Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Words of Wisdom: April 4

Hello everybody!
Please enjoy this week’s roundup via Instagram! All user names are included in the images if you would like to check out more from them! :)









Have the motivation I need,

Ashley 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Words of Wisdom: April 3

Hello loving readers!
Please enjoy this week’s roundup via Instagram! All user names are included in the images if you would like to check out more from them! :)






In all aspects of your life.. 




What quotes do you live by?
Inspiring,

Ashley 

Gaining My Green Thumb

Hello, hello!
The final challenge of April from Melyssa’s Creative Collective is to help something grow, by choosing a plant that’s intriguing to you, learning what it needs to be properly cared for and then taking care of it. She also suggests purchasing a plain pot and decorating it to make it your own. I have not spent time in a garden in nearly a decade. Oh wow.. putting that in writing makes it that much more sad! However, I’m planning on changing that this spring/summer as I go about producing a garden at the new house. I would love to grow my own vegetables, pesticide free, knowing that they are wholly natural and fresh.
To start off this challenge I began in the dollar store, of all places. It’s actually a store called Five Below where everything is $5 or less. It’s quite a neat place. Anyway, I picked up some garden gloves and a green bean growing kit to start the growing process.

Planted/Bagged on 4/10
 I discovered that green beans need these things to grow:
  • Slightly acidic soil, with a pH of between 6.0 & 6.2
  • Beans like full sun, so keep them in an always sunny spot
  • Organic matter, but no fertilizer since they’re legumes, they regulate nitrogen on their own
  • Depending on if they are bush or pole beans, they may need help climbing a trellis
  • Plenty of water, so they don’t stop flowering
  • Mulch can help your beans stay moist, as they have shallow roots
  • Many insects and animals will eat flowers or entire plants, so fencing can help
 I also learned that beans come in a variety of colors including green, red, yellow and even purple!
All of my information came from about.com as well as the insert included in my grow kit.
Already peaking through soil on 4/15!
I also thought I’d share with you the plants I planted with my preschoolers on Monday. We planted lots of veggies and flowers as well as a desert “growhouse”. The kids had fun mixing the dirt with water, and poking holes in the soil to plant seeds. I’ll let you know how they come along. :)

Slowly gaining a green thumb,
Ashley

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OOTD: Winter to Spring Transition

Hello again!
So here I am with yet another challenge from the 2014 Blogger Challenge. This week’s is an “Outfit of the Day” post where I share what I have worn recently. The weather has finally gotten nice enough where I feel- dare I say it- WARM in it! While it has officially been spring for nearly a month now, it has only recently begun to feel like spring.
With that said, I felt a transition outfit was most appropriate to show you! Today’s outfit features some edgy leather and some flirty floral. Transition beauty post here. Enjoy!
Ps. So sorry these shots are blurry! A friend took them on her phone and messaged them to me. They looked fine until I uploaded them! :( 
Miss Bella the Malteepoo wanted to get in the pic :)
Slight side shot, whole outfit  
No jacket; bag & boots both have gold hardware
:)
Outfit breakdown:
Jacket- Forever 21, last season similar here
Top- American Eagle, few years old
Scarf- H&M, last season similar here
Denim- Forever 21, here
Boots- JustFab, here
Bag- Erica Anenberg (I bought through HauteLook)- here in color bone

Smiling in spring,
Ashley

Monday, April 14, 2014

Catch Up with Me! My Weekend in Cleveland/Color Me Rad

Hello hello!
This weekend I went on a mini-roadtrip to visit a friend in Cleveland, Ohio. I have known Annie for about seven years now, which is absolutely crazy to think about! I met her my freshman year in college and never looked back. :) She and I are very alike. We both prefer more low key nights as opposed to wild clubs. We are both pretty health conscious and prefer healthy foods and beauty products and we both like to explore new places.
Annie and I talk fairly often, once or twice a month and during one of these phone calls I asked her if she’d want to do a color run with me near her house and make a weekend of it. We have both been excited about it since and this weekend was THE weekend!
Our Color Me Rad run was Saturday morning so I drove down Friday night. We had a calm and relaxing Friday so we could be fully rested for our AM run! The run was actually in Akron so we had to give ourselves about an hour and half before race time to drive down there and get fully registered.
Here are the before & after pictures of us from the race!!

