Tag Archives: Friendship

Life Update: Happy Birthday to Me!

This weekend was pretty epic. Mike’s best friend and his girlfriend Amber flew in from across the country to celebrate my 25th birthday and explore San Diego with us. My one big birthday wish from Mike was to not have to plan any of the festivities. He did a fantastic job taking the pressure off.

Thanks to my relatively flexible schedule, I got Friday off and another friend of mine (shout out to Kim!) took us on a hike at Torrey Pines Beach. We took a route straight up the hill, down to the ocean, and then across the beach. It’s the first time I’ve been to the beach since we settled here and I quickly remembered the lovely smell of the salty air and the soft sand sliding under my feet.

That night we went to SkyZone. If you’re unfamiliar, SkyZone is a big room filled with trampolines. There was a basketball hoop, foam pit, and dodgeball court, as well as an open jump area. We spent an hour jumping and playing like 12 year olds. It was great fun and holy bajolies it was a workout! I definitely plan on going again.

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After SkyZone we took Kevin and Amber and our 2 pound burritos to the velodrome where we watched people race their bikes. It was cool to show other bike-savvy people the sweetness of the track.

On Saturday I cooked a big breakfast of sweet potato pancakes and we spent the afternoon at the beach. It was a gloriously sunny day. Perfect temperature and not a cloud in the sky. While the boys went boogie boarding, us ladies jabbered away.

IMG_1961 Mike has perfected the pale person’s beach visit.

IMG_1960 Kevin and Amber, soaking up the sun.

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It’s so amazing sometimes to be with like-minded couples. I felt that I was hanging out with Mike all weekend but also having a girls/friends weekend.

That night we went for my birthday dinner and a stroll around Old Town with my parents. It’s a great neighborhood a few minutes drive from our apartment. Lots of old, spanish style and adobe buildings. It has become of a bit of a tourist trap but it worth visiting for its excellent restaurants and ambience. Especially this late in September, the number of tourists was definitely bearable.

After dinner our foursome met up with a few other couples and singles. We went to a very chic, new bar around the corner for one drink (I was NOT cool enough to be in there) and then spent the rest of the night in our local dive bar.

We were feeling kind of slow on Sunday so we spent a couple of hours perusing and munching at the farmers market and later in the day we went on a walk through the gorgeous Balboa Park.

It was an incredibly packed, fun-filled weekend. Mike and I finally feel that we’re starting to make friends here in San Diego and it was wonderful to have Kevin and Amber here to meet everyone. San Diego is truly starting to feel like home. I’m a happy chappy 🙂

Have a great week and a relatively productive Monday. Love and a big hug -Ash

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Mindful Monday: How to Connect

Almost every job in life requires humans to interact with other humans. Certainly, once I learned to really connect with people, I excelled at my work. The first step is always to actually care about the people you’re working with or for. Continue reading

Marvelous Monday: Hot Dogs, Museum, and a Luxury Hotel

Living in a relatively small city immediately after graduation was (and still is) a big shock to me. It’s not because of the different types of people and it’s not even because I’m far from home, it’s the lack of variation! I realized it when I was walking around Chicago this weekend. No one stares at me because I have short hair and am wearing a gorgeous red coat. I know this sounds hyperbolic but I’m totally serious. I’ve found myself toning down my level of “urban” and it wasn’t until this weekend that I fully realized it.

Needless to say, it was wonderfully liberating to be in Chicago again this weekend. I met my best friend in the entire world, Sarah. She flew from North Carolina to meet me and, of course, it was epic. Somehow, when we get together, we manage to find the most incredible deals on some really swanky experiences. So instead of writing it all down, I’ll show you some photos!

*Credit to Sarah for most of the photos. Pick them out by spotting the good ones.*

Day One:

858717_10100863993292329_723608124_o^ This restaurant is called the Pump Room (in the Public Hotel). Before we got here, Sarah found a voucher for a gourmet meal on GiltCity.com. Mixology cocktails, tuna tartare, apple and brie toast,  lobster ravioli, and a caramel corn salted sundae. We ate until midnight and then collapsed in our hotel room.

Day Two:

We obviously had to see The Bean (cloudgate). This is by far my favorite monument in any city that I’ve seen. It is really a gorgeous shape and it brings together every view of the inside of the city. Also, it’s REALLY fun to take pictures with it.

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We both felt like absorbing a little culture (and keeping out of the freezing weather outside) so we checked out the Art Institute. The building was very beautiful and the exhibits were right up our alley (they even had one of Studio Gang Architects).

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Then we ditched the cultural stuff and headed about 15 minutes outside the city to Hot Dougs. This place serves the most unbelievable hot dog I’ve ever seen. We checked out the reviews online and decided on the following: Duck dog with foie gras and truffle aoili, rabbit dog with ricotta cheese and raspberry preserves, 2 normal dogs with all the toppings, and cheese fries.

We had to wait outside in 20°F for ONE HOUR to even get inside this place. It was packed. But once we did order, it was pretty affordable and the dogs were to die for. The only time Sarah and I are ever quiet is when we are hungry and when we are mowing down food like this.

IMG_1022 ^ We even got to meat (haha) Doug himself!

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That night we stayed in and enjoyed our most luxurious hotel room and some deep dish pizza.

