Roller Blades and Dress Up Clothes

I can't believe I disappeared completely from blogging this past week. My life was taken over by a little thing called chaos. I've been on the go non-stop and to top it off... I'm sick. Amelia is sick. Mark is sick. We've all come down with a cough and runny nose... and it's no fun at all. Amelia and I spent the weekend up at my mom's house. Mom had a personal matter to attend to yesterday and I wanted to be there with her. I'm so glad we were able to go up. Amelia roller bladed, rode her bike, played with Grandma's toys and had a wonderful time. Amelia and I have some craft projects in the works so hopefully I will have some awesome things to share on here soon, but for today I will just share with you a few photos from our weekend up at mom's.

LOVE my little rebel
playing dress up
post signature
Ashley Elizabeth

Our Wonderful Easter Weekend

We had the most wonderful weekend. Mark had to work all weekend so Amelia and I did the usual ballet and ice skating lessons Saturday morning. Erica met up with us at my house and her and I took off shopping once Mark was home to keep Amelia. I hadn't had a lot of time to get my Easter shopping done and it was nice to hang out with her. My mom got into town Saturday evening and we all had dinner at my house and Amelia colored Easter eggs.

I love how bright the eggs turned out by using neon food coloring
Saturday night I stayed up way too late! I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to try my hand at cookies decorated with royal icing... because I don't do enough crafts you know. Anyway, when I start something new I get frustrated if I don't master it. I just had to make these cookies look cute. I used my mom's sugar cookie recipe, which is amazing, and I found a royal icing recipe online that actually tastes good. I bought all of the supplies and spent the night working on them. I'm pleased with how they turned out. I know what I will do differently next time to make them look even better. I really enjoyed them.

My mom spent the night with us. Mark had to work again on Sunday so I'm glad mom was there with me to watch Amelia open up her Easter basket. She was so excited when she came running up the stairs to wake me. I had found the cutest rainbow carrots for her to leave out for the bunny.

We got the food ready and headed over to my Grandma's house that afternoon. Amelia is the only kid so she got to do an Easter egg hunt over there. We ate some delicious food, laughed a lot, played games, ran around outside with Amelia and had a wonderful day. 

I hope you had a wonderful Easter. I really enjoyed spending time with my family. It was relaxing and fun. Amelia said it was a great great day, and I have to agree.
post signature
Ashley Elizabeth

Adopt A US Soldier

Today I'm going to share with you an organization that has recently become very dear to me. For a very long time I've thought it would be cool to send letters and packages to a soldier (or soldiers) who are deployed. Last month when trying to think of ways I can pay it forward I decided to look into adopting a soldier. After a quick Google search I came across Adopt A US Soldier, an organization that is designed to pair people just like me with a soldier to "adopt"... awesome! I quickly signed up and within 3 days had been assigned my soldier who is currently deployed in Afghanistan. You have two choices when signing up; you can sign up to send a single package or you can sign up to have a soldier for the duration of their deployment. We adopted a soldier for the duration of his deployment. I sent him an email the day I got his information and have had some good conversations with him since (he's even giving me suggestions on places to visit during our trip). I really like that adopting a soldier allows Amelia to get involved as well. She drew pictures and helped me shop for items to send in our package. I've used this as a way to talk to her about the different branches of military and explain what soldiers do. It has truly been an amazing experience so far... and we are only a month into this. I plan on continuing to adopt soldiers long after our soldier returns home.

In one email he informed me that a few of the men under him never receive letters or packages in the mail. Once I heard that I hit up the store and bought enough for him and all of the men under him. It's a simple thing to send someone a letter or put together a care package, and it means so much to those so far from home who are fighting for our country. I would love it if you all would consider signing up with Adopt A US Soldier and sending some love to our men and women in the military. It is really fun and such a great cause.

The First Care Package
I went to JoAnn's and bought some patriotic paper to line our box. Amelia picked out some letters and we stuck a little message in the bottom of the box.

Some of the stuff we put into our box. 

Amelia made this for our soldier. Isn't this the cutest thing ever!!!

Contents of our box:
shaving cream
hand sanitizer
crystal light
water enhancer
jelly beans
reeses peanut butter eggs
ground coffee
cadbury eggs

Tips for sending packages:
*order boxes online through USPS. They are military boxes and the post office will send some to your house for free.
*pay for your shipping online to save money. Since the package is going overseas and through customs it can get a bit pricey. The discount given by USPS helps.

I'm already looking forward to sending our second package. We plan on including some chocolate, magazines and other yummy things they might be missing from home.

If you do sign up head back here and share your experience with us.
post signature
Ashley Elizabeth

Sunny Days and Sandy Beaches

What a great weekend this was. Saturday was the usual ballet and ice skating for Amelia. Our friend is being deployed to Afghanistan later this month so we headed to a barbecue after and spent some time with friends. It was great to see everyone. Sunday we decided to take Grace and Chris out for dim sum. It was delicious as always. After we ventured to Sauvie Island to soak up some sun. It was gorgeous out there.

