adventures of ashley + abby

I forgot!  On Saturday, I had an amazing day of pampering.  I got a massage from a woman my whole family has used for a few years now.  She is amaaaazing.  The best massage, by FAR, I have ever had.  If you’re in Cleveland and looking for a good masseuse let me know!  Then, my mom + I got pedicures together.  I went with a fun purple color for something different.  Such a fun day :)

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Abby from Abby Normally came to visit today!!!  It was so so sweet of her to drive in from Pittsburgh to see me!  This was the first time we met in person but I felt like I was getting together with an old friend.  She was super sweet, just like she seems and we didn’t stop to take a breath from talking the entire time :)

I took her to a fabulous veg-friendly place, in a fun little area called Coventry.  It’s filled with little art stores, clothing shops, restaurants, bars, etc.  We went to Tommy’s and mulled over the menu for a long time.  It’s huuuuge and a million non-meat options.  They have a lot of vegan + GF options too!

We both got the same thing!  A whole wheat wrap stuffed with black bean chili, brown rice, lettuce, pickles and a few other things!  It was deelicious! 

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Did I mention that Abby has Vibrams too??  She has posted about them quite a bit recently and just has a great blog in general. 

Adventure Tiiiiime

Vibrams in the bookstore.

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Hangin’ out on a bench!

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Then we drove to the North Chagrin Metorparks [close to my house] and went to Squire’s Castle.  I remember coming here a lot when I was a little kid.  The park is HUGE and has a lot of walking/running paths in the woods.  When I was younger I remember getting completely lost with my brother.  We were at a big picnic with tons of family and friends.  We decided it would be fun to go exploring.  I was probably about 8-9yrs old and we were lost for hours [which felt like days].  I was SCReaming “helllllllpppppppppppppppppp!!!” LOL  We finally made it back hours later, and I was still hysterically crying.  hehehe

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I printed out a park map so we wouldn’t get lost!!  I was seriously nervous, haha.

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In the castle looking UP!

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Feet in the window!

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We started our hike….then Abby got a stick caught between her toes.  Silly “shoes.”  We had a blast talking about our feet + food.  Great combo right?

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Abby studied the signage.

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And I documented just in case. 

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We made it back after about 3 miles with no problem.   They really should have a few more trail markers than they do.  The paths are very windy.  I brought snacks just in case :)

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Then we said our sad goodbyes!  But it was so much fun and I’m so so glad it worked out!

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Foot friends fo’ life!  Or as Abby says…”sole-mates” hehe

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Abby left me with some yummy cookies too!!  She made me her avocado Ogre cookies!  She subbed the avocado for butter just like in my chocolate avocado cake.  They had a super soft cakey texture and were filled with yummy surprises [chocolate, raisins, almonds + more]. 

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Then I made a quick + easy dinner to eat with my parents.  If you’re ever in a pinch for an easy dinner that is seriously delicious, try this out.  Perfect for summer!

Veggie Grill Samiches

  • hearty bread [ciabatta, italian loaf, etc.] sliced thick
  • provolone, or other
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • eggplant
  • onion
  • salt/pepper/garlic powder/olive oil
  1. Slice veggies thinly + dress with olive oil + seasonings.
  2. Grill over medium heat, in a grill pan or foil, for about 15min.
  3. Grill bread and melt cheese on top.
  4. Top with veggies. 


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I cut up fruit, threw it in foil, and grilled that up as well.  I also had a small salad on the side.

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Extra shrooms…mmm

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Such a fun day!!  I’m going on an adventure tomorrow too, but this time I’m leaving Ohio to go somewhere.  I wonder where I’ll end up!!??  You’ll see Tuesday :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!


Dessert Recipes

Peanut butter, chocolate chip, cream cheese ball – from How Sweet It Is

Dessert Pizza – from How Sweet It Is

Sugar cookie recipe that we used for the dessert pizza – from All Recipes

  • I made this recipe exactly as written.  After combining ingredients I pressed it in a greased/floured large jelly roll pan and baked for ~12min, until slightly browned around the edges.  I pressed it very thinly around the pan and it still puffed up a good 1/4-1/2.”

Vanilla Bean Cake – my version

  • I left out the almond extract entirely.
  • I also subbed vanilla bean paste 1:1 for the vanilla extract.  It worked perfectly and had a much better vanilla flavor and pretty bean flecks!

S’mores Frosting – my “go to” rich + creamy butter cream frosting edited:

  • 1c unsalted butter, softened
  • 1c pure cane sugar
  • 4T all purp flour
  • 1c milk [I used whole milk]
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 bag chopped marshmallows [I used a natural, vegetarian kind from WF]
  • 3/4c chocolate chips
  • 2 sleeves of graham crackers [usually 3 in 1 box]
  1. Over medium heat, in a small saucepan, cook the milk + flour stirring frequently with a whisk.  Watch carefully so this does not burn!
  2. Cook until a very thick paste-like consistency is reached.  It takes about 10-20min depending on your stove!
  3. Let cool to room temp [fridge/freezer helps!]
  4. In a large bowl, beat the sugar + butter until the sugar has almost completely dissolved and the mixture is fluffy, 3-5min.
  5. When the milk mixture has cooled, combine together and beat again until fluffy. 
  6. Beat in the vanilla.
  7. Mix in chopped marshmallows + chocolate chips.
  8. Refrigerate [covered] at least 30min to help stiffen the frosting.
  9. Before frosting the cake let the frosting sit out for 15-30min to soften so it can spread easily.
  10. Break grahams and line edge of cake with grahams. 
  11. Crush some of the crackers and sprinkle crumbs on top of the cake.