Lost….

I have this feeling of being “lost”….looking all around for that familiarity that I once knew. How did I lose my way? Would it make sense that doing routine things everyday, things that would appear familiar creates some sort of lost feeling.

What exactly did I lose….myself I suppose…..and I think that perhaps it’s okay when raising a family. I want to feel something…..have you ever had the slightest paper cut that by habit you would put slight pressure on just to feel the wound, to know that you can feel? I have……

I have been wanting so much to feel God wrap His love around me…….my whole being, to feel tingles because His love encompasses me so……I need and crave it. I have had quite a few convos with the Big Man upstairs as of late…..help me find my way….show me, dont allow me to become lost……..

I stopped looking for the familiar and just decided that hey, I’m kind of a lost soul, I didn’t want to be one, I dont want to raise my children while Im not even sure of who I am……but today, without looking, something familiar, something I once knew came back to me

There were trees outside with honeysuckle pink blossoms dancing like ballerinas, dancing to a song that the wind created as the light wind rustled through the leaves, a song that only nature could create, a song that was pure perfection. As I walked closer the scent of these blossoms filled me, filled me to the brim and it created an apparent smile that wasnt worth hiding from anyone….you see, the scent was my Grams, it was her….The smell was so familiar, it was a mixture of euphoric, magical, peaceful.

With the hue and scent also came along was a sense of calm….I was still within myself, allowing myself to just be, to recognize who I am and what I will be. I will have my own song that nature will create for me and my own dance to follow suit. I will not be lost, but positively free….I will enhance the teachings to my children, not to lose sight of who they are and who they will become…..they will become something…..and I will become the illustration to show them how.

Thank you God……thank you Grams for the song and dance

 

DREAM GARDEN

(Kiara de Krosse via Pinterest)

She Got Style……

I guess Im on this style kick right now…..My last post was geared towards the interiors of homes and I want to continue, but focus on what I wear (or wish I could for that matter) I mentioned in my last post that I love so many different styles and it is no different when it comes to fashion.

I must say what I absolutely love is when someone asks me “Where did you get your Top?” “Your shoes are totally rad, where’d you buy ‘em?” No joke, 80% of the time my answer is usually a thrift store of some sort or clearance. I have 4 babes and a hubby, so lets be real…this mama takes the back seat when it comes to buying something “new” besides, I love the hunt, but really love that style can be achieved on a budget! Take notes folks….you want a bargain? Look for it….you’ll find it.

One thing to always remember there is almost, always a cheaper version of the expensive version, that goes for home decor and clothing and not talking cheaply made, just talking price tags here.

Goodwill for instance, receives a large amount of product from Target, that being their main supplier and not sure if you have one in your town, but here we have a shop called Crossroads…Im talking BCBG, Dior, Chanel and some boutique names from about $4. Im not a “brand” kind of a girl, but speaking in truth, I do feel a bit glamorous if I have Banana Republic pure silk dress (with price tag of a couple of hundred still on the dress) but paid $10. Check it out! On that note, here are some styles that are totally achievable thrifting and clearance-ing.

 

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(treasuresandtravelsblog.com)

 

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(pinterest)

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(angelsstyle)

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(nicolerichie)

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(pinkdeer.com.au)

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(brook linder)

tina givens couture

(tinagivenscouture.blogspot.com)

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(imgur.com)

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(lolobu.com)

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(pinterest)

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(modernlegacy.blogspot.com)

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(refinery29.com)

 

So I have something very similiar if not the same thing in every picture that I paid no more than $20 (and that is a splurge for me) I dont get to often, but if I see that perfect scarve, statement necklace, incredible flats, totally rad clutch, my sweet, adoring, patient, kind-hearted (totally buttering him up right now) husband gives me the go ahead. I would love to know what is your style? What cant you live without? Favorite hotspots for great bargains? Enjoy!

Creating Style…….

There is style E V E R Y W H E R E. I am forever inspired. Not just by the big picture either. The placement of a rooms interiors…..for instance, V E L V E T. soft & plush. When I look at a room that has completely caught my eye, I review every.single.thing….I study all of it. You see a pretty room…..Im looking at the chipped paint on the walnut bed frame or pehaps the exposed brick blending seemingly with the pecan flooring. I dont have one “style” I have so many and love that so many blogs can be found depicting such….I love French Farmhouse, Boho Chic, Industrial Chic, etc. I love mixing old with new, I love using passed down favorites, thrift store finds and new sea glass.

I want to have a place where all is accepted, where all will fit in, no matter what the style may be. We should find the inspiration in all….we are bound to admire something that another favors. It would be nice to have a blog where one feels comfortable in expressing what makes their heart sing, instead of sitting back and wishing we would speak up as it may not please the fellow blogger whose style we admire so much….We crave the attention of others in hopes we receive their approval, when really all we need is our own approval of our own design.

Here are some inspirational photos I am completely crushing on. You should really study each photo…what first catches your eye? what makes your heart sing?

 

 

 

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(Atlanta Bartlett)

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(CouleurLocale.eu)

 

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(unknown source)

 

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(pinterest)

 

F A R M H O U S E  L O V E

(hviturlakkris.blogspot)

 

 

 

F A R M H O U S E  L O V E

(vintageinteriorblogs.blogspot.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F A R M H O U S E

(ericolsendesign.com)

 

F A R M H O U S E  L O V E

(mylovelythings.blogspot.com)

 

I feel like I can stare at these photos for hours minutes on end and find something new every time. I feel each photo. I feel it in my bones….How fantastic would it be to have exposed brick in your home? Exposed beams (swoon)? Architectual windows as headboards, rustic grainsacks with plush velvet? Knitted throws calming a rust colored chair? Sea glass and pure white? I love it all. Take a girl like me and throw me in one of these photos….and I will purposely lose myself, perhaps add a layer or two of more imagination…..pure bliss is what these interiors showcase for me….

 

Creating A Love Story Out Of Death….

granny and papa

Good looking couple right?!…..My Papa and Granny…..papa passed over 10 years ago and granny passed July 4th 2014. Death has hit my family hard over a course of years….we all experience death at some point or another but I cant help and think that we have had over our fair share.

Death seems to go hand in hand with love, does it not? Think about it….death gives us that sting, that “stop us in our tracks”, that feeling of possibly being ran over, that feeling that our heart has literally dropped from it’s firm holding place to now the pit of our stomach where nothing seems secure…..do we not experience the same feelings towards love? That sting, that heart dropping moment? And nothing is more certain in life than death and love….we can always count on those two happening…more than once.

I have so many fond memories of these two magical people. They were both hard-working, the exact epitome of “Country Living”, loving, kind, stern, teachers, givers. They loved eachother so much and it showed…..I saw it at a very young age and thought to myself that having that kind of love…well, then nothing else could possibly matter.

I cant help but feel bittersweet…..I now have no grandparents left, something I quite possibly could feel envious towards others about. But I feel that with my papa and granny and my grams and gramps, I cant help but feel delighted they are all together, they were meant for one another.

Funny how we could do without anothers “wisdom” but after their gone, we long for nothing more, we long to just ask them one last question, to say one last goodbyes and i love you’s and such. I long to have just a little more time…….but death is inevitable, just like love. I want to love the time spent, love the memories and pass it on to my children.

In heartbreak there is love….somewhere….but it’s there. Its in the memories, it brings families and friends together……Death is a necessity as much as love is. We need death.. to continue on, truly we do even though we may feel we absolutely cannot go on, we must……because in death we find love and love is worth dying for. All kinds of love…..perhaps between lovers, parents and their children, complete strangers even……hold on to it, feel it, live it, breathe it, so that by chance, when the inevitable happens, we will find love…it will be restored once again

No Fancy Camera….Real Life Photos

I enjoy seeing these photos across blogs that depict these images of everything just perfectly perfect. all of the photoshop, the different ways to create a perfect image….well, I dont have that…I dont have those expensive cameras to create a perfect life…I just have a “point & shoot” little camera that I lug with me everywhere to capture “that” moment….you know, the moment you never want to forget? To be completely honest, I have not posted too many pictures of my babes, myself, my hubbs, my home, my garden….anything! Why? because it is nothing like the other photos that I adore so much, I dont have the perfect pose, the perfect anything and I absolutely dont have the time to constantly take “selfies” until I get it just right….the ones I have taken, there is usually a chubby little hand or foot or a dog, or crumbs on the floor and usually a juicebox or sippy cup thrown in. and f.y.i, i am saving to buy one of those cameras, but for now, I dont want to refrain from posting whats real….like this awkwardly double chin that appears on me in photos (i swear it isnt there normally) or when I get a picture just right of my 13 month old but there is a kid in the background being ridiculous, or posting my cupcakes and noticing I didnt quite move the diaper rash cream (why is that on my kitchen counter?) completely out of the way. but this is us….this is me, this is him and this is them….perfectly imperfect…..

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Apple Galettes……

I found this recipe on the amazing blog portuguesegirlcooks.com The author of the blog Jessica has some insanely fantastic recipes (all of which I would love to make….all right now ;)

Anyhow, I changed just a couple of minor details for mine….you can find the original recipe on her blog, but I will only be typing my recipe here.applegalettes (16)

The  above photo is my finished result….amazing, right?!

What I first did was peel, core and thinly slice the apples. I used Granny Smith, but when apple season arrives here (in the Autumn) we do our annual apple picking as a family and I make sure to buy Jonathan and Jonagold apples, a mix of these with Granny Smith is pretty awesome stuffapplegalletesapplegalletes (2)

Here is a pretty good idea on how thin the slices should be.

Two large apples were perfect for 4 galettes (which is how many I made)

After slicing these bad boys, I mixed

2 tablespoons brown sugar

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3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, a sidenote, I used Saigon cinnamon, bolder, spicier….Im a cinnamon girl…..you should also try vanilla cinnamon

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1 teaspoon of cornstarch

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1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice

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Mix these together and make sure you coat the apples well so each can absorb that spicy sweet taste.

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Now for the dough….I cheated folks, I flat out cheated…..I did not use homemade pie crust GASP! Shocker I know, but it turns out when you buy refrigerated pie crust it is super easy to measure and such, but I plan on doing a post on homemade pie crust and why people are so afraid to make it….possibly because there are many to choose from…I dont really know….so here is my crust

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You need 4 flat circles, so I unrolled each crust, cut in half which then formed 2 half circles. Roll each half circle into there own ball of dough

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Find a rolling pin, which apparently is now my 13 month olds toy, and flatten the dough out until it is about 1/8 inch thick

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your flat disk of dough does not need to be perfect and if needed use a tad bit of all purpose flour if your disk is sticking to the surface or rolling pin

Here comes the fun part…add the mixture of apples to the center of each disk, making sure to leave a 1 inch border to the edges for easier sealing

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seal up the sides of the dough and pinch the seams to make sure everything is secure

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And do you see the juices left in the bowl where the apples and spices were married?? Please do yourself a favor and pour it on the tops of the apples…you will be glad you did ;)  To bake these make sure you line a cookie sheet with PARCHMENT PAPER, not waxed….easier cleanup, your welcome ;) You must make an egg wash too….1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water, mix them both together very well and brush the sides of the dough with it and then sprinkle on some coarse sugar for a delightful golden brown crust with a sweet crunch. Bake at 400 for about 27-33 minutes, sketchy times I know, but the weird times always create the best baked goods.

Now for the sauce…..Yes there is a sauce and must be made, why? Because there is whiskey in it of course (and caramel too)

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Here is another way I cheated….I did not use my outstanding homemade caramel for this one, but had some caramel unwrapped chews on hand, so used these instead….24 to be exact.

Add 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of bourbon to a small saucepan….I used Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon.

Bring to a STEAM in the saucepan, not boiling, over medium-low heat. Add the caramels A N D to sweeten the deal, add about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (NOT table salt)

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Stir constantly until smooth and pour   drizzle the warm heavenly sauce over the galettes ……I know it’s temtping but try to refrain from licking the caramel out of the saucepan, its hot. I also added just a smidge more of sea salt over the finished result

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This dessert was absolutely perfect…a rustic treat with warm cinnamon covered apples, a flaky golden crust and sweet caramel bourbon sauce with the warmth of sea salt. It was pure magic….This would be ideal to use with pears too….

 

 

 

These Days…..

I was having one of “those” days…Well, more like a month, two even. Let me go back real quick to what made me post this subject….We all see it, the posts, whether it be Facebook, Blogger, whatever social media is out there. You know the parents who continuously post how their world is nothing but sunshine and butterflies, you know the ones who claim that even when their child is throwing up everywhere, throwing tantrums like a crazy person, they feel so blessed….what? I would like to point out that they are lying ha! There, I said it!
Im not here to scare the people who absolutely long to be parents, nor am I suggesting that I dont feel blessed, because I am, extremely blessed, but I will be honest too.
My older 2 have been fighting NON-STOP, my youngest daughter has been quite independent, a little too much and my little man has these tantrums that I have never experienced with my other 3. Sparrow (my 13 month old) has been on antibiotics 3 times in a month and a half and yes people, I breastfeed, like truly breastfeed, Im the one people make fun of for nursing my kids for 2 years ;) He has not slept through the night NEVER EVER…..He screams at everyone who even looks his way, because they are not mama, he bites when he gets angry…..
The older 2, Xzavier and Lilli I truly believe wake up with this mindset to make each other miserable, like they cant go on with life until they see one another in such anguish. sidenote, I think Lilli would love nothing more than to just clock her brother one time and quite truthfully, I may look the other way if she did. The fighting is ridiculous, even more so, the things they fight about….who fights over chalk? Or the naming of a stuffed animal…..that isnt even theirs?? my kids, thats who
Now my youngest daughter Delilah, who I call “my woman”….Her world is sunshine and butterflies and I pray she always remains that way, but she is aloof, she is not aware of her surroundings, she cant stand still when I do her hair, which by the way, both girls hair is past their waist, never had a haircut, nope, not one…anyhow, she looks down when we are in the parking lot, she is extremely loud when she talks and so heavyfooted, I cant tell you how many times I was so happy to have Sparrow down for a nap, but here comes Delilah walking like a crazy person on our hardwood floors and all the creaks that come with it and he would wake up in this hysterical daze, screaming bloody murder. And when Delilah gets mad….boy she gets mad.
The dog threw up all over the bricks on the fireplace and I can still smell it when I go over there…..2 weeks later!
I have scars, actual scars from the legos on the bottom of my feet…..why do I have scars from toys that are “safe” for children. I find myself always reminding the kids “put away crayons, put away crayons” but for some reason Sparrow has his healthy dose to snack on….(scratch paper too).
I have not been able to actually eat a meal that was not leftover from kids food in quite some time. I take a shower at night and my kids ask me questions as Im in the shower and not dad.
I get invited to go places, where am I going to go with hair that hasnt been washed in 3 days (okay, more like 5), some sort of food stuck in it and dont let me mention how often Im able to shave my legs. I lose my temper and my patience, I scold my kids, I sometimes want to go to sleep and not wake up for 3 days and guess what, I stuff my face with chocolate and when asked by my kids if Im eating something…no, no Im not is how I kindly reply ;) I want to drink my chai tea in the morning and not have to warm it up at least 4 times and drink it over a 2 hour period, Im pretty sure it goes bad by then, oh well.
I am told by my friends that they want to be the same kind of parent like me….why? And I look at my kids and beside their “off” days, my kids are well behaved, polite, use their manners, are amazing with other kids, share. I have great kids, I know I do, but I know life is chaotic and will never make other parents feel they are doing something wrong by portraying this fake outlook. I have a secret….sometimes I think “what would life be like without kids?” I wont step on legos, I will be kind to society and wash my hair ( & shave ha!), I will eat a decent meal and enjoy every bite, I will take a shower…and take as long as I want, I will drink at least 2 cups of chai tea in a timely manner, I wont hear bickering, I will sleep…ALL NIGHT. If I had a life without kids, I wouldnt have that pure laughter that only kids have, my home would be empty, I wouldnt have that unconditional love, I wouldnt have those days of “firsts”….walking, talking, growing, I wouldnt experience their accomplishments and proud moments, I wouldnt have that LOVE that some people sadly will never experience. I cant imagine life without my children….I breathe them.

School

Today is the last day of school for the older 2…..The past year flew by too quickly, my babes are growing too quickly….I am a mama of mixed emotion. I absolutely do not want to forget ANYTHING about the childhoods of my children and in all honesty, that is a great fear of mine……I look back on pictures and videos and think to myself “I totally dont remember that” I scramble to put myself back in that very time, that very place to make myself “remember” and sometimes I dont…..I dont want to ever lose the memories. I have a problem with feeling rushed, hell, I am rushed. Life goes before my very eyes and I can do nothing, I cant grab it and hold it……it’s so funny to hear my “thems” talk about wanting to grow up, like I did as a child, but now as an adult, I understand those before me saying “No, be a child” I laugh at the thought as I fully understand why now. I even look in the mirror and see these fine lines…..why are they on my face, like a slow, small, thin spiderweb creeping up and masking the true age I feel……but, Im afraid it is inevitable, we go through life and my goal is to live, actually live….how sad at thought that there are people who don’t “live”. My children are so full of life, Im sure they have enough for those who are lacking, but Im selfish in that way that I prefer them not to share……Happy last day of school to them and everything they have achieved, I am crazy proud of them =)

…..Hello There…….

I have pondered so many ideas on how I should start my first post….and I’ve had a lot of great ideas….but, like most of us, life didn’t slow down for me to write that “perfect post”. And, what exactly do I want from this blog? An audience? A diary? I don’t really know I suppose…I’m just going to roll with it. I have had a couple of blogs in the past, but I found that I was trying to keep up with other well known bloggers and adopting their ideas, or style, or design and my heart just fell out of it….but this blog is me….just me (and him and them). I have a him….a him I have been married to for almost 10 years (crazzzy) and from these 10 years we have created 2 little hims and 2 little hers =) I love ( I N  L O V E ) with vintage interiors (think French Farmhouse, industrial chic, etc.), baking (chocolate….need I say more ) a hippy at heart, barefoot mama living in a city, but in my mind I live out in the country, I trade home-grown produce with neighbors, a little obssessed with Coffee, and trying to do my best as a mom and wife……Follow along if you want some good reading….I know i will offer some good laughs, cries and some other emotions……xoxo ~Ashley