Valentine’s Day is just about here, and with it come the typical moans and groans of single and attached folks alike. This attitude is no surprise: traditionally a celebration of romantic love, Valentine’s Day comes with super high expectations, jacked-up dinner prices, and a commercial onslaught of cheesy cards and candy.
Don't get me wrong... if someone handed me chocolate CVS candy, I wouldn’t deny it! But Valentine’s Day can be so much more than caramel-filled chocolate. Why not use it as an opportunity to celebrate love your way? Ideally, one that doesn’t fit into the cliche, heart-shaped box?
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing people—girls especially—say they hate Valentine’s Day because they don’t have a significant other. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers didn’t fight for our rights so we could center our lives around our relationships with men, after all.
That’s why I’m proposing us girls use Valentine’s Day to celebrate the types of love that don’t get holidays: namely, self love, and lady love. Here are some thoughts to get you started...
Want to take ownership of Valentine’s Day? The first step is to figure out exactly what it is you want to get out of it. At first, you may think you want to mope, or just go about business as usual. Dig a little deeper, though, and you may just find a treasure trove of possibilities.
Make a list of all the things you love. It could be fashion, food, or margaritas. Or maybe singing, reading, acting, photography… whatever it is that makes your heart smile.
Now, make a list of the things you love about yourself (Recommended soundtrack? “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld). This may feel a little odd, especially in a society that seems to prey on female insecurity at all times. Try to put all that negativity on mute and focus on the amazing, unique assets that make you you.
Now, think about the external relationships in your life that are special, beyond just romance. For starters, consider the amazing women that support you through thick and thin. Your girlfriends, for example, are probably the ones that listen to you when you’re down, help you make tough decisions, and laugh with you at life’s silliest moments.
All reflected? Great. Now let’s move on to you.
In the trenches of mid-February, treating yourself is vital. I really can’t express this enough: amidst winter’s dry skin plagues and gloomy days, taking the time to pamper your mind and body lifts will keep your spirits high.
Go on a little shopping spree. Have a favorite designer? Treat yourself to one or two items of clothing that you wouldn’t normally buy. Even better, get a fabulous blowout—I recommend using the app Vive to schedule one—or a luxurious mani-pedi.
Drink some wine and watch your favorite movie, whether by yourself or with friends. We can all get a little sad and frustrated during the wintertime. Taking some time to relax guilt-free will help melt all that stress away like yesterday’s blizzard.
Treat Your Girlfriends!
If you’ve ever seen Parks & Rec, you know that Leslie Knope is the queen of Galentine’s Day, a Valentine’s celebration of love between female friends. Whether you have a significant other or not, this is such a fun way to treat your girlfriends with fashion, food, and surprises!
This year, I decked out some of my favorite girls in head to toe Ramy Brook outfits and Jennifer Miller baubles so everyone could feel glam, confident and fabulous! I also styled a tablescape with adorable Meri Meri party favors, colorful glass vases, and a truckload of large pink balloons—36 to be exact!
Then Christy Doramus of Crowns by Christy added to the magic by creating the most stunning custom flower wall, and set up a super fun DIY flower crown station! It’s always great to have activities at a party, and it doesn’t get much better than crafting some gorgeous flower crowns.
To top it all off, we had the most delicious cake jars from only the best pastry chef and girl boss Dani Beckerman of Jars by Dani! For the beverage section, I added American Juice Company’s Lady Lychee cocktail mixer to a little something special. So much yum!
I had such a great time this year celebrating love and life with my favorite women. Putting together a party not only felt great, but spoke to everything I love about my life and those I share it with. And that’s what practicing self love means to me.
Valentine’s Day can make us all feel a little flustered and wistful, but at the end of the day us girls are in charge of who and what we love. We should feel empowered to celebrate however we want to!