Good morning, lovies! I'm really loving the interviews I have been doing lately. My first was with the lovely ladies from She Arises, and the second was with Helya Naghibi from The Studio. Both great, so I definitely recommend checking them out! Today, I'm on to interview number three! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ashten Giardine! You're going to love her as much as I do, I already know! ;-) She is the witty, charismatic, and joyful lifestyle blogger behind Just Go Left, and I simply adore her. While Ashten may be a new friend to you, I have know her for roughly 15 years (think: me in my awkward braces-wearing stage in high school). We bonded over lunch while eating Jack in Box curly fries, and I always thought she was soooo cool because she worked at Starbucks. Fun fact: Ashten was the first person that EVER introduced me to texting. Nowadays, we still chat about our deep love of coffee, but also our adoration for Brené Brown, wellness, dogs, USC Trojan football (don't hate), and Andie Mitchell.
I wanted to bring Ashten to The HHB because of the joy that she chooses to embrace. She speaks it, she lives it, and quite honestly, that is the vibe I get from her just by looking at her pretty face in a photo. I LOVE that! Joy is part of balance, and of course, that is what we're all about here. So, enough with my rambling, let's chat with Ms. Ashten!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
ASHTEN: I’m the lifestyle blogger behind Just Go Left. I live in Atlanta with my boyfriend Kyle and our big white dog Gatsby. I am always somewhere between healthy living and cramming a cupcake in my mouth (but I'm learning it's all about balance)! I believe joy can always be found in a good cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito. Apparently I really like food.
Q: You recently launched your new lifestyle blog, Just Go Left. Tell us a little bit about your intentions, and what you want to share with your readers.
A:Just Go Left is my love letter to living my best life. It’s my attempt to be more balanced, make better choices and find joy among life’s twists and turns. You will read tidbits and tales from my everyday life: the good, the bad and the funny. I try to find the joy in all of it, usually with a cup of coffee in hand and my big white dog, Gatsby, in tow.
Q: I LOVE that you intentionally choose joy! What does that look like to you?
A: Choosing joy means I find bravery and strength to thrive despite life's obstacles. Easier said than done sometimes!
Q: Since we are both lovers of Brené Brown, I would love to hear how she inspires you, and which of her books is your fave?
A: I mean, what is there NOT to love about Brené Brown?! She’s one of my heroes. I love that she encourages us to get messy, to let go of the idea of perfection and get in touch with empathy and vulnerability. She makes me a better writer!
Q: How do you show yourself radical self-love?
A: I admit, I am not very good at radical self-love. I’m really, really hard on myself and I don’t always accept myself fully. This is something I’m really working on, and hopefully my blog will reflect this, and the positive changes that come from it!
Q: What is your favorite self-care regimen?
A: Every morning I wake up at 5:30am and take my dog, Gatsby, for a 3.5 mile walk around our neighborhood. It’s my quiet time: when I get centered, collect my thoughts and prepare for my day. I always feel ready for the day when I get home.
Q: When do you feel the most beautiful?
A: This might sound SO silly, but honestly, I feel the most beautiful when I curl my hair into “mermaid curls." I don’t know why, but adding a little sass to my hair always makes me feel a little more beautiful.
Q: Do you have a spiritual practice? If so, describe it.
A: I write in a “joy journal” every night before I go to bed; I basically write down all the things (big and small) that brought me joy throughout the day. I know that’s not very spiritual, but it’s very therapeutic for me.
Q: What does a Happy, Healthy Balance look like to you?
A: A happy, healthy balance means I make choices that fuel me mentally, physically and spiritually.
Q: Where can we find you? IE: site, blog, IG, FB, etc.
1. What is the last meal you cooked?
A: Sweet potato, cubed, seasoned with season salt and garlic powder, cooked in a pan with olive oil, with a scrambled egg on top. It’s my go-to meal right now: so easy and satisfying!
2. Favorite food?
A: Sushi, hibachi and breakfast burritos.
3. Favorite way to indulge?
A: Every time I come back to California to visit, I stop at In N Out and have a #2 animal style, with animal style fries. Never regret that meal!
4. What is your favorite way to move your body?
A: I like to walk my dog Gatsby every morning. We do 3.5 miles!
5. Who is your girl/boy crush?
A: Boy: Leonardo DiCaprio (since Titanic!)
Girl: Rachel McAdams
6. What is your spirit animal?
A boxer dog. They’re clumsy, playful, devoted, bright, loyal, energetic, friendly, calm, cheerful, confident, fearless, brave & intelligent.
7. What is one of your favorite quotes?
A: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Albus Dumbledore
8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
A: Give Me Coffee and I’ll Tell You Anything.
9. What is the best gift (material or not) that you’ve ever received?
A: After my grandma passed away in 2011, I was given one of her rings. It is, to this day, my most prized possession.
10. What is your wish for the world?
A: That we would spend less time comparing ourselves to others, and more time finding happiness in our own lives.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did! Head over to Just Go Left, and show Ashten some love!