With an exceptional taste in both fashion and interior design, Ashley Petrone has captured our hearts for the month of October. Her confidence and appetite for adventure and challenge, along with her undying positive attitude, make her an inspiration. As the very active blogger behind the Instagram account “Arrows and Bow” (@arrowsandbow), Ashley shares how she juggles her love for interior design, motherhood, marriage, a prominent social media presence, and life.
What are the top 3 things you have learned since becoming a mama?
Oh man, there are so many! But a few things are to relax, give yourself grace, and smile. It’s hard to think about relaxing when you have a new born or multiple babies in the house. But, looking back as my kids have grown, there were so many instances when I just stopped freaking out and panicking and relaxed and it shifted my mind set and the situation. Ultimately, me relaxing helped my babies relax. That rolls into my second thing I learned —grace. There are days when you just feel like you have done it all wrong, whether I lost my cool or just felt inadequate for this super "high called" job. Knowing that our kids are resilient and so forgiving reminds me that tomorrow is a new day. And lastly, smiling. Someone once told me that a mother’s smile is joy to their family. Smiling can just turn those grumpy kiddos around. I don't allow my kids' behavior or attitude to bring mine down. After all, Mama sets the tone of the home, so I always try and be intentional about smiling with my babies.
What made you take the homeschooling route?
I was homeschooled for a few years when I was younger. I lived in Washington state on a farm. We baked, gardened, sewed, did a lot of outdoor schooling. It was as if you can dream up the perfect homeschool experience, that’s what I had. So I wanted to try and give my kids the same.
Do you have tips for other families who want to opt for homeschooling?
I read a great book beforehand called "So You’re Thinking of Homeschooling." It was a short book of about 10 families from all different areas of life that were homeschooled —some it worked for, some it didn’t. I loved this book because it prepared me for all instances, which, now years later, I’ve gone through a few. It’s comforting to know that if you start and it’s not right for you, or right for you in a few years, you’re not a failure.
RV life is a gutsy and adventurous lifestyle. What inspired you to do this?
My husband and I got an itch for adventure. We found land and wanted to build a house but, in that in-between time, apartment living was so expensive. It didn’t take much convincing on either end. We talked about it and it just felt right to do something different.
How would you describe your style in fashion and home design? How does it reflect who you are?
My style is ever changing. It’s eclectic and fun and whimsical. I would say my home design and fashion both fit into that category. My style changes with me. I’m always growing and changing and the older I get, the more confident I get. My design reflects that.
What are some of your absolute favorite clothing labels?
I love so many! I love Ryleeandcru, Maeve, Madewell, The Odell’s Shop, Faithful the Brand, Free People... this is always changing too.
Do you have any tips that you can provide when it comes to balancing parenthood, marriage, blogging, and other personal interests?
In our home, marriage comes first. If mom and dad are good, everything else in the house is good. So I’m always checking in with Dino and his needs. And we make it a point to have a date night (even if we stay in) every week —committing dedicated time for each other and making that time a priority.
As an inspiration in the world of fashion, home design, parenting, and blogging, amongst many others, where do you draw inspiration?
I draw inspiration from what’s happening in my life, things I see, my peers and others on Instagram, my mom. My mind is always spinning. I love to see what others are doing, take it apart, and make it my own. I would rather be doing what no one else is doing than blend in with the world. So I love getting creative on how I can make something my own.
"She was born to be free, let her run wild in her own way and you will never lose her."
— Nikki Rowe
Images via Ashley Petrone
Keep up with Ashley here!