Friday, November 17, 2017

The Friday before Thanksgiving

I had all sorts of ideas for posts this week but then when I got the energy to sit at the computer my mind went blank...I guess that is just what happens sometimes.  I've been reflecting a lot on all of the "stuff" we have and feel this strong desire to just get rid of it all...but then how do you get your kids on board with getting rid of toys??  I just can't handle all the clutter anymore and am pretty sure that they wouldn't notice if I got rid of a bunch of their stuff, but then Ellie has the memory of an Elephant and will ask me where a certain toy is that I did actually donate and then she gets all sad about it being gone.  It hurts my Mama heart but then it doesn't because it means we don't have as much crap 😉


Now that Halloween is over (yes that was a while ago) we've done some minor updating with our decor.  Mostly I switched out the ghosts and goblins for turkeys and am still enjoying this less is more decor.  I have also become obsessed with Trader Joe's flowers, I can get a couple bouquets and then split them up to use all around my house and they seem to last for weeks!

I recently made a trip to IKEA and picked up a couple of these throws because I have a hard time saying no to green.  And I love them so much, if it wasn't weird I think I would have 6 of them.

So as you can see I've kept things pretty simple around here but I am itching to put it all away and get Christmas out.  I mean I have been rocking Christmas music in the car (and at home) since Nov 1st so the mood is already set 😂.


I've also had my eye on this blanket at Target for quite some time but was having the hardest time choosing which color, my heart said green but my brain said to try something new and then I realized that Ellie needed one too so I got two different colors and I am so glad I did.  I can't wait to transform both of our bedrooms into Christmas Wonderlands and use pops of Red in Ellie's room and then pops of Green (surprise) in our Master!!  I got Ellie some flannel sheets a couple years ago already but I spotted these and they are so adorable!  I went with a plain off white flannel sheet in our room, I actually got them at Costco because I couldn't believe the price...and I like to keep things simple in our room.  Whenever I buy at Target I use my RedCard for extra savings and bought the blankets online through Ebates for store pickup and that's my favorite way to shop!!  Talk about some great savings.


Finnley has her 18m photos coming up this weekend and I am just crossing my fingers that her personality shines through and that we get some good ones.  Ellie wore the cutest red and white striped dress with a gold tutu and I was this close to having Finnley wear the same thing but knew that probably wasn't a good idea, so this week we made our way to the mall and I was on the search.  While the dress doesn't have to be Christmas/Holiday themed it just seems right given the time of year.  It was so hard to choose between this grey one, this cream one, this green one. and a striped one I already had (similar).  Obviously we came home with the green one and now I just have to choose between the green and striped one...which do you prefer?


While we're on the subject of Finnley, I made a very minor change in her nursery.  Now that she is 18 months old and we are nearing the cold winter season, I felt it was time for her to get some new bedding.   I had already gotten the crib comforter from IKEA back when Ellie was still in the crib and I knew that I wanted to go for an all white look with the duvet, because that's where I'm at design wise these days.  Luckily IKEA had just what I was looking for and it came with a matching pillow case so I got another pillow too.  I have to say that I really like how it turned out and Finnley adores having a pillow now too, just like the rest of us!

and yes that blue animal is Hoppopotamus, from The Wuzzles back from 1985, Ellie has Butterbear in her room, anyone else remember that show? Gosh I loved them and I am so happy that I kept them from my childhood because they are being loved on again by my girls! And no child's stuffed animal collection would be complete these days with out a Jellycat or two.


Not only are we having Finnley's 18m photos taken but we are also hoping to make it to see Santa this weekend!! We received a flyer in the mail about the Santa's Wonderland they have at Bass Pro Shops and are convinced that the girls are going to love it.  I'm hoping for no tears this year but with Finnley I really wouldn't be too surprised.  I already have Ellie's dress picked out (last years version of this) and am still undecided on Finnley's...surprise, surprise amiright?

Well that's pretty much all I have for this week, now I'm off to get ready for this months Supper Club and I am super excited about it because...#mamaneedsabreak 😉

♥ Ashley

Friday, November 10, 2017

Oh Friday!

This year is going by so quickly.  I keep having all these thoughts about what to post on here and then....I don't, I'm just too busy living this life 😉

But I wanted to share with you some things that we have going on.

Ellie is killing it at school lately.  Her tracing game is strong, her number identification is rocking, and her excitement when information and learning clicks is out of this world adorable.  I love that she enjoys going to school and playing with her friends.  I love getting her worksheets each day and having a chance to see how much she in improving.

Finnley is hilarious as ever.  She is obsessed with pouches and can down them in less than 5 seconds, she grabs them out of the basket in our pantry all throughout the day and gets quite upset when we tell her no.  She is also running around all over the place, making the funniest of faces, and will actually interact somewhat with strangers.  She loves to give kisses and is pretty good at helping clean up and put toys away.

