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Oh Baby! We’re Expecting!

Wow! It has been a while since I’ve been blogging. When I did my last post back in December, I was thinking I’d be signing off for the Holidays.. little did I know what life had in store for us!

After months of trying, countless ovulation tests and a lot of emotions I found out that my body just wasn’t ovulating on a monthly cycle. Finally we made an appointment to see a fertility doctor that can give me medicines to force my body to ovulate every month as it should. At my very first appointment with the fertility doctor to start the treatments, I got some very unexpected news. They told me I was pregnant! We had gotten pregnant on our own and the baby was just a few days old. I called my husband who rushed over to the doctors office. We had a sonogram that day and saw the little bundle of cells that would become our baby.

What a whirl wind experience that day was! A few weeks later we shared our exciting news with our family on Christmas morning and couldn’t be happier. It was so exciting to see my mom and dad’s face as this will be their very first grandbaby! A few sonograms and doctors appointments later we decided to share the news with the rest of our family and friends on Valentine’s Day. My sister-in-law was amazing and came by our house to snap some photos for our announcement while I was 14 weeks along. I am so happy with the results and treasure each and every photo.

I picked up this little chalk board heart in the dollar section of Target. I loved the heart shape as a little ode to our announcement going out on Valentine’s Day! I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the little “Oh Baby!”. If you do not have a Cameo, you can order letters similar to ours from here or here. I used the Cameo again to make the t-shirt transfers of the baby’s due date and the “We can’t wait to meet you!”. It was a simple project but made for some great photos! This Etsy store has a similar pre-made one here.

I made our official announcement with Minted.com. They are so easy to use and I love their designs. I have most of my contacts in their system so they pre-address all of my envelopes for me, which is a life saver! I really am always so happy with the quality using Minted. This is the design for you to create your own!

The first trimester was hard. Harder than I expected.. and I wasn’t even that sick. the thing that got me was how TIRED I was. All of the time, everything just took it out of me. I could barely keep up with work and house chores, let alone have enough stamina to write a few blog posts. There was no creative things happening around my house, and I was in bed by 8:00pm every night.

Now that I am in my second trimester, and feeling more like myself, I am so ready to get back into things! I am so sorry for my long break. Get ready for more house posts, some maternity fashion and baby posts coming your way really soon!

Thank you so much for sticking by me and the blog. We are feeling so blessed and excited for this new journey!

Until Next time,

Ashley

 

Back at it!

Good morning!

First and foremost- I’ve missed you! I never intended to take almost two months off from blogging, but sometimes life has other plans for you.

I had all of these plans to share Christmas decor ideas and tips, to show you photos of the progress on our new(ish) house, and tons of fun winter outfit ideas… but we’ve experienced some major life changes that have gotten in the way over the last few weeks. We are not quite ready to share whats been going on but I am ready to start back at it again. While I have been absent in posting, I’ve been working some behind the scenes to fix minor issues on the blog and work towards a slightly updated look. I’ll have some new and great content for you guys soon. Thank you so much for sticking by me and being so patient with me lack of posts. It is really appreciated!

Until Next time,

Ashley

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,

Ashley

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,

Ashley

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,

Ashley

Throwback Thursday: Memorial Day with Trex

Memorial Day Feature with Trex Outdoor Furniture

Hello There!

Happy Throwback Thursday!

FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-COVERSDo you guys remember last summer when Brian and I installed our DIY outdoor fire pit? We absolutely LOVE it and use it all of the time! Well, I am happy to say that Trex Outdoor Furniture has featured my photos and DIY tutorial over on their blog while showcasing their amazing and durable outdoor furniture! Be sure to check out their blog postfor their fire pit round up and some additional tips and tricks to getting the perfect outdoor patio style just in time for Memorial Day Weekend!DIY-Fire-Pit-Roundup-Trex-Furniture-BlogTrex Outdoor Furniture

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Back on Track for 2016

Wow! Where do I start?Back on Track 2016

First of all- I’m so sorry for my unexpected month hiatus. Brian looked at me the other day and said “So, are you not going to blog anymore?” I had not really even realized a month had gone by since my last post. Life really got away from me with the holidays, travel, wedding planing and being extra busy at work. I commute 2 hours each way for my job, so on a normal day I do not get home from work until 7:00 pm. When we get crazy busy at work and I stay even a little bit later… I run into major traffic and get home around 8-8:30. that simply leaves me little to no free time during the week. On top of that, we set a wedding date! We will be married on May 11, 2016. Yes, you read that right, 2016. We have just a few short months to pull together a simple and sweet wedding. But I’ll fill you in with all the wedding stuff in a post soon. Anyway, I’m truly sorry I’ve been MIA. I never planned to take a month off but it did and I am sorry. Now I’m back on track for 2016.

I want to fill you in on what I’ve been up to in the last month! Christmas was great. Brian and I traveled to visit his family for a week over Christmas. It was the first time I didn’t go home for the Holidays in my life. It was sad to not wake up at my childhood house on Christmas morning but non-the-less we had a fantastic holiday. We stayed with his dad for a few nights then went to his brothers home for Christmas morning and watched his two nephews open gifts which was a hoot.

Actually Ashley ChristmasAfter that we went to my parents house for a short and sweet visit. We had a great family dinner and opened gifts with mimosas in hand. Brian got a new saw (to help make some awesome stuff for you guys!) and a trail camera. Brian got me a Silhouette Cameo. Which is an amazing-ly-awesome-tastic thing. Here is the official description:

The Silhouette CAMEO®
is your standard in electronic cutting. Like a home printer, it plugs into your PC or Mac® with a simple USB cable. However, instead of printing it uses a small blade to cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, and other material up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long.

 

silhouette-cameo-2-3t_05-xl

source

So, like a printer you send things from your computer to the Cameo, but instead of it putting ink on something, it uses a blade to cut out the shape. So far I’ve used it to cut vinyl to make decals which have all turned out so well! I have some major DIY wedding plans that feature the cameo, so stay tuned for some future projects!


Now, do you all remember back when I shared the Daybed Guest Room Plans?

Actually Ashley Daybed Guest Bedroom Plan

I know it seems like ages ago, because it was.. Sorry! Over the break we completed the room. It turned out so great and I can’t wait to share it with you (post coming so soon!) First, I’d like to give you just a sneak peak of the feature wall. Remember I said I’d like to do some sort of subtle accent wall in the room. I decided to go with a stripe. I purchased the main color of the room, Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray Sw7019, in flat. I then got a small sample size of the same Gauntlet Gray in high gloss… After painting the entire room in the flat paint, I taped off the walls using my green frog tape. Be sure to use a level. I actually took a level with a pencil and made a faint line across the entire wall. I then carefully placed the tape to align with the pencil mark. I took a credit card to scrape the edges of the front tape to confirm they were sealed tightly.  I then used the high gloss paint in every other stripe.

Grey Stripe Bedroom Acutally Ashley

This photo was taken before I started the high gloss. I can’t wait for you guys to see how it turned out! It adds just a slight bit of detail when the light hits the room. Its nothing too forceful, but adds some much needed interest.

Okay, that should catch you up to speed. Stay tuned for the big Daybed Guest Room reveal, awesome DIY features for the wedding and so much more. I’m happy to be back for 2016!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Exciting News!

Actually Ashley Engaged

We’re engaged!

Brian and I are both very excited to announce that we are getting married! I knew early on that he was something special, like we were made for each other. My weaknesses are his strengths and his weaknesses are my strengths. We simply complement each other. I have never felt more safe, loved and cared for than when I am with him. I am truly grateful for every little thing he sacrifices to make me just a little bit happier. I’ve never been more connected to someone else. He is my best friend. I can’t wait to start the rest of my life with you, Brian.

Actually Ashley- Brian and Ashley Actually Ashley- Brian and Ashley Actually Ashley- Brian and Ashley Actually Ashley- Brian and Ashley Actually Ashley- Brian and Ashley

Until Next Time,

Ashley

 

Guest Bedroom Makeover

Design Plans and Décor Boards for the Guest Bedroom

Hello There!

We have several rooms in our house that desperately need some TLC. One such room is a spare bedroom that I am going to use as a Guest Bedroom. I spotted this amazing Trina Turk coral geometric print bedding on pinterest and immediately knew I needed it. I fell in love with its slightly preppy vibe and was so drawn to the color! After playing around with a few color combos I decided I liked the bedding paired with a deep navy blue with gold accents and crisp whites. To help figure out the direction I wanted this room to go in- I created a mood board to add in the layers of color. I love how using a mood board can really help guide the textures, colors and shapes you want to add to a space without the commitment of purchase. Its like test driving a room!

CORAL-BEDROOM-MOOD-BOARD-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY

Once I created the mood board to help guide my design, I broke it down a step further to create a “shopping list”. I edited this from my mood board slightly, deciding to change a few things as I went. I used this shopping list and mood board while buying for the room. If I was out at a store and saw something that might work, I had an instant reference to remind me of my style goals and to keep me on track.

 

Coral Bedroom Actually Ashley

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Now that I have a design plan I broke my design up into a “shop list” and a DIY list”.  This helps me decided a head of time what I think I have time to create on my own to save a little bit of money rather than just purchasing it all. Once I have my lists I am ready to start shopping! I’ve already ordered the bedding and can not wait to see it in person!

Shop List:

  • Bedding
  • 2 Navy Lamps
  • 1 White Lamp
  • Sheer White Curtains
  • Wooden Blinds
  • Mirrored Dresser
  • Navy Tufted Bench

DIY List:

  • Transform old nightstands with paint
  • Created a tufted headboard
  • Custom Navy & Coral Artwork

Lastly I’ll leave you with two dark and dingy photos of the soon-to-be guest bedroom from when we purchased the house.

Coral-bedroom-before-actually-ashley-2 Coral-bedroom-before-actually-ashleyI know, it needs some help! The room is pretty large and has great natural light. A fresh coat of paint and some pretty furniture will go a long way, promise! What do you think of the design plans and mood board. Share your ideas in the comments below!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

DIY Car Emergency Kit

actuallyashley car kit coverOkay, okay… I was a Girl Scout, I admit it. With years of it being drilled into my head I have the natural instinct to “Always be prepared.” I’m not saying I am going to be featured on the next episode of Dooms Day Preppers but I am saying I don’t like to be caught off guard. When I was 16 years old in my very first car, my mother gave me my very first Emergency Car Kit. While my mom might have been preparing me for her apparent insight that I will someday be trapped inside my car in the apocalypse for seven weeks, I have since downsized my emergency kit to a few key items. I have separated my Car Kit into three main parts; Personal Hygiene Bags (one for me, one for Brian), First Aid Kit, and Extras.


The first part of my Car Emergency Kit is two Personal Hygiene Bags. The idea with this part of the kit is to have everything we would need if we needed to spend the night somewhere without notice. In the past this has been an unexpected hospital stay, spontaneous sleepover at a friends house, or having to stay so late at work I got a hotel room next door (true story). The items in our Hygiene bags make an unexpected overnight stay a little easier and is nice to have on hand. I started in the “travel” section of Target. You know, the one that has the racks of mini travel size bottles of almost anything. They have some pre-made toiletry kits in this isle. I happened to buy two of the “mens” kits to start. For some odd reason the mens kit was $2.00 less than the girls kit, so I went with two boy kits for the Car Kit. In addition to the pre-made kit, I added additional items that I’ve found myself needing. Here is what is in mine.

actuallyashley car kit4Personal Hygiene Bags:

  • Travel Size Tissues
  • Clorox Travel Wipes
  • Travel Size Disinfectant Spray
  • Travel Size Shave Cream & Razor
  • Travel Size Laundry Soap
  • Tooth Brush and Toothpaste
  • Comb/Brush
  • Body Soap/Bar of Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Plastic Baggie (to pack up wet stuff)

actuallyashley car kit5


The next part of my Emergency Kit is First Aid. Again, for ease I started with a pre-made first aid kit.  I then added additional supplies I find myself needing often. I added things like headache medicine and stomach ache medicine because that is what I am frequently reaching for.

actuallyashley car kit3
First Aid:

  • Pre-Made First Aid Kit
  • Tums
  • Ibuprofen
  • Benadryl (Pills and Cream)
  • Vaseline
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Neosporin
  • Antiseptic Spray
  • Hand Soap
  • Peroxide

actuallyashley car kit2


Lastly I added in a few extras. For this section I am more in the mind set of being stranded or having my car broken down. I try to add in items that might come in handy in a emergency situation.

actuallyashley car kit6Extras:

  • 2 Headlamp Style Flashlights (w/ extra batteries)
  • Battery Operated Radio/Clock (w/ extra batteries)
  • Reusable 20 Hour Glow Stick
  • Jumper-Cables (not pictured)
  • 3 Lighters
  • Binoculars
  • 2 Ponchos
  • 1 Small Pre-Made Tool Kit (not pictured)
  • Camp Knife
  • Small Tarp
  • Folding Shovel (not pictured)

actuallyashley car kit8actuallyashley car kit7I tuck all of the parts of my kit into a “shoe size” plastic tub. It is very small and easy to tuck under my back seat or throw into my trunk without taking up much space. Almost all of the items in my kit can be purchased at a store like Walmart or Target and estimate the entire cost to be around $150.00. I have added and removed items over the years as my needs change. I have been surprised with just how often I’ve turned for a band-aid or Tums from my Kit over the years.

What do you think, are you going to add a DIY Car Emergency Kit to your family vehicle? Leave a comment below to tell me what your must-haves are for your own kit! I’d love to hear what I am missing!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

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