Monday, March 31, 2014

30 Days of Journaling

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Well we're finally coming up on April which means that the semester is at last winding down and sophomore year is about a month away from ending (cue the violins!) There's still so many things that my friends and I want to do and so many places that we still want to go. We only have about three weekends left before finals which is sending us all into panic mode. WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

Anyway, in my internet reading this past week I came across this post on The Everygirl. I thought it was a great idea to challenge myself to journal everyday this month. I do keep a journal, but recently it has been a place to let my frustrations out. However, this month I am going to journal a little differently. I am going to write everyday no matter what happened; the good and the bad. I will be starting it off on a good note because tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s?!?! What?! Dresses and heels are coming out people!

<3 Ashley

Do you keep a journal? Will you do this 30 day challenge?

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Weekend to Forget

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So this was probably the worst weekend I have ever experienced! It started out normal with brunch with some people on my floor and the Pitt basketball game. I should have known that everything would go downhill when Pitt lost the game. What started out as a stomachache quickly snowballed into what I can only assume was some very unforgiving food poisoning. I cannot say I have ever been that sick in my life! I spent all of Saturday night running back and forth between my bed and the bathroom and trying to keep at least some Gatorade down--that was pretty unsuccessful.

I think I finally fell asleep around 2 but kept waking up throughout the rest of the night. Sunday was a little bit better, but still no appetite for food. I also had a lovely time trying to study for an exam and write a speech both of which were today. I can say with confidence that I pretty much failed the exam...I failed it hard. As far as the speech goes, my professor was very understanding and agreed to let me deliver it on Wednesday instead so that I have more time to focus and prepare.

Luckily today I do feel a lot better than I did this weekend--just a little tired and still without much of an appetite. I am so happy that it's over and am so grateful for all of my friends on the floor who were constantly checking up on me and making sure I had food and drinks. Thank God for friends!

<3 Ashley

How was your weekend? Hopefully better than this!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Spring!

Image: here

I know I missed the first day of spring yesterday, but let's face it...I was too busy enjoying it! Free Rita's Italian ice anyone? However, I did receive quite the blow when I looked at my weather app and saw that next week was supposed to be in the 30s! Come on, spring! I am longing to break out the dresses and flats; I've been with out them for far too long!!

On a separate note, for the first time I filled out a NCAA Tournament bracket with a very limited knowledge of college basketball aside from what I know about my own team. Needless to say, I will not be a billionaire with a perfect bracket, and I have Ohio State to thank for that. Good looking out, guys! :P However, Pitt won their game against Colorado--bring it on, Florida!! Hail to Pitt!

Enjoy the beginning of spring and have a great weekend!
<3 Ashley

Did you celebrate the first day of spring?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Club: The Nanny Diaries

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Being on Spring Break really meant for me that I could sit around all day and do all of the leisure reading that I wanted to do. That's why your getting another book club post so close to the last one. "The Nanny Diaries" by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus is not as recently released as the other books that I have been reading and writing about, but it has been on my list for quite some time. I actually was not aware of this book until I had seen the movie--starring Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. I absolutely loved the movie which I saw in theaters when it came out in like..2007 (the book came out in 2002!)

I realized almost immediately that the book and movie were similar but by no means as close as some movies are to their literary inspirations. The story follows Nanny who is a senior in college and makes her money from nannying gigs around NYC. The focus here is on one family on the Upper East Side, the Xes who pretty much neglect their child. Nanny goes from being a part-time nanny to practically a full time caregiver and assistant to Mrs. X. She also plays witness to the drama and dysfunction of this family and marriage all while developing a relationship with a guy in the building "Harvard Hottie" <---Chris Evans in the movie...I swoon every time. ;)

I did like the movie better but at the same time I did very much enjoy the book! There is a sequel that I MAY get around to reading; not sure if that will be anytime soon. Anyway, I would recommend this book. I got through it rather quickly and found it quite entertaining.

<3 Ashley

Have you read "The Nanny Diaries"? Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts?

Happening in Pittsburgh: RadioChumps

Hey there folks! Just wanted to stop by quickly and bring this event to the attention of all my readers in the Pittsburgh area. RadioChumps, a local digital lifestyle magazine is celebrating its second anniversary! In celebration they are throwing quite a shindig this Thursday March 20 in Lawrenceville from 6-9 pm at Jules Boutique and complimentary wine will be provided by Pittsburgh Winery. If you have the chance, be sure to stop by to take a little part in the celebration!

<3 Ashley

Are you planning to stop by and celebrate?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Back to Business

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I cannot express enough how relaxing last week was for me. I'm going to be so upset when I graduate and Spring Break is not an option for me anymore. I will say that by Spring Break standards, it was rather uneventful--the struggles of the poor college student. I was quite alright with this though; after a week of study, study, study I was very happy to have the chance to just be lazy for 10 solid days. I'm talking sleeping in, camping on the couch in front of the television, making whatever food I want, and blazing through some leisure reading. I have another Book Club post in the works for ya already!

But that dreamy, relaxing week is over. It ended with the long and boring bus ride back to the 'Burgh yesterday. It's time to get back to business. We are in the last stretch of the semester and things are going to start getting busy for me all the while my friends and I are going to be planning as much fun as we can before we are separated for four long months. So I apologize in advanced if the posting is a little thinner than it has been--I think I definitely stepped it up this past week though! Time to attack the last of sophomore year!

<3 Ashley

Any other students on Spring Break have fun plans?! (I know a bunch have break this week!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wishful Thinking

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Here's just a little something I found to dream about this weekend. Gold and white! <3

<3 Ashley

What are you thinking about this weekend?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Club: The Fault In Our Stars

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So I finally did it! For the past year or so friends and other people around me have encouraged me to pick up "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green and give it a read. I am so glad that I did; I found that it really lived up to the hype. That's just my personal opinion though.

The story follows two cancer patients, Hazel and Augustus, as they meet and develop a beautiful relationship. I really don't want to spoil too much for those who have not read it yet! There was quite a bit of humor in the novel, which was very nice considering that the characters were dealing with something serious; it was refreshing to get some jokes from those characters in particular because they're also teenagers.

I went very quickly through this book. It was an easy book to follow and I honestly did not want to put it down. I grew very attached to these characters and their personalities which may have made the last few chapters even worse for me--I cried like a baby! If you do pick up this book, prepare for the feels! I highly recommend this book! Also, I believe their making/have made a film adaptation of the book. Not sure if I'm going to be able to sit through that with dry eyes...I couldn't even deal with the end of "The Last Song" in theaters!

<3 Ashley

Have you/will you read "The Fault In Our Stars?" Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Other "B" Word

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Once in awhile, when I am watching the news at night a story will catch my attention and I will begin to obsessively research. Well last night just that happened. The story I am referring to discussed the efforts of a group, Lean In, to have the word "bossy" banned. The bossy label is something that has effected women for years with the perception that if you come off as too aggressive or "bossy" then there is a good chance that the people around you will not like you.

Even young girls are starting to get the message that participating and speaking up too much in class will earn her the label of overachiever which should by no means be a bad thing! I know that I have felt this sometimes as well. I mean, a lot of my quiet demeanor comes from the fact that I am simply a very shy person. However, I have observed how some of my peers reacted to the girls who were very active and vocal during discussions--judgmental, disapproving, joking looks. 

Through high school and my time in college so far, I have had to step up a bit in group projects and presentations due to the fact that a lot of times the people in my group were not very clear and organized in terms of what they wanted to do. I am happy that I have been able to boost my leadership abilities a bit, but at the same time the voice in my head is reminding me to take it down a notch and maintain my likability.

WHY IS THIS EVEN A CONCERN?! Why is the fact that I want to get something done in an organized way a bad thing? Why can't women be the least bit assertive without being labeled bossy or mean? Is society really still that insecure?

Here is an interview with the women at the helm of this effort!

<3 Ashley

What are your thoughts on the "bossy" label? What have your experiences been with this label?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Forward

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Happy Monday everybody!

As I'm sure you are aware, this past weekend we set our clocks forward and lost an hour of sleep. What followed was probably the longest Sunday I have ever experienced in my life! I was up early to get coffee and breakfast with my mother. It felt like we had been sitting there talking for hours before we left to go to the store. When we came out of the store we saw that it was just past 10 AM!

However, I have big plans for the rest of this spring break! I will enjoying the fact that these next two days are going to see temperatures in the high 50s and possibly low 60s? I've heard rumors. :) I am dedicating a majority of my time this week to some spring cleaning. My room may be small but I can be quite a hoarder throughout the year. It's that time to lighten the load again. Then I have a day set aside to hang out with the few friends of mine that are home now too.

<3 Ashley

Do you have any plans to enjoy this sneak peak of spring?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Little Hope for Spring

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Well, we are about a week into March and tomorrow I am heading home for spring break 2014. I hate that we have spring break so early because it never actually feels like least the kind of weather I associate spring with. I check ahead on the weather at home and it looks like it could get up into the low 50s for a few days though! In any event today it's a cool 30 degrees. But the sun is out and I had quite the vision this morning when I was sitting at my desk by the window working: birds! A few flocks of birds made rounds right past my window and one bird actually sat outside it for a few minutes. Does this mean that spring is finally making its way back to the mid-Atlantic?! Man oh man I hope so! I am bursting to bring out the spring wardrobe!

<3 Ashley

Are you seeing signs of spring where you live?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Club: Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

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If I haven't said so already I will now; college is not the place to read for fun. I honestly have no time during my day anymore to just sit down, put my feet up and read for a good stretch. Lately I have been waking up earlier to give myself a less rushed morning routine. I now wake up an hour earlier than I did before to have some water before I drink my coffee (a tip I picked up from my last book club read!) and in that hour I also catch up on some reading. This past weekend I was able to finish the latest, "Where'd You Go Bernadette?" by Maria Semple.

The book takes place in Seattle for the most part. A good bulk of the content is not so much narrative as is typical but is meant to be a compilation of important documents like e-mails, letters and reports to give the reader a little insight to a variety of characters and what they are thinking about Bernadette before and after she goes missing.

All the documents are compiled by Bernadette's daughter, Bee who is concerned with finding her mother while it seems like everyone else around her does not seem to be putting up much of an effort. Overall, I loved this book! I had heard A LOT about it; it seemed to be really popular around the holidays if I remember correctly. I admit the references to Seattle were kind of lost on me since I'm not familiar with it but that is in no mean detrimental to what I thought of the book. I definitely recommend it!

<3 Ashley

Have you read "Where'd You Go Bernadette?" What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you think you will?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Obligatory Oscars Post

I will be completely honest...I didn't watch the Oscars. Don't get me wrong! I definitely would have watched it if I had a TV. Alas, my roommate and I no longer have one. But I did manage to keep semi-updated on the night's festivities--red carpet fashion in particular. I stayed up really just to see if Leo would finally get his long overdue Oscar...foiled again! However, from what I understand Matthew McConaughey was very deserving of this award this year as well. I don't know...I didn't actually see any of the nominated films. I will try to make it a point to see a bunch of them though! Hey, I do have a spring break coming up.

Fashion wise, I don't think I've seen enough of the dresses to give you my official best/worst dressed choices. However, from the pictures I did see through the night I definitely have two favorites!

   I loved Jennifer Garner's Oscar de la Renta fringe gown. She looked so glamorous! I also adored the color and look of the Prada dress that Lupita Nyong'o wore to the ceremony; it was very reminiscent of Cinderella for me! 

<3 Ashley

What did you like about the 2014 Oscars? Best/worst dressed in your opinion?

**All images linked to their sources
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