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Thursday, June 30, 2016

summer bucket list 2016

oh my goodness, how is it the last day of june already?  i feel like one-third of the summer just flew by right in front of my eyes.  june was a busy whirlwind, but luckily we still have all of july and august to enjoy!  at the start of each summer i always make a seasonal to-do list.  it's helpful for days when we are looking for something fun to do.  our list keeps growing each year as we find new things that we want to try, or as we add things that we loved and want to repeat.  here are a few of the things on our summer list that we hope to do . . .

1. grow fresh herbs in our yard (we already have a head start with some basil from my parents)

2. pick fresh fruit at local farms (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)

3. grill homemade pizza as often as possible

4. hike and bike in the nice weather

5. watch as many fireworks displays as possible

6. paint the outside of our back porch

7. try some new vegan popsicle recipes

8. take a day trip to visit a zoo

9. see a movie at the local drive-in movie theater

10. enjoy the local summer farmers markets, fairs, and carnivals in our area

what's on your summer list this year?
love, laurie

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

national waffle iron day!

i'm only a little bit embarrassed to admit that we own three different waffle irons in our house (well, technically we own four if you count the thin waffle iron that we have to make waffle cones for ice cream).

did you know that waffle irons date back to the 14th century?  the earliest designs were used over an open fire and had elaborate designs such as coats of arms or religious symbols.  the first patent in the u.s. for a waffle iron was in 1869, and in 1911 general electric produced a prototype electric waffle iron which was later available to the general public in 1918.

let's celebrate national waffle iron day today by making some waffles!  here are a few of our favorite waffle recipes from the archives over the years . . .

apple cider waffles
bacon cheddar waffles
banana walnut waffles (vegan)
blueberry cornmeal waffles (vegan)
brown sugar bacon waffles
buttermilk belgian waffles
chai spice oat waffles
coconut waffles
cornmeal waffles
gingerbread waffles
peanut butter chocolate chip waffles
pumpkin spice waffles
walnut waffles

love, laurie

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

summer flowers around our yard

we were outside the other day and noticed that a bunch of our summer flowers started to pop up around our yard.  it was nice to take a moment to stop and admire the flowers that are currently blooming!

love, laurie

Monday, June 27, 2016

summer grilling

we absolutely love grilling, especially in the summer months.  ryan's the "grill master" in our house, and he really does have grilling down to a science.  we love to grill everything, including veggies, seafood, pizza, and even dessert.  there's just something so right about smelling dinner cooking on the grill on a warm summer evening after a long day at work and then sitting on the back porch eating dinner while enjoying the nice weather.  here's to a long summer with lots of grilling!

love, laurie

Friday, June 24, 2016

these two . . .

these two crack me up.  it was really hot two nights ago, so we had the windows open and several fans running in an effort to cool down our house.  i found ryan and leko both in bed watching tv while trying to cool off by the open window and the fans.  it was so cute how they were both fixated on the tv, i just couldn't resist snapping a picture on my phone.

have a wonderful weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, June 23, 2016

get dipping this summer with chobani meze dips

it's summer time, which means it's prime time for summer parties.  if you are looking for something to put in the center of your party food table this 4th of july, check out chobani's new meze dips.

we're huge fans of chobani at our house, so we are thrilled about chobani's new line of savory dips which feature real veggies, herbs, and spices blended with creamy chobani greek yogurt.  they are made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients too.  their perfectly-sized 10oz. containers are ideal for a family barbecue or if you just need a snack.

meze dips pair great with chips, pretzels, and crudites, and they come in four flavors: roasted red pepper, three pepper salsa, chili lime, and smoked onion & parmesan.

click here to save $1 on chobani meze dips and click here for a chance to enter to win a stay in the chobani meze home this 4th of july!

love, laurie

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"your community live" tv segment

i really had such a great time preparing for and performing in my dance studio's spring recital this weekend.  i mentioned last week that my dance studio was going to be featured on the "your community live" segment of our local news to promote the recital.  the segment aired live on friday evening, the day before the show, but you can see the segment here online.

the whole sequence of events leading up to the tv segment was absolutely crazy, but i'm really happy with the way the segment turned out.  it got a ton of views, and i'm super proud of our senior tap class girls for doing such a good job on live tv!

love, laurie

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

spring dance recital 2016

grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable, because this post is a long one!  last week i gave several sneak peaks (herehere, and here) as my dance studio prepared for our annual spring dance recital.  on saturday, we had our recital and i was thrilled to be a part of it.

this year's recital was called "memories in music" and it was really a labor of love.  i had the opportunity to have my hands in so many different parts of the recital this year.  i performed in eight numbers, co-taught three of the classes that performed on stage, and created some of choreography for the show too.  in addition, i picked the venue, designed the logo for the show, created the programs, managed ticket sales, made some props, designed the show t-shirts, and did the advertising/publicity for the show.  it was exhausting, but i had a blast and really enjoyed doing it.  it was also fun to be able to work on another show with ryan, who was our "jack of all trades" for this production.  he really did a little bit of everything for this show.

below are a few photos and screen shots from the recital.  the quality of some of the photos are better than others because the combination of the theatre lights and the moving dancers made some pictures a bit blurry, but you still get the idea . . .

^the show opened with our senior jazz class dance to "dream on" by aerosmith.^
^this year i had the privilege of dancing as part of the production trio to a medley of three country songs.  we danced to "country girl shake it for me" by luke bryan, "the river" by garth brooks, and "she's country" by jason aldean.  those three dances were a lot of fun!^
^my senior ballet class opened act two with a pointe number to "love song" by tesla.  by far, it was our longest dance and it was the dance that we worked on the most.  i love how it turned out.^
^as soon as i heard that the theme of this year's recital was classic songs, i immediately suggested the beatles because i'm a huge beatles fan.  for our finale, we did five different dances to a medley of five different beatles' songs.  we opened the finale with "imagine" which we performed in the dark with led candles (which looked absolutely awesome in person, but didn't really turn out in pictures).  my senior class also danced to "lucy in the sky with diamonds" which was a whole production number with fabric, ladder tricks, and ribbon dancers.  (a huge thank you to ryan for letting us use his ladder and covering it in reflective metallic tape to look awesome on stage!)^
^the last number in our tribute to the beatles was "sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band" which the senior class performed with the junior class.  we did a rockettes-style dance which is always fun.^

just like last year, ryan took a few photos of my costumes at home after the show in order to remember them.  i really loved all of the costumes and accessories this year so i'm glad i have these pictures . . .

^we wore this gorgeous blue costume for our senior jazz dance to "dream on."  i loved the color of it and the way it moved.  the rainbow sequined headbands were just the right accessory too.^

^we wore this country girl costume for our trio country song medley "country girl shake it for me," "the river," and "she's country."  i actually loved this costume, which is so out of character for me!^
^our senior ballet class danced to "love song" by tesla and even though tesla is an 80's hair band, the beginning of this song has a renaissance feel, so these beautiful black costumes were perfect for our ballet.  our director hand made us each matching flower crowns too.  they were the perfect touch to really finish that costume.^
^without a doubt, my favorite costume was this amazing gold sequined dress!!!  i seriously didn't want to take it off.  you just might find me wearing it grocery shopping or something because i can't get enough of it.  i was thrilled that we got to wear this dress for three dances during our tribute to the beatles.  we danced in this dress to "imagine," "lucy in the sky with diamonds," and "sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band."  it was gorgeous!^

after the show, my director gave me a mini red rose plant, and the junior ballet class that i teach gave me an orchid flower plant.  both were so pretty.  instead of flowers, my parents bought me a basil plant for our yard because they know how much i love to cook with basil!  when i came home on saturday night, ryan and leko surprised me with flowers too.  instead of a bouquet, ryan picked out three different flowering plants that we can plant in our yard.  that was so thoughtful!

i'm so sad that the show is over because i had so much fun preparing for it and performing it, however, my body is grateful for a little break now because i have a few injuries that really need some time to heal.  it will be good to take a little time to rest and recuperate before we jump back into dancing in a few weeks.  we've already started discussing our next dance projects and i'm excited!

love, laurie

. . . 

Monday, June 20, 2016

father's day 2016

yesterday we got together with our families to celebrate father's day as well as ryan's dad's birthday and ryans' parents' anniversary.  we all went out to eat at a great seafood restaurant and then went back to ryan's parents' house where we lounged on the deck while our dads opened presents and then we enjoyed some chocolate peanut butter birthday cake.  we enjoyed celebrating with our families, and we are so grateful for our dads and all that they do for us!

ps: happy first day of summer today!
love, laurie