Small Business Valentine’s Day – Long Island Edition

Shopping small is my favorite way to shop! In an effort to continue supporting local businesses on Long Island, I’m sharing a few local South Shore spots to shop for someone special or even yourself this Valentine’s Day! It’s on Sunday – get shopping!

TOLA – Bellport Village & Westhampton Beach

A perfectly curated shop full of every treasure you could imagine. Great shop for gifts for literally anyone on your list!

Things you’ll find inside:
* local novelties
* gifts for babies and children
* really cute selection of chic & affordable everyday jewelry
* on trend outfits for women – adorable sweaters, they sell Free People!
* Carleton Clothing for all members of the family
* items for the home
* digital gift cards for the truly last minute person 🙂

Sayville Chocolatier

Giving and receiving chocolates is a tale as old as time for St. Valentine’s Day! Lines can be long, so go a day or 2 in advance if you can, it’s always worth the wait. They have chocolate strawberries for pre-order on Instagram or Facebook, and hot chocolate bombs (so cute & trendy for kids/anyone) .They have an awesome variety of chocolates & truffles – I love the sea salt caramels!

Dusk & Rubies

Gorgeous jewelry made by my friend Danielle. A variety of very cute, dainty, layering pieces as well as some more bold, statement items. She just launched her SS21 items – check them out here!

Mother of Pearl necklace is one of my favorites for this season! Great Galentine’s Day gift for your gals!

Dusk & Rubies supports the local chapter of Girls, Inc. with this Three Hearts Bracelet – another perfect gift for V Day!

Karasmatic Day Spa

My favorite spa!!! I go here for all types of treatments – they have various types of massages, relaxing facials as well as laser facials, Hydrafacial, Clear & Brilliant Facials, Photofacials, even a doctor on site for appointments for injectables or IV therapy. Anything you could want or need and in my opinion, one of the best gift cards to receive is from Karasmatic (purchase right online)! You can book appointments online as well – so easy! And the spa is currently having a giveaway on Instagram. Check out below!

Enjoy supporting local this Valentine’s Day!

The Anti-Valentine – Gift Guide

This is a gift guide for your bestie / lover who absolutely HATES Valentine’s Day – but still likes gifts 🙂

Let’s be real – not everybody loves Valentine’s Day. You know them… you may love one… you might be one? You might be married to one. Those who chalk February 14th up to, “It’s a Hallmark holiday!” those who say things like, “It’s just a day. It means nothing, we love our partners all of the days, I don’t need to celebrate it with flowers and chocolate and cards people.” I’ve been one of those people!

Honestly, the anti-valentine could simply have had one bad experience associated around the holiday… and reframing their mind around Valentine’s Day could make the day fun again, is totally worth it!

Here are a few ideas of what to get them:

Pottery / Ceramics Class

A fun idea of a different activity to do with your partner or friend – if you Google “pottery / ceramics class” + your neighborhood, you’ll find a studio nearby. I’m linking mine here. And definitely planning on doing this with a galentine sometime soon! Love making pottery.

Franca

Not interested in making pottery / ceramics, this brand Franca, based in Brooklyn has a lot of very cute pieces and I love this one!

FloraBrook

FloraBrook – dried flowers – they last forever! And totally combat the “issue” that “flowers die!” These are already dried & SOOOO gorge!


Cosabella Undies

Not sure if this is anti-Valentine’s Day or not but… who doesn’t like receiving new undies? Loving the below from Cosabella. Use code “NEWBELLA” for 10% off your order. I’m really into this matching thong/bralette/mask combo below! You can actually get the cutie thong/mask for free with a $150 purchase with this link.


The Sill

Beautiful live plants delivered all over the U.S.

Sakara Life

Give the gift of health! Sakara is a ready-to-eat meal plan delivered to you weekly, they also have supplements and healthy options for snacks. You can get 20% off your first order if you use code “XOBYRD

As always, send me a message if you have any questions or need advice about gifting a specific person in your life. <3

xo, Ash

Galentine’s Day Gifting

Love a Galentine’s Day Gift Guide!! Creating one here for you! Lots of my favorite items linked and also in the carousel of photos below!

One brand that I’m constantly gifting to my girlfriends is Glossier! Great for literally everyone who likes a little something special, a little something pink and cute and feel-good!

Photo from Glossier website <3

Some things for the mom of toddler’s or the toddlers in your life…

Some things for the bestie who loves anything very cute!

Some of my faves are the coral beanie; the bust pot (perfect for a person who loves random pieces); the all-natural soap; the coasters! LOVE all things v-day! <3

More Valentine’s Day Posts to follow!

