Quick beauty tips you can do on a budget

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Let me just start by saying I am not a professional here. I also, didn’t really start taking skin care into consideration until this year! *GASP* I know, I know. This is something I am proud of and considering the amount I tanned in high school and college I needed to start this a long, long time ago. But here I am in my 30’s realizing how important it is and on a SUPER tight budget. Let me just tell you I have noticed a huge difference since I started and someone said I look 27 the other day! I mean it’s not 21 but it took a few years off so I will take it. This person also definitely got a hug and lots of high fives, because I am cool like that. This person may or not have been a terrified looking stranger who will probably never compliment another person in their life. Oops.

Without making you wait any longer here are my go to skin care routines. That I make or buy at the drug store. I wash my face every night and morning. IN COLD WATER. It minimizes your pores and makes your face smoother for when you apply your makeup.

I use Neutrogena Face soap bar! Yep just a bar of soap. Talk about taking it back to the 90’s. I have had less problems with my face since I started using this and I love it.

Then Grab you a toner! I recently switched to Burt’s Bees Brightening refining tonic, it is gentle on my face but really helps with making my pores smaller and my face smoother.

Then I move onto exfoliating my lips. I make this gem instead of buying one though. Brown sugar and honey. Mix in a little bowl, apply to a soft tooth brush, brush your lips and wash! This is especially important if you like to wear lipstick as some of them can dry your lips out. I follow that up with Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.

My daytime routine always calls for a face primer with SPF in it. Maybelline’s Master Primer . Sets my face well for my makeup and helps my makeup stay on longer without coming off.

At night I use an under eye brightening cream and a gel face moisturizer. Y’all, these two items are a little more but they last forever. You literally only need a little and the difference is night and day.

Once a week I do a face scrub that I make with Coconut oil, brown sugar and a little honey. Talk about baby smooth skin.

For a face mask I make my own as well and this works great for oily skin or brightening. Start with Greek Yogurt, add juice from half a lemon, Tbsp. of Honey and Tsp. of Cinnamon. All natural and wonderful benefits. I mix this up as I use it and apply with a flat makeup brush. Let set for about 15 minutes and then wash off.

Lastly, I started dermaplaning once a week. It helps your makeup go on smoothly and gets rid of dry skin and peach fuzz. I get these facial razors off amazon and that work really well for me.

These things don’t take a lot of time and most of them I do while I am multi- tasking something else. Going through school folders, helping with homework, bathing kids. lol They have however made a huge difference in my skin and I save a ton of money. These products may not be top of the line but they work better then not using anything at all. If you don’t have a routine then try some of them out. It is never too late to start taking care of yourself. Oh, and I ALWAYS use sunblock now. Having a family history of multiple cancers is no joke and I would rather be safe.

If you have any questions shoot them my way. Let me know if you try any of these or if you have some awesome tips as well! I love hearing what works for everyone.

*Guys I am also not getting paid for any of these links or products. Just sharing what I like.*

 

Love and Laughter,

Ashley

Yes, You can say NO.

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Isn’t it crazy how busy everyone’s schedule is? Our society is so fast paced and we take so much on. Somethings we even take on because we don’t want to look bad. Or don’t want to feel like we aren’t enough. We want to be excepted and fit in. Or in some cases you just feel obligated because everyone else is doing it.

I just had an instance where I had to choose Yes or No. With school starting and all of the beginning of the year paper work I had to choose if I wanted to sign up for “Class Mom” to help throw parties, volunteer and such. As much as I wish I had the time to do that, with work, the kids other activities in general there is just NO WAY I can. I mean I could have said Yes, but here is why I chose No.

 

I could always add something else into my schedule. Stress over how I would be able to do it. Struggle to do a good job and be the best “Class Mom” there is. The thing is, I know I can’t do it right now. I am already at my wits end with all I have on my plate. I may not fit in with others because of it. And I hate I will be missing  more time I could get with my boys. They know Momma works hard and when I am home with them it’s all us! Sometimes saying No is what is best for you.

YES, I said it sometimes we just need to say no. Lets all practice how!!

