Valentine's Day Date Ideas

Hello Lovely,

Valentine’s Day is totally overrated, but there are still some hopeless romantics out there looking to keep the spark alive. At this point, I’m sure everyone is tired of the traditional dinner and movie date, and let’s face it, taking your girl to a club is just no longer cool. Step your game up! So I’ve rounded up 5 really fun and creative date ideas for anyone looking to shower their loved one with affection on this special day!

ROMANTIC CUDDLE KIT FOR TWO

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A romantic Cuddle Kit is an amazing gift for your anniversary, your spouse’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, OR just because! It would also make a cute wedding or bridal shower gift, or a quick-pick-me-up for a cold weather day. It can be thrown together in a jiffy, and who wouldn’t LOVE a night of cuddlin’, snugglin’, and lovin’ in a basket? It’s quick, easy, AND romantic, plus, it comes with a darling, free printable gift tags and “Snuggle Up” banner to help you have the most romantic cuddle around. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Here are some suggestions of what you might put inside…

  • A soft, fuzzy blanket

  • Some Bubbly

  • Chocolate Truffles

  • A lovey, dovey movie

  • Some Candles

  • Some Romantic Music

  • Socks

  • Hershey Kisses

  • Cocoa

The opportunities are literally endless! Just include whatever you think is comfy, cozy, and super cuddly.

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Romantic Rooftop Date

Meeting and falling in love is such a thrilling, exciting time! Enter the romantic rooftop date-perfect for a picnic!!  And why stop at a picnic blanket when you could have a table and chairs?! Don’t have a flat roof?  Are you living in an apartment without roof access?  Well, don’t let that stop you!  Ask to borrow a friend’s roof for the night.   (I’m pretty sure it’s empty and available.)  Or look for a place in town with access to a great view.

Even if you are solo, all of these activities are fun things to do with your friends and family during the cooler fall and winter months. Give them a try and report back!

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Sign Up for a Cooking Class

When cooking isn't your strong suit (and restaurant reservations are booked to the max), sign up for a last minute cooking class where you can learn to make each other's favourite meals. Things always tend to heat up in the kitchen.

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A Wine Bar Crawl

Instead of sticking to just one spot, hop from place-to-place and order different kinds of wine and tapas along the way. It's waaay more interesting than a boring ol' sit-down dinner. Of course, it doesn't hurt stashing one away for later too.

A Scavenger Hunt

This Valentine’s Day, add a little family fun with this Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt that everyone can enjoy! You can make up your own, complete with creative challenges, photo missions, and sexy prizes. I’ve even got two ideas for you. The first is specific to Valentine’s Day and only requires your significant other. Not only is this scavenger hunt easy to set up with a cute bag label you can print directly onto the bag, its full of fun activities that will create a memorable Valentine’s Day adventure. Follow all of the scavenger hunt clues to reveal hours of Valentine’s Day fun!

The second option is something I did four years ago for a significant other’s birthday. Just invite your most adventurous friends, print off the clues and let the race begin!

Do you have another fun Valentin’es Day date idea? Sound off below!

Currently: Dating

Hello Lovely,

I'm not ashamed to admit that after a little over two years I made the decision to end my relationship. It wasn't so much the distance as the differences I could no longer overlook. After a very heated argument that we've had more times than I can count, it's like a light switch went off in my head. I just couldn't do it anymore. It had nothing to do with whether or not I loved him. I loved him dearly, but it just wasn't working. We weren't working. And we weren't going to work either. In that moment, I knew for sure that had we gotten married, I would've divorced him. So I did what I had to do.

I was fine with my choice. I know I made the right decision. All I had to do was move on. So I did. And I'm proud to say that next month, I'll be making my final presentation for my master's degree. I can't believe this moment has finally come! It took a lot of sacrifice but I did it!

 While this is a personal blog, I am very cautious of what I write and share. But whenever I experience something I feel is worth sharing, I want to share that wisdom with others. I've compiled them into mini chapters, so to speak, all based on my personal experience with dating. So this is what 2 years of a long distance relationship coming to an end, culminated with 3 months of dating availability has taught me about dating and myself:

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1.     Picky is not necessarily a bad thing.

Any time a guy asks me what I look for in a partner, I always lead with, “I’m picky.” I’m not ashamed of this. My pickiness is not unrealistic; and by leading with what I want it lets the “unqualified” know not to bother. Why waste time with someone who only wants to waste your time? Letting someone know you have standards that are non-negotiable creates an opportunity for respect and allows you to weed out the undesirables. Only weak people are intimidated by standards.

2.     Forgiveness is important

OMG! Who am I for even saying this? I am the master of holding grudges! I recently started dating someone who acted unforgivably. We stopped talking and it actually hurt me. But last week he reached out to me to apologise. I’ll be honest, I was ready to forgive him so I felt relief after we talked it out and now we’re friends again. That’s because I had to accept the advice two of my best friends gave me:

3.     Nobody is perfect; including yourself

People are going to mess up; it’s a part of life. There are no perfect boyfriends, just real ones. It’s still up to you to decide how much imperfection you’re willing to deal with, but remember that you yourself are also a work in progress and there are going to be things your partner doesn’t like about you.

4.     Always date your best friend

But none of that would matter if you date your best friend. That was my biggest regret in my last relationship. We got into a relationship after only two weeks of knowing each other. Take the time to really get to know the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life (or the next three months) with. Loving your best friend is much easier than loving someone you’re still getting to know. You won’t know everything about your partner, but it’s much more fun when this person has unconditional respect for you before romantic relationships become a topic.

5.     Listen to the warning signs

I can’t stress this enough. There were so many red flags in my last relationship; as early as one month in. even when I met him, I didn’t feel the butterflies I thought I would but chose to ignore that. There will be warning signs in any kind of relationship, some are minor but you know when it’s a biggie. Listen to your heart. If something feels off, it probably is. Address these issues head on so that everyone is clear moving forward.

6.     Pick your battles

Not everything is worth fighting for. Sometimes you just know that something will end in an argument or worse a fight. The warning signs are there and in that moment you have a choice. Fully commit to this sinking ship or walk away? If you’ve already made it clear where you stand on something minor, no need to keep nagging your partner if they don’t get it right. For example: your partner getting stuck in traffic and being late to a date, vs. your partner always ignoring your requests to do something that makes you happy.

7.     Be intentional

Someone can’t give you what you want if you’re not clear about what you want. Be upfront, honest and intentional. Go for what you want and don’t be apologetic. As long as you’re true to yourself, no matter the outcome, rest in knowing you made your needs and wants clear with no crazy mixed signals.

8.     Games are for kids

This ties in with the above note. No one likes the guy at the bar who takes your number then takes a week to call. And worse, he doesn’t call back for another 3 weeks and the only reason he did call was because you initiated a drop call to get his attention. While I already counted three strikes against him from the initial meeting (my friends though I was too harsh) it turns out I was right about him so it didn’t hurt me. No one has time for games so I simply didn’t make time for him.

9.     The ring didn't mean a thing

Last year when I went to St. Croix to meet his mother, I told him bluntly that I could spend over $600 on airfare to meet his mother and still leave him if I continued to be unhappy. When we did eventually break up, he threw in my face that I was throwing away two years of blah blah blah. While this may have been my longest relationship ever, no matter how long you’ve been with your partner, dissatisfaction in one area will lead to dissatisfaction in other areas of your life. You don’t have to stay if your needs aren’t being met intentionally. There’s only so much anyone can put up with.

10.  Change is good but don't change too much.

Everyone changes in some way during a relationship. Your partner can encourage you to be the best you possible but remember no matter what changes you make in life, don’t lose who you truly are. Don’t change so much to make someone happy that you can’t remember what makes you happy.

There are days when it really hits me that my long-distance relationship is over and for a few seconds, I get an empty feeling. I’ve never been a fan of the dating process because there are so many jerks out there. But with friends that are more like family, I feel more confident in getting back on the dating scene.

I hope my experiences help with whatever decision you’re facing or need to face. What is the best dating advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it in the comment section below.

XoX

WednesDate: Fun With Charades

Hello Lovely,

Undoubtedly a party favourite has to be charades! It's a great way to show how in sync you and your significant other are, and if you're not, it's still a good way to learn new things about them! But when you're apart from your beau, it could be hard to share fun moments together over board games. If board games are your thing, Fun with charades is a website that lets you play charades with friends online with your webcams! It’s like having a party without having to leave your seat.

Pictionary online games have always lacked that special something that real life charades offered, but now you can make a total fool of yourself on cam. Invite your friends to a room, or play with others online. Act out word clues over live online video. No registration is required!

What You Need to Know Before Dating These Two Personality Types

If you’re a hopeless romantic, you’ve probably dated these two types of people: The Independent and The People Pleaser. The People Pleaser tends to have a hard time saying no to others, doesn’t want to let anyone down (otherwise they are wrecked with guilt), they are afraid of making people feel bad, prioritise other people’s needs over their own and may lose track of time from working on other people’s agendas. Whereas the Independent Person can be someone who does not rely on others for assistance, someone who prefers to do tasks alone, someone who does not follow current trends in fashion or thinking and does not care what others think about them. As a hopeless romantic, there are pros and cons for dating both of these types of people.

The allure to dating the People Pleaser is knowing that they would do whatever it takes to make you happy, while the independent is a strong decisive person who can take charge and handle the difficult situations for you. But for every pro, there’s always a con. The people pleaser is just that, a “PEOPLE” pleaser. Their concern isn’t just in making YOU happy, it’s in making EVERYONE happy. This means there will be times when they take someone else’s side over yours or prioritise saving the world over watching Netflix with you. You may find yourself struggling to find your place in this person’s life as it may just seem like there is no space for you. You may also feel lied to at times because the People Pleaser says what you want to hear, not what they mean. Even worse, sometimes you’re the “bad guy” because they feel taken advantage of. Eventually the solid foundation of trust slowly erodes away and resentment replaces it on both sides. You begin to lose faith in your partner and in your connection, maybe even wondering who this person is. But there is hope!

Make sure you're inviting your partner's truth by being open, curious, and non-judgmental — even if you disagree or don't like what they're saying. Strong reactions from you, by being dismissive, falling apart in tears or becoming angry, keeps them telling you anything you want to hear just to avoid the drama. You may need to pull the truth from them. Do what I call "rolling out the red carpet" to invite their truth — all while making sure your response remains tolerant and accepting.

Alternatively, the independent is sometimes so independent that they only pursue things that matter to them and completely disregard any attempts you make to contribute to the relationship and their life, because they’re so used to doing everything for themselves. You may find yourself struggling to find your place in this person’s life as well as it may often seem like there is no space for you. However, there are some redeeming or at least reassuring qualities. For example, yes the independent likes to be alone, but “I need to spend time alone” does not mean, “I need to spend time away from you”. They just need to turn off for a bit and recharge so that they can go back to being awesome for you. So it’s really not you. Relax.

The important thing to remember is that just like any other personality type, these personalities are on a spectrum, which means the degree of difficulty for cohesion with this person can range anywhere from mild and tolerable to severe and incompatible. What this means is, it is up to you to decide how much of these various behaviours you can tolerate and desire. Let’s face it, they both have desirable characteristics but like any other personality type can become annoying over time; because at the end of the day, you cannot change anyone but yourself. The best way to decide goes back to our pros and cons; as long as the pros outweigh the cons, it’s worth the pursuit. Remember — only when both partners show up and share the truth of who they really are can your connection deepen in a way that keeps the relationship hot, healthy, and happily ever after.

What's the most valuable piece of dating advice you've ever gotten? Share your best and worst advice in the comment section below!

 

The 10 Things I Love About My LDR

Being in a long distance relationship is fun! (Most of the time) Even though the miles separate you and your loved one, there’s so much to enjoy about being apart from each other. The fact that the person you love is hundreds or thousands of miles away doesn’t mean that distance has to be something horrible or difficult.

It’s so easy to focus on the negative aspects of a relationship like this, but what are the positives!? Believe it or not, there are lots of perks to being in an LDR and tons of reasons to love the distance between you. There’s the date nights, the gifts and packages and the love you both share from hundreds of miles away to think about!

Not convinced? Maybe my handy info-graphic below will change your mind. It’s got 10 beautiful reasons that I love my long distance relationship (even when it’s really hard!)

What do you love about YOUR long distance relationship?

DIY Bullet Journal: The Ultimate Way to Track Your Goals

Hello Lovely,

I may be a blogger, and a former poet/story writer, but I hate journalling. Nevermind the fact that journalling is how I got interested in all forms of creative writing; that was kid me. Adult me just cannot find the time for something like this. I even tried it during my personal therapy sessions but just could not be bothered to keep up with me. Despite being so bad at this, I still understand the importance of tracking emotions and personal growth. So I decided to try the Bullet Journal style of journalling. You've probably never heard of this, so here's the 411.

The System

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

Rapid Logging

Note-taking and traditional journaling take time; the more complex the entry, the more effort is expended. The more effort expended, the more of a chore it becomes, the more likely you’ll underutilize or abandon your journal. Rapid Logging is the solution. Rapid Logging is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written. It consists of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.

Bullets

Rapid Logging relies on the use of short-form notation paired with Bullets. Every bulleted item should be entered as short objective sentences. The Bullets will help organize your entries into three categories: Tasks, Events, and Notes.

You can read more on how to do traditional bullet journalling here, but that's not exactly what we're doing here. I originally got the idea to try this from Margot over at A Hearty Home. I thought this was a great way to track my emotional progress and would also be great to use with clients, especially couples going through hardship. Using the wheel charts, each chart represents a goal that you want to work on over the span of 3 months. So each wheel is sectioned off for three months. Then they're colour coded. So using a colour pencil, crayon, paint, anything you'd like, colour each segment for each week of that month. Red obviously means it was a bad week for that goal, yellow means you did something towards it, but it could use improvement, and green symbolises that you knocked it out of the park for that week. Over time, your weeks should start to be green more often.

As a couple, goals can be increasing physical intimacy, or increasing quality time together. Each week, you would look at overall, how well did you succeed with these attempts. I've attached a note sheet for each wheel chart for you to note in bullet form any particulars on why your week went the way it did. It's very important to pay attention to the thought processes that led to each decision you made over the week that either pushed you closer or further away from your goals. By having a tangible record of this, it will be easier to track any maladpative thought patterns and correct them.

WEDNESDATE: Now is Good

WEDNESDATE: Now is Good

Every last Wednesday of the month, we will feature a short & sweet long distance relationship date kit. Each “WednesDate” will include a free full length video and or other online or printable activities to accompany it.

If you’d like to be notified about our “WednesDates” each week, Subscribe to our newsletter & you’ll get them delivered straight to your inbox!

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