General musings on the ups and downs and ins and outs in the life of a 30 something, unmarried, life loving, some times interesting and sometimes not, mostly happy girl just trying to figure it all out!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Birthday Take 2 + Fashion!

Friday night Jade kept the kids so Niki and I could go out and have a girl's night. LOVE HIM!! We shopped on Market Street and had tapas for dinner. It was awesome to be together, just the two of us. And the food was delish.

Niki and her sangria. I'm sorry- is she note perfection?
Katie and I were talking about her on Friday and Katie informed me that Niki was completely perfect- Niki and Jesus. We got a good laugh out of it- but the general consensus is that Niki is, actually, perfect. 

I had champagne since it was my b-day! Mmmmmmm

Hot pink limo! Uh, hello!

Goat cheese over fresh tomato topped with figs. Oh so yummy!

Hehehehehe. Oops!

OK, can we take a moment to talk about this outfit? I have been dying to wear this skirt, but haven't been brave enough. I didn't think I was quite stylish enough and the tops I kept trying it on with didn't seems right. But then I found this one in my closet and decided to try it out. I was so proud of me! Loved it!!
Top: Banana Republic
Skirt: $3 from the Goodwill
Necklace: B-day prize from My AC!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Day of Blessings

Birthday Party, Take 1

So the deal is- for the past three years I have had to fly to Texas to spend my birthday with my best friend. This year I was already here! So Niki , the kids and I had a little party after work. It was a ball! There is nothing like celebrating with a three year old to make it really, REALLY feel like your birthday.

Best Friend Ever Reason #1: Niki sprayed Nate's hair with Lime green & glitter. It was completely and utterly awesome!

Purple & Lime Green cake. These are the colors of mine and Niki's room in the sorority house senior year. 

Being the amazing Auntie I am, I just let Nathan dig in.

Cake face!

There's not many things as cute as babies eating cake.

Best Friend Ever Reason #2: She took me to Coldstone to have ice cream for dinner.
Birthday Cake Remix

Birthday girl!!!

Best Friend Ever Reason #3: She also bought Coldstone ice cream for Van, as in her very OWN ice cream.
People inside the store: She's feeding her dog her ice cream!
Niki" Oh no, that's HER OWN ice cream! 

It was a completely great day! I am so completely in my bliss here. 

Tonight Jade is keeping the kids and Niki and I are hitting the town for tapas! Then Monday is indoor bouncy castle fun. Can't wait!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ice Cream for Dinner

Niki and I started this tradition on one of my visits to celebrate special occasions.

This is my dinner tonight:

Don't judge. It's my birthday. And you're just jealous!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I have never been to Italy, but I'm dying to. I shipped a shipment to Italy this morning and I wanted to crawl in the box and go too!

These two women have made me obsessed with Italy:
Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun. You are inhuman if you don't adore this movie and it's message. And, by the way, the book really isn't good. (Probably the only time you'll hear me say that!)

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. Book is much better than the movie (you will hear me say this a lot)

Honestly- how can you not romanticize about Italy? It's historic, it's beautiful, it has pasta and wine! I could just live there and get fat and be happily tipsy forever.

But really, what I love is what both these books/movies portray about Italy- that life is slower, less serious, and enjoyed more. Why do we rush around so much trying to be perfect and get everything done in America? What up? It seems that in Italy people relax and embrace life more. They eat to enjoy and savor flavors, not to nourish themselves so they can keep running. They drink to relish in the grapes and socialize, not to forget the day. I am confidant that people in Italy have problems too. I just think they are much more tolerable than here because they don't care as much about their troubles. Or at least I choose to believe that.

And then there is this that makes me love Italy. GRACIOUS! 

Italian men. Oh, yummy! That's Raoul Bova from Under the Tuscan Sun. I mean seriously- I would give up every single thing and run away with him right now. I am actually drooling. 

So... who wants to send me to Italy for my birthday? Or just buy me a life-size poster of Raoul Bova. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Twenty Nine

Eekers- I am almost 29! Oh my gosh, that's only 1 little year from 30! On Thursday I will be 29 - 20 plus 9. I'm not really scared of 29- but it does seem like a lot!

It especially feels like a lot for just starting your life. I am about to be 29 and I have only been in my new life- the life I actually chose- for three months. Niki and I planned this life when were were about 21. I am 29 and I just made it. Took me long enough!

Shouldn't I be married? Shouldn't I have my own kids instead of just mooching of of my BFF? (Although I will never give up my Nate and Lorelei!!) Shouldn't I be in a house instead of a 1 bedroom apartment? (Oh, that's right. I bought a house and moved away from it...) I've been working hard at my career for seven years, why am I still counting my pennies? I find it pretty difficult to embrace myself the way I am. You'd think moving to the place you've been trying to get to for 2 years would satisfy you. Not if you're me. I still think I should be doing more.

Why on earth can't I just leave myself alone and coast? I think that should be my goal for 29. Just relax, enjoy my cute apartment and best friend and peaceful life. Spend a little time adoring that Lorelei claps every time I come in the door and Nathan calls me when I am at my own apartment and tells me to "come home," (back to his house.) I want to just breathe and enjoy AC and Amanda buying homes and moving in and decorating. I want to watch Kae step back into the horse world and thrive.

I think I'll take a chill pill for my birthday! After all, I'm pretty cool the way I am.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lost and Found

I get this back tomorrow...

Continental Airlines will be returning it to me at 1:50pm tomorrow afternoon!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stealing Violets

I stole this lovely post from The Violet Online Magazine.

You know how I am a sucker for those terrible, awful questionnaires. I KNOW- so bad. But this one is meant to make you look at your self, evaluate yourself, see yourself...

So let's see me:

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Oooh. I would WANT to be 30 or 35. I probably actually would be like 15, sadly.
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Such a toughie. I honestly have things I would take back and go on living just never, ever knowing. but at the end of the day- you learn who you are by trying.
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Because we're American and not European.
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Probably. I should work on that.
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? It's heart
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? I FREAKING LOVE THIS QUESTION!!! Cooking, reading, and horseback riding.
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? Settling for what I DO, but not in my life.
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I'm not sure- would I still have the same responsibilities?
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? The last few years, not at all. Now- I'd say 70%ish.
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Both
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? Tell them she's my friend and how I see her- and let them know they are entitled to their opinions but to be gentle.
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Relax
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Yes- most laws, anyway.
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? Absolutely! That's why I'm friends with S.
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? Date
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? because everyone isn't me
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  Travel extensively What’s holding you back? Money
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? A multitude of them. But I am getting better!
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? Italy!! To live a lifestyle of food, wine, and enjoyment.
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Sometimes Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? No
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? Joyful simpleton!
  22. Why are you, you? Because of the people Gad has put in my life
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? I try very hard to be- and I pray that I am.
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? Losing touch
  25. What are you most grateful for? Love
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I can't even begin to answer that
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first? Yes
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true? Yes
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Yes Does it really matter now? it does, actually
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory? Watching rainstorms on the front porch with mama and Daddy  What makes it so special? Because it reminds me of how deeply my parents love me.
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? When I gave up a stable life and moved!
  32. If not now, then when? ???
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? The fear!
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Yes- thank you, God, for my blessed friends! 
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Because we are humans living in an imperfect world.
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? Yes, although there are also some things in a gray area.
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? Uh, YEAH!
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? Less work! i want more time in my day to enjoy simple things. 
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Not this day- but I did in Florida.
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? About 4 months ago now...
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Katie, Amanda, my parents, AC, S, and Niki
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? Umm... I'm not really sure.
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Truly living= enjoying and experiencing life. Not just existing and breathing. 
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? I'm not sure there ever is that time. Sometimes the risk outweighs the need for action of the need for action out weighs the risk and it's an easy choice. But you should always consider it. 
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? because lessons can be painful.
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Quit my job and just travel around
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? When I was puffing after my workout Tuesday!
  48. What do you love? My friends and family  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? I truly hope so!
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? Yes! What about the day before that? Yes! Or the day before that? Yes!!!
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? I am making them for myself! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Decor and Nature

I just love my little apartment! I was looking around at some of my things last night and thinking how lucky I am. I have an odd conglomeration of items rescued from various Goodwill stores, flea markets, resale shops, etc...

Two pieces of an antique water wheel I put makeup brushes in

Old Appaloosa box I keep magazines and photo albums in- isn't it cute?

Two of my fave handmade pillows found at Goodwill and a flea market

And then there's nature. I am a nature lover to be sure. Last week I almost lost it because I saw an otter swimming in a pond. I just think the things God makes are so beautiful! 

I like it when I see home decor books with pieces of nature incorporated. When I had the dogs out swimming yesterday I thought the tree next to the lake was neat and so I grabbed a few branches to take home. 

Absolutely no idea what kind of tree this is- I just likes it's funny green balls! 
Vase from a flea market (I love my lime green, what can I say?)

More branches with my new "pet" Venus Fly Trap

The tray is one I made for my Granny years ago. 

Meet Buzz Kill, my new Venus Fly Trap. Isn't he adorable?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Butt Kicking

OK, so this day kicked my butt. It's totally Monday! And no regular Monday, but a full-on, crazy, overpowering Monday.

The good news is that I survived! OK, well I am PLANNING on surviving. There's about 5 hours before I go to bed and end the day.

While waiting for tomorrow, dinner will look like this:
and this:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Super Sized

Items that come super sized:

Hair (seriously???)

Mansions (wow!!)

McDonald's meals (Mmmm, fries)

My sister's dog!!!
Meet June Bug, the Great Dane. The word "ginormous" was created for this dog. Her back is about an inch lower than my hips and when she stands next to me we are basically face to face. She's 130 some-odd pounds of lean muscle. She makes Van look tiny.

Her paws are as big as my hand - and so, so thick!

The bed Niki and I made her is a crib mattress with quilts. She regularly falls off the mattress and uses her bed AND Van's. My entire living room is now a dog bed. I have had her 6 days and she has eaten nearly an entire 25lb bag of dog food. When I come home, she greets me by jumping up on just her back legs and her front paws go well over my head.

But she is just the sweetest, sweetest thing! Lorelei is her new BFF and she's incredibly gentle with her. It's amazing to watch them play!

Kisses (and just after she stole the cupcake :))

Just chillin' (really, could this be cuter?)

So there ya go- mine and Van's charge for the next week or so. She made her trip from Guam in championship form and has settled right into our lives!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frolic in the Rain

Seeing as I adore playing in the rain, I just HAD to play along!!

Favorite thing about summer?
In Pensacola, it was the daily rain showers that make everything new and fresh! I'm not sure about Texas yet...

In your opinion, the best scent in the entire world?
The smell of horses!

An embarrassing moment:
Last week when I accidentally typed "ass this picture" instead of "add this picture" in an email to my boss... and it was a picture if him!

This is a bit overdone, but, what's your clothing style?
Don't have one. I call AC.

Deep question time: vanilla or chocolate?
Chocolate! Every minute of every day.

What do you think: is the Twilight fad dying out?  And if it is, are you dancing over its grave?
I hope so- and yes, I will dance. Vampires creep me out!

Favorite quote?
"And the greatest of these is love."

Best thing that has ever happened to you and why?
Hmm... My Roommate! (Best friend) She has helped me through so much in the past 10 years, changed my heart drastically, taught me about myself, given me a niece and nephew that changed my life, moved me to Texas...

Traveling: where would you want to go?
Oh gosh, Europe, Italy and Spain in particular, Napa, New England, Canada, South America...

Favorite food?
As in one and only thing? Rutabaga. As in a genre? Mexican!

What type of music do you like?
Country mostly

Canon or Nikon? (If you're not a photographer, don't feel like you have to answer this...)
Sorry- I have a Sony

Are you a squeamish person? Any stories?
Only when it comes to camping!

Flipflops, bare feet, or heels?
Bare feet in the mud

Do you like old black and white films?
Oh yes- very romantic!

Skirts or jeans? 
This has changed recently and I'm much more of a skirt fan now. So it's a 50/50 shot.

Fresh or saltwater?
Oh, I don't care. As long as it's surrounded by a great view!

Negatively Athletic

So it struck me yesterday as I was going through my regular workout routine (and it was significantly harder than normal) that this would never be me:

I won't even lie- I WANT this to be me. But it's never gonna happen. See, I do a good job (usually) about eating well and getting exercise. I am really proud of myself for the effort I have made over the past year and a half. But the deal is... I hate working out. Like really, really hate it. And all those stories about how eventually you get into it and you get a great high from it. Nope, not me. Never ever. I put myself on a jogging program for three months- never built up any stamina. I lift weights and try to increase them slowly- almost kills me (as in, really, because I can't hold them up and the machines come crashing down). No matter how many crunches I do, they never get easier.

Verdict= I am negatively athletic. It's true. I can do things exactly right in perfect form and get no results. Examples: basketball (even though I'm 5'9), softball, football, running, volleyball, rollerskating, hiking, cheer leading... you name it and I will suck at it. it doesn't matter what I do and how I try, I never get better. 

So I have concluded that I will need to satisfy myself with being a size 8/10, almost 30, 5'9 woman (even though Katie is a 5'10 size 4). This is who I am. Be healthy, keep up the exercise, and enjoy life.

As a side note, can we talk about how much Katie's and my dog resemble their owners as it relates tobuild and body mass:
Katie & June Bug

Tall, regal, 0% body fat, highly athletic, ridiculously long, lanky legs, when they walk in- people NOTICE.

Ashley & Van Geaux

Decent height, OK build, a bit of extra around the middle, but adorable with good hair and extremely cuddly. No athletic ability whatsoever. 

All About Ashley

My photo
Spring, TX, Southern, United States
Playing with and keeping up with my nephew and niece take up a lot of my time. Van Geaux takes up the rest of it. Work is an afterthought most days! I like to be outside- but not when it's too hot. I get bored at my desk all day. Niki keeps my world spinning and without her and AC I'd lose it. My work ethic crashes at 4 p.m. daily and I live my sweet puppy and my hedgehog whenever I am not at Niki's. I truly believe naps are quality pass-time events, and sometimes I say bad words at work. I'm pretty sure I'm insane on multiple levels and I believe rules don't apply to me.
It seems that my life is quite entertaining. I didn't realize this myself, but was informed of it by my friends- who are rather entertained by tales of my life occurrences.

I'm far from a professional writer. These are just stories, comments, and other items for simple amusement. Hopefully it's a fun read, as Shannon plans to edit it into a book one day! Maybe we'll become famous, and maybe we'll just have some good laughs at my expense (and some other characters in my life). Either way, happy reading!