New beginnings kinda suck.

Yeah, I said it. I always try to be honest here and honestly, I’ve decided I just don’t like starting new things. [pauses for gasps from the crowd] There are quotes all over the place that talk about being fearless and embracing change…that new paths and open doors lead to magic and adventure. But in reality, sometimes change is just that. Change. You just wake up one day and decide to do things differently. It’s hard, it sucks, there’s no instant gratification, and occasionally you fail. I mean, who isn’t more comfortable just staying where they are, just chuggin’ along? Just me?

However much I may like the feeling of contentment, it’s something I rarely (if ever) get to enjoy. It’s become more and more apparent to me that life is just a series of beginnings and endings, with very few constants along the way. While that may not necessarily be a negative thing, it’s freaking hard sometimes, no?

On Monday I’ll start my new job.

Let me preface this point by saying that theoretically I’m super pumped about this opportunity. I’m proud of myself for reaching my goal of becoming a Practice Administrator in a medical office (and before 30, no less), and being able to professionally transition from one job to another while keeping many personal and professional relationships intact. Woo adulting!

But…along with anticipation and excitement, the incoming tide of emotions like anxiety (you constant bitch), fear, nervousness, and the need for approval are incessantly trying to take over. It’s been a non-stop battle in my mind this weekend- excited, then wanting to throw up, happy and proud, immediately followed by indecision and worry, smiling and feeling optimistic, then biting my lip and scared I’ll make a fool of myself next week.

I know, I know, I’ll be fine. I’ll do great and it will be amazing and I’ll love it and everyone will love me because I’m beautiful and awesome and hilarious and it will all be okay. Whew.

Oh, right. Hey reality- you’re still here? Damn it. I’m still scared.

Luckily, I never had to change schools as a kid. I spent my first 18 years of life in a tiny backwoods country town and knew, or at least knew of, pretty much everyone in my school. Even though I never had to experience the feeling of being the new kid, just the thought of it makes my stomach flip. I’d watch movies or TV where they walk into the crowded cafeteria and can’t find a place to sit so instead they choose to eat their lunch in a bathroom stall and I’d always think, “yep, that’d be me”. Not because they, nor I, are particularly weird, it’s just easier.  Is it weird that I’m already dreading lunch tomorrow? Honestly, I’ll probably end up eating in the car. Normal people don’t worry about this stuff, do they?


I’m on a mission to eat healthier.

I figured hey, since I’m changing my daily routine with a new job, different (improved) commute, and daily dog walking schedule…why not throw in another challenge and stop eating so much crap? Habits are so hard to break. But, I’m hoping my theory of starting this new routine will be easier if I automatically start doing it with all the others.

First, I’m going to keep up the no soda rule. It’s been 6 weeks and 3 days since my last soda and I hope I never go back. While it may be getting slightly easier,  I still crave an ice cold Diet Coke almost every day. Instead, I give my water bottle the middle finger, take a giant gulp, and let out an exaggerated “ahh” to try and trick myself that it’s just as gratifying. God, it’s really not.

Second, I’m cutting way back on the fast food. Matt and I really only had Chick-fil-a or Whataburger what, maybe twice a week, if that? Realistically, I’m always going to allow myself to indulge in a chicken sandwich and waffle fries occasionally. It’s just too delicious. And what’s the point in living if you’re so freakin’ miserable all the time eating  like a bird and drinking grass water?

While I may not be able to entirely sacrifice the fries and rare nugget adventure, we are focusing on eating at home and eating real food. It’s a time commitment, that’s for sure, and it takes a lot more work, but I’m hoping once we get used to it it will become easier and less of a struggle. Right now my main issue is not reverting to a 3-year-old and throwing a mini-fit every time I have to do the dishes.


All in all, while I may hate the idea of starting these new things; whether it be a new job, better eating choices, or drinking another unending bottle of water- they’re all worth doing. Ultimately I know it will lead to a better and happier life.

Well, at least that’s the goal, right? I’ll keep you posted.

Long Time No….Change

It’s been a while, I know. I missed you too! Oh what’s new with me, you ask? Well, let me tell you


Things have been pretty constant around here. And when I use the word ‘constant’, it’s in the place of other, more negative, words (like boring, lonely, depressing…you get the idea). I’ll admit, I wrote the last couple of posts on dating and being interested in the idea of seeing people again and I thought, “okay, now let them just show up/call/invite me out!”. Then, surprisingly realistically, nothing happened.

I know, what the hell, right? Just kidding, yes, it sounds so dumb when I write it out and admit that I thought that it was just going to ‘happen’. And it’s even more silly that I actually got a little sad when I realized it’s been a couple of weeks and nothings changed and I had nothing to blog about. Then, I realized that it’s been 7 and a half months and I haven’t even had a single conversation with a guy that I didn’t already know before my divorce. Lame.

