Happily Ever Ashley
Cultivating a life of joy
Work With Me
A little bit Ashley
Tonight I got to experience a small private dinner with two phenomenal chefs @tom.baumbach of @tastethetlc and @bvibber of @wildarizonacuisine . Perfectly planned and executed dinner highlighting some delicious Alaskan fish and also locally sourced and foraged ingredients. And it got me thinking about wedding food. For a lot of couples “wedding food” is a box they check off rather than another way to enhance the guest experience and tell their love story. What was so cool about this dinner is these two chefs spend time each year in Alaska and wanted to share their passion for the deep sea catches of that region, but also made the fish uniquely Arizona by pairing it with local wild ingredients. It was a great story that I got to experience not just through their description of the food, but through each course. It got me thinking, as we scale down some of our wedding celebrations, making events smaller, let’s put our focus towards creating an experience that is uniquely you! Tell that story through the decor, the favors, the ceremony, and also the food that makes up your wedding day. Let’s stop settling for a basic meal that will fall into the category of “wedding food” and finally get back to giving your guests a culinary experience. Let’s get creative and make your wedding food something for guests to remember! Wedding food doesn’t have to be something you just choose from a list, it can be special, just like your love story!
Showing my couple how all the ideas, meetings and design boards have come together is one of my favorite parts of my job. This photos was taken by the fantastic @katrinawallacephotographers as I opened the door for a sneak peak of the reception of the last wedding I did before my accident. I’m really looking forward to having this moment again because I think it will be even more special for me. It will prove wrong any self doubt I have about my abilities because of my “disability”. I definitely have some fears about designing. Logically I know that I can still see a space and imagine it’s possibilities. I can still sketch my ideas and I can still come up with ideas and figure out how to make them work. But with any big change there still exists some level of self doubt that won’t be erased until I can prove my fears are unfounded. Who knows maybe my vision will actually act as a superpower that helps me create spaces that are even more pleasing to the eye! Maybe my vision challenges will help me edit my designs better? Maybe it will bring out new sources of creativity? Regardless, I try to live in the realm of possibility rather than fear because at the end of the day, I know I’m good at what I do with one or two eyes. #yjwedashley #yjwedding #yourjubilee @yourjubilee #monocular
I keep hearing people say they can’t wait for 2020 to be over and I gotta be honest, it makes me a little sad. I mean, I get it. 2020 has been full of challenges (and boy do I know it), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable or we should just wish it away. Challenges and set backs are what make us stronger and build our character. Holes in our lives give us space to fill with better jobs, new adventures or maybe just personal growth. All of it is worthy of being lived and shouldn’t be wished away. The truth is we don’t get an unlimited amount of time, so wishing any of it away, even the hard times, feels frivolous to me. Who knows what amazing things could still be in store for you this year? It’s not even half way over yet! Instead of 2020 being the year of the pandemic, let’s find an AND. It’s the year of the pandemic AND I met the love of my life, or found my dream job, or learned how strong I am, or finally wrote that book, or learned to love myself, or I finally got a puppy. This year, even with all of its challenges, can still be full of opportunity. Find your AND, be open to an AND, and who knows where this year could take you! 💜 . . . Photo by @ryannlindseyphotography . . #monocular #positivevibes #joyful #mylatenightthoughts #beautyinthebreakdown #happilyeverashley
I always thought the thing I would love most about owning a business was the work I was doing, but I was wrong. 💜 Don’t get me wrong I love planning weddings. But the thing I love most and I’m most proud of is the incredible team we have built. Tonight on a team call, I unexpectedly broke down in tears. I was telling them how grateful I was to have them each on our squad and that when my worst case scenario happened (getting in a bad car accident 3 days before one of my couples weddings), these women stepped in and stepped up. I had every confidence in them to do my job as if nothing had happened and they made it look so easy. I never had a worry about how well my couple would be taken care of or how my vendor team would be treated. I knew they were in the best hands- the hands of my exceptional team. 💜 Since my accident so many of my industry friends have told me how much they love working with our team and that has brought me so much joy. @sheriffmeagan and I have always believed in leading with kindness and honesty and our team leads all their events this way. We have taken care to find room on our team for the right people. People who will make us better as a whole. People who will share our passion and commitment. Problem solving ninjas with an eye for design and a heart for serving good people. We truly value our wedding community and our couples, but more than that we value and respect each other. The greatest part about running a business is watching the people, the heart of the business, learn, grow, and thrive. I am so proud of these women and so honored to work along side them. 💜 Pictured: @tayyrene @shelbycheraso @amandabayster @sheriffmeagan @anna_lyluu @hayleyleutz @kaylebonadie @maddynelson Not pictured: @alyssa.lynn.hayes @elaineglassman @summer__anderson @n4tori @christinetramontozzi Photo by @justindouglasphotography
I’ve never been afraid of much. Sure I am afraid of sharks (but I live in a landlocked state so that one doesn’t come up much) and when I see a snake I either run away or curl up into a ball, but everyone has those kinds of phobias- right? But these days there is a major fear plaguing me- driving. Yes I absolutely have some lingering trauma from the car accident, but more than that I am afraid of how different it will be. I loved driving. I loved the freedom it gave me to go on adventures and to do and see the things I wanted. When you lose an eye, not only does your field of vision become more limited, but for me, my depth perception is also almost nonexistent and fast motion can make me nauseous. So I’ve been avoiding getting back into the drivers seat. It’s the longest I’ve gone without driving since I got my license. But tonight Justin took me to an empty mall parking lot and I drove for a while. It was uncomfortable but it wasn’t awful. It was easier than I thought to gauge turns and parking but I realized that other things like judging the speed of an oncoming car is harder. Nevertheless, it was a step towards normal- albeit a baby step.
I remember seeing the photo on the right and thinking, “it’s not that bad”. Obviously I was on some serious pain killers the day after my accident. My whole face was puffy and bruised. Now 2 months later I still have a little bit of puffiness under my right eye but all the other discoloration, lacerations and swelling have healed for the most part. It doesn’t hurt to smile and the soreness from having a tube down my throat is gone. Aside from hoping for more eyelid movement and my under eye scar, I’m about as healed as I can be. My emotional healing is moving along too, but I have a feeling it will take much longer than the physical healing. Thank you to every single person that has helped me in any way over the last 2 months. There is no way I would be here without you! #monocular #eyeloss #positivevibes #storytime #accidentrecovery