july favorites.

july favorites.

check out what i’ve been loving this past month! 

funk wave bounces vol. 1 by calvin harris 

this album is everything i have ever wanted my summer playlist to be and more. considering it was the only album i had on my phone for my entire trip to LA, it got a lot of listens, and it’s still the music i want playing while i’m in the shower. if you’re looking to get the most out of your summer vibes, the best road trip album, or simply something to just dance to, this is the album for you!

aveda damage remedy daily hair repair 

i have been travelling so much this month, and that means that my hair hasn’t always been getting the proper care it needs. this product makes my hair look and feel great, even when i’ve been using hotel shampoo, and really keeps me from getting split ends! i haven’t gotten a haircut since may and my hair is still completely split-end free!

depop 

i used to work at a buy-sell-trade clothing store, so i definitely have an interest in buying clothing secondhand. i love depop because it takes out the middle man, and allows the buyer and seller to interact together! i have gotten some amazing pieces that i can’t wait to wear this fall — including a denim jacket and a vintage coach belt — for really great prices (the belt was $10!). i love knowing that i am getting such a good deal and that i am helping the environment by putting new life back into the clothes i’ve purchased! psst — i’ve started selling some of my own clothing on depop! click the link to check out my profile!! 

tarte tarteist quick dry matte lip paint in ‘swamp family’ 

with all of the travelling i’ve been doing, i’ve been going to a few more formal events than i would get to in my everyday life. i swooped this liquid lipstick during tarte’s black friday sale, and i am so happy to finally have opportunities to wear it more! it is the perfect true red color for super pale girls like me, stays on all night long (through dinner, drinks, and dancing!) and isn’t super drying like a lot of liquid lipsticks on the market are. i’m not a red lip everyday kind of girl, but if you are, i would definitely recommend trying out this one. in my opinion, it’s worth every penny.

shop riffraff ‘glow up’ metallic dress

i bought this dress for one of the aforementioned formal events i had been going to — and i love it so much, it’s coming with me to washington in a few weeks for my cousin’s wedding. it has the perfect amount of sparkle without being too much of a statement, and the cut of the dress is so comfortable, i almost forgot i wasn’t in one of my typical tee-shirt dresses. the biggest plus — it’s currently on sale and they have lightning-quick free shipping! they ship from arkansas and i’m located in california, and i typically receive my orders within 3 business days!

harry potter and the methods of rationality 

okay, this definitely isn’t for everyone, but i was so glad to find out about it because i love it. basically a parallel universe fan-fiction, where harry has a very different backstory and ends up in ravenclaw. i’m less than 20 chapters in and i’m completely hooked! if you. like me, have always disliked harry’s character most out of everything in the franchise, i completely recommend this to you. we basically skip all of the angsty teen emotions and the problems are tackled in a much more logical and rational manner, all while still having childlike innocence of a young ‘muggleborn’ at hogwarts. i’m a ravenclaw, can you tell? 

 

what have you been loving? let me know in the comments below!! 

 

april favorites.

april favorites.

Check out what I’ve been loving in the month of april! IMG_2847.JPG

dl1961 denim. 

I bought two pairs of these and they have been a total game changer! I practically live in leggings, but these are so stretchy I never felt uncomfortable like I do when I wear other jeans. They also run a little larger than the other denim brands I had been purchasing before, which meant that they never got too tight after a large meal!

mr kate on youtube. 

Not even gonna lie, I have been an avid HGTV fan since high school. So I was thrilled to find Mr Kate on YouTube! They have a couple of different series, some of them redoing the house that they bought and some where they makeover spaces of other social media influencers, and I have been hooked on both! I really like that they are younger, so a lot of their content matches my style, and they show you how to do really great DIYs for really cheap! I also bought Kate’s book, featured above, where she talks about different experiences she’s had as an interior designer and gives even more DIY tips than the show does!

tarte sex kitten palette 

I bought this palette on a whim and loved it so much it has become my new everyday eye palette! It pairs unexpected neutral eyeshadows with a peachy rose gold highlight color and allows you to create so many different looks. I especially like it because some of the colors are a little more unconventional than what you’d find in something like a naked palette, so even in a sea of nude eyes you can create a look thats different than everyone else.

tule fog candles.

