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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!

The Smart New Guide To Online Dating

Hello Lovely,

January is usually known for a hug surge in two places: the gym and online dating. But why? During this time most people write out plans for the year that normally include creating a regimen to reach a specific fitness goal. Also, during this time you're usually guaranteed a discounted price, the sign-up fee waived, or a few free gym accessories as a sign-on perk. According to Match.com, online dating sites are at their busiest between Dec. 26 and Feb. 14. Match reports 50 million messages sent and 1 million dates occurring during this time, which is referred to as peak dating season. It’s probably because the weather makes us crave a cuddle buddy, but there’s nothing like the holidays to make us feel lonely. So what do we do? The millennial approach to dating is definitely online dating; bars are intimidating and no one has time to wait three days to two weeks for processing time to get a call/text back.

It seems like every day we’re hearing about a new dating app. From Bumble to Coffee Meets Bagel and from Hinge to Happn, there are a lot of options out there and it can be a little overwhelming! Don’t worry, as an online dating veteran, I’ve got some expert tips for you so can avoid making some of the same mistakes I did and meet your forever person!

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  1. Choose the right app

Once you know exactly what you want, you have to choose the right dating platform. There are 10 major sites and apps to choose from, so let’s quickly break them down. Tinder might be the best known of all the dating apps out there, but just remember it does have a reputation for being a hookup site, so if you’re looking for a serious connection, this may not be it. I’ve never heard of Hinge before but it’s an interesting concept: Hinge uses mutual Facebook friends to curate matches. The app also uses a scrolling feature, which allows you to interact with multiple parts of a profile, rather than swiping left and right, so no more missed connections! The League is super exclusive and ever I couldn’t get in. After you submit your LinkedIn profile, the apps takes about a week to approve you as a new member, giving you access to 1-6 carefully curated and verified matches a day (height included!) Be careful though, if you aren’t active, the app will kick you out.

Raya bills itself as an app for creative types, from DJs to restaurateurs to NBA players.  To apply, be ready to show a large Instagram following—the rest is up to a “secret committee.” For those looking for a more specific type of connection, JSwipe offers a range of options, from “orthodox” to “just Jewish.”  Bumble asks women to send the first text. Don’t worry if you accidentally swipe past your soul mate—the app offers three free “backtracks” every three hours. I tried coffee meets bagel and I honestly uninstalled it the same day so trust me, skip this one. you to match with people you’ve passed in real life. If they have an account, you can send a like…which they’ll only see if they like you back! Foolproof and a little stalkerish…

Then there’s my personal favourite: OkCupid. I met my ex on it, and since then I’ve had A LOT of interesting conversations. Some I’ve written off the person immediately because there’s no way they could’ve thought we were compatible. Like match.com, after answering a TON of question (and I do mean a TON - but seriously don’t skip them they’re important) you’ll know just how compatible you and a potential match would be based on the percentage of personality traits you share. The app just released an update that shows which specific interests you overlap on, so if certain qualities are more important to you than others, you’ll be able to sort through matches much more easily. OkCupid’s software is literally a free version of Match.com. Sure there are some limits that you’ll have to pay to unlock, but there’s still a lot you can do with it.

2. Perfect Your Profile

Trust me, people actually read your profile! This is where you tell someone why they should get to know you; why they should swipe right. You want to make sure that you get across what’s important to you, and show some personality, too. Include a joke or a cheeky pun, if that’s up your alley. I struck up a conversation with a guy who said he wants a girl who can cook him grits and that was one of the best things I could’ve done! (We still talk)! You also want to give the viewer something to start a conversation about, so make sure that your profile says something that they can engage with. The most important thing is to make it personal, so whatever you feel good about is the right way to go.

As important as what you write is the profile picture. When you pick a profile picture, PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE OTHER PEOPLE! I have looked at pictures and wondered which one is the guy, and the worst ones are them with other girls. Is it your sister? Best friend? Ex-girlfriend? Current girlfriend? Either way it tells me that you’re unavailable so I swipe left quickly.

3. Be Patient & Open Minded

It’s hard to really tell what someone is like based on a few photos. Get to know people, chat it up, and be open-minded. If you’re only into tall, dark and handsome but you end up having great conversation with a blondie who’s on the shorter side, give it a chance. Also, age is just a number (to an extent). We’re not telling you to run out and date someone 30 years older than you, but remember that older usually means wiser (and more dating and life experience), so don’t be afraid to date outside of your own age range.

Also you may be on a site or app for weeks or months without making a genuine connection. Don’t quit! OkCupid found new guys for me every day! A lot of them never messaged me back, but that could be for a number of reasons. Remember, some people may no longer use the site because they lost interest or met someone and just didn’t deactivate their account. So don’t take it personal if the responses are a little slow.

Above all else, remember to always be yourself. Don’t be someone you think will attract the “perfect person” and you can’t maintain the facade. Don’t be afraid to set your standards and don’t settle. Whether you’re looking to casually date or find your lifelong partner, remember to put your best foot forward.

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What are your favourite dating apps? Do you have any online dating tips that you didn’t see on this list?

Share your recommendations in the comments!

3 Valentine’s Day Outfits That Aren’t a Red Dress

Hello Lovely,

February is upon us and apart from my birthday, there’s one big thing a lot of people look forward to. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to get out for an extra special night with your SO or a few of your besties. But if you’re like me, you don’t necessarily need your V-Day outfit to scream V-Day.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good red dress, but that doesn’t mean I only wear it come February 14th. So if you’re like me and want to look stylish, but will pass on the obvious choice, check out these alternate Valentine’s Day outfit options to celebrate in style.

Whether you’re headed out for a girls’ night, doing a super chill date night, or going big with a fancy dinner and a show, we’re sharing a few fun outfit options that work for Valentine’s Day that AREN’T a red dress.

This look is the perfect Valentine's Day outfit when it's cold outside but you still want to look your best. Cute and practical: Best of both worlds!

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No matter the ocassion, nothing says ready like a little black dress.

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In the third installment of outfits for Valentines Day that aren't red dresses, we have my favourite colour coral, paired with a black leather mini skirt for a flirty evening on the town.

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Layered Red Velvet Cake - Why This Recipe Was A Total Disaster

Hello lovely,

Since I started the tradition of making an annual Christmas cake, I decided to extend it to all other holidays. I already make themed drinks and other recipes, but a signature Valentine’s Day Cake sounded ideal this year! Hopefully next year I'm not so last minute with it. And I should probably choose to make it during a less stressful time in my life. I definitely rushed to make this because I anticipated having to travel for a trip that never happened. That's the unfortunate part of when you’re not the one making the plans, so your plans have to accommodate theirs.

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That's why there’s no recipe for this. To start an annual Valentine's day cake, I cared more about how it looked, so I actually used a boxed red velvet cake recipe. There was just one problem: The cake mix was too moist. I couldn’t get around the cake with any frosting because parts of the cake would come off on the spatula. Then the frosting turned out to be REALLY hot pink, which was an absolute nightmare for what I had in mind. I’m already a complete amateur at cake decorating so I actually panicked for a few minutes. (Side note: If anyone is hosting cake decorating classes please sign me up 🙏)

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After my mini panic session, I decided to melt the frosting in the microwave just a bit and pour it over the cake. Trust me, it was as messy as you’re imagining. The clean up sucked and took multiple people, but at least I had two little people (kids) to assist (and by assist, I mean lick the plate).

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So what did I learn from this experience? First: I definitely need to invest in the right pans to make a layered cake of different sizes. I used a Bundt pan for the bottom because it was the only thing deep enough for the base and I actually baked the top smaller cake in a saucepan. It worked but when I say that’s probably one of the most ghetto things I had ever done…🤦‍♀️ Second, I really need to plan better because I stress way too easily. I thought everything was perfectly planned, but its probably not a good idea to shoot a complex cake like this when you’re shooting like 50 other things in the same day. Third, filters really save the day!

Have you ever had a recipe fail? What was your kitchen nightmare. Share your memories in the comment section below. Hopefully your Valentine’s Day treats don’t turn out like mine 😅

Last Week I Reached My Breaking Point + What I Plan To Do About It

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Hello Lovely,

It’s not easy to say this, especially when I haven’t even spoken to my family about this. Before I can get into that, first I have to give you guys a little back story into what’s been happening lately. As with many families, there’s going to come a time when you don’t agree or even argue about things. No family is perfect, and over time family dynamics are bound to change. For years my family has consisted of my mum dad and brother, but I never got along with my brother; NEVER. It’s the most antagonising tit-for-tat relationship that is simply not healthy. Then my parents got divorced and I got a step dad. I wasn’t thrilled about this change (I’m not thrilled about any change) but it did bring something new: I now had pets. My step dad paid for me to adopt two cats. I still remember the day I picked them out at The Bahamas Humane Society. Their names are Ichigo and Rukia and they would go on to become very important members of my family.

For 11 years, I took care of them. Even when their fur began to irritate my eyes, I took Zyrtec and pushed through. They weren’t always the best behaved, but most house pets cause some level of trouble. But my mother desperately wanted to get rid of them. So when they thought my niece was allergic to the cats, I had no say in the fact that they had to go. The only thing I controlled was which home they went to. I was lucky enough to place them in a loving home. The week I spent searching for a home was rough. I cried at my desk on Monday and moped around the whole week. Luckily by Thursday, I found someone who wanted them. But after giving them up, I honestly broke down in the snottiest bought of crying. She had to console me, and I almost considered putting them back in my car and going back home.

This experience made me realise one very important thing: I need to move out. There have been many reasons I stayed in my mother’s house for so many years, but now my reasons to leave are beginning to outnumber the reasons to stay. Outside of the dynamics surrounding why I had to give up my cats, I knew this wouldn’t happen if I had my own place. I also genuinely need the space to create without having my materials and tools tossed around the house, constantly in someone’s way. I don’t plan on moving out before March because I plan on travelling next month, but I am hoping that by the summer or shortly afterwards, I can be in a place of my own. I have no idea how to live on my own or how to pay rent but I definitely need to learn wouldn’t you agree?