August 20, 2014

Interweb Goodies

Image via Fast Company

Get to know a little more about the woman behind the empire in this great article on Tory Burch from this months issue of Fast Company.

As 90's babies we fully support this establishment and we'll hopefully be raging here soon!

Because we're not all stick straight and super tall, here's some sweet style tips for the curvier and shorter ladies 

If it mildly involves Breaking Bad we want it and we watch it! Enjoy the vid!

Raise your hand if you've ever spilled on yourself, yeah us too. Now put your hand down and use it to check out this great list of stain fighting magic!


August 18, 2014

Revisiting Classics

With the new school year upon us I thought I would take us back to high school English and the reading lists that haunted your dreams, weekends, and summer vacations. Now that I am older I have a new appreciation for some of these books that we were supposed to understand at the time (aka when we were 16.. I don't think so)

Here are some of my favorite class reads that I highly recommend that you revisit!

The Color Purple

Fahrenheit 451

Lord of the Flies

The Catcher in the Rye

Romeo and Juliette

Pride and Prejudice


To Kill A Mockingbird

The Great Gatsby

I have re-read some of these recently and it's truly amazing how much your perspective can change in 8 years!


August 17, 2014

12 + 12 = 24

Hello, happy Monday and Happy Birthday to me! Today is my 24th birthday! I had a fabulous weekend, shopping on Saturday with my mom and Aunt. Dancing and laughing on Saturday night with friends, and a fabulous mimosa brunch on Sunday, finished with naps and watching Save The Last Dance and The Great Gatsby.

Since today is the big 2-4 I decided to make a little list of the 12 things that I have learned in the past year and the 12 things that I hope to accomplish in the next year.

12 Things I Learned 

1. Be patient. I had a hard few months trying to find a new job. While it was difficult to keep going on interviews and then waiting to hear back results, I realized that sometimes people are on different schedules and patience is key!

2. Be true to the things that you love. I realized that there are certain things, like this blog, that I really love to do. I think for a while I was afraid to admit that because of what people might think, but I decided that I don't care. I love doing this so it doesn't matter.

3. Concerts are the best. I went to so. many.  effing. concerts. last. year. Kanye, Passion Pit, fun., Gary Clark Jr., The Weeknd, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Drake. So much fun. While they can be expensive they are a blast.

4. Spending some quality time with yourself is very rewarding. I realized that spending an extra 30 mins doing my nails on a Sunday while watching Kardashians or Real Housewives is so worth it.

5. Cooking your first Thanksgiving can be scary, but you can do it.

6. Revisiting old passions is amazing. I started dance lessons when I was 4, I have always loved it. This past October I performed for my favorite dance teacher, as we dedicated a mural to her at my old high school. It was so rewarding to go back to something that I love.

7. It's okay to quit your job. Seriously, if you're unhappy just do it.

8. Happy Hour is the way to go. Drinks and friends, how can you go wrong.

9. Hustle. When I wasn't working I came up with some creative ways to make money. They say "good things come to those who wait", but I like the phrase "good things come to those who hustle"

10. Dancing is the foundation of life. Wise words by my best friend/roommate.

11. Be nice to your body. I have been really listening to by body this past year, everything from working out to drinking more water, eating healthy, to meditating.

12. Don't be afraid to dream about what is to come. I think it is really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day struggles of life. There can be so much going on that it is easy to push your goals and dreams aside. But thinking about the future is exciting and motivating!

Gorgeous flowers that Kira's Mom picked for me from her garden!
12 Goals for 24

1. Go on trips. I have some trips planned for this next year, but I really want to push myself to cross some places off my list.

2. Be honest. In my current job I have a lot of responsibly, and I am realizing that honesty is the best policy when committing to new projects.

3. Spend time with my Grandma. Tea time, dinners, or simply catching up on our days is a great way to spend my time with such an amazing woman.

4. Be bold. In dressing, makeup, decisions, everything.

5. READ. I say this all the time, but I really want to spend more time reading. I have a huge pile of books that I am really trying to get through.

6. Re-do my house. I want to re-decorate a few parts of my house, include thrifty and DIY pieces which can make everything more fun.

7. Have more parties. I mean why not.

8. Be a tourist in my own area. I really want to appreciate all that the Bay Area has to offer. Small day trips will be key this year.

9. Do things 'just because'. Pick up flowers for a friend, make dinner for my brother, treat my Mom to a pedicure, for no other reason than because it's a nice thing to do.

10. Write things down. Memories, events, funny quotes, things that bring me joy.

11. Appreciate the everyday. Whatever I'm doing, work, blogging, relaxing, I want to appreciate it and throughly enjoy it. No half-assing anything.

12. Smile, laugh, and love. 


August 15, 2014

Fashion Fridays : Simple/Feminine/Glam

Fashion Fridays : Simple/Feminie/Glam

Fashion Fridays : Simple/Feminie/Glam by akablog featuring ballerina shoes

It's Friday!!! And, also my birthday weekend! I love a good birthday weekend don't you?! Tonight I'm heading to Happy Hour with my roommate and probably going to have a night in - drinking and movie watching. The rest of the weekend will be spent, shopping, drinking, dancing, and spending time with friends and family before the big 2-4 on Monday!


After Kira's inspiring post last Friday, I went into Polyvore, (um obsessed) and created a little set of my own to showcase where I want my fashion and style to go.  I have decided that my look is simple/feminine/glam. I love the idea of mixing and matching basics with feminine pieces. A good sweater, simple shoes, and good accessories are definitely on the list. I'm also looking for good investment pieces, that I can wear with something I found at a vintage store or Marshall's. I have recently started a new job, figured out some more passions in my life, and really started to have a good vision of who I want to be and how I can showcase that through my fashion.

Ladies and gentleman, if you have not created a Polyvore account - do it! I have found that it is really helpful when figuring out what you like and outfits you want to put together.

Have a fabulous weekend!!! And make sure to follow on Instagram and Twitter for all of the AKA Blog fun!


August 13, 2014

Amazing Apps: Balanced

Your phone is no longer your phone. It is a social media, web browsing, tv, radio, camera, super machine. It is complicated and helpful and distracting all at the same time.

In a world full of apps sometimes its nice to have one that promotes wellness and positivity. So this week I present to you, one of my new favorite apps: Balanced

Balanced provides simplicity and motivation. It is essentially an app that provides you with reminders and goals. In the free version you are able to set 5 reminders or goals for yourself, while in the paid version you can set an unlimited amount. The app provides a variety of examples such as; self improvement, read, see a friend, be present and on an on. You are also able to write in your own goals.

Once you set your goals you can choose how often you wish to complete them and the app will notify you of when you should be working on an activity. Once complete you can open the app and swipe right to mark that your done. You also have the option to skip an activity and the app tracks how often you do the activity and if you do so on time. This way you can keep track of how on task you have been. During the day the app also checks in with you, promoting mindfullness and wellness. It will often ask me: Are you living a balanced life? or What would bring you greater happiness today?

Again I love this app and the positivity it brings to me each day. As of now I have 4 reminders set, (I recently deleted my "Apply to Jobs" reminder as I just got hired!) my reminders are; Play some sport/exercise, Be adventurous, be thankful and watch a foreign film (to practice my Spanish).

What reminders would you set?


Interweb Goodies

Got a end of Summer camping trip? Check out these great campfire recipes!

Loving the new "Waterway" collection of eyewear from Warby Parker

Did you hear, Kim K is coming out with a book of selfies. We can't decide if she is ridiculously self involved or an amazing entrepreneur. Probably both

Looking for some new local yummyness? Check out this list of great restaurants in Oakland!

August 12, 2014

Shark Bait Ooohhh Ha Ha

Happy Shark Week!

Shark Week

It's that time of year again, no not Thanksgiving or winter holidays. The ultimate summer holiday, Shark Week on Animal Planet! This whole week the network is dedicated to shows about this mysterious creature. As I'm writing this I'm watching a show about sharks that are in rivers. Um... scary. But sharks actually aren't scary, more just misunderstood!

With all of this shark-ness going on, I've been inspired by some shark fashion. A shark tooth inspired necklace or earrings is currently on my list, as is the fabulous tank above!

Are you watching Shark Week?


August 10, 2014

Backyard Dreamin'

Although summer is close to ending, here in the Bay Area we are pretty lucky to have pretty decent weather all year round. I am excited for some end-of-summer sales to really get my backyard in entertaining shape for the fall. I truly believe that a few items can really take your backyard from drab to fab!

Here are some things that I am hoping to pick up at end-of-summer sales

- A fire pit
- BBQ supplies - I'm really wanting a grill basket!
- Outdoor dining set
- Lanterns to hang up or place on a table
- Outdoor kitchen supplies - fun printed plastic plates and servers!

Here are some of my favorite backyard looks from Pinterest:

I've been wanting a fire pit for so long! Bonfire nights with friends sounds like a blast!

Hanging flower pots add so much fun to a fence

This outdoor space looks so inviting! 

A mix of pots and crates add dimension to a backyard - and is so cheap! 

Hello dinner parties! And aren't those sunflowers fabulous!! 

Are there any end-of-season outdoor sales you are going to hit up? 


August 7, 2014

Fashion Fridays: Minimalism

Fashion Fridays: Minimalism

How it is Friday already I am unsure, but I will happily accept it and welcome the weekend!

I have been thinking a lot about life lately and about what I want and all these other great philosophical things. I will not bore you with those details, however, in this search for life's purpose I realize how much unnecessary shit I have acquired over the years. While some items are precious and valuable and meaningful in my life others are simply just there. I want less emphasis on things and more on living. I want my life to be simplified and so I am making a move to MINIMALISM!

I realized over the last year, that when it comes to style I love and appreciate style across the board. I love a crazy print, bold jewelry, bright hair and countless others. However I also noticed myself gravitating to a simpler style. I have such a hard time getting dressed sometimes because I feel like my closet is all over the place rather than a cohesive style.

Through Pinterest, I've really been able to hone in on a look, without even trying. I simply picked outfits I liked, stepped back and realized the clothes I wanted to wear were all minimal looks, very simple, streamlined but fantastic. I wanna build a wardrobe of great basics, but still with signature pieces and personality.

I am excited to edit my current wardrobe. I mean most people have closets that are overflowing with items they never wear. To me that is a waste of time and money. So I shall instead, have less, wear more and enjoy the process of getting dressed.

*Images via Pinterest

Here are a few great sites, bloggers that can teach you a thing or 2 about the minimal life!

13 Bloggers With the Best Minimal Style via WhoWhatWear

a minimalist approach to personal style

My fave minimal style instagram: @b_minimalistic

Happy Friday and have a beautiful weekend!


Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix

Happy Thursday everyone!

Welcome to the first post about some fun party ideas that I got from my cousin's shower! Well, I'm going a little backwards because this first one is about the fabulous favors that everyone got at the end of the fiesta!

Yep, we had a fiesta - complete with a taco cart, margaritas, and paper flowers.

In going with the theme everyone received a jar of Mexican Hot Chocolate mix in an adorable mason jar. These were very easy to put together and really can make a fun gift! Holidays, birthdays, teachers, neighbors - you name it!

For the mix:

Mix 2 cups of coco powder with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper. Mix all of these up and divide into individual jars. We put mini marshmallows on top for a cute addition.

To make: stir 2 tablespoons of mix with 1 cup of hot milk and enjoy!

To make the gift extra special we included a cinnamon stick and instructions on colorful paper that we got from Joannes with some orange raffia.

Coming up: how to make the perfect paper flowers, easy game prizes, fun games, and easy guacamole!

Follow along on Twitter and Instagram for some fun inspiration.


August 6, 2014

Interweb Goodies

This amazing project from A Beautiful Mess has us very inspired!!

This is Ashley 20 years ago with her younger brother (except she was in a Princess Jasmine costume)

Refinery 29's overview of the things to buy now for this upcoming fall

The perfect way to cut watermelon for all of your end-of-summer BBQs

How to get +Lauren Conrad's perfect curls.

What are some of your fave articles from this past week??


August 4, 2014

Don't Forget To Do What You LOVE!

It's late and I'm tired. I have stuff to do now and in the morning but I don't mind. I don't mind because whats keeping me up is something I love. 

Playing soccer.

My outdoor team after we won the championship last year!

I've played soccer since I was in the 4th grade. My older brother played and after much coercing from my mother, I began to play. As I got older I got better and I fell more in love with the sport. I played practically year round. I traveled to strange cow towns for tournaments and made so many friends through the sport. In high school I played for my school. Practice was everyday and sometimes on the weekends, it was exhausting but always worth it. 

Sweet awkwardness that is me as a 9 or 10 year old!

After high school I played a little here and there in college, but it was nice to get a break from the sport for a while. I had new activities and new friends and soccer was less a part of my life. After graduation, moving home was a hard transition. I was sorting out post grad life and not feeling like myself, not a great version at least.

High School Hotness, we got to pick our own poses

My best friend and I talked about trying to join a team but it was hard to find one, then we reconnected with an old friend and all the pieces fell together. I have now been playing in an adult co-ed league for almost two years and I love it. I feel more like myself when I play and it is such a good outlet for me. I enjoy playing so much that I recently joined a second team. The games are late and sometimes its hard to drag myself out of the house and go but I never regret it. It is a fantastic workout and the endorphin's don't suck either.

Didn't know jersey #'s went that high

If there is a hobby, activity, or sport you did in the past I really encourage you to pick it up again. It could be that refresher you need during the week, the added exercise or just the me time you need.

Whatever you do, love it and stick with it!


Monthly Mood August

Monthly Mood August

Can you believe it's August? Yea, us either!

We have a lot of fun coming up this month! Ashley will be celebrating her 24th birthday! She plans to celebrate with mimosas, friends and family! Ashley is also heading up to Sonoma soon to go wine tasting for her cousin's bachelorette party!! This month Kira's older brother is heading off the NYC for grad school so Kira is working on a fun Batman themed send off. At the end of the month we are going to Ashley's family's cabin for weekend getaway with long time friends, it will be a great way to spend time together and end this beautiful summer season! 

We have some great posts coming up for you this month also! Ashley is going to share some of the fun crafts and recipes from her cousins' bridal shower. We are going to talk about all things jobs - applications, what to wear, how to stay motivated, and even some potential side hustles. And while we're sad summer is ending we're excited to share new outfits and all the great upcoming Fall trends! Have a happy August!

August 1, 2014

Fashion Fridays: We Want You!

Hello!!! Are you ready to parrtaaayyy!!!????
(insert Bridesmaids clip here)

Recent high school graduate+OutLook.Clothing 

Fashion Fridays is here!! And this week we are talking to you - yes you! On AKA blog we love to feature great places, cool things to do, and inspiring fashion. And if you are reading this we know that you have awesome taste!

The always fashionable Amy

You may have noticed that we often feature our friends on our Fashion Fridays posts. And now we want to feature you! If you have a favorite pair of shoes, an up and coming fashion brand, outfit that you love, or really anything fashion related we would love to post about it!

Chris told us all about his favorite shoes. 

We want this blog to represent us, but also our readers and their inspirations. We want our blog to be a collaborative space, a place where ideas and inspiration can be shared. So if you have an idea or suggestions for a post we want to hear it.
The gorgeous Karen was one of our first Fashion Fridays

Please contact us through a comment, email (, or Twitter (@ashleykiraand) if you are interested! We would love to have you!

Have a fabulous Friday and an amazing weekend!