Love Yourself this Valentine's Day!

February seems to be flying by and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I honestly can’t believe we’re almost half way through February - crazy!

I friggin love fresh flowers

I friggin love fresh flowers

A lot of people think of Valentine’s Day as something to dread. Either you’re single and don’t feel like you have anyone to celebrate it with, or you’re in a relationship and it seems like there’s a lot of pressure to go above and beyond for the person you love (and spend a shit load of money).

My boyfriend and I are doing Valentine’s Day the day after, and keeping it fairly simple. Dinner, cards, no gifts (ok, maybe flowers?), but honestly neither of us are hugely into Valentine’s Day. In my opinion (this may sound a bit extra) I think it’s important to show the person you’re dating, engaged, or married to that you love them as often as you can, and that doesn’t need to be with a day filled with huge gestures. It can be as simple as cooking them breakfast in the morning, filling up your gas tank for you, them bringing home your favourite bottle of wine, or remembering to pick something up for you at the store. For me, it’s the little stuff that counts the most.

On actual Valentine’s Day, I’m spending it with my best friend whose boyfriend happens to be out of town. There will be a baked brie and lots of wine in our future.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, there are a lot of different things you can do this Valentine’s Day to show yourself a little self love, or show someone else that you love that you love them. This could be a friend, family member, YOUR DOG, a random (you don’t need to love this person, this would just be for the sake of being a good person) or yourself. Here are a couple of my ideas to show some love this V-day.

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Treat. Yo. Damn. Self.

Feeling a little low this v-day because you don’t necessarily have a special someone to share it with? Do something for YOURSELF. It’s so easy to get caught up in the week day hustle, plan that evening to do something to pamper yourself. Go get a mani pedi, order yourself some dinner and pick up a bottle of vino, hit a hot yoga class, do your favourite face routine and have a relaxing bath.

Or if you have a couple other single gal pals, invite them along too (or just hit happy hour together, whatever makes ya feel good)! Just because you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t share this day with yourself and a little self love!

Have a significant other but you’re both broke as hell?

I feel ya sister. Plan a stay home date night! A couple of my favourite things to make at home for a date night is pizza or pasta. Recently, my boyfriend and I made a seafood linguine and it was so fun to make it together.

Still want to get out of the house? Wait a week and then celebrate Valentine’s Day. A lot of places have jacked up menus on the actual day or weekend of V-day, and if you wait a week then you can hit a happy hour for date night or look up a spot that offers a special on the day you want to go (for example, buck and shuck oysters, or half off wine night).

Make someone ELSE feel good - spoiler alert: you’ll feel good too!

This Valentine’s Day, go out of your way to make someone else feel good. Does your grandparent live in an old folks home? Go around their floor with Valentine’s Day cards for the other tenants and the nurses. Pay for the person in line behind you at the coffee shops order (is he cute? for sure do it), or buy a girlfriend who is going through a hard time some flowers. Regardless of what it is, Valentine’s Day can also be about making someone else feel good!

Here are just a couple of my ideas to make Valentine’s Day into just all around love day. What do you like to do on LOVE DAY?

How to Give Back this Holiday Season

My friends are always making fun of my crazy love for Christmas. not in a mean way or anything, but honestly I'm kind of fuelling their fire. I'm a Christmas junkie, as I've mentioned in recent posts, and I really just love the feeling the holiday season brings.

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Ya I love the parties, the decor, and the food that comes with Christmas, but there is also something about this season that reminds me of how lucky I am year round.

I have a crazy amazing support system of friends, a boyfriend, and family in my life, a great job, a roof over my head, food in my fridge, and so many other small things to be grateful for every single day. But this season always reminds me that there are a lot of people out there who aren't in the same situation that I am.

So as hectic as the holidays are, I always try to find some way, big or small, to help a family out, make someone feel special, or give back to the community in some way. 

Here are a few ideas of how you can give back this holiday season:

1. Christmas hampers

Christmas hampers seem so simple, but they are an insanely great way to give back during the holidays. You're helping make an entire families Christmas come to life, and that's something to feel pretty kick ass about. I've been lucky enough to join a couple friends of mine who this year are organizing hampers for THIRTY families this Christmas season. (If you live in the Winnipeg area and want to contribute, reach out to me!)

