Friday Favorites–March 17th, 2017

\sandia mountains

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all have had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend. I know my hometown friends in Savannah, Georgia are enjoying a holiday today to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Did you know that Savannah hosts the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the US and the third largest in the world? As I mentioned, I’m off to Albuquerque, New Mexico this weekend for fun in the sun with Brooks. As part of my ambassadorship, they annually host us for a running-focused weekend with their Beast training team. We have a track workout, trail run and nutrition session on the agenda in addition to getting a sneak peak at the newest Brooks products!

Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • I’ve been digging bright nail polishes thes past few weeks and am especially in love with the color I chose for yesterday’s manicure. OPI’s Flashbulb Fuschia  is a fun magenta, pink color combination that is perfect for Spring!
  • Maybe I’m behind the times but has anyone else seen the Boxed Water before? I discovered it this morning at the airport and loved that it was cheaper than the other options while also being Earth friendly!
  • I follow a few fashion bloggers on Instagram and Bloglovin’ as I love to gain inspiration from their gorgeous, styled looks. Sometimes one or two items resonate with me but I loved EVERY ITEM in Lindsey’s Spring Workwear Fashion post yesterday! Fun fact – Lindsey was one of my good girlfriends back when I lived in Philadelphia! 
  • I realized that while I’ve shared bits and pieces of my maternity wardrobe with you all, I haven’t shared one of my basics – this flattering, maternity v-neck tshirt. Available in a number of colors, this was the first maternity item I bought back in December. I now own the shirt in black, white and aqua and love that it’s less than $20, the long length will grow with my belly and the ruching adds a flattering touch.


courtesy of Eat Live Run

  • How delicious does this loaf look?! When Jenna shared this image on Instagram yesterday I knew that I had to bake her lemon blueberry bread immediately upon returning from New Mexico! A slice would make a perfect afternoon treat next week when paired with a warm cup of tea! 
  • While we’re on the topic of baking, while I have no interest in Peeps or Cadbury Eggs come Easter season, I always enjoy at least a few Reese’s Eggs. These homemade Reese’s Eggs look delicious and may just have to be a fun Spring project!
  • Again this season, these are my favorite go-to casual shoes and I love that they can pair with everything from a t-shirt dress to jeans. I wore them non-stop while we were in San Francisco and I am sporting them today as well.
  • Bo and I are in love with mango these days, especially the fresh-cut juicy mango I found at Whole Foods earlier this week. I spent some time on Pinterest looking for mango recipes and pinned this Quinoa Mango Black Bean Salad for next week’s dinner menu. 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!


Preparation for Parenthood

Image result for daylight savings

Wow guys. It has been a week. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been one of those amazing weeks. Intsead, it’s been a week that has made me wish I could just get a “do-over” or just put it to bed.  Since we landed on Monday at 7 AM, I’ve been in quite the funk.  Yesterday, when I woke up, I was growing especially frustrated with the bad mood. I actually felt as if I was in one of those cartoons with the storm cloud, or maybe snow cloud, hanging over my head.  Luckily, while I couldn’t necessarily put my finger on what was causing this feeling, fortunately, both Bo and my mom were quickly able to pinpoint a few reasons why I’m feeling especially stressed, grumpy and overall moody.

  • Day light savings
  • Jet lag
  • Post-vacation blues
  • Going from sunshine and 75 degrees to overcast and 20 degrees
  • Snow and ice that kept me inside for 36 hours
  • Losing power in our house yesterday at 10 AM

Even though I’d tried a few different tactics to improve my mood, early this morning I reached a breaking point.  Our power was STILL not on when we came home at 8pm so instead of cooking a delicious, healthy dinner we walked down the block and enjoyed a random Wednesday date night versus sitting at home in the dark.  Then, we had great preparation for life with a newborn as we were both up during the night working with the power company as they needed access to our basement. This morning when we both woke up, feeling like zombies, we laughed and said that waking up at 11:30, 1:30 and 4:30 basically replicated life with a newborn. Image result for new mom feels like zombie


I decided that three days of funk was enough and it was time to kick it to the curve. In typical Ashley fashion, I did some research, brainstormed and then put together an action plan to help turn things around today.

