I recently stumbled upon some honey that is suppose to be fabulous for the body. I love anything natural that is said to have healing properties so I thought I would give this a try. Manuka honey is the formal name and it definitely comes with a higher price than normal honey. There is also a rating system and you want to make sure you get the certified Manuka honey from New Zealand with at least 15+ as a rating because anything below that is said to have less benefits. I got online, found the one I wanted, and immediately put some in my tea upon arrival. The taste is slightly different than regular honey but still delicious! Let me step back for a second and tell you that this need for something healing was because I had some indigestion issues and I was feeling like I could possibly have low stomach acid so this was recommended. I am not one more gimmicks but this REALLY does work and fast! I take a tablespoon everyday in my tea. Its as simple as that. Its been 2 weeks now and my indigestions/low stomach acid is gone. Manuka honey isn't just for stomach problems though. This honey has several other health benefits and I thought I would compile a list for you guys. Below is a summary of what this wonderful natural honey can do for you:
1. indigestion/acid reflux
2. low stomach acid
6.wounds & scrapes (applied topically)
I may not be a doctor but I think this is something everyone should keep in there pantry. Why not try something natural that could help with so many problems. It may not work for everyone but speaking from experience it has been an amazing product.
Stay Happy & Stay Healthy,
Low Carb Living
So I know many people have different "diets" or as I like to call them "lifestyle changes" that they like to live by. For me low carb has been something I have tried on and off and every time it ALWAYS works. I think the main reason I never stuck to low carb for more than a year at a time was the pressure of having to cook as well as the pressure of social get-togethers. But now I have a motivating factor that is long-term (SOUL CYCLE) and I have also become really good at making QUICK AND EASY low carb dishes. If you like to eat out, I have some great tips and places to grab and go from. From what I have read online everyone is trying to make low carb dishes that are so fancy. I have tried almost all of them. From mashed cauliflower (which 1/3 of the time comes out OK) and the low carb bread made from scratch; I think people should uncomplicate this diet and it would be more sustainable for people. The last time I did this I was burnt out a month later because I was trying to make dishes that I missed but making them "low carb" and they ended up taking 2 hours and tasting like shit! Okay, another point I would like to make.... YOU DO NOT NEED TO COUNT CALORIES OR FAT (the higher the fat the better). People that cut too many calories and carbs are depriving themselves. I know you've been taught your whole life that CALORIES=CHUBSTER but get that out of your head. Below is a list of what items I like to have around as well as some of my fav grab and go places to get my low carb on.
Whats in my refrigerator/pantry :
Eggs (lots of them)
Cheddar Rice Cakes
Low Carb Yogurt
Low Carb Smoothies
Lite Cool Whip
Low Carb Ice Cream
Salads (not my go-to though)
Waters (drink up)
Grab and Go Eateries :
Chikfila (12 count chicken nuggets grilled or fried)
Smashburger (burger without bun and no carb filled sauces)
In N Out (burger protein style)
Jimmy Johns (unwich, sandwich wrapped in lettuce)
Starbucks (Americano made with HEAVY CREAM and 2 shots of sugar-free syrup, plenty of other options to)
Also in general if I go to a nice sit down restaurant, I usually will get fish or meat and veggies on the side. In New York a lot of restaurants happen to be doing baked cauliflower with cheese on top which is PERF!
I try and eat every 2 hours and after a workout I make sure to intake a good amount of protein. I won't say this lifestyle is easy but I will say its definitely doable and can become second nature within a month. Don't overthink it and still enjoy the things you love. I have one "CHEAT MEAL" a week usually on Saturday night. It helps if you make this a social thing because you will enjoy it even more! The first 2 weeks of this diet will probably feel like hell, you will probably have sugar withdrawal, and you WILL feel terrible. But I promise if you can get past that slump, it is worth it. You will definitely lose weight QUICK which is an added bonus. I lost 10 lbs in a month and am still counting. I workout pretty intense for 45 mins at least once a day but even without working out you will shed pounds! I hope all this helps or doesn't but feel free to read my captions under my photos to help you with recipes and ideas.
Low Carb Living Ashlee
Smashburger Spicy Jalapeno Burger with NO chipotle mayo and I usually get veggie frites on the side and split them.
Filet with eggs. So easy and yummy.
