Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Bit of An Edge

Hello all!

Words cannot describe my happiness as the semester is quickly coming to a close. I cannot wait to go home for Christmas and get back to work making some money. :) But as we are getting closer, I have started going through my closet to get ready to take some things out to put in some new purchases after the holidays. I happened upon some pieces that I, for the most part, have not broken out yet. So I said, "Why not?" and wore them together and was pleasantly surprised. The look was overall pretty edgy, which is not how I usually dress; I dress a little more light and pretty. Throughout the day I was taken by the compliments that I received from people all over campus.

I was beyond in love with this skirt when I bought it, but never had a chance to wear it. It is sheer with a shorter, solid black skirt underneath and a faux leather band at the waist. This skirt moves beautifully.

A cropped lace jacket over a slouchy Blondie tour t-shirt.

Black boots that have become neglected but were very comfortable to wear walking across campus.

This entire outfit, aside from the boots, is entirely from Forever 21 (boots from Charlotte Russe.) I have not had a huge inspiration to take many chances lately, but I loved this and the reactions I got. It honestly does not hurt to put in that little extra something to make an outfit really stand out especially, if you are like me at all, you are usually more toned down with your style. Moral of the story: TAKE SOME CHANCES! 

<3 Ashley

Will you take some chances with something you don't usually wear?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter Warmth

With autumn and the fast approaching winter comes the bitter cold outside. For those when you must go outside rather than staying cozy by the fire, here are some cozy coat suggestions! (Including one from my own collection)

1. The Pea Coat

I bought this coral beauty at New York & Co. on Black Friday for a whopping $39.99 rather than the original $109. I must say, I am a recent fan of NY&Co. but I have noticed that when they have sales...boy do they have sales! It would not hurt to check it out once in awhile. Plus, this pea coat is heavier than the other coats I own, so it is much warmer in this cool Pittsburgh weather.

2. Classic Trench

While I am by no means urging you to stretch your budget and run out to get the latest Burberry, I must say there is nothing unfashionable about a classic trench coat. While they may not be as heavy as other coats, layering will be your friend when it comes to this coat.

3. Cape

Yes...I am fairly obsessed with this right now. How could I not be? How darling are capes?! Just make sure you are wearing a long sleeved garment underneath! This one here can be found on Etsy for $109

4. Parka

I must say, I have seen a lot of these walking around campus. It makes sense too; they are sensible and comfortable while looking cute too (not an easy feat!) You can even find some with a faux fur lining around the hood.

5. Puffer Jacket

I am not 100% a fan of this one. Not saying I don't like it, some people can truly pull it off. Personally, I think that it is easy to find your way into Michelin Man territory. Put having at least tried one on, they are very warm and get the job done. After all, at the end of the day you want to arrive home without any frozen limbs!

<3 Ashley

What style will you try out this winter?

Monday, November 26, 2012


Well hello there!

Just a small post to start off the day; there will be another today since I do have some catching up to do. ;) My Thanksgiving was all I could ever ask for and more. It was my first time home since move-in day and I was so glad to see everyone. Both my pumpkin pie (which I will post the recipe for later to close out the November recipe series) and that homemade cranberry sauce that I posted earlier in the month were huge hits! Let me tell you, that cranberry sauce was sooooo  much better than the canned stuff and it was so easy to make! I would definitely suggest it for next year. :)

Then of course there was the Black Friday shopping. I got an amazing coat from New York & Company which was priced at $39.99! That was definitely a difference from the regular $109. I will share a picture of it in my next blog later today. I suppose it is time at last to discuss winter coats.

<3 Ashley

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to wish all of my friends here in the U.S. a very happy Thanksgiving. I probably won't be able to write anything tomorrow due to the fact  I will be filling my plate without any guilt. :) My family is the one doing the hosting this year, and we are all pretty flustered with all the work that we still have to do. We will be working on the stuffing and cranberry sauce tonight. The pies have been baked and look mouthwatering! I am not too thrilled about waking up at 5 AM tomorrow to put the turkey in, but I figure I can get a good run in after I do that. Then of course we can make our way to mashed potatoes and veggies! Dinner starts at noon over here. Then we will be relaxing with some football and a classic parade. :)

My message to you tonight is this: Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy the company of your amazing family. Eat all the delicious food that has, without exaggeration, been slaved over. Give thanks for what you have.

<3 Ashley

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Sorry I actually missed posting this on Friday! I was really busy yesterday and I did not want to miss this two weeks in a row. Good news, I have a new hobby! I knit now! :) Since I have been sick, a lovely girl on my floor stopped by with a scone and a new hobby for me. But without even more delay, here are the pins of the week :)









There you have it! It's a little late, but there's still some fun pins :) Have a great weekend everyone!

