I Got it from My Mama

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas out there!

Today I want to dedicate this post to the most incredible woman I know, my mom. My mom is the kind of person who makes everyone feel special and loved, even on their worst day. When we were younger, she was always the mom my friends wanted to come over and see after school. I owe so muchto her because she simply never believed that there was anything in this world that I couldn’t do. No matter how much I doubted myself, she was always there to tell me that I could and would succeed. She struggles to talk about herself and her accomplishments, but I’m endlessly fascinated by what she’s done with her life. 

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The ninth of eleven children from South Dakota, my mom moved to Boston on her own shortly after graduating high school. She started working and eventually fell into modeling. While out here she met my dad and they fell for each other. Being the boss lady that she is he moved inwith her and she managed to continue paying the rent on her own. Eventually, they built a house together and had me! My mom was so much on her own before she met my dad and had me and my siblings but it was once she became a mom that I really feel like she grew into a role she was truly destined for.

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Anyone can tell you that being a mom is hard work, but with my mom you’d really never know. She was there for everything. Every game, recital, school fair, field trip, and that’s all continued through until now, even as all her kids are grown up. When I told her I wanted to start this blog, she never questioned it, she just jumped right into the role of photographer – despite having no prior experience or interest for that matter. Almost every picture on this site is her doing. She’s such an integral part of this process and has never gotten the full credit or thanks she deserves. 

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As I stand on the cusp of where I am now and where I’m going, I am so thankful to know that no matter what she’ll always be there. Getting to move back home and live with her this past year has brought us closer than ever, and I’ll be forever thankful for all the time we’ve spent together so far. 

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Despite being my favorite person, my mom and I have very different personalities. I am always on the go, hyper-focused, type-A, and have a tendency to think of myself before others. My mom on the other hand likes to take her time and is always putting others’ needs before her own. She’s taught me to look at situations from the other perspective and to ask what I can do for others instead of the reverse. I know in my heart that most of my very best qualities are what I have learned from her. I can only hope that someday when I become a mom myself that I can take on that nearly impossible role with half as much grace and patience as she has these past twenty-three years. I love you, Mom. Thank you for giving me everything in this world, and for molding me into the woman I have become. I’ll never be able to make it up to you, and I simply don’t know what I would do without you. 

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Apple Picking

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Every family has their traditions. As time goes on we grow out of some, let others go, and create new ones.  Growing up, many of our family traditions were known as “forced family fun.” I can still remember the dread of having to get out of my warm bed on a chilly weekend morning to tag along on another reluctant adventure. Looking back now, these are some of my most cherished memories.

One tradition I can always remember loving was apple picking. Every year my two siblings and I climb trees to reach the best apples we can find. In recent years it has been getting harder to find a time that we can all be together but I was so happy when we all made the trip to Brooksby’s Farm, in Peabody this past Saturday. It took a little bit of coaxing and some tough negotiating (my brother would only agree to three pictures and not a single click of a camera more), but we managed to make it work.

When my mom and I went earlier in the season, the line was incredibly long so I was nervous that we would have to deal with long lines and crowds again, but it was way less busy! We go to walk right into the orchard and climb any tree we wanted. The apples tasted so good we couldn’t stop eating them.

After we had picked our share, we went over to the pumpkin patch. As kids the rule was that you had to be able to carry your pumpkin to the car. I think on those days I developed super human strength because I was always determined to take home the biggest one I could find. Now I think the little round ones are the cutest.

Next to the pumpkin patch is the farm stand where we get to the best part of our trip – apple cider donuts. Thankfully this line was shorter than usual too and we were able to grab a warm batch of donuts and some cider too. Shortly after it was time for us all to go off about our days. Life seems to be getting busier every year but I’m so thankful for the traditions that have stood the test of time and allow us to all be together again.

Do you have any special fall traditions? Comment them below!

Love Ashley

A Sunny Lunch at Sea

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odysseylunch-10Hi guys,

In my last post I talked about my family visiting and how I got to adventure around my home state with them. One of those adventures was a lunch cruise around the Boston Harbor aboard the Odyssey. I have gone on the Odyssey before for a dinner cruise. I absolutely love it every time. It was cool getting the chance to see the views in the daylight and it was absolutely beautiful out.

For my adventure at sea, I wore a pink ruffle top bodysuit and my favorite white eyelet shorts, both from Forever 21. I also wore a pair of nude wedges that I got a few years back and still love to wear. My bag was probably my favorite part of the whole outfit! It was such a fun way to add pops of pink to an everyday summer bag. I got it at Homegoods for under $20 and the best part is that’s insulated, so I can use it as a cooler when I head out for a day at the beach!

Shop this post

Bodysuit: Forever 21 | Shorts: Forever 21 (similar here) | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (similar here) | Bag: Homegoods (similar here & here) |

 

Roaming around Rockport, MA

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My mom’s side of the family have been in town for the past week. They came out to celebrate my sister’s and my graduations. While they were with us, I got to play tourist in the Bay State and explore some of my favorite spots. One of my mom’s and my favorite spots is Rockport, a small beach town. Fun fact: it was on of the shooting locations for the movie “The Proposal,” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Rockport is known for its nautical charm. I love all the little shops, especially the ones that have salt water taffy. When we first got to Lockport it was raining and the sky was really dark. Luckily though the sun eventually came out and my family got to see the full beauty of this small little port town.

The furry little guy in some of these photos is Luca, my new pup. I can’t wait to share a whole post about him with you guys, but I’m waiting to get a few more good shots of him..and he doesn’t like to sit still for very long which makes that difficult.

Have you guys ever been to Rockport or another costal town? Which is your favorite? Comment below!

Spring Break & Sunshine

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Hi Guys,

Sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve written anything! I am still working on figuring out a cohesive schedule for balancing school, work, friends, and blogging…sometimes I’m great at it, others…not so much.

I had to come on now through to share my spring break adventures with all of you! When I was deciding what to do for my final spring break I was torn between two very different kinds of trips. All my friends were planning a trip to Mexico with a large part of our class and would be staying at an all-inclusive resort. I knew hanging out with my friends would be a blast, but I can be a little more reserved in large social settings and was a bit weary about what this trip would entail.

I ultimately decided that I was looking for something a little more relaxed and that’s just what I got! My mom and I booked a trip to sunny southern Florida and beyond that the plan was strictly limited to relaxing and doing whatever we felt like. I am so happy I chose to go away with my mom because she honestly is one of the coolest women I know.  Plus, since I’m away at college (even though I am fairly close to home), I don’t get to spend as much time with her as I’d like too.

Each day of our trip, my mom and I would wake up and head to the beach before it got too busy and get some beautiful shots in by the water. It felt good being so productive in the morning because then we had the rest of the days to ourselves. My mom loves to go on long walks. I’m generally reluctant to go more than a mile but with the gorgeous weather and the new scenery I was eager to take it all in.

The sun was out and the weather reached the high seventies, so it was the perfect beach day. The craziest thing was how warm 64ºF felt. In New England, that is a nice spring day, but it can still feel pretty chilly, but under the sun it felt perfect with just a gentle wind.

Most of my outfit items from this trip are from Forever 21 because I fell in love with so many of their new spring items. As a college student, it is really my go-to because it’s cute and affordable. The ruffles and polka dots gave my tops a cute feel. I also loved the cropped fit and off-the-shoulder style.  The shorts I chose are my classic jean pair. I got them at a store in Italy a few summers ago, but I have linked similar styles below. I love the way they fit me so I always have them on repeat in warm weather. My hat is also old (I honestly think it is from Walmart), so i’ve linked some of my favorite sunhat looks as well.

What have you guys been up to for spring break? Comment below!

Outfit Details: Top: Forever 21 | Shorts: Old (similar here & here) | Hat: Old (similar here & here) | Bag: Revolve, Lulus, Amazon |

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So Many Reasons to be Thankful

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My sweater: TJ Maxx (similar here) | my vest: TJ Maxx (similar here)| my boots: Nordstrom (similar here) | scarf: Target | Amanda’s sweater: Francesca’s (similar here) | Amanda’s tights: Target | Amanda’s Boots: Marshall’s (similar here) |

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am writing this right before I have to run to sit down for Thanksgiving. My cousins are staying with us this year so we have twelve people in my house which means lots of stories and lots of laughs. My family is big on both sides, but most of my mom’s side is from the Midwest, so I don’t get to see them as often. This makes the holiday season even more special because we get to all be together again.

I got home Tuesday afternoon and my mom was already in cleaning mode. After scrubbing every inch of the house and rearranging the furniture to accommodate a larger than normal group of people, it was time to start decorating and preparing the food. The house is filled with rich smells of all the yummy food. My favorite part of thanksgiving is dessert, so its no surprise that I get even more excited with I get a whiff of of all the sweets being baked.

This year I have so much to be thankful for, but my amazing friends and family are definitely at the top of the list. I am so lucky to have so many people by my side. Knowing my mom is just a phonemail away and always willing to talk is the best feeling. She’s borderline superhuman and is always doing something for someone. She put together our whole Thanksgiving meal too, she’s really the best.

Every year we take Thanksgiving pictures (usually for our Christmas card). Unfortunately, my younger brother, Andrew, was not having it this year, so Amanda and I decided to just do them on our own (why let a silly boy spoil our fun?). Anyway, I figured I share them with you guys! I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions. So feel free to comment them below!

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Love Ashley

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