Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Decorate Wednesday - the Nursery so far

Well we don't have a lot of stuff for our nursery as of yet.  I have been putting this room together in my mind for at least 3 1/2 years.  The inspiration for the room has changed a little as the years have gone on and I got into shows such as "Sarah's House" with Sarah Richardson on HGTV.

When we first moved into our house we chose the room for our future baby.  I painted it Yellow...just one coat.  I have stuck with that color choice but yesterday I finally painted the second coat (4 years later!).  I was able to convince Thomas to prime and paint our cheap closet doors White as well as the trim around the doors and the windowsill and soon to be baseboard.  {We were gifted this really nice baseboard from Thomas little brother that we need to prime and paint and then replace the existing yucky, cheap, woodish, crap that is currently in there.}  And then that will be the base of the room.   Oh and we need to get new carpet - I am thinking a medium to dark grey!

I had picked out a dresser at Ikea that I love dearly (also picked out about 2 1/2 years ago), but it seems to be discontinued  So, I am currently painting my childhood dresser that I got when I was 6 years old grey to use until I find another.  The dresser will serve as the changing table and of course clothes/diaper storage.

I grabbed a great Chandelier at a junk/flea show that I am painting the same grey as the dresser.  It is adorable and has these great milk-glass hobnail shades (if you know me you know I love me some hobnail!) so I could NOT pass it up.  I was unsure of where it would go in our home until my dear husband suggested in the baby room - SOLD!!

I have a bunch of artwork that I have collected over the years as well as a set of curtains that have actually proven to be the colour inspiration for the whole room.

This room is definitely a work in progress but I am so happy to FINALLY begin working on it!! And this weather could not be anymore perfect!

♥ Ashley

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer and Mom Picks

Well I can for sure tell that school is out for Summer!!!  Since my schedule is a little out of posting might be a little sporadic, as will my catching up on all of your blogs!

We are rounding the last turn in the backstretch of this whole Adoption.  Which means that we are finally able to start looking into getting baby stuff!!!  I already have a few things picked out: the Crib, Stroller and Carseat but I know that there are still SO MANY other things that we need to get!

So I want some of my reader's expertise on things you MUST have and the products you like. 

Did you use a Bassinet?
What do you look for in a Diaper Bag?
How many Newborn outfits do you need?
What was your fave "passie" brand?
Did you use a swing?
What are your feelings on a Pack'n'Play?
What brand of newborn Diapers?
Are you using Cloth Diapers?  What are your thoughts?
Any other item advice?

Thanks so much for all of your help!

♥ Ashley

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adoption Seminar

Last weekend Thomas and I went to Spokane for our Adoption Seminar. 

 (Spokane Falls)

We had a great time staying over at my Aunt and Uncles and spending time with the cousins!  My aunt made the best chicken with Ritz crackers...I will post the recipe one of these Tuesday's.  We celebrated Thomas Birthday on Saturday (it was also my cousin's birthday) and went to play mini-golf.  I hit two Hole in Ones!!! Probably the best game of golf I have ever played!  It was so fun to have those family meals and conversation.

What is an Adoption Seminar, you ask?  Well this was sort of an informational weekend but I feel that it was more than an introduction.  We learned about the legality of adoption, the finances and the procedures.  We learned about child attachment and the importance of instilling trust with your child for at least their first two years.  They had several birth mom's come in and talk to us about why they chose adoption for their child and how they chose the couple.  We were able to ask them questions and get a better idea about why Open Adoption works for them.  Then there were Couples who came in....most with their adopted babies/toddlers and they shared their experience with adoption and how they worked on attachment with their child.  They told us about their view of Open Adoption and why it works for them.  We learned about their fears and expectations going into adoption and how it has worked out for them so far. 

It was so encouraging to go to this seminar and know that we are one step closer to getting our baby!!  Every adoption agency is different and has different expectations and requirements for their adoption.  We feel confident in this agency and really like how small and personal it is.  They only have about 8-12 couples in the waiting pool at a time.  This helps with reducing the amount of time in the pool waiting to be selected.  This agency works very closely with their birth mothers/parents as well as the adoptive couples.  They have a very high success rate with their placements. 

