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

 

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Back to School!

The kids in our district will be returning to school in 2 days. This, and the fact that I received a new top from LOFT in the mail, has me really excited! My semester does not start until next Monday and I have no access to my syllabi, so on my day off I think of doing the only other things I can to prepare for school: Organize last semester’s reading material and my wardrobe!

I am so excited about this new wildflower peplum top! It is currently no longer available, but there are other GORGEOUS tops in the same/similar print. I really wish they would have designed the white wildflower top in petite or XXS, but it’s all good…

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So many people, myself included, are looking for inspiration for teaching wardrobes, and as female teachers I think we get really excited about Pinterest and Instagram posts that have darling outfits put together. They have become novelty to me!

Everyone’s district has different guidelines for a dress-code, and every person has their own style and tastes. In my district I have felt a lot of pressure, especially as a future teacher, to dress as professionally as possible. This means bottoms made of suiting material and dressy tops.

Now, you will find plenty of teachers that wear colored denim, khakis, knit maxi skirts, etc., but I know for myself, I will prefer to begin by building a business casual wardrobe, and relax from there… If I so decide. I do love colored denim and boots! Teaching the older grades will have me in less of a fuss to wear comfortable clothes, because I think I will be down on the ground less. Not completely off the ground, but on it less.

So that is my style aim. My next caveat is my body type. I am tiny. Super tiny on top, normal tiny on bottom. I also have limited access to good stores. But I came across LOFT, and they carry tons of petite styles. Almost every one of their pieces comes in petite!

I was a long time Maurice’s shopper. They used to offer great pieces for the office, but as their company is evolving their sizing has gone up slightly, and I can rarely find not only things that are small enough, but tops that have an appropriate neckline or back. Many of their pieces would still be great for the general office, but as a teacher I need more options. That is where LOFT saves me. So many of their tops fit and have higher necklines.

Now, not all of my tops HAVE to “choke” me, but I just have to be a little more prepared when I do where other necklines.

My favorite type of top to wear, I have noticed, is a sleeveless shell.

 

These tops are so versatile for me. They allow me to wear cardigans with out getting too hot and they can be mixed and matched if you are creative! Easily worn with pants or skirts.

The wildflower and sunflower yellow top will get worn most during the first and last of the school year. I tend to wear lots of orange, brown, and black in October and then begin mixing in other fall colors and eventually winter colors.

The next kind of tops that I have are ones with sleeves.

 

I’m trying to add more of this type of shirt to my wardrobe to get away from wearing cardigans most of the time. I’m excited about the possibilities of the black and white top because there are some great colors that it will pair with! Pink, red, yellow, burnt orange…

Next up, sweaters. First, cardigans.

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Ive got a head start on fall AND colors that are a little out of my comfort zone!

Pullovers also exist, but rarely get purchased! I have two more in mind that I want to get!

And the last category… DRESSES! I VERY rarely wear dresses! But I adore the ones that I have purchased, and They do get worn at least once a year.

SO there you have my LOFT collection so far! I’m so happy that this brand is there for me. Their style can seem kind of strange at first, but as I am getting older I can definitely embrace their simplicity.

Now… That can’t be ALL that I own, of course. It’s definitely a good start, but I have a few pieces from other brands that I still LOVE.

Tops come from Maurice’s, JCP, Buckle, and Forever 21. Dress are Angie, Maurice’s x2, JCP, and Forever 21. Cardigans come from JCP, Maurice’s, Buckle, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21. Some of them I have had for years.

Let’s talk about dress pants! I buy all of mine from Express. Again, one of the few places that makes them small enough for me. But there are two other MORE important traits about their pants.

  1. Slim leg opening. The columnist barely boots and ankle pant create a slimmer silhouette, and when you are 5’3″ you need that in order to not look short and stumpy!
  2. Tailored and well made. These pants will last if cared for.

Now, it may seem like I am a bit high maintenance when it comes to my clothing, to some. I could definitely be wearing items that are more expensive or less expensive, but these were purchased on sale, and others have been held on to for a long time. I think it also takes time to figure out what works best for you! I invest in Express pants because I know they will flatter and last. I invest in LOFT items because they flatter, are work appropriate, and can be often found on sale at reasonable prices. Don’t ever shop there at normal price, unless it’s something you MUST have and you know it will sell fast. This does happen!

I also will probably not always be able to shop like this, that is why I am trying to build up a wardrobe now. This has also taken all summer! I purchased my first LOFT top in May. I also received a raise in January and my living situation lightened up a lot, so investing in my career has been a rewarding luxury.

One detail about my style, I noticed, is that I do not accessorize much and that is exactly what makes the teacher outfits I see so fun! That is definitely one goal for my wardrobe. In the coming weeks I will not be making many purchases, as I am saving up for a new fitness watch. (I lost my Fitbit!). But here is my brainstorm for my wardrobe:

  1. Tops from Loft (Fall and Outside the Comfort-Zone): Pullover sweaters, basic shells (black, white), cardigans (grey, white, brown)
  2. 3-4 Express dress pants, skinny ankle (hopefully a sale will pop up, they usually do a buy one-get one)
  3. FOOTWEAR: aiming for two pairs black and two pairs brown… undecided on brands
  4. Jewelry: a couple of statement necklaces, a couple that are just nice

If you take a look closely at my wardrobe you can see that there is a good amount of oranges, browns, creams, and blacks. I definitely love to dress up for October, and these colors also work well into November.

I am excited to plan my October outfits. I am hoping to have enough to mix-and-match something unique for every day! So, fall is always on the list as well!

Using each kind of top (shell, cardi, sleeves, etc.) it is easy to diversify your look. I currently do not have many outfits that are fun colors, most of them have a fall look, so building up some other outfits that are outside my comfort-zone has been an exciting challenge!

In the future I hope to share my outfits with you! (And someday I will have a master closet that I hope I can organize and share!)

So how about you? How do you all plan your outfits and wardrobes? What are your favorite places to shop? Do you have a style that you embrace? A style that you try to break away from?

First Ever Lululemon Purchase

Ok folks. I did it. I took the plunge and ordered three pieces from Lululemon. I have been very into yoga lately and it’s what all of the cool kids wear right… *gag* What really got me to do it was the AMAZING Dottie Tribe print. I wanted to purchase the legging, but it was sold out so I decided to try bra with the same print. And if you give a mouse a lululemon bra, she’s going to want some pants and a top too!

I did this to build up a nice small yoga wardrobe. Maybe three tops, bottoms, and bras that can be mixed and matched. I want my yoga clothes to be performance and like…well…butter! I’m sure I will continue to add to it if I can fall in love with the brand… Let’s see how it fares for me.

First Item:

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Energy Bra

This bra was too small. I am a 31″ bust. This is supposed to fit a 30″. The band would have been doable, but the part that cuts across the lats really CUT. So return, I must. I will be purchasing a different style in the future… I think!

Second:

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High Times Pant

BUTTER. These pants feel like butter. I love the high cut. I have been so tired of pants cutting my off on my “love handles”. There’s room above and room below, but not in between! I really love the dye effect of them. They are not a too light of grey for me.

Third

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Salute the Sun Tank

Ohhhhhh Lulu… Where did it all go really wrong?! How can you guys make a bra for a woman with a bust smaller than a 32A, but your smallest top, a 2, is TOO BIG?! This is the sole reason I tend to order the smallest size of top in any brand… This top has a fun dye effect like the pants as well, and a unique back. I love the spilt at the bottom, the hole in the center of the back is so-so. I can’t decide if I want to keep this or not. I have to wear it with the front plunging, which lets you see my bra, which can be fun, but something in me always hates the feeling that I’m wearing something that doesn’t fit. And it sucks even more because I know its do to my small frame, narrow shoulders, and small shoulder strap measurement.

Could I possibly get this tailored? I have no idea. I know that most of the time this is an issue I will deal with for the rest of my life, but I just find it so bizarre that a company will sell teeny tiny bras, and no teeny tiny tops for that customer.

I’m going to wear it around the house for a bit before I decide.

So far we are 2 for 3. 1 for the pants and .5 for each the top and bra. If the next bra fits and I decide to keep the top we will probably be at 2.5 for 3! lol I’m gonna stay so-so on the top.

The pants are MINE! Muahahahahaaaaa

ugh… I might have become a Lulu addict.

What are your favorite Lulu pieces? Share some information about their product with me! Any fans of other brands or pieces of athletic clothing?

Yoga Room Video Blog!

Hey everyone! Happy Fourth of July! I wanted to share my first Walkthrough. Kind of a rough test, but you will always find me being myself! I’m just a small town (new farm) girl, trying to make ends meet. Please keep this in mind when judging my space! hooe you all have a fabulous day!

Ps: I had a rough evening, emotionally, and I let it get the best of me. So I thought I’d share some inspirational photo quotes I found… Good vibes all around!

I also apologize for the shakiness in my intro! I’m such a newbie!

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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

Gold Dust Woman

 

My birthday has come and gone (5/20) and SO much happened in that week that I can’t even really fully tell you about everything, but I can start with the most exciting part of it…

I bought a motorcycle!

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After learning how to ride and being told I should be on a 650 I naturally went for a 1200…HA! But really this all happened because we found out Harley was wanting us to get rid of the ’13s and ’14s we had and the one I have been lusting after happened to be a 2013! So I got a really goo deal on it and the guys and Michael helped set me up with mid-controls so that I can reach everything, hehe.

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Each time I’m on it I find myself focusing on a skill to work on. You know when something doesn’t sound right or smooth.

I’ve ridden some in town and mostly on country highways.

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I’m thankful to have found another female rider at the same level of experience as I am! We probably would have never normally found each other as friends, yet here we are making plans to ride. I owe a lot of thanks to the guys in my life that have helped me stay going.

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They were pretty exhausted trying to get my friend’s sporty started.

Shes my Gold Dust Woman because of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. She’s gold yes, but she’s a gypsy and a heart-breaker.

I’m doing my best to get my skills down so that I am able to attend an all female bike rally this year or next. I never would have thought I would love this hobby so much, but it’s been great to me.

Anyway! This is my ball-and-chain for the next 4-5 years! Ooodahlally!

 

 

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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