Monday, July 28, 2014

Introducing: Be Your Own Lady!


If you've stopped by over the last week, you may have noticed that things look a little different around here. I'm basically beaming with pride to be revealing a new look, a new name, and a slightly more inclusive focus for this little corner of the internet.  Introducing: Be Your Own Lady.

This phrase first entered my head a few months ago when I was at the mall.  I was browsing in one of the fancy women's stores where each item of clothing costs several hundred dollars and all the housewares look like they were just shipped in wooden crates from a French farmhouse.  The kind of place that I am drawn to but always seem to trip while pretending to seriously consider paying $42 for some decorative pencils.  I happened upon a book called How to Act Like a Lady and snatched it up.  Perfect!  I love nonfiction and I love books that promise me a better life. I held this slim little tome and imagined that when I was done, I would be cured of bad habits like wearing the yoga pants I slept in as a reasonable weekend outfit, or buying birthday cards for people and never sending them.  

Steps from the check out, I heard a voice very clearly in my head.  "This book is going to make you feel like shit."  I froze.  I'm educated and I know how a lady acts.  I can draw one for you, list their characteristics, write a short story about several ladies sharing lady-like experiences.  A book about how to act like a lady can't magically make me one, and might possibly turn into a hammer, slamming me over the head with Things I Am Not. I stood in the middle of the store, feeling proud of that smart voice and a little sad to be losing the belief that the right book could teach me how to be BETTER and LOVELY and FINALLY RIGHT.  Then the voice spoke again.  "Be your own lady."  I grinned.

I wish I could say that day was a turning point, but I still stumbled on the cobblestone on the way out of the store (why is the entryway of your store cobblestone, Fancy Women's Store?) and I still struggle with my own ladyness.  I haven't let go of the troubling thought that everyone else is doing it better, being more creative, getting more manicures, raising more well-rounded children, buying nicer clothes, thinking more profound thoughts.  When I feel less than, in any way, and the pressure to measure up to someone else is poisoning me, be your own lady is a powerful tool that helps me make my best choice, which is often to wear something comfortable and read young adult literature.

My hope is that this site can be a place to share the things that make me feel like lady, everything from admiring tattoos and adoring Little House on the Prairie to missing going to church and hating Paris.  Not just about my motherhood and my family, but reaching out to check in with other ladies that are blowing my mind in the best way.  I want every girl I know to be encouraged to do whatever it is that makes her shine, whether it's red lipstick of potter's clay under the fingernails or staying in tonight, thanks.  This is a spot that should never make you feel bad for doing it different.

I'm doing a little giveaway to celebrate the launch of Be Your Own Lady.  In exchange for leaving a few comments, you will be entered to win a $25 Ikea gift card!  In my experience, ladies tend to like Ikea.  Guys, too.  Don't bring your kids and don't go the weekend that college campuses open back up, but otherwise, it's golden.  

You can get one entry by commenting here and telling me what you do to be your own lady (or be your own guy or be your own person or be your own typing rabbit, if you are one). You can get another entry by visiting any of the pages under the header at the top (about, frequently asked, favorites, the birthday list) and leave a comment on one of those.  Make sure you click the giveaway form below and show that you've entered!  The giveaway will close Friday, August 1st, and I will announce the winner!




I'm always super humbled that anyone is following along with the ramblings I post on the internet.  Having this site is a true joy and I really appreciate each person who takes the time to read what I wrote and share or respond.  Thank you so much!

28 comments:

  1. I love this idea Ashlie!! I once read this awful book called "Classy" and I imagine that's what the book you passed up on must have been like. It was really judgey and awful. To be my own lady, I say and do what feels right in my own heart.

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    1. It's kind of scary how much credit we give to anything this is written, no matter the source. If I read about something I'm "supposed" to be doing, my anxiety kicks in. Thank you for checking out the site! <3

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  2. I'm being my own lady when I use power tools to make something from nothing... and don't have to ask for help! :) great redesign, and great message.

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  3. Ashlie, I love the new site and I adore the title! To be my own lady...I would say that I act, dress and go about my life in a way that makes me happy regardless of whatever is happening around me. If I feel like getting a huge flower tattoo on my shoulder, I go for it. If wearing a funky dress makes me feel beautiful, I wear it. It's not about what anyone thinks or sees, it's about what makes you feel wonderful :)

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    1. I love your lady spirit, you're definitely an inspiration to me!

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  4. Love this--and once again so proud of you! I feel my strongest lady self when I walk into a work meeting calm, collected, prepared, and overall confident that I'm doing a great job. I have more and more days like that, which is something to be happy about.

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    1. I love your point about the power coming from being really well prepared. I need use that when I'm headed back to work, or even to center my home days. Thank you for checking this out!

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  5. Gah! I love this! I am my own lady because I live a little outside the norm. Small house, thrifted clothes, couponing crazy, and sharing it all with the world!

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    1. I'm so glad you checked it out! I love that you share your life, it makes me brave enough to share mine!

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  6. I always love reading about everyday life in Ashlie's world. It brings me back to when my kids were small and I was trying to do it all.
    Trying to be my own lady is not something I thrive at. I guess when I feel like my own lady most is when I put aside the day to day chores, worries etc. and truly spend time with my family. I find this hard to do but it is when I am most alive and fullfilled.

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    1. I'm so honored that you follow along :) I complete relate to having to fight for whatever makes you feel like your OWN lady, when there's so much other noise. Thank you for checking this out!

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  7. I wish I was the typing rabbit...I am my own lady when I do what I need for myself! Not always great at it, but everyday is a new day to try it out!

    Also, I don't have an Ikea near me, but I've been desperately trying to get Chris to road trip to Toronto [for Ikea][to see the sites] so maybe this will be the kick in the butt necessary!

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    1. Oh man, Toronto! I love that Ikea is on the list of sights, I hope you get to go! Take time for yourself, I love you.

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  8. Ashy, this is beautiful. I am my own lady when I am with my sisters. They are the most amazing and inspiring women in my life. I am at my most beautiful, unique, and valuable when I'm around my sisters because they bring out the best in me. The best in me is my family. I am my own lady when we are laughing hysterically at a ridiculous hypothetical situation, or listening to the latest drama, or when I cry every time my older sister posts about her perfectly imperfect and inspiring life on her blog, or when my other older sister runs an entire marathon that she has trained for every day for years, or when my twin sister prepares to marry the man of her dreams. I am my own lady because I grew up with the best ladies around.

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    1. I'm so glad we make you you. Spending time with you earlier this summer definitely inspired me to have fun and be young and take time for pretty things (like nose rings). I miss you, I'm so glad you read here and we can connect in this space when we're not next to each other.

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  9. Ashlie, This is just wonderful. You always amaze me with EVERY SINGLE STORY. I am my own lady when I do something that I want, without giving it a second thought. I am constantly overthinking things and have recently felt proud of myself when I make a decision without second-guessing myself and contemplating if it is "the right" decision or not.

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    1. I love this- second guessing can be torment. You are so smart, so it makes me happy to see you trusting yourself!

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  10. When you were about 9 years old, you wrote a story about a pioneer girl. After your Dad and I read it, he looked at me and said, "we have to do everything we can to nurture this talent". He would be SO proud.

    I am my own lady when I am in the presence of the beautiful Kauffman/Whitney women in my world. They represent my life's work, my past, my present and my future and I am so proud to have the relationship that I have with them all. They make me a great lady.

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    1. I think our family's strong women have definitely given me the confidence to define my own ladyness, even if it took my rebellious self awhile to realize that :)

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  11. What makes me my own lady: laughing too loud, smooching the cheeks of my 2 grown sons, wearing a 2 piece bathing suit when I know I shouldn't, drinking Real Sangria, thinking my husband is HOT, believing in prayer, dancing...badly, singing...badly, loving being a teacher, and loving JESUS!

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    1. I love this combination of excellent qualities you've listed! PS- no such thing as shouldn't for bathing suits, especially for you :)

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  12. FIRST of all... AMEN SISTER! Way to put down that book! Love this new direction for your blog!

    To answer your prompt: I have always been that "different" one who - hard as I tried - never seemed to be all that interested in the socially normal things the others girls were swooning over - hot guys, trendy clothes, expensive shoes, the newest TV show? Eh. Lets build a fort, explore somewhere new, or do something daring! Being a girl is rough when you don't fit the mold. But around age 16, I truly stopped caring, and embraced just being me! I love to RUN, lift weights, be strong, get dirty, be outside, sweat like a rainstorm, and work hard... and do it all wearing the brightest colors possible, smiling BIG, and eating way too much ice cream. I paint pretty much everything surface possible in bright colors, clouds on all my ceilings, and I have photos hanging ALL OVER my home, both ancient and taken yesterday - old ones never come down but new ones are always going up. Clutter makes me happy. I buy fair trade when EVER possible because I believe so passionately that how I spend my $ MATTERS. And you better believe I'll strike up a conversation about the reality of human trafficking and how we need to work for change rather than talking about the latest TV show... since I don't have TV anyway. ;) My life is non-stop with my two kiddos, and I wouldn't have it any other way. So, I guess what makes me my own lady is that I don't let anything stop me from being BOLDLY perseverant for the things that I passionately believe in, being STRONG enough to do my own dirty work, and being humble enough to know that it's all a GIFT! As the old Bible School song goes... "I just want to thank you Father, for making me, ME!" :)

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    1. 1) Now I'm dying to see your bright, beautiful house. 2) I wish I could have gotten your confidence earlier, because you seriously SHINE. Reconnecting with you has been a gift. Keep being your beautiful self.

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  13. I love this new look! I don't fit the mold of what a lady should be (the one in my head). I guess I feel most like a lady when I get a comment on my outfit or hair from one of my K students. It usually happens when I'm having a super bad hair day or when I really need to do laundry.

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    1. Those kids have the power to make your DAY with a compliment, because you know they have no filter so it's gotta be real! Your straightforward nature has taught me a lot about the lady I need to become.

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  14. Hi Ashlie! I LOVE your blog and especially the new concept! I feel like it fits well with my wholehearted living focus. (And not just the shame posts. :) Let's keep in touch!

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    1. Thank you so much, Erica! It means a lot coming from someone with a beautiful site like yours. In a time when I'm weeding a lot of my reading material out to train my focus, I just added you, so that says something :) I will definitely be keeping in touch!

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