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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide… for Guys! (Guest Post)

7 Feb

Hi everyone! My name’s Amy and I’m the creator of Cupcakes & Couture, a lifestyle blog featuring posts on style, baking, shopping, DIY projects, interior design and more! Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I wanted to share my gift guide for the guys in your lives. I know how difficult it can be to shop for your boyfriends, fiances and husbands, so hopefully this will make it a bit easier for you come February 14th!

valentine's day gift guide for guys

The North Face ‘Apex Pneumatic’ Jacket – $99. This breathable, waterproof jacket is perfect for guys who love to be active outdoors and look good while doing it.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Stainless Steel Watch – $225. This watch is a perfect combination of sporty and stylish – the rose gold is on trend and unique but the black silicone strap keeps it looking tough and manly.

Boconi ‘Bryant’ Slim Leather Card Wallet – $54. This slim wallet won’t take up much room in his pocket but can still fit his license and all of his credit cards.

Yves Saint Laurent ‘L’Homme’ EDT – $60 for 2oz. Is your guy in need of a new signature scent? I promise he’ll love this sophisticated scent from YSL (and that you’ll love it on him even more!)

NHL 13 for XBox or PS3 – $45. If he’s a gamer and/or a hockey fan, he’ll definitely love the newest NHL game for his console. My boyfriend and I play together all the time and it’s really fun!

Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Speaker – $200. This little speaker packs a loud punch and comes in 4 fun colors so he can listen to his music anywhere he likes.

Do something fun together. Valentine’s Day isn’t all about spending money on each other…it’s a great time to try out something new together! Get him tickets to see his favorite band, take a cooking class together or go out for a long hike on the next sunny Saturday afternoon.

Bake him something. My boyfriend prefers that I bake him something instead of spending money on him. If your guy has favorite flavors, make sure incorporate them into a special V-Day treat! Looking for ideas? Try out my cookie dough filled cupcakes, banana chocolate chip muffins with Nutella filling or mini Oreo cheesecakes….all of them have been man tested and approved! 🙂

Guys, Time to Make Plans!

30 Jan

VDay DinnerValentines Day is right around the corner. My boyfriend asked me if I had a preference on where we went to dinner. Well yes I do. My preference is for you to make the plans, and not ask me for help.

Valentine’s Day is still a girls holiday, right?

That said, when he asks me this question, my answer is always the same.. “let’s try somewhere new!” With so many favorite go-to’s, this is actually a difficult request.

I know a some people think V-Day is overrated, but if you plan on going out, here’s my list of Boston restaurant suggestions!

FANCY & SOPHISTICATED

Mistral – Inspired by the South of France and located in Boston’s South End. I’m not even a fan of french food, but Mistral is the exception!
223 Columbus Avenue | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.867.9300 | French | Menu

Grill 23 – Known for their steak & seafood, but what sets this restaurant apart is their impeccable service and atmosphere!
161 Berkeley Street | Boston, MA 02117 |617.542.2255 | Steak, Seafood | Menu

Mare Oyster Bar – A true standout among the many options the North End has to offer. Upscale, organic and perfect for a special occasion!
135 Richmond Street | Boston, MA 02109 | 617.723.6273 | Seafood | Menu

SEXY & INTIMATE

Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar – An underground cantina with a dark crimson decor makes for a very sexy ambiance – perfect for Valentine’s Day!
271 Dartmouth Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.369.5609 | Mexican | Menu

Scampo – The stunning 1st floor restaurant in Beacon Hill’s Liberty Hotel. Grab a drink at Clink beforehand, and catch a fashion show afterwards!
215 Charles Street | Boston, MA 02114 | 617.536.2100 | Italian/Mediterranean | Menu

Carmen – This intimate candle-lit North End restaurant’s atmosphere is perfect for romance, and be a sure hit for any girl on Valentine’s Day!
33 North Square | Boston, MA 02113 | 617.742.6421 | Italian | Menu

COMFORTABLE & CHARMING

Max & Dylan’s – A hip and trendy restaurant in Boston’s Downtown Crossing with a surprisingly sexy flair. The mac & cheese menu is to die for!
15 West Street | Boston, MA 02111 | 617.423.3600 | Comfort Food | Menu

75 Chestnut –  A great neighborhood restaurant with a cheese & cracker tower upon arrival. Even if this isn’t your V-day choice, I highly recommend it for brunch or another special event!
75 Chestnut Street | Boston, MA 02108 | 617.227.2175 | American | Menu

City Table – My local fave and an absolute recommendation! Seasonable (& affordable) organic menu that’s always changing, and always delicious!
65 Exeter Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.933.4800 | American| Menu

Let me know what other suggestions you have for Valentine’s Day, or just a fun dinner date! Make your Boston Valentine’s Day Reservation!

After all these recommendations, I do have to admit that it’s sometimes better to have a nice, home-cooked meal in than spend Valentine’s Day out. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE going out to dinner and my boyfriend is probably calling me a hypocrite at this very moment. But if you feel like staying in, this works too:)

Heart Pizza

The Bachelor is Back!

8 Jan

Sean LoweThe Bachelor/Bachelorette season premieres are always my favorite nights of tv. I become way too involved believing these relationships are real despite the fact that their dates take place on exotic beaches accompanied with fireworks, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and the couples are madly in love after only knowing each other for a few months. Still, I was convinced that Emily and Jef were perfect for each other. I don’t even think Ricki is as devastated as I am. I digress. Let’s talk about what looks like the most dramatic season yet.

Sean is handsome, has a body like a God, is close with his family, loves children, and talks about how he cannot wait to get married. Perfect much? Let’s start with some superlatives:

First impression, and most likely to make it to the finale: AshLee F. 
And she has one of my dream jobs, a personal organizer.

AshLee


Most Normal:
 Desiree
And she has my other dream job, bridal stylist.

Desiree


Best Eyes:
Jackie
I think she’s stunning.

Jackie


Best Legs (and my personal fave):
Kacie B.
She was previously on Ben’s season, and is back because she has a crush on Sean. This created major tension in the house, but how can you not love her!

Kacie B.


Biggest Hot Mess: Ashley P.
Although she left on a hilarious note, after acting out 50 Shades of Gray.
“I’m sorry Mom.”

Ashley P.


Most Surprising Send Home:
Paige
She’s cute and seems normal, and you’d think ABC would keep her around.

Paige


Fan-Favorite: Sarah
She’s strong and adorable and I’m rooting for her! Sean is a good guy and I hope they hit it off.

Sarah


Biggest Surprise: Tierra

First time a rose has been given out before the cocktail hour! I did not like  however what I saw of Tierra in the previews. Bitch?!

Tierra


Most Awkward Introduction:
Lindsay
She looks cute and normal, but came out  of the limo wearing a wedding dress. Ok, that’s different and memorable. But then she tried to kiss Sean twice (rejected), and got so drunk my body ached with awkwardness.

Lindsay


Most Unlikely to Make it Through the Next Round: 
Brooke
My apologies.

Brooke

Can’t wait to watch this season of The Bachelor with you!

Obsessed with Jemily

4 Sep

I’m clearly addicted to The Bachelor, Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad.

I know there’s been a lot of gossip surrounding Jef & Emily (cheating! sexting! affair!), however I am rooting for them. Although only two couples are still together, Trista & Ryan and Ashley & JP (sorry Jason & Molly, you don’t count), I believe 3rd time’s the charm!

I mean… how can you not be obsessed?

Come on Jef, Emily and Ricky, let’s prove America wrong!

The Choice…

4 May

…not to be confused with “The Voice,” although a very similar concept.

Fox unveiled a new dating reality show, which will feature four male celebrities (yet to be revealed), looking for love.  They will choose their potential date without seeing them first.  When they pull on their “love handle,” their chair will spin around.  If more than one celeb pulls the lever, they must compete for the woman in a speed-dating round!  This, sounds amazing.

Just when we think we’ve seen it all… The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, Rock of Love, Flavor of Love, The 5th Wheel, Dating in the Dark, Outback Jack, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, and my two all time favorites, Temptation Island and Singled Out.  See a full list of dating reality TV shows.  What will they think of next?

This show intrigues me, because-

  • We get to watch a dating reality TV show and we get to look at single, attractive celebrities (my apologies, Bret Michaels and Flava Flav).
  • I am skeptical about relationships between celebrities and normal people.
  • Physical attraction is usually the initial spark between 2 people.  I’m not shallow, this is true.

I’m not sure how A list the celebrities will be, but these men get my vote.


I love a good love story, but I also love a good reality TV show.  The Choice premieres on Thursday, June 7th at 9 pm.

Dinner With Cupid

21 Mar

Dinner with Cupid is a column in the Boston Globe that matches two singles on a blind date.  You must fill out a lengthy questionnaire to help the Globe find you a good right match.  The date is paid for by the Globe and if you’re chosen, all you’re told is where and when to meet, and the name of your date.  Then when the date is over, you’re required to fill out a survey and give your date… a letter grade!  The Globe then publishes the date reviews in their column, pictures included.

I’m writing about this because our intern Sam, went on a Dinner With Cupid (Andrew) last night.  They met at Mamma Maria in the North End.  I walked Sam to the restaurant and knew she was nervous, but she had such a good attitude about the whole night- best case scenario, they’d hit it off.  Worse case scenario, it’d make for a hilarious story.

As common as meeting a date online is these days, or being set up on a blind date, there’s always a big chance that it won’t go well.  Would we hit it off?  Would he get my sense of humor?  Will we have enough to talk about?  Would he be a total weirdo?

Luckily, the date went well.  I know this because I talked to Sam, but also read her “exit interview,”  details everyone else will be able to read in the Globe’s column.  A few of Sam’s thoughts on the date:

Q: When you got to the restaurant, how did you know who your date was?
A: When I got to the restaurant I told the host the details of my reservation. He led me upstairs to Andrew, who then introduced himself and gave me a hug.

Q: What was your first impression of your date physically?
A: He was tall, dark and handsome, with a really warm smile and pretty eyes.

Q: What did you talk about before ordering drinks?
A:   I immediately explained why I was carrying two giant bags, because I probably looked like a bag lady- I had just walked from work and I had my morning gym bag with me. We talked about where we went to school, when we graduated, where we live, where we are from and if it was too tacky to order American beer at a really nice Italian restaurant, which we decided it wasn’t.

Q: What did the two of you have in common?
A: What stuck out the most was our shared interest in food, cooking, bands and a mutual dislike for people who are too dependent on technology.  We also talked about why we filled out Dinner with Cupid applications.

Q: Was there a point when you wanted to leave? Why?
A: Only at the end of the dinner when I realized it was later that I had expected and I still needed to get back home.  A good sign!

Q: How did the date end?
A: Andrew walked me to Government Center, we talked about how we enjoyed our evening and I told him that I’d quote him for saying we should go out again sometime.

Sam’s date grade for Andrew?   

For Andrew’s date grade of Sam, stay tuned for the write-up in the Boston Globe!  You might also find it first on twitter @DinnerwithCupid, or on Dinner With Cupid’s blog.

I Love You.

24 Feb

Those are the 3 magic words every girl longs to hear. 

Research shows that saying “I love you” in under 3 months is too soon- you’re in lust, you don’t really know each other.  Research also shows that waiting longer than a year is too long- he has commitment issues, he’s not sure you’re the one.  On average, it takes a guy 7 months to say “I love you.”

But the fact is, every relationship is different.  Some are more fast-paced than others.  Some are slower-moving.  For some, it’s love at first sight.  For others, true love takes time to develop.  There’s no standard timeline that works for everyone, only you “know when you know.”

Which brings me to my next point.  Most (every?) girl can’t wait for the day when she’s told “I love you.”  But now that we’re in the 21st century, is it still assumed that the guy needs to say it first?  Is it just an old-fashioned tradition or is that the way it should be? I know plenty of girls (myself included) who have said the “L” word first.  And let’s face it… women tend to mature faster than men, tend to be more in touch with their emotions than men, and are more vocal about their feelings than men.  I have a blog about love for gosh sakes.

That’s not to say men aren’t in touch with their feelings, or aren’t thoughtful when they say “I love you” for the first time.  They think about it a lot more than we give them credit for.  I’d like to share a very creative way those 3 magic words were said for the first time.  This video is from one of my dear friends, let’s call her “Minnie.”  It’s a flip-book that her boyfriend made her for Valentine’s day.  Minnie is one lucky lady.  Take a look.

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