Wednesday, October 17, 2012





(If only I would have filmed myself opening the package!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Can't Wait to Celebrate!

Fall is here! I am so excited to celebrate Halloween, prepare an amazing Thanksgiving meal, visit with family coming in from overseas, and experience Christmas in my big house with my amazing family. I'm MOST excited about New Year's Eve though. This year, of all years, I'm putting a lot of hope into doing something amazing! 27 New Years and honestly I have yet to live the dream... 

The dream is to be decked out,  in a crowded gorgeous room, with a glass of champagne and a kiss. 

I want to wear this:

Also, I'm linking up here because it's awesome.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Glass Breaks, Lesson Learned

I can't remember what the weather was like outside. I can't remember what the house even looked like from the street corner. I can't even tell you which house we were in... What I can tell you is that while visiting in Michigan at around 12 years old I was putting the clean dishes into the cabinet and I broke something. It was fragile, obviously really old, and beautiful. I was so upset. I was also scared I was going to get into major trouble! This thing had to be important. Turns out, it was. However, to my surprise my mom walked in and although obviously disappointed, didn't seem to be angry at me. I found out that I had broken a piece of her grandmothers wedding china. I could have cried for days! I understood the significance because back in Georgia I was raised in a household where the china stayed in the cabinet and wasn't even used for special occasions. It was to look at, not use. That's pretty normal from what I gather. Here, however, it was used daily. Mom said to me something along the lines of, "Well, it's bound to happen. I could keep it put up but what's the use in looking at it? I'd rather use it and enjoy it like it was meant to be." That was that. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I have actually already had similar situations happen with both of my children and when they were scared about getting in trouble, I shared this story.

broken tea cup

Right on cue, Mom sent me a note from The article is titled "If At First You Don't Succeed, GREAT!!!" You can read it here. Doesn't it make sense to allow a child to learn just the way every other human learns... naturally?

How else is Aiden Gray going to learn to carry his juice carefully so it doesn't spill if he doesn't learn that, duh, juice spills. So what if there's a mess to clean up... over and over and over and over again. Eventually it stops. Who knows, he may get so good at balancing his cup that he develops an impressive skill! For instance, I remember carrying piping hot coffee from the kitchen all the way to the shop for my Poppa... I only spilled it once or twice and got burned before I started being very careful. As a matter of fact, I got so good at carefully carrying hot coffee, that I could run the 50 yards and not spill a drop. Honest!

So get this, I searched the net for the above picture of the broken teacup and wandered upon an amazing blogger. Her name is Audra Silva, obviously, and she has a button up on her blog that I took particular interest in. Something I'm working on personally as a matter of fact.

I read her series and I'm sharing her button she made for it. It's a worthy read if you have children and find, too, that sometimes my reaction to frustration is controlled by my temper and not my mind. I strive to be an amazing mother but I know sometimes I feel like I just can't take anymore. Moments like these every sound or  "MOOOOM!?" call irritates me to no end. Personally, I have found letting go of trying to control their every move to keep them from making mistakes keeps me much calmer when they do make mistakes.

So on that note, I have something else to share! Mom sent me this book called "Free Range Kids". Then she sent it to me again. If you want it, I'll send you the second copy. First person to send me a note gets it: You can read it about it by clicking the following photo:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Friggin' BC

"Birth Control: As If A Monthly Curse Wasn't Enough"

"Birth Control: The Little Pill With A Will"

"Birth Control:  There's Already One Octomom"

Maaan. Well... Woe-maaaan. I went to the health department for the first time to get birth control for the first time in years. I have had a healthy fear of birth control for, like, ever.  It's a short uncomplicated story.

I prefer to not use it. I am personally very sensitive to any medication and the added hormones have an immediate effect on me. The problem is that I also seem to be very fertile. After my divorce I knew I had to go back to traditional methods just to keep myself safe... for sure. I started taking the pill again. Well guess how that turned out?

At the very least he's adorable!

