Thursday, February 20, 2014

{GIVEAWAY} on According to Ashley!

As a celebration of my new blog (and for having comments that work, and not having to fight with Blogger any longer...), I wanted to share some of the things that make me smile. We all have our favorite little things, and I'd like to give you some of mine! These are a few of my favorite things...
Lilly Pulitzer Koozie to keep my drinks cold all summer long. A Starbucks gift card to keep me caffeinated throughout the workday. Essie Nail Polish to keep my nails looking fresh. Notecards to keep in touch with all of my out of state friends and family. A Chick Flick to help me unwind after a long day on my feet.

Be sure to head over to the new According to Ashley and enter to win all of these for yourself!{

Monday, February 10, 2014

Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

Remember all those times that I complained about me and Blogger not getting along?
Our relationship is officially over.

Head over here to follow my life's adventures!
And, be sure to follow According to Ashley on Bloglovin' so you'll get my daily posts!

Friday, February 7, 2014

5 on Friday!

Linking up with April & Friends for my favorite day of the week!

|| one ||
We have gotten almost 16 inches of snow this week. These things don't happen back to back in New York like they do in other places (honestly, I don't know how all of you mid-westerners survive!!!). I have literally been snowed in for half of the week. My poor little Jetta can't handle this snow & ice.

|| two ||

I had a great few days back from work after my vacation. Birthday Month continued into February with a delicious cake (vanilla cake & chocolate frosting -- my favorite), and the girls at work bought me a pair of sparkly Jack Rogers! I cannot wait for this snow to melt so I can sport those everywhere!

|| three ||
My Mama finally underwent surgery for her arthritic hip. For the last 4ish years, she has been struggling to walk, and was in serious pain. After being mis-diagnosed as a back problem, we finally got the answer we were looking for when a family friend recommended seeing her husband. Right away he saw what the real problem was, and x-rays confirmed that there was no bone left in the joint of her hip. Last night she received a total hip replacement, and we have finally begun the recovery process. I am so thankful that after only a few months we were able to get the correct diagnosis, and treat the problem. With her new hip, she will finally be able to enjoy the simple things in life (like a walk on the beach, not having to find the closest parking spot at concerts, walking the dog), and the new procedure that the surgeon did promises a quick recovery time with no restrictions! She will be able to walk on it right away and won't have to go to a live-in rehabilitation facility!!

|| four ||
When Mom's surgery was rescheduled to this week, she was beyond thrilled that during her time in the hospital she would be able to non-stop watch the olympics. I can't say that I blame her!!! I love watching everything, especially figure skating, skiing, curling, and hockey! Oh, and the bobsled, skeleton, and speed skating. Really all of it. What are your favorite sports to watch?

|| five ||
I am so excited to announce that this will be my last post here at Monograms and Margaritas! I have officially ended my relationship with Blogger and will be headed over to Wordpress on Monday morning. Once all of the design process is finished (only a few more finishing touches!!!), I will be sure to update y'all on the new url! I have already found Wordpress much easier to navigate, and I'll be able to do so many more fun things on there!

What are your favorite things on this sunny (FREEZING) Friday!?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I don't believe in resolutions: February.

|| february: running ||

I'm participating (I hesitate to say running because there is no way on this earth that I will be able to run 13.1 miles) in a half marathon t the end of the month with two of my best friends. I am looking forward to spending the weekend at Disney World wearing a tutu and a tiara, but the real goal of this is to get my butt into shape. If I can run the majority of the race (and by majority, I mean running every other mile), I will be a happy girl. Training really needed to be in full gear in December, but sometimes life gets in the way. I will be putting other priorities on hold during February for this goal. They say it only takes 21 days to form a habit, so that should be sufficient amount of time to set the tone for the rest of the year at the gym, right?

I'm hoping that by the time I return from Florida, I haven't scared myself out of running another half. I think I made an unwise decision with scheduling my first one in the middle of the winter so that my training months were plagued with frigid temperatures, snow, and rain. Treadmill miles are much harder to be motivated for, so looking ahead, I will aim for races at the end of the summer/early fall.

For now, I'll put in my headphones, and suck it up so I don't look like an idiot in Florida at the end of the month (well, once my back is better and I can breathe again...)

Someone please let me in on their secret to motivating themselves to hit the gym in the dead of winter!

Monday, February 3, 2014

"Wham Bam Kam" and other things that made me giggle.

While my hometown team didn't make it to the Superbowl (or the playoffs, for that matter.. or a winning season. I'm not bitter or anything...), I still love football enough to be super psyched for the Broncos & Seahawks to dominate at MetLife Stadium.

I was ultimately rooting for the Broncos (I mean, if I can't have a New York team in it to win it, a Manning family member will have to do), but I also had a little piece of me rooting for all of my alma mater players. Enter, Wham Bam Kam Chancellor. That boy is a beast. Bud Foster must be a real proud Papa this morning.

The game sucked.
It was definitely FOX's worst nightmare having two west coast teams in the game, and having a blowout. If it weren't for the commercials, we probably would have turned the game off at halftime. But, there were quite a few gems that were broadcasted between plays...

And.. added bonus? This Doritos commercial was written by a HOKIE!

What were your favorite Super Bowl Commercials!?

Friday, January 31, 2014

5 on Friday!

Linking up with April & friends for my favorite post of the week!

|| one ||
I think I pulled/strained/messed up some combination of muscles in my back yesterday at work. Radiating/shooting pains in my lower back have made for a very uncomfortable 12 hours. A long jacuzzi and ibuprofen have helped to dull the pain, but now the question is how long do I wait to go to the doctor? I can walk (not completely straight), and only get the shooting pains when I twist or bend. My next day off is Monday -- can it wait?

|| two ||
Long distance friendships suck.
Ever have one of those days/nights when you just want to lie in bed with tequila and yell about life? I had one of those days yesterday (the back issue didn't seem to help much...), and my best friend is in Puerto Rico! COME BACK. We need snuggles and college football replays on our iPhones repeatedly!

|| three ||
I have the best co-workers ever. I came back from my trip to an amazing cake from Buttercup Bakery in NYC! Needless to say, the girls and I have now eaten cake for lunch and dinner for the last few days. Birthday month doesn't end until 11:59 tonight, so I am owning all of those calories...

|| four ||
This cold weather is actually driving me crazy.
Groupon has me almost convinced to drop everything I'm doing and head somewhere warm and sunny!
I mean, for under $600? Take.Me.There.

|| five ||
I need a new mattress. More importantly, my brother needs a new mattress, which means that I get a new one by default. The one I've been sleeping on since I got my "big girl bed" is almost 30 years old. Let's also say that there is a little bit of bad karma that goes along with it (it's got quite the baggage from over the years). I'm officially convinced that my mattress is giving me bad karma (yes, I know I'm crazy).


Be sure to head over to April's blog and share whats happening on your Friday!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sanibel Vacay

So, I had this big elaborate plan to recap my vacation today, seeing that I flew home last night, but, I took zero pictures worth sharing with the exception of a few gorgeous sunsets (they really are stunning on Sanibel).

It was chilly in Florida. I was still bundled in a sweater 4/5 days that I was there, so we spent a lot of time sitting on the porch reading our books. I had tons of time to catch up on blogging, e-mails, and emptying my Kindle of unread books. It did get to a point one day where Mom and I needed to get outside, so we bundled up and plopped our chairs by the ocean. It didn't last very long (it was seriously cold), but it was nice to get out of the house!

We did also get to hop over to Naples to do a little shopping one afternoon. I was dying to see the new Lilly store in the Waterside shops, and it was definitely worth all the hype. The store is a lot smaller than I thought it would be (even smaller than my store!!), but the girls there were so friendly, and their fitting rooms are to die for!

There was also a lot of family time (which, really, was the point of our trip). We skyped with relatives in Colorado, and had multiple dinners with our Sanibel relatives. We were lucky that quite a few nights the sky cleared up for sunset, and we were able to get some gorgeous pictures.

I love this place.

We also went through some old photo albums, and my aunt even brought a few vintage pictures over. Seriously, my fashion sense was on point in the 90's, and a few of them gave me a good chuckle. Can we tell that I've been a Daddy's girl since the day I was born!?

All in all, the last few days were just what the doctor ordered. Lots of reading, catching up, and relaxing. While I would have loved to spend more than one day catching some Vitamin D, maybe the weather was a blessing in disguise!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obsessed: Gold Sparkles

I have always been one to wear sterling silver jewelry. The thought of yellow gold never crossed my mind, and any jewelry that I received that was not silver, I handed straight to my Mama. Recently, yellow gold (and more importantly, sparkles) has caught my eye. I received a gold monogram necklace for Christmas, and haven't taken it off since.

It seems as though every store I walk into has something with gold accents in it. Kate Spade is full, so is C. Wonder, and J. Crew! I have already picked up this adorable gold & white chevron iPhone case at Target, but these are the other items currently on my gold sparkly wishlist!

What gold sparkly things are you obsessed with!?

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Bachelor Bracket.

Another Monday, another exciting night watching Juan Pablo awkwardly make-out with weird girls and then cook them breakfast (I'm still not understanding why I don't find him in my kitchen cooking me breakfast...)

So by week 4, I definitely have my favorites already. There aren't too many people that I dislike (although, previews for this episode make me believe that may change). The only woman who he needs to get rid of is Sharleen. Do we even ned to go into their kiss last week? My stomach is still churning from watching it.

The front runners for me?

I have a major girl crush on Nikki. She seems like the type to stay out of the drama, and keep her nose clean. She also really reminds me of the former Bachelorette, Ali.

Anyone else picture Renee jumping right in and assuming the Momma role for Camilla? Maybe it's the fact that she has a son of her own, but she just seems so darn REAL. 

I still don't feel as though I know every single girl, so my bracket is filled out haphazardly, butttttttttt...

Want to get in on the action!? 
First, Click here to download your very own Bachelor Bracket!
Follow your hosts;

                                          Bloglovin'                                         Bloglovin'

Post your bracket BEFORE 8pm tonight! Be sure to link back to Jacky or myself to share your predictions! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

26 in 26.

I hate New Year's Resolutions, but I do love lists.
I had made a list of 25 things that I wanted to complete in my 25th year, and wanted to create a whole new list in honor of my 26th birthday.

Pay it forward.
Read 26 books.
Go to a concert.
Leave a 100% tip.
Donate to a charity.
See 12 new movies.
Visit my alma mater.
Travel to a new state.
Visit Popop in Florida.
Visit an amusement park.
Complete a half marathon.
Redesign/rebrand my blog.
Set a budget, and stick to it.
Visit my best friends in DC.
Take a girls' weekend road trip.
Move out of my parents' house.
Send little brother a care package.
Take a 24 hour social media detox.
De-clutter my bedroom and bathroom.
Bring in surprise treats for my co-workers.
Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day.
Try 26 new recipes (and share them with you!).
Learn to give myself a decent at-home manicure.
Start and finish a television series in one weekend.
Visit little brother at his school for a siblings weekend.
Take a photography class (or other creative class) just for fun.

What do you want to complete before your next birthday!?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


My birthday celebrations tend to be low-key. This year, Mom and I are celebrating with our trip to Florida this week, I did get the opportunity to spend a weekend in December with my best friend. Our birthdays are 3 weeks apart, and since she moved back to VA, we knew that we needed to do something big. We planned a super fabulous special weekend in NYC, and it was perfect.

After working a ridiculous shift on Friday, I flew home to start my weekend. We headed to pick up our latest foster dog, Maddie (who has already been adopted!!!).

We freshened up, and headed out with my Mama for margaritas at a local Mexican restaurant. It was so nice to spend some time with two of my favorite ladies, drink some amazing margaritas, and share table-made guacamole. Maybe a few too many margaritas had been consumed, because after dinner, there may have been a little bit of playtime in a manger.

Clearly we were in bed early, and up ready to start our celebrations on Saturday. We spent the morning running errands, and searching for the perfect pair of heels for my dress (would you believe that until Saturday morning, I did not own a single pair of heels? Yeah, I know)! I lucked out with a $17 pair of nude Tahari heels. They were perfect.

We booked hair appointments at drybar, packed our bags, and headed into the city.

We stayed at Park South Hotel on 28th between Park and Lex. It was located on the same block as the 6 train, so it was more than convenient. We had booked a King room, but were immediately upgraded to a Junior King Suite upon check-in. What a great way to kick off the evening! After picking up some sustenance and coffee, we headed down to Union Square for our drybar appointments. I hate blow-drying my hair, so this place was right up my alley. I looked through the "menu" and decided on the "Mai Tai." About 45 minutes later, my hair was perfectly beachy and I was so excited to begin the rest of our night!

