A New Launch!

Sed Bona blogDear lovely Lifevesting readers! I haven’t completely disappeared from the blogging world! In fact, I’ve spent the last year redeveloping Lifevesting into my newest blog project — SED BONA! The concept originates from the Latin phrase “Pauca Sed Bona” which means “quality over quantity”. Much of the content is very similar to what I’ve created here on Lifevesting but includes much so much more! Check out my newest labor of love here and give me your wonderful feedback!

Xoxo,

Ashley

Advertisements

Vacation

Tomorrow Ian and I are leaving for a week-long vacation in Florida! We are staying with my grandmother in Ocala and I’m going to drag Ian around to Daytona Beach, the Kennedy Space Center and maybe even Disneyworld! I am so excited to get away from work for a little bit and introduce him to my father’s side of the family. But you know what part of the trip I am looking forward to most?

Eating lunch at the Columbia Restaurant tomorrow in Ybor City after our flight lands in Tampa! It is my all-time favorite restaurant: fabulous crusty Cuban bread, delicious beans and rice, fabulous seafood and perfect guava cheesecake.

See you all next week!

Ashley

Award Nominations

I’m not sure how to even begin this post. I had the busiest weekend filled with plenty of Christmas parties and cranberry mojitos (soooo delicious) and low-and-behold, I sign-on to WordPress this morning only to find out that Lifevesting was nominated for two blogging awards over the weekend!

This is an honor, most especially because I was nominated by two blogs which I admire deeply and I can’t help but be over-whelmed by how much having this blog has given me since I started it on October 19th. Originally this blog began because I wanted to take on a new challenge in my life and pursue a new direction. But as time has passed over the past two months, I see myself changing and paying more attention to the beauty and meaning in the world around me. The unexpected shift in my mental attitude and my renewed positivity is something which has surprised me and I hope that this little blog helps others find that too.

As for the future of Lifevesting – I have big plans for future posts and collaborations with other bloggers. I want this blog to be a forum for ideas on how to improve your life on many different levels (from the superficial to the profound) and I want your ideas! If you have something that you do that you consider a “lifevestment”, send me a message because I would love love to feature your idea!

Now onto the awards and my nominations:

The fabulous ladies over at the Image Mistress (http://theimagemistress.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/liebster-blog-award-nomination/) have nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you so much for the nomination, I feel so honored.

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The rules for the Liebster Blog Award are:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog
4. Reveal your 5 blog picks.
5. Let them know you choose them by leaving a comment on their blog.

For this award I have nominated five blogs which I all feel superbly exemplify the Liebster Blog Award:

1. Susie Mae Day – http://susiemaeday.wordpress.com/. The title of her blog gives away just how clever this Susie is and she is absolutely one of my favorite blogs. Not many women can post about her fabulous outfits and her fabulous cooking – but somehow she does (and always manages to make me drool on my computer screen).

2. Just a little Brit – http://justalittlebrit.wordpress.com/. This blog is so much fun to read (especially her recent post on photographing a concert for Florence + the Machine). Her bucket list is truly inspiring as well!

3. Shine On: Illuminate the Shadows – http://breatheitgetsbetter.wordpress.com/. Brittany has a fabulously positive attitude about the world and the most thoughtful posts. I really appreciate how clever her entire blog is.

4. xoxoxo – http://unapologeticallycute.wordpress.com/. This blog has some of the best ideas and I love how much fun both Lo and Lexi have writing this! I always walk away from their blog with a great idea!

5. my little moments – http://nuresma.wordpress.com/. She has her own Etsy shop, a beautiful outlook on life and the sweetest little pug. I always enjoy reading her blog!

And because I couldn’t choose 5, I had to also nominate Lark & Linen – http://jacquelynnicole.wordpress.com/. Her blog is simply beautiful and I love all of her photography!

And for Lifevesting’s second award…

The fabulous Emily over at GroundingMyRoots (http://groundingmyroots.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/my-first-blogging-awards/) nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you so much!

These are the rules for the Versatile Blog Awards:

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
  • Share 7 random things about yourself.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Add the Versatile Blog Award logo on your blog post.

THESE ARE IN NO ORDER! I had a hard enough time trying to choose 15 blogs which I thought were the most versatile – I feel like there are so many impressive and diverse blogs here on WordPress!

1. Helena Handbasket – http://ninhydrin.wordpress.com/.

2. roam&home – http://roamandhome.com/.

3. notesfromadogwalker – http://notesfromadogwalker.com/.

4. pursesandpugs – http://pursesandpugs.wordpress.com/

5. She Found Style – http://shefoundstyle.wordpress.com/.

6. Candy Stilettos – http://candystilettos.com/.

7. lark&linen (again!) – http://jacquelynnicole.wordpress.com/.

8. Fashion Script – http://fashionscript.net/.

9. twomuffinsinanoven – http://twomuffinsinanoven.wordpress.com/.

10. leahmariev – http://leahmariev.com/.

11. Cactus & Kudzu – http://cactusandkudzu.com/.

12. Elizabeth Cori – http://elizabethcori.wordpress.com/.

13. The Lonely Wife Project – http://thelonelywifeproject.wordpress.com/.

14. Chi On A Dime – http://chionadime.com/.

15. I am Abimarvel – http://abimarvel.com/.

And to finish this off, here are 7 fun facts about moi:

1. I am terrified of heights (or rather death by falling from them). I actually worked in the Sears Tower for a few months until our office was relocated and building tenants have access to the 66th floor for free so everyday for TWO MONTHS I went up there and tried to get over this fear. It isn’t going anywhere and I’ve moved on to different self-improvement projects.

2. I have been a pescetarian since 2003 (lacto-ovo vegetarian who also eats seafood, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pescetarianism). I try to be very educated about what I am eating and why and I am working towards more sustainable eating habits. Ian and I have even started a small table-top garden in our living room.

3. I would like to get Apollo certified to be a therapy dog. When my dad was in a nursing home, I would bring Apollo to visit and it was a wonderfully rewarding experience to bring so much cheer to the people there. If only Apollo would cooperate and show his affection in a more friendly way than gnawing on fingers…

4. I am currently reading Heinlein’s The Moon is A Harsh Mistress (which also happens to be on my bucket list). I would highly recommend it!

5. I have a long, skinny tattoo down my spine – maybe one post soon I’ll surprise everyone with what is of (warning – somewhat geeky).

6. My all-time favorite color is green.

7. I am an in-the-closet home-body. I may live in Chicago and go out to some fabulous meals and events, but my favorite activity is sitting on the cozy couch with Ian watching the Office.

Thank you everyone for making my Monday!

Ashley

Christmas-gasming: Holiday Movies Worth Watching

Confession: I suffer from a condition I made up which I dubbed ‘christmas-gasming’.

Christmas-gasm [kris-muh s-gaz-uh m], noun: the physical and emotional sensation experienced at the peak of holiday excitation.

Every November I eagerly await the day I can put up the tree, light my evergreen candles, pull out my glass ornaments and robustly shout “ho ho ho” without attracting ackward questions from friends, family and co-workers. I just LOVE Christmas.

And every December I unpack a very special box full of my favorite Christmas films to enjoy continuously until December 26th. There are so many fantastic Christmas films but I consider myself a conisseur of holiday cheer and so, for your benefit, I have compiled a list of holiday movies that are most worth watching. 

Holiday Movies Worth Watching This December

10. White Christmas: As a child, this was one of my favorite films. My sister and I have many memories of decking ourselves out in feathers and performing the “Sisters, sisters” song for our mom. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to appreciate how well crafted anything Irving Berlin touched was – the costumes, songs and story are all superb in this film.

9. Christmas in Connecticut. This movie is so cute and is forties fashion heaven! Barbara Stanwyck has the chicest wardrobe in this film and her love story is so sweet.

8. Love Actually. I first saw this film on a flight to Paris when I was in high school and I made a grand fool of myself balling and sobbing for the entire last half an hour of the film. This is such a touching and bittersweet movie and I truly believe Emma Thompson should have won more awards for her performance. An added bonus: swoon-worthy Colin Firth has the most romantic proposal scene.

7. A Christmas Vacation. This is Ian’s favorite Christmas film and last year he demanded that I watch it (not sure how I managed 23 years without seeing this). This film is HILARIOUS! Who hasn’t had a long-round of everything going wrong? But in the end being with family is what Christmas is all about.

6. The Ref. Every family has a preference for a particular Christmas film and this just happens to be my family’s. If you haven’t seen this film (which I’m betting is the case), you MUST! It is absolutely hilarious! Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey are so witty in this film and all of the one-liners will have you quoting this film after your first viewing. A bonus: this film is perfect for even the scroogiest of Christmas haters – lots of swearing and manly one-liners.

5. Holiday Inn. Another brilliant Irving Berlin Christmas classic. I go weak-at-the-knees everytime I hear Bing Crosby sing anything Christmas-y but this film also happens to have Fred Astaire’s amazing dancing. Win-win-Christmas win.

4. The Shop Around the Corner. James Stewart is brilliant in any Christmas film and this old one actually inspired Judy Garland’s In the Good Old Summertime (another Christmas classic, despite the misleading name). This is one of those old films which you’ll start to watch nochalantely and be glued to the screen by the end.

3. It’s A Wonderful Life. Growing up I hated this film – the injustice that James Stewart suffers and his suicidal sadness so contradicted my idea of a jolly Christmas that for 15 years I refused to watch this. But it was one of my fathers favorites so a few years ago I gave it another try and was pleasantly surprised by how lovely this film it. Now it is a Christmas tradition.

2. The Holiday. Another holiday movie for the scrooges in your life – more romantic comedy than Christmas. This film has some superb acting from Kate Winslet and is a fun twist on traditional holiday cheer. A bonus: Jude Law’s british daughters are absolutely adorable and steal the spotlight.

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol. My all-time-never-to-be-removed-from-it’s-well-deserved-first-place-favorite-Christmas-movie. The muppets did a fabulous version of this ultimate Dickens Christmas tale complete with catchy soundtrack. Anytime I see this movie I can’t help feel like this film captures the original tale so well.

If you had to list your favorite Christmas movies, what would you recommend?

Ashley

Honorable Mentions:

A Christmas Story

In the Good Old Summertime

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Miracle on 34th Street

Supplemental Reading:

http://talesofafairy.com/2011/11/29/best-holiday-movies-of-all-time/#comment-60

Happy Halloween From Apollo & I

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope your holiday has been fun and candy-filled. Boyfriend, Apollo and I sat on our front stoop for two hours handing out candy until we ran out (we had so many trick-or-treaters).

Here’s a picture of Apollo in his “Watch Dog” costume.

We also saw a dog in a plastic bag – he was a “doggie bag”. I love clever homemade dog costumes!

One problem I had was what I should wear to the office – I wanted to celebrate Halloween but in a chic, office-appropriate way. Here’s what I came up with:

I love this spider brooch I found on Amazon for only $18! To put the outfit together I just grabbed my favorite LBD, added an orange button-down, the spider brooch, some sheer black tights and my black boots. The result: professional but festive (excuse the mirror smudges).

I also had a DIY creative streak and decorated the entire apartment. Here are some felt bats I cut out from a free stencil online and taped to the wall:

You can also see my dad’s pin map which he used to mark his world travels. I adopted it and have been up keeping it since he passed away. I think it makes an interesting focal point in the living room.

And here’s a picture of all the food we set out for our Halloween party last weekend. The finger cookies were my favorite to make but I also used food coloring to make orange hummus.

I wish you all a wonderful and safe Halloween!

Ashley

P.s. I want to end this with some more pug therapy: