Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Hallo-Month Recap

Happy Halloween! I certainly took advantage of anything and everything Halloween this year. For me, it was more of Hallo-month than just Halloween and that's obviously cool. Here's a recap all of all my Hallo-month goodness.

1. Whitney's Halloween party
Wayne and his sister brides warewolves
Mandi the Pinata. Check out those stems (Butterface? No...)
Wayne's World. Party on.

2. Breck Zombie Crawl
My Thursday night "going out" look
and then I ate his face.

3. Halloween Dodgeball Tournament
Halloween Dodgeball Tournament Champions. 1st Place, #1 (I told you we would win).

4. Pumpkin Carving Contest
Boys team. Pumpkin carving contest.
Boys team, non-winning pumpkin. Thanks for keeping it classy

5. Apple and Pumpkin flavored everything
Homemade Apple Chips. Brown chicken brown cow.
Homemade Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie.
Homemade (duh) Burned Butter Brownies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (recipe coming soon)

See ya next month!

P.S. a Halloween treat (or trick) of me

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DIY: Frankenstorm Costume

Last night, as I was browsing the web...and twitter...and instagram for anything [hashtag]Sandy, I happened upon the Man Repeller's take on take on this Frankenstorm. If you haven't heard of the Man Repeller yet, stop. Go check out her fashion blog now. She posts the most original and witty content out there. She is awesome.

I digress. In honor of Superstorm Sandy, The Man Repeller dedicated her post yesterday to all the Sandys in time that have changed her life. Check it out. It's hilarious.

The Man Repeller's post got my creative, Halloween juices flowing, and made me think of all the different ways one could turn this natural disaster into a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume. A costume no one else has thought of yet? I doubt it...


1. Start with the classic, Frankenstein makeup on your face. Something that looks like this:

2. Glue 2 large Hurricane Sandy maps to 2 large poster boards each. The map posters will become the shirt to this costume, one poster as the shirt front and one as the shirt back. Use a map like this:

3. Adhere ribbon/string/rope to the top of the posters to create straps for your shoulders to hold up the posters. Something that looks like this (you are not making a pizza costume, but the straps are the same idea):

4. Moan all night long, twirl around in hurricane circles and scare children, animals and East Coasters alike.

P.S. I'm sorry I didn't actually make this DIY Frankenstorm costume so that I could give you real, step-by-step photos. I hope one of you is still in need of a Halloweener costume and this DIY tutorial has helped. Now make it! Take pictures! And send them to me!

P.P.S. This article about Superstorm Sandy made me laugh. And this meme made me giggle.

Disclosure: All references to the storm in this post are a joke. Please don't take them seriously. My heart goes out to all the people and families whose lives have been negatively affected. And big thanks to all the popo, reporters and sexy fireman risking their lives to help. 

Photo Cred: Frankenstein here. Map here. Pizza here

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ashley's Homemade Burrito Bowl

Yes I know that is a lot of sour cream. Sorry I'm not sorry.
Last week, as I was watching TV, an enticing Taco Bell commercial caught my attention. Taco Bell I thought, am I really interested in something the fast food chain, Taco Bell has to offer? I pondered this for a while.

The commercial in question featured celebrity chef, Lorena Garcia, who created their new Cantina Bowl, which is essentially Taco Bell's version of Chipotle's burrito bowl. Now I'm not going to lie, I'm not a fan of fast food. I find Taco Bell to be especially gross, the way it stinks up your car for hours after the food has been eaten and disposed of. However, the commercial made it look damn tasty.

So what did I do you ask? I made my own version, inspired by that spicy, little Latina, Lorena Garcia from Taco Bell. The results? Delicious and nutritious. The verdict, thank you Lorena and Taco Bell for this burrito bowl inspiration.

