Spruce up the place

Ways to spruce up your home decor

I don’t know about you guys but when I get the urge to decorate and change things around there’s no stopping me.  I recently rearranged our living room and it feels like a whole new space.  I felt like it was just blah and not really doing much for me anymore.  I would walk past, and nothing…  I was about to order new couches and get new wallpaper, I had the items in my cart.  I mean, I was a woman on a mission after all.  Then, instead of hitting the ‘complete order’ button I thought to myself how can I redecorate without buying a ton of new things?   The truth of the matter is, we didn’t need a new sofa or coffee table.  I ended up rearranging the furniture and purchasing just one new comfy chair and a piece of artwork.  These small tweaks gave the room a new look and feel.  So I tell you friends, before you hit the add to cart button on a big investment read this post because I’m sharing how to change the rooms around in your house without breaking the bank.  Essentially, one to two new things can add a new feel to a room.  Another trick I like to do is relocating pieces into different rooms.  For example, I like to change the decor on the bookshelves in my family room. Most things have been rotated from my dining room and foyer. Believe in the power of feng shui. 

Here’s a few ideas:

Dining Room: Add a wine rack or relocate a piece of furniture.  When we were redecorating our dining room last year I knew I wanted a bar cart or serving table for the corner.  I was shopping around and couldn’t find anything I loved.  Then it dawned on me to use my vanity!  I love it but I haven’t used it in years and it holds sentimental value so selling it was not an option.  All I needed were some trays, books and picture frames to finish the look. 
Next, a wine rack which serves two purposes.  I got this one, it holds the wine and is also a decorative wall piece. 

Living Room: Statement chair:  Sometimes you just need a piece of statement furniture to do the trick and this sherpa chair did just that.  It tied the whole room together.  It’s cozy, priced right and fits in perfectly.  I also bought a few these decorative pillows.

Family Room: Photos or wall art.  I love to display family photos.  These frames allow me to create a gallery wall in clean and uniform fashion.  I always change up my throw pillows in the family room. They see a lot of action with all these kids. I’ve had these three styles for a while and they have survived many pillow fights.

Kitchen: Add some cozy vibes by decorating the island with trays, candles, a faux plants or pedestal trays.  I personally have these pedestal stands. I love adding some fresh greenery such as baby’s breath, eucalyptus and lavender from the local farmers market. A faux plant will look just as good. I have this little cutie. Stack a few cutting boards behind the stove top. I like to get ones that look like petrified wood but any cutting boards can do the trick.

Foyer: I like to keep the foyer simple.  We have this table and I love it.  I decorate it with small objects like this and this (I have both and always switch there locations around) ,a candle, fresh flowers and lean some art work up against the wall behind it. Mine is no longer available but I like this one a lot.  

Other ways to spruce up a room are area rugs and storage baskets. they work in almost any room. I hope this post has given you some decorating ideas.  Thanks for reading you can find some more great products here.

5 Healthy Habits i do daily

Let’s be honest, most of us try our best to live a healthy lifestyle.  I try to incorporate these healthy habits into my daily routine which in turn has made them become part of my life. They may seem small but they are mighty.  I notice a difference when I skip a day or two.  Like many other people by the end of the day I’m tired, I mean like really tired .  Raising 4 kids, trying to nurture them into legit decent humans is tough.  Never in my life did I think it would be this tough but it’s also so rewarding.

  1. Drink water with lemon- Sounds simple enough right?  You would be surprised how many people are not consuming the right amount of water daily.  Below is a little trick I learned to calculate how much water you should be drinking.   I also know a lot of people who don’t enjoy drinking water in general.  I find adding lemon, cucumber, mint give water a nice taste.   Infuse your water with some berries, pineapple or melon.  Most importantly…drink you water!  This water bottle is super helpful to those who forget to drink water! 

Calculating how much water you should drink a day:

  • Take your weight (in pounds) and divide that by 2.2.
  • Multiply that number depending on your age: If you’re younger than 30, multiply by 40. If you’re between 30-55, multiply by 35. If you’re older than 55, multiply by 30.
  • Divide that sum by 28.3.
  • Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Divide that number by 8 to see your result in cups.
  1. A healthy skincare routine.  This is so important.  Keeping consistent with a skin care routine can keep your skin glowing and if your skin in glowing you are baby.  I have a day time and night time routine and both take under 5 mins.  I don’t have time for too many steps but I always do a cleanser, serum, eye cream, moisturizer and neck cream.  My day and night products are linked here.  Oh and I never ever forget sunscreen!  The serums I use are pricey but they are the best and worth every penny If you can swing it. 






Eye Cream








Neck Cream 

  1. Carve out 30 minutes of “me” time.  This is usually when I have my afternoon cup of coffee or tea.  I like to use this time for exercising but sometimes I just need to relax. I start with a quick few minutes of stretching.  You’ll be surprised at how fantastic a good stretch makes you feel.  Speaking of me time this could mean getting lost in a rabbit hole search of the new Targaryen series or looking for our next vacation.  Having a few minutes solitude helps me collect my thoughts for the rest of the day.  I will either set the kids up with an activity or put on a show.   As moms there should be no shame for turning on the tv or allowing them their tablet for short periods of time.  Mamma needs her time too.   
  1. Fresh air.  This is so important.  Even on the coldest of days we are going out for at least a half hour.  Ever feel off or aggravated?  Go for a walk.  I read somewhere that fresh air can reset your mood. See what a world of good it can do. 
  1. Unwind with a book and a warm beverage before bed.  I’ve been cutting out television before bed and upping my reading game. I’ve noticed how much better I’ve been sleeping. I try to read for at least 20 mins before bed.  This calms my mind and helps me unwind.  I always enjoy a cup of tea while I read.  The whole process is just relaxing to me and by the end of the day I’m looking forward to it.  This tea has has been a favorite of mine and really helps me unwind.  I also love these mugs

My last bit, give yourself grace.  It’s been a rough year.  Scarlett O’Hara said it best “tomorrow is another day”.  We aren’t perfect and that’s ok.  Making small changes can have big results.  These specific healthy habits may not work for you but I think getting into some sort of routine is great start.  Wishing you a happy and healthy Sunday friends.  

Ive added links throughout this post but if you like to see everything in one place you can here.  While you are there you can give a “follow” so I pop up on your feed.  Happy Sunday friends. 


Simple Shakes With 5 Ingredients or Less! 


Anyone else guilty of skipping meals?  I am pretty sure I didn’t eat breakfast until I got pregnant and it was required because of the whole growing a human thing oh and if I didn’t eat I became a nasty beast!  Just ask my husband 🙂  Shakes are my go to breakfast.  They are perfect for people who don’t like a hearty meal in the mornings or for people who are just in a rush.  I don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast.  Sitting and eating breakfast is basically picking at my kid’s leftovers before it goes in the garbage or one of my dogs snakes it.  So shakes it is!  Having the same thing each day can get a bit boring so I wanted to share my top 3 shakes that I love.  Not to mention all of them have 5 ingredients or less!   Read below for the recipes!


Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Cinnamon

Yep, It’s that simple and that delicious.  This is my go to shake lately.  I am loving the added flavor of cinnamon not to mention all the health benefits that come with it!

2 Scoops Chocolate protein powder

2 Tablespoons organic powdered peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/3 Cup water and some ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!


Vanilla, Banana, Spinach and Almond Butter

Ok, it may sound like an odd combination but believe me it works and man is it delicious!

1 Scoop Vanilla Potien powder

1/2 a banana or one small banana

1 hearty handful of spinach

1 Tablespoon Almond Butter

1 1/3 Cup of water and some ice cubes.

Blend and enjoy!


Berry Delicious 

1/2 Cup frozen mixed berries.  I like the raspberries, strawberries and blueberries blend.

1 Handful of baby kale

2 Tablespoons quick rolled oats

1 Cup almond milk

1 Tablespoon Organic Honey

Blend and enjoy!


Ashli’s Tips:

  1. In my opinion peanut butter makes everything taste better.  So when in doubt add a spoonful.  PB is a good fat but don’t add more than a tablespoon or two.
  2. Avocados are great to add into shakes, try it!
  3. Add more or less water based on the consistency you like.
  4. Look for really good quality protein powder made with high quality ingredients!  This is so important!   I use this one.
  5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors.
  6. Kids love shakes, so its a great way to sneak in veggies for a stubborn eater.


Thanks for stopping by!



