Uncategorized

Love with Every Breath

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Sometimes we feel stuck.  Some people blame it on the stars, others blame it on where they live.  I’m currently stuck, this is the second day in a row I have sat down and not accomplished anything.  Okay, that’s a lie, I have accomplished a good caffeine buzz!  I’ve been endlessly searching for jobs because, yet again, I put it off.  It seems like no one is hiring.  Because my mind is so focused on that, it’s been hard for me to write.  I’ve been staring at the above picture for two days wondering what I will write.  When I feel this way, I feel as though I have nothing inspiring to offer.  I’m caught up in the negatives.

This picture, the last nature photo I took while living in Rock Island, TN.  I wanted to remember my favorite place to drive by.  There’s two little dogs that roam this part of the country, I named them Thelma and Louise.  It always made me so happy when I’d see them out and about.  It’d brighten my day to know that they’re doing okay.  I tried to rescue them once, I thought they were lost.  One of them threw up in my car, the other just wanted to go home.  I bought them collars so I could find the owner, they got away and I let them go.  A few days later, I found them back in the same spot we met.  I accidentally took them away from their home.  And that, my friends, is how having a big heart can get you into trouble!  I had to stop rescuing animals after that.

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Sorry for getting a little side tracked, there!  When we get stuck, it’s important to open our eyes.  Especially when we’re stuck on the negatives.  What do I mean by that?  Become aware of where you are.  Don’t think about anything else, don’t think about later today, don’t focus on yesterday.  What is going on around you?  Here’s kind of what I mean by that:

  • I’m sitting in my favorite hide-away in the valley of Arizona
  • The trees around me, though they may not resemble TN, are green and gorgeous
  • Coffee and cigarettes
  • The conversation about forgiveness that the men behind me are having
  • The guy in front of me who has been reading intensely this whole time
  • The warm sun, cool winter breeze
  • I’m living my dream, I’m writing

Little things like this, can mean the world.  Focusing on something you’d normally over look, things that you see every day.  Be grateful for these.  What do you see that can bring you back to where you are?  Experience the moment you are in.  Love every time you take a breath.

-Elizabeth Ashley

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Positive Vibes Only, Please.

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Please excuse my wet hair, this was taken right before being a haircut model at school. 

This past week was a great and busy week!  At school, we had the opportunity to watch a demo by two very respected people in the beauty industry.  Well, I didn’t get to watch, I was too busy trying to not look like a crazy person in front of the entire school while one of them cut my hair!  Social anxiety at it’s best in that moment.  But, I enjoyed every second and love my new hair style!

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Thank you, for my lovely new hair cut!

Wherever you go, there will be someone who disagrees with you.  And that’s what happened to me at the end of my week.  It was a very frustrating moment for me. With any disagreement, it’s best to walk away, and calm your mind down.  Especially for someone with anxiety.  In the moment, it’s easy to assume that a disagreement is negative, it has all the signs pointing to negativity.  I always try to see the positive in every situation.  Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not.  And that’s all okay.  I will not be getting into details, nor will I name, names.  This is not about what went down, this is not about the others in any disagreeing situation.  With this, I am wanting to inspire thought, inspire positivity, and inspire respect.  Do not place blame on others, but hold yourself to a standard of these three things.  The only thing you can control, is your reaction to whatever may come your way.

When you get into a disagreement with someone, they may be open-minded, willing to listen and learn of another point of view.  Other times, they may be closed off, and set in their thoughts.  And that’s totally up to them.  As frustrating as it may be, don’t blame them.  Worry about what is coming out of your own mouth.  What vibes are you expressing to others?

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I like my shoes.

The best way to calm yourself down during a disagreement that is not heading for a positive outcome, is to walk away.  I got up, excused myself, and went and smoked a cigarette.  That was the best way for me to calm down.  I don’t encourage smoking, if you don’t do it, don’t ever do it.  After walking away, you’re in a position of being alone with your thoughts.  Text a friend and rant it all out for a moment, calm your mind, and think from their side.  Understand that no matter what, the best thing to do is to walk away without anger, without hate, only peace.

After talking with my roommate’s mom, she pointed out that this occasion was actually a positive one.  After holding onto it until I got home, I realized that she was right.  It wasn’t positive that there was a disagreement, but in the way I handled it and in the way that I got up and walked back in with my head held high.  No longer angry, no longer hurt, just letting it all roll off my shoulder.  I was able to end my day on a halfway decent note.  And I’m thankful for the way I can see the good in the bad.

And lastly, be respectful, guys!  I mean, come on.  It’s 2016, we’re grown adults, let’s act like it!  If someone has a different point of view than you do, don’t tell them they’re wrong.  Unless it’s something that’s factually wrong like, coffee doesn’t make people happy.  What I mean is, there’s different ways at approaching everything.  Just because someone has a different approach than you do, don’t put them down for it.  Don’t laugh and call that idea wrong.  Because, that’s just wrong.  What matters is the outcome, not the way you create.  In an industry where art is your career, your life, and your passion, you have to respect the way others create.  That’s what forms bonds between artists who can then continue to create masterpieces together!

At the end of the day, enjoy who you are, love yourself.  No matter where you are, or what you’re doing in life; be thoughtful, positive, and respectful.  There are too many people who are not, be the reason someone smiles.

-Elizabeth Ashley

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

When Life has it’s Own Plans.

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I apologize if the quality in this photo is not so great, was taken with my cell phone. 

Before my busy school week abruptly begins again tomorrow morning, 5am, I wanted to share one last weekend post.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I needed a serious study break and for many of you, it’s still a Monday.  However, as soon as I sat down at my table in my favorite coffee shop, I started having ideas come into mind.

The photo above is one that I hold very dear to my heart.  I took this photo in Tennessee, that was the building my ex and I were going to turn into his recording studio.  And yes, that is him.  I’m going to try with all my might to not get too sentimental as I write, as this is intended to be a post looking to the future, and recreating our present lives.

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This was also taken on my phone. 

Sometimes life changes drastically, one moment you’re dreaming of your future.  The next moment, you’re on a plane staring at the Grand Canyon, wondering what will happen next.  These changes don’t happen for just any reason.  They’re not random, they don’t just happen to make you miserable.  Sure, they may seem to come out of the blue, but one day you’ll realize what there is to learn from it.  That is, if you’re willing to learn from it.  I decided to take the drastic change of a break-up and moving across country as a major learning experience.  Yes, it was an uphill battle to get here.  Between the anger, denial, and sadness, it took a while.  But, here I am, willing to share what I have learned.

Through all of this, through the thinking and wondering, I realized my lesson.  Self-care and Self-love.  I stopped caring for myself.  I stopped loving myself.  I had gained weight, I had gotten into a terrible routine, I even began to read so much that I would finish a novel in less than 2 days.  That meant for an entire 8 hours, I laid in bed reading.  I gave up.  Unfortunately, it took me moving back to my home town to realize just how badly I need to save myself.

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Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas. Also taken on my phone…

For anyone who is going through, or has at one point been through, a tough change like this, it’s easy to forget what will help us most.  Taking care of ourselves!  And guess what, that’s exactly what I needed to work on in the first place!  I realized through all of this, that we can’t be our best selves unless we put ourselves first.  I’m not talking in the selfish, I’m more important way, but in the way that’s healthy.  If we’re not okay on the inside, how do we expect to be able to help others?  How do we expect to be successful in our careers?  Whatever it may be, there comes a point when we need to make time for us.

I have this horrible habit, that I know many other people have, too.  Waking up with 10 minutes to spare before we head out the door to start the day.  This is the biggest thing in my personal life that I want to drastically change.  I’m at school when the sun rises, and home when it’s setting.  Those days, I have absolutely no time to myself.  There’s 10 minutes to take care of myself, and that short time is spent cussing myself out for waking up late and being in a rush.  It’s a terrible cycle!

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Yes, I took a selfie in the mirror ceiling at Graceland. Obviously, taken on my phone. Again.

So, my goal is to wake up an hour and a half earlier.  I’m going to use this time to do my yoga, perfect my make-up, actually do something other than brush my hair and leave.  I’m going to eat breakfast, enjoy a cup of coffee, and read the Bible.  One thing I want to start doing is writing a Gratitude List each morning.

What small step do y’all want to make to help yourself?  Let me know in the comments, if you want!  I encourage all of you to enjoy your time, take everyday one moment at a time.  Take care of yourself, love yourself, so you can love others better.

-Elizabeth Ashley

DIY, How To, Make-Up, Uncategorized

How To: Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

I’m one of those people, you know, the kind that has never a day in her life cleaned her make-up brushes.  Ever.  Yeah, it’s something I should be embarrassed about but, a lot of people don’t do it.  There’s those of us who just aren’t that into make-up, they don’t think to wash their brushes because it’s just not that important to them.  Then there’s some of you reading this who are in the fashion/cosmetology industry and your jaws just dropped and you gasped.  How could someone not wash their brushes?!  Well, if you’re like me, it’s because you just didn’t know how.  I have some brushes that have years of make-up on them, then I have some that are fairly new.  I decided that I would try out a DIY make-up brush cleaner, and let you all know how it worked!  And by the way, it WORKS!  Like I said, years of make-up on these things; they’re all clean now!

DIY Make-up Brush Cleanser (with products you probably have at home):

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  1. Grab some dish soap, if I had the option I would have used Dawn Simple, that name may be wrong, but it’s the one without dye in it.  Also go ahead and grab some olive oil.  I also put 3 drops of Lavender oil in with the mixture, but that is optional.
  2. Put in the soap and the olive oil, mix together.
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Please ignore my chipped nail polish!

3. Dip the make-up brush in the cleanser.  I actually had to go back and mix up some more, lots of brushes!  But, if you don’t have too many, you should be fine.

4. After that, swirl the brush around on your hands, get it wet with warm water at the sink, and keep swirling it around until all of the soap and make-up is off.  You’ll notice the water getting clearer.

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5.  Lay your brushes on a clean towel, reshape them to their form, and prop them up so the water does not get into the brush handle. And you’re done!! Yay!

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this simple DIY how to.  If you’d like to see more of these, let me know in the comments!

-Elizabeth Ashley

 

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Original Inspiration.

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Today I’ve been struggling with what I want to write.  I woke up today knowing that I wanted to get out of the house and drink coffee.  Okay, I wake up everyday knowing that!  I also knew I wanted to write a post for you all to read.  My original goal was to write a fashion post for tomorrow inspired by Audrey Hepburn.  I didn’t get done what I needed, due to it being an insanely crazy week.  So, I’m going to make up for it by posting a bunch this weekend and bringing y’all the fashion post next week!

I sat down and just started typing, rambling on and on until it didn’t make any sense.  Usually, I do this about 4 times before I type something I enjoy.  Thankfully, it only took one time of craziness before I came to a topic.  Inspiration.  I am in love with inspiration.  You can use it to create better works of art, to create a better life, and just about anything else.  Whenever I am lacking in inspiration for my blog, I go right back to the original source of it all, Free People BLDG 25 Blog.  I love the clothes the company makes, but even more, the inspiring posts that they produce.

I feel that it’s important to always go back to that first source of inspiration, it’s what made everything possible.  If you can’t physically get to it, go to it with your memories, this is about the one way it’s acceptable to revisit your past.  Bring you back to where you started, humble yourself.  Everything has a starting point, don’t forget it.

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A great way I’ve found, and I’m constantly trying to improve on, is to remain simple.  Let inspiration grab a hold of me and take me where it wants.  I tend to over-think everything, I read into others’ actions too much, and it makes me miserable.  The best thing to do is to sit back, calm your mind, and live in the moment.  Don’t worry about the future, set your goals, and live day by day working towards them.  By remaining in a simple state of mind, you’re allowing inspiration to sink in and you can enjoy it.  I’m not over thinking what I’m writing, I’m letting it take control.  When I go back into class on Tuesday, I won’t over think about my group photo shoot, I’ll let what happens, happen.  I’ll share my ideas, and let them mold with my teammates’ ideas.  I’ll enjoy creating with them, and I’ll enjoy the outcome of the final product.

So, let’s let inspiration helps us better ourselves.  Let’s let it take control for a moment, find the inspiration to make that healthy change in your life, or to bring you back to what you love.  Find the inspiration to be better at work, or to be a better parent.  Live every day with love in your souls, and inspiration in your heart.  Smile, find the reasons to be happy.

I wonder how many times I said the word, Inspiration in this post?

-Elizabeth Ashley

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What Matters Most to Us.

Before I get started, I wanted to let y’all know a little about the publishing schedule I will be creating for this blog.  My plan is to post at the very least, every Sunday.  These will be topics I work on all throughout the week to bring you great content to read and be inspired.  However, I’m happy to say that when life allows, I will be publishing here and there throughout the week, as well.  So, keep an eye out for my Sunday posts and little random things that may pop up between Sundays! 

    Thanks,

Elizabeth Ashley, xoxo

 

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Life is a journey, sometimes it’s exactly what we wanted.  Other times, it’s not at all what we even imagined.  That’s currently where my life is at.  In some aspects of my life, things are pretty damn close to what I wished for.  I’m attending a great cosmetology school, I’m getting to build up my blog, and I’m enjoying my coffee.  On the other hand, things couldn’t be further from where I’d like to be.  I don’t have my own home, I don’t have a billion dogs and cats, and I’m back in Arizona.  It can be difficult to enjoy the small things in life when you’re so consumed with what’s not how you imagined.  I don’t want to be living in this feeling of confusion, sadness, and frustration.  I want to be able to enjoy the time that’s given to me, no matter where I am at.

One night, while I was endlessly complaining about having to be in Arizona, my best friend told me to stop.  Thank God she said that, I was beginning to even annoy myself.  But, not only did she say that, she said the next few words that would hang over my head and pick me up every time I was feeling down.  “Just think of it as your self-bettering vacation.”  In other words, you’re in Arizona now, deal with it.  While you’re dealing with it, remember that it’s not forever.  I’m a free spirit, when I feel trapped in a place, I panic.  Arizona makes me feel trapped. I dream of getting on the I-40 and driving the hell out of here everyday.  While I lived out in Tennessee I dreamed of just hopping on the I-40 and driving West, maybe, once.  I was on my way into a college town, driving underneath the over-pass and for a split second thought, it could all be gone in a moment.  After that thought, I kept driving straight.  Why?  Because I believed in my future in Tennessee.

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Here’s a photo of me during my, trying to be a hippie phase.  Okay, I still try to be a hippie.

Eventually, I ended up getting on the I-40 and driving back out west.  I didn’t want to do it, but I knew it was something I needed to do.  I had that same best friend by my side all the way out here.  We had some great times, memories I’ll never forget.  I’m so grateful that she was the one to make that trip with me; her kind heart and loving soul made that journey possible.  She made sure that I knew at any moment I could turn the car around and be back in Tennessee.  Even when we had already crossed state lines into Arizona, she told me we could always turn back around.  Hell, she might have even told me before she got on the plane to go back.  She could see that I did not like this, through the laughter and the excitement of visiting Graceland, she knew Arizona was not my home any longer. Or, maybe I’m just reading into it way too much and she just didn’t want to live thousands of miles away from me.  Either way, I’m thankful for her.

So, what I’m getting at is, what matters most to us should always be there in our hearts.  Whatever it may be that we hold close to us, you know it matters when you can feel it being carried around with you in your heart.  The hardest time to feel what’s important, is when we have it right in front of us.  I had something in front of me that I took for granted, that’s gone and now it’s in my soul as something I will always hold dear.  Right now, it’s the fact I am going to cosmetology school, I’m beginning to take it for granted as well.  Luckily, I’m able to realize now that sometimes, when life has us down, we need to step back and remind ourselves of what matters most.

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Obviously, coffee matters most.

What I’ve noticed matters most to me, personally, are quite a few things.  My faith in God and relationship with Him, that’s number one.  I’ve been so thankful to be able to find a great church out here in Arizona.  Another thing would be my family.  I’m not particularly close to my parents anymore, I get along fine with my Dad.  I just don’t have the relationship with them that I’ve always wanted.  So, family to me, looks a little different.  My grandma is probably the most important person in my life.  She’s someone who has loved me and supported me when she saw I needed it.  Then, I have my friends.  My roommate and her family are special to me, and my best friend of 17 freakin’ years is important to me.  Even some friends that were once very close to me, that I no longer talk to, mean the world to me.

A few other things matter most in my life, my career, being able to express myself creatively, traveling, and animals.  Guys, seriously, I talked to my fur babies (two cats) on the phone the other day.  I had to leave them in Tennessee, it’s been months since they heard my voice, they came running and purring into the phone.  It warmed my heart, it was so precious.

I encourage my lovely readers to sit back, relax, and grab a pen and a piece of paper.  Write down what matters most.  Hang it up somewhere you’ll see it!  To make it easier, separate it into two sections, the first being things in general, the obvious ones.  Then, really think about it, what do you have right in front of you that you may take for granted at times?  Your job?  Your friends? Your fur babies?  Just live in the moment, appreciate what you have.  Work towards what you want.

-Elizabeth Ashley.

Lifestyle, Photography, Uncategorized

This Isn’t What Was Planned

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If there’s one thing blogging has taught me, it’s that even the simplest things don’t always go as planned.  It’s also taught me, that it’s okay.

I read countless blog posts on how to build a successful blog, I’ve studied, and made the plans to carry out Positively Wild as close to those guidelines as possible.  I wrote out my bunch of posts to start off with, cleaned up my Instagram somewhat, and tried with all my might to take great photos for you all.  I even set a publish date and that didn’t work out either.

So, here we are.  I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop, writing a spontaneous post on how life is, well, spontaneous.  We can only control so much about our lives.  I can control what I’m doing in the moment.  I can control that I decided to write this blog, that I decided to come here to drink my coffee, and that I’m going to wake up early tomorrow and go to school.  What I can’t control is the past and the future.  I’ve made a choice to go to cosmetology school, that’s in the moment.  What I don’t have control over, is what will happen once I graduate.

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That being said, I know that just because I can’t control the outcome of a lot of things, I can still work towards goals.  I want to work towards graduating as soon as I possibly can.  I want to work towards moving back out of Arizona.  And I want to work towards traveling.

Write your goals, post them somewhere you will see them everyday.  Even if it’s as small as making sure you’ve got a better skin care routine, continue working.  Make the small steps that being in the moment allows you to make.  Soon after enough small steps, you’ll look back and realize they all added up to a bunch of progress.

Enjoy what you have in the moment, make flexible goals for the future, and enjoy being who you are.  Don’t try and control the outcome of every situation.  Breathe, and let life happen.