Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Word of Wisdom: August 4

Hello again,

I have this new found motivation to post a lot this week apparently! I hope you're enjoying it. :)
As always, I have some picture quotes to share with you mid-week, whether you're in need of a little pick-me-up or already soaring high, these quotes should feel a bit more inspired than before. Enjoy!




This last one has no quote but I think it's important to
travel the world and see breathtaking places like this
How are you doing this week? Which quote did you most enjoy?

Ready to conquer,
Ashley


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life Lessons from a Documentary: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

NOT sushi from Jiro's place; this is
too showy for him, but I liked it!
Hello everyone,
Today I’m sharing with you another challenge from the Creative Collective which Melyssa from The Nectar Collective birthed.
The challenge seemed simple enough-watch a documentary- which excited me because I can be a real nerd and this topic gave me permission to do just that and even encouraged it! I love to read all sorts of books and share those with you often. I also enjoy listening to educational podcasts while on long commutes. If you’re not already turned on to podcasts, download the app and search, “Stuff You Should Know”, for lots of interesting information on 600+ topics, “Stuff Mom Never Told You” for all things woman and feminist, and “Stuff You Missed in History Class” for you history buffs.  These three sister podcasts keep me more than content with new subject matter and as a result, I’ve often found myself saying, “I listened to this podcast where I learned… ” It’s pretty incredible.
Alas, I digress. While listening to a podcast from SYSK about sushi, I was introduced to the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi and the guys mentioned it was available on Netflix (which it still currently is) so I just had to give it a shot.

Within the first two minutes, my mouth was watering, craving the colorful flavorful sushi this 85 year old man was crafting. The camera zoomed in on his hands with decades of practice. In that same two minutes, Jiro bestowed upon me his first bit of wisdom which is this, “Once you decide on an occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success, and is the key to being regarded honorably.”
Needless to say, I was sucked in.

When a food writer reflects on Jiro’s sushi he states simply, “ultimate simplicity leads to purity.” He later says “A great chef has the following five attributes: First, they take their work very seriously, and consistently perform on the highest level. Second, they aspire to improve their skills. Third is cleanliness. If the restaurant doesn’t feel clean, the food isn’t going to taste good. The fourth attribute is impatience. They are better leaders than collaborators. And finally, a great chef is passionate. Jiro has all of these.”
From a Chinese buffet.. definitely not up to Jiro's standards

Jiro also has what most would consider a tough parenting style. He encouraged his younger son to leave the family restaurant to open a second location of the same standards on his own. He told his son that he had no home to come back to, thus forcing him to work hard for himself. Jiro was taught this concept of hard work, discipline and survival very early on in life and it has served him well, though very tough at times. While he has ultimately prospered, he sees it as a fitting way to bring up his two adult sons. He thinks that parent’s are stupid for telling their children they can come home if they fail because it is like setting them up for failure, since not everything is riding on their choice. The children can just think in the back of their heads that if ‘x’ doesn’t work out, they can fall back on their parents. I have heard similar advice before. Those who really want something in their lives don’t have a plan b. They don’t say, “I’ll try this for 6 months and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll get a regular job,” that would leave them unfulfilled. Maybe they give themselves a timeline but instead saying, “If I can’t make ‘x’ happen by this time, I’ll try to get achieve ‘x’ another way.” Basically, he is saying, “never see failure as an option”.
From my recent sushi date with my cousin Jade.. yum!
When you eat at his restaurant, you are served only sushi. No other foods or appetizers are served. He makes 20 pieces of sushi per person, served to them one at a time. He takes great care in each piece and watches each of his ten customers like a hawk to decide how to serve their next piece depending on gender and which hand they use to eat. His meals start at 30,000 Yen ($288USD) but every customer seems to be fully satisfied with the experience he gives them.
His eldest son will take over the original restaurant when Jiro is gone. “Always look ahead and above yourself. Always try to improve yourself.” Those are the words he will live his life by when his father is gone.
This documentary is worth watching if you consider yourself a foodie, a history buff, a family-oriented person, cultured, an environmentalist (slight stretch!), someone who enjoys being inspired or even if you just appreciate art. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is very pleasing to watch, not just because of the sushi being made, but the relationship this man and his team have with each other, their vendors, and customers. It's inspiring and shows what hard work and pursing your passion looks like.
It’s the first full documentary I have watched in a long time and I already have a few others queued up to watch!
Does this documentary sound interesting to you? What do you like to watch?

Sweet sushi dreams,
Ashley

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Trade: The Violin of Auschwitz

Hello,
As you know by now, I’ve been on a reading kick lately, especially about anything that pertains to Nazi Germany. I have gotten a good dose of both fiction (The Book Thief, The Fault in Our Stars) and nonfiction (The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank). This book is the former and it’s quite an insightful read.
I stumbled upon this book while at the library looking for new books to get lost in. This one drew me in for many reasons, it's about the infamous concentration camp, the author is Catalan, and as I'm still planning on moving to Barcelona at the start of fall, I was curious to hear her storytelling, and the cover picture features a violin with someone lovingly holding it. While I understand the symbolism now, I was intrigued by the picture. 
The story begins when Regina speaks with a man after a classical concert about a man named Daniel. Daniel was a luthier, a violin maker, when the world turned to hell. He was brought to a concentration camp and when asked what his occupation was, he responded, “carpenter” in an effort to seem more useful to the Nazi guards. He never loses site of the fact that he is in a place of privilege by working in the commander’s office. However, one day he hears a violin being beautifully played until a harsh sound is heard followed by silence. As the commander yells at the Jewish musician, Daniel steps in to inform the commander that the violin is cracked and so the musician cannot be to blame. Daniel the luthier is back and it could save his life.  
This novella tells a charming story of hope, perseverance, and the persistence of the human spirit. It is told with rich descriptions like this one on page 67, “the asphyxiating knot of remembrance was loosened.” This is a very quick read and one you won’t regret. You will not want to put it down and you’ll likely reflect on this part of history and how society is today after reading it, at least that’s what I found myself doing.

Quick Facts:
Genre- Historical Fiction
Copyright- 1994; Translated in 2010
Pages- 109

Does this sound like something you would enjoy? What have you read lately? 

Learning from the past,
Ashley

Friday, August 22, 2014

Perfect Pairs- Beauty

Hi there,
It’s been far too long since I last posted anything beauty related and this challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that. The latest challenge from the 2014 Blogger Challenge was to write about pairs. And so, without further ado, I have created a list of some beauty duos that I adore.
Enjoy. :)
Of the bunch, I’ve most recently fell in love with Benefit’s Porefessional. Have you tried it, or any of the other products mentioned above?
What pairs do you like?
Ashley

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Words of Wisdom: August 3

Hello positive people!

This week's wisdom is meant to inspire and motivate! :) 
This one really speaks to me. Like waiting for
an apology you'll never get. Let go of the hate.
Great mantra! :)
It happened. Deal with it. Move on. No matter how hard it seems.
Which quote do you like most?

Ready to dive in,

Ashley

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Words of Wisdom: August 2

Hello hello,

How is your week going thus far? Please enjoy this week's picture quotes and let me know which you liked in the comment's below! :)



Make your words change it for the better! RIP Robin Williams
Ready and able,
Ashley

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Trade: Bossypants by Tina Fey

She's in big pants to fill!
Hello again!
Today I’m back with another book review from another of the books I picked up recently from the library.
Bossypants chronicles the various jobs the hilarious Tina Fey has had over the years. She talks all of her work endeavors, both before and since becoming famous. She talks about where life has brought her, the roles she’s played, the bosses she has had and how she has managed to be the boss in many aspects of her life.
In this charming, witty read, Tina teaches you life lessons she has learned along her ride. This book is a quick, fun read. You will laugh out loud and wonder… why? She is open and honest in a refreshing way (unlike in ChelseaHandler's recent book). She shares about Second City, SNL, being Sarah Palin, 30 Rock and more. I really enjoyed it!
Quick Facts:
Genre- Autobiography/Humor
Copyright- 2011
Pages- 275
Laughing out loud,
Ashley