Browsing Tag


Photo of the Week No. 40: “Love on Top”

October 3, 2018

This Photo of the Week was captured a couple of months ago while I was strolling through my boy bestie’s neighborhood. The meaning behind title of this image is quite obvious: “Love” is literally on top of the coffee shop in that lovely shade of red. And of course, Beyoncé’s jam of the same name comes to mind. I also think about the notion of love always coming out on top. Consider the location. This photo was taken in West Hollywood, where a large population of our LGBTQ neighbors live. I’m reminded of how much strife this community faces for simply loving who they do. In any event, I hope you’re feeling the love as you read this!

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

June 15, 2016


Moment of honesty: It’s taken everything in me to remain positive and write an uplifting Wednesday Word in the wake of the horrible terrorist attack/hate crime at Pulse nightclub in Orlando this past weekend. To think that 49 people are dead and more than 50 others are injured at the hands of one evil person is absolutely frightening and heartbreaking. I think of the husbands, wives, fiancés, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends, co-workers, you name it, whose lives were unnecessarily ended (and those whose lives will be forever altered by the injuries sustained in the incident), and it’s unbearable. Hard to imagine the pain and anguish their loved ones are experiencing. Hard to come to grips with the fact that such hatred exists in this world. Hard not to go numb hearing about yet another mass shooting in this country. We can sign hundreds of petitions asking lawmakers to reform gun control and ban assault rifles, and yet nothing seems to change. Today, however, I choose to keep believing that change will come. That love will conquer hate, and that love wins every time. This Wednesday Word No. 71, courtesy of and spoken by writer and theologian Frederick Buechner, is a reminder of the strange dichotomy of living: We’ll experience some of the happiest days of our lives and some that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies, but we can’t live in fear. I read somewhere that the Bible references the phrase “do not be afraid” 365 times, which is a reminder from God to live every day being fearless. Perhaps my favorite of those “fear not” verses is found in Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Keeping my eyes fixed on Him, and resting on His promises is what’s restoring peace and hope to me. I hope that it does the same for you. Be well, friends.

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

ashley ♥ adores

Mother’s Day Q&A

May 12, 2013


Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there! You make the world go ’round. To commemorate this special day, I decided to do a fun Q&A with my lovely, silly mother, Jean. She has successfully birthed and raised six of us children: Kevin (32), Me (28), Robert (27), Karim (25), Ayesha (24) and Jamaal (22). And she never had to have a C-section and reports that she never left any of us in a public place.

A few fun facts about my siblings: I hold the record for staying in the womb the longest, while Karim left the soonest. Jamaal was the most painful birth for my mother, as he weighed nearly 10 pounds. Robert and I are “Irish twins” in that we are the same age for a month between May 30 (Robert’s birthday) and July 7 (my birthday). Jamaal and I share the same birthday, six years apart.

A few fun facts about my mom: She goes by “Alison” around family. Expressions and Sentiments is the name of her gift basket business that she is relaunching. Her mac and cheese will change your life! And last but not least, she is the best mom on Earth!

Champy, thanks for your selflessness and unconditional love. I appreciate EVERYTHING you do for us knuckleheaded kids, big and small. You are the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman, and I hope to be just like you when I grow up. I love you!


My mom as a youngster. Can you see the resemblance between us?


Here we go!

Can you share any funny hospital or labor stories? I pooped while having Kevin.

Do you miss being pregnant? If so, why? Yes, because you get to eat everything and people make a fuss over you. No, because you get fat.

When you were younger, did you have a preference how many kids you had and what gender? Eight: 4 boys and 2 sets of twins.

What were some of the names you wanted to give us? Ashley: Ashley or Ruth; Ayesha: Daisey or Karima; Jamaal: Jamaal or Matthew.

Why did you want a big family? Because it was just me and Carol (her younger sister).

What’s the best part about motherhood? Giving life.

What’s the best Mother’s Day gift you ever got? All the homemade gifts.

What’s the weirdest, strangest or worst gift one of us has given you? They all have been great (Way to be diplomatic, Mom. LOL).

What has having children taught you? To love unconditionally.

Did parenting get easier as you had more kids? Yes, you learn how to do it better.

Did your parenting style evolve throughout the years? How so? Yes, I stop sweating the small stuff.

What are some of your proudest moments as a mother? Seeing my kids graduate from high school and college.

Put this question to rest, once and for all: Who is your favorite? It’s impossible to have a favorite. You all have such different personalities.

Happy Lovers’ Day!

February 14, 2013


Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day, I’m remembering that God’s love trumps what any man could ever give, and reflecting on the true definition of love. XOXO.

I Have a New Crush. His Name Is Macklemore.

December 9, 2012

Be still my heart.

So I have a new crush. His name is Macklemore. There’s something about a man who can rock a coon-skin cap and a onesie and look fly at the same time that makes my heart skip a beat! Tee hee. Just sayin’. This song and video are pretty great, too! Yay for thrifting!

P.S. Pardon his French.

It’s the Little Things

September 15, 2012

I love the moments when you’re feeling down and someone does something so small, so unexpected to brighten your day. I saw this little note from my dad when I was playing “Draw Something,” and suddenly, everything became OK. It’s not much, but I know it’s from the heart and that he means it.

In some ways the cell phone and Internet have built communication barriers between people. We’re so self-absorbed. But this, to me, exemplifies one of the best benefits of these modern-day staples. I’m glad my loved ones are only a text message, Voxer, tweet, Facebook like, or, in this case, “Draw Something” comment, away from me.



March 9, 2012


My 3-year-old nephew, Jordan, absolutely loves my dog, Berkeley, so much so that he started acting like him (barking, walking on all fours, the whole nine). I captured this Kodak moment in the backyard of my mom’s house. Jordan went outside to play with Berkeley, who was resting in the shade on the warm afternoon. Little Jordan, without prompting, went down in the grass and laid down beside him. I live for these precious moments!

It Runs in the Family

February 10, 2012

So I recently found out something new about my father, as we were discussing the fact that it’s difficult for me to gain weight. It runs in the family. When he joined the Marine Corps in his early twenties, he weighed a measly 107 pounds. His recruiter gave him a week to gain seven pounds (bringing him to 114 pounds, the minimum weight requirement then to join the service), so Pops proceeded to gorge himself on everything he could get a hold of. And taking heed from his recruiter, he didn’t take a poop that entire week. So when he weighed in seven days later, he gained a solid eight pounds. While at boot camp, my dad was given extra food rations and more time in the mess hall, compared to the other recruits who had just minutes to stuff their faces. He emerged three months later weighing a solid 145 pounds.