I like Valentine’s Day. It’s a great excuse to show the people you love how much you care through thoughtful notes, handmade cards, beautiful bouquets, and small tokens. In the past I’ve celebrated (and been celebrated) with gestures both big and small, but no matter the size, the sentiment is always the same: love.
Love is a many-splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong! All you need is love.
– From one of my all-time favorite movies, Moulin Rouge
The “week of love” (aka last week) was just that – a week of love. Don and I enjoyed spending quality time (and quality food!) with some of our loved ones as well as with just each other. I celebrated my loved ones on Valentine’s Day this year by sending cheery bouquets. I think the gift of flowers is such a lovely gesture and I enjoy sharing such beautiful things. Don and I had a lovely Valentine’s dinner date at the newly overhauled Japonais by Morimoto, sharing many small, delicious plates. We exchanged handmade valentines and small tokens. I absolutely love the Filofax love poem Don crafted for me! It also happened that Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year, which is typically when I post an OLJ update. I like to think that my latest post on my Erin Condren Life Planner was a fitting one to share on Valentine’s Day, since it has been so highly requested. It was also fun to coordinate that post with a video I filmed with my friend Kristina (StarOfMay on YouTube) where we discussed our love of planners. I celebrate my online community by sharing some of my greatest joys, such as a beautifully designed and functional planner. We don’t all love the same things, but it is in sharing that we learn to appreciate the diversity among people.
I think Valentine’s Day is more than just showing the ones you care about your love for them, but also taking time to love and appreciate yourself. I’ve talked before about the sad and paradoxical double standard our culture places on self love. You’re expected to be a selfless giver, born to serve others and do right by the world, while also somehow managing to be perfectly happy, content, and comfortable in your skin. I have yet to meet one person who is able to love others well and be truly charitable without first loving themselves. So why is the pursuit of self love so condemned? I know that I am best able to be loving and giving to others when I am loving and giving to myself. I wish everyone could encourage others and most importantly themselves to self nurture, but unfortunately, we do not live in a society that allows for this kind of mutual and self respect. Alas, I try in my own way to keep in touch with myself and my feelings in the ways that best suit me. I’ve mentioned some of these self love rituals in the past, including giving myself some space and “me time” (baths, reading, knitting), feeding/fueling my body and mind (good food, running/toning/yoga, learning new things), and being gentle and patient with myself (therapy, acupuncture, journaling). Feeling fulfilled in these ways allows me to more fully care for my loved ones. Instead of a vicious cycle, it is a beneficial one.
I’ll get off my soap box now 🙂 You can watch this week’s vlog here if you’d like:
As I mentioned in the video, I have a giveaway to share this week. The Weekly Wednesday MAC Pigments Giveaway will run until Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6 PM CT. The giveaway is open internationally. All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. There will be three winners, each who will win one of the three different MAC pigment sets pictured below (you can specify which set you’d prefer when you enter the giveaway):
*** Please note – the giveaway prizes include makeup products that are gently used. By entering in the giveaway you acknowledge this and consent to accepting the products as is in the event that you win. ***
You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways). I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always. Good luck!
*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***
Congrats to Amanda A., Ashley W., and Kamila on being selected as the winners of my Weekly Wednesday MAC Pigments Giveaway!
I hope you find ways to nurture and care for yourself and your loved ones this February ❤
* This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *