Yearly Archives: 2016

Sunday Snuggles (+The Best Blanket)


Are Sunday snuggles the best or what? There’s something about taking the extra time and effort to just do nothing that really starts a week off well. For as long as I can remember, Sunday’s have truly been regarded as a day of rest for me, at least in my brain. I’m so much more low-key, don’t feel super motivated or productive, and it’s the one day when I really don’t feel that bad about it either. (Which is probably the biggest blessing, amiright?)

In Medellin, as well as many of the Latin cultures we visited over the last year, Sunday as a day of rest is routinely practiced. The city almost seems to shut down. There’s little traffic, shops are closed, and families abound in parks and open spaces throughout town. The vibe is chill and it makes it seem like taking it easy is exactly what you should be doing.

So that’s what we do.

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At this point, I feel like I should mention that Evelina typically hates blankets. Always has. As a baby, she’d kick them off, and as a toddler, she’ll fight it until the whole thing is at least 2 inches away from her body. But then, this blanket arrived and everything changed. (Not even kidding.) From the moment I opened the package she squealed (ok, maybe she was just copying me, because I squealed, too.) But after I held it up and showed my Mom who got teary when she read it, Evelina wanted to see, took it from me, and proceeded to wrap herself in it (as best she could) and drag it around the house for 15 minutes. A few weeks in, it’s the only one she wants to snuggle with, the only one she’ll allow to be on her for nap time, and the one she loves the most for playing, “Huhwee, Huhwee”, which is our silly ‘hurry-and-hide-under-the-covers-before-Daddy-gets-us’ game. (Proof of love: It made the trip to Colombia with us, which is a tough spot to crack considering our one suitcase situation.) She seriously loves it.


And I love it just as much. For starters, it’s ridiculously soft. Combine that with the gorgeous, rich colors and the personalized name – what’s not to love? My Mom actually demanded to know where I got it and why I didn’t let her order it as a gift?! Well, it’s from Joanna Grace Designs and you’re absolutely going to want one for your littles, too. The sweet maker Brooke has designed so many adorable options (and not just blankets!) that would be the perfect gift for a new baby, birthday, or holiday. (Christmas is only 76 days away ;) I guarantee it’ll be received with happy gasps and squeals.

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So here’s my gift to you…from now until October 15th you can grab one (or a few) for yourself with 15% off at Joanna Grace Designs using code “SNUGGLE15”. Happy Shopping!

This post is in partnership with Joanna Grace Designs. All opinions are my own. 

The Beauty of Time (and 3 Tips to Maximize It)

Jord Wood Watch

“Remember that money can come as quickly as it goes, but time, once it is gone, never comes back.”
–Damon Brown

It’s not just me, right? As you get older time just seems to freaking fly. A really cool article popped up in my news-feed recently and it makes perfect sense. Get this: “the longer you’re alive, the smaller a year becomes in relation to your entire life as a whole. For example, when you’re five, a year is 20% of your entire life. When you’re 50, however, a year is only 2% of your life.” What the what? Depressing, a little. Make the most of it? Let’s give it a go!

I’m a work-from-home mom with my own business. I get a few hours to work in silence each week but otherwise, emails and inquires and design happens between my daughter’s naps, short bursts of solo play and cartoons. If I don’t make the most of time, I’m out of luck. Over the last year, I’ve nailed down a few practices that are lifesavers for maximizing the minutes I’ve got…

  1. Have a Priority Purpose.
    Every night before bed, I sit down with a cup of tea, review the day’s accomplishments and start a new list for tomorrow. Syke! I wish… It’s never as relaxing as that but I do try to do it at some point daily. Having my priorities set for the next day works wonders for keeping me on track. Nail down the top few things that absolutely must-get-done and Sharpie them in to your most productive time. (For me, that’s first thing in the morning.)
  2. Keep it Separate, Simple, and Specific.
    I love lists, I just do. I’m never gonna give them up and I’d never tell you too either.  But while they’re helpful at times, other days, they’re just serving as an illusion of productivity. The best method I’ve found? Google Keep. I probably have 100 different lists but they’re searchable so who cares if they’re a little unorganized?! Plus, you can color code, add pretty header images, and wiggle them around to your hearts content. I can edit on my desktop, from my phone when we’re on the go, even offline. It’s a beautiful thing people. The trick is, keeping the daily Priority Purpose list front and center and setting up reminder notifications for it if needed. Be as specific as possible with this list, so you have an actual gauge of how much time a task will really take. For example, I used to write, “Post new products to my website.” when in reality before that would even be possible there are a handful of tasks that have to be completed prior so now my list looks more like, “photograph new bags”, “edit photos of new bags”, “create product listing copy”, and “upload copy and images to product listings”. See what I’m saying?
  3. The Five Minute Rule.
    Being self motivated is hard. At least for me. If you, too – try the 5 minute rule a few times per day. Example, when Evelina unexpectedly sits still to read on her own for a few minutes, I’m all like, “OMG what can I get done in the next few??) Edit a few photo’s for future Instagram posts? Reply to some comments? Do a little research on something for my website? Squeezing in a few of these sessions per day might seem small but makes a big difference, I promise!

