Weekend Happenings

Hello, friends! Hope you all had the best weekend!

This weekend was another Nashville one for us, and it was fantastic. Normally when we go we are there for family time, but this weekend we mixed in a good bit of time with old friends, and it was so great! Nathan had an ultimate frisbee tournament with some guys from college and stayed with them, and I was able to see a lot of good girlfriends from school. It was such a treat, and although we definitely don’t see each other as much anymore, I always leave feeling so thankful for the friendships God has blessed me with. Awesome people, they are.

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Knowing that it has been a heck of a week with kitchen renovations, my parents did an awesome job trying to make it a relaxing weekend. In other words, bonfires, s’mores, fronch porch swings and internet surfing were involved. And it was just what was needed.

Time with friends was spent trying new eats in Nashville. And let’s be honest….Nashville is one of my favorite places for good eats. One of the best places that we tried was a restaurant called Pinewood Social. If you are ever in Nashville, go there. And then write me and tell me how awesome it is.

Seriously though, coolest place I’ve been to. The food was great, and the atmosphere was even better. A restaurant/coffee place/bowling alley/bocce ball court/ swimming pool….I meeeeeean. C’mon. That’s awesome. So yes. Pinewood Social. Highly recommend.

Needless to say, it was a good weekend. This week (fingers crossed!) we will be finishing up painting our kitchen cabinets. Sometimes all I can think is “make it stoooop”, but it is totally going to pay off. They are already looking a million times better, and I can’t wait to show you!

Hope your Monday morning is off to a good start! See you soooon. –Ashley

 

Linked up: Aharvestofblessing

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A Good Reminder.

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I love words. Words that are good and words that are true. I write them down, collect them and keep them on hand so that I can look back at them time and time again.

If you have Pinterest, more than likely, you have seen this quote floating around. I made my way across it a few weeks ago, and it has stuck with me.

I am sure that most of you will agree that life can get busy. Like, crazy busy. Schedules fill up, minds run at high speeds and we run around bouncing from one place to another. However, when I came across this quote it made me stop and think.

So often I am dreaming/planning/thinking about the next hour of my life. Or even the next day, week, month or year. It is SO easy to just cruise through today, and not be fully present. It is a sad truth. Sometimes I get so caught up in things that are fleeting, that I forget the reason I am here. To further God’s Kingdom and to love His people. So simple, yet so hard to do sometimes.

Being content is a tricky thing, yet, my hope is that I can learn to walk with God through each day, no matter how boring or uneventful that day seems. That I won’t always feel the need to create excitement in my life, but that I will treasure the quiet. And that I will be aware enough and present enough to see how God is working in each day.

Just some simple morning thoughts. Hope you have a great day! –Ashley

 

London

Not gonna lie, life has been crazy lately. A good crazy filled with many fun and exciting things, but crazy nonetheless. Between looking for jobs, seeing friends and family, picking out paint colors for the house, paint colors for the kitchen cabinets, fixing computers, getting cavities filled (dang chocolate croissants), hairs cut, and finally starting the painting of the cabinets (which I can’t wait to show you!), it has been a full life lately.

Thus, my reason for taking a blogging break. That and no computer. But I am glad to be back. It’s funny how much I’ve come to treasure this little blog of mine. I have loved documenting so many special things, big or small, that have taken place in our life. I am especially thankful for it, after all of our travels. Being able to look back on our adventures, and read about what we ate and the beautiful sights we saw, is such a joy. I love it. I really do.

However, when looking back at those adventures, I realized that I totally forgot to share our London trip on here! London was such a neat place, filled with a great mix of both old and new. We had a blast, and the Westminster Abbey especially blew my mind. Oh, and get this…while we were in London, the Royal Family was in Memphis for a wedding! what are the odds?! So, no royal sightings to say the least.

 

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Westminster Abbey.

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Five Guys saved us, when our reservations for a fancy dinner date fell through at 11 pm. And it was delicious.

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It was (bloody) awesome. :) Have a great Wednesday!– Ashley

Roasted Pepper Chicken Salad

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Oh, salads. I honestly never make them. For some reason I have no idea what to put in them. You would think making a salad would be an easy task, but not for me! Most of the time these guys turn out pretty boring, until this salad came about.

So much flavor, so much goodness, so (so) easy to make, and no dressing required. I am just going to go ahead and let you know….it’s pretty delicious.

