Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roasted Rosemary Chicken

Ok, this is one of those recipes that I just made up myself as I went. I had posted on a roasted chicken with veggies recipe once before, and I was planning on cooking that same recipe one night last week. But, I wanted to try something different. I was running short on time since I had gotten my hair done that night (first things first, right?), so I knew I didn't want to cook potatoes, since they take longer. I basically had the chicken breasts & an onion to work with.

According to that recipe, the main seasoning I used was garlic & thyme. For this one, I used garlic (salt) & rosemary.

•Chicken pieces (I used chicken breasts, and cut them in half to speed up cooking time)
•Veggies (I used onion only, but you could use anything)
•Olive oil
•Garlic (I used garlic salt for more flavor)
•Rosemary (I used just enough to lightly sprinkle all over)
•Salt & pepper

Spray the baking/roasting pan (I used aluminum foil- less staining), then set the chicken all around. Coat evenly with olive oil, sprinkle garlic salt/powder & rosemary, then salt & pepper to taste. Lightly toss.

Cook the chicken only at 425 for about 15 minutes, then take out of oven. I wanted to cook the onion for less time, since it tends to brown & shrivel up quicker. (If you cook potatoes, definitely cut them small & cook the entire time with the chicken.) Coat onion with olive oil, garlic salt/powder, rosemary and salt & pepper. Cook another 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through & lightly browned, and onion is tender. You only toss one time while cooking. I waited until the 15-minute mark as I added the onion, and it worked perfectly.

This is so similar to the regular roasted chicken, but the rosemary really adds a good, very different flavor.

I only made pics of the finished product...
I was pressed for time...and hungry...

It was so simple, healthy and tasty.

Hope you all had a great weekend! Ours was busy, but so much fun. We spent both Saturday night & Sunday lunch with family that we don't get to see very often, and had such a great time! Also, my sweetie got a lot of work done out in the yard. When I got home from kids' choir rehearsal on Sunday night,
I looked out in the back yard & saw this...

Yay! Our back yard's getting mulched! (It doesn't take much to excite me, can you tell?)

I am gearing up for an awesome upcoming weekend...actually many awesome upcoming weekends. This weekend, we're headed to Birmingham for a day, then rehearsal & a dinner Saturday night for our choir. We have a BIG concert this Sunday night- 6:00 at FBC, if you're in the area- and our music is BEAUTFIUL!! The next week is our kids' choir End of Year Program. Can't believe it's already been a year since our last one. It's always exciting.
The weekend after that is Sheena's wedding!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recent Thrifting Trips

Just wanted to post a few pics of some thrift store finds I snagged on two recent trips...

All of my goodies from the first stop- a square glass vase, two beautiful cut-crystal candlesticks, and a mini lamp...

Close-up of the mini lamp (perfect condition, with bulb included)- yep, $4...

If you've seen any of my thrift store posts before, you know I'm obsessed with candlesticks. They're almost as fascinating to me as picture frames...almost. These were $1 each.

Close-up of the square glass vase... I have another one just like this (it was purchased from the Dollar Tree for $1), so now I have an even two. This one was 25 cents- (take that, Dollar Tree!)

Basket-weave charger plate from a previous thrifting trip- $1...

 I've already put some of these items to use! Here are the two square vases, with beautiful knock-out roses my sweet
mother-in-law sent me from her yard...

And here is the charger plate in use- holding the gorgeous Easter lily that I purchased in memory of my dad from our church youth's fundraiser. :)

Total cost of the two trips combined was $7.25. Go me!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My 3rd Feature!

I have now been featured for a third time in my little blog's life!!
I am beyond excited, and definitely motivated to keep working on new projects! Just wanted to thank the two sisters at Natural Nesters for thinking enough of my sweetie's yard facelift post to feature it from their link party. Their feature blog post is here- check it out!! They have also pinned my pictures of the yard facelift on Pinterest, so I hope to gain new followers there! I am so very proud of Zach & his hard work, and I can't wait to finish up 
and post on Part 2.

For now, I'll leave you with this cute little pic of the kids :)...

Hope you all are having a great week! This one is a little busy for me, but it's all fun stuff. Last night, I went to a women's dinner at my church, and it was wonderful. Tonight, I'm getting my hair done (blonde again= yay!), and tomorrow night is choir rehearsal as usual. Then, Thursday night, I'm going to a college play with my momma- Fiddler on the Roof- can't wait! Friday night, I might actually get to spend at home with my sweetie with no plans. On Saturday night, we have a couple's shower for Zach's (and my) cousin, that we're really excited about!

I'm not too sure about Zach, but I love wedding season, and it is definitely here! Also, in my little circle of friends, it's obviously baby season right now, so how much more exciting can it get?? :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter 2012 and Years Past

In true Ashley & Zach fashion, I'm posting these pics one week late. Oh well...better late than never.

We had such a great Easter weekend...(last weekend)! Our church service Sunday morning was absolutely out of this world!! I can't get over the awesomeness of it!! After church, we had lunch with Zach's dad, and had such a great time. We then spent the entire afternoon taking it easy- Zach watched the Masters, and I caught up on straightening up the house & doing laundry. (I had fun shopping the day before, so I made up for it then. Speaking of, I finally got my shoes for Sheena's wedding! Yay!)

We took our annual Easter pics, as we always have since we got married. Just wanted to share those with ya' (if you click on the photo itself, it will show a larger, clearer version)...

Me & my sweetie. Doesn't he look so handsome?? :)

Full shot...we both wanted to show off our new shoes. :)

Me & my Daisy girl...I was a little too daring, getting her this close to my dress. She can be a hyper girl sometimes & tends to jump around a lot, but she did great while taking these pics!

Now, mostly for myself, I wanted to post our Easter pics from years past. I love how we've grown & changed in our almost 4 years of marriage. We're only getting better with age, right? :)

Easter Sunday 2012
Easter Sunday 2011

Easter Sunday 2010

Easter Sunday 2009

...I know my dresses improve with each year, anyway. I love a good excuse to buy a new dress, outfit or shoes. :)

Aww, I love it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Raided the Woodworking Shop!

Yes, I did. I raided my granddad's woodworking shop that's located right behind my mom's house. I was over there for dinner last week, and thought I would rummage through the shop just for old time's sake. He still likes to "piddle" every now & then in there, but most of the things that are there he created years ago. I love to look through all of it, and I hadn't done that in years
until that night.

He doesn't mind at all me grabbing things up. If I didn't, they would still be sitting there years from now.

I only got three things...this trip anyway. So, I wanted to share...

This bench goes with a desk that is still sitting in the shop. My great granddad actually built the desk and bench for my granddad when he was little. Maybe one day I'll have room for the desk.

I think I remember this folding chair when I was a little girl...

This little duck puzzle is the cutest thing ever! It even has a hook to hang it with attached on the top. I plan to paint it and keep it for our future little one.

Isn't he so talented??

I can't wait to start painting all of these!!

P.S. My sweetie would like to thank everyone for the sweet comments on the Yard Facelift Part 1 post. He's still working on Part 2, but it is shaping up nicely!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sticks & Stones...Yard Facelift Part 1

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Our little family has a standing tradition of taking Easter pics out in the yard every Easter Sunday (and they turned out so well this year!),
so I'll post on those soon.

Now, this is a post totally full of bragging on my sweetie.
He has worked his tail off the past couple of weeks.

He completely built our new stone landscape wall himself. He plans to start on the border structure next. (I myself just wasn't brave enough to help with this task. I did a little work here & there with the mulch around the islands & picked up a few sticks,
but the wall was all him.)

He started with removing the old wooden planks (some were even rotted out) and shoveling out the dirt- those pics are the Befores shown below. He then packed sand atop the dirt to create a level foundation for the stone. He then began building up the stones, using a level along the way to make sure it was all even. It was a slow process, but it had to be to make it right.
And, wow, did it turn out beautifully!!

The entire project wasn't really as pricey as I thought it would be. We got the materials (sand, stone blocks & stone pavers) from Lowes. We also got two HUGE loads of mulch while there, so when you take the cost of that out, it's not that bad. A few hundred bucks & LOTS of time and hard work was totally worth it to completely transform our front yard into what it is becoming.

To show you what it used to look like, for the full effect...



Now, here's our "new" yard!!...




Gaps & rotting wood...



And some pics of steps along the way...

This shows after the wood was removed, and after Zach dug out the area for the stones to be placed...

Stacking it up...

Leveling it out...

Some stones were still wet, so that's why they look darker here...

Coming right along...

Starting on the supporting wall...


He wants to tackle this area next- that will be Part Deux. We have already had the stone pavers delivered to the house, so they're ready to go. He plans to just lay the pavers, one single row,
all along the way. I can't wait to see it!!

This shows the Before of the wooden plank wall that was once there. I'll post this pic again in my next post once the new stone border is complete.

Because of the stone wall, it looks like an entirely different yard. I'm so proud of him!!

I also wanted to include some pics of our beautiful azaleas...

I love to enjoy God's beautiful creation, and especially when it's in our own front yard.

Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, April 6, 2012

In Christ Alone

Just wanted to share some powerful lyrics to a song I absolutely love. It is so very true & beautiful, and the part in bold is what I'm hoping to focus on this weekend. We should all remember these words today- Good Friday- on Easter Sunday,
and throughout the year...

"In Christ Alone"

"In Christ alone my hope is found-
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease-
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.

'Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground, His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again.

And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His ,and He is mine-
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death-
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry, to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
'Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand."

Happy Easter!! He is risen!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sheena's Shower!

Wow! What a great weekend this was!! My sweetie finished our landscape wall, and I can't wait to post about it and show off his hard work! I caught up on house work (including organizing some cabinets- yay!), and I watched Gone With the Wind for the first time ever. It took up about 4 hours of my life, which is crazy, but it was good. I'm not gonna' lie though- I don't think it lived up to the hype (sorry, any fans out there), but I'm glad I got to watch it.

Also, this past Saturday, I went to a bridal shower for one of my sweet friends, Sheena. I am so very excited to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding!! I so enjoyed getting to meet some new people, including another bridesmaid, Sally, and eating some yummy food. I "borrowed" a few pics from Sheena
to share with you all. :)

Sally, Sheena & me

The beautiful cake...

The three of us again...

...and again... :)

This was during Sheena's prayer. I'm smiling because she thanked God for sending her a man that could put up with her Filipino temper. :)

Enjoying the yummy food...

The beautiful bride-to-be...

The whole gang...

This was my present to Sheena (I also got me & Zach one too)...

Oh, and look...the three of us again. :)

Us with Sheena's sweet mom...

Can't wait for her big day!! What a stunning bride she will be! :)
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