Ronin Cooking is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Owned by Brian and Amanda light, a husband and wife team, they offer a thoughtful and jovial approach to dinning. Ronin Cooking is settled on a 15 acre piece of land and offers a dreamy setting with their hand built barns that have been repurposed. Read more and even book a moonlight dinner for 2015 at ronincooking.com.
Our Tennessee vacation will always be a sweet memory for many reasons. Mostly because, besides our honeymoon, it was our first vacation together! A vacation with friends to make it that much better. I shared Jeff & Jordan's session a few weeks ago, but loved this collection of personal photos from our time in Tennessee. I have always enjoyed traveling and taking in the unique details that mark different regions of the World but I must say...it's so much better with my adventure guide, B.
Our time was filled with laughter, exploring, food tasting, celebrating Independence with new friends, chasing chickens, catching fireflies, and so many other things unique to Tennessee.
One of my favorite days was spent in the Smoky Mountains touring by way of automobile and logged a few miles by foot. Okay, maybe one mile. I'm not known to be the most outdoorsy of our bunch. I was thinking it was a pretty good decision once the Black Bear cub decided to wonder right in front of our truck. The Smokies give a very mystical feeling while driving through winding roads along miles of tall, lush, and green trees.
I always knew I had a sweet place in my heart for southern touches, but Knoxville made that southern love greater!
Per request of a few, I'm posting my first "personal" post with a look into our little home and a few of my most recent DIY projects. I love photography and a very close second is design! I often get a little on the silly side of the spectrum when thinking of names for things. I landed on "Our Little A+Bode" for any personal home design posts, it's fun and brings a little giggle. I love the word Abode and we are A+B...well technically B+A because my hubby always comes before me, but it works. I've so dreaded this type of post for awhile because I've always thought, who really cares about my little projects anyways. I know....sounds terrible, but true! Until, I was encouraged by a few loving ladies in my life that changed my perspective. I love being a design diva on a budget, it's quite a fun game to me! Waiting months to find the perfect piece that's really not perfect until I repaint it, change the handles, or get it for less than I set in my mind to pay for it. I realized not everyone thinks the way I do in terms of the single digit thrift shop finds or the dreaded but so loved pieces you just can't get rid of. Upon this realization, I decided to share parts of our design journey and my thought process behind the pieces to maybe help you start thinking the same way too!
I'll start by introducing you to Annie Sloan products! Ya'll, I'm in Love. Pictured below is the Soft Wax that I used to add a finishing touch on the projects you'll see but her Chalk Paint is fantastic. My favorite color is the French Linen. It's not the average chalk paint. Annie Sloan chalk paint sticks to just about any surface! Which means if you are a dream it up....finished project with little time in between, person like me this product is a dream!
My favorite new addition to our bedroom...I've claimed it as mine because I love it so much and quite possibly because I have too many clothes.
Silly me, I didn't save the before photo but it looked something like this for $125 on Craigslist.
After we added two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen and a few Home Depot drawer pulls I love it!
We received the "M" as a wedding gift but I wasn't sold on just having it hang on the wall alone. So, my handy hubby helped me make this from an old canvas I had painted in college that was in need of some change. I first covered the canvas with left over tissue I had from Anthropologie shopping trips, which I cut into 1" strips. Brent helped me mount the "M" safely on to the canvas. For a more personal finishing touch, I added the photos and our vows handwritten on some extra paper we had. Altogether, it was about a $13 art piece with a fun personal touch.
Our Newest Adventure
Today is such a big and exciting day! I am so thrilled to share my new brand as well as the sweet things the Lord has put on my heart over the past few months that tie into what he began about 4 years ago.
Now, I am far more gifted with capturing things in images than words. I challenged myself to a post without photos for that reason. Hopefully these words will convey my heart of joy and new faith for what the Lord has for us in this season!
I will forever cherish the sweet memories and exponential growth during the time my business was known as Ashley Lauren Photography.
Today is the beginning of an exciting new Journey and I hope that in some way you can join it with us! There have been many moments over the past few years I dreamed of pursing photography and design full time, each thought quickly ending by a huge wave of fear.
Yes, Fear! My tender, type a, personality was always seeking a glowing feel good moment of "Arrival". Brent and I were extremely encouraged by the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life in thinking through our new life together and beginning 2014. The book encourages you to choose one word for the year and share with those who are close in your life to help keep you accountable. I happened to land on SIMPLIFY. In 2014, I hope to Simplify all the areas of my life by retraining the way I think and respond to things. I believe by thinking through things more simply will challenge me to remove my, often over emotional, feelings from decisions and focus on truths sitting in front of me. As I applied the concept of "SIMPLIFY" to my business, I quickly realized there will never be a moment of "Arrival" but actually an always changing journey. just like life.
In all honesty, this wasn't an ah-ha moment but a season of wresting with breaking down an ever so large mindset of arrival and perfection. I had to set my emotions aside and cling to the large truth lingering within simplifying my thoughts. In doing so and alongside the encouragement of many, I was able to clearly move towards things I felt the Lord was stirring in my heart regarding what business as Ashley Monogue would look like.
I love resting in the truth that Ashley Monogue, LLC will be a journey and knowing that just as every other journey there will be challenging times, moments of mistakes, but even better moments of sweet rejoicing in our Lord's faithfulness through it all. A journey takes faith and I am so thankful that faith will triumph over the waves of fear.
I'm excited for you to follow our journey in hopes that it will be a sweet encouragement for the areas in your life where there are waves of fear.