The Post Where I Get a Little Narcissistic

This is going to be a narcissistic post, but I don't care.

I'm proud of myself. 

I'm proud of going after a job I really wanted, even it meant waiting around for ages for things to come together. That waiting prompted me to ask my boss for exactly what I wanted. And I got it. Ask and you shall RECEIVE. 

I'm proud of making the decision to move to New York and really going with that decision. I've learned from this experience that making a decision, even if a little unsure about it, is better than vacillating between too many choices. 

I'm proud of knowing that I can have the things I want in a career: a job I am truly passionate about, one where I get to travel for work, where I get to talk to students about fulfilling a dream of studying and living abroad, and where I don't have to go to the same office everyday (I enjoy mixing up the work week). 

I am proud for not settling. And in order to not settle, I had to work for it. I had to take less pay in an assistant role while keeping the main, grand goal in mind. In doing this, I have achieved said goal! This doesn't mean that this job will be all rainbows and butterflies...I will sometimes have to work weekends and late nights, but I welcome this knowing I will be doing something that I really, really love. This sits well with my soul. 

Lastly, I am proud for being true to myself. I knew deep down it was time for a move, time for a change, time for some action. This truth nagged at me everyday, and I knew it could not be ignored any longer. I am proud for being Ashley, unapologetically. 

This WAS a narcissistic post, but I am proud of being able to claim these actions as my own, and for knowing sometimes it's okay to be a little proud. 

Photo credits: 1/2


Really Big News (My Head is Spinning)

So, remember I alluded to having some possible big plans in the works? Well it's been a few months in the making, but I am finally (and happily) being promoted as an Student Advisor with Across the Pond (a company I adore), and I am moving to NEW YORK CITY.

New. York. City.

Newwwwwwww York (bleepin') City.

Is this real life?!?

I don't know what else to say except that this feels right, and I feel a little less scared than when I moved to London. That's because London completely trained me for these big moments in life, moments I am ready to grab and stand up and say YES to. Not without fear, but with the knowledge that I have one life to live and I AM GOING TO LIVE IT DAMMIT. I'm excited for all the new things to come. I move toward the end of summer, and I'm really, really ready...


My 5 Favorite Boston Sites

1. The Freedom Trail 

I'm totally cheating by putting down the Freedom Trail as #1, cause the Freedom Trail actually covers NUMEROUS sites. The trail takes you on a "follow this brick road" tour through the major historical sites of Boston. It's a GENIUS idea and there's even an app for it!! Expect to see old churches and graveyards, state buildings, and the site for the Boston Massacre. The trail is something like 2 miles in length--totally walkable and completely worth it.

2. Fenway Park/Red Sox Game

A photo posted by Ashley (@ashleyjay33) on

After going to a Red Sox game, I think I'm a fan now. It's hard to not be sucked into the Red Sox cult when witnessing the die-hard fans in person. All I could think while I was there was "Now this is a baseball game!!" Oh, and I got to sing "Sweet Caroline." Yep, I'm in the cult now.

3. Boston Harbor

Beautiful and historic Boston Harbor. And if you're anything like Ilse and me, you'll want to reenact throwing tea into the harbor. (Yes, Ilse and I are actually holding tea bags--English Breakfast, in case you're wondering). Of course I put this photo on Facebook, tagged all my British friends and captioned it "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, BITCHES!" Our founding fathers would be proud. (We didn't actually throw the tea into the harbor, by the way).

4. Famous TV Sites--Cheers and Ally McBeal

Do I need to explain? If you're a fan of either of these shows, you just gotta go!

5. The Boston Public Library 

I'm pretty sure I'll be dedicating a whole post to this gorgeous library, but I had to also add it to this list. DO NOT MISS THIS GEM. I was flabbergasted by its beauty, and there's just something about lion statues.

What are some of your favorite Boston sites? 


Boston: the Old, the New, and the Pretty

Boston is this really cool mix of historical and modern buildings, and they all seem to work like an intricate puzzle. In my mind, it reminded me of both London and San Diego--sooooo, Ashley in city form, basically? Yes. I would definitely call this place a soul city of mine. I'll get into more stories in later posts, but I simply wanted to show you all the pretty I saw...

 The above picture is actually at Harvard, but I had to sneak it in, because Harvard!!

Boston, you so pretty


A Love Letter to Boston


You have joined the ranks of Cities I Adore, Cities I Would Live In, and any other love list I can make for cities. You've got beauty, you've got style, you've got history, and you've got that sexy attitude. Clearly the full package, I can't help but wonder if I will indeed live in you one day. Like Rome, London, New York, and other cities I keep close to my heart, you are a new favorite I will dream of on the rough days, my beautiful muse...

Until We Meet Again,
Ashley xoxo

Yeah, I'm a little insane. Whatevs. In all seriousness, I have a few Boston posts up my sleeve! I need to catch up on blogs! And I've been awaiting some important news from my job. Egads! Next week should be interesting.


A Three Sentence Movie Review

I thought I would hurry up and watch a few films to get this post up sooner rather than later. All this in order to warn you against #1. Just doing my civic duty!!

