My Li’l List: Naked 2 by Urban Decay

My friend Tara is my makeup guru….she’s the best there is! She tells me what to buy and keeps it simple. My new fav: the Naked 2 palette by Urban Decay.  I picked mine up at Sephora. I don’t use anything else.



I use the dark colors for liner and I mix the others for shadow.


Goes great with anything….including my “urban” decaying cowgirl boots:


Click here to view other items I just love in My Li’l List.




Last Day Love

Second post of the day……before I start to feel too ill. Click here to see the one from earlier.

I’m usually not supposed to have visitors stay in the infusion center because the nurses need to get around……but today they let Perry stay. She kept taking secret photos though and sending them to me… one as I returned from the bathroom:

I told the nurses that the doctors will be glad I’m not there all day anymore…..since I am always having them take photos and check out things I’m writing about. I won’t be distracting them anymore.

Justin stopped by after caddying for our friend Meaghan in her first round at the Kraft Nabisco Championship:

I stayed until almost 6pm to get an extra bag of fluid today.  It was probably my longest day yet! But surprisingly it turned out to be my last day of chemo as long as I’m tested weekly for any signs of tumors remaining. I feel really good about Dr. L and my compromise on chemo and that I’ll finally get a break!  All the nurses got together and had a little impromptu celebration as I left. It was so cute. Bring on the sick days because I’ll be feeling better soon enough!  Only a few rough days ahead.

Andy Warhol

I went in this morning ready for a fight. I really just didn’t want to do another round of this chemo. My body was telling me: NO MORE! Dr. L was ready for me….the first thing he said was “well, you know how I feel about it.” Someone must have given him a heads up. I’ll find you! Ha. Anyways…….we compromised. I’ll do Cisplatin today and he’ll let me skip next week’s Methotrexate. That means: today is my LAST day of chemo. Finally a break after 23 weeks straight. I’ll still have to have weekly blood tests for a year to monitor everything closely and keep on top of any regrowth. We’ll monitor everything closely by CT scans too but at least there is an end in sight right now!

Perry came with me to see what goes on here. Everyone in the office says we look alike. I told Perry: at least now you what you would look like bald, right?



Why didn’t I want to come in today? Well, I thought another round might kill me. Seriously. Like it might do more harm than good. My body feels like it might actually reject the IV and spit everything out. Dr. L was doing his dictation and he said into the recorder “she is experiencing chemo fatigue” and I quickly added loudly over him “AND CHEMO ANNOYANCE”…..I hope that makes it into the report. It started a whole conversation about medical dictation bloopers. Here are a few of my favorites that I found online:

“The next patient’s name is Doe, John…. I’m not sure which is the first name and which is the last name, although I would imagine Doe would be the last name, unless it’s John.” Source

“This is an outpatient history and physical dictated by Dr. Evans. Date of proposed procedure is on Friday the…gulp… 13th!” Source

Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant. Source

Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital. Source

She has no rigors or chills but her husband says she was very hot in bed last night. Source


Perry used her ponytail to make me some hair to entertain Dr. L. It must run in the family that we try to lighten the mood and make everything not-so-serious. Don’t I look like Andy Warhol?

In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.
-Andy Warhol

I’m bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is “In 15 minutes everybody will be famous.”
-Andy Warhol, later

I already feel better that I’m hooked up to the IV. No chemo yet…..just hydration and pre-meds. I’ll start feeling back to myself around next Tuesday, and I know come next Tuesday that I’ll be so relieved that I did the treatment.

Update: Sorry, I forgot to mention that my numbers aren’t at zero. My HCG numbers have just been fluctuating between 2 and 3… Dr. L thinks that might just be my normal range of HCG production.  We’ll know for sure once I go off chemo….if the tumors start to grow back soon after we’ll know that 2 and 3 means the tumors are still “alive.” If not, we killed them!  Hope that makes sense!

A Surfboard for Godzilla

At first glance it’s kind of hard to find my sister in this picture…..except for her hair. Perry and I made a day trip to L.A. today to pick up some fabric and do some shopping. I got a lot of hugs from employees and owners I see around the district….it was really sweet….especially because some of them can be all business and no chit chat.  Some of the big warehouses we go to are a little intimidating. Here’s Perry in the basement of one climbing up the stacks to cut a sample for me:

Here I am looking over some rolls:

We visited my friend Rafi at Avant Trims on Maple Street to check out some trims. He and his mother Lea also have a huge store Target Trim on the corner of San Pedro and 9th. Love them. Lea even calls me occasionally to see how I’m doing. Stop in and see them next time you are in the fabric district and tell them I sent you! Click here to view my post about other favorite places in the L.A. Fabric District.

