Author Archives: Ashley Brinkman

WHY ONLINE DATING IS TERRIBLE: RANT II; Tips for Men’s Online Dating Profiles

Hello again!

NOTE: I started this blog post on Nov. 13 2013 and never finished (to give you an idea of how often I start my rants, take a break and then here I am-finally circling back around).

I took a break from online dating for quite a while and well, I am back at it again. (sigh. Meeting someone organically while you eat home cooked meals and watch Netflix proves difficulty).

“Back online”–Each time with a “fresh” approach or “new set of rules.” A clean start if you will. Starting to think my life is pretty good without a significant other though (see past blogs on travel here,). Is this normal?

Recently a friend of mine became single and a group of us sat around (single and non single folk) chatting about dating, online dating, dating apps, how no one talks to you in bars unless it is 1:30am and they are wasty, pick up lines, what’s happening to our generation in regards to dating–and the like–you get the idea.  And so I have decided to pick up where I left in November on this topic and see where it takes me. Hopefully you will be amused/educated/enlightened…or whatever.

If you read “Rant I” I could have kept writing on this topic, but as I got wordy, decided this would be a good starting point to my next post and off to a positive start vs “hating on dating”  and sounding like a bitter hag. So here we go.

First let’s start with MEN– and  your online dating profile approach. And not because I am hating on men, but because I have actually had some of my guy friends (after reading Rant 1) ask for some pointers. Ah, where to begin. (and perhaps there are tips for ladies in here too).

Let me start with saying mine (online dating profile) is not perfect. But it is me. And you need to be you. I have had many drafts and critiques (from men-and friends) and well, after viewing hundreds of online profiles for men (and talking about it with other women who date online as well) here are some of my personal Do’s and Don’ts to your Online Dating Profile, guys. Let’s put your best foot–er, face forward.

I want to break it down first by starting with photos. Yes, the photos-THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF ANYONE’S DATING PROFILE!!! And I am not being shallow I am being REAL. {Don’t act like you don’t just browse photos before (if ever) reading the profile, dudes. We ladies do it too}.

Just as much as guys complain about going on dates with girls and them not looking like their photo (duh we used an Instagram filter, makeup and that post break up photo from our skinny days). I have been on plenty of dates where guys don’t look as good as their photos too!

Do’s and Don’ts of ONLINE DATING PHOTOS:”

1. DO use a RECENT photo. In fact, you should even date the photo in the little caption part ” Mexico, June 2014,” “Last Summer with my friends”

2. Do ask a FEMALE friend which photos you should use. Or shoot, email me-I will straight up tell you if that is a good one or not-I am honest!

3. Do NOT have a blurry photo. Hello, it is 2014. No reason for grainy or blurry photos for online dating. What did you save that in Paint, now it is low resolution, then crop out your family and now you want that to be your main photo online-No, just no. Don’t have any recent photos? What? Have you never been in a photo or hung out with females? Take some! Or shoot, email me, I take photos.

4. Do NOT have a cap and sunglasses on your head in ALL your photos. One is acceptable. When you have it in all of them I (us ladies) assume a few things: 1. you are ugly, or 2. even worse-that YOU think you are ugly 3. and/or hiding your bald spot.

5. I want to discuss Selfies in this bullet but it deserves a whole paragraph…

SELFIES FOR ONLINE DATING:Ugh, I hate Selfies. I hate the word “selfie.” I am (sadly) starting to accept them, but only when used for fun. When I take them personally they are used in Snapchats to my closest girlfriends and I am making the ugliest face possible for giggles. {Call me 14 but I don’t care….Side note: I would care if one of those was ever screen-shotted and placed on the internet-however}

I can see if a guy doesn’t have a lot of photos with friends (ahem, loser who has no friends) or doesn’t have Facebook (weirdo. jk) Some men may have to result in a selfie for online dating due to lack of photos they have of themselves, BUT I still think stay away from the online selfie as much as possible!!!. #selfieresistance ?? #selfierestrainingorder ?? #standupagainstselfies ?? As much as I should hate hashtags (pound signs) I don’t. So there.

There is something about a man taking a Selfie while working out at a gym that I just must say: NO.

Other Selfies I say no to:

-“Just laying here on my couch with a serious face” selfie

-“Just flexing in my bathroom mirror with my bro tank” selfie

-“Just did a side profile of my face because I think it looks cool” selfie

-“Just showing you my hot body in a towel post shower, but not my face” selfie

-“Just buckled up my seat belt and I am in my car” selfie

-“Just driving in my car with my hand on steering wheel, but not looking at the camera” selfie

-“Just sitting here in my car while in park with my dog and my sunglasses on” selfie

-“Just standing here in this public bathroom with urinals behind me” selfie

-“Just clearly laying in my bed being lazy and trying to make a seductive serious face” selfie

-“Just sitting here on my computer at 2am holding the phone high for a good angle so I don’t have a double chin and can use this photo for online” selfie

-“Just dressed up in a suit in my hotel room” selfie

Acceptable Selfies: “I just climbed a beautiful mountain and no one is here to take my photo so I have to prove that I am here with this amazing view and that I conquered this mountain” selfie

That’s all I got for acceptable selfies. haha.

Now, let’s get back to photos for online dating….

5. Do SMILE in AT LEAST one or two of your photos. I cannot tell you how many men post photos of them not smiling. Cool…you don’t look fun at all.

6. Do NOT post 25 photos. I get it, you have been to every stinkin’ country and 6 weddings this year. There’s such a thing as overkill.