I believe that I have mentioned on here about our 24 page portfolio.  Well it was probably the most important project I have ever worked on and I am so pleased to have gotten a final draft by my self imposed due date.  We were able to get it printed off and put into the folders to turn in after our Seminar.  So as far as I know we are ALREADY being shown to birth moms!!!  This is such a relief.  It is becoming more of a reality!  We are going to be parents and it can be any day now!!

Since we are getting so close (we are really like in the second to last stage) I will be asking some questions on this ole blog here about baby products.  I have done some research already but I would LOVE to know some first hand knowledge and advice.  Those posts will be coming shortly!

Thanks for giving me the time to share this exciting step in the process with you all!!

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

[recipe] Breakfast Potatoes

Hey there...I think its been a while (maybe 2 weeks) since I posted a recipe on this ole blog here.  So today I thought I would share my breakfast this morning.

As I am sure I have mentioned my husband and I are going to our Adoption Seminar.  So we will be outta the house for about 4 days.  My wonderful FIL is house sitting for us and taking care of the farm - SO thankful and grateful for the awesome people in my family that I can count on!!  I am at home today getting all of our loose ends tied, which means that I actually got to cook myself breakfast!!

Over the weekend we took a trip to Sam's Club to stock up our freezer - they have the BEST frozen stirfry that we add a can chicken to served on top of rice that my husband cooks (he has been cooking it for me since our college days!) and let me tell you it is delicious.  Since there really isn't much cooking involved I haven't really posted about it - guess I just did that was easy!  Anyways while we were perusing the store we saw a 10 lb bag of red skinned yukon gold potatoes for $4.99 heck of deal! We picked it up and brought it home same with some giant mushrooms

I wanted to make skillet breakfast potatoes because I am IN LOVE with my Cast Iron Skillet.

Here is what I did:

5 white mushrooms - sliced
2 red skinned yukon potatoes - sliced
2 T butter
1 T oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley (I usually get Flat Leaf but the store was out so I had curly on hand)
S & P

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat skillet on a little over medium heat and melt the butter.  Add in the mushrooms to saute a little adding S & P to taste.  After about 5 minutes add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Season with S & P again and add the parsley. Stir to combine.  Add a T of water cover your pan with foil and place in the oven for 3 minutes.  Take out and serve. YUM!! I had mine with a side of fresh mozzarella.


♥ Ashley

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Garden Tour

Here are some photos of my garden:

 Purple Salvia and a white Lupine...with an Iris (not sure why that is still there!)
 Purple Columbine and Coral Bells
 Lady But on one of my Peonies - so glad to be attracting these little critters now!
 Love how the Lupine leaves collect the water
 Pink Columbine - love these!
 water accumulating on the Autumn Joy Sedum
 more Lupine!
In the vegetable garden...I took out half of the strawberries. You can see a little bit of our corn, beans, onions, cukes, and zukes and lots of Sunflowers!

How is your garden growing?

♥ Ashley

Weekend Update

So here are some things that have been happening on the farm.

On Saturday we celebrated my brothers birthday with a BBQ at my dad's "old" house.  I say old because he has purchased a new house and is slowly moving into it.  This was probably one of the last if not the last BBQ we will have on the deck there.  Oh childhood home I love you and will miss you.  The sad thing is that whoever buys this house is probably going to gut it or tear it down.  That makes me sad.

We also had family over to hang out on the farm on Sunday.  I cooked some Cod that we got from our neighbor.  I don't normally cook fish or really eat it, because I don't really know HOW to cook fish.  If I do cook fish its usually salmon baked in the oven, but I tried a new preparation for this Cod and it was pretty good.  I might venture into eating more fish in my diet!

Oh yeah, we also got a cord for my birthday camera so I can upload the pictures onto my computer.  SO that is what I am sharing with you today.

 The goats love to head bump our fists!

 You can just see Cooper running behind Paladin.

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Sorry readers....I have kinda been out of the loop.  Been working on lots of things.

A couple weeks ago Thomas and I go the go-ahead to begin working on our 24 page portfolio for our Adoption Agency.  I have a friend that has already gone through the adoption process THREE times and he so graciously offered us a copy of his portfolio to give us a blueprint.  It has been instrumental in the creation of ours.  This past weekend I have totally been engrossed by it and already have about 15 pages done!   I have learned through this process that my picture taking has changed over the years and my focus has gone from myself and/or Thomas to our puppies and our home.  Not really the types of pictures we are looking for in this process.  So there are still a few that I need to take, like one of my IN my garden not just the garden itself!  We are putting about 5-6 photos on each page with a little description under each.  It has been fun and reliving the memories.  But it is also somewhat tedious.  I am avoiding the most difficult part of this portfolio and distracting myself with the pictures and captions, but I really need to work on the Birth parent letter.  This letter should be a whole page selling ourselves to prospective birth moms and dads.  It is daunting but I know that once we sit down and start mapping in out we will get it done!

I am also organizing or heading up my 10 year High School reunion.  10 years!! How did that happen?  I was supposed to already have like 3 kids by now or something!  FB has been great in keeping most of us up to date on each others lives...also a great connection tool to get an idea as to what people would be interested in doing for our 10 year reunion.  My plan is for it to be pretty laid back - it's only our 10 year so no need to go balls to the wall crazy on it!  I haven't gotten overly involved yet but I do have 2 months to prepare.  Talk to me at the beginning of August and lets see how I feel then!  I don't have many regrets from my high school career. One thing I do regret though, is that I never turned in my "Dear 28-year-old Self"letter that I was supposed to write in Senior English.  So I will not or have not received that in the mail.  Boo-hickey! Back then I couldn't imagine what to write and now all I do is wish I could get a letter from my 18 year old self and be reminded of my aspirations!  Oh well, I guess I will just have to keep living my life!

I think I mentioned back in the beginning of January about my New Year's Resolution.  But not sure if I can find the post to link back and I am not interested in that type of detective work so here it is: My 2012 New Year's Resolution is to do pushups everyday and increase the number of pushups each month.  I started in January with 10 pushups and I am pretty sure I did them all 31 days.  February was up 5 to 15 a day.  I would say I probably did them 26 days.  March brought on another 5 so I was up to 20 pushups a day.  I found that I prefer to do them at night just before bed, along with my multi vitamin and my devotions.  March I think I took a drop in my drive and probably only did pushups 20 days that month.  April I was up to 25 pushups and I say I probably did them about 26 days.  In May I was doing 30 was starting to get rough. I think I missed 5 days in May.  Now it is June.  I think that overall this year I have been doing a decent job at keeping up with my personal goal.  I am doing 35 pushups each day...I already missed one day.  I will try to do better.  It is after all almost summer.  If I get sub jobs for next week I will only have 7 days of work left until Summer Break!! yeah that is one of the best things about being a teacher.  The worst thing is this whole budget and getting laid off each year!

That is where I have been.  Sorry about missing you all.  I have been reading up on your blogs though.  Thanks for sticking in there!

♥ Ashley

Friday, June 1, 2012

Winner Winner - You can make a PW Dinner!!

I wanted to say another Thank You to all my new followers out there.  I greatly appreciate your support and I love reading all of your comments!!

As you may know I was holding a giveaway for a signed copy of the Pioneer Woman's newest cookbook.  The entries ended last night.  My dear husband helped me randomly choose the winner.

The Winner is:  ASHLEY WOODS!!  check out her wonderful blog: diary of a real mom and show her some love!!  I adore her blog and she gives some great recipe's herself!

Congrats Ash!  Contact me and we will figure out a time and place to meet up so I can give you your book!!

Thank you to all who entered.  Be looking out for my next giveaway ... should be coming on my 200th post!!!

♥ Ashley