Beauty is in the Eye of the Tinder Account Holder

“I learned that to live in the moment, you need a concrete heart. I learned that falling asleep next to a new person requires Ambien. That you will be judged by your morning music. That if you make breakfast, you are considered charming.” — Dina Nayeri, on being in a new relationship…

Much to my dismay, I’m going to admit to have downloaded Tinder. The dating app that’s apparently a glorified forum for people to hook up? I’ve heard the stories. And the nightmares. I’m over it, already – not my style.

TINDER1

It’s a story of gains and losses. Gains: I’ve gained a bunch of Instagram followers (I’m kidding, like 7) and I feel so flattered by all of the men boys  guys? creeps on there that think I’m good looking….COOOOOOOOOL. Can’t take it seriously, I just can’t. I’ve perused through the app about a dozen or so times and have had quite a few hysterical conversations with people. I wouldn’t even count them as conversations – more like I’ve received a bunch of hysterical comments from people. I want to upload them, but maybe inapprop’s. I should also be a little bit private, right?

I don’t really get the hype. I mean the concept is great for people who are in that state of mind – looking for a quick booty-call if you’re too lazy to actually go out and meet somebody. Or you don’t have any friends who are willing to introduce you to their friends as potential dates. Who am I kidding — it’s fucking funny. I basically use Tinder as an ego-boost or if I’m feeling less than 100% confident – or sad, or over it. Gives you somebody to talk to at basically any time of day that you’re bored.

This video kills.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. WTF does that even mean? If you have pretty eyes, you’re basically in there like swimwear? Great job for you if you can see the beauty in a person? OK. Beauty is what you make of it? Beautiful things are completely subjective and everybody has a different definition of what that is?

Bingo. Which is why Tinder is maybe a great way for people who are totally not connected to get in touch with each other just based on if they like the way the other person looks? Or more so, the way they present themselves in the 7 photos they can upload onto the app? Because even if I think you’re a really good looking person, this does not mean that I would ever want to have a conversation with you. But you swiped “right” on my photo as well, so now we can chat.

I mean, I guess it’s not much different than any other form of social media used as a dating platform – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. We all post photos of ourselves, our friends, our lives – it’s all out there. This is just a slightly more creepy and barbaric way to express interest in a particular person in a mildly private manner. Unless I see a photo of a person that I know and take a screenshot and send it to my besties wondering WHY this person is on Tinder? Or OMG look! This person is on Tinder too! Or… when you give a person that you know a courtesy swipe to the right meaning you’re interested JUST TO SEE if they swiped you right as well – AND THEY DID. How awkward. And then they talk to you as if you both don’t know that you could easily text message one another because you probably have each other’s phone #’s from back in the 7th grade.

No need to fear for my life over here, people. No need. I’m just fine. I haven’t gone crazier than originally anticipated. My Tinder career is short-lived. Loss: Especially after some creep approached me at a bar last week saying he’s been watching me for the past 2 hours because he definitely knows me from Tinder. Then proceeded to tell me things about myself that he knows from obviously freakin’ stalking me.

Thanks pal – I’m good over here. By myself. Talk to ya later never.

February 14th: Celebrating Black History Month

February 14th: Celebrating Black History Month

Finally! Dressed appropriately for the holiday today! As if I would ever wear red or pink or have hot red or hot pink nails (IT’S NOT EVEN WEDNESDAY!). Celebrating Black History Month all February long by wearing black.

Enjoy your Friday! Celebrate Black History Month on February 14th specifically because it’s much more chic to wear black than to wear hearts. Spread love it’s the Brooklyn way.

saying “Yes” versus the art of saying “NO”

Giving an explanation is NOT NECESSARY.

You do not have to tell anybody anything. If you’re unable to do something, what’s the problem with just plain “No.” ????

We all have to rush to the conclusion that we need to give a reason. No reason needed. No fucks given.

Maybe you feel it’s courteous, but just don’t. If somebody asks you specifically why you’re saying no, or why you cannot participate or why you’re behaving in a specific manner, and you actually WANT to tell them, that’s a different story. That’s also NEVER the story. It’s always like – I can’t do something and I don’t exactly wish to discuss why but people are always asking me why and/or I feel like I need to discuss why (even if the person I’m talking to does not give a fuck). If you want to spill, that’s your own business and go right ahead and over-share your personal life. Go right ahead. Excuse me while I don’t listen and have to think of some stupid thing to say back to you as I continue to pretend to care and/or not have a clue what you’re talking about because you’re probably making something up. #bogus

You owe the world no details of your personal life. So shhhhhh!!! Don’t feel obligated to share. It is 100% satisfactory & A-OK to say “No” and that’s the end of the conversation.

Person Asking Question: Can you do me a favor and pick me up/stay at work 3 hours later than anticipated/stop being a betch/be my valentine tomorrow?
Wrong Answer Example #1:  No, I can’t because I have to pick my dog up from the groomer at 5PM, I have tentative dinner plans with this guy I met on Tinder at 7PM & I’m likely going to spend the night by myself watching GIRLS & drinking a bottle of wine.
Wrong Answer Example #2: I’m sooooooooo sorry. Can’t! I have a paper due tomorrow and I haven’t started it yet – it’s on the Cold War and I don’t even know how people could be cold in a war that was fought in the warmth. Wait… maybe it was in the cold? Was it in the north? I’m so confused —better start reading but sorry! Hope you find someone or something!
Person A: (Ummmmm….? WTF.)
Wrong Answer Example #3: Yes, I would fucking LOVE to.

Correct Answer: No.

Simple. It’s over. No explanation needed. If they beg, that’s funny. Let them beg. And you already win. So forget the guilt and go with a good old, clear & concise “No.”

“No need to shout, betch!”

beyonce

Valentine’s Week Encouragement

Encouragement. This week leads up to Valentine’s Day on February 14th! <3  A fabulous, happy & thoughtful way for me to care about myself just a little bit more, if that’s possible. & for you to do the same.

No date on VDAY? Have a date on VDAY that you maybe don’t want? Have a date that you actually love (lol) but don’t want to do the typical dinner & a movie? (This is a reach, but I felt like I had to include it so to not disclude the lovebirds that I can somewhat stand). Are you already starting to vomit in your mouth from all of the Instagram pics your friends are going to upload of their roses from their AMAZING!!!!! boyfriends?! Are you already overjoyed by the really sweet dark chocolate dipped strawberries your friend made for her loving & loyal boyfriend? That you secretly wish she fucking made for you so you could be eating them?! I KNOW, right?

So stop thinking that & go do something for yourself & the people around you that you really LOVE. Your besties! Do something fun – fall in love with yogurt! Also, don’t check Instagram all day on Friday, OK?!

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Spoil yourself! And your friends by making some delicious cupcakes! Who doesn’t LOVE cupcakes? I mean…. if you don’t love cupcakes, we can’t be friends. Oh, and cookies. & chocolate. Sweet tooth ALERT! Go to a local chocolatier & pick up some above-average chocolates & candies that are just far more meaningful than Russel Stover’s heart-shaped boxes that are lining the aisles of CVS’s & Rite Aid’s since the day after Christmas. Favorites: Bon Bon’s Chocolatier in Huntington, NY; Love Lane Sweet Shoppe in Mattituck, NY; Lazar’s in Roslyn, NY; Sayville Chocolatier in Sayville, NY.  Chocolate shoppes make me smile on the inside and make me fat on the outside– Oops! Some creative, sweet treats below. I LOVE the dagger – how classic!

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I guess make these cookies ^ say adorable/sweet things if you want. Or at least funny, instead of cynical (my preferred).

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Maybe plan a fun evening of games with friends – grab a couple bottles of wine, a funny movie & your favorite snacks and  stay in! Or cook! Making pizza is a fabulous VDay idea – great comfort food and it’s super easy! Grab dough from a local pizzeria, can of sauce (add garlic, parsley, onion, oregano) whatever you want really, mozzarella & parmesan cheese, whatever toppings, place on pizza stone (in the shape of a heart if you must!), & finally bake in the oven! Hundreds of recipes here. Healthy version of DIY pizza on Alix’s blog!

heart-shaped-pizza

Go out to a bar with your friends – there are plenty of other people (singles or not) that will realize it’s any old Friday night and that’s a real enough reason to celebrate! Be sure to avoid restaurant/bar’s and specifically nice restaurants as they will be SWARMING with couples that will make you want to vomit on the spot. Townie bars may also give you potentially undiscovered STD’s, so beware of that as well.

Get active! Don’t want to spend your Friday evening gorging on food or cocktails? Hit the gym earlier in the day so you don’t feel as bad about it — OR — head to Air Trampoline Sports. They’re open late on Friday’s & Saturday’s – would def be a fun thing to do on a Monday or Tuesday night in my opinion BUT definitely enjoyable with a few friends nonetheless.

Want to go out and meet people? Are you itching to go on a date? Or a sort-of date where you really get to hang out with your own best friends? Consider joining & going on a Grouper! The concept is amazing — friends (guy groups & girl groups) that I know have said it’s been a blast. Have yet to try and will post about it when I do.

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Awesome Valentine’s Day gifts from DailyCandy. Get me some of these and I would maybe actually BE your Valentine. JK.

& of course the Catbird heart ring.

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I’m going to leave you with these less than “sweet” Sweethearts. I know it’s bad – I can’t help it.

#pukeface #mistake #dogface #turdeatr

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LOVE YOU! ME