A laid back day in Colville

Today has been a very laid back day, which was incredibly nice. During the week when I watch little ones I'm constantly doing things and on the move. We didn't wake up too early this morning. Mom mowed her lawn while I vacuumed out my car. Amelia played in the sprinkler and ran around the yard trying to carch butterflies and using an umbrella to shield herself from the droplets of sprinkler water. Here are a few pictures from my mom's house today.

Anyone who follows my blog knows that Amelia's cat is named Rudy. Well when Amelia got her cat for her third birthday she decided to name him after the cat he most looked like... my sister Grace's cat Rudy. Since Grace isn't allowed to have Rudy at her current house, he lives with my mom. Here is Amelia snuggling up to the original... or as she calls him "Big Rudy".

The thing I love about Colville, aside from the small town charm, is the weather! Colville has FOUR seasons! which is something we don't see in Oregon City. In Oregon we get rain.... or sun. Today it was a beautiful 83 degrees but there was a wonderful breeze along with it. It is very dry up here and therefore a lot less humidity... meaning I don't sweat like crazy the second I step outside. Above is a picture of my Mama's house.

Amelia loves to play in the sprinkler, but mostly she just loves to run around the sprinkler barely getting wet. Silly girl.

I just love my mom's house. It was built in 1904 and is a huge and beautiful historic home. The porch is probably my favorite part though. It is so nice to sit out there and relax.

So that sums up our day. Tomorrow we are going to mass and then heading out to Couer D'alene and Cabelas. I'm excited!
Ashley Elizabeth

High Five For Friday from Washington

Happy hot and humid Friday! Yesterday my mom, Amelia and I drove the 8 hours up to my mom's house in NE Washington. My air conditioning in my car went out and it was a sweltering drive up, but now that we are here we are having a great time.

Linking up with Lauren at The Lauren Elizabeth today for H54F.

1. Sunday we rode the Oregon Coast Scenic Train. You can read my post on our adventures at the beach here.

2. Amelia and I have been having a lot of game nights lately. What a great way to end our days!
3. Most of our butterflies have, as Amelia says "come out of their coons". We plan to release them once we are home Monday. This was such a fun little process to watch and I will definitely do this again next year. If you have never seen the kits to "grow your own butterfly garden" then you can find the information here. The butterflies we have are Painted Lady Butterflies.
4. Yesterday my mom, Amelia and I drove from Oregon City to Colville, Washington. It was a super hot journey but we made pretty good time for the amount of stops we made. I love it up in Colville.
5. Getting ready to head out into the heat and get the AC fixed in my car... and to wander Colville.

Enjoy the weekend and stay cool and safe
Ashley Elizabeth

Oregon Coast Scenic Train Ride

What an incredible summer we are having so far. I know I've talked on the blog about how hard of a decision it was to leave my job with the department of forestry, but having time in the summer to enjoy the outdoors and see new things is definitely a wonderful thing. My sister Grace works as a wildland firefighter and hearing her talk about the crew being on and fires makes me sad to be missing out, but I'm positive I made the right decision at the right time in my life. This summer is going to be a whirlwind of camp outs, weddings, road trips, lazing about and making new memories on great adventures.

This past weekend we headed to the coast, just Mark, Amelia, my mom and I. Living Social had a coastal train excursion deal and I had purchased four tickets. Amelia loves trains but had never ridden on a real one so it was a fun trip. Saturday afternoon we headed over and got checked into our hotel. My mom and I did some shopping at the outlet mall while Mark and Amelia played on the beach. The casino in Lincoln City had a huge fireworks display so we decided to watch that. It really was the perfect weekend to be at the coast with so much going on.
Sunday morning we woke up and got ready to head up to Garibaldi, Oregon where we were going to catch the train. You can find out more about the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad here.

Amelia was so excited to board the train, but I could tell she was a little unsure of what the experience would be like. Her and my mom sat across from Mark and I, facing us.
Excited but unsure at the same time

Sitting with Grandma Tami

We had some great views of the bay along the way. The train runs from Garibaldi to Rockaway and then back.
A picture I snapped as we were riding the train

A picture I took of the train. 

My Instagram train pic

I love the amazing relationship my Mama has with my daughter

After our two hour train ride we headed toward home. Amelia had a wonderful time, as did the rest of us. It was a great first train ride for our little bug! 

Ashley Elizabeth

High Five For Friday!

Happy Friday! Linking up with Lauren over at The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five For Friday.

This week was a crazy one. It was hard to limit this post to five highlights... and even at that I threw in a few additional pictures just because I had to. 

1. Amelia had two ballet performances last weekend. It was such a great production and all of the ballerinas did a wonderful job! 

2. For Father's Day Amelia gave Mark this canvas. It turned out wonderful!

3. The Oregon City Trolley started running this Thursday, which was also Mark's birthday. My mom, Mark, Amelia and I went for a ride on it. If you live in the area and haven't gone for a ride yet, I recommend checking it out. There is a lot of history given on the little journey around historic OC.

4. Today Amelia and I went and got pedicures. It was so nice to get a little pampering with my lovely. Her toes are absolutely adorable.

5. Amelia held a frog for the very first time tonight at Erica's house. She put her nose down to it and it jumped, which scared her to death. Too cute!

An extra picture for H54F... I love the flowers we have in our yard.

My little sister turned 21 last week and we celebrated with a fun bash. Here are a few pictures from the night. She is such a cutie!

Ashley Elizabeth

Friend Making Monday - Just Wondering

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section  at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
Just Wondering
1.  Do you wear glasses and/or contacts?  Yes. I wear glasses. Prior to having my daughter I was a contacts only kind of girl, but once she was born something changed and I've had a problem wearing contacts since. 
2.  Do you have summer vacation plans?  If so, where are you going? We don't have a major trip planned, but we do plan on doing some camping and day/weekend trips. I think we are both hoping to take a trip to Florida this fall so we are saving up for that. 
3.  What is your favorite food to eat for breakfast?  I'm not a huge breakfast person so the first thing I do is drink a full glass of cold water. My favorite thing to fill up on is a green smoothie. Keeps me full for hours. 
4. Do you enjoy window shopping?  I love shopping in general! 
5. What is your favorite candle scent? Yankee's Autumn pumpkin... HUGE FAN! 
6.  If you had to choose between going to a zoo or an aquarium, which one would you pick?  I love both but would definitely choose the zoo.   
7.  How many times do you plan to exercise this week?  I try to get in a walk or some form of exercise four or so times per week. 
8.  Do you speak another language fluently?  No. I know some Spanish, I took four years of it, but I am nowhere near fluent. 
9.  What are you currently reading?  Lately it's been "sleepy squirrel" "I Love You, Mommy" and a few others that my daughter is attached to.
10.  What are you looking forward to most in the coming week?  My husband's birthday is Thursday. Saturday we are going on a coastal train ride. My cousin is having a party at her house this weekend that I would love to go to. There is always something on the agenda!
Ashley Elizabeth

A day at the beach

Yesterday my sister's fiance Chris text me and asked if we wanted to head to the beach with them for the day. Amelia had a two hour ballet rehearsal, but they said we could leave after that, so we decided to go. It was a fun trip. We hadn't been to the beach since the week we got married, so we hadn't actually played in the sand much with Amelia. It was a really fun day! FYI... this post is picture heavy!

Playing in the sand

 Playing in the sand

 This is my sister's puppy... and I love his sandy nose

 Her artistic creation

 Jumping! She had a great time

 My loves digging a hole down to the water

 Love her

 Grace and Chris


 Even though it was cloudy, it wasn't too cold

 The sun setting

Haha, Mark, Amelia and Chris dug this hole and then buried Maverick. He wasn't too happy, but he stayed there until they said "come on Maverick". The sand was packed very loose so he really could have jumped out at any time. He looked so sad.

We went to Mo's for dinner and then followed it up with a trip to Coldstone. What a fun spontaneous trip to the coast!

Ashley Elizabeth

The Uptown Billiards Experience

Last week my sisters and I went out to dinner to a place called Uptown Billiards. Erica had been there before and said that they do five course meals with a theme, the theme changing every two weeks. This time it was strawberries, and the menu sounded delicious. I was excited to get some good sister time in. 

You can choose to just do the meal, or to add the wine and cocktail pairings. Since five full glasses of wine seemed like a lot, Erica and I split the pairings. 

First Course: A strawberry, cucumber, basil and radish salad aside an oyster on the half shell topped with a strawberry, cucumber and basil granita, all drizzled with olive oil and 25 year balsamic

I was a little unsure about the oyster. I have never tried an oyster, and in fact I had avoided them like the plague. Going in to this dinner we all agreed that we would at least try every single item. I was surprised that it was actually good. I'm not sure how I would feel if it were prepared any other way, but the strawberry granita on top was delish! The salad was wonderful!

Second Course: seared foie and brioche with wilted spinach, salted oven baked brandied strawberries and a strawberry creme brulee

First of all, we should have never looked up with foie was before we tried it. Foie is the fatty liver of a duck. That being said, we tried it and let's just say... Erica and I neither one ate more than the one bite we tried. This course was my least favorite, but only because of the foie and wilted spinach. The creme brulee was wonderful! 

Third Course: barley and strawberry pancake crusted salmon with a watercress salad with a brown butter champagne broth with morels, ramps and strawberries

This course was amazing! It sounds a bit odd, but it truly was delicious. The salmon had amazing flavor and the pancake soaked up with sauce, which had incredible flavor. 

Fourth Course: grilled lamb loin topped with a rogue blue cheese and strawberry butter atop a ragout of crispy fingerling potatoes, asparagus, wild onions and roasted morels and a demi glace

This course was really delicious as well. It was Grace's first time trying lamb and it was very flavorful. The whole thing was wonderful.

Fifth Course: strawberry blueberry roulade, whipped strawberry cream and strawberry lemongrass sorbet

This dessert was AMAZING! The entire thing was awesome, not a single complaint. The roulade wasn't too sweet, so the strawberry whipped cream and the sorbet was a great addition. Grace's comment was "I'm not even done yet and I want more". That's how good it was. 

So I am now a fan of Uptown Billiards. I'm looking forward to a menu that both Mark and I want to try so that we can make a date night of it. Excellent food, great atmosphere and an all around awesome time. 

Ashley Elizabeth

Memorial Weekend Recap

Well my little family and I have been going non-stop. I've been away from the computer for a while but now I'm back and ready to fill you in on our latest adventures.

We hadn't really planned in advance anything exciting for Memorial Day weekend. Saturday we spent the day outside enjoying a few spots in Portland and Milwaukie. 

Our first stop was Elk Rock Garden. If you live in the area and are looking for a beautiful place to walk around, this garden is spectacular. It is nestled away with an amazing view of the Willamette River, several walking paths, beautiful plants and a large grassy area.

For more information on Elk Rock Garden, click HERE.

Late Saturday night we decided that we wanted to go stay somewhere Sunday night. We agreed on the Hood River area and I booked a room at Cooper Spur Resort. We headed out Sunday morning and spent a good portion of the day on the sandy beach of the Columbia River. We flew our kite, threw rocks in the water, walked around, watched the kite surfers and played in the water. It was a beautiful afternoon. 
The Columbia Gorge
 Amelia and I relaxing
 A beautiful day on the river
Flying a kite

After spending the day outside we headed to where we would be staying. Cooper Spur Resort is beautiful. It was quiet and tucked away in the hills with beautiful wood cabins and an adorable lodge. 
Amelia and Mark in our room. I LOVE the wood detailing in the rooms. 

After we checked into our room we headed out for a drive to watch the sunset over Mt. Hood. The area we had hoped to go to was closed, so we ended up on some forest service road. It was a beautiful view! 
Photo of Mt. Hood at sunset (taken with my iPhone)
 Hanging out in the woods
Mt. Hood

It was really nice to get away, even if it was just for one night. I'm definitely looking forward to spending more time with my little family this summer.   

Ashley Elizabeth