V-Day Gifts You’ll Truly Be Crate-ful For

For anyone, who hasn’t been keeping tabs on what month it is lately (ahem…looking at you, man-apes of the world!), Valentine’s Day is exactly T-120 hours away.

Now, ladies, we love our men.  Which basically means that we try our darnedest to tolerate their endearingly clueless behavior. 9 times out of 10, we succeed. But, when they won’t even flip the hooray-my-brain-actually-does-work switch in time for V-Day…well, we can’t overlook EVERYTHING!

Nope. Sometimes, a girl’s just gotta take control.

And relieve her cave-dweller significant other of all Valentine’s Day gift giving decisions.

So, instead of practicing our most believable “fake smiles” in preparation for yet another generic box of chocolates or roses, how ’bout we offer this male sub-species a crash course in LOVE 101?

That’s where Man Crates can help. This creative new company not only commiserates with our Woman vs. Blissfully Ignorant Man plight, it also has the solution — customized “date crates” filled with trimmings for a romantic evening, which will guarantee lifelong V-Day memories without any *certain somebodys* muddling things up.

And, on the off-chance any guys out there feel like planning a “Night of Amore” for yours truly, here’s what I expect inside a Man Crate…

(Just kidding, I’m taken. And my man is one exception to this “Romantically Challenged” stereotype. In fact, he’s more mushy-gushy than I am. WAY more. Like, why am I even writing this? I’m kinda set!)

But, seriously, I still do have expectations. So, my Man Crate better include the following:

1. Chick Flicks. We’re talking Legally Blonde. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. She’s the Man. Because nothing says “I care about indulging your ‘happily-ever-after’ fantasy” like suffering through a girly movie marathon.

2. Scented Lotion. Rub those vanilla bean-smelling hands together, fellas, and massage your lady to her heart’s content. Which means forever, by the way. She’ll never let you stop. But you’re cool with that, right? Right?!

3. Take-Out Menus. Whether it’s pad Thai, loaded nachos or extra-cheese pizza, sometimes a girl craves her favorite “cheat meal.” So, when her guy is all “Yeah, baby. You go right ahead and pig out,” THAT’s devotion.

4. Monopoly. It’s my fave game across-the-board (see what I did there?!). I’m also guaranteed to win. If this bruises your ego — oopsies! A real man accepts defeat. Just play Monopoly with me. Consider it quality time.

5.  A Wine Bottle.  The most memorable, intimate moments between me and my boyfriend involve downing moscato and tipsily inventing inside jokes. Many of which we still laugh about. Yup, wine makes everything better, people. #Truth.

So, in closing…

To my fellow females, I’ll leave you with this: Man Crates understands your struggle. They’ll transform a Romantically Challenged Neanderthal into a bona fide Prince Charming (plus, the crates only open with a crowbar, so…you know…at least he’ll be exerting a little effort!).

Answer the call. Grasp the lifeline. Struggle no more!

man crates

image courtesy of mancrates.comWha

*No males were intentionally belittled in the writing of this blog post. Advance apologies for that unfortunate possible side-effect.*

Give the Gift of Yoga!

Yoga is not only fabulous for spiritual serenity and physical flexibility, it’s also a proven couples’ bonding activity. Practicing yoga regularly with your significant other offers tons of benefits: a shared hobby, an inexpensive and out-of-the-ordinary date, an exercise in syncing with one another’s mind and body.

My boyfriend, Brandon, and I have recently started discovering yoga, which has given us even more common ground to talk about and participate in together whenever he visits.

Last week, our yoga journey conveniently coincided with our 1 year anniversary, so I wanted to incorporate this newfound interest into my gift for him. After some extensive deliberation, I came up with the following DIY project: a personalized yoga workout that corresponds to standout moments from our past year of dating, decoratively written on a yoga mat.

Brandon loved the finished product (because…well, he’s easy to please…but seriously, this mat was adorable!), and he’s actually finding it functional too. Mission accomplished.

So, next time you and your S.O. celebrate a major relationship milestone, instead of the stereotypical roses or another been-done-before sentiment, give something totally unique and embark on a new pastime together.

  •  What You’ll Need:
  1. 1 standard size solid colored Yoga Mat (approx. 72″ x 24″)
  2. 1 package multi-colored Puffy Pain Pens*
  3. ready access to your Romantic Side!

*I used Scribbles brand neon Puffy Paint. Find it here or visit any art supply dealer, such as Michaels.

  • Time To Make It:
  1. Roll the yoga mat out on a flat and sturdy work surface.
  2. Using the puffy paint, write a personal message across the top of the yoga mat.
  3. Think of approximately 10 intimate aspects of your relationship (they can range anywhere from silly to sentimental – see my list of brainstorming suggestions below).
  4. Assign a yoga pose to each of these 10 relationship-isms (based on your partner’s yoga skill level, they can be either basic or challenging – I went with basic since my boy is still new to the practice).
  5. Using the puffy paint again, write the first 5 relationship-isms and corresponding poses on 1 side of the yoga mat (i.e. “For every time we _____, do a _____ pose for 30 seconds”).
  6. Allow the paint on this side of the yoga mat to dry completely for 2-4 hours.
  7. Flip the yoga mat over onto its other side and write the remaining 5 relationship-isms and corresponding poses, using the same format.
  8. Allow the paint on this side of the yoga mat to dry completely for 2-4 hours.
  9. Tightly roll the yoga mat back up, then secure it with a ribbon.
  • Ideas To Get the Creative Juices Flowing:
  1. Do you and your partner have a special song?
  2. Do you and your partner enjoy certain activities together?
  3. Do you and your partner have a favorite date spot?
  4. Do you and your partner watch any TV shows together?
  5. Do you and your partner share any inside jokes?
  6. Do you and your partner make fun of each other’s quirks?
  7. Do you and your partner show each other new things?
  8. Do you and your partner swap childhood stories?
  9. Do you and your partner have any “couple” traditions?
  10. Do you and your partner end up on misadventures together?

 And, for your viewing pleasure, here’s what my creation looked like upon its completion (plus, Brandon showing off his moves…eat those hearts out, ladies!):

yoga mat 1

yoga mat 2

yoga mat 3

yoga mat 4

yoga mat 5

The Couple that Sweats Together Stays Together (No Innuendo Intended…!)

After a brief hiatus from posting (thanks to a long-overdue reunion with my boyfriend in the Southern-fried city of Atlanta), the blog is officially up-and-running once again.

I know…I know…

*insert dramatic sigh of relief here*

And just in case you’re a teeny bit curious as to what I’ve been up to this past week…yours truly was kickin’ it back with this handsome devil:

me and Brandon

(The girl’s not so terrible-looking either. Cough. Cough.)

Yeah, okay. So…Blogosphere, meet Brandon. Brandon, meet Blogosphere.

This photo was taken at a wedding reception following the recent Parisian nuptials of Brandon’s older sister. (And the Pinot Grigio I’m pictured with was my one-and-only glass of wine throughout the whole evening).

*insert round of applause here*

But what does this little recap of my ATL trip have to do with Health and Fitness (the 2 pillars of “Health Be a Hippie”‘s entire existence)?

Touche, my friends. That’s a fair question.

Well, Brandon and I are quite the active couple, if we do say so ourselves. Whenever we visit each other, the days are typically spent in motion. Our favorite bonding activity is exploring various surroundings via the old “2 feet” method. It gives us an opportunity to catch up on life during our time apart, as well as keeps our bodies moving for literally hours on-end.

Walking with Brandon through Piedmont Park (Atlanta’s version of Central Park) yesterday, I started thinking about some other physical activities couples could do together, rather than that cliche dinner-and-a-movie date, which – of course – we’ve all experienced but probably wouldn’t care to repeat.

Here’s what I came up with. Feel free to comment with any ideas that you and your significant other have put to the test!

  1. Rock Climbing: Many cities have indoor wall climbing gyms, complete with guided tutorials on how to get started. So, harness up beside your “honey” and compete to see who can reach the ceiling first. Check out Groupon or Living Social for some discounted rates on rock climbing in your area.
  2. Biking: Wipe the garage dust off those “2-wheelers” and take them for a spin around your neighborhood, through the park, by the waterfront, or even on a trail ride. There’s nothing quite like pedaling into the wind and taking in some scenery with that special someone whizzing along next to you.
  3. Hiking: If it’s been too long since either you or your “sweetie-pie” have sported some stylin’ Timberland boots (#NoShame), hit the elements for a rugged tree-lined expedition. Take your camera along, in case a woodsy couple’s photo-op presents itself, and rediscover nature while hand-in-hand.
  4. Tandem Yoga: Check into whether your local yoga studio offers partner classes, then roll out the mats and get your “namaste” on. This practice will improve strength, balance, flexibility, and body exploration. So, get to know your S.O.’s curves and dips by moving through a yoga flow together.
  5. Paddle Boarding: For those, who – like me – live near the surf, book a couple’s SUP (stand-up paddle board) adventure. A tour guide will lead you lovebirds through mangrove brushes and open water. Check out Groupon or Living Social for discounted rates on paddle boarding in your area.

paddleboarding   paddleboarding 2

Brandon and I became skilled in the discipline of SUP when he visited me in Florida last week. And I’m thrilled to report that – despite a painful history of tripping over my own feet – I managed to stay upright. But…by the time we finished, my upper arms looked more like wet noodles than the glisteningly-toned biceps I’d been hoping for. (Right. I’m such a badass!)