Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CJ gets a garden!

I am very excited about my new garden, I couldn't wait to share!  After some tests results came back,  I was put on a very strict diet for the next 5 weeks.  I basically can't eat the following:  Soy, wheat, yeast, sugar, fruit, corn, or any kind of grain.  On top of all of that I don't eat meat.  Being that I am so limited on what I can have, I buy most of my food from the Santa Monica farmers market.  While I was there last week I picked up seven plants with which to start my garden.

7 plants: $24
EB Stone Organic potting soil and 7 ceramic planters: $22.51
1 very strong guy to carry bag of heavy soil: Salad with fresh herbs.
Totaling: $46.51

One week later and I'm having fun creating new flavors with my herbs.  I made a homemade marinate for eggplant and asparagus on the grill.  Details to come...


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Any Lovely Thing

I very much realize that the clothing posts way outnumber the decorating ones, but to be honest...the ensemble posts du jour are so much fun to write! I want to bring Reality Decor back to it's roots and that's why I've created Any Lovely Thing. I hope you get a kick out of my daily journal (of outfits) and you'll click over and follow along. Any Lovely Thing will feature not only what I wear but also what I wish I were wearing and any inspiring images or ideas I come across. We all have multiple passions and this is just another of mine.

Please follow along and I hope to see you over there!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Fancy Fridays: Bon Voyage!

Carli is off to Italy today and the department had a little celebration yesterday to celebrate her that weird? In any case, Carli purchased the adorable flowy top with the fly-away back to wear on her European vaca, but was so excited she wore it a day early! We all wish Carli the absolute best time on her getaway and have given her stern orders to bring us back something nice.

  • Top - Urban Outfitters
  • Jeans - Forever XXI
  • Sandals - LA Downtown Fashion District
I'm trying something a little different with formatting. Do we like this better? Or back to Polaroid style?


Thursday, May 5, 2011

White and Blue


Happy Cinco de Mayo! The weather here has been gorgeous the past few days! I can definitely see how some people say (and mean) that an office job is not for them. I'd give my left pinkie to spend these days at the beach. Alas, it's the daily office grind for me. The silver lining, however, is that every day is one day closer to dear sweet Saturday. Anybody have weekend plans to look forward to?

  • T-shirt - Gap
  • Jeans - J.Crew
  • Shoes - Nine West
  • Necklace - J.Crew

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Royal" Icing

As the world news has made abundantly clear to any human being with access to media coverage, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis has married his Princess. As an avid Anglophile, I was buzzing with excitement over the upcoming nuptials. I first learned of Kate Middleton during my studies abroad in Canterbury. Her named was just popping up as Will's new girlfriend and was the winner of a Channel 4 reality show wherein the population of Britain was to vote on who they believed William should choose as his partner. That was years and years ago, and what do you know? She truly is the winner of not just the Prince's heart, but also seemingly of England as a whole.

To celebrate, our department at work threw a royal wedding tea party and I was charged with bringing biscuits. Biscuits are what the British call cookies and I was more than happy to do my part. I brought the ever famous and eponymous Mcvities Digestives, along with some hand decorated sugar cookies. I have to confess that the cookies themselves are Pillsbury, but the icing is handmade using i am baker's recipe. The trick to these cookies is a stiffer icing and a steady hand.

We had a lovely time celebrating, and a few of us may or may not have teared up throughout the ceremony.

Did anyone else do anything special for the most celebrated couple of our time? Anyone set their alarms extra early to watch the proceedings live? That is certainly something only a, crazy person would do ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011


Do you ever have those days where you want to feel just a *leetle* bit sparkly? I was feeling that way this morning. With current events in mind, I awoke in a somber mood. How better to break out of the hum drums than with sequins? 

While the killing of Osama bin Laden is certainly a victory for the US, I can't help but be somewhat fearful of retaliation. Violence only begets violence. That being said, I'll say a prayer for our President, our country, and most importantly our troops. God Bless America.

  • Cardigan - Lauren Conrad collection at Kohl's
  • Tank Top - Target
  • Jeans - J.Crew
  • Flats - Banana Republic

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wild Kingdom

I bought my first ever animal print this weekend during my Banana Republic sweep. I chose the fun, leopard style heels not only because they were on sale (and boy, were they) but also because they actually had my size. I wear an 8.5 and so, apparently, do a lot of other women. I have the hardest time finding sale shoes in an 8.5 and was legitimately surprised when the sales women brought them out. I'm not totally comfortable yet wearing animal print and decided to go verrrry basic with the dark top and jeans.

I'm prepping for the royal wedding tonight and baking sugar cookies to decorate. I'm an absolute amateur when it comes to baking, so I've given myself a some fudge room in case tonight's outcome is as bad as I fear. I'll post the results on Friday. Wish me luck!

  • Fedora - Target
  • Top - Gap
  • Jeans and Shoes - Banana Republic

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hello, My Name is Ashley,

and I'm a Banana Repbulican.

I can't help it. I wasn't always this way. I swear. It's's just that their sale prices are so good. And this weekend, not only did they have a sale, they had a sale on sale prices! 40% off all sale items! Let me tell you, I cleaned up. I'm trying my best to save my pennies, but how can you pass up this adorable top (Originally $69.50) that I bought for $17?? Crazy. I also scooped up a pair of jeans and two(!) pairs of shoes for a grand total coming in at under $115. I don't shop often, and I can't remember the last time I bought 4 things at one time. at one store. So there, I've said it. I am a Banana Republican. Is there help for me?

  • Top - Banana Republic
  • Cardigan (in top photo) - BCBG
  • Jeans - Club Monaco
  • Shoes - Banana Republic
  • Ring - BCBG

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's kind of Friday!

Or rather, my last working day before the Easter Holiday.

Tonight, Jeff and I are heading to a taping of our favorite reality show. I'll let you know more details as soon as I'm able regarding air dates and oh, the title of the show too!
  • Blazer - Express
  • Top - Banana Republic
  • Leggings - Ann Taylor Loft
  • Boots - ?? Macy's a few years back
  • Rings - BCBG
  • Watch - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Happy Easter and God Bless,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Warrior

I bought this scarf a few years back and feel an oomph of chicness whenever I throw it on. The center is a map of New Zealand and features pictures of local birds and different tiki symbols along the border. I'm a tad bit afraid of color as you'll notice and tend to prefer tan, black, grey, faded blues and pinks. Scarves are such an easy way to add color and interest to an outfit. Any other surefire accessories that really go a long way in "making" what you wear just a tad more special?

  • Scarf - Urban Outfitters
  • Tank - Target
  • Cardigan and Shoes - Banana Republic
  • Cords - Gap
  • Ring - BCBGeneration

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


...well I tried to combine "intellectual" and "specs" together and got that title. Hmm, I'll work on it.

I feel so grown up in this outfit. Strange given that the vest is actually part of a little boys school uniform. I also find that when I wear glasses I take on a more introspective persona for the day. Why is that? How can what we wear, or how we perceive ourselves to look on any given day affect not only our attitudes, but also our personalities?

Thank you for joining Deep Thoughts with Ashley, ha!

  • Button Down - Gap
  • Vest - bought somewhere in San Francisco's Chinatown
  • Jeans - J Brand
  • Belt - Gap
  • Shoes - Banana Republic

Flattered Beyond Belief

CJ and I have been honored with the One Lovely Blog award from Jenna over at a little blue and Kristin from Change is Necessary for Growth.

Thank you so much, girls! Part of our duties, should we choose to accept them (and we do!) is to list 7 little factoids about ourselves. I'm up first...

7 Things You'd Probably Never Need to Know about Ashley...
  • America's Funniest Home Videos can break me out of any funk I'm in within seconds. I usually end up laughing so hard I'm crying and can't breathe. 
  • I dream of moving to Austin, TX. I want to own a home, have a large yard with an outdoor living area, and have at least 2 kids. Basically, I strive to be Tami Taylor. This is a 180 from what I thought I'd want for my life not five years ago.
  • In talking about moving, I have lived in 3 countries including the U.S. When I was a wee one, my dad was a chaplain in the military and we were stationed in Gelnhausen, Germany. I completed second grade on an army base and when we moved back I was told that I'd slip in and out of German during conversations. I also did a study abroad in Canterbury, England my second year of college. I learned TONS while there, but the most important skill by far to come from that was how to manage money.
  • I am obsessed with the Olsen twins. Ashley is my favorite.
  • I have to be careful with what I watch when it comes to movies and t.v. shows because I take on all the emotion of what I've just seen. For instance, Monday nights are difficult for Jeff after the drama of an episode of Gossip Girl :)
  • I make it a point every day to enjoy a frozen treat before bed. My favorite is ice cream (usually coffee or chocolate), but I try to change it up with popsicles, smoothies, fudge bars and the like.
  • I'm working on adopting a "Grin and Bear it" attitude, which does not come naturally and I usually react like the sky is falling when I hear bad news. This one is very much a work in progress, and I must practice everyday. 

Carli is up next!

  • I grew up on a farm in a small town in Wisconsin.
  • I moved to Los Angeles six years ago completely alone with no job or friends because I woke up one morning with the urge - two weeks later I was on a plane.
  • I absolutely HATE exercising so I tried pole dancing for fun and for a new way to get toned. Eight months later and I am obsessed! I dance five days a week, have a better body and feeling sexier than ever!
  • I absolutely adore animals, especially dogs! I cannot pass one without wanting to pet/talk to it!
  • I hate wearing make-up.
  • I cried when Mod Flanders died on The Simpsons.
  • Whenever I introduce myself for the first time people always misunderstand me and think my name is Curly Jo.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Today has me wishing the weekend weather hadn't left us so suddenly. Our sunshine has turned to squint inducing overcast. I thought I'd make the most of it and put my best Spring-y foot forward. Here's to making today a fabulous Monday!

  • Top - Gap
  • Jeans - Forever XXI
  • Shoes - Nine West
  • Necklace - J.Crew
  • Nail Polish - Essie "Splash of Grenadine"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fancy Fridays

Carli has a theory that if she dresses up for Friday she'll have a good weekend. Fridays are fun, and you never know what the after work situation will be. Happy hour, anyone?

  • Blazer - Heritage 1981
  • T-shirt - American Eagle
  • Jeans - Forever XXI (in the 14 year old section)
  • Shoes - Urban Outfitters
  • Sunglasses - Forever XXI

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ode to Audrey

I adore and idolize Audrey Hepburn in terms of style. She is classy, classic, chic. She is simple, yet perfectly pulled together. She epitomizes Parisienne and American design. Hats off, Audrey. You deserve it!

  • Top and Cardigan - Banana Republic
  • Leggings - Ann Taylor Loft
  • Necklace and Flats - Banana Republic

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blazin' it Up

Does that sound like a drug reference? It's not. I swear.

I always feel so professional when I pop on a blazer. Crisp, tailored, woman on a mission. The, uh,  photo above doesn't necessarily reflect that.

  • Blazer - Banana Republic
  • T-shirt and Jeans - Forever XXI
  • Shoes - Banana Republic
  • Necklace - J.Crew

Monday, April 11, 2011

Well, I Live by the Ocean So...

I thought I'd go nautical for the day.

*Warning* Blinding stripes ahead.

One reason for the seemingly vanity gorged outfit of the day posts is so that my dear boyfriend can see that I wear actual clothes during the day. You see, Jeff wakes up really early and is out the door before I'm even out of the shower most mornings. This, my friends, is the benefit of living 1/4 mile from work. I'm also the first one home and, like some, start stripping the moment I set foot in my house. By the time Jeff rolls in I'm just as he saw me last, in a giant t-shirt and yoga pants. I also spend most weekends similarly dressed, as unfortunate as that is, ha! So, to Jeff, "Look babe! All dressed!"

  • Top - J.Crew
  • Jeans - Club Monaco
  • Belt - Gap
  • Shoes - Banana Republic
  • Sunglasses - lonely gas station on I-35 between Austin and Dallas.

CJ Goes Thrifting...

I cannot walk into a thrift store without heading directly to the furniture section.  It's an obsession, I ALWAYS find great pieces, but alas - I have a one bedroom apartment with no yard.  I can't exactly bring home everything I fall in love with but I can take photos and share with others. 

I have a Saturday ritual that I've been doing for almost 7 months now.   I wake up - go to dance class from 10 - 12 then straight to the farmers market for what I call "last call."   Side note: Lilac season is upon us! Lastly to my favorite thrift store: Salvation Army on 11th/Olympic.  Here are some greats finds from this Saturday...

If only the drawers were bigger.  Glass knobs, Dutch chic design. Dresser: $110

If you haven't already noticed I like bright colors! Chairs: $75 each.
Great 50's dinner high top table and 3 stools.  $150 for set.

The Leather on all of the stools are torn, but I was at Joann Fabrics on Saturday and they have this leather in all sorts of colors.

Ahhh, just love the crush orange ottoman. They even had more than one! $38 each.

Does anybody else have a weekend ritual to share?