Welcome to Uncorking Peonies!

About the Blog

Uncorking Peonies is a place on genuine Life, where both joys and failings are captured to inspire you to live the best life possible.

Uncorking Peonies began in 2014 as “Peonies ‘n Mint” and was a meditative, journaling tool as I transitioned from being a college student to career-seeker. The blog mainly focused on relationships, life lessons, and the trials of “growing up.” After a short hiatus, my love for writing led me to rebrand the blog and in September 2017 Uncorking Peonies launched.

Uncorking Peonies has followed my wedding planning process as I prepare to marry my best friend, Grant. The blog has grown from a simple wedblog to a full lifestyle blog focusing on entertaining, transitioning into a newlywed, building a home, and remaining reflective of self-love and care.

Wedding // Are you a bride-to-be? Congrats, girl! The days leading up to your wedding are going to be some of the most fun and stress-inducing days ever. But don’t start freaking out – you aren’t alone! Follow my own little journey to the aisle and maybe pick up a bit of inspiration along the way.

If you love all things weddings (like me!), I’m always pinning new décor ideas on Pinterest. Follow along with me! >>> Uncorking Peonies on Pinterest

Lifestyle // There are a lot of inspiration boards and advice columns on the actual wedding, but what about after those eight hours? Life goes on, and now you’re living Life with another person! Uncorking Peonies lifestyle posts are full of trial and errors, love, family,  budgeting, and basically everything that makes up a newlywed’s new way of living. We’re all in this together, and I’ll be genuine in my stories of how I am acing (and BSing) my wife-game.

I’m always sharing my latest local finds, relationship post reblogs, and daily adventures on Instagram, so be sure to join me there! >>> Uncorking Peonies on Instagram

Health // While I work my 8-4 to better my community, I am always striving to better myself 24/7. This means physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There is still TONS of room for improvement, and here I discuss the do’s and the don’t’s that have made me into the woman I am today.

In my Health section I cover topics ranging from workouts, weight loss, self-care, and my faith. My opinions and results are my own, and not meant to be taken as professional advice. 

Recipes // I have always loved to cook, and I especially love cooking for others. I attempt to make a new recipe at least once a week. My taste buds are loving my new finds! Feel free to take a gander at some of my favorite recipes and tweak them to your own tastes.

Join me on Sundays when I release new recipes through my Savory Sundays series.

Home // My husband and I are in the process of buying our first home! Not only does this mean we’ve gone through quite a bit of the house-hunting adventure, but we also have a lot of DIY remodels planned. Follow us as we work tirelessly to transform our house into a home.

Twitter is my space for rantings, ravings, and celebrating the little things – all of which are so conducive to a happy and healthy life! Want to chat? Find me and @ me! >>> Uncorking Peonies on Twitter

Entertain // I live to entertain. Hosting, decorating, strategizing, and all things event planning – you name it, I’m there. Coming from an event planning background, I thoroughly miss the excitement and creative outlets I once exercised professionally. However, I find ways to keep the passion alive by celebrating Life with my friends and family, and I share my secrets through projects, ideas, and #smallvictories in successful hostings.

Travel // My husband and I want to start a family, but after a few years of enjoying marriage just the two of us. We have many goals prior to having children, and one of those goals is to travel a bit. Luckily, we live in the beautiful [relatively central] state of Michigan that is home to hundreds of wineries, breweries, beautiful sights, and so much more. You are welcome to pack your bags along with us as we check out some of the amazing places God has given us to explore.

Also find some reviews of wineries/breweries/distilleries/etc. that we have visited!

Click to like Uncorking Peonies’ Facebook page to get post updates so you’re the first to see my newest ventures! >>> Uncorking Peonies on Facebook 

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About Ashley

Hey everyone! I’m Ashley, the wine-drinking dreamer behind Uncorking Peonies. I am a lifestyle blogger hailing from Southwest Michigan, one of the most beautiful places in the world. (I may be biased, but there’s just something to be said about four seasons, wine country, and living a minute from the beach.)

I am a wine enthusiast, nature-exploring foodie who values conversation and adventures with loved ones above all else. I love Jesus with all my heart, and am an advocate for many organizations and causes in my community. I’m a passionate ENFJ with a background in wedding and event planning who is now bettering her world through community action. I’ve learned hard lessons, gained some insight, and still have mountains of improvement to make to become the best Me.

Here is where I share the little things that make me content and the big things that cause an impact. All with a bit of positivity, honesty, and good-natured realism. So grab a glass of wine and join me!

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Little Black Dress Meets The Bridal Party

A few weeks ago I was honored to stand beside one of my best friends when she married her soulmate. The wedding was one of the most beautiful celebrations I’ve ever been to, and I couldn’t get over her color choices. She has such an eye for elegance and the day radiated class and romance. Weddings with black dresses were not new to me, but it was new to see one done in the warm month of August. So today’s topic is all about a wedding color palette centered around this sophisticated color.

There is no doubt that the Little Black Dress is a fashion staple for a reason. True to its fashionista of a sister, black bridesmaid dresses can be amazing assets to any wedding also. It’s a classic, sleek look that almost every woman can pull off because it’s flattering for every body type. Plus your girls will actually be able to wear a LBD again! Not saying she won’t want to wear that lime green dress in the future but… you do you, friend.

