Monday, February 27, 2012


File:Autobiography (1874).djvu via

Thomas and I are knee deep or more like waist deep in writing our Autobiographies for the Home Study process of our Adoption. This is the second autobiography that we have had to fill out. One was for our Adoption Agency and this one is for our Home Study. Some of the questions are the same so we are able cut and paste. But these questions are SERIOUSLY thought provoking. I feel like these are questionnaires that ALL would be parents should read and answer...starting at age 15 or so.
Many of the questions may or may not have crossed your mind pre-pregnancy or even pre-family planning. But they are ones you should think about nonetheless as they relate to parenting.

Questions like:
1.What do you regard as your greatest personal crisis or disappointment? How did you handle it?
2.How would you feel about your child having a different religion/belief system?
3.What interests/values do you share as a couple?
4.What do you think are the most important things a parent can give to a child?
5.What goals would you have for a child in your care?
6.What parenting/child care experiences have you had?
7.What were the positive and negative qualities about your family, most pleasant memories and unhappy ones?
8.How do you expect the addition of a child to impact your marriage?
9.Describe your methods to teach and discipline your child or if not parenting your plans.
10.What are your childcare plans?
11.Describe how you see your life changing with a child. Please project to the future with a child to include the rigors of parenting through the teenage years. Please factor in your ages, health, and lifestyle in this discussion.
12.What resources do you feel you have to provide for your child? This question refers to personal support both emotional and financial should either parent become ill or incapacitated or should your child have extra needs, physical or emotional.

These are powerful questions and require a lot of thought. Just keep in mind that these are just a sample of some of the questions you might come upon when writing your autobiography for adoption. I think these apply to natural parents as well.
Did you think of any of these questions before you got pregnant? What about while pregnant and planning for your little one to arrive?

This is just a taste of our adoption process.

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Decor

St. Patrick's Day is HUGE in my house. I have to say that it is my Favorite Holiday. Green is my favorite color...and I like ALL shades of green. Also my birthday is on St. Pats Day! We always have a little bit of something that refers to this holiday in our house. I love that other people celebrate my birthday..unknowingly. They dress up in my birthday color theme every year. Lets just say that I have totally embraced my Holiday Birthday. I would not want to be born on any other day!! I LOVE IT!!

I also really like to decorate my house for the holidays. I forgot to take pictures of my Valentines Decor, but I will do it again next year and you will see it then. Holiday decoration is always a work in progress, there are new things that come out each year so it is NEVER done...and I like it that way.

On our first married Thanksgiving, Thomas and I went on a family vacation with his family to Port Ludlow. We went shopping in Poulsbo and Port Townsend. In PT we found this adorable store "Tickled Pink", I am not sure if its still there but they had these white glitter branches that you could move and bend. I fell in LOVE with them. I knew exactly what I wanted them for, to have an every-season tree. Over the years I have acquired ornaments for the various holidays we celebrate. And this tree has proven to be a winner. I love that it is in a green vase. I love that it always has the four green gem ornaments hanging on it. I love that it reminds me of "Return to Oz" when Dorothy and her friends get captured and they get turned into objects and Dorothy has to find them by placing her hands on trinkets, closing her eyes, and saying "OZ" and she finds out that she has to touch the green figurines to get anywhere. I love that that is one of my favorite movies and everytime I see something green I do like Dorothy and say "OZ" though nothing happens I love it. (I also love how I went off on a tangent...thanks for staying with me)

Below are pics of my decorations so far:

My favorite White Branch tree. You can see the "OZ" ornaments as well as all my shamrocks and everything St. Pats/Irish! Also you can see our vintage wedding topper, LOVE that too.

My little IRISH Wee Forrest Folk, I've had here for forever!! Thanks MOM!!

My new little Leprechaun. I think I need a couple more.

My other every-season tree. I picked it up a couple years ago at Pier1. It is decked out with a shamrock garland I got at JoAnn's same with the glitter hat pick in the flowers (my Valentines gift) and that ADORABLE Owl planter!!!

This is just the beginning. Great St. Pats Day decorations are hard to come by so this is definitely a work in progress. Hope I have inspired you to get your house prepped for this great holiday so it doesn't get "pinched"!!

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[recipe] Valentines Dinner in Pics

I just realized I haven't posted pics of our Valentines Dinner...

It was Ribeye Steak, Lobster and Asparagus. Dessert was Pumpkin Sweetie Pie!

The BEST pumpkin pie EVER!!

1 1/2 c Pumpkin
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom

Pre-Heat oven to 375.

Combine ingredients and pour into a pie shell. Bake for 55-65 minutes.


