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Checking In

I so wish I were checking in at the airport, or a cruise ship, or even a Greyhound bus.

That'd be great, and it would definitely give me more to write about today!

But since my little piece of the blog-o-sphere did not get any love from me yesterday, I figured I should pay it some attention today.

Lately, I've been up to a whole lot of stuff that's really not very exciting- but I'll try my best to make it appear to be :)

Kayla over at My Kind of Yellow got me inspired to jump back into doing Insanity, so I've been working out and doing the Insanity dvds for the last week- let me tell you- it's name is PERFECT!!  It is pretty much insane, but after a week of doing it I've noticed that I actually do have stomach muscles!  Who knew?

About a month ago I went for an entire week with only drinking home-made fruit and vegetable juice, and I've really been trying to focus on being healthier and being more respectful to my body- it is the only one I'll ever have.  So hubby and I have been making many more meals at home and I've been avoiding my mondo bowls of cereal I used to always have for breakfast- baby steps, right?!

Perhaps someday I'll have reached a place where I have "after" pictures that show a difference from the "before" pictures that I have sitting in my camera and I'll show both of them. 

A girl can dream, right? 

The fact that I'm working towards that dream is more than I've done in a long time though, so I'm pretty proud!

Along with the week of juicing, Insanity and home-cooked meals, I've been watching The Biggest Loser every Monday.  I love love love that show- and it definitely keeps me motivated!!  Though I'm still a bit puzzled about the whole idea behind it- it's a television show about losing weight.  Which means I sit my ass on the couch and watch other people work out. 

Maybe I'll start doing some squats or push ups while I watch it...

oh who am I kidding- after doing Insanity all I want to do is sit. 

I hope you're all excited for FRIDAY!!!


First Things First

Whoo hoo!
It's Tuesday- which is so much better than Monday!
Today I'm linking up with Hallie over at Life: Oceanside for
First Things First. 
They supply the questions, I supply my answers!  And now, without further ado, my first things :)
My first best friend:
My first best friend's name was Angela, and she lived behind me and one house to the right.  We were pretty much the only girls in the neighborhood, and definitely the only girls within walking distance to each other, so it was an easy friendship to fall into :)  We liked to play house- all the flipping time.  One of us would be the mom, one would be the daughter, often her younger brother and sister would be the siblings, and then the mom would "go shopping" in the playroom for stuff for all the kids.  Cause that's what mom's do, right?  Go shopping?  Well, in our minds that was the most important thing :)  Because we live in good-ole Minne-snow-dah, our backyards would be full of snow that was over our heads during the winter, so her dad would snowblow a path between our houses.  Awesome!  We lost touch as we got older and she eventually moved away, but we had a lot of fun as kids!!
This is me, right around the age of "house"

My First Concert:
One word: EPIC.  This was an epic concert, and one that I waited for for soooooo long.  The Spice Girls.  Yep, that's right, I got to see the Spice Girls.  It was all my pre-teen self could do to not cry on command as I thought of it.  I wore my best sunflower patterned shirt under a jean overall skirt/dress, and I was fabulous!  My older sister took me (because older sisters were always the cool choice when you had an epic event like this) and I remember sitting next to a woman who must have been 70 years old.  (Okay, she was probably only 30, but from my age point she seemed 70).  I remember she drank a lot of beer.  But that didn't matter because I was seeing the Spice Girls!!  Minus Ginger Spice, which was very disappointing because she was my fave.  But I got over it.  Eventually.  Like last week.  Okay maybe I haven't yet, but I'm working really hard to.
Seriously, what's the point?
My First Celebrity Crush:
JTT.  Home Improvement.  Need I really say more?
There he is, ready to steal my heart. 
So that was me and some of my firsts- House-Playing, Ginger-Missing, JTT-loving me :)


Weekend Wrap-Up

Well, it looks like Monday has found us again.  I was hoping that I could escape from it, but as always, Monday is here.
Boo, you whore.

Buuuuuut, at least I had a pretty darn good weekend to make up for it!

So I figured I'd link up with Sami for the Weekend Update.

