Topping Twins

Topping Twins

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Paying it forward (or backward) :)

I absolutely love this time of year. It's hard not to be happy when over a month's time, I am able to see friends and family for numerous get-togethers. It's a time of year, that I am always very thankful for having the ability to provide for my family. Not to mention, I absolutely LOVE gift giving! I seriously have so much fun shopping for friends and family and finding those unique gifts! (You can say I am my mother's daughter, to say the least. :))

But, this time of year is not just about the gifts, it's also a great time to reflect on faith. Yesterday, I received a check from a utility company as a refund from when we were in our old house. Sweet! A check right before Christmas, the extra cash is always nice, right? Well, not exactly. This was the 2nd check this company had sent. Although I knew what the right thing to do was (call the company and return the check), I actually considered cashing the check! Woah, Ashley, get a grip! This is not who you are! Your parents would be so disappointed in you! Yes, even at the age of 28, I still worry about what my parents will think of me. Well, after a series of phone calls of explaining and reexplaining what I believed had happened, it was in fact an accidental check that shouldn't have been sent. After several thank you's from the company, I dropped the check in the mail so that it could indeed be voided.

Now, the moral of this story? I titled this blog, paying it forward. Well, although for a few moments I was "tempted", at the end of the day, I would make the same decision every time. Because hey, what goes around comes around and I firmly believe that it's not right to take something that isn't yours. So today, as I'm pulling up for my favorite coffee indulgence at Starbucks, the man in front of me pays for my coffee! Coincidence? Maybe, but maybe this is God's way of telling me that I made the right choice.

So today I challenge everyone during the holiday season to have a very blessed, safe and most importantly good choices!

Monday, October 28, 2013

This can't be good for you!

So I don't know about you, but our schedule has been pretty hectic lately! Needless to say, I feel like I've been a little lazy when it comes to dinner. Well have no fear hubby! I'm back on track and planning our meals for the week on Sundays. Thanks to my hubby's awesome $1 find in the Dollar Section at Target, I'm able to easily plan out the upcoming week's meals and groceries needed. Talk about a LIFE SAVER! This seriously saves me sooo much time just in the daily, what should we have for dinner... followed by "I don't care", and when I make a suggestion, I get and uhhhhh.  This also gives me the opportunity to try out some new Pinterest recipes because, hey guess what? If you plan in advance, you can actually have the groceries you need to try those recipes! Whoo! What a relief!
So since I was feeling ultra productive yesterday, I decided to try a new recipe. Nick and I are preparing for a trip to Mexico with several of our friends in April and we really want to look good. Thus, we need some "healthy" recipes. And with holidays approaching, man oh man, do we have a sweet tooth! Well, I tried a new "Pumpkin Protein Ball" recipe last night, and Nick's response? "These can't be good for you!" Guess what, they are?!! Soooo... I must share this great recipe! (tastes just like a no-bake cookie!)

Pumpkin Protein Balls
·         1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
·         1/2 cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
·         1/4 cup honey or agave <— I used honey
·         1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
·         3/4 cup vanilla protein powder <— I used chocolate*
·         1 cup quick oats
·         1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Planning for our future guests

We're just 6 months out from moving into our dream home and I can hardly contain my excitement! Minus the fact that living in an apartment, let's face it, isn't glamorous, I am just so excited to begin decorating!!

Nick and I have been on a mission for a special piece for our future guest room for a couple of months now. I had finally resounded to the fact that I would either have something made, or I would find a dresser and refinish it myself. UNTIL yesterday!!!!!

Thank goodness for my weekly peeks at Craigslist! As I found this gem yesterday!

It looks just as perfect in person as it does in this picture! Ahhhhh! I cannot wait to get this in our house! This will determine the whole flow of our guest room. Cute huh?!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

How do you measure?

So I want to be able to track how much our kids grow over time--- soooo, this week I decided to make my own grpwth chart for our kids. Originally, I wanted to buy one--- but after looking online --- they were going for $40+, I decided to make my own. After finding this GREAT post on how-to-make one, I set off to HomeDepot and made my purchases! For a whopping $6 total, I was able to make 2 of these great keepsakes!

What do you think? Cute, huh???

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Roll with it

So the benefit of working from home is that you have the ability to be super flexible. Well thank goodness for that! Monday-- as I was talking to Nick on my way to drop of K at daycare, Kaylee came down with the flu. What a mess!

Let me just tell you, when I shop for a carseat next time, I will definitely be checking out the ease of cleaning! Taking that carseat apart was a disaster, but nonetheless, I did it. I can say that our "temporary" living situation really got to me while taking care of a sick baby. With Nick in Newport, and me stuck in this tiny apartment with Kaylee, I literally felt like I was going to be swallowed by the flu bug myself.

But, after lots of Vitamin C, OJ, Lysol and washing every piece of bedding, I think I'm in the clear! Thank goodness that I have such an amazing boss too! Her understanding for having a sick baby at home is beyond words for me. Before, I would have NEVER been able to literally just turn the car around and cancel my meetings for the day without hestitation. For this, I am TRULY THANKFUL! EVERY parent should have a boss like mine!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting crafty

I love Pinterest as much as the next person. But how many of you "Pin Now" and "Read Never"? Yep, that used to be me! Until now. While I love to make my own things, I've often never actually taken the time to do it. This week, I set a goal of trying out 2 of my pins.

The first? A banner for one of my friend's weddings. She asked me if I could make her a 'Just Married' sign for the trolley the wedding party will ride on.

So I set off to Hobby Lobby with invitation in hand, looking for silver and navy paper. I found a template online that I used to print the letters. Pretty cute, huh?

My second project? Homemade eye makeup remover. I don't know about you, but I can never seem to get my mascara off with just face wash and I hate using soap. But what I despise even more, is spending tons of money on that kind of stuff! So, I found this great post, and went to Target to pick up the key ingredient: Dr. Bonner's Unscented Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap. Now, this whole bottle cost me all of $12. But all you need is a 1/4 tsp. (as well as 1 cup water and 1 tsp Olive Oil) So seriously, I can probably make hundreds of this great concoction! Money well spent!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Working mom

2 years ago this month, I found out I was pregnant. Since then, I feel like I've blinked, and time has literally flown! Needless to say, I couldn't be happier. We have had a lot of change the past 6 months, including me changing jobs, selling our very first home, moving to an apartment and breaking ground for our dream home. Not to mention, our beautiful little girl, turned 1! What a summer it has been.

At the beginning of the year, Nick and I talked a lot about simplifying our life and really taking time to enjoy the little things. With that, came the change in jobs for myself. Driving downtown, and the long work hours became too much for our little family. Now that I'm working from home, not only do I find myself happier, but MUCH calmer and relaxed.

We now have more time for family walks, shopping and just playing with Kaylee. I've also been able to spend more time on some of my favorite things as well, like photography and crafting. As we await the completion of our house to be built, I'm so excited to start planning our decorating for each room!

As I begin to find some of these great deals, I will share them for all!