All Articles Tagged "dinner"
First dates, or dates in general, can be nerve wrecking, anxious, and exciting all at the same time. For many of us, we are going out with a guy we are actually interested in and want to make a good impression. For the rest, maybe it’s just for a free meal. Either way, there are always a lot of things to think about before you go out on with someone. Like these 14 things.
A few months ago I asked, “Why Do Mediocre Men Have Such High Standards?” I was somewhat reminded of this as I caught the second episode of “Tiny Tonight” on VH1. An audience member asked Claudia Jordan and Trina what an ideal first date would be. More interested in cool conversation and a good time, Claudia responded, “I’m pretty much a simple girl. Like, I don’t need all the extravagant things. I kind of want to get to know the person, so a lot of talking. I like going to dinner. I’d even cook dinner for the man; I think that’s kind of fun. We can go bowling. I can see how you react when you lose or when you win. Are you a good sport? And I just like to keep it light and fun, especially for the first date. You don’t really want a lot of pressure.”
Claudia’s co-hostess and rapper Trina, on the other hand, wasn’t as modest with her demands: “I’m more of like a sweep me off my feet type of girl. I just feel like, put me on a private jet; fly me away for a little while. Let’s have dinner, let’s have romantic one-on-one time on a little island, a beach, some sand never hurt anybody. I’m spoiled, like rotten, so I need all of the attention—not some of it.”
Read the rest of this post on HelloBeautiful.com.
Looking for a little more to add to your holiday plans besides the normal tree trimming, stocking stuffing, and gift giving festivities? With a little planning and a just few dollars, you can experience the holidays in many different ways.
So, put away your wallet, pull out your planner, and gather your friends and family, because with these nine cost-effective holiday plans, you’ll be celebrating the season without breaking the bank.
Potluck Dinner/Cocktail Party
Nothing says the holidays more than the extra pounds you gain from eating grandma’s favorite Christmas sides. Spare grandma the extra man hours of cooking for the entire family. Gather her and a few friends for a Christmas potluck-style dinner and cocktail party. Not only is a potluck gathering cost-effective for everyone, but it brings a little variety (and maybe even a little competition!) to the dinner table.
Ask guests to cook their best dish (make sure no one doubles up) and have one designated person to serve as bartender. Grandma would be more than happy about saving her time and money this year!
I am truly surprised by the number of men who are interested in engaging women romantically without actually going through the bother of dating them. This confuses me. To whom may I speak to determine when exactly this became appropriate? I’m not sure how or why men have been able to slide right past the dating/courtship phase into express boo status, but it behooves me to inform all who care to listen that you certainly cannot date me without first dating me. That’s right, there will be no exclusivity, giving of titles, nor partaking in any activities that lovers do without real tangible dates. No. Exceptions.
Let me provide some context. While I absolutely adore my chick clique, I really enjoy forging friendships with men. I like to keep a tight circle of both male and female companions with whom I can both enjoy life and commiserate over its disappointments. Unlike most men, not every relationship I start with the opposite sex begins with the notion that I am attracted to a man and want to “see what’s up.” The vast majority of the time, I’m simply thinking he seems cool, I’d like to hang out, might be fun—very similarly to when I meet a woman who seems interesting. I will say though that there are times when friendship is absolutely what I’m pursuing but I’m also slightly open to the possibility of something romantic.
When the latter is true, and I haven’t quite decided whether I’m more interested in a platonic or romantic endeavor, what a guy says and does is essential. Listen, if we agree to meet for coffee and a guy doesn’t attempt to pay, if he doesn’t call or text in a manner that leaves no doubt that he wants me to consider him an option, and if he doesn’t actually make plans to see me or find ways to be in my presence, I assume he wants to be a friend…not a romantic interest. There is therefore no more thought on my part about whether he might be an interesting romantic option; I follow his lead and place him in the friend zone.
Just like there are things that a woman can do that men often interpret as indicators that she is not giving them a green light and that she instead wants to make them her new BFF, there are things that a man can do that communicate the same thing to women.
Can we all agree that there are just things that men do when they are truly interested in women? When a man wants a woman, he doesn’t want to do the things that friends do; he makes it crystal clear that he wants to be her man. When a woman manages to disrupt the cool of a man and capture his attention, he wants to SEE hear; he wants to HEAR her voice; he wants to IMPRESS her and he will gladly spend both his time and money. If a man sends random text messages but doesn’t call, if he doesn’t make plans, if he lets a woman pay their first time out, she should assume that he wants to be friends—because that’s not what men who don’t want to be friends do, in my experience at least.
Men, realize that if you are interested in a woman at any level and are doing any of the above, you are sending out friend vibes. If you don’t want to be friends, stop this now. And women, if there is a man that you are interested in who is doing any of the above, friend zone him immediately!
