Monday, October 17, 2011

DC fun with the one who looks like me

Shelby did a fab blog post about her trip to visit me... see it here!

:)Sisters... sisters...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Shelby is coming to DC!!!!

And I can't wait!! :)

I love it when she visits me on the East Coast. Here is a pic from when she first visited me in NYC back in 2006 when I had just moved there. FIVE YEARS AGO! Time flies. We make excellent tourists. :)

Hello Fall!

This is another cool shot from Nat Geo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Washington Monument

During the earthquake that hit DC back in August, the Washington Monument was cracked on the pyramid part. When I drove in to work this morning, as I do most mornings, I get a great view of the monument.

Today, I noticed something... do you see it? That little bump near the point IS A MAN. There are riggers up there examining the structure, they've secured ropes down each side of the monumnet. I have NO CLUE what they're holding on to! The view must be incredible, but talk about scary!! I almost missed my green light, I just sat at the light staring as the man moved around the top!

Why are baby animals SO CUTE?!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cookies ~ Zoo ~ Cookies

Mint Chocolate CrinklesThese turned out nicely. Next time I'm going to add chocolate chunks so they'll be nice and melty and make the cookies 3 inches across (instead of one inch).

I used this recipe but added a teaspoon of peppermint extract, and found they didn't really need to sit in the fridge- I tried it both ways and both resulted in the same amount of tastiness.

My recent trip to the ZOO
My friend Jon and I went to the zoo. Before we even walked in the gate I made him help me come up with a contingency plan in case any of the lions or tigers were able to escape from their enclosures. This quickly became the how to escape a gorilla attack when an obnoxious child threw a stick into the gorilla enclosure, waking a sleeping gorilla who leapt to his feet and starred at the stick that entered his domain. I thought that gorilla was gonna jump out of the enclosure. Scary! The funny part is, we actually were involved in an animal attack of sorts at the zoo. Jon himself got a little too close to a flat billed pink bird that came up to our knees. The bird had free reign of the Amazon house, and when Jon tried to pet it, it tried to eat Jon.

Here is Jon with the bird, before things got dicey...

Honey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Zoo Cookies
Named Zoo Cookies in honor of my recent Zoo trip, these cookies were more along the lines of Shopping Mall cookie bars than anything else, as I threw in several random ingredients. It was about 9pm when I decided to make these cookies, and I just wasn't feeling super inclined to using measuring devices with the sticky ingredients. Therefore, I mostly just guessed with my eyeballs and tossed stuff into the Kitchen-Aid Mixer that belongs to my roommate (the fastest way to mix anything and saves you from a tired arm). I sort of followed this recipe but made several changes, here are the ingredients I used:
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

I couldn't really taste the cinammon in the finished product... Next time, I'll half the honey and double the cinnamon. These cookies turned out super moist- with the perfect filling, they'd make an ideal oatmeal cream pie cookie. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I flew!

My friend Jimmy had a birthday back in May, so Andrew and I pitched in to buy him flying lessons! We got some for ourselves, too... :)

It was a pleasant morning, light fluffy clouds int he air. I've never felt so free as I did right when we took off from the airport in Maryland and headed to the Chesapeake Bay. I took this picture on my iPhone of Jimmy in his place (Andrew's plane was on the other side of me).
That was also quite fun, flying side by side with my buddies. Our instructors did some tricks around each other right here in our planes, and it was super neat. I definitely recommend flying to everyone!

(of course, the last 10 minutes I felt extremely queasy, but the guys could have flown for days- they loved it).

Happy B-day Jimmy!

BYU Football

I missed the BYU vs Utah football on Saturday because of the wedding... only to hear later that they lost tragically and horribly to Utah by some absurd score (10 - 50?)

Anyway, it was still a surprise to me when I got to work and found THIS on my desk!

Seriously, I have no idea (and still don't) of who put this on my desk. I grilled a few people, but no one is fessing up! So I retaliated in the only way I know how...

No hard feelings, U of U... but mystery insulter deserves a taste of mischief right back at him (or her... seriously, who did it?!)

Binh's wedding

I flew to San Francisco for a day for my friend Binh's wedding! I was literally in SF for 11 hours total, the entire trip equaling approximately 26 hours total with flights.

Binh and Lexie!
Derrick and me

Me and Abby
The venue was City Hall in SF, they got married in this same room under the rotunda, Lexie walked down the stairs and looked like royalty! It was so beautiful! Bryce was there too, but I didn't get a pic with him on my iPhone... it was great to see everyone! Glad I could be there for the celebration. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And why not a pie

What do you get when you cross all the left-over dessert makings in Ashley cupboards and fridge (with help from friends)? Toasted coconut crust smothered in melted milk chocolate topped with chilled sugared strawberries. YUM.

