Hurricane Sandy Is My Best Excuse

Hurricane Sandy

It's not that I don't love you all, but I think I need to power off for a few days.  I feel like I'm in the middle of my own life hurricane over here on the West Coast, so social media and I are going to take a little break while I reboot.

Just pretend that I am without power for the next few days, like the poor souls on the East Coast.  Stay safe everyone, especially those in Sandy's path!  She looks like she's become a total bitch.
This is what I thought of too (image)


Life Lately

So it hasn't been my best week, (see me eat my feelings below), but it was still a week worth documenting. 

First off, Happy Endings and Don't Trust The B In Apartment 23 are both back on Tuesday nights!  What can I say, both of these shows make me giggle with scenes that look a little something like this!
And life's been looking like this...
When I'm sad, I like to eat and drink my feelings.  This time it was with a Cheesecake Factory feast, a glass of wine, gelato and sprinkles cupcakes and another bottle of wine.  My sweet friends sent me these lovely pictures.  My hair was loving being it's curly self. I got really serious about working, two laptops get things done twice as fast!

And I decided to make my Halloween celebration mimic life...
I decided to be, "The One That Got Away" because irony is always a good costume. Meet Captain Corona, my drunken pirate pumpkin!
If you haven't had enough of me yet, head over to Waking Up To This.  I'm guest blogging today and giving away a little Sephora treat!


You Won't Like Me When I'm Angry

It's not often that I get so angry I am driven to blog about it, but online media seemed to be the only way my annoyance might somehow find it's way to the nasty little she-troll that is the source of my rage. 

Dear Impatient Parker,

You are rude. 

First off, when the sign says 10 minute parking, I reserve the right to use the full 10 minutes if I deem necessary.  I get it. You were eager to pick up your delicious Islands dinner from curbside to go too, but you could have just as easily pulled into any one of the other three open spots, reserved for take out eaters like ourselves.  Instead you sat, blocking traffic with your blinker on for at least 5 minutes.  Giving me the "hurry up" stare down.

Look lady, they hadn't even brought out my food yet and like I said, there are other spots open, just a few feet away.  The distance shouldn't even matter to you since you are not even going to have to get out of your car. 

After the kid did bring out my dinner and return my credit card, I had the audacity to find a new Taylor Swift song, research for the blog post I was going to write today, and you honk your horn, not one, not two, but three times. 

Seriously lady?

I know the burgers and island fries are delicious, but you probably could have had your order by now if you would have pulled into any one of those other vacant spots. 

I left my window down as I pulled out of the spot and used the opportunity to say, "Excuse me, but that was unnecessary."  To which you replied,  "Eff off bitch", but you used the full four-letter word. 


What had I done to elicit such a response? I deserve the F-bomb because you want my parking place?  I was stunned.  Sad even.  This lady must really have a hard life to get so worked up over a parking spot. 

You wasted no time, nearly taking out my rear bumper as you zoomed into the space. But wait, why are you getting out of the car and going inside?  You are not even using curbside to go?  It took everything I had to not stop the car and tell you what a nasty little troll you really are.  You waited all that time, honked and cursed, just to save yourself a few extra steps from the parking lot?  You aren't even picking up food?!  You're a wretched C word (that I won't type out all the way because my mom reads my blog).  I hope you enjoy your burger and I hope you choke on it.



Sorry about that guys, but sometimes you just need to tell off the rude person in the parking lot and pray that one day she reads it and says, "You're right Ashley, I am a wretched cunt!" (sorry mom.)


The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Dress

Laugh. Cry. Share the pants.

Oh you all remember that book trilogy, turned movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants don't you. Those pants sure as hell were magical if they could fit a range of heights from 5' to 5'10" and a five-inch hip spread. Nevertheless, the book series made teen girls laugh, cry and wish for magical pants of their own.  But I never truly believed in magical pants, until I got a little taste of whimsy myself.

It was my sophomore year in college when I found a magical BCBG ruffle dress.  A dress that perfectly fit my needs for Spring formal.  The problem with such perfect dresses is that you can't wear them too often.  They make too big of a statement to get pulled out for every single little black dress occasion.
This picture does not do it justice. Me and Katie.
After just one night of glory, I retired my beautiful dress back into my closet.  I would say hello to it from time to time, grazing my fingers across it's layers of scalloped ruffles, assuring it that one day it would see the bright lights of a dance floor again.  An entire year went by before a dear friend needed a dress the next year for Spring formal. 
Me, Sami in the Traveling Dress and Katie
Even with our difference in height, the dress still looked like it was made for her.  When she returned it to me, I swear it felt as though the dress was saying, "thanks for giving me one more shot".  I returned it back to it's hanging bag for safe keeping, knowing this might have been it's last chance at a night out...until. 
The next fall, my best friend Meggan was visiting from Phoenix and we were headed to a fraternity party, I don't remember the theme, and I don't remember most of the night, but I do remember Meggan belted the traveling dress and gave her another night of dance floor glory.
No, you can't actually see the dress in this picture, but it's the only one I can find from that night.  I think the joy of wearing it shows through on Meggans face though.
The dress had survived some of my most intoxicated college nights, but it still had one more go round left in it. It was only days before we were headed to Vegas and Katie needed a little black dress.  By this time, we had all begun to call it The Traveling Dress.  Katie tried her on and alas, a perfect fit. Katie, took her to Vegas for the bachelorette party (on right), where my little black BCBG ruffle dress got to spend the night with all of it's previous wearers. 
Lauren, Sami, Meggan, Katie, and I think I took the picture.
True, a dress is easier to fit into than a pair of jeans, but I still think this dress was magical.  It made each woman feel fabulous while wearing it and it stayed on trend for over 4 years. 
Somehow that magical dress has gotten lost after countless moves and a few more wears, but those who wore it will never forget it's splendor.  And true to magical clothing form, we laughed (a lot), we cried (drunken tears) and we shared the dress. 


Stylish Vision

So you all may not know this, (because I am a contact addict) but I wear glasses.  Friends, I am as blind as a bat!  So a few months ago, I decided my eyes needed more oxygen and a little break from the lenses.  I went to the eye doctor and $330 later, I had a new pair of glasses frames, prescription lenses and a years worth of contact lenses. Ouch!
While I do really love the glasses I picked out, they have some serious silver detailing on the sides.  Since I never wear silver and gold together, I never wear my glasses on gold days.  To remedy the situation (and to wear glasses as often as possible to prolong the life of my years worth of contact lenses) I've been on the hunt for something more simple that I can rock any day of the week, silver or gold.
Enter GlassesUSA.com!  Not only did I find a bunch of glasses I really liked, I had a blast (obviously) using their virtual mirror feature.
What do you guys think?  Should I rock some new red frames?
Wanna play with the virtual mirror too?
It's super easy to order new glasses (and affordable!)  All you need is your prescription.  Or if you just want to be a cool eyeglasses wearing gal or guy, but aren't awesome enough to need a prescription you can still order yourself a pair.
Plus to sweeten the deal, GlassesUSA is offering my readers a discount on their order.  Get 15% off plus free shipping on anything they carry (orders over $50) by entering the code: FS15 
Or get 10% off any order of prescription glasses by using the code: Blog10 
GlassesUSA.com has quality frames at a fraction of the price.  Why not mix up your eye wear options?
This post was sponsored by GlassesUSA.com however, all comments and opinions are my own.


Weekend Wandering and Thoughts

1. Best salad I have ever had.  So delicious!  2. The biggest grape I have ever seen!  Yes it is bigger than my eye!  3. My new office, it's an upgrade from just a desk.  Isn't it lovely? 4. Custom Snoopy's at the Step Out Walk at Knott's Berry Farm.  5. Griffith Observatory, on a gloomy day. 6. I'm not good at smiling and taking pictures, but this is me with the Hollywood sign.  7. and 8. Started my day at the Santa Monica Pier. 9. Driving down the PCH!
A few thoughts from my weekend:
I'm not sure what Chanel was thinking when they enlisted Brad Pitt to do their commercial.  I say it's a miss.  Chelsea Handler agrees!

