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

Found Objects: Murals in Long Beach and Venice

April 11, 2017

This Found Objects reminded me that there are perks to getting out and walking through the neighborhood. Click through the slideshow to see some of the pieces that caught my eye during recent sightings in Long Beach and Venice. Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it strolling because I was circling the streets of Long Beach in my car last Sunday looking for a parking spot. Thanks, Grand Prix, and all the tourists you bring to steal our already-scarce parking spaces. But I digress. Anyway, I finally found a spot a couple blocks away, not that far from one of my old haunts, The Stache. I seriously haven’t been to that bar for two years, which is crazy because it’s so close to my apartment. And despite countless times I’ve driven by, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the exterior got a new mural. I’m sure these hip calaveras are luring all the party people in. Meanwhile, in Venice, I legitimately was walking by and saw this piece with the stately Middle Eastern-looking gentleman. I’m not completely clear on what or what type of building it is (Is it an office space containing a massive cubicle farm or the home base of a small business? Inquiring minds want to know.). Either way, I tip my hat to the artist of this interesting piece. I really dig the contrast between the realistic painting of the man’s face and the plain line drawing, with Arabic script written off to the side. And apologies if it’s someone famous or significant that I should know. I discovered this last gem while walking and talking with a friend from work. We took a left turn down a street I hadn’t yet seen and were treated to this gigantic, colorful mural featuring a Chihuahua. Sassy, right?! I think I’ll get out more often, if not just for the fine scenery.

To see more Found Objects posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

March 22, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 93, courtesy of The Happy Housie, is a reminder that even the seasons can offer hope. It’s officially springtime, but the weather in Los Angeles is having a bit of an identity crisis, as it rained yesterday and will have an encore throughout today. I’m right there with all you sunshine lovers with my old-school chant of “Rain, rain go away, come again another day.” I mean, I thought we were over this. Apparently, February saw as many rainy days as it did sunny ones (and, therefore, enough rain for the rest of the year, if you ask me), which is unheard of for Southern California. But before I get caught up in this trivial gripe, I must acknowledge that there are some great perks that have come from rainfall. Without the rain, there are no blooming wildflowers and succulent succulents and lush green hills that I have recently been pleasantly surprised by. On a deeper level, this quote speaks to the newness that’s sure to come. No matter how dreadful your present day may look, there’s always the promise of a better, brighter tomorrow. After the storm comes sunshine. It just takes a little darkness for you to fully appreciate the light. I hope your perspective shifts when you consider how long you’ve been in a place you’d rather not be. Change will soon come. Believe that!

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

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

March 15, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 92, courtesy of Quotes Gram, is where my heart is at the moment. I feel very much alive as I write this, but other times I feel like I’m on autopilot, just caught up in my routine without coming up for air or enjoying the scenery. There’s more to life than waking up, getting dressed, walking the dog, navigating through rush-hour traffic, working eight hours, making that return trip home through traffic, eating, sleeping and doing it all over again the next day. The ant in this quote sounds busy for busy’s sake. So caught up in the day-to-day that they miss the authenticity of human engagement. That’s no good. And, admittedly, it’s a trap I’m trying to dig myself out of. I do, however, want to be like the ant described in the Bible in Proverbs 6:6-8. The one who’s busy because she’s beautifully orchestrating her future, her success, her glow up. Not because someone is telling her to, but because she wants it for herself. The scripture says, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Now that’s a bug’s life I can get behind.

Talk to me, friends. Which ant are you most like these days?

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

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

March 8, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 91, on this International Women’s Day, comes from the mind of English novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë. This particular passage comes from perhaps her best known work, “Jane Eyre,” and is all about letting go of wrongs. Last week, the first lady at my church shared a message on silence and solitude and challenged us to spend 30 minutes alone and quiet with God. Admittedly, it was a challenge to keep my mind on Him. And it didn’t help that I chose to practice silence and solitude while driving in morning rush-hour traffic. Several times, my thoughts were interrupted by people acting a plum fool out on the highways and byways, and how they were breaking the rules of the road and how they needed to be taught a lesson. Petty, I know. But LA traffic has a certain way of getting your blood boiling. And then more seriously, what came to mind during that quiet, alone time were some lingering challenges I’m facing. Not sure how to say it without getting into the nitty gritty, but I’m dealing with the aftermath of emotional harm from a certain relative. Honestly, it’s taxing to constantly be on the receiving end of ill will and then be expected to be the bigger person. It’s easier said than done, but I have to move past replaying the hurt and stewing over those events. For my sanity, I can’t spend time keeping score of all the times I’ve been wronged. Life is certainly too short to be holding on to some nonsense. I choose to forgive. Not for anyone else, but for me. Friends, I hope you can do the same. Let’s let go of the drama so we can live our best lives!

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

ashley ♥ adores

Fancy Things Friday

March 3, 2017

This Fancy Things Friday is all about the subtle slay, with an assortment of pieces that take a look to an all-new level:

1. Gals, not only is ombre killer on hair — it also suits jewelry quite well. Exhibit A: this stunning Ombre Chain Necklace that gracefully runs the spectrum from gold to black. Definitely one of my favorite color combos, black and gold are a match made in heaven. Spread the love by pairing this necklace with a daring all-black jumpsuit. (missselfridge.com)

2. Turn a basic tee into a timeless look, with this darling Montana Square Scarf. The fringed hem and mélange of patterns make this piece a win-win on all sides. (anthropologie.com)

3. This Scale Top is giving me Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons, with a touch of Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman. Needless to say, it’s fierce AF. Stunt heavy on ’em in this top, paired with a pencil skirt or a tapered cigarette pant and a stiletto heel. Perfection! (shopakira.com)

4. Cozy up to this luxurious Oversized Sweater from Genuine People. The red color is powerful, but the piece also comes in off-white, if you’re more mellow. A sweater like this is key in transitioning from winter to spring, as it’s perfect for layering. (genuine-people.com)

5. Ty Hunter, stylist to Beyoncé, makes his foray into fashion design with his athleisure line, Ty Hunter by Reflex. Honestly, every single piece (I’m talking all 23 of them!) in this line is a must-have, but this Reflex Maritza Pencil Skirt (and matching Reflex Tina Crop Top, of course) stole a piece of my heart. The stripes set in different directions adds a dimension of playfulness that I can get into on the way to the gym or even out on the town. (six02.com)

To see past Fancy Things Friday posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

March 1, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 90, spotted on Pinterest, is a reminder that it’s never too late to start anew. It’s month three of 2017. Can you believe it? Happy March, friends! 2017 is just “march”-ing right along. Amirite?! With each passing month, it’s only natural to take inventory of how far you’ve come, where you are and where you’d like to be. Personally, I’ve lagged behind on some goals that I made at the start of the year. My gym membership and Class Pass are still waiting to be activated. Memoir writing has all but ceased. And if I’m being really honest, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve actually cooked (not warmed up frozen or instant meals, or leftovers from eating out) at home since January. My goodness. I’ve got to do better. I’m talking to you, but I’m mostly talking to myself: Don’t let your shortcomings prevent you from losing the will to get back on track. As businessman and author Harvey Mackay says, “Every morning brings new potential, but if you dwell on the misfortunes of the day before, you tend to overlook tremendous opportunities.” While it’s great to be honest with myself, it’s also important to be a glass half full thinker. On the bright side, I’m alive and healthy, have some writing topic ideas floating around the old noggin and a list of recipes I’ve wanted to try. This new month is full of possibilities. Now it’s time to go chase after them!

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

ashley ♥ adores