Wednesday, March 28, 2012

When it rains, It POURS!

What says “I love you” more than family coming over on their days off to suffer through RAIN and MUD and help us plant bushes and fix our sinking deck??? A special thanks to everyone that helped us this past weekend! We are SOO APPRECIATIVE!! I thought it was going to be a mission impossible after purchasing 42 bushes, but we made it happen and now our backyard looks dreamy! J (I just CANNOT wait until everything BLOOMS!)
After a few weeks of beautiful weather, we were so excited for a gorgeous weekend to be outdoors, not!
Not only did it rain, but it POURED!!
Since we live on a corner lot and back up to the main road in the neighborhood, we decided it was time to have some privacy and coverage so that not only do we stop hearing all the cars driving by, but so Lia (our pooch) potentially will stop barking at every single neighbor that walks by.

We planted 15 Cherry Laurel on the back fence like behind our currently standing forsythias. (Not sure how I feel about the forsythias, but for this summer, they are staying put.) Once the Cherry Laurels start growing they are going to make a great screen against the neighborhood ruckus!

 We also planted 22 hydrangeas inside our fence, up and down the yard on both sides. (Hydrangeas are my absolute FAVORITE flower!) *I promise to take lots of pictures and share them when they are big and colorful!*

My dad poured footers for our sinking deck, and once that mess is all cleaned up this week, I am going to plant my 5 knock out roses and some other flowers in front of the deck (Stay tuned!).

It’s amazing how some bushes and flowers can make the world of difference!
Here’s an insight on my next project... Hope you are as excited as I am!! J
~Ashleigh XoXo

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jalapeno Popper and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I must admit, I LOVE getting Jalapeno Poppers as an appetizer anywhere we go (if they are on the menu). Last night, not knowing what to make for dinner, I did some Google searches and ran across an amazing recipe, Jalapeno Popper and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts! They were just as delicious as they sound (and soo EASY to make) …I just had to share.
*Note: The recipe called for 4 breasts, but since there is only 2 of us, I halved it. If you want more than 2, double the ingredients.
7 oz. soft cream cheese
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Jalapeno pepper
2 strips cooked bacon (chopped)- I used left over bacon from the weekend breakfast and nooked it in the microwave before chopping.
2 (6 oz.) breasts of chicken
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1.       Mix the cream cheese, shredded cheese, chopped jalapeno pepper and chopped bacon in a bowl.
2.       Slice the chicken breasts down the center horizontally. (I actually cut my in half vertically also, as the meal was so filling, I got 4 portions out of 2 breasts.)
3.       Stuff the chicken with the prepared mixture.

4.      Roll the stuffed chicken in bread crumbs (doing your best to not let the filling fall out)

5.   Pour the vegetable oil in a skillet and cook the chicken breasts in the skillet (~8 min. on each side or until all the pink is gone).
6.       Enjoy!
~Ashleigh XoXo

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Little Surprises!

Being a first time home buyer certainly has it's ups and downs, but one of the best things with buying a new home (first time or not) in the middle of the winter, is the little surprises that happen in Spring! When we purchased the home, everything was dead, the trees were bare and we just had to wait and see if any color showed up. The last few weeks I have felt like it's Christmas morning, as I am so excited to come home and see if any new flowers are blooming, or what the bushes out back actually look like.

We have a HUGE Oak tree in our front yard, and I dream of planting some tulip bulbs around it in the Fall. Today, while searching for the perfect branch on the tree for my Easter decor I made:

P discovered a new little surpirse. We already have tulips planted around our big Oak!!!

He's little, but very yellow, and oh' so beautiful! P also saw another little tulip leaf popping out on the other side of the tree. I LOVE little suprises!!

I hope you are excited to see all of the great things we did around the yard this weekend... Here's a little hint from a previous post. Have a wonderful week!

~Ashleigh xoxo

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today's the day

Are you where you thought you’d be? Are you still moving forward? Have you “settled?”
We all have dreams and visions and passions that we hope to one day accomplish. Some may want to own their own business, some might wish to be a mom, others may hope to travel the world. No matter how big or small your dreams may be, they are still YOUR DREAMS and you should do everything in your power to accomplish them. From simple observation of the people around me, I think the worst thing to think “one day” is “I wish I would have…” Unfortunately, we don’t get time back. Every day we are closer to the end than we were one breath prior, yet we still choose to push things off until tomorrow. next year. one day.
Nothing is promised, especially not tomorrow. I challenge each of you to think of what it is that you really REALLY want in life. No matter how big or how small. How can you TODAY start working to achieving that? Let’s get moving to a life of NO REGRETS!

~Ashleigh XoXo

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Don't Wanna Grow Up!

When we are little we can’t wait til high school and we can drive. Then high school comes along and we can’t wait until college. Then we can’t wait to be in the “Real World” and have our own place to call HOME. Well I’ve made it to the “Real World” and I wanna know what I was thinking?!?! You have to wake up early, go to work (of which I haven’t been in love with lately), and you can’t just play hookie or else the bills don’t get paid. When you come home it’s picking up the house, making dinner, getting groceries, etc. etc. etc.
BORING! I wish I was 5 again! I love coloring, doing crafts, taking naps, watching cartoons, playing dress up and riding bikes outside. YUP, I want to be 5 again.
Well enough of my complaining, I guess the one good thing I have discovered about being  a “grown up” and now a new homeowner is the excitement that comes in mid-March, when flowers start blooming and allergies are in full effect (poor Prashad). I finally get to garden and design my own paradise...
We have a great corner lot with a good size front and back yard, and I am ready to put on my gardening gloves and dig in (quite literally). I have included some yard/ current “garden” pictures. There’s one thing I did NOT fall in love with at our new pad, and it was the garden, or lack there of.
Check out our current "boring" landscaping and my great inspirations of what they will be...

Our front walk...
How the walk will be...

Our current backyard fence:
My hopes of the new fencing:

Our deck (huge but boring..):
It will be a quiet, relaxing escape:

 ..For any of my blog followers that are local, I am having a planting party weekend next weekend if you feel like playing with dirt and want to come over and join in on the fun! J... Stay tuned for the "After" yard/garden pics!

~Ashleigh XoXo

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Old Tables & Little Holiday Celebrations

Yay for Hump Day! :)
Some people like to relax when they get home from work… kick up their feet and watch some DVRed TV shows. Others like to refinish dining room tables and make festive wreaths. I think I am an “other.”
So we were given an old kitchen/dining room table from my aunt before we moved into our new home. The table originated from my dad, who I think used it prior to building his house in 1994. You get the idea of the ancientness of the table (if that’s even a word). It’s nothing fancy, an oak top with white legs, and it serves its purpose…
I decided it wasn’t our “style” so after a little bit of sanding, some shabby chic refinishing with stain and a hammer (it’s fun to beat up furniture by the way..), and a fresh coat of white paint on the legs, we got ourselves a “new “ table!


If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have been a kindergarten teacher so I could change my bulletin board 12 times a year. I love holidays, I love being festive, I love arts and crafts, and I currently have little green shamrocks around my picture board at work in my office. Why not?! Holidays come and go so we may as well celebrate them! Some family is coming over on Saturday to have a “no reason” gathering, and I decided to make it Irish/Green themed, in honor of the next holiday, St. Patrick’s Day!
To keep with the theme, I made a new ribbon wreath last night.. So easy, fun and cute!
(Used a wire wreath from the craft store, but a metal clothes hanger would do too. Then tied some green and festive bows around it.) Ta Da!

I hope you feel inspired today! Can’t wait for some yummy Sangrias at Happy Hour tonight… YAY for “Almost Spring!”
~Ashleigh XoXo

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A little Tuesday Morning iNsPiRaTiOn

It’s amazing to see all of the accomplishments that family, friends and acquaintances around me are accomplishing. So many people are engaged (me included!!), recently married, pregnant, just had babies, completing school, earned advanced degrees, travelling to other countries, and just making their dreams come true.
I think it’s VERY easy to sit back and look at what others accomplish, and think these things are great, but unattainable for ourselves. Why do we think that?! I am the first person to cheer you on, and tell you that you can accomplish ANYTHING, but I have fear within to accomplish my own personal goals.
Well not anymore! Writing this post will help keep it real in my mind that I have my list of things that I want/WILL accomplish too!
1.       Complete pre-requisites for PA (Physician Assistant) schools.
2.       APPLY!
3.       Get healthy (which encompasses so much…)
a.       Following Weight Watchers
b.      Exercising AT LEAST 3 days/ week
c.       Taking care of ME! (If we can’t take care of ourselves, there’s NO way we can care for others.)
4.       Embrace in family time and enjoy little moments! (This takes me back to this post about the Importance of Family.)
5.       Enjoy ALL of the moments of Wedding Planning. I do understand that it’s a short event that takes a good bit of work to make “just right,” but after all the dreaming I’ve done about this day, I am EXCITED about the next year and adventures it will bring in planning. J
6.       Live and LET LIVE… I plan to live my life to the fullest, and let others do the same.

My favorite quote...
~Ashleigh XoXo