hearts and candles, pray for peace, pray4paris, paris shootings, S.C. Rhyne

I was shocked and disturbed to hear about the shootings and bombings on Friday evening in France. However after the initial surprise, I had a long and critical thought about terrorism and Europe’s response. France in particular, had been combating terrorism long before 9/11 hit our soil. Dishearteningly, they have also been combating the issue of their citizens defecting to other countries to train in Jihadist movements for many years.

Nearly fifteen years ago, President Bush said that if we didn’t fight in their backyard, soon we would be too afraid to shop at our local farmers’ market or dine at our favorite cafe or bar for fear of terrorism.

I believe that was the sentiment on Friday evening across the globe. Well, at least the Western-half of the globe, as this is an everyday fear in many Middle Eastern and African countries.

Counter-terrorism is an interest of mine and what I contemplated doing postgraduate research; but the truth is, there is no easy answer on how to “combat terrorism”. In fact, there is no way to combat terrorism. You monitor and wait, and monitor and wait, until hopefully you get a lead and are able to foil a plan. But that takes a lot of man power…a lot of time to sift through so much intelligence.

For France, their problem is much deeper– especially for Muslims that live in France. More will need to be done (domestically) to prevent home-grown terrorism as well as combat it abroad. This is new territory for everyone, so there is no “proven solution” yet, only painstaking trials and errors. However, I feel that the answer lies outside their Comité Interministériel de Lutte Anti-Terroriste and more within their education, economic development, and social welfare departments.

I know everyone is painting their profiles red, white, and blue in solidarity with the French. Kudos to you, I’m not knocking it.

I used #Pray4Paris on my feeds too.

But tonight, I keep thinking about the other victims of terrorism in cities surrounded by the sands, living on streets –whose names are just “too foreign” to pronounce, or those who died in the schools that didn’t have running water or electricity.

I’ll pray for peace tonight, and tomorrow I’ll act for peace.

Read the latest here about the ongoing search for suspects.

Send me your thoughts on Facebook, @ReporterandGirl, or G+

Create a Lasting Bond With Unique Date Ideas

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According to the State of Dating Report in America presented by ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com, 69 percent of singles are at least partially confused about whether or not they’re actually on a date when out with someone they like. Needless to say, it’s probably not a very romantic date if you don’t even know you’re on one. But married couples aren’t off the hook with date night either. A study from the National Marriage Project found “couple time” can lead to a higher quality relationship across levels of communication, sexual satisfaction and commitment.

You probably don’t need anyone to convince you that couple time is important to your relationship’s health as well as your own satisfaction and confidence. Give your next date night a boost and skip dinner and a movie for something more unique.

Go on a Moonlit Canoe Ride

Head out for a romantic moonlight canoe ride for a peaceful glide across the water. Take time to soak in your surroundings, and make a romantic game of who can be the quietest the longest while maintaining eye contact. Bring along your smartphone or iPad to capture some video of the moment with a memorable confessional. Ask each other to share something that will blow the other’s mind, whether it’s an embarrassing moment or first impressions of the other.

Volunteer to Walk Dogs

You don’t need a lot of money or a big idea to turn a date into a unique experience. Volunteer at a local animal shelter to walk dogs in need of some companionship and exercise. The dogs will keep your date lively and the two of you on your toes. Stop by a dog park and get into the fun with a rousing game of fetch or chase. You’ll end up letting your guard down and seeing a playful side of each other that gets lost in the day-to-day.

Browse a Bookstore

A tucked away bookstore full of rare finds, classics and quirky gifts is the perfect spot for a romantic date. Choose an evening when an author is speaking or there’s a book launch and wine hour. Sip wine and browse the store independently while giving each other a challenge. Pick out books you think would be perfect for the other and explain what inspired the choice. End the evening with a new book for your date to unwrap and take home.

