The Ashley Maria Blog

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Declutter Challenge | 2019

One of my favorite things to do in the new year is get organized and start on the right track! Today I came up with a de-cluttering challenge worksheet to help you as well!

I like to think I keep up with me kitchen so I didn't include this on the list, however I did leave open spaces for you to fill in other parts of your home you want to de-clutter as well!

I am using the approach of KEEP | DONATE | SELL | THROW


Start by taking everything out of your closets, drawers, storage etc. Make these four piles.

Keep: You wear or use often. There are no holes or stains

Donate: An item that was gently used, but could be useful to someone else.

Sell: An item that may still be in packaging or have tags still on. Maybe you wore a dress once to a wedding and is still in really good condition. I use Poshmark, Mercari, and Facebook Marketplace to sell items!

Throw: Item has holes, stains, damaged or has seen better days!

Looking for more organization tips?
Linen Closet Organization
Spice Cabinet Organization
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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Favorite Things from 2018

We are half way through January already and I am trying to hard to stick to my resolution! Did you make one this year? Well I did, and it may be the first time ever! My resolution this year is to stay more organized. See, I am constantely being pulled a million different ways- working full time, working part time as a head cheerleading coach, running this blog, running my own Etsy Shop and website, being a mommy, wife, cook, baker, cleaning lady etc. it takes a lot out of me! So this year, in order to stay calmer and productive, I want to plan, execute and stressless! So far, so good, I'm happy to report. 
So onto today's post. I wanted to share with you some of my top things from this past year. 

+ First up is my Scout lunch box that was actually gifted to me! Around the spring time, I was on the hunt for an insulated lunch box because I wanted to start bringing my lunch to work with me since I started working full time again. Luckily, Scout knew I was on the hunt, and offered me this one. It's so easy to clean in case something spills in it. It keeps my lunch warm or cold- since it's insulted and I love the look of it! 

+ Leading me into my next favorite from this past year is my Scout weekender bag. I wish I could count all the times I've used it since receiving it this Fall, but I don't have that many fingers!! Like my lunch box, it is so easy to wipe down if I say spill coffee on it putting everything in the car (I've done it- yes, a whole cup!), it fits so much stuff and the straps are wide so it won't cut into your shoulders!


+ I purchased a couple plants from different stores this year to put into my office. I am trying to make my office into a relaxing atmosphere where I stress less- on most days! I am loving this little guy the most though. When I got it, it was about half the size and had a lot more pink speckles on the leaves, You can still see some, but boy has this baby grown!


+ On Black Friday both my mom and I picked up the Amazon Fire for Kid's at Target for a steal. I gave it to Joey for Christmas, and it was one of the best decisions! We typically only put YouTube on for Joey as a last resort while out, but we like that this is made specifically for kids with educational apps, games and yes.. Baby Shark on repeat! This also free's up my phone from being used and potentially thrown, cracked or battery drained!

+ I got this Sally Hansen Insta-dry nail polish after seeing a blogger in the Spring talking about it. I feel in love and my favorite color is White on Time. I dries really quick and goes on so smooth!


+ During a sale at Sephora, I broke down and purchased this DryBar Curling Iron  and have loved the way my curls came out after using it. I have been using strictly a straightener to 'curl' my hair. I just love the two different looks I can easily do now!

+ Early last year, I got rid of our stained comforter and opted for a duvet and cover. I rather not discuss the stains from a sick dog, sick kid and lord knows what else got onto the white comforter -that didn't fit into out washer. Instead in the garbage it went and off to Home Goods I go! I wish I could link the duvet I found because it really is perfect! After struggling with the duvet slipping into the cover for months, I finally found these Duvet Clips and they are a huge game changer! 

Image may contain: bedroom and indoor

So what are some of your favorite items from 2018? I would love to know in the comments!
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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Weekend Rewind | Bachelorette Party

This weekend was so much fun, but also this mama is still exhausted! We celebrated one of my very best friends with her bachelorette party!
Friday:
We started the weekend off by having dinner and drinks at Melt at the Promenade Shoppes. 

Dress: Rent the Runway (this is the second time i've rented it and am obsessed with the way it fits!
Boots | Vince Camuto (similar)

Saturday:
We started the morning bright and early with a work out from Britney, who owns Barre3 Allentown! She was so good, that I may sign up for a membership to take more of her classes!

Shirt | Custom Made
Leggings | lululemon

Vail | Etsy


After Barre3 we had a smoothie bowl and got ready to head into the Big Apple. The traffic was so light, maybe because it was raining, but we made it in record time! We checked into our hotel- the Avalon (which was the cutest- very old school!) and got ready to head to our DryBar appointments. 



After getting pampered and our hair done, we headed back (in the rain) to the hotel. We had some snacks, made cosmo's to drink and got ready for dinner.

We went to dinner the Refinery Rooftop and the view is amazing! I can't wait to go back when it's warmer with the full roof open.


Shirt: Old Navy (sold out of green- but on major sale!)
Pants | Jcrew (sold out of leather stripe)
Heels | Jessica Simpson

After dinner we had a few more drinks on the Rooftop before heading to the Moxy hotel for more drinks. We ended up at one of the night clubs before Ubering back to the hotel for the night!

