Out and About: California African American Museum

December 11, 2017

I’ve lived in Los Angeles County for 11 years and I finally made my way down to the California African American Museum a little while ago. I know. I’ve gotta do better. But I was glad that I went when I did. I heard that the “No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992” exhibit — focusing on the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots that came on the heels of the Rodney King verdict — was closing, so that seemed as good a time as any to visit. When my guy and I arrived, we weren’t prepared for the emotions that took hold of us as soon as we stepped into the exhibit. Heavy doesn’t even begin to explain it. There was a police vehicle from the era right in the middle of the floor (it’s unclear if that was the exact car involved in the King incident), and images of the King beating and news footage of the subsequent riots played on TVs across the room. There were also artifacts from some of the people, even a 13-year-old girl gunned down by a store owner, who were unfortunate casualties of the unrest. Our eyes filled with tears reading about the loss of innocent lives, and the complete disregard for black lives that’s still prevalent to this day. Maybe that’s why it was so gripping. In short, the exhibit was powerful and one I won’t forget. There was also an intriguing exhibit about black women in silent films that provided a rare glimpse of our people’s first appearances in motion pictures. The images above don’t capture those exhibits — my pictures wouldn’t do them justice. But on the lighter side of the museum were these marvelous works by African-American artists. They each evoke a sense of pride and wonderment in their own unique ways. Click through the slideshow to see a few of my favorites from that day. If you’re in LA and you haven’t been to the California African American Museum, run, don’t walk, over there. It will fill your soul and make you think.

See what other adventures I’ve gotten into by clicking here to read more Out and About posts.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

November 15, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 98, courtesy of Marc Johns, has been my mantra over the past six weeks. I suddenly didn’t have much feeling or strength in my left foot. I noticed my foot was dragging one night when I was walking my dog. It wasn’t a thing that progressively got worse. It just happened all at once out of the blue. I’ve been in and out of doctors’ offices trying to diagnose my injury. Even a kind young doctor was trying to diagnose me out on the dance floor at my job’s Halloween party last month. It seems like most are perplexed by my condition. The podiatrist confirmed nothing is broken. The chiropractor conducted an awful nerve test on me (basically he stuck me with a needle at various points on my thigh, leg and foot, and zapped me to see how my nerves reacted) and I got my back X-rayed — the results for both came back normal. Most recently, the MRI revealed more about my discs. The chiropractor’s theory that I’m experiencing the numbness and lack of strength in my foot due to a slipped disc in my back, which could have happened months ago, was partially correct. It’s a lateral herniation in my L4/L5 disc. Basically, the disc is triangulated so it’s nearly pinching the nerve. The doctor prescribed me steroids, which were helpful in restoring strength and movement back to three of my toes. Now if we could get the pinky toe and the one next to it back wiggling, that would be fantastic. It’s been super frustrating not knowing what the heck’s going on. But at the same time, I’m hopeful because I know God is up to something. He’s in control. And he’s going to work it out. And though it sucks walking around in a boot, I’ve been heartened by the kindness and concern people have shown me. Everything’s gonna be super duper. I feel it in my bones. Just not all of the ones in my left foot. LOL.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Fancy Things Friday

September 22, 2017

This Fancy Things Friday is in the spirit of protesting the impending start of autumn. Fall Equinox has decided to rear its head and, frankly, I’m not here for it! Get into my last-bit-of-summer looks:

1. Bonita Applebum, you gotta put these Bonita Drop Earrings on. These dainty yet daring earrings feature fringe and a pop of gold, and will add a little flavor to an outfit in need of some oomph. Lucky for you, if you’re not feeling the Yellow ones pictured, they come in a variety of hues, including Cobalt Blue, Fuchsia, Orange and Blush. Talk about fringe benefits. (baublebar.com)

2. These sophistifunky AVA Gem Slingback Shoes are just what the doctor ordered — a burst of sunshine, a la Vitamin D, with a touch of class, thanks to the gemstones. Try these bad boys in black for a more city chic appeal. (topshop.com)

3. The ’90s called and said, “This Acro Unitard in Abstract Floral by Motel is da bomb diggety!” For reals, there’s so much to love about this whimsical piece. For me, it’s especially the scoop back and pattern. It’s giving me a more feminine Bobby Brown “Every Little Step” unitard. The boys your milkshake brought to the yard will probably be partial to the slight side boob, but this playsuit is all about fun. (motelrocks.com)

4. In the spirit of rebelling against fall, I like where the stylist’s head was at. Pairing this super cozy ASOS Ultimate Chunky Sweater With Slouchy High Neck with denim shorts is the perfect move and just screams, “I do what I want.” It goes without saying that this piece is highly versatile, and — dare I say — will transition nicely into autumn and winter. (asos.com)

5. This sweet but bold Puffed Sleeves Dress is basically everything that a gal desires in a day-to-night-worthy ensemble, and I can’t deal. It’s like a blank canvas on which you can let your personality shine through. The possibilities are endless. Happy styling!
(mango.com)

To see past Fancy Things Friday posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

September 20, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 97, spotted on Pinterest, is an on-time reminder that nothing worth having comes easy. In this instance, I’m thinking about fitness, but this word can be applied to any area of your life (e.g., career, finances, relationships, faith, etc.). While my mantra “I’m into fitness … Fit’ness whole pizza in my mouth” governed my eating habits for quite some time, I need to leave my fat kid ways behind and put in work to get back on track health-wise. Operation Snatched for My Sister’s Wedding has officially commenced. Nov. 19 will be here before we know it, and my belly needs to go away so I’m comfortable and cute in my bridesmaid dress. To kick it into high gear, I’ve been taking a boxing class twice a week offered at my job’s gym (Shout out to stellar perks!), and it has not been a cakewalk. The trainer doesn’t take it easy on me and demands I give my all with every burpee, push-up, squat (don’t get me started on the rigors of the jump squat), sprint and plank. I must be a glutton for punishment because most of the time I feel like I’m on the verge of puking, to which the trainer promptly reminds me that there are trash cans strategically positioned around the gym. A.K.A., quit complaining and power through. Thankfully, I haven’t actually barfed during a session … yet. I feel myself getting stronger each week. Half the time, everything hurts — walking, laughing, stretching, taking the stairs, reaching for my purse … every little thing. And you know what? I like it. It means that I’m keeping myself responsible on my quest to better myself. Is there something that you need to focus your efforts on? Let me know in the comments below so I can encourage you on your journey, and vice versa 🙂

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Found Objects: Street Art in Long Beach, DTLA and Beyond

August 22, 2017

Saddle up, because this Found Objects is ripe with beauty from LA, the LBC and beyond. If you look really closely in the first photo with that epically brilliant “Bloom” mural, you’ll see a teeny-tiny speck. That would be me! That should give you a sense of the magnitude of this piece. There are so many things to appreciate here, but I’m especially fond of the way the letters emerge from the background of intricately designed flowers. It all combines to make an amazing, massive statement. Its simple message, “Bloom,” was a call to action. It’s as if the wall spoke to me directly, like “Girl, you better go forth and thrive!” Seeing this mural put a little spring in my step (see what I did there?) and legitimately brightened my day. And off I went traipsing through Downtown Los Angeles with my pals. Shouts to Dennis for capturing me and this momentous mural.

Up next is a mobile mural of sorts: This piece on the side of a moving truck that could very well double as someone’s makeshift apartment — it is Venice, after all. There’s something about the eyes that always hook me in when I spot this truck. The freckles framing the eyes, the imperfectly perfect eyebrows and the facial tattoos speak of a life, well, lived. This is the face of a woman with a story to tell, and I want to hear all about it. Which leads me to another quirky piece, but this one made me chuckle. I was running late for a show at NerdMelt Comics’ NerdMelt Showroom in Hollywood (brief promo for “Smart, Funny & Black” with comedian-actress Amanda Seales) when this little number peeked out and said hello: “When life gives you lemons, order pizza” because ZA IS LIFE! The artist, WRDSMTH, is quite prolific, as I’ve seen his (assuming it’s a man, but it could very well be a lady) work all across the City of Angels.

We end this artistic tour in the city where I lay my head: Long Beach. This photo was captured on my birthday after a wonderful jaunt on Catalina Island. I was with my guy, Dash, and he wanted to take me for another celebratory drink at a hole-in-the-wall dive downtown. As we approached the bar, we were treated to this shot of inspiration. I’m not sure what it all means but it’s giving me Shephard Fairey-Obey vibes.

To see more Found Objects posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

August 2, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 96, spotted on Imgrum, is all about giving yourself a little nudge to get back on your grind. Of course, I’m talking to myself here, but by all means take it and apply it to your own situation. As the saying goes, “Hustle beats talent when talent doesn’t hustle.” Burn! The accuracy of that statement is too real. I can’t blame anyone but myself for not making progress on my goals. As of late, I’ve been in a vicious cycle of erratic sleep schedules, distractions aplenty and never having enough time for the things that are important — the things I’ve dreamt about — which basically means I’ve been sidelining my passions. Do better, Ash. No longer will that be the case. I’m reclaiming my time like Auntie Maxine and not looking back. This will be a process, but with a plan, some theme music (*cues Jay Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U”, followed by Chance’s “Finish Line/Drown”) and consistency, I know I’ll get there. Shout out to all those who are on their grind, making their dreams a reality.

Outfit of the Day: Birthday Behavior

July 10, 2017

My birthday was this past Friday, July 7, so naturally I celebrated all weekend long. (Truth be told, the rest of the month is fair game for celebration.) See more of one of my favorite birthday Outfit of the Days to date after the jump!

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Fancy Things Friday

June 23, 2017

Are you ready to get snatched for the summer? Look no further than this week’s Fancy Things Friday:

1. This Vero Moda Floral Ruffle Cut Out Swimsuit is giving me “La Isla Bonita” meets “California Girls” plus a dash of summer lovin’. There’s so much to love in such a small package: the floral print, the ruffles that give a taste of peplum and the cut-outs. I might even throw on a pair of cut-offs and a pair of bright orange heels and stunt on ’em while out on the town. Say I won’t. (asos.com)

2. If the best things come in small packages, you’ve hit the jackpot with this darling Abbie Envelope Crossbody. At 6″ x 9″ x 1″, this bag is just big enough to carry the essentials. This one’s for all the Minimalist Mandys out there. This bag also comes in Ivory and Blue (a sky-like hue) for those looking for some pizzazz. (anthropologie.com)

3. You’ll never guess what type of journey awaits with this darling Learning to Fly Navy Blue Jumpsuit. I’m into the cinched waist and flowy fabric that leads down to the elastic ankles. This piece shows just the right amount of skin with the adjustable halter back, too. This jumpsuit will have you looking flawless with minimal effort — a dainty gold necklace and an open-toed heel will go a long way in completing the look. (lulus.com)

4. Take a bite out of this juicy Orange Side Split Midi Dress, courtesy of Miss Selfridge. Something about this pop of color commands attention. The side split also helps catch eyes. I’m here for this tangy burst of flavor. Yummerz! (missselfridge.com)

5. H&M is on to something with this polka-dotted Cotton Dress. It’s a prime example of how simplicity is key to creating a classic look. What you can’t tell from this view is that there’s a cut-out section at the back with ties. Hey now! (hm.com)

To see past Fancy Things Friday posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Found Objects: Street Art in Long Beach and Venice

June 20, 2017

These Found Objects are little jewels — very distinct pieces of street art — that I discovered while strolling through Long Beach, where I live, and Venice, where I work. The first piece is a burst of color by artist T. Schubert spotted in a Venice Beach alleyway. It wasn’t far from the second piece, which to me is a bird in chaos, its wings creating a frenzied flurry of lines and colors. Meanwhile in Long Beach, a couple of artists seized the opportunity to create something magical from a pile of rubble around the abandoned World of Books building in the downtown area. This one is especially dear to me because I casually observed it come to life over a couple days, as I waited at the light where the piece was being created on my morning commute. Harold and Herman are the names I’ve given these hardworking monsters that command attention at the corner of Third Street and Long Beach Boulevard. I happened upon the remaining two pieces while walking my dog. I could see them peeking through the alleyways. When I stopped to take a closer look, I was greeted by these elaborate shapes, patterns and hues. It’s amazing the objects you find while getting out in your neighborhood.

To see more Found Objects posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

June 14, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 95, courtesy of Pinterest, is all about leveraging the power that comes from dancing like no one’s watching to your advantage. Guys, I just left an amazing dance party that started at 6:30 a.m. at Wurstküche in Venice, and I loved every minute of it. To get a taste of just how ridiculous fantastic it was, run fast and watch my Story on Snapchat (ashleyadores) before it disappears tomorrow morning. I’m talking costumes, high-energy music, eccentric dancing, hydrating beverages and all kinds of interesting characters. The best thing was that no one was concerned about looking silly or being judged. The fact that we were dressed in jungle-themed costumes in a restaurant before operating hours with strangers is silly in and of itself. Who does that? LOL. Me and at least 300 wild-and-free people in Los Angeles. There’s a certain sense of power that comes with not giving a care about what others may think of you. As fellow unabashedly silly gal Amy Poehler says, “If you can dance and be free and not be embarrassed, you can rule the world.”

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores