Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Perfectly Lonely"

Once again, I am so humbled by how many of you contacted me saying you loved my blogging & requested me to write more.

My stories are personal but many of you have expressed to me how much you appreciate that factor.

 So... here ya go, I'm at it again.


A single girl's guide to being Perfectly Lonely.

I find this so silly.
The oh so popular saying, “forever alone.”

Many of my girl friends and myself including have struggled with this idea.

Making that comment is basically like saying, “I know when my time for love was and I missed it!”

Come on now, you can’t say that because well, you know nothing of this sort!
Just because you’re not currently engaged or have someone at your beckon call does it mean you are “forever alone.”

Do you know how wide the range of age is when people find “the one”?

I’ve heard all sorts of stories!

“I met my true love in the 7th grade, now we’re 70!”

“It took me three failed marriages to find the one I love and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

 “I’m 40 and am just now getting married to the love of my life.”

“I met my love back in high school then we lost contact but we found our way back to each other."

Those are just a few.
Love happens in mysterious ways but you have to be patient!  

But if you’re anything like me, patience is a hard word to comprehend.  
And if you're human like myself, then I can assume you crave companionship as well. 

My conflict is quite hilarious. And by hilarious I actually mean the adjective of being extremely amusing because I was just laughing at myself about this the other day.

I tend to torment myself sometimes.
I sink into the mindset of, “Being single sucks, I want somebody now.”
I slip into the idea of, “I’ll never find someone.”
It's funny how I can think this way!
It’s like I treat myself around the imaginary idea of having miraculously traveled into the future & saw myself all alone at the age of 80.

I know some girls, like myself, struggle with this idea.
They think they're going to be single forever.
they stay in an unhappy relationship because they don't believe they can do any better.
Well just like my mother would say, "That's just a bunch of baloney!"


I’ve always been the girl in a relationship.
I dated my high school sweetheart all the way through my sophomore year of college.
Right after that I jumped right into another relationship that lasted about a year.

I’ve done long distance relationships for the last 4 years.
I was use to spending most of my time without my significant other.

So when my most recent relationship ended with a guy that lived over 1,600 miles away, I told myself no problem. Being single will be a breeze!

Unfortunately, I proved myself wrong.

I had a serious case of the “teddy bear” syndrome.

Teddy Bear Syndrome:
1. One who dates in fear of being alone.
2. Uses significant other as a security blanket.

The first time I was told I had the syndrome I was in denial. I don’t like to admit it and I didn’t for quite some time but sadly, it was true. I hated the idea of being alone. 
I was insecure, lonely and had no idea what to do with my spare time.

For two long months after my latest break up I let myself get hurt over and over again trying desperately to make it work with someone that was not good for me nor was I any good for him.

I had to stop chasing this person to realize how wrong we were for each other.

During those two months I could have been well on my way back to happiness but I was stubborn & well, quite frankly, naive.

Sometimes the best lessons learned are learned the hard way.
But if you're reading this, learn from my mistake. Don't put yourself through this kind of pain.

After a lot of ice cream binging, nap taking and wasted tears I did some soul searching and I found someone actually kind of cool!


I started to get to know myself. (sounds corny, right?)

I got busy.
I started doing things I didn’t think I could do.
I took a full load of summer school.
I took care of myself and gained confidence.
I hit the gym & did lots of trail running.
I was free, my schedule did not revolve around someone else.
I stayed in on Friday nights and got lost in some really good books.
I got to do what I wanted and when I wanted to do it.
I didn’t have to turn down handsome guys with the, “I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend.”
I got more bonding time with my girl friends!
I got to become a better friend.
I got to hang with my guy friends without being questioned.
I jumped back into the dating scene, free dinners, free drinks!
I wasn't held back by anyone!
I wasn't hidden behind the arm of a man when meeting new people.
I got to firmly shake hands and confidently smile standing alone.
 (this is how I got my latest job offer, confidence!)
I went out on the weekends and the night was mine!
I didn’t have to worry about letting a significant other down.
I become stress free and carefree.

I guess you could say I became pretty self-centered but hey, isn’t that what your twenties are for?

So why exactly does “single-hood” have such a bad wrap?

Never in my life have I grown more confident!
I think that’s my biggest take away.
I dealt with all my problems, worries, stresses & insecurities on my own.
I no longer depended but became independent. 
I didn’t need a guy there to hold my hand, pet my hair and tell me I’m pretty.
That's what made me stronger!

Do you really want to be with the type of guy that’s attracted to insecure girls anyway? 
That has trouble written all over it!
Are you the type of girl that finds yourself attracting selfish guys?
Well that problem starts with YOU. Raise. Your. Standards. 
Personally, I want a guy that is intimidated by me but fuels off of it.
The type of guy that will let me drag him out on the dance floor and happily dance the night away with me.

By no means am I saying I am completely healed but that’s also why I am still single.
The last couple of guy’s I’ve been interested in I’ve kept at a distant & a couple of them have called me out on it.    -Touché! Thank-you!

If a painful break up keeps me a little closed off, that doesn’t mean I am bitter, cooled hearted or entirely closed off to the idea of ever dating again!
It just means I’m a little extra precautious before I go giving my heart away again. 
I'm at the point of my life where I'd rather "be safe than sorry" when it comes to dating.

Ever heard the song "Perfectly Lonely" by John Mayer?

ohh, I live by it.

"Had a little love, but I spread it thin
Falling in her arms and out again
Made a bad name for my game around town
Tore up my heart, and shut it down

Nothing to do
Nowhere to be
A simple little kind of free
Nothing to do
No one but me
And that's all I need

I'm perfectly lonely
I'm perfectly lonely
I'm perfectly lonely (Yeah)
'Cause I don't belong to anyone
Nobody belongs to me

And this is not to say
There never comes a day
I'll take my chances and start again
And when I look behind
On all my younger times
I have to thank the wrongs that led me to a love so strong"

I believe I'll find someone someday!

He will fight for me. 
He will want to show me off.
He will make other girls jealous of me, not me jealous of other girls.
He won't fill my head with insecurities. 
He will hold me closer if I push him away.
He will be trustworthy and loyal.
He will fill me with security.
He will love me unconditionally. 

He's out there!
I'm just not ready to meet him yet.
But it's my job to not waste mine or other guys time along the way!

Too many people settle now-a-days!
Being picky when it comes to dating is a good thing.

So if you are having trouble being single...
Stop focusing on it.
Seriously, get it completely off your mind!
Not as easy as it sounds, I know. You have to train your mind to be positive.
It's kind of like fooling yourself but being the psychology student that I am, I'm a firm believer that what you tell your mind... your mind will soon believe.
Negativity has a very strong effect on females.
Girls tell themselves, "I'm too fat, I'm not pretty, I'm not smart"
Then they start to believe these lies about themselves.
Find something positive about yourself and repeat it to yourself daily.

Don’t get jealous of the couple on the coffee date while you’re sitting there writing a term paper looking like a bag lady in yoga pants with no trace of make-up. 
(oh you’re not, okay okay maybe that was just me... HA!)
But seriously be happy for other couples and know someday that will be you.

After all, you should fall in love with yourself before you dare fall in love with anyone else.

Have I made my point?
I am not asking you to all become narcissistic, falling in love with you reflection when you see it in water.
But do yourself a favor!
Start telling yourself you are a precious gift from God and you deserve the best because well you are and you do!
You're mind will start to believe it and it will become easier for you to tell the losers in your life "adios muchachos!"

And if you are a girl in a bad relationship... stop trying to make it work!
Seriously, knock it off.
I feel like people torture themselves now-a-days trying so hard to fight the truth & make it work with someone who is not the one for them.
It's like repeatedly trying to fit a square into a circle. 
No matter how many times you try or how many different approaches you make..
It's never going to work.
Stop ignoring red flags or making excuses for the other persons behavior.
If they bring you heartache... that's enough of a reason to get the heck out!

Last but not least,
Start focusing on the type of person YOU want to be for someone ELSE someday!

"Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person."
Gloria Steinem

Stop looking for a man and what you need from him.
Take responsibility for yourself and be the best that you can be!

Oh & do keep in mind..


 Happy girls are the prettiest. 

 xo. ash

-                           -senior, communications & psychology student

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Happy Go Healthy"

Hey ladies,

My goodness! My iPhone, Facebook, and IG account have been blowing up!

Many of you that follow me on my IG (instagram) account saw my most recent post and have been asking about my diet, fitness, & detox "secrets."

I'm very flattered and actually surprised so many of you are asking for my advice. 

I love helping but responding to all of you was a bit overwhelming.
Someone suggested I get back on my blog anyways so I decide to make everything I do accessible to whoever's interested on here!

You asked for it, you got it!

First of all, I would like to make clear that I am by no means any kind of nutritionist or personal trainer. I have no certifications or any kind of degree of this matter. You girls asked what I was doing so this is just what works for me and my body type.

Quick Background:

I personally sympathize with girls that struggle to love and appreciate their body. I grew up competitively figure skating for ten years and started at a young age. Honestly, I believe that is the reason why I have a distort view of my figure.

 If I could just loose a few pounds then I could jump higher, rotate more, spin faster and look better in the attire. 

My coaches ideal meal for me was a few almonds unseasoned and a couple bites of steak. I needed protein with low cal intake and it was not filling. 

At age 15, I had some russian man fly in to measure mine & a few other girls bodies for costume made competition dresses. It was hard not to compare my numbers to the rest of the girls.

I had a lot of muscle compared to my girl friends in school. They were not training 21 hours a week before and after school. A girl in one of my classes told me how much she weighed which was around 80-90 lbs. I told her I weighed 110 lb. I'll never forget her response, "that's way too much for a 6th grader."

I was crushed.

My obsession began then.

I started weighing myself everyday, once a day, twice a day, then up to three times a day.

I drove myself MAD.

By 8th grade my weight was 132. I started to grow into a more "womanly" but once again, I was pretty much solid muscle. I remember my art teacher in middle school use to always ask me to show my triceps to the boys in class, I was absolutely mortified. I didn't want to be something compared to the boys. I wanted to be seen as petite, fragile and girly.

I tried anorexia, I tried bulimia. However, luckily I love food way too much to ever have a serious eating disorder.

I am now 22, and a senior in college.

It wasn't till just 2 years ago that I came to terms with the cold hard truth.
I am never going to be 5'8", I will never have a thigh gap and I'll never have my sister's boobs.

I am 5'3", curvy, and a 32A cup.
and HEY, you know what? I am okay with that now! (:

God makes no mistakes. He made me the way I am for a specific reason.
And the same goes for whoever is discouraged and reading this post!

EMBRACE the body you were given and go from there.

On that note, here is what I do to remain healthy & happy!

Here is my before picture I posted on IG.
This was taken right after winter break.
Over break I ate A LOT and I enjoyed it very much, no regrets!
Also, I am not a heavy drinker but with all my friends in town and catching up with everyone I drank a lot more than I typically do.

So once school started back up I decided to get a "kick start" back to feeling healthy.

These were/are my main focuses:

  • Healthy eating! (this is not a diet, it's a lifestyle)
  • Intense Cardio
  • Heavy lifting (heavy for me!)
  • And to cleanse from the holidays.
*side note* Weight loss comes  from healthy & lean diet. Toning comes from lifting weights. Endurance & healthy heart rate come from cardio. (this is just from my own personal experience from trial and error.)


By random I selected this Detox Tea.
There are lots of detox options out there to choose from but this one worked for me.

I drink the detox tea every morning on an empty stomach and I always drink it in hot water, never cold. 

The bedtime tea, I drink every night before I go to bed. I drink it obviously to help me sleep and I drink it hot so that it makes me feel full preventing late night munchies. 

This is me a couple days after my "kick start." 


I shoot for 6 small meals a day verses 3 big meals a day! 

