Author Archives: ihearttheatx

Dating Revelations Inspired by Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance

So, last year (and as in year’s pasts) I write about dating in this glorious city of Austin, TX.

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Last year I wrote about what makes a good first date (to me) Part 1… Naturally life got busy and I never wrote my “Part 2” which was going to be more so of what NOT to discuss on a date etc. (to be continued in a few months I’m sure)

HOWEVER, after that blog post Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance book came out. I ordered a copy off Amazon and I went to the book promo tour when he came through Austin, since Austin is supposedly the 6th Best City for Singles (speaking of which-Brent and Jaimee you both still have my copies and I did not forget!) I read the book fairly quick.

I found each chapter VERY similar to what my dating situation had been like (as well as many others) and I even put it on my list of things I was hearting back in June, here.

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So, my last post about a good first date in sum was: I don’t want to do putt putt, I don’t want to kayak on town lake, I don’t want to do dinner, or alcohol. Let’s just go to coffee and I will know within ten minutes if I like you or not. A girl has to have sparks, and I know pretty quickly if I want another date.

Weeelllll, Modern Romance had a few revelations I would like to share with you (that I have been trying to implement myself).

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(Aziz did not give me permission to use the above image, but he should be happy I am totally promoting his book, also you need to watch Netflix’ Master of None).

Basically Aziz had a good point and I am paraphrasing him speaking in a nerdy like monotone voice at his book promotion tour sarcastically imitating a first date “So nice to meet you…where are you from?… Oh cool, yeah… I went to school here and I used to live there …and cool, yeah I work here…yeah cool city…yeah traffic sucks… and I may travel there and cool. Yeah my parents do this and they live here and…(cuts to normal Aziz voice and reiterates to crowd): You are not having good dates because you are not doing fun stuff, you are basically doing an interview and interviews suck!!”

Damn, Aziz. The man had a point. And here all I wanted to do is sit across from a guy and see if he fit the mold of what I thought I was looking for (in addition to making me laugh of course).

So what did Modern Romance teach us about what kind of dates we should be going on?

Revelation #1: Quit going on lame ass dates!

(Literally I think that is the name of the chapter). Go on Fun dates! Do something different! NOT coffee, not dinner (especially at the same place a block from your house that you make all your dates meet you there). Something out of the comfort zone. (Think of that Bachelor episode where they go bungee jumping together…no prob and sounds cheap too ha)

I am not sure about you, (and I consider myself a social/adventurous person) but doing something I haven’t done with someone I haven’t ever met sounds pretty awful to me. Shit, half my single friends don’t even want to talk to “strangers” (aka other friends of mine they don’t know as well), let alone try something out of their comfort zone. However, I do think he has the right idea.

The example he gave was a man who takes a girl to a monster truck rally. 1. Plenty to watch, so not constant eye contact and convo. 2. Probably something she hasn’t done before (Side note a friend of mine said she was taken to midget mud wrestling and she was not amused-so maybe feel out your audience/date before surprising them).

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The second point I took from the book that I am trying to implement in my own dating life as well:

As a society we are obsessed with instant gratification and everything being ranked 9s and 10s and those of us who didn’t get married at 25 are holding out for the MOST PERFECT HUMAN BEING FOR US ever. Before we buy a blender on Amazon we sift through the reviews-“hmm this one only has 875 five star reviews, this one has 1408, I will pick that one fo sho” or “the dude spelled “definitely” wrong, NEXT!” We are quick to judge our first impressions of people.

Revelation #2: SIX OR BETTER

When you go on a date, afterward, on a scale from 1-10 if it was a 6 or higher, make another plan for a date. Sure they may have seemed a bit awkward or talked way too much about something weird, but 6 or higher!! After the second date if it  was a 6 or higher AGAIN, make ANOTHER date. You aren’t going to have a 9 or 10 first or second date. If you do, well then awesome, but to his point–we don’t really know someone and come out of our shell for a few times, so give someone a chance (or 4).

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I have been trying to do this, however the ball really isn’t in my court as a lady. I feel like after reading the book I have gone on several dates and thought “well, conversation was great, he seemed nice, it was a 6 or better, if he asks me out again I am open to it.” Unfortunately, they haven’t read Aziz. Or shit, maybe I was 5 or less to them. Ah, I am such a loser! Not really.

Either way, it is hard because…let me take you into my last revelation for this post…

Revelation #3: TOO. MANY. OPTIONS.

The book did a study (yes relating to jellies at a grocery store) where they followed up with people who bought a jelly from a display of 20 different types of jellies. Apple peach. Grape. Grape-berry. Apricot. Apple Blueberry. Mixed Berries…you get the idea-a bunch of freakin’ jellies. Then they followed up with the people who purchased a jar of jelly that only had maybe 5 to choose from (again paraphrasing what I remember from the book).

Get this (light bulb moment) People who had less jelly to choose from were much more satisfied. (ring tone) “Hello, remember that jelly you bought a few weeks back at our store and we asked for your info because it was part of a study with that funny little indian guy? How did you like that jelly?”

Person who chose from 20 jellies: It was ok, but I  wish I would have tried that other kind that had the berries in it (insert Debbie downer side effect here-womp womp)

Person who chose from 7 jellies: OMG this is the best damn jelly ever!! (insert Kristin Wiig Target lady all excited).

Now, I don’t know about you, but I ain’t moving back to my home town to settle down and find Mr. Right (for me) or anything. Our ADD society seems to be drawn to the next person that can answer their text or is easy on the eyes. Focus, people, focus (ok, go take your Adderall).

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(PS I just googled this jelly image, I am sure it is tasty so give it a try)

Advice: instead of texting twenty people at a time and lining up 2-4 dates a week and playing the field and swiping as you are in 5 o’ clock traffic. Try deleting your dating app and not looking around for the next best thing when you haven’t given someone right in front of you a chance.

Am I guilty of this?–Totally. But it’s 2016 ya’ll, let’s start a revolution! In order to do that, you have to be willing to put yourself out there..and be awkwardly rejected via text message, so be prepared for that too. But not you-when you don’t like someone you won’t do the ghosting, you’ll be honest-and say you aren’t interested. That’s the way it needs to be done.

Now, here’s a quick read on putting yourself out there, in case you needed it (thanks LB for sending this to me and SK).

Stay tuned for my top dates of 2015. The good news is they actually don’t top my “Top Dates of 2014” post I wrote last year!…No, really it is a good thing.

How to do ACL Like a Boss.

Another fantastic double weekend, music packed, pretty damn hot, expensive-ish, chaotically organized Austin City Limits Music Festival has passed.

I am still alive.

I had fun.

And now, I am going to give you my tips on how to do ACL– Like. A. Boss!

1. Let’s talk Wardrobe.

Whether it be gold spandex pants, a referee outfit, a dinosaur costume, a swimsuit, an oversized sun hat, wedges with a maxi dress, cowboy boots or barefoot…You must be COMFORTABLE. Comfort is key!! Personally, I am a shorts and tank kinda gal myself (and I am a sweater, super attractive, I’m aware…so you know I have a towel, hat and extra shirt–just in case haha)

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PS- Am I getting older or are what the kids are wearing these days just awful?? I saw so many white chucks with high waisted stone wash shorts with a$s hanging out and crop tops I just can’t even. “Who let you leave the house like that young lady?!”

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If you don’t want to wear a shirt-that’s ok too.

Also, if you have a large group-Gimmicks are perfectly acceptable (see below):

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She’s not sunburned (my camera was on “vivid” mode). No bra, huh? Work it girl.

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No words.

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Man or woman: You can never go wrong with jorts.

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I don’t know if I would be comfortable in this outfit above, per say-but way to rock it, guys.

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Saturdays it is customary to support your college team at ACL (TCU above) in Craft Beer tent.

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And Sundays it’s customary to support your NFL team.

–And it is ok to take a break from music to watch the game in the Craft beer tent. Warning: That TV will turn off at 10pm on the dot, even if it is the 4th quarter and the Cowboys just tied it up with the Saints. What ensues after is not pretty, either.–

{Sidenote this photo above is also amazing because 1. That “face” is “Dad” we found him on the ground, carried him around all weekend to be ridiculous and 2. You can buy empty sunscreen bottles online and fill them with Fireball apparently}

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Sunglasses-Ray bans, Fake Bans, hearts or freebies-they are a necessity!

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Solids. Prints. Tight. Loose. Short. Long…Whatever makes you happy.

{Shout out to the ACLers of 2013 who all did “Caturday” on Saturday-loved ya’ll}

2. Noms.

If you eat at Torchy’s weekly, you can get it at the festival, but come on now!! There are: so. many. delicious. choices. I am all for trying something new at the festival though, and I encourage you as well! We have some of the best festival eats, I swear! (Not that I have even been to Coachella, Bonnaroo or Lolla ha) Everything from Hat Creek,  P Terry’s and Chi’Lantro to newly opened Lonesome Dove and traditional Austin staple, Stubb’s (mmm BBQ nachos are the bomb!) There were more than 3 Mighty Cone lines for quickness and I consistently ate Peached Tortilla this year for some reason (short lines, tasty tacos). I really wanted Tiff’s Treats, but I can’t have cookies without milk, and I can’t do the sun and booze WITH milk. Ew.

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I do highly recommend eating when you get to the festival or a good breakfast/brunch prior to arrival. If you forget, there are plenty of people passing out Kind Bars and Skinny Pop as you walk down to the gates, but you better hide that in your bra/pants for a snack later or eat it on the way in, because no food allowed. Boo.

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Above-KIND bars My personal favs: Coconut Almond, Sea salt & Caramel and Blueberry Vanilla

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Tacos from Peached Tortilla above mmmm…

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Saturday morning breakfast above…Kidding!…kind of.

{Side note: One year I was doing South Beach diet and tried to sneak in a bag of pecans but they busted me and threw away my pricey nuts. I was heart broken}

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The 2nd weekend: Sunday I have never seen so many people at ACL. What was the longest line at 1pm? Snowie was, of course.

 

3. Water Consumption

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This is not one of my stronger feats at ACL (or in life in general) but it is muy importante to bring a Camelbak bag or bottle, water bottle, a styrofoam cup, something to put WATER in! Water is free. It is hot outside and you are already going to be drinking God knows what-which will most likely dehydrate you. Drink in between beverages and get a lot in before you get there and before bed each night (also may help with hangover). You will surprisingly not have to use the port-o-potty’s as much as you think it is so hot out.

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So stay thirsty hydrated my friends!

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4. Essential Provisions.

First off a backpack is handy, but I prefer the over the shoulder bag for easy “reach-in” action when I am walking between shows or trying to find something by feeling around and on the go. Many prefer backpacks and the Camelbak backpack (too many zippers and pockets over complicates things for me) again whatever works best for you, but recommended.

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This ACL bag has been with me now for three years. Love it!

What to Pack?!:

  • Towel for sitting on grass/claiming space!
  • Sunscreen*
  • Mini/travel Hand sanitizer*
  • Chapstick w spf*
  • the KIND bar you got for free they didn’t find in that side pocket in your bag 😉
  • Fully charged Camera (it’s this small device where you take photos on a memory card, I know it is rare-also back up in case phone dies AND I like taking videos sometimes)
  • Extra sunglasses (cheapies-just in case I lose a pair!)
  • Portable charger (in case my phone dies ha)*
  • Bobby pins (I am not really sure if that’s on purpose, I find them everywhere)*
  • Hair tie(s) (for when I have had enough and I am too hot, bun time)*
  • Schedule!
  • A promotional fan they pass out before you get to the gates
  • Kleenex/tissue paper or a little toilet paper (because come 2nd weekend Sunday-you never know)*
  • And obviously wristband, wallet and ID
  • 2 “water” bottles (interpret however you’d like to)
  • Glow bracelets (because it’s ACL and it’s fun)

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Yes, that’s my friend capping off Glow Bracelets (we aren’t amateurs, have to make the bracelet functional) so we can toss it into the crowd and dance around to the music like we are 16, best down before Sundown (and usually done before we head to park)

**Astricks** denote items I keep in a ziplock bag so when the search people try to bust me I can be like “What? Whatcha gonna do about it? Nothing.”

TIPS and TRICKS:

I take a photo of the schedule in case I lose it (I don’t use the app for sake of battery, blame Snapchat!).

Don’t forget obligatory photos of you and friends in front of: red sign in front of gates, Austin skyline backdrop, ACL frame with long line (confession I have never done it-too long to wait)

I put my phone on Airport mode when I am usually not waiting for someone to find me and vice versa, also battery save mode…or turn off location services.

Some people have been known to roll up their towel and stick mini bottles of alcohol. In it. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people have had their towel shaken out and seen mini bottles of liquor fly out of their towel when searched at the entrance. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people put booze in a flask and put it in their crotch. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people have been busted the second Sunday of ACL, and asked to pour out the flask at the entrance. Not me, but I heave heard stories.

Some people take camo caps to make their water bottle look resealable, but fill it with vodka. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people have been caught when they shake up the “water” bottle and ask if it is vodka, then had their “water” confiscated at the entrance. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people buy pocket shots and put them in their bra, shorts, boots and well…pockets and get through pretty easily untouched. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people pass out said pocket shots to people around them in the crowd who are fun, may need a pick me up or use them as a bargaining tool. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people roll their selfie stick up in a towel to bring into ACL because they aren’t allowed anymore. Not me, but I have heard stories.

Some people sneak in a handle of Tito’s by putting it in their chair bags. Not me, but I have heard stories. (I have not quite reached the threshold of wanting to lug around a chair at ACL and be at the “chair line” but soon…very soon).

