A Hair-y Situation

I know there are plenty of women out there that dig a good stache or melt over a bushy beard, but I have never been a girl that appreciated facial hair on men.  The boyfriend doesn't really care about my feelings on the subject. Mostly, I think he likes to use it against me a silent form of torture.  I know I shouldn't care, it's not my face, but it's the face that I have to look at.  This is my reasoning:

  1. Both beards and mustache's serve as a place for you to store remnants of your last meal. If it's not cool to have food stuck in your teeth, it seems even less cool to have it displayed on your chin.
  2. If not properly groomed, they can make even the most educated and classy of gentleman look like his smile might be short a few teeth. 
  3. It's like pubic hair on your face.  Enough said.
  4. They make you look old.
  5. It's only fair.  I shave, wax and pluck my whole body.  I don't mind hair anywhere on a man, except his face.
  6. My skin is sensitive and while the boyfriend is growing out his hair, my face is breakout city. 
Maybe some men just need an outlet.  As women, we get to wear makeup and style our hair with clips and pins.  We have a lot of ways to express ourselves before we get dressed.  Maybe facial hair is a mans version of makeup?  My smokey eye/nude lip is another man's handlebar stache.  Sometimes I feel like doing my makeup is like art.  I suppose some facial hair is artistic, like this one from The Hunger Games movie.
The boyfriend is currently "rocking" the Friendly Mutton Chops.  I told him he looks dumb, which he translates to awesome.  His chin is naked, while the rest of his face is clothed with hair. I will say, we went to the BBQ festival this weekend and he was tame in comparison to some of the facial masterpieces. This is one of those moments I wish I would have taken some creeper photos of the epic looks (and by epic, I mean absolutely ridiculous). 

Don't worry boyfriend, after this weekend you can choose one of these 33 styles to annoy me with. (If you go with The Mighty El Insecto, we might break-up.  Just kidding. Not really.)

 In the end, I have one rule in life that applies to all things, even facial hair.  Go big or go home.  If you can't commit to something like this, shave your face and I'll keep shaving my legs.


Jennifer Lawrence- Next Fashion Icon

A couple years ago, the name Jennifer Lawrence didn't really ring a bell, but now, not only is she an Oscar nominated actress for Winter's Bone and staring in the much awaited Hunger Games series, but she is quickly becoming one to watch on the red carpet.  I noticed this Kentucky native first at the Oscars, she took a page from Scarlett Johansson and rocked a simple yet elegant red gown.

But ever since the Hunger Games premiere tour, Jennifer has been giving us something to talk about.  At the LA premiere, she hit it out of the park!  She rocked this gorgeous gold dress by Prabal Gurung but equally beautiful was her hair, designed by Mark Townsend.  If you want to try it yourself (like I do) follow these directions from Townsend for Glamour.com.  Her makeup was gorg as well!

In Paris, she looked AMAZING, but it's hard to go wrong in Tom Ford!  I love the backless black dress with zipper details.  She went with sleep straight hair as well.  Perfect!

Then, in Berlin, she donned a Marchesa red dress.  I don't know how I feel about this one.  From far away it reminiscent of plastic wrap.  I remember in college there was a party that required you not wear clothes, so people had to get creative.  I'd imagine this is what a fashion designer might get out of layers of plastic wrap.  Upon closer inspection, I really like except I think it should be floor length.  It is a weird length and I don't think it is super flattering from some angles.  However, I still think it is a bold fashion move.

At the New York premiere, Jennifer wore a simple green Calvin Klein dress.  I think this dress is a little simple, but it reminded me that she is only 21.  I like it and I want it myself.  This look was more natural.

I am headed to the midnight premiere tonight with some friends. As Katniss she has a few fashion moments, but more than the fashion, I'm just excited to see how the adapt the series to film. If you haven't read The Hunger Games yet, do yourself a favor and get started!

I Would Make a Terrible Burglar

This is a tale. A cautionary tale, but an entertaining one for sure.

Last night I stayed late at work for a support group.  I made it home around 7pm and locked the front door behind me like I always do.  I used the restroom, took off my shoes and started thinking about how I would spend the next 2.5 hours until the boyfriend came home.  I would bake the stuffed chicken breasts I bought, maybe do an oxygen facial, catch up on some reality TV and perhaps write a blog. But first I needed to feed Cali (the boyfriend's dog).  I went into the laundry room, scooped up some dog food and unlocked the back door.  I shut it behind me and greeted Cali.  We did our usual dance, where she tries to contain her excitement, but also sit still because she knows that is when I will feed her.  I filled up her water and told her to "go ahead". 
I was making my way towards the door thinking about the delicious Mediterranean stuffed chicken breasts that I would make.  I could almost smell them already. They were stuffed with spinach, olives feta  and I would make them with some green beans with sun dried tomatoes.  I had a little internal monologue, "Do I need a salad too?  No, i think the green beans will be... Wait a minute, why won't the door open?" I turned the knob again, it wouldn' budge.  I wriggled it back and forth for a while not believing this was really happening.  I had no shoes, no phone, no keys. "Okay, no big deal," I thought, "I will just go around to the front door or the garage door. One of them has to be open."

I knew they weren't since I know I always lock the front door behind me.  Damn it, why was I so cautious!  After trying both of the other doors, to no avail, I decided to try to be Maguiver.   

I knew I hadn't locked that door. It must not have been unlocked all the way and when I shut the door, it must have popped into the locked position.  Maybe I could pick it.  Of course this is the only day I don't have a bobby pin, a nail file or a credit card on me because, that's how they pick locks in the movies right?  I settled for a broken end of a zip-tie. 

I shoved the piece of plastic into the lock and wriggled it around like I know exactly what I was doing.  I really expected to hear some kind of click or pop and that the knob would turn and I could go about my evening without ever having to tell anyone about what just happened.  Nope. Eventually the zip tie snapped. Okay, time for plan B.
The boys open the windows a lot, maybe one is unlocked and I can pop the screen off and slide it open.  I went to every window I could get to. (Which isn't all of them since I didn't have shoes and a lot of the landscaping is covered with very jagged little rocks.) I methodically popped off every screen and pushed the window for a lengthy amount of time. None budged.  When I got to the front window, I couldn't get the screen back in.  By this time it was fairly dark, so I just set the screen on the ground and tried the kitchen window.  Fail.  None of them opened.  I was trying to work up the pain tolerance to move on to the windows that would require stabbing rocks into my feet, when a helicopter flew overhead with a spotlight.

 "Oh my god, had someone called the cops?  Did they send a chopper to stop me from breaking into my boyfriend's house.  No, that was highly irrational.  But rationally, they are searching for someone in this area, and I am standing in front of the house trying to break in with no shoes.... I should probably go back to the backyard and be quite.  You know, just in case there is a murderer on the loose."

I went back to the backyard and reality set it.  It couldn't be past 8pm, no one would be home until at least 9:30, and what if something came up?  What if he decided to meet a friend for drinks or they got in a car accident. I tried the back door again, "maybe if I lightly turn it, okay no, maybe if I jerk it.  No?"  Nothing.  So I decided to spend some quality time with Cali. 

Cali is a Huskador (husky and lab mix).  She is never short on energy and tonight she was especially excited to have me play in the back yard.  She had been a pain so far, sniffing the screens as I set them down to work on the windows, jumping up on me every time I came back through the gate, barking at me while I sat in the deck chair to formulate a plan. Since I was stuck back here, I might as well play with her.  I threw the Frisbee at least 20 times before she got distracted by a large citrus leaf that had fallen off a neighbors tree.  She had no interest in me, she just threw the leaf and ran around with it and eventually laid down and cuddled with it.  I wish I could have been so easily amused.  It may have made the time go faster.

I have been wanting to do yoga outdoors for a while, so I thought I could give that a try.  I didn't get very far into my first pose, when Cali noticed and came bounding over, to jump on me and check it out.  No, yoga wasn't going to work.  After I gave up, I sat down in the lawn chair again and Cali went back to her leaf.
Okay, I could check my Facebook-no phone. I could drive back to work-no keys. I could do some work- no computer, pen or paper.  I could go to 7-11- no shoes and no money.  It seemed socially irresponsible to ask for money or to tell someone I was jumped and the mugger stole my purse and my shoes.  I could go to a neighbors house, but what would I say? "Hi, I'm not your neighbor, but I am your neighbors girlfriend and I got locked out.  Can I hang out at your house with my dirty feet until he gets home?"  No thanks.  So I just sat. 

I soon realized that I had no idea what time it was.  I know I got home around 7pm, but I had no idea how long I spent attempting to break in or how much time had passed.  I couldn't see a single clock in the house.  It was getting a little chilly and my stomach was starting to grumble.  I needed to do something to keep my busy.  So I started counting.  Slowly.  I counted to 60 five times before I wondered what window I should break and at what point is it acceptable to break a window.  I decided on the laundry room.  It was the smallest that I could probably still fit through, so replacing it would probably be the cheapest, and it is the least important window in the house.  No, I would have to wait much longer before I resorted to that. 

