Sunday, March 8, 2020

How to Make Easy and Nutritious Bone Broth

Homemade Bone Broth

- 2 rotisserie chickens, picked clean
- 3-4 peeled medium carrots, or 1cup baby carrots
- 3 celery stalks, rinsed
- 1-2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
- 3 (or more!) garlic cloves, smashed and skin removed
- handful of fresh herbs: parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Clean chickens by removing meat and skin. Some meat can stay on the carcass; it will add collagen, protein, and flavor. Put all those nasty bones in a pot. Add all other ingredients.  Cover with water, but stay below MAX FILL line on pot.
Seal and set to Manual pressure
Cook for 2 hours (120 minutes).
(Can also combine and cook on large pot/Dutch oven/Slow Cooker for 8-12 hours on low).
Strain solids through a mesh sieve over large container.

*I know the idea of 'bone broth' can be kind of off putting, but from the bones comes A TON of goodness, and from *that* crazy immune boosting vitamins and minerals.

* Animal bones are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and other trace minerals — the same minerals needed to build and strengthen your own bones. (

* Connective tissue gives you glucosamine and chondroitin, natural compounds found in cartilage that can support joint health. 

*Marrow provides vitamin A, vitamin K2, minerals like zinc, iron, boron, manganese and selenium, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

*All of these animal parts also contain the protein collagen, which turns into gelatin when cooked and yields several important amino acids. 

* As the ingredients simmer, their nutrients are released into the water in a form your body can easily absorb. This is a great way to get more of these essential nutrients into your body. 

*Garlic and onions are full of antioxidants, are antiviral and anti fungal. If you love garlic, add more! 

*The herbs are kind of optional, since this would be ok without them, but they add such depth of flavor and are FILLED with immune boosters. Thyme and oregano are heavy hitters in the plants-for-heath realm.

*You can use dried herbs if you don't have fresh. I'd bundle them in cheesecloth and place in the pot, or add them straight to the pot (you'll strain the broth anyway). Use about half of dried herb in place of fresh.

*You can also use one drop of high-quality essential oil in place of herbs. Seriously one drop though- they are super concentrated and a little goes a long way. (Make sure your oil is marked 'safe for consumption' before using internally).

*An acid is required to break down the collagen from the bones. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice are essential. Plus both are yet again really great for immune health. Very cleansing and detoxifying.

*Use as a base for soups, or to cook rice/grains. Or warm up a cup and sip straight.

*Save chicken meat for use in soups and more. Freeze both chicken meat and broth if not planning to use within 3 days.

*When stored in the refrigerator, it is normal for a gelatinous layer to form. This is from the collagen and more, and will dissolve once warmed. Think of all that goodness your body is getting!

(No final photo because it's currently simmering. Will add later. Enjoy!)

XO, Ashley 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


I just had one of the most whirlwind moments and felt like I needed to record it somewhere, so here we are. Can anyone relate?

Let me preface by saying that Will is at my mom's, so I have a relatively 'open' day- the possibilities are endless!

I went to our bedroom and started organizing the baby clothes (removing the Newborn sizes, pulling out the 3month stuff), then I split the pile of the newborn stuff into 'donate' and 'keep' in case we have another (baby?!) (BOY?!?). I think to pull out maternity stuff because I saw a sign at my OBGYN during my 6 week follow up that they accept maternity clothes to donate to women in need.

Off to the kitchen to pull out Trader Joe's paper bags to put the donations in. See the dishes in the sink that need to be put in the dishwasher, and also thing about dinner prep. And lunch. And feeding my offspring. Oh, the cats both want food too and they both need to get to the vet sometime in the near future. And have their flea meds applied. Add that to the calendar.

