Tag Archives: FIVE on Friday

Five on Friday

I don’t know where this week went. Time flies when you’re keeping busy, I guess. This week we were busy again with house building, so let’s start there. 

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House Building Update

Yesterday we had our interior trim meeting. I thought that meant we were going to need to pick out all of our interior paint colors, mirrors, and bathroom hardware accessories (like towel bars and toilet paper rolls). Turns out that comes later (like, next week). During this meeting we picked out interior doors and picked the interior trim paint color. That’s the color that will be used on things like our our baseboards and our fireplace mantle. Not quite as exciting as picking out mirrors or paint colors for the walls. The winner was Mother of Pearl by Porter Paints.

Porter Paints Mother of Pearl

We had already made a lot of decisions about our trim prior to signing our contract, which made this meeting super duper easy. We actually might need to take out the ceiling trim in Dave’s office because it would probably look pretty odd with the sloped vaulted ceiling. We decided that it didn’t need to be added anywhere else so….#winning. I was reminded that we had added the 4′ Wainscott around our dining nook area, which made me swoon (again). 

Last time I posted we had just discovered that our water heater was installed in the incorrect location, and the pit that contains our sump pump pits wasn’t created large enough. Turns out both of these problems can be fixed, which made me uber happy. I really wasn’t sure if they could make changes to our concrete foundation, but apparently it’s possible…whoop whoop! We had to run out to the house in the middle of the day yesterday because we were told that the electrician would be finishing up and would need a fan that Dave is purchasing himself so it could be installed. All of Dave’s electronic / A/V stuff is going in a closet in the basement, and he’s figuring out how to make it work so it won’t overheat. Apparently that includes installing a super quiet bathroom fan in the closet. The problem? Dave had just decided to add this fan and didn’t actually have it yet….and apparently it was a “special order” kind of product at Lowe’s and Home Depot. So we went out to the house so he could talk to the electrician….who wasn’t there. In fact, the electric work hasn’t been started yet. Whomp whomp whomp. In this case, the apparent delay was a good thing because Dave was able to purchase the fan at Ferguson’s (where we bought all of our plumbing fixtures) and he’ll be able to get it to the electrician when he actually starts working on our house. 

When we were out at the house we found out that the soffits were being installed. I didn’t know what a soffit was until yesterday, but apparently it’s the underside of the roof that goes all the way around the house. I think the same crew (or at least the same contractor) puts up the exterior siding, so I’m hoping that’s done soon. I would also love for our front doors to be installed, because they’ve just been sitting in the garage for weeks now.

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#Blogtober14

Aquage Silkening OilToday’s #Blogtober14 prompt is the one beauty product you can’t live without. Right now that’s Aquage’s Silkening Oil Treatment. It’s kind of pricey, but you only need one or two pumps at a time so it lasts quite a while. I just rub it into damp hair before I blow dry and it decreases the amount of time it takes to dry my hair and it makes my hair soft and smooth. Love it!

 

Helene in Between Blogtober

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October

Let’s just talk October in general.  It’s turned into a pretty special month. Obviously we celebrated our first anniversary this month, and when we got married last year I was aware that our anniversary would end up being the day after my aunt and uncle’s anniversary. What I didn’t realize was that we were actually adding to an already-existing string of anniversaries all on one side of my mom’s family. It turns out that anniversaries to celebrate every day from October 9th to October 12th. How cool is that!?

Kim's 30th BirthdayOctober is also a big birthday month for our family and friends. Of my four bridesmaids (aka 4 of my favorite gals in the world) three of them celebrate birthdays in October. The fourth is a July baby, which is the best month to have a birthday (but I’m only a little biased, being a July baby myself). So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Steph, Kim, and Abby, and to Dave’s Aunt Wanda who also celebrated her birthday this month! 

We went out last week to celebrate Kim’s big 30th birthday! We don’t live too far away from downtown Carmel, Indiana, and that was where Kim got her friends together. We started off at Muldoon’s, an Irish Pub, and later in the evening we headed across the street to The Pint Room. The Pint Room opened not that long ago (this summer I think?) and whenever we pass by it’s always packed. Now that I’ve had a change to check it out, I can definitely see why. They’ve got an insane number of beers on tap. If you’re into beer at all, you’ll definitely be able to find more than one thing that meets your fancy. 

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Blogger Love

Of course I’m linking up with Meagan again today for some Friday blogger love!

All The Joys Friday Favorites

This week I highly recommend that you check Notes from a Newlywed and the florkens for this week’s edition of their “Going Natural” series. Why? This week’s focus was cleaning products. Amanda specifically mentioned Norwex in her post, and Kate talked about Method. Those are pretty much my new “go-to” brands for everything cleaning-related. (Don’t worry guys, I checked, and Norwex doesn’t test any of its products on animals, so it’s also a “win” on the cruelty-free front). 

Just within the last couple weeks I’ve started using Norwex’s Blue Diamond product as my all-purpose bathroom cleaner (as much as the Norwex cloths can do for some places with “just water,” that wasn’t going to cut it for places like the toilet). With the Blue Diamond and the Norwex Ergonomic Toilet Brush, I managed to get the bowl clean faster than I ever imagined possible. Don’t worry, I won’t be sharing pictures of our toilet bowl with you, cause that would just be weird. If you’re interested in going green with your cleaning, let me know because I can suggest some Norwex products that will definitely help you out!

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This Weekend

Dave is at a conference in downtown Indianapolis today and tomorrow. It’s close enough to home that he doesn’t have to stay in a hotel, which is nice, but it means that he’ll be leaving early in the morning and won’t be getting home until late at night. So what’s up for Katie-dog and me this weekend? I’m going to be checking out options for our bathroom mirrors for the house, finishing up and ordering our Christmas cards, and working on a super-secret project (which is something I’ve been working on almost daily for months now, but it’s super-secret, so obviously you’re not hearing a whole lot about it!). I’m hoping to finish it up before Christmas, so you’ll get pictures once it’s all done. Katie-dog will be spending time snuggling with me while I do all of these things, as usual 🙂

Until later, Ashlen

Five on Friday Logo

Five on Friday

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House Building Update

Lanai Floor

We had our flooring meeting yesterday, and I’m working on putting a post together about all of our selections. I’ve got samples of some of our tile, but I’m waiting to receive carpet samples in the mail. I went back to the showroom earlier today to show my parents what we picked out. I hadn’t taken any pictures during our meeting (I know, what blogger doesn’t take pictures!?) but I snapped a couple cell phone pictures while we were there today. I guess what I’m saying is….don’t have great expectations for my ability to show you everything until it’s finally installed in the house!

In terms of construction, we’ve been happy to see some progress this week. Unfortunately we ran into a small (ok, kind of big) glitch earlier in the week. Apparently the contractor who is installing our furnace somehow didn’t realize that we had made a gigantic upgrade several months ago. When we heard the furnace and ducting were being installed this week, we were confused because we had not yet talked to anyone about the zoning for the system. We contacted the contractor, who contacted the guys at the site, and it turns out they had installed the wrong furnace. Whoops. So they’ll need to pull that furnace out and put a correct one in, but it sounds like we’re back on track.

Plumbing work has continued, and on Wednesday we headed out and found that the concrete that makes up the floor of our lanai and our front porch had been poured!  Continue reading Five on Friday

Five on Friday

Is it seriously the end of the week already? For whatever reason this week seemed to fly by. I’m pretty excited for this weekend because we’ve got a few big things coming up. On Saturday we’re heading to Lafayette (Indiana, not Louisiana!) to meet up with Dave’s parents for dinner. They were kind enough to store the top layer of our wedding cake in their freezer for us because we’re so short on space. As it is I usually have food tumbling out on top of me every time I open the door. We’ll be celebrating our anniversary on Sunday, so it’s time to thaw that baby out and eat it! It’s a chocolate fudge flavor, and I’m crossing my fingers that it tastes as good as it did the first time around. To celebrate our anniversary on Sunday we have reservations at the famous St. Elmo Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis. When I first moved to Indianapolis my dad promised to take me there once I graduated from pharmacy school, and he was true to his word. It’s pretty much the best restaurant for celebrating special occasions (and only special occasions because it can be crazy expensive). Their filet mignon literally melts in your mouth like butter. I can’t even explain how much I’m looking forward to that meal. 

St. Elmo Steakhouse

Enough about my weekend, let’s get started with Five on Friday! There were a ton of blog posts this week that I really enjoyed reading, so this week is full of some blogger love.

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Blogging 101 – Creating a Custom E-mail Signature – Love the Here and Now

Anne posts some great tutorials. I (finally) created a separate e-mail account for A Diamond with Sapphires because my regular e-mail was getting overloaded with my Bloglovin’ feed, comments, comment replies, etc. Separating it from my regular e-mail has helped me stay much more organized and on top of replying to comments because those e-mails aren’t getting lost in the middle of a million e-mails about our house or those thousands of promotional e-mails that I get every single day. (I’m slowly unsubscribing myself to the ones I never read). 

Anyway, it’s a new account, so creating a custom e-mail signature for it is something I need to do ASAP. Anne also posted about how to link up your social media accounts at the bottom with cute little buttons, which I hadn’t thought of doing before. So thanks to Anne for the great idea and nice tutorial! Continue reading Five on Friday

Five on Friday

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Why Kids Should NOT Drive ATVs – Nurse Loves Farmer

I’ll start off by saying that I love reading Sarah’s blog because 1) I really enjoy her perspective as a nurse (because I’m a pharmacist geek like that) and 2) because she’s from the prairie of Alberta…which isn’t all that different from the prairie of Manitoba where I grew up (granted, I was a city slicker and have no place on a farm…but still). This post spoke to me more than almost any other post I’ve ever read. I don’t speak about my background as a pharmacist on this blog a lot (although I did yesterday), partially because of patient confidentiality issues and partially because I’m not working at the moment. So for those of you who don’t know, I had a brief stint working as a pharmacist at a Level 1 Trauma Center in Kansas. I spent a lot of time with a trauma and code pager strapped to my lab coat, responding to the most critical cases that were brought into us from throughout the state and northern Oklahoma. I don’t think I could count the number of patients brought in because of ATV accidents. They are particularly heartbreaking cases because they’re almost always very young patients (children or young adults), and were almost always preventable. There’s a reason we don’t let kids start driving cars until they’re 16, and those reasons apply to ATVs too….they’re big machines, not toys! There’s also a reason that it’s against the law to drive motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, but people don’t seem to think that same logic should be applied to ATVs, and I don’t understand why. I’ve seen accidents caused by ATVs flipping and crushing the rider, and riders getting hit by cars when they’re on the road. Check out Sarah’s post for some great statistics about ATV accidents, and then be careful and use good judgement the next time you are out on an ATV!

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#Blogtober14

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m linking up with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between every day in October for the #Blogtober14 challenge. The idea is to blog every single day during the month of October (including the weekends…eek!) 

Today’s prompt is “one thing you can’t live without.” I’m not going to take this literally, because otherwise I would tell you that there are four things that we all cannot live without: air, food, water, and shelter. I’m also not going to include living creatures as “things” because I couldn’t live without my husband or my Katie-dog. 

I had to put a bit of thought into this. I thought maybe my iPhone, iPad or laptop, but then I remembered that there was a time when I, and everyone else, survived just fine without those conveniences. I thought about my KitchenAid mixer, because I don’t know if I could survive in a kitchen without it….but then I figured I should pick something that I use every single day. Then it hit me…the one thing I can’t live without is my morning cup of coffee. Just ask my husband! 

Coffee
  Continue reading Five on Friday

Friday Five

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Fall Mantel Inspiration – Aimlessly Elegant

I love fall, especially here in Indiana. It’s no longer oppressively hot and humid, but it’s still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors. The leaves, the sweaters, the pumpkin spice lattes, the pumpkin cookies….I love it all. We don’t have a mantle yet (next year tho….). Here’s a fall mantle I saw on Pinterest that I thought was gorgeous:

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I’ve Adopted. I’ve Shopped. And Now I See the Difference – the florkens

Are your pets from breeders or from a shelter? Kate talks about where all the members of her pack are from!

Our family dogs were always from breeders. A big part of that was because I was allergic to the Cocker Spaniel that we got when I was young (also named Katie, not to be confused with the current Katie-dog, but they look similar to each other…). Don’t worry, Katie ended up having a long wonderful life with our close family friends and we got to see her all the time. After my parents learned about how Bichon Frises are hypoallergenic, they got Holly. Years later (well after I had moved out of the house) they got Mischa, whose is half Bichon Frise and half Shih Tzu. She’s also hypoallergenic and barely sheds at all. Thankfully I grew out of some of my childhood allergies, and dogs don’t bother me anymore. That allowed me to consider all different kinds of dog breeds when I got Katie-dog. I really wasn’t focused on a particular breed (although I do have my favorites), but more on size and compatibility with other dogs. I was also pretty biased toward female dogs. I took a leap of faith by adopting Katie from a shelter, but I haven’t regretted it for a second. She’s a spectacular dog. When it’s time for us to adopt again, I have no doubt we’ll head back to a shelter. 

