BRING ON MAY (cauli)FLOWERS plus a GIVEAWAY

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a fun day with Cali’Flour Foods. New and old friends joined to learn about cauliflower recipes, eat, pick out some jewelry and catch up with each other. It really was such a good girl gang that day!

I love friends from different parts of my life getting to come together and meet each other. I should add here that this post is not sponsored- I just enjoy sharing….PLUS I AM doing a GIVEAWAY in this post!!! And since we have all these fun photos,  I had to show off my friends;)

Top Row: Kaitlyn Villasuso and daughter, Kimberly J Brown, Angelique Cabral, Briana Cuoco, Chef Ameera, Amy Lacey, Chrissy Kling, Amy Davidson, Jessica Hall, Karen (Lisa’s friend), Caitlin Brandes (Friend of Jessica’s). Bottom Row: Kaylene DeVries, Lisa Breckenridge, me, Sarah Jane Morris, Virginia Williams, Nicole Levine, Casey Henricks.

Top Row: Kaitlyn Villasuso and daughter, Kimberly J Brown, Angelique Cabral, Briana Cuoco, Chef Ameera, Amy Lacey, Chrissy Kling, Amy Davidson, Jessica Hall, Karen (Lisa’s friend), Caitlin Brandes (Friend of Jessica’s). Bottom Row: Kaylene DeVries, Lisa Breckenridge, me, Sarah Jane Morris, Virginia Williams, Nicole Levine, Casey Henricks.


Amy Lacey wrote CALI’FLOUR KITCHEN, a book all about cooking with cauliflower and incorporating her brand, Cali’Flour Foods. We wanted to try out some recipes (and add a southern flare cause, you know, your girl IS from Texas!). Chef Ameera graced us with her cooking and dropped some knowledge. One of the my favorite things she said was that food should inspire you to be the best version of yourself— and her food will. I thought about that later. It’s a simple concept, but what we put in our bodies DOES affect a lot: our moods, our digestion/nervous system, brain power, waistline and even affects levels of anxiety. The old saying we are what we eat holds some truth. 

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So much of this blog is about healthy lifestyle choices, so it’s fun to bring another idea for you all to try and incorporate in your lives. I started enjoying Cali’Flour pizzas a while ago when I tasted them at an event. Then, I ordered some to try at home. We love the italian crust. I like to put it on this pizza stone the last few minutes so it gets extra crispy. IF YOU want to try it out, we are randomly picking from comments below to pass along a $50 gift certificate. Tell us why you’d love to try it for yourself or your family. One of the things I love about using their crusts or pasts? I sneak veggies in for the kids. Hayden and Huck happen to love mashed cauliflower, but it’s not the easiest to make sure they get a decent amount of vegetables everyday.

Amy wanted to heal herself from an autoimmune disorder- necessity is the mother of invention. This lead her to creating Cali’Flour foods. She shared her story with us while we (cried a little!) and munched on the awesomeness. 

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Dessert Pizza was sooo good. I’m getting the recipe, so stay tuned!

Dessert Pizza was sooo good. I’m getting the recipe, so stay tuned!

Our friends from EmmaJ Jewelry set up a mini-shopping experience where the girls got to pick a piece to take home. Vitacups provided the afternoon pick-me up! (They would love you to try out their sample pack for free! Just pay shipping at $2.95!) ALSO… THEY ARE GIVING 30% OFF TO YOU. Code ASHLEYJ works on their site until May 25th. Yay!

And last but not least, everyone went home with my some Usana goodies. Anyone that’s followed along on this blog knows I’ve been a fan and often times ambassador of sorts, so I asked for some of my favorites to share with my friends. We went with the Booster C 600, Pure Rest and new pretty in pink water bottle.   Polkatots did the cutest dessert cupcakes and our dear friends at Bashful Rose did the arrangements!! (If you are in the area and need flowers, I’m telling you… it’s been almost a week and these haven’t even wilted!!!)

Also, for those wondering, the dress I’m wearing is great for summer! Per usual, I love the pockets! I slipped my Tight Lip’d gloss in there and my phone while I hosted. It’s also in the shop section (under boutique) on the blog.

Love this shot of our coffee booth with our COOKIE FISHY. Guess who named our fish? lol

Love this shot of our coffee booth with our COOKIE FISHY. Guess who named our fish? lol

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These stunning arrangements from Bashful Rose graced the table.

These stunning arrangements from Bashful Rose graced the table.

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Kaylene DeVries, owner of EmmaJCo.com….see my bull ring???! It’s on her site now!

Kaylene DeVries, owner of EmmaJCo.com….see my bull ring???! It’s on her site now!

POLKATOT cupcakes

POLKATOT cupcakes

Amy Lacey and I before the food was devoured.

Amy Lacey and I before the food was devoured.

