Alexander’s One Year Photoshoot

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Our baby is one! ONE!  This is unbelievable to me.  Yes, we have 2 other children but I was pregnant on both their 1st birthday’s so I knew I would be experiencing these special milestones again.   This moment is bitter sweet as were all of Alexander’s milestones because he truly is our baby.  Will we have more children?  Who knows?  Right now our family feels pretty perfect to me.

I try to capture every moment I can with a picture.  I have so many pictures of my kid’s on my phone!  It’s actually ridiculous but the truth is I don’t ever want to miss or forget a moment.   That’s why I always have professional photos taken for special milestones.  Like birth or newborn photos and first birthday photos.   These are photos that I will have hanging in my home for the rest of my life and I want them to be a beautiful representation of my children.    Getting Alexander ready for his photo shoot was so exciting.  I couldn’t believe he was already turning one!  For his newborn photo shoot I kept the colors very neutral focussing on his adorable new born features and tons of dark hair!  I knew I wanted to take the same theme and tie it into his one year photos.

I met Pamira almost 4 years ago while I was pregnant with my first son Maximus.  To say we hit it off would be an understatement.  I am a firm believer in signs and people meeting for a reason.  I was a maternity model for Pamira and I was so nervous! She made me feel so comfortable and so beautiful.  I mean let’s be honest at 8 months pregnant feeling beautiful doesn’t really come to mind.  Never the less Pamira made me feel like a goddess.  I knew without a doubt that I would be hiring  Pamira to do my son’s newborn photoshoot.

Fast forward almost 4 years and 3 babies later.  Here she is capturing yet another beautiful milestone.   I wouldn’t trust anyone else to take my children’s photos.  Pamira manages to snap the most beautiful moments.  When you think you have nothing from a photo shoot due to a cranky baby you she shows you the gallery and you are amazed.   The heart and soul that goes into these photos is unmatchable.   I am truly grateful to not only have her as a photographer but a friend 🙂

Now onto the shoot!  A newborn photo shoot and a one year photo shoot are quite different to say the least.  I am sure a lot of parent’s out there can agree!  The first thing I like to get out of the way is a theme for the photo shoot.  As I said earlier I wanted to keep it all neutral tones.  Pamira and I would go back and forth and when I arrived at her studio she managed to make my ideas come to life!

As I sat there and watched my little almost one year old playing with the balloons and the paper I thought to myself how truly fast this year went!   My daydreaming got interrupted by my running, yes running little 11 month old!  The professional photos are truly beautiful but it’s the candid moments are my favorite.

Thank you for taking a moment to glimpse at a beautiful piece of my world ❤

I will leave you all with a quote that I will never forget and often repeat to myself.  “The days are long but the years are fast”.  Never has there been a truer statement.

Happy birthday to our sweet beautiful baby boy Alexander.

Looking for a great photographer?  Here you go!  Pamira Breman Photography

Ashli’s Tips:

  1. Find a photographer who you truly click with.  I am so happy to call a Pamira a friend 🙂
  2. Find a photographer who you can be open with.  You have to voice your likes and dislikes. Remember you a paying client and should be thrilled with your photos.
  3. These photoshoots should be fun and not stressful.  Well not too stressful 😉
  4. Your photographer got the shot, even if you don’t think so.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

xo,

 

Ashli

Simple Shakes With 5 Ingredients or Less! 

 

Anyone else guilty of skipping meals?  I am pretty sure I didn’t eat breakfast until I got pregnant and it was required because of the whole growing a human thing oh and if I didn’t eat I became a nasty beast!  Just ask my husband 🙂  Shakes are my go to breakfast.  They are perfect for people who don’t like a hearty meal in the mornings or for people who are just in a rush.  I don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast.  Sitting and eating breakfast is basically picking at my kid’s leftovers before it goes in the garbage or one of my dogs snakes it.  So shakes it is!  Having the same thing each day can get a bit boring so I wanted to share my top 3 shakes that I love.  Not to mention all of them have 5 ingredients or less!   Read below for the recipes!

 

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Cinnamon

Yep, It’s that simple and that delicious.  This is my go to shake lately.  I am loving the added flavor of cinnamon not to mention all the health benefits that come with it!

2 Scoops Chocolate protein powder

2 Tablespoons organic powdered peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/3 Cup water and some ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!

 

Vanilla, Banana, Spinach and Almond Butter

Ok, it may sound like an odd combination but believe me it works and man is it delicious!

1 Scoop Vanilla Potien powder

1/2 a banana or one small banana

1 hearty handful of spinach

1 Tablespoon Almond Butter

1 1/3 Cup of water and some ice cubes.

Blend and enjoy!

 

Berry Delicious 

1/2 Cup frozen mixed berries.  I like the raspberries, strawberries and blueberries blend.

1 Handful of baby kale

2 Tablespoons quick rolled oats

1 Cup almond milk

1 Tablespoon Organic Honey

Blend and enjoy!

