Life

Running mad and such

May 4, 2016
Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint.

“Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint.”

This quote has been going through my head lately. Although I adore writing, I’m wondering if it’s time for a career change so that I can focus on writing more creatively. As much as the flexibility of freelancing is nice, it can also be quite lonely and isolating. I also wonder sometimes if I have the personality for it. I get so distracted by sunshine, pepperoni sticks and wanting to devour Asian Beauty blogs. I almost miss the structure of having a steady set of hours and coworkers to talk to. But this leaves me wondering… What else would I be?

I feel too old to be having this much of an identity crisis.

Maybe I just haven’t focused enough on my creative writing and blogging. I have so many ideas and yet I don’t put nearly as much effort into it. Do you ever have that problem? Being too afraid to be good, to succeed or too afraid to fail and be horrid, that you just don’t do anything?

I feel that indeed, I have run mad quite often but too often faint. I give up too soon.

If you could be anything, what would you be? What should I be?

I’m so random. I love art, and thought art therapy. I love books and thought archivist/librarian. I think stay in writing. I want my Etsy store to succeed. So many dreams, so not enough time.

How do you find focus? How can you reinvent yourself when perhaps a little bit past your prime? Is it ok to not settle for settling in? Do we have to, at some magic age, want to settle in with a partner, have kids, have a steady career, buy a house? I struggle with that, because I do like to run after new things, new experiences, new places and the idea of sticking to one place somewhat frightens me. Or does living in 2016 mean we can mold and create a life that might stand outside of societal expectations and feel ok with that?

Life

Yet another re-reading of Eat. Pray. Love.

April 5, 2016
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Hi, my name is Ashley and I have a problem.

I’ve read Eat, Pray, Love at least three times.

Last night, I picked it up for a fourth read.

There are few books I’ll read like this. Of course, my dear Jane’s Persuasion is one of them… among others.

But there’s some sort of comfort in the pages of Eat, Pray, Love, that I cling to in times of uncertainty.

The first time I read it I was in the midst of a rather chaotic relationship that was always shifting. An off and on again, mostly off again, relationship that left me whirling. One I could never seen to cut off or walk away from. There’s something about my personality that is so drawn to the Willoughby’s of this world, to my detriment.

Yet, as Marianne Dashwood herself did indeed say: “A woman of seven and twenty, said Marianne, after pausing a moment, can never hope to feel or inspire affection again.”

I felt that upon entering my 30s I was hopelessly doomed for a life of solitude. This was either to my reading entirely too much Austen or my childhood in the South. I clung to my last hope of youthful love. But, I knew it wasn’t going anywhere and I had just been cut at a job I thought would promise a more sturdy future.

What was I to do? Where was I to go? I felt so utterly and completely lost. The author’s words of “I don’t want to be married anymore.” At the beginning of Eat, Pray, Love, rang true to me… in that “I don’t want to be this person anymore.” I didn’t know how to change, or where to go, or what that would like. I just didn’t want to be that Ashley anymore.

So… I took a big, scary huge step. I took a job in North Dakota. Granted, the furthest north I’d ever been was St. Louis and I think that was when I was about 12 years old. I’d lived in Denver, so I thought, it can’t be THAT much different, could it?

HA! It was, indeed, it was. But it was so healing. SO healing. I loved my job, I met a great group of people. I met someone who loved me for me, the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in-between. Who knew it could be so healing. I find myself in upheaval again… and wondering once again, Do I want to be the person I’ve become? Wondering how to change it. Wondering how any of us manage to survive the predictability, the cruelty, the toughness of our lives and the decisions we face. How do you toughen up and just.keep.going.

There’s something comforting in knowing you aren’t alone, and Eat, Pray, Love, helps me know someone else survived it. Indeed, I have survived it, and I will again. Indeed: “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”

 

Fashion

Fashion Friday: Elinor Dashwood

February 19, 2016
elinor dashwood

Elinor Dashwood. She’s probably one of my most liked/disliked characters of all. I wish I had more of her in me, because I’m a self-avowed Marianne. I follow my heart/emotions to a self-destructive level. I definitely need a little more sense and a little less sensibility. Maybe that’s why we all love Jane so, she hits the parts of us we are and who we quietly long to be.