Alas, as focused and well planned as we are, the clock is going to keep on ticking so we might as well watch it wind down in style, right? (Obviously this was going to take a turn into fashion somehow, you probably knew that though, it is me…)

Jord Wood Watch

When I unboxed this wooden women’s watch from Jord all my color lover dreams came true. No detail has been overlooked, from the complimentary wood packaging, to the zebra wood strap, sapphire crystal glass, and Swarovski crystal dial accents.


When it comes to watches, I’m more of the fashion over function type, and though this one definitely has the function down (it’s self winding, which is just so cool) the style statement is what really blows me away. I chose this exquisite turquoise version, and the selection ranges from understated elegance to fashionably forward, and they’re each uniquely unforgettable.

Jord Wood Watch

Speaking of style, next week I’ll be sharing one of the several ways I’ve incorporated in it my wardrobe so far so stay tuned. (And also scope out my Instagram for more ‘not on the blog’ peeks!)

In the meantime, Jord has awesomely offered $20 off to my sweet readers and friends just by clicking here and entering your email. Then be sure to browse around and start making your wishlist because everyone who submits will be entered to win a $75 gift card from Jord! It’s perfect timing with the upcoming holidays! (Talk about an impressive gift.)

Head over and enter now by clicking <here>, it’s super easy, and won’t take more than 30 seconds of your time, because I know how precious that is. ;)

P.S. The $20 coupon code will emailed to you directly from Jord. $75 winner will be contacted via Jord.

 This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches.

Sunday at the Park

Medellin, Colombia

A new park recently opened near our home in Medellin and Sunday seemed like the perfect day to check it out. Even though it’s been a little bittersweet being back, I can’t deny what a great and beautiful town this is. I do love a city and this one sure is pretty. The mountains in the distance remind me of my hometown in East Tennessee, which is always a comfort being a continent away. And the green space and zest for outdoors brings back memories of living in Chicago, except in this City of Eternal Spring, there’s no race against the weather to squeeze in as many warm days as Mother Nature will allow. Aside from the public space and playgrounds that make an urban living lifestyle pleasant, one of the best parts of Medellin is the people. Welcoming from the first moment, I can’t say enough about their kindness, helpfulness, and warmth, especially to little ones. Spending her toddler-hood here is easy because “the village” mentality is alive and well. Someone’s always willing to share a ball, scoop her if she falls, or offer a word of advice (even if I don’t fully understand it!)


Here are a few photo’s from our little outing. I realized that I haven’t shared much of Medellin at all, and that’s a shame, because there really is so much greatness.

In between Fosterie and mommin’ I’m really going to try to do better, because it’s so much more than Narcos, wink.

These pictures could also serve as an advertisement for Leap Frog’s Violet, which is basically life at the moment.  “Vie” (Evelina’s name for her) goes everywhere, and gets more loving than any human combined. This purple puppy will surely be making appearances in any upcoming posts….

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Best E-newsletters for Pregnancy/New Mom’s



So you’re pregnant. Or a new mom. Life’s about to get (or has just become) quite different. In this season of life, your free time is limited and priorities great. You know you need to sift through pertinent parenting and product info but time is of the essence. At the onset of pregnancy, I subscribed (and later unsubscribed) to a plethora of e-newsletters finally narrowing down my faves to the only ones I really ever read and enjoyed. Here are a few of my faves:

The Bump – You planned your wedding via The Knot and started newlywed life with The Nest so obviously you can’t have a baby without The Bump. ;) From weekly belly updates and beyond, you’ll love following your bump/baby’s growth and development with tips and info!) for years to come.

Rockets of Awesome –  formerly Cricket’s Circle, this has been modern & fun way to learn about the latest and greatest in products and parenting, without intimidating vibes. With the recent change to Rockets of Awesome, I’m eager to see how the newsletter changes (if it does!)

Storq – technically a maternity apparel line, I still love the emails because they’re simple and to the point, plus there’s always a cute vid at the end.

Glitter & Bubbles – A Chicago mom after my own heart, Shop E-dropoff founder Corri McFadden’s style blog with her tot is a total win for girl mom’s.

See? Simple and easy. Have any more suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Current Reads.

Big Magic

Can’t get enough Big Magic… Have you read it?

If you’re a creative, entrepreneur, someone with more ideas than you know what to do with, or just wanting something a little different, I highly recommend it.

In some ways, it’s almost too deep to get into here without writing a novel, but in other ways it’s quick read with tons of ‘ah ha’ moments and simple wisdom. I dig it.

I’m usually light-years behind on “new” reads so these definitely aren’t the latest and greatest but wishlist worthy regardless… What’s up next on my reading list (sooner than later, hopefully.)

Beautiful Ruins

What’s in your library lately?

P.S. (Recently finished and recommend these as well.)
The Silkworm
How I Lost 170 Million Dollars
Yes, Please

Off We Go


“The best journey takes you home.”

Guys, I’m going HOME! It’s been nearly six months since I’ve seen family and that’s waaay to long of a stretch for me. I’ve realized over the last year or so that my limit seems to be around half that, so I’m twice overdue! I’m so looking so forward to spending some quality time in Tennessee for a bit. There’s no place like home.


A Mother’s Love


Another year, another Mother’s Day and it still doesn’t feel real but it does feel deeper.

Leading up to it this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself as a Mom… am I really doing my best? Like, really? And about my wonderful Mom (she really is the best). And I’ve also been thinking about all my friends who recently became, or are about to become mother’s. And I think this post might be leaning a bit towards the last group, because when I think of new babies, I think of the uneasiness in the unknown.

There’s a bond in this motherhood thing that I think, when we really look for it, is stronger than any mom shaming and guilt groups combined. Sometimes we feel like the judgement is everywhere, but is it? Or are we just a little overly sensitive? A tad insecure? If we worry about our bodies and our careers and keeping up with the Jones Kardashians, why wouldn’t we worry and wonder about the biggest the job of all – raising our tiny humans? But I’m hearing it and seeing it more and more in new-ish moms – comparisons to one another and our choices and actions. A doubt that brings us down.

But there’s a simple thing I’ve learned in my short time as a mom that’s best summed up in a quote by my best friend Amy Poehler, “Good for you, not for me.” Because those trivial decisions (“OMG you don’t have the Sophie teether?? The shame!”) aren’t what makes someone a good mom, or a mom at all. Instead, it’s the common things we all think and feel, outside of the material things and how soon we should start puree’s. What mom hasn’t rocked her baby at 3am and felt like the only person awake on earth? Looked at her newborn and thought, “How can I love you so much when I’ve only just met you?”. Cried on the first day back to work, first day of day care, or for no reason at all? Felt that swell in your chest when your baby brings home her first mother’s day gift from school and it’s just a tiny hand print on a piece of cardboard but it might as well be the Hope diamond. Tears and smiles and heart explosions, that’s what motherhood is. Not breastfeeding or bottle-feeding or strollers or baby-wearing. It’s love. It’s that everything we do for our babies, every decision, every smile, and every tear, is filled with love.

And there’s nothing like a mother’s love.

E’s Second Easter


Where does another year go. For real?? Somebody needs to stop stealing my time!!

I’ve always loved Easter. It’s got all the spirituality of Christmas, with slightly less commercialism. Plus the beautiful promise of spring, of warmer sunshine, of flowers blooming. It’s almost like a second New Year’s in my mind. Now I associate Evelina with Easter since just before this holiday in 2014 we found out that two would become three.

It feels like just five minutes ago Evelina was a squishy infant, dolled up in her little Easter dress, chillin’ for pics on the porch.

As an almost 16 month old, there’s not too much chillin’ going on these days, but this sweet little bunny brings a light to our life like I never could have imagined. It’s surreal to think of two years ago at this time, about to find out I was pregnant, and making a reveal video. Now we’re chasing a toddler, watching her play and learn, and loving that there’s something new to discover every day, about her, and about parenting. Thinking back, wondering what she would be like, she’s nothing I imagined, and everything better. Her sweet hugs and “mwah” kisses, her happy squeals, her sassy little snicker laugh. My heart didn’t just make room for her, it grew.

Like a spring flower, the promise of something new. It just keeps getting better…
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We Made it to Medellin


Oh my goodness time is FLYING here in Colombia. I’m sure it’s because we’re moving around but compared to Granada, where one month felt more like three, our weeks here have passed in what feels like days. I’ve been terrible about spending time online because we’re just so wrapped up in exploring I don’t even want to bother. My list of things to share just keeps growing but I promise it’s coming. Someday. Soon. Soon-ish. ;) For now I can share that we’re in L.O.V.E. with this town. More to come!

In the meantime, you can head over to Instagram if you want the scoop in real time! Also, I recently joined snapchat (LittleAshleighT) if that’s your jam. I have no idea what I’m doing but what the hey… You’ll get some cool scenery and a little silliness out of it!

Having a Blast in Bogota


Do you guys see this?? This is big, beautiful Bogota. And we’ve been busy exploring until we’re exhausted and loving every minute of it. No time to type! So much to see, eat, do! It feels invigorating to be in a city again. Nothing against small towns and sweet countrysides but cities have energies you just can’t deny. And the cooler temps are a welcome refresher that feels oh so good coming off a month of sweltering.

I promise I’ll come back and update this post with pictures and details and all the fun things we’re seeing. (I’ve even started a “Trendspotting” list on my phone! You can take the girl out of fashion, but you can’t make her stop trend spotting…)


Update: I pinky swear I’m going to update this post soon to include our favorite finds, because boy, did we have some. Stay tuned! :)