Thursday, August 25, 2016

Day 112: Still Nothing

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I've been very quiet on here lately and I apologize for that—to be honest I'm kind of upset at myself for it. I am almost four months into my job search and still have not nailed down a regular morning commute. Did I think that a job would land in my lap upon leaving the Petersen Events Center on May 1? No. No I didn't. But no one ever told me about how long it could take for me to land my first post-grad job.

Summer 2016 will definitely go down as the least fun for me. Most days were spent in the confines of my bedroom pouring over listings on Indeed and Glassdoor, fielding email rejections from "Do Not Reply" addresses, and only just recently landing a few phone interviews. Note: I have actually had a couple of interviews for a job that I super want. Fingers crossed I get a face-to-face meeting in the next week! 

There is a lot that I wish I had done to make this process and summer as a whole a little easier on myself and my now insane stress/anxiety levels. 

I wish I had gotten myself a summer job. Maybe I should have just bitten the bullet and listened to my parents—but when does anyone my age ever really want to do that? As much as working retail in high school really destroyed my soul maybe I should have just gotten a job. Now, I have applied for a couple; to no avail. In a moment of sheer panic (those have happened sporadically over the past month) I did bring back my and accounts in search for short jobs that would give me just a little bit of money to work with. That being said: if anyone is in need for a freelance writer/editor...hit a girl up!

I also wish I had just gotten out of the house more. It's tough since I have a grand total of one friend still here at home and she works through the week. I was really envisioning a summer made up of more happy hours and nights chatting it up. Of course, I initially was also imagining a summer still in Pittsburgh. 

The biggest lesson I've learned through this whole process and ordeal of a summer is this: very little is probably going to work out the way you think it is. Especially at this point. My future is still in a very uncertain place and to a personality like mine that is a scary idea. I like to have a plan. I like to know. I have also learned that the waiting is the worst. No company will respond in a matter of days no matter how much you will your email to show an incoming message. There are companies I honestly waited months for just to be rejected. As someone coming from part-time jobs and internships that came a bit easier, this can be a pretty rough realization.

I just hope that with the few interviews that I have started to schedule that a trying summer will give way to an active and fruitful autumn.

<3 Ashley

How do you/did you deal with your post-grad job search? 
Also: in all seriousness...freelance editing/writing...I got you. I don't charge like crazy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Surf vs. Turf

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The internal argument for me used to be: to shop or not to shop? Now that I understand myself and know that the perpetual answer is to shop, a new question has presented itself: shop online or in-person?

While getting out of the house and walking a distance greater than that of my bedroom to the kitchen would be the healthy and logical answer the world of online shopping can seem so much more alluring at times. It can be more convenient, you can take as much time as you need without the sales associate breathing down your throat, no waiting in lines, and sometimes it can be easier to spot the deals. Do I sound like an anti-social millennial yet?

Sounds like online shopping wins. But, hang on! What if you are like me and your sizing is by no means consistent? I'm looking at you jeans! There are several situations like this where it's just easier to go to the store and spend some time trying everything on since there really is no telling if the item in your online shopping cart is actually going to fit the way that you are expecting it to. Then you have to return it if it doesn't and that takes even more time on top of the 5-7 business days you spent waiting for the item initially.

When I shop I prefer to do it in-person if I can. That way I don't have to play the waiting game and don't have to pay for shipping. If no store has what I am looking for, only then will I turn over my attention and my card to my good friend, Amazon.

<3 Ashley

So what about you? Do you surf the web for your fashion finds or do you prefer to see the options right in front of you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


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When the sun's out and the temps are up it can be difficult to find the motivation to step out of the air conditioning. The only way you will find me out in the heat is if there is a cool body of water nearby. For those blessed afternoons spent lounging in the sand or poolside I have an arsenal of items that are essential to the perfect day. 

Swimsuit and coverup. Of course you have to wade the water in style! While swimsuit shopping historically draws up strong (read: negative) emotions, I love going through the different options and colors to find what works best for me. Lately, I love a vintage silhouette—high-waisted bottoms and a slightly conservative top. I'm in love with polka dots so my pick from Adore Me is perfect! It's cute, classic, and perfect for an afternoon reading and catching rays by the water. When it comes to coverups, I like to keep it simple and classic. Adore Me's Gwendolen cover is lightweight button down shirt, which works with my aesthetic; like a beachy Holly Golightly! 

Bold sunnies. I have a problem: sunglasses. I simply have too many, but I just can't stop. Ask my brother...he yells at me every time he notices a new pair on my face. But no two are the same. In my opinion, sunnies are one of the best accessories that show case your personality—there are just so many fun shapes and colors! Ban.dō is one of my favorite websites to figuratively window shop for bold and colorful accessories. This pair of sunglasses features a fun, gold cat eye frame. And if you know know I try to paint my life in gold. 

A nautical tote. I'm a sucker for a theme and aesthetic. When it comes to the beach, the sea and sailing are themes that I take the whole nine yards. This striped tote from Kate Spade's Broome Street collection speaks to the theme. Is there anything better than blue and white stripe against the background of the open sea? The answer is 'No. There is not.'

Reading material. While getting a little wet should be a goal when walking down the sand toward the water, I take advantage of the R&R opportunity and usually carry along a book and a few fashion magazines. You check back on my summer reading list for some inspiration for your next beach read.

Don't forget a towel, SPF, and H2O. Oh—and it's probably a good idea to have some money on you. You know...for when the ice cream cart comes your way. ;) For more swimwear ideas check out the swim selection on Adore Me—they have great styles in many different sizes! 

<3 Ashley

What are your beach day musts? Share along on Instagram with Adore Me and myself using the hashtag #BeachDayMusts!

Monday, July 18, 2016

"I Don't Know About You.."

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"...but I'm feeling 22." Yep. Another year older but none the wiser. But it's only been a few days so give me a minute and maybe the wisdom will show up. :P

The one thing I love about my birthday is that it tends to be a quiet affair. It's in the summer, tends to be during the week (really...a Saturday birthday would be swell!) and, especially now, very few friends are home to celebrate. But you won't find me disappointed in the fact that I can't celebrate by painting the town red into the early morning hours. I love spending the day grabbing a meal out with the fam. And last night was actually my preferred method of celebrating myself: homemade nachos, many helpings of margarita, my birthday cupcake, and an in-home double feature (who says no to Sex and the City AND The Devil Wears Prada?)

And since not everyone is around at one time to celebrate the day with me, that only means that the celebration must be spread out—I'm not complaining. I love setting up dinners and happy hours with friends as they find they are available to set aside some time to hang out; especially since my summer has consisted of sitting inside for hours weeding through job descriptions and applying to companies that may or may not get back to me. Perhaps being another year older and wiser will bring good things on that front. :)

<3 Ashley

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Flavors of Summer

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One of my favorite things about the summer months—besides the sun, tans, blue skies, summer storms, and morning coffee outside—is the direction my diet travels in. When it's hot as Hades outside the last thing I want to eat is the big, heavy, starchy meals that rule my life in the winter. Summer is a time for citrus and berries, grilling, salads, infused water, and light pastries. My summer is basically one long, perfect brunch in the sun. Here are a few of my favorite bites this season:

Berries: I'm all berry, all the time. The past month has seen me fitting a handful of blueberries into each day—mostly for breakfast. Cereal, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and whole wheat pancakes are made ten times better with those delicious little blue orbs.

Citrus: Oranges and grape fruit are two of my biggest loves. Yes, I am a woman with many loves...don't judge. When I need a snack I reach for one. They are also some of the best flavors in my favorite summer cocktails.

Quinoa: Admittedly, I usually reach for the quinoa begrudgingly. The box sits next to the pasta and 9 times out of 10, I want pasta over quinoa. However, when I finally resolve to eat a bit better I am a happy lady. Yeah, I find quinoa to be incredibly bland, but you know that I'm one for experimenting and spicing things up. Red peppers, basil, olive oil, and mushrooms are a wonderful addition to a bowl of this tiny grain.

Tomato and Mozzarella: This is the flavor combination that holds incredible power over during the summer. Bruschetta, salads, is appropriate and yummy in so many different dishes. Add balsamic and basil and your taste buds are soaring; at least mine are. :)

<3 Ashley

What are your favorite things to eat during the summer?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Morning Light

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Rise and shine, lovelies! That's right. It's 8:30 a.m. and this girl is already showered, fed, and halfway through a cup of caffeine goodness. How is this possible? Sure I'm not one to cower in the face of daybreak's light, but I'm also not one to get the kettle going until right around this time. This surprising change in routine came after I was unceremoniously awakened at 4:30 this morning. Yeah...that would mean I was up before the sun. Unfortunately, returning to sleep was not an option so I turned to Netflix for a few hours.

It was around 5:45 when I learned how early the sun actually starts to rise. With the morning light creeping through the gaps in my drapes and the beginnings of a gorgeous day underway, I decided that in an attempt to be a proactive adult I would throw on my running gear and hit the asphalt early. Yes. It was a beautiful run and a great way to start my day. This little change (that I would not have done had I not be unable to get back to sleep) really injected some energy into a day that probably would have played out like everyday of these two months since graduation. I have spent the weeks since leaving the 'Burgh scrolling through job descriptions and applying like a madwoman to jobs that may or may not be my dream job—who really knows anymore? Some of those days are even punctuated with the occasional rejection e-mail.

However, today's job search will be performed with just a little more excitement and a little more passion than these last few weeks. This unplanned, and admittedly slightly annoying, early rise and time in the daybreak sun has inspired me to look forward with positivity and put a little more effort in my day—I mean...I am blogging right now. That's a start, right? ;P

<3 Ashley

Are you an early riser? When are you the most productive?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Reading List

Ever since graduation I have filled my days not only job hunting, but also reading. It is very difficult to maintain a good level of pleasure reading when your nights are filled flipping through text books and doing research in the library for 10-page papers. So over the past four years, naturally I haven't been able to keep up very well with new books. Now that I have a bit more time on my hands, that has changed. In the month since commencement, I have blazed through three books—all three loved. Even still, there are a number of books that have sat on my bookshelf that past few years very much untouched and unopened. That's changing this summer. My task for the summer is to read thmy bookself—and yes, mom...find a job. Here are the books that remain untouched and are therefore on my summer 2016 reading list:

America's First Daughter -Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie *
Me Before You -Jojo Moyes *
All The Light We Cannot See -Anthony Doerr * 
The Time In Between -Maria Duenas currently reading
Sense and Sensibility -Jane Austen
Emma -Jane Austen
Tender Is The Night -F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Last Tycoon -F. Scott Fitzgerald
Anna Karenina -Leo Tolstoy

* = have finished reading. You can find my post about America's First Daughter here.

<3 Ashley

What books are on your summer reading list? Any good recommendations?