Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Review


Phew!  what a year it has been here are some of the highlights (both good & bad!) 

Joy: Welcomed our second child {Cy Greyson}  into the world first thing Jan 6th.  Coincidentally that was also the same time Ryan got a 19 appraisal RUSH order. We both had a lot of 2-3 hr sleeping nights.  But we survived & he is/was definitely worth it! We are so thankful for him & its been so fun seeing the boys "play" together.  His first word post the traditional "mama" "dada" has been bubbles.  You can always find him within 2 feet of his older brother, much to Tucker's chagrin.

Fun: Took our first vacation post two kiddos to (where else) Branson Missouri with the entire Huhn clan (Boppa included)  We had a good time, but were certainly glad we had  a few extra hands with the boys!  Fun was had by all.

Trusting in God:  4 business days before we were planned to sell our small appraisal company the buyer backed out.  Talk about stressful.  All along our prayer was for God to open the door or close it, & close it he did.  With some distance from the situation now, we are immensely glad this did not go through.  Ryan has done a wonderful job growing the business & every year it does better than the last! 

New Home: Oct 12th we bought our first home, a foreclosure property in Nevada.  Although we are not new to home ownership we are loving not sharing a driveway or wall with anyone else! :-)  You could say Ryan got his hands "dirty" the first week.  Lets just say it involved a sewer backup that covered him head to toe & a midnight shower run to my parents.  :-)  I must add I love the location of the house as well, 7 minutes to Lowes & 9 to Target...sometimes in Ames we couldn't get there that fast!

Move:  What Houck yearly update doesn't include a moving update.  Some family members joke they put our address in pencil. :-)  We moved this year...TWICE.  The first move was into my mother in laws house for 6 weeks before we closed on our house & November 6th we moved into our foreclosure home.  We sincerely hope you feel you can write our address in ink this time! 

New Home Fun Facts:
we were 1 of 4 who put an offer in & got it! 
we have had at least one visitor a day since we've taken ownership on Oct. 12th--crazzzzy!  
we have painted all but 1 room in the house (that's even including the laundry room!)
we're convinced we have the worlds smallest bathroom :-)
...but most of all we love the space it provides for the boys to run around!

Ring Bear:  Tucker had the opportunity to be a ring bear in my cousins wedding {Kyle & Hilliary Beneventi} back in August.  Tucker absolutely loved the responsibility & not gonna lie, we loved seeing him in a tux as well! :-) 
Etsy:  I started a little small business on back in August.  I have LOVED having this as an outlet & a way to make some extra money for our family with my boys by my side.  Well, if I'm my feet...literally.  I have all but painted 1 room in our house (our bedroom) which I hope to get done this spring. My Mom was a HUGE help in this effort as well!

So that sums up our biggest highlights through the the year.  Looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings!
Happy New Year!

Craft Room

We don't have a huge house, but I'm determined to use up every single square feet we got!  This little corner of the laundry room/basement storage room will be my little crafting space. More pictures to follow once the space has been decorated as well. 

painted paneling

the holidays threw us for a loop with traveling & what not, but here is a fun before & after picture how our basement is coming along!  For just under $600.00 we were able to transform this space.  Now I got to figure out how I want to decorate... (which is a completely GREAT problem!)  :-) 

$95.00 Paint & Primer
$500.00 Flooring
Labor: Free thanks to my hubby & Ryan's great family!!
  {the boys already enjoying the new space!}

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cy's Birth Story

I thought I'd better write this down before we forget!

The last three weeks of my pregnancy I was on bed rest, and boy does that stink!  Thankfully I had so many gracious friends stop by & keep me company & my sister Carly helped out SO much Tucker it went by relatively quickly! 

Cy was born on a Friday.  Friday, Janurary 6th to be exact, the same day as my late grandmothers birthday.  We got to choose from three dates & we decided that was fitting.  Even though it was Janurary it was 66 degree the day he was born!  crazy!

Before we left the house we prayed for the day & Lord willing we'd have a healthy delivery & baby soon! We got to the hospital right at 7:30 that morning.  I remember not sleeping well the night before...just anxious for the days events.  We got there, got to our room & they started my iv to jump start labor.  I'd say by 8:30 we were rolling.  8:30 -10:00 I'd say the contractions were consistent, but not unbearable.  We'd watch NCIS in between the nurses & midwives coming in to check on my progress.  From 10am -1 the harder contractions began.  The kind where you can't talk and focus on getting through them.  Ryan was great (as usual)  and was my little encourager.

By 1:00 I had asked for the epidural & got it pretty quickly after that.  From 1-3:30 was quicker contractions & by 3:30 I was fully dilated  & ready to push.  I remember thinking, WOW this was so much easier than Tuckers labor.  I started pushing @ 3:30 & and continued on for 30 mins...nothing.  The baby wasn't moving down.  The babies heart rate was getting low so they stopped for 30 mins having me switch from side to side & we tried again @ 4:30, I pushed again for 50 mins, having to switch from side to side.  still no movement down from the baby.  i remember about this time I was ready to give up.  I had no more energy left. i was spent.  About this time it was shift change for the midwives & I got Carol.  But, since Alice had been there all day with me & was just as excited to see what the sex of the baby was (she said not many people don't find out anymore)  she stayed in the room & knitted until Cy was born! :-)  )  About this time the word C-section was being thrown around.  That was all I needed to hear.  I remember thinking I did NOT go through all this labor just to have a C-section.  The Dr. on call had been called in, along with her nurse & Alice in the corner & three pushes later Cy was born!  I remember them putting him on my chest & Carol happily proclaimed, "its a boy!"  I looked down at him and immediately started crying.  what a miracle, our little miracle.  His 10 month birthday is tomorrow & it has been so much fun seeing him grow.  His personality is very laid back, happy go lucky, routine driven ---although this one may be because of his mother! :-)--, very tender hearted and the bluest big eyes you've ever seen. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

short & sweet!

...we close on our FIRST home Friday! can i get a whoop, whoop!? :-)

...i have been a Pinterest fool pinning tons of ideas for future projects, paint colors etc.  I got all the room colors figured out except Tucker & Cy's room. I'm hoping to get that figured out this week!

...sunday evening has become family movie night & I look forward to that time as MUCH as my little three year old. Tonight was Toy Story. Big Hit! Looking forward to introducing him into the classics this Christmas!

...I started listening to Christmas music today.  yep, its only oct 7th. :-)

...i haven't forgotten about this blog & hope to get it back up & running as we take on LOTS of new projects and capturing precious moments with our little family! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

We Bought a House!

We are pretty pumped!
If everything goes well (Lord Willing)  we'll be set to close October 12th.
  So that means we gotta get our place rent out asap!  
This home will definitely need some TLC but we're looking forward to this challenge! 
                                                                      Back: we LOVE the patio door that is out there.  (hopefully put in a little cement patio next year)
                                           Basement (soon to be refinished to a family room)
                                                      Bathroom: To be completely gutted
                                                                          Dining Room
                                                                          Garage: cannot even TELL you how excited Ryan is to have a garage again!!
                                                              Kitchen (Much work to be done!)
                                                               Living Room

Friday, August 10, 2012

phew, the start of my etsy shop!

 Last Saturday night I opened an etsy shop called:  Fancy That Loved. It will strictly be a supply shop selling items like paper straws & washi tape etc.  Like these:

My goal is to fund our Christmas & vacation fund monthly.  I hope to have these items up in an ebay shop as well.   I have really enjoyed doing this.  While I LOVE staying at home with my boys, it is my desire this will be a good outlet for me (not to mention some extra $$ for the family) With our duplexes my favorite thing to do is show the units because I love the kill of a sale, so this has been fun.  My shop has been up since Saturday & have had eight sales (thats without a penny of advertising yet!) This next week I'll be spending alot of time 'polishing' it.  I'm getting pictures taken by a friend who does photography on the side & hopefully my washi tape up.  I've quickly learned it takes ALOT ALOT ALOT of time to get something posted, done, etc, but its a complete labor of love! My goal is to have it all up & going (including my ebay shop) by September 15th! 

I plan to open another shop in October with something that i will make.  However, I'm not ready to disclose that information on the world wide web yet,  but if you ask me in person I'll be SURE to talk your ear off about it :-) 

I've also helped my mother-in-law get one started as if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind bridal or wedding gift check out her personalized hangers HERE

I have a certain ring on my cell phone so when I heart it, I know I got a sale,  & with each sale I've done a happy dance!
ohh the blessings of a small mommy business! :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


funny blog stats

 Sometimes I find it funny how people 'find' my blog. Here are a few of the last month or so...

grocery list

fun bbq ideas

funny housewarming gifts

ashley appraiser wife

housewarming party ideas

cute bbq ideas

first suck

iowa state football

Paul Rhoads wife

37th week of pregnancy

Easy Chicken Ranch Tacos

Easy Chicken Ranch Tacos:
{Huge hit at our house!}

3 cups cooked chicken, cut up
1 pkg. taco seasoning (chicken or beef)
1/2 cup ranch dressing
Taco shells
Preferred taco condiments

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooked chicken and warm it for a few minutes. Sprinkle on the whole package of dry taco seasoning. Do not add any water! Heat for 5-7 minuted until all heated through and taco seasoning is stuck to the chicken.

***I baked my chicken, cut it up then added my taco seasoning (still with no water) & then stirred in my ranch dressing, stirred it all up & microwaved it for a min.***  Super easy quick dish for nights on the GO.

Add ranch dressing, heat an additional 2-3 minutes to warm through.

Serve in taco shells with all your favorite fixings!


Monday, July 16, 2012

postgram, my newest favorite app

I recently downloaded postgram app & have fallen in LOVE with it. I am definitely one for sending out lots of little notes, etc to friends/family. So when I could send a picture & message to someone for only 90cents & have it be personalized...I was hooked!  For example, sending pictures of the boys real quick from my phone to our great grandparents mailbox etc, had a friend take Tucker out on a pony ride & sent them a picture of Tucker riding the horse with the owners daughter as a thank you etc.  
So much fun, & SO DARN EASY. 


April 10th I started a diet called Medifast.
...since then I have lost 32.6 lbs, the equivalent of loosing my soon-to-be three year old son!
phew, it has been ALOT of work but I am LOVING the outcome...WAY more energy, only having 1 pair of pants that fit now(!)  (haley is going to help me with this problem this week!) going down 2-3 jean sizes(!) & so many other fun things I'm forgetting at the moment.  I am roughly at my half way point & feeling good/strong!  Its always encouraging to me when people comment & say how good your looking, so if you notice, PLEASE tell me! :-)  It really helps motivate me! ...and the COOLEST part of all of this? I've inspired 4 DIFFERENT people to start their journey in medifast.  HOW COOL. I hope to have a post soon on tips & tricks that have helped me with this diet.  Here's to better health & keeping up with my kiddos!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


This month has been crrraaazzy busy! {but we're totally loving it!}
Started off with a vacation to Branson.  
we had a wonderful time & the boys did great.  Although Cy wasn't too found of the ride home! :-)  We went boating/tubing, sight seeing, go-cart riding, grilling & shopping.  Our whole family is HORRIBLE at remembering to take pictures so this is all I got so far :-) 

Cousins Reunion Weekend.
Once a year we get together with Ryan's cousins for a weekend.  This year was no exception.  We had a great time!  We met in Cedar Rapids this year at Jimmy's house.  This year we had family from St Louis & Chicago.  
Here is a picture of us girls after our massages...ahh!!
                                           While the us girls pampered ourselves the guys went golfing! I think I heard Ryan even won!
 This week we've been helping volunteer in the preschool room at VBS.  Which has been alot of fun & ohhhh so tiring!  :-)
our boys have been keeping us busy as well!  They have been loving this weather & eating out on our patio set almost daily!  Tucker is soaking up so much & its been fun to have little conversations with him. :-) In April we went to a TV FREE household during the day, and WE LOVE IT.  It has allowed Tucker to get super creative.  Every Sunday night we do have a movie night with popcorn & is the highlight to Tucker's week!  Cy is our little rockstar.  He is supper happy & has a smile that lights up a room!  It has been SO MUCH FUN seeing the boys interact & laugh at one another.  In the mornings before we go in & get the boys you hear them "talking/laughing" to one another.  I WISH i could be a bug on the wall & see what they are doing.  
That is a quick update for us! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I was wondering if I was ever going to be bitten from the DIY bug again!
Since doing 2 major remodeling projects & 4-5 minor ones since we bought our first duplex in 2006 I was wondering if I had lost my love for it. 
Well, last week it returned!
We painted our bathroom...
& last night I started painting our hallway with 
Mineral Deposit from Sherwin Williams.
Looking forward to posting our progress as we continue. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cy 4 months old

is super laid back & a chill baby (just the opposite of his older brother!)
has a smile that lights up a room!
is a full bore mommy's boy 
is eating 7 ounces every 4 hrs.
takes 2, two hour naps a day
he takes after his Mother & thrives off a routine! :-)
sleeps from 7-7 am 
loves his bumbo seat & eating outside with the family for lunchtime
favorite part of our day is going to get him in the morning to see his BIG smiles & moving feet
he loves to be entertained by his older brother.
he is our little cutie pie!

