SEEING HEARTS! Happy Valentine's Day to YOU

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I’m getting all the feels! Valentine’s Day!! If you’re thinking about showering someone big or tiny with some love, read on! I’m excited to share these fun little things with y’all. With the beauty of AmazonPrime and 2 days shipping from most of these outlets, it can be here in a jiffy.

My mom sent Huck and Hayden the cutest gifts! These musical, singing soft animals: a lion that sings “Come and Get Your Love” and lights up, and a puppy that sings “SugarPie, Honeybunch.” They are up on my instastory right now. Oh my goodness, the cutness when Hayden sings along. I know they are not the cheapest gifts, but do make a big impact.

Hayden loves these things so much and wants to play and listen and learn the words to the songs from them. So does Huck. It’s easier for Huck, at 6, to pick up everything they are saying and remember. Hayden takes a bit more time, but it’s so cute watching the process. The lion lights up around his face, it’s very cute.

I have to share the Mother Goose my mom also got Hayden. We left it in Texas, but he loves it so much, I may order it for him here, too. She reads (moving her mouth, animated) 7 nursery rhyme stories. It’s the sweetest thing (athought the nursery rhymes we all learned as a child are a bit morbid! Jack and Jill broke their crowns!) to hear Hayden learn them and want to play with this. Take a look at the reviews…. this is such a gem for the price!

Then, I added a few I wouldn’t mind being on the list if I were to treat myself to a little self care….and thinking about the shoes below for Joel. He needs new converse. These are the “designer” version, but pretty cute!!

In my stories recently, I commented about my sister’s lipgloss. You all asked what it was, so I added it below with a few other things. It’s a version of Nars that is not easy to find. She gave me hers!! And then I also found it to link it for y’all.

The gold bar necklace I have on in these photos says HENRICKS. Totally affordable personalized gold necklace. I love it. I got it when Joel and I were engaged and have been wearing it a lot again recently. Such a sweet and budget friendly gift for any occasion: baby, engaged, newly married, initials, besties, etc.

AND NOW FOR YOU

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For my parents and in-laws, I’m sending out books today I made on mixbook. I took quite a bit of time making them for each set of parents. They turned out so beautifully, I was thrilled. I think it stands out more because it’s not around a big birthday or Christmas or holiday. It’s VALENTINE’S DAY. I’m hoping when they receive this book, they realize how often and much we think about them and love them. The one photographed below is ours. I made one for Huck when he was 3, and now I finally have one for Hayden. I literally cried when I opened it. Besides the fact that the book is stunning (we got the flat-lay pages, 12x12), the memories are all in one place where I can see them (and NOT ON MY COMPUTER). I am a longtime fan of Mixbook and they know it. So, just to be lovely, they are giving you all a little Valentine’s day gift of your own:

If you caught my stories, you know you can get $25 FREE/ no minimum. CLICK that link or USE CODE ASHLEY25 - Get cute cards (my sister got the prettiest palm tree personalized note cards), thank you cards, or Valentine’s day! And I wanna see what you choose, so show me when you get them!

If you wanna make a book, GET 50% OFF!!! That link will automatically give you 50% off until March 15th. Or use code: ASHBOOK50.

Thank you mixbook for being so cool to our readers!… KEEP SCROLLING DOWN.

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While I’m here, don’t forget Coso Beauty is also gifting readers a FREE CBD SHEET MASK. (I posted in stories recently about this, but you can also check my post about it here). The catch? There’s really not one except for shipping. It’s under $6, but you need to take care of that. ALSO— I’d love your feedback. I’ve been toying with different things I want to create and I’m in talks about a mask. For many reasons! SO I WOULD LOVE YOUR HONEST FEEDBACK. It will help me make the best product. I’m already getting DMs about it, but will create a post soon that everyone can chime in on their ideas. I have my own and will voice my opinion, too.

Also, lemme know if you guys like these kind of promotions. I will keep them up…;)

XOXO

AJH

Step Up 2018 INSPIRATION AWARDS

Those of you that have been visiting this blog and know me are aware of Step Up Women's Network. Last year, I was overwhelmed with gratitude at the generosity of many of you for your donations on my birthday! I still can't believe it.  

(quick sidenote: I'm reading the comments below. Thank you to those sharing your own experiences!)

Needless to say, it was great to be hosting another Inspiration Awards. Lacey Chabert and I have joined forces and gathered our friends in hopes of spreading the word about what Step Up does.  It was a beautiful day. 

Beverley Mitchell, Kimberly brown, briana cuoco, kaley cuoco, lacey chabert, katilin vilasuso

Beverley Mitchell, Kimberly brown, briana cuoco, kaley cuoco, lacey chabert, katilin vilasuso

Highlights:

Every year, one girl is chosen to share her moving, inspirational "testimony." About 20-30 girls walked out on stage and reported where they will be attending college next year. The majority of these girls are first generation high school graduates. Another group of alumnae (it looks like I misspelled that, but I looked up the plural form of female graduates!) came out and shared where they already graduated and where they will be working. It's such a honor to listen to them talk about their successes. I loved watching my friend Kaitlin Vilasuso's reaction to hearing about Step Up for the first time.

I loved that the high school girls of Step Up that want to be journalists were in the press line asking questions. I was asked what I would tell my younger self 20 years ago. Such a good question for us to all ask ourselves!! I said, "Oh, hope you do not worry so much. It's all gonna work itself out. Focus on the present and be your best YOU today." Now, if I can only take my own advice. Oh, and then I added to enjoy your youth! 

Regina Hall was honored. My favorite line she said to the Step Up girls: pursue excellence, not likes. In a world of social media, this is so important. 

Finally, and selfishly, I love this day because I get to see many friends all in one place. They inspire me. 

This year, I am vowing to do more in the mentorship department. Every little helps, whether we are giving our time or a little donation, or a big one. Programs like Step Up make it very feasible for us to make a difference in someone's life.

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The picture above with Lacey Chabert and journalist and activist Lisa Ling was also taken two years ago when we were all pregnant. We promised each other to get the littles together for a playdate soon.

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Since I do talk about fashion here.... here are a few details on the clothes/my dress. I liked wearing this dress- at $65, you can't really go wrong. Perfect for year round parties, summer weddings, etc. It comes in five colors, so check it out. I am wearing a size us 4 and it was very fitted. I actually had to clasp the back before I zipped it up, but it holds you in really well. I love the cobalt blue and just ordered a 6 to see the difference. Nordstrom is so easy to return if it doesn't work. I also found it on Topshop's site HERE in a deeper blood red!! On both sites, they are selling fast, FYI.

And I have about worn out my nude heels-- right now they are on sale under $50. These elongate your legs (close toed or open strappy). Since the bow and the red color were the focus of my dress, I kept the jewelry to a minimum. I did my own makeup which sometimes works for me and sometimes doesn't. Ha! I like this great highlighter to even out my skin and make my shoulders and cheekbones shine a bit (use sparingly) on top of my lotion. I attempted to use a self tanner the night before, but it didn't work that well overnight, so I mixed Sally Hansen's spray on tan (they also make a body makeup) with baby lotion!

(Tip: if you do this, mix it well. Use more lotion that spray. I stand over an old towel because it can get little bits of makeup on the floor. I quickly take the blow dryer and go over my body to set it once it looks even enough. THEN BEFORE I PUT ON THE DRESS, I take the old towel and gently rub over my legs and arms to make sure the makeup doesn't rub off on the dress. This sounds like a lot of work, and it IS! But, for certain events, it's worth it and once I got the hang of it, I can do it very fast. This was how we evened out my skin in all those swamp scenes on True Blood. On Bold and Beautiful or other soaps, we have BODY MAKEUP artists that come and make your skin even and tan and glow. No joke! Many actresses like to spray tan regularly so they don't have to wear so much body makeup.)

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taking a quick selfie with Lisa Ling

taking a quick selfie with Lisa Ling

Finally, I have to mention a few of the other gorgeous dresses my friends wore. I am VERY into polka dots and fun prints. Amy Davidson wore the cute dress with a cut out back- darling summer frock. And Beverley Mitchell wore the pretty floral print. My girlfriend Kaitlin Vilasuso wore the stunning white Ted Baker dress. 

