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

Fancy Things Friday

May 12, 2017

Spring is in full swing and this batch of Fancy Things Friday is finds proof:

1. The Golden State is home for me. From America’s Finest City (San Diego) to Santa Barbara, to the Bay Area to Los Angeles, it’s full of so many places that have stolen a piece of my heart. These quaint California State Earrings from Seoul Little are the perfect tribute to the greatest state of them all, IMHO. They’re on back order but they’re well worth the wait. (azaleasf.com)

2. Mustard yellow has always been my jam! These Twiggy Sunglasses are all the more reason to love the warm, sunny hue. Step out into the spotlight with these daringly darling shades. (anthropologie.com)

3. This Esra Lace Ruffle Blouse just screams of style and grace, and there’s no wrong way to wear this ladylike piece. I can envision slayage on the horizon when paired with high-waisted denim, a pencil skirt or even a cigarette pant. Hop to it, gals! (storets.com)

4. What’s knot to love about this chic Tie Front Cotton Top? Again, the bright hue hits a home run. Even better, this blouse will kill at work or out on the town. (warehouse-london.com)

5. It takes a brave soul to don a full-on pajama shirt in the light of day. That’s why you’ll be looked at as a hero in this smart Hero Top in White by Creatures of Comfort. (needsupply.com)

To see past Fancy Things Friday posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Out and About: Coachella 2017, Weekend One

May 2, 2017

I headed out to Indio with every intention on making my first Coachella a memorable one, and it’s safe to say that I succeeded. Not only did I get to spend time with some of my favorite people, I also got to make new friends, experience music with fresh ears and have the time of my life in the middle of the desert.

Determined to get my $500’s worth, I drank in every act I saw and relished the opportunity to get acquainted with some new favorites. These included GoldLink, Majid Jordan, Kaytranada and Thundercat, who brought out the legendary Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers. He did “What a Fool Believes” and my bestie, Yvette, and me just about collapsed from the sheer iconery (yes, that is now a legitimate word — you heard it here first) of it all. Then, of course, there were the big names that I’ve wanted to see for a while but hadn’t yet gotten the chance. Future was phenomenal and “Mask Off” was definitely the song of the weekend. Kendrick Lamar’s whole production was everything and more. Empire of the Sun sounded incredible live and the lights really brought their set home. If only I wasn’t so vertically challenged, I could have observed their full vision. The crowd eclipsed my view, and I had to jump up to catch a quick glimpse at what was happening on stage. The running joke was, “Wait, there’s background dancers?”, as we short folks didn’t even know they were joined on stage by dancers in elaborate costumes until our friend commented about them. But I digress … We also saw DJ Khaled, Gucci Mane, Schoolboy Q and Travis Scott — a very hip-hop friendly Coachella indeed.

I wish I could have seen a few others, such as Capital Cities, Lorde and Grouplove, but there weren’t enough hours in the day. Plus, the Antartica installation was a missed opportunity. It was extra dope, according to my coworker’s snaps from inside the air conditioned dome.

The music was a big part of that weekend, but the tons of tiny, precious moments that don’t fit neatly into categories were amazing, too. Something magical happens when you’re intent on living your best life and facing the day with nothing but positivity at top of mind. Reflecting back on those such times from that weekend, I’m reminded that the strength of my bond with friends comes to light in the sacrifices — big and small — we make for each other. Going with the flow when plans change or walking what feels like a country mile to get water bottles to hydrate the entire squad. That all matters. We created tons of new memories over those four days. I cherish them all. What a whirlwind Coachella was. Until next year … possibly!

Some photos courtesy of Sisterfrands & Co.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

April 12, 2017

I’ve got Coachella on the brain and this Wednesday Word No. 94, spotted on Pinterest, is only helping give me fodder for my daydreams. Taken from the lyrics to “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, these words evoke a sense of whimsy and merriment. “You belong among the wildflowers/You belong somewhere you feel free.” Why, yes. Yes, I do, Tom. In just two days I’ll be with some of my favorite people, frolicking in the desert sun at Coachella. I’ve wanted to go to the three-day music festival for years, and this weekend I’ll finally get to experience it. Hot-hot-heat, unbelievable live performances, good vibes, erratic dancing, flower crowns (ours have LED lights!) and all. But even if you’re not going to Coachella, you can still get in on that feeling of exuberance. We all need a moment, a break from the norm, to re-energize us. What does that look like for you? Maybe it’s feeling the sand in between your toes or dipping them into the crisp ocean. Maybe it’s going on a hike that leaves you alone with your thoughts. Maybe it’s going for a long drive with the stereo cranked up at max volume and the wind making your hair dance to its own rhythm. Maybe it’s camping underneath the stars. Heck, maybe it’s waking up on a Saturday morning and committing to being still. Here’s to being young, wild and free, y’all!

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

ashley ♥ adores