One Bottle of 'German Wine' via N.J.

This was intended to go to my German grandmother, but was later consumed by her not-so-German granddaughter. 


My reasonings?  She's an AMAZING Christian woman and doesn't need 'worldly' influences.

I do have to admit, I would've loved to be a fly on her wall to see if she cracked that bad boy open and got a little betrunken when noone was watching.


Heirloom Recipe Box Hi-jack

I've seen these ALL over the blogland and LOVE them:

Here's the specs from the maker's website. 
"Our heirloom recipe card boxes are made by local craftsmen from locally salvaged hardwood (trees that were destined for landfills). All of the boxes are unique and hand-crafted during a 3-month-long process (a month for the mill to source the salvaged wood, a month to build in the workman's studio, and a month for the hand-rubbed finish to dry). The lids are then screen printed with two different design options.

     Each box is unique and is made from a variety of woods depending on availability. The type of wood used is listed on each box. Our primary woods are Sweet Gum, Magnolia Bay, and Laurel Oak.
     We only have a limited number of boxes available on our first run and expect to begin shipping in about 4-6 weeks. We do not expect another batch of boxes to arrive until the Fall.
- Solid wood, hand-crafted boxes

- Size: 7.5"x5.5"x6"

- Includes 12 dividers & 24 recipe cards (4"x6")"
I didn't have the moola to fork over, so I raided my closet and was reminded of this little gem I was saving for a rainy day:

I've had this cigar box sitting in my closet, YAY!  I picked it up a couple of years ago at a liquor store that sold cigars.  (You can also check out cigar shops and the likes to get yours.)  I asked what they did with the boxes when they were done, they said they threw 'em away.  AH!  I snatched one up and took it home.  It's been sitting in my closet since.

The Heirloom Recipe Box retails for $120 and you can get it here.  Mine was free.  So if you don't want to wait 4-6 weeks and you want to save money, let me take you to my DIY cigar box.  Save yourself $100.  Sorry Rifle Paper Co., these are tough times, but LOVE your work!

You will need: A wooden cigar box, Goo Gone, Murphy Oil Soap, Old English Wood Polish (in similar shade of wood), scrapbook paper or decorative paper, Elmer's Craft Bond Spray Adhesive (or any similar spray adhesive), non-yellowing clear glossy spray paint top coat, paper towels, newspapers and Q-tips.

Start off by laying down newspapers on worksurface.  You may want to do this outside.  Spray the labels on your cigar box with Goo Gone.  I noticed it helps to wait a minute or two before you start peeling.

I ended up spraying and wiping with paper towel until all the Goo was Gone. Just make sure that you get everything off that you don't want stuck on there permanantly.

Next, I took a wet paper towel and put a little Murphy Oil Soap on it to clean the Goo Gone off the box. Make sure to go back with a clean wet towel to remove any bubbles.  Then, wipe dry.

Now, be sure to take off all rings and anything you don't want to stain.  Better yet, use plastic gloves if you don't want your fingers various shades of wood.  Then, pull out your Old English and start polishing away.  The inside of my box wasn't finished prior to this project, but I stained away.  We'll put a clear coat over it all later.  Smart Tip Alert:  Use your Q-Tips to get in all the nooks and crannies of your cigar box.

Once you've covered your entire box with Old English, buff (vigorously rub) the cigar box to shine and remove excess polish.

Now for the decorating!!  Think about what you want this box to be for.  My husband bought me a jewelry box for our 5th Anniversary (yesterday!!! still excited!!!), so I decided he needed a box for his 'man things?'.  Whatever, he needed this.  So I went through my stash of scrapbook papers and found the manly-est pattern I could.  And I found a giant 'd', which was in a really girly pattern (note the picture) so do this:

{Paper by thePaperStudio "Black Brown Random Lines" (Great name huh?) and the 'd' is Cosmo Cricket - from their paper packs, I think all the fonts are the same(?)}

I lined up my 'd' where I wanted the colors to be on my cut out 'd' and put my finger there as a marker.  Then, flip over your paper, while still holding your place on the pattern and line your 'd' up on the back side of the patterned paper.  Get it?  Then trace it and cut it out.

Spray your craft adhesive on the back of you letter and let it set for about 5 minutes.  While we're waiting for the paint to dry, here are other options of what to do with the top of your cigar box.

Vintage Picture:  I wanted to use the one of my great grandparents, below, but I don't think the husband would find any sentiment in that. 

Maybe do your own little flat collage of images.  Find a postcard or vintage picture at thrift shops or in the family vault.  Maybe a handwritten love letter?  Let your mind soar.  OOH!  I wanted to do a treasure box!  You can get metal trinkets and letters at craft stores.  I would probably use Gorilla Glue to put those down.  BUT use a SMALL amount because Gorilla Glue expands!!

Sorry, I was on overload.  Anyways, back to the man box.

Place your object on the box, now that the back is tacky.

Then, take this big bag man box outside and clear coat the heck out of it!  I used about 3 coats because I wanted it to shine.  Plus, the inside wasn't previously unfinished.  So here it is!!

Enjoy this easy-cheesy, inexpensive, ultra-cool project!!

♥ Ashley


To the Love of my Life!

Create your own video slideshow at

I can't believe it's been FIVE years!  This guy has done it all for me.  And thank goodness he asked me to be his parnter in crime.  It's been an awesome ride.  I can't wait for the next FIFTY!  Love ya D! 

♥ Ash


Happy Fourth!

Hope everyone has a safe and exciting 4th!  Can't wait to share pictures and more next week!!

♥ Ash



Yesterday was MISERABLE.  My wisdom teeth had fully come and and were cramping my mouth.  I was in so much pain I was nauseous.  I had to do an emergency visit to the dentist.  That's the reason for my absence lately.  I'm on some pain pills and will be for awhile.  I can't get a consultation to get my wisdom teeth out until the 12th.  When I do post, it'll be pretty random.  I just have so much to share, but my brain doesn't want to be on the same page.  I'll be back as soon as I can gather thoughts.

♥ Ash


One of those weekends.

Saturday morning, I thought I would be brilliant and clean the house.  I heaved all my cleaning supplies up the stairs.  I commenced the cleaning process and then my brain started throwing a temper tantrum, much like my two-year-old.  Boring, BORING!  I reasoned with myself, saying "You know Ash, it would be so nice to just freshen everything up."  So, I did.  My upstairs felt fresh and clean.  Then, I walked down the stairs to find my two-year-old dumping his RED Bug Juice all over my TAN ottoman. 


That all got cleaned up just in time to go to the store and pick up last minute food for a BBQ.  I had 3 items and the express lanes were jam packed.  I thought I would be smart and get behind this lady who had a LOAD of groceries, but the speed of the line looked promising.  NOPE!  Hold on Ash, it can't work out for you today.  This lady and her daughter (of adult age) were trying to pay for $200 worth of groceries with a debit card that was linked to an account with negetive balance.  The lady wouldn't cover her daughter's expense, so the whole cart had to be packed up and taken to Customer Service.  Total time waiting in line with impatient 2-year-old: 45 minutes. 


Flash forward to the end of the night.  We left the BBQ at 10:30 pm.  Way past Dylan's bed time, but he was having so much fun playing with the guys and the dogs.  It's the simple things in life.  I knew he would be worn out and my crazy day could come to an end. 

Right as I hit my REM cycle (3:47 AM), I hear WAILING SIRENS.  "NOOOOOO!"  I knew they were my fire alarms.  


I get up and run into Dylan's room.  He starts screaming because it happens to be his alarm that has set off a chain of WAILING throughout my house.  I can't see because I went to bed with my contacts in my eyes, which create a sort of gluing effect between the eyeball and eyelids.  I can't reach the fire alarm because it's on the ceiling, and I'm not Shaq height.  What now!?

I run into my studio, I grab my office chair and roll it into Dylan's room.  I hear my neighbors coming out of their houses to see if all is well.  I hear them yelling and laughing and feel them pointing as I'm on a rotating chair trying to dismember this fire alarm (which happens to be hard-wired into our security system, so I couldn't just take out the battery).  Once, I come to focus a little more, I realize that I was in my regular jammy gear.  Then I realized I was IN MY REGULAR JAMMY WEAR!  Crap!  No wonder the neighbors were laughing.  I must have looked like the queen idiot.  Here's the detailed picture.

Fire alarms going off in the house (all the windows are open because it's Colorado).  Child screaming over the fire alarms.  Panicky mother on a rotating chair spinning out-of-control, in circles trying to remove a fire alarm from the ceiling, in which she's wearing a t-shirt and a thong.  Brilliant.  Not only do I look like an ass, but mine's hanging out. 


