Sweet tooth alert! That would be my calling for sure. I definitely sway to the sweet side more than the salty. Put some ice cream, cakes, cookies, chocolate in my sight lines and I am a goner. Nathan on the other hand definitely leans more towards salty, especially for breakfast. Every weekend I could have french toast and be as happy as can be. Not he. It tends to be the classic eggs, bacon and toast kind. We may change it up with scrambled eggs, wholeheartedly attempt an omelette or make some sort of breakfast casserole or scramble, but every now and then he bends and allows my sweet tooth to rein.
Aside from mommyhood, which I often talk about and share here on the blog, I do have a full-time career in marketing / pr. Did you know that? Maybe you did but if you did not, now you do. One thing I have learned from my many years in the industry is that world of mouth is still king! Think about it. Why do you think social media is as big as it is? It is all about conversation and connection. So, essentially social media is one big blob of word of mouth. People ask for recommendations on a hairstylist, sitter, restaurants and contractors. We trust other people before we trust advertisers. Still to this day, we put our guard up about advertisers, thinking a commercial, a print AD or a billboard are visual displays of a facade of the brands very best. The thing is advertising is changing and meshing so much due to social media and digital landscapes that we often do not even realize we are being advertised to, when in fact we are.
As a blogger, we work with brands often. Sponsored posts are how many major bloggers make some serious dough. I am not at that level. Nope, not yet! Just little ole’ me providing you with true word of mouth great products with no connection or tie to these brands. I throw that out there to really emphasis the fact that by me sharing these products with you I am truly picking my favorites with no biases. These are products that I purchased with my own money in 2016 and fell in love with enough to share with you. That is all. Just like BFF’s do. So, you can say we are BFF’s for life, minus the best friend forever necklace.
Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm – 58.00
I introduced Dermalogica Multivitamin to the Blog early this year. It was my first solid skin care investment. This product focuses on the skin around your eyes. As I have gotten older I have clearly noticed the new visible lines that curve around my eyes and in the middle of my brow. This product contains Vitamin A which is supposed to accelerate the skin’s natural repair process and Vitamins C and E which are to assist with elasticity, ultimately reducing the thin lines that seem to just appear for an unwelcome face party.
Philosophy Pure Grace – 48.00
I credit my Momma for this beauty must-have. She has been a fan of the Philosophy line for sometime, raving about the scents and the products. I finally gave it a try, or sniff on the wrist when we shopped at an Ulta. When I was in college I worked for Bath & Body Works and learned when determining a new scent it is beneficial to test the scent on your wrist and walk away. Give it time to combine with your body chemicals. If you lose the smell of the scent on you after 5-10 minutes it is actually a great thing! The opposite means the scent is too strong for you. Philosophy Pure Grace was that product. The scent that passed my little test. I often get compliments too, which is not a bad thing.
Jane Iredal BeautyPrep Face Moisturizer – 45.00
This is my new favorite skin care product. I literally picked this up as a splurge and now I am hooked. It has a faint smell of lemon which is so fresh and cool to the skin. I apply this moisturizer to my face after every shower, each morning before my makeup and before bed.
bareMinerals Prime Time – 27.00
If you have not already realized by now, I am not glued to one product line. Instead I enjoy finding the right product versus getting consumed by a whole skin care line. bareMinerals was the first “real” beauty line I started investing in outside of drug store products. I was introduced to the foundation over 10 years ago. Through the years I have swayed from the line, but the Prime Time is one product I continue to invest in. You apply the primer to your skin prior to foundation application. Prime Time allows for your foundation and eye shadow to stick better. Also, the product includes SPF and diminishes blemishes and uneven skin tones.
Maybelline Mascara – 6.99
Simple enough, huh? I am a big mascara girl. If I am not wearing it, then you might as well make me walk out of the house with no clothes on. Yikes! Fun fact about myself? I can actually put on mascara without a mirror. May be my best trick ever. I am pretty sure I can relate this back to my high school cheerleading days when you practically got ready for the game on the track, with no mirror. This is my new go to. I love the wand, coverage and the price point is not bad either. Tip of the day, did you know you should throw out or replace your mascara every three month? See, that is why the price is crucial.
