Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have You Seen This???

This poor horse -- bless her soul -- got her head stuck in a tree. Unbelievable. You can read more about it here. Best line in the article -- and I quote : "It remains unclear why Gracie put her head into the gap. "

* Photo by Wenn

Happy New Years!

Two years ago today, this is how I rang in the New Year:

~ The After Party ~
(with family and official wedding party)

~ New Years Eve Dessert ~

~ Bonnie, Mom, Hil, Jill, and Mary ~

~ Toy & Goss ~

~ First Dance ~

{Best New Years Kiss!}

~ Hil, Mary, and Bonnie ~

~ Heather and Paul ~

What a Celebration!

Tonight will be much more low key: French buffet (with crepes-to-order) at Chef's Market. Yum!

Happy New Years!

Celebrating Our Anniversary

Today is our second anniversary but we already celebrated in Italy at the start of December. It was a fantastic getaway!

Our official celebratory dinner was spent at a delicious and memorable restaurant on our last evening in Florence. For our first course, we split a sampler of pastas. I think I was already full after our FIFTH pasta dish ... but there was more to come!
I can't decide whether my favorite pasta was the one with spinach sauce (pictured above) or the one with pumpkin sauce. Each was delicious!
This was my attempt at capturing the aura of the restaurant without looking like a tourist by whipping out the camera and taking a million shots. Can you tell it had awesome atmosphere?

This was my yummo steak. It was covered in balsamic vinegar -- amazing!

We also shared a dessert sampler platter. So fun!
After dinner we walked along the Arno and through the Uffizi and by Ponte Vecchio. So romantic!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print." --George Orwell

I'm thankful: 50 Law Schools with Best Financial Aid Ratios.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Things I'm enjoying today:

1. Harry & David's Cranberry Relish over Fat Free Cream Cheese and Wheat Thins. What a treat!

2. Hiking Socks. (Okay -- maybe that's everday of my life now. I do wear hiking socks with boots almost every single day of the year now -- but I can still really love it today. Maybe it's because I'm donning a new pair .... )

3. Paris Breakfasts. Check this out if you need a visual vacation. And you probably do need a visual vacation since it's your first day back to work after a long holiday.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

What a Whirlwind!

Happy Holidays everyone! Since we've been back in the states, life has been so busy. We've been on the road and never in one place longer than a few days. As I write, I know I will be  in this location for at least three nights. Amidst the chaos, we've been having a blast and have been so blessed to see so many loved ones. Here's to a hectic but very rewarding time back in the states!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thinking of Going Abroad?

If you've ever wanted to go to Europe, this might be a great deal for you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Life is busy! And I'm loving it! Being back in the US is fabulous!

I'll be back to the blogosphere soon with tales to tell!

xxoo Ashli

Friday, December 12, 2008

Evidence I'm Back in the South

I whipped up a Banana Pudding last night!
Secret Ingredient = Eagle Brand Sweet Condensed Milk

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A True Confession

Last week once we checked into our hotel in Florence at 2 pm ... right on the dot .... we headed out for a late lunch. Not a problem in late lunching culture, or so I thought. As we stepped in the door to the local trattoria, the cook joked with us about why we had come to his restaurant. Perhaps it was to dance he suggested. I gave him a big smile and laughed. Surely we weren't a bother. Surely??? Oh no -- we were his amusement! This chef gave us the royal treatment! After we had ordered and eaten our primi (first) course, he came out to inquire as to what we wanted for our second course. He really didn't speak English. I have neither the ability to speak Italian or accurately read Italian. He communicated through lots of hand motions that he wanted to bring a sample of something to our table for us to try. That sounded great to me. He brought the plate out ... I had no clue what it was ... and truly unlike the expat in me, I wholeheartedly sampled this cuisine the chef was so very proud of. The dish was small slivers of something in a white wine/garlic sauce. Harmless right? So I took a bite. Swallowed. Meanwhile, Matt is inquring as to what the mystery dish actually was. The chef says the following: "the cow pee." The cow pee??? Fabulous. I then had to reckon with the fact that I had just heartily sampled cow bladder.

Friday, December 5, 2008


For our last night, we decided to stay in a small Bed & Breakfast. After several nights in a "Small Leading Hotels of the World" hotel, we wanted to stay in an Italian home -- specifically a Florentine home -- so a B & B was the answer. Right now, I'm propped up against the backboard of a mahogany Italian bed. Colorful frescoes surround me -- on the walls and the ceilings. And get this -- the frescoes date back over 500 years ago. Do the math. That means these frescoes were painted in the Renaissance. The past few days have been magically dreamy. It couldn't be more perfect. I am in love with this city and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Best wishes,

xxoo Ashli

Monday, December 1, 2008

Off to the Renaissance Land

We'll be back this weekend with many tales to tell!
* Picture Courtesy of the Fabulous, One and Only Rebecca B. Manor


Since it is December 1, I feel like I can go into full-Christmas mode now! I absolutely love this season and want to share with you all the fun things I'm looking forward to:

Attend Norwegian Carol Concert
See the Lights Switch on in Edinburgh
Christmas Shop at the Highlands Market and German Village
Celebrating my dad's birthday
Go Ice Skating
Get creative with wrapping gifts (Inspiration)
Watch It's a Wonderful Life, make spiced cider.
Make Christmas Cookies for friends and family (Inspiration)
Address and Mail Christmas Cards
Listen to Christmas music absolutely everday (started that one already!)
Go to The Nutcracker ... or Harry Connick Jr. at the Ryman anyone?
Listen to Handel's Messiah
Go see a live Nativity/Walk through Bethlehem
Make Thick Hot Chocolate
Put up a ribbon sash for Christmas cards
Donate canned goods
Give neighbors a present
Put up a wreath
Make a Gingerbread house
Shop for Christmas presents for the entire fam
Sing (or listen) to favorite Christmas songs
Drive around to see neighborhood lights (that will be done in America)
Go out and see public light display
Read Christmas story from the Bible
Open a gift
Make a traditional family dessert (or create a new one)
Eat out at a festive restaurant (I'll be hitting up all my hometown favs!)
Go to a seasonal movie
Sit around the fire
Make decorative sugar cookies
Host a Christmas party
Write out a Christ-centered goal to start early for the New Year
Have a movie party watching classic Christmas movies (Elf included)
Go to a Christmas Concert (Harry Connick Jr.??)
Have a full traditional breakfast while listening to Christmas music
Christmas shop in Tuscany!
Go back to America!!!!
Exchange gifts
Go to Christmas Vespers Service
Be with my family!!!

So tell me. What are you looking forward to?

* Picture courtesy of Martha Stewart

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