Even if you're not crazy about this 'holiday' and you think it's solely for card, flower & chocolate companies, you can still make this day about you and your significant other without the gimmicks. Although you should cherish your partner year round, doing the simple things on Feb 14 can make them feel extra loved- which is the point!
Here are some ideas in case you've done it all, or you're looking to be a bit more creative this year.
Theater Production | Your significant other may not enjoy plays as much as you do, but they might enjoy seeing one thing over another- perhaps a comedy. Check for student, military, etc. discounts, or try will call if you're feeling adventurous. There is always a way to save money!
Scavenger Hunt | Set up a scavenger hunt- either around your town, neighborhood or house, where your love can find small gifts, treats, or just more clues for an ultimate prize at the end!
Split Time | Have you and your partner split up the day or evening with one getting the first part and the other getting the last part. Decide what to do however you wish (each partner designing their half solely with their bf/gf in mind, etc) but keep it a secret so you'll both have surprises for the night. You can be super creative with this one!
A Fun Park | I have one in my hometown with batting cages, mini golf, arcade, and go karts. If you haven't been in a while, this can be a lot of unexpected fun- even for adults (;
Day Vacation | Take a small road trip and visit a city an hour or two away. Either make the day of it and come back the same night or spend the night and have more time to explore the next day. Even being a few hours away can make a difference!
A Night In | Who doesn't love a home-cooked meal tailored to them? You could go classic and do dinner and a movie or make it all about your other half and what they love to do. Maybe try your hand at something they love- video games? Watching an episode or two of their show?
Drive-In Theater | If you have a truck, crossover or SUV, you can open the back and lay with blankets and pillows to watch the movie! Be sure to bring various snacks and drinks to get the full experience.
Dinner & A Walk | Have dinner downtown and explore the town afterward- you may even find a hole-in-the-wall dessert place to enjoy!
Game Night | Check out a local board/card game place- they will probably have games you can play for free inside. Or, if that isn't an option, buy a few games that sound like fun (either on Valentine's day or have them already bought) and try them in the comfort of your own home.
Coffee/dessert Date | It isn't often that couples go out for coffee and dessert. Usually you go out to dinner and are too stuffed for the best part. Either skip dinner or do an early one so you can fully enjoy this part!
Wander through B&N | Or pick another store that you and your partner love and can get lost in. Find funny articles in magazines, browse the popular book sections, or pick a book each and cozy up on one of their couches.
Kayak in the Moonlight | It can be extremely romantic to be outside with your loved one at night. Kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding- something out of the ordinary can really set the mood! And who knows, you might find a hobby to enjoy together!
Go Backpacking/Camping | Chris and I actually went backpacking for our first Valentine's together. It was THE BEST and definitely memorable. Although it was far from glamorous, we shared sweat and pain together and helped each other make it a great time.
Something Wild | Skinny dipping? Rehearsed strip tease? Even if you do something classic like dinner and a movie or just dinner, add a fun and definitely memorable twist!
Be Adventurous | Have you always said you'll zipline? Skydive? Whatever it is, commit to doing it with your significant other and make it that much more amazing!
Sunset Cruise | Or even a casino cruise! Perhaps one that offers dolphin watching? There are many options with this one and is a nice change of pace.
Dancing/Clubbing | This isn't for everyone, especially the clubbing route, but just dancing to a few songs or going to the club for an hour can be exciting. Maybe it's not something you'd do again- but at least you tried it together!
Deep Sea Fishing | Doing this during the day and relaxing at home at night after an exhausting but fun day can be one of the best feelings. Even if this isn't something you're crazy about, if it means a lot to your partner to go, this could be well worth it.
What're your plans for Valentine's Day?
Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo
*Hey everyone- I didn't post on Monday because I didn't have a post lined up and I got very sick Saturday night-Monday night. Today was definitely a lot more manageable though I'm still under the weather. Thanks for understanding!
The Imitation Game | This movie is phenomenal. It's based on a true story (those movies always get me) and it's insane to think of what this man did for his country and how he was treated. I can't recommend this one enough- definitely a must-see!
William & Kate | This is a romantic biopic on Netflix and I thought it was pretty good! I've been into romance movies lately. If this genre is your jam, definitely check it out.
Labor Day | An interesting premise for a chick flick but the movie was great. I like how it wasn't just the same old thing- I would recommend it!
Downton Abbey | This is definitely a favorite show of mine. If you haven't yet started to watch this, IT'S A MUST. It's absolutely AMAZING. I can't sing it's praises enough! This season is really good- I can't wait to see what happens with Mary and Edith.
The Biggest Loser | One of my guilty pleasures. I feel that this show is so motivating and I love that the contestants really seem to be changing mentally and physically. I really love Sonya this season!
Celebrity Apprentice | It's so fascinating to see the celebrities working together and getting these major tasks completed. You can really see everyone's true colors. I love watching to see what ideas everyone comes up with for their projects!
Parenthood | This show only has an episode or two left! It's a pretty good one to watch, but definitely not my favorite. I'm looking to see how they end the series.
The Bachelor | I CANNOT stand some of the girls on this show. I realize some of it is fake but you can definitely tell that most of these women act the way they do on the show in their real lives as well. I only like a handful of the women competing.
Law & Order: SVU | Such a great show! I miss Stabler SOSO much, as well as Cragen, but the show has continued pretty well without them too.
Scorpion | I love how each episode has the right about of emotion and wit in it. It's so great to hear the dialogue and figure out what they're going to do next. I hope the network continues this show for a second season!
I'm looking to start The Americans because I heard it was an awesome show (available via Amazon Prime) but I'm not sure when since I still have a bunch of shows to watch on Chris's list.
What movies and shows have you been watching?
I've decided to look at challenges and victories and how I've done with each, since that was important to me when choosing my word.
Embrace the challenges | I'm struggling with this a bit, but I'm definitely making progress. (which is the ultimate success- I don't intend to be perfect!) My emotions have been a little haywire lately- I've been feeling lazy, unmotivated and already stressed out with this semester (it's only the 3rd week!). Also... even though I'm making progress with Chris (not blowing small things out of proportion, letting things go, etc) I haven't been as good as I know I can be.
Embrace the victories | Doing well in my practicum is a big one for me. I'm easing into the teaching role even though it's not easy! I conquered part of my unmotivated tendencies by spending hours creating a chart and sending out a long letter to my observation teachers (different than my practicum) because I have so much that I need to get done. This was definitely a weight off my shoulders!
I have also started a Pinterest Embrace 2015 board for anything I can relate to this year's goal. It might be something worthwhile to think about doing for your OLW when you start feeling unmotivated!
Mile a day: I have not started running yet. That will ultimately be my goal because I'm trying to work up to a 5k and 10k (from having 0 running experience). However, my actual goal is to walk a mile a day- anything extra (running or walking farther) is a bonus. So far, I've been keeping this up all year (;
How have you been doing with your OLW or #habitprogress? If you had any roadblocks, do you have suggestions for powering through them? Share your experiences below!
See my list here! It's been six months since I've posted it, and so far, I've been able to cross off 22 things from the list! (5 new things since the last update)
17. Start and finish a book in a day (12.28.14)
92. Spend a day with my mom (shopping, going to the spa, etc.) (12.29.14)
86. Send a card/postcard/letter to all friends (1.06.15)
39. Frame & hang my diploma (1.07.15)
4. Attend a theater production (1.22.15)*
*I know it's not 1/22 until tomorrow, but I wanted to include it in this update
Goals in progress-
12. Watch all movies on AFI's 100 list (original & updated) (16/123)
14. Earn a 3.9 GPA in my Master's program
15. Read 5 biographies (0/5)
16. Watch 50 TED talks (40/50)
19. Read 50 new books (3/50)
24. Put $20 in savings for every goal completed (440/2020)
27. Catalog all expenses (for at least 2 months)
55. Cook 100 new dishes (roughly 3 per month) (10/100)
57. Go a month without eating at a restaurant
83. Donate $20 for every item completed (440/2020)
85. Volunteer 66 times (roughly twice a month) (8/66)
99. Watch all the movies & shows on Chris's list
How have you been doing on your 101 in 1001 list?
Photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo
Listening: To numerous Ted Talks
Watching: Downton Abbey, Parenthood, The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, Celebrity Apprentice
Reading: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for ABM's book club
Buying: A tote bag (for internship purposes) & some winter clothes
Crafting: Blog posts like these
Wearing: More business/professional clothing (internship)
Eating: New, home-cooked meals
Planning: How my semester will go- there are so many assignments/internship protocols to keep track of
Feeling: Happy and grateful for the life I have
Loving: The wedding I went to last weekend with Chris!
Hating: That piercings take months to heal- I got my tragus pierced two weeks ago- pictures on instagram to come (:
Hoping: That this semester goes by better than expected!
Excited: To see Book of Mormon this week with my love
What've you been up to this month? January has gone by SO FAST so far!
We are such social creatures who put everything in relationships. They're the most important things we cultivate- marriages, professional ties, friendships. If we don't do well with relationships, life can be very difficult. People will turn to extreme measures to make things work, and if they don't, it can be the most painful thing we have to endure...moving on.
