Monday, November 15, 2010

headband giveaway for facebook fans

I am almost at 100 fans on my facebook fan page! When I get to 100, I will give away a free headband! All you have to do to enter is suggest my shop to your friends, then comment on the contest post!
fan page

Enter Now!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

skipping the guilt trip and moving on to new things!

I know I haven't posted in  months. I know. I'm not going to apologize, I know I'm a bad blogger. Enough said.
Whew! That's out of the way! A LOT has happened in these 5 months. **long blog post ahead**
We had an eventful summer....
 My husband and I took an intensive Arabic class together. I was pretty intense, I must say, but wonderful. It literally took up every single weekday. Speaking Arabic is one of my goals in life, so it was totally worth it! We visited family, my 2 younger sisters spent the summer with us. We went on an anniversary trip. I went to Alaska for the first time to visit my husbands grandparents. Alaska is Ez's home state, and it is just beautiful.
On to fall...My husbands wonderful grandfather passed away on October 10th. He was a wonderful man i was blessed to know. I'm so thankful for what he passed on to my husband and honored to be in his family.
Then in the same week my mothers cousin passed away.
A week after that my whole family celebrated my grandparents 50th anniversary with a huge party.
Life goes on so fast. Life is so beautiful. That's all I can say about it. It's full of pain, happiness, sadness, melancholy, joy, every emotion you can experience and every experience makes you into a person of character.

in my own life, i have made a huge decision. For the past few years I have been interested in interior design. Whenever anyone would ask me what I wanted to do I would tell them I "might" go to school for interior design. It was mostly something to say to make myself feel better about not being in school or having a "career" but one day I thought, " why don't I stop saying it and do it? So, I decided to do it! Rather than take out icky student loans I decided I wanted to raise all the money for it. And for that I move on the the next new thing.......
I opened an etsy shop! 

Yes maam, I am now the owner of an etsy shop, recycled red!! I am so excited about it! It's been open for about a month now, I haven't had any sales yet, but I do have a facebook page with quite a few fans, some shot favoriters, and an item of mine was featured in someones treasury! 
So please visit my shop, and help me spread the word!
Everything in my shop is made from recycled materials. Old clothes, or fabric purchased at thrift stores, broken vintage jewelry, ribbon bits, and other odds n ends. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Natural Beauty

Recently, I have become something of an advocate for "natural beauty" I suppose I always have been, what with not wearing makeup and all. I am a big fan of natural hair, letting it go wild and free with no hairspray and heat styling.
 Today I'm talking about something different. I'm talking about all the junk in cosmetics today. There are plenty of articles out there saying that this is bad and that is bad, and this is good for you-wait actually it's not. I don't know what is true, I'm not a chemist or an herbalist and I don't claim to have a wealth of information and knowledge. But I can break free of the confusion and take control by making my own cosmetics! That's right- I have been making my own facial cleansers, masks and hair treatments! I know what is going into my products, and with sensitive skin and living on a budget, it's not hurting me at all! In fact, it's a lot of fun! My husband isn't too crazy about me using vinegar on my face because of the smell, and I had to get used to it myself, but once he saw how soft it made my skin, he appreciated it! The most fun is that I get to use essential oils to make it smell however I want!
There are a ton of websites with recipes and articles, and some things sound a little made up and out there and new agey, but most things can be made with stuff I already had in my pantry!
There are some things I can't use on my skin, like honey and avocado, but I know they are plenty good to use on skin and hair If you should so desire and are not cursed with alligator skin.

Here is a list of what I have been doing so far:

slightly cooked oatmeal rubbed on my face for about 15 minutes as an exfoliating mask, your skin will look positively radiant!

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner:
bring 1 cup water to a boil, add 1 tbsp crushed mint and let steep 20 minutes. Strain and put in a jar with 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and a couple drops of essential oils (I use lavender! soo amazing).
Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Use after washing your face, dab on with a cotton ball and rinse. It does wonders for you skin! Apparently lavender oil is a disinfectant.
Do make sure you are using real, pure essential oils though!

