Ch-ch-chaanges! A Few of My Favorite Things In March-ch-ch in the ATX

Hello, hello my little Austinites and then some! How are you??!!

Fantastic, I hope!

I wanted to share with you: Things I am Hearting: The Spring Break Edition

From Austin developments and Spring flowers…to staying indoors and pretending you have cable. Here we go.


(a collection of a few of my favorite hearts from all over)

Because there are some ch-ch-changes, as we transition from Texas winter to Spring…

david bowie

(in honor of the late David Bowie and #sxsw RIP, David!)


  1. That Texas state flower.

Yep, it’s that time of the year. SXSW is in town, traffic lightens up for a week during March, and the blue bonnets-yes, that pretty Texas state flower adorns MoPac, 360 and random spots among our neighborhoods and parks. We pull over on road trips and take photos in them…they may be cliche, but ya know what?!?–I don’t care. Embrace it, Texans!


(Molly 2015-when I first got her)

Blue bonnets are the first sign of Spring! Which means for Austinites: patio drinking weather, a trip to the beach with the kiddos, Spring Break, Sxsw, outdoor home projects, June bugs and mosquitos, Air Bnb and Home Away making a ton of money and my yard is so green (though most of it is weeds, ha), but the flowers are in bloom.


(Molly 2016, on our walk the other day)


2. Rock Rose.

As most of you know, the Domain is blowing up! I have always enjoyed the Domain, as I have lived North/N. Central for some time and it was a quick stop for a new outfit or dinner at North, a Starbucks date or The Park happy hour.


(Girl’s Night with my Northie gal pals)

I could do without California Pizza Kitchen and Maggiano’s and some of the other chains (but they do well, so what can ya do?) It is now “uptown” in our growing metro. #Rockrose is the street developers decided to ask popular, LOCALish businesses to expand a second location here for the most part. We have West 6th’s Dogwood and Kung Fu among a few other bars expected to open-as well as Lavaca Street + a Surf N Turf restaurant. Finally bars “up here” so we don’t have to trek downtown with Lyft and Uber surge pricing and all the craziness at times.


Also…A fancy cocktail bar called St. Genevieve, that just opened, looked swanky (I still need to try-who is in?) Sway (oh sweet mother, thank you, thank you!!) is opening their second location. Then you have: East side King’s Thai Kun, which I tried last weekend (be prepared spice lovers! It is melt your face off spicy!) I also had the opportunity to try Mia’s, a tapas bar that finally has small plates (we ate too fast to take photos)–but not just four choices, but like fourteen. Also has pizzas and a few Italian entrees on menu, but portions and atmosphere were perfecto!

IMG_6835 IMG_6837

(Wings on left as an app, the Larb to the right (one of the spiciest dishes on menu–not mine!)


(crab rice)


(Cheers–at Jack and Ginger’s)

{Sidenote: My biggest complaint as Austin turns into more of a foodie town is how proud some places are…meaning overpriced with these tiny little plates and they aren’t even that spectacular (anyone else miss the good ol days when ALL my Austin restaurant favorites were under $10 and low key?…or am I just getting older now so I can afford more/have better taste?? ha)}


(Kung Fu set to open 3pm 3.15.16, I happened to be in the area 3.14-Pi Day! and snapped the last minute project finishing up)

There’s a Colorado chain opening up a Mad Greens. A Dallas chain opening up Velvet Taco. And you can also find Tarka Indian kitchen (already open) and Salvation Pizza–hurry up and open already, that’s been a tease for a while. You won’t just find food either–CorePower Yoga and Bird’s Barber shop as well as a Men’s Clothing boutique called Weathered Coalition that will have a wifi lounge and coffee and whiskey bar…oh and a barber shop–say whaaat?! And I wish my hair girl lived North so she would be up here as well, but at least I will now have a Jose Luis Salon toward the end of 2016 as well (their third location and highly recommended by yours truly) woohoo!

3. Hulu’s New Mini Series

Just a shout out to Hulu for making me feel like I have cable again. I wait every Monday for the new show with James Franco time traveling to stop the assassination of JFK each week. It’s called: 11.22.63. As much as I wish they would just release all of them for me to binge watch like House of Cards and other Netflix originals, I now have something to look forward to (after Sunday’s Walking Dead of course). J.J Abrams + Stephen King. It’s a bit eerie, a bit romantic, a bit historical, and I like it. Check it out.


(I do not have James Franco or Hulu’s permission for this image, but hopefully they like me promoting their show, thanks Google!)



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


(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}


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.


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.


(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!


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…


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.


(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.


“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.




(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.


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).



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


(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?


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


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.


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.


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).


(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).


(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)


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?!”


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):



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


No words.


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


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


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


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}


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


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.

kind bars

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


Tacos from Peached Tortilla above mmmm…


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}

snowie ACL

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

water station

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.


So stay thirsty hydrated my friends!


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.

2013-10-07 18.59.28

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)


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.”


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).


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)


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)



“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”


 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”


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?


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.


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 :)


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


Clap yo hands. Stomp yo feet….


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!


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.


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.


Powering through Pickpockets and Playing Positive


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

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


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

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


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


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

My friend reached into her bag–camera-GONE.

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

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

Ash’s Safety Traveling Tips!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

crowded subway

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


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

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

1. I felt like an idiot and

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

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





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

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

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

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

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


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

lacrosseball lats

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

pvc and lax


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

Here are a few of my favs around town…

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

ESK brussel sprouts

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

launderette brussels2

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

hightower brussels

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

forkandvine brussels2


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

aziz modern romance

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

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

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

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

couple drinking coffee


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

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

What a good date looks like (to me).

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

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

Red Cloud Scene

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

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


Me in my 30’s…

girl watching netflix

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


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

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

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

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

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

callthe girl

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


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

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

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

Part 1B: Acceptable First Date Choices:

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

drunk date

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


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

drunk texting

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


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

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

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

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

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