11 Things No One Tells You About Moving in with Your Guy

The story begins…

You meet a wonderful guy. You date, you drink, you eat, you sleep (among other things). You do everything together! Suddenly it seems so much more convenient, if you well…just lived together. It’s an exciting time to create a new chapter in your relationship.  Continue reading

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What They Don’t Tell You About Planning a Wedding

When I got engaged, it was one of the happiest days I can remember. I was so excited to marry this man and I couldn’t wait to start planning the wedding itself. How fun to have engagement parties, photo sessions, bridal showers, pick out decorations and taste cake together? It sounded fabulous! For people with an unlimited income and amount of family members to help plan and execute…maybe. For the every day girl, like me, planning a wedding is a whole lot more complicated than anyone is willing to share. So, I want to talk about the struggle…because it is real.

Its Not Easy
It may sound obvious, but nobody really knows how difficult it is until you actually start planning a wedding. Where do you start? What’s your budget? Where’s the venue? The date? The guests? Suddenly, you are overwhelmed with thoughts of dollar signs, dress choices, venues and you are already getting away from the point of the wedding itself…which is celebrating the love between two people! Do not let the planning of the wedding overshadow the person you’re marrying. Continue reading

The “C” Word

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to have a day off from my busy schedule, all by my lonesome. One of my favorite things to do on days like these, when the rare opportunity strikes, is enjoy a nice relaxing solo lunch out. I feel it’s not only peaceful, but kind of empowering to go to a restaurant alone and be totally comfortable in your own skin. It is also a great opportunity to people watch and let time slow as you observe all of the other lives moving in fast forward around you.

While sitting at the bar of one of my favorite lunch places, (we’ll call it schmita jungle for inconspicous’ sake) I had an unnerving experience that chizzled away at my empathetic soul.
As I sat at the bar, ordered my favorite salad and a glass of Prosecco, I noticed there is something quite different about the bartender before me. She seems… tired. When she turns her back to enter her orders, I see her shirt slip off her shoulder as if it has become a bit baggy on her. She has a bright smile, but her head has a cotton wrap and she appears to be wearing a slightly pale complexion on her young beautiful face. It didn’t take me long to put together that this young vibrant woman had been given a very unfortunate card and was sick. Battling something much bigger than I could ever imagine. Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror

As most people know, a vast amount of people in our country deal with mental disease surrounding body image. More than 28% of people struggle with obesity, 1% with anorexia, 2% bulimia. Even more of rising epidemic is America’s struggle with body dysmorphic disorder, affecting about 2% of people in the U.S. Sufferers are excessively concerned about appearance, body shape, body size, weight, perceived lack of muscles, facial blemishes, and so forth. In some cases, BDD can lead to steroid abuse, unnecessary plastic surgery, and even suicide. This is the diagnosed amount of people struggling with BDD. However, I believe we all suffer from it, in a sense.
For me, this has been a struggle most of my adult life. When I turned 18 years-old I gained 20 lbs. When I returned from the summer I was criticized and snickered behind for my weight gain. I heard rumors that, “Ashley got fat”, and although I tried to let it roll off my back…I will admit it did hurt. Guys would point out my “big ass”, and ask me where it came from because I was fairly skinny before the new school year began. Yes, at the time it was only 20 lbs heavier, but being a young girl growing into adulthood I didn’t understand why people were so cruel and judgmental of my changing body. Continue reading

10 Steps to a Healthy Relationship

I want to address the giant elephant in the room that everyone is scared to talk about, relationship problems. That’s right, I said it. And be ready for what I say next…relationships are HARD. I don’t care if you’ve been together one year, or ten. Every day is a constant work in progress.
Most people that enter a relationship are under the impression that because they are in love, everything will flow and come easily, and it just isn’t true. Two people can be head over heels unbelievably, The Notebook status, in LOVE, but if they don’t put work into the relationship it doesn’t have a fighting chance of survival. Now, I am no relationship expert, but I have had some experience, both negative and positive, in this subject and I feel I have learned a thing or two. Here are 10 ways to keep it un Hunet (one hundred for those that don’t speak slang) in your relationship. Continue reading

Above the Cloud

Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, James Franco, Paris Hilton, and Blake Lively. You all know and love these names as some of our favorite reality smutt TV stars; to owning the big screen. What do these people all have in common, besides being rich, famous and untouchable? I have one word: violated.
Each one of these stars, some more recent than others, have had personal and intimate photographs leaked to the world for all of our curious eyes to devour. Most disturbing, nobody stole their phone or pictures directly off of their computer, but actually took them from the precious internet hub spot we all know and love so much as “the cloud”. A place where all of your private texts, videos and pictures float around in some seemingly safe, fluffy space. Continue reading

Destination Blues

We wake up at 6 am sharp. Excited, like a little girl on Christmas morning ready to unwrap her first easy bake oven. We leap out of bed, pack our last few necessities and hit the road.
We’ve been planning this camping trip for weeks and couldn’t be more excited to get out of the sweaty, humid, 115 degree Phoenix weather and into the cool crisp mountain air. We borrow my father’s-in-law Prius to take a shortcut on the gas cost (because Lord knows, “ain’t nobody got time for that”.)
As we drive down the windy road in anticipation, I start to organize everything we will need. We finally arrive at the campsite, only to see a “campground full” sign. Sighhhhh…seriously? so we treck on to the next site, and the next, and the next. Im not going to lie…I was frustrated. After an hour and a half of driving, and two days taken off work, I. Am. Not. Happy.

Continue reading