Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Comes Once A Year...

....Now it's Here, Now it's Here, Bringing Lots of Joy and Cheer Fa-La-La-La-La....

That little song is from a Christmas Cartoon that I loved as a kid and it always brings me back. I love the OLD Christmas movies...


IT'S CHRISTMAS MORNING!!

Santa Came!!!

Many people who host a Christmas eve Party sleep in and open Christmas Presents later in the morning. It looks like Mike and I were up on Christmas to open our own gifts, but we exchanged on Christmas Eve morning and then woke up at 5 am on Christmas and I drove us to Jersey. It was a tough ride but we made it in a quick 3.5 hours and there was no one on the road. We opened presents and prepared food, and passed out on the couch and ate and drank and passed out on the couch and opened presents and drank and passed out on the couch.

It was one of my favorite Christmas's to date!!

After Christmas I decided to unplug and spend some quality time with my Family. So I will see you all in the New Year!! 

XO, 
Ash


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Dinner and a Surprise

I love those J-I-N-G-L-E Bells, Have a Holly Jolly Christmas... Note to self when prepping for a Christmas party.... hold off on the Christmas music until guests arrive. I must have heard every Christmas carol just about 20 times each!

Two Tables.... :) Crazy Crowd

I made my own Centerpiece with just a cheap bouquet and my own  vase
It's all about Ambiance :) Candles Everywhere 
My table setting. I used the gift tags as name cards
Our Living Room Ready for a Party

Dinner was awesome of course.. We had enough food to feed a small army. I challenged my guests to leave hungry. Dinner started off with a special surprise as Dan and Meg announced their engagement. 
So Happy For Them!!

It was a great party and a fun surprise! Definitely a Christmas Eve to remember. Now it's time for this Paleo chick to really be successful and look even better for all the up coming weddings. 

XO,
Ash

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Mischief

It's almost Christmas and Santa's Little Helper is busy wrapping gifts and getting things ready for the big day... This is just a sneak peek at how to decompress and relax when Christmas is around the corner...

Talk to you kiddos Soon!!!

XO,
Ash

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Parties

Tis the season to be Jolly!

This is the season where holiday parties are happening almost every weekend and so meal plans can be tough. Tonight we have a party for Mike's company at his bosses house. I was up early to take care of some things around the house and then it was off to Twirling...


Wanna know something cool... We have a brandy new studio and I CAN NOT WAIT to TWIRL IN IT :)

I had practice from 12 to 2 and then I had to come home and get ready for Mike's Holiday party. 



Don't we look so Pretty!! 

So I knew that the food might not be Paleo and it is rude to go to a dinner party and stuff your face when your trying to meet new people. So on my way home I stopped and grabbed a salad and made sure to eat before I left. 

Then once at the party I snacked on some yummy Shrimp (Paleo), Lollipop Lamb Chops (Paleo)... Then for dinner I stuck to the Braised Short Ribs and Seafood Cassarole which had Salmon and shrimp and crab. 

I kept my cocktails to a minimum and had water in between each drink to keep me hydrated. 

Dessert was not Paleo but it was delicious and after all I was at a party so I indulged just a little. 
XO, 
Ash 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Possible New Changes

Every year I reflect and think about what I want to do to change and be a better me. This year I am thankful for the "kinda"job and now that I have learned what the company has to offer and since I have tried my hand at a few professions I am thinking of a switch. I am 25 and want my Masters before I'm 30 and before I have kids.

I have worked with kids with special needs and I feel like there are too many overlooked kids and not enough people who have the educated background to deal with it. I have gone back and fourth on this and I just don't know, so if any of my readers have any advice, let me know.

Food Fails
 So on Sunday I wanted to make a batch of Paleo Cinnamon Rolls and they just did not come out right, They were dry and gross and I wasn't a fan. I have been lacking in the creative kitchen area and I think it's because I have so much to do and not enough to do it.

I am excited to be hosting Christmas Eve Dinner this year First Time Ever and it will be a Paleo feast with a few yummy additions of Mary's Antipaste, and some yummy Cannolis.

If you sat me down and asked me about my favorite foods you would think I was ITALIAN...

Anyways I am going to ponder on my ride home... and think of what awaits me at home...

XO,
Ash

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blogging Day of Silence

My heart is broken and my tears can't heal there pain... In honor of those who lost their life at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday I am taking a day of silence on the blog to reflect and be with the ones I love most because you just never know...

