Attitude of Gratitude

Tonight was so much fun!

My aunts, grandmother, mom, and I all spent a pre Mother’s Day night out.  We went to the pre-screening of Book Club.  A must see!  It was so hilarious!

Have you watched the trailer?  What are your thoughts?  Are you going to see it May 18th when it’s in theaters?

After the movie we enjoyed a nice dinner at the pizza place near the theater.

I honestly couldn’t navigate life without her.  She is my biggest supporter and my voice of reason when I am in need.  She has taught me so much over the years and my need for her wise words and strategic thinking has only increased as I age.  I am so grateful to have her as a mother and best friend.  (P.S. Jerzday has been moved to Friday!)

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All my mothers in one picture… Mom, Grandma, and Godmother.

I wouldn’t be the person I am without these wonderful women!  I literally am my grandma in so many ways it’s crazy!  As an adult it’s so wonderful to see the impact of those around you in your actions, mannerisms, and of corse looks.

Looking forward to doing this again with these ladies and I am so excited to celebrate them again this Sunday!  Any interesting Mother’s Day plans?

I would also like to add as a reminder that some people no longer have their mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day with.  We should use this as an opportunity to celebrate all women who have shaped our life with their love.  Celebrate and love your moms everyday, because they deserve it!

Happy Mother’s Day!

-A

Hello Spring

Welcome back!

The weather in Chicago is finally feeling a little bit more consistent, so are my allergies.  I’d take spring over winter any day so despite my allergies I am very excited!

Here are some of my daily must haves for spring/summer:

 

As you know I am still working on finishing up You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero.

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These slide on sandals are my all time favorite right now for both comfort and trend.  These are $22.99 at Old Navy, I purchased the black suede and these blue and white striped ones about 3 weeks ago and I am so excited to start wearing them as the weather improves.  I will definitely be purchasing more of these in the other colors.

The candle pictured is Watermelon Lemonade from Bath and Body Works.  I love this scent so much I have bought about 7 of these candles in the last two months.  It is so fresh and makes me feel like it is summer already.  They also just added the body wash which I also had to get because I loved the scent so much!

 

These are some of the skincare/haircare products I use consistently throughout the summer.

 

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This Urban Decay Beached Bronzer is probably the best of all the bronzers I have tried.  I bought it in Bronzed because as the summer progresses I tan fairly easily and need the darker of the bronzers.  I like that this doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of shimmer because I have tried many that do and I just never used them for longer than a week.

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This Mary Kay Timewise age-fighting moisturizer got me through my driest days in the winter.  It moisturized my face without making it oily, the major perk is it is SPF 30 so will be very useful in the summer!

 

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This is one of my favorite lazy day hair sprays.  The Surf infusion spray by Bumble and Bumble creates beautiful beauty waves.  This was part of a sample size pack so it is only 1.5 fl oz. but as you can see I have gone through a bit so I will need to stock up soon.  This can be found at Ulta, Sephora, and occasionally at TJ Maxx.

 

 

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I was first introduced to this product at the salon I get my eyebrows threaded.  Humphrey’s Witch Hazel can be used to reduce redness and tone your face.  I usually put this on after I have washed my face in the morning/evening.  They have many different scents and this one is my favorite right behind the original scent.  I found this one at TJ Maxx for $9.99.

What are your favorite spring/summer products? Any recommendations let me know in the comments!

*I apologize for not having prices or places to locate all the items.*

 

Happy Spring!

-A

 

 

13 Lessons

Late last year my boyfriend and I began to binge watch some Netflix series’ as a way of spending some time together.  Our second choice was 13 Reasons Why.  I had heard little about the series prior to becoming interested in watching but I think it is something that is worth while for teens today.

After watching the series I saw all the controversy that is caused.  However I think it is still something the world needed to see.  I do not believe it glorified suicide but instead shed light on the following lessons the world needs… these are the 13 things I took from the series.  If you haven’t watched do it quick season two drops May 18th!  If you have what is your opinion of the series? Are you excited for season 2?

