Wednesday 11 November 2020

Lest We Forget

In Canada, today is Remembrance Day. This is the day that we honour and remember members of our armed forces; those who have served, are serving and, especially, those who have fallen.

Today and every day we remember the sacrifices that our brave men and women have made fighting to give and preserve the freedom we share today. They gave their todays so we could have our tomorrows. Thank you to veterans, active military, and our fallen.

With bravery and strength they serve. With respect, honour and gratitude we thank them.

Lest we forget. 

Wednesday 4 November 2020

November Thoughts

Well, here we are in November. November is such a gloomy month for me. It's cold, dark, rainy or snowy- you never know here in Canada. It has me missing the crisp October days with the beautiful Fall colours and counting down until the festive December season. 

November is just...It's a stepping stone. It bridges us from point A to point B and give us hope of better things to come. This year, with 2020 being A YEAR, November brings us closer to 2021and the possibilities that a new year will- hopefully- bring. 

Last November, I found myself in Nashville. It was the first time I had the opportunity to visit and I really loved my time there. I can't wait to go back and have been planning my return since sitting in an airport waiting for my flight home. There is so much more to Nashville than drinking, Broadway and live music. 

As someone who travels frequently- or used to travel frequently- the fact that I haven't been anywhere since March is making me nostalgic for past adventures and thinking of where I'll go to next- whenever "next" may be.

November with all it's dreariness makes me want to stay inside, start to hibernate. I know I'll have to force myself out of my warm home to walk around my community and try and appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer this month. 

I have a pile of books, plans to stock up on hot chocolate, a new hobby I'm picking up, and some virtual time scheduled with some of my favourite people. And maybe, just maybe, some in person time too. November will be a month of self-care and making sure I have what I need to be my best self so I can continue to support others around me.

This isn't the November 2020 I was hoping to have, but that it doesn't mean it won't be a good month- dreariness and all!

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Let's Make...Arugula and Prosciutto Flatbread

I originally made this flatbread a couple of years ago to impress someone. They were so impressed, that every time I offered to cook for them, they requested flatbread. I have since made this really simple and delicious recipe for family and friends with the same response- this is REALLY good!

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • Handful of arugula
  • Prepared flatbread

To make:
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour for about 30 seconds
  • Whisk in cream, stirring frequently until mixture thickens (about 6-7 minutes)
  • Add in Gorgonzola cheese until melted
  • Remove mixture from heat
  • Place flatbread on baking sheet and spoon on Gorgonzola mixture and spread to edge of the flatbread
  • Top with prosciutto and arugula 
  • Bake in oven for 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and cut into pieces, serve hot
  • Enjoy!
  • Blue cheese can be used in place of Gorgonzola
  • Prepared thin crust pizza can be used in place of flatbread
  • I break the slices of prosciutto into smaller pieces, but can use whole pieces
  • I will sometimes sprinkle parmesan cheese over the prosciutto and arugula before placing in the oven

Wednesday 14 October 2020

What the Pod(cast)?

As a extrovert and social person, the past few months have been a bit of a struggle for me. My social life is not what I'm used to or what I would like it to be. I have gone with the flow and have tried my best to adjust and fill my time in other ways. These "other ways" is reading more (I've read 50+ books since April) and twice daily walks in the picturesque town I'm calling home during these crazy times. I've also taken to listening to podcast while I walk.

Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids
This is my favourite podcast! There haven't been any new epsidoes this year- as the are recorded live. But I am going back and re-listening to old episodes and they are just as funny the second or third time around.

Missin' Curfew
Former NHLers Jimmy Hayes, Shane O'Brien, and Scotty Upshall- who I've loved since he played for Canada at the World Juniors- talk hockey. Fun to hear their take on what going on in the league and hear stories from their playing days. 

You Can Sit With Us
The TryWives- who you may know from The TryGuys on Youtube- have their own podcast! This podcast is just like sitting and having a chat with your girlfriends. They cover a variety of topics, are relatable and entertaining.

Zack to the Future
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is watching Save by the Bell episodes for the first time. Fun to get his reaction and behind the scenes info. 

Ben and Cristine of Simply Nailogical have a podcast! My fellow Canadians cover a variety of topics. I've always loved the banter between Ben and Cristine on their YouTube channel, so I'm loving that they have podcast. These two are so down to earth and real. 

Steal from the Best
This podcast will inspire you to succeed in business and in life. Highly successful and relatable guests- lawyers, real estate agents, event professionals, etc- share their stories and experiences, and listeners can "steal" their ideas. Love that the guests are relatable and not super successful billionaires that have success that the average person won't be able to attain.

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Hello October

Here we are, a week into October. The summer (and September) just flew by. I'm not big on Fall, simply because it leads into November- which along with March is the dreariest, saddest month in my opinion- and Winter. 

I do like the crispy Fall air and the beautiful foliage. Salted caramel everything and hearty soups. Cozy blankets and fleece pullovers. Thanksgiving and family celebrations- birthdays and wedding anniversaries. 

October has a lot to offer.

In Ontario, we are in a second wave and have been asked to pause our social bubbles and only interact with people in our immediate household. While it is discouraging to be back tracking, I'm more than happy to do my part to keep other safe and healthy, to do my part to help eliminate the spread of COVID. 

October will be different. No large family gatherings to celebrate. Even a small family gathering won't be the same, as my brother lives in a different province and won't be able to come home. 

This October- like the majority of the months this year- will be different than any other October. But, I will do what I can to make it one for the memory books. I will live life, embrace this unique time, and do what I can to stay happy. 

Here's to...
  • Walks on the beach
  • Enjoying the beauty of Fall colours
  • Weekends wrapped in a blanket reading
  • Warm cups of goodness from a local cafĂ©
  • Being thankful 
Make the most of October, enjoy it while you can, while it's here.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Oh Canada

One of my goals in life to travel from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada and visit all 10 Provinces and three Territories. I have yet to visit any of the Territories- Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut- but I had had the opportunity to visit a majority of the provinces, and two of the three coasts. 

I have seen the majestic mountains in British Columbia, toured the underground tunnels used by Chinese immigrants and during prohibition in Saskatchewan, visited historic Quebec City, immersed myself in Acadian culture in New Brunswick, watched the Atlantic ocean from Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia, and explored Anne of Green Gables in PEI. 

Technically I've been to Manitoba, as I had a layover there on my way home from Saskatchewan. I would like to go back and experience Manitoba outside of their airport. Alberta and Newfoundland are the other two Provinces I need to visit.

I'm lucky enough to call Ontario home. Growing up in the heart of the Niagara Region, spending summers on the shores of Great Lakes and in beautiful Muskoka, and visiting numerous cities, towns, villages, and communities throughout Ontario. 

Also, I've had the chance to hear some great stories and experience some traditions of Ontario's Indigenous People. The love and respect they have for our land is amazing and something we should all practice. 

Canada is by no means perfect- we have our faults, our downsides, and our negatives. We're a work in progress. But I am so proud to be Canadian, to call Canada home, and for everything that Canada represents. 

Celebrations for Canada Day will be a little bit different this year- no big parties, crowds, concerts, parades, fireworks... I will still celebrate my country, my home, my native land.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Blog Tour: The Player Next Door by K.A. Tucker

So excited to be part of this Blog Tour for the newest book by my favourite author!!

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Ten Tiny Breaths comes a new second-chance, hate-to-love romance.

The Player Next Door by, USA Today bestselling author, K.A. Tucker, is now live!

Scarlet Reed has returned to Polson Falls, convinced that twelve years away is long enough to shed her humiliating childhood identity as the town harlot's daughter. With a teaching job secured and an adorable fixer-upper to call home, things in her life are finally looking up.

That is, until she finds out that Shane Beckett lives next door.

Shane Beckett, the handsome and charismatic high school star quarterback who smashed her heart. The lying, cheating player who was supposed to be long gone, living the pro football dream and fooling women into thinking he's Prince Charming. Shane Beckett, who is as attractive as ever and flashing his dimples at her as if he has done no wrong.

Scarlet makes it abundantly clear that old wounds have not been forgotten. Neighbors they may be, but friends they most certainly are not. She won't allow herself to fall for the single father and firefighter again, no matter how many apologies he offers, how many times he rushes to her aid, or how hard he makes her heart pound.

But as she spends more time with him, she begins to fear that maybe she's wrong. Maybe Shane has changed.

And maybe this time she's the one playing herself—out of a chance at true happiness.

