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I think I've always been attracted to pins but haven't given in to acquiring them till recently. All the pins I have so far are from OH YOU FOX and I adore them. I bought the first one back in February and now I've got four. They're all designed by Victoria and I absolutely love her illustrations. She's designed some Halloween themed pins which I couldn't resist in getting one.




Don't Mind if I Don't & Enchanted Pizza are the first two I got and have blogged about before. Don't Mind if I Don't is also available in blue and I just like the meaning behind it. As both a lover of Beauty & the Beast and pizza the Enchanted Pizza Pin was literally me all over.



When free shipping is on offer it just seems rude to not pick up something. I got one of the Halloween pins as the Booooo-bs Ghost pin was just too cute not to get. Acciendently Thriving was one that I'd wanted for a long time as it just basically describes my life. It also reminds me of the librarian badges I had in primary/intermediate. I still have them, would it be strange if I started wearing them again?

Have you got any pins?

Ashley xx

Confessions of a Burgeoning Pin Obsessive

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


I think I've always been attracted to pins but haven't given in to acquiring them till recently. All the pins I have so far are from OH YOU FOX and I adore them. I bought the first one back in February and now I've got four. They're all designed by Victoria and I absolutely love her illustrations. She's designed some Halloween themed pins which I couldn't resist in getting one.




Don't Mind if I Don't & Enchanted Pizza are the first two I got and have blogged about before. Don't Mind if I Don't is also available in blue and I just like the meaning behind it. As both a lover of Beauty & the Beast and pizza the Enchanted Pizza Pin was literally me all over.



When free shipping is on offer it just seems rude to not pick up something. I got one of the Halloween pins as the Booooo-bs Ghost pin was just too cute not to get. Acciendently Thriving was one that I'd wanted for a long time as it just basically describes my life. It also reminds me of the librarian badges I had in primary/intermediate. I still have them, would it be strange if I started wearing them again?

Have you got any pins?

Ashley xx

I wasn't planning on doing a post on this but after doing it yesterday I just had to write about it. Artweek is currently on in Auckland and there are art installations set up as well as museums/galleries putting on events. One, which I did yesterday, was a behind the scenes tour at Auckland Art Gallery. I did the same tour last year and it is of the different conservation departments. The fact that I've done this tour twice shows just how much I love it. My career goal is to be a paintings conservator so getting to see the work they do was amazing and invaluable.

First off we started down in the 'basement' with the objects conservator. We got to go down in the big service elevator which was cool, it's carried a car as well as Rodin's The Kiss. The objects conservation department was a fairly recent addition, the conservator started seven years ago and before that there wasn't one. One of the things she's working on are the 13 painted glass windows which came from a church in Remuera and was painted by Colin McCahon. I remember seeing these from last year, the paint is flaking off and they're quite large pieces of glass. One of the points the conservator made was that the work done was more to repair/preserve works rather than restoring them.

Next, we went up to the painting conservation area which was the part I was most looking forward too. There were a number of works on display and one of the main problems the conservators showed was tears in artworks. Looking at one of the repaired works it was amazing to see before pictures as well as the use of UV light, when shone onto the painting you can clearly see the tears which are almost invisible to the naked eye. There were two areas in the painting department with the other more researching artists and their practices to make sure the right materials are used. A couple of Francis Hodgkin works were displayed and we got to see a cross-section through a microscope. It was incredible to see all the layers of paint from a tiny part of the work.

Lastly we went to see the paper conservators and saw examples of a variety of  damage. One of them was light and it was amazing to see the difference between the original colour of a material and how much pigment it loses from being in any kind of light. Once again we saw before and after on some works and it's amazing to see the end result.

I absolutely loved the tour and found my passion in painting conservation.

Have you been on any behind the scenes tours?

Ashley xx

Behind the Scenes Tour: Auckland Art Gallery

Thursday, 12 October 2017


I wasn't planning on doing a post on this but after doing it yesterday I just had to write about it. Artweek is currently on in Auckland and there are art installations set up as well as museums/galleries putting on events. One, which I did yesterday, was a behind the scenes tour at Auckland Art Gallery. I did the same tour last year and it is of the different conservation departments. The fact that I've done this tour twice shows just how much I love it. My career goal is to be a paintings conservator so getting to see the work they do was amazing and invaluable.

First off we started down in the 'basement' with the objects conservator. We got to go down in the big service elevator which was cool, it's carried a car as well as Rodin's The Kiss. The objects conservation department was a fairly recent addition, the conservator started seven years ago and before that there wasn't one. One of the things she's working on are the 13 painted glass windows which came from a church in Remuera and was painted by Colin McCahon. I remember seeing these from last year, the paint is flaking off and they're quite large pieces of glass. One of the points the conservator made was that the work done was more to repair/preserve works rather than restoring them.

Next, we went up to the painting conservation area which was the part I was most looking forward too. There were a number of works on display and one of the main problems the conservators showed was tears in artworks. Looking at one of the repaired works it was amazing to see before pictures as well as the use of UV light, when shone onto the painting you can clearly see the tears which are almost invisible to the naked eye. There were two areas in the painting department with the other more researching artists and their practices to make sure the right materials are used. A couple of Francis Hodgkin works were displayed and we got to see a cross-section through a microscope. It was incredible to see all the layers of paint from a tiny part of the work.

Lastly we went to see the paper conservators and saw examples of a variety of  damage. One of them was light and it was amazing to see the difference between the original colour of a material and how much pigment it loses from being in any kind of light. Once again we saw before and after on some works and it's amazing to see the end result.

I absolutely loved the tour and found my passion in painting conservation.

Have you been on any behind the scenes tours?

Ashley xx

Setting goals are a never-ending cycle for me. I make them, try to stick to them, but eventually I'm too far lost and don't know my way back. Why I keep doing them I don't know. For me everything becomes clearer once it's written down, once it's cemented on paper it can't disappear. So I'm swapping paper for a post and putting them on the internet. They're not 'big' goals, more like small ones I work on every day.

  • Drink more water/drink less Pepsi.
Pepsi is one of my biggest vices and every time I have a glass it's a slippery slope and I've wound up having almost a whole bottle. My taste for water as it were has grown over the years, before I couldn't stand the blandness but now I find myself craving it.

  • 5 minutes of exercise daily
Sometimes I'm an all or nothing person. If I don't feel like doing what others are doing I just give up entirely. I've gone through bouts of exercising over the years but end up forgoing it as I don't feel like I'm doing it properly or enough. My doctor recommended starting off slowing, doing only 5 mins or so a day. It makes sense, especially for someone as unfit as me.

  • Meditation
I've done some meditating a couple of times but haven't routinely done it. I get it into my head that I don't have enough time for it when really it's only a small part of the day. Of the few times I've done it I've come out relaxed and I don't feel like I'm on the edge of a mental breakdown as I often am.

  • Get up early/going to bed early/regular sleep
My sleep cycle has never been great. It doesn't help that I'm a night owl and get this rush of motivation to do stuff at 10 pm. Insomnia is at an all-time high and my brain just won't turn off. As a result, I waste most of the day and I feel like crap the rest of it. I know this will be a gradual work in progress.

Do you have any small everyday goals?

Ashley xx

Everyday Goals

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


Setting goals are a never-ending cycle for me. I make them, try to stick to them, but eventually I'm too far lost and don't know my way back. Why I keep doing them I don't know. For me everything becomes clearer once it's written down, once it's cemented on paper it can't disappear. So I'm swapping paper for a post and putting them on the internet. They're not 'big' goals, more like small ones I work on every day.

  • Drink more water/drink less Pepsi.
Pepsi is one of my biggest vices and every time I have a glass it's a slippery slope and I've wound up having almost a whole bottle. My taste for water as it were has grown over the years, before I couldn't stand the blandness but now I find myself craving it.

  • 5 minutes of exercise daily
Sometimes I'm an all or nothing person. If I don't feel like doing what others are doing I just give up entirely. I've gone through bouts of exercising over the years but end up forgoing it as I don't feel like I'm doing it properly or enough. My doctor recommended starting off slowing, doing only 5 mins or so a day. It makes sense, especially for someone as unfit as me.

  • Meditation
I've done some meditating a couple of times but haven't routinely done it. I get it into my head that I don't have enough time for it when really it's only a small part of the day. Of the few times I've done it I've come out relaxed and I don't feel like I'm on the edge of a mental breakdown as I often am.

  • Get up early/going to bed early/regular sleep
My sleep cycle has never been great. It doesn't help that I'm a night owl and get this rush of motivation to do stuff at 10 pm. Insomnia is at an all-time high and my brain just won't turn off. As a result, I waste most of the day and I feel like crap the rest of it. I know this will be a gradual work in progress.

Do you have any small everyday goals?