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This hotel room needs some further explanation. As I mentioned, Sarah and I find the most amazing bargains. I found this hotel room at Swisshotel (they are usually upwards of $200) for $110 a night on Bookit.com. It was SO worth the effort. This place was so nice that we WANTED to stay in and enjoy it. I took photos of the tiny details so you would understand.

IMG_1030 ^ Bedside table: light switches for the whole room, an alarm clock AND ipod player, and outlets on the lamp. Perfection.

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^ A CLEAN tub and a shower. Also, please note the phone next to the toilet. If you’re wondering, of course I used it.

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^ When the maids came in, they straightened up our shoes and toiletries and the room was sparkling.

IMG_1031^ There was a Keurig coffee maker with free K-cups. And wine glasses and bottle openers. These people knew we were coming.

We spent Sunday chatting and doing some shopping (aka bargain hunting) before Sarah had to fly out. It was MUCH too short of a stay but absolutely wonderful all the same. There’s nothing like the company of your best girlfriend 🙂

I Have A Happy Heart

Heart

Mom and Dad,
Nicola, Makenna, and Cam.
Has there ever been a time,
When we haven’t been an awesome fam?

Vegas was epic,
Just like all our holidays.
We manage to break the rules,
And have fun in our weirdo ways.

Seven years
Is WAY too many days.
Navigating life without you around,
Is like finding my way out of the toughest maze.

So on this day,
When I can’t see all your gorgeous faces,
I’ll think of the next time,
We can eat, drink, and laugh in crazy places.

ps.
This ode should include,
Some love for my Gran and Chuck,
Without your unwavering support,
I’d be s**t out of luck.

Gran’s weekly phone calls,
Chuck’s endless flattery,
Pulls down my walls,
And keeps me going like an Energizer battery.

I love ALL of you. My readers, my family, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my new family (the Farrar’s!), my coworkers, and my closest friends.

Whether you’re single or taken, just make sure you give at least one person a hug today 🙂

 

Gossip Ruins People

Gossip

If you don’t have something nice to say, just zip that trap. We all heard that line (or some variation of it) when we were little. Every one of us has been the subject of gossip at some point in their lives. You know how much it hurts. So here’s the big questions:

WHY DO WE STILL DO IT?

I laid awake for much of the night wondering that. Just before I fell asleep, I found out that there are people who I barely know, in this brand new town of mine, gossiping about me. Rash, hurtful words that pinned me at my most vulnerable point.

Gossip Law #1: Even for me, strong, capable, confident me, words DO hurt. I learned this long ago in middle school and, ever since, I’ve realized that I don’t want to cause that pain to anyone else. It doesn’t matter how much I criticize them internally, everyone has weaknesses just like me, and I never want to make someone feel that that’s all I see.

Gossip Law #2: As much as we whisper and make people promise not to tell, the words ALWAYS get back to the person. This most recent gossip about me started in September. September! I heard it two night ago from a well-intentioned friend that was trying to help me become a better person. He was trying to help me and the fact that people talked STILL hurt.

Gossip Law #3: It doesn’t stop when we turn 16 years old, or 20, or even 35. It never just stops. It’s natural for people to talk negatively about others. It makes them feel powerful, like they have an advantage on you. Like they’re better than you. It’s natural, but it sucks and it can be stopped.

Gossip Law #4: It comes in all forms. Gossip doesn’t just have to be a woman whispering trash into another woman’s ear. As I’ve tried to cut it out of my life, I realize that gossip is any negative statement that emerges from your mouth about another person. Anything that, when you really think about it, could potentially hurt that person.

LISTEN UP. This is the most important one . . .

Gossip Law #5: It CAN be stopped. The only way to stop gossip is by filtering your own words. I have a best friend. My heterosexual life partner. She is the only person that I turn off the filter with. She does the same with me. We gossip to each other until kingdom come. But that is because we KNOW that it will never leave that conversation. With everyone else, my negative words are on lockdown. I don’t participate in negative conversations and will even try to stop them if they become about someone I love.

Everyone can do this. It only took me a few months to recognize and learn. So just try it, please. For the sake of all those people who you have yet to hurt.

Now off with you, have a wonderful, gossip-free weekend! I will be in Vegas with my family and friends through Monday so blogs will start back up on Tuesday. I will miss you all until then. But just remember:

KEEP CONVERSATION POSITIVE 🙂

 

Friendly Friday: Thank You Technology

Once upon a time there was a group of five girlfriends. They were all gnarly and raced bikes together. When they got off the bikes they would sit down for pizza and a beer and laugh for hours and hours. Then these girls graduated from college and spread across the country like lighting bolts, forever changing the points they touched down in. They spread to be teachers in Boston, medical students in North Carolina, nurses in Colorado, bike marketers and women’s activists in California, and holistic health advocates in Illinois.

Every so often, thanks to some sweet technology, they actually get to reunite and laugh together again. Check out Once a Month’s blog to see how easy it is to keep in touch. Reunite with the old and wonderful friends in your life.

Once a Month: Coming Together While Miles Apart

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My friends are amazing. This is going to happen much more often from now on. I love and miss them so incredibly much but they’re all doing so well in life. They brighten my day 🙂