Download today or read for free in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide:


I sigh as I sip the last of my cold, burnt gas station coffee. This is a fresh start, even in an old world full of familiar faces. Besides, it’s been more than a decade since I last roamed the halls of any school here. Those painful years and cruel people are far behind me.
The peaceful midday calm is disrupted by the chug of a garage door crawling open, followed by the deep rumble of a car engine starting. A long, red vintage muscle car backs out of the garage next door and eases into the open space beside a blue Ford pickup. I can’t tell what kind of car it is, but it’s old and in pristine shape, the bright coat of paint glistening in the August sun.
I never asked Iris about the neighbors. The two times I’ve been here—once during the open house and once after I’d signed the paperwork for the offer—nobody was home on either side. Both properties look well maintained, though. The bungalow with the muscle car has new windows and a freshly built porch off the front. There isn’t much in the way of gardens—some shrubs and trees—but the lawn is manicured.
I watch curiously as the driver’s side door pops open and a tall man with wavy, chestnut-brown hair steps out, his back to me as he fusses with his windshield wiper. Coffee pools in my mouth as I stall on my swallow, too busy appreciating the way his black T-shirt clings to his body, showing off broad, sculpted shoulders, muscular arms, and a tapered waist. He’s wearing his dark-wash jeans perfectly—not so baggy that they hang unflatteringly off his ass, but not so tight that cowboy boots and a wide-brimmed hat come to mind.
I hold my breath in anticipation, hoping my neighbor will show me a beautiful face to match that fitness-model body. What a stroke of luck that would be, to live next to a gorgeous man. A single, gorgeous man, I pray.
Finally, my silent pleading is answered as he turns and his gaze drifts my way.
I struggle not to spew coffee from my mouth as my keen interest turns to horror.
Oh my God.
Someone, please tell me this is a mistake.
Please tell me I’m not living next door to Shane Fucking Beckett.

About K.A. Tucker:

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, and The Simple Wild. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, First for Women, and Publisher's Weekly. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance 2013 for TEN TINY BREATHS and Best Romance 2018 for THE SIMPLE WILD. Her novels have been translated into 16 languages.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her family.

Connect with K.A. Tucker:

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Let's Make...Blended Coffee

I am not a daily coffee drinker, but I am known to enjoy a coffee based beverage from time to time. I hardly say no to a frappuccino, especially on a hot day. I am currently living in rural Ontario and while I love it here frappuccino and other blended coffees are a bit harder to come by. So, I've spent the past few weeks experimenting and I think I have finally mastered a good blended coffee recipe!!

  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup
  • 1 cup of ice

To make:
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender
  • Blend well
  • Enjoy!
  • I have been using chocolate milk in place of milk and chocolate syrup
  • I will sometimes add a tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • I've tried two tablespoons of sugar, but found it too sweet for my personal taste
  • 1 cup of ice cubes works out to be 6-7 ice cubes

Wednesday 3 June 2020


There is so much going on in our world right now, and it's not good. You should be aware of the protests and riots happening due to racism. The awareness being brought forward is important and there is a lot of work to be done. But you (should) already know that. 

I'm taking steps to be aware, to move forward in a positive and productive way, to be more intentional, to use my voice for good, to listen, to be educated. I acknowledge my white privilege, and I acknowledge that racism- something I don’t personally face- is a serious issue in our society. I acknowledge that I need to take time to listen to those who are personally impacted by racism on both small and large scales. I acknowledge I need to continue to use my voice to show support to those who face racism and to speak out against those who are racist or who do not see racism in our society. I need to use my privilege, my voice to spread support, awareness, and love. It’s not enough to say words, I need to show actions as well. Anti-racism work never stops, I’m committed to not stopping. 

My heart hurts for the world, for what's going on, for the innocent people, the families and friends. Justice needs to be served. Racism needs to be addressed and dealt with. Racism is very much still an issue in society, and an issue that we all need to work to eliminate.

We need to do our part. We need to be aware of situations and circumstance. We need to use our voices for good, to speak up, and help those who are not heard be heard. We need to acknowledge the injustices in the world.

We need to have hope that things will improve. 

We need to use our anger to motivate us into action, to hold people accountable.

We need courage to do our part to make the world a better and more justice place.

We need hope, anger, and courage to stand up to racism, to be educated on racism, to listen to those who face racism, to do what we can to eliminate racism. 

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Let's Make...Old-Fashioned Fudge Pie!

A number of year's ago, my cousins decided to put together a cookbook of family recipes to give to their mom for Christmas. Family members had the opportunity to purchase copies of the cookbook, which of course I did. Over the years I have made a few things from the cookbook, recipes that have become 'go to' for me. I decided that one of my COVID-19 projects would be to make something different from the cookbook, and I ended up making my cousin Angela's Old-Fashioned Fudge Pie. 

This was such an easy recipe and just might become my contribution to the next pot luck I attend- if we are every allowed to have pot lucks again!

  • 2 1oz squares of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 graham or chocolate cookie crumb crust 

To make:
  • Prep pie crust according to package directions
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave
  • Remove chocolate/butter mixture from heat, add sugar and mix well
  • Add eggs and mix well
  • Pour filling into pie crust
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until set
  • Enjoy!
  • You can also use a 9" unbaked pie crust
  • Pie can be served warm or cold
  • Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a little something extra

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Hive: Must See, Must Shop

One of my all time favourtie stores is Hive. I've loved...LOVED...this store for years! This is my go-to for gifts for friends, or a little something for myself. Jenn, the owner, has such great style and her store- located in Bayfield, Ontario on the Main Street- is something to experience in person. Full of beautiful products and showcasing Jenn's incredible eye for design, I love visiting this store- I not so secretly would love to move it!!

If you find yourself unable to make it to picturesque Bayfield, you can now shop Hive online! Below you will find some of my favourite products in all the categories offered by Hive:

Home & Cottage


Bath & Body


So many amazing products and options. There really is something for everyone, anf for every occasion! Jenn is always getting in new products and will be updating her website as products come in, so be sure to check her website often- you never know what you'll find!

Thursday 7 May 2020

Book Club: Rush

Rush: A Novel by Lisa Patton
Image via Chapters Indigo

Book: Rush: A Novel
Author: Lisa Patton

Set in modern day Oxford, Mississippi, on the Ole Miss campus, bestselling author Lisa Patton's RUSH is a story about women-from both ends of the social ladder-discovering their voices and their empowerment.

Cali Watkins possesses all the qualities sororities are looking for in a potential new member. She's kind and intelligent, makes friends easily, even plans to someday run for governor. But her resume lacks a vital ingredient. Pedigree. Without family money Cali's chances of sorority membership are already thin, but she has an even bigger problem. If anyone discovers the dark family secrets she's hiding, she'll be dropped from Rush in an instant.

When Lilith Whitmore, the well-heeled House Corp President of Alpha Delta Beta, one of the premiere sororities on campus, appoints recent empty-nester Wilda to the Rush Advisory Board, Wilda can hardly believe her luck. What's more, Lilith suggests their daughters, both incoming freshman, room together. What Wilda doesn't know is that it's all part of Lilith's plan to ensure her own daughter receives an Alpha Delt bid-no matter what.

For twenty-five years, Miss Pearl-as her "babies" like to call her-has been housekeeper and a second mother to the Alpha Delt girls, even though it reminds her of a painful part of her past she'll never forget. When an opportunity for promotion arises, it seems a natural fit. But Lilith Whitmore slams her Prada heel down fast, crushing Miss Pearl's hopes of a better future. When Wilda and the girls find out, they devise a plan destined to change Alpha Delta Beta-and maybe the entire Greek system-forever. 

Achingly poignant, yet laugh-out-loud funny, RUSH takes a sharp nuanced look at a centuries-old tradition while exploring the complex, intimate relationships between mothers and daughters and female friends. Brimming with heart and hope for a better tomorrow, RUSH is an uplifting novel universal to us all.

What I have to say:
This books was recommend forever ago by Kathleen from Carrie Bradshaw Lied. I purchased this book as soon as Kathleen recommended it and add it to my To Be Read pile. I FINALLY got around to reading this book!! Set in 2016 at Ole Miss we are introduced to a variety of women- all associated with Alpha Delta Beta Sorority in one way or another. The characters are well developed, layered, and interesting. The characters felt real, relatable, and like real people you could know, and in some cases, want to be friends with. This book is about so much more than Sorority Rush, or Sorority life. It addresses race and socioeconomic issues, female and family relationships. 

Final Verdict:
Full of heart and humour, I've already recommended this book to people, and I can't wait to read it again. 

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Take One Day At A Time

It has been a beat or two since I last posted. There was a bit going on with work, family, and my personal life that took priority. Then, I was traveling in early March- the whole COVID-19 thing exploded while I was traveling- I had to cut my trip short and get home ASAP. The stress and anxiety of that last travel day, followed by the isolation of a 14-day quarantine with little human interaction, adjusting to working from home full time and dealing with some major changes at work- and let's not forget the family and personal life say it was overwhelming would be an understatement!

I decided to give myself grace, get comfortable with my new pace of life, figure out how to balance my mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing with my new reality. while also dealing with stressors in my life. I also needed time to mourn things I was looking forward to in 2020 that just aren't going to happen. Blogging, as I'm sad to say it often does, took a back seat to life. 

While I am on week eight of working from home and practicing physical distancing, I'm still facing challenges and figuring out how to adjust. But I also don't want blogging on hold until this whole pandemic is over- I know it'll eventually be over but who knows how long that will be! The truth is I enjoy creating content and I need the outlet that this blog provides for me.

Everyone is dealing with this crazy situation in their own way. We are all facing different challenges. Some people have set goals and have a laundry list of things to do during this time. Others are aiming to get through each day in one piece. The way we deal with this pandemic- whether it's coming out with a new skill, a well organized home, or just the ability to say "I survived"- is up to each of us individually, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it.
Take one day at a time. 

You will figure it out. 

Don't put pressure on yourself.

Celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small.

Even if the accomplishment is getting out of bed that day, or finally writing a blog post. 

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Forever In...Watches

An ex-boyfriend used to celebrate career milestones by purchasing a new watch. Every watch he owned was tied to an accomplishment he was proud of...if you asked about a watch in his collection, he could tell you what he did to earn that particular watch.  

Four years ago, I accomplished something in my career that I agreed should be celebrated but didn't consider a career milestone. In retrospect, I still see it as a huge accomplishment, but not a milestone- it wasn't career defining or even something I call out on my resume. My then-boyfriend disagreed and bought me a watch to commemorate the accomplishment. I still have-and wear- that watch.

I do think watches are practical and that everyone should have at least one good watch in their collection. If I were in a the market for a watch, here are a few I would consider buying:

Image via Hudson's Bay

Mesmerize Stainless Steel & Swarovski Crystal Bracelet Watch by Calvin Klein- I love the stainless steel and black contract...this is such a classic look.

Image via Hudson's Bay
Riley Rose Gold Watchby Fossil- I am a fan of the chunkier band/larger face mens-style watches. The stones added a feminine feel.

Image via Hudson's Bay
Stainless SteelBracelet Watch by GUESS- I love that this looks more like a bracelet than a watch.

Image via Kate Spade New York

Metro Navy LeatherWatch by Kate Spade New York- While I like the contrast of the smaller band with the big face dial, the reason I like this watch is the cocktail where the five should be. The watch also says "somewhere" on it. I love adorable details like this that Kate Spade is known to include.

Image via Ralph Lauren

The Slim ClassiqueCollection 38 MM While Gold by Ralph Lauren- Ralph Lauren as a brand is known for being timeless (ha!) and classic. This is a watch that will never go out of style.

Image via Tiffany & Co
Tiffany 1837Makers 22 mm Square Watch by Tiffany & Co- Is there a better way to celebrate than with Tiffany & Co?! Love the pop colour that the Tiffany Blue adds to this watch and any outfit it's worn with.

Thursday 13 February 2020

Happy Galentine's Day

As Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec claimed, Galentine's Day is only the best day of the year. February 13 is a day to celebrate your favourite gals, the friendships we have and how much these ladies mean to us.

I am so fortunate to have some AMAZING gals standing by my side, that I can call at any time and for anything. The men in my life are important too- and I have some GREAT guys in my life- but there is nothing like strong, supportive, fun, female friendships. I celebrate my gals year round, but it's nice to have a 'holiday' specifically to celebrate our friendship.

Image result for galentines day
Image via TribLive

Reach out to your favourite gal pals and let them know how much you appreciate their friendship. Make plans to meet them for lunch, drinks after work, or Netflix and take out. Send them flowers or chocolate...if you are unable to spend today with your favourite gal, send her flowers or chocolate, or cupcakes, or pizza and let her know you're thinking of her. Do your favourite things, with your favourite gals, make memories and celebrate the fabulous friendships you have. 

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Book Club: Mrs.

Mrs.: A Novel by Caitlin Macy
Image via Chapters Indigo

Book: Mrs.
Author: Caitlin Macy

In the well-heeled milieu of New York's Upper East Side, coolly elegant Philippa Lye is the woman no one can stop talking about. Despite a shadowy past, Philippa has somehow married the scion of the last family-held investment bank in the city. And although her wealth and connections put her in the center of this world, she refuses to conform to its gossip-fueled culture.

Then, into her precariously balanced life, come two women: Gwen Hogan, a childhood acquaintance who uncovers an explosive secret about Philippa's single days, and Minnie Curtis, a newcomer whose vast fortune and frank revelations about a penurious upbringing in Spanish Harlem put everyone on alert.

When Gwen's husband, a heavy-drinking, obsessive prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office, stumbles over the connection between Philippa's past and the criminal investigation he is pursuing at all costs, this insulated society is forced to confront the rot at its core and the price it has paid to survive into the new millennium.

What I have to say:
Beautifully written and loved the depth of the characters- so many characters each with their own stories and layers. This is a talented author! As for the plot...I read the entire book and I have no idea what it's about! The summary above does sum up the book in a way...having read the book and the summary, I can say 'yup, I see that'. But when reading the book, if I hadn't known the summary...well, I would have summarized it differently. The books is mostly about mother's who children attend the same pre-school. Two mothers- Gwen and Philippa knew each other during their childhood. They hangout with new mom at school, Minnie. Gwen and her husband Dan knew Minnie's husband John in college.John also knew Philippa before she married her husband. By the end of the book, not only did I not have a clear idea what this book is about, but there are a ton- TON- of unanswered questions. 

Final Verdict:
If you are looking for a nicely written book and/or characters that are well developed, and you have zero interest in whether or not there is a plot- I would recommend this book. If you need your books to have a plot that you can follow, give this book a pass.

Thursday 6 February 2020

10 Ways To Celebrate A Valentine's Birthday

February is the month that most people associate with love. It’s all hearts, candy, flowers and romance. Or disappointment, heartache and tons of ice cream or other comfort food to drown your lack of love/romance in. Thanks Valentine’s Day.

I’m not going to go into how much I loathe Valentine’s Day and the commercialism of this “pretend” holiday. Or even how I’m bitter that Valentine’s Day overshadows and gets in the way of my birthday, which happens to be February 14.

Instead, I’m going to highlight 10 ways to celebrate a Valentine’s Birthday:
1.       Have pizza delivered to them for lunch along with flowers. Everyone loves pizza and pizza, for most people, was a childhood birthday food staple. As for the flowers, flowers just make people happy. But stay away from roses…too “Valentine”.
2.       If you take them out for dinner, try and go to a place that will have live music, like a piano player. Arrange to have the musician(s) play “Happy Birthday” when they enter the room.  Everyone in the room will know someone’s celebrating a birthday and that things besides Valentine’s Day happen on February 14.
3.       Get them a really cool gift that is in no way related to Valentine’s Day and/or love. I suggest the Beanie Buddy octopus named Inky. It’s an octopus named INKY! A friend gave me this in high school and I LOVE it. Especially the name.
4.       Throw them a surprise party. Who doesn’t love a surprise party? The birthday person will be beyond touched that so many people gave up celebrating Valentine’s Day to celebrate the day of their birth instead.
5.       Bake a cake. This is a thoughtful thing. One of my best birthdays involved my roommates making me a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and ‘Happy 19th Birthday Melissa’ spelled out in licorice. It doesn’t have to be perfect…it really is the thought that counts. I don't have a picture of that cake, but I do have a picture of this cake that a friend and her daughter made for me and surprised me with:

6.       Take them out. Blow off work/school/responsibilities to take them to a bar and do birthday shots with them mid-day (or right after work). Valentine’s Day hasn’t really kicked into full gear yet, so they’ll be able to enjoy their birthday without a ton of couples around celebrating Valentine’s Day. If things get a bit wild, that’s ok. And let’s be honest…shots really do make things better.
7.       Spa day. Nothing says birthday like being pampered. Even if you can’t afford a full spa day, send them for something…manicure, pedicure, facial even a massage. This really is the best way to spend your birthday.
8.       Dance party. Just make sure there are no ‘love’ songs on the playlist. Many of my birthdays have included impromptu dance parties and they are ALWAYS fun. Plus, this is so easy to do! Turn on some music and start dancing.
9.       Do something they love but not Valentine’s related. For example, if their favourite restaurant is having a Valentine’s special, skip it. They like to bowl and the local bowling alley is doing rock-and-bowl, this would be good.  I spent a lot of my birthdays at rinks watching hockey games.
10.   Remember their birthday. This really is just basic. Year round so many people remember my birthday because it’s on Valentine’s Day. But then, the actual day arrives and no one remembers/cares because they are so busy and focused on Valentine’s Day. Try and remember their birthday outside of Facebook- send them an e-mail, text message or pick up the phone and call them- all are better than a Facebook message (which points out who’s celebrating a birthday that day).  And for goodness sakes, do not give a combined Valentine/birthday gift and/or card.  Separate the two events.

If you know someone who is born on Valentine’s Day, do something nice for them- forgo celebrating the fake “holiday” that is Valentine’s Day and instead celebrate the day of their birth. They really will appreciate it. Trust me.