 

Ashli’s Tips:

  1. In my opinion peanut butter makes everything taste better.  So when in doubt add a spoonful.  PB is a good fat but don’t add more than a tablespoon or two.
  2. Avocados are great to add into shakes, try it!
  3. Add more or less water based on the consistency you like.
  4. Look for really good quality protein powder made with high quality ingredients!  This is so important!   I use this one.
  5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors.
  6. Kids love shakes, so its a great way to sneak in veggies for a stubborn eater.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

xo,

Ash

Getting Out of the Work Out Slump! 

 

I was always involved in sports growing up.  So I was used to going to practices and competing.  After college I still stuck with working out to stay active and in shape.  As I get older (gulp) I know how important it is to work out for my health.  I would also like to mention how much of a nicer person I am when I work out.  Good old serotonin and endorphins doing their thang.   My problem is I get bored, very easily.  I can’t just go to a gym and run on the elliptical (do you even run or is it like more of a glide?).  More power to those who can but I have zero will power for that!  I was very into vinyasa yoga before I was pregnant and even did it throughout my pregnancies.  However, with three little ones ages 1,2 and 3 I lost the drive to go and work out.  Mainly due to sleep deprivation.  I felt like everyday I was working out!  Which isn’t exactly exaggerating!  There’s a reason why there are shirts that say “my toddler is my cardio”.   However, I knew I needed to do something.  I wasn’t feeling my best and let’s face it, after three back to back pregnancies mommy needed to do some toning and tightening.  I decided to look into work outs that would keep my interest…

That’s when I came across a pilates studio that was opening up in a local shopping center.  I thought, ok why not give it a try.  So I booked my first free demo class.  Dragging along my mother and sister of course.  I mean they go to the gym regularly so if anything they could make me look better by overshadowing my lack of endurance.   So we get to the demo and we have to wear these fun little grip socks.  I thought to myself, a work out that doesn’t involve sneakers?  I’m already liking this.  Then you see the reformer (pilates machine).   I must warn you.  The machine looks like it belongs in 50 shades of gray and I’m pretty sure its a transformer.   I’ve taken to calling my Reformus Prime.  After one class I was hooked.  I love that fact that we use our own bodies as the resistance.  I love that my body feels longer and leaner from the exercises we do.  I go twice a week and every time we are configuring this machine to do something different! I love it!

If you are looking for a new routine to try I suggest pilates! Ive noticed the results as have others.  If you are in the Northern New Jersey area they I highly recommend Club Pilates in West Caldwell.  Feeling shy? I’d be more then happy to catch a class with you!  Not in the area? Have no fear!  Club Pilates has locations nation wide!  I have linked my outfit details below incase you guys were interested!  I love these legging they are breathable and moveable.  Plus they are really cute, Incase you have to run errands afterwards you work out or maybe you just want to wear cute work out leggings any day of the week.   Whether it’s for athleisure or for actually working out, I’ve got you covered!

Ashli’s Tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try a new work out.
  2. Set goals, small at first and then break them and set new ones!
  3. Buy some new work out gear to help motivate you.
  4. Get an accountability partner! It makes going so much easier! You guys can push each other!
  5. If you fall off you routine just get back into it!
  6. Slow and steady wins the race.  You are doing this for you 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by!

xo,

Ash

 

Outfit Details:

My Leggings, the black are sold out but this color is super cute!  I may have to pick them up! // My Tank // My Hoodie, not the exact but very similar. // My Sneakers, I got mine last year but these are very similar // My Water Bottle 

Lentil and Kale Soup

Soups are a very popular dish in our household.   I am the type of person that can eat soup in 100 degree weather. I just love it! So I thought I would share one of my favorite soups for a hearty winter dinner.    There are so many health benefits in lentils.  Just to name a few they lower cholesterol, are high in fiber, good for digestive health,  stabilizes blood sugar, increases your energy and are a great source of protein.  I try to eat them as much as I can.  Not only in soups, but salads, pastas and just as a quick snack.  Most of my recipes are inspired by watching my mother cook for us growing up.  I just have some added twists 🙂

What You Need:

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 carrots, chopped

5-6 garlic cloves, sliced

4 handfuls of kale

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

5 cups of vegetable stock

4 cups of water

16oz sprouted lentils

28oz can tomato sauce

Juice from one lemon

Make It:

  1. Sauté garlic, onions, carrots and kale in olive oil in a medium sized pot.  Sauté until onions are translucent.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
  2. Add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of vegetable stock to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and tomato sauce to the pot.  Add the remaining 3 cups of stock and water.  Season with more salt, pepper, and garlic.
  4. Cover and let the soup cook on a medium-low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Taste the soup and see if the lentils are soft.  Squeeze in the lemon juice.
  5. Top soup with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.  Serve with a piece of multigrain bread.
  6. ENJOY!

Ashli’s Notes:

You may have to rinse you lentils with cold water in a colander.  Look at the packaging on the lentils.

Lentils can be a bit bland so don’t be afraid to use your spices.

You may have to add more liquid to your soup.  Don’t be afraid 🙂

I use mostly all organic ingredients.  Give it a try 🙂

My kids loved this soup purred.

I hope you enjoy it!

xo,

Ashli

Can we talk winter boots for a second? 

 


Ok, it’s freezing in Jersey and the kids are napping so I thought why not throw out a quick post on winter boots! Incase any of you out there haven’t picked up a pair yet.  My my how far we have come!  I for one do not particularly enjoy the snow.  As child all my siblings would be out playing in the snow for hours and I would be inside enjoying the warmth with a cup of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows in hand and a movie marathon going on.  Alas, this is still how I feel but circumstances now obligate me to leave the house in the snow.  So I had to pick myself up a few pairs of cute and functional snow boots.  I even found a pair that have a wedged heal to them.  You know to help us short gals out ; )  There are SO many styles this season but below you will find some of my favorites.  The prices range from $37.00-$239.95.

 

Click the images below for the direct link!

WB7

I have similar boots to these and they sold out so fast! But I found these and also love them!

WB2

I just love how these boots look! I bet you will look like your are gliding on the snow in these!

WB5

I mean these boots are fantastic and the price point makes them even better!

WB4

The wedge on these makes them!

WB6

I will always be a fan of a classic SOREL winter boot.  #basic #whatever

wb7.jpg

I just really loved the color of these boots and the fur popping through.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

xo,

Ashli

 

 

Skillet Roasted Garlic Chicken

 

Happy Friday everyone!  I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus from my blog.  To be honest I haven’t been very inspired lately and kind of got lost in the everyday hussle and bussle of life.  But, I’m back and going to be trying to blog as much as my mommy schedule allows.  So look forward to new posts on beauty, home, fashion and recipes.  To kick start I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes that is perfect for this season.

As I type this post it’s currently 12 degrees and snowing here in New Jersey.  This makes me want comfort food, without the guilt.  I have the best roasted chicken recipe for you right here!  Well I think it’s the best 😉 and my family seems to agree so I figured why not share it with all of you! This recipe also uses a cast iron skillet which gives the chicken an even better taste!

Growing up I wasn’t really a fan of roasted chicken.  Why?! Who the heck knows?  Now I LOVE it.  It’s the perfect meal for any season.  It’s so adaptable to the temperature.  I’ll be pairing this chicken with some purred cauliflower, roasted brussel sprouts and a salad.

IF you have any leftovers they can be used for a quick sandwich or to top a salad.  Below you will find the recipe.  I hope you all enjoy!

xo,

Ashli

 

A few tips:  

Make sure you really dry your chicken.  This will make the skin crisper.

Baste every 15 mins

If you feel like you aren’t getting enough juice add more chicken stock to the pan or white wine 🙂

And let the chicken rest!

What You Need:

4-5lb Roaster Chicken

1 Lemon

5 Garlic Cloves minced

2 Springs Fresh Thyme

2 Springs Fresh Rosemary

Salt and Pepper to Taste

4 Tbs Butter
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Splash of white wine (optional)

Kitchen String

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees

Make sure to move your rack to the middle.

Clean your bird.  Make sure you really dry it.  The dryer the better.  Put the chicken in your cast-iron skillet.

Melt butter in a small pan, add the garlic and sauté then add the chicken stock.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Brush the butter mixture on the chicken.  Make sure to get it in the cavity as well.  Pour the remaining all over the chicken.

Stuff the cavity with the lemon, fresh thyme and rosemary.

Tie the kitchen string around the legs. (Important)

Bake the chicken for one hour, depending on the weight it may take a bit longer, making sure to baste every 15 minutes.

If your chicken doesn’t have a little pop up indicator as to when its cooked you can check the internal temp with a meat thermometer.   If it reads 165 degrees, your chicken is finished.

Let you chicken rest covered for 10-15 mins before serving.

Enjoy and let me know what you all think!

Dijon Balsamic Flank Steak over Spinach, Pear and Walnut Salad

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I was at the food store on yet another sweltering summer day trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  All I knew was that I wanted something light but satisfying.  So I just started grabbing ingredients that I thought would go well together and viola! Say hello to one of the tastiest salads ever.  The best part is you can top this baby with pretty much any protein you like.  This time it was flank steak but next time i may get a little crazy and add some lime grilled shrimp!  The possibilities are endless!

 

Dijon Balsamic Marinade 

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and marinade flank steak for at least and hour.

 

Spinach Salad

8oz Fresh Spinach

3 Small Scallions

1/2 Small Fennel (sliced thin)

1 Bosc Pear (sliced thin)

Half a cup of Raw Chopped Walnuts

Handful of Grape Tomatoes 

 

White Balsamic Dressing

1 1/2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid and shake shake shake.

Grill flank steak to desired donees, I usually do 6 minutes per side and let the steak rest for 5 minutes.   Slice steak against the grain.

Combine all your salad ingredients together in a big mixing bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper and give it a toss.  Move salad to a serving dish, add the steak on top and enjoy!!

*Optional add in some feta cheese or shredded parmesan 🙂

I hope you guys enjoy this summer salad!

xo,

Ash