Do you smell it?
Do you smell that almost sickly sweet smell of freshly cut flowers and chocolates wafting through the air?
Do you see all of the love-sick puppy faced people in coffee shops and diners, holding hands and whispering to one another about who knows what in the most obnoxious way?
Do you hear the hum of the Moulin Rouge soundtrack beneath your feet as you step outside?
YEAH. It’s here. It’s Valentine’s day.
I get it. Some people find this day as an eternal reminder that they are alone and sad and angry and it’s hard to be happy for other idiots when you’re still stuck in 5 feet of snow with cold, wet socks and you just want to grab your coffee and get on with your day if the dinguses in front of you would just PLEASE STOP KISSING AT THE REGISTER UGH. I get it.
This day is not for everyone and that’s totally okay and dandy.
However, this day is totally right up my themed, kitschy, cute alley.
I LIIIIIVEEEEEE for days like Valentine’s day. Sure! I get to “celebrate” the day with someone I love very much and I’m so lucky that I’ve found them and somehow convinced them to live with me and eventually be with me forever (?!?!?!?!sometimes still surprised that Kyle likes me that much?!?!?!). But even before I had someone to spend this day with, I loved this holiday.
Before, I’d spend this day writing love letters to people who needed them. This has actually turned into my Galentine’s tradition. I try and write love letters to the ladies in my life (I’m so behind this year!! Aghhhh! Sorry Galentines!!!) and mail them out. I just really love writing letters to people. There’s something so personal and cathartic about sitting down with a pen and just writing a little love note. (Plus, I am Leslie Knope. So all of this is right on brand.)
I even started the tradition of writing love letters to myself. That’s right! I write love letters to myself. I’ve spanned them out for the next five years (so I haven’t actually opened one yet). But I write a letter to myself for five years from now. The letters just tell of what I love about my life, things that I’ve discovered and learned to love about myself, and things that I want to discover, do, or work on in the next few years.
I also have a mushy tradition of writing Kyle a love letter. I snagged the card for this year’s love letter from Provisions Uptown (where I work). It’s a locally made card by La Familia Green. They have the BEST holiday cards and I’m just in love with everything.
Kyle and I also have the cutest tradition of gifting each other vinyl records for Valentine’s day (V-day Vinyls!). We’ve done this for every Valentine’s day for the past (almost) 5 years! We’re so cute, I know. This year Kyle got me the Nudes acoustic album by Lucius! But it won’t get here till March. And I can’t tell you what I got Kyle because I’m bringing it to dinner tonight. Lol 😉
We also had these CUTE AF chocolate red lip lollipops from West Town bakery at work and since red lips are like my signature (or I imagine in my perfect Carrie Bradshaw kind of life they are), I totally jumped in on them and bought one. THEY CUTE, OK?!!
I also swiped some pretty fancy/amazing bottles of ValeWINES (lol #jokes) from work as well! All of them are bubbly and fun and look gorgeous on our bar cart. Y’all, seriously, go buy yourself a nice bottle of wine for Valentine’s Day. You won’t regret it and you’ll feel adult af and probably like 30% happier. And when you go out to grab that bottle of wine, go to your LOCAL wine/spirits/alcohol store! You’ll find so many better options, with decent/honest recommendations. PROMISE. NOT JUST SAYIN’ THAT CAUSE YOUR GIRL WORKS IN RETAIL NOW.
The first bottle is SO cute and says “I love you” in a variety of different languages. It’s a prosecco-like bottle (but apparently not a Prosecco! Because grapes! They’re important and determine the type of wine! Lol duhhh.) and it tastes amazing. The second bottle is the Gouguenheim and it’s a sparkling Malbec and SO GOOD. I’ve never had anything like it and I constantly tell customers that it’s a “fairytale in a bottle”. It’s red fruit forward, tart, with light bubbles (and water from the snow of the Andes mountains OK?!?) and I’m obsessed with it. I bring it to like every party I ever go to. And the last bottle is a sparkling red apple rosé! IT. IS. MAGIC. So fruity and sweet and your girl is #BasicAf and still lives for the sweet stuff. I really hope we keep this bottle in stock because I KNOW I’d bring it to Thanksgiving and my fam would DIE over it.
WINE IS AMAZING. YAY WINE.
I’ve been so in love with our bar cart all year. I’m so glad Kyle got it for me for our anniversary in September, because I have LOOOVED decorating it according to holidays/events. V-day was no different, duuhh.
Again, I have to thank the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press and Target for ALL of these cute, pink, and unicorn decorations. (Yeah those lights in that Mason Jar are UNICORN lights, but those were from ModCloth!)
Seriously how can you NOT be obsessed with punny socks that are Valentine’s day themed and SO cute and and and and and everything pink and glittery and hearts!!! UGH. I just love it.
AND this year, Valentine’s day has somehow lined up perfectly around one of my other favorite days of the year: FAT TUESDAY! YES, I totally went and got 2 of each flavor of paczki from Stan’s donuts (also swiped some beignets!) and I have absolutely NO regrets. We now have so many leftover we’re gonna have paczki for breakfast for at least the next week maybe.
Since I picked up the paczki on Galentine’s day, I totally dressed up for the occasion too.
(If you get the Cry Baby t-shirt reference, LET’S BE BFFS)
I’ve been reading some love “themed” books for the month of February too!
This book by bell hooks is so healing and informative and exactly what I needed this month. I can’t recommend it enough to people. The way she matter-of-factly describes and actually DEFINES love and the action of loving people is so wonderful and important and everyone needs to read it. I’m not even finished with it yet, but it’s helped my heart SO MUCH and helped me to understand certain short comings that I have with love and loving other people. It’s real beautiful, y’all. Pls go read it.
And Oliver and I have also been super into Lady Killers, which is a book that talks in depth about female serial killers/murderers. The most interesting part of this book has not only been the historically accurate and well researched stories, but the entire introduction! It’s so fascinating to read a book that talks about women being cruel, murderous, and horrible. Because normally women are made to be weak, or their crimes are tied to love and lust and seen as crimes of passion (The Love “theme: lol). We don’t tend to attribute traits of Ted Bundy and Charles Manson to women, but man oh man, there have been some horrifically brutal women throughout history that have done so many messed up things and it is a fascinating look at humanity. I also get a wicked pleasure from proudly reading this in public.
And well, that’s most of the heart shaped, glittery pink fun I’ve been enjoying recently. I hope all of you Crickets take the day to spread some love and joy around. Buy yourself a coffee, give yourself an at home pedicure, take a long shower, take a nap, make a nice dinner, wear your favorite sweater, and maybe write yourself a love letter. Open up a bottle of wine tonight while watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Netflix (WITH LOTS OF TISSUES). Call your mom, or your friend, or your grandma.
This day is not just about finding the “one” and rom-coms. It’s just about love in general. And shouldn’t that be a celebration all the time? Love is so dope and warm and fuzzy and don’t you want to share that and jump up and down for it and hug it real tight?
For me, Love is so closely tied to gratitude. If you’re not into the whole “love & glitter” stuff, just take time today to be grateful for your friends, your favorite books, and maybe your bed? There are so many things to love and embrace. Start with the small stuff and work up to the big.