The end of 33. I crossed miles of desert to stand where I began. A California girl coming back home. My feet touched the waters edge, the golden sun lit up the sky and the breeze blew through me.


What lies behind me is a story of perseverance, pain, destruction, and death, and what lies before me has always been and will always be hope.


Mile after mile, day after day, I crawled, walked, ran and was carried through the dirt. All that has kept me going through this year was the hope that being deserted in a desert surely couldn’t be the end, and I wouldn’t let it be the end. I would rather die. And if I died, I my soul wouldn’t settle for that either. It would only be a door to more. I just knew it in my bones, and I was right.


Resurrection was waiting for me on the other side of surrender. New life, new beauty, new perspective, new heart, new mind, new family, new dreams.


Much was taken from me, but more was given back. This is holy ground.


I have no formula for walking through divorce. It’s a different path for everyone. But I will tell you the only answer is surrender. You can’t white knuckle this and you can’t do it on your own. You can try like I did, but hope in your own power is a mirage that will fade.


It was by falling face down that I stood up. What was meant for destruction God used for restoration. And not just replacing knowing I am a good wife and mom. Oh no! Wounds that go deep from childhood were healed. Anything that challenged the notion that I wasn’t worthy of love, beautiful, significant, sexy, wild, fun...All of it was redeemed.


You are staring at a woman I have never seen before yet was made this way. You are seeing a heart that knows no darkness anymore only light.


And the biggest gift of all was eliminating any doubt that God is for me not against me.


This is no esoteric bullshit. There is no guy filling a void behind the scenes. I still wipe butts alone. I still work two jobs. Plenty of challenges to come, but any flames will only refine me further. That I am sure of.


“But Alex if you only knew what happened...” Trust me, friend, I know. ❤️ But you will rise. 🔥Take these photos as proof. 33 you are my favorite year. 34, see you tomorrow. 


**Amazing photography by Megan Nicole Photo. Book your resurrection shoot with her stat!**

30 & Thriving Challenge


In exactly two months and one day I will be kissing my 20's good-bye and embracing my 30's. I'm am really excited about this new season of my life. My 20's have been great in many ways, but it was definitely a decade of figuring myself out. I went from single to married to a baby in a ten year span. I also graduated college, bought a home and held five different jobs. I have learned a ton about myself, and I can't wait to learn more. There's one thing though that I really feel like I have failed at my whole life, and that's taking care of my body. I wrote a post a couple of months ago about my journey with self image, and in it I shared that I have really come to a place of accepting and embracing my body. However, I am not doing the best job right now by keeping it healthy. There's a saying that I saw on Instagram that has stuck with me, "Friends don't let friends get skinny fat." I'm skinny fat. On the outside I might look great, but I don't exercise AT ALL. I have not even attempted to exercise since 2011. Three years ago!!!  The truth is I feel really weak and I want to feel strong. I want to know that my heart is in shape and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes that plagues my family. I want my 30's to be a time of thriving and strength now that I have discovered what kind of man I like, what my passion is, etc. It's time to thrive!

To help me, Mountainside Fitness is sponsoring my wellness challenge for three months. I will be sharing weekly updates on what I am learning and doing to start my 30's off on the right foot. You can follow along via the blog, facebook and Instagram, as well as the hashtag #30thrivingchallenge


Photos by Liz E. Studio. Satin headwrap by I Wear the Headress

First Birthday & 30th Birthday

Last year I went into labor on Ryan's birthday and Elle was born the next day. What a birthday gift for Ryan, right?! Well, this year Ryan is turning 30 and Elle is turning 1. Two big birthdays a day apart from each other. What am I to do? I've been thinking about how to combine a little girl's birthday and a grown man's birthday into one party for the past four or five months. No joke! Well, with the help of my sis-in-law, I think we have come up with a plan. Ryan wears gingham or buffalo check every day, so it's the perfect pattern inspiration. It's also a summery print and works well for little girls. Black and white is a classic color scheme that  is gender neutral. We are adding wood elements for a masculine feel and contrasting that with Belles of Ireland, moss and other greenery.

I also found this adorable first birthday party via Pinterest that uses similar elements in a more classic way. I couldn't get over this adorable lace crown the mom made for her daughter Lola. I hope with some fun elements like that Elle will get a lovely first and Ryan will get to celebrate the beginning of a new decade.

Now to figure out games for kids and food. =) Ideas welcome!


Birthday Goodies

Today is my birthday. WOOOHOOO! Though I don't love the fact that I found a gray hair on my head the other day (sigh), I am definitely celebrating turning the big 2-7 by doing a little sale shoppin'. Actually, I did it on Monday...I just couldn't resist. haha! Want to see what I found???

First stop Banana Republic. I walked into the store because they had a giant sale sign that said take an additional 40% sale items. How could I say no? I ended up finding a denim shirt on sale for $24.99, bringing the total down to $16. WOOHOO! Unfortunately, online they only have it on sale for $49, so check out your local store.

Then I headed over to my all time favorite store, J.Crew. Of course, I had the best luck there. :) I found several fun things on sale with a bonus of an additional 30% off all items.

1. Awesome slim boyfriend jeans on sale for $19.99. For all of the years I worked and shopped at J.Crew, boyfriend jeans have never appealed to me. Recently, the came out with the slim boyfriend pant, and I love them! I'm normally a 6/8 and I had to wear a size 4 in them, so keep that in mind if you order them. I also LOVE the light denim wash. It's going to be pretty popular the rest of this year. Online they are still full price, so head into your local store.

2. I also got the Silk Sophie Blouse in dark slate. It actually has a hint of green in it. It's sooooo pretty, comfortable and a great piece that will transition into fall. In the store this blouse was on sale for $25.99.

3. Wide-rib wool tights in heather gray. They were marked down to $4.99, so I basically got them for $3.00. What a steal?! I can't wait to wear them this winter.

I also found a blush colored leather belt for $6.50. Unfortunatley, you can't find it online.

Great way to start off 27 don't you think? ;)

Happy Birthday AVE Styles

One year. I can't believe one year has passed since I took a leap of faith and went part-time at my PR job to pursue the fashion industry and start AVE Styles. AHHH!

What a year it has been?!! I am SOOO proud of myself!!! It sure has been scary - worried I would fail, that I wouldn't be good at styling, etc. But since my leap of faith, I really can see now how God has placed such amazing people in my life to help this dream come to fruition. Through family, friends and industry relationships, I've been able to really grow, create beautiful styled shoots, style individuals and, honestly, come completely alive.

It hasn't been easy at ALL, and I've worked mostly for free up until this point. (Yep, free. You just have to pay your dues in this industry). I worked three jobs most of this past year - sacrificing time with friends and family. I'm now down to two jobs that I LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Working with Promise and working on AVE Styles.

I'm not really sure what's next for me. Just jumpin' on as many opportunities to network and create as I can. haha.

I love sharing my journey with you guys. Thank you for your support! And...If you have a moment, my birthday wish is for every person that reads this to tell one person about AVE Styles.

Much Love,