I'm Laura, creator of Galloway Grazes. When I'm not working on a new recipe, you might find me hanging out with my husband (a.k.a. my favorite man on this planet and the real mvp of what I do), crafting in my woodworking shop, playing my guitar (or piano or banjo ), and burning up the roads to go visit my family that lives two hours away from me. On the weekends, you'll find me snuggling up with the two cutest kiddos this side of Heaven. We like to use the term "bonus mom" in our home because they're not mine by birth, but I sure do love getting to be their "Lolly" and am thankful they have a mom I have learned to call my friend.
What made me:
I was raised in a HUGE family as one of five children. My dad is one of six, and most of his siblings live within a mile from one another. My grandparents remained close with their siblings, too, so I got to grow up surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts & uncles, great-grandparents (and a couple of great-greats) and a lot of extended family members, and I would never want it any other way.
Some of my earliest memories are of my family gathered around my grandparents' table to enjoy a meal together. We weren't wealthy, but what we were lacking financially, we made up for with prayer, lots of laughter, connection and togetherness.
When my mother and grandmother cooked a meal together, you could bet there'd be SEVERAL side dishes, slaw, a pickle tray, maybe a dessert (or two), and my family's prized cornbread recipe. You could also bet on the two of them picking at each other or "ganging up" on me until we were all rolling with laughter. In my opinion, memories like that are what life is all about.
My mother learned a lesson I wish I learned long before now. It doesn't matter what you have, how clutter-free your space is, or if your baseboards have been dusted. If you have a table, invite folks to gather around it with you. If you don't, use your couch. Feed guests a sandwich if that's all you have. Share laughter. Make memories.
In April of 2020, my mother invited all of the family to gather under her carport so we could enjoy an Easter meal together despite the Covid pandemic running wild. She set out old metal tables, delivered our meals on aluminum plates and our rolls wrapped in paper bags. She didn't have fine linens or china; although, she did set each table with individual dessert loaves for each family. She did the best she could with what she had, and I will be forever thankful that she did. That meal was our last together. Our last photo together. Our last time to make memories gathered around a table. Less than two weeks later, she became suddenly ill and passed away on May 28, 2020, in a way none of us could have ever imagined. Don't wait to invite your loved ones to your table.
My mom was my greatest friend, and I was blessed to have such a close relationship with her. I was also blessed to be on the receiving end of her words of wisdom, of which she had many. She set a beautiful example for me of someone who didn't get too caught up with what she had; instead, whatever she did have, she used and she shared with others.
That's why I am here and why I started this blog- because I want to help you do just that and to begin opening your home to others, too. So, this is my invitation for you to gather with us at our table. This space will be ours, together, for recipes, tutorials and budget-friendly decor DIYs. It doesn't matter if you are just beginning to cook, if you've never made a charcuterie board, or if you've never entertained for a crowd--the important thing is that you just start. I can't wait, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for letting our family be a small part of your hospitality journey!
Ok--so my wife is writing this about me and gave me this title, but she wants everyone to know how much my family appreciates me.
I may be behind the scenes, but I am the financial planner, camera operator, last-minute ingredient "getter" and the one who makes it all come together.
Chief of Design
I am 11 and love all things that sparkle & shine. I enjoy DIY projects, baking and LOVE making YouTube videos.
If I'm not creating something with Lolly, I'm playing with my dolls, my fidget collection or playing school with my grandmother, Millie.
Creator of Galloway Grazes
I am a lucky wife, a blessed "Lolly" to Bennett & Kendall and your typical Southern female who enjoys cooking & home decor. I am also a penny-pincher, so much of what you find here will be budget friendly. YAY!
I love playing music and writing, too, and dream of, one day, being able to publish devotional books for women.
I am also really glad you're here, in case I haven't told you that already.
Top Chef in Training
I am 6, so if it involves knives & fire (cooking), I'm all about it. I am also really good at keeping the girls on task and making sure Jack & Jane are behaving.
In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, creating something cool with my Legos or anything that makes really loud noises.
Jack & Jane
Head of Security
We sleep, and if we're not sleeping, we're barking at the birds & squirrels. That's only when we're not begging for belly rubs.
We bring a lot of joy and laughter to this family and know the feelings are mutual.
Why did you start this blog?Not only do I love making pretty food and being surrounded by loved ones, but I also love to write. I love it so much I went to school for it and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in English & Professional Writing. This blog seemed like the perfect way to combine all of my favorite things while also giving me a new hobby to work on with my husband, Bennett & Kendall.
Where do you live?I was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but I spent most of my adolescent years in the small town of Leoma, Tennessee. I LOVE Tennessee. I've lived all over the United States: North Carolina, Arizona & Alabama, to name a few, but where I now call my "home sweet home" is a sweet little Mayberry town in Mississippi, where neighbors still knock on the door to introduce themselves when you first move, and if your car breaks down, someone will offer you theirs until you get yours fixed.
How did you learn to cook?I come from a long line of incredible cooks, and I've ALWAYS enjoyed to eat. When I moved away from home, I had to learn how to feed my addiction to good food without breaking the bank so I did what most young girls do--I got on the phone and I called my momma or one of my grandmothers. The older I became, the more I wanted to venture out from traditional Southern cooking, so I started playing with recipes and have been playing ever since.
Show hospitality to one another without complaint.
1 Peter 4:9