frappy friday #17

St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday, and that’s what I tell people when they ask. But I always answer under the pretense that Christmas is taken out of the running, because Christmas would automatically take the cake.  Everything about it captivates me. From the bright lights, that give ordinary scenes a whimsical twinkle, to the crowded parking lots, filled with hurried shoppers leaving a hum in the air, it all is truly magical.  I know what you’re thinking: this girl has seen one too many Hallmark Channel movies.  And you’re right. I definitely have. But that’s besides the point.  The joy that comes at Christmas is addicting, and I always want to savor every moment of the season. This year, savoring the sweetness of the season has been hard.  So this week, instead of our usual frappy friday post, I’m going to share a little piece of my struggle. For the first time, I’m going to share my personal battle with depression and anxiety, something I’ve never done before.  So if you’d like, or if you have a minute, take a seat and I’ll pour you some coffee…..

For the sake of time, I won’t start from the beginning, and that’s partially because I’m not sure I would even know where to begin. Instead, I’ll start at Monday, when my depression took an unprecedented hold of me.  This week has been filled with more tears than I care to admit, and a whirlwind of emotions that has left me exhausted and depleted.  One night this week, my mom had to come down and spend the night with me because everything just seemed to be too much. So, here is my humble attempt at explaining what this past week has looked like.

Depression makes me feel like I’m trapped in my own body.  As if the real me is being kept locked away in a glass box, forced to watch as someone else inhabits her body.  An inhabitant that doesn’t smile or laugh, that is easily irritable, and that is quick to anger. Simply put, someone who is hard to love. All the time, the real me is forced to look on, while her laughs are stifled and smiles smeared away, being replaced with lifeless substitutes. I think the hardest part of depression, for me at least, is knowing just how difficult it must be for others to love me.  Because I know that I don’t love me and the person I become when depression takes its grip. All I want is to laugh and smile.  To make you laugh and smile.  But days when depression hits, those simple tasks can seem impossible to accomplish. Nothing seems funny and it feels as if the world is against me.  It’s like a shadow has been cast over my eyes, and everything has gone dark. The joy and magic that usually come so easily during this season seem impossibly far off. And that’s when the anxiety creeps in, mine usually manifest itself in my chest, like a weight has been dropped on it. Occasionally, it may steal my appetite, or on night’s like tonight, it robs me of my sleep. But I make attempts to fight off the gloom of the depression: I fake laughs and force smiles. While on the inside I’m fighting tooth and nail to shatter the glass box and take back control. However, this can take a toll.  It can leave me feeling depleted wanting nothing more than to lay in my bed where I know I can avoid it all by falling into a numbing sleep.

Tonight, I’m left lying awake while my thoughts wander to my worst fears. So, I do what I normally do when the tears are welling up and my thoughts won’t seem to settle.  I pray to my Prince of Peace. I pray that His peace unexplainable would flood my heart and mind.  That He would ease my anxious thoughts, calm my racing heart, and wash His love over me. This is what I want you to know, that I’m fighting. I’m not giving up and I’m not backing down, though I will have moments when I may need to be held because I’m not able to stand on my own. There will be times when I’ll run and push you away.  I’ll do my best to isolate myself. Don’t let me. Remind me of my fight, and that as Shania Twain would say, “I ain’t no quitter.”

This Advent season may be harder than I ever expected, but I wait with hopeful anticipation for the birth of the Prince of Peace, who came to save me. I don’t know what you’re  facing this holiday season, but whatever it may be, I want you to know that you’re never alone, and like my mom tells me, “there’s nothing we can’t get through.” Squeezing you tight and wishing the happiest holidays to you and yours.

