Tuesday, July 31, 2012

[recipe] Sun Pasta

Did you enter in my giveaway here?? You have until August 17th to do so!

It's Tuesday
So that means 
I have a recipe
for you.

 I have been selected for Jury Duty this week.  Yesterday I got a 2 1/2 hour lunch - I went to the mall had some lunch and did some window shopping.   There are so many clothes out there right now that I find fascinating!

Today I was called in and the case I was going to be considered for agreed on a plea so I was dismissed for the day - just in time for lunch.  

I love Pasta, always have and probably always will.  Today I made a quick spaghetti sauce with some things I had on hand.  It was so good I thought I would share it with you!  This recipe surrenders about 2 servings.

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, 3 whole frozen tomatoes (from my garden last year 9/2011), 1 tsp dried basil, 3/4 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 T fresh basil chopped, 1/4 c jarred tomato sauce,  1/4 c jarred alfredo sauce, 1/4 onion chopped, 2 garlic cloves chopped, salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, spaghetti noodles

I like to make the sauce first so it has time to simmer and develop flavors while the pasta cooks.
1.  In a medium sauce pan drop in the frozen tomatoes and let them get soft ~ 5 minutes on high heat 2. Add in the onions and stir around for ~ 2 min then add in the garlic
3. Now you can add all those lovely sun dried tomatoes and some of the oil they are packed in, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine
4.  Now you can add in the all the dried herbs, stir and taste see if any more salt is needed you can add the red pepper flakes at this time as well
5. Start the water boiling for the pasta, once it boils add in a generous amount of salt and cook the pasta according to the package directions (I only used about 1/3 of the box)
6. Reserve some of the pasta water to add to your sauce along with the alfredo sauce and stir to combine
7. Add in the pasta using tongs combine the pasta and sauce, give a final check for seasoning and then serve!! YUMM

I garnished mine with an extra sprig of fresh basil.

Linked To:  Tasty Tuesdays

♥ Ashley

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Birthday and Its A Giveaway Day!!

 Hello there blogland!!  

Today mark's what would have been my Mom's 57th birthday.  I miss her so much but I am thankful that I am still able to celebrate her and think about my wonderful memories of her.  She was such a beautiful woman and incredibly strong.  I am so thankful for the role model she was and how she shared her faith with me.  I am most thankful for her staying at home while I was growing up and driving me to elementary school almost everyday - each day in the parking lot she would bless me with the Lord to watch over me, before I got out of the car.  Thank you mom for all you have done and all you STILL do through memories that pop up even in your absence!!

I also have to give a shout out to my Dad as yesterday was his Birthday!!  Happy Birthday Papa, I love you so much!!  Thank you for your strength!!

I mentioned on here a number of posts ago that once I reached 200 posts I would host a giveaway...well 200 has come and gone and I still have yet to do a Giveaway -- until today as this is my 100th post this year!!

I have been trying to figure out what on earth I would like to giveaway.  So as today would have been my Mom's Birthday why not giveaway one of her favorite treats!!  I remember going to See's Candies and picking up these lollies often throughout my childhood.   I wanted to share these with ONE lucky reader.  You will receive 4 lollies, one each of Chocolate, Vanilla, Butterscotch, and Cafe Latte!!

 Assorted Lollypops
Description from the source itself: This is gourmet candy-on-a-stick for kids (and adults) that's fun to eat, lasts longer than regular chocolates and is every bit as rich and tasty. Candy fanciers of all ages love these unique square lollypops made from heavy cream, butter, and flavors of real vanilla, Colombian coffee, smooth chocolate and rich butterscotch. 

To enter:
Become a Follower (mandatory)
Leave a comment about your favorite memory with your mom (mandatory)
1 entry

For additional entries:
Write a post about this giveaway on your blog [with a backlink to here] and let me know here in the comments section.
Post about it on Facebook and let me know here in the comments section
Tweet about THIS giveaway and let me know about it here in the comments section
post this on your Pinterest Board and let me know about it here in the comments section

giveaway closes on August 17th!!

♥ Ashley

Friday, July 27, 2012

Belated Birthday

On July 7th this little kiddo turned 5 and his big brother
Jazz (who I can't find a picture of he is a Horse) turned 27!!

I love my little munchkins!!

♥ Ashley

I'm Baaack

The internet has been crazy again at my house lately.  So no pictures today - hopefully soon.  I posted my last post from Thomas' phone and it wouldn't really work the same way as a computer so I am not sure how many times I am interested in doing that.

This past week however, we were on vacation!! I know I know that we are on Summer Vacation but we actually went somewhere.  The original plan was to go to Coeur d'Alene Idaho but the house that my MIL had rented double booked us!!! So we were out of a place she quickly got back to searching and found a place on Newman Lake, WA minutes from downtown Spokane.

It was a great little place and so fun to have the boat tied up to the dock just off the of the house.  The fishing was amazing, Thomas and his dad had a blast catching about 40 fish off the end of the dock each night!!  The weather was gorgeous and I got a sunburn - guess I didn't learn my lesson from our Caribbean Cruise from last year - except this time I didn't use sunscreen at all. 

