Happy Spring! Springing into Something New!

Good afternoon and happy first day of spring! I hope you all are either enjoyed your spring break or are currently enjoying it! I’ve been a little MIA, but for good reason seeing I’ve been off enjoying my own spring break in the Bay Area (I will have a separate post on that later on this week). I am excited to announce that in lights to my current project I have decided to dedicate my time in expanding my name in the blogosphere by applying to write for Her Campus.

If you do not know what Her Campus is it is a a website and blog that offers everything that needs to be known for female college students. The blog’s topics expand from world news to beauty tips to personality quizzes. I’ve been looking for a project to be passionate about for a very long time now and Her Campus fits everything I stand for. It is not only an opportunity to expand my name, but an opportunity to grow as a writer and I am looking forward to receiving feedback from writers who have been blogging from day one. It will also give me the opportunity to branch out and enjoy events in the community, which leads me to having more material for From Ashley to Ash. If I am offered the position at Her Campus, I will have continuous updates on here that’ll direct you to my content on there.

Now the second thing I wanted to shed some light on, if you haven’t already noticed, is that I have been updating my social media pages more often. I wanted to give those I spend a lot of time with an opportunity to enjoy my work. I have friends and family who are aware that I blog, but they haven’t really interacted with my actual website. In light of that I just wanted to apologize to my followers who solely follow me on here, and I highly encourage all of you to stop by my Instagram (@ashh_astronautt) to checkout all the content I’m releasing on there. Again I wanted to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for being such huge supporters to me. I know I can be so hot or so cold sometimes that it’s hard to understand where I come from as a serious blogger. You guys are the butter to my bread though and I would be nothing without your recommendations.

Yours Truly,

Ash.

What I would have liked to have known before I entered the blogosphere…

So lately I’ve been receiving a lot of emails asking me how I started blogging or what advice I would give to up and coming bloggers, and that gave me an idea. Besides deciding to blog about it, I decided that I would blog about what I would have liked to known before I started blogging in general. Believe me. No one ever warns you about the ups and downs to this blogging world.

As a lot of you know I started my blogging journey on Blogspot, which is a blogging website ran by Google and a lot of my following followed me onto WordPress. Blogspot is a great beginning space because of the fact that it’s simple to use. It’s got a basic set up and you really don’t need to know much about anything when it comes to setting up a website. All you have to know to do is write. I moved over to WordPress about a year after I started blogging on Blogspot because I did want more options when it came to how my actual site looked. I love WordPress and am planning to buy my own domain through the website as well.

Enough of the brief background on my blogging history, this post is about what I would have liked to have known before I decided to become an almost constant blogger (I’ve had my hiccups here and there like everyone else).

Here are 5 things I would have liked to have known;

  1. Coming up with blog ideas is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I mean with the pressure of social media and the world in general you fear disappointing others.
  2. DO NOT LET THE HATERS TAKE A TOLL ON YOU. There is always going to be someone who disagrees with your opinion. The point to having the blog is to embrace what makes you different in the world.
  3. Try not to be one dimensional. The biggest thing people tend to assume is that a blog has to be just about one thing. Your blog is YOURS. Be creative. Write what you want to write about.
  4. Go back and look at old blog posts. Embrace the changes you’ve made and how much your writing has developed.
  5. Most important is to have fun. Do not do it for the reads or for the following. Do it to get your ideas out there. Blogging is supposed to be a median of expression and it shouldn’t be stressful or upsetting.

I am so sorry for cutting this blog short, but I am so excited to announce that I am starting a project and I am so excited about. I am currently in the process of looking for a kind artist to help me make the logo and then I will be off to the printers to make all sorts of things to get the ball rolling. Again thank you for all the support and stay tuned. Remember to always keep posted through Instagram at @ashh_astronautt!

Sooooooooo…like…can we talk apps? #3

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Good morning, and Happy Belated Valentine’s Day! I am so sorry I’ve been gone so long, but I have been caught up with work and attempting to find a second job that I have not been able to log on as of recent. Currently I am blogging at work as we speak. LOL. Needless to say my kids are in the middle of a film and I have some time on my laptop, which is always nice. This morning I chose to do a “Sooooooooo…like…can we talk apps?” because I have become obsessed with the Kindle app, but not just the average you buy a book and then read it. I’ve become obsessed with the Kindle Unlimited offered by Amazon. Amazon is one of the biggest online shopping stops in the world and as the company continues to grow so does the opportunity for us to take advantage everything they have to offer.

