Google highlights

On cloud 9 at Google HQ

I started working at Google in April 2016 and – almost to the date – a year and a half later, moved to the next opportunity. My short time spent at the Googs was a fun journey and I wanted to document some highlights to look back on one day. Let’s begin!

1. The Nomz

As you might imagine, the free food at Google is a pretty sweet deal. Not only are there  fully stocked MKs (Micro Kitchens) with things carrots and hummus, hard boiled eggs, cheese, yogurts, popcorn, fruit, and nuts accessible all day; there are breakfast, lunch, and dinner options at multiple cafes around campus.


I almost never had dinner there but was a regular for the breakfast and lunch scene. My all time favorite Google cafe was the vegan one called Slice.  The roasted kale and mac n’ “cheese” was so delicious, you didn’t feel like you were missing out on anything. Plus, a decadent array of dairy-free ice creams and popsicles for dessert. Omg.

Everyday had the potential to be a culinary adventure! (Except most days I ate at the same cafe that was near my building…)

Breakfast outside at the Google SF office #avo
A happy (vegetrainian) BBQ plate 🙂
Taco Tuesday
Cookies and rock n’ roll
A mini pumpkin pie last November

2. The Coffee

Google’s coffee game is strong. My favorite coffee there came from a food truck that set up shop at various locations every morning; filling the air with sweet java scents. I loved starting my day with the site of that teal beast, waiting for me to line up and order some black magic (and, of course, avo toast).



I was also lucky enough to work in the same building as The Coffee Lab, an entire cafe dedicated to – you guessed it – coffee. Most days I would start my morning here with a cold brew and a splash of Califia almond milk (the best!).

There were also the notably great summer months when Coffee Lab had nitro brew on tap. All about it. Every single afternoon. Sometimes twice.

Velvety nitro brew


3. The Talks

Talks at Google was one of my favorite things about working at Google. The first talk I went to was to listen to Conrad Anker last June. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some other pretty cool people on my lunch breaks.


Kathy Griffin!


Jillian Michaels
Roxane Gay (not looking particularly thrilled to take a picture with me… ek)
Some of the cast from Luzia
The cast of Hamilton

You can enjoy most Google Talks to by checking out their YouTube channel. Which I will be subscribing to so I can keep watching from afar.

4. The Sights (and things to do!)

I didn’t have a typical college experience where I moved away and lived on campus in dorms. I stayed at home to save money. In some ways, working at Google for a year and a half felt a little bit like living on campus. Or, at least being on one every day.

There are always events happening at Google HQ. Aside from the Talks, there were Fall festivals, Google’s 18th birthday celebration, happy hours, Pride festivities and more.


Biking around campus
Lunch break yoga
Rock climbing
Or, if you’re tired.. nap time, anyone?
Legitimately was almost late to a meeting because of this ball pit


Giant chairs everywhere!



Android Love.




5. The Views

Google’s main campus (where I spent most of my time) is gorgeous. It’s all tree-lined and flowers-in-bloom. There seems to be a surplus of butterflies in the area flying around. There are perfectly paved and painted walking and bike paths connecting the seemingly never ending rows of Google buildings. I would often just walk around in awe.

A trail I used to walk before early morning meetings
Views from a Google cafe at HQ

Although I spent most of my time in Mountain View, I made it to the SF office a few times and the views don’t disappoint there either!


Nothing beats a good view, especially when you’re getting paid to see it!

6. The People

I think the hardest thing about leaving a job for another is leaving your friends. I was lucky to work with some really great people who I enjoyed spending time with and seeing on a daily basis. A month into my new job and I think I’m still suffering from a bit of separation anxiety…

At least we all have Facebook to stay in touch!

#jk love ya Google ❤


Friday Favorites

It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and I’ve managed to steal some time with a cup of coffee to document a few favorites lately. Read on 🙂

Yoga with friends

After every yoga class I’ve taken, I feel melty and delicious. I don’t think anyone regrets a hour or so on the mat. At least I never do! And what makes yoga even better? Doing it with a friend.

There’s a free yoga class on Sunday mornings near my house and a candlelit one I love to go to on Wednesdays. This past week I’ve had 2 different friends join me for each class and my practice was better. More fun. More love. More light.

Pair it with a cup of coffee before or a glass of wine after and you’ve got yourself the perfect friend date!


New bedding

One of my favorites things about Mike is his concern for the environment. He hates throwing things away that will end up in landfill. Over the years he has made me a lot more aware of using every last ounce of things before we toss them. Finally, after almost 5 years, it was time to get a new bedspread. We upgraded ourselves to a duvet and sheets that feel like butter. Literally when we get in bed we I say “oooh, like buttah” every time.


Califa almond milk

I’ll admit I am an almond milk snob. In my opinion, Almond Breeze is way too runny. I think Starbucks uses there own almond milk and I don’t trust it. Peet’s uses Pacific almond milk and it’s good; better that Almond Breeze everyday of the week. BUT it’s simply not Califa. Califa is my jam. Like, they should pay me with how much I promote the weirdly shaped bottled almond milk. It’s so legit. Creamy and flavorful. Carrageenan free. 0g of sugar.


BOLD, UNSWEETENED, authentic, FEARLESS, delicious. (< okay, they shouldn’t pay me for that one because I took it from the back of their bottle;)

My fiancé! 

Some people say getting engaged feels the same as being BF/GF but I’m here to tell you it’s totally different. It’s 100% better! The moment that pretty little ring slid on my finger, something shifted. It could just be engagement bliss but I think it’s deeper than that. My mind is like, this is my man! For life. I’m not naive enough to think we won’t ever argue again but somehow the little things that used to cause a few rifts don’t matter anymore. It feels like all we want to do is soak each other in.

