Friday, March 29, 2013

Put Some Pep In That Step

~Penny Loafers from Boden~

Happy Friday! True to our nature, my mom and I have both picked up new spring kicks recently and the colors were so bright and festive for this up coming Easter weekend I just had to share. Anytime one of us purchases a new item, it's like an unspoken rule that we have to show the other to get an opinion or simply a confirmation of how darn cute the item truly is. My mom just snagged the gorgeous sky blue loafers from Boden and also the coral sandals from Aldo, with my approval given on both accounts. I discovered the neon gems on a quick trip to Target (I was supposed to run in to buy tennis balls, but that darn store gets me every time and I left with shoes) and discovered that there is almost an exact pair at Nordstroms for $50 more buckaroos, therefor causing my joy over my new score to increase even more! 

I never had a sister, but my mom is one of my best friends and I'm so thankful we share similar interests and tastes in just about everything; it makes for a really grand time no matter what we do!

I'm so looking forward to spending some time outdoors this weekend, wearing a Lilly for Easter Sunday, and attending our church service at the civic center. Speaking of which, if any of you are in the Tallahassee area and looking for a place to go for Easter, please join City Church at 11 am this Sunday; it's very contemporary and going to be incredible (seriously, you dont want to miss this) and I'd love for you to visit!! Thankful that my Savior rose from the dead and look forward to celebrating that truth with my church family this weekend!

~Aldo Sandals~

~Target Sandals~

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Killer Cookies

Sweets in general are a weakness of mine, but a chocolate chip cookie with a slight twist is just irresistible. A great characteristic of this classic treat is that typically most people have the correct ingredients to bake them without making a trip to the grocery store. That fact alone, paired with the taste of a warm, chocolate chip filled bite make these a great and easy go to dessert when you get invited somewhere spur of the moment. That exact scenario happened to me the other day and as I was sitting on the couch waiting for MAC to arrive home so we could head to our friends, a light bulb went off and I thought how simple it would be to whip up a batch of my mom's famous Killer Cookies; I always strive to contribute something when friends invite us over, and a home made dessert is an option you just can't go wrong with.

These little mounds of ooooey gooooey goodness are "killer", in a delectably scrumptious way, and I promise you'll enjoy every last bite of them.

Killer Cookies

1 cup margerine or butter
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups ground oatmeal (ground up to flour-like feel)
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Beat well. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add to butter mixture. Stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips, and nuts.
Bake @ 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or till done.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bookworm Wednesday

~Mr.Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, found on Amazon~

After debating between two very different novels for our book club last week, we decided to go with the slightly less formidable option, Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. I ordered my copy off of Amazon (as has become customary for me) Saturday night, and was pleasantly surprised to have it arrive in my mailbox yesterday; and for a used book, it was in superb condition. Knowing I've mentioned this before, I just can't reiterate enough how wonderful Amazon is. Though I love browsing a bookstore, my tactic has changed to searching for books at the store and then seeking them out on Amazon for a steal; plus, I can normally find hardbacks in everything, which isn't always the case in a store. Go ahead, call me maybe crazy book lady because I know you're thinking, "Seriously, she has an entire schemed plan for how she searches for and purchases her books?". What can I say, I enjoy the store experience, but want the most bang for my buck folks!

Confession: My name is Ashley and I'm a "book-a-holic". 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Striped Transition

Top: Ann Taylor Loft, Bubble Necklace: Baublebar, Purse: Target, Sunglasses: Ann Taylor Loft, Shoes: Banana Republic (similar)

Though today is a mere high of 55, the weather is bound to take a turn for more permanent warmth. For those days that still have a slight chill to them, a lightweight, flowy blouse with vibrant pops of color is my typical "go to" choice and a wonderful transition piece. Blouses have become a staple in my wardrobe and always something I can count on to add instant sophistication to an outfit, without being complicated and fussy. What girl doesn't appreciate and relish an outfit that encompasses simplicity and chic-ness at the same time?! A few statement accessories, swipe of gloss and voila, you're ready to embrace the day.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend "Goings On"

~Love my L.L Bean"Boat and Tote" bag, but I'm in need of a monogram upgrade with my married initials~

