Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Social Media Etiquette

Social media etiquette is a topic that I have been considering for the past year or so, ever since my friend made the comments, "I never post more than twice on Instagram in a given day," and "That post is from yesterday? You can't like it now!"

I understand perfectly that I fall into the millennial generation, technology is my lifeblood, and I speak in hashtags and take pictures of my food. That last one is true...but this pizza honestly looked too good not to capture. I also work as on of the marketing heads for our campus late night show, and one of our many responsibilities is social media, which requires its own rules and guidelines for the sake of the brand (ex: most tweets are accompanied by either a funny gif or a still image from an episode.)

Of course, I have been casually using social media since I was a freshman in high school. I can honestly say though, that up until recently, I had never considered that there could be rules about how many times I post in a day or what the shelf life of a status is. I guess by default I don't post too frequently to any social media that I am on just because my schedule is so packed I don't have time to come up with posts or stop and document something that is happening. Believe it or not, I am quite an "in the moment" kind of person.

But I am curious about what other peoples' stances are on social media etiquette: how many Instagrams in a day is considered excessive? How crafted is your tone on Twitter? How much time has to pass before a post is no longer "likable?"

<3 Ashley

What are your thoughts on social media rules? Are there any that you follow or have established for yourself?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Is That You, Spring?

So this weekend Mother Nature sent Pittsburgh for quite a loop: warm weather. That's right. February isn't even over yet and we got our first taste of spring. Saturday clocked in at a cool 64 degrees and I resolved to leave the house ASAP. I took all of my work (which if we are being honest is still not done) and took the long, sunny walk to a coffee shop for a bit.

The next treat was catching up with one of my friends who indicated an interest in dining al fresco that day. It was a mutual interest. Luckily, the college neighborhood of Oakland is not totally devoid of nice dining choices. We decided to walk over to The Porch and snag a high top outside where we split one of their delicious brick oven pizzas and sipped on white sangria. Just so everyone is aware: if you are in the area any time soon (the menu changes seasonally) and are hungry, the butternut squash pizza is to die for. I did not expect it to be as delicious as it was.

Even Sunday wasn't horrible with temps in the 50s. It was sunny enough that I was convinced to go for a run before gearing up for an evening filming Pitt Tonight. Episode III coming soon!

<3 Ashley

P.S. Today is National Margarita Day. Celebrate responsibly! 

Did you get some warm weather as well? How did you take advantage of it?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sunday Funday

Image: here

When it comes to Sundays it is easy to succumb to the reality that tomorrow is Monday and the work week will be back in full swing. Sunday Depression is real, and we have all felt it at one time or another. But I don't like to think that way - that would mean that Saturday is the only well appreciated day of the weekend. I work hard to appreciate my Sundays and spend them they way they should be spent: relaxing with friends, and not worrying about what tomorrow holds.

My first tip for making Sunday a special day: start it a little bit later. Yeah, maybe that shortens the day, but how great a feeling is it to have legitimately slept it one morning? I usually have trouble sleeping in anymore due to job and internship schedules. Valentine's Day started off on a good note when I woke up and saw that it was 11 a.m.. I was thrilled! Of course, waking up on Sunday may also mean allowing the post-Saturday night hangover to make itself known. While spending the whole day in bed is everyone's dream, it should not be Sunday's constant reality. Here is a handy list of tips that should help to coax you and your pounding head out from under the sheets.

Late starts mean one thing: brunch. Grab a few friends and whip up a sweet and savory meal that everyone can contribute to. You can typically find me on pancake duty! Or take the gang on the road to try out what your local restaurants have to offer. My personal favorite in Pittsburgh is Local Bar + Kitchen in South Side. Their veggie omelet and mimosas are enough to keep my friends and me seated for quite sometime. I have found some great brunch inspiration (home and away) on Pinterest: the "Breakfast, Brunch, and AM Eats" board supplied by the Casper mattress company is enough to have you dreaming of stacks of pancakes and goblets of orange juice. may have a moment.

Feel less guilty about the carb-y brunch and bottomless drinks by going for a walk. There are so many cool neighborhoods here in Pittsburgh so no matter where we choose to go for brunch, you can expect the surrounding area to be so full of curious stops. Plus, you spend just a little more time thinking about things that aren't Monday and e-mails.

