Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Cheers to a sparkly and snazzy holiday season. Let's catch up in 2015, shall we?

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Monday, December 22, 2014


Sweet freedom! A small purse feels like such a luxury when you have a baby. 
Just when I thought I was in a wrapping rut, I was instantly inspired by Emily Rickard's adorable packaging.
Over Christmas break, I plan to do super exciting things like hang shelves in my bathroom. Naturally, quirky art work is a must.
Sometimes when Max has his meltdowns, I make him wear an adorable hat. I might as well get some enjoyment from the colicky cries.
This frog puppet is a riot. He hangs out in Max's stocking, and I'm obsessed with his cuteness. That being said, his eyes kind of creep me out when it's dark.
The gallery wall above my desk got a few cheerful updates. The punchy pick-me-up and ode to Eames are just what the doctor ordered.
This Emily Rickard abstract perfectly illustrates the joy I feel in my heart.
Max, you make loving fun—especially when you choose to smile instead of sob. 
When the sun comes out and the baby sleeps, you savor the afternoon by grabbing a notebook, magazine, and a bottle of fizzy water.
Bust out the tape and tinsel because there's been some hard core wrapping going on around here.
Doodle updates to the chalkboard with a merry and bright holiday reminder.
This might be one of my favorite ornaments. Okay, I say that about all of them. I just really adore the fringe.
How precious are these mocs for Max handmade by my father-in-law?!

Happy Monday, m' dears! The closer we get to Christmas, the more I feel this need to slow down and be still. I want to soak up every minute with my sweet little family. Our time together feels more precious than ever since Max came into our lives this past October. In fact, as I prep today's post, I can't seem to focus. You see, my dear bebe has discovered his fingers. While he rocks away in his swing, I watch as he curiously gazes at his phalanges and excitedly coos about life. Occasionally, I'll catch him smile at shadows and kick his feet with delight. How did I get so lucky to call him mine?! Moments like these are such a precious gift, and I feel incredibly blessed. As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season surrounds me, my twelve pound baby with such a ferocious spirit reminds me to stop and appreciate the simplest joys. That's precisely what Christmas is all about. 

Now how was your weekend? Are you jazzed about the holidays? I'm dying to know.

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Friday, December 19, 2014


Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

  • Velvet Slippers // These look festive and comfy—perfect for watching Christmas movies and snuggling in your jammies.
  • Holiday Camper Ornament // I wish I would have seen this ornament sooner. It could represent this year's trip to Marfa. Growing up, our Christmas tree was always filled with ornaments that held a special meaning or symbolized an inside joke. This totally fits the bill! We may just have to add it to our collection.
  • Origami Star Tree Topper // Ohhhh, I love this so much! Anthro always has the best holiday decor.
  • Hot Cocoa Cookies // I haven't decided what cookies we'll make for Christmas, but these are on the top of my list.
  • Tinsel Drink Stirrers // Conveniently, I have loads of extra tinsel just hanging out around the house. I think I'll try this DIY.
  • Kate Spade Pearl Place Set // A pair of cute cocktail glasses so I can put those sparkly swizzle sticks to good use.
  • Embroidered Bar Cocktail Napkins // Need a last-minute gift for your lush friend? This set of napkins is a-dorable!
  • Shore Project Watch // Eek, this is such a FAB watch. I wonder if the straps would fit my Timex?? Here's hoping!
  • Skinny Metal Bow Headband // Because everyone needs a little holiday flair for their hair...
  • Christmas Cards // Whenever we send out personalized cards, we always opt for Minted. The designs are delightful.
  • Essie in Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low // Sparkle is a neutral, right?! That's what I thought. Naturally, this glittery shade is perfect.
  • Throw Caution To The Wind Agenda // Every year I feel like I try to take this on as my mantra. It never really pans out.
  • Fa La La Card // This cutout card from Meri Meri is everything that's perfect about the holidays.
  • Chester The Raccoon // We believe Max is part raccoon (mischievous, active at night, etc.), so Flyboy and I got him this cute little critter for Christmas. One day, I imagine we'll explain the meaning behind it. Ha Ha!
  • Glitter Bow Gift Bags and Polka Dot Gift Wrap // It's about time I do some hard core wrapping this weekend and snazzify all the packages we've received in the last week. Six-inch ribbon curls, honey...