Thanks for visiting!! 

Have a great week....

xoxo AAJ

When Playtime Meets Worktime

Last week, I got to go banter with my one of my besties for a Priceline commercial.  I've had the opportunity to work with friends before (even with Kaley in THE WEDDING RINGER). But, this was the first time I got to play myself and our real friendship. It was fun, to say the least, which makes it seem a lot less like work and more like a play day! I can't wait for you guys to see the spot soon!! It's a pretty fun take on real life. 

Wardrobe picked out some of the cutest pieces around... and I learned about some new stores, like & Other Stories.  We tried on many variations, but ended up with this Theory dress on sale at Nordstrom Rack! Just add a strapless bra (I'm wearing a high cut bra from Natori that I they gave me. And although I had on nude heels (the same ones I wear all the time--- they are so on sale right now, I have to share... $27... I think I'll order a second pair to have on hand), I ended up wearing my comfy ROTHYS

And while we're on shoes... how fabulous are Kaley's ruffled sneakers. Just a hint of ruffle. I nearly died over them (anyone that's following me lately knows I'm into a little ruffle added somewhere somehow- check THIS POST, or THIS ONE). This sneaker is so subtle, I love it. 

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Many of you have asked about makeup, so I'll post about that soon. But, stay tuned for info on when the commercial will air. And, I have some exciting work stuff I'm shooting this summer. I so wish I could say right now, but it would ruin the surprise!!

Winter is coming. Chunky sweaters a must.

OH MONDAY, monday!  Here you are again. Hayden is going through a phase where he doesn't sleep for more than 2-4 hours at a time at night. So, we are tired. At least we can be comfy! Chunky, slightly oversized sweaters are my favorite must-haves for winter time. They are cozy and easy and can be layered. As soon as it hits 60 degrees or so here in LA, I pull them out. I realize that's not winter to many of you, but you can always add a coat. Not only do I love the cowl neckline and softness of the material of this one (which is nice cuddling Hayden), but I really like the price. Good basic pieces shouldn't have to break the bank! This one is only $49. I'm wearing an XS, but for a more "boyfriend" or oversized look, I could go up a size. It comes in 4 colors. How great is the dark grey version? 

I'm still layering a plaid flannel underneath (like I did in this post HERE, and also HERE).  I found a tassel necklace (that I love more) like the one I'm wearing at baublebar.com.  (HERE is one other option, too). I've had my boots for a while, but I found a similar pair for a decent price! I think this sweater would be perfect to pair with a pencil skirt or pants, too. A great work look!

If you're starting to figure out gift ideas, this sweater is a good one for the sister/friend or mom list! 

When you find a good (affordable!) thing...stick with it!

Earlier this week I wore this exact outfit, except the sweater was white- click here to see. When you find a good thing, I say stick with it. Especially when it is so affordable. At only $39, so I got it in white and green, too (it comes in 5 colors)! I love all how the black adds a touch of sophistication. The necklace adds interest and a bit more flair. It's comfy and layered so I can easily take the sweater off if I get too hot today. This is a perfect outfit for Thanksgiving dinner at home with the family, specially if you're traveling! You could always pair the sweater with some shorts on a warmer day, or add a peacoat (I love THIS ONE on sale right now) on a colder day! And, of course the necklace can go from day to night. Happy Friday! 

I feel the need to add that Hayden was just sitting up in the 4moms bassinet stroller for the picture-- not while we were moving. Safety always first;)

Finding the best deals for you today! $39! Happy Monday!

Hi everyone! Busy day today. Learning lines, running to a meeting and audition, running back home to nurse, errands, etc. But, had to share the deal I discovered and received in the mail this weekend. A cozy sweater for only $39? Yes, please. I love being able to put together looks without spending a ton. I'm wearing a size small. When I find something that works for me and my lifestyle, I also get it in other colors, so you'll see me wearing this sweater in black-shown below- and green. Ha! I actually got this plaid, soft flannel to go under it, adding a bit of a collegiate feel. And LOVE adding interest and a modern flare with THIS NECKLACE. (The necklace I'll be wearing with a variety of outfits. Such a fun piece for the holidays. The soft pastel color palette balances the sparkle, so it's not too blingy). The black faux leather and suede clutch is $25! Love these deals.