As of yesterday morning, I had resigned to never seeing the sun again, but a miracle occurred, the floodgates ceased, and I spent the entire day soaking up the rays (which consequently has left the Mr.  and I red as lobsters). Though I enjoyed the latter part of the weekend that was spent indoors with my family, watching tv (almost always March Madness), reading and celebrating my brothers birthday, a day spent basking in the sunlight was just what I needed; in my opinion, the sun is medicine for the soul! Laying poolside and reading for a bit, playing tennis, and having the first cookout of the season is how we chose to spend yesterday and it was just heavenly. I'm somewhat in shock at the drastic weather change from yesterday to today (it went from 80's to now 40's), but at least my day off involved the outdoors and my sunburn will keep me warm. Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

~My friend baked a batch of delicious brownies filled with love~

~Shish kabobs and grilled pineapple, yes please~

~Tennis lessons from MAC~

Friday, March 22, 2013

Strikin' My Fancy

~Can't wait to sport this bright, fun blouse with some white skinny jeans when the weather warms up...I found this at Ally B in Thomasville and absolutely loved their store and selection!~

Even though yesterday was the first day of spring and it doesn't seem like it yet with this lingering, chilly, overcast weather, I'm still excited because one, it's Friday, and two, my brother is in town, we have friends coming to visit and some fun things planned for the weekend! Here is a smorgasbord of pictures that I found on my phone that are making me smile and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

~How fun is that sheer, neon back??~

~My brother Tyler painted this marsh scene of my parents lot at Hampton Island for my mom recently. She just hung it up to get an idea for how it would look before she framed it, but isn't just gorgeous?!~ 

~Had a lunch date with these two earlier in the them~

Thursday, March 21, 2013


~How cute is my jeans~

Remember last Friday how I told you my mom found the perfect pair of mint jeans?? Well, we had a lunch date recently and she showed up rocking this cute outfit so I asked her nicely forced her to take a few pictures to show y'all (taking pictures at the correct time of day and also with a real camera are high on the agenda for the next fashion post). 

I've always admired my moms innate sense of style; she has such an eye for timeless classics, but yet can also have fun with trends, knowing how to wear them in a chic, age appropriate way. I recognized this at a young age so growing up I was constantly in her closet attempting to borrow items, and though sometimes it caused a few spats (what can I say), for the most part, we enjoyed sharing clothing, accessories and advice. Now that I live just around the corner from her, we continue to share clothing, ask each others opinion on what to wear/not to wear, and have many a shopping dates. Exploring the fashion world has always been a fun "hobby" for my mom and I to partake in together so I guess the old saying "like mother, like daughter" rings true with us!

~Bracelet, Nail Polish is Essie "Mint Candy Apple"~

~Necklace (it's on sale!)~

~Outside on the deck with Bear~

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bookworm Wednesday

It's time for me to choose another book for book club and I'm stuck between two! Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore has been on my must read list for awhile and sounds interesting with a slightly mysterious and adventurous edge to it. The Dinner on the other hand is something I saw yesterday at the bookstore that really piqued my curiosity. Apparently it's the Gone Girl of European Literature and is somewhat dark and disturbing, but not gruesome (that's comforting)...for a girl who doesn't "do" scary, this somehow has me intrigued and I can't make up my mind if I should dare to read it or not even touch it with a ten foot pole?! I've read reviews on both, and they each have right at 4 stars, with Mr. Penumbra having double the reviews. Seeing that I can't make my mind up, has anyone read either and could make a suggestion for me?? Or for all my friends that are in the book club, what would your choice be...that's your assignment today :)! Ahhhhh, decisions decisions!

Happy Bookworm Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beach Dreamin'

Rain, rain go away come again another day never! Ok maybe not never (I'm aware that rain is a good thing, thank you Luke Bryan) I'm just reallyyyy over the consistency of it at the moment and am dreaming of days that involve a bathing suit, coconut sunscreen, toes in the sand, gentle breezes, an ice cold drink, sunnies, a fascinating book I can get lost in for hours, and some beachy tunes crooning away at me as I bask in the sunshine and clear, blue skies. I'm not asking for much am I? This antsy/hurry on up and get here spring attitude is typical for me, but is slightly worse at the moment due to having booked the first, of hopefully many, beach trips yesterday and also because of all the great "summer-ish" tunes on country radio right now. Here's a list of my faves that are getting me all sorts of giddy for spring and summer!

1. Brad Paisley "Summer with You"
2. Darius Rucker "Wagon Wheel" (I will never tire of this one)
3. Lady A "Downtown"
4. Kenny Chesney "Pirate Flag" 
5. Jason Aldean "1994"
6. Jake Owen "Anywhere with You"
7. Florida Georgia Line "Shine On"
8. Blake Shelton "Sure Be Cool If You Did"
9. Luke Bryan's entire Spring Break CD
10. Taylor Swift "22" (Windows down, song blaring...obsessed.)

Any songs y'all are loving at the moment? Happy Tuesday, and here's a little encouragement I read this morning to get your day started off on the right foot!

"Exert your will to trust Me in all circumstances. Don't let your need to understand distract you from My Presence. I will equip you to get through this day victoriously, as you live in deep dependence on Me. Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself; don't get tangled up in worry-webs. Trust Me one day at a time."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend "Goings On"

~MAC and I at dinner with his parents~

This weekend went by quite fast, as do most fun, relaxing weekends, but we enjoyed every minute of having my in laws come visit. Saturday included a trip over to Thomasville for a little window shopping (I got the cutest top that I'll share this week) and dinner at Jonah's Fish and Grits followed by dessert and coffee at my parents (my mom baked a delicious coffee cake and I'll share the recipe this week as well). Due to the weather being extremely fickle, our Sunday outdoor activities (golf, pool day, running) turned into cleaning, reading, watching tv, and baking apple bread; yes I know it's March, but MAC had a plethora of apples at the office and someone requested the bread I made in the fall, so I obliged and whipped up two loaves to munch on during this (hopefully last) dreary, rainy week. #whynot #longestsentenceever

Happy Monday folks!

~Dining al fresco at Jonah's~

~Loved the gingham china at Relish and Dash, especially the creamer dish shaped like a cow~

~Apple Bread in March~

Friday, March 15, 2013

Strikin' My Fancy- Mint Jeans

~Picture courtesy of Pinterest~

I am getting all sorts of giddy about the season changing to Spring, which in turn allows me the comfort of wearing my Lilly's, shorts, sandals, swimsuits, and a smorgasbord board of bright, fun colors. A particular color that I have had my eye on and that I don't currently own is mint, and more specifically, mint colored jeans. Totally. In. Love. The color is so subtle, but yet such a killer feminine  shade of green that could be styled a variety of ways with a broad selection of colors. Apparently my mom discovered the perfect pair last night, but I'll have to see it for my own eyes before I share. In the mean time, I'll be ogling over the chic outfit combos in this inspiration pic from Pinterest and preparing our humble abode for a visit from the in-laws! Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the beautiful weather coming our way, and keep your eyes peeled for a great pair of "minties" for me!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Emerald Green

~Tory Burch Robinson Crossbody~

In honor of St.Patricks Day and Pantone releasing their new "it" color of the year (Emerald Green), I was recently asked by work to corral 3 different items I fancied at the moment that contained an emerald hue or a shade of green. What a fun, mini project, no??!! I got to work and found a slew of spectacular pieces, but narrowed it down to these gems. I'm currently into small crossbody style purses, big statement necklaces, and anything that has the ability to make snail mail cute and chic, hence my choice selection for this project. Hop on over to the Coton Colors Blog for a more in depth look at what I chose and also view product selected by other members of the Coton Colors team!

Happy Thursday y'all!

~Baublebar Emerald Galaxy Bib Necklace~

~Ashley Brooke Designs "You've got (fancy) mail" Stamps~

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Club

Our first book club was last night and it was quite fun getting my friends together to enjoy each others company and discuss The Paris Wife. I made tea and "attempted" beignets to correlate with the French theme of the book, but I must admit that though they look nice and tasty, they didn't turn out quite as well as I hoped. My MIL makes these and told me a few simple steps that I coupled with an online recipe, and somehow I just didn't get it quite right; not sure if I had the oil too hot or the wrong kind of dough, but it was smoky when my guests arrived and I had no treats for them...what kind of first time book club hostess am I?? At least the beignets look appealing on my new Green Stitch Platter from Coton Colors; this is my new favorite pattern from the Swap Tabletop Collection that was recently introduced and is so great for entertaining!

For those of you that haven't read The Paris Wife, it is an interesting and well written book that I suggest you read. It was neat to learn about the life of Ernest Hemingway, crazy as it was, and my friends new a few more facts than I that I enjoyed hearing about. Though this book and the last one I read, Shadow of the Wind, were great novels, both had slightly dark, depressing undertones that my mind needs a hiatus from so who better to lighten up my book world with some humor, romance and a good ol' southern town story than Mary Kay Andrews. 

