June 20, 2011

I went from Pheonix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, LA.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Didn't think it 'twas ever gonna happen. Then it hit me the other day, driving up the driveway and singing really loud Justin Bieber cool music like Angus and Julia: I miss flying. Traveling. JETSETTING.


What's a girl to do?

Board a Delta flight to da desert, that's what! Today I depart my sultry, South-uhn, heart-blessin' world down here and join 600+ other Alpha Delta Pi's at our 160th Grand Convention! A few very exciting things will happen:

1. Leadership Consultant reunitation. It's been 3 weeks. Which is too long.
2. Voting on welp, just about a whole new Grand Council.
3. Extremely limited sleep/free time for those of us runnin' the joint. Welcome back to LC livin', Ashlyn! Welcome. Back.
4. Seeing all my precious collegians. I CANNOT WAIT TO HUG YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!
5. OD'ing on Lilly Pulitzer, lions and diamonds and violets, oh my.

The Arizona Biltmore. Of course, a sorority function would be at a fancy resort and spa that was loved by Marilyn Monroe and every American pres but Obama (No really. I'm not being political. He hasn't been yet.).

And then 6 consultant seesters will transport their exhausted little Pi-tastic selves to the shining jewelbox of Sin City. To layout like it's our jobs.

Weird. In one week, I'll officially not be a Leadership Consultant for Alpha Delta Pi...


Oh well. LET'S GO TO ARIZONA AND SEE WHAT A DESERT LOOKS LIKE! Did you know Auburn won the 2010 National Championship in Arizona? Just wonderin...

June 17, 2011

Singin' songs about the Southland.

There is a second craft I should tell you about. Again, Pinterest, you just offer the most divine inspiration for projecting about the house.

I spied this 'lil beauty...

...and was sold. I think it's supposed to be, like, "the husband is from Louisiana and the wifey hails from Arizona! So CUTE!" or something. Not mine.  Naturally, my version of the project would hence be a shoutout to the Heart of Dixie and my new home of Hotlantaaaaaaaa.

You need:
+ a pair of scissors
+ white cardstock
+ a computer and printer
+ a pencil
+  red cardstock OR heart stickers. But don't wimp out and go the sticker route. Paper is prettier.

1. Print out two state maps and cut 'em out.

2. Place BACKWARDS on your cardstock to trace. Did you hear that? Backwards. No one likes a stray pencil mark. Stray pencil marks are for amateurs. Now cut those guys out.

3. In keeping with the exciting theme of my new room "grey and linen and white and wood," I opted to paint the matting and cardstock two shades of grey.

Alabama was the sacrificial lamb and during the disaster got splattered. So I had to cut out a new one. 

At this point, a Brownie (Ellis, the untamed little wild puppy beast) came running in and tromped her unproportional paws directly in the paint. Boykin Spaniels were bred with Chesapeake Bay Retriever blood, so their paws are big 'ole swimmin' paws. Which look awfully cute in paint and trotting around the kitchen--NOT.

At last, Ellis was captured and cleaned, and I finished my masterpiece. No Brownies were harmed in the creation of this art. Yay for the new room!

Blog post title: "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynard Skynard. Dear goodness, I hope that wasn't news to you though. You'd never win "Name That Song" with Rush Stallings.

Yardwork. Just kidding.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

My darling seester is always the first to remind me: "Ashlyn. Update your blog." Two days later: "You know people stop reading people when they quit updating their blog?"

My, my. So subliminal in your messaging, Kristen.

Pardon my hiatus, but I've just been so ultra crafty/homemakery in preparation for The Move. We're talkin', I squealed over a Le Crueset cookware present yesterday. I'm even girlier than I thought. Anyway, the Stallings homestead is a sight, I tell ya, what with two girlies getting their first apartments and all!

I wanna show you my latest project. My first garden.

Well, kinda.

It started with a rainy Montgomery afternoon today and 4 herbs. Their names are Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, and Mint:

And quatro terracotta pots:

The delicate herbs made the potentially traumatizing trip from the biodegradable containers into their new abodes, which we have documented all thanks to Kristen:

Doesn't it feel good to get dirt under your nails? Even if those nails are a painted Birthday Blue (a.k.a. Essie "Lapis"). Of course, the Brownies had to investigate:

AHH! WAY too close, Ellis. Way too close. I promise she's a presh-pot, but I mean, who looks adorable in the soaking rain? It's okay, wittle Ella-bella. Everyone's hair gets curly in the rain.