I don't mean to be dramatic, but I think this is something we can all relate to in varying degrees. We've all lost friends and likely romantic relationships. I know I lost a few friends in high school, one close one in particular (not to any falling out, just that we grew apart and saw each other less often). Because there weren't any grandiose circumstances as to why we grew apart and slowly lost touch, I was pretty devastated. We were very close and we helped each other through some pretty tough times.
A year or two later, I got over it and moved on. People are transient. While there might be those very few, close staples in our lives, they are rare. And perhaps you're still friends with some others but aren't as close as you once were/wanted to be. Those friendships can be tough too.
Recently, I made a new, close friend for the first time in a while. It's not that I don't socialize, it's that I was in the same circumstances for a few years and there weren't many chances to meet new people and develop close friendships. I clicked instantly with this girl (as I often do- click really well with one or two people from a group) and we were texting everyday, hanging out every so often, and conferring about school and life.
Over the last month, though, I felt that she had been distant because she would hardly communicate. When I would text her every once in a while, she wouldn't respond or her responses wouldn't move the conversation along. I figured out that she wasn't mad at me (which was good because I didn't think I had done anything) but that she just hadn't been making the effort. However, it was more that she had been neglecting me and putting her time and energy into other, newer friendships from our Master's program group.
It's been a little tough to swallow because I was really excited to have a new friend, especially in this cohort. They understand exactly what I'm going through. Maybe I'll try to put a little more effort into the friendship, but if it's not reciprocated, then I'll just move on. Why make that effort when you're the only one willing to do so? Not worth it.
I didn't want to come here and rant (so hopefully that's not what it sounded like)... I just wanted to put my story out there to see if anyone could relate. Ultimately, I'd love to spark a discussion to see what your stories are or to see how you've dealt with similar situations.
Has something similar happened to you? How did you deal with it?
Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo
I feel that there are a ton of things that I've never done, though I'm sure the average person would say the same. However, there are some normal things that almost everyone has done that I haven't. For example: I've never gotten drunk. Sure, I've drank, I've gotten pretty tipsy and had a good time, but I haven't gotten wasted. As silly as it is, it's on my 101 in 1001 list. It's nice to let go every so often, but I'll be doing it with good friends to make sure they can take care of me.
To boot, I'm not an adventurous person, so I've never skydived, rode in a hot air balloon, or gone skinny dipping. I'm making it my mission to go skydiving soon (maybe this year) to prove to myself that I can conquer fears (I'm afraid of heights and can get nauseated due to motion sickness) and to have a crazy bonding experience with Chris. I'm thinking that it'll be a good 2 year anniversary gift for him. Ours is in July and this would be the most surprising thing for him since I've expressed that I would never go skydiving! (;
I have traveled a bit- gone to Mexico on a cruise with my parents and to Japan, again with my family, and have visited a good number of US states. I know I am so lucky to have seen what I've seen and I'm so grateful! There are a number of places that I've never been to though, and would love to go- the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Portland, etc!) and Canada to just name a few!
On a different, but related note, I've never gotten arrested. As a freshman in college (Fall of my first year!) a few days before school started, I came close. I was at a party like any innocent Freshman, in a dorm that was close to the University Police Department. Because no one was thinking, the music was loud (but definitely not outrageous by any means), and the blinds were open... so the police department could see some of us playing beer pong. Though they didn't know what was going on exactly, I'm sure they've been around the block enough times to guess. Also, the RA decided to call the police about the noise instead of doing a small courtesy and asking just once to turn down the music. (which again was in no way obnoxious, but it was a little loud- even though school hadn't started yet) So the police came by (no doubt when we had the tequila song playing), asked a few questions (are you guys 21, where did you get the booze, how did you get it, etc). Because my friend (who was hosting the party) was straight-forward and polite with the cop, he decided to let us go without arresting... though we all had to see student affairs, complete some alcohol courses and pay a fine. After that night I was either VERY careful or didn't drink at all.
What are some things that you haven't done that you'd like to share? Are they on your bucket list/to-do list? Any crazy stories?
I got this recipe off of The Reluctant Entertainer and my dog loved it! I was able to find this right before Christmas, so I gave these out to my aunt and uncle for their puppies and they loved the idea. This would be such a great gift (buy an airtight glass container from walmart and add a bow!). They can re-use the container after all the treats have been devoured.
Although it's a bit time consuming (prep + bake time), I think it's worth it. The ingredients aren't obscure, and you know exactly what your dog is consuming. These 'people food' items are safe for dogs to eat, I just wouldn't give more than one treat a day.
Since I didn't come up with the recipe, I won't be posting it on here, so be sure to check out the link as referenced in the first paragraph. It's fun and easy to make! I feel great about giving these to my dog. (:
I store mine in a plastic bag that I'll just re-use the next time I bake these. Otherwise, any other container with a seal would be perfect to use, and I leave them on the counter- no refrigeration required. These should last 2-3 weeks because I give him no more than one treat a day. They don't have an exact expiration, but I just keep an eye on them as time passes.
Shadow loved his treat! He always has to lick, sniff and play with new treats for a minute or two before eating them. I made these once before, but it was a month or so ago so he had to get reacquainted.
Would you guys make this for the dogs in your life? If you do, I'd love to know how it turns out for you!
Take the stairs | I work on the third floor and I would always take the elevator. I know how lazy and inefficient that sounds- that's why I'm taking the initiative to always take the stairs. There are no excuses!
Daily walk(s) | Use this time to clear your head and take a break. If you've been working diligently, take your dog for a walk or just enjoy your own company. It's a great stress reliever and you move your body with minimal effort. It also allows you to get outside and enjoy your surroundings! This can be done almost anywhere at any time- lunch breaks, after work, before work, you name it.
Be prepared | Taking your lunch to work can cut so many calories- as well as unnecessary spending. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting them right away and storing to be enjoyed when you're feeling hungry will curb unhealthy eating.
Make a meal plan | Set aside 20-30 minutes each week to look up recipes to cook for the week. You can decide whether to make more than what you and anyone in your household can eat and use the rest for leftovers/freeze it for future days, or you can just cook yourself a healthy meal a day. By compiling a grocery list based only on necessities for your meals, you'll be less likely to wander the aisles picking unhealthy options. Also, you won't be tempted to stop for fast food if you already have a plan or leftovers in the fridge.
Efficiency | While your show is on commercial break, take those 2 minutes to do as many push ups as you can. Jog in place, do crunches, planks, squats, whatever! This article has a few great suggestions! I have a push up challenge I want to complete on my 101 in 1001- commercial breaks would be a perfect time to get it done!
Park farther | It's tempting to park as close as possible to the front entrance, but save yourself the time and hassle it takes to find such good parking while staying active. Even if you can snag a close spot right away, will yourself to go a few extra steps instead.
Date night | My boyfriend and I try to do a date night about once a week. If you're able to incorporate that into your routine- more power to you! Spend one or two date nights a month doing something new, fun and exciting- like rock climbing, taking a hike/walk through a nature preserve, going to the gym, dancing or renting a kayak and exploring.
Wash your car | It's so much easier to run your car through the wash while you check your phone- if you get regular car washes to begin with. I definitely don't, and I know many others don't either. Keep appearances by doing this yourself- either at home or at a manual car wash. Both options keep you moving!
Do you have any tips that I didn't mention? What keeps you moving?
Photo Credit: Death to The Stock Photo
I'm so excited to share this with you! I'm used to making my own cards for birthdays, holidays, or to express thanks, but I've never thought about making my own postcard. I drew off of my 101 in 1001 list for inspiration- I knew I needed to send loved ones a postcard and I thought- why not make my own and turn it into a blog post!
To start, I looked up guidelines for postcards and made mine 4" x 5.5" but you could do yours slightly bigger at 4" x 6".
To complete this project you need card stock or cardboard from a cereal box, a pencil, scissors, ruler, and materials for your design. I went with a simple watercolor one, so you'd need a brush, watercolors, a green colored pencil and water. You could choose to use leftover craft supplies, regular paint or a pen/pencil/marker and freehand a drawing or quote instead.
When I first started measuring, I didn't quite know how much room I had to work with on my card stock, so I could only cut out two postcards. However, you can benefit from my mistake and easily fit four on a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of card stock.
To do the design I did, I used a green colored pencil and traced around the bottom of a solo cup which held my water for watercolors.
Next, I painted 'leaves,' which were basically small arrows in differing directions. I tried a few different methods on the scrap card stock, which I would recommend for you so you can get the feel for what you think looks the best.
Doing the backside was easy- take your ruler and place in approximately in the middle and draw your dividing line. Next, I free-handed the three address lines as well- they should be about halfway down the postcard or a little lower to save a bit of room for the stamp. Postcard stamps are 34c in the US- so a little cheaper than regular stamps! A set of twelve cost me a little over $4.
All my postcards were a bit different but they all turned out pretty great. I hope my friends enjoy their snail mail! Don't worry if some of your lines are a little lopsided or if the design didn't come out perfectly- your friends and family won't care and will appreciate the thought!
Blog posts from 2014-2015 were transferred from my original blog on blogger, Oshiro Design, to my updated website, oshirodesigns.com