Blogger Past & Future

Several years ago, I started this blog as a way to connect to others around me, mostly those I knew, in order to draw them in and have a stronger friendship. Somehow, through difference choices and avenues I’ve taken, it’s become more of a way for me to connect with my surroundings – in a strange way, it’s an out pour of myself to reach out to others I may not know or will ever know. Similarly, it’s also become a way for me to keep in contact with those I love and am not able to see each week, or even each month. 

Moving is a big deal. It’s especially a big deal if it’s your first time to do it…ever. Growing up, I lived in the same house, in the same room, in the same town, until I left for college at 18 years old. That in itself could be considered an odd, almost anomalic, occurrence in today’s world of folks moving wherever and whenever for jobs, relationships, or opportunities. If you ask me {and you are reading my blog!}, I knew to appreciate it when I was young. I saw those around me getting pulled out of school to move across country, or even across town, to just attend another school. The word traumatic seems a little strong to describe this situation, but I’m sure they felt like they had no control over what was happening to them.
Like I said, I consider myself lucky to be able to make the decision to move for the first time, in my adult life.

Recently, I decided to begin putting more of “me” on this blog. It’s started to become more about food and what I’m wearing rather than a picture of my life here in the Northeast. It’s just so easy and/or quick to post about how delicious/different the food is, or how excited I am to wear actual work clothes again after the move, after which I was out of work for nearly two months. In a way, it is my life, but such a small, fairly meaningless, vignette. 

It’s more than pretty outfits and Nutella-slathered sugar waffles.

Although, those things are nice.

Part of this frivolous posting is due to the “give the people what they want!” mentality; what I mean by this is posting what I think people want to read: restaurant reviews, outfit posts, recipes. Do they really want to know what Ashley Oates is doing daily? In the lifetime of {A Dash of Spectacular}, this is something I’ve always struggled with, thinking my life isn’t that interesting. But, I plug on. Maybe, somewhere, in some distant location {Korea? The U.K.? Illinois?}, people want to read about a newly Northeast-ed girl, discovering her new life outside of Texas. Just maybe.

So, in my ‘onwards and upwards’ fashion, here’s what I’ve really been doing:

As usual, I’ve gone on a binge of eating WAY too much and staying up far too late, enjoying the company of our first visitor, James. We had more fun shoved in the 5 days he was here than I thought possible, and now I’m dragging because of it, still trying to recover…and somehow make it back into the gym. I’ve got the half marathon in less than a week, and I’ve seriously slacked on my logged training miles. I think I might be close to 40 at this point. No sense in looking back though, because I’ve got a week to finish training the best I can!

Work has been going well, and I’m learning SO much about working within larger institution. It’s like a whole other world, especially compared with the position I had before at a medium-sized nonprofit. It’s a stark contrast, but it’s a great learning experience for my career.

Visitors, visitors, visitors! We are having folks come visit on and off for the next two months, and couldn’t be happier! {Busy, but happy.} Next, my sister will be coming to PGH, and staying with us for a week! I’m in need of some sister time.

I’m also planning on engaging in Kyla’s 31 {Blogging} Days of May challenge, which is explained here in her post. What a way to get myself started on building my blog, and to make an effort to actually type rather than letting photos talk for me.

Now, the question is: 
Are you bored with this sort of post? Would niche posts be more read-worthy? Or, are you willing to wait more time for posts like these? Share your thoughts!


  1. Ashley , I thoroughly enjoyed this post and vote for the format . Keep this going & include some pictures along the way . Of course I enjoy anything from you ; anytime !
    I miss you , Gran

  2. Hi Ash -
    Great post, the more Ashley there is in the post, the better it is. You are a wonderfully interesting person, and it's not just because I'm your Mama. :-)

    1. Thanks! I always worry about being too mushy. :) No one want to read super-mush.


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