taking a break…

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oh where has the time gone…

They say “you can’t do it all,” and I think they (whoever ‘they’ are) might have been right. While I am not totally convinced, I’ve have learned the hard way that I can’t have it all at the same time. That sometimes to have it all you need to space out your grand plans so you can give 110% to a few things at a time rather than giving 60% to 10 things at once. So that’s what I plan to do next – re prioritize, re organize my long term goals (both professionally and personally) and make sure I still have ‘me time.’

I had all these grand plans in 2014 to re-commit to this blog; to post regularly, connect with more bloggers, expand my writing skills and build this blog into a brand I would be really proud of. But due to more changes in my work life and some highs and lows I’ve recently experienced in my personal life I have to say I need a break from blogging.

I hate quitting something once I have started, so instead of quitting… I like to think I’ll be back to blog in the future. It may be this summer or it may be a few years down the road. Who knows… but I’ll still be in contact with everyone I’ve met through blogging! If you haven’t already feel free to connect with me via email (ashlykissman@gmail.com), facebook, twitter or instagram (@ashlykissman). And if any of you are coming to Vancouver I would love to meet you.  Until then…  xo Ashly & Monkey

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Feeling Fierce: The Chambray Shirt

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outfit dec 8 2012 collage

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Chambray Shirt: Mudd from KOHL’s, Sweater: Anthropologie, Jeans: Celebrity Jeans from KOHL’s, Boots: Urban Outfitters, Sunglasses: ALDO

Yes I finally found a chambray shirt! It’s been one of those wish list items of mine ever since October when I blogged about it here.

I love pairing the shirt with these black jeans but I am also guilty of wearing it with blue jeans too! I know wearing a chambray shirt with blue jeans gives the appearance of the whole denim on denim look that used to be a fashion faux pas until recently. And I am sure there will be a day soon when denim on denim or the “Canadian Tuxedo” as they call it will once again be a crime in the eyes of the Fashion Police… but right now I love this trend.

Plus, there are a million and one ways to wear this shirt! It looks cute tucked into skirts, or with a t-shirt underneath and the buttons undone, by it self or underneath a chunky knit sweater! It’s comfy, cute and versatile all in one. If you’re hoping to try any fashion trend this season, I highly suggest getting your hands on a chambray shirt.

Do you own a chambray shirt? How do you wear it?

Style Crush: Emily Haines of Metric

Last Saturday night, Andrew and I went and saw Metric at Rogers Arena. It’s one of those bands that we’ve always been fans of, but now that I have seen them live, I love them even more. They put on an awesome show and front woman Emily Haines was electric.

I couldn’t get over how cute she looked on stage! She wore short shorts, a fringed leather black vest and cute purple ankle boots. I wish I could have captured her concert outfit on my iphone, but sadly our seats weren’t exactly that close to the stage.

The next day, I searched and pinned photos of her on my “style inspiration” pinterest board. Her staples seem to be leather, loose blouses, long layered necklaces and short hemlines to show off her gorgeous legs. And would you believe it, she is 38 years old! I hope to look like that when I am 38.

Check out their tour dates here. I highly recommend getting tickets to see Metric if you can.

I can’t get enough of their latest single: “youth without youth.”

Feeling Fierce: I succumbed to the peplum

Blazer: Thrifted, Peplum Blouse: H&M, Necklace: Anthropologie, Trousers: Winner’s, Flats: Winner’s

So that’s it… I gave in. I tried on the year’s one trend I thought would never work for me and I ended up loving it! I was out shopping with Holly one evening in a mad panic about what I would wear for my engagement photos (don’t worry I found something— and no I did not wear this peplum top)… and Holly insisted I try on a peplum blouse just to give it a try.

As much as I thought it would make me look frumpy (I believe I have what Glamour Magazine would call a pear shaped body) it actually made me look lady-like. It cinch’s the waist in the right place and is actually sort of… (dare I say it)… slimming.

Best of all this trend cost me only $20 at H&M… you know the price you are supposed to pay for a trend thats fun but may not be around for long.

Has anyone else bought a peplum blouse this season? Do you love it? Or is it just a fad for fall?

I couldn’t find this H&M top on their website to link to, but the store has tons of peplum tops right now in all different colors and textures. Check it out if you’re interested!

Feeling Fierce: Mustard Yellow Tights!

Jean Jacket: American Eagle, Dress: Target, Belt: ALDO, Tights: Anthropologie, Boots: Locale

I feel like a little kid in these mustard yellow tights. Very carefree, colorful and fun!

I bought them last year from Anthropologie (although I am sure you could find them again in stores this season!) and struggled with how to wear them. They are so loud… I knew I really needed to wear them on a day I felt fashion forward and confident.

Thanks to blogger CK from LYCLY: Love your Clothes Love Yourself (such a positive title!) for her great post titled: Mustard Resolution, where she gave some great ideas as to how to wear yellow mustard colored pants. This post inspired me to break out my mustard yellow tights! After commenting on each other’s posts back and forth she encouraged me to think about wearing these tights with florals… and viola! Another “Feeling Fierce” outfit was born. Thanks CK! You should all check out her style blog. It’s really cute.

Clothes I am craving this Fall

It’s first week of October which has got me thinking, where did September go? It’s hard to believe its been a month since I completed my second 30 for 30 challenge and during my recap blog post I blogged about some new initiatives I was taking to keep myself in check and not let my bad shopping habit get out of hand.

Among my three resolutions I vowed to keep a monthly clothing budget which has been for the most part very successful. I had a number in mind that I couldn’t go over and it gave myself a limitation. No more was I saying “I’ll pay myself back next month…” or making up other ridiculous excuses… Once I bought a clothing item, I wrote it down in a journal so I always knew where I was at, and stuck to it. So let’s hope I can keep that up this month.

Another resolution of mine was to continue to work with the closet I have (not the imaginary one in my mind). One way I did this was by writing down all the work/weekday outfits I would wear in September. I wrote down my outfits and I checked them off as I wore them and it helped me to realize what I already knew: that I have plenty of clothes in my closet that I can make into outfits I enjoy (not to mention it made it easier to get dressed in the morning knowing what I was going to wear ahead of time), but writing down a month’s worth of daily outfits isn’t realistic going forward. Plus, depending on the weather or my mood, I changed my mind constantly; rewriting my “outfit” lists over and over again which I found surprisingly time consuming. And to be really honest it didn’t stop me from buying any new clothes (which is what I was hoping this little exercise would do).

It’s all a work in progress, I guess. One thing I am taking away from all of this is how to define my personal style (which is changing as I get older) and add pieces to my closet that not only allow me to express me, but items that also make sense for my casual-creative-city lifestyle (yes that’s what I am calling it).

With at said here are the items on my wish-list for this coming October and November:

1) Burgundy Jeans or Cords, 2) Matt & Nat: The Malone Bag – the perfect carry all, 3) The perfect Chambray shirt that doesn’t make me feel like a cowboy (harder than it seems to find!) 4) A great black blazer – because I still don’t have one! 5) Leopard print scarf (and I wouldn’t mind finding a skinny leopard print skinny belt either!)

What’s on your wish-list this Fall?

Feeling Fierce: Poncho it up

Poncho: Anthropologie, Jeans: Bootlegger, Ankle Boots: Urban Outfitters, Satchel: Plenty

I have struggled with what to make of my desire to still post some of my daily outfits now that my 30 for 30 challenge is over. Not to mention I get such a great and fantastic response from all of you readers who seem to enjoy what I choose to wear everyday. I struggle because here’s the thing- I enjoy clothes… I love style… and I like to shop. But I have no desire to be a fashion or style blogger. So I was left questioning, can I still create outfit posts without dedicating my blog to style?

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer: I guess that’s the great thing about personal blogs. You can make your blog your own. It’s yours! There’s no need to try and fit yourself into a specific category of blogger. I call this blog a lifestyle blog for sake of introductions, but I can assure you it will be a rare sight to see me tackle any DIY projects or arts and crafts common on other lifestyle blogs, as its not really my thing. And that’s ok.

I admire the blogs that make blogging their own like A Beautiful Mess and The Haps (aka Harpers Happenings). They seem to draw readers in because they write from a genuine perspective and with purpose. So I decided to begin a weekly or at least possibly bi-monthly feature called Feeling Fierce.  Taking a cue from Beyonce’s alter ego for when she performs on stage: Sasha Fierce (LOVE HER!), it’s for those days when my alter fashionista ego comes out and I dress up and I look good. And thats when I want to show my awesome outfit off to the world! If I sound a little full of myself… its because when I feel like I am in a great outfit, I kind of am. This is how every woman should feel when they put on clothes they love. Fierce.

My new favorite trend everyone already has in their closet: cuffed jeans. Roll them up, wear them with ankle boots and its instant chic. Instant Fierce…. with a capital F.

By the way I should mention here that I LOVE Beyonce. I adore her.  Have you checked out her blog on tumblr? Simply amazing and artfully inspiring. Click here to see it. Fierce! Ok that was the last one…