July 31, 2013


Reading: So many good books lately! I got the first book of the Delirium trilogy from the library and flew through it. I just picked up the second book today and am excited to delve into it tonight.

While I was waiting for it to become available, I started reading 'You Shall Know Our Velocity' by Dave Eggers and really like it so far. I am only about 30 pages in but it has grabbed my attention. It is described as if Holden Caulfield had been a child of the frequent-flyer era, he would have found fellow travelers with the main travelers who ping-pong around the world.

Also I recently signed up for Goodreads and now my library queue is incredibly ambitious and probably unattainable.

Listening: Spotify has seemed to have gotten this idea that I really enjoying listening to prepubescent rappers from the UK so my radio stations are filled with people like Rizzle Kicks.

I am not hating this assumption by Spotify. I have been enjoying listening to raps about headmasters and how cool their new white trainers are.

Anticipating: My husband and I are 'Bigs' in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and in two weeks we are taking our 'Little' on his first camping trip. It's with the organization and they have some cool things planned like archery lessons, boating, a trust building ropes course and of course...plenty of roasting marshmellows over a fire. Our Little is soooo excited about this and to top it off after our weekend of camping, we got some free tickets to go see the Atlanta Braves that Sunday night (thanks Diane!) which will be our Little's first pro game ever. His head may explode from all the excitement.

Eating: Tonight we splurged with a spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mushroom & onion pizza. We also got some beer for my husband and for me some $3.00 wine and of course .... dark chocolate with sea salt.

Working On: Having a clean kitchen before bed each evening. I don't want you to get the impression that I am a pig or anything but sometimes after dinner when we load up the dishwasher, there are a few miscellaneous things hanging about because we ran out of room. Instead of leaving it in the sink for the next morning, we have been washing those last few things by hand. We've been doing this for the past two weeks and it has been so nice to walk into a kitchen with a completely empty sink each morning. It's weird how little things like this make you feel good.

Loving: Summer vacation for my husband. Since we have been together, he has never had a traditional '9-5' job. He is the type of person that enjoys working 80 hours a week and can do it pretty effortlessly (well...minus the drinking of 40 oz of coffee a day). This summer though, he has had a regular hour job which means in the evening we get to cook together, play a few rounds of checkers and take Cooper on plenty of walks. Our weekends are actually weekends too which doesn't happen very often during the school year.

Making Me Happy: My husband putting a container of tennis balls in our cart at the grocery store for Cooper, getting woken up by a puppy dog licking my face, running for six miles in the rain, being praised for the hard work I am putting into my business, having old clothes fit again and reconnecting with old friends.

~ With Love, Ashlee ~

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July 30, 2013

Some Things You Might Not Know About Me

1) I hiccup. A lot. An unnatural amount really.
Usually my hiccups are singular and they are so loud and sudden that they end up startling the puppy, the husband and myself.

2) My desert hierarchy is as follows:
Pie < Ice Cream < Cupcakes < Cake < Cookies.
Cookies always win.

3) My first job was at Target and I have never worn red and khaki together since then.
Never ever.

4) If I ever get a tattoo, it will be a quote from my favorite book 'East of Eden' by John Steinbeck.

5) I prefer to sleep at a diagonal angle across the bed much to my husband's dismay.

6) I took five years of French along with one year of Italian in college and all I got from it was how to spot anything with fromage (cheese) on the menu and how to ask for the 'water closet' (bathroom).

7) When I was 17, I pierced my belly button like four hours before an eight hour flight from Hawaii to San Fran to Denver.
Terrible idea.

8) The foods I love and eat the most are avocados, raspberries, oatmeal, watermelon and kale.
(My husband thinks that this point should just be avocados, avocados, avocados, avocados and avocados).

9) I am terribly skittish around and afraid of balloons and rubber bands.

10) All of my first pets were named after foods.
Oatmeal the cat, Oreo the cat & Smore the beagle.

Dress: Forever 21 / Shoes: Target
Infinity Bracelet: My Sweet Nomsa / Coral Earrings: My Sweet Nomsa

~ With Love, Ashlee ~

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July 29, 2013

Marathon Monday - 2nd Edition

So I am officially done with month one of marathon training and so far, so good.

No injuries, no heat stroke in the Georgia summer sun and I am still enjoying my training.

I don't know what it is about this round of marathon training, but it feels so different from the training I did last fall.

I am just enjoying it more I guess and I am doing better. I am only running four days a week this time (I did five days a week last time) and I haven't missed a day yet whereas last time, I made up a lot of excuses for missing days and got really behind on my schedule making for a terrible marathon experience.

In some related news....I finally saw a number on the scale that I haven't seen in a few years which was pretty darn exciting. I have been below this number for four days straight now and I am hoping that by the weekend I might be down even another pound. Right now, I am under the weight I was when I graduated college and when I lose another eight pounds, I will be at the weight I was when I graduated high school/when I was a fitness instructor in college.

Some photos of me from sophomore & junior year in college. That right there is the physique I am trying to get back.

I think that the vegan diet, eating clean and eating as cheaply as possible (lots of beans, grains, greens, fruits & no wine, chocolate or extra treats) have really helped me lose a few pounds this past month.

I do lose weight veryyyyyyyyy slowly (go away saddlebags!)....but here's hoping that by eating better and moving more, things will come together in a few months.

(Sidenote: we just had an impromptu dance party to Ice Cube in my house thanks to the Sublime pandora station).

I was talking to my mom last week about running and she mentioned that I must get terribly bored when I go for my 2-3 hour runs.

I do sometimes, but I am an avid podcast listener, so I thought that I would share some of my favorite podcasts (which you can download for free from the Itunes store) in case you needed some good listening material while you exercise, do some household chores or work from home making jewelry :)


This is hands down my favorite podcast in the world. The best way to describe it is a combination of story-telling, spoken word & stand up. The stories are real, sometimes heart breaking, other times a bit raunchy, usually funny and are well told. Episodes either have one long story (40 minutes) or 3-5 shorter stories (10-20 minutes per story) and the story tellers range from ordinary people who have a crazy story to share and then there are comedians like Sarah Silverman or Lisa Lampanelli or Michael Ian Black.

This past week I listened to a story that actually had me crying while I was running along and other weeks I have been laughing my head off like a crazy person while running because the story is so funny and I can't contain my excitement. 

Check out RISK in the Itunes store or on their website and just look for a title that interests you. I started listening to this podcast when it first started four years ago and have listened to every episode. You will not be disappointed. 

(Any of the stories with Elena Baker are pure gold).

 Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me

 If you listen to NPR, you are completely aware of this awesome weekly current events game show, but if not...listen now

Each week you have a celebrity panel (hats off to my personal favorites of Paula Poundstone & Alonzo Bodden) and special celebrity guests (last week was Jim Gaffigan, but others include Neil DeGasse Tyson, Martha Stewart & Ed Helms) that answer silly quizzes based on random weekly news. 

It's pretty funny and definitely makes the time go by quick because you can get lost in thought while trying to answer all the questions correctly in the lightening round. 

You can almost forget that you are running 15 miles.

This past year for our wedding anniversary, we actually went and saw the taping of one of their shows when they did a live show at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA. It was so fun to see the behind-the-scenes action of this podcast. 

Us last September on our 3rd year wedding anniversary at the Fox Theater

Stuff You Missed In History Class

 How Stuff Works is an awesome website owned and operated by the Discovery Channel. On it are thousands of well researched and thought out articles on completely random questions/topics. 

Some examples I saw today are...

How Stuff Works also produces over a dozen separate podcasts a week. I listen to three of them, but my personal favorite is 'Stuff You Missed In History Class.' 

You get to listen for 20-40 minutes on one subject matter and the ladies really break it down for you. It is super interesting and I have learned about things like 'Lizzie Borden and Her Axe,' 'The Disappearance of the Lindbergh Baby,' & 'Who Was The Real Dr. Frankenstein.'

This podcast really makes you stellar at the history questions on Trival Pursuit. 

I hope you found a new podcast or two to listen to, but if you are more of a music fan while sweating, here is my current playlist for when I run. 

Lots of upbeat, fast songs with catchy hooks.

Running by MySweetNomsa on Grooveshark

Linking up with Ashley from 'The Domestic Wannabe!'

Have a great Monday everyone!

~ With Love, Ashlee ~

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July 25, 2013

Around The Studio - 2nd Edition

This week I ...

Awed over my husband's masterful excel spreadsheet skills as he made me perhaps one of the greatest spreadsheets to ever exist. 

Took some photographs modeling a pair of earrings per customer request.

Worked on a bridal jewelry order for some lucky bridesmaids!

Got incredibly excited about some new jewels I found. Big, bold and triangle. Expect some pretty stellar earrings in next week's post!

Had to deal with a creeper while I was photographing/modeling some bracelets in my curtains. 
F.I.N.A.L.L.Y got all these bad boy knitting needle bracelets photographed and they are now available in my etsy store! 

Seriously....my love of jewelry and knitting combined into one form. 

Took a few walks to the post office to drop off packages. 

Photographed and added a lot of new bridesmaid jewelry sets to my etsy store. 

Not a bride? Don't worry, you can buy them solo :)

Had a business meeting at a yarn store (not a bad location)!

The meeting went well so I am so excited to announce that you can now buy my knitting needle bracelets at the newest retailer selling my wares. If you live in the Atlanta metro area, check out the Lovin' Knit yarn store in Marietta for the bracelets as well as pick up some yarn from their awesome selection. 

~ With Love, Ashlee ~

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July 24, 2013

Being On A Schedule

Dear people who read my blog and spam robots, 

I am so tired right now. 

For the first time in my four years of being a self-employed business woman, I am trying to follow a schedule. 

You see part of the romance and intrigue of being able to work from home means being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. 

Answer customer emails at 11pm...sure!
Look at a dog shaming website for an hour because its 10am....okay!
Stay up until 2am working because you procrastinated a project....why not!
Have a not wearing any pants day....you bet!

But this whole 'doing whatever the hell I want' thing has kind of hit a fork in the road. If I want to keep growing my brand, keep expanding my business and well frankly....eat food and have shelter....I need to step it up. 

I need to be a bit more focused. A bit more driven. And a bit more productive. 

In comes my SCHEDULE. 

Dun dun dun. 

My husband and I sat down last week, talked about what my goals for the week should be, what my priorities were, what deadlines I had and then I took all 4526451346 items on my to-do list and put them into 7 incredibly jam-packed days. 

The very first day I started getting stressed and kept finding myself shouting to the puppy, 'AHHHH, I am off my schedule!' 

Lunch time became eat/work/eat/dribble food all over my desk/work time because I needed to multi-task. 

All week I frantically moved from task-to-task, trying to stay decently on top of things and failing terribly. 

When I made my schedule for this upcoming week, I vowed to allot more time for tasks, to better grasp how long it 'actually' takes for me to do things and not just use the imaginary figure of time I have in my head. 

You guys....here it is Wednesday at 10:30pm and I am still doing Monday's stuff. My blog post today was supposed to be about knitting inspiration from around the web...

but the best I can do tonight is show you a photo of a hat that I wish I was working on right now. 

My brain isn't really functioning and I did about ten different endings to this blog post and none of them felt right. So...

good night!

~ With Love, Ashlee ~ 

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July 23, 2013

How To Be A Fashion Blogger

Do you admire all the top fashion bloggers and you want to be one as well?

Well...isn't it your lucky day because I have all the advice you need packed into one little blog post just for you. 

Convenient huh?!?

Let's not waste any time and let's just right down into it.....

Always use props. 

Always use a prop whether it be what mother nature provides, an industrial complex, or random junk you just purchased at Target. 

Make believe props if you have to!

Never look at the camera.


You definitely look and seem way cooler when you look anywhere but the camera lens. 


Keep the poses interesting!

Nobody wants to see you moving around like you normally do, so you need to show off your moves. 

Squat, lunge, bend, hunch over and hide under things. Your readers will appreciate the artistic nature of these shots. 

Always have your photographer take photos of your best angle. 

So that's it! Just follow these simple steps and before you know it, you too will be a fashion blogger!

~ With Love, Ashlee ~

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