10 things that make me happy

I got asked to write this post by a fellow blogger Chrissy Whinchester, whom I absolutely adore! If you don't already follow her blog you should. It's totes adorbs. I'm so glad she tagged me in this blog post challenge, because as a busy mom of two little ones sometimes it's so easy to forget everything that means so much to me. Especially the little things! When your dealing with temper tantrums, wiping butts, cleaning toys off the ground all day long, it's so easy to forget to take a moment and realize the beauty of life. The crazy BEAUTIFUL mess that is happening right in front of you day in and day out. I truly challenge you to slow down and take in the little things. Thats what actually makes us happy. Here is a list of 10 things that make me incredibly happy.



This might sound predictable, but honestly I LOVE to laugh. I am the person who laughs way too easy when people tell a story, I laugh at my own jokes, I laugh when my 3 year old makes butt jokes, and yes I laugh in very inappropriate situations as well. I love watching comedies, (Zoolander is still one of my favs), I love watching ridiculous pranks on YouTube, I'm pretty much describing a middle school child. I understand this...haha. I'm drawn to people with a great sense of humor, I love terrible jokes, and I'm a huge dork myself. Ask my husband. He will shake his head at me 85 times a day, like "What is wrong with you?" hahaha. I still have those friends from childhood that have this sense of humor as well, and probably are the only people on the entire planet that get it. But let me tell you friends, I love to laugh! It makes me happy. Even if I'm laughing at my own very terrible jokes...or pranks ;).




Yep! Working out makes me happy. And actually that didn't happen until after I had kids, (after my daughter was born), even though I was always an athlete. I grew up playing sports and even played volleyball in college! My passion and love for working out though, did not come until later in life. It honestly makes me very happy and it is time that I give to myself almost everyday. If I don't work out, I can tell a big difference in my mood and energy levels. Plus I think taking that 45 minutes for yourself everyday, is needed. Every mom deserves at least 45 minutes a day for themselves.

My favorite workout is definitely Burn Boot Camp. If you follow my blog, you already know this! It is not only a challenging and VERY hard workout, its a great community to be a part of. Also, I've recently added Yoga in to my routine a couple times a week(this is very new and I will let you know what I think) and even signed up for my first 10k!!! Fitness is a huge part of my life now and it makes me so very happy. Plus I love that my kids see me setting a example of a healthy lifestyle!



Cooking for my family is one of my favorite things to do. When I use clean ingredients and make a meal that my entire family loves, I feel like the girl in the red dancing dress emoji. (Is there a name for that emoji?). I think the ingredients we cook with and eat are so vital to our everyday health. I feel so strongly on this!! I'm absolutely not perfect, but I personally feel way better when I eat clean. Having two picky toddlers can make it challenging in the kitchen at times. I just keep trying, introducing them to new things and always trying to teach them what mommy and daddy are eating. So when I actually make them a meal from fresh, clean ingredients and they love it, it makes me happy! My husband is so appreciative of me cooking for him as well, it's pretty adorable! And I honestly do believe (for my husband at least) that a way to his heart is through his stomach. HAHA! The man likes to eat.



We absolutely have everyday dance parties. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes after dinner, sometimes just randomly through the day. I love music and seeing them giggle and laugh while we do silly dance moves gives me so much joy, it makes me feel like my heart will burst! We have a Google Home and ask "Ok Google please play...." about 100x a day. Even my 20 month old tries to say, "Ok Google". The Trolls soundtrack is still one of our favorites, but I have heard it about 1 million times...so I try to branch out. Otherwise I am pop-eye emoji. Music is good for the soul, and let me tell you, so are everyday dance parties! YouTube also has some great dances for toddlers to dance along with!



Say what?! Donut's? That does not go with clean, healthy eating! You're right it does not, but guess what, donuts make me happy. I said I was not perfect.  Look how pretty they are? They legit are my favorite thing to indulge in.  And I do! Every so often, I have to go and get some delicious donuts. Okay maybe like once a week. :) They absolutely make me happy!



