Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stars on Ice–An Olympic Experience!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to see Stars on Ice at Consol Energy Center. Having never seen ice skating live (unless you count Disney on Ice) I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised!

Ice is ready for Stars on Ice to begin!(Ice is ready and the audience is waiting for the show to begin.)

It was great to see so many extremely talented skaters just home from competing in the 2014 Olympics! The crowd especially went wild for Meryl Davis and Charlie White. What a graceful pair those two make! I was so impressed with them and the other skaters as well. It was great to see some of the skaters let loose and skate to songs like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Happy”. I think the crowd favorite though had to have been when Gracie Gold skated to Frozen’s “Let it Go.”

This event is great for a girls night or even a mommy/daughter night out! Be sure to check and see if Stars on Ice is coming to an arena near you here.

Stars on Ice - Pgh, PAStars on Ice - Pgh, PA
(Stars finishing up the show. Meryl & Charlie!)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday–Earth Day Style #TBTlinkup

My friend, Nicole, over at Champagne to Crayons, has been hosting an awesome weekly link up called Throwback Thursdays and this week I finally got my stuff together to join in the fun! What’s fun about this link up is that each week there is a theme…this week’s theme was Earth Day.
In honor of Earth Day I’m sharing one of Monkey’s first birthday pictures. Why? Well, look at that adorable diaper he has on! (Side note…I cannot believe it’s been almost FOUR years since this picture was taken! *cry*)


Nope, it’s not just a cute diaper cover that I got for his birthday pictures it’s a cloth diaper! When Monkey was born hubs and I decided to give cloth diapers a try since we’d have two in diapers. (Zim was 18 mo old at the time and my boys didn’t train until they were three.) I loved all the color options available in cloth. I must have had every color of the rainbow but this cow diaper was by far my favorite! (I believe it was a Blueberry Diaper. My other favorites were FuzziBunz and bumGenius.) Cloth diapering has come a LONG way and is actually just as easy (if not easier) that disposables and are so much less expensive in the long run. Just look at this comparison:


If you have a little one in diapers or are about to have another baby you should definitely give cloth diapering some serious consideration. Not only will you save money but it’s very Earth friendly. Just think how much landfill you’ll be saving!

Want to join the link-up fun? Check out the post here to participate!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It’s a big, scary world…

This morning my Facebook wall was flooded with post after post that make every parent cringe. This morning, at a high school just a few miles east of Pittsburgh, multiple people were stabbed. It seems like every other day there is something in the news about something tragic like this happening at a school. That or threats called in that have to be taken seriously because of the way the world has become. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t have children in that school but I find myself worried and scared for the parents. I cannot imagine hearing this news and wondering if one of those injured is YOUR child. 

Many of the comments I see are along the lines of “Homeschooling is looking better and better now.” Being a cyber school family (which is similar to home schooling) events like these make me even more thankful that we’ve chosen the cyber school route for our boys. I know that we cannot protect them forever or put them in a bubble. That’s not our intention. BUT there are so many positives to home/cyber schooling.

“But what about socialization?” So many people ask. What happened today is part of that socialization so many say we are depriving our kids of. Of course parents may not agree with that but it’s true. Other parts of school ‘socialization’ are drugs, early exposure to sexual activity and bullying. Yes, our boys are still exposed to these things but in a controlled environment. Teaching our kids social skills should be about teaching them how to interact with others. How to respect others and their differences. To accept and love others. To respect authority and follow rules/guidelines.


My point of this post isn’t to put down those who choose public school for their kids. I know homeschooling isn’t an option for everyone. I know that in many homes both parents have to work or that many homes are single parent homes. I also know that it’s not for everyone. It’s a personal choice that every parent makes and that is ok. I guess I’m writing this because I want more people to see the flip side. To see that home/cyber school is a wonderful and attainable option. That there ‘normal’ people (like us) who choose home/cyber school. That we’re not weird, we’re not anti-social and we’re not Amish. That our goal is to raise normal, respectful kids full of integrity who will be ready for the real world. Hopeful that our children will be a beacon of hope and kindness in a world full of violence and uncertainty.

My prayers and thoughts go out to the families involved in the local incident. I pray peace over all involved and healing. <3

Friday, April 4, 2014

Dreams Into Plans

I saw this on FB yesterday and it perfectly describes how I am trying to live my life right now…
I know I’ve been kinda quiet here on the blog and not posting much but it’s mostly because I’ve been busy…busy turning my dreams into realities. Making my ‘can’ts into cans’.

Years ago, before I even met my husband, I spend my tax refund on a brand spanking new Canon Rebel 35 mm camera…a REAL camera…you know with the fancy lens and everything. I was in heaven! I took that thing with me everywhere and shot as much as I could. Fast forward a few years when digital was the new thing and my camera was still amazing but way outdated. So, I upgraded and that’s when I had the pleasure of doing my first wedding. Saying I was in love with photography would be a huge understatement. It was all I thought about for a while. A coworker at the time encouraged me to start my own photography business. She even helped me come up with a cute name (Amazing Images by Ashley) and I dreamt big dreams.

I had a few clients. Friends, coworkers, etc. Nothing really big. I dreamt of having my own studio some day. Somewhere I could work and take those gorgeous pictures you see all over the internet of babies and kids. I never really saw it as a reality though. More of a pipe dream. I mean, studios are expensive. You have to find a space to rent, pay rent, pay utilities, etc. Not to mention all the equipment, backdrops and props I’d have to buy. Yeah, not going to happen for a looooong time. So, I put that dream on the back burner…the WAY back burner.

The past few years I’ve taken pictures here and there for friends and such. Senior pictures, family photos, etc. I jump at any opportunity I can get to use my talent and explore my abilities. I’ve not given much thought to it outside of just having fun though. Until I had an amazing opportunity pretty much dropped into my lap.

You see, I’ve been working with a local photographer over the last year. Not doing photography but helping her with her social media and blog. Well, in the time we’ve worked together we’ve become friends. Recently she talked to me about how she really needs her studio to expand. That she needs to bring more kids and infants into the studio but that with her busy schedule of sports and such she just didn’t see herself having the time. Then she said it, “Would you be interested in shooting in the studio?” Did I hear her right? My immediate reply was, “Um…YES!”

So, here I am…my dream that seemed SO far away sitting right in front of me. It’s going to take work but I am SO excited. I’ve been working hard over the past few weeks taking photos of models to build up my studio portfolio. I’ve been working on a business plan and marketing in hopes to build my clientele. I am loving that I have a place to shoot and that I’m having the opportunity to do something that I absolutely love on a regular basis.

I’m changing my attitude and my thinking. I’m telling myself that I CAN do this and I’m working to turn this dream into a reality. I thank God for putting this path before me and I pray that He will continue to guide me and lead people my way to help me make this a wonderful success.
(If you’d like to see some of my recent work you can click on the “photography’ tab above or you can see my photography blog here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stars on Ice is Headed to Pittsburgh on April 25th!

Meryl Davis and Charlie White returned from the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, with the United States’ first ice dancing gold medal in history. Stars on Ice, featuring Davis and White along with their bronze medal winning teammates from the inaugural Olympic figure skating team event, will visit Pittsburgh on April 25 for a 7:30 PM performance at CONSOL Energy Center.
The country’s premier figure skating production, Stars on Ice, in a partnership with U.S. Figure Skating, is proud to announce that for the first time ever, the U.S. Olympic figure skating team will headline the annual nationwide tour. Bringing the spirit and passion of the Olympics back to home ice, the entire bronze medal winning U.S. Figure Skating team will highlight a truly spectacular and star-studded cast. In addition to Gold medalists Davis and White, two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, 2014 U.S. champion Gracie Gold, four-time and reigning U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, 2014 U.S. silver medalist Jason Brown, and two-time reigning U.S. pair champions Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir comprise the bronze medal team that will join the Stars on Ice 2014 Tour.

The Stars on Ice 2014 Tour cast will also include two-time U.S. ice dancing silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates, 2011 U.S. Champion Ryan Bradley and 2010 Olympian and 2014 U.S. Bronze medalist Mirai Nagasu. Several special guests will also make appearances throughout the tour.

Stars on Ice continues to be a pioneer in figure skating by offering fans the rare opportunity to witness some of America’s most creative and cherished champions performing together in both individual and ensemble routines. Founded and produced by Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, Stars on Ice is one of the premier family entertainment events in the U.S., and the only figure skating tour in America, bringing you the greatest performances and competitors from the 2014 Winter Games. This year’s Stars on Ice production has joined forces with U.S. Figure Skating, moving its traditional tour dates to the spring in order to showcase the World’s best figure skaters at the top of their form and to offer special opportunities for fans across the country to celebrate the accomplishments of these historic skaters.

Tickets for the 2014 Stars on Ice Tour in Pittsburgh are on sale now. Special on-ice seating is available upon request. Tickets start at $25 and are available via www.starsonice.com, www.ticketmaster.com, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Please visit www.starsonice.com for the most up to date information, as well as exciting show announcements. Stars on Ice is pleased to announce Macy’s, KOSE, and airweave as Associate Sponsors of the 2014 Tour.

Discount offer:
· 25% off P2, P3 & P4 (all tickets but on-ice)
· Code: 25OFF
· Start date is 3/24
· It will be good through & including the day of the show
· Available on all channels

About Stars on Ice

Founded in 1986 by skating icon Scott Hamilton, the Stars on Ice tour has performed more than 1,000 shows over the last three decades. Past tour performers include Olympic Gold Medalists Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt, Scott Hamilton and Torvill & Dean. The Tour has won three Emmy Awards, one ACE Cable Award (Best Sports Special), and is recognized as the finest ice production in the world. Stars on Ice is produced by IMG, the world’s premier Sports, Entertainment and Media Company. For more information about the tour, visit www.starsonice.com. Keep in touch with Stars on Ice on Facebook: www.facebook.com/starsonice and on Twitter: @starsonice, www.twitter.com/starsonice.