The Ashley Maria Blog

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Weekend Recap | May 2019

It's been a while since I did a weekend recap. Not that we haven't been doing anything fun, it's actually the opposite! We've been having so much fun, that we haven't stopped to capture the moment in pictures! So here is a little recap of our past weekend!
On Thursday, we had friends over for a little cook out and to celebrate the beautiful weather. After they left and cleaning up, I decided to make it a mission to stay awake and finish this book. I had to force myself to put it down recently because I was hooked. Guys it is so dang good.
Here is a little review from Amazon:
Although this is Delia Owens’ first novel, she long ago distinguished herself as a gifted writer. In the mid-80s, Owens co-wrote with her husband Cry of the Kalahari, which was a best-selling, nonfictional account of traveling and researching Africa’s Kalahari Desert. One of the joys of that book was the Owens’ description of the natural world, and Where the Crawdads Sing is immersed in the natural world as well. The story is set in the 1950s and revolves around a young woman named Kya Clark, who is from extremely rural North Carolina. Known by others as the Marsh Girl, she lives alone in nature—but the draw of other people, and specifically love, brings her into contact with the greater world. This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told—one that takes its time in developing its characters and setting, and in developing the story. You’ll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you’re done you will want to talk about it with another reader. – Chris Schluep , Amazon Book Review


On Friday, I was dragging, since I had stayed up to finish my book. I met Joe at one of our favorite's Mister Lee's Noodles the Easton Public Market

My favorite dish is the fried chicken ramen. 

After work, we had our neighbors/ best friends over for yet another cook out and drinks on the patio once the kiddo's fell asleep. I have a feeling this is what all Summer is going to look like! 

On Saturday, we started the day with Joey's last swim lesson in the water babies class. He now moves up the Water Pioneer's class which starts in a few weeks!

Joey's Rash Guard | Zulilly
Trunks | Joanna's Cuties (Point Plesant, NJ)
Slip On's | Native

When we got home from swim, we went right out back to the patio. Saturday morning cartoons were on, plus a snack in the shade- made this little boys day. After much running around and playing trucks (aka putting rocks in the dump trucks and scattering them all over) a much needed nap was had


Since moving into the house, we knew we were going to have issues with the pool. The previous owners never properly closed the pool for the season, therefore all the fall/winter debris was stuck at the bottom. To add onto that, we had a seal that was faulty, so all the water had to be pumped out. Once the water was gone, the clean up began. Most of our afternoon was spent, cleaning, washing, pumping and refilling. We have a water truck coming this week to fill it and have it ready for Memorial Day this coming weekend.

After getting ready we headed over to the local Greek Festival and pick up some gyro's and greek fries. We decided to bring it back home and enjoy it while Joey played outside a little more.

On Sunday morning, we set our alarms bright and early to watch a piece of our City's history get imploded. The historic, and tallest building in our area, the old Bethlehem Steel Martin Tower was imploded to make way for town homes, apartments and shops. It was so sad to see, and yet scary how it rattled our house even though we live miles away. In our old house we were about 5 blocks from the building, so I can't imagine what it would have felt like being there.

Since we were up early, we made breakfast sandwiches at home, and then headed to run some errands early, before it got to hot out.. did I mention this weekend it was high 80's- so unseasonable for May! But I loved it!! 

Joey took a nap and Joe cut the grass while I did some more work outside and around the pool/ patio. When Joey got up, he immediately wanted to go outside, which I am not complaining about! He had lunch outside while I filled up his water table. Not thinking he would 'sit' in the pool I didn't but a bathing suit on him, but he didn't mind it at all. 

Lot's of sun and playing outside and three bowls of grapes later he was ready for a bath and stories before bed. Of course Joe and I got everything around and ready for the upcoming week before we settled in to watch the Series finale of Game of Thrones. Only for the cable to go out due to severe storms rolling in. We knew we had to watch it then though, so we pulled it up on our HBO go app and huddled around our Google home device. What did you all think of the finale? I did think it was rushed, but thought something bigger was going to happen instead of the way it ended. Just my opinion though!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I'm def looking forward to the long weekend ahead and having all our friends over for Memorial Day!
 photo signature.png

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Teacher Appreciation Gifts | 2019

Next week is teacher appreciation week. I want to celebrate Joey's teachers because they spend three days a week with him, sometimes for over 8 hours a day. They teach him, comfort him and treat them as their own child. I can never thank them enough for all they do, but gifting them with little treats next week, I hope will show some of my appreciation!
I purchased these note pad sets at Home Goods last week, and for only $3 each they are the perfect gift for teacher appreciation week! I made this tag and tied it onto the note pad. 



Download Tag Here
Last year, we made these as an end of the year gift, but you can totally do them as a appreciation gift as well. 
Full Post Here
You can out a gift card in a reusable cup and put the below tag on it.
Full Post Here
 photo signature.png

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Playroom Home Tour

One of the first rooms I wanted to 'put together' was the playroom. This room is located to the left of the foyer when you first walk into the room, but thankfully the room has doors that can be closed if we have guests or family over!

