Top Moments of 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wow 2013, you've been quite a year! I can hardly believe that another 365 days have passed as I lived the year of serendipity. And serendipitous it has been, in so many ways. Here are some of my favourite things that happened this year. 

I started off the year with a super fun trip to Ottawa to visit my bestie, Mel. I'm so thankful that Mel and I both work hard to keep our relationship strong and it was such a blast to visit her in snowy Ottawa. I can't wait to go back - hopefully sometime this year! 

This year included being on the cover of The Grid, being auctioned off for charity, being on the cover of a magazine highlight women in the arts and co-hosting a cooking show in my home. Really neat and a whole lot of serendipity to make it all happen. 

I discovered the Lovebot and have since become an unofficial ambassador of sorts to this incredible project. 

It's so lovely to see them all over the city and great to get into conversations with people that start with "So what's the deal with these Lovebots?!" I've since gotten to meet Matthew Del Degan who created the Lovebot and am thrilled for what's in store in the land of love for 2014!

In other love news, my sweet friend Lindsay got married in June and her wedding was absolutely one of my favourite moments of the year (if not my life!) It was so special to be a part of their day and all of the festivities leading up to it. I'm thankful that our friendship strengthened as a result. I will also never look at fuchsia the same way. 

I got to interview two of my favourite bands from my childhood - New Kids of the Block and Hanson!! Also got to see both of them in concert. 8 year old me and 13 year old me would have died (or at least started screaming their faces off) if only they knew what was to come 15+ years in the future. I also saw a slew of other great concerts including the Joni Mitchell tribute at Massey Hall, James Blake, Natalie Weiss, Jason Robert Brown and Rich Aucoin x2. 

I sold out my first solo cabaret, raised $1000 for CAMH and was asked to revamp the show for 2014 to be performed at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. 

Putting the first Life is Sweet show and blog series together was an incredible experience and I'm so proud that I get to do it again this year as a result. 

I also had an amazing time with my second solo cabaret I Know it's Today where I talked about boys, dating, relationships and everything that has happened since that time I was engaged. 

Speaking of boys, 2013 brought some ups and downs in my love life (hence the cabaret) but was so lucky to connect with my incredible boyfriend, Corbin, towards the end of the summer. I've fallen so head over heels in love with that man and am so excited to be heading into 2014 with him next to me!

In addition to performing in a bunch of shows, I saw 32 shows, which will become 33 after I see Les Miserables this afternoon. From plays at Fringe to cabarets by friends to huge musicals, I've seen a bit of everything and continue to love supporting the theatre community in Toronto and being inspired by shows in New York. I can't wait to see what's in store for 2014!

Oh yah, I went to New York. It was pretty magical. I still need to blog about all the wonderful things that happened. It's coming, I promise! 

Today I'm celebrating the end of 2013 and new beginnings for 2014 with a lovely friend date this morning and a sweet Corbin date to see Les Mis this afternoon. I think I'll have a quiet evening, but I'm looking forward to what's in store for this new year. 

Happy New Year - see you in 2014!

Five Things I've Been Doing Instead of Blogging

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ohai friends. Happy Friday the 13th! It’s been awhile. I've been busy. It’s the holiday season, so who isn't, really? Here are my reasons (I think they’re pretty good…)

1. I've been rehearsing for The Wedding Singer

I was thrilled to be cast as Julia in Hart House’s upcoming production of The Wedding Singer (January 10-25th) and I've been running around the theatre having a blast. I love the movie and the musical is even more fun. My Robbie is adorable and the whole cast is mega talented. This will continue to keep me extra busy until we open, but I couldn't be happier to be doing this show.

2. I've been working on The Life is Sweet Project

I’m lucky to have two shows opening in the next two months and similar to this past February, there are a number of elements to coordinate for this project. I've been writing the show, discussing the show, rehearsing music and looking for contributors to the blog projects (wanna write for me? Send me an email!) It’s a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding and tickets are selling away. It’s exciting and terrifying.

3. I was frolicking in New York City

NYC Ashley Gibson Corbin Smith

It’s rather apparent that NYC is pretty much my favourite place on the planet and I was so happy to spend five days there in November. There is a blog post coming next week about my magical adventures of food, theatre and being in love.

4. I've been doing neat things like shooting tv shows and posing for magazine covers

Apparently my life is glamorous sometimes, who knew? In October I shot an episode of Home Cookin’ for Rogers TV where I made some delicious sweet potato quinoa chili, kale salad and apple crumble parfaits with the lovely Emanuela Pires. You can see a clip from the episode here. I also had the pleasure of doing an interview for rouse magazine about The Life is Sweet Project and ended up on their cover. They did an amazing job with the article and I was so honoured to be their first cover girl!

5. Eating / Sleeping / Living

I've always said that life comes first, blogging comes second. I’m really hoping to write more in 2014 and determine a way to make that happen. I think once the chaos of two shows + work + commuting calms down, it should leave me some of this ‘free time’ people speak of. Last week life included an amazing steampunk goth wedding and next week will include more rehearsal, HoHoTO, singing at Ryan Hinds’ Holiday Comedy Cabaret Coffee Talk, finishing my Christmas shopping and making festive treats. And sleeping. I'm not exactly sure when, but it will happen.

How are you surviving the holiday season? What's been keeping you busy of late?
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