Make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. While you shouldn't launch over the emotional precipice into Sunday Depression, you do need to make sure that everything tomorrow is good to go. To be honest, I need more practice on this one. In all actuality, I replace this step by coming home, crawling back into bed with some really comfy sweats and binge-watching Friends on Netflix. But to each her own, right?

Become Top Chef of your dinner. I love cooking - my mother jokes that I have accumulated all of these students loans getting a communication education and I am going to end up going to culinary school. While I really don't intend on doing that, I do put a lot of effort into my meals even living on a college campus. This weekend, I decided to try something in attempt to use up the chicken in my fridge. With some time, effort, and patience (difficult when you are Hungry Hungry Hippo!) I pulled some super yummy coconut chicken out of the oven. This is the recipe that I followed, though I admit to tweaking it just a bit to use up some ingredients. Instead of going with just straight coconut, I mixed in some Italian style panko as well (eyeball it, I did not measure it out).

Close out the day by opening a book. This is another one that I need to work harder on, but when I do manage to grab a book rather than my laptop I feel more rested the next morning. Wind the brain down from a great day with a mystery, fantasy, adventure, whatever you fancy! Currently, The Time In Between by Maria Duenas is on my nightstand. I aim to have lights out by midnight, since is seems that every semester I need to be awake earlier and earlier for some reason.

<3 Ashley

How do you like to spend your Sunday? Share your day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Treat Yo'self

Image: here

As I am sure everyone reading this is 100 percent aware - Valentine's Day is this weekend. I would write a post about what to do, what to wear, what shoes are great for a special date with your significant other. But to be quite frank, I can't write what I don't know. Holla at all my single ladies on this one! My friends and I are annual celebrants of "Galentine's Day" instead. This year we have got quite the plan for an evening together!

This past Christmas, my mother had gifted me a super sweet cheese plate, which has since been on display as a tray in my bedroom and has not seen much more action. That will change on Sunday. We will be taking the plate for a drive for our own little wine and cheese party while watching either Valentine's Day or a violent horror film...we'll see. With an evening full of delicious cheeses, wine, chocolate, and lots of lady love what's not to be excited about?

<3 Ashley

What are your plans for Valentine's Day? Do you celebrate Galentine's Day?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Homemade Soups

Over the past few years, I have gained an appreciation for spending time in the kitchen. Since moving away to college I have found myself wanting to get more creative and shake things up with the meals that I make for myself. A girl can only eat so much pasta in a week! Last year are started making homemade soups. It started when I was sick with a cold one day in the winter and did not have any chicken noodle on hand, but I did have the key ingredients. I looked up a simple recipe and was very pleased with how yummy it was.

Since I have expanded my soup horizons with a number of recipes. Pumpkin, mushroom, chicken and orzo, and butternut sweet potato soups are now all tried and true in my recipe book. I discovered this morning that today is National Homemade Soup Day, so I thought it would be appropriate to throw it back and share the links to my two favorite recipes that I have tried so far:

Mushroom & Brie Soup - this one gets better ever time and I recently tried it with goat cheese instead of brie...delicious!

<3 Ashley

What are your favorite soups to make?

Monday, February 1, 2016

February: A Lot to Love

Image: here

Greetings, everybody! And greetings to February! Is anyone else as confused as I am to see February here so soon? It seems like just yesterday that I was making my promises for the year (so far so good!)

Typically, I am not this month's biggest fan. Valentine's Day is not exactly my holiday of choice (see alternative: Galentine's Day). But this year, there is a bit more to look forward to. We will be filming another episode of Pitt Tonight, and this is the first full month of the running of Pitt Tonight blog, of which I am the mighty keeper.

My roommates and I also have many plans set to make this month a good one, so as to not get bogged down by winter and work. February is the month when we make good on our promises to leave the college neighborhood of Oakland in exchange for any evening Downtown. There are so many restaurants and bars that we have yet to try because we are so reliant on those $2 Blue Moons. But we must all grow up at some point. :P

February will also be spent planning our spring break trip, which was just booked yesterday. NYC here we come - if you have any suggestions for budget friendly activities and dining feel free to comment or email me! What seems to be the overarching theme of this month for me is friends. This month I am celebrating the relationships that I have built with some amazing young ladies.

<3 Ashley

What are you celebrating this month?