You may have heard of the terrible twos or the three-nagers, but I am going to call it the terrifying threes, because that is exactly what it is to me. If you have a 2 year old then you should quit reading because I do not want to scare you, but if you are in the terrifying three stage or past it, you will hopefully relate, and if not, tell me so I can get her help because clearly I am not the problem!Read More
I was driving my daughter to preschool last Monday and I was listening to her babble in the back seat pointing out every thing she loved while looking out the window. Toddlers really do have a way of making you stop and smell the roses as they find joy in the most simple things. She kept repeating herself about how cute these little trees were and how she wanted one at Christmas, so when she started to shout "MOM I AM TALKING TO YOU," I finally turned around to see what she was pointing to. They were just small ornamental pine trees in this yard by her school. She just couldn't believe they had real Christmas trees in their yard and she wanted one of those too. No, she wouldn't remember if we have had a real tree at Christmas yet since she just turned 3, but it really made me stop and think about how I may be choosing the easy route over the experience. Why? Because it is easier. And we have become so obsessed with finding the quickest, cleanest, and most thoughtless option, we often forget that most things in life come with a valuable lesson or experience. So why have we become so busy that we do this? Busy on our phones, computers, and trying to keep connected to the world. What for? Don't get me wrong, I am writing this because I had the revelation that maybe that is exactly what I am doing right now and stopping to ask myself why, has led me to this post. I am guilty. I don't know why looking at my phone has become more enjoyable and taken over the many joys in life. I find it actually more depressing than anything to open up FaceBook and see the animal abuse, the child abuse, the politics, the hate, the bullying, the killing. And yet, I am choosing to waste time on that rather than baking, blogging, exploring, reading and simply just living my best life. I have decided to give this whole Easy or Experience thought a go. Seriously. We have a fake Christmas tree. Why? Haha because it is easier. Less mess, no pine needles, and I don't have to water it or hunt for that "perfect" tree every year. Because in this society we are all about perfection. So this year, we are getting the real thing baby!! We are going to go as a family and find whatever tree my daughter thinks is great, and that will be our tree. I will still put up the fake one, because I love the season and I love the celebration, but we are going to experience it with new eyes. Who knows, it may just become a new tradition for us! If you hear me complain about the mess, kindly remind me of this post!
If you are my friend on FaceBook, you may have recently seen my post about my cake pops.....they were made with love! Haha. Another lesson for me. My daughter loves cake pops and asked me for Mickey Mouse ones for her Birthday. Every year I either have someone make me the cutest cupcakes or cookies, buy the decorations and buy all of the food. Why? It's easy. I am not sure what else I am too busy doing at that time, but apparently I am. But when your daughter asks you to make Mickey Mouse cake pops, Pinterest to the rescue. The process it takes to make them is long! Finally I was done and I was frustrated, annoyed and felt bad because they were.....well ugly. But my daughters eyes lit up when I showed her the Mickey Mouse cake pop just for her. She said "Mom, I love it. Thank you". "You made this for me?" Yes baby girl, I made those. My heart melted and yet these hideous looking cake balls were a pain in the butt to make, it was so worth her reaction. ( I have yet to decide if I will make them next year). Bwahhhhaaaa.
Now that it is Fall here in Iowa, most of us are cleaning our yards up before the first snow! EEEK! Last year I managed to rake up a small pile, just enough for my daughter to jump and play in the leaves, then hired it all to be cleaned up and taken away. I have terrible allergies, so I try to avoid raking and playing in them myself. I took sweet photos of her last year playing in them so when she is older she can see how "awesome and loving" her Mom was to let her do that. Haha (insert sarcasm). This year, for the ultimate experience, I made sure that I was a big girl and took my allergy pill. I used the blower to gather the leaves and then I raked them into a HUGE pile, big enough for all 3 of us to play in. The dog, daughter and I :) I forgot how much I actually like to rake and do yard work. I do have a garden, but it is not the same! Is it really that hard? The simple answer is no, no it's not. AND I have this really great picture showing how much joy it brought her :) No that is not the pile!
The list goes on and on. It is a choice that we have to make every day living with children and even relates to our spouses! I totally know there are times that you can not jump in a puddle or play in the rain, but the times that you can, why not let them? What is it seriously going to harm? The amount of excitement from my daughter when I let her play in the rain is exceptional! Best day ever. What's another outfit change when you have already changed 3 times that day already! Haha. And going back to the spouse thing, I am not an expert, actually I have learned a lot in my short life. But what I do know is that when I make the choice to choose love and kindness, my world rotates a lot more smoothly then when I choose stats. No keeping score, no counting flaws, but taking the time to leave a note somewhere, sending a nice message throughout the day goes a long way! You may be asked a favor by your significant other and to you it seems so crazy that he or she thinks you have this time and doesn't he know that you are already busy enough? I promise if you choose to look at it as an opportunity to show love, it will change your life! I have a friend who has 3 kids and is married and we were chatting about kids and the work and all the same things we always chat about as women, and she mentioned she made her husband his lunch everyday. What? Are you serious? I was a little taken back and didn't understand why it was nothing to her but only to realize that it was her choice. She wanted to and enjoyed it. She already made 2 other lunches for her kids, so why was it so much harder to do 1 more? A light bulb went on inside my head. This was one of her ways of showing him love and appreciation. It would be kind of hard to be mad at your wife then sit down only to realize she made the food you are eating :) Bwahhhaaa At least he has to think about it!
