Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mood Board // Black & White

I love a pop of color, but there's something crisp and clean about black and white. When neutrals are done right, they can be so striking! I stumbled upon this cherry pie recipe print (via One Little Bird) recently, and it caught my attention instantly. The use of black and white allows the typography and design to stand out. Sweets and baked goods are pretty tasty, but nothing leaves me pining for seconds like something so aesthetically pleasing. 
Mood Board // Black & White:

Happy Thursday!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What About Wednesday?

In instances when I feel a bit nutty, I like to refer to myself in the third-person. It makes me feel a little less crazy and intense. Instead, it's all about "her" and "she". Have you seen the classic film, "What about Bob?" I guess this little technique is my equivalent to Dr. Leo Marvin's hand-puppet family. This is my Baby Steps -- a way for me to self-sooth. If you're lost, watch this clip. Now that you're up to speed, here it goes: Fun Ashley loves the idea of a three-day weekend. In fact, she relishes it. Practical Ashley despises it. It sets her behind and leaves her feeling a tad bit overwhelmed. "How can it be Wednesday and there's still so much to do this week? I haven't even made a dent in my to-do list!" We also know that Type-Ashley can be rather dramatic; she lives for the thrill of productivity. Right about now, it's best that she go to her happy place. This week, it looks something like this...
Contents of this week's happy place:
Velvet Wingback Chair - So luxe, modern, and fun! Wake up a tired piece of furniture with this DIY.
Small Boxwood Topiary - A little greenery to spruce up the place.
Alex Katz Prints - Dreamy, isn't it?
Tea Time Cup & Saucer - A darling illustration.
Pink Planner - Love Bri Emery's organizing tips.
Happy Blanket - It's just so fun, I had to include it! 
(With a $270 price tag, we'll say it's more of my champagne taste on a beer budget. It's fun to dream!)

What does your happy place look like? What makes you feel calm, cool, and collected? 
For some reason, this Matisse quote puts me at ease every time I read it. 
(A little Bill Murray humor never hurts either.)

Happy Wednesday!

P.S. And just for my dad, here's another one of our favorite scenes from "What About Bob?"
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Tuesday Ten

Today, I'd like to introduce you to a great friend of mine and a former boss, Amy Adam. She's been a tremendous mentor to me over the years, offering both words of wisdom and hearty belly laughs. Though she's too humble to admit it here, I still think she makes the world's greatest oatmeal raisin cookie. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

10 Random Things About Amy Adam:
  1. I would rather be living in the Pacific Northwest.
  2. I only like to swim in the ocean, or chlorinated pools. No murky lake water for me. 
  3. I really, really, really want an Airstream trailer. The thirty foot International Signature model, to be exact.
  4. I love me some basset hounds. We'll have another one someday...
  5. I am terrified of tornadoes and spiders, which is why I'd do so much better living in Seattle than here in CoMo (see #1.)!
  6.  My hair is naturally curly; if I go to bed with it wet, I look like Don King in the morning. Husband can confirm. 
  7. Avocados are my obsession right now. On sandwiches, in guacamole... I've even found an avocado smoothie recipe I want to try. I'll let you know how it turns out!
  8. My nickname in junior high was Famous Amos. A foreshadowing of my cooking making skills, perhaps?
  9. One of my favorite toys as a kid was my Snoopy Sno-Cone machine, and I was so excited to find one at Toys R Us a few years ago. Have not used it once since purchasing it, so I need to remedy that this summer. 
  10. I am so glad I'm the mom of two boys, because I am much more comfortable with Lightning McQueen, Mater and Transformers than with princess and Barbie stuff. I had to Google the Disney princesses the other day because I could not identify Sleeping Beauty when my oldest son asked who she was.

We want to get to know you...
Don't forget to email me your 10 Random Things, and you'll be featured on One Fine Day

Happy Tuesday!

(Image Credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 )
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Life's Little Details

Just a few instances that left me snap happy...

Is there anything better than...
Striped espadrilles?
Fresh flowers?
A well-curated outfit? 
Surprise snail mail from the best of friends (Roald Dahl stamps included!)?
A care package courtesy of mom and dad?
Wet noses and ferocious furry paws?
A bevy of stripes and polka dots?
A celebratory dinner with friends?
Goofy sun hats?
Whimsical prints?
A Sunday stroll in the neighborhood?

Flyboy and I are enjoying our Memorial Day weekend together -- just as planned! We've had the best time making room for "funtivities" and checking items of the ol' to-do list. We plan on relishing this day with our toes in the sand and grilling to follow. And while all of this fun and sun is fine and dandy, it's also important for us to keep the true meaning of Memorial Day in mind. We must never forget those who fought and died so we didn't have to. Take a moment to reflect and count your blessings.

Happy Memorial Day!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Better Together

Four years ago, Flyboy and I embarked on a whirlwind adventure. Over a one-week period of time, we both graduated from college, he commissioned into the Air Force, we bought our first car together, and we tied the knot. It all happened so quickly, but I'll always look back on that week as one of the best of my life. We were surrounded by so much love and support, and I'm forever grateful for the memories. Each year, May 25th reminds us of our blessings. I married my best friend -- a guy who makes me the most "me" I can possibly be. Here's to many more years of love and laughter!
It was a damn Fine day, indeed!
In honor of our anniversary, I'm taking the bloggie day off. We're fortunate enough to be together to celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend, so I want to enjoy every moment! We will most likely hit the beach, ride our bikes, overindulge in food and drink, spend quality time with the dogs, etc. I hope you have a wonderful three-day weekend. I'll be back on Monday!

Happy Friday!
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting Carded

I can't say I have any real reason to tote around a calling card. However, I'd never turn down the opportunity carry a cute piece of personalized card stock. You know... Just in case! And in an effort to check another item off my bucket list (refer to the "professional" category, item number three), here are a few of my favorites!
Hello / Grace / Kelly / Quinn / Daniel / Alexis / Theresa / Samantha / Ann / Muriel
While researching calling cards for kicks and giggles, I stumbled upon this...
How much do you love Steve Martin?

Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Inspiration Strikes...

Just as Matisse described the act of painting, there's something about blogging that makes me feel gloriously free. I guess it's the rush that comes with meeting a deadline, and keeping content fresh, honest, and fun. I realize that's a bit of a stretch -- this isn't a published glossy, and I've got so much to learn. Here's what I do know...

It's been four years since I graduated from college with a degree in journalism. Each May since graduating, I've found myself sulking. "What have I done with my degree to make myself proud?" You know the drill, because we've been down this road before in previous posts. I won't bore you anymore, but I wanted to share a little secret with you. I finally realized that I spent the first three years post-college trying to dismiss my past and my passion. I let my pride get in the way and never fully dealt with it. I allowed myself to be sad with feelings of defeat and frustration. I compared my master plan with reality. When I found they didn't align perfectly, I decided it couldn't be part of my life. This is so Type-Ashley -- if I can't have all of it, I don't want any of it! Terrible, isn't it? I dismissed one love and got caught up searching for another. What did I learn? Comparison truly is the thief of joy. I never fully let go of my idyllic plan. I compared my blessed life with my clouded vision of a perfect life. I get so mad at myself for being this stubborn; it only took me 4 years to get to this point. Better late than never, right? This year, I feel quite happy and creatively fulfilled. I spend less time wondering about what could have been. My reality is pretty great, especially when I allow myself to just let go. There's a difference between saying you're grateful and blessed and truly believing it. Perhaps this lesson has been the greatest gift blogging has given me.

And thanks to your comments and emails, I know there are plenty of you out there who are in the same boat. The one thing that has brought me the most peace is knowing that I'm not alone in feeling this way. What have I learned over the past year? Give it time and focus on whatever it is that brings you joy -- even if it is a hobby! I guarantee the time you spend doing something that you love will bring you one step closer to being the best version of yourself. Alright, enough of the mid-week therapy sesh. On to a punchy palette -- Matisse to the rescue!

