Apr 23, 2014

Outfit Post: Blogging, Easter & Warm Weather

dress: persunmall c/o // jacket: target (similar) // booties: franco sarto (similar color)

Guys, I've been a crappy bad blogger. I'm not apologizing for it, since it's my blog and I don't make an income off of it, nor do I think anyone out there has even noticed that my posts have been few and far between the past two weeks. But, I have just not been into it lately. It's not like I have had a secret project in the works  or anything. I've just been uninspired. So I wanted to apologize to all of you wonderful people have commented on my blog - I am going to visit all of you soon, I promise!

In other news, Easter was absolutely wonderful. I got to spend some time with both Eric's family and mine (my family decided that we are getting too big so we were delegated to a pavilion in a park). We had a great time of worship at church and we ate a lot of great food: challah bread, ham, some nearly butchered deviled eggs that I made, cookies, etc. It was a wonderful day. 

I hope everyone is having a good week! Everyone has been in good spirits around here - the weather has been beautiful in Oklahoma lately!

Linking up:

Apr 16, 2014

Outfit: I finally went to a ballet and I wore my new dress.



dress: anthropologie //  belt: target (similar) // shoes: nine west // bracelet: f21 (similar)

You know when you feel really confident in an outfit and really excited to post it (this applies to crazy bloggers like me) and it just doesn't quite translate in pictures? Well, that is this outfit. I loved wearing it, felt great in it, but unfortunately these pictures have a "whomp, whomp" thing going on. I don't really care too much, but you know, I felt like I had to acknowledge it :)

I actually wore this outfit to see a ballet this past weekend. I used to be a ballet dancer (a long time ago; don't expect any secret video performances of me to appear on YouTube) and I love seeing it performed. In the seven years that my husband and I have been dating/married, this was the first time he took me to a ballet. He said that in the past he would look up shows and think, "oh Ashley would love this" but then he would think "but, maaaaan, I don't want to go to a ballet." I think that is pretty hilarious and I don't blame him. Ballet isn't everyone's jam. BUT, we both really enjoyed the performance (set to Haydn's The Seasons for any dorks out there) and it was fun to get dressed up and go CRAYZEEEEE (to be read in a college-hype-up voice which was pretty much the opposite of our evening).

So tell me, have you ever convinced your significant other to take you to a ballet?

Linking up:
The Pleated Poppy
Because Shanna Said So

Apr 11, 2014

Book Review: Matched, The Queen's Lover & The Paris Wife

So, book reviews. Not necessarily everyone's thing. But, I'm a reader. I have been since I was a kid (thanks for all the trips to the library, mom!) and I just love the sense of adventure I get from reading. I usually learn something new from every book I read, which isn't a bad thing either. So, if you're not a reader, you should be, but I'm not judging you :) 

Matched by Allie Condie
I love book series and this one has been quite popular lately so I decided to give it a go. It is an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic literature trend - the small amount of people in the world live in a The Society, which is basically a socialist community where officials control everything, including who you marry. You are "matched" with your mate and expected to live happily ever after with them. There is a love triangle of course, and a brave young heroin who has decided she doesn't want to be controlled.

It is an easy read, but I wasn't entranced. I finished the first book and did not pick up the second. It wasn't that I disliked the book - it's interesting to an extent - but I just wasn't excited about the rest of the story when I finished. It is very simply written, so if you are looking for a quick read, this might
be a good choice.


The Queen's Lover
I picked up this book on the basis that was about the French Revolution, and we went to France earlier this year. I find Marie Antoinette intriguing (I read this book a few years ago - it's very good) and I love historical fiction. Let's just say The Queen's Lover has an emphasis on the historical. It is very much a historical novel, chronicling not only the French Revolution, but also the American War for Independence and the the reigns of three Swedish monarchs. It is written from the perspective of Marie Antoinette's Swedish lover, but the love aspect of the story honestly isn't that interesting, I think only because it is not the focus of the book, despite the title. The book also has some pretty awkward sexual encounters, which I feel like I need to disclose. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but that's mostly because I read it right before traveling to France. I wouldn't recommend it unless you are very intrigued by the French Revolution.

The Paris Wife
I know, I know. Kind of a European thing going on here.

The Paris Wife is a historical fiction novel about Ernest Hemmingway's first marriage. I thought it was very well-written and intriguing. It definitely takes you into a different era - the perspective and mindset of the characters in the post-WWI era is quite interesting and so different than how I see the world. I enjoyed the love story, but knowing how it ends makes you feel kind of liking you're reading on thin ice... treading carefully because you know the tides will turn. I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Hemmingway or the 1920s.

Have you read any of these books? Anyone have any other recommendations for me to add to my reading list?

Apr 9, 2014

Outfit of the Week: Gushing & A Green Skirt

shirt: instyle essentials c/o // skirt: piperlime (similar color) // shoes: urban outfitters // 
earrings: target (similar) // watch: fossil

In college, my roommates and I used to make fun of people we knew who were always gushing on their significant others (especially on social media). "I have the best boyfriend in the world" and "my fiance takes SUCH good care of me" were particularly annoying.  I still find it obnoxious when people constantly do it about their spouses, because it just makes it seem like their is something lacking in the relationship (just tell HIM in person, darn-it!). Anyway, I say all that because what I am thinking about this morning is how great my husband is. He's been working so hard in his MBA program and I am so proud of him. He is a great, generous person and I feel so blessed to be married to him. 

Okaaay, see why that is just so obnoxious!? Too much, too much. 

In other news, I finally wore my green maxi skirt and I loooourve it! It's just so very me. I wore it to work yesterday, and it just made me feel like I was attending some sort of ball. I had to lift the skirt to go up and down stairs, so every time I did, I imagined I was Cindarella or something. That's normal, right?

Linking up:

Apr 7, 2014

Mix It Monday: 4 Ways to Wear Chambray

So, chambray. Every blogger's go-to shirt. This is honestly a little bit of a "duh" post ("I already know how to wear chambray, Ashley!"). I haven't done a chambray round up on the blog before so I figured today would be the perfect day (aka a busy weekend means no new blog photos). Aaaaand I just love my old navy chambray! Let's take a look, shall we?

The Texas Tuxedo 
 (or the Canadian Tuxedo or whatever you want to call it).

necklace: target (similar)
jeans: f21 (similar)
oxfords: dolce vita

With a Pencil Skirt
I love pencil skirts (even though they get wrinkly in a second - look at that skirt!) because they make you look instantly professional. Chambray is a great compliment to a pencil skirt because it's dressy but not too formal.

skirt: target
necklace: ebay (similar)
shoes: nine west

 With a Maxi Skirt
This maxi is kind of slouchy (it's essentially sweat pants material) but the chambray dresses it up a little.

skirt: ny&co (similar)
flats: payless (similar)
necklace: target (similar)

Layered with Pattern
Sometimes bright patterns can be hard to wear, but somehow chambray always works!

cardigan: (similar)
pants: target (similar)
necklace: old navy (similar)
booties: dolce vita (similar)

A big thank you to Lauren for letting me co-host this week's link-up. Link-up with us after the break!

Apr 2, 2014

Outfit of the Week: I'm Blue





pants: target // shirt: old navy (similar) // sweater: banana republic (similar)  // earrings: f21 (similar) // shoes: dolce vita (similar)

I'm not actually sad. I promise. I'm just wearing all blue so I have that horrible song in my head (da ba dee, da ba die). I know what you're probably thinking - that I wear these blue pants way too often. It's true. I wear them a lot. Truthfully, I only have a couple of pairs of dress pants that I like and these are one of them, so they get a lot of wear - especially when it's still a little too cold to wear skirts. BUT, the weather is getting so nice you guys. We're talking 70s. I don't want to make anyone stuck in the snow feel badly, but I am just so happy. I guess I'm the opposite of blue, really.

Linking up:

Mar 31, 2014

February & March 2014 - Where My Dolla Bills Went

Welcome back to another installment of Where my dolla bills went. I write these posts in an effort to be transparent and show that I don't think it's necessary to spend a lot of money on clothes in order to dress cute decently.

 I didn't do a budget post in February because, well, I didn't buy anything in February. And yes, it felt so good. I bought a few things this month, but I mostly used gift cards I had been hoarding. Oh yes, I am a gift card hoarder. I've written about it once... no twice before, so I won't go into it too much except to say I've had the Francesca's card since Christmas and the Anthro card for a year. A year. I'm weird.

1. I finally made it to Anthropologie to spend my gift card and of course I ended up in the sale section. This skirt was $19.99, which is pretty much insane for Anthro. It was originally $158 (what?) so it pretty much forced me to buy it.

2. I had a gift card to Francesca's that I got from taking back a gift I got for Christmas. I've never shopped there before (I feel like most of the stuff is a little young for me) but I was excited to spend my free money. I got earrings really similar to these that I love. They were $12, but, you know, free money.

3. I am a dress person. I love skirts, and dresses are just so easy to wear (one piece and you're done!). I fell in love with this pretty navy fit-and-flare dress. It fits really well and I don't own a navy dress so it felt like a good purchase. It is on sale for $69.95, but I used my giftcard.

4. And the final Francesca's purchase: this maxi dress. I mentioned on Friday that I am loving cutout dresses (the kind that are not too flashy) and I found this pretty dress on Sunday, so it was meant to be. I am kind of obsessed with maxis (again, that whole dress - one piece thing) and I am so excited for it to get warm so I can wear them again! I will probably wear it to work this summer (with a cardigan of course!) so I feel like I will get a lot of wear out of it.

Total: $149.94
Total spent from budget: $0 (victory!)

Linking up with other budgeting bloggers.

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