How To: Survive WITHOUT Your iPhone: Day 1

Step 1: Wake Up Slow… because your iPhone broke overnight, your alarm will not go off and you’re going to just have to figure it out when you wake up. You had weird dreams too and you can’t even text your best friends about them because no phone. Hopefully you use iCloud or backed up your phone recently…. yeah. I really F-ing hope I did. UGHHHH.

Step 2: Log in to your email. Check email. Email people that will be trying to reach you throughout the day that your phone is done for and to email you instead. Reschedule all phone calls you may have so you can call the person instead of them calling you.

Step 3: Make an appointment at the Apple Store….. for 3 days from now. HOW EFFICIENT, APPLE!!!!?!!?!?! Thanks for nothing.

Step 4: Contemplate doing whatever else you’re supposed to do today without having the following benefits of an iPhone or a cell phone in general.

– GPS / Google Maps / Waze – basically, research where you’re traveling to ahead of time on your laptop (if you have one), write it down? or print it out? (if you have a printer) OR follow street signs like an archaic animal that you now are. Sorry civilization leaves your body completely when you are without beloved iPhone.

– Instagram: I mean – this hurts. But don’t you dare tell me that it’s important enough to log on to your Instagram through your laptop just to check out what your psycho friends and the celebs you stalk are doing. It’s not that good… and if it is that good, your friends will text you in group chat about it…. OH WAIT… (like I said, you’re F’d).

Step 5: Cry and scream when you realize that you’ve LOST everything on your iPhone that’s important to you since the last time your stupid iPhone display broke (less than 1 month ago). Cry more. But don’t really cry just have a mean RBF that will not leave your body. FOREVER.

Step 6: Wait until tomorrow…

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L.A. & San Francisco

Los Angeles had a gorgeous start of extraordinarily nice weather this past weekend. My best friend and I spent some time with family in Hermosa Beach and took a day trip to Beverly Hills. Being out of freezing New York City was an amazing little escape. Beaching in the winter when NYC is experiencing a snow storm is also one of the nicest feelings in the world. Sorry, NY-ers. Although this week NYC is having beautiful weather. So I obviously brought it back, you’re welcome!

We traveled up north to San Francisco for a few days to visit another bestie. My experience was delightful and S.F. is now in the running for one of my favorite cities out there. Take a look at some pics below because photos do a much better job of explaining than me rambling on about what I did.

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Hermosa Beach Lifeguard Stand
At this point we need to hit the beach majorly... so pale
At this point we need to hit the beach majorly… so pale
Morning run
Morning run
afternoon in Beverly Hills
afternoon in Beverly Hills
breakfast spot, hermosa beach
breakfast spot, hermosa beach
Twin Peaks at night, San Francisco
Twin Peaks at night, San Francisco
Muir Woods
Muir Woods

I fell during our hike and have a huge bruise and cut on my knee!

Sonoma Valley Wine Tasting
Sonoma Valley Wine Tasting
Meeting friends
Meeting friends

An alumni from Breezy’s school also loves wine as much as we do!

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Night Out in San Francisco
<3
<3, blurry but I don’t even care
Lombardy Street, #crookedest street in the world!
Lombardy Street, #crookedest street in the world!
Cable Car
Cable Car
Full House - House, Painted Ladies <3 San Francisco
Full House – House, Painted Ladies

Honestly…Breezy, Kim and I stood sat in front of the Painted Ladies for a solid 15 minutes before we decided what type of themed photo was acceptable to upload to Instagram. This photo captures the pure ridiculousness being caught in the moment. Breezy’s Instagram has the photo we chose. 🙂

Painted Ladies
Painted Ladies

Brings me back to my childhood… actually I still watch Full House often so it brings me back a few days ago.

Hyde St. Pier, San Francisco
Hyde St. Pier, San Francisco
Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
Me and Uncle Charlie
Me and Uncle Charlie
Snapchat photos are cool, right?!
Snapchat photos are cool, right?!
Clift Wineries
Clift Wineries

Sometimes iPhone pictures don’t come out as good as I hope for ❤ Also my phone was dead or not on me for half of this trip so the memories will last much longer than the photos in this case. ❤

 

Life on my iPhone

“If we’re not grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we would be happy with more?” 

Inspiring quote about acceptance, being content with what we have and being in control of our wants and needs.

Le Bonne Marché x The Webster collab ❤

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Driving around Williamsburg on Sunday…

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Because who doesn’t like a good quote pic…

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Relevant…

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Black matte NARS makeup. 

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Vines on the back wall at Toro NYC.

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Practice Your Texts

Practice your texts before you press SEND.

AKA: Don’t speak too soon.

AKA: Don’t get caught up.

AKA: Don’t say shit you don’t mean.

AKA: Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.

Every time I’m faced with an interesting question or problem or “AHH! not sure what to do” via text, I hold on a sec…

Exit iMessage immediately. Open my favorite app in the history of the world. No guys, it’s not Instagram. It’s Notes. Don’t believe me?! Take a look at my stack. In real life hard copy and in soft copy on my iPhone/iCloud. I write notes like nobody’s business. In fact I write many of my blogs in Notes.

I’ve had Notes deleted from my iPhone and I’ve had legit mental breakdowns crying and screaming on the floor, until Anthony Luckie saved my life a la his pre-lawyer days.

ANYWAY – Write down everything you want to say in the note. Run on sentences and all. Nasty shit. Nice shit. Normal shit. Really really fucking nasty shit. Get it out. It feels good. But it didn’t make anybody feel that bad yet. Now, maybe your goal is to make somebody feel bad: here’s the trick. Clean it up. Think about it and revise what you’re saying. Run it by somebody. You don’t need to answer right away. You change your tone because you’re not looking to get a negative reaction, you’re looking for a positive reaction. Don’t curse them out. You basically clean up your texts and make them clear, concise and perfect. Your text will come across as well thought out and that you mean business not that you’re trying to be a dick.

Also – it majorly saves you from the elusive  (typing) dots.

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Which are the ultimate worst gut dropping feeling. OH the person is typing… then erased. Typing then erased. Then typing.  Then nothing. And still no text received? What’s going on w this weird person ? They clearly don’t know how to respond! Clearly they’re thinking about this way too much.

When you avoid the dots, you seem unaffected by something – even if it did take you 1 hour of deliberating and contemplating of what to actually send.

Once that shit is perfect, you copy and paste into iMessage and off it goes. Confidence is up because you take out the nervousness or changing your mind or anything else out of the text line. Now you’ve said exactly what you mean, you didn’t say it mean. And you’re free. Until the text comes back: “ok.”

Hahaha! Good luck with that shit!

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

Contrast Please, No Comparison

dont-compare-pic1People only show you what they want you to see.

Social media, specifically Instagram is a mere glimpse into the life of an individual or business or brand. Some over-sharers give more than a glimpse but rather, a life story. And you want to unfollow so badly but you simply cannot because it’s just too damn good! Either way – what everybody views on Insta it’s not the whole story! Typically, it’s only the good good shit.. OBVIOUSLYYYYYYYY.

Everything we do is posted to Instagram. Like OMG – sooooo Instragram worthy. It’s moderately scary. I’m obsessed – I Insta all the time. However I’m trying to take a step back and understand why I do and realize that I need to relax.

Calm down BETCH, it’s just an App!

I totally get it – that your social reputation seems like the most important thing in the world. But legit – it’s not the instant trip to happiness, fulfillment, self satisfaction and approval. Isn’t that why famous people have so many issues?

Having hundreds of thousands of followers does not mean having hundreds of thousands of friends. OBVIOUSLY.

People upload the coolest things ever on Instagram – because why wouldn’t they?! The more likes you get the cooler you are right?! UM, I guess.

Regardless of what the photo is actually of – it is all that the viewers can actually see. (Unless they’re your BFF standing next to you OK-ing whichever dumb filter you chose, then they know – DUH!).

As I’ve said before, many people don’t actually care about your life, more often than not, they’re just curious. And they stick around just to check up on you – which is weird. These aren’t real friends, they’re “fake” friends.  Your real friends will always be the people laying by your side when you’re in an elevator shaft really drunk, or making you breakfast smoothies when it’s your turn to make breakfast smoothies, or throwing up in an Uber sitting next to you while you’re throwing up in an Uber (right in front of your place), or keeping you in check when you are way out of line.

So remember that shit!

Instagram is not real life. It is just an App.

Insta is just a person’s visual daily check in where they can connect and share the BEST things that are going on in their life with all of their closest friends followers. It’s honestly not an accurate perception of “real life” at all – this app really allows people to make a visually appealing graph, if you will. Ya just receive the bits & pieces – the juicy stuff.

You can “make believe” anything your heart desires via Instagram. Welcome to the land of make believe, people! Instagram = Disney?! Um…..questionable. But I can basically make you believe whatever I want – or at least make you question it. If I uploaded a photo of Bora Bora this weekend (besides my friends who know that I cannot afford plane tickets to Bora Bora) & the fact that I’m not there —- people would probably think I’m there. As long as a #tbt or #fbf isn’t listed in the photo – it’s believable, because it’s on Instagram.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT? How fucking ridiculous is that? I would receive text messages, emails, comments and the like from people being like… “WTF, you’re in Bora Bora?!” “NO! I’m just testing out how flawed humanity is and you assholes all fell for it.” But I mean – it’s so simple. I’d get a bunch of likes on that shit too probs.

The point is that you can make your life out to seem something very different than it actually is.

Uploading an adorable photo of you and your boyfriend together sitting outside on the end of a boardwalk with your feet dangling off the end, happy as clams from Memorial Day Weekend —— does not take into account the fact that your boyfriend has been cheating on you for your entire relationship and is absolutely OK with that. He really loves you though, he promises. He told me. 😉

What I’m saying here is do NOT believe everything you see! Don’t compare their super cute Instagram / Facebook relationship to your relationship. Yours is better, anyway. They’re not as amazing and cute as they make themselves out to be. I mean, maybe they really are cute in that photo – and sure, yeah – sometimes in reality they are too. But not always. You only see what they’re willing to share. So don’t be jealous of that. Just accept it and move on. Right now, I want you to stop wishing you were that person, or wishing you had that, or wishing you were doing what that person is doing right now. Your life is going to get happier.

Instead of comparing everything I do or do not do to whomever (too many do’s) – I’m going to contrast it. I’m going to continue to live my own way and behave as I please. Let people think whatever they want to and not have feelings about that – shocking, NOBODY. But you should give it a shot too.

Remember this the next time you are scrolling through someone else’s feed thinking (as we are all guilty of doing by the way!!)

“I wish I had their life…”

emPOWERED bag

Came across this “to-die-for” clutch that launched back in January and immediately put in my pre-order for the black color! Introducing emPOWERED.

How often have you been out somewhere and you’re phone flashes you that cute little message, LOW BATTERY. For me, basically every single day – multiple times per day. It’s bad. Probably from all of the selfies I was taking…oops. 0% = I die.

My Worst Nightmare...
My Worst Nightmare…

This “IT bag” – IT standing for “basically being a celeb because it’s such a coveted item” and IT standing for Information Technology because, THIS bag charges phones!  

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Dreams and prayers from phone over-users & over-abusers have been answered! If you’re like me, you’re constantly in fear that your phone will die and you won’t be able to reply to a message, check Instagram, Twitter, FB, Google ANYTHING…obsessed? Yes, unfortunately.

The bag’s built-in charger can take your phone’s battery from 0 to 100%! emPOWERED uses a USB connection so whatever device you’re using can get charged! iPhone 4 & 5, Android, Kindle, even cameras (who even uses those anymore, honestly?).

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The design is rather chic – can be worn as a cross-body with a long strap, carried as a clutch on date night or GNO & it’s even thin enough to be tucked into your larger day bag or work bag. It’s leather which is a bonus for me because I love leather. It’s black which is a bonus for everybody because it goes with everything. emPOWERED comes in different colors, patterns and materials and is priced at a steal of $149. The brand just launched their “Large Leather Tote” that is a godsend & perfect for students, work commuters, and people who carry their lives in their handbags!

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Posing with my new tech gear!  ashley empowered bag

Excited to use this puppy on my upcoming adventures! Also looking forward to never fearing the inability to stalk my friends, upload an artsy Instagram or look up directions when I’m lost every day of my life.

Image via EmpoweredBag.com
Image via EmpoweredBag.com

Charging complete. 100%.

I’m a…SLAVE for you

My nightmare continues

Every morning I open my eyes and wake up by myself (usually) and reach for my little rectangular device that I’m alarmingly obsessed with. I say alarming because my alarm is most likely going off while I’m reaching for my iPhone. Begin “the daily read” – iMessage, Instagram, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, other random social sites that you may be on? Yeah.

iPhone obsession is real. Social media obsession is even more real. The real real. Real fucking scary. Really fucking not okay. How am I supposed to live my amazing life with this iPhone not by my side? But how am I supposed to live at all being so attached? Why are we so attached? Why can’t we put it down? I mean I know we can – until it vibrates or makes the sound you’ve been waiting for or worse, dreading.

People aren’t living in the moment, they’re capturing it. How do you remain solely in today and not in tomorrow? Or the next moment? Or in the next upload to social media? How often are you about to do some pretty normal activity and somebody pulls out their phone and takes a pic of what you’re about to do?

Envision yourself in this oh-so-familiar scenario: So you’re at a bar with a good friend and you’ve had quite the week. Actually nothing in particular really happened that was that great to mention… but you’re tired? but you’re taking Jameson shots because you want to celebrate? Because you rule?! And why not? You’re excited to cheers your little chupito and slam it down and just as you lift your 1oz. shot glass….your bestie whips her phone out and captures your “cheers!” SO EPIC… Actually she got a really good picture (which you obviously had to review before it went anywhere public). But you & your friend did all of this before that shot of Jameson even reached your thirsty lips. What is wrong here? Great job capturing the moment bestie! Also great job completely avoiding living in a particular moment of starting the night off right with a shot.

It’s not all about taking shots, although I wish it would be some of the time (most of the time) always. How do you remove that desire? I’m trying to teach myself that I don’t have to capture every second. And if I do capture it, I don’t have to publish it.

“I’ve been trying this thing where instead of uploading things to social media that have the intention of making other people feel insecure, I’m trying to make others feel good. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. I want people to look at me and my pictures and say, “oooh I wanna be her friend!” Not like F that bitch I want her new bag.” – bestie shoutout.

Could not agree with this more though – we live in a world where sharing what you’re doing has become so standard, it’s depressing me. Like – I. cannot. wait… for you to go on your Caribbean vacation this week so that you can upload the following photos (in order):
1. Passport / Boarding Pass
2. Packing / or how bad you are at packing (me!)
3. Airport delay (OMG! NOOOO! Feel sad for me, I’m going to St. Maarten but first I have to sit in JFK for 3 hours! Bummer…)
4. Shot of clouds/sunset/view from your seat on JetBlue with a airplane wing in the bottom right hand corner.
5. Your hotel view. (GORGE!)
6. Your beach view/ your beach selfie #selfie #obvi #paradiseselfie #lovethis #beachlife
7. The amazing man/woman you’re in paradise with (I’m literally holding back vomit heaves right now)…
8. Delicious dinner you’re about to enjoy.
9. Jet skiing / other fun outdoor shit.
10. Last day in paradise! So sad. Sad face. 😦 But why the fuck are u sad if you’re in paradise?
11. Back to NY where it’s cold an awful weather and you’re so miserable to come back to reality because your regular life is so boring and the best thing you will upload on Instagram this upcoming week is your gourmet lunch/ new shoes / #selfie / your really awesome dog. COOL – not.

