Wedding Planning Diaries No. 2: Staying Organized

The first stage of engagement is excitement. Pure, unadulterated joy at the idea of marrying your best friend, choosing all the details, and inviting all your friends and family. The second stage, which comes on soon after you start the planning process, is a feeling of being incredibly overwhelmed. You have the big decisions: the when, where, who, and how much, but then you start thinking about all the tiny details you never even imagined. What color should the cocktail napkins be? Should I put the cake in this corner or that corner? What flavor cake should we have? And on and on it goes. So how’s a bride supposed to stay sane?!

First of all, it’s important to remember you’re not the first person to ever plan a wedding. There are countless books, blogs, articles, etc. on all the ins and outs of wedding planning. My sweet mom bought me the Mindy Weiss Wedding Planner & Organizer, and it has become my best friend! With timelines for short and long engagements, a budget breakdown, and detailed info on every aspect of the planning process, it has helped me feel so much more in control.

The best decision I made was to focus on one thing at a time. First, we chose the venue. Then, we locked down our date. Next, I went dress shopping. Then, we looked at photographers. For each decision, I made sure to compare at least two options at different price points to decide what works best for our budget while still fitting my vision.

Which brings me to the budget, perhaps the most stressful piece of wedding planning. To help me stay organized, I’ve kept track of my budget both in my Organizer and in a Google Sheets file. The file is shared with my planner and my parents and updated with deposit due dates, itemized pricing, and running totals. I’m a bit of a spreadsheet geek, so being able to see everything laid out has been super helpful!

I also have a Google Doc with all of the contact info and contracts for each vendor, which is also shared with my parents and planner. It gives them a bit of a glimpse inside my head as I’m planning! While I am working with a planner, I’m sourcing, interviewing, and negotiating with the vendors myself but utilizing her expertise for the contracts and nitty gritty details. She is also going to save my life the day-of with helping make sure everything is in order so I can enjoy the day!

The best advice I can offer throughout the planning process is to enjoy it! I’ve had so much fun scrolling through photography samples, picking out flowers, and looking at alll the inspo pictures on Pinterest. As Mindy Weiss says in her book, this is the biggest, most expensive party I’ll ever throw, so I might as well have fun with it!



Wedding Planning Diaries No. 1: When and Where

As you may have read in my latest post, I’m getting married!! Now, I won’t lie; planning a wedding during a global pandemic has been tricky. There is so much uncertainty in the world that it feels strange to be making huge (and expensive) decisions. At first, I avoided booking anything at all. I heard horror stories of florists and photographers closing up shop last-minute… and taking brides’ deposits with them. I wanted to get a good read on who would make it through this season, so I started out slow.

Our first order of business, pandemic or not, was to pick a date. I’ve always known I wanted a late May/early June wedding, because that’s the height of peony season! The entire day will be centered around my favorite flowers, and I wanted to make sure we had plenty of them. We settled on May to avoid the stifling Southern heat as much as possible.

The next big decision was where to wed. Chase is from West Virginia, and, as you probably know, I’m from Texas. To complicate things even further, we just recently moved to northern Alabama for Chase’s job. Alabama holds a special place in our hearts since it’s the place we met and now call home, so we decided to get married somewhere in Alabama. And so began my search for the perfect venue!

I’ve always had a clear image of my wedding day, but the venue has always been a big question mark. I love the idea of a church wedding, but then how do guests get to the reception? Outdoor ceremonies are gorgeous, but Alabama weather is so unpredictable. My vision for my big day is classic, clean, bright, and airy. I decided to focus on those aspects to choose a venue, and that made the process so much easier! I’m going to be sneaky and keep our venue a secret for now, but we are so in love!

My best advice when choosing when and where to get married is to talk with your significant other. Although Chase hasn’t been dreaming of his wedding day for quite as long as I have (lol), I want him to be a part of the entire planning process. I was stressing over the details and trying to please everyone, but after sitting down and talking with him about it, everything seemed so easy! We chose a date and location that we both love and that will work for both our families, which took away so much stress.

I’m so excited to share more about my planning process and the inspiration for our big day, but I’ll save it for future posts!



