Summary of "The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons on Mischief Farm" by Hilarie Burton Morgan

The Rural Diaries is Hilarie's memoir, which tells the story of her life from the moment she left the cult classic teen drama, One Tree Hill, in her mid-twenties. Feeling lost and desperate to find the bigger purpose of her life, Hilarie plans to move to Paris to do some soul-searching. However, days before she's supposed to leave the country, Hilarie meets her now-husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. For those of you who don't know, we're talking about the beloved Denny Duquette from Grey's Anatomy.

The memoir goes on to unpack the beginning of their life together: raising their first child while operating on a long-distance basis due to both actors shooting roles all over the country, and the strain that put on their young relationship and journey into parenthood. Despite the difficult challenges they faced, Hilarie and Jeff were determined to make their relationship work—the glue that kept them together ended up being a small cabin in Rhinebeck, New York.

While continuing their careers in the film industry, Hilarie and Jeff found a passion for a simple life in their newfound community, which welcomed them with open arms—a stark contrast to life in Los Angeles, Hilarie frequently notes. Hilarie took on the renovation of their cabin, in which she fondly recalls doing various DIY projects as a kid and teen with her family in her childhood home. Hilarie balances home renovation, being a new mother to her son, Gus, and continuing her work as an actress between it all.

After cultivating a deep love for taking care of their cabin and the land it lives on, Hilarie and Jeff decide to look for a farm of their own. The pair both have familial roots to farm life, recalling days spent in vast fields with friendly livestock at family members' farms. With the help of many new friends in their local community, they find their forever home: Mischief Farm, named after the aged graves of cats Mischief One and Mischief Two on the farm's property.

Hilarie spends her time figuring out all aspects of homesteading, caring for various farm animals, teaching her son about life by using real-world examples from their farm, and bonding with community members while Jeff is away on acting jobs. She successfully remodels their new home, plants flower and produce gardens, raises chickens, cares for llamas, and teaches her son to appreciate it all.

After the small family settles into their new routine and becomes ingrained in the Rhinebeck community, tragedy shakes the town: their beloved friend and candy-shop owner, Ira, suddenly passes away. Ira and his shop, Samuel's, are town institutions, and it comes to light that Samuel's had been in deep financial trouble for some time. As such a beloved and revered friend to everyone in town, Ira was able to keep his shop afloat on the graces of good friendship and many favors.

However, now that he was gone, the shop was in jeopardy. Hilarie, Jeff, and a few other community members, including actor Paul Rudd and his wife, Julie, purchased and fixed up the shop to keep Ira's memory and life's work alive.

Although her hands are full with being a farm owner, a business partner, a mother, and a wife in an often long-distance relationship, Hilarie is ready to expand her family and have another child. This ends up being an arduous five-year journey for her and Jeff, in which they suffer three back-to-back miscarriages that plunge Hilarie into depression.

In need of a distraction, Hilarie learns about Astor, a home for intensely abused children that has been in Rhinebeck for years, but few speak of. Some of her friends and fellow community members are on a mission to renovate the extremely deteriorated dorms in the building, and Hilarie decides to get involved as well.

Combining her love for theater and acting with her experience in DIYs and renovation, Hilarie, Jeff, the Rudds, and other community members band together to plan a ghost storytelling event to raise funds for the project, and afterward, they partner with various businesses to renovate Astor. The overwhelming gratitude from the children of Astor paired with the new community she finds in the volunteer group save Hilarie from the grief of her struggle to become and stay pregnant.

The memoir nears an end with a miracle: the pregnancy and birth of Hilarie and Jeff's daughter, George. In the midst of George coming into the world, the #MeToo movement kicks off—a movement that Hilarie has a role in, as she was groped by Ben Affleck on TRL and suffered years of sexual misconduct on the set of One Tree Hill by its creator, Mark Schwahn. Afraid to speak out after so many years, Hilarie finds strength in her soon-to-be-born daughter, determined to do what she can to ensure George never has to endure the same unacceptable and horrific abuse.

Throughout the memoir, Hilarie recollects the ups and downs of she and Jeff's ten-year relationship, the joy farming and homesteading has brought both of them, her vast love for her children, how intensely grateful she is to have found their community in Rhinebeck, and how, although her dream as a child was to become an actress, her real dream come true has been owning Mischief Farm with her soulmate and their two miracle babies.

Personal Thoughts & Feelings on the Memoir

I picked up this book because I've long-loved Hilarie, who starred as Peyton Sawyer in one of my favorite tv shows, One Tree Hill. I found myself in complete and total awe of her for so vulnerably and honestly sharing her life's story.

Through her memoir, Hilarie has inspired me to find my own way in homesteading, gardening, renovating, and DIYing within my future home. She's strengthened my deep desire to find a community that Tyler and I fit into. Hilarie's journey into small town living has made me more thoughtful as to where we should purchase our first home. I feel obligated and inspired to do more volunteer work, knowing that it will benefit both the organization / individual in need as well as myself. Hilarie has made me look forward to becoming a mother, and has made me feel immensely grateful and respectful of whatever that journey will look like for me. She's also further ingrained the idea that while lasting relationships take work, they're very, very well worth the effort you put into them.

All in all, I feel humbled to be a witness to Hilarie's life story, and I deeply appreciate how raw, honest, inspirational, and down-to-earth she is. I can't recommend her memoir enough to anyone looking for a moving story and a great read.
If you've been following me through the blog or my Instagram for any length of time, you probably know that I love makeup. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement finally getting the attention it deserves from non-Black folks ( including myself, which I'm not proud of ), I was curious as to how many Black-owned makeup products I own. My gut told me not very many, and I was extremely disappointed to find out just how few are in my very large makeup collection.

I went through my vanity and pulled out every Black-owned makeup product in my collection. I then counted every single makeup product I own. I’m ashamed at the tally: out of the 387 makeup products I own ( I know it's a lot, but it's what I collect ), only 12 are from Black-owned brands. What’s even more shameful is that the 12 products all come from just three brands: Pat McGrath Labs, Fenty Beauty, and Ace Beauté.

Taking advice from Black people as far as practicing good allyship goes, I wanted to self-reflect on why I don’t own makeup from very many Black-owned brands. The first thing that came to mind is the notion that Black-owned makeup isn’t for me as a White person. I sensed the covert racist tone of that idea and felt more shame and discomfort. Black makeup lovers purchase and use products from White-owned brands, so why should I shy away from Black-owned brands? Even further, I SHOULD BE supporting Black-owned brands to help uplift Black people, their businesses, their livelihoods, and to encourage my White counterparts to do the same.

Unlearning racism all the way down to its most subtle forms is definitely a process, as is becoming a better ally—while I have always been repulsed by racism, I can’t say that I’ve ever used my voice to this extent before the murder of George Floyd. I made a vow to myself that I will be the best ally I can be in every way going forward, so in regards to makeup, I’ve vowed to actively pursue Black-owned brands in my future purchases. I’ve also reached out to BoxyCharm and FabFitFun via Instagram DMs and email requesting that they incorporate more Black-owned products in their subscription boxes, as the majority of my “shopping” lies in my subscriptions with them.

Non-Black people, especially White people, have a lot of learning and unlearning to do. Like I said above, racism has never made sense to me and it's always disgusted & angered me, but after this past week, I've come to learn and realize that racism runs deeper than we think, and White-dominated society ingrains all non-Black folks to believe implicit biases regarding the Black community. I'm doing my part to learn about these biases, how they came to be ingrained in White society, and what I need to do to dismantle those stereotypical beliefs.

If you enjoy makeup to any extent, I encourage you to peruse your own makeup collection as far as your support of Black-owned brands goes. It was a really eye-opening “activity” for me, and it’s lit a fire in me to consciously support more Black-owned brands from here on out.

Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below, and to recommend any Black-owned brands, regardless of industry. If you don't have anything kind and respectful to say, I politely ask that you keep your thoughts to yourself. And remember, BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Hello, my wonderful blog friends!

It's been awhile—since March 14, if we're being exact. Just three days after I wrote my last blog post, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the United States, and I went MIA from both the blog and social media for a few weeks—months, if we're talking about the blog.

I began working remotely on March 17, as my organization closed its doors to the public in an effort to do our part in combatting & controlling the coronavirus pandemic. My husband, Tyler, a Type I diabetic who also has asthma, was working six-day weeks at Kroger in his management position. Deemed an essential worker despite his pre-existing health conditions making him a high-risk individual in terms of contracting COVID-19, I was riddled with anxiety every second he was at work. Once home, I would all but make him bathe in hand sanitizer while I disinfected every light switch and doorknob as if our lives depended on it—eerily enough, they kind of did.

After two or three weeks of him continuing to work as an essential employee on the very frontlines of the pandemic ( for a company that openly tries to neglect & take advantage of its employees during said global pandemic, then gaslights them when the employees call out the company—that's a whole other post about how Kroger is a horribly toxic company to work for ), we decided enough was enough. Tyler quit his job at Kroger, and we moved from my beloved college town of Bloomington, IN to a suburb of Indianapolis, IN.

By April 17, in the midst of the coronavirus, we were relocated to the Indy-area. I've continued to work remotely for the Y, and Tyler started an administration job at Skjodt-Barrett, a factory that makes baby food for a variety of household brands.

Then May came around.

Just when states across the country began re-opening in the wake of the coronavirus, devastating acts of racial injustice demanded our attention: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were all brutally & unjustifiably murdered by racist police & white supremacist civilians. Although Ahmaud's & Breonna's deaths took place in February & March, their stories weren't truly digested by the public until George Floyd's murder on May 25.

In the days following George's murder, the Black Lives Matter ( BLM ) movement finally gained the significant traction and attention it deserves from non-Black folks, I've begun to more fully grasp the harsh reality that Black people face every day; I've begun to truly open my ears and listen, albeit much later than I should have. Racism is alive & well in America, and it has been since the first Indigenous peoples were slaughtered by European immigrants who sought the newly discovered North American land, and the first African peoples were kidnapped from their tribes to be subjugated and horrifically abused by White people for centuries—to this very day, only in a more covert manner.

The heartbreaking stories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery seem to have persuaded an unprecedented amount of White people to face the fact that racism, sneaky and manipulative as it may be, is still extremely prevalent. We're finally realizing the scope of which we've turned our blind eyes and buried our heads in the sand for far too many years. We're learning the magnitude to which our white silence has harmed the Black community while we ignorantly questioned how racism could still exist in 2020 and claimed that "All Lives Matter."

Since George Floyd's murder, I've spent my days on social media pouring over protests and unprovoked police brutality and riots and the shameful, non-existent leadership from our government at every level and anti-racism resources and petitions to sign and where to educate myself about Black American history and how to help bring justice to the far too many Black names we know from their unjustified & unresolved murders and how to keep the conversation going from here on out. It's devastating & overwhelming, and it's a mere fraction of what Black people feel every single day. This is their entire life, and it has been for centuries.

So here we are now, ( hopefully ) awake & aware of our necessity to listen, learn, and leverage long-lasting, meaningful systematic & societal change. I intend to start writing regularly again, and I want to initiate my return by using my white privilege, my white voice, to help bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement by uplifting Black voices and sharing what I've learned & will continue to learn, as well as how / where I learned it.

I hope you're paying attention to current events in our country ( and across the globe; this goes beyond just the US ), and I hope you're using your voice to make it known that racism has been tolerated for far too long, as has blatant, unpunished police brutality. I will not stand for the unrelenting abuse the Black community has suffered any longer because Black Lives Matter, and the world is 401 years late to treating them like they do.

Photo by Christine T. Nguyen

For more information on how you can bring justice to George, Breonna, Ahmaud, and several other brutalized Black people, visit this website. You'll find petitions to sign, numbers to call, emails and addresses to write to, organizations to donate to, protest information, resources to help educate yourself, and more.

If you want to be in-the-know now about what's happening in the US at protests and within the BLM movement, as well as how you can unlearn racism, support the Black community, and become a strong ally, check out my Instagram: @_alyssakdavis. I've been sharing content directly from Black creators / organizations / people on my stories as far as the discussion around racism, white supremacy, white privilege, and the BLM movement goes, as well as news / current events / daily updates.

Posts you can look out for soon: amazing Black creators / celebrities / activists / people to follow on Instagram, resources I've used to educate myself about Black American history and racism in America, and why we need to actively support more Black-owned brands.
Keeping up with healthy habits is really important to me, especially when it comes to my mental health. While a lot of the habits I practice are great for my physical health as well, my mental health suffers the most if I fall off the wagon with any of them.

I'm a Capricorn, so I like my routines, I like having structure, and I like to be organized. Practicing healthy habits makes me feel like I have my shit together, which makes me feel like I'm successfully adulting. These healthy habits definitely aren't the end-all-be-all of having it together, though, so stay tuned for a post on healthy habits that I want to practice more consistently! For now, let's focus on the little wins.

Healthy habits I regularly practice:

+ Drinking lots of water. I drink water with lemon in a 24 ounce Starbucks cold cup every day, and I try to have at least three full cups throughout the day.

+ Washing my face every night. This is a non-negotiable for me, even if I'm drunk ( pretty rare ) or super tired ( much less rare ). My skin is so prone to breakouts that I just can't sacrifice washing my face before bed.

+ Doing my skincare routine each morning and night. Again, I have super sensitive, acne-prone skin. It's taken me years to figure out a skincare routine that works for me, and I stick to it 99% of the time. If I'm REALLY tired, I'll at least follow cleansing with my toner ( currently the Pixi Glow Tonic ) and my Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask all over the face.

+ Brushing my teeth twice each day. I don't know how people don't brush their teeth every day! Bad breath is my number one biggest pet peeve / gross thing that bothers me lol. Make sure you brush your tongue too!! Bad breath lingers on the tongue, people.

+ Washing my hair once or twice per week. Washing every day can strip the oils on your scalp and hair, which can cause your hair to become brittle and dry, which causes breakage and hair loss. I like two wash one-to-two times per week and use lots of dry shampoo in between.

+ Brushing my hair every morning and night + wearing it in a braid to bed. Ever since my scarring hair appointment ( not letting it go anytime soon, lmao ), I've been very dedicated to caring for my hair. To prevent tangles, breakage, and hair loss, I brush my hair every morning and every night. I also apply a hair balm to the ends ( IGK Mistress if you're curious ) and I do a simple braid tied with a silk scrunchie to protect my hair while I sleep.

+ Putting lotion on after showering. It's easy to forget that your entire body needs to be moisturized, or to be lazy and just not do it. However, I really want to look as good as Jennifer Aniston looks when I'm 50, so I'm determined to keep my skin as hydrated as possible.

+ Applying hand cream after washing my hands. Again, I want to have the hands of a 20-year-old when I'm 50, so keeping my hands moisturized is a must. Plus, I hate when my cuticles get all dry and hang-naily. Consistently moisturizing my hands prevents this!

+ Only following people on social media who make me feel positive. If following someone on social media makes you feel negative energy of any kind, unfollow them.

+ Saving money / budgeting. This is something I've had to work at to become good at, but I finally feel pretty proud of my ability to save money and budget. Financial health and responsibility is very very very important, especially if you live off of a smaller income like I do.

+ Washing my makeup sponge or Blendiful puff after each use. Again, I am Miss Acne-Prone Skin, so I wash my sponge or puff every single time I'm going to use it. The thought of the bacteria on an unwashed, makeup-caked sponge... It makes me shudder.

+ Tidying the apartment. I'm a total neat freak, so I have to tidy my apartment every day. It may not be clean as could be, but everything is in its place. I don't like piles of stuff everywhere or random things out on counters. The level of tidy drives Tyler nuts sometimes, but I can't resist the urge to pick things up and put them away!

+ Keeping up with laundry. I hate when the laundry basket gets piled up! I try to run at least one load of laundry each day so I don't have Mount Laundry living in my bedroom.

+ Making the bed every day. This is something I've more recently started doing. Something about having a crisp and freshly made bed is so soothing. It only takes two minutes to do, and it's totally worth the peace it brings!

+ Peeing after sex. I didn't know that you were supposed to do this until I was like 20 after getting a UTI ( urinary tract infection ). I want to share this info, even if it may seem obvious to some people, because not everyone knows. Pee after sex, friends! It'll help prevent UTIs and yeast infections, both of which are totally normal but are also no fun to have.

+ Telling Tyler I love him every day. Keeping our relationship healthy and strong is SO important to me, and I really believe that telling your partner you love them every day is something that seems small, but has a big impact. I tell him I love him like 23 times per day, but once or twice should do the trick (:

+ Kissing Tyler goodbye and goodnight. Every morning before we leave for work, we kiss goodbye, and every night before we go to bed, we kiss goodnight. Again, I feel like this is one of those little things that goes a long way in keeping your relationship intimate and healthy.

+ Scooping the litter boxes every other day & changing them once a week. We have four cats and three litter boxes, so they fill up pretty quickly. To avoid any bad smells or cats peeing outside of the litter boxes, I find scooping every other day and replacing the litter with a fresh batch once per week works for us.

+ Making sure the cats have fresh water and plenty of food every day. Nothing makes me feel like a bad cat mom like my cats crowding their food and water bowls because they're empty! I like to refill their water bowls with fresh water each day because by the end of a day, the water / bowls usually have a little bit of cat hair, dust bunnies, and litter in them.

+ Keeping up with annual appointments. I think it's extremely important to keep up with annual appointments—think dentist visits, yearly exams with your general physician, eye exams, and especially your OB-GYN visit. I usually just schedule mine a year in advance after each appointment, that way I don't have to worry about remembering to call a few months later.

+ Hustling in silence. Throughout my life, I've found that it's better to wait until you've achieved something to tell the world that you were working on it. You avoid any negative energy that way!

+ Manifesting my goals. I'm a big believer in putting out positive energy. The energy / thoughts / vibes you put out into the world is what you attract, so emitting positivity will help to bring positivity to you. Whenever I have a goal I want to achieve, no matter how big or small, I adapt the mindset that I will achieve it, as if it's already part of my future. I do my best to push all doubts and worries away because I don't want to sabotage myself.

Do you practice any of these healthy habits? What healthy habits do you stick to that aren't included on this list? I'd love to know; I feel so inspired by positive behaviors of others! Feel free to drop a comment below; I'll be sure to get back to you (:
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently had a super traumatizing hair appointment. I'm not going to hash out the details again because, frankly, it just makes me feel like crap, but what you need to know is I walked into the salon asking for a trim, and I walked out of the salon with about seven inches of length gone and half of my hair density thinned out. So yeah, definitely traumatizing.

It may sound silly to be so worked up over the loss of something as trivial as hair, but some people ( myself included ) have a really strong emotional attachment to their hair. This is especially true for me since I've been growing out my hair for roughly three years, and it was  f i n a l l y  the length I'd been wanting it to be for so long. I was channeling my inner Ariana everyday, living my long-haired fantasy basically.

So now here I am with hair at a length that sets me back about a year-and-a-half in the grand scheme of my hair growth journey, and I am obviously very unhappy about it. Instead of just wallowing in my sorrows, I decided to do a few things to help my hair grow quicker and to make myself feel more like myself in the meantime.

Although it made a considerable dent in my bank account and made me even more annoyed at the hair stylist and salon for being downright catty toward me, purchasing the following six items has helped to jump-start getting my long locks back. If you're wanting to achieve long, healthy hair like me, I hope you'll find this insightful / helpful. It wouldn't hurt to send the hair gods some good vibes for the both of us, either!

Professional-Grade Hair Shears

As if having inches more than I requested cut off my hair wasn't enough, my hair was not cut evenly. Around my entire head, there were strands that were noticeably longer than the rest of my hair. I decided to purchase a pair of professional-grade hair shears from Ulta because of this, and because I'm determined to teach myself how to cut my own hair.

I've been cutting Tyler's hair for a year or two now, so I feel relatively confident that I can learn how to do my own as well. Plus, I like the idea of doing Tyler's and our kids' haircuts, so I'm motivated to learn in more ways than one. I also figure that if I mess up my own hair, I can't be as upset as I would be if someone else botched the situation. Aaaand I'll know exactly what I want in my cut and have control over making it happen. Control freak, I know. I'm a Capricorn, what more can I say? (;

Dacey Cash, an influencer I follow on Instagram and YouTube, cuts and colors her own hair and has videos on how she does it, so I'm planning on learning from her.

dae Shampoo, Conditioner, and Deep Conditioning Treatment

I wanted to invest in a new set of shampoo and conditioner because I felt like I didn't love any of the shampoos or conditioners I've been using... Like ever. Some were good, don't get me wrong, but nothing was doing exactly what I needed it to do. My biggest issues were that my scalp wasn't getting clean enough, but it was also really dry and itchy, and my hair was tangly beyond belief. No matter how much conditioner I used, I would come out of the shower with knotted-up hair every single time. I'd even brush my hair out before showering in an effort to avoid the tangles, but it would rarely work. It was that bad.

When Amber Fillerup Clark, blogger, influencer, and founder / CEO of Barefoot Blonde Hair and dae Hair revealed her new shampoo, conditioner, and deep conditioning treatment, I knew I needed to try them. After my dramatic haircut experience, I wanted to do everything in my power to nurse my hair back to health and to make it even healthier than it's ever been, so I decided to take the plunge and buy the dae trio set.

When I tell you that Amber has perfected shampoo and conditioner, I want you to know that I mean it with every ounce of my being. From the branding and packaging to the unbelievable citrus scents to the texture of each product to the way that they TRULY work... I don't see myself ever using another shampoo or conditioner ever again. My hair has zero knots in it after using either one of the conditioners. I felt like her products were going to be good, but I was doubtful that anything could be that good.

I want to do a more in-depth piece about Amber and her two brands, so I'll cut myself off here and spare you even more details. Keep an eye out for a deep dive + review of her products if you're into hair or want to learn more about hair-care like me.

Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum

I found this hair growth serum when I was shopping for shears on Ulta's website, and the main reason I decided to purchase it was to help revive my hair density. Like I mentioned, the stylist thinned out my hair, which I did not request. I didn't initially notice how much she had thinned it out until I put it in a ponytail a few days after the appointment, and boy did that send me into a spiral all over again. My hair feels about half as thick as it was prior to the hair appointment from hell, so I'm hoping that this serum, in combination with the rest of this list, will help to get that thickness back at a quicker rate than simply waiting for my hair to grow back on its own.

Satin Pillowcases

I've wanted to invest in silk pillowcases for a while; I just never have because they're a bit pricey, and I didn't feel the overwhelming need to buy them because I already have pillowcases that do the job just fine. However, now that I'm trying to do everything in my power to keep the hair that I do have healthy and to produce long and strong new growth, I wanted to purchase a silk pillowcase. While silk pillowcases have skincare benefits as well, they're supposed to decrease bedhead and prevent breakage as far as hair goes. I ended up going with a satin pillowcase from Ulta by a brand called Kitsch. Satin is a vegan-friendly alternative to silk, and I've been loving the pillowcase ever since I made the switch.

Halo Beauty Hair, Skin, and Nails Beauty Booster

Halo Beauty is Youtuber Tati Westbrook's supplement brand. I love Tati, and I have actually tried both the HSN and the Kiwi boosters in the past. I ultimately stopped taking them because I wasn't willing / able to pay the monthly price for the supplements, but I didn't dislike them by any means. I didn't feel like I saw a crazy difference while taking either of them, but I only took HSN for two months and Kiwi for one—it's recommended you take either one for a full three months to see results.

While I was taking HSN, I wasn't really looking for hair or nail growth / benefits; I was primarily taking them for my skin concerns. Any other benefit was a plus for me, at that time. Now that I'm wanting to grow long, strong, and healthy hair, I'm hoping to see results in that area! I will keep you posted with an update once I hit the three-month mark.

Barefoot Blonde 21" Hair Extensions

I've wanted to try hair extensions since high school, but I never have because quality extensions are not cheap. Like... really not cheap, lmao. Even though this put a cringe-worthy dent in my bank account, it seemed like the perfect time to finally take the leap and buy my first set of Barefoot Blonde extensions.

It's definitely been a learning curve for me—I'm not naturally talented in the hair department—but I can say that they're easy to put in and take out, they're EXTREMELY soft and silky, and BFB makes the color matching process really reassuring and simple by sending you free tester wefts. I also got a free hairbrush with my order, which was really cool. Again, more to come on BFB and dae soon. I've only worn the extensions once since getting them a few days ago, so I'll hopefully be able to give you a better synopsis of my experience in a few weeks!

Have y'all ever had a hair appointment go horribly wrong? I'd love to hear your stories below if so—we can commiserate with each other, LOL. Also, if you have any tips regarding hair-care or hair extensions, I'm all ears!
I was skeptical about BoxyCharm Premium at first, I'll admit it. I mean, a box full of high-end and luxury beauty products for just $35 per month? Yeah, riiiiight. Here's the thing though... I've received the premium box twice now, and I've officially been converted. BoxyCharm Premium is the best BoxyCharm subscription box, and I'm going to tell you why.

If you don't know, BoxyCharm offers three different subscription boxes:

I'm a beauty junkie, so I'll bashfully admit that I subscribe to all three boxes. Here's my thing though: I rarely ever buy makeup or skincare outside of my BoxyCharm and FabFitFun boxes. I'm getting WAY more product for WAY less money by being a beauty subscriber, and it's something that's worth it to me because it makes sense for my lifestyle. I'm going to share the products I received in my February premium box below so you can decide for yourself whether or not the premium box could be for you. You can also check out this post if you want to learn more about my experience with BoxyCharm Premium.

Below are the products I received in my February BoxyCharm Premium box, which has a total value of $310—over 12 times what I paid for it!

Literally the only product I don't like is the Faccia moisturizer. Even though it's outrageously expensive, it smells like fart putty, leaves a super sticky film on the skin, and made me break out in hives when I tested it on my arm... lmao. Everything else, I LOVE. If I had to name one favorite out of this month's premium box, it would be the Hourglass blush. I've been dying to try Hourglass' blush / bronzer / highlighter, but their products are priced pretty steeply. Luckily, I held out and ended up receiving one in my box!

That's really the beauty of BoxyCharm: you receive products you've been wanting to try forever, along with ones you may not have heard of before, for a super discounted price. The premium box is personally my favorite BoxyCharm box because I get to try products that I'm usually not willing to splurge on at the full retail price.

For just $35, I got a blush I've been dying to try for literally years, a super nice flat iron that doubles as a curling iron due to its curved design, a yummy & luxurious body butter, a face mist I've also been wanting to try for ages, a light, hydrating primer that's good but didn't blow me away, and a super freaking expensive moisturizer that smells like a seven-year-old's fingers. All for $35. What a dream.

I'm going to end this post here in an effort to keep things short; I feel like these Boxy reviews and FabFitFun reviews can get a little long-winded sometimes. If you have any questions about BoxyCharm Premium or any of the products I received, you can always ask in the comments below! I'd love to carry on the conversation with you (:

Are you a BoxyCharm Premium subbie? If so, what did you get in your box this month? What were your favorite and least favorite products? LMK in the comments!
I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Every few months, I'm hit with a batch of the blues—a period of time where I feel very low energy and very unmotivated to do a whole lot outside of what I absolutely have to do. I reeeeally dislike when I find myself falling into a funk because my creativity goes stagnant, my desire to write for the blog or post on Instagram becomes non-existent, I don't feel like leaving the house outside of going to work, I can't bring myself to spend the time to do my makeup, and overall, I just feel like a useless potato. If you're ever wondering why I haven't posted on here or on Instagram in a while, chances are I'm in a funk.

I don't push myself too hard when I'm feeling down because it generally makes me feel worse, but when I'm feeling up to it, I like to do the following seven things. There may be some days that I just do one thing on this list, some days that I do a few things, and some days that I do all of the things. It really just depends on the day. I wanted to share these seven ways to get out of a funk in case any of you can relate and are looking for feasible ways to truly feel better. I really hope you find them helpful and applicable to your life, and I very much hope they bring you sunnier days. We got this. (:

Talk ( and maybe cry a little ) about it

For me, talking about things that are bothering me makes me feel better. If I don't expel my negative thoughts and feelings, they build up and swirl around in my brain, so much so that it's basically all I can think about. Talking about why I'm in a funk allows me to purge the feelings, which releases a huge weight within me. I don't need a solution or someone to fix the situation for me; I just need to talk about it so it's released from my brain. Crying helps sometimes too, so don't be afraid to get a little leaky. (:

Do one thing that makes you feel productive

It's really hard for me to do much of anything when I'm in a funk, which makes me feel like a lazy POS. If you're like me, you know it's a matter of lack of mental energy rather than pure laziness. I'm very well aware of this while I'm in a funk, so I try to push myself to do at least one thing per day that makes me feel good and productive. That could include writing a blog post, doing my makeup, sketching, styling my hair, doing a chore, etc. Basically something that makes me feel like I did more than just go to work and come home to watch TV for the remainder of the day, yknow?

Take a walk

It's amazing what a little fresh air and movement can do for the body and brain. This one is a little more difficult in the winter if you live in the Midwest or the northern portion of the country like I do, but with spring around the corner, I'm setting a goal to take a daily walk after dinner. Even if it's just a 10-minute stroll around the block, I know it will make me feel so much lighter and happier.

Play music

Music makes me SO happy. I have so many Spotify playlists, it's ridiculous. Listening to music almost always makes me feel better. I love to sing, even though I can't carry much of a tune. ( Fun fact: if I could wish to have one talent, it would be to sing beautifully. ) Some of my favorite artists at the moment are Ariana Grande, Mac Miller, and Halsey. You can check out my Spotify, although it's no where near complete, here.

Listen to a podcast

I love podcasts. I love to listen to them when I'm doing mindless activities like chores, exercising, painting my nails, etc. They're an easy way to learn about all kinds of things without having to commit your attention to reading or watching something. Podcasts make me feel good because learning makes me feel good. There are SO many out there that a. it's a little overwhelming and b. there's bound to be one that fits your interests. My personal favorite podcasts are The Skinny Confidential Him & Her with Lauryn & Michael Bosstick and approachable with Samantha Ravndahl and Alyssa Anderson.

Have some cuddles

If I'm feeling so down that none of the above are appealing options, snuggling with my four cats and / or my husband makes me feel better. Sometimes you just need nonverbal, nonsexual physical love when you're feeling down. If you don't have a pet or a significant other, try leaning on a best friend, a family member, or a friend's pet. You could even visit your local animal shelter and snuggle some of the fur angels there—you'd be making your day and theirs.

Focus on the good

Sometimes I just need to focus on all of the good things in my life, regardless of how small or "normal" they may seem. I have an incredible husband. I have four loving pets. I have a beautiful apartment that I love. I have friends and family who care about me. I'm have very little health problems. I have a nice car that gets me where I need to go. I have a higher-education degree and a job that I love. I can walk. I can breathe. I'm alive. These things can seem so mundane when we get caught up in the day-to-day routine, but all of the above are things that some people would kill to have or to be able to do. Rather than feeling bad about that, bask in the miracle of being fortunate enough to have and do these "basic" things that we often just don't think about.

What do you do to get out of a funk? Feel free to share any tactics that I didn't list in the comments below
The theme for BoxyCharm's February 2020 boxes is "Adore," and boy do I adore both my regular and premium boxes. Insert corny drum roll; I couldn't resist. We'll save the premium box for another post—today, I want to talk about how amazing the regular / standard BoxyCharm box is.

