Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
1. What television character do you identify with? Good question-- but unfortunately, I do not watch a lot of sitcoms (yes, I watch a lot of trashy reality T.V. and thankfully most reality T.V. contestants are trashy and unlike myself). I used to want to be like Rachel Green, but lord knows I'm more of a neurotic Monica.
2. Describe your morning routine. I wake it and think "crap, I should really start getting up earlier." I run downstairs, start a pot of coffee and then jump in the shower. I put on a little make-up, blow dry my hair for approximately 60 seconds and throw on some clothes. Next, I fill up my travel mug and eat breakfast on the run.
3. How do you do lunch? Bring from home or dine out? I pack a lunch 99% of the time. Now that I work in the boonies, the nearest restaurant is about 20 minutes away. Not conducive to eating out. I generally pack a turkey sandwich, pretzel thins and fruit OR a healthy choice frozen meal.
4. What is one moment that, although seemingly trivial at the time, changed your life? Accepting my internship in this exact county. I ended up getting a job and found a husband!
5. Name your top three beauty products. Does chap stick count? Oil of Olay face lotion (I was raised on it), Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara, and any OPI nail polish.
6. What do you do when you’re alone in the car? yell expletives at the grandpa in front of me and sing every single song that comes on the radio-- you can ask my husband. I have an uncanny ability to remember the lyrics to every song that I've ever heard-- even if I've only heard it once. He hates it. Ha. It entertains me.
7. What is the ideal city for you to live in? If you can, take this survey (< that’s a link) and tell us the results. Do you agree with them?
Well, the quiz was sort of long but super fun. Here's my results:
1. Norfolk, Virginia-- funny, my lil' bro lives there.
2. El Paso, Texas-- this is random, but I'd be open to Texas. What's not to love about Texas?
3. Charlotte, North Carolina-- I'd move there in a second.
4. Richmond, Virginia-- This is hysterical because I've been trying to convince my husband that we should move to Richmond in a few years. It's cheaper, it's warmer and it's pretty. He told me it's a dump. Bummer. I should also note that my husband grew up in Prince Georges County, Maryland. I'm not sure if he's allowed to call Richmond a dump. Ha.
5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-- Interesting, I know nothing about Oklahoma. Is it SO me?
6. Nashville, Tennessee-- I'd die. I'd move there in two seconds. Without a doubt.
7. Hampton, Virginia-- I'm going to need to look on a map for this one.
8. Tulsa, Oklahoma-- maybe I should research Oklahoma a bit more.
9. Louisville, Kentucky-- Big hats and sundresses? Sign me up.
10. Greenville, South Carolina-- For sure.
The rest of the list was centered around cities in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tenneesee. I grew up in a pretty transient family and I loved moving around and seeing the United States. I'd be open to exploring each and everyone of these places, but my husband is a different story. He's spent all but four years of his life in Maryland (and when he left he went to the far away and exotic state of.......... Virginia). I think he may self-implode if he leaves Maryland. I'll work on it though. I've been harping on Richmond for months now-- maybe he'll buy it this time. :)
8. Are you waiting for something? Always. It makes life more fun!
9. What was the last shocking news you heard? That a college friend has Leukemia. I recently heard that an old high school friend died of Leukemia as well. It's terrifying and devastating.
10. What are three things you would not do for a million dollars? I wouldn't murder anyone, I wouldn't become a stripper and I wouldn't cheat on my husband.
Labels: ten on tuesdays
I am SO thankful that ballet flats came back in style a few years ago.
I'm terrified that they're going to go out of style soon (doesn't everything).
In the meantime, I'm taking full advantage of flats and I only put heels on my feet once a month------- or so.
I love it. I spend half my day chasing after overactive children and the other half testing children in a preschool sized chair. Who needs heels?
Life is good when you can wear (stylish) flat shoes.
Monday, March 29, 2010
If you've been a regular reader, you may remember that I had a difficult work year last year. I worked with some pretty demanding principals who treated me like crap.
This year has been SO much better for me. Despite being up 2 schools (4 total) I work with some pretty incredible people. I respect and like my principals this year and I have great working (and in some cases personal) relationships with all of my special education teams.
Today, I had my annual work review with my boss. I was slightly nervous (because of last year), but confident. This year-- I received "excellent" in all areas of work functioning. Her notes and observations from all four of my principals were fantastic and I left with a smile on my face. The fact that I received all "excellents" my first year and all "excellents" this year did not go unnoticed by my boss. I'm happy to see that she realizes that I was just stuck with some crotchety principals last year and that I am an asset to our county.
and in case you were wondering.....
I still wear the exact same outfits, but there are no complaints about my clothing choices this year.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
1. When you were a senior in high school, what career did you think you’d choose? Did you? Why or why not? In high school I thought that I would either be the chief editor of Glamour magazine OR a child psychologist (nice mix, right)? This is going to sound totally tragic, but I actually learned about school psychologists via The Bachelor. Remember Aaron? He picked Helene, a school psychologist from New Jersey. I thought, Helene is cute, I love kids, I can't handle going to school for seven MORE years and I want to be a psychologist. The rest is history.............
2. What one thing about the “real world” did you find most surprising once you were on your own? How fast money goes. When I lived with my parents I scoffed at the idea of spending 15 dollars on a shirt at the local Contempo. Now, I swear-- one hundred dollar bills don't go very far at all.
3. Name 3 things you think your closest friends DON’T like about you? I'm not sure to be honest. Why would I be friends with people that don't like me and/or that don't like things about me? I think that my friends may be annoyed about the fact that I tell it like it is. However, I'd rather have someone be honest with me so I try to live by that rule with my friends. People that are all puppies and rainbows freak me out and it's just not me.
4. In order to sleep, do you need background noise or absolute quiet? I prefer quiet. I can't handle the noise of a humidifier or crickets, but the T.V. drives me batty.
5. Why do you choose to reside in your current city? Yes, you have a choice. The commute is better for my husband- who works in D.C., the houses are cheaper/nicer than where we used to live, there's a lot of bars/restaurants/shopping within minutes, we lucked out and some of our closest friends live about a mile away.
6. Are you close to your parents? I'd say so. We see them at least once a month and I talk to them at least a few times a week. My dad turns 52 today. Happy Birthday, Dad!
7. What is your favorite fiction book? My favorite book is Memoirs of a Geisha. Hands down.
8. Do you enjoy cooking or is it a chore? Now that we've started making menus I enjoy cooking so much more. I like to cook, I just hate deciding what to cook. Luckily for me, my husband loves to cook too and he's a fantastic chef-- so I have an out when I'm not in the mood.
9. Be honest. What one thing would (the majority of) your blog readers be shocked to find out about you? Hmm, I am not sure. I lay most stuff out there. Like I said, I tell it like it is and don't' hold a lot in.
10. If you were given your own national holiday, what would you require people to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the Day of You? Would there be a parade? Greeting cards? Fo Sho! All of the above. I celebrate Birthday Month, so why the heck wouldn't I want a national holiday? I envision a BBQ in the summer with strawberry shortcake, crab, lobster, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. I love it.
Labels: ten on tuesdays
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
A friend from high school recently got engaged to her dream guy. They've been dating for a little over a year and getting married was on both of their minds.
Because I've been married all of five months, I'm a bit of a wedding expert (I lived/breathed it for a year). She recently asked me what my number one piece of advice would be.....
and I asked many, many newlyweds this exact same question
.....and it would have to be to simply enjoy being engaged. Someone gave me this same advice about a year ago. I didn't get it. I thought it sounded obvious and I wish that I paid more attention to it.
Being married is awesome and incredible and I thank my lucky stars everyday that I've found someone who wants the same things out of life that I do. But, if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll be married for your entire life. You're only engaged once. Do you see what I'm saying?
Once you're married you're kinda old news. Now, I'm not recommending getting married for attention, but it's an obvious perk. People care about how it's going, they are interested in your life and the entire year is full of smiles, unicorns and rainbows. The best advice that I could give my old buddy would be to take her time and to bask in the excitement.
The only other advice I had-- spend the money on the videographer and the photographer. They'll capture whatever you forget.
What do the rest of you think-- looking back- did you enjoy your engagement as much as you could have? Any other advice for the soon to be newlyweds?
It was GORGEOUS today! Despite being a test examiner for MSA (the state assessment) for a long ass time (with some hyperactive kids), my day was made brighter by a fantastic spring bouquet that was bought for me by my secret pal at work!
When I came home from work I promptly whipped off my cardigan, rolled up my pants and sat outside with the newest US Weekly.
The sun was shining, it was warm and I have actual tank top tan lines to prove it.
We have a fenced in back patio and the cats love to come out (I'm an indoor cat person) when the weather is nice. My husband always begs me to let them out on the patio while he's grilling, but I'm afraid that they'll scale the 6ft wall and run away. Today, I figured what the heck and they loved it.
Here's Oh Snap, planning his attack on each and every bug that came our way...
And Sage, loungin in the sun...
Gosh, they are cute.
At about 7pm, I came back inside and my husband reminded me that it was still light out. HOW EXCITING. We fist bumped it.
Then we planted some grass seed out front (the snow did us in) while our cute little neighbor girl helped. Wouldn't you know that my tulips are starting to sprout and my hydrangea is looking fabulous?!?! I can't wait to add to my garden in the upcoming weeks.
Sun, I love you lots!
Monday, March 15, 2010
I know that I've mentioned this before, but I would love to become a morning person (okay, not really-- but it would make my life much easier).
As it stands, I'm a bit of a daredevil in the morning. I cut it close. Real close. Just because I never press snooze, doesn't mean that I'm not a sleepasaurus-- instead, I just set my alarm really late. oops.
I'm jealous of my friends on Twitter (ahem, Alex ) who have run fifty trillion miles and have completed forty kajillion push ups while I'm still in dream land.
Instead, my M.O. is to sleep until it's almost too late and staying up too late at night doing nothing. Somebody needs to send me some early morning motivation.
Labels: help please
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Let's be honest-- Jason Mesnick is a total D-BAG. For some reason sweet, cute Molly fell for his antics. I don't get it- he's kind of a tool, he's not that cute and he has plenty of baggage-- but, to each their own.
What is with the god awful tie that Jason picked out for his wedding wear?
Isn't it amazing----------------what the sun can do for your mood?
I'm a generally happy person, but when spring is in the air, I feel renewed. I'm normally dragging on Mondays, but last Monday I was radiating happiness. I don't know where it came from, but I'm not going to question it.
Hello, sun. I'm happy to see you again.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
When my husband and I were in Antigua we ate a lot of jerk chicken (and I mean a lot-- we were at an all inclusive resort that allowed fifteen lunches if you could throw 'em down), because the jerk chicken is seriously amazing in that country.
I had a craving, so I decided to try to replicate the recipe...
In Antigua, they grill the meat, yet it still falls off the bone. I'm not that handy while working over charcoal, so I whipped out the crock pot instead.
Here's what you're going to need:
1 lb of chicken thighs and whole legs (we used skinless/boneless)
1 can diced tomatoes with celery, peppers, and onions
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp dry jerk seasoning
1 tbsp paprika
I mixed it up and cooked in the crock pot for about 3 hours on high. I meant to put it on low for an entire workday, but forgot to take it out of the fridge before leaving for work (doh). I'm sure either way will work.
After the meat is mostly cooked, I stuck it in the oven @ 375 for about 25 minutes (helped to crisp it up).
We served it with some dirty rice and the result was DELISH. I'm definitely adding it to our regular meal plan rotation.
Labels: Ashley Cooks
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This may make me sound old, but meal plans make my life so much easier.
I love sitting down at the kitchen table on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee, a pen and a piece of paper.
My husband is on pantry/fridge patrol, while I man the grocery list. I read the recipes and he checks to see what we're missing. It makes Monday evening so much easier.
On the menu this week--
Sunday- Turkey Tenderloin, Crash Hot Potatoes and Green Beans
Monday- Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (I will post this recipe soon-- it's amazing)
Tuesday- Jerk Chicken with Dirty Rice and Salad
Wednesday- Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf and Corn
Thursday- Ashley out with girlfriends, John at class
Friday- Kickball Happy Hour
We were definitely on a chicken kick this week-- we're going to need to branch out next week.
If you're willing/able to exercise at home, you need to try this DVD. If you judge a DVD by it's cover, it may not look that cool.......... but this video will KICK YOUR BUTT
I actually had fun doing this DVD. That's saying a lot (I'm not a fan of working out- although I was able to make it to the gym on Monday & Tuesday and did the DVD on Wednesday)
I'm sore today, but it hurts so good. For 9.99 you get two half-hour work outs, an hour workout, and an ab work out. If you do buy it, make sure you have weights on hand. You'll need them.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I'm not a fan of the new bachelorette.
Initially, I liked her. But I think that it's unfair that they chose someone who up and left halfway through the season for her "job."
How is it that she couldn't take off work to be on the Bachelor, but she can take off even more time to be the Bachelorette?
I'm OBVIOUSLY going to watch it, but still--- WTF?
This is the day that I've been dreading for weeks. The finale.
That means I need to wait at least 3 more months for my next Chris Harrison fix.
Jake starts the show looking like a fem-bot in his tight pink shirt. I don't mind men in pink, but try pale pink-- not magenta. Jake's family is in St. Lucia, and they are sobbing like babies. Jake knows that his family is going to love Tenley, but he's desperate for them to love Vienna.
As Gia put it so delicately last week, Tenley shits rainbows. She goes on and on about how in love she is and how Jake's parents are incredible examples of true love. Tenley and Jake's mom move the cry fest outside and sob some more. I'm pretty sure she won Jake's father over-- so much so that I think that if they spent five more minutes together they were going to start knocking boots on the park bench.
I don't dislike Tenley, I just think she's too sugary sweet. The baby talk drives me nuts. That being said, Jake is a total goober and they probably are the best match.
I'm scared to see how Vienna acts. We're about to find out.... and it's not looking good. Vienna has difficulty getting along with the family. The whole situation is weird. Vienna is dodging questions, whereas Tenley was hugging and crying and loving on all of them. Vienna even told the family that she's real- Tenley is a robot. Uh-oh. After some time warming up to the family, she's starting to grow on them and in the end, they all approve.
Next, Vienna and Jake have some alone time. They go to a smelly sulfar creek (or something like that, I got distracted by my tangerine) and do some more dry humping under a waterfall. Seriously, these two don't stop. Bow Chicka Wow Wow. They go back to the hotel for some cheese and crackers (which is apparently code for gettin' it on). I wish they told us what time Jake left the hotel. It's either 4am or Vienna just took a Xanax cause the girl is talking like a zombie.
Tenley finds out that she's going snorkeling on her date and you'd think the girl won a trillion dollars in the lottery. Sorry, snorkeling with gross fish is not that exciting.
(SIDE NOTE: MY HUSBAND NEEDS TO TAKE ME TO ST. LUCIA- but not for snorkeling)
Moving on... they snorkel and then head back to the boat. Jake seems distracted. I'm glad I didn't marry a goober like Jake. If I was on that boat with my husband we'd be dancing and singing the "I'm on a Boat" song karaoke style (we did that in bed two nights ago, so it's only obvious that we'd do it while we're on an actual boat)-- instead of being lame and talking in baby voices about our emotional chemistry. Jake just asked Tenley if he thinks that they have physical chemistry. He said he feels the emotional chemistry but sometimes thinks that they lack that crazy, I'm in love with you heat. She says that she thinks that she feels it (with her hair in a ponytail one second and down the next-- damn this editing, I wanted to hear this conversation).
Next up, it's engagement time. Jake is pondering who he will chose overlooking the ocean. The girls are worried about who he's going to pick. When Jake is picking out the engagement ring, he admits that he still hasn't decided which girl he's going to choose. Come on man, get a grip. There is no way in hell that you love both of these girls the exact same amount-- and if you don't, don't pick either.
Both of the girls look gorgeous for the final rose ceremony and they arrive in style. Chris is out there waiting for the first girl...... and it's.........TENLEY. She walks up to him while her voice over explains how in love she is and how their new life will begin today. The conversation starts off very awkwardly-- he's easy to read and Tenley know what is coming. Jake is crying like a baby and he tells her that something just doesn't feel right between then. Tenley takes over and starts talking about how he taught her to love again blah blah... NO-- make Jake feel bad, make it awkward. I want to hear what he has to say. He got off too easy. He didn't even have to tell her why.
Poor Tenley-- but I have a feeling that she'll be okay. She kept a smile on her face the entire time (during the breakup) and she was able to get over ex husband in less than a year. She's going to be okay.
Next up.. his proposal to Vienna. She seems very nervous and she's shaking. Aww, the proposal is really sweet and it made me shed a tear. He smiled SO big, told her that he loves her and asked for her hand. It was pretty cute-- here's hoping that these two last.