Reflections on 2016!

December 30, 2016

Wow! I can hardly believe that 2016 is (almost) over, as of midnight tomorrow night.

I think it is true what they say, that as you get older, time seems to fly by faster and faster. 

If I close my eyes, it seems like literally yesterday when my (at the time) boyfriend (and now fiancé) and I were at a nice restaurant last December 31, 2015, having a romantic dinner and discussing our plans for our future...the most important plan being spending forever together. My heart swells with joy just thinking about all those talks we had before he proposed. 

So, this brings me to my first highlight and ultimate favorite memory of 2016: getting engaged to the love of my life! It was romantic and sweet. After a walk on the beach, he stopped...set up the Go Pro in the sand so we could "take some pictures together by the ocean" (the man knows how much I love to take pictures!), and then after he set it up, he held me for a few minutes, pulled the ring out of his pocket, and got down on one knee. It was the perfect proposal. It was so us.

With the excitement of the proposal came WEDDING PLANNING! I have truly enjoyed every step of this process so far. I know that people say it is very stressful, and I totally understand why. However, at the end of our wedding day, he will be my husband & I will be his wife, and that is all that truly matters! So when stress starts to rear its ugly head, I keep that in mind. 2016 has been a fun year of wedding planning and us enjoying being engaged!
The day we found our dream venue! 

Bridal shows are a must for a bride-to-be (and yes I still have the "I'm Getting Married" lanyard hanging from my mirror in my car!)

This day was SO MUCH fun: when my bridesmaids found their dresses!! We played dress-up and found the most beautiful dresses for them all to wear. 

 The day I found my dream wedding dress!! 😍

Enjoying that engaged life: registering at Bed, Bath, & Beyond! 

Annnd we took our engagement pictures this year. Which I personally thought was a blast 😉 😀

Looking back on 2016, I realize how blessed I am to have such an amazing support system in my life! Balancing school and work was not easy, but having my amazing parents & fiancé by my side every step of the way made it all possible. I firmly believe God places the people in your life who you need at the exact time you need them. That is what my family and my love provide to me. They have been there for me through every tear, stress, test, etc, and they have supported me literally no. matter. what. I can't get over how God blesses me through my loved ones!!! In 2016, I have completed 3 more semesters of school with only 2 semesters left until graduation! It is with God's placement of these amazing people in my life that this has been possible. I pray that God helps me to bless others through the healthcare profession. 

Despite the stress of every day life, I also firmly believe that God helped put it in my heart to start blogging again. I started this blog back in 2011 because I love fashion and nothing has changed since. My little 'ol corner of the Internet has been such a joy to me and a huge stress reliever. So, 2016, you have brought me back to blogging and I thank you for it!!! Life is so busy that sometimes I do not have the time I wish to post as often as I truly want. However, I decided that regardless, I still wanted to try to post as much as possible because I really do believe I am a more well-rounded person when I set aside time to pursue my passions....which, if it's not obvious by my blog title by fashion! Not to mention that, once again, my love has been SO supportive of my fashion blogging, taking pictures for me and also surprising me with blogging photography equipment for Christmas! My mom too has ALWAYS supported my blogging as well. No matter what my goals, I know they will be there supporting me every step of the way.

So, I wanted to close this post by sharing some of the top things I've learned in 2016. This is not meant to be me giving advice, just some of the things I have learned this year that have been true for my life. Hence the photo in my favorite sweatshirt, just being me. The next lessons are a reflection of me, just as this picture is! 

1. Cherish time with your family, friends, and loved ones. We are not guaranteed any time on this earth, so spend as much time as possible with the ones you love most. 

2. Know your limits and stay true to yourself. When I say know your limits, I don't mean your limits in dreaming (dream big sister! See #3). What I mean is that it's ok to say "no" sometimes when you already have too much on your plate. Only you know what these limits are but it's important to always keep them in mind. 