Top: Mischa and Holly in their Colts sweaters. Bottom: (L) Holly and Mischa, (C) Mischa and Katie, (R) Esmia, Mischa, and Katie
Top: Mischa and Holly in their Colts sweaters. Bottom: (L) Holly and Mischa, (C) Mischa and Katie, (R) Esmia, Mischa, and Katie

Esmia, the pup on the left in the bottom right photo, is Mischa’s sister from a different litter. Yes, they are very difficult to tell apart. It looks like we might have another identical-looking dog in the family by the end of the year…but more on that another time.

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Any people say you need a human kid to be a parent – Notes from a Newlywed

This week Amanda pointed out all the crazy things we do for our pets. I agree 100%. While I’m sure that every parent reading this post is a spectacular parent, I’ve spent some time working in pediatrics and I can definitely say that the pets in our family are definitely treated better than some human kids out there. I’m not saying that it should be that way, but that’s just the reality of our world. I totally get Amanda’s point. If you’ve ever cleaned doggy diarrhea out of the carpet at 3am, you know what being a pet parent is all about. 

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Why I Plan to Stay on Antidepressants – Maybe Forever – by Lynn Shattuck on purple clover

This link popped up on my Facebook feed yesterday. It was shared by Bring Change to Mind (BC2M). If you haven’t heard of Bring Change to Mind, I highly recommend you check it out. The website it bringchange2mind.org and you can check out their Facebook page here. It is a non-profit organization started by Glenn Close that is dedicated to ending the stigma against mental illness. Glenn Close’s sister has bipolar disorder and her nephew has schizophrenia, so mental illness is something that is near and dear to her heart. One in six Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, so even if you don’t think you know anyone with a mental illness….you probably do. I first learned about BC2M when they put out this PSA (made by my favorite director…Ron Howard) back in 2009:

Anyway, this article is definitely a good read for anyone with depression or who has a family or friend with depression. Some depression is situational, meaning that it is caused by big traumatic events in your life like a divorce or the death of someone close to you. It’s much easier for patients with situational depression to get off antidepressants in the long term because they can recover and heal from the incident that caused the depression. Clinical depression is a whole different beast. We don’t fully understand clinical depression (or any other mental illness for that matter) yet, because let’s face it….testing on the brain is difficult and invasive when a person is still alive! We have theories about chemical imbalances in the brain that might occur in various mental illnesses based on the known actions of the drugs that improve symptoms of these conditions. We also think there’s some genetic component, given that mental illnesses can “run in the family.” Mental illnesses can be tough to fight without medications (although there are A LOT of great options to supplement the effectiveness of medications…therapy, exercise, pets, a strong support system, etc.) because there’s no other great way to combat the chemical imbalances that seem to cause symptoms. 

What I loved about this article is that Lynn talked about how she tried to go off her medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you can manage that, I applaud you. Unfortunately Lynn struggled when she was off her medication so she and her health care providers made the decision for her to re-start her antidepressant. For her that was the safest and healthiest option. She considered her options, consulted with professionals, and made educated decisions…and that’s awesome.

I also loved this quote from the end of the article:

Many people liken taking medication for depression to taking insulin for diabetes — it’s just what you do to stay well. I take antidepressants for the same reason I put my contacts in my eyes every morning — because it helps me see clearly.

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IWYP By: Whitney Ellen – I Wore Yoga Pants to Work

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This is the first IWYP shirt that I’ve been really tempted to buy because a) it’s cute and b) I love long sleeve shirts. I still have a week left to decide if I should make the purchase, and it’s really tempting, but I’m actually leaning against ordering it because in a couple months having money to buy furniture is going to be more important than cute shirts. Sad, right? What do you think? Should I spend the $32 or save it?

Happy Friday y’all!

