ONE EASY WAY TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY

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1. Amy's adorable Romper 2. My Yellow Dress (40% off!) 

Life isn't always the easiest. I'm sure we can all attest to that. I know I often put on a happy face on social media (or I just don't post at all and take a break). I don't feel like venting to the world on such a public platform, but a blog is a more personal space to share or at least seems to be, even thought I try to be positive here, too.

And you all have been incredibly supportive when I do open up here. Thank you. Plus, I've really appreciated hearing your thoughts on things. You all give great tips! Some of my recent favorites were in a post on instagram where I asked about stress relief (at bottom of this post). 

I'm learning there are different levels of stress and disappointment. {UPDATE: after reading some of the comments below, I felt the need to edit this. Yes, I've always known there are different levels of stress, but not until certain life events happen do I realize how I would react. I can project how I would react to major events, but there's not way to know until you are living it.} Some things alter life permanently, while other stresses you won't remember in a month. When life feels so all over the place, sometimes I have to do small things that I can control. I remember Dr. Oz telling me the easiest three things I can do for myself are: drink water, do some sort of movement for the body (even if it's rolling your shoulders back and forth) and take a vitamin. I'm adding two things to this very easy list. First and foremost, prayer. I believe in prayer. It keeps me focused on God and changes my perspective on Earth.  

And this other one may sound silly, but wearing a pop of color like my yellow dress really does raise my mood. A doctor told me this when I was pregnant. She said even if it's underwear that only we see throughout the day, bright colors can elevate our mood! Ha! I thought it was bogus, but tried it anyway when I was pregnant.

So, recently, I've been opting for patterns that make me happy. This yellow dress did the trick! It's the ultimate summer pick me up color. I'm wearing a size 2 regular, for reference. And it is 40% off right now at $82. 

And Amy's romper is everything. Right? I love the pockets, too. I mean, if my yellow fruit basket of a dress is too much, opt for her romper. It really is the best. I would be borrowing, but as you can tell, one of is in in a petite size and one of us is not! lol For reference if you are petite like Amy, she is wearing a 0 petite. I would wear this in a regular size 2. 

What are your simple tried and true tips for elevating mood?

ps- a few of you have asked here and I've been getting DMs about vitamins and all around "health and fitness" type of stuff (which I believe goes right along with this post), so I'm going to do my best to make time for it this week if there is still interest?

 

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

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! 

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.