Sabotage! Friends or Foes?

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The hardest part about weight loss is keeping the weight off.  The ability to keep the pounds off takes self-motivation, but it also requires support.  Our loved ones and peers influence many aspects of our lives, and that includes what and when we eat.

When we meet up with friends it’s over drinks or dinner.  When we’re dating someone new most dates include food.  When we get comfortable in a relationship, we sit at home snacking together in front of a TV.  The ones we love get used to our personalities, our habits, and the way we look.  Change can be uncomfortable and unwelcomed, but what do you do when you need to change for your health?  You can’t put the needs of others before the needs of yourself especially when it comes to your health.

When I lost 85 pounds after high school many of my relationships changed.  Friends became foes, my boyfriend became jealous and abusive, and my family found it hard to believe that it was actually happening.  My relationships with everyone changed, and not for the better at first.  If I was a less self assured person, if I had any doubt of the importance of being healthy, I would have let these negative behaviors derail my goals.  Certain friends would encourage bad eating habits, others would put me down to tare down my newly found self-esteem.  Jealous friends would say things to belittle me and my appearance.  My boyfriend at the time became verbally abusive, in fear that my increased confidence inspired by my weight loss would cause me to cheat or leave him.

Still I knew what I wanted for me.  I was tired of not being able to wear what I wanted to wear.  I was tired of being looked at and stereotyped.  I wanted to feel healthy, lighter, free.  I wanted to be confident about my appearance, and I didn’t want anyone else to have an unfair advantage over me.  Everything changed when I lost weight.  I lost friends, I lost a relationship, but I gained so much more.  I made new friends, I found a better boyfriend, I went out so much more, discovered new places, and enjoyed my twenties like I never would have been able to do had I not lost the weight.  I also added years onto me life, and prevented myself from getting any of the diseases associated with obesity.

The path wasn’t easy, especially for me with my thyroid condition, but I overcame everything and lost the weight.  I’ve kept it off for over ten years now, and will never allow the weight to come back.  No matter who wants you to stay the same, if change is what you need to be happy, you can’t let anyone hold you back.  Be the you that you always wanted to be, and you’ll always be happy regardless of who else is in or not in your life.

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When He’s Just Not That Into You

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Books have been written about it, movies have been made, multiple conversations have been had, and yet we’re still having trouble figuring out when a guy just isn’t that interested.  I think the problem lies in the fact that sometimes mixed signals can serve as an excuse to stay with someone who is otherwise terrible for you.  Despite what he says, his actions will tell a better story.  Here is a real life example of when you have to look at a specific action, and not words or actions from the past (names have been changed to provide privacy):

Where are You?

Steve and Emily were dating for four months.  They spent every weekend with each other.  They lived an hour away from each other and both worked full time, so they rarely spent a weekday together.  Still, when she would come to town on Friday he never let her go home until work on Monday.  He had introduced her to his family and friends.  They went on double dates with her friends, and they spent lots of time hanging out with his.  He would compliment her constantly, and they never had an argument.

Although the weekends were great, she started to feel like it was odd that they never communicated during the week.  The drive made it hard to see each other, but shouldn’t he call or text once and a while?  She let it go, because of their busy schedules.  One Friday night she went up to see him, and the next morning he was gone.  She called him and he was golfing.  She found it weird that he went off without letting her know he was leaving, and she felt awkward waiting around his apartment for him.  She decided to leave, but later that day he begged her to come back.  He said he’d make it up to her with dinner.  They had a nice dinner, but when he went to pay his card was declined.  Normally this wouldn’t have been a major issue, but Emily had explained earlier that day how her card had been closed for security reasons.  He told her that it would be okay, that he was going to run to his apartment and come back to pay.

His apartment was only a couple blocks away, so Emily didn’t understand why it was taking so long for him to return.  She finally decided to call him, and figure out what was taking so long.  “Hey what’s up where are you?” Steve has the nerve to say.  “What do you mean where am I? I’m at the restaurant where you left me,” Emily says.  He was in a bar down the street hanging out with his friends.  “Why don’t you come here?” he asked like she had just gotten into town, like he hadn’t just left her 15 minutes ago.  When she asked him, What about the bill?” he said that he had left his ID with the waitress, and that he would go back and pay the waitress later.  Steve had left her in a restaurant with the check without a way to pay, and had gone to a bar.

She left that night feeling angry and confused.  He had been so great in the beginning.  He had made a difference in her life, and she enjoyed the time they spent together.  She started listing all of the reasons why he must care about her, even though leaving her at that restaurant in that way was a clear indication that he definitely did not.  He called her repeatedly that night, but she never picked up.  Days turned into two weeks before she saw him again.  He had texted and called her consistently apologizing and begging her to see him.  She finally felt as though she had punished him enough, and the honest truth was that she missed his company.

She got ready and headed over to see him.  They had a great night, and she felt reassured that he did care about her.  The next morning they had planned to spend the day together at the beach.  He was making breakfast when she decided to make the bed.  She threw the blanket off to fix the sheets when she discovered it.  A pair of freshly rolled off panties that weren’t hers.  Her heart dropped, but in all actuality what did she expect?  All of the facts she had ignored, all of the red flags she concealed, all came back to stare her in the face.

He was a wealthy young guy living at the beach.  He went out almost every night, he never called or texted her during the week, he left her in a restaurant for God sake.  She was disappointed, but couldn’t help laughing at herself for letting it happen like it did.  She finished making the bed, used a tissue to put the panties on top of the bed and then walked out into the living room.  His roommate was sitting there and saw her exiting.  “Hey buddy your girl is escaping,” he shouted to Steve who was still in the kitchen cooking obliviously. He came out into the living room, “Where are you going?” he asked.  She didn’t feel like he was worth making a scene over, what would that get her?  She would just look like a crazy girl in front of his roommate, and it wouldn’t effect him at all.  “I have plans with my brother I forgot about, and I have to go. I’ll see you another time.”

Steve looked confused, and he kept pushing for a better answer.  She walked out the door, and was already down the stairs when he rushed outside after her.  “I thought we had plans? What do you mean you have plans with your brother? Why are you leaving?” Emily just smiled and said, “Why don’t you just go back into your bedroom and take a look at what’s on your bed.  You’ll know why I’m leaving.” Steve asked her why she wouldn’t just talk to him, but she walked off towards her car and left.

Steve found the panties of course, and tried to make up lies.  He said that they were from a long time ago, that they had been there from before he met her.  “That’s even more disgusting Steve, you never wash your sheets?” she asked.  He even tried asking, “Aren’t they yours?” Like she wouldn’t recognize her own.  She told him that they were better off ending things, that he was young and clearly not done fooling around, and that she didn’t want to be with someone who was sleeping with other people.  They had never had the conversation about being exclusive, so it was her fault for assuming they were.

Sometimes we want to like a guy so much, we give ourselves 100 reasons why he cares.  We look at things he says and does, to excuse why we’re with him, even though he’s provided clear proof he’s just not that into the relationship.  Time is too precious, and there are too many guys out there who would actually care, to waste your time with someone who doesn’t.

February: Things I love (This Month)

I get really obsessed with certain products, and then play them out until I can’t have anymore.  I like what I like, and I don’t stop liking it until I do.  Right now I’m obsessed with:

SNACKS

meeshme.comSpecial K Fruit & Yogurt Cereal

I have always been a fan of special K, a cereal I can eat to help me keep the pounds from fighting their way back.  I can however, eat more than one bowl of special K at a sitting, negating the dietary benefits of the cereal.  That’s why I love the new fruit and yogurt version.  This new twist on the classic fills you up much quicker than the regular cereal.  Added bonus: the dried berry clusters transform the remainder milk left into the bowl into a bowl of strawberry milk.  Find the fruit and yogurt special K at your local market.

meeshme.comPretzel Crisps & Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges

When I was around 5 years old I used to spend a lot of time with my Arabic uncle Emad.  He would give me these triangle of soft cheese as a snack.  He ate a lot of traditional food back then, so I thought he was giving me some special Arabic cheese.  Fast forward 20 years later, and I finally realize that those yummy cheese triangles came from Vons.  The laughing cow makes a variety of flavors now including a delicious sun dried tomato flavor.  At just 50 calories for the regular, and 35 for the light version, these cheese wedges can calm your hunger pains when you’re in between meals.  OMG do I love pretzel crisps.  So much better than a regular cracker.  At just 110 calories for 11 crisps, you can enjoy this treat guilt free.  I’ve recently topped my pretzel crisps with the Laughing Cow swiss cheese  flavored soft cheese.  It’s a great snack and fills me up.

MAKE-UP

meeshme.comNARS Sheer Glow Foundation

For years I went without using foundation.  I hate the feel of caked on make-up, and I was fortunate to avoid acne growing up.  It wasn’t until two years ago that I started to think I needed a little foundation.  I started using M.A.C tinted moisturizer, because it gave my skin a little color, concealed small imperfections, and protected my skin with it’s SPF.  I used the tinted moisturizer for almost two years, but started to notice that it gave me an orange look, especially in pictures.  I was afraid to try a true foundation, but the girl at the NARS make up counter insisted a try their foundation.  She said it was light, and she wasn’t lying.  I am in love with this product.  She worked with me to find the perfect color for my skin.  The light coverage hid what I wanted it to, but didn’t leave my skin feeling or looking cakey.  My skin looks smooth and soft.  The best part is that my skin doesn’t look white in pictures.  Most foundations contain a chemical that turns white under a flash, but it’s not found in NARS foundation.  The only downside is that the foundation can dry skin if you already have an issue, so always put on moisturizer before applying the foundation.  NARS sheer glow foundation can be found at your local department store for $44.

meeshme.comDisney Collection for Sephora

For Christmas my boyfriend’s little sister bought me the Cinderella eye shadow palette by Sephora.  Not only is the case beautiful, but the eye shadow variety is amazing.  I hate it when I have to use a ton of eye shadow just to make the color pop.  That’s not the case with this eye shadow palette. The color pops with a small amount of shadow, and lasts throughout the day.  The variety was awesome as well, with shadow colors ranging from purple to brown.  No matter what outfit I put on, there is an eye shadow to match.  Sephora recently released the newest set which is called the Jasmine collection. View the collection here.  You can order from Sephora online with no shipping cost for $55.  A great price for the amount and variety of shadows you get.

Shopping

meeshme.comLulu’s

I tend to purchase a lot of clothing from one particular store.  I’ll find an outfit I love, and keep going back.  This month I’ve been obsessed with Lulus.com.  I love pretty, delicate things, and Lulu’s has so many lovely things to choose from.  I’ve purchased four dresses from them so far, and one pair of heels.  If you love to look feminine, you have to check Lulu’s out.  Visit them here.

 

Travel: Viva Las Vegas

As I prepare to leave for Vegas this week, I am inspired to post about my love for the real city that never sleeps.  My love affair with Las Vegas began when I was 7, and my extended family took a trip to Las Vegas.  I’ve celebrated many a milestone in Vegas.  I was at the club at midnight for my 21st, drove straight there after graduating college, and spent every birthday there ever since.  Now it’s my boyfriend’s little sister’s turn.  She turns 21 this week, and we’re taking her to sin city to celebrate right.

Las Vegas is a shape shifter a cameleon.  It can be the city you want it to be.  Most people know Las Vegas as sin city, but there’s more than just sin going on in this lively city.  With critically acclaimed restaurants featuring world famous chefs, top rated spas, live stage performances, and shopping locations Vegas can fulfill your every desire.

When I visit Vegas there are a few things I have to do.  Here is a list of my top Vegas destinations:

meeshme.comSurrender: Nightclub Encore Hotel

Attempting to get me to go to a Hollywood club these days is a dangerous mission.  I did the Hollywood scene early on in my 20s and enjoyed it, but now it’s just tired.  However, mention going out in Vegas and I’m always game.  There’s something different about the atmosphere, the people, the music that makes it more enjoyable.  My biggest issue with staying out past midnight these days is that my heels become unbearable.  Unless you’re up for buying a table, or get invited to one, standing around all night becomes painful.  Which is why I love Surrender.  Partially indoors, partially outdoors, this club has something for everyone.  The inside is beautifully decorated, but the outside is amazing.  With LED lights, water fountains, and a pool reflecting light, the scenery at Surrender is worth the price of admission.  There’s always a hot DJ performing, and the crowd is well mixed.  Palm trees and bright lights make you feel like you’re in Miami.  The best part of the outdoor area is that there are places where you can sit and rest your feet, even if you don’t have a table.  Drinks don’t come cheap at around $18 a cocktail, but then again you are in Vegas.  The indoor dance floor is small, but that’s because party goers can dance anywhere they like in the massive outdoor area.  To buy a ticket or book a table reservation visit here.

chateau2-500x300Chateau: Nightclub Paris Casino

Located at the top of the Paris Casino Chateau is as romantic as a Vegas club gets.  The Paris Casino itself is a wonder to behold.  The replica of the Eiffel Tower is a wonder, and the Arc de Triomphe truly makes you feel as though you are driving around the streets of Paris.  To enter Chateau you walk up a beautiful stairway located inside the casino.  When you first enter Chateau it looks like any other Vegas club.  The black walls, DJ stand, and dance floor are nothing out of the ordinary.  Then you take a trip to the balcony where the magic happens.  Located beside the Eiffel Tower replica, the balcony provides a view of the entire Vegas strip.  Big bulbs light the Chateau sign above the bar.  The light from the bulbs reflected on the white furniture turns the entire balcony gold.  You can’t leave Vegas without experiencing this view.  To book your table visit here.

encore spaThe Spa: Encore Casino

I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I first walked into the spa at the Encore spa.  I was there to workout, but was distracted by the amazing furniture and attention to detail.  The couches, the lighting, it’s reminiscent of a Moroccan palace.  One of the best ways to enjoy Las Vegas is to purchase a spa service.  Practically every casino features a spa where you can enjoy massages, facials, and spa amenities like hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms.  When you’re in need of relaxation the spa at the Encore is just what you need.  Feel like a princess for the day at this lavish indoor spa facility.  Prices for massages range between $150 and $250 on weekends, facials are priced at similar rates.  The spa offers waxing services as well.  If you’d like to stay in shape while on vacation, the gym at the Encore is located within the spa.  The facility is smaller than other casino gyms, but features brand new top of the line equipment.  You can also request a personal trainer.  To view the whole Encore spa service menu visit here.

margaritavilleMargaritaville: Restaurant Flamingo Casino

Enough with the pricey destinations right?  Margaritaville is not the destination when you’re looking for class and eligance.  Margaritaville is the place to go when you need something hearty to soak up all the alcohol you drank the night before, or when you want to continue drinking throughout the afternoon.  The giant volcano located next to the bar erupts throughout the day as they play the Margartiville theme song.  Don’t sit too close to the giant glass next to the volcano.  A dancer takes a slide down into the glass filled with water, swishing a way and getting you wet.  The best nachos I’ve ever had are found at Margaritville, along with a pretty amazing margarita.  These nachos come piled as a high as a mini mountain.  Definitely for sharing, this cheesy dish comes with your choice of steak or chicken.  Order these nachos and you won’t be disappointed.  To view the full menu visit here.

