Shapewear Sucks

I fucking hate shapewear. With a passion.  If my mother ever reads this post, I just gave her two new reasons to give me a lecture on being a lady.  Despite my dislike for these uncomfortable garments, I was a religious Spanx wearer because I wanted a flat stomach and no bra bulge.  Let that sink in.  I bought and wore uncomfortable, itchy, sweaty and sometimes booty squishing compression wear all day because I wanted to create the ILLUSION of having a toned core.  It is so funny to think I endured all that for a damn ILLUSION.  Once I took the Spanx off the illusion was over.  Illusions aren’t real and I wanted real dammit!  In the beginning of 2014 I ditched my Spanx and started working out and I am loving my progress so far!


The first photo was taken October 2013, shortly after my third wedding anniversary.  I was wearing Spanx and my husband still had to struggle to get the zipper up.  The second photo was taken on November 29, 2014 and I am NOT wearing Spanx or any form of shapewear!!!!  At the end of the day I want to be a woman completely comfortable in her skin and it’s kind of hard for me to feel that way if I am stuffed into a sausage casing all day.  Now, these are my personal feelings on wearing shapewear and I know everybody (did you know that they make shapewear for men TOO?) may not feel the same way and that is OK.  If wearing shapewear makes you feel sexy and confident in your skin then keep rocking it!

Can you see a difference in these photos? Do you wear shapewear? Why or why not?



Very Berry Herb Salad

Very Berry Herb Salad

I love fruity salads. The more fruit, the better.  This is my favorite salad, at least for now.


  • Trader Joe’s Organic Herb Lettuce Mix-rinsed and dried.
  • 1 pint Strawberries-cleaned and sliced
  • 1 pint Blueberries-cleaned
  • 1/2 cup Red Onion-sliced
  • 1 cup Grilled Chicken Breast-sliced
  • 1/4 cup Candied Walnuts
  • Trader Joe’s Cranberry, Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad Dressing


  • In a large bowl, combine the herb lettuce mix, strawberries, blueberries, red onion, chicken and candied walnuts.  Pour desired amount of dressing over salad.
  • Toss salad.
  • Eat salad.




The Day I Decided to Stop Making Excuses

January 30, 2014.

My husband and I were going out and I had nothing to wear.  No seriously, this was not one of those, “I already wore everything and I want a new outfit” kind of moments.  Nothing fit.  Not even my “go to” blue maxi dress.  I know what you are thinking. How can you NOT fit a maxi dress?!

I stepped onto my dusty scale and I knew it had to be wrong.  There was no way I gained 34lbs.  No way.  I weighed 150 lbs. I was a size 10 dammit!  I stepped on the scale again.  It still said 184.  I went through a range of emotions in my bathroom.  You would have thought someone died the way I was crying.  My poor confused husband just wanted to fix the problem so we could leave the house.  But you can’t fix Emotional Ashley without cheesecake and that is how I got into this current dilemma.


In 2012 and throughout most of 2013, I weighed 150 lbs.  By the beginning of 2014, I weighed 184 lbs.  This weight gain didn’t happen overnight so I shouldn’t have been shocked but there I was, in my underwear, balling my eyes out.  This was the day I realized I could no longer make excuses for not taking care of my body.  I needed to exercise.  I needed to give up my daily Haribo gummy bear and chocolate chip cookie addiction.  I could no longer eat pasta and fried chicken at 2 a.m. with my husband and I needed to drink water.  Lots of water.  Since I wanted to feel good naked I needed to start making some serious changes!!  I did.  I changed my diet, became more active and I am loving my progress so far!!!  The changes in my body motivate me to keep going.




 While I am only 9 months into my journey, I feel like a new person.  So far, I am down 24 lbs and  I am physically and mentally stronger than I was last year.  Be better than you were yesterday.


Woman in My Mirror


I used to avoid looking at myself in the mirror.

Why? Because I was ugly.  At least, I felt like I was.  Every time I looked at myself in the mirror I saw cystic acne, enlarged pores, crazy eyebrows and sad eyes hidden behind prescription glasses.  And this was just how I felt about my face!

I hated looking at my naked body because I would have to face my small saggy boobs, the stretch marks spanned across my tummy and thighs like a maple tree, and my c-section scar, which leads to a wrinkly pouch of skin that has seen better days.  I hated looking at my body because, in my eyes it was not beautiful, it was ruined.

I turned thirty June 28 (#teamcancer)  and now I understand what it means to “love the skin your in”.

Let that sink in.

I am thirty year old, mother of two, who just learned how to love her body.  Kinda pathetic, I know, but better late than never. Earlier this year, I stumbled across a quote that made me think:

“As a child, I never heard one woman say to me, ‘I love my body.’  Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend.  No woman has ever said, ‘I am so proud of my body.’  So I make sure to say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age. “

    -Kate Winslet

I realized my mother never told me she loved her body.  I also realized I never told my daughter I loved my body, because frankly, I didn’t.  This was the day I decided it was time to change.  After almost two decades of hating my body, it was time to try something different.  I needed to be proud of my entire body, including the ugly, wrinkled parts.  Plus, this body has done some pretty incredible things, like, produce life, twice!  I need to have a positive body image, if not for me, for my daughter.  My Kennedy.  My muse for this personal movement.

Now when I looked at myself in the mirror I see a beautiful woman.  Sad, thing is that she was there the entire time, patiently waiting to be noticed.

What reflection do you see when you look in the mirror?




Yesterday, as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, a video popped up.  I assumed it was a funny vine, I was wrong.  It was a video clip of Ray Rice, beating his wife, Janay, in a casino elevator.   Ray Rice used to be a running back for the Raven’s, until this footage was released yesterday morning.  Since I am not a football enthusiast, I had to look up the definition of a running back.  According to Wikipedia, “A running back (RB) is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.”  

One of his primary roles as a NFL running back is “to block”.  One of his primary roles as a husband is to “protect”.  He miserably failed at both of these roles.  Instead of using his football skills to block Janay from hitting him, he chose to beat her unconscious.   I can’t get the image of her crumpled body, on the elevator floor, out of my mind.  The image of him standing over her lifeless, exposed body brought back ugly, painful memories for me.  

Everyone has an opinion on this incident, including myself.  Some opinions gave me hope. Others made me cringe.  Here are my thoughts.  Janay, did not deserve to be attacked.  First, she was attacked by her husband.  Now she is being attacked by the public.  

What did she do to make him mad? Why did she marry him?  Why should he lose his job, she hit him first?

These are the wrong questions to ask.  

Instead we should be asking.  

 Why is the victim apologizing? Why hasn’t he been arrested? How can we help Janay and other victims like her?

I was in an abusive relationship in college for over 2 years.  It started off great, he was smart, caring, attentive, giving, lived off campus and had a car.  What more can an out of state freshman ask for?  I was so young and dumb.  After a while, attentive turned into jealously and that house off campus became my prison.  My little fairytale relationship became a nightmare.  I was one of those girls who used to say, “I will never let a man hit me.”  I ate those words and washed them down with tears and blood.  I thought because I FOUGHT back, that I wasn’t a victim…I was a fighter.  I was in denial about being in physically and emotionally abusive relationship.  I stayed with an abusive man for far too long because I believed he would change, for me.  

I finally left him after I realized it was NOT my job to fix a broken man.  I am not God.  I was broken and I needed to fix myself.  While in college, I was blessed with a sisterhood of warriors, my husband nicknamed us “The Legion of Doom” because if you mess with one you have to deal with the squad.  These women nursed my emotional wounds and rehabilitated my soul.  These women loved on me, prayed for me and supported me without judgement so I will pass it forward.

Janay, I support you.  I experienced the humiliation of being attacked by a partner in public.  I allowed it to happened to me twice.  I would be mortified if I had to relive those disgustingly painful experiences because it was caught on tape.  I hope you have a sisterhood of warriors to rally around you and protect you from public judgement.  If you don’t, I support you and I am praying for your healing.  To all the women justifying Ray Rice’s actions: I pray you never experience domestic violence. I pray your loved ones never experience domestic violence. And if you or a loved one are unfortunate enough to experience it, I pray people show more empathy and compassion for you than you have showed Mrs. Rice.





Grilled Chicken & Goat Cheese Pasta

Grilled Chicken Goat Cheese Pasta

Add warm bread and chilled wine and you will have a delicious and nutritious meal in less than an hour.


  •  4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 medium tomato sliced
  • 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice (I used penne)
  • season to taste


  1. Season chicken breasts and cook until done.
  2. Sautée mushrooms in butter and garlic.
  3. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with the olive oil until al dente. 
  5. Drain pasta.
  6. In a large serving bowl add pasta, arugula, spinach, sliced grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes and goat cheese.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Eat.