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There are other ways for a lady to show a hint of sexiness and seductiveness with her outfit other than busting out the twins in a low cut dress and & push up bra or exposing the midriff (for me, its just showing off my food belly hehe).

BABY GOT BACK – and I don’t mean your derriére like Sir Mix A Lot is referring to.  Showing off a bit of back is so underrated.  The right backless top or dress could show off those sexy traps that you’ve been working so hard on in Pilates.

A sheer back blouse or a deep drop back dress can really go a long way in tastefully displaying a woman’s beautiful figure.

Here are some of my favourite examples below…

So next time you want to add some spice to your outfit for date night, try to go for the backless loveliness look.

xo Ash

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High waist jeans and that top! <3backless

Ash’s thoughts… “Enclothed Cognition” – the clothes we wear represent our inner motivation and feelings. You can even tie this theory in with “shopping therapy”. Regardless, I am definitely guilty of expressing myself through fashion. I enjoy my shopping trips as each new season comes along. For me, the clothes I wear is representation of how I feel on each given day. There are days when I bust out the corporate woman in me, other days when I let my inner hippie come out to play by wearing my vintage felt brim floppy hat and tasseled sandals. I reckon most of us have multiple layers that build our overall personality. So next time you are feeling extra confident and want that to be shown, wearing for example your leopard print dress and red lipstick is a great way to let that feeling shine through. XO Ash

Let’s give a well deserved group hug to Grouplove.

This eccentric Cali band wears their heart on their sleeve and its definitely displayed in their new music video for their single “Shark Attack”.

2 reasons why I dig this band:

  • F U N – Their quirky pop rock music makes me want to let go of all inhibitions and dance my heart out.
  • &
  • F E A R L E S S – Their songs and performances are full of passion, love & humility.  They have the ability to convey raw human emotion, flaws and all, through beautiful melodies.

Here is one more of their songs that I love right now “Borderlines and Aliens”…. ari-ari-ari-gato!

Hope your ears and hips enjoy:-D

Happy Friday to you all!

Xo

Ash

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THE LEOPARD LOOK IS DOMINATING THE CAT WALK (excuse the pun)

I have become obsessed with leopard print fashion lately.  I think adding a leopard print piece (synthetic of course!) to your outfit makes a strong, confident yet sleek statement.

What is drawing us fashionista’s to leopard print so much?

Aside from the obvious distinctive pattern of dark spots called rosettes which create a beautiful pattern against their light fur, here are some further interesting facts they may also draw you to embody the leopard in your closet…

  • The leopard is the most elusive and secretive of the large felines. They are extremely difficult to trace and locate in the wild.
  • Leopards are astoundingly strong. They are pound for pound the strongest of the big cats. They are able to climb trees, even when carrying heavy prey.
  • Leopards are renowned for their agility. They run up to 58km/h and can leap 6m horizontally and 3m vertically.
  • They are very strong swimmers.
  • Like our pet kitties, leopards will growl when angry and purr when content.

From scarves, hair accessories, sunnies, purses, shoes to jackets, the leopard print looks good on most fashion pieces, and here are some of my favourite Leopard looks right now…

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Wise words from Kate Bartolotta, the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group.  I couldn’t of said better myself…

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The covers of most men’s and women’s magazines have similar headlines: get great abs and have amazing sex.

From the looks of it, these two issues have been recycled over and over (with some other stereotypically gender relevant articles thrown in) on every Men’s Health, Maxim, Cosmo and Glamour cover since the dawn of time. In fact, I’d bet that if we could get a better translation of cave drawings, they would read something like “Grok get flat belly; make girl Grok moan with joy.”

And we keep buying them. We keep buying this lie that these things will make us happy. I’ve had washboard abs (past-tense) and I’ve had some pretty phenomenal sex. Neither one made me a better person; neither one completed me or made my life more fulfilling.

We chase this idea of “I will be happy when…”

I will be happy when I have a new car. I will be happy when I get married. I will be happy when I get a better job. I will be happy when I lose five pounds. What if instead we choose to be happy—right now?

If you can read this, your life is pretty awesome.

Setting aside our first world problems and pettiness, if you are online reading this, you have both electricity and wifi or access to them. Odds are you are in a shelter of some sort, or on a smart phone (and then kudos to you for reading this on the go). Life might bump and bruise us, it may not always go the way we plan and I know I get frustrated with mine, but here’s the thing

You are alive.

Because you are alive, everything is possible.

So about those eight tips…

1. Stop believing your bullshit.

All that stuff you tell yourself about how you are a commitment-phobe or a coward or lazy or not creative or unlucky? Stop it. It’s bullshit, and deep down you know it. We are all insecure 14-year-olds at heart. We’re all scared. We all have dreams inside of us that we’ve tucked away because somewhere along the line we tacked on those ideas about who we are that buried that essential brilliant, child-like sense of wonder. The more we stick to these scripts about who we are, the longer we live a fraction of the life we could be living. Let it go. Be who you are beneath the bullshit.

2. Be happy now.

Not because “The Secret” says so. Not because of some shiny happy Oprah crap. But because we can choose to appreciate what is in our lives instead of being angry or regretful about what we lack. It’s a small, significant shift in perspective. It’s easier to look at what’s wrong or missing in our lives and believe that is the big picture—but it isn’t. We can choose to let the beautiful parts set the tone.

3. Look at the stars.

It won’t fix the economy. It won’t stop wars. It won’t give you flat abs, or better sex or even help you figure out your relationship and what you want to do with your life. But it’s important. It helps you remember that you and your problems are both infinitesimally small, and conversely, that you are a piece of an amazing and vast universe. I do it daily; it helps.

4. Let people in.

Truly. Tell people that you trust when you need help, or you’re depressed—or you’re happy and you want to share it with them. Acknowledge that you care about them, and let yourself feel it. Instead of doing that other thing we sometimes do, which is to play it cool and pretend we only care as much as the other person has admitted to caring, and only open up half-way. Go all in—it’s worth it.

5. Stop with the crazy making.

I got to a friend’s doorstep the other day, slightly breathless and nearly in tears after getting a little lost, physically and existentially. She asked what was wrong and I started to explain and then stopped myself and admitted: I’m being stupid and have decided to invent lots of problems in my head. Life is full of obstacles; we don’t need to create extra ones. A great corollary to this one is from The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz : Don’t take things personally. Most of the time, other people’s choices and attitudes have absolutely nothing to do with you. Unless you’ve been behaving like a jerk, in which case…

6. Learn to apologize.

Not the ridiculous, self-deprecating apologizing for who you are and for existing that some people seem to do (what’s up with that, anyway?). The ability to sincerely apologize—without ever interjecting the word “but”—is an essential skill for living around other human beings. If you are going to be around other people, eventually you will need to apologize. It’s an important practice.

7. Practice gratitude.

Practice it out loud to the people around you. Practice it silently when you bless your food. Practice it often. Gratitude is not a first world only virtue. I saw a photo recently, of a girl in abject poverty, surrounded by filth and destruction. Her face was completely lit up with joy and gratitude as she played with a hula hoop she’d been given. Gratitude is what makes what we have enough. Gratitude is the most basic way to connect with that sense of being an integral part of the vastness of the universe; as I mentioned with looking up at the stars, it’s that sense of wonder and humility, contrasted with celebrating our connection to all of life.

8. Be kind.

Kurt Vonnegut said it best (though admittedly, and somewhat ashamedly—I am not a Vonnegut fan):

There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—”God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

Kindness costs us nothing and pays exponential dividends. I can’t save the whole world. I can’t bring peace to Syria. I can’t fix the environment or the healthcare system, and from the looks of it, I may end up burning my dinner.

But I can be kind.

If the biggest thing we do in life is to extend love and kindness to even one other human being, we have changed the world for the better.

That’s a hell of a lot more important than flat abs in my book.

You can check out Kate’s awesome website at beyoumediagroup.com

xo

Ash

Sun-SalutationTaking just a couple minutes out of your day to complete the 12 step flow of poses called Sun Salutations could be more beneficial than you realize.

Just complete the 12 poses in a flowing manner.  Start the 1st pose with a deep long INHALE then a deep long EXHALE during the 2nd pose and continue to flow through each pose using this breathing pattern.

