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September 2010
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November 2010

October 2010



Adam and I are in our sweats, both have fast food gut bomb stomach aches, and we are actively hiding from trick-or-treaters.

I know. I know.

Give me a break!

Last year we did the whole pumpkin carving, giving out candy thing.

And frankly, I think we did a pretty damn good job.

Especially being first timers and all.

That counts for something, right?

At least the dog is having fun this Halloween.


Last night we drove an hour, in the dark, winding down forest roads in an area we'd never been before trying to find a home that was fostering a 180lb ball of love named Spock.

We'd spotted his goofy mug on Petfinder, and he'd apparently been surrendered at the tender age of 11 months because the owners didn't like how big he'd gotten.

Apparently he knocked over their three year old too often.


They also happened to have gotten him from a breeder.


Which means they knew EXACTLY how big this puppy was going to get.

But look how cute he is!

Suddenly they had a 180 pound baby on their hands. A dog that needed to be taught how large he was, needed someone to show him that he needed to sit when he approached the baby, not jump on the baby.

A dog that needed long walks.

Doggy daycare.

Obedience training.

Instead they just gave him up.

Reason for surrender? "Too big. Has too much energy."

Adam and I, we know what it's like to have a dog with a lot of energy.

Her name is Oly.

An eight mile hike and this girl still wants to play fetch.

But we get it.

Three mile walks after work.


Doggy daycare.

Dog parks.


Throwing the ball over and over and over down the hall while we watch tv.

She's a puppy.

Two tender years old in February.

This too shall pass.

When we met Spock we got it.

He lacks training.

But he was a goof.

A lover.

A big teddy bear.

Exactly what we were looking for.

Bring in Miss Oly.

The dog who has NEVER met a dog big or small she didn't like.

Who recently made friends with the Irish Wolfhound at the dog park.

Who's best dog friend in the neighborhood is a shepard mix.

They met.

She indicated she might like to play.

He lunged all 180 pounds at her.

Paws the size of dinner plates making contact directly with her face.

Jumping on her and wanting to smother her.

Bitch wasn't having it.

My girl, who loves all dogs. Who plays and plays and plays.



Get the fuck away from me, you ogre.

A little confused, she tried to play again.

Another paw to the face.

Another mean, evil, get the fuck away from me bark.

Adam and I, baffled.

He can't be faulted.

He doesn't know better.

He was never introduced to other dogs.

Never taken to obedience training.

No one let him meet other dogs so he could learn as a puppy how to play correctly with others.

Oly was this way once.

Lunging at dogs, paws to the face, a mess of energy and a lack of knowledge regarding how best to display her excitement to others.

But with more introductions, with training and patience, she learned.

He just never did.

The rescuer in me, the lover of all dogs, the one who believes every single dog can learn to be a good dog wanted to fix him.

Take the time to teach him.

But it isn't fair to Oly.

So we petted his silly head.

Rubbed his soft belly.

I held his big goofy paw and I told him I was sorry we weren't right.

Even though I wanted so badly to be the one to help him be the good dog he so clearly has the potential to be.

As I drove away I told Adam I was sad it wasn't us.

He told me that someone will be though.

That's the beauty of a no-kill shelter.

I can walk away knowing eventually he'll find a home.



Have you ever heard someone say that if they won the lotto they'd fill a pool with jello?

Maybe no one actually says stuff like that, maybe that was from a movie or the depths of my twisted mind, but either way I've been thinking a lot about that metaphorical pool filled with jello this week.

Really, I think it would be a giant waste of money.

Can you imagine how many pots of boiling water and how many packages of jello it would take to actually make enough liquid jello to fill a swimming pool?

What, maybe 400,000 packets?

Stay with me, we're guesstimating.


And then, once you'd created all this hot, liquid jello (in my mind it's all green jello by the way), you'd have to put it in this pool of yours and then find a way to drop the temperature in the pool for about 8 hours.

How the hell would you do that exactly?

Build a dome over the pool and then refrigerate the area?

Build a cooling system in the walls of the pool to cool the jello?



And then, once your jello pool has MIRACULOUSLY cooled and become that wiggly weird consistency we all know and love, what do you do now?

Dive off the diving board into it? Wade in?

If you choose the diving board, I ask, would that hurt?