I felt like Elinor would be very classic in her tastes, and more structured with a few feminine touches. I think Marianne would push her to add some fun to, like these great maroon booties. Below you’ll find my suggestions for what Elinor’s modern wardrobe would be like:

1. H&M Short Cardigan 

2. Cause for Cosmopolitans blouse from Modcloth

3. Utility Custom Stretch Pencil Skirt from LOFT

4. Journee Collection Women’s Piper Round Toe High Heel Booties 

5. Neva Long Necklace in Matte Green by Kendra Scott (It’s super on sale right now!)

Fashion

How to succeed on Poshmark

February 11, 2016
How to shop on Poshmark
Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 8.14.46 PM

Some of my latest Poshmark purchases.

This will be more of a do as I say and not as I do kind of post. Although, if you do as I do it won’t be so bad either.

I love to save a buck. Unfortunately, I also loveeee me some fashion and beauty, which is most of the time not so cheap. I’ve also noticed as my smaller counterparts have sales in places like H&M and Forever 21 have sales that promise $3! and $5! sales, when my jeans that I’ve been dying to buy don’t budge in price and their lowest when on sale rarely hits below $20. There’s plenty of theory behind this, and I get it, but to be a plus sized fashionista on a budget can be a challenge.

Although I believe in splurging on the staples or signature pieces that you’ll get the wear out of, I’ve found a few ways to find affordable plus size fashion. One way is through Poshmark. Poshmark is a place women come together to buy and sell clothing and accessories from each other’s closets. Some items are new, others are lightly used. You can buy name brand or vintage and everything inbetween.

I have gotten some great deals on the site, including an almost0new Kate Spade purse for $100, tons of Torrid and a few Modcloth pieces.

My top tips for buying on Poshmark:

  1. Utilize the search bar in both brands and sizes. Set your size range so that only your sizes come up in searches (although I think for larger sizes this doesn’t always work so well. Try it first, then search specifically for your size if you aren’t having luck.)
  2. Follow users that share items in your size. This makes it less of a hassle to dig through listings and they often share items from other closets that you may like.
  3. USE THE OFFER BUTTON! Make reasonable offers, but people are usually open to taking a few bucks off and it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Poshmark has also been a great way to get items that I love for FREE! That’s right, FREE! I do this by selling items in my closet that I’ve grown tired of or don’t fit. You know that dress two sizes smaller that you’d fit in by now? Or those 10 pounds you’ve lost and those pants don’t fit just right? (I’ve been in both boats.)

I began my Poshmark journey in 2013 and I’ve made $697 in that time with only 54 listings sold. That number still makes me wish I had tried harder to sell more! This is where the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ comes in. I have been kind of lazy when it comes to product photos. Working full time and writing part time didn’t give me much time, but I still made big sales! You can be even more successful by taking great photos of the items you’re selling.

Follow others and share your items! This will build relationships and possibly lead to sales.

Be realistic about the quality of your items. Don’t sell things that you wouldn’t want to get yourself.

Does this help? Do you have any questions about being successful on Poshmark? Shoot me an email or comment below :)

 

 

Fashion

Art In all forms: OOTD

February 5, 2016
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I had been eyeing this beauty of a dress for a few weeks now at a local thrift store. Someone had placed it into the lingerie section from what I’m guessing was a discard after trying on because it’s near the dressing rooms. This was to my benefit, because it was half hidden and it meant staying hidden until the purple tags went on 50% off! I just couldn’t say no! I had to wear it as my OOTD at the Walker Art Museum on Thursday.

Plus Size OOTD

It’s a thick polyester, so it wasn’t TOO cold for these harsh Minnesota winters, but I definitely wouldn’t go galavanting around town in it for too long. My legs got a little chilly after a few hours. I ironically wore it to a great talk at the Walker Art Museum during their Target Free Thursdays. Admission is FREE AND you get a free talk or concert!

Plus Size OOTD

This week’s talk was from Macalester professor Morgan Adamson, “Guerrilla Television, Cybernetic Cinema, and Radical Software: Video and the Counterculture Revolution.” Was super interesting, great debates and Q&A afterwards and went along with their Hippie Modernism exhibit. It made me love the hipster, progressive, forward-thinking nature of the city. (P.S. I also thrifted these great booties for $4 bucks!)

