Life is Happening

I've been here for almost a month, and I have about 18 days to go until I head home (that means I will be here for a hefty 6 weeks! How's that for a holiday?). It's been a refreshing, often contemplative, and wonderful trip. It's given me a good dose of London, sufficient enough to "calm my cravings" and allow me to head home with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.

I often spend so much time worrying about the future, it's as if I'm planning on building a time machine to leave the present. This extended stay in London has redirected my thoughts to all the life going on around me. I guess it's just more practice in the art of being mindful of the present.

I do not know if I will ever live in London again; obviously, it's something I've thought about since I've been here. It's a city that I adore, and one that will always be here for me if I need it...and I can only leave it at that. What I do know is I want to continue on with this wonderful job that has let me work while abroad--HOW OFTEN DOES THAT HAPPEN?!

I'm very excited because I have booked two trips for next week: Florence and Prague! Sometimes when I step back from my life and look at it from the outside I realize two things:

1. I am a privileged and lucky girl. My life is grand.
2. It's not all luck. I brought myself here and I am proud of my accomplishments. I am a big thinker; but more than that, I am a big doer!

I may not be blogging as much these next 18 days, so forgive me for that! I will have some banging posts after I return! Until then, enjoy your surroundings today no matter where you are. Life is happening, so don't miss it! 


My London Mosaic

So much running around, so many iPhone photos, and words seem arbitrary! So the mosaic above shows you most of what I've been doing, which is EVERYTHING. And lots of river walks. Yes. 


Favorite Thing Thursday

Lately, these have been a few of my favorite things...

1. Being in the U.K. for an Extended Period

I love extended trips. When I was younger, my family and I would always go to Turkey for 6 weeks at a time and I truly think it's the best way to travel. It gives me the chance to really soak in the every day life of a country, and even gives me a chance to miss California a little. For an extreme wanderluster as myself, this is crucial!

2. Sunbathing with Oscar

3. Fresh Basil


I've put this in all caps because I LOVE sticky toffee pudding. Pretty sure I'm going to gain a few pounds eating copious amounts of this, but I just don't care! Thank you Waitrose, I love you too.


What are some of your favorite things of the week? 


Around London Town: Meeting Bloggers and Hanging with Oscar

Woo hoo! I can restart my "Around London Town" series while I am here.

I've already been in London for 12 days and I've done SO MUCH. I don't think I've taken as many pictures as I should have, but I do have a few to share with you. The guy you see above is my new love, Oscar. We've moved into together rather quickly. I cook for him all the time. It's a good match.

We take long walks in the morning AND at night! Our favorite spot is walking along the river...

I like looking at the wild daffodils, Oscar likes peeing on them. Ha.

While not hanging with Oscar, I've been catching up with friends, old and new! One such new friend is a blogger. Miranda was an absolute pleasure to meet: intelligent, kind, and funny! Thanks for coming out, Miranda, and picking quite possibly the cutest cafe in Barnes.

 We went to the cafe attached to Olympic Cinemas. I HIGHLY recommend it!

For a lightish lunch, the onion and goat cheese tart is divine! 

I'll most likely do a few more of these posts while I'm here, so watch out for more London goodness!


A Thirty-Something in London

My Birthday Selfie! 
Hey guys, long time no blog. Whoops! I was settling in. And by settling in I mean going to the corner pub and having a pint.

This past Tuesday, I became a "thirty-something." This is not something I was fretting about; however, I did become rather contemplative when my friend told me 10 minutes before midnight, "Enjoy the last few minutes of your twenties!" I definitely had an existential "WHOA" moment right then and there--I thought about how fast a decade goes and how a turn into your thirties is indeed symbolic. I do still think we attach too much meaning to 30 sometimes. I don't think you have to be in any one spot or position when you turn thirty (i.e. married, perfect job, etc.), but I will confess that thirty is more than just a number.

ANYWAY, forgive my soliloquy. I did want to show you what I did on my actual 30th (which was March 3rd). I was too lazy to bring out my nice camera, so iPhone shots it is!

Started the day off with some tea (obviously). 

Went to pub quiz (where we lost). I also proceeded to spill that red wine on my white sweater (UGH!). Which really means that I had a good time. 

The morning after I spent the day trying to do work but really waging a battle with my friend's cat...

 I wanted to work, she wanted me to pet her, so she kept trying to lay in between me and the keyboard (smart little cat!). She also tried to steal my ravioli...
She ended up winning in the end, so really I didn't get much work done. 

This morning I'm quite happy because I have fresh coffee, and because blogging. Cheers, guys! 


HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?!? Catching up on blogs, starting now!! 


A Three Sentence Movie Review

1. The Best of Me

This was so bad it's actually humorous; but really, 'best' should be nowhere near the title. It was like they thought, "Let's put about 6 tragic events in one film, add in a choppy love story, mix in a few outrageous/alcoholic/drug-dealing characters, and WE'VE GOT OURSELVES A WINNER!" Not even James Marsden's beautiful face could save this one.

2. Advanced Style

On Netflix Instant
Inspiring and adorable. Documentary on women who have great style in their "advanced" age--the 70 and above crowd. Of course, the film veers into their life stories, their hopes, and the idea that no matter your age, there's still a lot of living to do.

3. The One I Love

On Netflix Instant
WHOA. You'll go into this film thinking it's just about a troubled couple wanting to fix their marriage, and you'll leave the film thinking "WHATTTTT JUST HAPPENEDDDDDD?!?" Without giving too much away (I can't ruin this for you), this is suchhhh a must watch!

4. Song One

Although I usually love the depth Anne Hathaway gives to her characters, I found this film to be lacking. There was no real passion between the two love interests, and no real passion in the film, period. Unless you're looking for a good nap, skip this 'song.'

Image credits: 1/2/3/4

Forgive the radio silence the next few days on the blog. I'll be traveling and experiencing some jet lag this week. The next post you'll see here will be written from London! 


Newsflash: London Bound Next Week!

Before I start this post, just wanted to say: Jess, you won the bracelet! But the e-mail you gave me doesn't seem to be working. So please e-mail me with your address! (you can find my e-mail in the about section).


Right, so...you all know I love London. And since my job allows me to work remotely, I thought: why not have an extended stay in London while I have this super flexible job? 

I felt like a genius coming up with such a great plan; that is, until I remembered how expensive London is. So how was I going to have about a month stay in the world's most expensive city?

Enter trustedhousesitters.com. It's an online house and petsitting site that calls itself the "win/win for pet lovers that travel." So basically, I am going to house and pet sit for a lady who is traveling for three weeks, and in return I have a place to stay for three weeks--as long as I watch her pup. I'll do a proper review of the whole deal once my housesit is over with, but I'm already ecstatic that I figured out a way to cut costs and have a long stay in the U.K.

So in a week's time, I'll be flying off to London once again (I just can't stay away)! I realize how lucky I am to have a job that allows me to move around if I choose. And you know what? It's just what I needed! 


10 Year Blogiversary and a Giveaway

I don't usually blog on a Sunday, but today is a special occasion.

Exactly 10 YEARS ago today, I created this blog for a Creative Writing class in college. And then I just kept it. For a freakin' decade! (!!)

I think 2 things have kept me going with this blog:
  • Having a close-knit blog community who left meaningful comments. It was never about quantity, but most definitely quality when it comes to my blog community! 
  • Having a space to catalog my travel adventures! 

Oh right, the giveaway. You know I've never done a giveaway on this blog? Today I thought is was highly appropriate to gift what's known as a nazar bracelet. Nazar is a protector of sorts, most often crafted into an eye shape, to keep away the "evil eye." It's a tradition that spans back centuries, and Turkey is not the only place that holds onto this tradition.

Now this bracelet is nothing pricey, but just a little trinket to say thank you for reading all these years. According to my family, if the bracelet or eyes break it's done it's job in keeping away an evil spirit coveting something of yours! So...this may not be a great gift for the guy readers...um, I'll give away something "masculine" next time. ha.

To enter my lil' giveaway, simply comment and please leave your e-mail. I'll be picking someone at random on Wednesday, February 18th (probably with some numbering off method)!

So...here's to another decade of blogging?? I think so! 


4 Things

Sometimes it's just really fun to fill out these questionnaire thingies! 

4 names people call me other than my real name:
  1. Ash
  2. Smashley
  3. Zero
  4. Skittles 

4 jobs I've had:

  1. Student Advisor 
  2. Smoothie Maker 
  3. Cashier at a Party Store/Balloon Expert
  4. After School Teacher 

4 movies I've seen more than once:

  1. High Fidelity
  2. Bridget Jones' Diary
  3. Office Space
  4. Notting Hill

4 of my favorite songs*: 

  1. "What's Going On?" Marvin Gaye (pretty much my favorite song of all time) 
  2. "Interstate Love Song" Stone Temple Pilots (my favorite driving song)
  3. "The Mother We Share" CHVRCHES (my favorite electronic song)
  4. "In a Sentimental Mood" Duke Ellington and John Coltrane (Fave jazz song)
*It's extremely difficult to choose just 4 songs, so each song is a representative of different types of music I like. 

4 places I've lived:

  1. San Diego, CA 
  2. Point Mugu, CA (Military Base) 
  3. Camarillo, CA 
  4. London, United Kingdom 

4 places I'd rather be right now:

  1. Tulum, Mexico (on my bucket list!)
  2. Istanbul, Turkey (always and forever)
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. London, United Kingdom (my fave)

4 things I don't eat:

  1. Seafood 
  2. Sushi
  3. Internal organs of animals (gross!) 
  4. Balut (look it up...it's something I've seen often living in a place with a large Filipino population) 

4 of my favorite foods:

  1. Spaghetti (ALL DAY, ERR'DAY!) 
  2. Cheese (preferably from France or Switzerland) 
  3. Kısır (Turkish dish, yum!) 
  4. Chocolate (I used to prefer milk, now it's dark all the way baby!) 

4 TV shows I watch (that are currently on):

  1. The Mindy Project
  2. GOTHAM 
  3. The Bachelor (the absurdity makes me laugh)
  4. Made in Chelsea (British show, horribly fake reality TV) 

4 things I'm looking forward to this year:

  1. Always looking forward to my next trip! Where in the world is Ashley San Diego? (It fits, doesn't it?) 
  2. Zeroing in on my dream career (I'm getting closer) 
  3. Being more fearless.
  4. Taking steps to be mindful of every day. 

4 things I'm always saying:

  1. Can't be bothered.
  2. I have a serious addiction to travel. 
  3. Coffee! (in the morning when I cannot utter full sentences)
  4. If they just played Marvin Gaye right now, I would be happy. 


Made You Laugh

I've had a hard time getting motivated today, so I thought some humor was needed as an energy booster. Enjoy!

Feel better? Me too. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...