T-Shirt Dress...

 

By this time, you all know how much I LOVE t-shirt dresses! They're so comfortable, typically very affordable, and they can be dressed up or down! I usually dress them down because #momlife ... but you could easily add some cute pumps or strappy heels for a comfy/cute date night outfit! Forever 21 is usually my go-to place for t-shirt dresses because they're almost always under $20! (Shop their current selection here) The one I'm wearing above was under $13 (find it here)  and I paired it with Converse sneaks that you can see in similar style here

xx,  Ashley 

Camel + Denim...

 

My Outfit: Sweater: old, similar styles here, here, and here| Jeans: Kensie, with similar style here | Booties: Franco Sarto, similar style here | Bag: Urban Outfitters, similar style here (under $35) and love this one | Sunglasses: Cole Haan, similar styles here and here | Lipstick: L'Oreal "Sea Fleur" topped with L'Oreal "Fairest Nude"

TGIF! It has been such a rough week in the Markwood household with Lo being sick and all of us running on very little sleep! She has been sick on and off for about 3(ish) weeks and we found out yesterday that she has an ear infection. Poor baby! Needless to say, I'm pretty pumped for the weekend and for some much needed rest for all of us! 

This is one of my favorite looks because I LOVE the sweater so much. Camel is such a trendy color and I could pair this sweater with black denim and it would look great as well! The boots I snagged on sale and they're around $60 right now which is a total steal! They're super comfortable because of the block heel! You can shop the look above (I've linked the pieces and some similar) as well as below this text and shop all of my Instagram looks here!

Hope everyone has a restful and healthy weekend! 

xx,  Ashley 

Photos: Patti Takacs, Kivalo Photography

Contrast...

 

My Outfit: Jacket: J.Crew, similar here and here | Shirt: HM, similar here and here | Jeans: HM (under $20!) | Boots: Vince Camuto, similar here (under $50) here, and here | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Lipstick: Sephora "Always Red"

Happy Valentine's Day, Lovers! 

I posted this outfit on my Instagram and wanted to share here also! I feel like we had such a mild winter up until this past week! We've had so much snow dumped on us here in Boston, and all I can think of is Spring! The snow, although annoying to manuever in, is so beautiful - especially after a fresh snowfall. I took these photos at my parents farm a few weeks ago with my favorite photographer, Patti Takacs (you can check out her site here!) I love the contrast between the white of the snow and the dark outfit/red lip! The red lip stain "Always Red" that you see me wearing is from Sephora and it's my absolute favorite! It's only $14 and it's so long-lasting. The jacket I actually stole from my mom for this shot (Thanks, Mom!) - it's J.Crew and classic wool blend. I linked a few look-a-likes above! 

xx,  Ashley 

Photos: Patti Takacs, Kivalo Photography

Boston Staycation: The Colonnade Hotel...

 
Photo credit: The Colonnade photo gallery 

Photo credit: The Colonnade photo gallery 

I thought I'd share this AMAZING and fun deal with you all - if you'd like to plan a winter staycation! The Colonnade is one of my favorite Boston hotels and they're embracing this New England weather. With the Frosty Friday package, you'll pay the outside temperature reading from the 5:00pm National Weather Service for the first night of your stay and the 2nd night rate for $289.00! The package also includes some pretty AWESOME perks like ice-skating tickets or trolley tours (your choice), and hot chocolate from the hotel restaurant Brasserie Jo! 

To read more details about this offer, click here

xx, Ashley 

Fit Friday: Share The Love...

 
Photo credit: Healthworksfitness.com

Photo credit: Healthworksfitness.com

Attention Boston ladies! 

My gym, Healthworks, is all about "sharing the love" this February! They're offering a bunch of special classes through the 14th that you can try for FREE! I signed up for a "Spa Yoga" class (which is now taking place on the 16th, thanks to the snowstorm!) ... but it sounds like a dream! Flow through power yoga then finish with the certified massage therapists? Umm yes ... you can sign up here, but it's filling up fast! 

If you're already a member at Healthworks and you want to bring a friend to a class, have them sign up through the Eventbrite pages! There are locations in Back Bay, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, and Coolidge Corner!

I hope you see you all there! What are you up to this weekend?! 

xx,  Ashley 

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him + date ideas...

 

I'm 30 (plus 2) today! ;) Happy Birthday to me!

...And happy week before Valentine's Day! I absolutely love celebrating this day with my guy! Actually, the month of February is one of my favorites in general; it's filled with so much pink, hearts, and chocolate :) Even though my husband and I agree on no gifts, just a nice dinner out - we always end up getting something for one another. If you're anything like me, and you struggle to find a gift for your guy - here are a few things to spark some inspiration:

1. Chelsea boot // 2. Wireless FitBit (for the gym enthusiast!) // 3. No-Iron checkered shirt // 4. Monogram cuff links (love this idea & GREAT PRICE!) // 5. Wireless head phones // 6. RayBan sunnies // 7. Thermal knit robe (trust me on this one!) // 8. Suede slippers // 9. Record player (unique gift idea!) // 10. Cashmere v-neck sweater // 11. Air-max Nikes (All guys love Nike) // 12. Bluetooth mini speaker // 13. "Luckiest Guy" mug (Just a little reminder!) // 14. Overnight duffle // 15. The North Face thermal jacket (Great price!) // 16. Tom Ford cologne (SO GOOD) // 17. Brown leather watch

A few Valentine's Day date ideas for you...

1. At-home dinner + a movie! If you don't want to spend money going out to a fancy restaurant or to a movie - create the date at home! Plan a menu and cook together while sipping on a class of wine! It's such a great way to enjoy each others company and to reconnect. Pick out a Netflix movie together or rent one for just over $1 from your local RedBox! 

2. Catch a show! Boston has such an amazing theater district that offers an array of live performances. There are loads of restaurants to grab a bite to eat before or after the show! 

3. Book a staycation! I'm a BIG fan of staycations and I love playing "tourist" with my hubby. Sometimes it's just nice to stay the night in a different place; it feels exciting and refreshing to wake up somewhere new (even if it is right in your backyard). 

4. Go ice-skating together! I don't know why, but there's something that seems super romantic about ice skating, especially at night! Maybe it's because you get all bundled up and most definitely have to hold on to one another while you skate. It's a fun activity that will certainly bring you closer. Grab hot chocolate after to cap off the night! 

5. Couples spa day! Book a couples massage or facial and just allow yourselves to be pampered. Most spas offer coffee, tea, or even champagne during your service, and you should totally take advantage of the free beverages :) If you don't want to splurge too much, set it up at home! Buy some essential oils (lavender is always calming), set up the room with candles, and dim the lights. You can alternate giving each other a relaxing massage. 

How do you all usually celebrate Valentine's Day with your loved one?!

xx,  Ashley 

More Valentine's Day Inspo...

It's my birthday next week and then Valentine's Day just a few days later! I know I already did a Valentine's Day style post (see it here), but there's just too many gorgeous pink + red pieces catching my eye - I HAD to share them with you! Shop above by clicking on the icons or below you can scroll through each item! Also, if you want a little sneak peek at what I'll be wearing next week, check the "shop my Instagram" page here! Happy shopping! 

xx,  Ashley 

Monthly Mommy Update: 18 Months...

 

 

Favorite Food: CHEESE. Goldfish. Yogurt bites. She basically asks for these three things full time ... and she mixes in the occasional ketchup request. A new one to add to the list is olives ... GREEK olives that is. She absolutely LOVES them so we make a weekly trip to Sophia's Greek Pantry in Watertown to stock up :)  

Favorite Thing To Do: Sing! She sings ALL the time. She loves the songs from her Music Together class (I wrote all about it here) and a few of her other favorites are: "Twinkle Twinkle," "You are my sunshine," and "Jesus Loves Me." Too cute! She's also really into imaginative play right now - she pretends to change her doll on the changing pad...gets a diaper out and asks me for a wipe :) Then I'll hear her say "have a good day" while she carries an empty shopping bag and pushes her shopping cart. 

Most Aww-Worthy Moment: She loves to fold her hands and pray, which she randomly does throughout the day. I'll hear her saying "Thank you for an amazing day, for Grammy, for Lolo, for Daddy...Amen!" It's pretty adorable and it makes me happy that she's absorbing what we're teaching her :) 

Most Exciting Thing She Did: She can count to 15! One day she counted to 10 and I was SO excited then she randomly kept going! I had no idea she could count that high, but I'll take it! 

Fun Things We Did This Month: At the beginning of this month we celebrated a belated Christmas with my husband's side of the family. It was really fun to have everyone here and especially his brother, who flew in from Wisconsin! Chris has been traveling a lot for work, so London and I have taken a few trips to Maine this month as well. Last week, we all went to a "baby farm animals" event at the Little Lovage Club in the South End. London got to meet and pet baby goats, bunnies, and pigs. We had so much fun and even went to a fancy Italian dinner after, where Lo was an absolute dream. 

Biggest Thing I've Learned: I'm trying to stop putting so much pressure on myself to be the perfect mom. I've just come to the realization (only took me 18 months) that there are going to be days when I'm not feeling well and it's OK to put Mickey Mouse on in order to get 20-30 minutes of relaxation. Also, London will be ok if one-two times a month she has to eat mac n'cheese. I think sometimes as women, we put SO much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. It's so much easier to just stop pretending that we've got it all together and realize that we're all just doing the best we can! So, go pour yourself a glass of red, park it on the couch, and watch some trashy TV - you deserve it! 

Also, when do we stop counting in months?! I don't wanna be THAT mom that gets asked how old her kid is and says "33 months" ...I'm thinking after two? Help me out! ;)

xx,  Ashley 

Pale Pink + Lace...

 

My Outfit: Cynthia Rowley, similar here and here | Jeans: Express | Booties: old, similar (and on sale) here  | Choker: LULO Jewelry | Purse: Nine West, couldn't find exact but love this adorable blush tote 

Happy Monday! 

How pretty is this pale pink and lace combo?! The sweater is actually all in one (sweater with an added lace layer) and I'm drawn to anything already layered so I don't have to think :) The purse was a steal from TJ Maxx ($24, Nine West) and I couldn't find the replica, but I linked a super cute blush tote with floral detailing here. I also thought I'd share some other pieces already layered for your convenience! You can shop them below!

xx,  Ashley 

For The Mamas...

 

Happy Friday!

This afternoon we are taking London to the Little Lovage Club in the South End to see baby farm animals! I'm so excited because she LOVES animals so much + they'll have baby pigs, goats, chickens, and more all for the kids to pet! I'll make sure to share on my Instagram stories so make sure to check in later this afternoon ;) 

I'm SO happy the weekend is here! My sister and brother-in-law are spending tomorrow with us and my husband has Sunday off (YAY!) I'm excited to relax and have some time together as a family. I do plan to hit the gym in the morning to start the weekend off right! I've been reminiscing about the early days with London a bit, and how difficult it seemed to find the energy to do anything, let alone workout! I came across this "Mommy and Baby" workout posted on the Healthworks site and I thought it would be great to share with you all! Even if your baby isn't an infant - you can try to do some of this with your toddler at home! It's a 15-minute workout from Phyl London that was voted Top 10 on YouTube. Definitely worth a peek! If you CAN make it to the gym this weekend and you missed last week's "Fit Friday" I shared a killer arm workout from Healthworks trainer Hannah Butera! You can find it here!

Also, check out some of my favorite activewear pieces below :) 

What do you all have planned this weekend?! 

xx,  Ashley 

 

 

Chic Sweatshirts...

 

Mom life has got me on a huge sweatshirt kick! Since most clothing sites have dedicated "sweatshirt" sections, it gives me hope that it's not just us mama's rocking them everyday! There are some super cute sweatshirts that you can dress up with a chunky necklace, jeans, and booties! This floral one is adorable and I'm loving the polka dots on this J.Crew one

Check out some of my favorites below! Have a lovely day, all! :) 

xx,  Ashley 

10 Things I Swore I'd Never Do When I Became a Mom...

 
Photo: Kivalo Photography

Photo: Kivalo Photography

I was pretty much the best mom ever before I had kids. Apparently reading Dr. Oz's book, "Having A Baby" can turn you into a real expert on the art of parenting (insert eye roll here). I'll be the first to admit that I was real judge-y pre-child bystander and now I'm totally punching my own self in the face because of it. Soooo many things I swore I'd NEVER do have already been done and were probably done in the first week of my daughters life. Let's be honest ... we're all just trying to make it through the day alive, am I right? I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

1. Bribe

I'm not sure what I was thinking before, but bribery is actually the best thing ever. These mini transactions don't happen daily, but I'm not above a good bribe every now and again. It's amazing how far one m&m or a lollipop can get you! 

2. Let my kids watch TV

This was one of my major "pre-mom" rules. No TV before two because the doctor says so and because my kid isn't going to be completely mesmerized by technology. Oh really? Nope. If I'm being completely honest, this "rule" went out the door pretty quickly (like, around 4 months in). Lo would get super fussy around 5:30-6 every evening so we would put "Baby Einstein" on for 20(ish) minutes and it was pure magic. Fast forward to today (18 months in) and I'm like, "honey, you haven't watched Mickey yet today - do you wanna watch an episode?" And I refuse to feel badly about it. 

3. Let my child leave the house without looking anything less than their best

You guys, I try. I really do. But some days I'm just not up for wrestling her into a dress or pinning her down to get the cute little bow on her head. If she's got socks, pants, and a shirt on (preferably all clean) then we're good to go! 

4. Feed my child anything but well-balanced meals

This is a great mindset to have, but then this little thing called life happens and the next thing you know your kid is eating pasta for the third night in a row. You're bound to have at least one day/night a week of food mayhem. Typically it happens for us when I need to do groceries, but naturally haven't yet. I try my hardest to make sure she's getting balanced meals with fruits, veggies, protein, and good fats all sprinkled with gold flakes (HA!), but sometimes London asks for pizza on a night when my energy is low and I just go with it; mostly because it's like she knows when I'm vulnerable and takes advantage ... that level of manipulation deserves to be rewarded my friends! 

5. Use the "sucker thing" 

Goshhhh, it's gross but I found out REAL quick that my unofficial job title would be "booger extractor." Somehow my skills trump my husbands in this category so he gets a free pass (eyeroll). BK (before kids) I swore that I would never use the "booger sucker" and I'm over here using it basically every other week ... essentially a professional. UGH. Seriously though, the Nose Frida is pretty much the best invention of life, can I get an Amen?! Who even uses the bulb sucker thing? IT DOESN'T WORK. 

6. Give up "me" time 

Ummm...come again? I'm not sure what "me time" is considering I don't even pee alone these days. I definitely underestimated what a time-suck having a child is...and I mean that in the most loving way ;) I do miss sleeping in on weekends and going to brunch without rushing home for "nap time" or even shopping alone. Who knew that doing groceries solo would sound like such a treat! The truth is, she takes all of my time and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

7. Formula feed

BK: "Surely my child won't have difficulty latching...she'll just snuggle right up to me and know what to do!"

My gosh did I underestimate how difficult breastfeeding would be. It was stressful and disappointing when I finally decided to start Lo on formula; I felt like a total failure. Once we got into a groove it was fine and I realized that she was super happy and thriving - which is what ultimately matters most! 

8. Use food to reward good behavior

I should have known I would never be able to stick to this considering eating is one of my favorite past times ;) It's REALLY fun to be able to say "London, let's go to Target and then we can go to Starbucks for a treat!" The truth is, I get pretty fired up for a Starbucks run and I love that I can share it with her. Is that so wrong?! (Don't answer that). 

9. Call my husband to excitedly discuss our kids poop

I'm kind of embarrassed at how many times this has happened, but isn't it just delightful when your kid FINALLY gives you a soft bm?! It's totally worth a phone call, am I right? And who better to call than your hubby whose been patiently waiting on the edge of his seat! (Come on, please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?!) 

10. Make plans to fit around nap or bed times

"I'll never miss Chris's games - I'll just bring London with me!" or "London will just nap on the go, wherever we are!" Yea right. I'm basically a slave to London's sleep schedule. Not only have we missed every single one of my husband's 7PM basketball games (due to London's bed time) but I make sure I'm home for every CRIB nap. I value sleep (and a schedule) way too much to chance messing it up. Yep, I'm THAT Mom and I'm actually ok with it these days. 

 

 

Pink and Red...

 

Happy Monday, Loves! 

I hope you all had a great weekend...we spent most of yesterday relaxing together as a family and eating WAY too much food during the Pats game! With Valentine's Day fast approaching I've started to share some inspiration and gift ideas with you. Today I've picked some of my favorite RED + PINK pieces ... because let's be honest, they really are the prettiest colors, am I right?! :) 

I didn't get to add these sunglasses to my collage below, but I love them! The pale pink rims are so adorable. Also this beautiful lace dress comes in red and it's to die for; the peekaboo shoulder is a huge trend! Enjoy my other picks below - thanks for stopping by!

xx,  Ashley 

Sweaters Under $50...

Some of my favorite sweaters of the season are on sale for less than $50! This blush ruffle sweater has been on my radar all winter long and it's marked down to $39.99! I'm loving the fringe detail on this one ($35) and camel is a hot hue of the season, and this sweater is just $26! Click on each piece to shop directly! Thanks for stopping by loves! 

xx,  Ashley 

Valentines Day Ideas For Her...

It's almost LOVE month! (AKA February :) 

I'm super excited for it, can you tell?! Give me alllll the red and pink...oh, and the nikes (hehe!) Here are a few Valentine's Day gift ideas for the lady in your life (and if you're reading this and you're the boss lady - treat yourself!) Flowers and chocolates are always sweet, but totally predictable! Think outside the box and surprise her with something like a new pair of RED Hunter Boots or these cute PINK sunnies (just $50!) 

Happy shopping! 

xx,  Ashley 

Valentines Day Inspiration...

Yes, I'm already thinking about Valentines Day next month (I'm a girl, duh!) ;) February is one of my favorite months because it's all about LOVE, red, pink, and all things girly. My husband and I don't do anything crazy gift wise, we usually go to a nice dinner together instead - so I've started browsing for some VDay inspiration! I wanted to share some cute items with you all! Enjoy!

xx,  Ashley

Cutest Baby Footwear...

 

I've been drooling over baby moccasins every since I found out we were pregnant because, let's be honest, how adorable are those itty bitty feet?! Honestly, I never purchased a pair because they all seemed to be too pricey, but that was before we discovered BirdRock Baby! We are absolutely in LOVE with London's new baby moccs - which are the softest ever! She even wears them around indoors because they're so comfortable. We call them her little "house shoes!" They also go with SO many of her outfits! The best part, if you're frugal like me, is that they're completely affordable! (Can I get an Amen?!)

We ordered two pairs; one in "ruby red" and another in "espresso." As you can see, we chose a size large or 6.5, which fits her and still leaves her a little room to grow as well! 

You can shop the moccasins here! Hope everyone has an amazing day! 

xx,  Ashley

Nordstrom Favorites...

 

Nordstrom is one of my favorite places to shop! They have such a variety of items from clothing to handbags, accessories and home goods! Not to mention...free shipping! Hello! I love a good sale, don't get me wrong, but it's always fun to check out their "new arrivals" section to see what the latest trends are! I've compiled some of my favorites for you to shop above or below! Simply click on the item your interested in to shop directly! Thanks for stopping by!  

xx,  Ashley 

Winter Weather Accessories...

 

I hope everyone is stepping into the New Year with great energy and positivity! I'm stepping into 2017 with my favorite winter boots and North Face jacket (which is on sale) since it's freaking cold in New England ;) I'm not going to lie ... it's hard to look "chic" when you're trying to keep warm! These winter weather accessories will help you look cute even in the subzero temps! Click any product above for the direct link or "shop the post" below :) 

xx,  Ashley