The subtle art of not giving a #@%!

Hello all,



You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.  You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

Today on a trip to target I picked up a new book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A #@%! by Mark Manson 

The title itself drew me in and although I am only through the first two chapters I am finding it to be such an easy read.   The message differs from many self-help books I have read.  If you’re looking for a guide to happiness, this isn’t it.  If you enjoy chanting in the mirror “I deserve happiness” on repeat 30 times, this book isn’t for you.  This is a honest book that allows you to focus on the #@%! you should give and not give a #@%! where it isn’t needed.

Again, I am early on in my reading but I LOVE that this book is realistic.  Life has challenges, life is unexpected and unfortunately/ fortunately life sucks sometimes.  I love that this book encourages you to think past what your idea of happiness is and focus on the challenges you will face to get there, that is where you find out if you want something bad enough.

So excited to keep reading…

Have you read this book or another by Mark Manson?

A good life is not a life without problems.  A good life is a life with good problems.

For those wondering, I know I have not been posting as actively as originally planned.  The reason is simple: I am living the best life possible!  Although I want to take moments out to share my new finds, some great products, and just about me — my intention is to live in the moment and not allow the freedom of sharing to become the burden of creating content.

I am more active on Insta: Ashellaaa   Follow me :
Thanks for reading!




Tourist in my own city

I have a habit of becoming a tourist when I am up North, no matter how many times I go.

Three times in a week was nice and provided some beautiful pictures.

I have been busy as you can tell from the lack of posts…

Both work and summer concerts have been consuming the last few weeks. On the July 24th, Brian and I went to see 3 Doors Down.  It was my first concert at Northerly Island Park and I must say it’s a very underestimated venue.  I actually am eager to attend more shows there next year.



Blissful views.

To follow that up we went to see Foo Fighters on July 29th and 30th.  This was my second and third time seeing them.  Such a great show, despite the drunk 40-50 year olds who we sat by each night.  Last time we saw them in 2015, Dave had a broken leg and although he put on a great show from his throne, it was nice to see him commanding every inch of the stage this time around.



If you have never been to a concert at Wrigley Field you’re missing out, GO NOW!

If you have been to Wrigley concert name your favorite one? Who did you see?

My favorites in this order:

  1. Tom Petty (his last concert in Chicago)
  2. Foo Fighters 2018
  3. Green Day
  4. Foo Fighters 2015

Side note: Just realized my first time seeing all of those artists was at Wrigley. Crazy!



Thank you to my amazing boyfriend for such a week of great memories!  There is nothing better than live music with the one you love (rocking out on my arm guitar).


Until next time you can catch me watching videos on my phone reliving these concerts and screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs…. buy ear plugs now.


Vacation Recap

Hello all,

Better late than never.

As I settle in from my absurdly long vacation I am so grateful for all I did while enjoying time with my wonderful family and boyfriend.  The picture below represents my feelings on being 26.


As many of you saw via my Instagram, my dog Bella cut the webbing of her paw prior to my vacation.  Although we do not know what she was injured on in our yard we do know she’s a wild child and loves to get into things.  This didn’t ease my animal loving heart when I first found out.  I shed a tear for sure.  This also allowed for lots of cuddles with “Coney,” our official nickname for this little one.



Bella is officially cone free and loving life again.  She enjoys running around in the yard looking for bunnies and jumping up on hind legs too look over our deck at the neighbors dog while barking.  I swear the neighbor dog thinks we are insane (she doesn’t know the half of it).


A few days after my birthday Brian and I went to Replay to see the Pokemon set up for their event (As mentioned in prior post).  Since, they’ve now expanded the event to incorporate the entire bar and a Pokedex to “catch em all.”


The time this must have taken earned my respect and also made me want to hire them! What do you think about the decor?  Have you gone to Replay or are you interested in going?


Brian and I received all of our badges and it was such a fun time!

Later in the week my friend Kayte was in visiting from Seattle.  Oh man did I miss her!  It is nice to have friends who’ve nearly lived your entire life with you.  It is like choosing your family.  16 years of friendship and still holding on for dear life trying to adult. : )


Brian and I also finished 13 Reasons Why 2, I haven’t found the words to express how I feel about it yet.  I suppose it’s similar to how I felt after season one, check out my 13 Lessons post for my recap of what I got from season one.  Did you watch season 2?  What are your thoughts/feelings about the seasons huge end?

