The Ashley Maria Blog
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Splurge or Steal | Vol 2

Have you shopped the early access Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yet? No this is not another post about that sale. I'm sure you all are sick of seeing all the bloggers post about it, especially if you don't have a card and aren't able to shop early! Today's splurge, however is included in the sale. So if you want to spend the extra money on these Dolce Vita Tommi Perforated Bootie, I suggest to do it now while the sale if going on. The Dolce Vita bootie comes in Smoke (which is more of a taupe color), Black and Tan (shown below). They also fit true to size. In my opinion, I would be wearing these a lot with skinny jeans and I just don't like the straight across cut of the boot.
The steal today is the Target, Universal Thread Autumn Braided Bootie. I actually purchased these in the Spring and wore almost every day for months. They are so comfortable even wearing without socks. I love the little heal and braided accent. These also come in the black. Typically every back to school time Target runs a bogo sale on shoes, so if you aren't anxious to pick these up, I would try to hold out. 

included in the nordstrom sale for $89.95
$139.95 | Dolce Vita Booties
$34.95 | Target Booties

What do you think about these two booties? Do you own any of them- let me know in the comments!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Nook | Summer 2018

This past weekend I decided to make a little Book Nook for Joey. He is so into books right now- which I love! Every morning when he wakes up, the first thing he will do is grab a book out of his bin and come sit in our lap with it. He then yells 'boooook, boooook' and hit you with it until you read it to him. He's alittle impatient and likes to turn the page before you even get done read it, but hey.. I don't mind. 

I originally saw the idea from Jordan at Jordan & Co. and thought this would be perfect to mix up our books for each season! 

All the books were purchased through a Usborne Book party or you can check them out here! They have so many options!

I can't wait to change this out each season for Joey! Do you have any suggestions on good summer books?
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Monday, July 9, 2018

Patriotic Styles You Can Wear All Summer

Raise your hand if you love rocking red, white and blue all Summer long. 
Last weekend I wore this cute Kate Spade dress that I rented purposely to wear for the Fourth of July. We had a cranky toddler at dinner, so we never got to get a family picture of our matching outfits! However, I definitely know I will be wearing this dress again this Summer. 
Here are some Patriotic looks to carry out all Summer long!
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Friday, July 6, 2018

Splurge or Steal | Vol. 1

Today I'm introducing you all to a new series I'm called Splurge or Steal. I know there a lot of others girls out there that love that high end, designer look; but our wallet just won't allow us to spend that designer prices. 

I've seen a lot of other bloggers just raving about these Steve Madden Greece Sandals. Working full time and living that mom life, I rarely get time to go to the mall and shop. I was waiting to see if the Steve Madden sandals went on sale over the holiday in order to pick them up. Luckily, while I was shopping at a little boutique last weekend down the shore I was able to try them on. They run a little small so I would of had to size up and the soles are very flat. I work in an office, so my only walking is up and down halls, but I couldn't imagine wearing them a full day of walking say at a zoo or chasing after Joey. Needless to say, I decided to not purchase them. 

While walking past our local Payless (which is also right next to a bagel place!!) I saw these in the window and stopped in my tracks. I didn't have time to actually go in and try them on, so I did the next best thing and went online when I got home. I was lucky enough for them to be BOGO 50% and at only $14.99 I couldn't help myself! They came so quick in the mail and I was so excited to try them on. The soles have much more cushion then the Steve Madden ones and are so comfortable. I received these in the mail over the weekend and I have worn both colors every day since I got them. That's when you know they are good! 

The Payless dupe brown leather is a little darker then the Steve Madden and the 'H' cut out is rounded instead of square. I'm very pleased with this steal that I got! Like I said before, in my opinion, they are way more comfortable when wearing them, you can barely notice the difference in the steal vs. splurge. 

I've only been wearing them a week, but they seem pretty sturdy to hold up. I will update if that changes. But at the price of $14.99 I'm not gonna complain if they only last one season!

$14.99| Payless Montego Bay Club Sandals
$79.99 | Steve Madden Greece Sandals

Let me know your thoughts! Do you own either of there sandals?
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Monday, July 2, 2018

Weekend Happenings | Fourth of July Week

Since Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year.. do you celebrate it the weekend before or the weekend after? If you are lucky you can celebrate it both weekends! We decided to celebrate the weekend before with a quick getaway to the Jersey Shore. Of course though, it had to be 100+ degrees out the actual weekend we decided to go! It was a nice short getaway though and we made some fun family memories. 

Friday, Joey's school had a petting zoo come to visit and I was told Joey was in all his glory seeing the live animals. This kid sure does love all things animals. I had taken the day off and decided to do something for me. I scheduled a massage, after dropping Joey off at school. After my massage, I treated myself to a mani and pedi as well. When I finished up on my 'me' morning, I brought Charger up to my parents house to stay for the weekend. It was a weekend getaway for him too, since he didn't have to worry about Joey chasing him around the house or stealing his toys. Joe worked a half of day on Friday so once he got home we packed up the car and went to pick up Joey. There was so much traffic on the way down to the shore, so we decided to make some stops. We stopped in Point Pleasant Beach to see friends and their four month old sweet baby girl named Scarlett.  After we left them, we decided to head to the boardwalk to grab something to eat and walk Joey around a little. We headed to the house around 8 and shortly after we arrived there, Joey was exhausted and went to bed. We enjoyed drinks outside by the water with friends!

Saturday morning I could not sleep in and was up at 6am. Of course Joey and Joe both slept in until 7:30, so I got to enjoy my morning coffee without anyone begging me to read them a book or having to make breakfast. Once everyone was up, we went to a local bagel shop to grab few sandwiches. Before it got too hot, we decided to head over to Long Beach Island and walk around the shops. It was way to hot to bring Joey onto the beach even with an umbrella and tent. The heat index was over 110!! We instead went in and out of all the cute stores they have near Fantasy Island and made a pit stop at one of our favorite breweries Ship Bottom Brewery.

 We head back to the house which is about 15 minutes away to get ready for dinner. We had reservations at Raimondo's which is on LBI, so back we went to the island! Joey did so well at dinner until we were ordering dessert. He was completely over it at that point and Joe and I took turns walking him outside. I had all intentions of taking a family photo since we had matching American inspired outfits on, but as I always say.. It's Joey's world, we just live in it!  When we got back to the house we gave Joey a quick bath and he went right to bed! Poor little guy was pooped from the day!

Sunday, we knew we wanted to head back home early to beat the traffic and also plan it so that Joey would take his morning nap in the car. We left after breakfast around 10:30 and hit no traffic!
We picked up Charger from my parents house and headed home. We were all tired from traveling so we decided to stay inside and play. Joey really missed his brother while we were away, as you can tell from him crawling into Charger's crate to play!

But not to be out-done.. Charger crawled into his crate a little later!

Once Joey went to bed, I ran back out to Lowe's to pick up a few plants and flowers to spruce up the outside and patio a little bit. I called it an early night and went to bed around 9:30pm. It was a busy yet relaxing weekend for our little family, I wouldn't change a thing of it!
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Favorite Farmhouse Home Decor from Wal Mart

How do you feel about the 'farmhouse' trend? I really like it due to the neutral and wood mixed with metal tones. I'm not a huge fan of the cows and pigs 'down on the farm' stuff though.. if that makes sense! Recently I saw someone I follow on instagram post a piece of furniture from Wal Mart and it looked so expensive and farmhouse-ish that I thought I would check it out for myself. 

I love changing things up in our house, and with Wal Mart's prices, it allows me to do that more often without breaking the bank. The things I found actually remind me more of items from pottery barn, way fair and world market more then Wal Mart!!

Here are my top choices:

TV Console
Pendant Light
Bed Frame
Secretary Desk
End Table

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Weekend Happenings | June 2018

This past weekend we had nothing particularly planned, which was perfect considering we have a teething toddler. On Thursday afternoon, I got a call from Joey's school he had a low grade fever, so after picking him up I brought him straight to the doctor. They told me it was probably just more of his teeth coming in and not to worry. Mortrin and extra cuddles it was! 
Friday, Joey still was very cranky, so instead of going to school he went to grammy and poppy's house to stay with them for the day. He was feeling a lot better later in the night, so we met up with some friends at our new favorite brewery BirthRight for some yummy pizza's and appetizers. 
Also on Friday, I decided to embrace my natural curls (however they are more wavy then curly anymore) and let my hair air dry before I went to bed. I sprayed amika undone texture spray while still a little damp and rolled it into my favorite hair towel and went to bed. When I woke up I used a little more texture spray to tame the frizzies and shot some heat to the middle of my head which of course was still wet even after sleeping on it all night. 

Saturday morning we woke up and Joe went to get our favorite breakfast sandwiches when I don't feel like cooking. I turned Joe onto avocado on sandwiches and now he's hooked too. My go to is an everything bagel with egg cheese and avocado. We decided to take a trip to North Jersey to go visit Joe's grandparents. First we stopped at Short Hills Mall because I wanted to grab a few new pair of shorts for myself. What did I leave with you ask.. oh you know... clothes from Janie and Jack and an alligator bath towel and bigger lunch box for Joey. I did get a cute basic top in Anthropolgie- I guess we can call that a win at least. 

Sunday, Joe went golfing early with a bunch of his friends. Joey has very cranky and his poor little nose was running all day. We watched movies and cartoons, played, read books and when all else failed, I set up this giant tent inside! He loved it! We had a snack in there, played case around the outside and hide and go seek. Charger of course supervised because he was a little unsure about this all!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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