Cute Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day on a Budget

14 02 2014
They've got the right idea for Valentine's Day. Photo: http://goarco.com

They’ve got the right idea for Valentine’s Day.
Photo: http://goarco.com

It’s Valentine’s Day!!

And while you guys know I’m all about the holiday (well, any holiday really, but this one too!), I’m also for staying within your budget for it as well. So whether you’re in a new situation and just don’t want to spend a lot of money or you’re dating someone who is all about the “simple things” or you just don’t have the money to spend $100 on flowers — I’ve got some ideas for you to still show your boo some love without breaking the bank.

Like?

Decorate your place with some cute, corny Valentine’s charm

A few years ago, for a guy’s birthday, I bought one of those Happy Birthday decoration packages from Party City and decorated his room with streamers and balloons and the like as a surprise. It cost me all of $10, but the happy look on his face when he walked through the door certainly showed me that the effort was appreciated.

You can definitely do the same for Valentine’s Day, either through the package route or buy choosing to decorate with your own flair, say with some petals and candles, etc. Either way, this definitely won’t cost you that much but it’s sure to put a smile on your boo’s face when he/she sees it.

Dinner or dessert at home

I think when most people think of doing a dinner at home, they probably think of a candlelit dinner at the dining room table. And you can certainly do that, but if you’re not careful — you can end up accidentally spending more money than you anticipated. What I suggest however, is something a little more low-key, like an inside picnic or if you’re lucky to have a fireplace, maybe even a fireside dinner on blankets. What says romantic like a low-lit home, some homemade smores and a fireplace crackling in the background?

Go Old School/Creative with your gifts

Okay, follow me here. I love flowers and some types of candy, but you know what I would really love from a guy? A mix CD of songs he knows I love. That tells me that a) you’ve been paying attention to me when I talk about the music I like, b) you know how important music is to me, and c) you’re willing to think outside of the box and get creative. Now, this may not work for everyone because some folks don’t own CD players anymore, but I think gifts like this are a great nod to the old school side of us. Find the thing that your boo likes that harkens a bit to the past and he/she is sure to be pleasantly surprised.

That’s all I have for today, but what are some suggestions you all have to celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget?

PS: Happy Valentine’s Day!!!





Girl Talk Podcast RECAP + Updates

20 12 2013

Hi loves,

I know I’m a little behind on the latest Girl Talk Podcast (trust me, you’ve let me know lol), but I figured now would be the perfect time to post all of the ones that have come before in case you haven’t had a chance to catch up on them. Don’t miss classics like, “Emotional Booty-Callers and Terrorists” and “Let’s Talk About Cheating,” or even our very first installment of the Aijuswannarant segment on “This Ish Just Aint Gon’ Work.”

Meanwhile, Erika, CJ, and I are in talks to get the next one posted early in the new year, and I hope you’re just as excited as we are about it. Plus, don’t forget that you can catch all the episodes on Girl Talk Podcast Itunes page as well, for free.99!

On another note — I’ll be taking a couple weeks off for the Christmas holiday and New Year, but the blog will be back up and running on Monday, January 6th! So this is the perfect time to not only catch up on the podcast episodes, but also on any blog posts you may have missed.

Merry Christmas/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy Holidays to you all and don’t forget to come back in the New Year!!

Love,

Darby





Tips for My Future Husband – #16

18 12 2013

Help me decorate our place with Christmas cheer

“Hang all the mistletoe, I’m going to get to know you better… And as we trim the tree, how much fun it’s going to be together… And this Christmas will be a very special Christmas for meeeee.” – Donny Hathaway/ This Christmas

I love Christmas. I think that’s probably clear by now if you’ve been reading this blog for at least a year. It is, in fact, my favorite time of the year. Sure, I love birthdays and most holidays, really – but there’s something special about Christmas for me. People tend to go out of their way to be nice to each other during this time. Most folks take care to really embody the spirit of giving during this time more than others. You get to see folks’ (especially children) light up when they open their presents. Families come together all over the world and spend quality time with each other. It’s just a magical time.

Well just as much as I love the Christmas spirit and season, I also love the decorating aspect of it too! I mean, I really enjoy it. Every year, no matter what, my decorations are up no later than the first week in December (sometimes by Thanksgiving eve) and don’t come down until at the earliest January 6th. And I take great care to place the items exactly where they will help me create the feeling I want to walk into when I get home. I mix store bought items with DIY crafts, I plug in my warm apple cider Glade plug-in for the season, hang my mistletoe, hang the bows and berries and flowers all over the walls, and most importantly, I trim that tree to the gawds.

As you can see, I have no qualms with doing it on my own. I turn on my Christmas music playlist, and if you peaked in, you would probably see me dancing around in my undies while sipping eggnog and skipping through my place checking to see what else could use a bit of Christmas cheer. But the times I’ve decorated with others, like with my baby sister when she would come in town or with friends who have come over to help, it just brought about a completely different feeling in me. So, I can’t help longing for the year that future hubby and I can decorate together some days.  It is an image that brings me joy just thinking about it.

Now, before you roll your eyes too hard — take a moment to picture what I’m describing. Can’t you just see us? Making our way through our home and hanging the stockings with care. Singing Christmas carols to each other as we laugh our way through the few hours it takes to transform our house into a massive Christmas experiment? Spiking our eggnog right before I change into one of my lovely Christmas lingerie sets?? I can, and hopefully future hubby can too. It would kinda suck to still be decorating the house on my own if he’s there as someone who can readily participate.





Tip: How to Shoe-Shop for Someone Else

13 12 2013

Now that it’s officially Christmas-time, many people are in full swing gift-shopping mode. And if you have a shoe-lover in your midst, you may just be thinking of getting her a pair for Christmas.

Well, before you do, make sure you check out these next few tips. I certainly have been gifted with shoes before that I never wore, not because I didn’t appreciate them, but because they were either too small, too big, or wouldn’t go with anything I wear. So that you don’t put your person in that predicament, here are some tips to consider before spending your coin.

Know her shoe size — Yes, many women have more than one shoe size. For example, I wear a size 9. This will work with any pair of flats and some heels, but my feet are the opposite of narrow so for a lot of heels, I try to get a 9 1/2 to give my feet extra room. This is especially important if you’re attempting to buy a pointed-toe heel — you don’t want her toes to get squeezed into that little triangle.

Not all women have this problem, though. Some have very narrow feet, so you have to be aware not to get anything that will slide off as she’s walking. In addition, some shoes run big or small, and since she’s not there to try on the shoes you’re considering, just make sure to consider all of these factors before buying the shoes.

Know her general style — There’s nothing worse than opening your box and seeing a pair of shoes that you would never, ever wear. So check to make sure she wears stilettos if that’s what you’re thinking of buying. Or if you’re considering getting her a bright color, check to make sure she’s not usually in black or brown pumps.

Getting her something a little out of her comfort zone is good, but you don’t want to come off as if you don’t know her, right?

Try to make sure she doesn’t already own that pair — Now this may be a little difficult if she hasn’t shown you her shoes closet, but that’s what her girls are for. They will probably have a better idea of what she has already and what she doesn’t have, and if you’re one of her girls — then heck, you got this one already! After all, it’s highly unlikely you’re buying someone a pair of shoes if y’all aren’t close friends or dating/significant others, right?

And finally, as always — Have fun with it — Get creative. Gifts are all about the thought behind them, so don’t stress too much about whether she’ll like them. If you followed the first 3 steps and you put some thought into it, chances are she’ll love the gesture and the shoes.

Anyone you all plan to go shoe shopping for this Christmas? And if so, what tips have you used to help you?





A Guide to Holiday Gift-Giving: Revisited

27 11 2013

It’s the day before Thanksgiving (Heyyy! Happy Early Thanksgiving!!), and whether you like it or not, this pretty much means you’re probably in full swing gift-buying mode for all your friends and family. I’m sure many of you will be hitting up your favorite online stores, malls, outlets, and more in the next coming weeks all to find the perfect presents for the people in your life.

But what about if you’re dating someone, trying to date someone, in serious like with someone, etc?? Do you guys need to exchange gifts? Well, if you’re in one of those situations and you’re trying to figure out what you should do, never fear! A couple years ago, I posted a very handy guide to gift-giving from How About We.com, and I figured some of us might need a quick refresher on the details.

Check out the post below and let me know what you think. Are they right? And do you have someone you’re thinking of getting a gift for this year? Do tell! Also, please enjoy your Thanksgiving! I hope it’s filled with lots of good food, family, and friends. Ciao!

Holiday Gift – giving Hooked on Phonics

Remember when I was asking you guys the etiquette rules of giving Christmas gifts with guys you are casually dating? Well, if only I’d seen this flow chart last year, maybe I would have avoided sending homemade cookies to a guy I was no longer talking to a couple months later. HowAboutWe.com recently came up with a quick guide to decide on if you should give out a gift for Christmas. Check it out and let me know what you think.

shouldigiveagift-4

Originally posted December 14, 2011.




Who Doesn’t Love a Christmas Miracle?

20 11 2013
Photos compiled from Lifetime and ABC Family

Photos compiled from Lifetime and ABC Family

I know some folks think it’s too early to start seeing Christmas decorations in the stores and commercials for Christmas presents. But for my money, it’s never too early to start watching Holiday Romantic Comedies. And thankfully for me, Lifetime seems to agree.

You see, this past weekend they got their start early (possibly to beat ABC Family at their 25 days of Christmas movies shtick) and began showing a marathon of some of their fave Christmas movies that will last through the holiday season. And I found myself on my couch, watching my fair share. Yep, that’s right, in between my busy weekend schedule of getting my hair done, going to see the Best Man Holiday, writing, and watching the Saints play football, I stuck in 3 or 4 or 5 sappy holiday movies as well.

What can I say? Y’all know I’m a sap for a cheesy romantic comedy.

I couldn’t help myself, really. It initially started as me planning to just watch one — Holly’s Holiday — but after the inevitable Christmas miracle to end the movie and spark a wonderfully happy relationship with the main character and her cute boo-thang, I needed to see more! So I watched another one, and then another one, and then another one — each time growing even more excited to see how the heroine of the movie would find her way to true love by Christmas Day.

Who doesn’t want to see a happy, romantic ending occur on Christmas Day, right? Even if it is just in a TV movie. You have the beautiful background of Christmas colors galore, sometimes a snowy winter wonderland, presents all around, and of course mistletoe. How can you top mistletoe and the inevitable final shot of the two lovebirds kissing underneath the universal signal to do so? You can’t beat that, really… you just can’t.

The more movies I watched, the more I realized just why I love the winter holiday season so much. Of course, I’m all about the spirit of giving and spending time with your family, the jingles and the decorations, the food and the chances to dress up, and the egg nog and spiced warm apple cider, but what I really love is the idea of the Christmas miracle.

Ahhh yes, the Christmas miracle — it comes in so many different forms, but whether that’s the sight of a parent making it home just in the nick of time so that he or she could be with his/her kids on Christmas Day or the smile on a family’s face while they eat a meal they knew they couldn’t afford but somehow came to them anyway, or even the joy on a kid’s face as he opens up the toys under the Christmas tree and sees everything he asked Santa for, it’s undeniable that the Christmas miracle provides hope in a world that doesn’t always seem filled with it.

This is especially meaningful if you’re anything like me and you have hopeless romantic tendencies, because the Christmas miracle also means there’s still a chance that you’ll meet that guy or gal who blows you away and makes you wonder how you ever managed to go through life without him/her. Add in some snowflakes, a carol, and a guy with dimples and dreamy eyes, and you’ve got your own version of a Lifetime or ABC Family or Hallmark Christmas movie.

And really, who wouldn’t want that?

What do you all think? Is it just me; am I alone in loving the Christmas miracle, or do you find yourself watching these movies as well wondering when you’ll get your chance under the mistletoe?





Holiday Shoes: Fourth of July!

3 07 2013

4th of july

I think by now, y’all know how much I love holidays, and in particular, love picking out shoes for the holidays. So with the Fourth of July coming up tomorrow, I had to throw out some ideas for you girls when it comes time to picking your favorite pair for the festivities. Last year, I gave you tips on finding the best shoes for the occasion. This year – it’s all about examples to get you started on the right path.

So without further ado, here are some of my fave suggestions for cute, comfortable, and statement making Fourth of July shoes!

Ballerina Flats in Your Favorite Color

Photo: Charlotte Olympia Satin Ballerina Flats

Photo: Charlotte Olympia Satin Ballerina Flats

Decorative Oxfords

Photo: ALDO MIKA oxfors

Photo: ALDO MIKA oxfors

Gladiator Sandals

Photo Credit: Overstock.com

Photo Credit: Overstock.com

Colorful Boat Shoes 

Photo: Sperry Top Siders

Photo: Sperry Top Siders

Loafers (animal print or otherwise)

Photo Credit: blog.nuitb.com.br

Photo Credit: blog.nuitb.com.br

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! And I’d love to see what shoes you wore for the day – so snap a pic and send it along. You can see which ones I chose on Facebook and Twitter by tomorrow afternoon.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 331 other followers