Building my Business in 2013 & GIVEAWAY

 If you didn't hear yet, I recently started my own business with The Pampered Chef. I am so excited to have gotten off to a great start and even more excited to continue that momentum in 2013. 

Since I am just getting started I'll still need your help.
And no good deed goes unrewarded.

So here's the deal...

I have a new Facebook page, The Pampered Chef w/ Ashlee
And it's a little lonely around there right now. 

Like my page & the more likes, the bigger the giveaway.

This giveaway will remain open for the month of January. 
A different prize and winner for every milestone reached.


Weekday Dinners - Done! 
Two menu plans, 10 weeknight dinners at around $2 per serving!
Include a handy shopping and pantry list.


2012 Round-Up from the Heart cork Trivet
For every Trivet purchase, $2.00 is donated to Feeding America.
Help the cause and take your chances on the Mystery Host show mentioned below!


Decorator Bottle Set
A Baker's Dream! Exclusive set includes three decoration bottle, tips (round, open star and basket weave), couplers and one cleaning brush.

200+ likes:
Stoneware Small Bar Pan
If you don't own a piece of stoneware yet, you're going to want this baby.
Love using mine for small pizzas!
Ideal for chicken fingers, appetizers and sandwiches.  Fits in most toaster ovens.

But wait... there's more!!

Do you love Pampered Chef? 
Want to spend some of that Christmas Dough?! 
And get more bang for your buck?

Head on over to my website and search for the "Online Mystery" party. Online being the first name, Mystery being the last.

Place an order and your name will be entered into a drawing. 
One lucky Customer will receive all of the Host benefits without ever leaving your comfort zone!

Guest Sales*Free Product ValueHalf-Price ItemsDiscount
Cooking ShowCatalog Show

Happy Shopping! 


It's the little things.

A friend of mine invited us last minute to go see Christmas lights at the local zoo last night. My husband hadn't made it home yet, but I REALLLY wanted to go. I love Christmas lights and went to see lights at the Toledo Zoo every year when I was growing up. 
And it was the last night!! 

My husband got home shortly after and decided he didn't want to go since he had just got home and had to work early today. But he suggested that I take Keegan. So I obviously did! It was awesome. They had a snow area with "real" snow and a snow blower (the kind that makes snow).  ...Keegan is such a tropics baby, he does not like snow... How will I ever take him to Ohio in the winter?!

Anyway, the real awesome part was when I came home. I have been feeling pretty crappy and extremely tired lately,  so my house has taken the backseat. 
We got home around 9:45 and my house was clean!!! 
The dishes were even done! 
If you knew my husband, you'd know what a rarity this is. He hates doing the dishes.
 But they were done. 
And so was the laundry. 
And the carpets were vacuumed. 
One happy lady right here! 


But it gets better. 
Ronin woke up around 1am and as I fought my way out of bed, my husband beat me to it. He woke up to change him and put him back to sleep. I was so tired, you have no idea how much those 10 minutes of extra sleep meant.

I'm so lucky to have a husband who knows exactly when I need him most and knows just how I need him. I woke up this morning feeling so much better! 

I love my husband and all the little things he does for me.


Missing the Snow.

I hope you all enjoyed your Holiday celebrations. I know I did! 
I loved watching my sons face light up and spending time with both my babies and my wonderful husband. 

And I got a Macbook Pro, so I'm one happy girl =)

Christmas really is my favorite Holiday. I love cooking all kinds of food ( even if it takes me forever and destroys my kitchen!) I love having friends over (since our family is so far away). And I really love gift exchanges! 

It's hard though. 

It's hard to force myself into the holiday spirit when it's 60 degrees and sunny! I know, I know.. I really shouldn't be complaining. But I grew up with snow and white Christmases with hot chocolate and sledding. 

I feel that my kids need all of that. .. I did keep the AC to make it feel extra cold =)  Though i'm not sure if it made a difference. 

But I want that. 
I want to snuggle in Pj's and warm socks under tons of blankies and drink hot cocoa on Christmas eve while we watch Christmas movies and wait for Santa to come! 

This is our last Christmas here in Okinawa, still no clue as to where we're headed next, but I'm hoping for somewhere with snow.. and I never thought I'd say that, but it's for my kids. For the Christmas experience! 

Happy Holidays everyone! 


Secret Santa!

I'm super excited that Christmas is two days away!!!

I love gift-giving and usually do a few secret/dirty santa gift exchanges every year. I've already done two this year, and we always have on at our Christmas Dinner with the marines. 

This year, however, is my first time EVER participating in a bloggy secret santa!!!

Due to the outrageous influx of mail during the holidays, plus living overseas, plus some crazy strike for mail handlers in Tokyo last week... I have't received mine yet. So stay tuned.

My favorite part really is giving though, so I was uber excited to see that Erin over at Keep Calm & Sparkle received her gifts and is enjoying them all =)

And i just have to know... 
The game where you draw numbers and then take gifts in that order and have the choice to steal... 
Do you call it a Dirty Santa or White Elephant? 
It's a white elephant where I'm from but I've had to convert to please the masses... 
it's pop not soda! =)

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!


Overcoming Fear.

I often like to believe that I am fearless, but I know just how much of my life is consumed with it. And as hard as it is to live by sometimes, I also know that I should have no fears as my faith in God should overpower them. 

Last night at my bi-monthly MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers!) meeting, we talked about fear and how it has consumed people in our country in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. How so many have said that they will now homeschool their children, or never go to a mall, or a movie theater? How they will put their life on hold because of this tragedy. 
Because where was God? 
What about the Gun gun control?

There are so many questions, and I can't say that I or anyone has all the right answers, but I do know that we ought to not be afraid to live our lives. There is no way of knowing what will happen during our days or when our last one will come. Just keep faith in God and know that he has a plan for all of us, whether we are here on earth for 6 years or 106, he has a divine plan. Trust it. 

Please, know in your heart that no matter how devastating and tragic were last weeks events, good will prevail. In some way, big or small.. the good will prevail.

There is no need to live in fear of the unknown. We have no control. 
Do not let Fear dictate your life and rob you of a chance to live a fulfilling life.

I didn't think I needed to hear these words, but I did.
Not even because of last weeks events, but because of the countless other things that I am afraid of. 

Because I am a mother.
And most of my days are spent being paranoid about my babies.
Because when my babies are sleeping I check on them several times to make sure they are still breathing.
And when I'm showering, I pop my head out 5 or 6 times because I swear I just heard one of them crying.
I keep them close because I am afraid to lose them. 

Often I don't let my oldest engage in activities that would benefit him because in some way I am afraid for him.

I need to stop letting fear consume my thoughts and my life.
Just live. 

& Fully. 

Do not be afraid.
God will lead the way, Trust him.


Revamping things.

If you've been following, then you know that I've been a little MIA lately and have been trouble coming out of the blogging slumps.

It's rough.

So last night I had this great idea to buy a book because reading inspires writing, right?
Well, it does for me anyway.

Usually I'd go for a romance novel, or a "schmuck" book as my brother-in-law has dubbed them. I used to swear I'd never read them, but my sister-in-law totally corrupted me on a camping trip a few years ago.
So, I went to find one.

When I got to the book store, I instead found myself drawn to the business and finance section... that was a first. 

And I found this marvel:

I haven't even had the book for 24 hours and I already know it's going to be one of my most used purchases. It encompasses everything for the home-based mom.
(and let's not forget that I'll be a SAHM again in T-minus 9 days!!!)

There's an entire chapter on blogging.
 I so wish I would have bought this when I first started blogging.

What jumped at me was that my blog needed purpose.

When I started blogging in August, I did have a purpose, but it wasn't clearly defined.
I was not clearly defined.

Since I've joined the blogosphere, I have lost sight of what my blog means to me.
I've posted so much on mommy-hood, my babies, and our day to day because that's what was easy.
Because it was easy to participate in Mommy link-ups,
and it was easy to find mommy readers.

But that's not what I wanted my blog for.

I love my kids, no doubt about it.

But I need a space for myself.
To be me, outside of being a mommy.

So, from here on out, there will be some changes around here.
You may still see posts about my adorably awesome boys, but they won't be in every single one.

I'm here to find the funnies in life.
To share my thoughts and ideas.
To try to make sense of all this nonsense.
(Though I know it will never make sense.)

Here goes nothing.

To celebrate new beginnings,
head over to my sponsor page to grab yourself some free ad space for the next 30 days!


Offer is good until all ads are spoken for.

Use the following PROMO Codes.

Really Really Big. 200x300 - FRESHSTART
Pretty Big. 200x200 - REVAMPIT
Little Less Big. 200x100 - JUSTLAUGH
Swap Spot. 100x100 - LAUGHFORFREE



A Bloggy Rut. HELP!

Seriously, what do you do when you get in a blogging rut?
When you haven't posted anything in two weeks and you keep telling yourself,
"Tonight, I promise!" and later.. "I swear I'll get to it tomorrow!"
 ...because that's where I'm at. And it's not that I don't have anything to write about, ideas dance around my head all day long. It's just finding the time. If I'm not eating sleeping, at work or chasing one of the babies, I'm overly exhausted and just want to go back to sleep..
So how do you prioritize? When is blogging more important than sleep, or other things?
How do you make up for the lack of blogging you've been doing?
AHHHAAAHHRRRGH!! That's about how I feel about that.
The good news is...
I put in my two weeks notice at work!!!
And I am just so overly excited about being a stay at home mom again!
So hopefully I will not only have more time with my family, but for my blog and other things I enjoy too!
Looking forward to it, and figuring this Bloggy MIA thing out in the meantime.
Thanks for being so patient.