Monday, May 18, 2015

We reached the beach!!

Last year my darling husband participated in the 100 mile "Reach the Beach" bike ride.

And I supported him.

He kept mentioning I'd like the ride.  So this year I decided to play also.

I was most definitely not ready for the 100, so I signed up for the 55 mile bike ride and met Aaron 45 miles in to finish the remainder ride with him.

Guys - it was a doozy.  The wind was exceptionally fierce and always seems to be going against us.

Here are some notable things that happened during my 55 mile quest to the beach:

  1. Someone walked in on me in the porta-potty - Guys - I was switching out my undergarments (TMI?) when the door SWINGS open and I quickly scream drawing attention to the ENTIRE line.  He slammed the door shut and I started laughing, but couldn't help imagine that he probably got an eye full!!  When I exited said-porta-potty I got a nice cheer from the mile-long line that heard my shriek (any may or may not have seen my goodies).
  2. Ashley vs. Water Bottle - Water Bottle won.  A nice guy decided to take lead and break-wind for us.  As we were riding in a tight 3-person line he drops his water bottle.  Bike-Party-Foul!  Aaron was able to avoid it, but I managed to get it stuck under my tire.  I thought I'd stick it out, but my shoe wouldn't come unclipped from my bike so I fell.  Hard.  I'm waiting for the bruise on my hip to shine through.
  3. Mile 30 breakdown - No - not the flat tire kind of break down.  The tears-and-whining kind of break down.  I managed to not bring ANY shot blocks or fruit snacks or ANY sweet treats with me.  Seriously - and my mom will vouch for me - if there's anything that keeps me going when I'm being active it's a gummy snack.  Even though I had just eaten prior to my breakdown, the salt overload must not have been enough.  So I bonked.  My muscles started to hurt and my energy level crashed.  So we pulled over, I had a cry/whine session, I stretched, ate a GU, and moved onward.  As soon as that GU kicked in it was amazing how much better I felt!  **Note to self: NEVER forget my beloved gummies.  

But for the most part everything was great!  The weather was cold and windy, BUT not rainy and miserable.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

4 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

My mom, Aunt Peggy, and cousin Hailey were my entourage as we spent a long weekend in Sacramento visiting the several boutiques and stores.

Now that the wedding is OVER (wootwoot), I thought it would be a fun post to share the variety of dresses I tried on while dream-dress-shopping, and let you in on some secrets that helped me pick "the one." 

Dresses come in all different price ranges.  It was important to me I didn't spend a fortune on a dress I'd only wear once.
It's like I'm frugal or something :-)
Your assistants first question will be about your budget - so make sure you set this prior to your first dress appointment

While I ADORED this dress, it simply didn't fit our venue and just didn't "feel" right.  Our venue was outdoors/meadow/woods/rustic/beachy-esque. 
In another life when I get married in a church or a beautiful country club, this is my go-to.

I went in to the appointments knowing I wanted a lacy form-fitting dress.  And at the end of the day I walked out with a chiffon flowy dress.  The dress in this picture I had ZERO desire to try on.
It was poofy.  There were feathers.  It screamed NO.
But I did it anyway.
While you may have an idea of what you want, keep an open mind because you'll be surprised the endless options.

Don't buy a dress because the style looked good on someone else.  Whatever the style, make sure it fits YOU.  When you put on a dress you should think, "This is so 'me'"

For me, I wanted something that was "timeless."  I wanted something where I'd look at pictures 30 years from now and not have to explain to my beautiful grandchildren "That was the style back in 2014."  I wanted something that complimented my location, and flattered my figure.

I also wanted something that made my mom cry the moment she saw me wearing the gown, but let's be honest - she cried with every dress.



Monday, April 06, 2015

Ashley's Hiking Chronicles - Rock of Ages

I probably sound like a broken record these days with my constant hiking posts, but we've been SPOILED with decent weather this spring in the PNW and we are taking FULL advantage of it.

This weekend's hike was Rock of Ages.  After looking at pictures we thought it looked like fun.

Fun:  Yes
Hard: Hell yea

This was a difficult hike.  You gain 3,000 feet in under 3 miles.  That's slightly over 1,000 ft/mile.  If you don't know what that means, it means steep.

Super duper steep.

Unfortunately we didn't get too terribly many photos of the super steep parts.  We were too busy holding onto tree roots and clinging to the mountain for dear life.  Here's the information from

  • Start point: Horsetail Falls TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Horsetail Falls Trailhead
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 10.0 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3000 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult (steepness, length and creek crossing)
  • Seasons: Apr-Oct
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: Only at trailhead

And for the best part - pictures!

The arch! 
Devil's backbone

Looking down
Looking up

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Things I'm Loving

When I like a product, I LOVE it.

Like …. buy-one-in-every-color type of love.

I've had a few obsessions lately so I wanted to share the products I've been crushing on :-)

Eucalyptus Spearmint (or Mint)

Candles, soap, wallflowers, car fresheners.
I've just about purchased the entire product line.  I can't get enough of this fresh/clean scent.  I even got a car freshener to keep at work.  Delish.


The hubs recently bought my a couple of headbands from Junk.  Not only have I enjoyed the extra spunk they've added to my workout/hiking outfits, they're awesome at keeping sweat from dripping down your face.

I have since purchased headbands from Hippie Runner, Skida, and Bolder Bands.

If you sense a review post coming up, your senses are spot-on my dear friends.

Fizz Sticks (Arbonne)

If we've worked together, chances are you've seen me walking around with a Rockstar energy drink with enough caffeine to keep the average person awake for at least a week (but for me… 4 hours).

Waking up at 3:45am every morning takes its toll on my energy level.  Like super hardcore.

These little tokens of energy keep. me. going.  The flavor is amazing, the fizz is addicting, and the fact that it's a natural source of energy keeps me coming back for more.

And I leave you with that my dear friends.  If you have any suggestions of new products to try I'm always looking for something new to crush on :-)  Happy Wednesday!

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Friday, March 06, 2015

January Girl Trip - Oregon Coast (Cannon Beach)

Because I went on a blogging hiatus, I thought I'd post a quick trip recap.

In January a girlfriend and I took a quick weekend trip down to the coast.  She has a friend who has a beach house and let us use it for the weekend.  Saweeeet!

There's something about the Oregon coast.  The smell.  The air.  I love it all.  LOVE.

So we packed up our hiking gear and headed to the coast for a weekend of diet-breaking, hiking, beach-exploring, and crepes.

We seriously lucked out, as the weather was gorgeous considering it was January.  No rain the entire trip and blue skies - mega win.

On Sunday we went on a hike (that I can't remember the name of…) that made us work for the views.  While the hike itself wasn't too terribly difficult, the mud factor was at an all time high.  But hey - it made for fun photos and a fun story :-)

Monday, March 02, 2015

Update + Munra Point

Bad Ashley.  Bad, bad Ashley.

I really have no excuse for my bloggy hiatus.  Really I've just been busy with work, and by the time I get home I'm lazy.  Pure lazy.  I've been clocking mad Netflix hours and cuddle time with the pups, but my poor bloggy has been neglected.

So I thought I'd make up to you all with some pictures from our Valentines Day hike!  I've been dying to do Munra Point, so I dragged that husband of mine to the gorge for a WONDERFUL hike.

If you're in the Portland area and looking for a fun hike, I most definitely recommend Munra Point.  It's extremely steep (it's listed as "strenuous" for a reason) but the viewpoint at the top is totally worth it.

What's better is, even on a clear sunny PNW day, the hike was barely crowded.  Definitely unusual for the Gorge area so we'll take it :-)