| I Think It's Ashley
Art, Celebration, DIY

Homemade Christmas and Holiday Cards

Card Making Art Supplies | I Think It's Ashley

When my siblings and I were kids, my mom used to have us make homemade Christmas cards for our family every year. As younger kids, we could draw pictures on blank cards. When we got a little older, different art supplies were thrown into the mix. When we got to be pre-teens we started complaining. “I’m not good at drawing, I don’t want to make a card! I’m too old to be drawing a card!”

But my mom insisted.

“Homemade cards are thoughtful. It’s a nice thing to do. I made homemade cards until I was in my 20s!”
Christmas Card Making | I Think It's Ashley

20s?! That was sooooo olddddd. We laughed at the idea of my mom, in her 20s, making homemade Christmas cards during the holidays.

Well, here I am in my early 20s, still making homemade cards during the holidays…and actually enjoying it now. When I went away to college, I started missing doing arts and crafts. I suppose when you don’t have time to do little creative DIY things, you start to miss it. It’s relaxing. And I enjoy making things with my hands. It’s rare for me these days.

Christmas Tree Card | I Think It's Ashley

Some years I go all out and do nice cards. With a busier schedule, sometimes I keep it super simple. This year, most of my cards were pretty simple.

I found a couple leftover sheets of scrapbook paper in our family’s arts and crafts box and pulled those out. I grabbed a few spools of ribbon, one shiny gold spool and one ball of twine, and laid it all out. What can I make?

I went with a couple simple designs, some Christmas/Holiday trees, baubles, and pennants. I think simple designs without too much going on can look really clean and pretty.
Christmas Tree Card | I Think It's Ashley

Bauble Christmas Card | I Think It's Ashley
Pennants Flag Christmas Card | I Think It's Ashley

Then I wanted to do a couple jazzed up Christmas cards so I took out a few more sheets of colored construction paper and went to town.  Homemade DIY Christmas Card | I Think It's Ashley

I have to say, the last one is my favorite. How cute is that little fireplace? But I try to make a different card for each person at my house on Christmas day so that nobody gets the same thing. That means I make 5 cards (at least) every year. So I usually turn to some easy to execute ideas that still have a nice homemade vibe.

I hope these cards give you some inspiration if you’re planning on making your own holiday cards.

Do you enjoy receiving homemade cards or would you prefer a store bought one? Let me know if my mom was right in the comments! 🙂

Ashley

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Black Crushed Velvet Skater Dress | I Think It's Ashley
Beauty, Celebration, Fashion

2015 Holiday Party Outfit…Inspired by The Black Tux!

Black Crushed Velvet Skater Dress | I Think It's Ashley

When it comes to celebrating the holidays, I’m all in.

I’m not satisfied until I’ve gone to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, participated in a Gingerbread House Making Contest, and brewed up a pot of mulled wine (or two, or three). That being said, it’s probably no surprise that I look forward to putting together a Christmas-inspired party outfit every year, and this year is no exception.

I don’t have any galas or balls to attend this Christmas (but here’s hoping that I become a princess in 2016!) so my party dress needs are for something casual and fun. I’ve opted for a black, crushed velvet sleeveless skater dress this winter.

Black Crushed Velvet Skater Dress | I Think It's Ashley

It’s a very simple LBD but the texture of the fabric keeps it from being boring.

Black Crushed Velvet Skater Dress | I Think It's Ashley

Black Crushed Velvet Skater Dress | I Think It's Ashley

It’s a basic scoop neck with a scoop back that I’ve paired with chunky black platform heels that I got in Seoul, South Korea. I love these shoes because they’re so comfortable to wear throughout the night. The incline isn’t that high but they make me a lot taller because of their thick platforms.

Black Crushed Velvet Skate Dress | I Think It's Ashley

As for makeup, I’ve decided to go with a super simple eye look and bold red lips. I’ve chosen one of my favorite statement reds, MAC’s Viva Glam Rihanna.

MAC Lipstick Viva Glam Rihanna | I Think It's Ashley

This red tends to feather after a while so I made sure to use a lip liner underneath so that I can spend the whole evening sipping sparkling cider without worrying where my lipstick is on my face.

MAC Lipstick Viva Glam Rihanna | I Think It's Ashley

I wanted my lips to be the statement piece so I left my eyes simple. I just lined my upper lashes with a bit of black liquid mascara, keeping the line super thin. If you have larger double eyelids, go for thicker mascara. I don’t have a large lid so keeping my eyeliner thinner actually makes my eyes appear larger.

