It's Foodie Pen Pal Time!!!

The Lean Green Bean

It's Foodie Pen Pal time again!!! This month was great! I got a wonderful package of treats all the way from Missouri from the lovely Bobbie. She did a wonderful job of picking out some local Missouri foods for us.

  • banana chips
  • coffee
  • seasoned salt
  • two flavors of meat stick
  • cucumber dill dip mix

 The adorable card that I received

Amelia was excited that we got mail. 

Mark and I opened the meat sticks immediately. They were so incredibly tasty. This week I've been snacking on the banana chips and they are very yummy as well. I haven't tried the other stuff yet but I'm looking forward to it. You can check out my July pen pal's blog here. She has some great stuff on there!!! 

If you are interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal please visit the link

Ashley Elizabeth

A Glorious Garden

Tonight we enjoyed our first delicious food from our garden; salad greens and red kale. It was delicious!!! We planted most of our garden from seeds and it has really taken off. The weather here in Oregon has been a bit odd this summer with a mix of cooler weather, showers and then some super hot days. Apparently my garden LOVES this weather.
Please ignore the weeds off to the left... I am a full time working mommy that would rather play than pull weeds all weekend :) 

 Our garden. The area we have for a garden is super small but we've made the best of the space. 

My yummy salad

So this weekend was incredibly LAZY! I lounged about and didn't do much of anything, which was wonderful. Our weekends are all too often jam packed with running around so I love weekends like this. Mark had to work so Amelia and I played around the house. I had a hair appointment on Saturday morning and decided to go for a big change. Now my hair has been every color from platinum blonde to black but lately I've just been getting highlights with my natural hair color. I had planned to get the same thing but the night before I decided red was the color. 
My new color!

I'm having a hard time getting motivated lately. I feel so tired all the time and it is all I can do to get to and from work without falling asleep at the wheel. I think this little family of mine needs to get to bed a heck of a lot earlier. 

Mark and I are celebrating our one year anniversary next weekend. We are going away for the weekend while my parents take Amelia camping. It will be nice for us to have a weekend away. We haven't spent more than a night at a time away from Amelia so it's going to be strange. Hopefully we can relax and enjoy, whatever we decide to do. 

Ashley Elizabeth


I think I should start playing the lottery! I mean, you can't win if you don't play right??? I'm going to play the lottery, win and retire from my job to travel and hang out with my family. Mondays are always hard for me. I hate getting up early, saying goodbye to Amelia, leaving all of the projects I want to do at home to go and make just a little more money than it costs in daycare and gas for me to work. Don't get me wrong... I like my job, it keeps me busy and my co-workers rock... but Mondays always make me wish I was a rich stay at home mom who could just do whatever I wanted had longer weekends. There are never enough hours in a day and never enough days in a weekend. I've tried thinking of some easy get rich schemes but I'm not sure my husband would be down with working 5 jobs; acupuncturist, phlebotomist, pole dancer, musician, cowbell style, and professional Chinese gardener. Yes that's right, my get rich scheme includes him working his ass bum off. I mean, a girl's crafting can get quite spendy... and my head is full of ideas. Since the movie is actually called Magic Mike, and not Magic Mark, I think I should get a sweet hobby that makes me money... so I can have even more sweet hobbies. Speaking of Magic Mike, great movie! I mean, you could probably talk me in to going to see it a second time on the big screen! 

So, back to how short this weekend was... Yesterday we stayed home cleaning house, hanging pictures and crafting. JoAnn's had little bird houses for $1.00 so I picked up four for Amelia. She is quite the artistic little Miss and I knew this project would keep her entertained while I cleaned house. I was right... four houses, four hours. 

