The Ashley Maria Blog
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Prepping For A Party

What is the first thing you do after you decide on your guest list for the party? Maybe you make a pinterest board or start to gather ideas?  With Fourth of July right around the corner, I made a list of things that I do in order to get prepped for a party! 
Make a Grocery List

Before I head out of the house I always make a list. One, so that I don't forget anything and two, so I can try and stay on track while shopping. Thankfully at Walmart all the products are labeled clearly and bold so that I know exactly how much I am going to spend on each item! Another great option that is very useful for my family is the Walmart Grocery Pick up! I can make a list right online so that I don't forget anything. Especially with the baby now, I like to get what I need and get in and out!

Clean the House

I start with the bathroom. Since it's suppose to be nice outside this weekend, my guests will be hanging on the patio and in the backyard. The bathroom will get the most use of all the rooms, so I pride it in being fully stocked and clean!

I always have extra rolls of toilet paper at the ready, this way my family and friends don't have to go rummaging through cabinets or closets! With Cottonelle Mega Rolls, my guests will go through less rolls. 

Decorate and Get Festive
I love incorporating red, white and blue decor throughout the house. There is just something about naturals mixed with those colors that screams SUMMER! 
When throwing a Summer party I try to keep the decor simple, so these centerpieces on the patio tables and end tables add just the right touch.

Organize the Food and Serving Ware

The day before the party, I lay out how all my serving ware and party supplies that I will need. Lay out your serving dishes and utensils to make sure you have everything for your food. Set where your food is going to be, and make sure to pick up any last minute items! The last thing you want is to forget your chips for your dips!! 
So now that you have my tips, go get ready for a fun weekend ahead! 

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Friday, June 23, 2017

DIY Storybook Wall Art

Before bed time, Joey and I's favorite thing to do is read a book. I love this little corner I created in his nursery as the reading corner. Since shooting these photos we even put up a shelf with some of our favorite books to read. Today I'm sharing you the downloads for these DIY storybook art so you can put them in your child's nursery, playroom or wherever!

It was so easy to create these! First I decided which books and quotes I wanted to use. I designed the art in illustrator and printed them on a kraft paper. I got these blue wooden frames from Michael's on sale for like $2.00!

To get your own Storybook Quotes Download them HERE

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Joseph Michael.. ONE and TWO Month Update

And just like that two months have flown by. It feels like just yesterday we were at the last baby appointment and the doctor told us the next day I would be admitted. Time needs to slow down!!

Here is a little update of Joey at one and two months!

One Month: May 8, 2017
Weight: 10 lbs
Height: 21.5 in
Diet:  formula 
Sleeping:  2-3 hours at a time
Clothing Size:  Moved up to 0-3 months or just 3 months in some
Diaper Size: moved up to size 1!

Joey is constantly moving his arms all over the place. When we swaddle him, it has to be from the chest down. He is starting to get more rolls on his arms and legs. He lost all the hair on top of his head, yet still has it on the back and crown of his head. We call him grandpa because he has the hair-do of an old man!

Two Month: June 8, 2017
Weight: 12.8 lbs
Height: 24 in
Diet:  formula 
Sleeping:  3-4 hours at a time
Clothing Size:  Moved up to 3-6 months or just 6 months in some
Diaper Size: finishing box of size 1's next box is 2's!

Joey is moving his legs much more. He likes to stomp his feet down while in his swing or boppy. He hates tummy time, but is starting to hold his head up by himself for seconds at a time. His personality is starting to come through like rubbing his eyes when he's tired and loves to 'talk'. He giggles and laughs, especially when he farts! He loves walks in the stroller and car rides. His hair on top of his head is coming back in (thank god!!) 
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Happenings Lately

Since my posts have been a little sparse around here, I thought I would fill you in on some things that have been going on!
I started to go back to work two days a week while my mom watches Joey. It was harder then I thought to leave him on Monday morning after spending 8+ weeks together, but it was also nice to get some 'adult' conversation and time out of the house. I hope that doesn't make me sound horrible, but all new mom's I think can relate. Plus knowing he's with my mom makes the process a whole lot smoother.

At the end of May, our little boy was blessed into the Catholic Church! He was baptized by his Godparents my brother Dale and my best friend Brooke.
 skirt | top | heels
Also at the end of May, I decided it was time to upgrade my car. I say upgrade, because as you can see in the photo, it is the same car, only 5 years newer! 
We celebrated Memorial Day at home this year. We had a wedding Saturday and decided to lounge around Sunday instead of going down the shore. On Monday we went to our friends house for a rainy cook out!
mine: top | shorts (similar) | converse
joey: onesie | shorts | converse | hat

On June 4, Joe and I celebrated our 1 year married anniversary. It seems like forever ago since a lot has happened in that year! 

On Friday my mom and some of my cousins attended a book signing from the wonderful author Adriana Trigiani. She is from my home town and writes about Roseto in most of her books! It was such a pleasure to chat with her and listen to her talk about her new book. I'm already half way through her new book which will be released this tomorrow!!!
As I said before, we had the exterior of our house remodeled and it feels completely new!

Saturday we attended Italian Fest on Main Street in Bethlehem. My little Giuseppe loved strolling around. We even got to meet Carlo from 'The Godfather' series.
Sunday we celebrated Joe's first Father's Day! Isn't this picture just the cutest of the boys together!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

House Renovation Update | Exterior

If you follow along, you may remember in December I made some home resolutions for this year. Home things got pushed back since we have been a little busy with having a newborn! But we decided in May to get some quotes to replace the siding on the house. We had some wind storms in the Spring and the siding was starting to come loose on the side of the house. We were nervous if we waited too long to fix it, the installation would damage causing more of an expense and headache.
Knowing that around this time next year, we most likely will be looking for bigger houses due to the amount of room babies take up, we didn't want to spend the large amount of money to replace all the siding. Instead we decided to go in the painting route for the existing siding. Our contractor was able to fix the loose siding on the side of the house so that wasn't an issue. 

I wanted a paint that matched the brick already in the front of the house, so I decided on Benjamin Moore Carlisle Cream. For the shutters I decided on Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue. I think this color really makes the shutters pop against the beige and bricks. 
Disclaimer.. this was NOT a DIY project. Our siding is aluminum so there had to be a special mixture of paint which included a special primer. If you are interested in painting your siding, I would consult with a contractor or your local paint store first!

While all this work was being done, I decided now was as good time as ever to cross another project off our list and re-landscape the front of the house. If you notice from the picture when we first moved into the house, there was three large ever green looking bushes. For some reason the one on the left and part of the one in the middle was dead and needed to be removed. We built up the retaining wall, planted new greenery and flowers and added new mulch. I think it makes the house look bigger without the huge trees! 

We also installed our new mailbox that has been sitting in our garage since our bridal shower last March! It's truly amazing what paint can do. The siding looks brand new! We are so pleased with how it turned out. 
Do you have any to do lists for this Summer? If so I would love for you to share them!
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Easy Work Day to Date Night Outfit

I recently purchased this dress online from the Loft and could not wait to get it in the mail! I knew it would be a staple in my Summer wardrobe since it was so easy to throw on. Being a new mom, finding time for myself is far and few between. Let me tell you a hot cup of coffee (not reheated three times) is a luxury! and don't even let me get started on a shower. I can't wait to shower without a baby monitor close by or the door open! Even though I joke I wouldn't trade it! 
Before I was pregnant, I think I shopped in Loft maybe two times. I don't know why since now I am obsessed and love all their clothes! 

Sandals- Last Year's Similar, Similar

I'm also loving this similar dress, this dress for summer and purchased this dress as well. Best part is Loft is running a sale! Use code NEWNOW for 40% off! 

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Styles

While pregnant, I hated shopping for clothes. Maybe it was because I couldn't find anything the fit just right, or because it was winter, or the fact I was large.. could be any of those reasons! But now, I am loving shopping for summer! There are so many cute options and trends out there right now, and the fact I am shopping at my normal shops and sizes helps also!

I have listed a few items I am seeing everywhere right now. I try to not spend a lot on trends because you know what may be in this season is not going to popular next. Some staple pieces such as the straw bag or chunky heel shown below I wouldn't mind spending a little more on since you can incorporate them into a lot of different outfits. Below are some styles for summer I have my eye on. What are some things you are loving for summer?

Off the Shoulder Shirt
Tassle Dresses
Ripped Bottom Jeans
Chunky Heel
Round Sunglasses
Bright Colors
Flutter Sleeves
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