Monday, October 31, 2011

Three Words: Treat Yo Self!

So I was catching up on my "stories" this past week and watched the Pawnee Rangers episode of Parks & Recreation. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty tickled by Donna and Tom's annual ritual -- a day of pampering, fine leather goods, mimosas, and cupcakes. This day of complete and utter indulgence is referred to as Treat Yo Self. Which got me thinking... If I were invited to join Donna-tella and T-Mobile on such a lovely occasion, what would make the list? Here's my imaginary Treat Yo Self 2011... If you have an extra minute or two, be sure to watch the clip. It's a hoot! Beware: If you view it, you may end up humming "Treat Yo Self 2011" all day long, but is that really a bad thing?
The motto for this day of indulgence...
Fragrances: TREAT YO SELF!
Massages: TREAT YO SELF!
Fine leather goods: TREAT YO SELF!
It’s the best day of the year. 
1.  Cheerful Vintage Phone  / 2. Polka Dot iPad 2 Case  / 3. Holiday Socks  / 4.  Ballet Flats  / 5. Spotted Tray

6.  This entire a-mazing look  / 7.  Heart Sweater  / 8.  Gold Tipped Flats

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

You Make Me Happy

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."-Audrey Hepburn
Have a happy weekend!
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Faking Fall

It's still about 80 degrees here. What the what? I have to pretend that it's October, which means I'll throw on a light cardigan or scarf if I'm lucky. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather most days, but when you're surrounded by catalogs and magazines filled with cozy layers and pumpkin recipes and hearty stews, you become a little bitter. In Texas, I used to crank up the AC to 65 degrees -- I guess it was my way of faking myself out. It worked! These days, that's just not happening. I rely on the trusty trade winds. They're lovely, but not enough to convince myself that a pot pie would be tasty when it's still so warm. I guess in Hawaii, cinnamon scented candles and a tartan button down paired with a skirt are just going to have to do. I figured the best way to get in the fall spirit is to fake it via One Fine Day. Although, my fur-ocious friends and I are still hoping we'll get to move somewhere next time with real seasons! A girl can dream. So here it is, my fictitious fall. Ready to play along?
What a delightful list!
Bundled Up / Boot Socks with Ruffles - Adorbs, aren't they? / Bean Duck Boots - I will own a pair some day!

Shrimp & Andouille Pot Pies / Spiced Cider Whoopie Pies / Ingredients for a Perfect Fall Fete 
Sequin Pillow / Cable Knit Throw / Pantone Mug / Harney & Sons Tea / Mrs. Meyer's Seasonal Candle / Caramel Apple Body Wash / Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Polish / Essie Carry On / Jeweled Cluster Headband / Bobbi Brown Holiday Classic To Go Palette / Madewell First Frost Cardi / Camp Socks / Mittens / Hunter Wellington Boots / Striped Scarf / Perfect Reva Flat

I don't know about you, but it suddenly feels a lot like fall around here. I'm glad we got to experience this season together! Is it nice and cool in your neck of the woods? What's on your fall to-do list?

P.S. Have a wonderful weekend.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Things

It's pretty simple. Here are three things that make me grin this Thursday...
My Prayer Chair
Now I realize it may seem a bit silly and superficial to have a specific chair where you pray. I'm not telling you that you have to have an Eames or some fancy upholstered armchair to pray or meditate, but it doesn't hurt to have a special place where you can close your eyes and thank your lucky stars on a daily basis. Go ahead and roll your eyes, but I heard the term on Oprah, and something inside me just kind of clicked. Thanks O for another ah-ha moment (wink, wink, chuckle). When she mentioned this catchy term, I realized that's exactly what my Eames means to me. As some of you are aware, it was gifted to me from my parents last year. It's my happy place! When I take a seat in it, I feel at peace. The curves of the rocker feel like a hug from my mom. I can close my eyes and hear my sister's laugh and witty words of wisdom from my dad. From time to time, I've been caught by Flyboy -- he'll walk in to find me with my eyes closed for a quick and serene escape. It doesn't take long before I feel his presence, or hear the sound of the dogs paws following him into the room. I often sit in this chair during the afternoon when there's a sweet and subtle breeze. It's fun to grab a Moleskine and brainstorm or make lists. It's a little space where I can make sense of things and show gratitude for this amazing life I've been given. Once I take a seat, I feel calm and reassured that everything will fall into place with time. After a peaceful little moment, I leave my prayer chair hopeful and optimistic, and I feel a little closer to the ones I love so dearly. I think it's exactly how you should feel when you go to your happy place.  