1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk whisked together, I put this on my face for 30 minutes if I get acne and it has gotten rid of it for me! I know it sounds a little gross, and you can't move your face for the whole time, but you feel really good afterwards!

For my hair, once every couple weeks I mix baking soda with some conditioner and wash my hair with it (I no longer use shampoo) then rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar.
It really cleanses and removes buildup, but you need to use vinegar afterwards to restore the pH in your hair.

My next grocery trip I am going to buy carrot juice and mix it with bananas and pineapple, I've heard it does amazing things for your skin.
 I am also going to try straight aloe vera gel for my hair. I would love to make all my own hair products! If I could make my own face cream, I would lol
 Am I going a little granola? Maybe... But I like knowing what is going on my skin. I know what goes into my food because I make all my food fresh, why shouldn't I do the same for my skin? My goal is to save money and know what I am putting on myself, and break free from harmful chemicals in cosmetics today.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A living room worth living in

I am finally sharing the living room update with you all! I know, I know...
Ok here goes:
first the bookshelf. Remember when it was in the dining room and it looked like this
Well, that was fine for the dining room, but we moved it into the living room and now it looks like this:

I love it so much! It's dictionary pages! on  a bookshelf! How great is that?
I don't have any pictures of what it looked like before, but it looks like this now:

and I have plans for that empty wall. 
 The desk used to be here, but we got rid of a *kindofugly* bookshelf, moved the desk,  moved the couch, turned a filing cabinet into a nightstand and moved the existing nightstand by the door, it all looks so much nicer! And more open! More room for living...yay!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

yellow tuesday

Spring is slow in coming this year, and I find myself craving anything bright and sunny to brighten up the grayness around me.
I'm not usually a yellow person, but something about seeing something yellow makes me smile, like it must be saturated with sunshine.
 I thought I'd share photos of yellowness I found around the interweb. enjoy and be happy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

gray day's aren't all bad

Today was really gray and cold. Ezra worked and I had the day off. I really had no drive to do anything.
We've both had colds all week, and the apartment was a mess, and there was laundry to fold, but I didn't feel like doing anything! Even though we are going on a date tonight, it is soo far away!
 I put on some 50's doo wop music, which usually gives me a little energy boost, and it helped a little, I got through cleaning. Then I ate a sandwich, and had to have one of those cute cupcakes Ez brought home last night from work, They were seriously so cute! but eating it must have sent me over the edge cause I was nauseas right after for a while. I moped around and grumbled for a while, then told myself I had to do something constructive! So I made this collage

  It's something I started a while ago then dropped when my creative juices ran on empty for a while. wow. I feel soo much better! I want to create and design and make and craft and whatever you want to call it! I feel.... Well,  I don't know what I feel, but not nauseas! Funny how something little can brighten your day. How finally doing that thing you have been putting off can give you such renewed energy! 

 Sometimes you have to force yourself to do something. To pick up something you left off, or start something you've been wanting to do. Or spend some time talking to Jesus. You know you you like doing it, you know it will feel good and be good for you, but for whatever reason you are hesitant. But you have to say to yourself  "after you do this, you will feel all sunshiny inside! You will probably get out of that funk! You will feel good afterwards!" Yep, sometimes talking to yourself is ok :)

ps that poem on the collage is"trees" by Joyce Kilmer. looove it!
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

kitchen gadget crushes

I just have to share some kitchen gadgets I've been daydreaming about lately. I cook, but I want to love cooking. I find myself drawn to kitchen gadgets in stores, I probably get that from my mom. Some are cool, but some seem like a waste of money as I think "I could just do that with a butter knife.." BUT these adorable gadgets are perfectly useful would make anyone passionate about cooking!

measuring spoons from anthropologie

whale cutting board
this was a Urban Outfitters, but I can't find it on their website

cutest measuring cups ever!

i LOVE this butter dish!
also from anthropologie

tea towels make me smile :)
Rachel Ray "lil huggers"
OK- I think I like the name and the color more than the item itself...
lil huggers! so fun to say!

gadgets I'm wanting right now: a cupcake holder for taking snacks to sunday school
cake decorating kit
pastry brush
kitchen goody I just bought today: deep dish pizza pan!!

How can I control my life when I can't control my hair?

I recently stumbled on this website, It's all for curly people! While there, I read about a book called Curly Girl about maintaining curly hair. The method is referred to as the "no-poo" method, meaning "no shampoo." Now I know what you're thinking...."eww gross! no shampoo?! really, Ashley?" That's exactly what you're thinking, don't lie!

Let me rewind and say that I have had curly hair for most of my life, and I never really knew how to maintain it. Most people don't have curly hair, or don't have hair like mine, so they don't know that proper way to take care of it. I spent my life brushing with the wrong brush, using too many styling tools, washing my hair every day because it was frizzy the next day, touching it too much, and using the wrong styling products. Over the last couple years, I've learned to appreciate my hair and found that if you love your hair, it will love you back!
I've stopped washing my hair every day, threw away anything that resembled a brush, bought a wide-toothed comb, discovered leave in conditioner, and have developed a routine that works for us (me and my hair). I try to stay away from heating products because I feel that they destroy hair, though I have a straightener I use maybe once every 2 months. It is just very hard to keep frizz down and my hair just goes wherever it wants every day. It's crazy unruly!

Anyway, the curly girl method is built on the idea that shampoos contain sulphates and silicones that rob hair of moisture (something curly hair doesn't have a lot of), and that curly hair is so porous that shampoo doesn't really rinse out. So, instead, you're supposed to cut out shampoo entirely and only use conditioner the way you would shampoo. My kind of hair can go for a few day's without being washed anyway, it's actually better for it.

So, I gave my hair a final washing with a sulphate-free shampoo, as per the instructions, and a couple days later I washed with just conditioner. I didn't notice much of a difference, and I know it will take a few weeks for my hair to get used to it. What I did notice is that my hair kind of felt the way it does when I don't rinse conditioner out all the way, like there's a greasy build up. Maybe I'm not supposed to use a leave in conditioner? Is it conditioner overkill? I know it will take a while to find what works for me. I feel really good about the changes I'm making in this area :) I hope it works out well for me!

Let me just close by saying that I'm not vain about my looks or anything, I don't want anyone to think that. I just feel like I have something about me that is different from a lot of people, and I have to maintain that the best I can. Also I want to look good. Also this is my blog!

ok that was mean-sounding, sorry!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

sweet things

I think I got a little bored with blogging for a while. I had to step back and think of what this blog means to me. The very title puts pressure on me to write every day, when I actually created this blog to post things I made. More of a way to catalog things for myself than to share the every day of my oh so exciting life with friends and family. It's not that I don't have time, I have plenty of that. I was just going through a little funk, and it was all a little personal, but it's all sorted out now. I'm ready to start afresh and do things with myself. Some "just Ashley" things that I've been wanting to do.
So, to ease myself back into blogging, I'm going to make it easy on myself and share some little joys I find are sweet and meaningful to me (in no particular order....)

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

How my husband and I never eat dinner at the table, we eat in bed or on the couch while watching a movie or an episode of something.

citrus-scented things

sleeping in a cute nightie

those times when everything is clean and done and you can just lie back and read a book

hot chocolate even in the summer

the tea set my husband got me

how the bus stop is literally right in front of my apartment and right outside my work

playing a song on repeat all day

dark chocolate

getting something I've secretly always wanted

soft pinks

fog-makes me think of Humphrey Bogart

dressing like a classic movie star

flower wreathes



fresh food

So, what about you? What little joys make you feel good? do share!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here I am again.....

This last week I spent in California at my old school for Landmark conference. It was so great to see my sister in law Shannon and old roommate/best friend KristaJoy, and all my other friends. I stayed in my old room, sharing my roommates bed, which was quite an experience. Everything was smaller than I remember! My husband had to stay behind because of school and work, so I was able to have a little vacation on my own. Now I know other wives like being away from their husbands for a week, but I'm not one of those people.

Being back at that school was such a strange experience. I don't regret leaving school, and I thought it would just be a nice little trip (which it was, don't get me wrong), but as I began to look around and see how everyone had changed without me, and how I wasn't a part of people's everyday lives anymore, I got this overwhelming feeling I couldn't put a name to. I tried to explain it to my friend, and to my husband, but I couldn't. All I could say over and over was "It's so weird being here again" to which they would just shrug and say something like "yeah, I bet" I didn't really expect them to understand how I felt. I didn't even know how I felt. Not until I ran into my aunt at the Ladies day service, and I said the usual "It's weird being back here" and she understood right away how I felt. I was out of place there. I was married and moved away, and everyone treated me differently. Not in a bad way, my friends were still my friends. I just wasn't part of anything anymore. There were new students and new jokes and new restaurants, and all I had were the old memories. Everyone had grown up a little bit more, they are doing amazing things since I last saw them. It was like seeing a child you haven't seen in a long time, and noticing that he's so much taller and older looking than the last time you saw him. You notice because you haven't been watching the growing process, but his parent's might now be as keenly aware. It was just like that, only not physical, something you could feel rather than see.
Anyway, after I realized I wasn't alone in feeling this way, I felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I began to enjoy myself more.
Aside from my personal moment of drama, I had a great time. My sister in law took me to a spa which was really fun. And we went to San Francisco to my favorite restaurant, Chutney! I miss my sister and sister friend KristaJoy! I feel so blessed that I was able to see them all!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


My shelving units are finally put together! I was freaking out on Monday
because we got a notice for our annual inspection, and the whole apartment looked like this :

So, we got to work, and after a couple hours and some sweat (no blood, almost tears) the dining room looked like this:

And the living room looked like this..... (sorry, this picture is a lil blurry....)

Which I will be doing something about today.

I'm utterly delighted! It looks so great, every time I walk in there I get so excited I squeak with joy. Ok not really (out loud), but I am very happy with it. It's not fully completed, I don't have everything arranged just the way I want it yet. I also discovered that we don't have enough stuff to fill every shelf, which made my husband happy because it gives him an excuse to but more books. Men... I'm happy to have finally done! Now on to the living room- putting the coffee table together, dismantling the desk, getting rid of the mis-matched brown shelf, decluttering some more.
ps- the tears were because my husband was a little hammer happy trying to get the pegs in, and he banged it a little in a couple places. Luckily they aren't visible. I finally got the idea to put a blanked over the area to be hammered, and that kept everything pretty safe. So if you are ever putting together stubborn ikea furniture, keep the blanket trick in mind!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

woo hoo!

Tomorrow I will show you pictures of my new dining room!
Yes, that's right....we finally got it all up! We actually did it Monday, but we had to get it done because we were having our annual apartment inspections this week (today) and our apartment looked like an isolated natural disaster had happened, so we had to work like mad to get it all put together and put everything on it and do major cleaning. But i will tell you, it looks fantastic!
I'm so excited!

do you ever....

listen to a song and find yourself listening to that song for the rest of the week or month? as i was cleaning the other day i found and listened to a carpenter's album, and now my song of the week is "rainy days and mondays." i know it's a tad depressing, but i love it because of this line:

Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do

Run and find the one who loves me.

What I feel has come and gone before

No need to talk it out

We know what it's all about

so true... do you ever feel that way? this happens to me from time to time, i just feel bleh for no reason. nothing is really wrong, i just feel out of place, lost, bored.

whenever that feeling comes over me like a wave i just have to say to my husband "i'm feeling melancholy." he knows exactly how i feel. he gives me a hug and lets me cry if i need to. the only thing i can do is run and find the one who loves me. we don't need to say anything, we know what it's all about.

today was one of those days. but it wasn't rainy, and it's not monday... just one of those days.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

i wish....

....i could do this.
by Yuken Teruya via design*sponge

Thursday, January 14, 2010

bathroom window makeover, and a lampshade

Today I went crafty crazy in the bedroom/bathroom.

I have been wanting to do a candlescape in the bathroom for a while, and I finally found some brown candles I like (2$ at tjmaxx!). Everything else I had on hand, glass tray, beads, other candle and soap dish (yes, it can be used for candles!).