Lisa Brekenridge, me, Virgina Williams, Sarah Jane Morris

Lisa Brekenridge, me, Virgina Williams, Sarah Jane Morris

My sister-in-law Casey Henricks, Actresses Kimberly Brown, Angelique Cabral, Briana Cuoco, Amy Davidson

My sister-in-law Casey Henricks, Actresses Kimberly Brown, Angelique Cabral, Briana Cuoco, Amy Davidson

I’m gonna throw a few other items from our gift bag goodies in the package! So seriously— leave a comment letting us know that you’d love to try Cauli’Flour foods and we’ll announce the winner (maybe 2?) this Saturday, May 4th. So, may the force be with you. LOL.

Stripes. Sunshine. And a Sprinkle.

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Forgive my cheesy titles. Sometimes I sound like I'm a kindergarten teacher. Oh well...  The "s" theme in the title is appropriate. I have to share some of my favorite striped fashion for the season (and I WAS in the sunshine at my girlfriend Ali Fedotowsky's sprinkle for her second baby!). 

I'll start by saying Ali's shower was adorable with a "blue jean baby boy" theme. If you followed along on the stories, you saw the gorgeous flowers and place settings. Plus, it was kinda cloudy the day before, so the sun literally came out and shined on Baby Manno for the sprinkle. Awww. I'm sure Ali will share more on her blog soon, too. I'll let you know.

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I wanted to wear something theme-oriented, but also something that I just felt comfortable in, too. I picked this blue and white striped fit and flare dress. It has a cut-out in the back and is so easy to wear. For a reference point, I'm in a size 2 in this dress. It's not the most affordable piece I've worn, but I know I'll wear it a lot. This is one of those dresses that works in your 20s and even in your 60s. I'm not kidding! There's always a cute white cardigan to add (the one highlighted is $20!- white or  blue)... If you're looking for something that would work for day events or early evening-- bridal showers, baby showers, concerts, graduations, summer parties, etc.... I just love the classic combination of blue and white.

My girlfriend Willa Ford also had on stripes. I must say, she was the sexier version of stripes! And also on point with the trends right now. I'm loving the cut out, bit of skin here and there. 

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And of course, Ali looked beautiful. And no, she really doesn't have a name yet for Baby Manno. But, we all chimed in! And Miss Molly danced out on the beach.  What a doll. She and Hayden are slightly obsessed with each other. And I'm slightly obsessed with Ali's dress! I found the the print in a few other styles, too... take a peek below.

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Stripes/redshoes

 

 

I walked Oscar when I returned home. Joel snapped this picture kinda tongue-and-cheek making fun of me. But, I'm glad because it shows my favorite red flats. I actually wore them the day before, too. You've probably heard me talk about Rothy's. I love that I can wear them to the beach, then wash them when I get home (I air dry them afterward, but you can also "fluff" on delicate).   

 

I'm not quite done with this post, but I'm gonna publish it to go up for now anyway. I have a few more things to add (like I'm kinda into Willa's sunglasses... anyone else wanna know how to get a pair!?)... so stay tuned, I'll return later. Gotta few appointments today.  xoxo

 

SPRING INTO IT!

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I've been wanting to write about spring items! When I finally compiled my favorites, the list was too long.  So, I'm breaking it up and starting with EASY, WRAP DRESSES. I bought this wrap dress (pictured) and love it (especially over jeans for a transitional outfit between seasons). But, as much as I liked it, I was wondering if was too "girly" or "young-looking" for me. Then, I started to see variations on style icons (thank you, Sarah Jessica Parker), I decided it WAS NOT TOO young or girly. 

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But, alas, while I was busy wondering these silly thoughts, many others were busy buying out most of the sizes of this exact dress. However, I took note of many near-exact items (see below). I can't get over how well the GAP version fits and looks like a replica of the one I already love.

And while I was compiling this list, I fell even more in love with the "girly-ness" of ruffle and wrap style that I had to make a few (insanely affordable) purchases in some brighter shades of the wrap (see below). Not to keeping bringing up the Gap, but they are having quite the sale (up to 50% off, so check it out). I got an XS in the purple striped wrap. This color combo makes me happy.

The black and white gingham (very popular this year) is so flirty fabulous, I'm thinking I could pair it with open-toed, stripy heels and wear it to an evening event. And I can't help loving the girl version of Joseph's "Coat of many colors" for under $30! Also, I'm trying to venture out a bit to other sites. Have y'all every looked at Nasty Gal? The name alone makes me laugh, but I'm finding incredible deals (40% off everything right now) and very cute options.

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Two things to note here that I have thought through.... if I'm running after Hayden, is this dress inappropriate to wear...er... will it fly up? And, it's still on the chillier side of spring, so will I be cold? My solution? Skinny jeans underneath.  And I was shocked by the number of compliments I got on being "smart" for wearing pants! Here are two options below that I like.

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Happy Wrapping Up! Ha. But, seriously, if you haven't done a wrap dress in a while, or ever- this may be your year! 

