Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese in Mason Jars

It's no secret that I love cooking in mason jars and drinking out of mason jars. I swear, everything ... [ Read More ]

IMG_4180

31 things for my 20 year old self

I wrote this post last year to my 20 year old self last August 2013 and decided that I will add a ... [ Read More ]

IMG_6349

Seared Ahi Tacos with Mango Salsa Recipe

One of our favorite meals is fish tacos. The possibilities are endless with them because there are ... [ Read More ]

ahitacos

DIY Gingham and Chalkboard Wall

When we decided on the floor plan of our house last year, one of the rooms I was most excited about ... [ Read More ]

IMG_4718-2

DIY Fancied Up Kids Table and Chairs

Hey there pretty people! How's your week going? Mine is going…the first week back from vacay is ... [ Read More ]

IMG_4484

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese in Mason Jars

It’s no secret that I love cooking in mason jars and drinking out of mason jars. I swear, everything tastes better in a mason jar. It’s a fact.

I have a gluten sensitivity, which means sometimes I can eat it and have no issue and sometimes I eat it and regret it.

I have not completely cut it out of my diet. I just can’t. But, I have tried to make small changes here and there. I have been making homemade macaroni and cheese in mason jars for a few years now and decided to attempt it with gluten free noodles a few months ago. No one that I served it to could tell that they were gluten free noodles. These little jars were a delicious addition to a BBQ, plus, just toss a lid on top and save them for leftovers for a few days. These little mason jars full of goodness have become a staple in our casa for BBQs!

IMG_4179

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese in Mason Jars

Recipe adapted from my fave, The Pioneer Woman-Go here for the recipe details!

4 cups Gluten Free Noodles (I love this brand the best!)
1 whole Egg, Beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
1/4 cup Gluten Free All-purpose Flour (Cup4Cup is my fave!)
2-1/2 cups Nonfat Milk (original recipe uses whole milk)
2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
1 pound Grated Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Gluten Free Breadcrumbs (optional to top with)

*Head over to The Pioneer Woman’s site for the details on how to make the sauce, etc. My details for how to finish the recipe are below!

IMG_4180
To finish the recipe:

Mix the cheese sauce and noodles together in one large pan. Scoop the mixture into the 4 oz. mason jars. I use this cupcake scooper to do this. Top with some grated cheese and breadcrumbs (gluten free) and bake at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy!!

If you loved this recipe, you should try my gluten free lemon bar in a jar recipe and my gluten free shortcakes recipe!

Check out a few of my favorite cooking utensils that I used to make this recipe!

Fancy Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I am super excited for this weekend because tomorrow is my birthday!!! Woohoo!!! So excited!!!!

Today I am linking up my fancy Friday favorites with Andrea, Erika and Narci for Friday Favorites!! I am excited to join these sweet gals today!

Momfessionals
One
First things first! These glasses are the bomb.com. I love them. You have told me you love them! They’ve been the best and I pretty much wear them constantly!
Polarized Aviator with Green Lens
IMG_0310
This shirt is on huge time sale too!! In fact, all sale items are an extra 20% off right now at Anthropologie! Seriously, there are some ahhhmazing sales right now! You can find my jeans here and my sandals here (these are 25% off too!).
And then I saw this pair and I immediately knew they needed to join the sunglasses collection.
Gold Polarized Aviators Both pairs of glasses 25% off right now with code SHOPNOW, so if you want them, now is the time!
Two
Next up, if you missed my post yesterday, I shared my 31 things for my 20 year old self. You find find the post here! When I turned 30 last year, I wrote a letter of things I wish I could go back and tell my 20 year old self and I have decided to add to it each year for my birthday!
IMG_6349
We had fam bam pictures taken while we were in California last month and I just love them! This is a fave of mine!
Three
Teddy and Reagan are SOOOO ready for Halloween! We rock the skeleton PJs all year, but they are SO ready for costumes and candy! Teddy will be a super hero of some sort…one day it’s Batman, the next it’s Spiderman! Reagan is all over the place with her costume choices. She says she might just be Princess Reagan again, which is what she was last year. We shall see!
IMG_4998
Four
It’s no secret that Reagan and I love a good hair accessory! We are huge fans of headbands of all types! My friend Kim, who runs Oh Sweet Joy has some super cute headbands is giving you all 10% off your purchase with the code FANCYASHLEY! Woohoo!! Head over and check to all her fun items!!!
Here is Reagan is her newest headband that Kim sent us! She loves it!
IMG_4560-2
Five
And because fall is on the horizon, let’s talk fall candles! What is your favorite fall scent? The Pumpkin Soufflé candle that I buy at Anthro is my favorite, but I am always looking for new ones and I would love to hear your faves!
28520153_074_b
Don’t forget to check out the Anthropologie sale items! They are an extra 20% off!!!
Cheers to the weekend!!!!

31 things for my 20 year old self

I wrote this post last year to my 20 year old self last August 2013 and decided that I will add a thing or two, each year to it, for my birthday, because, let’s face it, we grow a lot and learn a lot each year. Oh, and my birthday is Saturday and I am turning the big 3-1!

Last year, I turned the big 3-0. It’s funny, because it really isn’t that life changing of a year. I mean, you get older, yes…, but life changing? No. When Reagan was a few months old, this gal told me that I had no idea what life was and my life wouldn’t even begin until I was 30. Married and two kids in, I found the statement ignorant and comical at the same time. I’m happy to say that my life began way before I turned 30 and this past year has been full of ups and downs, highs and lows, just like the rest of my years. It has been a pretty life changing year for my family in certain aspects, but a move would have been life changing at 30 years old or 12 years old. It’s funny because last year around my birthday is when we first made our decision to move and here I sit, writing this post, in my kitchen, in my house, in Texas! I still wake up some mornings and miss California…especially with this insane humidity that we are having right now (hello sauna outside!), but all in all, this move has been the right choice for our family and that’s what matters.

IMG_6349

Here is my letter to me:

Dear Me,

1. Don’t worry so much because, I promise you what lies ahead is way better than you could ever imagine.

2. Do what you love. Even if no one supports you. The people who love you and believe in you will support you in every endeavor.

3. You will be set up on a blind date and you will end up marrying that amazing godly man.

4. He will be your biggest supporter and your best friend. When I say biggest supporter, I mean it. He will cheer you on in anything you chose to do.

5. Dance like no one is watching. Ignore the people who laugh at your dance moves. Just enjoy yourself and have fun. That’s all that matters.

6. Pray without ceasing.

7. Always follow YOUR dreams.

8. Never let anyone bully you and guilt you into staying in their life. If it’s not working for you, then it’s just not and you don’t owe an explanation.

9. True friends are just that, true friends. You will only get a few in your lifetime, but they will be there for you always.

10. Do the things you want to do. The time wasted sitting around making excuses as to why you can’t do them, is time that could have been used doing said things.

11. Being a mom will be the hardest and most rewarding job ever. It’s never easy but it will be the best thing you’ll ever do.

12. You will do nothing with your college major. You will spend lots of years wondering if you should have and that’s okay because you still can.

13. You will move all over the place in the next ten years and you will have some great experiences and meet some amazing people.

14. You will teach yourself lots of new skills that you’ve always wanted to learn.

15. You and your sister will have kids around the same ages and this will be one of the greatest things. Seeing them all interact with each other and seeing how they love each other so much will be priceless.

16. Do not put so much stock in what certain people think of you. There will always be certain people trying to bring you down. Hold your head high and “keep on keeping on.”

17. Lots of amazing things will happen and also lots of tragic and tough things will happen. Remember to hold onto your faith. It’s hard at times, but knowing there is someone out there with a plan for YOU and YOUR life, will get you through.

18. You will always love pink and glitter. (duh)

19. You will begin watching the show Frasier and you will watch it every night and it will be key in helping you fall asleep.

20. You will always laugh a lot…even through the hard times.

21. You will always struggle not taking things to heart, whether it be an attack on you personally or an attack on your business. It will always be hard for you, but remember that you have lots of people cheering for you. They are who matter.

