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Need Friday Night Date Ideas? Try Working Out Together!

20 May
If you live near the beach, jogging together should already be on your list of date ideas!

Live near the water? What could be better than a Friday evening jog on the beach?

I rarely workout on Fridays, which is ironic as it’s typically one of my “fatter” days of the week. Friday night is a fun time to relax with my husband and maybe some friends, so clearly I’m not too keen on welcoming the weekend by spending time at the gym by myself. One could argue that nothing is stopping me from getting up early and exercising before work, nothing that is besides my love of sleep and the desire not to be a cranky beast to everyone I come in contact with during the day. Thank me later people.

Living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA doesn’t really offer much along the lines of scenic, fun outdoor activity. In fact, I would guess that the majority of our Friday evenings are either too cold to be doing anything outside or involve some sort of dreadful precipitation falling from the sky. Yuck. Luckily this is not always the case.

A few weeks ago we were “kicked out” of our house for an hour on a Friday evening. My first thought was to go get drinks somewhere, but then my husband, knowing my love for healthy date ideas, came up with this fantastic idea — going to the park for a jog! It was a nice day out and were planning to stuff ourselves with takeout from our favorite Thai place for dinner, so why not negate some of those calories beforehand? Brilliant!

We had so much fun with that jog (and felt so utterly superior) afterwards that we decided to do it again the next week. To switch our route up, we drove to a neighboring town, and my husband mapped a little route for us to jog using Map My Run.

Of course it’s pretty impossible to commit to Friday evening jogs every weekend. When the weather acts up or if we’re planning to meet up with friends or go out to dinner or something, it’s not always possible to fit it into the plan, and that’s okay. It’s just nice to have a fun little workout to add to our list of Friday night date ideas, when we don’t have anything else going on.

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Making Eating Well Fun By Cooking Together

18 Mar

The weather is finally getting warmer! Okay, rephrase — about a week ago we had a really nice, warm, sunny day. Right now, that one day of warm sunshine is what those of us in Pittsburgh have to hold onto in hopes that someday spring will arrive. And stick around longer than two days…

Anyways, one of my husband and I’s favorite things to do on a nice, warm day is make dinner together. It’s the little things people! This is an especially great activity for a nice lazy Sunday.

Thankfully for us, the warm sunny day that graced over Pittsburgh last week was a Sunday, so we quickly sprung into action. We headed to our favorite place in town for super cheap produce and meat — otherwise known as the Strip District. Eating well doesn’t have to cost a fortune when you shop local. Farmer’s markets are amazing! Plus, it’s also great to support local small businesses whenever you can.

Divide and Conquer
My husband always cooks the meat. This is for many reasons including the fact that I’m afraid of the grill and just genuinely bad at cooking meat. And I don’t really have a desire to improve my meat cooking skills either, as he’s more than willing to hold that honor.

On the other hand, I’m very good at following other people’s recipes for fabulously easy appetizers and side dishes made with fresh produce. So I rock that out inside, while he’s grilling outside.

Last weekend he made us some barbeque chicken and the most delicious rosemary potatoes ever. Seriously, I had no idea I married a potato-baking genius. Now I’m going to annoyingly request these everytime we cook together.

How pretty! Getting ready to go in the oven.

How pretty! Getting ready to go in the oven.

As for my culinary contributions, I made one of my favorites, Skinnytaste Baked Eggplant Sticks and a new recipe I found for balsamic carrots. I got this recipe from Simply Divine, a book by Real Housewife of Beverly Hills, Lisa Vanderpump, and just made it a bit healthier.

Mmm delicious!

Mmm delicious!

Love this book!

Love this book!

So there you’ll have it, eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. You can even do it at home. And it can entertain you and your husband for hours. What’s not to love?

How to Avoid the Relationship Fat Trap

14 Jan

As a lady, when you’re single, you typically don’t go out to eat very much. At least I didn’t when I was single. Sure, I hung out with my friends a lot, but we were usually doing womanly activities like shopping, seeing girly movies, and going out to the bars to man hunt. Sometimes these activities involved food, but even then we’d normally choose a restaurant that would be considered pretty healthy. Eating healthy was never not an option.

Then you start dating someone new and more than just your Facebook status changes — you immerse yourself in a love food coma.

Falling into the Fat Trap

One of the most popular (actually probably the most popular) couples outings is the dinner date. Whether you’re dining out at restaurant, eating takeout, or staying in to cook together, suddenly ladies you’re eating like a man. And it looks a whole lot better on him.

My husband is a studly 6’7 giant. He eats a lot (obviously). Even though he’s usually a pretty healthy eater, I would still look like Godzilla if I tried to match him bite-for-bite. It can be hard to resist temptation when he’s sitting on the couch eating his fifth snack of the evening, so most of the time I’ll have a bite or two when he offers. Then I remind myself that if I keep eating I’ll look like a big fat ape.

I’ll admit that sometimes I do let my inner fatty get the most of me, but we all know when we’ve gotten a little bit out of control, so it’s important to snap back out of it!

Avoiding the Love Gut

People find it odd that my husband and I don’t really share groceries, but we think it makes perfect sense. I want to have a salad and veggies for dinner every night, while he prefers man food. Some nights we eat together, cooking our respective dinner’s side-by-side in the kitchen, other times we don’t. I don’t have to get fat eating his man food and he doesn’t have to starve because his wife feeds him like a bird. This is our weeknight way of life and we totally love it!

We try not to really eat out too much for dinner on the weeknights, which helps to keep our wallets fat and our waistlines skinny, but we love going out to dinner on the weekends!

Salads are your friend.

Salads are your friend.

I won’t lie, I do truly love eating healthy, so even when we’re out to dinner I typically order a salad or something off the “lite menu.” This combats the fact that we pretty much always order an appetizer, wine, and tend to find dessert at some point in the evening.

Moderation is the key to avoid falling into the relationship fat trap ladies! You’re not a man, so if you think about it rationally, it should be pretty easy not to mimic the eating habits of the stud in your life. Don’t give up all your favorite indulgences, simply keep the number of diet splurges you allow yourself in check during the course of a week. You’ll be left with the feeling of satisfaction that you’re even hotter than the day you met him!

Can a Relationship Be Based on Salad?

3 Oct

Can a healthy salad be the start of a budding romance?

Can a healthy salad lead to a healthy relationship? Just Salad, a healthy fast food restaurant chain with locations in New York City and Hong Kong, is trying to play cupid with its customers by betting that a person’s salad preferences are an indicator of their compatibility in a relationship.

The chain started a dating site, Salad Match, where users complete a questionnaire indicating their gender preference, their Just Salad location of choice, five favorite salad toppings, preferred dressing, and a section where   can describe their ideal “salad soul mate.” Budding lovebirds are obviously encouraged to meet for their first date at their preferred Just Salad location.

This isn’t the first time the healthy salad chain has been associated with budding romance. In 2006, New York Magazine nicknamed the original Park Avenue & 51st street location the “lettuce-based midtown meat market.”

Whether or not it sparks love with the health conscious residents of New York and Hong Kong is yet to be determined, but what it has provoked is a great deal of media attention for the company. The creators of Just Salad have found a really unique way to draw a different kind of notice to their healthy salad chain, one that typically isn’t associated with a restaurant.

So is this a brilliant idea for Just Salad customers to meet and mingle, or simply a genius marketing ploy? Either way the chain has a winning idea with Salad Match, because they’ve created a buzz that has people talking.

For more information on finding your “salad soul mate,” check out the press release from the company.

First Date Tips – Don’t Blow It By Being Clueless

21 Sep

No matter how good first date conversation is, it should never be continued in bed.

First dates are awkward. Especially if you’ve never actually met the person face-to-face. The next couple of hours of your life could be wasted on some total freak, or you might meet your prince (or princess) charming. It’s a total gamble. But if it’s inevitable that one of you is going to be a total weirdo, it’s important to make sure that it’s your date, not you. Follow these first date tips to keep yourself in check throughout the evening.

  • Ask Questions. First date conversation should include a lot of basic questions. Afterall, if you’re interested in someone you should want to learn all you can about them. Come up with things to talk about ahead of time, that you can revert to if conversation hits a lull. Remember, you’re not going to impress your date if you talk about yourself the entire time. If you only want to talk about yourself, save yourself the hassle by staying home and having a cup of coffee with your mirror.
  • Stay Positive. Everyone complains about things that bother them on a daily basis, some of us more than others. Complain all you want to your co-workers, friends, and family, but not as part of first date conversation. This person doesn’t know you. They’re not your therapist. And if you tell long, weird stories how enraged you are that your sister’s boyfriend is rude to you, that your dirty roommate steals your underwear, or that your mean boss always makes you work late, you’re going to sound like the weirdo. No one wants to date an angry troll, so if you are angry troll try to disguise that on the first date.
  • Keep it Short. First dates are awkward, so there’s no reason prolong the awkwardness by having a marathon 8 hour-long date. Meet for coffee or a drink, and leave it at that. If you liked each other you’ll have plenty of time to hang out together on future dates.
  • No Ex Talk. There is never, ever a reason to bring your ex into first date conversation, unless you’re actually trying to encourage this new person to never go out with you again. No matter how interesting, important, or relevant you feel a story about your ex might be, it’s not.
  • Arrive Alone & Leave Alone. Don’t offer to pick someone a first date up from work, their house or anywhere else. And vice versa. You always need an emergency getaway plan on a first date. So if one of you turns out to be really weird, how are you going to escape if you’ve arrived together? It’s an equally bad idea to invite a first date back to your place. If you want to keep the date going, then keep it going in public. It’s your first date, there’s no need to get to know each other that well.

Getting a Date — Ways to Meet People You Might Actually Like

19 Aug
If you’re single and looking to mingle, there are many places to meet people right under your nose. If you come in contact with tons of people on a daily basis, use this to your advantage. Or even if you don’t, it’s time to strap on one of Cupid’s arrows and get to work.

Sometimes Cupid needs a good, hard shove in the right direction.

You can meet singles at:

Professional Organizations:  ‘Network’ your way into a date. Whether you join an alumni association from your alma mater, one that focuses specifically on the industry that you work in, or a young professional’s organization, you’re bound to be invited to countless networking events. Get to know other professionals that you have something in common with, and you never know where (or to whom) it might lead you.

Adult Sports Leagues:
More and more cities are starting intramural sports leagues for adults. The sports offered vary by city but typically include activities such as soccer, softball, kickball, dodge ball, bowling, darts, corn hole, and so on. This is a great way to both get some exercise and to meet people. So gather up your friends (or just join a team solo) and get in the game, literally.

Public Transportation: Ditch your car and hop on the bus or train to get to work. Besides helping to save the earth, you might also be able to lend a hand to your dating life. Imagine how many bachelors and bachelorettes work in your city — thousands! There’s no way all of these people are driving into work. When you take public transportation, you never know who you might meet, but when you drive, you’re committing yourself to a solo ride.

Online: The stigma of going online to meet singles is a thing of the past, now everyone does it. Take a cruise through match.com, and you never know who you might meet. Maybe you’ll find that pretty lady that works in the building next to yours, or that raging stud that you always see at the gym. Your perfect mate might be just a click away, so get on that!

Volunteering: Find a cause or even just an event that interests you and volunteer to help out with it. If you like animals, walk dogs at your local animal shelter, or if you like to plan events, get on a committee for an event gala. Not only will you feel great about getting involved in your community, you’re also going to get to meet people that you probably never would’ve otherwise. And of course you never know just who you might meet…

The Gym: The gym can be a great place to meet people, plus you’ll have the added bonus of knowing that they’re in shape! Use caution when approaching someone at the gym, as you don’t want to be an annoying gym creeper. Ladies looking for love at the gym will be dressed nice. They’ll have makeup on, and will probably not be doing anything that will make them sweat. Men on the prowl will not leave the weight section, and will probably be wearing some sort of cut off shirt to showcase their muscles.

Bars: Although this one may seem like a no-brainer, it’s commonly gets a bad rap as a way to meet singles that doesn’t really work. Instead of heading to college bars at midnight, take a different approach if you’re really trying to meet someone special, to actually date. Go out for happy hour, when a many professionals head to the bar with friends or co-workers for an after-work drink. Don’t get a table, as you’ll be isolating yourself from the rest of the bar. On the weekends, head to the classier parts of town. Remember, if you’re basing your choice of bar on cheap drink specials, you’re probably also going to find a cheap date. You don’t want that.

“When Are you Getting Married?” – Combat the Awkward Question that Nosy People Love to Ask

28 Jul

When you hit a certain age, whether you’re in a relationship or not, people become obsessed with marrying you off. You may have solved world peace, won a Grammy, or have recently been promoted to become the youngest VP in your company’s history, but to some people these accomplishments don’t matter, because the fact that you’re not married is the only thing that does matter.

This is what a person's hand looks like when they don't want to discuss when they're getting married.

One of the most awkward, and just plain maddening questions that nosy people love to ask is ‘when are you getting married?’ Or, the equally invasive — ‘do you think you’ll be getting engaged soon?’ Try as I might, I cannot even begin to understand what possess people to think it’s okay to ask these questions.  As if it’s not bad enough to endure the third degree from these people alone, it’s even more fun when your significant other is standing right beside you.

Unless the person brings it up themselves, it is never okay to ask someone this. You may the person’s parent, sister, friend, great aunt, or my favorite — a complete stranger that they just met, but if you pester them with these questions they will start avoiding you. Why you might ask? Because you’re being annoying, and making them feel awkward and uncomfortable.

If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation with nosy people throwing the ‘when are you getting married?’ or ‘do you think you’ll be getting engaged soon?’ question at you, it’s okay to be rude to them. They deserve it. If you opt to go for a more tactful approach, here’s some ideas to shut them up:

  • Tell them you’re already married and you didn’t invite them to the wedding.
  • Bust out with a nice “we hate each other.”
  • Claim to be gay, or trying to explore your sexuality.
  • Answer the question with a question. For example a nice comeback would be, “When are you going to lose 20 lbs?”
  • Explain that you’re waiting for your divorce to be finalized (only use this if the person knows that you’ve never been married).

Moral of the story: Do not ask someone when they’re getting engaged, unless you spot a man toting around an engagement ring. And unless you know that someone is already engaged, hence actually wearing an engagement ring on her finger, do not ask when she is getting married.