No, I can’t.

That is all. No explanations needed. No feelings of guilt. No reason to second guess yourself. Now when you should say No.

When it won’t bring you joy. When it will bring you more stress than happiness. When you don’t have the extra time. Or when you just don’t want to.

Look how easy that is?! We all go through seasons of life where somethings bring us joy and some season where they don’t. Never feel guilty for looking out for yourself, your health and your well being.

For those who care about you won’t mind and those who mind aren’t worth a second minute of your time anyways!

It is okay to say No just remember that and; if you need to practice saying it in the mirror for strength then go for it. lol Lets admit it, we all do that from time to time.

 

Positive Vibes and Light,

Ashley

Making it through the unknown.

Life has so many unknown possibilities. So many different choice we can take and directions we can go. We can wake one day and our entire world can be turned upside down. What we thought was, no longer is. What we dreamed to be is quickly brought to a halt. The thing is somethings are out of our control. Somethings are consequences of our actions and somethings; well those things God brings to be or not to be. I don’t want to get all philosophical with this post, but I do want to share a little of what I am going through.

I am going through a phase of the unknown. A lot is “Up in the air.” There is nothing that I can truly do aside from leave it in someone more powerful than myself hands.

How I am getting through each day. How I am coping with the change and process. That I do have control over.

Here are some things you can also try to use if you to are going through a phase in your life of uncertainty.

  1. Organize and clean your entire house. Leave no pillow unturned and no closet corner ignored. This has been so therapeutic for me. Plus I have purged or donated so many things we don’t use in the process.
  2. Find other ways to use things in your home. I wanted to get my paints back out and start painting. I didn’t have a table or anything that would work for the small area I have so I used the benches from my dining table. I have a lot of random chairs (I have a problem with pillows and chairs), so those chairs are now around my table!
  3. Pick back up hobbies you haven’t done in a longtime or start a new hobby! I got my paints out again. I have been filling spare time with working out, writing, journaling, painting and digging into my bible. Really anything that keeps my mind busy and focusing on the positive.
  4. Surround yourself with those who mean the most to you! My boys are my light and my world. When I am with them they are my main focus and we have so much fun!! Family and true friends are always going to be there when you need them. Take them up on their offer to get dinner, coffee or just sit and talk. It is so good for your soul.
  5. Something else I am super excited about is that I love to read and have some like minded gals that do too, so we are going to start a Book Club. I hope this becomes a safe and fun place for us all to hangout, read and get in much need girl time in the middle of our crazy busy life’s.
  6. I have also decided to reach out to someone to talk to. Someone who doesn’t know me but from a professional stand point and can give me the guidance to get through my current situation in a healthy way. A way so that I can heal and not use substances, the wrong people or fall back into old patterns.

 

Y’all life can be so damn hard. I know we are all out here just trying to do our best and make it through things “One Day at a Time.” I know right now I am thanking sweet baby Jesus on the daily for my Dry Shampoo, Messy bun, Concealer and Coffee! Maybe channeling some of your troubles or energy into an outlet similar to some of these will help you. The main thing to remember is we will make it through this.

We are strong Woman, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters. Friends. With a little support when we need it we will get through whatever phase of life you are currently in. Just know when to ask when you need help. That’s what we are all here for.

 

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou

 

Love and Light,

Ashley

Fear < Dreams

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You know those daunting dreams that we fabricate at a young age when we are full of spunk, energy and a zest for life. The ones we usually let slide to the sideline when real life gets in the way and adult responsibilities take over.

Those dreams right there are what I finally decided I was going to chase. I think as we get older sometimes we being to settle and think those dreams are too far gone. We get married, have kids, buy the house… (Not always in that order) and we put those dreams on the sidelines so we can just make it through in this busy crazy life. Don’t worry I am not pointing fingers at anyone but myself!

I am first and always will be a Momma to my 3 very active and busy boys! They keep me going from before the sun comes up until well after it goes down. I also work full-time in long term healthcare. I have a side hustle to help bring in extra money here and there making invitations. I also, recently decided to go after one of my biggest dreams! I have always had a deep love for reading and writing. I do it for fun or just to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

Well,  I decided that I should give it a go and try my hand at one of my dreams. I pushed my fear of rejection aside and just went for it. I wrote an article and sent it in to one of my favorite websites! Being a freelance writer is something I have always only dreamed of. That and writing a book. The book will come with time and I am sure 1,150 re-edits, but I will get it there one day if I have to self publish and sell them on the streets for $1.00 each just to get all the copies out of my house.

I waited and waited for what seemed like a small lifetime but I will never forget the day I got an email back about my submission. They liked it. They wanted to set up a time to call and talk to me about possible writing for them regularly.

“Wait, you liked it?” No critiques or Buts.

Nope. They just wanted me to write more!

I squealed out loud as I read that message and I have felt a huge weight lift off me ever since. It’s not a paying gig, it’s not the biggest site out there, but their message is something I believe in and love and I couldn’t be happier to be a contributor for their site. Seriously y ‘all, on cloud nine feeling so blessed! I am so thankful I didn’t let my fear of being denied keep me from submitting that article.

When we let fear get in our way we miss out on what God really has in store for us. We miss all the blessing he has meant for us because we get in our own heads and say “I can’t do that.” If you never try then you will never know. It won’t always be easy and sometimes you will have to fight through opposition. That is the crazy thing about dreams though. They are worth the fight and no one can fight for your dreams but you! So Fight! Dream Big, Work hard and Make your biggest dreams come true. Put in the hard work and see what comes from it. I can tell you this. The happiness alone that comes from chasing your dreams make it worth it!

If you want to see what is going on at The Grit and Grace project, then go check out my article there and I have more launching this month!

Dream Big,

Ashley

My top 8 things to do for “Me Time”

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Let me just start by saying , I love my kids and my husband with all my heart. They are literally my whole world and my entire being, but sometimes I just want to be alone. I don’t want to be summoned 100 times in 2 minutes. I need to forget about all my responsibilities and I need a minimum of 30 minutes (more is a HUGE bonus) to just NOT be touched!

The main thing we as mama’s need to get over is feeling guilty when we want, need or take time to ourselves. Yes, we decided to have kids (or in some peoples case God gifted us with a wonderful Surprise.) Yes, I know I am blessed beyond measure. Yes, I know these moments are fleeting and I will miss the crazy yelling, fighting and chaos. I get it. I promise I do. Most of the time I love these moments and find the beauty of them. Other times I am just human and I lose my shit. I cry and even sob. These moments are when I know I need to take sometime for me and get the heck away from the house. By myself where no one calls me MOOOooooM!

 

I am thankful my husband loves me at my breaking points and recognizes when I need to get away. I am forever grateful for that. In return he gets to go fishing “almost” anytime he wants and I try to be as understanding even on my worse days. However, I am realistic and I know not everyone has the same kind of arrangements. I get it that we are all in different walks of life, work different schedules, are single moms, have husbands who work out of town.

Call in the forces sister! Find some amazing babysitters, (it’s worth the money to have some sanity), give grandma or whatever she is called now a days a call, call a sibling, best friend, neighbor, Sunday school friend. Who ever it is CALL THEM! Tell them it’s life or death. Make a schedule with your best friend and watch her kids for a day and then she can do the same for you. Just make it happen. YOU ARE IMPORTANT!

Here are some of my favorite things to do when I get time to indulge in myself. Guys sometimes all that means is 30 minutes, or a day, or a weekend! Take what you can get and make the best of it.

  1. Walk through a bookstore. I love finding used bookstores and just rummaging through the shelves. I am one of those quirky weird people who love the smell of books. ❤
  2. Find a coffee shop, ask the Barista to make a pretty latte, sit in silence and JUST BREATHE. AHHhhhhhhh
  3. Pack your favorite blanket (mine is an old quilt that I actually keep in my car), go to your favorite park, sit under a tree and read! Fresh air, Sunshine and a book does wonders for the soul.
  4. Find a yoga class and go to that shit as much as possible. I mean that in the most Zen way possible. Do it and then come back and thank me and tell me how wonderful it was!
  5. Look into your local art society and see when they have open art nights. Even if art isn’t “your thing” sometimes walking and looking at others peoples art in galleries can give you a new perspective. If you are like me and art is your thing. You can spend 20 minutes staring at a piece of work that speaks to you as you examine every feeling you may be feeling. (Told you I quirky, but it’s totally endearing I promise)
  6. RUN! Sweat. Walk Fast whatever works for you and your body. Get your heartrate up, burn those endorphins and take an amazzzing shower afterward.
  7. Walk through thrift stores. I love going and rummaging through other peoples junk and finding little treasures. It’s also quiet and can be very relaxing.
  8. Get in your car, drive to your closet “drive in”, get a soda or milkshake, and call your best friend, your momma, your sister or cousin. Call your person and vent. Then let them vent. Just getting away and having someone to talk to can leave you refreshed and ready to go back home and take on the world.

If you don’t take care of yourself then you won’t ever be able to be fully at your best for your husband and kids. Don’t ever let yourself feel guilty for doing things for you. We spend all of our time taking care of others. At home, at work, at school, where you volunteer and ALL of those things are wonderful. But just think of how much better they will be when you are fully charged and feeling your very best!

happy momma

Light and Love,

Ashley

 

 

I see you momma; you are not alone

I often wonder if anyone else’s kids are as wild as mine. Why when in a store does it always seem like my boys are the only ones driving their momma (or dad) absolutely insane? The truth is they aren’t the only ones but it is always going to stand out that way to me. Let me set up the “perfect” scenario.

“Boys we are going to quickly run into the store, DO NOT ask for anything! I am only grabbing a few things to make dinner!” *Enters Store* Mom, can we PLEAASE play this game? We will DIE if we can’t just play it one time! (Me under my breathe, “Curse the people who place the dumb machines at store entrances!!!”) No we are in a hurry lets go boys. Gets in the store. Has a 5 minute argument over which cart to use because the Car Cart is already gone. Finally, in the store headed to get items. Youngest begins screaming for silicone tongs. “WHY ME?!?!” Crisis one diverted only to make it less that 20 feet and middle son now has to poop so badly that his stomach will explode right then and there. I know this because he just yelled it out to everyone in isle 3. Which is wonderful; now everyone is really staring at us.

After a not so quick trip to the bathroom we are back on course. Grab the remainder of our items and make our way to the dreaded checkout line. People without kids may think why dreaded? This means you are almost done and out of the store. Well when you have kids this means saying NO 1025 time. This means trying to unload the cart onto the belt while running 25 diversions at the same time. Putting all the items back up that your kids are screaming for. Staring down “Judgey- Judy” who keeps looking at you like you need to get your kids under control and then dealing with “Rude mouth Ruby who thinks you shouldn’t have just popped your sons bottom. When all I want to do is pay and get out of these peoples path of judgement!

Here is the point y’all. If you have children then we have all been here. It’s awful and exhausting and why most every momma needs wine, or yoga, or therapy!

I love my darling boys so much. They are my life. But man can they cause me to snap quicker than anything else in this beautiful world and “Lose my Jesus!” SOOO I have an idea. What if instead of staring down that momma or mumbling what you would do, what if for just one moment we step into her shoes? Think about a time when you have been there. Smile at her and give her a word of encouragement.

I challenge you to tell her that this will pass quickly. Pat her on the back and remind her she isn’t alone. Tell her how amazing she is and that her beautiful children will appreciate all she does one day.

From one Momma to another I want you to know I am here for you. I am in this same phase of life where things are often more wild than calm. I lose my cool and scream more than I want to admit but I also love my boys big. I tell them that all the time. We cuddle, read and play hard. At the end of the day we tell each other how much we love one another. They talk about how amazing their day was, so despite the times I lost my cool they talk about all the awesome stuff we did. Guess what? They don’t even mention when I freaked out on them for not listening to me! The days may be long and the months short, we may be figuring this out one moment to the next, but you aren’t alone!

I am right here with you and together we will figure this all out together!

God Speed Momma,

Ashley