I’ve always had mixed feelings about valentine’s day. I think a lot of us can agree that the commercialization side of it all can get a bit much. But, a day dedicated to love... that's a little hard to hate.
As a kid, valentine’s day meant going shopping with my mom and picking out the perfect set of cards for my class. My mom would sit and watch me write the names of all the kids in my class, and it became a tiny little tradition of ours I looked forward to.
In all honesty, I had scheduled this post to go live sometime last week. When I realized I was way behind schedule I almost convinced myself not to post it. How silly right? Valentine's day may have inspired me to put this post together, but finding little ways to share love shouldn't be something you schedule in for a specific day. Whether you are someone who is gung-ho about v-day celebrations or someone who could care less, I hope this post inspires you to find new ways to have fun with the people ya love!
PUT TOGETHER A SNACK PACK FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE
I had a student in my kindergarten class named Ollie. He always had these adorable homemade bento box snacks. I think he even caught me eyeing them a few times because he’d always say “Ms. K! You look a little hungry, want some?” My kindies were the ones to teach me the true importance of a healthy snack and how instantly it can lift your spirits. My mom packs my lunches and it's always the greatest when she throws in a few snacks that I can munch on throughout the day. All you need is a container like this and a few things you already have in your kitchen.
S/O to J for this super tasty treat. The man clearly knows the way to my heart 😍 PS - Crispy M&Ms are the greatest
HOST A FUN LITTLE DIY PARTY
If you and a few of your friends enjoy doing DIYs why not invite a few of them over and do crafty things in the company of one each other? Grab some wine, put on a movie, and pick some cute projects you can all try together. I shared Oh Joy!: 60 Ways to Create & Give Joy, on my holiday gift guide. Oh Happy Day! is another great resource for artsy projects and DIY party essentials for upcoming events you're in charge of. You can even garbage bag your living room, buy a few canvases and throw yourselves a way cheaper version of a paint night.
FIND CHEAP PLACES TO EAT IN YOUR AREA
Jay and I love trying new and affordable places to eat. Eating out definitely adds up, and some of my go-to spots are hidden gems in my local area that are easy on the wallet. I’m planning a more in depth post of other spots in the GTA that I think are worth sharing with all of you, so be sure to follow my NK Favourites series to find out exactly what those places are. For now, here are a few affordable places to eat in Scarborough. I've linked their addresses below.
Fresh Dumplings are the way to my heart and Dumpling Restaurant is my fix. They might not offer the greatest customer service, but they sure know what they're doing in the dumpling department.
Pho is a comfort food of mine that doesn't leave me feeling guilty. My current go-to is Vietnam Noodle Star.
Allen's Pastry is a pastry shop that is near and dear to my heart. It's a family owned business, run by the sweetest of people. I lived in North York when I was younger, and went to junior high near their North York location. Their Jamaican patties instantly make me nostalgic. A few years ago, I found out they also had a Scarborough location and was over the moon! Allen doesn't know it yet, but I'm totally having their jamaican patties at my wedding lol (no word of a lie). Everyone needs to try them!!!
EXPLORE A LOCAL AREA YOU'VE NEVER BEEN TO
When you've been unemployed for a few months, you start to realize that you can’t spend money on dates as often as you once did. Some of life’s greatest adventure comes from unplugging from your phone and being present in the environment around you. If we all had the luxury of booking a trip and getting on the next flight outta here, we'd all do just that. Adventure doesn’t need to be costly, it also doesn’t have to be halfway around the world. I guarantee there are places you haven’t ventured off into in your own city (or neighbourhood for that matter). Go on a walk, get lost, create a new memory.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own place, invite someone over for a team cooking session. I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous post but some of my happiest moments with J have been when we've cooked together (aka Jay cooks and Nero washes the dishes #teamwork). You can cook an old favourite or try a new recipe!
Giant kitchen islands are everything and I hope to be lucky enough to have one in my future home. I can't stop staring at this gorgeous kitchen I stumbled across on Pinterest (original photo from Home Stratosphere).
A 24 year old Canadian living (& teaching) in Shenzhen, China.