Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Club: Gone Girl

Image: here

While working has taken up most of my holiday break (five more days!) one good thing that has come from this break is that I have had the time again to read a book. In school there is no time; I barely have time to do all the assigned reading for classes! Recently, I took to reading "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn. I had heard a lot of good things about this book and thought that it was time for me to follow the herd and read this book.

I loved it! It got to a point when I really could not put the book down. I'm not going to divulge too much of the plot to you; a man's wife goes missing and the whole Missouri town and her NYC parents begin a frantic search for here. The book switches perspective chapter to chapter from Nick's to Amy's diary entries up to the point she was kidnapped. Over the course of reading this book I had developed so many theories as to what had happened to Amy only to have another piece of information introduced in the next chapter that would kill that theory. "Gone Girl" is great at keeping the reader on their toes and making them think.

The ending is not what you would expect. By the end of the book I had so many feelings that maybe it was a good thing that the book ended. Seriously, I was in an empty room and yelling at the characters I was reading about off of my Kindle. If you are looking for the next book on your reading list, I definitely recommend making it "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn. I had a great time reading this novel!

<3 Ashley

Have you read "Gone Girl?" What did you think?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

NYE Heels

1.) JUNO by She Palace (
2.) VOGUE by She Palace (
3.) Kiss Party Queen Shimmer Black by Shoe Diva Boutique (
4.) Gold Pumps by SCHEE Footwear (
5.) Dragon Spike Black by Shoe Diva Boutique (
6.) SAMBA by She Palace (

Well, unfortunately someone has to say it...Christmas is over! It kind of came up on me this year and now all of a sudden it's over. However, it was a great day with family--also my brother's birthday! Anyway, on to our next big adventure: closing a great year and welcoming in another! Sadly, I will be working on New Year's Eve, but many of you won't and will be enjoying yourselves with friends at NYE parties. When I think of New Year's, I think of sparkles, sequins and glitter; it just seems like that kind of night, right? Pretty Living has put together a collection of shoes that definitely pull together an outfit making it the quintessential NYE look; a few you may recognize from Shoe Diva Boutique which I wrote about in this post

 My personal favorites are the Vogue booties by She Palace  (2) and the Gold Pumps by SCHEE Footwear (4).

<3 Ashley

What is your NYE style?

Monday, December 23, 2013


Image: here
Can I just go ahead and say that it doesn't even feel like Christmas to me right now? Well it's two days away! It's not even like I'm scrambling around for gifts or trying to get things done. I've just been working so much lately that I haven't been keeping track of the days. I looked at the calendar this morning and received the shock of a lifetime...tomorrow is Christmas Eve! So if I don't talk to you guys beforehand, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

<3 Ashley

Friday, December 20, 2013


Long time, no pin! How many times since September have I let my once weekly blog post fall off? I guess I figured that since it was a simple post just about what I had been pinning that week I didn't find it too important. But that's silly! Going back to older TGIF posts I have seen that this is the post that I get the most interaction from my readers on; and of course it gives me the excuse throughout the week to take a break from my work and studies to spend and hour on Pinterest. I do miss doing TGIF posts more frequently and as part of my blogging resolution--more on that next week!--I am promising myself to work harder on trying to make them more frequent...starting this week. :) Here you go!




(All images: here)
<3 Ashley  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Some Closure

Image: here

If you've been following along with me throughout this fall semester you will recall how many times I have stressed out and have been completely wiped. This was definitely a difficult and mentally taxing semester for me. Finals week nearly destroyed me--I actually fell asleep in the lounge on Friday while I was studying for my algebra final. Thank God for the fantastic guys on the floor who woke me up in time for the exam! Overall, I had felt that I did average on the exams and was not too sure that I was going to be closing out the semester on a high note.

This morning I finally got a look at my final fall semester grades. Overall, they were okay. I did manage and A+ in one class, Bs in two classes, and the other two classes were Cs. Algebra and psychology definitely were not the kindest to me. But at least their over, right? That's my feeling right now...I'm upset that I wasn't able to do better but at the same time I am so relieved that it is all over and I am getting ready to take on a new semester with a few more classes more focused on my major, minor and certificate--and just a couple gen. eds.

<3 Ashley

Are you finding closure as the year is winding down?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Four Favorites: Holiday Wishlist

This week I am very excited to be co-hosting one of my favorite link-ups to participate in: Four Favorites! This link-up is hosted by Ashlyn of Let It Be Beautiful and Kristin of Fancy Things. This week's theme is your holiday wishlist. These are a few of the things I have been pining for the most since the gift giving season began:

iPhone case: Recently one of my favorite sites, The Everygirl, opened their online store with just a few affordable little gifts just in time for Christmas! One of my favorites is this iPhone case (available for the 4/4S/5/5S) with a wonderful quote!

SS Print: I am very open with the fact that I am a huge fan of Stephanie Sterjovski's lovely prints. One in particular that I can see perched on my wall is this beautiful ombré pink one with an Audrey Hepburn quote--I'm also a huge Audrey fan!

Twirl by Kate Spade: We sold this fragrance at work last year and every time I would work in the beauty department I would stop by this bottle and spritz a little on. I'm obsessed with it! 

Vinyl: One of the big things I asked for this year was a record player which has been confirmed. I currently only have one record (the My Fair Lady soundtrack) and would love some more to go along with my new player!

<3 Ashley

What's on your wishlist this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Buying or DIY-ing

Image: here

I am happy to announce that fall semester is finally over! Commence the lovely three week holiday break leading up to the spring semester. Granted I will be spending this break working to make money for next semester, but I definitely still have time to hang out, have fun and relax. However, one thing gnawing on my brain is the fact that I still have one more gift to get and I'm not going to be getting a paycheck until next Friday...after Christmas. Therefore, I have a very limited budget on this one. The friend that this gift is for is definitely someone who values creative gifts so I know that she will definitely appreciate the DIY gift. I have until next Thursday to find a project and execute it! I can't say that I have done many DIY projects--I am unfortunately someone who drops the money and takes the easy way out--but I look forward to giving a creative and personal gift; especially since this year marks 15 years of friendship!

<3 Ashley

Do you DIY or buy your gifts? Do you have any favorite DIY projects?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finals: In Retrospect

Image: here

Okay, so really I'm only halfway through finals (or at least I will be by 2 PM) then I have two finals tomorrow. But already there are things I wish I had done because I am stressed to no end right here. Honestly, the only reason I am blogging right now is because it is so therapeutic for me. I also think I'm so frustrated and crabby because everyone else on my floor is finished with their exams already and started having their fun last night. Seriously, yesterday I woke up early to study and there were people in the lounge studying. This morning I did the same thing...I am the only one here!

Anyway, I have under 3 hours before my psychology final and I still don't really think I am retaining any information (except I could tell you all about personality disorders; but I won't!) I really think that maybe I should have started at least making up my notecards and study guides maybe a week or so ago and not over the past weekend. I also wish I had done more of the readings assigned throughout the semester. Just so everyone knows, there's a lot of nice thorough information in these books that would probably have been useful in furthering my understanding of these concepts. But here we are, three hours before the exam and it's a little to late to do those readings.

A perk, however, is that yesterday I took my rhetorical process final (this class is for my major!) and the grades are in. Who's got two thumbs and scored a perfect grade on that exam? This girl! I was honestly speechless for an hour after seeing that grade. My final grade over all in the class is a 98% and that is just fine by me! Hopefully, I can get through the rest of these finals well enough!

<3 Ashley

What little triumphs have you had this week?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Since I'm so busy lately and still want to do at least a few posts this week, I figured today I would bust out a short but still very fun post about what I am currently up right now. As we speak. So I am currently...

listening to: "Just Want You To Know" -Backstreet Boys (Note: going to see them tonight here on campus and I'm already fangirling pretty hard!)
eating: Nothing :( But I am drinking some nice water...
wearing: My long, comfy gray sweater and yoga pants
working on: Blogging aside, I am studying for finals. Rhetorical Process to be exact!
loving: My gift from my Secret Santa! Those pillows in the picture up there ^^^^ very festive!
disliking (because hate is a strong word!): Everything about the music video for "Saturday" by Rebecca Black. Like just stop...

<3 Ashley

What are you doing currently?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up: Friends and Family

Happy Monday everyone!

I apologize in advance for the silence that you will no doubt get from me sometime this week; it's finals week. Today and tomorrow is all studying and then Wednesday is when all the fun starts. I have two exams Wednesday, one Thursday, and two Friday. Sounds like a great time, right? Then on Saturday I get to go home for a long and lovely winter break.

Hands down my favorite room at Phipps. It's always decorated so beautifully.

Santa's workshop!

Steelers v. Dolphins. It was just a little chilly; note the snow.

This weekend was definitely the calm before the storm, and I really appreciate all the fun that I was able to have before buckling down. On Friday night, the ladies and I went to Phipps Conservatory and walked through all of their holiday lights and decorations (which were beautiful as always!) Then on Sunday, my dad came to Pittsburgh and we went to the Steelers game against the Dolphin...which the Steelers lost. It was an absolutely freezing game, and despite the outcome, a very fun one!

<3 Ashley

How was your weekend?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas for Her

1.) Royal Blue Swing dress via Tidal Cool Creations
2.) Vienna Victoria bracelet
3.) Faux Croc Leather Pants via Tidal Cool Creations
4.) Bracelet via White Haute Fashions
5.) Pillows via Charisma Home Decor,
6.) Heels via She Palace
7.) Heels via She Palace
8.) Bracelet via White Haute Fashions
9.) Necklace via White Haute Fashions 

Hey all! Can I just go on record for a minute and say that I have already lost my mind due to finals. Seriously...I'm going a little crazy. As of last night I cannot even focus--the Disney sing-a-long that occurred in our room last night was proof of that. It was a nice little stress reliever though (if you ever find yourself crazy stressed, belting "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas helps!) Today's a new day and I have exactly one week until my first finals. I just need to organize my mind and develop some solid study habits. Time to prioritize!

Anyway, with Christmas coming up I'm sure I'm not the only one searching high and low for the perfect gifts. Above are just a few ideas for the lovely ladies in your life. I for one am a huge fan of the jewelry! You may recognize #2 from Vienna Victoria from this post here. That's still on my own wishlist!

<3 Ashley

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

So Secret

Image: here

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the inevitable Secret Santa. We are currently doing one on the floor--gift exchange is this Saturday! I know a lot of people get a little freaked out by it because there is a good chance that you will get someone that you don't know all that well. I think that's the fun part though! That means you can get a little more creative with the gift. Just take one thing you know about the person and go crazy with it!

This year is the first year I've had to shop for a guy, and while we talk and hang out a lot I can't say that I do know too much about him. I do know that he is a Philadelphia Eagles fan though and so with that little piece of information I have gone wild. Every part of this gift has something to do with football, has an Eagles logo or is simply the team colors. I don't think Secret Santa gifts are really the kind that need to be too heartfelt anyway; it's all about fun and surprise!

<3 Ashley

Are you and your friends doing a Secret Santa this year?

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's December

Image: here

Words cannot describe how happy I am to see December again! I love the holiday season so much. Thanksgiving was wonderful; it was great to see family and some friends over the break and of course the dinner wasn't half bad either! Then I went out for Black Friday at midnight WITHOUT a pre-shopping nap and didn't physically harm someone like I thought I would. Instead I did a majority of my Christmas shopping. I got gifts for my brother, one of my good friends and the person on my floor that I picked for Secret Santa (and that gift's a good one!)

Now I'm back to school and ready to buckle down for finals week before I get to go home again in two weeks. Of course with the long break comes work. I cannot say I'm looking forward to that little bit, but you gotta do what you gotta do. But before I even start thinking about the highs and lows of Christmas...I need to get through finals!

<3 Ashley

How was your Thanksgiving? What are you looking forward to in December?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday + Weekend Deals

Image: here

Hey all!

Just wanted to drop a quick note this weekend to alert you to some awesome Black Friday weekend deals (many of which are local Pittsburgh businesses!) Pretty Living PR has pulled together a bunch of deals for you to take advantage of this weekend! Check out the list of businesses here!

There's still time to get in on some of the big deals before the weekend is out! Go! Go! Go!

<3 Ashley

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Image: here

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Can we talk about the fact that I am finally up early enough to catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?! Had it not been for the determination to do my own little "Turkey Trot" run I would probably just be getting up right now. I'm sorry that this is probably the only blog post you will be getting from me this week. The past few days have been filled up with last minute essay writing, packing for break and shopping for my pumpkin pie. Tomorrow I will be exhausted from Black Friday shopping (Anyone else going out at midnight?! See you there!) but I get to spend the day with one of my good friends that I don't get to see as much because of school so that should alleviate some of the fatigue. Saturday is our house decorating day before I leave on a bus back to Pittsburgh on Sunday. I'll give you a full update on Monday, I'm sure. Until then have a great holiday and relaxing weekend!

<3 Ashley

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Four Beauty Favorites

I will admit, this week is not flying by the way I was hoping it was--possibly because I am hoping for it to speed by. But can you blame me? I just want to go home and not do any work! However, it is Wednesday! We're halfway there. Because it's Wednesday ATG is once again linking up with Let It Be Beautiful and Fancy Things for Four Favorites. This week we are discussing beauty:

- I love this gel eyeliner from Maybelline! I just can't deal with pencil; I always feel like I have to aggressively apply it because it's not coming out as dark as I would like. The gel is so much smoother and thicker and the applicator is more comfortable for me to use.

- The store I work at sells Kate Spade Twirl and I love it! Every time I am making my rounds through the beauty department, I stop to take a whiff of this perfume. The cute bottle is also a big point earner with me.

- When it comes to beauty, I will not pretend to be a specialist. If you want solid advice on what kinds of brushes to use and how often to replace them this is not the place to find out (I will just refer you to a beauty blogger!) The brushes I use and have no qualms with are the brush sets from Forever 21. Maybe I get them just because they are cute--I want the floral set next!

- Red lipstick. I am a full supporter of red lips all year round but I find that they especially pop against the dreary, cold and snowy weather than comes with late fall and winter. I can't say that I have worn that Tom Ford lipstick--my meager college budget probably would not allow for that--but I imagine it's quite nice. 

<3 Ashley

What are your beauty favorites? Join the Four Favorites link up by clicking on the button below!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Little Holiday Spirit

Image: here

It's November 19 and I am officially in the holiday mood. Next week is Thanksgiving and I am so excited to go home and see all my friends and family. I'm pretty sure I've been booked everyday of the week! Usually I don't get too celebratory until Thanksgiving is actually upon us, but I think the excitement I am feeling this year about just going home has sparked an early enthusiasm in me. I mean...I'm listening the Pandora Christmas station as I type this. All I need is the week to move just a little bit faster so that I can get to the holiday festivities on the other side!

<3 Ashley

Are you excited for the holidays? Have you gotten in the spirit yet?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Break Me Off A Piece of Sanity

Image: here

I'm taking a break. No! Not from blogging! Why would I stop doing something that I consider so therapeutic for me? I mean from school (and people.) Thanksgiving break is in a week and I am anticipating it more than I think I ever will. Last year, I don't think I was too desperate to go home for break; this is probably due to the fact that I was getting acclimated to college life and living alone and actually enjoying it. This year is different. The semester has definitely been the most stressful and difficult academically that I have experienced so far. It has also been rather heavy in the social realm as well.

My roommate and I have been discussing this a lot in a co-ed dorm is certainly different. We've gotten close with these guys. We've seen ladies come and go over these past three months. We've had to listen to more problems and feelings than we though we'd ever hear from guys. We need a break from these people. Not that I don't appreciate how comfortable they are with me to come to me with their problems, but let me tell you...they make me feel a little masculine sometimes! There's also plenty of actual females that I need to take some time off from as well.

8 days and counting!

<3 Ashley

What do you need a break from?

Friday, November 15, 2013


How long has it been since you saw a TGIF Pins post pop up in your blog feed? Far too long is what I think! This semester has been so much busier than I ever anticipated--can we talk about the fact that I seem to have developed a social life? Groundbreaking... But things are winding down since Thanksgiving break is approaching. Yesterday was my last exam before the break and the only big thing I have left before then is a paper which isn't due until the day we leave. This weekend is also the last Pitt home game that I will be attending. The scheduling masterminds did schedule a game over the Thanksgiving break against Miami, but who's really going to go to that?! Hopefully this weekend we can come through like we did last weekend against Notre Dame (excitement that I am STILL trying to come down from!)

But you probably don't want to hear about football. After weeks on hiatus, TGIF Pins is back! Here are my favorite pins from the past week!









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