those beaters clean, leko!

i hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, April 12, 2012

hitting the trail

over the long easter weekend we really made an effort to get ourselves outside in order to take advantage of the nice weather.  in addition to our bike ride on the lackawanna river heritage trail, over the weekend we also also took a trip to promised land state park for an afternoon walk on the trail around the lake.  promised land state park is near my parent's house, and i have such fond memories from when i was little of going there in the summers for picnics and swimming.

since it is still early in the season, there was almost no one around except for a few year-round local residents.  it was so nice to have the entire place almost to ourselves.  we really enjoyed walking around the lake, even if we were a bit chilly and windblown!

{it was so windy that i had to bundle up in ryan's jacket!}

have a great thursday!
love, laurie

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

lime bars with pistachio graham cracker crust

for easter sunday, in addition to making carrot cake (seen here) ryan and i also made lime bars with pistachio graham cracker crust for dessert.  for the lime bars, we followed this recipe (which we decided to double since there were so many people coming to ryan's parent's house for dinner).  the lime bars were a wonderful alternative to traditional key lime pie.  the tart flavor of these bars made them a refreshing dessert which put me right in the mood for summer!  if you are a fan of citrus, i highly recommend trying these lime bars!

combine the ingredients for the crust and press
the mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
bake the crust until lightly browned and then let it cool.

whisk together the ingredients for the filling 
and pour the mixture over the cooled crust.
bake until the filling is set.

when the filling is set, let the filling cool.
chill in the refrigerator before cutting and serving.

love, laurie

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

an afternoon bike ride

over the weekend, we took advantage of the nice weather by spending as much time outside as we possibly could.  even though it was cool and breezy, it was so nice to see the sun out and shining.

to kick off our long easter weekend, we dug our bikes out of the garage, dusted them off, strapped them to the back of ryan's car, and headed out to the lackawanna river heritage trail for a lovely afternoon bike ride.  the trail follows the lackawanna river and part of the railroad.  it is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking.  it was so nice and peaceful, and it was the perfect way to begin our long weekend!

happy tuesday!
love, laurie