11.26.2017

Ashley Sunshine


Welcome to my little blog! If you've been an avid reader for the past four years, or have just randomly come across this page today, I'm so happy you're here. The Yellow Petunia, and all it encompasses, is a passion of mine. I absolutely enjoy sharing my travels, style & favorite quotes with you. I love bringing sunshine and happiness into this world--and focusing on the products, places and people who share my vision. 

With that being said, I also lead an extremely busy life outside of my blog, and must take extended breaks from time to time. Between my commitment to The Walt Disney Company, as well as my ever-expanding e-commerce boutique, not to mention cruising and visiting with friends and family the world over, I'm often reminded of my fellow Florida gal and blogger, Emily Ley, and her constant commitment to "grace, not perfection."

I want to live in a world where one truly LIVES. Where I can take time to relax by the sea, read an actual book, enjoy a glass of wine with my mom or explore a new culture and country.

I miss Key West. I miss Palm Beach. I miss Williamsburg, Virginia and Washington, DC. I miss Jordan and Italy and every Royal Caribbean ship that ever sailed! I miss learning new languages and working for the foundations and charities I so admire. I want to make the world a better place. And I want to get back to my roots, and not let a single moment of my life pass me by. 

I realize now that not every meal, outfit of the day or random life event has to be documented and shared on social media. I want to re-capture some serenity and privacy, and choose who and what I share the spotlight with. I challenge each and every one of you to do the same. 

This doesn't mean I'm leaving you forever. I'm just re-adjusting my priorities and plan to continue "micro-blogging" here and there. Do feel free to follow me, if you're not already, on Twitter, Instagram and especially Pinterest, where I've started a board called Ashley's A-List of all my favorite things...curated by sunshine. 


I also invite you to visit my pride and joy, my Poshmark closet & boutique. Here I have partnered with like-minded brands like Adia Kibur, T&J Designs and Ily Couture to bring you the best in style. I also sell the many, many clothes I have in my own personal collection from my years of cruising, shopping and working in fashion, so be sure to check out the classics from Tory Burch, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Kate Spade New York and everything in between. My mom {& my lucky charm, Petunia herself!} have closets as well, but we recently merged into one big happy family under the Ashley Sunshine brand, so be on the lookout for their upcoming fashions as well! 


If you haven't dowloaded the Poshmark app, or visited Poshmark's website, now is your chance! Use my exclusive code ASHLEYSUNSHINE for $5 off your first Posh purchase.

...and yes, will I be back from time to time? Of course! When the mood hits, you may just visit this site and uncover the most fabulous post you've ever seen about some exotic locale or uplifting experience. So please do stay tuned, for it isn't the end, it's just the beginning.

"...one day it just clicks. You realize what's important and what isn't. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you've come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you've fought to become."


May love & an abundance of sunshine bless all of your days.

10.16.2017

Coat Of Many Colors: The J.Crew Fall Style Edit


10.12.2017

Ashley's Favorite Fall Statement Bags


10.10.2017

Petunia Picks: The Anthropologie October Edit


10.09.2017

Ashley's Fall Color Edit: Purple


10.08.2017

Ashley's Fall Color Edit: Yellow


10.07.2017

Ashley's Fall Color Edit: Red


10.06.2017

Ashley's Fall Color Edit: Blue


10.05.2017

Ashley's Fall Color Edit: Orange


10.04.2017

Ashley's Fall Color Edit: Green


9.25.2017

Something Special: Treasure & Bond x Arielle Charnas' Something Navy


I am usually not one to get extremely giddy over a fashion collaboration, but Something Navy's Arielle Charnas is the real deal. The clothes in her capsule collection with Nordstrom's Treasure & Bond are as authentic as she is. Colorful, comfortable and versatile, I guarantee you'll fall in love with each piece! 

Fun fact: This is also fashion with a purpose, as 2.5% of all net sales will be donated to the YWCA.

Shop the collection HERE

Something Stylish, Something For Everyone.



5.22.2017

Creativity & Class: Cambridge Avenue Design


Recently, I had the honor of interviewing my beautiful friend {+ girl boss!} Kathryn Loboda, of Cambridge Avenue Design. Along with her husband Chris, their online boutique {home of the original personalized stemless champagne flute!} has brought joy and style to celebrations the world-over. Her commitment to her craft and passion for life is contagious, and I encourage each and every one of you to consider Cambridge Avenue Design for your next keepsake memories and milestones.


