Thursday, February 28, 2013

Some Down Time

So with snow fall from the sky, and friends who are in class longer than I am I have decided that now is a good time to slow down and think about somethings. I actually wanted to share a pleasant surprise I experienced with you! When I woke up and got dressed for class this morning I found myself feeling a little small in my skinnies. Actually, the jeans I wore to the basketball game last night also felt quite loose. Looks like my devotion to my New Year's resolution and my dedication with keeping up my Lent promise are really paying off. I feel great! 

That is also how I am justifying this down time - totally deserved! I came back from Italian, put on some yoga pants, turned up the heat, brewed some cocoa and curled up on the bed with my big blanket.  From this perspective the falling snow looks quite beautiful. 

While I am reading through my favorite blogs and sites - eventually I will move on to finishing Pride and Prejudice (almost there!) - I am also listening to an artist I was introduced to just this morning. I was reading one of my morning sites, The Everygirl, I read about this fifteen year old singer/pianist Birdy. I looked up some of her music and it is so beautiful! It really is so relaxing to listen to. I highly recommend it.

Have a great evening everybody!
<3 Ashley

How do you slow down and spend your down time?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beating the Dreariness

One thing I have learned since I have moved here to Pittsburgh is that the sun shines like once a week. There are a lot of clouds, a lot of rain, and a lot of snow. Personally, I find that when the weather is like this I get very tired and sluggish and it takes a team of girls that won't shut up to get me out of bed. But this is no way to live, is it? Especially in a place that is famous for this kind of weather. So, I am taking the initiative to do more. Today - even though it is raining - I am going, willingly, to a basketball game. I find myself to be more of a football girl but I need to leave this dorm!

I want to do more (inexpensive - on a budget here!) around the campus and the city to keep me busy so I don't fall back in to my "do-nothing" ways.

<3 Ashley

What do you do when it's dreary outside to keep yourself happy and energetic?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spring Break Ideas

So as I was looking through my desk calendar, an exciting realization hit me: Spring Break starts next Friday! Next Friday at 2 PM my bus will be rolling away from Pittsburgh to take me home for the week. I will admit that my Spring Break will be spent at home catching up with family and friends that I have missed since I came back. Let's be honest, I have three more Spring Breaks to do something awesome. I know that many of you will be embarking on your adventures at the end of this week actually. So I decided to find a few Spring Break ideas ranging in price.

1. The Beach!

Unfortunately for those of us here in the north, that requires a long drive down south because the beaches are nowhere near warm here at this point. Florida is a popular destination for college Spring Breakers as are certain areas of Mexico. At the same time, if you are looking to go somewhere less crowded and not as popular, the Outer Banks are also a lovely beach destination. I know some of my friends are actually venturing to the Bahamas for break (jealous!)

2. Road Trip!

One thing I have always wanted to do is take a road trip with just a couple of friends. Ideally my road trip would be cross country; this would probably be better suited for summer. But there is still a lot of asphalt you can cover in one week! So grab a few friends, pack the trunk, grab a map and discover some new locations (you should probably establish a budget in that process as well!)

3. Skiing!

While it doesn't exactly sound like a spring activity, it's not exactly spring yet, is it? Make some reservations at a ski resort for the week or just a few days. There are also places where you can go for the day to ski, snowboard, or go tubing (Ski Roundtop for those of you in South Central PA)

4. Volunteer Trips!

Some people also opt for the alternative break: volunteer trips! A lot of colleges and universities have organized volunteer opportunities that you can partake in during spring break. While these are fairly expensive (ours are about $300) they offer you the opportunity to reach out and help others for the week.

5. Make Discoveries at Home!

Okay, in exploring places you haven't ventured to close to home you probably won't encounter any caves or awesome cliffs like these, but how awesome is this picture? This break, my friends and I will be mapping out something cool things to do and interesting places to eat that we haven't been to around home. We are going to become one with our surroundings! Find some interesting hole-in-the-wall café or restaurant that you haven't noticed before or go for a hike! (We live in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains so we can do this!)

These are just a few ideas how you can spend your week away from classes during break. There are definitely other options out there! For those of you getting ready to go on break after this week of classes, have fun and be safe!

<3 Ashley

How do you plan on spending your spring break?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar Fashion: The Day After!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing weekend because it's back to work! As I am sure everyone and their mother knows, last night was the Oscars! Really...I consider it a holiday. I love watching to see how the host will do, watch the winners accept their awards, and of course I love the red carpet pre-shows - no matter how annoying some of them can be! I noticed a lot of lighter colors on the Oscar red carpet this year. Many women were seen sporting white, soft pinks and blues, and some gold. But once in awhile an actress would come in a darker black or blue gown that kept up a bit of variation. Here I thought I would give you just a couple of my favorite and least favorite gowns from the 2013 Oscar red carpet.

Let me start with my favorite gowns of the evening:

Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture: I love this so much. It's so simple with minimal accessories and a pixie cut. She absolutely rocked this look. A goddess no matter what she wears.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture: LOOOOOVE IT! Really though, I don't know what it is but I absolutely adore this dress. Congrats to her for also winning Best Actress!

**I also really loved Jessica Chastain's Armani gown. She had a nice classic Hollywood look about her  that I liked.

And unfortunately, while I love these ladies in all of the films that they do, there were some gowns that I did not like:

Anne Hathaway in Prada: Nope. I don't like; I really wanted to but I just can't. I love Anne so much but  I don't think this was the best dress she (or her styling team) could've chosen. The top part of the dress is what bothered me the most.

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta: I won't beat around it (it would be difficult!)...the skirt is the reason that I don't like this dress. Skirts like this bother me. I feel like it is just too much! The color looks great on her; I just really don't like the skirt.

I thought the show, overall, was very good. This year, the Oscars put forth a theme - music in film - and the performances were spectacular. The cast of Les Miserables was fantastic, but I also loved Catherine Zeta-Jones performing "All That Jazz" from Chicago. Seth MacFarlane was a pretty good host. I thought some of the jokes were a little off, but he got through it fairly successful! 

<3 Ashley

Did you watch the Oscars? What were your favorite red carpet looks?

Friday, February 22, 2013


Happy Friday, everyone!

We've made it through yet another week intact. We are also that much closer to the end of February; where does the time go?! I have a fun, yet not overloaded weekend planned. My floor is going to the conservatory tomorrow. I have already been there a couple of times but I love it. The plants are gorgeous. Then Sunday I am...watching the OSCARS! Can't wait; do any of you have your predictions for winners? Anyway, that's my weekend and here are the week's pins:









Have a great weekend! 

<3 Ashley

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Bit of Rearranging

So I told you earlier that my roommate and I made a few changes to our room to switch things up and make the room seem a little bit bigger. Here are just a few of my spaces that I have organized:

Here is my desk. We moved it over a bit so it wasn't so close to the door. We also put our chair in between the desks since the space was so empty.

I am now the bottom bunk. I actually prefer this. It's cozy.

This area use to be where I put all of my food and dishes. But I decided it would make more sense to store the food away (in a box under my bed) and put my mugs on top of the mini fridge. I think this arrangement looks a lot nice, yes?

I am a lot happier with our room now. The room itself seems a lot bigger, and even my bed feels a little more private now. 

<3 Ashley

Pinterest Works Out!

Hello all! It's Thursday and I can practically taste the weekend. It's been a busy 48 hours for me, but also a good 48 hours. I can feel myself catching up on all of my classes and am starting to feel more comfortable and less hectic. I am even finding longer stretches where I can work on this blog or even read a book that isn't for an essay I am writing. Also good, my roommate and I are beginning to get along again...or at least we are talking. That's a start! We did some bonding over re-arranging the dorm. The biggest re-arrangment was bunking our beds. Yes, you heard it here: we have bunk beds and I am sitting pretty on the bottom bunk. Other smaller changes were made, I will be sure to post some pictures later today after class and a late lunch date.

I won't talk for much longer, just wanted to share my ideas for the day. As you well know by now, one of my changes for the year was to venture to the gym more. I do still go to the gym, but there are days when I really don't feel motivated to walk to the gym, but I still want to work out. That is when I turned to my best friend, Pinterest. Recently I have been finding some easy, at-home workouts that do not require any equipment (considering I don't actually have any!) I am going to be creating a new board on my Pinterest for any workouts that I find. Maybe you can follow and find one that caters to you!

<3 Ashley

Do you prefer going to the gym or at-home workouts?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keeping Your Priorities In Order

One thing that I have always had difficulty with and have finally made the decision to take on is prioritizing. So many times this year alone have I fallen behind in a class because I have left an assignment to the last minute so I have to complete that rather than the smaller reading assignments. One of my promises to myself for 2013 was to become more organized in my work.

Let me tell you, old habits die hard. I am admittedly guilty of falling behind once or twice since January 1st (I know, already?!) But with two due dates pushed back one week - new favorite professor? - I have vowed to buckle down and not get distracted. Rather, I will plan for something to do to reward myself after I finish all of my work. I have also started keeping a more detailed calendar on my desk that also includes all my due dates. Before I left for college, my aunt gave me a list of advice for college success. One of the items was to keep a calendar and follow it. I should have listened to her earlier!

Here's to my new, hopefully successful, organized system.

<3 Ashley

How do you prioritize and keep your work organized? Or is that something you need to work on as well?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Resolution Reflection

Believe it or not, there is only about a week and a half left in the month of February. Where did the time go?! We are already almost two months in the 2013. This is not going to be a long post, but a good one still. The purpose of this one is reflection. How have you spent the first two months? Was it how you planned or hoped? Are you still going strong with your resolutions? Here are my answers:

The first two months for me were spent re-organizing, changing my space up a bit, and committing to a healthier lifestyle. While any hopes of de-stressing my life have almost been extinguished I find myself working a bit harder to catch up. In terms of my healthy lifestyle resolution, I find that I have substantially cut back on junk food (this success is aided by the beginning of Lent.) Since Lent has begun and I have committed myself to eating less junk food I have made Sundays my cheat day (if you celebrate Lent, you know this is the day that you can cheat.)

Anyway, I feel that, despite a few minor bumps, these first few months have been quite successful and I remain hopeful! How about you?

<3 Ashley

Do you feel that you have been successful so far in the new year?

Friday, February 15, 2013


Happy Friday to all!

Today was actually a good day despite only sleeping about four hours last night. Classes are now over and I am ready for a lazy, relaxing weekend. There isn't very much to say, so I will just get to the goodies :)









Have a great and relaxing weekend!

<3 Ashley
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