Friday, January 31, 2014

Monthly Goal Link Up

It is that time of the month again to link up your goals and check out what other people are up to! 

I love this link up because it is so inspiring to see the goals other people have set and to see them accomplished! The last month link up was a little different because of New Years resolutions, but I talked about making small goals and trying to nail those! 

How have you guys been doing!? 

The goals I set for the new year are:

1. Lose 20lbs this new year

The small Goals i have hit to achieve this so far was eating 5 small meals a day and doing the T-25 work out! So far I am on track :) I could definitely drink more water a day! 

2. Find a Job

 This has not happened yet. But I have been applying and I do have an interview set up! 

3. Save Money

YESSSS! I downloaded the snow mint budget system. Its an online envelope system and if you struggling with budgeting I HIGHLY recommend it! I have been able to save so much and keep track of my spending habits! 

Those are just a few updates :) 

My goals this month are as follows:

1) Keep spending time in the bible! I have done better in January but I know I can do better then I am!

2) Keep up with the clean eats life style change I made! I feel so much better when I am eating this way

3) Do T-25 on schedule! 

4) Read, read, read. I have plenty of time as a substitute teacher so I want to read a 5 book series the month of February! 

5) Save over $1,000! This one will be tricky but I know I can do it! 

What are your goals!? Link up at anytime this month and check out other peoples goals for ideas! I love this link up and I can't wait to share your goals it with you! Grab a button and Link Up! 

Erica Ashley-Faith, Hope, Love

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Workout and Clean Eats Update

A few weeks ago I talked about how I was doing the T-25 workout and eating clean! I cut out dairy, sugar, and turned to only whole wheat. You can check out that post here...

I wanted to give you all a little update because frankly I am SUPER excited about my results!

Although I have only lost 1.5lbs in two weeks (which isn't awful) my measurements show a great success! 

My waist: I have lost 2.5 inches in just two weeks!
My stomach: 1 inch in just two weeks!
Arms: 1 inch
Legs: 1 inch
Chest: nada (which brings me to another post later this week....stay tuned!) 

I am so excited about these results it makes me motivated to keep eating clean and working out! It can be difficult when you change your eating habits and exercise routine when you aren't getting the results you want. And although I wish that scale would show a different number and I am pleased to see that my body is becoming more muscular and tight! 

How has your success been in the gym? I know a lot of you were motivated with New Years resolutions! DON"T GIVE UP! YOU CAN DO IT! and always remember what the Tone It Up girls say! LOVE YOUR BODY! 

Get ready to link up your monthly goals again on Friday! Can't wait to check out your progress so far! 

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Monday, January 27, 2014

3 Day Weekend

I woke up this morning to another snow day. Honestly, I am OVER them! When will it ever stop snowing up here!?! The south is sounding better and better every day. 

Now that my weekend has turned into a 3 day snowed in extravaganza, lets recap shall we!? 

Friday night my parents took me to dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant. It was AMAZING! The owners are from Italy and make the food homemade themselves. Since I am trying to eat clean, I gave myself a free-night but still stayed away from pasta. I ate a delicious rabbit but my dad had lasagna bigger then the size of your face! 


Seriously, this is just one piece!! 

After dinner I went over to a friends to watch 17 again. I forgot how much I loved that movie! Of course it was snowing, really really hard (it literally will. not. stop). So I got stranded at my friends and spent the night :) I can't complain because I woke up in the morning to coffee, waffles, and sausage! I should spend the night there more often! 

Saturday night I had the pleasure of watching Michigan beat Michigan State in basketball! GO BLUE! 

And Sunday I spent the day at church, teaching sunday school to Kindergarteners (my favorite part of my weekend) and I tried out my first Hot Yoga class! IT WAS AMAZING! My body has never felt so relaxed! 

I had a great weekend and now I have a day to catch up on laundry and cleaning :) How was your weekend!? 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stay True to You

I feel like I have just been blogging nonsense lately! I have had complete writers block and have poured out some of the most useless pieces of information. 