Hi! I’m Kathryn, the founder of Cambridge Avenue Design. I will always be a Georgia girl at heart, but for the past seven years I have been loving every minute of living in the Sunshine State. In 2010, I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Merchandising and Business. I spent the summer of my senior year interning at a bridal salon in Orlando, Florida and fell in love with the wedding industry and the Florida lifestyle. I had always dreamed of living by the beach and opening up my own little boutique, so after completing my internship, I decided to stay in Florida! I met my husband Chris a few months later and we got married in front of the most beautiful, turquoise ocean in Siesta Key in 2014. We both fell in love with the west coast of Florida and he promised me we would end up there one day. Fast forward to today: we are both running Cambridge Avenue Design full time and are living next to that beautiful blue ocean in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I have to pinch myself everyday!



What was your inspiration behind the creation of Cambridge Avenue Design?

"...for as long as I can remember, I have always been creative and have loved doing anything artistic. I would spend my free time sewing, painting, and making just about anything and everything. The thought of having my own Etsy shop was always on my mind, but I had no idea what I would sell. This was all until a friend convinced me to finally just go for it {thank you Kirstie!} I opened my shop and named it Cambridge Avenue Design. At the time, Chris and I were living in our first home we purchased together on Cambridge Avenue. This was also the name of the street that I was born on, so the name was a perfect fit! I started out selling sports themed baby bibs, bows, and painted wine glasses. Sales were pretty minimal, but I was happy to have a little extra spending money for the craft store! I wanted to offer more than sports related items and really wanted to make something a little girlier. The wedding industry was fresh in my mind after planning every detail of my own wedding the year before. Between that and my previous experience working at the bridal salon, I figured that would be the perfect fit!

I hopped on Etsy to find an EXTREMELY saturated market with decorated wine glasses for weddings. I felt a little intimidated, but thought it was still doable as long as I could make my glasses stand out somehow. While shopping for blank wine glasses, I noticed these stemless champagne flutes that I had never seen before. I instantly had this vision of a gold, cursive name going up the length of each glass. Holding my breath, I jumped on Etsy to see if anyone offered them. I literally squealed when NO ONE had them! I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I made my first prototype, I knew I had something good. Unlike my bows and baby bibs, these glasses took off instantly. I was absolutely thrilled. I got busier and busier and was able to slowly make the transition from my desk job to doing Cambridge Avenue full time."



What are your favorite things about running an e-commerce business? 

"...oh gosh, what is there NOT to love!? Let me start off by saying how grateful I am to live in a time where this is even possible. I am an introvert and homebody to the max, so being able to run an online boutique from my own home is literally better than anything I could have imagined!

I love the freedom that comes with being your own boss. It gives you complete control over every aspect of your business, both creatively and financially. It blows my mind that I can jump out of bed one morning with an idea, bring that idea to life, upload it to my shop, and hear the famous Etsy “cha-ching” hours later. The satisfaction of selling a product you created from scratch is unlike anything else! Not only do you not have to run your idea by anyone else, but you are able to offer it to the world within seconds of creating it. The sky is truly the limit when you run your own e-commerce shop. Thanks to the internet and social media, it has never been easier to get your name or brand out there. 

The flexibility is wonderful. Some days I will work 12 hours straight without a break because I am just so engrossed in my orders. I can turn on an audio book while I work and I swear the day just disappears! Other days, I need to unplug from the world and head to the beach! I love having flexibility and control over my schedule. There are no rules to when your day needs to start and end.

On that note, I LOVE waking up without an alarm. Being able to let your body wake up naturally is a gift in itself. I typically wake up before 8 every morning, do yoga on my patio, make a cup of a coffee and get started on my day. While never having to leave the house would make some people go crazy, it is a dream come true for me!"

What is your best advice for someone thinking about starting his/her own online business?

Three things!

JUST GO FOR IT! The best thing to do is to just dive in head first and know that the rest will fall into place. Even if you have no idea what to sell, just start somewhere. One thing will turn into another, which will turn into something else, and eventually you find your niche. If you put your whole heart into it and work hard, the rest will evolve naturally 

Differentiate yourself. I truly believe the only way to really succeed is to find a way to set yourself apart from everyone else. You have to create something that is new and different or you will get lost in the crowd. When I created my personalized gold champagne flutes, nobody had them on Etsy. Now there are hundreds of them that look exactly the same. My best advice is to be different from everyone else. Make your product stand out. 

This leads me to #3. Stay in your lane. It used to drive me absolutely insane when I saw people copying me. Not only did their product look exactly like mine, but I would often find my exact descriptions copied and pasted into theirs! They would often undercut me on price too, in order to get their sales up. Talk about a punch in the gut. I have found that I am happiest and do my best creative work when I don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If people are copying you, it means you are doing something right. Run your own race don’t waste your precious energy on your competition. Just be better.




Fun Facts About Kathryn

Favorite Flower: ALL OF THEM! I am a crazy plant lady for sure. I especially love any flower that is pink and my yummy smelling gardenias!

Favorite Vacation Destination: Honestly, my favorite beach is about ten minutes from our house so a stay-cation would be ideal! We went to Colorado for our honeymoon and absolutely LOVED it, so I would definitely say somewhere snowy like the mountains too!

Favorite Sports Team: I am a huge sports fan. Auburn football, of course and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have to be my top two picks :)

Favorite Quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” I have had this quote plastered on my mirrors and walls for years and I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without seeing it and really focusing on it every single day.



For more information on Cambridge Avenue Design, or to place an order for your next celebration, visit Kathryn and Chris through the link below.

















5.17.2017

Emily Ley + The Simplified Planner, Part II {Cover Reveal + Launch Day!}

Academic Agenda, Daily or Weekly by Emily Ley



 




Launch day is officially here! If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that I am obsessed and hooked on all things Emily Ley {see my previous post here}--especially her most lovely product of all--The Simplified Planner. On May 10th, covers were revealed for the new academic {available now!} and calendar year {available in September!} editions. I am in love with all of the updates in style and efficiency. This year I've been using the pineapple style + and next year I'm planning on the fancy floral--but quite truthfully, I think I need all of them because they're just so fashionable! This year, Emily has added not only stickers {YAY!} but helpful hints as to how you can continue to simplify your life, month-to-month. In the above photos are some of the examples of how to use your planner--whether your schedule is super hectic or has the utmost balance {lucky you!} The SP team has also re-designed the magnificent boxes that the planners come in--and they are a great edition to one's bookshelf {and the perfect place to keep all of your paper mementos!}

I always stress, that when you purchase the agenda, you'll want the accessories, and below is a list of some of my absolute favorites:




All of these products are so elegantly presented and make the PERFECT gift for moms, teachers and best friends! 

So it is my fervent hope that you fall in love with these items and this lifestyle as much as I have over the past year. Emily Ley will make your life more confident, stylish + bright!


5.13.2017

5.08.2017

The Simple Life: Spotlight on Emily Ley


Earlier this year, I walked into a Target. I really felt at a crossroads concerning my own path and decided I would look to see if there were any new and inspiring books out. That's when I came across a bright pink hardcover book with a beautiful title, "Grace Not Perfection." It seemed intriguing as I skimmed the pages. I had never heard of Emily Ley, but figured this book was something worth buying. Little did I know it would change my life! I was immediately hooked on her brand and her vision--someone else in the world {and a Florida gal!} struggling with the idea of perfection and how to simplify and enjoy all the important {and little!} things in life. This book and this woman brought me back to center {thanks, Emily!} I've been calmer, happier and more organized ever since. I started eliminating all of the "clutter" in my life--not just material things but people as well. I made a commitment to always be surrounded by goodness and genuineness--grace, not perfection.


 After visiting her amazingly fun set of websites {the shop, the blog, the playbook!} I decided to purchase my first Simplified Planner. I even got it monogrammed {check out all of my Instagram posts!} I've tried so many planners over the years--Lilly Pulitzer, Rifle Paper Co., Vera Bradley--and they were ALL beautiful--but nothing seemed to stick, until now. Every time I open my gold pineapple planner, I feel empowered and joyful and want to create days and memories full of meaning. I use it not only as a calendar, but a place to post my thoughts, dreams and desires {yes, there's also a 2017 bucket list page--and yes, more cruising was on my list!} 




Emily has so many fun products for purchase on the site! Some of my favorites are the new Recipe Binder, Pineapple Pen Cup & elegant paper clips! She also has free printables for everything under the sun--from spring cleaning to blogging to fitness--it's a one-stop-shop!

If you haven't done so, I encourage each and every one of you to read the book, buy the planner and start a simpler, happier life full of meaning. I promise you that you'll never regret the simple things--tried and true tradition, the feel of an actual book and pen in your hand and an organized, simplified, grace not perfection lifestyle. 

The new covers for 2018 will be revealed in two days on May 10th--with ordering soon after! 



5.02.2017

May Flowers


Wishing everyone a lovely May! I started the month with these gorgeous flowers from my mom. The perfect "just because" surprise! They put a smile on my face and reminded me of the quote "...there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy."