I bought the Fig + Vine scent this month, and it is the most delicious thing I have ever smelled. I seriously would wear it as a perfume if they made it! But what I love most is that they are a Bay Area based company that uses only ethical and sustainably sourced materials, and give many tips on how to be kind to mother earth, including posting different ways to recycle the jars on instagram! I’ll likely be planting a succulent in mine once the candle runs out (and heading out to repurchase my fave scent!).

e.l.f. hydrating primer

The weather in the bay has been all over the place, which made my skin even dryer than it usually is. I picked up this primer at target and love how soft it makes my skin feel, even when I use a ton of drying lotion every night! Plus it’s so inexpensive, it can easily fit into anyone’s makeup budget.

glossier cloud paints.

I haven’t had great luck with cream blush in the past, but when I saw these were on sale I couldn’t resist. I picked up two shades – dusk and haze – and they are both so pigmented and look great on any skintone! You only need the tiniest bit to give you a nice flush, and I’ve found they work best when applied over foundation with a very damp sponge (I use the same one that I use for my foundation and don’t rinse off in between for an even softer look). They also stay on for forever — as in, I forgot to take off my face makeup before running forever — but come off easily with a face wash or makeup remover! I also love how the packaging looks like a little acrylic paint tube, it was a really cute touch to a great product!

heatstroke by calvin harris ft. young thug, pharell, and ariana grande  

I saw Ariana Grande on her dangerous woman tour at the end of march, and was so excited when this song came out about a week later! I have been listening to it nonstop because it was the best balance between my post-concert obsessing and wanting new songs from Ariana. Plus, it has the perfect vibes to get you in the mood for warmer weather!

*all opinions in this post are my own, and i paid for all products with my own money. this is not sponsored by any of the above brands.* 
adventuring with ashley: the wizarding world of harry potter, hollywood.

adventuring with ashley: the wizarding world of harry potter, hollywood.

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for my birthday at the end of march, my parents took me to the wizarding world of harry potter at universal studios hollywood! i have been a lifelong fan of harry potter (literally – i was so young when i was introduced to the series that i wasn’t able to read them myself) and have been wanting to go since the park opened in 2016. here’s my guide to navigating the park! 

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what to ride 

there are only two rides in the wizarding world portion of the park, but they are both great! the first i went on, flight of the hippogriff is a fun little roller coaster. it wasn’t a huge thrill to go on as an adult, but all of the kids sitting around me had a great time! it is only about 90 seconds long and was a great introduction to the magic that the rest of the park brings.

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the second ride, harry potter and the forbidden journey, is a stop motion ride typical of what universal has become known for, and is the perfect ride and experience for an avid harry potter fan. we waited in line for over an hour, but it was so worth it as the ride touches on so many memorable moments of the harry potter series. even waiting in line takes you through the castle grounds and through parts of the castle, so you are never bored and there was so much thought put into all of the details! i will say to avoid this one if you get motion sick easily, it is quite a long ride and you will get nauseous (i was towards the end, but i would still go on it again if i have the opportunity to go back!)

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where to shop 

the shops were honestly my favorite part of the whole experience. they have so many places that are authentic to hogsmeade in the movies and books, and i absolutely loved it!

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if you’re feeling like a sweet treat, you can go to honeyduke’s for a chocolate frog, pumpkin pasties, or even dumbledore’s favorite lemon drops. i ended up purchasing a chocolate frog to take home with me and the box it came in is so intricately detailed, and they even come with a famous wizard or witch collectible card! i got helga hufflepuff in my box.

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if you’re looking for something fun and lighthearted, you can check out zonko’s joke shop. they had plenty of jokes and toys that would be fun for the whole family!

anyone looking for a wand should go to ollivander’s wand shop. it was the most crowded shop i went into all day, but it was absolutely magical! all of the walls are lined with shelves that have boxes upon boxes of wands from every single character you can think of. you can look at them before you purchase and you can even conjure up a little ~magic~ throughout various places in the park if you decide to purchase!

