Dating on a Budget: J-Town and Little Women (and a bit of help from Mother Nature)

I have always been a homebody. But even more so now that I am in a funk. If my depression could have its way, I will never leave the house (or my bedroom) at all. Last Sunday, I caved to J’s request to go out and watch a movie. We have been binging on Netflix lately, but he said it was better to go out from time to time. I have been wanting to watch Little Women for a while, as I remember watching the animated series when I was young. Of course, I wanted to see Timothée Chalamet as well. So we decided to make a date out of it.

Since I am on short term leave at work, our budget for dates had to take a bit of a cut. I am very conscious of how much we spend on dates, as I feel bad that I am not able to contribute like before. I must admit, it was (and still is) a bit of a challenge since I was never really used to having a budget. However, having a significant other working in the field of finance, it was something that I had to get used to. With the movie decided, we began to brainstorm other activities before the show. We both agreed on getting snacks and desserts prior to the movie.

I have been craving for some authentic Japanese katsu curry lately, so I suggested that we go to J-Town for some homestyle Japanese cooking and yummy desserts. It was also a great opportunity to bring J there as he has never been to the area. We ended up being hungrier than we initially thought we were so we decided to order separate meals at Green Tea Lounge. Of course, I got my katsu curry and watermelon cream soda, while J ordered a bowl of miso ramen (pictured above). The food did not disappoint. I loved how homey and delicious the dishes were. The best part of it all was that the meal was under $30.

To those who know me very well, you know that my meal is not considered complete without having desserts. It doesn’t matter how full I am, but I always need to finish off on a sweet note. So right after dinner, we proceeded to walk across another establishment – Bakery Nakamura – for some pastries. I ordered their white and milk chocolate mousse while I got J a raspberry panna cotta, and tea for the both of us. I especially love their desserts as they are not too sweet, compared to other patisseries. I also love the texture of their desserts – the spongecakes are moist, the mousse light and airy, and the panna cotta smooth and silky. I was too excited to eat the desserts so I failed to take of photo of them. I am providing a link to the bakery’s menu items to make up for it. I only paid under $15 for the four items.

With our bellies full, we drove to the theatre to catch our movie. At that time, I was still feeling a bit off mood-wise, despite the fact that I have been wanting to see this classic remake. However, that quickly changed once the movie started. Even after seeing the anime and the 1994 movie, I still enjoyed watching this film. Here’s my personal opinion on the following elements of the film:

Official Poster
  • The cast: I thought the cast was very well chosen for their roles. In particular, I loved Florence Pugh’s take on Amy March. I must admit, I was never a fan of her character in the anime or in the 1994 movie. However, Florence’s Amy was relatable and really resonated within me. Of course, I also enjoyed Meryl Streep’s Aunt March. Her dialogues with the members of the March family were my favourites. Lastly, I have to comment on Laurie. For some reason, I always find myself gravitating towards the tormented-with-an-unrequited-love character. My heart always bleeds for the one who loves and gives, but gets turned down in the end. To see Timothée Chalamet as Laurie was my reason to watch the movie. After seeing him as Henry V in The King, it was nice to see him play the role of a childhood crush. I love how sweet and adorable he was towards the girls, and how cute he was around Aunt March.
  • The costumes: Being a big history nerd, of course I love watching period pieces. I especially love seeing the costumes of said films. The actors’ costumes really suited their individual unique characters. Jo with her tomboyish behaviour wore clothes that allowed her mobility were in contrast with Amy’s fancier dress choices. Meg and Beth’s costumes suited their personalities too, with Meg’s simple elegance and Beth’s quiet and homey comfortable clothing.
  • The dialogues: I can’t emphasize enough how much I enjoyed the banter between characters, especially Aunt March’s zings to everyone.
  • In comparison to the 1994 film: I think I prefer this more. But then again, it’s been a while since I last saw that movie. Maybe I should rewatch that and write a review of that as well.

It seemed like I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the movie date either. J mentioned that although he hasn’t seen the movie or read the book before, he liked the plot as well . Since it has been a while since the movie was released, there were only less than 20 people in the theatre. So we were very comfortable in the theatre. I would definitely recommend this to those who have not seen it yet, while it is still in theatres.

Another good thing about this date was that it fit right within our budget. J received a lot of movie vouchers from his family members so we got this date for free. While I know that not everyone gets free movie tickets from their family members, you can definitely schedule a movie date during half price Tuesdays if you are working on a budget as well.

As we were getting ready to head home, we were greeted with an unexpected massive amount of fresh snow. We were both in a very playful mood after a nice dinner and movie that we decided to play with the snow. As someone who has spent her childhood years in a tropical country, I never really got to play with the snow until last Sunday. After throwing a few snowballs at each other at the parking lot, we drove back home and changed into comfier clothing and went back outside to play some more. J taught me how to pack a snowball properly and threw them towards the tree branches as target practice. We also made snow angels and threw more snow at each other. It was definitely a lot of fun. Once we had our fill of fun, we headed back home where we enjoyed some vanilla lemon cookies (purchased at Bakery Nakamura) and tea. Just like the rest of the desserts, the cookies tasted amazing as well.

Lemon vanilla cookies from Bakery Nakamura

All in all, it was a really fun date. Although driving through the unshovelled was a bit of a pain, playing under the snowfall was an unexpected but very pleasant experience. It just goes to show that we don’t always have to spend a lot to have fun dates. It’s how you deal with the circumstances and the company that you have that make them enjoyable.

I have created a short video compiling our memories of that date. I am also brainstorming some content ideas for Youtube videos in the future. I am looking into incorporating some videos in my future entries. For now, here’s the very first video of my new Youtube channel:

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