Sunday, August 12, 2012

Photo Happenings

I've been MIA. No excuses really, just been living life and enjoying summer! 

This is a photo dump of life happenings lately :). 

Party Wagon at the County Fair. Hours of laughter, delicious food, refreshing drinks & great company! 

Lights of the Carnival!

Ah, I love the fair! 

Sinful fair food. 

Margarita Time! 

Delicious treats out of the garden

Beautiful August Saturday! 

Orange Leaf! Need I say more?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

~Grilled Lemon Chicken~

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things. It's been a rough past 3 months. I'll write about it later.

For now, I'm going to post a fabulous recipe that I made the other evening. It is the epitome of the perfect Summer meal!


Grilled Lemon Chicken (Courtesy of IowaGirlEats)
Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1 chicken breast, pounded thin
  • 6 Tablespoons Homemade Lemon Dressing, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown basmati rice, dry ( I didn't have any rice, so just ate all veggies)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • Marinate chicken breast in 3 Tablespoons lemon dressing for 15-20 minutes. Grill on high heat then set aside when done.
  • Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, place a tight fitting lid on top, turn the heat down to low and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon lemon dressing in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté corn and red onion for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add in cooked rice and 1 more Tablespoon lemon dressing. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  • Stir cherry tomatoes into corn and rice mixture, plate, then top with grilled chicken. Drizzle with remaining Tablespoon of lemon dressing.

*I also sauteed some portabello mushrooms and added it to the mix.* 

This meal was so incredibly delicious and healthy! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I haven't been around in a while. There's a reason.

A broken heart. You see, Jon and I broke up. It will be 5 weeks ago this Friday. The pain is still incredibly real, and my heart is still hurting. I miss him. I truly miss him.

He told me that he wasn't happy, I'm afraid with himself. He's shut down from everyone, including his family.

Your best friend of 3 years suddenly gone, just feels as your whole world has just fallen down around you.

I don't know what will happen. He said maybe one day we will have a chance. For now, I simply have a heavy heart.

I find myself trying to find strength and courage to face every day.

I'm not sure how to find myself through all of this, and how to keep my mind occupied.

It has to get easier, right?

They say that everything happens for a reason, but I sure don't understand why.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Roses & A Fishing Pole


I'm feeling majorly drained lately, and not able to put my finger on it. Any one have any suggestions on amping your energy levels? I definitely need all the help I can get!

Tuesday was Valentine's Day, and we (Jon & I) spent it very  low key. Tuesday morning I woke up and stumbled to the bathroom (my morning routine) to see Jon standing in the hallway with a new fishing pole & reel! Rock on! Happy Valentine's Day baby, he said :). After getting ready for work I still half asleep, walked down the stairs and into the kitchen oblivious to these sitting on the counter! Jon had to ask me if I was blind, as these gorgeous roses and a huge box of chocolates sat on the edge of the counter. I immediately stuck my nose to smell them, they are beautiful!

I got him Godsmack concert tickets, as well as Staind & Black Stone Cherry will also be touring with them. He also got a bag of Pistachios (his favorite) and a cookie that is a honey bee that says "Bee Mine". Since, he's a bee keeper and all :). I thought it was fitting! 

When I got home Tuesday night we went to the local Mexican restaurant and chowed down on Chips & Salsa. Fajita nachos for me, and a chimichanga for him. We were both stuffed to our gourds and brought home over half of the food home. A quick stop at Blockbuster to grab a couple movies, and we came home and snuggled up on the couch. 

How was your Valentine's day? 

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Listening: To 60 Minutes, watching it with Jon. Wow, when did I learn to like this show? However, I loved the interview just done with Adele!

Eating: Nothing. Had a bowl of homemade chili earlier for dinner though.

Drinking: Fruit Punch. A staple in my house.

Wearing: Gray tank top and plaid pajama pants.

Feeling: Like I don't want this weekend to end. It was completely restful, and much needed.

Weather: Cold. 17 degrees cold.

Wanting: A vacation with Jon. Craving the western skies and mountain tops.

Needing: An adventure. Kinda goes along with "wanting" above.

Thinking: Nothing really, of importance anyway.

Enjoying: A quiet evening with Jon, awaiting the Grammy's, and snuggling with my cat under the blanket.

Sunday Morning

Sundays are supposed to be for relaxing and enjoying your one last day off, before heading back to the grind on Monday Mornings, right?

Well, I truly believe so. So today, I plan to do exactly that.

This morning started out with a couple biscuits for breakfast, with our own honey from last year's harvest.

Then I enjoyed 2 cups of coffee, with a splash of milk and sugar. 

Now, here I sit wrapped up in blankets with the sunlight streaming through our windows. The air is crisp and cold, with  yesterdays snow still on the ground. Jon is off to go get us some Orange Juice, and hopefully some movies to pass the rest of the afternoon. We haven't left the house all weekend, spending it in our pajamas, taking naps, enjoying bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup, and snacking on chips & dip. Also, endless cups of tea have been drank in hopes that this cold that has invaded my body will soon disappear. I will miss this weekend, and the quietness it has brought this house. We need to divulge in these more often, without the sickness though. I realize though the only time we slow down is when we are sick, is it God's little way of telling us we need some rest?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Morning

Good Morning! 
Jon & I just woke up! W went to bed at 10 last night, and slept til 11 this morning! We were both exhausted! Jon is in the kitchen cooking an omelet with venison sausage, and I'm about to go head for the coffee pot! Both my cats are sitting on either side of me this morning, as we watch the rain fall outside. The weather forecast said rain all day long, yuck! However, I shouldn't be complaining as we are having spring time weather rather than winter!
Jon's brother got to come home last night. His sternum is severely cracked, due to a momma cow charging a fence and getting him down to the point of almost killing him. Luckily he was able to scramble away. Jon's nephew is still improving, but his girlfriend has apparently taken another turn for the worse. She's back into ICU and still heavily sedated. Keep saying prayers, please. 
Jon and I are taking his other nephew "R" tonight to the Arena Motocross, it was our Christmas present to him. He's so excited! We are hopefully going to take him down to the pit beforehand so he can meet the drivers, get autographs, etc. We are also going to take him out to eat beforehand as well! It will be a full day for him, but I'm sure he will love every minute of it! His parents don't let him be a part of anything, so it's always a great pleasure to see such a HUGE smile on his face! 
**Jon just sat down with his omelet! Oh my gosh, it takes up the ENTIRE plate! Pepperoni, ham, venison sausage, cheese, eggs, and lots of spices!**
I think I will get up and go find some coffee! Happy Saturday, to all of you!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Why does your personality change? When I was younger than I am now, I was such a social butterfly. I couldn’t stand being at home, and wanted to be out and about doing something all the time. Now it’s completely different. Big crowds I’m not a fan of anymore, and if I go to an outing after a couple hours I am more than ready to come home. Is that strange?

I look at it, as just being content. Being happy at home, with the things that I love surrounding me. Tonight Jon and I went to a friends housewarming party. It was all either one of us could do, to pull ourselves out of our house to even go. We did go, and mingled for about 2 hours and after those 2 hours passed by I was more than ready to come home. As so was he. But that’s not a change for him, he’s a recluse and very quiet anyway.

Am I just settling into myself? Feeling completely comfortable in life? Or what exactly is it? I’m not sad or depressed about anything, as i know that will make you want to “hide” from everything in the outside world. I’m perplexed in this new personality change within me.

I yearn for solitude. To live where there are no neighbors, and I can only see trees and land on all 4 sides that surround me. I want to hear nature, not cars whizzing by. I want the option to go out into public and the crazy world, rather than being thrown out into it left fending for myself.

Tonight I’m just left wondering what has caused this change within me....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fill In The Blank Friday

1.   My favorite place i've ever traveled to is  Colorado or New Mexico. I've never been out of the country, but I love the mountains, the way of life, the crisp air, and open skies. 

2.    Italy     is somewhere I'd love to go someday.

3.  I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by  reading a book or listening to music. 

4.  My three must-haves when I travel are   iPod  ,    A book   and     a camera   

5.  My favorite travel companion is    Jon, or anyone that is up for an adventure .

6.  The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling is  getting stranded while on the airplane, sitting on the runway for 3 hours in a HORRIBLE dust storm in Dallas. Only for them to take us back to the terminal, and we had to find somewhere to stay for the night. We came back the next morning to only find out there were no flights out, so we drove from Dallas, to our remaining destination (Albuquerque, NM).