That was my wonderful Saturday night.

♥ Ashley


I got 'bang-ed' up...

I was going for this
or this

BUT it worked out like this.

Yeah, I got a little sassy in those.

I think I like the bangs, I'm just not sure.  I was probably 9 the last time I had solid (not sweepy side) bangs.  SOOOOO, I made a poll on the side bar, lol. Let me know what you think.  I promise not to take it personal.  Honest truth, I just want to feed my ego. 

♥ Ashley


'OOOOH Onions!'

That's what Dylan calls the Minions from the movie 'Despicable Me'.  Crazy kid!

If you thought you were tired of hearing about this movie, ignore this post.  But, watch the trailer first.  I haven't seen this whole trailer on TV yet, so it's not old AND it has the best lines (I think).   

"It's so FLUFFAAAAAAAY!"   Love that little girl!

Have a happy fluffy day!
♥ Ashley


Crafty Father's Day

Yeah, yeah!  I know I'm waaay late on this.  In fact the gifts for the fathers of our family are still sitting on my studio floor.  Most of the time, I'm really really good at getting things out on time.  This week/month/2010, I have been slipping.  But, I'm making myself be better.  I CAN DO IT!

I just came up with this little ditty today.  GREAT for Father's Day or Grandparents' Day (September 12).  All you need is a picture frame that comes with a mat for your photos.

Mine looked similar to this, but in silver from Wal-Mart.

Then, I removed the mat, handed it to Dylan, and let him go to town. 

He loved it so much!  He started telling me what things were, so I wrote them in.  Then, he colored over them.  I suggest taking notes or just remembering what they were drawing and filling in the blanks later. 

This is kind of what it looked like.  I had to PhotoShop his picture in because I forgot to capture the final product.  I added To: and From: and dated the mat, as well.  Put everything back in the frame, and it's ready to gift!  This would be great to take out of the frame and put in a scrapbook later!

You may have noticed the blog has changed.  I'm still working on adding things here and there.  Since Dylan's taking a nap, I'm taking advantage of this time and getting back to work!  Have a great day!

♥ Ashley


Give Thanks Daily

for what you know, for what you don't.  Give thanks that you can evolve, feel, BE who you are. 

The last month or so, I've really had to face some things.  I'm growing into my quarter-century mark, I'm growing as a mother and wife.  Then I realized I left someone behind - me. 

If you're still following me and reading up on my life, I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!  YOU keep me writting and chasing my dream.  I'm glad to bring you along for the ride.  Just keep on keepin' on being patient with me.  I'm changing my writing styles, music 'flavas', and pictures/overall style.  I guess that's what you get for keeping up with a 24-year-old. 

I do love you all!  Thank you for being there!!!

♥ Ash 


Happy Mother's Day!

or all the mom's in their Swagger Wagons, this is for you!  Although, I do not drive a minivan, nor will I ever, I found this to be a blast.  I think my Jeep Liberty qualifies as a Swagger Wagon.  Fo Sho!

Happy Mother's Day, I'm off to relax and make Dylan drive his cars on my back!


Spring is beautiful!

Recently, I've been working on detoxifying myself.  Tomorrow is the 3 week mark in being a non-smoker!!  I've been drinking this stuff to detoxify myself.

Kombucha - check it out for sure! You can get it at a natural grocery store.

That ring around the bottom is the Kombucha mushroom.  This is a Raw, Organic, Live drink.  When drinking, I suggest you just open up and not think about it.  There's chunks.  BUT, I can't believe how much better I feel when I drink this stuff. 

Let me just tell you all the goodies it does for ya... There are "Active Enzymes, Viable Probiotics, Amino Acids, Antioxidants, and Polyphenols.  All of these combine to create and elixir that immediately works with the body to restore balance and vitality."  (Taken from the label.)

Not only does this magical tea bring new life to my body, it comes in a cool bottle.  So, I've saved them all and removed labels, cleaned out mushroom gunk, and created something magical in my kitchen window.


My backyard is not worthy of a photoshoot, but the trees are blooming and beautiful.  I love nature.  I love spring!  I'm loving the little details in life.  And now, I'm off to find more magic with this little guy. 

Don't you love his photography skills? ha



Instead of smoking...

I have been rockin' the workout gear!  Here's proof via Crystal Stewart....

And I'm drinking a homemade, ultra-heathy, happy, tasty smoothie. 

{Here's what I whipped up in that smoothie: light key lime pie yogurt (get your hands on Greek yogurt if you can!!), handful of frozen strawberries, handful of frozen blueberries, a little milk and then blend away!}
It has felt so amazing to quit smoking and start living.  I have freed myself and it's amazing that I can actually FEEL it!  This year, I'm kickin' butt and taking names!  
Get out and take a walk today!  Try 30 minutes, 15.. anything!  If you're kickin' butt, I'll let you be on my team.  hehe


Holy Guac!

I didn't mean to be away so long.  I think if this was a serious relationship, I would've left myself.  It has been an interesting month though.

The husband has made it to the giant sandbox that's located in the Earth's armpit.  Such a dreadful place.  But, thank you soldiers!  I know I couldn't tough it out over there!

This mama has been smoke free for one whole week!  I did take Chantix, but only for 8 days.  That drug is hardcore and I'm not generally the one to even take Tylenol.   You can imagine how paranoid I was about all the side effects.  But, I was lucky enough to have mild side effects and the strong urge to be free!  Along with taking Chantix, I read 'The Easy Way to Stop Smoking' by Allen Carr.  Allen Carr, you're AMAZING and THANK YOU for opening my eyes to what was really going on.  I recommend this book to anyone with a nicotine addiction.  Don't spend your money on other nicotine subsitutes, they just make it worse.  I learned the hard way.  Just spend your money on the book, and maybe Chantix... just talk to your doc.   

This little guy is growing up so fast.  I just don't even know what to say.  He had been pushing every button that I had today.  But, tonight we sat down on the couch to wind down and cuddle.  Little man was under the blanks (blankets) and sitting up trying to watch the movie.  I was totally absorbed/braindead/tired.  Dylan looked at me and snuck me a little kiss and then curled up under my arm.  He knows how to get me.  This boy is a such a sweetheart!

As for 'work', I've been looking around my studio and I'm seeing TONS of happy projects and things that need to be made.  We'll see what I come up with, but something does have to involve goodies for the hubs.  If he's lucky!  ha



Brief Update

Boy, has it been awhile! 
I've been busy being wife and mom, lately. 
-We've had birthday parties and BBQs.
-I've been trying to do spring cleaning in my yard. 
-I've been  emotional, as I'm counting the few precious days left with the husband. 
-I've had multiple doctor appointments.  I'm trying to get my health pulled together.   Nothing bad is going on with my health, as of right now.  There may be problems in my eyes.  Sigh. 
-Dylan still won't potty train.  But, grandma's coming this weekend, maybe her magic touch will help.
-Spring is upon us and we're enjoying a few days of warm weather, when we get them.
-I don't have any projects up my sleeve right now.  But, you know, I'll get bored and find something soon. 
-I'm working on getting the business in full bloom.  Very excited about that.
-Dylan is enrolled in daycare.  Praise the Lord, I'll have some sanity.  He won't go on a regular basis, just as needed.  I'm still working on bringing myself to let him go. 

Soon, I'll find my happy medium and get back into blogging.  I really do miss it!  Hope everyone is doing well and getting excited for Spring! 


Happy Project!

I went "shopping" in my basement stash of unused items.  I found this charging station.

For us, it was more in the way than actually helpful.  I hate leaving things plugged in when you don't use them, and I hate not having my phone with me at all times.  This ended up in the stash not even a month after purchasing it.  I was in love with them when I saw it on Pottery Barn, but wasn't paying $65 for a wooden box.  Got this one at Big Lots for $10.  Not bad.  But, I didn't use it so here's what I did.

Remove the hardware on the back side.

Then, sand it all down.

The faux wood doesn't sand well.  Everything was pink in my kitchen.  Blah.

Then, I wiped it off and mixed up this light green paint color.

I used a lot of different colors, so there is no exact name for it.  Ashley Green no. 92.4?  Once the first coat dries completely, slap on some good ole crackle paint and make sure you cover the whole thing.  I botched a couple spots, but not bad.  I think imperfect is much better.

Once the crackle paint dries, add your contrasting top coat.  Everyone uses brown and white and I think it gives a more country feel to it.  I was going for modern and interesting, so I used this blue.

Once, that dried up, it began to crackle and expose the green underneath.

So cool!  I didn't replace the top tray thing because I'm now using this to hold business files.  It could also make a great mail organizer for by the front door.  (Self, remember that!)  Anyways, I want to crackle paint everything now.  Hopefully the husband won't mind! 

