It’s Renovation Time!!!

My goodness, Friends! It has been A LONG time since I have sat down to think out loud!

SO MUCH has happened! I want to share the major events with you, but really this post is about the NEW ADDITION!!!

OK, the Catch-Up:

  1. I GRADUATED!
  2. I got my teaching license
  3. I HAVE A JOB! As a 3rd grade teacher in the school I have spent most of my life in!
  4. I rode over 100 miles on my motorcycle
  5. My good friends moved back, whom I ride motorcycles with.
  6. I’m working out with the Beachbody cult, trying my hardest to stay active and make good eating choices.
  7. I have had SO MANY life things come up I find it hard to believe I’m on “Summer Vacation”, but I also went to Vegas again, and this time I saw Britney!

Ok, here’s the meat of the deal!

We finally started the addition. They poured the basement, almost a month ago, it has been finished for a couple of weeks now, but that was really nothing to start posting about. We have had SO MUCH rain and it kept putting the project off, so I just ignored that it was even happening.

They now have the basement support beams up as well as the main part of the main sub floor. So we are already talking window and door placement with the contractor! It’s starting to become VERY real.

With thoughts about the windows and doors it made me realize that I need to get on the ball with what kind of decor I will be wanting, specifically in the bathroom! (The other rooms will be made to match the rest of the house as far as wood floors and white trim go, but I am aiming for a different wall color!)

So I am going to share with you my collage and inspiration rooms. I’m probably over confident in the possibilities, but it’s better for me to push for it and express my creativity than just let in sit bottled up and hate myself later for not speaking up. But everyone has a budget they are working with.

I also want to mention that our addition is 44 X 24. The living area in general will be about 20 X 20, the bedroom 15 X 20, and a spacious closet and bathroom fit in there as well, with enough room for a big shower and separate tub!

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First I will start with the rooms that inspired me! These rooms are the overall feeling I would like to have.

I fell in LOVE with the bold tile, white walls, oil rubbed bronze and glass fixtures, and worn wood in these rooms. In the second photo, you can see a colorful curtain from Anthro. I won’t have a shower curtain, but this helped solidify my dreams of having Mexican tin/tile mirrors in the room. The colors do work well with the worn wood, and this bold pattern on the curtain shows me that it’s ok to go bold! Just not tile, and curtains, and towels, and walls, and everything else… First and second photos are my main squeeze.

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Next would have to be this shower. It has been a struggle for me to find a design that I thought Michael would like, but would blend well with my style. He is all about the expensive flashy hotel look. Sleek and modern. Which is why I think this shower is a great compromise. The wood-look tile is rustic enough, but the over all clean lines lend to his style. The shower we will have will actually be glass on two sides, in my mind anyway, and with a bench. I’m convinced, at the moment, that this tile will fit the scheme because of the tile they use in the same photograph. It is a bold graphic print, but in grey.

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I can imagine having a more affordable shower floor, like a fiberglass tray bottom. This wold help with costs, but not sacrifice over all style, and probably be easier for me to keep from molding/mildewing. Or maybe tile is a better buy! I don’t know numbers yet, but we will see!

So below you will see a collage of items that help create the look I want.

 

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I’m so very proud of this design. For the first time ever I feel like all my favorite styles have been expertly blended: Fixer Upper (with a mild amount of white farmhouse look), Anthroplogie, Target, and ethnic pieces.

For now they are building, but it won’t be long and I will be having my very own DEMO DAY! They will be tearing down a wall to connect things so I’m pretty excited about that!

I’m still forever away from creating collages for my living and bedroom. We will be using our current furniture for a LONG time, but I will be getting area rugs and curtains promptly, so perhaps I will make collages of ideas I have with those items!

Have a fabulous day, Friends!

-Ash

The Ice Storm

My life is pretty exciting. I seem like a pretty boring person, but when you wrap up my years… and check-off things like learning to ride and buying a Harley, riding on the back of a Harley to Colorado, visiting Las Vegas via road trip through the southwest, and the multitude of shenanigans I’ve been in… It’s pretty great.

But this ice storm, friends, was one for the books.

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It actually got me excited instead of scared.

I’m the outdoorsy type. All YEAR= CAMPING!

SPRING/SUMMER = Hate shoes. Hate pants. Love being free in nature.

FALL/WINTER= Bring on the campfires!

So cabin life seems like the life for me. Even in the winter.

This event gave me a great glimpse into real life in a cabin in the woods, or life in the past.

At our house we lost electricity for almost EXACTLY 3 days. Thankfully we have a gas stove and a brand spanking newly insulated home, so we survived the first night in the cold house and were able to cook our meals, but we sought refuge with family for sleep the next two nights as the thermostat crept below 45.

There was wifi. But not enough technology to allow me to get any work done. Besides there were tons of baby evergreens to save from the weight of the ice!

I didn’t have to care about my looks, just about being warm and staying positive. And all in all I enjoyed the experience. I was able to do yoga, make coffee on the stove-top, and enjoy Michael’s company by candlelight.

Enjoy some candid snaps and shots from around the farm.

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I Daydream of LOFT

That’s a nod to “I Dream of Jeannie” if you didn’t catch that! Today I opened my email to find one of the many LOFT emails I receive. This one I opened rather than sending it straight to the trash. (I’m usually aware of their sales before they ever send an email! Call me a stalker…!) But this one featured some blogger stars styling LOFT items for work, which totally appeals to me. And, yes, the inspiration came!

I absolutely loved these outfits in particular:

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I just love the soft blue color of these pieces and how they are paired with warm brown, I would have never done that! When I see a cool blue my instinct is to pair it with black, making the look even more cold. I also have never considered a scarf wrap like this! Love it! (Not a fan of bootcut/flare with ankle boots…?)

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This one caught my attention because there are basically three things going on to me and one of them may be VERY useful! That would be the ankle boots with ankle pants! I had been curious about wearing these two things together, but thought it may be a strange look, but it pulls off well! She is also wearing a tunic/dress with slacks. How neat! And the vest is another thing slightly out of my comfort zone, but I’m trying to imagine myself possibly giving them a try. This might allow me to feel cozy without restricting my movement.

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And this is just amazing. I love the bo-ho look, always have. I’m a hippie at heart. But because I have a motorcycle, work at a Harley shop, and basically bleed Harley I really love how these two contrasting looks compliment each other! Very fun flirty feminine with a modern clean edge.

I can’t decide which element I want to try first! I can easily go slip on some ankle boots to see if I like how it looks on me. But I’m definitely dreaming of purchasing some more pieces from LOFT soon! They are having a great sale right now!

Here’s a few of the things I’d love to get:

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I can see myself pairing this with the dandelion sleeveless top from earlier this year. It is ivory with a sweet orange and light blue floral print. The challenge will be which color of slacks will work best!

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This top gives me spring and art teacher vibes! I would love to pair it with my red slacks and maybe even my turquoise cardigan! Gotta love some loud contrast!

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This is the shirt version of the “hippie dress”. I really don’t know which one I would prefer! So I will probably end up with neither! hahaha In all honesty I’m really not much of a dress wearer. I really love wearing slacks and jeans.

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This looks like a perfect holiday top! I just love that shade of green. I have one in a similar silhouette, but in maroon and I just love the way it feels on.

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Love how fresh this top is. It looks to be the same cut as the shirt just above. It has a casual vibe, but is still dressy. Check out those “poet’ sleeves! How would I get creative with this top? maybe tucking it into some dress pants, or not, and wearing a necklace that had  just a few colored gems/beads in it? hmmmm.

Well, perhaps it is just about time for me to do a round up of my “newer” pieces and see where I’m at! Fall has been fairly warm, so I don’t feel like I’ve been getting to really wear the pieces I’d like to style or the outfits I love just yet! I have my eyes set on this FANTASTIC pair of pumpkin spice pants at Express that might just make all of my fall dreams come true. 😉

It has still been very busy when I have free time at home and I am soaking up lots of friend time when I get the chance. Last night my best friend and I got together for wine, classical music, wall decor hanging, and AHS! It was a fun night. We even got a short dog-walk in and some yummy snacks! So that’s my life right now! Hurry up and do homework, hurry up and spend time with friends, hurry up and watch your favorite shows or read your book… I love it! I just can’t wait for homework to be such a huge part of things! But this is only the beginning of the tough stuff!

Any way, have a lovely Fall weekend! I will hopefully be spending time with Michael riding ATVs and getting some outdoor Autumn decor going, which gets me one step closer to a blog post!

How about you all? Any great outfit/fashion finds? Do you have some current #loftlove? Have any fall plans?

Love Y’all!

 

 

A Note on Life and Procrastination

Can I write a personal post, for a change and an update? Well, of course I can. I have been  busy with my classes this semester (big surprise right?), and it’s only just the beginning for me. On the plus side being busy keeps me from thinking that something is missing in my life. On the down side it has taken me over a month to adjust to the new schedule and teachers.

Michael started his new job and the shop, where I work, closes an hour earlier now, so both of us are off at 5! I also have a come-to-Jesus with my Educational Psychology homework. We were not doing well together. I realized that I needed to be motivated, whether I felt like it or not. So far it seems to have made a great difference. I will truly know when I get my grade back on an upcoming project.

As far as farmhouse items go, I have been busy decorating and perfecting for Autumn, when I can be. I am almost ready to take some photographs. I think I will go ahead and do this Sunday or Monday, my days off. The weekend after next I will get to decorate the front “porch”. I’m so much further behind everyone else, but I have homework that is tons more important and a new house that deserves so much more than many of my dinky apartment decorations. If you follow my Instagram you can see a few sneak peeks.

In the way of fitness. I dropped off just before September. I am making an effort to regroup very soon. I miss running. and now that schedules are syncing and flowing I think I will be able to get back with it. Especially with food planning. I get very mental about things you see and it causes me to withdraw. I call it being lazy. I am lazy. But it’s more likely often a result of my anxiety. I throw lots of pity parties for myself, mentally.

As for other things in my life… it’s always quite interesting! I have been Happy Planning away, I decorated for and witnessed a wedding at the Harley Shop, I have been to Colorado on the motorcycle (hope to share pictures with you soon as well!), went shopping with my mom for all things great, I have been in an amazing classroom for my internship and taught some lessons, and I continue to find ways to improve after being in a slump!

Some of the changes I have made, which really are just adulting:

  1. Buying groceries with a plan. I haven’t really been doing this. I have been relying on Michael to come up with ideas for dinner and grill. So I was quite proud when I bought myself some breakfast foods, some snacks for both of us and dinner for two meals this week. I didn’t even break the bank! When Michael came home from work, the chicken and dumplings were ready to eat! It was a perfect Monday. I hope to keep this going.
  2. Syncing schedules has helped a ton. I have so far been able to convince Michael to help me clean up after dinner, and we have been eating at the table. He helps wash some of the dishes which is better than nothing and I super appreciate it. I’m able to put leftovers away and dry them and then finish the rest. He also takes out the trash the majority of the time.
  3. Doing my homework with a plan in mind. When I started visiting a friend regularly, sort-of, I felt the need to get certain homework items out of the way earlier than my normal procrastinating self does. And somehow I stuck with it. Now I get the discussion boards done a day early, and after my problems with Ed Psych I’m reading that text book through out the week rather than the couple of days before things are due. I tell you it feels great at the end of the evening when it’s 9:30-10:00 and I’m able to stop and relax and read a fun book or watch a show with out any stress. Often I can even not do any homework Friday or Saturday because I am far enough ahead! It’s really rewarding.
  4. And a simple change in setting for homework has done wonders. I began reading my Ed Psych text at the table to give me a greater sense of importance. I was not giving it enough attention on the couch. I began reading and highlighting and making note-cards for vocabulary and even rereading for summarize the major chucks of concepts they want us to be able to explain. It’s been fantastic. So yes, I do my homework in three different places at home!
  5. Of course having my Happy Planner has helped me. I keep track of my homework using the side bar. Other important dates, to-do’s, or what homework I feel like concentrating on that night get written in the regular daily part.

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All in all, I’m sad that it has taken me so long to realize how great it feels to not be a procrastinator, but I know in my heart I will always be fighting this! Thankfully I know what needs to be done to get on track, up so speed, and ahead of the deadlines! And maybe this information makes me seem really ridiculous, oblivious, or even naive and child like. I’m ok with that. We all fight our own battles. My life has been relatively easy, especially working at a Harley shop, but being in school gives me more responsibility, and it’s only going to increase. I just wanted to share some things that I have found help me function at home and with homework a little bit better.

So this busy bee will try to keep some future updates in mind!

-Colorado

-Fall Decor

-New Work Wardrobe (Oh, YES. LOFT LOVE!)

-Possibly Happy Planner and craft room/office related

-&…?

Thanks everyone!

Love,

Ashley

 

Just a Hello! Vlog

Hey, everyone. I know it’s been a minute! I have posted a video to share something with you! I’m excited to discuss my passions with you; running, crafts, and more. As well as some tips for staying motivated in your running!

I hope you are all having a fantastic summer! I will be seeing you all more frequently, as i begin spending more time behind my personal computer again!

Yoga Room

I Have you ever hit a slump? I have hit about a million in my life, and over come them as well! But lately I am feeling very different about life. I am really appreciating this season that I am in because I feel wiser, but I also see a lot of work that needs to be done if I want to relax and enjoy life. I am extremely high strung, but with depressive tendencies to withdraw from life. If something is not going well I sit on it. What really ifs bringing on this internal reflection is my morning routine. Every morning I hate life. i roll around in bed unaware of the ticking clock until BAM! I’ve got ten minutes to get dressed AND get to work. What is it about me that I can’t get out of bed when the first alarm goes off? Why to I resent getting up? When I do get up early I love the time I get to myself. There is just this moment between sleep and waking that is Jekyll and Hyde and I have GOT to change it. This, as well as the way I handle other things in my life: with resent and procrastination.

To help me I am trying to stay away from high impact activities and turn toward eastern philosophy. (I do want to start running again… as long as it’s not a stress trigger!)

I have been practicing yoga a lot lately with the help of the Down Dog App! It is fantastic for beginners or anyone really. I love this app because it puts together a yoga flow based on experience as well as time. You can also choose between a regular flow or restorative. ***Bonus points if you follow creator, Adrienne Kimberley, on Instagram!

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Because I moved not too long ago, and my things have slowly trickled into the house, I have found myself overwhelmed by personal belongings. This move and new outlook have given me the opportunity to clear some clutter out of my immediate space and some things permanently. We will be adding on this year, then I will be able to give many of my things a permanent home and get rid of many others! I’m very excited for that time, but for now I decided I needed to clear things out of the spaces I spend time in.

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In doing so I realized I had enough room for a yoga and meditation space! I have decided to decorate it in an eastern style with symbols starting with a mandala and Buddha statue. I am trying to be careful not to bring too many tiny decorations into the space. Things that are symbolic or useful only.

Here is my inspiration board!

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The tapestry was a hard decision to make. There are so, so many choices online, but I found the prices at urban outfitters to be a little too out there. I found this one at Jaipur Art Factory for 15-20 dollars. I just love the royal peacock colors. There is a hint of mustard, which is one of my old favorites. I was initially drawn to a light colored tapestry with yellow tones, but found it not to be traditional looking enough. I am forever also drawn to blue-greens! I found this mat, which at $100 is wayyyy more than I want to spend, at Houzz. It matches so perfectly and is bright enough to lighten up the room. I fear the dark tapestry will make the room too dark, but other decor elements can help and I would prefer a serene dark blue over red or orange any day.

The shelving unit I already own. The tapestry is a DIY from A Beautiful Mess! I have the cording, I just need to get the copper pipe. These pillows came form all over. They are here for visualization rather than being exact. I will purchase pillows that I come across. I have an aloe plant in the room, and I am considering getting another plant. The salt lamp is functional, as it purifies the air! The Buddha is symbolic and important in some peoples practices. The lantern is for ambiance and the basket is for storing blankets!

So, while it is starting to look a little cluttered, I think that all of these items are really functional. Pillows for meditating as well as color and texture. Salt lamp and plants for purification as well as bringing the grounding element of nature inside. The lantern to invite a soft glow into nighttime practices. A basket to keep the room tidy. A mirror to expand the room. A wall hanging for a personal touch and to bring more white into the room. A mandala tapestry and Buddha for symbolic and aesthetic purposes.

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Here is the progress I have made and where I want to place some things. The craft corner of the room is still pretty out of control, but the sewing table top is clear now! We took the bookcase to the basement because all it was doing was allowing me to clutter things up. It was worse off than in the first room picture above!

Top left: Inside the O is where I plan to place a table for the salt lamp and the Buddha. I will also be looking for a new pot for my aloe plant. I have the wall hanging planned of course, but I’m undecided on art for the time being.

Top right: The tapestry! To the lower right of the mirror I will place the lantern and basket.

Bottom left: I am dreaming up some mandala or lotus DIY art for the empty wall. This space is so much more clear. I had a lot of little things on my desk that I moved away.

Bottom right: I want to find some cute wall storage to keep my crafts organized. I also need to find something to keep my school binders in. The black amp is there for good. It is my boyfriends and it really has no other home. The box is full of crafts that i may try to find a better looking container for.

So there you have it! From stressed out to yoga-fied! My feelings and decor plans all in one bundle, haha.

Thank you for letting me share a little bit more about myself and my struggles with anxiety. I change decor like most women cut their hair when needing a change! I can’t wait to share the final product! This room is moving fast in comparison to the rest of the home! And you can see I’m leaning towards a more “World Market” look rather than “farm house”. I still love that I can incorporate elements of both and more into my style!

Are you into any big life changes or healing practices?

“I’m ready to slow down. I’m ready to simplify. I’m ready to receive… While yoga has awakened me to my potential and seen me through some dramatic changes, yoga also reminds me that doing less enables me to receive more. I’m open, I’m listening, I’m ready” – Adrienne Kimberley

Another Vegan Update

Today is day 21 I believe. This is a special day because it is suppose to mark the amount of time that something takes to become a habit. I want to talk a little bit more about my experience and feelings rather than exactly what I’ve been eating, meal-for-meal. Though, I will share some nice pictures with you.

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I have not been perfect. While trying to eat vegan I have eaten eggs and bacon, an ice cream bar, and a bratwurst. And I’ll tell you it was a let down further and further each time until day 19 when I said to Michael, “I don’t want to do the no-meat thing anymore, forget it.” And the next day I continued to try to eat like a vegan. I guess what this means is that you’re going to make mistakes. Not everyone can quit cold turkey.

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I personally think that a wise vegan will slowly take things on and do lots of research. There are so many areas of this lifestyle. For one I am having to cook a lot more, and I am really not very good at it in the first place. This is taking a learning curve. I get flustered easily in the kitchen because things are hot and need chopped. I am learning to sloooowwww down. Another facet about this lifestyle is not only learning how to cook differently, but eat differently as well. Nutrition is so important and it is SO different from what I am used to. I understand that protein builds muscles and you need a certain amount, but then I start freaking out about how many carbs I’m eating or whether I’m getting enough veggies and vitamins, or, or…

You have to stop. You have to take things slowly. Some meals are going to turn out nasty. Some meals are going to have too much rice/wheat. It’s ok, that’s where you learn.

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I personally have been really bad about getting any fitness in this last week. I have not gained or lost any weight, but I started to feel awful again. I don’t feel the vegan glow because I am out of balance. And even that’s ok! It’s all about learning and being gentle with yourself knowing what works for you and what you need to change. Every day is so different and unique from the next. What is going on socially or with the weather can affect the choices you make, or emergency deadlines, or great opportunities. Life is crazy and amazing so embrace it.

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I’m trying to learn to make the cooking process gentle. I am normally a bull in a china shop because, like I said, there are a lot of things going on and I want to get it done NOW! It’s definitely a feeling of defeat when you take 2 hours to make a meal and the whole things gets eaten in five minutes with NO leftovers. But it happens!

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I have been using the Thug Kitchen cookbook to help me out with meals. I am so excited to purchase more vegan cookbooks, but I’m definitely going to work through quite a few more of these recipes before I do. I really loved the Vietnamese noodle bowls, but I want to find a different dressing. And that is the perfect example of learning to cook. What do you like about the meal? the cooking process? What works and what doesn’t work for you? Guys, I am 27 and still learning how to cook. I have never been a comfort food staples kind of girl. Though, we did get on a chili, spaghetti, and casserole kick there for a time!

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Another thing you have to take into consideration is you significant other and family. Thankfully Michael will try something that I make, but I am going to have to be willing to eat conventionally from time-too-time unless Michael begins to change his stance on things. Something I can always do for something like spaghetti is to keep the meat and sauce separate until it is served. I can also use non-dairy butter and other substitutes in conventional recipes. It’s really all about balance other wise you will drive yourself crazy! And this whole thing is about compassion and advocacy! No advocate ever succeeded by being crazy obnoxious.

I’m at day 21 guys. I don’t know if I will actually see day 42, but as of today I know where I stand. And I am proud of the progress and impact I have made. If the numbers are right, at one month I will have saved:

Gallons of water:33,000
Sq.ft of Forest:900
Animal Lives: 30
lbs of Grain: 1,200
lbs of Co2: 600
(Give or take a bratwurst…)
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