The Ashley Maria Blog

Friday, May 27, 2016

Make up Review | Dior Lipstick

Do you follow me on snapchat | amstone10 | if so then you know about my new obsession with this lipstick.. if you don't follow me- well I took 9 billion pictures with it!!

I went into Sephora  to purchase ONE THING.. ladies are you with me on this! Yet left with a big shopping bag later. I did however purchase this lipstick in hopes of wearing it at the wedding! It is the perfect shade for that "I'm wearing lipstick but I want you to think I'm really not' look. 

This lipstick in person has peachy tones, but once on your lips has such a sheer glide, it is quite flawless. 

Christian Dior Addict Lipstick | Shade: Purity 
paired with
Christian Dior Addict Lip gloss | Shade : Nude

Do you have a favorite lipstick? If so, what is it?
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Patriotic Looks for Memorial Day Pool Party

Do you have some fun plans for this long weekend? Since we have the WEDDING next weekend and some things that we are still getting done, we aren't going down to the shore this year. It's been 7 summers we've been down there for the kick off to summer!

It will be the first full summer in our home and we are excited to enjoy the patio and outdoors with family and friends! We will be having people over for a cookout over the weekend and maybe even attending a family pool party! I put together this easy look that includes a little patriotic hints in it! 
Bikini Top & Bottom
Palazzo Pants

So what are you up to this weekend? 

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Friday, May 20, 2016

How to Paint Cabinets | DIY Kitchen Renovation

When we purchased our home in July we knew there was a a bunch of things we would have 'liked' to redo, but to be completely honest we just didn't feel like it. We wanted to move right in (and because the lease on our apartment was up) and there was nothing too serious that needed our attention. We put  everything on the back burner and wanted to enjoy our new home in the summer with friends and family. Then winter came and the cold weather and maybe I speak for just me.. but who wants to do anything besides snuggle under blankets when you have free time!

Now it is Spring and we have free time.. ha YEAH RIGHT!! Our wedding is in 3 weeks!!! ahhh but had the opportunity to get some work done in the house, so we jumped on it!

One thing I knew I could do myself on a budget was paint the cabinets. After watching numerous you tube videos and pinteresting like a crazy women, I thought I had it under control. Our cabinets were an oak color and I wanted to get them white. Most people I talked to at Lowes or Home Depot said I would have to sand down the doors since there was a stain on them.

Step one
Remove all door and hardware from the cabinets. I would bring one of your doors to your local home depot/lowes/paint store, and get their opinions on stripping the wood first. I was going to do this, but really liked how it turned out without stripping the stain.If It gave it a more crisp and smooth finish with the new paint. But always test one door first!!!! I tested the smallest cabinet above my fridge to see what I liked best! Once all the hardware was removed I wiped down the doors and bottom of the cabinets with a degreaser
If you will need to strip your cabinets first, this will obviously need to be done before you start your painting process.

Step two.
Make sure all doors are dry before painting. I used Valspar cabinet enamel, so I didn't have to prime the cabinets. However, since my cabinets were a darker oak and was going white with them, I had to do three coats of paint on the doors, and at least four coats on the side of the cabinets. 

Step Three.
Once all your doors are dry (I chose NOT to paint the inside of the doors.. instead am thinking about doing a fun color in them... TBD) go ahead and install your new hardware. Since our cabinets were old vintage, alot of newer hardware they offer at places like Home Depot and Lowes did not fit. After four trips back and forth, I decided to spray paint the old hinges silver. I was not going to attempt and drill new wholes, so this was my best option! I also had to purchase some of the door handles and pulls online in order for them to fit.

I think they came out pretty good, if I do say so myself! Charger is also posing by the new french door we had installed!

The most expensive thing we had done, was had the engineered hardwood installed. I love the way it turned out!

and in case you don't remember what it looked like before.. Here it is in the old MLS photo before we purchased it!

We still have some things we need to finish, but those will come in time!
lights under the cabinets..
decorative shelving in corner..

So what do you think??

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Review | Trunk Club

Have you heard of Trunk Club before? Neither have I until I saw a 'sponsored' post on Facebook. Don't they just know how to get you!!

I've done hand picked boxes of clothes before, but this really intrigued me. These are brands you would see in Nordstrom or Macy's that you might not have picked for yourself! Best have a personal stylist who will actually call and email you to talk about what you like and don't. They stay as your stylist to help you each month on what you like! They also have 'clubhouses' or storefronts where you can actually meet your stylist and try on some things for them to get to know you better!

Once you are contacted and chat with your stylist about what you like and don't like, sizing and some things you may be looking for you, will get to review things for your trunk! I chose five items I wanted to try on. Check them out below...

I just loved receiving this cute 'trunk' and it was so easy to send back too. They supply you with the return label and fasteners to tape it back up! Oh and I almost forgot to mention that there are NO fees associated with this!! You only pay for what you keep! THAT'S IT!!

I picked the peach Cupcakes & Cashmere romper in hopes of wearing it when we go on our honeymoon in October! Have to stockpile outfits now, since when we go there will be winter clothes only available! It fits wonderful and was so excited to try on this brand!

So if you are looking for a personal stylist to help your busy life definitely check out Trunk Club today!

All opinions are my own. This is NOT a sponsored post!
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Friday, May 13, 2016

DIY Wedding Centerpieces

I am the type of person that if I have a vision in my head, it's a little hard to have people recreate it for me. Maybe I take on too much work myself, but I knew when it came to centerpieces for the wedding, I would be able to to save money by doing them myself, exactly how I wanted them myself!! We are having a big wedding and will need a lot of centerpieces, but knew if I started early it wouldn't be a problem getting them done!

I still have yet to add a little ribbon onto the bottom of the bouquet but loved the way they turned out. For the wedding venue, I did a mixture of 12" and 16" eiffel vases to make them differ by tables. Our venue has two levels with a the second floor being a balcony that overlooks the dance floor and main level tables. For upstairs I chose to do ivory lighthouse lanterns.

I wanted a smaller floral arrangement since (to me) receptions are suppose to be about seeing the others at your table and catching up. Nothing is more annoying then having to look 'around' a centerpiece to talk to someone! I'm also not a huge fan of real flowers. Don't get me wrong I enjoy receiving them.. especially unexpectedly; but they die and then what.. you have the pictures of them! I love the way peony's look and wanted to incorporate them into my wedding day. BUT the price of a peony is ridiculous and they die in less then a day. I was not having that! So I got the next best thing.. FAKE FLOWERS!

Of course I got looks when I said I am doing my own arrangements, but I think they came out great.. and after all- that's all that should matter right?!

First thing first.. these do take time and patience, and if you are like me, every one of them has to be perfect. I started purchasing the floral early in an effort to not have to fork out so much money all at once. I bought the bushels from Hobby Lobby when they went on sale for 50% off. I also purchased online, making it easier to buy in bulk. Sometimes stores will only carry maximum quantities per week or month.

I used two bushels per centerpiece. The bushels I used already came assembled in a bouquet but I wanted to make it fuller. So (the most time consuming part of it) I took each bushel apart and reassembled combining two together. I wrapped each with green floral tape as tight as possible. I wanted to have some greenery 'hang' off the side, so I purchased additional vines and hot glued them into the wrapped centerpieces. I ordered starfish from a shop on etsy that I could stick out of the bouquets. Since the bouquets are a little top heavy, and to tie the 'beachy' theme into the wedding, I added sand to the vases. I may still add a ribbon to cover the stems, but kinda like how it looks without and the rawness (is that a word??) of the stems.

I put a mirror under vase and a few votive's and starfish will be on the table with them!
Starfish in Centerpiece (similar from same shop)

What do you all think about this DIY project? Can't wait to share with you more pictures from the big day!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kitchen Renovation- Part 1

When we moved into our home in July 2015, we had so many ideas. Making the upstairs half bath a full with a shower stall, re-doing the sun room, creating a new patio against the house. And guess how many of those have been accomplished.. NADDA. But it's really not our fault, we have been pretty busy planning a wedding and having a life ya know!

I was brought with the opportunity to have a 'handyman' do some work at my house, so I definitely took him up on the offer. The biggest thing I needed help with was getting a new floor installed.. which is happening this week! I can hear the angels singing now!

Sadly, all my before photo's were deleted off my phone, so I was able to find the pictures from the old MLS listing when we purchased the house!

Before we even moved our personal belongings into the house, I HAD to paint this room. It's hard to tell in photos, but the floor, mixed with the backsplash, added with the green paint reminded me of (cover your eyes if you have a weak stomach) puke!

Please disregard the messiness of the kitchen and the horrible lighting! This picture was taken at about 11:30 at night! 

So what did I change?
  • Paint- I went with a beige/ cinnamon color 
  • Cabinets- Sanded and painted the cabinets, added new hardware (cabinet pulls aren't installed yet)

Still to do
  • New floor installed- this week
  • Possibly paint the back splash
  • New runner rug
  • Finish decor in kitchen
  • Install cabinet pull hardware

I plan to have a tutorial on how I painted the cabinets soon! For all of you wondering if it was hard.. NO! And the satisfaction you get when it's finished makes it all worth it!

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Easy Churro Bites with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

This weekend we celebrated Joe's birthday.. but we also celebrated Cinco de Mayo! We had a couple friends over the house and made taco's a couple different salsa's. It was a fun time, especially for Charger who had a friend of his own over.

Joe didn't want a cake, and I didn't feel like taking the time to cut it during the party, so I decided to make an easy dessert that went along with the Cinco de Mayo theme.


Angel food cake- 1 loaf
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon
oil for pan
Semi Sweet chocolate chips 1/2 bag
1 cup whole milk

Directions for Bites:

Cut angel food cake into cubes. In medium frying pan, add oil and fry cubes until golden brown. Drain the excess oil and mix into bowl with sugar and cinnamon until fully coated.

Directions for Chocolate dipping sauce:

In medium sauce pan heat chocolate chips and whisk in whole milk. 

Serve either warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

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