Friday, January 31, 2014

Five Things

Today I would like to share Five Things I wish I could say "Thank You" to my Momala for.  If you don't know already my mom passed away on March 9, 2012 from a 15 month battle with Stage 4 Glioblastoma (brain cancer).  To read about her battle you can click HERE to the blog we set up.  It has been extremely difficult and trying at times living life and raising my daughter without my mom to help guide, answer questions, and reflect on my own upbringing.  While there are SO many things that I am thankful for, I wanted to share 5 today.  I love you Momala and miss you everyday.

Thank you for making your children a priority in your life.  Not a day passed that you didn't tell me "I LOVE YOU" at least 20 times.  This is something that I have continued with my sweet little Ellie.  I want her to know how loved she is and that I care very deeply for her.

Thank you for making up songs and singing for just about everything - and continuing to sing them into my adult life.  Many of these songs I remember and sing to Ellie often.  I remember you telling me that you have to make things "FUN" for little ones so they are better behaved or deal with them better; like blowing their nose, changing their diaper, brushing the tangles out of their hair, or waking up in the morning.  So far it has worked for the diaper changes, hair brushing, and morning wake ups - the nose blowing will come soon, I hope!

Thank you for teaching me the importance of manners.  Manners were HUGE in my family.  Not only were we expected to have them at home but whenever we went out places.  Often times my parents were given compliments on how well their children were behaved at restaurants (we went out a lot and not to family restaurants).  Proper table behavior was taught and enforced at home, so that when we went out it wasn't anything new or different.  My mom also told us before going into the restaurant that we needed to be on our BEST behavior because many of the patrons were here to get away or have a break from their children, so we should not disturb them.  I plan to continue this with Ellie and we already have because she goes just about everywhere with us, including our date night restaurants!

Thank you for teaching me the importance of respect for others and their things/rules.  My mom didn't believe that she was raising children, she was raising adults.  We were taught that we could not talk back to adults, that certain things were "off limits", and that every home has a different set of rules that we were to follow.  She said that consistency was key in achieving this and that sometimes she felt like a "nag" because of how many times she had to "remind" us.  My mom had a lot of nice things in my childhood home (many of which are now in my home).  We were taught early on that these things were "Off Limits" meaning we weren't allowed to touch them or play with them.  She had to keep a Hawks eye on us at the beginning but eventually we learned and that is why so many of these things have made it into my home.  This was extremely good practice for us so that when we went shopping with her or over to family and friends houses we had an idea of "off limits" and my mom was able to be successful in helping us to keep our hands off things and not give the homeowner or shop owner anxiety.  She also took responsibility for us, so if we were to break something she paid for it.  Now don't get me wrong, we had A LOT of fun and were able to be "kids".  I believe that she taught me to value people, rules, and things so well that I am choosing to raise Ellie (and my future children) this way.  I don't think that I am going to truly be able to "enjoy" a visit at a friend's house with Ellie until she is probably 8 years old - because I am going to have to (choose to) keep an eye on her at all times.

Thank you mom for teaching me how to cook.  As I have mentioned before my mom was blessed with being a SAHM (my dream).  While she was already very interested in cooking, she learned to pass the time in the kitchen.  She watched cooking shows a lot, had a huge library of various cookbooks, and was always trying out a new recipe.  She was an aspiring Gourmet Chef and most of our meals were made from scratch.  She put a lot of LOVE into her cooking and was very good at it.  She included my sister and I a lot for meal prep and taught us along the way.  I learned a lot of tips and tricks from her and gained a great base knowledge of how to cook.

What are you thankful of your mom for?

♥ Ashley


linked to FCF by Jennifer Rizzo

Thursday, January 30, 2014


We are getting into the Valentines Spirit on the Farm.  I still have yet to put up our decorations for this holiday...better do it soon or it will be time for St. Patricks Day before I know it!!  It really is true though that the holidays are so much more fun when you have kids.  I mean I loved the holiday's before and we tried to include the pups as much as we could but nothing compares to our sweet little Ellie!!

With that in mind I have to start thinking of how I can "decorate the baby"!!  The items below are all just too cute!!!


Crazy 8
#4 I am not a huge heart fan but there is something about this top that is just so adorable!!

Organic Leggings
 #2 Who doesn't love organic baby clothes?  I love that these aren't red or pink, kind of a coral color if you will.  And you all know how much I am loving Coral right now!!

Crazy 8
#5 Another cute top with a heart on it....maybe having a little girl is making me change my tune about hearts....

