Girls’ Night, Home Projects, & Lasagna

Hi friends!

Well, here we are at a Monday again. Seriously, where does the weekend go?! Even though it flew by, it sure was a great one. Fun, productive, relaxing – all three things I think of when it comes to a perfect weekend.

My weekend started Friday evening when I headed out for a girls’ night. One of my girlfriends from my MOPS group invited a bunch of ladies over to her house for a “recipe exchange party”. You bring your favorite sweet or savory dish along with some recipe cards for others to take home. We also voted on our favorite sweet dish and savory dish. Fun, right?! P.S. Thanks so much for all of your recipe suggestions last week! I took note of them and plan on trying some of them out soon. I ended up going with something I had tried before – my favorite homemade salsa. It’s simple and amazingly addicting, so I thought it’d be a good choice. Winking smile

I’m not sure about you, but when it comes to good food and fun people, I guarantee it a great time. Not only was it fun, but just so necessary for me to get out and enjoy some girl time. A few of these girls have become some of my favorite people, and I feel so blessed to have them in my life right now.


We ate food (obviously), drank wine, chatted, and laughed the night away. I finally got home a little before midnight with not much of a voice left. I felt a lot better (from my cold), but I think all of the talking and laughing made my voice hoarse! So worth it though.

Saturday morning I laid low, did some stuff around the house, hung out with my little man, and relaxed – just what I needed.


We ran to Home Depot to grab a few things and suddenly found ourselves buying paint to do a couple home projects. You see, when we first got married, I was very into dark furniture. I still don’t mind it, but I’ve realized over the past couple years how much white brightens a room and makes me feel happier. I’ve also learned how quickly it looks dusty when you have two dogs in the house. We decided to paint our espresso brown table and TV stand a satin white, and I absolutely LOVE it. We also spray painted the silver nobs a brass color that matches some of our other fixtures.


We also stopped by Hobby Lobby to pick up a frame to hang one of our new family photos! I’ve been wanting to do this for weeks now, and Hobby Lobby had all of their large frames 50% off, so I jumped on it.


Our evening ended with pizza and half of a Harry Potter movie. And then I fell into bed and totally zonked out. I was so tired!

Sunday was church, and then my cousin came over. He goes to college not too far away from us, so we invited him over for a lasagna dinner. I remember how much I appreciated a home cooked meal in college, so I thought he’d enjoy it. Obviously it was really nice to see him again too!


Oh, and I made brownies for dessert. Any excuse to make brownies is a good one. Winking smile

Have an amazing Monday!

Have you ever attended a recipe exchange party?

Do you have lighter, medium, or darker furniture? Or a combo?

What’s your favorite “home cooked meal”?

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  1. says

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend! Girls’ night out is always the best. I always go for darker pieces of furniture, but I’m really loving what you did to that table and it’s making me rethink my dark furniture taste. You’re right…it does really brighten a room!

  2. says

    I love light furniture, yours came out really well! Your family picture is precious! And Hunter is just so cute, my gosh one of the cutest babies ever !

  3. Katie says

    We have pretty dark furniture around the house, which I love in the summer but winter it gets a little “gloomy” I try to brighten things up with fun picture frames! I haven’t been to a recipe exchange party but it sounds like a lot of fun… sounds nutty but I wish I lived in your area, I would really love a group like this! Favorite home cooked meal…Chili! It’s one of my favorite winter dishes, but only when homemade…Never care too much for restaurant style ones!

  4. says

    I’ve never been to a recipe exchange party, but it sounds like a lot of fun – and I’m all for an excuse to hang out and eat 😉 Glad you had a great weekend!
    Our furniture is a mix of lights and darks, but I see what you mean about how lights brighten a room. And also – dark furniture plus a dog is not a good combo. Especially if they shed as much as our puppy does!

  5. says

    And to think you were so nervous about going to the MOPS meeting in the beginning!! I think it is wonderful that you are making new friends who you can share the newness of motherhood with!!

    Love the furniture makeover!! Like you, I bought all dark furniture when I was in decorating mode a few years back. I like it because it is all nice, classic pieces that will look great years down the road but it can be a bit boring. Sadly, I don’t think my husband would be okay with me re-vamping it.

    • Ashley says

      I know, right?! Our group has really bonded well, which I’m so thankful for! It can be a total toss-up when you throw a bunch of random women into a group. 😉

  6. Alaina says

    What beautiful changes you’ve made with the wood frame and painting the furniture a brighter color! Home Depot has quickly become one of our favorite places for home decor projects!

  7. says

    What a fun girls night! I haven’t done a recipe exchange only but have done a wine swap where we brought wine an appetizer and the recipe to share with everyone. I’m actually doing another wine swap this Thursday and can’t wait! So much fun!
    Funny you mention wanting to brighten up your furniture because I was just telling my husband that when we move into the new house we are doing a completely different decor than we’ve had for the past few years. Like you, we have all dark furniture and very neutral decor. So I’m looking forward to brightening up our new house some day soon!

  8. says

    I had a fun girls’ night this weekend as well! Except we just went out for sushi 😉
    That’s so nice of you to provide a home-cooked meal for your cousin! I know I’m going to be missing those when I go off to college next year. My favorite home-cooked meal would probably be grilled salmon!

  9. Nicole says

    What a great weekend for you – productive and fun! What were some of the best dishes you got to try at the MOPS party?
    …. and I’m glad to hear you’re over your cold!

    I’ve been to cookie recipe exchange parties….naps are required once you get home. :)

    I have dark furniture, but am dying to do something to brighten up my space too. Maybe over T’giving I’ll paint my bathroom….I’ve been dying to get my kitchen cabinets refinished, but I need to save my pennies for a bit.

    Favorite homemade meal: Meatloaf. Mainly because it’s just a polite way to eat gobs and gobs of ketchup. 😛

    • Ashley says

      Some of my faves were broccoli cheese soup, lettuce wraps, shrimp/black bean salad, caramelitas (caramel bars), chocolate chip oatmeal bars, and Snickers salad! It was all amazing though. :)

  10. says

    We’re the same way with furniture. We’re moving to the whiter side of things. We recently got a whole bedroom set in white and we have a cabinet and a tv stand in white now too.

    The recipe exchange sounds like it was a lot of fun. My favorite home-cooked meal is probably meatloaf w/ mashed potatoes and corn.

  11. Stacey M. says

    Glad to hear you went with something “tried and true” for your recipe exchange party … it never fails to just stick with what you know and I’m assuming everyone enjoyed your salsa. Did you end up taking home any great recipes, or recipe ideas? I’d be interested to know what others brought. I’ve never actually attended such a party, but now I’m thinking it would be a great idea for a get-together with the women I work with. We’re always looking for a reason to meet up and chat for a while.

    When I was younger, my bedroom furniture was all white. I LOVED it as a child. I actually still have my entire bedroom set at my house now, but I keep all of it in a spare bedroom. In my own home, we actually have a mix of oak and cherry furniture, which is a nice balance between light and dark for us.

    • Ashley says

      Yes! Tons of great recipe ideas! A few of my favorites were Caramelitas (these amazing caramel bars), chocolate chip oatmeal bars, Snickers salad, lettuce wraps, broccoli cheese soup, and a black bean/shrimp salad!

      • Stacey M. says

        Ooooo … those caramelitas sound delicious! Well – who am I kidding – it all sounds delicious. Your friends made quite a mix of good eats that’s for sure.

  12. says

    I used to -love- dark furniture, but now I’m all about the light pieces with the occasional darker accent. I love how much brighter and lighter it makes things feel… and how much harder it is to see dust 😉 I love how your table came out, and that reminds me that I really need to get around to painting one of my own pieces soon. Did you sand it down first? Or just paint over the other paint?

  13. says

    It is funny I am into dark furniture too but I can see how lighter furniture does brighten up a room too. I love the idea of the recipe exchange party, I’ve never been to one but I would love to go or host one myself as it is such a great idea.

  14. Megan Little says

    Love the re-finished furniture! What color are your walls? I love them!!! Also, how do you keep your house so clean with two dogs? We have two (one big one small) and they are always tracking in so much dust/dirt. I can’t ever seem to keep the hair/ dust/ dirt/ leaves/ you name it/ twigs/ off the floor.

    • Ashley says

      Thank you! Our walls are a darker beige color – not sure the exact name. It’s quite the task to keep the house clean with two dogs that are constantly going back and forth between inside and outside, but I’ve figured out a system that works pretty well. I have my “chores” broken up throughout the week so everything gets done regularly without me feeling overwhelmed. For example, M – kitchen; Tu – bathrooms; W – dust/vacuum…etc. :)

  15. says

    I love taking a piece of furniture you already have and making it new again – your table looks awesome!

    I’ve never been to a recipe exchange but I have been to a cookie exchange – same idea just with very little chance of being healthy!

  16. says

    Looks like it was such a fun night with MOPS friends!

    Love the new family picture, made me smile when I saw it on your sidebar too! Beautiful!

    Hope your week is going great, sounds like in your latest post, it is a busy one! <3

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