From Golden Guest Rest to Gray for Baby J

As promised, it's time to get these baby room updates on the books. It's been a slow process: First because, well, pregnant, and second, because: Louisiana/Minnesota/Life. But I'm happy to say the paint portion is pretty much complete, and I couldn't be happier with the results!
First up, painting the ceiling. I wouldn't wish this neck-breaking
work on my worst enemy! Not looking forward to it in other rooms. YUCK.
Tucker was a big help.
Job: Done. Glasses: Spattered. Body: SORE.
Pressing the roller on the ceiling left me with The Claw for a day or so, and some
lovely blisters after.
Next up, taking care of a very well-worn windowsill. Sand, primer, and paint (remember?)!
...And two coats of paint later. Much improved!
 And things really got moving once I got to start putting our chosen color - Glidden Granite Gray - up on the walls. Transformation! Suddenly that windowsill work started to really stand out too.
Completed ceiling, walls, and windowsill!
Last but not least, I painted all the baseboard and door trim to match the sill. We also tore out the builder-standard single-rack closet prior to painting. It's currently being built out again with multiple racks and some shelving!
Tuck-The-Helper at it again, this time supervising the crib build.
From golden guest room to fresh gray nursery. The transformation is well under way!
I've since stenciled an accent wall, which I'll reveal soon, and the closet installation should be finished up within a week or so. Can't wait to be able to hang and store some lovely gifts we've already received. We've hung curtains too; higher and wider than those in the before pic, which has made a big difference to the window.

At some point along this show-and-tell journey I'll have to bite the bullet and reveal what's happened to all the stuff in that room previously.... Let me tell you, not a pretty picture whittling down two full rooms into one cohesive guest room/man cave. That's still a bit of a work in progress. But for now, YAY for a room nearly finished in terms of the big stuff! And now comes the fun: Art, a rug, pillows, etc. I'll keep you posted!


Random Round Up: Hi Third Tri!

As crazy as this sounds to me, as of this weekend I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy. What?! Where did the time go?? That means after this coming weekend full of wedding festivities, it's time to really buckle down and get things DONE... which means you'll get to see some of those things right here. Finally!

For now, a few weekend moments:
King of the castle.
Gestational diabetes glucose test - Not my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning!
Freshly oiled antique tack - Check out how nicely the blinders cleaned up!
A morning park stroll was looking a little autumnal.
Pretty little bridal shower treats.
Happy Monday!


ThredUp FollowUp

As you may recall, a few weeks back I packed up some clothes I was ready to part with, packed 'em in a polka-dot bag, and shipped them off to ThredUp, the online consignment store.
ThredUp makes it clear on their website that they usually accept about 50% of what's sent in. Call me an optimist, but I thought I sent in some great stuff and wouldn't have any problem beating the odds.


I'd say my percentage was about 35-40ish, and what was chosen was not at all what I would have guessed. If anything, the pieces they took I thought might be coming back!
I wasn't expecting to bring in big bucks by any means, but under $11 for a payout also felt a little on the low end.

A fun addition, however, is that they do send you an email to let you know when something's sold. I was surprised to see the items they accepted pretty much flying off the virtual shelves! I guess the ThredUp buyers know what they're doing, whether I like it or not.
So would I do it again? Maybe, but probably not. I'm more likely to make a purchase from ThredUp's site then send items in again. With paying $12.99 to have my rejected items sent back to me and making $10.53 from the clothes they accepted, I actually ended up spending $2.46 on this endeavor. So! Off to my local consignment store I'll go, and after that, donate whatever is left.

Regardless, this closet clean-out is not taking a step backward. In fact, I think I'll go add some more to the pile!

Want the whole story? You can read about getting set up with ThredUp and shipping stuff out right here.


Random Round Up: Belated Birthday

My birthday may have been nearly a month ago, but we took this weekend to celebrate and that meant a bunch of stuff I love...
Some stencil action in Baby J's room - Yes, it's a tease. Yes, you'll see it all soon.
Because sometimes you just need some good ol' mac & cheese.
A tailgate picnic in 90 degree weather on the way to downtown Seattle.
The forever-gorgeous 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle for Grease!
Built in 1926, the details of The 5th never get old for me.
We capped it all off with a little sushi (vegetarian for me, oh the fun of pregnancy.) Hope your days off were equally fabulous!