serendipitySerendipity: Restaurant Caesar’s Casino

I first obsessed over a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity in New York.  I was on a family vacation, and was miserable.  I had become deathly ill during the trip, and had an icicle fall from a building and hit me over the head (don’t ask). Nothing was going my way.  I couldn’t eat anything, nothing tasted good, and my brother insisted on going to Serendipity because it was in one of his favorite films.  The New York location is tiny, but charming.  I ordered my frozen hot chocolate, because I had seen it in one of my favorite films One Fine Day.  It was amazing.  Fast forward a few years later, and a larger Serendipity location was built in Las Vegas in front of Caesar’s Palace Casino.  The restaurant isn’t as charming as the New York location, but serves all the same treats that make the original so famous.  Still nothing beats my frozen hot chocolate.  If you’re in a hurry, the window located at the back of the restaurant serves quick items to go.  To see a full menu visit the website here.

wynn buffetWynn Buffet: Wynn Hotel & Casino

You can’t leave Vegas without eating at a buffet, it’s a staple.  Practically every casino has one.  I’ve heard people swear by the Bellagio buffet, the Mirage buffet, the Paris buffet, but they are all wrong.  The buffet at the Wynn hotel is by far the best.  The buffet at the Paris Casino is charming.  I was excited to dine there, because the inside reminded me of Fantasy Land inside the Disneyland park.  cobbled floors, lamp posts, and charming homes make up the inside of the restaurant.  It’s such a shame that the food doesn’t hold up to the decor.  The Bellagio buffet was boring, and the interior was nothing special.  The Mirage buffet is great for seafood, but again nothing to die for.  Then there is the Wynn buffet with it’s huge flower bouquets, vibrant colors, and amazing food choices.  There are many more choices for the health conscious eater as well.  Buffet prices vary depending on time of day, but it’s typically around $30 per person.

Fashion-Show-Mall-Las-VegasFashion Show Mall

Located next to Treasure Island, and across from the Venetian hotel, the Fashion Show Mall has everything you need.  There are plenty of malls and store locations on the strip, but the Fashion Show Mall has it all in one place.  No matter how much I travel I always find that I’ve left something behind.  Whether you need a party dress for going out, flats to walk around the strip in, or a swimsuit to hit the hot tub, the Fashion Show Mall has what you need.  If you’re looking for a good deal check out the outlets on your way into the strip.

I hope you get a chance to visit the strip soon, and check out these incredible destinations.

 

 

Relax Me: At Home Spa Day

One of my favorite things to do when I’m stressed is to get a spa service.  My favorite destination: Burke Williams.  Unfortunately, spa services don’t come cheap, making it difficult to treat yourself on a regular basis.

Tip: If you sign up to receive emails from Burke Williams you will receive specials like a 50 minute facial or massage with spa facility use for $89.

When you’re feeling stressed, and can’t splurge on a professional service, treat yourself to a treatment at home.  Spending time with your girl friends can be just what you need to relieve some stress and forget about the pressure you’re under.  Over the months I’ve picked up spa products from various locations.  Every time I get a treatment done, I picked up a product I enjoyed.  The products may be slightly pricier than your CVS brand, but they are an affordable alternative to getting the treatment done every week at the spa.

With my products stocked, I invited my girls over for a spa day.  Don’t forget atmosphere is important.  I downloaded some relaxing music off of itunes, picked up some flowers at the local market for under $15, and set up some scented candles.  I organized the products, prepared the towels, and prepared some easy to make appetizers.

When my girls arrived we sat down to our facials, did each other’s nails, enjoyed the food, and girl talk.  After an evening like that, I was ready to face my obligations again.

When you purchase the right products you can perform your own spa services any day of the week at a fraction of the cost.  Sure it’s relaxing to have someone else perform the service, but the scents from the products, the way they make your skin feel, the soothing music are all just as enjoyable from home.

Here is a list of my favorite spa products:

meeshme.comH2V Hydrate Cleanser

My skin gets dry, especially during the winter months.  H2V is a line of skin care by Burke Williams.  This hydrating cleanser brings moisture back to your skin.  Hydration hides the signs of aging, making wrinkles appear less visible.  Use this cleanser every day, or mix it up depending on your skin needs.  Unfortunately, H2V products aren’t available online yet, but you can purchase them from a Burke Williams near you.  The H2V hydrating cleanser costs $38.

meeshme.comH2V Buff

I never feel like my skin is really clean unless I use a buff.  Micro-dermabrasion facials are all the rage right now.  The H2V buff is a scrub that invigorates and polishes your skin using, “refined micro-dermabrasion crystals combined with cornmeal to achieve a new level of exfoliation for the face and body.”  I mix the buff with a little bit of the H2V hydrating cleanser then apply to wet skin.  Steam helps open your pores, allowing the deepest clean.  To achieve best results use the buff in the shower, or let the hot water run in your sink while you stand/sit nearby.  The H2V buff costs $45, but should last you a few months.  I purchased mine a few months ago, and still have enough to last me for a couple more months.

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Pumpkin Facial

H2v Pumpkin Puree Mask

The pumpkin puree mask was the first H2V product I ever purchased.  I purchased a facial from Burke Williams, and was pleasantly surprised by this product.  As my esthetician rubbed the mask on my face I smelled pumpkin pie.  It was so pleasant, I knew I had to purchase the product.  By far it’s my favorite mask.  It hydrates skin, and the pleasant scent truly helps you relax.  The “beyond” mask doesn’t come cheap at $40 for a small bottle.  I only use this mask once a month for a special treat.  Apply the mask to slightly damp skin, and leave for 10 minutes.  Always use a warm damp cloth to remove masks.

meeshme.comTee Tree Face Mask

If you are dealing with pesky black heads or growing pores, the Body Shop tea tree face mask is the product for you.  This affordable face mask is great at removing impurities, absorbing excess oil, and soothing skin.  The best thing about this product is that it reduces oil without drying out your skin. The tee tree face mask was just listed by Yahoo as one of the best skin treatments for a deep clean.  Read the article here.  At just $15.50 this face mask is affordable, and worth the results.  Buy it online here.

Remember to take a little time to relax this month.  Stress is a major factor in heart disease, migraines, obesity, diabetes and more.  In order to be your best self for others you have to treat yourself best.

Modern Twists

I have often felt like I was born in the wrong era.  I love everything about the fashion of the 1950s.  Women in beautiful dresses, hair and make-up so perfect.  Whether it was to have lunch with your friends, or enjoy a romantic night out, women like my grandmother looked so eligant. What I love most about the dresses of the 1950s is the way they cinched at the waist, and then flowed outward.  The design is perfect for someone with a pear shape.

This H & M dress at just $40 is very similar in cut and design to dresses from that era.  It accentuates your tiny waste, and is forgiving in the hip area.  The bright pink color gives the dress a modern touch, and will make you stand out in any crowd.  It worked out great for my trip to Disneyland with my best friend.

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Prepping for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.  I hope you’re spending this day with a loved one, be it romantically or with your best friends.  Today I’m going to feature my favorite red and pink products in honor of the holiday.  So without further ado here they are:

Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter

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Strawberry set

Whether you purchase it in a set along with body gel and soap, or on it’s own, the Body Shop’s Strawberry body butter is addicting. Rub some of this creamy lotion on, and enjoy the smell of fresh strawberries all day. The thick cream will keep your legs from getting ashy, even in the colder months. Trust me, try it once and you’ll never use anything else. Purchase the body butter in stores, or online now.

Viva Glam Nicki 2 Lip Stick

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Pretty in Pink

Mac lipstick is long lasting, and vibrant. No need to put on several coats, and your lips will truly stand out.

Available in a variety of colors, this lipstick can be found online, in M.A.C stores, or at your local department store.

Viva Glam lipstick sells for $15.

Love Spell

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Love Spell

Victoria secret sells a variety of scents, but Love Spell is my favorite.

It’s also perfect for the holiday.

This light fragrance won’t overpower or overwhelm.

Love Spell the scent can be purchased in lotion or body splash form.

Find it in stores or at Victoria Secret online for $12.

Something Sexy

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Something Sexy

Let’s not forget the little something sexy.

Baby dolls and slips are cute, but there’s nothing boring about this old fashioned look.

Find this garter and more at Victoria Secret online.

While this garter costs $88, there are many more affordable options online.

The Holiday For or Against Singles

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Happy Vday

The longer I am in a relationship the more I realize how overly dramatic I was while single.  I was single for a while before and after my previous long term relationship.  Single in that I wasn’t in a committed relationship.  I dated, and I “saw” people for long periods of time, but went without calling someone my boyfriend for about three years.  You can imagine how traumatic that first relationship was.

When that relationship was done I was left with a feeling that I wasn’t good enough.  When the holidays came around I remembered that feeling, especially on Valentine’s Day.  I felt that I had to do something or else I’d be at home questioning myself all evening.  How ridiculous! Now that I’m in a healthy relationship, I remember what most holidays are about.  When we’re kids we’re not thinking about the fact that no man/woman loves us romantically during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Eve.  We’re excited to see our family, play with our cousins, our toys.  On Valentine’s Day we pass cards to all of our friends.  Why as adults do we put so much pressure on having love during the holidays?

As Valentine’s Day approached this year I couldn’t think of anything I necessarily cared to do.  My boyfriend, in fear of disappointing me, threw a bunch of ideas at me.  They were sweet and thoughtful, but I kept thinking about the crowds, the overpriced menus, the wait times, and I thought why? I have a great relationship I don’t need a dinner to tell me that.  I’m fine with staying home, and getting a card.  Then I think back to the Valentine’s Days I spent crying, or dreading, or caring way too much about.  Funny how the holiday is no big deal now.

When you’re dating someone new or you’re single there’s a lot of pressure felt on Valentine’s Day.  Just remember that even if a man or woman hasn’t said I love you yet, your family and friends have.  You do have people who love you every day, celebrate that!  One of the best Valentine’s Days (if not the best) I ever  had was when I spent it in Las Vegas with two of my best friends.  We bought sweets for ourselves, my brother bought me flowers, and we spent the night dancing away.  Enjoy where you’re at in life right now, don’t worry about where you should be.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dress Ideas: Valentine’s Day

There’s no better way to spark up an evening of romance than with the right dress.  In order to send your date the right signals, you’ll need the perfect outfit.  Body language, conversation, demeanor they all contribute to the success of the date, but nothing communicated your feelings better than what you’re wearing.  Men are visual creatures, so wear something he’ll remember you for.  Not concerned with impressing him? Dress up for yourself! Picking the right ensemble will give you confidence, treat yourself to an evening of feeling great about yourself and the way you look.  Going out with your girls? There’s no reason why you can’t dress in the holiday spirit, even if you are single! Here are some of my favorite romantic dresses, and where you can find them.

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Marilyn Look

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Romantic Lace: VictoriaSecret.com

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Urban Outfitters

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Luscious Red: Lulu’s

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Backless Maxi Dress: Venus.com

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Get in Costume

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Pop in Pink: Foreign Exchange

Valentine’s Day: Done Disney

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Anyone who has known me for even about five minutes, knows that I love Disneyland.  My very first birthday was celebrated there, and pretty much every year since.  My mom has worked for Disney for the past 17 years, and my boyfriend now works there as well.  Maybe it’s the fact that I never want to let go of my inner child, or that my love of big ball gowns makes me resentful that I wasn’t born a Disney Princess, but I always feel happy when I spend a day in or around the parks.

All my time spent at the parks have made me somewhat of an expert.  It’s no secret that many girls love Disneyland, many men however dread walking past that turnstile.  That being said, Disneyland is truly a romantic place.  It’s the reason why so many girls want to be taken there on a date.  Why not treat your girlfriend to a Valentine’s Day at the park? If you work on during the week, you can always celebrate a weekend before or after.  Can’t pay the hefty admission ticket price? No worries, Downtown Disney offers plenty of romantic dining experiences, and parking is free for five hours with validation.

So without further ado, here are some romantic dinner options Disney style:

The Blue Bayou

Blue bayou

The Blue Bayou

Ever taken a boat ride on the Pirates of the Carribbean? Then you have seen the Blue Bayou.  Yes, it’s that restaurant you can see from your boat before you take that first drop.  I had seen this restaurant over and over again for years, and always wanted to try it.  I just never got around to it.  I mentioned this to my boyfriend when we were first dating, and on my birthday he took me there.  I was so surprised, and excited.  The restaurant is much more magical than it appears from the ride.  The dining area is designed to look as though you are eating outside in the bayou region of Louisiana.  The entrance and waiting area are set in the facade of a New Orleans home.  When you walk past the doors into the “patio” you see what looks like outdoor dining.  The trees, twinkling lights, and bayou backdrop truly transport you to Louisiana.  Our table was positioned close to the water, but don’t worry you can’t even see the Disneyland tourists floating by on their boats.  The food was delicious.  They serve traditional Louisiana fare with choices of Jambalya, gumbo, and more.  See the full menu here.  As we finished our dinner my boyfriend said I love you for the first time.  He later referred the restaurant to his friend who purposed to his girl friend there.  The Blue Bayou is a truly a place for romance.

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

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Jazz Kitchen

If you like the sound of a Louisiana inspired dinner date, but can’t afford to splurge on theme park tickets, then visit Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.  While I’ve never been on a date here, I have dined here with a close friend of mine.  The restaurant is beautifully designed with lots of attention to detail.  The fountain in the center of the dinning room ads a dramatic touch to the scenery.  The food and portion size are great, and the beignets  are to die for.  View the full menu here.  If you’re on a budget, you can visit the quick pick up location next door.  They offer many Louisiana favorites, and you can pick up a bag of the delicious beignets with powdered sugar.  Take your bag to go, and snack with your loved one as you walk down the strip and take a look at the shops.

Carthay Circle

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Carthay Circle

Located near the entrance of Disney’s California Adventure theme park, Carthay Circle is one of the newest additions to the theme park.  The restaurant depicts the same theater Walt Disney premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all those years ago.  The original theater is now gone, and the restaurant pays tribute to the movie that started the animation studio.  The restaurant is an ode to old Hollywood glamour, and the architecture is similar to the Spanish style reminiscent of that time.  The bar located on the first floor of the restaurant serves delicious cocktails as you wait to be seated.  The dining room itself is glorious.  The menu is varied with many California inspired dishes, and a few Asian inspired as well. To view the full menu visit here.  The ambiance is very romantic, and will impress any date.

Napa Rose

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Napa rose

Located inside Disney’s California Adventure Hotel, Napa Rose is a romantic dinner destination.  Entrance to this restaurant does not require an admission ticket.  The menu was created by the same Chef responsible for the menu at Carthay Circle.  Napa Rose has received several accolades since it’s opening in 2002.  The ambiance is very contemporary, but the dim lighting ads a touch of romance.  The wine selection is quite extensive, so wine connoisseurs take note.  With thick cut steaks, and fresh fish to choose from, you can’t lose at this modern restaurant.  To view the full menu visit here.

Other downtown Disney options include: The House of Blues, Catal Restaurant, and Naples.

Disney romance on a budget: Flo’s V8 Cafe. Great views of the Car’s Land Canyon.

No matter where you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, I hope it’s a magical one.