INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

I've partnered up with Little Beans Clothing to give my Instagram followers a chance to win a $25 shop credit to snag some of the cutest mommy & baby apparel!

To enter, here's what you do:

>  Follow @AshleyMarkwood & @LittleBeans_Co

>  Like the photo posted with the giveaway

*Please tag some friends who you think would like to enter! The giveaway closes in 48 hours!

 

Why I'm totally #TeamLittleBeans:

I love meeting fellow mommy's that are so inspirational and motivate me to chase my dreams! Stephanie, the owner/creator, it not only extremely talented - she's also super sweet!  I'm all about graphic tee's that are witty and just REAL ... so when I came across this company, it was a match made in heaven. Her designs are unique and there's something for everyone; moms, dads, boys, girls, toddlers & babies ... I love the variety!

I hope you all enter this Instagram  giveaway for a chance to win! Below are some of my favorite pieces from the online shop!

xx,

Ashley

 

Toscanini's...Best of Boston!

Some believe it to be the best in the world (yes, world), and every list of "Boston's Best" includes this family-owned ice cream shop! Toscanini's has been part of my own "must try" list for some time now, created back when Chris and I first moved to Boston. Over the weekend, we finally ventured to Cambridge to see what all the fuss was about. 
To start, ALL of the ice cream is homemade right at the shop. They have been making ice cream every morning since 1986! Flavors like "burnt caramel" and "belgian chocolate" are mainstays, but there are always new ones in the rotation. An added bonus is that the toppings like whipped cream, chocolate sauce and butterscotch sauce are homemade as well! I can highly recommend the flavors "Butter Almond" and "CookiesXCreme" because Chris and I went with those - and they were amazing! I hope you all get a chance to check this place out if you ever come to the Boston area. It's definitely worth the extra calories :) 
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Magical Newport Weekend, Part I

I hope everyone had a happy Easter celebrating the Resurrection! 
Chris and I were able to get away for a long weekend - and it was just as the title says...magical. Newport, RI is such a little slice of heaven, right in our backyard. After only a 75 minute drive, we arrived in this charming seaside town and were checking into our selected bed & breakfast, The Hydrangea House. We absolutely LOVE b&b's, and this spot was perfect for us. I can't say enough about the hosts, Grant and Dennis, who went above and beyond to make our stay extra special. We had turn-down service at night with cookies left on our pillows, wine and cheese in the afternoon, and the breakfast was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Each morning we couldn't wait to see what they had prepared for us...and it was nothing short of gourmet status. Bread pudding french toast with Vermont maple syrup, homemade glazed apple turnovers, oven baked bacon, raspberry pancake fritters, orange zest yogurt mousse...the list goes on and on. According to Chris, I put on a "legendary" performance at breakfast :)  It was quite funny actually, there were four other pregnant women (myself included) staying at the inn this past weekend! Three were due in June. You'd think there was some sort of "expectant mother special" going on, but it was all by coincidence! 
Anyway, I highly recommend a stay at the Hydrangea House ... even if it's just for a night of two. Below is a photo of the dining room (I was terrible with my camera this weekend) so just take my word for it...you would absolutely LOVE this b&b...especially the quaint rooms and fantastic breakfast! 
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Snoogle Pillow: The 2nd Miracle Worker

I'm sure you're all wondering what the heck a "snoogle pillow" is...or maybe you've already discovered it if you're an expectant Momma like myself. I just REALLY felt the need to dedicate an entire blog post to this little slice of heaven. I am heading into my 7th month of pregnancy, so sleeping is becoming a bit of a challenge. It's difficult to get comfortable, especially since I can't sleep flat on my back or stomach, as I normally would. My husband and I went to Baby's R Us this weekend to finish up our registry, and we came upon the "pillow" section. Knowing how much sleep has been a struggle for me, Chris was pretty insistent that we get the Snoogle (I think he's just fed up with hearing me complain in the middle of the night! Ha!) I thought it was silly to spend $60 on a pillow...but this might be one of my favorite/best purchases of 2015. The past few nights, I have slept like a champ only waking up once to reposition myself. Last night, I fell asleep and woke up in the same exact position...amazing. The pillow itself is pretty large and in charge...it really takes up some space in our queen bed (which now feels like a twin), but it's so worth it. You can purchase it on Amazon, Babys R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond...so many websites - so if you have any gift cards or discounts to those stores - check it out! Below are some photos of a rando lady (in killer pj's) thoroughly enjoying her Snoogle....and just think, THAT COULD BE YOU! 
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Baby Inspiration Part II

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes!

Two days in a row of food posts....blame the pregnant lady :) 

This morning I woke up a little bit earlier (like 10 minutes) so instead of running around frantically preparing my breakfast/lunch...I had time to put something yummy together! I'm a HUGE pancake fan...anytime we're out to breakfast I order them, hands down. With the flour, sugar, etc...they aren't always the healthiest option UNLESS you make them the way I did this morning. I usually mash one whole banana into mine for extra sweetness, and you can add any berries that you have kickin' around as well. They're very hearty and the oats will keep you full longer throughout the morning!

Here's what you'll need:
*Makes 2 pancakes
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 banana (optional; Can use just berries or have plain)
- dash of water
Directions: Cook in prepared pan on medium heat, as you would normal pancakes. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

 

 

We're Having A Baby!

It was an extra special Christmas for us this year, as we got to share some REALLY exciting news with family and friends! We are expecting our first child...'Baby M' coming July 2015! It's been a wild year for us...engaged, married, and now baby on the way! We are so thrilled to be parents and can't wait to share this adventure with all of you! I am almost 14 weeks along...starting to have more energy and feel better overall; so far, the second trimester is amazing! 

Please share with me your favorite brands for all things 'baby'! We are first-timers, so we'll take all the help and advice we can get :) I hope you all had a great Christmas, and are going into 2015 feeling fulfilled, happy, and eager for the new year ahead!

xx,

Ashley