I look at Mike and think he’s magic.


And he’s mine!

Best day ever

Last Saturday was arguably the best day of my life so far! After a long first week at my new job (yay!), I was more than ready for a weekend away with Mike. He had previously planned to take me to San Luis Obispo for my birthday and – the one thing I requested? – I didn’t want to make a single plan for the weekend.

Mike not only planned the funnest weekend with my favorite things (clearly should request his planning more often!) but surprised me with the best question I’ve ever been asked (spoiler #1). 😉

We drove down on Friday night and got settled into our comically small cozy airbnb. We turned in early in anticipation of a full day ahead. On Saturday, we woke up earlier than expected and had a few hours to kill before our brunch reservations. Of course my first thought was, COFFEE! Mike Googled coffee shops and found a gem called Ascendo. It was a gloomy morning and I enjoyed a cafe au late with homemade almond milk before heading to our favorite place in SLO for brunch; Luna Red.


We enjoyed mimosas and spilt an order of eggs Benedict and an egg sando. I mention this all of the time on the blog but I absolutely love that Mike is, more often than not, willingly to spilt two dishes with me so we can sample more.

Lucky me that I get to spend the rest of my life with him (spoiler #2)!

Our next item on the agenda wasn’t until later in the afternoon so we decided to go check out the landmark Madonna Inn. Two words; Holy pink.



This place is insane. Pink and roses are the theme and… I really don’t know what else to say about it… Aside from the fact that I made Mike go into the iconic men’s restroom and take a picture of the waterfall urinal. Happy wife, happy life (spoiler #3, kind of….).

Apparently the waterfall starts as you walk up to it and …start your own stream

After experiencing enough pink for a lifetime, we made an impromptu trip to the beach. In classic Ashley form, I was craving kombucha.

Booch on the beach, what’s better?!


We strolled in the sand, sharing sips of fermented tea, before finding a swing set ON THE BEACH. Best idea ever.



Then it was a romantic trip to the Sycamore Mineral Springs. Now, if you know me and Mike, you know we love to hot tub. At this point, I remember thinking how great the day was so far. Little did I know how much better it was going to get…


After the hot tub, we were getting a bit hungry but Mike had something else planned that closed within the hour. We were debating nixing his original plan and grabbing a glass of wine and tacos instead but, when he told me what was planned next, I immediately opted for a quick snack to stick with the plan.


Pretty much every fall I tell Mike how much I want to go apple picking but it just hasn’t panned out. So, you can imagine my excitement when Mike told me we were finally going. I was downright giddy. Also, bonus points that the orchard was an organic one.



We arrived about a hour before closing. It was drizzling out. I was already euphoric. The lady working there advised us to go deep into the orchard for the best apples. This worked out perfectly for Mike’s plan.

I was seriously so excited to be there picking apples with Mike I could barely handle it. I was taking millions of pictures in between picking the tiniest apples I could find. I don’t know what it is but, baby apples just taste better! Mike kept joking that I wasn’t letting the apples “grow to their full potential” by picking them when they were so small and all I kept saying was I didn’t care! I think they taste better small.


After about 20 minutes rummaging through the trees to find the best apples, Mike pointed out one with a plethora of BABY apples. I immediately walked up to it and started ranting about how great tiny apples were. I was picking them like a mad women. One-two-three in my palms, ready to go for more when I heard Mike.


Shit, I thought, he’s going to be mad that I keep picking these baby apples instead of leaving them to grow to their full potential.

I turned around with a guilty look on my face ONLY TO FIND MIKE DOWN ON ONE KNEE.

Omg, I will remember that image for the rest of my life. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. I instantly started to cry. He asked me to marry him. I told him to stand up. I hugged him. I cried more. He asked again. I sobbed, “yes, yes!”

He put my gorgeous ring on that special finger. I cried some more. And all of the sudden I was done apple picking. I was overcome with all of the emotions. I could barely believe Mike had just PROPOSED in the most Fall-style, Ashley-inspired way.

That it was!

After the ring and the tears, Mike told me wine tasting was next and I was like, HELL YES LET’S GO! I don’t think my smile faded for the next hour.

We paid for our apples and went to Edna Valley Winery for wine and cheese and smiles and shamelessly telling everyone we just got engaged (and yes, we got our tastings comped;).

We bought 2 bottles to enjoy with family and then it was time for dinner!

I barely remember what I ate or what we talked about. All I remember is thinking, I can’t believe I get to marry this guy! Our day was full of all things we love and, like I mentioned, included the best question I’ve ever been asked.

It’s been such a fun week telling our families and friends that we’re ENGAGED!


Of course, I’ve also loved showing off my ring that was designed and made by our gorgeous and talented friend Altana Marie. The ring is perfect and 100% me.

I knew I didn’t want something as traditional as a diamond ring. This is personal preference but I really hate what a status representation engagement rings are. I knew years ago that I didn’t want to subscribe to the notion that my engagement ring should be “3 months pay” or some other marketing scheme like that.

Despite thinking insanely pricey engagements rings are a waste of money, I do love the symbol of them. It’s said that the Greeks decided on what we now know as our “ring finger” because, allegedly, there is a vein that goes from that finger straight to our hearts.


Logistically, I wear black almost everyday so felt a black diamond was more fitting for me personally. Plus, as mentioned, it isn’t as traditional; which Mike and I are always fans of.

We don’t have any idea about wedding plans (so don’t ask about dates;) but we’re excited for this next step in our relationship. It sounds so corny but I feel like our love and relationship has deepened and intensified just in this past week alone.

On that note, cheers to our future!


xoxo #blackisthenewblack