Ella’s 6th Birthday/ Painting Party

When Ella told me she wanted a painting party for her 6th birthday I was so excited! Party planning and decorating are one of my favorite things to do and add in ART and oh my goodness– totally my jam. I LOVE the creativity of putting together all the colors and elements to make something magical for my kids.

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I knew I wanted my color palate to be bright and colorful and I decided that the easiest and cheapest way to bring in a huge punch of color was through balloons. Before I made my trip to Party City I had thought up my color scheme otherwise I knew I would have been totally overwhelmed with options in the store.

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When decorating with balloons remember to use a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to create interest and depth. I bought a balloon arch strip that that made creating my overall form really easy. To keep the cost down on my massive balloon arrangement I picked out one main Unicorn Balloon, two stars and two hearts from party city and the rest were just generic balloons I blew up myself. A week later this arch is still up and we are still feeling pretty magical and happy. Water Color Balloons. 

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In the art room I made a little space for Ella to open her presents. There was too much paint and cupcake-ness going on in the living room and I didn’t want to add to the chaos. I didn’t do much decorating to that room, I just found a happy birthday set on Amazon that filled the back wall perfectly for photo opportunities.

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“Happy Birthday”Balloons from Amazon 

Cactus Wall Stickers 

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I invested in a set of cute cups that I could reuse for parties in the future. I loved that the Milk Bottle Set came with reusable straws and lids.

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Paint Palate Cupcakes were a hit and I let Ella pick out her favorite candies to fill the tray for decorating.

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I was sure to stock up on our favorite paint colors at Hobby Lobby!

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Each child had their own apron and canvas to take home! I let the kids paint whatever they wanted but I am sure you could find an easy kids painting tutorial on Youtube or Pinterest. Hopefully they have their little masterpieces hanging up at home!

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It was a fun day I will never forget! Art is something we love in our household and it was fun to share that experience with Ella’s friends.

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Watch the Birthday Video!

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concrete floor diy

When I get an idea in my head there is no messing around, I just go for it. Sometimes that works in my favor and sometimes I create little disasters. About a month ago I was searching on Pinterest for some flooring ideas. I kept seeing these beautiful marble like floors, and it turns out they were concrete. The carpet that I had in my house was almost 20 years old so I am sure you can imagine the dusty grimy condition it was in. White carpet with kids and a dog hmmm… Another HUGE issue that pushed me towards concrete flooring was my struggle with Asthma. I was having increasingly more trouble breathing in my house so I knew something had to be done. The final push towards concrete floors was the cost… um hello… none. I researched staining my floor once it was finished but once I uncovered mine I fell in love with the way they naturally looked.

I used three tools to pull up my carpet, a razor blade, crow bar, and a hammer. There are three simple (but labor intensive) phases to the process. The first one is cutting up the carpet in sizes that are easy to roll up and carry (razor blade). The second is pulling up the tack strips along the edges of the room (crow bar and hammer). And third is disposing of the carpet, padding and tack strips.

Taking up carpet was hard work but the end result was so satisfying that the process seemed to go quickly. I was unable to walk without pain for a few days after though haha! I used some muscles I had not even thought of in years let alone used. If you can recruit some helpers the process will be way better!

A lot of people have asked me if the floors are cold. I haven’t noticed them being any different than a tile or wood floor. So that doesn’t really bother me at all. Plus sweeping is so easy now, and if I miss a few days of cleaning the camouflage factor is on point!

If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them in the comments!

xo,

color me ashley

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iPhone workshop at the Cottage on Second

Last weekend was my first iPhone Boot-camp! The class took place at The Cottage on Second airbnb. What a beautiful location to feel inspired and creative in. My friend Jenni P was a wonderful hostess, she made cinnamon rolls + coffee galore and made sure everyone felt welcomed. She is such a gem! I prayed for the longest time that I would find a BFF here in Upland that I could be creative with. PTL!

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My friend Allie came all the way from Michigan to take the class, (and maybe to eat some Ivanhoes) ha! It was wonderful seeing her and spending some one on one time together. Now that we both have children and live in different states quality time is a rare treasure!

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I wish I would have taken a picture of the entire group of attendees, I am glad I managed to get a few pictures! You can check those out below.

All in all it was a great morning and I would love to have another class. It is fun to help people discover their creativity and maybe uncover some hidden talent. Since boot-camp I have watched the attendees Instagram feeds improve aesthetically and that makes me happy! Jenni and I are planning a series of creative workshops that you will not want to miss out on!

xo,

color me ashley

 

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iPhone Boot Camp

It’s time… iPhone Boot Camp has arrived. No more blurry photo’s, no more Amaro, and no more boring-ness. I need my friends to get it together and step up their iPhoneography game. (I mean that in the most loving way possible).

I love using my camera but it’s not always handy to carry around. It’s much easier to whip out my phone, do a quick edit and post my pictures online or quick send to a printer. The pictures below were all taken and edited on my iPhone!

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What will the class cover?

  • iPhone camera basics- how to operate your camera phone.
  • Composition- the placement of your subjects and objects in your frame.
  • Lighting- how to recognize and use the perfect lighting.
  • Editing, what apps to use and how to use them.
  • Printing from iPhone and different ways to display your photos.

How much does the class cost? $20.00

Time: Saturday March 4, 2017 @ 10:00

Place: The Cottage on 2nd  Upland In 46989

Sign up here

Be Devoted in Love

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“There are other parents dealing with the same things I am, I’m sure of it. Help me look beyond myself and find them. Give me others to care for and love on. I’m not very far down this path, but I’m willing to walk it with others who are hurting. Show me how I can find others who feel the same way I do. Open my eyes to see them when they pass through my daily comings and goings. Don’t let me become so self absorbed that I miss the opportunity to share Your love with those I encounter. Use this situation to stretch me and teach me more about You. Show me how I can love those who are also hurting.”

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

I have been reading a beautiful book called While My Child is Away. It is a book of prayers wrote for mothers and fathers who have to be without their children for a multitude of reasons, not just divorce. I find myself reading these prayers late at night when I can feel the sadness and loneliness start to creep in. I would definitely recommend snatching that one up on Amazon.

One of the best ways I have learned to deal with grief and loneliness is to start investing in and loving on others. For too long my focus was on my own problems and I couldn’t see that others around me were also hurting and this realization was life changing. Sometimes we try and fill a void with temporary things of this world, and that is a recipe for a very unsatisfying and lonely life trust me.

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I am thankful for God constantly tugging at my heart reminding me that His plan is better than my own. Stepping out in faith I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had this past year. We are all in the river together, spreading the love of Jesus in our own unique ways, laughing until it hurts, crying, crafting like crazy women, and raising our families together. After church today we all went out for lunch and I couldn’t help but look around the table with Thanksgiving for this life I am now living, I wish I would have listened to Him sooner! Ha!

Maybe you are in the same boat I was in a few years ago… lost and searching. Maybe there are some people you need to cut out of your life or maybe you are doing things you aren’t very proud of. No matter where you are right now God is calling you to a better life. He loves you and wants only the BEST for you. Surrender to Him and give yourself the freedom to start swimming and splashing in the river with those who will be devoted to you in His love.

xo,

color me ashley

Treat Yo Self Girl!

This morning I woke up to my alarm, this is a new concept for me on Saturdays. I have never ever been a morning person… but I am learning. Teaching this year has put me on a schedule and I actually like and enjoy it. Who would have thought!?

SIDE NOTE: You will often hear me talk about my Jenni’s (Jenni P + Jenni W), they are two of my dearest friends. They bring so much joy to my life and I know they love me and want the best for me. Everyone needs a Jenni or two 🙂

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Anyways, this morning Jenni P and I were going to go to a fitness class…. we had the best intentions of going I promise. But something happened on our way to class. We drove right on by the building and decided that today it would be more beneficial to enjoy being together and go to TJ Maxx instead. It was like we were two kids who were skipping school for the first time and we were so pleased with ourselves. We went up and down every isle squealing with excitement “Look at this, only $10.00” or “YOU NEED THIS” and “Oh my gosh, that is so cute.” We left the store with some great treasure’s and on the way home we stopped at a few flee markets. Girl time. Always good for the soul. When in doubt ALWAYS chose girl time.

A month ago I suddenly felt like it was time to start taking better care of myself. Ava and Ella always tell me “mommy you need to be nicer to yourself.” In my heart I have always known that but I was still in this weird post divorce funk. Maybe some people bounce back quicker than others but here I am YEARS later ready to start treating myself better. I deserve to be happy and healthy.

In the past my weight has been up and down and I have tried every diet program under the sun. I am tired of putting so much pressure on myself. I will no longer think negatively about my body, and I will no longer torture myself with diet and exercise. There are a few things I have started doing. I am eating better, and having fun cooking. But if there is something I really want to eat you better believe I am going to eat it and enjoy it to the fullest. I have set a calorie goal for myself every day and I record what I eat into the app MyFitnessPal this is helping me become more mindful of what I am putting in my body. Another thing I am doing is exercising but in a fun way, remember the NO TORTURE rule. I joined a volleyball team with some ladies from church. We have a blast and also get some major exercise. I love walking and listening to music or praying. But my favorite way to get moving is doing dance fitness youtube videos with Ava and Ella (check out The Fitness Marshall and Dance Fitness with Jessica. I have started wearing my fitbit regularly and now I am one of those people always trying to “get my steps in.” ha! After doing all of this for about a month I was happily surprised to find out I lost a good chunk of weight, I am not going to tell you a number because I don’t think that matters. What matters is I am feeling better, getting healthy and enjoying life.

 

‘Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right in this minute. As is.” Brene Brown

xo,

Color Me Ashley

Make All the Things

I have never been a great blogger, even when I was doing photography. I mostly posted beautiful pictures of wonderful people. As life goes on I feel like I have a story to tell and I need a platform to share with others who might be going through similar things. In the past few years I have experienced indescribable joy and equally as much heartache. Hopefully by sharing my story I can help and encourage others! I also want to write about my love for Jesus, life as a single mom, crafts, house decor, weight loss (the non crazy way this time), makeup, and whatever else is going on in my colorful life.