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My Favorite Graphic Tees + Denim

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite graphic tees… and one of many ways you can style them with the cutest pair of denim jeans.

I’m constantly grabbing these to wear with everything right now because I think they’re perfect for spring- but can definitely be worn any time of the year… and in so many different ways (So if you’re following my social, I’m sure you’ll be seeing me in these a whole lot more!)

Jeans can be a real pain when shopping. It’s so hard to find the right fit, wash, and cut with the right amount of distressing… but I promise these are those jeans!!

Shop This Outfit 👆🏽

So below I’ve linked some really cute graphic tees (all under $50) and some of my favorite denim jeans (all under $100) <— I know you’ll find something you love!

My Favorite Graphic Tees 👇🏽

 

My Favorite Denim 👇🏽

 

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Our 2-Year Anniversary Trip to Paris

So if you’ve been keeping up with me, then you know we recently just went to Paris for our two year anniversary and I will say that it was absolutely the best trip I’ve ever been on in my life!

I have been so excited for this trip that I even had fun packing for it- I just couldn’t wait to get there! We left on Thursday, February 8th from Houston… but not without a minor hiccup or two. We were supposed to be on a 4 PM flight but (little did we know) the flight was actually canceled a day earlier- and we didn’t find out until we were pulling up at the airport! Thank goodness, my mom happened to be looking up the flight to try and track us!

I was DEVASTATED! I was certain that it wasn’t meant to be and, of course, this would be our luck!

Mike went to go check it out and (thankfully) it turned out they put us on a later flight that night at 10 PM and we were finally off!

We flew British Airways and WOW, the plane was amazing! It was the best first class cabin I have ever seen and the seats were perfect! They were like little pods just for you- perfect for sleeping and watching movies… which is what I did the entire way!

We finally landed in Paris and it was freezing! There was snow covering the ground and it was so pretty! Believe it or not, I’ve never in my life seen real snow before so I expected it to stay for days, but turns out the snow quickly melted within a day of us being there! But it was still freezing!

Where We Stayed

We arrived at our hotel around 5 PM the next evening. We stayed at Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s. It was a dream location to stay at in Paris I must say; we were in the middle of EVERYTHING: amazing food, shopping (literally right across from Louis Vuitton) and sightseeing were all within walking distance or just a 5 minute Uber ride away! We also enjoyed a couples massage at the hotel’s spa which was so relaxing after traveling for so long- safe to say, my husband definitely knows what I enjoy! All in all, everything from start to finish (including the incredible customer service) was perfect for our stay!

What We Ate

The first two meals we had were super authentic French restaurants that we thought would be a good idea to try. Turns out, not so much. I can’t even tell you the names of them because I don’t remember, but I’m a picky eater (especially when I go out of the country) and we really didn’t enjoy those meals. Thankfully, we found a Five Guys but this one was a little different. Apparently, it’s a huge tourist attraction because the lines were out the door, it was three stories tall and we had to wait for someone to get done eating to snatch a table as quickly as we could!

It tasted just like Five Guys in America though so we ate there twice! I also found a pizza spot, Pizza Vesuvio, right behind our hotel so we ate there twice and it was the best Italian food EVER! I ordered Lasagna and it was so good that we had to go again so Mike could get it the next time. We also tried another Italian restaurant, Vapiano, that Mike’s best friend (who we also visited while we were there since he’s playing basketball overseas there) told us about. This place had THE BEST PASTA I’ve ever tasted! They make it just for you, exactly how you want it, right in front of you… so that was pretty cool as well!

We also had a super romantic dinner at Le Jules Verne inside the Eiffel Tower which was quite an adventure in itself! We got to get all dressed up, making the whole night super fun.

The dinner was different than what we are used to: five small entrees and they bring them out every time you finish one with just a few bites each. For the most part, we had no clue what we were eating but we still ate it and it wasn’t THAT bad just very different. But the experience itself was just amazing getting to ride up the elevator to the restaurant, overlooking the whole city during dinner.

What We Did

Of course, we shopped till we dropped… well I did… after all, like I mentioned we were right in the middle of all the best shopping in Paris! With every shop within walking distance, I was bound to wind up in trouble there! We went to LV, Gucci, YSL, Chanel, Zara, H&M, and a few others. We had the most luck in LV and YSL where I purchased two bags: a LV Neverfull MM in the Damier Ebene material with the Rose Ballerine interior and the YSL Black Croc Nano Sac de Jour Tote which are super amazing investments in my collections that I will have for years to come!!


