General musings on the ups and downs and ins and outs in the life of a 30 something, unmarried, life loving, some times interesting and sometimes not, mostly happy girl just trying to figure it all out!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Back to Me

It's official- it's almost time... KAE will be home in a matter of weeks!!!
OMG... loosing it!!!

Guam time is almost over! Justin deploys for 8 months or so and she'll be in the states the entire time! Woo hoo!!! No more scheduling calls, no more communication by email only, no more tears, no more fits!! Oh dear Lord, thank you, thank you for letting the time finally come!!!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Summer Bucket List

I suppose it's still spring, isn't it? But, today excluded, it's been 90+ degrees here this week. So I'm feeling summerish.

I got the My Recipes newsletter today and stumbled across a long list of margarita recipes! Well... HELLO! Margaritas are my peeps. So I have created my Margarita Summer Bucket List. I'm going to keep a tally on the blog and check them off as we go. Wanna try it with me?

Classic Margarita
I'm going to go ahead and check this one off, because I think we all know I've tried it! recipe here, or mine (which I think is perfect) here.

Raspberry "Sangre" Margarita
These are basically frozen raspberry margaritas. Not sure what the"Sangre" is about but it sounds fancy so let's go with it. Recipe here

Adirondack Margarita
Apple Juice? Well, OK, sure... Recipe here

Limeade Margarita
This involves dumping tequila over Lime Sorbet. How hard is that? If you still want a recipe, see here.

Pomegranate Margarita
I'm all about jumping on bandwagons- so let's get onto the Pomegranate one! Recipe here.

Watermelon Margaritas
This is going to be great for summer! And apparently they are lower calorie than other margaritas. Like I care! Recipe here.

Key Lime Margarita
This makes me want to hear some Jimmy Buffet. Recipe here.

Watermelon Mint Margarita
I have fresh mint growing, so this should be yummy. Recipe here.

Strawberry Banana Margarita
This sounds like a smoothie and I feel like I can get Niki to try it!! Recipe here.

Frozen Mint Margarita
I'm not a huge fan of Mint Juleps (or Bourbon in general for that matter), so I'm thinking this for the Kentucky Derby! Recipe here.

Combier Margarita
Come to find out, "Combier" is the original Triple Sec. Recipe here.

Cucumber Chili Margarita
Cayenne Pepper in a Margarita? Must try!! Recipe here.

So there it is- my summer bucket list. Who's with me??
(Niki, you're automatically in)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Wee Bit Wednesday

I am doing this in memory of the early days of my friendship with AC...

{one} have you ever been stuck in an elevator?
I have! At my office in Pensacola the ancient elevator decided to stop mid-floor. I was stuck for about 15 minutes. But I missed the beginning of a boring meeting, so it turned out OK. It was also a large, well lit elevator. 

{two} have you ever ridden on an elephant?
I know that I have- but I don't remember it. I was very young.

{three} have you ever met a well known celebrity?
Yes. Well, to me! My friend Shannon who was the editor of Pensacola Magazine and then Louisiana Cookin' AND has been published in the Boston Globe. I consider her my famous friend.
But I also went onto Pat Green's tour bus in college. 

{four} do you have any food allergies?
Not diagnosed, although I'm fairly positive I'm allergic to brussel sprouts!

{five} do you know how to sew?
No. I wish I had learned from my Gran! Niki and I were just talking about this.

{six} did you get an allowance when you were young?
No, I just got whatever I wanted. :)

{seven} how often do you fill up your gas tank?
Every other week or so.

{eight} have you ever been stung by a jelly fish?
Yes- I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico. 

{nine} have you ever been robbed?
YES! Once I was fishing in Hopedale, LA and I had a HUGE trout on. Mr. Mike- a guy fishing with us- cast his line right next to me. The fish broke my line and got his and HE caught MY fish!

{ten} what is the worst haircut you’ve ever had?
Every time my mother took me to get my hair permed until I went to college.

Wish I was here Wednesday

Apalachicola, Florida

It's so beautiful out and I want to be on the beach, swimming with my Vannie G!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lip Gloss & Swimsuit

Just got my new lip gloss in from Emily. In. Love.
Wasn't sure I would love- I'm picky. But this is awesome. Not goopy, but lasts well. AND- you can totally get two shades and have two shades in one piece. HEART!!

I freaking WANT this bathing suit! I WANT, I WANT, I WANT!!!

Prob: it's $190. Someone find this for cheaper! Please- you fashion mavens! Help!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Veggies, Recipe Hit & Miss + Egg Salad

I did more cooking over the long weekend. I love me some Kickel, but that fam is not into my normal veggie-heavy diet. Jade threatened to revolt if Niki and I tried a vegetarian meal. :) I'm a vegetarian by no means- I had a nice steak at Saltgrass Friday night! But I am certainly happy eating just veggies, or mostly veggies, a lot of the time. So, while my Kickel clan was out of town for Easter I veggied it up.

Thursday Night I tried out the Cooking Light Pappardelle with Baby Spinach, Herbs and Ricotta. Do yourself a favor and don't try it. It's so, so bland! And I love light pastas, so that's saying a lot. I even added extra herbs to no avail.

Saturday I went to a farmer's market and got fresh green beans, local goat cheese and some teeny potatoes. I did the green beans in a cast iron skillet with a little sausage, roasted the potatoes and made the Fusilli with Carmelized Spring Onions and White Wine and it was great. Cooking Light saved itself here. Now, I'll warn you that it's not a huge kick of flavor. And I sprinkled a little fresh shredded Parmesan cheese to it. No much, but who has ever heard of pasta without cheese? It was a great side for a meal with flavor and I really enjoyed it. Warning: it does not reheat well. So eat it the first time around.

Sunday I was up for some baking. I was catching up on cleaning (mostly the kitchen I destroyed over the weekend) and laundry and I like to have something baking while I'm putzing. So I whipped out my all-time fave Banana Bread recipes (old post about that here). This list of recipes for Banana Breads are amazing- they are all delish! I went for the peanut butter ones yesterday. Better for you than old-school banana bread and more moist. Don't leave out the flax seed!

About egg salad, you probably have a ton of Easter Eggs around. This is great for me because I am a lover of egg salad. Pinch My Salt put up a great basic recipe today and I tend to agree with her comment: the simpler the better. The only think I do different here is add a little fresh chopped onion. But go without of you don't like them.

That about covers it. Van and I spent the majority of our time relaxing, enjoying the weather and sleeping!

Using my fave black mud peel off mask. No clue why I thought it would be a good idea to take a pic, but here ya go. 

Van resting after a swim and a bath. I love the face!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dreaming of Cape Cod

Cape Cod... doesn't it just sound romantic and chic?

I'm going in July! I booked my flight to Boston yesterday and from there Shannon, her best friends Jessie and Helen and I are driving there for a girls weekend. I'm kind of beside myself with anticipation!! I've seen pictures and heard tell of Cape Cod from S since we became friends and I've always wanted to go.

New England is so beautiful and picturesque. I've been up a few times now in the fall and everywhere you look it's like a postcard. But this will be my first summer visit. I'm anxious to check out the seasonal changes.

S in Cape Cod as a kiddo (Isn't she adorable??)

One of S' fave family pics from a Cape Cod trip.

I won't ask you for any recommendations because Shannon will have every second planned for us. But have you ever been? Tell me about it! Did you love??

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Purple Pedi

First off- let me just tell you that Googling images of toe nails is a scary endeavor. I do not recommended it.

I've seen a few people with purple nails lately and thought it was too cute. So I decided to go for it. I'm in love! I went for the toes- because my ability at keeping polish on my nails is sad.

Not mine- but how cute is this? Must find a hammock to display my toes on!

Mine. FYI- getting a good picture of your feet is not easy. My feet really aren't that cute to start out with, either. 

My color: Wet 7 Wild through the grapevine (Can't beat $1.99 polish!!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cooking Light Misses & Wins

I love Cooking Light. Really, really love it. Most of the time their recipes are huge wins. The Chicken Parmesan Burger in the April issue was a miss, though. But only a near miss. The recipe (see it here) calls for ground chicken. Niki and I thought this was interesting and so we went for it. It was totally bland and a weird texture. Not recommending ground chicken for any recipe ever. The recipe called for mixing in marinara and herbs for flavor- and that helped. Just not enough. They don't come out looking a thing like the picture- it's more like a wobbly, white patty.
What the recipe is SUPPOSED to look like. Not at all how it actually turns out.
That being said, the herb flavor and the ciabatta rolls were awesome. And for me- the fresh basil. Adore it! And it's still a much better choice than a restaurant Chicken Parmesan. We plan on trying it again with thin sliced chicken breast. I'm going to chop the herbs well and coat the breast, the sear and bake. We'll get the same benefit of a great Italian chicken flavor on the lighter side. So try this- just not with ground chicken. So weird. 

I also tried the chocolate chocolate-chip muffins. OK, these were great!! Definitely up to the Cooking Light standards. YUM!! I admit up front, I added another 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. So shoot me. I was nervous because the batter texture is really strange- but they turned out delish! Still 190 calories, but for a muffin lover that's cool. Usually when you pick up a blueberry muffin somewhere it's around 400 and 12 grams of fat. Plan on eating these with a glass of milk- they're dense. And they dry out kind of quick- so eat them in the first few days after making.

Great evening snack when you're having a craving. 

What I love about Cooking Light is that their recipes aren't 0 fat. Let's be honest- that's never going to taste good. They do a great job of making things into better choices. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Joining Forces... for Kae, S, T Hamm, Kim and Katelyn!

