Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

kitchen stories

I have revived my love of juicing! As lame as it sounds, my juicer is a biatch to clean, so it had been a while. Anyway, I have decided to put it to good use the past few days – mainly due to some inspiration from my Aunt Lisa + Uncle Tony – but also because the seasons are changing and there’s no better time to eat a load of vegetables to avoid becoming best buddies with a stuffy nose.

My favorite blend so far contains a combination of fruits + vegetables … I like to call it “Garden Juice” for a few reasons. This juice LITERALLY tastes like you’re on your hands and knees in the garden, licking the dirt floor. Sound good, right? Just kidding. I hope you were visualizing yourself doing that though. I’m not gonna lie, this recipe does taste a bit like dirt, but if you like beets, I know you hear what I’m saying. So good! If you’re less inclined to drink up a cup of the outdoor floor, just add a few more apples and maybe 1/2 lemon to the following:

Garden Juice
3 beets
2 apples
4 big carrots
1 bunch kale
1 inch piece ginger

I have been preparing my juices at night after dinner and then storing them in the fridge until morning. The combination of all the vitamins and minerals is the. perfect. breakfast! I have continued to have my morning coffee, but am hopefully moving away from that (thanks to my crazy heart). Another HUGE benefit for me is that rather than constantly shoving vegetables down my throat to get enough protein into my diet (vegetarian here!), I have the ability to toss a whole load of dark green, leafy lettuces in the juicer and waalah! My protein intake for the day is instantly fulfilled.

A recipe I’m not going to share with you is from the juice I made last night (pictured below). It was not good. I added too much ginger, lotsa lemon, and a whole buncha spinach resulting in very acidic tasting nastiness. But the photos are sweet, so enjoy.

Obviously I’ve been having way too much fun exploring with my juicer. If you have recipes to share, send them along!! If you want to learn more, watch “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.” Intense and a little over-the-top, but you know how I love the food documentaries.

September 26, 2011

Fall Craft Day

So Fall Craft Day was a hit! Due to my recent obsession with Pinterest, I have created a never-ending list of “projects” to make – many seasonal. Thanks to that list, I orchestrated an afternoon of creating with a group of gals that either:

  1. Know a thing or two about crafting
  2. Enjoy saving a penny here or there

Each of us dove into a different project ranging from centerpieces to trick-or-treat buckets. #1 on my list was to decorate pumpkins that could not only last through Halloween, but right through Thanksgiving. Obviously, that meant I couldn’t carve them (who likes pumpkin seeds anyway?!).

I used real pumpkins however … add a little gold spray paint, and boom! They look magical. I did my best to stick with general fall colors and step away from anything too spooky that screamed HALLOWEEN. Plus, I’m obsessed with gold, so it seemed like an obvious color choice mandatory for everything I touched.

Other projects that were made included decorative candles, beautiful fall wreaths, and some festive wall decor. I may sound like a bit of an old lady, but it was really a great afternoon – a pile of crafts, a pile of girlfriends, and a pile of sweet treats turned into a lovely Sunday.

September 22, 2011

officially married | july 1 2011

Now that we have evidence of an actual wedding, I can officially say we’re married! I know. Old news. I won’t delay any longer with “newer” news – WE HAVE WEDDING PHOTOS!! I can’t say enough about the talent at Studio Blue. They transformed my every little detail and hours of planning into art pieces.

Thank you to everyone who was thinking of us, dancing with us, praying for us, and writing to us on that super, duper, sweaty, loving, happy, hot day!

Studio Blue Blog
officially married! facebook album

September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to the one and only – my Mom! She would be 54 today and lookin’ wonderful, I’m sure. I keep getting older and the image I have of Mom stays this young, beautiful 40-something year old face.

To celebrate, I made a dinner that always reminds me of her – STUFFED SHELLS. I made a few tweaks based on my vegetarianism, but the spices all stayed the same, so I was able to strum up the oh-so-familiar smell that once filled her kitchen.

To make up for the absent hamburger, I chopped spinach leaves + artichoke hearts and mixed it up with the mozzarella + parmesan. To keep it smelling familiar, I always throw in garlic, thyme, fresh basil, and lots of oregano. Spread on sauce and … WaaaLAH! Done.

Actually, I had to make one other change … The co-op was out of large shells, so I substituted with manicotti noodles. In short, my attempt to make “Mom’s Stuffed Shells,” came out as “Ashley’s Spinach + Artichoke Manicotti.” Oh well. I tried. To defend my amateur cooking skills, it still smelled the same so I was happy! It’s the thought that counts, right?! Hehe. We think of you all the time and miss you constantly, Mom. Happy, happy Birthday!

September 14, 2011

ceremony tunes

In preparation for the BIG SWEATY BEAUTIFUL wedding photo post, I thought I’d prep you with a review of our ceremony tunes. Creating the ceremony was my favorite part of wedding planning – I spent tons of time putting together our vows, looking up passages, writing and re-writing messages for the program, designing my heart out and last but not least, selecting music for such an important day. Every little thing carried special meaning.

