Monday, March 31, 2014

[monday meals mashup] #2

Hey there ladies!!  It's Monday so that means it's time for another week of the Monday Meals Mashup linkup with me and Susie "The Allison Wonderland"!!

Monday Meals Mashup

Sometimes it's hard to come up with meal ideas or to plan out for an entire week. What we are hoping for is for this to help you in your meal planning. This is something that is rather new to me sort of a New Years resolution if you will. 

Here's what's on the menu this week!

Monday: we still have that lasagna so we need to finish that up. 

Tuesday: Indian food sounds so good right now so were going to get the simmer sauce at the store and then add in chicken, peppers, and mushrooms along with some spicy stuff, serve it up with some rice and naan. Yum!

Wednesday: we didn't get our steak on last week so I'm thinking this will be good with some sautéed green beans and bread. We love our bread on this farm!

Thursday: Thomas has been asking for pizza like crazy so in finally going to get my act together an make some pizza dough get the fixin's and have ourselves some homemade pizza up on this farm!!

Friday: it's time to get out of the kitchen and let someone else do the cooking!! Out to dinner we go, not sure where yet but probably Red Robin. 

Saturday: we are celebrating our sweet nieces 5th birthday so we're going to have some cake too!

Sunday: soup! Probably some sort of chicken soup not sure what's calling my name but I will get it figured out!!

Susie and I would love to know what's on your menu this week or get some recipe inspirations so please linkup below!!

♥ Ashley

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Friday, March 28, 2014

{favorites} baby items 6 to 9 months

As Ellie has become more mobile and quite the little busy body.  We have found these items to be life saving. Not only are these great for her waking hours but some have really given us peace of mind (and restful nights) while she is sleeping. Click to see our Newborn-3 Months or 3 Months - 6 Months Faves

A home decor collage from March 2014

Bassinet we really liked this bassinet (when we finally decided to use it!!) I loved that it was portable and able to fit through our narrow doorways. It was great for having Ellie sleeping in it in our bedroom and in the living room for her naps. This bassinet also had some pretty cool features with a night light, lullabye music (adjustable volume) and a vibrating option (adjustable intensity). 

Sophie by far a huge favorite. As Ellie really began to teethe during these months Sophie was great for her little hands to grip and all the different angles she could chew on. 

Activity Cube  we loved this. Ellie go it for a Christmas present and it has been so much fun watching her play and discover. I think it was a huge proponent in helping her to stand and squat and pull up on her own. She also is pretty good at moving the beads on the wires (mostly just up).

Ergo Carrier: I love this item more and more every time I put it on and then wonder to myself why I don't use it more often?!  It is so comfortable and Ellie fits so well in it. I also am so grateful at how easy it is to put on. My favorite is how I can be hands free while still being close to Ellie and that she can nap in it as well!!

Exersaucer: girlfriend loves this toy/piece if equipment. I love how interactive it is and all the different activities it provides. Ellie loves to jump in it and it is great for when we need her to be contained while we prepare dinner or do light housework. I am excited to use this in its "Stage 3" option for when Ellie is up and walking/cruising.

Ring Links: these are awesome. They link together, duh, and make a fun jingling noise that Ellie loves to shake them. I love that we can attach them to just about anything; walker, Exersaucer, car seat, stroller, high chairs and that we can attach certain toys to them as well. These are definitely a great investment.

Baby Monitor: absolutely necessary for the overly anxious mom (like me) who is so nervous having her little baby in the other room while sleeping. It has night vision, a good range of motion, two-way communication and we can use it all over our house and in our yard!!

Sleep Sacks: since Ellie still preferred and slept better when swaddled we love the ease of these swaddle sleep sacks.  The Velcro works great and doesn't lose it's ability to stick even after multiple washes. I love the colors and patterns they come in and that they have a size large enough for Ellie. They get a pretty snug fit and don't stretch out too much.

We loved all of these items and more for this age range. Ellie also liked to play with some kitchen items. Like Tupperware, measuring cups, an spatulas!!

I hope this list helps you get an idea of what items an be used into the 6-9 month range!  Click on the favorites label to see our top picks for 'newborn to 3 months' and '3 to 6 month faves'

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Little Things #9

After putting down my beloved horse, Jazz last Thursday I have really acknowledged how precious this life we have really is.  It has made me think and re-evaluate how I am going to live my life from here on out.  I always knew that his life would end before mine.  I knew that I would be devastated. But I didn't know how it would affect me.

