Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009: At a glance

As I begin the obligatory end-of-2009 post at home in Florida, I can hardly believe how much this year has held. A year ago, I would have never imagined that a year later, I would be where I am -- in a completely different city, hours and miles away from everyone I know and love. 2009, I've found, has been nothing short of pushing myself to the limit, testing my own personal boundaries to find any innate resilience. It's hard to believe that a little over six months ago, I was still in undergrad with little idea that I would have my own D.C. apartment in a few months. And now, as a new D.C. resident, I'm so frequently asked the question, "Why did you move here?" And besides the cliched hope of following my career dreams, I don't have much more of an answer other than, "Why not?" What better time to push yourself and explore the world than in the moments after graduating college, where energy and excitement for the future still pervade your life.

So, now as I look into what 2010 holds, I think I've found the perfect New Year's resolution: To stop over-romanticizing the next steps in my life and enjoy where I am. Or, in the words of Ida Scott Taylor:
"One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering."

Hope everyone enjoys their last few moments of 2009!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Map it

I've ultimately come to the decision that in a previous life, I must have been an urban planner. Despite my innate lack of directional sense, I have a serious penchant for maps. Maybe it's just my passion for travel, but I love the details in maps and the sense of exploration they evoke.

In case you share the same inclination, here are some of my recent, favorite map-like finds:

DIY Dove Ornament via Little Red Roost

Mileage Journal - Etsy via Bury the Hatchet

Custom map coasters and trays - Etsy via Carolina Cottage

Vintage map gift tags - Etsy via Tanith's Odds & Ends

Locally inspired, letterpress postcards - Etsy via Gooseberry Press

D.C. via Ork Posters

A favorite from my Eastern Market artists, D.C. by Mary Belcher

Hope everyone is having a lovely and relaxing Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 21, 2009


This weekend, I experienced my very first blizzard-like snowfall. While I've seen snow before, never have I dealt with nearly two feet. It was quite the experience, needless to say.

Tomorrow, I'm headed back to Jacksonville for Christmas and I could not be more excited to see my dad, brother and friends! I can't believe Christmas is only a few days away, though. I'm still feeling unprepared.

Here are some highlights from this weekend's snowmageddon:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas cheer

First of all, I saw this today and have decided that I absolutely need it. If only I actually had my home office set up... Alas, it may have to wait.

But nevertheless, I had an absolutely amazing weekend here in D.C. IT SNOWED! That's right, for the first time in 10 years, I witnessed legit snow. I saw the weather forecast on Friday predicting "rain/snow" for Saturday and everyone was telling me, "Oh, no, Ash, it's not going to snow, it'll just be cold and wet." But, I held my hopes high and sure enough Saturday morning the flakes began to fall. This of course quickly prompted me to call/text/message everyone I know to share my excitement.

Last night, the roomie and I headed down to Georgetown for the annual tree lighting. Despite the frigid weather (now lacking snow), it was lovely.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reppin' regional pride

Pardon the geek post, but a recent Twitter conversation has the wheels a churnin'. Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook fame, recently posted an open letter in which he detailed the impending changes coming to Facebook, namely the removal of regional networks. After a bit of tweeting between my good friends and social media nerds, Patrick teased that regional pride on the Internet is a bit outdated. Now, I'm not sure if it's my general position as an all-around sentimental fool, but I'll be honest, I like regional networks on Facebook. Not that I find them particularly useful, but there's something interesting about tagging yourself to a particular domain. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm just a small-town, Southern girl at heart with a true understanding of the benefits of a "community" in all sense of the word (online and off) or maybe it's the fact that as a PR professional, with experience in community relations, I quickly become passionate about my surrounding community, always searching for what makes Jacksonville/Orlando/D.C. unique.

But as social media, and the World Wide Web in general, develops we become connected with one another via niche online outlets, rather than distinct regional communities. So ultimately, Patrick poses a great question: What is the use of physical, regional networks when the vastness of the Internet is our new domain?