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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Treat Yo Self...

When my birthday rolls around each year, I usually feel like I need to ask for things that I need rather than what I want..ie..new pots and pans, a mop steamer, or a vacuum. Which is totally a snooze fest and uber lame and I'm not sure why I do this..am I alone in this?

And this year was no exception. New pots and pans were on my idea list for Nate to look at. Along with a paper trimmer (fine..I'm the most boring of people ever;) and mixed in there was this little gem that deep down inside was my numero uno



The Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Care Cleansing System

It's no secret that my skin is lacking in the luster and wonder department. I have freckles, zits and forehead wrinkle lines that you could loose money in. So when I saw one of my Instagram followees using it, who of course had flawless, glowing skin (and I'm not that dumb to think it wasn't partially due to photoshop;) but still....I immediately fell into her perfect advertising ploy and started doing some research. I'm a sucker like that.



But these babies don't come cheap. So I put it on my birthday wish list..as that..a wish.

And come birthday time, I was fully expecting a big box of new pans but instead, was totally shocked and my heart melted a little..when I opened up my new Clarisonic face cleanser.

The hubs had done some research....looked into other models that were far less strenuous on the pocketbook, read some comparisons online and in the end decided it was go big or go home. There are three versions of the Mia Cleanser...we went with the middle option.

And guys..no lie. I love it with my whole heart soooo much! It's like the most fantastic, fresh-feeling of clean ever. Like.. if I knew what it was like to have an actual spa facial then I'm sure this would be right up there with that. It's that good. It has a built-in timer while it scrubs and my heart sinks when that minute is up..

And as a dutiful blogger, I totally did a before and after. And can I just preface these pics by saying both your welcome and I'm sorry. Sorry..that you have to see my huge zit chin and I swear I do have eyelashes #blondehairproblems 

So here are the before and after. 

plus my no smile/smile make it an even better before and after right;)

And I will say that the lighting is not the best in the first pic but I still say there is a huge difference ;)

Taken just shy of 4 weeks in between photos...here is my report is:
* Less acne ( I do still have one on my chin but I'm blaming Aunt Flo for that one) 
* Overall my skin has been much clearer far fewer blemishes
* More even skin tone 
*and I feel like it's so much cleaner and radiant..that's right I said radiant!

So there you have it. And if I totally have you sold, start saving your pennies, put it on your birthday or Christmas list or just head HERE to get your own. You won't be sorry and no worries..I'm not making a cent off of any of this..so rest assured it's all me.

XO
Ashley





Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Boom Pop...

You guys... sorry I didn't post yesterday as regularly scheduled.  Perhaps it was because I was coming down from a high.  A high known as Boom Chicka Pop... in which I seriously over-dosed and now, like a cocaine addict, I'm rubbing the last few salty sweet granules up against my teeth for a little taste of the good stuff because Lawd knows I can't touch it EVER again.

You might accuse me of being melodramatic, but I swear on my life... there has to be barbiturates in every bag.  It is sooooo perfectly perfect in every way.  And it's perfect in the guise of "not being too bad for you" so you go ahead and gorge your face until you want to, whelp, "BOOM CHICKA POP". 

So, in the spirit of rededicating myself to all things NOT popcorn or habit inducing... here is my sacred list of stuff to avoid at Costco.  Unless you just ran the Boston marathon and you have some calories to spare.  Then by all means - this list just became your holy snacking grail.
Boom Chicka Pop
Just don't do it.  Don't ever pop a bag of this goodness open.  I can only vouch for the purple bag, but I know it comes in a rainbow of pastel colored bags which offer a plethora of other flavors and I'm guessing you should keep your cart circling WIDE around those suckers too.

Cosmo's Carmel Corn

Unlike the name implies, this is NOT popcorn.  But don't think for a second that it lacks any of the regular habitual forming properties of popcorn.  This is hella good and no one in my family even likes carmel corn but me.... so, guess who was forced to polish off the bag?  Yep.  That was a one time fling that I'll remember fondly but won't be able to repeat.  I wish I felt more remorse though?
This.
I don't need to say anything more.
Who is this (*&%$ Cosmo?  I wanna find him and throw a really unexpected throat punch his way.
After I finally get the gumption to stand up from the couch and brush the remaining crumbs off my shirt.  Or maybe I'll just dive in again... I can't decide.

And then there are a couple other items that don't fall in the "popcorn realm" but I would just really stress the importance of NOT seeking out/sampling/looking twice at but especially NOT purchasing.
You know, I've heard -- through the grapevine -- that someone could ingest an entire bag of either of these chocolate delicatessens on a road trip and basically lament their existence for the rest of what was supposed to be a joyous and carefree get away.
Since we're friends I wouldn't want you to have to go through something like that.
 :)
So -- lay it on me.
Is there anything else I should just pretend I never knew existed in the snack aisles of Costco?
I'm gonna need a new drug.
XO
Amber

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Growing old...

