The Ashley Maria Blog

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Amazon Favorites Recently

I have made so many Amazon purchases since moving into our new home in March, but finally I am buying things for myself, and not home related!

Bodycon Dress 
Revlon Hair Dryer
Off the Should Dress 
Tshirt Bodycon Dress
I bought a lot more then these items, but these are my favorites by far. The two bodycon dresses are perfect for my growing bump, but will be so cute next Summer as well when (hopefully) i'm back to my normal shape! I got small's in both the tank and t-shirt dress. They are both so comfortable to wear all day. You can dress up with wedges and heels or down with basic sandals. I actually more then tank dress to Jury Duty a few weeks ago with a cardigan on top. It was the perfect dress to sit around in for 7 plus hours!

The MaeBand is definitely a game changer. I was able to wear my shorts all Summer with this. I wish I would have had it when pregnant with Joey. I still wear it, but have officially busted out the maternity jeans as well. 

The Revlon hair dryer cuts down my drying time, and saves my arm from going numb while using my round brush. This is an all in one so you only need one hand. It does it pretty hot though, so really that is my only downfall.

The off the shoulder, black dress has been in rotation all Summer. I wore it to an engagement party dressed up and dressed down on vacation with sandals. It's so versatile and I actually love the silky material. It does wrinkle if sitting for a long time say in a car or at a dinner, but since it's black it's actually not that noticeable.
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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Joey's First Day of Orange Giraffe's

Last week Joey moved up to an older classroom in his daycare/school he attends. We were kinda sad to learn he was moving up so soon, since we just moved up to his previous classroom after the holidays, and we loved his teachers. At the same time, we were so happy with the progression he was making and that he's grown so much in those few months. I didn't think it would be that hard since the classrooms were right next to each other and had a conjoining door that he could see his previous teachers daily, but boy did he give us a hard time. 
I had a doctors appointment for the baby the morning of his first day, so Joe had to bring him alone to school. All I wanted that morning was a nice picture.. instead I got this of his screaming not to take his picture.

I made this pennant for him to hold in pictures using my Silohette machine. 

and another one.. just because!

But, this picture was sent to us the next day of him on the much bigger playground, and he was loving it! The past few days, he's been walking into the room not even holding my hand. He immediately goes to play with a toy and his friends and only is still a little clingy when it's time to leave. All in all, he's loving his new room. He's being 'trying' to use the potty in the new room, and has learned so many new things already!
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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Baby #2 Gender Reveal Party!

This past weekend, we celebrated Baby Melch #2 with a gender reveal party at our house. 

We invited over our immediate family and friends to a Bows or Baseballs gender reveal party on Sunday afternoon. It was a stressful weekend however, and in order to tell you more about that, let's start back at Tuesday. 

Tuesday I had my 20 week sequential screening tests, in which everything showed perfect, and baby is growing 'above' normal. My due date is January 11, but by measurements, baby is showing due date of January 4- even though, they are keeping original date! Anyway, I told the technician I didn't want to know the gender and instead wanted it sealed, however it was obvious on the screen so my mom (who came with me to the appt since Joe brought Joey to his first day in his new classroom) and I found out the sex. It was one the biggest secret's I've kept from my husband!!!! I was so nervous I was going to slip, and did a few times, but ended up back tracking haha. 

It's now Saturday, and I was getting around all the party items I had made/ purchased etc. since our 13 week appointment in which if baby cooperated, we might have been able to find out the gender- but baby did not and was facing down the whole time. I showed Joe the plastic baseball we were going to use and fill with blue or pink chalk and hit revealing the sex of the baby. I had just got done saying to him ' I wonder how this works, like if it cracks open or what.' and shut the baseball w/o any chalk in it.... andddd I couldn't get it back open. I tried a knife, I tried a pin.. nadda. Finally, after like 20 minutes, I thought well let me just drop it and see if the halves just open again. Well, it did, but one half broke down the middle and another small piece flew off. CRAP! Immediately, I texted my best friend (who was going to fill the ball with the chalk) and she pulled up a next day delivery one on Amazon! I ordered it, and hoped for the best. Fast forward to Sunday, and I checked the mailbox every 20 minutes. After stressed for a good part of the day, even while all our friends and family was there, Amy decided to tape together the broken ball with duck tape (not the prettiest- but got the job done) and filled with chalk. Thank goodness, because the other one did not show up until after 6 and people were already leaving at this point!! 

It was a great day- despite the ball drama! We love havng people over our beautiful house and even better to celebrate such a special occasion... our newest BABY BOY!!