Target Crossbody Bag – 29.99
This item was on my Christmas wish list this year and I got it, so yeah for me! I have been a big bag girl all my life. (Not to be mistaken for big bad girl – you read it that way first, didn’t you?) Do you know how hard that is? Do you understand the struggle? I have crumbled crackers in the bottom of my purse, spoons, Lo’s binkies and headbands, and once I found a rotten banana. Gross! I decided I was simplifying in 2017, so part of that was losing the baggage, get what I am saying? Now that is not to say I won’t break out a big bag again, but for now the crossbody bag is perfect because it forces me to asses what I need and allows for me not to not have a dumping ground hanging off my shoulder.
J.Crew Factory Winnie Pant – 43.50
I know what you are thinking, “Really?” Yes! I am in work clothes more hours in a week than I am in casual, so I tend to invest that way. While I do tend to live in dresses and skirts I do like nice dress pants or slacks in the winter months. Dress pants are hard, or at least they are for me. I find that they are either unflattering or too long. J.Crew’s Winnie Pant was my win for the year!
Love Your Melon – 30.00
I received this beanie for Christmas this year and immediately knew I was in love. First, the beanie is adorable, well made and super comfy. More importantly, the brand’s mission supports pediatric cancer. The brand is dedicated to providing every child battling cancer in America with a beanie. Plus, 50% of all profit from sales is donated to nonprofit partners.
Old Navy Rib-Knit Sweater – 15.00
Usually the products I love the most are typically unexpected buys. This sweater was one of those. I think it was probably an online situation dilemma in which I needed to hit a total minimum to redeem free shipping or some cash coupon promotion. I bought this sweater on the fly and immediately adored. It is lightweight and soft. I am a big sweater texture girl. Certain fabrics make my skin crawl just thinking about them. And, happily this is not one!
So, there you have it! True recommendations from me. See, word of mouth still wins!
I love to cook! Now my husband may argue with this statement and claim that he believes it does not reflect my evening whine, not to be mistaken by my evening wine, because we all know I indulge in a glass or two.
But for reals (am I too old to say reals – you can tell me!) I do enjoy cooking. It is my second therapy behind blogging. The thought has crossed my mind to just cut all the bull crap and food blog, but let me explain the problem with food blogging. You need great photos. Amazing photos that make you want to eat your screen. I rarely have time for photos. For one, the lighting in my kitchen is poor for photos. It gives a yellow glow and two, my hungry family wants to eat and not wait on me to prep for a photo shoot before they dig in.
Happy New Year’s Eve! Wow. Another year. How does this happen? How does time move so suddenly? How are we going to be joining together to count down from 10 this evening and kiss at the stroke of midnight to celebrate the turn of a New Year?
I feel relieved that the year is over, yet blessed that I have had this time. I feel exhausted from the stresses that occurred in 2016 and yet so grateful for every bump along the way. Mostly, I am optimistic that 2017 will be my year and your year. That good will come from the days ahead of us.
Looking back on 2016 one of the proudest accomplishments has been this space. I started to feel like 2016 was the year small successes and victories started happening. Baby steps if you will towards something much bigger for this space, my writing and for me. You are behind that, because you as a reader are also a supporter and I adore you!
There have been many great moments that have come from some of my experiences that I have translated to words here for you. These are my Top 2016 blog posts based on views. I hope you take a moment to re-read a favorite or read one you may have missed along the way.
#7 – Mama Bear Syndrome
#5 – Dear Little Sister
#1 – 10 Hotel Hacks When Traveling With Kids
So, there we are. The top 10 posts of 2016. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I really cannot express my gratitude enough. This space is therapy for me. It is finally the hobby I had been searching for. When I am having a rough moment in time, I think how I can translate what I am going through into words. When I experience pure joy, I cannot wait to share with you. So, once again, thank you.
May 2017 bless you and your family and may we look back on 2016 and seek all the good.
I am not one to shy away from the goodies that Popsugar delivers to my door each month. I actually look forward to this subscription box because it is the best of the best in quality brands and in surprises. Each month has been an ooh and aah since we collaborated.
October brought the Henri Bendel umbrella that has become an essential and the Morning Culture rise and shine mug which has quickly become my favorite. November’s Kendra Scott bracelet took the champion spot and I get compliment after compliment on the piece.