Back to counting. one... two... three... I counted to 60 five more times, then tried to make a list of all the things that were okay about the situation.
1. It was a beautiful night. In fact, the only thing that would have been more favorable would have been if the sun was out so I could at least work on my tan.
2. It wasn't raining.
3. If this had happened just a few days earlier, no one would have been home for days.
4. If I hadn't worked late, I would have been stuck outside for at least 4 hours.
5. I live in Arizona, so even though I was a little chilly, it was still only about 60 degrees. 
6. At least I peed before I fed Cali.
7. Thank goodness I hadn't started the chicken yet. 

Okay, another round of counting.  As I got to number 20 of my tenth round, Cali's ears perked up.  She jumped to her feet, leaving her leaf behind. 

"Oh my gosh, could the boyfriend really be home?"  I ran to the back window, "Yes, signs of life".  I started yelling his name as I rounded the corner and through the gate. He had already made it inside.

Apparently he saw the screen on the ground and jokingly said, "Looks like someone tried to break in."  When he opened the door and didn't find me in the living room, kitchen or bedroom, he thought "Crap, maybe someone did break in and I am going to find Ashley tied up in a corner somewhere."  He seemed somewhat relieved to see me spring through the front door. 

"Where have you been?" he asked. "Outside!  I have been outside for two and a half hours!  I'm starving!" I yelled, my volume mostly because of the excitement of finally being indoors.  He thought it was hilarious.  I knew it was funny.  Today I am laughing about it.
The morale of the story is, always hide a key somewhere, because breaking into your own house is more challenging than you think!


90 Day Challenge and Commitment Phobia

I have never had a commitment phobia when it comes to relationships, book series, sports teams, education, jobs, purchases and the list goes on.  But, when it comes to eating healthy and working out, I just can't seem to pull the trigger.  Over and over, I make plans.  I'm going to eat this this week and I am going to workout that many times, but I never follow through.  Why can't I commit to something that is so good for me and sounds so easy? If I am the only one counting on me, I tend to let myself down and forgive myself quickly. 

It's embarrassing to admit how many times I have tried to start a new healthier lifestyle.  The only way to move forward is to keep your focus ahead, so I decided, I am starting a 90 day challenge.  I've already started envisioning myself (the thinner healthier version of myself) rocking an adorable bikini on the beach like these!
 Both from Victoria Secret 

To keep myself committed to, what I hope will be, a long term relationship with healthy living, I am going to share my struggles and my successes with you all.  I also want to invite you to join me. 
Starting on April 1st (no this is not an April Fools joke) until June 30th (yes, technically that is 91 days), we are going to challenge ourselves to be active and eat healthy.  Yeah, maybe that doesn't sound like much of a challenge to you, but for me, it is easy to ditch the gym for my friends carbs, sugars and fats. Supposedly, if you do something for more than 21 days it becomes a habit! I'm willing to try.

In addition to your regularly scheduled bloggramming, I am going to try new workout fads, share my healthy recipes and share some tips from health and fitness bloggers! 

I hope you'll share with me and I will definitely share with you.  By joining me, you'll get in on some great giveaways.  With no further adieu, it's time to unveil the first giveaway!
 One lucky follower will get $50 to lululemon!  That's right, just follow these simple steps and a $50 gift card could be yours!
1. Become a follower
2.  Comment on any post labeled 90 Day Challenge.
3. Check out lululemon.com to decide how you will spend your winnings.
3. Make multiple comments and you will be entered multiple times!

Doesn't everyone feel better at the gym when they look cute? 
Get pumped, get prepped, throw away the cookies and chips!  The 90 day challenge starts in 10 days!


Moments of Style

I love elegance and style.  One might even call me obsessed with it.  Only one problem, it takes a lot of effort to be elegant and stylish all the time, and most days, I hit snooze too many times. Great style is hard to maintain.  I am constantly in awe (via blogs and my super stylish friends) of women who always look fabulous.

Great hair moments are far more common for me than great style moments. I would never consider myself a style blogger because I am not a fashionista.  Now if a friend says, "Hey Ashley, style me", I can rock that.  I am an excellent friend styler.  But somehow, looking at my own closet, I am perplexed (and exceeding less adventurous since I put on some extra pounds)

Throughout the years, I have had a couple moments of decent style.
However, my best style days don't begin to rival some of these ladies. Check out these blogs if you ever need a little style inspiration!

You might recognise this lovely lady from a couple of the posts above, She and her BFF Liz both contribute to LLL and it is fabulous, they share elegant style, fun DIY projects and of course everything lovely.

Waking Up To This
Marci is actually an old dance friend, with an adorable blog about the three things she loves most, her family, fashion and hair!  Check out her glam daily style and her fantastic hair tips!

Katie, also an AZ native, has some of the most classy and effortless style I have seen.  She also has great makeup and hair tutorials.  He blog is all about style beauty and of course happiness.  If I looked that gorgeous everyday, it'd be hard not to be running on happiness!

Superficial Girls
I was sold when Carlinn showed me how to make French tip two-toned shoes. She has a fun Cape Town style and lots of great outfit ideas to share.
Julia is probably the most style savvy college student I have ever seen.  This girl rocks heels almost every day!  I love how she plays with color and she really makes hippie chic actually chic.  She has elegance and style out the wazoo! I'm noticing a theme, all these ladies have great hair as well!

Oh My Heart
This Canadian has style! I just found her and I already love her quick posts depicting her own personal style, trends and things she loves!  If you live in colder weather than AZ she has got some style help for you!

Maybe when I shed some pounds and buy a new wardrobe, I will become a style blogger too, but for now, I will survive by living fashionably through these ladies and you can too!

AND... Don't forget the giveaway closes tonight at midnight!  If you want a chance at an MK lipgloss EDP duo, click here and leave a comment with your email address!

Have a stylish day!


How I Manifested Riley

When I was a teenager, I had two loves, dance and Riley Smith.  Dance was the way I controlled my emotions and Riley was a heartthrob, know at the time for Motocrossed, one of those fantastic Disney original movies.
Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch this baby.  It will delight you for 90 minutes!

 When I was 15, I spent part of the summer in New York City, trying to become a model. As I prepared for the trip, I spent all my time thinking of one thing.  No, not that I was going get some big modeling contract or dominate my auditions for movie roles. No, I was convinced that I would meet Riley Smith in New York City.  Now, I had no idea if he would be in New York, I was just convinced that he would be and I would meet him.  I didn’t know how it would happen, I just believed that it would.  Once I got on the plane, I was just as excited to get to the city as I was to see how I would meet Riley.  Now please keep in mind, this was the year 2000, The Secret hadn’t been published, but the methods used in the book were pretty much the way I lived.  I just believed good things would happen to me and they always did. (Unfortunately, as I got older, I got skeptical and complacent.  More on that later)
The first shot I actually had taped to a notebook in high school, the second one is more recent

About a week had gone by.  I had been on several castings, done some cold reads and met a few promising agents, but nothing was really panning out.  It was such an incredible time for growth for me.  It was the first time I was really on my own.  My family was back in Arizona and I was being watched by chaperones that were responsible for about 25 kids, ages 13-20.  For the sake of my parents, I won’t tell you about all the things I got away with while I was there.  Let’s just say thank goodness I was an inherently good kid or I could have gotten into a lot of trouble.

The main purpose of my trip was to compete in the IMTA competition.  My modeling and acting instructors told me this was my chance to make it big.  Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher and Josh Duhmel were discovered there- I could be next! I did okay in the competitions and placed for a few things. I was so busy, I didn’t have time to think about Riley. 

One night, I headed to the hotel restaurant to grab dinner with a friend.  As the elevator came to a halt on the restaurant floor, I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach. No, it wasn’t that feeling where your stomach jumps into your throat because the elevator is going too fast. This was it, it was about to happen.  I almost peed my pants I was so excited. (Wouldn’t that have been embarrassing?)  A huge smile grew on my face and I told my friend, “We are going to meet Riley Smith here!”  She knew of my obsession and just kind of laughed at me.  Sure enough, we rounded the corner and there he was.  He was sitting near the bar with his agents and manager.  My friends jaw dropped. I was not fazed. After all, I knew it would happen.  As his managers were getting up, I walked right up to his table and said hello.  He stayed while we ate dinner.  We talked about how he got to where he was in his career, what his plans were in the future, what my plans were (ah, meet you, yeah that’s about all I planned) and New York City.  At the end of dinner I told him there was no way my friends back home would believe me, so he gave me his autograph and posed for a picture.

 I looked everywhere for the picture of him and I together.  I think it is hiding somewhere in my photo box that is being stored right now.  If I find it, I will definitely post it at a later date!

That trip was filled with a lot of cool experiences, including being serenaded by Nickel Creek in a stairwell before they went to their performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  It wasn’t until today that I really thought back on how “lucky” I was. 

I always considered myself to be a “lucky” girl.  Whenever I thought of something I really wanted, I got it.  It just seemed to happen for me.  I have spent a lot of time over the last couple years, thinking of that lucky girl as naïve. Had the grown up version of me run out of luck because I spent it all on frivolous things as an adolescent.  After struggling to find happiness with all this self-inflicted negativity, I decided to read The Secret. 

 I only got a couple chapters in before I realized, that the younger version of me was not naïve at all.  She knew what she wanted, she thanked a higher power in advance for bringing it, she envisioned herself happy and receiving whatever she wanted and she believed whole-heartedly that everything would turn out the way she expected.  She wasn’t naïve at all.  She wasn’t jaded by the negativity the world imposes upon us.  She was happy and she believed she always would be. 


A Day Made Just For You

Apparently, March 10th is International Day of Awesomeness!  Who knew?!  Well I didn't, but my boss informed me this morning that I better make tomorrow AWESOME and sent me this link.

On March 10th, it's your chance to wholeheartedly celebrate how awesome you are and perform and  feats of awesomeness!  How can you celebrate? Just be your AWESOME self! In the words of the days' creator, "everyone needs an excuse to be awesome!"

If you need help coming up with an awesome way to celebrate International Day of Awesomeness, I've created a list of a few Awesome things going on in Phoenix tomorrow.

The Spring Swing Beer Bash
Baseball and craft-beers unite for this celebrations of balls and beers.  For $30 you get 20 beer tasting tickets.
1-6 p.m. at the Venue of Scottsdale, 7117 E. Third Ave.  480-945-5551, flaniganentertainment.com.

The Pretty Reckless at Martini Ranch
That's right, Taylor Momsen of Gossip Girl fame ( you know, Dan's little sister) put acting on hold to be a bad girl rock star.  Well, if nothing else, it might be entertaining!  Tickets are $15-40.
6:30 p.m. at Martini Ranch, 7295 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale. 480-970-0500, statesidepresents.com.

The Ostrich Festival
This is one of those total weird and totally awesome events!  I remember going as a kid, mostly for the carnival prizes, but now I am enticed by the thought of trying a lean ostrich burger.  Entry is pretty cheap at $7-10 but of course that doesn't include any food or drinks. 480-963-4571, ostrichfestival.com.

Arizona Aloha Festival
This is exactly what you think it is...Awesome! there is a marketplace, Hawaiian food (including manapua-steamed pork filled buns) and entertainment including drummers and hula dancers.  The best part is, there is no entry fee! 
The festival runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, March 10-11. Tempe Beach Park, Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.  602-697-1824, azalohafest.org.

How will you be celebrating?


Giveaway: MK Lip Gloss Duo

Alright my lovelies, it's time for my very first giveaway!! I've already told you about how I adore the Michael Kors Very Hollywood lip gloss and EDP duo here.  Now I want to give one lucky follower the chance to get their very own!  All you have to do is become a blog follower and post a comment below (with you email address).  One lucky follower will get their very own MK duo!  Yay!  Trust me, you'll love it! I will randomly select a winner on March 15th!   Good Luck!

Congrats to S Travis. I will be emailing you!

Welcome Back

Welcome to my blogs new home!

For those of you following my Blog from Wordpress, Thank you for following me to my new home on Blogspot!  As you can see, I have been a busy bee designing and importing content!  I plan to fill my new abode with lots of lovely and fabulous things.  Thanks for joining me on this ride that we call life!

Happy reading and see you soon! 


Product Love

Michael Kors Very Hollywood Eau de Parfum Rollerball & Lip Gloss Duo
Michael Kors Very Hollywood Eau de Parfum Rollerball & Lip Gloss Duo
During the holidays, alumni members of my sorority have a party every year. This party includes a cut throat gift exchange. We truly test the bonds of sisterhood by stealing gifts from one another until the best gifts are out (only 2 steals per gift). This year, I was thrilled to end up with the Michael Kors Very Hollywood Eau de Parfum Rollerball and Lip Gloss Duo! I use it almost every day, to either give myself a scent spruce or an a tint to my lips. The color is a perfect nude. If you are looking for something compact, perfect for you clutch or for quick fixes in the car, get yourself one of these! It’s fairly reasonable at $22 and last a long time. Like I said, I use mine almost daily and I have barely made a dent in the perfume and still have a way to go on the lip gloss. Besides, it’s a good excuse to go to the Michael Kors store and look at all the fabulous watches, handbags, clothes and shoes! If you go to the Scottsdale Fashion Square store, ask for Meagan (she’s one of the managers and the sister that brought the duo to the gift exchange). Enjoy a lovely scent and perfectly shaded lips!