Happy Spring! Though I’d prefer to celebrate the new season with outdoor picnics and trips to the farmer’s market, our current weather situation (what is this rain thing that’s happening?) is preventing me from doing any such activities. Instead, I’ve been watching lots of American Pickers on TV, eating handfuls of Cadbury chocolate eggs, and catching up on the April issue of Cooking Light.
When I came across this Cooking Light risotto recipe, I knew it would be a perfect way to kick off the spring season (bad weather or not). First of all, it showcases asparagus (a spring vegetable) and I’m all for seasonal cooking. Not only are veggies much cheaper when they’re in season, they’re also much tastier (I might just be imagining that they’re tastier, who knows). Second of all, risotto is just plain delicious.
And this risotto was no exception! I loved that it wasn’t super heavy but still had all the rich flavors of a classic risotto. And the edamame/asparagus combo was like an added bonus point. Speaking of bonus points, you have to stir risotto constantly for atleast 20 minutes so you’re getting a really nice arm workout in the process. Overall, the finished product, with it’s creamy texture and flavorful bite, was a real crowd-pleaser.
PS- Looky looky what I found at Trader Joe’s for $3.99?? Ranunculus!! My favorite ever.
I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. On one hand, it can be a great way to remind your partner just how much you love them. In my book, a simple, loving note would do the trick. On the other hand, it has become a very commercialized, generic holiday. Why do some men insist on buying the most cliche gifts?? Red roses (boring), ugly tennis bracelets from Kay Jewelers (NO THANKS!), a box of chocolates (actually I’m always down for a box of chocolates no matter what day it is), trashy lingerie (gross), generic Hallmark cards (bleh).
Women want to feel special and unique – the center of your world! I’m sorry but red roses do not say You’re the center of my world when 9 million other women received the exact same bouquet on the exact same day. We must put an end to generic giftism (is that a word?)! Here are some unique and simple gift ideas that will make your girl feel extra special this Valentine’s Day:
- Instead of red roses, why not a bouquet of ranunculus? They are gorgeous, wild flowers that come in all shapes and sizes, ranging in hues from pinks to yellows to purples. The best part is that they’re in season right now so you can find them for pretty cheap at local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Design*Sponge has a feature on ranunculus that will give you some great ideas.
- Instead of a boring tennis bracelet or a generic necklace from a jewelry store in the mall, why not give this Lisa Stewart studded pink cuff? It’s just the right amount of girly and just the right amount of edge! The cuff is super fun and will add a beautiful pop of color to any outfit.
- Another great jewelry idea is this catbird heart ring. I am BEYOND obsessed with it! It’s delicate and subtle, yet at the same time, the little gold heart will really stand out in your girlfriend’s eyes. I know I would feel special if I got it (wink, wink bf). You can also substitute the heart for any letter of the alphabet if you wanted to make it more personal. I would like a “j” and a heart, please.
- Instead of a box of chocolates, surprise your lady with a dozen Valentine-themed cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop.
- Instead of sifting through racks of trashy lingerie at Frederick’s, give your girl something a little more classy and chic like this Anthropologie silk bralette. Underwear as outerwear is the thing to do for spring anyways, am I right? Don’t forget that it was showcased heavily on almost every SS10 runway. Your girl will appreciate your up-to-date knowledge on a key fashion trend! Don’t forget to take a look at the matching bloomers too. Très adorable!
- Most importantly, write your woman a LOVE LETTER! There’s really nothing more beautiful than seeing your love manifested into words. Your girlfriend’s heart will be fluttering at the mere sight of a handwritten love note!! If you wanted to get extra creative, you could find an etsy or website that will write the calligraphy for you, like Hello Handmade Paperie. Though they’ve recently sold out of their Jane Austen-inspired love letters, you can still order them for after Valentine’s Day. I was so obsessed with this etsy that I sent it the BF at least 10 times in the last few weeks, dropping hint after hint that I needed a Jane Austen Valentine letter of sorts.
- If you’re not a handwritten love letter kind of guy, try to find a unique card that can’t be found on the shelves of Walmart. You can find really amazing and truly original cards on the Snow & Graham website. My favorite is the cupcake card. It’s great, no???
Now that you have a few ideas for Valentine’s Day, I hope you find something beyond the realm of red roses and Hallmark cards and show your girlfriend just how special she truly is.
[Image 1 via Design*Sponge, Image 3 via catbird, Image 4 via Crumbs, Image 5 via Anthropologie, Image 6 via Hello Handmade Paperie, Image 7 via Snow & Graham]