Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Little Sunshine

I haven't seen many sunrises in my time. I'm so not a morning person. Frank and I got up at 5am on the last morning of our honeymoon in Belize to try to watch the sunrise. It was comical because we were swarmed by mosquitos on the beach and were driven back inside. Opening at work has led to more sunrise views lately and this morning's was gorgeous.
Get well cocktail

Frank seems to be coming down with a bug and we are trying to boost his immune system. I squeezed the grapefruit and Valencia orange that we had on hand and split it between us. I may have added some rum to mine. It's pretty damn good! Get well cocktail

The weather has been perfect the last two days. I ran today after work and went farther than ever before. Well, I ran more than ever. I am pushing myself to run more than walk and it is easier than I thought it would be. I only walked a few times when I had side stitches. I'm planning to sign up for a 10K in February here in Fort Worth. My cousin was telling me that the Capitol 10K in Austin is a lot of fun, so I may try to do that one in the Spring too. I'm so enjoying running and am hoping that I can keep it up through the Winter as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back from the Hill Country

I survived the Thanksgiving madness at work and even escaped before the worst of it last Wednesday. We were too tired to drive down to Austin that night but made it just in time on Thursday for dinner. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I think there is a lot less pressure than Christmas, I love to cook (and eat), I love that my whole family is together and I love a good after dinner nature walk. This time it was up to Mount Bonnell in my cousins' neighborhood.

On Friday we all went down to Camp Lonehollow where a dear family friend lives and works. We toured camp, rode horses, walked at sunset, enjoyed the animals and soaked up the Hill Country views. The trip wasn't relaxing but was definitely fun. I feel blessed to be able to visit such a lovely place.
 Thanksgiving in the Hill Country Lonehollow Thanksgiving 2012 013 Thanksgiving in the Hill Country Thanksgiving in the Hill Country Lonehollow Thanksgiving 2012 055 Lonehollow Thanksgiving 2012 192 Lonehollow Thanksgiving 2012 188 Lonehollow Thanksgiving 2012 068 Thanksgiving in the Hill Country

I'm back to work today. I have been thinking of all of the Christmas gifts that I want to make and how little time there is, as always. This time of year becomes so hectic and I never plan ahead like I should. I will do what I can and enjoy the season. Who needs extra stress? Not me!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Preparing for Madness

These pictures were taken last week when the weather was warmer and I was spending every possible minute outside. We had a cold front come through on Sunday and the window of perfect weather gets smaller each day. Yesterday I went out for a jog at 11:30 in the morning and was so cold for the first twenty minutes. I need to bring my plants in before we get a hard freeze.

These Days These Days These Days These Days These Days These Days

This week has been more snuggling under the quilt with the pets.
Sometimes we are all on the couch together!
These Days Cuddling kitty Fall sunset

I got some money to go shopping for my birthday and even went with Frank on Monday but I came home empty handed. I'm a terrible shopper. I'm extremely picky, I'm cheap, and apparently I'm in between sizes. I went out yesterday and bought myself some makeup. I still am in desperate need of pants. I have lost some weight since I started jogging but am not willing to spend anywhere close to a hundred dollars on a pair of pants. That's just crazy(!), but seems to be the norm. That leaves me with thrift and re-sale shopping and not much luck lately. Am I the only one with this problem?

I went to bed last night with a bit of dread.  I had traded with a co-worker to have yesterday off instead of Tuesday.  That was a good call as it means a six day stretch instead of eight.  Each day will be busier until we reach madness on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I work at a gourmet grocery store and I'm a bit scared of next week!  I was there as a cashier last year at Thanksgiving and that was intense.  Now I will be moving around in the crowd and it will be insane.  I will have no time to prepare for Thanksgiving myself.  I'm planning to make this Chocolate Caramel tart.  I can break it down into steps and make everything ahead and not all at once.  One day I'll make the crust and freeze it, then the caramel and I actually already have some chocolate ganache made up from the cupcakes. 

You may not see me here until post Thanksgiving.  If so, I hope you have a wonderful holiday full of loved ones and delicious food! Enjoy your weekend.
xoxo
Ashley

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hello 37!

Birthdays are awesome. I sure enjoyed mine!
My sweet husband surprised me with flowers Sunday. Including my favorite Sumatra Lilies. I went out for a jog and when I came home he had them here. Hello 37!

We went to the Japanese gardens, one of our favorite spots in Fort Worth. It was beautiful, as always but we were a little disappointed that the leaves weren't changing yet. Hello 37! Hello 37! Hello 37! Hello 37!

I made the S'mores cake recipe into cupcakes. They were divine, possibly the best cupcakes I've made so far. I did a graham cracker bottom and put a little on top of each one until I started running out of the graham part. Next time I will double that portion of the recipe. I topped them with ganache and the marshmallow topping and torched them, that was fun! Hello 37! Hello 37! Hello 37! Hello 37!

We had dinner and drinks with friends Sunday night and it was just perfect.

Friday, November 9, 2012

These Days

These are my days. My favorite weather in my favorite month in my favorite season. These days are fleeting and won't last long. I'm spending as much time outside as possible, basking in the golden light of Fall. The days are growing shorter and the leaves are falling faster. These days are too few and far between.  I suppose that makes me love them more. These Days These Days These Days These Days These Days These Days These Days

I grew up wandering through the woods and creeks behind my parent's property. We built forts and spent hours out there. I feel at home outside. I don't know why it took me so many years to start running outside because now that I'm doing it it just makes sense. I feel grounded and more like myself when I am out in nature. I have a long list of things I want to do this weekend for my birthday. Wandering through the woods is at the top.

This song has been on reapeat in my head the last few days. It is so beaustiful, if a little depressing.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Good Morning

I have been feeling especially contemplative lately. Perhaps it is the election, or my upcoming birthday or the changing weather. I feel different, I feel myself growing another year older, and that's not a bad thing. I'm happy that November is here and these perfectly gorgeous days that go with it.

Good morning Orchid Orchid

I'm thankful for my wonderful and talented husband, and my loving family and friends. Though I may not be where I thought I would be at this age, I do feel very lucky in many ways.

I'm hopeful that this country will continue to move forward and not take us back to the bigoted and sexist past. I'm nervous for the election and perhaps for my birthday as well.

Though I love November, I dread the shortening days and the pace at which we all move these next few weeks.  I will not be ready for Christmas, I already know that. 

I am feeling creative and inspired to work on new projects, but time is short and the list of what I want to make is never ending.  I am thankful that I have a passion for making things and that I inherited and learned creativity from my parents and grandparents.

These are the things that have been on my mind.
I hope your week is full of love.
xoxo
Ashley