Beauty, Fashion, Travel

Spring Break in the Southwest

It’s spring break and I’m spending it in the American Southwest!

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I’m expecting tons of sun, lounging by the pool, outdoor activities, and drinking with old friends. Could it get any better than that?

Some of my spring break travel essentials include: a bright colored swimsuit, Revlon Matte Balm, cute sunnies, and a small zip bag to throw all my miscellaneous items in when I’m sitting poolside!

LA, Orange County, San Diego, and Arizona…here I come!

Let me know what your plans are for spring break in the comments!

Ciao,

Ashley

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Jobs & Internships, Personal, Travel

My Second Published Article!

Hey guys! Thanks so much for your support on my first InternMatch article (it can be found here, I would love if you’d check it out and drop a comment!) My SECOND ARTICLE is now published on the InternMatch blog and I’m super excited about it! It’s titled, “Why Michelle Obama is Right About Studying Abroad.” After studying abroad twice, this was an article I needed to write.

Study Abroad

If you have time, I would love if you could click this link to check out my article, and leave a comment if you have the time. Writing the article is half the battle, getting people to read it is the other half! Every view helps spread the word about my writing.

Thanks for being such a supportive blogging community!

Ciao,

Ashley

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Home, Musings, Travel, Writing

2014 in Snapshots

In my post ‘2014 Had a Mind of Its Own‘, I mentioned how hard it was for me to make myself sit down and reflect on the year. A lot of things happened that I would rather not remember, but so many amazing opportunities, experiences, and friendships were made this year and it would be really unfortunate to lose those memories.

So, here is a recap of my year in photos. The good, the bad, the worse…the amazing. It wasn’t all great, but the parts that were were really great. I hope you all had wonderful years as well, even if it takes a little more effort to realize that they were.

20150118-114837.jpgJanuary 2014

The month of January was spent preparing to leave for my second semester abroad, this time in Florence, Italy. When I arrived, I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of Firenze. My daily walk to class had me passing the Duomo, and I don’t think I’ll ever have a prettier commute.

February

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February had me reunited with my long distance boyfriend for the first time in 7 months. I spent Valentine’s Day in Verona, touring Juliet’s balcony and touching her brass boob, writing her a letter like Amanda Seyfried in that one movie and even getting to respond to a letter as ‘Giulietta’! Verona is beautiful but quite small, so it was great to visit during their ‘Verona in Love’ celebration. There were booths of chocolate hearts, they made it rain heart confetti, and there was even a 60-second kiss-fest at the end of the night. Not sure why, but it was slightly disturbing.

March

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In March, my dreams came true as I packed up for spring break in London and Paris. Big Ben, the royal palace, fish and chips, and the Harry Potter studio tour were among the highlights. Also, getting to shop at Boots and Primark for the first time and going absolutely crazy buying Bourgeois cosmetics. Notting Hill was another highlight, the houses looked like pastel peeps and I wanted to eat them up. (Sidenote: This photo was taken the day I literally ran into a classmate from high school…small world?!)

20150118-115141.jpgParis was cold and rainy but classically lovely. I think every American girl’s dream is to walk the streets of Paris with her French boyfriend, so Paris will probably always remain a wildly blown out of proportion rosy memory. Eating escargot, frog legs, macaroons and Nutella crepes will always be fond memories, as will climbing the Eiffel Tower and visiting the Louvre.

20150118-115337.jpgApril-May

April and May were tough months for me. While I was traveling to Venice, Vatican City, Rome, Capri, and Barcelona, building memories and friendships and exploring parts of the world I had dreamed of visiting, I was hurting emotionally.

Family illness, our family dog passing, and a not-so-amicable breakup really burdened me emotionally, because although I knew I needed to enjoy my experiences now since I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go back again, I also knew I needed a chance to properly grieve, cope, and just be sad.
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I really pushed myself to have fun, but it felt really forced by the end. I still traveled, ate gelato with my girlfriends, went drinking with my girlfriends, drank more with my girlfriends…but there was a part of me, by the end, that was ready to go home. I didn’t want to leave, but there was a lot that I needed to deal with. And I needed to go home to be able to deal with it.

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I flew back home from Italy to the states on a doubly sombre note. I was sad to leave Italy without any real closure, and I was flying back home to prepare for a funeral. I spent the summer by the lake.

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The summer was rough. I didn’t deal with anything, didn’t even push it out of my mind. I just grew sad, then angry.

I watched summer lightning storms on the front lawn, looking up at the cracks in the sky, the loud booms, and the rain that trickled slowly, then spilled all at once.

20150118-115426.jpgSeptember-October

I met someone new.

Back in California for my last year of college, things started to feel better. Living in a new apartment, with new friends from my Italian study abroad, and a newfound love for the southwest made me feel hopeful.

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I spent my time studying, working, and taking the Pacific Surfliner down the west coast to spend time with a new guy. I began to cope with the things I thought I would never get over, and I finally learned that when something ends, you can’t look at it as an end.

It’s a fresh start. And that is a necessity for growth.

20150118-115628.jpgNovember

I began to feel nostalgic about graduating. With only one class left to go in the spring semester, it really felt like I was done. I spent three years resisting liking California only to realize at the end…I don’t want to leave.

December

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December brought me home to the Pacific Northwest, once again. Home for the holidays, home for the winter. And it feels good; the fresh, crisp, chilly air, the nature, the falls, the mountains, the wind, the endless rain. When I first landed into the airport, I was depressed. The oppressive clouds and forever dark skies of the long winter months felt suffocating. But now that I’ve been back for about a month, I realize how much I needed to be here, now. Not like when I was back in the summer, being sad, shut off from everything. But now that I’m healthy again, really able to open my eyes and appreciate where I am, it feels good to be home.

Last Words on 2014

2014 was a real struggle, but I can already see who I was in January 2014 in comparison to who I am now, a year later, and I like what I see. I left home, left the states, traveled Europe, made close friendships, fell in love, got my heart broken, fell out of love, lost an important person, lost another important person person, met someone new, stopped being sad, made a new home, reclaimed my passion, and found my way home again.

My year was truly amazing, one of the most memorable years I’ve ever had, and I want to thank everyone who made an appearance in it. I know this post is a little late, but I figure any time is a good time to reflect.

So thanks for reading and coming along with me on this journey. I appreciate everyone who is currently supporting me in this space.

Ciao,

Ashley

 

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Haul, Home, Travel

POST-CHRISTMAS HAUL PART 2—Daiso & Photo Album!

Hello lovely people!

I am back for the second and final part of my Post-Christmas Haul in which I show you the things I bought with money and gift cards I received for Christmas! If you want to check out Part 1, you can follow this randomly named link CLICK ME! SEE PART 1! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO! and if you want to see what gifts I received for Christmas you can click on this less odd link here.

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This first item I bought is from Daiso, which is like a Japanese dollar store in case you don’t know. But instead of having things that are super junky, they have super cute super junky things! There is one near both of my places in Washington and California, and there was actually one near my dorm in Seoul, South Korea. So basically, they’re all over the place!

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This is just a set of two pink mesh bags with floral trim, one small and one medium sized, and you use them to pack clothes in for travel. The label shows a shirt being placed in the medium one and toiletries in the small one, but I’m actually going to use them for my underwear. I travel quite a bit and the one thing that really bothers me is when my underwear gets tossed around and unfolded so when I saw this really cute one (for $1.50!), I decided to pick it up.

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This next item was also $1.50 from Daiso, and it’s a cute little ceramic bowl with scalloped edges. It has blue vertical links and is rimmed in brown.

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It’s quite small and exactly what I needed for my rings. I hate going to a lot of trouble to put away and take out tiny little rings every time I wear them, especially when I’m in a hurry and have 50 billion rings to stack on my fingers, so I bought this little dish to just throw them in. It’s a dainty little bowl and I think it’s really pretty to have on my shelf.

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The last things I bought in my week of shopping were two photo albums, one white and one black, both with gold accents on the trim and spine. Each hold 100 photos and are pretty standard small sized photo albums.

I studied abroad twice and have not yet gotten around to printing my photos from my trips abroad, so I bought one for each semester I spent overseas! (Actually, I had bought a photo album over the summer that I tried to use and then realized the pages were such awful quality that it wasn’t worth putting my photos in it. What a waste…) I picked up both of these at the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store for a total of $5.23 (photo albums were 40% off!).

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That wraps up my Christmas related posts, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve purchased recently!

Ciao ciao,

Ashley

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