Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 Academy Awards

I love Oscar season! Back in high school our drama club would have an Oscar party where we would all dress up like we were going to the Oscars (or as close we could get - aka: Prom Dresses). My best friend, Demy, and her family were so generous and would host the parties (which were always awesome! No surprise there- they are wonderful party planners), and we would all watch the Oscars together. So much fun!
Demy & I at the Oscar Party our senior year (we were doing the Mary Kate & Ashley pose)

Some of us at one of the Oscar parties (this picture still cracks me up)
Demy & I doing the Mary Kate and Ashley pose at the Oscar Party our junior year
I have such fond memories of celebrating the Academy Award season with my best friends in high school. Some years I find that I either didn't care for a lot of the movies that were nominated or I didn't have a chance to watch many of them. This year I still haven't watched all of the movies that have been nominated, but I have seen quite a few. So I am pretty pumped to watch the Oscars this go around. With that in mind, here is an Oscar prediction ballot (courtesy of moviefone):
Print it out, take a guess, and let me know how you do! I plan to do the same. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and don't forget to tune into the 2013 Academy Awards on Sunday night!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Craft projects

Here are a few craft projects I've been working on recently. Although I didn't follow any pin exactly, I must say that a lot of the inspiration for these projects was really "Pinspiration" (from Pinterest).

 My first project was a new wreath. I had an old, plain wreath that I thought I could cover. I bought some twine from Walmart and wrapped it around the entire wreath and tied it off at the end. I did this while watching a TV show with Daniel so it made the time go by a little faster. The next step was the flowers.

I had some material left over that I used to cover some pillows so I decided to use that to make the flowers. I cut the circular strips, rolled them up, hot-glued them onto the wreath, and viola!

My next project was for a birthday party for my friend, Betsy. Remember the scrap booking paper I bought with my mom? I used that to make a little banner. I also used the same kind of twine (used in the wreath) to hang the banner up.
The birthday banner
Up close view of the birthday paper
I was pretty pleased with how it turned out! It was simple, but added a little something to our evening. Kristie brought cupcakes, Rebekah brought Betsy's favorite flowers, and I made Skinnytaste Spinach Artichoke Dip. It turned out pretty well!

We had a fun girls night together getting to celebrate our wonderful friend, Betsy. Once the girls left Daniel got to enjoy the dip, too! :)

Have you been working on any projects recently?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

President's Day weekend with Dad & Mom!

Good morning! I hope you are all having a good Wednesday so far! Halfway through the work week- yay!

As promised, here some of the highlights from our recent visit with Mom & Dad Butler that I wanted to share. We had such a wonderful time together and wish we could see each other more often.

Dad, Mom, and Buddy arrived on Saturday afternoon and we had a fun time catching up. After a bit we decided to venture out and show them some of our favorite places in Birmingham. As you might guess, the first stop was the library! I love that place. Yes, I'm a dork I guess. It is such an awesome library with tons of great resources. We had fun showing them around and ended up checking out some DVD's that we could watch in the evening.

Next, we drove over to 2nd and Charles, a large used bookstore. Daniel had some books to sell and we all had fun looking through the many, many various books they have. Mom & I wanted to walk around JoAnn's so we left the guys at the bookstore and headed a few doors down to JoAnn's.

Outside of 2nd & Charles
Inside of 2nd & Charles (how cool is that book display??)
Mom & I had a blast looking through the material and all of the other sewing supplies. Mom is a veteran seamstress and is amazing at sewing (among other things!). I have a little bit of experience with sewing, but I am still learning. Mom gave me a sewing lesson while she was visiting and I learned how to thread the machine, thread and install a bobbin, and change out the needle. Up until now I could use the machine, but if the thread or bobbin came undone it was all over- I had no idea how to fix it! Recently I was working on sewing a table cloth when the bobbin came undone.. I ended up finishing the tablecloth by hand (not ideal). So this was a fun learning experience for me! I loved walking around JoAnn's with Mom & learning more about something she is so good at. Mom bought some material to make a new skirt for her skirt purse and I bought some material to try to make a small banner for our front door. I also bought some scrap booking paper to make a banner which I'll show in a later post.

After satisfying our JoAnn's sweet tooth, we headed to Jim'n'Nicks for some good old bbq! Jim'n'Nicks really does have some amazing food and we all ate well that night.
Dad & Mom in our booth at Jim'n'Nicks
Daniel & I in our booth at Jim'n'Nicks
On Sunday we got up and went to church and enjoyed a lovely service. It was the first Sunday of Lent and the church service was a beautiful reflection and challenge as we enter this season. After church we stayed for fellowship and had fun introducing Mom & Dad to some of our church family.
After church we went home and had some Skinnytaste Chicken Parmesan. I am a big fan of Gina's Skinnytaste recipes. All of the ones I've tried have turned out to be delicious and fairly simple to create. I paired the chicken parmesan with roasted broccoli, cheesy garlic bread, and pears and we were all set! After much needed naps we headed back over to the library to take a walk on their nature trail. I think little Buddy enjoyed it the most, but he was pretty tired out afterwards!
Sweet Buddy
On Sunday night we had Community Group (our small group from church) and were excited for Dad & Mom to get to join us. It was a sweet time of fellowship and was special to share that with my parents. After Community Group we came home to watch Downton Abbey.. I had heard what was going to happen, but I was still so sad. I won't say anymore in case someone reading this has not yet watched it. Let's just say we had to watch something a little happier afterwards because we were so bummed! I hope next season will be a little happier. I thought the picture below was hilarious! That is kind of how I felt when PBS put the donation phone number at the bottom of the screen before the episode was even over.
On Monday morning we got up and had some cinnamon rolls and got ready to go visit the Lakeshore Foundation facilities. I had never visited and my parents were interested in taking a tour since it is an Olympic and Paralympic training facility. We really enjoyed taking a tour and seeing all of the wonderful resources they provide. After our tour we ate lunch at Panera Bread, headed home for Mom & Dad to pack, and said our goodbyes. We were so sad to see them leave, but were thankful for the wonderful weekend we had together! Thanks for making the trip and sleeping on an air mattress, Dad & Mom! Love you guys!

So, that about covers the highlights of our weekend. Did you do anything special this President's Day weekend?


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are all having a good week thus far! Daniel and I had a wonderful President's Day weekend with my parents. We were sad to see them leave yesterday. I'll write another post soon sharing some of the highlights of our trip.

As a random Tuesday pondering, do any of you have blogs you follow and read up on regularly? I really enjoy reading blogs (Barney Stinson would be so happy). It is fun having little articles to read throughout the week.. I think I may have replaced my interest in magazines with blogs. I'd love to hear what blogs you usually follow!

I love to read all sorts of blogs, but I found myself spending too much time lately looking through fitness and weight-loss related blogs. I felt convicted of how I was using those spare moments throughout the day and how I could be feeding my soul, not just my mind.

With that in mind I'll share some of the lovely Christian bloggers I follow:

Some just for fun bloggers:

The Emmaus Hesitation (My hubby's blog! He is a wonderful writer- check him out!)
The Pioneer Woman (Ree is such a fantastic writer. Her website has tons of fabulous resources as well as lots of fun personal stories and pictures from her life. Her blog makes me want to move to the country and become a pioneer woman myself! If you haven't already, you should check out her books as well. She has several recipe books as well as a book about her love story with her husband. Can you tell I like this woman?)
Skinnytaste (I love Gina's recipes! She has so many delicious lightened versions of classic recipes)
Kevin & Amanda (They have great ideas related to crafts, cooking, photography, etc)

Now it is your turn! What do you like to read about?

Lots of love,
Laura xoxo

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February Challenge (2/7)

Well, since I have a bit of time I thought I'd continue with the February Challenge. Today's challenge is family and how this relates to honoring why you are dedicated to your health.

I'd say family (past, present, and future) is a primary motivator for me. In my past my parents taught me the importance of eating healthy, well-balanced meals. With our lunches my mom always made sure we had a fruit/veggie of some sort and most of our meals always represented a balanced diet. We grew up eating whole grain bread and drinking skim milk- these were just what we were raised on so I've always liked the taste of whole grain foods.

In the present I've found that my family is a motivation for me to be healthy. I want to be able to live a healthy life on this earth and be here for my husband and all of our family. Because I care about my loved ones I feel the importance of caring for my own health as well since this will directly affect them.

As this relates to the future I'd like to be in good health for my future children! I want to stay healthy during any pregnancies and want to be healthy and active enough to be there to care for and play with my future kids. I want to be sure that the things I teach our children about food are good things. I don't want to teach them bad habits (such as emotional eating) and I want them to learn how to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. My parents gave me a great gift by teaching me those things and I want to be sure to pass that along to my future kids.

What about you? How does your family inspire you to take care of your health?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I came across this challenge on another blog and I'm not sure that I'll be able to devote time to post about one of these every day, but I thought it might be a fun challenge for February.

Today's challenge is Simplicity (as it relates to honoring why you are dedicated to your health). Well, today's act of simplicity for me has to be my plans for eating healthy this evening. My sweet Daniel is going to help at the Brother Bryan ministry tonight so I'll be on my own for a bit. I've reserved a copy of Bringing Up Baby to watch and I've got some rotisserie chicken, green beans, and a honey biscuit with my name on it. I've found that keeping a weekly meal menu (something I learned from my mom) really helps me stay on track for cooking meals every night. I also know that if a recipe involves too many ingredients (or obscure/hard to find ingredients) I'm probably not going to make it. Simplicity and organization are key for me, personally, to stay on track with not only cooking, but also for eating right.
Do you have any tips on living/eating simply?

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Just wanted to share some pictures of a few things we've been up to recently. :)

A few weeks ago we headed to LaGrange for a visit since Andrew was able to come home. We really missed getting to see him at Christmas so this was a special weekend getting to all be together. We got up on Saturday and drove to the Fox Theater in Atlanta to go watch the Blue Men Group perform. It was so much fun! I (jokingly) said that we needed to dress up as the Bluth family to attend the event (anyone? anyone?). The Blue Man Group did a great job and were fantastic entertainers. It was just a nice show to go to with the whole family.
Super blurry picture of the inside of the Fox Theater.. you're not supposed to take pictures so I didn't want to use a flash..
I missed the memo..

Getting ready to leave ATL

After the show we headed back to LaGrange. Jacob and Taylor made Paula Dean's Gorilla Bread and it was ah-maz-ing. I think between the whole group we ate it all in one evening. It was that good.
Taylor & Jacob assembling the Gorilla Bread (those cuties)
Some of the Gorilla Bread ingredients
Daniel serenading us during the baking :)
Back in Birmingham a few weeks later we were invited to attend a house show for the band Carolina Story. They were fantastic! They were both super sweet and spent the whole evening interacting with all those in attendance. Their performance was excellent - I was so impressed at how good they were live (an excellent indicator of how good a performer really is!) and their kindness and openness was so lovely. We felt right at home around them!
The Logans with Carolina Story

These were super blurry because I didn't want to be rude and use a flash since we were sitting so close! haha!
Bottle labels with their lyrics on them

The host of the show is a graphic designer and made this awesome poster and personalized bottle labels (see above)
And most recently we had a fun get together with our friends, May & Fan. They are so much fun to be around. We went to the Olive Garden and they were very open to trying the new cuisine. They liked it! Added proof that the Olive Garden is awesome. :)
Daniel, Laura, May, & Fan
We've had a great 2013 so far! Can't wait for more fun memories to come!

Snow Day!

Remember how I said that we have been having some crazy weather lately? Well, our snow day was no exception. Snow had been forecast for the day, but in the south you never know what that will mean. As it turns out we really did get snow and quite a bit at that!

As Daniel and I parted ways after lunch it had begun to flurry. Many of the area schools were being let out and several of my coworkers had to leave to pick up their kids. Our office opted not to close when the snow started which turns out to have been a great decision.

Courtyard outside of our office

Snow, snow, snow!

 Evidently since everyone was leaving school/work at the same time the traffic was horrendous. Add to that the fact that no one really knows how to drive in the snow and we live in an incredibly hilly area and you've got your self a mess. Thankfully by the time the work day ended most of the snow had melted and the traffic was next to nothing since most of the area had gone home when the snow started. I followed the advice of some of my northern friends and drove carefully home. Here are some pictures of my view of the drive home (taken at stops):

Our apartment complex covered in snow!
Thankfully we made it around safely and were just able to enjoy the pretty snow. Most schools and businesses opened late the next morning since a lot of the hills had iced from the melted snow.

Nice little snow day surprise! Did any of you get caught in the snow this winter?

Date Day!

2013 has brought with it some really strange weather in our part of the country! We've had warm days, cold days, threats of tornadoes, a snow day.. you name it! So on one warm weekend we decided to make the most of the unseasonably mild weather and enjoy a day outside.

After visiting the Moss Rock Preserve the last time the Logan's visited we have been wanting to go back. We put on some walking gear and headed to the preserve. We noticed when we were there last time that there was a cute little pub in the preserve area so we stopped there for lunch first before beginning our walk.
The Boot Pub

Post lunch/Pre hike :)
After enjoyed a delicious lunch we headed out to take a little hike/walk through the preserve. The weather was just perfect! It wasn't too hot or cold, and there was a nice cloud cover that kept the sun from heating things up too much.
Here is a view of some of the things we saw along our hike:

Here are some of us:

And here are some of my brave cutie:

We had such a fun date day together getting to enjoy each other's company and the great outdoors!