Priced at $25 for monthly-paying subscribers, the February box totally blew me out of the water. Even though there was one product in my box that I didn't like, the other four products were big winners for me. In total, my February BoxyCharm regular box holds a value of $196, which is nearly eight-times what I paid for the box! I truly don't know how BoxyCharm does it, but I am so here for it. Here's a quick breakdown of each product I received and my experience using them:

Kate Somerville - Kx Active Concentrates Bio-Mimicking Peptides Serum

Retail Price: $98

Product Claims:
"Kate specially formulated this highly active concentrate to transform dull, sagging skin into visibly firmer, smoother, refreshed-looking skin. After just one week, 97% of women reported their skin appeared visibly tighter.

+ Visibly improve skin firmness and elasticity
+ Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
+ Smooth and revitalize skin
+ Provide instant moisturization"

Personal Thoughts:
I love Kate Somerville products; her brand is one of my favorites in terms of skincare. I've only been using this serum for a few days now, so I don't have a ton to say about it. What I can say is it isn't breaking me out, which a lot of products tend to do, so that's a major plus for me. I also really like the jelly-like consistency of the serum and how quickly it sinks into the skin. I haven't noticed anything yet as far as firmness or fewer fine lines, but I have noticed the "instant moisturization" factor. Let me know in the comments if you want an update after I've been using this serum for a little while longer!

Alamar Cosmetics Complexion Brush Trio

Retail Price: $36

Product Claims:
"This three-piece brush set is made of vegan, synthetic fibers. Perfect for creams and powders, these can be used for blush, bronzing, or brightening."

Personal Thoughts:
I also really love Alamar as a brand. I feel like I have a more personal connection to Alamar and Gaby, the brand owner, because I've been watching Kathleen Lights on YouTube for so long. If you don't know, Kathleen and Gaby are best friends, and Gaby does Kathleen's makeup for almost every product campaign Kathleen launches. Anyways, back to the brushes!

These complexion brushes are really, really nice. The bristles are super soft, and I LOVE the brush handle design. The blush brush is pretty standard, but I thought the bronzer and brightening brushes were a bit more uniquely-shaped. They all worked fantastically for me. I'd highly recommend any product from Alamar; I own several and love them all! Plus, few things are better than supporting a woman-owned business (:

Ciaté London Extraordinary Translucent Setting Powder

Retail Price: $22

Product Claims:
"Lock in makeup for long-lasting wear with Ciaté London's Extraordinary Translucent Setting Powder. Finely milled for lightweight application and ultra-blendability, smooth this powder over concealer and finished makeup looks for a crease-free soft-focus finish—plus there's no flashback."

Personal Thoughts:
My first impression of this powder is that it smells amazing—just like coconuts, but soooo subtle. As far as how the powder performs, it's a winner. It has a super-fine powdered sugar consistency, so it goes on really flawlessly. I did notice that the powder seemed to lighten my skin just a liiiiiittle bit upon application, but I couldn't really tell once my makeup was finished. The component totally sucks though; it gets powder everywhere. I prefer to have some kind of cap / seal for the powder holes in a loose powder component, but oh well. Overall, I like it and will continue to use it!

Pretty Vulgar Faux Reals Extreme Volume and Lengthening Mascara

Retail Price: $23

Product Claims:
"Faux Reals Extreme Volume and Lengthening Mascara instantly increases fullness and delivers long, luscious lashes from root-to-tip with just one swipe. Delivering a flake-free and smudge-proof finish, the creamy texture allows it to glide on smoothly, creating an intense black, false-lash effect that is so dramatic and long-lasting, you'll forget they're all yours!"

Personal Thoughts:
I had previously received a sample of this mascara at some point, and I fell in love with it then, so I was really happy to see the full-sized product in my box. It's one of the best volumizing and lengthening and super black mascaras that I've tried. The formula is really creamy, but it also dries pretty quickly, so you can really build up the volume and length of your lashes while avoiding clumps. No complaints here!

Qveen Matte Liquid Lip Satin — Wifey

Retail Price: $17

Product Claims:
"The Matte Liquid Lip Satin is a color-rich formula designed to condition your lips continuously during use. This ultra-light long-lasting creamy matte finish will keep your pout looking vibrant long after application."

Personal Thoughts:
I'm not a huge fan of matte liquid lipsticks, and I'm also not a huge fan of this shade in particular. It's a bit of a flop for me, but Qveen's website has 12 five-star reviews for this product, so if you're into liquid lipsticks, maybe give this one a go.

What did you get in your regular BoxyCharm box this February? Did you think the products were worth the subscription price? Let me know in the comments (:

Winter is the time of year that I struggle most with what to wear to work. If I'm being totally honest, all I want to do after dragging myself out of my warm bed at an ungodly hour is throw on a pair of cozy sweats and call it a day. Obviously if you work in an office setting, sweats aren't appropriate. To make dressing for work as easy as possible on a cold winter morning, I've added a few staple items to my closet over the years that make it easier to pull off a fashionable look while still keeping things comfortable.

Think of this post as a guideline for your winter office style—you don't need the exact, identical items to pull off these looks. Try to find the basic pieces ( a blanket scarf, a chunky sweater, a great pair of black jeans, etc. ) and make them your own by choosing a pattern or color that suits your personality and style. I'll let you guys know where I got each piece, but some of them have been in my collection for a while and therefore are not available anymore. All the more reason to let this serve as an "outline" for your winter work closet!

Outfit Details:

  • Black denim joggers from Vici 
  • Lightweight cream-colored "Au Revoir" sweater from Vici
  • Tan teddy coat from Vici
  • Olive green platform slides from Nordstrom
  • Chunky gold link necklace from Target
  • Black baker boy hat from FabFitFun

Outfit Details:

  • Black raw-hem skinny jeans from Vici
  • Olive green long-sleeve tee from Vici
  • Ultra-soft gray cardigan from Vici
  • Chunky cream infinity scarf from Vici ( can you tell where I like to shop?? )
  • Casual white sneaks from Just Fab

Outfit Details:

  • Black skinny jeans from American Eagle
  • Chunky patterned sweater from Vici
  • Reversible cheetah-print scarf from Vici
  • Tan platform sneaks from Vici

Outfit Details:

  • Light tan linen trousers from Q
  • Mustard yellow baby tee from Urban Outfitters
  • Ultra-soft gray cardigan from Vici ( have I convinced you to show there yet? LOL )
  • Blush pink slides from Steve Madden

Outfit Details:

  • Mustard yellow slacks from Just Fab
  • Lightweight oatmeal-colored turtleneck sweater from Vici
  • Reversible cheetah-print scarf from Vici
  • Tan chunky-heeled booties from Just Fab
  • Green puff statement earrings from Target

What are your office attire staples? Where do you like to shop for workplace clothing? Let me know in the comments!
    Whenever a holiday comes around, guys always talk about how hard it is to shop for the woman in their life. While some of us are a little more specific than others, we really aren't that hard to please. The thought and intention behind a gift often means more to us than the gift itself; in fact, some of us don't even need a tangible gift to be over-the-moon happy. If you're confused by this, no worries—we're going to break it down in this Valentine's Day gift guide.