So, talk to your office, your gym, your group of friends, and then reach out to your local cheer board and get a hamper together. When you do it as a big group, it's completely reasonable and everyone can contribute a bit to make it happen!

2. Donate your time

Sometimes we aren't in the financial situation to donate money or gifts during the holidays, but volunteering your time is just as effective. Go help bake at your local mission, volunteer to wrap gifts at the cheer board, or work a shift for Operation Rednose (If you live in Winnipeg you know what this is).

Volunteers are always needed throughout the holiday season, and your time is extremely valuable to those in need!

3. Reach out and remind someone they are special

For some, the holidays can be an extremely lonely time. I know I've felt years where I didn't think I had anyone, and it was really tough to remember how many great things and people I had in my life.

So whether it's going and visiting an old folks home with some baking and chatting with a few of the tenants, handing out coffee to those living on the streets on a cold afternoon, Christmas carolling, or sliding a "Happy Holidays" card under the door of your apartment neighbours, there are a lot of small ways you can remind someone that they aren't alone, now, or during a time that everyone should feel a little bit of love. 

I know as much as anyone else, the holidays are HECTIC. But there is always a little bit of time to do something, no matter what size, it will always make a difference to someone.

Have any ideas of your own?! Comment below!

Holiday “Potpourri”

For those of you who aren’t big on the holidays, maybe take a break from my blog until January. 

One of my favourite things about the holidays are all of the different smells associated with it. The smell of a Christmas tree, cookies baking, even just that generic “Christmas” smell (you know what I mean).

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I’ve seen the idea of festive “potpourri” around for years and have really wanted to try it. It was an easy and fast way to have my home smelling like the holidays in a matter of minutes.

What you will need: 

- a bag of whole cranberries  

- oranges

- cinnamon sticks

- whole cloves

- rosemary (I did not use this for mine because I could not find it anywhere - anyone know where to find whole rosemary this time of year let a sista know) 

Instructions: 

- pour the desired about of cranberries into the bottom of a large pot on top of the stove. Add two cups of water. 

- thinly (not super thin though) slice the orange into wedges and put into the pot with cloves, cinnamon sticks (I did four) and rosemary (if you can find some...) 

- turn the heat to about a 4 to get things going. Once the potpourri heats up a bit and starts to smell, turn it down to about a 1 or minimum. 

- leave going for desired about of time adding water here and there. Make sure you keep an eye on it stirring every little bit.

I kept mine going an entire afternoon, so really depending how long you want it on for add or subtract the amount of ingredients you use!

This is great before entertaining, or even if you’re just at home getting in the holiday spirit. Enjoy!

DIY "Merry Christmas" banner

Christmas spirit is in full force over in my apartment!

I usually try really hard to wait until after Remembrance Day to start decorating because Remembrance Day is a is a special day for my family, and we like to fully honour it. 

But now it's onto Christmas in my apartment and I love everything that comes with it. The music, the decorating, the baking, giving back, and especially CRAFTING!

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I decided I really wanted a "Merry Christmas" banner for my apartment this year and I searched high and low for one and couldn't quite find exactly what I was looking for. So, I thought to myself, why not make your own?

I talked to my friend Lindsay (@modernmommy_ on Instagram, if you're in the Winnipeg area you need to check her out for any personalized clothing, glassware, ornaments, etc) and she was able to cut the letters for me. If you don't have a service like this accessible to you, you just need iron on letters!

I found the burlap banner pieces at Michaels (on sale I might add, if you aren't on Michael's email list, JOIN IT, they're always sending out 50% off coupons and have TONS of amazing items!) and they actually came with the string as well! 

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i just ironed the letters on, I would recommend ironing for a solid two minutes on a high heat to make sure they fully stick and then peel back the plastic very slowly to make sure you don't mess up the letters. Let cool, cut tiny holes into the burlap pieces, string together, and done!

That's. It. It was seriously that easy. I plan to do a couple more DIY's this season and hope to share them here! I know this is a brief post but I felt the need to share this quick and easy DIY for the holiday season that was not only simple to make, but saved me money on a costly banner anywhere else!

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Can't wait to share more crafting with you this season! DIY of your own? Comment below!