The way Kindle Unlimited works is you pay for a monthly subscription (Amazon even gives you a free 1 month trial) that allows you access to hundreds of thousands of titles. It’s as simple as looking through genres, selecting titles, reading the books or series, and then returning it when you’re down. It’s a Netflix for books. Now I know reading from a screen is always exhausting, I honestly prefer to read physical books but when it comes to convenience and the opportunity to for a good deals, I can’t help but jump on the opportunity. Now, I am currently on the free trial and with what I’ve experienced I’ve decided that I will be willing to pay the monthly subscription of $9.99 to continue reading especially when I don’t have the time to pick up a book at Barnes and Nobles or Target.

Now I know that my last “Sooooooooo…like…can we talk apps?” was similar to the Kindle app, but believe me when I say that I use all sorts of medians to read. Reading was my first hobby and is a continuing hobby that I feel has slowly become unpopular in recent years. It astonishes me how unaware people are of their nearby libraries and local bookstores. Everything has become something to do online and I want to provide plenty of resources to those who have joined the modern world. I hope you enjoy the Kindle Unlimited opportunity as I do. Comment, email, or find me on social media to send me amazing book recommendations!

Keep Reading,

Ash.

It’s Been A While…

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Buenos noches, guys! I hope you guys have all been well and have kept occupied these past couple of weeks that I have been gone. I have been overwhelmed with work that I haven’t had a chance to log on and blog. You got to admit though, I’ve been doing a lot better compared to last year where I only blogged every few months or so. Now tonight’s blog post is my sharing that I have gone a few pant sizes since I decided to work on my health over the transition from 2016 to 2017. I wanted to share my progress along with some exciting tips I have found work best for me and maybe might work best for you.

Now a couple of blog posts ago, I openly admitted to having struggled with my personal body image for years. I announced that I had come to terms with the person I see now in the mirror, and that I can only strive to be the best I can be in a time where I have felt at my lowest due to my work schedule and eating habits. I’ve encountered so many weight loss regimes and ways to lose weight that I had begun to become discouraged with the whole idea of a quick fix to my situation. I had to sit myself down for a talk and tell myself that these things don’t come overnight or over a week or a month or even a year. I told myself that I would do me and see where it goes from there. I avoided any sort of body wraps, dieting pills, and weight loss plans in hopes to challenge myself in the journey I want to make in 2017. I wanted to attempt to do it a more natural way and I am not discouraging or encouraging anyone to do the same. I am just explaining the best fit for me and hoping that my experience may inspire some of you to continue striving to feel comfortable in yourselves.

My BIGGEST struggle was letting go of my sweet treats and carbs (I continue to enjoy both of them but in moderation). The EASIEST part of my journey so far was adding more greens and healthier proteins to my diet (but only because I never struggled with eating pretty healthy to begin with). I’ve also noticed that I have had a harder time increasing my exercise routine due to my busy schedule at home and at work, so I am trying to improve on my willingness to go to the gym or a run after, or even before, I decide to proceed with my usual routine. Now I must admit that I did try to cheat my way through it at the beginning of this entire process. I made a guilty purchase in a supplement called garcinia cambogia. Although only taking it for a week and a half, I noticed that it didn’t have the affect I wanted it to have and that attempting to make this a quick fix was not going to happen. I tossed the bottle of capsules and just dove head in to what I am attempting to continue to practice today.

Enough about my eternal issues and onto my advice to those trying to start with their own weight loss journey;

  1. I cannot stress enough how important SLEEP is to impacting how you transition into a healthier lifestyle. Lacking sleep does not only affect your weight though. It has been proven that sleep loss, along with a very unhealthy diet, can be one of the leading causes to type 2 diabetes.
  2. After sleep, it is important to up your WATER INTAKE. Increasing your water intake does not only help cleanse your body of toxins and unneeded fats, but can also help promote healthier skin and aid in sleeping.
  3. GREEN is your best friend. Remember when your mother always told you to eat your greens? Well I bet you’re regretting the faces you made at her now when she turned her back. A diet full of greens and PROTEINS aid the body in burning fat and strengthening muscle (Pop Eye had a very strong understanding of the situation).
  4. EXERCISING is your key to success. Although, I feel as though it begins with your diet, a lot believe that exercising and burning those excess calories off is what will ultimately lead to your overall weight loss goal. I am personally still struggling to find a particular outlet I like and takes time to even become comfortable with the idea of exercising. Remember to always take it at your own pace because no weight loss is worth breaking an arm or a leg.
  5. And lastly be POSITIVE about your situation. Do not let the bumps in the road determine your success in doing what is best for you. You are your biggest critic and fan. Regardless of what others say or think it is ultimately something you are doing to make you feel better at the end of the day.

Now good luck and share with me your weight loss secrets. You can find me on social media or through here. Make sure to always be supporting your fellow bloggers by sharing their links and following them on social media. The pictures above were taken a little over a month apart and I am super excited on where 2017 is going to be taking me.

Sweet dreams,

Ash.

Wake up! It’s Inauguration Day!

So today is the day that America welcomes their 45th president of the United States. I have been receiving tones of questions about my opinion of it all, and personally I choose not to vote. I refuse to participate in any sort of political situation, but focus more of my attention on social issues that mean a lot to me. Although I did not participate on the election a lot of my life runs on his policies.

The biggest effect that will take part in the coming of the new president is his appointed educations chair woman. Her policies on public, private, and charter education have created a panic throughout the entire school system. I’ve received countless emails from my superintendent discussing budget cuts and meetings. I have friends who work in the private school system who have discusses tuition raises to current and future students when it comes time to accepting vouchers. The fact that she is an advocate for reducing special education funding and attempting to capitalize more on education than we already have makes me wonder if she is destroying what used to be the best school system in the world.

This is not the only way the new president and cabinet will affect me though. He will be affecting me at home with an immigrant mother. My mother being a huge support to me since day one, who offered her time in the community while being a homemaker, the woman who dedicated her life skills to being a CNA here in the United States, was legitimately scared of losing everything she had worked for here in our “great” nation. She spoke countless time with a brother in El Salvador in a panic wondering if she would have to return, but my father assured her that she was a citizen and that no one could take that away from her. He told her that regardless of her broken English, Hispanic features, and status that she was rightfully an American the day she stepped off the plane from El Salvador.

I can only imagine what the next four years have in store for us. I can only wonder what these new policies will do to my future, to my children’s future, and to the future of the “great melting pot”. I do not have strong feelings towards the whole political situation as a whole, but the next four years will impact an entire situations and generations to come.

Sincerely,

Ash.

But why? But how?

Good evening my beautiful readers! Thank you for being patient and eager for my next post. I’ve been struggling to follow through with my New Year resolution of blogging more often, but that’s not going to stop me from continuously trying to get my one post a week out to all of you. As always I just wanted to thank you all ahead of time for sticking with me through my hiatus and always being so supportive of my craft.

Now lately a lot of my post have been very personal to me because I do not want to hide my situation with all of you. Tonight I wanted to discuss something very real in my life right now and it is my current situation. Excuse any grammatical errors that you might come across, but it is about to get really emotional for me right now.

Let’s start with a statistic. Nearly 2,000,000 young adults and youth in America are homeless. A general definition of “homeless” is a person not having a stable environment or does not have the means to provide food and shelter. As of December I fit that statistic. I have currently found a place to live till I do find a more stable situation, but I have been living from motel, to family, and now a friend’s house. If you had followed my previous blog on blogger then you are aware this is not the first time I am in this situation. When I was a senior in high school, I had missed college application deadlines and an opportunity for financial aid because I had no permanent living address (at the time I did not think of even opening a P.O. Box).

Homelessness has always been something I have battled with for as long as I can remember. I had attended a total of thirteen schools in my education career and numerous times I have had to live with family for more than six months. When I was not homeless though I had made it a priority in my life to give to the community that always gave to me. I ran clothes and food drives. I donated time to homeless shelters and took in friends when they struggled most. The point to this post today is to ask every single one of my readers to understand how severe homelessness is to the younger generation. It is usually not a choice and when you can only be human it is hard to feel strong in a situation like it.

