I’m really bad at this whole “getting back to blogging” thing. Honestly, I’ve been feeling much better! I have more energy, Jesse and I have been spending most weekends out of the house (even if I fall asleep as soon as we get home), and I’ve even been doing some seasonal decorating. All of that means that taking “bumpdate” photos is kind of on the back burner most weekends. I definitely don’t want to stop them though, not for you guys, but for me. I want to look back at how my belly is growing and how this pregnancy is progressing. That being said…
Hi folks! I missed a week of bumpdates because last week was just a lot to handle. My family lost one of my uncles to cancer so we had the memorial service and visitation, not to mention all of the emotions that go along with losing a loved one. Our baby’s due date is actually on this uncle’s birthday, which is so special. Thank you to all those that messaged, texted and sent prayers! They meant so much to me!
Hey again! Thank you all so much for your well wishes and congratulations on my big news. Jesse and I are so excited for our little bundle of joy to join our family in April! This week I have been feeling a little better as far as nausea goes, but definitely still struggling especially in the evenings. One of my best friends is getting married this weekend and I’m roadtripping with my girlfriends to the wedding, so I’m hoping for a good weekend in regards to not feeling very sick so I can have a good time!
Hello? Anyone out there? I know that the blog has been quiet for sometime now, but I have been working on a very special DIY project. Yep, Jesse and I are having a baby! And for me this first trimester has been tough. I’ve been very sick and my energy level has been at zero. After work I’ve literally been going straight to bed, and almost once a week I’ve totally missed work due to being sick. I’m hoping that the further I get into the second trimester the more I will feel like myself though! And hopefully get back to this blog, which I really have missed terribly.
Actually, to be totally honest over the past year I was struggling with who I was. I was not motivated to do anything creative and was kind of depressed. A lot of that had to do with Jesse and I trying to get pregnant and it just not happening, some of it was work stresses. Trying to conceive was a hard process for us. I struggled with ovarian cysts, pulled a muscle in my back, and in late June we lost a pregnancy. After we lost our first pregnancy, about a week after we found out we were expecting, we decided to step back from trying. We booked a trip to Disney World and tried to relax. Well, we never made it to Disney because low and behold the next month we found out we were expecting again, and this one has stuck! Despite feeling so sick and tired all the time, I have a joy that I finally will get to be a mom and it is definitely breathing new life into me. I’ve had so many nursery ideas and I’ve got a long list of projects that we need to finish, and I can’t wait to get started!
All that being said, this has been a journey for me and I want to celebrate every step. This includes weekly bump updates here on the blog. If those aren’t your cup of tea, if anyone is even out there any more ha!, feel free to skip. This won’t be a total mommy blog, but it will get a regular mention. So without further ado, here’s the Week 13 bump!
Woah! I can’t believe that I’m finally writing more than one post a month! And to boot this one is actually about some home DIY! Jesse and I have been taking our sweet time working on our guest bathroom but this summer we’ve actually made a lot of progress. The last I left you in the bathroom saga, this is what we were working with: Yep, that’s a giant hole in our bathroom floor next to where the toilet formerly was. We had noticed some water damage and it resulted in taking out the toilet and all of the tile, plus replacing the subfloor. We even had to replace a few floor braces, which was quite the task. We worked on it a little at a time, and then took the whole winter off. Finally come May we had some help from my father, who is a contractor, to lay the tile. Jesse and I had never tiled before, so having someone there to help was HUGE. He had all of the tools and he was able to knock the floor out in a day! One of the ways he was so fast was that he laid the tile by just eyeing it. No spacers or anything like that! The cement backerboard and the tile were laid before lunch and then after lunch we did the grout. The tile was on super sale for $1.99 per sq. ft. at The Home Depot. It’s the 12×24 Metro Charcoal porcelain tile and I am absolutely in love with it! I chose a light gray grout in the hopes that it would look less dirty than white over time and that it would compliment the tile. It definitely is complimentary, but only time will tell it’s durability. After the tile was done, it was time for painting! The paint is Olympic Alpine Valley, it kind of reminds me of Tiffany Blue. The truth is I wanted to paint this room a pale pink, but Jesse was absolutely not on board. Instead I went with the girliest blue I could find that I thought would pair well with a few pale pink accessories. I’m totally a great wife. I gave myself a deadline of before our July 4th party to finish painting so that we could put in our brand new toilet before filling our house with people. There’s nothing like a toilet shortage when there’s 30+ people hanging out at your house. That self imposed deadline definitely kept us motivated and now we are so close to being done! Painting the cabinet is one of the last major things and it’s already been primed. We will be painting the cabinet this weekend and then I think we will end up painting the wood trim in this room. I know that we (aka Jesse) have been opposed to painting the trim, but we put in some new white trim since we could not find wood to match and we love it. I think the room can work without painting the trim around the doors, but I also want to paint the closet doors, so I feel like we don’t have much of a choice. 😉
So do you love my new tile as much as I do? How about the paint color? Does it have that girly vibe that I’m looking for?