Old Navy Eyelet Sleeve Tunic Tops For Baby - Bright coral
#6 This is super cute and I think would go great with the Organic Leggings!

Valentine's Headband
#3 I just adore all of PLE headbands and this one does not disappoint!  How cute and festive is it?

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Little Things

I am linking up with Jess and Ashley to talk about the little things in life.  These are often the moments that we take for granted and sometimes even get lost in the hubbub of everyday life.

This morning as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I had Ellie sitting in her walker playing with some toys and I heard her "singing" to her toys (or maybe just to herself) seriously it was the sweetest little thing!  Then we got down on the floor in the living room to play with some more toys and she was a "singing" fool and I loved it!

Sadie Sky Boutique

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

{weekly update} week 36

Ellie Faith is 36 weeks today and that just blows my mind!!!  She still isn't really moving (aside from rolling everywhere) and I was sitting on the couch the other day while she was in her Exersaucer and I said to Thomas, "Oh how our lives are going to change when she starts walking! S**T is gonna get real!"  My darling little Ellie is just the cutest little nugget and I love her so!

Eats: She still loves her bottle and won't eat her solid food if she see's her bottle (so funny!)  She has been quite adventurous this week in the food department (or I have just gotten my act together and finally made some different food!)  The great thing is is that she finally is getting the hang of eating solid food so I don't have to put her food through a sieve to get out the lumps, biggest blessing!! So what is she eating?  Squash, Peas, Broccoli, Beans, Yams, Apples, Pears, Apricots, Carrots and Cauliflower!  She is also eating Puffs and is getting better at actually getting them in her mouth.

Sleeps: Basically through the night in her room, though we bring her into our bed if she wakes up but that usually doesn't happen until about 5am and then she falls right back to sleep.  Naps are hit and miss as she is so into everything she doesn't want to miss a thing!

Cries: Same old, bumps her head, teeth, overtired or over hungry.

Goes: Church, Grandpa's Church, Dim Sum at House of Hong, Uwajimaya, Trackside Pizza
and the park!

Loves: Sophie the Giraffe, Rock-a-Stack, shoulder rides on daddy, blowing raspberries, baths, and the puppies.

some serious after bath hair!

Does: Stands on her own, self feeds with Puffs, pulls up to standing, babbles a lot, and is starting to "say" "more" in sign language.

Mama: This whole month I have really been bombarded with feelings about Infertility and my four losses.  I think its healthy for me to get it out but its weird how the thoughts and memories consume you.  Other than that things have been good.  We are finally at the end of the semester and ready for a new one (I am so ready for my classes to switch up!!)  God has blessed us in many ways and I really am just loving being Ellie's mama!!

Dearest Ellie you are adorable!  You have the cutest little voice and I love your sweet little happy heart personality in the mornings!  My heart swells every time I see or think of you and I am so thankful that the good Lord has put you in my life!

♥ Ashley

That Dog!!

Well it finally happened. I was hoping it wouldn't, but I guess it was inevitable. Cooper got a hold of one of Ellies stuffed animals. Normally this would be fine except he decided to have really sharp teeth this time.  It actually makes me pretty sad because Ellie really liked this particular puppy dog. But in true Cooper fashion he started to chew through one of the legs and puncture multiple holes inside the body of the dog.  I am going to try and repair it, knowing that it will not be 100% the same. I love Cooper but that little dog is such a little shit right now. I guess I just have to be more careful about picking up her toys and not leaving them around even when I'm home. Dammit. Oh well at least it was just little stuffed animal not a big deal but still makes me pretty mad.

See the hole just above the right leg and hip? Grrrrrrrrr. 


Monday, January 27, 2014

[Meal Planning Monday] Meals this Week

I forgot to post our meals from last week.  Monday - Lasagna, Tuesday - Pizza, Wednesday - Prosciutto Chicken, Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie, Friday - Dinner Out, Saturday - Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas, Sunday - Soup.  We did a pretty good job at sticking to the menu (except we didn't have pizza on Tuesday and Sunday we just had leftovers)

This week on the menu should be pretty good.

sorry for the poor picture quality (Ellie bumped my hand as I was snapping it)

Monday - Rogan Josh Curry (a type of Indian Curry) with Chicken, rice and Naan.  Sometimes we make the Naan and other times we purchase it at the grocery store.   We just get the curry simmer sauce at the store and then doctor it up with fresh onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms.

Tuesday - some sort of Pasta dish.  Not sure what it will be exactly but I know it will be good!

Wednesday - Butter Chicken Curry, another Indian Curry that we make at home like on Monday.

Thursday - I am craving wings and Buffalo Wild Wings does $0.60 wings on Thursdays so we are heading there.  Asian Zing I'm on my way!

Friday - I think we will try Home-made Pizza again.  I love making mine gourmet with goat cheese, capers, pine nuts and shrimp! YUM.

Saturday - I'm thinking Taco Salad will be perfect to end the week on. So good and super quick.

Sunday - we are headed to my BIL's for the Super Bowl, so whatever they are serving up will be our meal!!  GO HAWKS!

Whats cooking in your kitchen this week?  Got any must try recipes? please share in the comments section below!

♥ Ashley

The Crafty Practitioner

Friday, January 24, 2014


I am so excited that it is Friday again!! Weekends are just the BEST when you have a little one at home!!  There have been many things happening on the Farm this week!

I am in FULL ON party planning mode for Ellie's First Birthday.  Of course its not until May, but I want to make sure that she has a splendiforous birthday.  We have waited a long time for our little one to join our family, so I have had plenty of time to gather ideas to celebrate her birthday!  While I want her party to be awesome I don't want to break the bank with it.  So I am hoping to get some things that can be re-used from year to year as well as DIY a bunch of stuff.   I will for sure get the tutorials up for the stuff I choose to do myself.  I am not a huge fan of the "themed" birthday parties, so I am focusing on a Color Scheme for her party - that way much of the stuff can hopefully be re-purposed in one way or another.  Click to see my Color Inspiration and the Flowers!

Life has been crazy hectic lately with me having some Super low times.  I think its what comes with the territory of dealing with Infertility.  I have the whole story up HERE, but I think I would like to edit it or create some posts about the feelings and effects (affects? I always get confused) it has had on me.  I have read some great blogs lately that have been able to vocalize my feelings.  The thing about Infertility is that many of us are silently battling it.  We don't like to talk about it much and some people say some of the most insensitive things even though they "mean well".  It is what it is.  I just know that I am a much stronger person now and have really learned to lean on the LORD through all of this.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Bend down, O LORD, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help. Psalms 86:1 (NLT) 

I have fallen in love with blogging all over again.  I have looked back at my posts of the past and have seen how far I have come.  I am not really sure what the direction of this blog is per say, but I enjoy having a place where I can write out my thoughts, share my experiences, and feel the warmth of the blogging community.  I want to thank each and every one of my dear followers (both public and private) and that your comments make my day!  My hopes for this blog are for it to grow, gain new followers, and that I will soon get to partner with sponsors to offer giveaways and such.  If you are interested in being a Sponsor of this blog, email me and I will get you the deets!  Sponsorship is on $5 for 3 months - and you get a blog post about your blog or shop!! How awesome is that?!

I am a little late to the game for posting up my "New Years Resolutions".  I don't really have any this year.  Last year I was hoping to use less paper towels and I was pretty successful with that until Ellie came into our lives!! HAHA.  But this year I am hoping to make more things at home: DIY, Meals, meal planning and whatnot.  This is help us to be more financially responsible.  I love my job, but my hours got cut from last year and it has been a little rough with a lighter paycheck, having to pay a ton of unexpected medical bills due to my 4th miscarriage, childcare, and just the incidentals.  I know that God will provide and that many things must remain on my "wish list" rather than on my "got it list" and I am ok with that.  We are just focusing on the necessities right now.
Another thing that is my goal for 2014 is to become pregnant with a viable pregnancy.  I am done with these miscarriages.  I did the math the other day (stupid) and I have been pregnant for nearly 35 weeks between my 4 miscarriages - but not one of them has passed the 8 week mark, nor have we ever heard a heartbeat or seen an ultrasound.

We have been saving for a new rug in our living room for a couple of years and I finally was able to get one!!  It arrived in the mail yesterday (thanks Ebates!) and it looks FANTASTIC!  I am so happy that we have a new clean rug for Ellie to roll around on and we finally got rid of the indoor/outdoor brown rug we have had in there since 2009!!  I can't wait to go back through all my photos and share with you Ladies a side by side of what our living room looked like when we first bought our house to what it looks like today.  Spoiler Alert: It looks better today!!

♥ Ashley


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Birthday Flowers

If there was one thing my Mom taught me, it was that flowers are what make a party.  Even though Ellie is only going to be One this coming May, I know that I have to make the floral arrangements a priority to my planning process.  To see the color (Coral, Mint and Gold) and decor inspiration for the party click here!

