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Ditch the cards this Valentine’s Day

I’m not a card person – to me, it’s a waste of paper. You read the messages inside and then, as soon as the person who gave it to you leaves, it goes in the recycling bin. Some people will keep it on a desk or a bookshelf, propped up for a few weeks like some sort of artwork, but, at the end of the day, whether it’s that week or months from today, the card always gets tossed away. So, what’s the point?

According to Hallmark, one of the biggest card companies in North America, approximately 114 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged on February 15, not including the packages you may give to your kids in elementary school. Surprisingly, this is the second largest holiday for cards!

It is natural, to want to do something small for someone you care about. Getting a card is no big deal — it shows you care, but doesn’t offer a commitment of gifts or events. It’s a “look, I remembered you”, giveaway. It doesn’t really mean much, especially if there is nothing personal written within it.

Cards are also, unexpectedly expensive. They range from $3.50 to $10 depending on where you get it from. Most have generic prose spread across the page in fancy cursive fonts that are incredibly difficult to read, not to mention the message is generally sappy and cliche. There really is no good reason to buy a card for someone. Can you think of one?

Here is my two cents. Instead of spending five dollars on a card to express your love, why not try something truly original:

  1. Actually talk to your partner and tell him/her you love them. No one needs a folded piece of paper with a photo of two children in a cute embrace and the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” to enjoy the holiday. Sometimes, a simple greeting in person, over text, or even a Facebook message will brighten someone’s day. In this age of technology, there are so many options. Why limit yourself to paper?

    If you really want to go the paper route – why not try putting little sticky notes on mirrors and in cupboards where your partner can find it? It’s cute, but no one expects you to keep the sticky notes afterwards.

  2. The key to a romantic Valentine’s Day is to create memories. While gifts and cards are nice, your partner will remember if you make them a tasty dinner or take them out for an evening stroll. Technology is great, but anyone can wish someone happy birthday, anniversary, and even happy Valentine’s Day. You want to make your day stand out and the way to do that is to ditch the cards and gifts and focus on the experience.
  3. If memories aren’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with jewellery or chocolates. If you want to give a gift, make it a real gift and not just a piece of stock paper with a pre-determined message inside. This doesn’t have to be something expensive. Pick up some flowers or send your partner to work with a pre-made, cutesy lunch made of heart-shaped things. Anything is better than a card!

What do you think? Will you be sending a loved one a card? Let us know in the comments below!

5 last minute, impressive D-I-Y holiday gifts

I love gifts that have thought behind it, like personal touches, For instance, last Christmas my niece gifted me a homemade brown sugar and lemon hand scrub, which smelled just as delicious as it sounds. This holiday season, it’s all about that age old saying: ‘it’s the thought that counts’. With the right amount of ingredients, you can craft Christmas presents that will leave others impressed, without spending a ton of money. Here are five do-it-yourself holiday crafts you can git to your loved ones (or even to yourself)!

Hot Chocolate Mix

It’s rather fun to put together deconstructed kits. There is nothing better than some homemade hot-chocolate on a chilly winter night. All you would need is some mason jars, ribbon,  hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows, crushed candy-cane for topping, and any additional ingredients you choose. There are so many variations: try creating melted snowman hot chocolate by using white chocolate and decorated marshmallows or add a small bottle of Baileys to your chocolate kit for an adult-friendly beverage option.

Sugar Scrub

The options are almost endless when it comes to choosing the ingredients for your sugar scrub. Sugar scrubs are easy to make and make easy and thoughtful gifts. For instance, if your sister loves lavender, consider adding lavender oil to the mix. With a base of brown sugar and coconut oil, adding additional ingredients will be easy.

 Hydrating Face Mists

There is nothing like a little burst of a facial mist to brighten your day. These face mists are easy and portable, and will keep you going on those long days. Depending on the skin type you want to target, you can try a green tea hydrating mist for dry or sensitive skin. Combine water with green tea bags and rosewater, and put it in a spray bottle. The best thing is that these mists can also double as natural toners.

Cookie Mix

Back to the idea of putting together deconstructed ingredients, why not put together your own little d-i-y baking kits for your loved ones or friends. Measure out the appropriate ingredients for your favourite cooke mix and layer in a mason jar or bundle a collection of tubes. Feel free to write out your own recipe card to include with the gifts for an even more personalized touch. The same can work for cakes and other pastries.

Bath Bombs

D-I-Y bath bombs are fun and easy to make. Using a base of baking soda, epsom salts, and citric acid, you can combine different essential body oils and essences to come up with the perfect scents. You can also add colour, glitter, and even petals to your homemade bath treats.

Are you putting together some DIY holiday gifts? Let us know what you made in the comments below!

How I lost my husband on Valentine’s Day

Boys like video games. Turns out, when they grow up and become men, they still like video games – trust me, I know. I made a dreadful mistake two years ago and I am still paying the price for it. As the devoted and loving wife that I am, I carefully analyzed different presents for Valentine’s Day that would bring my husband the most joy. Then, I foolishly settled on the most evil of them all. I presented my husband with, what I thought at the time, would be the best Valentine’s Day present ever: I bought him a Play Station 3 (PS3).

As he opened his present on February 14, my husband’s face lit up and in that moment, he absolutely worshipped me. In many ways, it really was the best present ever – but only for him. For me, it was a death sentence. I had dug my own marital grave; I had flung my husband into the arms of the enemy.

The initial outburst of love was to be the last emotion I ever drew from my husband. From then on, all of his affections were devoted to the dreaded machine. Day in and day out, the only thing that mattered was the PS3. I became completely secondary. The only words I would hear uttered in my direction now were “Get out of the way.”

Even when we had company at home, I never had company. Everybody who walked through the doors of our home was roped in by the magic of the malicious PS3. Initially, I tried my very best to be part of the merriment, but try as I may to befriend the enemy, the enemy hated me. I was absolutely no good at any game, and rather than spending some time with my husband, I ended up securing his wrath because I made a terrible teammate.

Ladies, take it from me, that fleeting moment of your husband’s adoration when you hand him the gaming console is not worth the lifetime of agony that you will undoubtedly face after you become a nonexistent entity in front of the Play Station.

There are much better gifts out there, more suited to both of you this Valentine’s Day, than a gaming console. Go with a wallet or cologne this year. Subsidize the gift by very generously offering your husband the opportunity to go to his friend’s house to play Xbox or Play Station. This would make the perfect gift.

Do not fool yourself into thinking that buying your husband a gaming console will secure his adoration for your forever.

Take it from a Play Station Widow, we live a hard life and you do not want to join the club.

Follow Zahra on Twitter at @zahrapeer.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

Smartwatch on the way from Sony

On June 21 the Twitter account for Sony’s smartphone branch, Sony Xperia, tweeted out a photo of a sleek looking digital watch, the long awaited smartwatch that has been tech industry buzz for the last year.

The idea of a James Bond style smart watch jumped from the realm of fiction into reality in the last year when rumours began that Apple was covertly working on an ‘iWatch’ running Apple’s iOS operating system. It seems as though competitor Sony has beaten them out of the gate with their product as the hashtag in the tweet, #MAE13, refers to the Mobile Asia Expo that is taking place June 25th in Shanghai, China.