I've got a core group of girl crushes (not the least of which is my sist) in my life who are married to the military. With the bro-in-law departing again soon, I have been thinking a lot about the toll deployments, and the military lifestyle in general, take on military spouses. And it seems my thought process coincided well with Michelle Obama's this week via the launching of the Joining Forces campaign.

Katie and Justin in Guam
Justin is stationed in Guam now... GUAM, people! That means my sister is in Guam as well. Do you even know where Guam is? No, you probably don't, because it's a dot in the Pacific Ocean. It takes her at least 24 hours of travel to get to me. Katie is, of course, there by choice. She married the military- this is the life they lead. And yet, we take for granted the things these military wives have to give up. For Katie it meant putting her career on hold, leaving friends and family and her horse, and trying to build a life in a location that is completely military focused. It has meant spending his deployments alone on Guam, an island 7 miles wide. For my friend Kim, it has meant a lot of months of pregnancy and raising two small boys (1 and 3) with their daddy away.It was up to her to raise the boys with no breaks and keep the home in order. In a few months her family is relocating to Puerto Rico (I am blocking this out) and she is about to make the ultimate mom sacrifice for that move- buying a minivan. Katelyn moved to Germany at 7 months pregnant and had her first baby in Germany. She and her husband are raising Sophia with no family around to help. T Hamm spent the first 9 months of her marriage away from her new hubbie then left her life-long home for the other side of the country. S has at least a week a month where she is alone with a 4 month old and a 2 year old, both of which are often sick. Her back went out during her pregnancy and she had to deal with that solo as well. And she has also put on hold her own (much loved) career and dreams.

None of these women are complaining. All went into this life with their eyes open. And it's a beautiful, rewarding life is so many ways. But I think it's important to take the time to remember the additional daily struggles these women take on while their husbands protect all of us. We could all take the time to give a little and lighten their load now and then in thanks for their sacrifices, as well as their husbands'.

Aury, Shannon, Escher and Chip in Boston
Katelyn, Dan and Sophia in Germany (As an aside- Katelyn and I were separated at birth and the universe is petrified to but us back together.)
Grant, Trey, Grayson and Kim at Grayson's first b-day
John and T Hamm at their wedding

The next time you see a man or woman in uniform, think about stopping to thank their spouse! The better halves of military service members deserve a lot of credit as well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yes I'm Am!

Nathan says, "Yes I'm am," all the time. As in, "Yes I'm am a robot, Auntie." Or, "Yes, I'm AM your nephew!!" I think it's just so damn cute.

I decided I'm make a Yes I'm Am list today.

Yes I'm Am...

An Auntie! This seems like a logical place to start seeing as I stole the topic of this post from the 3 year old nephew. And I can prove this by my membership at!

A dog spoiler. I can't help it- look at that face! I was scolding myself for my lack of will power against Van's pleas last night. I almost always lose. And Katie has already submitted a list of no-nos for when I keep June Bug (It may be my fault she sleeps on furniture...)

A wine drinker! If you're reading this blog, I doubt I need to explain this.

An LSU Football fan! I'm also of the crazy, over the top variety.

A horseback rider! I grew up doing it and have not done much since I lost my horse a few years ago. But I want to get back into it. And I live in the land of the cowboys now, so surely this can't be too hard.

A pirate... three hundred years too late...
If you missed the Jimmy Buffet reference here you are fired from reading my blog. Also, I'm not really a pirate. I am just playing one in this picture because AC is a pirate.

A fisherwoman. I freaking love fishing! And I will kick your ass any day.

A sister! There's no better job.

A Mama's girl

Still a child. I sleep with my rabbit every night.

Also a major Daddy's girl!

Refer back to dog spoiler...

A reader! I always have a book with me. If there's no book in my bag, it's probably not me.

A new resident of The Woodlands, Texas and loving it!

A lover of all things margarita!

A massive T Swift fan

And a Jennifer Nettles (but no so much Rhianna) stalker.

Quite possibly certifiable insane. At the very least completely crazy!

OK, that was fun! what "am" you??

All About Ashley

My photo
Spring, TX, Southern, United States
Playing with and keeping up with my nephew and niece take up a lot of my time. Van Geaux takes up the rest of it. Work is an afterthought most days! I like to be outside- but not when it's too hot. I get bored at my desk all day. Niki keeps my world spinning and without her and AC I'd lose it. My work ethic crashes at 4 p.m. daily and I live my sweet puppy and my hedgehog whenever I am not at Niki's. I truly believe naps are quality pass-time events, and sometimes I say bad words at work. I'm pretty sure I'm insane on multiple levels and I believe rules don't apply to me.
It seems that my life is quite entertaining. I didn't realize this myself, but was informed of it by my friends- who are rather entertained by tales of my life occurrences.

I'm far from a professional writer. These are just stories, comments, and other items for simple amusement. Hopefully it's a fun read, as Shannon plans to edit it into a book one day! Maybe we'll become famous, and maybe we'll just have some good laughs at my expense (and some other characters in my life). Either way, happy reading!