 XO,
Ash

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Must Have Paleo Cookbooks!!!

So let me start by saying that I rarely make a recipe that I find to a T. I usually like to look at recipes for ideas and then I usually make my own twist on them. I also find that when I buy or when I want a cookbook I usually have to WANT it for a while and I have to want to make more than 10 dishes in it or its not worth it. I am picky when It comes to Cookbooks. Not because they are not good, it just that I like to create my own meals. If your knew to Paleo then some of these books are a must have, so here it is.. My Cook book Must Haves...

I don't actually own this book, but I have made many of the dishes inside like, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mahi Mahi with Mango Chutney, Carrot Souffle, and Pumpkin Chiffon Pie to name a few. Mike even made my birthday cake from this book.This book is great for novice cooks and perfect for anyone looking to become paleo. The recipes are simple and reminiscent of how most people eat. I also like reading how the recipes were created and every recipe has a short section of why it was created. They even have a meal planning guide in the back for holidays so party planning is a breeze.

This is also a great book. Its a little more in depth and not for the novice cook, but once you have a handle on Paleo this is a great book. The dishes in here are adventurous and so GOOD. A must try for the family and when you need help re-inventing the wheel. Sarah also has a podcast that will help answer Paleo and crossfit questions. Check her out.

On my Wish List!!!
Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolf have a podcast called Balanced Bites and these women are friendly and smart. I am hooked on soaking up all their knowledge and I have put this on my Christmas list and if Santa forgets to leave this under the tree you bet your bum that I'll be first in line on the 26th to pick this up.
You cant have one without the other. I can't wait for this book to drop in early 2013 and YES I will also be pre-ordering this after Christmas. Look how cute she is, and her personality is so friendly and down to earth. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this cookbook. Liz also has her blog, you have to check her out...

Talk about WISH LIST... When I started Paleo I found Juli and her raw and fun blog made me feel better about the struggle with weight. Juli doesn't have the same issues as I do but she has no problem saying it like it is. She says what she feels and holds nothing back, and I love that. She also makes the yummiest and creative dishes like Buffalo Meat Loaf. Seriously this chick knows how to cook and I can't wait to own this cook book. Juli is great and if you want to read a fun blog then you need to read hers. Paleomg


Well that is all I have for now kids. Now don't get me wrong there are SOOOO MANY AWESOME Paleo cooks out there and so many more cook books to study and learn from. When I get more I will post them here!

Do you have any questions?
What are your favorite cook books?

Did ya know... I asked for this for Christmas one year because I loved Teresa and was looking to eat better and wanted to support my jersey girls. Honestly I have never cooked one meal from it. Once she got famous and her head got bigger than her hair I lost interest in her and her food. Plus I found the recipes either too complicated or too easy... Anyways my best advice is to SEE a cook book before you buy it or really search it online, Make sure you want to really go home and make the recipes inside or else it will just collect dust on your book shelf.

XO,
Ash



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Time is Here

Hey all... So Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat... Time to put a penny in the old mans hat, if you haven't got a penny then a Hay penny will do, if you haven't got a hay penny the God Bless You!!!

Name that Christmas movie Quote...

I am all about Christmas movies these days. There is nothing more perfect than sitting in front of the tree and watching Christmas movies and wrapping gifts.

"I''m sorry I ruined your lives, and sorry for jamming 11 chocolate chip cookies in the VCR"

Do you remember VCR's.... I used to watch movies all the time and there are still a few VHS that probably would not play today because I have watched them so many times.

My food front has been pretty boring lately and that is because I have been so busy with Christmas to think about food.

I did make a cinnamon Bun Muffin this weekend....
I topped them with Cream Cheese Frosting and some Cinnamon. I am trying to create a Paleo version of Cinnamon Buns because I always make cinnamon buns on Christmas. I want to tweak the recipe a bit but I love my version of the cream cheese frosting! So yummy so stay tuned kiddos...


How is Paleo going for you? Any 2012 weight loss resolution success stories?  Let me know and I will feature you in a post!

XO,
Ash

I am off to be Santa's helper and wrap some gifts. I hope your being good!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All I Want Is A Mike's Pastry Cannoli...

So if you live in Boston or if you have ever been to visit then you for SURE have HAD to go to Mike's Pastry. It's the best place in Boston to get a yummy treat.

Even this Paleo chick indulges in a Cannoli or Eclair from Mike's Pastry... they are the BEST!!! The owner Michael Mercogliano passed away and so that has made me very sad and all I want to do is go out and get a Cannoli!!
Tonight I have ALOT to do...

Finish some Computer stuff
Wrap gifts
Create gifts
Make a creation in the kitchen

So much and of course I need to go home and snuggle with my furry little Santa... here is another sneak peak of our christmas card! :)

I love them :)
XO,
Ash
   

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Boring Foods

So I haven't been posting my meals lately and there is a good excuse for that I have been lame...
Mike and I made Roasted Pork Butt in the oven on Sunday and it was like a 4 or 5 pounder... and so that's what I have been eating for lunch. Pork Butt with BBQ sauce and a banana. I need to go grocery shopping but I am being frugal and eating what I have at home because all of my money is going towards Christmas gifts... Plus I am really trying to stay on budget...

Monday night I met up with a friend in "Southie" for dinner, she was in town for business and staying in South Boston so we went out for dinner...

Last night I went Christmas Shopping with Mike and our friend Scott... I am almost done shopping just a few more to check off my list. Then we came home and I made my christmas card for this year... Here's a hint on the theme for this years card!!!

XO,
Ash

Are you all done shopping for christmas? Do you like wrapping gifts?

I LOVE wrapping christmas gifts and finding new ways to wrap to make them look cool and pretty!!!



Monday, December 10, 2012

If You Drink... Don't Drive


I am sure you have heard the story... In fact if you can't recognize this person, I am sure all I need to say is NFL drunk driver and you get the idea... Not because this particular person is know for more than one drinking and driving violation ( even though he is ) but many NFL stars and Celebrities alike are known for getting behind the wheel after partying it up..

I have ZERO tolerance for drunk drivers and those who get in the car with drunk drivers. I lost my cousin to a drunk driver and so sorry if I offend anyone, but everyone has a choice. I never wish death on anyone and it angers me that some choose to risk there lives and forever change the lives of others for a night of drinking... Furthermore I find it ironic that stars like these, have the money to "pop bottles" and go out drinking and can't be smart enough to hire a driver or even a cab for that matter. I am not saying don't go out and drink, but if you're not intelligent enough to know when enough is enough then maybe your not responsible enough to drink.

I am saddened that these two men were so selfish in there actions and didn't think about anyone else when they decided to get in the car. I am so angry that it's 2012 and we still see a rising rate of death around drunk drivers... what is SO HARD for people to understand? How many people have to die? How many innocent lives need to be taken before people decide to make a change? I just don't get it, it baffles my mind and it makes me SO ANGRY..

Holiday Safety Tips

* If you plan on drinking at a Holiday party make sure you have a designated driver, If your going to more than one party simply switch off with your significant other or  a friend.

* Make sure your DD is COMPLETELY sober if there is any kind of winter weather around. The chances of getting into an accident when there is bad weather are much higher. So make sure that you avoid cocktails when traveling home in winter weather. ( Leave the party early and enjoy a cocktail at home in front of the tree with a Christmas movie)

* If traveling on Christmas Eve be aware of drunk or buzzed drivers. Also be careful around some who may just be severely tired.

* If attending a party on Christmas Eve pack some festive Christmas pajamas and stay the night if your at a family or close friends house. Wake up early and enjoy coffee and offer to make breakfast with the party host or just sneak out early to be with your family. You still have the opportunity to drink and a safe way to end the night.

* Have one cocktail and drink it slowly and then switch to water and save your drinking for when your at home.

* Tis the season to call a cab, if you over indulge in the bubbly just call a cab or better yet a family or friend. Tis the season for being together and being safe!

Drink responsibly and if you choose to get behind the wheel think about the amount of lives that are being affected by your one choice.

XO,
Ash

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Booooo Technology...

This was the best part of my day... Roasted Pork Butt and Garlic Broccoli, Yea dinner was YUM and I have a whole ton of leftovers... I also had to give Ace Face a bath because he had a meat shower and was licking the juices that was running off the counter and on his head and down his face and onto the floor.... HE was in Heaven.... and Now he's clean!!!
"Meat Head"

Today was a bunch of annoying rolled into ONE!!!! I am 80% done with a editing project and just as I am about to finish and the software would get all corrupt and stop working... I just need a solid hour to finish this and yet its still not working... I have been moving from one computer to another... I am BEYOND FRUSTRATED...