There are so many factors that go into becoming homeless. People tend to assume that being homeless dubs you as a criminal or lazy or disturbed. It is usually not the case, but nonetheless can be a reason in some situations. I am an example of what is not a typical person who would be seen as homeless. I drive a nice car, I have a successful career in a field that I love (if you do not know already I am an instructional assistant to students ages 12-18 in the department of the emotionally disturbed), and I am overall clean. When someone were to see me from across the street they wouldn’t seem a homeless 21 year old, but I am. I spend late nights at work to use my laptop and the money I do have saved is going to a place to call my own.

Homelessness is something that needs to be fixed or focused on in the next coming year. I feel as though the fear of admitting that you’ve lost everything consumes someone who is struggling with it. I feel like people who runaway from domestic abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse are affected the most. Although, we say that we have these shelters and programs specifically for them, it is so difficult to receive help. These shelters don’t provide enough time for someone to stay comfortably and most of them are ran by church programs not government programs. The programs that are offered to survivors have waiting lists that are years long and sometimes even closed.

So what I want you to take from this is that the next time you see someone who is homeless or you see signs of abuse to offer them your hand. We’re all human, we have all made mistakes, and we all seek some type of comfort. Ask yourself what you would want if you were ever put into a similar situation.

Much Love As Always,

Ash.

Sunday Funday! 


Good morning, almost afternoon, and happy Sunday! Just wanted to give a little shoutout to all the positive people who are filling my emails with positive thoughts and responses! I love you all! I am also very sorry for the late post, but I’ve been battling a nasty cold. It had taken all of the energy out of me and on Wednesday I was at home in bed because it had gotten that bad. Also excuse the awkwardness of my post because I am working on it off of my phone. 

I wanted this post to be about something I absolutely love, which is to read. As it says in my description on almost all of my platforms is that I am the hugest book worm, and I am always looking to expand my collection of books that are currently packed away in storage right now (cries for several minutes because they’re my babies). Despite my little introduction, I have decided to share my secret when it comes to book buying. It is a technique I have mastered throughout the past couple years thanks to my college student budget. 

Now people are always asking why I carry such HUGE books around with me. Little do they know is that most of my books are actually several books put into one. My current read which is depicted above is actually a trilogy. There are over 600 pages in it and believe it or not I only paid $10.00 and tax for it at Target. I’ve purchased similar books at Barnes and Nobles and at smaller bookstores in my area. When it comes to books I am all for supporting the author and the art, but if I can catch a bargain then I’m going to jump on it. 

I’ve had people ask me why don’t I invest in a Kindle or an eReader and save money that way. I’ve seen eBooks on Amazon go for as little as $1.99 and I am all for if you love to read and you want to express it through that median to go for it. I personally am a girl who loves the smell of books and gets excited when something intense is happening to feel the turn of the page. The fact that the world has created two or three books in one makes me the happiest person in the world because that means I don’t have to wait till next paycheck to get the next one. 

As for my current read in the photo it is called The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han and it is a great read so far. It is intense, romantic, and just written very well. I am not the hugest fan of romanance, but just the overall storyline couldn’t be the book without it. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy read this book will do the trick. The main character is 16 and like most of us at 16 is struggling to identify herself as something more than the little sister. She’s confused and lost and just relates to any girl who’s been 16. 

Shopping for books is my favorite thing. Sitting there in the aisles and browsing through their selection is just an experience for me. It’s exciting to find books you’re fascinated in and know that there’s a whole series to it. Now if you’re like me and looking to find a good book without breaking the bank then just keep your eyes open for the bigger books. Bigger books mean there’s the possibility that it’s more than one. Look out for those spines with layered titles and interesting summaries. Authors like Jenny Han and C.C. Hunter are some who offer books in bundles. 

Now put my tips into practice. Go to your local book store whether it’s Target, Walmart, or Barnes and Noble and look at their selection. Buy a book that has three put into one and pay only $10.00 and tax for it. Send me your finds and I hope you enjoyed my little filler of a post. I’m still recovering, so bear with me and stay tuned for my next post. 

Have fun, 

Ash.