Wednesday, September 26, 2018

My Two (Official, Paying) Jobs

Well hello. Long time no see.

I found myself up early today and with a few extra hours on my hands combined with a persistence to FINALLY WRITE SOMETHING on here and, well, here we are.

Today's post may not be what you're *hoping* to see after a few month hiatus, but it's what's on my heart right now. Trust me, I've got a juicy, doozy of a post that's been sitting in my draft folder for a few months, so the intent to share is there, but at the end of the day sitting down to write takes a back seat to everything else. Which leads me to the topic of this post...

In addition to being a full-time stay at home Mom (which, come on, we know encompasses pretty much every job title under the sun and if we actually got paid in $dollars$ for the hours we put in we'd be rich), I'm fortunate enough to have two paying jobs that I can do from home. One is brand-spanking new to me, the other I've been doing for a few years now.

Let's start with the latter.

Wellness Advocate for doTerra essential oils

I know, I know, many of you will see that and roll your eyes and keep scrolling. I get it. We oily ladies (and men) are everywhere nowadays, but with good reason! These things actually work! So before you dismiss it as a pyramid scheme or snake oil or or or, please read on.

Here's the gist in a nutshell: essential oils are oils derived from plants and nature. Humans and animals have been utilizing the medicinal powers of plants since the beginning of time. Suddenly the market is saturated with essential oils, and that's awesome, because they can and have made a difference in so many lives, ours included (I'll get to specifics in a sec).

BUT here's where the scary part comes in. Not all essential oils are the same. Most of what you'll find in Whole Foods or health stores are diluted substitutes for the real thing. You may have a few drops of REAL lavender essential oil in a bottle that is topped off with synthetics, alcohol, fragrances, and more. Kind of like orange juice from concentrate or Aunt Jemima syrup; a dash of the real thing and lots of other crap. And tell me there's not a noticeable difference between fresh squeezed oj and real maple syrup compared to their mock counterparts?

That's how it is with essential oils! They may smell similar, but until you experience pure grade essential oil, you're missing out. Plus, you won't get the therapeutic benefits from fake oils, either. Lavender helps to calm and destress the nervous system AND the skin; you may have tried another brand in vain and don't think essential oils work for you, or that you're allergic to them (often what you're allergic to is the synthetic fragrances and chemicals), etc. These oils do work! There is scientific evidence and studies and research and publishing that backs it. It's *literally* a chemical reaction between your body systems and the compounds in the essential oils. Ok, I'm getting goosebumps just writing that because it's so FREAKING AWESOME!

Speaking of scientific evidence: let's say you've found a brand of essential oils that are pure (or claim to be); how are they tested for purity? Is the company open with their research? Do they have doctors and universities and hospitals using the oils and putting them to the test? Without this crucial element of testing and implementing in a real-world setting, how do you *really* know what you're getting?

Ya'll, doTerra does. We're the ONLY essential oil company that is researched and used in professional medical settings. We're the ONLY essential oil company that uses our Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade testing protocol, where we send our oils out to third-party companies who have no affiliate with or idea that these oils are doTerra, so they don't have a bias in the results. Either an oil passes as pure, or it doesn't. doTerra only markets the ones that pass, which is part of why our selection isn't as vast as others. We don't sell pasta or cookware or makeup because the goal is to focus on the purest, most powerful, most sustainable essential oils. Quality over quantity.
And lastly, speaking of sustainability, doTerra sources our oils from their native growing locations rather than greenhouses and the like because doesn't it just make sense that you'll get a better product from it's natural source? Again, oranges and maple syrup. Florida and Vermont. But what *really* makes that special is that doTerra partners with farmers and people living in these native areas and empowers them to make a living by growing our product. It's what we call Co-Impact Sourcing and ya'll, it is so amazing. I could easily write a lengthy post on all the good it's done, but I'll save that for another day. And this may be a little too hippy dippy crunch for some of ya, but think about this: the vibes or intention put into creating something has a huge impact on finished product. You've heard the phrase 'made with love.' It's because you can taste, smell, feel the energy that goes into a product or job well done. Our oils are lovingly grown and tended to because our growers are grateful for the opportunity to make a living providing the product. Plus we give back so much in our Healing Hands foundation.

(Ok, I've got to give a quick example that I just learned and find so cool. Our Green Mandarin oil comes from the unripe fruit of the mandarin tree, which is harvested for it's red fruit in Brazil. A mandarin tree needs to be thinned heavily while the fruit is still young and unripe; approximately 60-70% of the unripe fruit is removed in this process (the green mandarin!). What used to be left on the ground to decompose and become organic matter is now harvested and cold pressed to create our Green Mandarin essential oil. The income from this allows the farmers to cover the basic costs of farming for that season, which in turn leaves all of the income derived from their normal fresh red mandarin fruit sales to be 'all-profit.' Amazing! Win-win! Good juju and vibes, man.)

Whew, ok, you still with me? Thanks. I've been using doTerra oils since Will was an infant and honestly can't imagine our home without them. It can be daunting to know how to even start, since oils can help with health, cleaning, and more, but that's where I come in. I can help you narrow down your focus and get started on your journey, whether you dabble, go all-in, want to try the business side and make some income, whatever! I'm here for you.

Click here to take a look and get started, or please reach out to me!

For my family, this has been too good an experience not to share. (For the next few days, until October 1 2018, save 20% on select starter kits- the easiest way to get enrolled and started using essential oils!)

Disney Travel Planner with Believe Vacations

Onto the newest of my ventures! I am honored to have been invited to join Believe Vacations to help plan all your Disney travel needs!

Long story short, it's a free service to you- seriously, you'll pay no extra than if you were to sit at your computer or on the phone and book the trip yourself- but instead of Disney pocketing the commission, they kick a bit back to me. There's no trip too big or too small. Need tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party but already have an Annual Pass and aren't planning to stay over in a Resort? I can do that. Want to book a long weekend at an awesome Florida Resident rate and have a staycation? I can do that. Globetrotting to Asia with Adventures by Disney? I can do that. Plus, I inject my love of Disney and sprinkle a little bit of history into my services.

So please, keep me in mind for friends or family or even better YOURSELF! I'd love to help.

Ok, that hour went really quick. Time to start my most important job of the day. Oh wait, nope. He's still sleeping (thank the Maker!!)

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Lilly Pulitzer Patriotic Prints

Memorial Day weekend is here! The 'official' start of summer goes hand in hand with my beloved Lilly Pulitzer. Did you know Lilly releases a Patriotic Print every year? It debuts at the beginning of the season and when it's gone, it's gone. I try to snag at least *something* with the print every year. Some past favorites:

I know I'm missing a ton but I was surprised at the lack of info there was about this on the interwebs. At least my handful of searches didn't turn up a bona fide list or the like. Let's get on that, people! If you have any more information, send it my way. 

While searching for those images I kind of went down a rabbit hole (exactly one of the reasons I never blog anymore) and found an interesting post about the history of Lilly, specifically the different tags in vintage Lilly. It's a quick read so take a look. Much like my love for Disney, Lilly Pulitzer's rich history plays a large part in the appeal. Check out these vintage Patriotic Prints! The first one reminds me of Sam Eagle. The third one is kind of nightmare fuel; don't say I didn't warn you. 

I have to admit, I'm not crazy over this year's print (same could be said for the past couple of years) but I'll still be adding one of these to my collection. The hat actually has stellar reviews. The Hazelle short is a new style that I'm eager to try on.

Whatever you wear, have a safe and happy one, folks. Thanks for reading!

XOXO, Ashley 

Monday, April 9, 2018


Hi! It's been a while, eh?

I'm always thinking about things I want to write about on here, but then I share them on my Instagram stories and it's so much easier. I mean, I love the written word, and writing really is therapeutic. Yeah, I should really do it more...

Anyway, another pain in the ass is that my phone is no longer syncing my photos to my computer, making it that much more of a chore to transfer all my photos onto the blog. First world problems, right?!

Sooooo, I guess I'll just scroll through my photos and see what jumps out at me, m'k?

My hottie boom bottie husband as a Senior in high school. 

Celebrating our friends 40th with a Gatsby themed party. 

Girl's Night Out and meeting old Instagram friends 'in person!' @Marylanderinlilly Theresa is a fellow Lilly and Disney lover!


 Sooooo many Disney trips with my best boy, Will. 

Morning walks with this guy. Also these pj pants are the softest! I've had them for more than three years, so they've long sold out, but this pair and this pair are by the same brand and the same style. In fact, I might have to add one to my lounge pant collection (yes, I have a collection. Comfy clothes are my favorite).

Papa came to visit. 

Valentine's Day dinner. 

One of my favorite Lilly styles, and one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. (worn as a bracelet) Times two

Will's long hair!! I miss it! 

Half of our Disfam. 

St. Patrick's Day. 

My brother, and Will's Uncle Dennis. 

Breakfast playdate at Garden Grill. 

Disney has released rose gold and millennial pink ears, following on the heels of Brooke at Bibbidi Bobbidi Brooke. She generously sent me these styles over the past few years, and I swear when I say they are the most comfortable and well-made ears I've owned. Again, another awesome person I've met through Disney Instagram! 

Disney day with friends! Brittany and I went to the University of Florida and were sorority sisters together, and Nick and I met through... wait for it... Instagram!! 

Wrapping up with this picture from the Moonlight Magic DVC event at Magic Kingdom; thanks to Lara and Carter (you'll never guess where we met ;)) for the invite. If you ever have a chance to attend one of these events, DO IT!! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Weekend Wear-abouts: Cutest Lilly Shoes + Disney + Birthday Party + Melbourne Visit

Howdy. Haven't written one of these posts in a while!

I had a few people ask about what shoes I was wearing the other day on my Instastory.

They are Lilly Pulitzer Lia espadrilles, and they are SO comfy! I wore them around Magic Kingdom the other day, that's how comfy they are. I picked mine up at the After Party Sale a few months back, but you can still find them here. They run true to size and have stretched out a bit while wearing them. I'm between a 7 and a 71/2 in most shoes, and I went with a 7. They're perfect.

On Saturday we drove over to Melbourne. That's where I went to high school and taught Kindergarten, and where my parents still live. Our goal was to empty out the storage unit I have had for the past seven years or so, filled with all of my teaching supplies. We had to rent a Uhaul truck to fit everything!

When you teach primary grades, you need a lot of 'stuff' that doesn't come with the public school curriculum, including art supplies, fun science things, dramatic play stuff (think kitchen set, dolls, dress up clothes, etc), board games, manipulatives, and books. TONS of books. I mean, you CAN teach primary grades without all this stuff, but it makes life a lot easier and a lot more fun for both the kids and teacher alike if you have plenty of developmentally appropriate things in the classroom.

So yes, teachers may get summers 'off' and seemingly only work until 3pm each day (I can probably count on one hand the number of days I actually left at 3:00), but we also use weekends and breaks to haul shit back and forth between our classrooms and storage units. Oh, and we pay $70 a month for the 'convenience' of doing so.

But I digress.

Anyway, that took up all of our Saturday. We also went to dinner with my mom and went to see the many manatees that congregate in the warm canal waters during a cold snap.

On Sunday we attended our friend's 2nd birthday party, which was camp themed (Happy Trails TWO You) and was just adorable. Everyone got a red bandana to style at the party; the details were off the chain. From there it was off to Epcot to meet up with my sorority sister and former roommate. We were Tri Deltas at the University of Florida; she's just as much fun as ever, and I LOVE her kids! We all had a great day.

On Monday, after music class, Will and I headed to the Magic Kingdom to meet up with a friend from Twitter. Yes, I know how odd this all sounds and I once thought so too, but now it's just kind of the norm for me to get to know people over Instagram or Twitter and meet them when they're here visiting WDW. I've met some of my favorite people this way!

MK was great; surprisingly crowded, for it being a Monday after race weekend and school back in session. But it was cool and overcast and we had a lovely time eating citrus swirls, riding Mansion, Jungle Cruise and seeing the Tiki Room. They still had the Christmas music loop playing on Main Street, and I'm not gonna lie, I teared up a little. It's just so damn magical.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend, and the week is treating you well so far. HUMP DAY!!