Swoon. Haha. I absolutely love and adore my hubs. But don't get me wrong, it's not always hearts and rainbows. Just like any relationship, there are many times where he really can get under my skin, and I know I absolutely can do the same to him. We could not be two more different people. I always joke with him, my brain is a colorful abstract painting on a canvas and his is a black and white stripe painting on a canvas. But this is why we need each other and we really work! He is my person. He knows how to calm me down, he knows how to lift me up, he also knows when to just leave it be. haha. I think what I love the most is he truly appreciates what I do for our family day in and day out. I also let him know all the time how much I appreciate how hard he works for our family! But what makes my heart explode the most and ever so happy, is seeing the person you love, love your children just as much as you do. He adores our kids. He is the best daddy and my kids cherish him. Just watching him everyday with the two of them, makes my heart happier then I ever even knew was possible!



I tell this to people all the time, I feel like we live in a story book town. I ADORE everything about it. The people are incredibly nice, the restaurants are AMAZING (And we like good restaurants coming from Chicago), we are 5 minutes from a beautiful lake, and there are so many fun activities for families! And don't even get me started on Christmas here. I can't handle the cuteness of Christmas. Hot coca stands with Santa being pulled in a horse drawn carriage is just a tiny picture of what it actually is. I'm so glad we decided to raise our family here. I miss my family a lot (they are all still in Chicago), but our location makes me happy on a daily basis, and our way of life is so much easier then when we lived downtown Chicago. Especially with kiddos. It's not for everyone, and I totally get that, but this town makes me happy.

Plus they have an incredible farmers market, every saturday morning. With a live southern farmer band? I don't know what you would call them. (They even have beards and wear overalls, heart eye emoji).



This may have a little something to do with the fact I was a hairstylist for 10 years and I worked every Saturday morning! But there is something about Saturday mornings with all four of us that I just love. I know my husband does not have to go to work the next day either! We can lounge and be lazy all together, maybe go and grab donuts?! haha. I also love going to the Farmer's Market with the bearded overall band. But usually we all just hang together, drink coffee, make pancakes, and start our day of adventures!

(disclosure: This is not what our Saturday morning's really look like. Think more poopy diapers, pancake batter everywhere, bed hair, coffee mugs, naked toddlers running around screaming if we want to put real clothes on them).



This actually makes my heart tear up! My hubs and I talk a lot about this, on how lucky we are that we have so many amazing grandparents to love our children! And boy, do they love them! There is a special bond between a grand-parent and a grand-child. To have those memories they are making with all of our parents, is something I hope they will treasure forever. Watching my kids with their grandparents makes me so happy! Like I said earlier, we do not live very close to any of them unfortunately. But we get to see them often and when we do it's time spent all day and night for a few days together. Which is always full of fun and laughter.

I remember just absolutely loving my grandparents. I unfortunately lost them when I was a Junior in High-School from a car accident. But I always wish I could have one more conversation with them. Especially as I got older, and realized how special grandparents really are. They came to every softball game, band concert (yes I was in band), and any sporting event I ever played. We saw them every week, but as a kid you don't always know to appreciate these things. So now as I see my kids getting to spend much time and being very loved by their own grandparents, and it makes me ever so happy. Please cherish these moments with your kids and parents. You honestly never know how long you will have the making of the memories for.

(**we also have one more set of super cool grandparents, but unfortunately I have no current pictures with them! We will change that in a few weeks when we get to see them!)



Having this blog has been a dream of mine for many, many years actually. I just didn't know how to put it all together! I've learned so much. And now being a full-time mommy it really makes me happy to have a place where I can still be creative. That's who I am! To have something that I can just have of my own, still be true to myself, be able to wear and talk about what I love, connect with other women, learn new things in the tech world that I had no clue about! It's something I have where I don't have to be mommy, mommy, mommy. I can still be Ashley. Don't get me wrong, being mommy is something I love to the brim of my heart, but I think everyone needs something to maintain who they were even before mommy-hood. It might be a hobby, a class, friends to remind you, or learning new things, but I think it's good to have a little something of your own. And this is my little something. So from the bottom of my heart, I thank EVERYONE who reaches out to me, reads this blog, asks to connect with me or send me things. I have had a blast with this, and your letting me live my dream.

Thanks for reading 10 things that make me happy! What makes you happy?? Let me know! I love hearing from you guys.