From Ashley to Awesome - Exciting New Blog Adventures

I wanted to share with you all some exciting new things coming to 'From Ashley to Awesome'. I started my blog as a way to share our latest happenings with family and close friends. I have always loved to write, so much so that when I was younger my parents would take away my paper and pens as a punishment for being a naughty little rascal. Seriously... it was worse than anything! I never expected that my blog would become something that was read by people all over the world. Heck, I wasn't really sure that anyone other than my mom and sisters would follow along. I really appreciate all of the love and support my readers and fellow bloggers have given me. This experience has been a blast and I'm excited to see where this journey takes me.

'We Made It' -Link Up (Every Thursday)
If you follow regularly then you know I'm a serious lover of crafting, delicious recipes and amazing DIY projects. I'm hoping that those of you who share this love will join my new 'We Made It' link up. First link up party will be on Thursday, December 5th and then every Thursday following. Hope to see you there.
Rules of linking up
*Follow From Ashley to Awesome and any co-hosts
*Link up any post, past or present, to share recipes, craft ideas, home decor, DIY projects and any other related tutorials. 
*Show a little love to others linking up

'Where I Come From' - Link Up (last Tuesday of each month)
I was wandering around Portland when the idea for this link up popped into my head. I love reading blogs. For me it's a way to see a little piece of the world through the eyes of someone else. My 'Where I Come From' link up will be a monthly link up where bloggers can share pictures and stories of places to go, things to do and the beautiful scenery in their city and/or state. If you're like me you have a bucket list of places to visit that are nearby, but you can never find the time. I'm giving you an excuse! haha. I am really interested in seeing what you all love, or don't love, about where you come from. I have had several readers tell me that they would love to visit Oregon. While I won't be offering up plane tickets to here, I will be sharing with you the many reasons why I love living in Oregon. As of right now this will be monthly. If there is interest I might eventually bump it up to twice a month. 

Rules for this link up
*Follow From Ashley to Awesome and any co-hosts
*Link up posts that are related to where you come from. Travel blogs are wonderful and I would love for you to share a link those posts in the comments on these, but if you are linking up with the actual link up tools, let's make it about where we are from
*Show a little love to others linking up

Advertising with From Ashley to Awesome
I am currently working on a blog page to offer up several options for advertising on From Ashley to Awesome. Look for that information to be published sometime in the next week.

So that's the latest news here on the blog. Down the road I will be looking to add some co-hosts to my link ups. Please let me know if you would be interested. As always, please email me with any questions ashleybeth1588(at)gmail(dot)com.
Ashley Elizabeth

Thanksgiving and a Parade

I hope you all had a splendid Thanksgiving! We had a great day at home, cooking for my sister Erica and my Grandma Grace. Dinner was delicious and the conversations were wonderful. Instead of my typical 'High Five for Friday' post where I only share 5 things, I'm just going to fill you in on the fun we've been having this week (which is worthy of more than 5 pics/highlights).

Cranberry Sauce
Our Veggie Turkey
Half of our table
The other half
I love the felt turkey head on the pineapple. My Grandma brought that over. What can I say... we're a crafty family!
We woke up Thanksgiving morning to our Elf Spirit dangling above our dinner table. I guess he wanted to make sure we all ate our veggies. I can't wait to see what crazy adventures he has planned. 
This morning we woke up before the crack of dawn to go watch the Macy's parade in Portland. Going to the parade was something my cousins and I often did with my mom and Aunt Pam when we were younger. I remember how fun it was to hop on the bus, watch the parade, shop for hours, eat a delicious lunch and just spend the day having fun with all of them. It's been years since I've been so I wanted to start the tradition with Amelia. It was chilly this morning! We bundled up and had a blast, despite the freezing temps.

Handsome Man and I
I LOVE this picture of them!!!

This was Amelia's favorite!


She loved the parade, but not the cold... this pic says it all. 

After the parade we walked down to Starbucks to get a hot beverage and warm up.

A little hot cocoa
Thanks to my husband for snapping this. 

We spent the rest of our day hanging out at my Grandma's house. My Aunt and Uncle were over there so we visited with them and watched the Oregon State/ University of Oregon Civil War Game. Unfortunately my Oregon State Beavers didn't win... but they played a good game! What an awesome past two days we've had. 
Ashley Elizabeth

What Amelia Wore

On this episode of 'What Amelia Wore"...

