Friday, February 16, 2018

fun links


it's friday and i survived my first full week in my new job!  i'll be working this weekend since i have a show tonight and a two-show day tomorrow.  maybe there'll be some time for rest on sunday!  since it's friday, here are a few fun links i found around the internet recently . . .

1. leko most definitely needs this!

2. 27 different smoothie recipes that pack protein

3. how well do ya'll know your southern slang?  (i only got 2 wrong!)

4. the history behind fanta soda

5. five tech myths that people still believe

6. starry night meets pop culture

7. visiting pa?  here's the one place to visit in each pennsylvania county

8. chocolate peanut butter cup cookies

9. each room in this rental house is themed like a different board game!

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, February 15, 2018

silly kitten


over the weekend, i was down at my parents' house.  i placed a reusable grocery bag on their kitchen table to unload it and as soon as i took the last thing out of the bag, one of their kitties jumped in the bag.  i ended up carrying him around in the bag and he really seemed to enjoy it.

silly kitten!
love, laurie

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

happy valentine's day!


today is the 14th and it's our 14th valentine's day together!  unfortunately we won't be able to celebrate together today since our schedules don't match up, but we'll take a rain check and celebrate another time.

i love this picture from valentine's day several years ago.  those two boys are my favorite valentines every day of the year!

happy valentine's day!
love, laurie

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

happy mardi gras!


happy mardi gras / happy fat tuesday / happy fasnacht day!  no matter what you call it, it's a great excuse to eat a doughnut today.

here are some of my favorite homemade doughnut recipes:
- baked mocha cake doughnuts with coffee cream cheese glaze
- baked strawberry cake doughnuts with strawberry glaze
baked pumpkin doughnuts with brown butter and apple cider glaze topped with pecans
- baked apple cider doughnuts

i also like these doughnut-inspired recipes too:
apple cider doughnut pancakes
gingerbread doughnut muffins

love, laurie

Monday, February 12, 2018

saying hello to a new chapter


today's a big day!  to make a very long story short, today i'm starting my first day in a new job.  although it was a big step to make the decision to leave the university where i worked full time for so long, i'm very much looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work full time in the field that i love the most . . . theatre!  i'll share more about my new job soon.

fingers crossed!
love, laurie

Friday, February 9, 2018

leko's winter olympics


today is the opening ceremony of the winter olympics and leko has been hard at work perfecting the game that he will take home the gold in this winter . . . cuddling!  this freezing cold weather has made him extra lovable and he has been cuddling close to stay warm.  this morning he was so cold that he crawled under the covers with me in bed and did not want to move when the alarm went off for work.

he loves water and the cold refrigerator, so i think he would probably like most of the winter sports.  he'd definitely be good at curling, speed skating, ice hockey, ski jumping, and luge.  ha!

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

ps: this team usa cake is really awesome!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

ice, ice, baby

yesterday's all-day snow storm turned into a crazy rain storm.  all of the water that fell ended up freezing into a solid sheet of ice . . . everywhere.  i feel like our castle is surrounded by a mote of ice.

every sidewalk around our house is frozen solid like an ice skating rink.  perhaps i should go outside, put on my ice skates, and have my own figure skating competition right in time for the start of the winter olympics.

it's freezing cold outside and temperatures are not forecasted to go above the 20s.  meanwhile inside, this kitten insists on getting soaking wet.  if you look closely, you can see all of the water droplets on him.  we will have to keep him warm all day so he doesn't turn into a little kitten icicle.

love, laurie

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

common shaving mistakes + how to avoid them with harry's




shaving is one of those tasks that almost everyone does on a daily basis.  whether it's your face, legs, or arm pits that you're shaving, finding a good razor and knowing what you're doing is important.  

recently, ryan and i switched over to harry's razors.  even though harry's was designed with guys in mind, their products work great for girls too.  today we'd like to share some common shaving mistakes and how to avoid them so that you get a better shave . . .



mistake: not prepping your skin hair properly 
tip: guys should use a hot towel to prep their dry skin or plan on shaving after getting out of a hot shower.  ladies should stick to shaving in the shower because the steam allows the outer layer of your hair to soften, making for an easier and safer shave.

mistake: not knowing which way your hair grows and shaving in the wrong direction
tip: let your hair grow out enough so you can feel the direction it grows.  when shaving, the first pass of the shave should go with the grain when the hair is at its longest.  the following pass should go against the grain when the hair is shorter and there are less dead skin cells to get in the way.  this process should relieve any tug and pull on the skin while leaving the area smooth.



mistake: putting too much pressure on your skin while shaving 
tip: it’s hard not to think that applying more pressure will get more of your stubble, but it’s actually the opposite.  gently gliding the razor across your skin will work the best for a close shave.

mistake: using too much or too little shaving cream 
tip: when applying shaving cream, using an almond-sized portion will allow for the smooth shave you’re looking for.  if the surface you’re shaving is a little larger, adding a tiny bit more should do the trick.  using shaving products that also provide hydration will help eliminate irritation. 



mistake: using soap or body wash when you’re out of shaving products 
tip: although soaps and shaving creams feel and look like they have similar properties, soap removes dirt & oil from the skin, working against your shave.  shaving products provide moisture and slip agents to decrease friction.  

mistake: leaving your razor on the shower ledge or bathroom sink 
tip: to save your razor from unwanted bacteria, store your razor in an area where there is limited water exposure. 