<3 Ashley

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Recipe: Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is not exactly my favorite part of the dinner. Could it be the fact that I know that it is extremely processed? Maybe the fact that I can practically taste the metal of the can it came in? Either way, since I am helping my mother with the dinner this year, I have been scouring the internet for easy, homemade recipes for everything. Here I stumbled upon a quick (20 minutes!) and easy recipe for homemade cranberry sauce, and the result looks absolutely delicious!

Here's what you need:

- 1 (12 oz) bag of cranberries
- 1 cup of cranberry juice
- 1 cup pure maple syrup (no pancake syrup!!)
- 3 tbsp orange juice

Here's what to do:

1. Wash cranberries in cool water, then put them in a medium saucepan
2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the pan
3. Stir together then put the mixture on high until boiling
4. Once it is boiling, bring it back down to medium low, and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until juice is thick.
5. Turn the stove off, let the sauce cool, and dish it out!

This recipe makes 4 servings

I am very excited to try this recipe out instead of watching the slippery, tubular, processed sauce slide out of the can when I plate it. That can be kind of depressing! Anyway, if you try this out let me know what you think of this recipe! You can find this recipe and others here

<3 Ashley

The Thanksgiving Trek

Well Thanksgiving break is just 6 days away from me, I can practically taste the cranberry sauce. If you are like me, having chosen a school 4+ hours away from home, this is probably your first trip home that you have made since move-in day. I have already been thinking about what to pack and realized that this is a good opportunity to take back some of the stuff that I will not be needing through the winter months. Plus, if you have forgotten anything from home, you can make some room for that (plus don't forget those Christmas clothes that you will no doubt be acquiring!) 

I have a list of things that you should pack for the 4-5 day break and some things that you can leave at home or bring back with you.

Things to pack for break:

1. Jeans: 1 or 2 pairs will suffice. It's not even a week long, you do not need a plethora of outfits. If it helps, plan your outfits ahead of time so you only take what you need! 

2. Cardigan: A good way to pull together jeans and t-shirt if you are meeting up with some friends for coffee or lunch. 

3. Dress: Just one nice dress for Thanksgiving dinner is all you need. It does not need to be fancy, but a holiday dinner is the perfect excuse to dress up.

4. Pair of Boots: Pick a pair that will go with almost everything, so that you do not need to lug your entire shoe collection onto the bus, train, or plane. (Also grab a pair of shoes for the dress!) 

5. T-Shirts: Only if truly necessary. I know I left plenty of tops at home so that I did not need to take everything back with me.

Things to leave at home:

1. Shorts: Unless you go to school in an extremely warm climate at this time of year, I can almost guarantee that you will not need any Daisy Dukes.

2. Sundresses: I am keeping some dresses to layer under sweaters, but all florals are being sheltered until the springtime.

3. Sandals: Along with the shorts, these probably will not be seeing daylight too soon. Make more room for boots in your dorm by keeping the sandals at home.

Things to bring back to school:

1. Sweaters: Make sure you grab all of your sweaters, these are going to be a staple in your wardrobe for the next few months.

2. Boots: If your hitting up stores for Black Friday or your parents offer to buy you something before you head back, a good pair of boots is certainly no bad investment.

3. Anything you forgot!: If there is something you need that you forgot when you left, make sure you get it this time!

Happy packing everyone! Just one week! :)

<3 Ashley

What do you have to pack for this break?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Holiday Bug

Well it really is that time of year...I have fallen ill. :| Conveniently right before Thanksgiving, right? I am currently dealing with a sore throat and slight fatigue. If I know my body well enough now, I am willing to bet some vital parts that this is going to be a raging cold tomorrow. Luckily, I did not have many classes today so I had all the time to rest a bit in bed (while doing some catch-up on my work!) I have also been blessed with some amazing friends out here that have popped in and out to check up on me.

This entry is devoted to some ways that you can either fight off the dreaded cold or at least effectively fight it off.

1. Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! - Sleep really is a very good way to help along the healing process. When you are asleep your body actually works to repair itself. And let's be honest...being sick really does take a lot out of you and can make you a very difficult person to be around. So for the safety of everyone else around, you may want to follow this rule.

2. De-stress - Being constantly stressed out can really make you more susceptible to fall ill when you come in contact with that virus. Make sure that you let off some steam and relax once in awhile. Take up meditation!

3. Be a social butterfly! - Some studies have shown that people who interact with a more diverse group are actually healthier than people who have very narrow social circles. This could align with the fact that the more that your body is exposed to various germs, the better defense your immune system can offer since it is more familiar with those bacteria.

4. Stay fit and healthy! - I feel like this one is a no-brainer :)

5. Vitamin C - While it is not as effective as you have probably been told, it does not hurt to maintain a healthy intake of vitamin C.

I have also taken my mom's advice and concocted a mixture of hot water, lemon juice and honey to sooth the sore throat. Hopefully this does not last very long. If there is one thing I's a trip to the doctor! ;)

<3 Ashley

Is there anything you to get better if you're sick? Any home remedies out there?