Cheers to another snazzy week, m' dears! As always, thanks for stopping by.
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Thursday, December 18, 2014


Of course Mindy Kaling would turn America's Sweetheart into adorable holiday decor!

THANKFUL FOROnline shopping is the best! It makes finding Christmas gifts so much easier— especially when you live in Swell Rio and you'd rather not buy everyone something from Tractor Supply. He He! That being said, it's such a chore to keep up with all of the tracking information. Does anyone else feel this way? I set up a folder with shipment confirmations, and I check them each day to ensure everything arrives on time. I'm getting so excited because there are only a few emails left in my folder. Woo Hoo! It's a huge relief to cross this part of the gift-giving process from your to-do list. 

EATINGThis time of year, I just want to indulge in comfort food and decadent treats. Unfortunately, I still really want to fit into my pre-pregnancy pants (so close!), so I've been roasting veggies, and making a lot of salads and soups. This week, I tried this Honey Mustard Chicken Chopped Salad and this Grilled Tilapia Bowl. Both meals were tasty and satisfying. I really loved Creme de la Crumb's Honey Mustard Dressing. The Greek yogurt gave it a nice tangy flavor.

FEELINGBeesly tore her ACL, and we're a little bit heartbroken around here. You guys, this dog is the heart of our family. Her joy is contagious and she'll come at you like a wrecking (fur) ball. In fact, that's kind of the reason this all went down. Her boisterous and clumsy behavior often gets her into trouble. She isn't aware of her size and despite the fact that she turned six on December 1st, you'd mistake her liveliness for a puppy's. She gets excited about EVERYTHING, and about ten days ago she took an awful spill. It's not the first time this has happened; she usually just walks it out. However, I noticed she wouldn't put any pressure on her hind leg and this went on for about a week. Unfortunately, the vet in Swell Rio couldn't see her until this past Monday. Times like these make us wish we lived closer to "amenities." Instead, we have no choice but to put on our Tim Gunn hat (or "le chapeau") and make it work, people. After two minutes with the doc, he knew it was a torn ligament. Ugh! The vet gave us a referral and Flyboy scheduled an appointment in San Antonio for her surgery the week after Christmas. Thankfully, she doesn't appear to be in any real pain, which makes me grateful. I think the part that kills me the most is the fact that I'll miss our daily walks together. One thing is for sure, when the Best Friends Committee reconvenes next spring, it's going to be an epic reunion! 

LISTENING TO: A couple of Saturdays ago, my dad asked if I'd hold the phone up to Max so he could sing his grandson some Christmas carols. While Gampy streamed 97.1 WASH-FM on his laptop in D.C., we sat in Swell Rio and listened along as he belted holiday favorites. Just thinking about the sweet gesture makes me smile and tear up—it's a memory I won't forget! The holidays can be especially hard when you're not around family, and when a kid comes into the picture, time together feels more precious than ever. This year, we opted to celebrate Christmas in Texas. I can't help but feel somewhat conflicted and question whether this was the best decision. With Flyboy leaving for a five-week training in January, traveling with a baby and making arrangements for the dogs felt like a logistical nightmare (especially with Beesly's impending surgery). As we get closer to December 25th, I wish so badly it was physically possible to be in both Virginia and Missouri and that we could spend time with each side. Thank goodness for FaceTime and 97.1 WASH-FM. Since my dad sang his heart out on that memorable night, Max and I continue to stream Christmas tunes from the same station. Despite the distance, it kind of feels like we're all singing along together.

WATCHING: After I saw last week's episode of The Mindy Project, I just knew I had to create a "Wreath Witherspoon" of my own. Shall I remind you about this post?! Reese and I are kindred spirits; we go WAY back. It only makes sense that Mindy and I would share the same celeb bestie. Duh! And why did it take so long to turn America's Sweetheart into adorable and witty holiday decor?! Pure genius, Mindy!! I understand my wreath is slightly creeptastic, and it's just a matter of time before I get slapped with a restraining order of some sort. In fact, this might be a good time to have a monogrammed gift and a pitcher of sweet tea on hand in case I need to explain myself. In my defense, it's trending!

