Summer Reads

I frequently ask for and love to hear recommendations for books to read. However, I’m not one for the sappy romantic novel, or the famous author who writes 15 of the same style murder mysteries. I like reading and learning and hearing the perspectives of others, inspiring others and encouraging others to do well.

That being said, I’ve read a few books lately that I figured I would pass on to all of you fabulous people – most are geared toward women so bear with me, guys!

Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin

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EVERY GIRL SHOULD READ THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY. Especially if you’re in your 20’s/30’s and have no idea about anything regarding finance or money. Even if you do, Lapin has an edgy, bitchy way of breaking it down into terms that any real betch can understand. It’s liquid gold. Or solid. Whichever you prefer.

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are * Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas

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I’m currently reading this book for the 4th time fully through (that’s why the cover is so dirty). I constantly reference the quotes and stories and quick (sometimes 1, 2, 3 page) “chapters” for hysterical advice. Makes me feel chic whenever I’m feeling basic. Parisians do it well and you can do it just as well as soon as you start taking yourself less seriously.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo

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Literally mind-blowing. For any of you psychotic OCD “cleaners” out there or for people like myself who are traditionally on the “hot mess express,” this book is for you. I read it in less than 24 hours. It’s quick and gives legit tips to declutter your life and starting with the space you live in. Sounds silly but the perspective is much clearer than most people can relate to.

Front Roe: How to Be the Leading Lady in Your Own Life by Louise Roe

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Pretty casual style book giving tips and tricks on how to “get it” and be awesome. Lots of confidence boosters and helpful things to do to get your shit together, fashionably and personally.

Cupcakes & Cashmere At Home by Emily Schuman

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One of my favorite bloggers recently debuted her 2nd book giving lifestyle tips, tricks and advice for your home. My favorite part is that she gives ideas for every room or space in the home for both homeowners and renters (me). Great photos and ideas throughout – can be read in an afternoon, but awesome to reference.

Honorable mention to Kim Kardashian West’s #Selfish by Rizzoli. 😉

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The Art of Text Messaging

How long does it take you to respond to a text sometimes? You stare and read, re-read, screenshot, ask for help… think some more.

 

 

 

FINALLY, press “Send.”

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And the idiot you sent it to STILL does not understand exactly what you meant. You failed at getting your point across correctly. Tone is not conveyed through a text. And that sucks. Especially for an overly expressive individual like myself.

Verbiage/Text

OK, so – if you’re planning on texting me in incomplete sentences that are not specific abbreviations or current/relevant words, YOU’RE OUT.

“Imma b @ da beach. How boutchu mamii?”

UMMMMMMMM… wait. Excuse me? How do you survive in society? Don’t ever send me a a text again. I don’t understand your 1990’s style of ghetto texting. Actually reminds me of that commercial with the dad saying shit like “mad cool” or “fresh” or something gross. You can only get away with that if you have swagger. Or if you’re very funny. Even then, it’s questionable. Highly unlikely.

This is the EXACT moment when you turn on your “Read Receipts” and “forget to answer” for a few days. He’ll know. Obvi – IGNORED. Obvi- get outta here. You know I’m not texting you back and you also now know why.

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This post originally started off as a guest blog, but I have so much to say so it changed to a collaborative post featuring:

a dear friend and fellow “Queen Betch of Awkward Moments” Kelly Nolan (@kellynonoo).

What Can Go So Horribly Wrong When Texting:

What this world is missing is a Webster’s Dictionary for text message responses that can lead to complete awk-ness and mixed signals.

Let me start with my least fav, the “k”.

As the world has evolved to what it is in 2014, so has the “k”. There is now capital k, “K” and lower case k, “k” and if you’re me, you will literally respond to people as “k, capital” or “k, lowercase”.

Here’s the deal: The capital K is more of a hateful response. Like, once you receive that you should feel like you just got shanked. The lowercase k is more of a lazy response – it’s like you want to reply, but the “O” is just a stretch above that “k” and then adding the “a-y”, no way – you’d be too exhausted.

Next, let us discuss the period.

I’m all about the grammar life so like, use them at the end of a proper sentence.  Don’t be sending random periods! It messes with both standard English and people’s emotions.  If you’re sending a bitchy period that tells me that you, in fact have your period. Or if you’re a guy, a mangina and that’s what’s happening here. If you send multiple periods then you’re also very wrong. You look impatient, like your life is just depending on that person to answer.  Pathetic-ness will be sent right along with that text. So, it’s for your best interest to stay away from those dots.

Last but not least is the oh so popular “lol”.

While “lol” is an easy go-to response for just about anything and everything, it is about 77% of the time a lie. Are you really “laughing out loud” when you send that text? When you’re in the bathroom or on line at the grocery store or at work on lunch with your co-workers around are you really laughing out loud for all to hear?

My other issue with the “lol” is that it has become such an easy response that we tend to use it even when things aren’t funny. This also leads to mixed messages! You’re either giving someone far too much credit by making them think they are funny when they are not… OR you’re just hyping up someone who’s already cocky and knows they are funny. So unless you are laying on the floor laughing out loud —try to refrain. And if you are well then hell, we should bring back ROTFLOL.

So betches, all I ask of you is to PLEASE stop and think about what you’re texting. Whether you see it or not you could be ruining relationships, your own life, etc. Keep calm and keep loving Ashley Byrd XO Kelly No

Monkey See, Monkey Do. BYE MONKEY.

If Everyone is Doing IT – WHY are we Not OVER IT, yet? 

Personally speaking (as if I ever speak non-personally) – I don’t like things that “the masses” like. Except pizza.

pizza pizza.

I’ve never had a Pandora bracelet, never owned an MK watch (OK, there was that one I received as a gift from an ex and returned – SORRY, Bradley!). I never fell into the Alex and Ani trend (though I do have 1 – gifted, obv and I suppose it’s sorta meaningful at least) and I NEVER wear it. I keep it out for show – in my messy room…

I’m not talking fashion trends – DUH! I obviously participate in those if I like them. I’m talking worldwide, phenomena trends where shit is soooooo accessible that water is a more difficult commodity to attain.

What I’m talking about is a perfectly prepared @Instagram photo.

Why are we not over the fact that people literally put things in specific, unnatural positions to take pictures of them?!?! Just to get “likes” ❤ on them? I’m not talking a detail shot – that’s totes normal. I’m not talking an amazingly beautiful backdrop. I’m talking like setting up a pair of shoes, next to a glass of champagne and a magazine, and your gorgeous new Cartier bracelet. That is fucking weird… because although you can argue that all of those things “go together,” THEY JUST DON’T… and furthermore, why are you positioning all of them together to photograph them to share on your Instagram? Are you a magazine? No, you’re a regular person. And I’m over you. Bye.

Shoes. Flowers. Books. I mean…… c'mon.
Shoes. Flowers. Books. I mean…… c’mon.

 

Great Skyline Background. Purse. Champagne. Magazine. Yeah, because that's very normal.
Great Skyline Background. Purse. Champagne. Magazine. Yeah, because that’s very believable.

I’m just very over this. It’s verrrrrrrry fashion blogger. I guess I follow too many of them, that’s why I’m over it. But like – get a grip. It’s not real. It’s all fake life. I’m done with this rant. ❤

*All photos from a random Twitter handle that I forgot (from very long ago, may not even exist anymore!) sorry for non-creds!

As of Late

The recent months have been among the best and most healthy times in my emotional life. (UGH, this blog is going to be annoying – I can tell already). Getting to know myself – really, really well. By myself. Loving myself. Learning about myself. Narcissistic, much? 

Being single is grounds for gaining a significant amount of knowledge – about none other than, yourself.

Change is one of the scariest and challenging times in this beautiful life. Going for new things. I’m about that life. Change is a beautiful thing.

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This week I embarked upon a brand new journey. I started working in NYC. I left my job of eleven (yes, that’s right 11! years). I honestly have not really left – I can’t leave something that’s THAT good. I am however, changing careers. I want to do something different, explore new and exciting territory. I don’t like weddings and that’s what my career was specialized in. Why work in an industry that you don’t love? If you don’t even love love?! Definite time for a change. A change in love. A love for myself – which is developing stronger and stronger as I type (lolz).

Considering myself an extremely loyal person – I will never let anybody tell me differently. This quote kind of struck me funny – I really am starting to see my “disloyal” changes as self-loving. I’m kind of really into the things that I’m loving right now.

I’m no longer into being unloved, being surrounded by people who don’t need me, or by people who don’t care about me to the fullest. Venturing out into the deep blue sea because I would really rather do that. I’m a firm believer of throwing myself into situations that are not comfortable. Hell – I do that every day of my life. I’m trying to teach myself that it’s better to feel uncomfortable for 8 seconds than to feel uncomfortable for years on end. Small bits of uncomfortable situations are worth it. They’re great for human growth. Starting to leave what has left me. Ready for what the unknown has to offer.

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 I LOVE this image.

How To: Get What You Want – Part THREE

HOW TO: Get What You Want

Yes, there’s 3 parts. No, there shouldn’t be.

But I had to break this information up into 3 blog posts. Because I’m not about giving you all of the information easily. And for dramatic effect (see Part 2).

But this is how you’re going to make people GLAD to do what you want. They’re going to be begging you to do exactly what you want them to do.

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Start off with compliments! Praise the person and appreciate what they’re doing for you. “You’re very beautiful, I really like the way that you do your eye makeup.” “Next time you’re doing it though, can you make sure to clean up the powder that’s left behind all over the sink?” It’s much easier to hear unpleasant things after you hear something positive about yourself.

Indirectly criticize. Don’t say a word to the idiot that isn’t doing his job at work. Do it for him… step right in and let him look on as you complete the task. Once he catches on that you’re there, acting on something – you let him finish. He will feel it – he’ll know what he did was wrong. He’ll respect you for not talking to him like an inferior, but allowing him to not do what he should have been doing. Reward people for their idiocy. Let them get away with it – but also let them KNOW they were an idiot. Change your “BUT’s” to “AND’s.” Failure is washed away. Get rid of the but – it changes the tone.

Talk about yourself (easy), but talk about your mistakes FIRST. It’s easy to criticize somebody – but also, think about WTF they know or don’t know. If you’re an expert (or you consider yourself one), other people don’t know as much shit as you do. OBVIOUSLY. So take it easy – and instead of making someone feel dumb with “WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT, IT’S ALL WRONG!” have some compassion. “OMG, I DID SOMETHING SO SIMILAR WHEN I FIRST STARTED DOING THAT. ONCE I MESSED UP THIS ENTIRE THING… TRY THIS, IT’S HELPFUL!”

Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. “Have you ever thought of…?” or “Do you think this would work…” Nobody likes to be barked at. Or be given orders. You definitely get what you want much easier if you give some options. You give opportunity to people to do things for themselves and it boosts self-esteem. It also removes the feeling of resentment.

If somebody sucks at something, let them do something that they’re actually good atDon’t highlight the shitty job a person is doing. Take a minute and think of something that they do really well – sometimes it is not AT ALL whatever you want them to do. However, something completely different – sometimes better! Have that person do that – it will be better for them and embarrass them way less. This is “feel good shit” people!

“Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.” Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” Praise is what makes people better – positive reinforcement – not negative. Keep going!! Praise can truly change a person’s life. With a little bit of encouragement, a person can really go places. As for getting what you want, successful people make successful surroundings. You can really move mountains with a positive message in the life of a friend, colleague or subordinate. They’ll remember the feeling you left them with. Always. People are thirsty, quench their thirst.

Reputation – it’s all about a person’s reputation. Once you give somebody a really great reputation to live up to – they’re going to. You create a situation where you force a person to compare their own life back to themselves. Sometimes this is difficult to face, but ultimately, it’s rewarding. Great leading tactic, really. Let somebody live up to their previous self – it’s easy to give a bit of suggesting advice this way.

Encourage and make the shitty shit they did seem super easy to correct. It gives people the desire to improve. Please help them, do it for the greater good of the world.

Make the person happy to do exactly what you want them to do. Give them some reward or recognition. Don’t let them down but suggest cool things about it! Don’t give them the opportunity to not be excited about it. Your request should really make the other person have the idea that they will personally benefit. Consider what they will gain, and let them gain it.

“My popularity, my happiness and sense of worth depend to no small extent upon my skill in dealing with people.” – Dale Carnegie

love this photo
love this photo

Based on: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Why Men Cheat

I’ve literally been doing research on why men cheat from the moment I started dating my first boyfriend (so, Kindergarten).

Obviously, never wanting to be cheated on, but knowing that it does in fact happen – I made sure I was exceptionally cool. Really easy-going, and not annoying to boys (or anyone for that matter). Main goal is to basically not act like a girl at all. Be like “one of the guys” without actually being weird or gross. Not forcing the “center of attention” look on myself. Not letting the little things become a big thing.

I give all of my girl friends very similar advice – to remain calm, cool and let shit go! Except when I’ve found myself in positions when I can’t let shit go – this has blown up in my face. Discovering why men cheat has been rough, but it’s all a part of growing up. Females cheat too, but I don’t care about that so save your opinions for another betch.

I had the pleasure of speaking with a man who is a Grade A, top of the line, high quality and respectable dude – also, a CHEATER. No names needed and specific situations never needed, but they happened and he’s real. This is what we’ve come up with. Enjoy or don’t.

Some men are never truly happy in their lives.

To these guys, happiness is a temporary feeling. Fleeting. There’s always this search for more or what’s next. So they mask their unhappiness through a variety of methods – drinking, drugs, gambling, and yes, womanizing.

Men at times are genuinely unhappy in their relationships and with themselves, which leads them to cheat. Chasing that temporary high or that good feeling in the beginning of a hook-up. Men are babies. They’re insecure and act immature.

a betches motto <3
a betches motto ❤

Insecurity.

Men want to be able to know “they’ve still got it” or they can still “pull a hot chick.” Congrat-u-fucking-lations? Good for you, bro. I guess? But when will it ever end? When will you feel secure enough with yourself that you don’t need to cheat on the one that you’re with just to prove to your friends or to yourself that you’ve still got it? If you do in fact, still have it – fucking keep it! People will know you still have it because you’ve kept the person that you’re with. And you’re cool because you’re confident, not cocky. You know when to fire punches and you also know when to roll with the punches. And if you choose to  leave the person that you’re with, do it with some class and dignity and don’t look back.

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Sex is a major factor – obviously.

Men cheat because their current girlfriend is boring. Or he can’t get over me. Leading a double life gets difficult after awhile so pick a team, dude!

Men don’t want to face the reality of their sexual incompetence and dealing with a new girl allows them to escape from their real life for a little while? (Disclaimer: Maybe for some, not Exhibit A…)

Cheating can be done in two forms: physical & emotional.

Ask any sane or better, insane betch what is worse? – The guaranteed response: emotional cheating. Cheating usually becomes emotional as soon as it happens more than once – sometimes not, but the physical isn’t what gets people so worked up about it.

Like – I don’t really care if you’re sleeping with another person. What I do care about is protecting myself (from whatever you may get or have from this other person). This is the scary part about cheaters. Like if you’re going to cheat or lie about what you’re doing with others, go right ahead and be a piece of shit liar. BUT you better fucking think about the literal danger that you may be putting somebody else in. STD. Immune system killers. I think about this all the time (maybe I’m paranoid) but I think everyone else is just dumb.

He doesn’t LOVE her anymore.

Bullshit. If you feel that strongly about not loving someone anymore, you should feel strongly enough to fucking tell them. This all comes down to the insecurity. Not feeling comfortable enough with yourself that you can’t break up with somebody is awful. Being with a person isn’t the end all – marriage is not always the end of the road. Love isn’t the end.

My question is whether or not cheaters evolve? Or will a guy be a cheater forever and ever, for the rest of his life so help him, God.

How To: Get What You Want – PART Deux

Get people to Think EXACTLY How You WANT!

Avoid all arguments with people. Always. I’m confrontational – but ONLY when I need to be. Otherwise, I’d rather let you go on and on about whatever you want to and never say a thing about it. Until I need to tell you to shut up. Because I likely don’t really care. Arguments are rarely necessary. Fighting is absolutely never necessary. Over it already, bye.

colorful bullets?
colorful bullets?

Respect the people you’re trying to get what you want from. Respect their opinions and what their goals are. Telling them that “they’re wrong” will get them to dislike your opinions and eventually dislike you. Don’t put yourself in a predicament where you have to backpedal. Disrespect never got ‘nobody ‘nowhere!

Admit your faults and your flaws. If you were wrong, admit that shit! Acknowledge that shit. Get overrrrrrr it. Get through it quickly by letting the other person know you were wrong and you would like to make right on that. It will make the other person feel better about themselves. And it will make you feel better about yourself in the future.

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Be a friendly betch. “You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.” I for one, don’t know why anyone would willingly want to be catching flies…. EVERBUT – I guess if catching flies is your fucking thing – use the honey. And be friendly, silly! 🙂

Make your conversations VERY POSITIVE. Get people saying “yes!” Like, get them happy. Get them motivated and make them happy about what they’re about to do (for you!). C’mon people – positive psychology is ALWAYS better than negative – even if you never payed attention in Psych 101 with Dr. Whomever in college – you’ve got to know that that guy B.F. Skinner talked about how positive reinforcement through conditioning is what rules! If that’s the only thing I learned in Psych than at least I learned something. Also Pavlov’s dogs. 😉 (End rant).

PEOPLE LOVE TO TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES! (For example – MY ENTIRE FUCKING BLOG!) I love talking about myself. And relating things to myself. Because I rule this world blog. lol When people speak, they usually like what they have to say say – they like to think that ideas are theirs. Get people thinking what you think and let them talk about it. Get them on your page and lead them to believe they got there themselves. They’ll think your fabulous idea is actually their fabulous idea. And who cares whose idea it really is? If you’re gaining something in the long run, let them think they thought of it. Sheer brilliance. Goals accomplished.

See where this person is coming from as well. Don’t disown their ideas because you know they didn’t think of them. Be interested in their your idea! Really FEEEEEL them – you make these people also feel like what they’re doing is the RIGHT THING. Like they’re helping you. They’re helping the cause. They’re helping themselves.

Like any betch in her right mind would do – MAKE THAT SHIT DRAMATIC!

create dramatic effect
create dramatic effect

People respond to dramatics. It gives them something to talk about in their mostly boring lives. Throw some shit in their faces. Let this person know that you mean business. And show them you mean business…make it good. Like really, really good. Why else waste time on something if it’s not gonna be good?! Drama makes life enjoyable and keeps people guessing. Don’t make it boring and obvious drama

Lastly, make it count. Challenge bitches! Give a person a challenge to do exactly what you want. Most people will accept challenges. Most people not only accept challenges, but go at them so hard that they perform much better than you were anticipating. People can really out-do themselves. Again and again. Betches love challenges. Don’t you? So do guys. Making people believe in themselves is a fun thing to do and in the end, all are winners.

All of this shit sounds a bit mundane but it’s common sense. These things will literally get people eating out of the palm of your hand. Not that you want people eating out of your hands but I’m really about little sayings like that. You’re well on your way to getting what you want!

Based on: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Weekday Manicure: Rad Nails

“OMG I really really want a tattoo!” – dumb girls, everywhere…

And here I am again, solving your white girl problems. 😉

So here’s a cute way you can get a new tattoo without actually getting one. Fucking genius. obv.

I hear betches say things like this all the time…

“I want another tattooooooo!” “Let’s get matching tattoos!” “I want a lotus flower tattoo.” “I want a tattoo but I don’t know what I’d get.” OK, boring…

Here’s your answer – fake fucking tattoos, ummm duh.

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Cuticle tattoos. How interesting.

I saw these bad boys from Rad Nails on Twitter (probs?) and had to try them out. They make 3 types of cuticle tattoos so I naturally purchased all 3 styles. Brought them to my manicurist Cindy to put them on me because I can’t do this shit on my own.

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UMMM…. these are much more difficult than we both thought! After several attempts, Cindy just got frustrated, telling me that these were “weird” and not like the ones from China that she uses. I, of course had NO freakin’ time to be getting this detailed of a manicure to begin with…

So – we agreed she forcefully told me that she was just going to paint the exact replicas on my nails and call it a day. The design is cute – though not my style at all. Maybe I’ll try Rad Nails again one day when I have a LOT of time and patience.

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Losing Shit

For being a somewhat responsible person, I’m a CERTIFIED professional at losing everything I need. If I want to find something, it’s automatically missing. 5 minutes later, don’t need it anymore…. Suddenly find it. SOML.

I’ve honestly become a bit of a disorganized mess / hoarder lately. Saving everything, and it’s time to take a purge. I hoard papers, receipts, shopping bags, old mail, clothes, shoes, anything…. because, JUST IN CASE! I save ugly ass clothes because — Halloween costume! Or theme party!

It’s disgusting, so I’m going to make fun of myself on this blog so that I can start behaving like a normal human being again. I filled an entire garbage can (like big ones – the outside ones) with shit that I didn’t need anymore today. So, I’m feeling pretty good about that. ANDDDDDDD I’m having feelings about garbage, yes indeed I am. Ew.

I’m constantly on a “looking for something” spree. I’m talking about the “Where is my phone? / Where are my keys?” / “Where is my boyfriend?” <—— HAHAHA! kind of losing shit. Those things are a GIVEN. Obviously, everybody misplaces those things. I lose major shit – nonstop. Like my checkbook? Oops.  I lose money as I’m about to pay for something. Credit cards – well those get left at the bar every time I open up a tab.

Random thought….! Reason # 6538 (this number means nothing to me) why I’d prefer to be a man – never carrying a purse / never losing shit in the bottom of a purse / never losing shit ever because you don’t carry every stupid thing you think you need but don’t inside of said purse.

I lose clothes. Like I don’t remember where I leave things or who I lend things to. (So if you’re reading this and you have my shit, give it back. Thanks!) I usually find things – but far after the point that I needed them. Bummer.

I’m a huge fan of every piece of advice my Dad gives me – the man should be a life coach because he’s great at memorizing ridiculous quotes from famous people, yet never giving them credit. He’ll never reveal his source and it’s 100% because he has no idea who the hell said it. BUT WHO CARES. Because it’s relevant in this moment and he’s offering his kind-hearted opinion to his darling daughter.

“When things aren’t adding up, start subtracting.”

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Start taking Dad’s advice – a man of many words – far too many words, I’ll start removing things from my life that are no longer serving me. AKA I’ll clean my room this week. AGAIN. 

How to stop losing shit: HAVE LESS SHIT! 

….AND OBVIOUSLY THIS QUOTE IS BY ANONYMOUS – more of a reason for Dad to not know where it came from.