It’s Valentine’s Day weekend! My Instagram feed has been a pink and red barrage of flower stands around the world, and lingerie and jewelry ads are at an all time high. I also joined Pinterest this week (finally! follow me!), and was instantly inundated with Valentine’s Day everything.
I love Valentine’s Day though, whether celebrating with a boyfriend, a best friend, or alone with a sappy movie and bag of candy. Speaking of being alone on Valentine’s Day, has anyone seen How to Be Single? Is it worth paying for in theaters? Let me know! Also, no matter what your relationship status is, you can always spread the love. A couple of years ago I was in Malta on Valentine’s Day and accidentally became part of the Global Love Letter project, which was a very happy accident indeed.
Did you know Valentine’s Day isn’t only big in the US or Europe? My Farsi teacher told me in Iran it’s massive, and men go above and beyond showering their girlfriends with gifts. In Japan they have a separate day called “Beloved Wife Day” where they shout their affection. This video is one of the most endearing things you will ever see:
Articles I’m loving this week include this one on Chicago shop Flowers for Dreams hiring refugees to make Valentine’s bouquets, this guide to Chinese dumplings in honor of Chinese New Year, this one on fashion’s existential crisis, and this one from the New Yorker on how people learn to become resilient. I also enjoyed this one, on a travel journalist who married a man with no passport (my biggest fear!), and this Aziz Ansari essay on texting and modern love. Modern Love – of course, no Valentine’s Day post is complete without mention of the Modern Love column in the New York Times. I look forward to it on Sundays almost as much as I look forward to Serial on Thursdays. (Speaking of, what do you guys think of this season?)
Blog crush of the week: Elizabeth Minchilli, who I have l have loved since I lived in Rome and took her recommendations for where to eat around the city (always spot on), and who I now love because her newsletter takes me back to Italy and her recipes are easy to make. If you’re staying in this weekend, make this pretty pink gnudi for your Valentine.
Book I’m reading: East of the Sun by Julia Gregson. Only a few chapters in, but love it so far! Three young women make their way from England to India in the 1920s so one of them can marry. Exotic, beautifully written…we’ll see how the story ends up. Other books I’m thinking about this week are A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, still one of my favorite love stories; This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, a sometimes sad sometimes happy always heart tugging collection of the women he loves and loses; and Tiny, Beautiful, Things by Cheryl Strayed, a book I could read again and again for its advice on love and life. Strayed is a genius.
Travel product I’m loving: Chatbooks. These are so cool! Make books of your Instagram travel photos for only $8. Also this Kitmen Keung watch that maybe makes long distance relationships just a bit more bearable. (You can see all of my Valentine’s Day gift ideas for travelers here, though they might arrive late!)
Finally, a few of my favorite lovey dovey things:
The most heart melting movie clip of all time
This beautiful four minutes
And what still might be the greatest love song ever written
Hope you all have a very happy Valentine’s Day!
“The half-life of love is forever.”
― Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her