May 28, 2011

Raised on the ways and gentle kindness of a small-town Southern man.

Oh, heyyyyyy. Photo courtesy of Bearings.

This is what happens in my head when I walk past the men's clothing section:

"Oh. My. Gosh. That shirt is so freakin' attractive. I just wanna look for a minute..."
"Really, Ashlyn? Why? You do not have a boyfriend. A brother. Your father does not need that."
"But it's so pretty. Five minutes. Ahhhh--LOOK AT THAT ONE! And those bowties! Hot. I'm melting."
"Yeah. You still don't need to waste time. Have you run yet today? You should probably go run now."

I mean, classic girl: I see clothes that would look good on a handsome guy and my mind starts clicking--these pants, that shirt, with some perfect driving mocs and we in bidness.

Thus when I got tipped of to Bearings, "a Southern lifestyle guide for men," at around noon in Atlanta this week, I became a subscriber by 9 p.m. Duh.

Launched by two Atlanta gents in 2008, Bearings celebrates the slightly-rough-around-edges-but-I'll-open-every-door-for-ya-darlin' well-dressed Southern boy we all know and love. The weekly newsletter pops up in your inbox every other Thursday (just enough, yes?) and features a well-editted list of 5 uncluttered elements. Think, DailyCandy--but for a Southern fella.

Whiskey. Photo courtesy of Bearings.

Because I know there are guys that read this blog (and I love your "good post, ash" texts),
I recommend you subscribe.

I was lucky enough to chat with one of the creators, and got a heads up that while Atlanta and Nashville boast personalized city newsletters, more are on the way. Until then, the Southeast version will float ya just fine.

Dove huntin'. But don't say that first word to my dogs. Else they will go absolutely balistic. Photo courtesy of Bearings.

Bring on the button-down-wearing, outdoorsy, dog-lovin', well-mannered, liquor-handling, grill-mastering MAN. And then tell him to read Bearings.

Or, uh, if you're me, just read it anyway.

Blog post title: Yes, that is Alan Jackson. Which is a dang-good concert, for the record.

May 26, 2011

The PARISH project (aka How I Wound Up Temporarily in Interior Design).

Photo courtesy of PARISH.

So. In the meantime, I'm spending my glamorous hours in this deep South city launching a few marketing and publicity efforts for the incredible (and yes, glamorous) Ashley Gilbreath.

Which means I'm dabbling in interior design.
Oh my.
You interior design people and your crazy world.
I'm learnin' at lighting speed.

Tall, blonde, and whip-thin with style dripping from her every word, Ashley is one of Montgomery's premier designers, and a huge role model to me: great marriage, precious-baby-girl-Cates, and an absolute killa in her field. Her designs? Probably (and by probably I mean exactly-could-not-be-more-perfect) precisely the style I would like my future house and apartment to emmulate.

Lots of neutral.
Lots of exposed wood.
Lots of natural materials.

Photos courtesy of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design.

The girl's got style, am I right or am I right? Love it.

So if you're in Montgomery, venture out to this community:

Hampstead Development
sustainable community from the planners of Seaside & Rosemary Beach

Photo courtesy of Kim Box Photography--love y'all!

and hit up 5272 Hampstead High Street for looks like this:


and this chandelier that I am crushin' on:

Photos courtesy of PARISH and Kim Box Studio.

Swoon. PARISH is legit, huh? I'm a lucky girl.

So get ready: You'll be the first to know when our blog launches and the new website for Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design and PARISH goes live.

'Til then:

p.s. The interview? Went incredibly well, all thanks to Jesus. I'll keep y'all posted, but I do want to extend a huge, HUGE gracias to everyone who commented/emailed/Facebooked/texted about a prayer said or best wishes. So sweet. :)

May 24, 2011

Forever young is in your mind.

Photo courtesy of Helllo Beautiful.

Job interview tomorrow--in the rockin' city of ATL! Cheesy confession: When I turn that final I-85 corner into the city and see the skyline, my heart melts. Every time. I love Atlanta.

Unfortunately, this:

Turqouise and Caicos nailpolish photo courtesy of Essie.
Nailpolish-during-The-Bachelorette loan spanks to my bestie Bec.

...nailpolish color is a negative ghostrider. Peace out, sea foam green nails. You were fantastic for one whole entire day.

And the feather extensions I was going to get should also probs hold off until after I interview.

Photo courtesy of Grace and Ivy.

And maybe I'll wear something other than Strawberry LipSmakers on my lips. Ya think?