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  1. What you say matters.  Words seem so simple but once they are said they can remain with someone forever.  This series opened my eyes to how judgmental the world is, I am at fault of this too.  When someones interests don’t align with ours what is our first thought?  Something must be wrong with them… incorrect something is wrong with the thought we are all suppose to share the same point of view.  Chose your words wisely.
  2. What you do matters.  Remember when you told Julie you would come to her birthday party.  Something “better” came up and you ditched it.  Julie didn’t forget, in fact it changed your friendship.  My point: what we do or in some cases fail to do matters.  People remember things and their feelings can be impacted by our actions. Chose to do right by yourself and others.
  3. You do not always know what is going on in someone’s life.  There are things people do not feel comfortable sharing based on many factors.  Whether it be a death or illness in the family, a personal illness, a personal trauma, or just a bad day.  Some people rather not speak on personal things in their life no matter how close you are with them.  Therefor bullet 1 & 2 are critical to ensuring what little we can offer be positive.
  4. Little things become big things.  When someone is suffering from any type of depression or anxiety something you view as small may seem like a huge occurrence in their life.  This basically is a reminder that bullets 1, 2, & 3 are critical.  Do not get me wrong, you are not to blame for having bad days, but if you make someone else’s day bad, well that’s your fault.  You have so much to offer make sure it shows in all that you do.
  5. We all need a quality friend.  I added quality because we all have friends.  Friends of quality are harder to come across.  More important being a friend of quality is not an easy task.  We can’t all be perfect and our friends understand that, but this point goes back to bullet 2.
  6. Be a quality friend.  Shocking next point, huh? Your actions matter, treat others as you expect to be treated.

The next set of points come from experiencing the first 6.

  1. Take people’s opinions with a grain of salt.  No one is perfect and no one opinion or way of life is correct.  We learn to live life the best way suitable for ourselves and families.  Do NOT change who you are or what you do based on a simple opinion.
  2. People are going to let you down.  Since no one is perfect this bullet is easily true.  We can not always make everyone happy and in most cases our intention is not to make people unhappy.  However we will disappoint some times.  Do NOT focus on a one time action, focus on a repetitive action, this will allow you to determine the intention of the person and make it easier to walk away from their behavior.  Remember we are human and you deserve to be treated with the respect you treat others with.
  3. Stand up for yourself and others.  If you have mastered the confidence it takes to execute the bullets above you probably stand up for yourself.  But remember some of us are still working on these skills, we need your help.  Stand up for others if you know something or someone is treating them wrong.  It is easier to handle things with a friend, no one should go through anything alone.
  4. Ask for help when needed.  Life is not rainbows and butterflies, we all need help at some point.  Do not be ashamed to reach out for help.  You never know what you will find, many people are going through similar things.  You are NOT alone.
  5. Help.  Be there for someone when they need it.  If someone reaches out to you and you are unable to help, find someone who can.  Most people just want a friend and someone to talk to they aren’t expecting a million dollar check and all their problems to go away.
  6. Do not speak.  Like I said some people just want to vent.  They need a hug.  They want to get coffee and cry it out.  Do not try to solve their issues with words.  Your presence is enough and your ability to listen means everything.
  7. Locate help.  Like I said before if you are unable to help someone by following all the other bullets it may be time to locate professional help.  Depression is a serious mental illness that affects over 18 million adults in any given year.  It is also the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44.  If you or anyone you know is looking for someone to talk to or is in need of help visit here for more information.  You can also visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support.

I learned so much from this show and its rough topics.  I honestly wished it was around when I was a teen so I was more aware how impactful what I did an said to the people around me could affect them.

If you have not watched this series I encourage you to do so!  I also encourage you to talk about these issues and spread awareness so that everyone who is in need of help is able to receive the treatment and support they need in order to beat their battle with depression/mental illness.

Don’t forget to watch the second season premiering May 18th on Netflix.

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-A

 

Late night inspiration

Welcome back,

As I sit here unable to fall asleep while scrolling through LinkedIn I came across some motivating words.

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These are Gary Vaynerchuk’s  things to consider as you strive for happiness and success.

I came across Gary’s LinkedIn page a few days ago and I have been inspired by him everyday since.  He is an entrepreneur, best selling author, and one of the most sought after public speakers.  His podcast is what caught my attention when I visited his page and his energy is so captivating I couldn’t stop watching.

If you are in the mood for some personal and business advice I encourage you to follow him.  Do not take his words lightly, go out and live your dream!

Is there anyone you find inspirational for business/personal growth, leave a link or their name in the comments so I can utilize them for motivation as well!

Part of me starting this blog was about doing something for me, working on my day dream if you will.  Many of us spend 7-10 hours working on someone else’s dream only to come home make dinner and fall asleep.  Never forget to do something daily that moves you closer to your dream.

No matter what you work on today, big or small, make it count!  Give it your all and NEVER GIVE UP!

Also channel inspiration from the things around you…

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The universe, will send you signs and little bits our encouragement.  The full moon the last few days has been a total sign to me from the universe.

Anyone capture any cool photos from the full moon? Share in the comments!

This encouraged me to do some reading…

The moon is the planet that governs feminine energy.  It is traditionally understood to be powerfully emotional, intuitive, and rooted in wisdom of the subconscious. Full moons are notorious for being a signal of sudden endings.  It’s a time when we face the consequences of earlier actions or decisions we’ve made.  The key to dealing with any job, relationship, or situation coming to a close at the full moon is to not fight it, and to simply let it go.  Whatever safety you’re attempting to cling to is exactly what is putting your personal growth in danger.

-The Scorpio 2018 Full Moon Meaning Is More Intense Than You Think, Here’s What You Should Know by Rosebud Baker

This article was spot on and gave me chills.

Side note: universe just so you know I am loving your signs.  The full moon was beautiful now time to put change in action!

-A

 

Monday vibes

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

This weekend was so relaxing. I was able to go get my nails done with my mom and do some shopping (my favorites)!

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My hands can once again be photographed….

What did you do this weekend? Let me know in the comments.

We also made some homemade enchiladas which were so delicious!

Now after a long Monday it’s time to eat dinner and relax.  Brian and I will be enjoying one of these facemasks (yes we are nerds).  Anyone interested in us reviewing the masks please leave a comment and let us know what you would like to know…

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This quote is all I needed for motivation Monday.  My take away: You’ve got to realize that what you feel is NEVER WRONG and that you must always trust you intuition but also accept the consequences of things.

Wishing you a wonderful week to come!

As always remember you are a bad ass!

-A

Margarita and my Man

Happy Hump Day all,

Brian and I spent the day in Downtown Oak Park today playing Pokemon Go!

After we were done playing we saw Hecho En Oak Park Taqueria.  My eyes lit up by the “Margaritas are here” sign in the window.  I love margaritas and I am usually a frozen margarita type however they do not have them here.  Do NOT worry though, this was by far one of the best margaritas I have ever had.

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Left: Coconut Margarita      Right: Strawberry Pineapple Margarita

Middle was our order of Guacamole and chips, which we both agreed was very delicious!

In addition to the margaritas we tried there was also a cucumber one which I would love to go back and try.

 

Since this was our first time here we wanted to taste test all our normal favorites at other restaurants.

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From left to right: 2 steak, 1 pork, and 1 tilapia

All were delicious, our favorite was the pork since it was topped with grilled pineapple, onions and cilantro.

If you are interested in trying Hecho En Oak Park Taqueria is on 1053 Lake St. Oak Park, IL 60301.

Anyone have recommendations of Chicago restaurants we must try?

We are open to anything, leave us a comment and we may try it on our next date!

-A

 

Sweet Steps

Welcome back!

Instead of wasting hours and days and years trying to figure out you perfect next move, just DO something already.  Oh the time we waste rolling ideas around in our heads, imagining what-ifs, coming up with perfect reasons why and then perfect reasons why not, tearing at our cuticles, making our friends and family carefully screen their calls in case it’s us again, wanting to go over some ideas.  Get out of your head and take action.

Yesterday while continuing to read You are a Badass by Jen Sincero the quote above stuck out.  The other day I was discussing with my friend some of my current feelings about life and work.  I was discussing my next steps, her first response was “the next steps are so scary for me.”  I chose to keep this friend anonymous because her opinions on things are similar to mine and she is too valuable to put “on blast” via a blog others will read.

I agree with her 100% though, the first step is the hardest, but the next step is just as hard.  Although this book makes me feel badass, I am far from fearless.  I also am hopeful that everyday from now on will look brighter, be better, and most importantly bring happiness.

I am so appreciative for those of you who chose to read these posts and come back as I share my journey to my best life! Thank you!

I am also open to advice, opinions, questions, and open dialog… like, comment, and follow!


Some random Ashley facts… recently I developed an allergy to Red 40 (Red food coloring).

Have you ever watched the show botched?  That’s my face if I eat anything with Red 40 in it.  Two words: Bad Botox.

I was so excited to find an organic company that made dye free gummy bears, gummy worms, red fish, peach rings, and watermelon rings.

I came across the brand Wholesome at a HomeGoods and haven’t been able to find them since.  The other day I had such a craving for the red fish I placed an order online here.

Another fun fact, on the website listed above they have a store locator that actually narrows it down to stores near you that sell the product!  So far out of the new items I purchased I tried the watermelon rings… OMG SO FRUITY AND SO FRESH!  Even if you don’t have allergies give them a try!

Anyone have any organic must haves that they recommend? Let me know I would love to try them!

-A