Wedding Planning: DIY Rustic Wedding Cake


Hello there!

Its been over two months since our wedding, I can hardly believe it. I just recently received our wedding photos back from our wonderful, beautiful, and amazingly talented wedding photographer Lauren Nievod. You might remember her work from our engagement photos that I shared back in February. My jaw about hit the floor when I opened the photos from our wedding day. She captured each moment so beautifully that looking back at the photos was truly like reliving the day.

I am really excited to share our wedding through Lauren’s photos little by little, one detail at a time. I want to do it like this so I can share more details about each piece that came together to make our wedding day perfect. Today I am giving you the full run down of our DIY Rustic Wedding Cake. But first, lets recap the larger wedding plans to get you up to speed!

We decided right off the bat that we wanted a very small and affordable wedding. 20 guests and under $10,000.00 to be exact. To be honest, a wedding was not very important to either of us and the expense of a full blown wedding seemed silly. We wanted to be able to invest our money into a new home instead. We decided to take a different approach, and to think outside of the box for a venue. We opted to rent out 7 rustic cabins around a lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. We would enjoy some time in nature and with our family before we would be married at a scenic overlook on the property. I knew that we would have to be doing a lot of the work ourselves because of the remote location and in order to keep costs down. That meant DIYing all of the decorations, flowers, invitations and you guessed it, cake!

Luckily, Brian’s mom is an avid baker and had actually made the wedding cakes for his sister’s wedding last year. I quickly roped her in for the project. We started with a plan, which involved finding a few photos from Pinterest of rustic cakes that I liked. We also made up a “mock” cake with cake pans that I shared on Instagram for me to see the size of the cake she was planning.

We decided on a three tiered cake. I wanted to have two flavor options for the wedding, and the top tier to save and freeze for special occasions like anniversaries. My mom and I found a perfect cake stand at Home Goods. It would be so simple to recreate by using a piece of sliced wood and gluing a small wooden bowl to the bottom. The size of our largest bottom tier was determined by the diameter of the cake stand. It ended up being a 10″ Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Cream for the bottom, 8″ Vanilla cake with Strawberries and Cream Cheese for the center and a 6″ Yellow cake with Berries for the top. Our wedding was centered around the mountain surroundings, and being on a lake I really loved this inspiration image for our cake topper.


Brian’s little sister Chelsea was taking a wood shop class for her final year of high school, so just like her mom, I roped her in for a project. It was so nice to have so many details created with the love of our family. It truly made each item so special. Chelsea did an amazing job creating the canoe and ores.Sicher-98Sicher-102Unfortunately I haven’t found a good source where you can find your own carved canoe cake topper, but I’ll keep you posted if I can source one! Brian’s mom made the cakes at her home before bravely driving them the 3 hours down to the lake (with three dogs in the car, mind you!) The morning of the wedding she brought them to the cabin I was getting ready at to ice and decorate. Sicher-97Sicher-100Once she had beautifully iced the cake and added the canoe cake topper, I was called in to help decorate. Brian’s sister and Grandmom had already laid out the flower selection for me. We used all faux flowers from Hobby Lobby for the entire wedding. I wanted to have the flowers for the isle and bouquet done well a head of time so silk flowers fit the bill and looked so great. Honestly, no one really realized the flowers were fake until they touched them.Sicher-48Sicher-50Placing the flowers on the cake was really trial and error. With the icing being a sort of messy look, it was easy to pull them off and replace them as we went. Sicher-116Sicher-118Sicher-113Sicher-112Sicher-122We started with the three largest flowers placing them diagonally down the cake starting with one by the canoe and moving downward. We then layered in the smaller flowers to create groupings at each layer. Lastly we used bits of small vine like flowers to connect the groupings. I couldn’t be happier with the final result! Overall the cake was very inexpensive.. the cost of 6 boxed cake mixes, some fresh fruit and ingredients for the icing, the faux flowers (mostly left over from the other wedding flowers) and the $20 Home Goods cake stand! I think we spent under $60 for the entire cake. Here are the photos of it all done, and the cake cutting:Sicher-623Sicher-626Sicher-628Sicher-632Sicher-635And it wouldn’t be a good wedding if the dogs didn’t get some cake!Sicher-637Sicher-639Sicher-640I made this cute little sign with my Silhoutte Cameo. I picked up the navy board from Michael’s craft store for .99 cents. I also grabbed a wooden plate stand and pink spray paint for the sign holder. The grooms “cake” was a big bowl of dirt with a gummy worm B for Brian. Sicher-644Sicher-642Thats a wrap for our DIY style wedding cake. I can not thank Brian’s mom and sister enough for their help and contribution. We are so grateful for their love and support! Be sure to stay in touch! You can find me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to see even more! Be sure to check back for when I share our isle decorations and florals with you!

Until Next Time,


E-Design Services

Hi There!

Today I am excited to share a new service I am kicking off here on Actually Ashley Blog! With our big move to Ohio just around the corner, I am “retiring” from my full time job as an Interior Designer here in Washington, DC and transitioning to working Part-Time from our new home. I am excited to have enough free time to dedicate to beginning a new E-Design Service! I have received so many inquires about designing privately for you all and I am so excited that the timing is finally right to do so! See below for all of the details:Actually-Asshley-E-Design

What exactly is E-Design?
E-Design is a digital interior decorating service for you to get a custom designed space for your home regardless of your location or budget. With years of experience in the design industry, Actually Ashley will decorate your room, or entire home, without having to retain a traditional full-service interior designer. E-Design is a do-it-yourself decorating solution that provides you with design boards and source lists to create a professionally decorated space that you can buy and install at your own pace. You provide us with your room measurements, before photos, & budget and we will custom design your personal digital plan and source list that fits your needs, style, and space.

What will my E-Design Package Include?

  • Digital Consultation: Upon reaching out, Actually Ashley will ask you to fill out a quick and easy questionnaire to get a better idea of your wants, needs and style. Once we establish a design direction and your budget we will begin designing your space!
  • Design Boards: Do you have a hard time envisioning what a fully designed room might look like? Our E-Design Boards will help you see the space by showing you images of all furniture, wallpaper, art and other decor. These boards will show you how the different design components come together to create a fully decorated space.
  • Space Planning: After you provide measurements of your room, Actually Ashley will provide a furniture layout of your space drawn to scale. Each item in your Design Board will coordinate to your space plan and show you how to arrange your new furniture in the room.
  • Revisions: Your E-Design Package includes one revision round to provide solutions to an concerns after the initial designs are provided.
  • Source List: We will provide you with the designs and you do the rest! After creating your e-design boards and space plans- we will provide an organized shopping list with easy links for online retailers for you to purchase every item in the design. You can purchase all at once, or at your own pace to create the room of your dreams!

How are your E-Design Services Priced?

Our E-design Services are priced based on the size and scale of the room requested. Decorating Services will begin upon payment and will take 2-3 weeks to deliver full E-Design Package after your digital consultation.

$350.00- Foyer, Powder Room, Breakfast Room, Home Office, Nursery and Kids Bedrooms

$450.00- Family Room, Living Room, Bedrooms and Dining Room

$500.00- Kitchen and Bathrooms

$50.00 Per Hour- Need help selecting a good paint color, picking a backsplash tile or want to know what headboard would go great with your existing style? If you have a quick design questions I am here to help!

Do you have examples of E-Design?

Yes! You’re in luck! To celebrate the launch of our E-Design Services, Actually Ashley is providing a free E-Designs! Today I am sharing a Modern Kitchen with clickable links to explore the design for yourself, free of any charge! Check it out:




1. Pendant Light 2. Backsplash Option One 3. Backsplash Option Two 4. Counter 5. Cabinets6. Faucet | 7. Floor Tile | 8. Cabinet Hardware

1. Pendant Light- Progress Lighting Alexa 4-in W Brushed Nickel Mini Pendant Light with White Shade- Price: $64.54

2. Backsplash Option One- Anatolia Tile Java Mixed Material (Stone and Glass) Mosaic Wall Tile- Price: $10.98 each

3. Backsplash Option Three- Anatolia Tile Java Mixed Material (Stone and Glass) Mosaic Squares Wall Tile – Price: $10.98

4. Countertop- allen + roth Sugarbrush Quartz Kitchen Countertop- Price Dependent on Size

5. Cabinets- Wolf-Dartmouth in Dark Sable- Price Dependent on Quantity

6. Faucet- Giagni Fresco Stainless Steel 1-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet-Price: $199.00

7. Floor Tile- Style Selections Ivetta White Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile -Price: $2.19 each

8. Hardware- Style Selections 7-1/2-in Center-to-Center Brushed Satin Nickel Bar Cabinet Pull- Price: $5.37 each

Source for look photo: Unknown, Pinterest.

 Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you’re as excited for the new E-Design services as I am! If you’d like to check out more of my professional designs from past projects- check out my online portfolio here and my resume here and here. If you’d like to try out the E-Design Services please shoot me an email at

Pick Five- J Crew

Rounding up my five favorite picks from J Crew

Hey there!

I have been really enjoying my new Pick Five series. I recently wrapped up my five favorite items from Pottery Barn and Z Gallerie– and received lots of great feedback! Thank you for reaching out, it is always so great to hear from you guys! Today I want to switch gears from home goods to fashion. I am rounding up my favorite picks from J Crew. I have a quite few items from J Crew- and I am always so impressed with their quality. I have washed my favorite J Crew button down about a hundred times and it still looks brand-spanking-new. While they may be a bit more pricey than another store like it- I know the items will last. I also love how J Crew’s style seems sort of timeless. While they have some trendy items- overall I think their style looks just as great from five years ago. I’m sure I will still love their clothing in another five years. So here is the 5 items I am totally digging from J Crew right now: Actually-Ashley-Pick-Five-JCrew



1. Classic Popover Plaid Button-Down  |  2. Graphic scarf with Tassels  |  3. Gingham Linen Shorts4. Austrian Lace Pencil Skirt5. Beaded Tassel Earrings

  1. Classic Popover Paid Button Down- $78.00- I love J Crew’s plaids. They are always such great color combinations and are easy to mix and match. This one I particularly love because it it made from a gauzy-cotton material that is great for the hot summer nights!

    2. Graphic Scarf With Tassels- 59.50- This is a great layering item and so easy to pack for a weekend trip! I love the navy and kelly green colors for a preppy summer outfit.

    3. Gingham Linen Shorts- $59.50 now $39.99- I struggle to find shorts that fit properly. Its either a perfect fit on my legs and huge in my waist, or it fits my waist but are WAYYYYYY to short. I love J Crew because they have shorts that are long enough for my frame. I love this navy and white gingham pattern and they are on a super great sale right now!

    4. Austrian Lace Pencil Skirt- $198.00- This cutie comes in white or black. It is such a great staple for a work wardrobe as it seems so timeless! J Crew says: “We updated the classic pencil skirt in luxurious lace from Hämmerle & Vogel, the Austrian fabric house that’s been making beautiful textiles and embroidery since 1900. We love that our designers added a sleek, comfortable inner lining that really highlights its intricate details.”

    5. Beaded Tassel Earrings- $65.00- This is such a fun accessory! I love wearing long earrings when I pull my hair back to really show off the jewels! These come in the green color shown as well as a more classic gold! 

Thanks so much for checking in! I have been having so much fun with this “Pick Five” series, and I hope you’re loving some of my selections. Check out my previous posts: Pick Five- Pottery Barn and  Pick Five- Z Gallerie. Also be sure to follow along on my Instagram and Pinterest Pages. I try to update them as often as I can. Thanks so much for checking in. Hope to hear from you in the comments below!

Until Next Time,


Favorite Pendant Lights

Rounding up my favorite pendant lights that fit into any decor style, and tips on how to hang them in your own home

Lets get real: Pendants can be a tricky thing to get right. As a designer- I see homeowners that feel light they are stuck with the builder grade pendants that were there when they moved in… not the case at all. In fact, switching out light fixtures is one of the easiest ways you can quickly update a space. #hellohandyman

Scale, shape and style can determine if your lighting choice makes a design come together or tear it apart. Personally, I really love a huge oversized pendant that makes a statement in a room. I often sub out traditionally sized pendants for chandeliers to create a bigger impact on the design. So how to you know what size light to get?

A good rule of thumb that your light should be about 1/3 the size of the surface below it or for larger areas like an island- think 12″ smaller than the edges. For example: if you’re hanging a pendant over a nightstand in your bedroom, and the nightstand is 30 inches in diameter, your pendant should be no smaller than 10 inches diameter. The bigger the fixture, the bigger the impact it will have on your design.

Tips for hanging your lights:

An ideal distance between your pendant and kitchen island is 28-32 inches. See those big beauties over that island?! LOVE! (Ignore the chandelier over the kitchen table, this is an example of builder grade fixtures that have not been switched out for something better yet)12304200_10153130112155248_1860542492900164880_oSource

Pendant lights over a side table or nightstand should be a little lower, about 25-30 inches from the table surface. How sweet is this kids bedroom at a beach home designed by my firm, P [Four]. Adding the pendant light above the shared nightstand added texture and interest to the room. 333E4310 Source

If you’re using a pendant in your bathroom, hang the fixtures around 60 inches from the finished floor, and layer it with your mirror to create depth. Do not hang the light too high so that it is floating all around above the mirror. Layering it creates an anchor. This amazing master bathroom was designed by my boss, Shawn Evans and was featured by Home & Design Magazine333E4176Source

Now, lets get to my picks. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pendant lights from different design styles. Each one offers something so great about it, however I am partial to numbers 2 and 16 because I’m using them for the kitchen and dining room of our new home in Ohio!

Source-Pendant Lights- Actually Ashley

1. Pulley System Pendant  | 2. Brushed Iron Pendant  | 3. Warehouse Pendant  | 4. Industrial Farmhouse Pendant  | 5. Spudnick Pendant | 6. Interlocking Triangle Pendant | 7. Modern Task Pendant | 8. Gold Globe Pendant | 9. Classic Glass Pendant |  10. Silver and Crystal Pendant11. Gold Arabesque Pendant12. Moroccan Quatrefoil Pendant | 13. Carved Wood and Glass Pendant | 14. Iron and Wood Rectangular Pendant | 15. Sisal and Distressed Wood Pendant | 16. Round Wood Pendant

Check me out on Instagram and Pinterest to see more home decor ideas! So, what pendants are you drawn to? I’d love to hear from you, leave me a comment below!

Until Next Time,


Pick Five- Pottery Barn

Pick Five Mini Series with Pottery Barn

Hello There!

How is your weekend coming along? I’ve been running errand and cleaning like a mad-women today. With the weather being so nice I find myself being lazy during the week and leaving all my chores for the weekend.

Today I am sharing a part of my new series called “Pick Five” where I feature my five favorite items from a specific retailer. This has been a really fun series to work on so far, and I love taking the time to explore each stores website. The longer I search, the harder it is to find just five items to share with you! We recently got married in a very small ceremony with under 20 guests. We are planning a BBQ next week on the 4th of July to celebrate our marriage with our extended family and friends. Even though we are not expecting our guest to bring gifts, I went ahead and registered at Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn has a great registry program for events- and give you an extra 10% off any items remaining on your registry after the event. We need some new bedding, dishes and towels for our new house anyway, so it seemed like a win-win! For that reason, I am picking Pottery Barn for todays Pick Five! Hint, hint: I’m registered for most of my picks!Actually-Ashley-Pick-Five-Pottery-Barn

PB Classic Stripe Duvet  | Marbleized Dinner Plates | Monogram Soap Set | Beachcomber Basket | Scallop Embroidered Pillows

PB Classic Strip King Duvet- $95.00 I found this image on Pinterest and can’t stop dreaming of this bedroom. The simple navy stripes are so crisp and clean in this room, its perfection! I added this duvet to our wedding registry in hopes of having it one day!

Marbleized Dinner Plates (Set of 4)- $52.50 These plates are a clash of two different worlds for me. They remind me of my mothers classic blue & white china; but at the same time the marbleized pattern speaks to the way modern geode trend I’ve seen all over this last year. I love this balance of the traditional and modern with these beautiful plates!

Set of 6 Monogramed Soaps- $49.00 How perfect are these soaps displayed in these apothecary jars! I think this would be so cute and fun on the counter of the guest bathroom in our new home.

Beachcomber Basket- $129.00 I have a mild obsession with baskets lately. They are great for storing blankets, toys, and all that other unwanted clutter that happens. I especially love a large basket like this one tucked under a console table or at the foot of the bed.

Scallop Embroidered Pillows- $54.99 I think these pillows are so great and versatile! They can swing with just about any design style from country to clean lines. I shared a photo on Instagram last month where I used these beauties in multiple colors against a crisp white sofa. This home turned out so perfectly, and I adore these embroidered pillows.

Thank you guys so much for stopping by! I hope you head on over to Pottery Barn and take a look at there new goodies before they are gone! Want to see more design tips and inspiration? Be sure to check out my Instagram and Pinterest Page, I share stuff almost daily!

Until Next Time,


Dining Room and Kitchen Design Plans

Dining Room and Kitchen Design Concepts, Furniture and Color Boards

Hey There!

I am still in shock that it is almost the end of June. Where on Earth did this year go? I am not complaining, you know I am excited for the end of the summer! If you’re new around here- My Husband and I are relocating from Northern Virginia to Columbus, Ohio at the beginning of September. We purchased a beautiful home and I can’t wait to get in there and start designing! I shared the design plans for our Florida Inspired Family Room at the beginning of the month and our Formal Living Room last week.

I am on a designing roll, and am happy to share the next room with you today! I am combining the design boards concepts, color scheme and inspiration images for our kitchen and dining room!

As you might remember from previous posts, I am a huge fan of having a consistency to your home. I love when I walk through a house and from room-to-room it feels united and linked. Lucy from Craftberry Bush wrote a wonderful post on how she did this exact same thing in her own home using a single color pallet in different tones.  I used rich neutral colors, layers of different textures and pops of navy blue in the design concepts for the Living and Family Rooms in order to create the cohesiveness in our new home. I plan to continue that theme into this space.

Take a look at the design and inspiration board:
Dining Room Kitchen Furnitue Boards Sources

 1. Pendant Light  | 2. Similar Counter Stool  | 3. Wood Chandelier  | 4. Drapery  | 5.  Similar Dining Table  | 6. Similar Dining Chair | 7.  Vintage Inspired Area Rug  | 8. Similar Neoclassic Dining Chair

Sources: Kitchen Look Photo  | Cutting Board Art  |  China Cabinet Look Photo  | Buffet Look Photo

Ahhh! Be still my heart! I am so in love with the natural raw woods. Each is a different tone and color but by layering each one, it creates a depth that wouldn’t be achieved with a single wood tone. I am offsetting this raw wood with some crisp painted white elements like the counter stools, white painted kitchen cabinets and white painted built-in’s in the dining room. Now, let me show you the floor plan of the kitchen and dining room so you can get a lay of the land:

Dining Room Kitchen Furnitue FloorplansThe Kitchen and Dining Room are right next to each other. The Kitchen is open concept to the Family Room. The Dining Room is directly open to the Living Room. Inside the dining room on each corner is a  beautiful custom built-in china cabinet with glass doors. I have plans to pain these babies and give them some updating! Both spaces are a great size for our needs. It is a great layout to furnish! I am so excited to get in there and see this plan come to life! Now, onto the before photos of the Kitchen:Kitchen Before The kitchen currently has a great layout and the cabinets are in great condition! However, I think the dark tone of the cabinets makes the space feel tight and like a cave. To help with our budget, I plan on keeping the cabinets and counter tops for now. I plan on painting the cabinet a crisp white and adding a marble stone backsplash. Additionally, I want to lighten the walls and add new hardware, lighting and artwork. I really feel like these simple and inexpensive changes will make a world of difference in this space!

What do you think of the plan? I placed the order for the furniture a few weeks back. The dining chairs just arrived and they are so beautiful in real life! I can not wait to see the light fixtures as well! I hope you are diggin’ my ideas for this new house! Check in on Facebook or Instagram and let me know what you love about it!

Until Next Time,


Professional Design: Maple Lawn Sage Model

Check out this beautiful orange and sage green modern Model Home just south of Baltimore, Maryland

How have you guys been? I am so excited to show you something a little different today! I love being able to share some of my design work from being a model home designer in the Washington DC area. I feel so blessed to truly enjoy going to work every single day. I know not everyone gets to do something they really love and I am grateful for the opportunities my firm P [Four] has given me. I get to be creative, design spaces for projected buyers, and get to play with different design styles that I might not otherwise get to explore. As time goes on- I find my own personal style to be drawn to a more rustic and transitional style. As such, I am designing my own home in that light. (You can check out my plans for our new living room, and family room now!) But, this single family home I designed and that I am going to share with you is anything but rustic!

