Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tis' Wedding Season

Fall always seems to be a very popular season for weddings. I have a wedding this Saturday to go to. Another wedding in two weeks and it's Heather and Joey's five year wedding anniversary today! Congratulations you two! So many joyous occasions to celebrate!

With many dressy occasions come many dressy outfits. I'm pretty sure that I have the dress that I want to wear narrowed down to of course a little black dress. What could go wrong with wearing a little black dress? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. While wearing a LBD you can never be too dress up or dressed down. It's the perfect go-to dress. 

My problem arises at what shoes to wear! Should I go with my nude pumps or should I go with my black heels. I can't decide. The only thing that is swaying my decision to the nude pumps is that my current black heels are platform. I don't want to people to think that I look like a stripper. I don't think that would be the case though since a TON of shoes are platforms these days. I'm also only 5'2", so with the added four or five inches, I won't stick out like a sore thumb. I'll be average height. As for the nude heels, it's beginning to be fall and I am gradually becoming more and more pale. Good-bye gorgeous Virginia Beach tan! Welp. Anyways, I feel like the nude heels may make my legs look even more pale. Nothing that a little self tanner can't fix but still. I'm stuck. What I really want to do is go out and buy a new pair of heels. I think a fun blue or pink would add a nice color pop to the black ensemble. I doubt that will happen though.

On to jewelry, the neckline of my dress is rounded right at the collarbone. So there's not a whole lot that I can do with a necklace. I would say maybe a nice bib necklace would do the trick but I'm not loving that idea either. My dress has subtle sparkles throughout it with a fine mesh on the sides and back. I think a great pair of earrings could do the trick, actually. Just skip the necklace and wear some bold earrings. Yeah, I think that's what I'm going to do. I don't know. I'll have to try a bunch of jewelry on! What do you think would go best? 

Next up, makeup! Do I do a smoky eye with nude lips? Or do I go with a more natural eye and have a bold lip color? Like red! I do love a nice red lip! I don't think that I can do a smoky eye with a red lip being that it might be too much for the wedding ceremony. Although...I could always do a nude lip for the mass and then whip out my red lipstick for the reception! many options! 

All I know is that I have to look good...damn good! I'm going solo and my friend (the one who's getting married) told me that a lot of her guy friends are going solo as well. I think she may be seating us at the same table at the reception. What a great friend! :) Hence, my dilemma on what to wear with my LBD!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Books. It's an Addiction.

Hello Everyone! I hope all of you are having a great day today :)

As you may know, if you read my post on fifty facts about me, I. Love. Reading. Plain and simple. Currently, I am reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. There are ten parts to this book and I am on part seven right now. Almost there! 

I love it when a good book captures your mind. It allows for you to leave this very moment and drift into the day of another person. A character. It's a perfect way to unwind after a long day at work. Your mind is at ease and nothing else matters other than what will take place on the next page. 

The Book Thief
Admittedly, I am a bit disappointed with the book thus far. I can put this book down. Now, don't get me wrong, it's a really good read but books that really capture my interest I just can't put down. This book, however, feels like it is taking forever to get to the good part. And I'm on the seventh! It's not like the author's writing quality stinks because it doesn't. It's wonderfully written. Also, the perspective that it's written from (a surprise that I didn't expect) was unique and intriguing. The setting was extremely detailed and convinced me that I'm in the exact city and year that the characters are in. If all of these combined make for a great novel, then why can I put this book down? 

I guess I just need a little more action throughout the book to keep my pages flipping. I told myself that I will NOT stop reading this book. I will finish it! I like the book, I really do! Plus, I want to watch the movie after I'm done because I've heard that it's amazing. Although, books are always (in my opinion) better than how Hollywood portrays them. The ending of a novel can definitely make or break the entire book though. Therefore, I will prevail! I'll let you know what I think about the book after I'm completely done. We'll see if the ending changes my mind about The Book Thief. 

Does anyone else feel the same way? Do I just need to hang tight and push through to the end? I'd love to hear your opinion as well. No spoilers though please :) 

For real.

XoXo, Ashley

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Last Weekend


Last weekend was a fun weekend. My sister Heather and brother-in-law Joey asked me if I could dog sit for them. They had one of Joey's best friends wedding to go to and it was in Kalamazoo. Yup, that's really a city here in good ole Michigan. Kalamazoo's about an hour and a half away and after a night of dancing and drinking they weren't going to drive back home. Smart choice. Now, it's up to me to handle the two pooches Daisy and LuLu. They can be a handful sometimes but always a fun handful! Of course, I agreed to watch them. (Plus, they offered to pay for some beer and pizza and gave me the okay to invite some of my close friends over, YAY) 

Friday night roles around and here I am with these two. Heather and Joey just planted grass seed a couple of weeks ago so I was told to walk the dogs out to a specific location. It was nice out all weekend so that wasn't a problem at all. The first time I had to take them out though I noticed that Daisy didn't really want to walk much. Shoot. Naturally, I started thinking of what could be the problem. Is she sick? Does she have a sore paw? What's going on with her? This prompts me to call Joey to ask if he had noticed her acting weird  before they left. He then fills me in that when he took Daisy and LuLu to get their haircuts they had to get their anal glands cleaned as well. What in the world?! No wonder the poor thing doesn't want to walk. I guess it's common for dogs that are smaller to have to get this done quite often though. However, instead of walking Daisy to her bathroom location, I had to drag her. Every five steps she wanted to sit down and Wouldn't. Budge. 

Well, that was an experience! Lucky for me, she was better by the next day and everything was fine. So, I decided to take Heather and Joey up on their offer of inviting my friends over. I asked Ashleigh and Allison to come over Saturday night. I met both of these lovely ladies in college! Both agreed to come and the "girls night in" was officially about to start! We ordered Jets pizza and chit-chatted away while we ate. Then we opted to watch a movie, Horrible Bosses (my all-time FAVORITE comedy) was in the running, Ashleigh had never seen it. After probably ten minutes or so we then decided to go to Family Video. Ashleigh and Allison mentioned the movie The Ringer earlier in the night and I had never seen it. So we picked that one up and agreed on a double feature of first The Ringer and then Horrible Bosses. Awesome! 

Allison brought wine and all three of us drank that. It was a type I've never tried before called Fruvi. A fruity wine. It was pretty good! We tried to pinpoint the fruit flavors that we tasted since they weren't listed on the bottle. The consensus was peach and raspberry for this particular type of Fruvi. As for the movies, I ended up really enjoying The Ringer. It was a great representation of people with special needs that are capable of doing just as much as anyone else can. I definitely recommend watching it for any of you that have not seen it. And the beer...oh the beer, it went untouched, surprisingly! Heather told me when she got back that Joey asked if we knew that they bought those for us. Who would pass up beer with their pizza? Now, they have some beer around when they want one or have company over. Anyways, the weekend was a success and overall I would give the puppies an B+ on their report cards. Only because of the whole bathroom situation. Other than that, they were gems!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

If ya'll remember...on August 17th I told you that I was getting back into the swing of things with working out. That means it has already been 18 days and I want to give you an update on how it's going. Overall, I did well up until the past week. Here's how my schedule went:

Jillian Michaels

Week 1
Day 1: Level I- 30DS
Day 2: Level I- 30DS
Day 3: Level I- 30DS 
Day 4: Level I- 30DS
Day 5: Womp.
Day 6: Womp.
Day 7: Zumba! 60 minutes of straight interval cardio

Week 2
Day 8: Wade Hustle! 90 minutes of cardio
Day 9: Womp.
Day 10: Level II- 30DS
Day 11: Zumba! 60 minutes of straight interval cardio
Day 12: Womp.
Day 13: Hot Yoga- 90 minutes of pure sweat
Day 14-18: Womp.  

The "womps" are the days that I didn't do a darn thing. I started out strong! Unfortunately, Labor Day weekend did me in. Too much extra time to fit in some shopping and lunch dates with friends and family! :) That's always a necessity!  I'll have to fill you in on what I bought while we were out! 

Oh yeah! Remember how I was going to strictly do just the 30 Day Shred? Well, I can never pass up a good Zumba or Hot Yoga session! Plus, you can't expect to lose weight or build muscle without cardio. Strength training + Cardio = The Real Deal! I'm not quite sure how I feel about doing two-a-days either. Say I go to Zumba in the morning, it would be good if I did the Shred in the evening as well. However, that's super ambitious and I'm at a slow and steady pace right now. I should try to achieve my first goal and simply focus on working out once daily. The battle begins...again. I wish I could do nothing and have a stomach like Jillians. 

30 Day Shred

On a side note, my actual gym membership is ending this month. I joined last year and have gone quite a bit but mainly during the Winter months. Technically, just my contract is ending, so I can still go on a month-to-month basis but now I can cancel whenever I'd like. (Yay, not trapped anymore!) The only thing that's swaying my decision to leave the gym is the money. I'm not sure if I'm getting my money's worth. I feel like I am but I would have to track my time spent there to actually see if I was. I feel like I would need to go more often. Also, we have the Total Gym so I would like to give that a legitimate try too. If the Total Gym is really a "total gym" then I should cancel my gym membership, right? Sigh. Decisions. Decisions. 

Any help is welcomed! Have any of you tried the Total Gym out? Are you have a rough time like me when it comes to daily workouts? 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fifty Facts About Me

I was called out by Heather to write a post that includes 50 fun facts about myself. I'm a bit hesitant. I feel like I won't be able to come up with fifty. That's a lot of facts! However, if Heather and Brooke can do it then I'm sure I can make it to fifty as well.

So here goes nothing!!

1. I love fruit, especially kiwi.
2. I have my ears pierced twice.
3. I love, love, love to read. I'm currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
4. I want a tattoo. No, I don't. Yes, I do. Ugh...the struggle.
5. I'd choose vacuuming and laundry over dishes ANY DAY!
6. My favorite dessert is ice cream.
7. My favorite flavor of ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip.
8. Oh, and brownies are my favorite too.
9. My birthstone is Diamond. More diamonds for moi! ;)
10. I absolutely positively want to travel to Spain.
11. And Italy!
12. And Greece! (thank you Pinterest)
13. I took Spanish from 3rd grade ALLLL the way through college.
14. I love Greek yogurt and coconut water.
15. I call myself a fitness guru because I love working out and eating healthy.
16. My favorite color is blue but pink is a close second.
17. The Ugly Truth and The Proposal are my favorite rom-coms.
18. Horrible bosses is my favorite comedy. Period.
19. Staying inside with some wine, popcorn, and a good movie is almost always better than going out somewhere.
20. I am single.
21. I've never been to a pro football game...or college for that matter. I know, I know, I went to U of M! I'll go this season ;)
22. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
23. Therefore, I will ALWAYS be a Steelers fan.
24. I wish I could model. Short girl problems. Only...8...more...inches! Even 4" heels won't get me there. I'll keep trying :)
25. Makeup is where I go overboard. It's an addiction. I just have to have this lipstick too!
26. I love swimming!

I'll be right back! Dairy Queen run! Told you...weakness.

Mmmm...Heath & Cookie Dough blizzard. YUM.

27. I absolutely HATE when the blinds in the house are closed during the day! I love natural lighting and closing the blinds does nothing for that.
28. I love roller coasters! Cedar Point is the best.
29. I.Hate.Donuts. 
30. My favorite movie candy is Buncha Crunch.
31. I love M & M's and the blue ones are my favorite. 
32. I went snowboarding for the first time this past winter.
33. And skydiving for the first time this summer.
34. My favorite "watch at any time T.V. shows" are Friends and Big Bang Theory. Bazinga!
35. I'm currently watching Season 2 of Breaking Bad and Season 7 of Dexter. Shhhh! No spoilers!
36. I can never narrow down my favorite band or artist. There's too many that I like.
37. I can never get out of Target without spending money.
38. I don't like fudge. 
39. I don't really like chips besides for Doritos and Pringles.
40.  I think Zak Efron is gorgeous and so are the Franco brothers.
41. I'm picky about coffee. I don't like house coffee that much but I like some coffee from Starbucks or Bigby.
42. Mary-Kate and Ashley and Victoria Beckham are my fashion idols. 
43. I can't sing. Like at all.
44. I love dancing. I took ballet and pointe dance lessons for many years.
45. Urban Decay and MAC eye shadows are my favorite!
46. I went jet skiing in the Bahamas.
47. I want to explore more of Michigan. Mackinac Island, Pictured Rocks, South Haven beach.
48. I've never been anywhere in the United States more West of Chicago. Hopefully, I'll visit Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon soon.
49. I took piano lessons for three years.
50. I really, really, reeaaaallllyyy want to get my own puppy. I have the name picked out already but that's a secret! 

Well, there you have it! Fifty things you didn't know about me! Can you think of fifty facts about yourself? Does anyone agree or disagree with some of the things I listed?  I'd love to read them if so. I'd love to find out more about you as well. :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

NOT the "S" Word!!


I don't know about you but I am dreading the return of...don't say it...September! Ugh. Can you believe that we only have one week left of this beautiful month of August? I always feel like the first day of September is the start of Fall and I'm not ready for it! Not yet! I still want to run around in my shorts and flip flops. I absolutely do not want to start bundling up again. I hate wearing bulky jackets while driving or having to bundle up before I walk out the door. Even though the official start of Fall isn't until September (there's that "S" word again) twenty-third, I don't want the summer days to fly by. 

As it may seem, I don't dislike Fall, I actually get totally excited for pumpkin lattes, fall clothes, and Halloween. Shopping for knick-knacks that represent the fall season is fun and addicting as well. Home Goods and Michael's are my nemesis when it comes to fall shopping. Oh! And you can't forget all the other clothing stores around. See, I enjoy fall clothes such as light scarves, a long sleeved shirt, skinny jeans, and a great pair of Tory Burch boots, which I have yet to purchase...sigh. Anyways! The Fall season is beautiful too! The leaves changing colors make for a gorgeous view on your way into work and the slightly chilly air allows for all the couples out there to get a little bit closer. Cuddling is always a good thing. :)
Tory Burch boots... these are wonderful

Well then, I'll just have to make the best of these last few weeks of Summer. The icy-cold winter that awaits us here in Michigan will not be thought about until it the day it gets here. So for now, I'm going to enjoy the sunshine and eighty-degree weather and not think about Fall, let alone Winter. The Labor Day weekend festivities await! Cheers!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tournament of Champions

I work in Ann Arbor and at my work a group of coworkers and I go out for lunch to a different restaurant once a month. We do this for one year which allows for twelve unique restaurants to be tested.  At the end of the year, each person takes a vote on which restaurant was their favorite, which was the Champion. Sort of a food challenge if you will.  However, this year is a little bit different. Instead of picking a theme to follow such as "the breakfast challenge" or "the sub/sandwich challenge", this year is the Tournament of Champions. So instead of twelve restaurants we are going with sixteen. There were just too many Champions to not include certain places. Oh, and there's one rule to any challenge that we do. The restaurant CANNOT be a chain restaurant such as Taco Bell, Subway, or IHop. This allows for us to become familiar with more local places. Being that I just joined in with these challenges last year. There are a TON of places that I haven't tried yet in the Tournament of Champions. 

So today was this month's lunch challenge day. We went to Angelo's

Angelo's is a little family restaurant located in the vicinity of the University of Michigan's central campus. My fellow coworkers had this all planned out so that we would visit this location BEFORE college resumes for the Fall semester. It would nearly be impossible to eat at Angelo's during school months. There is very little parking around to begin with and when schools can kiss your chances of parking even remotely close to the restaurant good-bye! Even today, without school being in yet, it took fifteen minutes to drove there but then it took another fifteen minutes just to find a parking spot. Imagine doing this when there are thousands of students walking around, cars parked in every.single.location, and parking structures only available for students with parking permits. You're pretty much S.O.L. 

Finally, we made it inside the diner, got our seats, and were greeted by the waiter immediately. After looking over the menu and getting the waiters opinion, I decided to go with their Corn Beef and Hash breakfast. Lucky for me, they serve breakfast all day long! I have never had corn beef and hash before so I thought why not try it at a place where it is raved about. It also came with eggs and your choice of toast. Not even, fifteen minutes later our meals were served. I think all six of us ordered from their breakfast menu...just to give you an idea about how delicious their breakfast selection is! But hang on, I HAVE to tell you about their bread. They offer homemade raisin bread! 

Would you look at that! There's no way that I could pass up that. It was sliced about an inch thick and Angelo's even has a cinnamon sugar shaker on the table to add to your toast. OH.MY.GOODNESS! The combination of everything combined was to die for. As if that wasn't enough, the waiter brought us two of their hot sauces stating that it goes great with the meal I ordered. He was right! The sauce wasn't just hot but it had a great flavor to it. Not to mention that this hot sauce is produced right here, locally in Ann Arbor, as well. It's called Clancy's Fancy Hot Sauce and comes in multiple levels of spiciness.

Clancy's Fancy Pic Source

Here is their website if you'd like to check it out and possibly buy a bottle for yourself. I don't get anything for speaking of their sauces or for Angelo's, just my opinion that I'd like to share with you! :) Overall, I was completely satisfied with Angelo's but the real question is...

Will it be the Tournament of Champion's Champion?!

We have a few more months to go, and restaurants to try out, so we shall see! :D

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When it Rains, it Pours

I don't even know where to begin! I guess I'll start by letting you all know that over the weekend my sister, Heather and brother-in-law had to bring their car to the service garage. The check engine light on their dash was on and so they wanted to get it looked at. Being the nice sister that I am, I met them at the dealership so they weren't stranded there all day and would have a ride back home. All is good. Then, Heather and I decided to hit up Target since the dealership was right next to it. Bad move. I can never get out of there WITHOUT spending any money. Anyways, their car was scheduled to be looked at on Monday. Awesome, Heather and I will ride to work together since she won't have a car and thankfully, we work at the same place. Monday morning came and we enjoyed each other's company, stopped at Starbucks (blueberry muffins and coffee, uhh YUM!), and made it to work on time. Bonus! 

Then Tuesday rolled around. Their car was still in the shop. So I was recruited once more to take Heather into work. Cool, no big deal, we'll stop at Starbucks again. :) I was all ready to go and then I get in my car annnnd it wouldn't start. IT WOULDN'T START! How does this happen?? They have car troubles and then I get sucked in the bad karma loop and now I have car trouble! What the heck? Now, I'm just annoyed. Literally, minutes before I went in my car my Mom asked me if I wanted to take her car to work instead today to save on gas. My parents have a Chevy Volt. Literally, no gas would have to be used for my commute but I declined. Well, here I go back into the house asking my Mom if I can take her car. Thank goodness there was an extra car to take! Without it, Heather and I both would have been stranded. Alas, we made it to and from work again safely and her car will be out of the shop tomorrow. Thank the Lord! Now I just have to figure out what's going on with mine :/ I'll be sure to keep you updated.

To top off my day, it's raining. Not just little sprinkles of rain but buckets of rain pouring down, thunder-storming. Oy. I just want to be home with a good book and a cozy blanket right now. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back in the Swing of Things

Today I decided to get back in the swing of things and start another one of my workout binges. I fell off the bandwagon about a month ago and just have been feeling pretty crappy lately. And as the great Elle Woods states...

Therefore, back to the grind I go! I'm just going to ease into it and start by doing the 30 day shred by Jillian Michaels. Man, does she know her stuff! I always feel like I've had a great workout after finishing her routines, better yet, it's in the comfort of my own home! I can shower immediately after working out and then I can eat a greek yogurt or make a green smoothie not too long after. These protein packed meals help with muscle recovery after a good workout! Don't worry, if you're unfamiliar with how to make green smoothies there are plenty of recipes out there! Like this one from pinterest! Despite their color, they really do taste amazing! I can't believe that I've been missing out on these for so long.

So, I conquered Day 1 of the 30 day shred today! Well...maybe not conquered, I had to take mini breaks between some moves, but I did complete the entire workout as best as I could.  I can't wait to keep you posted on how the challenge is going for me and what progress I make. I hope my endurance builds quickly so I don't have to take any breaks. Have any of you completed the 30 Day Shred successfully? I'd love to hear your input on it and the results you've seen doing this workout!

Blogging for the First Time!

Well, here I am, embarking on this new journey known as blogging! I've become a lot more interested in blogging lately thanks to my sister, Heather. She introduced me to Bloglovin' and helped me get started by following some of her favorite bloggers and her blog of course! An hour later and I was hooked! Time flew by as I scrolled through the endless amount of stories. I couldn't stop reading. Everyone has such different stories and unique ways of writing that I thought to myself, I should start one! Now, if I can only figure out how to get a shnazy template and add buttons to make my webpage look more legit, I'd be set. Any advice on how to get started would be much appreciated! So in the meantime...bare with me please, I'm new at this :D