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there are also multiple gift shops with a variety of harry potter swag, like house sweatshirts and t shirts, death eater garb, home decor, and a whole lot more! i had been obsessed with these crewneck sweatshirts that have the house names in collegiate lettering, so i had to pick a ravenclaw one up. i also got my housemate a whiskey glass with the hogwarts crest on it for his birthday that was earlier in the month, and my boyfriend a huge mug that looks like the marauder’s map.

where to eat 

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if you want the whole harry potter experience, i definitely recommend staying inside wizarding world to grab a bite to eat. the only restaurant is the three broomsticks, and the wait may be long, but it is so worth it! i decided to eat whatever i felt like that day as it was my birthday and i wanted to be able to experience this magical place to the fullest. the food was so much better than theme park food! it was all traditional british dishes, so things like fish and chips, and bangers and mash. my mom and i both got the fish and chips and it was so good and filling! you can also get butter beer or pumpkin juice here, so i would skip the line for the butterbeer cart outside if you plan on getting food at the three broomsticks. i got the normal butterbeer and it was delicious but so sugary!

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and that’s it! it’s such a small portion of the park in hollywood but every little corner has so much detail that i really enjoyed spending an entire day there experiencing harry potter’s world in real life. 

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dress: lush | jacket/tights/shoes: h&m | bag: nordstrom bp 
february favorites.

february favorites.

I’ve been loving a lot of things this month! Check them out below:

forever21 high rise skinnies

i bought a few pairs of these in black when my local store was having a sale, and i became obsessed! they are a very flattering fit (on me, the rise hits right below my navel and the leg hits right above the ankle), they have the perfect amount of stretch, and they are lightweight enough that I am sure I will get a ton of use from them even in the summer. 

pacsun

i realize this is a broad category, but the sales have been great at pacsun this month! first they had buy one get two free for all sale, so i went with my boyfriend to split the cost and scored a kendall and kylie bomber jacket and black ribbed turtleneck, while he picked up a black brixton hoodie. then we went back after i had a job interview at the same mall and noticed they had 70% off all sale items, so we had to take another look! this time i picked up a boxy, oversize pink sweater and he got a black hooded windbreaker. they have had a lot of great brands on sale each time i’ve looked, so i would definitely recommend going to your nearest store and checking it out! 

nyx bright idea illuminating stick in lavender lust 

lavender is my favorite color, so i love finding ways to incorporate it into my everyday look. this highlighting stick gives such a nice wash of color and natural highlight, and makes me look super awake when i’m tired in the morning! my favorite way to use it is to swipe it on my cheekbones and blend in with a damp sponge. 

gardening (kind of?)  

I have been trying to add more plants into my living space because they can purify the air, and I love the touch of green it adds to the room. However, I am terrible at keeping plants alive so I asked a friend who works at a nursery to help me pick out some plants that would be low maintenance for me. We ended up deciding on some sansiveria plants, which are a part of the cactus family so they are as low maintenance as it gets!  I currently have two variations of them and can’t wait to pick out a few more! 

watercoloring 

My high school art teacher was really hard on me and my artistic abilities, and pushed me away from painting for years. I decided to order some watercolors this month as a hobby to do in my free time, and I have been loving it! At first it was just for fun but I have actually been getting pretty good at it for some basic designs like fruit and birds. I picked up this watercolor set that came with a decent set of brushes and this pad of watercolor paper on amazon for under $30 all together! 

coffee with chrachel 

I have been obsessed with this podcast for months now, but i had to include it in my first favorites post. Chris and Rachel sit down twice a week and record a podcast discussing everything under the rainbow, from politics to harry potter to video games to their cats, and they also answer listener questions. I can always count on this podcast to put me in a good mood, and it makes for a fun listen if you have a commute a little under an hour! I should warn that the topics and language are not always safe for work, so take precaution and bring headphones if you like to listen to podcasts in your office environment. 

qapital

I am honestly terrible at saving money, but this app makes it so easy! It basically just rounds up to the nearest dollar (or two, or three – you get to decide) every time you make a purchase with your debit card, and once you reach your goal you can transfer it into your savings account. They also have a feature where you can create a goal with multiple people, which I haven’t tried out, but would be great for saving up for a trip you plan on doing with your friends! Click here to download the app and get $5 free just for signing up! 

blue calcite 

I have been really drawn to this crystal this month. Blue calcite is known to boost creativity, which is something that I’ve always felt like I’ve needed more of this month. It is also connected to the throat chakra which is great because my allergies have really been acting up with how drastically the weather has been changing in the Bay Area (it was around 70 degrees on Valentine’s Day and then pouring rain two days later!) 

 

 

gilmore girls ruined my life. 

gilmore girls ruined my life. 


I might be the only girl my age who’s ever said this, but I did not watch Gilmore Girls when it was originally on the air. I know I know, but to be fair I was five years old when the pilot premiered, I had no older siblings who watched it, and my parents were on the stricter side about what I would watch (although I’m sure at five years old I was watching Blue Clue’s and had no interest in more complex shows anyways). I didn’t really seem to be missing anything through the years of elementary school and middle school while it was on air as none of my friends were watching it anyways.

Fast forward to college and many of the people in my life were obsessed with the show. My Big, my housemate, it seemed like everyone had Luke’s Diner mugs and aspirations of being as witty as Lorelai. I tried to start the show a few years ago but the fast dialogue made it really hard to follow and the only thing I found myself relating to was the insane amounts of coffee that they drink. I assumed that everyone around me was just nostalgic for the show, but since I had never seen it I had nothing to be nostalgic about. Once everyone finally realized that I was not getting into it, they left me alone and the topic was not really brought up again.

That is, of course, until this past fall, when Gilmore Girls mania took over social media following the announcement of A Year in the Life. I could not escape the frenzy anywhere I turned, and honestly I think I may have seen more Gilmore girls posts than political posts during the fall and early winter. When the reboot premiered, it was all that was showing up in my social feeds, between Instagram photos of groups of girls eating like Gilmores or think pieces from online companies debating what the last four words really mean. This is also the point in time where I quit my retail job in favor of an office internship and with my newfound free time decided, if I can’t beat ’em I might as well join ’em. I plopped down in front of the tv with a bag of chips, picked up the remote, and searched for it on Netflix.

I took about a month to binge the original 7 seasons (each season has about 22 episodes and each episode is roughly 45 minutes — that’s a lot of time spent watching one show!) and I finished the revival 3 days later. I had a rough time getting into the show at the beginning, but I made the decision to stick with it through the first season and if I still didn’t like it, I would stop. But about halfway through the first season I was captivated. I found my high school self relating to Rory’s character in the early seasons, my young adult self relating to Lorelai’s ambition, and I was drawn in by Emily’s snarky comments. So I kept watching, and I became so invested in the characters and their relationships.I was not totally thrilled with the seventh season of the show, as this is when a different network and different writers came on to the show, but was hoping for redemption through the revival.

And sure, I got my redemption. I got a lot out of Emily’s character in the revival, with her struggling after Richard’s passing. Lorelai ended up with Luke, which was predictable but very satisfying after their tumultuous relationship through the last few seasons of the show. I have so many problems with Rory though. She doesn’t seem to have learned anything from her past relationships, she is still a cheater, she is still the other woman. She drags a seemingly nice guy along throughout the entire course of the revival because she keeps forgetting about him (which was a funny joke at the beginning of the first episode and then got old really quickly. Poor Paul). And then the show ends with her telling Lorelai that she is pregnant. Granted, she is in her 30s at this point and definitely old enough to make her own decisions, but as someone who wanted to be a journalist and travel the world (and these aspirations were still going strong in the revival), it doesn’t seem to be the most practical thing for her at this point in her life. We also don’t know who the father is, even if we have our guesses, but all of the men who could possibly be the father are not people I would want her to end up with.

Regardless of the countless problems with Rory, there are also just cultural problematic topics. Some things I ignored in the original series because of the time, but for a show that was made in 2016 some topics were terrible to continue bringing up. There’s the body shaming that happens at the Stars Hollow pool, which Lorelai and Rory honestly shouldn’t have anything to say about with the way that the two of them eat. The fact that the town can’t have a gay pride parade because they don’t have enough gay residents, so they are looking to send interested people to the next town over to participate in their parade. The show could have still kept its wit and true style without bringing these topics in,  and a lot of the content that is shown through the rest of the show is proof of that. With the state of the world we live in now, and the audience of the show being much older now, these topics seemed completely unnecessary to bring up at all, and are usually not brought up in this context in modern tv and film. I was honestly disappointed in the writing of the show. And even after hearing all of the negative reviews of the show after it was first released, I was still hopeful. But after watching, I would honestly have rather had the show end after the 7th season and not have the revival exist at all, even with the aspects that I loved so much. I might have a skewed view after being a first time viewer and watching the entirety through lol in a row, but I think my opinions are shared by many viewers. I am curious to see what will happen with the show and if there will be another spinoff to give us even more answers, but I think that if it does happen I will stick to reading about it online rather than viewing it myself.