♥ Ashley

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2012

Last week Thomas and I went to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. It was a great show, though I was not as impressed with the display gardens as I was last year. They seemed to be more modern than country. But I was still able to get some great ideas and get EXCITED for Spring and Summer to get here!!!

It was a little bittersweet attending the show this year. It has been an annual trip for me and my mom to go to together. This year she was unable to go due to her declining health. If you want to learn more about my mom's battle with Brain Cancer you can check out the blog my brother set up. Any prayers or thoughts you have for our family would be greatly appreciated.

Please enjoy the pics with some commentary.

Loved this window box! We NEED to put some on the Goat and Chicken barns!

Double Paper whites!! So cool!

I love these plants, not sure what they are I think they are a Coleus.

How cool would it be to have a smoke machine going on your man-made-pond?

I loved this garden
So cute looks like it is set up for Peter Rabbit!!
Love all the primroses and the cobble path.
Cute little bridge and stream/water feature!
THIS is what I want to do with my vintage water spigot!
I like how trail like and woodsy this is.

Such a cute little garden shed!! Love the stone patio! and that washboard!
My favorite garden again!!
Really fun light fixture!
How about this in your garden?

A bunch of koi and a fake alligator!
Love the Snowdrops and Cyclamen.
I want to have a picnic!! This is part of the Parisian garden SO cute!!
Beautiful Peony!! Hope mine come back this year!
Little bistro!!

Maybe I can grow this!!
Veg's next to the chicken coop...would love to do this but the goats would eat them.
more of the Parisian garden...look at that bicycle!

Hope you enjoyed the peek at Spring/Summer 2012!! If you have never been to the show I HIGHLY recommend it!!! You can check out more info HERE.

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

it BROKE!!

Well dinner went well last night. My DH helped out and made the lobster and helped season the steaks. He was completely surprised by our dessert...Pumpkin Pie!! I was fortunate to get a job yesterday that put me home almost an HOUR before him. I was able to get the pie crust made and the filling done, rolled up the extra pie crust with cinnamon/sugar. I was just cleaning up and about to pour in the pumpkin when he walked in the door.

He brought me flowers!! My favorite kind, Calalillies.

I used up the last of the butter on our Hollandaise Sauce and it was looking beautiful!! We seasoned it and I took it off the heat and it BROKE!! it Curdled!! it was rendered USELESS!!! all that hard work. I guess that it is ok, its only the second time I have made it. Luckily the first time it worked out nicely as it was for Easter dinner with guests. I was greatly disappointed with myself but Thomas told me it would be okay and that it was not a big deal. It took me a good 15 minutes to get over it. It is so frustrating when you take the time to plan and make something and then it BREAKS! I did NOT take any pictures because I don't want any evidence of my failure...except here I am sharing it with everyone on the World Wide Web. Smart one!

Well there you have it. I will have pictures posted of the successful parts of the meal later.

Hope all of you lovelies had a WONDERFUL Valentines!!

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!! 2012

Owls love card vector

Happy Valentines Day my lovelies!!

I hope this day is filled with lots of love and joy. Candies and Chocolates. Hugs and Kisses!!

Have fun with your Sweetie Pie or Friends.

I am looking forward to our Home cooked Valentines dinner. We have made dinner every year since we started dating (last year was an exception). The meal changes each year. This year we are having Surf and Turf: Rib-eye steaks and Lobster Tails!! Yum with Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce.

♥ Ashley

Monday, February 13, 2012

Junk Finds! and a funny story

I had mentioned in my previous post that I would post my finds from our Junking trip to the Junk Salvation in Hillsboro, Oregon. I only found one thing at the show that I NEEDED to bring home. And that was a chalkboard with a beautiful white Frame. I have been on the lookout for the past year or so for a really ornate picture frame. I was hoping to get one at a Goodwill or something as I was not too interested in spending a lot of mula on a frame. My plan was to paint it white and then learn how to use Chalkboard Paint so I could have a message center. I wanted to try and have the whole thing done on the cheap. I was NOT having any luck in finding my own parts to make my own board. So I was left to purchasing one already done. But those babies are close to $100 if not more. And their frames are just blah!

I could NOT believe my eyes when I spotted this beauty, actually Deanna found it and pointed it out to me. I had to have it, and the price was doable!! I love it so much. Thomas had to help me change the eye-hooks so it would hang the other direction, due to the location I was hanging it. I primed the board first, by covering the whole surface with the side of the chalk. You do this so that when you erase the words, you don't see the remnants left behind.

So here is the beauty! What do you think?

