SOAP OPERA DIGEST column- I need your help!

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Maybe you've been in the supermarket and grabbed a Soap Digest in line? Maybe you flipped through and caught the new column I'm contributing about parenting and everyday life? Or maybe you're a diehard fan of the soap genre and get the magazine in the mail!? Many, many, many people do!!

I'm so excited to be contributing fun tidbits in this new column. The first one was on time management... how to be a more efficient person (because I need all the help I can get). Slow cookers topped the list of items that are helping our household....If you missed the column the first time around, you can take a look below. 

THE FIRST COLUMN: more daily efficiency

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By the way, Joel and I have been working on our diet after the food intolerance test. Some of you were so encouraging- thank you. I will write a post about that all soon. 

THE SECOND COLUMN: bag lady

The second column was a question I am asked constantly... what is in my diaper bag? It seems like a basic question, but I remember being pregnant or just after having Hayden wondering what other women were toting around all day. I remember my dear friends giving me a huge diaper bag when he was first born... they said I'll probably be like everyone else and learn the hard way. At first, you'll bring the house with you, then over time, you'll par down and realize you don't need to travel to every location in your city with half your nursery. Ha. They were right. Take a peek below:

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THE THIRD COLUMN: gift guide for the hurried parent

I was JUST at the market and saw the 3rd column on the stands. It's the basic gift guide for moms/parents (or kind of for anyone needing gifts). It was fun to put this one together. Ideas include DIY teacher gifts to a great go-to for girlfriends, sister, boss, etc. I'm really loving doing this type of column/project. It's a fun creative outlet and genuine opportunity to share with you all. The holiday gift list was a bit longer than the magazine could allow, so I'm making an extended list that will be up very soon (one list is HERE already for the under $25 gift ideas).

WHAT I NEED FROM YOU: what would you like to read about in 2018 Soap Digest columns? I would love to know what interests you... the best "non- mom" mom jeans? Technology? More kitchen type activity? Family travel?  Please leave your ideas in the comments section below. I'm excited to read them. Thanks, Y'all!

 

CYBER MONDAY sales

So many outfits I've worn this year are on sale today.... like the peacoat (scroll down to see picture) I've loved is now $30!! There's still time to snag the best deals of the year! I outlined some of my favorite sales going on HERE in this post and they are still going strong... with some additional savings today only. I just stocked up for Hayden and Huck at the Gap. 50% off everything - PLUS use code TREAT after you use the first code CYBER and get an additional 10% off- no minimum and free shipping! I left some items in the "cart." When I came back, several were sold out. Now, I'm not waiting! 

J.CREW's site is having issues, but if you can catch it when it's not down today (too much traffic)- the sale is great. I just got Joel this leather belt for almost $20. 

My favorite denim jacket (pictured below) that was $90 is now $54. For reference, I'm wearing a size 6.

I know I've nearly exhausted discussing this jacket below that Ali and I are both wearing, but it's back in stock for $30!! I have it in a medium for layering, but if I wanted to wear a small, that would work well, too. 

This red silk dress below comes in many colors and is only $42!! The perfect holiday dress to wear under your coat!

I pulled some amazing deals on great gift ideas below. Most are priced way below $30 after you apply the codes the stores require at checkout. 

World of Soaps

I'm collaborating with Carved Solutions on a line of soaps!

I'm excited to finally share this new endeavor with y'all. For a long time, I've wanted to collaborate on a line of products and eventually create my own. It just made sense to start in the soap world;)

Some of you that follow along on social media might remember me asking for favorite quotes. (I can't tell you how fun that was to read them all.) I originally wanted the quotes carved into the soaps. However, even though the bars of soaps are a good size, they are still a bar of soap with limited space. So, the quotes will be used for something else in the future. As for the soaps, I put "words to live by" on them. There's a trust, believe, faith box. And a love, hope and peace box. I'm enjoying the fresh, clean feel and subtle smell. 

Our Eco-Luxury line is revered for its guilt-free pampering. Each bar is made in Vermont, triple-milled, and features a vegetable-based formula with our famous water-based Aqua Mineral fragrance and antique white color. Trusted by connoisseurs for those with allergies, sensitive skin, or delicate noses! I appreciate that I can use these on my children. 

It's a luxurious present I hope you'd be pleased to give or receive. These make perfect hostess gifts! I will be looking forward to your thoughts. For Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, get 20% off with code 'Ashley.'  

xoxox

THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE starts now! Adding new info all the time;)

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

I want to spend the first Thanksgiving holiday in our new home, well... in our new home! 

But I have a bit of FOMO about the sale extravaganza going on this week that we've all come to know as Black Friday. A part of me wants to throw on comfy shoes, get in traffic, search high and low for parking (which I'll promptly forget unless I video or photo where I am), fight the crowds, risk the store not having the right size or color-- all in hopes of scoring the big ticket item for a fraction of the cost. It's so gratifying to get to bring it home, too. But, truly, I'd rather be curled up with the boys working on my digital scrapbooking (on Shutterfly, which- incidentally is having a great sale right now, too). Increasingly more people are clicking away on their tablets, phones and computers for Black Friday. Wanna see what I've been scoping? Duh. I wanna hear what you've been eying online, too!

Best Deals I'm finding Right NOW

All Saints- the iconic edgy brand is up to 40% of everything right now. If you're gonna get a cool jacket, now is the time. 

Ann Taylor - almost the exact opposite of AllSaints (ha!)...50% off of everything. Even Sales Items!! Check out their crystal layering necklace. Love this. Will be under $25.  

EBAY- don't forget eBay. Such a good place for tech gifts for Xmas. We love our Alexa. I wish I had one in white... we got ours when it only came in black. There are some great deals on eBay.

JCREW - 40% off your entire order!! Plus free shipping. This is a no- brainer. Use code THANKU

Madewell - 25% off of everything. Get a fab coat, or stock on basics like their best selling t-shirt  for under $15!

NEIMAN MARCUS - 40 % OFF select items. FREE shipping both ways. I got these "let's make lemonade" pjs. I'll post them soon.

NEIMAN MARCUS LAST CALL. Up to 80% off. Check out these over the knee Charles David boots marked down to $75. Or these heeled over the knee boots are half off for $150. 

BAUBLE BAR - 30% off of everything. They have the greatest gift sets and trendy, fun jewelry. (These earrings I've been wearing lately are now only $30!).

BLOOMINGDALES - up to 60% off. The star faux fur jacket I've been wearing that many of you have asked about (instastories) is 25% off. Hasn't been on sale anywhere yet.

 

NORDSTROM - their Black Friday sale is on point! I am ordering this off the shoulder tunic sweater for about $40 right now in beige. Sexy and sweet! 

NET-A-PORTER - For major designers at once a year prices, check them out. Up to 50% off now.

H&M - serious sale. Also, I never realized there was an H&M Home section? Did you?

SHOPBOP - Up to 30% off with code MORE17

WILD FOX -Almost never on sale...ever. It's pricey, so I only buy now 40%off. My sister would look so cute in this star crossed road trip sweater. Use code ALLSMILES.

GAP - 50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY

Villeroy & Boch - love this sale. I'm ordering the water glasses for hostess gift (great morning orange juice, too). And this 12 piece set of glasses is lovely!

Vineyard Vines - The preppy iconic brand rarely goes on sale, but right now, it's 25% of everything!! And free shipping. How cute is this little toddler shirt for Hayden? And I think I'll get matching ones for Huck and Joel. ha.

Willimas-Sonoma - up to 50% off and free shipping, no minimum.

Happy sales! Scroll below for some of the items mentioned in this post...

Dogs, Beanies and Boots

During a recent shoot for a holiday gift guide, Oscar snuck outside and decided he wanted to be in the photos, too. (The third picture below shows my panic when he first darted out! But he quickly came right to us.) I've been carrying "baby weight" on my hip long before I actually had Hayden. This picture makes me laugh because Oscar will not be ignored. He loves to join the party wherever it is. Look at that face! HA. This day did make me realize I need to spend a little more time playing with him. The good news is Huck and Hayden keep him pretty occupied, though. 

I love that it's beanie season again. I might be too old to wear beanies, but I don't care. They are awesome on bad hair days (or when I wait too long to wash!). Dry shampoo (a life saver) can only do so much for so long. Beanies are one size fits all and great gifts or stocking stuffers. 

I've been wearing this sweater lately, too. It's a bit oversized and super comfy. Also, I can wear it with leggings, boots and a long necklace for a dressier look, or with jeans like I am here. Win-win. 

Last but not least, these Lamo boots are comfy and you can find certain styles on sale for great prices. I'm wearing the ones with the detail on the back, but the simple version here are under $40.

Forgive the lame title... my brain is not creative today. I might be trying to do too much. Working on a few DIY Christmas gifts. I'm also working on a holiday gift guide for the blog-- and one for the Soap Digest Column---started the "under $25" section so far.  Take a peek! Who all is on your list this year? Leave a comment (and any great ideas you have!). 

I gotta go run errands for Thanksgiving. And start dinner (chicken in the crockpot). By the way, thank you to those of you that have shared your recipes. I'm attempting to make some of them and then share with everyone else. Thank you!!!

1. Grey Sweater Dress  2. Varsity Striped Beanie  3. Lamo Boot (pictured)  4. Lamo Boot (different style) 

Daytime Girlfriends

All photos by Holly Brown @hollymbp for Ographr.com

All photos by Holly Brown @hollymbp for Ographr.com

Do you guys remember the Facebook live with Joel and an Awair expert? It was my first live video like that and I didn't know how the live video all worked, but it was fun!! I loved seeing all your comments and questions. Thank you! 

All photos: Holly Brown for @Ographr

All photos: Holly Brown for @Ographr

After the live video, I hosted some girlfriends with GoodCarmaStudio for good food (thanks to Lemonade), drinks and conversation. We even had a bling counter compliments of EmmaJCo. We chatted and learned how a little "awairness" can contribute to cleaner air for us and our children. I was also grateful that we brought in the Creative Coalition. I admire how they're fighting for arts in our children's daily lives. Since Huck started kindergarten in an excellent public school, I'm able to see their hard work come to fruition. I want every child in every school across the country to get the same opportunities. Some of you already saw the instastory on the hair tie bracelet by Maria Shireen. A portion of the proceeds are going toward the Creative Coalition. I'm happy to support people that are giving back! Some of you already have your bracelets. Know you helped a wonderful organization keep going!! Thanks, US Weekly for spreading the word. 

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Also, thank you to CelebrityBabyScoop for covering our day, too.

So--- now about the girlie day. I got to visit with friends I've known and worked with back when I was a teenager! I remember the scenes I was doing with Jennifer Garies and Sharon Case... I never had scenes with Tamara Clatterbuck (did I?), but we were friends. I can't help but smile when I think about it all. Especially my sister on Y&R, Sabryn Genet. Time seems to just fly by us. And I adore my B&B family (which also includes Jen!). Jacqueline Wood and Kelly Kruger are two ladies I could hang out with all day everyday. 

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AshleyAJones.com

Sharon was the first to arrive (which doesn't surprise me... she was usually the first on set, too) so, we got a chance to catch up.  I admire that habit of hers. I can think of other friends that are like this- early or on time for almost everything.... wanna take a guess who they are?

It's the strange thing about being an actor. You get extremely close to these people on a show. So, these people really feel like family to you. They've seen you at your best and worst and everything in between. Then, business takes you to another project and you don't see each other as much. Luckily, we're all based in Los Angeles. One last little note- isn't it lovely when your worlds come together. I enjoyed seeing Ali and Amy chat with my other girlfriends!

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AshleyAJones.com
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AshleyAJones.com

We moved into this house not long ago...I still feel like it's not finished, but realized it doesn't matter if it's all ready or not. What does matter are the memories we are starting to create and this was a special day.

GIRLFRIENDS and Sunday Casual

HEY y'all... I was scrolling and posting pictures of recent events when I found this one with my girlfriends Amy and Ali. This photo is from the post HERE about Awair and the Creative Coalition.

I decided to do a separate post about the outfits for those of you that want to know;)

You've already seen me wearing this sweater in my insta stories on instagram. I kinda fell in love with it because it's like a party all by itself. Still subtle, though, not loud. It's on sale at JCrew right now. And due to the fact items have been selling out so fast, I'm adding this link HERE where you can also get the sweater. I'm wearing the same earrings you may have seen me wear recently, too. The jeans are ones I've had for a while and love. They were pricey, but I always feel like they look clean and polished and "hold me in," so to speak. I even wore the maternity version of them while I was pregnant and filming GH.

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I really like Ali's over the knee boots. I've seen her wear them a few times and they look so chic and still comfortable to walk. And this adorably cozy poncho is under $50. I love it. What a great gift for someone in your family or circle of friends.... sister, babysitter? Or, for you! I appreciate gifts that are one size fits all- much easier!

Amy's holiday dress is so sweet on her and very Christmas-y. Eliza J makes the best dresses. We have all worn her designs. I added the earrings above because I think they would work with any of our outfits. I ordered them recently for myself. Merry Christmas to me;) 

I was thrilled to have Ali and Amy there--- (You might already follow them on their socials and sites, but if not, click on their name to see their blogs) thanks ladies! Your support means a great deal! 

Family/Friendsgiving Dinner

We had a very impromptu family/friendsgiving dinner last Saturday. Maybe you caught some of it on our instastory or Facebook (and btw- started a new facebook "page" if you wanna glance! Trying to add to that page everyday.) We were on our way inside this building downtown and I asked a passerby on the street to snap a family photo with my iPhone. I wanted to try and get one picture of all of us before it got too dark. We don't always have Huck on the weekends, so if we're out as a family and all cleaned up, mind as well snap one, right? We were a tad late to our dinner at this point. (Had a couple meltdowns getting ready. The older one switched bowties and shirts more than once. #ThisIs5. I'll leave it at that). ANYWAY--Joel didn't want to stop and have a mini photoshoot. But, he humored me for 3o seconds. 

Those of you that did tune in to instastory left so many fun DMs. Thank you for chiming in and making the interaction fun.  After enough of you asked about what I was wearing (especially the earrings), I promised I would link them. The earrings are 25% OFF right now HERE. I wasn't sure I'd wear them all the time, but I do!! I'm wearing the dress a lot more than I thought I would, as well. I wore it to a Pepperdine charity luncheon event I had earlier in the week. And don't laugh at me if you see me in it a few more times...!! I bought the grey, but I kinda wish I had picked the white. The winter white dress with the black bow seems holiday to me.  FYI: I'm wearing a 2 regular. The dress ($88, but check J.Crew for sales) runs big in my opinion. It's J.Crew (they have more size options on this site). So, if you need an easy go-to holiday outfit in totality- look right below. 

When I saw this dress on the mannequin in J.Crew, I thought it had an Audrey Hepburn feel to it: A classic, timeless feel. I'm not the only one that saw a throwback to the Hepburn days. The reviews agree it's a great staple. I chose to pair the simplicity of the dress with louder earrings and boots. But, you could easily go for pumps and stud earrings to complete a daintier look.

Oh, and... the longer version of the Huck dressing story? He wanted to wear Christmas colors. He's already asking for stockings and Christmas music and when we can put up the tree. (I secretly love it!). So, we worked hard to pull something together in "Christmas colors." And we did it! (Get his cute blazer HERE;) Both kiddos are in these shoes that are suppose to help them walk properly: pediped. I know they are a pretty penny, but if you are looking for a great shoe for your kids, check them out. They are sturdy and last. 

I don't usually match with Joel -ha!- but I guess we were both wearing grey. He loves this shirt I got him by Hugo Boss at Nordstrom Rack on sale right now. Note: do not dry it! It takes away some of the original texture, but he's wearing it anyway;)

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please ask....

xoxox Ashley

 

 

 

#FBF TWINNING in the $37 Peacoat!!

Flashback Friday! Our babies were so little! That's what I think about when I look at this picture below. Molly and Hayden were barely crawling. Now... well, life is mobile! Things have changed! And life goes by so quickly now, too. Some things stay the same...like some of our favorite outfits.

This picture also reminds me of my sister trying to get this Peacoat and it sold out record fast! I got many DMs from you all about that, too. These coats are back and have the most beautiful colors this year as well. When I saw it was back in stock, I had to let you all know asap! Check out the first post (it's WAY more detailed) HERE I wrote about this coat earlier in the year. (And again HERE in this post!) With the large tortoise shell buttons and oversized collar, it's even more in style now. Plus, a lot of the times we are wearing in these photos are back in stock. Scroll down for cliff notes;)

photo: Ashley Burns Photography

photo: Ashley Burns Photography

PHOTO: Ashley Burns photography

PHOTO: Ashley Burns photography

1. Necklace (on Ali- I have this one, too!) 2. Nameplate necklace 3. Bracelet   

Happy (Flashback) Friday.  And happy shopping. xoxox

ps- got your messages about other sweaters... and some of your suggestions. Which ones are your favorites below? I'm ordering one today.

Holiday Feels and Sales

Life never seems to slow down on its own... at least not with young kids! So, it's up to us to take a moment wherever we can. Sometimes that moment might even be in the car when I'm alone for a second. Or first thing in the morning when I'm praying in bed before the day starts. Really gonna try to carve out more moments like this before the holidays. I'm learning it happens for me in the earlier, crisp part of the morning. Things still seem new, and still. The clean canvas of life ready to be painted for the day. I love fresh air in the early morning.

Now, on to the fun part..the fashion of it all. The perfect holiday sweater

I must sound like a broken record about my love of "fun" sleeves, "party" sleeves and the likes thereof. I'm a sucker. Now that it's chilly enough in LA to wear sweaters, I'm indulging. This sweater is so easy because it makes the whole outfit. The bright red is so festive, it's the centerpiece so to speak.

I paired it with my usual jeans and black boots (mine are last season, but the brand has the new version this year and they're on sale), but I think it'd look just as cute with sneakers, too. Or heels and dressier dark jeans at night. I'm wearing the same earrings over and over lately- these delicate hoops. Again, just letting the red be the focus.

And this grey tote has been going many places with me. It's actually a diaper bag doing double duty. My diaper bag/purse seems to often become one. This one from Petunia Pickle Bottom is easy to clean and chic and durable. Flowers not included;)

1. Red Sweater  ($75) 2.  Black Tall Boots (on sale $236) 3. Grey Tote ($139)

 4. Threaded Hoop Earrings ($28)

So Hayden is up with me and just finished his breakfast. We're on to the next part of the morning. And I'm seeing my roommates from college today for a charity benefit for Pepperdine. 

PS: THE QUICK UPDATE

I had to add this... the fun "party sleeve" shirt I loved this summer is on sale in red and black for $32. I think it'd be a great holiday top with jeans and a coat. And while I'm here, I adored this dress earlier in year (in this post) - and it's on sale for almost $50 in many colors... another great holiday dress I'll be wearing. For this price, another one might be in store! It comes in several color options.  And last, but not least--- the peacoat I wore HERE in this post is back in stock and on sale for $37! Last year, it sold out in most sizes and colors so quickly, I wanted to give a heads up. I LOVE SALES!! xoxo 

If I can make it....! The easiest recipe.

I recently wrote a post about the re-discovery of the slow cooker. I'm continuing that thought process here...IF I CAN MAKE IT, SO CAN YOU! My mom makes a roast with carrots and potatoes for the family. Joel has his own version. I now have mine. I had no idea how easy it was to do (sad to say, I realize) with a slow cooker! The meal always looked so much more complicated than it is. So, recipes on this blog are really for people like me -- if you are a seasoned chef/cook, this will seem too basic! Greatest part of it all is that you can prepare it so quickly, then leave the house and it's done when you return. Joys of slow cookers. If you're only cooking for 2 people, you can easily cut the recipe down and cook it for a shorter period. The pot will (should) turn itself to warm at that point and it'll be ready when you get home! 

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EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING ROAST

You'll need:

  • 3-4 lbs of meat (I like the leaner cuts- for our family we used 3 lbs.)
  • 3 potatoes sliced (we bought a bag of small ones and cut in half)
  • 3 carrots (or a bag of baby carrots)
  • 1 stalk of celebry
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small can of Rotel (optional)
  • salt and pepper

If you look at our pictures, we're the lazy preparers! We barely chop anything. We put the carrots down first directly in the pot of the slow cooker (we use this version of the slow cooker ---on sale right now), then put the meat directly on top. Wash all veggies before cutting. Add the potatoes, celery and onion. Salt and pepper (I'm generous with the pepper). Then, empty the can of rotel on top (you could do this half way or from the beginning). Cook on low for 4 and half hours. That's all we did. Joel likes to test the temperature of the meat to make sure it's thoroughly cooked. 

And, of course, this makes excellent leftovers! Sometimes it's better the second day! Scroll through the gallery of pictures below to see more. Oh and ps- Joel wanted two options for the pot inside the slow cooker. So he bought this one we used today to have on hand....ceramic white insert.

.....and last but not least- I'm collecting recipes you all have sent via DMs or emails or comments here on the blog. Stay tuned for post written by you all. I love sharing recipes now, so this is really fun for me. 

xoxox


 

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Rare Moments (and leopard prints)

Hi! Jotting down a few lines before I head out for the day. After seeing how crazy fast the green sweater is selling out I posted about earlier this week. I wanted to share some of my favorite sweaters before they starts to sell out, too. I have received the DMs about the green sweater. I will let y'all know as soon as I hear it's been restocked. Fingers crossed. 

This cardigan sweater caught my eye. So glad I snagged it. I love the color scheme and the way the blue pops. I paired it with jeans, a white tee and boots for a casual look, but it could easily be dressed up, too. I'm wearing the same earrings I wore earlier in the week...the delicate threaded hoops for only $28.


side note: I just read in the comments this sweater is already selling out (!). I added this note:

Ugh! How did it sell so fast? When I posted this they had EVERY size. Ok.... first of all, I just checked my sweater. It's a 2. I saw that it looks like it runs small, but in my opinion, I liked the size I got (and I usually wear a 2-4, sometimes 6!). But, since it's more of a cardigan, I think there's some wiggle room there in sizing.
Great thing is there are free returns!! I also found it HERE  (free shipping both ways). It comes in tall and petite on that website.
BTW- (giving a lot of info here) that site works best with chrome. Safari sometimes does't work well. (you could cut and paste to put in chrome if need be).


 

Joel and I had a very rare moment without kids to say goodbye before he left for work. It looks so posed, but it was actually real, or at least started out that way discussing schedules for the next few days. Life gets busy before the holidays!

I had just given him this new messenger bag that doubles as a diaper bag for dads. He loves it. For those moms that would like a gift for dad this holiday--- this is a great one from Petunia Pickle Bottom. His laptop fits perfectly (along with all his other stuff he totes around, too). 

all photos by @Ographr

Got a lot going on today... what's up with you guys? Have a great Thursday!

 

SWEATER WEATHER arrived in LA!!

I ordered this kelly green sweater with oversized buttons a bit ago, but it's really been too hot to wear it until today. There's somewhat of a throwback Jackie O feel to the sweater, while simultaneously being fashion forward with the roomy silhouette. Plus, the buttons and these sleeves make the whole piece! Someday, when I design my own line (hey, a girl can dream), I'd like to implement similar aspects. It also comes in a gorgeous burgundy color that was recently restocked in all sizes. I wanted to jump on this post asap because they are selling out of the green quickly. (Although I am told a new shipment is arriving and to check back online soon for other sizes). For reference (cause some of you usually ask!), I'm wearing a size 4. Both of these colors will be great for family Thanksgiving time or Christmas parties.

Ha! I just saw I have my phone in my back pocket in the first picture. I guess it's always on me, sadly. Anyway, I'm pretty excited to put on a sweater today. It's basically November and we've been in t-shirts. Sweaters and boots and scarves and beanies--- here we come.

I'm having a quick coffee and getting ready to take the boys to Joel's Halloween party today at Disney. I'm not dressing up in a costume, just thrilled to be in a something cozy and soft like this sweater; plus, I'm able to bust out my boots from last year (I found a very similar pair HERE). I did, however, just get these gold earrings I'm wearing (got two pairs, one for a gift) that are delicate and different and $28. They almost look like hoops, but more unique. These are Baublebar (just a side note, I ordered the earrings from Nordstrom, but the Baublebar site is having a good sale right now). 

I'm really hoping Hayden will keep his little monkey costume on at the party... he doesn't like the hat. My girlfriend Ali gave me a tip: put it on him in front of a mirror and let them see what it is... it worked for Molly! I'm sure I'll put some of the chaos up on instastories;) Follow along if you are on your phone. lol! 

AshleyAjones.com

1. KELLY GREEN SWEATER ($65)  2. STRAIGHT DARK JEANS ($179)  3. BURGUNDY SWEATER

4. BROWN NINE WEST BOOTS ($188)  5. THREADED HOOP EARRINGS ($28)

SEE YOU ON INSTASTORY. XOXOX 

Blue Jean Baby

Good afternoon, y'all! Happy Friday. We had @Ographr come take some snapshots a little bit ago. I take so many photos of the kids on my phone, but it's nice to have some high quality pictures of them and the whole family occasionally. 

After wearing variations of the denim on denim trend this week to meetings and auditions, I thought I'd do a quick post about it. I'm really hoping to do more of these posts. The easy thing about denim layers is your probably already have it in your closet! The one new piece I added this season is this jacket

Remember the super snug, almost kid-size phase the denim jacket had for almost a decade? (I've kept that jacket as it's still in style, along with the distressed version here!) But this year we have options with breathing room. Which I like. And I love throwing the jacket over my shoulders--over a dress, like in THIS POST. As soon as the weather switches temperatures, I'll wear it with a light sweater, leggings and boots and scarves! 

Along with the Topshop one I'm wearing (size small, pictured first), I also like these other styles:

I wore hoops to the meeting earlier this week (these are so inexpensive- only $12). Running around, I wear my white converse or washable rothy's flats (I actually wash my converse, too- on gentle). I have the flats in navy rounded-toe, red and light pink (pictured right). They aren't inexpensive, but comfy and easy to wash; the flats are also made with recycled, earth-friendly materials. Mine have lasted a long time. 

On a different note, the one thing about this outfit I will change next time- I would wear darker denim jeans. I like  the stark contrast of the two different denim shades for fall and winter. 

Hope you all have a great Friday. Game 3 of the World Series is on tonight! Who will be watching?? It'll be a good one. I vacillate between who I want to win! H-town needs a good break!

And undoubtedly, we will be outside a lot this weekend. These two boys of ours LOVE the sunshine.

xoxox

ps- while I've got you here, thanks to those of you that watched and commented on NCIS. Means so much.

 

Reel Life: little update on some airdates for shows

Thank you to those of you that have inquired about work. A few things to report....

First up, NEXT WEEK on Oct. 24th, there's NCIS. It's a fun guest spot. I loved getting to work with that crew. And sometimes, as a gueststar, you only work with a couple of the cast members. Even though it's not a huge role, I got a chance to work with quite a few of them. 

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Then, there's the Lifetime movie filmed earlier this year in Canada. It's airing on LMN December 8th- I'M COMING FOR YOU, so mark your calendars for a little thriller in the winter.  Excited for you all to see it. I just finished ADR on it yesterday and got to see a bit of the film. 

There's another announcement coming about the Christmas movie that was filmed in Nebraska, 12 DAYS OF GIVING, but we have to wait for permission to announce the network, but it will also air in December. And finally, there's one more primetime show I recently filmed that I'm proud to be a part of, but we also have to wait on that as well (airs in January). So, stay tuned! 

Many of you have asked for me to comment on Parker's abrupt exit last week on GH.  I understand the logistics of making an hour long serial drama thrive. There are many puzzle pieces to put together, so as soon as I hear more from the producers and writers, I'll let you all know. I enjoy working with everyone at GENERAL HOSPITAL. Thank you for the support. I know your voices are heard! I'll be checking the comments later today (from this post and other posts), if you feel inclined to leave one. xx

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GROW OLD GRACEFULLY, with a little help from modern tech!

Being a new mom, my priorities haven't exactly been focused on preventative care or anti-aging products. I have a feeling some of you, new mom or not, understand. It's hard for me to schedule self care, be it a manicure, a workout, a facial or getting my roots done. But, the better care I take of myself, the better I feel in the long run. 

I've had questions about preventative, non-invasive techniques for anti-aging. I was able to meet and chat with Zara Harutyunyan MSN, AGNP, one of the leading clinicians in Los Angeles for cosmetic rejuvenation at CRMCLaser. I enjoyed our chat so much that I decided to make a series of them and share them with you. So, in a way, Zara is like a guest blogger! This was a spontaneous idea to video Zara, so forgive the camera work by yours truly! Next time will be better. 

Our first sit-down, I asked her about a few pressing issues I have and I hear over and over from people:

  • Lines on my Neck...I've had them forever. My mom calls them cell phone/computer lines. I bet she's correct. Years of looking down at my screens big or small have not been neck friendly.
  • Pore size... is there anything I can do to make them smaller or prevent them from getting worse.
  • Wrinkles, duh.

I appreciate how she gives ideas for all price points! She also give ideas for people that could make it into a skincare facility like hers, or those that don't have access to a medical clinic. 

 

Below are the treatments Zara discussed in the video. 

IN OFFICE TREATMENTS

Ultherapy: Completely non-surgical way to lift and tighten the skin on your face, neck, and décolletage. Ultherapy addresses the same tissues as a surgical facelift. The rejuvenating treatment stimulates new collagen and restores skin elasticity without downtime.

BTL Exilis Ultra: noninvasive face and body tightening and contouring treatment. Breakthrough combinations of radio frequency and ultrasound energy to effectively tighten, tone, smooth and sculpt. Great results, but less expensive option to Ultherapy.

Aquagold: a customized  treatment that uses a device with microneedles to deliver botox, hylaronic acid, vitamins, antioxidants and growth factors to your face. This treatment will help with:

-minimizing pores

-smoothing and plumping your skin

-improving superficial acne scars

-brighten the skin


AT HOME PROACTIVE CARE:

HA5: provides smoothing in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and supports the skin's natural ability to replenish its own hyaluronic acid skin health. I've also been told it's a great primer under makeup and (ONLY if your doctor agrees) can be used during pregnancy. Check it out on CRMC's website HERE. I will be starting this tonight.

DERMAROLLER: I am so happy Zara mentioned this. It reminded me that I needed to be using a dermaroller again. Rolling titanium microneedles over the skin creates tiny punctures, stimulating your body to produce collagen. These tissue-building blocks give skin strength and elasticity and (what I've been told) help your skincare products work more efficiently due to deeper penetration in the skin. There are different size needles for different issues. Please consult your doctor and do your own research before using anything! I am only sharing knowledge I've learned or things that have worked for me.

 

At the end of the video, Zara reminds us that quality products and consistency are incredibly important. Good to remember that the little things we do everyday will pay off in the long run.


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I'm going to have another visit with her next week, so please send me your questions about anything discussed above or other questions you have.  I'd love to address them. And while I'm here, I have to thank you all for your patience. I do have a post coming about work and the recipes soon!! Hopefully by tomorrow. They aren't finished yet! And I promised Huck we could go to the Pumpkin Patch, so.... guess who gets my attention for the next few hours. 

Oh and ps- for any nursing moms-- the dress I'm wearing was from my nursing days. (It also reminds me of Charlie Brown from Peanuts! ha!)  The dress has hidden zippers that make for discreet nursing a little easier and is now on sale! Anyway, I still wear it and love it with booties for fall. And I'll pair it with a long sleeve black t-shirt and tights for winter. Here are other styles of the same dress (also maternity). If you're interested, here's the post from last year about it.

DISCLAIMER: Once again, please consult with your doctor before doing any procedures or using any products discussed in this post or on this site. 

 

PINNER TEST- the test you wanna take

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As long as I can remember, I've had little issues with my skin. For example, I have KP (keratosis pillars) on the back of my arms. Certain topical treatments have helped, but never permanently. I've often wondered if I am intolerant to certain foods. And if so, would those said foods be contributing to my skin issues. I thought if I drank enough water and just ate less sugar and carbs it might go away, but alas... that's not accurate. ( Not to mention hormonal breakouts, headaches, bloating...ugh! You get the picture.)

Dr. Oz had a segment on food intolerance that caught my attention. (Y'all know I'm a big fan of his, especially after working with him a couple of times.) Food sensitivities can lead to weight gain, body pain from inflammation, fatigue, eczema, bloating, congestion (!), diarrhea, skin rash and general feelings of being out of control.  And one thing I never knew was that food intolerance can even lead to serotonin deficiency. 

After several discussions of wanting to be "more efficient" and have more energy throughout the day, a friend suggested I take a blood test to see what food sensitivities might be revealed. She suggested the Pinnertest. It utilizes advanced technology to analyze blood samples and identify an individual’s food intolerances. The test detects which foods may be causing negative reactions with your body like the aforementioned list - all with just a few drops of blood dispensed by a basic finger prick. 

We just got another test kit so that Joel can also have his blood analyzed, too. Then, we're going to attempt to start the food elimination period. Will be great to start 2018 off right! I don't want to reveal too much of my report before Joel gets his back, but I'm sure you'll be hearing me discuss it. If you're interested on more info on the one we're using, go to Pinnertest.com.

Has anyone else taken a food intolerance test? What was your experience? Very curious to know! And was the elimination period frustrating? I have to go to a meeting right now, but will be back on my computer later today. I always enjoy commenting with you all and sharing ideas. I'm working on the next recipe post based on your slow cooker recipe suggestions!! (And Joel's latest contribution!) Plus, writing a few work updates. Thanks for visiting here!

ps- Joel thought this picture looked like I was taking a pregnancy test! ha. NOPE!

later added:

YAY-- Due to your comments and excitement, I just got word that you all can have $60 off plus free shipping if you wanna go on this journey as well! Use code ASHLEY (all caps) on the Pinnertest site to order your kit today.

The Unicorn Factor

"BE A UNICORN IN A FIELD OF HORSES." 

I. Love. This. Top. I don't think Unicorns were ever not "on trend," but they seem to be more prominent right now. I love the reminder that being different is better... being uniquely YOU. And believing in the impossible. After all, impossible really spells - I'M POSSIBLE. 

This top just makes me happy. It's subtle and fun at the same time. When people realize you're wearing unicorns, it's sparks a smile and fun conversation piece. I wanted to post this back when it was readily available, but alas, life became very full. (More on that in another post soon). You can only get it here now, but the silver lining is that it's $30 now on sale! Free shipping both ways, so if you're looking for early Christmas gifts, or a fabulous layering piece for fall (looks GREAT under sweaters and jackets), I'd jump on it NOW. It's selling out as we speak. Of course, the temperature is in the low 80s, upper 70s here in the valley today, so I'm fine wearing it as is! Hoping fall kicks in permanently soon, but at least it's cool early in the morning or late at night;) 

I'm completely into oversized denim jackets. I'm forever cold in restaurants or office buildings, etc. And of course, at night. I like to keep a jacket with me. I've written about that in other posts recently, ironically, also about unicorns-- for Unicon. The jacket I'm wearing is an XS, FYI. I like the top under the jacket with a chunky necklace peeking through. The necklace I'm wearing is already sold out, but I will look for other ones that would work if people are interested. The first one (that I wear all the time) that comes to mind is THIS ONE from Baublebar.

