About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl, and she is the main voice behind Embracing Beauty.

ULTA: Tree Hut Sugar Scrubs Deal – Only $4.07 Each!

This post contains my affiliate link.

Tree Hut Sugar Scrub

Right now, ULTA has select Tree Hut Sugar Scrubs on sale for $5.24! This is such a steal; they’re normally $10.49 each. Plus, you can also get $3.50 off a $15+ purchase when you use the promo code 989045 at checkout!

Tip! You can choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs. Shipping is free with $35+ purchases.

What Happened to BeautyCounter?

Last week BeautyCounter announced they’re closing up shop.

Their website says, ” Something new is on the way. We are currently ​working ​to build a new company but don’t worry, we’ll be back later this year with the safer, high-performing products you know and love, as well as some other surprises. In the meantime, you can find your Beautycounter favorites at Ulta locations around the US (through July only) and at Ulta.com (through July and beyond). If you want to be one of the first to hear about our launch later this year, drop your email below and we will be in touch as soon as we have more to share. Thank you for your support and for being a part of the better beauty movement.”

This is heartbreaking to the many loyal customers who relied on their clean beauty products. I feel even more for the women who made their livelihood selling it. According to CNBC in Jan. 2024, as many as 65,000 people promoted the products on social media and received a commission for sales.

As of right now, there are no further details about the relaunch. Until then, we’ll keep an eye out for BeautyCounter’s Instagram page.

How to Dress Like a Hipster 101

Dress Like a Hipster

Hipsters have been called the modern day hippies; they don’t want to conform to mainstream fashion or culture, and are creating an alternative culture that many young people identify with. When you boil it down, it’s all about being a unique individual and not letting society dictate how you should present yourself. Ironically, the hipster look is becoming more and more popular and is well on its way to becoming the mainstream fashion that it originally was meant to counteract. If you haven’t yet converted to a full-blown hipster but want to step up your hipster fashion game, read on for some style tips.

The Background

Hipsters don’t follow trends (except for the ones they’ve started). So vintage clothing stores should be your first stop if you want to hop on this bandwagon. Hipster style is pulled from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, with maybe a few modern pieces mixed in. Vintage boutiques specialize in the styles of yesteryear which makes them easier places to shop for the look you want. Think: retro inspired polka dot dresses and old-school suspenders. If you find them to be too pricey, try hitting the second-hand stores. You’ll have to do a little more digging to find vintage pieces, but they’re usually at a more budget- friendly price.  

The Clothes

The idea behind hipster style is that it’s effortless, not something you obsess over. Carefree and casual is what you’re going for. Let’s start with pants: you can’t dress like a hipster without a pair (or five) of skinny pants.  Color doesn’t really matter, but at least one black pair is a must and you should always throw in a pair of distressed jeans. T-shirts are a safe bet if they’re old and have rips in them, or feature vintage cartoon characters. Basic white tees are great too because you can layer them under a flannel shirt (plaid or checkered shirts are encouraged) or a funky military-style jacket.

For women, your pants should be high-waisted and worn with a belt.  And we’re not talking a subtle belt—big, bright-colored belts are perfect for the hipster look.  Cut-off denim shorts are popular with this crowd as well. Just wear them the same as you would your skinny jeans and complete the look with a pair of old Converse or boots.  The more worn-looking your shoes, the better.  

Dressing Like a Hipster

The Accessories

Now that you’ve got the clothes figured out, it’s time to accessorize and pull it all together.  When shopping for accessories, the main thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want something that looks brand new. You’re aiming for a secondhand or DIY aesthetic for the most part.

First, start with glasses. Have you ever noticed that a large number of hipsters wear glasses?  It’s rarely because their eyes require glasses, and more often they’re worn to complete an overall style.  Oversized, thick-rimmed glasses are the best way to go. Get yourself a pair with non-prescription frames and you’re ready to rock the look.  Or, if you actually do need them for your vision, then by all means get a prescription pair that compliments your hipster wardrobe.  

Finding a few retro necklaces or unique watches are another thing you’ll want to add to your collection. Pick out something not too trendy, like a retro watch with a digital clock face. In addition to shiny accessories, scarves with a plaid or checkered print are an important layer to add in the cooler months. They add style without looking overdone. And of course you’ll need a hipster hat to top off your look. A common choice is the fedora, worn at just the right angle. Slouchy beanies are also pretty common in the hipster fashion universe, but berets or wide-brimmed hats work well too. And for the final touch, you need a cool vintage bag. Try to find something that exudes a boho or 60’s vibe, perhaps an old messenger bag—just something that ties into your retro style.  

Now that you look the part, don’t forget to act it. There are no strict hipster rules you absolutely have to follow, but just remember that the whole point is to be the opposite of mainstream culture. Trust that your laid-back hipster attitude will pull that “I-didn’t-try-too-hard” outfit all together in the end.

POPSUGAR Must Have Box August 2017

PopSugar Box August

POPSUGAR gave me one of their Must Have boxes so I could tell you all about it.  This is their August box and it was incredible!

PopSugar Must Have Box August

It was full of things to make a girl happy.  Isn’t that what subscription boxes are all about after all?  With this box they were celebrating that they’ve been around for 5 years!  Yay!  I love POPSUGAR’s Must Have boxes and it’s hard to believe 5 years has gone by since they were first introduced!

DogEared Friendship Bracelet

Here is the rundown of what was in my box and scroll down below that to find out how much money I saved by getting them in the box as opposed to buying them individually.  Oh, and you can save $10 on your first Must Have box with my link and discount code below.

This box has a retail value of $150! That’s a great value for what you spend ($39.99 a month) on a POPSUGAR Must Have box!  They did a fabulous job with their 5-year anniversary box.  Everything feels special and I feel like celebrating myself…maybe I’ll celebrate the first day back to school!

Want a box for yourself?  You can find out all about the POPSUGAR Must Have Box here and when you use the discount code PARTY (expires 8/31/2017) you’ll save $10 off  your FIRST Must Have Box! 

Oh, I almost forgot!  You can enter the JEEP giveaway here to win one of 1,500 POPSUGAR Must Have boxes or the grand prize of a new JEEP Compass!

How to Grieve for the Loss of a Loved One

Grief is a natural part of coping with the loss of a loved one.  However, it is usually not considered the most pleasant of emotions, but it is a natural part of living.  When your loved one passes, it is generally a difficult time for everyone involved.  If you are looking for guidance, here are ways to grieve for the loss of a loved one.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

You should not suppress your emotions.  Suppression is the cause of grave mental stress, depression, and anxiety.  Some people have a natural reaction to ignore the negative feelings they have, but avoid this at all costs—your unprocessed emotions will find a way to haunt you somehow.  When people do not go through the healthy process of grief and sorrow, they fall into self-destructive paths.  Those who do not process their grief will likely fall into a deep depression, and have the capacity to trigger alcoholism, impulsive gambling or shopping habits, and other excessive behaviors.  While it does not come naturally to everyone, allow yourself space to feel.

Express Your Grief

People often confuse grief with mourning.  Mourning is the act of publicly displaying grief, such as in older traditions when women would where black to mourn their deceased husbands for a period of mourning.  However, grief and mourning are quite different.  Grief is the feeling of sorrow, and it does not have to be displayed publicly.  If you are someone who does not like to wear their emotions on their sleeve, consider a private way of expressing your sorrow.  There are many ways in which you can relieve yourself of sorrow that are healthy and constructive, and exclusive to yourself.

For example, you may want to try to write a letter. If you lacked closure with your loved one, write a letter to them expressing how you feel.  It can be filled with whatever you need to say, and you can write it and rewrite it as much as you need.  After you write the letter, you may feel like you have purged a lot of the negativity out of you for some release.  If you enjoy expressing yourself in writing, then this may be the right option for you.

Likewise, if you are a musician or artist, try creating work that expresses your sorrow.  Compose a song, a poem, or paint a picture that allows you to release some of your feelings.  Creative outlets can prove to be extremely beneficial for times of grief.

Go About Your Daily Routine

While the loss of a loved one may make you feel a desperate urge to find time inside your home for days or weeks on end, there comes a time when you must get back into a routine.  You may need more time to grieve, but going through a daily routine will help put you back on your feet.  Establish your daily schedule.  Find a good time of day to go to the gym, and make sure you continue to eat regular meals.  Even if it feels difficult, urge yourself to continue to go to work every day.  After a period of time, you will be grateful that you stuck to a routine. Regular exercise, for instance, is excellent to keep your body and mind healthy.  Instead of emotionally disintegrating on the couch at home, get active at a local gym.  Increased circulation through cardio stimulates pleasure centers of the brain and acts as the catalyst for releasing hormones such as endorphins, which elevate mood.  Improved diet will keep your immune system up, which can weaken during bouts of depression.  Decreased intake in artificial sugars will prevent inflammation in joints, headaches, and acne.  Meals packed with vitamins, minerals, and proteins will keep your body active and strong, which will in turn create a stronger and healthier mind.

Discuss Any Financial Matters Openly

When your loved one passes, the last thing you may want to think about is money.  However, it is important that you discuss the financial matters of a funeral service with your family, to prevent the burden of even more stress in your life.  Opt for funeral financing like the plans available from www.burialinsurance.org so that he or she gets the service they desire, and so that you can grieve for your loved one without the added stress of finances on your mind.

Losing a loved one is a horrible thing to go through but certain steps can help ease the decisions made during the difficult time.

8 Things I’ve Learned From Motherhood

I’ve partnered with Poise as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network to tell you 8 Things I’ve Learned From Motherhood.

Things I've Learned From Motherhood

Motherhood is incredible.  It won’t all be a bed of roses (some nights you will barely see your bed!) but the good will overpower the bad and your life will take on a completely different meaning. You will become a hero in someones eyes and that someone will be calling you mommy.  Your life will never be the same!  Here are 8 lessons I’ve learned from my short few years of motherhood.

