Browsing Tag

reflections

Photo of the Week No. 52: “Look Back at It”

December 29, 2018

With this being the last Photo of the Week of 2018, it’s only right that we take a look back at it. I know your minds went straight to the antelope’s heinie (tee hee!) but we’ll get to that later. At the start of the year, I decided I wanted to hone my photography skills. To keep myself honest and actually focus on taking better images, I created the “Photo of the Week” feature here. It’s been a fun challenge that has forced me to think of different angles and pursue interesting subjects to share with you all week after week. I plan on keeping it up. My guy even got me a light kit for Christmas, so be on the lookout for more polished photos (once I figure out how to use the thing).

Now to the elephant, or antelope derrière, in the room. This image is one of hundreds I took while on safari at Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa earlier this year. This lone antelope was casually walking up the road and I couldn’t help but admire its strength and beauty. In a way, it’s a metaphor for the close of the year. I’m walking into 2019 stronger than I was this time last year, not looking back, more sure of myself. Alternate titles: “Back Street Beast,” “Back to Life, Back to Reality,” “Walking With a Purpose” and “Hope in an Antelope.”

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

April 25, 2018

This Wednesday Word No. 106, spotted at Haute in Texas, is where my heart and head have been since my epic trip to South Africa. Our group was fortunate to go on a walking tour of the Langa township in Cape Town, where we had the opportunity to meet the locals, learn about their history, buy some of their wares and see how they live. Sugar, our tour guide, was from the township and gave us a real glimpse at life in this part of the world. She even gave us a run-down of the Xhosa language, marked by distinct clicking sounds, which made me appreciate its unique beauty all the more. We visited the Dalukhanyo Preschool, where the kids sang the South African national anthem and danced for us. I wanted read to them and play games and trade dance moves. Simply put, I didn’t want to leave. If anything, those few minutes we spent at the school made me realize that I could be doing more to support them. Our tour guide in Johannesburg, Sonja, also left an impression on our group. Her adoration for the country of South Africa was palpable. She didn’t sugarcoat the not-so-pretty parts but spoke truth with love. It’s crazy how much Sugar, the students and Sonja made me feel at home, thousands of miles from Long Beach, on a whole new continent, on the other side of the world.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

2013/2014: The Transition

January 1, 2014

On the last day of 2013, I chose to spend the day doing the things I love with someone who means a lot to me, the boo-ski. It was strange in that I knew it was the last day of me officially having a job (found out I was getting laid off the second week in December), but at the same time I was eager and optimistic for the changes that are afoot.

Around mid-morning we took a short drive to the neighborhood record store Fingerprints and got a tasty morsel from the adjoining café. It was great to be among the stacks of crates and digging for vinyl, a favorite activity for my boo, who is a DJ, and I. Seriously, the discount bins never disappoint.

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Here he is testing out some records with the handy Crosley portable turntable I got him for Christmas.

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Of course I had to take a listen, too.

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Let’s just say, your girl was en fuego. I helped my boo find some gems. Granted I was drawn in mostly by the album art, but I knew there was something promising about them. Some great dancey jams!

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Later that night, we put on our fancy party clothes for our low-key New Year’s Eve celebration at home. Really, there was no place I’d rather be. (Stay tuned for this “Outfit of the Night” post).

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We cooked together. I marinated these delicious New York strip steaks and the boo pan seared them to perfection. So good!

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It was a lovely way to close out 2013. In the morning, I made a point of praising God for bringing me into 2014, and was anxious to go through my (Count Your) Blessings Jar and reflect on all the ways that He came through for me last year. To recap, throughout last year, I would make a record of the ways I felt God’s favor upon my life and place it in the jar.

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And I’m so glad that I did! Things that I had completely forgotten about were brought back to remembrance, some tiny, some huge. About nine notes in, I had burst into tears, overcome by God’s faithfulness.

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I stacked the notes on top of each other and, quite symbolically, they began to spill all over the place. Just like the Father’s overflowing grace, mercy, love and compassion for us all. When I was done, I clipped them together. It will be nice to go through them in tough times, gloomy days, or when I feel sad or uninspired.

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And to get ahold of my fleeting thoughts and ambitions for the new year, I jotted a few of them down in my journal. I made a list for general goals for the year and composed a more defined list of targets for this current season (being a free agent and plotting my next career move) on a sticky note.

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There is so much I look forward to this year. This will be my entry into my thirties (holding on tightly to what remains of 29, haha), and hopefully a time marked by new opportunities and plenty of abundance, joy, laughter and, most importantly, LOVE.

I wish you all the same for 2014!

XO,
Ashley

“See You at the 10-Year.”

August 22, 2012

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This past weekend was my 10-year high school reunion. Yes, I was a part of Scripps Ranch High School’s class of 2002 (go Falcons!). It doesn’t feel like it’s been a decade AT ALL! Over all, I had a grand time, caught up with old friends and acquaintances, had a blast with my bestie Yvette in the photo booth (best part of the event) and stunted just a little bit (*sings Mike Jones: ♫♪ “Back then they didn’t want me, now I’m hot, they all on me” ♪♫). Tee hee!

But seriously, I’ve changed. For the better. I’m not the same tomboy who wore her hair in a ponytail and was quite content in her DC skate shoes and Eddie Bauer fleece pullover. Not the same insecure girl who so desperately wanted validation from her peers. Though I cringe when I look back at photos from my high school years, I am very pleased with the woman I see staring back at me when I gaze in the mirror. I’ve been places I never thought I would see, accomplished things I only fantasized about doing (co-writing a book, living on my own, being a full-time journalist) and learned a great deal along the way (glory to God!). And I’m still learning. A full-fledged work in progress, indeed.