7. Do NOT have all group photos where no one knows who the hell you are (I hear girls are super guilty of this too, but just sayin’)

8. Do NOT post a photo with your ex or a bunch of skanky looking chicks in the photo with you. Cool story bro.

Ideally a male’s online dating photos should contain about 4-5 VARIOUS photos, that exemplify the following:

1. You have friends

2. You have hobbies

3. You have a full body and aren’t just a floating head

4. You know how to smile

5. You are not hiding anything (i.e bald spots, missing teeth, a leg, a tattoo sleeve…Now, kids is a separate topic, if you don’t want to show online a photo of your kid(s), that is fine, but a mentioning of having a child should be in writing).


This is a tough one, because everyone is different, but let me tell you bros what I have gathered in regards to what to write in your online dating profile…

Ashley’s Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating Profiles for Men:

1. DO NOT write 2 sentences/the bare minimum of characters. You sound lazy, like you don’t care to meet anyone and well, uninteresting and on top of that–probably cliche. Was that blunt? Sorry….Just kidding, I am not.

2. DO write about what you like to do. It really isn’t hard. What consumes your time? What do you like doing on the weekends? What do you do when with your friends? What do you not get to do enough of, but really enjoy? What would you do if money and time were not an object?

3. DO SPECIFIC. Now, to sound less cliche (and like other men) take #2 above and get more specific, quirky or funny if you will…So you like going to concerts–where? who did you see last? So, You enjoy getting your hands dirty-in what way-house projects? motorcycles? etc. Cool you like to travel (again who doesn’t?) What’s next on your list? Where do you want to go back to? GET SPECIFIC. Specificity paints a picture, helps people relate. I just made that up, I have no idea what it really does, but it sounds more exciting and less boring and cliche. {Side note if you do not enjoy traveling I would just go ahead and leave that off your online dating profile. haha jk….kinda}

4. DO NOT write “I like to go out, but sometimes I like to stay in and cook or watch a movie” No Shit, Sherlock-everyone does. And everyone puts this in their profile. {However, if you do like to go out EVERY NIGHT-that could be disclosed in this opening paragraph, because that would be different than most.}

5. DO FUNNY. Women love funny. We do. Show that you have a sense of humor, make fun of yourself some or something random and “cute” about you, if you will.

6. DO Disclose. If something is important to you, disclose it! If faith is important to you-say you are looking for someone like minded in that aspect. I think it is ok to state deal breakers in an online dating profile. BUT (and this one is easy to get hung up on…there is a way of going about it). I am such an honest person that in the past guys have told me to take out the lines where I said what I was NOT looking for. Basically there is a nice way of wording you don’t want a deadbeat. Example: Take “I don’t want no scrubs” and translate to: “I really admire drive and ambition” :)

7. DON’T write a novel. I don’t necessarily need to know everything about your life since you were 10. Just like the 25 photos tips–sometimes there is overkill. You have to save something for the dating/getting to know one another phase or as my old broker used to say “Don’t spill the candy jar in the lobby.” Plus no one is going to read it all anyhow.

8. My biggest tip. DO PROOFREAD! You don’t want to sound unedjumicated!! Get a friend to read it over. Read it out loud. A lot of times we know what we meant to say and we read it as we meant it-to ourselves, but read out loud and maybe even bust out a thesaurus on a few words. Double check spelling. Also, don’t write your profile like you are texting and driving. {“wht r u up 2?” bc now u sound stoopid.}

And stop putting Lol! I hate lol. (fine you can put lol, but it is a personal hatred of mine and don’t overuse it). Basically don’t call me for grammar lessons, because I write like I talk, which isn’t the best.

9. Ok this one isn’t a do or a don’t but rather a suggestion. I found profiles with short, concise sentences not only easier to read, but more amusing–especially when in a bulleted/list format. It is easier to skim through, get to the point, be direct, state some important things about yourself and be entertaining…but not everyone can pull this off.

One of my male friends once told me (when we first ran into one another online and I said-“yo critique my profile”): Just think of online dating like a job interview. Your photos are like the resume-You glance through those and they have to be eye catching enough to get a call for the interview. The interview is like the first date.

And then I asked, well what should I write or fix in my profile? And he said: Profile? Guys don’t ever read those.

I would like to think some of us do.

Anyway, I am sure you are bored to tears by now. I hope you found this blog informative or better yet entertaining. I am not sure why I mix my personal and professional viewpoints on the same blog site, but whatever.

**Another disclaimer I would like to mention is that I am not a professional match maker, journalist, dating adviser, know-it-all nor perfect. I am just a single gal with an opinion. As always, thanks for reading and I am sorry this blog didn’t have any pictures for you.**



First Dates + Cocktails= Bad Idea Jeans.

Recently on a Saturday night (why, oh why did I agree to waste a Saturday??) I posted on facebook (after my bad date) “For those of you that follow my personal life via my fantastic dating blog– may have a new “worst first date” blog coming soon.
Stay tuned!!”

Once again, no secret that I blog about my dating life. It’s humorous and honestly, pretty topical. So many things you can discuss with clients, friends and even strangers when it comes to dating or being single in this town. So I figured, why the hell not share it?

Forty Two likes later….and here I am.

Can we first start with Tinder? Some say it is a “hook up” app. but here is my spiel: First off, I am a female–I don’t need an app to “hook up.” Secondly, I am in my 30s (wow that is weird to say) therefore anything can really be used, like online dating, where people ask “Isn’t that site just used for hooking up?!”


People! You are in charge of YOUR actions and your body, so if you choose to hook up with so called boy from Tinder or not–so be it. It can go either way….and it doesn’t necessarily even have to start from a form of online/technological communication.

Never heard of Tinder? Well, it is the most shallow thing I have ever done, but weirdly enough it is direct, positive and instantly gratifies you. (Pretty much everything people in my generation need). Here is how it works: Syncs to your facebook acct. You post five photos of yourself and maybe write a little something about yourself. Most guys don’t (go figure). Unless there is a baby in the photo and they want the females to know, “that’s my niece!” Or if they need to go ahead and disclose they are 6’2 (to brag) or 5’8 (too warn us height obsessed tall girls that they are too short for us). Regardless, you put in your age range (let’s say 29-35) and mileage (30mi radius) and up  pops the gender you are looking for within those specifications. You swipe right if you like and left you don’t. It is that simple. Crazy huh? (However, this does go back to my point that you HAVE to be attracted to the other person to establish any kind of connection).

Now, if you swiped right on a guy and he swipes right on you then it lets you know and you can immediately start messaging (texting) through the application or it says “Keep Playing” because yeah, it is kind of a game. Boom! You are matched. Not only is your self esteem boosted (because you never know who swiped left on you and can only see the hottie that also thinks you are a hottie), but you are now instantly able to communicate. This is where you can pretty much dictate if this person sounds like a total bore, they are not looking for the same things as you or you’d actually want to meet this person.

Which, brings us to….my date Saturday. Me and homeboy had quite a bit in common. We both swiped right. Same age.  Tx born, both in Real Estate. Texted through Tinder, then he got the number, then I hate to admit (but was actually free on a Saturday night). So he called (bonus points for calling!!) to set up the date.

After showings some condos, taking some photos, showing a friend around, I had ended up on Rainey. This was my first mistake. I thought I saw him (homeboy I was going to go on a date with) so I texted him, “Hey are you at Bar 96 by chance?” He texted back, “No, why?” And I said, “Oh, thought I saw you”


Bad idea. So now when I go to the East side to meet up with home boy for a cocktail two hours later, he thinks I have already been day drinking (which I hadn’t) and no telling how many he had before he got there as he proceeds to pound drinks as I am taking my time (drinks were strong–Bourbon so easier to sip than slam). PS we tried Whisler’s and they have awesome craft cocktails and a very cool vibe- I do recommend that place!  whisler

Conversation was fine, and we had talked about grabbing a bite to eat. Somehow (and maybe I should have re-directed this decision) we came to J Blacks. As if I don’t spend enough time at that place.

Homeboy invited his friend ( fact, we will call his friend Hans Solo in this post) to join us on our date. Alright, that’s cool, I can go along with that I guess??? (wtf was going on?) When we got to that bar, I ordered a water. Homeboy brought me from the bar a vodka Red bull. Awesome…just like water. And he ordered himself a Crown and coke–double. We ordered food. Well I ordered food for us while he chatted with Hans (I put it on my tab–not complaining-just noting) at the bar. His friend stood there and chatted with us by the small cocktail table. Sorry, did I say chat? I meant yell. That place was way too loud for the time we were there. Volume needs to go up at 11pm not 9pm. (Ok I know I sound like a grandma but it is true). Food came. Hans  walked to the bar to watch sports highlights, but the bar was pretty busy at this point. We could see him  from where we were. We started to eat and holy mother of god was the thai pulled pork pizza too spicy for this girl. I told him I couldn’t finish because it was too spicy and that’s when I realized that homeboy was pretty much too drunk and not comprehending me (loud music probably didn’t help). He told me he was going to go talk to Hans because he felt bad he was alone. Cool. So there I sat with my spicy ass pizza and my can of Red Bull thinking to myself, what the hell is going on, why am I still here, and hmm who else is out that I can go hang out with? haha.


Hans actually came over and talked to me when homeboy was in the restroom. He told me that he told him to call off our date at 9pm and then go out because homeboy likes to get super hammered. I mentioned to Hans that I was pretty much thinking of slipping off to the bathroom and not coming back because homeboy was so drunk he wouldn’t remember. Can’t remember what else Hans and I talked about, I think it was awkward. I basically told him  this is why I hate doing drinks on the first date, and usually any place loud for that matter. So there we were. Homeboy came back from the restroom and was getting a little handsy he kept mentioning something lame about “my beautiful eyes” and leaning in super close. In which I kept pulling back and finally told him that I was going to go and let him hang with Hans. He asked me if I was having a good time and well, honest Ash had spoken-I shook my head no and shrugged my shoulders like “sorry?” I told him I was going to go to the bathroom.


When I came back out, I ran into a friend and pretty much never went back to the table. Am I an awful person for doing that? I looked over several times and never saw him (pretty sure Hans told him I was bailing and off they went and played) No text from him asking where I had gone or anything all night. I paid my tab and hung out with the new crew I had acquired. I can’t necessarily call that one “my worst date ever” (refer to this blog  post) BUT let’s chalk it up to one of the many reasons why you shouldn’t drink on the first date. No one needs to meet the drunk version of yourself on date one. They just need to meet the representative of yourself you sent out for date #1 (let’s face it, the real you take a bit to come out, maybe date #3?).

The following day, about noon homeboy did finally follow up for a text. He said he needed to run 4mi and puke. And I said “Cool, just got through with a ten miler.” And he followed with “Sorry about last night, I think I was trying to catch up when you were trying to slow down.” I wrote “exactly.” And haven’t heard from him since. Cool story bro, huh?


If you learned anything from this post, I hope it is that: Whisler’s is cool and don’t get hammered on your first dates and waste Saturday nights on strangers. Peace!

Who is Ashley and what does she do when she is not blogging about her bad dates? Read more here.




I have so many thoughts and interesting conversations on this subject (see past blog) that I have decided to write a little more and break these posts up into a mini-series. So we will call this one…


Note: If you met your SO (significant other) online, that is all good for you. I am happy for you…many of my friends have. Don’t tell me not to be negative about finding someone. I am just being real and I bet you can TOTALLY relate to this post as you have tried to block the bad memories of before you met Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Momma always said, “Dating is a numbers game.” The problem is-I only have so much time (and can only count so high) to play this so called “game.”

I don’t even know where to begin. I was scrolling through Facebook this evening, per usual and noticed a friend’s post say “ suggested two guys I’ve already dated…not a good sign! :)” This has totally happened to me too. The reason being is that really there is no “matching system” with, ladies, they just know that you put in a mile radius, a height requirement, you want kids someday and you are a social drinker–who gives a shit about any of those core things that really matter and connect two people?! Let’s start browsing.

So I will start here, with I will first preface my rantings with this: I have dated online off and on for the past few years and also when I was younger and new to a different city. (So don’t tell me I haven’t done it long enough, believe me, I have). Let’s start with the different “approaches I have taken” with online dating…


1. There’s the “Ok, he doesn’t look that great in the pictures, but seems like he’s really nice and has his shit together and had a nice, well composed email and knows the difference between “their” and “they’re” maybe he is better looking in person, so I will go on a date with him and see what happens/keep an open mind” Approach.

<Fail.  This is a bad idea. If you aren’t attracted to their raw photos, blurry photos, prom pic from high school photo, selfie while in a truck with a seatbelt on photo, wearing a hat and sunglasses holding a fish with three other dudes (you can’t even tell which one he is) photo, selfie at the gym to show his tiny calfs photo, sweet photo of him as a groomsmen with mom at his brother’s wedding photo, side profile “Instagrammed up” photo, or the one of him holding a child with the quote underneath it letting you know the child is not his: “Me and my niece” photo–you probably won’t be attracted to them in person. From the bottom of my shallow heart, you really do have to be attracted to the person, unless you’re blind I guess.>


2. There’s the “Ok I am not going to wink, like, poke (whatever) or email first, because if a guy is really into me, he will approach me first and ask me out, I read “The Rules” and I am just too assertive and apparently intimidate guys according to my friends (who are really just saying that to try and make me feel better, because they don’t know what else to tell me) but whatever happens, happens” Approach.

<Fail. Let me tell you what happens….(hear that? It’s crickets.) Nothing happens. Guys are just as big of wussies online as they are in public.

It goes like this: “Oh! A cute guy that’s tall, no kids, doesn’t smoke and also runs town lake (what do ya know!) looked at my profile-score! I will look at his so he sees that I am checking him out, hopefully he will shoot me a line, we both go to the same places etc etc” So you look. Two days later:

“Oh he looked at mine again, I will look at him and maybe refresh his memory that I am looking, after all this is like me looking at him from across the bar, now he should approach me by writing first, after all  I am a damn catch!” Maybe I should wink first?..No, no…I cannot wink, because that is too aggressive, and I am afraid of rejection, surely we have a lot in common, he’ll wink or email me, I am the shit….


Nothing. (hashtag typical).>


3. There’s the “I am just going to sign up, not care too much “this time around,” god I hate online dating, why do I keep doing this to myself, I have friends, I meet people, this is just another way of putting myself out there I guess,  so whatever happens, happens.” Approach.

<Fail. (well sometimes). This is how approach #3 goes down in the first three days–

1. you feel super flattered-“Oh look at all these likes I am getting on my new profile pic!”  “Ooooh another text came in that I have an email on match how exciting, let me go read it…”

2.Text notification: Hunk1956 winked at you. Hunk1956 emailed you. WoW5678 emailed you. MrLonghrnLove emailed you. TxGent512 winked at you. blah blah blah…

and sadly, I realize I shouldn’t complain, there are men interested in me, that’s great… but guess what?:

3. Hunk1956 is older than your Dad.

MrLonghrnLove is 5’3 and 22. (I am 30).

TxGent512 is divorced with 3 kids and living in Temple, Tx

and WoW5678  has no photos whatsoever and that is kind of scary that he has a world of warcraft reference in his username.

Now, let’s dig a little deeper to what their emails say…

(PS All usernames were made up by me to protect the “innocent”).


MEN: What NOT to write when “approaching” a woman online:

1. Hey I like ur pics!

2. Hey what’s up?

3. Hey what are you up to tonight?

4. Hey, I am curious about you and want to get to know you, if you want to get to know me text me at 512……

5. Hey, what’s going on, how is match treating you so far?

6. Wow you’re gorgeous!

7. How are you?! Any weekend plans? You are beautiful and charming and I want to get to know you better, check out my profile and if you want to get to know me we should hang out some time.

(PS I really have gotten some of these messages).

I could go on—but you get the point. What do they all have in common? Only the fact that they are freakin’ lame. Is that what you would say if you started a conversation with a woman in public/a bar/a house party/ among a circle of friends/through a friend/the grocery store or wherever else you would meet a lady?!? Well, I guess you most likely wouldn’t talk to a woman in public…who does any more these days? That’s why you are online, but come on Broseph! A one liner that you copy and pasted to ten different women at 12am is not going to make me interested in you. You don’t have to actually read my entire profile, I will even accept skimming, but if you plan on writing me-you better reference something in there that you liked (and if there wasn’t anything in there that you liked, you probably shouldn’t be writing me) and make a joke (but don’t write LOL I hate that crap)…but women LOVE funny. So learn how to be that.

Ok, ok I know I sound like a total B or a Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy, but it is the truth (for me anyway)! I am an average looking female (I am no Mila Kunis-I get it..but I am also no Dooneese either),  I have a lot to offer; I mean I work hard, I workout, I don’t smoke…I am witty (at least I’d like to think so) and I can “dress up and wear heels or be laid back with jeans too” (men seem to reference this a lot in their profiles). Oh and guess what?! I like going out with my friends some nights and having fun AND I don’t mind staying in from time to time either-maybe cooking or watching a movie on the couch. This profile sound familiar? (that’s a whole other rant).


So why is it that I can’t find a decent catch? Are MY expectations too high? Probably. Not gonna lie.

Men think its a “Woman’s world” online…and it is… (for really hot women…who aren’t crazy…wait does that exist? That may be an oxymoron of some sort). Anyway…. there are a lot of them in Austin–hot women, that is (ok and crazy too, but that’s a whole other rant). But really good looking men (IMO) see online “dating” as a sea of desperate women who so badly want a relationshit, (that wasn’t a typo) that it is easy to take advantage of by pretending they want the same…or some are pretty blatantly looking to hook up. And some are just so damn awkward/shy they have to hide online to approach women (I have met them all).

Ok, I am getting long on this so I will save it for my next posts. Thanks for reading and I hope you find my honesty refreshing and not too negative. “Tune” in next time, when I will probably rant about texting…


or selfies…


As always, thanks for reading….


The Thirties Club

If you don’t follow me on Facebook–or have any idea who I am, one thing I will tell you, is that I just turned 30!

And while some may think that “sounds old” my “youth is now behind me” I am really embracing it. People keep telling me how much better your 30’s are than your 20’s. And this article even hits home a little bit with Oliva Wilde’s interpretation and advice for turning 30. Especially her first item “Don’t freak out by all the people who accomplish more than you by 30.” Often times I find myself comparing or feel as though I am behind. Life moves at my pace. And that is not a bad pace when I stop and think about it.


Another thing to know is that I don’t mess around when it comes to Birthdays, (I think it is because school always started on my Birthday or had to do family parties with the little bro-who is 6yrs and 5 days younger) this year I went big–two parties to be exact. Everyone keeps asking how 30 feels and this and that so I decided to write a little post about well, what I learned in my 20s…from social skills to career choices.

(photo below from my actual Birthday night at Icenhauer’s on Rainey Street)



1. You can only stay up late, eat crappy, get up early for work  with virtually no hangover for so long…until your mid-20s…then you start to feel it in the morning and really regret the night before’s festivities.

2. Breakouts and pimples really never go away. It’s not just a puberty thing.

3. If you get a parking ticket, just pay it ASAP (and the same goes for tolls-get a Tx Tag as soon as they build the road)!

4. In addition to #3 if it says they will tow, they probably will.

5. Getting out of America is good for you!   {Really never got a chance to travel that much when I was in college or my early 20s, I wish I would have done it sooner. Though it may have taken me a while to do it, I am so glad that I traveled for 3 weeks in Europe last year at 29 (see previous blog posts for cities I visited, I still haven’t finished up with Italy and Spain).}

IMG_1140(This is a pose we do at my Crossfit gym when traveling, I am no Yogi)

6. Stretch. This from the girl who pulled a quad playing kickball a few seasons back. Social sports are all fun and games until someone breaks an arm or leg, or gets a shoulder to the nose at a second base play at the plate (yes, this has happened to me-see below). So be careful out there!


7. If a guy is into you, it will be apparent. They will ask you out and they like the chase. Or do they? Crap, maybe I still haven’t learned anything about men…

8. I have learned that over-analyzing the crap out of anything is just exhausting. Let go. Let things happen.

9. On the contrary to #8, but mainly relating to the business sense: Be proactive. If you want something in life, you can have it. You can achieve it. But only if you want it bad enough. And it will not take over night.

10. was the key to success in college (it’s all about the professor and having 10 exams vs 2–for me anyway)!

11. Start saving your money and putting it into an IRA or 401k as soon as you can. If you don’t when you hit

12. If you want an item, it’s probably cheaper on Amazon…but be careful that you order the correct item-and read fine print!

13.Texting and driving is a bad idea!!

14. It really is all about who you know…(and how hard you work to get there).

15. Fake IDs during Spring Break or on 6th street that lack a hologram are a bad idea. (Fake IDs in NYC while you are an intern=good idea). Ah to be young.

16. Don’t put any clothing that reads “made of polyester” in the dryer (or anything that says hang to dry for that matter).

17. Taking your time to re-read emails and making sure they are going to the right person–>pretty damn important.

18. It’s not about your actual age, how you dress, what you have, what you do…it is about how you feel :)

19. That phase when you can’t stand your parents/fight with them will go away… once you move out of the home and off to college…then you will start to realize, appreciate (and feel bad for being a bratty terror).

20. Therapy is a good idea. No matter how strange it may seem at first or expensive. It’s worth it.

21.. Don’t break up with a guy/someone via text message…on accident…long story.

22. If Usher walks by you backstage during SXSW and you hold up your hand to high-five him and he doesn’t high five you, call him out on it. Then you will get a high five from Usher.

23. Living in regret is wasteful. (still learning this).

24. If Anderson Cooper wants you to be on his show, don’t do it. Actually, do it, it’s a free trip to NYC and no one will remember a year later!

And with turning 30, my list making self decided last year it would be a good idea to make up a 30 before 30 list. It was basically comprised of things from big to small, I felt should have a deadline, and could be achievable. Per usual I may have out done myself, as I did not get ALL 30 items complete #30before30

Here are some of the things I DID get crossed off my list. #30before30

  • Finally camped (real deal, in Colorado in June, it was 30 degrees at night!)
  • 2013-06-02 15.58.00Saw a Broadway show (Lion King was awesome)
  • Went to Europe!
  • getting on planeBob Armstrong dip at Matt’s El Rancho..mmmm
  • Went to an Improv Show in Austin (totally want to go back, try Cold Towne theatre)
  • Cliff Diving (I did this in Cinque Terre, what better place? PS- I look orange only due to camera settings, I promise I didn’t spray tan!)
  • IMG_0681Rode a motorcycle (only took 29 yrs!)
  • Tried painting with a Twist (this was so much fun)
  • Pork chop at Perry’s Steakhouse
  • Diversified my portfolio some
  • Help someone achieve their goal
  • Ran the Cap 10k AND  the Austin Half (finished in best time-including photo taking along the way)
  • IMG_3793Got paid for some of my photography (cutest family, ever)
  • 1Went to a US city I had never been to (Love you San Diego)