1. Aloha

DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME, MONEY, OR OXYGEN ON THIS MOVIE. I am convinced that Rachel McAdams, Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Bill Murray were either drugged/owed Cameron Crowe favors/were coerced to sign onto this piece of shit film. I can't even list all the issues with it, but one HUGE problem is that has about 20 plots in one movie, all of which give you a migraine by the end.

2. Annie Hall

It took me far too long to see this brilliant piece of art that must have been extremely innovative in the late 70s. I can clearly see how many movies have tried to match the witty dialogue (Before Sunrise), the artistic elements (500 Days of Summer), and the endearing realism found in Annie Hall, which truly is the gold standard. Diane Keaton just shined from within here; the brilliant cast (a young Christopher Walken??) mixed with the loveable neuroticism that is the script had me just adoring this film.

3. Barefoot

Ugh, what even went on here? It's my fault for playing it, I guess, but you know a movie is bad when it brings down the usually refreshing Evan Rachel Wood (who plays a mental patient here). It's not the worst thing I've ever seen (see number 1, above), but it's certainly not worth your precious time.

4. In a World...

Solid film, and Lake Bell is totally loveable in it. There wasn't an innovative plot, or anything, but the acting is superb and the dialogue is ace (including making fun of how the Brits say soy, "soya" if you're interested). I'd call this a funny feel-good film that gives a small glimpse into the world of voiceovers.

Photo Credits: 1/2/3/4


And I'm off to Boston tomorrow...the travel bug is back again! 


Do-It-Yourself Shiny Hair Mask

I don't often blog about DIY Tutorials on my blog, but when I come across something as easy as this, I need to share. I can be a lazy girl at times (she says with a big smile), so any do-it-yourself thing needs to cater to that lazy side.

You'll only need two(!) ingredients: Coconut oil and raw honey. Organic is obviously preferred, but work with what you've got, okay?

Scoop 1 tablespoon of each into a saucepan. If your hair is longer, two tablespoons of each should be sufficient. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat until it completely melts and you have something that looks like this:

Slather/massage it onto wet, yet unwashed hair while the mixture is still warm. Wrap your hair up in a bun/shower cap/towel for at least 15 minutes, but preferably one hour if you have the time! After the magic happens, shampoo and condition your hair like normal. And that's it! OH THE WONDERS OF COCONUT OIL! You'll notice softer, shinier hair immediately. It's recommended that you do this little "mask" once a week.

Oh and yes, it's a little messy, so be prepared for that! I originally got this "recipe" from Juilanne Hough, a celebrity blog that I actually enjoy.

Happy Tuesday, all! 


For Shits and Giggles

Previously titled "Made You Laugh," this new title has always made me LOL on its very own. One has to ponder, where does the term "shits and giggles" come from? Maybe something I shouldn't think about too hard. Since my week was a tad rough, I thought I could do with posting some lightheartedness.

Behold, things I found on the interwebs the past week that produced a laugh:

Lastly, I love how Netflix cleverly snuck this into my viewing options...


The (Mighty) Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford is a sad and beautiful thing, isn't it? Even though it appears shrouded in despair, it seems to find strength from its solitude. I'm not sure why I find this bridge so full of woe, but I certainly identify with it this week. It's just one of those weeks for me, the kind of weeks  that always come around in life, but that I'd rather not be a part of, thankyouverymuch.

However, I do love that us humans have found a way to divide time into days, weeks, and months so that our little minds can wrap around the idea of yesterday being gone and tomorrow being hopeful. So I can say things like, "This week was utter crap! But next week is a new deal!" It's like the way that people pass through this bridge, coming and going, and the only remaining presence is the bridge itself, still standing strong despite all the years. Because it too knows that next week is a new deal. 


A Three-Sentence Movie Review

1. How to Die in Oregon

Documentary that intimately follows one story of a woman with cancer thinking about opting for Death with Dignity (also known as euthanasia). It physically hurts to watch this film, yet it also gives great insight into those choosing the euthanasia path when all other options are depleted. While the documentary covers the pro-choice side well, it could do a little more to explain the other side of the coin; either way, you can't help but feel for Cody's plight (pictured above).

2. Save the Date

One commitment phobe sister, another sister who is getting married. I wanted to like this seemingly quirky film a little more, but it simply fell short, especially because sometimes the characters felt more like caricatures (how funny that the lead character is a cartoonist). It was like they didn't know how to really end it, so they just went with something quick, painless, and unoriginal.

3. The Believer

Ryan Gosling as you've never seen him before--in the role of a Neo-Nazi. This is a little, uh, tough to watch; however, at the same time it provides great insight into how hatred is formed. Overall, there's something really interesting here and if you're into psychological stuff, you might enjoy it.

4. Refuge

Not worth your time. I saw a semblance of a story line, but it really couldn't come together, and I especially could not get behind the blasé romance they tried to create here. I was praying and praying that the movie would just END (even though Netflix told me exactly how long I had left to sit through this hell).

Photo credits: 1/2/3/4

All of these movies can be found on good ol' Netflix Instant!

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