THINKING ABOUTFlatulence might as well be Maxwell's middle name. Thank goodness I have the sense of humor of a sixth grade boy, and it just makes me laugh at this point. Tripp and Flyboy are probably wondering why they don't get amnesty like the bebe. Sorry boys, not happening! The love nugget's gas pass has an expiration date too, but for now he remains tiny and adorable, so I can let it slide. If I had one request, I'd just ask that our lil' fella work on his timing. It never fails, Max will let one rip while I'm checking out at the store, or I'm trying to record a video of him for family. What gives, son?! Whenever it happens in public, I swear the world (or maybe just Wal-Mart) gets quiet. Of course, that's when the immature tween in me erupts with nervous giggles. Instances like these might be a point of pride for dads, but it makes this mom squirm, turn bright red, and pray no one heard that. Doubtful. 

READINGDo Christmas cards count? I think they should qualify. Then again, it's mostly about the cute photos and designs these days. Oh well, I just know I enjoy receiving them in the mail. Maybe once all of the holiday hubbub is over I'll have time to pick up a book or glossy again?? For the sake of "Thursday's Thoughts", we can only hope so.

LOVING: I finally tried NARS Audacious Lipstick (in Anna), and it definitely lives up to all the beauty blogger hype. Just as promised, the texture is creamy and the formula is long-wearing. It doesn't dry out my lips like my NARS semi-matte lipstick; however, I wish I could find a shade similar to my trusty Catfight. As long as I actively moisturize my lips, I will probably stick with the matte formula because the color is perfect for everyday wear. 

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!

Image Credit: Wreath // Ornaments // Reese
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies via Creme de la Crumb
Salted Peanut Florentines via Not Without Salt
Ultimate Gooey Brownies via Handle The Heat
Slow Cooker Fudge via Creme de la Crumb
White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt via Not Without Salt

I think it goes without saying, I love me some chocolate.
Got a sweet tooth? Here's a post with nine cookie recipes that will make you want to bust out your apron.

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Friday, December 12, 2014


Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

  • Christmas Wishes Mini Garland // This would be such a fun and cheap DIY. I think I know what I'll be making this weekend.
  • Kate Spade Cobble Hill Sami // Last year, my mom snagged the most incredible bag from Kate Spade. It would be perfect to tote around Max's crap. Sorry, that's the nicest way to put it. Babies require SO much STUFF!! This bag kind of reminds me of hers, but it's a smaller version. While the hunt for my mom's tote continues, this one is sure pretty to stare at.
  • Giant Bow Gift Wrap DIY // This is such a creative way to wrap gifts that are awkward in shape or size.
  • A Beautiful Mess Shop // I'm a HUGE fan of Elsie and Emma's blog, so I was ecstatic to hear they opened up an online shop. If you're looking for a place to find an adorable assortment of gifts, look no further. How cute is the Happy Mail Subscription? Sign me up. Oh, and what about these 2015 Planners? I'll take the colorful stripes, please.
  • Chloe Double Row Studs // The perfect bit of GLAM and SPARKLE. Who wouldn't love a pair of these in their stocking?!
  • Bow and Drape // Have you heard of this online shop? I'm absolutely obsessed with the fact that you can create your own designs. Who would have guessed my creation deals with gin? Ha! Anywho, I think it would be the perfect way to personalize a gift this holiday season. Just think of the possibilities! I love it when sequins and wit mingle.
  • The Carry-On Cocktail Kit // I saw this featured on one of Oh Joy's Gift Guide's this week and I had to check it out for myself. What a clever idea! It's another great gift idea for your friend or family member who likes to imbibe in style on-the-go. The fact that it comes equipped with a linen coaster makes me giggle. They thought of everything.
  • Copenhagen Tray // You know how I feel about the color orange (the happiest color) and this tangerine shade is practically begging to come live with me. Alright, but only if you insist...
  • Melange Alpaca Throw Blanket // I should probably admit that throws are just one of the many things I tend to hoard.
  • Absolutely Beautiful Things // Anna Spiro is one of my creative heroes. No one does color and detail quite like she does.
  • FEED Project Ornament // Make your tree a "giving tree" with this ornament that provides five school meals for a child.
  • Swiss Dots Canvas Storage Bin // Organization and polka dots. Could there be a more perfect pairing?
  • Fuchsia Ribbon // After complaining about the wrapping paper sitch in Swell Rio, I decided to stock up on pretty ribbon.
  • NARS Audacious Lipstick // This line from NARS continues to get all the buzz on beauty blogs and YouTube. From what I've heard, it's all about the über soft texture, which makes me think it's time to give it a try. Now I just need to decide on a color, which is always kind of a shot in the dark when you go off the swatches online. Dear Air Force, next time I want to live close to a Sephora again. Okay? Thanks. Sincerely, Ashley
  • Chilote Child House Shoes // I seriously can't get over how sweet these are. Max, please stay tiny forever.