 On Friday night hubby and I went to some friends' house to celebrate both of their birthdays!  It was a margarita, tacos & game night. 
Game of choice in a small town?  Life on the Farm.
Not. Even. Kidding.
Want a recipe for a fun Friday night?  Add Life on the Farm in and that's all you need :)
Hubby had to work this weekend, so while he was stuck doing that, I went up and visited my parents.  I had lunch with one of my high school friends and then a college friend joined my parents and I when we saw Les Miserables.
Absolutely. Incredible.
If you haven't seen it, I highly highly highly recommend it.  It was full of incredible performances, amazing voices and epic story telling. 
Saturday I was able to sleep in for a while and then dad made Sunday breakfast- can't complain!  I had to head home early to avoid the freezing rain, and when I got home there was a surprise waiting for me- hubby did the dishes!  Love coming home to an empty sink :) 
So I took my new-found free time and snuck in a workout and the latest dvr'd episode of American Idol.  When that was done I looked outside and saw that the freezing rain had turned to snow...

I love this state.
Oh, and I also made some social media icons that I put over there on the right. 
Feel free to follow along :)


Mixed Up Shoes & Ears

Happy Friday!!!
Here's how I spend the beginning of my best day of the week!

My morning consisted of a some yogurt and grapes...

Reading up on some of my favorite bloggers...

Successfully straightening my entire head of hair because I left myself enough time to finish it all before I had to leave...winning!  (On some days I'm not able to completely finish this task... I talked about that here.)

And then feeling like a complete idiot.

On my walk to work I always have my iPod playing, and I generally get it all queued up and ready to go before I leave the house.  My ears get too cold if I don't have them in, and my hands get cold if I'm trying to mess with them once I'm already outside.  And plus, with all the ice that's everywhere I gotta pay attention to where I'm walking.

Yeah, Minnesota sucks.

If not, my clumsy feet would probably slip and I'd end up smacking my ass on the ice.  And that would hurt- so I try and avoid it if at all possible :)   

Well any-who, I'm back from that tangent.  So this morning I walked over to the front door, had my coat on and was just slipping on my boots & my ear buds.  Well, have you ever tried to slip on boots at the same time as you're trying to put ear buds in? 

Let. Me. Tell. You.

I know my right from my left, but doing those things at the same time totally screwed me up this morning.  I mentally struggled with it for a few minutes, and when I was done I had my right foot in my left boot and wasn't even able to put my ear buds in at all.
Hello, Idiot Ashley.
So there I stood, feeling like an idiot and still having to getting my boots on and ear buds in.  I did them one at a time this time, though.

When I got to work I e-mailed my dad about it.  His response?

"You are so special."

What can I say?  He loves me!

Happy Friday- and I hope you avoid any boot/iPod confusion!
 Remember, you too are so special.


If I were a Boy...

Today I'm linking up with Erin at Living in Yellow and Gay at A Girl Named Gay for If I were a Boy.

Two link-ups in two days? Yes, please!

So what would I do if I were a boy?

Here goes-

I'd have the perfect excuse to never ever ever paint my nails.  Like ever.  I love the look but hate the upkeep, so I would take advantage of this easy cop out.

Sadly, this is how my nails look on the reg.

I'd have a major crush on Mandy Moore, Hayden Panettiere and Miranda Lambert.  Cause really, who doesn't?

I'd wear a swimsuit every single day and not give a second thought to how I look in said swimsuit.

I'd choose one week every month to have an awesome party for myself because I didn't have to deal with an annoying visit one week every month.

I'd probably want to have more kids than I do now- it'd be much less painful as a guy!

I'd workout without having to surgically attach my hair in a ponytail/bun/straitjacket to keep it from falling down halfway through Zumba.

No more of this would be needed.

To celebrate not having to shave my legs or underarms, I'd probably just never invest in a razor and grow a big furry beard.

Instead of rushing to a bathroom I'd do as hubby does and pull off on any gravel road I see.

That's what I'd do if I were a guy- what would you do?  Link up and share!

The Facts of Me

Today I'm linking up with Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants to Work (oh, how I wish I could do that!) for The Facts of Me. 

So, the list of things that make me me...

I have horrible timing when it comes to illnesses, and I almost always get super sick on vacation.  I think I get waaaay too excited to go and get sick because of it (but whatever, I'm still going to keep going!)