 End up in Will's room to put the Newborn 'keep' clothes away and discover the 50+ hangers he's scattered in his closet (this kid's showing some behavior, I'll tell you. Classic new sibling mixed with terrible twos goodness). Pick those up (hangers and Christmas lights are two of the WORST things to untangle btw). Take the donation bags and put them in the front hall closet, where I see a bag of Disney shirts I've been meaning to post and sell online. See bag of boy's clothes that need to be donated. Think about putting a 'donate day' on my calendar to organize and knock all this stuff out. I need to go through my closet and pull the maternity, heck, even just the stuff I've carried around for 10+ years and still don't wear?! What's that about, anyway? Why do we do that?!

To my desk to write a to-do list (big mistake) because, well, my desk. I see the handful of Disney vacations that need small details attended to (nothing time pressing per say, but still...). I see my oils- I need to schedule a Full Moon rollerball making class for June! And those are just the two things at the top of my list because they're fairly time sensitive- I could do down a blasted rabbit hole with all the little stuff I have on my lists for work. There's always something, no? Organizing. (I need to get a system for and file the mail). Accounting. Customer outreach. Social media. Listening to professional development podcasts and videos, doing research to stay current on new offerings, etc etc etc. I really do love it but I feel like I'm not giving 100% to anything right now- that can't be good, can it?

Ok, upstairs to put away clean sheets in the guest room, and handful of baby items that my mom brought over (this is another thing- do you ever feel like you can't stand for one more item, one more THING, to enter your household? Sometimes I look around and just stare at all. the. stuff. Toys especially. They get everywhere! But my mom had a great response to that with, "yes, they are and they will be for this season of life. Get over it." She's so right.) Put the sheets away. Go into the guest room and see the tv you've been meaning to set up in there- think of bringing up a table from downstairs to put said tv on. That would require organizing the front closet where the table is located. SPEAKING of tv's, look into how to dispose of our big screen tv with a shattered screen (Will + drumsticks + Under the Sea = "well, shiiiiiiiiit") and a printer that doesn't work. Those two items are currently being stored in what will soon be Sam's room when he turns 3 months old and we move him to his crib. The crib that is still in the box, unassembled. The back half of the room is filled with my teaching supplies and classroom toys/activities, all that have been sorted through and kept because they will be great teaching tools to use with Will. That's a lie, there's so much I need to sort through. Files of worksheets and college papers and textbooks and teacher resource books. We need to hang a divider curtain to split the front half of the room (Sam's) from the back storage area. We need to hang blackout curtains as well. The shelf is crammed with stuff that we pulled out of the downstairs tv stand when our new tv wouldn't fit on it and we had to switch around three pieces of furniture to make it work. Which we did!

So yeah, thought of that. Also saw the patriotic bunting and door hanger that needs to go up before Memorial Day weekend (because THAT weekend we're... POTTY TRAINING!!) The list just goes on and on and on and I bounce around like a kangaroo from one task to another. Is that normal? Is it ADD? OCD? Anxie-D? Being a mother? Running a household? I can't be the only one who does this, right? There's dentist appointments to make and preschool appointments and car appointments and pest control appointments and doctors appointments. And where does exercise fit into all of this? In between taking inventory of what you need to put on the grocery list, making the grocery list, and grocery shopping? How about in the evenings when it's husband time and you both actually have a minute to reconnect? Crap, here it is already 1:30 pm and I *really* wanted to repot some plants and go to Lowes for a new fern. Carwash too.

But also playing with, teaching, entertaining a toddler. Tending to an infant. And when I write it out like this, I know where the priorities lie. But damn, it's still hard to practice what you preach.

Oh, as I passed by my essential oil stash, I looked for something help center me, steady me, focus me, and *ta-da* this blend jumped out at me. I mean, it's CALLED Steady for crying out loud. It's part of our Kid's Kit which means it's already diluted with fractionated coconut oil and is super gentle for all ages, but packs some potent powerhouse essential oils. Amyris, Balsam Fir, Coriander, and Magnolia.  I could go into detail here but I'll just point you to my oily Instagram which is @suit.essentials where you can read more about how crazy it is how oils and emotions work together, and other cool nature stuff, man.

