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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

snapshots of life lately . . .

a few photos of . . . a much needed car wash to clean off the winter salt (which didn't last long), an angelic sleeping lap kitten, a naughty flower-investigating kitten, and a slightly shorter hair cut for a change.

love, laurie

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

sleeping beauty

i can never resist snapping a picture of this guy when he curls up on our laps!

love, laurie

Monday, February 26, 2018

a chorus line

broadway tour season continued this weekend with the national tour of a chorus line.  on saturday, we got together with my parents to see the show.  ryan worked the load in and we both worked the load out of the show, so it was nice to see the performance on saturday.  after the show we got to meet the cast for a talk-back and then went out to dinner at a new-to-us restaurant.  even though it was cool, dreary, and raining all day it was a fun saturday!

love, laurie

Friday, February 23, 2018

happy friday!

it's friday!  my flowers from ryan and still looking great!  all of the flowers are wide open, especially the lilies.  i have really been enjoying them in the house (and we've managed to keep them high enough so as to keep them safe from kitten teeth!) 

i'm looking forward to the weekend!

have a good one!
love, laurie

Thursday, February 22, 2018

splish splash

i have had this video clip on my phone for two months and keep forgetting to share it.  back in december, i placed a pot in the sink and filled it with water in order to make some pasta.  i turned my back for one minute and when i turned around leko was in the sink playing in the water and drinking it!  needless to say, i had to get a different pot full of water to make my pasta because he claimed that one.  before i did though, i just had to grab my phone and capture him on video.  (music is "splish splash" by bobby darin.)

love, laurie

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

d.i.y. laptop sleeve

i'm really enjoying my new job so far.  since my job keeps me on my feet all the time, my employer provided me with a laptop instead of a desktop so that i could stay mobile and take it with me.  since i'm constantly moving around with my computer, i wanted a way to keep it protected while in transit.  i didn't want to lug around a bulky laptop case, so i set out looking for a thin yet protective laptop sleeve.  i searched high and low, but could not find one that fit right or didn't cost a fortune.  

since i was having no luck finding what i wanted, i decided to make my own.  i did the same thing 4 years ago when i needed something to protect my ipad.  

on sunday i had about an hour of free time, so i pulled out the sewing machine and any spare fabric that i had in the house.  i found a colorful floral print for the outside of the sleeve and a matching multi-colored stripe pattern print for the inside lining.  i found some leftover cotton batting from my last project too.  i followed the steps that i used when i made my ipad sleeve and adjusted the size to fit the laptop.  i had j-u-s-t enough fabric to fit the laptop.

it certainly isn't the world's greatest sewing job at all, but it was a fun little project that i was able to throw together in about an hour, and it does the trick to keep my computer protected from scratches!  

love, laurie

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

cuddle kitten

i came home from work on valentine's day completely exhausted.  ryan was at work, so i sat down on the couch to watch some tv and rest up with leko.  he was the cutest little cuddle kitten that night and curled up on my lap.  he rested the top of his head on my hand, and then grabbed my hand with his paw to hold hands.  it completely melted my heart and was the best valentine's gift ever!

love, laurie

Monday, February 19, 2018

surprise flowers

this past monday was my first day of work at my new job.  the first week felt like a month because there was just so much information to absorb, people to meet, etc. but i am absolutely loving my new position so far!

when i came home from my first day of work on monday, there was a surprise waiting for me from ryan.  he had bought me the most beautiful and colorful bouquet of flowers!  next to the flowers was the sweetest congratulations card telling me how proud he was of me for taking this step on this new journey.  by the time i reached the end of the message in the card i was crying like a baby.  that hubby of mine certainly is the best!

of course i had to snap several pictures of my beautiful flowers!  i have been enjoying the flowers all week and hope they last for a while!

love, laurie

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)

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

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

love, laurie