Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Resolutions

This year, I promise to.... on my confidence more outgoing
...go out of my way to meet others
...organize my life a little better

<3 Ashley

What are your 2015 resolutions?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Year In Review

Is anyone else having difficulty believing that tomorrow is New Year's Eve? How did the year slide by this fast? It seems like yesterday I was eating the last of the Christmas cookies and promising myself that there would be a lot more treadmills in the coming year (at least until the weather got warmer!) As we get ready to look forward to 2015, I'm going to use today's post to look back on 2014. I like reviewing the previous year and use it as a tool to help me decide what my goals for the next year will be.

I am very happy to report that Operation: Healthier Living has been a success. I told myself at the beginning of the year that I would not cut out but rather cut back on the sweets and increase the veggie intake. Check! I also told myself that I would workout more. I have become a runner and even begin my mornings with a little bit of yoga. Check! Both of my 2014 promises have become part of my routine and I don't even have to think about doing them anymore--I just do. I am confident that these will continue on to 2015 so I can put focus on some new goals. More on those tomorrow!

As far as school goes, I told myself that as a college junior it was certainly time to buckle down. I think I have done pretty well. It is still a struggle to not let myself procrastinate--discovering Mad Men on Netflix may prove to do more harm than good. However, I did make some positive moves. I applied for and got into my certificate program! I also got my first campus job and am making the money that I need for grocery shopping. My roommates and I also found and signed the lease for our house for next year. All of these developments excite me and I am looking forward to seeing what happens in 2015 in my life at school!

I also rebranded the blog and dropped the All That Glitters name and opted for the new and wonderful Sunday Brunch! I can't wait to kick off the New Year here and am already planning some posts that you can look forward to in 2015!

<3 Ashley

What do you think looking back on 2014? Successful year?

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things: Christmas

Hello everyone! I decided that with the holiday I would take a long weekend away from the blog to relax and spend some time with the family. I hope that your Christmas was amazing and that you enjoyed dining with family and received the holiday haul that you were expecting under the tree! I know that Christmas is about way more than the gifts, but you can't blame a girl for being excited about what she has received! Santa certainly paid attention to what was on my wishlist this year. Above are some of the items that I found under the tree on Christmas. Not pictured is probably my favorite gifts being a quarter-zip Pitt sweatshirt (admittedly I need more gear because I don't have school spirit!) a Marilyn Monroe gold replica stamp and the vintage Gucci handbag that my mother and I spotted on our outings to the local antique store. Can a girl ask for a better holiday? I should think not!

This year was also the year of the scarf; I received two from my aunt and uncle. Also my grandmother took the time to knit scarves and winter hats for the whole family--the woman's dedication surpasses mine by miles! 

I hope that you were just as thrilled with Christmas as I was and are enjoying the last few days of 2014. Get to thinking about those resolutions!

<3 Ashley

What is your favorite gift from this Christmas?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Baked with Love

Tis the season for baking! If there is one thing that I must have every single year without fail is fresh baked Christmas cookies. Every year, my grandmother makes everyone their own bag of her pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies, which are amazing! Before we went on winter break, my roommates and I went on a little cookie baking spree of our own. My one roommate's mother came over with bins full of ingredients and in 6.5 hours we produced 11 different types of cookies. Now that's commitment! My favorite cookie that we made were the raspberry almond shortbread thumbprints. I loved them so much that I just had to share the recipe with you so that you can get in on the cookie goodness yourself!

- 1 c. butter, softened
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. raspberry jam

- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 2-3 tsp water
- 1 1/2 almond extract

What to Do:
Combine softened butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon jam.

Bake 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Combine all glaze ingredients in bowl with whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

<3 Ashley

What are your favorite kinds of Christmas cookies?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Being a Part-time Family Historian

So this past semester I have spent a lot of my downtime on the internet (no...not on Facebook...all the time) doing research on my family. It took one episode of "Who Do You Think You Are" where celebrities go through research to learn more about their families and where they came from. Since the semester has ended and I am back at home, I have been able to spend even more time scouring the world wide web for information about where I come from. I did not think I would find much--we all think are families are pretty standard and run-of-the-mill, right?

I'm still waiting to break into the 19th century on my dad's side of the family since Italian and Norwegian records are not so accessible and that side of the family is relatively new to the United States. My mother's side of the family is a completely different story. I have learned so much more than I thought I would, and it's all through my grandmother's line. I have discovered this gem by the name of Desolate Baker who has quite the interesting story; lots of sex, man! I have also discovered that also in this portion of my family tree, two of his great-grandchildren married each there's that. In the past few days though, I have discovered some even more exciting individuals. On one hand there is Mr. George Hudson who fought in the Revolutionary War and was a scout for George Washington during the Christmas 1776 attack on the British. Even further back his line I discovered that one of my relatives was brother to Henry Hudson III, the explorer after whom the Hudson River and Bay are named. You'd be amazed with what you are able to find online!

<3 Ashley

Have you found any interesting individuals in your family?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 Sweaters I Need Now

Wile this has been a relatively dry and warm(er) December, I still have an unruly craving for sweaters, sweaters and more--you guessed it--sweaters. It is pretty much an essential part of my winter uniform. So I have scoured the internet, exercised impressive self-control and compiled a list of the five sweaters that I need in my closet right now:

This boxy turtleneck from Forever 21 is just asking for a spot hanging in my closet. When it comes to turtlenecks I like them neutral and simple; great paired with black leggings or dark skinny jeans. 

Cardigans are my go-to for some quick layering in the morning if I'm pushing the time a bit before class. I am loving this cardigan from H&M with color-block sleeves. Picture this over a white tee and some skinnies and a pair of boots or black flats.

There is not a sweater that I pine for more than a fisherman cable knit sweater. The one above is everything I dream for--the layering over a button down is perfection. Oversized plaid scarf too, maybe?

Sweater Dress
I only actually have one of these but I definitely need more. Loose, form fitting, long sleeved, short sleeved...I love them all! 

Christmas Sweater
I refuse to use the term "ugly Christmas sweater." They're not ugly...they're festive! 

<3 Ashley

What sweaters appeal to you?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Movies

I am not talking about classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or A Christmas Story. These movies are by no means popular. I am talking about: home movies. Our Christmas videos (the last great recordings of the '90s) are something that I like to revisit every once in awhile; I am a sucker for family memories. However, seeing myself in these videos is semi-embarrassing at times and I can understand better why my family enjoys laughing at me. I was an...interesting child.

I think in the earliest Christmas video I received an animatronic cow that walked and mooed. Cute gift, right? To a normal kid maybe; it was not so cute in my young opinion. In the video, when they turn the cow on, little me is visibly terrified of the the thing. I go from smiling and happy to hilariously wide-eyed in terror and running to someone on the other side of the room. That cow was most certainly going to hurt me! Haha!

<3 Ashley

What hilarious Christmas memories do you have? Do you like looking back to home movies once in awhile?

Friday, December 12, 2014

The List

What list? My Netflix list. There is a lot that has been added to my Netflix queue and now that I am done with the fall semester (going home today!) I have a little bit of time to park myself on the couch and binge the break away. I would love to finish up the third season of New Girl, I have to catch up on Arrow and I have found a new way of wasting my time in the form of Mad Men--I blazed through the first season WHILE writing a final paper.

Of course, I will be breaking up the marathoning with reading (for fun!) and hanging out with family and friends. I have to be somewhat productive and active, right? I am so excited to be able to take a break from the work and be in full time relaxation mode...for 3 weeks at least! I have a few blog posts planned and January is shaping out too--see...productive! Can't wait wrap up the year on here!

<3 Ashley

Are you getting ready to break for the holidays?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunday (on a Monday) Brunch: Finals Edition

The last brunch of the fall semester occurred yesterday and it was just as dreamy and wonderful as all of our other get togethers. The difference? We took the brunch abroad to a restaurant rather than making it in our apartment. The reason, of course, being that it is FINALS WEEK--which is also why this post is coming to you late. None of us can barely find the motivation to make a grilled cheese let alone a fancy shmancy brunch. We decided since we were going out to find available study locations we could still have brunch and just let someone else do the cooking!

We packed backpacks with textbooks, notebooks, lecture print outs and tech and elected The Porch right on campus as receiver of our money and giver of food. Boy did they give! I ordered the "Porch Scramble" and couldn't have made a better decision. There is chicken and mushroom in that egg pile up there. So much yum! They also came with some wonderfully spiced potatoes, a homemade English muffin and a side of their HOMEMADE ketchup which also had a bit of a spice to it. Michelle ended up getting their quiche which also looked absolutely to die for. On top of the delicious meal and the wonderful company and conversation we are convinced that Pitbull was dining a few tables away--not really but this guy looked WAY too much like him. 

