Stormy lilac inspiration

One of my Favorite things to do is get together with amazingly talented people and create magic. There is something about creatives coming together with an idea, everyone has a different experience and brings a different life to a project and it is so fun to see the outcome. I did these awhile ago with Haley Nord, I love her interpretation in these photos, there is some sort of beautiful mystery behind them. Everyone involved in this collaboration had a beautiful part to play and that is what I love the most about what I do. Seeing a vision come to life.

Photography | Haley Nord @haleynord
Florals | Mila Adams @milaadams_
Dress | Natalie Wynn @nataliewynndesign
Hair & Makeup | Megan Gorley @megaforce

HAIR talk

Just so you know I have really thin and fine hair so this process / products work the best for my hair type. honestly, I don’t feel like I do anything special but I have had so many questions so hopefully this helps someone out there!

Instructions:

1.I start with one side of my face and move back always curling away from my face and angling my iron at about a 45-degree angle.

2.I like to move my curling iron up and down the shaft of my hair, I feel like it makes my curls last longer and also gives them more buoyancy.

3.I leave out about an inch of hair on the bottom, this gives for a looser messy looking curl.

4.After I have curled my whole head I go through and re-curl some pieces that don’t look as good. Then I tousle my hair giving it that messy look.

5.Lastly, I like to re-curl the front pieces of my hair that frame my face, I like the curl to flip away from my face at about my eyebrow instead of and my jaw, it tends to loosen so redoing those pieces makes them stay curled a little longer.

Products:

1.I use THIS curling iron it’s the 1 -1/2 inch wand and I seriously love it! so inexpensive and it works so great!

2.I love my Unite texturizing spray, it gives me texture without my hair feeling grimy worth every penny! you can find it HERE

3.I started using THIS  hairspray and it works awesome for my hair, I like a spray that will hold my curl all day but not be too stiff and this one is great for that.

THIS is my very favorite dry shampoo, I have tried so many and this one is by far my fav! and it doesn’t leave your hair feeling gritty it’s seriously the BEST and it’s so cheap!

that’s it! if you have any questions feel free to comment below. This post is not sponsored just all my favorite hair products.

 

recharge and refuel

We have felt so much love since announcing our pregnancy! thank you guys so much for all the kind words it has meant the world! I will say since the day I found out I was pregnant I went through a funk, lasting my whole first trimester. I mean obviously the morning sickness and lack of energy didn’t help, but I also was feeling like I needed a break from social media and I did just that. I stopped being consistent about posting and didn’t do anything with my blog. It was honestly so refreshing to take a step back. I think It’s important to do that once and awhile. I was in such shock and It felt good to just relish in our good news and remember what is most important in this life. It’s really not about having the most beautiful page on Instagram or creating the greatest outfit of the day, realizing those things are beautiful and creative and there is definitely a place for them, but that they are not the most important thing in this life. It’s all about creating a beautiful life for yourself, surviving through the hard days and making memories that are special with loved ones. It’s about knowing you’re not perfect and not judging yourself for your imperfections. Sometimes you’re just doing your best to survive and It’s important to realize that is good enough. Take a minute for yourself today, you won’t regret it.

Our Journey to Joy

Baby Swenson Announcement 

Man has it been a journey for us. A journey that I will be forever grateful for but I can’t say this sweet peanut came easy. I actually wanted to start this blog to shed light on infertility and our struggles and then I found out I was pregnant! I always felt like people who had a hard time only shared their story after they got pregnant and it never seemed fair because when you are going through infertility you feel so alone. No one talks about it, and most of the time people don’t want to ask because it’s obviously a sensitive subject. But then I also didn’t want to start talking about our journey on here and then be like psyche I’m actually pregnant. So I have waited, but I want to be honest about our journey because it hasn’t been easy.

We decided we wanted to try for a baby spring 2012, It’s such an exciting and terrifying decision I remember being so giddy when we decided to start trying. At the time, I wouldn’t have believed you if you would have told me we had four heart-wrenching years ahead of us before we would actually get pregnant. After one year of no luck, we decided we needed to go make sure everything was ok so we went and got everything checked. They couldn’t find anything wrong with either of us, no blockage, no cysts, amazing count, so unexplained infertility it was. There is such an empty feeling about unexplained infertility there is no hope and no explanation, it’s so frustrating.

We decided to start right away with Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. So we tried this three times and after the third unsuccessful IUI they suggested we take a break. I stopped going to that fertility clinic and decided I would go get my hormones checked, I wanted a deeper explanation than “unexplained”. I ended up finding out my hormone levels were really low. I had the hormones of an 80 yr old woman. I mean really… no wonder right??  I got my hormones up and did hormone therapy for about a year. While I did hormone therapy I also was charting my Basal Body Temperature, I did  acupuncture, I went to a spinal touch therapist to realign my hips, and I also did a few other homeopathic things. Still no luck, At this point we had been trying for about three years. I made it my personal mission to figure this thing out and honestly after three years of being wrapped up in it all I realized my marriage had suffered, we were both exhausted, we decided it would be best if we just let it all go and stopped trying for a while. We needed to recoup and get our relationship back to a good place. We never actually prevented when we “stopped” trying but I let go of everything, I stopped taking my hormones, I stopped tracking my ovulation I literally let it all go! It was really good for me and for us to take a break.

At this point we had been on hold for about 10 or 11 months I was just waiting for Paul to let me know he wanted to try again because that desire to be a mom never went away for me, I just knew we needed to have a break from it. We had decided that whenever we wanted to start the process again we would just jump into in vitro. So February 2016 on Valentines day Paul gave me a little piece of paper that he hid in a book, that said ” One free baby certificate at the in-vitro of your choice” to have him give me the go ahead was the greatest gift I could have ever received.

I wanted to be very deliberate about moving forward. You literally get 12 chances a year and each month that goes by is another missed opportunity. I also wanted to keep our relationship at the forefront so we didn’t spiral down again, by March I just wanted to make sure I was even still ovulating. I started taking the tests too late and never got a positive so I figured I’d just take them again in April, we were really busy anyway so it wasn’t a big deal to me. April comes around and I was five days late, not super abnormal but I was getting annoyed because I just wanted to start tracking my ovulation. I took a pregnancy test so I would start my period  because that’s how it always works right? You take a test and you start your period that same day. Well at least for the last 4 years that’s how it always worked for me.

Paul had just walked out the door to go to the gym and that little stick said PREGNANT I had never ever had a positive so I was quite literally freaking out, Screaming and crying and just staring and that beautiful positive. It was possibly one of the happiest moments of my life. I instantly went to Walgreens to get more tests and a little bag to put the stick in so that I could surprise Paul. I put it all in the gift bag and set it on the bed and told him I had a surprise for him. He was so surprised and we shared the happiest moment crying and laughing in utter shock. This was one of the many moments I had dreamed about for so long. That same day I went and got a blood test that came back positive and then we went and shared the good news with our families.

I share this journey with you because it is a huge part of me, I have learned and grown so much from this hard experience, it has pushed me in ways I never thought were possible. The whole time we were trying in the back of my mind I knew it would all boil down to timing. That was the only thing that helped me be a normal human. I knew that one day I would be pregnant it was just a matter of time. I knew that when the time came it would be the best possible time for us. We have grown in so many ways and I know that we are ready now, I honestly don’t know if we were really ready four years ago. I can’t say I know how to be a mom or what to do with a crying baby but I can say that we are both ready for the next adventure and each and every moment we share along the way is so special and exciting.

Albion Fit giveaway!

I am so in love with my Albion Fit swimsuit, I have a long torso and most one pieces don’t fit me very well. So I was excited to put this on and it fit perfectly, the quality is awesome and I feel like you could even wear this suit if you were pregnant. It can be hard to find a cute one piece but Albion has done it guys! I love it so much I’m doing a giveaway with Albion, Just in time with summer right around the corner.

A $50 gift card to use however you’d like

to enter this giveaway:

1.follow @albionfit and @ashlee.annn on Instagram

2. tag 3 friends in comments separately on my Instagram

Giveaway will close and winner will be announced Saturday evening.

Good luck babes!

all images by Tresa Martindale Photography

 

 

Made by Mary Giveaway

I am so excited about this giveaway! I am seriously obsessed with my Made By Mary necklaces. I love that they have meaning, it makes them that much more special for me to wear.

one lucky winner will receive a $50 credit to Made by Mary

to enter this giveaway-

go follow @madebymary and @ashlee.annn

like the giveaway picture on my Instagram feed.

tag three friends you think would love this giveaway in comments separately

thats it! thanks for following along! good luck!

All images by Tresa Martindale Photography 

Jumping for Joy!

 I am so excited to finally show everyone what I have been up to!  I wanted to start this blog so that I can share what is going on in my world and to have a place to record memories as we travel and adventure.  It will also be a place to share tips I come by and favorite things I’m into. And honestly just whatever I am feeling at the moment.

In honor of the launch, I am doing an awesome giveaway! A mini photo shoot with the amazing Tresa Martindale Photography, a $100 gift card to Nordstrom and a micro facial from Inspired By Ky. Everything you need to feel and look fabulous for your shoot!

to enter you must follow these rules:

1. Follow all three accounts on Instagram;

@tresa.martindale.photo

@inspiredbyky

@ashlee.annn

2. Tag 3 friends

3. Subscribe to ashleeswenson.com

Thats it!

A Winner will be announced Thursday morning! Good luck babes and thanks for stopping by and sharing my excitement for this new journey!

Spring has sprung

Spring is finally here and my heart couldn’t be happier! The amount of happiness I get from seeing these gorgeous blooms is seriously kinda ridiculous.

On Saturday I went to city creek with my mom and we kept seeing all the pretty trees downtown, so I made her go up to the capitol with me and we seriously didn’t want to leave. It’s like a dream up there, If you’re in SLC you should definitely go for a little walk to the capitol it’s absolutely dreamy!!

Also if you don’t have any good overalls for spring/summer check these out, it’s the easiest outfit to throw on and I got so many compliments walking around city creek I had to share the love! linked below are some of my favs. Happy Spring babes!!

Friends and Vegas

I surprised Paul and got him this exotics racing experience for his birthday, so I decided to make a trip out of it and invite our friends to come. We had the greatest time and the whole trip made me so grateful for the amazing people in my life. It is so nice to know you have a tribe backing you that love and support you. People who get you and appreciate you for who you are, the whole time we were there I just kept thinking how lucky we were to have that kind of respect and connection in our lives. So blessed to have so much love surrounding us. 

70’s Boho Vibes

I am so ready for spring my soul can’t take it, this warm weather we have been having is making me so excited and so ready to GET OUTSIDE!!! Pink Blush sent me this 70’s inspired boho blouse and I’m pretty obsessed. Bell-Sleeve shirts are making a comeback this season and I am not mad about it. Paired with some bell bottom jeans, turquoise jewelry and strappy sandals and you’ve got yourself a boho 70’s feeling outfit for any occasion.