A melody that brings back a memory.
All too often, I travel on the same road to get from our house to various parts of the island. Just recently, I was cruising down this particular stretch of the interstate when a song came on the radio. It brought on instant warm and fuzzies and took me back to a moment I shared with my mom and sister years ago. In fact, it was on this same route that we were headed from the base to the beach on a warm summer day. Dad was hard at work (or hardly working), and the three of us packed up for some fun in the sun. Mom was driving the family car and we'd just got done traveling through a tunnel. The classic rock radio station was really fuzzy and breaking in and out. As we came out of the tunnel, mom cranked up the volume. It was ACDC's You Shook Me All Night Long playing. I remember looking at my sister with confusion. "What's gotten into her? What is this noise that she's blaring? Why is she thumping on the steering wheel?" The next thing I know, my mom is singing from the top of her lungs and dancing at the wheel. It was one of those moments I'll never forget, like a spirited scene from an uplifting movie. My sister and I just started giggling and bobbing our head to the tunes. My mom has always been one to break out into an impromptu jig in the middle of a grocery store if the music was right, even if it was slightly embarrassing. I guess this moment just kind of caught us off guard. In typical mom style, she added an extra splash of fun to our day. Whenever I hear the song, I think of her and that moment. You can only imagine how thrilled I was to hear the song on the radio a few weeks ago, traveling the same exact route, and the smile that came with hearing this classic hit.   
A fresh bag of candy corn.
There's no special story or Ashley anecdote to go with this piece of happy. The candy is just delicious and cheerful. It's a fall staple. If you're looking for a reason to smile, go pick up a bag! Perhaps this is the culprit behind my cavity collection, but can you really blame a sweet so delightful? I mean, it is one of Buddy the Elf's four main food groups.

P.S. All watercolor illustrations were created by the oh-so-talented Caitlin McGauley. Check out her site.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Snazzy & Sweet

Here's what makes me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

Sparkly Burberry Trench - I think YES! / Essie Chinchilly / Recent birthday acquisitions from Flyboy - Jess LC Tote & Pouch, Hang in There Necklace / Candied Apple Note Card / Adorkable Elephant - Tell me you're smiling! / Penny Loafers

Free Downloadable 2012 Calendar from Red Stamp: Woop woop for organization and looking ahead!

I saw this costume idea on Refinery 29 and fell in love. I'm SO banking this idea for a future Halloween. I'd love an excuse to get wrapped up in colorful ribbons of crepe paper. Who wouldn't? This year, I'll probably just snuggle up on the couch and be engrossed in another episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. This season is getting intense!

Rockin' the Art World: I watched a segment on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago, and now I can't wait to read this new book about the life of van Gogh. Vincent holds a special place in my heart -- he was my first art love! Yes, I was brought to tears in middle school when I walked into the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and saw Sunflowers for the first time. Let's say I've always been "emotionally aware."

Can you tell that my ticket stub has been loved? It's taken center stage on many bulletin boards and collages over the years. October 23, 1999, was a day that I'll never forget.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fantastic Mr. Boddington

I came across Mr. Boddington's Studio late last night after browsing the Mercier Beaucoup Website. The stationery is absolutely enchanting. Take a look at a few samples of his work. I think you'll find the delightful paper goods both sophisticated and cheeky. Enjoy!

Did you see his fabulous desk? I think my paper crush has intensified!
Perhaps Mr. Boddington will be responsible for the Fine Christmas card this year? 
I think he's mastered the art of illustrating the season for bon bons and busy bees beautifully.
P.S. In the words of Mr. Boddington, go write your mother a letter.
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A Damn Fine Week

Howdy, friends! My apologies for the lack of creativity in my posts this past week. As I mentioned before, things around here have been rather busy. We had visitors for a week, so I tried to knock the posts out ahead of time. Needless to say, I feel a little rusty. It's time to add some more personality to the posts and catch up. Shall we? I'll ease into it by sharing some tidbits from this past week's events.

Seeing familiar faces and sharing numerous laughs were highlights of the week. It was especially fantastic to have visitors because it kept things busy on Puna and kept my mind off of Flyboy's impending departure. We toured the island with our friends and bid them adieu early Friday morning. Not to worry, we fit in plenty of fun and sun, with just the right splash of Aloha. We were sad to see them go, but it was time to relax as a family and fit in some Fine quality time. Saturday was all about the birthdays. Yup, both Tripp and I share the same birth date. It was one of those details that just sealed the deal when we went to adopt him. What could be more perfect? Anywho, we spent our special day relaxing. Of course, that means a trip to Starbucks, J.Crew, and Kate Spade (and a quick stop at Petco for Tripp). Isn't that what relaxation looks like to you? He he! I had gift cards that were burning holes in my pocket. What can I say? I'm not the kind of girl that sits and thinks about how she's going to spend her wad. That's just silly and something only Flyboy would do. Perhaps that's why we make a perfect pair?

And just as promised, the weekend consisted of fizzy gin beverages, stripes, yellow cake with sprinkles, and countless hours of pointless Bravo TV. It was just as I'd envisioned! We managed to get Flyboy's gear packed on Saturday evening, which left us with the rainy and lazy Sunday we'd hoped for. As much as Flyboy detested the idea of packing on my birthday, I was pretty eager to break into a Type-A jig and organize to my heart's delight. There's just something about fitting numerous piles of military junk into as few bags as possible. It makes this girl's heart go pitter-patter. The reason I call it junk? There are very little stripes or chevrons, and color (if you can even call it that) consists of putrid shades of brown and green -- far from a delightful clover or Kelly green. 

Now, enough of my rambling and on to a few scenes from this past week and weekend...
Setting: Lil Puna (Our house on the hill)
Our friends experienced a lot of "bossy" Ashley. What can I say? It's the tour guide in me. Follow the itinerary people!
The dynamic DeMass duo with my lovely husband in the background. Yes, he always takes photos with his guns blazing.
The infamous pose.
Breakfast at Puna. Our days usually revolve around when and what we'll eat next.
Flyboy with Beesly & Tripp in the front yard.
Tripp after a quick jaunt up the hill. He's a happy dog!
Hitting the celebratory sauce.
A birthday staple. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Get. Out. Of. Town.
Snail mail mania. Complete with princess kitty card from my dad. It's become a tradition!
A brilliant gift from my aunt and cousin. You know I love a pun regarding my last name!
This vintage cracker tin takes the cake. Thanks, ladies!!
Pom Poms, colorful material, and sewing accessories. Pillow-palooza is about to hit Puna.
Birthday booty from family and friends. Look at that Mizzou themed flower pin! Thanks, Amy!!
Relaxing weekend complete with afternoon nap.
Time to crank out the Thank-You notes. There's so much to be grateful for!!
Happy Tuesday, Lovelies!
In an effort to get completely caught up, I plan to share my current "Lurve List" with you tomorrow. 
I've got a few new fab finds that I'm eager to tell you about.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Manic Monday

I hope your week is off to a great start. I'll be back tomorrow with a fun update regarding this past week's events. I'm dropping Flyboy off at the airport this morning, and my mind is in about a gazillion different places. This is the first time we've done the deployment thing, so it's a bit new to us. I feel blessed for getting to spend so much time together over the past few years, but a little uneasy and sad as well. In the words of Ron Burgundy, I'm in a glass case of emotions. Bear with me! This too shall pass (73 days, but who's counting?). For now, I'll leave you with a fun illustration by the ever-so-talented Katie Evans, and a sweet quote that sums things up quite perfectly. Toodles! Don't forget to savor life's sweet moments.
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Saturday, October 22, 2011