Family Photo Planning – fall 2020

It’s that time of year again – school starting, summer ending, and FAMILY PHOTO PLANNING! I just booked a Fall Mini Session with one of my fave photogs Danya of Danya Chen Photography, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Danya took these incredible pics for us last fall in Golden Gate Park, and I can’t wait to see her work some photo magic again this year. And because I’m craving a creative outlet lately, I wasted no time getting started with outfit planning.

Our pics are scheduled for mid-October when I’ll be 9 months pregs, i.e. HUGE. Pregnant me swells all over and bloats up big and puffy, so finding a dress with comfy stretch and modest coverage was my challenge.

After some trial and error I landed on an affordable ASOS option – fingers crossed it still fits in a couple months! And for the boys – coordinating casual fall outfits that are perfect for a wooded park setting.

Maternity Dress | gold sneakers (old), but LOVE this Veja ones! | toddler blue sweater | toddler joggers | Adidas toddler sneakers | kids’ henley sweater | kids’ textured pant | kids’ Gazelle sneaker | quarter zip cashmere sweater | men’s slim fit T | men’s slim straight jeans | men’s runners

Can’t wait for picture day! It’s so fun to have an event to look forward to these days 🙂


thanks for the reminder

IMG_3589This pic from 10 years ago popped up in Facebook today.  Loads of memories and heavy feels came back.  I think in some ways how I felt then is similar to what lots of folks are probably feeling now:  frustrated, down, tired.

Summer 2010 was frustrating for me.  I felt stuck.  Stuck in my career, stuck in a town I wanted to leave, stuck in my overall situation, and despite all my efforts to move forward, the universe just kept flicking me back.

I had a good job, but I dreamed of working at an international company, and those opportunities seemed to be in bigger cities.  The housing market crashed and I couldn’t afford to sell my condo to move.  Desperate, I rented my condo and stayed with a friend while I looked for jobs in other cities.  I was OBSESSED with creating change in my life.

Running was my stress release, my outlet.  I was getting faster and going farther, until I literally couldn’t.  At the end of what was an otherwise incredible 8 mile run, my foot gave out.  I crawled the quarter mile home.  Stress fracture.

I took my dog Bisou to the park near where I was staying and just sat there for a bit feeling sorry for myself.

Thinking back though, it was also during that time that I got real clarity on what I wanted for the next steps in my life.  I spent those months hyper focused on visualizing where I wanted to be in 6 and 12 months, and I resolved to inch myself forward on that path.  I reluctantly accepted help from others, and I realized what an incredible support system I have in lifelong friends.  

I opened up with my boss about my career goals and desire to move.  It felt like potential job suicide at the time, but because I was clear in my goals, and honest with my boss on what I wanted to achieve, he was able to be a more helpful and effective mentor.  

Six months later I was on a Southwest flight headed to San Francisco.  I had 2 suitcases of stuff, a 2 day hotel voucher, no savings, and was arguably in financial distress – but I was inching forward along my path.

Lots of awesome happened in the 10 years since I sat by that creek with my busted foot.  Challenges and heartbreak happened too.  During tough times I am particularly grateful for what that summer taught me:

Stay stubbornly focused on goals, and recognize and appreciate the positives along the way.  They’re always there.  

View album “Recents”

This is the 2010s reflection I posted at the turn of the decade.  Admittedly, 2020 is not what I expected.  Pandemics, amirite?

Still I am super inspired by the resiliency of local shops pivoting their business models, and by friends and family members who have up and made BIG life changes recently.

I am reminded and encouraged to keep dreaming, setting goals, and striving to step forward no matter what the universe throws my way.

Thank you, next.

– ash

current work uniform: the bodysuit

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 2.51.13 PM

long and lean blazer | bodysuit | agolde jeans | espadrilles | neverfull

I bought my first bodysuit this week.  Then promptly bought 2 more.  The Irwin bodysuit at Aritzia is my current go-to, I love the square neckline.  It’s such a great basic to wear under a crisp blazer.

One of my absolute fave Veronica Beard blazers is on sale now!!  Their blazers aren’t cheap, but they are very well made and super versatile!  Pair the blazer with a hoodie dickey to master biz casual.

What’s your current office uniform?



summer obsession: maxi dress + espadrilles

Hiya!  Summer is here, and in SF we got a few days of HOT, and now it’s foggy again.  Didn’t take much sun to get me obsessing over a fun and flirty summer outfit…

embroidered maxi dress

embroidered maxi dress

This dress is landed in my inbox c/o an anthro emailer and I can’t stop thinking about it.  The embroidery, the ruffles, the breezy skirt.  LOVE.  Pretty sure it’s only a matter of time before I buy it.

Marc Fisher espadrilles


I have seen so many bloggers prancing around in these espadrilles and I’ve been having serious FOMO.  During last week’s heatwave I ordered a pair 😉

What are your summer fashion obsessions?



day of love

It’s almost valentine’s day! So, here’s an easy post you can send to your spouse/boyfriend/whomever and just say “pick something!” in the subject line 🙂

  1. Chocolates. Candy. Do I need to say more?
  2. Jewelry. A gorgeous bracelet, funky bracelet, charm necklace, or fancy or funky ring!
  3. Home goods! A cozy blanket or two or a sweet smelling candle!
  4. Cozy or sexy things. Whether its a set of silky cozy pjs or some sexy lingerie like this, or this– all are winners!
  5. Then- lets not forget FLOWERS and a sweet, handwritten card. This is honestly my favorite.



holiday cards!


photos: Bella Life  |  cards:  Minted

Are the holiday cards starting to arrive and you’re wishing you’d done one?  It’s not too late!!  Holiday cards are typically sent as early as Thanksgiving and continue through the end of January.

Traveling for the holidays?  Snap some amazing pics and put together a “Cheers to the New Year” photo card to send out when you get back.

I absolutely love getting holiday cards!  I lay them out on the credenza as they come in and look through them all season long.

And if you need help with photos, check out Bella Baby/Bella Life.  I love love love how our pics turned out!

– ash