Started the morning with warm lemon water

  • Ate a healthy, protein and carb balanced breakfast
  • Took a 30-minute break to run errands which involved a sunshine-filled walk outside
  • Ate a healthy lunch that included a few of the items from this list of 11 foods to eat if you’re tired
  • Opened the shades at my desk to let in natural light
  • Scheduled an evening workout class
  • Prepared the ingredients for a healthy, dinner so we would have no excuses this evening

I’m not sure whether it’s a combination of all of the above, sharing my thoughts or the bright sun shining through my windows but I feel 100 times better right now than I did at 7:30 this morning.

I contemplated not sharing this with you guys because overall, it feels like I’m venting. But, I believe that it’s important to keep things real with you all across all my social platforms. Sunny, pretty pictures are nice but I don’t live a filtered life and never want to lead anyone to believe that everything is always sunshine and travel.

I have a lot to get done today as tomorrow I head to New Mexico for the annual Brooks Blogger Ambassador trip. I wasn’t able to make last Summer’s trip so am especially excited to meet some of the ambassadors for the first time, catch up with old friends and get inspired by the Brooks Beasts running team. We are spending Friday and Saturday in Albequerque at the Brooks Altitude Training Camp. While I don’t feel like quite the runner these days, thanks to my growing baby bump, I’m excited to enjoy warm weather and sunshine with the group as well as learn some things from the elites and their trainers.

I hope you guys are having a great Thursday! I’ll check in tomorrow from the plane to share this week’s Friday Favorites!


A Warm Zika-Free Vacation Destination

Growing up, my mother always told the story of she and my father’s trip to Bermuda. It was my brother’s first trip as he was safe and sound in her womb while they enjoyed sunshine, gorgeous beaches and relaxation before growing from a couple to a family of three.  Due to stories like this one, Bo and I always dreamed of enjoying a relaxing, beach vacation together during pregnancy. We used to brainstorm where we’d go, dreaming of a return Anguilla, where went on honeymoon, or exploring one of the other islands. Unfortunately, the Zika virus derailed those plans and forced us to think differently about our babymoon, or vacation together before we become a family of three.

Zika Free Vacation Destination Muir Beach

Breathtaking views at Muir Beach

Since I am due in mid-June and my doctor preferred that I not travel after 30-weeks, our options were constrained due to the months of February and March, when much of the United States is experiencing cold, frigid winter weather.  We spent some time researching options, ensuring that our location would meet the following criteria:

  • Warmer than New York City
  • Provide options for both relaxing and active adventures
  • Zika free
  • Direct flights, if possible
  • Sunshine

After much research, we decided to plan a four night, five-day visit to the San Francisco bay area.  While I have visited San Francisco multiple times for both work and pleasure, I haven’t had the opportunity to explore the region and Bo had only visited San Francisco for a brief, 24-hour business trip.  Over the past month, we started to question our decision. Daily Facebook updates from friends showed cold, wet weather battering the area. Then, just a week before our departure, we had to scramble to change our plans due to the due to the collapse of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and Big Sur closures.  When we arrived at the San Francisco airport last night, ready to board our red-eye flight back to New York City, we both said that this was one of the most wonderful vacations we’ve ever taken due in part to the agility we each had in the process and the faith that things would work out.

Zika Free Vacation Destination Cavallo Lodge

Morning views from Cavallo Point Lodge

While I am going to share in depth posts on each area, I wanted to share a brief itinerary for anyone who is trying to plan a Zika free babymoon or vacation.  Below you can find a glimpse of where we stayed and ate at in each location. The detailed posts coming this week will include more details such as the scenic drives, hikes, and reviews of the restaurants and lodging.

Zika Free Vacation Destination  Bernardus Spa

The spa pool at Bernardus Lodge

Zika Free Vacation Destination Carmel Valley

Wearing AG Maternity jeansLilly Pulitzer Elsa Silk BlouseJCrew Espadrille Wedges

San Francisco Bay Area (2 nights)

Carmel (1 night)

Carmel Valley (1 night)