Tag Archives: christmas

December, New Orleans and SNOW! Part 1

Loooong post here…… grab a glass of wine or a bag of chips and sit back.

Ahhh New Orleans!   My year is never complete with out a weekend in NOLA.  The lights, the feels, the music and SNOW???!!!   Yep, this year we experienced something in New Orleans for the first time…. SNOW!!!!  Crazy, I know but yeah… it snowed on us, more on that in a minute.

The Roosevelt is our home away from home.  It is one of the most well known beautifully decorated lobbies during the holiday season.  If you are not familiar with The Roosevelt Hotel here’s an article filled with history and facts.  And just looooook at the lobby:


The Roosevelt Hotel Holiday Decor – Photo from VIE Magazine

I mean, seriously.  It’s a twinkle light wonderland!  But that’s not the only reason we stay in this historic hotel.  It’s charm, service, amenities and central location on Canal Street make it the perfect home base for our itinerary.

Itinerary?  Yes ma’am!  I start a few weeks out jotting down everything I’d like to do or see.  Hubby knows to just play along, haha.  This will be referred to as “The List” for the remainder of this post.    3 days and 2 nights in NOLA just isn’t enough time.  I know that sounds crazy but it’s just not.  With so many different parts of the city and so many different feels it’s nearly impossible to fit it into 3 days.  Add freezing cold rain/sleet/snow and you lose precious time.  Oh the agony!

Friday morning we throw our bags in the car and head west.  Leaving from Pensacola it’s about a 3 hour drive.  It’s super cold and we know snow is in the forecast.  About 30 minutes outside of New Orleans all of a sudden the sleet turns to fluffy white snow flurries!  It was so beautiful!  We pulled over to gt some pictures.

Can you believe that?  I realize to a person who lives in an area where snow is a normal phenomenon this is not technically snow, however, this is the closest thing to snow I’ve seen since our trip to Breckenridge this past March.

We arrived at the hotel, checked in and headed straight to the first place on The List – ACME Oyster House on Iberville for some world famous Flamed Grilled Oysters.  What could be better on a freezing cold, dreary day?

One thing about the restaurants in New Orleans, if there’s a line, you better believe its worth the wait.  Yes, there was a line, at 1:00 in the afternoon, in the freezing cold rainy weather, we waited outside for about 20 minutes.   We were seated at the bar right next to the door – every time the door opened cold air rushed in, ugh – but you know the saying ‘things happen for a reason’ – check this out…..

The oyster shuckers at ACME have been working there for ever, and I mean for EVER.  These guys arent’ the typical restaurant workers who show up and get paid and go home.  These guys are professionals that travel all over the country to shuck oysters at events like The Master’s and other highfalutin’ shin digs.  Our spot at the bar was in front of Master Shucker Stormin’ Norman.  He has been shucking oysters for 30+ years.  We started talking with him regarding a Masters chef coat displayed on the wall behind him.  He said ‘yup, that’s my jacket but it will be his soon’ pointing to the shucker next to him.  Before you knew it he pulled out his cell phone and started scrolling through pictures of events in Washington DC, New York City, Las Vegas, etc.  It was amazing and he was super proud.   I kept thinking of the line in Forest Gump where he said “I liked to run but I never thought it would get me anywhere”  Who knew shucking oysters would take Stormin Norman to the places he has been?  It’s remarkable.

I look forward to our next visit at ACME.  And I hope we get the same bar spot right in front of Stormin Norman!  If you’d like to find out more about Norman and ACME, check out this article from Life and Thyme.

Since it was still freezing and raining, we decided to forgo our plans on The List and stop in The Hotel Monteleone on Royal.  It is another must while in NOLA.  Check out The Carousel Bar and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a seat.

The Carousel Bar

NOLA Necessities

We were not so lucky since everyone and their brother had the same itinerary but luckily we were able to find a cozy spot in a corner and order a beverage.  The Pimm’s Cup is by far the most delicious beverage aside from the Old Fashioned.  I’ll add that this Pimm’s Cup was the best one I had on our stay.

From here we decided to get back to the hotel and unpack.  But while in Rome…. we made a pit stop in The Saint Hotel.


If you know me you know I love a good Rose.  To my surprise we discovered Meiomi Rose!!  I mean what the what!  It was meant to be, haha.  The Saint is a really cool boutique hotel covered in velvet and swanky patterns.  The women’s bathroom is wall to wall mirrors…… lots of selfie taking opportunities for patrons 🙂   Needless to say we had a great time chatting with the bartender and discovering the evening entertainment was a burlesque show *insert big eye emoji*

The hubs on his velvet throne

Time for dinner!!!!   Inside the Roosevelt is the most yummiest pizza place, Domenica.  We ordered a pizza, of course and the roasted cauliflower…… totally the bomb!!  Then we headed back over to the Saint for the burlesque show, ha.  Like I said, while in Rome!  It was very classy and tasteful if that’s not an oxymoron.

Being the old people we are, we hit the sack at midnight.  Whew.  What a day!  The only thing on The List we accomplished was ACME.  As I was falling asleep in that big comfy bed I told Scott, “BIG plans for tomorrow – you’d better be ready!”


12ish – Days of Christmas – My FAVorite Things!!! Boots and Booties, Oh my!

I’m a little obsessed right now. Every outfit I put on seems to work with my boots and booties. They really have become my go to shoe.

And who can resist a tall black suede boot?

I really prefer a wedge heel but these guys are hanging out in my Favorites List.

Dresses, skirts, leggings, jeans… they just go with everything!

With all the sales at Nordstrom you might pick up one of these pairs for a great price!!!

Only 6 Days left until Christmas!! Eeeek!!

-Ashley XOXO

12ish – Days of Christmas – My FAVorite Things!!! Subscription Boxes

My 12 favorites can’t be complete without Subscription Boxes.

Over the past few years I have tried several different ones.  These are the ones I continue to go back to.


RocksBox Subscription

First let’s talk about RocksBox.   What girl doesn’t like to get new jewelry?   I’m talking about NICE jewelry from designers like Kendra Scott, House of Harlow, Perry Street & Sophie Harper to name a few.
Every time I open my goodie box from them I am always impressed.   Your monthly membership fee is credited towards any items you purchase from the selection.
RocksBox allows you to wear the jewelry for a certain time period and return or purchase!
You can share your personal link to invite your friends and receive credit to spend on your favorite pieces!!  Click the link to go to my RocksBox if you’d like to sign up.

My RockBox Site




StitchFix Subscription

Personal Stylist…….. Need I say more?

When you sign up take a few minuted to complete the style survey.   It’s extremely detailed and allows you to be very specific…… answer some questions about your preferred style and wait to be amazed at how your stylist selects the most perfect items for you.  You can select a price category as well!!

I have linked my personal Pinterest board to my StitchFix account so that my stylist can see what my style is and if I have pinned any new things.  I have received jeans, dress pants, skirts, shoes, bags, blazers, sweaters, jackets, wristlets, scarves….. I could go on and on.   I have kept all of the items sent a couple times but typically I will keep one or two things.  I have never been disappointed!  Click the link below to go to my StitchFix site if you’d like to give it a try!  Now that a men’s subscription is also offered I’m thinking I may have to sign up the hub’s!!!

My StitchFix Link 



I don’t know how they do it but the stylists always seem to nail it!!
For around $20 bucks a month you have a selection of items (jewelry for RocksBox & clothing &/or accessories from StitchFix) put together based on your preferences.

Either one of these subscriptions are a gift I give myself every couple of months!  I love that I can put my membership on hold at my discretion.

Have a fantastic day!! – Ashley XOXO

12ish – Days of Christmas – My FAVorite Things!!! Alexa

Alexa, What’s the weather today?

If you don’t have an Amazon Echo you don’t get it.

This is a voice controlled, cloud -based, hands free intelligent personal assistant that also is a rockin’ speaker for your music.  (You gotta have internet services to use some of her features.)

You can say things like “Alexa, play Christmas music” and she will start playing tunes from your Pandora account, Amazon Music, Spotify etc……  you can also connect to Echo with an auxiliary cable to play use as a speaker if you don’t have wi-fi.

You can ask her for the weather, today’s headlines, who won the World Series in 1987 and how many ounces are in a cup.  She will set a timer and an alarm for you.

2nd Generation Echo

Echo Dot

I think this is a great gift for anyone. The all new 2nd Generation Echo is around $80 but if you don’t want to rock the neighborhood or spend that much you can get by with the Echo Dot for $30.

Both models are on sale at this time and yes, you can have more than one. We have the larger 1st Generation Echo in our bedroom and a dot in our family room so we can connect to our outdoor speaker system.

You can do a little more research on your own to find out the vast number of things Echo is capable of. I hear of something new practically every week.

You can find an Echo at Bed Bath Beyond, Target, etc. We ordered from our Amazon Prime and got it in two days! *love our Prime Membership

Here are some of the things I ask our Echo daily:

Alexa, What time is it? What’s the weather? Tell me a joke. Set a timer for…. Set alarm for…. What day is Christmas?  How many days until spring?  Will it snow today? What are Santa’s reindeer’s names?

We really like her!

-Ashley XOXO

12ish – Days of Christmas – My FAVorite Things!!! Faux CalfHair Clutch

I’m loving the calf-hair pattern clutch trends right now. The ones I found online are gorgeous, however, I didn’t love the price.

I found the perfect solution to my likes and my issue. Yipee!!!

My personal custom -made CalfHair clutch

Check out this gorgeous clutch I ordered from GreyFoxTextiles on Etsy for under $50! AJ was so easy to work with and actually made my clutch specifically the way I wanted it , sent me pictures and then quickly shipped after my approval. I think I’ll order from her again soon!
It feels so soft and luxurious!

I receive TONS of compliments when I carry it and have shared AJ’s Etsy store every time.

Look at the gorgeous-ness 🙂

*pictures are from AJ herself, I have not been compensated in any way by GreyFoxTextiles. This post reflects my honest opinion 100%.

– Ashley XOXO

12ish – Days of Christmas – My FAVorite Things!!! Lashes


Let me start by saying I have had uncooperative lashes forEVER.

L’Oreal Lash Pradise

I have tried Latisse, I have tried extensions, I have tried falsies.  I have tried NUMEROUS types of mascara.  From the cheap, cheap to the luxury expensive (not like $100 but you get the point).  Moving right along:

L’Oreal Lash Paradise is hands down THE BEST mascara I have ever had.  I am on my 5th tube.  I think it’s the brush that makes it so fab.  It is a MUST HAVE in my book so if you haven’t tried it get to CVS or Target or where-ever and pick it up.  Seriously girl, go get it!  I find it at my local CVS and use my CVS bucks to get it for a super low price.  I think right now it is under $10!!



I used Latisse for a while until i felt like it stopped working.  It was so expensive to repurchase I said forget it and let my lashes return to their pitiful much shorter state.  I also might add my lashes are a lighter brownish color so when I don’t have mascara on people usually ask me if I’m tired or if I don’t feel good.  Don’t you just love those brutally honest comments sometimes – haha.  Especially when they come from the overly personal stranger.  *smh

Anyways, my point being I made a rule for myself:   I must not leave the house without doing something to my lashes, at the least, to not look like the living dead, right?

*Story Time* – If you don’t want to read my little story you can just scroll down to the next picture and save yourself from the dramatic details of my Lash Issues :/

I was so tired of Blah Lashes.  I wanted full lashes without the hassle!  Should be easy to find right?  Ha!   No ma’am.  Not here.  Sorry Charlie, you get pretty blue eyes but light brown, short, stumpy, non-fab lashes.  *pouty face
Fast forward a few weeks…….  I noticed my friend’s long, luscious lashes and when I asked her about them she said “oh girl they are extensions!”   I was like Holy Frijoles – lash EXTENSIONS??  Who knew!   I immediately made my appointment to get mine done.

*Details of Lash Extension Installation Process:  Picture your typical false eyelash with each individual cluster separated and some separated into a single eyelash.  Each cluster and or eyelash is glued (special eyelash gluing-glue) to your own lashes just above eyelash follicle/where it exits your eyelid, using tweezers.  I need to add that during the gluing process your bottom eyelashes have a strip of special tape over them so the glue doesn’t adhere to your bottom lid/lashes.  Yes, your eyes are closed the entirety of the appointment – or at least mine were.  My tech was a good friend and we chit chatted the whole two hours – so fun catching up with her during those visits 🙂

A few days later, after a two hour appointment and paying almost the same as I would have paid for Latisse, I gazed into the mirror at my very own dark, long, beautiful, luscious lashes!!
I left the salon noting to myself the rules of lash extensions:
1. Do NOT use normal mascara, your extensions will fall out. Buy the special mascara or a mascara that doesn’t have _____ in it. (I can’t remember what that special ingredient is or was)
2. Do NOT rub your lashes, they will fall out.
3. Do NOT use certain skincare products near your lashes, they will fall out.

Long story/semi short, after about two weeks of being very OCD about my lashes and FREAKING out everytime I saw a “dead lash” in the sink at the end of the day, I sat for my fill.  After another two weeks of Lash OCD I decided it just wasn’t for me and I let/helped them fall off.  I had this one rogue lash in the middle of my lid that held on for dear life!  I ended up trimming him down the the length of my other lashes…. what was left of them. *sigh
I made it worse when I was trying to make it better.

Basically – having lash extensions was WORK!  And I missed mascara, to be honest.  Even eyeliner was kinda a no-no because of that certain ingredient that most products had dissolved the glue that held your extensions into place.

Disclaimer TIme: Lash extensions might be the Golden Egg for some but it’s just not for me – honest opinion here.  Not knocking it – just giving my experience 🙂  My friends that have them and love them still have them and I still love the way they look!

Grande Lash MD

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO then I discovered GrandLASH MD recommended from a close friend (JFazio) who’s lashes are also ah-mAzing….
After about a month’s use, somewhat daily, my lashes are noticeable without mascara.
Did you read that???  WITHOUT mascara!!!   Using the L’Oreal Lash Paradise makes them stand out like BAM!

If any of my story relates to you at all get on your Sephora app, website, whatever and purchase!!  It’s around $65 which is far less than what I was spending on my lash issues and IT WORKS!!!

Thanks JFazio!!  You da bomB girl!!!  Check out her Instagram @jfazluvsbeauty for some of her other suggestions.

Either of these items would be a great stocking stuffer!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

-Ashley XOXO

Blogmas 2017 – Whether to Sweater Weather

I’m a tad bit obsessed with sweaters. Mainly because it’s going to get colder soon and because all the ads you see have people looking all cute and cozy in sweaters.

Sweaters found online @ Target

Love, love, love!! The jeweled neckline…. so pretty!!! Through on a pair of dressy pants and you’re ready to party at the holiday gathering!!

Target has some great choices! I found these online, most of them are in my local store.

Men’s sweaters from Target

How about one these for the man in your life?

Would your guy wear a cardigan??