I’m seeing pink hearts, red roses, white lace, and little cherubs everywhere that I go. Oh Valentine's Day.
I have nothing against the blatant consumer holiday, I mean there’s always a multitude of half-price candy on February 15th that I’m happy to buy and take off the stores' hands. There’s nothing against spreading love and kindness the world sometimes feels a little devoid of. Valentine’s is actually one of my favorite holidays of the year.
But I was kidding before, I DO have something against Valentine’s Day and that is clichés. Everyone knows the cliché gift of roses, a box of chocolates, and a cloyingly sweet card written by someone else. Can’t we mix things up a little?
How about making something for your loved ones?
We’re all so dependent on the crutch that is Hallmark but let me tell you how wonderful it is to see someone’s face light up when you give a card tailored exactly for them. Whether you utilize an inside joke, their favorite TV show, or a song that they can’t stop singing they’re going to be so elated that you paid enough attention to them to know exactly what to make the card with. Trust me, the day I decided to start making all of my cards myself was a great day.
Don’t have the money to buy a whole bouquet for your significant other? Use your crafting skills (don’t even start with that, everyone has them) and MAKE a bouquet. There are numerous patterns online for paper flowers, from simplistically easy to moderately challenging, and instead of being confined to red, you can make them in whatever color you want! Just fix ‘em up and attach them anything from pipe cleaners to twigs collected outside. Make a bouquet that will never fade!
Forget the box of chocolates and treat someone special to dinner instead with a custom "Free Dinner Pass'. It doesn’t have to be fancy, simple and easy is all you need. As long as you don’t burn it, you can’t go wrong with making their favorite dinner just for them. How about make it a picnic out on the Horseshoe? Even better! Nothing says love like cute gingham pattern blankets and wicker baskets.
If you feel so creatively inclined you could even write them a poem. It doesn’t have to be the most astounding piece of work to grace the Earth, they’re not expecting you to wax prose like Pablo Neruda. Just taking the time to find words that rhyme in order to describe them and how they make you feel, is going to, and I guarantee this, gonna blow them away at least just a little. I admit poetry may be slightly cliché but who's actually writing any dactylic lines for the person they love these days?
Taking the time to make a gift for the person you admire can mean a lot. You don’t have to go the extra mile to make sure they know that you love them and in reality, settling for an overused and unoriginal concept of a gift. No more cookie cutter cards: write them your own words.
So, go forth, create, and may your Valentine’s Day be full of originality, not half-priced chocolate.
Have you ever witnessed a success story in your hometown? In my small town of Libertyville, Illinois, nothing big ever happens; it's actually considered a village. However in 1999, two ambitious friends, Sue Katz and Lisa Thurman, got together and created Amazing Cosmetics.
The company started out small as on online venture and has now grown to enormous proportions. Amazing Cosmetics sells all different types of makeup and is best known for their outstanding concealer. My personal favorite is their lip-gloss. All of their products are excellent quality, definitely worth the pretty penny you will spend.
Growing up, I attended school with their sons. I remember in middle school, when I went through the infamous Hannah Montana phase, I had a moment of insanity when I found out they used Amazing Cosmetics on their show! It was my first glimpse seeing how far their success had taken them. I begged my best friend Alex to snag me the signed poster, but that never worked out. Alex would always sneak me lip-gloss whenever he worked at the warehouse on the weekends. I definitely felt like the coolest kid on the block for knowing the families personally.
Over the years, their products have been featured in movies such as The Notebook, Looper, Lincoln and many other films. They have also been featured in several shows, such as Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, and Pretty Little Liars to name a few.
When I arrived at USC, I never thought I would find their products - there was a slim chance that I would find my favorite lip-gloss in Columbia. Little did I realize they have branched out even farther, selling their products in stores like Sephora and Ulta all over the U.S.! Once again, I had a moment of insanity, jumping up and down telling the sales girl how it said, “Made in Libertyville, Illinois” and how I knew the creators. I proceeded to sit there and contemplate which lip-gloss would be my next purchase, even convincing the sales girl to buy some too.
I could'nt be more proud of my small village of Libertyville. I feel lucky to know the families and see where their adventure began. Amazing Cosmetics continues to grow and will be working with New York Fashion Week this month! It’s cliché, but the saying is true, big things really do come in small packages.
Image Source: http://www.soapboxstudio.com/samples.php?cat=3, http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/February-2008/Shopper-Amazing-Cosmetics/
Most of us have been settled into our rooms for a whole semester now, a couple of weeks for some, but it's never too late to spruce up your room for the New Year! There are million different easy things you can do to organize your room, clear up the clutter, and make your space as effective as possible.
