Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cozy Outfit Perfect For Christmas Lounging

Cardigan | Shirt | Jeans | Booties (similar)

Anyone else love just lounging on Christmas? Don't get me wrong, I love to dress up! I rocked my plaid mini skirt and heels for J's work Christmas party. But as soon as we got home I was in sweats and one of his shirts. So of course when it comes to opening presents and eating with family, I think we can all agree that most people want to be comfortable. But you also want to look somewhat presentable because we all know that plenty of pictures get taken. Which is why this outfit is perfect! Wearing a comfy pair of jeans keeps you from looking like a college students, but the cardigan keeps your warm and cozy and perfectly comfortable! Scroll down for some more options!

A quick note about these jeans (and no this isn't sponsored): I found them at Old Navy. A year ago I would have told you I hate ON jeans because they just never look good on me. But something must have changed either with me or their styles because these are my favorite jeans! They have plenty of stretch but don't get baggy and stretched out. Plus, they're so affordable! One in every shade? Yes please!!


Monday, December 18, 2017

The Lord Is Good Y'all

Hello! First of all, Christmas is one week away!! And honestly I won't be done with wrapping until Sunday. The struggle of trying to hide packages from your fiance! I think we're just about done buying presents for people too.

So now for the exciting news: I HAVE A JOB!! Yes y'all after four months of not using my degree and struggling to trust the Lord, I have a real job. I'll be an analytical technologist at Dow only about 25 minutes from where we live. It's also like 7 minutes down the road from where J works. Before you ask though, no we will not carpool to work. I love the man but he leaves at the very last minute for work and it stresses me out.

If you've been following along for a while, you'll know that I recently received my PhD in chemistry (I officially graduated on Friday!!). I started applying for jobs way back in January/February. I had two interviews in April, one in New Jersey and one north of Chicago. Unfortunately those didn't lead to offers...or fortunately because then I didn't have to choose between a job and J. Over the summer I had a few companies reach out via e-mail and then a few phone interviews. But again those didn't lead to any offers. Keep in mind I was applying for so many jobs! Literally anything I was qualified for in the Cincy/Dayton/Columbus/Indianapolis areas. There were weeks I'd apply for 10+ jobs!

Through all of this, I was frustrated. Frustrated that I spent 4 years of my life stressed to the max. Grad school is not easy! It was hard and it isn't something to go into lightly. I was angry that the Lord would bring me through all that trouble and hardship just to end up with nothing. I had nothing to show for my degree. Here I am, Dr. Ashley Richardson, and I'm a substitute at a preschool.

Of course I had people around me pointing out the good things to come out of grad school:
1. I'm getting married. J is better than any man I've ever met or imagined. I couldn't have picked a better husband-to-be!
2. I made great friends. Seriously, two of my bridesmaids are girls I never would have met if it weren't for grad school.
3. I actually got to rest. These last four years have been the longest and hardest of my life. I needed a break, whether I realized it or not.

So all in all, the Lord was working. Being married is something I've wanted with all of my heart. I cherish my close friendships. And I really needed a break. Like bad. It was so nice to not use my degree for a while. Being with preschoolers for a couple months has been a blast! They reminded me that life can't be taken too seriously. Just roll with it. Improvise! And I realized that I'm pretty well prepared for kids because I handled being puked on like a champ! No joke, one of my kiddos threw up all over me. And I didn't vomit right after. I sat her down, waited until she got it all out (we were outside), and then calmly walked her in with a smile on my face and cleaned us both up. 

All of this to say, regardless of what you're going through, wait on the Lord's timing. I know, it's so easy for me to say that when I'm now on the other side of the crappy time. But do it. Wait on Him. Because His plan is far greater than anything. If I had gotten a job immediately out of grad school, I would be so burnt out. I would probably resent my degree. It would have strained all of my relationships, especially mine with J. And that's not something I'm willing to do. 

My friend, know that I know your struggle. I get it. It sucks. While I only waited less than a year for a job to come up, I've waited over 10 years to find my future husband (seriously I was okay with finding him when I was in high school). There are going to be days when you think the Lord doesn't hear you. When you think He's punishing you. But friend keep going. Keep trusting that He will provide one day. Whether it's next week or next decade, God's timing will always be perfect.


Monday, December 11, 2017

My Favorite Blanket Scarf + Engagement Pictures!

Sweater | Scarf | Jeans | Booties (similar)

I'm all for blanket scarves in the winter. I'll wear the crap out of them outside but as soon as I walk inside, the scarf comes off. I just get too hot to function. But that still doesn't stop me from wearing them! Especially when I pair them with a thinner sweater (thinner = breathable = I don't have a heat stroke!).

Fun fact about this outfit: I wore this to an impromptu photo shoot at a Christmas tree farm with Jake. We needed a photo for our Christmas card and since my mom (who happens to be a former photographer) was with us, we stopped by to take a couple shots. I ended up LOVING them so much I lumped them in with our actual engagement pictures. I'm so thankful to have a family full of photographers because my uncle, who owns his own photography business in Indy, came to Ohio one evening to take our actual ones!

I had posted all of them on Facebook but realized I'm not friends with a lot of you. That or my friends are really good at never talking about this blog with me! Haha. Anyway, enjoy!!

He gave me exactly what I wanted!
This made our Christmas card!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Ugly Christmas Sweater

He's pretty cute, right?
Ashley: Sweater, Wal-Mart in stores | Jeans | Booties, similar | Lipstick (color: Ruby Woo)
Jake: Sweater, Wal-Mart in stores | Jeans | Shoes

Happy December! Who doesn't love a good ugly Christmas sweater? You're likely to be invited to a party during the holiday season where the theme is something "ugly." Of course my first stop would normally be Goodwill because oh my goodness they have some real gems! But the closest Goodwill is a bit of a drive, so Jake and I were picking up some thank you cards at Wal-Mart and saw these beauties! Plus, they were just under $20!

They had quite the selection too! There's one with a llama, a hunter, a drunk snowman, a reindeer with a pocket for your drink, and a few others. Being a cat mom, I went for the one with the kittens on it. Jake opted for the dinosaur sweater. Keep in mind these are men's sizes. I still went with an XL so it would have a baggier fit. If that's what you want, go one or two sizes up from what you normally wear in women's sizes.

Do you love ugly Christmas sweaters? I do! My favorite one is one I found at a thrift store. It says "Merry Christmas" in Polish! Jake and I have debated wearing these sweaters to all the Christmas functions we have this year. Stay tuned to see if we actually do!


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