Things I have yet to do, perhaps I will make a #31before31 list? And add to it more items…

  • Horse back riding (I am from Tx and have NEVER been on a horse!)
  • Paleo diet for ONE WHOLE WEEK (this is near impossible as my love for cheese/dairy is strong)
  • Read a classic novel (thinking Catcher in the Rye?)
  • Visit 2 Austin museums I have yet to go to
  • Get my CRS designation in Real Estate (trying to find a good time to take those courses-it’s a high quality problem)
  • Sky Diving!! (Thinking Oct. who is with me?)
  • Cooking class-boy do I need this.
  • Do more yoga/me time (this is not easy for me)
  • Volunteer more!
  • 3 kipping pull ups in a row (I am only cheating myself, can’t seem to link these babies)

Overall, life is good. I really cannot complain and have been trying to practice gratitude on a more daily basis. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we don’t have, what we need, what we want, what would make our life better and it doesn’t even hit us that life could be a lot worse, and life is good.




My. Worst. Date. Ever.

Well, I am not a newbie to writing about my personal life. Is it weird?– a little, but do I enjoy telling my friends these stories of mine? Yes. I am somewhat of an open book. And I think of  topics to write about all the time (sadly most of them relating to dating), but never end up writing about it because I get so busy. Plus the fact my previous dating experiences and theories shared online did spawn me a little national television appearance (thank you Anderson Cooper), I have decided to share another story. The story of the worst date I have ever been on. Is there a website where people could share really bad dates? There should be. Maybe I will (wo)man that project.

While I could write an entire blog about how lame online dating is, I will spare the negativity…for now (that’s a whole other topic). And I could go on and on about how socially inept people (men) are these days, but again I will refrain (and have somewhat already talked about that in the past).

Where I will start is with this: He has my number.

What does that mean to men these days that have your number? Time to text. No one calls these days any more. And for those of you that know me well, know I am included in that, and those of you that know me better, know that I cannot stand when a guy gets your number then never calls only texts. I especially hate pointless texts that just try to keep you around, but never get to any point.

Let’s give this guy a name, an alias. We will call him Mr. Bubbles (I will get to why later). So Mr. Bubbles has my number. He texts me a few times, we exchange witty banter here and there are a few times within that week or so where he’d text me to go out. Not go out in a few days, but literally meet him out like right then and there. He knew I lived North and would write something like “Park. Brunch, come join now.” I am sorry, did you just ask me to have a date with you now. And are you really eating by yourself at THE Sunday Funday spot in Austin? Doubtful. So did you just ask me to join you and your friends…well that’s a weird first meet up. I told him I was busy. Not because I was lying, but because I actually was busy– showing houses or working an open house-can’t remember but there was definitely plans in my books. He stayed persistent and nice. Good. The witty banter texts continued for the next few days and he had asked me to to do something a few days later, but again at the time he was texting me. I had a softball game, I told him he would have to be a better planner than that. I keep busy. (In a nice way I said this, I am not always abrasive-promise).

Then I got a call one night. I paused from my friends and answered. Holy crap, I thought to myself, this guy ACTUALLY called. It was a miracle. He noticed it was loud-ish where I was. I explained I was having dinner and catching up with a friend in town. He was bummed I was busy because he was going to ask me to do something–again–at that very moment. And then honest Ash kicked in. You know her well. I said, “Look, if you want to ask me out on a date, you need to plan a few days ahead. I can’t just drop what I am doing any night of the week and come meet you. I put things in a calendar. I work evenings and nights some times and I am a social person.” He got the message. We finally scheduled  a date. Sometimes being blunt works for me (other times it does not, ha).

Typical date place picked: Kona Grill (since we both are North Austinites). Time of date 8pm.

The night of our date rolls around, at about 3pm he calls to confirm. (Again, he called–props to him). But asks if we can push it back to 8:30, fine by me. Around 7 or so he texts me he is just about to hit the gym and can we make the date at 9pm. I texted him back and said-Sure that’s fine, but doesn’t the restaurant close at 10? No response. Oh well, I guess 9 it is. I arrive at 9. I don’t get too excited about many dates, especially because I am just so burnt out on them and most of them are pretty low key lunches, walks, dog park dates etc (which is what I suggest because who wants to sit through a dreaded 2hr meal–which I end up paying for my half anyway to a restaurant I didn’t even really want to go to -yes this happened, again-another blog). I was semi excited about this one because  1. He was Tall (I have found most guys lie about their height, and also my heels and wedges make me one tall lady). And 2. He was funny (well via text at least) and I will add he was kind of confident, which is always attractive for the opposite sex. And 3. He had suggested an actual, decisive “real date” place, made the plan-didn’t leave it to me, and all that good stuff.

So he shows up late. No biggie. I am not always on time either. But the restaurant closes at 10pm. So 9:15 we head to a table, as there are really only about 10 in the whole place and you can tell the servers are cleaning and taking care of their check out (being in the service industry for as many years as I have made me already aware that we were going to be that last annoying table). I double check it is still that fantastic reverse happy hour. ” No I am sorry, we don’t do that on Sundays” says the hostess. As we walk to a table Mr. Bubbles says, “Aww man, are you serious.” And we sit down and look at the menu, ” Everything here is so expensive if it isn’t on happy hour.”

I am not rich. This place wasn’t a fancy steak house, and I know I may sound like a total brat, but guys–don’t ever complain about the menu price. ESPECIALLY if YOUpicked the freakin’ place. If you are too cheap to eat, drink and tip, then just don’t go out, there are plenty of things you can do then. I normally wouldn’t gripe about this kind of thing, but after several conversations with friends-I know I am not alone on this opinion. Strike 1: The guy gripes about menu prices at restaurant HE PICKED!