My childhood pastor drove hours to lead our ceremony … and I hadn’t seen her in 10 years! We are so thankful to have had Pastor Betsy share our wedding day. On top of that, all of our musicians held a special place in our hearts. Our lead vocalist, Robin, taught me piano as a tiny girl, and her musical partner, Craig, lead vocals with her at the church I attended growing up. Our feature musical duo consisted of Brent’s sister, Allison, and father, Doyle – all possessing master talent.  They were amazing and the music so beautiful, that guests almost forgot it was nearly 120 degress in the church! No. I’m not kidding. It was phenomenal. And sweaty. With heat like that you don’t even need dance moves to help break a sweat!

A heat index of 120 degress + no air conditioning + lots of people = conditions perfect for sweating through underwear

I’ll go ahead and move away from those hot details. Enjoy the tunes!

Processional   |   Make You Feel My Love
Bride’s Entrance   |   Life in Technicolor
Gathering Song
   |   Ave Maria
Celebratory Song
   |    Follow Through
Unity Ceremony
   |   Mama’s Song
Recessional   | 
Forever and Ever, Amen

Here are a few other personal favorites played once the reception was underway – songs that will forever remind me of our special day.

First Dance  |   Give in to Me
Father-Daughter Dance  |   Teach Your Children

The following aren’t links to our actual ceremony / reception audio. I know, I know. Seems strange that we didn’t actually have Beyonce perform, but alas … thanks youtube!

September 12, 2011

rojo reunion

This past Thursday night the Reichow’s got lucky and had the opportunity to eat dinner as one big family! Dad has been out and about working anywhere from Iowa to currently Florida, so it’s a bit tricky to grab him for dinner on any old weeknight. We settled in with the best company and enjoyed some tasty Mexican food at Rojo in West End. Two words – great salsa!!

I know you can’t tell, but I actually photoshopped Joe and Alyson into the mix. So, I guess I lied. The complete Reichow crew wasn’t entirely together, but almost. We miss those two crazy Californians. You can donate to the Joe + Alyson Move to Minnesota Fund with prayers daily … and while you’re at it, toss in a few heartfelt words for Daddio to land a lovely, long, stadium job right here in good ‘ol Minneapolis.  I can hardly wait for the whole crew to be back together. Total sweetness.

The night was so good. I’m not sure there’s anything better than sharing good food with such good people. Thanks for coordinating the best night of the week, Lis! You gone and done it again. Muah!

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September 8, 2011

skinny dipped with a splash of blue

If I was lucky enough to make the rules, my skin would maintain a darker shade than snow white as the warm weather flies south and any hint of tan I obtained over this wild summer leaves me entirely. Regardless of the well known fact that darker skin tones wear these neutral colors best, I’m obsessed and plan to do what I can to incorporate this lovely palette deep into my fall closet. Adding the blue might make it a bit lot more bearable to check me out as I walk down the street entirely dressed in my skin tone.

For more of my random inspiration for life and style, follow me on pinterest. Or try tumblr. I say both.


September 5, 2011

love, stan

Stan Carlos is a guest author on the blog. He is the nephew of Ashley + Brent and occasionally spends a weekend with them. His posts will be nothing consistent and will contain minimal importance, order, or relevance.

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September 1, 2011

father hennepin couple’s retreat

So, I recently went camping for the first time in literally 10 years. For some reason I was craving it. Brent and I packed up our things, bought a tent, and drove a few hours to the overpopulated, slightly commercialized Father Hennepin State Park. It wasn’t my first choice, but when you’re traveling with a group, compromise is key. We landed near Mille Lacs around 8pm on a summer Friday, set up our tent in the dark, and spent the rest of the night near the campfire with our dear friends/family: The Stoks + Bradshaws + Moreaus + Higgins. Some might say COUPLE’S RETREAT. It was wonderful.

The bugs seemed minimal and the company was perfecto. We did just about everything in a mere 1.5 days, other than shower. We managed to pull off an awesome beach volleyball game (I can’t seem to remember the exact score, but I’m preeeetty sure my team won …), swam a little, ate a lot, and overall enjoyed each other’s company in the great outdoors. It’s definitely a trip we’re going to need to take every year – maybe even elongate it to 2 full days! We got creative with the cooking and made “hobo-packs” for dinner on Saturday night. They were a HIT!! And soooo easy. Basically, you cut up a variety of vegetables, pull together some sort of meat option for the carnivores, sprinkle with salt + seasoning and lay over the fire. It takes roughly 30 minutes to cook – and then, waaalah! They’re done and so good.

It’s pretty fun to hop out of your comfort zone every once in a while, leave the blow dryer behind, and enjoy a laid back weekend in the woods.