V-Day Brunch (Park Ave)

Brunch with the sweetie at Charlie’s Frog Pond

Sauteed banana sauce instead of syrup. Heaven.

Lox Benedict. Lox. And Eggs Benedict. Wow.

Peppermint tea. A great IC-flareup soother.


Awkward and Awesome Valentine


  • The puffy-eyed lady above is coming up on two weeks with an IC flare-up. I’m honestly exhausted and pretty depressed, but nothing can make me smile like a goofball the way Josh can.
  • Rethinking going back on the IC diet. Goodbye fruit and chocolate . . .
  • Exam and a project due at the same time–on Valentine’s Day. I’m not feeling very loved, lol.
  • ALDIs now sells authentic Spanish cheese. We’re stocking up and pigging out!
  • Josh has a cold, and there is a tissue stuffed up his nose as I write this. Haha, can you tell I’m tired and can’t think of much to say? 🙂
  • As much as I hate to admit it, Kourtney & Kim Take Miami is fascinating. I actually find myself relating *shudder* to Kourtney and Scott . . .


  • My sweet, supportive hubby who waits on me while I’m sick and heats up my corn bag ten times an hour.
  • We had a great dinner of Spanish-style potato salad and pork loin. I’ve missed this stuff!
  • Class was cancelled for tomorrow, so winter break is officially on!
  • Romantic brunch tomorrow ❤ Hopefully I’ll be feeling better so that we can have a real Valentine’s Day date.
  • The Thurstons are coming for a visit this Saturday. This is the first time they’ve visited our apartment!
  • They’re bringing our new dining room table with them 😀

Playlist for You and Your Valentine

Hello, music-lovers and just plain old lovers 🙂

What are you planning for your Valentine’s Day tomorrow? A classy night out? A cozy night in? A crazy girl’s night?

Well, this playlist is perfect for not knowing what you want to do. Just play your way through the tunes–some of them romantic, some sexy, some just plain fun–and see what happens.

  1. “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin
  2. “Accidentally In Love” by Counting Crows
  3. “You and Me” by Lifehouse
  4. “Freelove” by Depeche Mode
  5. “Sway” by Michael Buble 
  6. “Kissed You” by Gloriana
  7. “Cupid”by Sam Cooke
  8. “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle
  9. “When Did You Fall” by Chris Rice
  10. “Always Be My Baby” by David Cook
  11. “Lonely Road” by Fernando Ortega
  12. “Everything” by Michael Buble
  13. “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
  14. “I Will Be Here for You” by Michael W. Smith
  15. “Annie’s Song” by John Denver 
  16. “Lovefool” by the Cardigans
  17. “Open Arms” by Journey
  18. “Heaven” by Bryan Adams feat. Jason Aldean
  19. “Write About Love” by Belle and Sebastian
  20. “Just What I Needed” by the Cars

    The Art of Dating: Reviving Valentine’s Day

    While there’s nothing better than the intimacy of a committed relationship, it’s no secret that monogamy can easily become . . . well, monotonous if a couple isn’t willing to pair their love with a little creativity.

    Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to reawaken some of the romance than tends to get lost in bills and housework, but believe it or not, even this annual observance of love and romance can become rote and repetitive–something that you have to do in order to keep your relationship strong. Obviously, this sense of “have to” is no good for keeping the spark alive. You want to be excited to spend time with your sweetheart, so changing up the ways in which you celebrate your love is crucial.

    Here are a few outside-the-box Valentine’s Day ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Your relationship is worth it!

    Cute and Quirky

    1. Pay a Visit to a Pub

    A chain restaurant isn’t quite special enough for this special day, but for some couples a nice dinner with expensive drinks is too formal and high-pressure. Never underestimate the power of a pub when it comes to quality classic (and sometimes not so classic–chips and gravy?) comfort food. Not only do many pubs provide great eats and casual-yet-tasty adult beverages, they also have a unique environment that is both foreign and familiar. I always find myself feeling as though I’ve been transported to the British Isles somehow without ever leaving my couch.

    2. Dine In, But Away

    It’s always a great idea to skip the crowds and cook a romantic meal together, but why not make your dinner in feel like a night out? I don’t just mean candles and music . . . I’m talking way out. Like, out of this country. French or Italian cooking might be the romantic go-to, but what about Thai, Greek, or Ethiopian? Transform your low-key night together into an exciting getaway.

    3. May I Have This Dance?

    Dance. Just do it. Go to a restaurant with live music and have a passionate twirl with your love. If you’re not feeling confident enough for that, how about postponing dinner for a salsa or waltz lesson at a dance studio? Still not convinced? Stay home with a custom-made playlist and shuffle along in the dark 🙂

    Four more unique ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day after the jump!

    4. Do Brunch Instead of Dinner

    You’ll find yourself wondering why you never thought of this before. What’s so special about dinner, anyway? You have some kind of dinner every night, right? You probably even go out for dinner every now and then. But when, I ask, was the last time you or your honey sat down some morning to someone serving you up a plate of bagels and lox, eggs Benedict, or bananas foster pancakes? A sunlit brunch can feel more elegant and romantic than you ever imagined it would.

    5. Skip the Drama . . . Unless You’re Watching It

    Instead of a chick flick, why not watch something together that will make you think as well as feel a whole range of emotions? Be it a historical film or some compelling theater, a little drama always
    brings Josh and I close together with truly deep conversation.

    Out of the Ordinary

    1. Stay in Bed All Day

    I’m determined to try this some day when we have some vacation time built up (or when V-Day falls on a weekend). With how much value Josh and I place on cuddling, I can only imagine how adding takeout food and some great movies could make this the best day ever.

    2. Help Out Someone Else

    Sort of the opposite of lazing around in bed all day . . . volunteer together at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter to make your celebration of love really meaningful this year. An idea that I mention in 100 Cheap and Free Dates is to babysit another couple’s kids so that they can go out for a date night. What better way to try something new than to help someone else enjoy their Valentine’s Day in the process?