Peace,love&fraps,

Ash

frappy friday #16

Good morning and happy Friday!!! If you’re a regular, you know the drill: grab that coffee and pull up a seat.  If you’re new, WELCOME!! So glad that you decided to join us. Grab a chair, something to drink, and I’ll take it from there.  Hope this week has been good to ya.  Here’s what I have for you today:

  1. Elsie Larson is one of the co-founders of A Beautiful Mess.  She just adopted the most precious baby girl, Nova.  I’ve loved looking at all the pictures she’s been posting since she and her husband got to meet their daughter for the first time.
  2. I have a new girl crush.  And I am in serious stalker mode.  She just wrote a book: Girl, wash your face.  I pre-ordered it.  I tried to resist, but the more I read up on the book the more my walls came tumbling down, and the next thing I know I’m entering my credit card info.
  3. My friend, Audge, has been raving about the cinn&sug toast from Spiller Park for weeks now.  I went with her Thursday morning to finally give it a try.  It’s just as yummy as you would think.
  4. Lauren Daigle’s Christmas album, Behold, makes me want to slow dance in my kitchen.  I imagine it playing on a record player, while some hot cocoa is simmering on the stove, and I’m just swaying along to the tune.  Ideally, snow would be falling outside.
  5. Have you ever had coffee soda?  Most likely if you’ve ever been to Nashville you know what I’m talking about.  But you are about to have the option to try it at home. It’s about to be available in cans.
  6. I want to get all my pictures framed here.
  7. I’m going on a ski trip in March, and I couldn’t be more excited!! With that being said, I’m a first time skier and I don’t have anything I need. So, if any of you have been skiing before and don’t mind letting someone borrow your clothing, I promise to take very good care of it and would be very grateful!! All of that to say, I’m loving the travel collection at Target by Wit & Delight.
  8. I want to do good in the world.  Lately, I’ve been convicted to take a step back and take a hard look at the companies I purchase from.  I want to support companies that are doing good in the world.  Able is one of those companies.  I’ve been following them on Instagram for years, but honestly forgot about them until the other day when I complimented my friend, katie b., on her rings.  Turns out they were from Able.  I immediately put them on my Christmas list.
  9. You know how it snowed last Friday?  Well, check out this wedding photo the extremely talented Mary Hannah Harte captured.  ISN”T IT LOVELY?!?!?! Those folks are the luckiest people I know.  I want to frame the picture and display it in my house and I don’t even know those people.
  10. This next video is hard to watch.  I can’t make it the whole way through because I find it heart breaking. Climate change is a real thing and it’s taking a massive toll on our ecosystems and their inhabitants.  Let this video be a wake up call and help us want to be the change.
  11. Here’s how we can partake in the relief efforts for the destruction brought on by the California wildfires.
  12. I’ve been very in to these type of wreaths lately and I feel like I’m seeing them everywhere. I love the simplicity of it.
  13. In the beginning of the fall season, I started seeing chenille sweaters pop up everywhere.  I was convinced this was a trend I would not be participating in.  I thought the material looked cheap and reminded me of my 90s childhood.  Well, fast forward a few weeks and now I’m a big supporter of the trend and own two chenille sweaters myself, and I want all the chenille sweaters I can get my hands on.  Whoops.  *Just look at the photo for evidence.  This is me in Target at 8:30 on a Saturday sending a picture to my mom*
  14. Maybe you’ve heard of the new CW show Riverdale?  It’s on its second season (check out the first season on Netflix), and the characters are based of the Archie comics.  Well, Jimmy Fallon did a parody of the show with characters from Peanuts, and you have to see it.

Alright y’all, thanks for reading.  See you next week?

