A Very Valentine Day For All

February 14, Valentine's DayFirst of all, Happy Valentine’s Day! Second, I know that this will not be a popular sentiment with many…but I don’t care! I love the pink, the red, the hearts, and the flowers. And chocolate….most of all the chocolate! Not just any old drugstore milk stuff, but the dark flavored truffles rolled by tiny fairy hands in a sweet little shop somewhere in Paris. Clearly I live in a dream land built for two because I have a boy that actually makes this happen.

Over the last few years, the day of love has seen many haters jump on the “anti-Valentine’s Day” bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that a commercialized version of the day was thrust on us by a company hellbent on selling a pile of cards. Most restaurants and flower shops hike up their prices for services that on regular days cost at least 25% less. Our significant others start to feel societal pressures to live up to romanticized versions of themselves, while singles are supposed to throw themselves off rooftops or hide under blankets on couches. What nonsense. All of it!

And yet…I think it’s a day worth celebrating. Lets look at Valentine’s Day and what it means one step at a time. Valentine’s has a long history that seems to start with some guy called Saint Valentine, move through pagan fertility rites of Lupercalia, the beginning of bird mating season in the Middle Ages (this one made me laugh), hand written exchange of love letters during the turn of the last century, until finally somebody was smart enough to cash in on all this mushy love stuff (but why begrudge someone a brilliant idea).

The loudest objections to the day appear to be financial and the fact that love should be celebrated every day, not just once a year. And I can’t really disagree with this either. Except, we don’t seem to have any qualms about throwing coins around on other days. We spend like crazy on ourselves and others for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas,  girls’ weekends, or what we just call “shopping sprees” or “self care”.  Many of these “other” days also only come around once a year.

And yes, love shouldn’t be reserved for one day. We should be spreading the love and feeling it all year long. But let’s face it, this doesn’t happen. Life happens. So why is it so bad to get a nudge from the calendar, a little reminder, that love is all around us, in many forms. So reach out to your boy, your girl, friend, family, pets, neighbours, even strangers (I did!). Surprise them. And surprise yourself with how good it feels to spread some love.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

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Weekend Edition

Stacked books and a cup of coffeeYay, another long weekend is here! I feel a little spoiled for plans. I’m starting off with a luxurious 6 hour spa day (a gift to myself!), followed by a quick jaunt outside the city to a blueberry pickin’ heaven, then a trip or two to the local Ribfest for a down and dirty finger-lickin’ dinner, and finally diving into a new summer novel. I will also be working on a new post from a recent local funventure with the boy.

But first I thought I’d start off the weekend with a few fun links you guys might enjoy.

  • Waking up early is no one’s idea of fun, especially on a long weekend. But check out this list of hilarious and brutally honest coffee mugs that might make that bright morning sunshine a little easier to swallow.
  • If your summer trip to Italy is still just a day dream, allow me to add to your fantasy album. Follow a day in the life of the beautiful and incredibly perky Giada de Laurentiis as she films her show in Florence.
  • And if your summer leanings are more Gallic, this interview with the French Chantecaille sisters will have you finding your inner French girl!

Wishing you all a fabulous long weekend!

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Weekend Edition

Espresso coffee cupAlthough this persistent cold doesn’t look like it’s giving up any time soon, I don’t care…it’s the weekend!!! As long as the sun is shining and I’m fortified with a strong, hot cup of java, it’s time to fight the winter doldrums and enjoy myself (until Monday at least).

In this Weekend Edition, I’m including a few links that are helping me get through this season.

  • The white stuff and sub zero temperature show little sign of stopping. Head over to PureWow for 7 Smart Ways to Break Your Winter Rut.
  • If braving the outside has you shivering already, travel to a warm destination without leaving your couch. Christine has the most beautifully serene blog post from her trip to Chefchaouen in Morocco.
  • And if my London readers want a bit of travel closer to home, St Thomas is having their annual Railway City Arts Crawl starting tonight, February 26th. Well worth the visit…and snagging some affordable, original art!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!

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Happy Birthday to Me

Happy_birthday-13Another year older, another year wiser (well, maybe)! I’m off to celebrate my special day with the boy. Can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve! In the meantime, I want to share with you a few links that are perfect for a wintery birthday weekend.

  • Any birthday calls for a little sparkle! And Carin found it in spades at the Elie Saab design studio. Go and get lost in the fantasy!
  • A winter celebration calls for a dessert that makes you feel all warm and delicious! Athena Calderone has created perfection with her cardamom cake with honey buttercream…have a look…then give it a try!
  • It seems like tea is the new coffee. Browsing the wide variety of this hot genial beverage is even more fun at these top tea shops in New York City!

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My 2016 Revolution

Dance All Night, Sleep All DayAlthough I would love to be able to dance all night and sleep all day, it’s not realistic at this point in my life (but you should have seen me 10 years ago!). These days you’ll find me working hard, spending time with my boy, family and friends, travelling and on occasion indulging in a few delicious vices. In short, I’m enjoying life!

However, the first day of 2016 has me reflecting on the past year. This is the time we all start making resolutions on how the next year will be different from the previous one. And inevitably, the resolutions are broken and guilt sets in. But not this year! This 2016 will be the year I embark on a REVOLUTION!

Instead of the age old “New Year, New You” motto I always fall into, I’m jumping aboard the “New Year, Better You” train. I’m in a great place in my life and I love it. I don’t need a new me or a new life. The one I’ve created for myself is pretty darn good. So this year, instead of trying to fix something that isn’t broken, I will work on making it even better. It’s a more positive and fun way to look at the year ahead.

I hope you join me in welcoming the New Year 2016 in a revolutionary way!

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