Date Night In: Cooking With Blue Apron

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It’s raining in DC, AGAIN! I don’t know about you all, but I am sick of being stuck inside, bored out of my mind. Since the weather has kept PJ and I from going out we decided to have a date night in. We both enjoy cooking and cook together on a regular basis, but wanted to switch things up.

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Why You Should Have Baecation Goals

I love to travel! Visiting a new city to explore the history, culture, and food is always exciting. The traveling experience can be enhanced when done with your significant other, better known as a baecation. It gives the two of you a chance to get away from the stressors of everyday life (work, family, etc,) and spend quality time with one another. Taking a trip together also gives you a chance to get to know each other better and can strengthen your relationship.

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Double Up

 

Double dates can be awesome or extremely terrible. There are so many factors and variables to consider and one of the most important ones is picking the right couple to invite out. The default decision is to invite your closest friend with a significant other whether your bf/gf likes them or not. I’ve been told by multiple married couples to make married/engaged couple friends to hang out with.

But my favorite couple to double date with is my parents.

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I was not your stereotypical daddy’s girl, nor was my mom my best friend that I talked to everyday when I was growing up or even now. However, the older I get, the more I realize that my parents are the two coolest people I’ve ever met. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and enjoy getting to know Caleb’s friends through double dates but double dating with my parents come with certain perks that can’t easily be matched.

Perks of double dating with your parents:

  • They have a flexible schedule – their kids are grown, my dad is retired, and my mom is about 12 months away from retiring so she has tapered down her activities.
  • They have a more flexible income – Sallie Mae isn’t breathing down their back and again they have grown kids with one that is able to send some money their way occasionally (shout out to my big sis, one day)
  • They are a solid, never breaking up couple – The revolving door doesn’t exist and I never have to learn a new name and the wisdom they bestow upon us (insert euphoric gif)

While most old school parents don’t believe in drinking with their kids, my parents do and that’s why our next double date will be a wine tasting nearby.

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Date courtesy of Groupon – Wine Tasting for four at Vinzinni Farms

Who is your favorite double date couple?  Have you ever double dated with your parents? Share your photos and stories with us below or on (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook images)

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The Classic Date: Dinner and a Movie

You can never go wrong with a dinner and a movie date. Its simple, can be done last minute, and provides opportunity to have interesting conversations. This past Thursday, PJ and I did just that. It has been awhile since we’ve gone on a date. Between attending two weddings, me going to New Orleans, and our work schedules we haven’t found time to have a night out. With the weather getting warmer we decided to have our first date night of the spring.

I have wanted to see Zootopia for a while. The reviews were positive, it had animals, and it was close to dethroning Frozen. Luckily, PJ enjoys children’s movies too so I didn’t have to beg him to go with me. Our favorite theater at Springfield Towncenter wasn’t showing Zootopia so we settled on Kingstowne. Kingstowne is in the Fairfax County section of Alexandria and has a decent selection of restaurants, shops, and Top Golf in addition to the movie theater. So, if you are in the area and don’t feel like making the trip to DC for a night out this is a nice option.

I got the Bang Bang Shrimp for my appetizer
I got the Bang Bang Shrimp for my appetizer
PJ got the pot stickers
PJ got the pot stickers

For dinner, we decided to be “fancy” and go to Bonefish Grill. This is something different from our usual burger place, and I was overdue for some Bang Bang Shrimp so it was the perfect choice. We got some drinks, couple appetizers, and split an entrée.

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After the dinner we went next door to the movie theater for the 9:00pm show. Zootopia was HILARIOUS! If you have children I encourage you to take them to this movie. Even if you don’t have children see this movie trust me you’ll love it.

Sometimes a date night doesn’t require a sexy dress and a fancy restaurant. All it needs is good conversation and good company. This date was not the most creative but it was needed.

What is your go to date with your significant other? Share in the comments below!

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Show Out: 2 shows, 1 Epic Date Fail

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In my opinion, there are two things that Birmingham will never have a shortage of, amazing food and an abundance of live shows. When the two are combined,  Caleb is a live show junkie so we try to add it to the line up whenever possible. Our first hangout was actually a live show at the infamous Bottle Tree.

What could have been an awkward meet-up after not seeing or talking to each other for three months, thanks to bootcamp, was magical in its own way. I like to think that our first hangout is when I first felt what everyone else saw when they saw Caleb & I together. And the perfect ending to any magical night is definitely a kiss, the first kiss in our case. Now for every amazing date, there is an ugly step cousin called the date fail.

Caleb and I experience our first date fail of the year on Saturday night. Caleb’s best friend works with a band in Tuscaloosa and often invites us to their Birmingham shows. We decided to catch their show at  Moe’s Original Barbecue in Lakeview. Honestly, I should’ve just stayed home because I’d been irritated all afternoon and was none too pleased when I was ready to leave at 8:30 p.m. for the 9 p.m. show but didn’t leave until after 9. But I stubbornly continued on with our plans and we drove on hoping to turn our evening around.

 

This was so delicious!!!! We almost didn't get a photo
This was so delicious!!!! We almost didn’t get a photo

We show up to Moe’s only to find out that his friend’s band canceled their show at 6:30 p.m. but didn’t tell us. Caleb ordered a beer and I ordered a barbecue plate to share because I figured I might just be hangry. After many failed attempts in trying to reach his friend to see what happened, I got the bright idea to cyber stalk the band to see what happened.  I am a strong believer in keeping your relationship private so you will not be getting all of the juicy details but the disagreement that followed was not pretty and ended in a show at home where I indeed Showed Out!!! We’re back on the same page now and all issues have been addressed because neither of us enjoyed Saturday’s show.

 

In hindsight I have a few tips on how to avoid this type of date fail

  1. Don’t try to fix your night by going out and not discussing what’s really bothering you
  2. Always, always double check your plans and have a contingency plan because canceled shows happen
  3. Please, I beg of you, do not let twitter or social media be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s already ugly enough on it’s own without our help

Have you experienced a dating fail? Share below in the comments!

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Perk Up!!!

Job Perks, most Millennials get them but how many of you have even considering using them for a date or even a night out with friends!?!?! Some are more glamorous and worthwhile than others but a little can go a long way, especially when you’re on a budget. I recently read an article at Madame Noire  that talked about how more black Millennials are accepting and looking for employers that give them lifestyle perks (i.e. more freedom and means to travel) vs. a larger income. This article got me to thinking about the perks I receive at my own job.

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I currently work at a Botanical Garden, coordinating adult and family programming. I get to sit in on some really great classes because of my position and I get 10% off at our in house gift shop and café, free or discounted tickets to our annual events, and invitations/awareness of other local events and programs organized by our partners. My friends receive similar perks and the fact that we work for different organizations means that our list of things to do around town becomes more varied. We definitely believe in taking advantage of our perks and sharing them with each other.

One of my best friends, Brannette, invited me to IMAG0143enjoy one of her perks which included cheering on our alma mater, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), as they competed in the Conference USA Tournament last week. Free tickets to support the UAB Blazers, especially when it’s a huge game where they want to gather as many Blazer fans as possible. Unfortunately, even though UAB was the number one seed in our conference this year, we lost to Western Kentucky, 88-77, in the quarter finals.

“All Hail Alma Mater, We Sing This Song For Thee, Raise Up The Banner For Blazer Victory … Fight, Fight, Fight … All Hail Alma Mater, We Pledge To Always Be, Ever Faithful, Ever Loyal, To Dear Old UAB”

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While the game didn’t turn out the way I hoped, I truly enjoyed myself. I got to spend the afternoon watching basketball with one of my closest friends for free, support my younger cousin who plays in the band, and UAB got invited to participate in the NIT so our season isn’t over. Matter of fact, the game will be televised tonight at 9 pm C.T. I hope you’ll join me in cheering on the Blazers as they face off against BYU!!!!

What are some of your job perks? Have you taken advantage of them? What about your friends’ perks? I challenge everyone to take advantage of job perk this year. Don’t forget to tag us and #perkup #workLESS #priceLESSdates #Girlsdayout

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10 Things to Do in Washington, DC This Spring

SPRING IS HERE! Springtime is definitely the season where DC shines the most. Cherry blossoms, festivals, and warm tolerable weather before the summer heat waves hit allow DC residents to enjoy their city to the fullest. So with that being said here are 10 things to I recommend you do this spring in DC.

1. Cherry Blossoms!

I could not make a list about spring in DC without mentioning the cherry blossoms. Outside of the inauguration, the Cherry Blossom Festival is arguably the biggest event DC has. However, you do not have to brave the crowds of the Tidal Basin to see them. The National Arboretum is a great alternative option and you don’t even have to get out of your car! There is also the option to see the cherry blossoms by boat on a Potomac River cruise. Personally, I think the best way to see them is by taking a stroll through your favorite DC neighborhood. Seriously, they’re everywhere. BUT if you are dead set on going to the Tidal Basin for the Cherry Blossom Festival here is the info.

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Black Love

 

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It’s February, the month of Love. Seeing as I’m getting married soon, I’m in a particular lovey mood. I’m also in a very reflective mood about Love. The Black Love hashtag has flooded my timeline more this month than it does when Love & Basketball is replayed on your favorite station so I decided to delve a little deeper into what exactly Black Love is. Imagine my surprise when I searched for black love on urban dictionary and found not one single definition. I’ve seen multiple tributes to #blacklove on IG, twitter, fb, and various articles but it hasn’t become mainstream enough to be included on urban dictionary. But then again, it’s not very inclusive.

In 2013, Panama Jackson wrote an article titled So What Exactly is “Black Love”? after writing an article on President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. He ended up asking the general population to define it because as he so eloquently put it “Black Love doesn’t usually require a definition… it might be hard to define but folks know it when they see it. There’s never really been a need to place any boundaries or limits on the term. Conversely, I don’t think most of us really think about how deep the idea is in and of itself.”

I could spend hours researching and trying to define Black Love and I could never encompass this intricate, delicate, yet sturdy, complexity that makes up Black Love. Also, is Black Love only exclusive to African Americans or does it include Bi-racial and Latino couples?!?!? What about the rest of the African Diaspora?!?!? Now this is definitely not an article written to blast Black Love because I definitely reposted the BEST Dwayne and Whitley meme ever and faithfully follow Fros & Beaus on IG!!!

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While although I celebrate and never hesitate to share and like Black Love on all social media platforms and in real life, your typical #BlackLove posts are definitely not my #RelationshipGoals (This is another blog for another day). My Relationship Goals, or OUR Relationship Goals since I’m now a unit is definitely more #GodLove. When you think about it, all those things that you love about Black Love is God Love. The couples love each other unconditionally, support each other, fight & makeup because of the grace and mercy they have for each other.

That last sentence may have lost me a few readers but for those that are sticking with me, let me explain myself a little more. I want to remind you that one of my goals for this new year was to grow more as a Christian and another was to focus on my marriage and not the wedding and highlighting and studying these points definitely helped me grown in both areas.

First let’s head back to the statement “grace and mercy they have for each other”. The bible tells wives to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Jesus and for the husband to love his wife as Jesus loves the church (Ephesians 5:22-25). The ultimate example of God’s grace and mercy towards us was definitely sending his son to die on the cross for us. Now that is love. And that type of love is shown throughout the bible over and over again. I don’t know about you but I’m often reminded that love has limits via social media and it’s great to be reminded that it actually doesn’t and that someone could love me that much here on earth. That is powerful when you think about it. But the bible doesn’t stop there, it covers all aspects of loving your mate. Have you read song of Solomon lately…

As we grow as a couple, I try to keep loving my spouse at the front of my mind. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s easy. I constantly fail at truly loving Caleb daily but I will continue to strive to love him and display #BlackLove and #GodLove as we conclude Black History Month.

Edited July 1, 2016

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

 

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I am not here to tell you exactly what to get your significant other for Valentine’s Day. If I were to do that, I would essentially just tell you what I want and honestly, I don’t think they would appreciate getting a bouquet of a dozen heart shaped glazed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and a teddy bear unless they would and if that’s the case, please inform them that they are my new best friend in the whole wide world!!!!!!!

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Why You Should Take His Ass to Red Lobster

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It is the Saturday before the Super Bowl. I’m on the couch recovering from my trip to Wegmans to buy every cheese in existence for this dip I’m making for the big game. That’s when I get a
text from PJ saying “Beyoncé dropped a new video” with the accompanying link. If you know me, you know I am a bit of a Beyoncé fan. This immediately sent me into BeyStan mode and the rest of my day consisted of obsessing over the entire 4 minutes and 53 seconds of this video. The song and video were, to me, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! As always, Bey’s provides the ladies plenty of Instagram photo caption worthy lines with this new song. However, one line stood out.

“When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster”

Ummmm….WHAT?! Yes, Beyoncé said when HOV throws down in the boudoir she treats him to endless shrimp and cheddar bay biscuits. Of course social media went crazy over this reference. There were memes, videos, and a high demand for Red Lobster’s social media team to capitalize on this blessing bestowed on them by Queen Bey. But seriously…Red Lobster? I can’t remember the last time I willingly set foot in a Red Lobster. I’m not really a seafood fan to begin with but if I am going to eat seafood, I’m not going to Red Lobster. I mean yeah the biscuits are bomb and the raspberry lemonade is great but it’s still not my favorite restaurant.

I’m not alone in thinking this. In recent years Red Lobster has seen a decline in popularity. It used to be “fancy” and a treat when I was growing up. Now if someone says that it’s their favorite restaurant, you can’t help judge them. Then Beyonce happened, and the saying is “As Beyonce goes, so goes the nation.” Valentine’s Day is a week away and people are actually considering taking their significant others to RED LOBSTER! I posed the question to PJ as a joke and he actually said he was down before realizing I wasn’t serious.

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HOWEVER if you are considering Red Lobster as a potential Valentine’s Day date they do offer a 4-Course Feast for $16.99. It is also time for Lobster Fest so I see no L’s here. Be sure to check your local Red Lobster’s menus before making a reservation.

So what do ya’ll think? Will Red Lobster see more people in their restaurants due to the Beyoncé effect? Only time will tell, but fellas, remember you have to earn those biscuits!

 

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