Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Okay, any girl that says they don't like Valentine's Day is probably lying a little bit. Even me. I love heart shaped items! Who doesn't love LOVE?

Kevin and I have never really been big on celebrating since his birthday is on the 10th, and usually he's out on tour anyways. This doesn't mean I can't buy MYSELF some super cute Valentine's themed presents! (I can justify just about everything these days!)

I wanted to share a few of my favourite Love themed items so you can either drop hints to your special someone, OR buy yourself something cute to celebrate how great you are! Here are a few of my favourites for her & him (because we SHOULD find something for those men in our lives too, I guess).

Chapters/ Indigo has some AWESOME Valentine's themed gifts this year! We're talking everything from candles and journals to water bottles and tea cups. I can't get enough of their gifts and one of my favourites is their Striped Reading Socks. They're adorable high socks lined in soft fleecy teddy bear fluff! Perfect for lounging around the house with a good book and a cup of tea or coffee, even a good snuggle! They're a little pricey at $34.50, but they are made really well, so I think they'll be perfect for use until well after the snow melts! They come in grey and white or pink and white.

 They have cute little pink hearts on the heels! 

They have cute little pink hearts on the heels! 

What lady wouldn't want some custom, frilly unmentionables? My friend (and old neighbour) Sarah runs OhhhLuLu and sells the most beautiful custom lingerie. Here's my favourite, the Swan Romper! You'll never find someone who puts more love into each piece than Sarah! She makes everything by hand, now that's true love!

For the coffee lover, why not try a Shoppe815 Coffee scented soy candle. Each one is poured with love in Burbank CA by my sweet friend Katy! The candles last for 80 hours and smell like coffee with hazelnut creamer. If coffee isn't your scent, they also carry candles in scents like campfire, oakmoss, spruce, and for the men in your hearts - gasoline, motor oil, leather and tobacco. 

I am a water drinking junkie, so naturally Swell Bottles are on my list. I use mine everyday and they live up to the hype. Pour water into them and it stays cold for 24 hours. I love filling it with cold water before bed, so waking up thirsty I get the pleasant surprise of icy water, every time. Yes, they're $40 BUT I'm telling you, they really are worth the price. And come on, how cute are the little hearts, arrows and red lips on the bottles? (Scroll right to see more colours and designs!)

One of my personal favourite places David's Tea has so many cute things to offer the tea lover. I LOVE their adorable Valentine's Day line! You can grab up a tea or two, a heart-shaped infuser, glass travel mug with hearts, or even their adorable Love Tokens coupon book! You give the gift of 5 free cups of hot or cold tea to your sweetheart! They just hand in the coupon in store for a drink on the house! How sweet for your tea lover!

Lastly, who can resist the cuteness of Shop Ban.do? No one, that's who. My pick is the That's a Wrap Band.do Scarf in Extreme Supercute Heart. It's all in the name, I don't have to explain it anymore.

- Carlybellexo

So You Want to Date the Band

***Be warned - this is a photo heavy post. All images are my own unless stated otherwise. If you use them, please give me credit. These are all iPhone photos, so they're a little grainy***

There's always the exciting allure of a new relationship, and there's always been some extra "wow" factor when you tell someone your boyfriend (or girlfriend) is in (or works with) a band. 

In light of Warped Tour starting this week, I thought it was the right time to pull the shade back and give you a little bit of reality behind dating a guy with this "cool" job.

 I took this photo in Montreal during sound check. This is Dustin, he's in August Burns Red.

I took this photo in Montreal during sound check. This is Dustin, he's in August Burns Red.

Warped Tour. Be prepared to lose your significant other for the ENTIRE summer. Yes, that's right. The time of year when you actually want to leave the house (Ontario winters leave something to be desired!) and plan adventures - yah, that's gone. All day everyday at a music festival may sound awesome from the outside, but image being stuck in a dusty (sometimes muddy) field all summer long with a bunch of teenagers and nothing else to really do. It's not referred to as "adult summer camp" for nothing. 

 August Burns Red, Kevin and Jade & Ricky doing their jobs (tech, sound & lights)

August Burns Red, Kevin and Jade & Ricky doing their jobs (tech, sound & lights)

 Brent doing his thing.  

Brent doing his thing.  

Tours in General. They can last anywhere from 2-8 weeks. They can be Across America, Canada, Mexico, Europe or Australia/New Zealand. You end up spending a lot of time on Face Time and texting. Make sure you have a great phone plan, you're gonna need it. 

 

Timing (Time Zones, Schedules, Life). It's sometimes really hard to connect with each other while they're gone because they work on a totally different schedule than you do. I'm awake at 7am and he goes to bed at 3. I go to bed at 10 and they're just starting their set at night, so often I'm sleeping when he's done working and can finally chat with me. 

 Photo sent from Kevin of the guys goofing around on a couch they took on stage (after I went to bed of course!).

Photo sent from Kevin of the guys goofing around on a couch they took on stage (after I went to bed of course!).

Going on Tour. If you're lucky enough to join them out on a tour for a couple days, you must be prepared to sit around a lot and wait. Most girls I know HATE this. I really don't mind, because I became close to the guys in the bands Kevin works for. You should also be prepared for the overwhelming smells. 10 guys living on a bus for weeks? Yah, even the cleanest people can't escape the smells that come from that living arrangement.

They sleep in bunks.  Mattresses smaller than singles and if you try to share, say hello to hip and back pains for as long as you're there. Sometimes you can score an empty bunk, but that's very rare with most bands. They love having a "junk bunk" and don't really like to clean it out for you to sleep in.

But in all seriousness, most girls don't think about being on tour this way - They're at work, this is their job and as much as they love you, you don't come first on tour. If you can accept that fact, then things are okay - if not, you're going to be miserable. 

Having a boyfriend (or in cases of many of my friends husbands) that live and work this way is definitely a compromise, that you can't have a normal relationship, trying to explain to older family members what they do isn't going to make sense, or that you have to attend a lot of functions alone isn't the end of the world. Because of their careers you get some really amazing perks too - I've met SO many amazing people because of it. Hell, I met HIM because of it. I've travelled across the US to some really great places because of his job, I've been able to explore on my own things I love and he wouldn't want to do. 

 Thanks to Kevin I've met some truly beautiful ladies, like Kate!

Thanks to Kevin I've met some truly beautiful ladies, like Kate!

 ..And Lindsay, Arie & Christy.

..And Lindsay, Arie & Christy.

 Especially this little guy, Lindsay & Brent's son Nash.

Especially this little guy, Lindsay & Brent's son Nash.

It's basically a long distance relationship. If you expect things to be good, you have to put in the work. Make time to talk to each other, it's little things like the "I miss you" texts, or pictures out with friends to let them know you're thinking about them. The time you have, you make it count!

 Spending as much time as we can together when he's home (or we're traveling together!)

Spending as much time as we can together when he's home (or we're traveling together!)

 At our friends Andrew & Aleksa's wedding. Thankfully he was home to come with me!

At our friends Andrew & Aleksa's wedding. Thankfully he was home to come with me!

 Giving Justin & Katie the first beer of their wedding weekend!

Giving Justin & Katie the first beer of their wedding weekend!

Maybe I made this sound really amazing, maybe it doesn't sound "so bad", and it's really not the end of the world, but I'm not going to lie to you, it sucks a lot of the time. I'm happy he's happy doing what he loves, but man, what I wouldn't give for him to have a 9-5 sometimes. The reality is, he wouldn't make it in my world anymore than I would make it in his. WE work together because we meet in that overlap, the bridge we've built to blend our worlds together, and it's perfect for us. I wouldn't change it for the world.

 Integrating Kevin into my friendships. My best friends became his!

Integrating Kevin into my friendships. My best friends became his!

 Casual night out with Brent & Dustin after a show in Chicago when I was able to visit a tour.

Casual night out with Brent & Dustin after a show in Chicago when I was able to visit a tour.

 Late night happenings!  

Late night happenings!  

So if you're reading this and you're planning on going to Warped Tour this summer, keep an eye out for Kevin, he's working with August Burns Red all summer long. Go say hi, and give him a little hug for me! 

 Random search of ABR Warped Tour shot - no name attached. I believe it was screen capped from a video, but all links lead nowhere. 

Random search of ABR Warped Tour shot - no name attached. I believe it was screen capped from a video, but all links lead nowhere. 

- CarlyBellexo