  • – “Twinkle, Twinkle” and the alphabet song are the same tune.  My 3 year old pointed that out to me.  Light bulb moment!  How did I live this long without noticing that?
  • – One reason that parents are so sleep deprived (even though their kids sleep through the night!) is because we want to cram in as much as we can between the kid’s bedtime and ours.  Maybe I’m the only one but I often find myself at midnight, or 1 a.m., just getting to bed, because I had to do the dishes, prepare for tomorrow, fit in a little exercise, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (loving watching this again on Netflix!), read a bit of a book, and do this…write a little bit on my blog.
  • – When your kids are behaving in a way that makes you least want to give them affection and attention, that is usually when they need it the most.  When life gets crazy put down the phones, block out the distractions, connect and engage and life will be better for all.
  • – Your patience will be tested.  Before having kids I thought I was a patient person.  I didn’t grumble about a long line in the grocery store (which is good because I always happen to chose the slowest lines lol), I didn’t care if I made a wrong turn, and even though I liked being punctual I knew it wasn’t the end of the world to show up somewhere 5 minutes late.  After having kids I realize how impatient and selfish I can be.  It’s not pretty and something I have to remind myself of many times a day.
  • – Don’t worry what other people think of you.  You will be judged, sometimes harshly.  Don’t give a lot of thought to those opinions that are outside of your immediate family.  People will judge the number of kids you have, how far they are spaced, the way you gave birth, the names you chose, breastfeed or bottle fed, cloth diaper or disposable, sleep training or attachment parenting, homemade baby food or store bought, and on and on and on and on and on.  Research your heart out.  Choose what works for your family and stand confident in that even if it’s not what everyone else is doing.
  • – Keep a small vase handy at all times.  Flowers from children are a gift to be cherished.  Last weekend my mother-in-law told me a story about when her kids were younger and they picked flowers from a neighbor’s yard.  When she found out she apologized to her neighbor and what that neighbor said stuck in my mother-in-law’s mind all these years.  “I never mind when children pick my flowers because I know they’ll always give them to their mother.”  That makes me heart smile.
  • – Simple is almost always better.  Cardboard boxes are better than the latest toys (Appliance boxes are the best!! We’re currently enjoying a dishwasher “house” in our living room now).  An evening playing board games and talking with family is far better than another activity the kids need to be shuffled off to.  Family time is indispensable.
  • – Research what to expect after birth.  I read pregnancy book after book.  I read about the first week and month with a newborn.  I read and read and read but never once did I read what would happen to my body.  I figured that they would tell me at the hospital and didn’t give it much thought.  To my surprise a lot about my body changed…and I’m not just talking about how my stomach didn’t go back to it’s previous shape right away.  For one, if you’re not planning on breastfeeding you need a tight sports bra right away.  The cheap ones from Walmart won’t do, trust me.  Get the good ones! …and buy a few in case your baby is a spitter.  One more thing is to have some Poise pads on hand.  No one told me my bladder control would be out the window after birth.  Sneezing, running, laughing too hard, and even being startled will cause it.  Ugh!  No wonder no one told me about it, it’s embarrassing to admit!  We shouldn’t be so ashamed to talk about it though because statistics say that 1 in 3 women have light bladder leakage (LBL).
  • Poise pads
  • The Poise brand has teamed up Brooke Burke-Charvet to help educate women about LBL and empower them to seize their Poise moment.  That moment being the point where they stop letting leaks interrupt their lives and reach for products, like Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads.  The new Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads are the thinnest pads for LBL.   You can grab a sample at Poise.com.   They are thin-shaped pads, offer 3-in-1 protection, are designed to move with you and are 40% thinner than the original, but they stay 3 times dryer.  Those were two of the biggest after-birth surprises but there are a few others so if you’re pregnant, go google it.

Motherhood is one of the best things that could happen to a person.  It changes the way you see the world.  You care about another person more than you ever thought possible.  You get the joy of celebrating their successes and encouraging them through their struggles.  Motherhood is a wonderful, wonderful gift and it has taught me so much.  These 8 things I’ve listed don’t even scratch the surface.  What things has motherhood taught you?

PopSugar Must Have Box for June

A photo posted by Ashley (@embracingbeauty) on

I was given PopSugar’s June Must Have Box with an array of hand picked goodies.

Hat Attack Neutral Diamond-Printed Sarong ($58)!

NCLA Born on the 4th Nail Lacquer ($16)

Sisters of Los Angeles Bottle Opener ($12) – CHEERS Bottle Opener

Wild & Wolf Ridley’s Games Room “Who Am I?” ($11)

Knock Knock Are You Ready (For Your Close Up?) Compact ($10)

Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes (Not pictured) ($9)

Pressels Pretzel Chips (Not pictured) ($1.29)

Visit POPSUGAR Must Have Box to subscribe or find out more!

Break Up With Your Makeup

Disclaimer: I’m participating in the Break Up with Your Makeup program sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, L.P., the maker of Oracea® (doxycycline) 40 mg* Capsules, Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1% and Mirvaso® (brimonidine) Gel, 0.33%**.

Although an estimated 16 million Americans are dealing with rosacea, you may be surprised of the emotional impact that this skin disorder can have on sufferers. In fact, a national survey developed by Galderma Laboratories, L.P. in partnership with the National Rosacea Society, revealed that many patients struggle with feeling unattractive (50%), embarrassed (42%) and less confident (30%).  I’m sure that if you have rosacea those statistics aren’t surprising though!

Makeup and I used to be inseparable!  We wouldn’t leave home without each other.  My face had to be covered in a heavy liquid foundation with a light powder foundation for me to even think about stepping out my front door.  I never had a perfect complexion…not even close, so I was always ashamed of my natural face.  Fortunately, I guess, as I’ve gotten older and busier with kids I’ve learned to embrace my face.  I’ve also learned more about good skincare and that less is more.  Plus, I found out that some cosmetics can make the rosacea worse.  I was doing more harm than good!

Since I’ve wised up, I’ve focused my efforts into taking care of my skin, my base if you will.  Just like an artist wouldn’t paint on a dirty or uneven surface I was wasting my time “painting” on my symptomatic skin.

Here’s what I’ve been doing that’s working for me now:

– Moisturizer – I love my moisturizers and I try to find a one with SPF when I can, especially during summer months.

– Anti-aging Serum – As I’m getting older I’ve found myself in love with a good serum!

– Eye Cream – I use a small amount of eye cream everyday.  I love how moisturized it makes my eyes feel and I’ll do whatever I can to brighten them up.

Break Up with Your Makeup 

Break Up with Your Makeup is a national campaign sponsored by Galderma that aims to educate folks about the symptoms of rosacea and provides suggestions to help proactively manage the condition with available treatments, like Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, Oracea® (doxycycline) 40 mg* Capsules, and Mirvaso® (brimonidine) Gel, 0.33%**.

The goal of the campaign is for people to learn to feel more confident in their skin, which is a phenomenal goal if you ask me!

So please join the movement. Visit BreakUpwithMakeup.com to get the facts about rosacea and learn more about the campaign!

Important Safety Information for Oracea® Capsules

Indication: ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40 mg* Capsules are indicated for the treatment of only
inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules) of rosacea in adult patients. ORACEA Capsules do not lessen the facial redness caused by rosacea. Adverse Events: In controlled clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse events (>2%) in patients treated with ORACEA Capsules were nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, diarrhea, hypertension and aspartate aminotransferase increase. Warnings/Precautions: ORACEA Capsules should not be used to treat or prevent infections. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken by patients who have a known hypersensitivity to doxycycline or other tetracyclines. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, or during tooth development (up to the age of 8 years). Although photosensitivity was not observed in clinical trials, ORACEA Capsules patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. The efficacy of ORACEA Capsules treatment
beyond 16 weeks and safety beyond 9 months have not been established.

*30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads

Full Prescribing Information

Important Safety Information for Soolantra® Cream

Indication: SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, is indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea. Not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use. Adverse Events: In clinical trials with SOOLANTRA® Cream, the most common adverse reactions (incidence ≤1%) included skin burning sensation and skin irritation.

Full Prescribing Information

Important Safety Information for Mirvaso® Gel

Indication: Mirvaso® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%** is an alpha adrenergic agonist indicated for the topical treatment of persistent (nontransient) facial erythema of rosacea in adults 18 years of age or older. Adverse Events: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) included erythema, flushing, skin burning sensation and contact dermatitis. Warnings/Precautions: Mirvaso Gel should be used with caution in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, thromboangiitis obliterans, scleroderma, or Sjögren’s syndrome. Alpha-2 adrenergic agents can lower blood pressure. Mirvaso Gel should be used with caution in patients with severe or unstable or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease. Serious adverse reactions following accidental ingestion of Mirvaso Gel by children have been reported. Keep Mirvaso Gel out of reach of children. Not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use.

**Each gram of gel contains 5 mg of brimonidine tartrate, equivalent to 3.3 mg of brimonidine free base.

Full Prescribing Information

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Chai Tea and Biscotti

I take nap times very seriously.  I really do.  They are my chance to read something (above a second grade level), sip something delicious (usually warm), and soak up some quiet time (literally quiet time, I’m not talking about a devotional time here although sometimes that fits in here too).  Nap times are me time.  Even on days where I have laundry to fold or dusting to do I make sure to squeeze in a little enjoyable time for me.  Recently, I was able to try the new TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods in my Keurig®.  I’ve always enjoyed TAZO® tea but a chai latte at home was new for me.

I’ve always enjoyed a good cup of chai when I’ve been out and about but I never knew it was possible to have at home!  It was delicious and simple to make.  Here’s the brief rundown!

