A Healthy Start to 2021

2021! This new year has started and the “new year, new me” mentality is flooding all of my news feeds. This messaging can be overwhelming, especially with what is going on in the world around us. I do think it’s positive to settle into a fresh outlook, a new start, but I don’t think it needs to happen on any specific day, just because it’s “THE DAY.” January 1…. You can restart/regroup/revamp/re-inspire your life on whatever day you want! March… June… December… January. Does not matter. As long as you set your goals and make commitments to YOURSELF, you are on the right track. When you make commitments to yourself, you set yourself up for a higher level of success. Over the last 4 months I have made several commitments, goals, manifestations for myself.

Some overall commitments I’m making to myself:

Get real. Be honest with myself and others. Dig deep – increase and build stronger relationships.

Practice self love and love my accomplishments.

Blog more often. Write more. Grow my networks. Build out my business website.

Be active – even something simple like a quick walk is enough. Something is better than nothing!

Read more. Play more. Explore more. Be in nature more.

I’m linking some of the items that I’ll be purchasing in the next month or that I’ve already purchased to help set myself up right for this wild year.

Colugo Complete Stroller Review

Colugo (@hicolugo) launched their new Colugo Complete Stroller today (November 25, 2019)!!

My promo code for $30 off of 1 Complete Stroller is active starting on Monday, November 25, 2019 at 9am through December 31, 2019 and the code is simply [ashleybyrdknapp] to be entered at checkout. Feel free to share!

I’m a partner of Colugo and a part of the #completecrew launch, so was able to try the stroller a few weeks in advance of launch. It has been delightful to use! I had previously been using the Uppababy Vista with Mesa Carseat – my daughter Vivienne is just over 5 months in age.

Colugo Complete is a completely easy-to-use stroller – the wheels are durable and strong – can roll through anything and everything! I’ve taken it slightly off-roading to a sandy beach area – which it could handle!! We weren’t in powder soft sand, not talking miracles here – but it performed extremely well and I did not want to cry during that experience, so I’d say that’s a win! On regular road and sidewalks, the ride is VERY SMOOTH!

My Colugo Complete is in the Rose Sparkle color way and we’re OBSESSED! It’s so chic and stylish and I have never experienced a stroller so cool to roll! Felt extreme chic mom vibes while pushing this stroller through my neighborhood – also comes in a pretty black floral color, deep blue, black, olive green – all great choices!

ashleybyrdknapp is the code to enter at checkout for $30 off your new Colugo Complete Stroller. A great gift for the upcoming holiday season for your loved ones! Great for parents, grandparents, babysitters, and future parents’ to be! Feel free to send me a DM if you have specific questions, happy to answer.

The Complete is a very comfortable ride for baby and has a large underneath storage for all things you need (diaper bag, toys, grocery store bags, jackets, all the things)! It has an infant setup (& MANY baby carseats can click right in to this!) – so you’re good from infant to toddler – LOVE! This stroller retails for $445 – (again, use code ashleybyrdknapp @ checkout for $30 off).

If you’re a soon-to-be-parent you can Colugo Complete to your Babylist registry! Let your friends and family members know in the notes to use code “ashleybyrdknapp” for $30 off the stroller! Feel free to send me a message with any questions @ashleybyrdy.

So Good

So much good going on lately! Too busy living, not enough time to write about it.

Some of my picks for August are below, take a look!

August Essentials
Essie Nail Polish in “Bikini So Teeny” – tried and true. Great pedicure color.

Glossier Haloscope – highlighter in Topaz. I can’t rant and rave enough about this and Glossier in general. Read back on this blog roll for a million and one posts about why Glossier rules.

Nike Juvenate Sneakers – super lightweight, bright white sneakers with black detailing. Comfortable, but they look so cute. Def won’t be running in these – just for sporting around town I’m thinking. 👍

Whalebone Mag – The Food Issue. Pick up basically anywhere in MTK and all over the east end. Take a look inside for tons of mostly legitimate info about food and drankssss, esp on the east end.

Montauk Brew Co Summer Ale Koozie – because you need to keep your hand dry and more importantly, your beer cold! Follow on all the social media’s @montaukbrewco.

Dr. Jart – Pore Minimalist Sheet Mask. Do people actually do sheet masks for anything other than the Snapchat selfie? I mean… Whatevs, got this at Sephora and it’s a good one. And it’s black charcoal.

Capri Blue Volcano Candle – if you know it, you know. If you don’t, you should. Tried and true scent for summer, it’s fruity in a great way. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. I’ve been burning it since high school. Can’t go wrong with Volcano. Can usually be found at Anthropologie stores.

Maui Babe Bronzing Lotion – it’s a tanning lotion / enhancer. I’ve been SPF-ing hard body since the beginning of summer to avoid getting that serious “burn”. I did a great job btw – no serious burns, have a solid base tan and Maui Babe just enhances the bronzeness. FYI this stains white bathing suits – BUT does wash out. Available for purchase online obv, I got mine at Poolside Collective at the Montauk Beach House and I suggest you visit.

Friday Feels

Relating to each of the text images below — in a way that you’d probably least expect. Last one is my favorite. Live on friends, be well, stay happy, remain true to yourself. <3

4d77268c-f9d8-46a5-b2d9-dae60f9b9b22

Be aware of your surroundings.
Reach out to a far tie this weekend (as opposed to a close tie) in your social circle.

62a0c6df-cd5c-445e-9447-674422d20f64

Move forward. It’s so much more fun.

1521f64d-26d2-4788-8864-1942fafa25a7

LOL, rust.

881b19f6-1662-492f-974f-5b69b52d0459

Bright side.

15d42ff2-b43d-4f02-a56e-26c39181f165

Hi _______________, it’s a pleasure to meet you.

All images from crimebydesign Instagram.

Weekend Vibes

Summertime is inevitably the busiest time of the year – chock full of beautiful, enjoyable events – bbq’s, weddings, picnics, festivals and beach days. The list goes on and on. This summer I’m maximizing my weekends by waking up early (trying to), staying up late (can’t help it), and enjoying every minute (that I can remember).

SummerEssentials

When You Get Laid Off From Your Job…

When you get laid off from your job (a year in reflection)…

Exploring my personal journey and list of Things to Do and Things NOT to Do.

It’s okay to cry (even if you hated that job anyway)…but you’ve got to stop feeling bad for yourself as soon as possible. Other people will feel bad for you but they’re really just judging you. So get your shit together ASAP.

Do travel if you have the opportunity to get somewhere while you don’t have a current commitment. Go wherever you can. I got laid off in the middle of April 2015 and headed to the west coast the first week of May. Get the F out if you can, it’s great for soul searching.

Do spend your money wisely. You aren’t officially guaranteed any significant amount of money after your severance package runs out (if you were lucky enough to get one) and unemployment money is not even close to enough to allow you to afford to live. Remember: you’re still going to have all the bills you had when you were working full time.

Do eat out every meal for the first few days with your friends and loved ones. I mean – they’ll probably buy your breakfast/lunch/dinner/drinks because you just lost your job and they’re gonna feel bad for you. Just remember to pay it forward if this ever happens to them and when you get a job again in the future.

Don’t continue to eat out every meal to comfort yourself to way too long. It gets WAY too expensive and you’ll get WAY too bloated because of all the salt that’s added to food.

Review what you learned from this job and be thankful for everything it provided. Use all your resources. Revise your resume… a million times. I think I have about 17 copies of my resume and about 52 specific versions of cover letters that I’ve sent to companies saved on my Macbook.

Realize that if people have never asked you “what you do for work?” before, they will immediately start asking you a million fucking times what you do for work. Be prepared to craft an interesting enough response to this annoying question because saying you’re “unemployed” is both boring and makes you look completely unable to be hired. Make sure your crafted response is not longer than a few sentences because in reality the person doesn’t actually care.

*PRO TIP: If you really hate the person who asked you, “What do you do?” or “What are you up to nowadays?” you can fib and tell them you’re “freelancing in NYC and the money & flexibility is amazing,” as you end the conversation and walk away.

Do ask your friends and family for help getting interviews / suggestions of companies to work for – you’ll be surprised by how much they can help.

In the same breath, do not expect ANYTHING to come out of what you ask for help from friends and family. Many people have much less power in the hiring process than they assume to have. It’s not their fault, but people help you much less than they’ll actually tell you.

“Yeah, send me a copy of your resume and I’ll pass it along.”

For some reason, this statement irks me more than anything! It’s a bogus response when a person doesn’t know what else to say… typically if they actually have something for you or know of something or have the power to do something, they would provide a more informative response or detailed information. That being said… my reaction to a statement like this is:

1. Don’t even bother sending a resume because I knew people are insanely unreliable.

2. Actually send a resume. They typically had a pretty negative return on resume investment. But I guess depending on how desperate you are or how bad you want it – it’s always worth a shot! So the better option is to… send it along!

*PRO TIP: Don’t trust strangers from Craigslist in NYC that make you meet them in person at the Ace Hotel in midtown for a “casting call.” Do not pay them $400 for head shots needed for guaranteed work. Especially if her name is Dylan. After her persistence for your payment wears off & if you actually pay her, she’ll literally ghost you and you’ll never hear from her again. (Embarrassingly true story). Ughhh..

Do take time to work on things that you previously never had time for.

Do find things that will bring you joy for very little money. There are so many really rad things to do for very little money or free in this world. Find a friend who’s weird enough / down enough to do different things with you and you’re golden.

Do try to find your passions and re-work your resume so that you can find work in a field that you like.

Don’t take any old job that you know you’re going to hate. You’ll be much more miserable than you were when you didn’t have a job at all. And not having a job is sort of miserable if you aren’t independently wealthy. Or if your parents don’t support your lifestyle with a trust fund or other means of endless cash.

Do network with as many people in your industry (and different industries too!). You should’ve been doing this all along tbh, BUT – if you haven’t reached out to those random people you met at that last networking event – now is the time. NOW is the best time because you actually have the time. Find out what they’re up to, ask them questions, ask for advice or suggestions. Step outside your comfort zone – because it does feel uncomfortable to cold email people. What’s the worst that can happen? Literally – the worst thing probably is – they don’t respond. And honestly, that’s not that bad. Move on to the next person – BYEEEE.

Hang out with every single person you know. It will make you realize who is important to you. Who you decide to see more and were actually happier seeing less of. Who you want to see more of and realize how much you really missed them. Who you didn’t want to see more of, but decided to see more of because you were feeling open and trusted the feelings but ended up just getting your heart blown out, for the fifth time.

When you do start a job though after being pseudo unemployed for an entire summer, culture shock will ensue. Be prepared.

Sometimes it takes like 1 week to find a job and sometimes it takes 3.5 months to find a job. Sometimes the job you found after 3.5 months is not viable to sustain your life or support you financially. But you still take this job because it’s something. If this job is not going to support you financially again, do not hesitate to take any and every interview you can get.

*PRO TIP: Beware of what you say in front of co-workers and who you share particular information with (mainly regarding interviews). Also beware that it looks ridiculous when you are constantly going to “doctors appointments.”

Even when your job searching is a completely ridiculous and terrible experience and you go on 25-30+ interviews and second round interviews and meet the CEO interviews in a 9 month period – you may still not find a job. You may find a job that you hate. Or you may find a job that you like. Or you may find a job that will grow to love in time… that’s where I am right now.

Sometimes you have to choose a lower salary with better quality of life to sustain some of your own personal goals. Obviously there is a lot to consider when making career decisions – the choice must be financially viable, but also healthy and your well-being should be a factor you consider.  In the end you’ve got to do what works well for you, what you can afford and where you see yourself moving forward with growth potential and mental clarity. Sometimes it takes being unemployed or being in a place that doesn’t work well for you to see the light.

Talking about money can be difficult conversation for practically every person reading this essay. I’m not going to tell anybody that it’s not difficult. But what I will say is that being more vocal about it really does help. “Ask and you shall receive. Don’t ask and you won’t ever know what you didn’t receive.” – modestly changing biblical quotes, OK? Main takeaway is that it’s a challenge to find people who are looking out for you. You’ve got to look out for yourself. So, do that. Ask for more money. It’s #EqualPayDay today, April 12th, 2016, so let’s celebrate it.

Being laid off at 26 was a challenging time in my life, but the lessons learned and the growth that came along with it was well worth it.

#WorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWork

Things I’m Into: Feel-Good Edition

Think about things that make you smile today.

This light / neon / crystal image is my new iPhone lock screen background because I really enjoy looking at it. Colors are dope.

unnamed-2
Image from Pinterest <3

Next up is a ridiculous Snapchat. Doing things that make you feel pretty. Feel-good things are not always the same as wellness things, but whatever. I got my hair colored yesterday…(great color = really good vibes) however (toxins from hair coloring = bad vibes) but I mean… I haven’t done it in about 1 year and I needed it and I’m making up excuses for myself BUT I just wanted it. And it makes me feel good. And this puppy filter on Snapchat is putting me over the edge– how cute is everyone as a dog? OMG. Plus follow me on Snap if you want a peek of all the weird shit I do on the daily. @ashleybyrdy, hi!

af0c54c5-2795-447f-8087-9ecd998f03eb

Next up: Thank you. Stop saying sorry if you want to say thank you. I saw this image below on a blog post here and totally had to share it with you guys. Putting good vibes out into the universe with a  positive message instead of a negative one. I’m about this.

963605-650-1449563743-baopu_15_yx_112415

Bathing suit season is approaching and I for one am super excited and looking forward to being in a bathing suit and on the beach all summer long. I came across this pretty rad swimsuit website, Cocodune – that allows you to order suits at no charge, have them shipped to your house to try-on and then ship back whatever you don’t want. At no fee. Unless you keep something, then your credit card gets charged. It’s genius, especially if you have no time to swimsuit shop or you’re self conscious about it. Whatever the case may be, I’m trying it out this week so I’ll let you guys know what I think in a later post.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 1.04.49 PM

Keep it feel-good, guys…keep it feeling really good!

Happiness Today

If you expect other people to make you happy, you will always be disappointed.

You, alone, are responsible for your own happiness.

c2444d7e-b601-4337-a1a1-72a0b84ce3ec
Grace Church, NYC

Food for thought. Now enjoy some snapshots of NYC taken over the past week in the frigid air but beautiful sun. 🙂

6f568c2b-301b-453c-ad1a-f95895a845d2

100% obsessed with NYC street art…

e38512fe-0236-4248-8c4a-93cbf2661742

Hustle hard. Obviously, because goals.

ed7546d4-5234-40ee-9bf9-9a152ee2d998

Podcast Season

Lately I have been overly obsessed with Podcasts. Mostly because I spend a lot of time on the subway – commuting, underground with no cell service. So like – what else am I going to do aside from listen to Bieber and Halsey and repeat?

Easy! Listen to podcasts…

Yeah, that’s right. Podcasts! That small purple app that comes automatically loaded on your iPhone that you’ve gone ahead and stored in that weird folder you never open – along with Wallet, Tips, Compass, Voice Memos, Calculator (I use this often actually). Yeah, that one – Podcasts. Just make sure to download them ahead of time so you can listen freely whenever you want (or when you don’t have cell service while you’re on the subway).

This morning I began listening to a new one by The New York Times and wbur called Modern Love. Modern Love is a section of The New York Times where New Yorker’s write essays about their interesting experiences with love. The podcast is essentially the essays being read aloud by famous actors and actresses and followed by conversation and feedback from the original authors. Jason Alexander (George Costanza of Seinfeld) recited Episode 2. Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story & many others) narrates this week’s episode, which I’ll be listening to on my way home from work tonight.

9547be5e-ddcb-460c-b387-a7358eef7266

If you’ve never listened to Podcasts before, I totally understand your hesitance. It took me months and months to take the listening suggestions and actually start listening. We are programmed as human beings to have hyperactive senses and want all of them to be receptive at all times. AKA utter chaos, always. With that being said, it’s somehow really nice to just open up and listen to something instead of watching something, checking your phone, getting distracted so easily… Feel free to close your eyes while listening, I do sometimes. Except I’m sort of lying because closing your eyes on the subway is not the safest thing to do; use caution.

Below are some of my other favorites with quick reviews:

CYG – Call Your Girlfriend – “A podcast for long distance besties everywhere” by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. If you’re a chick, you can and will completely relate to this podcast. It feels exactly like chatting with your friends on the phone about current events, controversial topics, health & wellness, real life everyday struggles. Both of the chicks are very feminist, aka super empowering and really just fab to listen to. They interview their friends and colleagues and empowering women every few weeks, which I LOVE. Brings even more personality to the table. There’s also a million of these so you can listen to them for what feels like forever.

SerialCreated by This American Life and hosted by Sarah Koenig where a real life true story is unfolded week by week (now Season 2 is bi-weekly) throughout the season. Very interesting, and if you watched Netflix’s Making a Murderer recently, then you’ll really like this, promise. Season 1 is still my favorite, even midway through Season 2. Keeps you at the edge of your seat, I listened to the first season in like 24 hours last year on vacay in Aruba. Just highly recommend this on many levels – especially to like, keep up with social norms…

Monocycle with Leandra Medine – Very real, very smart, very quick, approx. 10 minute podcast about – Leandra’s life. She’s the cool-girl fashion chick who created the website Man Repeller. Mostly I love that she’s breaking down and talking about things that many women are not comfortable talking about.

Another one I listen to randomly is called “Oh Boy” also brought to you by Man Repeller. <3 Episode 19 featuring Alexa Chung just came out and I’m a fan! Interviews with lots of celebs / fashion people / writers & bloggers / cool people in general, worth a listen if you see a person you know of. 

Women Of The Hour – Lena Dunham & Buzzfeed collabo podcast “about friendship, love, work, bodies, and more.” There were many excerpts from this podcast that strongly resonated with me and I bet would resonate with you as well. Lena is life, and another recent venture she’s on is Lenny, also worth checking out – very female forward and progressive.

Podcast on, my friends!

Xx