Lentil and Kale Soup

Soups are a very popular dish in our household.   I am the type of person that can eat soup in 100 degree weather. I just love it! So I thought I would share one of my favorite soups for a hearty winter dinner.    There are so many health benefits in lentils.  Just to name a few they lower cholesterol, are high in fiber, good for digestive health,  stabilizes blood sugar, increases your energy and are a great source of protein.  I try to eat them as much as I can.  Not only in soups, but salads, pastas and just as a quick snack.  Most of my recipes are inspired by watching my mother cook for us growing up.  I just have some added twists 🙂

What You Need:

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 carrots, chopped

5-6 garlic cloves, sliced

4 handfuls of kale

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

5 cups of vegetable stock

4 cups of water

16oz sprouted lentils

28oz can tomato sauce

Juice from one lemon

Make It:

  1. Sauté garlic, onions, carrots and kale in olive oil in a medium sized pot.  Sauté until onions are translucent.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
  2. Add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of vegetable stock to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and tomato sauce to the pot.  Add the remaining 3 cups of stock and water.  Season with more salt, pepper, and garlic.
  4. Cover and let the soup cook on a medium-low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Taste the soup and see if the lentils are soft.  Squeeze in the lemon juice.
  5. Top soup with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.  Serve with a piece of multigrain bread.
  6. ENJOY!

Ashli’s Notes:

You may have to rinse you lentils with cold water in a colander.  Look at the packaging on the lentils.

Lentils can be a bit bland so don’t be afraid to use your spices.

You may have to add more liquid to your soup.  Don’t be afraid 🙂

I use mostly all organic ingredients.  Give it a try 🙂

My kids loved this soup purred.

I hope you enjoy it!



Skillet Roasted Garlic Chicken


Happy Friday everyone!  I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus from my blog.  To be honest I haven’t been very inspired lately and kind of got lost in the everyday hussle and bussle of life.  But, I’m back and going to be trying to blog as much as my mommy schedule allows.  So look forward to new posts on beauty, home, fashion and recipes.  To kick start I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes that is perfect for this season.

As I type this post it’s currently 12 degrees and snowing here in New Jersey.  This makes me want comfort food, without the guilt.  I have the best roasted chicken recipe for you right here!  Well I think it’s the best 😉 and my family seems to agree so I figured why not share it with all of you! This recipe also uses a cast iron skillet which gives the chicken an even better taste!

Growing up I wasn’t really a fan of roasted chicken.  Why?! Who the heck knows?  Now I LOVE it.  It’s the perfect meal for any season.  It’s so adaptable to the temperature.  I’ll be pairing this chicken with some purred cauliflower, roasted brussel sprouts and a salad.

IF you have any leftovers they can be used for a quick sandwich or to top a salad.  Below you will find the recipe.  I hope you all enjoy!




A few tips:  

Make sure you really dry your chicken.  This will make the skin crisper.

Baste every 15 mins

If you feel like you aren’t getting enough juice add more chicken stock to the pan or white wine 🙂

And let the chicken rest!

What You Need:

4-5lb Roaster Chicken

1 Lemon

5 Garlic Cloves minced

2 Springs Fresh Thyme

2 Springs Fresh Rosemary

Salt and Pepper to Taste

4 Tbs Butter
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Splash of white wine (optional)

Kitchen String


Pre heat oven to 450 degrees

Make sure to move your rack to the middle.

Clean your bird.  Make sure you really dry it.  The dryer the better.  Put the chicken in your cast-iron skillet.

Melt butter in a small pan, add the garlic and sauté then add the chicken stock.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Brush the butter mixture on the chicken.  Make sure to get it in the cavity as well.  Pour the remaining all over the chicken.

Stuff the cavity with the lemon, fresh thyme and rosemary.

Tie the kitchen string around the legs. (Important)

Bake the chicken for one hour, depending on the weight it may take a bit longer, making sure to baste every 15 minutes.

If your chicken doesn’t have a little pop up indicator as to when its cooked you can check the internal temp with a meat thermometer.   If it reads 165 degrees, your chicken is finished.

Let you chicken rest covered for 10-15 mins before serving.

Enjoy and let me know what you all think!

Dijon Balsamic Flank Steak over Spinach, Pear and Walnut Salad


I was at the food store on yet another sweltering summer day trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  All I knew was that I wanted something light but satisfying.  So I just started grabbing ingredients that I thought would go well together and viola! Say hello to one of the tastiest salads ever.  The best part is you can top this baby with pretty much any protein you like.  This time it was flank steak but next time i may get a little crazy and add some lime grilled shrimp!  The possibilities are endless!


Dijon Balsamic Marinade 

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and marinade flank steak for at least and hour.


Spinach Salad

8oz Fresh Spinach

3 Small Scallions

1/2 Small Fennel (sliced thin)

1 Bosc Pear (sliced thin)

Half a cup of Raw Chopped Walnuts

Handful of Grape Tomatoes 


White Balsamic Dressing

1 1/2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid and shake shake shake.

Grill flank steak to desired donees, I usually do 6 minutes per side and let the steak rest for 5 minutes.   Slice steak against the grain.

Combine all your salad ingredients together in a big mixing bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper and give it a toss.  Move salad to a serving dish, add the steak on top and enjoy!!

*Optional add in some feta cheese or shredded parmesan 🙂

I hope you guys enjoy this summer salad!



Balsamic Pork Chops with Peach Mango Salsa



The summer heat continues here in New Jersey and so does the grilling.  These balsamic pork chops with peach mango salsa are the perfect quick and easy summer dinner!  I really love any kind of fresh fruit salsa.  They are so refreshing, especially when added over fish or meat.  This peach mango salsa is perfect to add on top of a dish or stand alone with some tortilla chips.   So grab a glass of white and start grilling because this is what’s on the menu tonight!

Balsamic Marinade

3 Table Spoons Balsamic Vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

3 Garlic cloves crushed

Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together.  Add crushed garlic.  Pour over pork chops and marinade for at least and hour.

Peach Mango Salsa 

1 Peach

1 Mango

1 Bunch of cilantro (add amount to your preference)

Juice of one lime

1 Jalapeno Pepper

Chop and combine all ingredients.  Set aside.


Grill pork chops for about 5 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Top pork chops directly with salsa or add some arugula for crunch.  Serve over almond couscous or brown rice. Drizzle with white truffle oil and enjoy!!

Thanks for stopping by!



Feta, Spinach Chicken Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce & Almond Garlic Couscous 


Hello July in North Jersey and hello humid, extremely hot weather!  We have had somewhat of a mini heat wave over here which means I have no desire to turn on my oven.   I really love to utilize my grill in the summer time and these chicken burgers are a great alternative to beef burgers.  Topping them with fresh veggies and some tzatziki sauce gives them a little something extra.  Below you will find my recipe for the chicken burgers, tzatziki sauce and couscous.  So fire up that grill and enjoy!


Spinach Feta Chicken Burgers

2 Lbs Ground Chicken

3 Ounces Feta (crumble to your desired texture)

10 Ounces Frozen Spinach, Thawed and Drained.

4 Garlic Cloves Minced

2 Eggs, Beaten

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 a Lemon, squeezed into mixture

Combine all ingredients and form into patties.  Enjoy! Serve on Grilled pita bread.  Top with fresh arugula, red onion and a Jersey tomato!


Tzatziki Sauce

17 Ounces Plain Fat Free Yogurt (I prefer Fage)

1 Large Cucumber

4 Garlic Cloves

1 Bunch of Dill, chopped

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

1-2 Table Spoon Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Add yogurt to a bowl.  Clean, grate and strain the cucumber using a cheese cloth.  Use a garlic press to add the garlic, if you don’t have one grate or mince garlic.  Add dill and give the mixture a few stirs.  Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Combine and enjoy!


Almond Garlic Couscous

Prepare couscous as directed on the box.  My favorite is Rice Select and I like to substitute the water for vegetable stock.

2 Table Spoons Olive Oil

4 Cloves Garlic Minced

1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds

After couscous is finished cooking add olive oil to a pan then add the garlic and sauté until soft toss the almonds in the mixture and remove from heat.  Add the olive mixture to the couscous and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these delicious burgers as much as me and my family did!  Now get grilling!

Thanks for stopping by!



New Baby Must Have’s



Welcoming a bundle of joy soon? There are SO many baby products out there it can be pretty overwhelming on what to purchase.  Being a mom of 3 kids under 3 I consider myself somewhat of an expert in the baby gear department.  I can’t tell you how many products we have purchased and never used or didn’t work out!  So i’m saving you guys some time and rounding up some of my favorite baby gear that will hopefully make your life as a new parent a little bit easier.



