Author Archives: ashleekarin

Stop settling for sh*tty men.Β 

The male unicorn. They’re a fantasy, right? 

They buy you flowers for no reason, and they surprise you by bringing home chocolate (or other sweet treats) on a whim. They kiss your forehead after they get home from work every night, even if you’re fast asleep. They wake up early most mornings to make you coffee, even though they don’t have to get up themselves. Sometimes they even prepare you breakfast and/or lunch to go too. They text you throughout the day. 

They have the best advice when you are feeling down on your luck. They make amazing steak dinner (they actually make most dinners, and they are always amazing). They lay in bed with you at night even though they aren’t tired. They rub your belly because your stomach hurts. They play with your hair and run their fingertips to trace your lips. 

They tell you, you are beautiful. sexy. smart. 

They finish the laundry you started and start the laundry you couldn’t bring yourself to do. They spend most of their free time by your side. They make you laugh, and they wipe the tears from your eyes when you cry. 

They hold you all night, even if it’s hot. even after their arm has fallen asleep. 

They watch sappy movies with you. They plan surprise dates. They walk on the beach with you, and watch the sunset. They take selfies with you. They go on trips with you. 

They make you hot tea when you’re sick. They make you vanilla chai tea and sprinkle cinnamon on top when you feel fine. They introduce you to their family. They plan their holidays with you. They don’t change after they got you. They tell you they love you. 

They plan their future with you in mind. They work hard. They try to better themselves. They listen to you when you’re upset. They apologize and mean it if they ever say anything that hurts your feelings. They know the five love languages, know YOUR love language, and still love you daily using all five. 

They meet your for lunch. They invite you to meet their coworkers. They wait for you when you need more time. They don’t get frustrated at you when you get grumpy or moody or emotional. They are kind, and patient, and the walking version of that 1st Corinthians scripture. 

They do all of this on their own. Because they want to. They prize your happiness as part of their happiness. And they make it look easy! 

The perfect man. (Well, maybe my perfect man… to each their own)

 But what if I told you they are less like a unicorn, and more like a stallion? They exist. They aren’t impossible to find. 

They deserve to be treasured when you do. Man, they deserve to be equally as loved and cherished as they make you feel. 

The problem isn’t finding them, though. The problem is holding onto donkeys while your prized stallion walks by. 

It’s not them, it’s you. 

Stop settling for men who tell you they love you and show you they don’t care. It’s a race you won’t win if you keep betting on the slowest horse. 

**So thankful for finding my male unicorn πŸ¦„ 😍 I never knew love could feel so good. 

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You can go to Europe too!

This isn’t my most frugal breakdown, but I will walk you through planning a 7 day trip seeing two countries with flights, lodging, and tours that will cost you about $1,260 per person for two people. 

***Trip Breakdown below was priced out for two people.***

Flights Total: $1400 ($700 each)

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡· πŸ‡«πŸ‡· 

  • British Airways $1000 ($500 each)
  • (Orlando to Paris to Orlando)
  • Air France $400 ($200 each)
  • (Paris to Greece to Paris)

My recommendation for flights is Skyscanner.com. I usually am much more lenient on the dates I fly and where I fly to into Europe based on whatever is cheapest. Orlando is one of the closer international airports to me (only a 5-6 hour drive) so I usually search for flights out of there. Since we wanted to fly TO Paris, we ended up spending about $300 more (total, $150 more each) to be a bit more pickier about the city we flew to and when we flew. However, flights to Norway from Orlando are usually really cheap ($300-$350 each, roundtrip). Once you get to Europe, flights around Europe are so inexpensive. I flew from Norway to Ireland one way for $30 during St Patrick’s Day…

Lodging Total: $775 

  • Paris AirBnB $341
  • # Nights: 2
  • Greece AirBnB $334
  • # Nights: 4

Airbnb.com is my favorite way to book lodging (thanks to a friend of mine for turning me onto it). The important thing to me is to book the rooms that have the lightning bolt ⚑️ next to them. That means Instant Booking, so you have less hassle to deal with. I also always read the reviews, and I don’t book rooms that don’t have reviews. The rooms we booked above are actually The Entire House 🏑! which means we get the entire flat/studio/home completely to ourselves. Talk about living like a local…

Plus that means fridge and stove, so you can save money on food if you cook at home. 

Tours Total: $365

  • Eiffel Tower Tour $128
  • Louvre Tour $152
  • Athens Bicycle Tour $85

Lastly, tours. I used Viator.com. I like to look at ones with reviews, and won’t book them if they don’t have at least 1 review. Personally, I really recommend doing some kind of tour the first day you are ever in a new city. You learn the places to go (and not go), the things to eat, what’s fun to do, and you have a local giving you all of this information. There are a couple free tours websites I go to when I’m trying to be incredibly frugal (those tours operate off tips only), but since I didn’t use those sites this round, I won’t cover them. 
Trip Total: $2,540 ($1,260 each)

Like I said, not my cheapest breakdown. We still have food, souvenirs, and if anything else comes up that we want to do… but we should probably get away with adding all that on hitting maybe $3-3.5k trip Total, and that’s if we are just doing whatever we want. This is a very special trip – someone’s birthday and first bachelors degree ❀😘
The key to these trips is that I don’t buy everything at once. I started with the main flight (which for a single person, being frugal – you could probably get away with $300-$350 flight to Europe < all of that depends on your closest international airport, but that’s what both my round trip tickets cost me the last two trips). 

I know $300 is a lot of money, but if you can manage to save up to get that, the moment you buy your ticket to Europe, everything else just seems to fall together. Then you start planning any flights you need to get into the country you want to go to (maybe another 50-250 dollars). Then you start buying lodging once place at a time. If you are feeling really adventurous you can try couchsurfers.com (free lodging). Then the tours are optional. Food. Souvenirs. 

If you break everything down into much smaller more manageable pieces then it’s so easy to do. 
So yes, $1.5k IS a lot of money. But in the grand scheme of things – less than $1.5k for an entire trip to Europe including flights, lodging, and tours is nothing. We had 4 months to get this together. (My last trip I gave myself 9 months to do.)

 It’s Europe… 

Carpe diem 

Bucket List: Miss my flight

On Craigslist there is this whole page dedicated to missed connections (to people, really.) But what if I told you that sometimes missing a connection can be a good thing? 

Like in this instance, where my boyfriend and I missed our flight from Paris to Greece, and we were stuck in Paris for the whole week. (Wah, wah.. right?)
At this point, you could ask “how is that a good thing?” But you could also ask “how is that even a bad thing at all?” At the end of the day, you’re stuck in a beautiful city with so many options; the city of love with the man you love. A city filled with so much history while your boyfriend is a history major. This just can’t be a bad thing. 

But this is also how it’s a good thing – sometimes you don’t really know people until they are disappointed or upset. When someone is thrown into that situation, you quickly learn who they are deep down. 

For me, I know that I need space (without distance – try figuring that one out. I’m a woman. Let me have it.) so that I can gather my thoughts and plan of action. I become withdrawn, and my initial reaction is typically that of the situation- disappointment or negativity. If you allow me that space, it will pass, as logic and reasoning sink in. “Woah is me, I am stuck in Paris for a week” becomes as sarcastic as it should be with the twist of first world problems. I’ll then joke about it. Laugh it off. And I’ll move on. 

Scottie – he stayed so upbeat and loving the whole time. He believes everything happens for a reason (which I chimed in “and sometimes that reason is because you’re not paying attention and it’s your fault” lol) but this man always, for the last 7 years, has stayed positive, upbeat, and loving. He kissed my forehead and told me we will still make this a very romantic trip – and in that moment I realized all he cared about this whole time was me. I am over here wallowing in a lapse of momentary self pity because we didn’t make it to Greece and I wanted him to have the best Birthday, and he’s over here having an adventure with loving me on his mind. 

So, an adventure it will be. 
✈️😍

It’s not me, it’s us.Β 

πŸ˜β€β˜•οΈ


 I understand that there are challenges in relationships. I just don’t think more challenges should come from INSIDE the relationship than from OUTSIDE the relationship. 

You pick a companion to face the world together, not to have to face. 

That’s why I think it is so important to find someone you are compatible and in sync with. If you date a partygoer and you’re a homebody – you will probably hit a lot of opposition, etc. 

It doesn’t mean everything has to be aligned. You should just have an honest conversation with yourself about your’s and your partner’s compatibility. 

Wanting or having the desire to be compatible and being compatible are two entirely different things. 

There are A LOT of aspects of another human being to look at and compare yourself too. If you are opposites in a majority of those categories, prepare for a lot of opposition and tension in your relationship. 

Only you will know if the relationship will work. 

Love is deliberate. But if love is exhausting, then I would dare to say that it isn’t love. 

Try to breakdown your Compatibility in these areas:

Lifestyle (partygoer, homebody, drinking (if yes, how often, how much), drugs, fitness, career oriented, travel, working class, students, military, retirement, beach/surfing, concert/music, artsy, introvert/extrovert, etc.)

Love language (Read the Five Love Languages book – Physical Touch, Quality Time, Gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service) [how you show love and how you receive love, compare both]

Hobbies

Goals

Career (current, ideal and the steps you are making to get there, work schedule of both current and ideal)

Place to live (current, ideal)

Types of food

Religious beliefs

Family relationships

Previous relationship(s) status (married, divorced, single, friends with ex, kids from relationship)

Types of sexuality/relationships (open, monogamous, view on porn, bdsm, vanilla, etc)

Education (current, ideal and the steps you are making to get there)

Desire for kids (if yes, when. If yes/no or when changes, how open are you to those answers)

Politics

Finances (current, ideal and the steps you are making to get there)

Current 1, 5, 10 year plans

Habits (good, bad, current, ideal)
Disclaimer: Again, just because you are opposite in some areas doesn’t mean it won’t work. It’s just important to be aware of your comparability with another person. 

Entitled: Millennials Anonymous

Bottoms up. 

~*~

Tilt the hour glass 

of the World Wide Web back 

and watch your time 

slip right through the cracks. 

~*~

It’s a 

socially 

acceptable 

addiction. 

~*~

It’s like bringing a 

bottle of whiskey 

to the office or the bedroom. 

~*~

Do they like my status? 

Did they love my photo? 

Would you swipe right?

~*~

Right?

~*~

It’s like write or die. 

But I don’t mean novels. 

~*~

I mean catchy 

155 character phrases 

that will get you 

retweeted. 

~*~

It’s repeated:

“Entitled.”

The most connected 

disconnection.

“Millennials.”

The lost generation. 

~*~

Instafamous. 

Instaconnection. 

Instagratification. 

~*~

Instadepressed. 

Instasuicide-rates-on-the-rise. 

But it’s all lies. 

~*~

There is so much 

pain and loneliness inside. 

And social media 

is the disguise 

~*~

Why didn’t you snap me back?

I saw you read my chat. 

It really isn’t all that. 

~*~

Well now that you’re trending…

Trendy. 

Why didn’t you friend me?

~*~

Dogsnaps. 

Dadsnaps. 

Naked girl snaps. 

~*~

Screen shot. 

Unwanted eyes. 

Did you see that snap she sent last night?

Privacy has no where to hide. 

~*~

Hello @username. 

Hashtag-bff. 

Hashtag-when-was-the-last-time-we-actually-hung-out. 

Hashtag-k-thanks-bye. 

~*~

The most followers is linked 

to the least amount of friends. 

~*~

Don’t pretend. 

~*~

That S.M.S. is really an S.O.S.

And when is the last time you really 

L.O.L’d?

~*~

Time to update your 

calling card

And your tag line. 

Put up a really sexy pout. 

Tinder out. 

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