What I’ve Learned From Going on 15 First Dates

Since I’ve graduated college, I’ve learned a thing or two about going on first dates. I’ve officially been on 15 first dates now. Some of those dates led to second dates, thirds dates and most commonly no dates but for argument’s sake, let’s just talk about the first dates.  I’m not a pro by any means and I’ve got a long, long ways to go, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Don’t let your nerves get to you (too much). Okay, this goes without saying that it’s IMPOSSIBLE not to get nervous. If you’re not nervous at all, something is wrong with you and you’re a super human. Just breathe deeply and try to relax. You will survive! If you’re really, really nervous go for a walk to use up some of that energy. Breathe.
  2. As much as you want them to like you, you need to like them too. This one is hard for me to remember. Not only do I want to seem cool, funny, outgoing, put-together … I need to be looking and seeing if they are a good fit for me in return.
  3. Awkward silences are inevitable. Period. There’s no way around it so just grin and bear it. Don’t panic if it’s quiet for a few seconds (or many seconds). If you’re trying to fill the silence but the conversation keeps dying, take a slow sip of your drink or have another bite of your food. It’ll save you 3-7 seconds which is something.
  4. Pin your bangs back or to the side. You have to! No one wants to talk to someone who’s constantly picking at their hair. I’m a fidget-er when I’m nervous so I pin my bangs to the side so I don’t play with my hair.
  5. When you arrive, text him and tell him what you’re wearing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to find the guy I’m going on a date with. It’s extremely stressful and causes me to panic when I do a lap of the bar or coffee shop and can’t find him. I’ve even had bartenders ask me, “Do you need help?” YES! GET ME OUT OF HERE. Some guys look WAY different in real life compared to their photos, depending if they’re wearing a hat, glasses or have facial hair and so on. You’d be surprised. If you tell him what you’re wearing, let’s pray that he’ll flag you down or find you ASAP.

Try to remind yourself that it’s good to step out of your comfort zone. It can be really hard and really scary, but it’s also really rewarding to see yourself do something you didn’t think you could do. So from one single lady to another, good luck!

ICYMI: Top Posts From This Blog

Hi! Last year or the year before I put out a blog post that rounded up some of my favorite posts since starting this thing. Since it’s been a while, I figured I’d do that again. Maybe you’re new to the blog or maybe you don’t mind reading some stories twice. I’ll stop talking now. Here are a few posts in case you missed it (ICYMI):

If you’re in the mood for cat things:

Why Cat People Deserve a Break 

Why I’d Be the Best Cat

If you’re in the mood for me venting about nonsense:

7 Social Media Pet Peeves that Drive Me Batty

The Truth About Thick Hair

If you’re in the mood for dating stories: 

5 Online Dating Pics Guys Post That Need to End

A Follow-Up Post to My Online Dating Post

If you’re in the mood for single lady tips:

Single Girl’s Guide: Navigating Valentine’s Day

Single Girl’s Guide: Surviving Valentine’s Day – Round 2

So, there you go! Have fun!

 

My Undying Love for Sweet Corn

I’ve been blessed to have sweet corn three times this summer already. SO BLESSED. I love sweet corn, which is why I’m devoting a whole post to it. I love everything about it – the shucking, the dripping hot butter, the generous amount of salt, my greasy face…just everything. I don’t mind shucking the corn, it makes it that much more rewarding. HARD LABOR – I WORKED FOR THIS! Not hard labor, but you know what I mean. People sometimes complain about the flossing but who cares. I already floss everyday anyways.

When I was a rambunctious kid with absolutely no digestive concerns, I’d easily eat four ears of corn in one sitting. ONE SITTING. I couldn’t imagine doing that now, but how amazing would that be?

When I had braces on my teeth from 7th grade to 9th grade, I dreamed about sweet corn. I’m not kidding. Sweet corn would bleed into my dreams. I couldn’t have it but I wanted it sooooo bad. The with drawl was almost too much to bear. Yes, I cut it off the cob and sadly ate it with a spoon but it wasn’t the same. I felt so left out and empty inside. Some kids with braces complained about not being able to eat gum, caramel, popcorn and so on. All I wanted was sweet corn. Piping hot sweet corn.

But here I am today, eating sweet corn and happy as a clam. It really isn’t summer without bright yellow sweet corn. Maybe I’ll have more tonight. What’s your favorite summer food?

