Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud

Hi there! It’s Thursday, and I’d like to welcome you to my very first edition of “Thinking Out Loud,” which is a chance to share a few unrelated thoughts with you. Being that I’m a writer by trade, I usually don’t have a problem coming up with what to say on this here blog, nor do I have a problem stringing together thoughts and sentences to create a full story. But I wanted to do something different and share a few things in a non-traditional way. And watch out, this isn’t all fairy tales and rosy pictures, I’m getting pretty real up in here. 

Ashley after PUMPTo keep with the random theme, here’s a shot of me after teaching a super early morning BODYPUMP class this week. I’ve been subbing this class for the last few weeks, and those people do not let me turn the stereo up very loud, which is why I tend to prefer teaching evening classes. Nonetheless, as you can see from the sweat stain across my middle, we were all able to feel the burn from those 800 repetitions in class.

Now for the random thoughts …

Completing my Christmas shopping in just two days

I went from having done no Christmas shopping to completing it in a matter of two days. Lucky for me, I live near all the major flagship stores in Union Square of San Francisco, so I can walk to the shopping mecca and have at it with all the good brands. I did a combination of online and in-store shopping this year and will be bringing and/or shipping all of the gifts I’m giving to Florida, where Dave and I will spend Christmas with my family for a whole week. No, I can’t share with you where I bought gifts or what I bought, because hopefully all of my loved ones will read this post. And if they aren’t reading this post, that’s a bigger problem. Mom, Dad, Brother, Husband, are you out there? By the way, I stuck to my December goals and kept my gift-giving under more of budget this year.

Busting at the seams and looking for a new place

When I say that Dave and I are outgrowing our little city apartment, I’m not joking. Our drawers and cabinets are completely full and every nook and cranny for display is full of a trinket or some household item with no other place to be stored. And our closet. Don’t get me started on that. Not only do we need to do a good purge and donate a ton of stuff very soon, but we also need to move to a bigger place, which has a second bedroom. And now to the honesty part. Lately, we’ve both had serious moments of frustration in this little apartment. For me, it’s the fact that an oven pizza box does not properly fit in our small freezer. Yet, we buy one oven pizza a week for Dave. Therefore, every time I put one in or take it out: I jiggle it, I fight with it, and ultimately, I get frustrated and scream at it. It’s not pretty. I mentioned briefly last week that Dave and I are starting to house-hunt. And when I say house-hunt, I mean rent. For those of you who don’t live in the Bay Area, you’re lucky. This is the most expensive area in the nation to rent and live and finding a good place to lay your head at night is not easy. The competition for good places in good areas is fierce, and the price is super high. We’re just starting to get into our search and hope to have a new spot secured in early 2015. Well — not hope to have a new spot secured, that would be need to have a new spot secured. Our current lease is up at the end of January, and we already extended it for a few months, so that makes January 31 pretty much a hard stop for us. We seek space, my friends. We have loved our little Nob Hill apartment, but it’s so very much time to move on to bigger and better things.

Counting down the days until Florida

If you’re anything like me, you get a little lost in your excitement about the near future. As in, I can’t even think about anything other than going home to Florida for Christmas. I’m dying for some warmth and family time, like now. We leave next Saturday, but I’m so wishing it was sooner than that. Obviously, I have obligations and things to take care of here in San Francisco, but my mind seems to have already hopped on the plane. Good news is that the trip will be here before we know it. And I’ve got several grooming appointments lined up before my return, so I can get my hair and nails done. My Florida people do not need to know what a sweaty mess I walk around looking like day-in and day-out here in the busy city working a few jobs in fitness. Well, I guess you guys don’t need to know that either. But it’s true. 

Cutting back on TV

True story: I used to watch every single season of “The Real Housewives” and nearly every series on Bravo no matter the subject. I also used to watch “Hart of Dixie” and a few other fictional shows on a regular basis (all of this watching was done by myself, as Dave doesn’t even like to hear these shows on in the background). Fast forward to today, and I’ve cut back significantly. While unfortunately, I’ve been sucked back into “Vanderpump Rules,” I’ve been taking many of the Bravo shows off my set-to-record queue, and I’m better for it. I don’t miss TV or those shows at all, because I realized I didn’t really enjoy watching most of them anymore. Part of me wants to know the latest drama, but we all know it isn’t real, nor relevant in my life. Dave and I watch a couple series together in the evenings when we’re both home, but that’s only a few nights a week, so it doesn’t amount to much. I’ll never hate on anybody who watches a lot of TV, because I get how easy it can be to plop down in front of something that doesn’t require you to think, but I’m pretty happy with my cutting back, and I think I’ll try to whittle it down a little more.

Being a better writer and speaker

In last week’s “Friday Favorites” post, I shared a link to an article I came across on LinkedIn about “40 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Dumb.” So many of you clicked on this link, that I figured it might be time to do a whole post on words and grammar. While that sounds very boring, I promise you, if you take away even one tip, you’ll be better for it. Honestly, I love the fact that my readers care about proper English, and I want to support that fully. You guys are so awesome! Nonetheless, expect something along those lines coming soon, and don’t be scared to read it, I’ll try to make it fun. 

Crossing our fingers for good party weather

Tonight, I’m supposed to be going to Dave’s Warriors’ employee holiday party at a sports club in Oakland, with bowling, karaoke, bocce ball and other fun games. This is the first time that significant others have been included in the festivities, so it’s a big deal. I’m hoping the weather holds out so the party is not cancelled and so my venture on public transport isn’t too difficult, because we’re supposed to have one of the worst rain storms that the Bay Area has seen in five years. In fact, as of Wednesday night, many schools were closed and companies were asking workers to stay home in light of the pending torrential downpour and wind. It’s not looking good for the par-tay.

There you go. Those are my thoughts, all wrapped up into one random Thursday post.

I hope you all have a great day, and I’ll be back tomorrow for the weekly “Friday Favorites.” See you soon, friends! And to all my Bay Area people: If we do in fact get all the bad weather that they’re predicting, then stay safe out there.

By the way, I’m sending some thanks to Amanda for hosting this fun link-up.

Questions of the day

What’s on your mind today? Are there any TV shows you’ve given up? Have you gone to any holiday parties yet this season? Tell me a random thought.

Ashley signature

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  1. I’ve been to one holiday party so far. My sister hosted a cookie swap last weekend for a few friends and tonight is my company’s Christmas party. I can’t believe how quickly the holidays seemed to have popped up this year. As for TV shows, Brian and I are serial Netflix bingers so we’ve decided to cut back on TV time and now at night I’ve been doing other things like reading or crafting and I feel a lot more relaxed.

    1. Hi Chrissy! Crafting? That is awesome! I need to do more of that. And a cookie swap sounds like fun. Enjoy your party tonight. Our party was cancelled due to weather!

  2. I used to watch all of “The Real Housewives” shows but have stopped the last couple of years about I realized they didn’t make me happy. I know that sounds weird, but I think some of those shows can really have a negative affect on the way you think about things so I decided to cut them out. I do still watch “Vanderpump Rules” though! For some reason, I just make an exception for that show!

  3. Oh man, when we lived in Chicago, our apartment was TINY and 3x as expensive for what we now have in Florida. Crazy, right?! Big cities rob you for rent. Good luck searching! I know how stressful trying to shove everything into a closet can be… NOT fun.

    1. Big cities are tough and SF is now the most expensive. But you get a fun city setting as part of your rent. I can’t wait to have space and a house one day. You must love that about Naples!

  4. Oooh house hunting (renting) can be an exciting yet stressful time. You’ll find the perfect place, though! I know someone who lives in San Francisco in a tiny little two bedroom house with two kids! Yikes, I’d go nuts! Oh, and about the whole pizza box thing-we live in a decent size house in the suburbs and our freezer still isn’t big enough to hold the pizzas I buy for Scott…SO annoying!

    1. Hehhe well Katie, good to know that frustration happens to people in all size homes. And people make do with what they have here. A second bedroom is a major premium! Fingers crossed for a good place. Are you guys in a house?

  5. Look forward to your grammar post! I think it’ll be very helpful. I have cut back on TV so much. I used to watch a decent amount and with Netflix could binge watch a series if I wanted. Now I watch a few shows a week at most and don’t even miss it. Good luck with your apartment hunt!

  6. Yay for your trip to Florida! It’s pretty darn awesome down here right now. I’ve also cut way back on my guilty pleasure girl shows since moving in with Cameron….because he refuses to watch them. And I honestly feel like a better person for it. NOT Keeping up with the Kardashians is actually very freeing.

  7. Cute gym selfie!

    Oh man, wishing you lots of good luck in finding that perfect place in San Fran. I can’t imagine! I feel like we had a little taste of that when we moved here to Arizona because the housing market was really competitive, but dealing with the high costs and smaller places that San Fran has obviously wasn’t a factor for us. Hope you find something you love very soon!

    1. Thanks, Ashley! We are hoping for some luck in the house-hunting department. We just need some space to spread out. I die over your pictures of space hehhe

  8. Woo hoo! I just jumped on the Thinking Out Loud train a couple of weeks ago. I think they’re so fun to put together, and interesting to read ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also been giving up a lot of television lately. Maybe it’s because I’m working again and I simply don’t have time! But… I still do enjoy my DVR full of New Girl, The Voice and will continue to watch Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy when it returns in the New Year. Love that Lorna Jane outfit! <3

    1. Hi Heather! Thanks! I can’t believe you still watch Grey’s! I watched the first few seasons back in college I think! And yes, sharing thoughts like this is fun. We have no power right now due to a big storm, so I’m on my phone, and of course, no party!

  9. Thanks for linking up to ToL this week, girl! Always so fun to read other people’s random thoughts — it’s my favourite way to get to know bloggers ๐Ÿ˜€ And I’m -super- jealous that you got all your Christmas shopping done so quickly! I’ve made a small dent in mine, but I still have more things I need to pick up… and Christmas is only 2 weeks away. Eep!

    1. Hi Amanda! Thanks for hosting and for stopping by. I love learning about new bloggers and have just been enjoying your blog the past couple of weeks. Good luck with shopping. Maybe you should just bake for everyone on your list and call it a day?

  10. Ugh, good luck house hunting! I feel your pain with living in a tough market. It’s a landlord’s market here–demand faaaar outstrips supply, which makes most landlords put NO effort into upkeep and basically means they can do and charge whatever they want. Good places that are not exorbitantly priced are gone within the same day they are posted. The whole thing makes me want to SCREAM. I hate my house with the fire of a thousand suns (and our landlady is seriously horrible), and I can’t wait to get out of here in March when our lease is up. I hope you find something just perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep us posted!

    If you need some inspiration to help streamline your upcoming stuff purge, here’s a good checklist:

    I also like the 20/20 rule:

    Also I love your green OOTD! You are so adorable.

    1. Hi Suzanne!! Oh thanks. And thanks for the tips. But we are already so streamlined, we just need to get rid of some extra clothes and such (perhaps to swap??). And sorry you feel the pain of housing issues too. Where do you live again??

      1. I live in Flagstaff, AZ. Totally random small town that no one would expect to have a horrible rental market, lol. And I definitely know how to feels to feel like you’ve already cut to the bare minimum. Hopefully you can find enough to feel a little relief. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Good luck with the Holiday Party tonight! Be careful out there, my coworkers are already mentioning seeing cars stuck in flooded areas!

    I’m a Googler here in the Bay, and we had an epic Masquerade party last week in SF!

    1. Hi Annie the Googler! How are you? I’ve heard your Christmas parties are amazing! Share some pics. We just got our power restored here in Nob Hill thank goodness. Hope this all clears up soon. Thanks for stopping by:)

    1. Hi Ange! Thanks, we lost power for about three hours, but it’s back on in my neighborhood. The city is a bit crazy right now though. So much for holiday parties tonight …

  12. We don’t actually have TV at all, but that doesn’t mean I don’t watch a lot of Netflix! Right now I have been watching all of the holiday movies to try and get into the christmas spirit.

    Good luck finding a new place ASAP!

    1. Hi Angela! Christmas movies are a great way to get into the spirit. However, we watched A Christmas Story this week and it was just not very good. I know it’s supposed to be somewhat of a classic, but I didn’t like it. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

  13. Ok I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who has completely phased out of Bravo TV shows. I felt like I was getting old by taking them off the to record on the DVR but seriously listening to grown women fight about meaningless things just doesn’t do it for me anymore. The fights now are so staged the “actor Housewives” aren’t even convincing anymore. They need something new. I secretly miss the Rachel Zoe Project granted she was crazy but Roger was reason enough to watch. I like Toned Up and can’t wait for that to come back.

    Holiday shopping….can I tell you that I ordered things on BLACK FRIDAY that STILL haven’t arrived at my house yet! I’m starting to get worried.

    1. Hi Renne! Ohhh yes, I loved Toned Up and I loved TRZP too. Those seemed less staged. I hope your gifts arrive soon, that can be nerve-wracking for sure. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Thursday!

  14. I have to admit I haven’t given up any tv shows but hey all of mine are on their holiday break right now so I have been cutting back as well just in a different way haha

    1. Hi Hilary! ehhehe, well there you go. Thanks for stopping by on this fine Thinking Out Loud Thursday. And you don’t have to give up TV if you’re still enjoying it. I cut back on ones that just weren’t fun anymore.

  15. Awe… I’m jealous that you get to go home for the holidays… but happy for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ How nice to head to FL!!!

    You are a/or used to be a “Hart of Dixie” fan??? That show has totally sucked me in right now!

    1. Hi Bri! It’s a cute show, so keep on watching! I do love Rachel Bilson though. And yes, home for the holidays is a must for me. What are your holiday plans?

      1. We are staying around here. All our family is back in WI, and I am sad that we can’t make it home this year, but I’m thankful we have some great friends here that are having us over.

  16. I have always been a TV fanatic too, but since moving back and having to readjust my routine/schedule I’ve had less and less time to keep up with the… housewives. (But I do manage to catch up eventually.) While I didn’t make a concerted effort to cut back, it’s just happening. However, I make time for just one episode of something on Netflix every night (right now it’s Gilmore Girls).

    Looking forward to your post on words and grammar!
    Love, a fellow language lover

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