To wrap up vacation Brian gave me my gift.  Literally one of my favorite gifts of all time!  The gift of a hobby and art, in the form of a Cannon Rebel T6.  I’ve always loved capturing a moment and being able to see the beauty in it forever!  I am so excited to have the highest of quality memories for both myself and my family.  Thank you again babe!

Special thank you to everyone who called, text, facebook messaged, and spent my birthday with me.  Here is to 26!  I am ready for what this next year has in store for me!

– A

Birthday vibes

Hello 26!

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday.  The day got off to a slow start because I have been feeling sick for the last three days.  Body aches, sore throat, and stuffy nose — I didn’t let that stop me.

My parents surprised me with an early dinner at Cochon Volant, 100 W Monroe St. Chicago, IL.



Again my love for France from my trip continues.  The decor of this place reminds me of the French bars we would sit at and drink beer and coffee while staring at the Eiffel Tower!


Cochon Volant – Flying Pig in English has the cutest logo.  Helps if you do not know the translation at first.


We came during their lunch hours, so appetizers filled the menu.  We decided on the Warm Brie Plate and Croque Madame Eggrolls.  Looking back I realized I didn’t take photos to share… but it was because it was so good!  Once we got the dishes we dug in and although it was appealing to the eye my stomach was very pleased as well!

If you have been is there anything you would recommend from the dinner menu?  I am interested in going back soon!

Check please,


The check comes with a Cochon Volant postcard!  What a cute way to market yourself!

After we arrived home we played games on the deck as we enjoyed some refreshing beverages.  The weather today although hot on the day side was perfect for deck drinking.  It was a great way to kick off my vacation as well as celebrate my official adulthood.  I’m off my parents insurance (insert crying).

I will keep you updated on all the vacation fun to come!

Thanks to everyone reading and to everyone who made my birthday memorable!


Fun and Games

Welcome back!

It has been a few days.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I had the pleasure of watching my Aunt graduate with her Masters of Law.  Literally the most inspirational ceremony, I cried pretty much the entire time.  Both because my aunt is a bad ass and can accomplish anything she puts her mind to and because the inspirational words shared hit home.  One speaker spoke about the importance of what you get from your career, with the exception of money.  How money (although a necessity in life) should not keep you doing something that doesn’t bring you happiness and provide value to your life and the lives of those around you.

I know he was talking to the new graduates, but the speech was for the moment of life I am currently in.  It was nice to be reminded by someone who doesn’t even know me.


Also tickets for Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago went on sale… and sold out this past Friday.

Brian and I were lucky enough to have gotten a pair.  I am hoping for the sake of players who were unable to get tickets Niantic will rethink the platform they use to sell tickets to events so they are not purchased by people who are going to mark up the price.


Needless to say I am so excited! Brian and I went last year and it was fun, despite my cellphone reception being horrible, which I blame AT&T for not Niantic.

Is anyone traveling to Chicago for the event?  Where are you traveling from?  Did you have troubles getting tickets?  What are you most excited for?

Here is a picture of us last year…


I am also looking forward to the nice tan I will be getting walking around catching Pokemon!


Brian also sent me this bar that Replay in Lincoln Park is doing a Pokemon themed event that starts on my birthday!  Can we all guess where I will be?  You’re smart.

Is anyone else interested in this event?  The event runs from May 25th- June 4th.  Below is the event description:

Starting on Memorial Day weekend, we’re transforming our bar into a Pokemon trainer’s paradise, complete with themed drinks, a Pokemon Center and Pokemart, and lured pokestops for all you Pokemon Go players.

But if that weren’t enough, we’re also allowing budding trainers to take on the Replay Pokemon League Challenge. When you visit, you’ll be able to ask your bartender for a Trainer Card, with spaces for eight badges earned through ordering specific themed badge shots at the bar. If you collect all eight, you’ll be able to challenge one of our Elite Four at Pokemon Stadium. If you prevail, you will receive a prize pack fit for a champion.

Not feeling competitive? We’ll also have wild Pokemon hidden all around the bar. Catching them by entering a code on a specific website will unlock discounts and goodies. We’ve even heard rumors that there are some legendary Pokemon out there that will unlock secret menu drinks!

Let Brian and I know if you are going?  What part of this do you find the most exciting?

We will be there and be geeky.

This week keeps getting better…

Drake announced he will be in Chicago August 17th and 18th.  Who is going?  It has been a few years since I went to see him so I am so happy he’s back in Chicago!

More to come on Drake because I have not purchased my tickets yet but I can hardly wait to do so!


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.


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.


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.



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!


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.




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!




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)!


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…




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!