. . .

so there you have it, some helpful tips.  you can try a free trial of harry's shave subscription including a truman handle, a blade, a 2 oz. foaming shave gel, and travel blade cover.  ($3 shipping fee not included.)  they give you a 17 day trial period to test everything out and make sure the products are working for you.  if you end up loving the product you can continue with the subscription or opt out if you wish.






here's to smooth shaving!
love, laurie

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

no more snow, please!!!

this winter has been a doozie.  the temperatures have been bitter cold, there has been too much snow, and i'm sick and tired of slipping on ice.  we seem to be following a pattern this season of getting hammered with bad weather, then getting teased with just a little bit of nice weather, before getting blindsided with bad weather again.  the roads are still not great from the storm we had on super bowl sunday, and then we got some more snow this morning on top of it. 

what's really making me crazy is the fact that the forecast is now calling for another storm tomorrow which is supposed to be worse than anything we've had so far this season.  i really don't want to deal with any more snow and ice, and my back cannot handle shoveling anymore. 

goodness gracious, i am ready for summer and palm trees!  (meanwhile, good morning america said it's 85 degrees today in palm springs!)

stay warm and stay safe
love, laurie

Monday, February 5, 2018

super bowl sunday 2018


even though we're not sports fans throughout the year, we do love to sit down and watch the super bowl.  our favorite way to watch it is at home, in our pjs, with some great food, cuddled up on the couch with leko on our laps . . . and we got to do just that this year, thanks to an insane snow storm that lasted all day long.

after a bunch of snow shoveling and ice scrapping, we curled up on the couch with vegetarian nachos, guacamole, salsa, chips, carrots, celery, blue cheese, buffalo sauce, boneless chicken wings for ryan, and vegetarian "chicken" nuggets for me!  (ps: i'm beyond elated that i finally found a brand of vegetarian "meat" that is soy free!  hooray!)  for dessert, we made mini cast-iron skillet brownies with a scoop of ice cream on top.

ryan dug out his color changing light-up eagles cup for good luck and i guess it worked because the eagles won!  leko was happy all night because he got a good nap during the game. 

overall, i thought the super bowl commercials weren't that great.  if i had to pick a favorite, i would say that i liked the e*trade commercial best.  i also didn't care for the half-time show at all.  (last year's was much better!)  but, the game was actually entertaining.  i was much too lazy yesterday to take pictures on my camera but did snap a few on my phone . . .


love, laurie

Friday, February 2, 2018

punxsutawney leko 2018


this morning punxsutawney phil came out of his hole and saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.  in keeping with tradition, leko also conducted his own groundhog day experiment this morning.  he checked himself out near several different windows around the house.  he concluded his experiment in bed around 8am determining that although there was a little bit of sunlight peaking through outside, he did not see his shadow.  i like punxsutawney leko's conclusion a lot more than punxsutawney phil's conclusion.

happy groundhog day!
love, laurie

. . .

punxsutawney leko: 2016 and 2017

Thursday, February 1, 2018

super bowl sunday recipe roundup


the super bowl is this weekend!  my favorite super bowl tradition is watching the game from home on the couch, in our pjs, snuggled up with leko.  that plan sounds extra good this year since the forecast is calling for snow.  one of the best parts of the super bowl is the fun food.  we always make our own treats at home each year.  here are a few of our favorite recipes from over the years that would be great for the super bowl, whether you are having a large party or a party just for yourself . . .

appetizers / snacks:
- parmesan truffle popcorn
broccomole (broccoli guacamole)
roasted cauliflower and garlic dip
spinach artichoke dip
homemade cheez-it crackers
egg roll mozzarella sticks
homemade soft pretzels (plain, dusted in cinnamon sugar, or wrapped around hot dogs)

entrees:
buffalo chicken rolls
spicy beef enchiladas
vegetarian qunioa chili
sweet potato black bean burgers
cast-iron skillet pizza

desserts:
classic chocolate chip cookies
confetti cupcakes (with sprinkles matching your team colors)
oreo truffle footballs

love, laurie