The Ashley Maria Blog

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Weekend Recap | July 2019

Friday Joe and I had a babysitter, so we hit the town. Aka my mother in law came to watch Joey and we went to dinner but were home by 9pm. We decided to try a newer place on Southside of Bethlehem called Zest. We've been there for drinks with friends before, but have heard good things about the dinner selection as well. Our reservations weren't until 8:15 so we hit up one of our favorite home decor stores in town, Domaci. I picked a few items from there and then we headed across the street to the restaurant early for some parent time at the bar! I sipped my San Pelligrino (pregnant problems) while Joe enjoyed some local made Bourbon. 

For appetizer we split the spring rolls and I decided on the grouper and Joe got the filet. I've never had grouper before ( I just recently started trying new fishes!) but it was delicious and the 'forbidden rice' was delicious! I would definitely order again.

Saturday morning, we made the decision to pull Joey from his current swim lessons. They just aren't challenging him enough since they are repeating the same class he had in the Spring. Instead we hung out and played while waiting for our big boy bed to arrive from Pottery Barn Kids! We got him this bed in a full with the trundle. 

We are still keeping Joey's crib in his room yet, until we get his toddler rails and comforter in. We plan on transitioning him this coming weekend.. fingers crossed!

We ran some errands during the day on Saturday and hung out by the pool. Saturday night I met up with my girlfriends Amy and Sharon to celebrate Amy's birthday a day early. We ate at Kome and I was still able to get my sushi fix with a veggie roll and shrimp tempura!

dress | Talulah
wedges | Target
necklace | Made by Mary

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

DIY Lemonade Stand or 'Big Brother' Stand

As you may know from this post, we are expecting our second child and announced it with this adorable 'Big Brother Lessons' stand. 

It really was so easy to make, the only thing I would change is to use thicker wood to hold the sign up. We used a cardboard box we had, but it was a little too heavy for our wooden dowels.

I wanted to be able to take my stand apart (at least for now) to store it, so I actually used command strips to hold the crates together instead of nails or screws. When Joey gets a little older, and perhaps would want to make a lemonade stand one day, we will definitely be nailing it together!

There are so many different ways to make this, and like I said before, when Joey gets older and will actually use the stand we will definitely modify it, but for a temporary solution for now, this is what we came up with!

Materials Used: 

4 crates- you can also stain or paint them.
Command Strips - or nails 
2 wooden dowels (we used 1/4in) use thicker is sign is heavy
Card Board for sign- or wood (make sure to secure with screws and heavy dowels)
Duct tape for sign
Chalk paint for sign
Chalk for sign
Accessories for stand


Start by figuring out the design by lining up your crates however you want. You can design them however you want- one turned in, one turned out,  'shelf' with both top crates turned out - whatever you want! We used heavy duty command strips to make it temporary. Place one strip on each corner of the bottom crate and remove the backing of the top strip. Line back up and press down hard on the top crate so that the top crate sticks to the tape of the command strip. Do the same with the other side. To hold the crates together temporarily, I did the same thing with the command strips. I used four strips- one on each corner of the crate to hold to the other. 
* If you are using nails, do that same but replace the command strips with nails or screws (four- one in each corner of the crate) and then nail the crates together. 

For the dowels, I used command strip small hooks inside the crates to hold in place. We took our pictures outside on a windy day, so we needed some duct tape to hold the dowels from blowing away! For securing the sign we duct taped the back of the sign to the dowels. (you can see in the picture one was leaning- that was due to the wind that kept blowing it!)

For painting the sign, I used Martha Stewart chalk paint (two coats) on an extra piece of cardboard I had from a shipping box. I stenciled on the words using a chalk marker and then colored in with regular chalk!

Since our stand was a 'big brother' stand, we used baby toys and kept it simple. Be sure to check out the dollar section of Target if you plan on doing a lemonade stand- they have such cute accessories and garland you can use!

That's it.. so super easy! I'd love to see if you make your own either temporary or permanent stand!

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Monday, July 1, 2019


Joe and I are so excited to share with you all that Joey is going to be a big brother in January 2020!

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I can't even tell you how much bribing and out takes were used to get just one good photo.. because this is TWO, but we couldn't hold in out excitement anymore and wanted to share the good news!

DIY stand coming soon!
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Monday, June 24, 2019

Summer Beauty Favorites

We are in the thick of Summer now, even though here is PA it doesn't feel like it. We are getting over a few weeks worth of rain, and luckily just this weekend, we dried out. Do you tend to change out your products you use based on the seasons? In winter my skin gets so much drier, so I tend to use more products, and in the Summer months I use the excuse- less is more!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Fathers Day Weekend 2019

We had a very nice Father's Day weekend.  
Friday, Joe got to enjoy 'Donuts with Dad' at school in the morning and then at pick up he received two of the sweetest gifts made of Joey's hand prints and art work. 
At night, we decided to make a pack of chicken sausage we had from Trader Joe's as well as Au Gratin potatoes and veg out the rest of the night. Last weekend I started re-watching Game of Thrones from the first season, so Joe and I watched 2 episodes before getting to bed. We noticed Charger's eye had some discharge and kept itching it, but kept an watch for it over night.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sweet Sriracha Mini Meatballs

I've made these meatballs a few times, and each time they are a crowd favorite. They are so easy to make, considering you just throw everything into a crock pot!
To save time especially when I am making these for a party, I use my favorite frozen Turkey meatball from Trader Joe's but you can certainly make your own, or use your favorite brand as well!


2 lbs. Meatballs
1/3 C. Honey
1 can Jellied cranberry sauce
1/3 C. Sriracha
1/3 C. Brown sugar


These might be the hardest directions of all time.. so follow along carefully!! Put all ingredients into crock pot on low for 2 hours, mixing occasionally. If you are looking to make this a little more spicy, add 2/3 cups of both the Sriracha and brown sugar.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Five on Friday

This week for me has been to hectic! This is the second year that I have volunteered to be the head cheerleading coach for our local counties high school all star game. We've had practice every night this week, so I'm been going non-stop.. literally. Throw in there, that Joe had a late meeting last night, and is now away at a bachelor party, my parents have been life savors and helping me a lot of Joey this week. Last night he had a sleepover with them, and I got a picture of him enjoying chick-fil-a for dinner followed by ice cream after a bath. The kid will never wanna come back home!

Anyway, here are some of the highlights from this past week!

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one. Joe and I celebrated our three year anniversary on Tuesday and even though it was a busy week, we snuck out for a late dinner to one of our favorite steakhouses that is literally a few blocks away from us. 

two. even though we said no gifts for anniversaries, Joe surprised me with these beautiful flowers.

three. I love when Joey's school send pictures through out the day when he's there. we got this one on Thursday of our silly on the balance beam.. he might not have gotten my aerobic abilities. 

four. There is a huge sale going on over at Pottery Barn and it's other brands. Up to 70% off . Hurry because it won't last long!

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five. Today is National Donuts Day, and to celebrate we gifted our favorite teachers and friends at school with some treats! 

Hope you all have a great weekend!
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