Travel || Road Trip to Illinois.

travel

Hey!

Over the weekend I went on a weekend road trip to Illinois for my one of cousin’s wedding. It was my mom, my niece, my cousin Scotty, his wife, their daughter, and me. Scotty’s brother was getting married. The drive is about eighteen hours. I live in Florida and Illinois is a ways away! The drive there wasn’t too bad and seemed to go pretty quickly. I think we only had to stop a few times to get gas and some food. A lot of the family on my mom’s side lives in Illinois and it’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen most of them. Years and years!

Top left picture is Atlanta, GA at 3am. That’s when we drove through. Top right is sunrise in Kentucky. Bottom is the start of the sunrise in Tennessee. Tennessee sunrise came first and Kentucky a little while later. We drove through all three places. We started the trip at 5pm Thursday, so we drove through most of the states at night, so I couldn’t get a lot of cool pictures (especially of Tennessee) until on the way home, which I will be posting later in this post because I took so many cool mountain pictures!

34f6626c-29fb-46a1-9b5d-c3ea792cd72c

Another sunset picture below from either Tennessee or Kentucky. I don’t remember exactly where I took it, but it was one of those places on the way there. I love this picture.

On Friday when we got to Illinois, we went to another cousin’s house to change clothes and then head out to my aunt’s house to visit with them for a little while. It was nice seeing them, because it’s been years since I’ve seen them.

0af24313-b54c-46bf-b5e4-78fac2dfb481

This is a grain elevator right next to her house. It stores crops for farmers.

After hanging out there for a little bit, we decided to go to my cousin’s house that is getting married to help decorate for their wedding the next day (Saturday). He lives on a farm, so we got to check out some animals (cows, pigs, chickens, ducks). I didn’t take any pictures of the chickens or ducks, but I did get some pictures of the pigs and cows! First though, here is some of the wedding decorations that they had. My cousin built the arch, which was really neat.

Now onto all the animals! There were some baby pigs too, which they were all hiding so we couldn’t see them all. My cousin did get into the pig pen and get one out though. It was a little difficult since the mom pig was chasing him around, lol.  There were so many cows on the farm. All different sizes and colors. There were some pigs that were sharing space with some of the cows too.

048b8a85-e7b6-43f7-bd85-e280a3d8f144

This is probably my favorite picture that I took of the cows. I just really like the way that it looks. There were also tons and tons of corn and other crops on the farm as well, so I took pictures of those too.

After helping out there and taking a ton of pictures, my cousin/bestie Tammy, my mom, niece, and I went to get something to eat before heading to my brother’s house where we were staying. Tammy and I went to Walmart, so I could get some new shoes since my other ones got so muddy with all the rain/mud on the farm. I ended up not even bothering with wearing my new shoes, because I knew they would end up getting muddy too. But I had them for the ride home at least. Saturday, my mom, niece, and I got up early and dressed for the day then went to get breakfast.

Left picture is Tammy and I messing around with all the masks at Walmart. Right picture is what I wore to the wedding. I was originally not going to wear my black tights, but it was raining and cold so I ended up going into the Denny’s bathroom and putting them on. I’m glad I decided to at least carry them in my purse with me, lol! The wedding turned out nice even though it rained. I got super muddy (my shoes and some of my tights) when we went to the barn early to help setup and fix things up since the barn got a little bit of rain in it, so we had to come up with a new idea. But it turned out nice. I didn’t get a ton of pictures besides a few that I took of the ceremony for my cousin and his new wife. Below is just a picture of my niece, me, and Tammy. We decided to take a picture of our muddy shoes, lol.

2a63e87e-0d82-4a7f-8c52-35fde9089a0c

On Saturday night after the wedding, I went out to eat with Tammy and her boyfriend. That was a good time. I never met her boyfriend before and he seemed pretty cool and nice. After dinner I went back to my brother’s house and went straight to sleep. Had to get up early Sunday to get ready to leave. So we went to pickup my cousin Scotty and his family and then went to say bye to everyone. After that we headed for home!