I always comment on these funny little floral dogs in the flower district….I finally snapped a pic this time:

Oh, before we went to L.A. we stopped at IKEA. I love this picnic style table…..maybe for our patio one day? Perry and I ate IKEA hotdogs for lunch.

The coolest thing of the day…..passing a windmill blade. We couldn’t believe how big it was. It was bigger than a whale. Perry said it looked like a surfboard for Godzilla:


While one of our fabric orders was filled we stopped by Paul’s Kitchen for the best Chinese food. It’s on San Pedro and 10th. It’s been there for like 40 years. It looks like a hole-in-the wall from the outside but inside is really nice and great for sitting down for a meal…..there’s a great bar if you want to eat by yourself.

10 hours later we are home! I felt really good today…..but I still think my blood counts are really low. I could feel my legs buckling as I climbed stairs in one of the warehouses….they are so weak. Tomorrow morning I meet with Dr. L to see if I do chemo tomorrow. I’m kind of hoping for a “snow day”…..I feel like another round might kill me right now. It will be my 23rd week of chemotherapy but hopefully my last. I seriously contemplated not showing up this week.  Cisplatin yuck. Oh, guess what!? I have some hair growing back on my head……just not on the sides. I’ll have a mohawk soon. I’m losing my eyebrows though all the sudden. I haven’t had to shave anywhere else in weeks. Awesome.

In Good Hands

My sister’s husband Justin is here in the desert caddying for one of our friends Meaghan Francella for the Kraft Nabisco Championship this week. Today was the pro am. Dennis Haysbert, from 24, The Unit and Allstate commercials, wore a Choose Joy bracelet!  Here’s Dennis, Meaghan and Justin:


I love this guy. How awesome is his voice?!  Too bad my sister Perry wasn’t there…..she can recite the Allstate commercials…..maybe he would have been impressed. It probably gets old though 😉

We all went to dinner last night with Meaghan, Stacy Lewis (she won it last year!) and Alison Walshe and their families. Here’s a Choose Joy bracelet on Meaghan’s bag today!

Oh my. I went hiking today with my sister and friend Jackie. It was a struggle but I made it to the top! I had to stop every 100 feet to catch my breath and I kept getting nosebleeds. I know someone will inevitable say “you need to rest, Ashley” but that’s not how I work. If I feel like I can do something…..I’m going to do it. I needed some exercise, some Vitamin D…..maybe a little tan! I’m pooped but it was totally worth it. My stomach was messed up all weekend so I’m just glad I was able to get up and do something!

When we got to the top:

Perry: Why are we stopping?
Me: We are at the top.
Perry: Where’s the cross?
Me: Look up!
Perry: Oh! I thought that was just a pole!

Perry kept trying to return emails while she was hiking:


Lisa, Perry and I had lunch with some friends. They pitched in and bought the lunch from the Team Ashley auction.



All of that made for an awesome day!

Tuscan Bean Soup


Some friends of ours made the most delicious white bean soup with kale in it recently.  We loved it so much that I decided to try and recreate a version of it. I call it Tuscan Bean Soup. So easy to make and you can pop in any extra vegetables from the refrigerator that need eating up!

Serves 4-6

2 Cans of White Cannellini Beans
2 or 3 Carrots
2 or 3 Stalks of Kale
1 Large Onion
1 Package of Sliced Proscuitto
1 Carton of Chicken Broth
Olive Oil
Crushed or Minced Garlic
Salt and Pepper


First, chop up the onion into small pieces. Saute a bit of garlic in a large soup pot with some olive oil. Add in the onions and cook until transparent.

Chop up  your carrots into small pieces and add to the pot:

Tear apart the kale into small pieces removing the thick stalks. Add to the pot:

Slice up the proscuitto into small pieces and add to the pot:


Add in the cans of cannellini beans with the liquid:

Lastly add the entire carton of chicken broth to the soup and a 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper taste!

Serve with some crusty bread pieces! A quick and easy meal!





Photo of the Day: 60-years of Wisdom and Strength

I love this little vignette from Rosie….a sweet woman that works with my sister Perry. Rosie doesn’t know this……but I used to find four leaf clovers for my dad when I was little since he was born on St. Patrick’s Day.

Recently I was looking for something meaningful to give my 30-year-old niece who is going through breast cancer and remembered I had tucked away a few 4-leaf clovers in my Grandfather’s bible. Frankly it was about 60 years ago. I use the 4-leaf clovers to make you and my niece a little keepsake. I like to feel like they have been soaking up the wisdom and strength in that wonderful book.

60-years of wisdom and strength….and it reminds me of my dad too. So thoughtful. Ever feel like you are getting sent little signs?

Woodburning 101 (A Tutorial)

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial via

I’m having so much fun with this woodburner. My favorite thing I’ve made so far: little driftwood message hearts. I’ve had a lot of luck with this brand…..the Creative Versa-Tool.
Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 1 via


The heat control is key because it heats up much hotter than most wood burners…..making it much easier to burn:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 2 via


I ordered these pre-cut driftwood hearts on Etsy from Tinker’s Attic:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 3 via


Driftwood is super easy to burn because it’s so soft:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 4 via

You can add some paint for some color:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 5 via


A love note:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 6 via


My favorite point is the universal point…it performs all fundamental designs:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 7 via


A tapered point can burn more intricate designs:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 8 via


Just heat the tool up and using light pressure burn your design into the wood.

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 9 via

The longer the point remains on the surface the deeper and darker your burn will be.

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 10 via

Golden Fluid Acrylics are perfect for adding color:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 11 via

Leave a sweet message for someone you love! Drill a hole for to make a little gift topper or keychain. Place one in your kid’s or spouse’s lunch. Put one on your dresser.

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 12 via


A Lullaby

The other night… a state of insomnia….I posted on Facebook for someone to “please sing me a lullaby.”  About 30 minutes later there was a beautiful version of Edelweiss by Allison Barnes posted on the page. What a sweet gesture. Edelweiss was one of my dad’s favorite songs….it brought tears to my eyes.   Click here and press the play button to hear the lullaby!

Thank you Allie!

Photo from Allison Barnes

The Dishtowel Skirt (A Tutorial)

The Dishtowel Skirt (A Tutorial) via

This cute little skirt was made from dishtowels!


The Dishtowel Skirt 1 (A Tutorial) via

Inexpensive, easy to sew, already hemmed and festive:


The Dishtowel Skirt 2 (A Tutorial) via

Holidays always bring the cutest little linens. I picked up these two Easter-themed dishtowels from Target and made them into a skirt for Boo:


The Dishtowel Skirt 3 (A Tutorial) via

Here’s how to make your own! Dishtowels are perfectly sized for a girl’s skirt up to about a size 6.

Step 1 & 2: Lay out your dishtowels and cut them in half.
Step 3: Cut off the side seams, but leave the bottom seams.
Step 4: I used the towel with the bunny as a patchwork panel so I trimmed the sides.

The Dishtowel Skirt 4 (A Tutorial) via

Step 5 & 6: Sew together your panels to create 2 large panels.
Step 7 & 8: Once you have two larger completed panels, place them on top of each other and sew the side seams together.

The Dishtowel Skirt 5 (A Tutorial) via

Step 9 & 10: Turn your skirt inside out and fold the top edge over about 1.5″ to form a casing for elastic. Finish the raw edge.
Step 11 & 12: Stitch your casing closed leaving about an inch opening to insert the elastic into. Thread the elastic through, sew the elastic shut and close the casing.

The Dishtowel Skirt 6 (A Tutorial) via

I added some pretty crocheted trim at the bottom of the skirt for some extra detail:

The Dishtowel Skirt 7 (A Tutorial) via

Dainty and pretty!

The Dishtowel Skirt 8 (A Tutorial) via

The finished skirt:

The Dishtowel Skirt 9 (A Tutorial) via

To make a matching tank, I made a little pom-pom from crocheted trim……

The Dishtowel Skirt 10 (A Tutorial) via

…..and sewed it to a plain camisole:

The Dishtowel Skirt 11 (A Tutorial) via

An Easter-themed outfit!  A quick sew and great for a beginner project.

The Dishtowel Skirt 12 (A Tutorial) via

My sister Perry is here visiting this week! We had fun today hiding eggs in the yard to practice for some upcoming Easter hunts:

The Dishtowel Skirt 13 (A Tutorial) via