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Cupcakes n Crunches

Chateau Elan Resort

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Marriage, Trips | 2 comments

On Sunday night, Dave & I left our babies with my sweet mama and drove a little over an hour to stay at Chateau Elan, a beautiful resort and winery located outside of Atlanta.

Chateau Elan

Chateau Elan

Chateau Elan

Dave got invited to a fundraising event there for his work and I decided to tag along because I’ve been following the resort on Instagram for a while now and I really wanted to check it out in person. The fundraising event was for a YMCA camp program that Dave has been telling me about for months (literally), so I was also super excited to go learn more about something that Dave is so passionate about.

On Sunday night we got to hear several people speak about how this particular YMCA summer camp program changed either their life or the life of their child that attended. By the time the event was over I was ready to enroll Atlas and Andi Rose. Just have to get them out of diapers first…

After the event was over, we headed out for dinner at a delicious Irish restaurant on property before returning to our hotel room to call it a night.

Unfortunately, I came down with a nasty cold on Saturday so that fouled up our get-away plans a bit. Instead of hiking and hanging by the pool on Monday, I lounged around inside with a magazine and lots of cold meds.

Sick Vacation

I did venture over to the spa for a quick facial and then I returned to my comfy hotel bed to rest while Dave golfed. Once Dave was done golfing, we did a bit of exploring but not too much since I was feeling all feverish and gross.

Chateau Elan

Chateau Elan

Chateau Elan

The resort was so beautiful – I’m already dying to go back when we can stay longer and really enjoy it. I think it would be a gorgeous place to visit in the fall.

Chateau Elan

Chateau Elan

Chateau Elan

It is definitely the perfect place for couples to go – between the spa, the pool, the winery and the hiking trails there isn’t a shortage of things to do – but I also think it would be a fun family vacation spot too. I would like to take Atlas and Andi Rose for a long weekend – let them swim in the pool, run around the property, go on some family hikes and order room service at night. I was also told it was super close to the Mall of Georgia, so if you like shopping then you wouldn’t be far from that.

I wish I could recap more, like how good the food was or how great the fitness classes were, but I couldn’t taste a single thing while we were there and I was way too congested to work out.

But time away with the hubs is still time away, so I’ll take it! 🙂 Dave was a real trooper – I’m pretty sure I blew my nose 6,194 times during our trip and he didn’t complain about it once.

Atlanta Zoo with my Monkeys

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Family Fun | 4 comments

Yesterday my sister and I loaded up her car with our little monkeys and headed to the Atlanta Zoo.

Atlanta Zoo

Atlas and Andi Rose had so much fun so I can’t help but share all these pictures. I wanted to share them on Facebook/Instagram, but people hate zoo spam, don’t they? Be honest – when you look at the pictures your friends post of their zoo trip you think, “Seriously? Haven’t we all been to the zoo. Did we really need to see those 5 photos you just posted of the giraffes?” So instead of spamming up social media with zoo pictures I’ll post them here! And I just gave you fair warning of what’s coming (*ahem* 5 pictures of the giraffes) so you can click out of this window now if you don’t want to humor me – I totally get it…

Atlanta Zoo

Atlanta Zoo

Atlanta Zoo

Carousel

Atlanta Zoo

Atlanta Zoo

Cousins

Atlanta zoo

The Zoo Crew

I always have mixed emotions when I visit a zoo. I love seeing all the animals but then I can get really sad for them because I want them to be free to have lots of room to run and play.

Anyways, I hope your work day goes by quick and your weekend goes by nice and slow! We have my niece’s ballet recital (she’s the cutie in the pink shirt in the above picture) on the books this weekend and my mom is coming to visit so Dave & I can take a quick getaway that was planned super last minute. The last 2 months have been quite stressful for Dave and me with all the moving logistics and getting settled, so I think a little time away (even if it is less than 24 hours) will be wonderful. The resort we are staying at is supposed to be quite swanky so I’ll be sure to report back with photos if it’s worth checking out! 🙂 Also on my to-do list is to start planning Andi Rose’s 1st birthday party! How is that little love nugget almost 1?!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Healthy Dishes | 0 comments