Tazo Vanilla Caramel Latte

  1. Empty the included packet into your mug.  This packet is filled with delicious goodness – sugar, milk, cream, honey, and natural flavors.  It’s the best part of the latte in my opinion. 🙂

Tazo Chai Keurig

  • 2.  Place your TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pod into your Keurig®, select the 8 ounce size, and run as usual.  This contains black tea, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, star anise, and natural flavors.  This is the spicy side of the chai latte and is so yummy.  I just found out that chai has it’s roots in Indian history.

Tazo Keurig

  • 3.  Once it’s finished simply stir and enjoy the frothy goodness.

As busy adults, it’s important to have a little down time each day to reduce stress.  If you find yourself wound a little too tight take a sip of TAZO® Chai Latte and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Tazo Chai KCups

New York Times Bestselling author and host Padma Lakshmi has partnered with TAZO® to celebrate the release of the new K-Cup® pods.  You can find out more information by visiting TAZO.com/chai.  She has developed recipes that pair perfectly with a cup of chai and you can find them all at TAZO.com/chai/pairings.  Until I have time to bake I’ve been enjoying my chai with store bought biscotti.  I think the flavors pair perfectly and it makes me feel like I’m eating a grown up snack. 🙂

What dessert would you pair with TAZO® Chai Latte?

You can connect with TAZO® on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | and on Instagram.

Adorable Kid’s Clothes at Swap.com

If you know me at all you know that I love kid’s clothes.  I have since the moment my daughter was born.  It’s fun to dress my kids up in all sorts of styles but there’s only one teensy tiny problem with that.  The cost!!  Kid’s clothes cost an arm and a leg!

One way I try and save is by shopping consignment sales.  I love the ones that we have in our town semi-annually.  They’re great fun but there are only two a year, we have to get up very early, bring our game faces, and fight the crowds.  While I love the challenge and embrace it I also like to shop slowly, at my own pace. …at home in my pjs. 🙂

Swap.com contacted me to partner with them for this post and I jokingly told them later that I wish I hadn’t heard of them because I’m now addicted.  I spent some time browsing their site seeing if they had any good brands (and they did!), seeing if shipping was outrageous (it wasn’t!), and to see if they had anything in the styles I like (they did!).  I’m happy to report back to you that Swap.com has a lot of great clothes at affordable prices.  Not all the clothes are in like-new condition but they list every flaw and price them accordingly.  I love that!  I can even buy affordable play clothes from the comfort of my living room in my “play clothes.”

Here’s what I found on my first (of many) shopping trips:

Hartstrings Skirt Swap

Check out this Hartstrings skirt!  It was on sale for $3.50 (originally $48!).  I saved 93% off the retail price.  That’s a great brand and an unbelievable price if you ask me!

Carter's Shorts

These Bermuda shorts from Carter’s were listed as good condition but they looked absolutely perfect to me (and I’m picky!).

I found another pair of shorts and was about to check out when I saw that they had a toy section.  I’m not one who loves to have a lot of toys but I wanted to see what they had.  They had a lot of character items, some toys were even brand new, and some that really caught my eye.  Check this out, a My Fair Lady Barbie doll from 1995!

My Fair Lady Doll

I love My Fair Lady (who doesn’t?) and my daughter is loving Barbies right now.  Modest Barbie, a chance to introduce my daughter to My Fair Lady, and a birthday gift for my soon to be 5 year old? Win-win-win! 🙂 Oh, and I price matched the doll on Amazon before I bought it and it was $25 cheaper here.  No brainer.
Swap Shopping Cart

Here’s what my shopping cart looked like.  Easy peasy.
Swap Clothes

The clothes have now arrived and they are perfect.  Look at that detail on the Heartstrings’ skirt.  Beautiful!  These are clothes my daughter can easily throw into her summer rotation and they were so cheap!
Swap Order

Here’s the doll!  I just love it and can’t wait to show it to my daughter.

My Fair Lady Barbie

If you love adorable and affordable kid’s clothes you should definitely check out Swap.com!