Peace,love&fraps,

Ash

frappy friday #15

Happy Friday everyone!!! IT’S SNOWING!!!!  It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Snow in December.  It is just so dreamy!!!!!!  All I want to do is go home, curl up on my couch with my new heated blanket (shoutout to my girl Kamryn), turn on the lights on my Christmas tree, light a fir scented candle,  sip some hot cocoa, and watch a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. Who’s with me?? But for now, I’ll settle for hot coffee at my desk, and walking by my boss’s office every so often just to get a glimpse of the snow dusting the campus from his window.  Here’s what I got for today:

  1. Fan of Parenthood? Well, check it out, because Mae Whitman is coming back to your television screen in a new show called good girls.
  2. Y’all.  You no longer have to sacrifice quality goods because of the expensive price.  Brandless is changing the game.  Everything is $3.00.  That’s right. $3!!!!!! Incredible.  I just ordered body wash to give them a try.  I’ll let you know my thoughts once it comes in!
  3. heavenly peace. I read this post on Blessed is She the other day, and I really loved it and wanted to share.
  4. DAWGS are SEC Champs.  People are pretty stoked.
  5. I can’t even imagine.  Keeping Los Angeles in my thoughts and prayers this week.
  6. Psych the Movie. Can’t freaking wait. IT COMES ON TONIGHT. The dream team is back together again.
  7. Pretty sure I don’t have many male readers, but if you’re a male and you’re reading (HI, so glad you’re here) BUT you may want to skip over this link.  OR, perhaps, you may want to check it out and surprise the woman in your life with a sweet treat: moon cycle bakery.   Ladies, that time of the month just got better.
  8. Sway.  How did I not know there is an all you can eat pie bar in Atlanta?!?!
  9. Food terminal. Ate here last Friday.  It was delish.  Went back for lunch on Monday.  The menu can be overwhelming because there are so many options.  I highly recommend the Tossed Noodle Grandma Wonton BBQ Pork (option TN01 on the menu).
  10. sugar shack. It’s not what you think.  It is a bakery. I give their hot chocolate two thumbs up.
  11. These headphones are like really pretty.
  12. I’m ready to try out every single one of these slow cooker recipes.

Feel like I posted a lot about food this week.  I guess I’ve just been really hungry.  What’s that they say? People who love to eat are always the best kind of people?  Hey, have a great weekend! Stay safe and warm!

Peace,love&fraps,

Ash

frappy friday #14

Good morning y’all!  How the heck are ya? Ready for the weekend?  Me too.  Well, let’s start it off right.  Grab that coffee and get cozy.  May I suggest a song for your listening pleasure while you scroll through?  Saw Luke Combs last night at the Tabernacle and WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW.  It was incredible. That guy knows how to put on a show.  He did a cover of Ed Sheeran’s song Dive and it was to die for.  Give it a listen while you read.  Here’s what I have for you today:

  1. Loving these flow charts from Bustle.  This “which cheesy holiday song are you” pegged me down perfectly.  I got Last Christmas by Wham!
  2. One of the biggest complaints I hear about going to mass is that it’s hard to pay attention.  I totally get it.  I would be straight up lying to you if I told you I had never started daydreaming during mass, or that I had never started to nod off.  I understand the struggle.  When I went to Protestant churches with friends in college, almost always they brought a journal with them to take notes.  I loved that! It always helped me to be more attentive because I was eager to write down the truth I was learning.  Not to mention, I’m always looking for an excuse to buy a new journal. Well, I’m super excited to share Every Sacred Sunday with y’all.  It’s a mass journal and it starts this Sunday, and I’m super pumped to take it to mass with me.
  3. I love a good gift guide.  Hannah Brencher made several: one for her, one for him, and one for gifts that give back.  I think they’re worth a look if you’re still doing some holiday shopping.
  4. Where are the Mary Kate and Ashley heartthrobs now? Does anyone else remember when “Freeform” was actually “Fox Family” and they used to play Mary Kate and Ashley marathons on the weekend?  Those were my jam.  Weekends full of Full House and all the best MK & Ash flicks that I grew up on.  Sweet bliss.
  5. Love Brunch?  And making new friends?  Check out But First Let’s Brunch.  My girl Karmyn sent me the link earlier this week and I thought it was a really cool concept.
  6. I loved Parenthood and Friday Night Lights.  They are some of my favorite TV shows.  I’m happy to tell ya Christmas came early, because the producers of FNL and Parenthood have a new show coming to NBC in March. It’s called Rise.
  7. This is probably the best invention ever.  Definitely thinking about investing. Because we all know the hardest part about going through the Chick-fil-A drive through is trying to keep those fries warm until you get where you’re going.  With this nifty gadget, we could just dive on in.
  8. When I was younger, I had a huge obsession with Anastasia.  I absolutely LOVED the song “Once Upon a December,” but I could never remember the words, so I would make my friend Caitlin sing the song to me whenever we hung out (surprisingly, she still hangs out with me).  Finally, I got someone to write down the lyrics for me and for awhile I kept them in my wallet.  All that to say,  Anastasia is coming to Broadway!  And we got a sneak peek of “Once Upon a December” during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  9. I think these scrolls are super cute, and I kinda want to buy one. Might make a great holiday gift or house warming present.
  10. I just ordered a diffuser necklace, and I’m pretty pumped for it to come in. But I think I was more pumped about the price.  I got it from Vitality Extracts. I heard about them from a new friend and immediately started following them on Instagram.

Happy December 1st everyone!  I hope you have a great weekend! Stay safe and warm!  If you happen to be baking Christmas cookies, or sitting by the fire and need some company, hit me up.

Peace,love&fraps,

Ash

frappy friday #13

Happy Wednesday!! We’re celebrating frappy friday a little earlier than usual because of Thanksgiving.  I’m sure you all have big plans for Friday, so I wanted to catch you beforehand.  Maybe you’ll be out shopping in the wee hours of the morn, or perhaps sleeping in still stuck in that food coma.  I might be joining my boyfriend’s family for an early morning hike.  That’s right, you heard me.  I said hike.  I didn’t misspeak. Prayers for that would be greatly appreciated as I’m not much of an outdoors woman.  Or really an outdoors anything.  Stay tuned for how that turns out.  In the meantime, here’s what I have for you:

  1. Have you finished all your holiday shopping? Still need a gift for that one person who is super hard to shop for? Maybe amazon can help.  I might have to gift myself #17 to see if it helps with my back pain.  Also, #23 is mind boggling.
  2. Had lunch with pops yesterday and we tried this new restaurant. It was great! We both got a rice box with the original ponko.  I also give their ranch all the praise hands.  And their slogan:  Where eats meets west.  That is just too good.  Check it out if you get a chance.
  3. May I suggest a short and sweet from muchacho? My girl Audge got one last Saturday, and I got to have a little taste. I’ll definitely be ordering one the next time I go. Heads up, it comes in a super tiny cup. That was unexpected for us, so wanted to give you fair warning.  Also, I highly recommend the breakfast tacos. wowzers. They are delish.
  4. Bought these new pens to use in the new year when I start my bullet journal, and I already love them.  They’re fun to write with and make my everyday hand writing seem fancy.
  5. I scrolled past this article on Facebook, and saved the link to come back to.  Later that same day, my roommate sent it to me in a private message. It talks about what self-care really looks like, and it was something I definitely needed to hear.
  6. In case you need more proof that Adele is the coolest.
  7. I’ve been contemplating buying an apple watch for almost seven months. This article helps you decide if an apple watch is for you.
  8. new year new journal. This article tells you what type of journal is best for you based on your myers briggs. you gotta check it out.
  9.  Priorities. December is just a few days away, and it helps to know all the festive films you can watch on Netflix this year.
  10. Adding this to my must read list. Here’s an excerpt of the description (in case you don’t feel compelled to click on the link): “They expose an honest, softer, somewhat confronting side to social media — a side that we all need to see, a side that we all need to digest, because that is the side that inspires, that is the side that represents who we are.”
  11. Everyone’s favorite duo. Truthfully, they were my favorite pairing this season. All the love for these two.
  12. I feel pretty skeptical about this. I would try it out but I’m going to have to wait till my hair gets a little longer.  If you happen to give it a try, let me know how it works out for you.  I’m curious.
  13. Remember when I mentioned John Krasinski and Emily Blunt would be staring in a film together?  Well, the trailer is here.  I’m not one for horror movies, but I think I’m going to make an exception.

That’s it for today.  I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with full hearts and bellies.  I hope you all know how thankful I am for each of YOU. All my love to you and yours. See you next week!

Peace,love&fraps,

Ash

 

frappy friday #12

Happy Friday to you!  I’ll be completely honest: I’m lagging this week.  I haven’t been able to sleep through an entire night this whole week, so I’m just straight up cranky.  May God bless all those who have had to put up with me this week. BUT, it’s Friday which means its the freaking weekend. AND next week is Thanksgiving, which means a short work week. As Matthew McConaughey says, “Alright, alright, alright.” Grab that coffee, or in my case a Starbucks London Fog Tea Latte, and enjoy the ride. Can I just say, I’m so glad you’re here.  Here’s what I have for you this week:

  1. If you’re looking to buy the perfect gift for the man in your life, look no further: Man Crates has you covered. I bought my brother the Hot & Spicy crate last year for Christmas, and I instantly became sister of the year.  I’m going to have to get him another one for Christmas this year, because I’ve searched high and low for a gift that might top it, but I’m coming up short.  And no worries if your dude isn’t into hot sauce, they have a crate for everything.
  2. It’s always a process getting myself to shower.  Just ask my roommates. These shower products might help bathing seem more enticing
  3. This post about Taylor Swift’s performance on Jimmy Fallon brought me to tears.  Sweet Jimmy.  I love ya.
  4. Dreams do come true.  You can now eat breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  5. Whenever I need motivation, I watch dance videos.  In college, if I needed a study break I watched dance videos or movie trailers. Kyle Hanagami is one of my favorite choreographers.  I hadn’t checked out his page in a while, but I hit the jackpot this week.  I found not only one, two, BUT THREE new dances that I thought I would share with y’all.  oh my goodness. these dances gave me all the chills.
  6. I took the plunge, and bought a notebook so I can start bullet journaling in the new year. I also bought this cover while I was it.  Of course, I originally bought the cover in the this really pretty pale pink, you know, that millennial pink that is all the rage. But I had to return it because it was the wrong size…whoops.  I’m a little upset they didn’t have the pale pink in the bigger size, but I’m gonna work with the florals.
  7. If you need to smile, watch this.
  8. Does anyone want to go to Harry Potter World with me for Christmas?  I’ll wait for you to name a more magical Christmas experience

This week was pretty short.  My messed up sleep schedule is really getting to me.  Regardless, I’m thankful for anytime you spend with me on here.  Have a great weekend.  Catch some zzzzzs.  And have a Happy Thanksgiving.  I’ll catch you next week!

Peace,love&fraps,

Ash

frappy friday #11

Good morning y’all!!! Celebrating frappy friday on a Monday today, because sometimes life happens and you drop the ball, but you gotta give yourself grace and roll with the punches.  So, here we are. Happy Monday folks.  I’m exhausted, but excited to be with ya this fine day.  Grab that extra strong, extra shot of espresso cup of joe and prepare yourself for a great week.  Here’s what I have for you today:

