Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Five

I can't believe that it is already Friday!! This week has flown by!

O N E 

Girlfriend's birthday party is TOMORROW! I am so excited and can't believe that we are finally here!  We have done a considerable amount of party prep this past week and I am so looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. (have no fear DIYs are on the way!)

I want to thank many of the bloggers who have gone before me for their great inspirations for how to throw a party!


Today is the LAST day to enter to win an adorable pair of Freshly Picked Moccs.  I have so many great things to say about these shoes but they can pretty much speak for themselves!!


Speaking of gifts for Ellie's birthday. Tessa from Sweet T Baby Boutique is still giving Life on the Parsons Farm readers 15% off their orders through the end of June.  All you have to do is use the code ELLIEISONE at checkout!  Thank you Tessa! She really is one of the sweetest shop owners I have come across and I just adore her! Go give her some love!

F O U R 

Ellie Faith is officially a Toddler! I am so excited for what this new stage will bring.  But with that in mind, and being a first time parent I thought it would be great to get some insights on what Life with a Toddler is like.  You know things to look forward to, things to not look forward to, and other bits of advice for navigating this fun but I'm sure also challenging time of life for our littles.  So I have decided to host a "Toddler Tuesday" series here on the blog.  Where I have some great bloggers scheduled to guest post their advice and experiences with our little gems to help me and other mom's.  So stay tuned - it kicks off next week so be sure to come back!! 
(if you are interested in guest blogging on this series please feel free to email me or comment below and I will get you on the calendar!)

Life on the Parsons Farm


Last Saturday we had a slight change of plans so I grabbed my big girl camera and took some photos of Ellie.  I had so much fun doing it and was able to get the photos/poses that I had envisioned.  I have learned that I am a little OCD when it comes to my high expectations of photos so sometimes its just easier to take them myself.  I also learned that I have been spending WAY TOO MUCH money on getting my photos developed at Walgreens and have now learned that they are much cheaper at Costco.  In addition to that Costco also has the luster finish as an option for all of their photos (no extra charge) and are available for their 1-hour photo.  That is like a TRIPLE win in my book!  Speaking of good deals on photos, Walmart charges $0.25 per IG photo if you do a 1-hour photo, if you want to wait for them to ship it to you, you only get charged $0.19 each!!  Way better deal than the $12 for 24 photos from Printstagram if you ask me!  You are welcome!

You have been Five'd

♥ Ashley

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Live and Learn - Photo Printing

Okay ladies.  I love photos. I love taking them.  I love having them on my computer/phone.  I love having the prints too.  But getting prints has become pretty expensive - especially when you want to have prints in sizes larger than 4x6.  

I used to get all my photos done at Walgreens.  I guess it was a habit because that is where we got them developed when I was growing up, back in the day when we still had to use 35mm film and disposable cameras.  But I just hated paying nearly $4 for an 8x10 and you know I want more than one of those.

A while ago I heard something about getting prints done at Costco.  So after I shot Ellie's One Year Photos, I decided I would look into my printing options. Hallelujah!!! I am so glad I did!  Costco has way better prices for just about everything over what Walgreens has to offer! 

Here is the breakdown:
Walgreens                                   Costco
4x6     $0.29 each                        4x6    $0.13 each
5x7     $2.49 each                        5x7    $0.39 each
8x10   $3.99 each                        8x10  $1.49 each

I can't believe how much money I could have been saving over the years! Well you can bet that I will be getting my photos printed from Costco from here on out.  (not to mention they offer a luster finish on all their photos without an extra charge)

 Well I hope I taught you something today!

♥ Ashley

PS. You only have one day left to enter to win a pair of Freshly Picked Moccs!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monday Meals Mashup #10

I took a three day weekend to spend time with the family. So that is why I am posting this on Tuesday. You can read about our weekend in my previous post.

Monday Meals Mashup

I cannot tell you how much I enjoy doing our weekly meal planning.  It's by far one of the best New Years resolution I've ever done. I am super impressed with how we have stuck to it and how my anxiety levels increase on weeks when we don't do a good job planning. 

Here's what's cooking this week:

Monday: Pizza Bread. Probably one of the easiest recipes. Just get a loaf of French Bread and slice it in half lengthwise. Spread a little butter on it and stick it in the broiler to toast it a bit. Then take it out of the oven and spread some pizza sauce, sprinkle on some chores and add your favorite toppings. Put it back in a 425 oven for about 8 minutes and serve! Yum!

Tuesday: we said BBQ chicken but made a last minute trip out to see Nanny at work so we got some Kalbi Marinated flank steak at QFC to BBQ and made some brown rice to go with it. 

Wednesday: pasta. Just your basic dried pasta and jarred sauce. I like to mix both Alfredo and Red sauce to give some creaminess to all that tomatoe. 

Thursday: Thomas is back a work and will have a late night so we are DIYing our dinner. I'll probably have a salad or some pizza. 

Friday: we will most likely have BBQ chicken since we switched it up on Tuesday. 

Saturday: it's Ellie's birthday party so we are probably going to fill up in the snacks and cake and ice cream. 

