If it weren't for soccer I would have never discovered that Online Friday is the New Black Friday. For the past few years, my daughter has been invited to join and play in the Turkey tournament for her soccer league which conveniently takes place on Black Friday and the rest of the weekend. I admit the first year I was annoyed about missing black Friday great deals. It wasn't until halftime and my boredom took over with me pulling out my phone and checking the store hours at a particular retailer, that I discovered that one of my favorite stores had the exact same deals online as they did in-store without the hassle of traffic, lines, and rude people. The icing on the cake of free shipping and a better variety of sizes for clothes.
Although That year I did the rest of my Holiday shopping in the stores, the following year I decided to see just how much I could get away with by doing my Black Friday shopping online with other retailers. My daughter once again was invited to play in the turkey tournament and this time I was prepared. The possibilities were endless. There are even coupon sites like clothingric.com that you can get additional discounts and Black Friday deals. In fact, I rarely made a store appearance that holiday season. Many retailers such as Target will let you know what day you can order your items that will get to your doorstep or like my situation, on my eleven-year-old niece's doorstep in Bakersfield before the Holiday. Most of my family live in other cities and states and the fact that I will not have to ship gifts myself is another breath of fresh air with online shopping. Most retailers offer options for your items being shipped as gifts so that your purchase can go straight to the intended party.
Did I mention Cyber Monday? It's like having two black Fridays. I know many of us are skeptical about shopping online, I still personally have issues with purchasing clothing online for myself all the time! Would if it's not my size? Would if the material is different? Does it stretch? Does it have pockets? So many questions that cannot be answered when you buy online. All this may be true but there are so many retailers out there that have amazing return policies, some shops will allow you to return to the store in case you don't want to deal with the hassle of returning online. Most online retailers have size charts so you can make your decisions based on if a particular clothing item runs big or small if you are unfamiliar or they don't have a physical store.
One of the greatest things about the internet is that people tend to voice their opinions and experiences whether its good or bad. Online reviews definitely sway my decision making for online shopping. If the good outweighs the bad reviews, I will personally lean toward purchasing the item. But, if the bad outweighs the good reviews I more than likely steer clear. Sites like Amazon will allow customers to post pictures of the item you would like to purchase to assist with your decision making.
At some point in December, we have all said out loud or thought “I can't wait for the holidays to be over!”. For me, I say it in regards to the crowds and the traffic. Since utilizing online shopping, I have more joy and peace during the holidays. Don't get me wrong, I love the ambiance of the holidays. At times I love being out and about and want to physically do some shopping. Well, We can have both! Let's face it, as the holiday gets closer we are completely over the headache of shopping. I know so many people who are not open to the idea of shopping online but, We live in a digital age and online Black Friday shopping is just going to get more popular. Online shopping may be a bit frightening and even intimidating at times, but the option to minimize the frustration of finding parking at the mall, waiting in long lines, crowds, sitting in traffic and the headache of that store not having a size 8 long Levi jeans is something we can all live without.
Me being a single introvert can be problematic in so many ways in dating. When I first heard of Tender or hook up sites the first thoughts going through my mind wasn't “ew how can people hook up with strangers” or “wow, someone finally found a way to profit from one night stands”. In fact, my initial first thought was “Damn, these people are brave enough to put themselves out there to solely hook up.” One common misconception of us introverts is that we are shy, not outgoing, boring and dull, but for most of us, that's not the case. We enjoy the company of ourselves. Introvertdear.com defines us as “someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments” meaning we love to go to concerts but need to go home right after it’s over. It wasn't until my thirties when I couldn't figure out why I always loved the idea of going out and being around crowds but when it came down to it I actually enjoyed myself in a more intimate setting. Naturally, I dreaded going on dates. I hate the whole meeting up in a Public setting, getting to know one another, selling the personality thing. Although I'm still an introvert, there are certain ways I've learned to cope when it comes to being a single introvert and dating.
Stepping out of your comfort zone
I still face this issue to this very day. In order for me to go on dates or meet new people, I need to put myself out there if I want to meet someone. These days online dating is extremely beneficial for us introverts. If you feel more comfortable with the online dating thing, then start a profile and start messaging your interests. Just be prepared for the risks that come with online dating. If online dating isn't for you, then go to where the people are. Whether its church or gaming or work, as long as you are putting yourself out there.
Meeting in your comfort zone
As I previously mentioned, as a single introvert, I prefer intimate environments. I'm not saying bring them back to your place or you to there place. I'm talking about a chill coffee spot or a low key restaurant. Anywhere that makes you feel comfortable if the other party suggests a loud crowded environment, compromise. You may really like that person and may agree to meet in that uncomfortable environment but trust me it gets old really quick and all you can think about is going home. With a little research, there are plenty of places you can go on a date to, just don't take them to your favorite intimate spot.
Netflix and chill
Us introverts love our movies. so as a single introvert, when the whole “Netflix and chill” trend started, I was all over it until I realized “Netflix and chill” was code for Netflix and sex or just sex. Netflix and dinner are great options for dates. Start a show together that you can watch weekly so you two can get to know one another well within your comfort zone, at your home or their home.
Understand that you are not alone. There are so many people like you that can't deal with crowds for long periods of time. I personally refuse to go to Disneyland on a weekend or a day that touches a weekend. But dating someone is about compromise, and you may be dating someone that isn't an introvert. If you really like that person, and you both are having a great time at a street fair, but you are ready to go home and recharge, fake it for them. Don't expect everyone to understand how we introverts operate.
My big sister once told me, “you need to stop enjoying your alone time so much if you want to meet someone” I felt that in my soul. However you decide to approach dating as an introvert, do not be discouraged. Dating as a non-introverted person is hard, we are all in this together. I personally love being a single introvert. If you feel you are not ready to meet someone new or date, and like me, enjoy your alone time more than the company of others, whenever you come out of your cave to start dating, be ready to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Everyone has their product that they swear by, mine is Ancient Cosmetics Dry Double Butter. The older I become the more my skin changes and one of those changes includes dry skin. It definitely doesn’t help that I live in a dry climate like Southern California. My skin regiment includes exfoliating my skin every other day, followed by my Aveeno moisturizing face wash bar, and Aveeno body lotion right after. I have had this regiment since I was sixteen years old and with my sensitive skin, this regiment seemed to work. I am not that sixteen-year-old girl anymore. Recently I noticed that my regiment is leaving my skin drier than usual. I don’t like putting oily products on my skin so searching for another product has always been a challenge for me. I am very skeptical about new skincare products to use. Aveeno is great for sensitive skin but I needed something a bit stronger so I came across Ancient Cosmetics Dry Skin Double Butter.
The first few days after using this product was a noticeable difference. In addition to Aveeno, I used the Ancient Cosmetics Double Butter for my struggle areas for dry skin such as elbows, upper arms, feet, hands, and backside. This amazing body butter never leaves my skin feeling oily or like I have product residue on my skin. After a few hours of applying the Double Butter, my skin still feels soft and moisturized even after I wash my hands. If you don’t get into a nail shop for a pedicure like myself, this product is perfect for you during flip flop season. Every night I scrub the bottoms of my feet with a pumice stone in the shower, then apply lotion when I get out and my feet are usually dry and are visibly flaky before I leave my house, but with the Ancient Cosmetics Double Butter my feet don’t feel or look dry, and they are actually improving. Although I have been using this body butter on myself I thought I'd try this product on my daughter.
My daughter suffers from eczema that has gotten better over the years but she still occasionally has her flair up moments a few times a year. Her skin can get so dry and therefore itchy that she will at times begin to bleed. I decided to try my Ancient Cosmetics Double Butter
on the back of her right thigh during one of her flairs instead of the normal hydrocortisone and in two days her eczema, her itching, and her inflammation began to disappear. There are so many products that we have tried for her eczema and the products that actually help her skin are so expensive and do not come in large enough quantities. This Body Butter is not only affordable but I don’t need to use a lot of butter because it spreads fairly well.
This is the first product from Ancient Cosmetics that I used and definitely intend on discovering all that they have to offer. The ingredients are natural and don’t contain anything that I can’t pronounce it only contains Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil. If you suffer from dry, sensitive skin like me, I definitely recommend you add the Ancient Cosmetics Double Butter in your skincare routine you won't be disappointed!
My dating life was so much easier before I had my daughter. I went on dates whenever I wanted to, my standards weren’t that great, I let my dates come to my house, and if I being honest at times I dated multiple people at the same time sometimes out of sheer boredom. Post child dating is completely different. I don’t bring people I date to my house, I can't just go on dates whenever I want and I don't date out of boredom anymore. Dating as a single parent in the digital age can be extremely difficult so here are just a few tips that may help your dating life.
Let Him Know Upfront You Have Children at the Beginning
I personally went back and forth with this before the first date I went on post my Ex, and after realizing how silly it was I decided to tell him before our first date. Most people are accepting of the fact that we have kids mainly for the fact they know that most of us are more or less responsible and caring. On the downside to that, they know your time is limited. If they are not understanding the fact that we have children, move on to the next they were not worth your time.
I can have the best conversations and have a great connection with someone than with no explanation, they ghost me. The first few times I felt confused, hurt, and frustrated, but it's so common these days that if they actually stuck around it would be a surprise. I cannot think of a single person that hasn't been ghosted, and when this happens, having thick skin can be extremely beneficial. Having children gives us an upper hand on being mentally stronger than most so if this happens to you, do not blame yourself. If they were not brave enough to tell us why then we will take no blame in their faults.
Children Come First
This one is a no brainer for most of us parents but there are people out there that do not like that idea of coming second in a relationship. I had a friend (who is also a mother) get upset because the man she once dated constantly put his daughter before anyone. I distinctly recall her confessing that she was jealous of her boyfriend's 2-year-old. Although that relationship was doomed from the start, letting the person your dating know from the start that they will always come second to our children will set their expectations at the beginning.
