Theme Layout


Boxed or Wide or Framed


Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles


Display Grid Slider


Grid Slider Styles


Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio


Display Instagram Footer

Saturday Freebies

It is officially the most wonderful time of the year! Now that Thanksgiving has past, it's time to put up those Christmas decorations without feeling guilty!

I made this fun printable to celebrate!

8 X 10 inch print

I also made an iPad and iPhone background inspired that tutu cute (sorry could resist) Alice+Olivia Starbucks mug that everyone is nuts about, including myself!

iPhone wallpaper

iPad wallpaper

 Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

Ashley B
Share :

Fashion Friday: J.Crew Arrivals + Black Friday

Dear J.Crew, why do you keep making and releasing the most adorable clothing? This time of year I am supposed to be focused on gifts for others, but all I can think about is how much I want that bow covered sweatshirt. And then they offer 30% off… It is not fair!

But seriously, have you seen the latest new arrivals? Love!

This adorable bow sweater is at the top of my wish list!

And this bow popover? Bow perfection!

I am also loving these:

These pjs:

And this tortoise shell clutch… Need!

This year we have decided to avoid the craziness of Black Friday by spending the day at Disney (a different kind of craziness lol). Growing up in Orlando, you actually spend a lot of holidays at the theme parks, and it's really fun! 

Two years ago we got up at 2 am and spent 8 hours battling for deals. It was nuts and exhausting (I fell asleep on a bedding display at one point). Last year we escaped entirely and did a Thanksgiving cruise. While the cruise was a blast, it will be nice to stay in town this year. 

I'm not much a Black Friday connoisseur, I always prefer to avoid crowds. I would say I am more of a cyber Monday anytime aficionado!

What are your Black Friday plans?

PS - Here are some online deals you shouldn't miss!


30% off everything with the code HOLIDAY

C. Wonder:
30% off three (or more) items with code GIFTS30

Tory Burch:
20% off $300+
25% off $500+
30% off $750+

J.Crew Factory:
50% everything with code HOLIDAY50

Ashley B
Share :

Happy Turkey Day

Today I am thankful for:
My Family
Coffee (as usual)
Turkey (why is it so good?)
That this year we are not getting up at 2 am for Black Friday shopping!
Good Friends (even when they are far away on a tropical island)
Pumpkin Pie (why can't we eat it all year?)
Book Reviews (seriously a life-saver)
My adorable Ophelia (even when she wakes me up at 2 am)
My education
Amazon Prime (seriously I order everything with Prime)
The ability to travel
My health and happiness

And, last but not least, all of my readers.
Happy Thanksgiving!

PS - How cute are these graphics? And they are free for personal use! You can find them at We Lived Happily Ever After.

Ashley B
Share :

Loving Lately

I am not a huge gingerbread fan, but these biscotti are amazing! Paired with a holiday blend coffee, they are the perfect treat to get you in the holiday spirit.

I had so much fun collaborating with Hunter on these prints. She had a vision of what she wanted and I think it turned out perfectly. I know I am biased, but I love them! Be sure to enter her giveaway to win a set of your very own!

I am obsessed with everything Ashley Brooke Designs makes. I featured the adorable "jingle juice" cocktail napkins in my Hostess Gift Guide, but any of ABD's mugs, stationary, and prints would make a great gift (year round)!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, when in doubt, put a bow on it! Love these bun bows by Gina Made It, especially the velvet version. Perfect stocking stuffer? I think so!

Holiday DIYs
One of my favorite weekend activities between Thanksgiving and Christmas are fun holiday DIYs. Love this unconventional duck tape wreath, this tissue pom-pom wreath, and this adorable "Be Merry" holiday wall!

Ashley B
Share :

Travel/Study Abroad Pre-Departure Timeline

I can't believe that this fall semester is winding down. In the study abroad world, that means it is time to seriously start gearing up for the summer and fall semesters. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I truly believe in study abroad and I think it is oh-so important for American undergrads! 

Typically programs recruit students in the fall, but because the process from signing up for a program and actually going is long, some students get a little overwhelmed with what they need to do and when. 

Usually you should decide on a summer program before February. The three months prior to departure are filled with meetings, paper work, and information over-load. While not complete, I created this little info-graphic timeline as a basic guide for what you should be thinking about and when. Of course, I will elaborate on each of these as my summer abroad program nears! 

As soon as the winter break is over, I will start scheduling excursions and daily itineraries (did I mention I love planning?)! 

My number one piece of advice for students who are planning to study abroad is start saving as soon as possible and budget, budget, budget! Students always seem to over-pack and under-budget!

Ashley B
Share :

Gift Guide: The Hostess

Looking for the perfect gift for the hostess in your life? You know, the lady who always seems to throw a fabulous party or get-together. She pays attention to detail and loves beautiful items made for entertaining. Show your appreciation with these gifts!

This stylish and informative book offers hostesses advice for any occasion. Bonus, it would make a beautiful coffee table book (and at $12 it's a steal!).

How adorable are these cocktail napkins? I am obsessed with Ashley Brooke Designs, any of her adorable mugs, cocktail napkins, or stationary would make a perfect gift!

Target has really been stepping it up a notch lately. I am loving almost everything in their Threshold line, including all of their bar cart accessories. These glasses are perfect for entertaining or decorating a bar cart (also a steal).

These mugs are not only cute but functional. The chalkboard plaques are perfect for writing guests' names, making them a must-have for parties! Can you believe they are only $18 for four?

Not only will I be gifting this adorable corkscrew and wine stopper set, I will also be purchasing one for myself, because it is basically the cutest thing ever!

Every hostess needs thank you cards to show their appreciation. This set adorned with pink macarons is an instant download printable. Not only can you purchase and print a set of cards for them, you can gift them the digital file so they can print thank you cards whenever they need them!

How cute would this print look on a bar cart? Easy to print and frame, this digital illustration is an inexpensive yet chic gift!

Spice up any beverage with these adorable polka dot and stripe straws! 

Every hostess needs a cocktail shaker and this one with a little fox head on top is too cute (and from Target so it's a great price)!

This decanter pairs perfectly with the fox shaker. Both are under $15!

Perfect for the hostess who loves to throw dinner parties, these gorgeous place cards make seating assignments stylish.

Every hostess knows the importance of coasters (got to protect that furniture)! These glitter coasters by Kate Spade are so cute and chic, she'll want to use them year-round.

Want more gift ideas? Check out my other gift guides!

Ashley B
Share :

Insta-lately: My week in outfits!

It was so weird being finished with the 30 X 30 challenge. I didn't know what to do with myself each morning, so many choices! But it was nice to wear some of the newer pieces I had picked up recently, like those amazing J.Crew medallion pants (which were 25% off plus an extra 15% percent off if you are a student or teacher!). It was another warm week in Florida but the weather is forecasted to be cooler for Thanksgiving (#cantwait)!

I also made this cute illustration with Paper the other day. When in doubt, put a bow on it! Someone on Instagram pointed out that it looked like a Gina Made it Bun Bow, which I had not seen or heard of before, but now I am obsessed with and want!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Ashley B
Share :

Weekend Freebies

Happy Weekend! Can you believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away?

To celebrate here are some festive tech backgrounds:

iPhone Background

iPad Background

And if you are already growing weary of the cold and dreary winter weather (we all know I'm not since it has been at least 80 degrees everyday down here) here are some bright and cheery backgrounds:

iPhone Background

iPad Background

And of course, some more fun gift tags!

Gift Tags

I also have to share this amazing graphic design blog I discovered. It is full of beautiful pictures, typography, and even freebies (my personal favorite is the "dress your tech"series)! 

Enjoy and have a good weekend!
Ashley B
Share :

Fashion Friday: Tory Burch Gift Card + J.Crew

Tuesday I came home to a wonderful surprise in the mail, a Tory Burch gift card for $100! It is always nice when companies go the extra mile in customer service. Now the hard part, how am I going to spend my gift card? I need help, I can't decide!

I need a new navy cardigan and I love the shrunken shape of this Simone Cardigan. But do I want to spend this gift card on something as mundane as a navy cardigan? Then again it is timeless and classic.

I tried these tortoise shell aviators on months ago and they looked so good! I don't really need another pair of sunnies, but I feel like these are too cute (and unique) to pass up!

And then there are these cap toe Chelsea ballet flats! I love the patent leather cap toe since I always end up scuffing the fronts of my leather ballet flats. Patent leather holds up better and looks newer longer.

But then, just when I had narrowed my choices, I stumbled on these. Oh my gosh, I love them. Tan sandals with clear straps.. and bows! I want!

Ugh, I want it all! Do you see my dilemma? Any thoughts on which I should get?

I have also been coveting some of the new December J.Crew arrivals! Like these pants, this peplum lace top, and this striped tee.

Happy Friday!

Ashley B
Share :

Why (I think) every American student should study abroad:

Positano, Italy this past summer.

The other morning I was going over my pre-departure timeline for my summer travels to Italy (six months prior to departure you should check/apply for your passport). In doing so, I realized that my passport expires this April and it is time to renew. But what I also realized was that my expired passport meant it had been ten years since I first left the country and this summer marks my eleventh summer in Italy! Seriously… wow!

As cheesy and cliché as it sounds my first trip abroad changed my life. As an undergraduate history major my advisor invited me on his inaugural summer study course in Rome, Italy. I jumped at the chance to see Italian art and history first hand. I convinced myself that I might never have this opportunity again, so I spent months reading about the art, the history, and sites of Italy. I created a personalized binder where I listed the names of artists, paintings, and the churches that housed them, and I made a map of the sites where I could find the statues and monuments I had read about in my classes. Can you say type A personality?

At the end of the trip, my advisor was so impressed by my initiative that he invited me to be his assistant/intern on the same trip the following summer. Nine years and ten trips later, I am the associate director of a summer study university program based in Florence, Italy.

Over the years I have seen first hand how studying abroad changes lives (I know, I know, again with the cliché, but there is no other way to say it). Growing up in the U.S. usually means you have very little exposure to other cultures. For better or for worse, American culture is the dominant pop culture throughout most of the world. We are use to the rest of the world conforming to us, learning our language and appealing to our tastes in music, film, etc. The bottom line is Americans are rarely asked to adapt to other languages, cultures, and value systems. Studying abroad, even if for a summer, forces American students out of their cultural bubble/comfort zone. Your perspective on yourself and the world you live in is forever transformed! It is an amazing adventure of self-discovery, learning, good food, and a lot of fun!

I thought I would share some of my favorite pictures from the past ten (incredible and amazing) years… warning picture overload ahead!

My first trip to Italy in 2004! Here we are riding an ancient column in the Roman Forum.
And yes those are green velour Juicy sweatpants… we all make mistakes!
In 2005 I got to take my best friend. Here we are on top of mount Vesuvio, overlooking the Bay of Naples.
2006 in front of the Vatican with my advisor.
Climbing the leaning tower of Pisa in 2007.
Exploring the Market of Trajan (aka the world'd first mall) in 2008.
Recreating statues in Florence in 2009.
The jumping pictures started in 2010 in Pompeii, they are now a time-honored tradition.
Vineyard tour and lots of wine consumption in 2011.
Throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain in 2012.
And this happened in the Roman Forum in 2013. Yes, they walked the streets of Rome in their togas made from the bedsheets they stole from their hotel rooms (love it)!

Combing through my picture archives, I also found this hilarious picture of a gondolier photo-bombing a couple of students (and on his cell).

Along with evidence that my J.Crew obsession has been going on for years. Yes, my shorts matched my umbrella lol (and I was quite proud of it).

Head-to-toe J.Crew for the Palio in Sienna, 2007.

Thanks for letting me walk down memory lane! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you are thinking about a study abroad program or have questions about studying abroad!

Ashley B
Share :

Preppy Printshop: New Arrivals + Collaborations

Featured in my Fashionista Gift Guide
click here for the gift guide
Perfect for creating a festive mantle display!

Just incase you don't win the giveaway!
(click here to enter the giveaway)

I love seeing what people do with their prints! Hunter shared hers here and Noelle shared hers here on her blog. Keep them coming, I love it!

Of course, I can't leave well enough alone and I am planning an update for my living room gallery wall (I'll post pics when it's finished). That's the best part about these DIY printables, it's so easy to update or change up your gallery wall!

I have also started accepting custom work for the holidays. Message me if you have something in mind or want a print in a different color combo.

And finally, Hunter and I have been working on a special collaboration we hope to debut soon, so stay tuned!

Ashley B
Share :

30 X 30: Reflection

I had so much fun doing this challenge! It really pushed me to shop my closet and to wear the pieces I already owned in new and interesting ways. In fact, I think my most successful looks were the ones where I mixed patterns and added unexpected pops of color!

My favorite!

For years my go-to look was a dress. I loved that with one piece I had an instant and easy to put together outfit. However, this challenge has really taught me to play around with separates. And I have realized I need more separates in my life!

These pieces were the challenge's MVPs. Items I need to invest more in.

I hope Lilly comes out with this top again (in new fun prints of course) because I will definitely be scooping it up once more -- I've gotten more than my money's worth. I can't believe how much it goes with!

These J. Crew silk boy shirts went unloved in my closet for a while. But the challenge forced me to wear them, specifically layer them. I usually steer clear of button downs. Don't get me wrong, I love the look of layering them, but I am busty. So not only do button downs tend to gape, but I don't really need the extra bulk on top. What I liked about these button downs is that the silky fabric gives it more of a drape (so no gaping) and less bulk when layered under a sweater or blazer. This one and this one are currently on sale… need!

My plaid school boy blazer became my best friend during the challenge. I literally negotiated with myself how often I could get away with wearing it. I felt like it matched everything! I definitely need another in my life and I am loving this one!

Finally this skirt! I knew I loved it going into the challenge. It is so easy and flattering to wear, plus the color is gorgeous. Naturally, I have already purchased the poppy red version.

Of course, I wore the crap out of my TB ballet flats over the course of the challenge, but that was really nothing new.

My final lesson of the challenge was the importance of accessorizing. As I have mentioned before, I am not the best at wearing jewelry, but I really got into statement necklaces over the course of the challenge. 

I really didn't know what to do with myself this morning. Having the pick of my closet felt overwhelming! Too soon to start another 30 X 30 challenge lol?

Ashley B
Share :
[name=Ashley] [img=] [description=Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.] (facebook= (instagram=I (pinterest=