Ashley xx

This past couple of days have been quite gloomy and I don't know about you it just makes me want to curl up in bed with my books. Lately, I've just had this desire to read and I'm not complaining. It means that I'll quickly get to these books which I'm looking forward to a great deal.



Godblind by Anna Stephens*
First off the cover of this book is stunning and only makes me excited about the story within. Set in the fantasy genre the story tells of a time when the Red Gods once ruled the land with the Dark Lady dealing in death, blood and fire. That time has long since passed and the neighbouring kingdoms of Mireces & Rilpor hold an uneasy truce. After the death of his wife, the King of Rilpor is plagued by grief leaving his kingdom vulnerable to the Mireces army. I love any story that has a mythology with it so I'm excited to start this soon.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor*
Once again the cover is gorgeous, I love the combination of the blue and gold. This again is another fantasy genre with dreams being the one who chooses the dreamer. Lazlo Strange always feared his dream chose poorly, he's been obsessed with the mythic city of Weep since he was young. The Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors turn up and Lazlo seizes his chance to discover why Weep was cut off from the read of the world. The story sounds really similar to the myth of Atlantis, a hidden mythical city, which really appeals to me. I'm just about to start it so I'm looking forward to seeing Lazlo's journey.


I was recommended by my doctor to read up about anxiety. With me the more familiar I am with something the less it stresses me out so it makes sense. I actually got two books on anxiety and this is the first one I'm currently reading. The book covers what anxiety is (your brain sending fight or flight signals in response to anything) and also gives tools and experiments to do in order to help manage it. I haven't read that much yet but it's interesting to learn about some coping tools.

What are you planning to read this month?

Ashley xx
*Review copies
**Affiliate Link

Books to Read in October

Thursday, 5 October 2017


This past couple of days have been quite gloomy and I don't know about you it just makes me want to curl up in bed with my books. Lately, I've just had this desire to read and I'm not complaining. It means that I'll quickly get to these books which I'm looking forward to a great deal.



Godblind by Anna Stephens*
First off the cover of this book is stunning and only makes me excited about the story within. Set in the fantasy genre the story tells of a time when the Red Gods once ruled the land with the Dark Lady dealing in death, blood and fire. That time has long since passed and the neighbouring kingdoms of Mireces & Rilpor hold an uneasy truce. After the death of his wife, the King of Rilpor is plagued by grief leaving his kingdom vulnerable to the Mireces army. I love any story that has a mythology with it so I'm excited to start this soon.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor*
Once again the cover is gorgeous, I love the combination of the blue and gold. This again is another fantasy genre with dreams being the one who chooses the dreamer. Lazlo Strange always feared his dream chose poorly, he's been obsessed with the mythic city of Weep since he was young. The Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors turn up and Lazlo seizes his chance to discover why Weep was cut off from the read of the world. The story sounds really similar to the myth of Atlantis, a hidden mythical city, which really appeals to me. I'm just about to start it so I'm looking forward to seeing Lazlo's journey.


I was recommended by my doctor to read up about anxiety. With me the more familiar I am with something the less it stresses me out so it makes sense. I actually got two books on anxiety and this is the first one I'm currently reading. The book covers what anxiety is (your brain sending fight or flight signals in response to anything) and also gives tools and experiments to do in order to help manage it. I haven't read that much yet but it's interesting to learn about some coping tools.

What are you planning to read this month?

Ashley xx
*Review copies
**Affiliate Link

And just like that, we've moved into the festive part of the year. I can confirm I have seen shops with Christmas decorations out. Part of me thinks it's far too early while the other is rejoicing cause I just love the atmosphere of the festive season. I've always loved this time of year, even though it means the year is near the end and I'm sat here wondering what it is I've done at all.

Most Haunted
I used to catch the odd episode years ago while channel surfing. It's a British show and they just investigate haunted places. Thanks to my anxiety anything ghost related drives my brain insane and I stay awake and night hearing EVERYTHING. There have been quite a few accusations that the show is rigged, whether it's true or not it's still entertaining. I just watch it on YouTube, old episodes and also new ones. I had no idea this show was still going on.

BeFunky Photo Editor
PicMonkey was my go-to when editing photos. However they've now changed it where you can't save any pictures edited, you have to sign up which sucks. As a result, I searched for a new site and came across BeFunky which to be fair is way better than PicMonkey. It doesn't freeze as much, you don't have to keep opening the same image to watermark pictures and it also has an exposure setting called 'Fill Light' which just makes your photos look so much better. I'm very happy with this discovery.

4th Birthday & Giveaway
On Saturday my little blog turned four. It's amazing to me how I've managed to stick with it for so long. To celebrate I'm doing my very first giveaway, check out the post to see what's included and how to enter.

The notion of creativity
Creativity is an amazing thing and every so often I get this sudden burst of it. It's an amazing feeling. You're so excited and compelled to create something and in your head picture how great it could be. It's a euphoric sense almost, it's the best feeling.

What were your September favourites?

Ashley xx

September Favourites

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


And just like that, we've moved into the festive part of the year. I can confirm I have seen shops with Christmas decorations out. Part of me thinks it's far too early while the other is rejoicing cause I just love the atmosphere of the festive season. I've always loved this time of year, even though it means the year is near the end and I'm sat here wondering what it is I've done at all.

Most Haunted
I used to catch the odd episode years ago while channel surfing. It's a British show and they just investigate haunted places. Thanks to my anxiety anything ghost related drives my brain insane and I stay awake and night hearing EVERYTHING. There have been quite a few accusations that the show is rigged, whether it's true or not it's still entertaining. I just watch it on YouTube, old episodes and also new ones. I had no idea this show was still going on.

BeFunky Photo Editor
PicMonkey was my go-to when editing photos. However they've now changed it where you can't save any pictures edited, you have to sign up which sucks. As a result, I searched for a new site and came across BeFunky which to be fair is way better than PicMonkey. It doesn't freeze as much, you don't have to keep opening the same image to watermark pictures and it also has an exposure setting called 'Fill Light' which just makes your photos look so much better. I'm very happy with this discovery.

4th Birthday & Giveaway
On Saturday my little blog turned four. It's amazing to me how I've managed to stick with it for so long. To celebrate I'm doing my very first giveaway, check out the post to see what's included and how to enter.

The notion of creativity
Creativity is an amazing thing and every so often I get this sudden burst of it. It's an amazing feeling. You're so excited and compelled to create something and in your head picture how great it could be. It's a euphoric sense almost, it's the best feeling.

What were your September favourites?

Ashley xx

It's been four years since I randomly decided to create a blog. I'm amazed that I stuck with it. At the start, I was toying with the idea of stopping but at the start of 2014 decided to give it a proper go and here we are. Over the years there's been a number of changes; topics, designs, names but at the end of the day, it's still the same creative outlet for me.

To celebrate I'm running my very first giveaway!! I'm both nervous & excited. To celebrate 4 years there are 4 items + a little something special. 



First thing is Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba which is small but big in terms of useful information. It is the modern career guide that every creative woman needs and is full of useful tips & information.

Next is a Makeup Revolution Iconic 2 Palette. The shades aren't exactly correct in the pictures, you can see it better here. It's got a good mix of matte, pearl & shimmer shades and it's neutral palette which I thought most people would like.




The other two things can be worn together. A NYX lip liner in Nude Pink & a Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 107. 107 is my go-to nude lipstick so I thought I would include one in the giveaway.

I'm also going to add in something else which I'm really quite excited about. Make sure you enter all the options below :D The giveaway is open for a week and I'll announce the winner on my Facebook page.

This is New Zealand giveaway only, as it's my first one and I'm a bit nervous about it.

Good luck! xx


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ashley Ruth's 4th Birthday + NZ Giveaway!

Saturday, 30 September 2017


It's been four years since I randomly decided to create a blog. I'm amazed that I stuck with it. At the start, I was toying with the idea of stopping but at the start of 2014 decided to give it a proper go and here we are. Over the years there's been a number of changes; topics, designs, names but at the end of the day, it's still the same creative outlet for me.

To celebrate I'm running my very first giveaway!! I'm both nervous & excited. To celebrate 4 years there are 4 items + a little something special. 



First thing is Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba which is small but big in terms of useful information. It is the modern career guide that every creative woman needs and is full of useful tips & information.

Next is a Makeup Revolution Iconic 2 Palette. The shades aren't exactly correct in the pictures, you can see it better here. It's got a good mix of matte, pearl & shimmer shades and it's neutral palette which I thought most people would like.




The other two things can be worn together. A NYX lip liner in Nude Pink & a Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 107. 107 is my go-to nude lipstick so I thought I would include one in the giveaway.

I'm also going to add in something else which I'm really quite excited about. Make sure you enter all the options below :D The giveaway is open for a week and I'll announce the winner on my Facebook page.

This is New Zealand giveaway only, as it's my first one and I'm a bit nervous about it.

Good luck! xx


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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