I tend to avoid things that are messy. Hate to admit it but I do. Why? Because it's all fun and games until someone has to clean it up. Painting is messy. We have painted...a lot.
Playing in the mud is even worse. But we did it. Someone else seemed to enjoy it too.
Halloween is not my favorite Holiday by any means. I am perfectly fine to skip carving or de-gutting pumpkins, but yet again I have my daughter to thank for allowing me to experience it all over again this year! And it just keeps getting better! What happens when 2 perfectionists try and de-seed and carve 1 pumpkin? Haha it was hilarious! My daughter carefully plucked each seed from the pumkin and no seed was left behind :) We cleaned and cooked our seeds for the first time together and fought over who got to eat the last one! So much fun!
How many things in your life could you change to experience it, instead of just doing it? I am going to make a list with my daughter for this winter and we are going to write down things that she wants to do. Yes, she is only 3 but have you ever talked to a 3 year old? They know EXACTLY what they want to do :) Haha. So far on the list is the ride the train at the mall and build a snowman! If you think your child forgets things, maybe you should give them more credit that you are because my daughter will remember there are sheep at Von Maur the instant we step inside that store....even as a 1 year old! They KNOW!
I know people are so sick of politics and hearing about them and people's opinions are being plastered all over social media and in our very own streets, but are you looking at this election with the easy or experience aspect? It is so easy to sit back and post such hate, negativity and spew awful words from your mouth but are you gaining anything by doing that? A lot of posts are focused on "How will I tell my children?" You tell them that change happens, a lot, and it is hard and uncomfortable and sometimes very painful, but you are strong enough to move on. There will be more change in their lives that will occur other than just changing Presidents. You show them love and grace and they will respond positively. Certainly I am a little scared of how President elect Trump will handle this job, but instead of rioting, damaging our country, or using Facebook to post such nonsense, maybe I will try to experience it from another angle. Remember when your Mom told you "Not to judge a book by it's cover?" Maybe we all should apply that to this. Above all, this is our America and it can only be great again when people start choosing love over hate. Go out and volunteer instead of wasting time rioting. We are putting our police officers more at risk when we display this violent behavior. People make mistakes all of the time, we are all sinners but we have a forgiving and loving God. Let's be more like that. YES we are in for quite the experience so buckle up and do your part to make it worth it. We are in charge of ourselves and our actions so let's put our best foot forward and pray for Trump, pray for your friends, your family, your children and your enemies. Love trumps ALL.
November always has a way of making me reset, rethink and show gratitude. Maybe it's Thanksgiving, the Holidays or just family events. I don't know but I hope that after reading this blog you come out with maybe a new perspective or have your own "ah ha" moment too. Maybe it is for your kids, your spouse, or yourself. Trust me when I say that the memories and experiences that come from living your life are much greater than any other "business" that we choose to fill our time with!
Much love friends and cheers!!
How did I live my life without all of this stuff I have recently discovered by being on the inside of direct sales? I mean, seriously. I know everyone does an eye roll at the thought of one more Fabebook post advertising their crap, but this is the future people! Trust me, I do the eye roll too then remember I am one of them :) You have no idea how many people will see a post and that 1 post may be just what they are looking for at that specific time! Like if there was a potty training human I could have bought from a direct sales company a few months ago, I would've paid BIG BUCKS for it. I recently saw a post from a fellow friend about why not buy from a Direct sales person? Why not try to buy a gift for someone through a friend to support what they are doing? Sure you may not be into everything that everyone is selling, but have you even tried it before judging it? I am so so guilty and only until recently has my mind been changed. I have found products that I am absolutely in love with. I started out by just buying from people who were buying from me as a thank you, not knowing I would be their regular customers as well. As most of you know, if you are my FB friend or follow me on IG @ashleyn2504), I am a stylist for Stella & Dot. Who doesn't want to grab their girlfriends and have me come over to style them and drink wine or cocktail of choice?? I mean, duh! I even do fundraisers to help anyone and everyone raise money for their cause of choice! I do not have any alterior motives, I just simply love fashion and helping people find pieces they love and that make them feel great! Sounds soooo cliché but it is the truth! I get emails and photos texted to me all of the time of happy customers who are 5 years old to 85 years old...no joke. It is not for everyone and that is ok, but take a look at the things I have found and LOVE from a Direct Sales guy or gal and if something strikes your fancy, give them a shout. But remember, I am the ONLY Stella & Dot gal you will ever need ;)
Rodan & Fields: My worst habit is not washing my face. Never have and probably never will like I should but my drawer is filled to the brim with Rodan & Fields...haha. Why? I love the products that I have tried so far! I love the eye cream, the eye cleaning wipes, the redefine kit, hand cream, and now the roller! I thought it was just a little plastic thing and a joke until I rolled it on my face and had to text my consultant why my face was all red and bumpy...lol ( I have crazy skin and it was legit). See this is why you buy from friends! So you can text or call them and they will help you with whatever! Now I use the roller often and I never have a problem but my skin is always moisturized and not flaky anymore! My go to girl is Jen Penisten, so if interested contact her at Bestskinwithjen@gmail.com.
Usborne Books: If you have never bought books from them, Christmas is coming up and they are so awesome! Who doesn't love buying books? They have so many titles and the quality is top notch. The shine-a-light books are a favorite in our house. You take a flashlight to the book pages to discover hidden images! Need a gift or books, contact Tami Israel at Y4870.myubam.com.
It Works: I know you know someone who is a distributor for this company, I see more of this than anything else on my feed. I honestly have tried several things and it really isn't my thing BUT I have found something I love! The chew vitamins! I have been taking them along with my daughter takes 1 per day and it has helped SO much with her poop not being so hard....sorry for the mom talk :) So if you want soft poop for your toddler contact Dani Housley on Facebook! And one more wrap post and I may just try it before my October vacation ;)
Matilda Jane: The cutest clothing for littles! I have not personally bought the adult clothing, but that is because it is way more fun to shop for my daughter than me! If you love ruffles, lace and everything girlie, you will love this stuff. Plus, Joanna Gaines buys it for her girls, so you know it's cute!!! Haha #lifegoals My "Jane" as they call it is Jael Brose or trunk keeper #952 and you can order or send your wishlist here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lipsense: The newest lip gloss craze and it is a good one! Semi-permanent lip gloss in a variety of colors that you can mix and match! I am not going to lie, but the first few times I used it I was not loving the burn from the alcohol in the gloss, but the more you use it, the less you notice it! I love rose berry and can't wait to try out more! My Lip Sense gal is Kimberly Gleason if you need a hook up :) Just look her up on Facebook and she can add you to her group!
Advocare: I actually tried this before I started selling Stella & Dot because I was working as a nurse and as you all know we work long shifts sometimes and need a little pick me up! Now I need it daily being a mom and running around like a chicken with my head cut off, dealing with a toddler who has boycotted naps at the ripe old age of 2. Boo! The product I love is the spark and it is probably the best seller for them! I love love love the pineapple coconut with coconut milk!! It is like the "pink drink" but better and less expensive habit! I also like the blue raspberry. I do like the rehydrate if I am working out, which is not very often! Haha I buy from different people because some have kinds on hand that I love! Shasta Hilmer (www.advogirl35.com) is my on hand girl and I recently met the sweetest gal Crystal Thurber (http://www.advokc.com) in Kansas City at a tournament and she was so kind to send me samples of each of the products! I can't wait to try them. Younique: This was one of those parties where I was invited by a customer and I bought a lip stain because I really never change my make-up or try anything new! But I am a lipstick whore. Well lucky me I freaking loved the stain and better yet, it stays on! So then once again, my friend invited me to shop her party, so I ordered the foundation because it was "all the rage". Well I picked up some from a local gal and realized I looked like an Oompa Loompa because it was the wrong color (until Summer came along). Well, long story short, I now use the foundation daily, the primer when I go out, eyeshadow, lip stains, lipstick, and concealer. My local gal is Kaylyn Moore and my other go to gal is Ashley DeJonge at www.youniqueproducts.com/ashleydejonge (because I loved her name, no really) plus she turned out to be the sweetest gal ever! Funny how Direct Sales brings you to meet new people!
LulaRoe: If you know me you would say, no way no how does she wear that stuff. Well you are partially right. I was at one of my first vendor events and there happened to be a consultant there. I was browsing her racks and saw they had adorable little leggings and dresses for my daughter! ( See there I go again buying her crap). Then I decided it would be really funny to buy a pair of printed leggings for my mother who I knew would freak out and tell me hell to the no. I know, I am such a good daughter :) So after that I wanted to do a joint party with one of the local consultants with my Stella & Dot to reach people who don't know that we offer jewelry that doesn't need to be dressed up all of the time! This was the first time I bought leggings (black) and a Julia dress! And they are both pieces I love! Lord knows people in the Midwest have LulaRoe dealers like crack dealers around here so these are 2 of my gals Alicia Trogdon and the ever so sweet Tricia Rivas (also the owner of the amazing Trixies Salon here in Des Moines.)