 A punchy palette of colors to convey my jubilation:

"I am in charge of how I feel, and today I am choosing happiness!"
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Tuesday Ten

Last week, I launched a new series on One Fine Day -- Ten Random Things. And just as I'd hoped, my readers and fellow bloggers stepped up to the challenge. Have I ever told you how tickled I get when you all want to get involved? I had the best time reading through your random factoids. In an effort to make this bloggie community a tight-knit crew, I'll feature someone new each Tuesday. Buckle up, buttercup! 

Today, I'd like to introduce you to blogger, Ali Bronska, from A Dash of Details

10 Random Things: Ali Bronska
  1. I was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, and lived within the same 5-mile radius until I was 18 years old.  
  2. If it was acceptable, I would eat noodles with butter and a pinch of salt every night.  I may become overly obese, but it would be well worth it.  
  3. P tells me I have an addiction to buying striped shirts, and he may be right.  I have to confess that I own ten blue-and-white stripe shirts.  
  4. When I was only three years old, I put on my first pair of ballet shoes. I grew up in my dance shoes and to this day I wish I was a professional ballerina.  
  5. Being a dancer growing up, you can imagine that I was a super girly girl. I have a secret that most people who know me do not know -- I still have my bow collection from when I was a little girl.  There are pink ones, and green ones, polka dots -- you name it and I had it.  
  6. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to study in Italy and travel to fourteen different cities during five months abroad.  My favorite place I traveled to was Cinque Terre, a city of five towns built into the mountains.  It is the most magical place I have ever been.  
  7. I have a confession, I am terrible at tennis (well why I am being honest, all hand/eye sports).  I have tried, practiced, and attempted to play but I am just awful.  
  8. I dream of someday opening an art gallery and event space, not of my art but with artwork of talented artists who love what they do.  
  9. When I was growing up my dad was an architect.  Every weekend he would pull out his water colors but he wouldn't let me use his "good paints".  When I graduated college my dad bought me my own set of nice watercolors. 
  10. Whenever I feel defeated or get discouraged at times I remind myself to "Never Forget That I Am Awesome". 
How can you go wrong with stripes, bows, art, and carbs? 
Around here, you're in good company, Ali! Thanks for sharing. 
Be sure to follow Ali's blog -- I'm addicted, and I just know you'll love it!

We want to get to know you...
Don't forget to email me your 10 Random Things, and you'll be featured on One Fine Day

Happy Tuesday!

(Image Credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 )
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Monday, May 21, 2012

This & That: Wayne Pate

A year ago, we received two Wayne Pate prints for our anniversary. They're framed now and hang next to our hall tree at the entrance of the house. I specifically placed them in a high-traffic area, because it's the sort of artwork you want to be surrounded by at all times. His brilliant illustrations resemble the work of a modern Matisse or Picasso with vintage and nautical subjects. There's a certain charm and whimsy to each piece that makes my heart happy. Why not be surrounded by things that bring you delight? While pondering post ideas for the week, I found myself visiting Pate's website -- it serves as the perfect source of inspiration! Though most of the featured pieces haven't changed much, it got me thinking about his work and how it complements some of my recent pins.
Emily Miranda Seaweed Bib / Cluster of Coral
High Falls Sidney / Tulips
Sailor Boatneck Tee / Sammy Seagull
Silk Square / Blanca Gomez
Summerstroll Skirt / Flock
Elva Fields / A Knife, A Fork, A Bottle, & A Cork
Happy Monday!
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Color Out Loud

You down with POC? (Yeah you know me.)
Be Bright.
Every once in awhile, I come across something so lovely I want to share it with you instantly. This time around, I couldn't wait to tell you about 31 Bits and the launch of their summer collection. In this case, there's more to each accessory than meets the eye. 31 Bits uses fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty. "Kallie Dovel traveled to Uganda in 2007 and got a firsthand look at life in Northern Uganda. While she was there, she met women making paper beads who lacked a plan to market and sell them. After learning a little bit about these women and hearing their stories, Kallie knew there had to be a way to give opportunities to her new friends. After her initial trip to Uganda, Kallie finished her degree, and with the help of a few friends, 31 Bits quickly evolved. The girls traveled back to Uganda in August 2008, and selected six women to begin buying jewelry from on a monthly basis. Since then, 31 Bits has grown to 99 designers -- each with a unique story of suffering that has been overcome with joy and liberation." Want to know more about the cause? Click here to learn more about the designers and the mission behind the program. I challenge you to read about some of the women; I guarantee you'll love the cause and the company even more.

And as an unabashed advocate for a POC, or pop of color, I was thrilled to learn about the inspiration behind 31 Bits and their COLOR OUT LOUD summer collection. As eloquently explained on their website, "A color has three components: VALUE -- brightness; CHROMA -- its strength; HUE -- its position in the spectrum. The word color describes 31 Bits perfectly...because it takes VALUE, CHROMA, and HUE to make us who we are. Between our designers in Uganda, our staff, and our customers, our 31 Bits team is made up of people who are BRIGHT, who are STRONG, and who each have an important position in our FAMILY. This summer, we're going to show the world what makes us who we are...we're going to COLOR OUT LOUD." 
My favorite necklaces from the COLOR OUT LOUD collection...

Wishing you a colorful and cheerful weekend!
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Short List

I despise shorts. I really do. I've never liked showcasing my gams. Then again, what's not to love about sturdy German peasant stock limbs? But after 100-degree temps in Texas and year-round summer weather in Hawaii, I've had no choice but learn to accept it. And as with most clothing, I'm rather finicky when it comes to the fit of shorts. I've tried various brands, but I'm a J.Crew loyalist through and through. I imagine that comes as a total shocker to you. No? Occasionally, I feel a bit bold and brave with an urge to try something else (C.Wonder? Madewell?), but I always go back to my tried and true chino shorts.

The Short List:
9. Paper Bag Short (C. Wonder)

Trust me, I know that brand loyalty is very personal. What works for me, might not be your cup of tea. Just find what fits and is flattering, and don't be afraid to play around with a little color, texture, and pattern. Where have you had luck finding shorts?

Happy Thursday!
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pink & Orange Dance

As a connoisseur of color, I was instantly attracted to the abstract work of Kristy Gammill. Her painting, Pink and Orange Dance, is saturated with some of my favorite hues. In fact, it made my heart so happy, it's the inspiration behind today's post.
Bloom Studs / Pink & Orange Dance / Poeske Flat Sandal / Ostrich Pouf
Aaron Dyer / Naomi Top / Cabochon Line Bracelet
Sunglass Case / Small African Beads / Awning Stripes Print /  Carvela Kute Bow Flat Sandals 
Queen Stamp / Heidi Girl Zip Wallet / Type: Coffee Pot & JP Boneyard / Metal Bar Detail Envelope Clutch / Sunburst Bobbi Set
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

P.S. A ginormous thanks to those of you who submitted your "10 Random Things." I will feature a reader or blogger each Tuesday. Get excited! It's not too late to submit your fun facts, just email me at your convenience. The more the merrier!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 Random Things...

