Monday, December 30, 2013


I'm a worrier.

A stay up all night/worry about things I cannot control/spin myself into an anxiety attack type of worrier.

What do I worry about?

Money mainly, but everything from me not being able to have my house spotless every single day to my husband dying in a car wreck on the way home from work. 

See what I mean? I have problems.

I am such a perfectionist. I like to be in control of absolutely everything and I have zero patience for things to fall into place. 

So my #1 Resolution for the New Year?

Stop worrying before I kill myself. Start focusing on my blessings rather than my trials. Realize that if I don't get the crumb off of the floor or spend that extra $10 my life is not going to end.

Jesse and I both have been blessed with an opportunity to receive an education. He already has his Masters and I will have mine come next December. I know that we will be okay when it comes to a job. At least, I hope. I pray about it constantly. Jesse has a great job now, but it's not what he wants to continue to do the rest of his life. We have been discussing our future and well... I'll keep you all updated when we find something out. :)
We have an amazing dog that is like our child and who brings us to much joy every single day. We have a warm apartment to call home. That is so much more than a lot of people have, so that is what I am choosing to focus on. Turning my negativity into positivity. I am releasing myself from this anxiety because Satan will no longer will this battle.

 I have a few other resolutions, but maybe I'll turn that into another post in the next couple of days.

2013... You've been good to us. But 2014? I'm ready for ya.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Five on Friday.

Whew! Well, let me start off by saying... sorry I have been so M.I.A. this past week! I'll start off with a little recap before I get into my 5 on Friday. 

I had my last class of Fall 2013 semester on Saturday, and I earned a 4.0 this semester. This was really exciting for me, considering how hard I worked my butt off. I honestly thought this semester was not going to end. Grad school is completely different than undergrad. Sheesh!

I had wisdom teeth surgery on Wednesday, and it has been brutal. I am usually one tough cookie, but this is honestly one of the roughest things I've been through. Not being able to eat + all the pain medicine... my stomach is a mess! I definitely underestimated the amount of pain I would be in.

Sooo that brings me to my 5 on Friday.

{One} Remember my post on skin care? Well I went to the dermatologist a week ago, but haven't had time to write about it. He prescribed me an antibiotic + a face cream (Tretin-X). I've only been using the cream for a few days and while it makes my skin feel like it is peeling off, I can definitely tell a difference! My AM routine just consists of taking the antibiotic, washing my face with the black soap + moisturizing my face with the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion.  My PM routine consists of  taking the antibiotic, washing my face with the black soap, then putting a TINY amount of the Tretin-X cream on my face (the size of a pea) and rubbing it on the affected areas. 

{Two} I have been living off of pudding, jello, and ice cream the past 3 days and frankly, I am over it. I never thought I would be over ice cream. Also, I don't know why my husband bought me lottery tickets. But he did, and for that I love him. 

I also just really want a cheeseburger. Like... really really really want a cheeseburger. Soon...

{Three} Aren't these flowers Jesse bought me the cutest? I love when he buys me flowers. They just brighten up the entire place. 

{Four} Thank goodness for my mama who took me to Sephora yesterday so that I could buy the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I can't wait to play around with it. I have the Naked and Naked 2 palettes, and up until now the Naked palette has been my favorite. It might have a bit of competition with the Naked 3 palette though! 

{Five} This has been something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I won't expand on this, but I just wanted to share because I have a feeling I'm not the only one that feels this way, especially around this time of year. I think it's absolutely true and I think this is a lot of the reason I have been so disconnected lately. Hmm...

Hopefully I'll start feeling more like myself soon. I am ready to get out of the house and get some Christmas shopping done + I really need a mani/pedi. I've been such a grouch and I don't love feeling like one. I promise I'll be back to being my happy self soon! :) 

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five on Friday!


Happy Friday y'all! This is my first 5 on Friday post and I'm pretty excited about it. Hopefully I'm doing everything right. :)

One. I am almost done with this book and I love it. Although the main character kinda gets on my nerves, I still like the story.

Two. I have been cooking up a storm lately. We have cut back on eating out dramatically and I can tell such a difference in how I feel! It's crazy. I made my very first chicken pot pie the other night and it was delish. {It's not very pretty, but that's what you get for letting your husband do the sealing and sliting. Kidding... maybe.}

Three. If you know me personally, then you know that I absolutely LOVE Britney Spears. I mean... Britney does no wrong. And her new CD, Britney Jean, is proof of that. Except for the Will.I.Am song. She needs to stop with him.

Four. I have gone to the gym 3 days in a row this week. I'm so proud of myself! I normally like to walk/run outside with Charlie, but now that it is getting super cold, I have started making more time for the gym. I've been looking for ways to switch things up, and I am loving HIIT. I burned 606 calories in 35 minutes... who says you need to work out for a long time to get a great calorie burn?

Five. Scandal. This is my absolute favorite show right now, even more than The Blacklist + AHS: Coven. Who watched last night's episode? Holy Moly! This season has been absolutely insane. I can't wait until next week's episode. Also, Olivia Pope's clothes are to die for.

Have a fab weekend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

the dreadful adult acne.

Why is it, as a 26 year old, I'm breaking out more now than I did when I was a teenager? 
My skin used to be so clear. I would get a blemish every once in awhile, but nothing like I do now.
I went off of my birth control about 2 years ago because I was getting terrible headaches and having crazy mood swings. That's when my breakouts started.
I started getting little bumps along my cheeks, chin, and jawline. 
Then they grew into these huge, cystic bumps. Nothing would conceal them. It was so embarrassing.
Especially when the children in your classroom point out that "Ms. Ashley has boo-boos on her face". 
Leave it to kids to be brutally honest. :) 
The only time I had any kind of relief was when I laid in the tanning bed (I know, shame. I'm done with it now... haven't been in 4 months). 
These bumps eventually left scars, and that's what I'm left with today.
I went back on birth control, and that's helped a little bit, but my skin looks nothing like it used to.

I've tried Proactiv. I've tried Clinique. I've tried Murad. I've tried Kate Sommerville. Numerous others. I have spent hundreds of dollars on products that haven't helped the slightest. 

I'm convinced that I'm doomed.

I eventually caved and made a dermatologist appointment for this week. I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say and if they can give me anything to get rid of this annoying problem.

However, something has been floating around Instagram that caught my attention.

African Black Soap.

Several people have been posting about it (forgive me, I can't remember who). I started googling the benefits of black soap and decided it wouldn't hurt to try. So I went to Target and picked some up. For $5 a bar. (I know. I knooooow)

Anyway, I have been using it for about 3 days and so far I really like it. It doesn't dry my face out and it makes it feel super clean. I've even noticed some of the bumps on my chin going down. Maybe I've found a remedy. I figured I should at least try a natural remedy rather than putting chemicals all over my face. 

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on the black soap + what my dermatologist says.

Have you experienced the dreadful adult acne? What products have worked for you? 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Long Weekend Recap.

Coming back to work after a 6 day break was rough this morning.
TGFC = Thank God For Coffee.

I thought since I haven't blogged in about 5 days I would do a little weekend recap.
If you follow me on Instagram (@arp0723), then you've probably seen a little bit of my weekend through pictures.
Let's begin, shall we?

We woke up Wednesday to our first snow of the season. I normally hate snow, but since we got Charlie, I find it to be pretty fun now. He absolutely LOVES it. I mean, I can't keep him out of it. He will sit at the door and whine until I let him out to go play.

He has quite the snow beard, doesn't he? :)

Since Jesse and I were both off on Wednesday, we hung out around the house that morning and just enjoyed the Christmas decorations and snow. 

Mug = Starbucks.

We ended up going to eat japanese at Wasabi for lunch. Then went to see Catching Fire. Oh my goodness. It was amazing. Catching Fire was my favorite book out of the Hunger Games Trilogy, so I had really high hopes for the movie. I can't wait to see it again.

Thanksgiving was fun. Draining, but fun. We went to my side of the family's for Thanksgiving lunch. We took Charlie with us and he had a blast. It was nice to catch up with my family. After we left there we came back home, put on our pajamas, and made some coffee.

Sweater = Target.

Mug = Starbucks.
Pajamas = Target last year.

Friday was pretty relaxing. There was no way I was getting out to go anywhere with the Black Friday shoppers, so I just stayed at home. I worked on my last paper for this semester, napped, and made out our meal plan for December. I felt pretty accomplished for not leaving the house. 

Our Monthly Meal Plan. I found the printable on Pinterest. It's by The TomKat Studio.
Printable can be found here. I'm hoping they will make a free 2014 Calendar, because I love them!

This is our weekly meal plan/grocery list. I bought this printable on ETSY from IHeartOrganizing for $3. You can find it here.
She actually has some really adorable and useful free printables on her blog. You can the find the free ones here.

I also received my order from If The Monogram Fits. This monogram shop is run by the sweetest girl, Brandi Herchak. You can find her things on Instagram (@ifthemonogramfits). This is the second order that I've received from her, and honestly... she's the best. I think I ordered these on Monday or Tuesday and I had them by Friday. Check her out! I already had the mason jar tumbler, but I ordered a monogram for it, because... duh. Everything has to be monogrammed. Isn't my apple coffee tumbler the cutest? I love teacher stuff.

I finally left the house to go to the grocery store on Saturday. On my way home, I thought I would stop by TJ Maxx to look at some Christmas things. It's rare that I find anything at TJ Maxx, mainly because I hate rummaging through things. I like to go in, grab it, and go.

However... I found these Kate Spade iPad covers for $20 each and HAD to have them. I had the sleeve on my birthday list this year but just couldn't bring myself to pay the $50 (I think) for an iPad sleeve. Love! 

I also bought one of these Alice + Olivia for Starbucks mugs. At first I didn't understand the appeal... but once I realized the tutu was removable, I just couldn't NOT have one, ya know? Plus, the little bow got me. 

I finished the book I had been reading, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. It was SO good. I definitely recommend it. I started a new book, The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch. I've heard a bit about this book, mainly from Jen Lancaster (the author of Bitter is the New Black + other hilarious books). Jen Lancaster actually chose for it to be the book for her online book club this month. Jennifer Garner has already bought the film rights. I'll keep you all posted on what I think about it.

