February 26, 2010

Highland Mint


When I was about sixteen or so my family had annual passes to the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. You need only know me for about ten minutes before you learn of my deep and burning hatred of zoos. I cannot abide them. Like, at all. They are smelly, it is always hot, I always get a sunburn, and there is a 99.9% chance you will get pee'd on by an Elephant (my claims to fame in life are that I have not only been pee'd on by an Elephant, but also a cow. Someday I'll tell you about them). if all that weren't bad enough, there is nothing you actually do at a zoo. So in lue of being pee'd on by smelly animals who mostly just lay around doing nothing, I would look through the shops. During my times in these shops (we went alot, because, y'know, the animals change so very much from week to week.) I discovered Badger Balm. They had a pots of these lip balms as well as sticks and there were samples. Being a lip balm fanatic (seriously it looks like I collect the stuff) I tried all the ones they had there. The company sold really pretty sounding scents/flavours like Chai Rose, Cinnamon Bay, and Highland Mint.


At this time in my life I was obsessed with two things: Scotland, and a Scottish actor ( don't even ask, cuz I'm not telling you) who happened to think that badgers were the strangest animals ever (His website was called something like The Roaming Badger and he frequently referred to himself as a badger and it was all weird, but he did have very pretty blue eyes). I had giggled when I saw the name of the company, and when I saw the Highland Mint, I giggled even more. then I tired it. My life was forever changed. As far as lip balms go, this stuff takes the cake! It is soothing, and makes my lips so soft, and had just a hint of that tingling mint feeling. Beyond that it smells incredible. I'm not joking, this is the best lip balm on the plant and I'll put my right eye on that. So I bought a pot of it. I think the pot lasted a week or two. So I bought another the next time we were there. Same story. Then our passes (thankfully) expired and while I was so happy about not having to stare at yet another lion sleeping anymore, I did lose access to my favourite lip balm.


But as fate would have it, my favourite vintage/thrift shop (that is sadly no more) started carrying the sticks. I was thrilled and overjoyed and happily bought them every time I went in there. Well the next summer I went to the UK and Ireland and carried my Badger Balm. It was stolen by some girl on the trip when we traded sweatshirts one day, and I demanded it back. I got it back on the day we went repelling off the side of a castle (which by the way I am terrified of heights and did everything I could to not appear so as we leapt off the side of a castle. While it was fun, I did land squarely on my hiney and will probably never do it again.). It had been two days that I been without that stupid lip balm and it was like Christmas getting it back. Sadly the stick lasted until the last day of the trip and I had to fly home sans lip balm. Oh well, I thought, I'll just buy some more when I get home. So get home I did, and off to Dee Lux I went, and guess what? They had gone out of business in the time I had been gone. Life as I knew it was over.


I have been searching high and low for this stuff ever since then. It's an organic brand, so health food stores and the like should carry it right? Oh no. They carry badger brand hand and foot balm, but no lip balm, and no Highland Mint. I could order it online, but then I'd have to pay shipping and when the sticks are three bucks a pop, I'd rather not. About two weeks ago I was in Sprouts buying toothpaste and there I saw it. Badger Balm Sticks!! I literally ran to the display only to find they did not have the Highland Mint. At that point I decided I would break down and just order the darn stuff online. So yesterday I ran over to Clark's across the street. Clark's is a health food store and carries 99 cent Arizona Ice tea, which by the way, I am addicted to. I got my tea, bought the refill to my facewash, bought some rose scented Witch Hazel, and went to check out. I had searched the toiletries section of the store for that stupid lip balm as I do every time I'm in there. But alas, nothing. So there I am standing in line and an organic raspberry dark chocolate bar was staring at me tauntingly. I told the chocolate to go away and looked up one row as if to let it know it did not have any power over me. And that's when I saw it. It was unmistakable. The green cap, the purple swirly label, the cute little fuzzy creature holding an orb. Could it be? I squealed and grabbed a stick hoping my eyes did not deceive me. They did not. I had finally found my lip balm! I bought the thing and ripped off the seal, opened the cap, and breathed in the smell. Oddly enough I was instantly back to that day of abseiling (repelling). Every time I use it now I'm back there. All I know is that I am delighted to have my lip balm back. I highly recommend it. Your lips are in for a treat.

February 25, 2010

This Message is not Approved by Jill.

But She's at Disneyland so she can't really approve it despite the fact that I was told not to post this without her approval. I was also told not to link to her. I love you Jill, but only "this much" _____.

Last night Jill hosted a girls night out at BJ's Brewery. (BJ's had the best coffee ever and I am so not kidding about that)It was a ton of fun, and I was thoroughly mocked (in a good way). We laughed, and talked, and had good food, and good drinks, and awkward conversations, and came up with ridiculous inside jokes, and had a really lovely time. I only took a few pictures (while Jill mocked me about how they were all going to end up on the blog) but here they are for your enjoyment.






(Jill, someday I'll actually draw you a graph for dicifering what exactly "this much" really means in Ashley Crushland. It will probably be very large and include a timeline of my phases of stupidity.)

Today I posted some status on facebook about Ke$ha, and was being mocked by someone about said status and I kinda went off on a rant (which of course I will now repeat for all of you).

I have heard of this girl, but hadn't listened to her music, or paid any attention until this morning. This morning I ended up on her website watching her orgasm set to bad electronica and dying inside a little. IT WAS HORRIBLE! Y'know that my smallest complaint was the fact that she can't sing? It's THAT bad. I was horrified. Absolutely horrified.

This is why I have such a huge problem with these major music companies. They are basically running brothels. People think, be a musician and make millions, and that is SOOO not what it is about. It makes me so angry to see this. It's not about your talent or ability or artistry. It's about weather you look good in clubbing clothes and are willing to put yourself on display. This girl represents everything that is wrong with the music industry. And frankly music is not supposed to be an industry. It's an art. You don't see an Artist industry anywhere do you? Or a Dance Industry? And I'm not against industries, or big business, or corporations at all. I believe that everyone has the right to make money and if they want to run a corporation, fine. But music is not a corporation. It's an art and when you corporate an art, you lose the art part of it. That's why musicians start their own recording companies, because they can't own anything that is theirs with the other companies. I love it when I see artist collaborations and there is some note about how So-and-So appears courtesy of _____. not they don't appear courtesy of a company. They appear by courtesy of themselves. They're the ones who are writing the music and performing and yet some company has the right to tell them when and where they can appear? I don't think so. It's MY music. No company has the right to own any of it.

Music isn't about making a million. It's about so much more and these trashy, future rehab dweller "musicians" are ruining all that. I mean Mozart died in poverty. Mozart! And yet Ke$ha, who can't even spell her own name correctly, can lay around in her bling and beer (classiest rhyme ever: "got no money, but I'm already here, got plenty of time, and plenty of beer." Have fun finding a new liver in five years Ke$ha.)? Does anyone else have a problem with this? Is this the legacy of music our generation wants to leave behind? And don't get me wrong, there are alot of popular artists out there who I really like, and respect. Even if they aren't someone who's genre I particularly like, there are many artists who are, golly, artists. They put thought, emotion, and golly, art into their music. But these are the same people who have said that as a musician you cannot be in this for the money, but for the actual craft. It's these fame and fortune seekers who give musicians, and music, a bad name.

Let's be honest, we'd all like to be rich and famous. We'd all like the attention, and the perks. I really have no problem with people honestly saying that's what they want. But if that is what you want then get on a reality TV show. Become a celebutante. Pull a stupid stunt that becomes a nationwide scandal. But don't pretend you are an artist. Don't get involved in an artistic outlet hoping to make millions. Your focus will only ever be on that, and when it doesn't come, you will live a horribly miserable, bitter life. I love music. I love listening to it, performing it, writing it, being surrounded by it, learning about it, feeling it, seeing it, I just love music. If I can make money as a musician, then great. I would love nothing more than to make a living doing what I love the most. But if I never get the opportunity to do that, I'm still going to love my music. My love of my art isn't co-dependant on my wish to make a couple bucks with it. I would be just as happy working in a job during the day and performing at night, as I would be performing full time. I'd love to perform full time, but I don't need to. I love the actual music. So when these stupid twits who write songs about people touching their "junk" and how they are going to brush their teeth with a bottle of Jack, it infuriates me. They are taking something I love so dearly and bastardising it. It's offensive. It's not even music anymore. It's some alcohol diluted, sex infused, cacophony of noise. All I know is that you Ke$ha, are making Mozart roll over in his mass grave. Good thing you probably don't know who he is.

