The Ashley Maria Blog

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Easy Lunch for Toddlers and School Age Kids

Raise your hand if you're a working mama and struggle to make lunches in the morning. Between running around trying to get yourself ready, your child out the door and home in order, lunches is the last thing I want to be doing. I do try hard to pack the night before, but most of the time I'm so exhausted from the day, I just want to go to bed. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Women's Gift Guide | 2019

Can you believe there are only three weeks to Christmas. I feel as though there is so much hype and then it comes and goes. Not gonna lie, this year I'm counting down the days, because that means baby will be here that much quicker! Anyway, Joe asked me the other day for my annual list, and honestly I couldn't really think of things I needed. So this year I gathered up a list of items that make me feel good and that I can definitely put into use once I'm a mom of two! Maybe you will get some ideas for yourself or a friend or family member too!
Who doesn't love cozy slippers! I love that these have a hard sole, so if I need to chase after Charger in the yard, they won't get ruined!
Coffee Mug & Warmer
Mom of Two- Enough said. ha But how many times a morning do you warm up your coffee? This is keep your coffee nice and warm without throwing it back into the microwave!
Comfy Robe
I've never worn a robe around the house, but this looks so inviting and I love the teddy material of it that would be perfect for baby snuggling on chilly mornings.
Make Up Mirror
Thankfully our bathroom has great lighting, but I've had my eye on this make up mirror to use on my vanity so that I can sit down at it and get ready.
oNecklace Evil Eye Bracelet in Rose Gold
I was gifted this bracelet, however this was actually on my list this year!! I love the blue stone in the eyeball and that it is rose gold! It's so dainty, yet makes a statement.
Therapy Lamp
I'm thinking this will help me concentrate and get to work more easily especially once I start working from home part time after the baby is born.
Moravian Star
I've wanted one of these big Moravian Stars since we purchased our first home, and just haven't found one I liked. In case you didn't know, we live in Bethlehem, PA which is Christmas City, there is a giant Bethlehem Star on the mountain that shines every night, and Joe and I both graduated from Moravian College- So it has alot of sentimental value to us!
Smile Brilliant Kit (use code ashleymaria15 for 15% off!!!)
I can't wait to get back to whitening my teeth once the baby comes. I have been drinking alot of coffee and cherry coke (pregnancy craving) lately, so I want to remove all those stains! 
Check out the giveaway at the end of the post!!

This bracelet is the perfect addition to my every day pieces. I love that it is so danty and can be worn dressed down or up. 
  Thank you to ONecklace for gifting me- all reviews are my own!

Do you want to win your own Smile Brilliant whitening kit?? 

Enter HERE for your chance to win!

Check out the before and after's from the last time I tried the whitening kit!!

What are you asking for Christmas this year?

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Men's Gift Guide | 2019

Wooden Wrist Watch
Girls, I have rounded up a bunch of good finds for those hard to shop for guys in your life. And trust me, I have many of them.. ya know the ones that just want buy whenever they want something and don't ever give hints. Or the ones that have clothes hanging with tags from three Christmas's ago - cough cough (my husband!!) Anyway, I did get his help on the from him andddd I have an awesome idea giveaway for you with the help of my friends at Jord.
Cooper Mugs
I gifted these to my father in law a few years ago and uses them very often, even for non alcoholic drinks!
Yeti Cooler
This was Joe's big gift two years ago and he uses it for parties, tailgates, Trick or Treating (yes you read that right!!) and so much more! It def. holds all your ice and drinks cold!
Air Pods
These are so hot right now, and especially with the newest iphone that are a great gift!
Travel Toiletry Bag (Monogrammed)
This is a gift that is so simple, yet so many guys don't own! Also, shop small and purchase from a site like Etsy!
Whiskey Decanter Set
This is a fun gift for the guy who likes to sip on whiskey. It's prolly something they would never purchase for themselves, and classes up any bar area.
Sphere Ice Mold
Going along with the whiskey and bourbon theme, these are perfect for your guys glass.
Personalized Bottle of Bourbon
I thought this was the coolest item and couldn't believe you could find it on Amazon! I think this would look so cool on a bar top or even kitchen top since it's personalized!
Portable Cigar Pouch
Usually Joe will bring cigars when we go to weddings or away for the wedding, and this is great to place them in for travel.
Thermal Socks
I got these for all the guys in my family this year. My two brothers and dad work outside alot so they will love these and Joe will put these in handy during snow blowing or even just the chilly winter weekends!
Jord Apple Watch Band 
This watch band is so.dang. good you guys! I got Joe an apple watch a few years ago for his birthday, and honestly he never really wears it out because it was 'too sporty looking' and preferred other watches on the weekends. Until now! This leather band definitely classes up the watch head and I love that it comes from a Family owned business! These fit even the newest Apple watch. It comes in 6 vibrant flat leather options with stainless steel coordinating classic buckle style clasps.

your own Jord Apple Watch Band!
I am a Jord partner. This watch band was gifted to me for review, but all opinions are my own!
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Christmas Family Photos | 2019

This year for Christmas photos I wanted to change it up, instead of the typical sweater and jeans etc. look. I went with more of a glam look and love how they turned out, especially with this back drop of the rustic fireplace and mantel.

Hope you enjoyed this look at this years family photos! Can't wait to get these printed and show them off in the house!
All photos were taken by DeLorenzo Photography

My Outfit:
Skirt | Lulu's
Belt | Gucci

Joey Outfit:
Shirt | Zara
Pants | Zara
Suspenders | Amazon
Boots | Old Navy

Joe Outfit:
Sport Coat | Brooks Brothers
Sweater | Kohls
Jeans | Kohls

Garland & Wreath | Hearth & Hand (last year)
Pillows | Target Dollar Spot
Tin Buckets | Domaci 
Flocked Trees | Target

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Baby #2 | Second Trimester Recap

So here's a recap of my Second Trimester:

Baby's due date: January 11, 2020
size of the baby: Winter Squash

total weight gain: 30 lbs.. umm yeah. I gained alot!!
gender: BOY . See the gender reveal recap heremovement: oh yes! He kicks and punches and I have even felt him (painfully) turn. I don't really want to feel that again!
sleep: I get spurts of energy Waking up numerous times a night and toss and turn.
craving: I'm thinking Cheese is a definite craving. I also have a buffalo chicken salad with ranch dressing at least once or twice a week!

symptoms: Currently (29 weeks) I have a lot of pelvic pressure and some Braxton Hicks contractions. The doctor said this is very common with second pregnancies. 
favorite moments: Joey calls the baby 'Robot'! I'm not even sure where he got that from, but I think its the cutest thing.
hardest moments: Not being able to do everything. I have a hard time saying no to things, but got a wake up call with the cramping and pelvic pains to slow down.

Recap of Baby #2 First Trimester

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Weekend Sales | Veterans Day 2019

If you have off on Monday, well lucky you and enjoy the long weekend! If you don't well you can still shop online to catch some awesome sales. But also, don't forget to thank a Veteran for all their service to be able to live in this free world and be able to shop these sales!!

So let's get down to it!

American Eagle | 30-60% off
Anthropologie | 20% off all home & Furniture
Children's Place | 50% off + spend more get more Bonus Card
Christmas Tree Shops | 20% off with Friends & Family
Coach Outlet | 20% off select gifts 
Crate & Barrel | 20% off Wine & Dine + Cozy
Disney Store | 25% Friends and Family Code: DISNEYPAL
DSW | 20% off with Code: COZYUP
Express | 40-50% off + $5 Bonus card for $100 spent
Gap Factory | 50% off + extra 20% off Code: GFTWENTY
Hannah Anderson | 40-50% off 
Janie & Jack | 20% off + Free Shipping
JCrew | 40% off Friends and Family for members Code: FAMILY or 30% off everyone else Code: FRIENDS 
June and January | BOGO 50% with Code: BOGORINGER
Kohl's | 15% off + daily deals & Kohl's Cash!
Lilly Pulitzer | Gifts with purchase with over $50 spend
Loft | 40% off with Code: FESTIVE
Nordstrom | up to 40% Fall Sale
Pier 1 | 25% off regular and clearance Code: OFF25
Philosophy | Free gift with purchase of $65 with Code: BEST
Plow & Hearth | 25% off store wide- in store only!
Pottery Barn  | Buy More Save More up to 30% off Code: SAVEMORE
Pottery Barn Baby | Buy More Save More up to 30% off Code: MOREPLEASE
Sephora | Sale for all Members 10-20% off 
Target | 5% off Gift Cards! and Black Friday Preview- Ends Saturday 11/9

I will update as sales come in!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Little Blue Truck | Trunk or Treat 2019

I was so excited last Halloween seeing all the parents decorate their cars for Trunk or Treat and said I'm so gonna go all out next year. Flash forward to this year, I completely forgot about Trunk or Treat until Sunday when I found a paper stuffed in a drawer detailing the specifics. In defense, I have a lot going on right now!! Anyway, I got to planning. First step of course was pulling up Pinterest, but I wasn't feeling the creative spark. So next, I went to Joey's Halloween Book Nook to see what inspiration I could find. It was a toss up between the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Little Blue Truck's Halloween. For the Great Pumpkin, I was thinking about doing the scene from the pumpkin patch and the kids trick or treating. However, I didn't have chicken wire on hand and wasn't about to fiddle with that non sense of making fake ghosts. HA. So I opted for Little Blue Truck's Halloween. 
I knew I wanted to make a cut out of Little Blue so this way the kids could take a picture with it. So, now I needed to find cardboard big enough and how to execute it! 

Halloween in PA was filled with severe storms, so our school actually pushed back our Trunk of Treat to Friday afternoon. It was still sooo windy though, and some of my props wouldn't cooperate. 

I had taken pretty clear pictures of alll the dressed up characters in the book. Thankfully at work, we have a large scale printer that I was able to edit them and print. If you don't have access to this though, you can always send your prints to a Staples or Kinkos! Since they were printed on regular paper, I knew I had to make them stand. Using glue stick I glued card stock to the back of the image, and then cut them out. I realized I could have used my Cameo to prolly cut this out, but I wanted them in large format- and on a budget!

I cut all the characters out and hot glued large skewers we had left over from the Summer that we used for smores. To hold the characters, I got a bale of hay from a local farm. When I imagined it, they were a lot more spaced out- but due to the wind I had to group them pretty close.

I also picked up some sunflower and pumpkin picks from Hobby Lobby to add to the hay bale. I printed out the quotes from the book of what each character said when they revealed their costumes!

Again, due to the high winds, Little Blues 'Ghost' costume wasn't working out. But I had gotten a white table cloth from the Dollar Store, and cut his big googly eyes out with the caption from the book. However, I ended up tying his 'costume' to the latch on the trunk to try and get him to stand!

Either way, the kids loved it! We got so many compliments on it! The biggest one came from my own little Spooky Ghost!!

Little Blue Truck Cut Out:

Supplies Needed:

4' x 4' cardboard
Blue, White and Black Acrylic Paint 
Paint Brushes
Thin Sharpie
Googly Eyes
Sharpe Knife or Blade 


To make life easier, and I don't have the steadiest hand- I used an image I pulled from Google Images and showed it up on the projector to trace it. I then painted the truck using the image. I also, but the color codes on the cardboard while tracing the truck out. 

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