Dating in the BOI: 7 Fun 1st Date Ideas

 

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:


  1. 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.


  1. Be a big kid at Wahooz

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.


  1. Get Your PAC MAN on at SpaceBar Arcade

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.


  1. Tap into you artist at Ceramica

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

My Top 6 Picks for BOI Summer Concerts

 

I love music.

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!


  1. Dirty Heads & SOJA (Friday, July 7th, 2017)

Where: Ford Idaho Center Arena, Nampa

Ticket Prices: $25-$125

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.”


  1. Boise Music Fest (Saturday, June 24th, 2017)

 

Where: Expo Idaho, 5610 North Glenwood, Garden City

Tickets: $25-$125

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)

  1. Train, Natasha Bedingfield, and O.A.R.

Where: Ford Idaho Center Arena, Nampa

Tickets: $58-$85

Whenever a Train song comes on, I inevitably sing along. And Natasha Bedingfield? I was one of those that used to watch ‘The Hills” and jam to ‘Unwritten” like my life depended on it.

No. Seriously.

I’m looking forward to taking it back to some good hits which bring me back great memories. I can say my life right not is definitely unwritten.


  1. Idaho Botanical Gardens Summer Concert Series 2017

Where: Idaho Botanical Gardens

Tickets: prices vary

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:

  • John Mellencamp
  • Santana
  • Dashboard Confessionals
  • Diana Krall
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead

Make sure you grab your tickets quickly! These tickets sell out, like Santana’s.


  1. 311 & New Politics

Where: Revolution Concert House

Tickets: $40

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.


  1. Downtown Boise Alive After 5 Summer Concert Series

Where: The Grove Plaza, Downtown Boise

Tickets: FREE

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


Honorable Mentions:

Here are some concerts and festivals I think you should cross off your #BOImusicbucketlist

 

  1. The Beach Boys – July 9th, 2017
  2. Korn – June 25th, 2017
  3. Blondie & Garbage – July 14th, 2017

What are some of the concerts you plan to attend this summer?! Don’t forget to share on this post on my page at @boise_bucketlist. Use #BOIsummermusic2017 to be featured on my page!

#FoodTruckFriday: MakyJames Grill

Food truck culture is here and present in the Treasure Valley. As you’ve seen on @boise_bucketlist, I have shared photos of the deliciousness of some of the local food trucks.  After checking out my share of food trucks, I thought to myself: why not do #FoodTruckFriday? As the universe would have it, soon after I thought about this idea, I was tagged in this photo of an all-mighty burger by a food truck called MakyJames Grill. With my interested piqued, it only took a matter of time until I was right in front of their food truck, ready to feature them for my FIRST EVER #FoodTruckFriday feature!

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About MakyJames Grill

During my lunch break this past Wednesday,  I headed over to the SKYES section of HP  to meet with James and Mary — mother and son team who owns & runs the MakyJames Grill truck. This isn’t Mary’s first time at the food truck rodeo. Prior to her being the Queen of Grill Master here in the Treasure Valley, Mary used to run a food truck which sold custom and unique waffles.  Due to Mary’s love for comfort food, it only makes sense she transitioned into a grilled-based food truck. Think about it: juicy burgers or chicken breasts with a side of crispy fresh fries = comfort food Americana.

 


 

Wondering where the name MakyJames came from?

Makalyn is one of Mary’s sons. Around friends and family, Makalyn goes by “Maky”

James is Mary’s other son. He typically goes by Jimmy, but for the purposes of the food truck it’s James

Maky + James = MakyJames Grill Truck


Mother and Son: Good Combination?

Mary and James thought it’ll be a worthwhile venture to combine forces given their unique experiences.

Mary: prior food truck and business experience

James: marketing and communication experience

Makes sense, right?! It’s a win-win.  And it appears to be a successful partnership.


MakyJames Grill: Where Art Thou?

