Tuesday, November 30, 2010

i love me some me.

have you ever looked in the mirror?


I mean past the physical appearance, but deep down to the person you really are.

What do you see?

I see a... beautiful, confident, intelligent, kind-hearted, silly, thoughtful, ambitious, generous, and faithful woman.


I’ll be honest (since i love ya'll)…I haven’t always felt this way about myself. Actually, up until a couple months ago, I started to slowly change my thought process and feelings about me. I’ve finally learned and realized that loving yourself first is a must. I mean truly love yourself! This means…caring about your appearance, taking care of your body – exercising and watching what you eat, etc. My whole life, I’ve been told how beautiful I am. Yes, I believe I’m an attractive female, but I’ve always struggled with comparing myself to every other woman. As women, we do this sometimes. Confidence hasn’t always been my strong suit. It’s getting A LOT better though. And, others have noticed. Confidence can be an attractive energy, only when its not cockiness. I use to be scared to wear certain things because of what others would think…now, I’m like who cares! As long as I keep it classy and I feel good, then that’s all that matters. Loving Ashley is the best change I could have ever made for myself - because loving me first will allow everything else in my life to fall into place. For so long I relied on others to bring me joy and happiness. Although, they are somewhat responsible, but you have to bring yourself joy and happiness and others will only enhance what you have created. My philosophy was always putting others first. I've learned you need to put yourself first in order to help others. Recently, I feel myself smiling for no reason at all. At first it was a little strange to catch myself doing this, but I realized its because of feeling happy :) Everyday is a good day, because I make a conscious effort to make it good. My thoughts and feelings are what create the world around me. All of this is a work in progress, it doesn't just happen over night...but the feeling be hide knowing the changes are happening is amazing. You gotta be your biggest fan and know its okay to toot your own horn sometimes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Greensboro Gobbler 5k race.

{Bonnie & me after the run}


On Thanksgiving morning, I ran in the Greensboro Gobbler 5k.

My third 5k race.

It was super chilly, but great news...

I BEAT MY PREVIOUS RACE TIME BY 5 MINUTES!!!



hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 26: 30 day blog challenge


Day 26: Picture of your family

ilovethesecrazypeopletothemoonandback!
{Mom, Dad and me}


For the life of me, I cannot find a picture of all four of us. Sue me! So, I'm going to make my best effort to take one this Thanksgiving holiday! Any hoo, meet mi familia! I love them, like a fat kid loves cake! And, that's A LOT of love people! Most of us, believe we have the best family in the world and so do I. I couldn't ask for more wonderful people to be stuck with for the rest of my life! :) When the four of us are together, you can be sure it will be entertaining! Maybe, even a little scary! ha! I think we'd probably make a pretty interesting reality television series... between my mom speaking Spanglish, my dad speaking way to fast, my sister the comedian, and then there's me! Trust me, when I say...I'm the only normal person out of the bunch! Seriously!  As I've shared before, my parents have the ideal marriage. I really believe, God created them two, just for each other.

{Love my little sister Beanie}
 Movin' on...I'm sooooo happy, I wasn't the only child...despite having to share everything with my younger sister. She's the one person, I know I can call when I need to be cheered up or need a good laugh. (until my belly aches) And, I love her for that! I'll be honest, maybe some of you can relate, there have been times where I've taken my family for granted. We do not  intentionally do this...sometimes it just happens. After all, we are only human. Until, I came across someone, who never was as fortunate, as me to have a family like mine. Through his eyes, I learned to appreciate them a lot more and for the people they are. Were not perfect! But, who really is? At the end of the day, we love each other and are always there for one another! That's what family is all about...as the holidays roll around, be truly thankful for the family, you've been blessed with even if your close or not! I'm pretty stoked for spending Turkey Day with my family...eating mommy's ohsodelicious cookin' until my belly hurts (I'm going to help a little), watching movies, and lots of laughing of course.


wishing all of you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

many blessings!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23, 24 & 25: 30 day blog challenge

day 23: favorite vacation

vacations, can be considered month long, week long or a weekend getaways. I've already shared my week long vacation to the Bahamas this past summer. so, now I'm going to share one of my favorite weekend getaway trips. two years ago, we decided to travel somewhere close to home, but somewhere we'd never been before. where else than...Chattanooga, TN. if you've never been...you must - its a beautiful growing area. we visited Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls, and the Tennessee Aquarium. (blogger is not allowing me to post anymore pictures) :(


Rock City Gardens is located in Lookout Mountain, GA .This place is unbelievable....consists of ancient rock formations, massive rock boulders, caverns, and around 400 species of plants, flowers and shrubs.

Ruby Falls is a 145-foot waterfall located deep within Lookout Mountain. You take an elevator which leads to a paved level pathway..after a little walking, you finally reach the waterfall. Absolutely gorgeous!

Tennessee Aquarium is located on the banks of the TN River. This place is huge and the layout could not be more perfect! Kids will love this place! I know, I did :)


*************************************************
day 24: something you've learned
You can change any relationship right now by looking for the things you love, appreciate, and are grateful for in that person. When you make a deliberate effort to look for things you love more than you notice negative things, a miracle will take place. It will appear to you as though something incredible has happened to the other person. But it's the force of love that is incredible, because it dissolves negativity, including negatively in relationships. All you have to do is harness the force of love by looking for the things you love in the person, and everything will change in the relationship. - the Power by Rhonda Byrne
****************************************************
day 25: put your iPOD on shuffle, first 10 songs
1. Miles Davis - Summertime
2. Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova
3. 311 - Love Song
4. Anthony Hamilton - Her Heart
5. Rhianna - Only Girl
6. Billy Currington - She's Got a Way With Me
7. Outkast - Bombs Over Baghdad
8. No Doubt - Don't Speak
9. Shaggy - Here Comes The Hot Stepper
10. Amel Larrieux - Make Me Whole

Monday, November 22, 2010

blessed.

hey ya'll! i hope everyone had a great weekend!

I'm gonna share a little spiritual knowledge with you this morning...yesterday, i attended church with my good friend Miss P and the service was great! the message was: FINISH THE RACE! meaning, many of us start things we don't finish. yeah, were all guilty of this. sometimes, we give up so easily because we don't know what else to do and feel helpless. let me fill you in on something...prayer really does work! if you don't know what to do...give it to God. life shouldn't be filled with pain and suffering. let go of the past. live in the present. God, gave his life, for us to enjoy ours! keeping positive thoughts will reflect in your feelings. when you feel good about yourself and your life, you will then attract positive things to you. negative situations can change into positive situations. sometimes, things happen and we wonder why? why me? Why? because some things are out of our control. He takes away things or people just as easily as He gives them to us. and sometimes, after you've learned the lesson...he just may bring those things back into your life. i am a believer of this. you gotta keep the faith and follow your heart! its so easy to listen to others, but ultimately God is the one with the answers! He's the one, I talk to everyday. the pastor also mentioned, sometimes we are the only bible some people know. its so important to speak the word of God. I'm not afraid to speak about God on my blog. Why be ashamed of the one who gives you everything. needless, to say the message delivered yesterday set well with me. can't ya tell. FINISH THE RACE! I'm going to continue running, so i can build my endurance. I'm going to continue going to school, so i can eventually receive my degree. I'm going to continue to attend church, so i can strengthen my relationship with God - i feel closer to him there. I'm going to continue to pray for everyone, because prayer does work. I'm going to continue to have faith, because everything is possible with faith. I'm going to finish the race and keep on running...


{Friday: girls night with Shelley and Kristi}
these two lovely ladies make my heart smile.

Am I a little late or what? Everyone keeps talking about Christmas shopping...at least I've put a list together, but just haven't started my shopping yet. I do have Christmas music playing...in my car, at home and at my desk at work! Does Christmas music make anyone else happy? i just can't get enough of it! Anyways, back to November....boy, am I ready for Turkey Day! Who's brilliant idea was it to sign up for a 5k on Thanksgiving morning? Ummmm, that would be me! Yes, I'll be running in my third 5k, while most of you are still sleeping in your warm beds or cookin' your fixin's for Turkey dinner. Wish me luck on this one! Thanksgiving brings me to think about what I'm thankful for...many of us take the little things in life for granted. I'm guilty of it, so I'm not calling anyone out. however, in the last couple of weeks, I've made a conscious effort to say thank you everyday i wake up...thank you for another day of life. gratitude is one of the best blessings anyone could ask for. i hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
I'm grateful for: my life..faith..health..family..friends.,job..home..car..our troops... the love of my life...blog followers. what are you grateful for this thanksgiving?




yay, to working only three days this week!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 22: 30 day blog challenge

day 22: favorite city

{my heart belongs to the big apple}


in neeewww yorrkkkk....

concrete jungle where dreams are made of...


theres nothing you can't do


now you're in New York...
these streets will make you feel brand new
the lights will inspire you,

lets here it for New York, New York, New York...

if only Derek Jeter would stop playing and call me back :)

i do have other options...like...Robinson Cano!!!

TGIF, baby!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a royal affair.

at last my love has come along...my lonely days are over...


okay, so i'm jumping on the band wagon on this one...

if you haven't already heard...Prince William popped the question to his long time girlfriend Kate Middleton. and, she said YES of course! oh and if that doesn't tickle your fancy...Kate gets to rock the gorgeous 18-carat, oval sapphire ring of the late Princess Diana. how freaking cute are they? the couple has been dating off and on for the last eight years! i had no idea it's been that long. during their first interview yesterday, as a newly engaged couple a reporter asked what took him so long. i couldn't help, but smile when Prince William responded...he said he didn't realize it was a race and now is the right time for them to take this step. well said! marriage isn't like renting a car...you can't take it back so easily when your done with it. thumbs up to Prince William for taking his time and not rushing to the alter. ladies, honestly can you imagine how overwhelming it must be for a man to propose? i mean, it seems like a lot of pressure. i'm glad that i'm on the opposite end ;) its been already reporter this will be the wedding of the century. indeed it will! Kate will make a beautiful bride...she's absolutely classy and so polished. i don't typically report TMZ type news, but i'm a sucker for a happy love story and weddings! what can i say :)


best wishes to the happy couple!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 20 & 21: 30 day blog challenge

day 20: nicknames

ash
jelly
missy
lil' mama
maria
ella
*******************************************
day 21: picture of yourself

{25th birthday last year}

don't you just love birthdays?!? i do!

not only is it an excuse to get lots of presents, stuff your face with delicious birthday cake and people be nicer to you than normal, but its another year of life to celebrate! also, its an even bigger excuse to pamper yourself. and that's just what i did when i hit the big 2-5 last January. earlier that day, i got my hair did, makeup done by M.A.C. and did a little shopping. a group of my bestiest friends wined and dined me! i'm a lucky girl, i know! we danced the night away, drank a little, and took way too many pictures! needless, to say that night was a memorable one and i embrace my 26th birthday coming up with open arms!

Monday, November 15, 2010

day 18 & 19: 30 day blog challenge

Day 18: something you regret
to be honest, i don't regret anything. at this point in my life, i'm pretty content with everything. there's no point in regretting something you can't take back. unfortunately, life does not give us the opportunity of "do-overs." you just gotta live, learn and truck on. right now, i'm pretty happy, very grateful and blessed. focusing on all of the positives in your life can lift your spirits higher than ever imagined. i've learned recently, dwelling on the negatives is just a huge waste of time and energy. its amazing how people pick up on a lifestyle change...lately, i've been hearing how i seem different. different in a good way. i'm not trying to change the person i am. because i'm me. my main focus is being a more positive person and living life to the fullest! although, there are still a couple of area's in my life, i want to improve or change. but, i just continue to pray and know everything i deserve will come to me in due time.
*****************************
Day 19: something you miss

{baby Payton}

{BIG Payton}

oh how i miss this dog. originally, my parents purchased this dog a couple years ago. now, i knew this wasn't going to last because my mom is not a dog person. she likes to look at them, but after while she gets bored. kinda like a kid and a new toy. my previous boyfriend had recently purchased a house and he inherited our puppy. Payton is the most loyal, playful, and sweetest dog ever! she is extremely attached and over-protective over me. unfortunately, i don't get to see her anymore. but there are days when is miss seeing this dog, after a long day of work. its simply amazing how easily animals can brighten up your day.

5k race recaps

Go Far 5k 11-6-10
first 5k run
it was soooooo cold.





Free to Breathe 5k 11-13-10

second 5k run.
nice weather.
great team.
beat my time by 3 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

day 17: 30 day blog challenge

day 17: something you're looking forward to


guess what ya'll i'm running in my second 5k tomorrow! go me!!!!

i'm focusing on beating my time from last weekend's race and actually running the whole thing! i only stopped once last weekend. the weather is suppose to be really nice and i have two lovely ladies joining me on this run...my cousin J and bestie K. Yayyyy!!! this 5k is the Free to Breathe race...supporting lung cancer. i love supporting these great causes! this running thing is starting to get a little easier. i never considered myself to be a runner, but desperately needed to change up my workout routine. so, i thought to myself...let's try running. {shoot me now} lol. i've been pretty consistent with running a few times each week with my great workout partner B. my iPOD is awesome! its another great motivator - with the music blasting in my ears, I push myself harder! if you ever see me running, i'm probably talking to myself...i continuously say to myself "you got this Ash...do it girl"! this helps every time. now, you won't see me training for the summer Olympics anytime soon...i'm just trying to stay healthy! and....bathing suit season will be here before ya know ;)



wish me luck on my run tomorrow ladies!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

day 16: 30 day blog challenge

day 16: dream house



now, i'm not exactly sure how i want the outside of my dream house to look like; however, i do know, i want a BIG ole wrap around porch...i can totally see myself sitting on this swing (feet dangling of course since i'm a shorty)...drinking a nice hot cup of coffee...reading a book or newspaper.



{gettin' my paula dean on in heere}

as far as my dream kitchen...i'm a little torn (see picture above and below)...do i want a little edgy kitchen look or go more classic...decisions decisions...i love 'em both. can't ya see me in my apron, whipping up breakfast, lunch and dinner in these kitchens? Oooooo lala...the wonderful delicious magic i can make.

{keepin' it classy}


onto the dining room...its nice and simple...serves its purpose. and, i love the built in book self in the background...this is something i really really really want in my dream house.


{kick up your feet and relax}

i really love the nice big window. that couch looks so comfy...i dig comfort more than anything. perfect for spending Sundays...watching football or lifetime...whateva you like...

{aint nobody dope as me i'm dressed so fresh so clean}

ohmygosh...thank you bathroom gods!!! i could spend way too much time in this beautiful bathroom. tell me you can't see yourself taking a nice warm bubble bath with a glass of wine in here....


ever watch MTV cribs and every time the celebrities introduce the bedroom, its always the place "where the magic happens"...not so much for me right now. lol. tmi. ok, moving on. anyways, i love this bedroom because its so white and simple. the built in selves again. love 'em. i like everything to have its own home. this is defiantly an ideal bedroom look for me.


{oh you fancy huh}
wooooo weeee...is this not every girls dream closet? holy smokes! i'm getting way too excited just staring at this picture. maybe, just maybe i'll find my own Mr. Big to build me a nice closet just like this one. for all my jimmy choo's ya know? ;)



lastly, i've always wanted a vanity set. there just so classic and cute.



thank you for touring my dream house with me. see ya next time.
{all pictures found @ weloveit.com}

Thank you.

Happy Veterans Day!



I would like to thank and honor those who have and are currently serving our country! We all appreciate your sacrifice and love for OUR country! I'd like to thank their understanding families who also sacrifice being away from the ones they love, just so we can have the freedom we live on a daily basis. You all are always in my thoughts and prayers!



God bless you all and your families!


Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the BOLD.
It's for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone
in exchange for a little time with the one they love.
It's for those knowing a good thing when they see it,
even if they don't see it nearly enough.
-unknown

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

day 15: 30 day blog challenge

day 15: a bible verse


{gotta have faith}


Trust in the Lord and do good; so you will in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord' trust in him, and he will act.
Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.
(Psalm 37:3-5, 7a)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

day 14: 30 day blog challenge

day 14: a picture you love


there are several pictures i love, but i decided to choose this one...{see above}
this one happens to be one of my favorites for the following reasons...
...pictured is my god-daughter kielie. she is a character and reminds me so much of me when i was younger. she's a sweet heart and will keep you entertained for days. watch out for her...she's destined to be the next Hannah Montana.
...my hair cut...this picture was taken last year and i had recently cut my hair short for the first time. i remembered always saying, "i'm gonna cut my hair" and never do it. finally, i took the plunge...i actually love my short hair cut, but now want a little more length.
...memorial weekend...we threw a cookout in celebration of the long weekend with family, and it was a really fun and memorable day!
...this was during a time in my life where i was extremely happy. (please note: i am happy now too} lol

Monday, November 8, 2010

day 13: 30 day blog challenge

we interrupt your regularly scheduled program...

hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! i did! on Saturday morning, i ran in my first eva 5k. i'm pretty darn proud of myself! it was sooooo cold, but thanks to my bff "iPOD" i kept going to the finish line. and, guess what??? this weekend is my second 5k! yeah, my new motto is JUST DO IT! {like Nike} ;) after the race, i volunteered for the Special Olympics Fall event. i forgot how much fun it is to volunteer. i never been called beautiful so many times! lol despite being tired from my race, i volunteered till about eight Saturday night. yesterday, i attended church with a friend of mine and it was...words can't describe how touched i was, sitting there, taking it all in. i let every word preached soak in. its funny how when you don't attend church for a while and then you attend a service, the sermon feels like its just for you! like, He knew you were coming and knew the words you needed to hear. that's how i felt yesterday. i'll defiantly be going back! also, i made a hard decision yesterday. it was a tough and i want that person to know, its not what i wanted to do. but, i just feel like i had no other choice. when you love someone you want all of them, not just part of them. i just pray the if its in God's will, that someday He will bring this person back in my life. on a lighter note, i'm on a positive streak ya'll...i'm kickin' out all the negative in my life! i don't mean kickin' negative people out of my life, but the negative thoughts or actions. right now, i'm trying to focus on being a positive me and grow as a better person. 2011 is going to be a great year! yes, i'm already thinking about the new year! hopefully, i'll be getting a new position at work. cross your fingers and pray for me please! along with that, i'll be getting my own place! its amazing how, when you change your thoughts...your feelings change too. i've been reading this book called "the secret"...it has opened my eyes like whoa! i highly recommend everyone to read it! anyways, that's that...now back to the 30 day blog challenge.


day 13: goals
  • maintain a steady diet
  • exercises 4-5 times a week
  • attend church on a regular basis
  • buy a house/townhouse
  • grow my hair out - i have a bad habit of cutting it short...can't fight the urges, but i'ma let it grow!
  • be consistent at everything i do.
  • participate in more 5k's - i'm addicted now!
  • volunteer more
  • live everyday to the fullest!
  • don't make excuses - JUST DO IT! {have faith}

Friday, November 5, 2010

day 12: 30 day blog challenge

day 12: what you believe in

i believe in... God, and i believe with all my heart that He has a plan for everyone and sometimes we may not understand those plans, but we have to put all of our trust in him.

i believe... that all people are good at heart, no matter what they say or do - my trust in people has not diminished.

i believe... in love.

i believe... relationships are worth fighting for, but you can't be the only one fighting.

i believe in... people - i will never give up on the people i truly care about, even if they break my heart a million times.

i believe... knowledge is power.

i believe in...prayer - it works.

i believe... walking away is easier then to risk failing or getting hurt - doesn't mean walking away is always the answer.

i believe... you gotta have faith - in everything.

i believe... sending a card in the mail is much kinder than sending an email.

i believe in...manners - its help to have them.

i believe in...patience - its difficult to come by, but practice makes perfect.

i believe...each and everyone of us is here with a purpose - its up to you, to find out what your purpose is.

i believe...words are the worst kind of weapon - choose them wisely.

i believe...picking up the phone versus sending a text doesn't take much.

i believe in...sitting at the dinner table together as a family.

i believe in...reminding those you love everyday of how you feel about them.

i believe...giving to others and not expecting anything in return is one of the best rewards.

i believe...someone can come into your life and turn your whole world upside down.

i believe...helping those in need will make an impact in your life forever.

i believe...a smile and a laugh are very contagious.

i believe...a person can change for the better or worse.

i believe...you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

i believe...treating those how you want to be treated is the golden rule.

i believe...in seizing the moment before its too late - second chances are very rare.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

day 11: 30 day blog challenge

day 11: your favorite TV shows













i love me some television, but i do not spend a lot of time watching it unless my shows are on or its Lifetime. The Good Wife, One Tree Hill, Law & Order SVU, Ghost Whisperer and Locked Up Abroad are some of my favorites. i also enjoy the Food Network, but who doesn't? i just hate how dang hungry i get from all those cooking shows. one day, i hope to cook like paula dean or giada. i consider myself a pretty decent cook, but can defiantly learn a few more tricks in the kitchen. food is the way to a man's heart right? maybe, but a girls gotta eat too! from Paula Dean, Giada, Barefoot Contessa and The Next Iron Chef...they all pretty much rock! i enjoy watching sports as well, but would rather be at the game or in a sports bar. the energy makes it that much more exciting!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

day 10: 30 day challenge

day 10: something you're afraid of





...of loosing the people i care and love.

...of driving - it makes me nervous being on the road with a bunch of maniacs.

...of certain people forgetting about me.

...of walking alone in the dark.

...of being stranded and no one being able to find me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

day 9: 30 day challenge

day 9: a picture of your friends

{pictured: yours truly, nicole, leeann, amanda and catherine}
i'm so lucky to have met these lovely ladies through my past relationship.
this picture was taken before us getting ready to see billy currington in concert.

{pictured: shelley, yours truly and erica}
both of these pretty gals are teachers! i met shelley through a mutual friend, and met erica through shelley. this picture was taken from a girls night out.

{pictured: tanya and yours truly}
this beautiful lady and i went to high school together and have been best friends ever since. she moved away and is currently going to medical school, but we still keep in contact. i really miss her. this picture was taken at a friend's wedding early this year.

{pictured: kaya, randy, yours truly, jessica, blair and kristi}
this group of ladies are some of my closes friends. i went to high school with kaya and kristi, and worked with randy, jessica and blair. i have a unique relationship with each of them. this picture was taken on my 25th birthday earlier this year.


a friend loveth at all times.
Proverbs 17:17

Monday, November 1, 2010

day 8: 30 day challenge


day 8: a place you've traveled to



{this is the life...i could do this everyday}


i've traveled to a couple places, but the most recent trip was in June to Nassau, Bahamas. actually, i stayed a week on Paradise Island and what a gorgeous island it is! summers in north carolina are hot, but nothing compares to the summer season in the Bahamas! it is sooo freakin' hot over there! like...to the winnnddoowwsss toooo thhhee waallll...to the sweat drop down my...yeah, ok you get the point. all i wanted to was swim naked in the crystal blue water. that didn't exactly happen, but with enough rum...what happens in the Bahamas stay in the Bahamas right??? i swam with the dolphins for the first time and it was an awesome experience. i was a little nervous at first because you just never know with animals. ever watch animals attack? ok, then. i defiantly did my share of walking - yes, i was the typical tourist that wanted to do and see everything! the people of the Bahamas are extremely kind - everyone speaks to everyone. it was a breath of fresh air. and the food, oh la la. Bahamian cuisine is refreshing! i loved being able to drink coconut juice with a straw right from the fruit itself. conch, is very popular there, but lets just say it wasn't too popular with me, but at least i tried it! however, i did enjoy all the other mouth watering sea food. i highly recommend trying Twin Brothers restaurant. they make the best daiquiris! seriously, i'm not lying! i've never tasted a better drink and they aren't greedy with the liquor either! that's my kinda drink! a lot of my trip was spent site seeing, eating, swimming, and shopping. The Straw Market is another must go to place! they have everything and you can negotiate prices! every girls dream come true! overall, it was a nice and relaxing vacation! it always nice to escape reality for a bit. i'll defiantly be going back man!


{meet my new friend, flipper}