Birthday TWO

So, it turns out my roommate Erin is a REALLY GOOD LIAR. Last Sunday afternoon, the day I got back from my two week vacation, which also happened to be 3 days after my official birthday, Erin managed to throw me a party without my knowing, even though she managed to prepare for it RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE! She would be making goodies left and right and I'd say "what is that for?" and she'd give me some line about people at work or, trying to use up the rest of the lemonade mix, etc, and I TOTALLY bought every line. And then suddenly all these people were at my house being nice to me in the name of BIRTHDAY all over again. :) It was definitely a surprise. Definitely a good one!
We thought we'd all get a pic with the cardboard cut-out the guys surprised me with before I left town. I nearly had a heart attack when I walked into my room and saw a strange "man" standing there. Glad it was just a cut-out! :)
And here's a shot with me, Jimmy (front) and the twins- back L Andrew, back R Jon. Kinda feels like a weird family portrait...

And FINALLY a shot with the world famous Erin, my roommate extraordinaire. (and Damon, the cardboard cut-out again, of course). :)Thanks E!


Shopping in Roseville! Me Shelby Jon. They are awesome. :)

I did another excellent job this year by taking only 5 pictures at the beach. But they are a really good five I swear! Proof below. :)

Me and Jessica at Cajun Kitchen. I know you can't see (in this picture) but Billy Baldwin is standing 10 feet to the right. Fo real!

Courtney and Luke getting their beach on.

Luke giggled and covered his mouth! SO adorable, this kid is a champ. My immediate family! ie bro's and sis's and 'rents. L to R: Ryan, M-A, Alyse, Court, Mom, Dad, Jana, me, Shelb, Jon. I like it when we snap one of the ten of us. :)

Me and Shelby!
The End!

Birthday ONE

My friends took me out to dinner at PF Changs for my birthday before I left town. They are so nice and fun! :) L to R: Heather, Midge, me, Jimmy

I think pics of people blowing out candles always looks weird. That dessert was mighty tasty. L to R, Midge, me, Jim
(My wish DID come true, btw)

Here was the bday crew- minus Jimmy and Erin- Erin is not in any of these pics! She was the photographer.
Thanks friends! I heart you all. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wedding Weekend

My pretty nieces! Marissa, Talia, and Tristan.
The newlyweds, my nephew Justin and his wife Allie with their flower girls and groom's munchkins- which also happen to be most of my nieces and nephews (3 are missing, and 1 little girl is no relation)
Mom, Lucas James (LOVE the bow tie), me
Jon and me.


He may be a cardboard cut-out, but I certainly do not mind.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I went to a National's game with friends and we actually WON!
AND I filled out a survey and got a free shirt. Woot. L to R: Jenny, Shanna, Jimmy, me, Andrew
(Not pictured: Jon and Keith)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Harses Harses Harses

It is really hard to take a picture with a horse and have you and the horse both look good (or not blurry!)
Thor is a jousting horse in training.

Las Vegas

While in Vegas for work last week I was lucky enough to see Alyse and family TWICE! Here are a few of us. It was so great to spend time with them and I can't wait to see them and the rest of the family in less than a week!


I've been on a pie kick lately... and not just any pies, STRAWBERRY! I decided to make a strawberry pie (or FIVE) because it was my friend Scott's birthday. And he likes strawberry desserts on his birthday (I hope this is true, as for two years in a row we've gotten him strawberry, but it just occurred to me that I may have made this up...). Anywho, bring on Pie number 1!

Berry Truffle Pie
Almost entirely homemade (minus the crust) this pie features a layer of chocolate cream cheese covered in whole strawberries and topped with fresh raspberries and blueberries, then coated with melted red currant jelly. Serve with homemade whipped cream. Happy Birthday Scott!
(I know you think you see a cool whip container, but that just happened to be the vehicle for the 100% homemade whole whipping cream)

Pie number 2.... Which also happens to be a crowd favorite...

Strawberry Chiffon Pie
This pie takes the longest to make, but it's well worth the wait! Starting with crushed juicy strawberries, then add to a sugary gellatin mixture, cooled and eventually folding in homemade whipped cream and served cold, this pie is divine. Fluffy, light and sweet. I wish I had some right now, yum!

Pie number 3 was the prettiest, in my opinion, and probably the funnest to make. The lighting for this picture was not so good, I had to bring the pie over to the window cause our power went out in a lightning storm!

Strawberry Meringue Pie
This pie features a meringue siding and bottom. The meringue is VERY delicious, especially before it gets cooked :) and the strawberries get coated in lemon curd (it's like sweet lemon jelly) which makes this pie quite tasty. The only downside? It doesn't last long- it will taste pretty good for a day or two after it's made, but it starts to look real ugly and gray after just 12 hours. This is definitely an "Eat immediately" creation. And I'm alright with that! :)


PB Wars

Who would win in a fist fight?
The jury is in.
JIF. Preferred by 5 out of 5 of Ashley's friends.