So anyway, apparently just taking a pill is not going to be enough. We immediately started using old fashioned methods after he was born but now that I've stopped breastfeeding the thought of getting pregnant again keeps me up at night! I pulled out the pills I had and started taking them again but noticed immediately how bat shit crazy I became. No bueno. I took a trip to my local health department to find out what my options were. I have heard of the countless blessings an IUD offers so I inquired about that only to find out that I had to have several tests done and that I had to wait several months to get them. In the meantime, I was offered the DEPO shot or a Nuvaring. Knowing that I was sensitive to hormones I went with the Nuvaring. That way, at the very least, I could take it out. Once you're injected with the shot, you're at it's mercy for 3 months. Although I am pleased with the overall hormonal 'ride' that the Nuvaring has taken me on, I am quite unhappy with the side effects that seem to appear in the bedroom. I also have been having a hard time concentrating, forget words, and I feel like a Zombie.

I have decided to stick with it for the next month, it's only been 2 weeks after all, and then shoot for the IUD if possible. However, I can't help considering just dropping it and taking our chances. I hate being effected by it. If I can't even handle the Nuvaring, will I be able to handle the IUD?

Has anyone had previous experiences and could offer opinions for me to consider? The internet offers so many conflicting opinions I have gotten NO WHERE in my decision making. I am specifically curious about those of you who are also sensitive to birth control and what you have found to be sufficient protection.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Balance & The Equinox

Today is the equinox......balancing the amount of light and dark, night and day, yin and yang. -Linda

Everything just makes so much sense today. 

Today was a day of personal achievement.

I learned today that my hard work and dedication is proving beneficial.

Balance is being achieved and I could not be more at peace!

How delightful to be in tune with the Universe!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quality vs. Quantity

First post of the week, YAY! 

I'm going to celebrate because I'm going to take in all the 'plus' that I can. I had a sick baby, ya'll. No lie. It happened to me. Well, him. Poor little guy even had an allergic reaction to his medication. Unfortunately, it seems his daddy's luck was an inheritable trait! Thankfully he also inherited him mama's immune system and has seemed to kick it to the curb. *fingers crossed* 

Declan likes to do what we all like to do when he's sick... watch television. My 5 month old is in LOVE with Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I mean, I like it too, but he REALLY likes it. I wouldn't usually let him watch so many episodes in one day, but he was quite persistent about it. He was so darn cute. I wish we had a photo. This will have to do... it's an 'awwww' moment just the same:

*no, I do not have my sick baby at the fair... this was before*
*no, I'm not wearing make up... I look weird, eh?*

Man, I've been through it this week. My husband's ex decided to waltz back into our lives this week demanding visitation rights that she lost quite some time ago. I learned this week that it is even harder to take the high road than I thought. We discussed every option and finally decided on one that benefited everyone, we think and hope and pray. It's so so so hard to work an extended family. If you're considering it, with no clue what you're getting yourself into, ASK. Find out what you're up against. I was raised in it and was lucky enough to learn from it but it has not made it any easier and I still feel like I have no flippin' clue what the hell I'm doing. Find a solid support system too. I mean that. You'll need someone telling you to either stay sane or get sane. You better have tough skin too. I can best describe what I mean with this: Have you ever seen the Modern Family episode where Jay is recounting the visit Manny, his 'stepson', had with his 'real' dad once or twice a year? Jay says (and I paraphrase), "I know I'm not Manny's father... but maybe I don't like being reminded." or something like that. That is because of things like this:

O'Ryan: "Mom? You know what'd be cool? If I had a Lego figure of you!"
Me: not expecting to see this 15 minutes later:

I love my husband. I love my sons. I love my family.

I wanna 'RAWR' right here right now like a mama bear.
If for any reason, just to prove my point. <3

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Backporch Sunshine

I hope you are lucky enough to get to sit on a Southern Porch at least once in your life.

I hope for you that you get to rock in a wicker chair,
 listen to the cicadas and the bullfrogs communicate, 
and talk about the day with a whippoorwill!

The above photo is last night's sunset and the photo below is this morning's sunrise.

I found these amazing videos I couldn't help but share:

I'm going to try to record our whippoorwill tonight!

Have a gorgeous Sunday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What I'm Excited About Wearing

Bam! What an awesome way to start this post, eh? I would love to be so statuesque!  I'm on a fashion kick so excuse me while I look forward to a few of my favorite looks coming up this fall!  I'll try to post my versions as "What I Wore" posts!

Source: via Reiko on Pinterest

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fashion Alert!

I LOVE coming across a new trend that I can be a part of... 
especially when the added bonus is me not looking too out of the ordinary, 
like I usually do. Anyway, any excuse will do! 
So without further ado!

If you don't get ASOS's emails, you should. They are amazing! They send out several announcing sales and such like everyone else, but they also send out trend reports which, for me, are always on cue! To my delight, they listed what they are calling a 'Trophy Jacket' as a must have for F/W '12! They advertise: "Turn heads in a trophy jacket. Embellished, brocade, or jacquard: whatever, as long as it's loud." I'm not sure if you already knew it was called a 'Trophy Jacket' but I didn't so I'm excited to have an official term for my collection! That's right, I've been collecting jackets like these for years! Take a look at a few ASOS has for sale:

Did you notice what I did? They look like a collection of a bunch of fashionable old lady jackets! Some even have 3/4 inch sleeves, which I've found to be the case when I fit into petite sizes when thrifting. I usually buy them anyway (I once scored a $400 dinner coat for $5... even though it was 2 sizes too small. I wear it anyway because the shoulders fit!) and I'm so glad because now I can sport them on trend

Me wearing my $5 score!

My Darling Declan

Oh! My bebe Declan is 5 months old already! He's starting to crawl and I am a complete mess over it. I want him to grow but I want it to be slooooowly. His little baby days are flying by! I wish I were one of those super moms who managed to remember to have pictures of her baby taken on a schedule... but I'm not. Ha... in my book, to be a super mom, just remember your babies milestones. Heck, or remember their birth weight on cue!

So here's a collection of my favorite photos since his birth. They make me smile just the same! 

You Gotta Have Friends

I love perusing sidebars of other bloggers.
I find that it's the only way to keep up with what's going on out there! 
I have found out about these since I've been back online. 
Check them out, and find me!

I won't lie, I wanted to be a part of this just so I could put the button on my page!
I love the colors and the way it was designed. I was pleasantly surprised to learn
that Shane took the time to create a map of fellow bloggers. I am excited about contacting
those near me and meeting up for some fun and collaboration!


Why not link up with others who's dreams are similar to yours. Why not soak up the
encouragement of women who have been where you are and are where you want to be?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DIY Fishtail Maxi Dress

Alright, I'll admit it... I'm a self made fashionista. I do not have the room in our budget to adorn myself in the latest fashions, so I have to make do with what I've got! Don't we all? I am certainly not complaining, the opportunity to express my creativity is fulfilling!

I am not sure if it was last year or the year before but I spotted a dress I fell in love with when I was out shopping with friends. You know the one, the loose fitting slightly draped gathered waist dresses. I think I was at JCrew but I know I saw some at several of the outlet stores. 

Surely you've seen the type, these are from Revolve Clothing:


Anyway, I hardly ever shell out full price for anything and before I even dare go shopping I see if I can make do with what I've got. Well, let me tell you... I did it! I have this maxi dress, see... I bought it on sale for like $8 from ASOS (excellent site for sale shoppers, btw) and I wear it everywhere. I pulled it out while on vacation and it was hot so I wanted something shorter. I wanted a day dress. So I reached down and grabbed the sides of the dress right at my thighs and I hiked it up. I then took my most used fashion accessory, a men's belt I found at a thrift store that's about an XXL, and I did what I always do with it: I wrapped it around my waist to hold up the excess fabric. Then I untucked the dress a bit and VOILA! I got what I was looking for. I EVEN got the added surprise of the fishtail in the back!!! I couldn't believe it, a double whammy! I paired it with my brightest fuschia colored lace bra to add a pop of color and I could not have been happier with the look. Just between you and me, I wore this for like 3 days in a row.

Ugh! Terrible posture, eh? Whatev's... we were on vacay!

So that's that, my DIY Fishtail Maxi Dress. I would imagine any maxi dress would work and any type of waist belt would, too. I hope it works out for you!

