Out and About: Walk MS: Long Beach 2022

May 18, 2022

Ashley’s Crew for a Cure was back in full effect at Walk MS: Long Beach on April 30! This was the first time the walk was held in person since the pandemic. 2019 was my first Walk MS, and it was such an uplifting event. I couldn’t wait to get back to El Dorado Park to see my family, friends and connections from the MS Society, as well as members of the Long Beach Community Council that I co-chair with DJ Danga Dang. Click through the slideshow to see some highlights from the walk!

I had my heart set on walking the three-mile course but started feeling pain in my left ankle at the point where the course split and opted to do one mile instead. Still a big accomplishment for me, as I’m working on strengthening my left foot following that pesky foot drop! My family and friends kept me laughing and dancing along the route, while my brother’s beagle, Ollie, found large sticks along the way to keep him occupied.

There was so much joy and support in the air. I loved having a tent, which I earned for being a top-10 fundraiser the past two years — it provided great coverage from the sun and was a resting place for my team. I also enjoyed meeting friends who I had only seen in tiny boxes online live and in the flesh. It was a beautiful day indeed! And if you want to contribute to my fundraiser for a cure for multiple sclerosis, there’s still time to donate here. Thanks in advance 🙂

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

ashley ♥ adores

Outfit of the Day: ‘Sisters’ … As Seen On ‘Insecure’

February 28, 2022

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10

This Outfit of the Day pays homage to my favorite TV show, “Insecure,” in light of its recent four NAACP Image Award wins! The oversized cotton shirt features a large multicolor illustration of four African woman and artistic “Sisters” text — and it just screams “Blackity Black” to me. It’s giving bougie auntie circa 1993, and that’s exactly why I needed it. The timing of this post is also apt, as it’s the last day of Black History Month and the eve of Women’s History Month. Issa Rae, the show’s creator and star, is Black history and women’s history in the making! Consider the look a tribute to her.

T-shirt: “Sisters” Fruit of the Loom Tee (Vintage)
Shorts: Big 5
Shoes: Crocs
Head wrap: YGN
Necklace: Etsy
Photographer: Dash

Fun story behind the vintage “Sisters” Fruit of the Loom tee — the star of this OOTD. It’s the actual shirt that Issa wore on “Insecure”!! Season 4, Episode 1, to be exact. The episode is titled “Lowkey Feelin’ Myself” and is the one where Issa preps for her sponsor mixer for the Market Street Block Party. When the show ended, I was bummed. It’s the end of an era for sure. However, I was fortunate to have a piece of memorabilia from the show that while keep the memory alive for years to come. I was the highest bidder on the “Sisters” shirt on Screenbid and a short while later, it arrived with a certificate of authenticity and the auction tag! Which reminds me … I need to find a proper frame to display everything.


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

Found Objects: BLM Murals in DTLB, Part Two

January 13, 2022

My phone’s Camera Roll is rife with street art that has caught my eye while out and about, but I had to go back to 2020 and finish up my series of BLM murals that I found in my neighborhood. It’s like a time capsule of sorts looking through these images. They were taken after the tragic murder of George Floyd.

The pieces that speak to me the most are the quotes written in black and in white. These BLM murals are a metaphor for the nature of race relations in the United States, and for how plain (black and white) the plight of Blacks in America for equity is. Long story short: Stop killing us!

I’ve never found a BLM mural that I didn’t like, so expect to see more of them here! My eyes are always peeled for the latest and greatest.

To see more Found Objects posts, click here.

Wednesday Word

January 5, 2022
2022 word of the year

Happy 2022, friends! I know it’s been a hot minute. Not gonna lie — COVID-19 fatigue and MS fatigue played a big factor in my lack of activity here over the past year. But that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way (although it seems like the pandemic shows no signs of letting up anytime soon). With a new year comes a reinvigorated passion to create new habits.

Which brings me to my Word of the Year for 2022: “empowered.” This year, I want to remember the power that I have to control my own destiny (with God on my side, of course). I want to spend more time doing things outside of work that fulfill me. That includes blogging here at Ashley ♥ Adores, traveling, spending time with my loved ones, eating delicious foods and more.

Continue Reading…

OOTD Roundup: World MS Day 2021

May 30, 2021

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. … A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12

And just like that, another World MS Day is upon us! It seems like a few months ago when I was celebrating this day of global solidarity and hope for the future for the first time. I kept my new tradition going and did an OOTD roundup to commemorate the occasion, because every day is worth celebrating. Truly. So I put on a bright orange dress (orange is the official color of MS awareness), my current pair of favorite shades and a smile and rocked this mini photoshoot. As symbolized in the second image, sometimes living with multiple sclerosis feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. There’s so much to worry about — the unknowns about the progression of my condition; managing my symptoms while balancing work, family and friends; and still trying to find joy in the process. Life with MS is not easy, but with my support squad by my side and looking to other people who are triumphing over the same struggles, it makes things better. I’m grateful for every one of them!

The World MS Day theme from 2020 to 2022 is “connections.” Last year, I chose to focus on my gals who supported me during the early stages of my MS diagnosis and journey. This year, I’m highlighting my fellow MS warriors who I’ve connected with via social media. Funny how the vast world of chronic illness can feel so small and inclusive! They have lifted me up and encouraged me by simply being who they are. These lovely ladies — seen below in their various shades of orange — include Kaci, the radiant roller skater; Ashleigh, a rose of an inspiration; Roxy, the remarkable MS fashionista; Diane, the dope DJ; Moyna, the marvelous motivator; Risha, the beautiful blogger; and Bianca, a beaming MSer who was recently diagnosed. Get to know about these inspiring women below, as they share what the MS community means to them and what makes them hopeful for the future.

Kaci Bell

• Name: Kaci Bell / @myelinmoxi
• Location: Dallas, TX
• Occupation: Realtor
• Diagnosed: August 2017

“The MS community means so much to me: It means knowledge of other’s experiences and perhaps a foretell of our own. It means instant friendships/connections — it’s hard enough to talk about this, it makes it so much easier to communicate with someone going through the same thing. It means strength and resilience, because we don’t let each other feel sorry for our disease, we continue to uplift each other and encourage positivity with our MS. It means having a bond, especially when wearing an article of clothing that mentions MS, it’s a talking point between strangers that is either knowledgeable or creates a relation between them. This community has been the most embracing one I’ve ever identified with and it’s been the most helpful resource since my diagnosis. 🥰

Ashleigh Rose

• Name: Ashleigh Rose / @arose
• Location: Florida
• Occupation: Founder of A Rose Collective
• Diagnosed: November 2018

“The MS community means (cliché warning) the world to me. When I was newly diagnosed, I didn’t find many positive accounts that showcased that yes, living with MS is tricky, but it’s not the end of my life. So I wanted to change that narrative. Be the person I needed for others. So I turned my personal IG account @arose into a safe space to share my journey and spread Multiple Sclerosis awareness. Opening myself up to the world, to the beautiful connections I’ve made, has been more than rewarding. It’s been life-changing. My story continues at A Rose Collective and I look forward to making many more MS Connections! Xx”

Roxy Chanel Murray

• Name: Roxy Chanel Murray / @multiplesclerosisfashionista
• Location: London, England – UK
• Occupation: MS Advocate and Podcaster
• Diagnosed: 2012

“The MS community means so much to me. They have become a massive part of my life. Bringing me so much joy, light, love and guidance on my journey. What makes me hopeful for the future is the progression that’s happening currently in the medical world with drugs and medical trials that show that there may be a brighter, happier future for all MSers. As well as the way the community has connected and created greater spaces, less loneliness and better well-rounded information resources available for all.”

Diane Palaganas

• Name: Diane Palaganas (a.k.a. DJ Danga Dang) / @_danga_dang
• Location: Long Beach, CA
• Occupation: Part-time DJ, Full-time WARRIOR
• Diagnosed: January 2016

“The MS community is an inspiration of hope and motivation. No one else understands the pain and fight we go through. When I see other warriors surviving and thriving with this disease, it makes me push and fight even harder. I believe anything is possible. I am open to all the possibilities of the future and am thankful for everyone with me on this journey.”

Moyna

• Name: Moyna / @lifewithmoyna
• Location: New York City, NY
• Occupation: Paralegal, Freelance Writer and Content Creator
• Diagnosed: December 2019

“The MS community is very warm and welcoming. I hope for the future is that more POC MS patients can be displayed. Seeing people who look like me in MS advertisement and other PR materials. Representation is SO important. It is helps to see others like you and know you are not alone!”

Risha Serrano

• Name: Risha Serrano / @reeshespieces_
• Location: Las Vegas, NV
• Occupation: Executive Administrator of a healthcare facility and Blogger
• Diagnosed: January 2018

“The MS community is strong, resilient and supportive of one another. Reassures me that I am not alone in my journey. It gives me hope that I can continue to live a fulfilling life despite having MS.”

Bianca Sair

• Name: Bianca Sair / @beeezzzyy_
• Location: Philadelphia, PA
• Occupation: Direct Support Professional
• Diagnosed: February 2021

“I’m new to the MS community so it’s still a lot to learn. I do hope to gain support as well as give support to my fellow warriors as well as gaining knowledge. I just hope a cure for MS is coming soon so we don’t have to continue to suffer inside.”

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

Out and About: Vroman’s Bookstore

May 25, 2021

My self-help memoir, “Jesus Year,” became a bestseller on Amazon last month, but the goal-reaching didn’t stop there! I had long desired to see my book on the shelf at a real-life bookstore, so I was elated that Vroman’s Bookstore — Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore — started carrying my book. This past weekend, I ventured out to Pasadena to see it for myself and … WOW. I can’t even put into words how it felt! I still can’t get over the fact that my book is on the shelf at such a staple of the LA community. “Proud” doesn’t even begin to cover it — definitely a dream come true for the kid.

If you know anyone who lives in Pasadena, please let them know that my book is in their neck of the woods. Or if you’re looking to take a drive, stop by Vroman’s (695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101) and pick up your autographed copy of “Jesus Year.” I’d love for it to sell out so they can order more copies! Your help with that would be greatly appreciated.

Special shout out to Natalie, who was a big help, as well as the kind staff at Vroman’s.

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

Outfit of the Day: Bet on Black

May 13, 2021

I never underestimate the power of a good statement tee to bring an outfit home. And when in doubt, I always bet on black — you really can’t go wrong in black. This Outfit of the Day is pretty much all black everything, save for the pop of burgundy on my lips and on my feet, as well as the gold accents.

“… being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience …” Colossians 1:11

T-Shirt: Love Black Culture
Jeans: Amazon
Sneakers: Air Jordan 1 Mid SE
Necklace: Etsy
Earrings: Amazon
Canine Confetti: Courtesy of Ryley the Mini Dachshund
Photographer: Dash

Thinking about the message of my T-shirt (*say it louder for the people in the back!), I always bet on Black — my people, our culture, our art, our expression. We are so dope! I wish that others would love us as much as they love our culture. I’ve heard it put this way: They want our rhythm but not our blues. I think you know the theyto whom I’m referring. We’ve seen it far too often. They love everything about us (our dances, out music, our vernacular, our natural features, etc.) and try so hard to emulate us, but when it comes down to it, don’t even fix their mouths to give us credit for our brilliance that they co-opt, acknowledge our contributions or stand up against the countless injustices we face on the daily. Le sigh. Hopefully someone gets the memo when they see this shirt. Even if they don’t, I’m still gonna serve this Black girl magic on the reg!

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

Wednesday Word

February 24, 2021

I felt it was only right that I present to you my Word of the Year in this Wednesday Word. I’ve decided that “overcome” is it for me — mood all 2021.

As you know, I published my first solo book, Jesus Year, at the end of 2020. The main reason I decided to write about my journey with multiple sclerosis was to support, help and encourage others who have been newly diagnosed with MS or another chronic illness. It became clear that order to get the word out about my book — and reach said audience to create real impact in their lives — I would need to step out of my comfort zone and overcome many things. Overcome my fear of public speaking. Overcome my hesitancy to be in the spotlight. Overcome the self-limiting beliefs that stopped me from pursuing my passions so many times before.

What I mean is, this year will be the year that I beat, conquer, defeat, master, prevail (over), subdue, surmount, take, triumph (over), upend, win (against) and the other powerful adjectives when it comes to all the things that try to prevent me from walking in my purpose and living my life fully. Watch me overcome!

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

Found Objects: BLM Murals in DTLB, Part One

February 20, 2021

I’m always in awe of murals that spring up in my neighborhood — especially those that have decorated the Downtown/East Village area of Long Beach in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM). I’ve collected photos of some of my favorites that I’ve happened upon over the past several months. Take a look at these beautiful BLM murals created by an assortment of talented local artists.

Mara Bubblegum is the artist behind the first (and my favorite) mural in the slideshow, which depicts a stunning Black woman among an assortment of colors and scenery. You may recognize it from a previous Outfit of the Day. Just looking at it makes me happy. It’s as if the subject is telling me, “Push through, sis! You got this.”

The other pieces feature inspiring quotes from prominent Black women writers Andrea Hairston and Octavia Butler, as well as a depiction of the late George Floyd. Stay tuned for more of the gems that caught my eye while moving through the LBC.

To see more Found Objects posts, click here.

Outfit of the Day: Love to Lola

February 8, 2021

This Outfit of the Day features the designs of one of my favorite people, my friend Lola Wusu! Today happens to be her birthday (Happy birthday, girl!) so I thought I’d to show her some love by posting the look I pulled together featuring her dope Genesis Portrait Crew. Side note: When the people in your life step out on faith to create something on their own, support them. That goes for clothes, books, art, music, food — you name it. Show up for your people!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Lola is just a vivacious, beautiful spirit. Her love of life is contagious and it’s no wonder that the sweater incorporates the phrase “live to love.” Her family name, Wusu, means “mighty warrior” and, according to her website, “That’s exactly who this line is for; those mighty warriors for whom fashion meets community, for those who want to look good, do good, feel good. Every. Single. Day. Just like Lola.” This idea of being a mighty warrior resonates extra with me — an MS warrior fighting every day to not let my chronic illness get the best of me.

I absolutely love the bold simplicity of the sweater. The rigid white lines plus the pop of red in the lips combine to create magic on the ultra-soft black crewneck sweater. I had to mirror that aesthetic by putting on a red lip of my own. And I took the pop of red a step further by breaking out my beloved Air Jordan 1 x Anna Wintour/Vogue collabs.

Genesis Portrait Crew: Wusu & 4th
Jeans: Amazon
Sneakers: AJ1 “High Zip AWOK” (Nike x Vogue)
Hair: Braids by Meme Ford
Photographer: Deborah


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