Cheers to another snazzy week, m' dears! As always, thanks for stopping by.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014


I've officially become that annoying parent who dotes on their kid all the time, haven't I?!

THANKFUL FORI started getting migraines in middle school and I've taken medication for them since high school. It's genetic and they're usually related to stress, my sinuses, and hormones. Now that I have a baby and I've had a handful since he arrived (Hello, stress AND hormones!), I'm more grateful than ever for those magic little pills and an insurance plan that covers them in full. While I was pregnant I had to forgo my prescription, but I knew the moment he arrived that I needed to have them handy ASAP. I still don't know how my mom raised two kids and taught all those years without ANY medication. Gah, I can't even imagine. She's a saint.

EATING: Sweet decadence! For those of you who frequent Trader Joe's, did you know they have a Cookie Butter Cheesecake?! I've yet to try it (obvi), but I saw it while scrolling through Instagram and angels started singing. How's that for a Christmas miracle?! It behooves me to pass this kind of groundbreaking information along to you so you can run (don't walk) to your local store. Be a gem and get your hindquarters to the freezer section stat so you can eat a slice, or three, for me. Stat means now, people. 

*Note: Instances like these make it acceptable to be a bossy pants. Am I right, Tina?! You can thank me later for being assertive.

LISTENING TO: You know a song is a big deal to me when I make the following declaration: "This is SO the song I'd pick if I was ever a guest on Ellen." Yep, cue the dorky mom dance, y'all. It's precisely how I feel about Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. I've listened to it nonstop for several weeks now, and I don't think it will ever get old. In fact, The Rig's bumpin' bass and Max's first smile can be attributed to this groove. Diaper changes and trips to Wally World just got a lot more fun.

FEELING: When I look at the picture above, it makes me laugh and smile for a slew of reasons. You see, the past few weeks have been filled with messy top knots and frazzled tears. Nothing can prepare you for being a new mom. NOTHING. In the last month, I've found myself trying SO hard to take each day in stride. Strive for grace not perfection, right? Choose laughter over tears. Pray hard and just be grateful for a fresh start the next day. While I try to practice all of those habits on a daily basis, I had to let myself melt. It was bound to happen, quite honestly. Max has not been an easy baby by any means. I started babysitting when I was 10 years old, and my mom was a daycare provider, I know that babies fuss and cry (yada yada yada). I like to think I came into this with a pretty realistic view of what life would look like as a new mom. However, our love nugget was relentless and inconsolable. I didn't enjoy anything about him—well except for the part where I'd coordinate our outfits, but even that was short lived. Ha! I couldn't allow myself to delight in peaceful moments like feeding and sleeping because I dreaded when they were over and he'd return to his screaming fits. Hesitant to vocalize what I was feeling, I finally shared these sentiments with a select few. I mean, what mom admits that she doesn't particularly enjoy her child? I pride myself in loving the weirdos in my tribe in a really BIG way, but it felt like I was giving him every ounce of gusto I had left in me. Nothing seemed to work. Surely my tenacity would prevail, right?? 

While I struggled to connect with Max, Lady Google and I took our relationship to new BFF heights. I spent hours searching for help and reading tips and tricks on parenting boards. I can't say we've fixed our problem in the slightest, but my Type-A note taking proved to come in handy at Max's last doctor's appointment. The conclusion? It's definitely a case of colic. With each day, Flyboy and I are learning how to effectively console him and we can usually anticipate what time of day he has his meltdowns. That being said, we also know what works one day, might not the next. While I continue to sport a messy updo on a daily basis, the smiles outnumber the tears. I understand his colicky behavior is not a direct reflection of my success as his mom; this too shall pass. Some days I just have to get on my spin bike, work out my frustrations, and dream about the fizzy gimlet I'll fix myself at the end of the week. Being a mom takes vulnerability to a whole new level. I have to put my pride to the side and remind myself I don't have to have it all figured out. I just need to keep showing up and love him BIG. There will continue to be challenging moments that test me, but at the end of the day my eyes smile from the love I feel so deeply for him. And if one day he adores his parents as much as I love mine, the hard stuff will make it SO worth it. 

THINKING ABOUT: Speaking of migraines, the wrapping paper selection at our Wal-Mart is kind of stressing me out. For the past few years, I've been spoiled by Target and now I'm paying for it BIG time. If it's not related to the movie Frozen or a tacky Santa, it's 99-cent wrapping that rips every time you fold or tape it. Yeesh, why must I obsess about minutiae like paper thickness and cute patterns? It's a blessing and a curse, I tell you! Old Ashley would step up to this sort of challenge and get all creative with it. New Ashley doesn't have time for that nonsense. I suppose it's time to refer to my other bestie, Amazon Prime, for assistance.

WATCHING: In addition to smiling, the bebe has started cooing up a storm. It's an absolute hoot! I didn't think the sounds could get any cuter, but then I caught the expression on Beesly's face. She's so curious about Max's high-pitched sounds. I still don't think she knows where the noise is coming from, but the look on her face is off-the-charts A-DORABLE!

READING: I heard Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block is a great resource for new parents, but who has time to read? In the event I do have time to flip pages, I'd prefer to pore over the latest issue of Domino. Sorry, Max! Your mother chose design candy over baby books. Yep, cue the mom guilt already. What's a girl to do? See if they have a DVD, that's what she does! So Flyboy and I sat on the couch one night last week and devoted an hour to a goofy film from the late 80s/early 90s. The hair styles and accessories were epic, but the techniques we learned to calm a crying baby proved to be even more fruitful. I'd say it was $10 well spent. I mean, you can't even go to the movie theater for that kind of cheap infotainment.

LOVING: Did anyone else keep close tabs on Will and Kate this week?? SWOON! I nearly fainted from all the fabulosity. How often do you get to use Kate, Beyoncé, and Jenna in a sentence?? Best. Week. Ever. Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!

P.S. I'm sorry I'm not sorry about all the GIF madness this week. They're just really fun to make!
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Hey guys! Beesly here stepping in for m' mom while she tends to the "Time Bandit" and Christmas cards. I thought I'd bestow a little nugget of wisdom upon you today. Whenever I hit a mid-week slump, I dust off my inflatable crown. In the event you don't have one (yet), you should probably add it to your Christmas List. It's life changing.


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Monday, December 8, 2014


It's official! We've got a smiling maniac on our hands, and I LOVE it!!
A card too pretty to send. Okay, I'm definitely going to hoard it, frame it, and display it in the house. I'm sorry, I'm not sorry.
Because even the Christmas tree deserves a little J.Crew lovin'... Hey, we don't discriminate around here!
Flyboy has gone all Clark Griswold on our base housing unit. Every nook and cranny of the yard is bedecked with white twinkle lights.
I know I've mentioned this print ad nauseum, but Charles and Ray Eames make me incredibly giddy. Always and forever.
Sometimes he makes me want to pull out my hair and sometimes he's REALLY sweet. I prefer moments like these.
Max occasionally humors me and we discuss things like Pantone colors. Last week, we concluded that Marsala is no bueno.
Waking up early comes with the territory of being new parents, but I don't mind if it means I get the Christmas lights all to myself.
Flyboy and his dad created this adorable T-6 to adorn the front yard for the holidays. It looks pretty darn close to the aircraft he currently flies.
Very rarely will Tripp allow me to snap a quick pic of him. Thankfully, I was able to sneak up on him this weekend in mid-snooze. Score!!
I had to add a little Christmas cheer to Max's nursery. In case you're wondering, the zebra on his gallery wall is totally sporting a Santa hat.

Happy Monday, m' dears! I hope your weekend was just as fabulous as you are. 
Max and I are off to get his first round of shots this afternoon. Wish us luck! We're going to need it.

Now spill the beans, how the heck was your weekend? What made you bust out in a happy dance? I'm just dying to know.
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