Discuss Meeting The Children When Both Parties are Ready
I know people who let their kids meet every single person they give their number to. Personally, I do not like the idea of me having multiple men in and out of my daughter’s life, but to each their own. We just need to ask ourselves; why the rush? Why are we in such a rush for our kids to meet the new love interest? Take your time, enjoy each other's company before taking on the kids. If both parties are in agreeance and discuss what you both are ready to meet the kids then you make that decision to do what you feel is best for them.
Talk To Your Kids Before They Meet Your New Partner
Whether this is the first time bringing a new love interest around your kids or 10th time bringing someone new around your kids, talk to them first. Prepare them for the upcoming change. When I and an ex-boyfriend became serious, and after our meeting, each other's kids talk, I had a long talk with my daughter who was 5 at the time. It was the first time she had realized Mommy and Daddy were not getting back together even though her father was engaged to be married. She wasn’t sad or upset she was more excited, and when she met him she was prepared.
Dating is no easy task with children or without. The difference is with us single parents our decisions not only affect ourselves but our kids as well. Our children will be there for the rest of our lives, people come and go.
So, Why not Joshua Tree is what I can honestly say now!
Are you like me, and is envious of your friends and other people seeing them go on these trips to god knows where and wonder how they can afford to do these things and still eat, pay bills, or just simply live? Even saving money to go on vacation is hard. There are so many of us that love the idea of traveling but don't possess the financial means to do so. Personally, I’ve always wanted to go to Tahiti in the French Polynesian for years. The crystal blue water, villa resorts over the clear blue water, and the island Locals look so inviting. But, after seeing airline ticket prices I realized that Tahiti will remain a distant dream for me for the time being. In the meantime, life will afford me the comfort of traveling locally.
Mini vacations or Mini-cations can be much more beneficial in so many other ways opposed to going away on a vacation. If you live in a state that is a vacation destination all in itself, you have many options available. Me living so close to the ocean, I decided to go to the desert to Joshua Tree with my bestie for his birthday, and before you turn your nose up at the idea of a hot dry desert in the middle of July here are some amazing reasons why everyone should go to Joshua Tree at least once just hear me out!
It's Cost Effective!
Depending on where you travel and what time of year, plane tickets with the associated fees can get really expensive. Don't let me get started with the airports and all the headaches affiliated with air travel. Joshua Tree is about a two and a half-hour drive from Southern California and all you need is an air-conditioned vehicle and some good music. Once you get out of the cities and into the rural areas the landscape is beautiful.
The Aesthetic Airbnb's
The low costing Airbnb we chose was perfect, it was genuinely an oasis in the desert. There were a few places we could have chosen, but our place had central air conditioning, fire pit out back and a killer album collection. We did not spend more than $150 each for the whole trip, with food included. During the day we explored the house and at night we sat out under the stars next to a fire pit while listening to Fleetwood mac, and old school albums and drinking cocktails. The place we stayed can be found on Airbnb's site Hi-fi homestead.
Silence and Nature
Whether you're like me and enjoy your silence or like my best friend who enjoys the noise, you will appreciate just getting away from the city, even if it's just for a day. With the noise of the city, I know at times life is so loud that we do not have time to think or be alone with our thoughts and nature. Once the sun begins to set, Joshua Tree is perfect for just getting away to mentally detox and enjoy the sounds of nature.
Starlit Night Sky
I was raised in a small city in Kern County and I definitely have had the pleasure of marveling at the beautiful night sky, I just forgot how the sky is supposed to look after living in the city. Everyone should have the pleasure of seeing a city-light free sky at least once in their lifetime to see the endless sky at night you can truly appreciate our world and place in the universe.
Joshua Tree’s Attractions
Although we did not do too much exploring during the day due to the 109-degree weather, the Joshua Tree National park is extraordinary once the sun began to set. The different types of cacti and wildflowers make the desert look majestic and not so bland and dry. The park is nothing short of empty, having hundreds of native animals it’s amazing how they have learned to adapt in such dry conditions. Because of the park’s beauty in the day as well as the night, visitors are allowed to stay all night if need be. You can find the visitor center hours at Joshua tree visiting hours.
Nearby Outdoor Attractions
Just a short 20 min drive away in Palm Springs is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This tramway is the world’s largest rotating tram car that travels two miles up to the top of Mount San Jacinto State Park. It is definitely something that everyone should experience at least once. I'm not going to lie when I tell you that I wasn't scared to death traveling two miles to the top of a mountain in a rotating glass tram, but when I saw that small kids and older people were going up I got the courage to do it sweaty palms and all. The views on the top of the mountain are indescribable. The experience can only be described as peaceful, especially once you see the breathtaking views of the world at the top. You see what seems hundreds of miles away and the sky is endless up there. Although at the bottom of the mountain it was a 111-degree desert, at the top there was a cool 84-degree forest which made our hike bearable.
