The Ashley Maria Blog
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Home Tour | Bedroom

We have lived in our house for two whole years. We have done a lot in our home since we first moved in, however one room we never changed is our bedroom. See that blue wall color, yeah that was here since day one. The previous owners had just painted it before we moved in and the color was not horrible. Actually it kinda went with our furniture and accents colors. Plus, it was one less thing we had to do in our ever growing list of house updates.  

I never gave a tour of our bedroom, because I never felt like it was finished. There still are some things that need to be moved around in here but I am at a happy place with it right now. 


These two helped me put on clean sheets and made the bed. They are just so inviting it makes me want to curl up there with them!  Also,  until writing this post I never noticed the piece of clothing hanging out of the night stand. #reallife 

 I finally printed out some of our wedding photos and hung them in our bedroom. I just love black and white photos. Some of my favorites are candids that aren't staged. These are two of my absolute favorite. The one on the left I can remember my telling Joe how I couldn't wait to take the wedding shoes off and the one on the left we were laughing because the photographer wanted us to touch foreheads and stare at each other and when we did both our heads were sweating since it was so humid!
 The books piled here are actually from the Thrift Store that I purchased for $.50 each! I wrapped them in kraft paper and tied them up in some twine.








Bed Frame | Ikea (old)- similar
Bedding | Home Goods
Smaller Pillows | Home Goods
White Throw Pillow | Pottery Barn
Night Stand | Ikea
Taller Dresser | Ikea
Wide Dresser | Ikea
Lamps | Wal Mart
Clock | Target (similar)
Candle | Home Goods
Books | DIY
Plant | Ikea
Wooden Sayings | Hobby Lobby
Grey Frames | Kohls
Taper Holders | Pottery Barn
Pillar Holder | Pottery Barn
White Frames | Home Goods
Bracelet Holder | Home Goods
Vanity & Stool | Vintage
Mirror | Hobby Lobby (similar)
anything that is not linked, just ask!
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Joseph Michael.. Four Month Update

We blinked and our little man turned four months! These months are just flying by now!



Four Months: August 8, 2017
Weight:  16.2lbs
Height:  26 1/4 inches
Diet:  formula with cereal mixed in 
Sleeping:  Through the whole night!!! but no naps during the day
Clothing Size:  Mostly 9 months 
Diaper Size: Size 2's until we finish the opened box


Joey can roll over and is trying to sit up by himself. He loves belly laughing at his fur brother Charger and gets cranky if not in bed by 8pm! (What a Diva). He loves watching baseball and fixer upper and talks to the TV when they are on! He's in nine month clothes and the 90th percentile for his height!!
We love him more every day, and can't imagine our lives without him!
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Kitchen Organization | Spice Cabinet

How many times have you been cooking or baking and open your spice cabinet to grab what you need, only to have to search through every darn bottle. I hate that spices don't have their names on the caps and that since we tend to buy all the same brand.. they all look the same. Our spice cabinet is one of our lowers, so unless you bend down or pull out everyone, you aren't going to see what it is. 
I decided I would take a step towards organizing this small cabinet and put my spices in these bottles. If we had more space in our kitchen I think they would look so cute displayed on a spice rack or shelf.. maybe next house! ha


Since they were going to be in a cabinet and not displayed, I used these basic labels from Anderson + Grant and simply wrote my own for the ones not shown. You can definitely make your own too, which prolly one day I will get around to doing! 

I still have to purchase more jars to finish up the rest of our spices and find a different type of jar that we can use with our grinders, but it definitely has helped so far while rushing to make dinner and pairing up the lids with their respective bottles after use!
Do you have any organizing tips for your kitchen spices?
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Monday, August 14, 2017

DIY | Olive Branch Tree

I was wondering around Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago and came across the cutest olive branch topiary. There was a sign 50% off all pre-made arrangements so I picked it up. I could hardly believe the price tag said originally $60.00 um hello! it's a tiny tree!! I would not pay the reduced $30 for this little twig let alone $60!!!! But then of course the voice inside my head said.. "you can DIY for much less" and that's exactly what I did! 
I found the greenery aisle and thankfully that week they were all 50% off as well. I ended up getting two branches full (which was much fuller then the 'twig') for the price of one at just $9.99. I already had some of the brown floral tape from a project previously.  I also intended to use one of my clay pots, but thought it looked better in this galvanized pot instead. If you didn't notice it has the name 'Joey' on it because it was part of a baby shower gift!! I didn't realize I didn't take the name off until after taking the photos!

Materials:

Two olive branches
Brown floral tape
Pot 
Styrofoam ball (cut in half)
Greenery to cover styrofoam (optional)
Hot Glue dapped into pot to secure



It literally took my five minutes, if you include the time for the hot glue gun to heat up; to make this project! I removed the twine from the branches and put secured both branches together with the brown floral tape.

After the stems were secure I stuck them into the foam halved ball.  To secure it from tipping, I added a dap of hot glue to the bottom.  You can add some greenery to cover up the ball if you want! I didn't have any on hand, and put it onto of the cupboard and no one can really see inside the pot!


what do you think! I love the way it came out and so happy in all cost me about $10!
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Friday, August 11, 2017

A Cool and Refreshing Summer Pairing

I love a light refreshing drink during the summer while sitting on the patio on in our sun room. But what is even better is having the perfect snack to go with it!  Today I have a light drink- a refreshing Moscow Mule paired with some yummy Skinnypop Popcorn!


This Moscow Mule recipe is so easy to make, I was actually surprised I had all the fixings right in my house including the mug! We received these as bridal shower gifts last Spring and they have sat (well used in decoration) ever since. I was excited to finally use them

Ingredients:

2 oz. Vodka
4-6 oz. Ginger Beer
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime 





 I paired the moscow mule Skinnypop Popcorn in the Original flavor. The popcorn goes great with the taste in the moscow mule.

 But why stop there.. check out all the other fun pairings Skinnypop Popcorn has!
Let me know if you try any! I think next on my list is the coconut margarita.. that's definitely calling my name! 

You can receive free shipping on your order of $49 with code SKINNYSHIP 
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Expectations of a Mom

People used to say to me "you'll make a great mom one day" but what really makes a good mom? I had a great role model in both my mom and my grandmother raising me, so I saw first hand what a mom should be like. But again what really makes a good mom? It's not like I ever had another mother before, so even if it wasn't right, not like I would know!
We are constantly comparing ourselves to others. I'm totally guilty of this. We have the perception of how motherhood is suppose to be.  A real life June Cleaver, stay at home mom who spends the days doing arts and crafts with their children while homemade chocolate chip cookies are baking in the oven. However, for most of us mom's this isn't really the reality. Many of us can't live on that one parent income and either have to have our relatives or some sort of day care to watch our children. If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay home full time with your children, good for you! Full time parents are a job too. Working part time people think you must have so much time on your hands. It's actually the opposite. I have a baby boy who refuses to take naps during the day and because of that gets very cranky! 
Thankfully I work for a really good company where they allow me to work in the office part time 2 days a week and then work from home the other three days! The two days I do work in the office my mom has babysitting duty- which she does not complain about one minute!  Working full time while watching an almost four month old is very, very tiring. Joey is such a good baby and is sleeping from 8pm- 6/6:30am which is amazing, however the only downfall to that is practically no naps during the day. That makes it a little hard to get much done during the day. Most days I either stay up late once Joey goes to bed or have him in my arms while I'm answering emails, making phone calls or working on some new projects. I do love getting to spend the time with him, especially since just last week I got to experience him rolling over (more like a plop over). But it's hard.. very hard. 
I've had numerous break downs. To the point I locked myself in my bedroom and cried when Joe got home from work. Sometimes I feel so helpless when I don't know what Joey wants and is so cranky and irritated. Usually it's because he is sleepy but will fight me for a nap, and will just want to be held the whole time.  Everything immediately becomes better when Joey shines his smile. It's so contagious that it makes me immediately forget just how tired I may be or how messy the house is. In that moment I just want to make him smile and enjoy watching him. 
So mom's who think they don't have it all together. Trust me- no one does! Take a minute to yourself, even if it is just in the shower and breathe. Everything will be alright. The laundry can pile up, the dishes can be dirty, and the house can be a mess.. but your baby will only be a baby for a little while so enjoy every second. 
my suit | Cupshe
sunglasses | Ray ban
Joey's suit | Babies R Us
Joey's rash guard | Target
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Monday, July 31, 2017

Recipe | Key Lime Bars

My husband has been on a Key West kick lately. We listen to the station 'No Shoes Radio' on Sirius XM and a lot of times they broadcast from bars in Key West. I blame this on his new found obsession.  Even though we won't be visiting there for a while. considering we still have an infant, I thought I would give him a piece of the south with these easy Key Lime bars!  



Ingredients:

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp salted butter, melted
pinch of salt
Filling:
1- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk 
4 large eggs
2/3 cup Key Lime juice (or lime juice)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine graham cracker crumbs (I was out so I crushed regular graham crackers in a food processor) sugar, melted butter and pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Once mixed press firmly and evenly into a lightly greased 13x9 baking pan. Bake crust for 8 minutes and set aside to cool to room temp.  With a hand mixer, blend together condensed milk, eggs, lime juice, baking powder and salt.  Pour over the cooled crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling in set (but not brown!) Refrigerate for at least 4- 5 hours before cutting into squares. You can garnish with whipped cream or lime zest!








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