Saturday, October 23, 2010


Interviews. Love them or hate them, they are the no-way-to-avoid it step between you and a job. So here I am facing another round of interviews. I don't practice for interviews. I don't know about you, but I have not been asked the "typical" interview questions. What is your greatest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? No, I don't get those questions.

I remember when I was in college and interviewing for a part time job at The Picture People. It was a mix of experience questions and personality type questions, but my favorite was when they gave me some thematic words and told me to make up a story off the top of my head. Yup, a story. They needed to see that I could think quick on my feet so as to keep the kids' attention on me and make them smile. So, I made up a story. In like two seconds, I created a story about knights and dragons - my very own fairy tale. I must have done well since the manager interviewing me said she'd never seen anyone able to do that so quickly.

But this past week I think takes the take. I interviewed for a membership coordinator position at a scientific association. It started at 12:30 p.m. and ended at 3:00 p.m. It included an Excel test, an hour and a half conversation about my role in the organization and actual duties (no typical interview questions) and ended with an essay on what I thought the position was and how I could perform it. It was one of the most intense interviews I've ever had and I left feeling drained and kind of brain dead. (Thankfully, Hello Cupcake was on my way back to the metro!)

So what kind of interview stories do you have? Any tips for the unemployed girl? I could use all of the help I can get!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lousy Weeks

I'm not going to lie. This week has SUCKED! On Tuesday I wore my new favorite black dress. Did my hair and makeup - wore jewelry. I was feeling very pretty and smart. I was at my desk and working away on the weekly newsletter when my boss asked me if I had a minute. I walked with him into the CFO/COO's office - when I made the off-the-cuff remark of "Oh my god, you're firing me!". Sure enough, the CFO/COO looks at me with a very grave expression and says, "This has not been an easy decision, but we no longer have a need for your services." My position was no longer necessary. Yup, I was laid off.

Silver lining. I was given a six week severance package as well as my health benefits through the end of November. The severance pay will allow me to look for a job that I really WANT rather than just one that I NEED. Although, this rational will likely change the closer I get to the end of the six weeks and I haven't landed a job. But I'm not going to stay on that thought for very long. I'm going to be positive and believe that I'll find one in plenty of time.

There is one small problem though. The computer that I use is the one my office issued me for telecommuting. I now have to give this back, which means that I won't have ready access to a computer. Most unfortunate, but I'll figure something out. In the mean time, if you're in the DC metro area and no of anyone looking for a very bright and organized individual to help them with their project management, let me know. Thanks! :)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Strange Dreams Indeed

I don't nap. As a general that is. I've never been very good at it. I never wake up feeling refreshed and I ALWAYS have the strangest dreams. Like my stepbrother plays a video game in a cave and is all of a sudden turned into a warewolf (I've had that one twice!). So, after my carb-a-holic lunch, I shouldn't have been surprised when about an hour later I felt pretty tired (damn you blood sugar spike!). So I caved and took the nap. But this time - no strange dreams, no waking up more tired than when I fell asleep. That's right folks... I successfully napped!

In other news, I'm still trying to finish my sister's baby blanket. I'm so close, but just have no interest in it. Instead, I've started on a little baby sweater for a coworker. I'm also working on putting together some swap packages. I always have such a great time trying to figure out what a person would like. Picking out just the right gift is one of my favorite challenges.

Not much else to report. Hope you've had a great week!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Week 3 Blog Assignment

Time for a little word association. Write down the first word that comes to mind when I say....
  1. Pumpkin - juice
  2. Owl - knowledge
  3. Leaf - crunch
  4. Weasley - Ron
  5. Quaffle - Quidditch
  6. Hallow - deathly
  7. Mad - rage
  8. Dragon - skin
  9. Crystal - doyle
  10. Trees - climb
  11. Hermione - smart
  12. Hogwarts - school
  13. Burrow - hide
  14. Dobby - ears
  15. Horcrux - pieces
  16. Ministry - magic
  17. Magic - wands
  18. Sirius - dog
  19. Apple - pie
  20. Juice - power
  21. Candle - flame
  22. Ghost - haunted
  23. Snake - slither
  24. Wand - cast
  25. Invisibility - cloak
  26. Tent - camping
  27. Spell - bind
  28. Umbridge - witch (with a b!)
  29. Dursely - muggles
  30. Prophet - futurist

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Top 10 Things from Vegas Trip

I spent the past week in Las Vegas working at the 2010 ERA D2C Convention. I worked 12-14 hour days and at the end of them all my feet were KILLING me. BUT, there were some good things about being there.
  1. The Wynn - OMG was this hotel FABULOUS!
  2. My bed - SERIOUSLY wanted to take it home with me!
  3. Criss Angel - this guy was amazing - still don't know how he does it!
  4. Our members - lots of really fun and kind people
  5. Food - I only ate at places at The Wynn, but it was really good eats!
  6. My bed - REALLY never wanted to leave it!
  7. My co-workers - we make such a good team!
  8. The cha-cha slide - thanks for reminding me of it guys!
  9. My bed - so good I have to mention it three times
  10. Coming home - ALWAYS the best part!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting to Know... Many

I love HSKS. I love getting to know so many new people and getting to know friends even better. This round, I've seen beautiful knitted projects by those who've only just started knitting. Found MANY more mmmalabrigo lovers, those with a fan for the blues and greens as well as other December babies. Everyone in this swap is great source of inspiration and I'm so excited to be a part of this group again!

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Leaf

I'm turning over a new leaf - kind of like the design/layout of blog. Get it? It's fall... new leaf... yeah, it's a reach, but I had to stretch just a bit!

But seriously things are feeling much better! I'm not going to lie, I've been in a bit of funk all summer and now that fall is coming I'm starting to perk way up. The temps are going down, the foliage is going all red, gold and orange and I soon will be able to pull out my fave blue sweater! Pumpkins and Halloween will soon be here (and Leigh Anne's wedding is only two weeks away!), my baby sister's baby will be here before I know it (which reminds me, MUST get that blanket done!) AND I'm back in the HSKS fold. So many things to be happy about.

And, with the return of HSKS, is the return of the "getting to know you" list. See below for what I've learned of my new family members.
  1. Someone with the same craft as you (either those listed above or another one). Clara Clovenhoof - knitter
  2. Someone who was born in the same month as you. Perenelle Tejedora - December
  3. Someone from a different country. Emma Wigworthy - England
  4. A new HSKS Family member. Schmutzerella Oglethorpe
  5. Someone who has been in 3 or more HSKS swaps. Fleur Sweeting
  6. Someone who has a bigger stash than you! Bella Shacklebolt - 110 to my 55
  7. Someone who both knits and crochets. Hermione Bagnold
  8. Someone who has the same favorite color as you. Vevina McFey - Blues
  9. Someone who has the same favorite season/holiday as you. Lexi Lovegood - Christmas
  10. Someone who has the same favorite fiber as you. Delantrophy Grey - wool - even better is our shared love for Mmmmalabrigo! :)
P.S. A few more great things going on - made my last payment to my former land lady, have a GREAT coffee table (which I look forward to carving my pumpkin and then putting my little Christmas tree on), have a good line on a GREAT loveseat! Oh and of course, the first part of the last HP movie comes out in exactly two months!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Focus People!

Or rather, "focus ASHLEY!" That's right, I admit it, I have been so lost in my own little world lately. Barely keeping up with what needs doing that I'm fearful of losing my job. Not only that, but my lack of focus has begun to effect other things. For instance the HSKS 10 swap that I'm a member of. I got everything done (for the most part), have done the homework (always at the last minute) and got my kit out, but I have NOT been the good little swap participant that I usually am. Everything has been JUST enough and that makes me very sad. It also makes me realize that I think I need to stop doing swaps until I can be more focused.

So back to my lack of focus. How can I get it back? I remember that when I was really good at what I do it was when I created daily to-do lists. I sadly let myself get out of that habit and now am paying the price. So, this one thing I promise myself - I start/end everyday with a to-do list. Ok... I'm feeling better already!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arithmancy HW

It's Thursday and I can not WAIT until 5pm Friday! It's the start of a long weekend during which I will be heading up to Amish Country, PA to visit my grandparents. This will be the fourth Memorial Day weekend that I will spend with my grandparents - I think I'm just going to start claiming this weekend as my own. There is nothing better than visiting with grandma and grandpa. They're very relaxing people to be around and I love spending time with them, visiting and chatting. Definitely can't wait!

But before I go, a bit of homework to tickle your fancy. I must say that I think this has been my favorite assignment. I LOVE me some SUDOKU puzzles! And Fleur was really nice and gave us really easy ones. Yay!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Who's Who of HSKS 10

PART 1: Find one person for each of these questions. No repeats!

