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The Busy Mom’s Self-Care Guide

Practice self-care to help your body and mind relax and renew.

It’s no secret, I’m all about a healthy amount of self-care! It’s how I stay sane as a mom—and human being—and I believe it’s needed for EVERYONE! And I can’t think of a better time for a little self-care than right now with everything going on everyone being stuck inside.

I find that when I look and feel good by doing things that are great for me, I’m a much happier, energetic, and fun mom for my babies.

These are some of the ways I love to practice self-care (some daily and some weekly).

Enjoy a Cup of Coffee In the Morning (While It’s Still Hot!)

The quiet alone time in the morning before everyone else wakes up really helps me start my day off right. I’m able to clear my mind and get a happy headstart to the day!

My Coffee Maker

My Favorite Necklace

The Coziest Robe EVER!


Reading + Journaling

Another one of my favorite things about the morning time is just getting a positive word in to start my day. Putting pen to paper to get all my thoughts, prayers and to-do lists for the day out of my head is one of my favorite things! And I find that writing it down (and then crossing it off) helps to get more done and feel accomplished.


Take a Hot Bath

Light a candle, put on some music and sit back—this is such a great way to relax after a long day.


Enjoy a Pamper Session

Let’s be honest, when you look good, you feel good! That’s why I always remember to take the time to go get my nails done, do my at-home laser hair removal, groom the brows, do an extra face mask, whiten my teeth or derma plane! All of these things I love doing to help me feel my best.

IPL Treatment

Face Mask 

Tinkle Razors 

Facial Steamer 

Teeth Whitening Strips 


Get In a Workout

No matter what I make sure to get my weekly workouts in—and no matter what we have going on that week or even if I have to do them with my babies right by my side—I honestly never regret it. Working out makes me feel so much better, physically and mentally. And especially when I’m working towards a goal, you can bet I make sure to get it in!

2-5 Pound Hand Weights

Resistance Bands 

Yoga Mat 

Ankle Weights

Water Bottle 


Listen to a Podcast

I love listening to super positive, motivational or informative podcasts to get the day started or while driving, cleaning, or on the treadmill. A few of my favorites are The Skinny Confidential Him & Her, The Tony Robbins Podcast, Dr. Josh Axe Show, & The Rise Together Podcast. I think it’s a great way to practice self-care for the mind. There are so many more, so you can find one that fits your interests or goals but here are a few links to start…

Tony Robbins’ Podcast 

Skinny Confidential Podcast

Rise Together Podcast


Organize Your Space

Finally, I love to tackle organizational projects. With all the extra time on our hands… spring cleaning to be done… now is the perfect time. Not only do I think the process itself is therapeutic but a cleaner space just helps you to feel so much better once it’s done, too! I prefer to take everything out, get rid of what I don’t need, and then organize what’s left into containers or display accordingly.

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Amari’s Birth Story

Where do I even begin?!

First off, I hope everyone is enjoying 2020 so far! We are definitely loving it now that baby boy is here to share in everything! We couldn’t be happier to have welcomed our son Amari Thomas Evans on 12/28/19… just in time to ring in the New Year!

Officially born December 28th, 2019 at 4:58 AM at 7lbs 14oz and 19in long.

My Labor Experience…

My due date was actually 1/1/2020 so we had been anticipating his arrival for weeks and all throughout the holidays! At 38 weeks I was really starting to feel like any day was the day!

I was slowing down a lot and it was getting harder to stand up for long periods of time. I began getting cramps and could tell he was definitely getting lower. At that week’s appointment I was between 3-4cm dilated!!

When I went back a week later after Christmas I was still 4cm a long so they decided to strip my membrane. After that I was having consistent contractions that evening for about three hours. They were between 4-5 minutes apart and occasionally between 2-3 minutes apart, so I knew we were getting close! I kept counting and timing my contractions and even though they weren’t painful, they were consistent, so I decided it was time to go to the hospital.

After monitoring me—and making me walk the halls for almost two hours—I was 6cm and it was time for me to be checked into labor and delivery!! At this point I was pretty calm for a couple of hours and then all of a sudden the contractions just starting hitting me like crazy!!

I didn’t even want them to check to see how far along I was, I just knew I was ready for the epidural—no if’s, and’s or but’s about it!!!

I was in so much pain—way worse than what I remember with Ariah.

After the epidural, I was already at 9-10cm but my water hadn’t broken yet so I was laying on each side for a little while at a time and then my water finally broke.

It was time to have a baby!!

The doctor arrived and it was time to start pushing. This part is when it gets kind of blurry and you’re just ready for everything to be over!! I don’t remember exactly how long I pushed but it wasn’t that long. It got scary though because his vitals were getting really low. It turns out the cord was wrapped around his neck so they had to take extra precautions.

