My Five Faves of July

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
1. My Kimblee drawing. This should come as no surprise. You seriously have no idea how happy it makes me that it actually came out pretty well. I have always wanted to be able to draw but I was always scared that I would just be horrible. And the fact that people like it, makes me even more ecstatic. I don't really know what to say except that I was just really inspired by feelings I had for the show to work on something like this. It honestly was a lot of fun and not at all as tiresome and tedious as I expected. I hope to get even better one day.
Finished product in all his sadistic glory

It's the "bomb" don't you think?

Mid-way through


2. My Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood blurays have already gotten their money's worth. I really am so unbelievably happy with this purchase! Not only did I get them for a major steal but being able to enjoy all the feelings again after having recently finishing the original series for the first time, was a blessing. I am really considering re-watching again already because the series just gives me that much enjoyment.

Look at it and all of its beauty!

3. My CM Punk autographed lithograph. Still waiting for the frame but boy I am so glad I bought this. CM Punk, and wrestling in general, have become far more that just a silly hobby to me. Matthew and I have spent countless hours bonding over talking about, betting on, watching, simulating, creating and actually wrestling. It has become a surprisingly big part in our relationship. I also am just a huge admirer of CM Punk. To me he represents the possibility of discovering your dreams,even when you don't believe in them, and how when you find where you belong and what you love, that is where you will find happiness. So yeah, I'd say I'm a fan.
Such an amazing piece

Signed by both Punk and the artist and it is numbered

4. My Ouran Academy Alumni bumper sticker. I really do not even know where to start with this. The feelings I have for this show and manga and its character's are ridiculous. Truly this is the closest form of perfection a person can find. I am so blessed that Jessica shared this world with me (you are the Tamaki to my Ouran discovery). I could go on talking about how much each character means to me, but it would take all evening only scratching the surface. This is hands down my favorite show and hands down my favorite manga and hands down my favorite group of fictional people.

Truly nothing could make me feel happier

5. My Mass Effect Triliogy. It has been so nice to once again delve into the universe of Mass Effect only this time with a different story. I have played Mass Effect 2 numerous times and Mass Effect 3 twice as well, truly it has to be my favorite franchise. But the original Mass Effect had always eluded me. Matthew surprised me by getting me this, for no reason what-so-ever (other than being a sweetheart). Playing it has been a real treat and I am so happy to finally have the chance to play it. I truly can not wait to have gone through the entire series with my "Ashley Shepard". Thank you Matthew. <3

Perfect trilogy is perfect

Why does this have to look so cool?

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My Five Faves of June

Saturday, June 29, 2013
1. My amazing teapot night light gifted to me by the amazing and fantastic Jessica. I turn it on every night before I go to sleep and when I wake up to it I can not help but smile. It was such a perfect gift from such a perfect friend and I am going to treasure it forever. <3 P.S. She got me teas too! (Which were scrumptious)

If it were a real teapot it would too cute to use!

2. The beautiful Peter Pan puzzle I completed with Matthew. I can't wait to get it framed to hang it with our beautiful Cinderella puzzle we completed on our Disney Trip. Like my teapot night light this too makes me smile just looking at it.

Second star to the right

The clouds were definitely the hardest part!

Our beautiful Cinderella puzzle

3. The BALLER (cwutididthar?) basketball card collection. All the Taco Bell I had to eat still amazes me, but it was really fun opening up the packs to see who we would get! Plus how awesome was it to get LeBron as my very first card!?

68 in total to date

Shock of the century: you can just buy they toy!

4. My  advanced copy I won in a contest of The Thousand Names. It just got me so excited when I first received it. Let's face it, book mail is the best mail. Book mail that cost you nothing, even better! Book mail that cost you nothing and caught you by complete surprise, well that just takes the cake. For at least three days after receiving it, I found myself stroking it and smiling at random. I was totally a winner.

Not for sale people

5. My freshly autographed copy of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, a book I had been wanting to read for a while now due to its praise around the bookternet. I found myself browsing Powell's one day and discovered that they now accept pre-orders on autographed works for authors coming to their stores and was completely thrilled by this news! Naturally, this will just be the first!

Just started it today!

Even his signature is creepy!

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My Five Faves of May

Friday, May 17, 2013
1. Number 1 would definitely be my new(ish) reading journal. I am in love. It makes me so happy. Even just looking at it makes me smile and I swear it encourages me to read even more! In addition to it being a place to jot down my feeling and ratings on a book, it is packed with other features too! The back portion of the book is filled with notable book lists and Pulitzer prize winners, so you always have a new book to read. Here's a little sneak peak.

Isn't it cute? 

My Totto-Chan Review

The heads are for filling in your favorite authors. How cute!

2. My little greenish teapot . I have recently been drinking a lot of black teas, not my usual preference, and I swear this teapot has magical steeping powers. It makes my black tea less bitter, well that and my German rock sugar, and it is the perfect size for brewing two cups.

It is more green in person

3. My Berkshire Berries all natural jam. I promise it is less that the word shire is there and more about how delicious it is. I schlepped this jam all the way home from New York City where I bought it at the farmers market regularly during my stay there. As you can see the raspberry is almost gone and that is because it is the best (and because I used half of it in my delectable linzers which, because of this jam, were more delicious than legally possible).

Law breaking good.

4. My black chamomile aromatherapy lotion from Bath & BodyWorks. First off I love the smell! It is calming and light enough to only linger on my body as I fall asleep. It leaves me feeling all soft and moisturized and spoiled in relaxation. There is a downside though, it is limited edition. So when it is all gone I will be very sad. Better enjoy it while I can!

5. My new art supplies. Matthew doesn't even know this yet but I am taking an online art class starting the 28th. I am really excited! Maybe finally I will be able to improve my drawing. And who know's maybe if I really like it I'll take a class at PSU. 

Drawing implements still in the mail
I drew me (with a little foot worthy long neck) in excitement
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The Art of Second chances

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
As I have recently started reading The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, I found myself thinking about the things from my past that I was willing to give a second chance.

When I first(and only time) saw the movie version of The Notebook, my reaction could not have been more negative. I cursed my friends who led me to believe this was, as they all put it, "the most romantic movie ever". That is exactly the opposite of how this movie made me feel. I felt betrayed by my friends, the makers and Nicholas Sparks himself for coming up with this story and masking it from what it truly was.

I was young.

While scouring my beloved site of Better World Books, I came across the book and wondered, "Maybe I was wrong to write something completely off like that."
And I realized this was a pattern of mine. Not only with books and movies but with friendships and relationships as well.
This got me thinking of things that I had actually given second chances.

What first comes to mind of course is something silly and trivial to life: Ben Affleck.
For some unknown reason I strongly did not like him. And truly I mean unknown. If you were to ask me I honestly did not have a legitimate answer for you. Perhaps some role I saw him in just rubbed me the wrong way, I honestly can not say. But I could not stand him. I went to see He is Just Not That Into You with one of my friends, and during the movie she said a comment referring to his character and how she loved him and I just blurted "Yeah, I really do not like Ben Affleck." After the movie she asked why, I believe her words were something along the lines of, "Who doesn't like attractive guys who are good actors?" And I didn't have an answer. I was just certain that I did not like him.
Fast forward to meeting Matthew, the first person to challenge me on my idiocy of the situation. He practically forced me to broaden my horizons (in the sweetest use of the word forced). He had me watch The Town, a movie both directed by and starring Affleck (imagine the eye roll of this Affleck-intolerant). Surprisingly however, I had to admit it wasn't really terrible. In fact he actually did a really good job as a director. I had to admit to myself that there wasn't a reason for me to go on disliking him, just because I once couldn't stand him. And, truly I am glad I did. Later that year Matthew took me to see Argo and to my delight it was the best movie I had seen that year.

The point of this seemingly pointless anecdote is that maybe when we have a strong distaste towards something perhaps we should think about giving it another chance. I mean I was a different person back in my Affleck hating days. Is it so hard to believe that perhaps my tastes would evolve along with my mind?

There are ties I have cut and things I have sworn off, but maybe it would be wise to go back and re-discover them. You never know when you will discover something much different from before.

A list of my to re-do's:

The Notebook
Jane Austen
FLCL (Interested Jess?)

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Monday, May 13, 2013
It is truly amazing to think about how much has changed. I mean sure it is something we are aware of, as we grow older we change, this isn't some new revelation. But still it never ceases to amaze me.

I like to think back and classify myself in different phases of my life. There is Baby Ashley, High School Ashley, Rebellious Ashley, Completely Understanding the world hopeless romantic Ashley, Actually I know nothing Ashley, and well me, I suppose (Current Ashley).
I feel like an artist, able to describe my phases of work. "Oh yes, Jessica, I remember! That was during my blue period". I've gone through all these periods and it is easy to see it reflected in my artwork that is my life.

In each of these periods I was always so certain that this was how I was going to be for the rest of my life. So certain that I knew all there was to know about me. I guess I also assumed that by my 20's I would be an adult and change would be over. And I would be stuck as I was. But I am pleased to see that just really is not the case in either scenario.
I have never been so lost before in life as I am now. And I'm not sorry to say, I LOVE IT! I love thinking everything I do could be a terrible mistake. I love not being sure and wondering and having doubts. It is, despite what I had imagined, exhilarating.
You see the thing about knowing you are doing something safe is, well, like completing a paint by numbers. Nothing you haven't seen before and while the end result is beautiful, you haven't really created anything special, have you? The scary decisions I have made in the past two years have lead me to some of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned more about myself in those moments than I ever could have imagined. My heart was opened to inner desires I wasn't even aware I had, along with inner strength.

It is this inner strength which moves me into my next phase. The phase of embracing responsibility of my dreams and finally wanting to be an adult. For so long I clutched to the things I knew. Always fearing a change, my life was on pause. I didn't know who I was. I was scared to make a decisions, wondering how I could ever possibly do so without knowing me. I suppose part of me was right. In the smallest use of the word anyway. You see I was ignoring the fact that I am always going to be changing, that finding myself wasn't the answer I was looking for because there will never be an answer. And when I learned that, I found me.

It is weird, growing up, like painting a mural or something. This new picture is here but all the past work is still apart of me.  And it is all working together to form what will be me. AND THAT IS TERRIFYING. But in that exciting sort of way.

A lot of people doubted I would ever find my way. And for those few that had faith in me and supported my choices I will be forever thankful. It is the love I have encountered in life that makes me who I am.

And well,
I just wasn't meant for a frame.

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My (mini)Goals for summer!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May grow more awesome :D 
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One Hundred of the greatest songs ever (Part 20)

Saturday, May 04, 2013
Someone Over The Rainbow by Judy Garland

Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys

Lean On Me by Bill Withers

Beautiful Day by U2

Float on by Modest Mouse

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One Hundred of the greatest songs ever (Part 19)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Lovers in Japan by Coldplay

Ali in the Jungle by The Hours

Turning Page by Sleeping at Last

Hysteric by Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Imagine by John Lennon

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About Me

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I'm a girl just looking to be the very best, like no one ever was.


Im just sitting on the shelf :)

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2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Ashley has read 0 books toward her goal of 23 books.