5 on Friday


I have made the recipe below a few times this week. Tim requested them for the Squad Potluck on Sunday and then he wanted them for his office Christmas Party. They are best when they are hot so I had to make them and then run them to Tim at work. It is pretty easy considering he now works 10 minutes from home. I decided to share with you guys because it is a pretty delicious recipe. My aunt used to make them so I got the recipe from her, but when I was looking for a photo to use for my recipe card I found a lot of recipes for it.

I saw an article posted on Facebook yesterday and it brought me back to high school. It was just a list of songs that were popular in the early 2000s. Some of the songs on the list I had forgotten about and some were still fresh in my mind. This is probably because one of my stations on Pandora is 2000s pop hits.

Check out our new stockings.
The wife of a fellow squad member posted the stockings she made for her family and I asked her if she would make some for us and I would pay her. She made these amazing stockings and did not want a thing for them. She said we do a lot for the community and they were a gift. I couldn't just take them so I made her a little tin of cookies.

My Christmas shopping is done! Wahoo :)

Happy Friday! This photo was just funny to me! It is a kitty photo bomb!

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What Make Your Dog Great? *Contest*

Even though our dog seems to be trying to commit suicide by eating too much chocolate every time she gets a chance we still love her. 
She is a great friend to Mason and she is good to us. I could not imagine life without her. Having a dog is fun, trying, and rewarding. This animal loves us unconditionally and she is always happy to see us when we get home. 

Because we love her so we feed her well. We had to start measuring her food because the vet said she was getting a little on the fluffy side and she didn't mean her fur. We buy Purina products in our house. We have since she was a puppy and we have just kept it up.

Purina Pro Plan

Bring out the best in your dog! Formulated by experts. Trusted by pros. From dry food to wet entrees to nutritional supplement bars, Purina Pro Plan products are formulated to help you bring out the full potential in your dog.

Purina currently has an active Sweepstakes for some pretty nice prizes. I trip to California, hotel stay, and a $500 PetSmart gift card!

The Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Sweepstakes
Anyone can enter with no purchase necessary for a chance to win an incredible prize that includes:
·         2 round-trip plane tickets to Huntington Beach, CA for the Incredible Dog Challenge® Western Regionals
·         A 3-day, 2-night hotel stay
·         Ground transportation and spending money
·         Plus a $500 PetSmart® gift card

I am also hosting a Photo Contest for Purina! I want to know --- What Makes Your Dog Great?

Go on Instagram and show me what makes/made your dog great in 2014 - I want to see cute pictures of your pups and why you love them so! Did s/he learn a new trick, tackle the stairs or (finally!) make friends with the cat? Use the hashtag #GreatDog2014.

***Three winners who will be awarded Purina Pro Plan coupons valued at $17.99, each (that means a free bag of Purina Pro Plan for each winner).

Once you have posted the photo enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Weigh In Wednesday {12-17-14}

Sorry for being MIA last week. I have not felt worthy of hosting this link up the last week or two. I feel like I fell off the wagon hard! I just cannot seem to get my head in the game so to speak. I feel like I have been on a slippery slope and I cannot get traction.

It could be all the goodies this time of year. I have felt like I have worked so hard all year that I should be able to indulge this time of year right? Yes, but to a point - it should not be an all out free for all.

We baked all day Sunday and I was good. I did not really eat any of the cookies we made. Tim and Mason were my testers.
We had fun making cookies. We let Mason help for a little bit, but he wanted to eat more than he made so we had to get some Christmas Mickey on the television to occupy him.
Most of the cookies we made were packed up and given away. We only have a few left so Tim didn't feel left out. 

My problem on Sunday was when we went to a potluck and there were some amazing foods and desserts there. I may have over indulged and felt bad after the fact. It did not help that I had my monthly friend all weekend.

My birthday is 46 days away and I do not want to be in the 170s for another birthday. I just looked back and I was around the same weight last year, I have practically made no progress in 2014 :/ Weight wise that is, I have tried new workouts and new activities so that has to count as something. I have not gotten back into the 180s, there is another positive.

I need to focus on the positive, but I have to push myself more and be more strict. I don't want to be in this spot a year from now. I don't want to be in this spot a month from now.

Anyone else in a rut? I need a push! I want to be a good host and push myself along with you guys and be encouraging!

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***Interested in Influenster? Use this referral link to sign up! You can link your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc to get more activity points. Merry Christmas!

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What We Need to Survive the Holidays

Did you realize there are less than 10 days left until Christmas? This is crazy to me! I am pretty much done with my Christmas Shopping. I have to see what my mom wants still she has been putting me off when I ask so if she might just end up with Gift Cards to the grocery store.

Does anyone need a dog? I am ready to give mine away. She just got into another stash of chocolates! Two weeks ago she ate 1.5 bags of peanut M&Ms (the medium sized bags.) Today I got an email from Tim saying she got into the stash of Lindt Truffles I bought for stocking stuffers. I was trying to make sure I kept the guest bedroom door closed, but I guess I dropped that ball today.  :(

This can be a stressful time of year for many people so I have put together a little survival kit for me and Tim picked out some stuff he likes.

Ashlee's Survival Kit

Holiday survival
Holiday survival by ashz featuring christmas home decor
I love this time of year. I decorated before Thanksgiving this year! I had the time one day so I decided to do it. I love having candles going year round, but I love the smells of Christmas. I am a big Yankee Candle fan so I burn their holiday scents. I love to bake and I usually spend a whole day baking cookies (I did that on Sunday - more on that later). My favorite cookies to make are the cutout sugar cookies because I like to decorate them. Hot Chocolate should be on everyone's survival list. It is great for chilly days to warm you up from the inside. I chose the Rudolph Hot Chocolate because that is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I am so glad that they still play that movie and keep the tradition going. 

Christmas Eve is one of the few times of year that I get dressed up - for church and a family gathering. I bought this skirt from Old Navy for this years festivities and I love it! I just enjoy finding a nice outfit to wear. Finally, you cannot survive the winters in Upstate NY without a nice scarf and gloves.

Tim's Survival Kit

A Man's survival kit

Tim's survival list was a little different than mine. He has to have his hat on there because he is out plowing the driveway after the snow and has to stay warm. He wants his coffee in the morning and for after he comes in from plowing. He has to have his Winter Lager from Sam Adams and don't forget the Kahlua for when he is feeling like something different.

This time of year it is dark when we get home so we usually stay in. Tim is like me and we are both in our comfy clothes shortly after we walk in the door. He loves his slippers so they were definitely on his list. The number one thing on Tim's list was a real Christmas tree. When I met Tim I had only had fake trees and he was not having any of that. We have a real tree every year and it makes him happy so it makes me happy.

Need a survival kit for your guy? Check out Man Crates. They have some unique crates for your man or any man in your life. 

What would be in your holiday survival kit? 

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

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5 on Friday

Happy Friday All! Phew I feel like it has been a while since I put together a post. I have just been in a funk the last few days. It might be because of the weather.

Speaking of the weather... It started to snow/sleet on Tuesday around noon and it did not stop until early this morning. I was inside for most of this time. We had three days of snow and many kids had a couple snow days this week. This snow is pretty, but it is heavy which is causing problems all over with power lines down.

I love the chilly months because it means that I get to use my crock pot more. In the warmer months you do not want hot food for the most part, but this time of year it is all we want. I found a pork roast in the freezer last Sunday so I took it out and I ended up having the carrots and potatoes in stock. Tuesday I put everything in the crockpot with a mixture of spices (I kind of just guessed) and set it on Low for 9 hours. The house smelled sooo good throughout the day!
I cleaned all day Tuesday because we were supposed to have a house showing Thursday, but it ended up getting canceled :(

I mailed our Christmas cards this week! I love putting together our cards and getting them ready to mail. I have done photo cards for years and I plan on continue the tradition. I love the holiday stamps this year. What a great theme and one of my favorite movies.
Best part? I got a text from my cousin last night saying she loved our card :)

I have a creeper in my house. Every time we sit down to eat anything she is right there watching us and waiting. I caught her eat Mason's chex mix the other day. Yesterday I was trying to eat my cereal for breakfast and she was on the table. When I was done I pushed my mug over to her to have some milk. No wonder the vet told me she was over weight.

In our house the new thing is "build blocks." We have to build blocks multiple times per day. Tim or I or both of us have to sit on the floor with Mason to help. It is funny because a week ago he did not even really touch his blocks or take them out of the container. Now he is obsessed and wants to build stuff all the time. I do not mind because it is kind of fun and he is learning and developing!
We had a little snow day fun last night - Mason is also into basketball now and him and Tim play nightly. He was giggling so much last night I had to get a video.

I actually have a few things planned this weekend. Tonight we are going out to dinner at a new place with some friends - Beer, Wine, & Pizza. Tomorrow Amanda and I are off to Albany to finish our Christmas shopping. To end the weekend we have a monthly meeting along with a Christmas Potluck on Sunday night.

Any fun plans this weekend? Are you done Christmas shopping? Have you started?

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What Does a Weight Loss Blogger Want for Xmas?

I am almost done Christmas shopping! Actually I have only had a few things left to get for a couple weeks now. I started early this year and it feels good. I did a lot of my shopping online with some great coupon codes and Ebates!

I have recently stumbled across a great place for exercise equipment. Unique Fitness has a wide array of fitness equipment at prices for all.

You can find pretty much anything on this site! They have clothes, dvd, dumbbells, fitness trackers, things for kids, therapy aids, and much more.

There are a few things on my wishlist that I am hoping for :)

I bet that the Polar FT7 is on a lot of wish lists to Santa this year :)
A new mat for my workouts would be nice.
I have been thinking about a weight bar lately. I have noticed them popping up more around the web and I think it might add something to squats and other exercises.
My biggest wish item is a rower. I have a treadmill so it is really not in the cards for us unless we hit the lottery, but a girl can dream :)

What are some fitness items on your Christmas list this year? 

*I was compensated for this post, opinions are my own*

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Oh Christmas Tree

After a terrible experience with Santa on Friday night we decided to make a trip to see the mall Santa on Saturday morning before we went to get our tree. We dressed Mason all cute and took him hoping for the best.

He was not a big fan of sitting on Santa's lap, but I bribed him with a cookie. I told him he would have to sit up and look at the camera if he wanted the cookie and it worked like MAGIC! I couldn't believe it. We did not get any smile, but at least he wasn't crying.

After a walk around the mall and the purchase of a pair of booties to go with a couple skirts :-)  I have we were off to Lowes for a Christmas tree. In years past we have searched high and low for a great tree at a reasonable price. The last couple years we end up at Lowes so this year we started there. They have a good selection at a decent price and it was under a roof so we were out of the rain. 
We put it up Saturday night and let it rest and relax overnight. 
Sunday morning Mason and I started to decorate it. He was loving the lights. So much so that he took them away from the tree and decorated his four wheeler with them. He then tried to drive away, but they were plugged into the wall by the tree. 

He was having fun with some of the decorations. Though I had to watch him with these garlands of candy. They were given to me by my mom and I remember them growing up - I think she said they were her mother's, but I am not sure.

He was very serious about finding the perfect spot for the ornaments I let him try to hang (non breakables).
 The concentration in this photo cracks me up. He is such an independent little man.

Yes there was lots of big girl camera use this past weekend :) Sometimes taking it out and using it yields great photos and something different.

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