The LISTS // Art in my Heart


If you keep up with the blog, you know my outside life has been a little crazy lately with design (more on that tomorrow). And because life-imitates-art-imitates-life, that's basically the inspiration behind this month's lists: art, design, and getting creative! I've got some finds I've been coveting lately as well as my ULTIMATE playlist. The one I put on when I want to get lost in work. First up, all the things!...



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Seriously, how much fun is this list? I don't know why I love that astronaut or those hand curtain tiebacks so much, but I do. I'm also loving the fun shapes on this Gorman necklace and Poketo planner. And don't you love how some retro things just never go away? Case in point: Converse shoes, a forever classic. I especially love them in this photo print called Motel Pool. Plus, how great is it that mood rings are a thing again (and again and again)? I thought this one from Olivia Kane was gorgeous. And in a real twist of retro-made-new fate, is anyone else dying for a Polaroid camera, mainly to make cool photo layouts like this one for Instagram? It's a little ironic, isn't it? Printing photos for a digital IG image? Regardless, I'm all about it. I'm still crazy about mud cloth prints, and thought this throw was extra lovely. I've also been dying for a letter board for my home. The possibilities for endless amusement are just too tempting. I think I'd use mine for rotating Kanye tweets, because why the heck not? The man is a comedic goldmine. Speaking of word art, how great is this candle? It's fig and tomato scented, which sounds so weird that I'm entirely intrigued. And lastly, have you all seen these lettering videos on IG by @kellycreates?! They put me in a trance and are major #lifegoals for me. So obviously, I'm going to need a set of brush pens, like these from Kuretake.

Now for the music! This is a snippet from my work.create playlist on Spotify and it's what I put on ALL. THE. TIME. It's pretty random. Some songs are new and some are old favorites. Some are slowier and moodier and some are full-on dance party songs. The only real premise for this list is that the songs have to make me feel something. I need to literally be inspired. On the full playlist, through this link, I've got over 70 songs and 4 1/2 hours of "get creative" music. And if you like it, let's connect! I'd love to hear what's on your radar!


What are some of your favorite artists to listen to for inspiration?


IN THE MOOD FOR // Western Wear


Fashion is home on the range as of late, with embroidered denim, flowing fringe, and even flashy belt buckles popping up everywhere. It makes sense with the overflow of 70s trends, since so many of these two styles overlap or mix together seamlessly. Think a fringe jacket over a 70s tie neck blouse. A western denim shirt tucked into a pair of flares. A pair of cowgirl mules with a romantic flowing maxi dress. A bolo necklace paired with a low-neck jumpsuit. You get the idea. If it's 70s, if it's western, it's on the radar.

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Will you wear the western trend this season?


My Valentine's Day Wishlist + A Dude-Approved Romantic Playlist

With just one week until Valentine's Day, love is definitely in the air. But I really appreciate love-themed design all year round, don't you? I mean is their really a time when a graphic heart motif or a cheeky love print is not welcome? I don't think so. Check out a few of my favorite love-themed items and then keep reading for a dude-approved playlist perfect for a V-Day dinner night in!


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Zach and I started dating way back in the era of the mixed CD, and boy did he nail the romantic compilations. Anyone who knows him can attest to the fact that he probably knows more about music than 99% of the population, so I'd thought I'd tap into the master source for this month's playlist. I specifically asked him to come up with some romantic-themed songs that were also masculine, too. And maybe one of these is more about heroin than love (I'll let you figure that one out), but I think he really got the mood down. Here's what he came up with...


You can listen to and follow this playlist, along with all the monthly mixes and my work/create playlist, via Spotify.

See anything here you love? Let's talk it out in the comments!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides! Day 4: The Entertainer

There is never a better time to show thanks to the perfect hosts and hostesses in your life than during the holidays. The folks who always have their doors open and some delicious food on hand. The ones putting in all the time and sweat to pull off the perfect holiday parties. Show them how much they mean to you with some of my favorite gift ideas to help them make entertaining a breeze.



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Are any of these gift ideas catching your eye?

Come back tomorrow to get some ideas for the animal lover in your life!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides! Day 3: The Techie


What's better than a great tech gift for adding organization, innovation, and overall ease into your life? Spread the techie love with some of my favorite finds for those on your list who are always looking for the latest and greatest.



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Are any of these techie finds catching your eye?

Check back in tomorrow for a gift guide geared at the party-throwing, holiday-hosting entertainers in your life!



The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides! Day 2: The Free Spirit

It's the second installment of The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides and I've got whole slew of beautiful boho gifts for the free spirit in your life. From the natural to the glam, if your recipient feels right at home in the 60s-70s era, they will love these gifts!