4.16.2017

4.03.2017

Simple Skincare With Tatcha



I always LOVE it when I can find a skincare brand that is new and different--something that stands out and has a great back story--and Tatcha is no exception!

Inspired by a trip to Japan, the founders of Tatcha use a “less is more” approach to craft simple, fresh skincare products. {history lesson: the brand was also influenced by ancient Geisha skincare rituals!} You can browse serums, creams, powders and cleansers by skin type to find the perfect option for your skincare routine.

Start with the bestsellers {+ some of my favorites!} below or find your next beauty product here.



The starter set is a two-week introduction to the Tatcha skincare line and is perfect for someone that wants to try a few products before committing to a routine {something I really think is vital when picking the perfect products.} The kit includes a Camellia Cleansing Oil, a Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, The Essence and The Silk Cream.

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This unique lip balm is infused with Camellia Oil and 23-karat gold flakes {who wouldn't want to use this? It sounds magical!} Rich in vitamins A, B, D and E, this product absorbs quickly to re-hydrate your lips and give you a glossy shine.

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Spritz the Dewy Skin Mist on your face throughout the day to soften and smooth your skin without smearing your makeup. Tatcha’s formula re-hydrates and refreshes, unlike other mists that contain high levels of alcohol or fragrance and leave your skin feeling dry. It’s a must-have mist to throw in your bag for long days.
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The Rice Enzyme Powder is ideal for normal or combination skin. Use half a teaspoon and rub your hands together to create a thick foam. Massage the mixture onto your face and rinse for brighter, smoother skin. This product also contains Tatcha’s anti-aging HADASEI-3™ Complex.

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Happy Monday!

4.02.2017

A Beautiful Truth


Bunnies + Blush With Ily Couture







{photos via ily couture}


Happy April! With Easter just around the corner {two weeks to go!} I thought I'd highlight some of my favorite new styles from Ily Couture. I absolutely LOVE their Easter bunny statement tees {how adorable is the one for kids--they also have this cute style here.} What is awesome about these looks is that the graphic bunny {with the heart nose!} can also be worn all spring, or in any season because the look is as adorable as can be--on all ages.

I also love incorporating blush pink into this time of year, and Ily doesn't disappoint when it comes to highlighting this feminine and romantic spring color. Besides that beautiful off-the-shoulder top {I also have it in black!} seen above, I also think this duster jacket is ideal for layering in transitional weather. Pair with your favorite heels and a beautiful spring bouquet of flowers in your much-beloved tote for a picture perfect look.


3.20.2017

Happy Spring


I love spring! It's the "renaissance" season--a time of re-birth and re-commitment to life, love and happiness. It's the season of "fresh starts" and "clean slates," a time to re-define one's goals, vision and purpose. Today I choose to be humble, compassionate, kind and confident. I choose to live a life of joy and intention. I choose sunshine, fresh air and flowers.

"...if we had no winter, spring would not be so pleasant. If we had no taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." --Anne Bradstreet

"...spring is the sun shining on the rain...and the rain falling on the sunshine." --The Secret Garden

"...that is one good thing about this world. There are always sure to be more springs." --L.M. Montgomery

"...the beautiful spring came; and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also."  Harriet Ann Jacobs


3.06.2017

The Creative Petunia: Sunshine + Blooms



Unseasonably warm weather around the USA {and always here in the sunshine state!} has me eagerly anticipating the soon-to-be months of spring and summer! I recently discovered Fabric.com, and this site is a treasure trove of ideas to bring warmth and bold florals inside, outside + everywhere in between! Redecorate your pool house, start a nautical-themed project, design summer dresses for the family and more. The possibilities are endless! 

Shop all prints here, or check out my favorites below.

This cream print brings a bohemian vibe to any project. Sew leggings, jumpers, aprons and more with the nature-inspired fabric. It’s 95% cotton and 5% spandex, making it a little stretchy for additional comfort.


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This lightweight cotton jersey knit fabric is perfect for t-shirts, summer lounge shorts, leggings, children’s clothes and more. Use this print to create a mother-daughter look that’s perfect for summertime beach photos.


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This bright floral fabric has hints of lime, magenta, white and peach on a teal background. The vibrant fabric is perfect for outdoor cushions or a beach cover up. 

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Bring green, blue, pink, hot orange, red and maroon into your next quilting or DIY project. The fabric is lightweight, 100% cotton and can be machine-washed in cold water, making it a good choice for blankets or apparel projects.

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