Rant over.

(I felt I needed to compensate for yesterday's three sentence post. I'm all about balance y'know.)

February 24, 2010

An Outfit Post



AH! I wrote a whole long-ish post on this and the darn thing didn't save!! Here's the gist: Boring outfit, love my hair, would like my hair to decide weather it is red, brown, or auburn, watched Bright Star, loved the movie, going out tonight and very excited! This might be the shortest post in the history of my blog.



February 22, 2010

Monday Inspiration #31: Evidence of Spring

I lue of a legitimate post, here are some images of spring popping up around me.
This week and weekend were crazy! I haven't recovered from it at all!
But still I'm in the mood for a spring-ish adventure.
What about you?

February 15, 2010

Monday Inspiration #30: Let's go to the Movies.

When I was a kid my parents were a little psychotic. It's okay because I turned out alright, but let me just say, they were a little nutty. They had some pretty funny ideas about raising us kids and secretly I loved it and fully plan on tormenting my own children. It'll be okay because I turned out alright.

One of their crazy quirks was that we didn't watch television. When I told people this, it actually made jaws drop. We did own a TV, we just only used it for watching movies. And watch movies we did. I have probably one of the best film educations a person could get. We watched movies ALL THE TIME. We had four movie rental places, and at each they knew us well. Long story short, I grew up watching a lot of movies. My dad loves classic films, my mom loves period pieces, Bri and I lived and breathed Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (and yes I have seen every single fiml they have ever made. Ever.), so there was always a healthy mix of movies coming and going in and out of our house. I realized rather recently how much I was effected by these films growing up. So today I have complied a list of the movies that inspired me the most as a kid- and still continue to inspire me today!

Alice in Wonderland: a little girl, who's curiosity and dreaminess gets her in trouble. Sounds very familiar.


The Secret Garden: In 1993 I got the chicken pox right after my mom finished eading this book to my sisters and I. I subsequently was rented every version of The Secret Garden because I loved it so much. A new version had just been released and everyone thought I was the girl that played Mary Lennox. Best week of my life. Though I honestly do not see the resemblance.


A Little Princess: Yeah, so basically I spent my entire childhood being Sara. I told tall tales a lot. I also secretly dreamed of being forced to be someone's servant and then finding out I was actually incredibly wealthy. Oh yeah, and someday, I will totally own those green shoes.


The Secret of Roan Inish: Duh. No explaination needed here.


And of course:

The Wizard of OZ: My Favourite Movie, and frankly just about the best thing ever.


What movies left a lasting impression on you?

February 13, 2010










Wouldn't it be lovely to live on an Island eating fresh fish, surrounded by the salty air? Maybe someday....

What are you dreaming about today?

February 11, 2010

This is the story of your red right ankle

The Worst Pies in London

Headband- F21
Blouse- Vintage
Dress- Self Made
Crinolin-Vintage via Wasteland in LA
Shoes- Secondhand Nanette Lepour
I love it when a theme presents itself during the week. My week began looking through antiques, listening to The Decemberists, reminicing about Ireland, and thinking Romantical Victorian Rainy thoughts. These themes are still going strong and I'm pretty sure that is where the inspiration for today's outfit came from. That or I am chanelling my inner Mrs. Lovett.

We fused like a Family, but I will not mourn for you

Oh and can I have a bit of a rant right now? Y'know I fully appreciate that it can be seen as weird to take photographs of yourself to post on the internet. I completely aknowledge that it is an odd thing in this town to see some girl dressed up like a mourning victorian doll/Circus performer/melodramatic silent film star (someone asked me this morning if I'd been inspired by Mrs. Sees of See's Candy?). But that does not mean that you have the right to be rude. So blodies in jeans and hoodies I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't go and get your friends and come out to watch me and point and laugh. And Mr. Macho Cop, it is none of your business who
exactly I am taking pictures of. It's a free country. And dear, dear, gangster boy, I will stop showing my lacy slip when you learn to belt your pants. Okay rant over.