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I hope you loved these free-spirited finds! Make sure to check back in tomorrow, when I'll be sharing be favorite gifts for tech-lovers!


FWS Book Report | Comedy, Old Friends, and Being a Badass

Whooo. It has been hard to make reading a priority lately. But ultimately I know I feel happier/calmer/more balanced when I make it a priority. Do you ever feel like this, too?

The books I read this month helped me especially to feel the happy/calm/balanced trifecta, as they all were a little slower paced, focused on provoking thought and changing perspectives. Here are my very honest reviews of what's been on my night stand lately: Sick in the HeadGo Set a Watchman, and You Are a Badass.


Sick in the Head  |  Judd Apatow

The scoop: Apatow, creator/writer/director/producer behind movies such as Knocked Up and tv shows such as Freaks and Geeks, shares his interviews with major comedians and entertainers. Some, like his first meeting with Jerry Seinfeld, go as far back as his 15-year-old high school radio days. New York Times Bestseller.

The (unofficial) rating: ♥♥♥♥ (4/5) It's a hefty collection, so I would definitely recommend it if you are a comedy buff. If you are more of just an entertainment dabbler, gems like the Freaks and Geeks Oral History and a random interview with Eddie Vedder help break up the in-depth joke/audience analysis. Plus, Apatow is so connected with major Hollywood players that it reads a lot like a string of People magazine articles (not life-changing but pretty entertaining). Bottom line: Smart, insightful, and entertaining.

Pairs well with: Cherry soda. Laffy Taffy. Nostalgia for the awkward angst of your teen years.


Go Set a Watchman  |  Harper Lee

The scoop: I'm assuming you all know this now, but this is not To Kill a Mockingbird II. It's the first story Lee handed to her editor in the 50s, and then was told to put it aside to instead focus on the story's main character, Scout, and the childhood that led up to this story. Thus, To Kill a Mockingbird, in all it's perfect glory was written. Go Set a Watchman centers around Jean Louise Finch, "Scout," as a 26-year-old woman visiting her hometown from New York City. I think this is important to note, because it's very hard to separate the two in terms of critique.

The (unofficial) rating: ♥♥♥ (3/5) I truly didn't know how to rate this book. I was so torn between whether it was wonderful or whether I absolutely hated it, and that, I think, says something powerful in and of itself. I was certainly emotionally affected by it. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of, if not my absolute favorite, book and in a lot of ways, reading this tainted that for me. In some ways I wish I had kept the story and characters in their precious, perfect box in my mind. In other ways, I loved coming back to the familiarity of Maycomb and reading Lee's humorous and beautiful writing style. Bottom line: I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped, though, admittedly, my expectations may have been an impossible order to fill.

Pairs well with: Fresh-squeezed lemonade. Homemade biscuits. Disillusionment.


You are a Badass  |  Jen Sincero

The scoop: A very blunt guide to achieving a successful life.

The (unofficial) rating: ♥♥♥♥ (4/5) When I picked this up from the library, I realized I had accidentally reserved the audio version, which I was not excited about. But I ended up really enjoying listening to it while walking, cleaning, etc. It made me feel doubly like I was making great strides in my life, even if I wasn't. This book got very polarized reviews on Amazon, but I personally really liked it. Some of it should be taken with a major grain of salt (i.e. her thoughts on manifestation as money management), but Sincero doesn't tiptoe over anything and the language is much more straight forward than most self-help books. Bottom line: If you are feeling stuck in life but self-help makes you queasy, this is the perfect book for you. Just maybe skip over the money part.

Pairs well with: Shots of whiskey and forming an all-girl garage punk band.



Have you read any of these books? What did you think?


Friday 5: Top 5 Products Changing my Life Right Now

There's nothing quite like finding that perfect product. The one that makes your whole life run smoother. The one that you want to tell everyone about. Sharing is caring, right?

Here are five killer products that I'm loving this summer.


1  Laura Geller Bright-N-Balance Baked FoundationYou guys, I do not have the naturally flawless, gorgeous skin of my dreams. Mine can actually be pretty problematic, from uneven tone to way-too-regular breakouts. But ever since I started using this powder foundation, I get compliments on my skin all the time. I usually wear it as a powder over my foundation, but it's also great as a stand-alone base, which is perfect in a hurry. This is a total face game-changer.

2  IKEA Mala Paintbrush SetThis brush set is from the children's section at IKEA, but it stands up to some serious art, too. I love these brushes for watercolors and the shorter, wider handles make them a perfect (read: sturdy) choice for easy script hand-lettering. But the real kicker here is the price- $1.49 for a set of six! Amazing!

3  Juice Plus+ Orchard and Garden Blend CapsulesI really can't say enough great things about Juice Plus+ supplements and all the positive health changes I've noticed since I started taking them. I have more energy, less brain fog, and have been less susceptible to getting sick. Also (bonus), my hair and nails grow at lightning speed. I'm hoping to add the Vineyard Blend to my daily dose soon for an added antioxidant boost!

4  ShazamI know, I know. You're like "Welcome to the early 2000s, Ashley." Shazam is definitely not a "new" life-changing product, but lately it's been a major facet in my playlist game. You know how you're always out and you hear some great song you haven't heard in a while and you think "I need to put this on my playlist," but then you go home and just forget all about it? Well, lately, anytime I'm otherwise busy but I hear a song I love, I just Shazam it. Like I'm bookmarking it. And then about once a week, I go through the songs I've tagged and add them to my playlist. This is probably not as useful or brilliant as I'm making it out to be, but it's a method that is totally working for me right now. (PS you can check out my slammin' work mix here.)

5  Victoria's Secret Bra ExtendersI was apparently leading an ill-fitted life under a rock somewhere, because I didn't know these existed until recently. If you haven't ever tried a bra extender, hear me when I say this: these will change your life. They come in a four pack and work with practically any bra you can think of to add a little extra length to the band. My habit of avoiding fitting rooms had left me with a drawer full of pretty bras that were almost the perfect fit, so this $16 wonder pack literally multiplied my options! I'm obsessed.

Now it's your turn! What products are you crazy about right now?


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 12: The Party Animal

This the final gift guide of The 12 Days series and I'm ending it with a toast to all the table-dancing, night-life-loving party people! This is one of my favorite gift guides because I love the double duty that all of these gifts serve. Give one to the party animal on your list and you are in turn sending them on to a very fun and stylish New Year's Eve. I'll drink to that! :)  


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For anyone in my immediate circle, just know that I want ALL of those champagne gummy bears. ;)

And I want to say a quick thank you to the people who have followed along with this series. I love seeing your likes and comments and really appreciate the support! I hope you've gotten some good ideas over the past couple of weeks and wish you a very happy holiday!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 11: The Music Buff

If you happen to be of the Christmas-celebrating variety, you officially have 5 shopping days left (6 if you're a brave the mall on Christmas Eve kind of person). But even though it's getting down to the wire, all hope is definitely not lost for anyone left on your shopping list. I myself still have one hard-to-shop-for recipient, but luckily so many companies are able to expedite shipping that you can still order virtually anything your heart desires and get it by the 24th. And if what you're looking for is a gift for that music-loving, crowd-surfing audiophile in your life, today I've got the goods!...



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So what do you think? Any of these gifts melting your face off? Shout it out in the comments!


And stay tuned, because I'm hitting you with a double dose of gift guides today. I've got a glam party-packed list coming soon!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 9: The Artist

I'm hoping for the sake of sanity that you're pretty far along with your holiday shopping at this point. If you're not, however, don't scramble for the panic button just yet. I've got a few more gift ideas coming your way and today it's all about the artist. I think it's so much fun to shop for people who really appreciate art and design, and I kind of took that idea and ran with it! Check out my favorite artsy finds...  


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If you have any favorites, feel free to share them in the comments section! :)

And maybe you've got some classic prepsters on your list with absolutely no idea of what get for them? Well hold tight, ol' sport! Tomorrow I've got you covered.

Until then!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 8: The Old Soul

This gift guide is right up my alley. Whether we're talking about my favorite vintage earrings or the costumes in a period film, I've always loved anything that is of a different era. If you have a couple of like-minded old souls on your shopping list and still have no idea what to get them, here are a few of my favorite vintage-esque gift ideas. Enjoy!...  


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I'll take one of everything here, please.


And dear readers take note: the 12 Days train isn't making a stop anytime soon! I've got awesome gifts for the artist coming your way, so stay tuned! :)


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 7: The Athlete

A true fitness fiend can never have enough equipment and gadgets to support their healthy habits. So why not be a true enabler by gifting them with some of the best gear this season? Whether you're shopping for a gym rat or just your friend who hates to change out of their yoga pants (who said that?), here are some of my favorite stay fit gifts...  


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Have a fitness find that would make a great gift? Feel free to share it in the comments!


And if you have a vintage-loving old soul on your list, make sure to check back tomorrow for my favorite gift guide of all!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 6: The Homebody

Ooh, I looooove today's gift guides so much I feel cozy just looking at them! One of my favorite things ever is the moment in my day when I change from my normal human shoes to my ridiculous furry slippers and crawl under a blanket. I love it so much that the second I transform into my "inside" persona, I can literally feel my brain switch to its happiest place. And the funny thing about it all is that as much as I love being in this comfort zone, my lounge clothes are some of the rattiest specimens the world will never see. I think when you're trying to stay on a budget, it's just too hard to rationalize spending on things like eye masks or bath truffles when they certainly can't be considered necessities. That's why I'm crazy about the idea of giving really luxe comfort items as gifts. They're so relaxing and yet also entirely indulgent, and really isn't that exactly what a great gift should be?  


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So now I really need to know, would you ever buy your guy a onesie? I'm voting yes, if only for my own comedic entertainment. Tell me what you think in the comments!

And tomorrow we're switching gears and talking gift ideas for the athletes, so don't miss it!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 5: The Animal Lover

Have you ever seen that e-card that says something like, "My favorite thing about people is their pets"? Well, I've got a few people on my shopping list that would 100% side with the e-card in the whole people v. animals dispute. And if you do, too, you're in luck because today I have some awesome gift ideas for pets and proud pet owners alike. Let's dig in!...  


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I'm no animal expert myself, but I do hope you were able to get some good ideas from these gift guides. And if you have any favorites, please share with me in the comments section! :)

Still need some more gift ideas? Hey, girl, gifters gotta gift. That's why I've got you covered, and in the next 24 hours I'll be hitting you with the coziest, most comfortable gift guide around.

Until then!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 4: The Entertainer

Today's gift guide is all about the hosts and hostesses who know how to have the perfect dinner party, who make holidays like arbor day an all out fête, and who, overall, just make your life a whole lot more fun. Here are some of my favorite gift ideas to thank the people in your life who help make every day worth celebrating!  


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I'm OBSESSED with those snakeskin s'mores- they'd make a great gift for just about anyone! What's your favorite host/hostess gift idea?


Check back in tomorrow to see my top picks for animal lovers!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 3: The Techie

Tech-savvy friends can be difficult to shop for, because it takes a lot to keep up with their ever-growing list of gadgets. And I admit, this area of shopping can be a bit tricky for me, too. So I've scoured expert gift guides to put together some of the newest, most stylish tech goodies on the market this year. Here are some of my faves that your techie is sure to love.  


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Aren't some of these just completely amazing? I love seeing the crazy new things the geniuses of the world invent every year. Like that amazing smart ring, that looks like a cocktail ring but will glow or vibrate to alert you of the incoming notifications you choose. So you can put your phone out of sight at events, but still get those important updates from your boss/sitter/whoever you choose. Or how about the 3D printing pen? I still can't believe things like 3D printing not only exist, but are accessible for the masses. It blows my mind!

What are your favorites? Make sure to share them in the comments section.

And stay tuned for tomorrow, because I've got gifts for the hosts with the most in your life!



The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 2: The Free Spirit

Do you have a friend that would rather be looking at daisies than checking her news feed? That can give an impassioned argument on the importance of listening to vinyl? That swaps out Advil for healing crystals? Well then, good reader, today is for you. Here are my favorite pics for the bohemian gods/goddesses in your life...  


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I have to say, this might be one of my favorites. I will just forever love all things bohemian. How about you?

What's your favorite free-spirited pick?

And if you're jonesin' for some more gift ideas, make sure to visit tomorrow, where we'll be doing a complete 180 into Techie territory. Until then!


The 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides... Day 1: The Trendsetter

You guys, I LIVE for holiday shopping. To me, there’s nothing better than the challenge of trying to find the perfect present for someone- something that shows how much you care about them and that also celebrates their unique personality. But perhaps you like holiday shopping a little less than I do or maybe you have a few people on your list that are just leaving you stumped. Well, I hope in that case, that I am here to help! The next 12 days will feature a new his and hers gift guide every day by personality type to help get the gift-giving ideas flowing!

Today’s gift guide is for the Trendsetter: The forward-thinking, fashion-loving, style risk-taker in your life. I think these people can be a little intimidating, because if you’re not following trends to the minute, how can you know what they might like? But really, they can also be the most fun! Here, some of my favorite ideas for the style star in your life...



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I love the idea of giving fashion-lovers a really luxe designer brand in an affordable way, like the Oscar de la Renta Heart Stud Earrings or the Maison Martin Margiela Adress Book Key Ring. And when in doubt, fast-fashion mega-brands like Topshop or Zara are sure to turn up some inexpensive gems.


Can you see the trendsetters in your life loving these gifts?


Make sure to check back tomorrow for Day 2: The Free Spirit!