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My June Hearts

It was my goal at the beginning of the year to at least blog once a month, aaaand to try new things, aaaannnddd get out of the comfort zone, and share with others…blah blah blah…and that doesn’t always happen right? But here I am! Sharing with you a few things I have enjoyed these past few weeks. **Pats self on back*** (after being on “to do list” since May).

But here is what I would like to share with you–Things I have been hearting: “The It Got Hot Really Fast June Edition.”

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(A recent heart above from my last trip–Puerto Rico)

  1. Wu Chow–I have had the pleasure of enjoying this Asian restaurant a few times already this year for several celebrations. The reason you must go: Family style awesomeness. They accommodate big parties. They can do customized menus for your party. They aren’t an arm and a leg (they aren’t at food truck prices, but reasonable for the amount of food you get unlike a lot of these new fancy shmancy places that have popped up). They even print your party’s name on the menu. And it is SO DELICIOUS. The soup dumplings. The prawns. The duck. The greenbeans. I could go on. ALL OF IT…soo good.

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2.  Airrosti–The first few months of this year (and honestly on and off for maybe the past 2-ish years I have had a lot of pain in my lower back, glutes and lately the left hammy) it comes and goes based on activities, what I lift, how much I drive, and sadly jogging now, but lately it’s been the most unbearable. So I gave Airrosti a try. What the hell is Airrosti, you ask? Treatment centers (lots of locations) that’s one part assessment one part education…ok an another part pressure points-working on the actual area it hurts. I am not going to lie, my pain hasn’t exactly subsided. “Then why are you saying you like this place, Ashley,” you ask? Because I think it could help a lot of my fellow athletes. It has also reiterated the importance of foam rolling, stretching, warming up and taught me a few things to do. I did see a difference after the first appointment. But come my fourth–without me doing my homework, not so much. {The analogy I can think of is how you don’t floss that often until right before your appt, when you should be doing it every day}. Ain’t nobody got time to foam roll errday! Other perks: they take insurance, and you don’t need a referral like you do to see a PT. At my specific location I saw a Chiro, but I am not sure if that’s how they all operate, but could be a good start if you’ve had some pain.

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(Yep, that’s me above…doin’ my thing)

3. Headspace— It’s an app. Over the past few years my business and social life seem to be non-stop, and at times what I call “head spinning busy,” which I am not going to lie, I kinda like. When I am “burning the candle at both ends” as my Dad would say, I seem to get more done and feel more accomplished. BUT…yes, that’s not “good” for you. In addition to Headspace…I have always journaled, and last year I switched my journaling to positives only…and man what a great year I had. However, sometimes there needs to not be any thoughts. Sometimes we need a breather. A moment of silence/stillness…time to ourselves and that’s where this app comes in. {Sidenote if you are worried you don’t have time and won’t be successful–Bill Gates and many top CEOs and successful leaders block time daily to have NO distractions, only time to think/process/be creative or read… and a little “me time”} Headspace is a meditation app. I was told years ago by my therapist to give it a whirl, and I think I did it for five minutes one day and never again, but I have picked it back up (some). Little by little. And that’s where the app comes in. Starts you nice and slow for you beginner meditators–guided practice. I have also used it to fall asleep a few times, ha. It is not always easy to find the time to just sit and do nothing when we have a busy work day ahead of us and a million things to do. And as they say–those who think meditation is not easy are the ones who need it the most. So if you don’t do yoga, work on your breathing, or get daily “me time” and feel overworked, bogged down, exhausted by your constant to do list & overthinking with many items running through your head–you may want to start with Headspace.

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4. You Are a Bad Ass–By Jen Sencero. Yep, it’s a book. My accountability group reads a business-ish related book ever so often However, I decided to add this one to the mix since I finished our other read early. P.S I have found that audible is my new bestie while driving, cooking, folding laundry or getting ready in the AM. I have been blowing through some of my favorite reads (self improvement) And yes, I called it self “improvement” not self “help.” I needed a little pick-me-up after a rough start to the year, professionally and personally and I feel as though listening to the Author read her book to me put a little spring in my step. Am I going to change overnight? Of course not, but sometimes I think we all need a little pep talk and this is what that book did for me–a little mindset adjustment I needed. I do think it sliiiightly appeals to the female crowd more, but I would like a male take on it. {Runners up for this month in the self improvement category are: Slight Edge and Happiness Advantage. If you need a mindset shift, backed with science and studies, then I HIGHLY recommend The Happiness Advantage too!}

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There’s a few other things I would like to share, but since we are mid-way through June, I will attempt to save them for July and see how things are coming along. I am always open to suggestions on books, things to try, etc and welcome your opinions and comments!

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(can we take a vote to see if this should actually count as part of my heart collection?)

Have a wonderful Summer! Cheers.

 

Cheers to All the Moms

When I was in 6th grade we had to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Yes, even as a child I was a night owl and one of my favorite shows was Donna Reed (a 50’s show they played on Nick at Nite when I stayed up late enough to watch). Donna seemed to live this perfect, happy life. She made breakfast every morning for her family, sent them off with lunch each day, handled it all, kept a clean house AND wore a dress, heels and pearls while doing it. I wanted to be Donna. And believe it or not–I wrote my paper that year on why I wanted to be a “housewife.”

donna reed show

Wow. Funny how things change.

This picture below I caught on a friend’s Facebook page…I don’t even have kids and I can’t tell you how much I love it (and maybe because I relate?? or at least hear about this enough) Take a moment to squint and read it please:
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Hell, I just finished up Big Little Lies and I am not even a rich mom in CA living in a beautiful home on a coast and I kinda related to that show. How did we get to be so judgmental? As women–and really as a society as a whole?

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It’s 2017 now. And having children…not gonna lie, kinda terrifies me. I used to think I wanted kids. I mean, I do want kids. I mean, I think I do. I mean, it may be too late. I mean, if I meet the right guy maybe. I mean…hell I don’t know anymore! I am in my thirties now. Many of my friends and co-workers have kids and are having kids and ya know what? It doesn’t look easy and it doesn’t look fun. Is life always easy or fun? No. And I get it–there’s lots of fantastic things about having a family but I think what I have realized the most (or perhaps dreaded the most) is that the role of a Mother in 2017 has changed…a lot.

While I realize I don’t speak for ALL women, my perception of being a mother these days is sad. Not in the sense that being a mom is a sad role, but I am sad for Moms. You mamas do SO much. SO. MUCH. I get that some of it is in our wiring as a woman–yeah, yeah we are naturally “more nurturing” or can “multi-task better than men.” The role of a mother has changed, especially with more women “in the workforce.”

And not to knock guys (though I know I am really good at that), but the expectations of Motherhood are seemingly scary (again like the first photo I had mentioned above). Have a kid, but don’t bring them in this World with “drugs,” and while you are pregnant don’t have that wine, and you better be eating healthy or that kid is gonna have the beetus…then after you have that kid, feed them, nourish them, don’t sleep, fold the laundry and be sure to get back into your bikini body, while getting up 3x a night, managing the calendar of your home, get botox, pluck your grays, don’t nag at your partner, ask for help, but not too much help. Then return to work 9wks later while still in the middle of breastfeeding or not–(and get judged for quitting to soon) because you make as much as it would cost to have someone else take care of your child) and love them, but not too much, teach them tough love, but don’t bring them up to be heartless. Let them speak their mind, but teach them how to be open minded…Don’t forget to make dinner, network, get promoted, buy a bigger house for your growing family, be a supportive spouse and drink 62oz of water a day! All the while they’re going to grow up and still disappoint you, blame you for why the way they are (only the negative attributes) while costing an arm and a leg–and don’t even get me started on health care and insurance for all of this stuff too.

And while I don’t have a child of my own and can’t experience this “special bond” or joy of having a child and all that comes with it (ahem the positive attributes of course)–to those of you Moms that do it all (and I know so many of you)…I commend YOU! I really do.

multitasking mom

{Side Note: This task is not something I want to do alone (if at all) making it all the more hard to find a partner willing to contribute to raising a normal, hopefully healthy child…All the while helping out semi-equally, being supportive, calming yet humorous, financially responsible yet fun, a positive male figure, yet vulnerable, keeping me sane while educating and disciplining yet loving (especially if we have a girl, because I don’t want her to have “daddy issues” and at 13yo posting 30 seductive selfies a day to Instagram). Sigh.}

So with that…to my single moms who have had maybe more time with their child than their partner–who have raised these little humans, sacrificing all that I mentioned above (with little to no help-emotionally, physically and financially) and more–double bonus points for YOU!! xoxo

To my own Mom, aunts, friends, siblings, clients and co-workers who have birthed/adopted, raised, cared for, held, dressed, fed, cleaned up after, encouraged, listened to, taught manners to and curated a decent human being on this planet…{while still remaining sane}–I admire you, because this is no easy task! Happy Mother’s Day!

happy mothers day

P.S Why is it on Mother’s Day we have to take our mom’s to brunch or dinner or spend time with them but on Father’s Day we “let dad have a day to himself” or go play golf? Ya know what I think? You Moms can have a day to yourself too! Just leave…leave and don’t tell anyone where you are going and put that phone on silent. You can do it. (I mean unless of course you are breastfeeding, leave a bottle behind or something). That is all.

P.S.S For a good laugh-if you have seen this male anchor get interrupted by his kids while on air, you have to watch this parody! Go moms.

 

Whole 30: Round 2…A kickoff to 2017

“New Year, New Me!” blah blah blah…

I don’t really believe that above quote, because people don’t change overnight, but I do think it’s time for a little cleanse. Back in June I blogged of my experience testing Whole 30 with some lovely peeps from my gym and here I am again.

Yep, here comes another challenge of me laying off: the booze, the sugar, the processed foods, legumes, dairy and grains. Sounds pretty terrible, right?

I weighed myself a few weeks ago and yikes!! Twelve pounds up since August. (And oddly enough the same weight I was in December 2015, haha, oh the holidays). I keep track by writing it down in my phone here and there but I wouldn’t say that’s obsessive. (Do you?)

After my vacation (PS have you read my blog on packing, it is pretty awesome)-which was 3wks of on the go food, only walking and lots of wine  (Sep), then there was Halloween, then I moved myself, then Thanksgiving and then hit December-just like that. Time flies. I went to an event or party in December almost daily and barely found time to workout as well (ahem not terribly motivated when cold outside or too busy). And naturally topped off December with NYE–a partying weekend in Miami wishing I had worked out more the month prior.

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{Above: Barbie and I thoroughly enjoying our Euro vacation (these are from Florence). Wine, gelato, wine and Italian food were the main ingredients oh and wine, did I mention wine?}

So now, it is that time again. I can’t think of a better month than January. And, naturally I will be blogging daily to hold myself accountable (but also show you that if I can do it, so can you). This month will most likely be Whole 27 for me. As I leave for Mexico in the beginning of February for my lovely sister’s wedding (also another motivation for me to de-bloat and trim down for a beach wedding).

Jan 3 Day 1:

Went to HEB. Stocked up on items using this helpful list. Came home, grabbed a garbage back and tossed everything not W30 approps. Then I took all my booze and dumped it down the drain. JUST KIDDING! I am not crazy. I put it in a box and hid it from myself. I pinned a few recipes on Pinterest too (my Whole 30 Board here). I didn’t eat much yesterday due to lack of creativity and being busy but I did meal prep. I totally need to drink more water, I am still dehydrated from traveling and every time I sit up in bed or move too quickly I get dizzy. That can’t be good.

deep eddy graptefruit bottle

Meal prep: cut up veggies and fruits ready to go. And made a pork loin in crockpot as well as spaghetti squash ready to go.

Jan 4 Day 2:

Breakfast: Kicked off the AM with some of the pulled pork and spinach scrambled and two over-medium eggs on top. Trying to chug some water when I think of it. Also had some fruit as a snack while I worked.

Fruit for a snack, a Lara bar, some plantain chips and guac was kind of my lunch.  An apple before dodgeball

Workout: Soul Cycle (it was a scorcher!) then a dodgeball game

Dinner: Two eggs (yes this is a W30 staple) the rest of my avocado from yesterday and some bacon.

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(Been snapping my Whole 30 adventures with a few others, and I think it helps).

Feels: Dehydrated still, trying to drink more water and sleepy. I read about what I need to be eating pre and post workout–and that needs to improve fo sho. At times I often run errands after working out when I need to be refueling-protein, little fat and dense veggies. Same goes for pre-workout-eating 15-75min before and protein and a little fat. Where I go wrong: grabbing fruit (let’s face it, it is tasty and easy).

Jan 5 Day 3:

I woke up kind of late today. (I am too embarrassed to say how late, honestly. Working from home is nice and I didn’t set an alarm). Pulled pork, spinach and a few cherry tomatoes in an omelette for breakfast. Chugged a glass of water.

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Snacked on some berries again I had prepped and of course my go to guac and plantain chips as I worked. Rushed off to show a house, caught up in traffic, skipped the gym and decided to hit up Whole Foods for some recipes.

Hosted a few friends and made this delish pizza bake from PaleOMG, snacked on sweet potatoes while cooking (in usual fashion). Prepped a dish for my W30 Potluck tomorrow too. Caught up with some of my closest friends so tonight was a success and I don’t feel guilty about skipping a workout.

Jan 6 Day 4 of Whole 30:

This AM I woke up to make myself breakfast and knock out a little cleaning before my air bnb guest checked in. Yep, you guessed it: bacon and eggs and a little bit of avocado (most of it was brown dangit). So disappointing. I say it now, but I may change my mind, but I can’t get tired of bacon and eggs!

Snack at the office: bell peppers and an apple.

Lunch: leftover from the pizza bake last night.

Dinner: I hosted a whole 30 potluck. Success! We had guac x2, dump ranch (pretty amazing considering it is “clean”), veggie tray, bacon wrapped chicken, buffalo cauliflower bites, zucchini noodle avocado salad, chicken meatballs, buffalo chicken chili (my contribution, little spicy but when it is 30 degrees out, it was perfect). Brussel sprouts, plantain chips of course and to feel fancy I bought this flavored la criox and mixed with coconut water and drank them out of wine glasses :)

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So filling. After everyone left, because I ALWAYS want sweet after I eat, I had a Lara bar-here’s a list of the compliant bars in case you don’t want to read the labels (but they’r literally 2-5 ingredients).

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(My dish for the potluck dinner, bit spicy but awesome-PaleOmg.com)

Saturday Jan 7 Day 5:

Despite the thermometer reading 23 degrees out, I went to Crossfit and did the AM workout. Ran 2 errands and then came home and had the usual-bacon, eggs and half a small avocado. Goal: eat sooner after I work out, but working on it.

Feels so far: I keep having dizzy spells. Could be dehydration, but it occurs by sitting up to fast usually or quick movement. I nearly fell over the other day and Molly looked at me like I was crazy.

Cedar fever and cold weather not helping motivation level, it’s snuggle in bed weather fo sho….but plowing through regardless. Motivation: 2.4.17 wedding in Mexico…and my health of course.

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Snacking: berries, melon as I prepped my favorite Whole30 soup-Tom Kha (and I am NOT a soup person, but hey it’s 30 degrees here in Tx). I am still bored and have time to kill AND just started West World (PS having your kitchen open/facing TV now makes such a difference!)

Dinner: Made fried cauliflower fried rice with shrimp (confession I added peas…just a little, I already had some in the freezer, I am such a cheater ya’ll), then went bowling with friends (also doing Dryuary-get it dry as in sober + January?!, so that wasn’t too bad!) Packed a Lara bar and bell peppers in my bag for a snack….watched chubby kids eat cake and ice cream around me at a birthday party and was quite jealous.

My tom kha soup was ready when I got home-I spooned it into dishes for the week. Went to bed a little past midnight.

Sunday Jan 8 Day 6:

I swear, the most interesting thing about Whole 30 is I still wake up groggy and feeling slightly hungover, maybe that’s just how I am in the mornings no matter what??

Breakfast: With leftover cauliflower rice I made cauliflower cakes and did a fried egg on top with bacon and half an avocado (nope, still not tired).

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I also experimented and did a paleo pancake (banana+egg) for a little something sweet. Molly has been super lucky to get a little here and there while on Whole 30, egg whites mainly.

My cauliflower rice needs work. I should have used a grater and not a food processor, the consistency would have been better, good thing I have 20 something days to perfect it.

Off to show houses, packing snacks and my gym clothes. It is going to be a productive Sunday!

(picking this up where I left off, showed homes from about 12-5ish)

Hit a very short workout at gym (new gym has stupid hours on Sunday). So completed stair master for 20min. big whoop, but better than nothing I guess.

Came home to eat. I was feeling pretty weak this evening. Unsure why-but ravenous. I ate some leftover stir fry. Leftover tom kha soup. Snacked on plantain chips aaaaaand guac. Then I had some bare apple chips, love those things. what else? I got sweet potatoes in the oven now and all I want is a glass of wine, something good on Netflix. BUT…BUT…I will finish typing this blog, do some work, and hopefully get to sleep a little early tonight to get a good start on the week.

Midnight Confession: I found a Whole Foods 365 brand vanilla bean ice cream in my freezer from like a month ago with four bites left. Ok, five, it was five. And I ate it (I did add a few strawberries, does that make it better?) I had to get rid of it–so instead of trashing it, I ate it. Why am I so weak?! Quitting sugar cold turkey is hard. Forgive me.

Monday Jan 9 Day 7:

Woke up and didn’t eat, had to run to my AM meeting. But right after that I had some leftovers (duh) soup, “fried rice” and then on my way to show properties I had some roasted sweet potatoes and a Lara Bar.

I ended up showing for a long time. So what do you do when you are in Cedar Park and your stomach is about to eat itself and you want to cave sooo bad? I had a banana and some almonds from the Valero gas station, fun huh?

Worked out with friends, did the Sauna. Pit stop at Whole Foods, nearly passed out-I NEED more water, why do I do this to myself? (Also, I keep meaning to put total what I spend on groceries). I am still determined I spend less than if I were going out to eat and socializing and drinking, but the bill adds up as you walk around and grab a few more Lara Bars ($1.29 ea at whole foods), an onion for this recipe, some snacks to hold you over, and of course pre-cut fruit when you are on the go at WF is also $8.00. Ugh.

You know those cool videos on Facebook that make cooking look easy? Well that’s what I attempted today-and it was actually really easy and tasty from Goodful, recipe HERE. At the same time I cleared out some stuff in the fridge and did the spaghetti bake for this week’s meals among the other leftovers.

lemon chick and spaghetti squash

I also decided to start marinating my brussel sprouts in this Tessemae’s balsamic, for maybe something I cook up tonight-will let you know how it goes. If you haven’t tried this line, I hear it is good stuff, but I will let you know.

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Tuesday Jan 10 Day 8:

That’s it? It’s only been 8 days?! For some reason I feel weaker on this challenge than my first go round….or maybe I just can’t recall the bad and only remember the good (like when you think of a past ex when you’re sad, right?)

Breakfast: Confession, didn’t eat one, was running late, grabbed a bag of carrots I had in fridge in ziplock.

“Failure to plan. Plan to fail.” That quote comes to mind today as I had a meeting, then worked from office after running errands. Ugh I want cheeseballs (there’s always a huge tub in our office kitchen). I want popcorn. I want ANYTHING bc I am hungry.

But I do this thing where I get in the zone and just keep working. Left office at 3pm.

Snack: Found some almonds in my car from yesterday-finished those.

Late Lunch: My leftover spaghetti bake I made last night for the next few days.

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Dinner: After showing houses and yoga, yes I did yoga. What the hell is happening to me, right? I had leftover spaghetti again, on top of baby arugula for some greens and a coconut cream pie Lara bar for “dessert.” I also snacked on berries for about 5min with the fridge door open deciding what to eat. And now I am back on the blog and laptop and back to work for a busy day manana (Which I plan on prepping for tonight so I don’t eat my arm. Is my arm whole 30 approved? I think so).

Feels: My current feels/mood…hmm I bought some new pots for the kitchen, because I am a f’n paleo chef now and should have my own blog. Kidding of course. I have been cooking quite a bit but still looking forward to when I am done with Whole 30. Lifts up shirt in bathroom mirror and ask myself “did I lose 10lbs yet?” I feel like I should come up with some tasty salad creations, I am craving more “fresh and cold and crunchy” than these casseroles I keep making. Maybe that’s the weather going from 30 to 70. Who knows. This blog is like every man’s worst nightmare: What a female ate daily and her random inner thoughts.

Wednesday Jan 11 W30 day 9:

Happy Birthday Bethany! (in case you are reading)

Breakfast: At home-bacon strips (too crispy dangit), 2 eggs, and an avocado. Mmm.

Lunch: Kombucha, salad bar from whole foods with roasted turkey and a lara bar to top it off.

Then I took some potential clients to lunch. They hadn’t eaten yet and ya’ll….

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I, Ashley Brinkman took them to Torture Tacos.. I mean Torchy’s but it was a bit of Torture. I sat there and watched them eat chips and queso as we discussed houses and hoods. They also had the baja, the trailer park, the wrangler (trashy style) and fried avocado, tried them all and shared. I sat there. And commented on the salsas. They also had a margarita and a beer….mmm margarita.

Showed homes until about 7:30pm where I came home and ate everything in site (leftover spaghetti bake, leftover tom kha, berries, and plantain chips), then ran to dodgeball (not literally).

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(the things I find in pantries when showing houses).

Post dodgeball I was near an HEB and decided I need prosciutto for some egg cups I am going to make soon. Oh I also want to make this frittata some time soon!

Wanted cake. Had a banana. Success!

Told myself I would be in bed by 11pm.

It’s midnight now.

And tomorrow I have another full day…here we go. Keep you posted on if I cave, but the sugar craving has been very strong. You don’t realize how much temptation is out there and readily available until you tell yourself you can’t have it (don’t need it and “don’t blow it now Ashley”) Night night!

Thursday Jan 12 Whole 30 day 10:

Breakfast: made egg cups this am, had a few of those as I got my stuff ready for appts.

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During day: Had an appt, packed snacks. Made a pit stop and bought a Kombucha (the GT’s brand is really tasty and doesn’t have any added sugar, satisfies my sweet tooth a bit and fills me up because it is fizzy) had some fruit, a Lara bar and almonds to hold me over a bit.

Later I wrapped up appts, went for a quick jog and then got ready for an event. I hadn’t really eaten much but snack food.

Dinner: Food at the party was actually really good, I made myself two plates of veggies, they had beets, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, all roasted and cold, but I thought it was great. I had topo chico with lime (made them serve it like I was drinking vodka sodas hehe) and they also had some salmon and these delicious avocado cups with fish and a pico like salsa served in it. Can’t complain! I ate a few strawberries off the dessert bar and resisted dessert!

Later at home: I heated up the rest of the chicken chili I had from a few days ago (my dietician bestie would not approve of how long it was in the fridge) added avocado (half of a small one) and a few plantain chips. A little late to be eating, but I don’t really care. It was a good night and I stuck to my plan so I am proud of myself.

Feels: Today was good, despite not eating too much, my snacks held me over. Bloating less. weighed in, scale said 4lbs down…but I know they are just numbers on a scale, that can change over night…still was nice to read. Still getting dizzy-ish if I get up to fast, flip my hair over when blow drying etc. What the hell is wrong with me?!

Friday Jan 13, Day 11 Whole 30:

Let’s see, my day started with a phone call that went like “Oh did you not see my last email I wanted to meet at 10, not 10:30” and me scrambling to get down south on time. So, I grabbed an apple.

Breakfast: Apple.

Had another appt after that (long story short, after a wal mart trip for keys to get made I was famished and bought a banana and more water there, then rushed to my 1:30.

So, around 2ish when I got home, all I had was an apple and a banana and maybe a Lara bar from my console I had handy.

Late Lunch: heated up the last of some leftovers, then went mountain biking! (first time solo, was pretty proud of myself as I am a newb).

Side note: Allergies are kickin’ my A$$…I am miserable. I can breathe through my nose, however can barely see out my eyes. In fact I want to scratch out my eyeballs. Can you relate?

As I have mentioned before, at times I get going on projects and then find myself at Home Goods alone on a Friday at 7pm like “Oh, I should eat, it’s been a while and I just saw a chocolate bar in line that I could totally just cheat and eat right now.” mode.

I refrained, had a HEB trip, then Home Depot trip, then I cut some stuff for the week and made a steak and roasted those brussels sprouts I had been marinating. It was awesome. Then I organized my garage.

Overall you could classify my day as: Being a man (with the exception of the trip to Home Goods).

Fun fact: Only today did I notice that it is, in fact “Brussels sprouts not brussel sprouts” (cue the more you know shooting star) Derived from Brussels, go fig.

themoreyouknow shooting star

Saturday Jan 14, Day 12 of Whole 30:

Like the first round of Whole 30, (and overall my weaknesses in wellness) are:

  1. Drinking plenty of water.
  2. Going to bed at a reasonable time.

So in bed at 2am I went on Friday. Only to be awakened around 4am, then again 6am with the worst allergies, inability to breathe and constant sneezing. Finally at 7am I woke up to do Neti Pot and steam, more Zyrtec and Flo-nase…which ended up me just saying f it and taking a hot bath, then falling back asleep until it was time to hit the gym. Did the AM workout, then brunch!

Sidenote: I was at the gym and the wellness challenge meeting was happening, I got a recap and decided to do it. What’s another 45 days of eating Paleo and stuff?! hahahah (I’ve gone mad).

Holy shit, what am I thinking?

In all actuality, it will be good for me. If there’s one thing I think helped me achieve my goals last year, it was the accountability groups I was involved in. So perhaps journaling (this is on a point/honor system as well as results) and the accountability group/# of people from my gym involved, will be good for me! But seriously, who am I??

I did a Whole 30 brunch with a few other ladies also on Whole 30 (see, there’s that accountability again) and it was nice to bond, fill up on good stuff and chat. Thanks for hosting Whit!

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(pretty little se up too, huh?)

My breakfast casserole recipe: I actually didn’t find it, I was inspired, and did my own thing. Took onion, mushrooms, artichokes in skillet with a little olive oil, then added some chopped asparagus, last spinach and cooked it all up, added some onion and garlic powder for taste. Took about 6ish eggs and egg whites and whisked those in a bowl. Placed the veggies in a casserole dish, then added the shredded prosciutto pieces, mixed it up, Added a few more slices on top, then added in the egg. Baked at 350 degrees for about 20-30min.

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However, I liked this dish much better! Check it out here!

After that was a little work. Then bridal Extravagnza with a friend (and resisted so many cake and appetizer samples it wasn’t even funny). Straight to steroid shot for allergies…which lead me to passing out, having to lay down and get an ice pack and them asking me how long it had been since I ate.

My response “It’s been a while, but it’s not the lack of food, I am just a big wuss when it comes to needles.” That thing hurts too! But boy does it work, already immediately feeling better.

Dinner: I had leftover chicken from a dish the other night, I heated that up with onions and some green bell pepper and tossed that over greens with some guac I whipped up and cherry tomatoes and a few plantain chips for crunch, dash of lime. BOOM-that was my on the fly “Mexican food” dinner.

 

Then shower and dinner with a friend at Maudie’s. I snuck in a flavored La Croix and ate a piece of grilled Mahi from the “salad add ons” on the menu.

And here I am. Exciting Saturday night, huh folks? For some reason, even though I have more “time” from not drinking, I am still not maximizing it. That quote–“If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.” Perhaps the more I have on my plate (including drinking on the weekends) the more I squeeze in and get done, I dunno? I am not hungover, and definitely productive… (as I glance around my room that looks like a bomb went off…hmmm…maybe productive isn’t the right word).

Feels: Aside from passing out, I am starting to feel less bloated. I STILL must drink more water. I may buy something that has the ounces listed to attempt to keep track. (any ideas?) And I gotta lay off them plantain chips-very addicting, and salty. Night night!

Sunday January 15, Whole 30 day 13.

So today was not a good day, but it wasn’t a bad day.

The good: I stayed compliant even during a one year old Fiesta themed Birthday party! Cake, dips, chips, tacos, brownies, it all looked so good, but I ate the chicken over lettuce and snacked on the carrots in guac.

The bad: I didn’t eat breakfast, then I had a meeting, then I rushed off to the Birthday party–therefore, I had a fruit cup and some nuts that I picked up from the hours of 9ish to 3pm, I know that is not good, I tell ya, I get in work mode….and I am terrible. There was some good football on today and plenty of distractions.

Later, after that I picked up the girl I volunteer with and we cooked a healthy meal at home, egg scramble for her with veggies and my go to-BE&A (bacon, eggs and avocado).

We then went to a movie. No snacks! Just water (and I had a kombucha).

Because I am also doing the wellness challenge now (started today with my gym) I get points for the things I avoid eating (ie staying paleo, no sugar, no grains etc) in addition to drinking enough water and getting at least 7hrs of sleep. This, I already know will be my struggle: water and sleep. Almost hit all my ounces, in fact I may have if you could the sparkling water I had.

I am trying to get off to bed now, so I get my seven hours of sleep. Water I am barely going to hit (but I had to go pee so many times today-so annoying!)

So still with ya Whole 30!! Somehow…still with ya.

Monday January 16 Day 14 of Whole 30. Half way-ish through! Yay!

Breakfast: apple, banana, some blackberries (I was in a training and grabbed whatever I could from fridge this AM

Lunch: Scottish Salmon from Snap Kitchen

Workout: Soul Cycle (Rachel’s class was fun, killer and Rihanna v Beyonce-so no complaints!)

Dinner after: Leftover casserole (one with veggies, eggs and prosciutto) and some egg cups and WATER! Ample water. Getting some work done and trying to head to bed to get enough sleep, another packed day tomorrow.

Meal prep tonight: Super easy pork carnitas. Just bought a few spices after workout to rub on pork and left in crockpot with lots of lime juice, also bought some romaine lettuce leaves to wrap like a taco with tomatoes and avocados and maybe mango (I might make a salsa) keep ya posted.

Tuesday Jan 17, Whole 30 Day 15

Haaaalffff waaayyyy theeeeerrrree!!!

For a funny take on Whole30 you can read this guy here.

Today’s Brekky: Bacon, eggs, half an avocado (late for meeting at office, per usual)

Lunch: light salad at whole foods, with a few strawberries and a kombucha.

Trying to get my 1pt for drinking enough ounces of water and nearly peed my pants 3x today. It’s rough when you ride in dirty Austin traffic, folks.

Showed a bunch of homes, then hit the gym around 6:30pm. The dizzy/light headed feels came on again while working today and post workout. I hear it is because I am not snacking enough and going too long between meals. (I really think it’s because my body could use a piece of cake).

But it’s TACO TUESDAY! I am so pleased with my dinner–last night’s pork came out awesome.

Shredded pork carnitas lettuce wraps, topped with a dash of plantain chips, avocado and diced tomato. So tasty. So fresh, I really enjoyed it and the pork wasn’t as spicy as I thought it was going to be! Winning. That’s all I got today folks.

Must get my 1pt for 7hrs of sleep, I can do this! Night night.

January 18, Whole 30 day 16!

I got enough sleep-just enough (and I keep peeing in the middle of the night dammit).

Brekkie: Leftover pulled pork and spinach with a fried egg on top.

Showed houses, came home and worked some more and kept really busy so honestly lunch went a little like this.

Lunch: a handful of pecans, some cantelope, some berries, and can’t really think of anything else.

Then Soul Cycle (90’s hip hop class, what what?!) Followed by dodgeball.

Dinner: Bacon, eggs and avocado. And I made a spaghetti bake for the week. As I cooked (bc I was starving) I snacked on pomegranate seeds, berries and a few pecans.

January 19, 2017, Whole 30 day 17…

Breakfast: Half an avocado, 2 pcs bacon, 2 sunny side up eggs (I know, I know—how do I keep eating this? I am not sure, but the yolk with the piece of bacon with a little avocado on top is my jam ya’ll, so good).

Lunch: Went to celebrate a wedding dress purchase (not mine, duh) and catch up with friends lunch. Had the Allandale at Cover 3-with no cheese, no candied pecans and no dressing. To be honest it was tasty and I am still full (4pm as I write this). Was my chicken organic? Probably not, but I am not going to split hairs-that was impressive for me to eat a dry salad.

Gym today: I did the “wellness challenge” and our benchmark workout.

So 50 box jumps (which took me way too long) 2:48. And 7 minutes of burpees. Aka hell (which I also wasn’t too impressed with myself) I got 82, was shooting for 90. But this will be good to see how I do at the end of the challenge and if any improvement.

I then did yard work, which I count as a light workout (and FINALLY took down my front Christmas lights).

Dinner: Leftover spaghetti bake. I then ran to the store because I was feeling inspired (and had to make a return at Target anyway ha) to try Coach Kelly of Eat the gain’s chicken tender recipe. I will let you know how it turns out.

It’s Fridaaaaayyy also Inauguration Day and most importantly-my dog’s 2nd Birthday.

Breakfast: An apple, some pomegranate seeds on the way out the door. Took #goodGollyMissMollyMaltipoo to the fantastic groomers and doggy day care, ran some errands, worked some at Whole foods…this was my semi

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Lunch: From the salad bars (honestly at Whole Foods there isn’t much bc their salad bar is loaded with carbs, grains or sauces with sugar. So I had turkey cubed, some blueberries, and a hard boiled egg. Not the most wonderful lunch I had, but did the trick after my small breakfast.

Worked at the East Austin office a bit, then headed home in fantastic rush hour (starving).

Tonight I hosted friends for dinner. Friends who are trying to eat healthy and they loved the spaghetti bake from PaleOMG! Yay! I also made the chicken tenders from Eat the Grains, and I put some chicken in the crockpot for later this week (Got the New Whole 30 cook book, what what?!) and made guac for us to snack on. They had wine. I had some flavored la croix with a dash of coconut water (in a wine glass to feel fancy of course).

Workout: I consider us playing Just Dance 3 a little bit as one.. and they left by 11. I may have stayed up and danced by myself a few songs after they left.

I may just go to bed on a Friday night before 1am (who am I??)

Saturday Jan 21, Whole 30 Day 19…stayin’ strong

Workout: CFCL, was a good one today! Sprint type workout, with lots of cardio (my fav, in a really weird way, I know). Confession…I had a spark today. Most drink coffee, I never have and it was going to be a long day-so I had a Spark for my caffeine (which has added sugar). So no points for me on the wellness challenge in the “no sugar” category.

Breakfast: Attempted these soft boiled egg in an avocado bacon wrapped ball thingies. It was not as good as my usual, but at least I attempted something new-ish. Fail.

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Lunch: Well I showed houses for the rest of the day (so proud of my water intake) Come 5pm when I got home, my stomach was eating itself, so held off with sparkling water and fruit until dinner. I am going out tonight with an old co-worker/friend and super pumped.

Dinner: I tried Flower Child today. It is a counter-service type of place, the line was out the door, but didn’t stop me from eating healthy with my friend and catching up. Because I had already had sugar, I decided to go with the “mix and match” I had Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and chicken–naturally there was a little sugar in the sauce they do the veggies in, so I still stuck with everything else but syrup she said was in the Brussels sprouts. Can’t win em all, and so worth it. I will say it was basically like a better snap kitchen on my plate in a super cute atmosphere.

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When I got home I had some more water and a few pecans, finished up some work, blogged this and called it a night. Here’s to getting at least 7hrs for tomorrow-wish me luck. #nightowlprobs

 

In sum, been sticking with it. Water is a struggle for the wellness challenge, but I manage to barely get by, or chug at night as I finish up my blog for the day..

Sunday Jan 22 Whole 30 Day 20

Sunday was Gym (squats, AB bike) then I did hot yoga, picked up some stuff from Whole Foods to complete a few recipes and dinner with a girlfriend to discuss trip planning. She showed me a lil sesame oil, a little rice vinegar and salt and pepper go a long way on my asian chicken salad–so it’s my new fav thing.

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Monday Whole 30 Day 21 (3 week mark, woohoo!)

Feels: I don’t feel all that different like I did the first time, but I also think I may be too f’n busy to pay any attention. I definitely don’t feel bloated so that’s nice, but I do think I am eating too many fats. Mmm…bacon eggs and avocado. So my goal this week is to get in more greens.

Breakfast: No time to cook, had an apple and carrots during a presentation

Lunch and dinner were at home: The spaghetti bake I made the night before and that’s where the need for greens come in–I am snacking on plantain chips and avocados or salsa when I should be eating something more satisfying, like veggies.

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Gym: 2min  of rowing, 2min of resting, 12 rounds.

Then I stopped at HEB for the sesame oil and vinegar and to grab some more greens for the salad I am going to make. Prep’d those for the week and cut fruits and veggies to grab when on go.

Tuesday Jan 24 Whole 30 Day 22

Happy Birthday Kent! (My mentor, second dad, cheerleader, advisor, therapist and overall awesome guy I am happy to have in my life).

Breakfast: Heated up the spaghetti bake and ate while getting ready.

Lunch: I packed a lunch but since I wanted to take my new assistant (woohoo! Yes, I have an asst now helping me out with stuff) to lunch I ordered a salad. I was so proud of myself.

Galaxy cafe-Ahi Tuna salad, no dressing, add avocado and in my bag was my home made dressing! So I did that! hehe.

Pre-workout-few plantain chips as I worked and spaghetti bake again.

Workout: A free/new workout. Strength and a little bit of cardio, I tried out Atomic Athlete because it’s f*ck your friends week. Yes, they call it that, and I think it is brilliant from a marketing standpoint. Good workout overall, will re-try it Friday when there is a more cardio intense workout too.

Post workout: Asian chicken salad, some lasagna bake, a hand full of pecans, some berries, and a Lara bar…oh and my left arm…seriously?! I guess it was a good workout-It’s like I couldn’t stop. My water goal is still hard. I have three-ish Camelbaks per day and nearly piss myself when stuck in traffic, but I know my body is now getting used to the intake bc I think it craves it more, as odd as that may sound. For example I feel thirstier more often than I used to-or maybe I notice it more. Anyway, I am trying my hardest!

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Time for me to get them 7hrs of zzzz’s… will have to skip my book tonight. Have you read the Slight Edge? If not I recommend it. Talks about why you shouldn’t do stuff like Whole 30 (haha, not really, but kinda) The premiss is doing little stuff to stay the course vs. trying to change everything all at once. Will keep you posted on that read. Speaking of, thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday Jan. 25, Whole 30 Day 23…

Breakfast: Time for bacon, eggs and a small avocado (besides the lil brown spots in it, dammit)

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Lunch: Lara bar (I was busy today but had this mid day)

Then showings, a meeting, more showings, dodgeball, a few little pop by’s of clients and finally home for dinner.

Din din: Shredded chicken in romaine lettuce hearts with a few plantain chips, avocado, salsa, diced tomatoes (so hungry I forgot to take a pic first, but it was pretty). Basically tacos without the diary and tortillas.. followed by a kombucha, a little “This is Us” and now bed.

Thursday Jan 26 (whole 30 day 24)

Happy Birthday to my sweet, darling, talkative, happy little nephew, Blaine!

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(so precious right…photo cred..me, duh).

Breakfast: Made time for bacon and eggs (in the skillet today–I usually like my bacon in oven for crispness) and one small avocado.

Lunch: Was delayed but so proud I stuck with it–Asian chicken salad I had prepped this week w/ sesame oil/vinegar dressing, a lemon lara bar, some fruit. I delivered a bunch of Girl Scout cookies. Basically torture.

You know how hard it is to drive around with Girl Scout cookies in your car when you can’t have any?!? Thinking of stashing away one box for March, but can’t even decide which one. Mmm so many good choices. Carmel delights…tag-a-longs…s’mores, thin mints…ok must stop thinking about cookies

Workout: Today I tried Fly-Wheel at Domain, Hmm tough call between this and Soul Cycle. Soul has more of a beat and you let the music guide you (and push of instructors) and this one was more of me focusing on RPM’s and torque and winning the sprint races. You can see your score on the board, so this is good for competitive people like myself who need to be on the leader board (I was first place for the record). Ok but also, there was only three femaled who partook in the “torque board.”

My friend Brooke and I did the class, then I introduced her to some delish spaghetti bake leftovers and the frittata I whipped up earlier in day for the week. Such a good idea when you are running out of veggies or want something easy to make…

I took asparagus and onion mix from whole foods, spinach, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, then I sautéed that up, added prosciutto in this mix. Then whipped up about 6 eggs and some egg whites and poured in to the cast iron skillet where all the veggies were. Baked about 30ish minutes for 350 degree. Also had a little plantain chip and guac snack and some fruit. When I get home I am like the hulk and just start blasting through cabinets and fridge until I hunger satisfied basically.  My Frittata below (before egg and after when all done).

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Falling asleep while writing so time to get some rest! Eeeek next week this time I will be in Mexico-woohoo!

Friday Jan 28…so close yet so far…

I started off this morning with a speeding ticket. Ugh. Which also made me late for first appt, then that appt ran more behind, then behind all day. By my last appt I spilled water on myself getting out of my car and had gum on my shoes. But it is what it is. (such a hard life I lead).

Breakfast: Last night’s frittata with small avocado.

Lunch: Ate on the way to my appt and in my appt-my asian salad, an apple, lara bar and bell peppers.

At this point, when we wrapped up I was in lovely 4pm-ish Austin traffic heading to the gym-and nearly turned off three times to go home. Was NOT feelin’ it today.

Workout: I did our weekly challenge of 100 calories for time on the assault bike. Joined Allie for a few wall balls and then did some abs, nothing too demanding, but better than nothing, I guess?

Dinner: Shredded chicken with salsa and guac in a romaine leaf like a taco. Sad I am out of plantain chips! And a piece of my frittata. Snacked on some bare apple crisps. I am CRAVING wine. It is Friday, I had a long day and it makes me realize how automatic (and good) it feels to have a glass of wine to chill.

Feels Today are STRONG: “I am so over Whole 30,” “not even seeing or feeling any different, so what’s the use?” “What’s one glass of wine once I get home?” “mmm brownies, f-it, I want it, I came far enough.”

**sees Culver’s and wants to turn off for ice cream.

**sees sign to my gym– wants to drive past and not pull in.

Also when I got home today I had a little package. Uh oh. I knew exactly what it was. As a realtor, some lenders I work with send us treats (and I just bought a house from my lender so naturally…I get the gifts). Today was brownies. Delicious f’n brownies I know all to well. I opened the box to assure myself..YEP! It’s the tasty brownies from Fairytale. What’s a gal to do?

I started to justify all the reasons I don’t need to be on Whole 30. I DESERVE a break. What is one glass of wine? I even reached out to a few friends on my moments of weakness–I really thought one would help me with weakness, Nope! They all said the same thing–“Don’t do it Ashley! You are in the final home stretch! You can do it!” Ugh. no fun. I hate you all.

Then I started to think of how far I had come. And how crappy I will feel, and how I am going to be in Mexico next week, which will feel so much better than eating a brownie all alone in my pajamas on a Friday night, ha.

So alas, here I am…watching a new show on Amazon, papers for work scattered about as I brainstorm for 2018 and wrapping up my blog as my new nightly ritual/accountability.

Thanks for reading! Wish me a stronger Saturday.

Saturday Jan. 28 2017-Day 26 of Whole 30…

Today was my asst first day. Which was interesting for me–I actually had time to do stuff around my house in the AM–dishes, laundry, some work and breakfast!

Mornin’!: Shredded chicken and salsa in skillet, warmed up, then took sunny side up egg on top with some avocado slices (how creative I know, but still love it).

Went on a bike ride with my friend, Barbie. Good times-we biked hills, trails, roads for about 1.5 hours. Came home and polished off a few leftover items in fridge as snacks, some La Croix and coconut water mixed, then got ready and showed homes until about 6, so I went about 5ish hours without eating–No bueno, I realize.

Dinner: Sushi! I wanted a roll soooo bad, but held strong with pieces of sashimi and seaweed salad and an “avocado bomb” of some sort-crab in an avocado basically.

Remember how last night I wanted to just say f it and cave? Well tonight, I did…kinda. Ok now it was a full on cheat, though if you were cheating, you probably would’t have chosen this…

I went to HEB for a re-stock on avocados and plantain chips (thinking I would just make some guac and call it a night, but noooo)

I tried the nada-moo coconut ice cream. When I got home I diced up bananas and was just going to have a few bites. Nope, ate the whole pint. #stillgotit

I don’t understand how I went two weeks ago thinking: I could do this until the end of February-no problem, I will win my gym wellness challenge, I am so on it and motivated and cooking up a storm. Call me Melissa Hartwig

To now: I want ice cream, I want wine. I am never going to change, this sucks, I suck. Why do I have no willpower?! Why can’t I lose weight. I need to just be happy being fat. Why can’t I do just do something for 30 days, it’s not that hard…wah.

Frustrated with myself.

Sunday Jan 29…(continuing from yesterday’s post my feels):

That’s the ONE thing I hate about whole 30. The end of it. {You see, I am hard on myself, so when I mess up–I think about it–a lot. I dwell, I say mean things to myself–I wasn’t beaten as a child or anything, I don’t know why I am like this, but I hold myself to high expectations– and I know I shouldn’t}. And hopefully you can relate to wanting something really bad–something you can easily control–and then only being disappointed when you cannot achieve it.

The end of Whole 30 is coming and I can’t even make it to then. I also leave for Mexico for my sister’s wedding in a few days…which falls in the introductory phases. Do I think I can do this easily and successfully while in Mexico at a resort? No. (Though I have looked up some of the restaurants and thought about sustainable airplane snacks, don’t get me wrong). So I already have this guilt of “Ok, I will only drink xyz on this day, and I will eat fresh fruit and run and… and..and…” Because what’s the point of doing all this hard work just to throw it away on vacation? Of course, every normal person says “It’s Mexico, you better have fun and enjoy yourself!”

So if Whole 30 has taught me anything. It’s that I need to love myself more. It’s exhausting. The guilt I feel for adding items back into my normal diet and the comparisons I do to myself are exhausting. Yes, it’s for my health, and yes it’s about changing habits and understanding how food effects my body, but let’s be honest… I did it this year because

  1. December was terrible and I needed a “black and white re-set”
  2. I did it before and knew I could do it again (plus I am not slammed with work)
  3. I had an accountability group
  4. I wanted to lose 10lbs like last time before sister’s wedding

But alas, I am not getting those same results as I did the first go round. I only start to feel very isolated (and I am a social being, so this can be hard for me–turning down things bc I know they are tempting, or hosting things solely W30 focused–but I know that’s my goal and it’s what I had to do) and guilty.

I could vent some more, but I had a pity party for one already.

Side note relating back to sugar/mood etc: I also realized in the chapter about sugar that I was reading today that this go-round on Whole 30 I haven’t really kicked my sugar cravings. As the book says, when you want something sweet-don’t cave to fruit or a dried fruit/nut bar–your brain doesn’t know the difference–it still gets its fructose, thus you are still training your brain to have something sweet after you eat (your brain doesn’t know the difference between cake and berries). Though I will argue my guilty conscious sure does…though it doesn’t always stop me.

But honestly, if you asked me how I have felt on Whole 30–Besides the dizzy spells (yep, still get them, today it was in Yoga). I haven’t felt terribly full/bloated  (I did last night at sushi actually) and after I eat way too many plantain chips, but this time around I think I am eating enough fat for fuel throughout the day (if not too much). Last June I was SO TIRED, but I haven’t felt that AS MUCH this time around–besides BS allergies, those always bring me down, however. (On a scale of 1 to miserable today was a 7).

Today’s food:

Breakfast: Nothing but water, had a nutritional talk at my gym, then I did yoga after.

Lunch: Mad Greens-did a build my own salad, no dressing-chicken, spinach, avo, tom, cucumbers and mango.

In between showing homes, I saw a Baskin Robbins. I pulled through the drive thru. I read the menu–saw the calories. Then I thought-do you really want to throw in the towel to this?? And I apologized to the guy for wasting his time ha, off to work. FOCUS ASHLEY! FOCUS!

Second lunch/early dinner: After showing more homes for a few hours, I came home to cook something before I caved to some other crap. This time I took my shredded chicken, some sweet potatoes and scrambled that up, then ate to SSU eggs on top with a few avocado slices.

Packed some snacks for a picnic and books, picked up the girl I volunteered with and we hung out for a few hours. (I laid off the fruit though as we hung out and listened to my body-I was thirsty, not hungry). *pats self on back*

Dinner: Sweet potato wedges, a handful of plantain chips, handful of pecans as I cleaned up a bit. I know, I know, not the most satisfying, but wasn’t really hungry.

Sigh, few more days of this stuff, and lots of thinking to do…some of which includes not being so hard on myself.

 

November Hearts

I know it has been a long time since I have blogged (June to be exact), but because it isn’t my “job” it usually gets thrown to the wayside as other priorities pop up and need to be handled first, but it is overdue–a post about things I am currently hearting (loving/liking).

heart-cinque-terre(this is from one of my fav places in Italy, Cinque Terre)

{I really need some kind of voice to text while I am driving, so that can eliminate the time spent actually sitting and typing and uploading pretty photos, ha}

Being that it’s that time of year–You know, the “giving” time, but also for me–it is a time of reflection and goal planning for next year (personally and professionally). A lot has happened since my last blog post (the one where I blogged all month about being on Whole 30) and I am feeling grateful, in a great place and have a few things to share with you!

Things that have happened in the last 5ish months…a few Summer parties, my co-hosted All White Bday bash, my client appreciation party, a 3 week Europe trip, remodeled my guest bathroom (that is a whole other blog topic I plan to cover) top agent for September (which is crazy) closed 22 houses, rented out my personal home and bought a flip house that was in the middle of construction, somewhere in there I managed to sleep. Whew, I am exhausted, but somehow still have the energy to share with you, something I haven’t done in a while–My Hearts for November.

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(Client appreciation party @ Lustre Pearl East= Success!)

Without further ado…

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(This one is from Budapest-one of my fav Euro cities I visited this Summer)

Here is what I am currently Hearting!!

  1. SOUL CYCLE

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As you may know I try to keep as active as possible. One thing I do know about myself is that I do NOT do well working out on my own. So, I joined a pal and tried out Soul Cycle….LOVE IT. Now, I can’t only do cycling, I do like variety for workouts, but I will say–the music, the energy, being in that dark room and sweating your a$s off, is a nice change up from your workout routine and a possibly a great addition to whatever else you are doing. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. I am fortunate enough to live close to the Domain location. I have almost tried all the instructors and my advice to you would be to try a 3 class pass, and change up instructors each time. I prefer mornings (shocking I know, as I am not a morning person) but I find parking and less traffic and kicking off my day with the class refreshing. What’s it like? A Dark studio, instructor on stage, rows and rows of bikes facing the stage, and a tight fit-but in a good way. Then each time, different music and you dance on your bike, you pedal to the beat and there’s also some upper body incorporated and dumbbells. Nothing has ever made me feel like I don’t have rhythm like a Soul Cycle class, but practice makes perfect! Last Thursday they had a Rihanna v Drake class. The change up of the music is nice and keeps you motivated. I have had everything from Ellie Golding to John Denver (remixed), Mumford and Sons to Weezer, so again-the instructor’s music choice varies. Check it out.

2. THANKSGIVING

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(please enjoy yourself for Thanksgiving, it’s one day)

Being it is November and I leave for Memphis to visit some family, as I do every year, I have to say THANKSGIVING IS THE BEST HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR!! Here is why–NO presents, only time spent with those you are thankful for (hopefully). That’s right. I think the present giving commercialized Holiday Christmas has become is ridiculous and never ending. There were a few childhood Christmas’ my family and I were in arguments over stupid presents (like the time my mom got me black Dr. Martens and not the brown ones all the cool kids had…I was so ungrateful). Anyway, for me, Thanksgiving is a time to really, really reflect on what I am thankful for. If you had to list what you are thankful for-and you had to take out the following: family, friends, health and a roof over your head–what else would be on your list? Thanksgiving in my family also means GAMES! My competitive nature is practically genetic…our traditions often consist of Michigan Rummy, laser tag (yes, laser tag), a game of Horse in the driveway, and Pictionary (but on a huge dry erase board like that old game show Win Lose or Draw). Last year it was Bean boozled (ps you must watch this video of football players playing this game here) and I have another one up my sleeve for this year that Amazon delivered just in time! Thanksgiving for me also means lounging around in sweatpants, sleeping in, running in the turkey trot, watching football, catching up with family and food. Did I forget to mention food? Mmmm sweet potatoes, turkey, stuffing, and pie. Can’t wait. I hope you feel the same love for Thanksgiving as I do, but I also hope you start a tradition of some sort–whether it be a particular game, or going around and saying what you are thankful for, that you look forward to every holiday. Make it a good one!

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(these are called crack cookies in my family and they have cake mix in em…soo good!)

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(Turkey Trot in the AM!)

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(My sister getting serious during Pictionary)

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(If you haven’t played Michigan Rummy it is the longest game ever…but strategically fun)

 

3. ACCOUNTABILITY GROUPS

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This year (like I mentioned above, I have had a lot of reflection time lately) I was fortunate enough to be in not one, but two accountability groups. One met once a week on Monday mornings, and it was a great way for me to start off my week–in the office, focused and ready to work. For those of you that do HAVE to be somewhere dressed presentable on Monday mornings-you may not be able to relate. But as an independent contractor, sometimes half the battle is showing up…or waking up, ha. I am grateful for an organized co-worker that kept us on track, on topic and on time. The weekly group was from a seminar/training I had attended earlier in the year to keep us focused and practice particular skills, discuss items we are or are not currently implementing into our business. The monthly group was a larger group and we would discuss goals, how to get there, bounce ideas off one another etc. If you are a goal oriented person (like myself) you may want to try and get friends or like-minded individuals together to help you achieve those goals. Did I meet my 3-5 goals every single month when we checked in? No, but often times I exceeded them or took something else away from the group that I executed into my business plan. I will add that I think it is important that whatever group you join–that they be positive people or influences on you. There are times when you get a group of professionals together it can be easy to get off topic and start complaining about this or that, however…it is wonderful to have a group that will tell you “don’t be so hard on yourself” or “it will pick up if you continue to…” and keep you in high spirits–and you them. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all we have and give, but hopefully you have already been doing that year round (and keeping up with your “good things in 2016” jar). I will say I have made a conscious effort of being more grateful this year and it has made all the difference. Happiness is a choice.

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(The happy jar I started last year, in addition to positive journaling this year, I read it on New Year’s Day)

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Have a wonderful holiday and make it a great day. Thanks for reading!

 

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IheartTheATX February Likes

It’s that time again…

Another blog post on things I am currently hearting and want to take the time to share.

Honestly, as a creature of habit these posts can be difficult. I haven’t been going out to eat a lot (so I have no cool restaurant recs currently-but open to suggestions!). I am back in my Snap Kitchen phase (and therefore eating the same fav 4 items)..

but I do have a few things that have been in my life these past few things, and here they are-What I am currently hearting February

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(heart above from Mallorca, Spain)

1. Feng Shui (FUNG SHWAY)

I got a book for Christmas on Feng Shui that I asked for and since reading, have spruced up my home a bit and learned quite a bit on the ancient Chinese subject. Then, last week I hosted a “good fortune gathering” in celebration of the Chinese New year in conjunction with a speaker who is very knowledgeable on the topic of Feng Shui. I invited some great ladies over to my house to hear what Stacy had to say, and learn a few things on the topic.

{Side note, it there has been one thing that has changed over the last few years in my life it is: who I surround myself with. I feel as though it keeps getting better, more Quality, less quantity. As I looked around my “Good Fortune” event, I saw a room filled with positive, open minded, successful, strong, caring, happy women. I am grateful to have them in my life}

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Anyway, I started reading “Move Your Stuff, Change your Life.” It’s not about throwing out a bunch of stuff and having your couch face a specific way, (but warning, it may inspire you to sit down and go through some junk, which was nice) but more about the intentions behind where you place certain items in your home. Many companies (take Hyundai for instance, built and designed their whole building in CA based on feng shui principals). You may not necessarily believe in the unseen energy, but some feel more connected than others, and I figure it can’t necessarily hurt, only help to move a few things around (with the positive thought of what’s to come behind it). It’s as easy as that–from writing your intentions, to placing a mirror in your entrance-yet not facing the front door. Placing specific items of specific colors in corresponding places of the bagua. But, I will let you reach out to me if additional questions, maybe I can help-but I am no expert, or purchase the book here and read more for yourself.

bagua grid

Above is the bagua (place the bagua over a floorplan of your home, with front door being on bottom line and these are the different areas of your home for you to feng shui)

2. 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life

Last week I was in a training all week. It was sales and real estate related, but it was so much more than that. The speaker instructed us to buy a book called 365 Thank Yous. And I haven’t finished yet, but thought I would share. Here’s the synopsis on the back: “An inspiring, true story about how a simple old-fashioned act-writing thank-you notes–lead a hopeless, angry, middle aged man out of despair and into a wonderful life.”

365 thank yous

A few years back (I want to say the start of 2013, I was at an all time low (for me). I consider myself a fairly happy and positive person, but I was not doing so hot where I want to be in life, not doing so hot in business and I couldn’t see clearly of how to get there, either. I was harder on myself than usual, with low confidence and self esteem, and overall just disappointed in myself for letting it get to that point. I was stressed and overall sad about what my life was comprised of and who I was and wasn’t surrounding myself with). As I started to read this book I resonated with the writer and the point of his life at where he was (and yet I don’t even feel the pressure of providing for a family, so I often have that to be thankful for).

I haven’t finished the book, but I can already tell you I find it a great read and look forward to finishing it up soon. Gratitude doesn’t come easy for most of us (including me) in addition to always thinking positively. Especially this day in age with social media and someone ALWAYS selling something–we often think of what we DON’T have or what we want next, vs looking at all the wonderful things we already have in our life… and I am not even talking about material things (coffee, internet and seat warmers in our car) but much deeper things…such as people, emotions, our health, etc.

gratitude

As most of you know I started a “happy jar” last year, and practicing gratitude only coincides. If you don’t have a stationary set (especially you fellas) I recommend you pick one up next time you are out…and either write down good things as they come to you, or write thank you notes when you are really feeling thankful for someone.

{Fun fact: Thank you notes from men are MUCH better well received than from women, because we (women) have been writing them much longer than males to where it is sometimes expected. So set yourself apart fellas, and make someone feel appreciated today-write them a note!}

thank you on beach

3. Walnut Creek Metropolitain Park

If you have been in Austin long enough, you know that the greenbelt trails are South and West. Actually, it seems like all the good hiking trails, hidden waterfall gems, off leash parks are all well, South.

I wanted to share some info on Walnut Creek! I have been dog sitting my Dad’s (ok and what was once mine-Jack) labs this past week as he is working and felt bad about boarding them. We have been having some amazing weather lately, and while my yard is nice (in fact, as I write this in my office  I hear Molly and Riley playing in the yard, with the window open, she growls so loud you wouldn’t know she was a Maltipoo) it is no huge off leash park with watering hole and trails.

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(the pups post park on Saturday-patiently awaiting me to throw a ball).

When I first moved to Austin I took Jack (my black lab) to Sculpture Falls, Red Bud, running on Lady Bird lake and to socialize with other dogs at Audi Shores, but alas…I am a Northie now. And if you haven’t been to Walnut Creek (this is also where I play kickball sometimes) I have to say–it is pretty great! Tons of trails dedicated to bikers, hikers and off leash dogs as well. I took the dogs Saturday and they had a blast, and best of all (what all dog owners want upon return) they were exhausted! The water was up, the dogs splashed and swam and fetched, then walked uphill, downhill and all about, excited to come home and lay in the Air conditioning (after I hosed them down in the yard of course). So regardless if you are a dog owner/lover or not. If you enjoy checking out new trails (and even getting a bit lost) or taking out your mountain bike–(or the kids to a playground), Walnut Creek is worth checking out!

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Click the link above for a video of Riley fetching rocks at Walnut Creek…yes, rocks.

Anyway, as always, thanks for reading and in honor of the month of February–Molly hopes you had a fantastic Valentine’s Day…

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What I am Hearting: the Hello 2016 Edition

Oh my my, it has been a while since my last blog post. I am sorry I have failed you readers (all 4 of you).

So we are off to a new year. Hello 2016…

Year after year I try this whole “I am going to start doing ___” I am going to _________ (drink more water, lose weight, floss more, be more positive)” blah blah blah (the usual for me)

Change is hard, yet it is something I am constantly striving  to do. (or perhaps not change completely, but “better myself” is a better description). I can’t help but to reflect at the end of the year and ask myself “What can I do better? Or differently? and Is that what I really want?” even though I think resolutions are somewhat silly.

Which leads me to one of my 2016 goals-be more consistent in my writing. I am not really sure why I want to be more regimented with it. But consistency and this outlet is nice. So here we go.

FINALLY…here’s a few things I am hearting this month.

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(Infamous heart photo–this one is from Nov. 2015 Central America trip)

1. Happy Jar.

Last year I kept a jar in my living room. A gold spray painted mason jar that I labeled “2015.” Next to it was some cut up pieces of (scrapbook) paper. Every time something good happened-big or small…I wrote it down.

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“A few of them read: A girl at the gym today told me I looked really pretty especially for not having any make up on.” You may see this as a slight back-handed comment, I will take it.

“Closed on my home, drank Dom’, went to happy hour with the bestie at Bess’ Bistro, then Aziz Ansari’s book signing, today was a great day.”

And here’s another one below about being an Auntie.

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(obligatory bragging on cute nephew pic)

I read them (some aloud, some to myself) on New year’s day with some friends. One friend said they were going to implement this with their team at work to read at the end of the quarter to celebrate. Not a bad idea.

I read an article last year regarding “practices and habits of some of the top business women” and most of them started their day with a gratitude journal, meditating or some type of healthy breakfast or a morning jog/yoga sesh. Since I am not a super early riser nor a meditator…and I did Yoga twice all of last year… I opted for gratitude. I truly believe people who give and who are thankful for what they have are more happy, and I’d say despite the occasional downs here and there, I am doin’ just fine.

2016 Goal: Favorite moment of the day book.

I bought my friend a “Favorite moment of the day Journal” and I wish I would have picked one up for myself, now. However, I grabbed a little journal and each night write a favorite moment. Fortunately, I am day six in, each entry there has been more than one favorite moment for the day. I challenge you to do something similar.

2. Feng Shui

Some of my very first clients I ever worked with were VERY into Feng Shui. At the time I remember thinking it was kind of peculiar. We could pull up to a house and they knew instantly- “let’s skip this one.” However, they were successful. They were at peace. They were happy.  So, my mama got me a book for Christmas this year on de-cluttering and Feng Shui-ing my home. I am on day three of rearranging. I see it’s purpose. Some of it sounds wacky, but I have several more chapters to go.

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It does NOT work like this “I put purple in the prosperity corner of my home, should get a check in the mail any day now” but more of: when you do things with intent, those things will come to you because our minds are very powerful (and this coincides with another favorite book of mine The Secret and maybe my “sales- like/positive thinking/write down your goals/surround yourself by those who you want to be like and will lift you up” mindset).

Feng Shui tips (or skip ahead): Some things I have learned, and again this TOTALLY depends on the layout of your home…Your prosperity area should have red, coins, shiny objects, purple, water or photo of water. Your front door entry should be free of debris, well lit and inviting. You do not want mirrors or stairs facing the front from the inside. Black, white, round objects, water and some red for energy are all very inviting items to have when you walk in a home. I haven’t bought anything new for my home after reading the book, I basically walk around and note specific items and move a photo or candle here or there, or clear an area of mirrors etc.

Who knows if feng shui actually works, but it definitely couldn’t hurt, right?!

3. Celestone Soluspan-say what?

The funny (funny ironic, not funny “haha”) thing about that silly Time Hop app. is seeing that I complained about allergies last year, the year before, the year before and so forth about the same time each year… Besides traffic it is my second complaint to this wonderful city. Most of the time I wait until I am MISERABLE and head to the Redi-Clinic, barely being able to breathe and wanting to claw my eyes out-and I get a shot. This time, after a few nights of being woken up by sneezing like crazy i went in to get the steroid shot, Celestone. They looked at my chart- she said “oh you were here last year about this time” and boom, a lil shot in the butt. Am I 100%? Nah, I still take a zyrtec on really bad days, but I am 98% much better. If your insurance doesn’t cover the year round allergy shots, or you are tired of Flo-Nase, Claritin and the like, do yourself a favor and get you a steroid shot (you know, if your doc says it is cool and all).

austin allergy chart

I have more things to share but I will keep it to three. As always, thanks for reading!

My Top Dates of 2015 (that actually never happened)

Last year I wrote about my Top Dates of 2014.

And by “top” I mean, pretty awful, but always humorous events to tell about, of course…

This year I surprisingly (and thankfully) don’t have terrible dating moments to share (ask me about Molester Mike when you see me, I feel too bad blogging about this one).

HERE ARE THE TOP 5 DATES of 2015…

THAT ACTUALLY NEVER HAPPENED:

NUMBER 5: Mr. Philanthropy

(He did a ton of volunteering, seemed like a nice dude). Got my number on a Sat. touching base with me, text, text blah blah, I like this, cool, I live in that part of town, blah blah…

Him: let’s get together tomorrow then?

Me: Ah, sorry I can’t plans with friends, but after?

Him: Ah, no time, but we can schedule something next week.

Him on Monday: Proposes Ice Cream at Lick off Burnet on Wednesday. (swoon, he picked a place I was going to be near and didn’t pussy foot, but made a plan)

Me: Cool, that works, see you there, blah blah blah, texty text, blah blah things we both have in common yadda yadda

Him on Tuesday 10:44pm: I have to cancel. I have been seeing a woman that I want to move forward with, best of luck!

Me: Cool, thanks for being up front, good luck to you too.

SIDE NOTE: Is this what guys say now instead of the truth? Is this what he really meant:

“Hey gotta cancel, I can tell I am actually not that interested in you and I just matched up with a chick that’s way hotter”

“Hey you are actually pretty boring over text, so I think I am gonna pass”

I will take the “moving on, good luck” over the actual truth, I guess. Just don’t ghost me-man that is annoying.

winston churchill quote

NUMBER 4: Mr. LOL

(If you have read my past blogs you know my hatred for “lol”) Mr. LOL gets my digits on a Wednesday…it’s honestly irrelevant, but I will tell you we lasted until a Sunday, no date ever planned…but I think I am ok with that.

The next series are his responses/comments in our textversation (literally I am scrolling down and typing in his answers) this guy has so much to talk about ya’ll, I tried, I really did: (note any grammatical mistakes are not on my part, I am doing this verbatim, but he wasn’t that bad, actually).

lol youre so tough.

Lol youre so traditional

That’s sexy to me (no I didn’t send him nudes,  I told him I was somewhat traditional)

Again, I know how to treat a woman you’ll see

I think it’s 50/50

should be

Lol so does attitude

(sends me a photo of a weird seal making a face-I think he’s trying to be funny, it does not pertain to our convo) I ask him if he had plans this weekend –and next few responses:

Lol not really and you?

Gay

Still playing (he is referring to me asking him how his poker game is going)

Lol calm down (I joked no cell phones at the poker table)

I won!

Lol ugh

South.

And then he sent me a photo in the bathroom, with a backward caps lifting his shirt up showing me his flexed abs.

I will stop there. That’s all you really need to know.

(SIDE NOTE: 25 Things Men in their 30s need to STOP doing)

i hate lol

NUMBER 3: Mr. Nanna Helper

Started texting me on a Saturday. Blah blah blah from Austin, family here, has a business dealing with real estate blah blah blah commonalities, that’s cool, oh you like doing stuff to your house me too, blah blah text text text. Let him go, had dinner plans. Seemed like a good ol boy, which I liked.

Him Sunday: Good Morning! Happy Sunday! Blah blah, text, text, told him about news I got that day, blah blah, texty text banter.

Monday: Hey How’s it going, just helping out my Nanna, she lives down the street from me.

Me: I am off to the gym, but let’s chat later. I follow up. Blah blah gym was brutal…

Him: Blah blah I think I am getting sick blah blah what are you up to?

Me: researching vacations blah yadda yadda.. where to go, I love travel (it was late)

Tuesday HIm: Follows up on travel conversation, says he has only been to Mexico.

Me: It happens, do you have the desire to travel more?

Never heard from him again. Awesome.

NUMBER 1: Mr. Eureka

Met a guy when we were out-left him my number. He followed up and it was before I was going out on the lake, so I told him if he could be at Hula Hut in an hour, he could come with. He did, it was fine. Ate dinner with us (left wallet in boat, so I paid). This was in August–it was actually on my birthday. So technically we did go out (but it was him submerged with all my friends on the lake, unsure if you call that a real date).

That night: Texted me he had fun, we should hang out some time!

Me: Yeah, I had fun too and sounds good!

Sep from him: Texty text, blah blah, how are things, we should get together some time.

Me: Yeah, sounds good.

Dec. 8, 8:31pm

Him: Whatcha doin?

Me: about to get some work done

Him: Well damn. My life is pretty 9-5 now so let’s meet up sometime soon.

Me: Nice having evenings open, huh? Sounds good

Him: Yeah for sure

Never heard from him again.

NUMBER 5: Mr. Football

Matched on Bumble (a dating app. similar to Tinder with better quality guys and girls have to write first)

Oct. 16: I opened with “which team should I pick for my win in my eliminator challenge?” and gave him the teams I was deciding between.

blah blah, chiefs, blah blah vikings, blah blah bad picks, blah, texty text, from Austin, text text I went to Tx State as well, oh cool what was your major? blah blah blah. football emjoi, hand clapping emoji,

Asked for my number Oct. 26 (yes, 10 days later) after texting pretty much daily here and there and emojid our way through conversations.

Blah blah, Oh we know the same people, blah, texty text, Austin is so small, “lol” blah, yadda yadda, thumbs up emoji, beer mug emoji, yes I go to that bar too…blah blah blah, emoji, wink face, tongue out emoji,

Last Text Sent: Nov. 5

Never had a date, nor a phone call, but we sure did “talk” a lot of football and I tip my hat to a few of his correct picks, helping me through quite a ways. I also used emojis I hadn’t before, so that was a for sure perk.

football pretty boy

And that ladies and gentleman (sorry to report, Mom and Dad) is me “dating” in 2015.

Oh wait, there is one I forgot about!

Bonus round!

I deleted him already but it basically went somethin’ like this:

Mr. Foot Fettish?

Him texting me: What do you do, what do you like to do, do you want to have kids, what do you look for in a man, blah blah blah. What made you decide to reach out to me?

I joked: I didn’t, you reached out to me. (he wasn’t really happy with that answer-we met online, he emailed me, I wrote him back).

Him: blah blah blah, California, new to Austin, yadda yadda, I live DT here, yadda yadda software sales, blah blah wine emoji, treat ladies right blah blah and we texted quite a bit that first night (as I wrote out my xmas card list and watched the Good Wife in the background). We texted about meeting up in a few days, tossed around ideas.

Him: I treat women right blah blah blah. I take care of myself and get pedis (which I have nothing against). blah blah texty text a lot, where ya from, holiday plans, blah blah, do you like what you do, where all have you traveled, airplane emoji, blah blah blah, yadda yadda,

Him some more: I lived in LA forever.

Me: Really, did you like it? I think it is kind of pretentious, but maybe I should visit again.

Him: OMG yes I love LA, it is the best you must visit again! Do you get pedis?

Me: When I can.

Him: I think you can tell a lot about a woman by the way she takes care of her feet.

Me: Well then, I think my feet say-she’s a hard working woman that doesn’t make time for a pedi sometimes. haha

Him: Send me a picture

Me: No, I am busy

Him: Come on, if you don’t send me a pic, I am not taking you out on a date.

Me: I am not sending you a photo of my feet. I actually still have boots on anyway.

Him: Well no date and wine for you until you send me a picture of those feet.

Me: Ok

–And that was that, never got that wine–

foot fettish

(come on, I had to post that image above, too funny, thanks Google images)

You are welcome.

Bring on 2016…and the dating revelations (inspired by Aziz) I will attempt to put into play.

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).

moster truck rally

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).

rating dating scale

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.

milk was a bad choice

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!

car2go austin

 

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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