Continue reading “Little Black Dress Meets The Bridal Party”

Saying Yes & Following The Path Of Fulfillment

I have been struggling lately. I have been struggling with the question, “Who am I?” There are so many possible labels: a wife, a friend, a Christian, an advocate, a member of my community, a woman, a dreamer, a runner, an organizer, a finance assistant, a blogger. Yet when I consider those labels, I don’t feel I embody any of them completely. I have this unrelenting  want to add the word “BETTER” before each title. I want to be a better wife, a better friend, a better Christian, etc. All at once. All together. All to perfection. And as I wonder about who I am, I begin to feel overwhelmed with disappointment at my elusive potential.

That is where my biggest struggle lies: in the want to be “better” than how I perceive myself. Focusing on that want which seems so unfathomable, unapproachable, and unreachable, I recognize I am viewing my life from the base of a gigantic mountain. I can see multiple trails I could claim as my path, each with a directional sign reading who I yearn to be. Yet I feel if I choose one path, then the others will go unaltered. Never being explored, never being grown, never being conquered.

Smarter hikers than I would venture down a path to see where it leads and then retrace their footsteps to explore another trail. Stronger hikers than I would choose one path, complete it, and return to the beginning to begin anew. Not me though. I want to take all the paths at once without giving any specific label up. All or nothing is what I felt was necessary to give my life meaning and purpose.  Continue reading “Saying Yes & Following The Path Of Fulfillment”

Wedding Shots: Ceremony Details

Incoming: the next few weeks my “Wedding Wednesdays” will be featuring none other than OUR WEDDING PICTURES! I was beyond excited to find the adorable rose gold flash drive in our mailbox this past Friday from our amazing photographer Staci of Dear Olive Photography. Over 500 images captured our wedding day beautifully, and, yes, some tears may have been shed.

Now I’m not going to share every. single. photo. But I am going to share a few highlights of the day including our ceremony details, bridal party portraits, couple portraits, and reception details. I am so in love with these pictures, and am excited to share them with the blogging world. I hope you enjoy the next few weeks!

Continue reading “Wedding Shots: Ceremony Details”

And I Thought Life Would Slow Down…

Somehow I thought Life would slow down once the wedding was over. What a naive little bride-to-be I was!

Hello, friends, and let me apologize for my absence this month so far. I know, I know, I promised many upcoming posts on the adventures of being a newlywed and delicious recipes and fun DIY home decorating ideas and, and, and…

I’m sorry.

This is my first post in August. I’m sorry. Life has been so hectic for G and me over the past month, and I am finally catching a little bit of breath tonight to at least sit down and let you all know why I have been MIA.

Continue reading “And I Thought Life Would Slow Down…”

Savory Sundays: Blueberry Almond Salad With Feta

August is right around the corner and that means my favorite fresh fruit season is about to strike in Michigan: blueberry season! I have grown up eating pounds and pounds of those delectable little berries, and as I’ve gotten older and “more mature” in my palate, I look for various ways to incorporate my favorite fruit into different recipes.

Today’s Savory Sunday is a simple one. But it is also a top contender on my healthy summer meal plan. Dark green spinach, plump blueberries, sharp red onions, crunchy and salty almonds, and rich feta cheese all mixed together for a happy, healthy meal. This salad is packed with lots of nutrients and antioxidants! Plus my homemade dressing adds just enough tang to make you wanting more once your bowl is gone.

Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Blueberry Almond Salad With Feta”

Savory Sundays: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Scampi

Anyone remember me mentioning all those supplies I bought for mosquito repellent candles in my Lemon Rosemary Chicken recipe? How about my goal to eat less grains in my post with the Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes? Well, here is a dish that makes the most of both! The left over limes from my would-be candles and low-carb zucchini noodles make this recipe healthy and satisfying. Two things I love to pair together!

G was craving some shrimp this week and scampi sounded good to me. However, I wanted to use up some ingredients I already had in the fridge and pantry. I also didn’t want to go full out Cheat Meal mid-week by throwing the buttery shrimpers on top of some noodles. So I improvised and wooh-la! Another meal to find permanent residence in our cook book.

Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Scampi”

House Hunting Adventures v. 1

I know I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but here it is officially: G and I are house hunting. Our current apartment lease is up in August, but we have the option to renew for another year if we would like. Though it looks like this is the most likely route we will take, we are casually working with a realtor and viewing potential houses. It has been a fun experience so far because we are able to see what we like and dislike, what we’re willing to compromise and not, and not feeling rushed as we look.

The Michigan housing market where we live is absolutely crazy. There are double the buyers than there are sellers, and that leads to many houses only being on the market for hours before they’re under contract. Though we do not feel rushed to purchase a home, if we ever do come across one we love and can picture as our own home, then we have to be prepared to JUMP. Luckily we haven’t felt that urge yet, but we sure have come across some very unique adventures in the houses we have viewed…

Continue reading “House Hunting Adventures v. 1”

How To Write Wedding Thank You Cards

Now that the wedding is over, there are a few items on G’s and my to-do list to complete such as legally changing names and addresses, reviewing vendors, and finding a place for all our wedding decor. Yet the most pressing of these necessary post-wedding items is writing our thank you cards.

Our friends and family traveled from near and far to celebrate with us on our Big Day and we received many nice gifts as well. The task of writing close to 100 thank yous seems a bit daunting, but it’s an oh-so-important task and we plan to block out time on our calendars to take care of these notes every night over the next week.

Are you at this point as well and are avoiding the task because you don’t know what to say? I gotcha, girl. Knowing how to word thank you notes is something many brides struggle with after the wedding. It is easy for wedding thank you cards to feel like an overwhelming and anxious task! But as long as you can muster up a few heartfelt words, you are free to use the same thankful wording over and over… and I’ll even help get you started!

Continue reading “How To Write Wedding Thank You Cards”