Until later, Ashlen 

All The Joys Friday Favorites

Friday Five

Dave and I kind of have our little weekend routines, but this weekend is going to be a bit different. Dave is heading up to Chicago for a “guys weekend” with some old friends. From what I’ve gathered it’s going to involve a lot of golf and chilling out in a hot tub in the evening. Whatever floats your boat, guys. I also suspect that there are going to be a lot of inside jokes about goats and penguins. If you read this blog with any frequency you know that Dave loves goats, so goat jokes shouldn’t be a surprise. Apparently his other friend has a thing for penguins. Go figure. This trip used to be an annual event, but life gets crazy, people have kids, other people (Dave) spend every other weekend driving out to Kansas for a year…so this weekend’s trip is re-starting an old tradition. I’m just hoping I get my husband back in one piece

Every day there is more and more progress on the construction of our house. We’ve figured out that if we head out there around 6:30pm, they’ve wrapped up work and it’s still light enough to take pictures. Watch out for another update filled with pictures next week. When we explored the house last night, we found that the interior walls in the basement are now complete, the main floor is complete, and they’ve started working on the second floor. Unfortunately they haven’t built stairs to the second floor yet so we can’t explore it in detail. They’ve put up the three dormers on the front of the house, and it appears like our master bedroom / bathroom / closet is close to being finished. There was a new delivery of lumber yesterday, and we noticed that the pieces of our roof appear to be sitting in our front yard. Hopefully today they’ll actually be put into place. I’m also hoping they build that last staircase this weekend so I can head up there to explore the second story this weekend! 

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The Wolf of Wall StreetFall Film Challenge Update

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this post. Essentially I’m trying to watch 25 new movies throughout the autumn season. This past week I knocked one more movie off the list: The Wolf of Wall Street. Overall I think the movie was really well done, and it was certainly entertaining. My only problem was that it left me with a sour taste in my mouth about humanity. I mean, how is it that people can knowingly swindle other people for their own personal greed!?

Next up: Up in the Air. It just arrived from Netflix a couple days ago! Continue reading Friday Five

Friday Favorites

I have to admit, this Friday isn’t getting off to the best start. I was rudely awakened by a loud horn notifying all the residents in the nearby apartments that we better get our butts out of bed and move our cars before they were towed because today is the day they are re-sealing our section of the parking lot. Dave and I had to run down and find a new parking space about a mile away. I have no idea if it was literally a mile, and it probably wasn’t, but it sure felt like it when I had to walk back with my bed-head hair, sleeping t-shirt, and yoga pants. After that came the horrible discovery that we are out of coffee. Dave told me he had stored some away in the pantry, so I didn’t think too much of it when I used up my regular stash yesterday. Turns out he had actually moved the pantry stash into my regular stash so….no coffee for me. 

Things aren’t all bad. I got a fun little package in the mail yesterday and I’m expecting another fun package in the next day or two. I’ll be sharing my excitement about that topic with you in the next few days. Framing on our house finally started this week. I’ll have pictures up once they make a little more progress. As of yesterday evening, it looked like they had completed the interior and exterior walls for the basement and put a “roof” on it (aka we have a main floor). I’m assuming that means that we will finally get to see some above-ground progress today. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but we have fantastic neighbors. Our neighbors behind us and beside us always make an effort to come say “hi” when they see us out at the lot. Tonight is the neighborhood kickball party, and while we aren’t planning on participating, we will probably be out there to mingle and meet a few more of the neighbors. 

Without further ado, let’s move on to five of my favorite things from around the web this week!

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UndefeatedFall Film Challenge – Quirky Pickings

Jenn is hosting this awesome movie challenge that I wrote about last Friday. The challenge started September 1st and ends November 30th (not November 13th as I had originally stated…thanks to Jenn for pointing out that little mistake to me). I posted my movie list last week, and I’ve already watched two of them: “A River Runs Through It” and “Undefeated”. I think my expectations for “A River Runs Through It” were a little too high because so many people told me it was their “favorite movie ever.” I liked the movie, but I didn’t love it. I found the plot development to be a bit slow. Still, it was a nice story. I actually ended up liking “Undefeated” more than I though I would. Think of it as a documentary version of “The Blind Side” combined with “Meet the Titans.” 

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#Blogtober 14 – The Daily Tay and Helene in Between

The Daily Tay

 

You have almost a month to prepare for this little challenge…blog every single day in the month of October, and then link-up with the lovely ladies above every single day. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I have soooo much to blog about that a new day can’t come fast enough so I can get a new post up. Other days….there’s nothing there. I’ve never blogged every single day in a month (usually I take the weekends off, but right now I’m bursting at the seams with content so you might see me posting a bit over the next couple weekends). Given that I have a ton of content in my mind right now means that I’ll probably hit a big lull right when this little challenge gets started. That said, I’m always up for a challenge and the girls have provided some Blogtober 14 prompts if you need some inspiration. 

