Watching// Anything I can figure out how to watch on my laptop. I don’t own a TV so I’ve really had to step up my internet game in order to find live streams of the news and decent movies on Netflix.

Reading// Anything and everything. I’ve recently discovered the library and I’ve got e-book copies of Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg for Ladies Who Brunch Book Club and Look At Me by Jennifer Egan because I kicked myself for leaving it at the used book store after I started reading a few pages.

Listening// Quite obsessively been listening to Noah Gundersen’s newest album, Ledges. And you should to. His songs were absolutely hauntingly beautiful live and totally moved me in a way I’ve never experienced with music.

Making// My own lunches. I’ve been a full time nanny since the beginning of January and since the family and I have different diets and I hate eating other people’s food, I’ve been packing salads and snacks to get me through my days.

Feeling// Tired. Sleep is hard to come by lately and I’ve made things harder by trying to get to the gym before work (5am).

Planning// A trip. I haven’t taken a vacation in close to ten years and I strongly believe I deserve one. I’ve been tossing around going to Vancouver,BC by train, visiting the BFF in Philly, and more long term, Iceland.

Loving// The idea of having a week to myself between nanny gigs. Rest, relaxation, and exploring Portland are on the agenda.

Currently idea taken from the lovely Erin over at


Happy New Year

Hello, friends! Happy new year!

What a crazy year 2013 was. Lots of ups, lots of downs. The past six months have been absolutely nutty and, because of it, I sort of went on a little blogging break.

A lot of the madness was personal and I’d like to keep it that way…although I’m sure you’ve taken note of some changes to the blog and my instagram (@thisvalleylife).

I hope this new year brings blogging and creativity back into my life. I just finished pastry school so I’m hoping I’ll have more time for myself and my friends. I’ve been horrible with hanging out and communicating in general.

I’m also dubbing this the year of the career. I think it’s about time for someone to pay me to do something I love and can do long term. There is nothing I would love more than spending my days (or super early mornings) in a bakery. I’m done with being a starving student. Not being able to afford things to bake with has gotten old. No more, my friends! This is my year.

Here’s to less negative craziness in life and more of doing what makes us happy!

New Year’s Resolutions

My new years resolutions this year took some good thought and creativity.
Now.. these aren’t resolutions so much as they are goals I have for myself. Coincidentally they are start with the letter P. And I lovingly refer to them as The Four Ps.

Here they are, in true Ashley form… A list:

First P is Portland- Adam and I have set our hearts on Portland. Modesto is doing nothing for our personal growth, about negative ten for my career/financial independence, and there aren’t any dog parks/friendly places for our bearded lady. Why Portland? The lifestyle, the breweries, the food… I can also go on and on about my knowledge of Portland but I won’t bore you with that. We thought we might give Chico a second shot but it’s not enough of the city life we crave. We are young and are severely lacking in a social life and we want to change that.

Second P is Philadelphia- I miss this lady.

Third P is Pretty Dresses- I wear a lot of jeans. Sometimes I’m not so good at separates. 2012 will be the year of Ashley dressing like a 25 (almost 26) year old adult lady. I love dresses and I will incorporate more into my life this year.

Fourth P is Planning Meals- In an effort to eat better/try to learn to cook, I want to attempt planning meals before I buy groceries willy nilly. When I go to the grocery store I usually load up on a lot of things that don’t go together. As long as I go in with a recipe, I will save myself the hassle of having to end up throwing something together for dinner and I will save myself some money. Hopefully this will lead to less waste.

Those are my ridiculous resolutions. Bring it, 2012.


I have worked in customer service for many years.

I understand that when customer service is good, people will be back to buy from you and also recommend you to friends. When customer service is bad, people will talk about you but it won’t be positive. Either way it makes an impact.

With the invention of online shopping customer service gets a little hairy. Instead of talking directly to someone, you get an email response or maybe you can chat with a representative. But it’s usually only when you have a problem that you utilize these options.

In December (when everyone else was doing their Christmas shopping too) I ordered a product from a company. This company happens to be a local company and only offers one major product. They offer one method of shipping which is through USPS and it doesn’t specify how long it will take to get to your shipping destination. After two weeks of not receiving said product I emailed the company. I still haven’t received a response. When it finally made it to my house, the box had a hole in it and wasn’t properly packaged (the product was moving around in the box). I repacked the product in the box and shipped it to the recipient via USPS and they got it the next day. How’s that for excellent shipping 🙂

Just today I wanted to purchase something online for a certain someone for Valentine’s Day. After using multiple browsers and multiple computers, I still wasn’t able to get what I wanted to order. I chatted online with a representative twice and both times they said I would receive an email from their support team shortly. It’s been a few hours and no email.

There are great companies out there that offer great customer service and those are the companies I continue to go to and continue to recommend to friends and family. It’s too bad I have had such terrible luck with good customer service.

UPDATE: It’s 10pm and still no email from the company I tried to order from this morning. And I just found out they’re local too. What a shame.