Ashley's Homemade Burrito Bowl
Makes 4 servings


2 chicken breasts
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ears of fresh corn
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup spinach
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream
tortilla chips

2 avocados
1 cup cilantro, chopped (I LOVE cilantro)
1 tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Pico de Gallo
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice


On high heat, boil a large pot of water. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt. Husk the corn. Add corn to the boiling water. Let boil about 20 minutes, until it's done. With a sharp knife, cut corn off of husk and put into a bowl.

For the guacamole, cut avocados in half, remove pit and mash in a bowl. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Combine all the pico de gallo ingredients in a bowl. Stir together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

On medium heat, add black beans to a pan to warm.

Turn on grill to medium/high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken breast liberally (this is what gives the chicken flavor). Grill chicken breast for 5-6 minutes, per side, until it's done. Slice breasts into strips.

In 4, individualized servings bowls, add desired amounts of beans, corn, green pepper and chicken. Top with spinach, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. Serve with a side of chips to garnish. Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Link Love

This weekend is full of Halloween fun. Tonight, I am playing in a Halloween dodgeball tournament. It's going to be like this. I can't wait to win. Saturday, I'll be participating in a pumpkin carving contest, which I will also win. Damn it's hard to be a gangster. I hope you have a happy Halloween weekend too! Here are some fun links from the web this week!

This dog is awesome.

This dog is small.

An interesting article about who keeps friends and followers when you and your employer split.

Snow in the high country!

Mandi's blog. It's awesome.

More Halloween costumes (my fav is Beetlejuice and Lydia).

Baked apple chips. Made them. Loved them. Try them.

Forever 21 and sweatshops. I'm not surprised...

1940's arm party

The Island Where People Forget to Die.

Jellyfish art.

A perfect, winter turtleneck.

P.S. In case you missed my sexy photo shoots...Mountain Chic or City Bum?.....Flares Forever.....2 Generations, 1 Leather Skirt

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Apple Juice Cocktail

The roomie and I threw a tres classy Halloweener dinner party last Tuesday night and it went over flawlessly. From the tasty, homemade apps (all Danielle), to the crock-pot chili, to the apple pie, everything turned out delicous.

However, the most delicious thing (obviously) was the Apple Juice Cocktail I made for zee guests. Now, I'm not talking about Mott's Apple Juice Cocktail blend that you buy at the grocery store and give to the kiddies at the playground. I'm talking about boozy, brandy, apple-juicy goodness for us grownups. I found the recipe via Camille Styles and it IS my new favorite. It's actually called an Apple Orchard Cocktail, but I prefer to call it an Apple Juice Cocktail because I'm kitschy like that.

Apple Juice Cocktail
makes 1 serving

2 ounces unfiltered, apple juice
1 ounce apple brandy, like Calvedos
1 ounce gingerale

Fill a glass with ice. Add juice, brandy and gingerale and stir well. Garnish with an apple slice. Enjoy!

***Note: Calvedos (apple brandy) is super expensive and only sold in a 1/2 pint at my liquor store, so I bought one 1/2 pint of Calvedos to make the first couple cocktails, then switched to Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. The Calvedos was a little better in my opinion, but you could hardly tell the difference. If you don't care about price, go for the Calvedos. If you're trying to make a more cost friendly cocktail, use spiced rum- it's just as delicious and half the price!***

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jewel Toned

When I was wearing this outfit, I felt rich. Rich in my jeweled ensemble. Rich in my sapphire colored top and ruby colored pantalones. Rich in my wallet heart.

I bought these pants last week at Targgget-Boutique (obviously), adding one more oxblood, wine, maroon, whatever-you-want-to-call-it color to my wardrobe. I paired it with a rich, blue, Under-Armourish-type-material top that I have honestly had in hanging in my closet since '07 and wore for the first time with this outfit. Some call that fashion hoarding, I call it fashion forcasting. It may not have been cool then, but damn it looks good now. I digress. Because Breckenridge is no Miami, a blueish pleather (just trying to keep it classy) jacket tied the look together. The shoes were loafers. Cute, classy, comfortable, essentially the 'it' shoe of the season. Yep, that's me, just keeping it trendy.