Now if you will excuse me, I still have one more paper to blaze through. (Prayers are being accepted)

<3 Ashley

Do you have a favorite restaurant you like to brunch at?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Turn Up the Tunes

To be honest, I have been listening to Christmas music since like a week before Thanksgiving. Usually I stick hard and fast to the "no merry cheer until after turkey day" but for some reason something inside of me was ready to wrap gifts and trim the tree way earlier this year. Since we have gotten back to school my roommates and I have been cranking out the Christmas jams to make getting through this last week of classes and preparing for finals a little more bearable. I love to compare music with others so I thought I would share a few of my favorite holiday songs with you!

1. "Merry X-mas (War Is Over)" John Lennon--thought I must say I am loving Sleeping At Last's version of the song!

2. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" NSync--What could be better during the holidays than this fun and upbeat tune from hands down the best band of my childhood?

3. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" Dean Martin--This is my favorite until our annual holiday trip to Phipps Conservatory when two of my roommates sing the entire song on the walk there and back.

4. "Silver Bells" Bing Crosby--This list is in no particular order but I definitely think this one is by far my favorite.

5. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" Paul Cardall--I love when this instrumental comes on my Pandora station. It is a gorgeous tune!

<3 Ashley

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs? How early do you start listening to holiday music?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Recipe Box: Roasted Mushroom and Brie Soup

Yuuuuummm :)

One of the reasons I love going home over breaks (aside from the obvious I get to see my family and friends) I get to experiment a bit more with my cooking. I do that here at school to an extent; but I can do more at home since I don't have to rely on myself to buy the food--does that make me a bad child? I'm a college kid on a's the truth! Over Thanksgiving break I found a recipe for roasted mushroom and brie soup. I made and OH MY! It was too good not to share!

- 1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, sliced
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 4 c. vegetable broth
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 4 oz. brie cheese (1-inch pieces)
- Salt + pepper

Step by Step:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
- Slice mushrooms (if you buy them whole like I do) and spread them out on a line cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and put in oven for 25 minutes, mixing once half way through.
- In a medium saucepan on the stove, melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook 5-7 minutes. Toss in garlic and thyme and continue cooking until fragrant. Add flour and stir about a minute.
- Pour in wine and deglaze pan. Pour in vegetable broth and add mushrooms. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add brie and heavy cream. Let cheese melt and fish out the rinds if you didn't remove them beforehand. Salt and pepper to taste
- Puree in blender until desired consistency is reached. Serve and enjoy!

<3 Ashley

Will you try this recipe? What are your favorite soups when it gets cold outside?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Wishlist: Reaching for the Stars...

Happy December, everyone! I am now 100% in festive holiday mode. I've got my pink flannel snowman pajamas on, egg nog candle lit and Christmas music blaring. Please excuse how annoyingly happy I am. Honestly, I'm pretty much Buddy the Elf level all of December. 

Get ready for lists, lists, lists! Gift ideas galore are coming at you all month plus Christmas cookie recipes. How could I not? Today I have my own Christmas wishlist--though it's not the real one. These are the things that I want but I know I will not be getting because of the hefty price tag they bear. Basically this my dream list; my reach-for-the-stars wishlist. We all have those, right? Feel free to wish along with me!

<3 Ashley

What's on your reach for the stars wishlist?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Finals Grind

Yes, Captain! I will definitely try!

So I am going to be completely upfront with you...finals are upon us. While this is the time of year to gather Christmas gifts, string up the lights and play Christmas music, it is also the time for coffee refills and late night study sessions. Our official finals week is next week, however, I have two of my finals this Wednesday. That will be followed by lots of essay writing and group project meetings.

That being said, there is potential that I will not be the most active on here for the next week or two (or at least it will be erratic activity.) I do have posts planned but execution does not always happen when there is a lot on my plate. Thanks for the patience and understanding!

<3 Ashley

Any other college students gearing up for finals week? 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Haul

Okay, so it's not the most impressive Black Friday haul but hey, I have to stay on budget since I'm still in school. I was on the hunt for things I actually needed (some was more want) and came out with most of it. A pair of solid black ballet flats still evade me--maybe I will see what Cyber Monday has in store on that front.

After losing plans to shop starting at midnight--sick friends canceling last minute!--I did manage to step out for shopping this morning with my mother. We hit the mall first and made our way to JCPenney. Honestly, out of all the stores we went in today, JCP definitely had the best deals (especially for what I was looking for.)

My roommate and I are actively trying to bring turtlenecks back--please feel free to hop on the bandwagon--so a few of those were on the top of my list. I managed to find two that I liked from St. John's Bay. The one pictured above is a nice cream color and the other is black and white stripes.

I was also on a crusade to find new jeans that fit. Denim-wise I did not find a single pair that fit me right..that's a rant for another day. We went to TJ Maxx and I dug up a pair of patterned active leggings from Head and a pair of DKNY skinny khaki pants.

My treasures are few this year, but I definitely anticipate getting use out of them!

<3 Ashley

Did you step out for Black Friday? What does your haul look like?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Insta Lately

I am finally home for Thanksgiving and have my appetite ready for the family feast. Instagram lately has honestly been full of food and our adventures from when my family came to visit me at school. We watched the Penguins lose and the Panthers win that weekend; you win some and lose some!

Have a great holiday everybody!

<3 Ashley

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Style: Packing Light

As you read this I am either preparing for my bus ride home or am well on my way. Every year I get more and more anxious to go home and see my family and enjoy the holidays. Pittsburgh is great, but it's nice to get a break from the busy, busy, busy and change to a quieter setting. I will admit that though I am itching to make this trip, I have left the packing until the very last minute...procrastination at its finest. 

At this point I have got packing for the holidays down to a science--I take the bus home and they only allow one suitcase. Since I'm only home for a short period, I try to stick to only packing the basics. I make sure to look ahead at the weather forecast for the days that I am home and go from there. This year it's going to be straight up cold--snow tomorrow, of course! I've got several sweaters stacked in a corner of my bag, jeans and black leggings occupy another corner and one pair of boots and a pair of clogs in another. Then of course I take into account what I am wearing for travel; I've got flats, leggings and a button down handy (and I could honestly wear that again!) Of course, you also have to take into account your Black Friday haul!

<3 Ashley

Are you heading home for the holiday? What's in your suitcase?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Brunch: Crustless Veggie Quiche

Sunday brunch is coming to you late today because, well...brunch came to us a little late today. I actually went out for breakfast this morning with my family who was visiting this weekend, and Michelle had a friend from home here as well. This is was the weekend to have visitors too! It was Light Up Night here in Pittsburgh, the Penguins played some hockey (they did lose in the shoot-out unfortunately!) and our Pitt Panthers finally pulled out a win for our last home game against Syracuse. With the determination to make brunch happen still, we elected to have brunch for dinner. After the sweetness that was the stuffed French toast last weekend we opted for savory this time around with a crustless veggie quiche.

- 3 egg white
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 c skim milk
- salt & pepper
- veggies of your choosing
- spinach
- mozzarella cheese
- parmesan cheese

Step by Step:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook veggies (we used onion, garlic, mushroom, tomato) on the stove until tender
- In a medium bowl mix eggs, egg white, milk, salt and pepper
- Spray a pie plate and arrange veggie layer. Arrange spinach layer Sprinkle mozzarella cheese then pour egg mixture over top. Sprinkle top with parmesan.
-  Bake for 45 minutes.

As I look back on my blog content thus far, I see a lot of food. Is there anything else you guys would like to see me talk about? Not that food is a bad thing!

<3 Ashley

Are you a quiche fan? Did you have a good weekend?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Get Stuffed: Cranberry Sauce

Image: here

We are exactly one week out from Thanksgiving and if you haven't planned your menu yet--you're a fearless last minute person, I like you--I am here to be of assistance! Granted, my family has opted to eat out this year because everyone agrees that while our dinners are usually kick a** cleaning up after is the absolute worst after you've eaten four plates of everything. However, I will be sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving food recipes because there are some great ones out there that I have tried and absolutely must share.

Two years ago, when I came home for the first time after starting college, I demanded that the cranberry sauce not come from a can. I know I'm not the only one who thinks you taste more of the can than the sauce. I volunteered to find a recipe and make some homemade cranberry sauce. I did it and everybody loved it!

- 1 bag (12 oz) cranberries
- 1 c cranberry juice
- 1 c pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp orange juice (or zest!)

Step by Step:
- Wash cranberries and then dump in medium sauce pan
- Pour in the 1 cup of juice and the maple syrup
- Add orange juice. Stir.
- Turn stove on high heat and bring mixture to a boil
- Once it's boiling turn the heat down to medium low. Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until juice is thick. Turn off and store in refrigerator until dinner time!

<3 Ashley

Sounds yummy right? What's your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When The Weather Outside is Frightful

Images from: 1 || 2 || 3 || 4

16. This is the number I saw when I looked at my weather app this morning. That had a snowflake next to it. It was a bitterly cold day; luckily this was one of those day when my boss needed me to run across campus to pick something up and bring back. I think I'm starting to get the feeling back in my legs.

Since I have gotten home, I have grabbed a blanket, turned up the thermostat, made hot chocolate, turned on the Christmas music, and scanned Pinterest for images to warm me up. Here are just a few of the images that have me dreaming of a cozy and warm atmosphere. Socks, blankets and a crackling fireplace are absolutely quintessential. I hope I have helped to warm you up as well!

<3 Ashley

Is it absolutely freezing where you are? What warms you up?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Brunch: Stuffed French Toast

Look at that little piece of heaven

After talking back and forth and canceling on each other last minute for the past two weeks, Sunday brunch finally happened and the ladies reconvened to talk predominately about the disappointment that is our football team and the consistent issue that is the male population. This morning we trekked out into the cold to buy a loaf of sourdough from Panera for our stuffed French toast. I am very happy to say that it was very much a success!

There was no set recipe for this since we all wanted to stuff ours with different things. Michelle and I found happiness in cream cheese and raspberries, while Megan most definitely suggests cream cheese and bananas--never really considered that combo before! I will share the basics of what we did.

- 2 slices of sourdough per serving
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- cinnamon
- cream cheese (or peanut butter or Nutella!)
- fruit

Step by step
- Slice sourdough to the desired thickness
- In a bowl, mix eggs, milk and cinnamon
- Spread cream cheese on one side of both slices of bread, arrange fruit on one slice and make a sandwich
- Soak both sides in the egg mixture--let each side sit for a bit to soak the mixture in
- Heat oil or butter in a skillet and cook French toast approximately 30 seconds on both sides or to your liking
- Enjoy!

<3 Ashley

What do you enjoy in your stuffed French toast? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

What I Made: Pumpkin Chipotle Soup

Oh yes...yes I did!

Look Ma, I can cook! If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that last night as snowflakes were falling from the sky, I was bundled up in flannel pants, a long gray sweater, Christmas lights on, cuddling up to a bowl of soup. I soup was an idea had got from Taylor over at her blog Anticipation (which I read religiously!) One mention of pumpkin chipotle soup had me scouring the world wide web for the perfect recipe.

I found several recipes and ended up just using a bit from each to make my soup--read: I bought what I could at IGA and worked with it. It was so easy to whip up and I have plenty of leftovers to look forward to.

- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic (I used minced and just threw in what I thought I would like)
- 1 tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (found in the Mexican aisle)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
- 2 (14 oz) cans vegetable broth
- 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
- cilantro
- dollop of sour cream

Step by Step:
- Saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil for about 3-4 minute until translucent.
- Add chopped chipotle pepper and spices. Cook about 2 minutes (stir it up so it doesn't stick to the pot!)
- Pour in broth and pumpkin puree. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Pour mixture into blender and blend until smooth--use an immersion blender if you have one.
- Return soup to the stove, add whipping cream and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Dish out when ready and garnish as you will!


<3 Ashley

Sound good? Do you have any wonderful fall recipes to share?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dear Weather, Can You Not?

^This is where I would like to be^

If you live in or around the Pittsburgh area (or in a similar city with respect to erratic forecasts) you know that the weather is probably one of the most frustrating things ever. As my alarm went off this morning I rolled over and went to my weather app to get some kind of budding idea of what I could wear today. I found myself staring at the number "37" and a snowflake icon reserved for later in the day. Was it not 70 degrees two days ago?!

I scrolled through the rest of the week and it seems we have officially taken the plunge into Pittsburgh winter. Here's how the weather works this time of year. Autumn starts but it's still pretty warm and doesn't really feel as fall-ish as you want. Then it feels like fall for two week and then BAM it's 30 degrees and you hate your life and can't wait to go home for Thanksgiving (I say this as a college student!)

When I chose the University of Pittsburgh it is easy to say I was not choosing it for the weather here! There is the running joke that in Pittsburgh you can experience all four seasons in one day--that's how some days feel to be completely honest. So now that I am officially in the throws of 30 degree weather and am at the mercy of the constant fear of sudden snowfall, I suppose it's time to start the posts about sweaters, hot chocolate, cozy boots (that are NOT UGGS!) and all sorts of warm comfort. Look out for those!

<3 Ashley's the weather?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Chronicles of a Morning Person

I always get comments from my roommates about how I am always the first one up in the morning (unless they have 8 AMs!) and how I am rarely ever dragging my feet. I have never really considered myself a morning person--or rather I hadn't thought about it--but since they have started saying something about it I guess it is safe to say that "My name is Ashley, and I am a morning person."

When I really get down to thinking about it, I have kind of always been this way. My parents always took us to our elementary school before-school program since they worked early so I was usually up at 5:30 or 6 in the morning. This carried over into high school since we lived like 25 minutes from the school and our house was the first on the bus' route. I think it's safe to say that I didn't choose the morning chose me.

Now in college, while I do appreciate those days where I get to sleep in until 11 AM because of a late night out, I still wake up every day at 8 AM whether I really need to or not. I find the mornings are a very useful time where I can relax and get things done at a good pace. I thought today that I would share a bit of my AM schedule with you guys.

8 AM: The alarm on my phone goes off and I have to lay in bed for at least 10 minutes (unless it's a really good day) and encourage myself to start the day.

8:15 AM: Roughly the time I start showering. This is where I really wake up. Ten seconds under some cold water can really make you alert!

8:30 AM: I like to try and get some light physical activity in to start the day. I usually try to find a light yoga or pilates routine to fill about 15-20 minutes.

Somewhere between 8:45 and 9 AM: Make breakfast. Since I now have a kitchen in the equation of my college life I like to make oatmeal or omelettes in the morning. Once in awhile when I have an earlier class or I start work early--towards the end of the week--I just mix up some yogurt and berries.

While I am eating I like to catch up on the news. I'm not the type of person to read an entire page of copy on CNN; I just don't have the patience. Instead I have an email subscription to TheSkimm. I love getting this in my inbox daily; it quickly became part of my morning routine.

9:30 AM: After my breakfast is done and I have been updated on the goings on in the world, I head on back to my desk (or bed!) and do blog work with the help of my friend, Dunkin Dark Roast. I also listen to some chill tunes; if you are a Spotify user--sorry, T-Swift!--check out the playlist Your Favorite Coffeehouse. Hands down my favorite thing to listen to in the morning. Great songs!

From 10:30 on depending on the day it is, I tie up any loose ends on assignments for the day if I still need to. Then I enter the process of trying to get myself ready to go out into the world!

<3 Ashley

What is your morning routine like? Are you a early bird or a night owl?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day

I just wanted to take some time today to thank all of those who have served and those currently serving to protect this beautiful country. 

<3 Ashley

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Potato Party

One thing that my roommates and I have established within these past few months living together in this apartment is that we throw some fantastic parties. If any readers here remember from All That Glitters, we had a fun '90s themed slumber party for Allison and Abby's joint birthday party back in September that included face masks from Seventeen magazine, homemade popsicles and popcorn, a playlist with the best of the '90s and early 2000s and 3 large pizzas. Sounds like a good time right? We have also hosted a dinner party and a pretty standard party which turned into a great Mario Party competition. This past weekend we struck again with another wonderful party. I bet you've never been to this kind of party; it was a potato party. Yeah, you read that correctly. This invite only party required that all guests contribute their own homemade potato dish to this very starchy potluck. Our friends did not disappoint. We had white cheddar mashed potatoes (the clear winner!) loaded sweet potato boats (a close runner up) sweet potato fries, tater tots, roasted garlic and parmesan potatoes and the interesting potato chip and Nutella combo that turned out the be pretty much the greatest thing EVER!

Also party of the evening were some very competitive potato themed games. We had half a round of hot potato which did not last very long before the potato exploded all over the carpet. Everyone split up into two teams for a cutthroat potato relay race which attracted the concerned attention of a few of our neighbors. The evening was closed by a round of "pin the face on Mr. PotatoHead" which was probably the funniest thing ever.

Mark that down as another success!

<3 Ashley

What are some other great party ideas? 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Brunch: The Weekend We Had No Brunch

Unfortunately today did not work out for our group Sunday brunch. I will admit that it was my fault...I slept in way too late and at that point no one was too committed to making our stuffed french toast. Perhaps next week we will have more success! There are some fantastic things to talk about though:

Movin' on in: Well...not until August. The girls and I got our first off campus house! It is actually nice and homey too--unlike many of the dumpy places in South Oakland. We are meeting with the landlord tomorrow to sign the lease!