Sunday: hopefully we will have some left over salmon from the party so we can have that for dinner. 

What's on your menu? I would love to know!

♥ Ashley

Memorial Weekend

First off I want to thank all the service men and women that sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Because that is what this holiday is really all about. 

We had a great weekend and lucky Thomas is still on his! The school district he works for scheduled snow days for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and since our snowfall was near nothing he gets the days off!!

Friday we ate out at Red Robin (we had a free burger on our royalty card) and girlfriend loves herself some burger and fries. We went to chek out kohls to get Thomas a polo for our upcoming pictures and of course picked up some cute things for Ellie. I also found the perfect pair of pants for her to wear for the photo shoot as well! 

Then on Saturday we had planned to get family pictures taken but our photog had to cancel due to sickness. I took advantage of the nice day and the time we had carved out for it to use my big girl camera and do a mini session with Ellie! I had so much fun getting out there and shooting again, I think I need to take some classes so I can really learn how to use that puppy!  We also went out shopping and picked up a birthday present for E and got a toy basket! I love te one we got and it was an extra bonus that it was made in America with recycled materials! You can really find some gems at HomeGoods! We also stopped at HobLob for some things for Ellie's party on Saturday.

Checking out the little chairs at hoblob!

Sunday we had a relaxing day. We had hash browns and recruiting eggs.  Ellie got some too and she loved them! We did some yard work and weeding. I can now say that my front flower beds are weeded and the plants we got a month ago can finally get some roots growing! There will still be some minor maintenance with weeding but the big work is done! Now to invest in some mulch and get that spread!  We also got the last square of our veg patch weeded. We just need to bring a few wheelbarrows full of our compost over and then plant some pumpkins and more beans and cucumbers.  {We have already planted: tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, radish, kale, spinach, broccoli, and cabbage. I am hoping that with Ellie being older this year we can be better about tending to it this year.} We headed over to the in laws for dinner and so I could edit and order prints from Ellie's photo shoot. (I'll share those soon!) Ellie had so much fun she fell asleep on the couch!

Monday we were up early while Ellie slept in. We had coffee and some morning time. Then E woke up and she shared some of my doughnut with me. Thomas parents came over and we headed to the outlet mall to take advantage of the sales. Ellie got some super cute things at Carter's. (Would you believe that was the only place that had anything good for her? It's funny because I am sick of their infant stuff but their toddler clothes are something fresh!) We also stopped at Cabelas so girlfriend could check out the fish and "wildlife" she wasn't too happy when I shared with her that they couldn't hurt her because they are dead..,too early to be frank with her? Oh well. 

We also talked about some job opportunities for me and began dreaming about some plans if I get a job where I can make more than $5 a month! Joking but I do volunteer a lot of my time at my school. I love those kids and I am going to miss them so much but feel that God is pointing me in a new direction and I need to embrace it. 

Remember you a still have a few days to enter to win a pair of Freshly Picked Moccs to celebrate Ellie's first birthday!!

♥ Ashley

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Five - birthday recap

My baby girl turned 1 on Wednesday.  We had the most fantastic day celebrating our dear little one and enjoying our time with her.  She really is a complete joy in our lives and we are so thankful that we get to be her parents!  The saying is so true "the days are long but the years are short".  It really feels like just last week we were bringing her home from Spokane.

(I randomly selected a winner for the $20 Sweet T giveaway...are you the winner? click here to find out!)

[[ o n e ]]

We woke up in the morning and enjoyed some cuddle time with a bottle.  Then I made pancakes for breakfast and this time girlfriend got to have chocolate chips in them (it was her birthday after all!)  While we were eating our pancake breakfast Nanny called and we got to have some facetime!

[[ t w o ]]

After breakfast girlfriend took a nap and then we got ready for our day.  We had a mini photo shoot before we left to commemorate this fun day in front of our chalkboard pantry doors!

[[ t h r e e ]]

Then we went to the ZOO.  Ellie loved all the animals and had a lot of fun at the Aquarium.  When we got to the Elephant exhibit, they were all hiding in the back and Thomas made his elephant noise and one of them came over!  Girlfriend had so much fun, I can't wait to go again when she is a little older and can walk/play 

[[ f o u r ]]

After the zoo we headed out to dinner to the Spaghetti Factory and were joined by Nanny and Papa.  Ellie got to eat some spaghetti, bread, meatballs and then she got to "blow" out a candle in ice cream while the staff sang happy birthday.  It is official, Ellie is not a big fan of sweets - maybe as she gets older she will like them more but at the moment she prefers vegetables (the health teacher in me is just fine with that!).

[[ f i v e ]]

Then we finished up the night back on our farm with presents and a red velvet cupcake!

All in all I have to say that we enjoyed her first birthday.  We are looking forward to her first birthday party in a couple of weeks and I am in a crafting frenzy to get it all done!

Remember that Freshly Picked is helping you celebrate Ellie's birthday by giving away a pair of their adorable moccs!!  Click HERE to enter.

♥ Ashley

now go get your link on for the FoF!!