Party Supplies:
Invitations: Ash's Party Accents
Baked Goods: The Buttercups Bake Shoppe
Plates and Napkins and Cups: Etsy
Pins: Etsy
Baseball with Chalk: Etsy
Banners: Etsy

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Mini Vacation to Long Beach Island NJ

Last weekend our little family took a nice long weekend down at the Jersey Shore. 
On Thursday Joe and I left early from work and pulled Joey early from school. We headed down to Long Beach Island, NJ for the weekend and got a super cute hotel room a block from the ocean. In LBI, hotels are hard to come by, but we decided that was the easiest thing to do instead of staying at the family shore house that was still about 20 minutes from the beach. Plus the house wasn't toddler proof and steps away from an open lagoon. So about a week away we found the Sea Horse Motel and it meet all our needs! We stopped for dinner on the way down, so we didn't end of getting to the island until after 9:00pm. I unpacked a few things quick and we put Joey down in his double bed all to himself!  Thankfully, our room had a bench that we could hang out on and people watch, talk and catch up with each other once Joey went to sleep. 
Friday morning we all got up around 7 and got ready for breakfast. The good thing about a toddler that gets up early, is you can usually beat the rush for restaurants in the morning. We drove down a little to a place we've wanted to go to forever, but there was always a wait when we wanted to go. We were able to snag a table outside at the Dockside Diner, but quickly learned how hot the day was gonna be with the sun beating on us. We finished up and went back to the motel. 

We hung out for a little and then got ready for the beach. Even though it was Joey's third Summer down the shore, we never actually brought him on the beach yet. I had all kinds of emotions going on- would he like the sand? Would he be scared of the waves? Was it going to be too hot and he would hate it?  But surprisingly, he loved it! I researched the best things to take to the beach for a toddler and rounded it up on this post. At first, Joey wouldn't move off the blanket, but once we kinda forced him onto the sand, he loved it. The water was pretty cold, but we still put our feet in the water. We played with the sand, had snacks, chased some seagulls and had lots of fun. Around 2:00 we decided someone needed a nap desperately, so we packed up to head back to the room. After a quick bath, he finally went down for a much needed nap. 

We made reservations for 6:00pm that night to go to Tucker's Tavern. It was such a cool place that we haven't been to yet. There were soo many kids there which made us feel at ease, since Joey was a little cranky not getting a great nap during the day. After dinner we walked to check out the boats docked in the bay and then drove over to the amusement park, Fantasy Island. After way too many games (and money spent) Joe won a huge dog Joey HAD to have. It was way past Joey's normal bed time, so we head back to the motel and after he went to bed, Joe and I spent some time on the balcony together.

Saturday morning, we had plans to go to one of our favorites, The Local, but when we got there it was so packed we didn't even want to wait for coffee. We headed to another favorite breakfast spot, The Blue Water Cafe.  Joey enjoyed his pancakes which he asked for the moment he woke up and I enjoyed the avocado toast, while Joe had a Benedict.  
After breakfast, we headed to Bay Village to do some shopping. Joe took Joey to the park to play on the swing set and I went to one of  my favorite stores, Sur La Plage. They was having a major end of year sale, so I was able to get some Lilly Pulitzer marked down 30% off. Another favorite of mine Island Gypsy had a lot of great things, but being pregnant this summer, I just didn't feel like shopping for myself. We be-bopped around for a little and then headed back to the motel for nap time. Joe went back to Bay Village to Ship Bottom once I got Joey settled in to grab some beers at Ship Bottom Brewing to take home. We had dinner reservations at 5 for The Beach House with Joe's dad and his wife. I was a little nervous since this was a nicer dining place and wasn't sure if Joey would cooperate. But he did great! He actually sat in the booth seat with Joe and I and ate almost his whole grilled cheese and fries. After dinner, we took a ride to the other side of the island to go the Barnaget Lighthouse. This place is so special to Joe and I since we got engaged there. You can read more about it here

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Packing for the Beach with a Toddler

Top 10 Items to Bring to the Beach for a Toddler

1. Baby Powder
Did you know baby powder will take off sand? I got a small travel size tub to throw into our beach bag, and it was prolly the best thing I could have brought. My Joey didn't like the feel of sand in his shoes when we were leaving the beach (I mean who does) so he wanted to be carried.. being pregnant, hot and having all the other beach things, this is not something I wanted to do. A sprinkle of powder.. and it took it all off so he could walk! It also worked well of getting the sand off when I changed his diaper.
2. Umbrella or Tent
We brought with us a beach umbrella, and put it in the corner of our stuff covering some of the blanket. I don't think Joey went under it once, only when I forced him to change his diaper. If you have a child that can fall asleep anywhere I would definitely recommend getting a smaller tent or bring the umbrella.
3. Blanket 
I purchased this blanket, and it worked so well. First off it was huge, and the sand just brushed right off. Secondly, it had anchors so that it wouldn't bunch up or blow away. It came with a bag to easy pack it away and didn't attract the sand!
4. Sand Toys
Let's face it, kids need to stay busy. We brought sand toys we've had for a while, along with some of Joey's favorite outside dump trucks and what not and he could have played all day our there if we let him. 
5. Small Chair
I got this chair because I loved the design, and it worked well on the beach when Joey had his snack. 

