Not Another Cheesey Valentine’s Day Post

My husband was my last boyfriend before he was my LAST boyfriend… To clarify, before we got together at age 24 we were middle school sweethearts at age 14…317791_10100774878154810_1085462065_n

 and between Gary “Teen” and Gary “Adult” there was no serious relationship… That means a full decade of unrequited crushes, bad dates, and broken hearts; but also a decade full of deep friendships, excessive laughter, first kisses, late nights, drinking games, and more fun than I ever imagined! It also means: 10 single-girl Valentine’s Days.

High school is a time in my life I’ve mostly blocked out (Oh, the HORROR) so let’s start where it gets interesting… COLLEGE!!! My college Valentine’s Days ranged from a very Miss Havisham moment in an LBD with a bottle of wine (freshman year), to making out with my roommate’s TA after our “F Cupid Party”, to Girls’ Night Out dancing in our t-shirts and jeans, and several other hazy February 14ths… Point being, somewhere along the way I stopped feeling sad about being alone and started feeling empowered by being alone. I hope every girl out there reading this has learned or will learn the true joy and pride that comes from learning to be alone and to love it!

To that end, I’m going to share my “Ultimate Night Alone” SSBs (Secret Single Behaviors – so named by Carrie Bradshaw) with you chikas in hopes that the single ladies out there might give it a try today and that the attached ladies might give it a try the next time you have a night to yourself.

1. Create a delicious, indulgent, and sexy cheese plate – that’s right, ALL for you 😉 Make it fun and decadent so you enjoy looking at it (almost) as much as eating it. There are different philosophies on what constitutes a “perfect” cheese plate, but basically a combination of a soft (brie, camembert, goat); semi-soft (bleu, havarti, fontina); firm (gruyere, cheddar, provolone) and/or hard (parmesan, asiago, romano) cheeses with accoutrements such as olives, crackers, preserves and nuts is suggested.Wild Souls Perfect Cheese Plate

MY Perfect Plate: 1. Soft – Goat Brie with Honey Drizzle // 2. In lieu of a “traditional” semi-soft – bleu cheese stuffed olives // 3. Firm – Gruyere with Salami // 4. Hard – Parmigiano Reggiano with Prosciutto // 5. Baguette with Olive Oil cheeseplate

2. Share some with your four-legged Valentines.Wild Souls Dog Love

3. Grab a bottle of wine.. I personally LOVE the wines from Perrin because they are smooth and sort of neutral so they pair well with a diverse cheese plate.Red Wine // La Vielle Ferme from Perrin Vineyards

4. Take your cheese plate and wine to your “happy place” in your home so you can snack and sip while reading a good book. My happy place is in front of the fireplace with my pups (Clyde curled at my feet and Lucy with her head in my lap) who inspired my book recommendation for Valentine’s Day: “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron. A Dog's Purpose

Surprised? No Nicholas Sparks or “Fifty Shades of Grey”? HELL NO! Why? Because Valentine’s Day is ultimately about giving back the love that others give to you, and who gives you more love than your pup?  Beyond that, it’s one of the sweetest books ever! It made me laugh, it made me cry, it warmed-my heart, and made me want to squeeze my dogs even tighter. I assure you that if you read it you will go to bed with a happy heart and that warm-fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing the unconditional love of a dog, so you’ll wake up the next morning feeling fulfilled and grinning over all the adventures you’ve yet to experience… Which definitely beats going to bed after funneling beer through a pool fun-noodle and waking up the next morning feeling hungover and face-palming when you remember that that pool fun-noodle has been outside on the porch since summer.

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