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Book club update: 50 Shades of Grey

I know it has been a hot minute since we updated you about our book club, but don’t take that silence as failure. Much like Beyonce, Ladies (insert current season here) Book Club is a fabulous, sparkling, beautiful success – not to mention one helluva dancer. Since our inaugural meeting in June, we have made it through 15 books, a hockey game, a brunch, an ornament/cookie exchange, and countless wedges of brie and bottles of bubbles.

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In an attempt to get my parents to stop asking me when I am going to update our blog, I am going to roll out a series of book club update posts (yay!). First up: 50 Shades of Grey. This was a controversial choice, but the the popularity of this book spiked our curiosity. While the consensus was the book was complete and utter trash, most of has had a good time reading it and discussing it, mostly because of these bomb discussion questions.

Have you read it? Did you love it/hate it/get super grossed out by it?

50 Shades of Grey

Book Club Discussion Questions

Throughout the book, Ana embarks on a whole new adventure in her life, sexually and romantically. As a little icebreaker, we will open up our own sex novels and start out with a little game of ‘never have I ever.’ Be prepared with at least 4 “Never have I ever’s”… and yes, you lushes, there will be drinking involved (duh).

Never have I ever

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Christian tilters on the line between total sweetheart romantic boyfriend and complete stalker in the tale. Has a boyfriend ever shown his psychopath side? Have you? Please provide examples of both.

Rumors are floating around of the making of a 50 movie (eeeeeeeek) and consequently, so are rumors of who will play the ever so dashing Mr. Grey. Opinions please ladies. (Be prepared with Google images ready on your phone as well, as this can easily turn into a heated debate).

What were your feelings on the end of the book? What do you think will happen in the next book? How do you think the series will end? Do you plan to continue?

That’s all…. for now.

Laters, baby.

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March Calendar

Headacheless Hosting

Most agree that dinner parties are fun. Friends, wine, food, what’s not to like? Well, for a lot of hosts, dinner parties are met with a good amount of anxiety. Concerns about menu and presentation fill your head for days leading up to the event. Here are my tips to make the whole hosting process easier and therefore more enjoyable!

  • Send a real invitation (okay, e-invitation). A formal invitation is a great way to start the dinner party process, as it clears up any confusion that may ruin the evening. Tell them where to be, when to be there, and what they can bring. Also, ask if they have any dietary restrictions you should be aware of. I whipped mine up with the (free) app Redstamp. Plus, I mean, so cute right?

  • Plan your meal before you start flapping your jack. Settle on an appetizer, main, side, and dessert. Take into consideration how many people you have and how formal you want the dinner to be. If you are having close friends or family over, feel free to make it fun and light. For regular friends keeping it simple might be your best bet. Don’t set yourself up for failure by picking an overly ambitious main dish. It’s best to stick to things you have made before, as to prevent any hiccups.
  • Skip hot appetizers and head straight for their cold brethren. Olives, cheese, grapes, crackers, and nuts are a dinner party lifesaver. They take minutes to prepare, are great conversation starters, and always a crowd pleaser. Plus they won’t take up precious oven space/time.

  • Ask your guests to contribute intelligently. Sure, it’s easy to just ask someone to bring wine or beer, but you can handle that yourself with little to no effort. Why not let them actually HELP you? My suggestion is to ask them to contribute towards dessert. Our friends recently learned to make ice cream, and brought a delicious peanut concoction to pair with our homemade brownies. It lets your guests showcase their skills, and saves you from making an extra dish.
  • Set yourself up well. Do as much as you can the day before. I was making chicken artichoke potpies, so I roasted the chicken the day before, saving me an hour the evening of dinner. Also, try to eliminate trips to the kitchen by setting out a water pitcher, glasses, plates, napkins, and silverware ahead of time. It’s your party, you should enjoy it!
  • Add some small personalizations to give the party a pulled together feel. Set the table beforehand and place namecards at each seat. Making individual dishes instead of serving family style also saves on the serving/cleaning up hassle.

Do you have any tips or tricks for headache-free hosting? We would love to hear ‘em!

Valentine’s Day presents for him (that he won’t hate)

It’s no secret that most guys could not care less about Valentine’s Day. In fact, I’d wager a good sum of money that most of them don’t know what day it is. Nonetheless, ladies love it and feel the urge to celebrate with dinner, candy, cards and most importantly gifts. The problem herein lies, that most men don’t care for sentimental presents. Three birds are here to show you that you can get a man something sweet that he will actually like.

Something to commemorate a first. What was the first movie you saw together? First concert you attended? First restaurant you ate at? Getting a man something he can use is key, so why not a DVD of that movie, a record from that band, or a gift card to that restaurant?

Something top of the line. You know how you like to show off that Tiffany necklace he got you? Well men can be flashy too. Think of something he wants, and then get him the best version available. Ideas: head phones, whiskey, phone, GPS, tie, sneakers, wallet, coffee maker.

Something hard to get. One thing I have learned about men is that they are allergic to effort. If something takes some research or time, forget about it. That’s why they need women! Track down that beer he likes but no store ever has, order coffee beans from that place he liked in New York, find that shirt he pointed out to you in a magazine, locate that one Beach Boy record he is missing. Five minutes of Googling and some shipping and handling can yield big results.

Something homemade but useful. If your budget is low, you can DIY this bitch. Prepare him a home cooked meal of all his favorite foods, make him a coupon book for massages, a night at the movies, maid duty, and throw in some “romantic” ones (sorry Mom), or bake him something delicious he can snack on for a week.

Something to make his Valentine’s Day stress free. The best gift you can give your boo is the gift of not having to worry about making you happy on this Hallmark holiday. Tell him your dream Valentine’s Day consists of ordering in Thai food, slipping into your pajamas, and having a LOTR marathon. Make a pact to not exchange presents, but to treat yourselves to a nice dinner the weekend after Valentine’s Day (when you can actually get a table). Forbid him from buying you candy and flowers, but clue him in on that Seinfeld DVD you’ve had your eyes on or tell him that what you really want is for him to paint the living room for you. The key here is to ask for something fool-proof; leave clothing, perfume, and jewelry off the list, you’re only setting him up for failure.

If all else fails, there is always Victoria’s Secret.

Fellas, any suggestions?

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