HOLIDAY DECOR & FUN FOR KIDS

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Hayden has ideas, y’all. He’s a mini person with LOTS of his own thoughts now. And one of those thoughts this week was to surprise Huck. Hayden understood that we were putting lights on the Christmas tree in the living room and he had the bright idea to put lights on the cactus tree in Hucky’s room.


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He brought in his favorite stuffed “friends” to join the fun and surprise Huck when he arrived. I’m surprised by Hayden’s decisiveness. I get in my head too often and get indecisive. So much so, that often I end up not making a choice about something at all (not good, people). Remember the chandelier in the stairwell recently? I put it on instastory asking for advice and help? Well, I got too indecisive and ended up putting a pin in the whole concept till later. I’m annoyed with myself.

Well, Hayden is the opposite. He knows what he wants to do, eat, wear, etc. I am proud of that quality in him.

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I’m on a timeline here to get this done so I can go pack for the breakaway for cancer event (leaving bright and early tomorrow morning). But I wanted to get this up for a few reasons…. first of all, this faux cactus is REALLY cute anywhere in the house, but especially a bedroom. Huck thinks it’s pretty fantastic. And it’s on sale 50% off right now. Right now, I found the giraffe for under $60 on amazon HERE. It’s also HERE and HERE, depending on where you might also be shopping? I like to put options this time of year in case anything sells out. The dinosaur (from Joel’s mom Shirley;) comes in a couple of sizes. The one we have is 2 feet or so, but it also has a ‘giant’ option that’s much larger. (And on sale HERE). And the large shark was a gift from my mom. Such a great gift for all the “baby shark” lovers out there right now. After surfing these animals, I now want the zebra and tiger! The price points are so great, but our space is limited for a life size stuffed jungle! HA.

I posted this photo recently of Hayden and me and I got Q’s about this sweater and his boots! The boots are from Royal Standard. And I’m wearing more bright colors recently because it makes me feel more awake and rested. Maybe it’s mental, but it peps me up when I catch a glimpse of the bright blue. And under $50! Similar to the blue coat from this post…

And I’ll stop and say goodnight here. If you’re interested in the event this weekend (and to see some of my fellow B&B cast mates), I’m sure we’ll be posting on our stories. Thanks for those of you that follow along. I know there’s many more interesting people to to watch!!

Also, if you haven’t seen it, check out the post about gifts that give back;)

xoxo

AAJ

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK

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I’m pretty excited about this blog post…as I started looking for gifts, Joel and I discussed searching for gifts that keep giving. Party and gifting season is here! Hostess gifts, thoughtful gifts, thank you gifts…. If there’s a chance we can “purchase with a purpose” this season, let’s do it! There are many companies out there supporting a greater purpose, so look for them! I even wrote my holiday column for Soap Digest (out soon!) about this. The column has many more different ideas.

And to kick off the spirit, TODAY, we are giving away three of the candles I created that benefit LAFD.

CANDLES

Last night, I left the one “HOME” on my nightstand (not burning). I would get little waves of vanilla, oak and myrrh with it just sitting out near me. HOME is a subtle scent that relaxes me. There are three different ones, each developed with specific moods I wanted to create. (If I haven’t reminded you a ton yet, I helped design and create these candles.) BRIGHTEN gives me energy with the fresh, uplifting scents of Tuberose and Gardenia. And GET COZY is just that….cozy feeling from mistletoe, evergreen and fir. Truly obsessed with it.

Made in Hollywood. GET 20% OFF today!! Plus, we are giving away three of them! Make sure you are following @makersandgoods and me on Instagram, leave a comment here and/or on our last posts on our pages with your favorite one!

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IMPACT: 10% of proceeds go to SupportLAFD in the wake of the devastating California fires. Makers and Goods also feeds a child in need for every $10 spent.


STARFISH JEWELRY PROJECT

I’ve written about this company before (in this post) because I was very moved by their mission after speaking with them. Their products also come in the cutest packaging with a letter from the woman that made it and wrapped it. Any of their items are meaningful gifts. I wear these delicate dangles earrings a lot. Just ordered this necklace for a gift. If you ordered anything from Starfish, I’d love your feedback in the comments. I hope you felt the same way I did! Check out their sale going on now!

IMPACT: 100% of your Starfish Project purchase is reinvested into our social mission to restore hope to exploited women and girls. Your support allows Starfish Project to help exploited women experience freedom, establish independence and develop careers.




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HOSTESS

Honestly, I love the idea of giving one of the candles, but I like having options;)

A cute spatula designed by Gwen Stefani.

IMPACT: 30% of purchase price benefits NO KID HUNGRY.

A set of reminder mugs with sayings like FILLED WITH GRATITUDE.

IMPACT: When you purchase this set, FEED will provide six meals to children in need – and with every sip of coffee or tea, the mugs will serve as a stylish reminder that we can all be part of the solution. 


BABY AND TODDLER

I really like these sweet handmade treasures from Cuddle + Kind. They are so unique and meaningful. I want the unicorn for myself!

IMPACT: For every doll purchased, cuddle + kind will donate 10 meals to children in need in the USA and around the world through one of their giving-partner organizations.


GIFT OF nutritional CHOCOLATE

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Another great hostess gift is Good Day Chocolate’s variety pack. My kids beg me for these vitamins and if you’ve been following along on social or this blog, you know I personally enjoy keeping them around. I love the feedback from those of you that have ordered them. Check out their sale right now! This great variety pack is marked down!

IMPACT: Good Day Chocolate supports Smile Train. Read about how the founders give back one smile at a time. It will leave you smiling, I’m certain.


Fashion ABLE friends

This whole site is full of worthy gifts that truly give back. This scarf is a fun gift for any girlfriend on your list and you can both feel good about the impact your are making in the world.

IMPACT: ABLE is a lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty through providing economic opportunity for women. Read their full mission!

A FUN PERSONAL GIFT - HOME TEE

I love these fun, soft t-shirts. A few people on my list are receiving these. I also think they’re a fun hostess gift if you know the hostess well.

IMPACT: 10% of purchase price donated to multiple sclerosis research.

happy shopping.

xoxo

AAJ

ps- although the items we’re wearing are not included in the gifts that give back, I still wanted to share the info. The blue jacket is made by JCrew and so easy to put over anything! It’s on sale for $119 and comes in grey and red, too. I added the necklace for interest and a festive touch. It’s on sale for under $50 right now! But, otherwise, I’m wearing jeans and a white t-shirt. I love Joel’s sweater he calls Mr. Rogers.


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HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM US TO YOU!

Oh our little family! We stayed home today in LA to have a quiet holiday together. Feeling very grateful for our life today. And see our Oscar making it in the shot. I think he was so overwhelmed with the chaos, he stayed back!

And LIFE it has been! Hayden woke up wanting mommy to rock him at 3:30am. I couldn’t go back to sleep after that! Finally fall asleep right before he wakes up at 7am, so I nudge Joel to attack the day! His beautiful way of handling that was to match Hayden’s scream with his own scream! EYE ROLL. Needless to say, we were all up early. LOL. To all you parents out there, I feel ya!

Huck left to go be with his mom, but we will have him at Christmas. It’s not easy to share those you love, but it’s necessary. Hayden counts down the days till he gets to see his brother again. Anyone else out there with blended families doing the same thing today? My hope is that it’s peaceful and loving for both families.

I’m also feeling so grateful for all of you. When I wrote out my gratitude list, you all are on it! It’s been lovely to connect with you here on the blog and share ideas. Thanks for hanging in there with me and being so supportive of the projects I’ve been a part of this year. I try to get back to each of you and all the emails that come through this site one way or another- either through other blog posts or on instastories, etc. It takes a while sometimes, so I appreciate the patience. And really do like all the comments. What unexpected things are on your gratitude list?

I know some of you have had health troubles, some of you have been affected by natural disasters or the fires…. you are in my thoughts. Praying today is a good day surrounded by loved ones.

XOXO


If you’re anything like me, after I clean up later and am snuggling on the couch (do you watch anything specific on Thanksgiving? I have a feeling I’ll turn on one of my dearest Lacey’s Hallmark movies!), I’m sure I’ll be surfing the internet for pre-Black Friday sales and start attacking that Christmas list.

The boys’ pants are from JCrew - and the WHOLE SITE is 40% off right now. And a limited edition JCrew coat at Nordstrom’s is on sale…. it sold out and is now back in stock in three colors. (I just got it and am obsessed with the gorgeous blue color. I’ll be posting about it soon, but in case it sells out quickly, take a peek.) It may be predictable, but I get the bulk of Joel’s gifts from JCrew, so mind as well do it now while it’s on sale!

And my sweater in this photo comes in array of different colors. It’s under $50. I’m just a sucker lately for pink. It makes me feel more awake on days when the baby wants to read books at 3:30am!

But how sweet does he look in this dog sweater in the photo. By the way, Janie and Jack has the cutest kids’ clothes. Take 30% off of everything right now! (I know I still refer to him as the ‘baby’ even though he’s a full on toddler. I could go back and retype that, but I’m not! He’s still my baby for a bit longer… and forever in my heart.)

Party Pretty In Pink Season

A FEW THINGS: First of all, it’s only in the high 50s at night, but we’ll fully call that winter coat season for Los Angeles! I so many DMs about this long cardigan type coat I posted on instastories recently, I decided to write it about here for those interested! Not sure if it’s been my time recently on a show about fashion, Bold and Beautiful, but my style has been more adventurous the rare times I’ve made it out of the house. And finally, I haven’t done many “fashion” posts lately, so I’m wondering if y’all still enjoy these? (Regarding other DMs, I’ve also been getting a considerable amount about Parker on GH! I know the character was mentioned recently;)

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Laughing at that picture above. I was trying to get Hayden to run to me, but he was more interested in the squirrels. I know the jacket is a bit of an investment, but lemme tell you why I like to do this once in a while. It’s a fun statement piece that will stand the test of time if you take care of it for certain, but here are the other standouts: pockets, check! Not harming animals, check! It’s faux fur from Australia. It hangs almost like a cardigan. It’s supporting small businesses worldwide, check. I got it via Shoptiques. And comfort level high, check! It covers the bum for a easy night out. I’m wearing an XS for reference.

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I didn’t have a chance to take some shots last time I wore the coat out dressed down with converse, but I like the versatility. I also am wearing it with a dress in heels to a charity event next weekend!

The shoes are compliments of my bestie Kaley Cuoco. The pop of color is not something I usually do, but LOVE. I found a few options linked below. I’m digging the hot pink idea!

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So, if you’re feeling adventurous with your style, what standout piece do you wear? Accessories? Shoes? Coats?

Circling back around to answer the DMs and emails I’ve been getting about Parker….I have no idea if she will resurface on your screens. I don’t like giving hope where there may be none, but I can tell you this: Frank Valentini (and everyone at GH) and I are on great terms. So, if it’s meant to happen at some point, it will. I cannot thank the fans enough for your continual support of that character and other characters I get to play. (You even get excited for me when Bridget pops in at weddings on Bold and Beautiful!).

On another note, gearing up for gifting season (and Black Friday). If you’ll be surfing online, what items are you looking for??

I really happy to tell you about my collaboration with Makers and Goods (tomorrow morning I’m announcing). If you wanna peek, I’m probably not suppose to do this….BUT LOOK HERE!!

xoxo

AAJ

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

 

 

 

GIVE THE GIFT OF WARMTH! Snugglicious options!

