what.i.wore. + a yummy side for {dinner}

My new camera is super fun to play around with so I have been experimenting more with taking pictures of anything + everything. I am def. not mastering it anytime soon, but I am slowly learning! :] Today was one of the first {real} days of Fall & that meant I got to dress in my new mustard colored tunic wit my leggings & new boots!!! YAY! On another note -- I am trying to be more productive with cooking/eating healthier, but sometimes being a full-time student doesn't give me a lot of free time to experiment or cook for that matter. But my lovely health-coach Erin who has an amazing blog called WellinLA introduced me to Alexia Foods. She did some FRYday blog posts {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} & when I won two free coupons, which isn't too shabby -- I decided that I had to use them!! :] & I love french fries, which is an absolute understatement. Aleixa is an all-natural potato/french fry company. Now if you are thinking that I had French Fries for dinner & I am calling it healthy -- I didn't. ha What I had wasn't exactly 'French Fries' per-sea -- I had the Italian Saute Potato & Vegetable Side - which was absolutely AUHMAZING. It was simple to make & easy to eat, haha. That sounded kinda weird, but seriously it was so good. I am a pretty picky eater & frozen foods are one of the hardest things for me to find but I rely on them so much because after a long day in school I don't really feel like standing in the kitchen for 30 minutes to an hour cooking. If are interested in learning more you can signup to receive coupons & discounts. You even get a coupon instantly for signing up! :]

have any of you heard of Alexia Foods before?
if so, have you tried them & what is your favorite!? :]

{scarf} target // {jacket} express // {mustard top} target // {leggings} target // {boots} BR // {ring}T&Co // {watch} walmart

{this is not the full portion -- i cut in half!}

boyfriend.bday.weekend {recap}

i can't believe it is already thursday august 4th?! -- where has time gone, for real!? my boyfriends was this past monday august 1st, but since i had a huge exam on tuesday i started planning a special day for him ahead of time, so that we could actually enjoy it! so saturday was the {big} day! 

in recap -- i searched for a homemade recipe to bake nick a carrot cake {success}, ordered him a new Nicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals hockey jersey {success}, surprise afternoon of kayaking & relaxing {success}, planned a small surprise get together with a couple friends that i have never met & Nick hasn't seen in a couple years {success}, & attempt to play putt-putt {fail, because we never exactly made it there, ha} -- oh & enjoy our time together {greatttt-success}!

before nick got here on friday night, i spent hours slaving in the kitchen making him a carrot cake, from SCRATCH. so yes, i shaved 2 cups of carrots. ha but it was worth all the pain! :] here a couple pictures. i did not post all of them, even though my mom took pictures as i made the cake, but i will probably post the recipe & everything a little later :]

 the final product :]

saturday we slept in -- late! :] it was marvelous. & normally i am the one that has everything planned. well i mean i still had everything planned,  but i turned off the alarm & we finally mozied our way out of bed around 11:30 :] -- we left my apartment, grabbed a wawa sandwich on the way & drove to my parents friend's house where they own 10 kayaks, boats, jet ski's, -- {everything} you name it! nick was excited when i told him we were going kayaking :] -- it was def. a relaxing afternoon. & it was perfect that i didn't have to pay to go some place to use them, because then we would have had a ton of rules & we wouldn't have been able to do what we wanted & stay out on the water as long as we wanted!

being kids & swinging our lives away :] {well nick tried to pretend he wasn't swinging, ha}

his goofy-self taking  a picture of his feet. not sure what i am going to do with him. lol

after our kayaking adventure, we headed home to change & get ready for dinner at a place called Rudee's Inlet. we were meeting friends at 7 {nick didn't know} :] -- we hung out for hours, relaxed, drank some yummy drinks {hint. why we never made it to putt putt}, & caught up with old friends {& my best friend came too}. sorry i didn't get to take as many pictures as i would have liked to take, but atleast i got the ones i did!

my best friend trista :] -- she is my soul-mate {p.s. i have a wonderful story talking about our friendship coming on friday -- just a hint about how great a story it is -- we met in an airport}

 it was a fantastic weekend that went by WAY too fast. 
hope everyone is looking forward to this weekend coming up.
are ya'll doing anything fun this weekend? any plans?

xoxo. ashlyn

p.s. I am giving away Mat Kearney's new cd YOUNG LOVE, go HERE to enter :]

my unrehearsed life

pimp your: smoothie sunday.

happy sunday lovelies. i have been dying to share these smoothie recipes with everyone! i came across them in the july/august women's health magazine -- i am not sure if any of you get this magazine or read it, but i {love} reading it! it has some of the best advice for EVERYTHING :] i haven't tried all of the smoothies just yet, but i am working on it! but here are 5 delicious looking smoothies for you to try on this {hot hot hot} summer sunday afternoon/evening. if you have tried these or do try them please share your opinions with me -- i would love to hear! hope everyone is enjoying their sunday :] xoxo. ashlyn
picture via {womens health mag} w. some edits by me.

1. Cherry Bomb:
Ingredients: blend 3/4 cup frozen cherries, 1 kiwi, peeled & quartered, 1/4 cup orange juice; 1/2 cup coconut water, 3/4 tsp agave nectar, and 3 ice cubes
Nutrition: serves 1. 159 calories. <1 gram fat {<1 gram sat fat}, 38 carbs, 129 mg sodium, 5 gram fiber, 3 gram protein.
Trick it out even more: add a scoop of vanilla protein powder for an additional 15 to 25 grams of protein. 

2. Awesome Almond: 
Ingredients: blend 1 small frozen banana, sliced; 3/4 cup kale, lightly packed, stems removed; 3/4 cup almond milk; 3/4 tsp almond butter, and 1/8 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, & ground ginger
Nutrition: serves 1. 233 cal. 8 grams fat {<1 gram sat fat}, 37 gram carbs, 134 mgram sodium, 6 gram fiber, & 6 gram protein
Trick it out even more: add 1/2 cup iced coffee for an extra dose of antioxidants.

3. Apple Mojito Light: 
Ingredients: blend 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice, 1 medium peach, peeled, pitted, & quartered; 1/4 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, & quartered; 1/3 cup sparkling water; 3/4 tsp fresh lime juice; 3 leaves mint; 3/4 tsp agave nectar; & 6 ice cubes.
Nutrition: serves 1. 107 cal. <1 gram fat {<1 gram sat fat}, 27 grams carbs, 3mgrams sodium; 3 grams fiber, 2 grams protein
Trick it out even more: add 1 ounce light rum {~65 calories} and have it at happy hour :] YUM!!!

4. island refresher:
Ingredients: blend 3/4 fresh pineapple, cubed; 1/2 cup frozen mango; 3/4 cup vanilla soymilk; & 3 tbsp low-fat cottage cheese. garnish with 1/4 tsp upsweetened coconut flakes.
Nutrition: serves 1. 221 cal. 2 grams fat {<1 gram sat fat}, 38 grams carbs, 244 mg sodium, 4 grams fiber, & 11 grams protein.
Trick it out even more: add 1 tbsp ground flaxseed for an extra 2 grams of fiber.

5. rise & shine:
Ingredients: blend 1/4 avocado, peeled, pitted, & cubed; 2 tbsp canned sweet potato; 1 small frozen banana, sliced; 3/4 skim milk; & 1/2 tsp honey.
Nutrition: serves 1. 291 cal, 8 gram fat {1 gram sat fat}, 50 g carbs, 135 mg sodium, 7 gram fiber, 9 gram protein
Trick it out even more: blend in 1/4 cup raw or cooked oats for a thicker texture and more energy fueling carbs.

all recipe credits go to women's health magazine :]