Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breaking News!!!

Alright so I won't take long to get to the point here.
Because trust me the news is Epic for Myself and My little Family!

I know I have been missing in action a lot here lately but there is a reason.
I have AWESOME News that I wanted to share, but wanted to wait to share,
and didn't want to slip up and tell you by accident...

I know that is a ton of rambling so I am going to Shut up now and 
just show you! 

There you have it friends and we couldn't be happier!
Hope this brightens your day like it does mine and I am so glad I am 
no longer keeping secrets from you.

Please don't hold it against me.
With Much Love,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recipe a Week: Chicken Taco Soup

In attempt to start making some new yummy dishes and 
to cook more at home. 

I have decided I am going to start sharing a Recipe a Week
that I have made. I do not claim all of these as mine.

Some will be recipes I have found, some will be family recipes and
some will be stuff I have thrown together on my own.

With the cooling weather. It is looking a lot like Fall in our
neck of the woods and I Love It.

This time of year I crave yummy soups that cook all day and 
leave you house smelling wonderful long after you have eaten dinner.

Last week I went on the search for a yummy alternative to chili. (Which I am obsessed with!)

And with much luck from one of my favorite websites I found one.

Chicken Taco Soup

With some modifications I followed the recipe as it called and 
it was a huge hit! Even my very picky 15 month old son was a huge fan. 

I will share the recipe like the sight calls for it and how I made it 
and you can make whatever it is that tickles your fancy. =)

Here is What you need:

1 Onion, Chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced 
tomatoes with green chilies,undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 Whole Skinless, boneless chicken breast
shredded cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)


Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, 
tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker.
 Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. 
Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture,
 pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. 
Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.

Remove chicken breasts from the soup,
 and allow to cool long enough to be handled. 
Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, 
and continue cooking for 2 hours. 
Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese,
 a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

I did everything that the above recipe calls for but I also doubled it.
Used Chicken Stock instead of beer because I didn't have any.
Plus I added 2 tablespoons of Chili Powder.

I will be making this again because it was super easy and so good!
You really can make it to your liking too. 
Add more Spice, Veggies, or just sticking with the recipe is 

You can check this great recipe and many other great ones here.

Now go dust your crock pots off and try this recipe and tell me what you think.
Happy Eating,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Really? Already?!?!

Let me paint you a pretty picture.

My son just turned 15 months old. Literally this last week.
He is ALL boy. 
Very adventurous and constantly testing his limits and boundaries.

his mischievous face. ;)

The last say month or so. We kiss him and lay him in his bed awake at 
night. He snuggles up to his doggie and blankie and just goes to sleep.
No fussing. Just lays down and minutes later he is out.

He sleeps from 8:30 or so at night to 7:30 and sometimes 8:00!
When he wakes in the morning I will hear him on the monitor start to talk
and babble. Within about 5 minutes I go to get him and he is normally 
still laying down playing with his doggie jabbering up a storm.

This cool beautiful October morning was different though.

I heard him wake and start stirring/talking as normal.
Not even two minutes had went by and
 no sooner than I roll over to get out of bed.

He comes barreling through my bedroom door with a big cheesy grin
and  hollered "HAY MOMMA!" 
As if he was saying look what I did. =)

I of course take flight trying to get to him and make sure he is okay.
Which he was but now I am a nervous wreck.

His crib rails are very high and I am terrified
 he is going to get hurt trying to do this again.

Then I am super sad! When did my baby grow up?

When did he become this toddler who is no longer just my baby boy?!

How does this happen so fast.
Now I am in crazy Momma mode trying to price and find him a new 

I'm not ready for this. 
Don't guess I have a choice though. 
I just have to remind myself to accept what comes 
and embrace every moment.

I am proud of my big boy and happy he is growing up and learning all these new things.
I just wish I could freeze time and enjoy it all in slower motion.

Now excuse me why I cry again for the 100th time in two days.
With a Heavy Heart,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Instagram Fall Style

 I would be lying if I said I wasn't super excited to be back with 
you guys in the blogging world. 
I missed you guys like my hubby misses our sex life prior to having a toddler! ;) 

Of Course I am beyond ecstatic to be doing this fun link-up with
 Jane for InstaTuesday....

It probably comes as no surprise that my Instagram was needing some 
love after my time out. But I have been a Instagram-ing fool the pass few days.
If you don't already you can follow me on Instagram @anmcgowan.

Without further delay.

 Top to bottom. Left to right. 
Halloween decorations.
Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin farm.
Yummy Chicken Taco Soup on cool nights.
Cuddling with my sweet boy.
My new hair cut and fall color.
All American Dinner. =)

Now my loves I want to see your Instagram collection.
Get your pictures together and head over to Taingamala and link-up.

Smile on Lovelies,

Monday, October 15, 2012

A few of my favorite things.

Even though I have a ton around my house I want to do, add to, change.
I definitely have somethings that I love.
Special collections, little nooks, treasures I have found.

SO Guess What?! Yes, you got it right and you are super lucky!
I am going to share some of those things with you. 

We live in a home that was built in 1915, by my family.
It is a cute little house with lots of character and charm.
With that comes a price. We have NO storage.
Seriously I have a small closet in my bedroom
 and a small under the stairs closet 
in the bathroom. 

I feel that we are always fighting a constant struggle to 
find space. organize. de-clutter. rearrange.

I love it though. It helps me reevaluate what we have
to what we need. Keeps me on my toes if you will.

My new lamp with mustard shade!
Love the contrast with my burnt orange walls.

my little office space in my dining room.
Pictures I have taken or that were drawn/taken by friends.
love the different items that just come together. 

some of my favorite thrift finds and family photos

hooks i have collected from places I have been.
some are also wonderful gifts!

my Fire King collection and some fun painted wine glasses
There you have it friends. Some of my favorite things.
I find things I love and mix and match things.
To me it gives you a warm, comfy, home-y feeling.

Looking around my house at these things that I have 
found at different stages in my life.
Or all the different places I have traveled.
Reminds me of who I am and the amazing journey
I have taken to get here. 

I look forward to many more finds and things I hope to one day 
be able to hand down to my children and their children. =)

The thought truly warms my heart!
Shine on Lovelies,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hello Loves!

I know you probably have a ton of questions for me?! =)
Where have I been?
What has been going on?
Why no blogging in over a month?

I mean seriously. I just didn't want to!

I have missed you guys and think about blogging often.
The desire to do it though just hasn't been there.

No real reason for it other than I have been busy.
You know living life, enjoying my son, going to bed early.

It has been nice and just the break I needed.
The last month really has been nice.

Lots of family time. Decorating. Cooking foods that you crave during the fall.
Turning another a year older! Sigh =/
The weather has been perfect. It really is my favorite time of the year.

Don't worry I have tons more pictures to share!

With My break I have also been thinking about where I want to take this little blog.
Be looking for new stuff and a new chapter in my blog life.

What would you like to see more of? What questions do you have for me?
What is your favorite thing about this little blog of mine?!?!

Please share with me your thoughts and ideas. 
After all that is why I wanted to start this blog and I love meeting new people
and getting new ideas. It helps me grow and learn new stuff.
Plus keeps me from getting bored and I am sure my hubby would love you for that.

Smile big loves
and I can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Still Alive!

Just wanted to stop in and say hello. 
I am still alive and well. 
Just very,very busy and well living life has overtaken writing about it for a minute.

I miss you all out there in blog and internet land.
As I have also not been on instagram or pinterest much.
OMG. I know this is a huge shocker to you all!

I just need some time for myself, my family 
and some old fashion pen and paper journal time.

Keep in touch loves and I will be back soon hopefully!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Small Town Southern Man

The weather is changing here and as Fall is fast approaching, 
I am torn.

I love fall. Really everything about it makes me happy.
But it is also a hard time for me.
I catch myself being sad and wanting to be alone more.

I see my daddy everywhere this time of year.
In the cooler weather. Getting ready for hunting season.
Planning family camping trips. Working in the yard.

