How to Pick Up the Pieces …Pt 1

Hey, Crumbles…we need to talk.

When I first came up with the concept for Crumbs and Contour just about a year ago, my mission was to empower women to love their bodies from the inside out through the use of healthy recipes and easy make up tips. Sounds sweet and simple, right? It was, and I absolutely loved it, until something in my personal life suddenly and painfully derailed me, taking any and all inspiration for my food and beauty blog with it. Immediately, my love for food and cooking turned into struggling to nourish myself at all, and my love for beauty was reduced to just the bare minimum make up needed to disguise the pain in my eyes. I found myself no longer able to empower women to love their bodies because I had lost the desire to love and care for my own. But, in sharing my story with other women, I quickly learned that I was not nearly the only one who had gone through what I was going through…and slowly, a new idea for Crumbs and Contour formed.

If we’re being real honest, the natural chismosa (aka Latina gossip queen) in me wants to scream out from the mountain tops and summon you all to gather around while I tell you a story of infidelity that one could truly only find in a Spanish novela. It is shocking as it is entertaining. It’s garnered gasps, laughs, outrage and fury from all the women I’ve shared it with, swiftly uniting us in a heartbreaking, yet powerful way. And because one of my goals for this site is to be transparent about who I am, I want so badly to share in-depth the events that catapulted me into this journey towards self-love in the first place. However, for the sake of time and decorum (and because I might be saving it for a future New York Times Best Seller), I’ll just say that my partner of many years was revealed to have been profoundly and gut-wrenchingly unfaithful in a relationship that was my greatest treasure. It was a soul-crushing, lonely, and downright debilitating loss, but I found solace in my close group of girlfriends and have slowly been picking up the pieces to get back to myself again.

And that’s what I want to share with you.

As women, we’ve all gone through something that has absolutely knocked the wind out of us. We’ve all experienced a crushing loss that felt nearly impossible to come back from. We’ve all been hurt, shattered, and have struggled to get through the day with a smile on our face when deep down we are running on empty. We have all felt drained of self-love and seemingly incapable of self-care. But eventually, we pick up the pieces. And although the ways in which we do so are unique to each of us, I want to use this platform to share my journey of how I am choosing to pick up my pieces and restocking on self-love in hopes that it might help those of you who are feeling a little broken, too. As the late, great, and hands-down #1 person in my life Michael Jackson once said, “You are not alone, for I am here with you…” (He also calls someone a vegetable over and over again in “Wanna be Startin’ Something,” but that’s a different Crumbs and Contour post for a different day).

So, for now, Crumbs and Contour is going to be getting a little bit of a facelift. Instead of posting carefully crafted recipes and structured beauty posts, I will be checking in periodically with the different ways in which I am learning to pick up my pieces. For those of you who are on the same journey to self-love as I am, I have books I want to share with you, quotes I need to say, and self-care tips we should all be implementing. Food and beauty will still be involved, but for now they will no longer be the only subjects I’ll focus on. Some posts might highlight a new way in which I practiced self-love that day or week, others might focus on the inner dialogues I had that helped me continue moving forward. Some may be motivational, others might be more raw and vulnerable, but every post will be made with the intention of helping you and I be the best we can to ourselves during the toughest times. And I strongly encourage those of you who see a little bit of yourself in each post to reach out and continue the dialogue, so that we eventually grow into a community of women uplifting and empowering each other all while loving ourselves a little harder.

Phew. That was a lot. But it feels so good to be back and I truly can’t wait to see where this new journey takes us. For now, it’s almost midnight on the East Coast, which means it’s time for me to snuggle up with my pup and a warm mug of lavender chamomile tea (self-care x2), and brainstorm all the things we have yet to talk about. Until then, just remember:

“I changed what I could. And what I couldn’t, I endured.” – Dorothy Johnson Vaughan

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  • Reply Erica

    You are one of the most beautiful humans. Inside and out. Your future is way to bright, the universe had to remove anything and anyone that was dimming it ❤️ Your pain will heal.. but their pain of losing someone like you, will not.

    January 3, 2019 at 12:54 am
    • Reply crumbsandcontour

      You are the sweetest 💖 Thank you

      January 5, 2019 at 1:18 am
  • Reply Anita

    Thanks for being so transparent !!! Can’t wait to continue reading your posts 🙂

    January 3, 2019 at 9:12 am
    • Reply crumbsandcontour

      Thanks for your support!! ❤️

      January 5, 2019 at 1:19 am
  • Reply Steph

    I can’t imagine what you are going through but just know only bigger and better things are waiting for you down the path you are walking. ❤️

    January 3, 2019 at 12:52 pm
    • Reply crumbsandcontour

      This was so kind ❤️ Thank you so much!

      January 5, 2019 at 1:20 am
  • Reply Denise Melendez

    Honey, you got this. You are beautiful inside and out, and you will come out stronger. At the end it is their loss. I think in life for a woman, our lives have to crumble at some point, in order for us to see how incredibly well-made we are in this cruel world… even though we don’t feel it, we pick up the pieces and begin to see what we are truly made of. I’m glad to have met you, you are an inspiration to all women out here…we all have our battles we deal with, but in each of us we can wither the storm with empowerment. Hugs to you 💜

    January 6, 2019 at 6:29 pm
    • Reply crumbsandcontour

      Denise, I absolutely agree. You are such an inspiration yourself and truly a model for strength and resilience. Sending big, big hugs right back ❤️

      January 10, 2019 at 2:00 am
  • Reply Alexis

    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to getting through our heartbreaks together ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    January 8, 2019 at 12:16 am
    • Reply crumbsandcontour

      We’ve got this, honey ❤️

      January 10, 2019 at 1:58 am
  • Reply Leigh

    Ashley, you are beautiful, inside and out. I admire your strength. No doubt, God is walking with you on this incredible journey called life.

    January 8, 2019 at 1:28 am
    • Reply crumbsandcontour

      Leigh, thank you so much for your kind words. You are the one to be admired. Sending big hugs to you and the family! ❤️

      January 10, 2019 at 1:57 am
  • Reply Heidi (Brown) Stein

    Ashley, I am so impressed and proud of you. You are a beautiful, heartfelt writer and your willingness to share your vulnerability with your readers is a true gift! As you heal, your words and wisdom will help to heal others. I only wish this was around for me years ago when my life was turned upside down, such as yours. It’s life changing in so many ways and yet, bigger and better things await you all in due time. If you ever need or want to talk, I’m here. Hold on to what is true and good and real in your life. Let your loved ones lift you up when you can’t stand yourself. It’s all a part of the healing. But, you sound like you’re already well down that path. Be well, Ashley. I wish you the best. XOXO

    January 28, 2019 at 11:30 pm
    • Reply crumbsandcontour

      What a beautiful message to receive from one of the most loving and impactful teachers that I keep in my heart. I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for you and your kind message. I love you!! xoxoxo

      February 25, 2019 at 12:10 am

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