Facing The World: My New Adventure!

I am super excited to finally get to tell you about my new life development: I took a position as a Rodan + Fields skincare consultant! Still working the regular corporate gig too, but this on-the-side fun fulfills a chunk of life I've been missing since leaving my previous über-creative job: Getting to hear what people are looking for and fill those needs.

R+F is one of the leading skincare companies in the United States (seriously, hovering in the top four with heavy-hitters Lancôme, Estée Lauder, and Clinique). I started using the products about a year ago, and it didn't take long to figure out that this wasn't drugstore stuff. I was getting what I paid for (imagine that!), seeing big time results, and getting compliments. Compliments on my skin, what?! It was never terrible, but certainly no one ever took notice of it before.
Finally, instead of sending people off to shop from my consultant, I decided to take up the charge myself. And here I am, loving it! It's so fun to watch people realize the transformative powers of not having to wear makeup, or feeling like they've dropped years from their appearance.

When I first started using the products, it was all about reducing redness and irritation. My skin is super sensitive, and I've battled keratosis pilaris (aka: chicken skin. Charming, eh?) on my face and arms my whole life. My friends even nicknamed my jawline "Da Beard" since any kind of exercise or red wine and *poof!* A bright red, million degree, red flush crept across my jaw line. Not the kind of 'healthy color' a girl is really shooting for. Plus that lovely glow hung around even without the fun of working out or drinking. Just red. Always. ...Ugh.

Enter the Soothe regimen, and immediate results. This is me - zero makeup on my skin - after one use. One. If it wasn't my own face I wouldn't believe it either.
It's the kind of stuff infomercials are made of, I know. Except with R+F the results are real. I actually know real live people who've transformed freckles, saggy skin, sun damage, and crows feet, some in days or weeks. Cuh-ray-zee. In fact speaking of crow's feet, here's a picture of my cousin who I just spent a week with in Minnesota:
Amy's results stem mainly from Acute Care patches - Clear stickers you put on
before bed and take off in the morning. NOT complicated, guys.
That's real deal winning, folks. So for goodness sake, get in on this. Yes, it's more expensive than the drugstore. However, the results cannot be argued with, and check this out:
Not a bank breaker by any means. R+F is so confident in the product (and why shouldn't they be) that they even offer a 60 day empty bottle money back guarantee. Stellar.

Never ever in my life have I offered an email address to the public, but I'm gonna now: Shoot me a note at RodanAndFieldsAshley{at}gmail{dot}com and I would be more than happy to get you started on your way to pretty, pretty skin. It's changed the way I face the world.
Truth. Already wishing I started earlier since the results now are so awesome.


Random Round Up: Mixed Bag

My week is starting with a mixed bag: I've taken on a new position that I am busting to tell you about, and had planned to today, but my excitement is a bit overshadowed by the loss of a dear friend and mentor that I found out about this morning.

Jim was the biggest University of Washington football fan I've ever known, so this snap of Husky Stadium from last week's flight home just has to go up in his honor:
Please, guys: SUNSCREEN. We tend to shrug off skin cancer because it's generally visible, treatable, and categorized as 'less serious'.

It's not. Take the annoying 5 minutes and put on the lotion, the spray, the stick, whatever. Sunscreen. Protection for yourself, and protection for your friends and family feeling like me today.

I can't leave you entirely depressed - Have some puppy and weekend goodness while you're here too:
Special delivery!
Forever fave: Avocado on toast (with a little Montreal Steak seasoning, yummm).
Clearly meant to be my dog. #CoffeeLover
Seriously SO over-the-moon excited to tell you more about my new job later in the week! Stay well, my friends.


Random Round Up: Land-O-Lakes

Home again from my favorite place in the world - A big lake in a tiny town in Minnesota. It was a week of perfect weather, food and family, and parking myself on the end of a dock for hours a time.

So basically: My version of heaven. I couldn't choose only five Random Round Up pics like normal, so enjoy a couple bonus visuals this week.
Not a bad way to kick of the month of July.
All under 7 months - Love these fuzzy hoodlums.
Party like it's 1776! My 4th of July manicure.
Full moon magic... Photos just can't capture the reality.
Children of the Lake
Fires to the north made for some incredible sunsets.
Guess I'll be wearing this ring whether it's on my finger or off for a while!
The reality check was a harsh one this week, but getting back in the swing. Happy Friday eve, all!