I drink LOTS of water!
On average, 64-96 oz a day. Almost always with fresh squeezed lemons.
It's really hard to get into the habit of drinking the amount of water your body actually needs a day!

However, it only takes about 20 days to make a habit!
I made that one of my goals this summer and now drinking lots of water just comes natural AND I crave it!

For breakfast I try to always have egg whites.
My typical breakfast is two egg whites, 1 slice Ezekiel bread with 1 tbsp. 100% ALL natural PB.

I love Peanut Butter and eat a lot of it, that's why I make sure I stick to 100% all natural PB or almond butter or sunflower butter! Not a fan of sunflower butter but I have them all stocked in my apartment right now, it's an addiction. Also PB2 is a great alternative to PB. It comes in a powder form and you just add water. You can buy PB2 online or I've found it in stores at Fred Meyer.

Just about anything and everything I cook I use Coconut Oil. Say no to PAM! I buy mine in the spray bottle from Trader Joe's. If you don't have the luxury of Trader Joe's, my mom buys hers at Fred Meyer. 

Many of you asked about how I control my sweet tooth.... um, I don't.

My sweet tooth is OUT OF CONTROL! I joke that all my teeth are "sweet" because it's just that bad! I've tried everything to stop the cravings, there's no way around it (for me)! However, if I am being extra disciplined I like to stick to dark chocolates! (I love chocolate, trying really hard to eat less of it.) Also, to satisfy my sweet tooth I highly recommend QuestBars. 

My Favorite QuestBar Flavors:

  • Double Chocolate Chunk
  • Cookie Dough
  • Brownie
Bake them in the over at 360 degrees for 6-8 mins and they taste extra yummy! 
You can buy QuestBars at any GNC or online.

I am a little bit of a picky eater. 

I am not a big fan of dairy. 
I don't eat a lot of cheese.
I don't eat cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, or much butter.
I don't like milk. I mostly drink Almond Milk (unsweetened).
If I do need milk, I always buy NF (non-fat). 
I don't like yogurt. If I have yogurt I buy Yoplait's Vanilla. The only way I can get it in me is if I mix it with cinnamon and use it as a dip for my apples. 

I love carbs! I eat a lot of pita chips with hummus. I also eat a lot of unsalted rice cakes!
For bread I always buy Ezekiel bread. (its hard to find because it is not in the bread section, you can find it in the frozen foods section and you have to keep the bread in the freezer after purchasing.) 

I eat mainly all white meats. I eat a lot of skinless and unseasoned chicken breats. I eat A LOT of turkey. Ground turkey is my favorite! If I do have red meat I have the luxury of my dad's Elk meat left over from hunting season! Elk meat is pretty lean. 

I hate Seafood! I really wish I liked it because I know how healthy fish is for you! 
However, I like tuna!
I'll eat a little bit of salmon if and only if it's cooked in lemons and brown sugar!
Other than that, count me out!

I eat a lot of salads and veggies.
I buy spinach and romaine lettuce for salads. I never buy iceberg lettuce. It has very few nutrients. For dressing I almost always use balsamic vinegar. 

*side note* The greener the veggie, the better it is for you. Spinach is best!

I bake my broccoli in olive oil with salt and pepper, in the over at 400 degrees for 20 mins. It comes out nice and crisp. Warning: it gets addicting. Asparagus also taste good cooked this way and a little parmesan cheese added on top. 

(typical dinner for me! Very filling) 
Protein Drinks:
I never buy "soy" protein. 
I drink protein drinks typically post-workout.
I use: 
  • chia seeds
  • almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 100% all natural PB
  • half banana
  • chocolate protein
(that's just my "go-to", yummy protein shake recipes are endless)

That's all I can really think of in detail as far as my diet goes. 
As for the rest of my diet, I try to stick to this list:

Complex & Vegetable Carbs
  • Quiona
  • Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potato
  • Corn Tortilla
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Broccoli, Green Beans
  • Zucchini, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower
  • Cooked Oatmeal
  • Onions, Peppers
  • Black Beans
  • Cucumber, Celery 
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Banana (only after workouts) 
  • Berries (lots of blueberries, lots of antioxidants in those little guys!)
Proteins (try to stay close to 4 oz.)
  • All fish are great for you (salmon, halibut, cod, tuna)
  • Lean Ground Turkey
  • Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Lean Steak (flank or eye of round, not more than twice a week)
  • NF (non-fat) Cottage Cheese or NF Greek Yogurt
Fats (with suggested serving sizes)
  • 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
  • 1/4  avocado
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. flaxseed, 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup seeds or nuts (almonds, sunflower seeds, pistachios) 
  • Stevia or Truvia (sweeteners)
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Low Sugar Salsa
  • Hot Sauce, Hot Peppers, Banana Peppers
  • No salt seasonings, Mrs. Dash!!!
  • Sea Salt
  • Lemon/Lime Juice
  • Garlic, Ginger, or other fresh herbs
  • No Fat or Butter Sprays!!!
  • Onions
  • Lite Soy Sauce (soy sauce has a very very high amount of sodium! yikes.)

  • Anything refined or bleached (white bread, most crackers)
  • Simple carbs (candy, cookies, sweets)
  • Pre-boxed snacks (a snack you have to prepare yourself is usually a healthier choice!)
  • Sodas, juices (unless you juice yourself with real fruit)
  • Anything with visible fat or skin on meat
  • Deep Fried
  • Ham, Bacon
  • Processed deli meats, hot dogs
  • Shrimp, Crab, Lobster (sparingly)
  • Trans fats or partially hydrogenated
  • Fast Fried Foods (obvi.)
  • Butter or Margarine
  • Regular fat cheese/sauces
  • Regular fat. mayo/dressings
  • Sugary syrups or marinades
  • Creamy or white sauces
Now, if you see me out and about chowing down on french fries (my guilty pleasure) or an ice cream sunday, yes I am human and give in. This is just a list of what I typically eat and try to stick to! 

*Side Note* I know eating healthy can be expensive. I am a college student and tight on money. Here's my motto when it comes to this issue.

I would much rather adjust my budget and spend a few extra dollars on a healthy diet then be spending a whole lot of money on health care and prescription medicine in the future from not taking care of myself!

Take care of your body now so that your body can take care of you later!

Why not feel good, look good and save money in the long run?!



I love to run! It's hard to believe but I do it for fun!
Not everyone enjoys running, I understand!

I run on average 3 miles a day. If I am not outdoors then I set the treadmill to 1.5-2.0 incline and 6.5 mph. 

To kick into fat burning I do sprints!


On stair stepper I usually do ten minutes set to Fat Burner at level 8.

I was just recently introduced to the rowing machine! I love it!
I sually do level 6 and I try to reach 1000 meters before 5 mins. 

Very rarely do I bike, I don't like sitting down! I'm somewhat of a spazz & just can't sit still!

On cardio days I usually incorporate abs.

Here are some great Ab exercises I use:

(For abs I also use the 15 min "get focused" workout on the app I show below)


If you don't know where to start when it comes to weights, this is an awesome app! 
AND it's freeeee.
It even has videos of each exercise to show you proper form and how it's done. Very helpful.

Lower Body:

Target areas: glutes, hamstrings, calves & quads.

Upper Body:

Target Areas: biceps, triceps, forearm 


Target Area: upper back

*Still on the hunt for a good lower back work out! (Gotta get those cute back dimples every girl dreams of!)
*Also, on the hunt for a good shoulder/chest workout! 

Last but not least...


6-8 hours of sleep is ideal for a healthy lifestyle. 

This is one week after my kick start:


I find I accomplish my long term goals by making a few short term goals along the way. 
The more short term goals I achieve the more motivated I am to keep going!

My good friend John once told me, "Ya gotta love your body more than food!"

Well, like I said, I am no professional or "know it all" but I do have a passion for this stuff and have done a lot of research.

I hope you guys enjoyed my post and answered all your questions!

If not, fill free to contact me directly or comment below.

I am more than happy to help to the best of my ability! 

xo. ashlee