Sunday, February 12, 2017

A few of my favorite things: Valentine's Day

With the day fast approaching, I wanted to share a few things that bring a smile to my face

Hallmark Cards. Of with them being one of the largest card companies, you'd expect for them to have a large variety of cards.  But for a while, I'd stopped going because I could rarely find a card that "spoke for me".  But that has changed since they started including other collections.  If you have a multi-cultural family as I do, you'll appreciate the diversity of Hallmark's cards.  These card collections cover a vast amount of events and special days important to the culture/religion.  From Dia de Los Muertes, to Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, I've found cards that say what I want to say - only better.  Sympathy, Get Well, Thank You, Inspirational, and holidays such as Valentine's Day!

  • Vida: The collection of cards for those of Hispanic background.
  • Mahogany: Great categories to choose from for those of African/African American descent. 
  • Tree of Life: Those of Jewish faith can choose from a wide variety of cards
  • Studio Ink: My friend's dad is an artist, and I love that Hallmark has a collection for you to support artists like him.

Clothes.  Whether Valentine's Day falls on Sunday or not, I like to wear love-inspired clothing.  I'm not into showcasing hearts and gimmicks too much, but I still want to feel festive. Here's what my son and other's I know are wearing this Valentine's Day:

  • Janie and Jack.  I love the detail that goes into the threading, and the quality of the clothing.  Here, a simple vest and shirt gives your Generation Alpha child the Valentine's Day look while retaining the dapper feeling. 

  • Ellen Tracy.  For moms, I love this brand period. She makes comfortable and yet classic pieces you can still look great in while keeping track of your little ones. 

Food.  I am one of those people that believes there is some truth to the argument that Valentine's Day is a holiday manufactured by the retailers looking to make some money.  Does it mean I won't celebrate it?  No, I'm not someone looking for an excuse to not celebrate it.  But I don’t have to go all out when we celebrate love 365 days a year, and I try to express that sentiment to my son.  It's okay to add a few extra highlights to acknowledge the day, but I don't need a huge fancy high-end meal to celebrate.  Wherever my husband or family decides to go, I'm okay. 

That doesn't mean I don't have my favorites!  Here are a few places I enjoy on Valentine's:

  • Budget friendly - O'Charleys Restaurant.  Good salmon and prime rib steaks.  Great for families large and small.
  • Semi-upscale - Maggianos Italian Restaurant.  The ambiance is romantic and the food is delicious
  • Upscale - The Chop House (Chicago), The Oceanaire (Atlanta and Dallas). From picking out own my steak cut before it's cooked to the jumbo scallops, These restaurants are equally wonderful in my opinion. You'll find families and couples at these restaurants. I love when the day falls on a weekend and we can get away out of town. It makes it even more special. 

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