I then decided the window needed something, and remembered a skirt I had that was a little small on me. It had brown embroidery along the botton (my bathroon is brown & cream) so I cut it up and made it into a curtain! I had a curtain rod leftover from my college dorm I just knew I would use someday, guess I was right! The skirt was white linen, so I brewed some strong tea and stained it to make it “creamier”. It’s a little crooked up there, but by the time it was done I didn’t care.
I still can't get over the fact that my skirt is now a curtain....ha!

On to the bedroom!

We also got a new comforter cover at IKEA. The one we had was a queen size that didn't fit our IKEA full/queen comforter (can you tell we love IKEA? We do) and it drove me crazy because it was so big and annoying....gah! I was getting a little bored with it anyway. The comforter we picked is a totally different direction form where I was going. I originally wanted the bedroom in light dreamy blues and greens that evoked a serene spa, but settled on a black&white pattern, which goes better with the painting over the bad. I decided I want to incorporate green accents into the mix. I have recently become slightly obsessed with the color of the tazo the green ginger tea bag. I LOVE that color, I want my life to be that color! So I first decided to change the lampshade. I was going to but a new one, but then I remembered I had some silky fabric in the exact color!! How perfect, right?! And soo much cheaper!

I got my glue gun and glued it down, then bagan making random pleats along the shade.

Because it’s sheer, the pattern shows through. Now I have a little bit of that color in my room! My next quest will be to find some pillowcases in that same color.
Total cost for both of these makeovers? two dollars! Just for the candles! I love using what I already have on hand to revamp something!

New bedspread!

The Makeover Commennces

Even though we only got new furniture for the living area, I find myself thinking of new ways to make over every other room in the apartment. There is still a bit of clutter and homeless objects from when we moved [over a year ago] in that I am hoping to eliminate, and finally create a cohesive space that we can enjoy and be comfortable in.
As we have not even opened the IKEA boxes, it's a little hard to get at revamping the place. The main reason is because my husband goes to school and works all day, and he's the one that's going to be putting it together. All I've done so far is clear one bookshelf. Needless to say, our living area looks like a disaster zone....
I will be sharing my makeovers with you later :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

cutesy things

I'm sort of a big fan of cutesy stuff. my husband just got me this adorable passport cover. And as I'm going to be re-decorating the apartment, I've been on the lookout for new accessories (as if I don't already have enough stuff...) because in my book, a change in furniture arrangement requires the need for new fun home accessories! So today I stumbled upon the cutest website, plasticland, and found 2 goodies I will be adding to my "dream" list:
This clock would be so awesome in the dining area!

This birdcage memo holder would be perfect right next to the door. I think I might have to figure out a way to recreate it...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Life is Good

My Christmas was wonderful. I got to see my family that lives in Chicago. We had a wonderful "first" Christmas. Then Ez and I had our own little Christmas time, then we were lucky enough to get off work and spend Christmas with my husband's family. We got to see "A Christmas Carol" which was super fun. I got everything I wanted, and got money to get get my "wish-list" things (flat iron! black skirt!)

My birthday is the 29th, and anyone whose birthday is close to Christmas knows what that's like...;) I wanted to go out to lunch at IKEA for my birthday (don't judge me, I know what I want!) But Ez had to work all day that day, so we wer
e going to go the day after but ended up going the day before. We had been wanting some new furniture, a bookshelf and coffee table, and got a gift card (yay!) But when we bot there, Ez decided we should just go ahead and make our whole dining room wall a wall of books. I love my husband. So we decided to put all of our Christmas money together, and we are so excited about rearranging our apartment! I'm totally thrilled!!!

Then, on my actual birthday, we planned to go out for Thai when Ez got home, but it snowed! And when it snows here, people freak out and forget how to live. So my poor husband had to walk home and didn't get home till 9!! So, no birthday dinner....I'm not gonna lie, I was a little upset.... But he took me back to Ikea the next day for breakfast and to get the rest of our furniture, and then out for my birthday date that night. AND he got me a new camera!!! I love my husband so much, he always makes me feel so special and loved :)

Hope your holidays were wonderful and your new year is everything you want and more!!