Ashley Johnson

Don’t be fooled by Ashley’s quiet presence. She’s an internal processor who just might overthink from time to time. When she’s not caught up in her thoughts, she’s usually writing them or enjoying the thoughts of others. She’s a wife, new mom, and lover of all things pretty.


The Best Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, so we’ve compiled a list of 11 gifts that range in price, simplicity, and style. Perfect for every guy on your list! 1. The basics. You can’t go wrong with getting him a new belt, tie, undershirts, or dress socks. They’re used daily, so getting a new set is always appreciated! Plus, it’s a super affordable option. 2. A toiletry bag. This is something he’s not likely to purchase himself but will appreciate once he has it. Check out this waxed canvas option by Overlap Sewing Studio. 3. A beard kit. Some dudes love their beards. Why not encourage him to make it smell good and feel nice? Try this shampoo, conditioner, and oil set for $30 from […]

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The Best Foundation (Out of 364 Formulas!)

For the most part, I’d consider myself a girly-girl. I like to dress up, wear makeup, paint my nails, etc. However, spending a lot of time and money on makeup has just never been my thing. I usually find something from the drugstore or Ulta that is reasonably priced and stick with it. In college, I had a roommate who adored makeup. Amber loved to go to Sephora and get samples, have them color-match her, and so on and so forth. One time she made me go with her and get color swatched by one of their professionals in black…I was slightly shocked by what a difference it made. For the first time in my life, I spent more than $12 on foundation

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Applying Grace and Understanding in the world of Autism

Applying Grace and Understanding in the World of Autism

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” said Susan Pieples, quoting autism advocate Dr. Stephen Shore. Pieples has 25 years of experience working with and advocating for families living with autism. What she meant by that statement is that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) truly is a broad spectrum due to the wide range in both challenges and strengths possessed by individuals with ASD. Although it’s important not to make any assumptions, it would be beneficial for all of us to understand a few things about ASD. Especially since The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 1 in 68 children are now living with ASD as of 2015.1 With Autism Awareness Month in mind, I reached out

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Why We’ll Be in Line to See The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Grit and Grace Project is a place for strong women and those who want to be. We know that stories of women who display great strength help inspire more women to do the same. With that in mind, we love to highlight these women—women who do brave things, make hard decisions, keep going when they should collapse, and, more than any other quality, we love women who value life so very much that they are willing to risk their own for the sake of another. That is exactly what Antonina Zabinski did in Poland during the height of the Nazi Reich, and that is why we will be lining up at the box office to see The Zookeepers Wife. “A lovely story about the Holocaust might seem like

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Margaret Thatcher A Woman Made of Iron, Grit, and Grace

Margaret Thatcher: A Woman Made of Iron, Grit, and Grace

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day set aside to acknowledge the political, economic, and social achievements of women around the world. With that in mind, we couldn’t help but take the opportunity to recognize a woman who so powerfully embodied grit and grace that she was nicknamed the “Iron Lady.” She left a legacy that extends far beyond her country, Great Britain, and the time in which she held power. She achieved things a woman had never achieved before, but that’s no surprise when she’s the one who said, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” Margaret Thatcher was born to Alfred and Beatrice Roberts, who lived above the corner grocery

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2-Minute Read on How to Create a Wedding Registry

2-Minute Read on How to Create a Wedding Registry

The engagement season is full of decisions and deadlines. Juggling details, proper etiquette, timelines, and relationships is a lot to handle all at once. For many reasons, creating a wedding registry was one of the most intimidating tasks to me. However, I received a few pieces of advice along the way, each of which was a true gift of relief. Here are 8 tips for tackling a wedding registry: 1. Dreadin’s Worse Than Doin’. Any time I feel overwhelmed by a big project ahead, I recall my grandmother’s coined phrase: “dreadin’s worse than doin’!” It’s so true. Have you ever noticed that once you start chipping away at a big project, it’s oftentimes not nearly as difficult as you anticipated? And once you finish—or even make

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Women’s History Month Celebrating Strong Women

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Strong Women

We all know that women impact the world every single day, but we love the fact that the United States has deemed the month of March Women’s History Month. Here at The Grit and Grace Project, we are eager and thankful for the opportunity to recognize, along with our country, the contributions women have made to culture, history, and society. Throughout the month, we will honor some of our favorite strong women of history by posting articles highlighting them and their achievements. Through The Grit and Grace Project, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know women who have encountered life’s challenges and walked through them, not around them. Because they’ve chosen this brave path, they’ve done so much more than simply endure difficulty—they’ve transformed it into something

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a valentines day message for every woman

A Valentine’s Day Message for Every Woman

Valentine’s Day is here and we have something to say to every woman… To My Single Friends, here are 5 Reasons to Love Being Single! But, if you’re looking for a Valentine, try starting with these qualities before anything else: 7 Things to Look for in a Man. For those of you who are currently dating, it’s always smart to start off on the right foot—so remember these 7 Dating Tips for Successful Relationships. Already in a committed relationship? Need some ideas for tonight? Read 7 Simple and Memorable Valentine’s Day Date Ideas and Great Sex—What Is It?.  Are you daring to date after divorce? Read our friend’s story about her experience; you’ll be glad you did. You’ll also like Remarriage—5 Tips for How to Make it Work, And for all

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5 Beauty Hacks for Annoying Girl Problems

5 Beauty Hacks for Annoying Girl Problems

Women have more issues that Vogue, so I’ve heard. Not all issues are easy to fix, but some can be quite simple—like the five problems (and solutions) I’ve listed below. Enjoy! (And, you’re welcome!) Here are 5 of my favorite, everyday beauty hacks: 1. Problem: Shoot! I got deodorant on my shirt! No big deal. Simply use another section of the same shirt and rub the fabric together. By rubbing the clean section against the affected section, the deodorant streaks will vanish but also will not spread. Voilà! It’s super easy and simple … and works! I’ve been using this trick for years. I don’t waste time trying to get the spot out with water or other products, and I don’t have to find a new outfit. I just

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My most embarrassing moment

My Most Embarrassing Moment

I began babysitting for my high school cheerleading coach, Toni, when I was about 14 years old. At that time, she had one boy, Carter, and was pregnant with Lauren. By the time I graduated high school she had three, beautiful children whom I loved and cared for as if they were my own little brothers and sister. Right before I went away for college, Toni asked me to go on vacation with her family and her brother’s family of four to help with the kids. I said yes, and we had a great time. However, on the very last night of our trip, something went terribly wrong… I woke up that last morning to someone nudging my shoulder and saying my

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6 Practical Tips That Have Helped Me Conquer Depression

6 Practical Tips That Have Helped Me Conquer Depression

Depression is not at all uncommon, yet we oftentimes don’t want to acknowledge its presence—even to ourselves. No one likes to admit their flaws, and in a culture that idolizes perfection, or at least the perception of perfection, depression can feel like wearing a big, scarlet A on your shoulder. I’m no expert on depression. I recognize it is something that can be so different for each person affected. But, as someone who has walked through depression, I simply want to pass on a few words of encouragement to those of you who may be tempted to try and bury the pain. 1. Admit it. Even if it’s just to yourself at first. Simply calling out the black elephant in the room is a step toward healing.

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From the Peacemakers in Our Current Climate

There’s a lot of bad news rolling in these days and quite honestly, it’s heavy. People hating one another, hurting one another, blaming one another… And worst of all, choosing “sides.” People are forming groups and setting up camp—ready to fight for a multitude of reasons. However, there is another group who have no claimed “side” other than humanity itself—they are the peacemakers. These people are hurting too, along with all of the other groups… But the peacemakers are not hating anyone, hurting anyone, or blaming. They are simply aching. But they’re also working… They’re fighting, but their flag is of every color, nation, and language. The peacemakers are doing the very thing that we all need to be doing—loving others. How?

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Summer Reading List—Second 5

Summer Reading List—Part 2

Want to see what our contributors are reading this summer? Check out 5 more of their picks below: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Novel) Suggested by Ashley Johnson The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World’s Most Beloved Neighbor by Amy Hollingsworth (Biography) Suggested by Rachel Graham Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown (#1 New York Times bestseller) Suggested by Annie Leigh Edwards Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (#1 National Bestseller) Suggested by Phyllis Everette 100 Things I Wish I Knew in My Baby’s First Year: Keys to Making Parenting Easier

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Summer Reading List—First 5

Summer Reading List—Part 1

Want to see what our contributors are reading this summer?  Check out 5 of their picks below: Back In The Day Bakery—Made With Love by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day (Food/Cooking) Suggested by Linda Clements All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Derr (Novel; Pulitzer Prize Winner) Suggested by Renee Clifford and Teresa Morgan Christian Manning: A Father, His Sons, & a Football Legacy by Archie & Peyton Manning, with John Underwood (Memoir) Suggested by Teresa Morgan Christian For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards By Jen Hatmaker (Christian Literature) Suggested by Whitney Hsu and Annie Leigh Edwards And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Mystery Novel) Suggested by Darlene Brock You can find 5 more suggestions here: Summer Reading List—Part 2. We know that not everyone has

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Happy Father's Day—What Makes a Good Man

Happy Father’s Day—What Makes a Good Man

Here at Grit and Grace Life, we celebrate all of the qualities that make women—women. However, we also think it’s important to honor good men. This Father’s Day, I have the privilege of highlighting a great man, my dad. I have an exceptional father… And I’m not just saying that because it’s Father’s Day or because I’m biased and see him through rose-colored glasses. He is the real deal—a cut above. Below you will find my list of good-dad qualities, but they’re really just good-man qualities. So, gentlemen, take note: • He takes ownership and responsibility of everything entrusted to him. • He doesn’t grumble. • He loves my mother well. • He sends me a picture of every rainbow he sees,

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Grace in the Desert

Grace in the Desert

I have wandered in the desert… And it wasn’t merely a stroll. It was a long, hearty trail. And it took a few years. My desert began when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, which was quickly followed by a break up with my high school sweetheart who I had dated for 5.5 years, and then topped-off by turmoil within my immediate family. There were times when I felt like I was living a nightmare… one from which I could not awaken. There were times I felt like I was drowning in my grief and tears. There were times when I simply wanted to give up. More than anything: I was needy, vulnerable and desperate in the desert. But Jesus Christ

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