I'm linking up with Julie at White Lights on Wednesdays for her Wednesday Whatsits. Check it: 

White Lights on Wednesdays


Momma Go Round & 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sweater Weather Fashion Faves

It's that time of year again! 
Time to look less sexy and more comfy.

Break out the scarf! I collect them, so the first sign of a chill and I'm all thrilled!
I personally carry my hoodie year round, but I like having the good old 'campfire' excuse to snuggle up in it.

I can't resist a good cardigan with skinnnies and fall fave footwear, boots.
I buy cardigans everywhere, but my fave spot to score them is thrift stores.
I personally seek the 'old lady' type. 
The sleeves often are a bit short, but I roll them or at the most, hem them to a crop fit.

I was delighted years ago when wearing shorts and tights became a fashion must.
This look, with a classic velvet jacket, gives way for my desire to be edgy and comfy.

I achieve my most favorite look by pairing my skinny black skirt 
with a pair of thigh high stockings and a chunky sweater. 
But I can't wait to pull off the 'night' version of the look above... 
with a sweater pulled over a glamorous dress!
Lover Boy is gonna have to take me somewhere nice!


I'm LINKING UP with Mom2MemphisandRuby for Fall Fashion Must Have's Top 10!

Okay, so I shared the link to this post on Facebook and had to include the song for those of you link back to there from there:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why I Love Blogging: A Quick, AMAZING, Example

Pretty much, I came back because of this:


i LOVE knowing people who:

miss me
share similarities of my sordid (yet, exciting) past
know my sordid past
encourage me
understand me
support me


Holla Back!

I have learned over and over in my life that sometimes to clean up a mess, you just have to make a bigger one! At the start of the summer, one thing was for certain: my life was a mess! There were SO MANY changes going on that I felt like a desperate bystander with my fingers and toes stuck in the spouting holes of the Hoover Dam! I was overwhelmed at the very least. We were tackling exciting things... a newborn, a new marriage, a new family, a new house, a new career... and brought on one at a time most people wouldn't think twice about 'dealing' with the stress that comes with each one. However, brought on all at once, my go to response was intended to be a pleasant optimistic one. Unfortunately, I lasted about 6 months before it turned into 'flip the f*ck out'. No kidding! I lost it for quite a few weeks this summer. 

We finally went on vacation and I got a chance to stand back and look at my life and figure out what needed to be done to make us more stable and get us to a place where we could enjoy the changes rather than stress about them. I started seeking peace. Well, honestly, I just started seeking... I was lucky that I found support and guidance. When I got home, I hit the ground running and threw myself into the projects that mattered most to me... and I made a bigger mess. I pulled everything out of the closet and started sorting it. Now that I had a chance to see everything laid out in front of me, I gained perspective and direction and control. It has been a few weeks since and we have been working non stop in the right direction and it feels good. 

*insert vacay photo here*
Suttons Bay, MI

I am extremely blessed to have gotten the opportunity to take a step back and recollect my dreams and goals and happiness. That being said, my perspective has become more like I am a 17 year old girl again looking forward to her future of endless possibilities and experiences! I love it. Quite frankly, Chickadette's 'gone country'. Ever heard the Alan Jackson song, "Gone Country"? Yes, I'm going 'back to my roots'. My next video you'll even hear my southern accent a little more distinctly. I've spent years covering it up.

As far as the blog goes... I am looking forward to sharing all of the awesome happenings that are going on! We are starting a farm, Homie. A forrealsies one with goats and chickens and dirt and tractors. I have 2 boys in school and one on my hip. We are cleaning and renovating our dream home... my husbands childhood home. 

This is what it looked like when he brought me to see it. Mind you, I was 8 months prego and had been told that we could 'have his dads house... if we cleaned it up'. Talk about a diamond in the rough! The poor beauty had been lived in and loved... built by his folks in 1972... and then left and forgotten for quite a few years. After MONTHS of work, the outside is coming together:

Of course the day I decide to take an 'in progress photo' we have just acquired our new doors and stored them on the porch, ha! Speaking of which, it's time to get started on that project. 

So, yes, I miss you all terribly and I have been keeping tabs... just as a silent reader. I'm looking so forward to catching up with all of you!

Ashley Marie

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hold Up, Wait a Minute...

I feel like I've lost my fire!

excuse me while I look for it

Peace Ladies!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Embarrassing? Psht!

There's something so liberating about coming out with it. I am linking up with The Eloping Stethoscope in lieu of Mom2MemphisandRuby's Tuesday Top 10. Paige is hosting this month and has a pretty banging topic for this week!

Reader Beware: You're about to get to know me... really well. 

Disclaimer: Isn't it crazy how the 'embarrassing things' are often just 'the truth'. I was thinking and came to the conclusion after this list that I get embarrassed about things I have done and shouldn't have.  However, instead of hiding behind the shame, I do it and then learn from it and then don't hide it from anyone. I have found being honest about my 'learning experiences' helps me overcome and learn from each one. I get a strange sense of accomplishment, perhaps because I overcame them and the shame. People make mistakes. I'm a professional. Also, some of these embarrassing things are things I could be embarrassed about... but I'm not. Starting with Number One:

1. I see a therapist.
         Before you say I shouldn't be embarrassed, you see the way someone looks at you when you start a sentence with "Yeah, I know what you mean! My therapist said..."

2. I hate to shower.
        I hate to bathe. I hate to get wet. The longest I have ever gone without a bath is about 13 days... give or take a few. I used to have to be coaxed into it. Hahaha, this one time, I had to be forced into the tub like a cat would have been. Don't worry though, I'm not the smelly kid. Ha! I've since changed my hippie ways.

3 & 4. I never graduated college.
        I hate school. I've been to two and dropped out of both within a few weeks. Technically, I don't even think I can say I gave it the ol' college try! 
       Another thing... I majored in booze and sex. There, I said it. The few years after high school and those couple of weeks I spent in college made me a shining example of why you shouldn't shelter your kids too much. Let them make their mistakes at home, in high school, where you can protect them and help them and save them from bigger mistakes. I was the stereotypical crazy ass girl with no direction and with no idea how to lead my own life because until then, no one let me. Want to scare your kids straight? Call me. For reals.

5. This photo:

6. I sing karaoke.
       I should be embarrassed about it because I suck at it. My fave song to sing is Johnny & June's "Jackson". A couple of drinks and an energized mischievousness have landed me mid bar belting this classic more than once!

7 & 8. My day job.
         I model.I know, most women would be proud. I really am of the runway stuff, it's the pin up stuff that makes my cheeks blush. 
         I'm also kinda embarrassed about our 'real' day job... even though I spend all of my energy convincing my husband we shouldn't be. We work in scrap metal; in a junkyard. It's the complete opposite of a glamorous day job like modeling, but it pays the bills really, REALLY, REALLY well.

9. I totally love The Twilight Saga.
         If you've ever had a fairy tale romance (like I did in high school) then you get it. No explanation necessary.

10. I'm a klutz.
         Just now, I busted my lip while putting my headphones back on to listen to music as I finish this post.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I love you like Sunday Morning.

What a day! It's only 10:35 and we're moving right along.

I woke up to a love note on my pillow! Suddenly, I no longer need my coffee to start the day.

Look at my baby! This was taken shortly after he was devoured by kisses. <3

Look at what I won! THANK YOU LENA!!!! Check her out: Mom2MemphisandRuby 

Check her out:
{Hello Friend!}

Look forward to this:

I'm a survivor.

I'm joining them.
I've been there too. 
I'm a child survivor of physical and sexual abuse.
I'm an adult survivor of mental, emotional, physical and psychological abuse.
This week I will be 'coming out with it' for the first time online.
I'm not ashamed.
I'm not damaged.
I'm living despite it all.

I'll finally share the details of my wedding!

I made up my mind.
I made my flowers. DIY Post!
I married Brett!

I will be sharing with you what I use while caring for Declan!

Get to know what I love, what he loves, and what we both can't live without!

I have a VLOG confession.
I battle daily with a serious problem.
I'm looking for support, love, and advice.

However, I'm taking today off. I am going to get out of this house and make new friends... and all over a common interest: seeing a bunch of sweaty men take their clothes off. Although seriously ladies, I have YET to see what the fuss about Channing Tatum is. I'll let you know if I figure it out... ha!

Check it:

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