Plus Size OOTD

SHOP MY OOTD OUTFIT: Dress, Arc’s Value Village // Necklace, Forever 21 // Eyeglasses, Zenni Optical // Booties, Dirt Cheap.

Fashion

City Exploring & Pertinent Pacing Modcloth Dress Review

February 1, 2016
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Ok, full fledge nerd alert! This weekend I finallly got to do two things I’ve been dying to do: visit The Mill City Museum and go to the Book Trader.

The Mill City Museum  is here in Minneapolis and is a museum built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill. The elevator portion of the tour made me have flashbacks to the Tower of Terror, but was so cool and unique! It’s a must-see if you’re in the cities. The view from the 8th floor is also pretty breath taking.

#millcitymuseum #minneapolis #captureminnesota #captureminneapolis

A photo posted by Ifiwerejane (@ifiwerejane) on

It was actually in the 40 degree range, so I decided it was about time I tried my Modcloth Pertinent Pacing dress that I’ve been dying to wear. You’ll have to forgive my awkward growing out of the purple hair. I adore it so, but it’s so high maintenance (let that be a warning for those considering the fun, pastel colored hair trend).

plus size fashion

I love this dress! It’s so comfy and unique. The material is some meshy kind of contraption. The only complaint I have is that plus size brands usually assume if you’re plus size you are well endowed in the chest and leg area. I am neither, so it’s a little big in the chest. But, I’m used to it.

The Book Trader  is so quirky and fun. You are all at once scared and intrigued. There’s an older woman that will give you her sales pitch and then you can wander around the many, many, many stacks of books. There is kind of a method to the madness, but ask her if you’re looking for something specific. She knows where everything is! I bought a super fun 70s looking edition of Persuasion.

If you decide to brave the book store, plan to visit the Berry Sweet Kitchen first. Try the berry crepes or the banana french toast.

 

Some seriously amazing food. Banana French Toast made with home made bread. 💣💥

A photo posted by Andrew Zimmerman (@andrewzim) on

Uncategorized

Flirty & Fun Valentine’s Day Outfit Ideas

January 29, 2016

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching… seriously where has 2016 gone?! I’ve spent many of my Valentine’s Days with my girlfriends over wine and cheesy movies, but this year I actually have a pretty adorable date (but I’m a  bit partial).

Either way, I’ve always loved getting dolled up for the day, with light pinks, beading, flirty and feminine being my go-to style. This year, the year of vintage for me, I decided to take a peak at some vintage styles on Etsy. There were so many great options! Seriously drool worthy and I wanted them all, especially the champagne pink beaded blouse. This is why I love vintage. The pieces are so unique, no one will have that look or something nearly as fabulous, I guarantee it! Below I included my treasury with my favorite items. What are your go-to choices for date nights? For a girls night out?


Vintage 1950s Dress | Pink L…

$98

plus size magenta dress hot …

$85

Vintage Bamboo Print Dress |…

$29

60’s Babydoll Pink Short…

$62

Pink Paisley Dress | Plus Si…

$29

Plus Size Pink Pastel Pleate…

$45

Plus Size Vintage Dress / 60…

$135.99

Vintage Plus Size / Plus Siz…

$13

CLEARANCE SALE Ladybug dress…

$12.8

Plus Size Holiday Dress // V…

$68

1950’s red button down s…

$40

Champagne Pink Beaded Sequin…

$109

Vintage 70s Dress – Plus Si…

$38

Vintage Plus Size Skirt / Pl…

$12

Plus Size – Vintage Pink Pas…

$20

Hot Pink polka dot sheer Dre…

$45

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Uncategorized

Are You Afraid of Vintage? Do Not Fear, Vintage Styling Is Here!

January 28, 2016
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I’ve always been in love with the past. From my obsession with ‘The Sound of Music’ and Jane Austen to taking the most random and (to me at least) interesting history classes in college. I’ve always also loved fashion. But vintage fashion? It scared me a little.

