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Friday, June 29, 2012

strawberry slushy

after we finished picking strawberries the other day, we cooled off with a strawberry slushy at the strawberry farm.  this slushy was so refreshing on a warm summer day.  the ingredients were so simple that i can't wait to make it at home: strawberries, water, lemon juice, honey, and ice cubes.

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, June 28, 2012

strawberry picking

i have had an urge to go strawberry picking for weeks now, but we have been just so busy lately.  the other day, i called our local strawberry farm and found out that it was the last day for strawberry picking.  so, ryan and i decided that we better hurry before we lost our chance.  the weather was absolutely perfect, the smell of strawberries was unbelievable, and we practically had the whole field to ourselves.  we picked some of the cutest strawberries i have ever seen, and maybe we were guilty of sampling just a few of them too.  just maybe.

we ended up with over five pounds of strawberries!  i swear we planned on only picking a "few" just for the experience, but i guess we got a little carried away.  so, now i have some big plans for these little berries.  we already kicked off the strawberry fest at our house the other night with slices of angel food cake topped with a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream and tons of strawberries.  i'm looking forward to making a few other desserts with these strawberries too!

you know, there is something absolutely magical about standing in the middle of a strawberry field with your husband on a bright and sunny day, while a cool breeze blows past you.  i'm telling you . . . magical.  maybe i fell in love with him all over again.  just maybe.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

mad for plaid

i'm not the type of person who goes to a salon to get manicures (except for special occasions of course like weddings).  since salon manicures tend to be expensive, i usually do my nails myself.  typically i stick to solid colors or a french manicure, but do like to play around with fun nail art designs too.

so, i was really intrigued when i saw sally hansen's new salon effects.  they are real nail polish strips with fun patterns and designs which you simply apply to clean dry nails.  i was a bit turned off when i found out that they retail for around $9, but i found them on sale at target for $4, so i thought i would give them a try.  (the pattern i picked was mad for plaid.)  after a quick learning curve, they were really easy to apply.  the best part?  you don't have to wait for your nail polish to dry!  they are supposed to last for 10 days and then easily remove with nail polish remover.  so far, i have had them on for 11 days, and they still look great.  not a single chip!  has anyone else tried this product yet?  i'm curious to hear what other people think.

. . .

money saving tip: if you keep your nails on the shorter side, you can cut the nail polish strips in half and get double the uses out of them!  (even more bang for your buck!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

cilantro spinach chickpea salad

since it has been so hot the past few days, i haven't been in the mood for heavy meals.  so the other day for dinner i made this chickpea salad with cilantro and spinach.  it was so light and refreshing (and healthy too)!  ryan has already requested that i make it again soon.  i have a feeling that this salad is going to be a staple in our house over the summer!

ps: this recipe was featured over here on my friend jenn's blog.

cilantro spinach chickpea salad
adapted from
prep time: 10 minutes
yields: 4 servings

2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas
4 cups of fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
dash of salt
dash of pepper

drain and rinse the chickpeas, place in a bowl, and set aside.  in a food processor, add the spinach and pulse until finely chopped.  add the chopped spinach to the bowl with the chickpeas.  in the food processor, add the cilantro, onion, lime juice, sugar, olive oil, garlic powder, and onion powder.  pulse until smooth.  pour the cilantro dressing over the spinach and chickpeas.  stir well.  season with salt and pepper to taste.

love, laurie

Friday, June 22, 2012

kitten and the sand dollar

leko has been absolutely fascinated with 
the sand dollar that we brought home from vacation.  
i think he likes it so much because it smells like the ocean!  

silly kitten :-)

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, June 21, 2012

summer solstice

even though it has felt like summer for a few weeks now, yesterday was the "official" first day of summer, and summer certainly made itself known yesterday with temperatures reaching 101 degrees!  when we got out of work, we had to do boring adult stuff like get an oil change for ryan's car and wait in line at the department of motor vehicles for ryan to renew his driver's license . . . not very summery at all.

by the time we were done with our errands, it was so ridiculously hot outside that neither one of use felt like making dinner.  so, in honor of the summer solstice, we went out for salads and ice cream.  (notice that we were trying to be good by having salads for dinner in order to balance out the ice cream . . . that's an even trade, right?)  did you know that you can get a salad, a drink, and a sundae at friendly's for $9.99?  not such a bad way to kick off summer if i do say so myself!

{a little over kill on the spoon size?  yup, we thought so too.}

. . .

hope everyone enjoyed their "official" first day of summer!
love, laurie

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

these two sleep in the funniest positions

i seriously could not stop laughing at how cute this was the other night.
kitten sure does know how to make himself comfortable!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

father's day gifts and sweets

over the weekend we enjoyed getting together with our families to celebrate father's day.  ryan and i decided to get creative this year when it came to wrapping gifts and decorating dessert for our dads.  we wrapped their gifts with a neck tie theme, and decorated their cupcakes with a grilling theme . . .

we cut the neck ties out of patterned scrap-book paper.  for the little shirt-and-tie gift bags, we followed this printable template.  they were so cute, and they were the perfect size to hold gift cards for our dads.

we decorated the cupcakes to look like little grills.  we made the grill grates by piping melted chocolate onto wax paper and letting it cool.  then we used mini cow tales for the "steaks" and mike and ike candies for the "hot dogs" and the "shish kabobs."

we had so much fun decorating our dads' gifts and cupcakes!

hope everyone had a wonderful father's day too!
love, laurie

Monday, June 18, 2012

happy birthday!

happy birthday today to ryan's dad!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy father's day!

happy father's day to our wonderful fathers!
we love you so very much!

and . . .

happy 40th wedding anniversary to ryan's mom and dad!

Friday, June 15, 2012

around the ship

we really had such an amazing time on our cruise.  the allure of the seas was an unbelievable ship, and it is currently the largest cruise ship in the world!  there were so many things to do and to see on board.  we enjoyed the numerous pools and hot tubs, zip lined across the top of the ship, ice skated on the ice skating rink, saw a ton of different shows, and of course ate way too much food.  here are a few of the many, many, many pictures that we took around the ship . . .

ps: you can check out pictures from haiti, jamaica, and mexico, our three ports of call: here, here, and here.

love, laurie