Holiday Recipe: Mashed Potatoes

I don't know about your household on Thanksgiving but next to the turkey, mashed potatoes are an integral part of the meal. Fits will be thrown if there is not a heaping dish of it within reach. I consider myself to a bit of a potato connoisseur; I have eaten a lot in my day. Here is a recipe I found for you; it is very different from what I have had, but I am pretty interested in trying it!

Here's what you will need:

- 5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes (this does make 12 servings! So adjust everything as you will!)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup chopped chives
- 1 1/2 cups cream cheese
- 1/2 medium head of garlic; peeled & minced
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
Here's what to do:
1. Boil a pot of salted water. Add potatoes; cook until tender but still firm. Drain and return to stove on low heat for 1-2 minutes to dry.

2. Add all of the other ingredients. Mash until potatoes are smooth.

3. Enjoy!

Since my household will be the site of this year's Thanksgiving dinner, my mother has enlisted my help in finding recipes. This one may in fact be a keeper. I do love some cheesy recipes! Check out more recipes here!

<3 Ashley

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hot Apple Cider

There are a few beverages that seem to be essential for the fall/winter season (we'll get to the hot cocoa and 'nog later!) Today I will provide you with a simple recipe for a delicious hot apple cider to enjoy after a day bustling out in the cold to and from classes or work. Know that this is more of a slow-cooker recipe.

Here is what you will need:

- 1 (64 fl oz) bottle of apple cider
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. whole allspice
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
- 1/3 cup brown sugar

Here's what to do:

In the slow-cooker, combine the apple cider and cinnamon sticks. Wrap allspice and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth and place into the pot. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and keep warm as you serve. This makes 8 servings, so adjust ingredient amount to your party size.

This sounds yummy, no? Get more recipes at AllRecipes

<3 Ashley

What is your favorite holiday beverage?

Love Sweaters

Ready to welcome Thanksgiving break and the end of the semester with open arms. One thing that I am coming to learn is that living with someone in a single square of a room can be a bit overwhelming at times. Needless to say, I am looking forward to having some room to breathe even if only for a week. That aside, I will not regale you with my problems but will continue on in documentation of what I plan on being the perfect autumn yet. I hope that everyone is enjoying the fall recipes that I have been putting up (one coming up later today!)

Today's topic is one near and dear to my heart when it comes to this time of year...SWEATERS! I count down the days on the calendar until I can wear my favorite comfy garment again. One good thing about the early temperature change in Pittsburgh is that I was able to bust out my sweaters early. You really cannot go wrong with them. They are comfortable, warm and stylish (fashion and utility at the same time!) Here are some of my favorite types of sweaters:

This one is not really specific for layering, which makes it nice. It acts quite simply as the top to a great outfit. It's warm, but aside from jeans or a skirt that is all you really need.

Love this one! Oversized sweaters are my kind of thing. I specialize in them almost!

The sweater functioning as a dress. While your legs are only protected by the thinner tights or stockings, the sweater dress is a great way to remain feminine through the chill of fall and winter.


Gotta love a good cardi. Perfection for layering over t-shirts and pretty much anything else.

And one more for home! Unfortunately I do not have one of these, but I am on the look out! If you know where I might be able to find one, please do not hesitate to let me know!

There it obligatory entry on sweaters. Now if you will excuse me I am probably going to catch a nap in my pile of sweaters before my next class. :)

<3 Ashley

What types of sweaters do you like to wear?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sweet Autumn Salad

Here is a recipe for a Sweet Autumn Salad popping with fall flavors!

Here's what you'll need for this delicious, crisp salad:

- 3 cups of torn mixed greens
- 1/2 a medium red pear, diced
- 4 oz mandarin oranges, drained
- 1/3 cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 4 1/2 tsp. canola oil
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper

In a salad bowl, mix the greens, pear, oranges, grapes, cranberries and pecans
Wisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together in a separate bowl. Then pour over the salad and mix together for an even coat. 

For this recipe and more like it, go to Taste of Home. I hope you enjoy this delicious salad!

<3 Ashley

Friday, November 2, 2012


Welcome to another Friday, folks! Here's to an upcoming weekend being trapped in the stacks writing two papers and studying for a mass communications exam. Let's just say I have the eye of the tiger this weekend! The realization that I really only have a month left in the semester has really lit a fire under me to work so much harder than I have been in my classes. With all the hard work, I have still had the time to obsessively pin my favorite things and even started a new board, "It's Raining Men" (any guesses on what I pin to that board? :P) Here are some of my favorites this week!









There you have it! Another week of pinning gone. Hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Be sure to follow all of my boards on Pinterest (cuz I have more boards than this!) You can follow here!

<3 Ashley

Have a great weekend!
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