Need a last-minute way to surprise your Valentine? This New Yorker has the perfect idea…

Home / Personal Growth / Need a last-minute way to surprise your Valentine? This New Yorker has the perfect idea…

It’s Valentine’s Day. If you’ve yet to order roses or make dinner reservations, it may be too late…

But here’s the perfect way to save the day…

A few months ago, we shared our 5 Star Formula for finding freedom every single day, no matter where in the world you are.

(Here’s a refresher…

5: Share 5 Things You’re Grateful For
S: Sweat
T: Teach Yourself Something New
A: Adventure
R: Rest, Reflect, Rejuvenate.)

Well, one of our fabulous viewers, Sophia, Founder of the Monocle Muse, took our 5 Star Formula, dipped it in some dark chocolate and wrapped it in a big red bow to surprise her boyfriend, Eric.

In this exclusive interview, Sophia gives the dish on what we’re calling “The 5 Star Date”. So, if you’re scrambling to find a way to surprise your Valentine today, this might be the perfect plan.

The 5 Star Date: Interview With Sophia, Founder of the Monocle Muse


Sophia is a bad ass by anyone’s standard. An Optometrist by trade, fashion blogger by design. After moving to New York City, this savvy lady doc combined her passions of photography, street style and beautiful eyewear to create The Monocle Muse, a lifestyle blog with a focus on eyewear fashion. She’s designing a life of freedom and fun by following her dream in the Big Apple, always with her camera in tow. Check out her inspiring Instagram account @themonoclemuse.

AC: Where did you come up with the idea of a 5 Star Date?

SV: Since my boyfriend and I are in a cross-continent long distance relationship, when we plan visits, we also like to plan cool date ideas for one another. This time it was my turn, and having heard about the 5 Star Freedom Formula, I wanted to incorporate the formula into a NYC date for when he visited. I figured it would make for a full, well-balanced day.

AC: What did you do on your 5-Star Date?

SV: We started the day by waking up and sharing the 5 things we were most grateful for. I love this part of the 5 Star Formula and try to start everyday with this ritual.

Sweat: We had a great morning workout together. It definitely energized us for the rest of the day 😉

procreate coffeeTeach Yourself Something New: Next, we hit up a Latte Art course in Williamsburg, Brooklyn! Not too long ago, Eric and I had been sitting at a coffee shop and we were marvelling at the beautiful latte art designs that our barista was making. As coffee lovers, I figured it would be a useful skill that challenged us both and would be fun to learn together. The café was called Procreate Coffee. The course was 2 hours, and although neither of us quite mastered the skill, we had an amazing time learning something new together, and there is lots of room for practice! Next time you’re in NYC, be sure to check it out!

westvillage-sophAdventure: We rarely spend much time exploring parts of Brooklyn. Since we were in Williamsburg for the course I thought it would be perfect to spend the afternoon exploring Williamsburg together. We walked around the eclectic streets, took pictures and tried a unique Asian restaurant for lunch.

Rest, Rejuvenate & Reflect: To wind down the day, we went to see a show together, Homecoming King by Hasan Minhaj (of The Daily Show) in the West Village. It highlighted topics and struggles of biracial couples (very relevant to us) that we reflected on later once we got home. It was a great show that sparked great conversation – WIN.

Rapid Fire Questions With Sophia

AC: Where are you from originally?
SV: Calgary, AB Canada

AC: Where’s your favorite travel destination?
SV: London, UK

AC: What are your 3 must-have items in your carry-on?
SV: iPad, Camera, Lipstick

AC: What’s the 1 wardrobe basic you never pack a suitcase without?
SV: Ripped denim and a sweater (I am always cold!)

AC: Where is your next adventure?
SV: Miami, FL for a bachelorette party next month.

soph-londonAC: Describe your perfect day?
SV: Lately I have been implementing the 5 STAR mentality on my days off. I get up and go to the gym to sweat it out, giving me added energy for the day. Then I have been working hard to teach myself new things. With my blog there is so much to learn so watching online videos to learn new skills has been key. Check out Skill Share for creative classes/tutorials! One of my 2016 resolutions is to explore my own city. I have been having frequent new adventures by visiting new coffee shops, bars, and little hidden gems. And finally, after a busy day I love to light some candles, make some tea, turn on my Saje diffuser, and just relax (usually with a great book).

AC: What’s your favourite quote/mantra?
SV: Not sure that I have a favorite. Lot’s of quotes/writings inspire me. I love Rumi’s work. Currently I have a quote in my bedroom that says “STAY HUMBLE, HUSTLE HARD”. That gets me amped.

AC: Favorite book?
SV: Too hard to choose just one. Currently just finished “Why Not me?” by Mindy Kaling and “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert – both were phenomenal reads.

AC: Favorite NYC hangout
SV: PhD by the Dream Hotel Downtown

AC: What’s 1 thing all visitors MUST do/see in NYC?
SV: Walk The Highline

AC: What’s your guilty pleasure?
SV: Dramatic TV series (think Empire, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Gossip Girl, etc) and ice cream!

AC: What’s your #1 goal for 2016?
SV: To grow and engage a loyal audience of eyewear and fashion lovers through my blog and social media.

AC: Favorite Hobbies?
SV: Traveling, reading, exploring NYC with coffee and camera in hand.


So there you have it! Have fun planning your perfect 5 Star Date this Valentine’s Day! Be sure to share your experiences in the comments below! And big thanks to Sophia for her inspiration!

Happy Love Day, Lovers! ♥


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