As a mother, all you want is to have a safe delivery for your baby, so this was really upsetting! Finally he was out but his face was completely blue from the cord and everything he had just been through.

And then I heard it… his first cry. As soon as I heard him cry I started bawling. He was completely fine and it was such a relief to have it all over with and to finally bring him into the world!!!

It’s literally the craziest thing ever in life but once your baby is born, it’s so worth everything you’ve been through and nothing else in the world matters! It’s truly a beautiful thing.

Out of the Hospital…

It was the sweetest thing ever when each of the girls got to meet their baby brother for the first time. They couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear—and I think Ariah was genuinely shocked to see him actually here and not in my belly anymore!! HA!

I am currently breastfeeding and it is going great so far!! He eats basically every hour at the moment unless he’s sleeping. If he’s sound asleep, he can go about 2-3 hours max between feedings. I was not this lucky with Ariah since she had such a hard time latching. But not this little guy. He latched right away in the hospital and we haven’t had any issues since so it’s going well so far! 

Sleeping isn’t so bad right now, either. I’ll admit, sometimes he’s spoiled and just wants to be held… but I don’t mind. He also loves to sleep in his DockATot since it’s so comfortable.

I am so grateful to have the help of our family all around us. It has been a great couple of weeks at home relaxing with loved ones and spending quality time together, soaking up all the new moments as they come! Now we are looking forward to packing up and heading to Texas for the off-season—and I can’t wait for the rest of our friends and family to meet our little guy!!! 

As for what we’re using these days, I did a post a while back on my newborn essentials with Ariah, and truthfully, not much has changed. 

These are some of my go-to’s for life with a newborn… or if you’re looking for a gift to give a new mom. I highly suggest any of these!

NEWBORN ESSENTIALS

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Countdown to Baby: Q + A, Tips For Getting Ready and Pregnancy Must-Have’s

A gorgeous black and white maternity photoshoot.

Today I am 36 weeks pregnant which means I’m finally in the home stretch of this pregnancy! I’m so ready at this point for him to be here that I’m not even that nervous like I remember being with Ariah. We’re just excited to meet him and bring him home to our family!

I asked everyone that follows me on Instagram to send me all their pregnancy and parenting questions, so today’s posts will focus on some of those! Thanks so much to everyone that reached out!

Pregnancy Q+A

Q: Did You—And Will You—Get an Epidural?
I did with Ariah when I was about 6cm because that’s when the pain was starting to become unbearable for me. I’ve never been against it and definitely plan on getting one this time around, too.

Major props to all the badass moms out there that go natural—my mom included, both times!! You are the strongest women but for me, I’m all for it… anything to ease the pain!

Q: What Is Your Favorite Christmas Tradition As a Kid That You’ll Continue With Your Kids?

My favorite tradition as a kid was my brother and I waking up super early in the morning to go see the living room completely transformed. It would go from a couple of gifts under the tree the night before to ALL the gifts that Santa brought while we were sleeping!

Seeing his cookies eaten on the table and the red water from Rudolph dipping his nose in it overnight. I know it sounds so cheesy but I want my kids to believe in Santa for as long as possible. I think it’s so cute and really makes Christmas that much more fun when you have kids!

Q: How Many Kids Do You Want?

I’ve always said I want two kids, a boy and a girl just like my mom. Lucky me, I have a bonus daughter, so I think our family will feel complete when baby boy arrives! If it happens later on and we decide for another we will… but for now, we are done and totally happy with it!

Q: What Helps You When You’re Tired But Still Have So Much to Get Done?

This has been a big struggle lately because I feel like I’m barely hanging on by a thread by 3-4 PM—and could honestly go to bed for the whole night! But, of course, I know I still have to get up and get through the evening.

I find that exercising… or should I say walking in the mornings… has really helped me stay energized and productive throughout the day. I also think that sitting down when I need to, eating the right foods, and drinking tons of water are really the only things getting me through. It truly is a struggle but some things just have to be done, right?

Q: How Did You Adjust to Being a Stepmom? Was It Hard?

Becoming a stepmom just became a natural part of my life. I knew Mike had a daughter before we ever started dating so I knew what I was getting myself into from the beginning. That said, I didn’t know the first thing about having a child, that’s for sure. I feel like it came naturally and I’ve been a part of her life since she was one-year-old so she’s pretty much grown up knowing me her whole life… and I love it!

Q: Could You Tell the Gender of the Baby Based On What Your Body Was Telling You?

They say you’re soooo sick with girls… which I was sick with Ariah… but omg, this time around with a boy I was even sicker!! It was awful. I couldn’t even go out to eat anywhere because I couldn’t stand the smell of food or see other people eating. It was crazy! So I just came to the conclusion that my body, no matter if it’s a boy or a girl, is going to be sick and nauseous.

I also feel like I’m carrying baby boy the same way as I did with Ariah. So if you ask me, it’s not about the gender of the baby that decides if you’ll be sick or not… just the woman’s body.

Q: How Are You Feeling? Any Different From Your First Pregnancy?

I’m actually feeling great right now! Now that I’m over the nausea I feel like my pregnancies are very similar: major heartburn, at the point of getting uncomfortable and I’ve gained about the same amount of weight. Well, maybe a little more this time around so we will see how they compare in size when he’s born.

Q: Do You Have Stretch Marks?

I do not have any stretch marks… YET, at least. As of right now with about four weeks left I don’t have any. I try to stay moisturized at all times and really think this helps. Some women don’t get them until like the last week—or even during labor—so who knows.

Hopefully I don’t get any but if I do I’ll be ok with that as long as my baby is happy and healthy.

Tips For Getting Ready For Baby!

Whether you’re getting ready for a new baby like me… or just getting ready to welcome a new year (Hello, 2020!)… here are some helpful tips to consider:

  1. Get all the random tasks accomplished that have been bothering you or you’ve been putting off—especially if it involves leaving the house!
  2. Get your sleep now!
  3. Get carpets and sofas cleaned.
  4. Declutter your space (especially before all the new baby gifts arrive!)
  5. Take some time for yourself.
  6. Spend as much time with your other kids as possible.
  7. Get your baby sleeping area/ room set up.
  8. Arrange for any help you’re going to need (and you will!)
  9. Wash newborn clothes/swaddles/blankets.
  10. Install car seat.
  11. And don’t forget to pack your hospital bag.

Pregnancy Must-Haves!

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Ariah Turns 3: A Gift Guide For Young Kids

gift-guide-for-little-girls

I can’t believe that in a few days from now (Nov 30) my sweet baby girl will turn 3 years old!!! I feel like time is flying by and she’s just growing up sooooo fast!!

Probably even more so to this emotional mama since I’m pregnant—and there’s about to be a lot of change coming her way as she welcomes her baby brother!! I’m so excited but also a little sad because it’s not going to be just her and I anymore… and that means she’s going to have to adjust to being a big sister, too!

I already know that as soon as baby boy is here it’s going to feel like she grew up overnight!! That’s exactly how it felt with Mackenzie when Ariah was born!

But where do I even begin with this girl?! She’s so smart and sassy and super outgoing. She’s like my best friend, my right hand, my little shadow. That’s really the best part about having a girl… she’s a mini-me—and I love every moment of it.

It’s so cute… until she starts getting in her little moods and her attitude starts to come out. Hmmm, I wonder where she gets that from?! Yes, also me. Haha!

She loves watching all of her Disney princess movies and insists on being a different one 10 times a day (because she loves not one but ALL of them!) It’s impossible to keep an actual outfit on her right now because she’s always dressing up as one of the princesses.

One minute she’s Ariel and the next she’s begging to be Elsa. You never know who you’re going to get. She actually made Halloween pretty easy because I knew we could just pick down the line of different princesses. (It also made Christmas shopping a breeze since she’ll love anything Disney princess!!)

If you’ve read my update blogs on her before, then you might not be surprised to learn she’s still a very picky eater. Typically she sticks to what she knows but thankfully lately she has been venturing out to trying a couple of new snacks. Some of her favorite things are still Mac and Cheese and Rice and Beans.

As a lot of you may already know, Ariah travels a lot for a 3-year-old. She’s been flying since she was about 3 months (WOW!) but this was a big travel year for her as she got her first passport and got to travel on her first-ever overseas trip, which was amazing.

I was so happy that we got to take her to Paris and London (which you can read all about here, and get tips on flying with a toddler here) and she still tells people to this day all about the Eiffel Tower and how big it is.

I’m trying to prepare her more to do the things I know she can do by herself—such as putting things away, going to the potty by herself, etc.—because even though I’m happy to be there to help, I want to teach her she can do it. Especially for when the baby comes, she’ll know how to do things and can be Mommy’s helper a little bit!!

I have actually recently taken her out of “school” as well because there were just too many sicknesses going around—which I knew was a risk putting her in there in the first place. Still, I didn’t expect it THIS MUCH. I swear our family has never been so sick, catching different bugs going around since August, which rarely happens for us. It was frustrating and hard to watch your baby being sick all the time… on top of the fact that I’m pregnant so it was awful when I would get sick. Even Mike got sick in the beginning of the season which I had never seen before.

I’m glad I gave “school” a try because she loved it, so I know that when she goes back, she will have a great time again. When that is, I don’t know but I do know it will be when the time is right for us as a family. Since she’s only just now turning three, we can make this decision since it’s not mandatory for her to be there. Plus, I don’t want her bringing home those nasty germs until the baby gets a little older.

Right now I’m just soaking in every moment with her before baby brother comes.

