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Valentine’s Day

Link Love

Friday Link Love, Vol. 2.21

Friday Link Love
I have a confession.

I haven’t exercised in 3 weeks. Not one bit.

Between the big move and my husband traveling out of the country for work, the last few weeks have been a hodge podge of scheduling to get us unpacked and settled and get my kids where they need to be. Clearly something had to give… and unfortunately that something was my workout regimen.

This week I made a commitment to carve out one hour a day for myself. To be honest it’s not something I was exactly looking forward to, but I knew I had to do it in order to feel better and be better. Needless to say, I made it through the spin class and I walked out feeling like a new person. Why am I telling you this? Well, take this with a grain of salt, but I find that the physical act of setting goals and meeting them give me a sense of accomplishment and confidence. I feel good, albeit sore. So, let’s take the weekend and create some awesome goals — no matter how big or small. We may just surprise ourselves with all of the awesome things we can accomplish.

As for now!? Get inspired with this week’s Friday Link Love round up!

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Going Out Tops For Valentine’s Day

valentine's day going out top header

Good morning!

First off, who stayed up last night to watch the Super Bowl game!? What a great matchup and fun game to watch!! While the Patriots have certainly dominated football the past few years, it was nice to see an underdog have their moment to shine!

Fly Eagles, fly.

Next, let’s talk Valentine’s Day. I know we touched on the holiday topic a few days ago with this handy GIFT GUIDE, but I wanted to chat about something that works for Valentine’s Day and actually, pretty much any night out of the year: the going out top!

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Gift Guide

12 Thoughtful Valentine’s Gifts Under $50

Valentines Gifts Under 50

Do you guys go all out for Valentine’s Day?

My husband and I have always felt that the holiday was a little too sappy and forced for us — hello, Hallmark holiday! It’s never been high up on our holiday priority list. However, once we had kids we’ve made a conscious effort to show them that it’s fun to be generous not only with gifts, but also with our words and our feelings. We’ve been trying to teach them to tell people they love how much they care about them. Actually feeling and EXPRESSING all the feels, is a much harder skill than it may seem.

Hey, I’m still working on it myself.

Now, as far as gifting goes (something I am VERY good at!)… we keep the Valentine budget at minimum. Just a little somethin’-somethin’, because who DOESN’T like to open gifts?!

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Your Definitive Guide To A Non-Cheesy Valentine’s Day

non cheesy valentines day

It’s T-10 until our chubby friend Cupid make his grand entrance. You ready?

If the answer is, “Aw, hell-to-the-NO!” you sound like my kind of girl. The day of flowers, chocolates, nonsensical, lovey-dovey fluff is just not my cup of (herbal mint and verbena) tea. Why encourage blatant consumerism to express our affections?! Shouldn’t we be doing that on a daily basis anyway? Isn’t it more special and meaningful when Hallmark isn’t the one telling our loved ones how much we adore them?

I’m not anti-Valentines day, per se… just not exactly into it. What I am into is a celebration. Especially, when it’s a heartfelt celebration of something beautiful. So, without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to my definitive guide to a non-cheesy Valentine’s Day!

WHAT TO DO: Send the love! 

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This is the perfect time of year to share the love with military troops overseas who could definitely use a pick me up. Create personalized cards for troops that show that how much you care and appreciate their service. Keep it simple or get fancy, but whatever you decide to do know that there is a recipient far away from home who will truly be grateful for your kind words and efforts.

Contact your local USO or RED CROSS to get involved in local efforts, or use a site like ANYSOLDIER which will connect you to a military member and provide service branch and location information for letters, notes and care packages.

Not in a creative mood? The USO has created a special VALENTINE’S DAY WISHBOOK where you can purchase a soldier anything from their FAVORITE SNACK FOOD, to the opportunity to read BEDTIME STORIES to their children and send personalized DVDs back home through the United Through Reading’s Military Program.  I can’t emphasize enough how special of a contribution this is.

WHAT TO WEAR: Feel the love!

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I don’t think Valentine’s Day should be about wearing the sexiest, most revealing outfit but more about wearing clothes that are YOU and that feel great on your body. Soft knits, cozy sweaters and broken in jeans are definitely more my speed.

JEANS // SWEATER // SUNGLASSES // CLUTCH // SNEAKERS // LIP BALM

WHAT TO EAT: Taste the love!

There is nothing more special than a food/dish that is meant to be shared… especially if it involves cheese! Create a custom charcuterie and cheese plate for you and your love(s). A few assorted cheeses, some sliced imported meats and of course, sweet and spicy condiments to bring it all together.

Here is my shopping list for the perfect meat and cheese plate:

  • 3 Cheeses– 1 hard, 1 medium and 1 soft. Select all three for a taste of a specific region, or create a culinary tour around the globe with your cheeses. It’s up to you!
  • 2 Meats– 1 hard sausage (ex. salami, capicola, pepperoni, sopressata, etc.), 1 soft cured meat (ex. prosciutto, serrano ham, paté, etc.)
  • Sweet accompaniments– Try fig jam, dried cherries, honey and/or fresh fruit!
  • Spicy accompaniments– Pickles, olives, mustards, chutneys and spiced nuts are ideal pairings.
  • Bread– I usually serve a basket of fresh sliced french baguette, in addition to a hard cracker option.

P.S. Don’t forget the wine!

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