I'm pretty sure if I met Miranda Lambert we would be best friends.  If anyone knows her and can help me prove this, I'd love you forever.  (Though of course I already do)

If you see me in a dress or a skirt there's a 90% chance that I'm wearing boxer shorts underneat (yep... even on the wedding day).  Why?  If you have to ask, you should feel very blessed to have thin legs :)

My senior year in college I lived in a crappy house with three great friends and we had an absolute blast- but the Michigan winters, in one word, sucked.  And to make matters worse, our house did not keep any warm air in.  So I slept every night that winter with two pairs of pants on, two pairs of socks, two shirts and gloves.  And drank before going to bed, because clearly that helps you stay warm :) 

Oh, and I also slept on an air mattress on wood floors- that probably helped make it even colder than it'd normally be.  Smart girl, I am.

In high school I was a major concert-goer.  I liked the small standing-room only venues and would go any chance I could get.  Luckily my mom is awesome and would let me leave my last class early so I could get in line so I could be sure to be in the front! 

Me in high school with Robert Carmine, the lead singer of Rooney- my all-time favorite band.  If he looks familiar but you've never heard of the band, he also played Michael (Lily's brother) in The Princess Diaries.  My heart probably stopped beating as this was being taken.

I'm a die-hard Harry Potter fan.  When the books were coming out I was always at Barnes & Noble at midnight to get them, and then would go home and read them within the weekend, normally within the first day.

My friend/bridesmaid in high school at a book premier party, rocking the glasses.
I have a "book o'lyrics" that I've kept since college.  In it I write my favorite song lyrics as I hear them, and also what they remind me of.  Let me tell you- the memories I have been able to keep because of this is amazing!  And it always reminds me of what I've been through- both good and bad- and how I felt at certain times in my life.

I can say the alphabet backwards- really really quickly.  When I was a kid I saw that movie Jingle All the Way with Arnold S in it, and he was pulled over and the cop asked him to do it.  So I decided I had to learn- and I did!
I just put this in cause I think I was a pretty cute little kid :) 

I can finish the Rubik's cube, and I'm very proud of that fact :)

Well there's probably more than you ever wanted to know about me- but now you do :)



It's official.

I tweet.

Do you tweet?

Would you like to tweet together?

Yeah, this is getting a bit awkward.  But who doesn't need a little bit of awkward in their lives?

Back to twitter.

If you'd like to be my twitter friend, I'm @ashleykrek.

I also am now on instagram.

Truth be told, this one confuses me.  I can't really figure out how to follow people.

But I'm sure I'll figure it out :)

 This weekend I tweeted/instagrammed about polka, below zero temperatures and Zumba.  Just a little bit random :)

How'd I do all this, you ask?  (ok maybe you didn't, but let's pretend like you did)

I finally entered this century and got a smart phone- the iPhone!

(Thanks to everyone who offered their opinion!)

Woot woot!

So, now that we're in the same century, how about we tweet with each other?


Sunday Funday!

1. Top 3 favorite kinds of food

Green Bean Casserole, Ice Cream & Mac 'n Cheese!

2. First 3 things you do in the morning
Hit the snooze- at least once, shower, eat breakfast!

3. Last 3 things you do at night
Brush my teeth, Set my alarm, Read a book

4. 3 TV shows you NEVER miss
The Big Bang Theory (does it get any funnier than that?!), The Walking Dead & Breaking Bad

5. 3 places you want to visit
Greece, North Carolina & South Africa

6. 3 people you can always count on
Hubby, My mom & My dad :) 


Cell Phone circa 2013

I beg your pardon as I put a post up without any pictures.



Besides this one:


Here's smiling at you, kid.

This weekend I might join this century- with a phone that can do things besides taking pictures.

Woot woot smartphone here I come!

Hubby got a letter in the mail saying that Verizon would no longer be providing service to his phone in March because it's so old- so we thought it may be time to upgrade our phones (since we're basically 80 years old and both still have flip phones- remember when those were cool? Yeah me neither.)

When I was in high school I always had the best, top of the line, awesome phone out there.  No lie, I once threw dropped my phone on purpose accidentally down the stairs so I could get the Razor.  I knew this phone was cool because someone on The OC had it.  And if it was on The OC it had to be cool, clearly.

Then I got to college and chose to pay for liquor instead of a new cell phone, and I've had the same phone for years.  Literally years.

I never planned on getting a smartphone, but Hubby's sick of me calling him in tears because I'm completely lost and can't even find a gas station to go to for directions.

Country living: 1, Ashley: 0.

Now the question is- which kind should I get? 

Any advice?


Inappropriate CD Snuggling

It's very possible that after reading this you might think I'm slightly cracked. 
Don't tell me I didn't warn you :)
 So right before Christmas I got the new John Mayer CD.  

For Christmas I got the new Taylor Swift CD.  Also for Christmas I got a CD/iPod player that now lives in my kitchen.

Back to those cds. I'm always flipping out their cds because they're both on my perpetual repeat.  Normally when I take a cd out I just put it in whichever case is easiest.  

But these two emotional crooners (aka ex-lovers) make my life difficult. 

I'm not sure they want their case to hold their ex's cd, so I have to use up another 30 seconds of my day to get their cd in it's proper case.  Or in the Maroon 5 case I also listen to a lot.  But Swift & Mayer can never co-exist. 

 Brilliant, no?

Or have I lost it?

When I told my dad about this predicament he responded with this:

Very scary Ash

What do you think?


Awesome Hair Day!!!

Yes, folks, you heard it here first.  Yesterday, I had the world's most awesome hair day.

I sprang up from bed, skipped to the shower and got breakfast ready all while whistling because I was so happy it was Monday!

Don't believe me?

Me neither. 

Actually, I pulled myself out of bed because I wanted to stay in there for a couple more alarm clock snoozes, but knew that in order to get ready and make breakfast I needed to.  

So,  I spent the morning going through the motions- shower? check.  Dry hair?  check.  Get dressed? check.  Change out of the pajama pants I just put on and make myself put on those damn black pants? check, sadly.    Make breakfast? check.

Well, after I made breakfast I had about 10 minutes left- just enough time to curl my hair for work!  Then, I walked into the bathroom...

Well, turns out my brilliant mind forgot to turn on my curling iron.  So here I sat with horrible hair, 9 minutes until I had to leave, and a cold curling iron.  

So, I did was any sensible 25 year old would do.

I only curled the hair on the front of my head and left the rest with just a little bit of curl. 

I'm classy, I know. 


Weekend Wrap-Up

Well guys, here we are- it's Monday.

Which, without fail, always leaves me with two questions:

1)  How early is too early to open a bottle of wine?
2)  How many hours until Friday?

Clearly, I'm an optimist.

Hubby's been working twelve hour shifts this weekend, so I've been having a pretty mellow weekend around the house- which I'm perfectly content with!  After the hectic couple weeks for the holidays it's nice to be able to be a bit selfish :)

My weekend consisted of a lot of this...

My workout routine in winter is generally playing Wii Fit games.  Fun stuff!  Not really the best, I suppose, but I sincerely hate going out in the cold, so for the winter this is the best I can do :)  

Finally finishing my book club book!  Juliet by Anne Fortier; very good, but very complex!

Laundry, laundry and more laundry!

I'm on day 6 of the juicing.  Going well so far, but I miss cooking!

What did you do with your weekend?



Woot woot!

I've been nominated for a Liebster Award! 

The funny, awesome, great, beautiful Meighan over at Heavens to Meighan (you should probably visit her if you haven't already- and check out her opinion of Kim & Kanye's love child.  Epically funny. I'm not 100% sure that epically's a word, but I'm going to use it here anyway. Webster's be damned.  Though I heard ain't is now a word, so maybe epically can join the ranks.  K this is officially too long to be in parentheses.  I'm a rebel, what can I say.)    Nonetheless, I love Meighan's blog and am honored that she reads mine!!

Here's how this shiz works...

The Rules

1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog :)
*some of the blogs have already been nominated
for the Liebster Award and may not do the post again.
But...check them out anyway - they are all awesome

11 Things to Know about Ashley

1) My all-time favorite movie ever is Under the Tuscan Sun. Like ever.  Besides the whole divorce/cheating scandal I'd love to have her life. 

2) I'm an accomplished tractor driver (what this really means is hubby taught me to drive one and for a neighboring town's summer celebration I took part in a four-hour "tractor ride" through the country.
3) I spent my 2nd semester junior year of college studying in the south of France.  I traveled all throughout Europe and I'll take any excuse to go back!
4) My senior year of college I took more than a full load my second semester because I wanted to take Arabic, French and finish my third major.  Somehow I did this while getting drunk 6 nights a week.  I don't understand.
5) I'll admit it, I met my husband on, as he calls it, The EHarmony.
6) I'll also admit that I lied to people for the first couple months and told them that we met bowling.  I was a bit embarrased at first.
7) I don't like bacon, mustard, green olives, mushrooms or pickles.
8) Two years ago I watched the entire Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.  I had never watched it before.
9) I'd love to have an eye for fashion, but sadly I don't.  Jeans & sweatshirt girl, all the way.
10) I've tried to watch Star Wars, and to be perfectly honest, it confuses me.
11) The very first thing I do when I get home from work is change out of my black pants & put on sweatpants.  I leave my work shirt on though, and my sister is always annoyed by my outfits this results in!
11 Questions from Meighan

What is the first thing you notice about people?
If they look at me when they're talking to me or not.  It annoys me so much to be talking to someone when they're looking all around- or even more annoying- looking at their phone.
Who is your celebrity crush?
  Channing Tatum.  I think a lot of it still has to do with Step Up, but I just think he's yummy.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
My college sweatpants.  I could wear those things everyday and be perfectly happy.
What is the one piece of makeup you could not live without?
Mascara.  It's the only piece I use!
What is the farthest you've traveled from home?
Australia/New Zealand when I was in high school.  So much fun and I'd love to go back!
What is the last book you read?
The Alice I Have Been.  It follows the life of the real-life girl who inspired Alice in Wonderland.  Very good!
What is the worst gift you've ever been given?
Honestly, I'm not sure.  I can't remember ever getting anything and really disliking it.
What was the last thing you cooked?
Well I've been on this juice fast for the last 3 days, so I'm not too sure.  I think it was pasta something on Tuesday for lunch.
If you could sit down to dinner with five people, dead or alive, who would they be?
Miranda Lambert, Sophia Bush, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela.  And Jesus, but I'd rather have dinner with just us.
Were you named after anyone? 
My first name was just a name that my entire family agreed on.  My great-grandmother always wanted a girl who was named Robin, and whenever she wrote/spoke to my parents when they were pregnant she asked about her "little Robin".  So that's where my middle name came from!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do first? 
Apparition (or, for non-Harry Potter junkies, teleportation).  I'd love to be able to go wherever I wanted with no cost involved!  I'd probably bring hubby to Paris for a quick weekend away :)
11 Questions for My Peeps
1) If you could go back and relive one year of your life, which would you choose? Why?
2) Who's your favorite fiction character?
3) You've just been given a two week, all expenses paid trip to anyplace on Earth.  Where would you like to go?
4) What's your recommendation for a movie that everyone must see?
5) What's the best concert you've ever been to?
6) If you could invite one celebrity- and they say yes- to hang out for a weekend, who would you choose?
7) When you were little, what did you want to be when you grow up?  
8) Now that you're older, what do you want to be when you grow up?
9) If you could steal & wear the closet of any celebrity, who would you choose?
10) Are you a spender or a saver?
11) What's your favorite blog to read?  Or three?

My Name is Madeline
Rebecca with an R
The Trophy Wife in Training

I hope you visit all the ladies I listed above- I love em!


Juicing...Day 1

Well guys, here goes nothing!  I have officially completed one day on a juice fast.  A little over a month ago hubby and I were flipping through Netflix when we settled on a documentary called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.  It shows two men, Joe Cross & Phil as they both undertake 60 day juice fasts.  They have all their meals from a glass- set up with a juicer and a ton of fruits & vegetables they make all their own meals!