I mean, wouldn't it be like doing a belly flop into a pool?

You think it wont hurt as a kid, because hey! It's water, it doesn't hurt to jump in! Look at me Mom!

But then physics interfere with your tiny kid world and you belly flop into the water and leave the pool in tears because ouch, water just kicked your ass. 

Maybe if you dove into jello physics would fuck with you again and you'd break your neck or something.

You don't want that.

You just went through a LOT of work to make a jello pool my friend.


Once you got in, say you slithered over the top or something, what do you do?

You can't swim laps exactly.

If you moved the jello around too much, say kicking with your feet, kind of like when you attack a bowl of jello with a fork and it gets all disconnected and chunky, would you sink to the bottom and drown in the jello pool?

I mean, I doubt you can actually SWIM in jello, again physics are probably not on your side.

So if you end up in the deep end because you jumped off the diving board, you could very possibly kick and kick and kick and just sink deeper and deeper into a substance you can't actually swim out of let alone breathe in!

That sounds absolutely terrifying.



So in conclusion, I think a swimming pool of jello is the worst fucking idea in the world.

It sounds like a huge let down, and quite dangerous to be honest.



(I realize this makes no sense. That's just kind of my life lately. Me, in a waste of time jello pool, trying really hard not to drown in the deep end. WELCOME to my brain.)


Oh boy!

After I wrote about the various items I was coveting this fall I got THREE WHOLE EMAILS asking me to talk about my love of scarves, and how exactly I integrate them into my life.


You can laugh, but I was shocked.

Even though I'm a little nervous to talk about fashion again, scarves are near and dear to me, and in a moment of total narcissism (looking through all the pictures that are tagged of me on Facebook and getting rid of the ones that might get me fired) I realized that there are a LOT of pictures on the internet of me in scarves. LOTS.

So, let's get to it shall we?


I have probably 30 scarves. Thick, thin, long, short, plain, crazy, soft and scratchy. I think that's the key to scarves. You have to have a lot to choose from so you always have something to add to your outfit.

The most tried and true way to wear a scarf in MY book is to take the scarf, let the ends meet, grab the fold in one hand, and the bottoms in the other, place the middle of the scarf on the back of your neck, and then feed the bottoms through the loop. This will give you a nice little loop around your neck, and it works for lightweight scarves in the warmer months, and gives your neck full coverage in the colder months.

Look how happy we are to be wearing scarves!

KLAP Scarves
I usually only do this loop scarf 'trick' when I have a shorter scarf. BUT, here you can see I threw caution to the wind and decided that with a lightweight scarf and the opportunity to ride a saddle in the middle of the room that the loop scarf look would still work. 

My guide is usually if the bottom of the scarf comes down more than a few inches past the top of my jeans I don't wrap my scarf in this loop manner.

ScarfLoop Saddle
If the scarf is too long I usually opt for a double wrap around the neck.

Take the scarf and place one of the ends where you would like it to lay on your chest. I usually want the bottom pieces of each scarf to rest either right below my tats or hitting the very top of my jeans. Depends on how long your scarf is really.

Don't ask why, I just do it this way.

With one bottom in place I take the loose scarf and wrap it in two big loops around my neck, finishing with the other end of the scarf resting in the same place as the first. Pull on the loops to adjust how long or short you want the hanging scarf pieces to fall.

Here my friend Naomi and I are rocking two very different styles! She is opting for the loop scarf look seeing as her scarf is shorter, and I am rocking the double wrap. We are also adding additional accessories such as wine to the mix for an added pop of color.

And really, now that I'm looking at this shot I would probably pull on the loops to loosen them a little around my neck, pulling the bottom of the scarf up a bit higher.

Apparently my wine 'accessory' was keeping me from managing my scarf correctly.

NEAK Scarves

Please excuse the hookah and my closed eyes in this next example. This is a lesson about scarves, not hookahs.

I am actually wearing a dress here, so the double wrap helped turn a sort of dull one color dress into something with layers and fantasticness.

At least in my book.

AK Hooka Scarves

And lastly for the double wrap, I personally believe the double wrap is the best way to ensure warmth with a nice wool coat. You can fluff up the loops to get a lot of neck coverage, and there is something about the look of a well fitting coat with a bundle of bright scarf at the top that makes me go all Rachel Zoe and say things like, "Bananas."



Ahhhh! I almost forgot!

My last tip for the double wrap is if your scarf is STILL too long after wrapping it around yourself twice, maybe even three times, take the remaining hanging scarf material and tie it in a simple knot around your neck or down as low as your chest. This will shorten up the hanging pieces and give a little detail you don't always see in the scarf wearing community.

I also suggest you pose for pictures with your mouth open catching snowflakes.

WrapScarf Snow
The last scarf wearing example I want to show you that I hardly ever use is the free hanging scarf.

I only use this method if the scarf is thin enough, and the perfect length, hitting right around my jeans. I wore this red scarf, a lovely cashmere number loose because I didn't want to distract from my neckline, or the cute little detail the shirt had at the meeting of the V.

Aka I didn't want to cover The Girls on New Years Eve!

(Please stop looking at this pose. It's terrible and burning my eyes.)

LongHanging Scarf
As the night wore on I threw one side of the scarf over my shoulder, because I'd had enough to drink to think I was a movie star.

But I applaud drunk Ashley because I think the look is quite nice!

OvertheShoulder Scarf

OH, I almost forgot skinny scarf!

This one I don't do too often either, but if you have a very skinny scarf that isn't too long you can do a once wrap, and let the two ends dangle. The length has to be just right, and on this particular night I was borrowing my friend Naomi's scarf and the planets aligned and I got to try something a little different.

Different in the world of scarves that is.

Exciting! Crazy! Danger!

NA&AK Colored Scarf

So there you have it.

The many ways I choose to wear scarves.

Some may work for you, some may not.

But I think the great thing about scarves is they are a cheap, simple, re-wearable accessory that can add a lot to the look of an outfit and also give you much needed warmth and comfort. 



How'd that picture get in here?

Adam Scarf


With enough drinks you too can get your boyfriend to wear a scarf for a black and white themed party.

But please, if you're going to use the image to later embarrass him, DON'T MAKE A STUPID FACE IN THE PICTURE.

Because then when you show it to the world, you'll both end up embarrassed, and where is the fun in that?


I am not engaged.

I am not currently planning a wedding.

I do not spend my free time researching the perfect honeymoon.

I am not frantically searching for the best bakery in the Seattle area for my wedding cake.

I do not want to know more about environmentally friendly diamond engagement rings. Although, I give you props, because well, blood diamonds are a no go in my book, but still, leave me alone I am NOT INTERESTED.

I most certainly do not need a wedding dress at a discounted rate.

I am also not currently in the market for an event/wedding planner. 

And although I would love to take a trip to Vegas and spend the whole time wasted-face with my closest friends, I am also NOT interested in your bachelorette weekend package.


I mean, listen here. Just because I am female, in my 20's, and in a relationship does NOT mean that my only interests are MARRIAGE Facebook advertising network people.

Do you think if I changed my relationship status on Facebook to single suddenly the ads would shift and start being all about discount offers for hip Seattle bars, coupons for the newest and cheapest vibrators, or maybe packages for girls only weekend getaway trips?

Because that sounds a whole lot more up my alley.


The NOT Dreaming of My Wedding Facebooker, MISS Ashley


Isn't rhyming fun?

No I know, highly irritating and I'll stop now.



Last week I mentioned that I was yearning deeply to take a solo vacation.

Adam is on a week long vacation with his father and his older brothers, romping through the hills of Nevada, disconnected from cell service and reconnecting with his family.

I am at home.

I know that one of the main reasons I wanted to escape was feeling jealous of his week off. Wishing I too had somewhere exciting to be, something to plan for, an event to be buzzing with anticipation for.

In my travel jealousy I found the most perfect house for rent. It was on a river, in the woods. It had a deck that would afford me endless hours of contemplation and tree gazing, and most definitely plenty of relaxing wine sipping. I knew Oly and I would be able to take long walks on the dusty forest roads, sleep in, spend time exploring the riverbed, but in the end I couldn't do it.

When I listed out all the things I wanted to do at this woodland cabin I realized I could do these very same things in the comfort of my own home.

For $400 less.

And so I did.

Last weekend I went on the GRANDEST OF GRANDEST, staycations.



Oly and I watched (500) Days of Summer and giggled to ourselves about what fun it is to randomly record something on your DVR and then find out you absolutely LOVE the movie.

I slept in, sipping coffee in bed with Oly curled up next to me while we watched trashy tv without a care in the world.

I took Oly to the opening of the very first dog park in Olympia on Saturday (I know, how behind the times are we?) and Oly had so much fun we lingered for three whole blissful hours.

I read, and read, and read some more. Sometimes with coffee in hand, sometimes with wine. All the time absolutely loving my new Barbara Kingsolver adventure.

I spent hours on the phone with friends. Catching them up on my life, hearing new and exciting details about theirs. All the while feeling surrounded by love and company, when I was actually very very much alone.

I chopped, and stirred, simmered and baked and spent Sunday night enjoying homemade chili and the most delicious of cornbread.

And lastly, on Sunday Oly and I bundled up, and hit the trail. For 6 miles we marveled at the changing leaves, the crisp air, and the feeling of warm sunshine on our faces.

Chehalis Western Trail
Chehalis Western Trail, #2

One of these days I'll take that solo trip.

But for now, a staycation will have to do.


I have been feeling the urge to take a solo vacation pretty strongly lately.

A few years ago some friends and I headed to a little Bavarian town in WA called Leavenworth (the entire town is German themed fyi. My people!) to partake in the wildness and debauchery that is Oktoberfest.

It was a blast.

Lately I've been thinking about Leavenworth.

But not because I want to carry around a stein, eat sausage and dance the polka.

I mean, I do, but that isn't what is drawing me to Leavenworth at this moment.

While we vacationed for our short weekend we stayed in a campground outside of the city and rented ourselves a little trailer. While we waited for our Oktober-crazy to begin we took a walk that Saturday morning around the campground. The leaves were changing, the weather was sunny but crisp, we stumbled upon the most picturesque field and stopped to marvel at the landscape and take group shots.

Leavenworth, WA
FamilyPhoto Leavenworth

Field Leavenworth WA

Everyone was excited about our upcoming night of Oktoberfest fantasticness, but in that moment on our little walk it was about the beauty of nature and fall.

As we drove out of town on Sunday I was mesmerised by the drive. The leaves were bright yellows and reds, leaves tumbled slowly from the branches and gave the allusion that it was snowing brightly colored foliage.

I loved every second of the drive, even through my headache and Adam's stench of one too many sausage from the night before.

I literally ache for a trip back.

One where I am in the woods, surrounded by these beautiful trees.

I envision a house with windows that enable me to sip my morning coffee and stare off into the forest.

Maybe a hot tub on the deck where I can enjoy a glass of wine and the mountains.

I want to take long rambling walks in the fall air with Oly.

Silent walks, without company, without worrying about a drop in conversation. Just my thoughts.

Read for hours on end without wondering what we should be doing next.

I want to make dinner in a kitchen that isn't my own.

Enjoy a bedtime movie in a living room I wont have to vacuum later.

Snuggle with my puppy in a bed I don't need to make later.

And yet, something is keeping me from pulling the trigger.

You'll get bored.

It wont be as fun as you think it will.

What a waste of money.

Wouldn't it be better with friends?

If you stay home you'll save a CRAP TON more money.

Wont staying in a house alone in the woods simply play up on all your fears?

So I ask you.

Have any of you taken a solo trip?

How long did you go?

What did you do?

How much did you love it?


I must be totally honest with you. That last post, about fashion and clothing and stuff, gave me the heebie jeebies immediately after I hit 'publish'.

Because me and fashion, we aren't really friends.

If I'm headed out somewhere important and I want to look ok I usually just ask my friend LP what I should wear, she throws 12 dresses and tops at me from the depths of her amazing closet, I ask her if the shoes I'm wearing work, she tells me to try these other shoes I would have never thought to wear, and I'm ready.

So actually telling you what I like, and want, and maybe think is cute was like giving myself an Indian burn.

But we've done it.

We came.

We shared.

We looked at uncomfortable self photography and pictures of jackets with black holes where the heads should be.

And we all lived.



I did get a request for a scarf tutorial, and I have a deep love affair with scarves, so I might try to wrap my head around how to make that work, but I think I have to get some kind of cream first for this all encompassing fashion embarrassment rash first. And maybe drink a lot of wine before I talk about FASHION again on this here blog.



In the meantime, hey look!

Fall leaves!

The end.