2.8.13

single ladies brunch | via vmac+cheese

This week I…

+ snagged this book with a gift certificate I was given at Christmas (thanks, grandma!). I love historical retrospectives like this!

+ had a Bachelor OD, since there were two back to back episodes this week. PS, I totally read the spoilers and know who won. Who do you think it is? (And if you know, don’t say!)

+ stayed up way too late one night and cleaned up the sidebar over to your right there. You like? I wanted things to feel fresh and bit more easily navigable. Hope it helped! Later today the site will also be down for a few minutes for maintenance, so if you stop/stopped by at some point and saw a construction message, don’t fret!

+  finally bit the bullet and started meeting with CPAs. Joe and I are getting all official up in here and having our taxes done together (and by someone else) this year. I will NOT miss filling out those forms!

+ had a full on accounting nerdery week and switched to Freshbooks. If you’re a small biz owner, I can’t recommend it enough. I feel dumb for having waited so long!

+ am still thinking about this post that Elizabeth wrote on persistence — especially when it comes to blogging. I hope you guys take this to heart: whether it’s blogging or anything else in your life, don’t get down on yourself and don’t lose faith in your abilities! You’re awesome. Everyone’s on their own path, and that’s okay. Embrace your own journey! And that’s my PSA for the day.

I have to admit, I was the tiniest bit surprised with the results of last week’s question. Can you guess what almost half of you said you’d spend your mini-lottery on?

mini lottery | via vmac+cheese

Are you surprised? I think I was a little bit! I’m not sure what I expected, but I didn’t think it would skew so heavily towards travel. If you’d like to see MY answer to the question, head on over to my Facebook page, and also join in on the conversation there!

Here are some specific wishlist items you guys asked for:

“A set of 8 Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggins dining chairs in white or ivory leather. No question.”
- Tobe
(Tobe told me she actually found these EXACT chairs later that day, after she posted this. Three cheers for vmac+cheese making wishes come true!)

“I’d do a ‘me day’ and go to the spa. I’ve actually never done that, but would love to do the whole nine yards – massage/scrubs and mani pedi.”
– Emily T
(Sounds divine!)

“Why an Hermes Birkin, of course! A classic investment that will last forever. That’s real luxury.”
- Elizabeth
(I have to agree with you there. A rare accessory that really does appreciate in value.)

“I would spend it on branding my wardrobe consulting business and blog. Got to invest that money in yourself!”
Lauren
(Smart girl!)

“Mini getaway for sure! I’m craving warm weather and a beach.”
Nikki
(Yes, please!)

question of the week

You know I’ve gotta go with a Valentine’s themed question. And don’t get all depressed if you’re not currently dating someone — it ain’t about that! I’m actually curious about something that any girl — single or attached — can answer. There have been so many Valentine gift guides out, and I’m wondering how many of you actually give, receive, or expect gifts for the holiday. Can I be honest? I have never been in a relationship in which we gifted each other actual presents for Valentine’s. A nice dinner out is about as crazy as I get. I am always a little surprised that so many people seem to exchange gifts on 2/14! So I’m curious: do you exchange gifts with your honey on Valentine’s? And if you’re currently unattached, do you think it’s something you’d want to do, or have done in the past? If you do exchange gifts, what’s the best V-day gift you’ve ever received (let’s go PG-13 rated here, mkay?).

Happy weekend, sweet friends!

{Image Credit: Jen Gotch for Design Love Fest}

48 comments

  1. Jenn said: replied:

    For the past six years, my husband has cooked an amazing meal and surprised me with a special dessert. We give each other silly valentines, like the school kid kind and keep it fun and light! Gifts are optional, and if given, are usually something small and meaningful. We try very hard to keep it about us and nothing else (well, besides the furbabies!) Best gift ever would be this year. I’m creating a wall full of photographs I’ve taken.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  2. Emma said: replied:

    My hubby and I exchanged gifts for our very first V-day…I MAY have put a little pressure on the day, because it was the first one and I was hoping to be swept off my feet. Thankfully he didn’t ditch me after that princess-like attitude.

    Since then, we always try to celebrate the day somehow. He’s pretty sweet and never forgets to get me a card. Then we will either cook a romantic dinner, or if we’re feeling like treating ourselves, we’ll make reservations to go out. We keep it pretty simple around here :)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  3. Chedva said: replied:

    I totally agree about Valentine’s. I may enjoy the cheesy V-day movies occasionally, but other than that I really don’t get it, and never had. Maybe it’s because it’s a mere two weeks after my birthday, which I’m always really into celebrating, but we’ve never acknowledged Valentine’s Day and I don’t feel like we’re missing anything.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  4. Katrina said: replied:

    This is the first Valentine’s Day that my husband and I will share together, but he already gave me my present.