Bozutto is a large home builder in the DC metro area. They recently began building beautiful single family homes just south of Baltimore, Maryland called the Sage at Maple Lawn. Check out what they have to say about the model:

Combining inspirational architecture, incredible comfort, eco-friendly design and intelligent technology, Sage at Maple Lawn is designed in complete harmony with the way you live. An open floor plan, vibrant indoor-outdoor connections and an inviting courtyard combine to provide space to gather with friends or to find a moment of solitude. Details big and small can be customized to fit your personal style. It’s also smart, with renewable energy systems that reduce your monthly costs while creating a healthier environment. And with its convenient location halfway between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, the best of both cities is just minutes away.

When I was assigned this project, I instantly was drawn to the model’s name “Sage”. I wanted to incorporate layers of beautiful rich greens of all different shades. I started the design with crisp modern millwork on the walls- using 1×4 laid horizontally. It expands the open concept home and makes it look larger. I then added the layers of different rich greens anchored with grey as our neutral. Lastly we added a big punch of color with a saturated tone of orange! Take a look at this beautiful modern home:


Isn’t this home so fun! I love that we continued the layering of rich greens and oranges on the white and grey base throughout the home to create a very cohesive feeling. We played with textures and pattern to create interest as well. The Washington Post wrote a great article featuring the design in their June 2016 paper, be sure to see the feature here!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram to see what else I’ve been up to! Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought of this fun model home!

Until Next Time,


Living Room Design Plans

The Living Room furniture and design boards for our new home in Columbus, Ohio

Welcome back!

How have you guys been! I am so happy that summer is finally here and it has been such a great one so far. I’ve been so busy trying to get stuff packed up, organized and ready. I am so excited about our big move coming up at the end of the summer! If you missed my post- read all about how we came to our new house in Columbus, Ohio. If you remember back to that post, we purchased our home that was actually not even for sale. We knocked on a door of a home we found absolutely beautiful and hoped for the best. Luckily the previous owners are some of the sweetest humans we’ve ever met and they agreed to sell us their home… crazy, right?

 Ever since then, I’ve been dreaming big and ordering new furniture for the new house. I shared the design plan for our Family Room in last weeks Florida Room Design Challenge. I love how the plans for that space turned out. It feels comfortable and like home, which is just what I wanted for that space! I want our entire house to feel cohesive, so it is important to me to continue the feeling of the Family Room into the other areas of our home.

I set foot to design the formal Living Room with that idea in mind. I’ve decided to keep the neutral and navy color scheme, and to continue to play with different textures to add depth to the space. I want this area to come off a little more formal than the Family Room, so I ditched the soft fluffy rugs and slip-covered furniture for a different take: think rich fur hides, sisal rugs, rattan, slick metals and comfy linens with nailhead trim. Take a look:Actually Ashley Living Room Furnitue Design Board1. Drapery  | 2. Similar Watercolor Horse  | 3. Silver Table Lamp  | 4.  Silver Side Tables  | 5. Similar Navy Throw Pillow  | 6. Linen and Nailhead Sofa  | 7. Similar Coffee Table  | 8. Hide Area Rug  | 9. Sisal Area Rug  | 10. Oversized Wall Clock  | 11. Live Lemon Tree  | 12. Similar Canopied Porter’s Chairs  | 13. Gold Bar Cart  | 14. Navy Tufted Bench  | 15. Blue & White Ginger Jars

What do you think? I love the layers of texture on the board, and I can’t want to see it in real life! A few items we are reusing from our old home (like the navy tufted bench from our previous guest bedroom and the gold bar cart from our previous dining room). Mostly everything else has been ordered and we are patiently waiting for the boxes to start to arrive! There are just a few things I can not decided on..

First- I’m not 100% in love with the drapery. I have not placed the order yet for them and might hold off until we are in the house and I get paint on the walls. It might be too much pattern for the space and I might end up with a more neutral linen drapery layered with woven shades. Secondly, I am back and forth on if I want a lemon tree or a fiddle fig leaf tree for the room. Both choices have so many good qualities, its too hard to pick right now. I’ll need to sit on this one!  Lastly, I can not settle on a furniture layout for this room! I have three favorites so far:

Option One:

The entire seating area is turned to face the fireplace (and possibly TV mounted above it). I would add an additional tall bookcase between the windows at the bottom of the floor plan. I plan to make a console table with Brian that will have a metal base and wood top for right behind the sofa.


Option Two:

I would turn the sofa and place the two Porter’s chairs next to one another, adding a small table in between them. I would move the gold bar cart between the windows with the horse watercolor above it. I would still keep the DIY console table behind the sofa.

Actually-Ashley-Living-Room-Option-TwoOption Three:

Like option two, I would turn the sofa and place the two Porter’s chairs next to each other. The entire group would flip around and the bar cart would move to be centered behind the chairs on the bottom of the floorplan.


They all have the same basic elements and each have almost the exact same furniture. Option one requires an additional bookcase in between the windows, while options two and three require an additional side table. No big deal either way, but it has been so hard to decide! What do you think? Which layout would you use, option one, two or three?

Actually-Ashley-Living-Room-Layout-Vote Leave me a comment below to help me decide! Be sure to check out my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on what I am up to!

Until Next Time,


Pick Five- Z Gallerie

Pick Five Mini Series with Z Gallerie

Good Morning!

How is your weekend going? I can hardly believe we are into June already. I feel like this summer is going to go so quickly. Honestly, with the excitement of moving to a brand new town,  being newly married and getting ready to design a new home… I don’t know how to slow it all down. I feel like a little kid waiting for their vacation in Disney! While I patiently wait for the big move, I am trying to brainstorm new and fun posts that do not require a house. A few weeks ago we sold our home in Virginia and are living in a camper until our big move to Columbus Ohio in September. Living in a camper with two adults and two very large dogs just means we have very little space. Its going to be very hard to try DIY projects to say the least!

A while back I did a post of 5 Things I Bought This Week. It was a really fun post to write and I wanted to bring that idea back to the blog, but with a fun new take. I am calling this series “Pick Five”, where I share my favorite five items from a specific retailer. For the first post in this fun new game, I’ve decided to share my favorite Z Gallerie finds. Have you heard of them? They are known for a very glam style with bright colors and lots of metals. While they have beautiful stuff, the are not exactly my personal style for home décor. In fact, I had a gift card for them sitting in my wallet for over a year. With the excitement of the new house, I went on the quest to find beautiful items that fit the style of our new home- which I just shared my design plan for the Family Room last week! I was so pleasantly surprised by what I found. If you dig a little deeper, Z Gallerie had some really great décor items and I had no problem spending that gift card (and maybe a little bit more but don’t tell my husband!)

Actually-Ashley-Pick-Five-Z-GallerieMontclair Leaning Mirror  | Aspar Wall Sconce  | Faux Driftwood Horse

 Horn Trio Candle Holder  | Trio Beverage Dispenser

Montclair Leaning Mirror- $399.00 I have serious mirror envy from my Pinterest finds lately! I want one of these beautiful iron mirror windows so badly. This is such a great price and is a good size! Have you guys been loving this mirror style too?

Aspar Wall Sconce- $39.95  These are truly a great deal and come in gold and silver! They are super long (almost 3 feet!) and make such a great statement. I love having sconces on either side of a fireplace, or on either side of a doorway. These are perfect because they use candles and require no hardwiring! I just got two of the silver ones. I have no plans for them yet but I couldn’t pass up such a great find!

Faux Driftwood Horse- $49.95 I love the texture that driftwood brings to a space. This pretty pony is made of resin that is crafted to look like real driftwood, but is way smoother and will not splinter.

Horn Trio Candle Holder- $24.89  I have to admit, I purchased three of these babies. Each one came with a unique coloring ranging from more creamy to straight black! This might be getting way ahead of myself as it is barely summer but I am thinking they will be great as a set for a Thanksgiving or Halloween dining table! They are on a great sale right now and might not last long so act fast if you love them as much as I do!

Trio Beverage Dispenser- $69.95 I love a good drink station at a party.. How amazing would this be for a backyard BBQ?! This little gem would be great to use in your next tablescape, and is great for an outdoor party because unlike a pitcher, it is covered! No bugs here!

 What do you think of my five favorite items from Z Gallerie? Are you going to head over and scoop up any of these deals before they are gone? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to reach out on social media too! I am always sharing new stuff on my Instagram and Pinterest Page!

Until Next Time,


Getting My Fix: Stitch Fix Review 8

While this post is sponsored by Stitch Fix- As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own.

Good Morning and Happy Thursday!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I can hardly believe we are into the second week of June already! It is really starting to feel like summer around here. We had a TON of rain around Washington DC in May. The weather is finally breaking and the ground is drying out.. meaning a little less muddy (thank goodness!). But enough small talk- Today is an exciting day, it is the first Stitch Fix Review I am posting after being made a member of the Stitch Fix Influencer Program! I am really excited about this sponsorship and the opportunity to post clothing reviews more frequently. I also get to share fun ways for us to all play along! Stitch Fix is sharing a super fun summer bucket list challenge with 50 ways to create great memories! Check it out:

What are your sweetest memories of summers past? Was it lazing away on the beach or building bonfires with friends? We bet you remember it all. Capture your summer moments using this bucket list with 50 ways for you to create new memories.


While you’re checking things off your bucket list, be sure to hashtag #StitchFixSummerStory and #contest with your Instagram photos all summer long to be entered to win a free Fix! Now lets get to my latest shipment! I requested summer shorts and fun flats. I have such a hard time fitting into shorts so I was excited to see what my stylist had in store for me!

1: Margaret M- Lea Printed Short- ReturnedActually-Ashley-Stitch-Fix-Margaret-Lea-Short


I loved these shorts! The small scale print and texture of the fabric was perfect! The shorts fit perfectly over my bottom and legs, but they were slightly high waisted. Around my waist they were very loose, causing the entire short to keep slipping down. I had to return these even though the style was a A+. I paired this with my Papermoon Bastille Tulip Sleeve Blouse, a necklace and flats all from previous Stitch Fix shipments!

2: Pistola- Elouise Rolled Cuff Short- ReturnedActually-Ashley-Stitch-Fix-Pistola-Elouise-ShortActually-Ashley-Pistola-Elouise-Denium-Short  I love cute denim shorts for a casual summer look. These would be great for picnics, hiking or to grab lunch on a summer afternoon. While I liked these shorts, they were very short on me. I tend to like my summer shorts to be a bit more modest so I opted to return these. I paired these shorts with a TJ Maxx found lace top and Target Flip-Flops for a casual look.

3: Pixley- Ellie Printed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse- KeptActually-Ashley-Stitch-Fix-Pixley-Ellie-Blouse

Actually-Ashley-Pixley-Ellie-BlouseI love how bright and happy this blouse is! The mint color is great for this time of year, and the cut of this top fit me perfectly! I love the little cuff detail on the sleeves as well. I layered this top with a long necklace like this one from Charming Charlies, nude pumps and dark skinny jeans.

4: Mia- Nona Laser-Cut Flats- KeptActually-Ashley-Stitch-Fix-Mia-Laser-Cut-Flat

Actually-Ashley-Nona-Cut-FlatsI am always searching for great flats. I do not want anything too flashy, but I like a little bit of detail on my shoes. These have that perfect amount of interest without being a statement. I am so excited that Stitch Fix has added shoes into their shipments. I love these!

5: Pixley- Corsega Laser-Cut Detail Blouse- ReturnedActually-Ashley-Stitch-Fix-Pixley-Corsega-Blouse

Actually-Ashley-Pixley-Corsega-BlouseThis top had some great details in the laser-cuts! It really is a beautiful blouse, but the color was a tad too bright for me. I wasn’t sure how often I would pick this out of my closet. I decided to return this one even though it was cute! I used my Kut From The Kloth Denna Skinny Jeans from a previous Stitch Fix and white sandals from Target to complete the look.

A big thank you to Nicole B, Heather R. and Kim O. for using my referral link to sign up for Stitch Fix! I hope you guys love their personal stylist service as much as I do! Please share photos of your shipments with me, I love to see what everyone gets! Please feel free to follow along on my summer adventures as I check off bucket list items on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! Talk soon!

Until Next Time,


While this post is sponsored by Stitch Fix- As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own.