It's finally raining a bit in LA, so I'm wearing rainboots! This is an exciting experience for us in Southern California because it's rare. Carrying around Hayden so much, I'm all bout the flats, too! I'm just about to wear out my flat boots! Speaking of rainboots--- how adorable are the ones below? The dogs!? It might be a purchase I need to make!

 

PS- use the "search" box up in the top right to search "nursing" or "breastfeeding" to find better options for NURSING MOMS. ps- check back in later tonight. I'll be here blogging about the past week, Hayden's 5 month birthday (!!), appearance on Dr. Oz, answering questions, etc. THANKS for all of you that commented and watched and supported! 

xo Ashley

Effortless & Extremely Budget Friendly Pieces (under $30!)

Left to my own devices, I would be in yoga pants everyday. Nothing wrong with that, by the way! I could easily blame that on being a new mom, but the truth is, I've been like this forever. I like getting dressed up for certain occasions, but usually, I'm looking for something with less effort. I've been wanting to step it up just a tiny bit so I don't feel frumpy. I've studied some of my favorite stylists and watched what stylists have done for me on shows, too. Accessories can be your best friend. Sometimes just a statement piece like a scarf and some chunky earrings will do wonders. On days like today where I'm running an errand with the baby, then have a work meeting, I want something that is comfortable, but still looks put together. More importantly, I love pieces that are affordable so I don't care if it gets spit up on it!

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A go-to uniform for me:

I love v-neck tees and THIS ONE has become my favorite. At $19, it's hard to go wrong, but this one went really right. It comes in a ton of colors, too. I'm wearing a medium. It's a perfect, relaxed fit on me. And gives me just enough room to easily breastfeed, which leads me to the scarf!

Light, breathable scarves are great cover ups for while breastfeeding. This one is under $30 (and extremely soft- take a look at the reviews!), so I'm less concerned with it getting messed up. The print pops and makes a statement without being too bold. This scarf may sell out, so you can also get it HERE!

These earrings I'm wearing in the photo are on sale for only $20 right now.  I love the colors for fall and winter. I also saw this pair for $20 that are very similar.  

 

Here are some other cute, affordable ideas:

Have a great Monday! xo  Ashley  

ps- let me know your thoughts! Especially other ideas from nursing moms;) 

My visit to OZ!

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I got to visit and chat with Dr. Oz today. 

I'm excited about this segment. Stay tuned for more details, air date and BTS photos, etc. What I will say is this: I had a great experience. Dr. Oz and his crew are every bit as awesome as you'd expect. He was so lovely about General Hospital, too! All you GH fans will enjoy that we chatted about our mutual admiration for Maurice Bernard.  And guess what soap was filmed on this very set for years? (I'll see if anyone knows before I reveal).

Outfit details are below... I am in love with this sweater. I have been wearing things that are easy to nurse in (also, search: "nursing" in the search box for other attire)---this one is obviously not, but worth the extra trouble because it makes me feel so ladylike with it's ethereal thistle print.  note: I'm wearing a size 2. It's not too tight, even with the nursing going on! I decided it was time to invest in great pair of black, up to date pants. There are also these that I like that are not such an investment, a bit more #budgetfriendly.

 

 

Prints Charming!

I love a good print. Especially one that pops (pun intended- re:baby) and makes me happy. The pink color and palm design make me feel like leaving for a vacation, which I won't be doing any time soon, so it's fun to pretend and let my mind wonder.  (Although, this IS non-maternity, so I'll be wearing it this summer and will definitely bring it on our first vacation post baby). It's longer in the back, which I love to cover my backside. Once I start working out again, I think this would double as a cute coverup over a bathing suit, too.  It come in other colors AND a maxi dress!

I've paired it with white bottoms, a statement necklace (that blends well here and looks amazing against this black and white printed top, too!)

...and some kitchy, incredibly affordable sunglasses for under $18 in both pictures!