Tis the season…for summer to return

I’m cold. If you see me out and about and there is a smile on my face. It’s fake. Behind the smile is a Grinch who would like to steal winter and hide it very far away. Just kidding…about the fake smile. The smile is real, the inner Grinch wanting to steal winter is real too.

We’ve been taking it slow and soaking up things around our community. When I say “slow” I mean SLOW. I have zero motivation to do anything when it is cold outside. I go workout in the morning and then park myself in front of the space heater the rest of the day. I might have been called “melodramatic” yesterday in regards to how I handle the cold, but I disagree with that opinion.

I mean, really, is summer ever going to come again?! How those of you survive in the north is beyond me. You have super powers that I do not possess…and way better cold weather gear I’m sure! I’m pretty sure every time I walk outside when it is below 60, I might get frostbite.

Despite my attempts to hunker down and hibernate, I do get out some. Kids have a way of ignoring the electric blanket I’m wrapped in and want to do stuff. Kids.

Our friends The Parkers have been hosting a Donuts & Crafting with Santa event on Saturdays. My 10 year donned an elf costume with his buddy to help with the event a few weekends ago. Buddy the Elf…not his name, but that made me laugh. christmastree-13We also ventured to watch our town Christmas parade…simple, quirky and a perfect place to spend a Saturday morning with family, friends and neighbors.christmastree-20christmastree-15Cutest cousins.christmastree-14My dad drove his oldest granddaughters in the parade. It was his birthday, but he made their day.christmastree-16

I did make one project yesterday. It took all of 5 minutes. I picked up this dish towel from Anthropologie on Black Friday for 30% off. Add some stuffing and stitch up 3 sides and viola I have a new pillow! The scene reminds me of the Bailey’s living room in Its A Wonderful Life. It is my new favorite Christmas decoration.

Today you can find me hanging out in favorite coffee shop in front of the space heater and wrapped in an electric blanket. I might get motivated to do something, but probably not. I do accept coffee deliveries….tis the season for summer to return!


I’ll be logging out of this space for a bit – I’ll be back to ring in the new year. Before I take a little break, I wanted to announce the winners to recent giveaways. These winners have all been notified via email

Ably Giveaway

Men’s Hoodie – Jenny (jennypy…)

Women’s Hoodie – Allie (allie.m….)


1 Year Skillshare membership


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  • Oceana | Maps + Mandalas - I am in exactly the opposite place right now: it’s summer in Australia and I AM BAKING. I can’t wait to have a break for a few weeks when I head over to the UK for a winter holiday. It’s pretty much 90 degrees (F) all the time here, and I’m over it! Love that pillow, and the letter board, puns are my jam 🙂

  • Heather - Amen sister! We moved to the northeast this summer and I don’t know if I’m going to make it through this cold season. I’m thinking of getting that walking sleeping bag I saw you wearing one day in a photo. Come back summer!

  • Carrie Campbell - Opposite here as well. 😉 In FL it’s 101 degrees for 8 months of the year… soooooo thankful for the albeit brief cold season. (We still snuggle up to the space heater- it feels so novel. 🙂
    Anyhow, Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

  • Tina - I live in Michigan’s UP (Upper Peninsula). Two days ago as I was driving my 5 year old to school he commented on the temperature. Something like: Yea mom! It’s 25 degrees. He was excited because it had warmed up. 🙂

  • Lucia - Ashley, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!
    Love your pictures and the way you are!
    Hugs from Spain!

  • Michelle Fizzard - It was minus 37 with the windchill a couple of days ago and I still had to walk the dog. You would not enjoy it living here. 🙂 Merry Christmas and thank you for inspiring me with your beautiful blog again this year!!

  • Anne Eicher - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your sweet family! And I’m with you on the cold. I tell people that I live in the south (north west Florida) for a reason!!! Although it gets too cold for my comfort here also.

  • Seamingly Sarah - In Northern NY and born and raised in Northern VT! Bring
    on the snow! I can do without anything under 20F, but it comes with the territory. At least on those freezing cold days the the sky is crystal clear blue.

  • Kimberly Oyler - i am so not a winter person but i am enjoying the cool temps in kansas for a few days!! it is going to be 60 degrees tomorrow and i’m STOKED. wish i could bring you some coffee!

  • Pam - At least the cold gave your younger daughter a chance to wear that fluffy coat! The one of her with the hood on and her hair in her face is just about my favorite photo ever!

  • Arifa Ashraf - Hi. Can anyone tell me if Ashley and her family ever, after adopting their youngest, re-created that picture with an empty chair in the woods… ‘we saved a seat for you?’ I kept waiting for it, but I missed it somehow. Thanks.

  • Narayani - Hi there Ashley! I’ve been silently following your blog for a number of years now. It is amazing how intimate these things can be. I feel as if I know you and your family and enjoy seeing the kids grow up. We are really quite similar in our plans, family life, DIY, coffee, and photography (what lead me to your blog in the first place) obsessions etc.I wanted to actually take the time to reach out and let you know you have made an impact on my life in a positive way. Keep up the beautiful work, hug your family tight and have a joyful season and wonder filled New Year! Cheers from the cold and frozen North! We’ve actually had a warm-up its a pleasant, balmy 45 degrees!

  • Byron - Winter Time is here!
    Happiness and Cheer!
    Fun for all, that children call
    Their favorite time of year!

    I LOVE Winter! It’s awesome coat weather!

    However, knowing how you are, I have a present that may help you somewhat when I return to CF on JAN 1. Can’t wait to see you there and say “hi” again! 🙂

  • Kelly Krause - I think I can be a bit melodramatic about the weather too. Except I am completely opposite of you….if the temp tops 75, you will find me parked in front of the fan and complaining about how much I hate summer 🙂

  • Heidi E - I need to live in a place where I can go to a Christmas parade in shorts! FUN! 😉 MN does nooootttt do that.

  • AshleyAnn - Thank you Narayani!!

  • AshleyAnn - January 1!!!

  • Julie - Hi Ashley! I’m from FL and even though I live in the south, I’m SUCH a baby about the cold weather too. I love that you do CrossFit. It’s too intense for me but my husband loves it. I wondered if you guys have heard of their ROMWOD stretching program? You subscribe each month and they post a new routine each day. It takes about 20 minutes at the end of the day, but it’s become one of our favorite family traditions and makes us feel great! It seems like something your family would enjoy!