Proof in my hands

Guess what I got today?

I had no clue it would be here this soon.

My youngest daughter, who is 7, was around
when I realized there was a package waiting
for me. She has been so encouraging through
this entire process. To see the light in a child's
eyes her age as she says, "mom you can sell this book",
is absolutely priceless.

We called my other daughter in the room,
hubby wasn't home yet. The thought of waiting
on him to open the box did cross my mind, but
a little voice told me go ahead.

I grabbed for a knife, cutting the box open.

My eyes pounced with proudness!

Finally, in my hands a finished product.

Both girls ran, dancing with a copy in their hand.

I really could not believe my eyes, how awesome
the finished product turned out. Although, it is
not really finshed. I have to proof it, right, that is why
it's called a proof.

As goofy as they look, my littlest one made me take a picture, like so!
And she took them, priceless...


A week after finishing my book cover design,
I fought myself but finally ordered
a proof of Daddy's Briefcase

After talking with other authors,
I realize this is completely normal
to have the jitters, but man.

So, I must wait patiently.

I hear it can take a week, two weeks
or longer to receive your proof.

I will keep you posted!

Homemade Instant Cappuccino

This time of year
all the things I shouldn't be eating
or drinking tends to become my favorite!

And sadly, it will not stop until after
the first of the year. That's what makes
me so sad. I really should use alittle
self-control, right!?

Until then, I want to share one of my favs with you.

Homemade Instant Cappuccino

1 cup instant brewed coffee
1 pack instant hot chocolate
1 tablespoon full of sugar
1 or 2 splashes of milk

you can even use a dash of

enjoy my friends,
ashley :)

Book Cover Design

WoW! I have a book cover!

My heart melts looking at this.
Oh, at how real it makes it.
After five long years,
it's finally coming all together.

I created a template in Photoshop for my
book size 5.06 x 7.81

Generated by this formula:

Bleed + Back Cover Trim Size + Spine Width + Front Cover Trim Size +
Bleed =Cover Width

Bleed + Book Height Trim Size + Bleed
=Cover Height

.125 + 5.06 + 0.535976(238 x .002252) + 5.06 + .125 =
10.905976 width

.125 + 7.81 + .125=
8.06 height

The spine width is figured by the number of pages
multiplied 0.002252. My book will be 238 pages.
See above the 238 x .002252
= 0.535976.

Photo Shoot

I am really used to being on the other side off the lens!

In order to have a photo for the back of Daddy's Briefcase,
I simply had to go for it. My sweet, sweet teenage daughter
graciously photographed me.

Thank you so much from the
bottom of my heart. I am diffently
seeing photography in your future.

Thes are only a few she took,
I know really how many must one take!?

Out of this group they look
a lot alike to me, but one perfectly fits
for the back cover.

Can you see the one I picked?

Mary Beth Chapman

When the kids started school this year,
I wanted to read something. Something from a Christian
prospective, and the Christian fiction author, Chris Fabry,
I have grown to love newest book, Almost Heaven,
wouldn't be out until October.

Mary Beth Chapmans new book Choosing to See,
caught my eye. So I read it in August/September....
I really enjoyed it! Mary Beth did
a great job of fully opening her heart.

Not only showing the struggles of the loss
of their daughter, but struggles through the years
as well. Although her struggles are different than mine,
I so could relate to her. Her book in away reminds me of
what my book will be like, glimpses of other struggles through
the years that bring us to a even bigger struggle.

I know for me I wouldn't change one thing about my life,
and I am thankful Mary Beth shared her story. It shows us
no matter who we are, where we are that life does and will
have struggles but if we choose to see, it makes everything
that much brighter.

I choose to see!

Facebook Status #3

I love when I learned something new.
I am a big fan of American Idol, its one of the few
shows I actually watch.

And to hear on the radio the other day that Jason Castro
is now a Christian singer and song writer, my heart just
melted. Check out his new song: You Are The One

I shared this on facebook one day recent!

I also asked for his new CD for Christmas,
so we will see, I can't wait!

Facebook status updates...#2

Okay I am no marriage expert,
but hubby does call me "Dr. Phil",
nor do I proclaim to have a perfect marriage
but after being married for 15 years now,
hmmmm let's just say I have seen it all.

Not just through my marriage but friends as well,
and being a wedding photographer. So I am
always on the look out for helpful insight on marriage.

Facebook Status Posted on September 22
"I saw this, this am...tried posting it from my phone, but it didn't here you go - it's from focus on the family!!!"

Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Christian music

I remember a time in my life
when someone suggested I listen to a
Christian radio station.

When I tried listening, I just couldn't
make sense of the songs, although I am a Christian.
And ultimately switched back
to my regular schedule program, other stations.

In the last year though, I have switched back to the
Christian radio station and boy have the songs spoke
volumes to me.

So I invite you to listen to the station I listen to,
check out for you local station.
You will hear such real life things happening on klove.
then listening into the music, where they go behind the scenes
to give details how the song came about, is my fav!

Let's just say if your not into Christian music now, there is hope!!!

Facebook status updates...

Okay so I am not gonna lie to ya, it's hard having a family and writing a book. Things tend to get neglected...I tend to updated my facebook status rather than coming over here writing up a blog I want to share a few status updates with you, the first one is from August 24th- "As hard as it was six years ago to give up my dream job to be a stay-home mom, boy my life would be so different, I am so glad I listen to God's he calling you to be somewhere you can't see yourself, be sure to his calling!!! :)"

and I attached this video, from a local church...

August 22: "Pinelake Inside Out: Values - Leveraged Living" from Pinelake Church on Vimeo.


In order to sale my book, Daddy's Briefcase,
I have to have a ISBN,
International Standard Book Number,
a unique number that identifies a specific publication
of a book.

If you look on the back of any book,
where the bar code is, the number that
appears is the ISBN.

I purchased a block of ten,
just days ago. This makes it seem so
real that I am actually going to have a book
in print one day soon!

I chose a block of ten, because once
they are yours the numbers never expire,
and I hope in the future to publish another book.

If you need information or looking to
purchase an ISBN number,
I purchased mine from myidentifiers.


It's been six years!

The later part of 2004, I gave my
letter of resignation as office
manager for a local dental office.

At that moment I became a stay-home mom.

Although this was a well prayed about
happening for my family, it didn't make it

But I know with out a doubt, it is where I am
supposed to be. Oh, if I had not listened
to God's plan for my life, my family, where would
I be? Who would I be?

Are you a SHM?
Has there been a time you listened or
didn't listen to God's plan for your life?

I am not a reader...

I know, I know
I have said several times,
I am not a reader!

And although I still claim that to be true,
there are a few things I have read over
the past year that I really, really liked.

Two books, by Chris Fabry
June Bug

I read them just in that order.

When June Bug first came out last year,
I saw it in the home life magazine. Not knowing
who Chris Fabry even was, I felt compelled to
looking into getting the book.

The cover really caught my eye.

I was at a point in my life of needing to
reconnect spiritually, which is another blog
or book in it's self. So after making a trip to the
local Christian book store, I purchased June Bug,
at the beginning of the school year, last year.

I relate to my kids school year.

Reading June Bug took me to a safe zone,
a zone I personally needed to be in.

I absolutely loved reading June Bug.

By the end of the school year, I was looking for
another book. One that would take me peacefully
to where June Bug had.

So off to the local Christian book store I went.

I really had in my mind, I would find another good
book as good as June Bug. After browsing the shelf
for awhile looking at different books by different authors,
I couldn't find one that really jumped out at me.

I knew I really liked the way Chris Fabry writes.

So I went over to Dogwood, picking it up.
Paid, left and laid the book down somewhere at home.

It was several days maybe even weeks
before I even started reading

I had in my mind I just bought it because I didn't find anything else.

I'll let you in on a little secret.

When I finished Dogwood, I wanted more of Chris Fabry.

Only thing is his next book,
Almost Heaven, is not due until
October of this year.

Now if you clicked on the Almost Heaven, you
probably saw something else first. If you didn't click
on it, go do it now.

Yelp there you have it, Drew Brees-
Coming Back Stronger:
Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity
with Chris Fabry

Now how bout that? I had no clue either...

Back at super bowl time, I posted
Interview with Drew Brees, to me Drew
is just an awesome person...

But if I ever tell you again I am not a reader,
that's that...

I am not a reader, I am a writer...!!!

but SHhhh writers do read too...
I just find it hard for certain types of books
to hold my attention, I guess it is kinda like a movie
or music. We all have differences.

Have you read any of Chris Fabry's books?
Have you ever been on a cross road spiritually?
Do you plan to read Drew Bree's book?

A New Hallelujah - Michael W Smith

My oldest daughter took drivers ED this summer, which meant my younger
daughter and I got time to ourselves...

One morning after dropping her off, I turned the radio up,
hearing a sweat little voice on the back sit singing
A New Hallelujah....


Life can change in a flash

Friday April 30th '10 my mother was involved in a single car
accident. She fell asleep at the wheel on the way
home from work.

That afternoon, I had just talked to her.
We were making plans to attend
my step-cousin's wedding on that

Around 3:45 my cell phone rang,
a unknown number, which I am usually
guilty of not answering, showed up on my

When I answered, it was mother.
She didn't say hey this is mother.
She just went directly into, "I went to
sleep on the way home and I am hurt bad"

My mother is a woman of her word, what
she says she means.

I flipped out right in the middle of the local
shoe store. Both of my girls were with me
and we left the store immediately.

Making my way to the hospital, still so unsure
of her injuries, I tried to calm the girls and
myself. Her life flashed really fast in front of me.

When I was 20 years old my father died
right in front of my eyes. I had told myself through
the years if and when something happen to mother
I would be fine. If I could be so young and lose
daddy like that I could make it through losing her as well.


There was not one thing easy about this ordeal at all.

I paced the floors of the ER waiting for the ambulance
to arrive. When it did, I watched mother flat on a strecher
roll into a room. That I later entered, looking at the
bottoms of her shoes first.

All she could say was how SORRY she was.

That night turned into a week stay or longer in
the hospital. Test after test, looking for answers
to the case of the wreck as well as answers to her
injuries. Injuries was bang up literally from head to toe.
The first 24 hours she could not even left her head off
the pillow. Lastly, she ended with 3 compressed fractures
in her back. OUCH!!!! is really a little word for how she
has felt.

Although it has been two months now, she is doing so
much better.

We got her a car, hers was totaled, this past week and
her glasses, they were lost in the wreck.

I have tend to her as much as possible.

When she first came home she was on a walk.
Unable do do anything for herself.

grocery shopping
drying her hair

any daily chore you do for yourself
was out for her, but like I said she is
doing much better. Slow but better
is what I have to keep telling her.

I am not sure when she will return to work.

I am very thankful no one else was involved.

Her car left the road hitting a ditch, ramping a
cattle fench landing several several feet past the
fence. I picked at the ER workers, telling them she
was chasing cattle.


My family took a day trip to the Memphis zoo
one Saturday in June. This trip was extra fun!!!

The last time I can remember going to Memphis
was when I was a child, then one time I took a flight
and the first flight stop was Memphis - so actually I was only
at the Memphis airport - which I thought was really nice.

So for this day trip, I googled all the directions, printing them
out placing them in a small black binder-which my husband
completely laughed at. This way my kids were able to see
just what it really takes to even take a day trip, educational.

My binder included directions, zoo hours & prices, zoo rules-which my kids
loved reading-they got a kick out of your under ware could not show. Also
I had a list of the zoo exhibits and the zoo map.

Boy was it hot!

We planned well ahead. My daughter has a roll around cooler- I checked
to see if we could bring, the website said yes. We put drinks, mainly water
and snacks in the cooler. My kids have those water bottles with fans on them,
those really came in handy. We dressed in cool colored clothes,
making this a lasting memorable trip.

For lunch we stopped at Neely's BBQ-from food network.
It was really good!

Off to the Children's Museum of Memphis before we headed home.

The kids absolutely loved it. There were so many hands on things
for them to do:
grocery store-they were able to shop, check themselves out
firetruck-they were able to put fire suits on, sit in
police car- they were able to sit in, turn lights on
air plane-they got to sit in the cockpit

and so so much more!!!

I included information on Neely's and the Museum
in my binder as well. The kids loved looking at the binder
in the car, it gave them alot of insight for what was ahead.

Because this trip was 3 hours one way, I knew
my ipod would need a fast up date. I love new music
and ideas of music. The week before I saw
Keith Urban's Playlist in the July issue of Redbook.

And then Brooke White's, brookiebabble, Summer Playlist
she shared on her facebook page.

Both of these list made it to my ipod, along with
True-Compass-Edward-M-Kennedy-memoir audio.
When I told my sister I was listening to the Kennedy memoir
she huffed at me, he is a liberal Democrat. In my mind,
I just sighed. I was not listening to him because
he is liberal, rather because he sounds interesting
and he died from a brain tumor-cancer-and I wanted
to hear his outlook on cancer. Explaining that to my sister
would have been like explain to the preacher why I farted
in church, I guess. It just seems anyone and everyone linked
to cancer some how, know, know what it's like and someone
someday is gonna get it figured out! But until then, those who
have been down that road of cancer, we all have to stick together
because if you haven't been touch by cancer you don't understand
the fact of what the health care system from that stand point is like.
And believe me there is huge room for improvement!

During those hours of driving, I really enjoyed listening
to the Kennedy memoir over listening to the two actually
playlist. Since then I have listened to the playlist at home
while dressing for the just adds alittle peep to my step!

My Strength comes from...

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever."

Psal...m 28:7-9

My daughter's nail polish

As Father's Day fastly approached,
a card needed to be bought for
my grandfather.

Since my Daddy is no longer here
on earth with me, I still try to remind
the men in my life how special they are to me.

This past Friday was opening day for
Toy Story 3
yes you read it right
Toy Story 3
I promised my youngest daughter
for weeks a trip to the movies.
She invited her aunt, which is my sister,
to watch it with us.

But before we could go, I had to make
a stop at the local Dollar General to by
Paw-Paw, my grandfather, a card. So into
the store we went, the first card I picked up
was perfect. I asked my oldest daughter to
read it, getting her approval. As we made our
way to the check-out counter, my youngest daughter
started the "can I get" which lead to my oldest "can I get."

Are you kidding me, I just went over with them getting out
of the car, "there will be no buying anything extra, only the card."

Turning my head firmly around, I continued to the check-out,
hearing a ladies voice,

"you must have gotten into your daughters nail polish"

Graciously I turned my head toward the voice, smiling,
I told her, "yes mam, my mother just asked me the other
day, what my husband thinks of my wild nail polish."

I wasn't saying yes mam because I really had gotten into
my daughters nail polish, but rather I understood where she
was coming from. We paid and left.

Making our way down the sidewalk we stopped
at the post office, I needed a book of stamps. We mail
the card along with mailing another card for my neighbor,
who just lost her husband a few weeks ago. I learned along
time ago, it's never to late to send a card. Her husband suffered
from a heart attack, "unexpected" as someone said.

Off to the movies, we saw Laurie Smith, the home designer, from TLC Trading Spaces
in line with her children.

Toy Story 3 was awesome!

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dad's out there!


My heart goes out to Kate Gosselin, her performance on DWTS
was like a shopping cart, no joke. But hey....I am so proud of her!

You know she could have completely turned down the opportunity
to be on the show. But instead, she stood strong, showing that no
matter how hard times get, that life does go on.

This is my first year to watch DWTS-ever!

And I have to say I am watching it just because of her.

Kate on Dancing With The Stars.....
I absolutely loved her dress.

I understand the shopping cart comment!
The nerves.....I see myself in Kate....I know what
it is like with nerves to the point your in a puff
like I am I really here.

Kate is so bold, honest! And I love it...

can't wait to see what the weeks ahead bring for her
-you can do this-

~zhu zhu pets~

Have you seen them?

My youngest daughters birthday is in November.
Just in time for all the cool stuff out, that will be hot that Christmas.
This past November zhu zhu pets it was.
The commerical played several times a week.
And what do you know, my daughter wanted them, not just one but all.

So as the good mom I am, my search was on.
Only you could not find them in local stores, I looked at Toys r us, Target
and Walmart. Nothing, only a empty shelf, indicating they would have them
but they had just not arrived.

Internet search was on from there. I found them, the set was almost $500.
I just couldn't find myself to get the set, so I settled for a few pieces.

Close to Christmas time I saw friends on facebook looking for zhu zhu's.
They couldn't be found anywhere. Or if they did right before Christmas they
broke down and bought the set. And I am thinking to myself, my daughter got hers
for her birthday in November, and she doesn't even play with them, still doesn't!

I was in the local Big Lots this week, we went to get bug catchers,
and there the zhu zhu's sat.On the end aisle!
My daughter already recently had been telling me she wanted
the rest of the set. And of course seeing them in Big Lots
just made her want them even more. I didn't give in. I just don't
see it, she doesn't play with the ones she has.

I over heard the people next to me,
talking about how much they paid at Christmas for them
and how hard it was to find them. I was so glad to hear
I am not the only one who is kicked up
on them. Makes me wonder about everyone else.

Does your child have zhu zhu pets? If so, do they like them...

Spring Break is here again...

After five years now of being a stay home mom, I finally get it!

I love it when my kids are out of school...but I always want something fun for them.
It amazes me at the littlest things that make them happy.

Last week and the week before both my girls and I had strep throat,
so this really had me off on my days of being prepared for them home during
spring break. As a last minute take, I am up late at night thinking of our week ahead.

Everyone else is soundly asleep!

The one request I was given before bedtime was for my mother to spend two days
with them not just one, so I will fit that into the equation.


pump it up
movies-only I checked the movies and there's not really any ones we would enjoy.
make crafts
shop for easter shoes
shop for swim suits
play games

A list of a few websites I found:

Stay home spring break ideas...last years list

workathomemoms kids activities

another familycrafts

This is our Spring Break last year...2009

Hope everyone enjoys their week, with money a key factor be creative!

I am gonna start by getting a good night sleep and saying my thanks for the good things in my life-a husband and healthy kids for starters.


It seems I always come across some video to share....

and I just can not restist sharing this one!

I joined

another blog party for this year....

1. What's your favorite time of the day, and why? mornings...because I am a routine person-the mornings are a fresh start to a routine-although this is kinda weird me saying I like mornings, because I am not really a morning person.

2. If health wasn't an issue, what food could you live off of? everything thats not healthy

3. If you could have one wish granted (besides wishing for more wishes), what would it be? a cure for cancer...and the many other illness out there....

4. What's one thing that you get teased about a lot? hmmm....

5. If you could choose one movie, book, or TV show to spend your life in, which would you pick? What type of character would you be? I am not sure just which one I would be in but my character would be like I am in really life, happy-loves life-loves everybody-loves peace...

6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have, what would it be? SING and play a musical instrument....

7.If money were no object, where would you go on vacation? lots of places, because with kids I haven't been to too many, although I have been places, I am just saying...

8. If you were an awesome singer, which genre would you sing? uh...this would be hard, because I am a person in every angle of my life I don't like to stick to one think, and music type is diffently one thing I listen to all types. I would have to say what every my heart lead me towards, I also try to follow my heart....

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, what would it be? hmm...lets see someone where I would have a large variety....this way it would not just benefit me...oh I don't know just one....

10. If you could live in any point in time, when would it be? now, I am absolutely happy with my life, even though some days I question myself..."who me"

11. If every outfit in your wardrobe had to be one color, what would it be? hides alot...

12. If you were one of the seven dwarves, which one would you be? Happy

(Doc, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, or Dopey)

13. What's the last album you listened to? hmm well I don't really listen to albums because I listen to so much music but I just heard Jason Wade-Lifehouse on Regis and I was passing by....

14. What's something we'd be surprised to know about you? have I mentioned I don't do well with a list of questions like this....

see me from the blog party last year to learn alittle more about myspace page I don't use but you can still look around....oh and I joined facebook finally...

we had so much fun....
glad you stopped by today....