I've been on a pumpkin kick lately.  I usually make this pumpkin pie because it is the best of all time, but I wanted to switch it up and with BHG had a recipe for Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal Pie and I had everything in my pantry I knew it was meant to be!  While it won't replace our original it was good enough to share and I'll make it again.  Sometimes it's nice to switch things up.  And not to be outdone by dessert I also made some Pumpkin Pasta with the left over pumpkin and this has been a total winner with the girls.  I used what we had on hand so this wasn't as calorie friendly but I'm sure equally delicious...however I must warn you that this made a ton of pasta sauce at least servings for like 6 or more people.  Once we ran out of our linguini noodles I used some small shell noodles and neither girl realized that they were eating pumpkin instead of boxed mac'n'cheese!!!   I will for sure be making this again!

We already got our Christmas Pajamas for this year and I am just so tickled by them!  They are adorable and Ellie loves that she can match her Bitty Baby!!  The girls, mine, Thomas and I bet you're not surprised on the theme 😉  we had to get new ones this year because Thomas lost over 50 lbs and Ellie and Finnley outgrew theirs.

♥ Ashley

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Halloween 2017

 Halloween was much different this year than it has been in years past.  But the girls had an incredibly fun time and we celebrated like the best of them.  Be sure to check out our Halloween Decor here.

We started off our morning school drop offs and then Finnley and I hung out at home and played for a bit and then during her nap I vacuumed, mopped, and did an overall cleanup/pickup of the house.  Before I knew it it was time to get Ellie and to go out for lunch (we always go out on Tuesdays for lunch) at Chick-fil-a and then it was time for ballet.  Finnley sported a tutu (this is the 5th year we've worn it) and Ellie had on some festiveness as well.


After Ballet we went to Lowes to look at all the Christmas decor (because what else should you do on Halloween 😂😆) and then it was time for school pick ups.  We went back to our nanny house and had snacks, played a bit and then Thomas came over to help get the girls ready to go in their costumes and off to trick-or-treating with his family.  Ellie went as Batgirl and Finnley was Alice in Wonderland...the first year I didn't have a witch, thankfully a cousin covered us.  They had chili for dinner and then a mad crazy time walking/golf carting around the neighborhood.


I finished up my work day and then headed home.  I had a quiet and leisurely evening at home.  We had TWO trick-or-treaters and I gave them 3 handfuls of candy each and then I finished watching "The Handmaids Tale" y'all if you haven't seen it it is so fascinatingly creepy, good, and eccentric.  It's definitely not family friendly but certainly thought provoking.

About an hour after bedtime Thomas, the girls and my in-laws arrived home and we got Finnley to bed while Ellie stayed up a bit longer as we hung out and chatted a bit...then we were off to bed another Halloween in the books!

♥ Ashley

Previous Halloweens

2016 here and here

Friday, November 3, 2017

Our Halloween House 2017

I had the best of intentions to share our home decorated for Halloween last week...and then IVF.  So it's better late than never 😉

It was so fun to decorate this year because Thomas was totally into it.  We changed it up a bit and I tried to tone it down (and now that Halloween is over I have a bunch of decor I am donating because I just don't love it anymore)


I stopped in at Trader Joes and picked up a couple of flower bouquets that I split up around the house and seriously they lasted over 2 weeks in my house!! They looked so good and gave just the right festive touch.  I'm totally hooked and will be going back for more.

Pumpkins are a staple in my Fall decor and Halloween is no exception especially when I spotted these in the Target Dollar Spot.  I just couldn't help myself and picked up multiples in almost every color.  They're great too because they were only $1 each I don't mind if the girls play with them!


I also hosted a Supper Club in October and here is how I set the table.  I served Butternut Squash Soup with Harvest Grains (similar recipe), a Ceasar Salad with Roasted Chicken, and homemade Popovers.

As you can see I went a bit more simple with my decor but I loved it so much!

♥ Ashley

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday - Pumpkin Carving

Growing up we always did pumpkin carving and thankfully it was one of the traditions that Thomas and I continued to do even though we didn't have kids yet.  Now that we have two adorable girls (and hopefully another on the way soon) carving pumpkins is something we look forward to every year!

I don't know what it is about pumpkins but they just speak to my soul and I love them so much.  All shapes and sizes and colors.

This year Ellie was totally into the whole process and just kept begging to carve pumpkins.  Finnley was wiped by the end of the day and so she missed out on the pumpkin carving for favor of bedtime 😉...don't worry the girls are usually up before the crack of dawn so we were able to get some "nighttime" photos of them with their pumpkins.

Ellie chose a spider (and a face on the other side) while I secretly picked out bats for Finnley and Thomas did too!! Great minds think alike and I think that's the secret to our marriage 😂.

It was so much fun and hopefully next year we will be carving 3!! 🙏

♥ Ashley

previous years

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oh Friday - October Vibes

I am in serious disbelief that October is nearly over.  I mean I guess I shouldn't be too surprised because when you pack you days full (by vacuuming everyday because of all the dog hair and cracker crumbs) and live life for a certain time of day, life tends to go by pretty quickly.  We've been making the most of our October and it really is one of our most favorite months of the year.


We've started on a pretty crazy journey this month! We are trying our very last option to having a biological baby...yep that's right we're doing IVF!! It's all been moving so quickly - which is good because it hasn't really given me time to think about it all 😉 but also that we're getting that much closer to the end of this chapter.  IVF was in the talks before we adopted Ellie but our desire to become parents was too strong for the gamble of IVF not to mention my mental/emotional health was really thin.  So here we are 7 years, 2 daughters and one fallopian tube down and we are giving science a go.

one of many blood draws

all my meds

injection training

my nightly dose of injections

I first met with our doctor in the middle of September, then we went to Disneyland and I started on birth control, then I went in for a couple of uterine scans and blood tests when we came back from the Happiest Place on Earth.  Then it was time to go to my injections training and the arrival of a huge box of stimulation meds that I have to inject myself with 2 meds every night at the same time and starting this morning I have to add in a morning shot as well.  I've had some more blood tests and ultrasounds and everything is looking pretty normal.  I've been giving myself shots for 5 days and it's actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be...but I guess my morning injection is the real kicker so we'll find out about that in a couple of hours.


We've been hitting up the Pumpkin Patches pretty hard this month and I don't hear anyone complaining.  Our first visit was to the farm stand we've gone to the past 3 years, then the girls and I went to another local patch for Ellie's school field trip, then we went to a U-Pick patch on our favorite island that was completely empty and we paid on the honor system into their wooden pay box (gotta love country life), and then finally I went back to the local patch with the girls for the last nice day of the week!  I don't know what it is about all those pumpkins but they make my heart go pitter patter and I love that Ellie and Finnley love them too.

she picked the biggest pumpkin in the patch


Ellie comes home from school with the cutest assignments.  She is excelling so much more than I thought she would and I love that she is doing so well in Pre-K.  We tend to butt heads pretty hard at home when it comes to working on our letters or numbers but since school has started she has really acquired a zest for learning and actually wants to do her "schoolwork" with me!! Her school work is actually just those workbooks we picked up at Costco a few months back and she does so good with them.  I am so impressed and know that she is in the right place for her.  But seriously all her school work she comes home with is the sweetest...I'm keeping it all (because I'm a borderline hoarder apparently) and got a filing box to store it all in her closet.


Finnley turned 18 months last week and she is all sorts of adorable.  She is running around everywhere, climbing on all the things, and has multiple meltdowns throughout the day.  Finn is totally hilarious and makes the goofiest of faces.  She doesn't have very many words "Mama" and "Dada" are the most decipherable but she also says "Ella" for Ellie, "Milmil" in a very forceful tone for milk and "Ama ama" for animal crackers or just about any other kind of snack, and "woowoo" to make a car sound, and most recently she's started to say "uhoh".  She is constantly making faces and moves her tongue all around (and can roll her tongue) and makes all sorts of noises, so talking may be in her near future.  
Other notes about this sweet girl she has 16 teeth, is 33" tall and can suck down a pouch in under 3 seconds.  Her favorite things are cell phones, tv remotes, and all the breakable things 😒. Finnley now loves the bath and comes running when she hears me turn on the faucet, loves to splash and wash her hands in the dog water sink and is still very unsure of the goats.  She loves to help clean up (putting toys in baskets 🙌 but also loves to shove all of her food off of her high chair when she's all done.  She throws herself on the floor multiple times a day in true toddler tantrum fashion and gets so mad about stuff but then in 1 second she's running around and a bowl full of laughter.  She gives her emotions hard and has started kissing us and just thinks its the best ever, I do too!


I dropped my phone the other day 🙀 which isn't anything out of the ordinary except for the fact that it cracked my it's going to cost $150 to get fixed or if I wait a few months (which I can) I'll have paid off more of the phone [we have the iPhone forever plan] and only have to pay back 1/2 of what I owe for the upgrade.  The crack isn't horrible, it just barely missed my camera (thank God!!) so I think I'll be fine with the crack for a while.  Anyways I had to take it to the mall to find out from the Apple store how much it was to replace and then to Sprint to find out what my options were and I happened upon H&M...seriously you guys they have the cutest things in right now for Halloween.  I couldn't help myself and I picked up this skirt and this top and then I saw this skirt and this top (similar, for mamas)...thankfully I have two girls so we can use these for a couple of years! And now I've looked online and I can't get over all their other cute stuff...why have I never shopped here before???

Have a happy weekend...I'll be busy waiting for my alarms to go off to give myself injections and head into the clinic for another ultrasound.

♥ Ashley

be sure to check out these posts:
the best ever Pumpkin Dessert
the best ever Pancakes
the Sugar Goblin