Around the bonfire with friends laughing and telling stories.
My daddy told the best stories! 
I see his smile like I got to see it yesterday.
I wish I had.

You would think that 4 years after he has passed away this would get easier
for me. It hasn't.

I heard this song on the radio earlier today as I was feeling a little down,
it made me smile. My daddy always had a way of doing that too. 

So I wanted to share it with you. 
I know not everyone likes country music but my daddy was a 
southern country man and I loved that about him.

Not everything is literally in the song. But for whatever reason
I always think of him and smile when I hear it.
Hope you guys enjoy as well.

Smile on Lovelies,

Monday, September 10, 2012

A perfect day.


Happy Monday Friends!
I want to take a few minutes (I say a few because I have to get ready for work.)
and share with you my perfect day. Yesterday.

It started with my boys (hubby&son) and myself getting ready and going to church.
We have decided to try and find a church that we feel at home at.
Since we haven't had that since we moved here from Florida.

After church we met some of the family for lunch.
It was great to get to sit down and visit. 
I feel like now that I am back to working we never see anyone.

Then we headed home. Opened all the windows in the house.
The weather was absolutely BEAUTIFUL yesterday.
High of 80 and an amazing light breeze.
Put my favorite fall scent in my warmer.
Laid down and cuddled up with my sweet son for a 2 1/2 hour nap!
Pure bliss I tell ya!!

After our nap. I tackled some laundry and made a wonderful pot
of homemade chili.

I loved the simplicity of yesterday. 
Spending a beautiful day with my family.
This girl right here is truly blessed.

Hope the week proves to be just as good.
I'm sure the weather cooling down some will help.

With Much Love,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Okay so you caught me there is no chicken dinner.
However I do have a lucky winner to announce!!

The beautiful Jane from Taingamala
Congrats girl and I am super excited for you.
So here is what I need you to do to claim your prizes.

Make sure to contact me within 48 hours.
Let me know what item you would like from Lia Sophia.(it has to be $100.00 or less)
Pick your favorite Essie color from the fall collection and let me know which one!

I hope you are as excited as I am about my very first giveaway.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I am woman, HEAR ME ROAR.

I have spent a lot of time pondering lately who I am and where I want to be.
I seen this link up a while back while on one of my favorite blogs here.
Which I then traced to one of my newest fav blogs here.

I love the idea of it and everything it stands for. 
These pretty awesome chic's got me thinking.
Who am I?
What do I believe in?


 A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, and views of its female author. May include themes of empowerment, independence, self love, consciousness, affirmation, and individual acceptance; your positive beliefs about yourself. Created to give self-described definition in regards to the innate beauty inside of every woman. Yes, even you.

I know I use this picture a lot,
but this is me no makeup and I love this picture.

I am Ashley. 
I am a mother and wife.
I don't have a college degree nor have I met my first set of goals I gave myself when I graduated.
I am okay with that.
I can be loud at times.
I LIKE TO WHINE. Sometimes for no reason at all. It's just me. and I LOVE IT.
I say more four letter words than I should.
I am okay with that.
I love tattoo's and the meaning they carry.
Each a story of where I have been in my life.
I like to get dressed up occasionally. but feel most like myself in jeans and a comfy top.
My family is my everything.
I love art. Music. Pictures. and making things.
I love to be creative but don't do it near as often as I should.
I can be bitch and not mean to.
If you ask me I will tell it like I see it. So if you don't want the truth don't ask.
I get my feelings hurt to easily.
I love to decorate.
Learning new things is essential in my life. 
As much as I hate packing, I love the adventure of moving.
I still want to be an interior designer when I grow up. =)
I try and remember to smile even when I don't feel like it.
I always try to search for the positive in ever situation life sends my way. 
I will always try and take in life's beauty. Pay attention to the small things.
Embrace the goodness that I know is still in people.
I vow to always try and dance in the rain.
Search for the rainbow after my storm.
I vow to never be ashamed of who I am.
I only have one person to impress and when I stand before him one day.
 His words will be all that matter.             

I know I will fall. I know I will cry. I know I will get discouraged.
Through those things I will find my strength, desire and will to keep going.

I will surround myself with positive people and people who make me happy!
I will hold on to God's promises.
I will search through life with a heart and mind of a child.
SO I'm not to lose the amazing things life had to offer.

I won't try and put so much on myself I feel like a failure if I don't accomplish it. 
I will set goals that challenge me but that are obtainable.

Love me or leave me.

You know I am sure I will add to this. It's one of those things that is always growing
as I do. I hope you will take the time and do this too! It truly is empowering.
And go check out all the other Womanifesto's here.


Monday, September 3, 2012

The bedroom is for sexy time and sleeping.

Spent most of our day Saturday deep cleaning our house. 
All of this started with needing to get down and dirty and clean our
master bedroom. We live in an older home and the return vent it in our room.
So this means the dust likes to gather there.

Here is the down low. 
The night before I went to lay in my nice clean bed and got attacked!
By a dust bunny the size of a small dog that flew off my ceiling fan.

I mean really I knew it was bad but I NEVER turn the fan off so,
I didn't really know how bad it was. 
This then leads to my huge rant on how we are spending the time cleaning 
on Saturday. With me being back to work the deep cleaning has been neglected.

This is how it started...

Cleaning the walls, washing the curtains, vents, fan, all the pictures on the walls. 
Moving and vacuuming under everything.
Then rearranging, hanging pictures in new places, taking down stuff I didn't really like.

DUH, duhhh, Duhhhh...

Removing the television from our bedroom!

Yes this happened folks. My hubby actually agreed to take the television out of our room.
I don't remember the last time I didn't have a television in my bedroom.

I can honestly say I have slept better. 
When I go to bed I can relax instead of feeling obligated to find something to watch.

I mean not that the television takes away from our mommy/daddy "Happy Time."
But it is nice to know that Family Guy won't be rooting us on in the back ground anymore. ;)

There you have it blog friends my huge accomplishment of the century!
We will be having a ribbon cutting ceremony to release this new relaxing 
room of our house. 
It's private though so don't show up or be anywhere within a 20 mile radius.
I warned you! Anything you hear is all your fault and something you will have to live with.

For real though. 
How many of you are television free in the mommy/daddy love den?! 

On a Fun note. Not that this whole Shebang isn't Fun.
Don't forget to share about the giveaway I'm hosting. 
It ends tomorrow at MIDNIGHT and I will announce the Winner Wednesday
here on the BLOG!

thought this was cute

Smile Big Loves,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life Lately

Life as a working momma is definitely even busier than I thought it would be.
Not much down time. Or 'Me' time to be factored in.

Finding ways for me to unwind and relax have become a lot slower pace.
Trying to find peace and comfort wherever I can to help
 my mind rest as well as my body.

What I have been listening to A LOT lately

What I am reading when I can squeeze it in

I am currently on book 2

Getting lost in my thought 

I will be honest since the 5K I haven't really put much time into running.
Things have just been so crazy busy with work and keeping the house up.
Plus since I am working so much I feel guilty to do 
anything, but spend time with my son in the evenings.
Not to mention I don't want to do anything but spend time with him!

I will get it back into the schedule soon. 
Its something I enjoy and miss to much not to fit it back in. 

I would be lying if  I said I wasn't ready for the weekend. 
 Ready for the weekend and time at home with my Loves!
I am pooped this week.

Shine on Lovelies

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My very first GIVEAWAY!

I know I promised this when I reached 50 followers,
but honestly that happened so fast and things have been so busy.
So as my Thank you for following this little blog of mine
I have something special for 1 LUCKY WINNER.

Here it is just as I promised 
and I hope you are as excited as I am!!!

Any Lia Sophia 
Item $100.00 dollars or less

Plus your choice of 1 Polish from 
Essie's New Fall Colors

To Enter: (three requirements)
 - Follow Thrifty & Nifty Modern Day Momma (on the left side/ click Join this site.)
Leave a comment saying you did so.

- Go to my Lia Sophia page and tell me your FAVORITE item. 
Leave a comment telling me here. 

