Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April | Currently

enjoying documenting our life during this year's Week in the Life. I love capturing the details of what our life is like right now. If you'd like to see more of that documentation, it's happening this week (April 17-23 2017) over on my instagram @ashleyamak
appreciating that Teddy is at an age that enjoys interacting with the camera. I know sooner than later it will be a fight to get a decent shot. 
reading the Jesus Calling devotional most mornings. I don't discuss my faith much here but spending a little bit of time each day to center myself on The Word has really been beneficial for me. 
eating too many breads and sugars lately. I need to be better about following my anti-inflammatory diet.  
watching the Toy Story trilogy and Up several times a week. They are toddler favorites right now. 
fighting off a woodpecker from taking up residence on our patio. I never thought I would be at odds with a stubborn bird. I guess this is life as an adult. 
working on small patio renovation plans. I am trying to save some weather worn, outdated chairs, Berkeley is growing a more kid friendly front lawn and we are building planter boxes.
waiting not so patiently for warmer weather so the last of the snow and ice melt and we can get started on the bigger yard work. 
hoping to finally plant the vegetable garden we have been dreaming about since we moved into this house in January '16. 
thinking about how fast this past year has flown by. The last two winters, we have been blessed with consistent winter work for Berkeley. He didn't even experience his seasonal layoff this year. It has made for time to fly by. 
embracing this almost 2 year old toddler stage. In just three and a half weeks, I will have a two year old. Again, time is flying by. I will admit, the last month or so has not been my favorite stage. He is so stinking smart, and curious, and inquisitive that some days are a real battle of wills, but it also means that our good days are really awesome and outnumber the trying days. His sense of humor and laughter are everything!
doing my best to remember those moments and days on the more trying days.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week In The Life 2017 | Reminder

image from Ali Edwards

This is just a reminder that today I am joining in with Ali Edwards' Week In The Life. I'll be sharing my photos over on my instagram account @ashleyamak. Feel free to follow along with me there this week.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cranberry Orange Wheat Scones

I have been on a baking kick lately. I don't know what it is but I really enjoy the measuring and mixing of all the different ingredients. The science nerd in me even likes doing the calculations and adjustments for altitude. I also like experimenting with different flavors and trying to making our favorite sugary treats into something more healthy.

This past weekend, I decided to take on scones! While the flavor combination is pretty standard, Cranberry and Orange, I did look for ways to tweak an old recipe so that they are a bit healthier. For me, that meant adding in whole wheat flour, using greek yogurt, and switching the sweetener. Usually, I would try to swap the butter out for something else but cold butter is essential in creating the little pockets of air that makes a scone what it is.

Next up is the fruit going in these scones. It isn't exactly cranberry weather in these parts, despite the frigid temperatures and snow on the ground, so instead of fresh cranberries which would be best, I used some I had in the freezer. A lot of people like chopping their cranberries up, I keep mine whole. I find they do not affect even baking and I love the burst of tart cranberry juice. Lastly, do not skip on the orange zest here. It is where most of your orange flavor is going to come from.

All that is left to do is mix it all up, bake it and enjoy. All three of us enjoyed these for breakfast. They aren't as sweet as a typical scone but if that is something you are looking for, you could easily sprinkle the top with sugar or make an orange and confectioners sugar glaze to drizzle over top.

Cranberry Orange Wheat Scones
  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs orange zest
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbs chilled butter
  • 1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 c greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder and baking soda. 
  3. Use a pastry blender (or the two knives method) to cut the butter into pea sized pieces. Combine with flour mixture. 
  4. Stir in cranberries. Optional: You can roughly chop up the cranberries before adding.
  5. In separate small bowl, stir together the yogurt, orange juice, and egg, then add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. 
  6. Turn dough out onto a work surface. "Knead" 3 or 4 times. This may be difficult as the dough will be crumbly. 
  7. Form into a circle roughly 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 10-12 wedges. 
  8. Transfer onto a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Five: Spring 2017 Wishlist

Spring is upon us. While we are slowly digging out from the last of the snow we've gotten this winter, the temperatures still aren't the warmest. Also, our trips to Tucson and Anaheim a few weeks ago really have me dreaming of bright warm weather! I am also getting the itch to get some spring cleaning, organizing, and purging done. Today's Friday Five is a reflection of all the things the spring brings.