If you’re on the hunt for MakyJames Grill Truck, you can currently find them at the HP location in Boise, near the SKYES complex. MakyJames also appears at local food truck events as they pop up. Most events are advertised through the Southern Idaho Food Truck Association — acts like a middle person to help coordinate food truck events.


Want MakyJames at your next event?

  • email them at makyjamesgrill@gmail.com

  • Direct Message them on Instagram or Facebook

  • Call them at 208-914-0735


BOI Bucket List Review

I want you to close your eyes and imagine a warm summer night BBQ: smell of charcoal filling the air, sounds of meat sizzling, family chatter. Now imagine your mom preparing this juicy delicious burger, topped with melted cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes & red onions — all on a soft and warm burger bun. The type of burger you know is prepared from the heart and joy of feeding your loved ones with a perfected grilled piece of work.

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That’s how Mary grills her burgers.

You witness how grilling comfort food is Mary’s passion. Mary prepared me a special version of the Western Burger:

  • large beef patty
  • thick strips of bacon
  • slices of avocado
  • fresh lettuce, tomato and red onions
  • melted cheedar cheese
  • two crispy onion rings
  • BBQ sauce

Let’s not forget the side of crispy fries hot & ready when served. Mary asked me if I wanted ketchup or homemade fry sauce. I opted for the FRY SAUCE! (note: I knew nothing of this thing called fry sauce until I moved to the Mountain West. Now, I’m hooked!)

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James and Mary instructed me to go to my car & eat because it’s best when eating the burger HOT & FRESH. I followed said directive, headed to my car, and took my first bite.

WOW

WOW

WOW

I’ll admit: the burger could not completely fit in my mouth. But boy, that first bite was juicy, packed with flavor, and brought me back to this time of family summer BBQs. I see why she’s the Queen of the Grill.

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And let’s chat about the homemade fry sauce. Mary did share her secret in giving it its unique flavor (which I won’t share ;))


All I could say while slowly chomping away at this Western Burger was OMG, OMG, OMGThis is ahhhhmazing!  It didn’t matter that slices of the avocado was spilling onto the fries. It didn’t matter my hands were dripping, and messy, and absolutely worth licking.  It didn’t matter that I was (thankfully ) sitting privately in my car because it would have been utterly embarrassing to eat in front of others.

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If you want that authentic burger fresh off the grill, made from the heart of Mary to the point where you think you’re her family, stop by MakyJames Grill. As James said, EMBRACE THE MESS!


MakyJames Grill: What’s On Your Bucket List?

At the end of our conversation, I asked James what would be the first place he would suggest to someone visiting Boise for the first time?

MakyJames Grill!

I laughed and said, what would be the 2nd place he’d suggest.

Definitely Camel Back because of the view you get of Boise.

Grab your MakyJames Grill burger, eat in your car, then drive over to Camel Back to burn it off + get an awesome view of Boise!


Want to be featured on my @boise_bucketlist Food Truck Friday? Email me at theboisebucketlist@gmail.com or direct message me on Instagram.

 

This post has been sponsored by MakyJames Grill, but all my opinions are my own.

 

Dating in the BOI: Ghost of the Ex

Being single — whether it’s in Boise or another city — there’s moments where you feel like there’s a ghost of boyfriend (or girlfriends’) past.


What do I mean?

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my recent dating experiences and the takeaway from each one. I feel it’s essential given I’m not having the most positive experiences.

One common denominator is that none of them have elevated to a level of genuine seriousness like I had with my ex.


This is where ghost of boyfriend’s past comes in.


I don’t share much on my blog about my personal life, but I think it’s important for this post.


My most recent relationship was the one where I underwent the most change: love, adoration, pain, hurt, sorrow, laughter.


Backstory:

I met Mr. Handsome (that was my name for him in my cellphone) in late 2012, during my last year of law school. He was my escape. After being highly engaged as a student, I was in need of my own space from my law school duties.

Insert Mr. Handsome.

  • Tall (6’4)
  • Older by 3 years (which I prefer)
  • Dreads
  • Father
  • Worked in education

Over the course of November & December, Mr. Handsome and I had a connection that i hadn’t had since my last boyfriend.


We:

  • Talked on the phone every night during the week (he had his daughter on the weekend due to a temporary custody visit schedule)
  • Met up at a location between our respective places we lived ( i lived in Portland, ME and he lived in Auburn, ME)
  • Usually met either at the LL Bean in Freeport or a McDonald’s in Gray, ME
  • Talked for hours ( I remember he and I being tired the next day because we were out too late)

After about 6 dates or so, he asked me while we were packing up from a night of bowling:

Mr. Handsome: Can we be daters?

Me: Daters?

Mr. Handsome: Yes (shyly).


We’ve been on 6 dates (Mr. Handsome loves numbers and he would remember dates & periods of time).

I thought it was cute, because he was basically asking if we could be exclusive.


That was the beginning. During the course of our relationship, I thought I found my person. He was introverted but ideal for my outgoing personality, introduced me to his interests, we had our own language and ways of talking to each other, and our own routine.


But lots happened in between:

  • Met his little girl (took 6 months to meet her, which I’m proud about)
  • Met his family
  • Moved in together
  • He won primary custody of his daughter
  • Broke up
  • Moved out
  • Got back together
  • Broke up
  • Got engaged
  • Broke up
  • Moved away

Yes, did you catch that? We were engaged.


See, the thing is that our relationship was complex, filled with raw emotions, real love, and lots of back and forth. I thought engagement would be the best next step.

No, unfortunately not.


I’ll just say this: sometimes you can’t fall in love with the potential or hope of what the person will become.  I don’t question whether or not he cared for me, but he couldn’t reciprocate the love I needed in return.


Thus, broken engagement left me distraught and having to leave the life I built in Maine.


Now, I’m here in Boise, living a life where I’m Working in a field I love, traveling , and enjoying exploring


So why am I saying all of this?


I know a few of you who read my blogs (thank you!), whether married or single, go through the motions of relationships. If you’re single like me, there will be moments where you think of the times with those from your past.


Last year before moving to Boise, I wouldn’t entertain those thoughts. I buried them so deep inside, I’d forget about my time with my ex, the life we could of had, and the life I left in Maine.


With these recent dating experiences, I’m  realizing I’m attempting to absolve myself with any thoughts of my previous life. these dates have left me to feel empty.


The issue with this method is that nothing is absolved. It’s a temporary fix. None of them give me that feeling of Yes, I’d like to learn more about him. Maybe it’s a Virgo thing or maybe it’s my personality (or a little bit of both), I don’t quickly fall for someone. Honestly, it takes me quite some time to establish a real connection with another person. I do not share the “real” me until I feel they are worthy.


I’m using this post to celebrate what I’ve got from my past relationship with Mr. Handsome, and thinking of the days we’d meet again. Maybe to talk, maybe for closure. Not sure.


Artifacts from the Ex:

  • Enjoy watching English Premier league and US Soccer
  • Hard to listen to Bob Marley Songs
  • My jeep (his dad helped me select it when car shopping)
  • Blue Memphis sweatshirt
  • My gray calf boots (his mom gave them to me)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Tirtles (his daughter loved watching the cartoon)
  • Drink Blue Moon (his fav)
  • Hard to look at lead singer of Rage Against the Machine (someone said he looks like him when he had dreads)
  • Appreciation for running (his fav way to stay in shape)
  • Learning that I cannot wait for the day to become a mother

When dating someone who has children from a previous relationship, it can be challenging if you break up. The hardest part of the breakup was saying goodbye to his little girl. I lived with her for over a year. My bond with her was deep, rich, and impacted me in ways I can never truly express in words. From her hugs to her personalized handmade letters, she gave me a snippet into what life may be like as a (then) step mom. Saying goodbye was heart wrenching and a moment of my life I would not want to re-live.


