The Ashley Maria Blog
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Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to Save Your Mind Planning a Wedding

Even though we are coming up on our two year wedding anniversary, I love still giving tips I used that I found helpful. One of my biggest resources (besides Pinterest) was using Google Drive to stay organized! 
I started by creating a folder in my google drive and entitled it Wedding. This will help if you have a lot of other documents and what not in your drive!
In this folder there were a ton of documents, excel sheets, tabs etc. If there was any documentation that was about our wedding it was here! it was my place to save important documents such as contracts, proofs, and just necessary paperwork. I also had hard copies in a wedding binder, but that's for another day! 
For each vendor I created their own folder in which help specifics for them. For example the reception venue was entitled Hotel Bethlehem (our venue name) in this folder was the contract with stated pricing, rules & regulations and menus. I always kept copies of deposits and billing information just in case their were any issues with this after that final billing. 
Here are the sub-folders I had:

In these sub-folders I then broke down even more. I had documents with to do lists for each thing and then if something had contacts or documents I would put a folder together labeled. Here are some examples:

You can obviously tailor these to your own wedding, but these are some examples of what I used! I think I did a pretty good job of keeping everything organized and in one place. Hope this helps all my brides to be out there!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Weekend Happenings

This past weekend was busy, busy.
We started off Friday night attending a Craft Beer Show in downtown Bethlehem. Joey's bedtime didn't allow me to stay long, so I went home with him after about an hour of walking all around the tent and showing off. 

Saturday morning I got up bright and early to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. Did you watch it? What did you think? I think Duchess Megan looked absolutely beautiful. I was reading reviews all day online how she didn't look regal enough or like a princess. To those people, to each their own. This was her style and she fit her style and personality perfect.

Saturday afternoon we had a friend from colleges wedding. It was a chilly rainy day, but she looked beautiful and we still all had so much fun! Joey and Charger also had a fun sleepover with grandma that night!

The groom's family owns Crystal Springs the resort it was held at. My dress was rented from Rent the Runway

Sunday we celebrated Joe's grandparents 60th anniversary at the Spanish Tavern in Newark, NJ I love going to that place. The food is soo good and am always full, but not stuffed when we leave!

Sunday night we played catch up. Getting home around 7:30pm, I started on laundry, some cleaning and it was one sleepy boys bedtime. Another great weekend for the books!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My First Face Mask I've Tried

I'm usually very particular about what I put on my face. To be honest, not until recently did I start wearing foundation and concealer on my face everyday. So when I was approached about trying Neutrogena's face mask I was a little hesitant. Friends, I don't know what I was waiting for! It was so easy to put on, felt so refreshing, and made my skin feel great. 

the mask was a little big on my face though, but I made it work. The Neutrogena Radiance Boost mask (shown above) comes in two pieces- one for your forehead and under eyes and one for your lower mouth and chin area. I had to overlap the two pieces and it still hung low on my chin. 
The Neutrogena clay mask gave me a deep clean, which every once in a while is great to have. You would be surprised how much makeup you miss with just an ordinary face wash. I paired mine with the Neutrogena Hygrogel Mask once washed and my face never felt so soft. 

The products in this posts were powered by BrandBacker to be reviewed. However, all opinions are my own.
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Friday, May 18, 2018

Top Items to Keep at Your Desk at Work

If you work full time, then you prolly spend the better part of your day in your office/ at your job. I truly believe to make the best of your time while at work and that means by making it your own. Today I've rounded up the best things to keep at or around your desk to make you most productive!

1. Planner or Calendar
How many times do you have to schedule meetings and need to know not only your schedule but if you have kids their schedules, your spouses, and your work life too. Having a desk calendar, or your planner on your desk is clutch for this. I honestly don't know what I would do without my planner to help organize my life.

2. Chapstick
I actually have multiple chap sticks on my desk at a time. I can't even tell you how many times I reapply throughout the day. 

3. Personal Touches
On my desk I have a few pictures. One wedding photo of Joe and I, a newborn photo of Joey and can't forget about my first babe, Charger. I have two plants to help with the oxygen flow and some other personal decor throughout my office. I'm very lucky to have my own office that is pretty large!

4. Cardigan 
In my office, they like to blast the air conditioner anytime the temps reach a mere 70 degrees. I always have a basic cardigan on my desk chair or behind my door to throw on while working on a project in my office.  

5. File Organizer
I need a clean desk to get anything done. I have a similar one like this one on my desk. I like the wire one's but hate if the desk looks sloppy or the folders fall out or bend over.

6. Blue Light Blocking Glasses 
These have been a game changer for me. I started using them a few weeks ago, since I was getting headaches constantly at my desk. They were cheap so I bought a pair to keep at work, my home computer and night stand for when I'm scrolling social media before bed. 

7. Healthy Snacks
Raise your hand if you are a bored snacker! When I'm working on a project that just isn't that all exciting, I typically like to munch on something. I try to keep nuts, trail mix or something on the healthier side when these cravings take aim.

8. Reusable Water Bottle 
We have a water cooler in our office that I seldom use.. I have to remind myself to drink water through out the day! By keeping a reusable water bottle at my desk that keeps it cold definitely helps!
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Friday, May 11, 2018

The Best Self Tanner I've Tried

The year was 2005. I was a Junior in high school and it was the week before Prom. Throw back to the days of bleached blonde hair and going to the tanning salon as much as possible. Screw the natural bronzed look, I wanted as dark as could be! I'm almost sad to admit this now, but my friends and I would sign up for multiple salons tanning packages so that we could maximize our tanning results. Not only would be 'fake bake' but we also would use self tanning lotion to cover the unfortunate lines due to playing sports. 
You may not have guessed this from looking at me, but I was the catcher in softball for four years while in High School. Also, back in those days (I act like it was 50 years ago!!!) softball players typically wore shorts with high socks. So you can imagine the sweet lines I would get. I wanna say it was the Wednesday or Thursday before prom on Saturday, so I was loading up the self tanning lotion at this point; we had a softball game. It was so hot that game that of course I was sweating. Add on the catcher equipment, I was a mess. I had taken off my leg protectors after the inning and I was up to bat. I remember getting a double and sliding into second base. When I got up I shook off the dirt and dust and realized my knee caps were a complete different color then my shins and thighs. I was mortified, but hey.. at least the rest of me looked tan! From sweating and my knees rubbing on the catchers gear, the sunless tanner must have rubbed off!
Let's just say, sunless tanners have changed a great bit in those 13 years, and I've used a lot since then. But, I think I may have found my favorite
When Sephora recently had their VIB sale, I listed on my favorites that I was planning on purchasing this product. I since have received and tried it on two occasions, and I can't wait to share it with you all.

I chose the scent Vanilla Apricot, and it smells so good!

This picture is right after applying to my left arm. As you can see, there is a significant difference. 

It's really so simple to apply. It comes with a mit so you don't have to worry about streaky, orange hands. Simply pour a little into the mit and let it soak in. Apply to each body part individually so that you get all areas. Let soak into skin for about 8 hours before showering.

I exfoliated in the shower and when completely dried I applied the oil with the mit. Once the oil was dry to touch I put on lose clothes. The two times I've applied I went to bed after applying and showered when I woke up. The first time, I must have sweat over night while wearing a short sleeve shirt, and did have to little spots (look like from my arms) on my sheets. They did wash right off though. The second time I wore loose long pants and shirt and didn't have any orange or stains on my clothes. 

If you do have excess or lines on your skin after the 8 hours, just scrub a little extra in the shower and apply lotion after washing off. This will help blend it!

To clean the mit, just rinse with water and pat dry. Let it sit to dry.

This was the best sunless tanner I've tried yet, and like I said before I've tried the spray's, lotions and other oils.  It smells so good, the instant color is great to tell where you put the oil and it lasts almost a week with good hydration of your skin. 

This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share this product with you all!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Easy Gift Idea featuring SCOUT

It's teacher and nurses appreciate week! I'm sure everyone knows a friend, relative or themselves may be one. Where in the world would we be without teachers or nurses? Uneducated and walking around sick and hurt.. that's for sure!
Today I want to share with an inexpensive yet creative gift ideas for the teachers and nurses in your lives that you would like to show some appreciation to. 

These SCOUT bags did not disappoint at all. These are so easy to use to throw together all your favorite snacks, bottle of wines, magazines, etc. and make a cute gift. It's easy to gift with SCOUT and it makes the recipient feel extra special since you can pick a design that relates to their likes! Check out all the different style and prints SCOUT has to offer!

* I received these bags as gifts to review. All opinions are my own!

I love the Spirit Liftah!  This resuable wine bag makes a great gift and also comes in an insulated version too!  Dimensions: 4"W x 14"H x 4"D

This is the Large Package and you can use as a reusable gift bag or just fill it with your favorite items as a gift itself. Great to use to carry your child's toys and snacks or perfect for use on a beach day!  Dimensions: 13.5"W x 12"H x 6"D

The Tiny Package is the smaller version of the large package yet still a great size! Dimensions: 11"W x 8"H x 4.25"D

And for my followers from SCOUT use Promo Code WRAPCOLORFULLY to receive FREE TOTE AND FREE SHIPPING for anywhere in the U.S.

**The free tote will not show up in your shopping cart, but will be included with your order (while supplies last). Offer only applies to orders $50+ and cannot be combined with any other offers. Promotion expires at 11:59pm EST on 5/30/18.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mothers Day Ideas and Printable Card

Mother's Day is right around the corner. This year will be my second mother's day, I can't believe it! We have plans to go to a nice lunch with my mom, mother in law and grandmother in law in town. I don't want anything for mother's day other then to spend the day with my favorite guys and do something fun. I've been wanting to go to the zoo for the past month, but mother nature has been against those plans. I'm hoping for a sweet family trip in the next couple days.
If you haven't gotten mom a gift yet, here are some ideas for last minute!
*Contains affiliate links*

1. Plan a mother's day breakfast/brunch at home.
It doesn't have to be anything too fancy, think french toast, pancakes, or waffle. Target has the cutest breakfast in bed tray from the Hearth and Home line.  

2. Write a handwritten letter.
Grab some cute stationary or even just a card and write how much your mom means to you. I'm not talking the 'greatest mom ever' sit down and seriously think all your mom has done for you. Jot that down for her to read. This will most likely mean more to her then any money can buy!

3. A plant or flower. 
Two years ago my mom got me a blue hydrangea to be planted outside. She wanted to get me blue because I became a puppy mother to Charger who was a boy. Every Spring now I look forward to it blooming and reminds me of Charger when I see it.

4. Gift Card for Coffee.  
Especially for new mom's, mom's of toddlers or heck anyone in general, coffee is always a good idea! Everyone gets me Starbucks gift cards because they know that I love my iced vanilla coffee. You can even send a gift card directly to the person, without having to go into a store.

Do you have any mother's day plans or traditions? 

Want to get a free printable Mother's Day Card? Simply click here to print your own!
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