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HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A MAGICAL WEEKEND. Thank you for visiting the post and, as always, love any comments or questions.  XOXO

 

SLOW COOKER EASY RECIPES!

Hello!! A quick couple of things... I've started wanting to cook more, but a) am not great at it and b) hard to find the proper time needed. If you follow me on INSTAGRAM and watch the stories, you've seen us trying out new things in the kitchen... from Hello Fresh delivery system to the slow cooker. I've trying to learn the best new ways to be time efficient and healthy. I'm not so good at it all, but the intention is there! I recently discussed it all in a new column for Soap Digest, too. ps-This post was suppose to go up over a week ago. Somehow, it never got published. So, forgive the delay, please, and thank you for your patience. 

Photo by @Ographr

Photo by @Ographr

My girlfriend Willa Ford (@wfordinteriors) shared these simple gems with me below. I'm just starting out discussing more food items on the blog, so bear with me here. Not caught up yet on great photos and such, this is a work in progress. If you're well versed in the kitchen and with the crock pot type dishes, this may seem remedial. But, maybe you'll find a new twist on an old faithful recipe. Hope so!

SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS - so easy, it doesn't seem right.  You will need:

  • 4 chicken breast
  • 2 large jars of Pace Picante Salsa
  • tortillas 
  • Your favorite toppings-- mine are shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, low-fat sour cream, diced avocado 

Put chicken breast on bottom of slow cooker. Pour the salsa on top. Cook on slow for 8-10 hours or high for 6 hours. If frozen, cook on slow for 12 hours.  Remove chicken when done and shred in a different bowl. 

Make tacos as usual. I can't get enough of these. It's so easy and the salsa gives you so much bang for your buck!! Tastes much more gourmet than it is.

For extra credit: Use the juice left to make chicken tortilla soup. Add potatoes, carrots to thicken soup. Cook another 3-4 hours. 

MEATLOAF 

  • 1.5 lbs of ground beef or turkey
  • French onion soup packet
  • Chicken stock
  • Bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • Chopped onion

Mix all ingredients together. Make two smaller long dome shaped loafs. Put in crockpot. Smother the tops with ketchup. Cook on slow for 6-8 hours. Voila! 

Here are two options (high and low) for slow cookers:

 

I will be adding more recipes! I'd LOVE to do a post sharing YOUR favorite slow cooker recipes and photos of the finished meal in the next few weeks. Please feel free to contact us sharing your favorites (or post in comments below). Happy Weekend!

 

Flower Power

AshleyAJones.com
AshleyAJones.com

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, I know. Plenty to write about, too. After shooting four episodes of General Hospital (in ONE day!) and wrapping up NCIS last week, I'm visiting Texas with Hayden seeing grandparents and great grandparents. I’ll have to play catch up for a bit on the blog, but in the meantime, I’m quickly jotting down thoughts about last weekend. I got to hang out with some of my favorite supportive women and speak on a panel at Unicon. It was great to get a few life pro tips about motherhood and women in the work force. 

My friend Christine Lakin (above) and I both spoke at the event. (Side note- we both have a child around the same age and we attend kiddie music class together. Love this girl. Check out her podcast, WorstPodcastEver HERE.)

My panel consisted of fun women at different stages of their lives and careers. We discussed the intense need for caffeine and morning rituals. Self care came up a lot. If we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves, how will we be of any use to our children, spouses, co-workers? Self care means different things to different women. Some of us talked about how that time encompasses physical activity everyday...others said it's about a bath or netflix. I'm still trying to find the time to fit these little moments in, so this next bit of advice caught my attention: if someone else can do it— let them! Learn to delegate. Learn to ask for help, or at least accept help! This is not always easy. I've heard it over and over in life, but it struck me differently hearing it on the panel. I'll circle back around on this topic in another post soon...Thanks Sophie Jaffe for mentioning that;) Natalie Nunn and I sat on the panel together, too. She is a riot discussing sexual healing on her mom essential list.

The day started at the RedCarpetSafety event in Culver City. I brought Joel and little Hayden with me (Huck was with his mom). That was a great event to take notes on safety tips of all kinds for children. 

4) Petal Pink washable Rothy's flats 5) Modern Black Heels   6) Delicate Large Hoops $12 

7) Neutral Go-to Clutch in Pale Pink

 

And for those of you that might ask-- the #ootd. I wanted to wear something that would work all day and could transition from one event to the next, with a touch up of makeup and a switch of shoes. I went from my neutral (pale pink) rothy’s flats to modern, simple black strappy heels. The grey strapless dress has a timeless quality to it that I love. I’m also a sucker for wrap dresses. This one is faux wrap (sometimes even better). I have been slightly obsessed with this topshop oversized denim jacket, too. It works with so much of my wardrobe. Literally. Night and day. I drape it over my shoulders or toss it over a t-shirt. The oversized jacket snuck back in the zeitgeist; not sure when this happened! At first it reminded me too much of the 90s, but, alas, I’m embracing and draping- sometimes collar up and all;)

A special thanks to Good Carma Studio for including me! I'd love to hear more from you all- what are your bits of wisdom to pass on to other women? What are your favorite self care tips. Right now, I'm forcing myself to drink some water, take my vitamins and supplements and enjoy my (second- oops!) cup of coffee.