We're home this morning (now, it's already afternoon) doing some last minute cyber shopping for Christmas.  I swear every year I won't do this, but alas, here I am again. Life happens and time creeps up on us. And I have to give myself a break! Hayden and I are finding some pretty cool deals, though. I'll be posting the last minute gift guide very soon. 

Let's start off with the girl friends in your life. (Or even just the perfect low-key Christmas outfit). The sweater I'm wearing above can still arrive before Christmas (free shipping) and is $27. I'm wearing an extra small, but would have been just as happy with it larger, too. It's so soft to throw on with leggings and boots and cuddle up in (read the reviews, you don't have to trust me)! Hayden fell asleep on me all nuzzled in my chest while I was wearing this yesterday. This one is fairly long (with side slits that I like) and not meant to be form fitting. This one can also be worn off the shoulder, too. (see pic below). 

At this price, I'm fine letting the dogs cuddle up on me, too. I enjoy giving and getting cozy, affordable sweaters because girls love them! If they are oversized (like this one- that also comes in several other colors... I think I need the black one!)- that's even better. What girl doesn't love to snuggle up and watch the Bachelor in something so cozy?  The sweater I wore HERE in this post is now on sale for $23. I mean, really? There's also this black cross- back sweater for under $30 that I mentioned in the Black Friday post that I think would make a great gift.  Oh, and I just have to throw this in there in case anyone is a big fan of unicorns and wants this--- I did treat myself to this Unicorn Sleigh Tee to wear Christmas Eve;) - I also wore it to the Big Bang Theory Christmas party--- more on that soon!

Another fun option are planet wraps and throws. This one pictured below that I'm snuggling up with Hayden (and Amy and Lennox!) comes wrapped in leather straps (like a picnic blanket) but is ideal as an oversized poncho. (One disclaimer about this particular one... it is warm and it is beautiful and soft, but it sheds, at least this color does. There are other color options that may not).  

And continuing on with the gift of warmth, I am giving this insanely soft throw as a gift this year to some girlfriends. (Shhhh- it's under $40). I love the color options, but mostly LOVE how soft it is. Scarfs are always a great gift to receive, too. This scarf that I have written about several times (and wear all the time) is now on sale for under $10. May be the best gift idea ever! 

Hope this last weekend before Christmas is going so well! Keep calm and keep in touch:) ps- we have received comments and emails about gift suggestions for family members (like Hayden). Hoping to have it up this evening! Shop items mentioned in this post below!

 

 

#CYBER MONDAY starts with STATEMENT JEWELRY

So many reasons to smile! I'll never get over this guy!! I'll also never get over you guys...I'm really loving getting to come here and read your comments and chat. I'm THANKFUL for you all.  The weekend was packed with Huck and Hayden and today is equally as busy with work and errands, but I thought I'd share a few things.... I'll be back on here tonight. Hope you all have wonderful Mondays...and happy cyber shopping if you are. I'm off to an audition and to get a hospital grade pump (never thought I'd put both of those in the same sentence!!). More on that later....  

A LITTLE CYBER MONDAY UPDATE. THE NECKLACE in photo above  (AND EVERY OTHER PIECE OF JEWELRY at BAUBLEBAR is 35% off of 2 items).  And the comfy sweater I'm wearing is $20. I'm wearing an xs. It runs BIG!! Both have free shipping!! Keep scrolling down for updates on Friday's post.

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I recently said in a post that I felt like I'm more of a sharer of information than anything else. I love collaborating and sharing ideas, style concepts and SALES!! And we are entering a big sale weekend. TIME magazine is predicting an all time high in cyber shoppers over Thanksgiving day weekend. I'll forever relish a fabulous find on sale.  I researched my favorites retailers with the best sales and am here to share! Just click the store names below in BOLD CAPS and happy shopping! Plus, I rounded up recent posts that are now on sale (see below)! Items are selling out FAST! Prices are NOT reflected correctly for some stores. You have to click and go to some sites, use the code and the deep discounts will show up in your cart. Lemme know how it goes! 

EXPRESS- 50% off ENTIRE STORE. WHAT??  I'm getting this sweater now. ps- it also comes in yellow!

NORDSTROM - 20% OFF EVEN SALE ITEMS! I just ordered THIS SWEATER for $22! It comes in several colors. Genius. What a fun gift, too. And the sweater below you've seen me in several times (several colors) is only $20 in red!  check out the sale HERE!

Hoover over images in photo (and other photos in this post) below to shop the necklace (NOW $27!) and other items. 

OVERSTOCK.COM - 70% off FOR REAL??! Amazing time to buy jewelry, watches, etc. for gifts.

POTTERYBARNKIDS- 20% off entire store (and up to 40% off some items) AND free shipping. I'm all about this store. I'll be posting in the morning about Hayden and Huck's room, but more than several items are from this site!!

SHOPBOP - 15-25% ENTIRE ORDER, depending on how much you spend;)

AMAZON has AMAZING DEALS in their home dept and furniture department today! And check out what they've got going on in their PET section for our 4 legged family members!

I posted this picture below yesterday, but prices have dropped AGAIN! So, hoover over images, click and shop! T-SHIRT IS $15!! 

 

In a perfect world, I had this all prepared and ready to go. But, I want you to have the info asap. I'll be adding as much as I can, (with photos that I haven't uploaded!) as soon as I can. But, Hayden is needing me right now. So, stay tuned. This'll be a fun ongoing post for the weekend. 

xoxo

 

 

SIMPLICITY "wraps" up the day (with a drop of bliss- read more!)

Happy hump day! I love the simplicity of this dress, not to mention the functionality (and the PRICE- it's under $55). It easily shifts from work to dinner or business attire cocktails. We're entering that season of going straight from work to holiday cocktails or parties. I can wear booties or throw on some heels for a dressier look. I actually have on a black sweater wrap, too (not pictured, I guess that part is obvious), which ties in the booties. 

For the holidays, the dress comes in a pastel and a brilliant red color.  It's funny how you change the color and it completely changes the feel of the outfit! And for more of a night out feel, there is a shorter version, also (and check HERE for more sizes). This is a classic wrap dress, which works really well for my post baby body. The wrap dress gives the illusion that I have more of a waist than I actually do at this point. And I add a little extra help, too! (read: spanx!) For the purposes of my meeting today, I'm keeping a more business attire theme and embracing the simplicity of the dress. I wanted to keep the makeup fresh and the jewelry to a minimum. However, I added some flair with these bliss drop earrings (that I end up wearing all the time). They make a statement without being over-the-top. Plus, they're only $20!! How can you go wrong? 

ps- a side note to breastfeeding/nursing moms out there.... wrap dresses are genius (more options here, too) . and PPS- I know sizes are selling out quickly, but I was told new shipments are coming in, so check back if your size isn't there! and finally--- MOMS wanting to share ideas, please do! Check out the latest post!

Flashing Back this Friday for Upcoming Holidays (and for SHOPBOP sale alert!) xo

This was one of my favorite dresses to wear when I was pregnant and figuring out what worked best for me! See my original post about it HERE. I recently discovered it's available for the holidays in four gorgeous colors: pink, black, white and navy. I love color, but really love it in winter white. This is the type of strong, stretchy, textured material I could wear even now post-baby. I'll let you know if I decide to go white. ps- it's under $100 and if you are a SHOPBOP addict it's part of their MAINEVENT16 sale!  I have more to add...check back in later today. Off to work and bringing baby, wish me luck!

SEEING RED.... layering pieces for holiday season!

As the holidays approach, it's fun to add pops of color. Obviously, red is one of my favorites.  Are you into red as much as I am this season? I am layering red with stripes, plaids and fuchsia.