Now I can check that off my Bucket List! :)
After the race, we made our way back to Annie’s, had lunch outside, enjoying the warmth of the sun, and showered off in the most colorful shower ever. Haha We decided we’re doing a Color Me Rad run in a different city every year.
After showering, we then got ready and headed out for the rest of the day. Annie was my tour guide, showing me lots of cool places in and around Cleveland and we had a late lunch at a place with a great spread. Because there were too many interesting options, we chose to get a bunch of appetizers and share them. We got tuna tartar, eggplant parmesan, veggie flatbread and lobster bisque soup (a cup each). Everything tasted divine and it was a great way to spend the afternoon.
After our late lunch, we parked near the science center and walked out to the pier to enjoy the views of the water. The weather could not have been more perfect. From there, we headed to a friend’s house for a barbeque being held there and mingled for a few hours. 
We then headed downtown and wandered the streets to check out our options. We ended up at a place called Market Garden and it was a really fun time. We headed back to Annie’s place later that night and had chatted over coffee and breakfast before I hopped on the road headed home.
It has been far too long since I have taken a trip like this and I had such an awesome time. This is one habit I’ll be glad to pick up. :)
Have you ever done a color run?? What have you been up to lately?

Enjoying everything,
Ashley

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Trade: The Butterfly Garden

Hello again,
Today’s Book Trade is far different from any that I have shared with you thus far. While we have discussed a few autobiographies and lately many dystopian tales, today’s book is a memoir written by a man with a truly disturbing childhood. This book came to be in my possession through a good friend. Her husband and the author are friends and she knows how much I love to read so she thought this book but prove useful to me.
When she handed me the book, entitled The Butterfly Garden, I would not have guessed what its pages hold if she had not told me it was somewhat similar to the books by Dave Pelzer beginning with A Child Called It, which I read in my adolescence and found difficult to read due to the nature of the topic.
As I lie down with The Butterfly Garden, I found myself exploring its cover and all the text on both the front and back cover. I then opened the book, reading others thoughts on the book and the dedication followed by the table of contents. I was giving myself time to ease into this painful and troubling topic and allowing my mind to get a feel for the man behind this book. I read the acknowledgements and then the prologue. From there, there was no turning back. By this time I was engrossed in the story and read the first few chapters before drifting off to sleep, thinking about Chip St. Clair’s childhood. When I awoke the following morning, I found myself immediately reaching for the book, thirsting to know more, though his childhood was a sad one, to say the least, I knew that this book had a happy ending and I was eager to reach it. I spent the following two days reading and reflecting on this book.
Now, I do not normally give you a blow-by-blow of how I read a story but it seemed important to share with this book in particular. This book is absolutely easier to read than A Child Called It because though gruesome, cringe worthy things happens to the author, he never delves into too much detail. He paints the picture without scarring you for life. I think his purpose in sharing these stories of his dark past is to show others that though downright awful things can happen to us, we can always overcome them.    
We can all soar.  
Quick Facts:
Genre- Nonfiction/Memoir
Copyright- 2007
Pages- 238 + resource pages
Contemplating my purpose in life,

Ashley   

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beauty Fix: Spring Nighttime Routine with Josie Maran Oil's

Hello Beauties!

It has been an awfully long time since I’ve updated you on my skincare routine so I thought I’d share my current nighttime routine with you along with a review of the products I’m using.
Not too long ago, I shared with you an oil cleanse I have been experimenting with after seeing it on CloudyApples' YouTube channel. She is the best Beauty Blogger to go to for organic, natural skin, and beauty ideas.
Anyway, I began using olive oil on my face at night with a quick and easy steam bath. I used this oil alone to cleanse and moisturize my face. I mentioned wanting to try other oils like avocado, but I have yet to purchase it. I have tried coconut oil and found it to be too oily for my combination skins liking.
Enter Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleanse & Nourish To Go Duo from Sephora. I picked up this handy little kit after playing on Sephora’s website for far too long one day. I had my eye on this Argan oil for quite a while and it made more sense to purchase it this way than as the oil alone. The kit comes with a 1.9 fl oz/55ml Argan Cleansing Oil and 0.5 fl oz/15ml 100% Pure Argan Oil for $18. I was eager to try it right away so after a few days of waiting for it to arrive, I was finally able to test it out.
I can’t even tell you how amazed I was the first night I used this combination. The cleansing oil smells of citrus, divine! Both products are made with mostly wholesome ingredients, all organic or natural, and without parabens, sulfates or phthalates. See the full ingredient list here.
I was hesitant to try this argan oil, as I heard the light version of the oil might be better for my skin, but I couldn’t be happier with my results. Prior to using this product, I was struggling with an outbreak on my forehead, an area I never have trouble with, and after using this product, the breakout was completely relieved. Also, my skin feels incredibly smooth, perfectly hydrated and balanced right after using this duo and when I wake up from a nights sleep.
I only use this product at night. I have never tested it or any oil during the day. I use it as directed.
Cleanser: Shake cleanser before applying it to dry face with wet fingertips, working into a slight lather and then rinsing off with warm/hot water. * I let the cleansing oil sit for 30 seconds and then take a saturated warm washcloth draped over my face to open up my pores- it feels so nice!! 
Oil: After cleansing, apply oil to face, neck and anywhere else you feel needs hydrating (body, hair, cuticles). 
Has anyone else tried Josie Maran's Argan Oil (this version or the light version)? I'm curious to know your thoughts! :)
Your beauty friend,
Ashley