I could go on and on about this little girl. She makes me the happiest mama in the world and I feel so blessed to have her as mine. I cant wait to see what’s in store for her this next year and I can’t believe how fast time flies, so I really am trying to take in every moment now. You better believe I’ll be here soaking in all my hugs and kisses and snuggles while I can!!

Her Schedule:

8:30-9 AM WAKE UP

10 AM BREAKFAST

10:30-1 GET DRESSED/ PLAY/ OR RUN ERRANDS WITH MAMA

1 PM LUNCH

1:30-3 PLAY/LEARN/ACTIVITIES

3 PM NAP

5 PM WAKE UP/ PLAY/ DINNER

6:30 PM BATH TIME

8-9 PM PRAYERS/BEDTIME

To celebrate, I put together a gift guide for all our littles. I think these gifts would be great for any kiddos 2-5 years old. Check them out below!

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Fly Like a Pro While Pregnant + Airport Tips For Flying With Kids

Happy Wednesday once again everyone!

As you all know, we recently flew to London for a game. Flying these days—pregnant and with a toddler—is all about being practical. But of course it doesn’t hurt to throw in a little style + comfort.

Today I’m sharing my go-to look for traveling on long flights (or any flight to be honest!) The goal is simple: be as comfortable as possible when flying, especially while pregnant and traveling with a little one!

I’ve rounded up my favorite picks for loungewear and ALSO my go-to flying tips so your next trip to the airport can be comfortable, effortless, and maybe even a little fun—especially with kids!

The set I love the most is a maternity set from ASOS. It’s perfect for travel, to wear around the house or during school drop off—and I’m thinking it would be perfect for my postpartum time, as well!

Plus it’s all black… and that’s my go-to always because you can never go wrong in black! I also have this in mauve, which I actually wore flying back from London.

You can check out the maternity OR the regular set here:

Regular or Maternity

Shop More of This Style Here:

And now my tips for flying pregnant and/ or with kids…

Tips For Flying While Pregnant

  1. ALWAYS Consult With Your Doctor First (And Bring All Medical Forms Necessary)
    I believe you’re supposed to stop flying around 34-36 weeks pregnant, so this will basically be one of my last trips before having baby #2. To make sure I was doing everything the safest way possible, I got the green light to fly before leaving but since it was such a long flight—and I was going out of the country—they did recommend bringing a doctor’s note and all medical forms in my carry on bag to have handy just in case.
  2. Pack Compression Socks
    My doctor also recommended I wear compression socks the whole duration of the flight and take baby aspirin for precautionary reasons. Are they the hottest trend right now? NOPE. But they can absolutely help to keep circulation flowing and reduce blood clots, so I’ll take that over looking cute any day. For the baby aspirin, talk with your doctor for optimal dosages for your situation.
  3. Pack Lots of Snacks and Water
    Of course being pregnant you need to stay hydrated at all times but I always find that on airplanes you need to even more so! Keeps plenty of water handy or bring a water bottle to fill up after security. Don’t forget to have lots of snacks in case you get hungry on your flights or begin to feel nauseous. I keep little snacks to nibble on in my bag at all times. And hey, you may not always like what they have on flight, so why chance it?
  4. Bring Any Necessary Medication
    Like I said, my doctor recommended baby aspirin but I also made sure to bring my heartburn and nausea meds, as well. If you’re on prescription medicines, DO NOT FORGET THESE! They will be a lot harder to get at your destination than Tylenol or generic over-the-counter meds.
  5. Aim For an Aisle Seat and Don’t Be Embarrassed to Get Up to Walk
    HELLO! I know I’m not the only pregnant woman that has to pee all.the.time—and I have no plans on getting stuck by the window when I have to get up every two seconds (especially with the baby bump!)

    If you feel like you need to move around a bit, there’s nothing wrong with getting up to walk around. In fact, my doctor recommended I try to walk the aisle every hour if possible.

    (BONUS TIP: If you sit in the aisle, you can get to know the flight attendants better in case you need them at any point!)
  6. Learn More About TSA Scanners
    Do your research, talk to your doctor (are you seeing a pattern here?) and ask questions at TSA. From everything I’ve been told, it’s safe to go through all TSA scanners and metal detectors but obviously always ask when concerned.
  7. Listen to Your Body!
    At the end of the day, it always comes down to listening to your intuition. I always listen to my body and if I feel like something is a bad idea or I shouldn’t be doing it, I simply just won’t. First baby… or fifth… you’ll always have that “mother’s intuition” deep inside. Need to get up to use the bathroom? Go! Feel something’s wrong? Call your doctor. Need to take a rest? DO IT!

Tips For Flying With Children

  1. Always Get There With Enough Time to Not Rush
    I really don’t like rushing around with the stroller, through security and gate to gate. I’m a big believer that if we feel stress, then OUR KIDS feel stress and that’s no way to start a flight. So get there ahead of time so it’s smooth sailing from start to finish.
  2. Get Your Kids Excited
    Especially for younger kids, it helps to get them pumped up for your adventures by letting them know what you’re about to do together—and what you have planned for them during the flight or after.

