Category: Ashley

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad

Happy 4th of July y’all! This is one of my favorite holidays! I love any excuse to decorate the house all red, white, and blue including my food! This is our second 4th of July in our house and we are finally settled in so we decided to have a bbq to celebrate this 4th of July with friends and family.

 

I wanted to make a side dish that would for sure be a firecracker hit at dinner! This watermelon blueberry feta salad dish is refreshing, sweet, and tasty for a wonderful bbq side dish.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups watermelon stars
  • 1 cup blueberries rinsed
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 limes juiced (save 2 slices for garnish)
  • Mint leaves for garnish

 

  1. First you start by slicing the watermelon in thin slices.DSC_0488
  2. Lay each slice down 1 by 1 and use a star cookie cutter to cut watermelon out in the shape of a star. After all of the stars are cut set aside in large bowl.
  3. Rinse blueberries and add to watermelon stars.  DSC_0522
  4. Next, squeeze limes over blueberry/watermelon mixture.
  5. Slowly fold in feta cheese to fruit mixture. Be careful not to break watermelon stars.
  6. Lastly garnish your fruit salad with a cut lime wedge and mint sprig!

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I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July and enjoy this delicious dish!

Watermelon Chicken Salsa

Happy first week of summer! It has been so hot here in California and it finally cooled down for some outdoor bbq-ing. What better way to celebrate by making one of my summer favorite go to recipes. I love this recipe because it is easy, quick, refreshing and delicious.  When I first came across this recipe I thought watermelon and chicken together?! I was a little unsure of it, but now it is a summer favorite in my family. Not to mention it is incredibly easy to make on a week night.

 

I quickly threw all 4 ingredients for the marinade this morning in a bag before leaving for work, and let the chicken marinate all day to give it the perfect chili lime flavoring.

Chicken Marinade:

2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp. chili sauce with garlic

1 tbsp. dark sesame oil

4 skinless chicken breasts (you can also substitute for chicken thighs)

 

 

After getting home from work, I made the watermelon salsa. You want to make the salsa early enough, so that it will have enough time to chill in the refrigerator before serving.

 

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Watermelon Salsa:

2 cups diced seeded watermelon

1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper

2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onions

1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger

2 tsp. mirin (sweet rice wine)

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

1/8 tsp. salt

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

 

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Mix all of the above ingredients in medium mixing bowl and stir together.  Then place in the refrigerator to chill until chicken is cooked.

Next, grill chicken on the bbq until cooked. After, place chicken on a plate and garnish with watermelon salsa, a lime wedge, and a sprig of fresh cilantro.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

 

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xx,

Ashley

Lavender Lemon Cocktail

I love anything lemon, and when I came across this new recipe, I couldn’t help but try it out. Plus, I love any excuse to have a glass of Ruffino Prosecco. I work for a wine distributer and am always trying new drink recipes. Ruffino Prosecco is a favorite of mine. It is produced in Italy and I love the crisp and refreshing taste of fruit flavors.

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This drink is great for Sunday brunch, or for an afternoon summer cocktail by the pool.

To make the lavender lemon syrup, mix 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of lavender. I used fresh lavender off a plant I have, but you can use dried leaves if you wish. I also twisted the leaves to bruise them a bit to help get out the flavoring while simmering. Let these ingredients simmer on low to medium heat for 15 minutes. After, let it cool for another 15 minutes and add purple food coloring to give the syrup the pretty purple color. Finally, pour through a thin mesh to remove leaves from syrup.

When you are ready to mix your cocktail, pour some of the lavender simple syrup into the bottom of a champagne glass. Then add Ruffino Prosecco on top. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a lavender flower.

Enjoy!

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Rustic Flooring Remodel

Hi all! I’ve been MIA lately because my husband I have been working on a big home remodel project. For the past couple of weeks and weekends, our time has been filled with this exciting project!

When my husband and I purchased our house about 2 years ago, we always knew that we wanted to make home improvements to turn it into ours and make it more of a home.

Lately it has been pouring rain in California, so it was the perfect time to begin work on a huge indoor project of ours. Thankfully with the wonderful help of my mom and dad, we have been able to successfully complete this project in just a couple of weekends.

Since moving in, we redesigned our front yard and painted all of our rooms a new color to match our furniture and decor.  Our next thing on our list was to pull out the carpet in the entire house and replace it with wood laminate.

We first started by researching and getting samples from several different local flooring companies in the area. We decided to buy our flooring in bulk from Flooring Liquidators in Sacramento. They have several chains located in California.

When choosing a color for the floor, my husband and I both were wanting something different. We went and picked out several different samples and brought them home to hold up next to our tile. We were not wanting to change our tile in our kitchen and bathrooms, so we wanted a floor color that would bring the look of the whole house together.

After hours of debating and many samples, we both decided on a style that we loved, Old Mill RL. We then narrowed it down to the Country Store color. We loved that it had a rustic look with bits of light and dark in the wood. When we finally settled on a style and color, we went to Flooring Liquidators to make our purchase. We loved working with them. They worked with us on price, and ended up dropping the original price down by $0.17 a square foot.

As far as other supplies we needed, I found a great website called Houzz.com. They had a 900 sq. ft roll of underlayment foam padding for only $99. Typically at your local home improvement stores the foam goes for about $30-$50 per 100 sq. ft, so I was very pleased with this great deal!

We broke the project up into different sections, and decided to start in the living room. Our living room took us two whole days. My dad and husband took charge of the measuring, sawing, and placing of each board. My mom and I helped supervise and repainted the baseboards.

Before

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After

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After the first weekend, we tackled our master bedroom and hallway. My husband and I couldn’t be happier with the final product and I was excited to finally complete the decor in our master bedroom.

Before

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After

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For my birthday this year my parents gave me a canvas of our wedding day. Taken by the amazing Carrie Ayn Photography. 

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Check out these amazing paper flowers my mom made.

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We are so happy with how our flooring turned out and can’t wait to get started on our next home project!

xx,

Ashley

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Rice Krispies

Happy Valentine’s Day Loves! I usually don’t have an excuse to make sweets that often so I love a good holiday to dress one of my traditional favorites up! Since the hubby and I are planning on staying in tonight and not trying to deal with the crowds I thought I would make a quick and easy snack/dessert. Warning these are addicting! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

6 cups Rice Krispies

3 tablespoons of butter

1 package of marshmallows

pink, red, or white sprinkles

white chocolate for melting

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Step 1:

Place the marshmallows and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir the mixture, then replace in the microwave for 1 more minute.

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Step 2:

Measure the 6 cups of Rice Krispies into the marshmallow mixture. Add in as many sprinkles as you wish.

 

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Step 3:

Place mixture on wax paper. Then place another sheet of wax paper on top. Flatten with a rolling pin.

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Step 4:

Using a cookie cutter cut into hearts. Then place on rack or wax paper. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Once chocolate is melted place the melted chocolate in a Ziploc and cut the corner of the Ziploc slightly allowing only a small amount of chocolate out. Then drizzle across all of the hearts.  Before chocolate dries add more sprinkles! Enjoy!

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xx,

Ashley

Mediterranean Spinach Chicken

Tonight’s dinner was an easy one to plan. I’ve made this dish several times for dinner and my husband absolutely loves it. Close friends of our just welcomed their baby boy into the world. We wanted to take them dinner tonight so they wouldn’t have to worry about cooking and attending to their new bundle of joy.

When trying to think of what dinner would be good to take to the new family of 3, I thought about what dinner dishes are healthy, tasty, and quick to make. The best part is this dish is made in one pan, so it makes clean up easy! My husband loves this dish and so do I. I modify it slightly from the original recipe. I also make my husband a side of whole wheat pasta to add in with his chicken.

I love that this dish is Whole30 compliant, it is low carb, tasty, and fulfilling, not to mention perfect for when you have leftover chicken from the previous nights dinner in the fridge.

I found this dish on a Facebook post for Whole30. Recipe from the Paleo Newbie on Facebook or Instagram: @paleo_newbie_recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 8 oz. artichoke hearts, liquid drained and sliced
  • 1/3 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 lb pre-cooked chicken (I usually bake mine in the oven for 15 minutes @425F)
  • a couple handfuls spinach
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

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1. In a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the chopped onions for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add minced garlic in with the onions, and sauté together 1 more minute.

3. Add the sliced mushrooms to the sautéed onions and garlic, cook 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are golden.

4. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then toss in the roma tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives. Sprinkle in the parsley and oregano while stirring for a few minutes.

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5. Next add your chopped precooked chicken and spinach to the pan. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Stir and cook only about 1-2 minutes to heat chicken. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

 

6. Serve garnished with freshly chopped basil leaves and a glass of vino!

IMG_3902xx,

Ashley

 

 

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Yesterday I had a major headache and was dreading coming home to cook. My husband went in for a dental check up earlier in the day, and ended up having some unplanned work done. He was needing something that would be easy to eat. Originally, I had planned to make a chicken dish, but knew that I needed to think of something that would be more realistic for dinner. I did not want to go out to eat, and I knew that it would be my husband’s first choice. That is when it hit me, Mom’s Tomato Tortellini Soup.

It is easy for me to throw together and I already have most of the ingredients.  This was a favorite of mine growing up, and something my sister and I both love to make on a cold winter day.

I love making recipes that my mom made for us when we were younger. My mom is an amazing cook. My husband always jokes that he married me for my mom’s cooking, so I like to make her recipes any chance I get.

A majority of the ingredients are items that are always in my pantry and refrigerator besides the tortellini, but seeing as I am in and out of grocery stores all day for work it was easy to just pick up the tortellini at my last stop.

My mom originally found this recipe in a magazine before there was internet 🙂 It quickly became a staple in our family. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 a Yellow Onion
  • 3 (14 1/2 oz.) cans of Beef Broth
  • 1 pkg (9 oz) Cheese Tortellini
  • 1 (14 oz.) jar Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Italian Herb Seasoning
  • Parmesan Cheese

*If you want to make this a little more hearty, add some of your favorite sliced sausage in as well.

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add tortellini and cook 5 minutes.

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2. While cooking tortellini cut zucchini and onion in half and slice.

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3. Add zucchini, onion, pasta sauce, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes longer.

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4. Top with grated parmesan cheese if desired.

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Enjoy!

 

xx,

Ashley

Ashley

Hi my name is Ashley! I am 26 years old and married to my high school sweetheart.  We have been together for nine years and married for a year and a half.  I am so thankful to have met the love of my life at such a young age. We have an Alaskan Malamute dog named Rory. We got her just before our wedding and she is one spoiled puppy!

 

I graduated college at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. I have always had a passion for shopping, design, and decorating.  I am a merchandising manager for a wine and spirits distributing company.  Let’s be honest who doesn’t love a glass of bubbly?! I’ve always been so grateful for the opportunities and traveling that my job has provided for me.

I spend most of my time with my husband, friends, family, and a majority of the time with my sister.  My sister and I talk to each other at least 4 times a day and typically see each other every day if not every other day. We work out, shop, diy craft, cook, and travel together. I am so thankful everyday for my older sister and am so lucky that I have a forever best friend that I can always count on. She is always 100% honest with me, makes me laugh, and constantly is saving me from anything technical that I get frustrated with. 🙂

I always enjoy looking for a bargain and turning it into something beautiful. On my weekends I love to get up early to hit all the local garage sells and find treasures that I can turn into amazing new home decor.

Growing up my sister and I always got along with having few fights, it wasn’t until she went away to college that we both were inseparable when we were together. Once she graduated college and moved back home I had decided to move to Los Angeles for work. I lived there for a year and was ready to move back home to be closer to my family and friends. Since then we both have purchased our own homes and live 4 miles away from each other and I absolutely love how close we are. We decided to start this blog as a way to connect with other sisters who are just as close.

I can’t wait to share with you my life through traveling, diy crafting, recipes, and home makeovers.

xx,

Ashley

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