If you’re more likely to be celebrating Single’s Awareness Day this February 14 than you are gushy, mushy, Valentine’s Day, it’s time to treat yo’self. Whether you choose to sit around in a face mask and eat chocolates or hibernate under a weighted blanket and sniff candles, we’re here for you being your best and most single self. After all, the only person who can take care of your lonely ass is you. So, in the interest of treating ourselves, we present a round-up of self-care splurges we’re 100% in favor if you blowing your paycheck on. Sure, you could spend your money on the half-off Valentine’s Day candy on February 15, or you could spend it on some self-care that will actually help you and make you not feel like garbage the next day. Totally your call, though!
A Weighted Blanket
A lot has been said recently about weighted blankets and their ability to curb anxiety. What better time to test that theory out than Valentine’s Day when you’re single and your mom just reminded you that she isn’t getting any younger and why can’t you just give her the grandkids she so desperately wants?? Anyway, the Comfitude weighted blanket comes in heavy to soul-crushing (in a good way, not the actual terms) and several trendy colors (see: 50 shades of grey). I hung out under one while writing this list and, let me tell you, I feel smothered in a cuddly, warm way.
A Good Body Scrub
If you’re trying to scrub away the stench of
failure Valentine’s Day and couples sh*t, the Sheamoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hand & Body Scrub is amazing. It replenishes necessary oils (and love) to your sad dry winter skin while exfoliating. Plus, it’s made with certified organic and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help soothe your body. Praise be.
I’m not even sorry. If you want to sit around and shove amazingly delicious artisan chocolate into your mouth come Valentine’s Day, you do you. Luckily, you don’t have to resort to trekking to your local Walgreens and buying yourself a big ugly red cardboard heart. Dandelion Chocolate, Dick Taylor Chocolate, Maverick Chocolate, French Broad Chocolate, Raaka, and Ritual Chocolate all create delicious, incredible, bean-to-bar chocolate that you can feel good about indulging in. They also all ship said goodies, so there’s no excuse not to order some.
An Adult Candle
I know that perusing the $5 deals on the outer rims of Target is appealing, but in the interest of adulthood and treating yourself to something really nice, it’s time to invest in a good candle. We love NEST Fragrances because they’re clean, they smell like what they’re supposed to smell like, and they’re just expensive enough for me to feel fancy when I light one.
Fancy New Clothes
You know when you find an online boutique and you’re all, this sh*t gets me? That’s me and Sezane. All of the clothes are beautiful, and although they can be a bit pricy, they come packaged in the cutest, prettiest, most amazing boxes complete with stickers and postcards and a little linen bag. I highly recommend any and all of the dresses; just be sure you get your measurements right, as those European sizes can be a bit tricky.
A Pamper Box From Winston Flowers
Drop major dollas on yourself because you f*cking deserve it. The Spa Indulgence box from Winston Flowers includes Formulary 55 bath bar in sweet pea and clover, paired with a rosehip and clay facial mask. There’s also an exfoliating Sasawashi towel, plus a skin brightening citrus and lavender body polish and a smoothing monoi and jasmine body cream by Birchrose. But wait, there’s more. They’ve also included Bee Raw’s white peony tea and orange blossom honey which you can drink in the natural clay mug from Pigeon Toe Ceramics. It all comes in a gorgeous crate that’s likely going to be reused as decor in your apartment (not mad about it). There’s even an air plant for you to kill, and a hand-poured Winston Flowers soy candle.
A Comfy Pillow
I’m not going to ignore the need for throw pillows and general coziness when self-care is the topic. Seriously, upping your comfort game with cute pillows, blankets, and soft sh*t can do wonders for your mental state. The Betches Gangsta Napper pillow is honestly one of my favs, since it’s super cute, super soft, and goes nicely with my decor.
Images: Roberto Nickson / Unsplash; Comfitude; French Broad Chocolate; Amazon; Sezane; Winston Flowers; Shop Betches
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If you’re heading out for a nice dinner with your sort-of-bae-but-doesn’t-know-he’s-my-bae-yet this Valentine’s Day, or you’re going on a first date with a guy your friends found from you on Ship, there are a few things to avoid. Sorry, but “be yourself” really only applies to displaying accurate and recent photos on your dating app profile. Otherwise, dating is a delicate dance where you try to put your best face forward even though you blacked out the night before and are struggling to keep your eyes open—metaphorically speaking of course. So, like I said, there are things you’re going to want to steer clear of on a date. First, don’t bring up anything you’re likely to fight about (politics, religion, watching The Bachelor on Mondays). Second, there are certain foods not to eat on a date. I don’t even mean like, “if I order a burger instead of a salad he’ll think I actually eat to subsist and I can’t have that”—f*ck that. It’s 2019, live your truth. I just mean you might want to avoid some foods that may cause bad breath and/or ruin your outfit.
To save you the work of actually reading through the menu and weighing your options, here’s our list of foods not to eat on a date.
Nothing says “do me” quite like watching your date shove the roasted and sauced bone of a dead animal into their mouth hole. (I know, I’m really fun at parties.) The fact is, there’s no graceful way to eat ribs. Your makeup will be ruined. Your hands will smell like barbecue sauce (not always bad, but, in this case, not amazing). You may end up wearing a bib and getting grease in your hair. Additionally, if you try to be cute and use a fork and knife, you’ll just look like a maniac. There really is just no winning.
Pho can seem like a great idea for a date. It’s inexpensive, it’s super delicious, and it’s amazing to eat when the weather decides to sabotage your life by not being inexplicably warm in the dead of winter. However, trying to navigate a bowl of broth, torn herbs, meat stacks, and long noodles with chopsticks is pretty difficult if you aren’t into the idea of splashing yourself directly in the eyes. How’s it gonna look when you ask him how his giant project at work is going while you fumble to hang on to one godforsaken noodle? If you think you’ll be smart and use a fork and spoon to navigate this Vietnamese delicacy, good luck. It’s still a mess. Plus, there’s the inevitable slurping sounds you’ll be making, which are most likely not cute.
3. Wedge Salads
Sawing through a dinosaur-sized hunk of iceberg (the worst of all lettuces) is gonna do nothing but frustrate you. First of all, there’s no dainty way to eat a wedge salad, what with the bacon flying everywhere, the blue cheese crumbles crumbling down into your crotch (oh no), and the tasteless, water-filled leaves doing nothing for your date but letting him watch you chew. If you’re going to order a salad, just be a normal person and order the kind that comes with the leaves separated. Or you could order something with substance and stop lying to yourself. Either way!
Remember how cute it was when Lady and the Tramp shared that spaghetti then kissed and wandered around without leashes? You’ll never be that cute and you’ll never adorably eat spaghetti. You may think you’ve got it down to a fine art until a rogue noodle jumps up, splashes your nose, and leaves red sauce all over your face and new low-cut dress. The same goes for fettuccine, tagliatelle, or any other long noodle. Opt for more manageable noodles, like penne or bowties.
Hey! Make out with me after I eat this bowl of fermented cabbage dotted with hot chilies and vinegar! Hard pass. Definitely eat this, though, if you’re looking to ward off would-be Valentine’s Day assailants.
Corn likes to hang out in your teeth, gums, beard, and cleavage. If you’re going to eat corn, do it the American way: on the cob and at 4th of July barbecues only. That’s it. Corn is never appropriate for a date. It’s also kind of random, I feel like. What kind of establishment are you patronizing that is serving corn on the cob? I can only think of two options: a steak house and KFC, both equally inappropriate for a first date.
Garlic may be an aphrodisiac, but unless you and your date are both eating a metric ton of it, it’s not gonna do sh*t, so don’t be that person. It’ll not only stick up your breath, it’ll seep through your pores, into your clothes, and wiggle its way out of your very being over the next day or two.
8. Anything Using Raw Onion
I’d venture to say that nothing, nothing, NOTHING smells worse than someone who’s just eaten a sandwich full of raw red onion. Not to mention, if you even came within an inch of touching the onion, that smell is going to linger on your fingers for the next 40 days and 40 nights. It’s a no from me. And it’s gonna be a big no from your date.
As a wise random person I follow on Twitter once said, dating is figuring out more information about a person until you realize you don’t like them anymore. So don’t do yourself a disservice by ordering one of these foods not to eat on a date and putting your date off forever—just wait for your personality to do that! Kidding. Sort of.
Images: Giphy (4)
Oh god. Oh no. It’s here.
Cthulhu Valentine’s Day has arisen from its syrup-coated Hallmark basement lair to once again assault our eyeballs with pink and red flowers, crappy candy, balloons, and mass-produced stuffed animals painstakingly stitched together by child slaves. This day of sappy Instagram captions, overcrowded restaurants, lackluster sex, and general disappointment is almost upon us. If you, like many halves of whole couples, are, for some reason, looking forward to the idea of this made-up holiday, congratulations and good luck. Shopping for men during Valentine’s Day is about as easy as pretending to be excited about anything after age 30. I’m not bitter, you’re bitter. “How am I supposed to figure out what he wants for Valentine’s Day??!” – Things I scream into the ear of my closest CVS employee. And I wonder why I am not welcome back on the premises.
Anyway, I once again annoyed my father, brother, and husband for information about what they’d really like come Valentine’s Day morning. If you didn’t read my Christmas gift roundup and aren’t aware, here’s the breakdown:
Kyle, my husband, is a 35-year-old hipster construction superintendent (don’t ask) who enjoys sudoku, beard grooming, and flannel. Geoff, my brother, is a 26-year-old director for a large poultry corporation, owns an OCD Border Collie that knows math, and was recently forced to watch The Bachelor for the first time (Madison, you’re my fav of Geoff’s girlfriends so far). My dad, Fran, is a retired 60-something who lives on a lake, is a long suffering Jets fan, was born and bred in New Jersey, and looks like a better-groomed version of Anthony Bordain, RIP.
Let’s dive in.
A Nice Watch
“For when I don’t want to check my phone, but I’ll probably check my phone anyway.” Geoff and Dad are all about getting watches they won’t use, so if you’re really into the idea of widening their jewelry collection, go for it. Note: You don’t have to go out and buy a Rolex. Kyle’s favorite watch is his Tense, which is made from wood he thought was neat.
Tense Hudson watch
“Craft brewskis so I can keep Saturdays for the boys,” says Geoff. Such a Geoff response. To be fair, beer is always a safe bet, especially if you’re trying to be cute, ironic, and not spend a sh*tload of money. Grab a growler of his favorite IPA or whatever from that local brewery where you can’t tell if the bartenders are hipsters or Civil War soldiers on leave. He’ll love it.
“If it’s gonna be candy, something better than that sh*tty Russell Stover in the large red heart box,” says Kyle. This could have to do with my job at French Broad Chocolate, a bean-to-bar spot in Asheville that churns out amazing truffles. Kyle frequently insists I bring home free chocolate, which no, get your own. But there are lots of amazing “nerdy” chocolate bars and truffles to be found on the great internet. Dandelion Chocolate, Maverick Chocolate Co., and Raaka Chocolate are all bean-to-bar, too (meaning they responsibly source and aren’t using child or slave labor to make their sweets) and have created award-winning bars and bonbons. So, if he’s a hipster and into candy, this checks the box.
Maverick 65% espresso dark chocolate
There’s some truth to the whole Steak and a BJ Day trope. Buy a man a really good steak and cook it for him. He will be forever grateful. “How about something weird, like an elk or bison steak I can grill. Do bisons make steaks?” Oh, Dad, no. But he has a point. You can go the usual steak route or you can get something interesting. Either way, it will appeal to his man-sense to kill and eat something.
…for you. If you’re looking for something for yourself in the way of a nice new bra and panty set, you can buy it guilt-free and then go the extra mile by cooking dinner in it for Valentine’s Day. “Yeah, I thought marriage would be more lingerie, less socks with holes in them. TV misled me,” Kyle declares. He’s kidding, calm down. Considering he has three sisters, he knew EXACTLY what he was getting into.
“I don’t want anything. I just want to watch Game of Thrones until the new season.” Alright, Geoff. Dad said the same thing. “Leave me alone. This is a dumb holiday that I always get in trouble for.” Hey men, buy some flowers and it’ll be alright. But for the men in your life, it sounds like nothing actually is an option. And no, they aren’t trying to trap us.
A Nice Dinner Out
“I just want to be fancy and feel fancy” says Geoff. He’s not wrong, either. Kyle and Fran agreed that a nice dinner out seems a perfect fit for Valentine’s Day. So call and make reservations now, because everyone and their mom (and mom’s live-in friend, Rosco) are making rezzys for Vday.
Images: Maverick Chocolate; Tense; Giphy