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My friend had his stuff ready to go, like a kid picking out clothes before the first day of school.

5. Transportation

Getting to the festival is no easy task. This is why comfortable wardrobe is important-you are going to use dem legs A LOT. Knowing people who live close is always nice, to shack up on their couch (what I do). Bless Lyft and Uber because I think they have now saved my life and my legs more than I can count. Sure there is surge pricing at high peak times, but if you can share with a friend or get down to a good point and walk the rest of the way, it is worth it. I have a car2go account, and in the morning I would walk to that, take it to the Car2Go drop zone (at Barton Springs and Lamar), then they arranged pedi-cab drivers to take you down Barton Springs (also equipped with free water, red bulls and KIND bars). Can we say GENIUS?? After the show, just plan on walking a few miles until you can get a friend to pick you up…or just walk to the bars!

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6. Lost and Found.

You have a few choices at ACL. You can be lost, you be found, or you can be somewhere in between. Probably one of the best things about the festivals are the flags, posters and creations that people come up with to be “found” or “home base” Hashtags for your crew are perfectly acceptable as well.  (#DadDoesACL for the guy I found this year)

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This guy above is there every year–pretty sure he has a hashtag and my friend’s daughter follows him on Instagram now. haha.

Or you can choose to disconnect and lose yourself and do whatever the hell you want–this can happen on accident and on purpose at times…either way, make the best of it (see below for example)

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“Did I do thaaaaatt?”

Since the networks get bogged down (ok Verizon is apparently great, but AT&T sucks for me), if you REALLY want to see a show with someone else who REALLY wants to see a show your best bet is to go old school. Yep, no cell phone, no texting. MAKE. A. PLAN. “Meet me at the orange capital at 4 to walk to Samsung”

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 Sign reads: “Thanks for visiting, please don’t move here”

Trying to get people to find you in the crowd? If only one text goes through it better be the most clearly communicated text on the planet, here is one from me this year for Florence and The Machine:

“We are left of sound stage 50ft, 30ft from no chair zone flag and 10ft left of Chicago Cubs flag.”

Little did I know they were at the Weeknd and phones were dead. ha.

I found my friends this year next to “Poop Emoji flag,” “Sparkly silver pom pon flag,” and “In between the no chair zone flag and Kim Kardashian blow up doll”

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Your flag should be visible at night too-that is the key! I have some friends that have a light saber on a stick. You wouldn’t think you’d be able to see it in a park this big. But from the back of one stage clear across the park–there I spotted our friends, trekking through Drake. Who’d have thought?

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6. Homework

Perhaps something I should have mentioned in the beginning is to do your homework. Sure, you can go, experience new music and float around with friends, however if you want the most out of your wristband, you should try to have a plan of a few shows you’d like to see, with or without others is up to you. I typically try to meet up with different groups of friends-this is difficult, but I have been known to lose people and see Kings of Leon solo.

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Download and listen to a few songs from bands you aren’t sure about prior. I love having a paper copy of the schedule, unsure why, but I do. The app is handy however because you can connect with friends and make your own schedule and see which friends are doing the same :)

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At the end of the day(s) it is all what you make of it…

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Clap yo hands. Stomp yo feet….

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Take a nap??

And have a wonderful ACL weekend.

See you next year (well, if the line up is good, and it probably will be) #taylorswiftcometoACL please!

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As always thanks for reading!

What I am currently Hearting: The September Update.

I may have skipped August as it was a busy month of moving into my new casa, filming with HGTV, and working on stuff around the home {so naturally my home would look cute on National TV.} ha. Now that the boxes are put away, the weather is turning cooler, Football season is back, I thought I would write on a few things I am hearting this month!

Here we go…

1. Aziz Ansari’s book: Modern Romance.

I finally finished it and now both my hard copies are lent out. (I have two because I went to the Paramount for his promo event for the book after I already bought it). It isn’t just for women either. It’s a great read for our generation and alike-single or married, and research driven by focus groups, experiments with Psychologists, with a touch of humor and an overall easy read. The book has topics from Japan’s declining population, the best photos to use for online dating, and why we need to quit going on coffee dates. I took away a lot from it (and need to update my last thoughts on dating because of the read). I hope to apply a few pointers I liked in the book to my oh so fun dating life. Stay tuned for a blog of some sort, I’m sure.

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2. Home Owner Life.

So, after a year or so of searching for homes, several offers on condos and houses, I finally closed on one of my own. (Took me long enough to take the plunge!) Like most people say, “I wish I would have bought sooner,” however I try not to live in regret, I was just preparing for the right time for me. I am digging home owner life. Side note: I also feel good about the advice I have given my clients in these past few years–as I am actually now following all the tips and pointers I usually advise to clients of my own. One thing I really like, that I didn’t think I could care less about in a home is my backyard. It’s huge with a nice deck. In fact, I am sitting outside right now typing this in my new patio chairs. So much room for activities! Is it more expensive per month than my last rental? Absolutely. The payment, the bills, the upkeep. Is it all worth it? So far, yes. But maybe I will be singing a different tune in a few months (keep you posted). I feel more like an Adult than I ever have before and that’s kind of scary, because there is still a lot of life to live. ha. I look forward to hosting dinners and parties, and updating here and there (seriously the list is endless, but under control for now) and I have already mowed the lawn, painted inside and exterior, painted my mailbox, got a security system, hung patio lights and changed the air filter…#adultingsohard

so much room for activities

3. Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015 Line Up

Yep, it’s that time of year again! This coming weekend is ACL Music Festival. Now, I am not this huge music junkie that goes to ALL the festivals and camps at Bonnaroo and knows all the obscure bands, BUT I like ACL. This year there are some really great acts and I am even torn between a few bands on the schedule here and there (Alt J or Of Monsters and Men? George Ezra or Gary Clark Jr–you can see GC locally). The weather (usually) is pretty awesome, the music, the friends, and oh the people watching and outfits!! I mean, does the weekend get any better than: listening to some of your favorite bands, learning of some new bands, the funny home made flags, eating Austin’s fine food trucks, having the Zilker grass under your toes, and somewhat disconnecting because you get no service?! I think not. Yes it’s crowded, yet it’s hot or rainy, yes the lines to the porta-potties are long and drinks are pricey, but who cares?! Another interesting thing a friend brought to my attention, and I would have to agree is the comradaree during ACL. There is no VIP (ok there is but it isn’t this huge section of people rubbing it in your face). Everyone in a sense paid the same price. Everyone polices themselves and makes walk-ways and apologizes for stepping on your blanket. You are there, you’re happy and you can go do in essence-whatever the f you want to do. I almost like doing it old school and “meet at the orange Capital statue at 4:45” so we can head to the show we want to see next. What else is nice about that schedule is there is no “wondering what time the headliner is going to come on?” The schedule is kept tight for a reason and it is so you don’t have to guess and you can see all the acts you want to. Friday can’t get here soon enough. Hope to see you there, friends.

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Powering through Pickpockets and Playing Positive

Hola!

As most of you know–because those of you that read this follow me on Social Media, {and let’s be honest– I am not shy when it comes to sharing things I experience} I recently went to Barcelona and Mallorca, Spain.

What some of you may or may not have known is that I was pickpocketed while there. Day 2, in fact. Boo.

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And when I tell the story as I replace my cards, driver’s license, update cards on file for auto-pay, etc. I find that it is quite common (even though I knew this before I arrived) and well, things are things. They are replaceable. I am alive, I had a great trip, but thought I would share some travel tips with you all…and let my behavior be a lesson learned for you!

Day 2 of Barcelona: I had some tapas with my travel pal (at La Pepita, highly recommend) and we headed down into the Metro to the Barceloneta area to continue our fun night! So far so good. We had a wonderful bike tour that day (also highly recommend). The metro was hot (per usual) and crowded. Really crowded, which lead me to believe, as all the young people surrounded us that we were headed in the right direction at the right time (Barcelona parties late) as a ton of people got off at our stop. Up to the top of the metro and I reach into my bag only to find my whole wallet-GONE. My favorite wallet. GONE. Didn’t feel a thing. All my cards. GONE. My Euros. GONE. Oh no my Torchy’s Taco gift card was in there too. GONE. Driver’s license- GO—oh well, I hated that photo anyway and need to update my address.

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Bri and I doing the Fat Tire Bike Tour (above) and La Pepita (below)

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Now, I have traveled alone before and nothing like this has happened. But I have also had my phone stolen when in Rome with a friend. I think I have learned that when I am with my friends I am more relaxed, less observant of what could go wrong and more in the moment of what is going right :) This is not always a good thing. ha.

My friend reached into her bag–camera-GONE.

Yes, we both had crossover purses on us. Had them in the front of us. The snap on bag was broken. I did not feel a thing. The subway was super crowded so our hands were holding on to the bars above us, trying to remain stable vs being on our bags-as they should have been.

Let me tell you all the things I USUALLY do, {but did NOT do on this trip} 

Ash’s Safety Traveling Tips!

1. Make a copy or two of passport (put one in suitcase, one in carry on,  one in purse)

2. If you are bringing multiple cards out with you (I almost always take the one where I get travel rewards and no transaction fees while over seas) everywhere I go. Leave others in room, home or in another bag etc.

3. When you get cash out, don’t carry it all with you. Duh, I know. Then I usually fold up a little bit and stick it in the bottom of my suitcase as well (even when I am in the states and ESPECIALLY when I am in Vegas)

4. Have the phone numbers written down somewhere or in your phone that are on the back of all your cards along with any other emergency numbers you may need (and don’t store those in phone in case that is stolen)

5. Call your cards and tell them the places and dates you will be traveling.

6. In crowded areas and busy places where pick-pocketing is especially known, walk with your hands on your bag ladies! Always keep purse zipped up and closed. Wear nothing at your hip or back pockets fellas. You will even notice people wearing backpacks at their front-totally normal.

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7. Although it can be difficult (advice from Paul, our tapas tour guide–also another thing I REALLY recommend): When you are out-pretend there is an imaginary hula hoop around you-don’t let anyone invade that personal space and when they do-be very cautious and weary. {That goes for you too, close talkers!}

All the above advice, is pretty much what I do when I travel alone. Nope, not this time. My whole wallet was gone with all my money I just exchanged at the airport a few days prior. Luckily I had taken out $200 and exchanged it for a friend and left that back at the room–which I could use for the next few days. (sorry Em).

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After the discovery of it being gone, I sat down, turned on Data roaming (I had a travel plan), and started to Google each of my bank’s “theft lines” and cancelled all my cards. This was literally an 8min process and real simple. {side note Wells Fargo tried to sell me something after I cancelled my cards telling me I was eligible for some deal and I was like, “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!” And ended that.} The next day I transferred money from my account to my Mom’s (luckily we have the same bank and it is easy to do online). I then found a Western Union (there is an app too by the way) and attempted to send myself money but you cannot do this from your own account unless you want to wait 4 days. This is why wifi is a must at hotels-so much easier to get stuff done at the end of a long day!

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This hotel above had wifi. Downfall: it was only good from the lobby. So we met many people that way. ha. (also recommend!)

You may have noticed that I didn’t blast on social media that my wallet was stolen {wah}. Reason being is

1. I felt like an idiot and

2. I could already see the comments rolling in…”told you so,” “oh sorry that sucks, what jerks!” blah blah blah…

Soooo, instead of dwelling on the negative, it wasn’t the end of the world. I had my camera. I had some cash. I had a way of getting some cash. I wasn’t mugged or beat up or shanked. I still had my phone. Yep. I was going to live-so let’s focus on the positive: 6 more days of wonderful vacation left!

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So, my wonderful parents got my money to me after I deposited it to them. Boom. Did this happen the next day? NO because it was Sunday and Spainards don’t do ANYTHING on Sunday-NOTHING is open (side note-if I could not grocery shop on Sunday I don’t know what I would do). So, come Monday in Mallorca I headed down to a post office and there was my money. Ahhh, so nice to have. Not that my travel partner couldn’t have kept lending me money, but I felt like a child asking for 10 euros here and there every time I wanted to buy something. And as Beyonce would say, “All my ladies who independent…throw yo hands up at me!

That’s all I have for now, hope you enjoyed and always happy to recommend travel tips and advice…In return, thinking South America for my next trip, open to ideas!

Things I am Hearting in June (The Rainy Summer Edition!)

Hello, hello! It is the last day of June, but honestly by the time I proofread, add photos and publish, it will be July…where does the time go?!

So, I wanted to share with you a few more things I am enjoying and hope you can benefit from my suggestions as well, in this Summer’s rendition of what I am currently hearting here in the ATX…

1. MOBILITY!!!

I don’t mean it in a transportation sense, but more so how I missed doing mobility stretches and have now added them back into my routine (when I can).

lacrosseball lats

When I did crossfit a few years ago we did mobility several times per week post or pre workout as part of our class (and many of us continued after class as well). I learned to work out some muscle soreness and knots and really enjoyed Trigger Points‘ foam rollers-especially along my IT band and around the knee after squats, in addition to using the lacrosse ball on my shoulders, lats and glutes,  etc.. Since it isn’t apart of the classes of the gym I now attend (CG Arena-what! what!), but more so what one would do on their own; I had not been doing mobility exercises anymore and I can certainly tell the difference! I have had hamstring pain for about a year or so now. The pain would go away, then return upon a workout after intense sprinting, heavy deadlifts, and anything “one-legged” with weights. No, it doesn’t help that I keep working out when I am supposed to be giving my body a rest, but I cannot go a long time without working out-I just can’t!! So I would modify in hopes of making things better. However, since adding back in hamstring stretches with the band, sitting on a lacrosse ball when I work on my laptop and taking a little bit of time after some of my workouts to roll out and pay attention to the pain, things have gotten better. Not completely cured (but again it is my fault for not staying off the leg and stretching longer) but I HIGHLY recommend checking out some mobility stretches if you are tight in certain areas or experience extreme soreness. My hamstring pain was not JUST a result of my hamstrings, but lower back, some stabilizing muscles, my piriformis, and the muscles above my hips (who knew!) remember they all work together, so stretch it all! You can even have a few cheap items at home-I prefer a large PVC pipe as your foam roller (pick up some from Home Depot). And LAX balls come in packs of 2 at Academy for about $6. I found many cool stretches on Pinterest, but Google and YouTube will aid in your search as well. Give it a try!

pvc and lax

2. BRUSSEL SPROUTS!

I don’t think you could have paid me in Reese’s cups as a child to eat brussel sprouts, but nowadays so many restaurants have added them to their menu…(topped with parmesan and cooked with tasty sauces of course) that I cannot get enough of them. I am really digging so many restaurants lately having shared plates and fresh roasted garden vegetables roasted.

Here are a few of my favs around town…

East Side Kings’ Brussel Sprouts! You can barely see them, as they are covered by fresh ingredients like cabbage and cilantro etc. and even though I am a sissy when it comes to spice-I still eat these and power through–as they typically make my nose run, they are so hot!

ESK brussel sprouts

Launderette’s Brussel Sprouts (heavy on the cheese, but I didn’t mind, these are rich, but not too rich and fantastic)

launderette brussels2

Hightower’s brussel sprouts has a peanut butter taste to it vs standard soy/balsamic type sauce that I cannot get enough of with a little crunch as well.

hightower brussels

Fork and Vine’s Brussel Sprouts have that rich taste of crumbled blue cheese on top, but also the crunch of pistachios, this was also on their happy hour menu when I went, great for sharing.

forkandvine brussels2

3.AZIZ ANSARI’S NEW BOOK: MODERN ROMANCE

So, I just bought Modern Romance since I will be seeing Aziz in a few weeks here in Austin at the Paramount. I have always enjoyed his stand up and little appearances in funny Seth Rogan/Judd Apatow movies, but his latest Netflix Original stand up in Madison Square Garden where he discusses the woes of dating, expectations and texting  among our generation–and reads aloud one of the audience member’s text conversations– is not only pretty damn funny, but spot on relatable. Plus it is nice to hear that this semi-celebrity goes through the same things as the rest of us! I haven’t even finished the book, but I will tell you it is an easy read thus far and quite engaging. I like the fact it is backed with scientific (yes, studies with humans, focus groups and mice!) that sort of dictate why we feel the way we do–and the games we don’t intentionally play, but are in our nature…and we sadly end up playing. It was nice to read a few of the situations and think, “YES! That has happened to me too! I am not alone.” I don’t think you have to be single to read this–It’s a great read for all, and may help you gain some perspective as well! In fact if you are married and thinking of divorcing, perhaps this book may change your mind about being single, ha.

aziz modern romance

(Molly sits patiently as I read this one before bed each night)

My Thirties: Components to a Good First Date (Part 1)

So a few weekends ago I was a chattin’ with a male friend I hadn’t seen in a while. He said to me, “Ashley, I have read some of your funny dating stories…the guy who brought his friend along…the guy who got really drunk, but how come you don’t talk about your good dates?”

I lightheartedly replied, “Because I haven’t had any.”  And then I added, “Well, good first dates aren’t as funny to write about as the bad ones.” But, come to think of it– I have had good dates. I actually had a pretty good one last week or so. Now, I never heard from the guy again, but that doesn’t mean it was a “bad” first date, (for me at least, ha!) perhaps I just wasn’t what he was looking for?  And that’s ok too.

couple drinking coffee

 

(PS the photo above is an engagement session of an Austin couple, hope you don’t mind I used this photo for my blog!)

So then Hector (my friend) tells me, “Well you should write a blog on what a good date looks like so we (guys) know.” Well, Hector this one is for you!! (and anyone else who cares to read)…thanks for the blog idea, per usual I have plenty to say….so here we go.

What a good date looks like (to me).

**please remember my thoughts do not reflect ALL women (or men) and my tips come from personal experiences, I am definitely no expert and could possibly have it all wrong.

First, before I begin on what constitutes as a “good first date,” I have to add that I am in my 30’s and have been going on dates (off and on-ish) for the past four years (and sharing some of my experiences along the way).  I used to think it was Austin, but I realize it is everywhere. It is the same complaints I hear from women and men and yet the cycle somehow cannot be broken. Having a positive outlook becomes increasingly harder as you go on yet another bad (or sometimes good-just “no spark”) date and the instant gratification of our generation’s “always looking for the next best thing” attitude doesn’t seem to help either…but I digress.

Red Cloud Scene

So in my twenties–I was down for kayaking, putt-putt, RR Express games, dinner, drinks, etc. on first dates. Sometimes I had two in a day! Dog parks, a hike, lunch, a drink on a patio, happy hour, oh the fun… But, now…now I am in my 30s, and it’s a whole new ball game, or maybe same ball game, new teams?

Time has become REALLY important to me and I don’t like wasting a few hours on an insignificant first date…let alone a terrible one. And my time now consists of: quality friends, “me” time, work, health, and well, scheduled activities/obligations. I have now had plenty of years texting away, going on crappy dates, second guessing myself and would like to think I am closer to knowing more of what I want and who I “click” with for date #2.

 

Me in my 30’s…

girl watching netflix

Also while writing this blog, I realized it isn’t the actual date that makes part of it good, it is the part leading up to the date that makes the date kinda good (I would say 35%). I say that because I feel like the last few guys who have actually asked for my number have never asked me out. I am not talking “asked for my number” because they felt obligated and I pressured them or anything…I mean guys who have gone out of their way (or online dating which is not really out of the way, but specific after several emails showing interest), asked for my number, texted a few times and then NEVER asked me out (despite even asked me out over email: Him: “Would you like to get a drink/smoothie/coffee this week/”  Me: “Sure sounds good, here is my number” Him: text, text, text-never asks. I don’t get it?! I already said I would, then you can’t set it up. ________. Insert the appropriate word you feel to explain this situation here, I have to refrain).

texttoomuch

After writing the above paragraph I then stumbled upon this article on “Text-lationships” and I see a little bit clearer now, good advice, thanks Matthew Hussey.

I often feel good about a first date when the following things have happened:

Note that all these will start with “The Guy” I guess you could say I am traditional? If this applies to homosexual couples, then I suppose the one who takes more initiative has to do more work? The alpha type perhaps?, but unsure how that works. I have heard of ladies asking men on dates-but I just don’t buy it.