I regress… People are pretending to be “living.” Get back to it and actually live people! And actually love! LOL.

I’ve tried an experiment with friends over dinner and it turned out to be quite entertaining… 6 of us went out for dinner at a local, eclectic restaurant. Trying to salvage conversation and bring everyone back down to earth, one person made an interesting statement or rule, if you will:  No phones the entire dinner. The fun part was that everybody had to place their phone face down in the middle of the dinner table. You can leave sound on or off, but you cannot view the screen. Nobody knows who’s texting you, or if you are even the one who is being texted or called. You cannot answer. You cannot touch the phones. You pay no attention to the phones, even though they’re all sitting right there directly in front of you. It’s an experiment. Because as soon as you hear that sound, you immediately want to reach. I started to get extremely antsy within the first few moments because obvi I was awaiting a text for my plans later with my fake boyfriend. The kicker to this game is that, the person who picks up their phone first, pays for the entire dinner. The guy who suggested the game ended up paying for the entire dinner anyway, but the point was that great conversation was available and it was uninterrupted and real and genuine. #NOFILTER

Try it sometime, highly recommended. Take a break, it helps. As I take my break, I find a really fantastic inspirational quote that I must crop and upload to Instagram and Twitter, immediately.

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I’ll even send it to Facebook (as if) because that has a bigger reach and I really just want everybody to know about my new found strength or actions toward wellness. (Cool, Ash…) I’m doing me! I’m doing really great! Look at me! Don’t you wish you were me?! I bet somebody will screenshot his and #repost it because it’s really such a great motivational quote!!! COOL! I hope the sarcasm shows through that string of a paragraph…

Now I bet some of you may be like, “Yeah I see this shit all the time but I don’t do this. I don’t have time for this. I live my life, not capture it. I’m good.” No you’re fucking not! You’re still fucking looking at it so this is completely applicable to you too! You don’t have to be full fledged in it – aka an incessant uploader (like myself) to be a part of it.

The trick is to let the fuck go. Like right now, I’m really trying to stop “stalking.” I know that sounds dramatic but it’s the fucking truth. And if you can’t admit that you stalk other people, whether it be your friends, your friends’ friends, exes, people you love and/or want to be with, celebrities, weird people, hysterical people, people who are so strange that you feel bad for them but continue to follow them for the pure enjoyment and entertainment factor & get your friends to follow them because c’mon it’s really worth it.

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And then it’s been 28 minutes and you’ve still not gotten that email done that you were working on because you were on Instagram while at work. “Damn. That girl is ugly anyways. Ugh yeah – I don’t like her friend either. She looks like a slut and that comment is totally about me. What is that shirt? He wore that same goddamn shirt on his birthday last year!! What does he only have one fucking shirt?! I’m disgusted. She should definitely be wearing black.” GET OFF INSTAGRAM, Ashley! Get the fuck off. You’re actually a lot cooler then that and you know it. You have courage. You have confidence. You are better than the Gap!

Why do I even want anybody to see anything about my life? I used to be a very private person. Until it was cool to let it all hang out. Sharing my thoughts made me feel good about myself because it meant somebody was reading them, whether they cared or not. And if people “like” them or “retweet” them that means I’ve been accepted and I’m really feeling great about myself because I’m relatable. Thank god I’ve created for myself the exact thing that I have tried to avoid for my entire being. The act of being relatable. I have lived my entire existence being a little weird, or outside the box, quirky, random, a little different from what you were expecting. Because I fucking like that shit. I like to keep people guessing and I like to do exactly what you aren’t expecting. You think I’m going to do some very predictable outrageous motion, and instead I do something really fucking normal with an obscure twist to mind fuck you even worse. Sorry. Welcome. AKA let me upload the ugliest selfie I can possibly find because I think that its a little more funny than a typical boring girl selfie. I don’t feel like giving a better example because you’re not going to get it anyway.

On that note, it’s almost 4:00 PM and I haven’t checked my Instagram since my daily read (this morning). I’ll try to hold off for my nightly read (before bed). Live in today guys.