We did drive into CDA one day to look around.  They have this "All Things Irish" store and I was in heaven!!  We also went into Spokane and ate at "Tomato Street" it is SO SO SO much better than the Olive Garden and I love going there almost every time I visit Spokane!!  I get the baked lazzoni and I think next time I will try something new.  We stopped by our adoption agency to make another payment and get an update on our process.  We are still on the wait list - I guess that the Summer is the slow season...so wait we continue to do.

The sights off of Newman Lake were beautiful and I was able to get many great photos - I hope to share soon!!

Well there is the update!!  What have you been up to? I would love to know!

♥ Ashley

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Picture(s) Thursday - Happy Birthday Thomas!

Last Saturday we celebrated Thomas' 30th Birthday!!!!! he actually turned 30 last month but we wanted to wait for good weather for the party.
The pictures are out of order - sorry last things first!

 opening presents!! he got some good ones!!
 blowing out the candles on his cake!

 playing in the finals of the Bocce Tournament - and yes the Birthday Boy's Team won!!!
 our friend tossing his kid in the air - it was crazy high!
 Tyler getting pumped up for the finals in the Bocce Tournament

 Watching some of the Bocce Tournament
 Even my Daddy played!!
enjoying a BBQ hotdog!
chillin' with his daddio
more Bocce tourney
BBQ eats
the pups wanted to be part of the festivities!

my daddy brought his fogs for the fun - they needed to be corralled due to their excitement in the goats...
Thomas best friend from high school
making my mom's famous guacamole!we

we had a blast and the weather was amazing!!  I think that we brought in Thomas' 30s well!!!                                                                                         &                                                           ♥ Ashley

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Dinning Room

Hey there Blogland!!  Sorry I have been MIA lately...its just this summer break -- and that I have had internet issues.

I think I mentioned that my dad is moving, so we (my siblings, dad and I) have been hard at work cleaning up the house and taking things for our homes.   What was left we held an Estate Sale - that was crazy, people lining up an hour before we "opened" bringing in baskets and giant bags to collect all of our stuff to take home with them.

I was blessed with bringing home the dinning set that I grew up using.  I LOVE this table - I have been on the search for one similar to it for years with absolutely NO luck.  This table is amazing!!  It can seat 4 to 12 chairs!!  It is a substantial table and SOLID.  I love it and I am so happy that I can continue to have meals at this table for a LONG time and share these memories with my own family that the hubster's and I are building!  In addition to the gorgeous table I also got the "Breakfront" that is what my parents always called it.  It is a buffet and hutch that matches the table.  I love this piece too.  We knew that getting this piece into our home was going to be a height challenge - challenge it was because the piece is 1/2 inch too tall for our ceilings!!! SO we are just storing the top in our garage.  My next home will have at least 10ft ceilings!! haha

looking in from the kitchen - living room is to the right

 This was another piece from my mom's house...we acquired it when we moved into our house since she remodeled her kitchen.  You have seen this piece before on the other wall of our dinning room.  We made it over.  It used to be a pine/oak wood with a matching hutch.  We sanded and painted it black and added crystal knobs.  I love how it looks now. 
 Its the new "home" for our bar.  Two of the decanter's were my mom's, and the other two I picked up at a flea market we went to together.

 I this table SO much!!
 The high-chair I grew up using! Can't wait for my little one to sit in it!
 Since we no longer have a hutch on either of our buffet's I needed to find a new home for all my glassware.  This shelf works perfectly!!  I love how I have the different colours and how it looks against the lighter coloured wall. 
 These are our "fine" glasses from our wedding registry - Kate Spade, June Lane.  You can just make out the etched dragonfly
 I adore my little yellow glasses and the giant floral mugs were a great clearance find at Anthropologie that we use for "Soup Sundays"!!
 our "new" buffet with a framed poem my mom wrote about Paladin

I love my little Irish mugs with the etched shamrocks on them!  and the great cake stands my dear BIL Tyler got me for Christmas!!

Thanks for taking a tour of my "new" dinning room!!  I am so happy to have so many things that belonged to my mom!!  Near and Dear!

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baby Reading

I picked up some children's books from my dad's house this weekend.  He is in the process of prepping his house to sell so we had an Estate Sale this past weekend - I had to pick up some things before the sale started.  So I went for the books and then many other things, it is so comforting to know that I have my mom's things here with me at my house - makes me still feel close to her.

 The beginnings of the bookshelves!
 In Junior High I did a project for Bible Class of Noah's Ark.  My mom helped me to make the Ark (I can no longer find it) and then we filled it with these animals.
 My copy of "The Velveteen Rabbit" came with a Rabbit similar to the one shown on the left sans the spots - I still have the Rabbit dubbed "Bunny" - this particular book was published the year I was born but I received it as a birthday present for my 4th birthday from a friend.  It is so special to still have this and to share it with my child.
This was one of my mom's favorite stories about a pig with wings named "Perfect" he lived with a lady in an apartment and she let him fly around outside for exercise.  One night he went out flying and a storm came he got lost and exhausted - fell asleep on a park bench.  Some creepy guy found him and locked him up in his creepy apartment then used Perfect as a money maker showing him off and making people pay to see him fly - on a leash.  Perfect was miserable.  Finally one day he was able to escape and found his lady owner - they were both so happy to find each other again!

