ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

it’s beginning to look a lot like…Asheville November 30, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,nut butter,oatmeal,working out — ansauls @ 11:31 pm
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hey y’all! I hope that you are all having a very happy start to the week…amidst the icky weather (at least here) in Asheville. I am visiting just for a few days and loving it!

I am here with my Mom. We were craving good grilled fish, so we asked the concierge where to go, and he suggested…

I was honestly a little sketched out by the entrance. It was dark and underground, but the food was made up for it. There was also a guitar player that started a little later. He was really good…very “James Taylor”!

I had grilled salmon with an eggplant and olive salad that was served with a balsalmic reduction. I’m not usually big on balsalmic, but their’s was actually yummy! And I had a glass or Merlot, which rarely lets me down 😉

Mom had a rigatoni pasta special with chicken and spinach. She was impressed as well. The waitress took a little while to bring us our vino, so she offerred to comp dessert. I could NOT pass that up, sooooo this ended up on the table…

…chocolate torte for me (a marble cake in between lucious layers of chocolate and white chocolate mousse–I’m a sucker for mousse!) and a key lime pie for Mom. As usual, we finished the meal off with decaf coffees. Mom has me addicted to” after dinner decaf” as the perfect finish to any meal.

This morning began with a workout at the hotel gym, which I am usually not pumped about because of the lack of facilities and blah views, blah blah blah…I know! Stop complaining, right? All of the 4 cardiomachines were full when Mom and I got there. Well, luckily I had my iPod with my BodyPump music on it, so I did 74 and then finished it off with 30 minutes of intense cardio on the cross trainer. I cam back to the room a hungry beast to…

to pumpkin oats that I pre-made at home in case the hotel did not have a good breakfast, and to save some money. I LOVE oats-in-a-jar. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a mug shot until halfway through the jar. In the mix was:

  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin spice almond butter
  • 1/6 c oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt, pumpkin
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • toppings: TJ’s pumpkin butter, sliced almonds

and Wolfgang Puck coffee…the best hotel coffee!

I went shopping in Biltmore Village (new Christmas bowl coming soon!), then met my lovely discipler at Starbucks. It was my first sip of Christmas blend, which I really like. It’s a little spicy yet very homey and warm tasting. I hope I get some of this from Santa to brew on Christmas morning. They also have the cutest mugs and nesting cups….oh, I am SUCH a sucker for cute dishes!

I am off to a fun dinner with friends. More to come soon!


Family + Friends + Fun + Football + (Black) Friday November 27, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,my life,nut butter,oatmeal — ansauls @ 3:01 am
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Happy Black Friday!

Let’s recap yesterday as I did not even make it to my computer yesterday with all the fun festivities of friends and family; cheering on the Patriots, Saints/Cowboys (I like both teams and just wanted an excellent game, which it was!), and the Jets; and, of course, cooking.

I had to begin the day with Thanksgiving oatmeal



Then, a new tradition on our household as of last year, MIMOSAS while we cook! Just a little big girl OJ for breakfast 😉

Cooking commenced. My Mom and my sister cooking away. I didn’t get a picture of me in my lime green damask apron.

This year was challenging and fun for me because I made my own meal in “eat clean” fashion because my body does not digest processed food well. Thanks for several of my blog inspirations, I scoured recipes and put together…

My menu included: Gina’s sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing (with Great Harvest stuffing bread insted of Ezekiel bread), and cranberry sauce, and my own broccoli casserole (broccoli, brown rice, and cheddar Daiya. I also made pumpkin cornbread. It was interesting explaining to everyone why I had different food and how important eating real, clean food is important to me. The men in my family smoked turkey and brisket, and Mom baked turkey in the oven after an overnight brining.

Then the desserts came out…

pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving pie (pumpkin and pecan), lemon pie, Mama’s chocolate eclair, oreo dessert, ooey gooey butter cake with a twist from Paula Deen’s recipe. Everything was amazing!

At the end of the day, I felt great. I did get a good work-out in, but decided to take today off because…shopping!!!!!!

It’s a tradition that Mom and I get up at 3 a.m. and head out to shop. Even though we had an early start, I had a breakfast cookie in a black cup with a black spoon ready to go:

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp Naturally More
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 oz of goji berries
  • sliced other half of banana on top


We have no agenda, just spending time together and seeing what we see. We got to the mall around 4:30 a.m., tried on shoes…

…and had a blast! The day was the perfect shopping weather: 60s and rainy. We got home around 6 p.m. Now we are eating leftovers and sitting around with friends. Everything tastes even better on Day 2!

How was your Thanksgivng? How did you spend Black Friday?


shopping with a purpose November 23, 2010

Filed under: Fashion — ansauls @ 10:49 pm

yesterday’s post got me thinking about purposeful shopping, and today I received a Kate Spade e-mail about just that. I love Kate Spade as a brand, even though I can’t afford  it :(. I’m big on women’s issues and fashion, and Women for Women International brings it all together.

[Source]logo header

There are pieces in their Winter 2010 collection from ladies in Bosnia, a country torn by war. These ladies work for wages, are trained, and buying these items in a way gives back to them because it drives demand (oh, my marketing and econ classes are coming back!).


I am not one for pushing brands, and I’m not telling you to run out and buy these things (although I do love the bangle hehe). I just want to pose the thought to think about what you’re giving this year. The commercials are overwhelming and sales are tempting, but you ultimately control how you spend your dollar. Anywho, I just thought that this was really cool!