68c66fe0-fc01-4410-b061-3cf29660bde9

Now for all the awesome pictures I took of the mountains in Tennessee. You have to actually drive up mountains to get to where we needed to go. On the way to Illinois we went through the mountains at night, so we couldn’t really see anything. On the way home though, it was daytime, so we got to see everything. We even decided to go to Lookout Mountain and drive to the top of that. Lookout Mountain is kind of a touristy type place, because it has Ruby Falls and Rock City, but we didn’t do those tours. We just drove to the top ourselves and looked around. It’s really cool though, because it’s like it’s own little community up there. They have parks, stores, even a Starbucks (LOL), etc. I guess it’s helpful for the people that live on the mountain, so they don’t have to drive up and down it every single day. Some of the street names were neat too, like Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. Even their pharmacy was called Fairyland Pharmacy.

00f0d7c3-8389-4274-a6fc-ded02eb076a4

d05f3444-7a9c-4055-be06-b24253e4f292

296f4bc6-6174-4fe2-8095-cfc2b10c403b

The next set of pictures are of some flowers that I seen around Lookout Mountain when we were walking around the mountain.

5aac1691-a853-4655-9702-9b4922f7af82

The ride home felt like forever, but I think that was just because we were all anxious to get home after being in a car for so long. All in all, the trip ended up being pretty fun and I got to take so many awesome pictures. See some cool things that I haven’t seen in years and visit with family that I haven’t seen in years. 😀

I brought with me a ton of reading material (two physical books and my Kindle filled with 100+ books downloaded), but I couldn’t focus on reading while in the car on the way there or back. It’s usually easy for me to read in the car, but for some reason not this time. I was hoping to at least read two books, but I ended up only reading 40% of one book the entire trip. Hopefully I can catch up on some reading this week. I’ll also catch up with your posts tomorrow or Friday and reply to comments.

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| August.
Book Haul|| August.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Travel|| Lake Placid, FL.

travel

Hey!

Over the weekend my mom and I went to Lake Placid to help my cousin move into her new house. We went on a Friday and stayed until Sunday morning. I was able to leave early from work Friday, which was nice. My mom picked me up from work and we hit the road.

5b5b8fea-8ceb-4645-bb0a-35737667868e

Scary rain clouds! It rained almost the entire time on the way there. It was off and on. It was kind of amusing, because we would be driving it crazy rain and then a few minutes later it was gone. It did that the entire 1.5 hours to Moore Haven (where her old house is and where we were meeting up with her and her husband). That’s Florida for you! It’s always like that. It can be pouring rain on one side of the street and the other it can be sunny af. While waiting for my cousin to get there, I swung on the swings across the street from their house. It helped to past the time and I love swings.

When they got there we loaded up my mom’s car and their car. We only did one trip since it’s 30-40 minutes from their new house and because it was about to rain again. The next day (Saturday) was going to be the big moving day where we filled up the cars and the U-Haul. Once we got back to her house she gave us a tour of her house and we just ate and helped unpack the boxes we brought. When it stopped raining I went outside to take some pictures. There was a rainbow over the top of her house, which was awesome.

fb1da071-d970-4f02-b528-3656775a07c0

Below: I’m not entire sure what these plants are, but they were really pretty so I got a couple different pictures of them.

d0f43259-2ec9-4a9e-abd2-a5798236502a

And you know me, I had to take a picture of the pretty sunset. I wish the weather wasn’t so crappy, because I would have went down to the lake to take pictures of the sunset there and same with the sunrise. I wish I would have went down to the lake for that, but I did get a few good pictures of the sunrise from their balcony on Saturday morning.

We spent the entire morning packing up the U-Haul in Moore Haven and then we spent the rest of the day unpacking the U-Haul and getting the boxes and furniture inside the house. We also took breaks to set up her son’s playroom. We were all tired, so we didn’t even attempt to unpack any of their boxes. Instead we ordered massive amounts of Chinese food, which was even better than unpacking boxes. Haha. My mom and I got up early to go back home. Before we left we stopped off at the lake to take pictures. Then we also stopped at the grocery store and walked across the street to another area of the huge lake to take more pictures. Here are all the lake pictures that I took and more of those plants that I loved, lol.

