Like Your Wedding Day, Plan An Unforgettable Anniversary

couple boating, boating, riding off into the sunset, the reporter and the girl, Jon Sudbury

The day you and your spouse exchanged vows was the most perfect, memorable and exciting day of your lives up until then. Now you’re looking forward to another one of those amazing, memorable days…but once you’re married, what day is that? For some, it’s the day you become a parent, but not every couple wants kids. Does that mean, if you decide not to have kids, you’ll never have another perfect, memorable best-day-of-your-life day?

Of course not. Who says you can’t have at least one of those every year? Kids or no kids, your wedding was the first of the perfect-memorables, so it makes sense to celebrate every anniversary as though it’s your wedding day; except without the white dress and guest list of 100. So go above-and-beyond for anniversaries to pay respect to the day that changed everything forever.

Treasure Hunt

This can be an exciting way to not only have some fun with each other, but help build the suspense and anticipation for what comes after. If you are going to do a scavenger hunt, make sure you take some time a few days in advance and plan everything out. Determine how large you want the hunt to be. Is it going to just involve areas of your house or will you be venturing all over the neighborhood?

Set everything up a day or two in advance. You can write the clues and hide them at any time, just make sure they are places that your spouse won’t come across on accident before the hunt starts. You can do this as a surprise to him or her or you can both plan a scavenger hunt for the other, ending at the same place. You can even change things up and do scavenger hunts where the hints include items like candles or chocolates or toys that have to be collected and possibly even be used later in the evening.

Boating Adventure

Sometimes the perfect day is simply getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, even if it’s just for a few hours. If this is what you are thinking, consider taking a cruise out on the lake. The peaceful waters and beautiful scenery are often the ideal setting for a romantic day or evening with your husband or wife. Just make sure you cover all your bases, as most states in the U.S. and Canada require a boat operator’s license. The last thing you want is for your evening to be ruined because of a legal snafu.

Picnic Under the Stars

As long as the weather permits, a nighttime picnic is one of the most romantic ways to celebrate another year of marriage. Find the perfect spot and set everything up earlier in the day: a large comfortable blanket, flowers and rose petals strewn about, champagne and desserts waiting in a cooler. You can even bring along a portable speaker to add some ambiance with both light and music.

Remember, your wedding anniversary only comes around once a year; although you’ll never forget the day you said “I do,” by taking that extra little step to make your husband or wife feel special and appreciated, you can relive that beautiful day every year and keep your marriage brimming with love and romance.

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The book and spa give away is still active! Follow and tweet me @ReporterandGirl these phrases:

Book GiveAway

But love is another world altogether…& this is not a love story @ReporterandGirl #DebutNovel http://ow.ly/JmeFC #BookGiveAway

Spa Gift Certificate

The Wonders of Italian Beauty (Free Giveaways Inside!) http://wp.me/p2MqP7-nb via @reporterandgirl #SpaGiveAway

The Wonders of Italian Beauty (Free Giveaways Inside!)

erbe, beauty salon, italian beauty, dancers, La'Alegria

Wow, these last two weeks have been crunch time for me!

I attended a spa launching in the SoHo district of Manhattan; the salon, La’Alegria, has been in business for over two decades providing “warm and intimate” services to their clients with authentic all-natural Italian products.

So first thing I noticed is that the salon was full of folks from the neighborhood, even those that were not regular customers. You don’t usually get that with many salons, so after talking with people who came to support the new launching– I was impressed. This business has made a positive impact.

Another important factor to me is diversity.

Beauty salons, sadly in my experience, have not always been competent to work with clients of color. Even though I have not used Erbe products nor have been a client of theirs; the crowd had men and women of different races and ages. One African American woman had even flown in for the weekend to attend the launch. She has been using their skin care products for ten years, and even though she lives out-of-state, she still orders them and have them shipped to her.

So with products that are all-natural and not tested on animals, it seems that a cream or cleanser from this line may end up in my bathroom cabinet soon enough.

Every attendee was given a $30 gift certificate to use at the spa; thus, as a gift to my dear readers I am giving away the gift certificate. It expires in February 2016, so if you are in New York, or planning to take a trip here within the next year, why not treat yourself at La’ Alegria Spa?

So I will choose one random winner who follows me on twitter here and tweets out the link of this post (you can do this via the sharing button below). Make sure my handle @ReporterandGirl is included in the tweet and the hashtag #SpaGiveAway

But that’s not all!

This past Valentine’s/Singles’ Awareness Day I also did a swanky event at Bed Vyne Brew in Brooklyn, where I sold autograph copies of my debut novel. It was very exciting and we even ended up staying longer than originally planned; folks also responded positively to the brief readings I did.

book table, books, pink cane, the reporter and the girl, love you up
Is that what I think it is?

I had brought some props that were featured in the book (as you can see to your left). But most importantly, everyone had fun and a good time. The band was awesome and the wine was flowing, so I really want to give a shout-out to Bed Vyne Brew for hosting me and the lovely ladies to feature my book and their wonderful body oils.

Thus, I will also give away a signed paperback copy of The Reporter and The Girl! Just follow me on twitter and tweet the phrase:

But love is another world altogether…& this is not a love story @ReporterandGirl #DebutNovel http://ow.ly/JmeFC #BookGiveAway

So happy tweeting, following, and hastagging folks! I’ll see you on the horizon!

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Aromatherapy: Scents For The Soul

oils, body oil, essential oil, aromatherapy, S.C Rhyne

***This Saturday, at Bed-Vyne Brew in Brooklyn, will be my book signing, scented oils release, and wine!***

Got a case of the winter blues? A lot of people get sad this time of year — the days are short and dark, it’s cold and dreary and we spend most of our time shut away indoors. You’re listless, don’t have much enthusiasm and generally just feel blah.

If you’re also experiencing changes in your eating or sleeping habits, feeling hopeless or worthless or thinking about suicide, you could be suffering from a serious form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In this case, seek medical attention as soon as possible. But if you’re symptoms are less dire and more doldrum-y, you may benefit from aromatherapy.

What’s Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and plant extracts to maintain and promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse coined the term his 1937 book, “Aromatherapie.”

Inhaling these aromatic essential oils stimulates the sniffer’s olfactory system, which sends a signal to his or her limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions and retrieves learned memories. This signal causes a release of chemicals that can make the subject feel calm and relaxed or alert and stimulated, depending on the scent and the individual’s emotional response to it.

The scientific community has no hard proof that aromatherapy can directly heal you from a physical ailment, but there is ample evidence that it can make you feel good and boost your mood. This study found a link between aromatherapy and mood enhancement, and as William Malarkey, professor of internal medicine and one of the study’s researchers pointed out, “If an individual patient uses these oils and feels better, there’s no way we can prove it doesn’t improve that person’s health.”

Using Aromatherapy to Boost Your Mood

Aromatherapy is practiced by rubbing the essential oil on the skin or inhaling the scent. These oils can also be included in massage oils, lotions and candles. Here’s a guide to get you started:

  • As an air freshener. Citrus (particularly lemon) oils are a great way to stimulate the senses and help you feel energized. Add a few drops of the essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray the room a few times.
  • In the bath or hot tub. Geranium, lavender and bergamot reduce anxiety and stress. Add 6-8 drops of these to your bath, or add crystal beads and elixirs scented with these oils to your bath or hot tub.
  • As you relax. Essential oils of juniper, rosemary, lavender, fennel, carrot, grapefruit, lemon and cedar wood are all said to increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Add a few drops to a warm, wet wash cloth and place it on your forehead as you relax.
  • In lotion and massage oil. Add several drops of chamomile, sage or clove oil to your favorite unscented lotion or to jojoba oil.
  • In a plain, unscented candle. Light an unscented candle and add a few drops of jasmine, juniper berry, peppermint or ylang ylang oil to the melted wax as it burns.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your oils. Keep trying combinations and delivery methods until you find the combination that works for you. You can find essential oils at health food stores, alternative/New Age shops and, of course, online.

**I hope to see you all at Bed Vyne, we will also perform sensual massages demos with the new body oils. Share with me your favorite scent!**

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Love You Up! See S.C Rhyne Next Weekend

Bed Vyne Brewery, book signing, roses and oil, sensual, S.C. Rhyne, swirling event

I am having an event on Valentine’s Day at the Bed Vyne Brew in Brooklyn.

I’m really excited; I teamed up with two lovely ladies who make their own hand-made natural oils, with unisex scents.  I have actually been using her oils for almost a year now and am very pleased with the way it moisturizes and soaks into my skin, while giving me a fresh and light scent. My favorite so far has been the lotus lavender scent.

We will have paperback copies of my book for sale, as well as bottles of the oil.  For those who are interested in Ebooks, I will give away a coupon code for those who come so they can purchase the Ebook at 60% off! I will be doing a couple of readings as well as live demos of sensual massages with these scented all-natural body oils.

There will be live music by the band Nafsi Groove, some light refreshments, and of course great wine!

And, this is just a rumor —

Its possible that we will debut a scent inspired by The Reporter and The Girl novel!

Hhmmmm….A sensual experience awaits us.

I hope to see you all there!

@ReporterandGirl

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College Couples on Valentine’s Day: Know When to Splurge and When to Cut Back

interracial couple, black man white woman, interracial blog, couple on beach

If you’re a couple in college, Valentine’s Day can be tricky. You want to make it a special day with your loved one, but budget restrictions may prevent you from splurging. You need to carefully think about what is worth the extra money and what to cut back on. Don’t worry, though, you can celebrate on a budget. Here are some ideas to help you and your honey plan your special day:

1. Jewelry vs. a Trip Together

For the man who is contemplating splurging on jewelry, consider an alternative to a present that only she can enjoy. Instead, use that money on an experience, like a road trip or a quick getaway to bed and breakfast. The experience of vacationing together can strengthen your relationship in ways you don’t expect. Check Expedia for travel and hotel deals and apps like Groupon for activities and restaurants. This way you might even pay less for a trip together than on a single piece of jewelry.

2. Dinner and a Movie vs. Cooking in and Renting a Movie

Because going out for a dinner and a movie on Valentine’s Day is so popular, you might sacrifice on the quality of food, run into long wait times or spend a lot of money at restaurants. The alternative is to save money and cook a meal together. You can collaborate on the menu, shop together for the ingredients and open a bottle of wine while you cook. Guys also can bring a bouquet of flowers from FTD as an unexpected surprise for their girlfriends. There is no replacement for enjoying quality time together.

3. A Box of Candy vs. a Gift Card

According to Visual Economics, over 50 percent of people buy candy on Valentine’s Day. At $20 per box, it may not break the bank, but it also may not be worth the so-so impact. Once the candy or chocolate is gone, it will be a fleeting memory. Instead, skip the candy and treat your sweetheart to a gift card to a place he or she can relax and enjoy like a coffee shop or a spa. This will allow your loved one to relax and really enjoy the gift.

4. An Expensive Gift vs. an Experience

Maybe you are tempted to buy your loved one a big ticket item to celebrate the occasion, but you might want to consider spending that money an experience you can do together instead. Think outside the box for this activity to make it memorable. For example, go to a track to race cars, go horseback riding or fly over the city in a helicopter. By doing something you’ve never done together, you will create memories that are scrapbook worthy.

Even though you may feel some pressure to splurge on Valentine’s Day, be smart about your choices and stay within your budget. You can still have fun, but try to think out of the box and focus on the gestures and experiences that will create real memories.

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4 New Year’s Resolutions for 20-Something Girls

girl picking flower, new years resolution, S.C Rhyne, interracial blog, blogger, blond girl

Any day is a great opportunity to make a positive change. But the New Year in particular is the most exciting time to envision a better future. Cozy up with a latte or pour a glass of red wine, hit “play” on your favorite Spotify playlist and spend some quality time declaring your resolutions for the next 12 months. Here are four ideas to inspire New Year’s resolutions for the 20-something girl who wants to make every year of this defining decade count.

Personal Challenge

Make this the year you break free from fear and insecurity. Life’s too short to not take risks, be adventurous or test your limits. Are you watching life pass by in a personal safety zone, surrounded by cushy comforts and mediocrity? It’s terrifying to think about what you want deep down inside, but be too afraid to go after it.

Turn your “Wanderlust” Pinterest board into a reality and plan a backpacking trip to Europe for real. Prove to yourself you can train to run a marathon and cross the finish line. Have fun dating men who aren’t necessarily your type, and blog about it. Be open and fearless. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Challenge yourself.

Financial Commitment

A financial resolution to save for a trip, build up a savings account or pay off debt can seem close to impossible. If you’re like the typical 20-something, an entry-level income allows you to just get by, if that. Practice healthy money habits now to help you establish smart finances in the long-term.

Millennials are branded as the generation of entitlement. Commit to saving a certain amount of money each week. Truly save your credit card for emergencies. Help prove that all Gen Y-ers aren’t broke and entitled narcissists who take extravagant trips and buy expensive gadgets with nonexistent money. Schedule an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. You can also use apps like the Mint to help budget and DebtTracker Pro for following a debt payoff plan.

Wardrobe Rehab

Your 20s are a time of transition. Shopping should become more about quality over quantity and developing style over showing skin. You’re striving to impress your work colleagues, not your sorority sisters. If you’ve got a closet overflowing with college hoodies, party dresses and hot tops for bar hopping, a major wardrobe overhaul can come at a high cost.

Approach rebuilding your wardrobe as a year-long project and vow to make smart, purposeful purchases. Gradually replace items of your former self with classic pieces that are sophisticated and sustainable. Keep on eye on basics in neutral tones like black, white and cream. Indulge in few luxuries like a beautiful Rolex watch and Coach designer handbag are timeless accessories for everlasting style.

Strengthened Relationships

The people we love the most tend to be the ones we take most for granted. The 20s can be a “me” decade dedicated to your wants, needs and desires. Are you guilty of texting Mom superficial messages to make up for calling her less? Do you love your friends to their face and gossip about them behind their backs? Has your romantic relationship become routine and dull? Is your relationship with yourself self-deprecating and damaging?

Resolve to strengthen your most significant relationships, whether you connect with your family more meaningfully, tighten your social circle or decide to fly solo. Most important is the relationship you have with yourself. If that’s suffering, practice self-care, self-respect and unconditional love. Learn to treat yourself kindly with positivity and be your own best friend.

P.S – Welcome to my 200th post on The Reporter and The Girl!!

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