Once Amelia outgrew the infant clothing and moved into toddler sizes, I realized I became incredibly frustrated when shopping for her. I have a specific style and look that I like, and most stores just aren't supplying the items I want. For instance, I went into Macy's about 6 months ago in hopes of finding Amelia a nice dress. The entire section was filled with rhinestones, skulls, neon, and nothing that she could wear to church or to a birthday party. Now I'm not saying rhinestones shouldn't be worn! I'm just saying I don't want my daughter in that sort of thing daily. I have been a little happier this Fall with what's out. When I'm not buying her clothes online I usually shop at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Gap, Old Navy Target and H&M. Another thing I've noticed when shopping for clothes for Amelia... they don't sell skirts past the knee. Everything is made to hit mid-thigh and I've really been wanting to put her in longer skirts this winter. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make her a skirt (I couldn't even find a pattern for a longer skirt, so I just altered it myself). Here is the outfit below.

Blurry pic, but she loves that it twirls

turtle neck: Old Navy
skirt: I made it
tights: H&M
shoes: Target

Linking up with: The Pleated Poppy, Style Elixir, DC in Style, My Greatest Hits, My Thrifty Chic, Transantlantic Blonde, Because Shanna Said So
Ashley Elizabeth

Snowmen Ornament - DIY Hand Print Craft

This winter craft is the most adorable thing! I can't wait to hang this darling little ornament on our tree. My Aunt gave me the idea last year, and I have to admit we were just too busy with the holiday preparations to get around to it. This year I made sure it ended up on our list of 'must do crafts'. I love that it will be a sweet reminder in years to come of how tiny our daughter once was.

What you will need:
paper or table cloth (to cover your working surface)
apron (for the little one... Dollar Tree is a great place to get them)
blue ornaments (choose a size that fits your child's hand)
paint (I used white, black, orange, red and green)
paint brushes (several different sizes to add detail)
ribbon or string (to hang the ornaments while they dry)

First I gathered all of our supplies, opened up the boxes of ornaments and strung each of them with a piece of ribbon so that they could hang to dry. I realized two ornaments into this project that it really was beneficial to have my husband come help. I painted Amelia's hand and placed the ornament where I wanted it. Mark held on to the placed ornament and supported her hand. I then pushed up each finger one by one to ensure they didn't get too close to one another or smudge. We hung them from our curtain rod in the kitchen to let them dry. After they dried I added the embellishments to our adorable little snowmen and snow girls. I am so pleased with how they turned out and can't wait to gift them to our family.

She is always so excited to craft.
Rudy tried sneaking off with an ornament. Little Rascal!
She was so excited with the finished product
Ashley Elizabeth

FMM - The Holidays and More: Part 2

Linking up with Kenlie at All The Weight
The Holidays and More: Part 2
1.  What state/country do you live in?  Oregon City, OR USA
2.  Where were you born?  Were you raised there?  I was born in Portland, but raised in a small town South of Portland called Molalla. Now I live in between the two.
3.  How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales?  Will you participate?  I am not a fan of that! I don't think people should be forced to work on a holiday just because they want to make money. I will not be shopping that day!
4.  Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot?  Nope. Maybe someday though
5.  What was your favorite toy as a child?  Growing up I loved anything artsy... so pens, colors and paper. Barbies were a favorite. Also roller blades! 
6.  Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  Nah. I'm not one of those people who go all out and stuff myself. I like the Thanksgiving meal, but I'm not turkey obsessed like some. It's the cranberry sauce, stuffing and DESSERT that gets me!
7.  Will you watch football Thursday?  No! We will probably watch the Thanksgiving Day parade and some Christmas movies. In reality... we will probably just sit around and be entertained by Amelia. 
8.  Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  We put lights and wreaths up outside. I go all out inside. I haven't started decorating yet, but I'm getting the house ready. I LOVE CHRISTMAS DECOR!!!!
9.  Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? Nope, I don't have allergies of any kind. Amelia's allergies are already bugging her... and will only get worse once the tree is in the house. Poor thing. 
10.  Is it snowing where you live? No. We maybe get a skiff of snow once or twice a year. Rain... we've got plenty of rain! We have to head to Mt. Hood or the hills for snow. 
Ashley Elizabeth

We FaceTime with Cats!

