October 24, 2016

This weekend was filled with fun and delicious food. My mom came down to see me Friday night, and I wanted to take her to 11th and Bay Southern Table. It’s a restaurant right next to the river and it has an awesome atmosphere. The meals are a little pricey, but we split our meal, so it ended up not being so bad. I don’t know if you heard or not, but Cole Swindell was in Phenix City, AL on Friday night. He was right across the river, so my mom and I walked down a took in the last little bit of his show. Didn’t even have to purchase tickets!

Before dinner we had quite a wait, so we went outside with our drinks and took in the cooler temps and amazing lounge area. Perfect for people watching and listening to the guy playing the tambourine and singing albeit painfully.

My mom and I love to take silly photos and I must have said something funny here...That’s so like me. 

After a late night, we slept in and went to brunch at First Watch. I haven’t tried it since it was the Egg and I, so I thought we’d give it a shot. My breakfast was below. It’s called the Tri-athelete. Its an egg-white omelet with mushrooms, onions, and peppers, served with fresh pico de gallo, fruit, and brioche toast with preserves. It was YUM!

Sunday is my day to relax, get household chores done, and work on some homework that is due. Before I got started I made me a hearty serving of french toast. I opened the windows, let the fresh air in, and enjoyed my breakfast. Of course, there was coffee (not pictured).

So, how was your weekend? Anything fun happen?


October 21, 2016

So, you want to know more about online dating, huh? View this video below to learn more about one of the most popular dating apps, Tinder.

So, as you can gather, even celebrities like Chelsea Handler use Tinder. Who knew? First of all, before we move forward, why would Chelsea of all people need Tinder? She is rich, funny, very pretty, and successful. Let’s just say if she is on Tinder, it can’t be all that bad, right?

Let me be clear. I do not condone one night stands. What I am referring to, is online dating for the intention to create a relationship. Now, if it never happens for me, that is fine. I have done my part. If online dating apps are what you use to get a little somethin’ somethin’, then this post will probably bore the pants off of you. Pun intended (winky face).

Online dating sites such as Match, eHarmony, OKCupid, and others are there for a purpose - to connect you with others. How meaningful that connection is, is up to you, and that other person. Here are some statistics that were provided on a website called, Reviews.com. This website reviewed and researched several online dating sites, including Match, eHarmony, and OKCupid. If you want to learn more go to, http://www.reviews.com/online-dating-sites/.

1. eHarmony is the most expensive online dating subscription at $40 per month.
2. Match.com and eHarmony have very close success rates in creating long-term relationships or marriages. eHarmony beat Match by 0.7 of a percentage point.
3. When it comes to algorithms and successful matches, OKCupid was rated the best. There were more connections made such as matches and more meaningful connections made using the message portion of the site.
4. There are three categories of messages - Good, Bad, and Mediocre. The percentage of good messages over bad were better on sites such as OKCupid and Match. The remainder of messages were mediocre, non-specific, and seemed to originate from spam or bots.
5. There are significant differences in the types of connections made on dating sites versus dating apps. Dating apps tend to be free, cultivate a “hookup culture”, and generally put men in the drivers seat. Apps such as Bumble, Coffee and Bagel, and Hinge are working to reverse that culture, and Hinge is considering starting a paid subscription for serious daters only.

So, here is some background info.

Good, Bad, and Mediocre Messages (from www.reviews.com/online-dating-sites/.

Bad Messages:
  • Spam or scam
  • Harassing or threatening
  • Obscene
  • Extremely short, “Hi beautiful”
  • Generic copy & paste: “I found your profile interesting”
  • A neg: “I like your big nose”
  • From someone who acknowledges their out of your age range, but decides to message you anyway
  • Passive-aggressive or guilt trip: “I know you probably won’t respond, but I had to message you anyway”
  • Obviously from a bot because it’s so generic and comes from a sparse profile
Mediocre Messages: 
  • Suggestive, but not outright obscene
  • Only talks about your physical appearance
  • Impersonal, but only starts conversations with “Any plans for the weekend?”
  • An attempt to be personal, but falls flat: “I see you like playing scrabble. I like mountain biking.”
Good Messages:
  • Highlights something you both have in common
  • Respectful
  • Asks about something specific about your profile
  • Talks about things that are specific to your profile, but doesn’t only talk about physical appearance
  • No glaring spelling or grammar errors
  • Funny
When it comes to dating sites, here are the main factors: 
  • Usability of the site. Is it easy to use, or too buggy (referring to site bugs)? 
  • Cost isn’t everything, but price point does matter.  Is the paid subscription costly, or does it match what you can contribute on a month-by-month, or multi-monthly basis?
  • Intuitiveness of the site. Does the site understand what you’re looking for? Is it realistic to use?
When it comes to online dating, you want the site to work for you, but there is work associated with online dating as well. For example, the more messages, likes, winks, or specific connections you make with others, the more successful your experience will be. Match encourages users to send an average of 4 messages per day. Granted, they all must be good messages (see above), they need to be with other users whom you have things in common with, and you need to be sure that you are sending messages to a paid subscriber. If the user him or herself claims up front that they are not a paid subscriber, I wouldn’t even waste your breath, or your fingers typing on your keyboard.