7.  The most exotic food I've ever tried while traveling is  I'm always up for trying anything new! I can't really remember anything off the top of my head! 

8.  If I could live anywhere else, I'd live in  somewhere out west. Colorado, Montana, Wyoming. Yup :)

9.  I have been to  a few   
states in the U.S.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Happy Sunday!

One thing that I love to do when I have spare time and can savor every moment, is cook! I love the aroma that fills the kitchen, measuring the ingredients, chopping, and building a plate full of beautiful foods that you have poured your love into creating.

With that being said, I have found myself browsing one of my favorite websites ( today for recipe suggestions!

Here are a few that I found, and would love to try. They have officially been "bookmarked".

Starting off with breakfast with this delicious treat!
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffin

This looks like a delicious dressing for any type of salad! I bet it's super refreshing during summer! 

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Lemon Vinaigrette

Can you imagine how wonderful your house would smell after this cooking all day?

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Chicken Enchilada Soup

I can't wait to try this! This is my favorite dessert, and it looks super easy to make!
Eggless Tiramisu Trifles  
Tiramisu Trifles 
 Now, that's what I call a savory Sunday :). 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rocked Out

Happy Friday!!

Where has this week gone? I really don't know, but I'm not complaining! It's Friday, and that causes for celebration! Or in my case, relaxing on the couch, with the laptop in my lap! Music is playing, with my ear buds placed snugly in my ears :). What's are my tunes of choice tonight? Shinedown - acoustic! I found on YouTube an Acoustic Concert that Shinedown put on in Kansas City, and it's nothing short of amazing! I just love them!

Source: via Matt on Pinterest

I rocked it out at the gym tonight straight after work, and then came home and cooked spaghetti with my homemade spaghetti sauce, and some portabello mushrooms. It was delicious. I'm such a lover of Italian food, and would eat it every day if I allowed myself.

My new job is absolutely wonderful! It's completely mentally challenging at times, and I'm still in the learning process but I can actually say that I ENJOY going to work every day. The dread is not there anymore, there is laughter all through out the day, and the people that work there actually care about you. They genuinely care when they ask how you are? There isn't a day that goes by that  Good Morning isn't said to each other, as soon as you are seen at the beginning of the day. I've met some amazing people, and people that I can see being my friends outside of work, too. My co-workers will go out of their way to help one another! I'm not used to Team Work, but embrace it with open arms. If you ask for help, they are there right that second.  I don't have a lot of down time at this job, as I did my old one but I'm completely okay with that. I would much rather stay busy all day long, than sit at my desk bored out of my mind. So, in a nutshell....I am HAPPY!!!!

What are your plans for the weekend? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crazy Monday

It's really about the simple things! I came home tonight with Jon telling me to close my eyes, that he had bought me a surprise! I opened them to see a Wireless Router, woot! So, now here I sit comfortably on my couch browsing blogs, instead of having to sit on the floor in front of the t.v. as that's as far as my internet cord would reach. I have a feeling a lot more blogging will get accomplished, and housework will fall to the wayside. Ha, ha :).

Today, was a typical Monday. Mentally draining. You would think after cursing my computer screen and all the worlds on it blurring together, that the last thing that I would want to be doing is sit here, and well...look at a computer screen. But, here I am.

This is what I felt like doing after work today, ha. My brain is/was fried!

Now, I'm off to watch the Bachelor. It looks like even more of a train wreck tonight, than normal!

Have a great evening!  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Farm to Table

A beautiful video about where our food comes from. This is how I want to live one day, off the land. Completely.

fig + fauna from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

Happy Saturday!

