anniversary

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2 years ago today we eloped… in a park… with an officiant named Rita… and 3 dear friends. Yup, we got married twice. Once on paper and the other in front of 80 family and friends. I know what you’re thinking… what anniversary will we consider our official wedding anniversary moving forward? This one? Or our actual wedding date in June?

Truth be told we haven’t really decided one way or the other. So our indecisive selves decided just to honor the date with dinner at The Flying Pig in Gastown and some Walking Dead episodes (we’re still trying to catch up on season 3).

So what have I learned in the last two years of marriage? Compromise and communication are key, and you can’t always get what you want. It’s about the two of us together. When I asked Andrew what he’s learned in the last two years of marriage all he said was, “to just say yes…”

evolution of the lazy sunday

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Last week flew by. It felt as though I had no time for new blog posts, catching up on the latest season of GIRLS, working out or sleep for that matter. So when the weekend finally came, I was so relieved to catch my breath.

Andrew and I met up with friends and were out and about on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday was our lazy day. Well sort of… It was only on Sunday night that I realized that our lazy day wasn’t really that lazy. Continue reading

crossing the finish line

IMG_2566Fellow blogger and friend Gretchen and I with our SeaWheeze Medals at the finish line!

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IMG_2574Yoga by the thousands at the SeaWheeze Sunset Festival at Stanley Park post-race

One of the most amazing feelings in the world is crossing the finish line. Whenever I do at the end of a race–whether it be a 5k, 10k or Half-Marathon– I am immediately flooded with this feeling that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Anything.

On Saturday I ran my third half-marathon in Lululemon’s 2nd annual SeaWheeze Half-Marathon event and while I felt great crossing that finish line with my friend Gretchen (author of the mouth-watering blog gsnackingcruz) the week before I have to admit I was feeling pretty low.  Continue reading

26 things about me at 26… and some wise words to pass on

yup I just had a birthday… whenever I turn another year older, its fun to reflect on the person I’ve become and what I believe in. So I made a list… but it a got a little silly… for your reading pleasure.

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1. Being married to your best friend really is as great as it sounds

2. I still don’t own a bed frame. I like to think its because I am trying to be trendy with a low to the ground bed… but its just because I am too cheap to buy one right now

3. I’ve realized avocado really does make any meal taste better

4. I believe going with your gut instinct is still the best way to make a decision

5. Aasics really do make the best running shoe, so its best just to pay extra for it now

6. It makes me a little sad that next year I’ll have to refer to myself as someone in their “late twenties”

7. No money for home decor? No problem. Fresh flowers in a vase can make any room seem brighter

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8. There will always be friends who make more money than you do, go on bigger vacations than you do and have nicer things than you do. So don’t try to “keep up with the Jones’s” because you can’t.

9. After watching a marathon of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, my favorite Kardashian is Khloe … hands down

10. Smirnoff Ice comes in a pretty bottle, but has not been enjoyable since I was 19 years old… and will never be again… stay away…

11. A perfect dress is priceless! So invest in them when you find them

12. I have almost accepted that I will never be the same tiny dress size I was in high school

13. Being a bridesmaid is expensive… but so worth it… still… very expensive

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14. A party weekend in Vegas has a 3 night limit, for your own good

15. Shellac manicures are worth every penny

16. Spiders, large beetles and moths still freak the hell out of me

17. Napping is healthy! Not to mention awesome

18. Friendships get harder to form the older you get, but the ones you do make are sweeter

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19. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to move away from home, but the older I get the more I want to be closer to family

20. It still amazes me how personal hobbies and extra curricular activities can turn into job opportunities (hello radio!)

21. I have a new appreciation for wedding planners — if you’re engaged, think twice before doing it all yourself!

22. You can never have too many pairs of colored denim pants… or leather boots!

23. Although I now have a Kobo Glo e-reader, I don’t want to part with my books

24. Life will make you pay your dues more than once, so be prepared to prove yourself time and time again

25. Despite my best efforts, I am still addicted to shopping and starbucks… but hey, it could be worse

26. It’s amazing where life can take you if you just keep believing you can get there

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that tricky life work balance thing

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Not going to lie… lately I’ve had a hard time balancing everything on my plate. There were many times these past couple of months when I felt I was juggling too many balls in the air and as result, I let some of them drop, including this blog.

Between a busy and stressful couple of months at work, planning our wedding (which is happening in about a month!) and then trying to fit in time to train for my half marathon, I haven’t had energy to do much else.

When I did get a free moment, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of another computer and blog. Blog about what? I thought. I was exhausted! No, my free moments were spent watching Game of Thrones, New Girl and sleeping. But mostly sleeping.

So week after week went by without my presence on the blog, twitter or instagram (facebook was the only form of social media I seemed to be able to keep up with). And the more time went by the more guilty I felt for not being social online. And the more guilty I felt the less I wanted to start blogging again.

I admit, the thought crossed my mind to quit the whole blog all together… I was tired of feeling guilty. Tired of adding the blog to my “to-do” list. And becoming increasingly too tired to care.

The days and weeks seemed to speed by and then before I knew it it was my birthday… And I realized I was too busy to care about it. That was the eye-opener! I don’t ever want to have too many things on the go to not be able to stop and appreciate my life.

Blogging helps me to live in the moment — its a digital scrapbook of fun memories and funny stories that I otherwise wouldn’t remember on account of my “busy” life. Blogging also allows to me to write creatively which has always been something I love to do!

So consider this another entry into the digital scrapbook: a sushi picnic on Kits Beach just for Andrew and I. And I promise to make more regular entries in the days and weeks to come!

Have you ever felt like quitting something you started? What was your motivation to keep going?