I need to meet people. Guys, I need to meet guys. No idea how, where, or when, but it needs to happen. I can feel my cat-lady-sweat-pants-rocking-chair days quickly approaching and I have to stop them. This single life does have its perks, but I am so lonely sometimes.

You know when I notice it the most? It’s not being the only single one at parties, but arriving home alone after said party and realizing you have no one to re-live all the funny things that happened that night with. It’s not eating dinner by yourself every night, it’s when you’re eating the leftovers from that meal for the 4th time that week because no one is there to help you eat them. It’s not going to bed alone, it’s waking up freezing at 2AM because you kicked the covers off yourself, not because someone next to you stole them. There is no one next to you, ever.

Bleh, emotions. Maybe it’s the holiday season, or just the fact that I thought I’d be at “x” stage by this time after my divorce, but, I’m just ready to move on and make new memories. Maybe I’ll leave dating to be my next challenge to conquer in 2015.

Running a 5K this weekend! Whoo! My third one this year! And, I’ve already signed up for one in January…it’s the Hypnotic Donuts Dash. Donuts WHILE running? Best. Idea. Ever.


Running is Cheaper than Therapy

This weekend I crossed another item off of my single-bucket list. I tend to combine the words single and bucket and call it my “suck-it list”, mainly because I feel like I either 1) suck at doing the items on my list (ie, running, being independent, etc.), or 2) because every time I accomplish an item I tell everyone who said I couldn’t to suck it. Classy, I know.

On Saturday I ran my first official 5K! I’ve walked 5Ks before, but never even considered doing anything other than taking advantage of the included breakfast and chatting with friends while walking for an hour. I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t think I could do it. It wasn’t so much the distance (it’s not like it’s crazy far, only 3.1 miles), but it was the commitment to train for it, having to run in front of hundreds of other people, and having to finish what I started that morning.

As for a few of the positives I took from my experience: The run was put on by Mary Kay, and benefited cancers affecting women and domestic violence, both great causes which makes it easier to run for a good reason. I got to catch up with some AMAZING ladies who ran with me and supported me. They invited me into their group and I felt welcome and loved! It was a healthy, inspirational way to start a Saturday morning, and oh yeah, I survived. Ha.

And of course, I have to be honest…there were some moments I felt a little down. I did NOT want to run in front of all those people, thoughts kept rushing through my head, “What if my run looks ridiculous? What if I’m the first one to start walking because I can’t run far? I’ll probably trip. Did I charge my phone enough? What if my playlist runs out? What do I do if my shoe laces come untied?…it was unending. Also, I felt like I was going to die pretty much the whole time. Okay, so that’s slightly dramatic, but I did think I started to see the light about 50 feet from the finish line. Don’t worry, I said “no thanks Big Man, gotta finish this race, try me another time”.

Overall, it was fun! I’m glad I accomplished my goal and I can say that I did it. In fact, I signed up for my next one in December because I loved it so much! Well, I mainly signed up because it’s for work…but the reason doesn’t really matter, right?

Now…what to accomplish next on my suck-it list?

Challenge: Dominated

After three days of drinking pureed vegetables, I can say that I’ve officially completed my juice cleanse! Let’s just get down to business and talk about what I learned:

1. I hate beets. Thank God only one of the four juices every day contained beets, but that bottle was a challenge in itself.

2. I committed, and I succeeded! If I’m being honest, I was fully prepared to write a blog post about how I slowly, but surely, gave into my hangry state and ended up grazing through a Chinese buffet and frozen yogurt bar. Luckily, that didn’t happen. I am really proud of myself for making it through. It helped having support via text, in person, and on Facebook. It’s going to be a while before I do another one, that’s for sure, but I’m glad I did it.

3. It’s not life changing. And I don’t mean this in a totally negative-Nancy kind of way. Everyone asked me, “How do you feel?” after I finished the cleanse. Again, being honest, I didn’t notice any significant changes. I did feel a little lighter (I mean, I lost 5.5 pounds), but my head felt clearer and I did have slightly more energy. It was nice to just cleanse my body of junk and that heavy feeling. Would I go shouting from the rooftops that it changed my life? Probably not. Would I recommend it if you’re looking to re-start your body or jump working out/getting healthier? Yeah, definitely.

4. It’s fun doing something new. I enjoyed the whole process: learning how to eat clean, drinking vegetables for 72 hours, sharing about what I’m doing, enjoying people’s reactions. Especially that last one. I usually got eye rolls, or “I’ve been wanting to try one of those…”. My favorite question was, “How hungry are you?” Actually, my hunger never got crazy-out-of-control. Don’t get me wrong, I had dreams about Wingstop, Outback, and pizza, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t power through. New experiences are usually fun I’ve found, I should do more of them!