We visited The Louvre which is definitely something you have to see when in Paris! Even just the outside is so beautiful with the architecture of the buildings and the pyramids- it’s unbelievable! So gorgeous!

This is also where they hold the Mona Lisa and many other historic monuments in Paris! Plus, did you know it’s the largest museum in the world?

We rode The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde at a sunset which was absolutely beautiful with views of The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Champs-Elysées- it was breathtaking especially at sunset!


We attached our locks on the “Love Lock Bridge” over the Seine River.


Of course, we went to the Eiffel Tower about three times during our trip because how can you not?


It’s a sight to see and it’s the one MUST that you have to experience when visiting Paris! It was truly amazing to see especially at night during the light show when it’s lit up and sparkling! WOW- It’s STUNNING!

Champs-Elysées is one of the most popular areas in Paris, which is where we stayed. SO many great places to shop, eat, great hotels, close to all the main attractions in Paris- it’s just the best location and everyone is out and about, dressed to impressed! It’s the ideal place to stay in or near when in Paris!

We even went to go see Fifty Shades FREED at the UGC Normandie Theater right across from our hotel. They showed the movie in English but with French subtitles (which was clearly fine with us being in France after all) I just couldn’t wait any longer to go see it!

My Overall Experience….

It’s one that I will never, ever forget and honestly, the only place I can say that I would LOVE to travel back to. With the fashion, scenery and romance, it was just so ME and I loved everything about it… once we found food we liked of course!  I loved the time of year that we went because the cold weather made it perfect to wear all of my super cute jackets I’ve been dying to wear. I am so happy that I got to experience it all with the love of my life because there’s no one on this planet I would have rather witnessed all that with… easily, it was one for the books for us! We will definitely… GOD willing… go back one day! 🙂

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Who’s Ready For My BEST Online Shopping Tips?

People have been asking me a lot lately why I decided to start my blog back in November.

One of the (many) reasons I started All About Ashli is because I absolutely LOVE TO SHOP… and I really wanted to share the things that I buy, the products I’m interested in and everything I’m loving in the moment with you all!

I’ve always loved to shop- there’s no hiding that– and after my (many) years of online shopping, I really wanted a place to share my best tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, especially because I know there are still people out there that hate online shopping.

For those that just prefer to go out and look for things- that’s totally fine and understandable… but for those of you that hesitate at times about buying things online (but have always wanted to) here are some of the tips that I live by when shopping online… and hopefully they will help you feel better about it too!

Know Your Sizes + Measurements
Knowing your size will really help when searching online for a piece of clothing because you will be able to reference the “size guide” tool on each website. Of all the different measurements we can take, you should typically know your bust size, waist, and hips. Knowing mine makes it really easy to find my size at any place I’m shopping even though most stores have different sizing options. I know, it can get a bit confusing… the good news? If you know those sizes beforehand it makes it a lot easier to find the perfect pair of jeans or top from any store!

Subscribe to Your Favorite Store’s Email List
When you do this, you’re officially on the inside! Now you’ll get discount codes and coupons before anyone else! I quickly jump on to see what I can grab before those items sell out, but another perk is that when you are on their email list, you usually know before other shoppers do about all sales and discounts… #winning!

Know Where Your Items Are Coming From
Like I’ve said already, I have learned A LOT from online shopping… and one of those things is to really know where your items and clothes are coming from. IT’S ALL ABOUT QUALITY! You may think something looks great on Instagram so you go to the random boutique and buy it… but after you get it (many weeks later because it might be coming from overseas) it looks absolutely nothing like what the model had on! Now don’t get me wrong, there are some really great overseas stores that I DO shop at… but I know (from trial + error) that these are quality pieces. In the end, you really just have to do your research on stores + remember you almost always get what you pay for!

Know What You’re Going Online to Shop for in the First Place
If you don’t know exactly what you’re going online to shop for you’ll likely end up a little overwhelmed… or you may go crazy and end up buying things you don’t even need- and then, of course, never wear any of it! To stop this, I always have a list of things I feel that I want to add to my wardrobe and then take the time to look for that specific thing. Otherwise, I know for sure I would waste tons of time looking at everything there is online!