We left drybar and kept pushing back our dinner reservations because we were just having too much fun playing around, enjoying our hotel room, and getting all pretty. We got all dolled up and grabbed a cab uptown (to some restaurant that I honestly cannot even remember the name of...). The food was delicious, but I still just keep thinking of the awkward couples that were dining close enough to us that we could listen to every.single.word that they said.

When we finished dinner, we headed back downtown for drinks at Beauty and Essex. This place had an amazing atmosphere, and the drink menu was something out of the ordinary! Next time we have a weekend in the city, we will definitely be making it a priority to get dinner reservations there. I have absolutely zero pictures from the rest of the weekend, because all of them were taken on SnapChat and are sadly gone forever. I wish that someone had screenshotted half of what I sent them, because they were absurd. After Beauty and Essex we headed to a bar that I can only describe as a Bulgarian club with the weirdest decor ever. Naked women all over the walls, and I mean pictures and sculptures.

On our way back to the hotel, we made friends with some random guys and shared a bag of goldfish. Our hotel happened to be right next to McDonalds (convenient, right?). The night ended with happy meals in our king sized bed watching reruns of TV. I don't know if I was more proud of myself for making it back to the hotel with all of my belongings, or for staying up until 4am. Either way, the night was a blast.

It was only fitting that on Sunday morning when we woke up it was pouring down rain. After trekking too many blocks to a bagel shop, we were soaking wet, a little hungover, and ready for a nap. I made it the whole way back to Grand Central and fell asleep on the train ride home. Sunday was certainly a day of recovery, and just another reminder that I am not, in fact, still in college.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

Even though I might be freaking out that I turn 26 today, I just love everything about birthdays. Even moreso than the new year, I think of birthdays as a fresh start. New goals, new outlook, etc.

I've already celebrated my birthday for the entire month (well, actually since the 27th of December...), but the celebrations will continue this weekend in Florida!

Here's to a day full of presents, sweet treats, and being the birthday girl!

Monday, January 20, 2014

1 Giveaway. 20 Bloggers. 30,000+ Follower Reach!

Are you ready for this? 
I don't think you are...

In honor of Keep Calm Blog On's First Blogiversary, I've gathered TWENTY of my favorite blogging ladies to host the giveaway of a lifetime. All blogs have to get their start somewhere and connecting with other bloggers is a great way to get some more exposure.  The winner of this giveaway will get ad space on the sidebar of all 20 blogs for the month of February! This means that your ad could reach a potential of 30,000 followers (including our blog and social media followers).  Oh. Hot. Damn. This is an awesome opportunity for a new blogger, small business or a blogger who wants to get some more exposure (really, what blogger doesn't??).  Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below and visit all of the fabulous ladies participating in the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Bachelor Bracket {linkup}

I'm going to start off by letting y'all know that we are nearing the end of my relationship with Blogger. 3rd post in a row that has not been published when scheduled. And I still can't reply to comments.

Anyway. Down to real business.

Today is Monday. While it has already kicked me in the ass, the one thing I have to look forward to is at 8pm tonight when Juan-uary commences for my favorite 2 hour block of the week! I can't wait for the most dramatic rose ceremony yet, naturally.

As of last week, we were left with 13 women vying for Juan Pablo's heart. I predict a whole lot of drama (obviously) the following lucky ladies receiving a rose;

Since Momma bear doesn't have a blog, here are her choices for the 13 lucky ladies continuing on the journey for love...

Who do y'all think will be getting a rose at tonight's ceremony!?
Be sure to link up with me and Jacky to share your bracket!

Friday, January 17, 2014

5 on Friday!

Linking up with April & friends for 5 on Friday!!

|| one ||
I'm in a massive fight with Blogger right now. Somehow, without me realizing it, Google+ comments were enabled leaving anyone without a Google+ account unable to comment on my posts. In a frantic moment the other night, I deleted my Google+ account in hopes that it would fix it (that is what the forums recommended!!!!), and now, not only did it not fix the problem, but now I cannot reply to comments left on my blog.
Thanks, Blogger. I'll be switching to WordPress as soon as I figure it out.

|| two ||
I've always been a sucker for a good iPhone/desktop background. Sugar Paper, LA just released some new images for January, and I'm totally in love with this simple January calendar.

|| three ||
Leave it to Etsy to solve all of the worlds problems... I have officially found the cutest tutus for the Disney Princess Half in February! Race Junkie has the best selection ever! 
How am I ever supposed to decide on one!?

|| four ||
I finally received the correct duvet cover from PB Teen this week. After almost a month of working with their customer service and receiving the wrong product time and time again, the correct one showed up at my door earlier this week.
I am hesitant to put it on my bed right now (since I've got a 50lb dog with long light hair that sleeps on my bed), but once this little pup gets adopted, it'll be on there in no time!

|| five ||
I am so excited that in 6 short days I'll peace out of this freezing weather and land in sunny (warm!!!!!) Florida! I can't wait for a girls weekend with my Momma to celebrate my birthday. Let's just hope that the temps land above the 60 degrees that are predicted right now. This girl needs some Vitamin D real bad.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cozy Winter Essentials

This winter has certainly shown it's chilly self recently (last week was nothing short of miserable), and if I've learned anything in my life, it's that you need to have a large stock of cozy essentials to rely on during those dreary, dry, depressing days.

What are your favorite cozy winter essentials?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mid-Month Currently: January

I saw this on Living in Yellow's blog last month, and thought that it was super fun!
Here are all of the things that I am currently into!

...listening to: Play it Again by Luke Bryan. Honestly, it's been on repeat on my iPhone since the album came out a few months ago. How can anyone not love this song!?

...eating: brown sugar & maple oatmeal with almonds. Random? Super, considering I didn't even like oatmeal until a few weeks ago. It has to be the most cozy breakfast of the winter!

...wanting to buy: this monogrammed satchel from Marley Lilly. It would be perfect for both of my trips to Florida that are coming up! Maybe the birthday fairy will bring one (hint, hint, Ma)?

...reading: Bound South by Rebecca Susan White. I just finished LoveHampton last night (and loved it), so I can't say whether or not I like this one yet! I'll be starting it tonight!

...laughing at: please tell me you've seen this before -- I'm absolutely dying over this!!

...wishing: that I had more motivation to get my butt to the gym before work in the mornings. It's so hard when my bed is so warm and my room is so cozy...

...drinking: pumpkin spice coffee! I found a few hidden k-cups leftover from the fall, and I am so excited to throw those into the Keurig over the next few days. It was such a glorious surprise!

...watching: Dance Moms. It's my guilty pleasure (or at least one of them). Please, someone tell me if there really are people in the world that act like these insane women? I want to be sure to stay far away from them!

...looking forward to: heading down to Florida twice in the next 90 days! Goodbye snow, cold, ice, and wind. Hello, sunshine, and above freezing temps!

What are you currently obsessing over!?

Monday, January 13, 2014

NEW -- The Bachelor Bracket

Confession: I still watch The Bachelor.  Like a train-wreck, I just can't look away... and I wouldn't dare risk missing the most exciting rose ceremony yet! Plus, he's not so bad to look at...

 Starting next Monday (1/20)  we will begin our weekly link up! For now, we wanted to go over the rules so that everyone is ready to play along next week...

1.  Bracket - Print or save the bracket (so hardcore, we used a spreadsheet). Fill out your bracket before the show each week. You should be guessing who you think will stay for the next week. We realize we missed weeks 1 and 2, but just join in the fun! In fact, feel free to join us anytime before the finale!

2. Follow your lovely hosts Ashley and Jacky:


Bloglovin'                                                    Bloglovin'
Twitter                                                          Twitter

3. Link up with us on Mondays BEFORE 8pm EST to share your bracket choices before the show begins. A screenshot or iPhone photo works just fine!  Please link back to Ashley or Jacky using this fabulous button, or a creation of your own:

4. Spread the word - we only have so many episodes left my friends. We need your help to spread the word about the link-up! Please tell your friends, your neighbors, your dog, whoever! Social media love never hurt anyone either :)

5. The Winner - What fun would a bracket be without a winner? As you can see on the bracket, there is a scoring system to this game. The person with the most points at the end of the link-up will win... Juan Pablo's heart a $20 Starbucks gift card! 

Don't have a blog but want to play? Leave us a comment with your bracket choices before the show!

If you haven't been watching Juan~uary, be sure to catch up now! You can also check out the bios of the remaining contestants on by clicking here!

We hope to see you Monday!