More to follow...

XO,
Ash

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"It Ain't Easy Being Green"

So can I just start by saying that I LOVE SATURDAYS!!! Aside from the fact that Ace Face sleeps way too much throughout the day and wakes up super early to bark at the heat or the others awake in the house my favorite day  is Saturday. I get to sleep in until about 8ish and then I get to relax and have multiple cups of coffee, eat a yummy breakfast and then head out to Twirling Practice. I LOVE SATURDAYS....
What a Bum...
I LOVE my team and its always a fun experience working with them. I must say that I was a little nervous about joining a competition twirling team and being 4 years out of shape, but I must say that it's like riding a bike!!! The best part is that we are almost through learning our choreography for the routines which is great because that means that we can just drill drill drill... which is always the best part.

           Drilling- (In Baton Terms) Running a routine from beginning to end from walk out to walk off, so many times until you can practically do the routine in your sleep. 

I like to "drill" the best because that is when you can really add on the sass and make the routine your own. It also eases your nerves on competition day and that is always great!!!

I was a little worried that my coach was going to hold back on putting me in front and center positions until she saw me perform, but she has moved me all around and secured me a spot right in the center. My team mates also are happy with the way I do exchanges and so that has just boosted my confidence right there. I love twirling. It's such a great way to forget that I have responsibilities and an adult life and I can just be a twirler and have fun and chuck a baton in the air and do some crazy things...
Sometimes... I just Love my Dance Tights...
Saturdays are the best Days!!!! When I got home I showed my routine to Mikey Poo and then we made Kingle Cocoa's (Hot Cocoa with Cake Vodka and Creme de Menthe) And we watched Madagascar 3.... I lead an exciting life!!! But I wouldn't trade it for anything on the world.

Dadadadada Afro circus Afro circus... Polka dot polka dot polka dot polka dot!!!!!

XO, 
Ash 



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Picture Vomit

So yesterday's post was bare bones so today is all Visual...
I love these weirdos... they make me smile and I LOVE THEM!!!
He looks so innocent but he knows where to find socks and stuff to chew...
He's super sad that he missed out on this dinner... it was yummy in my tummy... Recipe to follow

Uncle Scott got Ace his new bandana when he was on his cruise :) Thanks uncle Scott

Thats all... stay tuned... Life is Cray cray at the moment....

XO,
Ash


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dinner with the Boss



I love the days when I plan a cheat on Paleo and end up eating a pretty clean meal. I love this. I went to dinner with my new boss and a co-worker and I ate Gluten Free and Perfectly Paleo, I ordered Steak Tips (Rare… MMM I love me my steak in its most lively form) with some potato and veggies.

---Now I know White potatoes are not typically Paleo but just like I have said before Paleo is very much a personal choice and a personal diet. For me white potato here and there in fine and has a much better than a simple cheat of bread or pasta. So once in a while I just roll with it.----

I am sure some people wonder how I choose what to eat when I eat out and so that is what todays post will consist of.

How I Eat Out---

So I rarely explain to people that I eat Paleo, mostly because it’s confusing and many don’t understand how or why some foods can be bad for you… So I usually will make my choices and not really explain why I eat why I do. This can be a problem in a few situations…

Picking the Restaurant:
So most of the time you can choose the most protein dense meal, like a steak or a chicken and ask for more veggies and no grains or just leave them behind.

Sometimes you find yourself at a place with many bread or pasta options and so if I feel like I have no good choices then I order a salad to start and then pair it with  a protein filled pasta and eat all the protein and a little pasta.

Avoiding the Dessert Menu:
Of course when the drinks are flowing your inhibitions lower and you want to peak at the dessert menu, most of the time I opt out of the desserts but sometimes it’s hard to resist. My kryptonite is Crème Brule. I love it and when I see it I have to get it. If you choose dessert or you know you’re going to a place that has really good dessert, eat clean and make sure to finish your meal and finish your protein before you dive into dessert. We like to starve or save room for dessert and then your denying yourself the nutritional values for the day.

Enjoy it:
You’re not cooking, you’re not cleaning, it’s your day off so if you’re going to go out then just make sure you work out, eat clean for breakfast and for lunch, and just enjoy it and don’t stress over your choices and make sure to drink water and maintain a clean meal after the fact.

What are your fears or issues with eating out?
Do you tell people that you eat Paleo?

XO,
Ash

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Do It For Yourself

Todays Post was inspired by a fellow blogging friend. First of all let me just say... CONGRATS GM for BQ-ING!!! Hell Yeah Lady! I am so excited to go to the 2013 Boston Marathon You Wanted it and you went for it and got it!!! So glad you accomplished your goal and I CAN NOT WAIT to Cheer you on!!! :)

Check out her amazing story here!!! And show her some love!! In True Jersey-Lovin-Elvis-Duran-Morning-show-fashion.... GM is MY BADASS CHICK OF THE DAY!!!

Love the Shirt.... SOOOO PERFECT!!!
Anywho... I was inspired by this chick because lately I have been kinda bumming out. I am the kind of person who loves to get excited and go all out for any holiday or occasion and I feel SOOO Bad if I plan on doing something and then change my mind. So with Christmas on the way I am super excited and super in the holiday spirit and totally trying to balance it all. I want to have a great blog, and meet my Paleo goals, and learn and master more tricks in twirling, and create some new yummy recipies, and sooo many more things. I have found that I keep layering on tooo many things at once and I just need to relax and focus on one thing at a time....

My Coach Tina!!!
 Can I say that it's Tuesday and aside from  Saturday being a weekend day, I am SUPER excited for Twirling practice. I am getting more used to and getting to know my team and I love them and I so love getting back into the swing of learning and working on routines. Can I just say that I spent all day with my team last Saturday and minus the cold and minor frostbite I had such a blast. So is it Saturday yet?

XO,
Ash

What is your ultimate stress reliever?
-Mine is twirling or cooking and hosting parties...


Monday, December 3, 2012

GBOT

Most people after the holidays or around the holidays worry about "GBOT" or "Getting Back on Track".

For me ever since I became Paleo I have been very good at avoiding most foods and thus remaining on track. However I have fallen off the wagon lately and I think it's because I have been so tired and not in to mood to do what I need and get in the kitchen. I haven't had time to look up new recipes and I have fallen in a dinner slump, but I have found my fire again. Getting ready for Christmas I have been thinking about what to make for Christmas Eve Dinner and I am so excited to host this year and cook and lets face it I am big fan of planning and hosting parties...




So I am excited to get back into the kitchen and try out new recipes and find new favorite ones! Do you also find yourself feeling like giving in when it comes to diet and exercise around this time of year? Kind of like a hopeless cause, and I will start fresh in a month. Keep off the pounds now so you have less to work off, and make sure you make smart decisions everyday! 

XO, 
Ash

-Are you sticking on track?
-What are your exercise tips and tricks for the Winter time?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

O Christmas Tree...

YAY!!! It's Sunday and we are GOING TO CUT DOWN OUR TREE TODAY!!!

I am not ( OMG YES I AM) excited for this at all... We went to Hopestill Farm in Sherborn
The people who run the farm are super nice. They gave us a saw and sent us on our Merry way to find a tree that wasn't already claimed. All trees are $55 dollars and they range in sizes... We got a 7 foot tree and its PERFECT For us. What's also awesome, we wanted to give Rich the guys who owns and the one who helped us a 5 dollar tip for helping us wrap our tree and get it in our car and he refused, he just said "come back again". They also had a sweet heart doggie named Scout who melted my heart. I did pet and give him a kiss... Yup

Us Cutting Down Our Tree... We all worked on this....
Then we went home and started to decorate and get the tree ready for the Christmas season.... the boys fought me on Football game vs Christmas Music/Movies....

Ace Face wanted to help... and so he had a few costume changes throughout the day :)
Ya know dress the tree.... dress the dog...
Our Tree all done!!!
There is nothing better than turning all the lights off lighting some candles and relaxing on the couch... that is what the night consisted of. We watched the Dallas vs Eagles game and guess what DALLAS WON!!!

I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!!!

XO, 
Ash

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Frostbite

Let me just say that in New England it's a chilly day today.. I was up bright and early this morning to twirl in the East Bridgewater Parade with my twirling team Elite... It was so cold waiting to step off... Once we got moving I totally got into it and had fun with it... I can now say that I have twirled in snow... And it was a little difficult. Now I am at practice for team and this is so much fun.

Last night was great we all went out and surprised Scott for his birthday and it was great I had so much fun. Tomorrow brings fun holiday errands like getting a tree!!

Check out my pictures from Saturday...

XO,
Ash