December 31, 2010


year end
Blouse, dress- Thrifted
Shoes- Thrifted gift from my sister
Angus the Yellow Scotty Dog- found in antique shop for free!
Mac the Black Scotty Dog- Christmas gift from my mom and dad
Bag- Christmas gift from my mom and dad

I was going to continue on with my Christmas wrap up, but as it is now New Years I figured I'd give you one last outfit for the year. This is from Monday. The jumper is a recent thrift find that hit my ankles in it's former life. I'm sure it was not intended to hit there, but being ill proportioned as I am it was incredibly unflattering one me. So ti got a new hem and had some absolutely awful lace removed from  under the bust and voila! I love it very much, and may have worn it three different days this week. May meaning "totally did" here.

year end

year end

Everyone else seems to be doing a year end wrap up, so I guess I'll join in. I never really do a traditional one. 2008's was about being that little girl who was starting to grow up. 2009 was all about leaving behind the little girl and finding the big girl inside. I remember being so excited last year because I just *knew* 2010 was going to be one humdinger of a year. I was right, but not in the way I expected. I didn't move in June as I'd planned and while I was really upset about that, I know it was for the better. If I'd moved I never would have returned to the world or theatre. And if I'd never returned to the world of theatre I never would have been cast to sing Phantom of the Opera this summer. And, more than likely I would not have come to a big realization. See sometimes I'm a little stupid. Okay fine, a lot of times I'm a lot stupid. And I'm not very brave. So when I get mad at something and decide to hate it, I run from it, even if it's one of the things that drives my life force. So back in 2008 I left school. I was mad at it, mad at the music dept, mad at the world of classical music. And in 2009 I refused to listen to the part of me that needed that other part of me I was suffocating. And then in 2010 I realized that by trying to quiet that part of me, I wasn't being my best. I was ignoring something that was a big deal. It sounds silly, but I need Opera in my life. It's a huge part of who I am. It's the ever so slightly overly dramatic part of me, it's the sweep-off-my-feet-able part of me, it's the part of me that soars as high as the notes and knows what it's like to live in the clouds. And ignoring that part of me wasn't helping anyone. So I got cast, and I started to sing and I remembered just how much I loved it. Because there are few things I do better than singing notes that only dogs should hit (btw for those wondering I'm generally labeled as a Lyric Soprano because I have a very Italian voice, however I actually am a Coloratura). And I LOVE it. I crave it. I love writing my own music. I love playing the guitar. I love singing the kind of folky-pop-emo (I'm half joking) music that I write. But I'm at my finest moment when I am singing those soaring high notes. It's who I am. I always used to think when I was younger that I didn't actually like Opera, it was just something I did. But then I left it and realized that I did love it, and I needed it.

year end

year end

So along came June and July and I finally sent off an email to my voice coach saying, alright, you were right. I'm sure he knew that at some point I would reach this conclusion, and realize my mistake (the man seems to orchestrate my every thought, which is sometimes annoying because it would just be easier if he'd just tell me the conclusion I'd be coming to in a few months time). I kept it a secret from most people until recently, and is one of the reasons I've been a bit quieter here. I nearly told y'all about fifty million times, but I just kept deleting the posts because it wasn't a for sure thing, and I was still trying to  figure things out and while not everything is figured out still, I'm much closer. Basically I am going back to school and I'm bloody excited. I'm also totally terrified, but still excited! I'm applying to Oregon State for either Summer or Fall. I'm hoping to be able to move up there before. In the meantime I'll be going back to ye olde Riverside Community College. I (hopefully, I'm #28 on the waitlist of 30.. grr) start on Monday! Eek! I really am excited. Right now I plan to major in Vocal Performance, but I'm also considering a more technical degree (sound mixing/midi/the really nerdy, geeky aspect of music that I am fascinated by but try to suppress from being made known to the world).

year end

This year has been a very good one for me. We had our ups and downs, and the downs came pretty hard, but I think it was all things I needed to learn/do before I could really get into that final phase of growing up. I learned to embrace parts of me that I sometimes wish weren't a part of me. I learned to tone down the "ugly" in my life :-). I learned that I am just not meant to be an un-banged girl. I learned to knit! I learned to be a better seamstress, and that things worth doing are worth doing right the first time, and worth taking your time. I learned a new strumming pattern! I learned that somethings, and some people, wear out their welcome, and that sometimes when you're changing, not everything around changes at the same rate. I learned to say no, and to stop letting people walk all over me. I learned to swing dance. I learned so very much this year and I am so thankful for it!! And I am ever so thankful that you have all joined me on this journey! Each comment and email has meant so much to me (even if I am terrible about getting back to them!) and honestly I have come to consider each of you a friend! So thank you for reading, for commenting, and for putting up with my sometimes ridiculously introspective writings! You all mean the world to me!!

year end

So Happy New Year! May it be filled with abundant blessings, and a cupcake or two!

December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve, Eve

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Mine was weird, but good. Not weird in a bad way, just... weird. But it honestly was good. Just... weird. But good. I'm sounding repetitive. But anyways, there was so much going on this weekend that I think I'll break everything up over the next couple of days. So first off the gift exchange with my dear friends.

Thursday night I got together with Bri., Michael, Jess, Sarah, Charissa, and Chel, and we exchanged gifts at Panera. It was a really wonderfully good night! We ate, and talked, and got wonderful gifts, and Charissa sang us a song about a little sperm... and no alcohol was involved! I left my SD card at home, so these photos are all stolen from Charissa.

Charissa and Bri

Ashley and Sarah

Half the loot

some more of the loot. We had alot of presents to give.



Charissa helped this woman by getting this card.

The photo that makes my eyes look big! And no, I do not intend to ever take this hat off. (thanks Mary!!)

Jessica and Ashley


Charissa eating the hair bow I knit her.

Bri needle felted Charissa a Giraffe!

Jessica playing with the fortune cookie camera I got her. She removed the cover.

So demure, so poised, so wrong....

Ah that's more like it...

Charissa and Chelsea

Charissa and Jessica

Yummy Soup!

My favourite picture of the night!

It was an incredibly fun night! And my friends know me all too well. This is what I got!

From Charissa:


I've been wanting these books forever! They are so sweet and charming! Thanks Charissa-bird!

From Jessica:
This is the world's coolest journal. There is a page for each day with entries for 5 years. How cool is that!!! I was so excited when I opened it!!


I've also been sending Jess some less than subtle hints that I wanted to marry this album and have it's little musical babies, and it worked!! I've not stopped listening to it since Thursday!

How pretty are these earrings? I love them so much. Jess found them at some random store and they are just perfect! It's hard to tell in the photo but they are a bit brassy and look antique!

From Sarah:


Sarah embroidered this apron for me! Which is hysterical because both of us embroidered our gifts to each other and kept complaining for days about how long it was taking! I love the apron so much and it has already been put to good use. Of course I realized on Friday that I shouldn't wear this outside my house because it might send people the wrong message:

The problem with being named 'Ashely' and red being your favourite colour is that you will look like a literary harlot who made my High School experience a living hell (good gosh I hated that book!)


Homemade peppermint bark from Sarah! it was very yummy too!

Jane Austen, music, journals, earrings, aprons, gnomes, peppermint, and mushrooms? I think my friends get me!

December 22, 2010

Exciting things that start with "P"

Namely presents and parties! And also a flood


Monday night I got home and found this waiting on my bed. My Secret Blogger gift!! Hooray!!
My lovely gifter was the absolutely adorable Mary of Undergrad Fab
And she sent me a wonderful box of goodies!!



How cute is that envelope!!!



Inside I first found this amazing hat! Seriously, there is not a more perfect hat in the world. Grey, beret, and giant ribbon bow? Yes, yes, and yes!

And then came this beautiful super dark blue nailpolish! I was prompt in trying it on (and doing a rather shoddy job at it!) and I love, love, love it!!


Also included were these lovely grey leg warmers, which was kind of amazing considering that I had just thought to myself that very day how a pair of leg warmers would be wonderful! They also allowed me to sleep in my skimpy nightgown because I really need to do laundry and it was stinking (and delightfully) cold!



I love this hat so much!
Thank you so much Mary! I love everything so much and I am so glad we got to "meet"! 
I've got a card heading your way too!
And thank you so much to Gerry for hosting this wonderful gift exchange!

Next up: The party!
I did take some pictures. But not many. I just got so involved in making, and taking, and eating yummy food, and laughing, and catching up and....
Basically it was wonderful! And I completely forgot to take a picture of what I wore even though I made a skirt for the event (But I'm wearing it for Christmas Day, so I'll take pictures then.).

I couldn't have asked for a better party, better food, and better company!
Charissa thinking she was fabulous :-)


Yummy treats- minus the cupcakes I forgot about until near the end of the party!


Drinks! Minus the wine we broke out. I felt really bad when I realized we drank four bottles of wine, but it was between 10 people, none of whom were driving, so I don't feel so bad about that!


Mulled cider! It was delicious! I used a mix my mom had from William Sonoma  and added a handful of whole cloves and some cinnamon sticks. The mix had some amazing flavours in it including hickory wood chips! But it was (and is) amazing!



Making stuff!






This is one of the things I made! I was inspired by this. It was really simple too, cardstock, ribbon, glue, and glitter! Not nearly as pretty as the original, but it'll do! I really want to make the little bobby pins now!

Best picture of the night!
L-R: Bri (communicating evilly with creepy Charissa!), Alicia (who's in town from Chicago, and who I dearly miss!), Sarah, Creepy Charissa, and the ever so lovely Hannah who seriously needs to start her own fashion blog! (hint hint Hannah!) Also in attendance (but not pictured here) were Delaney, Chelsea, Chelsea's friend Savannah, Delaney's friend Chandler, Hannah's sisters Mary, and Rebecca, Savannah's friend Amanda, and Jessica


Jessica make a bird headband. It turned out it was an alcoholic bird!

Another one of my creations!

It was such a wonderful night! Grace got to party with the big girls and told me today that my party was "total score." I have no idea where she got that phrase. I loved seeing what everyone created, even "uncrafty" Alicia made some beautiful things!
My dad and I were talking today about how sad it is that women don't get together anymore and do things with their hands. We watched a movie when I was a kid set in the Appalachias in the 1900's, in which one of the older women in the community told the young city girl "I find comfort in the company of Women."  Such a true statement, and one that is sadly neglected. I want to host these more often because they are just too much fun!

In other news, our back yard flooded. From the rain. California was not built for a week of straight rain. 
(I might be though.)


Yeah, that's the two inches that were outside the door. The lawn had about 5 inches or so.


Yup. That would be the patio...
it was pretty intense!

By the way I am taking the rest of the week off. I'll be back on Monday!!