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13 Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

Neon signs reading "girls" are lit up behind the overlaid article title "13 Ways to Celebrate Galentine's Day"

Regardless of if you’re single, in a relationship or dating, we highly encourage you to celebrate a once fictional, but now very real holiday, Galentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day is a day to celebrate friendship with all your lady friends! The holiday was invented by Leslie (played by Amy Poehler) in the T.V. show, Parks and Recreation. You can learn more about this “holiday” here. If you’re unsure how to celebrate Valentine’s Eve, we’ve come up with some ideas to share with you and all your girl friends, with some recommendations on items that one or both of us personally use!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, we will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. 

 

1. Ladies’ Wine Night

Everyone brings a bottle of wine and you have your own exclusive wine tasting in the comfort of your (or your friend’s) house! To make this into a competition, go out and buy something cheap (like this!) that’s related to wine and have that be the prize for the best wine!

Galentine's Day

 

2. Old Fashion Slumber Party

Screw looking cute, peel off those skinny jeans or even tight leggings and throw on your comfiest pair of pajama/yoga pants, hoodie, no make-up and hair in a messy bun. This is the judge free zone, where you can finally try that black face mask going around Facebook and YouTube that literally peels the outside layer of your face off (this one is the similar, cheaper brand Charcoal Peel Off Mask). Have a chick flick playing on the T.V. like Mean Girls, eat crap food and drink wine, and paint each other’s nails while one person reads aloud the humiliating stories in the back of Cosmopolitan.

 

3. Cookie/Cupcake Decorating

Forget the diet: bring me some sugah! Though you may need to prep this ahead of time (Elena’s mom’s recipe says to make sure the dough is refrigerated at least four hours prior to baking) you can roll out some dough and make heart shaped cookies (because these are your girlfriends and you love each other) and frost them with some white, red and pink dyed cream cheese frosting (because cream cheese is the best frosting and if you don’t think so, no cookies for you). Also if you aren’t into cookies, you can do cupcakes or even cake cookies! Elena’s sister makes these and they are the perfect balance between a cupcake and a cookie and are so moist and delicious!

 

4. Go to the Bars…in your sweat pants

Because this is about the girls, not getting the guys! And getting drunk. Cheers!

 

5. Get a Couple’s Massage (or a couple’s date package), but go with your BFF!

Take advantage of them sales! Especially ones on Groupon that give you an even better discount.

 

6. Paint Night

Go out to a place like Pinot’s Pallet, or host one at home. Belle bought some paint-by-numbers canvas paintings that we will be working on for months, that would be fun to start! Elena went to a friend’s house where they painted wine glasses (while drinking wine from a separate glass of course). Elena also had nights were she went out and bought water color or drawing paper in bulk and we drank wine, painted and watched Friends in the background.

Galentine's Day

7. Makeover Night!

Do like what we used to do in our mom’s bathroom (or older sister’s make up collection) as a kid and play with your make-up for new looks! Now is the time to share how you do your eye-shadow, what colors you use and what kind of primer helps all that glitter stick to your eye and not get in it. Now’s your chance to learn how to get that perfect smokey eye! Or maybe you have that friend who knows how to do the perfect liquid eyeliner wing that you’ve been wanting to learn for months. Just remember, don’t share mascara and probably eye-liners to avoid diseases, cause gross. For even more fun, finish a bottle of wine by yourself before attempting a make-over on your BFF and making her “beautiful” with blue eye-shadow and pink blush that’s been under your sink for three years.

 

8. Host a “Tupperware” Party

Yeah, that’s what our mom’s call it, but we all know we’re referring to a sex toy party, or make-up I guess, but mostly sex toys. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve hosted a Pure Romance party, and what timing having Single’s Awareness Day the very next day! Or Valentine’s Day if you’re in a relationship, they still have some fun S&M things that could make your night even more special.

 

9. Photoshoot!

Get all the gals together, get glammed, and have a photo shoot! Or just gather random things around your house and buy some cheap accessories that are normally in a photo booth to create your own, boas, glasses, hats (on your phone with your selfie stick).

Elena and Belle pose within a hung empty picture frame. Belle holds up a paper crown and Elena has a prop plaque that reads "still single!"

 

10. Craft night!

Learn to knit, cross stitch, make a collage… with wine, of course.

 

11. Gift your Bestie some Flowers and Chocolate

And get some for yourself, too, because let’s be real, you’ll be eating it together anyways, might as well get two containers so you can avoid fighting over the last piece. Then that way you have someone to complain with when both your stomachs hurt because you ate two whole giant heart boxes full of questionably flavored chocolates.