There’s this come over and chill pandemic that is sweeping the nation. Somehow men are finding a way to finagle this scenario into faux romances, and sometimes full-blown relationships…and women are letting them. This must stop. I’ll come over and chill with you, no doubt. Sometimes I just want to lay back and watch the game, but if you are just getting to know me and all you want to do is chill…you’re the homie, not an option. If you’ve been doing all the things that pals do and none of the things that men who want to be set apart from the masses do, your actions cement you in the “friend” zone and keep you from advancing to “put me in, coach” territory.
I have literally shaken my head at my “friends,” who after doing nothing but friendly things start to look at me romantically, increase the length of their hugs, want to cuddle when we’re chilling, inquire about the men I’m dating, and send me late night messages about how I should “swing through.” Nah son. I don’t do those things with my friends and in order to be more than my friend, you’ve got to properly date me.
You can’t just fall into relationship. It’s been my experience that women fare much better in relationships when the man of the relationship is slightly more into the woman than she is into him. And, men seem to be all around more excited about women that they had to actually expend effort to win over. It’s just wise for women to require men to actually take the time to date them before settling into relationship. Sheez, in the words of Kanye “make it more harder, make [him] put some work in.”
This moving folks from the friend lane directly to HOV boo express lanes without properly traversing those lanes of traffic that separate the two is bound to cause accidents. I cannot support.
What say you? Where do you stand on the issue?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
It’s coming close to quitting time and the thought crosses your mind, “What am I going to have for dinner?” I’m in New York and I couldn’t cook my way out of a brown paper bag. So the temptation is always there to stop on the way home and pick up some take out. But we’ve all been told a bajillion times that eating out every day is expensive. Or is it? Yeah, it is.
The Fiscal Times (via Business Insider) takes a look at the daily decision to either eat at home or take out your supper. They note that people are spending 4.5 percent on eating out. And, it says, supermarket food prices are going up six percent each year, a faster rate than restaurant meals.
When they break down, for instance, the cost of beef and broccoli with white rice from PF Chang’s ($12.75) vs. the cost of making the dish at home ($13.04), PF Chang’s is declared the winner. The article notes that their analysis is “highly unscientific,” but even with that there are a ton of caveats that skew the result.
The Fiscal Times writer is also located in New York, where the cost of living is high. Moreover, the article says, ” [W]e didn’t go hunting for the best grocery deals and didn’t factor in whether one meal or another would be healthier or friendlier to the environment.” Those factors are actually really important. These days, everyone is looking for a deal. In fact, in many homes, meals are dictated by a food budget. So if you’re not taking price into consideration, the whole experiment is probably null and void.
With obesity levels at all-time highs, we have to take fat content into account. And if you’re eating a lot of food that isn’t good for you, the savings from purchasing the take out meal are offset by the healthcare cost from the high blood pressure and other illnesses that result. And if we destroy the planet with our eco-unfriendly meals, we won’t have a place to sit and eat them, so we might want to keep that in mind.
The at-home meals were also calculated using Fresh Direct, which isn’t necessarily the most expensive grocery market out there, but, based on my experience, it can be a little more expensive than your neighborhood market. In addition, some of the items were organic, which is pricier.
So we took a very quick and unscientific look at Key Food online to tally the cost of making the PF Chang’s dish (as an example). The article uses three ingredients: flank steak, white rice and broccoli. At a local Key Food, you can get a pound of flank steak for $8.99, some Foxy broccoli for $1.50 and a bag of white rice for $5.99. Total: $16.48 before any taxes or anything. That’s nearly $4 more than PF Chang’s. But, the article didn’t take the cost of feeding more than one person at the restaurant into account. Our meal could feed a small family, with rice to spare. If you’re single, you’ve got leftovers.
So feed two people at PF Chang’s and it’s $25.50 without tax or tip. If you add $13.28 to your Key Food grocery bill, you can have another pound of steak and even add some Asian sauce for flavor. The total is $29.76, just about what you would pay at the restaurant. Same total, but more food. And it’ll have less salt and fat. Plus, you don’t use the extra gas to get to and from the restaurant.
Of course, it’s not just the dollars and cents of making a meal at home. The Fiscal Times article also notes the time expenditure for shopping and preparing food into account. We’ll propose that preparing a quick meal a few times a week should be a part of your schedule, just as household chores, going to the gym and other tasks are. The key here is to recognize the importance of making your meal at home and the broader expense or savings of doing so. When something is important, you make time for it.
Hey loves! If you celebrate it, I’m sure you all are enjoying your Mother’s Day with friends and family! The celebs got into quite a few things over the course of the last week and these are just a couple you might have missed. They never cease to leave us hanging for idle chitchat!
By Angele D. Russell
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, the course of events for Valentine’s Day usually follows the same routine: flowers, candy, stuffed animals, jewelry, and dinner at a crowded restaurant with little or no romance. We’re all guilty of it; we have the best intentions to do something new and exciting but fall into the same rut, year after year, and spend way more money than we need to. Well, this year, say “goodbye” to routines and check out 8 unique ways to thoughtfully show your loved one, or yourself, how much you care without breaking the bank!