    From the classic flowers & chocolate to some more out-of-the box suggestions, this is my Valentine's Day gift guide for the Chrissy to your John, the Portia to your Ellen, the Nikkie to your Dylan. Feel free to send the link to any lost & confused boyfriends / fiancés / husbands; they'll probably need it. (;

    Also, if you're looking for a Valentine's Day gift guide for the guy in your life, you can find it here. 

    Also, also: girlfriends / fiancés / wives will furthermore be referred to as GFWs so I don't have to repeat the whole thing a bajillion times and you don't have to reread the whole thing a bajillion times. Kinda like that. * insert bad drum roll * On to the Valentine's Day things!

    A year-long subscription to FabFitFun or BoxyCharm

    This may sound dramatic, but the pure joy I feel every time I receive my FabFitFun and BoxyCharm subscription boxes in the mail... it's the next best thing to being a little kid on Christmas morning. If your GFW loves beauty / makeup / home decor / style / wellness / skincare, she'll more than likely love a subscription to one of these amazing services.

    Concert tickets

    I listen to music of all kinds, and I would love to go see one of my favorite artists live with Tyler. If your GFW loves music and you enjoy having experiences together, surprising her with concert tickets is a great gift idea. The memory will last longer and be more meaningful than some tangible gifts would be, which is something to consider if you want to give a more sentimental gift.

    A painting from @kendallkyra on Instagram

    I LOVE this woman's art. I'm dying to create a gallery wall of her paintings in my future home. If your GFW is into pop culture and / or art, she might be as into @kendallkyra's art as I am. I particularly love this painting of Lizzo, this painting of Stevie Nicks, this painting of Ariana Grande, this painting of Rihanna, and this painting of Lady Gaga. Just thought I'd throw it out there if you need a suggestion or six.

    Flowers and chocolate

    You really can't go wrong with the classic flowers and chocolate. I do have a pro-tip though: find out what your GFW's favorite flowers are, and get her some good-quality chocolate. Unless she reeeeeally loves Reese's, try to get her something from Ghirardelli or Lindor. Maybe even some chocolate covered strawberries from your local bakery.

    If you really want to take it to another level, get her some chocolate from DeBrand. They're an amazing chocolatier based in my hometown ( Fort Wayne, IN ), and they take online orders here. Best chocolate you will ever have in your entire life, no matter what you get. It's really that good.

    A hair, skin, or makeup giftset from Sephora

    Giftsets are so fun. They come in super cute packaging, and you get multiple fun things in one little box. Sephora makes shopping for gifts SO easy—they have a whole webpage dedicated to it. If your GFW has a passion for beauty, you might want to browse Sephora's selection of hair, skin, and makeup giftsets.

    Acts of service

    One of my love languages is "acts of service," and boy does it make my heart swell when Tyler goes out of his way to do something for me that, when it comes down to it, neither one of us really wants to do, but it has to be done. Acts of service are a great gift for those of you who are on a budget or simply don't like giving physical gifts. Even if you regularly split these duties with your significant other like I do, acts of service could include taking care of the laundry for a week, starting her car in the morning so it can heat up before she leaves for work, cooking for the day—anything that takes a little more of the load off of your GFW than usual.

    A Loose Linen blanket

    I like to be a cozy ass bitch at all times in my life. Even when I'm at work, I'm covered in an afghan blanket and I have a space heater pointed at me. Seriously, my coworkers will vouch for me. I'm just always cold, idk! That's why I was so happy when Loose Linen came into my life. Handmade by a woman-owned small business in Michigan, LL sells the cutest, coziest chunky knit blankets on Etsy. If your GFW is too a cozy ass bitch, get her the softest chunky blanket she'll ever own. You can even save 10% on your purchase if you use code "ALYSSA10." We love a Valentine's Day savings.

    A hair appointment on you

    One area of adulthood that I'm horrible at staying on top of is scheduling consistent hair appointments. I just can't ever find the time and / or money. If your GFW is like me, schedule her a hair appointment at her preferred salon. If she likes to color her hair, ask for a cut-and-color. If she likes to go au naturale in the hair department, schedule her a haircut and ask if they have any spa services available, like a deep-conditioning hair mask, head / neck / shoulder massage, or facial.

    Jewelry from Mejuri 

    Mejuri is my favorite jewelry retailer at the moment because they offer high-quality, modern, chic, minimalist designs at a reasonable price. If your GFW is looking to expand her jewelry collection or just particularly loves jewelry, check out Mejuri to see if their designs fit with her style and aesthetic.

    A Colourpop haul

    This one is for all the girls who love makeup as much as I do. Colourpop is my favorite cosmetics brand because their products are incredible, affordable, and "trendy." I hate that word, but I can't think of a better one to describe how "on-the-pulse" their makeup collection is.

    If your GFW is makeup-obsessed, pick out a "mystery box" of makeup to gift her for V-Day. Not only will she love the fact that her gift is makeup, but she'll also be pleasantly surprised and impressed that you took the time to curate the products for her. It might even be a fun experience for you, who knows? Don't be afraid of getting something she won't like; everything that Colourpop carries is amazing and they offer free returns. (:

    If ur big ballin'... A weekend getaway trip

    In my opinion, nothing is better than taking a trip with your significant other. That's why I included this idea on my Valentine's Day gift guide for him, too. Whether it be to the nearest big city, across the county, or across the globe, take a short trip together if you can. This year is especially good for a weekend trip, since Valentine's Day falls on a Friday.

    If you're not quite big ballin' but more so ballin' on a budget, challenge yourself to find fun activities that are free or low-cost wherever you decide to go. Think art galleries, public parks, museums, local music shows, botanical gardens, etc. If you're together in a new place, you're going to have fun no matter what you do.

    Ladies, what are you hoping for this Valentine's Day? Guys, what are you planning on getting your GFW? Let me know in the comment section!

    Figuring out what to get your boyfriend / fiancé / husband for Valentine's Day can be a challenge. I like to give Tyler unique, personal gifts because I want him to love them and know that they were thoughtfully made / picked just for him—but this makes coming up with great gift ideas even more challenging!

    With a little brainstorming, a little Pinterest surfing, and a little Google searching, I think I've come up with some really solid Valentine's Day gift ideas for the "him" in your life. T and I are actually not exchanging gifts this year because we're trying to really focus on building our savings, but I did run this gift guide by him. It's officially Tyler approved, so I feel extra confident that the following Valentine's Day gifts will lead you in the right direction. Happy shopping, lovebirds!

    Also, boyfriend / fiancé / husband will hereby be known as "BFH" for the sake of not having to repeat the whole thing a million times in this post, thankyousomuch. (:


    A new wallet

    It seems like Tyler's wallets get worn out after about a year or two, so I like to gift him a new one when the time comes. I've gotten him a few wallets throughout the years, and he's about due for another. If it weren't for me, I'm not sure he ever would get a new one.

    This may seem like a total digression, but I swear it isn't: I love watching Philip DeFranco's Philip DeFranco Show, and he has some pretty awesome sponsors that are featured. I was particularly intrigued by Ridge*, an online wallet and accessory retailer known for their slim, minimal, and durable designs. They're pretty cool imo, so I'll probably buy T's next wallet from them. He doesn't love the traditional wallet layout and is looking to try something new, and they seem like a promising option. To add an extra cute touch for V-Day, I'd fill the wallet with a photo of us and an assortment of gift cards to his favorite fast food restaurants so he can grab a quick bite for lunch or whenever he's out and about.

    *You can save 10% and get free shipping at Ridge with Phil's code "DEFRANCO." I'm all for saving money and supporting a cool person doing good things in the world, so I thought I'd share!

    A yummy cologne

    There's something really... relaxing / intoxicating / soothing? when your BFH is wearing a delicious smelling cologne. It's just makes them extra dreamy or something, you know? Cologne is one of those gifts that you can spend as much or little as you want and still come out with something great—you can ball out at Macy's and get some Bleu de Chanel... or you can save some major cash at Target and still walk out with a bomb fragrance. Don't feel like you have to spend a big figure to get your BFH a yummy scented cologne.

    A couple's massage

    This is a great gift idea if your BFH does manual labor for a living. Tyler has to stand and walk around and lift things all day without getting many chances to sit down, so his back bothers him pretty often. A couple's massage is a super thoughtful gift in terms of trying to help your BFH feel better, and it's also an experience that you can enjoy together. Every spa offers different packages—some even come with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for a lil extra special pizzazz.

    A hobby-related gift

    What are your BFH's hobbies? T loves golf, playing guitar, and Runescape, so I could get him some new golf balls, a new golf club, more golf tees, a box of guitar picks, a new guitar strap with a cool design, pre-pay the next few months of his computer game, etc. Think of something your BFH loves to do and how you can help him have an even better time doing that thing. He'll not only be super happy to receive a gift relating to one of his favorite things, but he'll also be happy to have your support of him doing that thing.

    A car-care package

    I don't know about y'all, but my husband's car can get a little grimy. Love him, but it's true. Guys just like to do stuff on the go—Tyler eats breakfast in his car, he has sticky drinks like coffee and energy drinks, he keeps spare jackets and hats in his backseat, he totes around his golf bag & shoes and tackle boxes & fishing poles, there always seems to be at least two fast food bags full of wrappers of lunches past—you get what I'm saying.

    You can treat both him and yourself by curating a car-care package. I would get a small-ish bin ( something cute but functional ) to put everything in, which can double as either a storage container or trash receptacle. I would fill it with things like:

    • Air fresheners
    • Car cleaning wipes
    • A trunk organizer / storage bin
    • A box of granola bars
    • A travel mug
    • Some hand sanitizer
    • Chapstick ( specifically Burt's Bees Medicated, T's fave )
    • Maybe a pair of warm gloves since it's winter
    • A hand balm ( Tyler's hands get super chapped from work )
    • A few packs of gum
    • Some Slim Jims for added spice and flair
    • Etc. 

    I feel like this is a gift that you can totally make your own, and you can also make it as simple or as extravagant as you want.

    His favorite beer

    This is a great gift for when you don't have a lot of money to spend, but you still want to do something small to acknowledge your love / appreciation / gratitude for your BFH. I'll probably pick up a case of Yuengling bottles for T this V-Day, just to do a little something extra for him.

    A new watch / a new watchband for his smartwatch

    I feel like watches for men are the equivalent of jewelry for women. If you want to get him something really nice, a new watch is a great option. I came across MVMT watches thanks to a few of the bloggers I follow, and the company offers really cool designs. If Tyler didn't already have an Apple Watch, I would probably buy him a watch from MVMT. If your BFH has a smartwatch like T, no worries! Get him a new band for the watch; I personally love something like this or this.

    A grooming kit

    If your BFH has facial hair, consider getting him a new grooming kit. This can be as simple as a beard shampoo and balm, or as complex as a full blown beard kit and new electric trimmers. It depends on the length of your BFH's facial hair and how much you want to spend, but there are definitely a lot of directions you could take this gift. Combine it with a cologne, as mentioned above, and you've got a super impressive V-Day gift for him. Here I am again with the package gifts. I just love giving a good, well-rounded present, okay?

    A boudoir shoot 

    Now hold your horses before you go running for the hills. You can do a boudoir shoot that is sexy, classy, and pretty—think along the lines of a SavagexFenty lingerie shoot. You can get as wild as your heart desires with something like this, but I think it's a great spicy, intimate gift idea no matter where you decide to go with it.

    If u got the coin... A weekend getaway

    In my opinion, nothing is better than traveling with your significant other. If you can afford it, this is my number one gift suggestion. If I were able to, I think it would be so much fun to plan a V-Day weekend trip to a place that Tyler has been wanting to go and do things that he's predominantly interested in, but that we both enjoy.

    As I mentioned above, he loves golf and playing guitar, so it would be cool to go to Cleveland, OH ( it's super close, just a few hours drive ) and visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and spend a few hours at TopGolf. Because I'm a Christmas fanatic, I would insist that we stop by the A Christmas Story house, and West Side Market sounds really cool as well. Boom bam, easy, relatively affordable, and fun Valentine's Day weekend getaway.

    What are you planning on getting your BFH for V-Day? If you have other ideas that aren't on this guide, drop them in the comments below!

    the favorite

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