Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Bucket List & Summer Recap

Hi there,
This time last year I made a Fall Bucket List. The idea of a seasonal list was forgotten for the next few months but picked back up in summer and I really enjoyed it, so much so that I want to start them regularly now. I think they provide a fun, simple way to make some short-term goals for yourself to achieve. Posting them here holds me even more accountable too. I enjoy taking you guys on my journey and I don't want to let you down as much as myself. 
First, let’s take a look at my Summer Bucket List and see how I did.


I’m very happy to say I achieved everything from my summer list. I also have some great memories and a lot to be thankful for associated with those times. When I made that list, I put a few generic things that are typical of the season as well as a few things I knew would probably happen and a few I wanted to make happen. Each item on the list was achievable which took the stress and guesswork out of planning how to make it my reality.
Here's a closer look at how I got a few of these accomplished:

This was the women of honor & my sidekick
for the night of my perfect summer date :)
Soaking up sun in CHI with my passport & visa
BCN-bound!
For autumn of this year, I have fewer goals on my bucket list but it’s even more ambitious.


Do you think I can check off each of these items this season? What’s on your fall bucket list?  

Ready to rock fall,
Ashley

Monday, October 13, 2014

Beauty Swap Success!

Hello friends,
A few months ago, I shared my Makeup Collection with you. In that post, I received a comment from a fellow blogger who lives in Spain and was dreaming of getting her hands on some makeup goodies that were unavailable to her. I told Elli of Marshmellow's Diary, that I was in the process of moving to Spain and that if I ended up getting my papers in order, I would buy a palette from her wish list and mail it to her after I flew across the Atlantic. She was excited about that so I pushed my luck a bit and asked if she would be willing to do a swap. You see, I know nothing about the beauty brands in Spain, or the rest of Europe and I saw Elli as my way of getting a peek into the beauty world here. She eagerly agreed and I made my final preparations for Spain.
As you know, I’ve been in Spain for a few weeks now and it has been quite the adventure already. I started my Spanish classes a week after landing and gave my first presentation to the class today. I went to La Boqueria too, which is a must-see for any foodie headed to Barcelona. I also made my way to the post office to send off Elli’s beautiful IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty palette. Read her thoughts on it here!
My side of the swap was simple, as I just went to Ulta and picked up the palette she chose. Elli’s side was definitely more challenging. I gave her some background on me, my current beauty routine and beauty likes and dislikes.
Elli told me she had never bought products for someone else and she hoped I liked what she chose for me. It turns out she had no reason to worry as she did a fantastic job!
I picked my package up from the post office and happily opened it up when I arrived home. I was so giddy as she wrapped each individual item and though they were presents; it was so sweet! After I opened everything and took pictures, I thanked Elli for her job well done and then proceeded to play with my new goodies.

My beauty box:

  • ‘Zaija’ Manuka Tree Cleansing Gel
  • ‘Balance Me’ Face Oil
  • ‘China Glaze’ nail polish in “Be Merry, Be Bright”
  • ‘Model Co.’ eyeshadow duo “Bronzed Goddess”
  • ‘Essence’ eyeliner in white
  • ‘Essence’ eyeliner in “Leaves are the New Beef”
  • ‘Essence’ lipliner in “Honey Berry”
  • ‘Essence’ XXXL Shine lipgloss in “True Love”
  • ‘Catrice’ Shimmering Bronzing Powder
  • ‘Catrice’ Light-Reflecting Concealer
  • ‘I <3 Makeup’ Goddess of Love Highlighter
  • pouch with samples
  • double pocket mirror
  • bracelet
  • ‘Valor’ (Spanish brand) chocolates

My first beauty swap was a resounding success! I have already used about half the products so look for a review on them later this month. 

Feeling loved,
Ashley

Friday, October 10, 2014

La Boqueria- Ultimate Farmer's Market

Hey everyone!
Have you ever been to a farmers market? Well I finally experienced my first and I must say, it will be hard to find one that ever compares to this one. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would go to La Boqueria, a massive farmers market in the heart of Barcelona, after landing here about two weeks ago.  It’s conveniently located on Las Ramblas, just a short minute walk from the school which I am attending Spanish classes so you know I will frequent it many times in the coming year.
This past Thursday, I finally strolled in to this lively place with a girl from class, Caroline. Together we steered through the large crowds and discovered all this market has to offer. As you might guess, there are dozens of vendors selling food from around the world, including a lot of local food stuffs, like the seafood and fruits you find prevalent on this side of the Mediterranean. 

Many of the merchants sold very specific items like olives in all varieties imaginable, Middle Eastern spices, jamón, all types of fresh fruit, bread and pastries, candy, chocolate, and on and on it went. It was quite a fantastic place to wander and explore- can you say sensory overload?! There were captivating sights and smells with every step.

Those flavorful fruit cups were 2 Euro and so worth it! 
Drooling over olives!
On our way :)
Needless to say, I’ll be back very soon. :)

Farmers market enthusiast in training,
Ashley

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Words of Wisdom: October 2

Hello!

How is your week going? Well I hope! Today marks two weeks I've been in Spain. :)
Today's Words of Wisdom pack a particular punch all their own. Enjoy!



Motivated,
Ashley

Monday, October 6, 2014

Photo Diary: My Life in Spain

Hello!
I can’t believe that I have been in Spain for almost two weeks! The time has flown by! I have been playing around with several ideas on how to best share my experience here with you and while I’m sure it will come out in many forms, a photo diary of recent snapshots of my life seems like a great way to share a lot with you in a fun and quick way. Come see what I’ve been up to!

Countdown to Spain:
Sept. 23 I left USA on another adventure!
DTW>AMS>BCN
Exploring Barcelona:
This was my 1st trip to Barcelona & 2nd day in Spain!
A designers dream :)
Sant Cugart, Spain
Food Worth Eating: 
Espresso, everyday, after every lunch. Favorite new habit!
Gelato, BEST I've ever had, yogurt and red berries
If you're unsure what jamón is, Google it. You're missing out
Getting to Know the Nature:
On a stroll around my new neighborhood
Quaint, peaceful garden
I enjoy views like this everyday now!
Love the walking/running trails

What have you been up to?! Have you had any recent travels? I would love to hear about them in the comments below. :)

So happy I took the plunge,
Ashley

Do you want to hear more about Spain? Check out these posts!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's (not just) A Girl Thing



Hi everyone!

Check out this video from my absolute favorite YouTuber, Kassie aka CloudyApples. In her latest video, she wears her heart on her sleeve by sharing with us an issue that's near and dear to her and is quite likely important to you too.

October 11th is International Day of the Girl and she put this video out now to spread the word not only about that date but also about the organization backing this incredibly worthy cause. Feminism is a term that has been discussed passionately lately ans has a lot of negative connotations as its meaning and motives become warped. Look at the world and what it means to be female in it. Even if you are considered "privileged" you STILL: aren't given the same opportunities as your male counterparts. Now look at what that means if you are an impoverished females: child labor and marriage, rape, working hard for your keep while men work over you and so forth. Society as a whole would benefit vastly if women were given the same options as men. 

Please watch it and check out the site here and here!

Spreading the word,
Ashley

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Life Review: 26 Life Lessons in 26 Years


Hi everybody,

Today I’m sharing a list of things I have learned about life in my twenty-six years on this earth. I’m sure I could easily extend this list far past 26 things, but it seemed like a good number to choose for my review of life. Below find one thing I’ve learned for each year I've been alive. Enjoy!
  1. Only YOU can make You happy.
  2. You can only trust yourself.
  3. There are many more important things than being popular or rich.
  4. You should always be kind.
  5.  If you have a toxic relationship in your life, get rid of it!                                                          *If someone is causing you constant fear or stress, find a safe way to get away.
  6. Having hobbies and interests keeps you sane, so make time to practice them.
  7. Being well-read is never a bad thing.
  8. Getting out of your comfort zone is GOOD for your soul!                                                    *This is where your best memories and self-pride happen most freely.
  9. You will never regret being a life longer learner.
  10. There is always time for those you love and to tell them you appreciate them.
  11. You determine your own success, value and worth.
  12. If you want things to be handed to you, you’ll be waiting an eternity. Go after what you want.
  13. No good comes from bottling up your words or feelings. You have to communicate and feel.
  14. Few great friends are infinitely better than many fake ones.
  15. Strive to build up relationships.
  16. Everything happens for a reason. Cliché truth: Figure out what you’re meant to learn and move on.
  17. It is impossible to please everyone, so stop trying.
  18. You should always live for yourself.
  19. Having goals and pushing yourself to reach them will keep you from plateauing.
  20. Not everyone will like you, and that is okay!
  21. Taking responsibility for your actions helps you grow.                                                       *Don’t be the jackass who always blames others or makes excuses.
  22. Being lazy gets you nowhere.
  23. Exercise should never be a choice; just do it.
  24. Eating healthy is always the better option.
  25. Making time for yourself to reflect, pray or meditate and just be alone helps you learn from your past and press on in your future.
  26. Regrets are pointless, so don’t waste your time on them.                                                        *See #16.
So, what does your life review look like? What has life taught you?

Readily reflective,
Ashley