Always losing your keys? Easy enough. All you need for this project are two things! Any old frame and screw hooks. Drill a hole on the inside of the frame wherever you want the hooks to be placed and the screw them in. Hang it up on the wall by the door and there ya go! Lost key no more!
Need a calendar but hate having to buy a new one? Simple. You need a plethora of paint chips (just drop by Lowes or Home Depot) and a larger frame, depending on your paint samples. Cut the samples down into squares, as close to the same size as possible. Paste the squares, in whather color scheme you should choose, onto a large piece of white paper, leaving some space at the top. Put the paper into the frame and just use dry erase markers on the glass.
Got a clutter of cords? Can’t tell one from the other? All you need are binder clips and bread ties to clean up that mess. Take the bread ties, indicate which cord it goes to, and place it around the base of said cord. Take a binder clip, thread the end of the cord through the handles and pin the clip to the side of your desk. Now, instead of reaching down and untangling, all you do is grab it and plug it into your computer. Quick, easy, and painless!
Room missing a little flair? Well, it’s easy enough to glitter up the most mundane of items. Candle holders, jam jars, an old Iphone case that’s lost its pizzazz, literally anything can be remade and used once again. Just find your local craft store, stock up on Modge Podge and glitter in whatever color suits you and it’s as easy as mixing the two together. Just put as much glitter in as you want on the item your covering and paint it on with a foam brush. It may take about three coats to really get looking perfect, and let dry. Then set it on your desk and refill the candle holder with a light, the jar with pencils , and the case with an Iphone. Simple glitter and glam.
Image Sources: http://www.curbly.com, http://lh6.ggpht.com/-
If I had a nickel for every time I overheard, “So can I find you on Facebook?” I’d have enough money to pay for five years of an eHarmony account. Call me old-fashioned, but I never expected to exist in a world so depersonalized that engagements could be broken up over text messages.
When it comes down to it, it’s all Cinderella’s fault; if she’d never lost the glass slipper off her foot, she never would’ve had that stud search region-wide to track her down only to live happily ever after. After watching this utterly unrealistic depiction of how love is found, girls create this fantasy world in which prince charming is not only out there somewhere, but accessible. This hope is promptly shattered after the appearance of a girl’s first pimple in middle school and the douchebag “football stars” of high school hit their peak.
Of course college will be better, right? Talk about a rude awakening. The worst part is Facebook has managed to supply an outlet for boys to be even less than subpar the minute that Zuckerberg guy launched it. They can now see any and all personal information about you just by looking through your profile pictures... who you hang out with, what you wear, who your ex’s are, and worst of all, how you looked before you realized that untagging unflattering pictures is crucial.
They judge you before they’ve even met you. And once they’ve met you, you can guarantee that nine times out of ten they certainly won’t ask you for your phone number, just your last name so they can be sure to yield a narrow search within your school’s network.
This is not to say there aren’t a few winners out there. An incident occurred last weekend that actually embarrassed the bias out of me (boys get your notepads out because this nifty little trick will put you way ahead of the game and requires minimal effort on your part). I met a guy downtown last weekend through a mutual friend of my roommate’s who I had a more than decent conversation with outside for about half an hour. At the end of the conversation I said, “Well it was just lovely to meet you but I’m sure you don’t remember my name. To be honest, yours has slipped my memory, but maybe I’ll run into you soon.” My face turned redder than a cherry tomato when he responded with, “Nice to meet you too, Jordan.” Oops.
Let’s be real, that never happens. My freshman year I learned not to waste brain power on names of people that I meet downtown because those boys are almost always out for one thing, and one thing only. It’s sad how something so little surprised me, but on a college campus that’s considered a rarity. Horse drawn carriages are a little over the top, but a text message is hardly an all-star effort. Ask a girl for her number, and don’t you dare expect her to make the first effort after you half-ass text her your name.
Girls deserve to be treated like princesses (well, most of them), and although we know Prince Charming looked a little too put-together in that ridiculous 1950’s suit, I don’t think a “stone-age” voicemail is too much to ask.
I have probably said this before, but I am going to reiterate it again. I eat like a 5 year-old. When I was in elementary school, my dad used to make these sandwiches in the morning called “cheese sandwiches.” He would put a slice of cheese between two slices of bread and put it in the microwave for 40 seconds. And wa-la! That was it! And to this day, it is still delicious. Gotta try it.