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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

They Say It's Your Birthday...

For Amber and I, March is the month we get to celebrate getting older and wiser and more gorgeous;)

And today happens to be Amber's big day! Today my other blogging half turns the big 35! I know..I know..we really look 23 and you are all too kind..but it's true. Halfway to 70..which sounds down right depressing.



So this is my blog post- ode to Amber! Honest to Jesus..she has been my best friend from way back to Kindergarten. And if you are in love with Greys' Anatomy you'll understand me when I say she's "my person" We have been thru a lot over the past 30 years...house fires, sleepovers with boys (say whaaa??..don't ask..or maybe I'll save that one for a future post..that ended with humiliating apologies and prayer with my parents..aghhhh..but for real), toilet papering antics, skiing in the canal which led to a 911 call and four-wheeler in the canal, double dates, I got married..she got married..I was her bridesmaid at 8 months prego and weighed a good 200 lbs...let's not remember that..babies, careers, adoption and motherhood. 



She's that friend that even if I didn't see or talk to for a few months or even for a year..we could pick up and not even skip a beat. She's the girl that when I'm on the phone with...my kids and hubs know exactly who I'm talking too. We both get life..like real life. Life that includes balance with all that we as moms and wives try to juggle. Our phone calls are always interrupted by kids crying, us yelling, me hiding in the car....just to get in a few minutes of "adult/me" time. Yesterday as we were talking..I had myself locked in the bathroom..while my kids pounded on the door..meanwhile, her boys were hanging onto the garage door and riding it clear to the top. That right there is real life...and we get it. There is no perfection or impossible expectations. Just us... trying to do our best and be our best. And we totally get that we are not perfect in anyway..so we like to laugh and be sarcastic because that's what gets us thru this crazy, amazingly crazy life.



And since my trip down memory lane last week was such a hit..I thought.."why mess with a good thing?" I'm a thinker like that. So I dug deep into my scrapbooked piles of memories and found a few more gems of this lovely lady! 

Amber-bottom middle  - Ashley-in the awesome light blue romper
(2nd grade)

Amber-sporting those rad, plaid bermuda's - Ashley-Chubby cheeks and enormous glasses

Amber-beauty on the left - Ashley-beauty on the right ;)

Amber-middle - Ashley- left
Clearly this hairstyle was mandatory to go to Homecoming ;)



So in honor of Amber's birthday, everyone enjoy a piece of cake or ice cream or both today. The calories won't count. And Amber..have the best day ever. Put those boys to bed early and let Ryan help blow out your candles..wink..wink!!

XO
Ashley

And no we didn't forget about our RHS vintage hoodie winner..

Congrats to-

ashleysuth06

please email us last ashleybelnap@hotmail.com to collect your prize

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Tale of Two Cookies...

You know Sunday is the official, "bake something fattening" day of the week, right?  Of course you do, now 'scuse me while I down another bite dunked in milk.
OK, right, where was I?  
Here's the thing with chocolate chip cookies… I have my childhood recipe which TASTES just like a cookie is supposed to taste: soft, chewy, chocolatey with a hint of salt… you know, perfect.  And then I have the cookie recipe the hubs was raised on which is less perfect in the taste department (in large part because my taste buds have been conditioned) but is SPOT ON in the "how a cookie should look" department.  And I just got thinking, why can't I have it both ways?  Is that too much to ask?  You know, have your cake and eat it too...
SO, I put my kitchen science experiment hat on and combined those babies to the best of my ability, and I'm thrilled to report that after a couple dozen batches… this cookie has game.  And bonus… I threw in a couple of ingredients that were not found in either original recipe so I feel like I can now officially call this my own?  Is that how it works?  Do tell.

THE Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe for a Sunday Afternoon…
(Further translated to mean "Monday Morning Breakfast Cookies")
No judgement.

*Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees
2/3 C Shortening
2/3 C Butter (at Room Temp)
1 C Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
{Mix Well Creaming Butter and Sugars and Eggs until smooth}
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Soda
{Mix Well}
3 Cups Flour - Not heaping
{Mix Well - And I mean, blast all of that in your KitchenAid for a couple minutes}
1/2 C Coconut
1/2 C Rice Crispie Cereal
1/2 C Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 C White Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
{Let's be real, I don't ever measure when it comes to the dough "condiments" as we'll call the chocolate chips/coconut/rice crispies - but be generous - go with what feels good in your gut... as previously mentioned this is all super science-y...Obvs}

Incorporate condiments then drop on a Cookie Sheet.
I use a cookie dough scoop (size small) and I fit a dozen cookies per baking sheet
Bake for 9 minutes.  
The secret is the cookies will look completely doughy when you remove them, but they're done and they're fragile... so handle with care and leave them until they're cool.

Now, I live in a hood full of boys...  and I'm proud to say these cookies bring them all to the yard.  Literally.  I am proud as punch to say that my boys and the older crowd who end up wrangling my little wild ones tell me my cookies are "the bomb".  I will totally take that as a win, y'all.
And maybe I'll post another recipe soon because obviously I'm unable to quit as I'm currently too legit.  :)

XO
Amber aka Betty Crocker

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Throwback Wednesday...

Throwback Wednesday..it's a real thing. promise;)

Get ready guys..because today I'm throwing it back to my high school days. Which I can't even believe has been..gulp..16.....fine 17 years ago. How did that even happen. Like I don't even feel a bit old and I totally remember thinking that people who went to college were old. But whatever..I know and you know I'm still R.A.D. and that's all that matters.

So our Alma Mater is being torn down at this moment..making way for a new and improved school. And you guys..it was decades past time. The halls were lined with trash cans to catch the water from our stellar leaking roof back when I roamed the school...good grief..it was the school my dad and grandpa went to...yep..way past time. 

But every time I drive by and see the changes..I get a little nostalgic. High school was the best and so many memories were created there. I mean not everyone gets to run from class to class from 3 different ancient buildings trying to make it to class on time. Or order pizza into the library during speech and debate class study time (this was highly unlike me as a straight arrow freshman...who am I kidding..I was just acting all cool..as the Seniors made the call...really, inside I was dying;)

So here are a few pics down memory lane and also proof that our high school was on the verge of crumbling..

(and let me preface the pics by saying that they look even older since they are black and white pics and pictures of pictures..thank you yearbooks!)


 These next pics show how incredibly old the gym we played and practiced in was. I mean not everyone gets to have custom wood panelling in their gymnasium..
..not to mention our stellar uniforms that were clearly handed down from apparently 1970. We added the skins..becuase could you imagine...
me by the ref..Amb across the lane



This was taken in the front lobby of our school. If you can get passed our shiny leotards and odd arm placements then you'll notice we still have radiators and pay phones and off to the left is a ticket taking booth. Vintage classic right there.
Our Orchesis dance club. Me- top middle....Amber- top right 

Another great shot of our awesome gym and really I added this so you could all see how scandalous Amber was in her shorty short dress. But with gams like those, can you blame her. She was rocking it for the Harvest Ball Royalty.

And since I was headed down memory lane for this post, I had to add these next couple purely for your enjoyment.

we must have really been in love with ourselves this day because no lie guys..I found 4 pages of these

So much wrongness in this photo..aka..hair and business suits???

could you die..every girls' nightmare. prom with the same dress! (well at least the bottom was different) good thing we were so gorge;) and as a well noted side note..I had my dress first;)


And as a thank you for taking our first trip down memory lane with us..we are giving away a vintage Richfield High RHS tee from way back to yesteryear. For all the deets on how to enter, check us out on Instagram HERE.

 You are welcome.

XO
Ashley

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Great Unload...

Y'all... this weekend was one full of "stuff".  We had a little family photo sesh, followed by a stay-cataion, followed by an epic trip to Costco to refill our empty shelves, followed by church, and seriously, I have schlepped/hauled and otherwise carried what feels like everything we owned in and out of the car, the hotel room, and roughly twenty-eight bags all weekend long.

I am a bag lady.  Period.
And I think I've mentioned that before but seriously - it's a problem-o for this chick.

But let me tell you what I learned about myself during this insightful weekend:
I will literally carry 17 grocery bags, two duffel bags and my purse slung over my arms, shoulders, neck, etc. before I finally admit defeat and make a second (or third or fourth) trip back out to the darn car.  Is that the definition of stupid...
hopeful...
lazy...
or smart?
I really can't tell.
Anyway, the way I mark myself up by slinging every thing I can possibly hang from myself is kind of barbaric.  The red marks around my neck made me look as if someone has attempted to strangle me and my poor arms... suddenly I looked like I've been a cutter my whole life.

All to save an extra trip out to the parking lot or the garage?  I'm starting to question my sanity.

And while we're on this topic... let's work in a little Oscar talk, shall we?  How about those mini-clutches that everyone carries and WHAT can they even fit in there?  I'll be straight with you... after starving myself to fit into one of those gorge dresses I would have that little envelope FULL of all the good stuff:  I'm talking Swedish fish, Cadbury eggs, probably even a Diet Coke.  Fuh-get-about the lipstick and the powder.  :)

But here are my fave dresses from last night:
HOLY MOLY that Margot Robbie...  I'd make out with her in a red hot minute.
#truth
I think Fifty would totally approve.
Adam Levine and Model Wife, whose name I cannot pronounce... MAKE MORE BABIES!
You owe that to the world.  Sheesh.  Human lottery right there.

And on that note... happy schlepping this week, y'all.

XO
Amber

P.S.  Our WINNERS!
Congrats
Carolyn Hirz & Aspen Johnson
Please leave a comment with your email addresses so we can contact you about your goods.
And a HA-UGE Thanks to The Pillow Peeps for sponsoring this giveaway!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Office Redo...

Last year my goal was to get my house decorated and rooms painted with a color other than blah-beige. It was a lofty goal of one room a month. I know..I know..but things always sound so much simpler in my delusional mind. Want to know how my "realistic" goal went? 

Well..just before December hit, I finished my first room ;) How is it that life is so busy/crazy that I can seem to only get one project done a year? I'll never know..but I'm looking at the glass half full and focusing on the fact that at least I got one room done right? 

After shuffling a few kids around, I finally got an office. Well an office slash piano room but I'll take it. It had kind of become the catch all room..you have one of those rooms right? Our office had been downstairs then moved to the kitchen counter and finally to a room of it's own.

Here's the before...
and yes this is a pre-fab desk we bought with some of our wedding credit and so yes..it's 15 years old ;)




And...da-da-daaa... here's the after...



 I used Revere Pewter to paint the walls..a color I found at one of the Utah Valley Parade of Homes..so clearly I was feeling fancy;) I got the desk, chairs and rug at IKEA..bless their hearts..where else can you buy $15 rugs and $20 chairs?!?!



I love this wall. I had no plan going into it..just started hanging random things I already had. The only thing I bought was the cool metal envelope..and I got it for 50% off. I scored the gold frame at a yard sale for $2 bucks and then had a friend cut out this vinyl saying..I am all for keeping it real.



I got this awesome magnet board from the LINDIE&CO company (chillax guys..we are doing a giveaway with them next month) and the "love" was an extra my neighbor had..I just spray painted it.



This piano is not particularly my style (and just ignore the printer on top of it) but it's an antique my mom bought and had restored. She already has a grand piano so I was the lucky recipient of this gem. I did some research and found out it's a one of a kind piece made in Boston..in the early 1900's. Plus I'm always about free ;)

And if I'm being honest..I'm kinda in love with how it all turned out. It's great to to have a place that the kids can do homework, I can blog and the littles can color.

I'm still trying to figure out one minor detail (why can't everything be wireless;) ...if you have any great solutions..please feel free to share your secrets!



So here's to a new room, a new year...and guys..this year's project is already underway and almost completed...and it's only February?? Say Whaaa? I've already finished my daughter's room. I'll post when the whole deed is done!

XO
Ashley



Monday, February 16, 2015

Pillow Peeps...

Hey Y'all!  We promised lots of love this February and now that you're coming down from a sugar/make-out induced high… we're here to catch you.
Literally... in a big old pile of plush pillows like these thanks to our gal, Chelsea, from the Pillow Peeps.  
In case you haven't gathered… we love us some good girl power.  Isn't it so inspiring to hear how our girlfriends all over the land are handed massive bunches of lemons and somehow turn things around to create the biggest, fanciest glass o' lemonade to ever tickle your taste buds?  Me?  I'd probably use the lemons in my bra… but that's not taking away from lemonade y'all.  :)
So, meet Chelsea - the girl genius behind The Pillow Peeps.  And folks… Chelsea has been through it this past year from discovering her son has a rare disease, to losing her father unexpectedly… and guess who has lemons in her bra AND a killer lemonade stand?  Just sayin'…  She is a breath of fresh air and positivity.
Tell us the start-up story of your Biz:  When did you start?  How?  Why?  
It all started last January 2014---I had the January blues.  This led to an itch to change up my living room.  (And by change up….. I mean paint, new rugs, new pillows, and basically a whole new look.)  
As I was searching for the perfect pillows to complete the ensemble, I had major sticker shock!  Folks, $40-50-80-to over $100 dollars for one pillow?  Who pays that?!?  Well, someone must…cuz those peeps are still in business. ;)  Anyhow, my stubborn self wasn’t gonna do it, so I decided I’d make them myself.  
That’s when the stroke of genius idea came to me to turn this into a business venture….and ironically, that’s when things started to unfold with my son, Bridger.  Some would call it completely coincidental; I like to call it, inspired!  Ya see, I’m not that smart.  Someone above has got my back. ;)
Since then, my dad has also passed away (May 12, 2014).  We lost our daddy, our hero, and our sweet mom lost her best friend.  Together, my mom, sisters, and I have joined forces and have formed, “The Pillow Peeps.”
To read more about Bridger click HERE.
To read more about my dad click HERE.
To read our family blog click HERE.
The rainbow of colors and patterns the Pillow Peeps offer will make your heart happy.  Wait... I have photographic evidence of this claim:
I also have the deets on how to find the pillows of your dreams at a price that doesn't feel naughty.. which means one thing.  You can buy MULTIPLES!
(future website still under construction)

And now, a little more about cute Chelsea...
Craziest thing you've ever done:
Growing up in a small town has its benefits.  One of them being, you get very creative with weekend activities as a teenager.   We were rebels without a cause and created all kinds of mischief from hiding in the alley and throwing water balloons at the ‘dragsters’, egg on a fishing line over the cemetery bridge, toilet papering, Chinese fire drills, four wheeler excursions, selling lemonade on main to the teenage dragsters, and last, but certainly not least, rivalry school mischief.

Something on your bucket list to do in the future: 
Something I’d like to do before I ‘kick the bucket’ is become the first woman president for the USA….okay, who am I kidding?!?!  Right now…I just dream about getting a full night’s sleep and waking up to a spotless home and car.

On a more serious note, though - I find we don't take full advantage of the amazing opportunities right in our own backyards!  I've lived minutes from the Sevier River and never once been white water rafting down it.  This summer that's going to change!  I plan to rally the whole family and we are gonna get r' done!  I can't wait to experience it and check it off the list.  :)

*Chelsea and the team of rad gals in her life have generously agreed to giveaway
a $30 credit to the shop to not one, but TWO of our readers!
I can't even handle it!*

To enter you must follow The Pillow Peeps on Instagram AND follow Amber and Ashley on Instagram and tag a few friends.  You must ALSO like The Pillow Peeps Facebook Page and since we're all just totally taxed by a couple extra mouse clicks, you can do that by clicking HERE.
@thepillowpeeps
@ashleyandamberblog

For a bonus entry come back to this here blog and leave a comment.
Ahhh - I feel our winter blahs floating into the nether-sphere right now!
And Love & Hearts to Chelsea, The Pillow Peeps, and every other Sista-friend who is making good things happen no matter what curve balls life throws at 'em.

XO
Amber

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day Love...

Let's face it..once you have a kid or five, Valentine's Day loses a bit of it's luster..am I right? It's just so hard to have a candlelight dinner..what with all the Polly Pockets, chip crumbs and solo socks laying around..not to mention the "Jake and the Neverland Pirate's" theme song playing romantically in the background;)

And if you happen to be one of the lucky couples who snagged a sitter and a reservation then bravo to you! Good luck to you as you kiss the night away in the backseat of your car..ya know since you can't go home to face the kids just yet. We are jealous!

 But to those of us who are looking at the Day of Love baby-sitter-less, then I am writing to you. It's time to throw in the towel and make this a day of Family Love. And let's face it..we kinda like those rugrats that can demolish a clean house in mere minutes.
So last year I decided that our Valentines Day would be a family affair. It started with this pic that I saw..where else?? On Pinterest.
their version..
my version..not to shabby eh? but really...can you get cherry 7-up topped with cool whip and a cherry wrong?
And then I got really fancy. 
My kids love breakfast for dinner and I'm all in since it's really one of the easier things to fix. So we did crepes, heart shaped eggs..I know right?... and bacon of course.

The hubs was working late..per the norm..yet another reason to celebrate with the kids...but don't worry..I warmed his up later..wink..wink;)

And sometimes it pays to go the extra mile..which really only consisted of red plates, some heart napkins and a few chocolates thrown on the center of the table. Because feeling like you are super mom every now and again isn't a bad thing. Not to mention your kiddos will be looking at you in awe..like where did "she" come from. If we were impressive every day, these "extra miles" wouldn't be nearly as effective ;)

 So I think we are onto something and are going to start this as one of our family traditions. Because you know..as all those old ladies will testify...that they grow up all too fast..and we should enjoy these days while we have them. Which we all know is true..even if we roll our eyes. Those old ladies are smart little crackers and soon enough we will be uttering those same words. What is with that anyways? I already say so many things my mom said. Touche`
let's not judge my less than impressive camera pics;) and Ellie wanted her eggs scrambled and clearly missed out on the better tasting heart shaped ones;)
So alone, with your spouse or significant other, or with the entire fam, we are wishing you the best day of Love ever! 

...plus...those kids have to go to bed sometime..right?!? ;) ;)

XO
Ashley