If I have minimal time, I’ll do a set of 3 and sometimes I continue doing it longer.

It does the body good.  How do you ask?

Sun Salutations allow you to balance your mind, body and spirit back to their healthy equilibrium state.  So any kinks or imbalances that you are feeling emotionally, mentally or physically, can be improved by these simple moves.

MENTALLY – It wakes up your senses, making you feel more alert and ready to take on the day’s challenges.  If you feel like you are experiencing mental overload at work for example, it is a great way to turn off for a few minutes and then go back to the task with possibly  a fresh perspective.

EMOTIONALLY – It relaxes and calms your emotions.  The power of the breathing technique can be very uplifting.  It releases beautiful endorphins that are known to improve a bad mood.

PHYSICALLY – stretches the muscles, improves your flexibility and is a full body workout in one.

Let me know if you gain any other benefits from Sun Salutations.  I’d love to hear them:-)

Xo Ash

*Just reminding you I am not a professional in the yoga field, these are just my personal thoughts and learning’s from this exercise.

This article really highlights that gender inequality still exists in western civilization – maybe not so much on the surface anymore, but still in the minds of our male counterparts. This leads me to ponder whether or not the glass ceiling both in the workplace & family life will ever dissipate. Moreover, is it even realistic to think that we can achieve pure gender equality? Or does nature’s biological makeup prevent this from ever happening? Will we truly be happy with if it’s achieved?

Do not get me wrong, I am very proud of all of the women who have fought for political and social equal rights. I also believe that the glass ceiling effect in the workplace can and should be completely lifted, because whether man or woman, we all have the equal mental and emotional capability to succeed in a job.

On the contrary, the family life setting is where I think maintaining a certain level of divide between man vs. woman roles is OK – but let me be clear, I do not think we should go back to to the strict divide that our grandparents were raised on. With both partners being in the workforce today, it is simply unrealistic. However, there is something natural about designating the mother to have more of a dominant role in raising the babies/children when young, as we have the mother’s intuition built in us from the moment of conception. Some heavy jobs around the house are better left for the male anatomy to do. But with this said, I also think that these roles can be blended and each partner should support one another when the other wants to dabble into their territory.

All in all, it’s about moderation, keeping an open mind as the world continues to evolve and most importantly being fair and respectable towards each another.

Xo

Ash

Whenever you are feeling down about something try and remember these 4 things…

CONFIDENCE… to be who you are and not be afraid to add a little sparkle.

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THE BIG PICTURE… life’s too short to take it too seriously. Try not to sweat the small stuff & just enjoy the ride.

Big Smile!

FOCUS… on what makes you happy and healthy.

<3

GLASS HALF FULL… there is a positive to everything.  Sometimes the light is hiding in the distance but you just have to keep trekking and searching until you find it.

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This is my best friend Cristina posing on top of Mount Buffalo, Victoria, Australia.  After a long hard journey up the mountain with both of us grumbling a few times, the hard work paid off and the brighter side of the journey shined through.  What a view it was.

 

xo

Ash

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Do you sometimes forget about your jewelry because its unorganized in your drawers, tangled in a bag or hidden in your closet? This was my problem. It got to a point where I just wasn’t wearing any of my bling!

I can now happily see all my favorite jewelry hanging orderly to help spruce up my outfits.

All it took was a few easy steps to make this jewelry wall organizer possible.

1. Find an old piece of wood with character.  The piece I found came from an old wooden boat!

2. Lightly sand if needed & give it a quick coat of lacquer to protect the wood. I used a matte finish to keep the natural look.

3. Find antique knobs & hooks that you fancy. I had fun shopping at antique shops for these unique pieces.

4. Arrange how you want the knobs & hooks to be mounted on the wood. I made sure to organize them so they were staggered to prevent necklaces from overlapping each other. Mark each spot out with a pencil.

5. Each knob & hook will have to be screwed into the wood. Using a drill with the appropriate bits for each screw size needed, drill the bits into the wood to enable you to successfully screw in each piece. The depth of how far you need to go into the wood will vary depending in each hook/knob. Some were more complicated than others but this is where my nifty boyfriend helped me out.

6. The final stage is the most fun! Arrange your jewelry & accessories as desired!

Xo

Ash