12-7-15 Black Tux-Makeup

Swipe on some thick mascara. DISCLAIMER–I used Covergirl’s Clump Crusher Waterproof mascara in black and don’t like it. It’s build-able if you really want to take the time, but doesn’t give you that bold falsies look. My lashes are weak in this photo but I thought I’d leave my lashes as-is and recommend against this product. I love Maybelline’s eyeliners and am especially loving Lash Sensational right now!

2015 Holiday Makeup Look | I Think It's Ashley

Lastly, I parted my hair in the middle, gathered it into a low, loose ponytail and pulled out a few strands in the front. My hair is too short for a bun but go for a bun if you have longer hair!

Black Crushed Velvet Skater Dress | I Think It's Ashley

Now that I have my holiday party outfit sorted, I want to make sure my date comes prepared, too!

I love The Black Tux’s Holiday Party Style Guide for tips on how to style your look AND your date’s look this holiday season. Going casual like I am? Headed off to a work function? Or do you have a ball to attend? (I’m jealous if you do!) They have a super simple guide that makes styling your holiday outfit effortless!

The Black Tux Holiday Party Style Guide | I Think It's Ashley

And if your date doesn’t own a tux, check out their super cheap, customizable tuxedo rentals. I’d love for my date to come in a matching velvet suit like this one (wink wink):

The Black Tux Velvet Suit | I Think It's Ashley

Velvet Jacket Tuxedo from The Black Tux (Rent coat and pants for $125)

Are you going to dress up or dress down for your holiday parties this year? Let me know in the comments!

-Ashley

This post was inspired by the lovely people at The Black Tux! 
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Beauty, Celebration, Fashion

Valentine’s Day OOTD 021415

20150213-155142.jpgLast Valentine’s Day I was not single but spent the day with a girlfriend in Verona, Italy at the Verona in Love Festival (writing a letter to Juliet, writing a letter as Juliet, and seeing a minute-long kiss fest..uh, gross). Spending the day with Juliet and her bae Romeo was pretty amazing.20150213-155148.jpgThis year, I spent today with another girlfriend, although again, I’m not single (luck just is never on my side with these things).

20150213-155202.jpgWe spent the day at Newport Beach (where are Marissa and Ryan?!), soaking up the sun (be jealous, East Coasters), seeing a pod of dolphins swim by, eating In n’ Out, and drinking wine. So, pretty much perfect.

20150213-155215.jpgAlthough I had no romantic date today (we celebrated a few days early since we knew we wouldn’t be able to on the actual day), this is my Valentine’s Day outfit (description below).

20150213-155220.jpgI bought this dress last year for a wedding but the back lace detailing is so romantic and the jewel blue color is perfect for a candlelit dinner so I think it works perfectly for Valentine’s Day.

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Dress: ASOS

Shoes: Steve Madden

Phone Case: Kate Spade

Eyeliner: Kat Von D ink liner, Trooper

Lipstick: MAC Viva Glam Rihanna (frost red)

Hope you all had a great day today, whether you celebrated Valentine’s Day/Galentine’s Day or not (I don’t particularly care for this day except that I love candy and I love pink hearts…you can find me at the grocery store tomorrow buying discount chocolate!!).

Ciao,

Ashley

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Celebration, Musings, Writing

2014 Had a Mind of Its Own

Reclaiming 2014

I spent much of my year trying to forget, trying to move on, trying to think very little in the hopes of coping. I didn’t really want to reflect on 2014 because even though it was one of the most amazing years of my dreams coming true, a few heartbreaking events seemingly spoiled the rest. 2014 was supposed to be a masterpiece, the realization of things I had been anticipating for the past year, the past decade, really. But it’s an inescapable truth that not everything goes to plan, that simply making plans does not guarantee you anything.

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Perhaps because I’m young and naive, I find it cruel that a contradiction to this extreme could exist. In this one year, at time simultaneously, I have made both the most beautiful memories and the most crippling. I have gained my most valuable life skills and lost some of the most important people to ever grace my life. Perhaps I find it so unbearable because I am young, or perhaps this contradiction in life will be just as brutal when I realize it again later in life.

As much as I did not want to face reflecting on this year, I more so did not want to forget what I have been through, both the painful and beautiful. I feel like I painted this lovely picture, each memory a single stroke, and a series of events spilled their way across my canvas, coffee stains ruining the image I meant to create. But in an attempt to be more optimistic, I thought about it a little harder. Gave it a second look. And what I saw was not a painting ruined by black coffee stains, but merely changed, altered, added to.

My painting of 2014 may not look like what I had intended, but it does not mean it is a failure.

It is what it is. And it’s okay.

Ashley

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Beauty, Celebration, Fashion

What I Got for Christmas 2014!

Hello lovelies!

The holiday season has come and gone and now that we are well into January, I am finally past the food comas, incessant carol singing, and obsessive Christmas movie watching that plagues me from November 1 to December 25 every year.

This year, the dark and gray Seattle weather really bogged me down—I have officially acclimated to the Southern California sun and warmth so spending time back in the PNW during Christmas breaks is particularly painful. But now that I’ve woken from my deep post-holiday hibernation, I can finally deliver my WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS 2014! post.

I know a lot of people preface these posts and videos with a disclaimer (“I’m not bragging, the holidays are about spending time with family, etc.”) but I almost feel that that, somehow, can be insincere. Not because you’re bragging if you make a post like this, but because the reason why people like hauls and “What I Got For ___” videos is because we like showing off cool things we got, and we like knowing what other people got. So that being said, I hope you like seeing some of the things I was blessed with this year!

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Many of the things I was gifted with this year were from Sephora (because you can never go wrong with getting a girl a present from Sephora, am I right?).

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The first is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown. It’s my second ever eyebrow pencil, the first being one I bought during my early high school years, before it was really trendy to do your eyebrows, in the color blackest black. Long story short, it made me look like the dad from The O.C.

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But I love the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown (I have undyed black Asian hair, for your reference). It looks so natural, is easy to apply, and the brush on the end is useful if you’re traveling and don’t want to pack extra brushes for your brows.

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I wasn’t sure at first if this color was dark enough or if I needed a darker shade, but after trying them both out at Sephora, I thought the dark brown looked more natural.

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Instead of creating a bold brow, it creates a sort of sun-kissed soft look, which I liked. I’m not yet bold enough to pull off the statement brow. After hearing all of the beauty YouTubers talk about this product and brand so much, I was beyond stoked to try it out!

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Next is the Kat Von D Trooper Eyeliner. I haven’t tried it on my eyes yet but I’ve also heard good things about this product. It was one that I hadn’t even considered buying, so I’m thrilled that it was given to me as a present and that I get to try it out!20150107-195358.jpg

The tip is really fine and the ink held really well when I tested it on my hand. It only budged when I scrubbed with soap and water, but water and rubbing alone didn’t cause it to run or fade.20150107-195407.jpg

The Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown is on the left and the Kat Von D Trooper Eyeliner is on the right. I applied the lines with varied degrees of pressure to show you the difference!

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Next up were two awesome shades of MAC lipsticks. I only own one other MAC lipstick and the rest of mine are drugstore brands, so it was a real treat to receive these two beauties!

20150107-195434.jpgThe first color is a bright red Frost shade in Viva Glam Rihanna 1 and I am in LOVE. It has bluer undertones than my other red MAC lipstick and I never knew how much of a difference it makes. It looks great as a winter red, although I will probably have to buy a lip liner to put under this as it did feather into my lip lines after a few hours of wearing it.

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The next is a nearly nude, meaning it goes on similar to my lip color. It’s a Lustre in Syrup and I was inspired to ask for this color because I saw Ingrid Nilsen talk about it in one of her vlogs and instantly fell in love with the way it looks! I’ve never had a shade this light–my lips are a bit darker naturally so sometimes lighter colors make me look sick or pale–but I really enjoy this color as my new winter nude and it goes really well with light frosty eyes! If you ask me, it looks like a spring day in Paris…C’est cool!

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Above are the two swatches of those lip colors.

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Lastly, I got a bunch of awesome skincare items!

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I got two Seacret lotions, one for hands and one for body, and I absolutely adore the Seacret products. They’re made with minerals from the Dead Sea and the Milk & Honey Body Lotion smells so yummy! They’re a pricier skincare product so it is a real luxury to receive these!

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And finally, I got this Aveda Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Rich Creme. I haven’t used it yet but I have had extremely bad skin problems as of late (uneven skin tone, really dry patches, and red blotches). I think it may be due to California’s pollution because my skin has cleared up being back home in the Northwest, but I know it also has to do with the face products I’ve been using and the drying effect of harsh chemicals. I’m excited to take this back down to school with me to try it out on my skin!

I got a few other things from friends and loved ones that I’m not showing here–not because I didn’t adore them, but because I don’t want to show money or gift cards and I wanted to keep in the theme of beauty and cosmetics–but I am so thankful to everyone who thought of me during the holidays and spent time celebrating the end of 2014 with me!

I did buy a few things with some of the Christmas money and gift cards I received, and I will be showing those in my next post as a haul! (Post-Christmas Haul Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

Also, I love being snoopy and hearing what other people got for Christmas (I think I’ve watched at least 20 “What I Got for Christmas” videos in these past couple weeks), so let me know in the comments what you got (or gave)!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

Cheers,

Ashley

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