The Capilla Necklace, a personal favorite from Threads Worldwide, is handcrafted in Ecuador and created from Acai and Tagua seeds. The Acai beads are dyed gray and yellow then held in place with two pieces of Tagua seed. In South America, many families leave their homes to search for work in the cities. Through hand making these gorgeous necklaces, our artisan partners in Ecuador are able to earn an income without leaving their villages. This allows them to keep their families together and invest in education for their children and themselves.
Don't get me wrong, I love love, but Valentine's Day has never been especially special to me. If you love someone, you love them 365 days a year not just that one day, February 14th to be exact, that Hallmark threw out there for everyone to be all lovey dovey gushy about their significant other. I guess there's some religious history to it, but we have a tendency to forget that part. Cutesy hearts, love notes, and the day after Valentine's Day when all the candy goes on sale are all great things. I've just never felt it to be necessary to get all dressed up, go out to an over priced restaurant and pay an arm and a leg for a dozen roses on a specific day. Well, also partly because I don't even like roses, but if fancy dinners and roses are your thing, that's awesome. Ignore the rest of this post. If you're more anti-Valentine's Day like me, here are 8 things to do for Valentine's Day that aren't the average "Valentine's Day" dates. Whether you're with a significant other, single, or celebrating with Galenine's, there's an option for everyone
1. Go to a museum
2. Buy wines. Buy cheeses. Make the ultimate cheese board and have a date night in.
3. Binge watch classic love movies - Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Gone with the Wind
4. Get creative in the kitchen. That saved recipe you've been dying to try? Create it. If it fails, pizza delivery is only a phone call away.
5. Single(s)? Treat yourselves to manicures and pedicures.
6. Map out your next travel adventure.
7. Go the old school game night route with board and card games.
8. Fuel your artistic side with a craft or coloring night.
This year, I'm planning on going with option #2. I'm curious, what are your Valentine's plans?
A new direction.
Back in 2013 (which OMG, I didn't realize it was that long ago) when I started my blog, Sparkles and Flamingos, I wanted to do "fashion". As the time passed, I realized that there is SO much more to my life than fashion. There's family, relationships, traveling, thrifting, foods, fitness, work, crafting, living LIFE for crying out loud. Yes, I may still be fashionable (I don't know, maybe not), but I don't have to be obsessed. After a while, "Sparkles and Flamingos" didn't feel like me anymore. The name reminds me more of "Palm Springs socialite drenched in diamonds sipping bubbly on the reg" rather than "Midwestern gal styling a thrifted $2 blouse enjoying a vodka water on the weekend". I stressed because when a title doesn't fit a "theme" and lifestyle, it just doesn't work. "Rules" and "ways" of blogging got the best of me and I felt like I was doing it all wrong. In the end, it seemed pointless and like more of a "chore" to blog than something fun that I enjoyed. Being overly critical on myself, I figured if I wasn't satisfied with how the blog was, who would read it anyways? It's funny how the internet can get into your head like that ;)
Well, acquaintances would randomly ask me if I was still doing the blog thing. After a reluctant "yeahhh" with a shoulder shrug type thing, I was floored by the fact that people actually did take the time to look at it. This would lead me to open up a Sparkles and Flamingos window while the insecurities mentioned in the first paragraph built up enough to leave me staring at this scary blank page. What should I post about this time? What type of post would people care about? Is this dumb? Am I wasting my time? I would leave my blog tab open for days at a time hoping it would inspire me to "get around to it" only to be defeated by the computer shutting down and bye-bye blog tab. ::Phew, off the hook::...kidding...sorta.
Fast forward (reallyyy fast because time seems to FLY by) to the now and let me introduce you to "Always Allison". Here you'll find me being me, like always. "Who is Allison?" you might ask. Well, let me introduce myself. Hi! I'm Allison, 30 years old, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. My dog-hter is a rescue monster-like little dog. I'm a part owner of my family's business, Style Your Space, and recently became a Fair Trade Partner selling handcrafted jewelry with Threads Worldwide. I'm at the gym 5 times a week, practice yoga, and don't eat much meat (I've actually attempted practicing a pescetarian diet since January 3rd). Thrift shopping is a favorite hobby, shiny shoes are a weakness, and my brain typically has a million tabs open. I love tacos, a good vodka drink, and supporting local.
This is where the transition from Sparkles and Flamingos to Always Allison comes in. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a HUGE flamingo enthusiast and have a deep love for all things sparkly. But my "fashion" related blog isn't just fashion anymore...it's...waittt for it...this really cool thing called LIFESTYLE. Change is good. What I hope to share with you include thrifting hauls, styling ideas, fair trade companies, shopping local, recipes, stories, travel adventures, things that were really good, situations that may have not gone my way, feelings, inspiration, music, anything, and overall a little bit of me.
Even if no one is reads this, this is why I'm blogging. To express creativity. To share these things with you. To document these times. To inspire. And more. And maybe if you don't relate to me, my posts, my writing or expression, maybe someone somewhere out there does, and that's a pretty cool and amazing thing.
So anyways, I hope you're not too torn up about the name change and that you'll follow along on this new direction.