Minnie Mouse cake

For my daughter's bday she wanted a sleepover, so I thought it would be fun for them to decorate her own cake this year, instead of buying one!
These girls had a blast...

we used three pans
two 4inch
one 6inch
black icing
ivory icing
white icing
pink fondant icing
butter reciepe cake mix
cardboard cover with aluminum foil

pictures courtesy of whoever had the camera a the time
keeping in mind this was well past midnight
I was helping several of the girls fight sleep
just in order to stay awake to see the end result.

Happy One Year

Today marks one year
here at Ashleys Art Closet...

Hope everyone had a blast of a day!

Most of my day was spent learning about
headers and footers
for my book layout.

And if anyone every tells you publishing a book is easy,
they lied. I am just thinking in the end it's gonna be worth it!

Is it just me or...

do you sense, notice the increase of cancer diagnoses?

My heart nearly crumbles when I hear of a new diagnosis!

I just don't understand, not sure I will ever.

It is in my hopes that one day soon a cure is found.

Recently, I have heard of several new diagnoses-
I lift up each one of those, that you may find peace
and comfort-healing!

Cleaning closet

I cleaned the closet around here guys, can you tell?

I have been blogging close to a year now
and was thinking a clean out would be good.

The picture in the banner is one I painted, a year or so ago.

Hope you enjoy the new look!

There are a few adjustments I would like to do
but I am still learning-

Winter Blues

I wanted to share my list of winter blues help.
...because I refuse to let those blues get me
this year.

Turn a lamp on first thing in the morning-

Put batteries in a clock that actaully ticks-

Cook something you don't normally-
turn a tv show on while doing this
I personally don't watch alot of tv
but while I am cooking I will turn tv on
Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly, The View and Martha, now in my neck of the woods.

I am more of a music girl...
other months I listen to music...
so if you usually watch tv try music instead.

Eat a banana-

Drink organge juice-
I get a pack of little chartens that have straws...
they are fun and you don't waste...

Stretching....mainly done while I dress for the day.
I dress for the day each day regardless...
this makes me fell like me.
Stretch several time like above your head...
or any movement in general....

Wear bright colors-

Wear perfume or body spray...
I started this last year right at the end of
my blues and found it helps alot....

Rearrange decorative items in the house...
like pillows, lamps, candles, picture
frames...something FUN

Start a chalk board...
write something on it for your family...
my family loves this...
it lets them know I did think about them
while they were gone and before
I know it in some small way they let me know
they thought of me also.

It really stinks that no matter what road we are on in life
the blues can get us....

ashley :)

Do you suffer from winter blues?

To change or not ....

When I started this blog, I did it with all my arts
in mind, after thinking long and hard about it,
blog a verse from ashley's art closet
came to heart!

A name I felt was perfect, I was at such peace with it.
My landing of focusing
only on one art, is just not fit for my life-nor will
I settle for it!

After using the name for nearly a year now, and have email
to match and passwords that are my email, it sure is alot to type-


So I already attempted to rename this blog, did you notice?
To simple Ashley's Art Closet, which still is alot but shorter.
The only problem is google doesn't find it, it just links back to the
blogaversefromashleysartcloset, then when you click on it, it says
something like blogger is not used. I even registered it with google
to see if that would help-nothing. If you google,
it goes right to it.

Question, should I leave it simple to ashleysartcloset where you have to type that exact for google to find it. Or should I put it back to blogaversefromashleysartcloset, where google will pick it straight up
with out you typing in the blogspot part.

My main goal to figure this out-
is to make it easy for others,
when searching for my blog and or emailing.

So if I leave the change, I am gonna change my email
to ashleysartcloset. But I don't want to do this until I am certain
any of this even matters.

What is your outlook, remember you can email me if you like!

ashley :)

p.s. I just finished my corrections from my editor at the end of January-
I will post more soon.

I can hardly wait....

I am not a big football person -

Although growing up I watched the Saints with my mom.

Below is an interview with Drew Bress, it's very touching.

When Katrina hit New Orleans I watched how broking everyone
was...for them to take this stand now.. the super bowl..
lets us know good really does come!

And to have Drew as the QB is just awesome...

I will be watching the super bowl...!!!