Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Change in Plans

Monday I had a rough day. Maybe it was the realization that the holidays are over, maybe it was a little bit of stress about all of the things I need to get accomplished in the next two weeks, maybe it was overexhaustion... who knows. Either way, I was just kind of down. As I was leaving Josh's house to go back to my dad's house I got a phone call from Garrett asking about New Years Eve plans. Garrett had invited Josh, me, and my friend Jenna down to Royal Oak with some of his friends. The plan was to party the night away at the Royal Oak Music Theater, enjoying a live 80's band and then a DJ. Well, I misunderstood what Garrett said, and thought it was $45 per couple, which would have been an amazing deal... turns out it's actually $45 per person. After talking it over with Josh, we decided that $90 just to get into a place where we would still have to buy food and drinks, plus the 2+ hours it takes to get there, was just more than we wanted to pay. I cried. (I know, it was stupid, but I cried. Like heaving sobs of tears.) I was really disappointed that I couldn't get all dressed up and go somewhere nice. I didn't really want to schlep around at someone's house watching TV for the new year. I just wanted to do something nice with Josh. Plus I felt horrible that I wouldn't get to spend time with Jenna because I know that the next few months are going to be hell for her (One word: Accountant). As Josh and I listed all of the things we need to pay for soon (Him: school, homeowners insurance, a new drain field. Me: School.... plus the idea of not having a job in 6 months was really nagging at me) and I felt better knowing that we made the right decision. So we're going to hang out at his friend Gary's house to ring in the new year. BUT- we decided that we'll at least go out for a nice dinner. Not wanting to go 'all the way' to Grand Rapids we decided to make reservations at Flat River Grill. So we're still going to get dressed up but save some serious $$$... But we'll be together and we won't have serious guilt the next day about spending too much money. So I guess it'll be ok afterall... : )

I hope everyone has a wonderful time ringing in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm back! With new puppy pics!

...and I really didn't go anywhere! I stayed in Ionia for pretty much the whole Christmas holiday, but I definitely slacked off on blogging. I was busy! I didn't take a ton of pictures at Christmas, but here are some of my favorites of Diesel as he enjoyed his first Christmas.

He loved the wrapping paper tubes when I polished off another roll

Close up!

He wanted to eat the camera... but you can see his new collar! It was supposed to go in his stocking but I got eager to give it to him early

He got into EVERYTHING I was doing... he either wanted my full attention or really likes the scent of Twilight Woods

Every time I turned around he had another scrap of paper, or ribbon, or a bow. I think he just reallllly got into the Christmas season!

Then I made him a bow out of some clearance ribbon... he was not happy about it at all. It lasted about 5 minutes before he had successfully untied it and chewed a hole

Josh's friends Brandon and Jenna were the first people to give Diesel a gift and he opened it like a pro! That gave him lots of practice for all of the gifts he received... from my mom's dogs, my dad's dogs, Josh's parents, my grandparents, and Santa, of course. He now has an overflowing basket of toys which he insists need to be out on the living room floor at all times.

Big heavy chew toy which is perfect for his puppy teeth!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 25, 2009

" all this world there is nothing else real and abiding"

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays with their families, I know I am! I've made a delicious chocolate chip cheeseball found here and I'm looking forward to spending the day with my loved ones! In the meantime, I'm going to post something that I know makes its rounds this time of year, but I still love it. This letter was written in response to Virginia O'Hanlon's question of whether Santa Claus exists. Many times we hear the truncated version of this letter, but I'm posting it in its entirety because I believe that the editorial has an inspiring message regardless of what you choose or choose not to celebrate in December:

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. [Ashley note: I especially love that last line]

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

taken from:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tag - I'm it! And you're next!

Here I am, scrolling through my Google Reader when I see that Melissa at Duoly Noted has just been awarded the Ten Things That Make Me Happy award. I think to myself, 'Well that's fun! Who doesn't like to talk about what makes them happy?!' and I read through her fun answers (which, #4, seriously can I get an amen!) and then get to the bottom of the post. She's listed the 10 people she's tagging to do the same, and I see my little blog listed there! Me? I was tagged? YAY!!! I feel important : ) So, without further ado, here are Ten Things that Make Me Happy - The Banker By Day Edition (in no particular order).

The RULES are:
1. Copy the award image in your post.
2. List 10 things that make you happy, and try to do at least one of them today.
3. Then, tag 10 bloggers that make you happy!
4. For the 10 bloggers who get the award, link back to me and spread the happiness!

  1. The smell of new books - Barnes & Noble gives me butterflies with their combination of Starbucks and pristine, never been opened, read- to-have-their-spine-cracked-by-me-as-I-curl-up-in-a-comfy-chair-with-a-mocha, books. Whether it's a new hardcover, a large coffee table picture book, or even something off of their Bargain Shelf, I'm a happy girl when I've got a new book in my hands. 
  2. Online shopping at work - If you're reading this and you work with me, stop scolding me and just get over it. Yes, I know I'm supposed to be doing actual work, but UGH sometimes I just don't want to. It's no secret that I hate my job and I'm switching careers in roughly 6 months (please refer to the new countdown on the right side of the page) so if a little online retail therapy makes it easier for me to get through the day, who am I to deprive myself of a little sanity?
  3. Sleeping in - I know this isn't really that groundbreaking of a statement, but DAMN do I love to sleep later than 7am on any given day. I don't know why, but just waking up whenever I feel like it, and rolling over and going back to sleep just because I can, is one of the best feelings in the world.
  4. Random sweet texts from Josh - This is totally mushy, but he sends me unexpected texts every so often just to tell me how wonderful I am. How sweet! It definitely brightens my day, because I'm usually stuck at work practicing better fiscal responsibility (read: filling online shopping carts with loads of stuff and then never checking out because I feel guilty) when the texts come through. Refer to #2 if you don't understand why I would need my day brightened at work.
  5. My Abercrombie Sweatshirt from when I was 16 - It's sooooo old and faded and starting to get holes around the cuffs, but I love it. Whenever I feel yucky I put it on and it just makes me feel better. It must have magical qualities because I think I paid over $50 for it, and when  you're 16  and work at Goodwill, $50 is like 3 days worth of pay. So it better have magical qualities. Oh - and it's the only non-hooded sweatshirt I own, which makes it all the more unique and wonderful!
  6. Successful Blog-Stalking - I love when Im just clicking on a bunch of different people's blogs and I end up finding one I really like. Now, I don't really have that high of standards, but at the same time I don't just add anyone to my reader. I love stumbling across someone with whom I find I have a lot in common or someone whose style of writing makes me laugh out loud. I love finding new and interesting people in the blogosphere.
  7. Cooking/baking something and having it turn out as intended - Believe me, this doesn't happen nearly as often as it should, so when it does, I'm in seventh heaven. Partially because I rarely have all the ingredients I need to make something, so I end up substituting something else which never quite turns out as I had imagined. So when someone tells me that something I made tastes good it makes me  happy (I really don't even care if they're telling me the truth).
  8. Watching Doogie Howser M. D. on - I was OBsessed with this TV show when I was absolutely way too young to be watching a show this mature. But I didn't understand what was going on, I just loved me some Doogie. At the ripe old age of 5 I had his poster on my wall... It's kind of fun to watch the episodes of a TV show I was completely enamored with for 4 years, and actually understand it now.
  9. Vlassic baby dill pickles - Josh and I will literally get into a stabbing fight with forks as we try to eat them straight out of the jar. They're crispy and crunchy and delicious! Spread some cream cheese on a slice of ham and wrap one up - it's even BETTER that way! (Oh yeah, we call those pickle rolls 'bellybuttons' around these parts and you better get to grandma's house early on Christmas if you want a chance at eating any. My grandma has been known to make separate containers for me and my cousin Adam so we wouldn't fight over them)
  10. Bagels - I fricken L-O-V-E bagels. If they weren't so horrible for me I would eat one everyday. I know there are some good ones out there, but I like my bagels oversized, toasted, and slathered with delicious flavored cream cheese. Chocolate chip bagels with choco-chip cream cheese are SO good when my sweet tooth is overpowering my brain in the morning. Other days, I love Asiago cheese bagels, or cheddar herb bagels, or everything bagels, or onion poppy seed bagels.... MMMM and I love cheddar jalapeno or garden veggie or chive cream cheese. The BEST way to start out my day... 
**I just wanted to note that I, too, love love love musicals, but since Melissa already listed musicals on her Ten Things, I decided to leave that off my list. But seriously, I haven't met a musical I didn't like (except the one set in a high school) and I've been known to download entire albums of songs from musicals. My favorites: Annie, Wicked, Grease (and Grease 2, I don't care what anyone says, Reproduction is a classic to me), Moulin Rouge, Mamma Mia, RENT, Avenue Q, and the list goes on...

Now for the 10 people I'm tagging - This is the hard part because I don't really know of 10 other people who read this blog and have a blog of their own... So, I'm going to tag some people who don't have blogs. If that's you just leave your Ten Things in my comment section. Also, if you're a regular reader of this blog and I don't list you, it's because I don't know you're reading. So don't be shy! Leave me a comment so I know who you are and post your Ten Things on your own blog!

  1. WannaBe Chef 
  2. Forever2bEngaged 
  3. Grant Isaac Studio 
  4. The Hillyards - Heels to Converse, East to West
  5. Jenna
  6. Brenda
  7. elefantitas alegres 
  8. Just Shoe Me 
  9. Meagan Gets Her Mrs. 
  10. Lindsey

My Favorite Things: The Big and Small Screen Collection

Along with silver bells and candy canes, the holiday season brings with it its very own genre of movies. Many of these movies have quickly become classics for me and I love watching them every year. In the same spirit, almost every sitcom past and present has had a few holiday epidsodes. Check out my favorites below (sans YouTube clips because I'm posting from work and it's blocked by our servers. Which is a good thing because instead of blog-stalking I would probably spend an obscene amount of time watching stupid people hurt themselves in hilarious ways. I love physical comedy):

  • Ok, this is a TV show, but it's a good one so just accept it.Saved By The Bell: Probably my favorite sitcom growing up (I could do a post solely on my favorite top 10 episodes). I especially love the holiday episode where they miraculously all find jobs at the mall and hilarity ensues.... that is, until Zach discovers that his flavor of the week, Laura, is homeless and living at the mall/out of her car with her dad. Laura gets accused of stealing a blazer from Mr. Mooney's mensware store where she works with Kelly. But, the jokes on Mr. Mooney because Kelly has actually set aside the jacket so she can purchase it for Laura/Laura's dad. So, because Zach is a relentless blackmailer brilliant mastermind, he convinces Mr. Mooney to sponser the Christmas play at the mall. (what malls have Christmas plays?) It's a two-parter, so be sure to catch both parts. I'm sure TBS will be playing it soon.
  • I'm a sucker for old movies (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is my latest old movie obsession), especially during Christmas. There's something about them that is just simple and classic and lovely and they are really relaxing to watch. One of my favorites is Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland, where she sings 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.' The movie is about a well-off family living in St. Louis right before the World's Fair occurs. The father plans on moving the whole family to New York because of his job, and everyone is devastated, especially Esther and Rose (Esther is played by Judy Garland) because they have friends and beaus in St. Louis. I won't spoil the ending, but the movie is full of turn of the century fashion and music, and Esther is a fiery teen who is very protective of her family. It's a musical romance (my favorite) and it's fabulous! If you've never seen it, I recommend checking it out! (I also adore It's A Wonderful Life, mostly because I'm pretty sure that if I had lived back then I would have been madly in love with Jimmy Stewart, but that movie gets a lot of face time around the holidays so I'm not going to talk about it here.)
  • Love Actually is one of my all-time favorite movies, whether it's Christmas or not. I love movies with multiple story lines that all tie in together at the end. Plus, I think it's sweet how there are all types of love shown in this film and how that love presents itself differently based on the person and relationship. It's not directly a film about Christmas, but it is set during Christmastime and some of the storylines feature Christmas as a motif. I looooove the Lobsters in the Nativity scene - too cute!
  • Mame isn't really about Christmas, but the first couple of scenes deal with the holidays and how Mame, an extravagant free spirit played by Lucille Ball  has fallen on hard times. The musical number "We Need a Little Christmas" is one of my favorites! When I was in elementary school, the older girls got to sing this song at the Christmas program and I was jealous because I loved it. So now I sing it whenever I watch! OH- and Bea Arthur is in this movie, too! Who doesn't love a little Bea every now and then!

Obviously there are more and more movies that I love: Elf, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story (I'm actually starting to get sick of this movie. It's ubiquitous), and Scrooged, just to name a few. And that doesn't even touch the Lifetime or ABC Family movies (even they are usually soooo predictable and horribly acted) that I sometimes find myself sucked into. Anyways, what are your favorite movies for this time of year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Favorite Things: The Blog-Stalker Edition

Hi. My name is Ashley and I'm a Blog-Stalker (Hiiiii Ashley). What's Blog-Stalking you ask? Well, it's pretty self explanatory. I read blogs of people who I don't know; sometimes I comment and sometimes I dont. Who are my targets? Pretty much anyone with a blog. (yeah, I have high standards) But I tend to be a repeat offender if the blog makes me laugh. Here are some of my favorites that I haven't posted about before and you should check them out:

  • Momedy - I recently discovered this blog. And by recently I mean approximately 7 minutes ago. It made me laugh so much that I'm considering not working today and reading through all of the archives. Seriously - Kirsty is a hilarious writer, plus she has cute kids. What more could you ask for?
  • Martinis or Diaper Genies? (Or MODG for short) - If you're looking for some good old fashioned sarcasm laced with alcohol, look no further. There is no shortage of snarkiness on this blog. Plus, guest writer Single Guy chimes in on Tuesdays when he's not being lazy, and Fridays are set aside for reader confessions. Check it out.
  • A Life More Exciting - Sarah is another talented, sarcastic writer who recently made me laugh with her Open Letter to Mariah Carey. She also has a Fun Fact Friday which is full of random... well, facts I guess. It's fun to read, so do it.
  • These Little Moments - When I first started reading Molly's blog, she was a newlywed who had lost her job and was writing about the small moments in life. For example, one post was about the difficulties of popping microwave popcorn - something we all can relate to, no? Well, she recently found out she's expecting! So I'm looking forward to reading about her journey as she awaits this little baby.
  • Duoly Noted -  I know I posted about Melissa's blog here, but it's worth reposting. She's made a great addition to my google Reader, and she also is part of the team behind the Seven Dames a Week blog. Plus, I recently found out she works at Coach. Can you say jealous? And she has cute dogs so go see!

Just do it...

My aunt's facebook status yesterday was this: 'Call the Nestle Crunch Hot line at 1-800-295-0051. When you are asked if you want to continue in English or Spanish, just wait quietly for about 10 seconds and you will smile. Promise! Keep going and press 4 listen to the options.' 

So, naturally, being the curious cat that I am I called... I pressed 7 and laughed.  It's cute - try it out and let me know what you chose!


Monday, December 21, 2009

My Favorite Things: The Lyrical Version - Classy Classics

You've already perused my small list of new Christmas favorites, so how about some traditional Christmas fun!

I pretty much love EVERY song sung by the Carpenters whether it's Christmas or not. A little Superstar? Yes please! Rainy Days and Mondays? Got it on repeat. I just love Karen Carpenter's voice and I wish she were still around because I'm sure she would have done SO much more with it. It's really a shame that she's gone. Anyways, here are my favorites for Christmastime:
Merry Christmas, Darling
Sleigh Ride (one of my favorites of ALL TIME)
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Another one of my favorites, which I'm pretty sure I discovered by listening to Delilah is by Dan Fogelberg. It's called Same Auld Lang Syne

On the theme of Auld Lang Syne, this song from the Sex and the City soundtrack is now a holiday staple:
I just love her Irish (?) brogue and the simplicity of this song

Love this one, too. It's got the same simple single guitar and beautiful harmony
Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

(I know this is a LONG list, but bear with  me. I love this music and you're reading this because you love me, so just deal. From here on out I'll just post links to YouTube, not the actual videos. But I know you'll go watch them because you're sooooo interested in my taste in Christmas music)

Ok, I know that was a LONG list, but you're at the end now! Way to stick with it. So, did I forget anything??

My Favorite Things: The Lyrical Version - New and Improved

I'm going to just come out and say it: I love Christmas music! I'm not quite sick of it yet... mostly because I keep finding new and different versions of old favorites, and even stumbling on new songs! Here are a few of my favorites from this year:

I love Taylor Swift. Yeah, I know I'm about 10 years too old to say that. Don't judge me. Here's her version of Last Christmas, as made famous by the wonderful vocal stylings of Wham!

Then, there's the same song as sung by Ashley Tisdale. Yes, I realize she's in High School Musical, but I'm not holding that against this song because I love it. Again, stop judging me.

Another new favorite from this year: Christmases When You Were Mine by Taylor Swift (stop laughing at me!)

Right here I would insert the obligatory "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey (like I even need to specify who it's sung by) but I'm pretty sure that you've all seen that video and heard that song a few times already this season... If you haven't, crawl out from the rock you've been hiding under and message me - we've got a lot of work to do.

I'm apprehensive about posting this because I'm not sure it's really that new... it's just not a regular classic Christmas song. Plus, Harry Connick Jr kind of creeps me out. I don't know why, but he just has a weird face. Maybe it's the eyebrows? I'm not sure. Either way, I still love this song. It's slow and jazzy and gives me warm fuzzies. So go watch it. Or better yet, let it play in the background so you don't have to see his face.

I'm sure I'll think of about 21 more songs to add to this list once I hit Publish, but oh well.

Next up: Old favorites!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wish List

If a few of these things ended up in a big pretty package under the tree this year, that would be just fine with me (this is not a full list, obvs. Anyone who knows me knows that I have my list done EARLY and revise it often. I take special care not to duplicate gifts on lists that I give different people. My sister thinks I'm greedy. I like to think of it as 'knowing what I want'):

Cuisinart® Private Reserve™ 6-Bottle Wine Cellar (it's even on clearance!!)

Dansk Karin™ Crystal Stemware - I like how they're not typical rounded wine glasses, it makes them look kind of modern and fun

80's Scene It - Because 1.) I'm a nerd 2.) I love board games that have DVDs with them 3.) I like to win 4.)I have a ridiculously vast amount of useless 80's trivia in my little brain

Umbrella - I LOVE the color/pattern on this one. It's so bright and fun for a dreary, rainy day

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi Digital SLR Camera with Extra Lens - Words CANNOT express how badly I want this camera. Seriously. If grad school wasn't right around the corner, I would have had one of these babies in my hot little hands months ago.

Friday, December 18, 2009

aaaaaand BREATHE!

Whew! I made it through Hell Week (aka finals at GVSU) and I'm still alive and breating, but just barely. In the last 2 weeks I've written roughly 20 pages of papers and taken 4 exams, but now I'm done.... kind of. I still have to polish my resume so it's decent enough for the College of Education (in other words, I have to completely redo it so the focus is on my minimal amount of experience with children instead of my business experience), write an essay to get into the COE, get a TB test, and study for my content area tests. On January 9th I take my English and Econ tests to make sure I'm proficient enough to teach the subjects. I'm a TAD bit nervous about the Econ tests (and by a tad bit, I mean a whole helluva lot).

But I'm giving myself the weekend off so I can finish my shopping, wrap presents, maybe do some baking, listen to copious amounts of Christmas music, and spend time with my adorable little puppy! Pictures of Diesel are forthcoming, and you'll be SUPER surprised at how fast he's growing!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Sometimes my job makes me want to pull my hair out and scream!!! I know it's bad when the part of my job I enjoy the most, spreading financial statements, makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a dull stick. Seriously. I am counting down the days til I am trapped in a small room with 30 teenagers who hate me because I made them read Heart of Darkness or some other similiarly hateful novel. Because right now, that looks SOOOO much better than what I'm doing.

Countdown til I'm no longer a Banker By Day: 6 months, 9 days, 23 hours, and 31 minutes

Swap out the yellow blazer for a purple cardigan, and this is me today.

Monday, December 14, 2009


K this is going to be quick because I have a HUGE book of Shakespeare calling my name. I have my FINAL in my Shakespeare seminar tomorrow night and I'm sooooo not ready. I'm actually scared of the exam. Like about ready to vomit from nervousness. Anyways, while I'm reading through 9 plays tonight, I'll be wishing I was reading this instead, which I FINALLY got to pick up from the library tonight after 4 weeks of waiting:

It's by the same author as The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger. I loved TTTW and I'm looking forward to loving this book as well. I'll give you a full review when I'm done :)

PS: Stay tuned later this month for a look back on whether I accomplished my goal of reading 40 books this year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Great Debate

I think we all know what I'm talking about here - Backstreet Boys v. N*SYNC. Melissa at Duoly Noted (a fabulous blog, in my humble opinion, that you should go read NOW) posted today (along with amazing video clips!!!) about Billboard's announcement of their #1 Album of the decade: N*SYNC's "No Strings Attached". Now, I'm sure this is no surprise to my fellow N*SYNC fans (that would be you, Amanda and Jenna) because we all knew that Nick Carter and his little entourage were no match for Justin's 'fro. But it just feels good to know that I was obsessed with the superior boy band (yeah, I might be a little too smug about this, but whatever). If I remember correctly, Amanda and I shared the same love for Lance, which is hilarious in retrospect. There was a group of 6 of us who hand painted black tank tops, added sequins and rhinestones, and donned our brightest pairs of Old Navy flip flops to wear to the concert. We piled into the parents' cars (because half of us couldn't drive yet, and the other half weren't allowed to drive all the way to Detroit) which we had bedecked with window paint and streamers, and set off for the Silverdome to see our loves perform for us (from our 5th row floor seats, which we waited for hours outside of Rite Aid to get).

Who wouldn't love these hotties? I always felt bad for Joey and Chris because they were definitely the less desirable of the 5.

Melissa also referenced Digital Get-Down, which is really funny because my sister actually played this for me the other day when she was home. Then we laughed about how stupid the lyrics are and how we couldn't believe that I was so obsessed. Actually, I think there's still a collage poster of them on the back of my old bedroom door at my mom's house...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bright Spot

*WARNING* This post contains some serious mush...

So, today has been sorta crappy for me. 1.) We got a shit-ton of snow and I have to drive over an hour, into parts of the state that are facing blizzard conditions, so I can take a stupid exam. 2.) My hair dryer chose to die on me this morning, which means I'm dealing with some unsightly flatness and frizz (how is it possible that hair can be flat and frizzy at the same time? Ugh.). 3.) The loan amount on a deal I've been working on just changed, which means I need to rework the entire thing.

However, this little text I received from Josh just made all of that BS above melt right away:

"Drive safe all day today! So I just wanted to let you know that I am really happy we met again* at Amanda's wedding! I have been so happy this year and you are a huge part of that..."

Love him :)

*Yes, we met AGAIN at our friend's wedding. We had attempted to date a few years back and it didn't work out. It's quite the story actually, but that's for a different post.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This past weekend I took a mini roadtrip with a few friends to visit one of our friends, Erin, who moved to Pennsylvania last year with her now-fiance, Jeff. They just recently bought a house right across the PA border to Ohio, and we spent 3 short days visiting with them. Here are a few pics from the trip:
Not a sign you want to see at a rest area.... especially when you have to GO really bad!

Being touristy at the rest stop - Vermillion Valley Service Plaza, to be exact! 
Delicious Peppermint Mocha to keep me warm on our trek across Ohio! It was my first of the season and it was delectable!
Erin made us YUMMY chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast Saturday morning! We spent hours catching up and got to bed pretty late Friday night, so these were more like lunchtime pancakes. Regardless, they were warm chocolatey goodness!

Erin and Jeff's baby kitty, Colby Jack. He's part dog and will fetch and speak on command. Too cute!
Pommegranate martini from Fat E's, where they have delicious sweet potato fries as well!
Erin and Jeff! Wedding date: 9-18-10
Jenna, Kasey, and me, patiently waiting for our dinner
Pretty girls!
After leaving the bar we stopped at McDonald's for ice cream (because it was only 29 degrees, so naturally, ice cream was in order) and Kasey got a little eager to eat hers. She ended up with melted ice cream alllll over her pants and purse! They made me take a pic so I could blog about it (I love my friends!)
After Breakfast on Sunday, Jeff showed us where he works, at Knievel Cycles. He builds choppers. It's pretty badass
Jeff called us "The Crazies" and loved our paparazzi-style picture taking

We had SOOO much fun! Saturday we hit up some outlet malls where I did some Christmas shopping and found some major sales at the Banana Republic and J. Crew outlets. After getting home from the bar at around 11:00 Saturday night, we all decided we were old and lame and made mozzarella sticks, curled up on the couch, watched the Wedding Planner, and fell asleep. Sounds lame, but I didn't care what we did, it was just nice to be with my friends!

New Addition

Sunday, while I was in Ohio, I got a text from Josh saying he was going to pick up a new puppy today. I was COMPLETELY surprised. We talked about getting a puppy, but it was always something we were going to do someday, not anytime in the near future. A few hours later, Josh texted me a picture of our new baby and I was completely smitten. See for yourself:

Hi, my name is Diesel. I'm a Black Lab/German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix and  I'm adorable!

This is me and my dad

My first night at home. I like to cuddle with the puppy mommy got at a rest stop in Ohio for me.

I like to take naps...

...and sleep in funny positions.

I'm precious!!

Isn't he adorable! He's pretty small, only  4-5 weeks old. The mom stopped feeding all 9 of the puppies, so they had to be weaned pretty early. He's doing really well so far! We're in the process of housebreaking him, and he seems to be catching on rather quickly. He slept through the whole night last night and was ready to play and run around this morning! I was kind of nervous about getting a dog because of my lack of time at home/Josh's house, but I'm SO glad Josh got Diesel. He's such a sweetheart... let's hope he's still just as sweet when he weighs over 100 lbs!

Cop-out.... but with beautiful pics, so don't be mad!

Ok, I'm like DROWNING in homework and papers, so before I post pictures of my mini-roadtrip to PA/OH, and the surprise I had when I got home, I'm going to post a link to the photographer who did my friend Cassie's wedding in November. They are AMAZING! And, there's even a picture of Josh and me dancing, but my armpit looks dirty (I swear I was clean shaven... )

A Wedding in Flint: Cassie and Pat

Try and tell me these are not some of the most beautiful images you've ever seen... just try. You won't be able to, I can already assure of that!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In Vino Veritas

Just a few pics of my lovely, long overdue, night of Chinese food and wine with Jenna! Cheap cheap cheap Homework wine from Peninsula Cellars ( the best type of homework, in my opinion. when I saw this my future teacher side kicked in and I HAD to have it!) and Passionate Peach Spumante from St. Julians. 

And, the most delicious Chinese take-out that Jenna brought me (and yes, we ate it on Josh's weight bench, because being the bachelor that he is, it was sitting right smack dab in the middle of the living room):


Friday, December 4, 2009

Lesson learned... til next December

So I possibly may have a history of not dressing appropriately for weather conditions. Im sorry, but sometimes I just want to wear a skirt - I don't really care how warm or cold it is. I also enjoy wearing cute shoes regardless of the temperature outside. Last Saturday, which was the last weekend in November, I may or may not have been spotted wearing a pair of sandals with my jeans whilst shopping. They matched my new scarf! (fashion scarf, not winter scarf) Plus they're comfortable. So sue me. But alas, I digress...

Pop quiz for all you blog readers out there: What does this map mean? (I realize some of you may not have a clue, but don't worry, I'm not grading this) 

Quick answer: It turns your backyard into this overnight


Next question: What shoes are not appropriate footwear when you backyard looks like this?
Answer: These (although adorable and comfortable, they do not provide the much needed warmth. they also suck at keeping snow from touching your skin. brrrrr)

Hmm... they kind of make my feet look fat. Oh well! I guess it's time to put them away til the sun comes out!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I know, I know. I desperately need to post some pics... unfortunately I just haven't had time to do that lately. Blame my professors, not me! If I had my way I wouldn't be writing papers and going to class; I would spend allllll my waking hours documenting my life and sharing it with all of you (don't act like you're not interested). In the mean time, I'll leave you with a little story that is sure to have you laughing (or at least saying to yourself, 'Why in the world would Ashley be blogging about this...").

So it's no secret that I often stay at Josh's house. Normally it's on the weekends, but occasionally I'll slip in the weekday sleepover. Well, I was in the kitchen preparing a 5 course meal the other day (I sincerely hope you can sense the sarcasm there) and I heard Josh calling my name. So I put the rack of lamb aside and peeked my head around the corner to see what he wanted. And I wish WISH WIIIIIISH I had a camera to share with you what I saw: Josh was wearing a pair of my lime green, lace with sparkles, Victoria's Secret underwear as a hat. Seriously. Apparently I had left a pair behind and he was kind enough to wash them for me. And then put them on his head. And showed me. He said he thought it would make me laugh. He was right.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Check and Mark

My list of things to do before December 17th is growing exponentially:
  • Get clothes ready for new consignment store downtown
  • 7pg research paper on King Lear, with 5 non-internet sources (are we living in 1998?)
  • Paper of a yet to be determined length on a yet to be determined topic for my Early Am. Lit class
  • 5 pg. research paper on how men and women describe colors differently, which requires me to create and administer a survey to no less than 10 people
  • Color and label maps for my 4th grade geography class
  • ROAD TRIP TO PA!!! (the shining beam of light in the middle of my dreary, homework filled world)
  • Study for 4 final exams, and a regular exam
  • Finish Christmas shopping
Ugh. I feel like I'm drowning already :(


Ahhhhhh I've been SO busy and I've been neglecting my little blog. So sorry... I have a lot to blog about, but no pictures :( Here's a quick recap of my weekend:
  • I got to see my BFF Jenna on Wednesday! We headed out for our annual trip to Gregory's Tavern in Ionia for the 'biggest bar night of the year' along with just about every other IHS graduate from the past 6 years... At one point I was wondering if I'm too old for that... but when I saw a few people who are WAY older than me, I decided I wasn't! It was nice to catch up with some old friends and drink beer from canning jars. ($5.50 pitchers of Coors Light is something to be thankful for) It was also fun to make fun of Jenna for the creeper who attached himself to her for the night. Oh- and why do some people insist on dressing like they're going clubbing in NYC? This is BFE Michigan, at a bar where you drink from canning jars and don't have to pay cover. (the fact that I was wearing leopard heels is neither here nor there. PS: Jenna - send me those pics and I'll post them!)
  • Josh and I survived our first split-time Thanksgiving. We started out at my mom's house where I purchased some Christmas gifts online (and then proceeded to cancel the orders the next day... long frustrating story...). Then we went to my grandma's house for the usual turkey/mashed potatoes/pickle roll goodness. After a few games of Apples to Apples, we left and headed for Josh's grandma's house. Mmmm... leftovers! There was an array of pies and sweets (his cousin made homemade baklava, and homemade chocolate baklava!!! delicious!) and my stomach was very happy. Then we went back to his parents' house and watched a movie with his parents, sister, and her boyfriend.
  • Friday I got up at 4am and rounded up the troops (aka my sister and 3 cousins) for our annual Black Friday trip. This is the 7th year we've gone and it's always fun, even though we rarely have anything to buy. I got some pretty good deals, mostly for myself. It's very frustrating to have a boyfriend who wears Tall sizes because they're rarely carried in stores. UGH! Josh and I put his Christmas tree up on Friday night and it's not the hideous disaster I imagined in my head. I'll post pics once I remember to charge my camera.
  • Saturday we went shopping- AGAIN! This time my brother and Josh came along with Josh's friend, Brandon, and Brandon's girlfriend, Jenna. We hit up a few stores in the mall and Josh coached me on what presents to get his dad. I know nothing when it comes to buying power tools. Then we stopped at Target for some Adopt-A-Family gift buying. This was a lot of fun and Josh's first time with something like this. I think he enjoyed it. I'm excited to know that we'll be making Christmas brighter for a little boy and girl (and I know that sounds lame and sappy but it's true. So stop judging me, Scrooge)
  • Sunday was our usual lunch with his parents and sister and relaxing at their house. We treated his parents to a movie in Ionia that night. Old Dogs was playing and it seemed like something they would like. It was a cutesy family movie with a couple of parts that were actually really funny. After that, we went back to Josh's house and wrapped a few presents while watching Four Christmases. I REALLY liked that movie! What's better than Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn in a movie? Nothing, I say.
Anyways, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!! Only 25 days til Christmas!!