 

12. Go Braless!

Let the girls be freeeee! You’re with your girlfriends anyways, and likely they all have boobs too and know the struggle of the wired bra. For 10 hours a day. At LEAST. Whip that thing off!

 

13. Themed Potluck

If you’re having a girls night and you’re a little tight on money, host a potluck! The best part about this is that you can choose whatever theme you want, related or unrelated to the holiday: mexican food, italian food, your favorite recipe your mom makes etc. Or you could be like, okay, we are all girls and there are no boys, so let’s make this like a bachelorette party and have penis-pun food: little wienies, hot dogs, popsicles, banana split (you get the idea).

 

Regardless of what you decide to do, make this a friend’s day for you and your girls and have fun!

February 8, 2018
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7 Ways to Enjoy a Night Home Alone

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home alone to do

I live with my sister, her boyfriend, a cat, and a dog. Usually we are all home or have friends over on the weekends to play games. Last weekend I found myself in a peculiar place: I was home alone. With just the cat and dog to judge me, I decided to take advantage of this time to do things I wanted to do in solitude.

Here are just a few of the opportunities that crossed my mind:

 

Pamper

My sister and her boyfriend always get me Lush products for gifts, which I love! Having a night to myself meant that I could use that bath bomb under my sink with a face mask on without anyone complaining how I used all the hot water. Then, when I finished with my bath, I could trim my nails and pick out some nail polish for my fingers and toes. My face would feel fresh, I would be relaxed and my nails would be beautiful!

 

Read 

Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash

I’m a bookworm, but I usually only find time to read before I go to sleep. Being home by 5:00 p.m. made it so I could easily dedicate some time to my book without interruption (minus the cat throwing up a hair ball). This was a good way for me to catch up on some reading for book club as well as to my own personal list (currently reading the second Harry Potter book).

Related Reading: What Should I Read Next?, We Started A Book Club!

 

Write

I love to journal, but I’ve been pretty bad about it recently. However, I do have this and having a night to myself could really benefit me by having more time to write content for posts! This would be an opportune time for me to think of new post ideas, too. Or think of that next big seller that will be on the shelves in Barnes and Nobles… you never know! Sometimes it feels good just to empty your mind on paper, regardless of if there’s a point to it or not.

 

Television

I could watch a chick flick while eating my take-out with a bottle of wine of my choice without any guilt or worry about what others would think! I could enjoy my movie without disruption or comments in peace while I cried during a part that’s probably not even sad… or I could binge watch that new show on Netflix that everyone is raving about, or catch up on a show I haven’t watched in a while (Outlander).

 

Craft

I have a couple of projects I’m slowly working on/haven’t even started yet. Having all this time gave me the time to start that travel map collage, paint the rest of my paint by numbers or color in an adult coloring book. This way I could play music or watch something in the background while I busy my mind in a productive way.

Related Reading: Creating a Bullet Journal

 

Meditate

Photo by Lena Bell on Unsplash

I received a yoga kit as a company gift this Christmas. It came with a mat, a strap, a block and a DVD to follow. I could move furniture, plug the DVD into the TV downstairs and stretch out my muscles. At the very least, I could sit in complete silence if I really wanted to!

 

Cook

I preach about meal prepping all the time, but it was a Friday, which isn’t the best day to start that. Also, I had worked a full week; I didn’t want to have to think about next week yet! I could take this time to cook a decent meal, or at least preheat the oven for some hot, gooey cookies for dessert!

 

These are just a few of the possibilities that crossed my mind when I was home alone. Naturally I opted for take out, wine, and a chick flick (which I didn’t cry to!) on my couch with animals sleeping on me. Some other things to consider doing if you’re home alone would be to knit, play an instrument, do a puzzle, play video games, or complete a Sudoku. What do you do with your nights at home alone?

January 16, 2018
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Santa Belle: What I Gave for Christmas

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Christmas ideas

Christmas is my absolutely positively favorite holiday of the year. I love the festive decorations, the cookies and sweets, the music, the gathering of friends and family, and the gifts. As someone in her young twenties, Christmas is a reliable time of year to get some help on all the things I need and want but can’t afford. Like this year I received a much needed blanket for my bed and gift cards to some of my favorite places. But better than receiving the gifts is giving them.

I try throughout the year to give meaningful and thoughtful gifts. It’s the chance for me to say “I notice you and appreciate you”. Now, meaningful and thoughtful doesn’t have to mean expensive, which was very true this year (I spent an average of maybe $10 a gift); it means addressing someone’s interests, style, or personality. And this year I hit it out of the park.

So I don’t want to brag about the gifts I got. I want to brag about the gifts I gave. Hopefully this can give you some insight and help on what to give your loved ones the next holiday season!

For the ladies in my family:

Waaaay back in September I stumbled on a secret Kate Spade sale that finally let me achieve my dream of owning one of her purses and a wallet. It also let me get some Christmas shopping done.

  • For my mom, I got her a pair of dangling earrings, a collection of brassy little circles which she loved.
  • For my step-mom of sorts, a circle bracelet with a mod black, white, and blue pattern that 100% matched her beautiful style.
  • For my sister, a simple gold and crystal necklace since her ears aren’t pierced. As a similar lover of designers, she loved adding it to her collection.

Related Reading: Dear Bellena: Help with the Holidays

For the ladies that love a good home-made gift:

I love little crafts, especially those involving yarn or string, because it gives me something to do during my frequent Netflix marathons. They also make for great, inexpensive, heart-felt gifts!

  • For my best friend in the whole wide world: a “flowery” cross-stitch to decorate her fancy-pants cubicle and let her coworkers know just how much she cares.
  • For my step-sister of sorts: a framed cross-stitch that pairs her love for cats and activism in one perfect little picture.
My step-sister and step-mom pose with their Christmas gifts on the couch. My step-sister holds a white-framed cross-stitch pattern that features four cats and the words "less catcalls, more cats". My step mom looks down at the Kate Spade bangle bracelet I got her.

Step-mom and step-sister pose with their gifts.

Related Reading: Adam’s Mystery Playhouse: Holidays R Murder 

For the southern dad that loves to cook and already has everything he needs:

My dad is the hardest to shop for. He doesn’t like a lot of fancy things, likes to keep thing simple and clutter free, already has every tool in the tool shed, and buys everything he needs for himself. I have to get super creative with his gifts, and they’re usually the ones I stress over for the entire year. But this year I stumbled on perfection.

  • A little book from Barnes and Noble’s discount shelves called Well Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit, a collection of weird and crazy sayings and stories from the south, perfect for someone who spent his summers on a farm in Missouri as a kid.
  • A Himalayan Salt Plate for cooking and bar-b-queing. My dad loves to cook and is a master at it, but already has all the pots and pans and knives he needs. This gave me something I could give to him that was new and interesting and expanded his cooking style. I’m looking forward to whatever he makes with it!

A salt plate with a serving tray and cook book sit on the coffee table after being opened as a gift on Christmas.

For the world-conscious, give-backers that rule the world:

These were other stumble-on miracles that I found that managed to combine duel interests into one perfect gift.

  • For my best friend’s sister, the green-thumb guru: a K-Cup Recycling Tool. Keurig pods can’t be recycled unless the top is separated from the bottom, which requires a nifty tool like this (which is relevant because she uses a Keurig for her morning coffee). Bonus points: the coffee grounds make great compost for her many many house plants.
  • For the friends and sister + brother-in-law that have a rescue pup(s): coffee is a great gift, but coffee that gives back is even better. Grounds and Hounds donates a portion of their profits to animal shelters and rescues, which I’m all about. This way, I was able to include the doggos in the gift without adding yet another squeaker toy to the over-flowing collection.

For everyone else, they are coffee mugs:

Simple, versatile, useful, necessary, and you can never have enough. Mugs are a great way to spread the love without emptying your wallet.

  • For the dog-lover stuck in a house with two cat ladies: a mug covered in cartoon pups. He needed a mug of his own that didn’t read “crazy cat lady” or “how do you like me meow?”
  • For the sassy, silly, YOLO AF bestie: a mug sporting the life motto of “no regerts”.
  • For the football-loving brother-in-law that married a Colorado native: some orange and blue Broncos pride on a mug. That he received while wearing a Steeler’s jersey. Welcome to the family, bro.

Related Reading: 5 DIY Christmas Gifts for the Office

What was your Christmas gift win this year? Tell me in the comments!

January 2, 2018
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Creating a Bullet Journal

Posted in Lifestyle by

bullet journal

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, we will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. 

 

About a year ago, I noticed my coworker writing and doodling in a journal. I figured this was just a planner (she was planning her wedding so I figured it was specific to that). However, when I walked to her desk and asked what she was doing, she said it was her Bullet Journal. She opened it and showed me all of her different pages she had created. She had a section for her wedding, a monthly and weekly calendar, a page with all her usernames and passwords and a page with all her bills, how much each was and when they were due. Each topic was in a different color ink to help her stay organized. That day after work, I set out to buy my own.

 

What is Bullet Journaling?

Bullet Journaling is like having a journal, a planner, a budget sheet and everything else crammed into one location. Each Bullet Journal is specific to your needs. There are a lot of ideas on how to Bullet Journal on Pinterest.

 

Where do I start?

TUL Bullet Journal Leather 6 3/4" x 8 3/4"I chose to make my Bullet Journal the way my coworker had, but in the smaller size. My journal is made by a company called, TUL. I bought a TUL Journal because they make all the accessories for the journal as well (inserts, pens, dividers, rulers etc.). What I like about TUL is that I can move the sheets of paper around at any time, and the sheets are thick enough for pen not to bleed through. I bought graphing and lined paper for mine so I could draw calendars on a scale and have paper to write on like a journal. Mine is a  leather, junior size (6.75″ x 8.75″), but there are less expensive journals by TUL for purchase as well. I like the junior size because it’s an excellent travel size (it can fit in my purse perfectly). I bought the leather because there are inside pockets on the front cover, and the material is durable and will last a long time.

 

 

Content

I started off by making a cover page. I put a quote that I liked from the internet and tried to make the page look pretty, because this page will always be the first thing I see when I open the journal. When I looked up information on Bullet Journaling, I found several resources that gave me insight on what to include in my bullet journal. The main sections I have in mine are a: Future Log, Monthly Log, Bill Breakdown, Budget Graph, Passwords Page and a section for journaling. I originally inserted an Index and started to number pages. Now that I’ve had my journal for about a year, I never use it, so I jump right into my Future Log.

 

Future Log

This is the section where I can have a bird’s eye view of the entire year. This is where I can write in holidays, birthdays or major events in this section and use it as an outline for the monthly log.

future log bullet journal

Here is a shot of my 2018 calendar. When I write in my events, I’ll use different colored ink for events. Then, I’ll use that same color to make a box around the date on the calendar at the top of the page.

 

Monthly Log

montlhy picture bullet journalNext, I make a calendar for each month. I usually draw in a picture with a quote on the front page, just to announce the month with some fun. I usually chose a holiday or event that happens within the month. For example, August I put a picture of the solar eclipse, and March I put a “lucky” quote.

The monthly helps me so I can write in more details on what is happening each day of monthly log bullet journalthe month. I write in vacations, birthdays, holidays and events. I also write in when each of my bills are due and how much they are. This is also how I keep track of all my spending (how much I spend on what day). I use a different colored pen to mark whether it’s an essential living expense (bills, groceries, gas) or “fun” spending (eating out, drinks, shopping). There’s a “notes” section for lists I may need to make or for phone numbers, addresses etc.

There are dividers you can buy to put in between each month, but I just stick on different colored stickies on the edge. Each sticky has the first three letters of the month and makes it easy for me to grab and flip to that month. You can see what I’m talking about on the picture under Future Log on the left side.

Bill Breakdown

At the end of each month, on the back of the page I make a budget sheet. This way I can keep track of when my billsMonthly budget sheet bullet journal are do so I’m not late. Or if I have automatic withdrawal, I can prepare myself and make sure there’s enough money in my account. This also helps me determine how much I spend on necessary expenses vs. “fun” expenses.

 

I include my paychecks to make sure I’m not overspending each month. This helps me determine how much I can afford to put into my savings each month. The expenses will be specific to you and you can add whatever you like. However, not everyone will need this sheet, but if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, I’d highly suggest it.

yearly budget sheet bullet journalAt the end of the month, I add up my expenses and my earnings and put it on a graph. This shows me what months I overspent at just a glance. Since these pages are mobile, I move this sheet around a lot, but usually keep it in the front of my journal to remind me of my spending habits.

 

 

Passwords and Journal

The back half of my bullet journal is lined paper. I keep a page all the way at the back with my logins and password written on it. A piece of ribbon is taped to the back cover to use as a bookmark in my journal section.

 

Interested?

There are so many options for building a bullet journal. If you’re finding yourself struggling to stay organized or always stressed about money, I highly suggest starting a Bullet Journal. Do your research and look up all the possibilities for your own Bullet Journal, you won’t regret it.

 

October 31, 2017
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