Moving forward, I plan to focus on my priorities. And I’ll admit (finally), dating isn’t one of them. I’m no longer interested in spending time on the whole let-me-get-to-know-you show. All I end up doing anyway is thinking about my ex; no one even remotely comes close to my connection with him.

  • Wasting time respond to a text
  • No longer responding to subtle attempts to seek attention
  • Deactivate my dating profiles
  • Cutting someone out the moment they play stupid & ridiculous games

I’m going to Date Myself.

Yes, that’s what I said.

Do things I’ve put in the back burner, such as:

  • Get back into running
  • Get back into reading
  • Get back to aimlessly roaming a city with no expectations
  • Get back to event planning
  • Get back to ME

Ghost of boyfriend’s past is a reality. I acknowledge it, and I’ve grown from it. Cheers to growth!

Easter in the BOI: Brunching + Hunting

Good news: I created a list of things to do this Easter.
Bad news: I won’t be in Boise for my first Easter (more details on that!)


That said, I STILL created  this list of things I would do if I was in Boise this Sunday.. Or, at least things I would LOVE to do.  What I LOVE about Easter (aside for a reason for me to wear bright pastels without judgment lol), is all the different ways to spend time with family. From brunching to feasts, to egg hunts, to church services — Easter is a time of family, friends, and celebrating a new season.


Here is @boise_bucketlist suggested list of Brunching & Hunting activities to do here in the BOI:


[EGG] HUNTING:

Glow-in-the-dark Easter Egg Hunt

Ever wanted to try to find eggs that glow in the dark? Why not try now! Come out with your family and try to find some glow-in-the dark eggs! (Boise, 270 E. Pennsylvania)


EGGventure Hunt

This is hunt like no other. If you’re into engaging in obstacle courses, going on slides, jumping in a bounce house — all to get to your eggs — you’ve come to the right place!  (3225 E. Commercial Street, Meridian)


Pool Easter Egg Swim

Ready to see the Easter Bunny in his bathing suit? Well, you’ll have your chance at the Easter Egg Swim! Kids will be able to swim and look for the eggs at the bottom of the Nampa rec pool.  (131 Constitutional Way, Nampa Rec Center)


 

BRUNCHING

Angell’s Bar and Grill- Renato: looking for a buffet opportunity for both daytime and evening? Look no further.  Guests will have access to a traditional Easter spread, as well as an omelet station and meat-carving station.

 


The Riverside Hotel: it’s great to see that the Riverside Hotel is hosting an Easter event. I went to Riverside Hotel for Thanksgiving, and it was SO GOOD! Mmmm. From 9am-1:30pm, guests will have access to a diverse buffet spread: ham, rib, salmon, egg Benedict. I’m getting hungry as I read this!


 

Cottonwood Grille: I’ve only been to Cottonwood Grille once for lunch when I JUST moved to Boise. I am anxiously waiting to return. Luckily for you, you can enjoy their brunch menu this Sunday. The Sunday Brunch menu can appeal to just about anyone: egg lovers, seafood lovers, vegetarians, the brunching daredevil. Whatever your taste palette, the options are bountiful and can cater to your Easter brunching needs.


Honorable Mentions:

Bunny Ball – An Easter Prefunk @ Fatty’s:  I probably would have decided to go out on Friday, but why not for a Bunny Ball! I see this as an “adult” Easter egg hunt, especially with Wild 101 in the house, giving out plastic eggs filled 1) candy, 2) drink tickets, or even 3) CASH. I think it’s a perfect time to wear the brightest pastel colors, grab your girls (or bros), and get your funk on with the Easter Bunny.


Get Your Bunny On @ Reef Boise: Why not listen to some rock on a Saturday night? I would. Pilot Error, a classic rock cover band, will grace the stage for all of Boiseans to experience. Rock out this Easter at Reef Boise!


For those seeking to attend church, Boise has its fair share of Easter Services. I strongly encourage you to use Facebook to find which ones you’d prefer to attend. I never attended a early Easter morning service, and maybe I’ll save that experience for next year.


I wish you all a Happy Easter! And don’t forget to follow me at @boise_bucketlist to see what new adventures I’ll be experiencing overseas. It’ll be like you’re right there with me!

 

Wax On, Wax Off: European Wax Center Review

Last week,  I visited the ladies at the European Wax Center  (EWC) in Meridian. After getting lost (note: based on the address, my GPS led me to this vacant lot; the EWC is located in the WinCo shopping center next to Baskin Robbins) and receiving a kind reminder phone call from Alison confirming my visit, I arrived to EWC and excited about getting my eyebrows shaped.

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Here’s more info than you may want to know  (oh well, that’s  what happens with a lifestyle blog). I have a love/hate relationship with my eyebrows.

Love: how they look AFTER waxed/shaped

Hate: how thick and wild they can get

Love: shape

Hate: shape when untamed

Love: how thick eyebrows are

Hate: how thick eyebrows are (especially when growing out)

You can imagine how excited I was when I was invited to a European Wax Center! It’s spring and the last thing I need are unshaped bushy eyebrows.


Once I arrived and checked in with Allison, I was greeted by Kari — a young woman with a beautiful smile. I wondered “hmm, I wonder if her smile will go away once she is tasked shaping my eyebrows!”.

Nope, not the case.

I followed Kari and entered the first private room to the left. It’s like your own private waxing paradise: personal chair to lay on, relaxed music, refreshing smell. After Kari instructed me to lay down, I started to get nervous about the wax. Weird, right? Especially for someone who has a high threshold for pain.

FYI: I usually get my eyebrows threaded, which for some, is excruciating pain. What we do for beauty!

What’s unique about EWC is the wax formula. Unlike most waxing centers, where they use white cotton strips to tear the wax from your skin, the wax itself is stripped without the use of cotton strips. The wax is very gentle and delicate to the skin — soothing, really.


Kari was very personable and I truly enjoyed her company. Her ability to strike up conversation was especially helpful when she was preparing to wax another part of my face. For the sake of being truthful and at the risk of being embarrassed (well, not too embarrassed), Kari also waxed the upper lip. Yes, I said it. Don’t act like women don’t succumb to the uni-brow and upper lip hair syndrome.

 


Again, I have a high threshold for pain but nothing burns more than hot wax being ripped from your skin. Kari definitely was right when she said how gentle their wax is. It didn’t burn whatsoever. Maybe a slight sting, but it’s definitely better than my eyes automatically watering because of waxing pain!

Again, what we do for beauty.

After the wax, Kari shaped my eyebrows using a pencil and powder to fill in the gaps. She even taught me how to do it! (OK, another thing about me is that I’m not the best with all that makeup masterful skills: contouring, highlighting, concealing, etc. It’s called put on some mineral powder and GO!). Kari also put some refreshing cream on my face, giving it that additional glow.

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After receiving my services, I proceeded to checkout and chat with Alison. She went over all the details of what the EWC  offers the Treasure Valley including:

  • FREE Complimentary Wax for 1st-time guests (applicable for brow, underam, or bikini line wax (women) & ear, nose & brow for gents);
  • Student Wax Pass: purchase 3 services and get one free (must show student ID);
  • Unlimited Wax Pass: ideal if you get a type of service multiple times throughout the year. It pays for itself!

I scheduled my next appointment in mid-April. Why that far out? Because the wax treatments lasts up to 4 weeks! I ALMOST mustered the guts to book for a service named after a country where beautiful models were born (Gisele Bundchen, anyone?).


Nope, not yet. Nooooottt YET!


Checkout EWC, both in Meridian and Boise. If anything, a free complimentary wax is a WIN-WIN!


Think your business is a good fit with Boise Bucket List? Would you like to be featured on our page?  Maybe host your own giveaway to boost engagement? Email me at theboisebucketlist@gmail.com.

 

Bonjour Chérie: BOI Foodie Review

Looking for a French bakery filled with perfectly crafted delectable pastries and desserts? No need to go to France. You have it right here in the BOI.


With no coffee in my hand while driving to work, I knew I wanted to grab some coffee before I head into work. Rather than driving to my usual spots, I decided to give a local bakery a try. I remembered when one of my @boise_bucketlist followers tagged me in a photo of her while eating at Janjou, and I knew I needed to (FINALLY!) visit this hidden gem.


Nested in a small shopping center on the corner of 17th Street and State Street, Janjou Patisserie is a small French bakery with a modern decor. Named after the owner’s grandmother, Janjou gives the Treasure Valley beautifully crafted French desserts and pastries.


Maybe I missed the memo of the Friday-trip-to-Janjou’s because when I walked in, the line was out the door. It was so busy the chef herself had to staff the register! Waiting in line was actually enjoyable because I was greeted by this large glass display filled with these delectable desserts crafted with immaculate detail and to perfection. From the eclair covered with glazed chocolate, to the  Framboise Tart, covered with fresh raspberry, to my ham & Gruyere croissant.  I was imaging taking a bite of the chocolate eclair, and how it elevated my mind as a foodie Ecstasy.

Yes, delicious food can bring me to that level.


As I said, I ordered the Ham  & Gruyere croissant with a 12oz of the Americana to go. The Americana was exactly what I needed to kickoff my Friday morning. I waited until I arrived to work to enjoy my croissant. With the croissant slightly warmed up and a side of Americana, I had the best Friday morning ever!


 

Although it can be a bit pricey (croissant was $5.50), I know it’s locally owned, locally supplied, and crafted with detail and to perfection. If you happen to be driving along State Street and want to cross French bakery off your #boisebucketlist, head over to Janjou’s.


I WILL return to try the chocolate eclair. Yes, I love eclairs. If you couldn’t tell!

 

Dating in the BOI: Do’s and Don’ts for Singles on VDay

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

single-hans-solo


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.

NO – STOP DROP & ROLL

Don’t succumb to the weak moment and texting your ex(es). Don’t blame it on the alcohol!


DO: Celebrate Your Single Status

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
  • mismanaged expectations

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.

 

Seeking Refuge @ the Refuge: My 1st Meeting with an IG Follower

Social Media has its pros and cons.

Pro: networking with new people.

Con: oversharing.

Last week something cool happened: I met a follower of mine from Instagram! No, this wasn’t a date and part of my Dating in the BOI tales.

Well, that’s a lie.

We actually did exchanged our own individual stories over some drinks. It was a win- win. Meet someone new & hear about his dating horror stories.

Although he granted me permission, I still like to protect people’s identity. I’ll call my Instagram follower Mr. Artist. Which leads me to explain how our encounter went from online to in-person.


Last week while checking out my IG feed, I came across this vibrant and colorful illustration of the state capitol building and Boise written across the top. I immediately paused and said danggggg, this is a cool illustration! Yes, this is my actual voice. I do say words like dang.


Source: Mr. Artist’s website


As any pro-Instagrammer would do, I commented and engaged with this account. I was pleased to see he followed me in return. After some time passed since I commented, I received a DM (direct message, for those who were unsure). Mr. Artist told me how he enjoyed my Dating in the BOI blogs, and how he too has dating stories worth sharing.

I thought it’ll be worth hearing about a male’s perspective with online dating. I’m slightly curious given that I’m only living my own female experiences.


Before I knew it, we’d exchanged numbers and met at The Refuge. After messaging back and forth, receiving nothing but good vibes from him through our messages, I thought to myself go and network!


I’m all about networking when living in a new place. I highly encourage it, actually. A few of my followers personally know me, and I met them through networking events throughout Boise.


Here’s the kicker:  Just the DAY BEFORE meeting, a friend suggested I go and checkout the Refuge, for its delicious food and beer options. And of COURSE Mr. Artist suggested the exact same place.


Mr. Artist was right on time. He approached me, we did the whole “hey are you…?” dance, and walked over to an empty table.