Hola! I’m skipping out on a nap-time shower today to share this recipe with you fun people, which is a real bummer for all those who have to smell me today because I did the stair master this morning. That machine owns me every single time. Dave is a beast on that machine and the last time I was on it I got a new high score, but my high score was still second to his. Today I was trying my hardest to beat his record on the machine (289 floors) but I just couldn’t do it. So Dave, if you’re reading this – you still have the high score on the stair master, but I’m coming for you. 😉 I’m just 100 floors behind you…

Anyways, this recipe is one that I make on repeat in our house so I thought it would be a great one to share on CnC. I got the recipe from my sister (you can read her blog here). Atlas loves these things and I often serve them for breakfast with some fruit and cottage cheese on the side or just serve them up for a grab-n-go snack. They are super easy to make and there’s no baking involved. I wouldn’t call them ‘low-fat’ since there is a lot of peanut butter in them, but they are definitely healthier than 4 handfuls of M&Ms (our other grab-n-go snack). Oh, and I don’t give these to Andi Rose because they do have honey in them and babies aren’t supposed to have honey before they reach 1 year of age.

Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

 

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Peanut Butter
  • 3 Cups Oats (I’ve use Old Fashioned or Quick Cooking – I don’t have a preference)
  • 1 Cup Honey
  • 2 Scoops Juice Plus Complete Powder (Or you could use Shakeology if that’s what you take or whey protein would probably work fine too – & I usually mix the vanilla and chocolate flavors of our Juice Plus powders)
  • Chocolate Chips, to taste (we like a lot of these, obviously)
  • (Sometimes I throw a little flaxseed in the bars too, just depends what I have on hand)
  • Also, around the holidays I will add in different fun flavors (like pumpkin chips during the fall)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and then add in chocolate chips and stir until it is well combined (the mixture will be thick). Press into a 13×9 pan (I usually lightly grease mine with Pam) and store in the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting into squares. Keep these babies in an airtight container in the fridge, preferably on a high shelf so your toddler can’t help themselves to 6 servings at once when you’re not looking. 😉

Toddler Snack

Voila! Easy Breezy.

If you make these and love them as much as we do, be sure to comment and let me know!

Oooh! And last thing: I’m on snap chat now. Well, sort of. I haven’t snap chatted once. But I made an account. Actually I made the account months ago and forgot about it, but I played with it over the weekend and I cannot figure it out for the life of me. How do you follow people? Can you only watch a video one time? What do people even want to see videos of? I think my username is just Ashley Andrews. Or maybe it is ashleyandrews6? I don’t even know. Like I said, I haven’t posted 1 thing yet. So.many.questions. I need a snap chat tutorial for dummies.

Happy hump day, friends!

 

Let it Go

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Motherhood, Serious Stuff | 0 comments

About a year ago, a neighbor dropped by our place unexpectedly to give me something. I invited her in and as we were chatting she stopped mid-sentence and said, “Oh my gosh! Your house is so clean! How do you keep it this clean?” I told her I mostly cleaned up as Atlas and I played throughout the day and then I really cleaned like a maniac when Atlas napped. I was pregnant with Andi Rose at the time and she looked at my big baby belly, laughed and said, “Well enjoy that now because you won’t be able to keep your house this clean when you have 2 babies.” I smiled and told her she was probably right (she has 3 children) but in my head I scoffed and thought, “Woman! You don’t know me – I’m the queen of clean. God could give me 4 more babies and I’ll still vacuum every day during nap time.”

Fast forward to present day. Andi is 10 months old and so close to walking. Atlas is 2 and his life’s mission is to escape the confines of our house. I’m busier than I’ve ever been keeping up with those 2 blessings God has entrusted to me.

Let it Go, Mamas!

I feel like I spend 75% of my day in the kitchen making meals, feeding babies and washing dishes.

Let it Go, Mamas!

On a typical day, I do 2 loads of laundry before 10am. And I don’t tell you that to say, “Oh, look how on the ball I am!” I tell you that to say, “Messes are made in my house before 10am that are so horribly disgusting, I am required to do laundry before breakfast is even ready.” And when I say, “do laundry” I obviously mean wash and dry clothes. Folding clothes isn’t part of that process. Because folding clothes doesn’t happen until nap time OR if 1 child refuses to nap and demands my attention during their sibling’s nap time, then I fold that laundry from 8am at 9pm that night, which means that laundry from 8am sat in a heaping pile on my (un-made) bed all day long. All.day.long.

Suffice it to say, my neighbor was right. I can’t keep up with everything now that I have 2 babies. Now, we don’t live in filth (*ahem* usually). However, I simply can’t obsess over having a perfect house these days, which is hard for me because I like things neat, clean and orderly at all times.

This weekend I opened up to Dave about how disappointed I was in myself. I told him I truly thought I would be able to maintain everything house-related as a stay-at-home mom but the demands of motherhood are currently keeping me from ‘keeping it all together.’ Dave laughed and told me he didn’t care if he came home from work to find toys everywhere and dishes in the sink if the kids had a good day. He challenged me to think about my priorities during this season of life and he reminded me that I didn’t leave my job to have the cleanest house, but to raise our children.

I think it is so easy to get distracted by our daily demands though and miss our big opportunities. That laundry on the bed, those dishes in the sink and that play-doh stuck in the carpet so quickly pull my attention away from the baby that wants to be tickled and that toddler that wants to show me his new trick (for the 18th time).

I started thinking about how my day-to-day goals reflect my big-picture goals. My day-to-day goals are usually centered around keeping the house tidy, which I find sad and convicting. Do I want my crowning accomplishment in this life to be a spotless house? Do I want my kids to look back and think, “Mom was a raging lunatic about keeping the balls in our ball pit, but we could eat off our floors because she mopped twice a day” … because if I’m not careful that’s where my daily goals will lead me.

I’m trying really hard to be intentional about letting some things go (not all the things, just some of the things – isn’t cleanliness still next to godliness?). I mean, things have already been let go, but I’m trying to mentally let them go now. Like, beds aren’t being made, but I’m trying to be okay with the fact that beds are not being made. Make sense? I would love to live in an immaculate house 24/7 because that’s just the kind of crazy person I am, but what I would love way more is to have kids who grow up knowing they are more important to me than squeaky clean floors. My sweet neighbor told me, “I found that I could either have a pretty clean house or I could have a really great relationship with my 3 kids.” Obviously, one day I hope I can have both (because who doesn’t want it all, am I right?). But during this season I’m learning to accept the chaos and clutter in exchange for the giggles and cuddles.

Let it Go, Mamas!

So I’m sharing this today for the mama who is reading this from her toy-filled living room and feeling frustrated over not being able to keep it all together. Think about your most important priorities – not your daily demands. Think about what you want out of life in 20 years, not what you want tonight before you go to bed. If you’re like me, maybe those questions will help you leave some of those toys on the floor and instead spend some extra time laughing and playing with your family.*

I feel like I’ve written a few blog posts on this topic, but it’s a reoccurring issue in our house so it is a message I like preaching to myself. 🙂

*I always recommend picking up legos, no matter what season of life you’re in. Stepping on one of those things will make the most devout praying woman cuss.

 

Home Sweet Home

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Baby Atlas, Family Fun | 2 comments

Hi! I hope you all had a very happy Mothers Day and your Monday is off to a good start. Last night Dave commented on how slow our Sunday seemed to pass by and how amazing that was! Usually the weekends fly by, but yesterday passed by nice and slow and it was glorious. We spent pretty much our entire Mothers Day at home sweet home!

Home Sweet Home

On Friday we assembled office furniture (our office is definitely my favorite room of the house – is that weird?) and then we went out for mexican. Dave and I shared some margaritas (just like the good ole’ days), Atlas and Andi Rose shared a quesadilla and then Andi had a major blowout diaper so we had to leave (nothing like the good ole’ days). Saturday was spent running errands. Atlas got his first real hair cut and I almost cried because he went into the salon looking like a baby and he left the salon looking like a 7 year old. Also, not sure if I’m using the term ‘salon’ correctly. We took him to Sports Clips. Is that considered a salon? Probably not. Anyways…

Home Sweet Home

We spent almost all of Sunday outside playing and it was so much fun. We live on a cul-de-sac and there are so many kids on the street and Atlas loves to watch them ride their bikes and play. We really love our little neighborhood.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

One of the coolest things about our neighborhood is it is filled with hiking trails so every weekend we pick a new trail to hike with the kids and dogs. It is my favorite weekend activity.

Home Sweet Home

Now I’m doing laundry and prepping dinner while my babies nap.