Part 1A: IDEALLY [Post  exchanging of phone numbers]…

  • The guy maybe texts once after he has my number (let’s say this stemmed from online dating or from a dating app)… to let me know it is him, is polite and says he will be in touch, then a few days later CALLS or texts to ask if a good time to chat. If he got number in person-say “I will give you a call”…then, perhaps, actually do it? Just a thought.
    • **TIP** dudes, bros, guys: Sometimes if you haven’t met the girl in person and you are going to take a girl out on a date-a phone call will save you time and money. I think you can tell a lot from a phone call and chatting with someone to see if you actually want to meet.

callthe girl

  • The guy–(while on the phone) asks if I have time to get together in the week. I am going to be honest–I do not like going on weekend dates. Yes weekdays can be hard with work, gym, commitments, etc, but if you really want to go on a date, you can set aside a little time. Actually you MUST set aside a little time if you proclaim to not be a single-cat lady at age 45. My weekends are jam packed with things (but if you both agree and have free time, go for it).
  • The guy also asks or finds out what part of town I live in. I get it-traffic sucks and I barely want to date anyone who lives South of Ben White ha, BUT when someone takes into consideration where I live and traffic/timing (swoon!!) Women like thoughtful. Sadly, I don’t think this is something that can be faked or learned later really, but if you don’t naturally have this instinct, please remember to ask and plan-it is thoughtful. I don’t mind meeting in the middle if we are on complete opposite sides of town, but so long as I can get it all done: work, gym, shower, beat traffic.. see you there. (most likely 6-8min late because that is how I roll). BONUS points for picking a date place near me!! {Sidenote: Nothing is more annoying to me then the guy who wants to hang out a few hours beforehand. Make. A. Plan}

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**TIP** Actually do research. Look at the menu, look at the parking situation, proximity, HOURS, etc.–once I had a date who didn’t realize reverse HH (happy hour) wasn’t on Sunday and planned our date an hour before close, then he complained about the menu being expensive–Ugh, it was the worst, I didn’t eat for our dinner date, I think I had taco cabana after. –read here for more.The guy gives a few options, but ultimately makes a decision. Women want a MAN, not a boy. A confident, but sweet MAN. And a good balance is one that lets said lady weigh some input: what she likes, where she hasn’t been, what she doesn’t eat, etc, but said pursuer makes final decision based on those answers. It does NOT have to be THAT exact conversation that the date place of choice is decided. In fact, it is pretty cute when a guy says he is going to do research and get back to you.

'Bring me a nice bottle of something that'll impress the lady, for under a fiver.'

  • Guy settles on place and decides during that first conversation OR gets back to me a day before said date to let me know decision. A text is ok to confirm time and place and make sure it still works–also shows her you are thinking about it, and you stick to what you say you are going to do (another swoon).

Part 1B: Acceptable First Date Choices:

  • Here’s where it gets “tricky”… Personally-as a girl who is kinda over dating and will know within 10min if she would be willing to see a guy again I do not do dinner or drinks for first dates. However, I still find them as acceptable first date ideas-along with exploring something new or doing something active if you already have a common interest/activity. I have had some bad first dates that had guys getting way too drunk (a few that had a few cocktails before they met with me then continued to get wasted….got a little handsy, were close talkers and some that even invited their friends along on our date). Ay yi yi…

drunk date

I have also had the occasion where I was going to have one or two and it lead to…ummm four or five? as the conversation was flowing and it wasn’t awkward yet fun. However, then the next day I am hurting and re-thinking all the crap I said the night before that probably wasn’t first date material, the awful story I told from junior high and an insecurity or two. Whoops! (Imagine that).

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  • **TIP**If you ask a girl if she wants to have drinks and she says “I don’t drink during the weekdays”–or any other reason as to why she doesn’t want to have a drink. I don’t think it should be questioned then. I think it should be respected. Perhaps asked later? I like it when someone can be with me and not feel the need to be drunk.

drunk texting

  • What I do prefer for first dates is something simple and easy. Coffee shops! Nope, I don’t drink coffee but I can still find something on the menu to drink. Starbucks is always an easy go to, but this is Austin and there’s plenty of cool coffee shops too. I also like places that aren’t dead silent but have enough buzz and conversation flowing around them so that others can’t ease drop on our awkward first date convo.
    • **This next statements is evident of just what my 30’s have come to, ha** I don’t do dinner dates any more because in the past I have found the two hours+ of talking, the bill and the calories aren’t worth it to me. Do I realize that sounds insane? Yes. Don’t even get me started on the great debate of who should pay for first dates either.

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(I find the above stat interesting, the older people get the less they believe the man should pay for first date).

  • I also like smoothies/fro-yo and Juice Land…again all for the same reasons as above, and great alternatives if you don’t like coffee. Plus many of these places have patios, which can be nice on a pretty day or great if you are cooped up in the office and take a break
  • Time of day is up for debate as well. As someone who makes her own schedule, I enjoy a lunch date or mid-day date in between appointments and working out. For me it almost seems like less pressure and more casual, which I like. The cons: I am in “work mode” and feel like I talk about work too much. And then if you hit it off, an evening dinner or drinks for the next go round is more exciting and something to look forward to.

As you can see I have a lot of thoughts about how to begin even asking someone out on a date. Seems trivial and silly, but often times there is NO first date. I get turned off by the late night “how was your day?,” “cool” “lol, nice” text conversations or the guy who gets number and checks in every two weeks-what is up with that? I think a GOOD DATE comes from when the above items actually happen. It makes things seamless..nice..planned. It’s the little gestures that go far-even if after the first date it doesn’t. I would say, for me, about 60% of good first dates start like the above (my ideal tips to asking a girl out). Doesn’t mean there is date #2, just means at least I had a pleasant time on a first date.

Part 2 will consist of What NOT to talk about on first dates and components of a good first date.

If you made it to here without skipping you are amazing and should email me, I will send you some candy or something. As always, thanks for reading!

 

 

Things I am Hearting–April

It seems as a creature of habit it can be hard to write/share about new things I like (I heart). March seemed to fly by, but over the past few weeks I have tried some new things and wanted to share with you a few items I am currently hearting once more. I even had a friend text me, “Umm have you tried the brownie at Snap Kitchen?” And yes, yes I have….so here we go, this month’s rendition of things I am currently “hearting”…

heartPortland

(heart above from recent trip to Portland Oregon found off Hawthorne St.)

GLUTEN FREE BROWNIE @ SNAP KITCHEN!

GF brownie snap kitchen

It’s not the first time I have written of Snap Kitchen. I am almost ashamed that I just got to the “1000 point marker” that is how much I eat it. It is “healthy” (that adjective seems controversial these days so I will leave the quotation marks around it), convenient and portioned, what’s not to love? Did I mention tasty as well?! So this month, I heart Snap Kitchen’s Gluten Free Brownie. Yes, that’s right. I said gluten free. Am I gluten Free? Hell no. But this little morsel of chocolate is tasty. Is it low calorie? Not really. Is it low fat? Nope. It is just the right amount of chocolate when you want something sweet after a meal, but it’s “cleaner” than something you’d get out of a package and has a few grams of protein!. If you do not like coconut-you will not like these. But I am telling you, give it a try.

 

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES-I HEART YOU!

southwestlogo

This past week/weekend I met a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half. I flew SW (Southwest) one way to Portland, Oregon, met her there, then we went one-way (direct) to San Jose and one way (direct) back to Austin. After traveling in Australia and NZ a few months back I now realize the importance–and how much better I feel-when the flight attendants were NICE and understanding. When the people you have to deal with at your gate/on your plane are pleasant it instantly makes me pleasant. During all my flights there wasn’t one grumpy flight attendant (even at 6:30am) and they were sarcastic and funny. For example during our take off when they go over the TSA safety regulations one of them said,  “A reminder to put your carry-on bags under the seats in front of you. Ladies that goes for you and your designer purses-they need to go on the floor not in your lap, it will be ok, we know they are fake anyway.” And “There are 50 ways to leave your lover but only 6 ways off this plane…” They make the monotonous part of flying a little bit entertaining, and we were always on time, in fact-a few minutes early, bonus! I also don’t mind the boarding/no first class thing they have going on as well. Which reminds me, when we were boarding, one of the flight attendants said, “Now boarding Group C, Group C stands for Center Seat”  Indeed it does. Thanks Southwest.

And lastly…don’t hate me, but I am going there.

I HEART MALTI-POOS! — More specifically, my new dog, Molly. (#goodGollyMsMollyMaltipoo is her hashtag-yes. I have a hashtag for her, naturally).

diryMolly

(Above: Molly filthy after playing on the kickball fields)

I love dogs in general and can’t remember a time growing up that we didn’t have a dog (or two). After 2.5yrs without my black lab Jack (who I adopted when I had moved to Kansas City). Jack is  in Doggy Heaven…no, not deceased. He is living with my dad and another lab, roaming free in fields daily and eating steak and eggs or bacon grease atop his dog food with endless rides in the back of a truck and lots of belly rubs. So, literally: Doggy Heaven with “Grampy.” Since I don’t run outside as much as I used to and admittedly enjoy not having dog hair on every article of clothing I own;  I sprung for a low-maintenance dog that doesn’t need at least an hour of exercise a day and one that doesn’t shed. (Plus picking up poop the size of tootsie rolls ain’t so bad either!) I work from home a little bit more right now since she is a puppy, but it hasn’t been too bad taking her places either. Molly has gone to inspections, showings, kickball games, my workouts, a photoshoot, house warming parties and yes, even the dentist with me (where she slept on my feet the whole time). She plays well with others, loves all, and naps frequently.  It most definitely wasn’t hard to find a dog sitter when I went out of town. When I first picked her up from the woman I bought her from, she told me “She is the most outgoing one in her litter and she just loves to eat!” If that isn’t a perfect match. I don’t know what is.

(more Molly cuteness below)

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Above: Molly kissing her “cousin”-I don’t think he was a fan.

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Above: Molly with Halo on a photoshoot.

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Above: Molly playing tug with Rainey.

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Above: Molly compilation of her first week with me.

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Molly with inspector Tim, and the seller’s sweet dog, Bella.

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Molly meeting her first cat. Confused at first, then she was feisty and wanted to play.

As usual thanks for reading my blog about nothing. I at least hope you try the brownie (for those of you with a Snap Kitchen near you). Stay tuned for next time as I chat about getting adult braces-ay yi yi.

Things I am currently Hearting: The February Edition

So last month I told you three things I was currently “hearting“…yes, liking, but since I have this mini obsession with taking photos of hearts AND my username and blog title is iHeartTheATX I am tying it all together….Interestingly enough this month most my items are food (weird).

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So what am I currently hearting in February? Easy…

1. iheartSnapKitchen!

As someone who is on the go, and admittedly not the best or most creative chef, I am super diggin’ healthy yet tasty dishes from Snap Kitchen. I have also tried to recreate some of their items. I know people always claim that these pre-packaged healthier meals are “so expensive” BUT compared to what I get when I go to Whole Foods I think Snap is a bargain (plus I know exactly what is going into my body–calorie, fat, protein wise, which I don’t when I do the WF salad bar). They have a few convenient locations for me AND if you think about it–Spend $10 at Chipotle for a bowl-way more fat, way more calories, or be satisfied with a gourmet like healthy dinner with a few calories to spare. I put mine on a place when I eat them at home so I don’t feel like I am just eating on the go out of a plastic bin-if you’re feelin’ fancy. #itsasnap

Some of my favs from Snap Kitchen: Naked Chicken, Scottish Salmon, Ginger Glazed Chicken & Salmon, Naked Beef, Goat Cheese and Egg Scramble, Goat cheese and Beet chicken salad….I could go on.

This Here is my attempt at the roasted cauliflower from the “Naked Chicken” dish.

Onto the next one…

heart1

2. iheartQuestBars!

One of my trainers at my gym had talked about these protein bars and then I saw a huge display of them at HEB and decided to give them a try. I am usually weary of any kind of “health bars” because they are usually either: packed with sugar and artificial ingredients or taste like cardboard. My fav flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough and Orceo, but they have many others to choose from. Yes there are carbs, but 21g of protein and 1g of sugar, gluten free, 17g of fiber and they taste good. They are like my dessert and until I get really tired of them or someone tells me they cause cancer, I am going to keep eating them.

.oreoquest

3. iHeartGeniusScan

I love technology. And this week was a busy one between several clients and houses and inspections. I use DocuSign quite a bit, and my tech-savvy and non-tech savvy clients tend to love it, but want to share with you an app I use quite a bit. I can take photos of invoices, bids, notes, etc without running to the office to make a copy or scan, but rather take a photo-then it will process it clearly, I can tag it and email it to my clients or party in need and save it in DropBox. So if you need an app like this, you can find it in the App Store.

geniusscan

Anyway, that is all I got for this month, open to suggestions always of new things to try from food, to apps, restaurants to stores etc.

We are creatures of habits but I try and keep an open mind.

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How Dating is like Buying Real Estate in Austin Tx (a seller’s market)

So, I have been meaning to write this blog for a while…each time I sell something I can associate it with dating in a way. And while I have been trying to cut down the dating blogs…well it is inevitable and apparently you people like reading it (at least that’s the feedback I get) so hear me out!

I also heard from a friend (after I told him my next blog idea) that Deb (Jason and Deb on 101X recently talked about this on their podcast). Dammit! She stole my idea! Or maybe I am not original, either way…here we go…

How Dating is like buying Real Estate in an Austin Seller’s Market.

  • The older you get the pickier you get.
    • You have dated enough people to know what you can and cannot be with. ( So, you can’t date a short, messy Liberal who doesn’t have ambition). Same goes when home buying, you have lived in enough houses to know your must haves and deal-breakers. (You need more cabinet space in the kitchen and a bigger yard, but not East of Lamar– got it)

agentclients

  • Do you have enough to offer?
    • You see the one you want, look over from your friend circle at the bar, smile, and make eye contact, give ’em that; Hey I would totally be ok with you walking over here and making conversation look, BUT they don’t respond well. Perhaps you lack that initial physical attraction they need. You’re blonde. They like brunettes. Same as a house: It’s cute! It’s perfect! It’s remodeled! But your offer just isn’t strong enough and you get beat out by another attractive (higher price, more money down) offer.

   multiple offers

  • Coming to the Market Soon!
    • “I hear ___is having problems with ___, probably be single in a week, trouble in paradise…” says your office mate. You get excited, now here is a good one that you really like! You wait a bit before you make any moves—be cool. Be subtle…Boom. Taken. In real estate you put a “Coming Soon” sign in the yard, you call on it ASAP, you see it two days later when you can finally make time…Boom,  already under contract. Sigh. The good ones go off the market quickly.

hotguyinoffice

  • If only…
    • After you date a few people you sometimes wish you could combine all the features to make the perfect significant other! (“He is so nice and good to me, if only he was as funny and tall as my ex.”) That’s equivalent to when you see the remodeled house of your dreams with the pimp master shower and awesome backsplash with cute kitchen island… in the ghetto… surrounded by sex offenders… next to a crack house.                IT’S NOT GOING TO WORK.

ghettohouse

  • What’s the catch?
    • “Meet _____, educated, ambitious, funny, attractive, successful, happy, works out…” (I could go on–all the buzz words that make you attracted to a person. BUT they have been single a while. “Wait how many years since their last relationship?! What’s wrong with them?” Same with a home. You see the photo of only the outside and 60 days on market, two backed out contracts, “there must be something wrong with it, it’s been on the market so long…SKIP!”

jenanniston

  • Slim pickens…
    • The older you get the circle seems to get smaller and smaller of people you’d actually be willing to go out with, everyone starts to have children around you, getting married, and you are enjoying life doing “you” but slightly on the desperate (or what I like to call “open minded”) side where you accept dates with those you’d never really pictured yourself with…or perhaps doesn’t quite meet your “checkboxes“–but hey, you ain’t getting any younger!! That’s like 2012 as the articles start to float around “Austin next best city...” for this and that, says Forbes…everyone moves here, traffic worsens, restaurants improve and now: there is nowhere to live! You start looking in places you’d never thought you would end up. You increase your budget. You search further out in neighborhoods you used to complain about your friends living in (“they live so far!!”) Over paying for 900sq ft for a home…in the ghetto…surrounded by sex offenders next to a crack house. “But it’s remodeled and this area is getting hot!” you say.

Anyway, perhaps you can relate, perhaps you can’t but hopefully you liked the read. As a real estate agent I do have to add that sometimes I feel as though I am breaking up with my clients after their home closes. No more weekends and evenings spent together. No more guiding you through your lost-ness (of home buying ha). No more riding around in cars, complaining about traffic together. No more criticizing paint colors of homes. No more listening to your wants and needs and trying to understand you. “I miss you, Saturday afternoons aren’t the same without you.” I send them monthly postcards and e-newsletters of their neighborhood stats like an ex sends a text when I hear “our song.”

zooey

Anyway, that’s all I have right now. Hope you enjoyed, and as always-thanks for reading! ~Ashley

What iHEARTtheATX is currently “Hearting”

I recently have taken my personal posts out of my old website and kept that more business-related…since not all my clients want to read about my thoughts and bad dates….so here we are-a new website for all 4 of you to read my random thoughts.

Soooo, with that, (and my new year’s goal to write more) I am attempting to try and write at least once a month about the things I am currently liking err “Hearting” (because it sounds more catchy with my website domain).

What is @ihearttheatx currently Hearting????

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1. IheartCGArena–This has been my gym for going on year 2 and it is expanding. Why I love it?:

CG Arena (aka Camp Gladiator, which also has multiple boot camp locations) is super duper close/convenient to me (even though you always have to turn around since it is on the access road-who cares). How I end up a few minutes late to some classes is beyond me, (actually it isn’t I am habitually a few minutes late). They have diverse trainers and members, good class times that fit the 9-5ers, the early-birds, the stay-at-homers and people like me who make their own schedule! Tons of variety too! From pilates to boxing, to sprint workouts to kettle bell and strength centered work outs there is something for everyone…literally, everyone. From beginner users of the 3lb dumbbells to athletes who want personal training sessions I am super happy to see the same faces (and accountability) and get a great workout burning 600-800 cals per class. Thanks CG!!!

PS Saturday 1.24 they are holding a re-grand opening as they have expanded, so you can try a ton of their classes. New added weight machines, class fitness rooms and child care.

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2.IheartNothingBundtCakes

Nothing Bundt Cakes is this adorable cake place has a few store fronts, and so many variations of cakes. I am happy to recommend them for baby showers (we did lemon and chocolate for a friend’s shower) And this past year I gave all my past clients Nothing Bundt Cakes for Christmas (well I paid a teenager to drop them off at their doorstep, but I did make all their Xmas tags and hand-write notes!!) And when people text me “Thank you so much they were so delicious” it brings me great joy. Try it! You don’t even have to pre-order they have them ready in the store and you can buy the little mini ones for a catering of many people or something.

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3.IhearttheTownLakeBoardWalk

The new Board Walk. Yes I know it is not called Town Lake any more, it is Lady Bird Lake, but it makes me so happy the board walk is in with plans of Waller Creek to develop. Not that I am an avid runner, but I’ve been running the trail since college (2003 to be precise, when I started to train for my first marathon). When we had to do the 10mi or 6mi loop (from MoPac), I ALWAYS dreaded the East side. Not that it was scary (ok it is scary running on Riverside as the cars go by super fast) but it was scarce. As soon as I would get to the part of the trail East of 35 I always questioned if I was going the right way and if there was a rapist lurking in the shadows. Still a little work to be done by the Longhorn Dam, but it is SO MUCH BETTER than what it was. Also–everyone has the infamous skyline photo from the Lamar bridge, when there is a beautiful skyline views from the boardwalk now! If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend. If you don’t want to do a loop or take too long I recommend parking on the street by Lake Shore (off E. Riverside) by the apartments and heading West. Great views and a nice walk over the water. I look forward to when Waller Creek will be finished up as well.

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You’re welcome.

Stay tuned for next month’s of what Ashley is currently Hearting.

(As an FYI this was not a paid endorsement-I wish I were that cool)

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