1. Set A Dollar Limit for Gifts
Who decided gifts on Valentine’s Day had to be expensive? Does the amount of money you spend really dictate the level of affection you have for a person? Definitely not! The best gifts are the most thoughtful ones and what better way to stretch your creative muscles than to set a dollar limit around $25! You’d be amazed at what you come up with and the laughs that will follow.
Last year I wrote a post on my personal blog called dating for marriage or martinis about how one of my friends always encourages me to go out with guys I’m not really interested in for the sake of free food and drinks. For me, the tradeoff never seemed worth it. I’d rather come out of my own pocket and enjoy my own company than sit across from a man I have no desire to be with as he tries to impress me for two to three hours.
The first time I tried that, I ended up having to go dutch with this fool who started freestlying at the table while we ate. (It was truly like the scene in “Daddy’s Little Girls.”) The second time I called up a man I knew would foot the bill but I ended up feeling guilty the entire night for killing this man’s budget on cocktails when I was only there because the person I was originally supposed to go out with stood me up.
The Business Insider recently ran a story on a woman struggling to make ends meet in NYC on a $45k salary who started dating men on match.com for free meals. Minerva McGonagall (name changed to protect the dishonest) ate out five nights a week with men she met on the site, sticking to one golden rule—no more than five dates with the same guy. By the Insider’s calculations, she racked up more than $1,200 a month in free food—going from spending $500 a month on dinners alone to having someone else drop an average of $60-plus per night on the golddigger outreach program they unknowingly were participating in. That amount more than covered the cost of her $50/month membership fee to the site.
When Minerva’s roommate got in on the idea, the two got professional with their approach. They made spreadsheets with names, photos, and profile details of each guy who took them out for drinks and/or dinner and set two ground rules: they would always let each other know where they were going for the night and never let guys pick them up at their apartment.
The backlash to the Insider’s story was so strong that the site had to disable comments and conceal the woman’s identity (her real name is Jessica Sporty). Jessica/Minerva eventually gave up her online dating hustle saying it was “exhausting”—which I’m sure is the only reason she came forward with her story, in addition to the fact that she got a boyfriend (he better watch out). Many commenters called Jessica’s behavior unethical because she misled the people on the site into thinking she was into them when she wasn’t, and I have to agree.
I don’t want to knock her hustle because, honestly, it’s a pretty good one. But the fact that Jessica was so calculating definitely crosses the line between going out with Andre because he asked you out and at least you’ll get a free meal out of it, and telling Sean you can’t go out with him because you’ve already gone out five times and he might actually want more when all you want is free food.
I also have an issue with the fact that this girl couldn’t survive in NYC on a $45K. Yes, New York is an expensive city, but I managed to survive on $30K with my own place when I got my first job here. Jessica couldn’t survive because she was paying $1,475 a month for an apartment in Murray Hill and she had a mountain of credit card debt. Plus who spends $500/month on dinner. Cook much? What this girl really needed to do was downgrade instead of golddig to get the extra $500-1,000 a month she said she needed “to survive.”
As for the rest of us who aren’t trying to live off of someone else’s earnings, it can be tempting to be wined and dined by a suitor you can’t really see yourself with just for the sake of visiting that sushi bar you really wanted to check out, or taking a break from takeout and I think that’s OK. But when it gets to the point that you’re supplementing your income by dating men, well, I think you have to call a spade a spade.
What do you think about Jessica’s online dating hustle? Have you ever gone out with men just for the perks like free food and drinks?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
How often are you sitting down with your family to eat dinner during the week? You know, Crooklyn style with all the rowdy kids gathered together, husband and even the dog set around the table chatting, eating, bonding (or arguing). Well, if you don’t do it often, today, September 26, is Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children. Why? Because by participating in today’s movement, sponsored by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, could persuade people to enjoy more family meals, and in some way, more family meals equal more of a chance to keep your children off of drugs.
I’m sure you’re wondering how. Well, it is said that by gathering up the gang, it’s a great opportunity to find out what’s going on in your children’s lives, and during that set time to dine together, your children are out of the street, away from the temptations of drugs and alcohol. In addition, these types of big family meals can benefit your whole family by improving their health with well-balanced home-cooked meals. I’m sure you know that when folks come home at different times and eat different things by themselves, they’re probably not trying to pair a salad with that McDonald’s burger they just picked up on the way home, and the last time they had potatoes was with that Popeye’s dinner weeks ago. Studies in the past have shown that eating with family can improve a child’s academic success, and keep them off of drugs, so this is a great idea, right?
Though I will say, I’m the youngest chap from a large family and we stopped eating dinner together before I went to high school. I wasn’t doing any drugs…And in American Beauty, that family was sitting down for dinner damn near every night and they were all still a hot mess. But let me stop being a Debbie Downer, because I do like the idea of this initiative because it gets people who in this tech-savvy world are so busy ripping and running, to sit down and actually talk. Will you take part and eat dinner with your family tonight? Let’s hope so!
Your body burns more calories per hour while you are active and moving around, which is likely to be in the morning and afternoon versus the evening. Therefore, you should save the higher calorie, heavy meals for breakfast and lunch. For dinner try light fare such as a salad or soup.