Learn to Make Cocktails

Skip drinks sitting at the bar and make your own instead. Grab a cocktail-making book and turn on some jazz, or sign up for a high-energy mixology class. Learn how to mix up tasty drinks and surprise each other with your fun concoctions. Come up with your own signature date night drink to commemorate your time together. Every time you say cheers, you’ll be celebrating your relationship.

Plant a Tree

Set aside the afternoon and evening to plant a tree together and bond over nature. Take a trip to the local nursery to pick out a tree and all the necessary supplies. Or look for local volunteer opportunities to help plant trees in a park in need. Work together to carefully prep and plant your tree and watch the bonding experience unfold. Plan a future date night of walking past your tree and enjoy an evening picnic underneath it.

Do you have ideas or a unique date experience that you’d like to share?

Tell me about them @ReporterandGirl or on Facebook or G+. I’m also on Pinterest, so pin pics to my board!

Social Networks While on Vacation: What You Shouldn’t Share

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Everyone posts pictures, thoughts and stories of their travels on social media. However, while you’re on vacation, you should remain guarded about how long you’ll be gone, where you’ll be and when you’ll be there. This may sound paranoid, but the consequences of over-shared information can devastate your reputation and your financial life. Here are some do’s and don’ts of social media while you’re on vacation.

What You Should Not Do

Those who can see your profile on Facebook are second degree friends — this means that the friends of anyone you’re friends with can see your profile. Do you know them all? Doubtful. Don’t post specific departure and arrival times of your vacation. Nor should you post how long you’re gone or exactly where you are. This information might seem of little use, but not only does it inform people of when you’ll be gone, it could also give potentially dishonest people enough information about your trip to create a false-scenario email and scam people you know for money.

Connections are the best part of vacations, and with social media it’s easier to keep in touch and make plans than ever before. However, never post personal information on your or anyone else’s wall, feed or homepage. This includes email addresses, phone numbers and even dates, meet times and places.

What You Should Do

The Internet is permanent. Anything you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is out there forever. A picture can be copied by any number of users who see it, re-post and re-share it a thousand times. This includes your email or a phone number. Keep this in mind while abroad. What you do or do not post on social sites is as important as being aware of your surroundings.

Make sure you turn off the geotag option of your phone for pictures. Geotags let everyone know your exact location when you post a pic. Better yet, postpone what you share online until you arrive home. For those who enjoy hashtags, a popular one for pictures posted after the fact is #Latergram.


The consequences of identity theft aren’t usually felt until an unexpected bill shows up at your door or a suspicious email makes your smartphone vibrate. A charge has just been made on a credit card in your name, or a collection agency demands payment. This is what happened to Amy Krebs in 2013. She found herself on the phone with a major credit card company who said someone had tried to open a line of credit in her name. When she delved deeper, she found that whoever had stolen her identity had also gained access to her credit reports.

The woman who stole Amy Krebs’ identity opened accounts using only Krebs’ name and a 10-year-old address where she had once lived. Whether the woman took this information from a piece of mail or a social network site such as Facebook, Krebs never found out, but this story serves as an example of how seemingly small information can lead to large consequences. That’s why it’s important to do your research and educate yourself about identity theft.

Also in 2013, many reports were filed in Japan where hackers duped everyday users out of their personal information. If a hacker gets control of one user’s profile, they can then dupe many of that user’s friends out of their personal information. In 2013 this came in the form of a link that had users enter their personal information, and since they thought the link was from a friend, they never suspected malicious intent.

So, have you had any similar experiences while away from home? Feel free to share your stories with me, I’m also on Facebook, twitter, or G+. Just make sure you’re careful of how much you share.

Staying Warm during Cuffing Season

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Autumn is here, and you can’t deny it. Most of your favorite shows have started in the last couple of weeks:

Walking Dead


Orange is the New Black

It is also the time of apple picking and pumpkin patches, and all those nasty-flavored pumpkin and apple beverages (really, Starbucks – pumpkin spiced latte)! Its sweater weather, and mix that with leggings or jeggings and those new boots that mamma bought and voila, all the dogs come barking to the yard!

sweater weather, no bra, sweatshirt season meme, S.C Rhyne

But cuffing season is more than just the weather getting cold, its about shacking up with someone through the winter.

sweater weather, boyfriend material, ryan reynolds, S.C Rhyne, The Reporter and The Girl

So what is cuffing season? It a phenomenon that’s been anecdotally coined, since there hasn’t been any academic study on it. HelloGiggles.com defines it as, “cuffing season is a portion of the year when men shed their summer bachelor skin and start to feel lonely as the weather turns colder.” A little sexist, as I would like to think that some women do get lonely and seek out partners “to cuff” for the season as well.

But nonetheless, as the last memory of summer disappears, and the skies turn cloudy and darker, hours earlier than before; single people may get lonely, as there aren’t many outdoor events to socialize at, and watching three hours of television after work, at home alone- may be lonely.

When winter really hits, and its just too crappy or cold to venture outside, humans, like most mammals, prefer to stay at home with a hot mug of cocoa and snuggled up next to someone (until April).

Finally, the last catalyst for this height in mating, is the upcoming holidays, literally one right after another. I’m sure we’ve all been through a Thanksgiving or Holiday dinner reunited with extended family members, and that one person asks you who are you dating? When are you finally going to bring someone home? Or my personal favorite, “So-n-so just had a baby, wouldn’t you like to have one?”

Right, I’ll just get to work on that. It was on my Friday to-do list, must have overlooked it when I was crossing off, “buy stamps”,  “asking out the mailman” and “wrapping his package.”

So, Thanksgiving through Valentine’s are the major coupled holidays, and less important would be Easter, but generally as the weather warms up, people emerge from their caves, and basketball starts again, thus the desire to be single again springs.

So how can you avoid becoming a victim of cuffing season?

Recognize the behavior, exes or the guy that you talked to over the summer, is all of sudden blowing up your phone and “showing up” places where you normally are.  Apparently, we have not seen the worst of it, it gets most aggressive the last week of October through November.

Play it cool and watch the behavior carefully.

Also, cuffing season isn’t for everyone, if you can’t throw the ball — step to the sideline, please.

There is always the potential for love. Not many people will “consciously” start relationships for cuffing season, but there are primal instincts that drive this behavior. However, it is just as likely as any other relationship to fail.

Some top examples of cuffing:

September is the busiest month for weddings.

Everyone is announcing their engagements on Facebook.

Everyone is announcing their pregnancy on Facebook.

Ex-boy(girl)friend texting you out of the blue asking, “how stuff is.”

You are receiving random invitations to BBQ’s or other functions from a suitor.

So, have you been a victim of cuffing season? Or are you a seasonal player? I’d like to know your experiences.

Tell me @ReporterandGirl or Facebook or G+

Your Best F**k Buddy

fuck buddy, S.C Rhyne, best friends, cartoon, someecards

Who says that you can’t sleep with your best friend?

Well if you’re not attracted to him or her, or have been friends since the first grade, then yeah…its probably weird. But, the best partners also make the best friends. This isn’t a PSA to put all your potential partners in the friendzone, but are you someone who “gives” in a relationship, especially when times are tough?

I have a male friend of mine, who has been hit with hard times.

*Dave* separated with his live-in girlfriend about two years ago, and moved out with his older daughter, but has a younger daughter with the old GF. In a few months he got back on his feet and met a nice girl and they started seeing each other, as long distance partners and they were generally happy!

Unfortunately, rough times hit Dave soon after that, between a job loss and a livid custody battle for the younger daughter in court, it seemed like for the past year that he was going through one obstacle after another. Like literally, every other month, something had happened.

One can only imagine what kind of toll this takes on someone. And not just that person, but his/her support network.

So ask yourself, when times are rough and you need support– who do you go to? Usually a best friend to talk to or cheer you up. Friends are great for giving you emotional support when you need it, giving encouragement, love, heck even money!

But the important part of friendship is when things are really down– they are there. Calling to check up on you and see what they can do for you. They “give” during a time when you can’t “give” anything in return, nor do they expect anything in return.

This is the important aspect of true friendship that I believe is missing from many relationships. Each partner should be willing to “give” as much as they want to “take”, but how many are willing to give, if there is nothing to receive?

When many of us think about dating and relationships, a lot of the times we view it as to how we can benefit or what we will get out of it. Too a certain extent is fine; you should be with someone that adds value to your life and not just drama. But how many of us think about what we could give in return?

So in this view, you can see that my friend Dave, has been emotionally stressed out and drained with getting his life back together. Right now, its hard for him to give. Its not his fault, he really does have serious problems to focus on; but nonetheless its not fair to the current girlfriend.

A couple of weeks ago, I would have said, “Its over, besides there’s so much crap going on, that he can’t prioritize you. So leave.”

But then I started singing this meme on my FB page:

older couple; long marriage, if something is broken we fixed it, S.C Rhyne,
From DailyPicksandFlicks.com

Wow, what a hypocrite I am.

Obviously there’s loyalty in friendship as there should be in relationships. So when things are down, sick, poor, or whatever a true friend or partner will stick it through until its fixed. As long as they both want to fix things. Not just throw it away and find a new one. However, for those of you who are “receiving” a lot and not “giving” much in return, appreciation goes a long way. And when you’re ready to give, give heartily again, as there was a time when you needed it most.

So, have you ever been in a relationship where you felt like your partner was not being a good friend? Or that maybe you were the one giving but not receiving?

Tell me your thoughts!

@ReporterandGirl and Facebook or G+

This week, has been one filled with a slew of family emergencies, luckily for me and my loved ones, all of the bad situations had the best outcomes, i.e everyone came home safe and sound. Thank you to my friends and family for your support!

Guest Post: Stumped About His Birthday Gift? 4 Easy Gift Ideas for Your Man

Birthday, interracial relationships, BWWM Birthday, photography, couple birthday, S.C Rhyne

This year, instead of the standard tie, gift card and car accessories, why not wow your man while giving him gifts that will make you happy, too. Yes, that’s right, under the guise of generosity you can get your man some toys that will make your life easier and maybe even bring you closer together.

Man Crate

If your guy is a manly-man, get him a Man Crate — it’s so manly that he has to open the box with a crowbar. Choose the perfect theme, such as eating, drinking or outdoors, and have fun watching him dig through the items in his crate. For example, if you choose one from the eating category, it can be filled with exotic meats, jerky, coffee or hot sauce. The best part is, if you like the same types of foods, you can sneak a taste when he’s not looking.


We cannot say enough about Leatherman tools. No matter your man’s interests, chances are that Leatherman makes a tool or product that will suit him perfectly. From multi-tools and pocket knives to hunting gear and tread, Leatherman understands your man’s need to repair things, even if they sometimes aren’t broken. For the guy who isn’t afraid to accessorize, get him Leatherman Tread, a wearable bracelet of all of the important tools in life. Not only will you be getting him something to match his lifestyle, it will look pretty sexy on him, too.

NFL Tickets

Taking an interest in your man’s interests is the way to his heart. If you’ve previously shied away from fully engaging with him on game day, change that this year by committing some time to a hobby he truly enjoys. Surprise him by getting him tickets to see his favorite team play using the official Ticketmaster NFL Ticket Exchange to ensure authenticity and a great seat. Or, if watching the game is the thing he likes to do with his buddies, you can surprise him and his friends with primo tickets and have the house to yourself on game day. Either way, the situation is a win-win.


Have you always hated those La-Z-Boys that he keeps hinting belong in your living room? You’re not alone and there are ways you can both be happy and comfortable. Admittedly, after a hard day’s work, it is awfully nice to sink into a recliner with an ice cold beer. Knowing this, instead of settling for an ugly monstrosity that you will only allow in the house if it is relegated to the basement, why not opt for something stylish with all the creature comforts included? Check out Restoration Hardware for beautiful, vintage leather recliners that will suit your needs and his desires. This way you can both love the space you live in.

While we know that the man in your life may not ask for much, treat him right on his birthday and go the extra yard to make him feel special, trust us, he’ll love it.

Living Better, Single

deep conversation, brilliant mind, beautiful soul, relationship meme, S.C. Rhyne, The Reporter and The Girl

The important word here is, “living”. We sometimes forget that despite the obstacles and hardships we face, life still goes on.  We cannot get stuck.

I have been “stuck” these last two weeks, but slowly my feet are trudging through the thick mud so I can live. I heard back from one school, and the professor will not take on my research proposal, so I won’t apply. I still have to hear from one more…so time will tell.

I started getting momentum towards the end of the week when I scouted out another school and emailed a couple of professors. One replied on Friday asking for my draft proposal, so I’m back on the ball! As long as I keep applying…I’ll keep moving in the right direction.

As I try to get other pieces moving in the right direction, this weekend, I thought about what it means to be single. I spent both Friday and Saturday night at home and the days were unremarkable, as there weren’t any events by me, and no one to hang out with. Not a bad thing, as I had a pretty wild one last weekend that resulted in getting an extra hole…somewhere.

Per discussion with a friend, I asked why some people are constantly in relationships,and how they manage to sometimes go from one to another with seemingly short periods of singleness.

“I like being in relationships and having someone to connect with”.

“I like being with someone and not alone”:

“I get lonely and its great having someone to talk or be with”.

“I hate being single”.

By the way, all of these statements were said by men. Surprise right? Despite the stony macho wall that most guys put up, these guys were “relationship oriented”. You’ll also notice that the statements are about connecting on an emotional level and not just about sex. And I also have some old male friends that recently (as of Sunday) put a ring on their relationships.

All these reasons (except for the last one), are great things to have in a relationship: connection, companionship, and communication. Those guys are lucky to find that in every relationship they dived into, however I wonder what happened to the last “C” (commitment), if they move from one to another seamlessly.

It also makes me ponder why I don’t feel like I need these, as strongly as my friends do.

I was born alone, and statistics show that I will also die alone, and young too. Unless you’re a twin or otherwise, we are all born alone, and very few couples actually die together (unless something horrible happened). So I always enjoyed my own company, even when I’m out, I’m still usually in my head.

Chey B, calls this “single by design“. Before anyone is in a relationship, you are single first.The way you define yourself now, is how your partner will see you when you pair up. How you take care of YOU – inside and out, will show when you are partnered up and may determined how successful you are in a relationship.

In other words, if you are lonely or do not enjoy your own company, chances are that other people will not enjoy your company too. If you do not enjoy hanging out with you, then why would someone else enjoy being with you?

I also feel the need to put a disclaimer here: There is a difference between lonely and being alone. Many people can be alone (physically) but not feel lonely (emotional). If someone is feeling lonely, this is internal and not something a “relationship” will solve.

Being single is the opportunity to design yourself and grow to your fullest potential. Of course, when you’re ready you can share the fruits of your labor with someone worthy.


Again, you worked hard on growth and development, you will want to share it with someone that will appreciate it. Many of the statements listed above reveal persons who may not be fully developed and ready for a relationship. Hence, they may make bad partners, and we have all had bad partners. So make sure you pair up with the right person at the right time. You don’t want to jump in only to be tossed back out by being single by default.

So tell me 3  traits in each of the following categories:

  •  3 things that you are good at, or that make you awesome
  • 3 things that you want to accomplish or do
  • 3 things that you want to improve or get better at

Three things that make me awesome:

I can leg press up to 360 pounds, I’m very organized, and I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

Three things that I want do:

Go back to school! Travel to Africa and the Middle East, learn another language and target shooting.

Three things I need to improve:

The languages I had already learned (I’m forgetting Italian, Mandarin, and French since I don’t use those often), stop biting my nails, be better at communication, especially my feelings.

So let me know on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or post it on my board!