Outfit of the Day: Grand’s Handbag

July 20, 2020

This post is in honor of paternal grandmother, Clara (we grandkids called her “Grand”), who passed away on July 2. Today, July 20, would have been her 85th birthday. My grandma was the most stylish woman I’ve ever known. She loved her furs (Detroit winters warrant full coverage) and lived to dress up. Grand taught me the importance of making a good first impression with my appearance, and is my greatest style inspiration. I have vivid memories of her teaching me how to iron clothes (’cause wrinkles are never cute); her helping me pick out a fancy Easter frock (all pink everything, complete with frilly socks and a tiny purse); and us going shopping for white tennis shoes in the spring. It was a ritual that my brother and I always looked forward to.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

Jumpsuit: GoJane
Headwrap: Amazon
Flats: H&M
Clutch: Vintage Stuart Weitzman from Grandma (gifted)
Photographer: Dash
Murals: @batdude88/@awalkingcanvas and @mara.bubblegum

One thing I learned about my grandmother since she passed is her love of designer threads. As a kid, I knew Grand could dress — I never paid attention to who she was wearing. When I went home to Detroit for the funeral, my aunts asked me to look through my grandmother’s jewelry and her closet to see if I wanted to take anything to help remember her. I saw this bright, flashy clutch tucked away on top of some shoe boxes in the living room closet and fell in love with it. It was so ’80s. It wasn’t until I got back to Long Beach and opened the clutch that I saw the label: “Stuart Weitzman/Made in Spain.” Granny?!

Grand had great, no, impeccable taste! I decided to make her clutch the star of this Outfit of the Day. It’s gorgeous, just like Grand. I’m wearing all black to signify that I’m mourning my grandmother’s loss. She was truly a one-of-a-kind woman, and I miss her tremendously. She was the epitome of style, grace, resilience, beauty and love. I’m wearing a headwrap as a crown of sorts. My grandma was royalty to my family and those who knew and loved her. I threw in the pops of red on my lips and shoes to reflect my grandma’s spirit. Her light that shone brightly, and boy did she know how to coordinate. Scroll through the slideshow to see a couple photos of Grand. I wish I had a photo of her wearing this darling clutch. I’m sad that she’s no longer here to serve up more head-turning looks, but I know that I will see her again when I go on to glory. In the meantime, her spirit will live on though me and my family. I aim to make Grand proud with every OOTD I pull together for this here blog.

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

Outfit of the Day: A Teddy Bear You Can Wear

June 19, 2020

Today is the last official day of spring! I’m cleaning out my closet and putting my summertime finery to the front, but one piece I’m holding on to is this snuggly Teddy Bear Coat from my friend Jená Monique’s boutique. Wearing it feels like a warm hug, and those are welcome all year long, right?!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens …” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Teddy Bear Coat: Jená Monique
Cable-Knit Sweater: Thrifted
Jeans: Forever 21
Scarf: Amazon
Hair: Braids by Meme Ford
Photographer: Deborah

This coat (sold out now, but previously available in this luxurious brown and a chic grey) is one size fits all, and this is one of the rare cases where it actually rings true! It’s a little roomy but it doesn’t look like I’m swimming in it. And it has pockets! Ones deep enough to hold me cell phone and wallet. Though this piece might be reserved for colder seasons, don’t be surprised if it finds its way out with me on a random chilly night. I’ll make it work! Now that things are heating up, it’s a great excuse to do some retail therapy and treat yourself to some lighter threads. And if you like the style of this coat from Jená Monique, she has just dropped some summertime looks. Run, don’t walk! Support Black-owned businesses this Juneteenth 🙂

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

Outfit of the Day Roundup: World MS Day 2020

May 30, 2020

Today is World MS Day, and I’ve decided to do something different — something very Ashley Adores — to commemorate the occasion.


“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

Jumpsuit: Missguided Orange Bow Front Bandeau Jumpsuit
Earrings: Francesca’s
Sandals: Amazon
Photographer: Dash


I’ve enlisted the help of a few friends who are showing their solidarity and support for World MS Day, while also helping to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis. As some of you may know, I am one of the nearly 1 million people in the United States living with MS (2.3 million worldwide).

Orange is the official color of MS. This theme of this year’s World MS Day is “Connections,” so I wanted to show some of my connections (a.k.a. friends) wearing orange in support of someone with MS (me). At times, living with a chronic illness can be an isolating feeling — not to mention the stressors that come with being immunocompromised during a pandemic — but I’m blessed to have a tribe full of real ones who have my back.

Support from people who truly love and care for you can feel better than medicine when you’re chronically ill. The women pictured in the gallery below have served as inspiration and lifted me up when I needed it most.


Here’s a little about each of the women rocking their best orange ensembles in style in this roundup:

• My sister Ayesha is a superwoman who is an awesome mother to my nephews, Jordan and Marquis. She is also an honor roller as she pursues her degree, and is a craftmaker extraordinaire. She has always been ahead of her time. As a kid with sarcastic humor, I was convinced that there was a 45-year-old trapped inside her young body. Ayesha’s favorite color is (you guessed it) orange, and she wears it gracefully with a yellow (my favorite color) accent necklace.

Yvette is my bestie, who I’ve known since the fifth grade. She is a lover of birds and also is my favorite songbird. Not only is she blessed with the vocals, but she has the distinct ability to make me laugh like a lunatic with her antics. Some of my best adventures traveling the word have been with Yvette, and I can’t wait to explore new places with her once this pandemic subsides.

• Unbridled creativity is what comes to mind when I think of Lola. She always turns heads with her bold outfits and daring accessories, and she has a heart of gold. Far from the ordinary, Lola exudes rare beauty inside and out. You can shop her creations at Wusu & 4th. (Photo by RSee)

Jená, another entrepreneur-fashionista, is a mother, stylist and owner of the Jená Monique boutique (shop this Sheer Perfection Maxi Dress and other orange ensembles!). We met at church as we ministered through dance together. She loves the Lord and has a heart for serving her community. In all aspects of her life, Jená is the epitome of style and grace.

• My homegirl, Linda, has become family throughout the years. I can count on her for anything. Literally! One of the best things about Linda is her transparency. She doesn’t shy away from sharing what’s on her heart and her faith is so strong. I know that I can keep it 100 with her at all times, and that she would go to war for me.

Stefany is a colleague who has been a great friend to me. She is a true inspiration, a supportive mother of two, and is as real as they come. Her effortless style is enviable. I mean, she has lewks for days! Stefany’s most valuable asset is how genuine she can be — she means what she says and says what she means. Love her!

• This curly cutie is Octavia, a quirky, funny, radiant spirit who is a joy to be around. I leave every encounter with her uplifted. I can always count on Tae for a timely word, and she has the voice of an angel. You better sang, Tae! As someone who also is enduring her own health challenges, seeing her thrive is encouraging, to say the least.

Whitney has become a full-on woman right before my eyes. I remember fondly the days when she had just moved to California and we connected at church. These days she’s back in Arizona with a successful career in commercial property management, the cutest babies, a dope hubby, and a bomb house. Whit’s still got the baby face, but she’s got the wisdom and hilarity to match. Catching up with her on our weekly Zooms has definitely been one of the highlights of this quarantine!

• Simply put, Olamide is goals. She is one of the smartest and driven people I know. Where there is a will, Olamide will find a way, from teaching herself to code and launching a grassroots match-making service during the pandemic, to becoming a homeowner before 30 and affecting real change with leadership at our company! I stan. Not to mention, her singing voice touches people deep in their souls. I’m glad our work friendship has become a real friendship.

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

Outfit of the Day: Do-Gooder

January 31, 2020

And just like that, we have closed the books on our first month of 2020! January came and went so quickly, and yet I feel like most of those days were spent guessing what the weather was going to do. It’s been that weird mix of freezing nights and early mornings but midday sunshine and springtime vibes come afternoon. So not full-on winter coat worthy but not exactly thin cardigan ready. This fluffy jacket by Nike has been a Godsend — it’s versatile enough to keep me the right amount of warm, and stylish enough to elevate just about any look that I pull together as I’m rushing out the door.

“Trust in the Lord and do good …” Psalm 37:3

These days I’ve been keeping it classic with black-and-white outfits featuring a pop of color. This ensemble was built around my “do-gooder” shirt.

At the start of the New Year, my church began making a concerted effort to do good for 21 days straight in the same we we’ve done Daniel fasts. My pastor described being a do-gooder as carrying out “practical, tangible acts prompted by God but directed toward people.” Ultimately, the goal is to lead people to God by being his hands and feet, doing good deeds, meeting people’s needs, showing kindness and such. It sounds so obvious, right? Do good. Not because you want something in return, but because we honor God when we give freely. And dare I say, it’s quite alright to look good while you’re doing good 😉

See more of this cozy, carefree ‘fit and find out where to shop the look after the jump!

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Wednesday Word

January 1, 2020

This Wednesday Word No. 113, courtesy of Good Housekeeping, pretty much sums up my 2019-to-2020 mood. I personally am using all that I experienced last year — the highs and the lows — to rewrite my story for the New Year.

If I said that any other year prior to this past one was rough, I take it back. 2019 takes the cake … and throws it right in my face, smearing its messy frosting all over the place. This past year, Q4 especially, was marked with profound loss. Don’t get me wrong — there were some great times, too (e.g., being able to finally walk without my brace, doing flying trapeze for the first time, participating in my first Walk MS, vacationing in Barbados, finding a therapist who gets it, etc.). God truly did keep me (*cues “Never Would Have Made It” remix)! Before I say good riddance to 2019, here are some things I learned from it.

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Travel Log: Barbados, 9/21 – 9/28

October 7, 2019

With 2019 zooming by — hello, Q4! — it was time for a break from my day-to-day. Thankfully, I was able to get away for one lovely week in Barbados with my bestie Yvette and good friends Crystal, J.C. and Ernie. There’s so much to say about our adventure, so I’ve broken it down by category.

LODGING

The Crane Resort, located in St. Philip — just a 15-minute drive from the Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown, was spectacular! Apparently, it has the distinction of being the oldest resort in the Caribbean, so it has that going for it, too. Our luxurious suite was very spacious (Shout out to Ernie for booking our stay!) and even included a swim-out pool, which was the perfect amenity for cooling down in the warm September sun.

The beds were cozy, and the convenience of a refrigerator, stove and washer-dryer made our trip all the more pleasant. The resort boasts awesome ocean views from just about every angle and is quite peaceful. In fact, we didn’t experience as much noise and chaos as one would expect of a vacation destination. Plus, the well-equipped fitness center and easy beach access were icing on the resort’s (rum) cake. Noticeably missing, however, were jacuzzis but with temperatures in the high 80s, I can’t complain.

An added bonus was how personable and courteous the staff was. The real MVPs there are Shannon, Brandon, Theo, Jamal, Corey and Jeff (and a few whose names escape me). They gave us such excellent recommendations on places to see and restaurants to try. We even saw Shannon and Brandon out on the town one night at Mojo, a spot they mentioned to us! The concierge was quick to send help when the power went out three times within an hour during a rainstorm and when we needed transport to the lobby.

Having The Crane as our home base for those glorious seven days only added to the enjoyment of our time in Barbados. I’d return for a stay there without hesitation! Oh and be sure to order the cajun smoked chicken wings at the resort’s Bar 1887. You’ll thank me later!

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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.