Lately, I've seen a lot of bloggers inspired by Jess Constable's "Things I'm Afraid To Tell You" movement. I think it's a-mazing! It's so nice to read such honest and vulnerable posts written by bloggers I admire so much. Over the past year, I've aimed to be genuine with you from day one. Life isn't always polka dots and peonies, and there's so much more to me than a darling accessory. Most bloggers only give a glimpse of what life is really like. I think that's a little unfair at times, so I strive to give you a little bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly. On the flip side, you're not getting paid to be my therapist -- I'm not Bethenny and you're not Dr. Amador. Some days blogging can feel a little materialistic and egocentric -- enough about me, let's talk more about me and what I bought. I think it's time I shift the focus to the reader. We've got a cozy little bloggie community growing, and it's clear we've got gobs in common. I want to learn more about you! Whether you're a fellow blogger, or a devoted reader, email me 10 random facts about yourself. I'll create a fun graphic and feature you on One Fine Day -- kinda like this...

  1. We've lived in Hawaii for over a year, and I think I've taken a dip into the water maybe five times. Flyboy believes this number is somewhat exaggerated. And while a travesty to some, I truly prefer a comfy beach chair and a sweet read.
  2. In 8th grade, I had an award named after me at my middle school -- The Ashley Richardson Award. I totally forgot about this until I was sifting through my hope chest at my parents' house this past Christmas. I highly doubt they're still giving this award away today, but it felt like a BFD.
  3. If calories didn't matter and my family would allow it, I would devour some sort of Mexican dish every day for the rest of my life. It's a weakness, but what's not to love?
  4. I refuse to use a new pen to take notes, make lists, or write in a note card. It's got to be broken in first or my handwriting looks ugly. It's entirely unacceptable for doodling purposes.
  5. The coolest place I ever lived would have to be Iceland, and I'm not sure I remember much about the land of fire and ice. Thankfully, the home videos from my dad are starting to jog my memory.
  6. I'm ashamed to admit that I can quote the lines to Top Gun with great accuracy. I once filed this movie under "cult classics," but after Flyboy's training in Texas and being surrounded by pilot egos, I would like to bid my history with Maverick and Goose adieu. You could say I'm holding on too tight; I've lost the edge.
  7. Flyboy and I have been married for almost four years, and I can't believe I agreed to walk down the aisle without him meeting my American Girl doll, Molly. She's family and my childhood BFF. When I reminisce about old times with my Molly dolly, he starts to giggle. I think he's jealous he never had a reason to grow a victory garden or make toad-in-the-hole sandwiches.
  8. I'm terrified of cats, and I'll do anything to avoid them. This notable Ralph Crane photo from a black cats audition in Hollywood in 1961 is my ultimate nightmare.
  9. I'm fascinated by bugs, worms, slugs, geckos, and frogs.
  10. My mom and dad got me a sewing machine, Steely Lady, and I've yet to successfully create something. This is just downright embarrassing! Do you remember my post? The one where I'd become a pillow maker? Yeah, well I've baked a lot of cookies instead.

Care to share? Email me.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

(Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Much-Love Monday

I'm sweet on Sugar Paper. There, I said it! My virtual shopping cart is brimming with note cards that make my heart swell with happiness. I can't get enough of the bright colors, cheerful fonts, and perfect gold details. Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about what it might be like if I ever took the plunge and opened my own paperie? Or what it might be like if I ever designed a delightful line of correspondence? Oh, be still, my beating heart. It's fun to get caught up in a fabulous pipe dream, but since this pie in the sky isn't my reality, I will live vicariously through the team of creative geniuses at Sugar Paper. Take a gander at some of my favorites...
Fig. 1 / Fig. 2
Fig. 1 / Fig. 2
Fig. 1 / Fig. 2 
Fig. 1 / Fig. 2
In case you were wondering...
If I was so lucky to design my own line of note cards, it would definitely resemble one of these. And while I'm caught up in all the reverie, I'm absolutely certain I would carry each of Sugar Paper's notesets in my imaginary shoppe. Yes, my store would be so fancy, it would warrant the extra "e" in shoppe. It would also serve as a subtle, but friendly, reminder that stationery is spelled with an "e" at the end -- not an "a", which I see all too often. You're welcome for the impromptu PSA. Now commit the correct spelling to memory and skedaddle -- Sugar Paper's website awaits!

Happy Monday, dear readers!
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