Hey there folks! Remember me? I know I’ve been pretty AWOL lately, but I do have a few posts up my sleeves and I have really missed you guys! And this blog. One of my favorite posts from last year was when I recapped our ‘Murica party. We had so much fun that we decided to have another big party this year with a slightly different theme, Action Heroes. I used a lot of the same decorations from last year with a lot of added camo and a few Chuck Norris posters, plus some super fun costumes! There were several Katniss Everdeens, Rambo, Indiana Jones and Khaleesi. I was video game action heroine Lara Croft and Jesse was John McClane from Die Hard.We had our usual party food spread of buffalo chicken dip, bean dip, punch, sangria and meatballs. Our party games weren’t any where near as elaborate as last year’s True American, but it was still a blast playing beer pong and slap cup. This party was also a great time to use my new favorite toy, the selfie stick! I’ve been using this stick for our vacations and I took it to a wedding a few weeks ago and I love it. It was only $10 and well worth it. I got a lot of fun pictures with our friends, but for privacy’s sake I wont be sharing them on the blog. Unfortunately, the only picture I got of our decorations was when I was demonstrating to a friend how to use the selfie stick. So who wants to come to our next throwdown? Mark your calendars for the first weekend of July. 😉
Hey there! I hope everyone’s weeks are off to a good start! Sorry for my absence, we had a pretty crazy awesome weekend celebrating our anniversary at a Bryan Adams concert in Raleigh. Seeing Bryan live was one of my bucket list items so I was especially excited. I love having a husband that likes making my dreams come true.
Unfortunately, after the concert I ended up pulling a muscle in my back, so I’ve been laid up for the past few days. Since I’m not exactly up and about I figured I would share a project that I didn’t post about a few weeks ago, my Passover table. This table was definitely one of my favorite settings ever, mostly because it featured my favorite flowers: tulips. This table setting was thrown together at the last minute because I spent the day of Passover at a funeral for a very close family friend (part of the personal stuff I’ve referenced last week). When I came home I wanted a cheery task to distract me, so I bought some tulips and got to work. I already had some yellow and pink faux tulips on hand, so I chose pink and yellow for the real flowers to match. I also had some pink and white striped napkins on hand from my birthday in January, which added some extra color and to compliment the faux flower garnish. I also loved having my green bowls from Ballard Design to complete the look of my table. They are fun and a super great quality. Plus they also compliment my green stemless wine glasses! Even though a put this table setting together super quickly, I think it’s one of my Passover favorites. You can’t go wrong with pink, green and tulips! Speaking of tulips, the reason I had those faux tulips on hand is because I used them to make a simple spring wreath for the front door. It was April and I still had a snowflake wreath on the front door. Totally home decor slacker over here. This wreath was super easy to put together, like ridiculously easy. I simply took a few of the faux tulips and stuck them into a grapevine wreath. Seriously, that easy. The only tricky part was getting the spacing correct, but it wasn’t that much trouble. I love coming home everyday to this cheerful springy wreath. It always puts a bit of a smile on my face, even when I’m sad (or crippled). I think it’s important to make sure that you never stop letting the little things make you smile. Life is always going to be busy, full of disappointments, sad at times, stressful and just plain unfair, but if you let the little things keep you smiling it all seems bearable. So what are your favorite flowers? Do you use them a lot in your spring decor? I also love hydrangeas, but those don’t bloom until closer to the summer. I’m anxiously awaiting that time of year!
Hey there folks! Happy Hump Day! Sorry for the silence over here, there’s been some personal stuff going on, but things are finally getting back to normal.
I wanted to take some time today to chat about running my first 10k two weeks ago. Running a 10k was something I never thought I would be able to do. A few years ago I started small by running a 5k twice, and it pushed me to put running a 10k on my bucket list. And there it sat. A “maybe one day” thought on my list, but something I still didn’t think I would ever actually be able to do. Until I started my new job and started working with a personal trainer at the company gym. That first session with the trainer really opened my eyes to what being healthy and in shape was all about. I learned that I had bad cholesterol, slightly high blood pressure, and a terrible BMI for a 26 year old woman and I wanted to change that. I started running two plus miles and doing a weight routine and saw great improvement, I even started looking into doing another few 5k’s.
A few weeks later, I was talking about all the 5k’s and my gym routine with a coworker and she said she was looking for a running buddy and suggested we start running together. I was really nervous at first since this girl used to run cross country and was in much better shape than me, but I did it any way. On our first run we ran almost 4 miles without stopping and I didn’t die. Then a few days later we made it the full 4 and I was hooked. I also decided what the hell! if I can run 4 miles without dying then I can run another 2 and actually complete a 10k. So for two months I trained with my coworker, and by myself, until March 28th when I finished my first 10k.
I’m not going to say it was easy, because that would be a total lie. It was hard and it was 35 degrees outside. I’ve never been so sweaty but been able to see my breath at the same time. There were times I thought I was going to vomit and I was sore for 2 days after, but I did it! I pushed through my mind telling me to give up and accomplished something that last year I never thought I’d be able to do. The energy of the people around me and the early 2000’s rap playing on my iPod pushed me and I’ve never been so proud of myself!
My final time for the race was 1 hour and 4 minutes, which I think is pretty good! Especially since my first mile was almost 13 minutes because the starting line was so crowded. (That’s one thing I wish I had done differently. I started in the slowest running group and there were 1,500 people in it. If I run the Monument 10k again I will definitely start in a smaller, faster wave).
Accomplishing something that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do has inspired me in so many more ways too. I’m learning to push through being tired at the end of the day to clean the house or work on a project, instead of just vegging out in front of the tv. I’m learning to push through cravings so that I make better food choices. And I’m learning that I’m capable of a lot more than I think I am. Getting fit has been a life changing event for me, and this 10k was the catalyst of it all.
I’m also pushing myself even harder and will be running a second 10k at the end of April. This race is smaller than the last one and has more actual runners rather than walkers, so I’m hoping that will help push me. I would love to run this race in under an hour, another thing I never thought I’d be able to do! I’ve been in the gym running and pushing myself to be faster and I will let you guys know after the 26th how I did!
Also, if you’re interested, I use the app MapMyRun to keep track of my runs. You can add friends, join challenges, and save a record of your workouts. I also love that it alerts me each time I run a mile, gives me my time for that mile, my total time, and my average time per mile. It’s a great resource to help keep a steady pace and set personal goals. I used it for this 10k and for all of my training runs.
I know this post isn’t something you’d typically see from me, but this blog is about my attempts at life in general (see what I did there) and so I don’t want to skip over something because it’s not house or DIY related. Beyond that, I hope I can encourage someone else out there that maybe isn’t looking for a fitness blog but could use some motivation.