Consider All of Your Options
You never know if another store is going to have the same style for a better deal. Once you find something you like, take the time to compare + shop around. It may take a few extra clicks, but it’s always good to do your research before settling for something you could get a better deal on somewhere else!

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Winter Wardrobe Essentials

Today I’m sharing all of my favorite winter essentials! I feel that every lady needs a closet full of these comfy and warming pieces just for the cold months! We’re back in Texas for the off-season and already it’s *way* colder here than it was in Tampa so these will definitely be part of my wardrobe this month… and I hope yours too!

So what are my favorites to choose from?

First thing’s first… we all need one AMAZING  jacket! Next, invest in a few chunky sweaters, boots and leggings… and in no time you’ll be warm + fashionable for months to come!

Shop this outfit…

Shop more of my favorite winter-ready pieces below!

Sweaters

Jackets

Boots

Jeans

Leggings

Hats, Scarves + Belts

      

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Fall Trend: The Statement Ankle Boot

Fall is literally my favorite time of year <— Ironic since we spend most of that time in Florida!

Still, I absolutely love basic, simple sweaters… and I have tons of them.

But wearing something simple with a pair of jeans doesn’t have to be boring.

I love to make the outfit stand out in some way- and a statement boot (like these gorgeous beaded, velvet boots below) are definitely the way to go this time of year!

Or gorgeous accessories…

I fell in love with soo many boots this season, but here are some of my absolutely favorite statement ankle boots:

For great boots under $100, shop below!

Another way to make an outfit POP is by finding that one, special accessory that steals the show.

I got this Pearl Gray Givenchy Small Antigona from a website that I get SO many of my bags from.

Since I’m all about the PRE-LOVED pieces, this is where I shop for any luxury piece that has been gently pre-loved <<—- It’s always a great deal.

I have at least 5 bags from this site and I’m obsessed… check it out —> Here!
*All Photo Credits Belong To: Leigh Clifton*
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An Early Birthday Gift to Myself: Sharing My Fav Things With You

It’s my birthday and I can share my wishlist if I want to!

That’s right, my birthday is (quickly) approaching so I decided to put together a list of all of my current
*o b s e s s i o n s* right now… like this outfit below!

A gorgeous Floral Embroidered Moto Jacket

With these jeans <<—- Check out the details (gah!)

A simple cami

 

And always the must-have accessories like the boots, Yves Saint Laurent Bag…

and these killer sunglasses!

 

At all times I keep a “wishlist” of things I’m excited about so I’m not spending my money on random things… but instead, on things I’m really loving.

These are things I know I’ll truly wear or use- and as for the expensive items… I make sure they’re items that would be classic staples in my closet for years to come.

Oh, and PS: someone send this to my husband please (LOL)

Here Are My Splurge-Worthy Favorites:

 

Fashion Favorites

Lifestyle Favorites

Beauty Favorites

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Fall Trends: Red + Leopard

We may still be in Florida until the season ends, but it’s officially Fall, so I’m taking every opportunity I get to dress in my favorite seasonal trends.

This season I am loving the bold statement red + leopard pieces popping up in most of my go-to stores.

For this outfit, I decided to throw on my favorite black jeans from Zara. They’re ridiculously comfortable and I’m finding myself reaching for them for just about any outfit these days- they’re perfect!

Then to make my outfit really pop I chose this soft, red knit sweater from H & M and finished them with these adorable leopard + floral sandals from Macy’s.

I know sandals aren’t really a “fall trend” but hey- we are in Florida remember? So it works!

To finish my accessories I needed two things.

First I grabbed my black Ray Ban aviators

and finished the look with my black, Chanel Boy bag that my hubby surprised me with for my 23rd birthday.

The best part about this outfit? I can switch it up endlessly to keep creating stylish looks without ever getting tired of these amazing statement pieces. You can definitely expect to see more of these pieces soon!

 

All photo credits belong to: Leigh Clifton

 

Looking for more red + leopard inspirations?
Shop this post 👇🏽 for all the items you see ☝🏽 + so many other of my favorite fall trends!

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Wedding Day Details Pt 2: Style + Fashion

Are you ready to talk all things wedding fashion + style?

While every part of our wedding will always hold a special place in my heart- and truly we were blessed to have an out of this world celebration- I have to admit, I’m SO excited to talk about the fashion!

But let’s save the dress for last…

 

Starting with our groomsmen, we headed to Men’s Wearhouse where the guys found beautiful suits in the Joseph Abound Collection. What was perfect for them was that they were able to be fully customizable, and so Mike- and each of his groomsmen- were fitted exactly to their different body types.

But best of all? They each had their nicknames and jacket linings customized to their liking… giving them each their own personal style!

I definitely had a back + forth struggle trying to pick the bridesmaids colors at first. While I won’t even begin to tell you some of my original ideas (trust me, I’m doing you a favor) I will say that I ended up choosing something that was flattering and timeless for my gorgeous bridesmaids… and thankfully, I don’t think I’ll hate it when I look back 10 years from now! In the end, we went with an Alfred Angelo dress from David’s Bridal, and just look at how beautiful these ladies are…

Oh… our beautiful flower girl.

I knew I wanted the perfect dress for Mackenzie because this day was just as special for her as it was for us. Thankfully, we found it rather easily: I was meeting with Nadine from Who Made the Cake when I saw picture after picture of her adorable daughters in these amazing feather dresses. Nadine raved about Melissa Jane Designs and after looking at her site we knew it was exactly what we were looking for. Of course Mackenzie’s dress- with rhinestones, lace and feathers- was dramatic and beautiful, but when she spun in it for the first time, she thought she was a princess and THAT made it so much better!

Two things I know for sure ladies…

One: no one ever wants to spend the whole night in high heels… and two: moms are always right! My mom had the best idea to provide all of the female guests with “Rescue Flats” that are the most adorably simple flat to keep dancing the night away in. By the end of the night, almost every lady at the party- myself included- had on a pair of them… what a lifesaver!

Speaking of shoes… I’m in LOVE with my wedding day Jimmy Choo’s! I wasn’t 100% sure which brand or designer to go with in the beginning, but I did know it had to be comfortable! Between you + I, my biggest fear was slipping while walking down the aisle, so this was a BIG deal.

I tried on everything from Louboutin’s to Valentino’s, but finally fell in love with my Jimmy Choo’s! Not only did they look fantastic, but truly, they were the most comfortable shoe I tried on all day.

Lucky for me my amazing hair stylist in Houston, Vincent, referred me to his friend Caroline, who was a talented wedding hairstylist. Caroline worked for a company called Blush + Co. (also out of Houston) and their specialty was wedding hair + makeup. I knew I wanted something down- but to the side– and with soft curls that would stay out of my face for most of the night… and Caroline did just that! Then she went on to work her magic for my entire bridal party!

For my makeup, I turned to Alaina from The Color Du Jour, who is super well known on Instagram for her work. Funny enough, she was local, so we met to do the trial run for the big day and I absolutely fell in love with the look she gave me.

We went with softer pink tones for the eye with a light pink/ nude lip… and it was perfect. On the day of the wedding, she flawlessly glammed up myself, my mother and mother-in-law, all the grandmas and a few bridesmaids- just the way I had envisioned it. Blush + Co. stepped in and perfected the makeup for the rest of the bridal party because again… it was quite a few!

And finally… the dress.

The one thing I had been thinking about since I was a little girl…

The dress that truly makes you a bride…

And what I would be wearing when Mike saw me walking down the aisle for the first time…

 It had to be perfect.

By April of 2015, I knew it was time to start searching and so with an idea already in mind- but totally open to suggestions- I made an appointment at Mia Bridal Couture. Coincidentally my appointment happened to be on the same day as a trunk show for couture designer Alon Livne… and wouldn’t you know every dress I was picking out was from that designer.

Every dress was SO stunning- and exactly the style I was going for.

So I tried on the first dress and just… loved it. Absolutely everything about it, I loved.

My mom and Grandma both kept asking, “but what is the ONE thing you don’t like about this dress?” and honestly I could think of nothing.

But you never buy your first dress right?

So I kept trying on other dresses- gorgeous dresses- but nothing struck me like that very first one. Finally, after going back to it time and time again, I just KNEW it had to be the one.

The detailing, the style… it was all so ME + everything I wanted Mike to see me walking down the aisle in.

My dream dress.

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Our Love Story: From the Beginning…

They say nothing really ever happens by chance.

That the way two people meet…
Or the circumstances that brought them together…
Or the instant connection they share…

It’s not by chance- but by f a t e – and I couldn’t agree more.

That destined day back in 2013, when Mike and I met seems like a million years ago some days, and yet I still remember it like it was yesterday.

At the time he was at Texas A&M and I was attending Blinn Junior College, still trying to figure this thing called life out. It could have been like any other normal college day: friends getting together, meeting new people, hanging out and having fun.

But it wasn’t any normal day… it was the day I would meet the love of my life.

Our connection was intense from the moment we met: I’m talking butterflies + fireworks— the real deal.

We quickly realized that we shared so many of the same interests, one of them being going to the movies, so obviously it was a no-brainer to make that our first date. From that point on we spent every minute we could together, hanging out with our friends, seeing movies and going to Northgate.

And then football season started.

Of course I had heard how amazing Mike was- I mean, people literally stopped and asked him for a picture everywhere we went– but it wasn’t until I saw him play with my own two eyes that I was truly blown away.

He had such natural skill at Wide Receiver that he made it look almost easy! The chemistry he had on the field with his quarterback and good friend Johnny Manziel, his talent, and obvious love for the game was so impressive to watch!

I loved going to every one of his games, cheering him on, being there to support him- but it was the game that I finally got to meet his daughter Mackenzie that will forever hold my heart. It was a game against Auburn and his mom brought Mackenzie to watch her Daddy play- and WOW, did he play for his little girl! As it turned out, that game would be one of his best college career games ever and she was there to watch it all.

Meeting his daughter, spending that time with her, and seeing who Mike was as a father brought this whole new kind of love for him that I never knew existed.

What I DIDN’T know was that Mike’s college career was about to be over! He entered the 2014 NFL Draft and was drafted the overall 7th pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

How incredibly crazy/beautiful it was to watch the moment he was drafted- I almost remember it like it was yesterday.

It was such an anxious moment for everyone… so many mixed emotions and so many nerves… yet a lot of excitement! I remember the moment Mike got the phone call sitting at the round table, it was such an emotional moment for him, + then they called his name and it became real! He was holding Mackenzie and just thinking about how blessed he was to be in that position. It was incredible.

And that was that: we packed up and moved to Tampa… new town, new home, new team.

That first year in the NFL was crazy! We learned so much about each other and ourselves… and HELLO, remember, we were only 20!

But you live and you learn and you love and you grow… that’s life, right?!

So there we were later in 2014, it’s almost my birthday and Christmas is (TOO QUICKLY) approaching. All I wanted to do was plan the P E R F E C T Christmas for Mackenzie and our families. It was so important to me to welcome them into our home and make this an unforgettable experience for everyone.

We celebrated Christmas a few days ahead because the truth is that life in the NFL doesn’t always mean being there for the holidays, but making the most of the time you do have.

Sooo… again, there we were enjoying everyone’s company, exchanging gifts and loving this time together. After everyone finished opening their gifts Mike hands me one more gift to open… in the shape of a shoe box.

If you know me at all, you know how excited I was… and if you know my husband at all, you know it “probably” wasn’t just any pair of shoes.

I unwrapped the box and immediately see it’s none other than a box from Christian Louboutin… eekkk! Inside was THE cutest pair of blue Pigalle’s.

But that wasn’t all…

My eye quickly saw a smaller blue box from Tiffanys inside- and at that point I’m ecstatic thinking that I’m about to get new earrings too- but everyone gets super quiet.

Like waiting to hear a pin drop kinda quiet.

I’m staring at the blue box, hardly realizing that Mike is getting down on one knee right.in.front.of.me.

He takes the box from me….
Opens it…
I’m shaking…
And he asks, “Ashli Nicole Dotson, I have one question, will you marry me?”

Half crying/ half screaming I say “YES!”… and then cry and cry and cry.

It was absolutely beautiful and perfect: surrounded by our family, everyone in the holiday spirit and me completely surprised. To this day Mike says it was one of the most nervous days of his life… but like always, he does an amazing job.

We immediately set the date and I got to planning the wedding of a lifetime.

On February 13th, 2016 we had the dream wedding I had always hoped for… but that’s a story for another time…