Who is new to HSKS this Term? Mystry Moonbleu, Gryffindor
Who has played Quidditch for their House this Term? Allitrya Spelling, Chaser
Who is working on the same project (WIP) as you? Andromeda Finch-Fletchley, February Lady's Sweater
Who has more items in their Queue than you? Fleur Sweeting, 80 items
Who has donated to SPEW this Term? Elladora Madley
Who has participated in Dueling Club this Term? Rowan Dragonsinger
Who lives within 100 miles of you? Winifred Hornswaggle, Baltimore, MD
Who is from a different country than you? Cel'eena Cree, England

PART 2: Comment on at least one blog from each of the other houses. List their names here and something you learned about them from their blog post.

Clara Clovenhoof made 22 hats in one evening for a charity project. Most were made out of acrylic - which she's allergic to. She's such a trooper!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Perfect Day

I know, from time to time, we like to describe our "perfect day", but what do you do when you have one? Is it exactly as you've always described it, or is it just a day filled with all of the things that make you happy? Well, let me take a few moments to tell you about mine because it's just the kind of day that I've always imagined having, but like nothing I ever have put together.

It started with breakfast (made in my very own kitchen) and Anastasia (I'm having a pseudo-John Cusack film fest). Then I did some cleaning. I know, not something that's usually included in a perfect day, but when it's your very first apartment (that's only yours), it can be kind of perfect!

After reading a bit it was time for the afternoon portion of the day. This included a pedicure with my bestie, Penny. Followed by lunch served by a great character of a waiter. Penny then came by to see my new place and left soon after. So, left to my own devices, I decided to take myself to see Iron Man 2. I also REALLY wanted to see Letters to Juliet, but I was trying to be good - then I decided, what the hell and went to see it anyway.

Let me just say that Letter's to Juliet is WAY better than it should have been. After a very romantic movie (which took place in TUSCANY - the best place EVER!) I really wanted to sit outside with some wine and my book. I lucked out and got the last outdoor table available at Cheestique. I had a lovely glass of wine with some great cheese and bread - all enjoyed in the beautiful spring night with a fun book.

So there you have it. A perfect day consisting of good friends, some pampering, good food and good entertainment. What more could I ask for? What about you? What would today's answer be for a perfect day?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Potions... el fin!

Part 3:
Take a picture of and list the ingredients and/or instructions to make one of your favorite potions that you have created.

This potion must have at the minimum, two ingredients to make it. Be sure to include you originality marker to prove it's yours!!!

For example it could be something as simple as your favorite coffee (with sugar or creme), or it could be an alcoholic mixed drink concoction that you have created. Your potion could also be an actual potion, oil, salve, or something else that you use as well.

Take one part dark, caffeinated brew, to one packet sparkly sweetener and 1/4 part creamy sweetness and what do you get?

The powerful potion that keeps me sane and perky... COFFEE!

Potions... cont!

Part 2:
Answer the following potions questions:

1. Sneezewort, scurvy grass, and lovage are used to make what?
A: Allergen Solution
B:Confusing Draught
C: Babbling Befuddlement
D: Wandering Agent

2. Porcupine quills are to be added when to a Boil Cure Potion?
A: It is the second ingredient you add
B: Before it is removed from the fire
C: You don't add them, they aren't part of the potion
D: After it is removed from the fire

3. What potion, if brewed correctly, should change color numerous times throughout brewing including deep purple, lilac, and finishing clear?
A: The Draught of Living Death
B: Amortentia
C: Calming Draft
D: Elixir to Induce Euphoria

4. This ingredient in the Draught of Peace, would likely bring you permanent peace since it is poisonous, what is it?
A: Murlap
B: Belladonna
C: Mugwort
D: Hellebore

5. Chopped daisy roots, skinned shrivel-fig, sliced caterpillar, one rat spleen, dash of leech juice are all ingredients to what?
A: Swelling Solution
B: Deflating Draught
C: Shrinking Solution
D: Sleeping Draught

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble...

AKA, Potions Homework!

Part 1:
Go around your house, outdoors, for a hike, or wherever and take pictures of 5 different plants, herbs, or flowers that might be used in potions. Make sure to remember your originality marker for these. Also, include the names of these (if you don't know their name feel free to make one up) and the description of potential use(s) for each.

Here we have mint leaves... great for making the potent potion called a Mojito!

Ahh... a row of lavender. Great for relaxing potions/lotions.

I know this looks like a daisy, but it's actually chamomile. Great for putting restless mind to sleep!

Lemongrass, great for adding a bright note to a marinade.

Here we have a dandelion. I know, you're thinking, "it's just a weed!" However, did you know that it also makes a very fun and yummy wine?!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

First Week

I have now completed the first week in my new place and it has been AWESOME! I love having my own space to my stamp on. There's a lot that still needs to be done - namely, I need a little sofa, a dining romm table and a coffee table.