Sadly, as a plus size gal, finding on trend, fashionable trends IN THE PRESENT is hard enough? Can I get an amen? Let alone trying to find vintage pieces. Vintage also seems for the tiny. Finding plus size vintage pieces seemed like finding a unicorn or Big Foot. Styling vintage pieces for modern looks also seemed daunting.

Yet, treasure hunting at thrift stores was something I also loved. And, after moving to the Big Twin Cities, I’ve found SO MANY adorable plus size pieces that gave me hope that I too could enjoy vintage clothing in my size. SO, I’ve opened If I Were Jane Vintage. I want to spread the vintage and body positivity love. I also wanted to help styling vintage looks easier.

Also, I think in general many women are afraid of vintage. They love the look, but they don’t know how to pull it off in the modern world. I’m here to help! Every week I’ll be sharing how to style an item or two in my shop. Today I started with one of my latest finds that I love-this paisley dress blouse. I’m going to have to send my boyfriend to photography lessons so I have my own personal photographer… for now ‘Rhonda’ my dress form will have to show off the pieces. 
Vintage Plus Size

Plus Size Vintage

Plus Size Vintage

First I paired the shirt with a maroon blazer I’ve had in my closet for ages from Forever 21 along with a grey tutu style skirt that is very modern and on trend. I love matching vintage with trendy modern pieces.

Secondly, I paired the shirt with a brown blazer (also in my shop here) with some grey dress paints I also had from my closet. Super adorable for work! It also looks great without a blazer for warmer months.

Lastly, I paired the shirt with a forest grey wool skirt that I found on $1.29 Goodwill sale day. I’m debating on whether putting it in the shop, because it’s also vintage!

Does this help make vintage seem less scary? Do you have any styling questions for vintage pieces you may have or be coveting? Shoot me a message or comment below! I’d be happy to help!

Fashion

Fashion Friday: Caroline Bingley

November 13, 2015
Caroline Bingley

Here’s another Friday edition of what Jane Austen character’s might look like in 2015. It’s one of my favorite posts of the week. I’m channeling my Scream Queens fandom here. Can’t you see Caroline Bingley totally relating to Channel? Wouldn’t she have her own Chanel-like minions? This of course meant lots of fur, pastel and sparkle. What do you think?

1. Pologeorgis Fox Fur Batwing Vest. Of course a cool $1,495 is nothing for a Bingley. //

2. Posh Girl Pastel Pink Strapless Maxi Bandage Dress. Because Caroline Bingley have to love pastel pink and showing off the curves. //

3. Christian Louboutin Degraspike Pumps. You know Caroline Bingley would have to have her fair share of some Louboutins am I right? And I’ve been drooling over these forever since I found out that they do carry size 11! That’s probably something I should have never found out… although really I’ll never be able to afford Louboutins on a writer’s budget and how Carrie Bradshaw did is beyond me #thestruggleisreal.

4. Kate Spade Wedding Belles Clutch.  A little extra sparkle never hurt anyone, nor does another Kate Spade handbag.

5. Tiffany Knot Key Pendant & Chain. Keys seem to be a raging trend these days. I have to say I’m liking this higher-end take on it. And rose gold, swoon.

Life

Keeping Up With Ashley

November 11, 2015
Agendas

Although I dearly love my digital space here, when it comes to planners I am still a pen and paper kind of gal. I will admit that half way through the month of January I kind start slacking on actually keeping up with the planner.. but I’ve decided going into 2016 that I will be more devoted to being organized with my life. This means hitting all writing deadlines and making myself blog on a more regular basis. I wonder, are these agendas still popular? Are you a pen and paper or digital agenda kind of person?

I think this Kate Spade planner (2) would totally help jumpstart my devotion to being organized. How fun is it?! Also, a planner made out of vinyl (1) is genius and adorable. DubuDumo (3&4) has a ton of affordable options that are great for something to just throw in your purse and go or I love the desktop one and I think I’ll order it to plan for blogging/writing deadlines. And of course I couldn’t forget the stickers (5) from StickWithMe. They are just so cute it hurts.

What are your favorites? What keeps you motivated to stay organized and plan? Any good blogging resources that you use?

 

1. phonoboy // 2. Pencil It In 12-month Agenda.  // 3 & 4. DubuDumo // 5. StickWithMe //