Stay tuned for more to come... sooner than later.

xoxo You guys are awesome. Thanks for your patience!

 

WEAR IT AGAIN... AND AGAIN. Favorite inspiring moments from the Oscars.

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The sun is out this Monday morning... how was the weekend? Ours was a bit rainy, but yesterday was beautiful. Did y'all watch the Oscars last night? The show was inspiring and emotional at times addressing themes of persistence (finally, James Ivory!) inclusion and empowerment. Made me realize there's a quite a few movies I'd really like to see! I saw a tweet last night that said, "For parents, the Oscars are a reminder of all the movies we didn't see over the last 12 months!" SO TRUE. 

I appreciated Greta Gerwig's thoughts about encouraging people to go after their dreams. I liked that she said "go make your movie!" Obviously, it's easier said than done, however... she did it! She wrote and directed her film and was there in the audience for several nominations. And, naturally, how powerful was Francis McDormand's speech asking all the female nominees to stand. Talk about motivating! A few moments like this really did make me take inventory of what I'd still like to accomplish. Did any of you feel this way?

Also, how hilarious were Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish? Just funny complaining about high heels (can't we all relate) and complimenting their bathroom scenes in recent movies. I could have watched more of them and less of others! 

Tiffany Haddish kept her promise of wearing her white Alexander McQueen dress again and again.... and again! She jokes the dress cost her more than her mortgage and she'd get her money's worth! We first saw her on the red carpet of GIRLS TRIP wearing the gown, then again as the host of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. And to round it out as the fashion moment of the night, she stole the show with Maya standing in that same frock. Talk about breaking all sorts of fashion taboos.... and only secured her position as the down-to-earth funny girl we'd like to see more!

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And Rita Moreno! How amazing that she wore her Oscar dress from her 1962 win! Proof that some things just don't go out of style. And also just a bit more proof that the taboo of wearing the same thing over and over again --THAT is what's going out of style!

Now, I'm wondering what's in my closet that I could pull out and update? Or some staples that I could invest in and wear over and over...clearly THAT'S the newest trend!!

So, one of my favorite dresses I wore last year will be my go-to spring dress again this year (pictured above). It sold out in popular colors (like white) and sizes last year, so if you're interested, I'd grab it now. I have it in white, but it really fits so well, I think I'm gonna go for the navy india ink or the lilac. Paired with nude heels or converse and a denim jacket, it makes for an easy spring look. Check out the colors- red and black are great, too. 

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1. Perfect Spring Dress 2. Nude Heels 3. Easy Everyday Hoops 4. Modern Sunnies

I'm working on a post of SPRING/SUMMER ESSENTIALS. So, stay tuned. In the meantime, what pieces are you pulling out from last year or before that you could update today? 

RASCAL RABBITS, SPRING DRESSES oh and a little help from our friends

Amy Davidson, Lennox Lockwood, Huck and Hayden

Amy Davidson, Lennox Lockwood, Huck and Hayden

Yes, this is a little post about Peter Rabbit's adventures, but it's also a post about the village we create for our own little rascals. I am so grateful for friends around me that are part of my kids' lives (and some said people don't even have kids). 

That particular Friday, I had a full day. I wasn't sure I would make it to the party and screening of the film. Between naps, picking up Huck from school (with Hayden and getting Huck dressed in the car!) plus my own work schedule, it didn't seem like it would be easy or even feasible. But, my other girlfriends were going through it, too. We knew the kids would have fun, so we encouraged each other to make it work (thanks Amy!). Sometimes that's all I need to keep going. ENCOURAGEMENT. I'm sure many of you can relate? Our preacher this morning at church talked about what to do when you're at the end of your rope. How do we create more energy for ourselves to just keep on keeping on? It sounds simple, but give out what you're not getting. If I feel under appreciated, tell other people thank you. If I feel discouraged, send out encouraging vibes to people. Sometimes we may only have the bandwidth to simply send a text, but it's a start. 

And laugher does wonders. It helps to laugh with each other when the angels turn into little rascals. And they can be rascals! I love how each of Hayden and Huck's friends all have such a unique personality and style!  Lennox is so hip! Huck loves his bowties, shoes and preppy style (he decides what he wants to wear). And I still love the little outfits my mom sends for Hayden!  Joel thinks Hayden ends up looking like a little Danish girl (not sure where/why he came up with Danish). Oh well, the time is limited here. Before I know it, I will no longer get a say in what he wears!

xo Ashley

Ps- I have been reading your emails and see the DMs about fashion and food and fitness posts. THANK YOU for those. So, for those wondering, I like this easy dress I'm wearing from Eliza J. I didn't know it came in pink when I ordered this one. I love the pink one. It's really great if you're looking for a versatile, easy staple to add to your closet. Also, if you don't mind scrolling though to find your size, look at the brand on Ebay. You can find new with tags for less. 

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This is our first elevator selfie! HA. 

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