March 01, 2015

march 2015 meal plan

It's that time again. Time for me to get all-OCD and make a meal plan. For the month. For three meals a day. And a daily snack.

I'm sure it's totally normal... you do this, right?

No?

Well, then, use mine!


As usual, if you have any questions about recipes, etc, ask away!

If you need me to send you the file so you can adjust the menu to fit your needs (or if you just can't read the tiny writing) email me at fromcuptocup@gmail.com

Happy Eating!
Ashley

Also:
If you are into self-deprivation, here are all of Katie's Whole 30 recipes
Here is the archive of all our recipes on this blog.
Here is a tour of where the magic happens.
And here is the archive of all the monthly meal plans.


February 26, 2015

our house tour :: dining room + kitchen

You may be wondering the same question that James asked me while I was snapping these photos: "Mom, why are you taking a bunch of pictures of the kitchen?" I mean, who cares anyway?
My answer was this: "One day, you or your sister or brother may want to know what our house looked like when you were a kid, so I want to document it on my blog."
I won't be offended if you do the same as he did at this point, which was go back to playing Legos.

Otherwise, I'll give ya the tour...


The mirror above the dining room table was a ten dollar Goodwill find. The paint was black and chipping, so I sprayed it with some basic silver paint from the craft store. I love the way it turned out.
The "give thanks" sign was something I had a vision for, and explained that vision to my mother-in-law. Since she is much better at follow-through on these sorts of projects, she made it for me, which was so great of her. I love it. And it is a good reminder to have hanging up in our home.
All the black frames (which are pretty much always crooked, as you can see here) are full of rotating pictures I have taken of the kids or scenery from some place special.
On the table are some little candle holders, flowers in a Fiesta wear pitcher, the cloth napkins we registered for 7.5 years ago at Crate and Barrel, and the Jesus Storybook Bible, which I attempt to read to the kids at breakfast each morning.

Hey, look! There's me! And you are getting a sneak peak of the living room tour!

I forgot to take a picture of the chalkboard in the dining room, but you can see it out of focus behind Judah in the picture below. It usually contains the weeks' dinner menu, James' Awanas verse, and a list of things I will never get done, like "ironing.... organize closet... deep clean entire home...."



So, let's talk about these cabinets. They started out a hideous-80's- wood color with no hardware. Then my amazing husband sanded them all down, sprayed them white, and put cute hardware on them. I love how bright they are now.
Above some of James' watercolors are hanging from twine.




The "Rise and Shine" sign is something I grabbed at World Market to cover the unbearably ugly tile that is behind it. Behind is a picture of a lobster in the middle of a bunch of seafood. Really? Good thing a Jewish Kosher person didn't want our house...
The little floral spoon rest was a gift. It is officially the only thing I own from Anthropologie, but I still feel pretty hip using it. Ha.


Let's talk about the window sill for a minute, even though I didn't snap any good photos of it.
I love our kitchen window sill. Not because it is ugly wood, hard to clean, always dusty and full of clutter. It is because of what the clutter is made up of and the stories it tells. The clutter is in constant rotation, but currently includes: bottle parts (for Elle's babies, not mine), a wine cork, a photo of Lane and James that always makes me smile, a binky, essential oils, tee tree oil, bubbles, a Batman watch, rocks collected from who-knows-where, and a small rubber Pokey (as in, Gumby and Pokey the horse).


The "brew station" (below left) is not very cute, but very necessary for survival. It contains the coffee pot, aeropress and accessories, and jars of the miracle substance itself.
In the photo below right is a card I framed from my in-laws. I love what it says:
"Blessed are those who give without remembering and receive without forgetting"




Thanks for taking the tour! Up next will maybe be the living room or Elle's toddler room. 

Happy Thursday,
Ashley



February 20, 2015

our valentine party

Due to recent illness, I just had a little Valentine's party for the kids this past Wednesday.

It was simple, but they had a blast. I threw all kinds of stickers, sparkly hearts, and valentine necklaces out on the table.

 

We invited our favorite triplets over (okay, the only triplets we know, but we sure love those gals!), and the kids played and played and played. Then they ate some snacks, including the above snack kabobs, which turned out pretty cute.

Then they played some more, and regrouped to decorate "Valentine crowns"




After playing some more, they managed to tear themselves away from jumping on James' mattress to decorate cookies.




And eat them, of course...


Happy Valentine's Day! (a week late)
Ashley

one year ago: pictures of our crazy ice storm

February 18, 2015

judah's four month photo shoot shenanigans

This last week has pretty much been he... well, let's just say it hasn't been heaven.
Poor Elle developed pneumonia, I have some crud that seems to have turned into a massive sinus infection, and no one has been sleeping. At all.

