Blush...

In LOVE with this color always ... but especially in the new Fall pieces for this season. A few of my faves are below ... like this mock-neck sweater with the perfect bell sleeves (which is under $40!) and this STUNNING trench coat, under $150! You can also rock this coat in the spring as well! My little "splurge" of the season, may have to be this embellished crossbody ... isn't it gorgeous? Seriously. It's under $200, which I feel is a pretty great price from a statement piece like this!

Check out my captions below each photo and click to shop directly! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

xx, Ashley 

  

Instagram Round-up...

 

Happy Thursday! 

Here is a round-up of my outfits from the past month - easy to shop from this one post! Enjoy!

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Top: Tobi (love the open back!), also love this one!| Shorts: Zara, similar here and love these too! | Sandals: Forever 21 | Bag: Sage & Harper, sold out | Sunglasses: RayBan


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Striped Shirt: BP ($19!) | Denim Jacket: Topshop (OBSESSED!) | Booties: BP (under $100!) | Leggings: BP (under $40!)


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Denim Jacket: Topshop | Top: Lush | Necklace: Made by Mary with Love | Lip color: Laura Mercier "Devotion"


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Top: BP (similar swing tank here for $22) | Jeans: old, similar here and here | Wedges: Kenneth Cole, similar here and here | Bag: BP ($17, and comes in nude) | Sweater: BCBG, old but similar here 


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Denim dress: Shein ($18!)| Crop Tops: Forever21, similar here and here | Sneakers: Converse | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters | Lip Color: MAC "Ladybug"


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Top: Nike | Shorts: Zara, same as above | Sneakers: Nike Huarache and here| Sunglasses: RayBan


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Dress: Tobi | Bag: Old Navy, sold out but LOVE THIS | Sandals: Nine West, similar here and here | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters


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Top: Soprano | Jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch (old :)...but they fit amazing and only $44!


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Dress: Shein ($15!) | Denim Jacket: Abercrombie & Fitch | Sandals: Gap, sold out - similar here | Hat: Gap, similar here

xx, Ashley 

Boot Season...

I am SUCH a fan of Fall and am so excited to layer my outfits and wear my new boots I purchased from the Nordstrom Sale! Speaking of boots - I wanted to share some of my faves because we are entering "boot season" and now's the time to buy before Fall hits! I included booties, tall boots, flat boots, and even Hunter boots (because everyone needs a pair!) so you can shop a variety of styles! 

Hope you all enjoy + thanks for stopping by! 

xx, Ashley 

This Is Two...

 

I've been meaning to give you guys an update on Lolo - but LIFE happened, or better yet the Nordstrom Sale happened...and that threw me for a loop! After doing lots of monthly updates on London - I cannot believe I'm finally typing her 2-year update! Eeek! Exciting and SURREAL that we have entered the "terrific two's" :) 

I'll just start by saying that two is FUN. Challenging of course, but isn't every stage in its own way? I have days when I'm exhausted, mentally because it's so NON-STOP but I will say, the number of amazing days totally outnumber the days when I feel drained. We have so much fun exploring and discovering together and I'm cherishing this time when it's just the two of us because I know one day it will come to an end (no, I'm not pregnant...just thinking ahead!)

So, let's talk about London currently, two years and (almost) 2 months old... 

Favorite Food: SNACKS. Kidding (kind of). Let me explain...Lo has always been a great eater, and she still is; loves salmon, haddock, salad (what 2 year old likes salad?), asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, all fruit, etc. She just requests snacks from the moment she wakes up (literally, when I go in to get her in the morning she says "I need a snack") to the time she goes to bed. This kid will ask for a snack AS I'm putting her in her crib for the night. I swear, I feed her ;) But man, it's exhausting. I don't want to give her food ALL the time and also don't want it to effect how she's eating at meal times so I have to distract and re-direct many times throughout the day. When we do have snacks - our favorites are: grapes, graham crackers, apple sauce, gold fish, raisins, yogurt, and pretzel thins. Any other snack ideas I can add to the mix? 

Favorite Things To Do: Being outside is totally her jam! She loves to push her baby doll down the sidewalk in the play stroller and take her bucket to collect leaves or sticks. Lolo also loves to EAT and get a "treat." Ice cream, popsicles, and frozen yogurt sticks are some of our "go-to's" :) ...It is summer after all! Lately she's been into her basketball hoop - which obviously makes us very excited! 

Favorite Toys: She loves to play with her kitchen and "cook dinner" for us. She also got crafts like colored popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and finger paints for her birthday so she loves all of that too! The pom-poms are a great way to learn colors - we do a game where we separate them by colors and she's super into it. Another toy she really enjoys is her shopping cart! She likes to pretend that she's doing groceries like mommy...also goes really well with the kitchen :) 

Most Exciting Thing She's Doing: I've been showing her the letter "L" for a week now, and she finally identified it two days ago! I am super excited. I also tried an "A" to which she replied "house" and a "T" which she confidently said was a "cross" ... I mean, she's not wrong! :) She has mastered her colors so I'm moving on to letters ... just a few at a time! 

Biggest Challenges: There are a lot of things to navigate when you enter the two's. The tantrums get a bit more intense, their emotions are so erratic, and they have LOTS of opinions. Thank goodness, I am able to reason with London (to an extent) and her tantrums don't last longer than a minute or so, but they're still exhausting. I'm trying my best to remain patient.

What I've Learned / What I'm Learning: I think consistency has been something that I've always tried to maintain - which is super difficult at times, especially when you ARE tired and just want to let something go - don't. I think the reason why Lo can be talked off a ledge (a.k.a. we avoid a tantrum) is because I'm consistent with my expectations of her. I also try to think a few steps ahead. If she's tired or hungry, I won't put her in situations that may set her off. 

Really, it's different from day to day so I'm learning as I go! I don't know if it will get even more intense the older she gets...it might -but I KNOW it will keep getting better because watching her learn and discover is the best thing ever! 

I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by!

xx, Ashley 

 

 

10 Mom Truths...

 

Who knows "Cat and Nat?" They're an amazing mommy duo - and if you don't know them, you need too, STAT! They do a little special called "Mom Truth Fridays" so it inspired me to write out my own list of truths because it's always more fun to laugh at yourself than cry - which I'm sure a lot of us could do on some occasions, #amiright? Needless to say, I hope you chuckle at a few of these and maybe even relate to some of them too! Let me know your faves below! :) 

 

1. When another mom, say at the playground, tries to "mom date" me ... I feel like just saying "I'm taken." I'm already balancing three mom-friend relationships and that's enough for me! (P.S. They're my actual friends now, not just my "mom friends" ...but you get what I'm saying!)

2. When London throws herself on the ground because I put peanut butter on her toast instead of butter I have to try REALLY hard not to laugh out loud. I cannot handle the absurdity of these meltdowns. Here's another one: I wouldn't let her stick her hands in the toilet bowl and swirl the water around. I know, I'm such a bad mom. 

3. I LOVE SCREEN TIME. There, I said it! Can't we both just sit in one spot and zone out for 20(ish) minutes? What is so wrong with that? I even got the 'ok' from my pediatrician so THERE to any of you judge-y moms reading this and thinking badly of me! ;)  

4. Coffee is LIFE. There were many times in my life when I spoke the words "I will never drink coffee regularly" ... BLASPHEMY! WHAT in the WORLD was I thinking? Oh - that's right...I was making crazy statements like that pre-baby, as you do! What I MEANT to say was "I will definitely drink coffee every day, sometimes two and three times a day, when I have a kid." Boom!

5. You wanna know another thing I said pre-Lolo? "I will never have a schedule. I'm gonna take my baby everywhere with me - they'll just sleep when they're tired!" Fast Forward to present day....I'm a schedule F-R-E-A-K. My life revolves around my 2-year old's nap time and bed time and I'm not even upset about it. This may not work for some people (which is totally cool), but knowing that I get 2+ solid hours of "me" time every day is enough to make me want to stick to this schedule like flies on .... you catch my drift. 

6. Nope. No way. I've never farted in front of my husband and blamed it on my daughter! (I have) Did he call me on it? He sure did. Sad to say I was only a little bit embarrassed. And here lies my dignity. 

7. I would rather pick London's nose for her and wipe it on my own shirtsleeve, then let her walk around being THAT kid with the booger hanging out and visible to the public. 

8. No matter how much time I spend with Lo (which is all day every day because, STAY AT HOME MOM) I never ACTUALLY feel like it's enough. Translation: Mom guilt always, forever, and no matter what. 

9. I'm not above a good bribe. Target almost always = a scone from Starbucks, grocery shopping = a cookie from the bakery and potty training will = M&M's. (Sorry, not sorry)

10. Here's a final "mom truth" for you...When I say "I'm tired" to a mom that has multiple kids and she looks at me like I have three heads and says "wait until you have two" I want to give major eye roll. I GET IT...I have one kid. Yes, my kid sleeps through the night but does that mean that I am not allowed to be tired? I am dealing with 2-year-old tantrums, nights when my baby is up sick all night, a husband who travels a lot and works long hours, etc. I'm sure when I have another I'll be a whole new level of tired than I am now - but THIS is my reality today...so let me just be + say I'm tired too, ok? Phew. I'm glad that's out :) 

Ok ... what are some of your "truths?!" I need to laugh some more today ... leave them below!

xx, Ashley 

Summer Wishlist...

Anyone else love (online) window shopping? I really enjoy filling up my cart at Nordstrom with all of the things I WISH I could buy ... then closing out of the site before I can do any real damage ;) It kind of kills my craving to purchase clothes! I'm just so inspired by all of the summer styles particularly stripes, embroidered pieces, gingham, and everything off the shoulder (like this classic black one-piece! or this mint green tie dress, which is under $50!)

I wanted to share what's on my "summer wishlist" right now, so you can shop my favorite pieces too! 

Shop below by clicking on any item! Have a wonderful weekend!

xx, Ashley 

 

 

Three Years...

 

Today marks 3 years that Chris and I have been husband and wife. It's so easy to love someone that's patient, compassionate, kind, humble, and steadfast...not to mention, easy on the eyes! I'm really proud of how much we have grown in the past three years and I feel an ever deeper love for him than I did on our wedding day (which I didn't think was possible!) Nothing makes me more excited than growing old together and getting to spend my whole life loving him. I'm so lucky!

Our photographer Patti Takacs (Kivalo Photography), who I still collaborate with 3 years later for my blog, captured our day so perfectly. I wanted to share some of my favorite photos that she took that day and a few days later in on our mini-moon :)

xx, Ashley 

Splurge or Save...

 

I LOVE finding deals ... so I decided to do a splurge / save post so you can compare prices and looks! A lot of the "cheaper" lookalikes are my taste ... I guess I'm just not that fancy ;) I'm anxious to see what you guys think too! I link the item and price below each picture .. but maybe try to guess which one is the "more expensive" piece before you look! I linked a few dresses that are great for summer and also a couple perfect for any upcoming weddings this season! There are shoes, bags, shorts, jeans and MORE! Shop below :)

 
 
 
 
 
 

1. Bell sleeve top under $40! || 2. $720 (totally prefer the cheaper version!)

1. Lace fit + flare under $100 (perfect wedding guest dress!) || 2. Lace fit + flare $1,595! (insane right?!)

1. Cold-shoulder top under $40 || 2. Cold-shoulder top $695 (I prefer this one, but not the price!)

1. Distressed white jeans $59 || 2. $225 (literally the EXACT same!)

1. Slide lookalike under $60 (totally prefer this pair!) || 2. Designer slide $149

What did you guys think?! :) 

xx, Ashley 

T-Shirt Dress...

 

By this time, you all know how much I LOVE t-shirt dresses! They're so comfortable, typically very affordable, and they can be dressed up or down! I usually dress them down because #momlife ... but you could easily add some cute pumps or strappy heels for a comfy/cute date night outfit! Forever 21 is usually my go-to place for t-shirt dresses because they're almost always under $20! (Shop their current selection here) The one I'm wearing above was under $13 (find it here)  and I paired it with Converse sneaks that you can see in similar style here

xx,  Ashley 

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him + date ideas...

 

I'm 30 (plus 2) today! ;) Happy Birthday to me!

...And happy week before Valentine's Day! I absolutely love celebrating this day with my guy! Actually, the month of February is one of my favorites in general; it's filled with so much pink, hearts, and chocolate :) Even though my husband and I agree on no gifts, just a nice dinner out - we always end up getting something for one another. If you're anything like me, and you struggle to find a gift for your guy - here are a few things to spark some inspiration:

1. Chelsea boot // 2. Wireless FitBit (for the gym enthusiast!) // 3. No-Iron checkered shirt // 4. Monogram cuff links (love this idea & GREAT PRICE!) // 5. Wireless head phones // 6. RayBan sunnies // 7. Thermal knit robe (trust me on this one!) // 8. Suede slippers // 9. Record player (unique gift idea!) // 10. Cashmere v-neck sweater // 11. Air-max Nikes (All guys love Nike) // 12. Bluetooth mini speaker // 13. "Luckiest Guy" mug (Just a little reminder!) // 14. Overnight duffle // 15. The North Face thermal jacket (Great price!) // 16. Tom Ford cologne (SO GOOD) // 17. Brown leather watch

A few Valentine's Day date ideas for you...

1. At-home dinner + a movie! If you don't want to spend money going out to a fancy restaurant or to a movie - create the date at home! Plan a menu and cook together while sipping on a class of wine! It's such a great way to enjoy each others company and to reconnect. Pick out a Netflix movie together or rent one for just over $1 from your local RedBox! 

2. Catch a show! Boston has such an amazing theater district that offers an array of live performances. There are loads of restaurants to grab a bite to eat before or after the show! 

3. Book a staycation! I'm a BIG fan of staycations and I love playing "tourist" with my hubby. Sometimes it's just nice to stay the night in a different place; it feels exciting and refreshing to wake up somewhere new (even if it is right in your backyard). 

4. Go ice-skating together! I don't know why, but there's something that seems super romantic about ice skating, especially at night! Maybe it's because you get all bundled up and most definitely have to hold on to one another while you skate. It's a fun activity that will certainly bring you closer. Grab hot chocolate after to cap off the night! 

5. Couples spa day! Book a couples massage or facial and just allow yourselves to be pampered. Most spas offer coffee, tea, or even champagne during your service, and you should totally take advantage of the free beverages :) If you don't want to splurge too much, set it up at home! Buy some essential oils (lavender is always calming), set up the room with candles, and dim the lights. You can alternate giving each other a relaxing massage. 

How do you all usually celebrate Valentine's Day with your loved one?!

xx,  Ashley 

Fit Friday: Resolutions...

 

Let's face it, we've all got a few things we could stand to change in 2017. Personally, I've got a longgg list going but I'll spare you the gory details (you're welcome), and share one thing that's definitely a priority heading into the New Year; my health. I've let a few things slide over the past 12 months, always pushing the blame onto #momlife, but the truth is, I just wanted (and needed) to cut myself some slack. Becoming a mom is a MAJOR life change and 2016 was consumed with trying to find some type of harmony between wife life, mom life and blogger life.

As we enter the New Year, I'm making health and wellness a priority again and you can join me :) 

 

Here are 6 resolutions that are totally manageable and achievable...

1. Start each day with breakfast. I absolutely LOVE breakfast, but since becoming a mom I'm so focused on getting London fed that I've settled on eating her leftovers. I notice a HUGE difference on days when I actually eat a well-balanced meal in the morning. I have more energy and I'm in a better mood! My go-to breakfast is oatmeal with berries and walnuts, a wheat english muffin, a glass of water and cup of coffee. 

2. Hit the gym at least three times per week. It pains me to write just three days a week, but I'm trying to be realistic with my goals. Six days a week just isn't feasible for my lifestyle anymore. I'd be happy to get to the gym for three solid workouts and mix in one at-home workout on the fourth day. (Here is a great cardio circuit workout you can try at home!)

3. Choose a focus area to work on. I'm all about the booty boost in 2017! No one likes a "mom butt" so my derriere is going to be the body part I focus on this coming year. *Stay tuned for more butt-busting workouts like this one I did a few weeks back!  

4. Try for 8 hours of sleep per night. This is a tough one for me! I'm definitely a person who needs a lot of sleep to function, but it's not always possible with an 18-month old! While our daughter does sleep through the night (Amen!) my husband and I like to have down time and relax together once we put her to bed. My goal is to hit the hay by at least 10pm every night!

5. Recruit a friend a.k.a new workout partner. Accountability partners are a great thing to have in general, but can be SUPER helpful to achieve your health and fitness goals. Link up with a friend and keep each other motivated by trying new classes or workouts!

6. Treat yourself to some new gear. Every heard the phrase "look good, feel good?!" Well, no truer words have been spoken. I love to sport cute, matching activewear and it makes me excited (yes I said 'excited'...it's the little things) to actually visit the gym with new gear! Athleisure is a style all its own now so you can definitely look chic while you get your sweat on! 

 

Shop some cute activewear here:

Favorite sneakers...

xx,  Ashley 

After Christmas Sales...

Christmas is over, but the sales have just begun! This is one of my favorite times of the year to shop because now I can treat myself to things off of my wish list that I didn't receive as gifts! I

've rounded up a few of my favorite clothing items on sale as well as boots and accessories up to 50% off! Hover over each picture for the discounted price and click on any individual item to shop! 

After Christmas Sale BOOTS:

After Christmas Sale: ACCESSORIES:

More Sales To Shop...

Nordstrom: Up to 50% off through January 2nd. 

Anthropologie: Extra 40% off all sale items.

Banana Republic: Up to 50% off select styles!

J.Crew: Extra 50% off through today with code: THEBEST.

Express: Additional 30% off clearance for up to 60% off!

xx, Ashley 

Back To Basics...

Hope you all had an awesome weekend! It's been busy in the Markwood household since my hubby's basketball team started their season! We love the energy that each new season brings, but it also means we will get less time together as a family which definitely makes it difficult. Thankfully, I have a little sidekick in London now and we're holding down the fort at home :) 

This basic look is one of my favorites ... mostly because I love this comfy sweater so much! Also, the nude heels literally go with EVERYTHING; jeans, skirts, dresses ... they're my current go-to!

You can shop the entire look below + if you're looking for more fall favorites, shop here for comfy sweaters, boots, jackets, and more! Head to the "Shop My Instagram" page for even MORE style choices to shop! 

xx,

Ashley

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Four Favorite Fall Colors...

I'm loving these four colors for fall and wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces for each! 

xx,

Ashley

Burgundy...

Camel...

Navy...

Black...

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