Monday, February 23, 2015

The Kalla Experience

If you checked out my Gift Guide: Valentine's Day Edition  than you will remember my first option was flowers from Kalla. After a few subtle hints, yes ladies I did have to throw some out there, my man has many pros but being a creative gifter isn't one of them. Anyways, back to the glorious flowers, earlier in the week he asked if I would mind if my Valentine's Day surprise arrived two days after the beloved holiday. Boyfriend is Israeli and that naturally means that everything is a little late, I've learned that late is essentially better than never. He figured he had to share this news with me because he preferred not to deal with the wrath that could have came if I had thought he had forgotten to do something special for me on the actual day, so naturally he was just protecting himself by revealing a sliver of the surprise.

Our Valentine's Day was spent blissfully visiting the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. If you live in Miami or are ever visiting I definitely recommend going with your significant other for a romantic stroll through the property, its almost like a mini Versailles. Later in the evening we went to an intimate surprise dinner party hosted by my cousin for her hubby's 30th birthday. It was nice to spend time with family, friends and their loved ones.

By Monday I was super anxious as to when my surprise was going to arrive. At about noon I received a knock on the door and received the box I had hoped for, which could only mean two things...the hints worked or he is an avid The Other Best Friend reader.

After a week of being the centerpiece of my home,  about 1/3 of the flowers were dying. I decided to salvage a dozen or so and put them in a bowl filled with water. Now these flowers have a second chance of brightening up my dining room table.

If you browsed the website the price tags may seem a little concerning but these flower arrangements are truly breathtaking and worth the splurge. Special occasions deserve an extraordinary gift and this is just that. The arrangement I received is the Henry & Anais with added Christopher Elbow Chocolates and Napa Valley Hill Family Estate Chardonnay.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Gift Guide: Valentine's Day Edition

Fellas and ladies alike, Valentine's Day is approaching. If you haven't started thinking of gifting your significant other or would be that time! In true Valentine's day fashion, I am here for you. I've curated the perfect gift giving guide so that you could look like the most thoughtful and creative gift giver in all the land, even if you are a baller on a budget. V-day is in t-minus 9 days, waiting any longer is not recommended. You'll have to spend extra cash on express shipping, when you could really be putting that money towards a better bottle of champagne. 

For the ladies living in South Florida and Chicago
1-800-flores does not stand a chance next to Kalla. Forget any premonition you may have had about any other online flower delivery service and indulge in the modern online floral experience for your loved one. Every vase is inspired by modern design and each garden rose is freshly handpicked. The one stop shop also offers wine and fine chocolates to be added to any flower arrangement. This white glove delivery service is exclusive only to the sofla area and chi town. These are my picks:  Athena & Artemis, Isabella & Christopher (pictured below), and Henry & Anais.  Other than sharing this blog post on your FB for your hunny to stumble across, the website offers a hint feature, that'll send a hint email along with a 10% off promo code! 

For the both of you: 
Get a gift that both of you can enjoy. Soothe is a new application that delivers an at home massage service that comes to his/her/your door. Offering Swedish, deep tissue, sport and couples massage options, each service can be booked the same day and an experienced massage therapist travels to the preferred destination. BONUS: Use this link/promo code FCYN for $30 off any service, including a couples massage!

For the one with a sweet tooth: 
French Macarons are always a good idea. Forget the conversation hearts and say be mine with a box of these delicate sweets. If you are lucky enough to be in France, Miami or New York in the next couple of days stop by a Laduree shop and pick up the special edition box designed just for Valentine's Day. 

For the guy who has everything:  
Uncommon Goods is always my go to website for my buying boyfriend little gifts that'll make him smile. Whether you are dating a whisky lover, a bonafide BBQer  or a guy with a beard, finding a quirky gift for you significant other just got easier. 

Ladies if you would like to get glammed up for any planned V Day festivities check out GlamSquad! Download the app using this link and use the code: welcometomiami for a $150 credit for your next glam sesh!   

Guys if everything on this list is too pricey or unavailable due to location, give her the gift money can't buy--agree to watch Fifty Shade of Grey with her. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Perks of Being fUnemployed

While walking across that stage and shaking the hand of the President of the university you attended, he/she will look at you and say, “Congratulations”. You’ll feel that flutter in the pit of your stomach, knowing now you have the power to take on the world. You’ll quit your serving job, because you’re obviously way above that now that you’re degree educated and your job search will begin. At first you’ll think, “I got this, I’ll get a stellar job within a month”, then about two months later when you're home still in your pajamas at 4 p.m., you’ll quickly realize that unemployment is a scary bitch.

Now, I wouldn’t consider myself completely unemployed. I tread between the line of with job and jobless due to my ongoing contribution for MIAMI magazine. But since this job can be done from home and only takes a few hours out of the ample amount of free time I have during the week, I consider myself partially unemployed but still looking. While I am applying for 1-2 jobs per day, I came to terms with my situation and I am finally allowing myself to thoroughly enjoy this time. Why be hard on myself? My body might still be in shock, since it no longer has to balance a full time school schedule, a part time internship and a 25-hour workweek. I’m a firm believer that the right job is out there. Landing it just might take some time. So while I wait on those interviews to commence, I’m going to relish in what I like to call, FUNemployement. Here is how you can too.

Go on vacation
Just like a paycheck, the fear of unapproved time off vanishes. Permission to go on a vaykay is no longer needed. If you see a fabulous deal for Chicago on Orbitz that includes a flight and 3-night stay at a gorgeous hotel in the swanky River North area for under $300, you go ahead and book it. I sure did. Whether finances allow or not, take a vacation. You’ll never again have this much time on your hands. Go out and travel!

Enjoy the outdoors
This perk may only apply to the unemployed sector living in the sunnier parts of the world. Unlike the Northeast, which is currently in recovery from the snowpocalypse, this is the best time of year to enjoy the outdoors in South Florida. You can actually spend more than five minutes outside without passing out from the humidity. Also, mid day beach runs happen to be more enjoyable when majority of the population is working.

Learn a new hobby
Honing in on something you love and becoming good at it can be similar to the satisfaction you crave while finding the right job. Whether it's cooking, crocheting or playing the guitar, learning how to do something new can even lead you to broadening you career options. Thanks to my hiatus, I am basically an Iron Chef.

Spend time with others who are also unemployed
One is certainly the loneliest number. Find others who are in your same predicament and spend time together. There is no need to suffer alone.

Disclaimer: Do not quit your job, due to the way unemployment has been perceived in this post. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Seven-Year Itch

The seven-year itch is basically synonymous with the classic imagery of Marilyn Monroe and her white dress flowing up. But reality isn’t as pretty when the seven-year itch disturbs your relationship. The phrase is derived from a psychological theory that after seven years of marriage, the interest in the relationship declines.

 At 15 I met my guy, never did I think that we were in it for the long haul, let alone be celebrating our 7-year anniversary. At that age he was taking me to Ultra Music Festival and buying me the latest Dolce & Gabbana shades and he excited me. Seven years later, after a horrible shift at work I grabbed an adult blueberry lemonade (nothing like a little liquid courage) from the local pub with a girlfriend and swore to her that when I get home I am going to lecture my boyfriend on how he has been failing to reach up to his expected standards of perfect. I finally get home to our shared abode to have him tell me,“I don’t know what I want anymore.” Hm, well that’s an interesting statement considering I am fucking perfect.

I let it soak in and then I thought about Marilyn. I thought, “okay,this happens”, men after seven years get bored  and maybe he wants other things; after all we’ve been together since he was 18. Maybe he needed to explore and realize just how awesome I really am. Of course these were some of my thoughts after all of the other morbid ones
subsided. I decided I would never force anyone to be with me. I know my worth and I know that in the end, I’ll be okay. I moved out of our house and moved in with my parents. My parents who should have been my support system were more worried that I would end up alone and not with their perfect, Jewish future son-in-law. Essentially he was perfect. He was just going through a mid, mid life crisis and had to figure himself out. I obviously reassured them of my greatness and told them I am a badass bitch who can handle anything. “I am the
strongest person I know,” I told them, “ if you put me in a jungle I’ll come out alive.”

During the span of a month and a half I was a composed mess.  I religiously jammed to Sam Smith’s Latch, acoustic version, and Banks’ Brain was my anthem. I kept myself busy and my friend who had just lost her job probably hated me. Every weekend I dragged her to South Beach and demanded we raged. I had to get out some of my anger and it seemed easier on the dance floor with a $20 drink in my hand.

I would get random texts from my ex, which seemed weird to say, about things like bills. If I learned anything it’s asking when the AT&T U-Verse bill is due three different times was his version of reaching out to me. We started dating circa 2007; homie hasn’t exercised his dating game in quite a while. But in the form of bills he was making
an effort to come back into my life. I reassured him that if he was going to try to come back into my life and essentially win me back, he was going to have to work very hard. He needed to really feel what it was like to have lost me so that he could appreciate me fully. After a few dates and refusing him of sex, during the next month I felt like a goddess. He seemed different but I knew it was only because we really missed each other.

This break taught me about myself. I knew that I loved him but I also knew that if we were to get together again it wasn’t because I couldn’t live without him, it was because I didn’t want to live without him. Now four months later we are moving into our new home and things are back to normal and the sex is better. 
Moral of the story: Get dumped and the sex gets better.


Disclaimer : This is a writing sample I submitted for a job posting and fit with the voice of the website. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Okay, okay I'm back! Sorry for the selfish intermission but it had to happen. I believe you should never stop doing something you love. Writing has always been my escape and has always helped me get through certain situations. During these past two months I took a break from writing on here but I did not stop writing. Relationships and empowering people have always been two of my favorite things to write about but at this point of my life, I needed to do a little soul searching before I could be completely open and honest with my situation. Throughout the interim I kept myself very busy with my internship and it was there where I continued to write. Since I’m interning at MIAMI magazine everything I’ve been writing about has been about the magic city. Here are some of the links to my featured articles for your reading pleasure:

I have so many stories, experiences, and exciting news to share with everyone, but I’d rather keep you on your toes.

Stay tuned.

Xx G 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Entering Reboot Mode

Sometimes we need to take a break from the things we love. To reboot, rethink, and reaffirm. Right now, I'm at a place in my life that is very foreign to me and I am slowly trying to peel back every layer from this experience to understand it better. I feel it is only right for me to share with you readers, not only the ups in my life but also the downs. As of now I'm unsure what happens next. I need some time to understand a transition of this kind and I just wanted to inform you that I'll be taking a mini break from The Other Best Friend. Hopefully this break will be so short you won't even have the time to miss me! TOBF is my therapy, to write helps me heal. I will be back to lace you life with goodies, I'm just taking a little vacation from blogging but this vacation can only help future posts.

I'll be back so soon.
Germaine Benson 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Triple A: Insurance Policy for Realtionships

All relationships need roadside assistance. I've finally figured out the three tools every relationship needs when it is having trouble. Even the perfect relationship needs some TLC sometimes. This is when the triple A's work their magic and don't get it twisted, this needs to be practiced from both sides of the relaysh. There is a certain time where everyone wants to be appreciated, get an apology, or for our significant other to be more affectionate.  

1. Appreciate- A little appreciation goes along way. People naturally want to feel appreciated, whether they did something big or small. It is so important to make the person you're with feel good about themselves and appreciate all the things they do for you on a daily basis. I'm in no way proclaiming that you must say thank you for every little thing, but sometimes take a moment and realize all the things your s.o. does for you and show them how much you appreciate them. 

2. Apologize- Contrary to One Republic, It's never to late to apologize. I don't mean like a plain old "I'm sorry". I mean like a seriously sincere apology for something you did wrong. There is nothing I hate more than an apology to shut me up. If you do something wrong, you should grow a pair and own up to it. Anything that even slightly hurts your other half's feelings deserves a full fledge apology. I'm sorry I'm not sorry, but sincere apologies and admitting your wrong are super important in a successful realtionship! Make up and make love. 

3. Affection- With true love comes affection and one cannot survive without the other. With emotional love comes the physical romantic love. There is a time and place to show affection, and sometimes after a fight that is  the only thing your other half needs. After you've apologized it is important to literally hug it out. Sometimes even after arguments are over and laid to rest, emotions are still bruised. The reassurance of affection helps the mending process go faster.