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If You Knew Me in High School – Believe in the Sparks and Health, Love & Fire

Believe in the Sparks

This was such a cute link-up idea. I might just have to participate in the next couple of days. In addition to the hosts’ posts, I also really enjoyed reading Amanda’s post on Notes from a Newlywed.

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The Two Sides of Andrew Luck – The Indianapolis Star

It’s the first week of the football season, so I couldn’t not share this article about my favorite quarterback with you!

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I was facing death, and then He saved me – Kicking Cancer with the Smiths

Andrew Smith played basketball for my alma matter, Butler, from 2009 to 2013 (I graduated in 2011, so he was a player while I was still a student). He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in early 2014 and has been battling it ever since. Unfortunately Andrew was admitted to the ICU in late July and spent almost two weeks in the hospital. This blog post by him and his wife is the first update that Butler fans have had from them since that scare. I know I’m not alone in my happiness that Andrew is now doing well and praying for his continued recovery!

Until later, Ashlen

All The Joys Friday Favorites

The Grits Blog - Little Friday Linkup

Friday Favorites

I’m up a little earlier than normal this morning, trying to soak in every last minute of our vacation (more on that next week). I’m sitting on the porch, listening to the water lap up against the dock and the chipmunks scurrying around in the bush. Despite the fact that it’s an overcast day, there are birds chirping, the air is fresh, and I know I’m in a little piece of paradise. If heaven is real, I sure hope it looks, sounds, and smells a bit like this place. Unfortunately tomorrow morning the birds and the chipmunks will be interrupted by the sound of me kicking and screaming as Dave drags me into the car to head home. 

You’ll have to forgive me for not keeping up on reading all my favorite blogs over the past week, because I’ve been to busy enjoying paradise. But I’ve still managed to round up five of my favorite things from the internet this week for your enjoyment. 

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Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably seen all of the ALS ice bucket challenge videos that have been posted by your friends, relatives, and celebrities. If you’re like me you’ve seen Facebook posts of people participating and loving the idea, and also posts by people who are tired of seeing the videos, are concerned that people are only doing the challenge and not donating, or that celebrities are only doing it for their own self promotion. Whatever your thoughts are on the subject, check out this infographic that someone shared on my Facebook feed this week. The “death” data is a tad old (2011) but I bet it’s still pretty accurate. 

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I’m not saying this should dictate your charitable donations…after all we all have to die of something, and given that I happen to suffer from a non-fatal-but-still-debilitating somewhat-rare condition that needs some major research funding, I know that there are a lot of great causes out there that aren’t depicted on this table. That said, I still think it’s interesting food for thought. Just sayin’….

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Earlier this week the Ukraine detained a bunch of Russian paratroopers that were found in Ukrainian territory, and the Russians claimed that the paratroopers were “lost” while patrolling the border. Apparently they were found 20km from the Russian border. For anyone not familiar with kilometers, that’s a bit over 12 miles. Personally, I have a hard time imagining any military troops patrolling 20km (12 miles) in the wrong direction! I saw this cheeky tweet by @CanadaNATO about the incident. My fellow Canadians never fail to amuse me.

 


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 Fonts That I Love: Part 1 – The Grits Blog

I’ve been having a lot of fun downloading some fonts lately, so this post was made for me! I might just have to post some of my favorite fonts, including the ones you see most often on this blog, in the coming weeks!

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Fall Film Challenge 2014

I was clued into this by Seriously, Sarah? You can read all of the rules here. Basically it will run from 09/01 to 11/13. You need to pick 25 movies that you have never seen before and that fall into various categories (and you can’t use one movie for more than one category). For example “any movie adapted from a novel” is one category and “any movie awarded an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay” is another category. You join the Facebook group and post your completed list on the page. The thing that makes this even better? There are prizes! Each film is worth 10 points. The person with the most points gets a $50 Amazon.com gift card. The first 5 people to complete the challenge (watch all 25 movies!) before the end date (11/13) get a $10 Redbox gift card. There’s going to be a bonus round announced in October, so I’m assuming that will help separate out the winner because otherwise all the people who complete the entire challenge would be eligible for that $50 Amazon.com gift card…right? Anyway, Dave always quotes movies that I’ve never seen (or even heard of) and watching new movies was part of my 101 in 1001 challenge so I’m going to try and participate in this Fall Film Challenge. I doubt I’ll be a winner, but I’ll definitely broaden my horizons a bit!

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Last but not least, one of my favorite pictures from our current vacation that will be a little teaser for the blog content next week….

Flying Pelican

Until later, Ashlen

All The Joys Friday Favorites

Friday Five

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We had some major progress on the house construction yesterday! If you missed it, check out my first construction update (with lots of pictures!) here

When I last posted about the construction, they had just poured the basement walls….

Basement-Walls

House Foundation

Garage

Concrete Slab

When we were standing by the basement window, our voices were echoing. Having the concrete slabs poured was another big milestone, at least in my opinion. There are 8 other houses going up in our neighborhood right now, and we’re last in the construction process (we won’t be the last in the neighborhood though, there are still 4 lots that haven’t been excavated yet). Watching all the other houses is kind of giving us a timetable of when we can expect to see things happen. There’s one house in particular that we think is about 1-2 weeks ahead of ours. I noticed that after their garage slab was poured, it seemed to “sit” for about a week or so. When we were out there on Tuesday they had just started framing one wall, and when we were our there last night (Thursday) there was a complete skeleton of a house! So I know that we won’t be seeing a lot of visible progress for a little while now, but once framing starts the house will take shape really fast. I know that I’m going to be completely frustrated once the house is framed, and there are walls and a roof, because the house looks “livable” from the exterior! We see houses that practically look complete, other than the exterior paint job, but there are still a ton of workers there every single day. I know that they’re working on the interior, and maybe I’ll be appeased if I can go inside and walk around to see the progress, but I still think I’ll be a bit antsy! That said, I’m really excited to see the framing process start because it will be so much easier to visualize the final space. 

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“Florken” First Home: An Open House At Last – the “florkens”

We’re building a home, so having other bloggers share what they’re doing or what they’ve done in their home piques my interest. The “Florkens” shared the progress that they’ve made with their home so far, and their plans for the future. I really love their new kitchen cabinets. I also loved the backsplash in the kitchen because it’s so subtle. I’ve seen so many really bold backsplashes lately, and frankly I’m just not a fan. We still have to choose our backsplash, so I’m looking for lost of nice subtle ideas. So thanks to the “florkens” for sharing!

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Reader Space: A Neatly Organized Office Space – iHeart Organizing

Office Nook

iHeart Organizing has inspired me on more than one occasion, although you wouldn’t be able to figure that out by looking at our apartment. The insane lack of space does cause some restrictions when it comes to being organized. Dave has a desk (don’t even get me started on that mess) but I have….the couch and a few random spaces on the counter top. It’s a disaster. I’m really looking forward to getting my giant office nook (I know that’s an oxymoron) when we move into the house. I still haven’t met with the company who will be designing the space, but I’m really excited to spend some time there and I’m determined to keep it insanely organized. I want it to be cozy and cute…I really like that this office nook has a plant and some pictures to add some homey touches. Plus, I’m a nerd and I like the constellation pillow. 

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She Said Yes! – Two Thirds Hazel

Erin posted about her brother’s engagement story, so if you want a smile, go check out this post. It’s seriously cute, and it includes a dog (which will always make my heart melt). 

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An Announcement… – cupcakes and cashmere

I’m in my mid-20s, so I’m seeing my fair share of baby announcements lately. This one is pretty adorable…and I only wish I had the kind of creative genius it took to create it!

 

Until later, Ashlen

All The Joys Friday Favorites

 

The Grits Blog - Little Friday Linkup

 

Friday Favorites

Another week down, and it’s time for round two of Friday Favorites! I have a decent amount to share for my Five on Friday today, so I’ll be dedicating one and two to my favorite blog reads this week, number three is my favorite purchase of the week and four and five are little life updates from the Mathew household. 

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Parenting Choices: When a Parent Crosses the Line – A Dish of Daily Life

Michelle has some great content on a lot of different topics. I particularly love her recipes. But this week I’m sharing one of her “op-ed” pieces because I agree with her 100%. Honestly, I don’t really have the guts to post such an opinionated piece, but I’m really glad that Michelle is braver than me! Here’s the gist: a woman posted a blog post about how she provided her 14-year-old daughter with her first joint. As a mother of teenagers, Michelle provides a great response (in my opinion). 

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Celebrating the Bride – All the Joys

Not only am I linking up with Meagan for Friday Favorites, but I’m sharing one her posts from this past week because it just looks delicious. 

Sparkling Lemonade with Limoncello

See? Looks delicious, right? Meagan made it for a bridal shower, and I’ll definitely be tucking the recipe away for use in the future! Continue reading Friday Favorites