This was the ingredients used for the Shrimp Casserole thats in the next photo. Thaw shrimp, heat up 2 cups of heavy whipping cream on stove (do not boil), add in dash of paprika, tablespoon of worchestershire sauce, and about 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese, and continue to stir and heat up until cheese melts. While this is melting, cook your shrimp in pan ( about 5-7 mins). Place Shrimp in casserole dish. Pour cheese mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins, then place asparagus on top of that with some more parmesan cheese and bake another 5-7 minutes. So good!
Shrimp and Asparagus Casserole
Eggs & Bacon with Ketchup (my fav)
In N Out double-double PROTEIN style
Ingredients for low carb fudge.
1 8 Oz Stick butter 2 1/2 Oz Unsweetened Baker's Chocolate 1 Cup Sucralose or Splenda, whichever you prefer 2 Tsp Vanilla 1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream 8 Oz Whipped Cream Cheese, regular not low fat
Freeze for at least a couple hours.
Low Carb Fudge!!
Salmon in NYC.
Cauliflower with cheesy crust in NYC at Bar Boulud's!
Could only find this low carb pita bread in NYC. Made a tuna melt inside of it and paired with these cheese crunchies I order off amazon.
IHOP ham & cheese omelette.
IHOP eggs and bacon with black coffee and Splenda.
homemade seasoned shrimp and cheesy asparagus.
Carrot chips. Buy the already cut up carrots that have the crinkles in them. Lay out about 1/3 of the bag on to baking sheet covered in foil. Drizzle olive oil on top with pepper and sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 mins (if some turn black thats ok, they actually taste super good) We eat these instead of Lays.
LOW CARB 4 INGREDIENT PB COOKIES!!!
-2 cup Splenda (or sugar if you want)
- 16 Oz peanut butter
-2 tsp vanilla extract
Bake for 10-12 mins on 350. This is a double batch so should make around 32 small cookies.
how I met my fiancé
It was an afternoon in late January of 2014 where me and my sisters decided to see some Nicholas Sparks movie in theaters. The movie had been out for a while so no one was really in the place. We started watching the movie & I kept crying and telling my sisters "thats it! I don't wanna die alone! I am getting on damn MATCH.COM!" I sometimes can be quite dramatic but I was fed up with feeling like the only place to meet a decent guy would be the nearest Lowes or Home Depot. (I would never step foot in those places because they are scary and confusing) The movie finished up & I immediately went home and signed up for a 3 month MATCH subscription. I had been on this site once before and it didn't last long because there was always weirdos in my inbox BUT I had hope so I said why not try again. Anyways, first day was nothing but people who had nothing in common with me but SOMEHOW got paired up with me. I was bored and it was entertaining so I decided to just scope out some other people. On day 2 I came across ITSCEETEE and a few others "randos" but for some reason this ITSCEETEE guy stuck out to me. I literally sat on his page for hours debating on whether I should mother fucking "WINK" or not (its so embarrassing to be like hey babe let me send over a friggin wink.) I went through his photos over and over. I read his profile over and over. He was new to Dallas like me and what really made me say "screw it i'll man up and initiate this" was the fact that he was a musician (thats cool and hot and I love music) & he had a photo where I could see a subtle tattoo on his arm. OMG I KNOW, so shallow, but whatever I like what I like and honestly your photos and how well you write on your profile is all you have on these sites. SO now I wait like a creep hoping this wink doesn't scare him away. A day later and I get a message from this guy with the subject "introductions are tough"....(I think I am already in love says the hopeless romantic in me.) He goes on introducing himself, we chat about how we ended up in Dallas, we laughed, we shared our favorite bands, we talked about my tattoos, and then he called me cute!!! Hallelujah! Flash forward to our first date. Dumb Ashlee just tells this CHARLIE guy to come to her apartment because ya know thats safe. I call my best guy friend, Jake, to tell him I have a REAL date & that if I don't talk to him later tonight to call in the police. He also advises me to have a knife on hand so my first intro to Charlie was "hey what sup, you don't look like a killer! but just in case I have a knife" WELL if that didn't scare him away I don't know what else would. So lets just talk about what I was wearing for a moment. I decided that for some reason this wasn't a huge deal so I didn't need to get to pretty because he should like me for me. So I wore a sloppy bun with a basic long dress and barely any makeup. When I walked down to let him in my apartment he was like AGAZILLION times better looking than his photos he put up (yes he was cute in his photos but they didn't do him justice.) I literally wanted to slap myself! We walked up and sat on my couch and I quickly introduced my cats.... OOPS. We talked about all