6. Towels
This should be a given when you are going to the beach, but sometimes you forget. I brought extra towels for Joey thinking I would make a little bed for him to nap on.. I def. thought wrong.
7. Sunscreen - Spray
All summer I used a rub on lotion for Joey, but knowing from putting sunscreen on myself, I prefer the spray. So I picked up a large bottle of kids spray sunscreen in 50 SPF to keep applying. There was no mess from rubbing it in, god forbid there was sand on his body... and it was so easy to re-apply. 
8. Small Fan
I brought the small fan we used when Joey was a baby on his stroller. But honestly we didn't use it. If Joey would have taken a nap, I would have clipped it on to the umbrella or towel to keep him cool while napping. 
9. Hat
I brought two different hats for Joey to wear on the beach. One was a bucket hat with more coverage, and the other was just a baseball cap that he wore backwards. This protected his face, neck  and ears from getting too much sun.
10. Wagon
Lastly, but definitely not least, is a wagon or some kind of buggy to put all the above in. It was so easy to pack everything into the wagon and wheel it right onto the beach. I got mine a few years ago at Costco, but here is a similar one!
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Friday, August 2, 2019

Baby #2 | First Trimester Recap

I know I probably won't say this come 8 months pregnant and in the thick of holiday festivities, however, for now, I feel as though this pregnancy is flying by. I think it has a lot to do with Joey keeping me on my toes, as well as just enjoying the Summer time with him and Joe.

So here's a recap of my first Trimester:

Baby's due date: January 11, 2020
size of the baby: Kiwi
total weight gain: 6 lbs
gender: Unknown
movement: not yet, but I can feel my stomach start to get tighter
sleep: gaining more energy. Waking up numerous times a night and toss and turn.
missing: a drink by the pool! Since this is the first Summer in our new home, I would love to relax with a glass of wine, or a spiked seltzer by the pool.
craving: food in general- not sweets or sour, more like cheeseburgers, steak sandwiches, chicken entrees.
symptoms: Was sick for a few days, but seems to have gone away.
favorite moments: finding out I was pregnant, since we were trying! 
hardest moments: I know this is just gonna get a lot harder, but having the energy to keep up with Joey.
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Monday, July 29, 2019

Funnel Cake Stand | 2019

Once again, we worked our booties off in the funnel cake stand. This year, they decided to not do fried oreos, so we just focused on making and selling funnel cakes. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. Especially coming off a weekend of a heat wave and 100 degree temps. 

Wednesday night working was myself and my cousin Jenn at the front with my cousin Nick and Joe working the fryer. My parents brought up Joey, however he was in a 'big kid' mood and wanted to run around and go on all the big rides (like the spaceship ride and the sizzler), which he obviously couldn't do, so they ended up walking back home early. 

Thursday night working was myself, my friend Kati, and my cousins Alexa, Jennifer and Jill. Joe has a softball game for his summer league, so he was unable to help. When my parents came up with Joey, to our surprise Alexa asked Joey to be a ring bearer in her wedding next October!! I was so excited she thought of him to ask!

Friday night, I let Joe handle the duties and I took Joey around to play some games and possibly go on some rides. He was interested in the rides, but didn't ride them. We did however win this inflatable Michelangelo from the duck picking game and got to hang out with Uncle DiDi.

After, Joey went home with my parents, I stayed to help a little and then clean up. While we were cleaning up, our favorite author (who is also from our town, Roseto) Adriana Trigiani stopped by!!! We fan girled way too much! But she was so nice and kept thanking us for our volunteer service to the church!

Saturday, we opened a little later in the night, because we had a party to attend. Once opened we were busy and did not stop! We ended up selling out of batter around 10pm. Instead of staying around for the fireworks, I headed home. It was a longggg weekend standing and I was beat. 

It was a good weekend, and I am so happy I get to hang out with family and friends during this time!

Previous Years:
2018 | 2016
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