The Season of Change

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” 
― Robert Tew

Hey. Hi. Hello.

It’s been awhile since I last published on this space. But it feels like the thing to start doing now that life has significantly changed.

So what has changed?

My better half was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery and has been declared cancer free in a mere two week period. All of this happening grossly close to the Christmas holiday and during a busy work period for me. Isn’t life funny like that? It always makes you slow down and take stock of what is really important at the most inopportune times.

But that is why I’m writing now. I want to be able to share all the things we learn about how to live our best life as we prepare for routine scans and the anxiety that comes with that. It’s just another season of life, but it won’t slow us down for one minute.

So what does this season of life look like?

To be honest, I’m not really sure. I know I want to be in the moment more than ever before. I know I don’t want to dwell on the little things. I know I don’t want to worry over what people think. I know I want to live my best life with Brad and our puppies in our home that we share. I know we will be eating very clean. I know we will start a routine of exercising (yoga for me…not sure what Brad will want to do once he is fully recovered from surgery.)

And I know this is the space, as well as my Adventures to Wellness Facebook page, where I will share what we are doing to accomplish and thrive during this new season.

Gratitude for All the People

A cancer diagnosis for someone as young as Brad is super unsettling. Most people don’t really know what to say to us. So they just not to say anything (not judging, just an observation) or they say something off the wall. It can be quite comical. And yet I feel a little guilty typing that out because so many people have been so good to us during this time. It’s just the truth.

There is a small population of people that know exactly what to say and how to say it. Very, very small. And I can say we have been blessed beyond measure on having key people in that category. And people in the category of just coming to spend time with us….because spending time is the most valuable thing someone can do for another person.

The Restart

When I thought about what I wanted to say in this first post, nothing really feels adequate. Most starts or restarts are horribly awkward. (This one is shaping up to be pretty awkward, too.) I’ve found, most of the time, the fear is in starting.

I’ve started over on this blog lots of times, but no other time has it been more important to me than now.

2019 will be the year of weeding out what and who doesn’t serve, grow or make me happy.

I know that’s a bold statement. But when the one person you love most in the world faces a scary beast like cancer and wins, you have to celebrate life because every single day from here on out is a gift. A straight up gift.

So what can you expect to see here?

  • Paleo and Ketogenic recipes and food content
  • Clean eating philosophies
  • Clean beauty and skin care for men and women (B’s tumor affected his endocrine system)
  • Books on gut health, general health and wellness, food, personal development and spiritual development
  • Outside resources (mostly on the Facebook page) we feel warrant sharing with a larger audience
  • Life updates on B’s condition, our life, etc.

This space will be what I intended it to be when I first conceived the idea. It will be with some regularity, but maybe not daily, and I welcome you to follow along.

This is no longer just my space of wellness, but Brad’s, too. And, ultimately, yours…if you want to be a part of it.

With all my love and positive energy,
Ashten

Show Me Your Friday Face

We made it to Freedom Day…also known as Friday. Woo whoo!

This week has been hard on me. Like crazy hard. My day job has been crazy. I’m working hard on my side hustle with Beautycounter after I get home. I feel like I need a mental break. But this too shall pass .

I’ve been switching my my eyeshadow every few days since I got the gorgeous Winter Jewels Palette from Beautycounter. But I’m gravitating to certain ones over and over again.

In the Winter Jewels Palette, I’m completely in love with the Rose Gold eyeshadow. I’m wearing only that and the Volumizing Mascara in the photo above.

But I recently got the Nude Eye Trio from the Holiday Collection. The nude cream eye shadow is to die for. It’s the color of my dreams. Neutral with a hint of gray. I hope they keep those two shades after the holidays are over.

If you haven’t checked out the Holiday Collection, I highly recommend that you do. Everything is so gorgeous. Perfect for stockings. I can make recommendations for the special people in your life. So let’s give the gift of clean beauty.

Anyway, I didn’t intend for this to be a Beautycounter post, but I’m just really loving everything they’ve got going right now.

Happiest of Fridays, friends!

Weekend Wonders

Lazy weekends are my jam.

I love being able to totally check out. This weekend was the coldest one we’ve had so far, and I was excited to finally break out a big scarf and my favorite winter hat.

But the only thing I look forward to during the cooler months is a fire in the fireplace.

Since it was the first true cold snap of the season, we kept a fire going all weekend long. From now on, we are going to have Fire Fridays, which consist of a date night out for dinner and then home to a fire and whatever goodness we want to watch on Netflix. Right now, we are rationing out Stranger Things 2. And when I say rationing, I mean one episode per night.

Annie is loving this whole lazy weekend thing we’ve decided to pursue. She spent her time all cuddled up in blankets on my lap. But seriously, I can’t handle her cuteness. When I took this picture, I was whispering sweet nothings to her about how pretty she is. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Brad didn’t even bat an eye at this. It’s simply my normal behavior when it comes to my puppy bear.

Keeping with the lazy weekend theme, I bought on of Honey Pies’ Chicken Pot Pies from Me and McGee Market.

Run. Don’t walk. Run to Honey Pies on Bowman Road in Little Rock or to Me & McGee Market to get yourself this deliciousness.

I would love to tell you that we had leftovers. But that would be a complete lie.

We ate every single bit of this gorgeous pie in a matter of minutes.

Is it Whole30 approved?

No.

Is it gluten-free?

No.

Is it dairy-free?

No.

Was it worth every single bite?

Absolutely.

That, my friends, is exercising food freedom. Finding balance with food is hard. I posted a live video the other day expressing my struggles with eating healthy. So I’m truly getting back on the wagon, and I’m working hard to make sure I have food prepped and ready to go. Part of the issues I’ve been having is not packing a healthy lunch, getting caught up a work and settling for less-than-stellar foods and forgetting to thaw our meat for our weeknight dinners.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. And I do. I need to 5-Second Rule myself to get my act together when it comes to meals and meal prep. If I can do it flawlessly during Whole30, I can do it any other time. I can’t for the life of me figure out why healthy choices are so difficult to make sometimes. And why making good choices during a Whole30 seems easier than any other time. Anyone have any insights into that?

It’s amazing how easily excuses creep. How I can talk myself out of cooking dinner and going out to eat. How I can’t say no to a donut or cookie even thought I’m not hungry at all. How reintroducing sugars, even in the natural forms, can make daydream of sweets during my afternoon coffee breaks at work.

The mental attachments to certain foods are long-lasting. It gives us a glimpse of just how powerful the mind really is when it comes to attachments and habits. I remind myself that I must exercise making healthy choices like I exercise my body. The mind is merely a muscle that can be trained to be stronger. And while I practice I keep telling myself…I think I can. I think I can. I know I will. I know I will.

What do you do to help you make healthy choices? Any tips or tricks?

Building Community

Living in a small community has its perks.

I love the fact that I have a wonderful farmers market in my rural community. There are actually several, but I do have a favorite one.

And they take community seriously.

They took the time to host a community breakfast. And it was the most gorgeous set up I’ve seen. Surrounded by fall decor and pretty fall flowers, 50 people in our small community came together at a place we all love to eat breakfast and fellowship.

And it was absolutely beautiful. Cold, but beautiful. We had so much fun, and the food was all locally sourced.

I was all bundled up in my favorite winter hat, and Brad was looking mighty fine, too, even with his crazy eyes. We really have a hard time taking a “good” picture together. You’d think after two years we would have it figured out, but we definitely don’t.

Brad’s mom LaDonna was there, too. And so was his dad. And it was the perfect way to spend a cold Saturday morning.

We had coffee and omelets and homemade apple bread and locally sourced sausage, bacon and ham. And lots more. The good news is you can get all of that and more at Me & McGee Market in North Little Rock. I don’t do my shopping anywhere else. And I like it that way.

Eating locally sourced produce and meats has been so good for us. I can definitely say we have kept better eating habits since “cutting the cord” with the grocery store. And we have made some amazing friendships since spring. I can’t imagine not going to my favorite little farmers’ market now that it has become such a staple to my routine.

What are Saturday morning traditions? Do you shop local?

Join the Movement

When I joined Beautycounter, I didn’t realize how much it would change my life.

I’m so inspired. Inspired by women empowering other women. Our team works hard. And we work even harder to cheer each other on. I had no idea I would be joining such a strong, motivated group of women. And in the short time I’ve been around them, I’ve noticed changes for the better in myself.

Not only does my skin look the best it ever has in my 29.75 years, my team has inspired me to share my journey with Beautycounter, healthy eating and exercise. I practice a morning routine that has changed my outlook on everyday. And my workouts have been more consistent.

When you surround yourself with people who strive to be the best versions of themselves, you get the itch to do it, too.

And here’s the best part…

The team wants to see me succeed and be the best version of myself because they truly care about my business, my health and my wellness.

And I want you to experience it. Joining my team would bring me so much joy because I could share this amazing business and team with you.

The products work. I’m living proof. But the real reason to join is to be part of the social mission to get safer products to everyone. And to surround yourself with likeminded people.

Now is the time to join my team. Be a part of this movement. This amazing culture of women.

Get products at a discount. Earn some extra income. Share the products and business with your friends and family. Be a light for demanding better beauty and personal care products. Become part of an amazing tribe of women who build each other up.

Send me a message if you want more information.

Or go ahead and join something amazing.