Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tis' the Season for Stars and Stripes!

       Time is just flying by, and I certainly cannot believe we are almost one week away from one of my most favorite holidays: Fourth of July! (Not to mention that my MOST FAVORITE Holiday is in 2 days!... MY BIRTHDAY!!)

        It has been very difficult to engage in all the projects I have on my list due to my crazy decisions of going back to school, but I realized this weekend, this girl deserves a break!

       With that said, I decided to start prepping the house for the 4th, pulling out the red, white and blue, and the stars and stripes. We finally got an American Flag to hang out front which has been on the top of my WANT list since Memorial Day. Here are some fun little touches I added to the house to make it feel a little more festive:

I just LOVE my kitchen chalk board; it’s perfect for every occasion!
I got a great deal on a few fake flowers for the coffee table, and put them in my little white milk carton container.

Here is my super cute wreath I made (see the tutorial below).

Felt Wreath Tutorial
What you will need=
Foam wreath
Straight pins
Red (5 pieces), White (5 pieces) and Blue (3 pieces) Felt  Squares
A material to make stars (I used white foam. You could even use wooden stars or plastic stars, etc)
White Ribbon
Let the fun begin!=
1. Cut the felt into 2” x 2” squares
2. Fold the felt squares in half and in half again, so they are a quarter of the size
3. Pin the squares to the wreath covering the top and sides of wreath (No need to do the back since it will be against a flat surface)
4. Make ¼ of the wreath blue, and then alternate small sections of red and white when pinning the felt
5. Add the stars to the blue area (I pinned mine on)

Now go on and get your home looking festive!!
~Ashleigh XoXo

Friday, June 22, 2012


Iiiiiiitttttt'ssss FRIDAY!!!!! :) Happy Weekend everyone!

Enough said.

~Ashleigh XoXo

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh' Happy Day!

HOORAY!!! The day that I thought would never come, has FINALLY arrived! Today's the first day of summer! :) And boy, does it feel like it... I just checked the weather, and it looks like you all are feeling the same thing, all over the U.S.!

Well, onto the real topic of today... I read this morning that just really inspired me:

Happiness is a choice! We sometimes say that when things go wrong or just not our way, we are unhappy. But we CHOOSE to be unhappy. If you can come to grasps with the fact that WE are in control, then you can always BE HAPPY! Stop moping around, and thinking "woah is me." Get up! Take action! Do what you love and love what you do! Plus, happiness is good for your health! :)

Have a very Happy Day!

~Ashleigh XoXo

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Light & Yummy Pie!

Sorry, but I’m getting a late start on my “Happy Monday” posting. After an extremely jammed packed weekend, I woke up yesterday to a headache and a rainy day. “SICK DAY!!”... Well I worked some from home, so I guess it wasn’t entirely a day off. Also, I had my 4th test (out of 8- I’m half way done!!) last night, so had to get some cramming in. I give lots of credit to those of you who are in school, but a real KUDDOS goes to those of you who are working full time and going to school. Boy, it just sucks!

Anywho, on a positive note, I FINALLY went to Chartreuse and Co. this weekend. AMAZING!!! They only are open one weekend a month, but I HIGHLY recommend checking them out if you are into anything old/ shabby chic/ unique. Since I love unique pieces, and am still working really hard to make our house a home, I picked up this awesome light at the barn sale! Ruby Tuesdays was my first inspiration with these Tiffany lights, and now we have our very own. 

***Ignore my messy table. This is what our house looks like when I'm in school... :/***

Also, we had the family over for father’s day on Sunday, and had a great time! (As weird as this comment may sound to some, it's really nice having my mom, dad, step dad and all my sisters over at the same time. I am really fortunate everyone gets along!) Nothing like sitting out back on the deck, listening to music, playing cards, good company and lots of laughs! I MUST share this recipe with you though. I made this for desert, and it turned out great! (And I have to admit, I hate apple pie, but made something similar because apple pie is my dad’s favorite, and I enjoyed it..)
~Ashleigh XoXo

Crumb-Topped Apple Slab Pie
·        2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
·        ¾ teaspoon salt
·        2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
·        8-10 tablespoons cold water
·        2/3 cup sugar
·        1/3 cup all purpose flour
·        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·        3 ½ pounds tart cooking apples (I used 7 Granny Smiths) – Remove skin and core.
·        Crumb Topping
  1. Line a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with foil. For dough: In a large bowl, stir together 2 ¼ cups flour and the salt. Using blender, cut in shortening until mixture looks like crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the flour mixture, and gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Using your fingers (time to get messy!!), gently knead the dough until a ball forms.
  2. 2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 19 x 13-inch rectangle. Wrap it around the rolling pin; unroll it into the prepared baking pan. Fold dough over the edge as desired.
  3. In an extra large bowl, combine sugar, the 1/3 cup flour, and the cinnamon. Add apples. Toss lightly until apples are coated. Spoon mixture into pan. (Yes, the pan will be very full. No worries!)
  4. Add Crumb Topping (see directions below.)
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the apples are tender. I covered mine with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent browning.
  6. Serve warm or cool & Enjoy! (Vanilla ice cream and/or caramel sauce on top would be an added bonus!)

Crumb Topping
·        1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
·        1 cup packed brown sugar
·        ½ cup all-purpose flour
·        ½ cup butter
·        ½ cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, stir together quick-cooking rolled oats, packed brown sugar, and all-purpose flour. Using a blender, cut in butter until topping resembles crumbs. Stir in chopped pecans.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My neck bone's connected to my shoulder bone...

This has been my last week and a half....

Need I say more.

REMINDER to self: Short term sacrifices = long term gains!

~Ashleigh XoXo

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Well the weekend is coming to an end (or it least it will be in a few more hours after I finish studying some more Anatomy...). Just thought I'd write a quick post to say how appreciative I am of the life we have. Sometimes I dwell on the negative, and wish I didn't live during such an advanced age because we miss out on little things (like when there were no blogs... can you even imagine?!?!)... No seriously though, like sitting and playing cards or board games, going for walks and enjoying the little things in life. I also think how annoying it is when technology is over-powering us, and our every action. But tonight, I am not complaining.

My step-dad, one of the most important people in my life, had surgery yesterday morning, and because of the day and age we live in, he had an amazing surgeon who did a great job, and I am so thankful for the technology and skills that we have developed. I am happy to say he is well on his way to recovery, and doing very well.

I am SLOWLY learning that with all of the good, there will come the bad; but in life we need to realize how much more important the good is, and dwell on that.

So this week I challenge you all to just stop and observe, and even though most of us live in a fast-paced crazy life, take a few deep breaths, and be appreciative! I know I am!

Have a great week!

~Ashleigh XoXo

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Even Cacti Bloom!

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to look at the glass as half full, and not half empty. Depending on our situation, our circumstances, our experiences and the place we find ourselves within our own lives, it’s not always that easy. I try very hard to be an optimistic person, and many people that know me will know that I always say, “Fake it until you Make it!”

This saying applies not only to our work/school environment, but most importantly it applies to our relationships with others and our emotions. If you wake up in the morning and feel like a total grouch, then take a shower, put on your happy face, and FAKE being happy until you eventually are! No one wants to be around sour patches, so I challenge you all today to keep smiling until it sticks! (Plus it takes more muscles to frown anyways!) 

I was reminded of this when I walked outside this morning and saw my cacti had a new little flower. Even the most prickery/evil plant, chooses to be beautiful and BLOOM. So can you! 

Side note: Here’s a cute little bird house/welcoming sign I picked up on sale a few days back. (For some reason I have really been into bird houses lately…)

~Ashleigh XoXo

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fun with Invitations

I am super excited to share today’s post with you, and I do not know why it took me so long to do so. SORRY! Back in February we had our Housewarming Party, and the best part was making the invites! 
Please remember that you can always go to Hallmark and buy some invites, or order them off of Vista Print, but when you have the opportunity to make them… DO IT! You can let your creativity shine, and specify them to the occasion. 

I made ours into Mailboxes, with the information on the letter inside.

All it took was a little creativity, a glue stick, construction paper, scissors, and a little fastner (which I used to hold on the flag.) I also got some business cards from the store, and printed my actual “invite” on them, so they would be legible (since they were small).  
I CANNOT wait to share pics of my Save the Dates we made. But... that will have to wait since they are going out in the mail this week!

So what's the next party you're throwing? Are you gonna make the invites?...

~Ashleigh XoXo

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Eating, had me a BLAST! (or was it Loving??)

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was amazing and you did something relaxing to prepare for yet another exciting week! We had our Engagement Photos done yesterday, and it was SO much fun! I must admit though, I’m not sure if I’d ever want to be famous because after a couple of hours I was tired of having my picture taken (and that’s pretty unusual for me.. J).
On another note, I am SUPER EXCITED that all the Farmers Markets are FINALLY out, and now we can eat FRESH! Lately, I have been eating so many fruits and veggies (squash, watermelon, cantelope, pineapple, cucumbers, corn on the cob, and the list goes on and on), and that seems like all I’ve been craving. It’s so great to be able to support those in our local community, and a weekly trip to the market will do just that. Summer is an excellent time of year to start being CrEaTiVe and trying new things! There are so many veggies I hated as a child, but I love them now! Please share any new yummy ideas you may have, and I promise to do the same.

Enjoy your week!
~Ashleigh XoXo

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blue Moooooooon!

TGIF!!! Yes, I was on vaca last week, and shouldn't be complaining, but the week after a vacation is LONNNNG!! Especially when you start classes, and sleep is something I am already missing! (Not sure how I am gonna handle being a mom one day... YIKES!)

Well enough complaining!! It's the weekend, which means time to bake and celebrate and laugh and ENJOY!!! (I suppose I should study a little too. :)) A few months back I discovered a recipe for Blue Moon Cupcakes! *YUP! You heard that right! Made with Blue Moon and oranges... Since P's favorite beer is Blue Moon, and this past week we CELEBRATED his special day, I decided to treat him with some!

They turned out AMAZING!!

The hardest part was remembering how to "zest!"
...Ok, maybe the hardest part was the cleanup...

Word to the wise... DO NOT put the powdered sugar in last, and then turn it on turbo speed! My laptop even has powdered sugar in it now... Oopsie!

Have a GREAT weekend & remember to spoil yourself with something special too!!

~Ashleigh XoXo

Try the Blue Moon Cupcakes for yourself!

3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange
1 cup Blue Moon
1/4 cup milk
Orange wedges and sanding sugar for garnish

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs, beating after each addition then add the vanilla and zest.
- Combine milk and beer and alternatively add this mixture and the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture with the mixer on low speed, starting and ending with the flour.  
- Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
- When cupcakes are done, poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes with toothpicks and brush some beer on each while still warm.  

For the citrus cream cheese frosting: (makes a LOT of frosting!! FYI..)
12 oz cream cheese, cold
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange
4 cups powdered sugar

- Cream together the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.  
- Add the citrus juice and zest and gradually add the powdered sugar until well-combined.  Beat until smooth for about 2 minutes.
- Load frosting in a piping bag fit with a large star tip and pipe cupcake tops once cooled.  

Recipe yields 24 cupcakes.  

*Note: You can substitute the oranges for limes and the Blue Moon for Coronas too! I haven’t tried those yet, but it will be in the works…