Wednesday 10 February 2016

Girls just wanna have fun

If that didn't instantly put Cyndi Lauper in your head, I don't think we can be friends. Side story: I've been going to the gym a lot lately (like, 4-5 times a week, who the f-ck is this person!? her buns are getting nice though;) ) and my main cardio tunes are these: gangster rap, hair metal and 80's lady power ballads. So in the span of a 45 minute treadmill ride from hell, I go from Wu-Tang Clan, to Quiet Riot, to Pat Benetar, and then back again. Very motivating stuff, not going to lie.

Anywho, back to the girls. If you think Valentine's Day is a day solely for relationships, well then you are seriously wrong, sorry to break it to you. How boring would that be!? Not only that, there are many ladies I know who's husbands work out of town and won't be around on Sunday, are they just expected to twiddle their thumbs and sit around, being lonely? I think not.

Enter Galentine's Day, (part 3)

Galentine's Day, February 13th, coined by the amazing Leslie Knope (aka Amy Poehler) is the day for women to celebrate women! The day to go out for an amazing hike with your mom or girlfriend, to meet up with your sister for a delicious latte and exchange chocolates, to gather all the girls up and go for a dinner filled with wine and laughing - and definitely dancing. To lift all the women up in your life to the point where you forget what Valentine's Day even is. Because let's be honest, as women where would we be without our crews? Whether you are like me and have just a few select really good girlfriends, or you are the social butterfly with more ladies than you can count, these friendships mean way more than we sometimes give them credit for, and they deserve to be celebrated just as hard as your romantic ones! Look at it this way, when your relationship goes through some messy times, 9 times out of 10 who's there to help you hash it out and listen to you vent?

Here's the thing about the women in your life, and I'm talking you true blues, not the acquaintances you see at the odd wine night. No, I'm talking the ladies you talk to daily, the ones you ask for advice, who you go to when something good/bad/funny/sad happens, and they lean on you as much as you lean on them. They're there to offer a tampon in dire straights, they're around to let you know that an extension clip may be showing (now there's a bff), or you have lipstick on your teeth, or daaamn girl you look hot today! Long story short, they have your back, in good times and in rough times. Sometimes, your gals have your back more than your man might. So take today to celebrate them! Send a loving text or a funny meme that sums up your relationship if you can't physically see them that day, or if you can make a date to go for lunch or go to Sephora and scam a free makeover together, and then go for dinner! Have a chick flick marathon accompanied with different wines per movie, I'd go with Pretty Woman and a fresh Gewurztraminer, Legally Blonde with a Pinot Gris, and onward ;) Disclaimer: Galentine's Day may come with a hangover.

In conclusion, take it away Les

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Champagne Dates on Ginger-Ale Budgets

Happy Tuesday! Welcome back to work for those of us that had the beautiful (made up in my mind) day off thanks to Family Day, a holiday I'm pretty sure was made up by people wanting an extra 3 day weekend somewhere in the early New Year, but I'm certainly not complaining! Did you all watch the superbowl, or were you like me who was way more interested in the Super Bowl snacks? Something about Football really brings out the naughtiest, yummiest appies, am I right!?

Anyway, back to our series on Valentines, today is part 2: how to have an amazing Valentine's Day without killing your wallet.

Now I mentioned in Part 1 that I would rather shave my boyfriend's legs than go out for dinner on Valentine's Day, reason 1) being that I used to be a server and reason 2) I've been a patron on Valentine's Day and to be honest, it can kinda suck. Every major restaurant has two set seatings, usually one at 5:30 and one at 7:30. This means that if you chose the earlier time slot, you're literally on the clock, and have to be wined, dined and out before 7:30, because your table has been already been booked for someone else. That, plus the fact that it's usually a set menu and you can't even choose something else you may want instead. It is one of the busiest days to eat out of the year, so unfortunately your food is not going to be as amazing as you expect it to be because the kitchen staff is working their bags off, and quite honestly, eating out on Valentine's Day is the same to me as going to a big party on New Years Eve: So much hype, very little follow through. I have served many a Valentine's Day gong shows and have experienced many fights, tears, let downs, mediocre dates that were assumed to be amazing, and yet never once a proposal! I'll never forget the Valentine's Day where one of my tables was having such an intense fight that I had to wait over an hour after the bill was given for them to pay, and myself and the other servers just watched in awe at how spectacularly shitty this night had gone - funny for us, not so much for the couple. In my opinion, save the big dinner out for a night when you can take your time, pick whatever you want off the menu and don't have to shout to your date because it's so packed.

So, what do you do instead? I'm so glad you asked! Jake & I are definitely not in a place in our lives where dropping $150 on a dinner is something we do, so we get creative with our dates to maximize the meaningfulness of them, without squeezing our accounts dry. Here are my top 5 ideas for an amazing date, on a budget.

1. Maker dinner together. Do you both love Thai food? Are you more pizza fanatics? Meat & cheese charcuterie boards your absolute passion? Go on pinterest or Google and find a recipe that fits your skill level, then go to the grocery store to find the ingredients - make sure to buy a bottle of wine too - and prepare it together! Put on some nice easy listening music, pour yourselves a glass of wine and enjoy preparing something together. go the extra mile by setting up your coffee table with pillows around it to have a more special experience than the regular old dining table - and don't forget candles!

2. Fort, Netflix & Take-Out. We did this in the summer and it was honestly unreal, I loved it so much. Jake hauled the mattress from our guest bed downstairs into our living room, he tacked sheets to the ceiling, and inside was a dome of pillows and blankets. We watched a couple movies, had some Thai takeout, and it was wicked. It was the grown-up version of all the living room forts you made in your childhood, not to mention a primo make-out spot ;) Be extra fancy and hang up your white Christmas lights to make it feel extra enchanted and guaranteed you'll soon forget you're actually at home and not in your own little world.

3. Spa Night. Go to your local Lush (or any bath store) and stock up on bath bombs, bath melts, massage bars and massage oils, maybe even some face mask stuff (neutral smell so your guy doesn't choke), grab some champagne and have a luxury night at home! Run a nice bath and light candles, drop a bath bomb in and soak and talk, then take turns giving each other a massage. Relaxing, romantic, & private.

4. Ice Skating. It is getting to the end of the season of ice skating, and boyfriends you will gain some mega brownie points if before the season is over, you take her ice skating for an hour followed by some hot chocolate in the local cafe. I don't know what it is about ice skating but it's really such a magical date, I don't know any girl that doesn't love skating with her guy. It could have to do with the fear of falling so extra hand-holding and support is needed, however that might just be me ;)

5. Games Day. Valentine's this year falls on a Sunday, and I've already requested that we go to our local arcade and spend the day playing mini golf, arcade games, etc. We did this is in the beginning of our relationship, and getting competitive with each other in a really juvenile setting is quite fun - so long as you don't get too caught up in the spirit of competition. Make bets, say the loser has to buy lunch or the winner gets to choose the next game, and the grand winner gets to choose dinner that night; something to keep the spirit going without losing site that this is a date!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go sharpen up my putting skills ;)

Tuesday 2 February 2016

When you know, you know.

Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away, but I'm sure that the 23 million jewellery, hallmark and hershey's kisses commercials reminded you of that already. Now, generally blogs like mine are littered with gift guides for Valentine's for him & her, or what to wear guides for lingerie and clothing, but really how many variations of pink, red and black lace teddies and assortment of bodycon dresses do you need to see? Not that I won't do one too, but generally we get the jist by now, right?

I figured that instead of focusing on the commercialized aspect of Valentine's day which I've never really bought into, I am going to use this blog for a 4 part feature on what makes the day so fun all around: it's about Love, the big ol' L O V E. It's so easy to get caught up in what Valentine's day has become and lose sight of what it's actually about. Sure, you shouldn't need a specific day to treat the person you're with with all this love and affection, or to let them know how special they are to you. But what the fuck else does February have to offer except snow and slush? I'll take some hearts, thanks. After years of working Valentine's day at restaurants, you couldn't pay me to go out for dinner at a restaurant on the 14th, and I don't need presents from my guy this month to know that I'm loved - but babe just a hint, no lady is ever mad when they receive chocolate ;). Instead we do a nice fancy dinner at home, curl up with some wine and it's the one night a year he'll watch a real romantic movie without complaints, he even battled through the Notebook with me, tears and all - whatta guy.

*disclaimer: If you are a) bitterly single, b) declarations of love make you sick or c) you're just a grumpus, stop reading now and go away. you've been warned.

Part 1: when you know, or the story of when I knew I was falling in love with Jake.

Ever since I had started seeing Jake, I knew he was different than anyone else I had been with. Our first date was 3+ hours of just talking and laughing, to the point where our server came up and was like "hey I really don't want to rush you but if you could just settle with me, that would be great". I remember leaving that night with crazy butterflies and a mega watt smile plastered across my face, giggling about all the random things we had in common. This was in the middle of October, and from our first date I just had a feeling this guy was going to be a big deal in my life, whether it was for a short time, or the long haul.

Fast forward to December 16th, 2013 my birthday. We were going for dinner in Kelowna, to my favorite restaurant to begin with, Twisted Tomato. The car ride wasn't necessarily eventful, just signing a long to the radio etc. When we parked, as I was unbuckling my seat belt Jake was racing to get out of the car, and next thing I know he's at my side of the vehicle opening the door for me. Now, Jake is many things, but admittedly he is not the most romantic of sorts, at least not in your typical classic way. So him opening the door for me was such a sweet gesture to begin with, it set the mood for the rest of the night.

Once in there our dinner was a lot like the rest of our dates, him making me laugh until my cheeks started to hurt, humoring my really dorky sense of humor that I find seriously hilarious, and excitement over the most random things, not to mention so much talking. However, the icing on the cake was when we realized that to make my birthday even more perfect, we were seated beside what had to be a first date directly from the reject pages of Tinder. We're talking serious WTF. Picture a really scrawny geeky guy with a bottle-blonde girl dressed to the nines for a night of bar-hopping with really bad extensions, and no more than maybe two sentences between them. It was awkward, it was hard to watch, and it was hilarious. We were far enough away to make our own commentary on the date and how we thought it was going, and we kept giggling at how unbelievably mis-matched this couple was.

There was never this moment of angels singing, halo's dancing around his head, smack me in the face realizations that I was falling for this guy, I would just look over at him smiling at me and my heart would swell up and feel so full. It hadn't felt that way in a really long time, and I don't know if it ever felt the way it did with him.

The rest of the dinner went amazingly, I've told him before and I stand to it, it's the best date I've ever been on. Maybe it was because my birthday is my favorite day, but hands down it's the best one yet. As we held hands back to the truck, and he again opened the door for me, the second I sat down in the seat and watched him walk to the driver's side I just knew, "I'm falling hard for you kid, and I really hope you're feeling the same way."

Jake came into my life when I was least expecting him to, and honestly when I was the most ready to be swept off my feet, whether I knew it then or not. And I must say, he did a magnificent job. <3