Any suggestions for our next book club book?? Happy Wednesday y'all! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Waiting, Trusting, Hoping

~We have experienced some killer sunsets recently~

"Waiting, trusting, and hoping are intricately connected, like golden strands interwoven to form a strong chain. Trusting is the central strand because it is the response from My children that I desire the most. Waiting and hoping embellish the central strand and strengthen the chain that connects you to Me. Waiting for Me to work, with your eyes on Me, is evidence that you really do trust Me. If you mouth the words 'I trust You' while anxiously trying to make things go your way, your words ring hollow. Hoping is future directed, connecting you to your inheritance in heaven. However, the benefits of hope fall fully on you in the present. 
Because you are mine, you don't just pass time in your waiting. You can wait expectantly, in hopeful trust. Keep your 'antennae' out to pick up even the faintest glimmer of My Presence."

Hope this helps to encourage you as you begin your day!

P.S. On a completely different note, were y'all surprised at the outcome of The Bachelor last night?? This has been one of the first seasons where literally everything I guessed and thought was wrong! Sean threw me for a loop because I never saw his extreme connection with Catherine like I saw it with other women and I felt like she came out of nowhere! The Bachelor really tricked me with playing up that letter, causing me to think it was a breakup note and that Sean was going to leave empty handed! Sheesh they had me on the edge of my seat (guess that's the point)!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Friends and Football

~Fireside at Z Bardhis~

As hard as its been to lose that hour of sleep, I'm ecstatic that we now have much longer days to enjoy being outside and enjoy being outside we sure did this past weekend. On Friday I was feeling a tad under the weather (darn Florida allergies), so MAC and I met my parents after work for a leisurely dinner next to a warm fire (probably the last we'll have for a good while) with a glass of wine and delicious pizza; not much that good company, great food and a glass of wine won't cure!

Saturday had us taking a mini road trip to MAC's old stomping grounds, Valdosta State, for the KD Shamrock flag football tournament. Though the mighty "Lazer Cats" didn't make it to the championship game, for a group of "old men" (as everyone seemed to be calling them, though most just graduated or have only been out a few years), they played pretty darn good and us wives cheered pretty darn hard (I may or may not have been given "looks" from other crowd goers for cheering a little too much, but hey, if anyone I care about is playing something, you better believe I'll be hollering out there with the best of them)! This was the first weekend since last fall that the weather has been just gorgeous and I was thrilled to be able to put on a pair of shorts and sandals, and soak in the sun watching football with some sweet, dear friends. 

Hope everyone had a pleasant weekend outside enjoying the beautiful weather, and for all you girls I saw this weekend, I had the best time with you cheering on (and coaching ha) our husbands and can't wait for another re-union that needs to occur sometime in the very near future (oh and good luck if you happen to be taking care of a sore zombie husband this week). Happy Monday y'all!

~Nice and sweaty after the first game~

~Sweet friends; miss everyone already~


Friday, March 8, 2013

Mr. Bear

~This is Bear patrolling the backyard from atop his crate for squirrels and birds, his favorite past time~

Bear hasn't made an appearance in quite some time, so today's post is dedicated to his adorable, precious, sweet, angelic, cute as a button, hairy self. It's so crazy how much you love these furry little creatures (my dad would object to my use of the word love right here) and though Bear can be a rascal, he's still the best pup ever and is constantly melting our hearts with his faces and loving personality. His most recent rascally escapade involved him drinking the last half of my moms coffee she left on a table, slurping it all over her coffee table books, and then proceeding on to chewing up some toothpaste that was left on the stairs so he could get rid of his rank coffee breath. I think my mom about killed him, but he returned back to her good graces (probably throwing her his best "I'm sorry mom" face from his crate...he's a pro at this) and I started receiving my daily dose of Bear pictures again.

Here's to mans best friend always making you smile and it finally being Friday again! Happy weekend y'all! 

~"I'm sorry mom, please forgive me, pretty, pretty palease??"

~Snug as a bug in a rug~

~Bear likes to pose for the camera (just trying to be like his mom)~

~Close-up...he stole the camera and took a selfie ;)~

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Strikin' My Fancy

~My thoughtful mom bought me this cute as pie travel mug at the Lilly Pulitzer garden party last week; I am loving the sturdiness of this new style Lifeguard Press is offering and the built in sleeve is wonderful~

Happy Thursday! Here are a few items that I picked up this week and are strikin' my fancy at the moment! Hope y'all have a great day!

~One of my best friends is extremely makeup savvy and she loves this eyeliner by Elf; it's inexpensive, found at Target, and is my new go to liner (thanks JMH)~

~I finally found a frame for my coloring project at Target (guess this is my new favorite store); simple and so cute right?!~