The walls could also use some life, but I have a thought for one thing I could do. I have this great picture that I took while I was in Michigan last summer. It was taken at about 10pm on the longest day of the year. I'm thinking of making this into a long and skinny picture that I can hang above my couch. Here's hoping the resolution is such that it can be stretched like I want!

So, yeah, the first week has been really good. Still very exciting!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Moving On!

Well folks, as of tomorrow, I will have a new address! I know, I know - this is my FIFTH home in as many years, but this one I KNOW will be for the long term. If all goes well, I really think this will be my home until I'm ready to either move in with someone or buy my own place.

I'm reallly excited about this move. My new home will be at The Calvert, back in Del Ray. I'll be on the tippy top floor and though it's an efficiency, it has a kind of hidden bump out where I can put my bed so I can kind of "hide" it away. It has a lot of light, pretty new kitchen appliances and built-ins in the walk-in closet.

The best part is that it's MINE! I won't be sharing with anybody, I won't have to worry about any roommates or unwanted guests. I can decorate it how I want it, too. I'm really excited about all of these things. (Although, I think my mom is MORE excited!) This time around I've hired movers to move the majority of my stuff - which my mom, stepdad and little brother are VERY greatful for!

So, this all means that I will be away from the internets for the next few days as I move and get set up in my new home. Wish me luck and I'll talk to you soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Care of Magical Creatures - HW #2

What are a few supplies that you'd need to take care of magical creatures? Better yet, are there any around the house or easily gotten a hold of? Let's ponder this for a moment.... ok, here we go.
  1. Football helmet - must protect the face from claws and teeth (well, to a certain extent).
  2. A bottle of water - working around dragons can be a bit dehydrating!
  3. Snorkle - to help with breathing under water (b/c I haven't mastered the Bubble-head Spell)
  4. A CD of soothing, classical music - because they say music soothes the savage beast
  5. Wellies - caring for magical creatures is messy business, better to have footwear that can handle it

Ok, pop quiz, hot shot! How well do you know House Elves (or rather, how well do I know House Elves)?! Yikes!

  1. Please describe the physical appearance of a house elf.
    A house-elf is short of stature. They have large bat-like ears and enormous eyes.
  2. Kreacher is the house elf of which wizarding family?
    The Black family
  3. What is Hermione Granger making for the house elves?
  4. How do you free a house elf?
    By giving them a piece of clothing.
  5. What does S.P.E.W. stand for?
    Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare

Saturday, April 10, 2010


... otherwise known as "Homework Assignment #1." Below we have a list of items from the magical world of Harry Potter. You can fulfill the assignment in one of two ways. One way - the way that earns you the most points - is to create the objects yourself from ordinary things. Be arts and craftsy as they say. The other way is to find the objects online. Not being too terribly artsy craftsy and VERY short on time (I know, pitiful excuse that) I have opted for door number two. So, without further ado, I present Homework Assignment #1, aka, Transfiguration!



Golden Snitch

Hagrid's Rock Cakes

Decoy Detonator

Nose-Biting Teacup


Time Turner

Friday, April 02, 2010

Who would YOU be?!

For this new semester at Hogwarts, we're choosing characters that we'd like to have kits based on. Such an INTERESTING idea - and so hard to choose! One of the great things about the Harry Potter world are all of the rich and unique characters. A kit based on any of them would prove fun, but since I'm limited to only three, three it shall be.

The three that I've chosen are Ginny Weasley, Fleur Delacour and Nypmphadora Tonks. All three a strong and intelligent women - two characteristics that I strive to emulate. But each has unique characteristics as well.

Ginny Weasley: I love Ginny. Growing the only girl with six older brothers can only make you a stronger person, I just know it. She's clever - and is subtle about it. People are always surprised by the things she can do and I like that about her. She is way smarter than her brothers, but doesn't rub it in their faces. She's courageous and stands up for herself. All good things!

Fleur Delacour: Fleur has such great style! She's elegant and sophisticated and I want to be like that. While she's a bit of a snob and very arrogant, she's also extremely loyal and can see the beauty underneath. I love how she stays by Bill's side after his bite from the werewolf. Shows true stength of character.

Nymphadora Tonks: Now Nymphadora has to be one of my all-time faves! She's not afraid to be herself (hello, constantly changing faces and hair!) and relishes being a black sheep in the Black family. She also has a bit of a stubborn streak and isn't afraid to voice her opinion.

So, there you go. Three strong characters from the Harry Potter world. So hard to pick only three, I know! Who would YOU pick?!