Let’s face it. Not all of us love the day of love. Sure, for some it’s a day of mushy-gushy lovey-dovey displays of affection. But to the rest of us it’s a perfect opportunity to roll our eyes and say, “barf!” We wouldn’t know a picture perfect romance if it bit us in the rear and the idea of celebrating something so cliché is downright annoying. And if you’re anything like me, the holiday has somehow remained just as repulsive now that I have someone to share it with.
So while part of the world is preoccupied with elaborate date-night plans and Hallmark cards, let us ban together to celebrate an Anti-Valentine’s Day of sorts. Call your Anti-Valentine’s Day an ironic celebration if you will, or even just an alternative way to celebrate your love for yourself, but just because we don’t celebrate the traditional way doesn’t mean we have to deprive ourselves of a good time altogether. So here are a few ways to take your V-Day from tragically corny to perfectly alternative in some very simple steps.
Look the Part
I know that one of the most fun parts of the holiday for a glamazon, and even for a lot of people who don’t normally wear anything fancy, is the whole idea of getting dolled up for once. And I must say, there’s something fun about doing my hair and makeup no matter what the occasion is. But if Valentine’s Day itself is holding you back from taking advantage of an opportunity to show your style, something edgier might be more up your alley.
I’ll be opting for something a little more alternative, and I’ve derived my inspiration from none other than the queen of alt-glam herself: Los Angeles make-up artist and YouTuber Atleeeey.
If you want to follow along with me and try something glamorous yet extremely Anti-V-Day yourself, you can follow this link to view a tutorial that includes a list of products and how to apply them.
Hit the Buffet
Here, I’ll say it. Screw romance unless it’s layered and steeped in all the delights of every food I love. That’s why I can’t think of a better way to say “I love you” to myself, and allow my spouse to do the same, than to allow ourselves the pleasure of a once-in-a-blue-moon episode of gluttony in our favorite buffet restaurant. The pressure to act artificially romantically is off, and isn’t this where the true romance of a loving relationship emerges? So whether you’re going by yourself or with a loved one, you should treat yo’ self by forgetting the formalities of a contrived occasion and embracing what your heart actually desires.
Once I’ve gotten made up to the nines in ironic glam, my husband and I will be fulfilling the irony by living it up on our Anti-Valentine’s Day by finding a local Groupon (you can find a Groupon for a local establishment in your area worldwide, too!) coupon so that we can save our more money for other aspects of the perfect Anti-Valentine’s Day.
Celebrate your Furry Babes, Too
In the midst of celebrating your love for yourself, you can’t forget all your other loved ones. Love in general should be celebrated every single day, and making sure to spread your affection past the traditional perimeters is essential to sticking it to the cliché man. You can celebrate your children if you have any, your mom or dad, your best friend, but don’t forget to show your pets all the love you have for them. What better way to bring on the irony of an Anti-Valentine’s Day than by pampering your fur baby above all else?
In true anti-norm fashion, I do have ferrets, and because they’re the most playful and loving critters in my life I can’t wait to gift them these comfortable harnesses so I can take them to all the places they deserve and would love to visit. But because I also have a good doggo, I’ll probably also end up buying endless toys and a new bed for her as well.
Finish by Treating Yo’ Self!
If you have a significant other, or if you’re pouring your love on your other loved ones and pets during this alternative day of love, you can’t forget about yourself. You just can’t! It’s the whole point of an Anti-Valentine’s Day. You pour so much energy into making sure the people you love are taken care of every day of your life that you mustn’t neglect to make yourself feel loved, too. You need to set aside some time to pour yourself a bath, or read a new book, or DIY something for yourself that you’ll enjoy for a long time to come (like this coffee station that’s easy to re-create and will make you feel like a king or queen every single morning).
I, myself, plan to use this bath bomb and epsom salt kit I was given for my last birthday. And I might even take a virtual trip to Amazon to order some candles and a new book to enjoy while I pamper myself.
Do What You Love…But Make It Uniquely YOU
So here you have it. A breakdown of how to enjoy a proper Anti-Valentine’s Day, all tradition thrown to the wind in an ironic twist of celebration. Celebrate your loved ones, celebrate your pets, but by all means: celebrate yourself and do it YOUR way. Forget the traditions and the romance, because the best romance is to embrace exactly who you are and what makes you uniquely happy.
