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Thursday, August 31, 2017

how to help hurricane harvey victims

if you have even so much as glanced at the internet or a television this past week, you know that the south, particularly huston, texas, has been hit hard by hurricane harvey.  the photos and videos are heartbreaking.  ryan and i were really moved by a video we saw online of a group of volunteers working around the clock to save cats from flooded huston homes.  

we need to come together in times like this to help each other out.  however, the unfortunate reality is that in addition to the reputable donation sites, there are many donation scams out there which sometimes make people leery of donating to those in need.  if you want to help out, but you don't want to get scammed, the ny times put together a list of where to donate to harvey victims and how to avoid scams.  in addition, today good morning america is hosting it's day of giving to benefit hurricane harvey relief and recovery efforts.

love, laurie

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

back to "school"

it's back to school time.  ever since this commercial came out a few years ago, i always think of it around this time of the year.

i've said before several times that for me, memorial day weekend marks the start of summer and labor day weekend marks the end of summer.  with labor day weekend quickly approaching, i feel like fall is waiting just around the corner.  i love the fall, but i'm not ready to let go of summer . . . just yet.

summer's slowly slipping away . . . my summer sunburn has faded to a barely-there tan, summer concert season is coming to an end with just one pavilion concert left for us to work next week,  the weather is quite a bit cooler, and pumpkin spice flavored and scented everything has already been stocked on store shelves.

monday marked the first day of the semester at the university where i work.  although i work full time year round, the start of classes always feels like the "beginning" of a new year.  i've prepped my syllabus and i'm ready to teach my fall semester class (which actually starts today).

i think after this long holiday weekend, i'll be ready for fall.  we'll let the summer go out with a bang with our annual traditional trek to our beloved italian festival.  after that, i think i'll be mentally ready to cozy up in plaid flannel, pick apples, eat pumpkin everything, and watch fall tv shows.  the back to school season in the fall feels like a time to start fresh, and hopefully we'll be able to do just that.

happy back to "school"
love, laurie

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

my fur baby

two days in a row of leko pictures because, really, i just can't resist my cute fur baby!

love, laurie

Monday, August 28, 2017

sleeping beauty

couldn't resist snapping pictures of this guy passed out taking a nap the other day.  i love all of the crazy positions that he gets into when he sleeps.  what a cute sleeping beauty!

happy monday
love, laurie

Friday, August 25, 2017

the harford fair

last night was one of those rare occasions when ryan actually got out of work a little early and our schedules were both free at the same time.  we decided to put our free evening to good use and made a little date of it by going to the harford fair since it was 50% off admission night.  (cheap date!)

we visited the animals, strolled around the vendors and exhibits, grabbed a bite to eat, and then sat down to watch a crazy motorbike stunt show.  a few photos from my phone . . .

love, laurie

. . .

harford fair: 2015 and 2016

Thursday, August 24, 2017

celebrating ryan's birthday fiesta style

ryan's birthday was last monday, but our schedules have been so busy that last night was the first chance we had to celebrate his birthday with our families.  everyone came up to our house for dinner and we had a fiesta-style celebration with a ton of mexican-inspired food.  we had build-your-own tacos with all of the fixings and tons of toppings, cilantro-lime rice, quesadillas, salsa, guac, mexican-street corn, virgin margaritas, and virgin mint mojitos.  (shout out to google translate for helping me with the english-to-spanish translations for the invitation and all of the food cards for the table!  it has been many, many years since i've taken a spanish class!)

for dessert, we made a churro-inspired cake with alternating layers of brown-butter brown-sugar cake and cinnamon cake with dark chocolate cinnamon frosting.  the fiesta was great and we all had a good time together.  leko got in on the action too with a special treat just for him!

some photos from last night's fiesta . . .

love, laurie

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

curled up

i simply can't resist snapping a picture of this guy when he falls asleep all curled up.  what a cutie!

love, laurie

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

the west end fair

on sunday evening, ryan and i took a trip to the west end fair with my mom.  it has been four years since the last time we were there, so it was nice to go back.  we strolled around to look at the vendors' booths, admired the contest displays, visited the animals, and had a bite to eat.

love, laurie

Monday, August 21, 2017

saturday in the city

on saturday, i took a trip to nyc with my parents.  the weather was absolutely gorgeous and we had a great time exploring the city.  we started our day out with lunch at the meatball shop in hells kitchen before going to see the new broadway musical bandstand.  after the show, we headed downtown to walk across the brooklyn bridge.  we worked up an appetite walking across the east river, so we grabbed pizza for dinner right under the brooklyn bridge at grimaldi's.  we admired the views of manhattan from brooklyn bridge park before boarding a water ferry to cross the east river back to manhattan.  before we headed home, we made quick pit stop in carlo's bakery to pick up a few treats to take home.

our trip was totally unplanned and was a last minute decision, but everything went great and we had a great day in the city.  here are some pictures from our day in the city on saturday . . .

^lunch at the meatball shop was so good.  ryan and i ate at the west village location last spring and we absolutely loved it so i was excited to take my parents there.  i love that they have vegetarian meatballs, they're so good!^
^ever since i saw the first teaser for bandstand i've wanted to see it.  it just opened this spring but is already closing in mid september.  i'm so glad we got to see it before it closed.  we all loved it!^
^i spy the statue of liberty off in the distance.  ryan and i have walked the brooklyn bridge twice before (in 2013 and again in 2015), but my parents never have, so it was nice to be able to do it with them.  it was a bit crowded since it was a saturday in august, but the weather was beautiful and the views were great so we didn't mind.^
^after walking across the bridge, we stopped for pizza at grimaldi's (which i totally forgot to take a picture of because we were all so hungry we scarfed it right down).  we strolled around under the bridge and admired the view of manhattan from brooklyn bridge park.  jane's carousel is so pretty too.  it was closed on saturday evening for a private party, but i'm glad ryan and i had the chance to ride it a few years ago.^
^the east river ferry is a nice way to travel back to manhattan instead of via subway.  ryan and i rode it a few years ago, and enjoyed it.  it was especially pretty with the city lit up at night (but very windy)!^
^before heading home, we made a quick pop into carlo's bakery in midtown to grab some treats for ryan since he couldn't come to nyc with us.  he was grateful for the treats!^

love, laurie