Everything around the house has been kind of up-in-the-air.  The husband is on leave before his deployment.  I really want to stay on top of the blog, while being able to spend ample of family time.  In the end, the family wins out.  But, once I get spare time, I'll schedule posts to keep my readers entertained.  Fair warning, don't  leave me!  Have a happy Tuesday!


Potatoes have ambitions too!

Obviously, these potatoes had bigger plans than I could offer them. 

Yesterday was eventful.  If you're on my facebook, you've followed the whole saga.  My husband is in the Army.  This week, he was in a combatives class.  Basically, the point of combatives is to learn to protect and defend yourself.  They use UFC fighting techniques or Mixed Martial Arts.  Here's a video if you have no idea what I'm talking about. 

Turns out, yesterday's class was teaching about face shots.  The students were to be punched in the face, so they could learn how their bodies would react and how to defend themselves.  Fun. 

The husband went up and first shot he took was to his nose.  This poor nose was already broken about 2-3 years ago.  Needless to say, it happened again.  He went to the ER and they said his nose was broken back into place.  Convenient? 

I felt bad because two nights ago, he was snoring SO loud.  I couldn't sleep, I couldn't wake him up to roll over, I was frustrated.  I thought to myself 'I wish something would happen to fix that dang nose.'  And my wish came true. 

Last night, husband slept like a baby.  No snoring.  Peace at last!

I really wanted to take a picture to put it on here, but he won't let me do it until his eyes have really turned black.  I think he's being dramatic.  He thinks he's being manly.  Go figure. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I have a VERY exciting project to share on Monday.  Is anyone doing any cool projects they want to share?



Big Boy (and Girl) Pants...

I shared the other day about how Dylan is starting to potty train.  Well, the honest truth is that I've been trying to train him since the begining of January.  *sighs*  He's been wearing his "big boy pants" aka Pull-Ups since we've started.  I read that if you change them back to diapers, it confuses the child about the process and they revert.  Hmm.  I figured after a month and a half of training, we'd get to an agreement.  No.  I just got peed on.  Literally.

This is the offensive wet spot on my leg.  Thinking I spilled my coffee (warm all the same) on myself, I checked the kid.  This is what I found.

Crazy how they match, right?

After the clean-up took place, I realized this may have been the metaphor that I needed.  I guess it helps when the metaphor comes in an annoying/disturbing form?  I decided that I needed to put my "big girl pants" on and take care of the things that have been bothering me for awhile. 

Yesterday, I tackled my Goodwill giveaway pile in the garage.  Last summer, we inherited a storage unit full of everything from a friends' apartment.  Turns out, we have everything for a house already.  You can imagine the piles lined up in my garage.  Wish I had a picture to share, but not really.  It was bad.  After 45 minutes of mulling through the piles to finalize the giveaway, I loaded up my Jeep (every inch possible) and toted my goods to donate.  In the end, it took maybe 2 hours (that's kid time, too) to clean away my mess and lighten my load.  Ahhh!

So here's to lightening the load!  Put on your "big boy/girl pants" and tackled something that you've been procrastinating!  I feel like a new person and I've only just begun!  Potty training, here I come!


More totes!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day and weekend.  The husband had a 4 day weekend, so I thought I was on vacation too.   It feels like Monday.. Oh no!  I'll get my butt in gear, maybe after noon?  ha!  Anyways, I did get a few things done that I wanted to share.

 I was so excited about the response of my last post, I made more totes!  I want to show more of the diversity that I can do with the totes.  

I used a KU patch and fabric for the lettering.  Going to try to use more fabric because it's so fun!

Thankfully, the hubs didn't want this polo shirt anymore.  I washed it, and hacked away until it was perfect for this tote.  Perfect Rock Chalk colors.  This tote is currently for sale.  Send me an email {thebluesombrero(at)} if you would like this one.

And this one has been brewing in my head for awhile.  Loved to see it take life.

Tried my hand at a leather flower, which is the center.  I think it came out pretty well.  Let's see what else this leather can do for me!

Love this tote!  It's for sale as well.  {thebluesombrero(at)}

I've been busy trying to get the business side set up for The Blue Sombrero.  If anyone has any pointers for business start-ups, please fill me in.  I'll post more on my family life and what's been going on here this week.  Have a happy day everyone!
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