Valentine’s Day is definitely one of the more polarizing holidays during the year. Some of us love the sentimentality of a day about love, while others of us hate the holiday for reminding us that we’re either single or don’t find the whole “romance” factor to be natural for us. If you belong to the latter end of the spectrum, let me take some of the pressure off the holiday by offering some suggestions for your gift giving. Once you’ve picked the perfect gift for that special someone, the intimidation around attempting to be romantic can give way to an effortless day of showing your love to the person you adore.
Know Who You’re Buying For
First, you need to know your subject. If the person you care for values something sentimental more than something expensive, don’t even consider a trip to the jewelry store! Or if your special someone is awed by sparkly gifts with a bigger price tag, you don’t need to think much further than something expensive and sparkly. While I prefer a day of memories – doing something out of the ordinary and exciting – with my significant other, many of my friends would feel most loved by receiving something timeless and pricey in a tiny little box. Here are three gift ideas for three different kinds of people you could show your love for on Valentine’s Day.
A DIY for the Sentimental Softie
The most common ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts usually involve diamonds and precious metals. But the truth is that not everyone appreciates expensive jewels as much as you might think. To some, something you can make with your own two hands means more than anything in the world, because your time and effort is a gift in and of itself.
For something that’ll remind your loved one of all the amazing times you’ve had together, consider putting together a shadow box of reminders of your memories. You can frame tickets to events you’ve attended, mementos from your favorite experiences together, and more. This step-by-step DIY is a great place to start if you need inspiration, but remember to make modifications so that your shadow box is a representation of YOUR relationship with your loved one!
A Posh Surprise for the Lover of Jewels
Sure, some prefer something sentimental and handmade, but there are still plenty who value something timeless and sparkly that will last a lifetime. You can always visit your local jeweler or a chain location at your mall, but if you want something extra special, take a gander at Brilliant Earth, a worldwide online jewelry store with pieces that are as unique as they are classic. They have an entire selection of gifts that are under $250, so even if your budget is a bit more modest you can show your love in a way that will last all the ages of your relationship to come
An Adventure for Someone who Values an Experience
But not everyone would be as wow-ed by a physical gift as they would be an experience. Anyone would appreciate some lovely jewelry or a sentimental hand-made gift, but if the person you love has a sense of adventure you might want want to consider placing your money into an experience that’ll show them how much you know what they love.
If you love to travel with your someone special, there are many ways to plan and keep track of your itinerary so that no snags or delays can get in the way of your fun together. TripIt is a fantastic paid app designed to manage your trip anywhere in the world, keeping track of all your tickets and reservations in one place so your adventure is seamless and full of memories instead of stress.
But you don’t have to leave town to give your loved one the experience of a lifetime. You can visit museums, breweries, wineries, concerts, and comedy shows together, or even just enjoy a spontaneous day out in a nearby city that you aren’t familiar with. You can use a service like Eventbrite to locate any and every experience, no matter what it is you and your special someone enjoy doing.
So just remember this: consider what your loved one enjoys, and let that guide your Valentine’s Day gift giving. If you truly know and love your special someone, you’ll be able to find the perfect gift without a hitch no matter what it is they’re fond of. Don’t let the pressure of romance get to you, because for the same reason your SOS loves you they’ll love whatever it is you give them and they’ll cherish it forever.
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Maybe you began 2018 with determinations to live a better life as a new and improved you, or maybe you’re still just holding on for dear life, hoping that things won’t hit the fan this year. Either way, your mind will thank you for the brief respites as you make your way through the stack of lit you’ve been meaning to read.
The good thing about the new year, though, is that it gives us fresh new stories to add to our lists of to-reads, and new stories means new motivation to read more! Here are 5 new or trending reads that promise to contribute to 2018 with food for thought, captivating tales, and uplifting encouragement for the changes you’re hoping to make.
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Lifeby Mark Manson
A new year brings in a rush of symbolic new beginnings, and this book is the perfect companion for that. We’re all guilty of caring too much about unimportant details, so if you’re embracing the wave of freshness that a new year has to offer consider this book your companion to helping you build a fresh mindset that isn’t bogged down by useless cares.
2. Milk and Honeyby Rupi Kaur
For some of us, a new year means new challenges, and that’s intimidating. Let this read inspire you with short stories and poems about survival in the face of intense adversity. We all have the power to overcome when life seems impossible, and sometimes we just need to be reminded that if other people can do it, so can we.
3. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur enters this list for a second time with another wildly popular and inspiring book. While Milk and Honeytells of overcoming and surviving, The Sun and Her Flowers tells of growth and healing. Sometimes what we need is a reminder that we’re strong and will survive, but sometimes a book like this crosses our paths to remind us that even when we feel weak and destroyed, healing is eminent. We need to be reminded that through the struggle roots are planted and growth is found, and that’s worth celebrating.
4. One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus
As helpful as self-help and inspiring books can be, sometimes we just want to check out of our own circumstances and read about someone else’s drama. And this book is where you’ll find it. It’s a murder mystery centered around five high schoolers and their session in detention, and their story will take your mind on an addictive and suspenseful ride.
5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
This novel is by no means new, but it’s a classic that you must read before you see it hit the big screen as a feature film this year. It’s a fantastical tale that will transport you from Earth into a journey through time and space. Science meets fantasy in a wholesome tale about three children that will never lose its magic.
So if you’re like me – looking for ways to live a fuller life in 2018 – you might want to consider making one or all of these books a part of your year. I’m determined to spend less time with computer and TV screens this year and more time expanding my mind with inspiration and beautiful stories. Won’t you join me?
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If you’re anything like me, making resolutions is the worst part of the New Year holiday. The parties are fun, the party food is even better, and having some time off work is the best. But when it comes to evaluating the past year and pondering ways to improve upon the next, committing to changes is intimidating!
I can’t think of a single resolution I’ve executed flawlessly (though I’ve conquered some better than others), so this year I’m determined to fill my resolution-tool-belt before embarking on the journey of self improvement. I figure that if I give myself the tools necessary to give my resolutions their best shots I won’t have any excuse to fail! Plus, making a financial commitment – even in the form of small purchases – makes the thought of backing out that much less of an option. So without further adieu, here are four tools to making your resolutions fail-proof.
The Instant Pot For Healthy Eating
If you didn’t hear about the Instant Pot this holiday season, you’ve been living under a rock. It can be purchased at just about any department store (shown here from Williams-Sonoma, which ships worldwide), and according to the busy moms of the world it’s the ultimate kitchen accessory if you’re into saving time.
But if you ask me, you don’t have to be a mom-on-the-go to gain the benefits of this, because it saves time on any meal for any person or family unit. And that’s essential if you’re trying to make the transition into healthier eating. If you’re one who eats takeout too often or hasn’t mastered the art of the kitchen, an Instant Pot will give you a whole new set of idiot proof options for making well rounded meals in record time.
Exercise Bands for At-Home Workouts
Let’s be honest. We all want to get fit. And if you are fit, you probably want to be even more fit. For some reason, physical betterment is at the top of everyone’s resolutions list, so having something at home you can use to increase your strength in endless ways creates the perfect escape from any excuse you could possibly think of for missing the gym on busy days, or lazy days, or sick days, or just bad days in general.
We all know about dumbbells and pull-up bars, but if you’re a beginner or need affordable equipment that will give you a million exercise options, those things just won’t cut it. If you’re looking for full body options and a resistance range that will accommodate your growth and improvement, nothing will do you better than a set of quality exercise resistance bands. They’re affordable, adjustable, space-saving, and can accommodate literally hundreds of different exercises right at home.
Storage Bins for Better Organization
If instead of improving your physical health you’re focused on making 2018 a more mentally satisfying year than 2017 was, you might be gravitating toward ways you can organize your space and your life. You can start by just keeping things tidy and put away, but that won’t last long if everything doesn’t have a designated area in your home. This is why it’s so important that if you’re focusing on organizing your space this year you have the tools you need to make that happen.
Amazon has a lot of really great affordable organization solutions, and this set of storage bins is one of the best for a very small amount of money. They can fit just about anywhere, and they’re attractive enough to be set out in the open on shelves (plus they come in a ton of color selections). So if you’re short on closet space, this could be a great option for you.
A Quality Planner to Plan Your Resolutions
No matter what your resolutions are, they’ll be more solidified in your mind once you’ve committed them to paper. Because failing to plan is planning to fail, saying you’ll exercise, or cook a healthy day’s worth of food, or organize your space won’t happen unless you actually make the effort to plan the time in your schedule to make it happen.
You can always add these things into your phone calendar or a simple, cheap one from the dollar store. And if that works for you and makes you stick with it, more power to you! But some of us need an extra motivation. We need some kind of system that’s nice to look at and inspires us to do better. Something that makes us want to keep track of things.
There are a hundred options and what works for me might not work for you, so have some fun with it and browse the planner section at your local stores and find what speaks to you. One of the most popular options – and for good reason, since they come with a stockpile of extra motivational and organizational tools – is the Happy Planner, which can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond.
But no matter what your resolutions are this year, the power to follow through is in your hands. You’re capable of completing anything you’re truly set on doing, and when you do experience setbacks remember that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Having these tools to help you can set you up for easier success, but the true power to succeed lies in your mindset. May your 2018 be your most motivated year yet.
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It’s the holiday season! Christmas and many other holidays are upon us, and so are events, parties, and soirées dedicated to the season, and you want to look fabulous. You want to dazzle the room with your style and charm, but what if you don’t want to break the bank? It’s an intimidating task to dress yourself with your finest, especially when you’re on a budget and have multiple events to attend! But have no fear, because I found a hack for that.
The Little Black Dress
You know that we all need a little black dress in our wardrobes. It’s an absolute necessity to have at least one neutral, flattering, versatile piece that we can turn to for any occasion. It saves us time and effort when it comes to figuring out what to wear for every circumstance, but did you know it’ll save money as well?
Because when you have one base piece that can be morphed and molded to fit a wide variety of types of outfits, you’ll find that your time isn’t the only thing to be spared, but your wallet as well. So as you’re planning your outfits for the holidays, or even if you’re the type to dress on the run, consider a base piece little black dress so that outfits are already made, and you don’t break the bank.
When you have a simple, yet flattering, base piece for all your holiday outfits, you can choose other coordinating pieces that will dress the piece up, down, glam, and casual. When your base is simple, you can use accessories and other features to dupe your friends and family into never even realizing you’re re-wearing the same piece over and over.
You can choose a little black dress that’s comfortable and flattering for every figure, like this rouched black dress from Express. It can be made to look swanky for fancy occasions, and its casual side can be embraced for a simple family gathering.
For the Office Party
Because your little black dress can be transformed for any need, it’s the best choice for your office party. It’s understated enough to allow your wit to do the talking, yet can be made a touch more glamorous than your normal office wear by adding some simple sparkle in the form of jewelry. Add your favorite necklace and pair of nice black pumps to create a look that will impress the entire office.
For the Gathering of Friends
When you’re getting together with your friends, it’s your time to shine! You don’t need to worry about what’s appropriate, so this is the perfect opportunity to add all your favorite accessories to showcase your personality. And if you really want to feel like your best and if glamour is your thing, don’t forget to play around with sparkly makeup to take your glam to the next level. If you want to try something new, YouTube is full of tutorials for endless ideas on holiday glam, like this sparkly look by Brittany Balyn.
The Family Dinner
Let’s be honest: whether you’re excited to spend time with your family or your family is an insane group of people you only see for obligatory holiday functions, you want to be comfortable with family. You’ll be stuffing your face till your tummy is swollen, and you might just be chasing kids around while they play with their brand new foam-bullet guns.
Adding a blanket scarf for some comfortable warmth and tall boots with little to no heel will pull your outfit together to impress your relatives while leaving you free to move easily and eat all the food your heart could desire.
So don’t worry about breaking the bank this holiday season, because you don’t need to purchase a completely new outfit for every occasion. You can pick one quality, flattering black base that you can transform for every event, and it’s something you’ll get a lot of wear out of long after the holidays have passed.
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