Tucker Update 2.5 yrs old

...wakes up @ 7:00 am like clockwork
is so sweet & gentle to Cy.
refers to Sunny Delight as "Boppa's apple jucie"
refers to Powerade as "riley's apple juice"
he sticks a little cow puzzle piece under our carpet at ALL times. 
he wants hot dogs or Mac & Cheese for every.single.meal
loves animals from a distance (not up close)
he loves popcorn & movie night Sunday evenings
loves his baby brother ALOT
he loves to be his daddy's little helper
his favorite song is PB & Jelly
He loves to help Mom with baking/cooking supper or projects
...he is our little ball of energy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

$10.00 Challenge weeks 3 & 4

Week 3:  Did not do any garage selling due to being too busy that weekend.

Week 4: I bough this... dehumidifier for $5.00 & sold it for $15.00. profit $10.00
{who would of thought we'd get 3 calls within the FIRST hr for this dinosaur!}
We pooled our "joint" profits & bought this snow blower for $40.00
We sold it today for $80.00.  Since Ryan had to "borrow" from me we are splitting the profits 70/30. 
Me: $10.00  Profit from my item plus 12.00 from Ryan's item = $72.00 to use to spend
Ryan: $28.00 profit, $46.00 to spend.
TOTAL PROFIT:  $118.00  in 4 weekends.
Our next item is in transit, and we'll give you a doesn't run! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

my. latest.obsession.
i fully expect to sing this as a trio with my sisters in a few weeks...
Carly, get crackin' cause you only have to catch up to  how many times Haley & I have listened to it...say  25 + times!  :-) 
What can I say, we're a family of loveable obsessive compulsive singers!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

$10 Dollar Challenge, Week 2

This past weekend I went out garage selling & found NADA. 
They were all duds.
However, on the way home from church Sunday we spotted this little drop leaf table with a sign labeled 'free' so we picked it up, took a picture, put up a 2 second ad on Craigslist & had it sold for $8.00!
In the spirit of good sportsmanship I have given this one to Ryan :-)

Week 2 Totals:
Me: $40.00 Profit, $50.00 total to spend
Ryan: $8.00 Profit, $18.00 to spend.
TOTAL PROFIT:  $48.00 in 2 weekends.
See You Next Week!

Monday, April 16, 2012

$10.00 Challenge

Ryan & I enjoy a good competition between us from time to time, so after reading this blog we got the idea to try this for ourselves.  We are EACH starting the garage sale season with $10.00 a piece.  The goal is to try to buy an item, sell it & see how much $$ we can build through the summer. We buy an item at a garage sale/Craigslist etc and then resell the said item. And whatever money we *potentially* profit we'll go on a date/weekend away etc. depending on the amount.   I will try my hardest to keep you up to date on how we are each doing.  I am ahead so far...yeah!
The Rules:
  • Our Garage Sale season starts Saturday April 14th
  • End of the competition  September 2nd
  • You cannot go in "debt" buying an item
  • you can borrow from the other person as long as they are okay with that
  • we will tithe 10% of our end profits 
Not only do I love this, but it gets my husband EXCITED about wanting to go garage selling with me! (double bonus!)  We headed out Saturday morning & I spent my whole $10.00 all in one place and bought this...
 Now, nothing special but I was able to sell it today for $50.00!  One thing had caught Ryan's eye but it was in a little rougher condition than we thought we could resell it for.  {Check back for updates throughout the summer}
Week 1 standings:
Ashley: $40.00 profit
Ryan: 0.00

Let the Games Begin!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bookmooch Review

I'll say it...
I've turned into a bookmooch junkie!
I loooooovvvveeeee this site! 
{so much better than}
Here is how it works:
BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books. BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want.

  • Give & receive: Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you've read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish.

  • No cost: there is no cost to join or use this web site: your only cost is mailing your books to others.

  • Points for entering books: you receive a tenth-of-a-point for every book you type into our system, and one point each time you give a book away. In order to keep receiving books, you need to give away at least one book for every two you receive. 

  • Feedback score: each time you receive a book, you can leave feedback with the sender, just like how eBay does it. If you keep your feedback score up, people are most likely to help you out when you ask for a book. 

  • I have never paid more than $3.00 for shipping
    I ship my books in good 'ole Kraft paper {way cheaper than bubble wrap}
    wrap well with strong shipping tape
    ship media mail {usually always cheaper than 1st class}
    my local hy-vee can send them at the customer service desk so I don't have an added trip to the post office! {my personal favorite!}
    I've already received a few books!
    I've already been to a few garage sales already & bought a few books for .25cents & sent out 2 of them.

    Three books which I am very passionate about are: The purpose driven life, babywise & Dave Ramsey's total money makeover.  My hope is to start collecting a few copies of each & given out when then time arrives.  For example, when delivering a meal to a new mom drop off a copy of babywise with it.  Even if they don't read it {any of them} I think it goes that extra mile to say you are loved.

    Pretty sweet, huh?
     Click HERE to see what all the fuss is about!

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    How to cook ground beef in a crock pot

    A few weeks ago I was chatting with our Pastors wife about tips on a whole bunch of different topics...
     Mainly, on staying sane as a mother of young children! 
    {you mothers out there KNOW what i'm talking about!} 
    Enter Dinner time craziness!  
    She told me she cooks all  her ground beef in the crock pot.
      I was very intrigued & went home to try this method myself.

    put crock pot setting on high
    put in raw, thawed meat (i used 4 lbs)
    put in a few seasoning (all purpose seasoning & minced onions)
    come back once an hour to stir well
    drain once fully cooked (took about 4 hrs)
    and ...

    i put my cooked meat in zip lock containers & put 'em in the freezer. 
    Now, I can have quick meals...such as tacos, chili, hamburger helper meals, sloppy joe's, tator tot casserole's etc made SO quickly!  
    Pretty neat.  

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    if only I had an iphone {red stamp app}

    one of the coolest phone applications I've seen in awhile is this red stamp app. 
    very cute way to send a message.  
     Hopefully android will get this soon...
    best part?  it's FREE!
    Click HERE

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    2 ingredient dessert

    I found this recipe on pinterest & thought I'd give it a try.  They used blueberry pie filling & changed it out with cherry pie filling.  This was a HUGE hit with my boys. 

    What You’ll Need:

    1 box of angel food cake mix

    1 can of cherry pie filling (approximately 22 ounces) {feel free to substitute any pie filling}

    9 by 13 inch cake pan

    What You’ll Do:

    Mix powder cake mix and pie filling together…
    {don’t add any other ingredients}
    Place in 9×13 greased baking dish…
    Bake at 350 degrees for 28 – 30 minutes.
    that is it!
     serve with whip cream or ice cream.
    **best served at room temperature**


    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    You had me at the first suck!

    this thing had me at the first suck!
    i love personal product endorsements of blogs I follow that they've found to be  neat, makes life a little easier or just plain cool!
    So for the 100+ of you who read this blog a day, this one is for you!
    So, from time to time I'm going to share some fun {or at least, fun to me!} products i've started to love.  You all know my love for the haan map {btw you can click that link & get it for $79.00 right now!}
    Anyways, a few weeks ago we bought the ...

    BISSELL Auto Care Pro Heat Compact Multipurpose Deep Cleaner

     as a mother of 2 little boys this has come in SUPER handy for milk spit ups, apple juice spills & so much more! The first day we bought it we deep cleaned both vehicles, cleaned up any stains on rugs, carpets & upholstery!  


    And all you Ames moms that have stains...just borrow ours!  I'd love for it to get some good use!  

    oh happy day!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Cy's 2 month report card

    Eating: A+, he is eating 5-6 ounces ever 3-3 1/2 hrs. always downs it!
    Burping: D, the kid hardly burps...ever.
    Naps: C, he's sometimes great at taking/sleeping other times he wants to scream his little head off :-)
    Sleeping at Night: as of last Friday A+++ (his 10 week b-day) @ 7:00 pm he goes down til 10, then we wake him for his dream feed @ 10, then he is sleeping from 10pm-7:00!!
     i can't tell you how amazing that is & how much better you feel!
    Activity: A+  he is loving kicking his little legs, & pumping his arms!
    Smiling: A++++++++++ our hearts melt when he smiles! :-)

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Google Sky App {free app!}

    This past weekend we headed to Cedar Rapids to visit my sister Carly.
     She has the cutest little patio outside her living room we all went out on after the kiddos were in bed. 
     It was a very clear night & Ryan stumbled upon a free app from google called, google sky.  
    It was absolutely fascinating!  
    He just held his phone up to the sky & had the phone's screen pointed tword us & you could see all these things!  It was so neat! 
     I'm not much for astronomy but found this absolutely cool.
      A cool fact I learned this weekend via google...did you know planets don't twinkle like stars?  
    So we could see Venus & Jupiter with our naked eye & know it was them because of that fact. 
    {Andrew, thought you would like this post & our interest in your hobby!} :-)

    My husband got a new toy

     My husband bought a new toy.
    latest project: our rentals front steps.
    nothing like a little elbow grease!
    I love a good before/after photo no matter how small of a project it is! :-)  
    1. Before

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    white trash sledding

    enjoying the snow, crib mattress & all
     although we did break out the sled for the day.  
    T-man loved it.  
    In typical Iowa fashion two days later we were flying a kite in 72 degree weather.
    Gotta love it!

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...