Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tattoos - A Personal Decision

I wanted to express with all of you my thoughts on tattoos, as well as my personal experiance with them. Each person has the right to their own opinion, and to choose whether or not a tattoo is for them. It is a very personal decision. And those that have chosen to go ahead with a tattoo (or two, or three!) have every right to do it without ridicule from those who have chosen against it.

To me a tattoo is something that takes a lot of forethought. To make the decision hastily could result in anger, resentment, guilt, or regret. Tattoos are for the most part permanent, and they often times affect your career/job and even your social/love life. So time should be taken to decide what you want, and where you want it.

For me the decision was easy, I definetly wanted a tattoo. But where? I wasnt sure. And what, who knows! I mulled over the idea for years, until December 2008, when I finally made the leap and lost my tattoo virginity! And I couldnt be happier! My artist Matt Wood (of Nathans Anthems***) was amazing. I went in with a picture and some words, and he turned it into a masterpiece. I have never regretted the decision, but I also took TONS of time choosing where I wanted it done too, and made the investment. A lot of people think having a friend do it for cheap is the way to go, but I have seen several that ended up with staff infections and serious scarring. So do your research and use common sense. If your gut feeling says no to a person or place, then leave, you dont need an excuse and no one will blame you.

Now Im sure Ive got you all curious and wondering what my tattoo is of. So here it is!

This photo was taken a day or two afterwards I believe, its still a bit pink. It stung just a bit afterwards but didnt really bother me at all (unlike my husband who whined about his for days) and amazingly the whole process was fairly painless, just uncomfortable and time consuming. Funny enough, it actual tickled a bit as he first started the tattoo. I was so afraid of it hurting, but to quote my artist, "Youve had a baby right?! Then this will be easy!"

The footprint is my sons, the one taken at the hospital when he was born. The words read, "My life changed because of you." Then his name, Kaelen (not Kaden as a friend had mistaken), and his birthday. I brought Matt the footprint and the sentence, but he designed the shape/script and he helped me decide the best place to put it. We chose my lower left back/hip area. After having my son I knew I wanted some sort of dedication to him via a tattoo, and this turned out perfect. Unlike a husband, I think its impossible to regret your childs name. No matter how life turns out or what trouble he may get into, I could never stop loving him.

The only person that voiced any objection to my tattoo was my mother, and not for the obvious reason. In fact, her concern was that if I have six more kids, Ill have no room for a tattoo of all their feet. Im not sure where she got the idea Id have six more kids, but if it turns out to be true I have a feeling Id be stretched out and big enough to make room for them! So anyway, thats my only tattoo for now. I love it, its so unique and special to me. Thanks for reading this, and feel free to share your stories with me. Id love to hear about your experiances! And if you are interested in the shop I went to, keep reading!

Oh and if youre wondering how accurate the footprint was to the real deal, look below!

***Nathans Anthems is in Downtown Redding, California. They do custom work as well as piercings, have incredibly high standards, and their certifications go above and beyond the industry standard. If you are in Northern California you should stop by, my tattoo is even in Matts portfolio!

Beauty Reviews

I have had the privilege of discovering many useful tips and ideas through various blogs as well as YouTube videos, but one downside is you have to keep track of or subscribe to multiple people and when you are curious about a specific product there really isn't any way of searching for it that way. And even if there is, one person is less likely to list such a diverse amount of products. So whats a girl to do?!

Go to totalbeauty.com

It lists TONS of different companies and products and you can do a personal review and/or rating, or just check out other what other people think. It allows you to search for products as well so when you see a commercial and go "gee, that looks great, but is it really?" then you can quickly log on to Total Beauty and find out what hundreds of other ladies all over the place think. Very useful, and it has saved me from making what would have been several regrettable purchases!

I must say though, reading in-depth blogs and watching how well products do or don't work is so invaluable. I must commend those ladies (and guys!) who bust their butts keeping up with blogs and vlogs and beauty hauls. You save so many of us the trouble, and the money. Honestly, you all have made such a difference in my life. And I know that sounds corny, but its true!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Whats up with companies and their 'line' of green products?

So here I am, watching a commercial, when one comes on talking about their sulfate-free line of shampoo/conditioner (Pantene I think). If it is so good for you, then why not make the collections you already have sulfate free? It doesn't necessarily mean the formula would be any less effective! Then another talking about how some face washes leave a residue but this new one of theirs doesn't (Olay? lol I should have written these down!). Okay gross, so although you were trying to make other companies look bad, you instead made a mockery of yourself...seeing as all the rest of your products are likely to be formulated quite similar to other companies. So how about giving all your products the 'deep clean' advantage? And then there was the Campbell's commercial with their new line of natural soups....why not nix the nasties you mention out of ALL your soups? So what gives?!

Why cant a company revamp their ENTIRE collection of products, reformulate to be more user and environmentally friendly? Yes yes, I know. Its costly and complicated to switch, but isn't it worth it? And look at all these companies that have been green and friendly all along, and their profits are through the roof! So you would think that it would behoove them to do so. But nooooo. If they could convince me these product lines were just the beginning of a complete company eco-overhaul, then I might humor them.

Until then I shall make my own soups and whip up my own beauty recipes (Ill blog on these later if you re interested!); and seek out companies that are not only greener, but hire more intelligent marketing staff!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Green Home - Beeswax Globe Candle - Carved Seasonal

Green Home - Beeswax Globe Candle - Carved Seasonal

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Leavenworth, Washington

I was up early and thought Id share this intriguing find!

As I adjust to Washington state, I continue my search for new places to explore. Thinking about this Fall and how it will be my first away from relatives, I'm trying to find fun activities for my husband, son, and I to enjoy. And then I saw an ad for a city brimming with a captivating history, Leavenworth! It is approximately 2.5 hours away from Seattle to the Northeast, set in a valley with gorgeous views of the mountains. Exceptionally sunny summers (compared to the rest of Washington) and stunningly snowy winters. And on top of that, it has a whimsical Bavarian theme along with the Alpine backdrop, making it the perfect tourist getaway without going too far from home!

There are many festivals throughout the year, and from the pictures I have seen their Christmas lights display is awe-inspiring! If you are a fellow Washingtonian, or have the opportunity to travel, I suggest checking this lovely hamlet out! Its positively charming and I really do hope to make a weekend trip of it this Fall/Winter.

The tourism website is Leavenworth.org


Friday, September 25, 2009

Life is about the journey, not just the destination!

Hi everyone! My name is Ashley. This is my first (non-Myspace) blog, so bear with me as I fumble and relearn the lost art of writing and expression through words, rediscover myself, explore new ideas, vent, ramble, etc. I intend to update at least weekly, but hope eventually to treat this more as a public journal and write daily!

I would like to begin with a basic introduction and then follow it up with a general rant/explanation of who I am and whats currently going on in my life. In the near future I will branch out to cover many topics. From health, exercise, fashion, and entertainment to gardening, pets, and Eco-friendly topics. Id even like to talk some about parenting and being a military wife, and maybe a little neutral religion and politics. I'm not sure where the future will take me, so as time goes on I expect for this blog to take on many faces. Basically, this is just my life blog!

So here it goes....I was born in Texas in 1988 to both a mother and father serving in the US Army. Shortly after both my parents left the the military they divorced and I grew up with my mom as my custodial parent, but visited my dad for a month every summer. I have lived in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Southern AND Northern California, and now Washington. I am the wife of an Airmen First Class (who is two months my junior) in the United States Air Force, and the mother to a little boy born in 2007.

I am currently a SAHM (stay at home mom) due to our new military lifestyle, but have worked for a movie theater, a veterinary clinic, and an elementary school. I attended a junior college in California for my transfer prerequisites and would like to soon start up at a junior college here in Washington, and eventually go for my Bachelors in Animal Science at a university.

I care deeply for the environment and animals, and am working towards being more 'green' and Eco-friendly. Currently I am a pet parent to a lovely cat named Duchess, a goofy dog named Zippo, as well as a crazy little rat. All of them have been adopted, and that will always be how I bring new pets into my life. I also have two horses and, although I have no professional training, am a fairly decent rider!

So yeah, that's me in a nutshell, a little bit of everything! If any of you ever want to know a little more about me feel free to ask. Or if you have a specific topic you might like my opinion on, just let me know! Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read all of this, Id appreciate your feedback!