I think for the most part, online dating can be useful, and it has been shown to be successful. Time will tell about how successful those marriages are, after all, marriages are meant to last till death to us part. I know several couples who met online, and one recently married who actually met on Tinder. Go figure? 

If you are in the market to try online dating, I suggest doing your research, find what works and doesn’t work, and don’t be afraid to take some risks. Every site comes with it’s own risk, successes, and failures. 

Here are some tips to stay safe, but also to enjoy your online dating experience!
  • Never give out your home address, work address, or specific contact information while messaging another user. 
  • Never give financial information to another user. 
  • If another user asks for money, immediately stop communicating and block this person from contacting you. 
  • Do not respond to message that seem vague or spammy.
  • Do not meet with the other user in a secluded, personal, or private place. Always arrange to meet in a public place. 
  • While exchanging your personal phone number is a next step after messaging another user for a while, you can use the paid phone subscription service on the dating site, or you can create a burner number that can be disconnected if things don’t work out. I suggest an app that creates a phone number for you, but isn’t your actual number.
  • Do not respond to messages that are vulgar, offensive, or obscene. Chances are, they are a creep, or are spam. No need to waste your time.
  • If another user makes you feel uncomfortable or attempts to contact you after being told you are not interested, block the user or report the user to the site administrative staff. 
I hope this information and these tips are helpful. Online dating can be very rewarding, as long as you use your head. Again, for more information and reviews, visit www.reviews.com/online-dating-sites/. 

Thank you to Reviews.com for reaching out and providing the information above. 


October 19, 2016

I love the coziness of Fall. Each night it has started to get darker earlier, which means, daylight savings time is about to end. I find myself drawn to watching more movies in the Fall and Winter months, and I have some favorites I wanted to share with you. So, get your blanket, popcorn, and your favorite soda or wine, and join me in watching some awesome movies!

1. You’ve Got Mail
My favorite quote from this movie-
“Don’t you just love New York in the Fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has it’s charms”.
Don’t you just love that?! By the way, for a blast from the past, head on over to www.youvegotmail.warnerbros.com. You will feel like you have been sent straight back to the 90s. Dial up tone and all!

2. The Big Short (available on Netflix)
I saw this movie pop up over and over again on my Netflix, so I decided to watch. It has two of my favorite people in it, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carrell (the pair also worked on Crazy Stupid Love together). It’s a little over 2 hours long, but it’s a great, intense, comedic, yet true story set during the housing market crash of 2008. The jargon may be a little over your head (it was mine), but luckily, they have bits of the movie where a famous actor/actress explains the complicated terms. I was in college during the housing market crash, so I wasn’t completely exposed. I didn’t quite understand what caused it, but now it makes much more sense. I just hope America has learned it’s lesson.

3. IRIS (available on Netflix)
I did not know who Iris Apfel was until I watched this movie, then I recalled several times that I saw her on different ads. She is quite the character and her fashion sense is both unique, if not stunning at times. She basically has made fashion and collecting her empire. Great documentary if you are into fashion.

4. Amanda Knox (available on Netflix)
Another title that can be found on Netflix. Amanda Knox was accused of murdering her British roommate while living abroad in Italy. Amanda endured four trials, while the Italian police did all they could to pin the murder on her. Do I think she’s guilty? I don’t know, but you can definitely see the faults of the Italian police and to what lengths they went to make her “appear” guilty. Amanda is different, if not strange. Her demeanor can be off-putting, but I don’t think that makes her a murderer. All in all, a very interesting documentary.

5. Audrie & Daisy (available on Netflix)
This movie was extremely eye-opening. I could honestly feel myself wanting to scream at the TV. Two teenage girls are found in a compromising situation and have fallen victim to sexual assault. These girls explain their experience and the effects it had on their family and community. I was honestly beyond frustrated. On the one hand, you have two teenage girls who were doing things at 14 they should not have been doing, but on the other hand, that is no excuse for the boys to sexual assault them. My motherly instincts came out on this one, and I am not even a mother yet.

I hope you find these movies as interesting and delightful as I do!