3. Follow your dreams and your heart, always staying true to yourself. Don't be afraid to take chances and to step out on a limb. You never know what doors God may open. 

4. Be thankful. Look around at your blessings and don't ever take them for granted.

5. Surround yourself with people who fully support and love you, and support and love them right back. These people help make dreams possible because they are dreaming the dreams of your heart right along with you (and help you keep the big picture in mind when you get too overwhelmed with the tiny details!). 

Thank you so much everyone for all your support as always. I can't wait to continue blogging into 2017! 

I wish you a blessed & Happy New Year!

2017, I'm ready for ya! 


Once a Blondie, Always a Blondie!

December 29, 2016

 {Outfit Details}
T-shirt: Hollister & Co. (here, only $10!)
Moto Jacket: Forever 21 (here, on sale for only $25!)
Denim: Articles of Society (here
Boots: Target (no longer online, similar here)

Happy Thursday, dolls!

Can y'all believe NYE is coming up in just a few days?! I have soooo enjoyed this past week with my sweet fiancé, right before school starts back next week. We have been busy spending time with friends, family, each other, and then wedding planning in our spare time! I am SO ready for 2017!!! 

So right before Christmas, I stopped into Hollister to look for a Christmas gift for my niece. As I was browsing, this Blondie t-shirt caught my eye. I looked at the price tag, and it was an instant "duh. I have to have this!" moment (anyone else have internal dialogues with themselves when they go shopping? 😂 ). Hollister brings back many middle school memories for me, but I'm going to be completely honest with you, they STILL have super cute things that have stood the test of time. I mean let's be honest, graphic t's are SO classic: they never go out of style!! After I got home from this shopping trip, I sent a pic of this t-shirt to my Mom and said "doesn't it look like Barbie?!" She replied that she loved it, then proceeded to inform me that Blondie is a band.....crickets....yeah I didn't know that when I bought this shirt...but being that I'm blonde & love graphic t's, I bought it anyway! 

I paired my graphic t-shirt with my brown moto jacket from F21, that I originally blogged about HERE in my "Dressing Room Diaries." Oh my gosh, talk about obsession. And right now, this jacket is only $25. Trust me, you need it. I am a firm believer that you can look super stylish on a budget!!! 

Thank you SO much for reading dolls!


Christmas Outfit Recap!

December 26, 2016

{Outfit Details}
Top: H&M (Not online, similar here)
Skirt: H&M (Not online, similar here)
Heels: Old Navy (Not online, similar here)

Hi dolls! I hope everyone had a very Merry and blessed Christmas weekend! I had the best Christmas with my family & fiancé. Tonight I thought I would do a little "Christmas Outfit Recap" post to share a few snaps of my looks from this past Christmas season! 

Normally we celebrate Christmas with my precious Nana on Christmas Eve, but this year I was scheduled to work, so we went to my Nana's house on the Friday before instead! Nana always prepares the most delicious meal and then we open presents. It is always special to spend time with my loved ones every year; I never take it for granted! 

Anyway, on to my first #ootd for Christmas dinner with my Nana and family this past Friday! My presh fiancé took the pictures above of my #ootd after we ate lunch! I bought this outfit at H&M this past fall on one of my trips to Nashville for school. I absolutely love lace, mainly because it is so feminine! I thought the maroon color of this top & skirt set would be perfect for Christmas :). I actually had never worn it before I did to Christmas dinner; however, this also would also be a great outfit choice for attending a winter wedding. Another thing I love about this outfit is that it is a top and skirt combination, so that the pieces can be worn separately. I could wear the top with jeans for a more casual look, and then to change it up, I could pair the skirt with a more casual top! Love the versatility of a top & skirt combination.