Overall, I’d rate it about an 8 out of 10…I’d consider it a success!

Challenge: Accepted

I just completed Day 1 of Juice Cleanse-O-Rama Challenge! (If you missed out on the pre-juicing experience, you can laugh about it here.) First off, let’s just be impressed that I actually did it. There were a few weak moments in there when I almost dove into the snack drawer at work and found some sad, lonely Cheez-It’s with my name on them. Literally, I had to write my name on everything so it wouldn’t get eaten. But, I held out and told those Cheez-It’s to turn on a sad song because no one is coming for them any time soo

I’m not gonna lie, it totally helped to have a buddy doing this with me. Yes, I could say it’s her fault that I’m doing this…and, I may at some low points in my hunger-rage, but honestly, I should be thanking her for inviting me to do this. And, texting all day about juice and the foods we’re missing out on made the day go by a little faster. Plus, sharing funny photos always helps too:


I’d say we have some pretty awesome emotions about this juice. All I’m sayin’ is, these pictures could get crazy.

 Surprisingly, I didn’t get hungry until I got home from work at 5:15. Drinking 4 bottles of juice and 6 glasses of water had me feeling crazy full (not to mention peeing every 30 minutes). Fun times. Actually, the flavors are much better than I expected, although still not cheeseburger and fries good. Let’s not get out of hand. (Can you imagine a healthy cleanse where you could just drink milkshakes or eat wings all day? Wow…can you tell I’m hungry? Hahah.) Here’s what stared me in the face all day…and I promise, the staging was NOT intentional, that’s literally just how cliche my life is.


The first one was pretty good actually. I was expecting to have to plug my nose and choke these down, but they start you off easy with mostly green-colored orange juice. That second one…the red one, I thought “Oh, yum, strawberries? Nope- it’s beets. Gross. I do not like beets. At all. The third monster is misleading, you think it’s green orange juice again, but surprise! It’s basically celery with cayenne pepper in it. Yikes. And then, when you don’t want to see anything liquid ever again…you get to have another beautiful bottle of green…something. That one was cucumber, not great, but not too bad. Whew, that cayenne…it was a punch in the throat for me.

With this plan, you get to choose your own dinner. Woo hoo! Well, Lauren and I both had ours planned by 10am I’m pretty sure. Unfortunately, you can’t go crazy and have a Big Mac super-sized or anything (I wish). So, grilled chicken and fruit it is!

Stay tuned for more stories and photos as I continue on this juicing adventure!

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

“Wanna do a juice cleanse?!”

This is the question I received a few days ago. I immediately said yes, of course. Why? I have no idea. Mainly, I agreed because I’ve made it a life goal to say no as little as possible. Because of this, I’ve experienced new things, tried new foods (good and bad), and met more people, heard new music, and enjoyed life so much more than I used to.

Even though I blindly accepted this cleansing adventure, I said yes with a week to  research and prepare. What I thought would be a three day challenge has turned into a nine day challenge. Oh joy, I just tripled my fun!

To best handle a cleanse, “they” (whoever they is) recommend eating clean for three days before and after the actual juicing days to make it easier. My first thought on this: why do I need to make it easier? What’s hard about it if I don’t eat clean?. Needless to say, I’m going the safe route and I started eating clean on Friday, before I drink my life away on Monday, then followed by at least three additional days of clean eating.

What is this idea of eating ‘clean’? It’s all about consuming foods in their most natural state, Fruits veggies, whole grains, grass-fed meats, etc. Eliminating processed foods, refined sugars, white flour, saturated and trans fats, basically everything that used to be in my diet constantly. So, on Thursday I had my “last meal”…don’t judge me- it was a Whataburger Jr. and a Diet Coke with a few fries. It was glorious.

Friday AKA ‘Clean Eating Day 1” was fairly painless. Fairly. I woke up and instantly wanted coffee, then was shut down by the post-it I intentionally left on my Keurig the night before to remind me that I can’t wake up artificially. Instead, I splashed my face with cold water and slapped on a de-caffeinated smile. I skipped breakfast, because I had nothing in my fridge that was clean, then went produce shopping during lunch to load up for the next few days. Can I just say that grocery store produce, namely organic produce, is ridiculously expensive? That’s the last time I ever shop for food in Oak Cliff. Anyway, dinner was yummy:

photo (4)

Overall, Friday was successfully clean! I’d say, on a scale of 1 being miserable to 10 meaning over-the-moon happy, I ended on about a 7.5. I missed my coffee and diet coke…but also felt accomplished and proud of myself.

Saturday has been better, and also, worse. I did make it only half way to my coffee maker before I realized I couldn’t partake in any caffeinated and hazelnut creamy goodness, but, I perked up when I realized the farmer’s market was only 10 minutes away and I’ve never been! It. Is. Amazing. The produce is super fresh, super cheap, and so yummy! I filled up on samples and bought way too much, but it was a lot of fun.