This is my awkward smiling with no teeth. Embarrassing.
Zig Cameo. What a handsome fella.

Top: Limited (old, velvet version here!)
Pants: Target
(P)leather Jacket: Target (old, cute 3/4 sleeve version)
Loafers: Bass Outlet

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DIY: Halloween Skeleton

Last weekend, I visited the rents in my hometown of Manitou Springs. While walking the pups with my mom, we passed the coolest halloween DIY! It was a skeleton made out of PVC pipes and a Clorox bottle. So cool. So easy. So sexy.

I really wanted to DIY the skeleton; unfortunately, I don't have a yard to display it. Tear. I found a tutorial anyway for the PVC Skeleton here. Perhaps you will make it instead and show me how it turns out?!

P.S. PVC Jack Skellington

P.P.S. PVC Spider

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gone Country

Let's talk about something relevant. Something I HAVE to share with you. Something that happened 3 months ago. There were cowboy boots and cowboy hats; carnival rides and country music; there was so much redneck goodness. I'm talking about Cheyenne Frontier Days. 

Wes surprised me with tickets to Brad Paisley (my favorite!) the day before the show. We put on our cow-people best and drove the 3 hours to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The show was amazing! The Band Perry opened and they were awesome live. Then Brad came on and blew us away (Wes was impressed and he's not even a country fan). 

Sorry ladies, he's taken.

I'm bringing this up 3 months late, because I want your opinions. I am a true, Colorado, country girl at heart. I grew up listening to KennyTim and George. I wore cowgirl boots to school and all my high school boyfriends drove a pickup truck. Although I still wear my cowgirl boots occasionally and Wesley does drive a truck, it's different living in Breck. I'm more converse than cowgirl, more high heels than horses.

So the question is this, when I'm playing dress up at a country music festival, am I actually a cowgirl "gaper?" Is it obvious that's not actually how I dress? Can the real cowboys tell and are they making fun of me behind my back? I don't know. Maybe? Hopefully not? Probably...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Link Love

Happy weekend! This Saturday, I'm attending my first halloween party of the season! I'll be eating plenty of food, seeing many friends and partaking in my first couples costume (wait until you see what it is!). I'm hoping to lounge around on Sunday, maybe bake a tasty apple pie like this one. Hope you have a fun weekend too!

A catchy song for your weekend (thanks Krista)!

A super easy, must try, DIY.

#1 buyer's remorse...interesting. Beware!

A gorgeous French food blog.

Holiday display workshops by Anthropologie. I'm attending.

(If you haven't already seen it) Jimmy Kimmel's Halloween joke.

Men in fedoras.

Denver Zombie Crawl, this Saturday!

Breck Zombie Crawl (hosted by yours truly), this Thursday!

Lessons on layering.

Clark's fall shoe collection (notice all the socks!).

Photo via Travel and Leisure

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Caramelized Mushrooms and Dumplings

Hello lover.
I love meat. Meaty, meat, meat. Here it goes down, down into my belly.

Get the gist? This girl loves a good steak, a buttery roasted chicken, a juicy piece of pork...and BACON! I often turn my nose at vegetable only dishes. Don't get me wrong, I love a side of roasted brussel sprouts or mashed sweet potatoes, but they just don't cut it as the star of my dinner plate.

When I found this (vegetarian, shhh) Caramelized Mushrooms and Dumplings recipe, a play on traditional chicken and dumplings, I knew I had to try it. Mushrooms play the protein in this dinner play, and because the boyfriend, who hates mushrooms, was out of town, I knew this could be my one and only chance to make it. So I carpe'd the mushroom diem.

Use a large pan! I learned this the hard way. Over-spillage everywhere.

Looks so appetizing. Caramelized mushroom and buttery biscuit slop. Oink.
The dish was super yummy and easy to make. Including food prep, the whole cooking experience took about an hour-and-a-half (the longest part of process was chopping all the veggies). The dumplings were actually buttermilk, chive biscuits and they were delicious! I highly recommend this dish. Even if your'e not a fan of mushrooms, you'll like it. I know. I'm never wrong.

Caramelized Mushrooms and Dumplings (from Joy the Baker)
Makes 9 biscuits and 1 8x8 dish (9 servings)


Mushroom Filling
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cut into bite size chunks
1 red onion, diced
2 clothes garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 cups sweet potatoes, dices
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce 
dash of balsamic vinegar

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk, cold


In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, pepper and chopped chives. 

Add cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to mix together until the butter is about the size of small pebbles.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk

Make a small well in the center of the butter/flour mixture (like you do mashed potatoes when adding gravy). Add the buttermilk mixture. Using a fork, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Try to moisten all the flour bits with the liquid. Dump the biscuit dough onto a floured surface and knead until it forms a disk about 1 1/2-inch thick.

Use a 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (I don't have a biscuit cutter, so I used an empty soup can) to cut biscuits.  Makes about 9 biscuits. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and place in the fridge until ready to put on top of mushroom mixture and bake. 


In a LARGE saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter into olive oil. Add cremini mushrooms (my grocery store didn't have cremini, so I used white mushrooms) and allow to cook, without disturbing, for about 4 minutes. Add pinch of salt and pepper. Toss mushrooms until soft and golden brown. Remove mushrooms from the pan.

On medium heat, add a touch more olive oil to the pan and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and toss for 1 minute. Add carrots and sweet potatoes and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes (potatoes should become only slightly soft). Add thyme. Return mushrooms to the pan. Turn heat to low and add flour. Toss together. Slowly add broth, stirring constantly until thickened. Add peas. 

Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Worchestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.

Pour mushroom mixture into an 8x8-pan (I used a 9x13). Remove biscuits from the fridge and place them over the filling in the pan.

Bake for 20-23 minutes (it took me about 35 minutes), until biscuits are golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Snow Boots That Don't Look Like Snow Boots

Living in Colorado, one must consider the 3 W's when buying boots: Warm, (all) Weather and Waterproof. Following this 3 W's rule will ensure warm and dry feet during wet and cold conditions. Unfortunately, this rule often times limits your choices to ugly practical boots that you change out of as soon as you reach your car. Below, I have compiled a list of cute snow boots that (in my opinion) don't look like snow boots. (I think I'll be purchasing the Born Shyras for this winter). Check em.

Snow Boots
From the top, left to right: ClarksSofftBornPajarFryeBorn (these will be mine), Clarks, Born

Think they're cute? Good. You know of other cute snow boots that don't look like snow boots? Tell me. I want them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mountain Chic or City Bum?

Living in a mountain town can be hard. Yes, it's gorgeous. Yes, there's tons to do. Yes, the people are young and friendly. However, it's hard to be the hip and stylish gal that I am, in a town where 90% of the chicks are happy wearing leggings and an oversized flannel. Seriously! If I wear a skirt and blouse, people constantly ask me why I'm so dressed up; I stand out like a sore thumb in my 2" booties; and forget about heels, that's just crazy talk.

So today I give you....leggings and a flannel! You like?

such an original outfit...
Close up of my j crew flannel, and my boobs (IBTC). 
Subliminal message: you see my feet, you drink from keg
Why am I wearing this?
Flannel: J Crew
Leggings: Target
Sweater: Target (old, similar here & here!) 
Flats: Target

I wore this outfit last week to run some errands around town. I call this look mountain, comfy, casual chic. But is it really a cute outfit? I certainly go compliments on it. I felt cute in it. I fit in with all the other Breck snow bunnies. But, if I wore it in the city, would it be as cute? Is it mountain chic or just city bum? You tell me....

Photos taken by Danimalc.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Timbs

Every year for my birthday, my wonderful and amazing mother spoils me rotten. She treats me with tons of presents. From small things like hair accessories to big things like a gals trip to Vegas! This year was very special though, for this was the year my 49-year-old, white, suburban mother gave me my first pair of Timbs. Yes Timberlands. God bless her.

Guess what's in the blue box...
When I opened the (blue) box, I saw what first looked like Sperrys, but these were no Sperry Topsiders. They were pink and orange, color blocked, white-laced Timberlands (and may I add, so light in weight!). I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit skeptical at first in their practicality. I mean I live in Colorado for goodness sake, how often will I be sporting Timbs? How wrong I was though, how wrong I was...

Sporting my Timbs by the river...
Proof! Timberlands.
Sporting my Timbs at the grocery store (with a classy pair of chinos)
I wore them all summer long, from errands around town to walks through the wilderness. I truly, never thought I would ever own a pair of Timberlands, but you know what, I'm a believer now (Mom=1, Ashley=0). Be on the lookout this winter for thesethese or these babies on my footsies. Cute, practical, warm Colorado footwear. I dig it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday! I'm headed down to Manitou Springs this weekend to see the fam. No plans really, except to catch up with the rents and eat some yummy food. Hopefully we'll eat some french onion soup from my favorite restaurant, La Baguette. Here are some links from the web this week that I love. Enjoy! xx

Amen! 15 pairs of comfortable heels, perfect for us mountain gals.

4 reasons Apple still makes ipods (I've been wondering this...)

Dressing made easy: 3 colour dressing

Would you stay in a hostel with your family? I would!

A cute halloween costume.

My favorite travel blog, The Everywhereist. It's awesome.

Have I mentioned I love flares?!

Entertaining in a 200 square foot apartment. 

Why the sky is dark at night.

My favorite spice girl, Victoria, circa '92.

Photo via tumblir

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Audio Books are Cool

For my job up here in the Breckenhood, I have to drive a lot. I probably spend at least 10 hours a week in my whip. I drive so much that my badass company gives me an badass truck to drive. Holla.

My sick whip.
When I'm in my whip I do lots of cool things like phone-talking, music-jamming, work-thinking and ghost-whipping. Although these things are cool, they become boring when that's all you do, everyday, for 10 hours a week.

How I felt pre-audio booking...
Then, last April, I discovered...the audio book. What is an audio book you ask? Well, it's a recording of a book being read and it's awesome. Since I started listening to audio books, my driving mentality has become much more positive and enjoyable. I don't dread getting into my truck anymore. I look forward to finding out what will happen next in the story! I become smarter with each spoken word! It makes me feel more like this...

Now I know audio books can be expensive. New books on itunes can cost up to $40! Yikes! You can find audio books affordably though. Used bookstores have tons of them. I buy them for around $5 at my local, used bookstore. Itunes also has tons of books for $5.95. I bought The Kitchen House, The Great Gatsby, and Still Alice for $5.95 each, and I recommend them all!

Are you convinced yet? Good. Now go listen to one and let me know if I should listen to it too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Flares Forever

I would like to start out by saying, I have always been a fan of flared jeans. For us bigger booty gals, they balance out our full hips and thighs, making us look ultra sexylicious. Flared jeans, so hot right now.

I wore this outfit for work last week and I may or may not have been Breck's best-dressed chick (more on this topic later). The jeans are madewell's high-waisted version, and I'm a fan. I paired it with a ballerina, pink blouse and I think the results were good. Beware though, with the wrong shirt, mom-butt may follow...

Front tucked in + back untucked = mom-butt avoided.
Instagrammed! Trust me, the pic is better this way.
Hair blowing in the wind, you can just call me Giselle....
Blouse: h&m
Jeans: Madewell (old, but love these & these!)
Booties: Bass (similar)
Bracelet: Pandora
Watch: Skagen

photo cred to danimalc