And thanks for those of you that have cheered me along via social media. You guys rock!
Welcome to April folks! If you’ve been around this blog at all then you know that April is my favorite month. I think it has a little something to do with the fact that Jesse and I’s anniversary is in April. Plus Passover is also usually in April and it is definitely one of my favorite holidays. April is also a month of rebirth, flowers are blooming, things are coming back to life and the weather is finally warming up, it’s just a happy time. This year I really wanted to bring some of that life into the living room in my spring decor. I love the colorful Alomestria blooms. They are always so inexpensive at the grocery store and they last for freaking ever! I made the vases using old Frappachino containers, they remind me of old school milk bottles. To keep with the colorful display I also framed a fun picture of my favorite dessert, macarons! The picture is actually a card that my old coworkers gave me for my birthday last year. On the other end of the mantle is an apothocary jar, but without lid, filled with fun colored eggs. I got the eggs on clearance at Target (I’ve been super lucky there lately!) the same day I picked up my new dining chairs. Over to the right of the mantle is our wood stove which I’ve decorated to be super bright and cheerful as well. The white candle holder and little bunny are also from Target and I threw in some “springy” books for balance. I also had to add some greenery to the display with the rest of my Almosteria. Underneath the mantle is a large square hole. It seems like it was maybe originally supposed to be the fireplace, but then the original owners decided to go with a woodstove instead. It has been quite a pain to decorate over the years, but I usually go with the “fill it until it doesn’t look terrible” strategy. It works ok. This time I filled a tin bucket with some glittery stems and flowers and the card mailbox from our wedding. Also birds and teal are totally a winning combo for spring. I love how bright and colorful this display is. It has to be one of my favorite mantle displays that I have ever set up. I also think all the bright colors and flowers compliment the decor in the dining room too. And of course no spring decorations in our house are complete without a wedding photo here or there. This one happens to be my absolute favorite. I paired the picture with one of my favorite candles (it smells like clean laundry and who doesn’t love that smell?!) and some purple Almosteria. Our wedding colors were green and purple, but not in a Barney kind of way, so I thought this was a cute way to tie it all together. Now that the house is all decorated it’s time for me to actually clean it. Unfortunately, creative Ashley and clean Ashley can’t coexist so if the house is decorated then you can guarantee that outside the scope of the lens there is a disaster area.
What do you think of my Easter/Passover/Spring mantle? Do you have a favorite month or season that you tend to go a little overboard with? I’m definitely a Christmas and Passover person. Which is actually kind of hilarious if you think about it.
Hey there folks! Happy Spring! Like I’ve mentioned several times, this warmer weather has finally sparked my creative fire again and I’ve been working on some things around the house. The fun bright colors of Spring especially inspire me to work in the dining room. When I stumbled across these gray upholstered dining room chairs on sale at Target for $65, I knew they would be perfect for the ends of our farmhouse table.
I chose the light gray fabric because it nicely compliments the light gray in the curtains in this room. Everything is light and bright in the dining room. The white from the chairs, the spring green walls, the fun splash of pastel colors from the plate display, it all screams spring.
Next weekend Jesse and I will be hosting our 4th Passover dinner and I love that we can invite a few extra guests now that we have more seating. When we built our table we envisioned having a table full of people eating, drinking and laughing around it, and now our dreams coming true.
This room is seriously my favorite in the whole house. It’s always so bright and happy. I love sitting at my new chairs and eating breakfast every morning, and sitting with Jesse and chatting about our days every evening while dinner cooks. Since this room brings me so much happiness, I eventually want to funnel that joy to other rooms. Everything needs a little pop of pastel and some greenery to make it come alive, and that’s what I want to do, make my whole house seem alive.
What do you think of my swanky new Target chairs? Could you have passed up such a good deal? Can’t wait to tune in later this week to show you all my spring decor in the living room!