Everyday Inspirations


~ one year of inspiration ~

Doing my part to bring back old school fashion.

While writing this post, I quickly discovered that I'm currently inspired by lovely people, awesome memories... and clothes. I don't know. I guess that's where my mind is now. There, and on a beach chair in the Caribbean.

I want to thank you all for being amazing, dedicated readers. Every so often we get a note from one of you that is so kind, it touches our hearts and reminds us why we have chosen to write every day. Inspiration is such a quiet, personal thing. We feel so lucky you've chosen this blog to be a part of the beauty you seek in your lives.

Family. I am beyond grateful for my family and love that we are so close. Each member inspires and teaches me more than I could adequately express. My beautiful, amazing mother is so brave and kind and giving. She is my friend, my confidant. My dad is the kindest, most honest, most dedicated man I know. There has never been any doubt in my mind that he has my back and wants the best for us all. My rock star brother has always known who he is not and isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes. He never acts without integrity and is my hero in so many ways.

And to the puppies, of course, who remind us all what pure love is.
My sweetie. Oh, my Daniel, you are such a good, good man. I've never before known anyone so completely kind, honest, and friendly. You inspire me to improve myself each day--to be more patient, more calm. I think a sign of a great relationship (and not just a romantic one) is that the people in it challenge one another to grow and improve and learn. I have that with you. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to make the world more beautiful. I'm still blown away that you love me back and am so excited about all the adventures and memories we'll share.
The written word. I talk a lot about how much I have always loved to read and write, but it's only just recently that I've become rather awe-struck by what a blessing these two skills are. I am grateful I live in a country where knowledge is so accessible, where we have the Internet, libraries, freedom of expression; a place where I can easily find others who share my passion and push me to take my writing to new places and to seek out information. I know this right to expression can often be abused and is not always pretty, but I wouldn't want it any other way. Isn't it wonderful?
My girls. The years between, oh, ages 18 and 23, changed me more than I could have ever imagined. Learning to become a real adult (you know, with a career and rent and bills and no curfew) was more painful and more rewarding that anyone could have described. Each day I am inspired by the women who were there through it all, both when I cried and when I laughed. My memory is full of beautiful moments--warm summer nights with my Sarah on the porch of our first apartment, girls' nights out with my college buddies, long walks and talk of dreams. I'm so glad that these friendships tied us together and that we still keep in touch, still celebrate one another's big steps and successes, despite our crazy lives. I know we'll keep adding more memories, right up to the day we are wrinkly and old and sittin' on the porch. With a bottle of wine, of course.
Spring colors. I am out of my mind in love with pastels and light, airy fabrics right now. They just,... how do I explain? Lift my heart? This spring I've decided to retire black (as much as possible--I own a lot of black) and celebrate the changing season with color.
Utah. I know a lot of Salt Lake kids, including me, who were living for the day when we could break out of this state. Then one day we woke up and realize we are actually in love this place. Like, over-the-top, pull-on-my-heartstrings in love. The mountains up north. The red rock down south. The lakes. The snow. The activity. The people. I'm continuously blown away by the number of outsiders who say they also fell in love with Utah after a visit (my boyfriend being one of them--glad he felt that way!). Utah is incredibly beautiful and amazingly inspirational. I've been lucky to explore much of it and am glad I didn't leave before I realized what a unique, charming place it is (despite some of the things it's associated with--no, I don't know any polygamists). While I'm sure there will be a time we leave for a bit, I am proud to call this place my home.
Old school fashion. I am such a sucker for historical movies and TV shows. After overdosing on Mad Men (it's so beautiful!) and taking a trip to see The King's Speech (wonderful!), I have found myself crazy inspired by fashion from the 1930s through the 1960s. I yearn for lace gloves and hats and beautiful, classic necklines. My eye is out for these styles (in pastels, of course!).

Unfortunately I can't photograph these women myself, so photo credits go here, here, and here.
Belts. Yeah, this is my third fashion-related inspiration in this post. I can't help it. It's on my mind lately. I'm so ready to retire the tights and sweaters.

I'm not a "fashionista" in any way. I enjoy clothes and love dressing up, but I'm still learning a lot of tricks. Lately, my very, very favorite one is wrapping a belt around my (natural) waist. Swoon! (Thank you, real fashionistas, for bringing this tip into our lives.) I instantly I feel more feminine and love that a belt makes outfits a lot more interesting. Bonus: feeling beautiful from the moment I set foot outside my door always makes for a great day.
Physical activity. I love that both Teri and Angie are inspired by activity and that all three of our posts talk about getting active. It's not a coincidence. Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health and overall outlook on life. Three years ago, I started training for my first half marathon, after 23 years of swearing that I would never be a runner. I wasn't prepared for how spiritual that experience was for me, how it gave me an appreciation for my body and my abilities that I never knew I actually could have. That run changed me.
A big, beautiful world. We are so lucky. Our world and the people living on it were made to be admired. Doesn't it blow your mind that there are unlimited things to see and learn and discover? That we know so very much and yet we know nothing at all? I am giddy with the fact that our world is so limitless. I only wish we had more time to explore this gorgeous planet and get to know more of the amazing people on it.

{enter to win}
Psst... don't forget we're giving away a pair of handmade earrings and a handmade apron to our readers (one prize per reader, two prizes total). There are three ways to enter:
1. Tell us what inspires you in the comments section of ANY post, starting today through Wednesday, February 23. 
2. Become our fan on Facebook and write about something that inspires you on our wall.
3. Follow us on Twitter and tweet something that inspires you (make sure to include @365inspirations so we see it!).

We'll be collecting names all week for both prizes, so the more times you comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter, the more chances you'll have to win! Bonus--we'll be writing a special tribute post to our readers and your comment may just appear on it (we really want to make you a big deal... because you are).

One prize per reader. Open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.

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2/20/2011 12:47:03 am

I'm inspired by my mom!

2/20/2011 04:22:44 am

we are SO much alike!! I hope we get to live by each other again someday! xoxo

2/20/2011 12:53:03 pm

this is beautiful, ash. i am so happy to see you so happy. we are blessed for sure :).


2/21/2011 07:20:23 am

@Michelle I agree--moms are the best. Thank you for saying hello. :)

@Teri SERIOUSLY! We really do need to be neighbors or something. ;)

@Liz I adore you. I'm so glad you've always been part of my life.


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