family · life

14 years

Wow two days in a row you get two posts from me!

14 years ago today I was in the Florida Mall. How do I know this? 14 years ago today Richard and I got married in the lobby of the hotel in the Florida Mall. We have been through a LOT in our 14, well actually 15 years together. I can not imagine anyone else by my side during the good and bad, the happy and the sad, the calm and the chaos.

Richard and I are only only husband and wife, we are best friends. I love the fact that we balance each other out. We don’t complete each other since we are both complete people, but instead bring out the best in each other. We recognize each other’s strengths and aren’t looking to change each other.

family · food · life

Favorite Foods… family addition

Happy Saturday!

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a few people posting about their favorite food items. I decided to take this and Lori-ize it. So you are going to get our family version of the top 5 food items.  Here we go:


  1. Pasta- Colby would eat pasta all day every day if I allowed him to. I try to limit it to a few days a week. His favorite right now would be anything with Alfredo sauce
  2. Peanut Butter- He loves to eat this on a spoon, in a bowl or on a sandwich. He puts it with chocolate, honey or jelly.
  3. Steak- Colby has recently learned about the joys of filet minion. When we have gone on the Disney Cruises he eats steak almost every night for dinner.
  4. Stromboli- especially if Richard makes it at home
  5. Bacon, Bacon, Bacon- need I say more?


  1. Pizza/ Stromboli- Blake LOVES pizza and tries to have it every week on the menu
  2. Cheese- Blake eats cheese 24/7, by the slice, shredded, in sandwiches or any other way he can have it
  3. Chocolate- anything sweet Blake eats has to be chocolate
  4. Quesadillas- This is something Blake makes almost every time we have fend for yourself (FFY)
  5. Chips- Blake eats at least one single size bag of chips every day.


  1. Steak- Give Richard a rare to medium rare steak with the right seasoning and he is more than a happy camper
  2. Subs- This is reason we go to DiBella’s almost every weekend. He enjoys Italian, cheese steak and well… so many more
  3. Pizza- Richard not only loves to eat pizza, but he also loves to make his own pizza
  4. mint chocolate chip ice cream- This is his absolute favorite ice cream. He picks this as his flavor for sundaes, milkshakes and any other ice cream products
  5. fajitas- chicken or steak doesn’t matter… with or without onions and peppers… the drippier the better
  6. brownies- this is Richard’s go to desert

For me…

  1. Chocolate- do not give me the cheap stuff!  Ghirardelli, Lindt Truffles, Dove are my go to. Now don’t get me wrong give me a Snickers or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and I’m happy, but there is something about the quality chocolate you can’t beat.
  2. Hummus- that stuff is addicting! I love it on tortilla chips, on chicken, on pretzels, on carrots… hummus is good! I need to make some of my homemade hummus to share with you one of these days.
  3. Fruit- the fresher the better. I can’t wait for the berries to be ready to pick
  4. Anything we didn’t have yesterday— I enjoy leftovers, just not the next day. I hate having to eat the same kind of foods for multiple days in a row

UMMMMM…. UMMMMM I don’t know if I have a 5th thing. I’m not a person that has a ton of favorite items. I like a lot of different things but I’m not an OMG I have to eat this. I like to switch things up a lot as I easily get bored with foods.

Join the fun… what are your favorite foods?




family · food · reviews · through my camera lens

Peace Love and Little Donuts review– by Blake

On May 5th, 2018, my mom suggested that my dad and I could go to the Peace, Love and Little Donuts in Wexford, get some donuts, and then I can do a review on it. It was pretty small, and it looked like this:

Image result for peace love and little donuts wexford Pretty interesting, huh? So, my dad and I walked in, and it looked like it opened in the 60’s or 70’s. There were a lot of old band posters dating back to that time, and here are a few of them:

2018-05-05 08.49.19

You can obviously tell that they’re pretty old. The donuts were divided into different sections, with different prices for each type, along with more band posters, as you can see:

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So, as my dad and I were looking around, I noticed something that was really cool:2018-05-05 08.49.25

The one thing that you can’t see, but it was probably their slogan, was: ‘Feed your inner hippie.’

I then decided that I’d get two chocolate chip donuts, which is a donut with chocolate frosting, and chocolate chips on that. We got a half dozen donuts, so we got the two chocolate chips, a maple bacon that we got for Colby to try (he didn’t, but my dad did), which is a donut with maple syrup with bacon on top, a chocolate pretzel, which is a donut with chocolate frosting, and then two pretzel sticks on top, a cinnamon sugar donut,  which is a cinnamon donut with sugar on it, and a cinnamon donut, which was a cinnamon sugar, just without the sugar. We then paid (and it pretty cheap) and went home. This is what all the donuts looked like:

We all (except Colby) tried one, and they were pretty good. It turns out they were cake donuts, which I’d never tried before. I finished one and had the other one today, May 6th.

All in all, this was a pretty good place. There’s multiple of them, one in Wexford, one in Pittsburgh, and one in Cranberry.

If you’re in a donut mood in Western PA and want to not use a lot from your budget, head on over to this place that I’d definitely go again. You won’t regret feeding your inner hippie.2018-05-05-08-50-04.jpg



family · food · reviews · through my camera lens

Pizza in pieces?

A few times in the past I’ve tried to make homemade pizza dough. I never seemed to be able to get it to come out the correct consistency. Well, since I’ve decided that I make dough best in the bread machine we decided to try making pizza dough again.

When the machine signaled that it was done I questioned the consistency again. It was really sticky and seemed off. But, we continued with the directions on the recipe to see where it would go from there.

dinner6Richard is the pizza maker in the house. When the dough was done with it’s final rise, he took over working with the dough. Richard decided to make grilled pizza instead of the stromboli we had planned due to the way the dough was rolling out. It was really thin in the middle and started to tear. He then went and put the pizza on the grill. This was sort of an epic fail. It cooked… well there were grill marks and the middle was done. The edges were still super doughy. Plus it came off in pieces.

We decided to trudge forward with the making of the meal. Richard topped the dough dinner5with sauce and added cheese. We decided to forego the meatball topping and just heat it up in a dish to add when done. We also didn’t season it up as much as we normally season our pizza.

When he pulled the pizza pieces off the grill it started to look a lot better. It actually tasted like decent pizza crust. A few thing we noticed: 1. we didn’t have cornmeal which we usually use, which helps slide the dough on and off the pizza peal. 2. the dough probably needed to chill after the last rise, it was slightly warmer than it should be which would have contributed to the tearing 3. the dough would have been easier to manipulate in two smaller dough balls instead of one large ball.


We will certainly try again. I have 2 more recipes I want to try. One from Alton Brown, but that one calls for 18-24 hr in the fridge which we didn’t have this time. The other is on the package of pizza yeast, what better recipe to try? This is the recipe I made this time from Genius Kitchen.

Have you made homemade pizza dough? Any hints? Got a recipe you think I should try? Hmmm maybe we will have to try again next weekend. We will see.

family · life · through my camera lens

Saturday is for Family Fun

Yesterday found us with lots to do, but it didn’t feel super busy. We started the day by sleeping in, isn’t this the best part of the weekends? Then we headed off the gym. The boys are participating in a 6 week programs called Little Lifters. They are showing kids 8-13 safe ways to workout at their age. The first week they did body weight exercises (squats, burpees, jumping jacks, plank, push up, etc…). This week they used light dumbbells and did: curls, shoulder press, Russian twist, goblet squat, triceps extensions and row. The class last an hour and they do rotations of six stations while talking about form and safety.

Typically when the boys workout in this class Richard and I do too. Well we started out with our typical 5 min on the rowing machine and then moved on with out workout. Richard hasn’t felt good since he returned from his travel and no one likes to workout when you can’t breathe right soooo we switched things up a lot! We decided to walk the track for a while and then when we got tired of that we went and shot baskets on the basketball court. We learned that neither of us is good at basketball, but we actually had a lot of laughs and enjoyed just goofing around for a bit.


When we were done we headed to Lowes and DiBella’s our typical Saturday jaunt. We actually had a reason to go to Lowes other than to torture the boys (they now hate going to Lowes unless we tell them a “good reason for it”). This now means that we have a good reason to go to Lowes… to annoy them! But this time we were going to get a grill. We sold our grill in Orlando and have yet to get a new one. This would be shocking to those who knew us in Florida because we grilled out ALL THE TIME. I would say that I grilled at least 4 out of 7 meals a week. I’m so ready for a steak or grilled pizza. Grilled chicken is so much better than baked. Yep, we are ready to have a grill again!

After working a bit in the yard to get the grill up and ready to go, the boys and Richard took their Traxxas trucks out in front. Richard has had a Traxxas truck for a few years now. The boys got theirs for Christmas. They love taking them out into the cul-de-sac and driving them around. Most of the snow has melted, but the corners of all the driveways still have piles that made great jumps. Colby took his over into the empty lot next door. (They are going to miss this when they build the house next door starting soon)

Richard has become the resident Traxxas mechanic. He has a lot of parts and pieces already, but you can get replacements at hobby shops and sometimes on Amazon. Blake has already had to learn that, as he broke a part on his truck already.

When we were done with that it was time for dinner. Colby had requested pancakes. I decided to try out a new recipe from a cookbook that I have. I have a recipe off pinterest that I typically use, but decided to try something new. These pancakes had less sugar, but more dairy(buttermilk, sour cream, and butter). For this recipe you had to separate the eggs and whip the whites (I handed this job over to Richard so I could finish the rest of the recipe).

The pancakes batter was a lot thicker than our other recipe. It created a more “cakey” pancake, but it had good flavor. I tried my first bite with just a bit of butter. When I was a kid I always ate my pancakes with just butter. I’m not sure when I started using maple syrup. My boys eat their pancakes with syrup and no butter. Richard eats his with both butter and syrup. I always find it interesting to see how differently people in one family can eat the same food items.

After dinner we decided to watch Ghostbusters. We have been slowly watching some great “classic” movies with the boys. We have watched Indiana Jones, Forest Gump, Star Wars, Back to the Future and many more movies that we enjoyed growing up and over the years before the boys were born. It is very funny to watch what was at the time considered impressive graphics and think wow this is really sad looking.

That was our Saturday. It was a busy, fun filled, family day. I love days like that when we can do a lot, but it doesn’t feel super busy because we are having fun together. I hope your Saturday was productive and your Sunday brings about smiles and sunshine!


family · life · through my camera lens

Father and sons

One thing I have come to cherish more and more over time is the relationship Richard has with our sons. From the time Blake was born, Richard has worked to develop a relationship with each of the boys.


I was, and am again, a stay-at-home mom. This means for the most part I am the one who is around. I’m the one who cooks for, cleans up after, bandages, listens to, and drives the boys. I am typically the one who helps with homework and listens to their stories about 07_13_bc_01their day.

But, this doesn’t mean that I’m the only one who has a strong bond with the boys. When they were infants, Richard was so good about spending time with  them when he was home, including in the middle of the night. I can remember many nights where he was the one walking with them to help them settle. He spent nights sleeping on the couch with Colby propped up on his shoulder because of Colby fighting congestion. Even though he had to go to work in the morning, he did it because they are our sons.

In the early years, Richard was in charge at bedtime. He helped with baths, read the bedtime story and spent time talking to each of them before going to bed. All I did at that time, was come in and say good night. This was a two fold benefit. It gave me time to relax after being home with two toddlers all day, it gave the boys and Richard time together, and then Richard and I could spend time together.


As the boys got older, bedtime routines changed, but the relationship forged between Richard and the boys stays strong. Richard still carves out time for them. Over the years he has been to almost every sports game and most of the practices. He has seen every performance and other school events. He goes to these thing with a smile, or at least a smirk, and goes because he knows it is important to his sons.


Richard has developed a unique relationship with each of the boys. I will see him walking around with Colby talking about anything and everything. The enjoy nature together, going on bike rides or walks. They will talk about construction, computers, and who knows what else. He shares a love of music with Blake as well as things dealing with the military. They often play chess together.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, shoes, plant, outdoor and natureImage may contain: 1 person







I look forward to watching this dynamic grow and change. But, I can tell you one thing for sure… the bond they share is strong and the love is even stronger


November 14- Richard

IMG_20171021_105200When I think of what and whom I’m thankful for, Richard is always at the top of my list. Today is Richard’s birthday. It often gets overshadowed by Blake’s birthday. Over the years so many magical moments have occurred on this day.

In 2003, Richard asked me to marry him today. We were having a housewarming party because he had just moved into his new house and it turned into a housewarming/birthday/engagement party.

In 2005, we closed on the house we bought together in FL. This would be the house we brought our children home to from the hospital. The home where so many memories were created. The home where the love of our family flourished

In 2006, we brought Blake home from the hospital on Richard’s birthday. This was the best gift for both of us.

Over the year I have joked, “What are you getting me this year for your birthday?” But, Richard doesn’t have to get me anything ever because the love he gives me each day is more than I can ask for.

Richard is a loving husband who understands and respects me. He and I compliment each other, we don’t need to complete each other because neither of us was incomplete, but we help bring out the best in each other. We have a true partnership in life.

Richard is a  kind, patient and loving father. While he and I parent differently, he is active in parenting our sons. You will find him on the sports fields, in the theater, playing in the backyard, building legos, and so much more. He makes sure to spend time with the boys and shows them how to live life, respect others and all the things men should learn from their fathers.

When I look back on my years with Richard, I look back with a smile. I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with him. I know there will be plenty of laughter, a few tears, and more love than I can fathom.

I love you Richard more than words can say.