I’ll just say that I enjoyed my time getting to know Mr. Artist. He shared stories ranging from dating to his worldly travels, to his career path. I mean, let’s not forget his art. The exact reason to what prompted us to meet.


His illustrations are rich with color, depth, and uniqueness that’ll make a color fanatic like me stop in her tracks. If you were in SoCal, you may come across a surfboard covered with some of his illustrations.

But get this — this isn’t even his full-time job. He simply loves doing it. Which shows in his work.


We shared our stories, and boy was it enlightening. To hear about his experiences made me wonder how I come across on my online profiles. From pictures of cats & sunsets, to extremely outdated profile photos, to newly divorced women looking to find their Christian Grey — it’s the hodgepodge of dating fiascoes.


I don’t feel too bad about my dating stories. I still, however, have experienced the most awful online messages one can EVER receive. To the point where you wonder if it’s a real person behind the screen!


I know I’ll see Mr. Artist again. He is an intelligent  person with knowledge to share. And with that, I’ll end my blog post with something he said while talking about happiness:
A person should like what they do, like who they are with, and like where they live. 
When you take a step back and think of the times you may have been unhappy in your life, it probably stems from one of these things. I speak for myself and say these exact reasons are why I had to reevaluate my life while living in New England.


To end,  I’m an actual person who is all about networking and meeting new people. Whether you’re a native Boisean or a transplant, I’d love to network and learn from my peers. Boise Bucket List is more than just crossing activities off my list. It’s about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, embracing a life of simple joys, and living in the moment. A philosophy I hope you, my follower, will start to embrace as well.


Mr. Artist —  I look forward to proudly hanging up your artwork in my office for all to see!

Getting my coffee fixin’ at Frogs Fix Coffee Parlor

Thanks to you all,  I have an entire list of coffee places to try out here in the Treasure Valley. I’ll even create a checklist sometime this weekend that you all can use too.

Today I visited Frogs Fix Coffee Parlor comfortably located in the Boise Bench (thank you @domagotchi!). It’s a quaint little coffee parlor next to a daycare. At first, I didn’t notice Frog’s Fix until I walked around the corner and saw the sign. Frog’s Fix does live up to its mission of being a “welcoming environment with unique drink choices and numerous pastry selections.”

About Frogs Fix: locally owned since 2012, it has become a staple within the Bench community. The Parlor also aims to sell high quality coffee and pastries at a fair price.


When walking into the Parlor, I was greeted by this huge (and pretty awesome) map of the world. I proceeded to walk near the “Order Here” sign and excited about the options. What to get, what to get was on repeat in my head. Because I didn’t have my usual coffee during my drive to work, I defaulted to my usual order: drip coffee with a pastry side. The Parlor serves Evans Brothers Coffee, which is a first time for me trying their coffee. I had one of the stronger roasts, and I can’t think of the name! I believe Schweitzer was in the name of the coffee. Nonetheless, it was strong, delicious, and exactly what I needed this snowy morning.

Did you know: Frongner + need for coffee = the name , Frog’s Fix Coffee Parlor

Too bad all the snow was blocking the outdoor patio; otherwise I would have walked outside and snapped a photo. Only more of a reason to return this spring/summer so I can hang out on the patio.


Make sure you checkout the Parlor’s weekly specials:

  • Teacher Tuesday: offers $1 OFF any drink all day to school district employees with showing of school ID badge (a fav of mine since BOTH my parents are seasoned educators!!)
  • Happy Hour: $1 OFF expresso drinks, hot chocolates, and Italian sodas from 3pm-5pm everyday (when open)
  • Double Punch Thursday: for every drink you order, your Frog’s Fix Punch Card will received a double PUNCH! I got my Punch Card, and I’m ready to collect my punches.

If you’re wondering, no I haven’t finished that Ham and Cheese Croissant. I’m bringing it home to nibble on throughout the weekend 🙂 🙂


 

Do you have an idea for a coffee shop I should visit/checkout? Send me an email at theboisebucketlist@gmail.com.