ThreadsOut With ThredUp

Mixing it up this week, mostly because I'm so excited about what I'm gonna tell you today. Random Round Up later in the week!

Have you heard of ThredUp? In 2015, clothing consignment stores have gone digital, and ThredUp.com is leading the charge. It's way past time for me to purge some closets, so one pass later and an overflowing bin was staring me in the face.
I'd heard of ThredUp thanks mostly to Facebook ads, and decided some from-home selling sounded a lot better than hauling my 40 pound tupperware in to the local consignment store. I hopped online, ordered a kit (aka: a large bag with postage attached and instructions on what to do) for free, and a few days later it showed up in my mailbox.
There's no time limitation on returning the bag. In fact, they want you to wait until you have enough to stuff it full to send it back as it's more worth it for everyone. Not a problem for me this time around - Their website tool was able to quickly check if my item was accepted or not based on brand and item type (aka: shoes, pants, etc.). Full disclosure: They're picky. They want good quality, clean, ready-to-wear stuff that's current and cute. In all the web and sent literature, the company is quite upfront that the usual acceptance rate is about 50% of what you send in. To me, that's fair. They're a business and honestly, they're doing me a favor.
Accepted items ready to pack.
Rejected brands waiting to go to the next stop.
So what happens to the stuff they don't accept? If you want it back, you sign up to pay a $12.99 fee (if required) when you order your kit. If you just want the clothes out of your house period, you can leave it all with them and they will responsibly recycle anything left over. Lovely! If you choose the latter, you are only coming out ahead: Free kit, free shipping of the bag, free closet space, and you will be paid for what they accept. I'd say that's a pretty darn good deal.
I signed up to pay the $12.99 fee this first time as I want to see what's rejected, and I will probably take those items to my local consignment store to see if they want them. If they say no too, I'm excited to donate to a clothing bank my mom volunteers with. It's good stuff, and name brands should have nothing to do with these things being worn again!
The last step is to either drop your full bag off at a FedEx store or schedule a pickup online with your USPS carrier. Both are free, but hey, if someone will come get it for me I'm all about that. USPS pickup it is! The bag comes with the appropriate postage and sending address already attached. Seriously couldn't be easier.
On the front steps awaiting pickup!
I'll report back on how it all shakes out, but for now I'm so excited to have 20 pounds of clothes out of the house without dropping a dime. Three cheers for ThredUp!

Update: Want to see the results? Right here.



Happy Birthday, America!
Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful celebration - We're with family on the water and I couldn't be happier. Cheers!


Craven Farms Antique Sale 2015

North of Seattle in Snohomish County, there's a once-yearly few hours of treasure hunting magic: The Craven Farms Antique Sale. Collectors and vendors set up tents and trailers in a field and the public is welcome to come to browse and barter to their heart's content.
The crowd about 45 minutes after opening (with a cameo by very pregnant,
extremely gorgeous friend Rachel on the left).
From water skis to hand-painted cabinetry.
This '40's book was a hilarious how to cure yourself from everything - from diabetes
to 'dropsy' - by using positive thinking. My one regret that I didn't purchase this year!
Surgical implements? Kitchen tools? Who can tell!
Last year you might recall I walked away with a gorgeous 1940's cast iron child's sewing machine. It's proudly on display in our family room, and gets regular comments a year later. Such a gem! This year was no different in terms of fabulous treasures. I walked away only about $30 lighter with a great basket (to be turned shelf for the baby's room), some antique blocks that spell his name (Yes, we've decided. No, we're not telling. And only two blocks are in the picture on purpose, don't even try.), and a fantastically destitute bridle with blinders that I'll clean and saturate with saddle oil and hang on the wall above my saddle.
Maybe those aren't epic treasures to everyone, but I couldn't be happier.
Some treasures, some... not so much.
LOVED this pattern - I've never seen anything like the arrows!
I'd highly encourage anyone who can get to the area to head for the farm the last Saturday in June if they can - They have a Facebook page to share their info.

And hey, if you can't come... More treasures for me!