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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

How to Plan the Perfect Vacation From a Guy's Perspective

Guest-blogging for The Chic Paige… for Taylor Paige… for someone whose real name in itself already is somewhat of a nom de plume, no? When I was first asked to contribute a piece to a blog of “,” I felt intimidated in the best of ways – or excited one might say. I do love to travel; I do try to be stylish; and just in case I didn’t already believe it myself, I do know now that at least my S.O. thinks that I’m chic, too. In short, I’m flattered. 

Yes, our first trip together (to Cuba of all places) went very smoothly. And that is owed to, first and foremost, Taylor Paige who is herself an “evolved human being” (if I may return the kind compliment from her previous blog entry, mine is version 2.0). Truthfully, as my S.O. so convincingly and compellingly argues in version 1, it really comes down to the basics of respectful human interaction. The fundamentals of any relationship, romantic and otherwise. And so voilĂ : Here are 4 tips to ensure the success of a trip with your S.O. – from a guy’s perspective.

1. Don’t simply propose to go on a trip together unless you really mean it
This may sound rather trite and intuitive. Yet I challenge you to raise your hand because you’re the one who has never suggested going on a trip with someone (e.g., your S.O.) because it conveniently fit into the conversation or made for a nice suggestion in front of your group of friends. Ironically in my case, it happened just like that: I voiced the thought because it fit nicely into the conversation we were having in the presence of my S.O.’s entourage (at a rooftop cookout, mind you). The difference is, I really wanted to do a trip together. So, take note: You will not want to scramble to come up with a reason for why you suggested a romantic getaway if you weren’t planning on following through. Period.

2. Be involved in the planning from the get-go. And show it.
As is known, some people love to plan trips while others loathe it. That is okay. Yet especially if it was youwho conceived of the idea of traveling together, my advice is to show how engaged you are in preparing for your trip. I learnt this the hard way. For while I am not a last-minute planner (at least I don’t think I am), I do take my time to delve into articles, peruse travel books and consult friends who are either from or have been to wherever it is I am going. (If anything is intuitive, learning about your destination is a non-negotiable must. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of going there? You can ask 
Taylor Paige who will effortlessly convince you of the value of learning at least the basic communication formulas and local lingo of your destination.) But I digress… I noted that I like to take my time in planning for the trip, which is okay. However, especially if you go to a place like Cuba, where you will not have the luxury of browsing and booking an AirBnB excursion led by a local the day before (much less the morning of), you need some advance planning; advance planning that you communicate regularly. My S.O. expressed her excitement about the upcoming trip on a daily basis in the form of text messages with lovely suggestions for on-site activities, excursions and accommodations. I expressed (also on a daily basis) my appreciation for her thorough search and ideas – claro. But I should have also made known the outcome of my own research on at least an equally regular basis. Why? Because while I had certainly done my own due diligence, I came to suspect and eventually realize (thanks to her very subtle and sweet hints) that my S.O. felt she was shouldering the bulk of our trip’s preparations. That is an impression you do not want to convey and/or want your S.O. to have. If you do your own research (and I hope you do) and have your own suggestions for your vacation together, make them known. It signals commitment and conveys dedication, which nurtures excitement and gives your S.O. continuous reason to – quote – *pause for deep breaths followed by warm fuzzy feelings of joy and bliss*.

3. After the trip, make your photos and videos available within, say, one week (max.). 
This trip was another opportunity for me to (finally) take this seriously. I sadden a bit when I think of the dozens of photos I have of family, friends (and my S.O.) that I have never shared with them (and with her)… for no significant reason other than – and I am embarrassed to say this – comfort and convenience. For you can look at and watch those photos and videos together anytime, right? Yes, BUT… Connect via AirDrop, send an email, hand them over on a USB, … Just make them all available no longer than one week after your return. Because if you do – who knows? – they might find themselves on your S.O.’s style blog. 

4. When you have the opportunity to write a contributing piece for your S.O.’s blog about the trip you took together, do it sooner rather than later.
In spite of the prominent announcement for a guy’s/my modest P.O.V. at the end of the original HOW TO PLAN THE PERFECT VACATION WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND, I doubt that many were anxiously awaiting my contribution. But that doesn’t matter. Because regardless of how many may look forward to the sequel of a blog entry, you can safely assume that your S.O. is looking forward to (reading) it more than anyone else. I am no fan of making assumptions, but you can safely make one here. Don’t rest on your laurels from having been asked to contribute to your S.O.’s blog. Get it done ASAP (unlike me) and have fun doing it (like me). 

(Taylor Paige’s S.O.)


Sunday, November 24, 2019

3 Ways to Stay on Trend While Staying True to Your Personal Style

We've all been there...

Endlessly scrolling through pages and pages of clothing from *insert your favorite online store here* while tapping "add to cart" every five seconds. It's so easy to get sucked into an endless vortex of the newest and the latest trends, it can be hard to continue to incorporate your own personal style into your day-to-day looks. I've been reflecting and noticed this has been happening to me! No bueno. So to put a stop to that, I reached in my closet and put together one of my favorite looks from this year. Not worried about being trendy or wearing what everyone else is wearing, just feeling good in my own chic ensemble. 

Here are 3 easy ways to stay on trend while staying true to your personal style.

Pick trends that complement your vibe and your body type 
One trend I am in love with is layering shirts or blouses under strapless or spaghetti strap dresses. I had never tried until this season and I'm so glad I did. A classic cut blouse with a structured mini dress is a recipe for stylish success and complemented my shape perfectly. What clothing pieces make you look and feel amazing? wear that + a trendy item = fabulosity

Don't just wear it because it's in your face
Try not to let instagram and online shops completely sway you and zap the life out of your paycheck with new purchases every week. Give your wallet (and the environment!) a break and really ask yourself, do you want this because it will be a statement of your own style or just because you keep seeing it everywhere? If it whispers sweet nothings into your ear and you have to have it - get it - but if it doesn't give you life, keep it moving and stack your saved coins.

Fashion goes in and out of style 
From the newest "it" bag to the trendiest'll probably go out of style in a snap.
Chances are, you may have similar items in your closet already. Go to through your wardrobe and see if you can find anything that is similar to the current trend. style it, then strut out of the house. 

The big take-away? Fashion, but make it YOU. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

4 Sweet Ideas to Spoil Your Significant Other

So you're in a relationship that's got your heart fluttering and your eyes seeing millennial pink hearts everywhere you gaze. You love when they text you to just say they're thinking of you or when they call at night to wish you sweet dreams. Or maybe you've been in a relationship for a loooong time and you need to remind your significant other that you acknowledge their existence and still actually care. 

To keep the good going, you want to do something nice for them...but what should you do? Performing sweet gestures for the apple of your eye will let your partner know that you care and that you want to make them happy. Here are 4 sweet ideas to spoil your significant other.

Surprise them with a cute picnic 
This works in the spring or summer and doesn't take a ton of time to prepare. Grab a picnic basket, fill it with meats, cheeses, fruits, crackers, wine (don't get caught drinking in the park) and cute candy. Food is the way to anyones heart - so add a surprise picnic to a sunny day and you'll be sure to make your boo smile. 

Get something for them based around their interests 
Ok - so this one takes some listening. What is your partner into? Get something for them based on that. For example, if your S.O. loves James Bond movies, get them something small and cute related to one of the movies. They will like this kind of gift because it takes thought and they will know you listen to them and what their interests are.  

Make them a well crafted Martini. Shaken, not Stirred... of course. 
Speaking of James Bond,,,why not shake up a cocktail for them? This can be fun especially afterwork and is cheaper than most cocktails at bars. Google your boo's favorite drink, make it for them, then toast to you both. 

Cook Dinner for Them
Cooking is just cute and you don't have to be amazing at it. Pick something easy like pasta or pizza google a recipe and make it happen.  Whenever someone cooks you something you smile and can't wait to dig in once they hand you your plate. Your partner will feel the same. Even if it's gross, hopefully you both can laugh about how bad it was then Seamless something better afterwards. 

Finally, it's completely worth pointing out that the key to all of these things is to do them for no reason. Not only for special occasions, birthdays or any other pre-specified reason.

Just because you care. 


Sunday, November 10, 2019

How To Survive Family Work Events When You're not Married and Don't Have Kids

So you get an email announcing that there will be a family day event at your job. *cue the eye roll* 

No matter how well executed these types of events may be, they can be awkward and difficult to navigate. Especially when you're not married and don't have kids often because these get-togethers are tailored around just that. Not showing up may make you feel unsupportive to your company and may potentially look bad but going will be kind of awkward to your entire soul. 

So what do you do? 

By the way, I want to enforce that don't think being single with no kids and marching to the beat of your own drum is a bad thing. But I also have no issues with the idea of being married with kids if that's something that creates happiness. Both lifestyles have their shiny qualities, however one isn't better than the other (in my mind). 

Often going by yourself to work events can cause unwanted probing questions like: "Are you dating anyone?" or "Do you have a boyfriend?". One year at a holiday party, I confidently and cutely answered "no" because I didn't care to go into my full dating life to work people. That type of response always fosters frowning I-feel-bad-for-you-faces and "aw, well you'll find someone" reassurances. The thing is, happiness can exist without a significant other. But for some reason society wants us to couple up because that's just what people do. *cue another eye roll* I guarantee all marriages, ain't happy ones! I am against doing something just because it's the norm and just because everyone else is doing it. It's almost 2020. Let's unpack and throw away these normalities that are old and outdated. 

Until those above said social norms are deep in the dump, here are 4 ways to survive a work event while rolling solo.

Show up and Look Good
When you look good, you feel good and this will show as you make your way into the room to say hello to your coupled-up co-workers. By looking your best, you will automatically feel more confident than if you just strolled in looking meh with messy hair and a poorly pulled together outfit. 

Plan to Hang out with a Co-worker You Like Before the Event
If you're having anxious feelings about the event, voice them to a trusted co-worker and ask to sit with them at the gathering before it happens. You don't have to be attached at the hip to them the whole time, but it will give you a good home base should you find yourself wandering aimlessly in the sea of parents running after their kids in the blow-up bouncy house and finger paint. 

Bring a Friend
If your workplace allows you to bring a friend, take advantage of that! Just make sure the friend is workplace friendly and won't get shitfaced because this is supposed to make your life easier - not harder. You don't want to worry about the behavior of the person tagging along. With that said, choose your buddy carefully so they can have your back throughout the event and relieve some of the pressure. 

Keep the Conversations, Polite, Short and Sweet
Small talk can be painful but sometimes it can be nice to chit-chat with people you normally don't see on a daily basis at your job. Strike up conversations about the food you just ate, if they have any vacations planned or maybe a show or movie you just watched. When the conversation naturally fades out, politely exit by going to refresh your drink or crossing the room to catch up with someone else. 

And there you have it...Tools to survive Family, well, and work event. 

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