Thursday, January 31, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Wings

With Super Bowl Sunday around the corner, I am lamenting the fact that I will not be home for it, nor will I have the luxury of a fully functional kitchen in order to prepare the feast that my family will no doubt still enjoy. I guess I am settling for Doritos and microwaveable cheese sticks from the student grocer this year. But that hasn't stopped me from looking up some classic Super Bowl recipes that I would love to make! Here is a recipe for some classic (and essential!) Buffalo Chicken Wings:


- 20 chicken wings; split with tips discarded
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup red pepper sauce
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper


- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Bake wings fro 30 minutes in oven until cooked and crispy
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients
- When wings are baked, dip them in the sauce, shake off the excess and return them to the baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F and bake for another 15 minutes to set the sauce.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Chicken wings are my absolute favorite finger food. While messy, they are truly essential for a football party! Recipe can be found here

<3 Ashley

What are your favorite Super Bowl snacks?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Date Night Dress: Valentine's Day Edition

Good evening, everyone!

Today was definitely a slow kind of day. But I must say, despite the overall dreary, cloudy appearance it was a relatively nice day to be outside. I was able to make a quick run to the gym and I am working on slowly getting all of my assignments for tomorrow done. Can I just say that all of these assignments are for ONE class! Anyway, although this might be coming slightly early, I thought that I would get the Valentine's Day fashion post out of the way while I had the time to work on it.

I put together three Valentine's Day inspired looks that range from fairly casual to fairly dressed up.

Valentine's Inspired

Valentine's Day


Sorry that this is a relatively short one today. As of now I am still swamped with trying to put these writing assignments together! I hope you have a great night!

<3 Ashley

Which Valentine's look is your favorite?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Preparing for an Interview

Happy Monday to you all! Overall, I am predicting quite a pleasant week. Aside, of course, for my first exam in Italian today (fingers crossed!) But the news I have been waiting for did arrive just before the weekend began: I have an interview on Thursday regarding being an RA! Definitely a step in the right direction. I am nervous, but not as much as I have been before for an interview. This will in fact be my fourth interview for a job. I feel like I might almost be a pro! I have gotten to thinking about what preparation has exactly gone into these interviews and where my head was at the time. Here is a list of what I have found to help make an interview successful!

1. Be punctual! Be on time! Let me tell you, I am 15 minutes early everywhere. That might just be how I was raised, but it definitely is not hurting me.

2. That being said...don't rush! Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready and organized. While it not be the most pleasant, I do tend to wake up earlier if it's in the morning. (I wake up at 8:45-9:45 everyday...except weekends!) That way you have time to eat, get your appearance together and to mentally prepare in a comfortable time frame.

3. Dress nicely. I won't say dress professionally because that creates just one image in my head and that really only applies to certain positions. Dress for the position! For my interviews in retail (and probably for this upcoming one) I tend towards a nice top and nice, tailored looking jeans and flats. You don't need your prom dress, but don't bum it completely!

4. Do your research. Make sure you know enough about the position so that you can easily explain what qualifications you have that make you useful in that particular job. Sometimes you might be able to find some potential interview questions online. For the last store I had an interview with I searched potential questions I could be asked in the interview, found some and sure enough the manager did ask me a few of them. Thank goodness I was prepared!

5. Clear your mind before hand. Don't get nervous. Don't over think it. Don't bite your nails over it. Read a book or listen to some music. Go into the interview with a positive attitude.

6. Be yourself! Don't forget that your interviewer is a human being as well with a sense of humor. When they ask you a question like "what was an example of a time when you had to convince someone to purchase something?" tell the best story you have! I told about the time when I was the devil on my mother's shoulder at the Michael Kors store in Las Vegas. Mom walked out with a very nice pair of sunglasses that she wore all the time! Let them see you and your personality because that is the person they are hiring!

This is the process that I go through and so far it has been successful. I hope that I can continue to take my own advice and have a smooth running interview! I don't know if you know it...but I want to be an RA badly.

I hope that you have a great day!
<3 Ashley

What do you do to prepare for an interview or important meeting?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What's in My Purse?

Is it Friday yet? For a four day week, boy has it been dragging! Not a massively planned weekend waiting for my like last time. A friend of mine and I are going to see a violin concerto tomorrow night, then I believe Sunday we are building a fort on the bed of a friend that is not going to be here this weekend. She is going to have a lovely surprise when she comes back! :) This decision came after a conversation about childhood and how when it would storm and the power would go out we would preoccupy ourselves with fort construction. I can't lie...I am very excited about this! I'm sure you will be able to find some sweet fort pictures on my instagram.

Anyway, today I did not really have anything planned as far as blog posts go. I have been looking back through and noticed, there is not too much in the realm of me show you something of mine. So today I am spilling it...the contents of my purse that is. I believe you can tell a lot about someone from what is inside their bag. So today you get to make those judgements of me!

I always have at least one pack of gum (I just happened to pull two out this time!) my phone, iPod, Sephora mirror, a book, notebook, antibacterial, lip balm, lip stick, hand lotion, my lanyard with my cards, and sunglasses. This is why I need the big bags! 

<3 Ashley

What's in your bag?

Musical Motivation

I can proudly say that I am still holding onto the promise to work out at least every other day! I have found that aside from the support from my friends who go with me, and the want to be healthier and more fit; what really gets me through a 30-45 minute workout is my playlist. There is a good chance that whenever you see someone at the gym there is a good chance that they have earbuds dangling from their ears. Music is truly great in both motivating and distracting.

I cannot say that I am the most enthusiastic person when it comes to going to the gym (I still love the comfort of my bed!) So I take along my iPod and at some point, I get so into my music that I don't even pay attention to the amount of sweat I am producing. Here is some of the music that I find really makes the time in the gym fly by:

1. "Jump" Madonna
2. "Fighter" Christina Aguilera
3. Any Lady Gaga song
4. "Crank It Up" Ashley Tisdale
5. "Big Fat Bass" Britney Spears
6. "Glory Days" Bruce Springsteen
7. "Girl Panic!" Duran Duran
8. "Into the Groove" Madonna
9. "We Didn't Start the Fire" Billy Joel
10. "Settle Down" No Doubt

There are just a few of the songs that get me through my gym visit. Have a great day everybody! Stay warm :)

<3 Ashley

What songs are on your workout playlist?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: David Bowie "Where Are We Now?"

I cannot say that I have been completely immersed in his music (I was born in '94! I have a lot of music to catch up on.) but I have heard a few of David Bowie's material. From what I understand, he has not been as active in the music industry for awhile. Recently, however, he did release a brand new single titled "Where Are We Now?" I'd heard about the song from Twitter and thought that it would be interesting to listen to since his music is certainly very different from what is on the radio today. I wanted to see how his style had held up.

The verdict? I love the song! I went right to Spotify and added it to my library. The song is very haunting in my opinion. The style really isn't too close from what I have heard of him, but I love the way the song moves and the lyrics. I think this is a great way for a great artist to come back onto the stage. I highly suggest that you, at least, give it a listen!

<3 Ashley

Will you listen to this song? Have you heard it already? Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Looking Back Moment

Hello all!

The long weekend is over and I find myself getting ready for class again. As I have been on Facebook the past few weeks, I have noticed more and more, people I know from high school (that are still in high school) are getting all of their acceptance letters and making their college preparations and decisions. That got me to looking back to this time last year. Receiving the acceptance letters, working through the annoying FAFSA forms and all that other stuff, just to make it to at least this point.

I had applied to six schools and all of them, in some way or another, were ones that I definitely considered for different reasons. Only one was the one that I wouldn't stop talking about: Pitt. My decision was admittedly down to the last minute. I did start to doubt myself, panicked and proceeded to visit two other smaller schools that I had not really paid too much attention to. The night we got back from the final college visit I made my decision. I was on the phone with my aunt who had me tell her the pros and cons of both Pitt and the other school that I was considering. After I finished, she pointed out that when I was going through the list for the other school I kept going back and comparing it to Pitt. Looking back, the choice was clear.

To all of those who are getting ready to make the big decision, take this cliché but completely true advice. If you have a school in mind that you are mentally committed to, even after you visit other schools and it is still on your mind, there is a good chance that's the one for you. Don't doubt yourself and go with your gut. Picking a college is no doubt a huge (and expensive!) decision. But it is one that you do have the luxury of making, so do what makes you happy!

<3 Ashley

Any college decision making stories?

Friday, January 18, 2013


Happy Friday! My day ended after my first Italian quiz, and I welcomed the weekend. Closing the night with my friends watching P.S. I Love You; it's chick-flick night! There isn't much to say as a close to the week that I did not really say in my decor post. So, without wasting anymore time I will present you with my pins of the week!









I hope everyone has a great weekend! Talk to you on Monday!!

<3 Ashley

Any fun plans for the weekend?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dorm Decor

Decided to change the scenery a bit and am currently penning (or typing!) this entry in the library coffee shop. I figure I should get out of the dorm once in awhile, right? Lots of fun planned for this weekend starting tonight! Tonight I am going with a group to see a showing of Rebel Without a Cause at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, tomorrow is Friday and I am finally Skyping with my friend from home that I miss beyond understanding, Saturday we are up early and heading to the Strip District to try and find some fabric (remember those bags I have been talking about making?) and Sunday is shopping day at SouthSide with a stop at our favorite Irish Pub for lunch!

I have decided that today I will discuss dorm decor! After looking through those pages up top (organized based on what kind of posts you like to read) I have decided that I need more in the realm of both 'decor' and 'college.' So here is the best of both worlds. Over the course of my freshman year, I have accumulated and gotten rid of things and am in the process of re-organizing and would love all suggestions...within reasonability since my bank account is indeed lacking. I have also started thinking about what I want to do next year. I will either be in a single, if I get the RA position, or in a quad with some other girls. Completely opposite ends of the spectrum, I know. Either I get supreme privacy and total space, or I get both severely limited.

Here are pictures of 3 of the most important spaces in my room:

Where I slumber and write most of my blog. It is surprisingly comfy for a school provided piece of furniture. Unfortunately, since I lowered the bed those wooden pegs stick up on the sides and aren't the most attractive. Next year I want to make a headboard or drape some fabric down like a canopy. Curtains for the windows will also be in order!

The second most popular place for writing this blog! This is the cleanest the desk has been this entire year. Hopefully it stays that way. :)

And my beautiful closet! This is my favorite part of the dorm because not all the rooms have closets big enough for clothes, shoes and a human! Seriously...this is where I change clothes. It is the closest thing to a walk-in-closet I have ever had.

Suggestions are very much welcome! I probably wouldn't be doing much now since I will only be in this room for 3 more months. But I would love to start planning for my dorm next year :) 

<3 Ashley

Any good, inexpensive DIY projects?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: The Carrie Diaries

Good evening, good morning (wherever you are!) Here it is very early morning, 12:45 to be exact. Just wrapped up some homework and thought that I would weigh in on a show that I must admit, I have been waiting for: The Carrie Diaries.

As a viewer of its predecessor, Sex and the City, I was interested to see how true to the life of Carrie Bradshaw the show would be. From watching this first episode I can tell you...not very! If I remember correctly, Carrie's father left when she was seven and I do not believe she had any siblings. So really, the whole family dynamic is off. However, I do appreciate the qualities the character possesses. She has a professional drive that takes her not to the school dance where her crush is waiting, but out to a New York club with someone from Interview Magazine. 

While the show does deviate from what was laid out by SJP in the original, one does have to recognize that this is NOT Sex and the City. Gone are those days and here are the days just after the finale of Gossip Girl. I see the Carrie Diaries as filling the void left for some by the ending of the series. I am not going to judge the show based on just this one episode; I will continue to see how everything develops. Plus, I love all of the '80s music and references (the Rob Lowe sweater!) 

Just an opinion from someone who admittedly does not watch much television nowadays!

<3 Ashley

What are your thoughts on The Carrie Diaries?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Big Fat Healthy Lifestyle

In keeping with the "New Year, New You" theme that I seem to have this month I want to talk about this new, healthy lifestyle I want to create for myself. This year, I am adamant about starting anew and taking the time to cleanse myself physically and mentally.

First with the physical: healthy diet and consistent workout routine. I would not say that I am trying to lose weight, but rather would like to be healthier and gain maybe just a little bit of muscle. Hopefully, thinking like that will motivate me to continue passed February 1. In terms of my diet, I have completely cut out soda and have cut down on desserts. I am not exactly eliminating much else. I really don't see the point in completely cutting out carbs or meats like some of these diets call for. You still need the nutrients that these foods possess. Instead, I have opted for simple portion control. Much of the time the problem is not exactly what we are eating but how much. For example, if you eat a 1 pound salad you are gaining a pound. So nothing is really cut out, just downsized and sometimes replaced by a salad or some kind of vegetables (I need more of those.) I have also started at the gym. Here's to day 3! I am trying to workout everyday except for Sunday, of course. I have always taken it to heart as the day of rest and relaxation. I am pleased to say that I am sleeping better hours as well and am more energetic lately. The benefits of changing things up are already visible.