Oh... so the sweetest thing in the world happened last night. Amelia received her first flowers from a boy. Our neighbor Kim and I went to high school together and she has a little guy named Kellen. He is such a doll and probably the cutest little boy I have ever seen. Anyway, our huge kitchen window overlooks their backyard and while they were outside playing last night they hollered up to see if we wanted to join them. Amelia was covered in paint and in the crafting zone so we had to decline, but pretty soon a knock came at the back door and Mr. Kellen had some beautiful red roses. Amelia loves flowers and thanked him kindly with a hand painted birdhouse. It was adorable. I want our weekends to slow down a bit so the two of them can hang out and play. Kim is a photographer so if anyone is interested in her work (you can also see the adorable Kellen on her site) here is her website. I can't say enough about her talent! My family and I are having pictures taken by her in October and I can't wait. 

The flowers and our little artist hard at work. 

So this Monday's weigh in was just terrible! I did not lose an ounce! But thankfully I didn't gain more than a few ounces. I really need to be disciplined. I'm such a stress eater and it is just killing me lately. Grocery shopping is on the agenda for either Mark or myself tomorrow, and healthy food is on the list. I'm going to bag up the sweets we have lingering around our home and take them to the office. I'm sure my fellow co-workers will enjoy the treats. I just have to get them out of here! I'm going to try and post my meals at the end of the day with caloric breakdown. I need to get back in the habit of tracking every single thing on SparkPeople. I do really well when I am on top of it and don't stray away. Here's hoping next Monday's weight in puts a smile on my face. 

On another note... the 5K that I wanted to sign up for is August 5th and Mark and I have decided to go out of town for our anniversary. My parents are going to take Amelia camping for a couple of nights and we are headed... somewhere. Yeah, we haven't decided on a destination yet but I'm sure we will find something fun to do.

The finished houses and roses

This is the painting Amelia and I made for Chris's birthday since he is a firefighter. 

Alrighty folks, That's about all I can type for now. I need to get my butt off the computer and play with my Amelia. Have a great night all. 

Ashley Elizabeth

Wonderful Weekends

Good Afternoon All,

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend as much as I am! Yesterday was a wonderful day; I watched one of my dear friends get married. It was a beautiful wedding and they are such an amazing couple. 
This are our friends Tara & Joel. I am so very happy for them! 

Tara and I have been friends for years and years. I grew up around the block from her family and her brother and I are the same age; she is two years younger than us. High school is where Tara and I really became great friends. We were both in Leadership class and both played on the tennis team. After high school Tara and I remained in touch and spent quite a bit of time together. I'm so glad she has found the perfect person to spend the rest of her life with. Joel couldn't be more perfect for that girl!

Amelia, myself and Tara's mom Pam! I love Pam!!! She is so sweet. 

The Ceremony! Mr. Clarke performed their ceremony... he also performed ours. Clarke is loved throughout the entire community. 

Sand Ceremony

Sand Ceremony with their daughter Jade


After the wedding we had another celebration to attend. My sister's boyfriend Chris turned 25 and his family had a birthday party for him. We got there toward the end of the party, but were able to spend a few hours there. It was a fun time. 

 The birthday boy on the right and Jesse on the left

 This is Michael, Chris's brother

 Chris's cousin 

 They are quite the pair

 Silly girls

My little sister Grace and her birthday boy Chris

Today I am just working around the house. I have some craft projects that I really want to start but laundry and weeding the garden take priority. I wish I had three day weekends. I feel I could accomplish so much more with an extra day! I want to revamp our rooms and FINALLY hang up pictures. We've been in this house since December, I think it is time to hang some stuff up. I'm getting a canvas made of one of the pictures that Kati took of Amelia, I just can't decide which one. Well, I better get going before I waste the day away. Hopefully I can craft it up a bit and post pictures for y'all. Have a great Sunday! 

Ashley Elizabeth

Cherries Galore

First thing this morning Mark, Amelia and I headed up to Hood River to get some cherries! The stores around here sell cherries for more than $2.00/pound and even some of the produce stands sell them for $3.50/lb over in Hood River... crazy prices! Years ago my parents found this little orchard that sells them for under $1.00/lb so that is where we went. I wanted a lot! 40 pounds will do just fine for cherry jam and some breads, among other things. Amelia and I have been pigging out on them... delicious! 

We were going to head straight home from the orchard but then we saw a sign for the beach, and it was incredibly beautiful out. We got Amelia a kite from the toy shop in town and headed out to enjoy the nice weather. It was a lot of fun. We played in the water, flew the kite and let Amelia get super sandy. Good times.

She had so very much fun!

Yay for family hangout time

Amelia flying a kite for the first time

Our Girl

It was an incredibly beautiful day up in the gorge

Well, I have pitted quite a few cherries so now it is time to hit the gym. I think there is an elliptical there with my name on it. I hate how it is always so hard to drag my butt to the gym, but I never regret going once I'm there. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. 
Ashley Elizabeth

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

I have been so incredibly anxious to sit down and write this post. Sunday morning Amelia and I headed out bright and early on an adventure to meet up with Kati, an incredible new photographer that I have known for quite some time. I was excited about having Amelia's pictures taken, it had been quite some time and she has changed so much since the last time they were done. Kati is so very talented and we ended up with some amazing pictures! Below is a picture extravaganza of our beautiful girl!!!!!!

Please check out Kati's website! She is a stay at home mom who has taught herself how to capture some beautiful memories for people. Click her on her business name Creative Juices to see her page.

 She gave Kati this pout because she wanted water instead of tea... silly girl

She was spinning around and around

I've been thinking a lot lately about how lucky I am to have Amelia... not only Amelia, but a little girl! When we found out we were pregnant with Amelia everyone told us it would be a boy. I was excited for either, but deep down really hoped for a girl. We've spent quite a bit of time around some little boys lately and, while I know I would love having a little boy just as much, God knew I needed Amelia... and he gave her to me at just the right time. There is something so magical about the bond between a Mother and her Daughter. These pictures capture her so perfectly and I am so excited to see the young lady she becomes....... but not right away. I think I will keep her my little baby for as long as I possibly can! 

Ashley Elizabeth


I realized this evening that I have been MIA around this place. Work has been so busy lately that when I get home all I want to do is lounge and sleep. Our weekends have been jam packed, but that seems to be the norm for us lately. First off I will update you on how I am doing on the Lose a Marathon challenge... So far in the 2 weeks that I have been participating I have lost 3 pounds. Not quite as much as I had hoped, but at the same time I was not surprised. I have not exercised this entire week. I hate what stress and exhaustion does to me! I am a crazy stress eater and even though I have been trying to be good lately, I slip up every now and then. Now moving on to the latest and greatest that is going on in my life.

Last weekend was awesome! I spent Saturday snuggling and playing with Amelia, catching up on Netflix shows and watching movies I hadn't seen in a while... such as Dirty Dancing. It drizzled rained off and on all day and I wasn't going to complain about having to hang out at home for a change. Sunday was a wonderful day. Around 11 o'clock I called up Grace's boyfriend Chris to see if they wanted to journey with us up the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway, and of course they were up to it. We headed out around 12:30 and had a blast. For those of you in the area who have not driven up there, I recommend it! Here are a few shots from our day.

 The View Point Inn

 My Family and I

 All Smiles

 The Shepherd's Dell waterfall

 coloring in the back of the truck

 My favorite picture of them... yeah, I took it :) 

 Attempt 1 - squinty eyes

 Attempt 2 - Ummm what??

 Mt. Hood

Our Fourth of July was very relaxing this year. Usually we go to Molalla for the parade and then hit up the Buckeroo but this year was different. We did make it to the parade and Amelia loved it, but I just wasn't feeling up to going to the rodeo... which is surprising because I never miss it. Instead we headed into Portland and had a BBQ at my Grandma's house. I snacked way too much and paid for it later but the food was good and spending time with family was the best part.

Our little Firecracker!

Amelia spent the night over at my Grandma's last night and I missed her so much... so I'm signing off to go snuggle her cutie-ness! 

Ashley Elizabeth