What I took away from an evening with Oprah

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Last Thursday, I shared an amazing experience with 18,000 other people: I saw Oprah speak at Rogers Arena to a sold out crowd. When I received some last minute tickets through work (I screamed with excitement, disbelief, denial and then utter happiness) I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew it would be great, but I didn’t realize how great.

She shared her life story– how she got into broadcasting and television, and what she’s learned about life a long the way. She shared with us her ups and downs through TV footage, old photographs, quotes and humour. She was humble and yet powerful on stage; she captivated everyone in the arena. There were a few things she said that I’ve thought about over the past weekend that I wanted to share with you. And I am paraphrasing because I didn’t actually record her, but here goes…

1. “There is no such thing has failure…” – you must fail sometimes in order to get you to that next step. If we are able to look at everything as a learning experience, then the word failure looses its power. Therefore, being scared of failure is no longer a real fear. Every trial in your life brings you closer to the person you are meant to be. It’s like the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

2. “Life first speaks to you in whispers. Things don’t happen out of the blue.” – Listen to your gut. Whether it’s the hairs standing on the back of your neck when you realize you’re in a situation you shouldn’t be in, or when its the voice in your head that tells you to go for it even if your decision is at odds with the people around you. If you ‘hear’ some force inside you telling you to do something, don’t wait for it to shout… because by that time it may be too late.

3. “It’s not luck, its preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.” – Never again feel guilty when someone tells you you are so lucky to get that promotion at work. Or you are so lucky you get to go on that vacation. The truth is your lucky because you prepared yourself for that moment. Maybe you worked really hard and your boss noticed so when it came time for a promotion your name was brought up. Or maybe you cut out manicures for a year and instead of spending the money you saved, you put it towards a dream vacation and flew to Mexico for cheap. When life drops something into your lap, you’re only lucky if you were prepared to receive it and know what to do with it.

Thanks to Vanessa for helping me to remember all of Oprah’s great quotes and big ideas that night. Visit Vanessa’s post at the blog modernmixvancouver.com for more coverage on Oprah’s evening in Vancouver.

Goals for 2013: Making them and keeping them

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Trust me. I had all these amazing plans to write life altering and reflective blog posts over the holidays about 2012 and as you might have guessed it, my plans didn’t exactly follow through.

I got lost in the wonderful madness that is the holidays. Andrew and I went home to visit my family in Michigan for Christmas– enjoying the small town comforts of my grandparent’s house and then escaping to Chicago for a a couple of nights! (More photos to follow soon)

But as it’s the first Monday of January 2013 I am in a blogging state of mind once again; I feel refreshed, relaxed and renewed. I am taking a blogging cue from Cait, author of one of my favorite blogs Blonde On A Budget. I love her post titled, 2013: a year of possibilities. I couldn’t have said it better myself. This time last year, I was still looking for a full-time job,  Andrew and I just had moved into a new apartment, and we were newly engaged. Life seemed wonderfully uncertain.

A year later the path ahead seems a little more clear: I am married (yet still planning my wedding–long story), I have a full time job, Andrew and I are in tiny basement suite we love and I’ve started a silly little blog about our newlywed lives.

It seems like the big stuff is out of the way, now I want to focus on the details. I don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions (because every time I call them ‘Resolutions’ I don’t follow through–can you relate?) but I do have some pretty big goals for 2013.

Goal 1: Keep on a bloggin’

Inspired by one of my Christmas presents from Andrew, Blog Inc. I am excited to continue to blog and network with other bloggers. While in my head I have aspirations to one day engage in partnerships with local businesses and organizations, publish a book and of course one day have my own talk show like Oprah (OK so the first two aspirations are the real deal… the last one might be a bit far fetched), today I am going to start small. I believe for every large vision you need think about the smaller and more manageable steps you will take to get there. For  example, for now I am going to be more consistent with my posts and blog 3 times a week to reach my bigger goal of blogosphere celebrity status–I could be like the Oprah of blogs! (Ok, so we’ve established I have a thing for Oprah…)

Goal 2: Spend less and Experience More.

Ahh yess… This is my 2013 mantra. There was so many times in the past where I couldn’t afford concert tickets or weekend away with friends because I wasted dollars on another pair of jeans or shoes. And guess what? I couldn’t tell you which shoes or pair of jeans it was I wasted the money on. Clothes are nice, but out of all the things you can buy they have the shortest shelf life. My choice now is to make the financial investment in the things that are going to give me the greatest memories. For everything else, I’m going cheap!

Goal 3: Run another half marathon—or 2!

I am one of those crazy people that actually likes to run. I get the runner’s high (and you didn’t think it was real…). I enjoy the freedom running gives me and the strength I feel when I finish working out. I ran my first half marathon last summer and plan to run not one but two this year in Vancouver– The BMO Half-Marathon in May and the SeaWheeze Half Marathon in August. And I’ll throw in a couple of organized 10k’s in between to get me ready. To help me stay focused on my training I will run the Vancouver SeaWall every Saturday, just because its so darn pretty. Follow me on instagram @ashlykissman and click on the hashtag #seawallsaturdays to follow along and/or join in!

Goal 4: Read… EVERYTHING!

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Somewhere between getting officially (but unofficially) married, starting a new job and getting more acquainted with Vancouver, I stopped reading. I used to love reading– fiction and non-fiction. To kick start my year, I plan to follow along My Pretty Pennies no-commitment blogger book club! Don’t you love the title? I actually already read January’s book (‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey– hilarious by the way!) a couple of years ago, so I plan to start next month with February’s book: ‘What Alice Forgot’ by Liane Moriarty. If you want to join us in our non-commital club click here for more info!

But don’t worry, I won’t let myself off that easy. My book for January will be Blog, Inc. I plan to read it and discuss it with you all at the end of the month. So far, so good!

What are your goals for 2013?