- Follow me Via Twitter and Tweet about the Giveaway.
Leave a comment with the link of your tweet here.

Please leave a Separate comment for each entry!!

I forgot to tell ya.
The Giveaway will run until Tuesday,
I will announce the winner Wednesday!

Good Luck!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

His & Hers Q&A #5

Super excited that I was able to get my hubby
 on board to do this weeks Q&A 
because I seriously love these questions! 
I hope you guys enjoy our answers and 
getting to know the amazing Mister better. 
He is pretty Awesome and I love to show that off.

Thought I would share the First ever picture of us! <3

What is something weird your spouse does while asleep? 
His: You sleep in a C shape with your butt touching me. If I move over you scoot your butt back to where you are touching me again. Not really weird but, sometimes annoying. 
Her:  The way you will sit up straight in bed sometimes and start telling me crazy stories. Then when I ask you what you are talking about you get mad like I should know what your craziness means. Of course you then lay back down and go back to sleep.

Which of the 7 deadly sins are you? (angergreedslothpridelustenvy, and gluttony)
His: Anger. I think I control it pretty well but I do have a low tolerance for stupid people!
Her: Envy. Sometimes I wish we had what others do or were in a better place financially. 

What was your favorite hiding place as a kid?
His: the woods. It was always so peaceful and no one could find me. 
Her: So Seriously we have been soul mates since we were kids. The woods was my favorite hiding place. I would stay there until dark most of the time!

What music artist do you love that your other half hates listening to?
His: We like the same music. "My Wife is a cool ass bitch!" (gotta love him;)
Her: We do really like all the same music.

What has your other half recently done that made you love them more?
His: Well today she went and got me a strawberry banana milkshake and made me an

apple cobbler. Definitely love her more for that.Her: I have a hard time falling asleep 99% of the time. The other night I was having a particularly rough time and he rubbed my arm to help me relax until I fell asleep.

What is your favorite hole-in-the-wall place to eat? (or favorite restaurant in general)
His: In Florida: The Coffee Shoppe. In Missouri: Bernie Express
Her: In Florida: The Coffee Shoppe. In Missouri: The Airways Cafe

What do you admire most about your significant other?
His: How she takes care of me, our son and our home. (her: *tear*)
Her: How hard he will work to make sure that our son and myself have anything we need or want. He literally will work a million side jobs as well as his full-time job to fully provide for us!

Ideally, where would you like to be 5 years from now?
His: Debt free on a fishing boat on the lake.
Her: Debt free, with three babies and the white picket fence. =) Oh and with at least 20 more tattoos!

Who wears the pants?
His: We agreed when we met to always have a mutual relationship and agree on things together. 
Her: What he said! ;) But really we try and always find a common ground on any decisions we make.

What is your favorite/go-to YouTube video? (embed for all of us to watch!)


#1. Grab this button and put it in a new post.

#2. Tell everyone the link-up is hosted by Chapter Something and Love the Grows and link back to us! 
(We want people to see the origination and past Q&As.)
#3. Copy and paste these questions. 

Delete my answers because you're an individual.
#4. Have fun answering these questions with your man! 

And remember, if you don't know/have an answer, make one up!
#5. Once you've published your post, click the Linky button below and link up your post here so other peeps can see it!!
#6. Read everyone elses answers that have linked up!
#7. Come back next Sunday and do it all over again! 

Make sure to check out Chapter Something and Love the Grows these brilliant ladies 
came up with these wonderful questions and host this fun shindig each week!!! Here is to a good week and lots of restful nights.
Whatever will be, will be.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the Mood to Laugh?!?

Okay so I was looking for a good chuckle and thought I would share
some super cute and funny things with you. 

You guessed it friends hold on tight for eCard overload!

Things I could see my Son say to me one day:

Things I would like to say to people sometimes:

The Obvious Truth:

There you have it friends some blunt eCards to give you a little laugh before you
go to bed. Hope you got a little chuckle in.
By the way for anyone I may know who would read this post.
This is not directed toward any one person just thought these were cute!
Spare me any hard feelings and just laugh along.

Smile Big Lovelies!