Author: Ashley Tripp

Dear Reader,

Dear Reader, Hello, it’s me. I haven’t written a post lately. Excuses run through my brain like a pinball machine. (Too busy, too tired, too lazy, etc). However, you and I both know that whatever your passion is, you will make time for it. I haven’t been writing consistently because I haven’t been inspired. And I definitely haven’t made time for inspiration. Writing about singleness is a challenge. But normally when faced with a challenge, I accept it like a Wizard’s Duel and give it my best swish and flick. However, this challenge seems to be a never-ending battle. Sometimes writing about singleness is pretty freaking fantastic, but other times it’s a train wreck. (i.e. Why doesn’t he text me back?) Just this past Sunday I watched back-to-back Matthew McConaughey rom-com movies just so I could escape my singleness and immerse myself in a hopeless romantic bubble. No. Shame. Some days I question why I even started this blog. What’s the point? Do I want to be known as the Singe Since ’91 blogger? Am I …

’90s Hair Trends to Try This Summer

Picture it: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee summer circa 1998. I had just turned seven years old. It was a season in which the 98-degree sizzling heat not only referred to the temperature, but also the name of a boyband. For my portable CD player, the soundtrack of my summer included songs from Disney’s Mulan and The Parent Trap. *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys blasted through my favorite radio station, Star 102.1 (Britney Spears had yet to make her “Baby One More Time” innocent schoolgirl debut.) It was the summer of butterfly clips, scrunchies, up-dos, space buns, pigtails, and bucket hats. Twenty years later, I can’t help but notice a few of these 90’s hair trends and accessories have made a comeback this summer. You go, girl! And if you’re like me and are clueless (ugh, as if!) as to how to style your hair for the humidity, I suggest trying out these fun throwback hair trends from the summer of 1998 to spice up your life and stand out above the crowd:   1) Space Buns   2) …

You are Loved: Finding Worth in God Instead of Resumes and Relationships.

“Some days you’re tired of trying to measure up. You see a girl who’s not enough when you look in the mirror.” As a single girl of 27 years, I see someone who’s not enough. I am tired of trying to measure up to the impossible prerequisites guys look for in a girl. In addition, I’m currently trying to figure out God’s plan for my life. After five years in full-time ministry, I felt God calling me away to pursue the artistic passions and literary gifts planted inside of me. After months of searching and interviewing, still no financially stable doors. I’m tired of closed doors and trying to measure up to other candidates with years of experience. “Some nights all you wanna do is hide ’cause every time you look inside, you’re face to face with failure.” “How’s the dating life? Do you have a boyfriend yet?” The answer is still no. I often times feel “bro-zoned” by my guy friends, which is bearable. I like having guy friends; however, it starts to become unbearable when those guys …

5 Simple Summer Brunch Outfits

Curious to know the way to a girl’s heart? Take her out to brunch. Why would anyone ever eat anything besides breakfast food? -Leslie Knope For me, there’s nothing more satisfying than coffee eggs bacon donuts mimosas grits coffee pancakes waffles fruit coffee biscuits muffins And did I mention coffee? But what to wear to a brunch date? For me, I take style cues from a few of my favorite celebrities. Check out these 5 simple summer brunch outfits inspired by Elizabeth Olsen, Zooey Deschanel, Lily Collins, Ashley Olsen, Jennifer Grey, and the Emma’s (Watson and Stone, obviously): 1) Striped T-Shirt 2) High Waisted Skirt   3) Romper 4) High Waisted Jean Shorts 5) Denim on Denim

6 Steps to Clear Skin

It hurt to smile. The delight in my cheeks faded altogether. For the next five years, acne invaded my face, claiming every territory as its own, showing no mercy. I called them the “Nazits.” (Just kidding, I made that up on the spot). I loathed going out in public. I hated the stares, especially from guys. Cheers to the single, pimple life. And as soon as my face felt the Florida heat, my concealer washed away like the summer rain. Besides, what was the point of covering up my acne if applying makeup became too painful? I physically could not touch my face without wincing. In the midst of my battle with acne, I graduated college, worked three different jobs, moved to Atlanta, and went through a season of anxiety and depression. I even stopped dancing for a year. In a previous post, I described how “I didn’t have the desire to exercise, socialize, leave the house, eat or even get out of bed. Resting my head on my pillow, all I could focus on was …

I joined ‘Tone It Up’ and Nick Miller should too.

A northerner from New York fell in love with a southerner from Alabama. This past weekend I had the privilege of watching Caitlyn, my Staten Island sorority sister, marry Sean, the brother of my current roommate. Small world, am I right? From the bagpipe ceremonial procession to the complimentary crimson and white Bama shakers, the wedding exuded sophistication and southern hospitality. And soon enough, I found myself dropping it like it’s hot on the dance floor. Note to self: Never eat two donuts and a slice of red velvet cake before moonwalking your way to the dance floor.  My regrettable sugar intake made me feel less sexy and more like a beached whale. Why did the ‘Wobble’ all of a sudden feel nauseating? It’s a proven fact: Cardio and cake do not mix. But that’s not the first time I’ve regretted one too many intakes of desserts in my appetite. My grandmother said it best when she told my mom, “Once on the lips, forever on the hips.” If you have a sweet tooth like …

5 Tips for Styling Your Bookshelf

If you have your nose stuck in a book like Belle, it is more than likely you have more books than you can manage. As your book collection turns into a dust collection, maybe it’s time to purchase a bookshelf. However, the more you consider this idea, the more daunting decorating a bookshelf feels. But what if I told you there was a way for your books to be styled for others to see in just five simple tips?   1) Roles Reversed Show the pages of your books some love for a more antique feel to your bookshelf. 2) Black and White According to Joanna Gaines, adding white to a black background (vice-versa) creates a compelling contrast to your bookshelves, adding a nice pop to your bookshelf. 3) Natural Beauty Give life to your bookshelf by planting natural beauty next to your books. 4) Personal Touch Since the living room is a shared space, add a picture of you and your roommates for a personal touch. 5) Stacks of Magazines To create dimensions, add stacks of magazines …

Red, White and Baby Blue Jeans

Looking for a casual look with a trendy twist of the ’90s? My roommate and I have the perfect red, white and baby blue jeans look for you. So put your hands up, let those butterflies fly away, and move those hips as you party in these USA-inspired outfits:   Meg’s Look Nike Crop Top Dick’s Sporting Goods Denim Shorts Old Navy Flannel Thrift Store Ashley’s Look Star Wars V-Neck Target Denim Jacket Old Navy Denim Shorts Lauren Conrad

How the Five Senses Will Change the Way You Spend Time With God.

In the hustle and bustle of my morning routine or lack thereof, purposeful time spent with God shoves its way toward the bottom of my list of to-dos. As the night sky greets me, the stars remind me that I’ve spent my entire day without connecting with God. Why is that? How do I “make time for the creator of time?” Even though quality time is my top “Love Language,” I find it ironic that quality time with God loses its importance. There is literally nothing more important you could do today than to spend meaningful time alone with God. -Francis Chan Think about your five senses: the ability to see, touch, hear, taste, and smell. Oh how easy it can be to take these gifts from God for granted. What if you applied your senses to your morning routine as a way of carving out time with God? See Give me eyes to see others as you see them, to look at others with compassion and intentionality. Create time out of my schedule to …

Natalie’s Story: 5 Tips for Dating in the Big (App)le

When I moved to New York City almost two years ago, I dreamed of this huge new life that I would create for myself. I thought of my career goals, bettering who I am as a person, and, of course, I thought about finding love. For almost three years previously I lived in a beautiful town in Appalachia with a population of 8,000 people, mostly consisting of seniors over the age of 70. Needless to say my chances of finding a man were slim to none. But that didn’t keep me from trying out Tinder when my friends who were also single and looking for love in this tiny town urged me to join with them. That lasted about two hours before deleting my account. When most profile pictures included holding up a dead deer or fish, I knew I was looking in the wrong market. Hunting is not my forte. So when I signed my lease to move to Manhattan, one of the first things I looked forward to was meeting some single men who …

Pretty in Pale

This is the story of a girl who was told all her life that pale wasn’t pretty. For years she basked in the Florida sun only to end up with burnt skin and freckles that could be mistaken for constellations. “My sunburn will turn into a tan,” she told herself. She looked over at her friends and noticed it only took them less than an hour to turn fifty shades darker. “I’m like so pale,” her tan friends complained. Rolling her eyes, she interjected their conversation by comparing her arms with theirs to make them feel less pale about themselves. In college, this girl had the idea of getting a spray tan. It could be a quick fix to her pale problem, just as long as she didn’t end up like Ross in the Friends episode: “The One Where Ross Gets Tan.” Even though her tan came out less unfortunate as Ross’s tan, she noticed the different colored creases from her knuckles as she clutched the steering wheel on her drive back to campus. “You’re fine,” she …

4 Ingredients to Spice Up Your Galentine’s Day

Cashew fixed his beady black eyes on me as I held his golden brown plush fabric. At 10 years old, I received my first Valentine’s gift from a boy: a Ty Beanie Baby. Sixteen years later, I can still feel the warmth of my cheeks blushing when the boy in my 5th-grade class handed me that adorable bear. He nervously shoved his hands in Spongebob Squarepants pajama pockets (it was Pajama Day at school) and asked, “Will you be my Valentine?” Fast-forward to Valentine’s Day my senior year of high school, SGA held a fundraiser in which students could purchase carnations to raise money for prom and have them delivered to their recipients throughout the day. When the final bell rang, I accumulated over a dozen carnations on my desk, dumbfounded as to whom the flowers were from. Did I have a secret admirer? Were the carnations from my crush on the tennis team? So remember how I said the fundraiser was held by my school’s SGA? Well, it just so happened my dad was …

Keira Davis Photography

When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned.

As soon as the teacher turned toward the dry erase board, a crinkled scrap piece of paper made its way to my desk. I glanced around the classroom to see where the toss came from. Hunched over, half covering her mouth, Corie eagerly whispered, “It’s from Mitchell.” I slowly unraveled the note and carefully read the tiny print: “Do you have a date to prom yet?” After circling “No,” I nervously chucked my response toward his direction, praying the teacher wouldn’t see the paper ball conspicuously flying through the air. Moments later, the piece of paper found its way once more to the top of my desk: “Wanna go to prom together?” I can’t tell you what I learned in class that day besides realizing my missed calling of meticulous paper throwing skills.  But one thing I did learn, Mitchell wanted to go to prom with me and I said, “Yes.” Prom was less than two weeks away. I was beginning to feel discouraged I hadn’t been asked to my senior prom. Truthfully, I initially hoped …

Anna Clair Beasley Photography

Kelsey’s Story: The Gift Unasked for

A loud message from pop culture shouts to the world and says, “Christmas is only ‘Merry’ if you have someone special to meet under the mistletoe, sipping hot cocoa by the fire gazing into each other’s eyes.” The holiday centered around Christ, the only man who can bring us perfect love and fulfillment, has been watered down by the romanticism of an imperfect person. Oh, how irritated I selfishly react when I see people’s engagement posts: “Ahh I said yes! Can’t wait to marry my best friend!” (shows off ring next to a Christmas tree.) I click the “like” button, and think, “Okay God, where is my guy? Every girl in those Hallmark movies gets a mushy love story. What about me?” And then there are those romantic songs that fill our holiday parties and car radios: “Baby, all I want for Christmas is you… The lights are turned way down low, let it snow, let it snow… but if you really hold me tight, all the way home I’ll be warm.” I’ve heard it …

Permission to Ask the Guy Out.

“Just ask him out for coffee,” I tell myself. Is it possible to guard your heart and risk it at the same time? To protect it and expose it at the same time? “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7. Maybe I’m confusing guarding my heart against being guarded? I perceive being guarded is much like a soldier who holds down the fort in the bunkers, safe and secure. And then I see guarding my heart is like the soldier who stands out in the enemy lines, exposed, yet covered with the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-20) As single Christian females, we have been convinced that we should: Wait on a guy. Allow the guy to pursue us. Let him muster up the courage to ask us out on a date. Go about our lives, pursue the Lord, and a guy will fall into our laps. We hold out for those guys. I convince myself that one day a guy is …

When You Feel Unloveable

Back home in ATL, I am surrounded by 30+ post-grad singles within my church community alone. But out here in Fort Collins, CO, I’m more aware of my relationship status than I’ve ever been in my 26 years of singleness. How do I make the most of being surrounded by a Christian culture where there are countless couples and families? How do I integrate without idolizing? This summer I have the incredible opportunity to invest in Cru staff students as a part of Cru’s Jr/Sr. high school program for eight weeks. This program consists of six staff (including myself), 17+ college leaders, and over 600 registered students. Last week, one of our college leaders spoke on the “Freedom to Experience Joy.” He said, “We look to certain things to give us joy, but end up feeling disappointed.” And even though his message was meant for middle and high school students, his words impacted the way I perceive idols: An idol becomes an idol because of where it is, not what it is. My prayer is to have …

Paige’s Story: It’s okay to not be okay.

I 100% believed I’d be getting married immediately out of college, and I couldn’t be more grateful that didn’t happen. I didn’t know “single twenty-somethings” was a people group before I arrived in the midst of them, and the last two years of my life have been my favorites. God has allowed me to dodge so many bullets and given me countless memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But can I just say that I still have moments where I’m ready-to-scream angry that God still hasn’t put me in a relationship? I look at the last few years with incredible joy and gratitude and then turn around, clench my fists, and grumble at God, “Why do you refuse to answer my prayers? There’s just one thing that I’ve consistently asked you for and it’s the one thing you refuse to give me.” Despite all the good, I end up angry that I’m still single. When our lovely host Ashley asked me to write for Single Since ’91, I wasn’t sure where to start. My …

My First Week on Bumble

From Bow Bridge to Bethesda Terrace, scenes of Amy Adams singing “That’s How You Know” from Disney’s Enchanted popped into my head. Smiling, I mentally noted to watch that movie as soon as I arrived back in Atlanta. Throughout my Sunday stroll in Central Park, I noticed countless couples holding hands, completely captivated by each other’s company. It was as if they had no set agenda, no destination, simply walking just to walk. My smile slightly faded. I tucked back the strands of my hair. Inhale. Exhale. Jesus, you know the desires of my heart. I pray for someone not only to hold my hand, but to take my hand. Remember a few months back when I dabbled with the idea of online dating in a previous post? I asked myself, “Am I willing to let go of my fear, pride, control, and vulnerability and allow God to shine through me and be glorified in whatever way I choose to date?” Well about a week ago, I decided to give the Bumble app a second chance and started swiping right …

The Body Image Conversation

“Suck in your stomach and tuck in your bottom,” Ping, my ballet professor, pointed out to me in front of my peers. Previous feelings of grace and beauty suddenly disappeared like a floppy-eared bunny inside a cage of black silk. I pleaded with Ping that my butt was already tucked in. So often, I stare at my features and waste precious minutes criticizing every curve, every flaw. I trace my focus away from my acne-prone pale skin and back to my eyes. I gaze at the darker shades of blue outlining my turquoise irises. Remember, beloved, we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). We are God’s creation, so intricately, delicately and purposefully woven in our mother’s womb. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 39:13-14 I fear we, as women of all shapes and sizes, have allowed society to dictate our worth and skew our definition beauty. I sometimes question whether or not I would be less likely to compare my curvy figure with the stick figures I see in Hollywood if society never had …