A Follow-Up Post to My Online Dating Post

Okay, I want to make a few things clear here. I have had a chance to think since writing my last post on things that annoy me about about online dating. I want you to know that I am in no way an online dating expert. Not by a long shot! I have no idea what I’m doing but I have seen my fair share of guys while swiping on those apps. Also, some of those apps/sites I only gave shot for a few days or a few weeks. I’m not on six different apps at one time. That sounds stressful! For a bit I was on Hinge and Bumble at the same time but even that got to be a lot going on. I have a life to live too, you know.

I did count and I’ve gone on 10 first dates since graduating college, and some of those dates led into second and third dates. So I’m making a little bit of progress when I look at the big picture. I have a lot to learn as far as wrangling nerves but I’m getting there. It’ll get easier with time… right? At least I hope so. I wish I would have tried harder to meet a guy in college because it’s a lot more work to coordinate and schedule dates now when you’re a full-time working professional like myself. I’ll figure it out! There’s gotta be other people in my boat. And we all have regrets, right?

Okay, I feel better now. I just didn’t want to give you guys the wrong idea that I was some online dating pro. Yeah right! If I was a pro I wouldn’t feeling like barfing (thanks first-date nerves) before most dates. What a cute visual, right? Well kids, that’s LIFE. Dating complete strangers is scary, frightening and wayyy out of my comfort zone but it’s also good for me. (Even standing on a kitchen chair to get soup or baking supplies down makes me nervous. Can you imagine?) I’m not going to meet anyone rearranging my closet or watching Grey’s Anatomy at my apartment. If I can go on blind dates, you can step outside of your comfort zone too – whatever that might be. Take a risk with me! Please? 🙂

5 Online Dating Pics Guys Post That Need to End

Let’s set the record straight here. I’ve dabbled on a few different online dating apps (OK Cupid, Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Catholic Match – am I forgetting any?!?) so it’s safe to say I’ve seen it all when it comes to guys posting stupid photos.  This post will sound judge-y and rude but with some of these apps, all you have is 4-5 photos to get a handle on who someone is! First impressions when swiping is everything.

Here are five types of photos I see over and over again that aren’t great and need to end.

1. Dudes who only post group photos. How do I know who you are? Why are you all wearing tank tops? Are you the groom getting married? Why is everyone wearing a backwards hat and a jersey?

2. Dudes who only post gym/no shirt/working out photos. Okay, taking care of your health is good but no one wants to to see that! Cover it up and don’t be such a showoff. Hopefully there’s more to your personality then lifting weights.

3. Dudes who only post hunting photos with their dead animals. I’m all for showing your true hobbies (ahem, crafting, petting cats, sleeping in) but every photo doesn’t need to be you and a deer’s carcass. It’s gross and a little overkill. (See what I did there?)

4. Dudes who’s only photos are at parties or bars and they’re clearly drunk. Are you 19? If so, why did you lie about your age… *nervously laughs* Isn’t there more to life then Bud Light and getting wild? A couple photos is fine but your whole selection isn’t. (I have drinks too but I’m not going to broadcast that to total strangers. This is their first impression of me after all.)

5. Dudes who only have pixely and blurry photos with red eye and weird cropping etc. Without quality photos that were taken with a fancy camera or smart phone, how do I know that you’re not killer?! Or a kidnapper. If the photos don’t look real, you might not be real.

So all in all, some work needs to be done.  News to the dudes out there: you can do better! Ladies, am I right?

Words to Live By: Timing is Everything

When you’re a control freak with a Type-A personality, like myself, it can be hard to slow down and let life take its course. I have so many goals, dreams and aspirations but I have to remind myself to take it one day at a time before I get discouraged.

I have so many questions that are left unanswered but I’m learning that any progress is still progress! Stepping outside of my comfort zone is good for me. Learning to cook healthier meals is good for me. Dating complete strangers online is (in some ways) good for me.

I have the tendency to want to plan, plan plan but I can’t always do that. I’ll just stay positive and hope for the best! With hard work and the right timing, things will fall into place. So tell me, how do you stay motivated when the going gets tough? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Wait, Christmas is Over?!

(Disclaimer: I meant to publish this weeks ago and completely forgot! Better late than never…)

I can’t believe Thanksgiving, Cookie Day(s), Christmas, a Minnesota Vikings game, a New Years Wedding and more are all over! I’ve been looking forward to so many events with family and friends — now they’re all wrapped up. I loved, more than anything, having a few days off from work so I could hang out at home with my family.

Holiday-Pic

Now we’re well into January which, for me, is the hardest month of the year! In Minnesota it’s been -7 degrees + a wicked windchill which does not make me a happy person. This month is cold and dark but I’m getting through it – everyone is.

Now I need to plan a few crafts and actually follow through with them. That’s something I can do inside! I’ve been pretty into adult coloring books lately so that’s been my latest activity while watching TV or listening to music.

I hope you’re having a good Tuesday. Stay warm!

 

Tips for Letting Go of Your Stuff

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve been on a cleaning and de-cluttering kick lately. Or even if you haven’t, I have a few suggestions for donating your stuff. Yes – stuff that’s junk or nasty should be tossed (ain’t nobody got time for that!) – but items that are in good use can be donated to all sorts of organizations in your neighborhood.

I’m a pack rat hard core. It’s bad and something we can dig into more explicitly at a later date. (Example: I recently let go of sweatpants from high school that wouldn’t even come close to pulling over my butt. I almost ripped a whole through the crotch just trying to jam them on. Oops!) However, I let go of things easier when I know someone else can benefit from my stuff. I sometimes fear that if I get rid of my beloved stuff it’ll just collect dust at Goodwill and Savers or it’ll go straight to a landfill. Is that lame?

Here are a few places that would benefit from your new and/or gently used products:

Animal Shelters – Dry and wet cat and dog food (in original packaging), pet carriers, food dishes and more. Some will even take your never-ending stash of plastic bags that they can reuse for litter boxes. Don’t forget to visit the pets while you’re there!

Women’s Shelters – Many women’s shelters take women’s clothes, children’s clothes, new toiletries, new paper products, gently used kitchenware , bedding and more. You know that pencil skirt that’s a little too snug for comfort and makes you look pregnant? (We’ve all been there, okay maybe just I have!) Donate it to a local women’s shelter for someone to look great and feel confident for job interviews, court dates, and so on. Same with those work heels you bought that don’t really work for you at all.

Winter Coat/Clothing Drives – Lots of communities have winter coat and clothing drives to collect used coats, hats, mittens, scarves, etc to donate to people in need. Before you toss out those mittens, pass them onto someone else who’s fighting the elements with little to no protection.

Of course there are way more places to donate your stuff, but this is just a list to get your brain working. Another idea is that when you’re at Target with a coupon for Buy One Get One Free on beauty products, personal care products, toiletries etc. consider giving the second product to a homeless or women’s shelter to help someone in need.

Okay, I’ll stop being so pushy. 🙂 Good luck with the de-cluttering!

Cheers to Summer!

Mmmmm.... how about that sweet tea vodka lemonade?

Mmmmm…. how about that sweet tea vodka lemonade?

It’s hard to believe the 4th of July was last weekend already. Come to think of it, it doesn’t worry me too much though. I’m not in school anymore, which means summer doesn’t have to end in August. Actually, September usually still feels like summer!

So far my summer has been filled with busy weekend plans, weddings with family, birthday parties for friends, long walks around Lake Calhoun and Netflix bingeing on Friday Night Lights. (Go Panthers!) All good things I love!

It’s no surprise that weeknights and weekends get filled up so quickly in the summer.  However, I’m getting better at saying “No, I can’t!” to plans when I’m feeling double or triple booked. It’s hard to say no, but there’s no use overwhelming myself – especially if I’m not really “there” and I’m thinking about the next place I need to be. I think the second half of summer here I’ll have a chance to lock-up my suitcase in the closet, which will be great. Then I can spend more time exploring Minneapolis and St. Paul!

What do you have on the radar for the next few weeks of summer?

Uppity People and So On

Hey there! It’s been forever. Remember my social media pet peeves post from a while back? Somewhat related to that, let’s run through a few things and situations that drive me batty:

  • Bikers who have no regard for cars and pedal ever-so-dangerously wherever they want. I’m all for sharing the road, but don’t weave in front of my car and give me heart palpitations.
  • People who judge you for your food choices. This has become an epidemic for me since moving to Minneapolis. Let people eat what they want to eat. I’m sorry you never ate Pizza Rolls as a kid – sucks to be you! Kids shouldn’t be worried about calories, preservatives and whatnot. Let them be kids! And give adults (like me) a break if we want to eat can soup or pasta every once in a while!
  • People who are uppity about traveling. “YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO NEW YORK???” Okay, traveling is a luxury, not a given. Stay humble and keep that in mind.
  • People who physically distance themselves from you the second you mention you’re sick or that you’re feeling a cold coming on. Jumping back with your hands in the air or abruptly wheeling your computer chair away is not going to change anything. It’s rude and wildy dramatic.

Moral of the story: Smile and be nice to people!! We all, myself included, can be more conscience of our actions and words. Who knows what I say and do that drives other people batty. 🙂

*End rant*