Since I went with a couple of good friends, the next question was natural. I was expecting it, but that didn’t make me any stronger in resisting it. “Wanna go grab lunch and a drink?” I mean, it’s Saturday, early afternoon and patios were just waiting to be sat on. Remember my life’s goal? Don’t say no! Did I know that I’d break so soon? Uggghhh… but I did. Let me just say: it was so worth it. If you live in Dallas, go to Cold Beer Co. It’s amazing. And, I didn’t do too badly, I had one beer and a turkey sandwich. Yes, it had bacon and cheddar on it…but again, so good. The rest of my afternoon will be spent binge-watching The Newsroom and eating fruit. Lots of it.

Stay tuned for the rest of this…escapade. I think it’s going to be very entertaining.


Three months, 30 pounds, and a blog.

So, I’ve been living on my own for a little over three months now…and let me tell you, I think I’ve grown more in this short time than I have in the last year decade. This has been the most emotional, frustrating, and exhausting chapter I think I’ve ever been through, but the funny thing is, when I look back I realize it’s also been the most fulfilling, invigorating, exciting, roller coaster with your hands up time in my life, too.

This blog has been there for me as an outlet through all of my ups and downs. I can write about my struggles, or my mistakes. Things I did the hard way, or exciting new things I succeeded at. This 3 months has flown by. I thought I’d share some of my accomplishments, both big and small. Why? Because I’m proud of myself, damn it!


Doing a lot of these things terrified me. They may not seem like a big deal or a great accomplishment, but I did them. I would even say for some of them, I survived. Hah. Barely.

  • Okay let’s start small: I successfully parallel parked for the first time in my life. And, yes, there was a witness. I say there was a witness, because a lot of people know my driving skills are less than expert level. But, with living in the Bishop Arts district and this close to downtown…a girl can’t function (unless she wants to walk miles) without knowing this precious skill. Before, I always had someone to do the parking for me, but I learned real quick being by myself. How did it happen? It was an awesome parking spot, plus I was starving for brunch on a Sunday morning…that’s how it happened. Miracles do exist.
  • I have encountered several situations, including today’s run…that would have made me pee my pants before I’ve been living on my own. I remember when I was a freshman at Baylor, less than a week of living in Waco, we were all gathered in the common room and told by two female police officers: “If you go outside at night alone, you WILL get hurt, raped, or worse.” I guess their way of keeping of safe was scaring the bejeezus out of us, but it worked. I always think about that talk we had now. When I moved in I was scared to walk from my car to the gate of my apartment alone, especially if it was dark. But the past two weeks, I’ve actually run through Oak Cliff and lived to tell about it! Don’t worry, I’m not doing anything dumb, I just feel more aware of my surroundings and realized that people aren’t always “scary”. It’s empowering to not be so scared of everything!
  • I’ve successfully done a complete load of laundry…wait for it…. in one afternoon. Doing laundry isn’t anything new, but doing completing it in one afternoon is the feat. I have realized I am the WORST at remembering to move clothes from the washer to the dryer and somehow even less likely to fold them within the next week. I do the infamous “restart the dryer for 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out” and then just take out what I want to wear and leave the rest in there until the next day. It’s a sick cycle. (No pun intended…but get it? Because washer/dryers have cycles…I know, I know.)
  • I’ve started a blog! What? You had no idea?! Well, please…keep reading! This one really needs no other comment other than I’ve actually kept it up…go me!)
  • I’ve become a handyman/technically a handywoman! In more detail, so far I’ve correctly installed a thermostat, fixed a leaky faucet, hung pictures, refinished a dresser, reset my breaker, and figured out why my ice maker wasn’t working. All by myself! I’m not gonna lie, Google should be my boyfriend, because I ask it for help with everything. That has pretty much become my new favorite phrase to myself: “Google it, Ashley”. And thankfully, Google always comes through for me… it’s gonna take some work to find someone to compare to it. 😉
  • Oh yeah, and that one other accomplishment of mine I posted to Facebook yesterday. No biggie – I’ve just lost THIRTY POUNDS! I’ll admit, I haven’t been really excited about my weight loss because I don’t see much change. But I know the scale can’t be lying to me, and everyone says I look good and they can tell I look thinner…but seriously, I’ve lost 30 pounds and I’ve barely gone down one dress size? Ehh, I guess it just keeps my motivation up! I’ll keep running, eating better, and kicking butt… soon enough it will start to show, it HAS to! Maybe the next 5 pounds that come off will take a couple more sizes with it!

I think it’s been a good three months. Like I said, I’ve learned a lot, cried a lot, and laughed a lot. I can’t wait for the next three, six, even nine months…they’re gonna be great!