On Christmas Day, we celebrated with my brother and the rest of my family. It has been a tradition in my family to eat an Italian dinner on Christmas Day ever since I can remember (after we get hungry again after our amazing Christmas breakfast in the morning). My mom's spaghetti is my fave! After dinner, it was present time! My nephews are still in the stage where Christmas is super magical and Santa Claus leaves them the best gifts ever! I love going over to my brother & sister-in-love's house to see what all Santa brought them! After exchanging gifts & seeing my nephews' presents, we also had a blast watching old baby videos this year. My Dad has started to convert some of my old baby videos from VHS onto DVD. My favorite gifts are sentimental ones, so this was absolutely perfect! We laughed and laughed seeing myself and my brothers in our younger years. Not to mention that I have been posing for the camera from an early age; Mom said that it is no wonder I love to blog because I have always been ready to pose in front of the camera! Haha! 😉  

So for Christmas Day, I opted for a more casual look. Our Christmas weather this year in Tennessee was a warm 70 degrees, and I'm not going to lie, I honestly enjoyed it! Haha! It was nice to wear a dress and not be freezing without tights or leggings. I bought this reindeer dress last year at a local boutique, Southern Charm. I love the sequins (as y'all already know from my sequin pants post here) & thought it would be perf for Christmas Day! I paired it with my lace-up flats from Old Navy (remember, I have them in 4 colors, lol). I love the way gold & red look together, and it was the perfect color combination for Christmas Day!

{Outfit Details}
Dress: Southern Charm (not online, similar here)
Flats: Old Navy (here

And, we just so happened to be standing under the mistletoe at the SAME time, such a coincidence & totally not planned, of course...haha! 😉  Any excuse to kiss my love! 

So what did y'all do for Christmas!? Leave me a comment & share! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday spent with the ones you love most!

Thanks so much for reading, dolls!


A Sparkly, Sequined-Filled Christmas!

December 22, 2016

{Outfit Details}
Sweater: Old Navy (exact not online, similar here, here)
Pants: may & july (found exact pair here on Poshmark, similar here)
Lace-up Flats: Old Navy (here)

Can y'all believe Christmas is only 3 days away!? Tonight I wanted to share a few pics my sweet fiancé took a few weeks ago under the Christmas tree! Y'all may recognize this white fur throw from my post here. I had no clue when I bought this throw on Black Friday it would come in so handy for blogging! Haha!

So I have to tell the story behind these pants. Yes there is a story! Doesn't it make all kinds of sense that a sequin pair of pants would have a good story to go along with them? One day I walked into work, and one of my best friends at work (who I fondly refer to as my "Work Mommy") had an early Christmas present for me. Can you guess what it was!? I kind of made it obvious, but YES, she gave me the sequin pants I'm wearing in this post for Christmas! I have been wanting a pair of sequin leggings for FOREVER and I was SO excited she gave them to me (the perfect gift)!!! Not to mention, these are SO comfy!!! They are sequins on the outside, but the lining is made of the softest cotton. Y'all seriously need a pair. Plus, what is more perfect for the holidays (and NYE) than sequins!? My trick for wearing sequin pants is to make them the "star of the show" (to borrow a song lyric from Thomas Rhett 😉) and down-play the rest of my outfit. For instance, I decided to wear a casual, simple sweater to make the pants really shine (no pun intended...). 

Also, let's talk about these lace-up flats. Y'all may remember this was on my Fall Wish List. I love these shoes and the ballerina vibe they give (I used to do ballet when I was little!). Since this is a trendy item, I didn't want to spend a fortune on a pair of shoes. So, enter Old Navy, my go-to for trendy pieces at affordable prices. I may be guilty of buying these shoes in 4 different colors (I bought the black & olive green in the store, but ordered the gold & red online!). This gold pair is perfect for the holiday season! Check them out at the link under my picture above. 

Are y'all ready for Christmas!? I have finally finished my shopping but have to finish wrapping gifts...I better get to that! 

Thanks SO much for reading, as always, I appreciate you all! Also, be sure to enter my giveaway HERE, it closes in only 8 days!

Copyright © Life with Ashley Joy
Design by Fearne