Glad I'm basically 8.

Blog post title: "Forever Young" by Jay-Z. But you knew that, right?

This dry and desert land, I tell myself keep walkin' on.

Photo courtesy of Because I'm Addicted.

I have to be really honest with you about something.
Guess it was back when I used to rock my plaid skirt and crested cardigan at Trinity. I distinctly remember popcorn-reading Joshua in class. And some kid got the verse with this word: Hamstringing. I have no clue how many years have passed. But this noun has reserved a spot in my mind-catalog ever since. Essentially, hamstringing is a war technique where the muscle in question is sliced. Dunno 'bout you, but that phrase alone makes my legs feel immobile. Crippled. Ever felt like that?

Lately, that word's been on my mind.
I'm hamstringed (hamstrung?).

I've got a month until I jet out to Phoenix for my last ADPi work trip, but 'til then? Welp. Just job searchin', kinda. Pretending I don't really live in a city I swore I'd never reside in between college and family life. A city I know like the back of my hand. A city where your last name goes ahead and gives people a sketch of who you are before you pop your mouth open.

To a 22-year-old, adventure-hungry, travel-loving, firecracker-type girl?
This is rough.

I know that desert.
I'm being fed that manna. Manna I don't want. Manna I've never seen before.
"To humble and test me so that in the end it might go well with me."
Good land will come.
Because You caused me to hunger.
So You could feed me this manna.
Because You discipline me in love.

I feel like I'm already in that Phoenix desert. There is a heart-change going on inside of me now. One I pray--PRAY--that when this sweet, aching spell breaks, I'll remember. Because I'm absolutely at His feet every day.

Seeing that maybe I'm home to face giants.
Giants, aka "Lessons I Hate Learning."
But lessons that are 1 Corinthians 13 in nature:
To learn again how to submit.
To learn how to seek the opposite of myself.
To look materialism in the eye (more on this later).
To learn patience.

David faced his giant with You. Teach me how to face my giants, Lord.

Because for now, I'm okay in this desert. I'm okay crawled up in the shadow of Your wings.

"This dry and desert land, I tell myself keep walking on.
Hear something up ahead, water falling like a song.
An everlasting stream / Your river carries me home,
All my fountains are in You."
- Chris Tomlin, "All My Fountains"

And if you feel stranded, you should go read Deut. 8. Because you're really not stranded at all.

That's all.

May 20, 2011

And then the beat comes, and then she's movin' on the dance floor.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest. The most addictive site on the internet.

What: 5.2011 Playlist
Used: When I was baking cookies the other day in a sports bra and tennis skirt with a glass of wine. Don't you wish you were unemployed? Kiddin'. That was a low-blow even to myself. :(

1. White Dress :: Ben Rector {Chyupp. Still numero uno on my playlist. Fave part? The build-up to "she's comin' on Frriiiiidayyyyy."}
2. The Beat :: Ben Rector {To continue telling you my fave lines, "her heart is broken but she won't say that..."}
3. She Is :: Ben Rector {Aaand: "She wrote the book on hard-to-get."}
4. Loving You :: Ben Rector

--Aight. Leh's be real: Just go 'head and add "Anything by Ben Rector." If a man can do this below, he is a permanent winner on my musicians list. Meg, Emi, and I saw him in Atlanta the other weekend. Boy sounds just as legit in person as he does on Grooveshark. In my well-educated, total-Samford-girl opinion*, he outshone Matt Wertz, who went on after him.

*You should know that every Samford University girl goes through the following initiation: Fall in love freshman year with Matt Wertz and Dave Barnes, and smile with them after the show for a pic as they visit Samford Country Club annually. If you don't do that, your diploma is lying. Lo siento. You didn't really graduate from Samford.
5. Crazy Girl :: Eli Young Band
6. Honey Bee :: Blake Shelton
7. For the First Time :: The Script {That is a dang-lotta emotion for one song.}
8. Barefoot Blue Jean Night :: Josh Owen
9. Dirt Road Anthem :: Jason Aldean
10. You've Had What You Need :: The Classic City Collection {THIS IS A JESUS SONG. Next fun fact: So. I have this girl crush on this precious Georgia girl. She posted about her Athens, Ga. church band and their latest album. This is them. Get. It. Now.}

May 17, 2011

It's gotta be the best love song she ever heard in her life.

Photo courtesy of Lexi Moody Photography.

Welp, I'm home from ATL.

And I promise Imma catch you up asap.

But I do have to bring your attention to one thing: It's another sermon series. This time by Andy Stanley out of North Point Community Church in Atlanta called "The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating." I'm pretty sure I want to blast the series on loud for our entire generation to hear, considering we took a divine design and shattered it by and large.

And you know me by now--ha, I don't ever post too many details of my life up here (and ESPECIALLY my dating life. "Hey handsome, so this has been fun, you don't mind if I blog about it for a few thousand readers, right?"), so I'm not going to like, give you details on what I learned or how I've been on the edge of my seat every Sunday.

But you should probably go listen to them. Before. You. Ever. Go. On. Another. Date.

One more thing--Before the sermon got geared up this past Sunday, the praise band pulls this stunt. Hysterical. It's 33 love songs rolled into one. I'm debating how weird it would be to mp3 this and load it on my iPod. I mean, I'd totally sing this on roadtrips, right?

May 16, 2011

There are two necklaces I'm crushing on.

And their names are:

Photo courtesy of Doree.

1. State of Alabama. Every penny of the proceeds go directly to benefit tornado relief in Dixieland. Sold at Doree in Homewood, Ala. $35 silver, $40 gold. You can pre-order them, uhhh whoops--like I just did, by calling 205.879.1333. Done and done.

Photo courtesy of Emerson Made.

2. Gold lion coin necklace. Considering everything Emerson Made touches turns to gold AND I'm an Alpha Delt, this lion necklace is simply swoonworthy. Roar. WARNING: If you start clicking on their website, you will not stop... just sayin'. I think that this is my personality in website form and that they are the most beautifully glorious clothes I have ever seen.

Sigh. Oh, materialism.

May 9, 2011

A holiday at the sea.

Photo courtesy of Sun Surfer.

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
- C.S. Lewis

Heck. Yes.
This quote nails it.
I gotta get around to reading his whole "The Weight of Glory" sermon one of these days...

She is whatever she wants to be.

The LC's (minus MK) in front of Executive Office.

Welp, SB11 aside, we've been "off the road" as we call it for a whole week. It's a bit like LC-rehab livin' back here at headquarters, you see. It's been a long year and being a road-warrior brainwashes you of what real people do in life. Let me thus provide some examples:

ex. 1. ADPi only has us on the grind from 9 to 5. Wait, WHAT? You mean there are people out there that don't work 17-hour-days? People that "leave" work at work? And let's not get crazy: you mean there are other things to do at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night than crunch recruitment stats and submit Bid Lists under the wire? Get outta town...

ex. 2. The ADPi bunk room has closets. Yes, that's right. Forget rockin' the same 10 outfits on the circuit. I have options. That's an odd feeling.

ex. 3. We don't eat out every meal. Keep in mind, I just "ate out" every meal for an entire 9 months pretty much. So ADPi gave us the Pisa ("Pi" + Visa, get it?) for Publix. The seven of us are now testing cooking skills on each other--last night, Megan and I whipped up shrimp-and-grits, blueberry pancakes, omelets and eggs. Why? Because breakfast supper rules.

So you see, we have clearly had some free time. Which have been filled with:

Running adventures through ATL and yoga class.

Cinqo de Mayo festivities.

Welp, clearly Cinqo was fun. We made mustaches, which conviently double as a Frieda Kahlo disguise.

Setting off the fire alarm of this 100-somethin'-year-old mansion.
(Wait, didn't we do that at training in August, you ask? Yes. We did.)

GOING TO SEE THE BRAVES! And tomahawking all around.

Light-show watching in Stone Mountain Park.
(We decided it would be a sweet date night. Except as you'll see below, some of us think it's way more fun to dance/sing every song and dunno how people could sit still and cuddle.)

Me and Megan. This was maybe "Devil Went Down to Georgia." I know it isn't "Sweet Home Alabama" because I'm seated in this picture.

Hittin' up great sermons at Passion City Church and Buckhead Church.

Seeing Ben Rector and Matt Wertz live.
(Chyeah. More on that to come.)

And we still got one more week! I just love this city.
And I just love being reunited wich mah gurls.

Blog post title: "She Is" by Ben Rector.

Leah's song.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

It's like this: I heard this sermon by a guy named Matt Carter three weeks ago in Austin. And there's this one part that still has me bewitched...

