Fangirl, Swedish Fish And Why I Wish I Was A Braverman

For some reason, every spring I get obsessed with books. I read all year long, but there is something about the upcoming “lazy days of summer” (I can barely type those words with a straight face) that makes me start to scour Amazon and Target for books to add to my already over-flowing bookcase. It is like I can just picture myself sprawled out on a deck chair reading for hours while the children frolic around in the yard. The actual scene looks more like me reloading bubble wands and fetching snacks while attempting to sneak in a couple pages of my latest beach read, but it doesn’t stop me from arming myself with plenty of book options every April.

Since I am also obsessed with food and TV, I figured I could make it a threesome (ewww, y’all) and share three things I am currently loving…something I am reading, something I am eating, and something I am watching. I will probably make Lisa do this topic at some point here soon, too, so you can get a full behind-the-scenes look at the lives of The Dose Girls. Somewhere, Lisa is like, “Stop trying to make your theme happen, Ashley and just write a post”.

What I am reading


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Full disclosure here. I read Eleanor & Park a couple months ago, and Lisa wisely advised me to wait a bit on this book. I loved Eleanor & Park, by the way. But, I love this book so much more. It is one of those absolutely perfect books that you want to stay up until 3:00 a.m. devouring while also trying to go as slow as possible so it never ends. There is one particular scene (no spoiler alert needed, I won’t give anything away) that just so perfectly captures that feeling of being in college and all that it entails. You know that feeling. Trust me, you do. And when you read this book, you will feel it all over again. I definitely recommend picking this one up.

What I am eating


Ah, Swedish Fish. I tend to go through phases with candy where I will find one that I have not had for a while and then just buy it in bulk. Think ten pound bags at Costco, and you are not far off. Each time I go to the grocery store I will have a little talk with myself about how it is almost bathing suit season and even though Swedish Fish are *technically* a fat free food (it says so right on the bag!), I should probably skip the candy aisle just to be safe. And then somehow, three bags appear in my shopping cart and I find myself sneaking into the pantry to grab handfuls before carpool pick-up. Something has to give here, and I am afraid it will most likely be the waistband of my pants!

What I am watching

Parenthood. Specifically, the season (series?) finale. I can’t stop watching it. I find myself going back to the scene with Victor’s speech and then watching the last 30 minutes all over again. I want to be in this family y’all. I want this family to stay on my TV longer…producers, network people, listen up…the Braverman story is not over. We NEED another season of this show. I have to know that Julia and Joel are okay. ParenthoodForBlog


What you did to them this season was practically unforgivable, but you renewed my spirit with the scene in Sydney’s room. That was the Joel we all fell in love with from the beginning.




If at the end of the day, though, what I watched was the end of the series, then I thank you. Because the closing scene with the lights, the dinner, the backyard and that song playing, well it worked perfectly.


 Tell me in the comments what you are reading, eating and watching these days!



Would You Rather: Have $10,000 For A Home Renovation Or For A Fabulous Vacation?

Did everyone recover from tax day? Got your extensions filed? Just kidding. Not really.

Taxes always make me think of money. And how nice it would be to have some. And then I fantasize about what I would do with it if I did have some.

My children are starting to get to the ages where I would really like to give them experiences rather than stuff. My house is full of stuff. I am tired of stuff, quite frankly.

What I would not be tired of would be a week in Hawaii lounging on the beach. Or a fantastic ski vacation where we end each day lounging by a roaring fire.

Except when I look around my house, I also see an outdated, gross linoleum floor in my kitchen. I see the blueberry wallpaper that was ugly and out of style before the glue even dried on it. Maybe I would love cooking if I was doing it in a beautiful, remodeled kitchen?

Probably not.

Still, though, having some extra money laying around to do some much needed home renovations would be really nice. $10,000 could go a long way to really sprucing this place up.


It could also buy an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime vacation for my family. We could make memories that would become the stories of family gatherings for years to come. Traveling with my kids is no longer the torturous event it used to be. Both girls can pull their own suitcases even. Think of the fun we could have!

I mean until we weren’t.

Seriously, though, what would I pick? If I had a hypothetical 10K laying around, would I rather do a home renovation or take a fabulous vacation with my family?

Decisions, decisions.

Lisa said she would DEFINITELY do a home renovation project, no question about it.

Everyone who has ever been in my home is praying that I will have the same answer, but honestly, y’all I think I would pick the trip.

What do our Dose Peeps think? Would you rather have $10,000 for a home renovation project or take a fabulous vacation with your family? And not in the future, but right now. You can’t spend the 10K paying off bills or saving it. It must be spent in one of these two ways.




Pinterest Nightmare #220: The Remember Ring

Love is in the air here at The Dose of Reality.

No, this post is not “upcycled” from Valentine’s Day. (Although I wouldn’t put it past us.)

No, it’s not because our bloodstreams were flooded with endorphins when we realized we’ll be eating chocolate from our children’s Easter baskets in just a few days. (Although…YAY!)

It’s because next week I will celebrate my 20th anniversary with my husband, Robert. THAT’S RIGHT…2-0…TWENTY!

You might ask how I could possibly be celebrating my 20th anniversary when, according to Lucy, I only *just* celebrated my 26th birthday this week? I am a marvel! (And now you know why Lucy is my favorite child.)

But alas…it really has been twenty years of matrimonial bliss! I’m completely sure my husband would confirm how marvelous it is to be married to me—if he ever read the blog. As it stands, you’re just going to have to take my word for it that he feels like he’s walking on clouds every day.

As I was searching Pinterest for anniversary gifts, I ran across this fantastic pin that really speaks to the heart of love and marriage…

Pinterest Nightmare #320: The Remember Ring

Remember Ring

As pinned from

This symbol of forever love is the Remember Ring. On the outside, it looks like an average wedding band. But on the inside, it packs the punch of a small furnace. Thanks to its patented “hot spot” technology, the day before your anniversary this ring gradually heats up to 120 degrees for 10 seconds every hour on the hour making it impossible to forget your special day!

Who knew that the CIA operatives fired for their “enhanced interrogation techniques” all found second careers as wedding planners?! GENIUS!

The Remember Ring comes in seven styles with three different finishes and is available exclusively for men. Why don’t they make women’s rings, too?


That’s a good one!

Now, you might wonder why they didn’t simply install a vibrating feature or audio chime into the ring instead of having it broil the skin. Oh, please! Do you think a little buzz or chirp is enough to entice a man to voluntarily walk into a Hallmark store or dial 1-800-FLOWERS? No way! It takes the mind-numbing pain of a scorching to accomplish that.

And really, ask any man which torture he’d rather endure– a little seared epidermis or facing his wife when he’s forgotten his anniversary (again)? Blisters heal in a few weeks, but an angry spouse can last a lifetime. It’s a no brainer.

So, if you prefer marital harmony over an uncharred digit, the Remember Ring is for you!

In the immortal words of Nazareth…

Oh, Pinterest. No…just no.


Alexa Is A Ray Of Sunshine After The Storm

We never turn over our blog to someone else, but today is different. We feel so honored to share the message from Alexa today. We hope everyone will support her incredible cause.

Take it away Alexa…

For most mothers, Mother’s Day is a day to be spoiled by their children (and maybe husbands.) It’s a day we look forward to. A day that we, the mother, gets the one day that we are acknowledged for everything that we do as moms. And mothers should be honored. All mothers.

For many mothers, Mother’s Day is a source of pain. A constant reminder of what is no longer here, or what will never be.

It’s a very difficult day for grieving mothers. I know, because I am one of them.

“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love that she holds in her heart.” ~Franchesca Cox

A few years ago, CarlyMarie of Project Heal began International Bereaved Mother’s Day. This day for mother’s to talk about the true meaning of Mother’s Day, and celebrate our children, both with us and not. Do you know why Mother’s Day was begun?

Anna Jarvis officially founded the traditional Mother’s Day to honor her mother Ann who experienced the death of 7 of her children and somehow through the years it has turned into a commercialized mess that corporate companies make millions of dollars from, but the worst thing is that bereaved mothers are completely forgotten. ~CarlyMarie

International Bereaved Mother’s Day is now the Sunday preceding Mother’s Day. So this year it is May 5th.


Inspired by the actions of CarlyMarie and so many others who make it their mission to bring light to grieving parents, I wanted to do something as well. Last October, in time for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15th, a group of bereaved parents and I published our book Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother. It is our stories and our best advice and tips on surviving the loss of a pregnancy, infant, or older child.

Fueled by the positive feedback and the positive impact it was having on other parents who have suffered the death of a child, we went one step further and created a nonprofit, Sunshine After the Storm, Inc, to raise funds to donate the books to hospitals, bereavement groups, and organizations that support bereaved parents.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I wanted to do something special. So we decided to start a special “Mother’s Day Campaign.” The goal is simple: raise money to donate as many books as we can to hospitals and bereavement groups for Mother’s Day, and use a portion of the funds to make a special Mother’s Day contribution to the organizations that support bereaved parents, infant death, pregnancy loss, and research for children’s health issues.

I also reached out to different people, including some well-known authors on baby and child loss, such as Sherokee Ilke and Teske Drake; to CarlyMarie (who creates the most beautiful artwork for bereaved parents on her Shore of Remembrance) and many others. I asked for donated items and services so that we could offer a wonderful incentive for those who decide to find it in their heart to make a donation. The response was amazing, and on May 4th, International Bereaved Mother’s Day, we will have a giveaway of 15 incredible items. And more may be added!

We just ask for one thing. A very small donation. $5 (or more if you’d like!) It costs us about $8 to donate each book. One donation will get you entered for a chance to win all of these amazing prizes!

But more importantly, you will know that you have directly impacted the life of a mother who is hurting on Mother’s Day.

Direct link to donation: