Things I’m Loving 4.21.2017

To Watch: Trailer Park Boys Legends of the Hidden Temple

Trailer Park Boys

For those not familiar with the beauty of this show, Trailer Park Boys is a mockumentary centered around three friends (Ricky, Bubbles, and Julian) living in the Sunnyville Trailer Park in Nova Scotia, Canada. The show follows the trashiest, most wonderful adventures of the boys making money and escaping their alcoholic, ex-cop of a Trailer Park Supervisor, Mr. Lahey. First released in 2003 and now in the eighth season, it’s crazy that the actors have been playing these characters for so long.

The eighth season of Trailer Park Boys was released by Netflix two weeks ago. Admittedly, there is a hole in my heart without J-Roc on the show, but its TPB so I’ll take what I can get. If you haven’t seen the show please do yourself a favor and start.


 Legends of the Hidden Temple


Oh, Legends of the Hidden Temple. Oh, Olmec. Oh, Kirk Fog. Oh, childhood things. Did you know that you can watch old episodes of the show on YouTube? 90s kids–your life is about to change.

The Nickelodeon show ran from 1993-1995 with teams competing for prizes based on physical challenges, answering questions, and, most importantly, escaping the guards and finding the hidden object in the temple run. Legends of the Hidden Temple featured a giant talking face named Olmec and Fog as the khaki-shorts-and-utility-belt-wearing-trying-to-keep-a-straight-face-host.


This show is just so 90’s I can’t handle it. The glasses, the socks, the haircuts, and the prizes (DON’T WORRY! THEY’RE STILL GETTING THE REMOTE CONTROL CAR AND THE FASHION BUG GIFT CARD!) are so amazing that you owe it to yourself to rewatch them. Watching these kids continuously mess up putting together the Shrine of the Silver Monkey (COME ON IT’S THREE PIECES!) is still just as frustrating today as it was in 1994.


Chris and I have been rewatching episodes and choosing to cheer for our teams as if we were watching college football. Highly recommend.

To Play: 99% Invisible


Last month two friends told me about the 99% Invisible podcast. Hosted by Roman Mars and a collaboration between the American Institute of Architects and radio station KALW, each episode overviews an aspect of design that is largely absent from view. I first listened to “The Falling of the Lenins“, which discussed how Ukrainians are literally dismantling history by tearing down Soviet-era statues of Vladimir Lenin in towns across the country. How do cultures evolve and see their society? What do statues and other forms of public displays actually mean? Of course I fangirl-ed the hell out of this episode. A bonus episode I recommend is “War and Pizza“, a collaboration with Gravy. The episode details the history of the American military in developing many of the processed foods we see in grocery stores today.

To Do: Local Markets

Spring is finally here (-ishhhhh considering we had a random snowstorm this week) and there are a ton of cute markets selling different cheeses, produce, and homemade goods.

Market in nearby Nagygimot

Got to spend the morning wandering around with this cute pup ❤

Random trip to Austria in a snowstorm for craft beers
Being a part of a lovely spring floral design workshop featuring local flowers (the tulips here are incredibly beautiful) and a wonderful host
When the local dairy farm opens a shop how can you choose just one specialty cheese?

To Eat: Homemade Pizza Boats

One of the greatest successes of my life is getting Chris to call french bread pizzas their true name–pizza boats. My family always called them that and growing up they were one of our favorite dinners. In Charleston, Chris and I would buy baguettes from our neighborhood bakery (EVO Pizza) and make our own. Here in Pápa, I was at the grocery store and randomly saw the baker wrap up a few olive baguettes still warm from the oven.


Chris is a great cook, especially when it comes to grilling. After grilling our baguette, we loaded them up with toppings: szalami (pepperoni) for Chris and gomba (mushrooms) for me. They were so good and so filling I nearly fell asleep half way through eating mine.

To Self Care: Sacred Circle Herbal Apothecary 

All photos via Sacred Circle Herbal Apothecary Facebook page

Former intern and overall wonderful person Alexandra Keane just opened her own herbal remedies shop, Sacred Circle Herbal Apothecary. As a student, she was always drawn to herbal medicinal practices and native knowledge; while working for the Sustainability Office, we helped re-establish the outdoor garden at the political science department where she was able to actually put these interests into practice. After graduation Alexandra worked with the College of Charleston’s Grounds Department where she developed the Restorative Agriculture Program.


Following her success at CofC, she opened her own online shop of homemade and locally sourced teas, salves, and other products meant to promote self care and the healing power of herbal plants. We ordered the fire cider (helps with digestion, relieves sinus congestion, and helps ward off the flu and colds) and lavender salve (calming skin moisturizer and lovely to use before bed) a few weeks ago; it was like receiving a little box of positivity in the mail. Chris and I take shots of the cider each morning and I use the salve before bed and to help heal the cracking on my hands (my now southerner blood is definitely not used to this thinner European air!)

One of the greatest aspects about Sacred Circle is that every product is made with care and incredibly locally sourced; ingredients are either grown in Alexandra’s own garden or from growers in Charleston. Check out this amazingly detailed blog about the life cycle of one her salves (an LCA nerd myself–basically my entire graduate research–it’s this attention to detail that really sets Sacred Circle Herbal Apothecary apart from other herbal shops). As someone who struggles with taking time for herself, practicing self care, and generally skeptic of how businesses source their ingredients, I love being one of her customers (we just ordered more fire cider and other goodies yesterday).



So proud of this amazing woman and all she has accomplished! Check out her shop (she currently has Seasonal Wellness and Get Well kits available) and this badass interview with There Could Be Blackberries!

To Look Forward To: Babushkas of Chernobyl


I am so excited that the Babushkas of Chernobyl documentary was finally released on iTunes this week. Director Holly Morris recorded the lives of the elderly Babushkas who returned to villages within the toxic “Exclusion Zone” right outside of Chernobyl’s deadly nuclear site. While the villages near the center were originally evacuated–it is currently against the law to live or travel in the Exclusion Zone–roughly one hundred women returned to their homes and currently subsist off the toxic landscape.

Many of the women lived through Nazi occupation and the Soviet-implemented Holodomor before being forced to leave their homes following the meltdown of Reactor #4. For them, the independence and love for their homeland brought them back:

“At her cottage, Hanna Zavorotyna brews homemade moonshine and slices thick chunks of salo, raw pig fat – though it is strictly forbidden to eat local food. “Starvation is what scares me, not radiation,” she says. That stark choice reveals an incredible journey the women have traveled: from Stalin’s enforced famines in the 1930s, through Nazi occupation, to nuclear disaster. Like the wolves, moose, wild boar and other wildlife not seen for decades that have come back to the abandoned forests around Chernobyl, the women of the Exclusion Zone, too, have an extraordinary story of survival, and offer a dark yet strangely affirming portrait of life post-apocalypse.”

You can watch the trailer here. Even if you don’t watch the film, the trailer is worth a viewing just to hear one of the Babushkas talk about where the men have gone.

Ashlyn (2)

“Why you so worried about time anyway? The only time I’m concerned with is having a good one.”                    —JRoc

Ten Years.

So Chris and I have been married for ten years, but I feel like not that much has changed.

Then (The Tails to my Sonic, I’m the HEV Suit to his Gordon Freeman):


Now(The Tails to my Sonic, I’m the HEV Suit to his Gordon Freeman):


(Still the same, but its a summer olympic year)

It took a while to decide whether or not to have an anniversary party. Chris and I are definitely not people who like to be the center of attention (unless he’s busting out dance moves) or be “fancy” (Unless its me. in Germany. Seeing Swan Lake) so we were kind of anti-party until we realized that the move was happening. Then we really saw it as a way to connect with everyone before we left and celebrate all of the things we love about Charleston.

One of the most important aspects of the party was to keep everything as local, meaningful, and close to us as possible. We wanted to celebrate in the city we love with the people we love eating the food we love and dancing to the 90s r&b we love.


The absolutely AMAZING Kelsey DePorte designed our invitations. Having worked with Kelsey for the past few years at the Sustainability Office and becoming really close friends, it meant so much to us to have Kelsey in charge of the design. Our invitations included an 8×10 invite, 12×18 map, and a 2×3 RSVP postcard. I sent the invitations out with vintage stamps, which looked beautiful but my tongue tasted like old glue for a few days.

We wanted the invitation to look like a show poster.
“Let’s make a 12×18 map of your favorite places!” Kelsey totally gets us.
The logo for the pint glasses we had made for everyone. One side had our design and the other, the Holy City Brewing graphic.

