Goodbye.

Six years ago I embarked on the journey of sharing my thoughts, emotions, and life with you across the vast blogosphere. You have been beside me through broken hearts, questioning my future, career transitions, rediscovering my faith, lost friendships, the joys of milestones, and planning an entire wedding. You have witnessed me fail. You have lifted me during my lows. You have cheered my successes, and you have encouraged my growth.

Uncorking Peonies, once Peonies ‘n Mint, began as a method to express my feelings and muddle through some of my darkest moments. Throughout the years, I have cried many tears as I typed the words kept within the digital confines of this blog. Then it became a fun endeavor of tracking our wedding planning and entering the newlywed lifestyle. Now, though, I struggle to find a direction for Uncorking Peonies to focus.

Additionally, as a new year comes and goes, I have taken into account the priorities in my life, and — being the anxious person that I am — the weight of wanting to write consistent posts has laid heavily on my mind while the busyness of life continues around me. With increasing work responsibilities, home obligations, personal development goals, marathon training, and the desire to find stillness every day, some past passions must be let go. The spark for my most in-depth pieces has been snuffed by a stronger flame of happiness and contentment. Life is good, but sharing my mundane daily habits was never the purpose for this blog. Its purpose, I believe, has been achieved. In its own little right, Uncorking Peonies paints a picture of loss and grief, and the various avenues it took to overcome those dark places and the people who and methods which assisted me along the way.

With this consideration, the time has come for me to say goodbye to this beautiful little reminder of God’s grace and His bigger plans (and sometimes unanswered prayers) along the way of becoming who I am presently.

So to all of you who have stopped by my little corner throughout the past six years, thank you for your valuable time, thoughtful words, and sweet messages during this journey. I am forever indebted to you for allowing me to escape my shell and share the sporadic thoughts of a wine-loving Michigan girl stumbling through her twenties.

With all my love, cheers, my friends,
Ashley

2019 In Reflection

As usual, Life is passing by at an alarming speed, but I could not miss my annual tradition of sitting down at the keyboard to reflect on this past year… and decade as a whole. Since 2014 I have looked back at each year and shared some of the highlights in my life. So here I am, at it again:

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What Is A Michigan Fruit Wine?

We haven’t talked wine in awhile, have we, friends? I guess I should set aside my glass and start typing instead…

I’ve had a lot of talks with customers at the Winery lately on fruit wines, specifically cranberry fruit wines. Since the grape crop season fared very poorly this year, alternative fruit choices have been a talk among locals on how to produce some product. Though I don’t necessary agree that other fruits should be looked upon yet as there is plenty of time for vines to succeed in 2020, I do enjoy discussing different options that can be found across the tasting rooms of Michigan’s Great Southwest. And though the wine region is steadily gaining prominence in the wine industry as an area that grow numerous, successful varietals of grapes, it is no one’s surprise to see a fruit wine pop up on a menu here and there — it is tradition after all.

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Reblog: Trauma Is Not Your Fault, But Healing Is Your Responsibility

I have two good friends who are going through different forms of trauma currently. Speaking with them over the past few weeks has brought a lot of tears, some laughs, and many memories of times I have wrestled with inner traumas myself. As has become common, I came across a blog post written by Brianna Wiest on Thought Catalog and her words touched several topics in conversations I’ve had with these two friends over the past month. (Sometimes I wonder if the Ever Listening Web has implanted my mind in order to bring these treasures to my world…)

The entire post rang true on so many different concepts, but I especially appreciated Brianna’s quote, “We are not meant to get through life unscathed. We are not meant to get to the finish line unscarred, clean and bored.” Though we go through Life hoping for things to be easy, can you imagine if every wish you ever wished or every dream you ever dreamed came to fruition? No challenges means no changes. No failings means no winnings. No tears means no lessons. There are difficulties in my past that I still regret, but they have also led me to become a stronger, wiser, and more conscientious woman — and isn’t that the goal for growing older? To me it is.

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3 Big Goals For My 28th Year

It has been a couple of weeks since I turned 28, but as each day has ended I’ve found myself contemplating where I want to be in a year’s time. I have so many passions and I have so many dreams, yet I have so little time in my schedule to fit them all into my life! So, I have decided to set three BIG goals for myself to complete before my 29th birthday.

Want to find out the goals I’ve set to make my 28th year the most creative and educating year yet? Keep reading…

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100,000 Miles Behind Me (And Another Birthday)

As I was returning home from CrossFit on Monday, my odometer rolled into the six digits. My Ford Escape, Capri, which I bought in 2014 new with only 17 miles has taken me on a lot of journeys: Tennessee, Indy, Pictured Rocks, Finger Lakes, Maine. “He” gets me from Point A to Point B daily, and as the numbers flipped to all zeros, I had to smile at all the memories made inside my little ride.

In a similar fashion, my own odometer flipped a number today. I am now 28-years-old, and though most days I feel like I should not be so close to the big 3-0, today I am thankful for the years behind me. It has become a bit of a tradition for me to write birthday posts full of those memories (see 2018, 2016, 2015, and 2014) This year I figured it might be about time to share a few facts about myself to allow my readers to get to know me a bit better. So, here I am…

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FALLing Back Into The Swing Of Things

Summer is officially over, ya’ll. Autumn is here, and with that means all things I love: pumpkin spice, Hocus Pocus, apple picking, hayrides, bonfires, flannel shirts, crisper temperatures, dry reds, and coloring leaves. Autumn also means Life should be slowing down… ha! As if! But even though Life still steams ahead at a ridiculously fast pace, I am back on the keyboard punching a word here or there for you, my little winos. So to those I haven’t spoken to in awhile: hello again, friends. And to those wandering across this blog for the first time: hello and welcome.

Since my last post, many changes have occurred in my world and as I move forward with the remainder of 2019 and start thinking of 2020, I would like to touch upon some of those “new things” in my life:

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Hello Sunshines…

A little note of apology for being MIA, and saying I probably will continue to be gone until summer slows down. G and I are working like crazy on the exterior of our house so my nights have been busy and weekends are packed with other social obligations. Copper continues to be the most precious pup in the world, work is moving along swimmingly, our diet, fitness, and overall health have been great, and Life in general has never been better. Unfortunately this means the blog post ideas are currently at a standstill. Thankfully in a month’s time we will be taking our big road trip to the Northeast (I CANNOT WAIT!) and I am sure I’ll have a multitude of things to share following. Please stick with me and I will talk to you all following Labor Day — or sooner if time allows and discussions arise.

With you and for you all, friends,

Savory Sundays: GF Pesto Shrimp Fettuccine

Being forced to eat a mostly gluten-free diet has been a challenging yet enlightening experience. Sometimes I choose to suffer the consequences and indulge, but most of the time I behave and search for GF options. Thankfully, many GF substitutions don’t have a drastic taste difference — except for GF pizza crust, I canNOT seem to find one that I enjoy yet. Sigh.

One night a few weeks ago I was craving seafood. I debated running to the store and grabbing some cream to make homemade Alfredo sauce, but decided to utilize some ingredients in the fridge. And here was my creation!

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