I decided a while back to jump on the 30by30 train. I am a hopeless procrastinator so this list will give me the push I need to not put off achieving a great list of goals this year. Hopefully I can accomplish them all by May 1, 2015. The day I turn 30. So, in no particular order...

(also, this has it's own page for future reference. see above)

1. Take a family vacation  June 2014
2. Start a successful business 
3. Go camping with my family
4. Get a massage (I've never had one)
5. Keep growing my blog
6. Save for a house
7. Give back to people in as many ways as possible
8. Start Geocaching more with Amelia
9. Date my husband, often
10. Read at least 3 new books
11. Lose weight and keep it off
12. Write a book (I already have it in my head)
13. Send letters to people just because
14. Start and finish C25K
15. Plan for another baby
16. Work on Amelia's baby book & birthday scrap book
17. Host a girl's night
18. Get family photos taken (with my mom and sisters also)
19. See at least 5 new (good sized) waterfalls in Oregon
20. Play a tennis match with Amelia (teach her how to play)
21. Adopt another soldier
22. Can fruits and vegetables
23. Continue to advance my sewing skills
24. Write in my journal to Amelia often
25. Cook more - eat out less
26. Host a craft party
27. Go to a concert, play or musical
28. Start a new family tradition
29. Enter a photo contest
30. Become more comfortable in my own skin
Ashley Elizabeth

Beautiful Savannah

I was so excited to visit Savannah, Georgia. I really love the history of the south. A lot of my favorite movies revolve around the Civil War era and I was hoping to get a bit of that historic vibe wandering the streets of beautiful Savannah.
It was hot. Yes, hotter than Florida. But we didn't let that ruin our chance to see as much of downtown as possible. We had just one day to explore before moving on to our next destination and we definitely crammed as much in as possible. We got there before the rest of Mark's family so we walked around looking at the old houses, visited as many squares as we could and stopped by some gorgeous fountains and sculptures.

our first stop, Lafayette Square
spanish moss... love
Forsyth Park

Savannah did not disappoint. If I didn't have a child and could get acclimated to the humidity, I could see myself living in a place like Savannah. It was a gorgeous city with an endless amount of stuff to see. If only we had more time there. 

We did find ourselves caught in a massive rain storm early evening. We took shelter under the eaves of a hotel in hopes that the rain would let up. It poured for quite a while, so we eventually ran for a restaurant down on River St. We went to dinner at a seafood place with Mark's family. Mark and I each had a bowl of beer crab chowder and we split a crab cake. It was good. I think we were both just hoping for more of a Southern cooked meal. After dinner we headed to our hotel. We stayed at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa. What a gorgeous hotel. There was a wedding reception going on there so they kindly comped valet parking for us, which was awesome. The weather was quite stormy out so we didn't get to take advantage of the pool, but our room on the 12th floor was definitely luxurious with a beautiful view. 
The next morning we got up and headed on to our next stop... which I will share with you all in my next vacation post. 
Ashley Elizabeth


It was seriously the worst flight I have ever been on, but not because of the flight itself. I got ridiculously nauseous. I've never been nauseous on a plane. I assumed it was a lack of sleep. Our flight left Portland at 11:15pm and I had high hopes of us all sleeping through most of it. We had a layover in Chicago for an hour and then arrived in Tampa around 9am. I didn't sleep at all, Mark slept a bit and Amelia got two hours of sleep. When we stepped outside it was bright, sunny and in true Florida fashion... humid. We were so excited to finally be there. We picked up our rental car and headed straight to Mark's brother's house. Thankfully we had an opportunity to take a little nap and get out of full zombie mode. We spent the evening visiting with family.

The next day Gerwai, Mark's brother, took us out boating. It was a beautiful day out on the water. I had spent some time in Clearwater Beach when I visited my Grandma back in high school, but I had forgotten how beautiful it really is there. White sand and beautiful blue water the temperature of bath water. It was Amelia's first time on a boat. At first she was scared, but then when we started going fast she loved it. We fished, visited islands and played in the water. Once again though, just like the flight to Florida, I got nauseous. I've never gotten sea sick. Maybe it's something that I'm growing into as I get older. Overall it was an awesome day. I didn't take my dslr out on the boat so you guys get to see my phone pics, but I think there are some pretty cute ones of Amelia. 

The next day we celebrated our nephew Tyler's graduation. He is such a great guy and we are so proud of him. He's off to summer school at the college he will be attending in Florida. He wants to get a jump start. That kid totally rocks! 
That's him in the blue standing up... with the curly blonde hair
check out his cake. it was awesome!!!
my sister in-law Jennifer had her house decorated so cute for the party
Our time in Florida was great, even if it was brief. The day after graduation we headed out the door to our next destination. We stayed the night in Jacksonville, but we got there so late that we didn't really spend the day doing anything other than driving. Check back to read about the next place we explored. 
Ashley Elizabeth

Happy 38th Birthday

Today is Mark's 38th birthday. Mark is an incredible husband and father, and Amelia and I are truly blessed to say he's ours.

38 Things I Love About Mark

1. He helps make my dreams happen. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive person to share my life with. He is far better at this than I. He went above and beyond to make sure I could stay home with Amelia. I know of a lot of people who put the need for a massive bank account well above the happiness of their family. Mark knew Amelia and I would both be happier spending these years together, so he made it happen. He surprises me with camera gear, helps me with computer stuff and allows me to leap into new things... all to help me get to where I want to be in this life. 

2. He's a hands on dad. There is nothing more attractive than a man who puts effort into his children. He is often getting his hair fixed, playing ponies, getting doctored and having tea parties. 

3. He is intelligent. enough said. 

4. He enjoys spending time with my family. It makes me happy that I found someone who chooses to include my family in the things we do. I mean, after all, when I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday today he said dinner at my Grandma's house with the family. 

5. He makes me laugh. Everyone needs someone in their life who can make them laugh. 

6. He cooks and cleans. Seriously... this was an amazing help when I was doing daycare. Having little ones in your house 10-11 hours a day can be tiring and the last thing I wanted to do at the end of the day was cook dinner. He's a great cook. He also helps out a ton around the house. 

7. He provides for our family. He makes sure Amelia and I have everything we need... and he does so without complaining about my need to shop once in a while, or my occasional pedicure and my need to change my hair frequently... you know, those girly things most of us do. 

8. He is my grandma's lawn boy. This just makes me giggle. He mowed my grandma's lawn once and did such a great job that she insisted he be the only one to do it from that moment on. He goes over there every other week in the summer, works on her yard and stays a while to visit with her... even if I'm not there. 

9. He smells good.

10. He likes camping as much as I do. It makes for some awesome family memories. 

11. He reads up on the things that interest me. Take photography and camera stuff for instance. He knows it's something I'm really passionate about, and he has read up on it a lot.

12. He's been there though some dark times. As a couple we've gone through a lot together and I've never doubted his support through it all. 

13. He dances. Like a fool. Like me. 

14. We both LOVE music! All types of music. There's never a fight over who gets to be in charge of the radio.

15. He can fix Amelia's hair, and I'm talking more than a ponytail.

16. He loves me for me. I'm pretty hard on myself a lot of the time, but he always helps me through that. 

17. He sticks up for his family and is not willing to let people treat us with anything other than kindness and respect.

18. He watches all of my shows with minimal grumbling. I know Pretty Little Liars, Scandal and Revenge aren't really his thing, but he shuts up and let's me indulge. 

19. I'm obsessed with crafting and our house is often a crafting disaster of fabric, glitter, paper and glue. Even if it bugs him, he doesn't complain.

20. I know I don't have to do things alone. He is there whenever I need him to be, even if it's to help decorate for a birthday party. 

21. He wants more kids just like I do. 

22. He buys thoughtful gifts. It's not just a giftcard or something picked out last minute. It is always something that he knows I will really love. 

23. He has goals for himself and is working hard to make them happen. 

24. He can work on my car. He's not one of those guys who just drives the cars to the shop when there is a problem. If he doesn't know how to do something, he learns. 

25. He's handy. He can make things out of wood and fix things in the house. 

26. He likes the outdoors. and he tolerates my need to stop several times on a drive or hike just to snap photos of beautiful scenery.

27. He's a talker. I like that he socializes with practically anyone. 

28. He let us drive up and down the entire east coast. This was seriously the best trip ever and he made it happen for us. 

29. He's artistic. 

30. He brings me Starbuck's. that's love.

31. He gives me massages all the time.

32. and I must mention my free acupuncture treatments. 

33. He takes me out on dates... awesome ones.

34. He is motivated. 

35. I was in labor with Amelia for 38 hours. He sat by my side the entire time, never leaving and never sleeping. The look on his face when he saw her for the first time. One of the many reasons why I love Mark, and a moment I will never forget. 

36. He drops what he's doing to help others. If someone calls and asks him for a favor, he is happy to help. 

37. He is kind. and has a huge heart.

38. He is the best husband and father ever!

Ashley Elizabeth

We've returned!

Hey All, Ashley here. Back from our east coast adventure. Our plane got in at 12:30am on Tuesday and we've been getting back on track since then. We had the most wonderful trip, but it was definitely a sprint to see everything that we possibly could. It wore us out. Now we basically have one week to pack up our house and move. Big changes are in our future, but we are excited to be facing a new adventure. I can't wait to share our trip, some travel tips, my upcoming life as a full time, non daycare providing, stay at home mom and some new DIY projects and recipes in the next few weeks. It's good to be back. 

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Ashley Elizabeth

The best skin scrub EVER!!!!!


For as long as I can remember, I have battled dry, gross skin.  One more thing Ashley and I do not have in common.  She was blessed with soft, supple...(sometimes even clammy) skin...not me.  So, I have constantly been on the lookout for something to cure this problem of mine.  Nothing 'cures' it...hydrating helps and I've spent a small mint on lotions, potions, oils, etc. to be ever disappointed that nothing gave me miraculous results.  THEN...one day, while browsing online, I found a recipe for a homemade scrub.  After tweaking it to my liking and adjusting some things...I believe I have found my remedy.  And, its your lucky day...or night I guess...because I am sharing it with you!!! I give you, The Best Skin Scrub Ever!

The Recipe

1 Cup extra virgin coconut oil

2 1/2 Cups granulated white sugar (plain old white sugar you shouldn't be eating anyway)

5 T of citrus juice.  Fresh squeezed lime, lemon, blood orange, plain orange...something citrus-y!

Essential oil drops of your choosing.  I use eucalyptus and lavender

Melt the coconut oil on low heat, don't boil it.  Place the sugar and citrus juice in a bowl.  Add the essential oil drops.  I use a lot, because I love the smell in the shower.  Play around with this, more or less depending on your taste.  Pour the coconut oil on top and whisk it up!  Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees so I usually put mine in the freezer just to set it up quickly.  Once I place the jar in the shower...I have noticed that if my house is cold, I just hold the jar under the warm water a second, on hot summer days, it may be a little more runny.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do!!!!!


Ashley Elizabeth

While Ashley is away......Its Erica's turn to play!!!!!!


As Ashley announced a while ago, her sister Erica would be taking over her blog while she basks in the sun with her family on a much needed vacation. Well, here I am!

Nope, we do not look alike AT ALL

She gave me some instructions..."Introduce yourself, tell them about you..." Ugh...that part is the worst...but I will try to do that without making it sound like an introduction on an online dating site.

I am Erica. I am 32. I like long walks on the beach...no actually I don’t because walking on the beach is kind of hard work and then I get sweaty and then I am too focused on wiping sweat out of my eyes to take in the scenery and then of course I have probably fallen down at some point so sand is everywhere, then when I wipe the sweat, sand gets in my eyes and....yeah...where was I??

Me...Grandpa Richard and Ashley as a little baby...when sand was fun!

So, Ashley and I probably couldn't be more opposite if we tried. She is crafty, creative, a visionary, a stay at home mom and wife. I am not crafty...I don't have the patience to be. I walk into Hobby Lobby and look at stuff and I cannot for the life of me figure out what to do with it and she can spend hours there. I only take pictures with my iPhone so you all are in for some real quality images! I am single...I live alone, no kids, 2 cats. And I work a lot!!!! I am a 911 dispatcher for the City of Portland  here in Oregon...never a dull moment, but we will talk about that another day.

I hope she doesn't lose any followers over the next 2 weeks...I have some good ideas I am really excited to share and I do do stuff. I knit, I cook...so...this will be fun, I promise!

Ashley Elizabeth