Birthday Flowers

 I love peonies. Lucky for me they are "in season" for Ellie's birthday! YAYA!!  So those are for sure going to be a major flower option as will be ranunculas, sweet peas, and since I missed out on them for our wedding I think I am going to have to throw in a few Proteas. Those will probably take care of the "coral" color and then I can throw in some dusty miller and spray painted poppy pods for the gold and mint colors.  I also really like the idea of having some paper or tissue flowers as well!

I am not sure if I am going to just make the floral arrangements myself or if I am going to have a florist do it for me.  The Puyallup Farmer's Market will be up and running or I can always run up to the Pike Place Market in Seattle as well for the floral selection!

What flowers do you think will be great for Ellie's party?  Do you have a fave flower?

♥ Ashley

linked to FCF by Jennifer Rizzo

Live and Learn

A few years ago we had the opportunity to go on a Caribbean Cruise with my family.  We had an awesome time and it was so nice to be with family and in beautiful sunny weather for Spring Break!!  I posted here about an unfortunate happening and wanted to share again!

Here in the PNW we are pretty far away from the equator (that is NOT new news) so our sunshine isn't as strong as it is in the Caribbean.  Anywhozers, I had brought sunblock with us, that I had purchased in college in 2007, and figured that it would be kosher since I used it all the time in the PNW.  However, it was expired by the time April 2011 rolled around and I was in the Caribbean.

Needless to say.  I got SCORCHED, burnt, lobstered, blistered, you name it.  BAD IDEA.  It took nearly 5 days for the pain in my skin to subside.  Showers were awful, I couldn't shave my legs (or anywhere else for that matter) and it hurt to sit down.

So the lesson I learned is that anytime you are going on a hot vacay, do yourself a favor and buy a NEW tube of sunblock.  Your skin will thank me.

Life As Always

what lessons have you learned while on vacay or at home lately?

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

[recipe] Prosciutto Chicken

Ok do this was on our weekly menu TWO weeks in a row!

My mom used to make it a lot growing up and I hated it! Why? Because I didn't like bacon or ham (she used Black Forest ham). But I remember that others really liked it so I thought I would give it another go and it's awesome!! (We had a little confusion at the store an accidentally grabbed a package of chicken tenders but it turned out just fine!) I have no idea where the recipe came from so let's just pretend it's another one of my mom's great creations!

It's pretty easy and after you've made it a few times you can really class it up!!

-Chicken boobies (pounded out to thin for rolling)
-A garlic clove for each boob
-A slice of provolone cheese for each boob
-A slice of prosciutto for each booby 
-Salt and Pepper to taste. 

What to do:

First pound out the chicken then season with S&P and lay the garlic slices on. 
Then layer on a slice of provolone cheese
Add some prosciutto on top of the cheese. 

Then roll them up and tie off with some kitchen string or bakers twine. 

Brown in a skillet with butter (about a minute each side)
Then place in a greased baking dish in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes and serve. (Don't forget to cut an remove the string!)

This stuff is so good y'all I know you're going to love it!

♥ Ashley


Ellie's First Birthday Inspiration

Ellie's First Birthday Inspiration
 LADIES!! I am getting so excited to start planning Ellie's Birthday.  I have had ideas running around in my head almost since we brought her home!!

I don't think that I am really interested in having a "theme" birthday - I just want it to focus around these colors.  I am currently obsessed with the Coral, Mint and Gold color scheme! 
I am so in love with the idea of Paper Straws and they come in all sorts of colors!! So I am for sure going to go with the Mint and Coral ones! I also love that they come in different patterns too, like chevron, polka dots (my fave) and checkerboard!

I am so inspired by a Tassel Garland, I have already picked up some fabric and yarn and I am thinking about DIYing my own!  But if that doesn't work out I am sure this tissue one would be perfect!

I love the idea of having a banner or bunting.  I picked up some burlap with the gold polka dots on it and I am going to make my own.  I think that keeping Ellie's name off of the banner will allow us to use it for all of our birthdays and keeping it neutral will be perfect for years to come.  Now I just have to decide what color paint to use for the letters....any suggestions?

Paper Lanterns are also a great decor item to have.  They are pretty cheap and SUPER easy.

And how perfect are these mason jars?  I am thinking I will most likely make my own since I have a TON of extra jars (I save them all from jams, pasta sauces and baby food) and it might be fun to wrap a strip of Washi Tape around to give an extra punch of color!  These would be perfect to use as flower vases or containers to hold the straws and flatware!!

I am just getting giddy knowing that her birthday is coming up and I can't wait to pull it all together.

♥ Ashley 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

{monthdate} 8 months

HOLY COW!!! I can't believe that another month has gone by and we are already at EIGHT MONTHS!!! How the hell did that happen? I swear we just brought her home from the hospital!

