Bushwick, Brooklyn #NewHood

We just moved in to a new neighborhood in Brooklyn – and so far really loving it. Everyone says Bushwick is “up & coming” which, (for those of you who don’t know) means it used to be very ghetto, has gotten much nicer, but still has a long way to go. I mildly agree but love the character and charm of this very diverse and artsy neighborhood.  The streets are spewed with massive pieces of graffiti art on buildings and garages. As I’m obsessed with taking photos of everything, The Bushwick Collective & other nearby pieces will occasionally make an appearance here or on my Snapchat @ashleybyrdy

Some of my favorite pieces around the neighborhood…

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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

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.

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.

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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.

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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11 Reasons Why Life Looks Better in Black

11 because it’s a skinny looking number

1. Black looks good on everybody. It’s slimming…listen to Christian Dior.

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2. Black is chic. I’ve never seen black look bad unless it’s faded, then questionable.

3. Black will never go out of style. It is in fact, timeless. Not trendy, nor tacky. It works in every season.

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4. Once you go black, you never go back? It looks great on every skin tone. Image5. There’s NEVER a reason to not wear black.  Black is always kind-of dressy. Image

6. There’s a reason why love is deep.

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7. I’ve never met another color that has as many emotions as black does. It can be anything you want it to be and it pulls it off every damn time.

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 8. Black is punctual. It also means you never have to worry about matching. Anything.

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 9. Black says: “Ooh, she means business.” Black makes anyone look mature.

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10. Black also conveys a straightforward sense of being. Honesty is black. No grey areas here. Black & White for all of the right reasons.

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11. Black camouflages any stains! Perfect for messy people like myself.

and for good luck ❤

* Black does not judge whether your clothes are expensive or cheap. *

I’ve been saying this all along

Life Looks Better in Black. 

Pay Pal

The Black & The White.

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So you’re going on a date – should a man always pay?

Danielle’s Take (Dusk & Rubies): 

Okay so to me this is black and white–no fifty shade of gray for me with this topic. I warn you that I am going to sound incredibly old fashioned with this and I am sure a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but that is what The Black & White is all about- sparking discussion. 

 
First Date Protocol: 
 
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He should pay. Short. Simple. I think that the first date can tell you a lot about a person. I know you can’t learn everything from a first encounter, but you can learn enough. If he asked you out, then he needs to follow through. But ladies I also know it is also polite to “offer”, but if your “offer” turns into your treat, then ‘Houston we have a problem’. Ditch him. It will only be trouble from here. 
 

What about After The First Date?

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When should a man stop paying for you? Never. Just because he has wooed you doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be romantic any longer. Just because he has known you for a year, two, maybe eight doesn’t mean he shouldn’t treat you with the same admiration, love, respect etc. So, why should he stop taking you out to dinner?  The answer is he shouldn’t. It’s not as if he can wipe his hands clean and say, “okay I’ve wined her and dined her every Friday night for three months so now I don’t have to anymore”.  Let me ask you this Mr. Hypothetical Guy, what happens when Ms. Hypothetical Girl dumps your butt? Oh, yeah, you have to go through the whole dating, buying dinner, buying drinks thing you were doing all over again, except for someone new. See how this is a never ending cycle? In a recent study, “Research [has] shown…that 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women say men pay for most entertainment expenses — even after they have been dating for some time” (Men Still Paying For Dates…And Women Are Partly Responsible). Meaning, that if you’re still paying for your long term girlfriend you’re in the majority bro.

So where is the issue?

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According to the same study although 84% of men say they pay for most of the expenses, two-thirds of men think women should contribute. Contribute being the key word–not pay ladies. Con-tri-bute. Maybe women can pay for the tip, or buy the dessert if you go someplace after dinner. Maybe women can buy men something nice and thoughtful every now and then…nothing extravagant just something that says, “I’m thinking of you”…like a growler,  his favorite candy, or a couple of nice Polos. But this is a suggestion for someone who is in a committed relationship…don’t start doing this all the time for someone you hardly know when it is too early in the relationship because then it becomes expected behavior, which mean this is now something this person expects you to do, rather than appreciates you for doing it. 

Why are you buying a boat together?
(The boat is symbolic for anything really). Now, I know a lot of couples who are unmarried, but split everything down the middle. If they go on vacation: they split it, if they buy a boat: they split it, if they buy a puppy: they split it, and if they rent an apartment they each pay half of the rent. Everything is right down the middle, so it’s fair right? Well, what happens if you are the two to split up. Now you have invested all this time and money into something that you only own a part of. And, what happens if he makes more than you? Should you still pay half when half leaves you unable to save money for yourself? This is when I start to hear my mother’s voice in my head and my old-fashion Italian values start to come to the surface. I was taught, as I am sure many other women were, that a man should know you can take care of yourself, but wants to take care of you anyway. I think that it takes a very special guy to be this for a woman, and I don’t think there are a lot of men out there like this.
If he wants a boat, great! You shouldn’t be paying for it. Hey, maybe you want to contribute pay for the gas, or buy the life jackets, or help clean it up. Then, that’s great. But you don’t have to pay for half of that boat. I think people should tread lightly when buying an expensive item together if you aren’t in a steady relationship, or engaged. How would you feel if your ex got your puppy when you split and then his dog became his next girlfriend’s dog? Not good. I’ve seen this happen. Now on to the apartment, don’t pay half–contribute. Buy groceries, pay for cable, netflix, hulu plus, a land line however you want to contribute, but you don’t have to pay half. I know this is a shocker because so many people do split rent on apartments and you know what that’s fine for some people, but just know it’s also not your only option.
 
When it comes to finances be upfront. 
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I am a very straight forward person. And to avoid as much confrontation as possible I speak my mind. If I love something, like something, hate something I say it. Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t but I have always needed to express myself. He knows that when we go out to dinner he is paying. But I too keep this in mind, I have never ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. I usually order a meal that costs less or equal to his and I try to choose a restaurant in his price range. We also take turns choosing restaurants so everyone always gets to eat what they want or crave. We don’t go out too often, probably to a nice dinner once a week, so that the bills don’t pile up. 
 
I leave you with this thought–just something to think about…
 

It has never been proven, at least I don’t think it has, but it seems to me that the way that first date goes is how the relationship will progress. If he pays then he will most likely be the sole provider, while if you pay then you may continue to be the sole provider. So the question is, do you want to be the provider?

Ashley’s Take (LifeLooksBetterinBlack):

Should a guy always pay?

No.

I am not the type of person who likes to wait or expects people to give me things. I do what I want when I want and I hate waiting – no patience.

I would rather not wait around at a bar and flirt with a man and convince him to buy a drink for me. I would rather not give him the expectation that the $12.00 drink I just made him buy for me is going to allow him an “in” with me. No thanks. I’ll buy my own $12.00 Ketel & Club with limes and take it from here.

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Do I think that buying me dinner is something that you should do if you’re taking me out on a first date? Definitely. Do I expect it? I guess… Will I freak out if it doesn’t happen? Nope. I don’t freak out about something like this because I don’t even give a shit. I would never go out to a dinner if I couldn’t afford it. (Neither should you). I would never request to go somewhere, not expect to pay for it. I would also never ask somebody of the opposite sex that I was interested in to go out to dinner with me if I didn’t expect to pay for them…

I’ve been in situations where I’ve felt guilty asking a guy to take me out to dinner to where I want to specifically go. If you don’t want to pay for something that’s out of your range – don’t ask me where I want to go to eat because I’m probably going to tell you something that you’re not going to like or that is potentially out of your price range. Rude? I just don’t think so. I also don’t expect you to pay. I’ll split dinner with you every time I go out because I’m like that. Literally, do not care. I’ll also order whatever I want not basing my selection on price or quantity because I want what I want and I don’t care who’s watching. I’m not embarrassed in front of a waiter or a maitre’d because I’ve been one and I am one. People who serve you, don’t judge who’s paying – they don’t care either. They will judge your tip – so if you’re out with me and you don’t over tip – I’ll feel extremely embarrassed. Then I’ll go out of my way to over tip and make you feel extremely embarrassed because you suck. Don’t even try it. I’ll never speak to you again. It’s over. Rule: If you don’t know – ask.

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So like, I don’t care if you’re going to pay for my dinner every time. Especially after being in a relationship with somebody. With all my relationships (friendships & romantic), all money always comes out in the wash. I buy something for you, you buy something for me. Dinners? Lunches? Coffee? Juices? Whatever I see at the store and want to buy for you because it reminds me of you? Whatever. I’m not really counting and if I am, it’s because you suck. I practice this throughout all of my relationships – if I owe you money because you bought me a drink at a bar – I’ll buy your next one. DUH – come on. If you’re sweating spending $ on me for dinner – I don’t want to be your friend, at all — especially not your girlfriend. If you don’t sweat it, I won’t either. If you want to pay for my dinner every single time – go right ahead. I’ll recoup by buying you something really awesome every once in awhile. And bring your mother flowers.