What does spring hold for you this year? Any fun trips, or home projects you're going to be working on the next few months?
Friday Five: Spring 2017 Wishlist

Monday, February 27, 2017

Around Here Winter 2016-2017

Around here, I have seemed to fallen off the face of the earth again. I really do enjoy blogging here. I really enjoy curating what our life looks like and sharing recipes we love and projects we make. Blogging is like a time capsule for me and it really makes me sad sometimes that I don't have regular posts here from the last few years. Part of the issue this time was an unreliable laptop. Now that has been resolved, I have lots words and photos to share.

Around here, we are entering into the toddler phase. Teddy will be two this spring and most days, I can hardly believe it. Other days, I feel like I am barely hanging on trying to keep up with his antics and correcting his crazy behavior. He is so incredibly inquisitive and hard headed. Two awesome traits he gets from both parents. All that said, I wouldn't trade any of it. I love seeing who he is and watching his personality develop.

Around here really hasn't been around our usual neck of the woods which seems to be par for the course this past year. 2016 was filled with so many adventures. Weddings, camping trips, baby and bridal showers, and Disney Trips, along with regular trips to visit family, have taken up so much of our time. As exhausting as those things can be, I am so glad we have all these memories.

Around here we are celebrating a bunch of small milestones as my nephew makes progress after being born at 31 weeks. It was been a crazy month in that regard. I am so incredibly proud of how strong my sister and brother in law have been throughout this whole journey. I couldn't imagine being in that situation. It takes so much strength.

Around here, I finally feel like we have settled after our big move in August 2015. We are slowly growing roots here. In effort to feel more at home, I am planning on having a slow year. After spring break, we have no out of town event travel plans yet on our calendars. I plan on taking advantage of the fact that our local community loves parades, music festivals, and all those fun things.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Five: 2016 Ugly Sweaters

This year we are spending the holiday weekend in California with my family. Part of the festivities is my Grandma's Annual Ugly Sweater Party on Christmas Day. We are very excited that we get to attend this year as we love themed parties, especially ones where it is absolutely acceptable to look extremely goofy.

This year, I opted to make my own sweater, which I hope to share after we return from our trip. It is awful and I love it. We thrifted Berkeley's sweater, and Teddy's we found online. During my online browsing, I did find a ton of awesome options for next time. This week's Friday Five is a collection of Ugly Sweaters for the whole family!
Friday Five: 2016 Ugly Sweaters

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Quoted November 2016 | Days 11 - 30

Today I am back with the last of the November Quoted challenge with Onica Hanby. My quotes for 11 to 20 were going to go live the week of Thanksgiving but for whatever reason, did not. So I am just adding the two posts together and finally getting them posted. I still haven't decided what I am going to do with them all. However, this was a really fun "challenge" and I could see doing more of these if I went the Traveler's Notebook route (which I have been considering).
This set is very similar to the first. Lots of Seafoam Core Kit journaling and filler cards, and Smash Pad sheets. I also added in a few 2x4 cards that are from a WRMK Albums Made Easy pad. I used a mixture of different writing utensils including Sharpies, Zig writers, ball point pens, and EKS metallic pens.
Nov 11 Veteran / Nov 12 Family / Nov 13 Crisp / Nov 14 Grateful

Nov 15 Treat / Nov 16 Friends / Nov 17 Pinecone / Nov 18 Chilly

Nov 19 Space / Nov 20 Gather / Nov 21 Voyage / Nov 22 Frost
For day 19, the original prompt was Spice but for some reason when I was writing out all the prompts, I wrote Space instead so I just went with it. 

Nov 23 Feast / Nov 24 Thanksgiving / Nov 25 Bountiful / Nov 26 Delicious

Nov 27 Blessed / Nov 28 Fall / Nov 29 Tradition / Nov 30 Abundance

Monday, December 19, 2016

December | Currently

getting into the "Christmas Spirit" much slower this year
celebrating this month with small traditions
drinking to all the Christmas music
building cookie trains 
watching all the Christmas Specials, especially Charlie Brown
listening to all the Christmas music
loving that Teddy is slowly starting to understand the season and that he was in love with this Santa
taking it one day at a time as this December has been marked by tiny little messes and toddler antics 
cleaning eyeliner (crayon, pencil, mascara) stars off the tile floors (bedroom walls, kitchen cabinets, etc) - you get the picture
trying to appreciate all these things as signs of his growing development and curiosity
seeing in him all kinds of traits from various people in our family and finding it fascinating
in awe of his ever increasing vocabulary
discovering that 18 months can be the most challenging but also the most rewarding
being really thankful that Berkeley has not been laid off for the season yet
reading Jesus Calling and loving it
making Ugly Christmas Sweaters
heading to California again in a couple days to celebrate the holidays with family
baking holiday cookies and cooking family recipes
enjoying this season of life 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quoted November 2016 | Days 1 - 10

Before Teddy, I used to do all sorts of crafty type stuff. When I got pregnant, my desire to do a lot of that stuff went away almost entirely. I finished up my 2014 Project Life album and my 2015 Tis The Seasons minibook, and I am almost done with my sister's From Ms. to Mrs. album. I have toyed with the idea of making a big, events based Project Life style album for 2015 through 2017, but I haven't decided yet. In the meantime, I have been itching to do something creative. So when my awesome crafty friend Lea posted Onica Hanby's Quoted challenge for November, I decided to jump right in.
I think most people do these type of lists and challenges in their Traveler's Notebooks. These notebooks are so cool, but I haven't really gotten into that memory keeping trend and I didnt want to buy new things to start this. One thing I do have is journaling cards. 
After 7 years of minibooks, and 3 years of Project Life specific albums, I have tons and tons of paper stuff varying in sizes from 2x2 up to 4x6, especially 3x4 cards. That is what I decided to use for this project. It was so easy to pull out my stash, a couple pens and jot my quote down each day. Also, because I don't know what the end product will be for all these quotes, I like being able to keep on these smaller papers in an envelope until I figure it out. 
Nov 01: Autumn - "Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower" -Albert Camus. This is one of my absolute favorite quotes. The card is from the Seafoam Edition Project Life Core Kit. The quote was written with EK Success Metallic Pens.
Nov 02: Leaves - I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things. I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind" -Leo Buscaglia. This card is from a SN@P Smash Pad from years ago. The quote is written with a Zig Dual Tipped Pen. I think I may go back and cover the "Jotty, Jot, Jot" title on the top but I havent decided yet. 
Nov 03: Warmth - "Friends are like quilts, they never lose their warmth." This is Smash Pad card with a fine tipped light blue Sharpie. I also used a Martha Stewart Avery label to cover most the of the irrelevant title. 
Nov 04: Season - "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven" -Ecclesiastes 3:1. Another Smash Pad card, another Sharpie but in orange, and another label. 
Nov 05: Colorful - "Without any black, no color has any depth" -Amy Grant. This is another card from the Seafom kit. I wrote on the diagonals with a pink Zig pen and one of the smallest Micron pens in black. 
Nov 06: Time - "We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right" -Nelson Mandela. I cheated a little with this one. This is a printed journal card from an Elise Joy download that was available on her blog years ago. 
Nov 07: Migrate - "Success is going from failure to failure without using your enthusiasm" -Winston Churchill. I am not sure where this card came from. It was part of an unmarked pad of 3x4 cards of different colors and grids and lines. I wrote the quote with a Zig Dual Tipped Pen in Ocean. 
Nov 08: Elect - "There will never be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers" -Susan B. Anthony. This is a card from the Be Bright Minikit from Becky Higgins Project Life with a green Bic fine point pen. 
Nov 09: Change - "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination" -Jimmy Dean. This is just a black ball point pen on a card from a Smash Pad. 
Nov 10: Harvest - "The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny" -James Allen. Orange fine tipped sharpie on a Seafoam Core Kit card. 
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