Good Saturday morning to ya! It's been a while, hasn't it? 
My new job has kept me so busy, but I really LOVE it! I never thought I would enjoy going to work again, and I do! It's so refreshing! I love feeling productive not to mention challenged again! The people I work with are great, and there is constant laughter in my office all day long! It's so weird to me for people to come up to me and say Good Morning, How are you, or just a simple hello! Even the students ask, how is your day going? Hello! and etc. Wow! I love it!
I also work with my best friend, Londi, and it's great! She's my "boss" I guess you could say, but she doesn't come off that way and it's not gotten in the middle of our friendship which I love. Last night, Londi, my mom, and I went out for Mexican and margaritas. The margaritas are $1.99 at this local Mexican joint we frequent often, and last night they were pure tequila! Yikes! Londi and I finished off a plate of chicken nachos before my mom joined us, and then we both ate our dinner. Let's just say that there are a lot of leftovers in the fridge this morning! So fun though!
Today, Londi & I are going to our Candle Outlet to stock up on candles! This place sells the big jar candles for $1 each!!! That's a steal! It's one of our favorite places! We talked about going to see a movie later this afternoon, we were thinking about seeing "We Bought A Zoo", have any of you seen it? How is it? 
Jon has gone camping this weekend. There is snow on the ground and in the teens, I wonder how frozen he will be!? He went on this trip last year and it was a mountain man/survival camping trip, and they only lasted one night. He's supposed to come home tomorrow morning, hope he's not frozen! 
Also, tomorrow is Jon's birthday! He will be 27 years old! :) I HAVE to go get him a gift today, and I'm absolutely clueless! Help!!! So that will be on the agenda this afternoon as well! I was thinking about baking him cupcakes, even though he said he didn't really want a cake. I think I will do it anyway! Just to make him feel special! :). 
Hope all of you are doing great! This post is ALL over the place! 
Oh, P.S. - I'm looking to go purchase a wireless router today, any suggestions on which brand I should get? Or does it matter? 
Happy Saturday!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

*Recipe* Southwestern Goulash

Hello! It's been awhile! My life has been super busy the past week or so, and blogging has slipped past me! I miss it oh so much! So, here I am :).

I'm a magazine aholic, not to mention food/recipe magazines! After they began piling up I decided to make my very own recipe book (binder), and well today, I put it to good use! I was clueless as to what to make for dinner tonight, so I grabbed my binder off the shelves and began flipping pages! And that's when I found this:

Southwestern Goulash Recipe
Courtesy of Taste Of Home.

This was delicious, healthy, and very filling! Perfect for a Sunday evening! I just wish I would have made more so we could have more leftovers! I couldn't believe how flavorful it was too!


  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean) - I used Venison Burger
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn 
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro - I didn't have any cilantro on hand, so used a combination of basil and parsley! 


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chilies, cumin, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until heated through.
  • Drain macaroni; add to meat mixture. Stir in cilantro and heat through. 
  • Yield: 6 servings.

What are your favorite winter comfort foods? I think this one will make this list for me!


Monday, January 2, 2012

End of the Year Survey

1. What is your name and what's your blog name, if you have one?
Ashley  - Bits & Pieces

2. Where do you live? City, State? If you could live anywhere where would it be?
- Small Town in Central Kentucky - I would love to live out west, like New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana. I love the rustic, ranch life.

3. Where do you work? What's your job title? Do you love your job?
I work at a Horseshoeing School - and am in the Administrative Field. There are many assets to my job description, financial aid, dormitory management, receptionist, scheduling, etc. I actually just started my job, and tomorrow is my first FULL day, but I think that I will LOVE it.

4. If you could work anywhere or do anything what would it be?
I would love to be a photographer, I think that would be fantastic. Or own a cupcake shop with my best friend, Londi. It’s one of our drems!

5. What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading Crow Lake

6. What are you listening to?
I’m currently listening to the Today Show. Does that count?

7. Guilty Pleasure?
My Keurig coffee maker! It’s wonderful!

8. Name your TV shows:
Two Broke Girls, Big Bang Theory, American Pickers

9. What is one thing you do every day?
Listen to music. Yep :).

10. Name the best movie(s) of the year:
Get Low, The Help, 180* South,

11. What do you like to do for fun?
Photography, Blog, Shoot Guns, Thrifting, Painting & Scrapbooking, Explore,

12. Do you have Twitter?
Yes, click HERE

13. What was your favorite gift that you gave or received this year?
It would have to be my Sterling Silver Antler Ring my boyfriend got me for Christmas!

14. What's on your bedside table?
A stack of books, a candle, and lotion.