I digress. Next, I painted the pots with chalkboard paint puchased at Wally World. I would like to note that skin should always be the same color as terracotta. A tan just makes my whole entire summer.

And there they are! Chalk isn't allowed to touch them 'til Sunday so maximum dry-time is reached. But I love them. I've always grown up with a garden in the backyard, with Mama tellin' us to "go pick some rosemary for tonight" or fresh basil for topping a yummy Southern tomato sandwich. OBVIE, making the move to Atlanta without fresh herbs for Em and I to cook with would just not be right.

One day, they will live like this  in a wine box on our back porch.
Anyone gotta spare wine box? :)

Photo courtesy of HipHostess.

June 16, 2011


Photo courtesy of Adventure Jane.

I'd like to dedicate this birthday to Jesus, expensive new apartment furniture, 
my dog Harper, Skittles, and my gold glittery TOMS.

And as a part of Theme Week '11 (we are a creative BFF group), today is themed Fiesta.

Monday was Batches for the Bach (as in "-lorette") Day,
Wednesday was Tennis Mom Day,
and Friday is Tom Cruise/80's Night.
Because everything is better themed and with costumes.


June 9, 2011

So pi-tastic right now.

I JUST want to pet one. Is that too much to ask? Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Calling all Alpha Delts: Behold, hosting the very first 160th Grand Convention in all of international sorority land 'tis upon us.

Because we're the oldest sorority in the land.
It sorta comes with the territory.

Anyway, in case you've been living under a woodland-violet-covered rock, a Grand Convention blog has launched to drum up excitement and offer live coverage of the Pheonix festivities. It's pretty adorable.

DISCLAIMER: Let it be said--I am NOT hosting this blog, I'm just guesting. I've had a lot of sweet, excited sisters email/Facebook me about post ideas, which I'm so happy to get! There is contact information on the blog for the sister actually runnin' the show. But I always love to hear from a seester.

And yes, for all of you who have expressed interest in an official Alpha Delta Pi blog, oh girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll--don't you know my mind's been all over that since August. Just you wait, chica. Just you wait.

June 6, 2011

Extra bright, I want y'all to see this.

Can I haaaaaad it? Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

I have a second big announcement:

Post-Alpha Dee Grand Convention in Pheonix in dos weeks, the LC's are taking our much-needed celebratory vacay together--after what I think will always stand as one of the most trying years of my life. SB11 side-by-side didn't happen, and seeing that we're obsessed with one another, a last shebang NOT around a place-of-business (aka The ADPi Srat Castle) was in order.

The southwestern desert.
7 girls.
All of age.

Ya follow me?

Photo courtesy of We Heart It.

That's right. Vegas, baby. Which I have begun calling  Ve-has in my head for fun. Megan's the resident blonde--I mean, Southwestern expert--so of course, she knows Vegas. We're only doing 2 nights, and we've staked claim to some DEALS. Let it be said: It helps to be a member of a 215,000-strong organization.

We also have geniusly purchased a veil and "I'm the Bachelorette" sash to trade wearing while hoppin' town. Good gracious. You'd think we never got any attention in our whole lives...

All I wanna wear? Bright, shiny sparkly stuff. Clearly, if you know me, I don't jam a lot of sequins on the reg. But Megan has told me I need "Vegas clothes and shoes." Examples:

I think this outfit is glorious.

I think this jacket with a little black dress rules. Photo courtesy of We Heart It.

And I think these shoes are ballin'. Photo courtesy of I Spy DIY.

Well, because tigers hate pepper and love cinnamon, and I love tigers, lehsgo buy a Vegas dress, y'all.

June 4, 2011

Look at me now.

You followed as I trekked to 30 campuses and 24 states.
Now, in less than a month, I'll be moving to this state:

 Photo courtesy of Pinterest.
To live with this kid:

Emily, another 2010-2011 LC, precious sister in Christ, and henceforth to be known as ROOOOOOMS!

...and start as Director of Marketing and Communications in this office:

Photo courtesy of Georgia Historical Markers.

It's funny, ya know--posts I've written this on the road whole year show a thematic repetitiveness: security, patience, security, patience, security, patience. If you successfully passed pre-K and made macaroni patterns, ya see what I mean.

The thing is, I letcha know last week how our Father is leading me through some desert lands lately. But wanna know what a quiet little voice in my heart whispered? "Ash. When you get a job, this will feel better. It'll go away." And Deut. 8:14 ("then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God") reveberated, because I'd have this awesome job, right? And I just couldn't forget about living off manna for months, right?

Yeah. Wrong.

The minute I decided to pick this job--which is a blessing beyond words--I clicked "end call." Tears rolled down my cheeks. Satan got goin': "Wrong decision, Ashlyn/You've limited yourself./You really wanna break into the Atlanta media world now? Ha./You shoulda picked the other one./Blahblahblah." Now, I see it was that liar talking. I didn't at the time.

But here's the thing.

I thought that almighty j-o-b held cure-power. Thought I'd regain confidence battered through the job search. Thought I'd be at peace with a "Yes ma'am, I decided I'll take it."

Instead, through those tears, ha--I heard You, Lord. Heard ya loud and clear alright:
"Ashlyn Stallings. When did I ever say you'll find peace in this world apart from Me? When did I ever tell you true security stemmed from anything but ME?"

Oh, I said. Ohhhhhhhh. (Cue sheepish smile looking up at Him.) "Um, well, ha, God, You actually tell me the opposite. In YOU I have peace. Confidence. Security. In YOU I boast and have life and move and breathe."

I'm better now. But just more in awe of my Lord and Savior. Who continues to see the value in teaching one (one out of 6 billion, b-t-dubs) of His children that she's gotta trust her Rock through the desert, and through the promised lands. As I jump off this cliff, move to the "big city," and live on my own, I'm in His hands. Still under those wings. Praise God.

So here I come, Peach State! Between Atlanta-based ballet camps growing up, good people, and a certain lil' house on Ponce, Georgia's claimed second place to Alabama for a while in my heart. I can't wait to call it home. Plus, two girls that since age 18 have only known private school dorms, sorority houses, and suitcases? Well, that could be interesting! 

You just stay put, sweet friend, as we attempt to cook. 
Make a home.
Put those DIY and cooking Pinterest tags to use!
And of course, explore our new city of ATL. 

Thus now starts the next chapter in this little blog's life:
Miss Magnolia makes the move.

Oh boy!

Blog post title: "Look at Me Now" by Chris Brown. Except you have to watch this version, with Justin Bieber and Chris. It's sick. Thanks, Bec. :)

June 2, 2011

June 1, 2011

You get a line, I'll get a pole.

We've had that Igloo cooler seriously as long as I can think back.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Daddy grabbed his two most beautifully stunning favorite dates--Mama and me--loaded the truck, and headed down to the "farm" as we call it. Cows and chickens don't live there or anything, just pretty Alabama huntin' and fishin' land that passes through the Stallings family.

I LOVE the farm.
And Daddy and Mama, I know y'all will read this probably today.
And you've been askin' for the pictures.
So here they are.
p.s. I. Love. You.

Part of the pond, where our Christmas tree and half the neighbors' trees are recycled every year for the fishies. Don't ask.

Have you heard that song "She Thinks We're Just Fishing?" The (lil' sappy in a good way) country song? Dad and I love that song because he says it reminds him of taking Kristen and me down to our land during the days of Keds and floppy hairbows.

I mean, the little girl in the song talks about ballet and kittens. Hello, kindergardener-Ashlyn.

I digress. Anyway, we needed this:

And then these started flinging themselves into the boat! Crazy fish.

Hewwo, wittle bwim.

It's ok. You can laugh at DRS III's hat. We all do.

And that bass really was big. He's like, 7 pounds, you just can't see because he's turned sideways... Promise.

'Twas a fun trip. I love those lands. And this time at home sure is sweet. Thank you, Jesus!

Blog post title: "Boondocks" by Little Big Town.
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