I suggested we go somewhere else. “The Park is open until 2 and may still be serving food.” He asks me what I want to do, I said I didn’t care, and then he starts talking about other stuff. The waiter comes by a few times before he finally orders a coffee. We don’t discuss the menu and what we are going to eat and in fact he pushes it aside. So in my head I am thinking: Did he really just order coffee this close to closing? And the other part of me was thinking–did he really just order ONLY a coffee and we aren’t even going to eat or anything? I am not sure how we got on the subject, but Mr. Bubbles was funny via text, but on the date, no, he was quite boring. He discussed how awesome he used to be at music, but he quit that after a while of living in Austin. He discussed how “set” he was in life and how he could probably retire early. Then he discussed how he had dropped out of college several times and he worked part time at UPS. Hmmm. Strike 2: Mr. Bubbles was boring and liked to chat about himself A LOT. (And I am not even scratching the surface of some of the ridiculous things we discussed)

Conversation eased up some when I called him out for being so playful via text messages and so serious on our date. We chatted about dating. Isn’t that what you do on dates–Discuss your theories and awkward moments and the pros and cons? I think I have on almost every date.

Well the restaurant was definitely closed. Waiter had come by about 5 times to see if we were ever going to order. I had about three glasses of water. He had a cup of coffee, which he had asked for another but the waiter said the “dishwasher” already threw it out to wash the pot. We were the last table in the restaurant just about. He paid for his coffee (semi surprised I didn’t pay for it, though because my water was free, I didn’t offer to split the tab).

He walked me to my car, which happened to be right next to his. He did the whole, hug and “I had a nice time ” line. I said the same but was definitely thinking otherwise. He asked if our date was disappointing. I told him that he just seemed really serious and kind of nervous. His explanation was that he wanted to show me a serious side. haha. Oh boy. He also mentioned that he’s a “health nut” and trying to eat really well. I then said, “oh, well you should have said something, we could have gone bowling or done something active if you don’t go out to eat much.” I kid you not, he told me, “Well I don’t really know how bowling works and all that…” Apparently he also doesn’t know how dinner dates work either. I can’t tell if that was a really crappy excuse or the truth. Remember earlier when I mentioned he had started his own business and he was “set for life”? His mini-van that he drove was the company cleaning business he had started. He told me he used to have four, but just down to this one and yes, it has a maid and bubbles painted all over it. Hence the alias Mr. Bubbles, because apparently that’s what the guys at work call him. Strike 3: I don’t really even need to explain why this date was over before it began.

Best part about this whole date was his response the next day.

Honest Ashley came out full speed ahead (#sorryfornotbeingsorry) all via text message (note I am typing these text messages as they appear on my phone):

Bubbles: I like your confidence miss Ashley and what you got to say. I hope I wasn’t too much of a disappointment. Thank you. It was very nice meeting you.

Me: Well, the thing that was disappointing was I was under the impression we were going to eat. So I didn’t eat all day to have a nice meal with you and then you don’t even ask if I could care for anything after we just got done talking about how on first dates there are little tests that people give each other. If you didn’t want to spend any money or eat bad you should have just said so and we could have met at a coffee shop or something. I just thought I was going to see this playful side and then you were just so serious. Sorry if that sounds mean, I am just really honest. But I didn’t feel any sparks and it was nice meeting, thank you so much. [Longest text ever, I know]

Bubbles: Cool. I could tell you wanted to leave within the first five minutes. I had my next date after yours and she came home with me and is still asleep in my bed–I’ll ask her if I was sweet enough and treated her right when I wake her up in a sec here and drive her home. I will get this right someday.

I won’t go into the next few text messages from Mr. Bubbles raging on me, but the funny part was the next day I got a text that said: Let me know what I can do to get you more clients. I wanna see u succeed. [weird].


Again, I didn’t respond. Perhaps dating etiquette is half the battle. Who knows, but this guy had to go.

Right. I will be sure and do that Mr. Bubbles.  And so the search continues for a better worse date to write about. Can this experience be topped? Only time will tell (and my blog). Stay tuned for more shenanigans and as always thanks for reading.

Who is Ashley and what does she do when she is not blogging about her unfortunate Austin bad dates? Read more on here by clicking here! And have a wonderful day.


I found Chivalry. It’s in Chi-town.

My first Trip to Chicago, IL.

If you go back to my blog in December, one of my new year’s goals/resolutions was to take more trips. Back in February my girlfriend and I booked a trip to Chicago. Finally, we visited this past May weekend. It was such perfect timing and bad timing all together. It is really hard for me to leave business in this busy market, but it was such a well needed vacation and thankfully I have this thing called a smart phone and wonderful colleagues :)  I did grow tired of people telling me to come when there’s a home game, however! ha

So off we went to Chicago on Friday. When we got there the weather was absolutely perfect. And you can tell it was great because so many people were out. It is like that first warm day after Winter in Austin that everyone goes running, to the dog park, daytime patio drinking or anything involving being outside. I believe it is usually in February. ha.


Thank heavens for facebook keeping people in touch, because before we left I hit up everyone from, lived in, or currently lives in Chicago for recommendations-it was a plethora, and we did as many as our time and budget and taste buds would allow for. Our first stop off the plane was not our room so much as it was deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s…tasty (note to self…not as good cold, like thin crust).

We then started walking. I love walking. I embraced walking when I lived in New York City and so long as it isn’t 103 degrees here (and I have time) I like walking here as well. Magnificent Mile, a little trip to the infamous H&M we don’t have here in Tejas (supposedly are getting one in Houston soon) and then grabbed dinner at the hotel and were on our way to The Signature Room at the John Hancock Center–which was recommended by so many, especially the view from the Lady’s room. Check! After that we went out and hit up the town.

Saturday was dreary, we still managed to see Wrigley (definitely not as cool without a home game I hear, and agree) and just walked Lincoln Park and ate there as well. My partner in crime didn’t feel well and went back to the hotel, so I took the El and did a lot of walking and exploring by myself, despite my lack of sleep. Checked out the art  museum, took a lot of photos, per usual and walked back to hotel for dinner. We then headed out for pizza (thin crust this time) and then made a pit stop after at another bar-it was randomly crowded, large, had a 90s cover band playing, flip cup game occurring in the back and best of all–a few groups of bar crawl groups. One themed “Justice”, the other “Oregon Trail” (brings back 7th grade memories). Hilarious.


Sunday was perfect again. This was our main designated tourist day. We did Millennium Park, The Navy Pier, “the bean,” officially named Cloud Gate. I hear it is the second most photographed object in the World. We mosied on up to Old Town Social for a delicious meal (found via Yelp! And kept hearing good things regarding this neighborhood on Sundays–hey it was our last night in the Windy City, had to make sure the fun never ends). After our meal we walked down Wells (I think) over to a bar and met a few more gentlemen (we had met some nice guys Friday night as well). We set at the bar. One set was left open next to my gal pal and of course the most odd man, flying solo came in and swooped in to set next to her. I really do enjoy talk to people at bars, bartenders, etc, and I am not trying to sound like a snot–but this feller wasn’t one I’d necessarily want to converse with. Ahem he was about my father’s age, but creepier in character. So, naturally the two young men at the bar perpendicular to us strike a conversation as they notice the awkward predicament my friend was in–and approach jokingly, only to indulge us for hour. A few hours go by where by then we had covered, sports, Austin, Chicago’s Winter, relationships, being single and dating theories (my favorite of topics ha), dabbled in Politics, alcoholic beverages, LaCrosse, Notre Dame, why they should visit Austin, what we had been doing in Chicago thus far and alas we find ourselves taking shots and headed to THE Sunday Funday spot according to them (and confirmed by the Yelp! Review I had looked up prior to our trip).

I can’t quite explain the difference in men in Texas and Chicago, but they’re different. And while I have lived in New York City before-and always said it was my favorite city-I may have a change of heart. My parents were born in the Midwest and most my family still resides there. I love how  nice people are. Don’t get me wrong, people are nice in Texas too-Austin especially, we love meeting people here bragging about our city, but so did the people there. I felt like when we chatted with the guys there about the most random of topics they really did want to get to know me and enjoyed conversation…and weren’t just thinking: “How am I going to get in this girl’s pants later?” And if they were thinking that well, they did a better job of hiding it than Texas men! Which is interesting, because one of my male friends that is a young, single professional gave me some tips regarding where to go and when we started to discuss the people and men specifically in Chicago he said. “You aren’t going to find a bunch of guys just wasted in the bar trying to take you home, guys here like to talk and network and get to know you. A lot of men in this town have drive.” Don’t get me wrong, I am not dumb enough to believe ALL the men in Chicago are sweethearts and a typical hard-workin’ man’s man, but there was a little truth to what he was saying, unless Courtney and I just lucked out with who we met? I will say I found disagreeableness in some theories between a few Chicago men. For example when I told one of the fellows we met Sunday about my friend’s theories on the women of Chicago, he disagreed. The varying differences: One said Chicago women are few and far between and there are more great guys than great girls and all the girls want to do is just marry rich and they aren’t hard working. However, the newbie we met at the bar disagreed and said he knows plenty of women that had to drive and were independent and more career driven vs money grubbing wanna be housewives.

So, with those two diverse opinions, I have my own opinion, which basically boils down to perception. Wear nice suits, have a condo in a fancy part of town, educated and driven can definitely score you some hot babes. Are the hot babes themselves career driven and independent and educate-sure some, but there’s also other women who want other things. But don’t think I am lady bashing because honestly it goes both ways. Brian, one of the fellows we met said one of the most honest things I have to give him props for. I said, “I just don’t get how some men can have a pretty girl with all these things they want and have commonalities with right in front of them, but when there’s a hot girl that they don’t have much in common with, but she is super hot and sometimes dumb and manipulative they are so dumb.” And Brian said, “That is so true, when it comes to hot women we are just retarded.” And those aren’t his exact words but pretty darn close.

Ok, enough about the gentlemen who opened doors, bought us drinks and made sure we got home safely and seemingly enjoyed conversation and exchanging witty banter with us in Chicago.

Chicago in some ways reminded me a lot of Austin. NOT THE WEATHER. We were hitting the 90s before I left, so the coolness was definitely a factor, and of course not the fact it’s the third largest city or all the high rises. But the charm. I liked how many parks they had (not as much greenery as here, but definitely more than other large cities). The appreciation and pride people have with their neighborhoods. “Check out Bucktown. Definitely do Old Town. Must go to Lincoln Park.” That is how we are here too. South Austinites won’t go North of downtown. Families embrace their neighborhood walk-ability or their charming bungalows as well as their East side hipness or DT trendiness. There is something for everyone here in Austin, as I believe there is something for everyone in Chicago, but you definitely walk a lot more (which I don’t know what people do in the Winter-sounds brisk!). I envy mass/public transportation in Chicago, we are getting better here, but I definitely appreciated the convenience (though I used to disagree that that word–convenience–went hand in hand with public transportation). Imagine doing work on your phone on the way too work–without having to worry if you are going to wreck. I enjoyed the people, the atmosphere, the friendliness, the cleanliness of a big city and honestly wanted to cry when we were leaving (sigh…back to reality and work etc). However, now that I am here, typing away, back into my groove of morning workouts, MoPac traffic, guys with skinny jeans next to me at the coffee shop I am happy again. It was 85 and sunny today. I know my way around, I still have so much more to explore in my own city, but Chicago…I love you, I will definitely be back…(in the Summer). Love you, Chicago.

And that’s all I have to say about that.