I get frustrated at times when I think this blog is just going to the way-side. I think that I should be writing about important things taking place. For instance, Justin Bieber's arrest or Bruce Jenner's apparent sex change. I am kidding...kind of.

All jokes aside, I have been unable to come up with the good stuff. The heart-felt stuff. The stuff readers thrive on, that could inspire people in different ways. I want to write words that have meaning. Not just words for the sake of words--which I am finding out is exactly what I am doing write now. 

Regardless, I want to let new bloggers know that it is okay to write to write. Sometimes you just have to. Unless you are Oprah Winfrey, it could be extremely challenging to write inspirational post every single day. 

In fact, whose life is that inspiring on a daily basis? If your blog is a reflection of you then the writing should be a roller coaster ride. Because life is one. There are ups, there are downs and those are the types of things we want to hear about and write about. 

Right now I am just running a flat line. I am definitely not unhappy, but there is no one. single. exciting thing that I could blog about for days! 

So here is a little inspiration I hope. To stay true to yourself. Blog about what you want. Write out words that have meaning and write out words that are simply meaningless strictly for entertainment. Let your blog be a reflection of you and your life :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Interview about Muah

After the giveaway last week I have a ton of new readers (p.s. its the LAST DAY! Scroll down to enter!!) I am super excited about them and to all of you who have been reading this bad boy for awhile now:) I thought there is no better time than to get to know me better than now! 

1. Do you have a middle name?
Yes, Ashley. Hence Erica Ashley the blog

2. What was your favorite subject in school?

Social Studies! It is why I want to be a social studies teacher! I also really enjoyed PE, I took all the PE classes our high school had to offer!
3. What's your favorite drink?
COFFEEEEE! I am a COMPLETE grouch if I do not get coffee every morning...

4. What's your favorite song at the moment?

Don't judge but I am really liking the song Timber by Kesha...

5. What would you name your children?
I love the name Mason, Carson, and Bradyen (Brady) for a boy. For a girl I like Chloe, Jadeyn, and Veigha (pronounced Vay-ya...I kind of made it up :)

6. Do you participate in any sports?

In high school I ran track and played basketball. Previous to that I played soccer and rowed.

7. What's your favorite book? 

I am reading the Redemption series by Kara Kingsbury and am obsessed! I read 4 whole books last week (Thanks to my job as a substitute that allows for LOTS of time reading!) I am open to suggestions of what to read next! 

8. What's your favorite color?

Pink :)

9. What's your favorite animal?

10. What's your favorite perfume?

Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture 

11. What's your favorite holiday?
Obviously my birthday. Which is Christmas Eve so technically it is a Holiday :)
12. Have you graduated from High School?
Yes..2008 so long ago :/

13. Have you been out of the country?
Yes, My senior year of college me and 16 other sorority sisters took a trip to the Bahamas! It was a blast! 

14. Do you speak any other languages?
I wish I did but no :(

15. Do you have any siblings?
Yes, two sisters! 

16. What's your favorite store?

TARGET..obviously. I also really enjoy J-Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, and the LOFT (mostly just their clearance racks and outlet stores)

17. What's your favorite restaurant?
I really enjoy going to different restaurants. I love to try new places! 
18. Do you like school? 

Yes! I would definitely hope so since that is my job :) 

19. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?
I don't understand the question...I am not a huge Youtuber so I don't have a favorite person...I didn't know there was such a thing! 

20. What's your favorite movie? 

The Notebook! I could watch it over and over again! I also love Walk to Remember :) 

21. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS will forever be my favorite! I also love Parenthood, Greys, Scandal, anything from Bravo and How I met your Mother.

22. PC or Mac?

23. What phone do you have?

The plain ol Iphone 4 ( I am so outdated ;)

24. How tall are you?
5'1" and a half! The half of inch is very important!

25. Any pets? 

My family has a dog but I am dying for my very own Lab. 

Thanks for taking the time to read! 
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Here is your Happy Monday session and an awesome way to start your week... I'm teaming up with these fabulous ladies below to GIVE AWAY a $100 Nordstrom gift card (always free shipping and free returns if you do not have one near you), the "Annabelle" Spoon Ring from Premier Designs (seen here, here, here, and here {I obviously love this ring}) and a 16oz. Banana Nut Bread candle from The Candle Cafe ( it's my favorite and my ENTIRE house smells like this when I burn mine).  


         The Candle Cafe          The Life of the Party        The Style Storm         
                             Elizabeth Nygard                   Erica Ashley, Faith-Hope-Love
 photo AfternoonEssGiveaway.jpg
                     Jennifer Collis-Premier Designs           Mommy in Heels

Monday, January 20, 2014

Clean Eats Weekend

This weekend I made the permanent decision to keep working out and eating clean. You can read about my health and fitness story that started wayyy before this decision above on the fitness tab.

After a full week cutting out a few things from my diet I have NEVER felt so energized. I have also started the T-25 workout by Shaun-T. It is a workout you do 5 days a week for ONLY 25 minutes. There is no way to make excuses when you only have to work out for 25 minutes.

After a full week of eating clean and doing T-25 I have lost 2 inches on my waist and 1lb! 

So what exactly am I cutting out from my diet?

- Dairy: I no longer drink milk, eat cheese, or use coffee creamer. Instead, I use coconut milk to put in my coffee and to bake with anytime it calls for milk! 

- Only Whole Wheat: Now some health nuts would say that whole wheat has to much sugar. Which may be the case, but I am no nutritionist and I just know that this works for me. Ever since I cut out white flour I have felt much more energized! I use whole wheat flour in everything I bake and buy all my bread and english muffins whole wheat. 

- Sugar: This has been the HARDEST! I LOVE sweets! But have no fear, you can still have cookies and plenty of other sweets (that actually taste really good) when you eat clean! I made whole wheat coconut chocolate chip cookies this weekend that had no sugar or butter! I substitute coconut oils and honey to make it sweet and tasty! You can find the recipe here along with many others! 

What else can I make that is sweet? How about these whole wheat blueberry coconut pancakes!? 


3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp of Pure Vanilla
1/2 TBS of Baking Soda
1/4 tsp of Salt
2 tsp of Cinnamon 
2 Egg Whites
3/4 cup of coconut milk (or use almond milk)
1/4 cup of coconut

Add blueberries at your discretion (walnuts, almonds, strawberries would be great too!) 

I have decided to make this change because I FEEL better! My body feels better, I have more energy, and I make food that works for me! 

It does take more time planning meals and making everything homemade but DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! If there are three recipes you know you will like start there, research, try different things out! 

As the girls from Tone It Up would say (I mean my best friends that favorite my tweets) LOVE.YOUR.BODY

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fame and football

I am writing this post via blogger app. (Scroll down to my previous post for the best giveaway ever! $100 to Nordstroms and more!) Not only has my spelling sucked prior to this new course of action, I can only apologize in advanced for the spelling errors from here on out. 

Today is one of those gloomy days in the mitten. No sun (per usual), working (per usual), and running late on everythingggg. Maybe because I  taking time to blog instead of work. 

But hey, work right now consists off reading a plethora of books. Substitute teaching, while always fun and exciting, has placed me with an ample amount of time to read (or apparently blog) while the students take tests. I have read 3.5 complete books since Monday! Isn't that crazy!? 

Since my kindle officially died half way through my day today (and I left the house with out the charger) here I am, blogging. 

I really don't have much to say. Except foray be that I am kind of famous due to my favorite ladies from the Tone it Up series favoriting my tweet yesterday!! 

Or the fact that I felt extremely uncomfortable during millionaire matchmaker last night. The 57 year old dude was obsessed with dating 21 year olds and told his date they were going to go hot tubing. Fun right? Until she walks out in her swim suit and he is just standing there fully clothed. Because what he meant by hot tubing was watching her in the hot tub and he would just stand and creep... 

Got to LOVE my trashy TV! 

On that note I am off to do who knows what until the end of the day.

Go patriots!!! AFC Championship this weekend! You will find me all geared up in front of the TV Sunday with my game face on! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I have a best friend. In fact I have a lot of best friends. I was never the person who sat in first grade saying Jenny is my first best friend, and Sarah is my second best friend. No, I love everyone equally is as much.

Reason being is that all of my best friends bring out a different side of me. They all understand and have been a part of different aspects of my life that they alone will always know the most about.

So why am I writing this? Well the past year I have been super busy finishing school. I literally have had zero time to spend with any of my friends or family. So the other night I finally had enough time and money to go out for dinner and drinks with one of my best friends! 

He is probably one of my all time favorite people. He is one of those people who will actually listen to what I am saying, call me out when I am being dramatic, and support any and all decisions of mine. Also, offer to give me a piggy back ride in slippery conditions when I am wearing heals :) 

The best part of our friendship, and many other friendships I have, is that months after not seeing each other, we pick up right where we left off. At dinner (and a sangria pitcher and a half in) we both said how much we appreciate our friendship because it didn't matter how long it had been since we had last talked. It was at true friendship. 

It made me thinking of how many other true friendships I have and how truly blessed I am! Not only do I have real human physical friendships, but also blog friendships that I truly treasure! 

God has blessed me with so many wonderful people in my life. I wish I could list them all and write a little exert about them but it would take forever. So here are some pics :)

Also if you have not entered the giveaway yet DO IT! Who doesn't like a free $100 gift card and more! 

Here is your Happy Monday session and an awesome way to start your week... I'm teaming up with these fabulous ladies below to GIVE AWAY a $100 Nordstrom gift card (always free shipping and free returns if you do not have one near you), the "Annabelle" Spoon Ring from Premier Designs (seen here, here, here, and here {I obviously love this ring}) and a 16oz. Banana Nut Bread candle from The Candle Cafe ( it's my favorite and my ENTIRE house smells like this when I burn mine).  


         The Candle Cafe          The Life of the Party        The Style Storm         
                             Elizabeth Nygard                   Erica Ashley, Faith-Hope-Love
 photo AfternoonEssGiveaway.jpg
                     Jennifer Collis-Premier Designs           Mommy in Heels

Monday, January 13, 2014

GIVEAWAY and the Patriots!

WOOO PATRIOTS ARE IN THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP!!! and with that you may skip the rest if you want to get straight to the giveaway, but I would love for you to read :)

I am pumped!! 

I spent almost my entire weekend watching football, football, and more football! 

Game face and game gear! Ready to blow out the Colts! 

Plus the golden globes last night! I just can't get enough of Tina and Amy (we are on first name basis) and seriously Jennifer Lawrence! Love her, not a fan of her dress though. 

Which inspired me to wake up at 5:15 this morning for a work out...ugh. 

Anyway, one last little thing I wanted to share with you all is this awesome recipe I found for making homemade ice cream...out of snow!! Okay, make sure you stay away from the yellow stuff, and probably anything else you stepped in just to be safe...but I was shocked at how well this stuff turned out! Plus the nugget I hang out with on a daily basis (she told me she is to old for a babysitter and her mom hired me to "hang out" with her lol) loved it! 

Take 4 cups of snow
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

Seriously, try it! We had over 20 inches of snow the other day and I thought to myself, this could be depressing, or we could eat it ;)

Now for my last and final thing I am linking up with Ashley at Afternoon Espresso for and AWESOME giveaway ! ENTER, ENTER, ENTER check her and the other amazing ladies out! Love them :)  

Happy Monday All

Here is your Happy Monday session and an awesome way to start your week... I'm teaming up with these fabulous ladies below to GIVE AWAY a $100 Nordstrom gift card (always free shipping and free returns if you do not have one near you), the "Annabelle" Spoon Ring from Premier Designs (seen here, here, here, and here {I obviously love this ring}) and a 16oz. Banana Nut Bread candle from The Candle Cafe ( it's my favorite and my ENTIRE house smells like this when I burn mine).  


         The Candle Cafe          The Life of the Party        The Style Storm         
                             Elizabeth Nygard                   Erica Ashley, Faith-Hope-Love
 photo AfternoonEssGiveaway.jpg
                     Jennifer Collis-Premier Designs           Mommy in Heels

Friday, January 10, 2014

What to do with all this junk? All this junk inside my trunk...

Oh man I am about to get REAL with you all! I have been MIA this past week because I have been in the and out of the hospital with some real issues...

Some issues that have been a real pain in my a$$...

Some real issues that would have to deal with the title of this post, all the junk..literally inside my trunk. 

Ya following me!? So after being hooked up to all sorts of stuff that is suppose to re-regulate my whole digestive system, some weird stuff being stuck up in places that they definitely don't belong, and fresh new bland diet to start the new year, I am back in action! 

On the bright side I have some HUGE news! I guess its not super huge because nothing really has happened yet..but....

I have a job interview for my DREAM teaching job down in Houston Texas! I am so excited for the opportunity to interview at this particular district! 

Now I am also super scared because if I get the job (which I am hoping I do) I will be moving to an unfamiliar place, where I do not know a single person, away from my family, and very far away from my home in Michigan...

What I am excited about? The opportunity to work in their district, the chance to have warm weather year round (see ya later -32 below zero!), and a fresh place and a fresh start :) 

The interview isn't for awhile until they are up here in MI for a job fair, but keep your fingers crossed, prayers, etc! 

Lets not forget that the Patriots are in the playoffs this weekend and my man Tom Brady is feeling another super bowl ring :) So if you have nothing to do this Saturday stay tuned for a great game! 

Throwback from seeing the Pats play pre-season! 

Have a great weekend everyone! Go Patriots! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

A wake up call from the Real World

First of all let me say yesterday was the last day of my two week christmas vacation :( Although I am slightly sad I am pretty dang excited to get back into the classroom, even though it is just as a sub! 

Now as far as the title of this post goes, I wish it was the actual MTV show the Real World giving me a wake up call...but no. I am talking about the Real Outside Adult Expensive Overbearing Real World!

Seriously tho, is this show still on!? I kinda miss the drama! 

Yes, I graduated college.
Yes I have worked my booty off to save up some money to get on my feet.
Then BOOM. A nice knuckle sandwich from the ever so lovely real world square in the face.

My car wiring stopped working.
Followed by my car battery dying to the point of never turning on again.
Followed by my phone crashing. 

WHOA! Ain't no body got time for this! or money

Now luckily I had the nice sum of change sitting in the bank account but man on man, what a nice $1000 christening into the real world! 

On a brighter note today is the day I start the T25 work out! I am not going to make this blog a fitness page, but if you are interested to read my story check out the fitness tab at the top! 

However, I will do some occasional updates, mostly for myself. As long as I keep this bad boy public it helps me stay on track and not make excuses! 

To start off the week I did my first ever meal prep and made all CLEAN meals! I am so excited to get started, eat healthy, and back to an intense work out! 

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Encouraging what the New Year brings

There is something about the New Year that is so refreshing! It is exciting to see people out and about, setting goals, and wanting to better themselves.

What I don't like is people discouraging this behavior! I HATE seeing Facebook post and tweets about people who go to the gym regularly complaining about how the gym is super packed now because people have set resolutions to loose weight and get in shape.

Isn't that a good thing? And shouldn't that be encouraging to know that some people have taken their health into consideration?

Wouldn't it be cool to see encouragement instead of complaints? Imagine if the people who have never been to the gym in their life were welcomed and encouraged to come again? They to could be come the "regulars." 

I also hate seeing complaints about how resolutions are so dumb because no one ever sticks to them...

Well that may be true, but at least they are making them. Some people go through really rough years and the idea of a new year is refreshing and liberating. 

I think before we post these complains and attacks we walk a mile in others shoes. Imagine an online community that encourages resolutions and goals, encourages trips to the gym, and makes everyone feel important...

There is my rant :) Happy New Year! 

If you the feel the need to set a resolution now or a goal feel free to link up with others..there are some AWESOME resolutions so far!