Life Updates

Hey there, blog! It’s been a while since I hopped on here, and boy have things changed in the past few months! The last year has been crazy busy, and I haven’t been able to post nearly as much as I wanted (read: I haven’t been able to post at all).. BUT I’m hoping to add some new posts for y’all, so I thought you might want some updates to give a little context.

First off, I graduated college! On May 2, I officially graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communication Studies with a minor in Sales. Graduation was postponed due to COVID-19, but I still got some fun grad pics on campus before I left (s/o to Kristen Pugh for the most amazing photos!!).

Back in March, something really exciting happened.. I got engaged!! My sweet boyfriend Chase proposed on the beach, and it was magical in every way! It didn’t exactly go to plan (lmk if you want to hear THAT story), but it was still perfect and wonderful.

In June, Chase and I bought and moved into our very own house! Chase got a job in Madison, Alabama, so we’ve moved up here and have been settling in ever since. It’s been so fun to decorate and design, and I have so many plans for our sweet little home!

Currently, I’m still looking for a job (would not recommend job hunting in a pandemic lol), but I’m excited to take on my new job of dog mom in just a couple weeks! Yep, we’re getting a puppy! I can’t wait to share all about her (and make her an Instagram and maybe a Tik Tok) and become the crazy dog mom I know I was destined to be.

Between job hunting and dog parenting, I figured I would pick up blogging again to help keep me busy. I’m planning to start a series to bring y’all along as I plan my dream wedding (!!), and I’ll probably try to share some outfit posts, as well. Please let me know what content you want to see, and I’d be happy to share!



Amazon Spring Break Basics

Who else is beyond ready for spring break?? It’s been extra chilly in Alabama lately, so I’m very excited to be heading to Hilton Head Island, SC next week for spring break! I’ve been so busy with classes that I haven’t had time for much warm-weather shopping, so I turned to Amazon for some last-minute items. I found some great items for amazing prices, so I thought I’d share them with y’all in case you’ve waited till the last minute like me!

Amazon Spring Break Basics.jpg

  1. Bright Pink Pullover Sweatshirt– I picked up this $16 sweatshirt to throw on over a swimsuit or a tank top when the temperatures drop in the evening! It has great reviews and tons of colors, too.
  2. Blush Silk Tank– I have an obsession with pale pink silk, so I had to grab this $16 silk tank to wear with shorts or under a sweater! Silk tanks are such a versatile piece, so they’re a great addition to any closet.
  3. Navy Dot Dress– I bought this dress in white last summer, and it quickly became one of my faves. I had already been planning to pick up another color, so when I saw this patterned navy I knew I’d found the one! It’s very flowy and comfortable, easy to dress up or down, and looks cute with sandals, heels, or sneakers!
  4. Denim Shorts– I struggle so much with finding cute denim shorts that don’t look *ahem* scandalous. These were inexpensive and have great reviews, so I’m hoping for the best!
  5. Polarized Sunnies– I’m pretty sure these vintage-inspired sunnies are Cartier knock-offs, and while I’m not a huge fan of knock-off items, the reviews and good price on these convinced me to try them out. I’ll keep y’all updated!
  6. Dry Balance SPF 50– Spring break isn’t complete without a bottle of sunscreen! I burn super easily so I always go for SPF 50. My all-time favorite is the Coppertone Clearly Sheer spray, but I think it’s been discontinued so I picked up this Banana Boat one instead.
  7. Hydroflask– I got this from Amazon a few months ago, but it’s been glued to my body ever since. I seriously never go anywhere without it, so I’ll definitely be bringing it on my trip! I have the white, but the new 2019 colors are so cute that I’m eyeing up another one!

I hope this helps all you last-minute shoppers! Let me know where you’re headed for spring break!

White Jeans for Fall

White jeans after Labor Day?! *Gasp!* I’m pretty sure “no white shoes/pants after labor day” is rule #1 in the fashion book, but ya know what? I love the look of white jeans, and if I want to wear them, I’ll wear them!



Today’s look is a fall transitional outfit for those of us living in places where summer holds on just a little too long. I paired my favorite white jeans with the PERFECT fall top! This little suede number can be worn so many ways and adds a girly touch to any outfit. Plus, it’s super comfy and lightweight, so it works for those sunny days.

I added my waterproof booties and my go-to bag (similar here) that I picked up in the Nordstrom sale to tie in the deeper browns for fall. I also popped on some tortoise hoops and my Daniel Wellington watch to dress up the look just a little. Don’t forget to use my code AshleyUA15 for 15% off your Daniel Wellington purchase!



Cozy Summer to Fall Transition Outfit


Hey y’all! If you’re new here, you might be wondering why I’m STILL posting transitional outfits in October. For most of the U.S., it’s well past transition season and fully fall by now, but here in the South, summer is holding on for dear life. We still have a few 80 degree days sprinkled in here and there, so I can’t pull out my leggings and boots just yet.. no matter how much I want to!


This outfit satisfies the fall-lover in me without making me overly hot on the still-warm days. It’s also super cozy, but looks like I really put in effort thanks to the skirt. I picked up both of these items back in the Nordstrom sale, but the sweatshirt is still available and I’ve linked some other options for the skirt. I paired them with my Superga sneakers for that cool-girl look without sacrificing comfort.

One little note on the sweatshirt: it runs VERY large, as you can probably tell. I typically get a large in anything long-sleeved because I have very long arms, but I honestly could have gone down one or even two sizes. I plan to shrink this in the wash, but I would recommend sizing down if you order it for yourself.



Everyday Classy Look + Exciting Announcement!


Hey y’all! Today I’m sharing one of my favorite looks ever! I absolutely adore this classic shirt dress for any occasion. It’s a perfect transition piece here in the South where it stays warm until mid-October. I paired it with some Superga sneakers and my Tory Burch crossbody (similar here) for an easy, everyday look, but you could just as easily dress it up with some heels and statement earrings!




I also added my new Daniel Wellington watch for the finishing touch, which brings me to my exciting news… I am officially a Campus Influencer for Daniel Wellington! This means I have my own exclusive discount code, and I will be hosting giveaways and other events throughout the semester!



I’ve always admired Daniel Wellington watches from afar, but without a discount code, I just couldn’t justify the investment. When DW offered to send me one, I went over to the website and found the Classic Petite Melrose watch, a simple rose gold watch with a mesh strap that matches literally everything. And y’all, I literally haven’t been able to take it off.

The watch is amazing quality and easily compares to watches 3-4 times its price. I’ve received so many compliments already! I have smaller wrists and like a more delicate look, so I went with the 28mm, but the 32mm would be a perfect statement piece. The straps are also interchangeable, so once you have the face, you can mix and match straps!

I cannot recommend Daniel Wellington watches enough; they offer amazing quality and on-trend pieces for a reasonable price-point. If you’d like to order one for yourself, you can use my discount code AshleyUA15 for 15% off any order! I’m so excited to share this code with y’all and continue working with Daniel Wellington!



Dorm Room Must-Haves

Hey y’all! In a couple weeks, I’ll be headed back to the University of Alabama for my junior year. Eek, that’s so crazy! It really does feel like just yesterday I was moving into my freshman dorm!

Last year, I lived off-campus in a little house, so I had a lot more room to work with. However, this year I’ll be living in my sorority house and sharing a room with one of my best friends. Our room is pretty big, but we’ll still be sharing space, so I’m focusing on space-saving once again.

I rounded up all my favorite things that I used freshman year, plus some new things I got for this year! I hope this helps out some of you who are moving into dorms for the first time!

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Double Hang Closet Rod – This was probably my number-one best purchase for freshman year, and I will definitely be re-using it! It’s a closet rod that hangs on the existing rod to give you double the hanging space. At $14.99, it’s really inexpensive, and you can use 20% off coupons at Bed Bath and Beyond to save even more!

Tempur-Pedic Mattress Topper – I know this seems really extra, but there’s something about a comfy bed that makes a place really feel like home. I bought a cheaper mattress topper for my freshman year, and while it worked okay, it slid around a lot on the plastic mattress, and it flattened out a lot by the second semester. When I saw Tempur-Pedic was having a special for 20% off and a free pillow, I just couldn’t pass it up!

Bedside Organizer – In a small space, any extra storage helps, which is why I loved this little bedside organizer. It velcro’s to the bed frame and hangs off the side of the bed. I kept my first aid kit, medicines like ibuprofen, and some of my power cords/headphones in mine. It works really well for little things that you don’t have enough drawer space for and want to keep handy.

Laundry Hamper with Wheels – I was gifted a hand-painted laundry hamper after graduation, and it quickly became one of my favorite gifts. I lived on the seventh floor, and the laundry room was on the third floor, so I always had to tote my laundry up and down the elevator. It seems silly, but rolling your laundry is so much easier than carrying it (especially when you wait way too long to do your laundry and end up with multiple loads.. oops).

Dry Erase Wall Calendar – I invested in one of these about halfway through freshman year for a very simple reason: if the work I should be doing is written in giant letters, staring at me from across the room while I sit in bed watching Netflix, it’s a lot harder to ignore. If you tend to selectively “forget” things that you don’t want to do but need to do, I really recommend this to give you that little extra nudge that we all need every once in a while.

Monogrammed Bath Robe – Although I didn’t have community bathrooms in the dorm, this year I’ll be using a community bathroom at the sorority house. I could *technically* walk to and from the bathroom in a towel, but I would really prefer not to, just for modesty’s sake. I feel like a bath robe is more modest than just a towel, but I don’t want to look like a crazy cat lady, so I went for this cute monogrammed one from Amazon. Who knew Amazon did monogramming?! It just got so much more dangerous for me!

Over the Door Mirror – I’m a firm believer that everyone should own a full-length mirror, and they should use it often. From making sure your leggings don’t have a hole in the butt to checking your dress for underwear lines, there are some things a bathroom mirror just can’t do. This mirror is perfect for dorms because it hangs right over a door and takes up minimal space, plus it opens up to hold jewelry inside.

Do you have any hacks for dorm life? Let me know in the comments!



Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Top 10 Beauty Picks 2018

Today I’m back with another Nordstrom Anniversary Sale round-up, and this time we’re focusing on makeup, skincare, and haircare! I’ve scoured the sale for the 10 best deals on my fav items that are still in stock.. but hurry, they won’t be on sale forever! The sale ends August 6th so grab these deals while you can!Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 9.36.24 PM.png

1. MAC Nordy Girl Matte Face & Eye Set – You can never go wrong with MAC eyeshadows, and this little set has every color you need for an everyday, wearable look. Reviews say the shadows glide on smooth, and the set also includes a highlighter, liner, and mascara. Plus the packaging is adorable!!

2. Laura Mercier Illuminator Palette – I don’t personally own any of these highlighters because of their normally high price tag, but I swatch them every time I go into Sephora. This set is a great value with 3 shades of the baked highlighter formula for about the price of one of the single pans. The baked formula makes them buildable, so you can choose between a natural glow or a metallic shine.

3. Stila Good to Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set – Y’ALL. These are hands down the best liquid shadows I’ve ever tried. I have them in almost every shade! They’re easy to apply, never crease, and last all day. This set is perfect for playing with glitter, especially because it includes my go-to shade, Kitten. It’s also such a good deal.. over 50% off!

4. Smashbox Pack Me Primer Trio – Smashbox is famous for their primers, and with good reason. Their light smoothing primer has been a long-time favorite of mine that I continue to repurchase. This set lets you try out some of their most popular primers while only paying for the price of one.

5. Impressions Vanity Co. Touch Dimmable LED Mirror – I received one of these mirrors for Christmas this year (thanks Mom!), and I love it so much! It’s the perfect mirror for doing the tough parts of your makeup, like liquid eyeliner. You can use the magnifying attachment, adjust the lighting, and tilt the mirror itself to just where you need it. The compact mirror looks perfect to throw in your purse, too!

6. Ouai Summer Faves Set – I have been loving Ouai haircare recently, specifically the wave spray and the dry shampoo foam. This set includes some of their best-selling products in perfect travel sizes! I have heard tons of rave reviews about Ouai from hair stylists and beauty gurus, but be warned that the scent is very strong! If you don’t like a strong floral scent, I’d skip these. It’s not my fave scent in the world, but I put up with it because I love how my hair looks with their products!

7. T3 Cura Hair Dryer – I bought a T3 hair dryer two years ago in the N-sale, and I still use and love it! It dries my hair super fast without tangling it, and it never has that yucky burnt hair smell (you know what I’m talking about). This is definitely a splurge item, but it’s worth every penny and will last forever!

8. Makeup Eraser 2-Pack – I was skeptical about these at first, but they really do take off all your makeup with water alone! I’m not sure what kind of magic is inside these cloths, but they remove makeup as well as Neutrogena wipes. They save money, and they don’t leave behind any residue, but my only gripe is having to wash them in the washing machine every 3-4 uses.

9. Drybar Here, There Everywhere Set – Honestly, I would buy Drybar products just for the scent alone. The fact that they work wonders is the icing on the cake. This set includes two of my favorite products in both full and travel size. I particularly love the Triple Sec 3-in-1 spray, because it adds texture and volume without weighing your hair down or making it feel dirty.

10. NARS Undressed Liquid Lip Set – I love a good nude lip, and this set has both matte and satin options to mix and match. The velvet lip glide formula is my favorite from NARS, and it pairs beautifully over top a matte lip! This set is also an amazing deal, with four full size products for the price of two!

Let me know what you picked up in this year’s sale!



Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 Tips + Picks

It’s officially Christmas in July!! My favorite sale of the year has arrived and I couldn’t be more excited! I can’t wait to share all the amazing deals with y’all! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale can be overwhelming, so I wanted to give y’all a little survival guide with all my tips from shopping in years past, as well as the hottest items that you’ll want to snatch up quick. So let’s start with a little break-down of the sale.

So what is the N-Sale exactly?

Basically, Nordstrom releases thousands of brand new fall pieces every July at majorly discounted prices. These items go on sale before the season, rather than afterward if that makes sense. So once the prices go back up, they won’t be discounted again!

What all is included in the sale?

There are pieces from every category Nordstrom sells: clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags, beauty, home, etc. There are also a TON of designer items in the sale! It includes everything from cashmere cardigans to diamond necklaces and everything in between.

When is it?

For Level 4 Nordstrom cardholders, there was a private sale on July 11th, then the sale opened to all other Nordstrom cardholders on the 12th and will be exclusive to cardholders until the 20th. The sale will then be open to everyone from July 20th-August 6th. After that, prices go up!

Now that we have all the details out of the way, I’ll share some tips I’ve learned from shopping the sale for the past 5 or so years.

  1. Download the Nordstrom app so you can make a wish list within the app (trust me, it makes life easier), and then make a separate short list of your must-have items in your phone. Things sell out crazy fast and are never guaranteed to come back in stock, so make sure you know what you want most and can get it before it sells out.
  2. There are some items exclusive to online, so always use the check in store feature before you run out to your closest store. It’s a bummer to get there and realize it’s online only (speaking from experience here!).
  3. You can shop in store or online, whichever you prefer, but personally the crowds terrify me! Nordstrom has the BEST return policy, so I feel totally comfortable ordering online without trying something on. Just remember that you may not be able to exchange it if they sell out of that item.
  4. If something sells out, it’s not the end of the world. Keep checking back to see if someone returns your size or it comes back in stock.
  5. Don’t stress! This sale can be so dang fun, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the madness of it. It’s also easy to buy something just because it’s on sale, even if you don’t really need it or think you’ll wear it. Look through your wish list and ask yourself what occasion you’ll wear each item for, how often, and how many outfits you can create with it.

Now for the fun part! I was able to shop the sale on the 12th, and I’ve been scouring the site every day since they put up the early access so I could find all the best pieces. Stay tuned for a separate post with all my beauty picks!

*Most of these items will go out of stock at some point, so check my other posts and my Instagram for in-stock goodies!

PS Check out my Instagram @monogramsandmascara for a super exciting giveaway! But hurry… it won’t be open long!


topshop colorblock sweater | blondo nova waterproof bootie | jeans are from loft but these are also on sale at Nordstrom


bp raw edge v-neck tee | sp black stretch denim miniskirtblondo nova waterproof bootie


bp ribbed henleyblondo nova waterproof bootie


bp raw edge v-neck tee | make + model dreamy fleece joggers |  adidas edge lux running shoe

IMG_5896 madewell ryder cardigan | tory burch marsden wallet crossbody


 thread & supply brandon jacket  |  make + model dreamy fleece joggers