Now, the sixty days seems pretty insane, but it was very impressive what the men were able to do with their health and bodies.  It's pretty crazy to think that it could be healthy to go for 60 days without anything but fruits and vegetables, but when I think of how many days I go without any fresh fruits or vegs, I realize that my nutritional intake is definitely lacking. 

Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to make it an entire 60 days, but I am going to use my time juicing to kick my old eating habits and find new, better recipes to try after I'm done!  If you'd like more info, feel free to visit the website- Join the Reboot!

Here's how my juicing has been going so far...
The juicer finally got here!  Originally my plan was to wait until Thursday to start the Reboot, but I was impatient so I started Tuesday night instead.

More fruits & veges than I've ever bought at one time before- I wonder how long these'll last for?
My dinner for night #2- with my beautiful juicer in the background :) 

 I'm only one day in so far, but I can tell you that already my energy level is up.  It does wane a bit during the day, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have a desk job, so I tend to be sitting a lot.  Again I'm grateful for my walk to & from work and home for lunch! 

I have some goals in my head, and I also have "before" pictures/stats, but I think I'll save those until I see the "after" :)


Snail Mail & Crayons, Part 2

Do any of you make the New Year's Resolution to send out more actual mail... forget the texts, voicemails & tweets- we're talking real mail.  If so, I have the perfect thing for you!  (And even better, you get to receive more mail, too!)

I saw this on Ashley's blog, and I love the idea!

Here are the details:
The first 5 people to comment with their email (and blog address if you have one) will receive from me, sometime in 2013, a suprise gift from me!  I'll pick it out and send it on to ya!  I can't promise when that might happen, but sometime in the next 12 months!  And who doesn't like getting random mail?

The catch?
All 5 of you ladies who comment below must make the same offer on your Blog (or Facebook status if you don't have a blog).


Snail mail and art go hand-in-hand, right?  Here's the completed project I started on yesterday's entry!

Once we got all the scenes painted (this is going in a travel-themed room, but I've seen people do a bunch of different things!) we lined up the crayons to make sure we had enough.  Luckily, we did, since I was a complete bozo and forgot to buy new crayons!

Gluing the crayons came next.  I decided to leave the papers on the crayons because I didn't like how they looked as much when people removed the wrapper- they looked a bit more blobby, I guess? This was probably the most annoying part because the glue I got kept dripping so I had to shove a screw in the tip of it.  (Sorry, that sounds painful... awkward.)

After that was done, we started with the blowdryer!  Hubby recommended a blowtorch, but that seemed a bit... extreme. 

It took a bit to get them to start melting, but once they started the whole process went really quickly!  The finished product looks like this...

Lesson I've learned- if I ever do it again, I'll be sure to actually buy crayons, and I'll use more light colors!
Now, who wants a free present?  First five comments gets one- and be sure to pay it forward on your blog/facebook!


Melting Crayons, Part 1

I've read a lot of the blogs where people show 5 different, gorgeous, original projects/crafts/recipes every week.  I'm amazed that no only do they have that much creativity, but that they're able to find the time to do all those projects!
I am what you would call an aspiring crafter. I probably do one craft a month, and I love doing them!  But I generally focus on that one until I find the time and energy to decide on the next project, collect the materials and set aside time to actually doing the craft.  It's really a bit of laziness on my part, but I like to take my time in getting one underway :)
That being said, I did a project last weekend!  My brother's girlfriend/my friend Allison came over and we tried our hand at melting crayons onto a canvas- and I must say, I'm pretty happy with the results!

And of course, because I'm the expert crafter, I forgot the most important thing needed to do melted crayon art... the crayons.  Not. Even. Kidding.  Luckily we had enough leftover crayons to finish the project, but if anyone ever wants to borrow crayons, I can't help ya :)

The very beginning of my Taj Mahal- I'm pretty proud of the end result!! 

The mid-way point for the Taj.  I'l call it that, cause we're pretty much bffs.  

Sketch for the Statue of Liberty.  I can't take any credit for this one- this was all done by Allison :)

The finished Taj & Windmill paintings.  (Wine was harmed in the making of this project).  Because without the wine, really what's the point?

I've realized that this post is getting really long... so I'm going to leave it here and I'll show the finished project tomorrow!!