Location & Setup:

(All of the photos were taken by Flower Child Photography. My former employee at Best Buy, Meggen now does beautiful photography! I highly recommend her.)

We had the party at Holy City Brewing (probably the best brewery on Earth) with the most amazing people in the world. Just up the road from our house, HCB (and the great people who work there) have been such an important part of our lives that it meant a lot to be able to celebrate there.

Joel, Chris, and Tony built the arbor. Joel said it looked like the Blair Witch Project, which I secretly was unintentionally was going for.
Zach, Josh, and Amy (not pictured) proving that not all heroes wear capes.
Almost all of the plants were grown by Jen, Heather, and me. We wanted to keep the floral arrangements as local and in season as possible.
Jen designed and put together all of the flower arrangements.
All of the old bottles are from my Great-Grandfather’s collection. Most are from Ohio around the early-mid 1900s.

In addition to celebrating with everyone, the party gave me an excuse to wear all of the things I love and wasn’t able to when we got married back in 2006: 1) flower crown 2) yellow shoes 3) obscene eyelashes 4) polka dots

Jen also designed all of the flower crowns as well.
Jen Jones, official MC of the event! Thanks girl.

Ceremony “First we gonna ROCK, Then we gonna ROLL”:

We had a short ceremony officiated by our good friend, Aaron. Walking out to DMX was definitely a dream come true. My niece Caroline was having none of it, though. Ripping off her flower crown (great catch Carmen!) before we even got up to the arbor, I couldn’t convince her to continue with us.

Not happening.
She told me she didn’t want to do this because she wanted to dance. Definitely my niece.
Aaron Holly, what a bamf. Thank you for the amazing speech and understanding the need to include Harry Potter references.
Chris promised that I would always be his patronus, while I swore to be the bee in his bonnet.





So happy everyone could make it ❤


All the way from Ohio, Maryland, and Minnesota!
I see that cheerleader wink Craig.
Extra  ❤ to Heather and Karl for holding the terror twins for us!



My interns who helped set everything up.

Food & The Dreamiest Cake:

Having worked a majority of my Charleston life with local agriculture, we really focused a lot of time and effort on creating a menu based around seasonality, as well as keeping in mind a lot dishes that are just Chris and Ashlyn (wings and perogies). Extra special thank you to Joel Norman and the entire HCB kitchen crew for not only developing an amazing menu with me, but making sure everything was delicious!


Most of the produce and cheese was purchased from GrowFood Carolina, meaning that it all originated from within 120 miles of Charleston–amazing that we have the opportunity to create such a hyper local menu! All meat was from White Oak Pastures, one of only two humane slaughtering plants in the US. Definitely check out their holistic operation and this awesome article on how they transitioned from a conventional to organic farm.

I actually created the menu design myself! Well, with Kelsey’s blessing of course.

Here’s more information on the growers and vendors used for the menu.

Okay, can we just talk about this absolutely beautiful and breathtaking cake?! Perfectly made by the most perfect Charleston Cake Farmer, it had three tiers–each layer a showcasing a different seasonal fruit– showing just why you have to love Charleston’s summer growing season.

When they brought the cake out, I thought I was going to burst into tears (okay so maybe I did).






Yes, Chris, Joel, and I handmade all 150 perogies served. #perogieparty

Music & Let’s Get Our Dance On:

Since we didn’t have music at our wedding, we really wanted to have a great mix for the party. One of our friend’s band, Great Yankee, played a short set right after the ceremony including a gorgeous cover of our favorite song, Apple Blossom.


Now came dance party time. Here’s the complete list of music (a compilation of 90s R&B, random songs, and early 2000 pop) used to populate that dance floor.


Poor Heather


Great Grandma has the dance moves!


Stop judging us Adrian. (Also, how hot is my sister? She just had Baby Jack about a month before traveling to SC!)

Extra Pictures I love:

Caroline finally almost catching Mr. Meowgi
Ike, summed up in one picture.



Josh has sneaky dance moves.
Finally got her to smile.

Extra special thanks and love to all of our friends and family who helped make this party so meaningful and were able to celebrate with us. Extra special thanks to the MVPs who took my shoes off and put them back on throughout the night 🙂 It means so much to us that everyone came out to have fun and one last cheers before we moved to Hungary.



Chris + Ashlyn