Confidence is Beauty

Spring Maxi Dress

Spring Maxi Dress

Spring Maxi DressHello loves,

I apologize for the lack of posts lately! This week has been one of those off weeks for me where everything just seems to go wrong. Does anyone ever have those? My first reaction is to relate it to astrology – like something MUST be off in the Sag world… I’m kind of obsessed with the whole Zodiac thing. Although this week has been a little rough, I really thought about the purpose of this blog. I created this fashion lifestyle blog to not only express my love for style and beauty, but for something more than that which I feel is extremely important. My intentions have always been to inspire women, give them confidence, and help them feel their best, and that is what I intend to do here through every single post.

A friend of mine told me recently that I was good at being honest in all aspects of life. She said she wished she was able to say “I really like my hair today,” or legs, butt, whatever (you get the picture). This shocked me because she was basically telling me she couldn’t give herself a compliment! Some of you may be thinking that it’s conceited or narcissistic to say out loud that you look good… and that is what is so wrong. Women should not feel like they can’t say they feel beautiful, sexy, or pretty. Confidence is so incredibly important and our generation of young women needs more of it.

I chose to wear this dress for this specific post because well, for one I think it’s a gorgeous Spring item, but more importantly because there are parts of my body I don’t like in it. I bet you don’t even know what they are because truthfully, nobody cares! Confidence is key. OWN IT. Without confidence I’m sure you would be able to find my insecurities within an instant. What I’m trying to say is that women need to be more confident. When you feel beautiful or sexy (as you should!!!) you should be able to say it without having some kind of stigma or judgement made upon you. I believe you should always feel your best in love, life, and YOUR style. Those who love you will always make you feel beautiful, and when you invest your time in the things you love, it shows. Happiness + confidence = beauty. Wear something that accentuates what you love about yourself today! Whether that’s a certain color that brings out your eyes, or a pair of shorts that shows off your legs. Help yourself feel beautiful, know you are beautiful, and do not apologize for it.

Maxi Dress // MADE Fashion Week – Macy’s

xoxo AP

Happy Birthday

Dad's Birthday

Dad's bday

This day is one of the most important days because it is the birthday of the man who made me, me. My father, David, is the most caring and loving human being I have ever known and I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for him. He did everything for me – from carpools (I know my childhood friends remember that) to helping me with boy advice. He did all of it… and I’ve never known another dad as dedicated as he was. The picture above of my dad was a photo I snapped of him in NYC, with the camera he gave me that started it all. It was the first time I had ever been and he took me for my 18th birthday. It’s something I will never forget! I remember telling him, “I will live here one day,” and his response was “and I’m sure you will, sweetie.” I believe that he gave me the confidence I needed to achieve my dreams and made me feel like I was “enough.” I believe my dad instilled a confidence in me that no one could ever do, and I will forever be grateful. I love you dad, and you will forever be missed!

xx AP

Easter Weekend at Home

Coloring Easter Eggs
Puppy
Button down shirt
Casual button down

Braids

Braids

FIRST OUTFIT: I love love love pairing button downs with casual denim. This was the perfect attire for an Easter BBQ – especially since it was 70 degrees! Ahh, perfect weather. My denim shorts are One Teaspoon, but the ones I am wearing are out of stock, but you can find similar ones here!  

SECOND OUTFIT: I am wearing my FAVORITE tee by Junk Food Clothing that I got on Amazon. It is sooo soft and looks even better once it has worn down. Unfortunately, this specific tee is out of stock on Amazon, BUT I have listed below some of my other favorite JFC tees! I always get mine a size or two bigger. 

 

Sometimes I forget how much I love being home until I finally make the trip. It’s not like Austin and San Antonio are even far from each other! Lately I have been getting super caught up in my routine in Austin and I haven’t stopped, sat back, and relaxed in a while. For the first time ever I am living by myself with no roommates (it’s great, I have to admit), so there is a TON of me-time. I know I’ve probably said it before, and it won’t be the last time, but I believe that the most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Moving to Austin, living on my own, working with all new people, has given me a new perspective. It has allowed me to look at life differently and learn how to enjoy it alone, and I think that is incredibly important. This time away from my roots and learning how to blossom on my own has made me appreciate the times I have with my family even more. To say the least, this Easter weekend was so great and was just what I needed.

I hope everyone had a great Holiday weekend and thank you for stopping by!

xx AP

SXSW STYLE, FOOD & MORE 

 

SXSW Street Tacos

SXSW Style

Olive & June ATX

Wow, I haven’t posted in a while… but I’m back! Those who know me, know that I have ALWAYS wanted to be in Austin, Texas. All I can say is, thank God I am finally here! I got to experience bits and pieces of SXSW this year and it was awesome. I love nothing more than live music. There’s something about feeling the incredibly loud music in your chest that makes me so happy. You know what I mean? It doesn’t have to be a super popular band, just good music! I love that you can find that anywhere in Austin. As for my outfit, I have been getting some questions on where I got my black destroyed jeans – they’re Voss and from Nordstrom. The T-shirt dress I am wearing is from Rio Ritz Austin and there is only a couple more left! The FOOD. I wish I had snapped more pictures of the amazing food I ate last week/weekend. The tacos are from some random food truck (you really can never go wrong with taco trucks in ATX), and the Italian food is from Olive & June. Hands down one of my favorite restaurants in Austin. It has the sweetest patio and is the perfect place to go dine on a beautiful evening.

Last week I conquered a big fear of mine – eating alone at a nice restaurant without being glued to my phone and being paranoid about what people are thinking of me – “why is that girl eating alone?”. Let me tell you… It was AWESOME! I have been really pushing myself this year to get out of my comfort zone because I have learned you don’t get anywhere staying in it. I moved to Austin for an OT internship, and I hated it. After years of thinking I wanted to be in healthcare and taking every class to prepare for it (even a job), I came to the realization that I wanted nothing to do with it. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the experience I had in healthcare; it taught me a lot, but it’s just not for me. So there I was, my first week in Austin, here for an OT internship and hated it. I followed my gut and quit after the first day (who wants to clean all day with no pay!?). Yep, sounds unreasonable and my parents were mad at me. But I jumped. I didn’t know what was going to happen, especially because I needed an internship to graduate! Yikes. I was scared, but liberated. I talked to my advisor the next day and told her that I had quit. She wasn’t too happy with me either… But then somehow she remembered that a new catalogue had come out for my major, and get this – I didn’t need an internship to graduate! I signed up for the remaining of my classes online and then went job hunting the following day. I find out later that week a new boutique was opening and the owner was looking to hire a stylist to help her build the store from the ground up. I interviewed for it a few days later and I got the job. I am now here at Rio Ritz, absolutely loving it. That’s how it should be, and I wouldn’t have found this happiness if I didn’t JUMP.

xx AP

Books Worth Reading

I absolutely love reading, but rarely make time for it. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more… I’m making some progress. I am currently reading two books, but one doesn’t really count because it’s literally a scratch and sniff book… ALL ABOUT WINE. It’s amazing. I am a wino and have always wanted to learn more about wine, but never wanted to put in the time. I wasn’t about to add another class on top of my full schedule! I was fine sticking to my boxed wine.

– Side note: Black Box has a great Cabernet and Merlot; especially when you only want a glass or two and don’t want to waste a bottle (which I consider a wine sin!!!).

Since I wasn’t going to put in the time and effort to learn through a wine course, I was given THIS:

Books on Wine

First off, how great is that quote?! ^^ “Wine is a grocery, not a luxury.” I tend to remember this every time I’m debating in the store if I realllly need that bottle of wine… ummm, YES! I’ve been putting this book to test and you could say that I’m a wine expert these days, no big deal. You can get it here!

Books on Wine

Books on Wine

I am BEYOND excited to tell y’all about the other book I’m reading, The Woman I Wanted to be, by Diane Von Furtsenberg. For any woman looking for inspiration, I HIGHLY recommend this book. DVF beautifully tells her story of success in the fashion industry and as a highly looked up to individual, discussing the trials and tribulations she went through, men, friendships, and much more. I haven’t come across a book I cannot put down in the longest time, until this one. Get this one here!

Books on Fashion & Inspiration

Books on Fashion and Inspiration

Now, go and pencil in some time to read! 🙂

P.s. Always go with Amazon when buying books, which is what I have linked. They’re the best priced!

Ashton Paige

 

L-O-V-E

Young Love
Donnie
In Love
Paige
Donnie and Me!
Best Friend Love
Valentine's Day Sunset

 

 

“I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-eachother love.”

-Carrie Bradshaw Sex and The City 

Yes. I just quoted SATC, but who can blame me!? We all know how great this quote is. Whenever this episode came on (I’ve watched it a million times because I am a SATC addict) I always felt a little sad inside. I wanted that SO bad. I am very passionate. I am someone who is passionate in everything I do and feel, and sometimes that can come off a little crazy, but what can I say… I am half Latina and half Italian – that should explain it all. Anyways, I never thought I’d find someone who was just as passionate as me – scratch that… even MORE passionate than me – but I did. I adore the person Donnie is and admire his dedication in everything he puts his heart and soul into. I have never met a man who dreams as big as he does and actually strives to achieve those goals. Growing up I always had dreams, big dreams, but was always held back by so so much fear and I didn’t feel I had the support I needed. Somehow, someway, Donnie has given me the courage to go for it, to truly shoot for my dreams, and I know he always has my back. That is all I have ever wanted… to be with someone who makes me a better person and supports every dream I have ever had. I know that if I would to say tomorrow, “Donnie, I need to move to Thailand because I feel I need to be there for (fill in the blank),” he would support me in a heart beat if it was something that I felt the complete need to do. I am so thankful to be with someone who understands my ins and outs, never judges me, and truly makes me feel like I’m the greatest person on this planet.

Now, let me tell you, things did not start out this great. When Donnie and I met we were on completely different pages. I was trying to find out who I was, and so was he. We met a year and a half before we eventually started dating. It’s so funny to look back on because I would tell my friends how “not my type” he was, as “my type” was nerdy quiet guys. I was so wrong… nerdy quiet guys were so not my type. Donnie is the complete opposite – great with people, outgoing, smart – but not nerdy (well, maybe a little…hehe). Things started out rocky, and because of our passion we butted heads a little bit. When things were not going smoothly we both went our separate ways and dated other people.

Even though I dated other people I couldn’t get Donnie out of my mind. I was always so frustrated because I would think, “You guys are not meant to be! There is too much conflict, so just stop.” I didn’t care. There was always something that drew me to him. I always thought that things were supposed to be bliss at first with the one you’re meant to be with… so I thought, “We just aren’t meant to be.” My heart felt differently. I remember him calling me one night after seeing him randomly downtown to tell me, “When you break up with your boyfriend, give me another chance.” Oh my God! I was so frustrated and so happy all at the same time. What the hell was going on?!

A year later we were both single and went on another date. We grew up as people and were both more in tune with ourselves. From then on we have been together and he is my best friend. I wanted to tell this story because I think it’s important to show that things don’t always happen perfectly. Love doesn’t always happen like a fairytale – especially those relationships that are passionate. I was always told that when you find the person you’re meant to be with, you’ll know, and you’ll know because it will be bliss. False. I call bullshit. Real, passionate, and deep relationships do not always go smoothly. There are bumps along the way and they do not start out perfectly. Being in love has no boundaries or rules. Don’t get me wrong – don’t let anyone walk all over you, cheat, or demean you, but finding each other out isn’t always going to be all sunshine and roses. BUT, with that being said, finding each other out should be a beautiful journey with abundant love and respect.

 

xo Ashton Paige

Live a Great Story & Follow Your Dreams

Dreams

I found this while running on the beautiful Town Lake in Austin the other day. This little message came with great meaning at the right time. Funny how that always seems to happen. Whenever I really need something, like encouragement, a little sign is sent to tell me “keep going!!” That’s just what this sign did for me.

Being twenty-two can be scary. My eighty-five year old Mom-Mom (grandmother) has always told me since I was very young, “I don’t care what anyone says – being in your early twenties is the scariest, hardest, and  most stressful time of anyone’s life.” She’s so right. This is the time where you are thrown out of the nest, into adulthood, and it’s up to you, and ONLY you, to learn how to fly. Well, I have changed my mind about what I want to do for the rest of my life about 5 times now (so far)… and that can be incredibly stressful. At times I have felt like a failure, like I’m not going anywhere, or that I’ll never succeed. But why? Why be so hard on myself? Because I know I am capable of doing something great. Everyone is. It takes so much damn courage to shoot for your dreams. Why is that? Because shooting for your dreams may not be “realistic.” How contradicting is it to have always been told to “shoot for your dreams,” while in reality, those dreams are shot down because they are “too unrealistic”?

My dad gave me a lot of advice, but there’s once piece of advice in particular I seem to always think about – “You succeed in doing what you love,” he would always tell me. To fill you in on those who don’t know, my father passed aways 3 years ago from duodenal cancer, and there is one chemotherapy trip that will stay with me forever. We were at the airport boarding our flight going home from his last chemotherapy trip at MD Anderson (an amazing hospital). At this point in my life I had wanted to be a nurse for 6 years and it was the summer before my freshman year at Texas A&M. I randomly told him, “Dad, my dream job is to be a clothing designer in New York.”

“What?!”, he said, “I thought nursing was your dream?”

Thinking I upset him I said, “Dad, it is! But being a designer is too unrealis-”

“No. Stop. Nothing is unrealistic. You need to follow your dreams, and do what you love,” he said, “I had no idea. You HAVE to follow your heart.”

My dad got so worked up because I had told him that my dream job was too unrealistic. I felt so bad that this bothered him so much, so I ended up telling him I had thought about it and nursing was my dream job. He knew I was lying. I will always remember that. After I lost my father, I lost sight of my dreams. I thought I wanted to be a Speech Language Pathologist instead of a nurse, and then a Occupational Therapist, and many other occupations my heart just was not in. I lost sight of who I was and what made me, me. It was when I cut all negativity out of my life, turned to my mom for encouragement, and found the person who somehow shows me all I’m capable of, I gained that spark back… the light that burns with passion inside of me for everything I do. As scary as it is, I have found sight of my dreams again and I’m going full speed ahead. I know so many people my age struggle with finding your passion and are trying to find what you’re supposed to be in this world. It takes time, and there is no time limit for how long that will take. Just remember – you succeed in doing what you love. I’d love to hear your stories!

Daddy

Dad & Me! July 3, 2011

 

The Feels

Why must Taylor Swift be so good at talking to the part of your soul that is desperately girly? Yes, I listen to Taylor Swift, and I noticed it’s when I’m wanting to sulk in my all-over-the-place emotions. As embarrassing as that is to admit, I know many of you girls (or boys) can relate. Wildest Dreams came on in the car as I pulled into my apartment and I couldn’t help but sit there, listen, and feel all the feels. I’ve been feeling pretty girl-power-esque lately and it is only appropriate that Taylor Swift appeared on the radio at the time I needed a boost. A boost to remind me that no one knows me better than myself, and to always keep moving towards my goals. Moments like these remind me that no matter what happens, you’ll always have you… so, love yourself. Love yourself unconditionally. I’m not sure why, but T-Swift’s music gets me all philosophical. I don’t care how superficial it might be, it’s true. What feeds your soul and emotions?

Just had to share some thoughts before bed – sweet dreams!

 

XO – Ashton Paige

Yoga Mishaps

Well, I had a post all planned out for today, but that one is just going to have to wait for now. My boyfriend, Donnie, decided to practice some damn Ashtanga yoga (naked, might I add) solo, and it ended with a trip to the Emergency room. Needless to say, he should not be practicing yoga without an instructor’s supervision… Please don’t try it at home, kids.

Now we’re waiting to see the Doctor to get a diagnosis… and in the meantime, my yogi and I had a small Hospital photoshoot. Send us good vibes in hopes of a speedy recovery – I’ll keep y’all updated!

Yoga

Yoga

Namaste,

Ashton

HELLO & WELCOME

Blog

Wow. I am FINALLY starting a blog. If any of you know me, you know that I have been wanting to do this for a very, very long time. I’m sure you’re probably wondering what stopped me… or maybe not, but I’m going to tell you anyways. Well, a lot of things – isn’t that how it always is? Making excuses as to why we shouldn’t do something all because truly, we’re a little afraid of failure. Okay, a lot afraid. WHO ISN’T!? I decided to get over it, and if you’re holding back from something for the same reason, you should too! Some scary thoughts I had while contemplating creating a blog were (seriously, word for word):

  • “Oh my gosh, I have so much to write about and I NEED to make a blog! But wait, that’s so embarrassing to just put myself out there – especially in front of people I know!”
  • “I’ll start tomorrow.” (You have used this – don’t lie)
  • “What if I have no readers and make a complete idiot out of myself!?”
  • “Um, get over it ^ you have nothing to lose.”

There you go. Only some of my scattered thoughts that honestly just wasted time and energy which could have been used for writing! I’m not exactly sure where this blog is headed, but I do know that I have A LOT to say and many questions, thoughts, and ideas about life that I’m sure you all have too. This blog is going to be far from perfect, but that’s what I think we all need. There are some blogs I come across and think, “holy shit, their life is in order, they know what they’re doing, and how the fuck do I get there…” As inspiring as those are to read, I am not like that; and chances are if I’m not, there are many others out there like me. Don’t get me wrong – I live for fashion, love products, and want to look my best, but I want to talk about the real shit too. Welcome to my lively, sporadic, and sometimes chaotic life… stay tuned.

 

Ashton