I Met My Boyfriend's Parents

Hello Lovely,

Yesterday marked three months since I’ve officially met my boyfriend. We met online and to be honest things escalated a little quickly. It’s not something I would normally advise, but it’s what happened. I just couldn’t “date” someone I’ve never met or seen in person, so I made it a priority to meet him early. Like one month after we started talking, I was on a plane to North Carolina to meet him. It helps to have an idea for a person’s physical presence. I got to see how he lives (more on that later) and make sure nothing was fake. Being Caribbean, I love having a strong community feeling in my relationships. What I mean is, I love when my S/O gets along with my friends and vice versa and I can be comfortable around his family. With my last LDR, I was NOT comfortable around his family at all. There was a lot of drama, aggression and shade and it was not the kind of environment I felt comfortable starting a family in. It’s really important for me to be liked by my in-laws because my mother never had a good relationship with her mother-in-law. I also wanted an extended family with Christian values who understand that loving the individual is more important than any stereotypical ideal you may have had for my future kids. So this time around, I was extra vigilant, because believe it or not, this meeting was a major determining factor for the future of my relationships.

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I honestly believe that the way a man treats his mother is how he will treat his S/O and so far that has not failed me. The guy I last dated for only about a month, almost never spoke to his mother whom he lived next door too, and soon enough we barely spoke. I believe patterns when I see them and decide whether or not it’s something I’m willing to deal with or not. And trust me, meeting his parents explained A LOT! His sense of humour, conversation skills, irrational fear of cruise ships…all of it made sense once I met his dad.

I’ve often seen on movies and TV shows (sorry America, that is literally how the rest of the world judges you) that meeting the parents is a BIG deal and usually doesn’t happen until the couple is engaged to be married. Then there’s always the moment when the father pulls the son aside in a long conversation and offers some sort of advice to him about whether or not the relationship is worth pursuing. So my step-sisters thought it was weird when I told them I was meeting his parents. They were like, “Already? So soon???”. They don’t understand, I’m about to be 30, I don’t have time to waste. I needed to know what I was getting myself into ,but honestly, now I understand why people wait. My boyfriend grew up in Fayetville, North Carolina and his parents still live there. It was just under a 2 hour drive to get there with very little traffic on the road. His parents greeted me in the garage with the biggest, tightest, longest hugs. At first I was like, “Oh my God, even if I wanted to, I can’t leave him now because his family is already emotionally invested in me as a daughter-in-law”. In the Caribbean we don’t wait, we introduce almost everyone we date (because the island is small, you might as well tell your parents before someone else does), so meeting the boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t as special for us.

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So his parents, Robert and Doris, made dinner for us. They made crabs, fried flounder and tilapia, scallops, string beans and potato salad. I know you guys have NEVER seen anything like that on my blog before, but I eat food like that from time to time. Robert and Doris were BEYOND friendly. They told a few embarrassing stories about my boyfriend and Robert even makes his own wine! He insisted I take as many bottles as I could as he was getting ready to make another batch that would yield 20 and he needed the space (apparently Robert doesn’t drink much, he just enjoys making wine). The wine was amazing! He made Blackberry, Peach, Scuppernong and Muscadine. And after drinking a glass of each, one right after the other, I’ll admit I was a little tipsy, but I kept it together until the buzz wore off.

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Robert loves to talk so I never had to deal with any awkward silence. We watched an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire that they recorded because Doris’ nephew was on it. We talked about travel and politics until it was time for bed. Oh yes, I spent the night! The next morning we woke to my boyfriend’s favourite for breakfast: grits, scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. They even threw in sausage. Robert and I are currently drinking the same Gevalia coffee so that was another nice bonding moment. I got a tour of their gorgeous backyard where they grow some of their own vegetables and walked out to where to used to be a lake they could fish in.

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It was only on the drive back that I realised I didn’t get a picture with them, so the one my boyfriend snuck is the only one I have. The drive back wasn’t nearly as long as going up, and I even had a chance to stop to Rainbow to find something to wear to church the next day. The night we got back in my boyfriend and I saw Jay Pharoh live and it was just amazing! We’re going to make comedy shows “our thing” because we just love going to them. Seriously there’s so much to do in Raleigh and the comedy shows bring in big name celebrities every month! Even going back to church after spending a year of Sunday’s in bed was refreshing and the pastor’s message was right on time as he talked about hope: giving up hope and finding it again.

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I learned a lot this weekend. It was so easy for me to get impatient when I looked at my partner’s flaws, that there were times I was losing hope (I’m a REALLY impatient person). Going public with our relationship by sharing photos and meeting his parents has increased my anxiety a bit more than anticipated, But meeting his parents put a lot in perspective for me. I’m still going to talk to him about areas that can improve as should any couple, (because there is ALWAYS something that could be better) but I learned to be more patient with the outcome and not let past hurt dictate what will happen in the future. And I’m really happy to someday be gaining in-laws who already love and value me.

Lemon Pesto Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower Rice

Hello Lovely,

While I wouldn’t consider myself “domesticated”, I have to admit I was super excited to make my first dinner for my boyfriend from scratch. I found the recipe on Publix Apron a month ago and saved it just for this occasion. I have previously made him blueberry muffins and brownies but they were Betty Crocker. I’m currently in North Carolina with him for 2 weeks on Easter Break. We went grocery shopping together for the first time and it was surprisingly relaxing.

I thought we would’ve bucked heads because I picked up a bunch of healthy stuff. Earlier that day we went to the Durham Farmer’s Market where I picked up mint, parsley, arugula and a rosemary plant. So when we went for the rest of the groceries I picked up things like cauliflower rice, quinoa and other veggies. And there were ZERO complaints! Once I got what I needed I was super excited about making Sunday Dinner the next day. Where I’m from we’re big on “Sunday Dinner” so I thought this would be perfect for it.

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I was so excited when I was marinating the chicken that I mixed up the recipe. I didn’t do anything the original recipe said to do. Apparently I was supposed to shred the chicken, that didn’t happen. Secondly the marinade was for the sweet potatoes and I put it on the chicken. I was supposed to use cooked, pre-shredded chicken and I used chicken thighs. I was supposed to use tomato pesto, I bought regular pesto. And the chicken was supposed to bake at 425 F, but I’m obsessed with the tenderness I get from slow cookers. I also left out the peas and decided not to have a yoghurt sauce because the chicken was already coated. I HAVE NO REGRETS! So the recipe I’m sharing today is what I did. If you want to see the original recipe, check it out here.

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Harissa Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint,

  • finely chopped and divided

  • 1 lemon, for juice

  • 1 1/2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

  • 2 tablespoons Pesto

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons ground red pepper

  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin, divided

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potato chunks (or 2 sweet potatoes cut into chunks)

  • 1 (12-oz) bag frozen riced cauliflower

Steps

  1. Chop mint. Squeeze lemon for juice (2 tablespoons). Combine pesto, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, paprika, 1 tablespoon red pepper, 1 tablespoon mint, 2 teaspoons cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss chicken in the mixture then cover and refrigerate overnight.

  2. The next day place the chicken in a slow cooker and cook on high for 1.5 hours. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the sweet potato chunks in a bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon red pepper, and Italian seasoning. Toss until evenly coated then place in a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes or until tender.

  3. Remove potatoes from oven; cook riced cauliflower following package instructions. Serve chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and riced cauliflower.

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The verdict? My boyfriend loved it. He had never had riced cauliflower before but he enjoyed it and he had never had sweet potato in chunks the way I did it, but it blew his mind. He loved how tender the chicken was so I’m super relieved that my first dinner for him went well. Drop a comment under this post if you would try this yourself or if there’s something about it you just don’t like and don’t forget to hit the like button.

Candace Lightbourne Serves Grown & Sexy Vibes

Hello lovely,

After shooting the Dawkins family, I’ve been itching to get behind my camera again. Two weeks ago I shared a fun, bright and colourful shoot with my three year old goddaughter and today I’m sharing a semi-editorial style shoot with my co-worker. The interesting part is that both of these shoots were done at the same place. That was kind of a challenge for me to create two completely unique shoots using the same property. But it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be because one look was meant to be playful while the other was meant to give a grown and sexy vibe.

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Light retouching and playing around with some new presets in Lightroom produced a look that I am more than pleased with and I think Candace was too with the entire experience. I love the dark and stormy vibe and can’t wait to do more shoots with this theme.

Watch the Video below and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more videos. I’ll be doing more vlogs this year, talking about clothing hauls, relationships, mental health tips and even sex, so you don’t want to miss that!

5 Podcasts to Make You Laugh, Think, and Act

5 Podcasts to Make You Laugh, Think, and Act

Whether in-flight or sitting at my desk, I love podcasts for a daily dose of inspiration, insight, and humour. I specifically love podcasts hosted by women and for women on the topics most relevant to our daily lives. Each podcast differs in approach and covers a variety of topics, offering something for everyone. So turn up the sound and hit subscribe - these women have something to say!

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8 Work Outfits to Copy Right Now

Hello Lovely,

I love playing dress up. I can’t get enough of mixing my style up with different pieces and putting together looks that no one thought would blend well, but adding a dose of style between 9 and 5 can be a challenge. Although I am on a mission to challenge the “office-appropriate” standard, I can abide by societal norms when necessary, while still adding my personal flair. So I’ve put together a list of combinations that I love. These looks will get you through every conceivable job challenge, stylishly. When you’re starting out and don’t have a lot to spend, invest in a few fantastic designer pieces you can mix and match. Feel free to pin your favourite looks for later!

8 Work Outfits to Copy Right Now


When in doubt, pair a sleek sweater with a pencil or full skirt.

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Don't be afraid to add standout accessories to your look.

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Add a belt to your sweater-and-skirt combo to pull it all together.

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When done right, jumpsuits can totally work for the office.

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Let a long, drapey black coat be the star of your look.

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A silky shirt will make even your most eclectic pieces look polished.

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Make a sheer top office-appropriate by sneaking it over a midi dress.

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A printed scarf gives any outfit a classic touch.

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PIN FOR LATER!

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