One of my final projects for this semester is to turn present a bookshelf in my Methods of Teaching Reading class. I finally finished it on Sunday. At first I didn't really understand the point, but... now it gives me somewhere to put all of my things for school. 
I bought the bookshelf unfinished off of Craigslist for $20, went to Home Depot and bought some paint, then Target for the contact paper to line the back. It cost me about $50 in all, which I guess isn't too bad. Plus, it will eventually either go in my classroom or my future child's room. So I guess it wasn't too bad of an investment. 

Since everyone else is posting their Elf on the Shelf pictures, I thought that I would post my own. Charlie the Elf!
Poor dog. He will wear anything for a treat though I suppose. 

Quick Realization: I have a coffee mug addiction.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you get any good things while shopping over the long weekend?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

what i'm loving wednesday (christmas wish list edition)

My husband is one of those people that has to have several... and I mean several hints (read: me blatantly telling him what I want) as to what I might want for Christmas. So what better way to show him than a blog post? :)

So here are a few things that I am loving that I wouldn't mind receiving as gifts:

The Ansley slipper from Ugg Australia.
No, they're not very cute.
But you know what? Who cares. My feet would be toasty and I would feel like I'm walking on clouds. Plus, sometimes I get tired of wearing my Ugg boots and want a shorter alternative. These are $100 and come in several different colors. I personally love the chestnut pair. 

You can find them here.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette 
Oh my. I mean... are there any words as to how beautiful this is? I have the Naked and Naked 2 palettes, but I think I definitely need this one. Plus, at $52, you can't really pass this up! Urban Decay is currently sold out of these, but hopefully they'll be in Sephora and Ulta stores soon.
You can find it here.

Mizuno Waverider 17's
I currently have a pair of Mizuno Waverider 16's and I LOVE them. They're so comfortable to run in. I've had them for about 9 months and I doubt I will ever wear another type of running shoe. 
The release date for these is set for sometime in December.

Kindle Paperwhite  
I have an older Kindle that I never use and an iPad, but I think that I would love this Kindle. It has a light so that you can read any time of day/night. This would be useful for when I'm trying to read at night but Jesse can't go to sleep without the lamp off and when we are traveling at night. It's $119, which isn't too bad for an e-reader. 
You can find it here.

Victoria's Secret The Fireside Long Jane Pajama
I am such a sucker for a comfortable pair of pajamas. I normally buy the Gilligan and O'Malley brand from Target, but I am obsessing over these. These are $49.50 which is a little pricey for pajamas. Maybe I'll have to wait for the after-Christmas sale for these!
You can find them here.

Kate Spade Cobble Hill "Leslie" Satchel
I. Am. In. LOVE. with this bag. Enough said. 
This one is on sale at Bloomingdale's for $299.60. Regular price is $428.00.
You can find it here.

Kate Spade Mikas Pond Lacey
I mean... everyone needs a new wallet to go with their new bag, right? I've been eyeing a new Kate Spade wallet for awhile and I really like this one. It's $178.
You can find this lovely here.

What are you all putting on your Christmas Wish List? 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas.

I cannot believe it is almost December.
Where has this year gone?

We've gradually been putting out our Christmas decorations. I try to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I feel like the Christmas decorations are never up long enough! There's just something about Christmas decor that makes your home feel so nice and cozy.

We moved this past summer, and our tree that was once way too big for our little one bedroom apartment looked so tiny in our new apartment. After much consideration, (aka, me telling Jesse we need a new tree) I start looking for a taller Christmas tree. Of course Target was having a sale...

You know where this is going. 
So of course, I headed to Target a couple of days ago to buy a new tree. 

Last night we actually got around to decorating, and I am loving it! Here's the final product:

Jesse even helped, which is a shocker. Normally he is such a grinch.

I'm still working in the dining room table. I had it arranged so nicely for Thanksgiving, but I'm still trying to find ideas for Christmas.

We also don't have a mantle, so we have to hang our stockings on our bookcase. I diy-ed the trees on the top of the bookcase a couple of years ago. I want to do a few more sets soon!

I also diy-ed these wreaths to hang on our kitchen cabinets. I have the supplies to make a couple more. (Sorry for the flash... I don't have a fancy camera just yet. Just the trusty iPhone.)

I love the red and green theme we've kept with the past few years! I try to stock up on new ornaments during the after-Christmas clearance sales.

There's a little glimpse of our Christmas decor! 

Now that decorating is out of the way... it's time to get started on some Thanksgiving baking! Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

i finally did it.

Well... I finally did it. I made a blog. This is something I have been wanting to do for awhile, but just didn't know where to start. So... bear with me here while I figure some things out!

Like, where do y'all get these cute blog designs? Sign me up for that.
How many times am I supposed to blog a week? I know I won't blog everyday because... ain't nobody got time for that.
Also... what in the world am I going to write about? I'm not interesting in the least. I like dogs... and food... and crafts... and education...  so maybe my blog just won't have a theme. Maybe it will just be a scattered mess like I am.

So there. Here I am, blog world. Hopefully I'll find my way soon!