5 Cute & Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Halloween is quickly approaching – do you have your costume yet?  I’m not the craftiest person when it comes to anything that involves sewing.  I literally failed the “SEWING ON A BUTTON” test in Home Ec.  Pathetic, right?

At any rate, every year, I like to find cute & easy DIY  Halloween costumes.  A) They make me think I’m actually crafty.  B) They save me lots of money.  C) They usually fit better than the plastic and pleather costumes from retailers.

This year I’m going as Minnie Mouse – more to come on that – but I love perusing the web to see all the creative costume ideas of others.  Here are 5 of my favorite costume ideas:

Diet Coke Cans

These are SO cute, aren’t they!  All you need is some felt, scissors, fabric glue 0r Stich Witchery, and a cheap gray or silver tube top dress.  This would work for any canned beverage – heck, any canned food.  How funny would it be to go as a can of pumpkin?

Loofa

When I first saw this, I had one of those “I wish I thought of that!!” moments.  Actually, I think that’s the title of my Pinterest Board I originally had this on haha.  I think it’s brilliant and adorable, and lucky for us, I found a great How-To from E-How Style.  Just be prepared for people to make awkward jokes about showering with you…

Toddlers in Tiaras

Singer Fergie rocking a Toddlers in Tiaras costume.

I can’t say I’ve ever watched the show, and don’t even get me started on how much I DESPISE the Honey Boo-Boo spinoff in all of it’s disgusting glory.  However, this costume is too cute, current, and quick to put together that it’s one of my all-time favs.  All you need is an old or thrift store prom dress, a plastic tiara, a sash, and a pacifier.  Add is some seriously big, curly hair and wild make-up, and you’ll be good to go.  You can also take a nod from Fergie and carry around a stuffed animal all night, but that could get weird.

Taco Bell Hot Sauce

It’s probably because my bff and I are in love with the clever sayings on the real packets (and the entire taco bell menu,) but whatever the reason, I’m obsessed with these costumes.  Starting-to re-think -the- whole -Minnie -Mouse- idea obsessed.  Again, a cheap tube top dress, some felt, some glue, fabric you can print the logo on, and a sharpie is all you need!

Witch

You absolutely can not go wrong with dressing up as a witch.  It’s like the LBD of Halloween costumes… Quite literally! A sexy LBD, some striped or fish-net stockings, your favorite black heels, and a hat from the Halloween store.  Throw in some bright red lipstick, some long fingernails, and you’ll be the hottest witch in town!

I also found a MUST-HAVE tube top dress tutorial.  It’s so easy, I think that even sewing-challeged me could do it, and it would work for so many DIY costumes.  It’s from the Rock, Paper, Scissors Costumes tutorial from LaurenConrad.com (another of my favorite costume ideas).

What is your Halloween Costume going to be?

XO – Stephanie

Fall Fad: 5 Favorite Owl Finds!

I’m not sure how or when, but I’ve become OBSESSED with owls.  It probably has something to do with their enormous popularity right now.  Yes, if you haven’t noticed, a huge fad this fall is Owls.  The best part about the fad, is that they’re CUTE owls with big awesome eyes, and sweet demeanors.  They’re everywhere – from necklaces, to soap dispensers.  I’ve got a small collection gathering in my kitchen decor, and keep finding more items I’m in love with. In no particular order, here are my 5 Favorite Owl Finds:

1) Yellow & Gray Owl Pillow with Chevron Stripes

Owl Pillow by whimsysweetwhimsy

Hello ADORABLE!  This cutie-pie is 12″x11″ and filled with poly-fil 100% premium polyester fiberfill.  It’s the only one of its kind, sold by whimsysweetwhimsy, but lucky for us, it has brothers and sisters of equal cuteness!  I can just picture it perched on my couch, brining sweet fall colors to my living room.  LOVE IT!

2). Cooking Owl Day Apron

Cooking Owl Day Apron from ModCloth

You know I’m already addicted to ModCloth, and now I have even more of a reason!  With this sweet apron, spending time in the kitchen will be a hoot! Get it? HOOT! Cheers for puns! Ah, I kill myself… Anyway I love the pattern, and the chocolate and robin-egg blue hues together. The touch of lime green makes this to-die-for.  I can just imagine this hanging in my kitchen… Someone please disable my PayPal account!

3) Owl Soap Sleeve

Owl Soap Sleeve from Bath & Body Works

Now this I actually have already.  I never paid much attention to the Soap Sleeves from Bath & Body Works – usually I was too distracted by the awesome 6 for $20.00 deals – but this one caught my eye, naturally.  I stock up on these soaps to last me the whole year, and this sleeve is the perfect accessory.  It’s currently perched on my kitchen sink, and fits easily over my fall-scented foaming soaps.  It’s a great and inexpensive way to bring this trend into your home.

4) Liz Claiborne Owl Ring

Liz Claiborne Owl Ring from JcPenney

This owl ring by Liz Claiborne for JcPenney is a fantastic fall accessory!  I love the cute eyes and purple and pink stones.  It also has a stretchy band, so it’ll fit any finger on your hands.  It’s definitely a statement piece, and would pair perfectly with everything – from an LBD to a white tee and jeans. The best part? It’s only $10.00!

5) Owl Coaster Set

Owl Letterpress Coasters from LuckyBeePress

Nobody likes water rings, so these cute coasters are here to save the day! They are hand-printed on heavy weight coaster stock by LuckyBeePress.  Each coaster measures 3 1/2″ in diameter, and they’re really inexpensive.  The Etsy description says they’re great for a hostess gift, and I couldn’t agree more!

Have you found any trendy owl items that you’re obsessed with?  Tell me in the comments below!

XO- Stephanie

2 Women, A Garage, and a Mattress… in parts.

Upon moving into our new mountain home, a friend’s house, we learned that the previous tenant had left her bed. After much deliberation and short game of musical mattresses, we managed to solve the dilemma. The last hurdle was to get the not-utilized-at-the-moment-mattress into the garage. We decided the loft was cleaner than the ground floor. then realized, we have to go up….
Problem 1: we wrapped the mattress in plastic
Problem 2: we didn’t wait for our other roommate
The result: hilarious.
My roommates 1983 premium quality mattress, lovingly named “The Taco” now folds completely in half, something like the above… but without the cage to contain it. Picture two women running at each other, QUEEN mattress in hand and then
trying to shoulder push it through the door and up the lawn. Insert face-plants 1 & 2.

Yep… just a little left. got it!
what is stuck on? what’s it stuck on! (Heeeave) WHAT.IS.IT.STUCK.ON?!!!
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My face is stuck… my FACE is now STUCK. I can no longer breathe! Why won’t it move?!! HEEEAVE. HEEAVE. WHERE IS IT STUCK?!
But when you’re on barely-railed, unfinished, garage loft stairs….
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not a lot to grab onto up here…
The Mattress did make its way to the top after approximately 3 face plants, (1 of them while running), a shoe loss, a roll in garage dirt and a multiple near death experiences.
Although we came SO CLOSE to it ending a little something like this I, in fact, DID NOT come flying down at my roommate.
Loves,
Margaux

I’m “Mad about Mashed!”

Hey Twenty-Somethings! What happens when one foodie of a blogger gets invited to a Mashtini taste-testing event and takes her equally food-loving sister?  A whole lot of MMMMs, and YUMMMs, and very, very happy bellies!  A few weeks ago, Sister and I were honored to attend the VIP Mad About Mashed event held by Bob Evans… and they made a Mashaholic out of me!

Sister and I at the Bob Evan’s Mad About Mashed Event! Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

The event was held to celebrate Bob Evans Food Products having the #1 best selling refrigerated mashed potatoes in America.   I have to admit, until that night I’d never tasted these renowned spuds, but I can now attest that they are DELICIOUS – especially the way Executive Chef Dave Eisel prepares them in the new Bob Evans Mad About Mashtini Recipe Collection.  The collection isn’t debuting until August 19th – National Potato Day –  but lucky for you I’m here with the whole scoop – of ‘tatoes!

Mad About Mashed Mashtini Bar – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Sis and I divided and conquered the mashtini bars, where we piled high our martini glasses full of fluffy, buttery, starchy goodness, and a whole lot of genius toppings.  We tried all six kinds, and every time we got to a new flavor, we thought we found a new favorite. The truth is – they were all SO good, and so perfectly different, we simply couldn’t choose the winner!

Here’s a breakdown of the awesomeness:

American Regional/Club Mashtini

This is classic Americano here, with toppings mirroring a Club Salad – diced ham and turkey, shredded Swiss and American cheese, and crumbled bacon.  There were also toppings like pulled pork, ranch dressing, broccoli florets and cheddar cheese sauce.  So, so, SO good!

Mad About Mashed Toppings – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Mediterranean Mashtini

This may have been Sister’s favorite – It had so many of her favorite pasta and salad toppings.  I thought her eyeballs were gonna pop out when she saw them!  She piled her spuds high with balsamic roasted portabella, parmesan crisps, grilled marinated chicken, basil pesto sauce, prosciutto and an italian mix of stewed peppers, onions and tomatoes called Pepperonata.  This dish takes you right to the heart of Italy friends, and boy is it worth the trip!

Taco Mashtini

This may sound a little weird at first, but I promise you it’s really good!   Bob Evans Zesty Hot Roll or Original Roll Sausage, sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes, pico de gallo, crushed tortilla chips, and pickled jalapenos, give the mashed pots a fantastic Southwestern kick.  Bobby Flay would be in heaven here.  It’s a taco PLUS Grandma-Style spuds – how could you go wrong?!

Taco Mashtini from Bob Evans Mad About Mashed event. Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Carbonara Mashtini

Bob puts a new spin on an old Italian classic with this recipe.  Crispy prosciutto pieces, warm peas, crispy fried shallots, and skewered grape tomatoes top potatoes flavored with Boursin cheese.  Boursin is a soft creamy cheese, similar to cream cheese, so you can imagine the extra richness it provides.   Delizioso!

Wildfire Mashtini

This was the last one we tasted, and it may just be my favorite.  This baby has an important not-so-secret ingredient – Bob Evans Wildfire BBQ Sauce. The sauce has the perfect blend of smoky-sweet flavors, and I’ve never had anything quite like it. Seriously, it’s SO good!  The potatoes sit in a bed of this liquid heaven and are topped with scallions and breaded popcorn chicken, that’s also been smothered in the sauce.  All I have left to say is YUM!

Wildfire Mashtini – Mad About Mashed – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Sweet Swirl Mashtini

This last recipe is for the sweet-tooth in all of us.  Bob Evans not only carries regular mashed potatoes, but they also have Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  Now, this combination may seem odd when you read it, but you’re just going to have to believe me when I say it’s MOUTH WATERING!  The potatoes are topped mini marshmallows, crumbled bacon, honey roasted pecans, and warm maple syrup.  Kids, it’s like Autumn you can eat.  This is a great side to serve for holidays, and if you like Sweet Potatoes, you’re sure to love these!

Mad About Mashed – Sweet Swirl Mashtini – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

I really can’t say enough good things about these recipes, and the Bob Evans products I tasted.  And just so you know, this is not an advertisement.  I was invited to the event as a blogger, to share my honest opinion, and honestly, you just need to try these tasty ‘tatoes!  Maybe you can throw a VIP Mashtini Tasting party of your own!  According to Chef David’s demonstration I watched intently, they’re really easy to assemble.  Not only that, but your guests’ taste-buds will be happy, and they’ll be really impressed with your trendy menu.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the official release of these recipes, and in the meantime, get yourself some refrigerated mashed potatoes.  You may become a Mashaholic too!

With that, I leave you with some more pics from the awesome event and send BIG THANKS, from Sis and me, to Bob Evans and Brunner for inviting The Twenty Something Blog! 🙂

Chef David Eisel showing us how to make the magic at Mad About Mashed. Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

I got to meet the genius chef! Mad About Mashed – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Yum moment photo op! Stuffing our faces with the Wildfire Mashtini. If you can’t tell by my silly smile, I was in Foodie Heaven! – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

* * *

Which recipe sounds the best to you?  Have you ever had a Mashtini of any kind?  Share your thoughts in a comment below!

XO – Stephanie

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Shower Bliss

Happy Wedding Wednesday Pretty Peeps!

I’m excited to get to share with you something personal to me for Wedding Wednesday.  A couple Sundays ago, my Mom, the bridesmaids, and I threw a shower for my beautiful, wonderful, bride-to-be sister!  It was everything I wanted to give her, and more, and it went SO quickly.   After two years of thinking about it, a few days of busily getting everything ready, an hour of semi-frantic decorating and set-up, and 3 fast hours of seeing my sister smile ear-to-ear in bridal bliss, I can’t believe it’s over!

Sister, Me and LOTS of her presents 🙂

Do you recognize my dress from anywhere?  Yesterday’s post perhaps? 😉

The decorated room. I like details 🙂

We had the shower at the Hampton Banquet Hall, and I could not have been happier with the personal customer service and fantastic meal they provided.  They were on top of EVERYTHING, even offering up the catering manager to help hang some paper poms from the ceiling, and graciously dealing with my last-minute changes to the seating arrangement.

Sister requested having cupcakes at the shower quite awhile ago, so I enlisted my talented friend Katie of Kake Pops and Cakes by Katie.  We devoured four flavors of beautifully decorated, and divinely delicious cupcakes.  Her chocolate with chocolate icing made one bridesmaid exclaim “With this – who needs a man?!”

Beautiful and Delicious Cupcakes from Kake Pops and Cakes by Katie

Something that was important to me, when designing and planning the shower, was to make it special and personalized.  Too often, bridal showers become run-of-the-mill, and I wanted my sister to have a shower that truly belonged to her.   That’s how I ended up designing the monograms that hung off of each chair and centerpiece.  The centerpiece vases were from all the flowers her fiance had sent to her while he was away at college.  My mom had saved them, and it worked out perfectly.  I also added a picture of her when she was a little girl playing dress-up as a bride to her Bridal Bingo.  I loved all the “awe’s” from the crowd when they saw it.  There was another game played, that was a rhyme and scrapbook all in one, but that’s a whole post in itself!

Personalized Monogram

Silk Hydrangeas are a simple and elegant centerpiece

We also created Reserved signs, so all the family and friends would be able to sit by they women they knew.  Since Sister got engaged at Disney World – in Cinderella’s Castle over dinner, with the ring sitting in an engraved glass slipper – the picture of the castle was only fitting – as was the quote.  These little, simple touches made it all about Sister 🙂

Reserved Signs

In all, I couldn’t have been happier with how everything came together, and seeing my sister basking in the glow of soon-to-be wedded bliss, was all I wanted and more!

Have you ever planned a bridal shower?  What fun things did you to? Tell me in the comments section below.

XO – Stephanie

Wedding Wednesday: 5 Fun Buffet Ideas

Candy Buffet Image from WeddingBee.com

Happy Wedding Wednesday!  I’m a total foodie, so today’s topic has got me all sorts of excited… and  hungry!  As you may know, Cookie Buffets and Candy Buffets have been all the rage for a quite a while now.  They not only work as a favor, but they’re a great way to add a unique touch to your decoration or theme.  But, they aren’t the only fun foods you can provide.  Check out my 5 Fun Buffet Ideas.

The Spud Lover

Mashed Potato Bar – Image from Google

Mashed Potatoes done is style!  You can take a boring chafing dish of this starchy side, and turn it into the star of the meal.  Set out lots of toppings like cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, onions, whatever you like, and let your guests go to town!  They’re really cute when served in a martini glass, that I’ve heard affectionately called a “MashTini”.

MashTini – Image from SmileSteady.com via Pinterest

I Scream, You Scream

Ice Cream Parlor Buffet – Image from Google

We All Scream for Ice Cream!!  Who wouldn’t love to make their own sundae and top it with as many gummy worms, Oreo pieces, sprinkles, hot fudge, marshmallow topping and cherries as they want?  Have your caterers set out all your favorite flavors and toppings when the cake is served, or as a midnight snack.  Your guests will love serving their sweet tooth, just the way they like to!

A Little Corny

Popcorn Buffet – Image from Google

A salty snack like popcorn would be a perfect interlude while getting on your groove thang.  Let your guests sample from a variety of flavors like cheddar, candy-coated, caramel, ranch, and more.  Set out some cute popcorn cones, like these from Martha Stewart, or classic red and white striped bags.  All you’ll need is a good movie – maybe a slide show of great photos of you and your one and only!

A Pretty Penne

Pasta Bar – Image from Pinterest

Wow your guests with made-to-order Pasta Dishes.  They will choose from a variety of vegetables, meats, cheeses, sauces, even the type of noodle, and a chef will toss it all together right in front of them. I’ve seen this done a few times, and it’s a great crowd-pleaser!  However, it is time consuming, and can cause long lines, so make sure you plan out a schedule with your caterer as when to release tables to the buffet.

He “Soda” Popped The Question

Soda Bar – Image from Pinterest

A fun addition to any cocktail hour, a Soda Pop Bar is a great way to serve your guests quickly, and make sure everyone gets what they want.  You can also add a cool blast of color to your decor, when you line them up in a rainbow, or use large, colorful bowls of ice to keep them cool.  I bet the kids in attendance will love this, and the adults will find it pretty neat too.  I know I would!

What buffet is your favorite?  Are there other kinds you’d provide?  Tell me a comment below 🙂

XO – Stephanie

National Pancake Day

Hey all!

Remember how National Chocolate Day was a couple weeks ago?  Well, I just learned that tomorrow is NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY! I LOOOOVE pancakes… almost as much as I love chocolate. Their fluffy, semi-sweet, carby goodness are hard to pass up, and I love them with all sorts of toppings, from syrup, to fruit, to whipped cream or just plain butter.

Nearly every continent has it’s version of a pancake, so it’s no wonder we decided to celebrate this carbolicious breakfast food.  Did you know pancakes are probably the earliest breakfast food eaten by prehistoric folks who baked them on hot shallow stones? Yep, that’s what I heard from my friend Wikipedia.  Ancient Greeks, we’re talking 4 B.C, made a version called τηγανίτης (tēganitēs) for breakfast. These days, the French eat Crepes, the Germans eat Pfannkuchen, Indians eat Pooda, Australians eat Pikelets, and some Africans areas eat Injera.  Though different things go into each region’s recipe, they’re all round-shaped, made from a sort of batter, cooked in a frying pan, and enjoyed by many.

This isn't my photo, but my pancakes looked pretty darn close to these!

This past weekend I made Banana Chocolate Chip pancakes for my family. They were divine, and, like most pancakes, super easy to make.  Incase you need a new trick to turn regular pancakes into something special to celebrate this fun holiday, here’s how I made mine [please take note of my uber accurate measuring system ;)]:

I used Target brand (yep Target) pancake mix – the “just add water” kind; enough to make about 20-some pancakes.  I like to make my pancakes restaurant size, so I think I got 10 out of what I used.  I threw in about 4 palm-fulls of the milk chocolate morsels I had leftover from the chocolate-covered strawberries.  Then added two palm-fulls of white chocolate morsels, per baby bro’s request.  I diced up a banana and a half, added a few sprinkles of cinnamon, and half a cap-full of vanilla extract and got to work frying, flipping, and stuffing my face. YUM!

If you don’t feel like making your own, you can head over to IHOP for a FREE short stack.  Those partaking in IHOP’s National Pancake Day are asked to supplement their free cakes with a monetary donation benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  Sounds like pretty sweet deal to me!

I’m not sure if I’m gonna get up and make some cakes, or just celebrate in spirit wishing I was indulging.  Hmm decisions, decisions!  Are you gonna participate in this kitchy holiday? What is your favorite kind of pancake?

XO, Stephanie

National CHOCOLATE Day!?!

I just learned (thank you Twitter) that Thursday was NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY!?! [Insert Angel Choir Chord Here]  First of all, how did I not know about this holiday?  Did you know about it? I feel really left out! That’s like, the greatest holiday since, I don’t know, Christmas! I mean, not only is it celebrating God’s gift to humanity, but HELLOOOO!!, it’s like the perfect excuse to bomb on my fitness plan and not feel guilty about it!  Afterall, I believe holidays are meant to be celebrated to the fullest, and I’ll be darned if I don’t get me some chocolicious goodies!

In honor of my new favorite holiday (I have now put a calendar reminder in my iPhone for the rest of eternity) I’d like to share some of my favorite chocolatey things… even if they are a few days late 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

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Chocolate Diamonds with Blue Topaz

 

 

Chocolate Body Scrub from Simple Sugars

Mochanut Latte from Dunkin Donuts

(my own creation – skinny mocha with shots of coconut…soooo good)

Hershey Park and Hershey’s Chocolate World
(FREE Simulated HERSHEY’S Factory Tour Ride with a FREE Sample and you can make your own candy bar too!)

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows and Whipped Cream

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Chocolate Fondue

(especially Chocolate Covered Strawberries, as you know)

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Shoot, I just love it all!! I’ve never met a chocolate I don’t like!  Are you hungry yet?  I sure am! What’s your favorite chocolate item?

-XO Stephanie

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Survival Kit

Happy Wedding Wednesday!  I can’t believe it’s that time again already!  Today I’m here not only as your friend and blogger, but as your concerned wedding planner, with some words of wisdom for your wedding day: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BRIDE SURVIVAL KIT!

Avoid THIS with a Bridal Survival Kit!

This handy-dandy box full of disaster-averters will keep you prepared for anything, and help you avoid unnecessary stress on your big day.  I take a stocked survival kit with me when doing events, but incase I’m not there to supply you, here’s what you’ll need to include when making your own:

  • Extra Make up – LIPSTICK
  • Waterproof Mascara
  • Eye-makeup remover – in case of tears!
  • Q-tips
  • Hand mirror
  • Hairspray
  • Bobby Pins
  • Hair Brush
  • Tweezers
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss
  • Breath mints
  • Lotion
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pain Reliever
  • Antacids – Pepto Bismol is my Go-to!
  • Static Guard
  • Band-aids and/or Liquid Bandage
  • Lint Remover
  • Tide-To-Go Pen or White Chalk
  • Baby Wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Clear Nail Polish
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Emery Board
  • Super glue
  • Extra nylons if wearing
  • Razor
  • Tampons
  • Sewing Kit
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Double-sided tape
  • Tissues
  • Bottle of Water
  • Drinking Straw

You may also want to include:

  • Curling iron
  • Straighter
  • Steamer
  • Slippers and/or Dancing Shoes
  • Extra batteries if someone is snapping pics on your personal camera
  • Your perfume
  • Champagne to celebrate with your bridesmaids…. aaand take the edge off!

I’d suggest getting the travel bottles of these items, so don’t have to lug a Walgreens around the entire day.  You may also want to consider purchasing a kit online.  Ms. and Mrs. sells kits for Brides that include almost everything I’ve listed above for just $49.00.  They also have bridal mini-kits, and kits for Grooms, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and Moms.  They come with a sample-size of each item, probably enough to get you through, and are neatly packed in cute cases:

Wedding Day Survival Kit by Ms. & Mrs.

Ms. and Mrs. Wedding Day Survival Kit for Bride

Whether you’re making your own, buying one online, or borrowing mine, being prepared with a Bridal Survival Kit will be a God-send on your big, busy day!

Did I miss anything YOU would include in yours?  Please tell!

XO-Stephanie

My Take on Valentine’s Day

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and are getting some of the sunshine that’s pouring through my office’s windows right now.  It’s hard to believe it’s really February, with all the spring-like weather we’ve been enjoying in Western PA, but, it really is February 6th, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner…

I have a love/hate (no pun intended) relationship with Valentine’s Day.  As you know, I’m perpetually single, so this holiday doesn’t really thrill me in its truest sense.  It  annoys me how this one silly day has gained such a stigma and can make singles feel like they’re missing out or not as special as couples.  It’s easy to start being a bitter-betty when seeing all those cute commercials for sparkly diamonds and bouquets of roses, but I have my own solution to ward off the ValenDOOM’s Day blues and it’s super, super easy.  As the Beatles say:  All You Need Is Love.

Yep, that’s right, on Valentine’s Day, I don’t think about what love I may or may not be missing.  I think about all the love I HAVE and I spend the day celebrating in it.  Afterall, that’s what this holiday is all about!!  It’s not just for happy lovers – though RIGHT ON to all of them – it’s about celebrating all the types of love around you – love of God, family, friends, coworkers, pets, whatever it may be!  This goes for all you reading this – single or not!

In celebrating, I always like to do something festive or special. Whether it be decorating sugar cookies to leave out for clients, sending my baby brother a card, or wearing my favorite red ensemble, I embrace the holiday!

This year, I’m going to make some chocolate covered strawberries for my coworkers.  We’re a dysfunctional family of crazies, and though sometimes we can’t stand each other, at the end of the day, I know these people care about me, and I care about them.  Since the holiday falls on a work-day, I figured, what better way to celebrate than giving them all a little some delicious and made with my love!

Plus, they’re SO easy to make!  (Here’s a quick recipe if you wanna make your own.) I plan on covering them in melted milk and dark chocolate, drizzling some with white chocolate or peanut butter and maybe even rolling a few in pretzel bits for added crunch.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. YUMTASTIC.

The bottom line is, I think this is a holiday to be celebrated fully for no other reason that it’s a great reminder that we all are loved in some way, but someone, and we have a lot of love to share with those around us – so, why not put on our best red sweaters and silly smiles and dive right in?

What will you be doing for Valentine’s Day?  I’m seriously curious, so leave a comment below!

XO – Stephanie