    On the night that we first met, we got into this heated argument about the NBA; he’s a Cleveland Cavs fan, and I’m a diehard Lakers fan. However, I’ve never been to a Lakers game because I live in Michigan and well, flying to the Staples Center isn’t exactly an option.

    So, the Lakers came to Detroit this past Sunday, and my husband surprised me with tickets! I was so happy and overwhelmed that I was going to be seeing Kobe in person that I just started bursting out in tears. The best part is that I didn’t even ask him to get them for me; he just knew that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me (and dang, they were good seats!). If surprises like this are what I have in store for the next 50 years, then I’m one lucky girl.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
    1. Lauren said: replied:

      This is so awesome.

      8 Feb 2013 | Reply
    2. Chloe Elizabeth said: replied:

      Good story. Good man!

      8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  5. Carrie S. said: replied:

    I’ve been married for a looooong time (24 years!), and we do not really make a big deal of Valentine’s Day. But one year, while I was a stay at home mom with young twins + a third baby, my husband told me to tune in and check out a local radio station on V-Day. Well, I did, and they were having listeners call in with Valentine Day sentiments, and low and behold I heard my husbands voice thanking me for all I did for and with our boys, and how much he loved me. He went on and on, and by the end, tears were running down my face.

    Needless to say, I made a beeline for Victoria Secret when it was over. ;)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  6. Kate said: replied:

    We’ve never exchanged actual gifts for Valentine’s Day either- my guy usually gets me flowers and of course, we’ll both indulge in our fair share of chocolate. We treat ourselves to dinner and call it a night!

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  7. When we were dating my husband and I would exchange gifts. After we got married and bought a house this past year, neither of us wants any more STUFF! But I did get us tickets to a Bill Cosby comedy tour for this summer.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  8. Bevin said: replied:

    Yes! My boyfriend and I do exchange gifts, and plan an event as well. Both last year and this we’re attending a wine-tasting that benefits a local non-profit art gallery. And last year he got me a Hobo wallet/wristlet, which was a pretty fantastic gift! I think of the day more as an excuse for us to indulge each other, rather than an obligation to come up with something.

    Bevin
    magnoliareverie.blogspot.com

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  9. Rachel said: replied:

    My boyfriend and I do exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day. I usually get the standard 3 things: flowers, chocolate (my weakness) and maybe jewelry. I like to make his gifts- last year I made a custom name monogram for his room, and this year I’m making him a man-bouquet!

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  10. Turns out I’m a dumdum and that should have been “Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin” chairs. No “s”. Whatevs.

    E and I have never exchanged Vday gifts. Cards, yes. Dinner, occasionally. Gifts, notta. We’re both so busy that I really just enjoy the dedicated together time as much as any gift. Although, this year I’m thinking about converting the house into a B&B for the following weekend. Breakfast in bed…new robes…fresh flowers…cooking his meals (this one’s actually a big deal!)…I think spoiling him a bit will be fun :)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  11. Its interesting to read how many people don’t really give gifts! Both my family and my husband’s were really into celebrating holidays (his mother still sends us a care package for every holiday from valentine’s day to passover – and we’re not even Jewish), so we’ve always given presents. We used to go out to fancy dinners but over the years we’ve grown to hate how most restaurants in DC only offer over-priced prix-fixe options on valentine’s! The most memorable valentine’s dinner has to be our first though – and he proposed at the same restaurant 2.5 years later :)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  12. Julie / Bound said: replied:

    My husband I don’t really exchange gifts, but we like to do unexpected sweet things for each other. The highlight was probably the first year we were dating (living in the same college dorm) when he woke up early to somehow create heart-shaped pancakes in the dorm kitchen and brought them to my room. He was a pretty sweet 18 year old :)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  13. Miguelsmomma said: replied:

    HI Victoria!
    Love your blog. As a young female in the intial stages of starting my own business I love reading about any tips you have!
    Going to check out Freshbooks right now! :)

    In answer to the question of the week, The husband and I actually make a point of not doing the whole gift thing on V-day. We do usually enjoy a nice meal out together sometime during that week (preferably when set V-day menus are not implemented) and then we try to just do nice little things for each other, well, always! :) I think they mean so much more coming at random times.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    P.S. Lucy is making me want a Frenchie! (We have a boxer right now

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  14. Maddy said: replied:

    I just posted about this yesterday (http://frommpdaily.blogspot.com/2013/02/valentines-daya-day-for-gifts.html) I suddenly feel with all the blogs out there that have such cute stuff that I HAVE to participate. When in all honesty, I am more happy with flowers and a sweet note.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  15. Alyssa said: replied:

    I’m single this year, but in the past I haven’t really exchanged gifts. I’m more of an “experiences” person, so I always go for fun events, nights out or yummy dinners–that’s more my style! However, I’m a girl–I’m NEVER going to say no to some pretty flowers.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  16. Sonya said: replied:

    I recently got out of a relationship, right before Christmas, but it was long-term and never once did I get anything except he made me dinner one year which was really sweet, I will admit.
    I vacillate between loathing and loving Valentine’s Day, perhaps because he just was not romantic or did not care about trying to make me happy that one day because I always LOVE to get small, fun gifts for my close girlfriends and sister on Valentine’s – and I can always count on a card from my grandma. I like to show my love and appreciation for people year-round, but since there is a day devoted to it, why not go a little further? Here’s to hoping the next man I am with has a bit more appreciation for Valentine’s Day! :)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  17. Elizabeth said: replied:

    The only gifts I’ve gotten on Valentine’s Day were from my parents before I moved away for college. Some candy, a book, I think years and years ago I got a Barbie.

    Elizabeth

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  18. Victoria C said: replied:

    We usually do not exchange gifts. After Christmas and our upcoming birthdays/anniversary we just do something fun. This year we will be going to a nice dinner, which is what we did last year too. The year before that we actually drove up to Orlando and went to Disney World, haha. I do insist we exchange cute cards though! haha!

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  19. Katie said: replied:

    I definitely don’t expect gift! Maybe if I was in a relationship, but not from my friends or family. Although my mom has been know to get my sister and I V-Day candy. My best friend and I usually exchange a box of candy that we buy at target for 50% after v-day sale, but that is about as far as I go. This year my sister and BFF are going out to have dessert at Melting Pot and I am making them some DIY bags because I just couldn’t get past the adorable v-day tutorial but nothing is ever expected. I’ve also ordered my mom some chocolate covered strawberries but this is something my whole family and I will enjoy together.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  20. Dana McDowell said: replied:

    Last year we spent V Day apart. This year, my husband has to work late. So we are doing a pancake brunch and calling it a day!

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  21. Lauren said: replied:

    We don’t really do ANYTHING on valentine’s day. I actually got an earful earlier this week from my man about how a lot that is wrong with this world is rooted in marketing…. I’ll save the intricacies of that conversation for another time. Since we are kind to one another and do nice things often, I don’t really feel the need to act out of the ordinary on Feb 14. Although last year, I couldn’t help myself and bought us a pint of Jeni’s (brambleberry crisp – so good) and some Whole Foods pastries to enjoy anyway!

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
    1. Chloe Elizabeth said: replied:

      Agree – and its perfectly fine to have a pastry or 2 at home! ;)

      8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  22. Chloe Elizabeth said: replied:

    We both feel its overated so don’t actually do anything! We try to avoid restaurants like the plague on valentines! It may sound silly and boring but I just think its all got a bit much (at least here in the UK) and stores are filled with hearts & chocolates galore, not that you wouldn’t want those things, but when you’ve been dating for a few years you don’t have to wait till valentines day for that, if that makes sense but I guess its good for those new to dating

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  23. Marisa said: replied:

    I’ve been with my man for 8 years, married 1.5 of them and we’ve never given presents on Valentines. I would rather be surprised some unexpected time during the year!

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  24. Lo said: replied:

    My boyfriend and I are going on a trip together in March as our gifts to each other. It’s taken us a while to save up the cash and time off, but a little adventure has been a long time coming….so I’m definitely not surprised by the results of your last question! :)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  25. Can I just ask what font you’re using for the “question of the week”? I love it and haven’t been able to track it down!

    And to answer your question – last year my then-bf and I did exchange gifts, and when he asked what I wanted to do, I chose to stay in and cook lobster and crab and drink champagne – it was delicious! He gave me a groupon for 3 massages, which was pretty nice, although it detracted from the gesture when he then asked me if he could have one. (Glad he’s no longer my boyfriend, lol)

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  26. Elizabeth Dawson said: replied:

    I’m 25 and single, and have been for a while. But I’ve never hated Valentine’s Day as a single girl. My parents always made it special for us as kids, and have never stopped–I’ll still get a package and card in the mail this week. I think Valentine’s Day should be celebrated by everyone who loves, not just lovers. And it’s a pretty great excuse for us single girls to treat ourselves!

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  27. Meghan said: replied:

    I am not a huge fan of v-day. I don’t hate it, just don’t make a big deal about. However, I have decided to make my husband a little v-day treat this year. :)

    See it here is a few days http://happinessiscreating.com/

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  28. Lolly said: replied:

    I don’t tend to make a big deal of Valentine’s Day. I think it’s cute and have no problem with anyone who goes all out. My fiance and I have never bought each other anything … we simply make a special dinner (usually filet mignon — my fave!) and that’s that :)

    Sadly, I can’t remember any great Valentine’s Day gifts from the past.

    8 Feb 2013 | Reply
  29. The most memorable Valentine’s Day we celebrated together was the first year we were dating. I haven’t introduced him to my family yet, and Valentine’s Day that year happened to fall on the first day of Chinese New Year. I woke up that morning and received a delivery of my favorite flowers (tulips) while with my family. It surprised everyone (followed by a ton of questions!) and also embarrassed my brothers and father as none of them remembered Valentine’s Day that year. Needless to say, he was introduced to every member shortly after!

    These days we like to cook a great meal together and enjoy a great bottle of wine in the comforts of our own home. x

    9 Feb 2013 | Reply
  30. Chelsea said: replied:

    Valentine’s Day is kinda a big deal in our house so we absolutely exchange gifts. The best gift was our first Valentine’s Day that we spent together in Paris. Completely cheseball, perhaps; but it was incredibly romantic and so much fun!

    9 Feb 2013 | Reply
  31. Anna H. said: replied:

    I think gifts for Valentine’s are overrated. No one’s got money left to spend after Christmas! It’s the little surprises that make the day fun. I’m all for flowers and making dinner together. And I’m a big fan of friend gifts for Valentine’s Day. This year I’m sending cards out to all my friends, just to let them know how special they are to me!

    9 Feb 2013 | Reply
  32. kelsey said: replied:

    this is such a beautiful blog and beautiful post! in love. newest follower.
    :)
    kw ladies in navy

    9 Feb 2013 | Reply
  33. Erin said: replied:

    If we exchange gifts they’re smaller. This year I got him a new pair of gloves and subscribed him to some of his favorite magazines – I think gifts like these are something that people always want but never want to spend the money on.

    I’ve also never said no to flowers ;-)

    9 Feb 2013 | Reply
  34. Meredith said: replied:

    My husband and I have been together 20 years, married 17. Our tradition for Valentine’s Day is to stay in and have a nice meal. We then give the money we would have otherwise spent, on gifts or a night out, to a charity that means something to us.. This year we are giving to The American Cancer Society in order to honor a dear friend of my sister who is battling brain cancer

    10 Feb 2013 | Reply
  35. Meghan said: replied:

    Sounds like you had a great week last week.

    xo Meg

    http://meghansilva.blogspot.com

    11 Feb 2013 | Reply
  36. the NOW said: replied:

    Just got back in town so I am just now seeing this. Thank you so much for the link love. I tried to put everything out there so I’m so glad people can relate…esp. people like you who I look up to! ALSO A. I love your little dollar graphic/chart. So cute. And I’m a little surprised about the travel and handbag but I would say those too…then working on the house. oy! xo

    11 Feb 2013 | Reply
  37. Julia said: replied:

    i like valentine’s day, whether it is super low-key or romantic–i’ve been in relationships that celebrated it on both ends of the spectrum. last year, my love and i exchanged small gifts without much talk about it. we were dating long-distance at the time, and so it was kind of fun to plan to see each other the weekend nearest to valentine’s day. we ended up going to dinner, exchanging cards, and–get this–the EXACT same picture of us (on the beach in jamaica) in frames. haha. now we live together and have two identical framed pictures :)

    this year, i’m making him dinner (and his favorite pie as a surprise!) we will probably drink some wine and just relax. i’m sure i’d be delighted if he did something surprising and romantic for me, but at the same time, he does those things on the regular anyway.

    on another note, my family is actually very pro-valentines day. my parents always gave me and my sisters candy and cards and a small gift growing up, and i loved it. their motto was that valentine’s day was AN opportunity–not THE ONLY opportunity in a year–to spread love in general and appreciate those closest to you. i agree!

    13 Feb 2013 | Reply
  38. julia said: replied:

    My fiance and I like to stay in and make a scrumptious, special dinner (like lobster, filet mignon, or fondue), open a bottle of wine from our favourite winery, and get or make dessert as well. Sometimes we do small presents or cards, if we feel like it.
    I love it!

    xo julesinflats.com

    13 Feb 2013 | Reply
  39. Alyssa said: replied:

    We don’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day. I’m making him a big dinner, but that’s just because I always try to on Thursdays.

    The thing is though, we tend to not give gifts at any holidays, even birthdays. We instead take trips from time to time, and I prefer that!

    13 Feb 2013 | Reply
  40. Randilea said: replied:

    We tend to not normally do big gifts. Small stuff like homemade cards or a sweet small gift. This year he got my bf got me macaroons! Honestly though since Valentine’s Day has never been super important to me, I can’t even remember my favorite gift… Oops!

    13 Feb 2013 | Reply
  41. […] These drinks make me want to host an Easter Brunch stat. […]

    16 Feb 2013 |
  42. Sarah said: replied:

    Valentine’s Day is not a day we do gifts. Instead, we try to show each other our love in unexpected ways! This year my husband made me a homemade card out of construction paper, crayons and elmer’s glue. The simplicity of this card meant the world to me!

    16 Feb 2013 | Reply

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