4Moms Breeze Play Yard

I am such an advocate for pack and plays.  I will look at photos of when I was younger and I was usually in a playpen surrounded by tons of toys while my mom was cooking dinner.  I wouldn’t be able to get anything done in my home without one.  Pack and plays allow me to cook dinner, clean the house and have my morning coffee.  I love this one because it’s so easy to pack up and take with you.  Ours has been on many family vacations and is currently on our third child so you know it’s durable!



Portable Swing

By the third kid you have tried almost every gadget there is out there.  This portable swing is everything during the first few months.  It’s compact enough to fit on my center island so it allows the baby to be near me but out of reach to my tiny little helpers.  Plus it folds up for easy travel.




I really can’t say enough about this product.  Our first son was not a sleeper AT ALL.  So when I found out I was pregnant for the second time I was not messing around! I did my research and am so glad that I cam across this gem.  It’s a bit pricy but totally worth it.  Our second son sleeps in the bigger version and our newborn sleeps in the smaller one.



Tote Savvy

Anyone else a neat freak? This amazing invention allows you to keep all of your diaper bag essentials in an orderly fashion while fitting into your favorite bag.  I am able to fit all 3 kids stuff in here.



Finn and Emma Play Gym

Love this bar.  I can move it anywhere in my home or the yard.  So convenient! Especially when you have other small children to chase after!  No one has time to set things up plus this play gym is so sturdy and the wonderfully made frame is finished with non-toxic stains and lacquers.



Lil Helpers Bottle Holder

Just get it and thank me later…



Halo Bassinet

All three of my babies slept in our room for the first few months.  This bassinet was a lifesaver for the late night feedings.  It swivels, so you are able to get it very close to your bedside.  Plus the sides are mesh which allows you to see baby easily.



Nuna Leaf

This is another item that I was able to use with all three kids.  It’s noise-free design swings with just a gentle push.  The seat also grows with the baby, so all of my kids take a swing!



Bare Beaded Pacifier Clip

I love products that are multi functional.  This pacifier clip is made with natural beads so it’s safe for your little one to chew on while he’s teething.


Hoping these help you all out!  Thanks for stopping by!





Gabriel’s 1st Birthday

mile·stone – an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.

Before I had children this word meant very little to me.   I mean of course I understood the meaning and importance of a milestone.  I graduated high school, college and got married.  So I thought I hit some pretty important ones in my life.  Let me tell you, nothing compares to having and raising baby and then watching that tiny human (who you grew in your body, which is a miracle in itself) hit their milestones!  So when it came time to celebrate our sweet baby boy Gabriel’s first birthday we couldn’t believe how fast that milestone came!  When I found out I was having another boy I was uneasy.  Not only was I having another child, but a boy.  I was worried about how I was going to love another baby let alone another boy.  But let me tell you, as soon as I saw my second baby boy my heart grew bigger and knew to make room for this special little person.   Gabriel is by far the sweetest baby, you look into is eyes and they just melt your heart.  Maybe it’s because he’s a scorpio.  Being a scorpio myself I have a soft spot for them ; )

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love planning any kind of celebration.  I take such joy in planning every little detail and nothing is more special then planning events for my children.  When I found out I was pregnant the second time around and started to brainstorm nursery themes I knew immediately regardless of the gender that I wanted to do a black and white theme.  I am not a boy is for blue and girl is for pink kind of person.   Gabriel’s nursery came out wonderful and I just loved it.  So when it came time to picking a first birthday theme I already knew what I wanted!  When choosing a venue I knew I wanted something that had character but was still bare enough to allow me creative freedom.   We chose a florist that moonlights as an event venue.  It was perfect and smelled amazing from all the fresh flowers which was an added bonus.

The day was great, we celebrated this huge milestone with some of our most close friends and family.   We had delicious food and desserts, entertainment for the kids and of course vino for the adults.  I can’t believe our sweet baby Gabe is already one year old.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this sweet soul.  I certainly can’t wait to plan more parties 🙂   I’ve linked all of my vendor’s below in case you are in the northern New Jersey area.  They were all fantastic!

Thanks for stopping by!


The venue was Caldwell Flowerland | Our caterer was Miele’s Restaurant | Gabriel’s amazing cake was from Miele’s Bakery | Cake pops were by Alexandra (message me for contact information) | Photography by Melanie Lamac Photography | Happy birthday Banner by Classic Banners | Time Capsule by Creative Kittle | Cake Topper by Pink Poppy Party Shoppe | Donut party favors by Beignets (So delicious)


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask 🙂