I was actually surprised by the fun we had in those two days in the desert. Joshua Tree in July surpassed my expectations. We even stopped at a local casino for brunch. I have only driven through the desert cities never stopping to enjoy the view. Although Joshua Tree may look boring, I'm sure you can find your oasis in the desert.
I can't even think about past relationships without remembering my ex, Russell the Infant. He was a colorful character with plenty of great qualities too. Great looking, clinically clean, chef-boy-are-you-serious skills in the kitchen. But with great skill came mad entitlements and when this gentleman didn't get his way….
Can’t have a future without acknowledging your past. So because of my past issues with sexual abuse, I became robotic when intimate. Sex had not been pleasing for me…. So when I became intimate with Russell, I located my autopilot button. He tried pleasing me but he didn't listen to my needs. His impatience appeared at the time which discouraged me from truly opening up.
But once I started putting stock into my own worth, things got better for me but worse with Russell. I had also started working shift work and began to cancel on him often. I didn't have the time for Russell anymore, but I didn't want to let him down. Some cancellations came with some verbal abuse involving name-calling and threatening of infidelity on his part. I rarely responded because I feared it would provide fuel to the fire. At times I was afraid to voice my concerns about anything with him. I even drank the Kool Aid enough to believe he was justified and wanted to be with me so bad it made him crazy….
So when he said sorry, I also said sorry too and forgave him. I thought by forgiving him, I was teaching him a lesson. I was wrong. He continued this behavior as long as I allowed him to. So unless he was an infant, I wasn't changing him.
35 year old single artist in the city experiencing her ups and downs in dating. Megan is a passionate Writer and entrepreneur that charts her own path, leads her life driving the course of history.
These fuckboys or now known as city boys are truly masters of disguises. They appear to have good intentions and appear sweet, they put on the “great catch” costume and lead us down what seems like a great path but at some point in the relationship, things always turn sour. Then we are stuck blaming and asking ourselves “why didn't I see I was dating an undercover fuckboy? These types of people are the reasons why our defenses are strengthened after every failed relationship. Fuckboys are the reasons why we drag so much baggage to new potential relationships. Although there are different types of fuckboys they all have one thing in common, non-commitment.
I'm currently in contact (not dating anymore) with a current undercover fuckboy and he will deny it but all signs point to fuckboy-land.
Most of us actually have an idea what we want out of a relationship, whether we convey them into words or not, we still have an idea. I am one of those women who conveys my intentions at the very beginning of a relationship with any man I meet. When I asked my current fuckboy (then undercover) what he was looking for in the beginning he said: “Ideally I’d like to find someone to be in a relationship with”. We talked and text all day every day. A few months of going on multiple dates, have some great laughs and enjoyed being around one another. I started to gain the confidence to ask that question that tends to send them running for the hills. At that point, we were seeing each other often. So I asked “are you dating other people besides me” simple and to the point. Which brings me to the first undercover fuckboy sign:
Go With Your Gut
His response did not sit well with me “I have/ had a few Friends With Benefits mostly ex’s that didn't work out, I haven't seen em in a while. There was one person I went out a while back and they are talking to me now again though they’re too intense for me. I look on OkCupid once in a while”. The fact that this didn't sit well with me is because my gut feeling was telling me that this wasn't right. When we started dating he was not talking or dating anyone, NOW after 2 months, he has fuck buddies and ex’s he's talking to? As a thirty-four-year-old, one thing I am confident in, is that your gut feeling is never wrong. But of course, I continued to ride the undercover fuckboy train because the lies tasted better than the truth.
After over-analyzing our last discussion, I worked up the courage to confront him and break things off. At the end of our date, as I am getting out of the car I told him “ I don't think this is working out, you’re dating and fucking other women. I want a relationship and I think we are wasting each other's time”. He came at me with the second sign to fuckboy land:
You Start to feel Crazy
Of course, his response made me change my mind: “ I don’t think you are a waste of time, I enjoy our time together and I really like you. I don't want you to feel as though I am using you and I don't want to hurt you. I think you misunderstood me. '' At that point, I started to feel like maybe I overreacted a bit. I began to question my sanity, so I ignored my gut and told myself he was different. We once upon a time had such a strong connection.
After our last date I did not hear from him for about a week. When I text him asking him why I have not heard from him it was clear as day that he was on the right train to fuckboy land.
He responds after a week later from my initial “why haven't I heard from you?” text message. He comes back with: “hey sorry I just don't feel like talking, trying to figure stuff out. I don't have time to date, I've been strange lately. I just kinda want to do things simply. Not just with you.” My response was simple: “K”. I knew the classic symptoms of being “ghosted”. He started to distance himself and only texted me twice after a couple of weeks after midnight.
After long weeks of nothing except the two midnight texts consisting of “hi” or “how are you?”, he decided to text me when the sun was out asking me if I had some free time that week. That communication proved he went full on fuckboy.
The “good boy” disguise is off
He texted me: “are you free this week? I'm ready for you.”. For clarification purposes I indulged him with “ready for what? To date me?”. He responded with “Hmmm like right now ;)”. I knew exactly what that meant. He wasn't attempting to disguise his intentions with lies, he knew I had liked him once upon a time and also knew what I wanted out of a relationship and he still chose to only contact me for sexual purposes.
Dictionary.com defines a fuck boy: ‘A fuckboy is that guy, the one who doesn’t respect women, but relies on them heavily. He’s distant, doesn’t care about other people’s time, and won’t commit. He’s self-absorbed, does stupid things, and fucks with others’ emotions’. If you're with someone that has any of these symptoms, then sweetie, you're dating an undercover fuckboy.
On a Thursday morning in the middle of June, a good friend of mine Ronnie text me and asked if I was interested in going to a concert later that evening. The concert was featuring three of my favorite musicians Queen Naija, Multiple Grammy award winners H.E.R., and Mary J. Blige at Staples Center for the BET Experience. I was extremely reluctant to go because I did not have a great deal of money to spare. Embarrassed to broadcast my financial situation I hesitantly told her that I did not have hundreds of dollars to spend on concert tickets. Ronnie then text back that these tickets she scored were less than a burrito, drink, and tortilla chips at Chipotle. I was completely sold, and I jumped to this opportunity! There are many sites that claim they have the best discount on tickets for events but these same sites have so many fees that it does not seem like I am getting a great deal. I go on those sites expecting a fantastic deal and once I go to the checkout cart I feel as though I was just catfished by this website. In some cases, I am paying more in fees than the actual concert! In my experience, I have found the best deals on events at Goldstar, Groupon, and StubHub. These sites cater to everyone's budget, as a single Mom, I am always on the prowl for a good deal. Everyone should be able to experience the luxury of seeing their favorite artists no matter your budget.
I heard about Goldstar through a friend who goes to concerts what seems like every week. I and a few of my friends wanted to go to a Kevin Hart comedy show a few years ago. I decided to go online directly to the site to check out ticket prices and saw that the tickets were $75 after taxes and fees. The seats were towards the back in the nosebleed section, and that price did not seem like a good deal for my fixed income. Some friends still decided to go, so they went ahead a purchased their tickets. Upon telling my concert hopping friend about my dilemma she suggested Goldstar and it was not a disappointment. Not only did I find those Kevin Hart tickets, but I also found them at a discounted rate of $25 after taxes and fees! Granted, those tickets were still in the nosebleed section and were on the other side of the stadium just as the seventy-five dollar nose bleed tickets but at least I got my money’s worth. Every upcoming concert I hear about I always check on Goldstar first because why pay full price for tickets when there could be another option.
If you haven't used Groupon at this point in your life at least once, then you're doing something wrong or you have extra money laying around. Groupon is usually the first place I check for literally everything in my life; from oil change discounts to Great Wolf Lodge hotel discounts. I can usually find a discount on most things I need on there, the list is limitless. So of course, Groupon has amazing discounts on concert tickets. I landed a great deal on concert tickets to a show featuring seven popular artists for just $20 and the original price for the tickets started at $55. The only downside to using Groupon is that there are certain events and discounts that you need to wait 24 to 48 hours before using, but like everything else, I would recommend reading the fine print before purchasing.
Last but not least, there is StubHub. I’m fairly new to StubHub but so far that site has lived up to its reputation. I found the tickets to the concert I previously mentioned with my three favorite musicians at Staples Center through StubHub. A few weeks prior I saw this upcoming event but tickets ranged from $150 to $1000. We purchased the last-minute tickets for $16 with premium seating. Before purchasing these tickets, I saw the same concert tickets earlier that day for $55 on Groupon. I was extremely surprised that StubHub had those tickets for so low and a better deal than Groupon!
Now that you are armed with this information there is no excuse for you not to go see your favorite artists or go to an event despite your financial situation.
Being a broke single mom I am constantly looking for things to do for little to no money that will entertain not just myself but my child as well. I cannot speak on anyone else's financial situation, but I'm almost certain that most people like to save a buck or two. One of the things I love to do with and without my daughter is to be anywhere near the ocean. The ocean smells good, the air feels good and it’s so peaceful. A good friend of mine introduced me to the trails in Rancho Palos Verdes near Terranea Resort a few years ago for a workout. I was in complete dismay how beautiful this whole area was; it was like a scene from a travel magazine or like what non-Californians picture what California must look like in their minds. Living in the city makes you forget exactly how beautiful parts of Los Angeles can be, and that there is clear blue water in the ocean.
Terranea Resort is a beautiful hotel and spa by the sea with villas that don't quite match my paygrade. But, the resort does allow people to go and explore their trails attached to the hotel property. On one of the trails closer to the ocean, the trail ends in a beautiful mid-sized cave that you are able to climb down and walk around during the low tide. The cave is not a deep one, but it is large enough to hike down and explore. Occasionally I will pack a lunch for myself and my daughter and just go for the day. She can spend hours discovering all the small sea creatures in the tide pools. The upper section Pelican Cove Park offers free parking and the resort provides picnic tables and public restrooms for the general public.
That area also has a few walkable romantic trails. The sunsets are something out of a fairytale, and to add icing on the cake, there is an inaccessible lighthouse to go along with your beautiful scenery. On a clear day you can see Catalina Island off in the distance as well as the Whale migration, and dolphins jumping out of the water. I once went on a whale watching tour in the marina and saw maybe one or two whales and three days later went to Ranchos Palos Verdes and saw four times that amount of whales in the ocean for free. There is one particular trail that you can get a good workout in called the Toveemor trail that has two steep hills. At the bottom of the Toveemor trail, there is a park called Pelican Cove and its beauty is totally worth the struggle I endure walking back up these two hills. With all the tidepools and wonderful sounds of the rocks waves hitting the rocks I could spend hours in Pelican Cove alone.
Don't feel like going on trails and just want to relax at the beach? About a half a mile east of these trails is a beach called Abalone Cove. Granted, you may have to pay six to twelve dollars for all day parking, but if you want to avoid the beach crowds, and enjoy the beauty of this beach, Abalone Cove is perfect. This beach also has tidepools and trails to explore similar to the Pelican Cove area. This beach has actual sand to dig your toes in unlike Pelican Cove Park which consists of mostly Rocks.
If you are turned off at the fact that there are not any food places near, Rancho Palos Verdes is a short five to ten-minute drive to San Pedro and Torrance if you want to grab some food and make a day of it. So for a twelve dollar day (not including gas), you can enjoy Ranchos Palos Verdes trails and beaches for the day! You can find more information on the different trails that Rancho Palos Verdes has to offer on the Palos Verdes website at https://pvplc.org/_lands/trails.asp . I've only experienced a small part of what that area has to offer, I'm sure there is more than what I have seen. I am aware that you can go to any other beach in Los Angeles for free, and those beaches are amazing, but once you see what the big fuss is about Rancho Palos Verdes you will understand. I too was skeptical at first but now I'm completely sold!
My first date with “Henry” was great. We went to the rooftop bar at a hotel in Huntington Beach overlooking the ocean, had a few drinks, ate great food, went for a long walk and ended the night at the beach drinking with a bonfire. I wouldn't say it was a perfect date but it was up there in the top fifteen of great dates for me. The next date we met at a place of my choosing, a new boutique eating establishment that I have been twice before and fell in love with the food. Our most recent, and third date we ate at a new upcoming Ramen restaurant in Long Beach and went bar hopping to five amazing bars. These bars played amazing music from hip hop to eighties music and had reasonably priced alcohol. Upon completion or our third date something occurred to me; if our fling turns for the worse, Can I go back to those places?
I would love to go back to that rooftop bar, or back to that beach for a bonfire. I would love to visit those five bars we visited and eat at the Ramen place with the delicious spicy miso chicken ramen again. But those are HIS spots and if our little fling turns sour I do not want to see him at my new found boutique restaurant. I have every intention on eating at my place I introduced him to again in the near future, but I do not want to run into an ex there cause I'm going to be constantly looking over my shoulder looking for a man I went on a few dates with while I'm stuffing my face with poutine fries. In my mind once the man i've dated goes away they cease to exist anymore, and by running into him at my favorite place is a reminder of my or his failure of our dating relationship. I suppose it also depends on how the relationship ended, if I get “ghosted” and he shows up at my spot I introduced him to or vice versa do we pretend not to know one another? That is why I propose people should never go on pre-serious relationship dates to their favorite spots.
Maybe in the early stages of your dates you can potentially go somewhere generic or somewhere that can be associated with a wide variety of emotions such as: meet for coffee, the movies, go to a museum, go get ice cream, or walk along the path of some beautiful scenery. Just try and avoid the great stuff like: going to see your favorite band in concert, taking them somewhere you've always wanted to go, or in my case taking him to one of my top four favorite restaurants in Long Beach that he is now crazy about as well. Your favorite place should be associated with happiness and love not from a guy that you met up with two or three times and for whatever reason fizzled out. Sure, you have an interesting story to tell when you return to your favorite spot, but just think about it; you will always be reminded of that person that didn't work out everytime you go, and they may not be worth it. To this day I cannot bare to step into a certain Pho restaurant near me because of a first date nightmare I had a few years ago and the restaurant had fantastic Pho. So reserve those special places for the people who are worth it and who are with you for the long run, cause at least you will have memories of these places with people you care for or at least once cared for.
I was working as a call center representative the first time I heard about a “potato ball”. My friend Regina had some on her desk and I asked what those were, she described it as a fried potato filled with meat. With that description alone I had my reservations about this “potato ball”. It wasn't until she offered me a ball to try that Porto’s had its hooks in me. Regina did not give this potato ball justice! It is like mashed potatoes dipped in crumbs cooked making it the perfect amount of crispy with minced ground beef, peppers and seasonings in the middle. Prior to that day, I lived here for 5 years and I had never heard of a potato ball or Porto’s. A few weeks later, there was a birthday in the office and our manager brought in a strawberry shortcake cake from Porto’s, and it was one of the best I have ever experienced.
There was a company volunteer event at Dodger Stadium which had ended early, so we decided to grab some lunch. The coworkers I rode with decided on Porto’s in Downey which was on the way home. I was able to look at the menu first hand and was completely in shock to see how inexpensive the menu was. Not to mention the wide variety of desserts to choose from is mind blowing. I ordered the spicy chicken milanesa sandwich, 2 potato balls and a cheese roll for all under $10, and still had leftovers to take home! It was at that moment I was in love with Porto’s Bakery.
This cafe is the total package. Porto’s food is amazing and it fits my budget! They have so much to offer for everyone. My picky 11 year old absolutely loves Porto’s which left me completely speechless; here is a child who orders pizza at Red Robin or chicken nuggets at Olive Garden and YES grilled cheese sandwich at In-n-out, and she is here at a Cuban restaurant Porto’s ordering Tamales and Guava rolls! From sandwiches to combination plates or soups, they have something for everyone. I have never went to Porto’s without the lines being long and sometimes out the door, but the wait isn't long because the lines move fast. Plus as you're waiting in the line you can look at all of their mouthwatering desserts so you can make your decision once its your turn, I still never know what I want because everything looks delicious!
They recently opened one near me in Buena Park the only bad thing I can honestly say about Porto’s is that on a weekend around lunchtime is that parking is a huge headache. Although parking was horrible, by the time I sat down to eat, the 45 minutes it took for me to find parking was totally worth that moment. There are Porto’s locations all over L.A. Buena Park, Downey, Glendale, West Covina, and Burbank so really there is no excuses for not going. Some food places make me regret and there are other food establishments I feel no regret, well Porto’s is a “No regret” establishment. If you are like me ballin’ on a small budget and still want great food without going to a fast food to feel guilty Porto’s Bakery is a guilt free pleasure.
In the summer of 2001 my sixteen year old self, soon-to-be old High School senior was gettin’ down to Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women”. I had my first job at Long John Silvers and every two weeks I was proud of my $214.00 checks. The song “Independent Women” was my theme song that summer and the following months into my senior year, no one couldn't stop me, I felt like I had my whole life planned. I remember thinking that adulthood was gonna be a piece of cake. At the time I would spend my money on clothes, shoes,and minutes for my prepaid cell phone with cingular wireless. I had no idea what was to come eighteen years later.
In 2019 what is considered to be an “independent” woman? In LA the average college graduate makes, $40,004 a year after taxes, for a 1 bdrm apartment in the city is $1750 per month, after bills that leaves you sixty-seven dollars in your account. This doesn't include children. No wonder why the homeless rate is up twelve percent from the previous year in LA county, yet my parents generation and baby boomers are confused why we aren't having children. Birth rates have been at its lowest in thirty-two years and I understand why, no one can afford to live here especially when more than half of your income goes to rent alone. There are thousands maybe millions of independent women a paycheck away from homelessness. I always tell my single girlfriends without children to not have children anytime soon or to not have children at all in this economy. I tell them to travel the world instead. I always hear “Move to a different city, or state” I've heard it all, but jobs are here in the major metropolitan areas. I could not find my current job in my small hometown or any other small town where the cost of rent is half of what I currently pay.
I can identify as an independent woman, but it’s definitely not as glamorous as Destiny’s Child sung about. Being a single adult leaves you no choice but to be an independent woman. Some of us don't have a pillow to fall back on in case we fail, we have concrete. I don't judge when people still live at home with their parents, if anything I envy them. I'm over here surviving and the people who live with parents get to live rent free and go to concerts, eat at great restaurants, and travel. The clothes i’m wearing I bought them, The shoes i’m wearing I bought them, the house I live in i’m paying for someone else's mortgage. Maybe Destiny’s Child was trying to make light of the struggles of adulting, or maybe preparing young women for the future by letting us know all the stuff we need to buy on our own once we are adults and without the help of our parents. Being an independent single mother/woman in 2019 is closer to Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” than “Independent Women” cause ladies we cannot give up!
Attention insecure married women or women in relationships! I’m so sorry. I’m sorry your man has made you feel like every single woman is a threat! I’m sorry on behalf of single women that some women don't care that men are in marriages and in committed relationships, they do not speak for all of us. I’m sorry that another woman’s clothing choices has your man staring at her. I’m sorry that you project your unstable relationship onto other women. Most of all, i’m sorry that you are with a horrible person, you deserve better girl!