You will probably be questioning the picture below. On our way from HomeGoods in Portland to Hillsboro, we were driving in traffic on the freeway and I look over to my left and see this guy driving in his car. He has his computer set up so that he can access it WHILE driving. And that is EXACTLY what he was doing. Signing onto his computer the first time we passed him. Then, when I looked again, he was getting onto the internet, not FB but lets just pretend that it was. I could NOT believe what I was seeing. I was LMAO as was Deanna and I just HAD to get a picture of it. I got my camera out, rolled down my window and waited for him to drive by again. SNAP, I got the picture the flash went off!! I think he noticed and I was SO tickled with myself that I had absolutely no Composure that he had to have known that I took a picture of him.
The thing I LOVE about this picture is that he is so engrossed in looking at his computer! You can just see it on the other side of the mirror. Deanna was EMBARRASSED, but you know what, if you choose to do something like that then you should be just fine when someone takes a picture. I think he was a little shocked so he got off of his computer. After we did a couple more passes we looked in the window again and then he was TEXTING on his cellphone!! We kept saying "Oh those Oregonians and Porlanders are such terrible drivers!!" We then looked at his license plate and he is from WASHINGTON! Thanks for giving us a bad name you Jerk!!

Anyways, thought you would enjoy our entertainment. As I am retelling the story, it was a lot more funny when it was happening.

♥ Ashley

Friday, February 10, 2012

Funky Junk Sisters "Junk Salvation" - Oregon

I have to start this post off with an apology. I was a HORRIBLE blogger this weekend. Why you might ask? Because I brought my camera with me to the Junk Salvation down in Hilsboro, Oregon last weekend and I left it in the hotel room BOTH days!!! I am so disappointed with myself. But alas I have some links that you can go to that will show you pictures of what I saw at the show.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Junk Salvation down in Hilsboro, Oregon with my MIL, Deanna, for the second time. We went last year and had a blast that we have been counting down the days until the next one. I am so fortunate to have such a great relationship with my MIL. I have heard that is NOT the case with many people. Deanna is very kind and giving. We also have A LOT in common, like JUNKING!!! (I never would have called it "junking" until we went to the show last year, it seemed rude, but then after we attended the show I realized what a fantastic word that is!! It really is true one GIRLs junk is another GIRLs treasure!!)

The show this year was GREAT. The vendors had a lot of wonderful things to sell -- and inspire the crafty. Most of the vendors were super friendly, but not all of them. It is always such a bummer when you run into an unfriendly vendor. Deanna and I tell each other that we don't feel like giving them our money - no matter how much we like their stuff - because they are rude. I did however buy something from one of the "unfriendly" vendors because I really could NOT pass it up. (I will post pictures of my finds later - after I upload all the pics onto my computer).

Deanna and I have also found ourselves to be MUCH more picky at these shows, I think its because our homes are filling up with all the great junk that we have to really think it our where we are going to put stuff. With being picky you don't see so much stuff that you HAVE to HAVE. So we didn't really come home with much from the show. I think that is a good thing though because that means that we will really treasure our finds. I didn't find the ONE thing I was looking for at this show. Back at the one in November, many of the vendors had these little covered chicken bowls, like TINY ones, for individual salt cellars on a table setting. I passed them up in November because I wasn't quite sure of them. Then about a week later I was DYING for one. I have been checking out all the local antique stores with no luck. I was CONVINCED that I would see them again and pick one up at the show. Would you believe that there were NONE at the show that I could find? We also went to some of our favorite Antique stores while down in Portland and they too did not have ANY!! It was terrible. I am still on the lookout and I will NOT give up on finding my chicken!!

It was so much fun chatting it up with the Junk Sisters themselves. I learned once I got home that some of my blogging "friends" were at the show. I am sad that I missed meeting them, but there is always next time!! I also loved recognizing the vendors from the other Junk Shows we have been to and seeing what they had brought with them this time!

I highly recommend this show. Every one of them is different and they have 3 to 4 of them a year in Puyallup, Hilsboro, and the Spokane area. Check out these links to see pictures of the show!! Forever Cottage, Bee and Mason, and the Junk Sisters.

Again my apologies for no pics but these guys have some amazing ones. They also have some great blogs so go ahead and check them out!!

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Home Study

Well peoples, we have made our decision. We are going with a small Adoption Agency in Washington State. It is out of town so we are going to get our Home Study done by another private company. We will be having our Home Visit tonight. While we are told that we will NOT be judged on our home keeping skills or the cleanliness of our home, how do you have someone come into your house and NOT clean it and pick it up?? So that is what I am doing today. Cleaning my house as if I was having company over for dinner. Luckily, Thomas and I have pretty good habits of keeping things clean in our living spaces so this will not be too much of a challenge.

♥ Ashley