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It’s “Etsy”llent – DLIH tested, DLIH approved! March 22, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Fashion/Clothes, Holidays, Review, Shopping.
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Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 6.33.19 PMImagine 50,000 years into the future, where you can go to an outdoor craft fair or market but instead of walking around and seeing the same four things – leather goods, vintage jewelry, handmade knickknacks, and decorative flasks, you can actually search for what you want or get someone to make it for you. Instead of you walking through aisles and aisles of vendors, they magically appear before you with examples, prices, and instructions on how to get more out of what you’re looking for. Enter, the world of Etsy!

“I wanted a nonsense word because I wanted to build the brand from scratch. I was watching Fellini’s 8 ½ and writing down what I was hearing. In Italian, you say ‘etsi’ a lot. It means ‘oh, yes.’ And in Latin, it means ‘and if.'” – Rob Kalin, cnn.com

A nonsense word, what’s not to love! It makes what Etsy is even that much more interesting. For those who aren’t familiar, Etsy is what’s known as P2P Commerce, specifically P2P e-commerce since it’s solely based online. This means that users who can provide a good register on this website as a seller, then users who need that good register as a buyer and BAM! – Crafty, homemade, customizable, funny, sentimental items appear! Like a magic potion.

The “Etsy”llent thing about Etsy is not even what you’ll find, but what you didn’t know you would find. It’s my number one place to go for gifts because I can guarantee that I will find something A. Unique, B. Something my giftee probably will never see in a store C. An item I can customize as needed. Not to mention you’re dealing with a real person, so if you should have a problem or question you’re talking directly to someone who knows the product, if not made it themselves. None of that “custom service call waiting” annoyance.

The thing I especially enjoy about Etsy is that no matter who you purchase from, you’re supporting a small business in America. This site continues to uphold the American dream. Some of these sellers do this as a part-time gig to make a little extra cash with a hobby they’re good at, to some, this is their full-time job; making and selling these handmade or unique items.

Items and sellers of note that DLIH personally recommends:
Boojiboo – sells the most adorable and cute, handmade aprons. I use mine at home and at cooking classes and get complimented every time. Ordering was easy and delivery was very timely.

JeniSewButtons – A wonderful crafter who works with fabric. I had four personalized Christmas stockings made by her – we communicated almost daily for about two weeks to make sure the fabric, names and overall look of the stockings were what we wanted. She sent multiple photos of fabric and was overall a joy to work with. The stockings came out perfect! She can make just about anything out of fabric.

LakeJade – makes the most beautiful and unique glassware items out of photos you send him. We had a small crystal made in memory of a loved one, as a Christmas gift. He made sure it got there in time for the holiday and the quality was top-notch!

Nelson Studio – This is the most hilarious and talented husband and wife team! They make “face mugs” which are essentially hand crafted mugs, bowls and other items with funny faces on them. A picture is only worth a thousand words because the quality is amazing and you can tell they put a lot of time, effort, and love into each mug (which comes with its own name and story!)

DiResta – a personal friend of DLIH! She does the most beautiful jewelry and will make a custom creation! She’s open to almost anything you can think of and incredibly talented! If you want a unique piece for you or a loved one, this is the shop to visit!  Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 6.33.58 PM

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The Man Bouquet – Man Crates January 30, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Family, Holidays, Men, Review.
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Valentines Day, oh the glorified day of love, angels, cupid, chocolates, heart shaped everything and the corporate greed of candy companies! Whether you love it or hate it, don’t care about it or count down to the day, whether you’re alone or tied down, it’s a day of dressing to impress and giving gifts.

Women really get the short end of the stick when it comes to buying gifts. Men have jewelry and perfume to choose from, Godiva, puppies, flowers, flowers, flowers. It’s like a wack-a-mole of which present to buy first, when it comes to the ladies, besides a slinky piece of lingerie what do you get your man for Valentines Day?

ANSWER: Man Crates! Mancrates

DLIH discovered Man Crates this time last year for just this reason. Miss SK just got tired of the notion that Valentines Day was all about the girl, so after some digging and internet research Man Crates surfaced. They are pretty much perfect! Not just for V-Day but for any day; birthdays, anniversaries, congratulation presents, or even just because. There are different options, at different price points all themed around whatever your man likes best. Can’t decide? EVEN BETTER! He’ll probably love his first one so much you can get him another next year, or surprise him in a couple of years when he least expects it. They add new ones regularly so there’s no chance of him getting board.

Man Crates are what you think they are, a giant crates! What do guys love more than something they can tear into or break? It’s like a piñata of awesome goodies for your guy. They even have smaller crates that come in something other than – Ammo Can, Tactical Bag, or even just a regular shipping box full of jerky! To be honest, while the enter gift was unique, fun and a complete surprise, the thing DLIH man loved the best was the the Ammo Can, tries to use it for everything!

So, if you’re looking for a unique gift that isn’t simply a bacon scented bouquet of tools try Man Crates on for size. Fine print: order ahead for holidays, they get slammed and since they are a made in USofA business (support the locals!) they only use the best stuff, so give them a breather and don’t rush the creative process!

New Year, New Relationship December 23, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, GoodGuys File, Holidays, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Relationships, Women.
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The GoodGuys File

There are two things we take for granted in relationships; Number one, the amazingness of our relationship; Number 2, the ability to move on. While these two things are opposing, they have everything to do with one another.

In reverse, Number Two

An event in my life occurred recently that reminded me of the awful feeling of being broken up with. It’s been a number of years since the last time someone “broke up” with me. That dreaded feeling that something wasn’t right; that drop in the pit of your stomach when the phone finally rang; and those awful words that no one want’s to here “So, we have to talk”. It’s been so long, and I’ve been so happy, I forgot about that feeling, even though it happens to people everyday. Even if you’ve only been together for a little while, or if you’re in a serious relationship, the moment you realize it’s over is never a good one. You quite literally feel like your life has ended, like there is no moving forward, and while in the grand scheme of things that’s not true at all, at that very moment that’s exactly how it feels. You also feel slighted, and betrayed, insulted even. You wonder how this person could break-up with you, shouldn’t it work the other way around? The entire world turns shades of dark purple and black, your heart becomes stone and you cry until you’re too tired to cry anymore. It’s a horrible feeling…but we have all been through it and we have all moved on. When we are dating someone, we are so happy and feel like, even if the relationship isn’t perfect, it’s not going to end. But the reality is that most of our relationships will end, all except for one. We have to go through those relationships and those break-up experiences to get where we want to be, as individuals, and to meet the right person and find the right relationship. So while it is a feeling you never want to feel, it’s also a reminder that there is a life after this relationship, there is something waiting for you on the other side, and this will make you stronger.

Number One

When you are in a relationship for a long time, everything is a daily routine. Even when special things happen, they are routine special things. This is how we go out for special dinners, this is what we where when there’s an event, these are the days we give presents. It’s hard to really value your relationship when it’s such a huge part of your day, as with anything that is routine. A totally separate event occurred in my life recently that reminded me how vulnerable, valuable, and appreciated the relationship I am in is, and should be treated as such. We forget that anything can happen, any day. Not necessarily a break-up, but an accident, or a new job in a different city, or even something as small as a fight that can make you reassess how you treat each other. We don’t to be those people who miss something after it’s gone, or almost gone. It’s scary to go through life thinking that, and it’s unhealthy, but it’s a good way to check yourself and remind yourself to be appreciative. If you’re in a great relationship, or you’re in love, find a few things that always remind you of how precious and important this partnership is. I like to think of the day we met, or when we first started dating, or special memories or moments, that reaffirm how happy I am and how great this relationship is. it’s easy to forget; it’s easy to not call your mom back, it’s easy to say “you can’t stand” your job; it’s easy to wake up every morning and go to work like you’ll just see this person in a couple of hours, no biggie. So, it’s impotent to remind yourself, everyday, that your relationship is special, everyday.

With the new year around the corner, there are so many things to reflect on. Whether you are in a relationship, recently out of a relationship, or have been single status for a while, take the new year as your opportunity to have a new relationship. A new relationship doesn’t mean a new guy or girl, it can mean a new outlook. Vow to value your relationship, or have a new relationship with yourself, knowing that you will move on, no matter what, and that you will find love because you value yourself as an individual too. Whatever your promise to yourself, whatever your status, create a new relationship for your future.

Holidays Not-So 101: The Holiday Diet December 16, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, Holidays, Holidays Not-So 101, How To, Tips and Tricks, Traveling.
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If you’re anything like me (or you’ve been to this site a handful of times) you know that I’m pretty much committed to my relationship with working out. Whether it be going to the gym, taking a dance class, or running outside. I’m all about the treadmills and the kale chips. Which is why I have some sad news, I hate to tell you this but…health and I are taking a break. It started sometime around Thanksgiving, the relationship just wasn’t the same anymore. Even though, in my head, I still wanted to be faithful, I always felt like I was cheating. There was a night with mashed potatoes, and then that time with the starburst. Yesterday, Eggnog and I watched Home Alone together, and while it wasn’t meant to be a date, it sure felt like one. The bottom line is, I wasn’t giving health what is deserved. We stopped seeing one another at the gym, and slowly my friends stopped hanging out with health too; my sneakers didn’t call him, my Athleta pants blocked him from Facebook,  and when my i-pod ran into him on the street, it pretended not to know him. The truth is, we need to take a break until the holidays are over so we can sort out our relationship.

image Well…you get what I’m saying. The truth is, this happens to the best of us. Holidays hit and the gym takes a hit. I feel like I have zero motivation to workout, and likewise, zero motivation to eat health. So, once a week I’ll have a kale salad, or bring an organic soup for lunch, but for the most part I’m pigging out on brownies, piggies in a blanket, and shopping around for dessert recipes for Christmas eve. So, I could beat myself up for not carrying my lazy behind to the gym…but I’m not. I learned a long time ago when you force yourself to do something that you really don’t want to do, you’re only going to give it half the energy and time you would if you wanted to do it. There is a theory, that some workout is better than no workout at all, and if you abide by that theory then you are a far more disciplined person than I am! Go for it! However, for many of us, the reality is that the time we’re going to waste isn’t worth it. So, if you are like me, I can tell you: 1. You are not alone! Stop feeling bad and just take this time to enjoy the holidays, make it your new year’s resolution to get back in the gym as soon as your hangover dies out, and 2. Here’s how to pig out without feeling like your losing everything you’ve worked for.

Whether we realize it or not, there are a lot of things we do during the holidays that are similar to a workout, without actually putting our sweat bands on. For many us, holidays are a time of visitors and with visitors come cleaning. Make it a point to get down and dirty with all the dirt in your home, a day of cleaning will definitely burn those calories off. Additionally, traveling is a huge stressor and one that involves lost of bending, heavy lifting, and walking. So, if you’re going somewhere this holiday season, rest assured that you will get your workouts in, even if they’re only here or there. Lastly, set a goal for yourself. Buy gifts, sending cards, baking, and making it to all your holiday parties (which inevitably have more food and alcohol to make you feel like a flubber), take time away from things like being healthy and active. So once the crazy subsides, remind yourself that they’ll be a sliver of time where you’ll have virtually nothing to do but sit back and watch TV. While rest is important, this is also a perfect time to put 30 min on the treadmill! My goal? To have my body and my healthy habits back by New Years; there is no other holiday, other than Halloween, where girls can go out looking like they lost some of their outfit along the way. I know I’ve got to fit into that dress by the time Dec. 31st rolls around, so the second Christmas day has ended, you know I’m going to be racking up those miles on the bike!

Even if your goal isn’t New Years, it can still be Jan. 1st, or by the time you go back to school/work, even Valentines day. Get yourself as excited for getting back to your habits as you were to forget about them. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and everything that comes with them.

Holidays Not-So 101: Kids & Their Gifts December 10, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in children, Finances, Holidays, Holidays Not-So 101, How To, Shopping, Tips and Tricks.
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There was a year I participated in a charity event for Christmas. Underprivileged children wrote letters to Santa about what they wanted for Christmas, little did they know, we were Santa. We each received a letter or two and bought the children exactly what they wanted.  We then dressed a co-worker up as Santa and as each of the children sat on his lap and took a picture, they received their specially ordered gift. It was one of the best moments of my life, I remember one girl looking right into my eyes and squealing “Oh my gosh! This is exactly what I wanted! How did he know!?”. While I learned many valuable lessons from this experience, there was one that really resonated – kids toys are not cheap!

I somehow remember having about 7 Barbies when I was a kid, more stuffed animals than I could count, and a constant rotation of crayons, pencils, markers, and clay-type art molds. It never crossed my mind that my parents were shelling out for these things. When it said “made in China” I assumed it was priced accordingly. Well, I learned pretty quickly that Barbies start at $20, and that’s never the one your kid is actual going to want. So, this brings me to my Holidays Not-So 101 dilemma, how the hell do you buy kids gifts they want without actually breaking your holiday budget? To be totally honest with you, I have no idea, ask a parent, but what I can tell you is the tricks I’ve used to get them something they want without spending 2 hours in the toy aisle. woman-shopping-for-toys

Trick #1 – Ask their parents. If this is someone you’re relatively close to generally their parent’s will have some kind of gift list that either their kid made, or they themselves have been keeping. Most parents aren’t going to ask you to buy their child a bicycle or the latest doll, so whatever they tell you will definitely be under that $40 mark. If they don’t have anything specific, they can at least give you an idea of what their child might be into these days – Batman, American girl dolls, a specific movie character or board game, etc. This way you can get them something within that theme, without having to get them the actual toy/movie/game.

Trick #2 – Know your options. Remember yourself as a kid, you were excited by a happy meal toy that was lost under the couch in two weeks. Kids love big gifts, flashy lights and funny noises, but that doesn’t mean they require it. Evaluate price per square inch of this toy, maybe a three dollar bear that looks like it’s going to disintegrate isn’t the way to go, but a $25 my little pony the size of your hand isn’t either. There are lots of good deals out there if you’re in stores like Target, Kmart, Toys R Us, and so on. Matchbox cards often sell in a 5-pack for under $10, small toys with “dress-up” or “hair bow” type accessories will usually range between $10-$20. Check aisles thoroughly and weigh out the options, would you like this toy? Even if it doesn’t seem like much to adults, it may be the world to a child.

Trick #3 – Use your noggin. This isn’t so much a trick as a fair warning – for those of us who don’t have kids, we forget that some toys aren’t safe or favored by parents. Look at the age frame, every toy tells you “3+” or “ages 4-9”. Be accurate. Also, no matter what the toy says, pay attention to small parts as they can be a choking hazard, sharp edges or themes that parent’s might not be fond of. Anything that’s too violent, may not communicate an appropriate message, or might be too extravagant or very messy probably won’t be appreciated. If it’s questionable, don’t get it. No matter what you buy, include a gift receipt to give to the parents.

Trick #4 – Ask the parents. Yes, I’m saying it again. Unless it’s a situation where you’re expected to bring the kids a gift (like a family Christmas, or best friend/siblings child) make sure it’s okay with the ‘rents that you bring a little something. Ask ahead of time, or, if that’s not an option, mention is as you walk in, before you hand the gift off to the monster, I mean kid. A simple “Hey, I brought Johnny a little something, I hope that’s okay?”. They’ll either say it’s fine or they’ll say thank you and take it themselves. This might mean it’s not cool, but it might also mean that they don’t want their kid to get wound up, and will give it to him or her at another time. Don’t be offended, they’ll appreciate the gesture, they may just want to keep their kid calm for that moment.

So, while I may not have the most in-depth knowledge, these tricks have worked for me. And if you’re a non-parent, newly crowned aunt or uncle, or simply realize that most of your friends are starting to have miniature versions of themselves, this is a great starter guide for this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving November 28, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Holidays.
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Untitled 2

Holidays Not-So 101: Holidays with the Other Family November 27, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Dating, Family, Food/Dining, Holidays, Holidays Not-So 101, How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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We all, at some point in our lives, reach the inevitable point where we stop having holiday dinner with our family…and start having dinner with our significant other’s family. On one hand, congratulations on the great achievement and milestone in your relationship, on the other hand…shit. Your own family is hard enough, Thanksgiving or holiday dinner with another family is like a minefield times ten! Even if you, or your significant other, have the best relationship with his or her parents, holidays are like a permanent marker, one false move and it’s branded on your for life, all because it was Thanksgiving. How do you navigate the field of “oops” bombs?

To begin, do your homework. There’s nothing wrong with being a little prepared. What are the general traditions for this meal or holiday? Will you be expected to say what you’re thankful for at the dinner table? Will it be a formal evening or should you be prepared to hang out in sweatpants? Does everyone help out in the kitchen or stay put in front of the TV for the game? So on and so forth. Also, communicate your traditions to your man/woman. People always want you to feel welcome and will often do something that is important to you, like make your favorite dish, or a special tradition like having mimosa’s as a cocktail. Every family is different and when you start celebrating holidays with a significant other, those traditions start to combine.

Credit: NBC Universal

Credit: NBC Universal

It’s better to be safe than sorry. For the most part, you’ll be expected to show up, say thank you twelve zillion times, and not insult anyone. However, it’s always good to make a nice impression. Bring flowers, a dessert, or a small gift like a holiday themed candle to show your appreciate for the invite. Volunteer for things you wouldn’t normally do if your mom were slaving away in the kitchen like loading the dishwasher, helping cook, or uncorking the wine. 9 out of 10 times they’ll say thanks but no thanks. It’s awesome to be comfortable, but remember that you’re a guest here so even if this is the eighteenth holiday with the in-laws, you should still be on your best behavior.

Don’t be a weirdo. Spending a holiday with the boyfriend/girlfriend’s family is lots of fun, but it can also be a stressful situation. No one wants to feel awkward, so don’t make it that way! “Just be yourself” is perhaps the most annoying but also truest phrase in the book. If someone tells a joke and you’re a loud laugher, just laugh. Trying to stifle a laugh or make the joke better by being inappropriate won’t give people a good impression of you and a false idea of who you are. It’s better to be who you are and maybe end up a little embarrassed instead of feeling stupid for doing something out of character and then trying to rectify it. If you’re a relatively quiet person, don’t try to be outgoing; if you’re a lively character, make sure you’re stepping in at the right times.

Gifts can potentially be the biggest stressors of the holidays. Really, what do you get your not-so-soon to be sister-in-law whose husband just bought her the world? Or the nephew that you met once when he had the flu? Or the mom that’s still trying to figure you out? Something with the best intention but the smallest commitment. Unless you know there is something specific they want, a more generic gift will let them know you thought about them this holiday season. A nice candle with their favorite store’s gift card, a zip-up sweater and a scarf from Gap or Express, a moderately price doll and one of her cool accessories, or a Tonka truck and a git certificate to Lego Land. Always include gift receipts and let them know it’s “just a little something”. Don’t go overboard, or pay too much, just keep it simple and classic.

While the holidays make everyone anxious it’s important to remember why you’re going through all this. You’ve met someone awesome and they like you enough to bring you home for the holidays. Bonus points all around! So remember to have a great time, and treat it like what it is, a holiday.

Your Summer Weekend in New York July 6, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Food/Dining, Holidays, Review, Uncategorized, Weekend with DLIH.
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A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have a guest join me for the weekend. When you live in New York, the options about where to go, what to do, and what subway you need to take can be daunting but when you have someone to entertain, you suddenly become re-invigorated with the possibilities. Here are some of the new and favorite places we hit. If you’re looking for some summer fun in the heat, but want to avoid the main stream places, theses are DLIHers top choices:

MANHATTAN

01The Frying Pan – If you haven’t been, you’re missing out on this NYC summer staple! Located on the west, west, west of the mid-twenties the Frying Pan is a barge and boat turned happy hour extravaganza! It’s not a great place if you’re not into crowds or want superior bartending, but if all you’re looking for is some drinks in the hot summer weather you can find it here! Sitting on the boat or the outside of the barge will allow you some relaxing time by the water. The Frying Pan serves both liquor and beer and has a decent selection of outdoorsy food. If you’re in the mood to party, sit on the inside, covered by a large overhang, where the mood is more upbeat with music and young people. Fair warning, the place can often times have a collegey factor, so be prepared. Rule of thumb is that the closer you sit to the water, the more chill it’ll be. It’s all about what you want! When you arrive, don’t be stifled if there’s a line to get in, it moves faster than any other line in NYC. On a hot summer afternoon, this is the perfect spot to be!

02Chelsea Brewing Company – Just south of the Frying Pan is another outdoor spot, right inside Chelsea Piers. The Chelsea Brewing Company is a restaurant perfect for lunch or even dinner. If it’s cool enough, sit outside, right on the docks. They also have a spacious inside portion if you’re more into a/c. The menu is simple but tasty and they have a nice selection of brews. It’s a great place to pass the time when you need a little break from the heat, or even a perfect pit stop if you’re walking along the Hudson. Plus, there is plenty to do in Chelsea Piers, so check it out while you’re there.

03Doc Watson’s – Located on the upper east side, don’t judge this book by its cover. From the outside it looks like your typical dive and while the inside maintains this appearance, the bar is actually a hot spot in this part of town. If the bar seems a bit crowded there is a spacious back area with tables. As a first-timer, the service was great! Our waitress was on top of everything and even dropped by just to talk because we happened to be discussing one of her favorite shows. I found the drink I ordered to be a little light, but I don’t worry, in the least, that if I’d asked them to kick it up a notch, they would have. Overall, a great spot for an afternoon or evening drink away from the crowds of summer but not away from the action

BROOKLYN

04Momofuku Milk – Find this spot in Williamsburg (although, there are many different locations all over, check them out!) just off of the L/G Metropolitan stop. This little nook is a creative desert and snack shop focusing on the delicious! Some of their highlights include cereal flavored shakes, “crack” pie, and pork or veggie buns. Everything is delicious and just enough food to soothe your cravings, but not leave you on dessert or lunch overload. The space is small, with a couple of benches, so if you’re not dying to eat in, it’s a great idea to take out. However, the food there is so dainty that you wouldn’t need to sit for more than ten minutes to savor every bite!

QUEENS

05Locale –Off the beaten path, Locale is a DLIH frequent flyer. Near the N/Q in Astoria this cafe/bar is a perfect place for brunch! They offer a little bit of everything on the menu and throw in a twist here or there. The food is filing and very good. Mostly, the atmosphere is your quintessential brunch spot. Surrounded by pre-war style buildings and plenty of dogs walking by, you almost forget you’re in a borough. They have both inside and outside seating in the warm months but be prepared that the inside doesn’t offer the a/c you need if you’re escaping the heat. The cute decor and bistro-esque tables are what make meals there worth it, in addition to the full bar. Service isn’t necessarily perfect every time but the prices won’t make you wonder why you came. If you’re looking for something different, it’s DLIH highly recommended.

Be Our Valentine! February 14, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Holidays.
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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
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FROM US TO YOU!

From the Chest of SK’s Life: Doing Valentine’s Day February 11, 2013

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Friendships, Holidays, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Real World, Relationships, Women.
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It’s easy to say I was about three-too-many drinks in, but it’s also hard to keep count when you’re the girl sobbing at the bar and your best friend happens to the be the bartender. Convenient, you think? Sure, embarrassing too. So what was the reason that this legendary day went down in history as one of my “finest” moments?…Answer: Valentines Day.

Yes, I too have been that girl but what I fail at in my own life experiences, I turn right around and focus on you, beautiful readers. Every year we all deal with Valentines Day in our own way; love it, hate it, ignore it, and for many of us, those sentiments change year to year. However, no matter where I go on my V-Day I see stupidity of all flavors, so we’re breaking open the chest of life experience to prepare you for Cupid’s arrow this year. Tough love, kiddos, sometimes it’s the only kind of love you’re going to get on Valentines day and it’s the best advice you’ll find from someone who’s totally unbiased and going to be honest with you. Whether you’re with someone or single as dirt, there are standards and expectations that apply to Valentines Day.

anti-valentines-thumb-390x340-148621Number one, if you haven’t learned anything from the first paragraph, don’t drink like a fish. It’s fine to have a few drinks with your friends for your anti-Valentines Day party, or let your boyfriend treat you to a bottle of champagne, but no one wants to end their night with their head in the toilet. It’s neither productive for single ladies nor romantic for those of you being showered in roses. A little tipsy or even moderately drunk is okay; it’s a holiday, bottoms up, but keep it under your max and unless you’re really trying to forget about someone, just avoid any shot with a fancy name or that claims to taste like chocolate.

Speaking of forgetting, Valentines Day seems to be as much about forgetting old flames as it is about celebrating the new ones. That’s exactly how I ended up in my tear bath of white wine. Go figure, the guy I was dating dumps me exactly 1 1/2 weeks before the special day and no matter how hard I pretended to not notice the pimple of displays showcasing hearts and teddy bears in every store, everywhere, I did notice them, and it hurt. Point? You’re not alone, you’re not the first, and you won’t be the last. Consider it a right of passage. Feel free to name bash with your gal pals all night long, but don’t feel sorry for yourself. Sure, your night didn’t turn out the way you had imagined it, at least tomorrow it’s not Valentines Day anymore! There’s nothing wrong or shameful about being sad on Valentine’s Day, or feeling left out, but don’t use the holiday as an excuse to blow your break-up out of proportion. We’ve all been dumped (obviously, myself included), so we all know how it feels, don’t let Valentine’s Day contribute to your emotional cutting fiesta. It’s an international holiday, not your pity party.

Not everyone is going to have a horrible time on V-day, so if you’re gearing up for a romantic, sexy night, make sure it stays that way. When this day comes around, people can really build expectations to something over the top, or anticipate a special something. Women imagine lavish dinners, proposals, bouquets of roses and men envision the presents they’ll get for “dessert”. While that’s the way the cookie usually crumbles, be open-minded. When your roses or surprise doesn’t show up or the “right time” never comes around, people are left with nothing but a state of upset. No matter how snazzy or simple your usual dates might be, be prepared for whatever comes your way, let the small stuff roll off your back and indulge in the great moments. Let yourself be surprised instead of disappointed and if you’re the kind of chick (or guy!) who’s into fancy-shmancy-ness why don’t you plan a few surprises of your own! Keep the evening classy and when you plan, make sure you plan for two, not just what you think would be fun or seductive.

Some people hate Valentines Day, they say it was invented by the Hallmark company, chocolate factories, the romantic comedies of Hollywood…but then all those people, who complain and send themselves flowers, end up in the greatest relationships and suddenly don’t hate it anymore. If you are one of those people, first off…don’t send yourself flowers, but also, keep your hating to yourself, or your group of friends. People in relationships might be excited for their date night, or single friends might just want an excuse to open a new bottle of wine and eat chocolate without feeling guilty. So if you’re going through a break-up, feel alone, or just hate the color pink, call-in sick and watch slasher movies all day. We get it, we do, but we’re also ready to hand out Valentines and go lingerie shopping! So we’ll respect your hate of the holiday, if you respect our right to celebrate it.

All holidays are different, and everyone observes them in their own way, so this year, try something new. Instead of judging, expecting and intimidating one another with what we think is the “perfect Valentine’s Day” just let it be. Plan whatever you want, or don’t want, to do and just do it! You never know…this year might be the best ever because you didn’t build it up to be something ultra-amazing, you just let it all unfold.