Celebrating the First Day of Winter

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Unfortunately, it doesn’t snow in Orange County, so I needed to kick off the first day of winter another way, and why not with gingerbread houses? I also wanted to do a round-up of the three best/most recent gingerbread houses I have created. The first three photos are from December 2011. I loved how much creative freedom I had with that house because it was made out of graham crackers, and I had enough to make it look more like a mansion! The next set of photos are from December 2014, and I made the gingerbread house from a kit I bought at Trader Joe’s. Finally, the last set of photos are from December 2016. Matt was sweet enough to surprise me with the gingerbread house kits from Trader Joe’s earlier this week to initiate the Christmas festivities, and it made me so happy! Although we had fun decorating the houses, we decided we want to go back to graham crackers next year and on because we have a lot more flexibility as far as design is concerned, and we like that.

Xo, Ash

Busy as a Bee

I don’t have any pretty pictures for you today, but what I do have is a few words I want to share with you. I’ve been pretty hard on myself, because I really made it a point to post regularly and be consistent with my blog, but SO much has happened in the last few weeks, and I just didn’t have the time to get around to it. What I do know though, is that I enjoy blogging very much, and to the few of you who actually read my posts and keep up with it all, I am so appreciative, so thank you, it means a lot to me. I have some exciting things planned for this week and the weeks to come, so hopefully it will make up for the lack of content thus far. While I haven’t been blogging, I have been completing my second semester (of three) of my teaching credential program (final exams included), substitute teaching, working at Planet Beauty, blogging (or attempting to), spending time with my family, celebrating Matt’s 30th birthday, and in the process of closing escrow on our new home!! Please stay tuned for the great things to come, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Xo, Ash

Three Weeks and Waiting

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Our move-in date has changed yet again, but this time, only by one day, so our new move-in date is December 29! This whole process has been so new, informative, stressful, exciting, emotional, and I can’t think of any other adjectives right now, but I think you get the point. At the end of the day though, it has all been worth it. It is a proud moment to buy/own a home, share it with your partner, and make it your own, so Matt and I have A LOT to be thankful for. We cannot wait to move in, get settled, decorate, and share more pictures with you. Things are moving pretty quickly at this point, so I’ll have even more to show you next week!

P.s. I’m most excited about our kitchen island, and it’s been bothering me that they have had it covered with protective paper, because I want to see it and share it with all of you! The material is the same New Carrara Quartz we used for every other countertop in the house, but I am just too obsessed with it! BUT, I guess I can’t be too upset about the fact that they have had it covered all this time, because, well, it’s keeping it safe and pretty until the grand reveal (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself).

Xo, Ash

Fall Food: Sweet Potatoes

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Just because Thanksgiving is over, it doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in some of our fall favorites. It has become tradition for me to make somewhat of a candied sweet potato dish during the holidays, and I love it. It is quick and easy to make, and it’s delicious! When I first started making this dish almost 10 years ago, I used yams, and then I learned that sweet potatoes have more nutritional value, so I started making it with sweet potatoes. This year, I had requests to make both versions, so I did!

Ingredients:

  • (6) Sweet Potatoes or Yams
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Original Marshmallows

Directions:

  • Wash sweet potatoes/yams with warm water
  • Boil sweet potatoes/yams in a large pot of water until soft and skin starts peeling off; this usually takes about 45 minutes
  • Drain water from pot and give sweet potatoes/yams a cool rinse
  • Peel sweet potatoes/yams
  • Place and mash sweet potatoes/yams in an oven-safe dish
  • Sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar and cinnamon on top of sweet potatoes/yams
  • Place mini and original marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes/yams
  • Sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar and cinnamon on top of marshmallows
  • Place dish in oven and broil until marshmallows puff and start to brown; this usually takes about 5 minutes
  • Serve, eat, and enjoy while it’s hot!
  • Because no dairy is used in this recipe, you can store it outside of the refrigerator, or you can refrigerate it to maintain its freshness and just heat it up in the microwave before you eat the leftovers, if there are any!

Notes: This recipe serves about 12 people.

Xo, Ash

Thanksgiving at the Tree House

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Happy Thanksgiving! We are celebrating Thanksgiving with part of our family in Northern California, and I can’t ask for much more. I am so thankful for my family, my health, my best friends, and all of the opportunities God has continued to bless Matt and me with. What are you thankful for?

Xo, Ash

Five Weeks and Waiting

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There has been a lot of progress with the house since last week. Some of the appliances are in place, the kitchen island countertop is set, and the backsplash is being installed! The master shower and tub are almost complete too! We cannot believe we are only five weeks away from moving in! I won’t be able to post an update on the house next week, as we will be out of town, but that just makes me that much more excited for the next post, as it will be THREE weeks and waiting, and a lot more will be done!! Stay tuned!

Xo, Ash