A+: Out of all of the stress and constant work that I have endured through this semester, it finally feels like it is paying off. We got our midterm papers back in History of Mass Media and guess who got a perfect score....THIS GIRL!

Let's hope that all of this is all continues into this week to make it a good one too!

<3 Ashley

What good has happened to you this week?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What I Wore: Halloween

Choosing my costume this year for Halloween was a little tricky for me. Previously I have gone as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn and was looking to do something a little bit different--I need to take a break from being a classic film actress! Originally my friends and I were going to go as a group and be the Spice Girls. That fizzled out quickly when we realized how difficult it was going to be to find leather, leopard printed pants and platform shoes to match. Maybe next year! 

I thought it would be fun to stick with the '90s pop scene and considered being Britney Spears. Yes...yes I want to be Britney. Next question: which Britney should I be? There are so many! For awhile I was on the lookout for anything that could go towards a "Me Against the Music" look. That failed. Maybe "Circus?" Nope. Then as my one friend and I were geeking out over some music videos we came across "...Baby One More Time." Last year my friend went in the school girl outfit which was really cute. But that's what everyone does, right? I loved Britney in this video and this album. So instead of the school girl I went for a different look from the video...

Words cannot describe how comfortable I was all night! I've never been one for the typical tight costumes women usually wear, so I was trying to avoid that. These sweatpants were warm--on a freaking cold night!--and wearing sneakers to a party was probably the greatest thing ever. If you try for this costume next time you need one, be sure to remember your pigtails and body glitter!

<3 Ashley

Who were you for Halloween this year? Share below!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Letter From the Editor: November

I don't know about my fellow students, but I feel like this semester has absolutely flown by! It's already November. I have a tendency to see Halloween as the official kick off to the holiday season (whether it is or not...I don't particularly care) and as of November 1st have dived head first into holiday planning. An example of this? I've got my pumpkin pie recipe ready to go and my roommates and I have discussed at which point it is acceptable to start playing Christmas music--very soon!

This month on the blog look for a lot of fun holiday themed posts! When I first started blogging I had a tendency of posting a lot of holiday recipes and think now is as good a time as any to bring that back. I will be sharing some of my favorite holiday dishes with you and also posting some other fantastic pieces of holiday inspiration. I will also begin rolling out some of the exciting weekly features that I have planned for Sunday Brunch. What do these include? Well when I first started out blogging, fashion was the topic of choice. I kinda would like to get back to those roots and do a post each week highlighting one outfit that I have worn in the past week--come back tomorrow for the first of these posts featuring my Halloween costume this year! Another thing I would like to do is a small Sunday post. Sunday brunches are a fixture in my group of friends and I would like to share our creations with you. This coming Sunday has stuffed french toast on the menu and surely some great conversation!

I hope you are as excited as I am for this month!
<3 Ashley

What do you look forward to in November?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Welcome to Sunday Brunch

Well hello there! It is me...Ashley...from All That Glitters? Don't recognize me? I can't blame you; I have rebranded and found my way back to Blogger. After spending around three years as All That Glitters I began to feel a little bit of disconnect with the blog and everything that I put into it. However, I still wanted to blog. I get some crazy high off of blogging I guess; I just have to do it.

I decided that I wasn't All That Glitters anymore. I created ATG in the summer between high school and college and just picked a cute sounding name. This time around I wanted to name my blog something that I could connect to and reflected me in some kind of way. Sunday Brunch...who doesn't love it? Since coming to college if there is one thing I can count on it's a brunch on Sunday with my girls where we recount the events of the past week and the weekend. It is always a great time that ends up stretching from 11am until sometimes 2pm! This year we all have our own kitchens so Sunday brunch has only improved in quality now that we are making the food ourselves and experimenting with different recipes. The conversations are still interesting, hilarious and sometimes revealing. So why not name my blog after the setting of some of the best talks?!

Don't get confused, this is not a food blog (though there will probably be a ton of food on it!) In keeping with what I did with All That Glitters, it is a lifestyle blog. Expect a little bit of everything! I hope that you will join me on this new blogging journey that I am embarking on and love everything that goes into it.

<3 Ashley

Do you have Sunday brunches?

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