With that being said, it is not my fault that you are insecure. It is not my fault that you assume all single women are threats. It's not my fault that some women don't value marriages or relationships. It's not my fault that your man stares at my ass or breasts in a sexy dress, I did not wear this for him. AND it's not my fault that you probably deserve better so don't project your insecurities on me!
I discovered that my sisters friend Janet is one of these insecure women. At a birthday dinner I discovered Miguel (Janet’s husband) is a flirty person. The only reason I never noticed the flirting in the past was because there was never a one-on-one interaction. At this dinner every single time he would try and hold a conversation with me, Janet would literally drop whatever it was she was doing at the time to include herself in our discussions, OR if she was in an active conversation herself she would pretend she wasn't trying to eavesdrop. This went on all night, and began to make me uncomfortable. I started to dodge him, and I was counting down the minutes till this night was over! Because of her insecurity I couldn't enjoy my night. Our conversations were not memorable and the least bit inappropriate but I could see it all night she was trying to “figure me out”. I'm not part of my sister’s friend circle, and there are other friends in her circle who are single but I honestly think she has them “figured out” and therefore deemed non-threatening.
I think subconsciously I have always felt the tinge of judgement coincided with the judgemental stares that insecure non-single women gave me. You know that “bitch he’s MY MAN” stare. Their stares are always met with my “girl! NO ONE WANTS YOUR MAN” glare. If you are the lucky women who has an amazing significant other that makes you feel loved and secure, kudos girl! You deserve it! If you are one of the insecure women described above, or feel upset by these words, then it's time to reevaluate your situation, stop living your life always at war with other women, and please stop trying to “figure us out” it's gotta be exhausting! Newsflash to all of the insecure women stuck in marriages and in committed relationships, I’m sorry that you are going through your situation but as Jordyn Woods once said “I don't need your situation.”
8 years ago I was hired as Assistant Manager at Sunglass Hut, and on my first day of work one of my associates Melissa and my Direct Manager was asking me questions about myself. One of the questions that popped up was, “do you have a boyfriend?” I said “nope I'm single” and her response was “Omg that totally sucks for you” and they both presumed to laugh. I have never felt so shitty, about being single in my life. I thought “This isn't 1824 where being single at 26 meant I was gonna be a spinster!” Up to that point, I wore my “single ladies” status like a badge of honor, I had just got out of a relationship with my childs father and was starting to fall in love with ME all over again. Who the fuck is this 19 year old child to laugh at me or to joke at my relationship status!? For the first time in my 26 years of life it was at that moment I felt ashamed of being single. Not wanting to lose my job on the first day by screaming “FUCK YOU” in the middle of Del Amo mall, my response was simply “hmm not really” and I forced out a half hearted chuckle. She of course was joking, but for whatever reason, 8 long years later it stuck with me, the feeling fading over the years of course, but subconsciously, a small part of me feels as though I'm being judged for being single.
I always wondered if people in relationships pity those who are not in romantic relationships...My own sister who has been with her beau for 10 years, has told me she doesn’t miss being single when I tell her my dating horrors. Personally I feel as though the older I get the more at peace I become with the ideal of being single. YES I would love to have a companion to grow old with, but whatever's meant to be will be. I'm unsure if it has to do with the fact that i'm a mother and my baby will always be top priority, or its because i’m in my thirties and a bit more wiser or because the good quality of men are slim pickings in L.A. HELL, maybe all of the above! I've learned that once I was at peace with me being single, I now know what type of Man I want to be with. Take pity on me cause and won't settle for less.
Did i miss the memo where cosmetic surgery became the new standard? Did I also miss the memo where natural beauty is outdated? HOW the Hell is the “dad bod” in style but not “mom bod” I mean WE BEAR CHILDREN!! Every time I open my Instagram or some magazine I see disproportionately shaped women! I completely understand the women who are curvy naturally, I'm not even opposed to cosmetic surgery, whatever makes you happy! BUT why is it that we live in a culture with impossible standards of beauty? Is this what our kids are looking up to and idolizing now? The “Kim Kardashians” and “Kylie Jenners” of the world? My eleven year old Daughter is already looking in the mirror asking me if I think her butt will get bigger. Of course I always reassure her that she has a body like an eleven year old child. So let me get this straight, huge breasts, teeny tiny waist, abnormally large ass, huge lips, small nose, and botox injected face is what I'M supposed to aspire to look like? What happen to just aspiring to be skinny or in shape? NOW we have all of that? NO WAY! Luckily, I tell my daughter that most of what she sees on television isn't real and that normal people don't look like that, normal people look like the people you see in the real world everyday. What are these women supposed to look like at seventy-four years old with all that extra surgery? I think about that when I see celebrities like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, all of the Kardashians Iggy Azalea, and now Madonna. I suppose like everything else in the entertainment business this fad will also end soon. The only cosmetic surgery I would consider getting is Breast augmentation cause gravity and age is winning this battle, I have no desire to look unrealistic.