Some movies will always make me happy.  This weekend my films of choice were Sex and the City:The Movie, A Lot Like Love, 27 Dresses and Because I Said So. Yeah, I watch a lot of movies.

Driving around LA and Hollywood brought back memories of my acting and modeling days.  I immediately went to the gym. 

Adventures are the best!  If you can't go exploring the world, you might as well explore your world.  Have an adventure this weekend!

If I had to chose car insurances based on the celebrity voiceover in thier commercial, I would probably pick Julia Roberts (Nationwide) , but John Krasinski is a close second (Esurance).  Dennis Haysbert (Allstate), I'm sorry, but you don't hold a candle to Pretty Woman and Jim.

Ever thought of buying Skinny Bitch in the Kitch?  Win it this week over on my friend Marci's blog, Waking Up To This!

Have a good week loves!


Sing it Beyonce

If I were a boy…
I’d be able to compartmentalize. I’d have things happen in my personal life and not let them affect me at work. I’d be able to focus all day on the task at hand instead of only on the sh*t gone wrong.
If I were a boy…
I’d be able to control my emotions. I wouldn’t cry:
  •  When a commercial is particularly touching
  •  As Willy makes the jump to be free
  •  When Mufasa dies.
  • Through the whole SATC Movie- Carrie gets stood up at the alter, Charlotte finally gets pregnant, Miranda tells Steve “you broke us”, Samantha, Samantha chooses herself. In fact, I probably wouldn’t feel like they are my go to girlfriends or know them at all.
  •  At a song in the car.
  • Whenever I’m really really happy.
  • Anytime someone gets married or pregnant.
  • When I’m sad frustrated, scared, worried… pretty much any emotion.
  • When I laugh really hard.
  • When I am really proud of someone.
  • When someone says they are proud of me.
If I were a boy…
I could focus on just today and this moment, instead of trying to plan ahead for next week, next month, next year and 20 years from now-simultaneously.
If I were a boy…
My memory wouldn’t last so long. I might be able to forgive AND forget.
If I were a boy…
I wouldn’t need to discuss everything in my head. I wouldn’t need validation for my feelings . I wouldn’t need attention when I am down. I would only want to talk about problems that could be solved and I would know my feelings are valid without having to get my significant other, one family member and one of my best friends to weigh in.
If I were a boy…
I’d be able to turn off my mind and turn on the game, crack open a beer and relax. Instead, I have to watch TV, work on my blog, maintain 2-3 text and twitter conversations and cook dinner. Just relaxing makes me feel bleh.
If I were a boy…
I wouldn’t feel insecure about my body. Haircuts would be less expensive and body hair would be acceptable. Personal maintenance would be so cheap!
If I were boy…
Life would be really boring.
I’m proud to say I’m as girl as they come- Emotional, sometimes irrational, needy, obsessive and awesome. I like sitting down to pee, spending an hour to get ready, wearing pretty dresses, crying from joy and that one day I will be able to build a human. Yep, being a girl is pretty awesome and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.


It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

No, I'm not talking about Christmas. 

I'm talking about Tequila Sunrise, a Northern Arizona University tradition.  Right now, NAU alumni across the country are making their way to Flagstaff, Arizona to partake in a weekend of drunken extravagance.  We Lumberjacks don't have a great football tradition or die-hard fans, but we do have high altitude and bars that open at 6 AM. 

Sadly, I will not be making the journey myself, but today I salute you Tequila Sunrise, by sharing some of Molly's TS Tips,  some photos from past years shenanigans and a few of my personal tips on making any homecoming celebration a success. 
This is a typical Tequila Sunrise picture by about 10 AM
Tequila Sunrise Tip #1274: It's crunch time, ladies. Only eight days left to crash diet, tan, and whiten those teeth before running into all of your exes - because even though you will be sloppy all weekend, you may as well be the HOTTEST mess around.

Tequila Sunrise Tip #13498: Forecast for the weekend is mainly blackout with a slight chance of Fireball. Scattered shitshows developing later in the day. Pack accordingly.

Tequila Sunrise Tip #13498: You can ALWAYS party harder.

Tequila Sunrise Tip #1234983: If you're not okay with making some bad decisions (or making out with one), don't even bother coming. This weekend is not for the faint of heart.

This words of wisdom brought to you by Molly, The Tequila Sunrise Commissioner!

Pictures from Tequila Sunrise Past. 
Since I can't be there to make help you all avoid bad decisions, I am going to give you all a few helpful tips.

1. Go big or go home.  If you are going to wait until 8 AM to get to the bars, and it's because you chose to sleep in instead of go to a pre-party, you don't deserve to be at Tequila Sunrise.  Pack your party pants!  I can't guarantee you'll keep your party pants on all day, but at least you'll have a good story for why they ended up where they did.

2. Make sure to plan for a nap. There is no excuse for not making it to tailgating or the post game bar hopping.  I nap during the Homecoming game.  My advice, don't do it at the actual game- see above.

3. Pick a buddy.  Don't lose your buddy.  You don't want to be the story everyone is talking about until someone outdoes your shenanigans next year.

4.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Pace yourselves kids.  I know those Audios Mother Effers and Grateful Deads sound like a great idea, but you want to take your time getting to Blackout City.

5. Finally, have a great time.  You only get one weekend a year to pretend you're back in college. Live it up!  Just remember, some freshman are only 17.

Have a good time friends and see you at Maloney's in 2013!


5 for Five

Alrighty friends, I am linking up with my friend Jenn for her brand new FABULOUS link up!  5 for Five! 

Plus if you link up this week you might win a $20 for the place of your choice.  I'd say I hope you win, but I kind of hope I win!  Good luck!

1) Workout 5 out of 7 days this week.   I have kind of been slacking lately.  I need to get back on track. 

2.) Spend more time at the beach.  I am just happier there.  It's only a mile away, why don't I go there every day?

3.) Focus on the happy.  I've been in a slump the last couple days. I need to get back to the happy.

4.) Give up dairy for a week.  I have hunch that I might be lactose intolerant and my skin and tummy are not happy with my recent lactose consumption.

5.) Meet people.  I have never been good at meeting people.  You may remember I told my elementary school self to start battling her shyness now, because it doesn't get easier.  Well making friends as an adult is hard.  You don't have school or clubs to bring friends to yourself.  Is it weird that I am considering going back to school to meet people?  And people said I paid for y friends when I joined a sorority...

What are your 5 things?  Link up with Jenn!


Dropping Some Honesty on You

Do you ever feel like something is just off balance?  Like, to look at your life from the outside it is totally awesome, but from the inside, you feel like something is awry.  Maybe you're sensing the end of something.  Maybe you made a bad decision.  Maybe it's you- your emotions are just on overdrive.  That's how I have felt for the last few days.  A little empty.  Where joy and excitement should be there is nothing.  I don't feel sad.  Maybe a little unsure.  The only unhappiness I feel stems from the fear of the nothingness.  It's a weird feeling that I don't think I am explaining very well. 

My life is in a really good place right now. 

I have a job I love more than any job I have ever had.  I am excited about the opportunities it may bring and the paths my future career can take.  I have uncovered a passion and I get to do it for a living. 

I have an amazing boyfriend.  He is driven and passionate and a natural leader.  Watching him in action, it's hard not to be proud of all the things he takes on and excels at.  I am in love with a very handsome man!  He puts up with me and that's all I can ask for, however, it is hard being away from him.  He gives me confidence.  He pushes me to do the things I am nervous about.  He was an incredible support when I made the decision to transplant my life to California, even if it meant leaving him in Arizona.  He helps me to be the best version of myself and makes my day so much better.  Our phone calls and Facetime aren't nearly enough. 

I love where I live.  Everyday I find a new reason to love it.  Aside from the traffic, I can't complain about a thing.  Sometimes it doesn't feel real that this is my life.  My only complaint is that I miss my friends. 

I'm still adjusting to the move.  It's been harder than I expected to meet people (not made any easier by my constant battle with shyness).  Maybe I'm just lonely.  I don't know, I'm just a little empty, more anxious than usual and not quite the bad ass that I want to be.

In typical Ashley fashion, I let myself wallow in the nothingness for a day or so until the emptiness started suffocating me, and then crafted a plan.  It's time to start marking things off my bucket list and doing things out of my comfort zone.  Per the boyfriends suggestion, I went to see a movie... alone.  And saw Brad Garrett there with his kids.  I laughed (Pitch Perfect is pretty funny) and I ended my day reading on the beach while the sun set.  It's no monumental step, but it's a step. 

I think it's important to admit that even when everything looks great, sometimes something just isn't.  I think it's okay to ask for help, get a swift kick in the arse, challenge yourself and be honest about how you feel. 

So there it is, my next challenge: be honest about how hard life is even when it looks great.  Do you ever feel a little empty?  How do you get over it?

Quote of the Week

Some days really sock you in the eye and spit in your face, but it's just one day out of many in this beautiful life.

Blog Blind Dating

So today you can find me over at The Dessert First Way

Happy Monday!


Letters to my Younger Self: Elementary School

Dear Elementary School Ashley,
These are going to be the quietest year of your life.  Your reputation as the really nice girl that everyone knows of, but no one really knows starts here.  Girl, you know how to rock a giant hair bow ruffled socks and a matchy matchy outfit from Robinson's May! You're a little bit of an awkward kid, but let's be honest who isn't.
So on trend.  Floral pants, satin nightgown, and a jean tuxedo with ninja turtle t-shirt and cowboy hat.
Don't be jealous.

In Kindergarten, you are going to miss one day of school.  That day is the day your teacher will get proposed to.  You will hang onto the regret of staying home sick for years.   Your best friends will all be boys, by default because they are the only kids in your neighborhood.  Don't ever worry about this.  Learning how to talk to boys early is going to benefit you down the line.  Besides you are teaching them valuable life skills by forcing them to place house for every time they make you play war. 

In first grade, you will get really sick and be out of school for a month.  Don't worry you little six year old rock star,  snuggle all you need to in those New Kid on the Block sheets, Scarlett fever won't hold you back. 

In second grade you won't be the quietest kid in class, because one of the boys will get braces and refuse to talk all year long.  Don't just stare at him from across the room while other kids make fun of him, start getting over your shyness and go be friends with him, you know you want to. This shyness is going to plague you for the rest of your life.  The sooner you start fighting it, the easier it will be. You start at a new dance studio this year.  Your first performance is to a song called Rump Shaker.  Yeah, even at 7 you have a good idea that Wrecks and Effects didn't really mean for you to shake your rump in a bright yellow crop top covered in red rhinestones.  On that note, stick with ballet.  You need more fundamentals.  If you'd focused a little more, maybe you would have gotten a bigger part in Hansel and Gretel than Gumdrop #5.

Third grade is when you major crushes begin. Austin, Stephen, Cody... It's like fate put all the cute boys in your class.  Still you are way to shy to talk to them, so you stick to your best friend Amanda and a few other awkward kids.  Mrs. Hall will always be one of your favorite teachers.  And those annoying songs during Spanish- those will stick with you forever. Hola Amigos, Hello my friends!

I'm still a t-shirt and jeans girl... and a fancy dress girl.

One of your favorite years will be Forth grade.  Mr. Herbold breaks the teaching mold and breaks you out of your shell.  For the first time you speak in front of the whole class, try out acting and build some confidence in yourself.  Mr. Herbold will teach you what it is to be inspired and that will stick with you for the rest of your life.  This is also the year you take your first major vacation to NYC.  You will love the energy of the city and that too will inspire some future choices.

Welcome to official beginning of your awkward stage. You'll be hanging out in awkardville for another 5 years, get comfortable.  In fifth grade you will be associated with someone who makes fun of a boy at a skating rink.  Said boy will then threaten you and push you into a tile wall.  While I would like to say my advice is to avoid the whole thing, I'm pretty proud of your reaction.  Clearly the confidence you started to build paid off when you told said boy he better never touch you again or your dog would eat him.  Little did he know the following week, you bring Boomer, your English Mastiff, in for show and tell, have him sit in front of said boys desk and drool on all his belongings.  You smart little sassy girl!

Sixth grade is another one of your favorite years.  Congratulations, you are one of the tallest kids in your class.  You won't get much taller and your feet won't get much bigger- thank god since you wear a women's 10 and there aren't a lot of women's shoes that are easy for a 11 year old can rock.  Mr. Davidson, a creative first year teacher, will encourage creativity and push you.  Here are 3 awesome things that will happen that make this year unforgettable. 1. You will kidnap a flour sack baby from the classroom next door, deliver a ransom note that says the flour sack will soon be cookies and having a police officer come to your classroom, try to bribe you with licorice and give you all a lecture about right and wrong (meanwhile the bag of flour is tied to a chair in the back corner of the classroom.) 2. You will conspire with classmates and the principal to throw a surprise birthday party for your teacher by staging a fake fight between two boys. 3. you will once again conspire to prank your teacher on April fools day.  It. Is. Awesome.  Oh!  and you have your first boyfriend.  It's a pretty big deal.  You'll exchange school pictures with notes on the back, sit next to each other on the bus and even hold hands.  Thanks Chase Anderson for giving me those two momentous weeks.  And eff off Rudy Martinez for saying you wouldn't be my Valentine.  What? No way do I hold a grudge.

You'll have some weird family stuff going on, but it never really effects you except that one time the Jenni tells you your mom and dad never wanted you.  Her mom will make her call and apologize to your family's answering machine.  The personal loathing will hit in Jr. High, when you start to get all angsty.  For now, enjoy just being a nice sweet little girl that wears bows bigger than her head, pretends there are ghosts on the playground (weirdo) and helps the teachers set up their classrooms.  Avoid that behind the scenes trip to T-Bell if you ever plan to eat there.  My biggest tip, let more people get to know you.  Even though you because really good at understanding how people work from watching and listening for years, you're missing out on building some great relationships.  That about sums up the early years Ashley Marie.  I hope you enjoyed the sweet innocent life in elementary school because the next two years are going to be a little rough for you.

All my love,

Your Future Self

Link up with your letter to your younger self !


Link Alert and Insta Lately

A couple of months ago, my friend Molly, wrote a series of posts she called, "Letters to my younger self".  This girl was obsessed and instantly saw an opportunity to turn this little series into a link up!  So for the next few weeks, I'll be posting my Letters To My Younger Self every Friday and I would love for you to join me.  So here's the sched. hope I see you all on Friday!

10/12- Letters To My Younger Self: Elementary School
10/19- Letters To My Younger Self: Middle School
10/26- Letters To My Younger Self: High School
11/2- Letters To My Younger Self: College
11/9- Letters To My Younger Self: Early 20's
11/16- Letters To My Future Self

And in the meantime, here's a little insta-dump!
1. A little oxblood and turquoise action 2. Mint and leopard 3. Gift Baskets Galore  4. Sorority Life post college  5. A little librarian  6. The sassy napkins that came in my wine basket.


Bring on the Heat

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Phoenix I go, for a jam-packed weekend of football games, dinner with family, a charity event and quality time with the boyfriend. In the meantime, here are a few quick Friday letters!

Dear beach, I'll see you in just a couple days. Dear boyfriend, I'm very proud of your recent acceptance letter! I can't wait to spend the whole weekend with you! Dear Phoenix friends, will you be at PINZ for the bowling fundraiser? I will! Dear Phoenix, I have gotten very comfortable with temperatures below 100 degrees, lets not disrupt that. I know how you can get! Dear followers, thanks for reading, for sticking around and for being a nice bunch!

Have a great weekend loves!


A Confession

It's taken me some time to realize, and come to terms with, but I am a product of my generation.  I want things to happen easily and in a flash.  I have had a series of rude awakenings since graduating college.

What? I'm not going to get some absolutely fabulous job be cause I have a bachelors degree?
What?  I am not going to be a magazine editor, event planner, publicist, author and CEO all at the same time and all before I am 25, with very little work?
What? I went to the gym (once and for an hour and then ate a chocolate dipped cone and a tub of mashed potatoes) and I didn't lose any weight this week?
What? After writing my first blog post, I will not instantly have 10,000 followers and a book deal?
What? Life isn't always going to work out like I had planned?

If you're being honest with yourself, you have had similar "what?!" moments too!  And if you are really being honest with yourself, you have probably pushed them to the back of your minds closet with the jeans that are still too snug.  Yes? No? Maybe it's just me. 

Recently I had a revelation that I am somewhat nervous to share.  I don't work hard enough for the things I want.  In fact, I'm not sure I work hard at all.  Wait, let me dissect that a little.  I work hard enough.  Hard enough to be on top of my work.  Hard enough to meet deadlines.  Hard enough to be good at what I do. 

But I don't work hard enough to be great.  I don't work hard enough to make a difference. And I don't work hard enough to be remembered.

  So, I've decided to make a change.  (Did anyone else start singing Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror right there?  No?  Just me again huh?)  I am seeking expert advice from Kelly Cutrone, Laura Casey, successful blogger friends, some of the 50 most powerful women and anyone else that has written, blogged or taught about finding balance, working hard to achieve your dreams and not giving up on yourself. 

Damn it, I want to leave my mark.

Goodnight lovers.  I've got some reading, wine drinking and yogurt eating to do!  You don't drink wine out of a coffee mug? No? Just me again?

How are you leaving your mark? Are you a product of the instant gratification generation too?


Educationally Speaking

"Never let fear decide your fate."

I sat down with my boss today to discuss expanding my horizons.  More specifically, the value of graduate school in my life.  Let me rewind for a moment.

Grad school is something I've been mulling over for about 4 years now.  I quickly realized how lucky I was to find a job right out of college, missing the job crisis that began in 2008 by narrow margins.  Soon I noticed many of my friends forgoing the somewhat futile job hunt to continue on into their masters degree.  Here we are 5 years later and more and more college graduates are forgoing "real world" jobs in favor of advanced degrees.  Crap!  Does this mean I'm behind because I don't have a graduate degree?  Still, I couldn't pull the trigger and go back to school without knowing the program I was going into would yield both a solid return on investment and scholastic enjoyment.  So I put off going back to school.

Today, I spent a good hour talking to my boss, an executive director of the local chapter of a major nonprofit, a mother of two, a university guest instructor, a candidate for a masters degree and a woman whom I have already began to look to as a mentor, about my personal aspirations. 

We talked about why I want a degree?
To not get left behind, by my younger counterparts, by my boyfriend, by anyone.  I am competitive.  I always want to be the resume at the top of the pile.  I want to be a leader.  I want to be an innovator.  I want to be an expert.

What do I want to do with my career?
One thing is for sure, I want to be in communications.  I want to engage people.  I want to build brand confidence and brand awareness.  I want to be in charge.  I want to be creative.  I want to plan and execute.  I want to help younger women be successful. 

What are my strengths?
My boss said, I have a clear grasp of how integrated marketing works and how to apply those concepts.  She said I have a knack for calming a situation and getting what needs to be done, done.  She said I am a sales person and I sell myself well.  She said I am aggressive and clearly go after the things I want.  I agreed with her. (toot, toot- yeah, that's me tooting my own horn!)

Will my aspirations require an advanced degree?
Maybe, maybe not.  It's hard to say if experience will outweigh education.  But I do know that one day I would like to teach at a university and that requires a masters degree. 
"The future belongs to those
that believe in the beauty
of their dreams."

What do I want out of my personal life?
I want to be a good wife and mother eventually.  I want to be financially stable.  I want to be able to travel.

Where do I see myself in 5, 10, 15 years? 
No clue.

So I sought out the experts at my local Barnes and Nobel and as fate would have it, I happened upon Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women Issue.  I've got a lot of reading to do.

What do you think? Are you thinking about getting a graduate degree? Do you already have one? What's helped you make the decision?