Beauty Counter: I love their lip gloss too! I am telling you, I have a lot of it :) I also use the body scrub that makes my skin feel super moisturized after a shower, plus it smells so good, I want to eat it! I really want to try the charcoal mask and the face oil. Those will be my next purchases :) I heard that Target had some of it on the shelves for a hot minute, so you know it's good stuff! I have only purchased through a party so the 2 gals I know who sell it are Maegan Carroll www.beautycounter.com/meagancarroll and Katie Nola www.beautycounter.com/katienola
Young Living: Ok, so I know there are 2 companies out there that are popular, Young Living and doTerra. I have read the difference and I am really not sure why I chose one over the other, really no reason at all. I think that my go to girl Brianne Koch posted something on FaceBook at the right time and the rest is history :) See, you never know who is going to be reading each post. I now own the starter kit, and since have placed 3 additional orders because diffusing is my jam. Every night at bedtime, I turn on the diffuser with new concoctions depending on my mood. My favorite is lavender, peppermint and lemon all together. I use thieves on my canker sores and they are so much better by the next day. I love them! Oh and don't be afraid to drink that pouch drink in your starter kit, Ningxia Red, it is delish. Brianne's website is oily inspired.com.
Keep: Last but not least Stella & Dots sister company, Keep :) Adorable charms and bracelets to fit each personality and situation and style. Plus it goes really well with our Stella & Dot arm parties :) These make great gifts as they are easy to build upon, so you can buy 1 charm at a time! I just bought from an online party's so I don't have my own personal Keep Collector but I am sure if you ask on FB if anyone sells it there will be plenty of suggestions.
Oldies but goodies that I have bought from before I started with direct sales is Pampered chef, Avon, Tupperware, Uppercase Living, and Tastefully Simple ( the beer bread). I am sure there are some that I am forgetting or maybe I am leaving out some since my Grandma and Mother will read this ;) Haha
So you may ask what the point of this blog post was? Well, people ask me all of the time what products I use, what colors and what are products that I love. I am frequently looking for party hostess online or in home, and I feel like with all of the options out there, people get totally overwhelmed and annoyed with all of the party requests they are receiving. If you don't love it, it's OK!!! Maybe you have a friend you know would love it, so order it for them as a gift! Connections or networks, whatever you want to call it, really has led me to friends who will be around for a very long time, and I am so grateful for that! So the next time you are invited to a party, at least take a look and see if there is anything you could buy! Support friends because you never know when you may be the next to jump on board the direct sales train. It isn't "selling" if you love the product and are passionate about it!
You can email me anytime if you ever want information on joining my Stella & Dot team! Ladyandred2504@hotmail.com. No boss, no quotas, and a lot of accessories! Or if you just want to browse my online boutique shop here: www.stelladot.com/sites/ashleydejong
I may just toot my own horn one last time while it lasts :) The above photo is my Instagram photo of me pairing and wearing my new Stella & Dot goodies. Next thing I know I am getting text messages from friends and family telling me that it is being shared not only by Stella & Dot but by lots of people and companies....see this "job" is fun!! Just FYI, the current likes of this photo is 1,975 :) Toot toot! The above combo is the Plume Necklace which is 7 in 1 but clearly I have found more than just 7 different ways to wear it. I paired it with the White Stone Sutton necklace for a whole new look. My bracelets are a mixture as well of The Sawyer Stone and The Milana Tassel bracelet. AND that ring!! I can't quit wearing it...Pave Chevron Ring.
Below are a few images I have found of some great outfits paired with Stella & Dot accessories. Remember we are not just jewelry! Also follow me on Instagram @ashleyn2504 for more everyday photos and posts.
The Edgy Classics: Weddings, Brunch, Church, Showers, Work (depends on profession)
Date Night: Or great for vacation! When I see the clutch print I automatically think vacay!! Outdoor wine tasting or concert, heck, skip the clutch and grab tote and farmers market it is! Yes this princess would wear a dress there :)
Silver: ANYWHERE! This is awesome.
The Perfect Statement: Shopping day, movie, and maybe a Sunday fun day. This is for those ladies wanting to know what jewelry goes with JUST a t-shirt....SEE FIRST PHOTO :)) My perfect t-shirt comes from a favorite local store Blond Genius. Click the blue link or call them from the link to buy my same "Blond Genius" t-shirt!!
I hope this gives you some good ideas on how to pair and wear clothes already in your closet. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you always need new clothes for new trends, when in fact you can make your old clothes feel new & trendy by adding in updated accessories! Cheers!