This was also the first room to get painted. When we moved in, the previous owners used it as a work out room with mirrors on the wall and it was painted a dark blue color. Even though I would have loved to have my own work out room/bonus room, a play room would better suite us right now! We negotiated keeping the TV in the room but everything else is ours. I'm still on the hunt for more art work for either size of the TV or possibly just getting pictures of Joey enlarged or on a canvas for that space. 

But for now, this room is done and filled with toys to max capacity!





The only new purchase in this room was the striped rug and the frame with the map art. Everything else came from the old house.




Do you have a dedicated play room? How do you keep it clean and organized?

Love Seat | Ikea
Blanket | Home Goods
Throw Pillows | Pier 
Book Case | Pottery Barn Kids
Kitchen | Target
Fridge | Target
Chest | Ikea
Playroom Sign | Hobby Lobby
Map Print | Deposit Photos
Frame | Michael's
Animal Heads | Target (similar)
Striped Rugs | Pottery Barn Kids
Floor Cushion | Home Goods
Baseball Rug | Buy Buy Baby
Baskets | Ikea





 photo signature.png

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Yoga Pants Match Up

For a few months now, I've been trying out a new pair of pants to see what they fit like since I have been a die hard Lululemon Align pants girls for a few years now. I purchased my first pair when I was pregnant with Joey and was looking for something that would hold in my belly but I would be able to still wear after I delivered him. These were the perfect choice- and I got my normal size.. didn't even have to go up a size (I will say my belly was pretty small until right before the end). 


I tried on both pairs for you to see. Both are very flattering and forgiving. Both feel like wearing butter and both are non- see through. 


Aerie Play Real Me High Waisted

I am obsessed with these pants. 
  • They feel like you are not wearing anything. 
  • They have great support to tuck everything in. 
  • These pants a 1/3 of the competitors price
  • Have logo on the upper back waist
  • Not see through





Lululemon Align Pants

  • They feel like you are not wearing anything. 
  • They have great support to tuck everything in. 
  • Close to $100 per pair
  • Have logo on the upper back waist
  • Not see through
  • Material started to 'pill' on thighs




Honestly, there is not much difference between these pants besides the price. I have found that the Lulu pants started to pill- but I have had some pairs for two years. They both wash great and fold their shapes. I never wear crop shirts so the logo in not a priority to me.

Lululemon | Align Pants

 photo signature.png

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Amazon Clothes Round Up | Spring 2019

Lately I have been buying more clothes and accessories from Amazon then any other retailer! The items come next - second day in the mail, the prices are great and there is such an easy return policy!

Here are some of my latest finds that I am loving.



Sold out in cabana blue, but lots of other colors available | True to Size- wearing Small
I was a little nervous putting this on because I have a short torso and wasn't sure how the high waist would hit, but I think it is so flattering! The coverage on the back is great and I would definitely feel comfortable chasing after Joey around the pool in this! There is cups also in the top which is a plus!

Comes in lots of different colors including jumpsuits. | True to Size wearing a small
 I ordered a jumpsuit as well, but it hasn't come in yet. I love that it can be worn off the shoulder like I have it here, or you can button the back and wear it closed. This is so comfy and easy to throw on while running errands or a day at the park with Joey.


Comes in five different colors | Runs big wearing a small, but wish they had xs
So easy to throw on for work or night out. Pair with heels or sandals. I wish this came in and xs but will keep the small for a loose fit.



Fits loose | Wearing size small
I love the boho look of this. Definitely wear a bralette or nude bra under because the material and braid is see through. I like the look of it tucked into denim but equally as cute out too!
 photo signature.png

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Toddler Easter Basket Ideas | 2019

Even though Easter is late this year, I am glad because that gives us some time between Joey's birthday and the holiday so there aren't so many gifts at the same time! If you are late gathering things, all these items can be picked up at your local Dollar Stores, Target, Barnes and Nobles!

This year I did more 'educational' or necessity things! Top on the list was books of course because the kid loves 'reading' them all. Most he picked out at Barnes and Nobles when we went. All other items are from Target! 



Some Gift Ideas:

Bubble Bath
Sunglasses
Books
Crayons and Art Supplies
Movies or TV Series
PJ's
Bathing Suits
Pool/ Swimming Toys


 Basket | Pottery Barn (similar)

Previous Basket Ideas
 20142018
 photo signature.png

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Easter- Spring Book Nook | 2019

Since moving to the new house, I didn't really know where I wanted to put Joey's seasonal book nook. Besides the books we read at night, alllllll of the books are downstairs in the playroom. I didn't want them to get lost, but at the same time be able to sit in his reading chair to look through the books. 
I ended up (for now) turning the top half of his book case into our book nook. I think it's okay for now, but do have to figure out another way to separate it for the future nooks!





Books: 




 photo signature.png