sorts of things right away like his epilepsy, my diabetes, our love of cats (according to him I told him on the first date that I dress my cats up and put them on a leash BUT I don't believe that because thats normally date 5), what we liked, what we didn't like, how the jacket he wore was handmade by him, how he came from NYC, about my crazy family, and it went on and on. After 4 hours of talking and forgetting to eat dinner, we called it a night at 2 am and I sent him on his way. He was super nervous and the goodbye was awkward so I wasn't betting on a text the next day or week. Next day rolls around and BOOM "good morning" from Charlie!!! Holy shit was this real. A guy who actually has manners and isn't going to play mind games. We continued to have fun, explore Dallas, and travel. He met my crazy family and they loved him instantly. I moved in to his apartment after 5 months and then shortly after that we got a house! Things moved quickly and life was amazing. I met his mom (in which he told me I would know immediately if she liked me or not) and "like" is an understatement, we LOVE each other. Everything fell in to place like it was suppose to. All the horrible things in my past were meant to happen because they led me to Charlie. Me seeing that awful sappy movie led me here. I will never forget sending a text to my family saying this is the guy I am going to marry after 1 week (partially as a joke and partially not) and them laughing at me. Every day since the day we met I received a text. Every day I have seen him or gotten some kind of hello from him. Every day led me one step closer to him becoming my future husband. It was so effortless and it felt like I had known this guy forever. He understood me and had the same interests. We could make each other laugh & make each other feel better when we cried. We have seen a lot of the world together and we plan on seeing so much more. NEVER in a million years would I have thought that me "WINKING" at someone on an online dating site would have the outcome that it has. I am not saying you are going to find your prince or princess on match, e-harmony, tinder, or okay cupid but I am saying have hope. Take a leap of faith and have confidence in yourself. When you are least expecting something great, something great might just happen! It is now January 2016 and we are preparing for our Santorini wedding in June, we are moving back to NYC in late summer, and we have so much ahead. Whether it be a lame Nicholas Sparks movie or a friend telling you to try, never give up on finding someone that sticks with you after carrying a knife around on the first date and loves your freakish obsession with cats. Thanks MATCH.COM for NOT pairing me with ITSCEETEE but making me grow some balls.
VINTAGEVIXEN3 (yes I thought picking the username that sounded the most like an old whore was a good idea)
our first official date
our first cheesy selfie or "ussie" together
when he surprised me and got on a plane to meet me at the concert of my favorite band
the surprise birthday party that gave him a full fled panic attack right before entering... whoops
he took my to NYC for my first time
hours before I knew I was being proposed too!
oh shit I am engaged!
after three days of non stop tests, him puking on a boat, and us passing our scuba certification course
he took me to London & I met his James Bond friends
us taking engagement photos in NYC
Holidays in the Big Apple
The city at this time is always filled with joy ( and the occasional scrooge or grinch) but contrary to most people's belief "new yorkers" are the most friendly people from my experiences. I feel at home when I am here. A judgement free zone surrounded by motivation and the feeling that you can and WILL do anything you can possibly dream of. This IS my second home and I love every bit of Manhattan, even down to the homeless people peeing next to a Bergdorfs.....
Going to London was a first for me & we happened to luck out with some pretty awesome weather. This city reminded me a lot of a cleaner and more quiet NYC. Tons of high-end retail shops filled the streets and quaint doorsteps were around every corner. People were super friendly and food was delicious. We were meeting up with friends in London for the Spectre James Bond premier which added to the excitement of being here. The changing of the guards was a scene to say the least and the fish and chips were on point! Harrods was probably the most ridiculously humungo jumbo high-end department store I had ever seen. We frequented Tom Ford and sipped on champagne ( since thats one of the main lines worn in James Bond ) and our friends did some interviews with the shops that provided attire for the movie, which was super entertaining. We drank cocktails at the Playboy Club, rode in cute little taxis, and ate A LOT of desserts. We did touristy things but I also enjoyed doing more local unknown adventures. Next time I am over on that side of the world, we will be taking a tour of the country side which everyone says is absolutely incredible. Thanks London for the good times & new friendships!
Fall in the concrete jungle
This time of year in NYC is my favorite! This trip to the big apple was full of friends, family, good times, and a 6 hour long engagement shoot! The trees were slowly turning, the air was breezy and calming (even in the midst of traffic) and the food was superb, as usual. I will forever call this my second home & I truly feel alive when I am here. If you've never experienced this diverse city, I would put it on your list of future places to visit. Here's some local spots that I recommend for your NYC adventure (most being food related): Bar Boulud's get the filet and eggs, Brooklyn's Diner get the crab cake BLT, Emack & Bolios get the fruity pebble cone, Macarons & any sandwich from Margots Patisserie, Dessert at Ayza, Dorit Baxters for a massage and facial, La Bonne Soupe has an amazing Croque Monsieur, Cielo nightlcub has amazing DJ's, Riding the subways, visitng Brooklyn and eating a bagel at Bagelsmith, Getting the Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi carbonara with a fried egg on top at Isabella's, Spicy Jumbo Prawns from Shun Lee, a tasty burger from ShakeShack, and of course Central Park is a must, including the fabulous restaurant nestled in the park called The Boathouse. Oh and stop by the 72nd & Broadway stop and check out amazing art being drawn by Enrico Thomas!
6 fall essentials
It's finally October which is mine and about 90% of the worlds favorite month. Pumpkins and wreaths will cover the fronts of your neighbors houses and if you live in the South, the wreaths will be bigger than the door itself. I was so excited about fall that I wanted to compile a list of some of my favorite fall time items. From household products to beauty must haves, I hope I can help get you in the spirit of October.
1. SABON GENTLEMAN'S BODY SCRUB: So I purchased this amazing scrub when I was in NYC. I walked in and they let me demo all these fun products. After putting this scrub on my hands, my skin immediately felt rejuvenated and super soft! I loved the smell of the men's scrub which has patchouli mixed in and gives for a very fall scent. Whenever my skin starts to feel scaly and dry I apply this all over and VOILA, perfect skin! So great for drier months and can be purchased at www.sabonnyc.com.
2. FOOTSAC: There is nothing better than curling up on the couch with Netflix, a cat or two, and a soft cozy blanket. My fiance happened to introduce me to this incredible LOVESAC blanket called a "FOOTSAC." This furry item has a genius hidden gem built-in. On the bottom of the blanket there is a wide pocket where you slide your feet into so that your toes never freeze and your feet always are covered. Available in stores or at www.lovesac.com.
3. TARGET COZY NIGHT CANDLE: I love candles! I have a billion different candles throughout my home but this one is by far my go-to, especially during colder months. I found this scent at my favorite store (Target,duh!) and the minute I lit the candle, the room immediately smelt of this woodsy soft aroma. I normally don't like pine scents or overwhelming woodsy smells but this one is the perfect balance.
4. LA MER: My skin is normal to dry but around this time of year my skin becomes extra thirsty. This is one of my more high priced items I keep around but it is absolutely worth it! La Mer moisturizing cream is what keeps my skin radiant and hydrated. The product is a thicker consistency so you need to heat up the product in your hand before using it but once you apply La Mer cream to your skin, it becomes velvety soft. This product is available online at www.cremedelamer.com or at stores such as Nordstroms or Bloomingdales.
5. OLAPLEX: My hair is blonde which means it is already lacking hydration but starting in October my hair becomes even more lackluster and dull. I do get chemical processes done on my hair and use hot tools but I always make sure I have products that are going to maintain the integrity of my fine locks. This is a fairly newer at-home treatment that restores moisture, helps repair damage & rebuilds broken bonds, adds shine, and overall makes your hair feel like the bomb diggity! Being a stylist I can vouch that this stuff really works and you can also ask your local salon if they have the in-salon Olaplex treatment.
6. BREVILLE TEA MAKER: Last but definitely not least is this fabulous tea maker. This flawless machine made by Breville makes my tea perfectly every time. The tea maker has a basket that you put your loose leaf or bagged tea in and it has buttons with options on them to choose what kind of tea your making (green, black, white, etc.) Then you can either let it calculate what temperature and length of time that the tea should steep or you can enter that info in manually. I love to put my Caramel Almond Amaretti flavored tea from Teavana in the Breville and let the magic happen. So perfect for fall and can be purchased at www.brevilleusa.com or at Teavana and Bed Bath & Beyond.
BEST GYM BAG EVER
This gym bag is not only fabulous and well-made it gives back. I stumbled upon this bag when I was researching gym bags online. I noticed that for all things purchased through this company called, Activyst, a portion of purchases would be donated to help fund girls sports and physical activities in other countries. That sold me right away! I then started looking closer at the yoga bag and noticed it had a specific flap that could be closed or opened to hold an ENITRE mat! Yep, thats right. I actually ended up getting this bag as a gift from my parents and the bag was just the right size, not to big and not too small. It had a side water bottle pocket, a couple pockets inside, came with a smaller bag to put your dirty gym shoes in, and had the yoga mat flap built in. I have used this bag for the last year almost everyday and it still looks brand new. If you are looking for an affordable and durable bag that helps fund girls sports in poverty stricken countries, well here is your bag! Thanks Activyst for this incredible find.
(Photo credit for last 2 photos go to Activyst)
photo taken by Activyst
photo taken by Activyst
a trip to the salon: as told by a hairstylist
September 29, 2015
It all started a week prior, in the chair of a master colorist in Highland Park, for a consult. For those of you that don't know this area, just visualize a shopping center filled with Harry Winston, the smell of Vanilla and Tobacco from Tom Ford, and a salad that goes for around $25. Okay, so here I am attending my first consult in over 9 years. I have been a hairstylist for 7 years and haven't been a "client" in what seems like forever. I decided that it was time for a new start and time for me to experience luxury in the hair world. So after researching, I landed myself at Frederic Fekkai in Dallas. As I wait, sat upon a soft sofa, laid on top of a cow hide rug (very Texas chic of them), I sip water out of a straw and stare at these woman around me who were wearing Diane Vonfurstenberg and purses that smelt like they were freshly killed. My colorist Errin comes and grabs me so we can chat about what I am looking to change with my hair. I explain that I want more dimension like a rooty, "lived in" look. She totally gets my vision and then passes me over to Pam who is a hair cutter at the salon. I then proceed to show her photos of Kelly Ripa's and Julianne Hough's haircut. She thinks the haircuts would be perfect for my fine fragile baby hair. I am then walked to the front desk and given a card with my appointment time on it which is scheduled out for a week later. Come Tuesday (today), I head to the salon for my official appointment and am greeted by the lovely front desk staff and once again asked if I would like something to drink. As I sit and drink my fancy water through a straw again, I discreetly snap an artsy Instagram photo to document this monumental day. I was given a tour of the salon and waited for 15 mins then was taken back to get my haircut first. Pam has me refresh her on what I am wanting and then one of the assistance kindly takes me back to the shampoo bowls which recline fully back and have massage mechanisms in them. Okay so my first judgment on a salon for me is whether or not I receive a good shampoo and let me tell you.... it was an A+ ! After the lovely head massage I am taken back to Pam and she begins to work her magic on my head of hair. She does some perimeter cutting first and then detailed the cut after drying. As I watch her technique I think to myself "this is awesome!" She did some interior layering but didn't over-do the layering since my hair is supaaaaa fine. Next up Errin! She sits me down and discusses Olaplex for my fragile hair. For those that don't know what this is, Olaplex is a bond multiplier which means it rebuilds bonds broken down through the chemical process (translation: MAKES HAIR FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS). She begins to balayage my hair, which is a technique that's been around forever but has become more popular through the years due to Victoria Secret models flaunting it around on their heads. She hand paints at my roots to soften up my rachet new growth. I sit for about an hour and as I sit I listen to the clients talk around me. Some are nice others were a little to high on their Coco Chanel #5 but it made me giggle because I knew what was going on in the minds of the stylists and colorists. The stylists listened to the clients and all their problems. I thought it was funny when one lady said, " Yeah you can curl it if you want, if you know how to do that...." NO, lady. They went to school and have been through an extensive program and they don't know how to use a basic hot tool. SMH. After the hour was up I was then am rinsed, shampooed, and conditioned (no toner needed). I then go back to Pam who styles me out and makes my hair look exactly like Julianne Hough's! She finishes it off with a dry texture spray & shows me the back of my hair. The cut was perfectly coiffed and my color was amazing. I was sold on this luxury treatment and 5 star service. I loved listening to clients talk about meaningless stuff and watching the talented staff perform services. I left with a smile and an appointment in 9 weeks. Even though some stylists would NEVER spend a hefty penny to get their hair done and would rather have a co-worker do it, it was so worth it and I think if anyone deserves some pampering its the people who make others pretty all day, every day. Thank you Frederic Fekkai and your lovely staff. From one stylists to another, THANKS!