I want to make sure that I enjoy these days with Ellie.  I know they are numbered because before I know it, she is going to be a toddler and no longer a baby.  As I look forward to her meeting milestones and getting to see the sweet girl she will grow up to be, I know I need to slow down. Enjoy and soak up these fleeting moments with her.  Especially now as she is becoming more vocal of her wants/likes and dislikes as well as her new found independence with being able to move around the house via army-wiggle, crawling, and assisted walking - not to mention her pulling up on lots of things!

So today I want to enjoy her being little.  To watch her in amazement as she discovers her world.  I love hearing her babble and tell her toys stories.  I love her snuggles and how she sleeps so well on my lap.  I love having her close for cuddles and want to cherish and remember those.

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

{weekly update} week 44

Another week has passed and my sweet Ellie Faith is getting so big, strong, curious, and smart!!  It has been so much watching her discover even more this week!!

Eats: girlfriend is in love with food. She is getting really good at self feeding and just shovels food into her mouth!! She lose sitting in her high chair an joining us at the table. I don't think we introduced any new foods this week but she is starting to understand her sippy cup. 

Sleeps: Ellie is sleeping the majority of the night in her crib.  The past two nights she has made it the whole night!!  This has been a hard transition for myself, (I should write a whole post on it!) as she started rolling over and sleeping on her tummy.  I get so nervous at night that she is going to suffocate that I end up bringing her into our bed so she can be close to me.  I am not sure when that fear will disappear (if ever) but I am slowly getting better and making fewer trips into her room at night to check her breathing and roll her onto her back.

Goes: Ellie Faith is such a great traveler.  Aside from the usual trips to church, grocery shopping, and restaurants we also went to the park this weekend with Ellie's birth mom!  We had a wonderful visit her and it was so nice to be able to watch the two of them together - I think Ellie recognized her.

Loves: her activity cube (see photo below), her crib and mobile, any toy that makes noise, her fake remote control for the tv, cell phones (not allowed!), shoulder rides, standing, and eating.

look at those curls she woke up with one morning!

Does: can officially pull herself up onto our coffee table, in her crib, and activity cube.  Girlfriend has been holding out on us because she can actually crawl!! its just not her preferred form of movement, she likes her army-crawl-wiggle! Claps her hands, signs "more", says "dada", waves "hi-hi" and "goodbye", also she gives high-fives! adorable.

Mama: My first week of being 30 has been rough.  I had to put my horse down on Thursday (he has been in my life for nearly 17 years) and I got some medication to hopefully help with my migraines and it has made me drowsy! My life with Little Sweet E is just the best and I am so thankful she is in my life.  Thomas has been super supportive as well and brought home flowers for me yesterday - he speaks my language!

Sweet Ellie you are just my little chunk of love!! Darling girl I am so grateful to be your Mama and am loving getting to watch you grow into the cute and sweet little girl. 

♥ Ashley

Monday, March 24, 2014

[linkup] Monday Meals Mashup #1!!

Okay ladies. I have really enjoyed doing this meal planning each week. It has really helped me to relax in the evenings because I don't have to "come up" with what we should have for dinner. Who knows why it took me so long.   But it can be daunting making it up week after week, so I really like having Thomas input otherwise I am our of ideas when I get to Wednesday (considering I start on Monday that's embarrassing)!!!!

Life on the Parsons Farm

So Thomas and I usually have a powwow on Sunday nights to get our menu figured out!!!  I love getting his input so that I know he is going to like what we are having!

 Monday we are having Chicken Paillard.  It is so good and easy!
 Tuesday we are going to have some sort of pasta, I am craving Pesto so we are probably going to go that route.
Wednesday I am going to MOPS so I am having dinner there and Thomas is on his own!
Thursday we still have that lasagna in the freezer and we are going to eat it darnit!!
Friday, steak is sounding pretty good to me.  We like the thin cut Ribeye and I just sear it on the stovetop for about 2 minutes each side! So simple and good!
Saturday we are going out to dinner!! not sure where but its going to be good
Sunday still having Soup Sundays!! Yum!

My dear friend Susie and I are embarking on a weekly recipe or menu link up - Monday Meals Mashup!! We so hope you join us and link up and as our button to your post!!  We are launching our link up today!! So please join us an link up!!

♥ Ashley

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Friday, March 21, 2014

{monthdate} ten months!!!!

Ten months. Ellie is ten months! That means that in just two months she will be a year old! How did that happen? Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital?!

What a great month we have had. This is by far my favorite month so far. Ellie is so much more interactive, aware of he surroundings, and her little personality is showing through. 

Things we have been up to this month:
•  You got to go to the park and down the slide for the first time!
• Daddy had mid winter break an you got to spend the whole week with daddy!
• We celebrated Mama's birthday and went out to dinner with loud live Music and you loved it!
• You also got to celebrate your first St. Patrick's Day and we had "green week" at our home!
• You successfully experienced your second time change (Spring Forward) and were a champ!
• We also got to observe the first day of spring!
• We got your 9 months photos done and you were a much happier camper!

Stats: No official stats. 
Height: guessing around 27"
Weight: somewhere in the 19 pound range
Head: larger than 17"
Food: eating about 6 ounces at each feeding for about 28-30 ounces a day. Solid foods and self feeding bread, puffs, beans, peas, cheese, and mashed potatoes. 
Diapers: size three
Clothes: mostly 6-9 or 6-12 month. Mostly investing in the 12 month clothes now!
Sleeping: you finally rolled over onto your tummy so we are no longer swaddling you. To ease the transition we brought you back into our bed for a couple nights and now you are in your crib. You sleep for about 4 hours pretty well (I don't) so after you have flipped to your tummy a few times after I have come in to roll you over we bring you back into our bed so I can get some sleep!  
Cries: rarely. Usually because you mouth is hurting you or you are hungry/tired.  

Loves: baths, eating, holding her blankets, clapping, the hair dryer blowing on her face, rolling over, anything that makes noise and walking with assistance. 

Hates: still not a big fan of getting her boogers out. Sippy cups, she hates them and just wants her bottle so we are goin to need to try out a few different kids I guess.  Depending on her mood she may or may not be a fan of the vacuum cleaner. 

Mama's proudest moment:  when we are playing on the floor and she climbs into my lap for a hug!

Daddy's proudest moment: how she says and whispers "dada" 

Oops of the month:  when I took Ellie to get her 9 month photos done she had just woken from a nap, so I fed her and changed her diaper. Then to try and make her "outfit change" go more smoothly I put her green bloomers on under her pants. And figured that since we were just going to be out for the photo shoot (less than an hour) I wouldn't need any extra clothes. Wouldn't you know it that once we got to the studio she was hungry again and then had a gigantic pee and is leaked through her diaper, bloomers and jeans!!! So of course I had no change of clothes and she couldn't wear "piss-y" bloomers for the pics so she was just in a diaper and her dress. 

Things we are looking forward to: Ellie walking and talking. 

Dear Ellie, you are a complete joy and just a cute little baby. We love seeing your personality beginning to shine through and see what your interests are. You live music and toys that make sounds. You know what you like and what you want and being able to "walk" has helped you to get to where you want to go! You have the sweetest laugh and the best smile!!


Thursday, March 20, 2014


I was drafting my birthday recap post earlier today. My plan was to post 30 things about me. But I couldn't publish that post because something very unexpected happened this evening. 

It has to do with my #16: i fell in love with horses in 5th grade and after much begging I got one on July 7, 1998 after finishing 8th grade.  I still have him today, his name is Jazz.  I love him to death and has been a staple in my life since then.  I have the best memories of afternoons and summer days at the "barn" just riding my horse, or brushing him and doing super stupid and dangerous stuff.

The thing is, after 7:25pm this evening I don't have him anymore. He has been not doing well the past 3-6 months but I attributed it to his old age. He collapsed this afternoon (I have no idea how long he was down for, my neighbor alerted me of his state, as I was busy with Ellie inside and Thomas was still at tennis). I had to call the vet for an emergency call/visit. I had tried giving him water and getting him to stand. He nickered at me but was unable to lift his head or get up for that matter. He wasn't doing well. I knew this was the end. 

Finally the vet arrived and assessed Jazz's condition. He deduced that Jazz has been suffering from some sort of neurological disease for a while after hearing about his symptoms over the past 3-6 months. And that was most likely the cause of his collapse. He really didn't think that there was anything we would be able to do to help him. We could do bloodwork but that would take a while (and be super expensive) and we still might not be able to do anything. All three of us, Thomas, myself and the vet tried getting Jazz to stand up but my boy just couldn't get control of his legs to pick himself up. [If you aren't familiar with large animals it is pretty crazy to see them so helpless. These majestic creatures unable to control their bodies anymore.] we couldn't do it. He couldn't stand up. And there was really no point I dragging out his misery an discomfort for some bloodwork that probably wouldn't help is anyways. Especially since we couldn't get him to stand up. 

So I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. The one I have been dreading for the past 4 years but knew was inevitable. I had to put down my best friend.  Putting down a large animal isn't like a dog or cat. The vet has to come to you. They insert an IV and then do two large syringes of the euthanizeing agent and then it takes just a few seconds for them to go. But since they are so big the continue to have muscle spasms and gas (burping) for a good 5 minutes.  Then the vet gives you the $360 bill and leaves you with this giant animal all to yourself for removal. So I am having a company come out tomorrow to remove and dispose of my best friend, for another $265. It's heartbreaking. But I knew it was going to happen at some pout. I was just hoping it was going to be later. 

It's incredible how helpless you can feel and how your life can change in the matter of minutes.  That horse has been a part of my life for longer than he hasn't and now he's gone. He was my confidant. He taught me so much and grew my character like no one else could. I learned patience, persistence, determination, failure, disappointment, celebration, success, fulfillment, love, and acceptance. He got me through so many tough times (bullying in high school, breakups, and really low moments). He grew my confidence and self worth. He gave me a way to escape and taught me to focus and relax. 

Even though horses are dangerous, expensive, unpredictable wild animals they are able to teach their girls (or boys) grace, money management, and to prioritize your time well. I love this horse. "Manners" as we was affectionately called mainly because he lacked them, ha! But also because he was my main man for many years. Horses are something special an I hope that Ellie will get to grow up with their embrace. 

Rest is Peace my dear Jazz. 

July 7, 1985 - March 20, 2014

30th Birthday Recap

If you are new here, I just turned 30 on Monday. 
(St. Patricks Day)

I was all ready to post on my birthday day but then as you know life happened.
My day was pretty "traditional" in the sense I went to school/work (I am a teacher) and then we went to FX McRory's for dinner.  It was just me, my Daddy, Thomas and Ellie.  We go there every year.  It is so much fun.  Its an Irish Pub in downtown Seattle and they go all out for this holiday.
The decor is all green with Irish Flags everywhere.
They have live music with a traveling band trio that goes to tables and plays traditional Irish Music as well as the Keith Highlanders Pipe Band with dancing girls and boys!
It is quite the celebration!

This year was so much fun because Ellie got to join us!! YAYA and boy did she love it!  She got to sit in the high chair and eat puffs, mashed potatoes and french fries!
I just loved that she was a good sport and able to enjoy the festivities.  The band came right by our table and we tried to put earmuffs (our hands) over her ears but she wouldn't have it!! lol

I had a wonderful day and so enjoyed spending the evening with Thomas, Ellie and my Daddy. 

So here's to 30!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lucky Linkup Recipe

A couple of weeks ago one of my favorite bloggers hosted a linkup for a recipe swap.  Erinn is such a great writer and has two adorable little girls! I did a guest post for her back in November about being a Girl Mom and I just love her blog. 

For the link up you posted about an "Irish" or "St. Pat's Day" recipe and linked it up.  Then you got paired up with another bloggers recipe where you got to make theirs!  Then we are posting about our recipe/experience.  I made Irish Soda Bread for the recipe I shared.  If you haven't tried it yet - go do it now.  You will thank me I am sure!

I was paired up with Jamie Lynn from Cocktails & Carseats for her Green Irishman!

I am not much of a drinker.  Now don't get me wrong but I am what many might consider "dry".  I partied it up in college and then I graduated and got married.  With our hopes and plans to start a family right away I gave up alcohol.   And since we have been having difficulty on that front I have chosen to abstain from it pretty much altogether.  I am not much of a wine drinker - never have been and probably never will be, I personally find it pretty gross.  I will have the occasional beer but my drink of choice is probably a Mojito.  I have those on very rare occasions, like once a year.

Let me say that I am NOT a prude, others can drink and that is totally fine with me!  I just choose not to.  Sometimes I will have a drink - usually during my period since I can guarantee at that time I am not pregnant.  But that is a rarity.

With all that being said, we don't have a whole lot of hard alcohol in our house and I wasn't really wanting to go out and buy a few fifths of the needed ingredients so mine is a modified drink.  I was able to get a shooter of Baileys, had some whipping cream on hand, and to make it green I used a little food coloring.  It tasted great, probably not as good as Jamie's but I liked it!

1.5 oz Irish whiskey
1.5 oz Bailey's Irish cream
1 oz half & half
Splash of creme de menthe
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then add the ingredients.  Shake until the whole shaker gets frosty and pour into rocks glass with ice.  Enjoy!

♥ Ashley

Saint Patricks Day Weekend

I am a little late to posting this - but its been a little crazy lately.  I am just now starting to catch up on my blog reading so I am behind.  Hey, it happens to the best of us right?

What a hell of a day. I may or may not have over-reacted.  Ok I did.  On Friday's Ellie gets to spend the day with Nanny (my MIL).  I was all prepared for an awesome day (I even straightened my hairs for good measure).  
I was running early - when does that ever happen? - and decided to pack up the truck prior to getting Ellie in the car seat.  So I go out to my vehicle and unlock to doors to get everything situated and then go to close my driver side door and it won't close. 
 Its raining and my truck is NOT in the garage.  I tried to fix the problem area of the door - not happening AND I was getting grease all over my fingers and I was wearing my HELLO sweatshirt for the first time and my hairs were getting wet.  I got super frustrated, called my MIL to come and get me and then I had to figure out how to play real life tetris to get my large truck into our little garage.  I may or may not have broken a table in the process.  But hey, I couldn't leave my truck with the door ajar in my neighborhood all day, nor could I leave it in the garage with the door open.
I got it to fit (with a 1/4 inch to spare between the bumper and the garage door) and then my MIL came and saved the day. 

After that debacle my day got better. We went out for dinner at Bob's Burgers and I had their Sourdough Burger - YUM!  Ellie had some french fries and was the best little restaurant goer!

I had my third Saturday Migraine in a row.  I was a mess.  Thomas dropped us off at my MILs house while he went to the Sounders Soccer Game and she took care of Ellie while I napped, took a shower, stretched, took a bath, napped, and did everything I could to feel better.  Finally I called my dad and had him get me a Rx for migraine medicine (since he is out of samples at his office).  Those things are EXPENSIVE and insurance doesn't cover them because they don't have a generic brand!! But oh my goodness is that some good stuff! I was feeling better nearly 10 minutes after taking it!!

I like to spend as many days celebrating my birthday as I can - I always have and probably always will - I mean I'm a pretty important person right?  My birthday should be a National Holiday!! lol
We spend the day celebrating my birthday a day early (I'm a St. Patricks Day baby) just the three of us!  It was such a wonderful time.
We went to Jimmy John's to get our Vito sandwich add mayo and peppers.  I love mayo.  [One of my fave snacks growing up was a piece of Wonderbread with Mayo.] And Ellie was a rockstar in the high chair joining us.  Then we took a looky lou around Pier 1 and Michaels.  Then to TJ Maxx for a picture frame and JC Penney to pick up Ellie's 9 month photos.  We made our last stop into JoAnns so I could get some fabric for a Toddler TeePee that a friend is going to make Ellie for her 1st birthday!! And then to the grocery store for Soup Supplies.

I have found that its those days spent with Thomas and Ellie that are really my favorite things.  I love that Ellie is so easy going and is able to join us on our adventures!

♥ Ashley

 how was your weekend?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

{weekly update} week 43

This week was by far one of my most favorite weeks of Ellie's life to date. She is such a little punkin and I love her so. We did many things this past week and she is really just the best baby.

Eats: girlfriend gets roughly 28 ounces of formula a day and then some solids. She is really enjoying being fed by the spoon - both fruits and veggies. We tried yogurt but she didn't like it. Her newest foods are cheese and french fries and she loves both!!

Sleeps: Ellie decided to roll over onto her stomach while sleeping so she is no longer being swaddled at night. It has been a little bit of a transition but it still freaks me out when I look in the baby monitor and she is on her tummy. (Mama's how do you handle it?)

Goes: Baby girl got to go to church, out to lunch at The Powerhouse in Puyallup, dinner at Bobs Burgers (ate some french fries and burger buns), spend time at her Nanny's house, lunch at Jimmy Johns (ate cheese and bread from our Vito + mayo and peppers) grocery shopping, shopping at Michaels and Pier 1. 

Then out to dinner with my Daddy for my birthday at FX McRory's and see the bag piping band (she loved it!).  It got pretty loud and we tried "earmuffs" with our hands an she wouldn't have it. 
Pretty busy week. 

Loves: anything that makes noise, her activity cube, Exersaucer, empty water bottles, "Pop goes the Weasle" song, and sleeping on her tummy.  She really likes being part of our measl in high chairs at restaurants and we love having her. 

Does: her pretend army crawl that really is just a reach and roll. Assisted walking. And lots of "talking" no new teeth yet. Also self feeds pretty good. She waves "hi-hi" and "bye-bye" also she gives high fives. 

Mama: had so much fun celebrating Green week with Miss E. Lots of fun things leading up to my birthday I can't believe I'm 30. I did have a really bad migraine on Saturday, this is the third Saturday in a row that I've gotten a migraine and is getting to be pretty ridiculous. I understand that they come at periods of rest after a stressful time so I guess I get pretty stressed out at work lately.  But other than that doing pretty good enjoying my time with my sweet Ellie Faith.

My dearest sweet Ellie Fatith how I love you so. You made me have so much fun on my birthday I am so grateful that you were there to celebrate with me. You are just the sweetest little girl and I had so much fun this week with you.  I love you.

♥ Ashley