So, December is here, well actually December from a calendar perspective is near to disappear, but December Popsugar Must Have Box reveal is here to the Blog.
It is back! No, not the ugly sweater you must return, or the belly ache from way too many cookies or the family jet lag, no, it is Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale. I know what you are thinking. “Ashli, how can you possibly shop after the madness of the holidays?” Well, let me reassure you. I can always shop. Always, always. Maybe the difference is that I would not step foot into a store right now, but put a cup of hot coffee in my hand, add some comfy pj’s and some online perusing, well, now you are talking my shopping love language. And, one cannot hide from the Nordtsrom Half-Yearly Sale if one is fashion obsessed or more importantly price conscious. The sale markdown on hot ticket items and name brands is r to the i to the d – ridiculous.
It makes me wish I could do the whole holiday gift exchange after the holidays because here is where the bargains are.
And, poof! Just like that, she is now two… TWO! Now seriously, Mr. Time, how does that happen? I am still baffled by this. I remember when I found out I was pregnant and 9 months seemed like an eternity. I felt like this little baby would be growing inside me forever, and then before I knew it I was in my second trimester, then 20 weeks, then 30 and then baby, all baby. And, now two?
Tears have been shed. My sweet girl is all smiles, attitude (yes, that happened) and giggling and laughing. Instead of trying to find the words to say, I put this little video together. I act like it is for her, but I know it is for me. I am celebrating her BIG life in our little world.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl. It really is a better place since you came along.
My heart bursts with pride and excitement; yet selfishly, I miss every single milestone that I anxiously wished away for you. Not because I hoped for this, but because us parents have a way of wanting to hit milestones and witness our children’s achievements. I can only imagine that veteran parents feel this same way as they witness their child walk across the stage to accept a diploma or walk down that beautiful flower lined aisle to say, “I do!” I understand that the magnitude of my example is quite possibly far more dramatic and impactful than each tiny victory you and I have celebrated, like graduating from rice cereal to baby food, weaning from a bottle, crawling then walking, learning new words and even this inevitable potty training. While in the big grand scheme of life, these achievements may seem minor, to you and I, they really have been huge.
And, yet I did like many other mommies warn in retrospect. They prepped me that time would fly. I don’t know why I did not listen. Maybe I thought I was exempt or maybe the daily grind was too much and I just felt I would be in this shirt stained, sleepless cycle forever.
Yet, two nights stand between you and the new number you so sweetly proclaim with those two tiny fingers.”Two!” I encouraged, as I bent your other three fingers down, practicing and practicing until you now do on your own.
You just absorb so much and our new norm is me watching you gain your independence and you partaking in every big or small success. Eating with a fork and opening your own cheese stick. You focus as you try to poke the straw into the ridiculously small juice box pouch hole, place toothpaste on your own toothbrush and dress yourself. Sometimes it is your pants that you are stretching onto your arms, but you are relentlessly trying. I hold you back for mere convenience of time, but mostly because I don’t want to let you go.
Hello and happy Friday, Friends and Followers. If you are new to the Blog Dot Com, then this post may alarm you. Do not worry. I have not lost my mind (completely!) Links. Likes. Loves is a global Friday and Weekend bit us Bloggers like to do to link you up with our favorite news, stories, videos, sales, etc from the week. It is a quick rundown of things you may have missed that caught our eye and we want to share. No, it is not me losing my mind.
The Last Time I did one, my dear Grandma (Hi, Meema!) who is a fan of the Blog, called me to ask if I was okay and why was I writing in incomplete thoughts. I am okay. We will be okay. It is Friday! So, here we go. My favorite Links. Likes. Loves. that you may have missed this week.
Our December calendar is pretty loaded down. We have work parties (yes, plural) and friendly get-togethers. We have family gatherings and then we have our full list of holiday must-dos such as a Holiday Light Car Tour, Visit with Santa, one last shopping trip, and the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (yes, that is a thing in our home). You see, all these things add up and before you know it you heading out the door to a holiday party and in complete scramble mode. If you are like me, you are begging your husband to make a quick run to pick up a bottle of wine for the hostess. But, here is the things, so is every other person heading to the same exact party as you.
Be different. Be bold. Make a statement this holiday party. And, if you make a really big impact, heck, you may just get invited back next year!