Priorities {Our Family Makeover}

These guys have been my inspiration for a self and family makeover.  I had been feeling that my life wasn't on the path that I wanted it to be on.  Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for all the blessings that I have been given, but I wasn't using my blessings in a productive manner, or how the Big Guy would be satisfied with.  I took time to really think and act upon what has been bothering me.  I came up with a few pieces that I shared here.

This last week, I began putting my plan into action.  I know I need to set an example, and take better care of myself.  Hopefully, it will rub off on the boys!  I haven't been so lucky yet, but I want to share what I've done so far. 

{via Chantix}

My first step, was to start taking Chantix (I relapsed after last summer) to quit smoking.  You're supposed to take Chantix for one week, and keep on smoking.  Then, week 2 is your no-smoking time. I actually cut back by half of my normal use in three days on the first week!  Then, I was fortunate enough to start out this week (yesterday) by being smoke free.  Amazing.  But, you must talk to your doctor!  Personally, this is a hardcore option to stop smoking.  The effects I've had to deal with (last year and this year) have been very diverse and unpredictable.  At this point, I'm so excited for my future, I'm willing to do anything to be free of nicotine.

Then, I started taking my internal organs and body performance into my own hands (well, duh, because no one else will take care of me, except myself!).  I have so been on top of taking my vitamins.  I usually take a Multi-Vitamin, 3 Fish Oil, 3 St. John's Wort, 3 meds, and 1 B-12.  Then, there's the fiber.  Gotta have it people!  This is the cocktail my doctor and I agreed would be best for me.  This is NOT me saying, "Do this, or do that."  Also, do be sure to read your labels!  The Fiber, Fish Oil and St. John's Wort, are supposed to be taken as 1 pill/serving, 3 times a day.  Which is why I have my handy-dandy condiment dish.  In the morning, I dole out my pills from the big basket.  What needs to be reserved for later times goes into the dish.  I keep it out of reach from the child, but in my view so I don't forget to take them.

Finally, I have tremendously cut back my soda consumption.  Our family would go through a 24-pack of cola in several days.  I'm embarrassed.  And do you know how much sugar is packed into one of those bad boys!?  Ayyeee... that's why I have extra junk in my trunk, on my belly, my thighs... yeah.  Once a week, as a treat, Dyl and I will go grab a happy hour drink.  Daily, while breakfast is cooking, I make up a giant 4 liter pitcher of green tea.  Usually, the pitcher is gone at the end of the day.  I then know, I've drank the recommended water intake, I'm hydrated, and detoxing.  After years of smoking, bad eating, and sugar highs, my body definitely needs a detox. 

So you see, I've done nothing extreme, we're taking baby steps.  I'm already on week 2 and haven't missed any of the old habits.  I can already tell a huge difference in the way I look and feel.  Want to make a change with me?  Let me know!  Leave me a comment, email me (ashleycrenshaw dot blog at gmail dot com), anything.  I want to cheer you on!


Front Door {Make it Magical Monday} on a Wednesday

Hello!  I am here, and have slipped away from our big family makeover (which I'll talk about later), to finally post Make it Magical Monday.  We're a little behind!  So, for the inspiration:  I had seen this cute, cute, frame re-do by Shauna at The Reed Life.

{Via Shauna Reed)

I thought, hey, I have everything to make it how I want.  But first, here's the before of our front porch.

There are some things I would LOVE to change, but we're just renting for now.  Can we just let everyone know now, brass is OUT.  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  Now, I told myself that I had to get ONE important project done today.  And I chose this frame.

I got the frame at a little thrift store for $3.  I had the paint color ("Fresh Foliage" by Folk Art), the burlap, cardstock,  blue ink ("Broken China" by Tim Holtz).  It's pretty easy.  I dry brush painted (do not get the brush wet and very lightly paint over the surface) the frame.  Underneath, it was a matte black, which now stands out under the green.  It looks really rustic, and the lettering adds a nice contrasting color.

Far away, here's how it looks.

I swept away the bird poo, cleaned the front door, and watered the flowers.  I wish they were blooming for this shot, oh well.  But, what a difference a  few little touches add.  The frame's not over-the-top magical, but if it makes you smile when you see it, it's magical.


Colorado Renaissance Festival 2011 (pt. 1)

Over the weekend, our family and some friends headed up to the Renaissance Festival.  Honestly, I set my expectations really low.  I have heard lots of mixed reviews, and I'm not a total Medieval Times geek.  Once we pulled into the jam-packed parking lot, I realized, we were out of place.  We did not put on our battle gear, nor were we wearing any type of leather.  This was just the parking lot, not even the front gate, that I knew we were in for a real treat.

Here's a little video of the crowd at the gate.  You may notice a man on the lower, right hand side of the screen wearing peacock feathers and fabulous attire.  There are eclectic others sprinkled in.  Keep a lookout.  Captain Jack Sparrow (impersonator, not the real J. Depp, which made me sad), and others from the King's Court are on the castle waiting to welcome us all.  Sorry the video is shaky, taken from my camera.  I didn't figure I would want to capture live video.  After seeing what I've seen, I'll remember for next time.

Untitled from Ashley Crenshaw on Vimeo.

As we entered the gates, one 'lad' shouts, "Freaks UNIIIITE!!!".  Yeah, that set the tone for the rest of the day.

People got INTO it.

We were more excited about the food...

I was excited about Dyl's food, fried Mac and Cheese on a stick!!  OK, the stick part wasn't special because everything was on a stick.  Cheesecake on a stick, pickles on a stick, corn on the cob on a stick, I think you get my point.

At first, I thought, "Great another thing that's fried.  I'm pretty sure my derriere doesn't need that kind of food action."  I was wrong.  I'm in love and I can still taste it.  So, I looked up a recipe online.  Here's a link to Paula Deen's Fried Mac and Cheese that I'm going to try.

Juice Break.

We rode an elephant.  Man, I haven't done that since I was about 4 or 5.  It was still amazing.  I was petting the elephant the whole time.  I'm such an animal person.

I love this one. Doesn't she look like she's smiling?

And here is my vote for the cutest couple at the festival:

Why this couple?  A) They weren't dressed in some half missing leather outfit.  B) They paid attention to the details.  You see Mr. Pirate's bloody, bandaged hand?  Brilliant.  C) This couple really seemed to enjoy themselves.  That is what I loved the most.

The scenery was awesome.  The weather was awesome.  But, you'll have to stay tuned for part 2, to see my favorite part of the adventure!


Kitchen Window Re-do {Make it Magical Monday}

I wanted to start a new feature that I haven't seen before.  I know lots of people do their DIYs and make-overs, but Make it Magical is about taking things you see, do, eat, wear, everyday and kicking it up a notch.  Where did the idea come from?  Pinterest.  Yep, I mean who isn't addicted to that yet?  (If you aren't, I'll send you an invite, just let me know.)  I see so many beautiful things, creative ideas, yummy food, and I remembered one of my dreams: Live life like a movie.  I don't mean to the extremes, it's not realistic.  What I do mean is, think of the details.  That's my favorite thing in movies.  The story-line could be the worst in history, but if the design is fabulous, I love it.  So here's to Make it Magical Mondays!!

Here's my kitchen window before.  Really drab.

Here's a peek at the ledge.  It has been driving me nuts for a long time.

Just blah.  So, I went to work.  Moved everything out of the way, cleaned the ledge and the window.  Then, I painted the ledge.  Ha!  What a brilliant idea!  (doh!)

If I owned the house, I probably would've painted the ledge a different color (light green), just to get away from all the white.  At this point, anything would've looked better than the chipped away paint.  But, ahhhh, what a difference.  But, this isn't magical enough for me.  Let's get the the tszujing!

I think every kitchen needs some plants in the window.  Isn't that what you're supposed to do?  Well, I have INTENSE light coming in those windows, so succulents were my choice.  Of course, the galvanized pots were a must.  I already had them on hand from a previous Goodwill encounter.  I think I only paid $0.50 each.  The succulents I grabbed up are Jade, from Lowe's for $10.  It was a bigger plant that I pulled apart.  Keep that in mind when you shop for plants, big money saver!  Sometimes the bigger pots are cheaper.  The twine, I picked up at the Dollar Store, for (you guessed it) $1.00. 

I put it all together like this.  It's amazing how much impact the little things make!  The red coffee container wasn't doing it for me.  I went digging through my stuff to make it prettier.  On the found canister I already had, I painted chipboard letters and hot glued them onto the jar.  It'll be perfect if you ever want to use the jar for something else, the letters pop right off.  You could also ModPodge them, so they'll be water-resistant. 
Above, the fruit basket was picked up at Ross for $5.00.  I need a reminder to eat my fruit and veggies.  You'll also see happy hand soap and lotion.  I keep my scrubbers in an old candle glass.  I think mine was a Colonial Candle.  I liked the oblong oval shape better than just a circular jar.

On the opposite end of my long counter, I put my Scentsy warmer and a Boredom Buster jar.  I had seen someone on Pinterest do the Boredom Buster jar and thought it was brilliant.  Inside, I placed these and these cards inside.  They're just cards with little activities on them.  When Dylan gets older, I'm going to put more chores inside.  I'll also add our own special activities in there too.

That's how I made my kitchen a little more magical.  You can leave a comment with your blog post of your Make it Magical projects!  I'd love to check out what you do!  Let's inspire each other!

{PS.  I'm just now researching linking tools, so you can just link up, but I'm a little lost.  Has anyone done this before?  What do you suggest?}

Well well...

I had taken some time off to really evaluate how my life was going.  I'm 25, a mother, a wife, a crafter, a dreamer... well, all those things were just kind of chaotic and a blur over the last 3 months.  My husband has been on vacation, off and on, for the last 3-ish months.  That has totally thrown things off.  Dyl and I are used to our own little gig, and were more than excited to have daddy home, but we didn't have a direction of our life journey.  You know what I mean?  We were spontaneous, we were lazy, we were semi-adventurous... but nothing seemed to get done.  SO, I'm working on a plan.  I'm setting up a challenge for myself.  As this develops, I would love to share our journey with you.

The plan goes a little something like this.... 
1) Take back my family.  We have been zombified by television, computers, video games... the usual technology culprit.  What happened to family game nights?  What happened to eating dinner at the table?  What happened to playing outside all day?  Yep, those are coming back.

2)  Push myself.  I've always been the dreamer.  I've dreamed and schemed my way through what I want my life to be, I just haven't acted on it.  It's easier to wish for your dreams than work for it... but now I'm going to push myself.  I want to see what my body and mind can really do for me.  I want to challenge myself.  I want to see where my creativity and drive can take me.  Also, change my habits (unhealthy eating, not working out, schlepping through tasks).  Let's just say, it's on world!

3) Really enjoy life.  I want to get out and explore.  I want to experience the little joys in this world.  Life isn't about having the biggest and best of everything, right?  So, why not try new things?  There's so much out there and I've barely scratched the surface.

4) My dream job.  I've done lots and lots of work to set myself up for a dream job.  But, I know it's just the tip.  There's so much work to still be done.  I've come up with a few new features and I'll slowly introduce them.  I want to give you all things to look forward to.  I also want to take Camp Moxie to a higher platform.  So, bring out the journals and inspiration I've collected and I'm getting to work!

5)  Well... I'm still working on the plan, but those are the main things that have really been "grinding my gears".

Do you have any challenges you're taking on?  Let's be each other's support group!!  I'd love to hear from you.  You can e-mail me (, leave comments.. whatever you want!

Check back later today for a Make it Magical Monday (new feature!!) post!  You'll be able to link up your magical moments here!


Dream Week - Dog Love

{found on Pinterest - Camp Moxie}

Our family is dyyyyying to get a puppy - labs specifically.  We are serious dog lovers and it has been too long since we've had a puppy pal!

{found on Pinterest - Camp Moxie}

I mean seriously, how can you not love those little faces.  And puppy breath!?  Oh my heart longs for a dog.

Here's one reason you have to love dogs.  Seriously, watch.

Lol!  I love Clark Griswold, the dog.  Happy Friday everyone!!  Go get some puppy love!


Looking for Something...

{found on Pinterest - Camp Moxie}

I'm needing serious inspiration and motivation.  My body and brain are not working together, which means they're ignoring my heart and I feel blah.  This poster is good motivation.  As well as Oprah's famous quote, "You are enough, just the way you are!" 

I think I'll just have to take each moment as it comes.  Feel each emotion as it takes over.  Then, listen to the voice inside, which will never fail to lead me in the right path.  Here's to getting "happy back"!
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