  1. In preparation for all those Friendsgivings that are about to take place.  I went to one this past weekend, and brought mac n’ cheese. Turns out a sign up sheet is extremely important.  Because three other people also brought mac n’ cheese.
  2. I can’t really explain it but I love reading what people do for their morning routines. And I just found a site dedicated to that. I’m terrible at getting up in the morning, and so I think my hope is that by reading what others do I’ll find the magic trick that will help me get my butt up and at ’em in the morning
  3. This is a pretty costly gift. BUT I have all the support for it .
  4. Guys, I’ve heard great things about young living co. Seriously, I’ve never heard a bad word. I just can’t decide if I should jump all in. Commitment is hard.
  5. Do you have a creative job?
  6. I love peoples’ homes. I love going into someone’s house and seeing how they made it their own.  Each house tells a story, and we all know I love a good story.
  7. Here’s a new podcast if you’re in the market for a new one.
  8. These were things I needed to hear as someone who suffers from chronic pain.
  9. I’m sure you are overwhelmed by the new Magnolia collection at Target, and don’t know where to start. Still have yet to go check it out, because I know once I see it I will lose any and all self-control and end up spending more money than I have.
  10. I read this because I was literally falling asleep at my desk.
  11. Since September, I’ve been teaching a confirmation class for 10th graders.  I really love it.  They’re a good group of kids, and I really and truly enjoy my time with them. Now, I can’t say that they feel the same way about our time together, but I’m doing my best.  I’m struggling though.  This past Sunday, one of my girls asked the infamous question, “why do bad things happen to good people?”  I stood in front of my kids and I froze.  This was a question I had asked a thousand times, and now as I was being asked the question, I didn’t know what to say.  Especially with all that is happening around us, I didn’t know what to tell the expectant faces looking back at me.  Faces that were looking to me to provide an answer that would ease their aching hearts and the confusion clouding their thoughts. And for those few brief seconds where I took a pause to collect my thoughts, I panicked.  What am I going to say? I am the absolute wrong person to ask. I’m not a theological scholar, and I don’t have the bible memorized. Heck, I haven’t even read the entire bible. So, I begged the Lord to be with me and prayed for the best. I figured honesty was the best policy, so I told them this is a question I ask myself all the time and one I’m constantly grappling with. I went on to say that the bible doesn’t promise us we will not suffer. But that despite the sufferings we will endure, God, who loves us so much that He sent his only son to die for us, equips us with the hope, community, and strength to endure the suffering. And while you may feel abandoned, I can assure you, that you are never alone. God walks with you through the suffering.  I told them I was learning a lot about lamenting. That the study I am working through has led me to the Psalms.  Where time and time again we see people crying out to the Lord, “why have you forsaken me?”  But in that same breath, while crying out to the Lord, they are also giving him praise. That I’m learning to do that.  I am learning to cry out to the Lord to be near me, while also giving Him praise no matter my circumstances.  And then I told them I loved them and was always here if they needed to talk.
  12. Boy, do I have a story for you. I made these on Tuesday, and it was quite the event.  I was supposed to go to dance class, but I couldn’t get myself there. Not because my car broke down or because traffic was bad, I just didn’t have the strength to muster up the energy to go and be active. So, like always, the guilt immediately started to set in.  I was sitting on the couch, watching my crazy ex-girlfriend, speaking lies to myself.  Headed towards a downward spiral fast.  Well, that HAD to stop. So, I jumped up, grabbed my car keys, and headed to Whole Foods. I picked up all the ingredients that the recipe called for and headed back home to make these suckers.  What I thought would be a quick and easy cooking sesh turned out to be this long, exhausting process that made me want to sit on the kitchen floor, curl up in a ball, and cry.  Everything was going great until it came time to use my food processor.  I will note that my food processor is older than I am.  My mom gifted it to me when she got herself an upgrade. Essentially what happened, to make a long story short, is that my food processor stopped working, and then I panicked and tried a blender-which was very unsuccessful. At this point its like 10:30 at night and I just want to go bed, but I’ve dirtied up all these dishes, and my fat ball mix is not blending.   Determined not to give up, I roll the chunky batter into balls and throw them into the freezer.  So, while mine look nothing like the beautiful photo on Instagram, because they were not blended AT ALL, they still tasted good and I’m up for the challenge to try making them again, this time *fingers crossed* properly. Say a prayer for my food processor and that it has one more blend in it.

That’s it! See you in a few short days for our regularly scheduled programming!

Peace,love&fraps,

Ash