P.S. All these pictures are from the last month in our house. The picture of Andi and me is from a few weeks ago after church. I don’t wear dresses to play outside with the kids. And as you can tell by the photos of Atlas, he obviously doesn’t wear shoes to play outside. He loves going outside and he runs out so fast, I can’t get shoes on him. We had to buy child locks for our doors in the new house because Atlas was running outside without me hearing him. One day he ran outside, took off all his clothes on our front porch and was standing in our neighbor’s yard in only his diaper when I finally found him. We are, apparently, rednecks in the making.

Greetings from Georgia!

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Family Fun | 2 comments

Ooohhh, hey ya’ll!

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, I just climbed out of the moving pit. The moving pit is sort of like Hell, only it isn’t filled with fire and brimstone – it is filled with boxes galore and endless sheets of bubble wrap. Let me tell you; moving with a toddler and baby in tow is not for the faint of heart. I feel like the last 5 weeks of my life are a complete and total blur. I only vaguely remember tiny snippets of events that occurred during the month of April.

I remember flying from NYC to Atlanta and Andi screaming the entire flight. Not crying. SCREAMING. My mom was with us and I remember my mom actually laughing at one point during the flight and I thought, “What on earth could possibly be funny right now?” But my mom said, “What else can you do, but laugh?” Anyways, we all survived and Andi got to reiterate just how much she hates flying and my mom got to reiterate the fact that humor can truly be found in any situation.

I think I remember a moving truck coming to our house, but I’m not quite sure. It must have happened though because all of our stuff ended up inside our new house. I remember staying up until 3am unpacking boxes with Dave after the kids went to sleep for 4 nights in a row and thinking, “We are never going to finish this job.” I also remember Andi waking up at the 5am hour for several days in a row and thinking, “So this is it. This is how I’m going to die. Sleep deprivation.”

But I’m looking around at our house right now and somehow in the midst of dealing with terrible toddler tantrums and teething babies and Comcast (which is actually worse than terrible toddler tantrums AND teething babies) and getting new drivers licenses and buying cars (because in the words of Atlas, “there’s no taxis here”) and buying furniture (because our new house is slightly bigger than our NYC apartment) and getting food poisoning (it was all good – we needed a post move crash diet) we ended up getting kind of settled here in good ole’ Georgia.

Moving is definitely a slow process and when you throw 2 kids in the mix it’s basically a circus. It’s taken 5 weeks of constant work to make this place feel like our home sweet home (plus an impromptu trip from my mom to help me regain some sanity), but I can finally say I think we are really going to like it here. This has been the first week since we moved where I felt like I caught a small glimpse of what a ‘normal’ routine could be like here. For the last month, we’ve just been kind of floundering about trying to establish a new normal and nothing has felt quite right, if that makes any sense? But this week I’ve been very intentional about attempting to establish habits that benefit our entire family and it seems to be clicking. Glory to God and Amen.

I could write an entire post about what I miss from living in NYC. I’m surprised at how much I already miss it. I’ve found myself sad on more than 1 occasion since moving because I missed something about NYC – going to the Central Park Zoo with Atlas, eating waffles from the Waffles and Dinges truck with Dave, playing in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I never would have thought in a million years I would feel homesick for NYC, but over the last month that’s exactly how I’ve felt.

But, conversely I could write an entire post about how much I love living in Georgia. Grocery shopping at Publix. Our adorable neighborhood. Our spacious house. All the hiking trails, literally right in our very own backyard. The friendly neighbors. Family close by to help when emergencies arise. No snow storms. A fenced yard for Ob & Marley. Georgia is amazing and I do feel so lucky to call this place home and I’m thrilled to put some roots down here.

So anyways, lots of mixed emotions going on over here lately. Which also means lots of ice cream consumption.

That’s a quick update of the last month and I hope to blog more now that we are finally feeling a bit settled. I’m having trouble uploading pictures to the blog at the moment, so hopefully I can get that issue sorted out soon.

Oh & last thing…a few people asked if I was going to write a post on moving with small children and the answer is ‘no.’ I wasn’t good at it and I have no real advice to give you except call my mom and beg her to help you. You’ll need her services for at least 2 weeks or more, depending on the scale of your move and the quantity of your children. 😉