Kitchen Diaries: Fresh Mango Salsa

August 27, 2019

Friends, it’s been a minute (several, actually) since I’ve recorded my Kitchen Diaries, but I’m back with a simple yet extremely delicious recipe for fresh mango salsa! It’s the perfect summer concoction. Now, I’ve had my share of store-bought salsas but there’s something about creating a condiment, no matter how easy, from scratch. You’ll be surprised at how flavorful and refreshing this mango salsa, courtesy of a Cookie and Kate recipe, is.

Ingredients:
3 ripe mangos, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (or not, if you like spicy)
1 large lime, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice)
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste

Dig into more of this fresh mango salsa recipe after the jump!

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Outfits of the Day-to-Night: Fashion Haul

August 9, 2019

Oh, hey. Didn’t see you there. “What have I been up to?,” you ask. I recently partnered with PrettyLittleThing to bring you a super versatile day-to-night fashion haul that ranges from casual cute to hot girl summer. Yes, I’m serving you looks that work for day and shine in the night. To start, here’s one that is undeniably meant for an evening out on the town.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

These outfits feature some of my favorite accessories (What’s not to love about bright pops of color, and who doesn’t get life from a good statement necklace?), but as you feast your eyes on these ensembles, you’ll see that one of my main accessories is missing: my AFO brace. I’ve regained strength in my foot after the MS-related flareup that I experienced in September 2017. God is good! More on that next week … But with renewed strength comes a renewed desire to stunt on ’em. Thanks to PrettyLittleThing, I have some killer outfits for you to do just that.

Get into this summer fashion haul and shop the ‘fits after the jump!

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Ashley Adores in the Press: DressLikeMe — July 2019

July 11, 2019

I love a good surprise, and thankfully DressLikeMe, an online store and magazine, is in the business of giving them out! (Well, that and being an awesome one-stop-shop for all things fashion.) The editorial team recently reached out to see if I’d be up for a feature on their website. And, of course, I was grateful for the opportunity and consideration. The Fashion Feature that DressLikeMe wrote about me was super thorough and truly encapsulates what I aim to do on this here blog. They really know how to make a gal feel special. Take a look at the post and let me know what you think!

Thanks again to DressLikeMe for the feature 🙂

DressLikeMe outfit feature

Outfit of the Day: Progress Not Perfection

June 14, 2019

I’m excited to announce that I’ve become an ambassador for Just Strong, a women’s fitness brand dedicated to empowering and encouraging women! I immediately connected with their Progress Not Perfection tank, which is the star of this Outfit of the Day.

“… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

My fight with multiple sclerosis has been one that has led me to experience of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There are days when I feel fantastic and my MS symptoms aren’t even recognizable, and there are days when I feel like my chronic condition is getting the best of me. But through it all, I’ve realized that as long as I’m continuously moving forward, I’m on the right track. After all, life is about transformation. Perfection would mean completion, and I know God’s not finished with me yet! That’s why I wear this Progress Not Perfection tank with pride as I work out.

As I work on my fitness, week after week, it’s important that I continue to focus on making steady gains instead of striving for perfection. If you’d like to see more of what Just Strong has to offer, head to the website and use the code ASHLRATC10 to get a discount on your purchase!

Shop the look below:

Tank: Progress Not Perfection (juststrong.com — Use this link to get a discount applied to your purchase at checkout!)
Leggings: Nike
Shoes: Nike Air Max Tavas
Scarf: Forever 21

Photographer: Dash

To see more Outfit of the Day/Night posts, click here.

Wednesday Word

May 29, 2019

This Wednesday Word No. 112, from AdView and spotted on Pinterest, is pure facts. I’ve seen it in my own life recently with some strides made with my fitness. Toward the beginning of the year, I set out to take control of my health and made finding a personal trainer one of my 2019 goals. Since I’ve been working out with my trainer, I’ve lost 10 pounds and 2 percent body fat! I was surprised to hear those results, but it just goes to show that a little becomes a lot if you keep your head down and trust the process. I think the (not-so) secret to my success has been making changes to my regimen little by little. I started cutting back on eating fast food and upped my physical activity. Nothing groundbreaking! This could apply to any goal that you make for yourself.

Also, on the eve of World MS Day, I must reflect on my health journey. I’ve slowly been working on strengthening my left foot that became severely weakened after my flareup, which ultimately led to me being diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. And slowly I’m beginning to be able to walk for longer periods unassisted by my AFO brace. I WILL be able to leave it off permanently one day soon! To think about where I was back then and where I am today is astounding. I went from having extreme fatigue where I would just collapse after getting home from work, for weeks on end, to waking up at 5:30 a.m. consistently to work out and feeling energized well into the night. All I can say is, “Thank you, God!” I’m writing this to remind you that it — whatever your “it” may be — may look too hard to attain, but taking it one step, hour, day at a time will mean big results if you keep at it. So, don’t give up just yet! You’re closer than you think.

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

Wednesday Word

Photo of the Week No. 54: “Ladybug Business”

May 13, 2019

This Photo of the Week was a serendipitous moment from a couple of weeks ago when I happened to stop and smell the daisies and spotted a busy ladybug in the mix. Thankfully, I already had my camera out and was able to capture the curious creature before it flew away. Although it didn’t land on me, I still think it means good luck (I’ll take all that I can get!). I also love the detail that this image displays, from the drops of water on the petals to the spots and antennae on the ladybug. Alternate titles: “Ladybug Luck,” “Dude Looks Like a Lady(bug)” and “Caught Red Bodied.”

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Out and About: Walk MS: Long Beach

April 27, 2019

I participated in my first Walk MS: Long Beach a couple of weeks ago, and I had my tribe of supporters there walking with me, and an even bigger village of loved ones there in spirit. Ashley’s Crew for a Cure showed up and showed out, collectively raising $5,895 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We were in the top 10 teams out of 113, and I was in the top 10 for individual fundraisers, bringing in $3,130. Click through the slideshow to see some snapshots from Walk MS: Long Beach. The day was full of love, encouragement and hope, as we walked three miles around El Dorado Park. Although it was a challenge to walk that distance, I did so with an immense sense of gratitude that I was able to do so standing on my own two feet, with a little help from my AFO brace. Putting one foot in front of the other, and dancing an occasional jig as the volunteers chanted my name and cheered me on at various stops along the path, I crossed the finish line with so much joy in my heart. Praise God! It was inspiring to see so many people come out to support the cause — finding a cure for MS — and it definitely gave me a second wind of strength to continue my battle. Having been diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS a little over a year ago, it’s events like these that energize me and let me know I’m not alone. To those who joined my Crew, donated to my fundraiser and lifted me up from afar with prayers and well-wishes, I am forever grateful for your love and support! Next year will be bigger and better. Hope you’ll join me 🙂

P.S. Thanks to Pops and Jordan for taking some of the images seen in the gallery.

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

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

April 24, 2019
wednesday word
Image courtesy of FTD by Design

This Wednesday Word No. 111, discovered on FTD by Design, is an on-time reminder to give your loved ones their flowers, like the roses pictured in this image, while they’re still here to enjoy them. I wish I had a few more snuggles and walks with my beautiful, loving 13-year-old fur baby, Berkeley Buster DeVoe. I had to say goodbye to him earlier this month on April 7. I keep thinking of all the good memories to get me through, and the more I reflect on his life, the more I see how much he has truly become a part of me. That little rapscallion came into my life during my last year of college and has basically been with me throughout my entire adult existence. He has helped me become the woman that I am today, so I know that without a doubt, Berkeley lives on through me. I find solace in the fact that even though there’s a Berkeley-sized hole in my heart, time will heal the wounds.

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

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

January 30, 2019
wednesday word

This Wednesday Word No. 110, courtesy of Quote Master and spoken by the late poet-activist-womanist Audre Lorde, is a reminder to take care of yourself. I dare to venture that it’s necessary for you to take care of yourself first. Truly, how can you pour into others when your well is dry? I have to keep that in mind when I feel like I’m exhausted with my daily work responsibilities, and work events and after-work events. Especially now with my condition, rest is vital to me to have a long, healthy and stress-free life. Another version of the quote has Lorde saying, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Because the notion of putting yourself first is contrary to what women are taught. Some of you may have even observed the women in your lives taking a back seat to everyone else. Where did it get them? Probably exhausted, frustrated, depleted, and hopefully, not to an early grave. So I implore you all to pause and take inventory of your life. Are you regularly practicing self-care? If the answer is “no,” I suggest you make plans to do so before the day is over. Need ideas? Dear Black Women has you covered! Take care, friends!

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

ashley ♥ adores

Photo of the Week No. 54: “Ready for This Jellyfish”

January 28, 2019

I hope you were thinking of the chorus to “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child while reading the title of this post, ’cause that’s what I had in mind when I wrote it! LOL. Jellyfish are fascinating to observe. This Photo of the Week is another one from my jaunt to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Bech, starring a bloom of jellyfish. Yep, that’s what you call a group of these aquatic mysteries. Not sure which variety these are, but their bright yellow color drew me in, and the way their long tentacles sway about is relaxing to watch. I guess we could all take a clue from these creatures: Go with the flow but speak up when someone rubs you the wrong way.

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores