Meet Brody and Vanessa Wright. This is their Boise love story told by Vanessa.
How They Met:
I was living in Pocatello at the time. My friend wanted to leave town to celebrate her birthday so we decided to head to Boise for the weekend! Brody and I met downtown boise off 6th and main, in the middle of the street! We stopped on that corner to exchange numbers, and later met up the next day! That following night, He showed me around Boise and I fell in love with the atmosphere even more.
We have been inseparable ever since. After 4 months into our relationship and long distance, I finally took the step to move to Boise to pursue our going relationship. A year later, we got engaged, and a year after that, we got married . We now have a beautiful daughter, Moana who is 6 months. We will be together for 4 years this coming March, 2 year wedding anniversary in June ❤️🤗
Describe Your First Date:
He offered to come visit me in Pocatello for our first actual date. We had breakfast at a place called “Butterburrs” and I was pretty shy! I refused to look him straight in the eye during our date because he was so intimidating! He thought I wasn’t interested in him! We attempted a second date the following weekend. Second date kicked off much better! And he continued to come down to see me every weekend for 4 months until I moved. Been together ever since ❤️
What Advice Do You Have For Those Looking for Love in Boise?
My advice for those looking for love in Boise is HAVE FUN, live a little and don’t have such high standards!!!! I honestly did not plan on being in a relationship so soon when I met my husband. But that’s what life does to you! People show up at the right place and the right time!
Before, I used to be so picky, but being picky isn’t always a good thing! Once I realized what was actually realistic in a man/relationship, the more fun it became to meeting people!! I never thought I’d meet my husband in the middle of the street! I took that as a sign and opportunity to see what would happen next!
So have fun, take chances, and live life with a positive outlook!! Always!
What we enjoy doing as a couple:
We LOVE sushi! You’ll catch us at your local IOU Sushi, or outdoors paddleboarding, or hiking with our German shepherd named Kuma and our daughter Moana around the valley! We also enjoy The Village at Meridian, and Bowling at Big Al’s with family and friends!
Vanessa also has a YouTube channel where she does amazing makeup tutorials. Her Instagram is an amazing feed of her family, friends, and her beauty tutorials. I tease her sometimes on Instagram to help teach me some amazing makeup tricks! Make sure to follow her at @vanessamwright.
If you are like me a year ago, I didn’t know what to do when it came to my first holiday season in Boise. For those who are new to Boise, or if you’re looking for a few new ideas, here’s my Top 16 Holiday Activities to Cross Off Your Boise Bucket List:
1. Capital Tree Lighting on the Grove Plaza
Date: November 24th, from 5pm -6:30pm.
Get ready to snuggle with your loved ones as you enjoy the holiday tree lighting. It’ll be held at The Grove, and festivities begin at 5pm. Entertainment by Red Light Challenge and the Boise Men’s & Women’s Choruses.
Date: November 18 & 19; 10am – 5pm; Pioneer Room at JUMP Boise
Looking to find some homemade goodies you can give as gifts? The 2017 Wintry is here and will be held at JUMP. The market will be open and free to the public this Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm.
3. Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees
Date: November 22nd – November 28th.
Last year, I attended this wonderful event and I highly recommend it. For so many reasons. All funds raised will support the expansion of Saint Alphonsus. You get to walk around and be surrounded by all of the holiday splendor that makes you feel warm inside. Let’s not forget the hundreds of decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, and holiday decor.
4. Idaho Food Bank Empty Bowls
Date: Friday, November 24; 11am – 2pm; Grove Plaza
It’s the 20th anniversary of the Idaho Food Bank Empty Bowls! The Empty Bowls is where you get to choose from hand-painted bowls from professional and amateur painters, students, and studios. After you select a bowl, you can then enjoy a hot bowl of soup generously donated by one of the local Boise restaurants.
Over 3,000 bowls to choose from, and bowls start at $10.00. It’ll be held at the Boise Center. *Parking WILL BE FREE on Friday.
Recommendation: ARRIVE EARLY! I made the terrible mistake of attending around 12pm. The line was long, wrapped around Main Street.
5. Boise Classic Movies at the Egyptian Theater
I’m movie geek and fanatic, so when Boise Classic Movies released its holiday schedule, I screamed with joy. Maybe not scream, but definitely got giddy.
This year, the list of classic movies range from action to romcom to the classic holiday movies:
It’s a Wonderful Life
A Christmas Story
Some of the movies showings include beer and wine (21+). I believe these will all sell out, so grab your tickets early. Plus, you get to watch it in the coolest place here in Boise: The Egyptian Theater.
6. Ice Skating at the Village of Meridian
Date: November through January 2018
I’ll admit — I’m not the best when it comes to ice skating. BUT for the holiday season, I’ll put on some ice skates.
The Village of Meridian now has an ice skating rink in Fountain Square. Its open from November thru January. Ticket prices start at $5.00.
Enjoy a night of ice skating, then grab hot chocolate at Village Coffee, and sit by a warm fire.
7. Winter Garden aGlow at the Idaho Botanical Garden
Date: Thursday, November 23 – Monday, January 1; 6pm; Botanical Garden
The Garden isn’t only for the warm months. The Idaho Botanical Garden becomes a dazzling display of lights during the holiday season. Over 380K lights, to be exact.
On select nights, you can even see Santa and enjoy the sounds of local choirs.
Tickets start at $8, and children under 4 are FREE
8. Idaho Hot Springs
Stay warm in one of Idaho’s hot springs. There a public and commercial options when choosing a hot spring. There are quite a few an hour or less from Boise:
The Springs Resort
Roy Stone Hot Springs
Little Anderson Hot Spring
If you’re willing to drive further, your options expand!
9. The Nutcracker at Ballet Idaho
Date: Friday, December 15th and go through Sunday, December 17th.
When I was growing up, my parents brought my siblings and me to see the Nutcracker. My sister especially loved it because she was into ballet. When I close my eyes and think of Christmas, seeing the Nutcracker is part of that vision.
Luck for us, we have a chance to see the Nutcracker live at Ballet Idaho. This year, Ballet Idaho is hosting Nutcracker parties prior to each performance!
Snag your tickets early because these showings HAVE SOLD OUT! Not kidding.
10. Downtown Carriage Rides
Date: Every Friday and Saturday from November 24th – December 16th, 4pm – 8pm
You’d think you’d have to travel to New York City to enjoy a classic carriage ride. Or, at least that’s what I see in the movies.
Starting in late November, you have the chance to enjoy a FREE carriage ride in downtown Boise. Yes, I said FREE.
Pickup is in front of the Washington Trust Bank 9th Street downtown Boise.
11. Boise Annual Holiday Concert
Date: The concert is December 8th at 7:30pm.
Let’s celebrate the season with Boise State University’s annual family holiday concert. The Boise State Music Department puts on this wonderful concert for all to enjoy. BSU students, faculty & staff are eligible for free tickets. Non-BSU tickets start at $8
12. Claus N Paws Day at Zoo Boise
Date: Saturday, December 2nd from 10am – 5pm
Want to have a fun FREE day at the zoo? On Saturday, December 2nd starting at 10am, you and your family can enjoy all the zoo offerings. Santa Claus will visit the zoo for photo ops.
13. Boise Holiday Parade
Date: Saturday, November 18th starting at 9:45am
You can’t help but to enjoy a good, entertaining holiday parade. On Saturday, November 18th, come to downtown Boise and enjoy the “Storybook Christmas” at this year’s Boise annual Holiday Parade. The parade kicks off on Jefferson at 10th Street and heads to 4th Street.
14. Winter Wonderland in Downtown Caldwell
Date: Friday, November 17th from 6pm – 9pm.
If you haven’t driven to Caldwell for its Winter Wonderland, you’re definitely missing out! I attended this last year, and I’m so happy the time has come where I can go again. You have the beautiful light display in downtown Caldwell. Lots of children activities, music, and plenty of vendors.
15. Elf the Musical at The Morrison Center
Date: Shows start on Friday, December 1st and run through Saturday, December 2nd. Tickets start at $35
Want to experience Broadway in Boise? As part of the 2017 – 2018 season, Elf the Broadway Musical will be playing at the Morrison Center. After you see the classic movie at the Egyptian Theater, head over to the Morrison Center to see the Broadway Musical!
16. Idaho State Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting
Date: Monday, November 27th
Last year, I attended the Idaho State Capitol Christmas Tree lighting right after work, and it was absolutely worth it. There was free hot cocoa and cookies for everyone. After the tree lighting, you can head inside and explore the Idaho State Capitol building. Holiday decorations are something that’s magical – amazing, even. With the vibrant reds and the deep greens to the holiday wreaths, you can get lost in the sea of beautiful holiday decorations. The Idaho State Capitol building does not disappoint. The interior of the Capitol building is absolutely amazing!
Do you have any ideas of holiday festivities I should include on this list? Feel free to email me at email@example.com for activities worth crossing off the #BoiseBucketList
Make sure to follow me on Instagram and use the hashtag #BoiseBucketList to share your stories of new adventures!
Thanks to the ladies in my Girls Night Boise group, I have a creative list of first-date ideas when dating in Boise. Even if it’s not your first date, here are some date night ideas you can impress your lover with:
Grab a Scooter, get a picnic basket, and zip around Boise.
Scooters are fun, and they add this layer of exhilaration any couple would enjoy. You can either take the picnic to a romantic spot in Boise (Julia Davis Park, Ann Morrison Park, or Camel Back’s Park), or end your scooter adventure at a romantic restaurant.
This is my personal favorite because the dates with my then-boyfriends started off carefree and casual. Think about how fun it’ll be to tap into your inner kid again. No pressure of highly romantic dates. This is a personal preference, but I’m a big fan of fun and casual dates. Why?
Be slightly competitive, fun & flirty while playing mini gold
Jump in a go-kart and race each other & see who wins
Have fun as you play laser tag
Get to know each other over a slice of pizza
Take some of those classic photo booth pictures
Plus – it’s my way of seeing if a guy is hyper competitive and if whether he can be silly & relaxed. Not take himself too seriously. It’s also an excuse for me to wear a cute top, some boyfriend cut jeans, and throw on my Converses.
Talk about bringing it back, in an entertaining and fun way. Who doesn’t old school arcade games? SpaceBar Arcade is this cool spot located below Dharma Sushi and Thai on Capitol Blvd in Downtown Boise. You know you’re in the right spot when you see the line of old school arcade machines for your perusing. Head to the bar to grab some drinks. You’ll notice an 80s movie playing one these 3 small TVs in the corner. And it’s a VHS that’s playing (my younger audience may need to google what a VHS is.) If you want to tape into your Nintendo skills, grab a seat on the couch with your date and start playing!
I’ve been to the SpaceBar Arcade to hang out, but never on a date. This is on my list.
Calling all Demi Moores and Patrick Swayzes (Ghost movie reference). Well, maybe not so much like that scene, but you can get together and paint your own pottery piece. It allows both of you to tap into your creative side and see how each other creates. You can even give each other your masterpieces once they are ready.
Hiking & Grab Healthy Smoothie Afterwards
With plenty of hiking trails, you have many opportunities to have your first date be an active one. You can see beautiful Boise while getting to know each other. After burning off some calories, you can grab some healthy cuisine at places like Fresh Café Boise.
Capital City Market + 8th Street Brunch
Since I’ve experienced the Capital City Market for the first time last weekend, I can definitely see it being an ideal place for a first date. You can take your time exploring all the various vendor tables, buy each other fun gifts, and take your time strolling as you talk & connect. It’s low key enough to where you don’t have that high pressure to keep chatting. Plus, you can be flirty in a less-than-obvious way. Maybe that’s me talking because I’m not the best with all of that flirty stuff. After taking your time walking around, you can then head over to one of the restaurants on 8th Street: Juniper, Eureka, Wild Root Café, Bittercreek Alehouse, and Red Feather Lounge. You can even venture off 8th Street and head over to Bacon or St. Lawrence Gridiron.
Get Your Laugh on at Liquid Laughs
You can’t beat having a good laugh in at your first date. It’s an ideal way to break the ice between 2 people. Why not head over to Liquid Laughs for your first date? I haven’t been to liquid laughs, but I know it’s a place I’m adding to my date night bucket list. You can grab dinner beforehand at Solid, or Bardenay, or P.F. Chang. You can walk over to Liquid Laughs, sit next to each other, and enjoy being entertained. Afterwards, you can maybe walk around downtown and keep the conversation going.
This is my PART I of my 1ST date ideas. Big special thanks to my girls night boise special ladies for their dating ideas and input: Taylor, Ashley, and Crystal! Stay tuned for plenty more ideas.
Let’s be honest – who doesn’t enjoy some good tunes. I’m fortunate to be living in a city with a vibrant and eclectic music scene. With summer months ahead, I have my calendar constantly filling up with upcoming tours & music festival I can’t wait to attend. That said, here’ my Boise Bucket List of the 6 Must-See BOI Summer Concerts!
I’ve been a personal fan of the Dirty Heads since about 2011. In 2012, their summer tour brought them to Portland, ME State Theater. You’d think I’d go and see the Dirty Heads with them being in my ‘hood. Nope. Didn’t happen.
Life got busy after, and I wasn’t too concerned with going to any local concerts.
2017 – I have another chance to see the Dirty Heads. And this time, it’ll be VIP!
Dirty Heads have those reggae vibes infused with hip-hop beats. These Huntingon Beach, CA natives make me feel like I’m at the beach, vibing with a tropical drink in my hands. All my worries go away when I jam out to “Spread Too Thin.”
Where: Expo Idaho, 5610 North Glenwood, Garden City
In the past 7 years, Boise Music Fest has grown to a become a huge family event, attracting attendees from all over, especially in the Mountain and Pacific Northwest. This year should be no different. From carnivals to food vendors to multiple stages – it’s the summer music fest you can’t miss.
This year’s lineup includes:
Flo-RIDA (of course a Floridian is heading to Boise while I’m here)
The Band Perry (If I Die Young – my jam!)
Sean Kingston (Durty Rock with Nicki Minaj was my dancing anthem when in law school)
Imagine watching your favorite artists perform with the foothills surrounding you, and a late-night summer Idaho sunset. Yes, that’s what you get with the Idaho Botanical Gardens Outlaw Field Summer Concert Series. This summer’s lineup includes:
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Make sure you grab your tickets quickly! These tickets sell out, like Santana’s.
311 has been a favorite of mine since I was in high school. Who doesn’t remember “Down”? I think that’s when I really got into the reggae-fused alternative sounds. Like the Dirty Heads, I had a chance to see them back in Maine, but nope. Miss that opportunity too! My personal favorite songs are “Amber” and “Love Song” from one of my favorite movies 50 First Dates.
For over 30 years, Downtown Boise Association put on weekly concerts at the Grove for the public to attend. This year, summer concerts will run from June 7th – August 30th. The concerts start at 5pm and end around 8pm. Make sure to visit the website to see the complete list of artists scheduled to perform
Here are some concerts and festivals I think you should cross off your #BOImusicbucketlist
For couples, this is the time where the box stores are FLOODED with Valentine’s Day goodies (stuffed animals, candy, balloons, chocolate, love-y dove-y cards) and your heart flutters with excitement.
As a single, you’re most likely thinking
Some time ago, Valentine’s Day conjured up dread in the land of singles. Not this year! I, for one, forbid to wallow in sorrow for not being happily hooked up. Here are my Dos and Don’ts for Singles in the BOI:
DO: Give Thanks for the Ones who Got Away
During this next couple of weeks, it may be inevitable to think about the exes in your life.
I loved when he did this
He was so cute
She was the love of my life
Stop! Pump the breaks. Don’t succumb to those all feelings from your past. Be thankful for the cosmos intervening and giving you another chance at love.
DON’T: Feel Sorry For Yourself
Feeling sorry yourself is never a sexy way of being. Use this time to participate in random acts of kindness. Maybe buy a stranger coffee when at Flying M. How about spoiling your pooches with kisses & toys for Valentine’s Day. Check in with an old friend & treat them to lunch. You’ll have more fun when you shift your perspective about Valentine’s Day.
DO: Spend the Day with Friends
I remember the days where I wasn’t in a relationship, yet I had one of the best Valentine’s Day. I lived with 3 other women in a dorm-styled apartment when I went to law school. None of us were seriously seeing anyone. Rather, we baked a delicious cake, bought each other mini gifts, grabbed bottles of wine, cranked up the music, and danced to our favorite songs. It was FABULOUS!
Grab your single friends (or friends who can’t be with their sig other), go out for dinner, see a movie (When Harry Met Sally @ The Egyptian), and share the love of friendship. Checkout out my list of things to do in BOI for VDay.
DON’T: Drunk Dial your Ex(es)
Ok – so all of these memories of your ex are flooding into your mind. It doesn’t help you’re drinking too. That Ed Sheeran song reminds you of your ex. That memory triggers you to start some Facebook stalking. That memory triggers you to grab your phone and possible text him or her.
Listen – did you ask to be single around Valentine’s Day? No. No you didn’t. So don’t be ashamed. Celebrate a new stage in your life. Or if it’s been some time you’ve been single, EMBRACE IT.
Take it from someone who’s going to celebrate the 2nd Valentine’s Day single. But I’ll be honest and open: even when I was in a relationship, it was lonely and a moment of complete unhappiness. (Click HERE to grab my list of things to do in Boise for Valentine’s Day).
What would you rather be: in a unhappy relationship or single, dedicating time to loving who you are? I’d take the latter, please.
DON’T: Feel Ashamed of Your Single Status
Because I’m not from Boise (where relationships are the standard way of dating), I don’t know how it is to be shamed for being single. In South Florida, sometimes people like to be single around Valentine’s Day because of all the single-oriented festivities happening downtown Ft. Lauderdale. I RARELY thought about the times I was single ,because Valentine’s Day was about celebrating the sexiness of being single.
So twirl on those haters who are making you feel ashamed for being single. Bye hatahs! (Click HERE to grab my list of things to do in Boise for Valentine’s Day).
DO: Spend That Money On Yourself
Always wanted to get an ultimate massage?
How about that pair of sunglasses?
Or that haircut you’ve always wanted but never DARE to?
Here’s my answer: Yes, Yes and YES! Yes to everything. I’m going to personally treat myself to some new music. I LOVE The Weeknd, and I’m going to buy his newest album and jam to it. Boom.
DON’T: Go On A Blind or First Date
Some may ask why not?
Well, think about it. Even if this person is the coolest and going out for Valentine’s Day seems like a good idea:
you’ll be surrounded by couples kissing & cuddling
more pressure on the date than average
Make the decision to go out the following day, when the heightened Cupid’s spell won’t be as thick in the streets of Boise.
Apply these Do’s and Don’ts and you’re likely going to have a great Valentine’s Day. I’m in your exact shoes — trust me. I’m choosing to be happy for everyone in love, and I’m especially choosing to be happy for my current status in life. I’m single, meeting wonderful people here in Boise, and open to meeting Mr. Right-for-Me. I’ll be struck by Cupid’s Arrow once again in life, and until then, I’ll be Dating in the BOI.
Don’t forget to grab my #BOIVDayBucketList by clicking HERE.
Anytime I tell someone I’m originally from West Palm Beach, Florida I’m greeting with this automatic “oh dear, how are you holding up in the winter?” Great question.
Fortunately for me (or unfortunately, depending on your mindset), I lived in Portland, ME for 5 years. During that time, I gained firsthand experience of what it means to dress warmly. Such is a foreign concept for Floridians — unless that 3-day cold front we usually get in January.
Thankfully, lessons learned in Maine helped me transition to life during this BOI winter. Here are the 5 ways I dress warmly:
L.L. Bean Boots. For those who don’t know, the founders of L.L. Bean are from Maine. If you ever visit Freeport, make sure to snap a photo in front of the famous Bean Boot.With all my Mainer friends talking about their “beans,” I took note and decided to do some research for myself. I immediately became hooked after purchasing my 1st pair. Yes, I have more than one! The ones I wear for winter are the L.L. Bean Boots with the shearing-lining. They keep my feet extra warm, which is necessary for me! They can be a bit costly upfront, but it’s a lifetime guarantee with their products. I’ve had mine for over 6 years, and they still look good as new.
Wool Socks. Understandably, I had NO CLUE what wool socks were prior to moving to New England. Once winter came around, I overheard a classmate of mine talk about his wool socks and how they made him itch. Say what?What are wool socks? Rather than asking and being embarrassed, I did the usually thing: Google search. I have no clue how I survived my first winter without them! I try to keep it colorful with these wool socks.
Parka. I tried my hardest to refrain from pulling out the parka here in Boise. I wanted to show that I can handle the cold temps. Then I was (re) introduced to 20 degrees F. That made me change my mind real quick. I have a few parkas, but my favorite is my North Face parka.
Here’s a tip: if this is your first winter and costs of jackets are wearing you down, I recommend visiting the local thrift stores such as Idaho Youth Ranch and Goodwill. I received this tip when in New England because I was worried about costs, particularly since I never had to spend over $20 for any warm piece of clothing. At the thrift stores, I found everything from brand new jackets still with tags to gently used high-end jackets. My first winter in New England was manageable because of those 2nd hand L.L. Bean jackets.
Gloves. A few weeks ago, I made the terrible mistake of leaving my gloves at home when I volunteered at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Boy were my hands freezing! Moving forward, I now I have 2 pairs — one I keep in my jacket pocket. My go-to gloves are those with a buckle closure and those which are touchscreen-friendly. Prior to these touchscreen-friendly gloves, it was annoying to have to remove my gloves to answer my call or text.
My winter hats. I have my fair share of winter hats. Some hats are more appropriate to wear when my hair is straightened; others times I wear hats made to fit my entire head of curls. My when-my-hair-is-straight winter hat is the standard beanie. It’s comfortable, keeps my head warm, and it compliments my face. Now, when my hair is too curly, the only hats that can handle it is the ski caps with a visor. I wear this all the time — even at home! Makes me feel warm and toasty.
With what appears as this record-breaking winter for snow, I’m glad I’m equipped to stay warm. What are some of your must-have winter items?