The cool thing about today is that not only are you 8 months but you are also 35 weeks today! How fun is that?!

You got to celebrate your first Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! We also had an extra Christmas Day with Mama's immediate family and you got to practice and show off your preset opening skills!

New Year's Eve and Day were also celebrated and we had our traditional enchilada meal for New Year's Day. Mama made beef enchiladas this year!

We also got to spend 16 days at home with you over the holidays and we had so much fun being with you!!

I said this last month and I really mean it this time, you are super close to crawling (for reals this time) and you can stand on your own for 20 seconds!!!! Super good job Ellie!!

You are also starting to learn some sign language, "more" and you are making noises that sound like words, "dada" and I swear I heard "mommy"!

Height: 25 3/4"
Weight: 19 pounds
Head: larger than 16"
Food: eating about 6 ounces at each feeding for about 28-30 ounces a day. Solid foods!! Rice cereal, peas, broccoli, beans, yams, butternut squash, applesauce, and multigrain cereal. You are also eating puffs and can "feed yourself"!
Diapers: size three
Clothes: 3-6 month sizes are fitting super well and we have a TON in this size!! But she can also fit into 6-12 month as well. 
Sleeping: pretty well through the night 7-10 hours. And then still has a few naps during the day. Swaddled and in her own room. 
Cries: when hungry and sometimes when she is tired or unsettled or when her teeth are hurting.

Loves: baths, eating, diaper changes, her crib mobile, holding her blankets, clapping, spinning her foot, kitchen utensils, rolling over, sitting, standing with assistance, laughing and shoulder rides!

Hates: still not a big fan of getting her boogers out and being hungry.  She also doesn't like the taste of hand sanitizer on our fingers.

Mama's proudest moment: Watching this baby girl grow and seeing her little personality show up. Also when she recognizes me an gives a smile!!

Daddy's proudest moment: When she recognizes me and gets a BIG smile on her face. 

Oops of the month: not being quick enough to catch her while she was standing and playing with her activity cube and fell, she bumped her face on the corner. Got a little swelling and redness but perked up after a good shoulder ride. 

Things we are looking forward to:  more success in crawling, talking and standing as well as Valentines Day!!

Our dearest sweet Ellie Faith how we love you so! Your sweet smile, silly laugh, and adorable facial expressions melt our hearts. You have brought so much happiness into our lives and are just the best baby!

Mama and Daddy

♥ Ashley

{weekly update} week 35

Oh My!!!!  How can it be that my sweet little darling is already 35 weeks!!  We had a fantastic week and enjoy this time/age so so much!

Eats: Girlfriend is digging the solid foods now.  I had to buy some applesauce (she had a horrible bout of diarrhea this past week and needed some additional fiber) this week and she LOVES it!  Haven't really introduced much new food this week, due to the loose poops.  She also is loving her Gerber Organic Apple Puffs!

Sleeps:  She has been pretty good at night but her naps have been all sorts of weird.  We are still swaddling her at night and she is sleeping in her crib.  If she wakes up in the middle of the night we just bring her into bed with us and she sleeps until we get up.  Generally she goes down around 8pm and wakes anywhere between 5:30-7am.  Not too bad.

Cries:  Little E really only cried this week when she "sharted" and it irritated her diaper rash.  It was pretty bad, her skin broke - so we got an RX diaper rash cream and it cleared right up!

Does: Baby Girl can stand on her own, eat puffs by herself, crawled two "steps"!, and can pull up.  I also meant to mention last week that she has discovered her hands, not with her mouth (that happened a few months ago) but with her eyes.  She LOVES them! haha, she will just sit there staring at her hand watching her fingers move, it is adorable!  She also got to go out to the farm this week and pet the goats and our mini horse! We are also starting to teach Ellie sign language, we are working on "more". 

Loves: Ellie Faith is loving her toys and is so much more interactive with them.  She adores shoulder ides, her puppies, and snuggles.

Goes: Not really anywhere new this week, just grocery shopping, church and Costco.

Mama: I was a little down this week, probably due to my hormones and whatnot.  But I had the chance to really reflect and came to the conclusion to Choose Joy instead of focusing on the negative and having a more positive outlook really does make a difference in your everyday life.  I have my spark again and feel more like myself then I have in about 2 weeks.  With that said I can put more focus on enjoying my life with Ellie.

My dearest and sweetest Ellie your smile and laugh make my heart swell.  You have the sweetest personality and I love seeing you interact and learn new things.  You are so smart and are a true source of happiness in my life!

♥ Ashley