About Me

Hey, there! 

Name's Ashley.

I'm a 20-something from Minnesota. I grew up on a dairy farm, moved to town, then bought a 3-acre country home with my now-husband, James.

We married in July, 2017

I love:
Planning to travel
Pinning about travel
Reading about travel
Talking about travel [I think you get it.]
Jamming in my car to Chris Stapleton or Kenny Chesney or Bob Seger
Finding killer deals at Menards
Walking my dog, Jack
Wandering aimlessly on my property [Not kidding. Happens a lot.]
Being with my family & friends [you kind of have  to say this, don't you? but it's true. I like 'em.]
Audio Books
Regular Books
Kindle Books [Especially Zombie Zone Zero. Read it. Don't judge the book by the cover.]
Going to church
Driving somewhere & discovering new places with James
Being on the beach
Being in a boat
Mauling the salad bar at the pizza joint [along with some pizza, ya sure you betcha]
Picking flowers
Eating the food I grow
Canning the food I grow
Wine again, for good measure
Taking pictures
My job [Secretary]      

Costa Rica
About Travel
I am very much a penny-pincher when it comes to life, let alone travel. I want the most for my buck. I will scour the web til my eyes hurt, just trying to find the best deal. Spirit is my favorite airline, Airbnb is my favorite website to book my accommodations, & my vacations typically will have to involve the ocean. James & I go on a warm-weather vacation every January or February. Our first trip was to the Tampa area in Florida. We traveled all over in that area, and even crossed over Florida to the Atlantic side & back, all in about 7 days. Our second trip was to Puerto Rico &, same thing, we seen as much of it as we could. We were all over the place, but stayed in Dorado. Our third trip was my lifelong dream vacation to the Virgin Islands. This is where I fell in love with Airbnb & St. Croix. Our apartment was $333 for 8 days, total, and it was amazing. We made a lifetime friend with the host! Our fourth trip was to the FL keys, where we flew into Miami and drove through all the keys. Once we parked our car in Key West, we only used bikes for transportation & it was awesome. Our latest trip was 2 weeks in Costa Rica, where we got a taste of another world!

My Chia Seed Pudding

About Cooking
Well, it all began June of 2013... I was 22, about to turn 23, & was at JCPenney in a dressing room. Never thought a story could start there, did ya? As I was trying on random pieces of clothing, I noticed my body in all them mirrors. Okay, this doesn't look right. I was a TWIG in grade school. Like, a too-skinny twig.  
13-14 years old
Omaha, March 2013, 197ish pounds, 22 years old

After feeling a bit bummed, leaving the store empty-handed, & driving home, I went for a walk with my dog, Jack. 
Jack! Fox Lab, 7 Years Old
The day after that, I walked again. The day after that one, I walked over 6 miles. Walking turned into jogging, jogging turned into fitness DVDs, DVDs turned into Just Dance on the Wii, which became biking outdoors, which turned into buying an elliptical, which formed into a gym membership, & led to weight training. I've been incorporating exercise into my life since that first walk. I used MyFitnessPal to log my food & stay accountable. By eating better & exercising more [who knew?!], I've lost 34ish pounds. My inspirations are all over - people I see, things I read, the feeling I get after a tough workout - but mostly, I just love me & I want me to be healthy.
2013 or '14

Sept. 2014

Key West, January 2015, 161 pounds, 24 years old
Costa Rica, February 2016, 161lbs, 25 years old
My focus now is to continue exercising, continue weight training (just started!), watch my sugar, gulp that water, lose the bubble butt I have obtained, lose the love handles I have always had, & focus on eating better, which I'm not the best at. I would do just about anything for a pizza.

I like to cook & try new recipes I find on Pinterest & old cookbooks. As with all things in life, I am still learning every day!

About Farming
Well, James & I bought a 3-acre farm in September 2015, and it was the best thing we've ever done together. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, so I was engineered to be in the country, where it's quiet & there isn't a house within yelling distance. James grew up in a small town, but worked on a dairy farm & is one of those guys who was meant to be on a farm. We're like two wild horses - it just doesn't work to cage us by living in town. So, after nearly 4 years of living together in town, and after so much searching, [so. much. searching. To the point where I'd cry with frustration] a farm fell into our laps. We had looked at so many but then, one day, a neighbor of ours in town told us about a farm possibly going up for sale from a person he knew. 
We drove by the house immediately, then called that person.  We loved how it looked & had to know more. Well, that very night, we toured the place & put in an offer. Yes, it happened that fast. 
Since then, we've planted 15 fruit trees, 4 berry bushes, insulated the shop, added windows to the barn [they were broken], tamed a wild grass field into lawn, sawed down dead trees, moved newly-growing trees, painted every room in the house [some twice], cleared an untamed wooded area, put in a successful garden, & are making plans for more work. And we love it all. I swear, if it were possible to have more people living in the country, the world would be a better place. 
So we garden. We have a huge garden & we planted way too many tomatoes this past year, and canned over 137 jars of pickles... we were busy this past Summer. But it is truly what we love to do, & we'll have a garden every year for the rest of our lives. And when the apples start coming from our trees, we'll be selling those. And the pears. And now we have cows and chickens. Uff-da!

So if you're into this sorta stuff, follow my blog for posts on recipes, reviews, traveling, gardening, canning, country-life, & more! 

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