I hope you all had an excellent weekend. I am in the mood to accomplish things! Hopefully I can get some spring cleaning done this week. I need organization and to get rid of some stuff. I have practically every item of clothing Amelia has ever owned. Most of her clothes still look brand new and most weren't cheap. I just hate parting with items that I know cost a decent amount of money for garage sale prices (like a dollar). I do plan on keeping a lot in case we have another girl (highly unlikely in Mark's family), or to stash away for when she has kids. I always love putting her in clothes my sisters and I wore. Anyway, what's on your agenda for the week? How is your spring cleaning going?
post signature
Ashley Elizabeth

National Sibling Day

If you didn't know already, today is National Sibling Day! This is pretty much the best day ever because I honestly don't know what I would do without my sisters... and I'm pretty sure it would have been a lonely life without them. They have been there for me through everything. They truly are my best friends. I can't wait until the day Amelia has siblings. So, in honor of the day I will share some photos of my sisters and I. Erica is the oldest (32), I'm in the middle (28) and Grace is the baby (21).

post signature
Ashley Elizabeth

Nautical Clothing for Little Girls

I am a sucker for nautical clothing. I absolutely love the red, white and blue outfits that scream sunny days and warm beaches. Here are a few of my favorite items that would look adorable on any little girl.

anchor sleeveless blouse - Janie & Jack
navy peep toe shoes - Janie & Jack
red skinny jeans - Old Navy
Sperry boating shoes - Nordstrom
anchor bag - Janie & Jack
sailor dress and cap - Best Dressed Tot
white skinny jeans - Gap
blue sunglasses - Janie & Jack
striped sun hat - Gymboree
navy sweater - Gap
striped peplum top - Nautica
white sunglasses - Gap
anchor swimsuit - Janie & Jack
white Saltwater sandals - Nordstrom
red ballet flat - Nordstrom
sailboat t-shirt - Old Navy
navy shorts - Old Navy

post signature
Ashley Elizabeth

ten things I love about blogging

I was going to wow you all with a wonderful craft project that Amelia and I worked on last night, but it ended up looking like a painting of boobs with bright pink nipples. Definitely not blog worthy. So instead I'm going to link up with Endlessly Beloved to share with you all my top ten favorite things about blogging. I really could go on and on about my love of blogging, but I'll spare you the ridiculously long post that would end up being.

I started blogging when Amelia was a baby as a way to keep my mom and other family members updated on the things going on in our life. I never knew that this would become anything more than that. I've learned so much since I started blogging, I've "met" so many amazing people and I'm so excited to see where this blog goes in the future.

1. the writing. I have always loved writing. I have journals galore of poetry I've written. I have a book in my head that I need to sit down and type up. I always loved writing huge papers in school. So why wouldn't I love having a reason to write almost every day.

2. the creativity. I am an incredibly crafty person. I love that I can share the things I create with others, and also gain some ideas from fellow bloggers out there.

3. the community. There are more bloggers out there than I ever imagined. I follow some pretty incredible women who have some amazing content on their blogs. If you haven't ventured into the world of reading blogs, I definitely recommend it.

4. the photos. It's not secret that I love photos. There are some blogs out there with the most beautiful photos. Pictures of scenery, food, craft projects... I love it all.

5. the documentation. I love that I have a space that holds some of my most favorite memories. I like to document the important things in our life and I'm glad I will have this blog that Amelia can read when she's older.

6. the motivation to do things. Seriously... when I get in a blogging rut I know it's because we haven't been up to much. Blogging helps me to get off my butt and do things. Making memories and having adventures. Creating new craft projects, trying new recipes and exploring the place where we live a little more.

7. the opportunity. There are so many opportunities that can arise with blogging. I have big goals for my blog and I really hope that I can eventually get it there.

8. the readers and their comments. I appreciate and love every comment written on my blog and the interaction with my readers that come with the comments.

9. the happiness. Blogging makes me happy.

10. the fact that this is all my own. I get to write what I want, when I want and nobody can say a thing about it. I love the freedom that blogging gives me. I have control over what my blog is. I can make this whatever I want it to be and I absolutely love that about blogging!

post signature
Ashley Elizabeth

A great weekend it was

Happy Monday! This weekend went by way too fast, but all of the good weekends do that. Saturday Amelia had her first ballet class of the new term. We decided to switch her from Thursdays to Saturdays since Mark's patient load is increasing and he can't always take her now. She spent an hour at ballet, came home and changed clothes (and hairstyles) and then we headed out the door to the ice skating rink. Grace and Chris were both off so they decided to come and do the community skate while she was in class. Mark also joined in and did fairly well for his first time ever on ice.

Family selfie after ice skating
Sunday morning we slept in a little and then Amelia and I got ready to head out for a day of fun together. The sun was out which was awesome! I took Amelia to Petite Provence and let me just say, their treats are delicious. We had a chocolate mousse cup and it was so rich and yummy.

Afterwards we went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and Fred Meyer. I love having a little helper along with me.
We ended our night over at my Grandma's house with my sisters and Chris for a family dinner and church. It was a great weekend. Looking ahead in the forecast we should have some sunny days this week. I can't wait to head outdoors with the kids to soak up some rays.

post signature
Ashley Elizabeth