    I love to talk Ariah up about how we’re getting on the airplane, where we’re going and who we’re going to see. We also talk about how she can be a good girl for mommy and on the plane and this usually gets her pretty ready for the plane ride.
  3. Check As Many Bags As Possible
    Trust me, you’ll want to be hands-free as much as possible when chasing kids around the airport!

    I usually only need one backpack or big tote with me after checking my bags and that helps when I’m already pushing the stroller around.
  4. Always Do a Pre-Flight Bathroom Stop
    Make time to hit the restroom so your child can go and/ or has a clean pull up/diaper before boarding the flight. Hopefully this can prevent having to take them on a sometimes nasty airplane bathroom.
  5. Don’t Try to Bring Drinks Through Security
    You already know this. You can’t take liquids through security BUT you can bring an empty water bottle with you to fill once you’re through. I usually just recommend buying drinks after going through security and always having that water bottle (or a spill-proof cup) on hand to fill.
  6. Again—Stock Up On Snacks!
    Ariah eats snacks throughout almost the entire flight until she (sometimes) falls asleep, so I bring lots from home to have on hand and buy more if needed.
  7. Bring Entertainment
    This one is major! It’s hard enough for me to sit still on the plane, so I can’t imagine how hard it is for a toddler. I always have the iPad fully charged with movies already downloaded and ready to go… but dont forget their headphones (especially because the plane ones typically don’t fit their little ears!!) I also bring a little coloring book or a small grab and go activity for her to do if it’s a long flight. Bottom line: Just be prepared to entertain them!
  8. Have a Change of Clothes
    From bathroom accidents to spills, you never know when you’ll need clothes when traveling. So while you pack everything else in your checked bags, keep one full outfit, a clean pair of underwear and extra diapers/ pull-ups in your carry-on bag.
  9. Check Your Stroller at the Gate
    It’s so much easier to push them through the airport than trying to chase them or force them to stay with you on the way to your gate. Plus you get to store your bags in or on the stroller when necessary. Every airline will let you check it right there at the gate and then you can pick it up there when you deplane. SUCH a lifesaver!
  10. Pack Strategically
    Like I said before, being super prepared is the key to success. Have everything you’ll need handy and accessible such as your phone, ID, passports, snacks, wallet, etc. Try not to be the crazy person scrambling through their bags in a pinch.
  11. Stay Calm, Breathe, and Give Yourself Some Credit
    I used to get very nervous and stressed out when flying with Ariah but what I’ve learned is that it’s best to just stay calm and go with the flow. By planning ahead and giving yourself time without rushing around, you’ll feel so much better before your next flight.

    I alway empathize with anyone flying with kids but guess what?! It will probably go A LOT smoother than you expect. You’ve got this!

Want even more traveling tips?

Don’t miss this past post!

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Welcome Back to All About Ashli

WOW—it’s been so long since I’ve had a blog post for you all but I’m back and, honestly? It feels GREAT to be able to share and connect with you again.

Since I took so much time off—and if you’ve continued to follow me on Instagram—I thought it was only right to share a bit about life lately, my pregnancy, and what how it’s been for me the past few months.

Plus stick around until the end of the post for a great giveaway opportunity I think you’ll love.

First off, in case you missed the news, I am PREGNANT!!

Yes! Mike and I are having a baby at the end of the year (or beginning of the new year) and we could not be more excited to be growing our family! I also announced on my IG stories that we are indeed having a baby BOY!!!!

AHHHH I still cannot believe it myself! I’m over the moon and can’t wait to meet our little guy!

I first found out I was pregnant around the first week in May. After feeling all of the “usual” pregnancy symptoms—but not wanting to get our hopes up—I followed my gut and took a pregnancy test.

The first trimester was awful… like SO awful. I was way more sick this time than I was with Ariah, with nausea so bad I couldn’t keep anything down.

It finally started to ease up around the 15-16-week mark, which is when I started feeling more like myself again, getting more energy and finally an appetite.

We decided to do an early blood test around 11 weeks so we could find out the sex of the baby sooner… and then announced to our friends and family on July 4th. Needless to say, it was a very exciting day!

Now I am at 27 weeks and feeling great! Day by day, I’m getting bigger and can feel baby boy moving constantly. If you ask me, that’s the best part about pregnancy—all of the kicks, hiccups, and movements—and I know the third trimester is going to slow me down a lot.

It’s crazy how quickly this pregnancy is going… but that’s perfectly fine with me!! The girls are SO excited to be big sisters—especially Ariah, who loves rubbing and kissing my belly. She is constantly telling people “baby brother is in mommy’s belly!” which I think is so sweet. Mackenzie is excited too but this isn’t her first big sister rodeo so she’s keeping it cool!! I can’t wait to see how they react to a little boy being around. They’re going to think he’s their little baby doll and I’m sure they’ll want to help out a lot!

While I don’t know everything to expect, I do know it’s going to be fun and interesting in the Evans household, party of FIVE!

As for an update on the rest of the family.. Ariah has finally started preschool and it’s going great. While of course it’s difficult at first (especially with your first), I think it was a good decision to put her in school to let her interact with the other kids and give this mama a break for a few hours a day! She’s learning so much there and loves her class and teachers!

Football season is in full effect and we’re getting ready to go to London next week to play the Carolina Panthers as part of the NFL’s International Series Games. It should be a fun trip, so I plan on doing a blog post all about it when I get back. GO BUCS!

And now for the surprise!

Since it’s been a while I wanted to host a giveaway for everyone who continues to show love and support for my family and I through it all.

I hosted one a couple of weeks ago on my IG page for Bucs fans to win tickets to a home game… but now on my blog, I plan to do more giveaways that are perfect for everyone!!

So today’s giveaway is to win an Amazon gift card for $300and there will be THREE WINNERS total! I will NOT publicly announce your name, so you will get an email/or DM from me that you have WON on Sunday 10/6!

To Enter You MUST Do All 4 Steps For a Chance to WIN:

—->> You have to be following me on IG
—->> Tag a friend on my latest IG post who you know that would love a chance to win, too!
—–>> You have to be subscribed to THIS blog!
—–>> And, you have to leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you want to see more of!

Good luck everyone!!

Love Always, Ashli

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How I Plan Our Vacations

Romantic beach getaways are one of the best vacations for couples.

Traveling is something I do very often. Those closest to me would even say I “live out of a suitcase most of the time.”

I get a lot of questions but mostly it’s “how do you do it?”

The short answer: strategic planning.

Beautiful blue skies and seas are always a blessing on vacation.

I love traveling for the new experiences it offers. We get to see other parts of the country… and sometimes the world. Our vacations give us a new appreciation each time we visit somewhere different. It’s truly a blessing to be able to visit and witness such beautiful places.

I am the one planning our family vacations: the things we do, where we’ll eat and where to stay.

Vacations are the perfect time to expand your horizons and learn.

Over the years, I’ve gone through lots of trial and error when it comes to vacation planning. Not so great for us… but now I think I’m at the point where I can give you some insight from our lessons learned.

Here are my top tips for planning your next great vacation:

  1. Time of Year: We like to consider the season we’re planning our vacations in and what kind of weather we want to travel in to… or AWAY FROM!
  2. Do Your Homework: Once you decide where your dream destination is, it’s time to hop on Google, travel blogs, YouTube, etc. to research your ass off. Follow hashtags, like #ParisFrance, to see where to best areas are to stay and what there is to do in that area. Then start thinking of some dates that will work for you and your party so you can begin looking up flights right away. Typically, the earlier you book, the more reasonable the flights will be financially.
  3. Find Your Accommodations: Next, you’ll want to determine if the town or city you chose is more of a hotel or Airbnb type of place. Both offer incredible perks but you should take into consideration: the group you’re traveling with, distance to things you want to do and amenities you think you’ll need.
  4. Plan Your Fun: Don’t wait until you’re already there to book activities and excursions. So many times they are reserved in advance and showing up the day of to do it without a reservation will likely have you leaving in disappointment. Instead, book all of your fun ahead of time… and save a little wiggle room for downtime, too. Just remember to double check their reviews because you don’t want to book with a company that can’t deliver on the fun.
  5. Consider Transportation: Take into consideration if you’ll need to find full-time transportation, like renting a car, or if Uber or walking will work. Remember, where you choose to go has a lot to do with this part of the trip, too.
  6. Keep It Organized: To help keep everyone on the same page and eliminate the constant back and forth questions, I like to make an itinerary for the day by day events. Of course, everything must be scheduled and confirmed to do this—hotel, flights, activities, etc.—but it makes it such a stress-free experience in the end.
  7. PACK IT UP: Finally, it’s time to pack. With everything planned, this is the last thing you have to do before enjoying whatever vacation awaits. Making a checklist always helps me. You can read some of my other travel tips from the time we went to Paris for our 2-year anniversary. Or, you can read all about my girls trip to Turks and Caicos last year that was SO AMAZING that I knew I had to take Mike back to show him how beautiful it was for himself!

Relaxing poolside on vacation is my idea of fun.

Of course, it’s fun every now and then to wing your vacations and just adventure… but especially with young kids, that’s not always possible. Make sure you dot your I’s and cross your T’s if you want to have vacations that end with nothing but incredible, life-long memories for everyone.

Vacations with my husband Mike Evans never get old.

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Ariah’s 18-Month Update <3

Let me start by saying, I CANNOT believe my baby girl is already 18 months!!

For those of you who aren’t parents, yes… you usually still count the months until your child is 24 months (2 years old)… and YES, there’s a HUGE difference between 1 and 2.

I know so many of you have followed our growing family over the years, so I wanted to give an update on Ariah and everything she’s learned up until now, what she eats and of course some super cute pictures of her!

Being a mom to a toddler can be challenging at times (think: trying to get them to eat new foods, tantrums, potty training *which we aren’t there yet* and many other challenges)- but I also feel like this is one of the best stages yet! This is when they’re learning sooo much and it’s amazing to watch her explore the world and want to learn more! I love it.

So what’s Ariah up to these days? Let’s find out!

She’s Learning + Loving…

It’s getting harder to take her places in public because all she wants to do is run around and touch everything. And if we don’t let her…of course… tantrum!

And flying? Not exactly as easy as it used to be. Lately Mike and I have only been flying with her together because it’s just so much easier to have the extra hands to help with her and to carry bags, push strollers, grab car seats <<— You get the picture, right? When she was a tiny baby she would sleep… but now, it’s a whole other story since she hasn’t slept on the past four or so flights. Yayyyy me haha!

She really loves anything that can go on her head… and basically thinks everything is a hat. We have this popcorn tub at our house that she always has to have on her head as her “hat”- and I won’t lie, it’s pretty adorable.

She also loves wearing sunglasses on her head or on her eyes depending on how she feels in the moment. Doesn’t matter if we’re inside or outside, she has to have her “hat” and “glasses”….I have a fashion diva on my hands already!

At this point she likes to mock everything we say, so thankfully she has a really great vocabulary for her age.

Favorite Words to Say…

Her Favorite Things…

Baby Dolls and Playing “Mom”
Hats & Sunglasses
Teddy Bears
Balls
Music and Dancing
Mickey Mouse

Her Current Schedule…

8:30AM Wake Up

8:45 Cup of Milk

10-10:30 Breakfast

11-12:30 Play/ Change Clothes For the Day

12:30-2:30/3PM Nap #1

3 Lunch

3:30-5 Play Time

5-6:30 Nap #2 If Needed (especially if I want her to stay up later!)

7 Dinner

7:30-8:30 Play/ Read

8:30 Bath/ Get Ready For Bed

9 Cup of Milk

9:30-10 Sleep

Her Favorite Foods…

Oatmeal
Mac + Cheese
Guacamole
Beans
French Fries
Mashed Potatoes
Crackers to Snack On
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Nuggets

She’s not into meat too much right now… and I think it’s a texture thing. We’ll get there though, because she does like to try things we’re eating… and of course, if we’re eating it, she likes it too. Kids, right?

And obviously, she loves her sister big time <3

Happy 18 Months Ariah… we love you so!

Loving these looks? Shop it here 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching I wanted to go ahead and start giving you all some ideas for that special mama in your life!

Whether it’s for your mom, grandma or wife, I know you have a special mother you love in your life and it’s always great to make her feel special on this day!

To let her know you’re thinking of her- and all the things she does, big or small- here are some of my top picks that I know any mama would appreciate on her day!

#1 Kate Spade Leather Smartphone Wristlet
#2 Kate Spade Crown Point Picture Frame
#3 Kate Spade iPhone Leather Wristlet
#4 Kate Spade Cropped Sateen Pajamas
#5 Kate Spade Leather Wrap iPhone X Folio Case
#6 Sailor’s Knot Bangle by Kate Spade
#7 Kate Spade Holland Leather Strap Watch
#8 Gucci Leather Cross-Body Bag
#9 ‘Bliss’ Plush Throw
#10 Mommy Fuel Mug
#11 Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Robe
#12 Marc Jacobs Decadence Fragrance
#13 Leather Belt With Double G Buckle
#14 Gucci Embellished Leather Sandals
#15 Dyson V7 Motorhead Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
#16 Nordstrom at Home Lazy Days Faux Fur Throw Blanket
#17 H&M Sleep Mask
#18 ‘In the Wild’ Throw
#19 Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair 
#20 Versace Bright Crystal 3-Piece Set
#21 Kate Spade ‘Mom Knows Best’ Heart Pendant
#22 SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Mini
#23 Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Candle
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Q + A… What You All Wanted to Know!

Hey everyone! I’ve been getting lots of great questions from you- and I’m so happy you want to know more! Today, I’m answering some of the most frequently asked questions below- but if you have others, drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer!

Let’s get started…

HOW DID MIKE AND I MEET?

Mike and I met back in 2013 while we were both going to school in College Station, Texas. We met through our roommates who knew each other and soon introduced us… and we hit it off right away! You can read more about our love story —> HERE!


HOW WAS IT MOVING FROM TEXAS TO FLORIDA? DO YOU EVER MISS TX? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT FL?

Moving from Texas to Florida has been quite an adventure, that’s for sure.

After Mike got drafted, our initial move to Tampa was quick and we didn’t really have time to look around for a place to live. I basically found the closest, most decent apartment I could find near the facility and shortly after we moved in.

I brought everything I could from my college apartment to help us get started and since then (in 2014) we have lived in three different places. And who knows, we may eventually buy a home there since we will be continuing our time in Tampa- which I’m so proud of my husband for! For those of you that don’t know, Mike has recently agreed to an extended 5-year contract, so we are very excited to be staying in Tampa!

It’s easy to love Florida! It’s so beautiful and you can go to the beach or be outside in the sun pretty much year round-and especially with kids, I love that. I also love the friends that we have made there and all the experiences we’ve had so far.

Florida will always have a place in our hearts… BUT TEXAS IS HOME.

We love Texas and try to shoot home whenever we get the chance. We live in Texas the entire off-season in our first home we recently purchased, so no matter where we play, we will always end up back here… and this will always be our home.


ANY GOOD SKINCARE TIPS?

I will say that I’ve been learning so much about skincare lately and have had fun trying different products and techniques. But, one of my best tips is to make sure you’re definitely drinking lots of water and watching what you’re putting into your body as far as your diet. It’s a bigger deal than most people think it is- plus, it helps to keep your stress levels down!

Another tip is to make sure you’re taking off your makeup before going to bed and exfoliating at least two times a week for fresh, glowing skin!

PS: I did give more of my favorite tips + tricks that you can read —> HERE!


TELL US ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE AND WHAT YOU MAJORED IN?

I went to Blinn Junior College for almost two years. It was the best two years of my life and I met some amazing people that are still lifelong friends to this day.

I initially majored in psychology and wanted to be a counselor because I love giving advice and helping others!

Eventually, I decided to take a break to really figure out what it is that I wanted to do and with all the transitions going on in my life- from being a wife and now a mom (and constantly being in between states)- I’m still trying to figure it all out.

I have many interests though, such as: real estate, interior design, fashion design, etc.- so we’ll have to see where that all takes me!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? HOW DO YOU BALANCE FAMILY LIFE AND NFL LIFE?

My favorite thing about being a mom is having a bundle of joy that makes me so excited to get up every day… even if it is super early and I need all the coffee I can get to function!

I love teaching her new things + watching her explore the world as she grows up right before our eyes! It’s literally the best feeling in the world!

Luckily, in the NFL we get an off-season where we get all the free time we want for a few months to spend our time with family. Mike gets to be home and enjoy that with us, which is great because during training camp and football season it gets a little harder to get that time together.

I do most things on my own on a daily basis, like chasing around a toddler all day and getting done the many things on our to-do list. When Mike comes home, he’s clearly tired after a long day, so I have to be that supportive mom and wife throughout that time! It’s all a balancing act, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world!

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A WIFE TO AN NFL PLAYER?

So this was the number one question I received from you guys when I asked for your questions! I would really love to do a whole separate post on what it’s like to be married to a professional athlete… and all the different things that go on that no one sees.

It’s more than just football games, cool events, big houses, and fancy cars…trust me!

I won’t lie… it definitely takes a strong-minded woman to be married to someone who puts their life on the line for our entertainment or to someone who people call “famous” all the time… it’s still a crazy thing for me!

Of course, his job and our life is a blessing, but what you see on WAGS is so far from Mike & I’s lifestyle that we’re ALWAYS laughing when we watch those shows!  Seriously, it’s such a joke… but totally not hating on anyone, that’s on them!

Anyway, I would love to save this for a more in-depth post later, so stay tuned for that!

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN BLOG?

I started my blog in hopes to get my voice across and talk about things that I love… like this outfit above!!  It’s a great way to document the cool things that happen in my life, plus it’s a place to watch myself grow as a wife, mama, and woman in general!

I have wanted to start one for over a year and finally decided, why not? JUST DO IT!

That was the hardest part.. getting started and putting myself out there for the world to see… because believe it or not, I AM SUCH AN INTROVERT.

BUT, now that I have… I love it and I hope it will grow into something you guys love to read as much as I love making the content for you all!

So, with that said, always leave me comments and let me know what you would love to see as well! Always ask questions… I promise I will answer 🙂

WHAT IS YOUR ETHNICITY?

I am bi-racial… my Mom is white and my Dad is black.

Crazy enough, Mike and I are actually the same ethnicities and both of our moms are white and dads are black, so of course, that was something we immediately found interesting about each other, as well!

Did I answer your Q’s? I hope so! If not, like I said earlier, please always feel free to drop a comment or question below… I’d love to hear from you! 

 

PS: Shop my black, off-the-shoulder top and skirt here: