http:// sarah ashley.
This weekend I wore my Issa London by Banana Republic dress that I am completely obsessed with to the baptism of my nephew-now-godson.
It’s a re-creation of Kate Middleton’s famous engagement dress, made out of a dark teal jersey fabric as compared to Kate’s royal blue silk.
It’s super comfortable and extremely flattering… I just wish I had a reason to wear it more often. Additionally, I wish I had a reason to buy the real thing, because it’s currently on eBay in my size for a mere $600.

This weekend I wore my Issa London by Banana Republic dress that I am completely obsessed with to the baptism of my nephew-now-godson.

It’s a re-creation of Kate Middleton’s famous engagement dress, made out of a dark teal jersey fabric as compared to Kate’s royal blue silk.

It’s super comfortable and extremely flattering… I just wish I had a reason to wear it more often. Additionally, I wish I had a reason to buy the real thing, because it’s currently on eBay in my size for a mere $600.

I went to my first Paint Nite last night!
We were supposed to go last month, but the painting/night we chose didn’t sell enough tickets, so it was cancelled. Boo. After much deliberation, we rescheduled for “Baby Big Eyes,” which is labeled as an “easy” painting. It was super fun, but definitely harder than expected (even our instructor exclaimed some difficulty).
A few beers, a couple of hours, and a hilarious playlist of late ’90s R&B later, and we were done! It’s great to see how unique everyone’s finished painting comes out — one girl did a pink owl that I loved. I can’t wait to go again!
Have any of you gone to a Paint Nite?

I went to my first Paint Nite last night!

We were supposed to go last month, but the painting/night we chose didn’t sell enough tickets, so it was cancelled. Boo. After much deliberation, we rescheduled for “Baby Big Eyes,” which is labeled as an “easy” painting. It was super fun, but definitely harder than expected (even our instructor exclaimed some difficulty).

A few beers, a couple of hours, and a hilarious playlist of late ’90s R&B later, and we were done! It’s great to see how unique everyone’s finished painting comes out — one girl did a pink owl that I loved. I can’t wait to go again!

Have any of you gone to a Paint Nite?

apple cupcakes.

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Just in time for September, with all its autumn goodness — pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, gorgeous foliage — I thought I would share these fun “apple” cupcakes.

They’re really vanilla cupcakes with chocolate dipped donuts on top; frosted in red and disguised with sugar and Tootsie Rolls. They’d be great for a back-to-school party, or even for Halloween.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 vanilla cupcakes baked in red cupcake liners
  • 12 mini donuts
  • vanilla frosting
  • red food coloring
  • red decorating sugar
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Green fruit chews

Tint vanilla frosting red (I use Wilton no-taste red gel).

Cut a small bit of a each donut to make a flat surface (I used chocolate dipped Hostess Donettes; they were slightly smaller in diameter than my cupcakes, so I slightly squished them).

Spread some red frosting on each cupcake, place the mini donut pieces on top, and place cupcakes in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Roll out the green fruit chews (I used green Tootsie Rolls, but Jolly Rancher chews work, too) and cut into 12 leaves. Slightly roll regular Tootsie Rolls to resemble stems.

Pour red sugar into a shallow bowl.

Take the cupcake/donuts out of the freezer, frost each one carefully, leaving a bit of a “dent” in the center. Roll in the red sugar and top with a Tootsie roll stem and leaf!

My mother just came back from a vacation in New Orleans and she brought me a box of French macarons from Sucre! They were divine.

My mother just came back from a vacation in New Orleans and she brought me a box of French macarons from Sucre! They were divine.

Just got my Manduka ProLite yoga mat in the mail!

Just got my Manduka ProLite yoga mat in the mail!

quinoa salad.

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Over the past few years quinoa (“kin-wa”) has become super popular for reasons I don’t quite know. I’m guessing it correlates with the popularity of “gluten-free” diets, which I don’t pay much attention to, and the fact that it’s a nutrient-dense food.

To me, since I do Weight Watchers, the only thing that matters is how many Points Plus a food is — and quinoa has more points than rice, so I never really cared too much to try it.

Oh, but then I did.

About a month ago I attended a family BBQ with Robert, and his aunt Karen had made a mediterranean-style quinoa salad.

I don’t know if it was the quinoa, the red wine vinegar, the lime juice, or the combination of fresh and delicious veggies that made me fall in love with this dish, but I did. I couldn’t stop eating it!

Last night we had people over for our own BBQ and I thought it would be a great side dish to put out with the carb-heavy prosciutto & pea pasta salad Robert loves so much.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 medium cucumbers, diced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Soak the quinoa in cold water for five minutes, drain, rinse and drain again.

In a medium sauce pan, bring the water to a boil. Add salt and rinsed quinoa. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and translucent. Drain and return quinoa to pan; cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

Add quinoa and toss. ENJOY!