Well it looks as if my library is growing.  I still need LOTS more books.  Infant ones especially and ones for 8 months to 2 years old.  I am hoping by having a nice library my child will grow up to be an avid reader like myself!

Do you have any book suggestions?  Or any other baby item suggestions? I would love to know them!

♥ Ashley

Friday, July 6, 2012

DIY Friday

I have shown a few pictures on here about our baby nursery and the projects that I have been working on that are directly related to this room.

The changing table.  My mom got this dresser for me when I moved into my own big girl room and I started kindergarten (at least I am pretty sure I was 6 years old when I got this).  I loved it and got it at this cute store on Mercer Island - Finders, idk if that store is still there but we got many of our home furnishings there when I was growing up.  The dresser was so pretty - a light coloured wood with hand painted flowers and vines on it, it came with a matching trunk and mirror.  I also believe that they had a bed frame to go along but I preferred my wicker trundle bed instead.  My whole room was a Laura Ashley rose pattern.  When I got older I wanted something more on the purple side so I changed to a Laura Ashley lavender pattern...luckily the dresser and trunk matched well.

When we bought our house and I moved in along came my childhood dresser and mirror.  It has been sitting in our baby room untouched.  I contemplated selling in on craigslist but never got around to it.  My plan was to get a new piece from Ikea - a grey dresser in the Eglan or Edland design.  But it was little hard to chew in price (this was before we even started all of our infertility stuff).  Now that we are going the adoption route buying a new dresser was out of the question - especially since I got laid off too (the joys of being a teacher at the bottom of the hiring pole) and it is now discontinued so I couldn't even get it if I wanted it.  On to the new plan - lets paint my old puppy grey and use it instead.

What I did:  first I took out all the drawers, did a light sanding and then wiped off any excess particles.  I sprayed one coat of primer - Rustoleum primer in gray.  I let that dry for about 1 1/2 hours just to make sure - it was about 82 degrees outside.  After the primer dried I sprayed on a coat of Rustoleum Satin finish in Granite and let that dry for about 2 hours.  I felt that it needed a second coat so I put that on again.  Let it dry again for about 1 1/2 hours maybe 2 [it was probably two hours] and then put it together and brought it inside.  ** I had a few places where the paint made spider veins/webs so I gave a light sanding and tried painting again will a little bit of success.  Those spider veins helped determine which wall this kiddo would be sitting on so I could hide them in the corner.

before - you can sort of make out the hand painted flowers on the sides

after - all nice and grey.  I mentioned on Monday that I want to change out the hardware to some cream/white ones from Anthropologie but I am not too sure.  I might do it later on, I don't think its a do or die thing though so we will see. 

I absolutely LOVE how this turned out!  

How do you like spray paint?

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

[recipe] - Snickers Salad

 Happy 4th of July!! 

My house is all festive for the 4th today... I even have some red flowers (shocking I know) that are blooming in my yard today!  

I will be spending my evening pretty much as I have for the past 14 years -- watching my horses and hoping that the fireworks aren't too crazy.  I have noticed a HUGE improvement with my horses since we moved to our house and the neighbors moved out 3 years ago.  Since my horses no longer have horsey neighbors they have no fear to feed off of - except their own.  Luckily my darling little girl watches them so she calms down the big guy.  It will be fun to see how Paladin does this year!

here is a tour of my festive home! and see below for a great recipe!!

flag row along my flowerbed/lawn

welcome "wreath"
first ever hanging basket getting a little festive

more of my flag row
 my red flowers!! (and some weeds - need to get rid of those)

more flags along our walkway

little piggy in the house - thanks mom!!!
and we are even festive in our backyard - large flags and pennant courtesy of the Dollar Tree

I also wanted to share with you a recipe that I made today for our Neighbor's party!!

This is a recipe that is all over Nebraska.  My MIL brought it back from there last year after their trip to visit family.  (Practically my husbands WHOLE family is from Nebraska).

Snickers Salad

what you need:
3 apples - I used granny smith 
* cool whip about 8 oz (I used 16 for some reason but I am sure it will be just fine)
 * 1 cup of milk * 1 small box of french vanilla instant pudding
 * and about 4-5 snickers bars

 first mix the milk and pudding together
 until it looks like this
 then dump in the cool whip - my recipe said to fold in...but I just whisked
 until it was well incorporated
 then I peeled the apples and diced them
 not sure if that was right but it seemed like the natural thing to do
 incorporated the apples into the pudding/cool whip mixture
 unwrap your snickers and give a chop
 idk how small - I liked that these were like bite sized
 add in the snickers and stir together
make sure to incorporate and cover all the snickers

after that...put cover and put it into the fridge to chill for a while.

Try this - my understanding is that it is GREAT!!