TURNING PASSION INTO PURPOSE

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Thrilled to say I’m partnering again with American Cancer Society; they’re sponsoring the blog today!

What are your plans this summer?? I have an idea! Whatever you may already be doing, add a “good cause” component to it. Turn a passion into purpose! I was honored to work with non-profit health organization American Cancer Society earlier this year talking about cancer prevention. More importantly, it seems many of you also appreciated the topic, which meant a lot to me. I’m all about doing what we can to prevent getting sick, but the truth is that sometimes cancer is unavoidable. #RaiseYourWay is ACS’s summer campaign; we are both summoning YOU for help, read on, please!

Even though #CancerSucks, I want this post to be positive! I’m sharing a recent story of success in our lives. One of Hayden’s precious friends spent the 2nd year of her life battling cancer. Her family was turned upside down, weeks upon weeks in the hospital. Her mother, my friend, is a superwoman. Sweet thing is now almost done with the laborious treatments and cancer free….what a success story. There are many stories like that. But, there should be more. And with our help raising funds for researching treatments, recovery methods and supporting initiatives that provide care during the cancer journey, more and more families will be a living testimony of inspiration. It’s heartbreaking to think of any other outcome. Although I pray for another child, I’m beyond grateful for the healthy ones I have. I cannot imagine how hard it is to go through treatment with your child.

I mentioned my personal scare in this post here. The older I get, a couple of times a year, I hear about someone in my life getting a dreaded diagnosis. I feel paralyzed, somewhat helpless. But a few friends have lead the way to encouraging me to turn that helpless sadness into a purpose. Many of you know my mama on Bold and the Beautiful, the inspiring Katherine Kelly Lang. She has turned her passion into purpose for cancer. I have joined her in the past to raise money, and will most likely -fingers crossed- be joining her on her summer fundraising adventure (she tours the Bold and Beautiful locations around Los Angeles and 100% of the proceeds go toward the cancer organization of her choice).

And my girlfriend that I mentioned above (her toddler is a now a cancer survivor) recently put together a awesome cycling class and donated all the money to cancer research. The American Cancer Society is a national health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer, and their Raise Your Way platform lets you turn any passion into a fundraiser.

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My sons and I want to host a summer beach safety soiree for kiddos (sun-safety outdoors), so here in these photos I’m down at the beach checking out the space to do this. I’m gonna send out an invitation to join us and donate the entire day to ACS. Hayden scoped out Back On the Beach Cafe at The Annenberg Beach House (an awesome spot to go if you’re near Santa Monica/Malibu, btw. Crowded on the weekend if you don’t have reservations.) I’m hoping to raise awareness about prevention, but the goal will be to have everyone #RaiseYourWay and donate a suggested price of $25 to attend through Crowdrise.com/AmericanCancerSociety.

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It doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. It could be your own backyard BBQ!! So…Hayden and I are proposing you try and have one yourself! I’ll even make easy and lay the ground work! wink-wink.

Here are some other ideas I’ve been thinking about:

From a recent girls’ event;)

From a recent girls’ event;)

  1. GIRLFRIENDS. Wine/chees/movie night (or a bachelor night)….and DONATE! (MEAN GIRLS came out 15 years ago. I never saw it. My dearest Lacey Chabert is one of the stars. Sounds like a perfect set up for a girls’ night, amiright? lol)

  2. SUMMER BIRTHDAY…no gifts, but please donate. I just went to my girlfriend Ali Fedotowsky Manno’s house for her son Riley’s first birthday. She asked everyone to donate to the charity of her choice in lieu of gifts. I did- many of us did! Loved that idea.

  3. YOGA/SPIN/RUN day. Ask your local yoga studio if they would donate proceeds from one class! That adds up. Send out an email letting your friends know that your fundraising event is happening and you’d love them to join. And if they can’t make it, they can always drop a few dollars;)

These are just my personal ideas… but the point is, anything could work. And it turns a normal get together into a special purpose! I believe people love doing good work. So, given the opportunity, they will give what they can. We all know every $1 adds up. Let them know that you are dedicating the day to raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society. And also… It feeds our soul to DO GOOD for others.

GROUNDWORK:

1) Get creative: come up with an idea

2) Here is a very easy, tax deductible way to set up your event.

3) GO to crowdrise.com/americancancersociety

4) Set up an account or use facebook

5) Follow the prompts (it is sooo easy, I just did it) to create an event and goal.

6) Share your event before and after! Spread the word on your social pages with your friends.

So feed your soul…and tag me on social media when you do. I’m looking foward to reposting/retweeting/commenting on your adventures. And let’s inspire each other… what ideas do you have that others might implement?  Comment below and let’s get this (fundraising) party started!

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30 years ago...HAPPY BIRTHDAY WORLD (WIDE WEB).

Since you are here on this site, you might have already opened google. If you haven’t yet, you inevitably will.  And then you’ll see Google is celebrating 30 years of the world wide web!

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Well, that makes me feel old. Do you remember where you were the first time you plugged in to “dial up?” That bee-bo-bop-oh, ch-ch-beep sound. I remember getting those AOL disks in the mail and doing free trials. What is all the fuss about? It’s alien to my preteen-age brain. 

I also remember my parents not loving the idea for us kids. I don’t recall specifics- but now that I am a parent, I can only imagine what they were thinking. We want to protect our children any way we know how. And this was a totally unknown connection to strangers (and expensive…remember?)!

This thing we all are so accustomed to now certainly changed the world. Forever. Made it smaller in some ways for some people and much larger in ways for others. You? How has it affected your world? 

Ironically, I was forced to think about this last night. Joel went to a concert, Hayden was asleep and I had big plans to work in bed (with Bachelor on in the background, since we all knew what was happening anyway)— but our internet wasn’t connecting properly for a bit and messed up the tv, too. Immediately I felt disconnected, frustrated, and annoyed. Like… how can I go all night without the internet? 

It rebooted and all was normal again.

Just 30 short years ago…. before cell phones, social media, kindle, netflix, and even before the world wide web, there was the dewey decimal system. And snail mail. And newspapers. And coffee where we just had words with friends (like actual words, not the game on our phones).  And pagers! Remember pagers? I’ll never forget getting those beeps on my pager driving back to Pepperdine from my audition for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. I got off the freeway to use a payphone and hear the good news.

I love this “connected” stuff as much as the next person, but to celebrate the 30th birthday, I might go offline. Go crazy like it’s 1989.

At least for a few hours. 


Good Day PJS!

Good Morning! This is really a quick hello because Huck just left for school and Hayden is quietly playing with his toys (don’t be jealous, this will last all of 10 minutes max). HOW ARE YOU ALL TODAY? I’m already halfway ready to leave for a morning meeting, but stay in my lounging pjs till the last possible minute. Always, right?

Glancing at this photo- how does my house (no matter how many times I pick up everything) always seem to have a random ball appear!? (see blue ball in lower corner) I mean— BOYS!

Working away on my holiday column for Soap Digest. Excited about this year’s article because it’s all about GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK. Snuggled up learning lines for B&B tomorrow and an audition later today and juggling pick-ups with kiddos. Big cup of coffee, check. About to get a refill.

Whenever I say, “it never ends,” Joel replies, “until it does.” Which I always think is kinda morbid! But, he’s right. Happy and grateful for today.

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This photo above makes me want to go get Oscar and cuddle. He’s always trying to find a way to share my chair!

If you read the post earlier in the week, I commented on this marble table pictured above and how it migrates around our home. Not joking;) With their current sale, it’s $77. If you’re starting your holiday gift list, add this insanely plush blanket. It’s under $40, comes in a plethora of colors and seriously holds up. I have given this gift to friends and my sister and own two myself. Although these PJs can work for post-baby, I am wearing them nearly everyday. Soft, soft material. (I spy with my little eye the candle I can’t wait to share with y’all! I don’t even have to burn it, the scent just subtly fills the space and reminds me of winter. It’s a giving back product and it launches this week, so stay tuned).

Y’all have a great day!





Touching Base

AshleyAJones.com

I feel compelled to say thank you at times. Today is one of those times. Thank you to many of you that were so supportive of the recent visit back to The Bold and Beautiful. I appreciate all the comments and tweets showing your support. Perhaps we'll see more of Bridget on the horizon very soon... It's pretty nice to go to a place that you love with people you truly want to work with. I don't take that for granted when it happens anywhere. 

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My favorite thing is how the cast and crew support each other. John McCook (my dad!) has a very cool dressing room close to set. On long days shooting scenes like weddings, he allows us to congregate in there on breaks. He has been so inclusive to every member of the cast since day one. I love quickly catching up with everyone while lounging on his sofas. 

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A great deal of you ask about Parker often. With Lexi back on the horizon, (and much talk of Parker on the show recently) there are questions about "Pristina." I did get to chat with Frank Valentini, executive producer of GH, recently at an Emmy event. He wasn't able to confirm any future thoughts about Kristina or Parker, but what's great about the soap genre is this: things change all the time with the stroke of a pen from the writers. People can even "DIE" and come back to LIFE (hello, Hunter Tylo). I truly don't know what their plans are for Parker. Do I think it makes sense to Kristina and Parker on screen together figuring out whatever issues they may or may not have? Sure, of course. I believe there's story left to tell. But, from a production standpoint, there's a whole puzzle of characters to place every week in storylines that keep Port Charles alive and dramatic and fun to watch. This may sound like a politically correct response, but having been on the other side of the camera from time to time, I understand. 

I'm happy to be filming a movie for Lifetime in September. It's a VERY different kind of character. One I've never really played before. Looking forward to spilling the beans as soon as I get the go ahead. I'll be shooting on location in Canada. Excited to go back to the east coast up there. 

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Until then... thanks for visiting here. I like sharing ideas, mom stories, fashion choices, favorite products, etc. Always love your ideas, too. Hoping to upgrade the look of the blog soon, but for now, it's simple and straightforward. Curious of any ideas you all have come across for inspiration to update the look here? 

And last but not least, thanks to Soap Digest for the recent cover "casting news." Looking forward to being on your screens more soon. Your emails, comments, tweets and facebook messages get noticed by the powers that be (and ME), so thank you for voicing your thoughts. How would you want these characters to come back into the fold on your favorite show? Fun to hear sometimes.

Now, off to bed. Up early with Hayden and to learn lines for an audition. Magnum P.I.!!

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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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.

Body After Baby

I have to thank Soap Opera Digest for their latest interview where Mara Levinsky got me talking about body after baby (on stands now- with a blurb on the cover!). I haven't written much about this topic because in no way do I feel like an expert. However, I think it's good to talk about the reality of life and getting in shape after having a baby. Or the reality of what it takes to get in better shape for anyone: discipline and work. The article goes in depth about the things that I didn't expect, the struggles and the joys of postparatum. Let me know what you think!

This photoshoot was two weeks after giving birth, right before I went back to shoot GENERAL HOSPITAL. I was EXHAUSTED and emotional and elated simultaneously. 

I took long walks several times a week and kept as active as my energy level allowed during the pregnancy, trying not to gain unnecessary weight. Hayden got fairly big toward the end (I wrote this post after the baby shower, and this post was three days before I gave birth). I admit, I was lucky I initially lost some of the pounds I gained, but it started to creep back. I had to eat more to keep breastfeeding and wasn't working out enough. The struggle to get back in the same shape I was in pre-pregnancy has been real for me. I haven't done it yet, as I discuss in the article. My body looks different. One of the biggest struggles has been learning to accept myself for where I am in life today. A reader (thank you Cara Sue!) left a comment in another post about resolutions for 2017. She simply said she wanted to have "more self care." I love this because it encompasses more than just vanity; it's a whole lifestyle practice mentally, emotionally and physically. My priority now is my baby and my family. This used to sound like an excuse to me when other people said it, and it is to an extent, but it's simply the truth. Do you feel like you have time to workout? I don't want to be that person with excuses! My husband reminds me it's all about prioritizing the day, making smart choices.

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So, I am trying to look at this as an opportunity to adjust to a new lifestyle! I strap the baby on and go hiking or walking. I use my Joovy jogger to jog if I'm not too tired. I have grand plans to escape to yoga, but my membership doesn't get as much use as it used to. So, I go when I can. Some days I feel like I'm running around in circles not being as productive as I'd like. I have to let my preconceived expectations of the day go as I step over full laundry baskets and Huck's toys. I have a feeling some of you can relate?  

I try to stay well so I have energy by implementing super simple tips I learned from Dr. Oz! I have to say, my whole household has been sick, but I have not! I still take Proglucamune, the immunity supplement from Usana.  I promised myself I would drink two glasses of water with my supplements every morning. I'm proud I have made that a habit. My mom recently reminded me of a tip we both learned from Ronn Moss (from BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL) years ago... hot water with lemon first thing every morning to detoxify the body. I remember him drinking it during the day on set, too. He swears by this habit. Healthy (and free) habits are the best! 

In order to make progress for tomorrow, I have to do something different today. Doing the same thing every day and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. So, I am making a list of easy, healthy habits to incorporate change in my life as part of my new year's resolutions. I'm going to force myself to try them--- wanna do it with me? Leave a comment of things you'd like to try. Drink more water? Vitamins? Less soda? Less sugar. Take more steps (literally walk more)? I'm thinking I'd like to start one habit at a time and build from there. 

In the meantime, in honor of the Golden Globes tonight, I'm sharing my favorite tricks I've learned over the years from wardrobe, makeup and hair that have helped me during this transition period of body after baby.  Read them HERE! 

Living the Dream? At least according to my t-shirt! Ha!

Thanks, SoapDigest! 

Thanks, SoapDigest! 

Nov. 20th

I'm adding an addendum to this post. I tried to put those little pants on Hayden today and he has already outgrown them. I look at these pictures (perhaps it's the cloudy day and rain) and I get a little nostalgic. He's not even 6 months yet! I used to secretly chuckle at women that cried when their kid went to pre-school for the first time... but here I am already getting choked up that he's almost 6 months. I just posted an instagram story pic of him sitting next to me while I'm working. He seems so big in his big boy chair. I guess this is a reminder to take it all in everyday. I'm grateful to have such great friends going through a similar journey, too. Hope you all had a great weekend. xo

Nov. 18th

I've been meaning to jot down some thoughts about the RedCARpet Safety event for a while now. I have a little creature that doesn't love sleep (help!) and keeps me very busy. This was one of Hayden's first "events."  He was mesmerized! Too much to see to focus on any one thing. Quite a different experience going to an event with a 3 month old (this was back in September). I barely slept the night before and felt like I was sleep walking. But, we had a good time. It was fun running into so many other friends and their babies. It was such a hot Los Angeles day! Glad I wore layers over the t-shirt (my living the dream shirt!). Take a look!

oh and ps- We missed having my stepson, Huck, with us. We picked up some goodies for him, though. He loves his Joovy Bicycoo

Lindsay Godfrey and I got to chat for a second with her amazing mini-me Aleda.

Lindsay Godfrey and I got to chat for a second with her amazing mini-me Aleda.

We got to grab a pic with Ali Fedotowsky and precious Molly.

We got to grab a pic with Ali Fedotowsky and precious Molly.

Reunited with Melissa Ordway?  5 points to the person that can tell me when and where we worked together!? 

Reunited with Melissa Ordway?  5 points to the person that can tell me when and where we worked together!? 


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