Aren't you glad you chose to read this post? So uplifting! But, don't worry, it will get better...


I finally got around to taking Judah's four month photos. I took them in the morning, so he was still in his pj's. They happen to be Lane's old pj's, which is so fun. And I think that may count as vintage. What a hip baby.


Then James decided to join in the photo session...


... which started out so sweet.

But then...


...ack! I don't think I have ever been so terrified of my own child. So I asked him to make a "smile face"...


... really, James? Hilarious.

When I reviewed these photos it was late at night on the third night of no sleep. So the above picture made me laugh until I was wiping my eyes. And the picture below made me think of this line...



"Fold your dog's ear back!"

Name that show. (I'm still a bit loopy from the no sleep thing.)

Today I finally had a little Valentine's party for the kids. Pictures will be up by Easter. Please don't rush me.

Happy Wednesday!
Ashley

PS one year ago: life lessons from applesauce

February 11, 2015

lately: not much


Spurred on by my mother-in-law sending me an adorable photo book of the last year of my blog (which made me cry), I have decided I need to do many more "lately" posts, in which I basically photo dump random pictures from around our house.


(I apologize for the run-on sentence.)


Life has been pretty much business as usual.


Lots of forts. Little sleep. Legos. Snacks. Plastic food in every corner of our house. Coffee. Gallons of coffee.


Clearly, we spend a lot of time at home in our pajamas.



Even though Judah is already four months, I still feel like we are in the "crunch time". The survival mode period. And that's okay. I'm not quite ready to have it all together. Or even to pretend like I do. I just want to soak up this time.


Happy Wednesday,
Ashley

February 04, 2015

heaven gains an angel


The gal I am writing about here does not read my blog, nor do I think she is known by anyone who does. This post is not meant to exploit her situation, but just for me to remember this experience and how deeply it touched me. 

Yesterday evening I took a meal to a mom who had just given birth.

I have done this so many times, and each time the mom comes to the door, beaming, holding the baby for me to see.

But last night was different. This mother had no baby in her arms.

She invited me into her home, and as I placed the box full of enchiladas and muffins onto the counter she smiled at me and asked "How are you?"

What a perspective change this question gave me. How am I? Coming from this sweet mother who has just lost her precious baby after a few short days of life.
And what could I say? Should I complain about the silly, insignificant trials in my day? The cranky kids, the lack of sleep, the messes everywhere...

She told me her story. She showed me pictures of her dear little one for the brief time she had been in this world. We cried.

Her words were full of sadness, but also full of the Peace that transcends all understanding, and the Hope that only a Savior can give.

She is a brave, amazing woman. So strong and beautiful. And the Source is so evident: a beautiful, strong, amazing God.

January 04, 2015

fourteen fill-in-the-blanks for 2014


Happy new year! 

Here are a few photos I took on new years day in Pacific City. Also, I feel like I should continue the tradition (that I just started last year) of reflecting on the past year via a fill-in-the-blank. 



Please copy and paste the following into the comments below and fill in your answers...

a place you went:

the best thing you ate: 

a book you read:

something you celebrated:

the outfit that was your uniform: 

a movie you saw (in the theater):

most memorable gift you were given: 

a restaurant you went to: 

favorite purchase you made:

a performance you went to (or participated in):

a home decor project you completed:

the album you couldn't stop listening to:

a new experience:

something that surprised you: 




Here are my answers:

a place you went: Hood River

the best thing you ate: eeesh... not sure, maybe the fish tacos at Brian's Pour House in Hood River; they were pretty amazing

a book you read: "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23" 

something you celebrated: my mom and new step-dad were married in August

the outfit that was your uniform: gaucho pants and maternity t-shirts 

a movie you saw (in the theater): n/a... no movies seen in theater this year

most memorable gift you were given: aside from my sweet Judah, of course, the best material gift I was given is a beautiful silver necklace with my kids names and birth stones in it, given to me by my mom

a restaurant you went to: Nicholas, our go-to restaurant for take out

favorite purchase you made: mini-van, baby! (but seriously, it's pretty legit)


a performance you went to (or participated in): James' preschool Christmas performance 

a home decor project you completed: Well, it's not completely completed, but we painted our living room, dining room and entry all clean white. I love it. 

the album you couldn't stop listening to: "The Art of Celebration" by Rend Collective

a new experience: being the mama of three littles

something that surprised you: How hard pregnancy number three was. I love my babies, but I don't think I could ever be pregnant again. It was pretty miserable this time around. Here's to a physically and emotionally healthy new year!






Happy New Year!!!