He preached from Genesis 29, at that whole Jacob-Rachel-love-thing part. The whole sermon is fantastic really, but I like the part when he talks about Leah. So this guy named Jacob (who's pretty tight with God) sees Rachel and BAM--falls. She's gorgeous/hot/great and the guy's sold. Good news: she likes him back. Her father Laban will give Rachel, his youngest, to Jacob in marriage if Jacob works seven years for him. Note this: the Bible really does say that Rachel was "beautiful in form" but Leah, the firstborn daughter, had "weak eyes." You got that? It's important.

Laban, jerk that he is if you ask me, tricks Jacob and on the wedding day, puts his firstborn Leah under the wedding veil. After seven years of work. Jacob's decieved. Jerk.

Longstoryshort, Jacob works seven more years and gets his prize.

But Mr. Carter brought up something I'd not considered: Have you thought about it from Leah's point of view? She loved him. She did. She fell so hard. And never had a chance.

"I guarantee you that from the time she was little, her daddy told her 'Leah, you're just as beautiful as Rachel. Don't let anyone tell you differently; you're just as beautiful... I know the guys are looking at your sister, but it's okay. I'm going to find someone for you. You're going to get married first."

And in waltzes Jacob into their lives. And he could care less about her.


She wanted Jacob so badly. But honestly, she just wasn't attractive to him. Pretty enough. Even when Rachel is found barren, and Leah is the wife whose womb is open--victory, right? Wrong. Still Jacob doesn't care. Doesn't fall in love.

First son:
"It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."
Second son:
"Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too."
Third son:
"Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons."

He'll sleep with her. But he doesn't love Leah.

Fourth son:
"This time I will praise the LORD.”
She gives him to God. After all those trials.

God poured his faithfulness in her life. It wasn't heartbreak--Leah was walking through tragedy. There may not be a better picture of God's love, presence, and faithfullness than the story of Leah. THIS son, she says, is for the Lord.

Ever heard of the Lion of Judah?
That's a name for Jesus.
God picked Leah to bear the line.
Maybe Jacob didn't love her, but God did.
God wanted her heart.
He loved her too much to let her put all that trust and hope in a man. In a human.
It's God's to have.

Maybe God's doing something in your heart that hurts. But maybe it's to get you to give your heart to him.

"Any affliction is for your comfort and salvation."


May 3, 2011

I'll be your Mississippi.

I cannot get any further in this post without freaking out. Because:

Ring those cowbells loud--ADPi got it!
Maroon and white, prepare to meet your new friends blue and white.

The phone call from MSU Panhellenic just recently came into the lion's den over here in Atlanta.  Oh, Mississip. I told y'all I was gonna tell you just how sweet they were over at Mississippi State last week, and here 'tis!

Those sweet dawg fans (well, just don't bring up the whole UGA-is-dawgs-too thing to them) positioned this adorable welcome basket to be waitin' on us at the hotel. No worries--I nabbed the koozie. Because, ya know, 54 in the koozie drawer isn't enough...

In other news, they also gave me a cowbell. I think considering I complained about 'em in the spirit of SEC, this m'dears, is called "karma." When my father walked in the other day, I rang it in his face. "Amusing, Ashlyn. I think I've heard enough." Mwhaha. Luh ya, pops.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Anyway, the Panhellenic women and university administrators showcased nothin' but Southern hospitality at its finest. We trekked all over Starkville's pretty campus, drill field, and sorority land--duh.  Phi Mu, Pi Beta Phi, and Kappa Delta swung their house doors open wide to give ADPi the grand tour (ya gotta know what to tell your architect the campus norms when your new srat house gets built). Yes, they do all look like country clubs at State.

Awww, shucks. Thanks, y'all!

After a long day of meetings, we presented (with help from adorable Alpha Dee's from Eta-University of Alabama and Eta Zeta-University of South Mississippi) and I got a big 'ole Montgomery hug from Katherine, a hootie hoo Chi O. We deb ball-ed it together, and Kat's one of those amazing women who emailed me biblical encouragment all year. Dang. Love you, Kat. :)

Oh, and here Kappa Dee bestie Sarah--who knew me from Miss Magnolia before we met. And now we're real-life friends. Nbd. I told her she would be on the blog:

Sarah, me, and Katherine.

It's funny about visits to schools that uh, welp, don't have any ADPi's yet until we make them. Because these Panhellenic girls--who claim different letters--welcome me into their homes and hug me at the end of the day. Gotta love that.

Considerin' we'll be tailgating with y'all starting this fall,
that's pretty good "family" to join.

Blog post title: "Honey Bee" by Blake Shelton.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...