Ok y'all, this turned into a bitch fest and that was not my intent. I'm going to put up some pictures of the past while and leave you with those. Thanks for reading! (Honestly, I can't believe you made it all the way down here. Thank you.) And hey, I *did* do a blog post, which was on my wish-list of things to get done today, although this was NOT the topic I intended. But small victories, right?!

A visit to the Grand Floridan to see the annual chocolate easter egg display. This was my first venture out with both the boys, and Sam's first WDW visit.

Easter morning after church; Easter lunch at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Mom's Night Out- Dapper Day edition. Boardwalk/Crescent Lake bar crawl; can't get enough oysters after being pregnant and out off limits for nine months.

Mother's Day visit to my mom's with dinner at The Melting Pot; (not pictured) massages at the spa the next day.

Rope Drop Disney's Hollywood Studios (MGM) to ride Slinky Dog- a first for both me AND Will. He liked it. We did it three times.

4th Anniversary dinner at Rocco's Tacos.

First venture out with the double wide stroller!; bubbly lunch at Wine Bar George in Disney Springs with some mommy friends.

Will and Mommy day at Magic Kingdom; Will on MSUSA; Hei Hei cone from Aloha Isle.

I started Weight Watchers again (did it after having Will and LOVE tracking my points/getting creative with foods/observing what all I put in my mouth during the day) and make this bomb ass taco salad last night.

Sweet Sam in a sleep sack that Will wore as a baby. He looks so much like his big brother here!

**Edited to add (because I just found this image on my computer and it is SO relevant to this post):

Xoxo, Ashley

Friday, February 22, 2019

Disney Pregnancy Style: Polynesian Resort Maternity Photo Shoot + Lilly Pulitzer

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I've been waiting to share the AMAZING photos my girl Alexis too during my maternity photo shoot (which she oh-so-graciously offered as a baby shower gift). She's a friend first, a fellow mommy, a sunshiny happy soul, and a gifted photographer. She does all kinds of lifestyle photos at really affordable options, and you should absolutely reach out to her when you're visiting Walt Disney World to capture your memories. Just a few ideas that come to mind, that I think would be so fun to have documented in pictures...

Sisters/Girls Getaway
Bachelor/Bachelorette Weekend
Family Trip/Reunion
Maternity/Birth Announcement
Accomplishments- after a Disney Race, Promotion, Engagement, etc
Mommy + Me
And more!

Find her on Instagram here: AlexisMann_
Find her website here: Alexis Mann Photo
Find her Facebook page here: Alexis Mann Photo

My dress is this one from Lilly Pulitzer. I bought one size up from my pre-pregnancy sizing, so I'm excited that I'll able to wear it after baby too! It's machine washable (!!) and confession: I did spill Dole Whip on it but that's the beauty of Lilly- it hides the stains (which is the reason Lilly created her colorful shifts in the first place- to hide the citrus juice stains she would get when squeezing fresh-pressed juice at her stand in Palm Beach back in the 60's)!

Oh! And I have to say this. As much as I put myself/my life and family in front of the camera for Instagram or other things, I am 100% NOT comfortable modeling and posing for glamour shots. Alexis did such an amazing job of making me feel beautiful, comfortable, and at ease. She went with the flow and was flexible, but also gave direction when needed and knows her stuff! This was my first time taking professional photos, and she really set the standard for me. So grateful!

Sunglasses: Lilly Pulitzer
Sandals: Tory Burch 

These last few pictures are from my Baby Shower/Sprinkle hosted by the hostess with the mostest (and also my neighbor!) Daniella (@lularoedmarie_vip on Instagram). She and my mom tribe did such an amazing job making us feel so special. I am beyond blessed. Oh, and Daniella has literally thousands of LuLaRoe pieces in stock at her house- if you're a fan of the line, definitely reach out to her! She's got the goods.

(And how cute are these little socks?!?)

Thanks for reading! 
Xoxo, Ashley