“Not Your Average Date Ideas; Keeping Your Love Alive”

One of the most important aspects of being in a relationship is keeping it fun and fresh. Reason being is that you’re in the presence of one another majority of the time and this in turn allows you to get to know each other pretty quickly. With the “Honeymoon Phase” coming to an end shortly after becoming acquainted, the spark can start to fizzle later on. And when I say that, I don’t mean the chemistry you and your partner share; just the giddy, child-like enthusiasm that was there initially. That’s why you both have to do your part in maintaining creativity and spunk within your union. Start by taking your average date night and make it “not so average”.
Check out the following date ideas that I devised to keep your love alive; just don’t forget to thank me later! 😉

1. “Love Rocks”: A little friendly competition never hurt anyone. See if your better half has what it takes to conquer a wall of rock for your affection. As a woman, I always feel the need to “one up” my man just because women are already presumed the weaker sex. I challenge him any chance I get just to prove my strength and my love for this relationship is built to last. (Guys are normally impressed when a chick wins and losing to one just gives them a chance to reward her in a way that is also rewarding for them!)

2. “The Sunny Side Up”: Can’t wait to the end of the day to see your honey boo? Be the first face they see by taking them to a nice breakfast. This idea has become more popular over time since “brunch” was introduced, or shall I say, revisited and redefined! Take it as chance to witness their “morning glow”, or lack thereof. (You can also get a sneak peek of how bad their morning breath may or may not be!)

3. “Animal Love”: Animal lover much? Set a date for a nice stroll through your local zoo. Besides the on again, off again whiff of animal flatulation, this is a really nice date idea. Zoos have lots of cool features besides animal sightings like interactive activities, and some even feature theatres and restaurants. Find out how much of an animal lover your partner is and determine if you mammals are a match made in the animal kingdom. (If he/she doesn’t comment at least once about how the animals should be freed, dump them!)

4. “Picnic at the Park”: Everyone has witnessed those cute, sappy scenes in the movies where two lovers are having a picnic at the park and it’s okay to believe the hype. Picnics at the park are the bees-knees! Customize yours by making or ordering sandwiches for one another. Maybe you’ve been missing out on pastrami and pickle all this time and who knows, your sweetheart may have never known meatballs and mayo made such a good combination. In addition to the extra coins you’ll be saving, the tranquil environment would be good for you both!

<p”>5. “Dress Up Your Love”: Discover the style sense of your future spouse by visiting your local thrift store and letting them dress you. This is fun because you get to find out what the other is attracted to and you might even find out that you’ve got a little bit of flexibility in your wardrobe. Take away some vintage pieces for next to nothing and spend some quality time with your sweetie at the same time. You never know, this may become your new pastime.
(It’s for sure mine; bae, not so much!)

There should be something for everyone listed above, but if you don’t see anything that you find interesting, do your research. There are articles dedicated to providing you a different date experience. A few that helped me compile this list are Thrillist.com, Buzzfeed.com, and Redbook.com. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you keep the love alive. It IS what makes the world go round after all! 🙂

“Getting Through Thrifting; Finding YOUR Style in THEIR Stuff”

Photo: Entire ensemble (minus the headscarf) put together with thrift store finds!

“There are so many perceptions surrounding the act of thrifting. There are too many to count and too many deterring you from finding your signature style. Ever heard the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? I can guarantee a bargain shopper coined that phrase. Thrift stores are full of hidden gems that are just in need of a good polish (speaking figuratively and literally) and with a little time, gumption, and know how, you can make out with a trunk full of exciting pieces to add to your wardrobe! But first, there are a few tips that I’d like you to take with you on your trip. Being mindful of these easy tips can make your thrift haul that much more successful!
For starters, you MUST go with an open mind! When I say this, know that it may be crowded, there may be odd odors, and you may even flip through a bunch of “bull” before you find something you like. It’s not Forever 21 guys and gals! (Even though you may find something from Forever 21!) On a serious note, you should check your energy before entering anywhere. Remember, energy can determine the results yielded by the universe, so be optimistic! If you’re worried about remaining “trendy”; go online and search for images of current styles, make a list or take pictures with you, and pull items that match the latest trends as closely as possible (which is totally doable)!
While shopping, don’t overthink. If you have a piece in your hand and you can’t almost immediately see a future for it, PUT IT BACK! If you don’t have a “That’s So Raven” moment where an item sends you straight to your closet and pairs well with what you’ve already got, then you don’t need it. Just because it’s only a $1 doesn’t mean buy it. It will sit in your closet, become “wear-around-the-house” clothes, or be donated. That’s what you call “shopping backwards”.
Before your newfound goodies make it to the cashier’s counter, be sure to do a quick scan for any holes, hard stains, or aging. If the thrift store you’re at has fitting rooms, TRY IT ON! Most of the time, these items are from a different era, one where tacos weren’t so prevalent, and may not fit “true-to-size”. And again, we do not want to “shop backwards”.
Lastly, something that should go without saying, WASH YOUR ITEMS! They’ve been on someone else’s body guys, really? Now, 15% of the time, items are new and have never been worn. That’s pretty seldom though. Make sure to read the tags because as I mentioned earlier, these clothes are from a different era, one where cotton wasn’t so prevalent, and bad laundering could ruin your grand new finds! In addition, this is a good reason not to shy away from that irresistible piece with an old coffee stain on it. You’re going to wash it all anyway

. Also, if you know how to sew, it may be worth buying the retro blouse with a missing button. You be the judge!
Saying all of that to say, you’d really be surprised the amazing pieces I find while thrifting! I always set a budget for myself (usually around $20) so I don’t overspend. If I’m not able to try on, I’ll usually buy a size up just to be on the safe side. Those are just a few extra tips to tuck away. Overall when shopping, remember to be unique, stand apart from the rest of the who’s who, and do so by purchasing quality, gently-used items on a budget! Check out the look I created below with thrift store finds! Happy Thrifting! 🙂