My Very First Valentine’s Day: Recounting my Best Date Yet!

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My amazing cappuccino from the Filling Station!

This past Friday, my boyfriend took me on the best day-long date I have ever been on so far in my life! Of course, it was on Valentine’s Day, but it wasn’t the holiday that mattered, but rather it was making lifelong memories with him that took my breath away at the end of the day. Since I knew my boyfriend was planning on an amazing day trip to Temecula Wine Country and Pechanga Casino, a favorite place of ours to go for some low-risk fun at the penny slot machines, I wanted to have my own stamp on the day, and took him out to breakfast at the Filling Station restaurant in the Old Towne Orange Circle before he had his two morning classes. He had an amazing breakfast sandwich with spinach, eggs and bacon, while I indulged in decadent cappuccinos and amazing savory Eggs Benedict with hash-browns! It was definitely filling and a great hearty start to this amazing day!

However, the waitress at Filling Station was less than great at customer service – it took us over 20 minutes for our check to be processed! And funnily enough, the waitress remarked to us as we were leaving (since the hostess graciously ran our check) that we were her “lucky charms!” This may have been a nice pleasantry to hear while leaving a restaurant, but at the rate of her service, we could only assume that it was a failed attempt to deflect her recognition of fault from ignoring our table in favor of only one other table on the other side of the restaurant. As the determined person I am, I vowed to my boyfriend that the rest of the day would not reflect that poor service, and profusely apologized for what happened, even though I had no control over it! After that debacle, I dropped my boyfriend off at his classes and headed back to his apartment to wait until he was finished with them and we would head down to Temecula!

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Eggs Benedict! Yum!

Little did my boyfriend know, while he was at class learning about wildly difficult and complex mathematical formulas and theories, I was frantically whipping up a batch of Valentine’s themed Funfetti cupcakes and picking up his Valentine’s Day gift from Target! He was very surprised when he returned home to find his gifts sitting out for him on his kitchen table!

Now, one of my gifts to my boyfriend was a small planner that had weekly and monthly planning pages for 2014. While this may not seem like the most amazing and romantic gift ever, I knew that he would really appreciate it for much longer than just the holiday itself. Recently, my boyfriend had been very stressed since our spring semester still started and he had a lot on his plate from being on the executive board of his fraternity and starting new classes as well as working on recreating the economic association at our college. Since he didn’t have a planner, he often would stress out from not being able to visualize his weekly schedule until the day of each event, and I think that attributed to a lot of his stress. I hope that the planner will help him be able to plan his weeks a bit better and allow himself to figure out where he can have some free time to himself to de-stress and not worry about what is coming next. Making daily lists of chores, meetings and other items will hopefully let him check things off one by one and break up his busy schedule into more doable chunks.

I was not expecting my boyfriend to give me even more gifts than taking me to Wilson Creek Winery and Pechanga, but he did! I opened my Valentine’s day card from him to find a small booklet. Upon more detailed inspection I realized it was a COUPON BOOK! Michael gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received – a coupon book full of free trips to my favorite restaurants, free candlelit dinners and bubble baths, as well as shoulder rubs when I get stressed out! What impressed me even more was that there were also coupons for going out to dinner, going to a party, and happy hour! That showed me that he wanted me to be able to let him take care of me whenever I needed a break from my busy schedule as well as him being comfortable enough to let his life be dictated by my choices for a little while.

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My OOTD for Valentine’s Day!

 

Next stop: Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula! After the 2 hour drive, we arrived at the beautiful winery for an amazing lunch and a bottle of one of their amazing wines. Unsure of what was considered appropriate wear for the winery, I decided on a one shoulder neon coral colored top from Lilly Pulitzer, dark wash skinny jeggings from White House|Black Market, and my go-to Coach gladiator Sandals. As it turns out, I was dressed perfectly, especially since it was about 90 degrees in Temecula once we arrived! (Thank goodness we sat under the shade with fans around to keep the breeze up!) The scenery was picture perfect, but would have been much better if the grape vines were still ripe! While we were there, I indulged in an amazing romaine salad with feta cheese and all of the traditional caesar salad fixings as well as a slew of bread with decadent sundried tomato butter to go with it! As a butter fanatic – I was very impressed at how amazing the butter tasted! Below are a few more pictures of our afternoon in Temecula! I had an amazing time finally feeling like an adult, and enjoying grown up dates in exchange for the tried and true dinner and a movie dates that are so common among college age people. I definitely felt love and romance in the air, and had great conversations with my boyfriend throughout the afternoon before heading out to the casino!

 

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Finally, Michael and I headed down the road to Pechanga for a few hours of gambling. While this may not be one of the more romantic date ideas for Valentine’s Day, we definitely had a good reason for going! Pechanga was offering an awesome Valentine’s Day deal for slot players, with $100 being given away to one lucky slot player each minute from 2pm-10pm, and Michael was definitely keen on getting a shot at that money! While we didn’t win the $100, I still came out a winner after three hours of gambling on penny and fifteen cent slots! I had $2 in club dollars left from my players card, so I only gave a dollar of my own money during that time, and came out with 13x my winnings with a take home of $13!!This was my biggest win yet and I stopped soon after, too nervous to lose my progress! (It is gambling after all, it can happen in a heartbeat!)

After a few hours, our amazing Valentine’s Day was coming to an end, and we headed back home. Once arriving home, Michael and I did what any normal couple would do – enjoy the last few hours of the day watching silly TV shows together and finishing off the bottle of wine we had brought home with us after lunch. The amount of love I felt through that day was unbelievable, and I definitely can see myself with Michael in the future, creating so many more memories on amazing dates and travels! This Valentine’s Day was my first proper one (see my Pre-Valentines Day post here!) and I couldn’t have been any more happy than I was and still am. I want to thank my boyfriend for being so amazing and thoughtful, and tell him that I couldn’t have pictured a better way to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day as a couple in the same place!

 

 

 

 

 

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Here Comes the App? Wedding Predicting App Gets Personal

This evening I came across an article on TotalSororityMove.com that was titled “New App That Will Predict the EXACT Date You’ll Get Married.” Shocked at the likelihood an app made with algorithms could even remotely predict the age you will get married to one and only love of your life, I clicked on the link and gave the article a read. What I found was an article about how upset a post-grad became after realizing that she had theoretically “1 year, 3 months and 36 days” until the day she should expect to get married. This fact can cause anyone to become increasingly stressed or anxious about the direction their life is taking and become a cause for unnecessary back life planning and what if?’s to arise.

An Example Marriage Graph

An Example Marriage Graph

Now that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, this app will most likely increase in traffic based on the fact that if you are not celebrating the holiday with significant others, you are most likely envious of others or are overwhelmingly lonely and yearning for commitment. By measuring the median marriage age of your Facebook friends, the app can determine a probable marriage date for you based on your personal social circles. For some, this may be an exciting fact because they could be already in a relationship with their hopeful soulmate and were planning on marrying them anyway. But for those single individuals who are hoping their turn will come soon, this fact will give them an exact end date to when their life will catch up to those of their friends who have already been posting photos of engagements, weddings, and babies.

I know that for me, this app would make me extremely stressed at the imminent approaching of my wedding date. Since I can remember, I have always been a planner who follows the rules and wants everything to run smoothly when it comes to event planning and my life. The fact that my life could soon be dictated by the bell curve of my friends’ ages and marriage dates and not from my own doing made me completely averse to even trying out the application. There is that saying that an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but I like to have as much control over the events in my life as possible in this fated world.

However, this application is not 100% positively perfect at determining your marriage date, because no algorithm can ever predict human decisions, emotions, or situations outside the experiment. Additionally, the app has a flaw in that it cannot distinguish those friends who are in relationships but do not disclose their relationships on social media. This skew in the data can make your “marriage date” arbitrarily less or more time away, leading to an incorrect perception of your own life stage and direction. I think that this application shows that technology is fantastic to have, but can often lead to causing unnecessary stress and emotional discomfort in the people who use it. Social media has influenced everyone’s opinions on major life choices and changes, like marriage, and has caused those who are not in relationships to envy their friends and loved ones who are partaking in those events publically. I think that this application should not be given credit for its ability to alter someone’s life choices and as a source of excitement about a wedding. Social media should not be involved in these types of personal events, and everyone on social media sites should take care of their heart and emotions when it comes to robotic apps and their affect on them. Social media is becoming far too intrusive and personal for my liking, and this app is just one example of how it can affect people more than expected.

Read more about the app and try it for yourself from TIME Tech!

Preparing for My First Real Valentine’s Day

In my adult life so far I have had a few boyfriends, but have never once gotten to celebrate Valentine’s day with any of them. I’ve even been with my current boyfriend for over a year and a half, yet haven’t gotten the chance to spend V-day with him!

So, admittedly, I’m not sure what to expect on this love filled Friday, now only 4 days away. What I know for sure is that my boyfriend Michael and I are going to drive to Temecula and have a great lunch at a winery and end the day with some gambling at Pechanga casino.

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I’m extremely excited about what our day has planned in terms of events, but what I’m more unsure of is how the emotions I feel will affect the day. This is after all my first Valentines day, and I am already mentally preparing myself for an outpouring of love and happy emotions. There will also be a surprise, undoubtedly something that will embarrass me even though my boyfriend has convinced me otherwise, since I turn into a beet as soon as a lot of attention is focused on me.

What I am most nervous about is what I will give to my boyfriend as a valentines gift. I realize that the true meaning behind the holiday is sharing love with those you are close with and not about just giving chocolates or roses that will be gone in a week or so. To me, I see Valentine’s day as a day that you should spend with any type of loved one, be it your signifiant other, family members, friends or pets. I am excited just to be able to be in the same part of the country as my boyfriend this Valentine’s day (he scurried off to Las Vegas for a fraternity conference last Valentine’s day, but I haven’t quite let him live it down just yet!) A gift is always appreciated, I realize, but I want to make sure it is meaningful, not just extravagant or expensive and used to “buy” feelings of love and happiness.

Make sure to keep an eye out for a blog post this weekend detailing everything I do during my Valentine’s day with my boyfriend and all of the fun adventures we get up to! I can’t wait to see how this holiday is supposed to be celebrated and I get to have a wonderful private day full of fun, love, romance, and excitement (and hopefully even some luck at the casinos!) And to all of my wonderful viewers out there, you are all my Valentines for coming by my page and showing me some love and support! Love you all!

This Valentine’s Day story is brought to you in part by The Daily Post!

Does the Bachelor Romanticize Love?

The Bachelor(ette) have been aired on tv for years. These dating shows are the epitome of every man and woman’s dream: being surrounded by two dozen sexy singles who are vying for his or her attention and being able to “date” all of them at the same time! However, does the Bachelor skew society’s view on how love should develop?

I enjoy my real life relationship and being able to spend quality time with my boyfriend going out to eat at the restaurant down the street, going on random road trips, and even just enjoying a good TV show or two on the couch. But while watching the bachelor, I am in awe of the extravagance of each of the group and one on one dates each episode shows. To be honest, I think that it’s extremely difficult for women or men going through this experience to truly live a normal life with a normal relationship after the cameras stop rolling. Let’s be honest, how can you keep up your dating speed after visiting different countries, taking rides in $100,000 amphibious vehicles, or in a self-made Californian winter wonderland!!

I can appreciate my relationship so much more from watching the Bachelor. Now I see my relationship will help me grow as a person and part of something greater than myself to enrich my boyfriend’s life. To me, fabulous dates and whirlwind trips don’t sound exciting to me, but rather the experiences with my partner that I would have there.

I definitely think that dating shows romanticize love. It’s what they are designed to do! While they are “reality” shows, the fact that they say you can build a successful relationship over a three month period with another 20 people fighting to beat you to the proposal is a bit outrageous. I am perfectly happy in my relationship, and don’t need any tv cameras, million dollar trips or competitions to help me find my perfect match.

To Have and to Hold

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“I do.”

For most all of us, those two little words are loaded with emotions, dreams, and even stress and anxiety.

As a 21 year old, I am beginning to enter the age bracket where many of my friends of both genders are getting engaged. As my social media news feeds are flooded with engagement photo albums, sappy statuses about eternal love and bible versus relating to love and marriage, I can’t escape the fact that I could become a part of that group of people in a few short years.

This brings up the issue of love and marriage and the divorce rate the US is maintaining these days. While it is valid for people to marry for love and the pursuit of staying with your soulmate for the rest of your lives, but many people forget the important things associated with marriage that could have a damaging effect on your life should you divorce. Marriage in my sense of the word is really a coming together of finances and living arrangements in which two people in love wish to mix and provide for one another. Don’t get me wrong, love is an integral part of the success of a marriage, but don’t let finances go to the wayside.

I hope to get married before I am thirty. So this leaves me with around nine more years to secure my finances, employment and career goals, social life and livelihood independent to that of my significant other. While I know this is a lot to do in nine years, I realize that if anything were to happen, I do not want to rely solely on one person in this world and do not take marriage lightly. If I want a family, a dog, a big house and fancy cars, I need to be able to afford those things, and shouldn’t dive into marriage immaturely.

However, like many women my age, am constantly finding myself pinning wedding images to my Pinterest account and dreaming of my ideal wedding location and dress (not to mention the ideal man, but I’ve been hanging on to him for almost 2 years!) With age I know I will be able to have everything I need and desire in life if I strive to support myself and my individual needs before attending to another person. I want my wedding to be the most beautiful culmination of my strongest and most invigorating relationship.

I strive to be happy in my life and with my own happiness I hope to shine light into someone else’s life and enrich their life with my experiences and opinions and create an amazing family.

So, with the trials, tribulations, and financial stresses that can come with marriage, do I want to delve into it at all?

I do.