I made this a while back, after a trip to Paris where we stuffed ourselves full of all things carb and sugar. I was craving something light and veggie-packed when I got home, and that’s when this recipe was born. It is perfect for using leftover chicken in, and as in all my recipes, feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking!

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2 cups of fresh arugula

1/4 avocado, diced

1/2 small red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 small yellow bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup leftover shredded chicken

sprinkle of feta cheese

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the bell peppers, spread on a lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred.

While the peppers are roasting in the oven, chop your avocado and shred your chicken.

When peppers are done, wait just a few minutes to cool, and then throw all the ingredients in a bowl, and enjoy!

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Oh, and if you have easy salad recipes that you love, please share! –Ashley

 

Linked at:

Aharvestofblessing

Weekend Happenings

Since we’ve been back from Switzerland we’ve pretty much hit the ground running. Seeing family and friends has been such a wonderful thing. And although we are still trying to catch up on some Z’s, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

This weekend was full of lots of family time. We made the trip to Nashville Friday night to see my family/be reunited with Michi (our pup!), and were able to make a quick stop on our way there to grab (an awesome) dinner with our brother and sister-in-law. It was such a treat to get to see them. They are about to be first time parents in three weeks, and it is SO EXCITING. They will make the best parents. I have no doubt.

oh, baby. good stuff.

Seeing Michi came next, and it was an exciting moment. Nathan and I were curious to see what he would do, having not seen him in 3 months, and simply put, he freaked.

But it was a good freak out! I then loaded him up with tons of doggy bakery goodies, and I think he forgave us for leaving him.

The rest of the weekend was spent in morning chats with my mom, cooking huge breakfast meals, visiting my brothers new place, meeting my brother’s girlfriends new pup and just enjoying family. It was a perfect weekend.

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Hope you all had the best weekend! And hope your Monday is even better.  –Ashley

THE GOODS//6//MASON JARS

So, I definitely skipped last weeks The Goods post. oops! Sorry, sorry.

But to make up for it, I am going to show you the greatest DIY ideas for the one thing that we all love (or at least I do?). yep. That would be mason jars. These things are so versatile. You can use them for storage, to make gifts, to decorate with, to drink out of…..I mean,  what more can you ask of from one object?!

I am sure you have seen a billion ways to use them, but maybe you will find just one more way from some of these great projects! Oh, and I realize that the mason jar tumbler isn’t really a decoration for your home, but a.) it is adorable and b.)it is basically a decoration for yourself….like an accessory. I definitely plan on making me one!

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So many good ideas!
Friends and family may or may not see these under the christmas tree this year :)

Nathan and I are headed to Nashville tonight, to see my fam and be reunited with our pup! I am soooo excited. It is gonna be a great weekend. Hope yours is wonderful, as well! Happy Friday people! –Ashley

Raw Chocolate Berry Treat

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Nate and I have made it! We conquered the 16 hour travel day (yeesh), and have made it home to Memphis. Jet lag is currently reigning on my parade, as was expected, so I am going to keep this post short and sweet.

So, let’s talk about the sweet. I am not sure whether this yummy treat would be considered a pie, a cookie, a cookie bar, a pie bar, a treat bar? I really don’t know. But what I do know is that it is healthy and can kick your sweet tooth goodbye. And those are two very good things.

I found this recipe on an awesome blog, the Wellness Mama, and was excited to try it.  Sadly, I didn’t get around to making the whipped cream that was also listed with the recipe, but think that you should definitely do it! I am sure it would be delicious.

This treat was super easy and required very little.

All you need is:

  • 1 cup raw almond meal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter (melted)
  • 4 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp raw honey, or to taste
  • Berries of your choice

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Mix together the almond meal, coconut oil or butter, cocoa powder and honey in a bowl. It should result in a somewhat crumbly consistency. You can always add more melted butter/coconut oil if needed. Then, press the mixture in an 8×8 pan.

Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then top with a big helping of your favorite berries. Drizzle a little extra honey on top if you’d like.
A perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

Hope you enjoy! And I really hope all of my sentences made sense, because I am too tired to proofread. Have a wonderful day! –Ashley

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Happenings

Happy Monday! Hope you had the best weekend!

We were lucky enough to end our Switzerland trip (we leave tomorrow! ah!) with an awesome day spent in France on Saturday, at one of the world’s most beautiful vineyards. Seriously, it was really voted that, and I can totally see why.
Lucas, one of the guys Nathan worked with here, was nice enough to plan a trip for us and some other co-workers. We spent most of the day hiking, eating cake in castles, and looking out at the most beautiful views that stretched all the way to Germany, which was so neat! We ate amazing French food and ended the day feeding some monkeys on monkey mountain. So cool!

The sun decided to peak out for the day, and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend our last weekend here! OH man, I am gonna miss it.

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I cannot get enough of that monkey/nathan picture. Instant smile. Hope you have a wonderful day! About to whip out some crazy packing skills!– Ashley

On Going Home.

Next Tuesday, Nathan and I will be hopping on board the plane to home. Oh my.

I cannot begin to put into words how amazing this experience has been for us, our marriage and our relationship with God. We have been able to experience things that we only dreamed about, have learned to depend on each other even more and have grown together in coming to know the Lord each day. We have been richly blessed, and my heart is full of thankfulness.

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On a much lighter note, I made my first to-do list in 3 months, the other day. It was weird. I definitely got a little too used to not having anything on my plate.

Besides the must do things like taking Michi to get his shots, getting my haircut (yes, this is a must do), and going to the dentist, I have been brainstorming some other things that I am excited to do/start doing when we get home.

  • Start the Home Renovations! First to go is that popcorn ceiling. It will be a big task to say the least. Then paint the walls, lay the floor, and paint those cabinets.
  • Yoga. Weights. The gym. While doing our workouts in our little apartment has been sufficient, we can’t help but talk about our excitement to be back at the gym. Yay for being strong again! Boo for barely being able to do push-ups right now.
  • Throwing a dinner party. Hoping to push myself out of my hosting comfort zone.
  • New Specs. Every time I get a new pair of glasses, I always go the cheapest route, and regret it. But not anymore! I need quality, people! Thinking about using the site Warby Parker,  which I have heard awesome things about! (opinions welcomed!)
  • Getting my booty back in the kitchen. I want to baaaaaake. I have developed a slight obsession with all things brunch while being here, so I want to learn to make scones and biscottis and crepes and want to master the best pancakes in the world.
  • Learn to make homemade bread. All kinds of bread.
  • Take better blogging pictures! While moving all your food to the wood floor of your apartment with weird lighting is a blast…I won’t miss it.
  • 21 Day Sugar Detox. Nathan and I have had our fair share of chocolate filled croissants, bakery bread and jars of nutella, and are ready to get back to the grind of eating clean when we get home. I actually can’t wait. Oh, and that baking I talked about earlier? Yeah. That won’t be happening until after this detox.

 

And that concludes my fun to-do list! I hope you have an awesome Thursday!–Ashley

Florence//Venice…Get comfy

Yes, you might want to find a comfy spot, because this post is a tad bit long. But really fun…I promise!

We went to Italy! We did it!

Going there has been a dream of ours since we were dating. Eat pizza in Italy. That was the goal. And of course it involved food.

And we got to check it off the to do list!

We traveled to both Venice and Florence, which were somewhat different but equally wonderful. Now, Venice was literally like a fairytale. It looked exactly the way I had hoped it would with the quaint little rivers running through, the men in striped shirts steering gondolas, the narrow cobblestone streets, and the millions of places to eat alongside the river. I mean…my smile was huge the entire time!

We didn’t spend a whole lot of time there (just one day and one night) but felt like it was enough to see everything we had wanted to.

Afterwards, we took the train to Florence, and got right into exploring. I really did not expect everything to be such a short distance from each other, which was kind of a nice break and allowed us to take more time to just sit outside and enjoy the sun, rather than having to get from one site to the next.

Florence was beautiful as well. Pretty crowded with tourists galore…but beautiful. Some of our very favorite things were the statue of David (amazing), hiking up the Piazzale de Michelangelo to watch the sunset and drink some coffee, the Duomo, which is a huge church that made you stop in awe as you turned the corner to see it, the 13 gelatos we consumed over the course of five days, the pizza, pasta and paninis, the Ponte Vecchio bridge and Florence at night. Oh, it was the best at night. The streets cleared out and lit up, and you got a chance to take it all in. Plus, we found a street performer that we watched two or three nights in a row, who put on an awesome and quite funny show.

It was just the best.

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//Tiny rivers of Venice//

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//The Duomo//

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//Ponte Vecchio Bridge//

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//View from the Piazzale de Michelangelo//

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Maybe one day we will get to go back! God has just been so good to us. –Ashley