If there is one thing I'm certain of in life..it's that every girl needs a bestie. 

I mean having friends in elementary, middle and high school is easy right? We are surrounded by hundreds of people our own-ish age for a good part of our life. So it's what we do..socialize, chat, hang-out. 



But then you graduate, go to college and get married, have kids and then real life hits you and suddenly those friends become fewer and fewer. Not by choice really..but priorities change and our kids, husbands and jobs become more important..as they should. 

And Amber and I went through a "not hanging out or talking so much stage"..I got married young and BAM..started my family..while she got married and was climbing the corporate ladder. Two great lives..but very different. And we still sent Christmas cards and all but we were in different phases of life. She booked lunch meetings and held important conference calls while I cleaned up boogers and poop in my sweats (so I was a little jealous..what?)

Then she had kids and quit her job (despite their begging to stay and can you blame them?) and we suddenly were both on mom mojo common ground. This snapped us back onto our girlfriend game. Chatting and texting and planning our few and far between shopping trips. And I feel lucky.

Because while we love our moms, our mother-in-laws, neighbors, sisters and other close friends...there is just something about your friend from way back when that just clicks right? I mean who else can you try swimsuits on with and compare cottage cheese thighs with...not too many.

A few years back, I went to New York with my mom, sisters and sister-in-laws and my mom was adamant about going to brunch at a place called Sarabeths. 


And she was right..it was great..but the best part was sitting back and watching all the white haired socialites chatting up a storm while eating  drinking their tea. And I suspected they had "their" group and "their" day that they met each week for Brunch. And I loved it. All dressed up in their leopard print jackets, thinning hair teased as big as it could go to hide their balding heads (this will totally be me someday;) lipstick as bright as day and their jewelry sparkling for days. It was perfect.



And so if you are lucky enough to snag a bestie..from Kindergarten, college or your backyard neighborhood... than consider yourself one of the few. And hang onto them. 



XO
Ashley

Monday, April 13, 2015

Suited Up...

There's something you should know.
Ashley and I went swimsuit shopping together this weekend.  It was... successful.  Yep, that's the word I will use to sum it all up.

It was also --

Painful - Like seriously have you ever pulled up a suit you're trying on (over the panties you packed for the very occasion - hygienic purposes folks) and the dangling cardboard tag scratched your buttocks?  Well, you don't know pain until you've experience that joy... just ask Ash.

Humiliating - Like the time we debated over the pros and cons of a monokini (that's right I got one) and then once we had decided, I went to take it off (because again, I had the tiny undies and bra beneath my suit) and I accidentally slipped it all off?  It basically took my breath away and I hit my knees like a praying man the second I felt the breeze.  Ha Ha.

Invigorating - Like when we found the perfect high-wasted bikini bottoms for Ash at a store we didn't expect to find anything.  And then we realized we could mix and match them with both a retro bikini top AND a modern tankini top?  AND THEN IT WAS ON SALE!!!  Insert happy dance is what happened there.  And we gabbed like crazy people on a shopping high to the twenty-year-old who checked us out.

Eye-Opening - Because we went into the Gap and we both came out with a black jumpsuit to the tune of $16 buckaroos!  But really, go now to the Gap near you and get yourself a jumpsuit!  Throw a jean jacket over a little white tee - put on your chucks - you're SOoooo stylish and your HELLA comfy.  And you're really welcome.  :)

Work - Dude... swimsuit shopping is not for the faint of heart.  We wriggled our way into and out of at least three dozen suits per chicka.  That take a great amount of adjusting, head-tilting, lifting of the upper butt cheek area and the chetsticles... I mean, you get it.  You don't just slide all svelt-like into a suit like butter.  It takes work, people.  And, I mean, bring a power bar because you are gonna need to refuel.  But far be it from us to refuel on leftover Easter chocolate - because have you seen the lighting in some of these dressing rooms?  Gah!  You know, just stay healthy out there while you're pouring yourself into neoprene and spandex, ladies!
Really, though.  If we walked away feeling excited about upcoming trips, motivated to keep on keepin' on AND we each had a couple of swimsuits plus a bonus jumpsuit in our possession... can we count the dreaded swimsuit shopping trip as anything but successful?
My point exactly.

Now rub on your fake tans and off to the Outlet stores, friends!  :)
XO
Amber

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spinning is Winning...

Every Tuesday and Thursday at my gym (I say that like I own it..but it's a thing right? Do you say "my gym" too;) any who...the 8:00 am class is spin class and guys...it's kinda my favorite.



Like... I don't need my thighs to get any more thunderous but I fell in love from the get-go two years ago and I'm still spinning away twice a week.

I'm not sure what it is about spin..I mean duh..you sit and ride a bike and go no where. My kids can not grasp this concept and I've repeatedly tried to explain that it's a stationary, non-moving bike. yep..Greek to them. Maybe it's the different "courses" we do each class..or maybe it's the leg and bun burn..or maybe it's the social aspect. It's one form of exercise I can actually carry on a conversation in. You get me running and don't even try to say "hi" ...it's all I can do to focus on my heavy, over-labored breathing..let alone tell you about my weekend ;)



Or maybe it's a combo of all those things..but whatever the reason..I really love it. So much so..that I have even considered signing up for the Salt to Saint bike race..or something similar. But of course that would require me to actually purchase some gear..like a road bike, clip-in bike shoes and those awesome butt-padded spandex shorts. Which..hello...who doesn't want to own a pair of those;)

So... if you are in the market for a workout change-up or if you need a new hobby..you might consider spinning. It's kinda the new, cool thing..says me. It's for the young & old, gals & guys, and in & outta shape kinda peeps. So no excuses. And a fair warning to the ladies..give yourselves a few classes before your who-haw isn't sore anymore. 


You're Welcome!

XO
Ashley



Monday, April 6, 2015

Boys...

You know, I wore this shirt all day.  I kind of even felt like I was scattering happiness and inspiration everywhere I went.  Until the hubs came home for lunch, randomly, and he said to me,
"Great minds think alike, babe... I dream they're bigger all the time."
It caught me so off-gaurd all I could do was laugh aloud and try to keep pasta salad from leaking out of my wide open mouth.  Maybe I should be offended... but nah... little boobs are just my way of ensuring that my man's a true a^% man.  You know?

I embrace the male sense of humor as best I can
(I feel it will serve me well when I'm surrounded by teenaged boys)... 

So, that time I cut bangs and he asked me without even cracking a smile... 
"Babe, did you get banged today?"
I guffawed like a lunatic.

Waggle your pointer finger at them all you want with their off-color jokes, or make them feel like Brian Regan onstage doing stand up comedy.  It's your choice.

Me?  I'm gonna make the man in my life feel like he's "living the big dream".
Hardy Har Har Har.

XO 
Amber

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Break...

With our Spring Break starting tomorrow, I have been in full blown planning/list-making mode. Because for the first time in years, Nate actually got a couple of days off. So we are taking full advantage and are headed out with the kids for a few days of...wait for it...
CAMPING!!!
Be still my beating heart..because guys..it's no secret that I'm not in love with dirt and bugs. There is a reason my hubs calls me a 'city slicker." But we recently made this purchase...

...and have yet to test it out. So we my husband has spent the last few days figuring out all the ins and outs of the toilet/shower/water system and all the other hoopla that campers entail. I told him before we made the big plunge that I didn't care what it was, as long as there was a toilet to accommodate the 5 girls that would be tagging along. Without one, you end up spending your entire day helping the girlies (myself included) hike out to the woods, halfway undress and figure out how to not spray pee all over everything. Boys have it so much easier..steady stream and no squatting. Number 2 excluded;)

And I'm trying to have a good attitude about it all. And I know it will be more fun than I think (see..this is me trying to think positive) I mean who doesn't want to cram 7 people into this? 
(sorry..the sarcasm just finds it's way out;) But we do it for the kids right? And the hubs..who grew up doing this sort of thing. Me? I grew up vacationing on the beaches of Lake Tahoe..so you see how this all happened. We never evened owned a fishing pole. 
But it all comes back to the memories we create with the peeps I love most. And in all honesty, a lake, a beach or a dirt filled camp spot...I'm gonna soak it all up..cuz this life passes us by faster and faster..which only means I'm getting older..cuz old people say stuff like that. And we will color eggs and roll them down the hill, go on nature scavenger hunts and eat s'mores til we're sick. And the long weekend will go by too fast and I'll wish (?) we were back? ;)
So no..we are not packing sunscreen, sand toys or flip-flops and heading off to some warmer climate weather. And we will not be enjoying the beaches, Pina Coladas or bodies of water that have riptides. Nope. We are packing bug repellent, first aid kits, sweatshirts and worms to catch our dinner. I know..I know..try to contain your jealousy.

But Spring Break or not, get in a little, extra family lovin' time this weekend. And pray that I'll survive the dirty feet and no showering vacay! 
Peace Out-

XO
Ashley