Baes, you know what I do not like so much. Commercialized holidays where people are forced to run around and buy sh$%* for each other and put pressure on each other to do things a certain way or someone gets disappointed. Why? Because that’s not real love as I define it. When I was younger, I always felt pressure for holidays to be perfect. Why? Where did this come from? I was buying into a commercialized mass consumer system that was set up to generate profit for corporations. And look this is just my opinion, but the commercialization of something as profound, meaningful, powerful and deep as love just doesn’t sit quite right with me.

This is a health and wellness blog so here’s where I’m going with this. You know what is healthy? LETTING GO OF EXPECTATIONS ON YOURSELF AND OTHER PEOPLE. Living life in a way that is authentic and that makes your happy and that serves you is the key to good health and also, the key to finding true connection with other people.

I bring this up now because we are less than a week a way from Valentines Day and the retailers of the world are bombarding us with images of chocolates, flowers, cards, and jewelry, setting up expectations that if we aren’t gifting or gifted with these items, then we are somehow failing in our relationships. WHAT…THE…EFF, right?!

Now granted, I pulled together a Valentines-themed Gift Guide, but these are self love gifts, or gifts that you would give because they would improve a loved one’s quality of life. And also because who doesn’t love a little CBD? And these are things you should be doing for yourself or treating yourself to on a regular basis whether or not its a holiday. Am I right?

When Valentine’s Day rolls around, I think a lot of women feel pressured to be taken on some elaborate date, or to get the perfect bouquet of flowers from their significant other. And that’s why I throw a Galentines get together every year! Because then there’s no pressure on my friends to find a date and we get to celebrate what this holiday should be about which is the blessing of deep connection, and love for one another. And you can certainly do something similar at home if you are in a relationship and want to celebrate that specialness as a couple! 

Instead of dropping an insane amount of money on a so-so meal, I just throw something together that’s elegant, easy and crowd-pleasing. Some beautiful linens, flowers and candles don’t cost much, and add such a warm, inviting ambiance. Toast with a couple of glasses of bubbly or rose wine, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful, memorable, yet low-pressure celebration that keeps the holiday fun and preserves the meaning of what you’re celebrating!

This year, I decided to treat the girls to an Italian-themed dinner with Domenico’s Foods. I post about Domenicos’s Foods on my Instagram feed all of the time. I found their fresh pastas and authentic sauces on Milk & Eggs and order a little something from them almost every week. They have a diverse selection of fresh pasta shapes and flavors, and the sauces and pestos taste like nonna is in the kitchen making them. They also have the most insane marinated sun-dried tomatoes that I have tasted outside of Italy, which was their original signature product. Serving a selection of pastas is a no-brainer at any gathering because it’s such an easy thing to prepare - especially when someone else is making the homemade sauces right? And who doesn’t love fresh pasta! (Use the code ‘DOMSFOODS’ for 10% off!)

Photo:  Reformation Health  / Food:  Domenico's Foods  &  Milk & Eggs  / Linens:     Salad is    Milk & Eggs  organic kale, asian pear, toasted hazelnuts, olive oil, lemon, and  Kite Hill vegan ricotta .  Use the code 'RH15' for $15 off orders of $35 or more at      Milk & Eggs ! 

Photo: Reformation Health / Food: Domenico's Foods & Milk & Eggs / Linens:

Salad is Milk & Eggs organic kale, asian pear, toasted hazelnuts, olive oil, lemon, and Kite Hill vegan ricotta. Use the code 'RH15' for $15 off orders of $35 or more at Milk & Eggs

My friends Erin and Justin - the most sickeningly adorable couple I’ve ever met -own the covet-worthy linen’s company, Wolf & Irving, which is featured in this post. Are these pinks and corals not to die for?!?! Their line of eco-friendly, machine-washable and stain-resistant collections are available in a whole spectrum of colors, so you can easily set the tone for any sort of celebration! My favorite is this style which I’m basically drooling over as I write this post because it’s just perfection. Erin and Justin are sharing the love for the holiday with a discount code for Wolf & Irving, ‘RH15’ for 15% off site-wide! Also, Erin and Justin if you’re reading this, you’re not getting your table cloth back. Sorry not sorry.

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Wishing you all an abundance of self love and meaningful connection this week.