22. ALWAYS trust your instincts. More often than not, they will be right.

23. Always trust your mom’s instincts too. She has been right about soooo many things!

24. It’s okay to cry. Most times, after a good cry, you’ll feel better.

25. Eat dessert. Eat cheeseburgers. Life is too short to count calories constantly.

26. People will let you down. That’s just part of life.

27. Even on the hardest day when you think you can’t take anymore, remember to be thankful for ALL your blessings.

28. Always take lots of pictures even if it makes your hubby crazy! :)

29. Treat each day like a special occasion.

30. Don’t let fear control you.

ps…Wear sunscreen. Seriously, get in the habit now…it’s a good one.

Added August 2014

31. Moving is hard. Duh. You will realize (and remember from when you were growing up) that no matter where you are, what city or state you live in, as long as you are with your immediate family (though you’ll miss the parents, sibs, friends and grandparents like crazy), you are home and you’ll be okay. Some days will be harder than others and you’ll wish you were somewhere else, but take heart, better days are coming. You

ps…read number 16. and number 21. like a million times. There will come times that you’ll need that advice a lot.

Love,

Me

Seared Ahi Tacos with Mango Salsa Recipe

One of our favorite meals is fish tacos.

The possibilities are endless with them because there are so many different fishes and so many different marinades. One of our favorites is seared ahi. If you don’t like rare ahi, you can also cook this more well done (that’s how we make it for the little presidents). This recipe screams summer, but we enjoy it all year round. I can’t wait till it’s cool enough to sit outside on a cool fall evening and enjoy this recipe.

IMG_3900

Recipe:

1/2-1 pound ahi filet

Marinade:

In a ziplock bag mix:

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

*marinate for at least 30 minutes, flipping the bag over halfway through…do not marinate for over an hour.

Set your grill temp to 500+

seared- 2 minutes a side

well done- 5 minutes a side

Mango Salsa:

Chop and mix 1 mango, 1 jalapeño, half a purple onion, lime juice (whole lime) and cilantro (handful). Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_3905

Grill corn tortillas (a few minutes each side). Chop the ahi into small pieces and put on top of tortilla, cover with mango salsa and top with cheese and guacamole (optional). Enjoy!

ahitacos

Also!!!! You should definitely make a mojito or two to go with this dinner. It’s the perfect cocktail companion to this recipe!

IMG_3891

Shop the items that I used to make this meal and cocktail, below:

PS!!! the HUGE Lilly Pulitzer 3 day sale is going on right now. The deals are ahhhmazing! Seriously! Here are a few of my must have items!

DIY Gingham and Chalkboard Wall

When we decided on the floor plan of our house last year, one of the rooms I was most excited about was the playroom. As soon as we moved in, it was one of the first rooms that I wanted to complete and I quickly set out to do just that. It has become one of the little presidents’ most favorite and most used rooms. They spend a lot of time up there playing.

I knew I wanted to do a red, white and blue theme from the start and I knew I wanted a chalkboard wall of some sort. I had originally planned to do a whole wall in chalkboard paint. But, after some thought, I didn’t want a bunch of wasted space at the top. I wanted some sort of statement wall. Enter my love for gingham. I had the idea to do a blue gingham wall and decided to paint it ourselves. I am pretty much in love with how it turned it. It was not the easiest DIY, but now that we have done it and made mistakes along the way, I feel like we could do another gingham wall way easier! This was a complete teamwork project. Mr. Fancy is not a fan of DIY. I am. He humors me and I always rope him into helping. I couldn’t do this one solo, so luckily, I talked him into helping. The outcome is so awesome! I am just in love with it.

IMG_4720

These two were super excited to help too!

IMG_3205

I started off by painting the bottom portion of the wall with a magnetic primer. I wanted to be able to hang things up with magnets and this stuff is pretty darn cool.

IMG_3206

Mr. Fancy is super at measuring, so that’s what I rope him in for! Here he is splitting the wall in half for me…this was the easiest part of the measuring process of this DIY.

IMG_3210

My wall has a door in the middle of it (that hallway leads to the craft suite!), so we just split the wall in half, all the way across and taped it off.

IMG_3217

After the primer was dry, we started with the chalkboard paint. We used schoolhouse green. It’s my favorite. These two were super excited to help with this portion of the project.

IMG_3228

IMG_3220

This is the wall after one coat of green.

IMG_3233

Here it is after the second coat. This was about 11pm. See my little magnets hanging there?!

IMG_3250

The next morning we began the intense portion of this DIY. It took us a few minutes an hour to agree on a square size for the gingham. We finally decided on 9 inches. I actually can’t even remember why we chose that size at this point. It was Mr. Fancy’s idea to do 9 inches and it turned out perfect…I think he likes a DIY project more than he lets on. Ha! *Each line was 9 inches vertically and horizontally. 

The measuring…

IMG_3254

And the taping were the most time consuming parts…

IMG_3257

We did the horizontal lines first…Green FrogTape is the best…so much better than the blue tape!

IMG_3265

After the whole wall was taped, I got to painting…that was the quickest part!

IMG_3267

After it dried, we were ready to start taping the vertical stripes.

*This blue was NOT the color I was going for, so I painted over it with a different blue that had a primer included in it.

IMG_3279

I painted three of the vertical stripes before taping the rest…just to be sure I liked the color. Mr. Fancy measured and taped the vertical lines and I followed right behind him, painting.

IMG_3295

Again, painting the lines was just so quick! I tell you, the taping is the longest and hardest part of painting in my opinion.

IMG_3321

After the stripes were finished, there were a BUNCH that needed touching up. I just went though and taped areas and used a teeny paintbrush to  touch up. I had to run and get our wall color paint, to touch up the white squares as well.

IMG_3343

The next part of my plan was to put up a chair rail. This seemed like a daunting task, but I knew I could figure it out and funny enough, this was  so simple to do!! So, I headed to Home Depot for the fourth time in three days. This is when I met my new bestie, Rueben. I measured my wall areas, went in, picked a trim piece and he cut them all to size for me! It was so simple and easy! I was telling him that I wanted to buy a bunch of tools, including a nail gun and an electric saw and he said he could not support it until I decided if I was going to be a serious DIYer or not because it was a lot of money to spend. Ha! He had my back!

IMG_3337

I headed home and painted my chair rail…

IMG_3340

After it was dry, it was ready to go up on the wall. I needed help on this portion of the project, as well. I caulked the backside of the rail and had Mr. Fancy hold it in place, while I nailed it into place. The caulk and the nails hold the rail on there perfectly.

IMG_3346

I took a little dab of paint and painted over my nails, so you can’t see them. The chair rail was the perfect finishing touch!

IMG_3352

The little presidents are pretty much obsessed with their new playroom (I’m looking forward to sharing more of it soon!)! The chalkboard wall is a huge hit…especially for Reagan, who seems to prefer coloring on walls somedays, rather than on paper! I am seriously so happy with how this project turned out. Halfway through when I had my paint color issue, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but the end result is just so great and every time I look at it, I am so proud that we did this ourselves!

IMG_4718-2

a few things to note:

Here is a link to the red Gingham Cubes! We love these and use them for little chairs.

Paint Colors:

Vertical lines: Valspar Isis Wept

Horizontal lines: Valspar Midnight Sonata

IMG_3282 Chalkboard Paint in Schoolhouse Green

Magnetic Primer

So, there you have it!

IMG_4711

So, what do you think? Are you going to attempt your own gingham and chalkboard wall?

If you have any questions at all, please leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to help!

Fancy Friday Favorites

Three cheers for Friday! I am so excited for the weekend!!

Here are a couple noteworthy things that I am loving this week!

Did you see my Fancied Up Kids Table and Chairs post, yesterday? I am super excited about how that DIY turned out. I love it!!!

IMG_4484

Anthropologie has some great sale items right now. This dress is everything. I am in love with it!

IMG_4480

Here are some similar dresses and I want them all!

This dress is also on sale and has been one of the most worn items in my closet since March. Comfy and cute!

IMG_4516

Here are a few similar items:

Is it super HOT where you live? It is like a sauna outside where we are, but I am dreaming of fall weather, pumpkin scented/flavored everything and lazy weekends, watching football. Last night, I made pot roast…the perfect fall meal. Have you ever tried The Pioneer Woman’s recipe? It’s our favorite!

IMG_3796

*Lots of you asked on Instagram about my dutch oven…this is the 9 quart one I have and LOVE!

I’m looking forward to just hanging out this weekend and doing some more projects! I’m on a roll! What are you up to this weekend?

DIY Fancied Up Kids Table and Chairs

Hey there pretty people!

How’s your week going? Mine is going…the first week back from vacay is always tough and I decided to tackle a million house projects this week, so I am tireddddddd, but excited to be home and I am having fun with all my projects!

The project that I am going to share with you today is a favorite of mine.

IMG_4484

Here is the back story…Reagan has been wanting a “tea party table” for her room. My original plan was to surprise her on her birthday with one. But, I couldn’t find anything that I just loved, so I was planning to DIY one. Since, we were going to be out of town for her birthday,  I decided to tackle the project when we got home…I didn’t plan to do it immediately after we got home, but, when I have a bunch of ideas in my head, I don’t sleep. I just think about and get excited about all of my ideas. This idea popped into my head around 2:30am, Saturday morning. So, Saturday, I decided to make a trip to Ikea. I’m pretty sure that everyone else in Houston was there that day! Anywho, I had come up with the perfect way to fancy up an Ikea kids table and chairs and I needed to start it immediately. As always, I never know how my ideas will turn out, but this one seemed like it should work pretty well and it did!

Ikea has lots of children’s chairs and tables to choose from and the pricing is right. I went with the Sundvik chairs (we’ve actually had this table/chairs before and gave it away because I didn’t think we needed it anymore! ha!) and a Kritter table. They were out of the Sundvik tables and I have no patience to wait, so I went with a smaller table. These two sets mix and match perfectly and in the end, I am glad I went with a smaller table because it fits perfectly in her little space.

I wanted to add padding to the chairs to make them more comfy and add fabric to the chairs to give them a more customized look. I absolutely love how mine turned out and I couldn’t wait to share them with you!

Side note: The fabric I chose for Reagan’s chairs is one of the fabrics that is in her new room. I am in love with the fabric and wanted to use it as much as possible, so adding it to the chairs was a perfect way to add more of it. Her room will be finished so soon and I can’t wait to share the whole thing with you! It’s been a long time coming and I love seeing it all come together!

Ready to get started?!

The Necessities:
IMG_4374

Chairs (build the chairs per the directions and stop before adding the seat piece)

Fabric

Foam Cushion

Good Scissors

Staple Gun

4 (2 1/2 inch) Screws/Washers (screws should be 1/2 inch longer than the screws the chair comes with. You can purchase at your local hardware store)

IMG_4376 Start off tracing the bottom part of the chair on the foam board.

IMG_4380 Then, cut out your piece of foam. It doesn’t need to be perfect of course, but you want to be sure that you have enough foam to cover the whole top of the seat piece.

IMG_4382 After that step, make sure that your piece of fabric will cover all sides of the chair piece and foam.

IMG_4385 Then, you start to staple each side of your fabric. I don’t do it in a organized fashion, at all. I just start stapling and hope for the best! Staple guns are tough to use! You need a lot of hand strength to push down on those babies!

IMG_4386

IMG_4387 IMG_4388 Be sure to leave your corners open. They look like little wings…

IMG_4390 After you have stapled all four sides, your piece should look like this…your hand will probably be sore too!

IMG_4392 Then comes the corner folding time. This part can be frustrating. Mine aren’t perfect and I’m okay with that. Perfection is overrated.

IMG_4396 You want to take each wing and pull it out to the side…

IMG_4397 Then you want to fold it in, to the side and underneath the chair piece. You will probably have to mess with it a few times to get the fold small enough and to get rid of bumps, but by the 4th chair, you’ll be a pro. At least that is how I felt. I feel like I did the 4th chair in record time!

IMG_4398 The bottom should look like this after you have folded the corner.

IMG_4400

IMG_4401 Once, you are set, grab your staple gun and go to town…I clearly use too many staples, but it got the job done and my corners are snug!

IMG_4405 You’ll do this again to the other front corner.

IMG_4406 Then you’ll be ready to start the back corners. Those are way easier.

IMG_4413 All you need to do, is kind of shape the fabric into the little cut-outs.

IMG_4414

Then you’ll push the chair piece in to maneuver the fabric into place. You might need to pull the fabric from underneath a little as well…just to be sure there aren’t any wrinkles.

IMG_4417

Now you are ready to complete the chair. Flip the chair over and place it on a table, like it shows on the instructions and staple the fabric in those last two corners, into place.

IMG_4418

This where your longer screws will come in. This part gets tough…going through the wood and the fabric is hard. But, if I can do it, then you can do it!

IMG_4412

IMG_4419

After you have screwed in all 4 screws/washers, you can cut any excess fabric that might be in the way…

IMG_4421

Then, you’re finished!!

IMG_4423

Give yourself a huge pat on the back or toss some confetti in the air, because you just made something that will look like this!

IMG_4429

The Boos had to try out the chairs first. Reagan said they liked them.

IMG_4441

I absolutely love this little area of her room. I think she is going to have so much fun with it.

IMG_4488

IMG_4484

I foresee lots of tea parties in Reagan’s future. I am so excited about this turned out!!! I love love love it!

IMG_4500

What do you think? Are you going to make your own fancied up table and chairs?

Wednesday Wishes

How is it August 6th?!

This summer flew by!! I am excited for August because it’s my birthday month, but, I am so not ready for school to start again.

I am ready for cooler weather though!! I am looking forward to that!

Fall is coming…Here are a few items that I am wishing for!

wednesdaywishes1

ONE // TWO //THREE //FOUR //FIVE //SIX // SEVEN // EIGHT//  NINE // TEN

What’s on your wish list?

Summer Dresses-Riffraff Style

Huge congrats to Cristal, who won my Riffraff Giveaway!!! Yay!!!

Who doesn’t love a great summer dress?!

I love dresses so much. Especially in the summer. I feel like everyone needs a few summer dresses that they love and that they feel amazing in. Don’t you agree?

Two of my most recent summer dress purchases have been from one of my fave stores, Riffraff!

I love this one so much! The print! The colors! The cut!! Love it all!!! You can dress it up with wedges or dress it down with sandals (like I did). The possibilities are endless! I think it would be a super cute swimsuit coverup too!

IMG_2694

Dress (Sold Out) // Similar Dress // Similar dress // Similar Dress // Sandals // Necklace // Earrings // Lipstick

I am also in love with this dress!! It is SO flattering and so comfy!!! I wore it during our recent trip to Hawaii and loved that it is called the “here to hula dress,” so appropriate for Hawaii!

IMG_3503

heretohula

Check out the rest of their fabulous dresses here! So many fun options!! If any of the items you want are sold out, be sure to sign up to be notified when they restock!!! Don’t forget you always get FREE SHIPPING at Riffraff and you always get 10% off your orders by entering the code ‘FANCY ASHLEY’ at checkout!! How fab is that?!!

FANCYASHLEY-2

Also!!!

Don’t forget that there are only a few days left to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Prices go back up on August 4th! This is one of the best and biggest sales of the year!! You  can see all my posts about my favorite sale items here, here, here and here.

Shop a few of more of my faves below:

And!!!

As I mentioned a couple days ago, Anthropologie is having a pretty huge sale too! A few of my favorite clothing items are on big time sale there right now!

Shop a few of my favorite items below:

Happy Thursday!! Hip hip hooray that it’s only one more day until the weekend!!!