Happy SIX Months SGL! : Why I Started Blogging...

Happy 1/2 Birthday to Style Grace + Lace! 

Six months ago today, I launched my lifestyle, fashion, and motherhood blog in search of a new hobby and a way to express some creativity. Of course, I have a love for writing, which seems should be a given when you're a "blogger," but for me, starting this blog was almost a cathartic release. I was a new(ish) stay-at-home mom to an 8-month old baby girl, struggling to find an outlet. I was sitting on my couch in early February; London was napping her first (of three) naps for the day, and I was basically binge watching Teen Mom OG (don't judge!). I remember feeling really down and kind of (for lack of a better word) defeated. I cherished the quality time that I got with Lo and we had established our own little routine, but I found myself worn out from the monotony of everyday life. I knew I needed to get out of the funk I was in + use what down time I did have to do something positive and productive. 

Enter SGL. 

In many ways, this little space on the internet saved me. I am able to express my love for style, fashion, travel and fitness all while sharing my journey and joy in being a mom. My passion for writing is stronger than ever, and I can honestly say that it has made me happier and in turn, a better wife + mom. The beauty of this whole blogging world is that there's SO much to learn and while I'm still learning everyday, SGL continues to provide me with some pretty cool opportunities and has allowed me to meet and collaborate with incredible people. 

I want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has supported my journey with Style Grace + Lace. I'm so appreciative of every single reader + I hope to bring you many more months of lifestyle + motherhood goodness :)

xx,

Ashley

in the nude...

Excuse the title ... kinda had to right? Since it's spring - the obsession with nude EVERYTHING is in full force. I wanted to share some of my seasonal favorites with you! Hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy FriYAY!

xx,

Ashley

Spring Sandals!

I'm totally ready to bring out my sandals and store away the boots ... just waiting on this weather to cooperate! One day its in the 60's, the next day it's snowing, seriously, mother nature MAKE UP YOUR MIND! Regardless, my sandal game needs a reboot (see what I did there?) and I can't wait to get my hands on some of my personal faves below!

1. Topshop "Holly" Lace-up Sandals - Love the color & only $35!

2. BC Footwear 'Wee' Slide Sandal - Because let's be honest...sometimes we don't have 25 minutes to spend lacing up our gladiators. Ok? We just DON'T.

3. Forever 21 Faux Leather Sandals - Two-for-one deal...these are both cute & comfortable!

4. ASOS FOR LOVE Leather Lace Up Sandals - Major favorite of mine for Spring.

5. ASOS FLORENCE Embellished Leather Sandals - So dainty and sweet ... and can go with most anything (added bonus)

6. Braided Leather Flat Sandals by Zara - Yes. SO MUCH YES.

7. H&M Sandals with Fringe - A little pop of color for Spring!

8. H&M Flats with Ankle Strap - Another color that I just love ... not to mention the style!

9. Black Laced Sandals H&M - Suede with long lacing around the ankle...LOVE.

 

 

 

INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

I've partnered up with Little Beans Clothing to give my Instagram followers a chance to win a $25 shop credit to snag some of the cutest mommy & baby apparel!

To enter, here's what you do:

>  Follow @AshleyMarkwood & @LittleBeans_Co

>  Like the photo posted with the giveaway

*Please tag some friends who you think would like to enter! The giveaway closes in 48 hours!

 

Why I'm totally #TeamLittleBeans:

I love meeting fellow mommy's that are so inspirational and motivate me to chase my dreams! Stephanie, the owner/creator, it not only extremely talented - she's also super sweet!  I'm all about graphic tee's that are witty and just REAL ... so when I came across this company, it was a match made in heaven. Her designs are unique and there's something for everyone; moms, dads, boys, girls, toddlers & babies ... I love the variety!

I hope you all enter this Instagram  giveaway for a chance to win! Below are some of my favorite pieces from the online shop!

xx,

Ashley

 

Easter With The Markwood's!

Yesterday was a great day ... busy & hectic ... but GREAT! We loved celebrating London's first Easter right here at our little Massachusetts apartment. It was nice not to have to travel anywhere, but to wake up in our own beds and lounge. We did a little food prep the night before, so we could enjoy Sunday for the most part. We got London all dolled up for Easter service and had a little pre-church photo shoot (which was totally my husband's idea) Haha! We hosted Chris's mom and stepdad for dinner which included: Ham w/a brown sugar glaze, green bean casserole, mac n' cheese, mashed potatoes, peas, homemade rolls, and deviled eggs! For dessert I made carrot cake cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting ... I must say - these were a big hit! London sat at the table with us, tried ham for the first time, and absolutely loved it! By "loved it" I mean, she wouldn't eat anything else but ham...probably should have given her veggies beforehand, but ehh - it was a holiday so I let it slide :)

 

DIY Easter Treats: Reese's PB Chickie!

I got this idea from a fellow mommy blogger (Julie Solomon) ... who told me I should totally try these and then "tag" her when I'm finished. Well, my little chickies turned out more like "two-eyed minions" while hers are super duper professional looking. The way I see it is, my girls are the totally "down for anything" chicks, more of the "home girl" type & hers are the "sophisticated & preppy" chicks. Both are cool, but lets be honest, we all really wanna chill with the "home girls," am I right? Regardless, here's what you'll need to make these adorable Easter treats:

  • 1 package of yellow-dipped Reese's pb eggs
  • White chocolate (to melt & dip the eggs into)
  • Candy eyes
  • Reese's Pieces (cut the orange in half)
  • Paper straws or lollipop sticks

Directions: Melt the white chocolate in a microwaveable bowl for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat until the chocolate is a smooth consistency. Dip the yellow Reese's egg into the white chocolate (a little less than halfway) then place on parchment paper. Put a dab of the white chocolate on each candy eye to make them stick to the yellow egg. Do the same with 1/2 of an orange reese's piece for the beak. Allow to harden. Last step, place the paper straw (or lollipop stick) in the base of the egg. Actually scratch that...LAST STEP = ENJOY :)

chickies

chickies

Spring Looks For Less!

Spring is (almost) here! We've had a few amazing weather days - but now we are in the "tweener" stage when you wanna make the wardrobe transition from winter to spring - but everything is just so unpredictable!  The best thing to do is to daydream / salivate over the "new arrivals" section of your favorite online shops. I've been doing my fair share of perusing, and wanted to share some of the more adorable and affordable (key word) looks from my two top stores: H&M and Zara! Enjoy, shoppers! 

Feature: Natalie Tenerelli ... Star of "LA Clippers Dance Squad" & Survivor

NT2 My Survivor bestie, Natalie Tenerelli is not only beautiful, smart & an amazing friend ... but she's also INCREDIBLY talented! She has worked SO hard as a dancer her entire life and that dedication has led her to amazing experiences! I'm so excited to share that she will be returning to the big screen TONIGHT, starring in a new reality show, "LA Clippers Dance Squad!" on E! I had a chance to do a little Q&A with Natalie so her fans can get to know her even better!

I'll also share a few photos from our experience on season 22 of Survivor ... Lord knows we have LOTS of them, since we were basically attached at the hip ;)

Tune in TONIGHT, 10/9c pm on E!

1. What can we expect to see on the first season of “LA Clippers Dance Squad?"

Blood, sweat and tears! The show chronicles the lives of seven of us dancers on and off the court.

2. Should we prepare ourselves to see you involved in any girl drama?

There are 20 of us so we are like sisters. We don't all agree on everything, but at the end of the day we have each others back.

3. As we both know, it’s a gamble putting yourself out there on reality tv – what do you hope the audience learns about you?

I would hope that the audience will see that I'm resilient. I never give up even when things get tough.

4. What are some of your beauty “must haves?”

Psst, dry hair shampoo: We sweat so much on game days and it really helps to keep my hair looking fresh all throughout the day. Lorac Tantalizer: I don't have time to get a professional spray tan and I'm not the biggest fan of tanning in a bed so this product keeps me looking bronzed! Beauty Blender: The little spongy piece of heaven is key in setting my foundation. It makes your skin look dewy and blended to perfection!

5. What do you do to stay in such amazing shape? (Besides dancing of course?)

I love taking classes! Yoga, pilates, barre...i love it all. I don't get much done in the gym by myself. I also love hiking!

6. Lastly, you have an incredible sense of style - where are some of your favorite places to shop so your fans can dress like you? 

Free people and urban outfitters are two of my favs!

NT1

Click on the photos below to see Natalie & I on Survivor!

 

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

This weekend, Chris and I had an uninterrupted 72 hours together - which probably hasn't happened since our honeymoon last August - and it was pretty great. We were lazy bums around the apartment, watching basketball and eating delicious homemade creations. Sunday morning I figured I should go all out with a little homemade pancake action to cap off an amazing few days. I love the blog A Cozy Kitchen and highly recommend you to check it out for yummy breakfast, apps, dinner, etc ideas. 
The cinnamon bun pancakes are super yummy - the glaze, I would definitely tweak a little because I didn't die over it. I mean, it was good - but not great. With that said - they are definitely worth trying on a weekend/cheat day as a little treat!
Glaze:
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pancakes:
1 c flour
2 T sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1 large egg
1 T unsalted butter, melted then cooled
Directions: Heat griddle or cast iron skillet and coat with cooking spray or butter.
Whisk together ingredients for glaze and set aside. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift together. Separately mix together wet ingredients (buttermilk, egg, butter) and add to dry. Stir together gently - there should still be some lumps left over - DO NOT OVER MIX. Scoop the batter onto the skillet making the pancakes roughly the same size so they are stackable. (Helpful Hint: They are done when you see little bubbles forming all over) Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to plate and top with glaze - serve with warm maple syrup for that "little something extra!" Enjoy!

Valentine's Day Treats!

One of my favorite things to do on Valentine's Day is to bake yummy treats! It's the perfect way to show your love and affection for that special someone. I've put together a short list of my personal Pinterest favorites for you all to try!

Sugar Cookie Hearts

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 Dipped & Decorated Pretzels

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Red Velvet Pancakes 

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Mini Baked Valentine Donuts

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Cherry Cupcakes

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Blood Orange Poppy Seed Scones

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 Chocolate Covered Oreos

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