Sunday:
We all slept in.. which NEVER happens- for me at least! 
We had to get up and get ready right away and headed to brunch at Dos Camino's  for one of the best breakfast burrito's I've ever had!

After brunch we headed back to the hotel to grab out luggage and cars to head home. I think Amy had so much fun (I know I did) and can't wait for her wedding in ONE MONTH in Jamaica!!



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Monday, January 7, 2019

Easy Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

I adapted this recipe from Joanna Gaines Biscuits and Gravy recipe in her cookbook Magnolia Table. I originally made this recipe on Thanksgiving, and it was such a hit I had to make it again!

Don't let this recipe intimidate you, it is so, so easy to make!

Ingredients:

1/4 pound pork sausage- I used Jimmy Dean's, but you can use any brand or fresh
2 tbsp butter
2 to 3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 whole milk
Biscuits- I used trader joe's 

Directions:

Bake your biscuits according to the packaging, in a large skillet, cook your sausage according to your packing or until browned. While cooking break into smaller chunks. Drain the sausage and put to the side. Melt your butter in your pan and add the 2 tbsp flour, salt and pepper. Stir until blended. Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and add in sausage. If gravy is too runny add more flour. If you think you added too much flour, simply add a little more milk. Serve over biscuits when cooked!


Mr. Joey approves as well!
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Friday, January 4, 2019

The Perfect Food for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner!


There is something so good about a home made breakfast sandwich. Add that to a long weekend like we just had during the holidays = HEAVEN!
Thanks to Brand backer, I was gifted this 2 lb piece of Speck Alto Adige PGI and boy was it delicious. We used it all weekend!
We started with making a breakfast sandwich with thinly spliced Speck Alto Adige PGI, scrambled eggs with cheddar and swiss cheese on an everything bagel. Joe added hot sauce to his, and I added my go to- Sriracha Ranch from Trader Joe's
It was so tasty. The Speck Alto Adige PGI gave it the extra flare it needed!

For appetizer we had cut the Speck Alto Adige PGI into smaller bite size pieces and put them for family to eat with some cheese.

For Dinner we added more of the Speck Alto Adige PGI ontop of our pasta during our Christmas meal. If was so good, and everyone enjoyed it!


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Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 | Our Year In Review

I can't even believe I am writing this post. How the heck did this year sneak by already. 

February 2018..
We celebrated the Super Bowl, but it was also special this year because MY TEAM the Philadelphia Eagles were Champs!!! We usually only celebrate Joe's team, so it was nice to get bragging rights for once! 
March 2018...
We spent most of the month getting ready for Joey's big first birthday bash, but we also celebrated Easter!

April 2018...
Joey turned ONE year old and it went by so so fast! We celebrated with a Farm Animal Birthday Party! Also, in April Joe and I turned 30 years old!
May 2018...
Joe turned 30 on April 30, so the following weekend I threw him a surprise party! I did it 80's theme in honor of the year he was born 1988! We also celebrated a Cinco de Mayo party and Mother's Day!

June 2018...
We kicked off Summer, Joey started at a 'school' aka daycare and celebrated Father's Day!
July 2018...
We participated in our new yearly tradition of working the funnel cake stand at our big Italian festival! We also celebrated Joey's best bud's Declan's first birthday 

August 2018..
After much back and forth, we finally put our house on the market. It's just a little too small for our growing family. It was perfect when we bought it but adding a dog, toddler and all their toys into it, it got pretty crammed and quick! It currently is still on the market after a few offers fell through! But we have high hopes that in the fall it will sell!
September 2018... 
We started the month celebrating the end of Summer, which we always hate to see go. But Joey got to move up to a new classroom! We were sad to move on from his teachers, but thankfully the classrooms are adjoined, so we get to see them often! We got to make a trip to Arlington VA for a friends wedding and spend the weekend exploring DC and Georgetown! That previous weekend we celebrated our friends Katie and Garrett's marriage too! 
October 2018...
This month is always fun because it involves dressing up and candy! Joey had two different costumes this year for Halloween! I got to throw my best friend a Bridal shower and can not wait for her wedding to get here in February- oh yeah, and travel to Jamaica!
November 2018...
We spend most of the month preparing for the holidays. I put together this free download list to use while shopping!
December 2018...
We kicked off the month with our holiday pictures and we loved the way they turned out! I hosted my first annual Cookie Exchange with all my cousins! It was so much fun and I can't wait to start planning next years.
 May god bless you with a healthy and safe New Year to come! Thank you so much of your support you show to me and my family. We truly are blessed. I love having you follow along with our crazy adventures and look forward to many more in the year's to come! CHEERS!
Previous Years
2017 | 2016 | 2015
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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Our Christmas Photos 2018

Once again this year, we had our wonderful photographer DeLorenzo Photography take our annual Christmas pictures. We got them done a little later this year so we are just getting them all back, but I absolutely love them. I found an idea on Pinterest using Joey's coup car with a tree ontop and wanted to recreate it. I didn't think it all the way through and definitely shouldn't have busted out the car until the end of the session. Joey just wanted to play with his car and was giving us such a hard time. I for sure thought there would be no good photo's but I really do love them all. Joey looks like such a big boy, and time needs to slow down.

Here are some of my favorites from our shoot.






















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