Now for the mental health: DEADLINES are my key. I figure deadlines are my educational and professional life from here on out and do have their benefits. I have invested in a calendar for my desk and now keep a notebook with me at all times to jot down assignments and important notes throughout the day. This has really freed up my thinking space not having to remember dates and everything! I am working on completing things in a timely manner as well (right as I get them!) Part of my mental health cleansing is to both have my relaxing, quiet "me time" and keep myself busy. I am in the process of performing an early "spring cleaning" and redesign of my dorm to fit me a bit more. Out with the old and rarely used! Also, in an attempt to do something with my time, and make up for the fact that while I am in school I have no income until I go home for breaks, I am going to start making, designing and selling bags. I used to be really into sketching designs and I have actually made bags for myself and friends. I am currently in the design process which is being extended since I do not know where I can get fabric around here (anyone familiar with the Pittsburgh area?) Anyway, that is something to look forward to; my prime selling grounds will be on this campus and on this blog.

I just wanted to share my promise to myself and my plans with you all. I find it to be beneficial to write this kind of stuff down and share it with a bunch of people. Subtle motivators. Like I said before...I want this to stick!

<3 Ashley

What motivates you? Are you going to try any of this for a healthy lifestyle?

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Well hello there! I know I wasn't able to get this done yesterday but there's no harm in getting up now! Everyone is still asleep since brunch isn't until noon so I have plenty of time. I naturally rise before everyone literally every time. I don't know what's wrong with me! Anyway, the first week of the spring semester has ended and here are my thoughts: Italian is not going to be as bad as I thought (I do think my background in Spanish has something to do with this,) Wednesday will by far be my worst day in terms of my scheduling, and I am 10 times more outgoing than I was last semester...for real, I raised my hand to speak in class...I don't do that. All this being said, I foresee an excellent semester! To wrap of the first week of that semester are my TGIF Pins! Enjoy :)









Have a great weekend, everybody!

<3 Ashley

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fancy Footwear

During the winter we dress with one goal in mind: be comfortably warm. Since we dress with this in the front of our minds, it can be very difficult to dress both practically and attractively. I find most problems rest on my feet. I pull an outfit together and my shoes have no effort put toward them. So I have endeavored to put together a few different outfits paired with the appropriate shoes that are great (or at least tolerable) during the winter.

Riding boots are a go-to for sure! If you invest in a truly good pair, they are warm and very durable. You can wear them in rain and snow and they will wear very well.

A close second are lace up boots. For me they are a little more casual than riding boots (I just think riding boots are a little more polished.) Similarly to riding boots, they are great with skinnies and leggings.

If you are going for a more dressed up look, I think ballet flats are best. I would not wear heels out when it is wet or icy. Simple flats will look great and can keep your feet wet if they are a good and sturdy material.

Those are my picks and really all I wear in the cold months. Have a great Friday, I will have my TGIF pins up in a few hours. Got to get through Italian first!

<3 Ashley

What shoes do you prefer in the winter?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Style Culture

Good morning! (At least it's morning now...I'm sure that when I finally hit the publish button it will be well into the evening.) I figured I would start writing this one at the crack of dawn since I have a total of four classes today, three of which occur one after the other. I am interested to see how I get from the 23rd floor of one building to the 4th floor of another in 10 minutes.

Anyway, my class schedule is not the topic of today's entry but rather style evolution. It's something that I have been thinking about pretty often the past few days and thought the topic fit well with the New Year; you year, new you, new style. As I have been putting my closet on a diet and looking for newer items to add to it I have marveled at how my taste has evolved in just 365 days. Colors and shapes that intrigued me last years baffle me now.

One thing that I learned in my communication class this semester (two days in and I am learning things already!) is that culture has to change and adapt in order to thrive and keep going. Now, our closets may not be a widely practiced culture, but the same thought can be applied. In order to maintain excitement and a fresh appeal we must change; it's inevitable. We may not notice right away, but with closer examination we can look at ourselves in the past few years and see how our own personal styles have evolved I look back and see the slightly hippie stage I went through, the '70s glam inspired pieces that do work their way into outfits now, the sky-high heels that did not make it through homecoming, and the comfier pieces that I tend toward a lot more now.

The moral of the story is: think about how you and your closet have evolved. Which styles have survived and which ones have gone extinct?

<3 Ashley

How has your style changed over the long term or even the short term?
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