From Stairway to Station We Made A Sensation

Funny story about this dress. I made it. I started making it in August right before my Birthday. Then I was going to finish it so I could wear it to see The Decemberists (this blog should really be renamed to The Girl Who Yammers About The Decemberists A Lot) in October. Well I finished it last Saturday finally. it wasn't that it was particularly difficult to make or anything, I just never bothered finishing it. Also the bodice was originally two long rectangles and I had to re adjust the top of it, like, about twenty times before I got it to fit right. But I am pretty happy with the way it came out. There are a few things I would change, but not very many. So all in all I'm pretty happy with it. Plus it's made of a really soft cotton and will be absolutely perfect for the Californian summers I am leaving behind. I keep forgetting that I won't actually have to deal with summer here and have bought/made a ton of summer clothes that are super thin. So basically I'm going to freeze in Portland! Yay!

We're Kings Among Runaways


Mrs. Lovett 2

Mrs. Lovett?


I set my hair in these vintage metal curlers I found a week or so ago (and forgot to take pictures of). They come out in perfect ringlets. I brushed out the rest of the ringlets and pinned it on my head, then let the two ringlest hang on the side. I quite love the way it came out!


And these shoes! These are Nanette Lepour shoes my dad found in a vintage shop on Sunday. Not only are they actually comfortable, they're stinking cute too! These are the ones I wore on Tuesday when I had that crazy hectic day (I got a comment asking what shoes they were). I think it's love.
Has your week been themed?

February 10, 2010


Big Ben

Trafalgar Square Fountain

It all began back during the apocalyptic rain storm we had a couple of weeks ago. I woke up one morning to the rain crashing down against my window, a gloomy glow cast across my room, and cuddled my pillow snug in my warm woolen sweater. As I laid in bed enjoying the rain lullaby and warmth of my bed I was reminded of a similar morning nearly six years ago. It was 2004 and I was a heavily black eyeliner-ed, jeans, flip-flops, and hoodie wearing nearly 17 year old who was currently trying to grow out a bad hair cut and dye job (two words, Purple Poodle). And despite my poor taste in footwear I had somehow ended up in a magical place I like to call Ireland. That summer I got to spend three weeks touring England, Wales, and Ireland and in my tiny brain I'd hit the jackpot.

Trafalgar Square Fountain

Trafalgar Square

St. James Palace

Leading up to that trip all I could talk about was going to England. I had long been obsessed with England and Scotland, and since I wasn't going to Scotland, I was sure as heck going to lap up everything about England I could. We spent the first few days of the trip in England, then moved on to Southern Wales. I was in heaven. I was seeing things I'd read about my whole life, things I'd dreamed of seeing someday. I woke up every morning with pure joy in my little heart. I was in England. My family and friends had joked about how the country was not going to live up to my expectations and I would end up hating it. Of course this made me determined to love everything about that trip. And while I did love England, and it did live up to all my hopes and dreams, there were many things about that trip I absolutely hated. Being there was the only thing that made that trip bearable.

Ashley and Big Ben



The other kids were dumb, rude, disgusting, annoying, and more interested in buying cigarettes and booze than walking in places that had stood for 1000 years! I remember calling my mom one morning (her morning) and being near tears about how horrible the other kids were. I didn't have a single friend on the trip, just kids I got stuck with (we had to be in groups of three or more at all times and it was the most annoying rule I have ever had to adhere to), or I stuck with the leaders. At least they wanted to got through every room in the freaking castle we were in. But it was hard. I never really got home sick, but it was annoying having to schedule my phone calls so I could actually talk to my mom and dad. The second half of the trip we had easily accessible email, which made things so much better, but still sometimes a 16 year old girl really needs to hear her mom's voice (sometimes a nearly 23 year old girl needs to hear her mom's voice too, but that's not the point :-)). By the fifth day of that trip I realized I was not going to be making any lasting friendships, so I decided to just focus on the fact that I was actually there and I was going to enjoy it dammit.




We were in Cardiff when I came to this decision. I liked Cardiff (and I sware I saw Charlotte Church, but sadly have no proof), I loved the Roman section of Cardiff Castle, argued with a tour guide ( some of them were just stupid and by the end of the trip I got banned from answering questions so I would stop arguing with the tour guides), and had and interesting experience in a shop who's outward appearance was quite deceptive as to what it actually contained (this would be my first (and last) experience with edible underwear). We left Cardiff and drove to the coast to catch an overnight ferry to Ireland. That's when the trip got interesting.


There were two people who didn't get seasick on the ferry: one of our leaders, and myself. I have always loved the ocean (I hate sand, but the ocean makes up for it). When I was a little girl we spent every summer in Oregon and were there for my birthday. Birthdays meant going to Lighthouses and hearing "creepy" ghost stories and dreaming about being the lighthouse keeper's daughter dressed in a white linen gown, pining for my sailor out at sea. I was a very romantic child. I don't get sea sick at all and love nothing more than being rocked to sleep by the ocean's lullaby. I remember being on the deck of our ferry watching the sun set as the sea mist sprayed my face. It was bliss. Then I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night to find some people (I'm still not entirely sure who) getting freaky in the bunk above me. I went back to sleep dearly hoping the next day would be a better one.

Sun Set on the way to Ireland

The next day I woke up to Ireland.

Ireland from the Ferry

We docked in Cork and met our incredibly charming coach driver, PJ. he looked like a leprechaun. As I entered the coach he saw my name tag and smiled at me. "Well there's an Irish name if I ever did see one." I smiled back. In the week I'd been in the United Kingdom, no one had ever miss pronounced my last name.

PJ the Irish coach driver/leprechaun

Blue House at Bunratty castle

St. Patrick Cathedral


Irish White House

I sat near the front of the coach and listened as our English leader argued with our Irish Coach driver whether Ashley Barrett was a good Irish or English name. When I interjected that my middle name was Louise, PJ claimed his prize. "It's Irish," he said, "No doubt about it." Smiling and feeling rather delighted about being "claimed" by my happy leprechaun, I finally turned to look out the window. I'd been so taken by PJ and his funny manner, I'd forgotten to even look around me. It nearly made me cry to do so. I had never seen anything so beautiful in all my life. The green of the earth was bright and vibrant against the patches of gloom in the sky. I had fallen in love with that country within the first hour of my being there. It was as if the minute I stepped foot on the lovely green soil, something magical happened. I am a firm believer in the Magic of Ireland.

Ashley in the Stocks

Bunratty Fireplace

Bunratty Parapet

If you touch this thing, you're supposed to give birth to twins

As we drove through the various places we went, PJ gave us a history lesson, sang us old Irish tunes, or told us stories in his soothing oratory. While the others slept as we drove, I couldn't. there was too much to see, and hear. I loved everything about being there. My home stay family were so wonderful. They wanted to know everything about us, they brought us to a pub for dinner and bought us cokes and told us about their lives and laughed when I told their son I didn't speak troll because he was mumbling at me. Our home stay mom had gone to school in America and asked us about things that had changed. The next day her best friend came over and we showed them pictures from home and they freaked out about the palm trees and how "lovely" they were. I never wanted to leave.

Former Glory

Cliffs of Moher

the Burren

It wasn't just the people that made me love it. It wasn't just the rain, and lovely gloominess. It wasn't even how heartbreakingly beautiful the whole country was. There was just something in the air, some intangible force that made me love this place so very much. I took the most pictures in Ireland. Everything was a Kodak moment. I remember one day we were driving to the Ailwee caves and as we drove down the road we passed some ancient wall covered in ancient carvings. It was just an instant flash that I saw them, but I wanted to see more I wanted to spend as long as I could there, just looking.

Mini- Henge

Cliffs of Moher

CLiffs of Moher


The day in question was while we were staying in Lisdoonvarna. Someone had converted a castle into a hotel and we were staying there. The night before we'd gone to a Ceilidh. They taught us a jig, played some Celtic music, and I just about died of happiness. The next morning I woke up to the rain pouring down, hitting my window. being that we were in a castle, they apparently felt the need to give us the castle experience. That or they didn't have central heating. Either way I huddled down in my woolen blankets (in July!) and smiled. In that moment I decided that this was officially my favourite place in the world. There were so many things I did there, so many things I saw, that I could talk about them for hours. My love for Ireland is boundless.



View from the top of Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Whenever it get's rainy here, or when I really need a bit of an escape, I go back through my pictures from that trip. Instantly I am back there, the wind swirling my hair in my face. I'd give just about anything (left lung included) to go back. I've wanted to go back since I left. Thinking about that part of my trip makes me smile so widely.

My mom and I were talking a few weeks ago about that trip and some of the things we did and she asked me if I'd like to go back there now, with an older perspective. The answer is of course. And someday I will.

But I promise to pack less jeans and black eyeliner this time.

View from the top of Blarney Castle

There are a few more pictures on my flickr here.