As the holidays approach the weeks seem to get shorter and shorter... how does that happen? I'm quite certain that the next few weeks are just going to be a whirlwind of project after project, shopping trip after shopping trip... and BALLET! Amelia's rehearsals have amped up with her Nutcracker performance just around the corner. I am so excited to watch her! Right now she has two rehearsals a week and then regular ballet class. I love that she loves ballet. Mark and I talked about putting her in soccer, but that girl is 100% dainty girl and 1) I don't think she could handle all of the running with her asthma and 2) I'm pretty sure she would hate pushing around other little kids, and being pushed around by other kids. Well here is a quick recap of our week. It was a pretty great one! We had an amazing weekend last week, and the weekdays were just spent at home. The weather is getting really cold here so I'm more than happy to bunker down in our home.

1. We spent all weekend over at my Grandma's visiting with family. My cousin was in town with his three kids and Amelia had an absolute blast with all of them. I did a craft session with them and it was so much fun!

2. I made chicken noodle soup for the first time. I know, you're probably thinking 'what type of lady hasn't made chicken soup before?'... well I've made chicken noodle soup, just not 100% from scratch. I made my own stock too this time. It was delicious! and perfect for our rainy Oregon weather.

3. I finally got the nerve to post a few of the pics I took of my sister and her fiance to Facebook. Let me tell you... when you aren't confident in what you're doing it is hard to unleash it to the critics of Facebook. I think the main issue is that my camera's auto focus is basically broken. Being a four eyed, poor vision girl I've relied heavily on my auto focus... I mean, it's a total pain to be outside trying to manually focus and have your glasses fog up because of your breathing. Looks like it's time to master that though, and maybe make an eye doctor appointment :)

 4. This delicious bread happened this week! Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Amazing! That is all! oh and click HERE for the recipe or go to my recipe tab up above.

 5. Amelia and the little guys I babysit... and having a little tummy time with 3 month old Holden! Aren't they just the cutest!

6. Oh and yeah... we had a little FaceTime with my sister's cat, Jasper. Amelia thought it was the most hilarious thing EVER! I love that you can see her with her stuffed animal cat in the corner. Really though... whether it's FaceTime with my sisters or Skype with my mom, the cats are always making an appearance and stealing the show. What can I say... we love cats.

I hope you all have a marvelous weekend. I'm pretty sure my husband has to work so Amelia and I will be spending Saturday at ballet rehearsal and then following that up with a Scentsy party at my cousin's house. Sunday will probably be spent crafting for the holidays... and maybe decorating!!!

Linking up today with: The Lauren Elizabeth, Life Rearranged, The Good Life Blog and Style Elixir
Ashley Elizabeth

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I have never made pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins or pumpkin pie... in fact, I hate pumpkin pie so it wasn't until a few years ago that I would even try anything pumpkin flavored. I thought all things pumpkin were as horrible as I think pumpkin pie is... and I was wrong! My sister makes an amazing pumpkin cake as well as pumpkin fluff. I have been anxious to make a few pumpkin things myself. I gave this recipe a try yesterday and it was a hit! 

Pumpkin Bread
1 3/4c flour
1 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp all spice (I didn't have this so I just used pumpkin pie spice in place)
2 large eggs
3/4c packed brown sugar
1/2c sugar
1/2c oil
1 1/4c pumpkin puree

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs for approx 2 minutes until light in color. Add brown sugar and mix another 2 minutes, then add white sugar and mix another minute. Add in the oil. Once oil is mixed in well, add pumpkin puree. Mix thoroughly. Add in dry ingredients slowly. 

Add batter to a lightly greased bread pan.

Cook at 325 for 60-65 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. 

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
I really don't have a specific recipe for cream cheese frosting, I just make it how my Mama makes it. Here is the general idea...

1 stick of Imperial margarine - softened
1 8oz pack of cream cheese - softened
powdered sugar ( I usually start with around 2-3 cups and then add to taste)
Cinnamon (I used approx. 1-2tsp... but again, adjust to taste)

Just throw all ingredients in a bowl and mix it up. 
Ashley Elizabeth

Every Girl Needs A Little Black Dress

I am so excited to share this outfit with you today! I think it is absolutely darling on my girl, even if it does make her look so much older than I would like... when did my baby girl grow up?

So grown up

I love that I can pair this dress with several different sweaters, headbands, scarves, shoes and tights and get a different look each time. A little black dress should be a staple of any girl's wardrobe.
Dress: Gap
Blazer: Nordstrom Rack (last year)
Shoes: Target (last spring)

Linking up with: The Pleated Poppy, Style Elixir, DC in Style, My Greatest Hits, My Thrifty Chic, Transatlantic Blonde, Because Shanna Said So
Ashley Elizabeth