All posts by Ashley

Can the Universe Get it Wrong?

For many years, I felt like the universe had made a mistake.

When making plans at age 18 to do an overnight visit at my now alma mater, I was adamant that I stay in a sorority and see what real life was like living in a sorority house. In fact, when looking at colleges, I refused to attend any schools that didn’t have sorority houses. I was enamored with the idea of living in a house full of sisters. So, when I set up my overnight visit to Illinois Wesleyan, I made sure to request that the overnight portion be at a Greek house. My request was granted and a girl from AGD showed me around, let me shadow her in classes, and stay in their dormer overnight.

I was smitten. After that visit, I knew that I was going to IWU and I knew that I was going to going to join AGD. But, when Bid Day came, AGD turned me down. I got my second choice. And that was the first time I felt like the universe had made a mistake. I cried and cried. But, I accepted the offer of my second choice. And I thrived for the first two years there. Until, I met a boy. That boy took me out of my fun-loving self and into his world. And, for some unknown reason, I left my own world willingly. I left the friends I’d made with no kicking or screaming – from either the friends or from me.

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A Visit to Low Country

Last summer, my friend Annie and I decided to take our first (non-work) vacation together. After reviewing my “Where to travel in the U.S.” list, we settled on Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.

Flights were pretty inexpensive in/out of Charleston, so we decided to rent a car to make the most out of our Low Country experience and travel through Hilton Head to Savannah. This list is simply what we did – I’m sure there are a LOT of places we didn’t hit up since we only had a few days.

Charleston, SC

This southern city is all charm. Known for its good food and historical sites, the city deserves a few days of your time.

Food & Drinks
  • Check out King Street for a bunch of restaurants, dessert shops, and happy hour specials.
  • Callie’s Charleston Biscuits – This is a must for breakfast! We tried a few of their little biscuits with toppings like cinnamon and blackberry jam, as well as the biscuit breakfast sandwiches. We ate a lot of biscuits for two people.


  • Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens – Did you know that the movie The Notebook was partially filmed in Charleston? Click on that link and you’ll recognize that while in Charleston, they filmed at Boone Hall. Claiming to be “America’s most photographed plantation,” it’s worth the visit just to drive down the lane. Be sure to do the hay ride to get a glimpse of the working farm and grounds.


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Volunteer Hours

When I moved from Chicago, I left behind multiple volunteer positions. Now that I’m settled into my home and Bruno and I have a good routine down, I was ready to give back again.

My first volunteer shift at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry was tonight and it was wonderful. Each Wednesday and Saturday, the pantry opens its doors to those in need to collect groceries. My role tonight was as shopping assistant; this means I helped people pick what food they wanted to take home with them.

All of the shoppers were extremely grateful and happy. When a fellow volunteer asked one woman how she was doing, she had a big smile on her face, saying, “I’m blessed. I will have a meal tonight.” She then choked up, and said, “I didn’t have anything to eat last night.” I also got a little choked up, but tried not to show it when she came to my station.

I love living in Oak Park for many reasons, one including how nice everyone always is. All of the fellow volunteers were extremely friendly.

As soon as I got home, I signed up for a monthly slot! It was a great evening and I’m looking forward to going back.

In 5 Years

When you’re asked where you see yourself in 5 years, do you have a ready answer? I, for one, do not. And rarely in my adult life have I had an answer. The only time I could name an aspiration was when I really wanted to teach overseas. Sure, I’ve wanted to do things – buy a place, complete yoga teacher training, etc. – but never have I known where I wanted to be in 5 years’ time. 

I wonder if this has to do with the fact that I like all sorts of things and find it difficult to pinpoint the ONE thing I want to concentrate my career toward. Do I want to teach yoga full-time? Not really. Do I want to pursue another job in the travel sector? Not really. Do I want to go back to teaching? Not really. Do I want to move up in the Girl Scout organization? Not really. Is it okay to be perfectly happy doing exactly what I’m doing right now and aspire to be doing exactly what I’m doing in 5 years?? Is that an aspiration? 

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6 Things I’m Learning about Relationships from Owning a Dog

I am infamously bad at romantic relationship and/or I have had infamously unsuccessful romantic relationships. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t seem to get it right. My (non-romantic) relationship with Bruno, the wonder dog, has been pretty darn successful, though. The past four months of dog ownership have been both challenging and super great. Bruno is seriously adorable and he loves me like crazy (can you say mama’s boy?!). Might I dare say, that I love Bruno more than any man I’ve ever dated???? I mean, how could you not with a face like this?


And even though he’s a dog and I’m a hooman, I think I’m learning quite a great deal about how to have a relationship with people, romantic or otherwise.

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New Dating App: Doggie Dating

I’ve considered posting in the dog groups I’m in on Facebook or Meetup if there are any single guys wanting to go on a doggie date with me – one where we both bring our dogs and see if all 4 of us are compatible. {Side note: If you couldn’t tell by the fact that I’m writing about a new dating app, my date on Sunday wasn’t so great: he was 10 minutes late, texting me AT the time we were supposed to meet that he was running late; we talked about the weather for a good 30 minutes; and I ended the date by saying, “I don’t go out past 9pm because that’s my dog’s bedtime” lol lol.}

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