206ee34c-795c-4fe8-8dc9-4929d221f2bc

Funny story about this mushroom. So we were walking around the grass and I spotted it and I got so excited about taking a picture of it. You can see in the first picture that there was grass in front of it. I went to move the grass to get a picture of it without the grass in front and I accidentally touched it and I start freaking out.

Me: oh my god!
Mom: what?
Me: i accidentally touched it. am i going to die?
Mom: *laughing* no, you’re not going to die.
Me: some mushrooms are poisonous.

And then the entire two hour car ride back home I kept saying “I can’t believe I touched the mushroom.” and kept asking my mom if she was sure I wasn’t going to die, LOL. Clearly I didn’t die. HEYYYY! 😛

img_1115

Oh, and here is a picture of their new dog Stella. I’ve met her before, but never longer than an hour. She LOVED me though. She was always laying next to me or wanting me to pet her. I swear, all animals love me. So strange, but I am not complaining. Haha.

And that pretty much concludes my post about Lake Placid. We didn’t get to do a whole lot while actually there since we were just there to help my cousin move. Now that she lives there though, I will definitely need to go take a weekend and stay with her and actually roam around Lake Placid and do things. From what I did get to see, it seems like a really nice and pretty town. Feel free to follow me on Instagram (heyyitsashley)! A lot of these haven’t been posted on my Instagram yet, so you’re seeing them first! 🙂

In case you missed it;
Book Tag|| Meme Book Tag.
Top Ten Tuesday|| Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype.
Wrap Up|| July.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

I haven’t done a picture update post (besides photo a day or travel ones) in a month, so I have quite a lot of pictures to share. My total picture count was a little over 60 pictures. I decided to break it up and put my Disney on Ice pictures in their own post that will probably go up next week. If you follow me on Instagram (heyyitsashley) you may have seen some of these; others haven’t made it there yet, so you’ll get to see them first! Anyway, onto the pictures!

The hubby and I went to walk around Downtown Hollywood (Florida), because they always have new wall art popping up on buildings and I wanted to check them out and get some pictures. Here are some of the ones that we seen. I still have so many more to see though.

These mermaid ones were pretty awesome! It was one giant wall, so it was harder to get the entire seen in a picture. Instead I broke it up into three pictures of the mermaids.

These were some smaller ones or close ups. The parrot one is a smaller one that was on the side of a hotel. The anchor and fishes were a closeup from the mermaids above.

E50A17AA-6B65-4076-B5A8-2CB5A3181D84

I really loved this robot one so much.

1DE5FFAB-ACB3-47EC-9688-236B430AD74F

FLAMINGOS! This one was my all-time favorite one that I seen so far. This is also a big wall. The other side has more flamingos on it, but these two looked the coolest.

5115E22A-32AB-477E-BB2D-0DD9BF7A70DD

This one was across from the mermaids. It was also on a giant wall, so this isn’t even half of it! The other side looks identical though. Really love this one and the colors.

It was National Beer Day on Saturday, so we went to this bar in Downtown Hollywood called Old Hollywood Beerhouse. They sell 200 different beers, so we decided to check out a few of those. I loved all the ones I got (pictured above). The sour wheat ale was probably my favorite. We plan to go back again to try some more. It was a cool vibe there. They played old Hollywood movies on old TVs and played old music on a record player.

Random selfies, because why not?

PIZZA! We love pizza at my house. Right was from when the hubby and I went to go see Love, Simon at the movies. I love that our theater has recliner chairs now.

I am living for dresses lately. I finally got around to wearing my cat one (right) and my sunflower one. I am in love with my sunflower one. My yellow TOMS went perfect with it too.

Weekend Vibes.

32F68F36-8027-498B-9DE8-F0098B0F4355

My nephew Jackson.

I seriously hate these things (all spiders and bugs, really) and this time of year they pop up EVERYWHERE. We probably have 10+ in our backyard. Even little baby ones.

AF382E44-555B-4D59-9378-8D1332D9EDB5

These three above are just some random pictures. The last one of the sunset is really cool though. I took it from the side passenger mirror in the car. It came out really cool.

Little Leaf! She got spayed last Friday. Colby and October HATED her when she came back from getting spayed. They didn’t want to be around her and if she went near them, they would hiss at her. She went to hide in blankets and plastic bags to get away from them. 😦 I guess it’s a thing that happens sometimes with cats when you take one to the vet and bring them home. After about a day, Colby was friendly again with her. October took the entire weekend before they became best friends again.

4AE317B2-5391-4A93-A456-80F9994D8914

See! Friends again! 😀

Leaf (left), ColbyJack (top right), October (bottom right).

B2972096-3A6F-4684-B272-F3E05324F1A3

My boys; Colby & Dax.

I bought a lens ball recently, because I seen so many cool pictures on Instagram taken with it. I got the 80mm ball and it has a bit of weight to it and it’s a pretty big size. I also decided to get a 60mm one as well. I was so scared I was going to drop it, haha. I decided to take it down to the railroad tracks and get some pictures. I still need to get the hang of it though and try to get more creative with it. This was just me trying it out since I’ve never used one before! Here are a few of the pictures I got. The left side are the originals and the right side are the rotated versions.

01052317-F1B9-4820-8C63-A84EE3CFB545

And this one was just a random one that I took at my house. I didn’t rotate the picture for this one, because I really liked it like this and how it came out with the lighting. Depending on the picture, sometimes it looks cooler rotated and other times it looks better as it originally is taken (subject being upside down).

Minus the bad lighting in my house, I tried it out with a book. I also figured out that it’s so much easier to hold the lens ball this way versus how I was holding it in all my other pictures, haha. Easier for me anyway, since I have smaller hands and the 80mm is a little big and heavy. I already took all the other pictures before trying it out this way though, lol.

Well, that’s all for this post! My Disney on Ice picture post will come at some point next week. I should also hopefully have a review of Hot Mess. I am hoping to finish it this weekend. I think I am also going to finally get to some of those tags done as well. I currently have eight drafted tag posts that I need to finally work on. I think once I get this next lesson done for school, then I’ll have a little free time to do some tags.

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| Invictus.
WWW Wednesday #49.
Thoughts|| Huntress.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Travel|| Butterfly World.

butterflyworldheader

Hey!

The hubby and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary over the weekend (March 25th). We decided to finally check out Butterfly World. I’ve been wanting to go for so long now. Here are a bunch of pictures that I took while there.

AFCD0416-1311-4407-B577-CCEBC5AE1CFB

There are different sections of Butterfly World. These first four pictures below are part of the area where the butterflies are. The garden area was really pretty.

These next set of pictures are of some of the butterflies. It wasn’t easy getting pictures when they were flying around like crazy. There were some that did land though, so that was cool. There were so many big butterflies and they were all so pretty too. My favorite were the blue ones, but it was so hard to get pictures of them; they never landed and when they did it was with their wings folded. With their wings folded, they weren’t blue. I did manage to get one picture with a few of them flying though (toward the bottom of the set of pictures).

A butterfly even landed on the Andy’s hand! That was pretty neat. We were just walking around and it landed on him. I was totally jealous, haha. I wanted one to land on me, but I knew I would have probably freaked out if one did. LOL. When they were all flying at me, I was freaking out. So probably a good idea they didn’t.

Once you leave the butterfly area, there are some other little garden areas with flowers and birds. There was also this cool suspension bridge.

9152538E-F4EB-4721-8213-4EEC6A9D40AD

Walking across the suspension bridge you run into a little area that had some Macaws. They were really cool and I loved their colors. There were also some other little birds around. I got a few pictures of them, because they mostly just flew around.

Another garden area with some random flowers and plants. There was a monarch butterfly on one of the flowers, so I was able to get a few pictures of that which ended up honestly being my favorite pictures of the day. Below are the flower pictures.

721D2142-62EB-4AAF-B255-54F45082E9C5

Overall, it was really neat, but I wouldn’t say that it was worth the price. It was $30 a person and it only took us 20-30 minutes to walk through the entire thing. If I wasn’t stopping to take pictures, it would have taken even less time. It was still really pretty and the butterflies were really awesome. I still really enjoyed it and happy that we went at least once. We ended up walking through it twice, because I didn’t like that we spent $60 for a 20-30 minute walk-through. The second time around we decided to sit down in the butterfly garden area and let the butterflies fly around us.

I got some good pictures though, so that was nice. I also got to hangout with Andy, which is always great. It’s rare that we have days off together. He has to ask for the day off work or I have to ask for the day off work in order for that to happen, so we don’t always get to do a many things together. I am pretty stoked that we got to hangout for our anniversary. We even got P.F. Chang’s for dinner and it was so good. I still think about that sesame chicken and dumplings days later.

That’s all for this post! Hopefully I’ll have a review of Love and Other Carnivorous Plants posted in a few days. I don’t have much left to read. I also really want to finish it before the end of March. I want to go into April with no unfinished books, because I have a ton of review books that I need to get to. I think I have at least 4-5 books that I need to read and review. I’ll have my book haul post in the next couple days too. I have quite the haul this month.

In case you missed it;
Travel|| Biscayne National Park.
Friday Finds #72.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Photo Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

Happy Friday! 😀 So stoked that Friday is finally here and tomorrow (Saturday) is my birthday! That makes the weekend even better! Not entirely sure what we are going to do for my birthday yet, but the carnival is probably one of the things. My older sister and I usually take my niece and nephew every year. This little carnival always lands on my birthday, so we go every year for them. We plan to sit in the beer garden while they play games and go on rides, lol. During the day I’m not sure what we’re gonna d. probably go out to eat with the hubby since he took the day off work.

Last weekend I went to the beach with my older sister, my cousin, and her son. That was a pretty fun time. It was really hot that day though! I got a little sunburned. We also seen dolphins! They were playing and jumping out of the water, but I couldn’t get a picture. Wasn’t fast enough!

After we ate, we went to get something to eat. We chose to eat at this place called Le Tub Saloon. I’ve always wanted to eat there after reading one of Tarryn Fisher’s books. I don’t remember which one it was, but it mentioned this restaurant and I decided to look it up and it’s right on the beach! That was last year I found out about it and FINALLY checked it out. Their decor consists of bathtubs, toilets, toilet seats, etc. LOL. It was interesting. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but here are a couple.

They also serve these HUGE burgers that they said they are well known for. It was 13oz they said and holy crap it was huge! HAHA. It tasted so good though and I was really happy with it. They had some good fries too. I need to go back ASAP!

4070F8F6-5993-4F93-AE31-1D5CBABE609B

Last weekend I also chilled out in the hammock a lot of the day and drank this new blackberry beer that I found at the grocery store. OMG, this beer was freaking amazing! I need to go see if I can get some more, because it was so good. I ended up drinking all six beers, LOL.

I don’t remember if I shared this on here or not, but I got my February Pura Vida Bracelets pack and it was pretty awesome. It was a Valentine’s Day themed one, which was really cool. I also don’t have a lot of pink bracelets, so I was happy. I love their bracelets so much.

50+ bracelets (I also have some anklets too), you guys! I’m not lying when I say I am obsessed with Pura Vida Bracelets, lol.

17305DD8-0986-45D0-8577-8D041C601A42

FLOWERS! I love taking pictures of flowers. Funny story about the yellow ones, so my mom planted this random branch in her garden and sore it was going to grow into something. I didn’t believe it for second, because it looked like a dead broken branch. For a year it didn’t do anything at all. A couple days ago I walk past her garden and these yellow flowers (found out they are called plumeria) grew from it, lol. I guess I was wrong, oops. 😛 Every year around this time, these redish/pink flowers grow next to my sister’s door. They are really neat and pretty. I’m still not sure what they are called. At the time of the picture there was only two, but now there are like 20+!

Onto all the furbaby pictures, because I am obsessed with my babies. My boy, Dax. He’s always so cute. We gave him a haircut, because his hair was getting a little ridiculous, plus it’s going to start getting even hotter here soon.

My girl, October. She’s going to be two this year! Crazy how time flies. I miss her being a tiny kitten, but I still love her so much. I am still and forever obsessed with her face, lol.

My little girl, Leaf. I can’t believe she’s going to be one year’s old in like 4-5 months. It’s hard to believe that I’ve already had her for more than half a year.

She always loves being held and I freaking love her to death for it. She loves all the attention while the others do not, lol.

And my other boy, ColbyJack. I love this guy so much. He’s so needy sometimes though, haha. He’s going to be five years old in 5-6 months, which is just crazy! When I first got him he was the tiniest little kitten and now he’s this big chubby cat, haha.

Leaf & ColbyJack. Sometimes they do love each other. Most of the time Colby can’t stand Leaf. She’s too crazy for him.

I believe that’s all for this post! I think I’ve pretty much shared all my other pictures. Feel free to follow me on Instagram to see more. 🙂

Instagram: heyyitsashley

I also have a Bookstagram account as well, but I haven’t been able to use it as much lately. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to get back into it like I used to be. Since moving into a smaller place and currently in the process of moving again, it’s just harder to take pictures. I also packed up over half of my books too, so that’s that.

Bookstagram: foreverbookish_

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| February.
Book Haul|| February.
Photo A Day|| February Part Three.

I hope you have a great Friday and weekend!

ashleyyellow

Photo A Day|| February Part Three.

photoaday1

Hi!

I’ll have my February wrap up of all the books that I read this month posted tomorrow. I wanted to get my photo a day post up before the first day of March. I also need to do another random picture update for the rest of February, so that’ll be coming up probably sometime next week. Anyway, onto the last of the February photo a day challenge pictures!


I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-5 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken with my iPhone.

1DC300C4-65BA-4364-B8E3-927D469A9FCF

Instagram Caption: 🐝🌼 || photo a day • little.
Camera:
Nikon.

I actually posted two pictures ( the one above and one below) for this day, because I couldn’t decide which picture I liked better. You guys, I am absolutely terrified of bees (mostly getting stung by a bee). I love taking pictures of them though, weird…I know. HAHA. Same with all bugs, really.

CAD8B798-779A-47A5-BD46-4E48252ED963


FC99886D-00B8-4224-BE4B-345CFFE44E00

Instagram Caption: ♡♡♡♡ || photo a day • depth of field.
Camera:
iPhone.

I wasn’t entirely sure what “depth of field” was, but from the looks of other people’s pictures it was when there was a subject and everything else was blurry around it. So I just went with it and posted this picture I took of this little pink flower.



FA0FB864-298D-4DD5-9DEE-668E919FBC09

Instagram Caption: 🖤🖤 || photo a day • my face.
Camera:
iPhone.

Hey, it’s Me! 😛 I am still living for these new glasses. They are now my go-to pair of glasses that I am constantly wearing. I neglect my other three pairs.


ECBB2C2F-5FAD-4647-951C-B0DF388D700C

Instagram Caption: i need to work today, but i want to read instead. 😭📖 || photo a day • need/want.
Camera:
iPhone.

I did wear these glasses this day though, lol. 😛 These are my other favorite pair that I own. I usually switch between these two more than the others. Anyway! YOU GUYS!!! Immortal Reign is SO FREAKING GOOD! I’ve been reading it very slowly, because I don’t want it to end. Last Friday I accidentally left IR at work and I wanted to cry. I had planned to read a bunch over the weekend and I forgot my book and it was pretty devastating considering I had to go the ENTIRE weekend without it. I decided to not bring it to work with me this week, just in case I forgot it again. haha.

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| February.
Tag|| The Book Blogger Insider.
Photo A Day|| February Part Two.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack