2nd Blog Anniversary + Makeover!

Welcome to the new and improved Simplyash.co!

It has been FAR too long since I’ve found the time to write a post on this blog, but there are loads of exciting things I’ve been up to and I finally have a week (mostly) free of responsibility where I can finally sit down and pour my thoughts onto the page.

Firstly, I am SO pleased to announce that after weeks of planning, designing, and tweaking, my site has been completely revamped thanks to the amazing designers from Blogerize! They reached out to me at the end of summer, asking if I would be interested in a total blog makeover and of course I said yes! And I couldn’t be happier with that decision, as the final result is incredible. Their team took into account all my suggestions and ideas and transformed it into something amazing, without hardly any work on my end at all. They were also so helpful and informative about the process along the way and were always quick to respond to any questions I had. They truly made this experience simple and stress free and now I have a beautiful new blog design that expertly captures my blogging personality! I would highly recommend working with them if you are a new blogger, they offer all sorts of services to help take your blog to the next level!

And my blog’s makeover couldn’t have happened at better timing, as last week officially marked two years since I started this blog! I can’t believe that it’s already been that long; time has certainly flown by, but I’m so glad that I have this space to document all the great memories that have passed between now and then. And I have been very busy making lots of new memories that I’ll be adding here very shortly! I’ve definitely made the most of my senior year this far, and I already have so many new things I want to do and see between now and May that will absolutely be shared on this little internet blog of mine. And I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been following along on my crazy little life journey, I have loved reading your comments and getting to interact with each of you through my stories!

Expect to see lots more posts and updates these next few weeks, I’ve got lots of great stuff lined up! Thank you again for your support! I hope you’re all having a lovely Monday :).

<3 Ash

 

Follow:

Labor Day Barbeque

img_3405_fotorimg_3409_fotorimg_3406_fotorimg_3415_fotorimg_3422_fotorimg_3443_fotorimg_3414_fotorimg_3441_fotor

Although this post is a little late, I wanted to share today all the photos from my relaxing Labor Day weekend barbecue. In the past, I’ve never done anything particularly special for this holiday, aside from taking advantage of a Monday off and sleeping in a few extra hours. So this year I wanted to do something special, so I gathered my friends together for a late-afternoon barbecue to enjoy good food and great company on a relaxing 3-day weekend.

Lucky for us, the courtyard outside the apartment complex is well-equiped for such an event; furnished with new gas grills, plush outdoor seating, and a cozy central brick fireplace to tie the space together. All that was left for us to do was provide the food!
Because I was feeling ambitious, I decided to go all-out with the menu and make everything by scratch. I used some classic, no-fail, family recipes, as well as a few brand new ones that I created based on similar tastes I’ve enjoyed lately at various restaurants. I also discovered the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, that resulted in a batch of the most picture-perfect, delicious treats I’ve ever made!

It was a pretty low-key afternoon, but it was a great way to close out the three-day weekend. There’s always something rejuvenating about getting together, laughing, and chatting with good friends after a long week. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle & bustle of life, so moments like that are a great opportunity to ground yourself in the more important things of life. And when you add some homemade burgers & dessert, there’s absolutely nothing better :).

If you’d like the recipes for some of these dishes, let me know in the comments! And let me know if you’d like to see more cooking/baking posts in general, as I’m a huge foodie and love to share that passion with others!

Hope everyone has a happy Monday!

<3 Ash

Follow:

Colorful & Delicious Acai Bowls

IMG_2970_FotorIMG_2979_Fotor

I first discovered the magic of acai bowls whilst living in LA, and I’ve been a huge fan of them ever since. It’s such a simple concept- just a thick, smoothie bowl essentially- but it packs so much flavor and provides a healthy breakfast alternative to the standard pancake & bacon combo. I also love eating these for lunch too, as they’re incredibly filling and always give me an energy boost to help get me through the rest of the day. And I love how it’s so easy to customize and switch up just by changing the toppings, so that you’ll never get bored with it! A personal favorite addition of mine is adding a pinch of mint on mornings where I want to feel extra awake!
After searching through many recipes online, I managed to create my own perfect acai mixture that’s super easy to throw together in a blender when I want a quick, but healthy meal. Because nothing beats guilt-free foods that still taste ah-mazing! Plus you can have fun decorating and arranging your toppings, which is one of my favorite parts. I’ve included the easy-peasy instructions below if you’d like to give it a try yourself!

What You Need (Makes 1 large serving):

1 frozen acai packet- available in the frozen fruit section at the grocery store

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 ripe banana

10 frozen strawberries

1 tbsp. honey

3/4 cup milk

Extra fruit & granola for toppings

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in large blender until it reaches a sorbet-like consistency. If the mixture seems too thin, add in ice cubes until desired thickness is reached. Note, it is important that all the fruit (except the banana) are frozen because it will help achieve that nice, thick texture!

Once you’re happy with your base, pour into a large bowl and top with various fruit. All the berries are a great addition, but I personally think cut grapes complement the acai bowls best! You can also top it with some oats or granola to help make it more filling!

If you try this recipe for yourself, be sure to tag me in the pictures on twitter & instagram @ashleyysykora!

Bon appétit!

<3 Ash

Follow:

Infallible Lips

IMG_2961_Fotor

I’ve been a huge fan of matte lips lately, as I feel they generally look more polished & professional than shiny lips. There’s just something that feels complete about a makeup look with a matte lip, and for that reason I’ve been opting for them more and more frequently. I’ve also been reaching for my drugstore brands a lot lately, as I’ve found them having the same quality as some of my favorite high-end brands, but for half the cost. So after hearing great things about the L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss I was excited to pick them up at the store.

They’re not quite a liquid lipstick- just a whipped lip gloss- that are guaranteed to have that silky smooth matte finish that’s trending right now. I chose two nude shades, appropriately named “Statement Nude” & “Nude Allude” as well as the deep berry color “Rouge Envy”. With fall just around the corner these kinds of nude & darker shades are what I’ll be wearing most so it was only right I stocked up on a few more similar shades.

One of my favorite things about these glosses is the pointed tip on the velvety soft applicator; I feel that the unique shape will make it much easier to create a defined application, which is key to rocking a matte lip. I’ve not yet worn them, so I can’t speak on their lasting power, but the strong pigmentation from swatching them is looking very promising!

If you’ve given these a try I’d love to know in the comments! And be sure to leave any other drugstore matte lip suggestions down below as well!

<3 Ash

Follow:

Monday Musings

 Today’s post will be a bit different than usual, as instead of having anything proper planned, I thought I would just sit and type out some of my recent doings and random thoughts on life at the moment.

It’s been quite a busy week for my family and I, as we just returned from a week long trip to Kentucky to visit my grandpa who is in a nursing home there in Louisville. It was great being able to see him and take him out into the countryside where he could get some fresh air. Some days were harder than others because the tolls of old age were more prominent then, but he still had us laughing (on purpose or not) and it was a much needed visit for everyone I think.

View Post

Follow: