Have you started seeing Lovey Dovey ads for businesses trying to catch the eye of couples looking to celebrate their relationship on the upcoming Valentine’s Day festivities, or have you walked by stores as the window displays change from winter sales to hearts and roses and chocolates and jewelry and wine? And more importantly is all of it bumming you out since you’re single?
It’s natural to feel slightly left out when you’re not the target of the ads, or if you can’t connect with the energy in the air.
But don’t you worry, Valentine’s Day is about love and what the last year has taught us is the most important kind of love is self-love. And this quote from an author that’s unknown to me puts it quite eloquently “Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.”
This Valentine’s Day as you are surrounded by affection and expressions of love, take this beautiful opportunity to show yourself, how valuable you are so the next time a romantic spark comes alive you are ready to embrace it. Here is another set of wise words from an author unknown to me, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
So in the spirit of this beautiful celebration bestowed upon us by Saint Valentine himself let’s take a look at some of the things you can do on Valentine’s Day as a single person.
Brunch with other singles:
Valentine’s 2021 falls on a Sunday, it’s the perfect opportunity to go for a leisure brunch. It’s a perfect time to catch up with friends that are single or perhaps even family. And while you’re at it make it a boozy brunch. Eggs Benedict with some sparkling wine will light up most festivities.
Indulge in Art:
With company or just by yourself. Art is perhaps an extremely subjective topic where preferences even amongst people will similar tastes may vary drastically so personally I feel that when I want to visit a museum or watch a play or indulge in an artsy adventure, I want to do it solo. I want to be able to stop at an art piece for instance for as long as it takes without the pressure of boring somebody else. It may not be art; it may be something else entirely that you prefer doing solo. Well this is your opportunity, grab it with both hands.
Send yourself a gift:
Just because you’re not expecting something from the outside world, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve anything. Take the initiative and buy yourself something beautiful. A charming tennis bracelet or an elegant set of pearl earrings, whatever you fancy. And remember, just because it’s you buying yourself a gift, doesn’t mean you don’t get it wrapped. Buy online and choose the gift option and choose the gift wrapping, the experience on unwrapping a wrapped gift even if you know what’s coming adds real value.
Read a book by the fire place:
In the hustle and bustle of work, and social commitments and unavoidable events, there are things that make us feel alive that we have moves to the backburner. Pick such an activity, it could be yoga, singing or dancing, or something as simple as picking up a book you’ve been wanting to read or perhaps reread. Light up that fireplace, open that bottle of wine and dive into this therapy session for your mind that is overdue.
Pamper yourself with a spa day:
Any singles valentine’s day would have been incomplete without this and we are happy to oblige. You can’t go wrong with a spa day, and at this point we don’t need to mention what the perfect spa day means to you, while you’re reading this you are already there in your happy place with your favorite masseuse, Olga, oh she knows all your pressure points so well. So hurry up and make the call and make sure Olga isn’t fully booked for Valentine’s Day by someone else reading this blog.
It’s been an interesting year to say the least, some of us have been dealt a kinder hand than others but everyone has had to deal with some change. And now that the new normal kicks in and we normalize and get on with our lives. We even get back to celebrations that bring a bit of joy and spark in our lives.
One of these fast approaching celebrations is Valentine’s Day.
And though there is some fear about the high expectations your loved ones may have, I am here to assure you that a meaningful Valentine’s Day celebration and a meaningful expression of ones love to another doesn’t have to an expensive affair.
Here is our curated list of the 2021 edition of affordable ways to say I love you.
- Breakfast in Bed: This year Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday which means for even the partners that are working will potentially be off and can wake a little later than they usually do and if you’re like me, you will have an off as well which means no stress about the day ahead at work, no meetings to prepare for. Why not use to freedom to wake up before her and head to the kitchen and cook her something you know she loves and along with her coffee (or tea/juice) in bed. What a wonderful way to start your Sunday morning.** Be sure to add a flower of her choice to add a spark
- Jewelry: I know it’s counter intuitive. The idea of affordability and jewelry seem at odds with each other, but hear me out. You could buy her something made in 925 Sterling Silver or Recycled Brass which is plated with 14kt or 18kt gold instead of the base material being gold, and a top quality of cubic zirconia and Swarovski crystals instead of diamonds. And the value proposition for the same looking jewelry turns on its head. At Zaoule you can find jewelry made from sustainable materials like recycled silver, brass and stainless steel starting from as low at $30, and the packing and finishing will match any top fine jewelry retailer.
- Pack a picnic lunch: A cool breeze with the need for perhaps a light sweater and the sun standing proud as you and your loved one are sitting on a comfortable mat under the shade of a tree. Enjoying the fresh air and a delicately prepared picnic lunch with a mix of sandwiches, pies and some cake. If you’re not in the mood for cooking, there are so many cafes that can pack you a picnic basket with the classics.
- Home Cooked meal: We like to end with the classics. Don’t want to spend a lot of money making her Valentine’s Day special? No worries but you need to still put in the work. Chalk out a menu, pick all the things she loves, try and avoid all those things in the run in to the 14th of Feb. Make sure you stock up on all the ingredients and when the day comes, tell her that you’re cooking dinner and she isn’t allowed in the kitchen. Light a candle, open her favorite bottle of wine and enjoy. Do as many dishes as possible, but make sure to only partake in the task if you can achieve at least a decent result. Don’t worry she knows you’re not a chef so she’s not expecting the quality or finesse of a Michelin Star chef, just make sure the meats are not undercooked and the potatoes not burnt and you’ll be fine. And remember don’t burn down the house.
Confused about what to get your partner for Valentine’s day? Don’t worry, we’ve got a solution that is guaranteed to work.
Have you ever been walking along the street and you end up hearing the song that was playing the first time you shared a dance with each other? Or have you walked by the restaurant you shared the first date?
Didn’t all those moments go from just another point in just another day to a romantic moment in a split second? Didn’t it just take you back to that moment which perhaps was lost is the chaos of this life, and now you remember everything so clearly like it was yesterday?
According to the famous American Film Director Terrence Malick “Nostalgia is a powerful feeling; it can drown out anything.”
This Valentine’s Day we at Zaoule have found a way to bring that nostalgic feeling and those cherished memories gushing back. Gift her these simple yet elegant studs handcrafted with 925 Sterling Silver and embellished with semi-precious birthstones.
Traditionally birthstones are associated with a particular month, and they have been used to connect with your birthday month. But since we are fast approaching Valentine’s Day and the air is filled with a romantic flair we think these birthstone studs are the perfect way celebrate your love by reminding her of landmark moment in your relationship.
We asked some of our customers about what date was most significant for their relationships, below are a few:
- January Birthstone: Garnet- “11th of January, I still remember it so well, was the first conversation we had when I met her in a bar and somehow I feel after that conversation 6 years ago I knew she was the one for me.” David Tapley
- February Birthstone: Amethyst-“25th of February, it was our 3rd date and after two dinners it was time to step it up and we went out dancing. I didn’t know it then but that was the first dance I shared with my soulmate. That night was the first significant step for our relationship which has so far lasted 14 amazing years.” Steph Garner
- April Birthstone: Crystal-1st April, it was April Fool’s Day and I hadn’t realised, he called me to ask for my hand packing boxes since he was moving houses and instead it turned out to be a ruse, he planned an entire day with me and that’s the day he told me he really liked me. That was 15 years ago and we are married with 2 beautiful kids. Beth
- May Birthstone: Emerald-9th of May, it was mother’s day and fortunately it was a weekend as well. We had been dating for about 4 months at that point and he invited his mum over for a meal he cooked himself. It was the first time I had met anyone from his family and the care with which he took care of his mother made me realise what a wonderful man he is, and less than two years later we were married. Cristina Baltag
- July Birthstone: Ruby-18th July, we had been close friends for over a year and we spoke all the times. We were talking about other people we fancy and he took the opportunity to start describing this girl in quite an abstract way in the beginning and it seemed like he was talking about me but I couldn’t be sure. He eventually got specific and that’s the day he told me he liked me. Julia B.
- September Birthstone: Sapphire-13th September, that’s her birthday and I really enjoy celebrating that more than any other. I really enjoy making her feel like a queen. It’s her one true indulgence in the year and I’m extremely happy making it come true for her. Brian Green
- October Birthstone: Rose- October 17th , this glorious afternoon of 2012 as I stood there in my best suit and watched this angel wearing white walk down the aisle, I was sure wherever life takes me from here I’ll be fine as long as she is by my side. Matt Davies
- November Birthstone: Topaz-29th November, I remember we had just been on 2 dates and I did something really silly and upset her, it seemed like we were done. But somehow I felt that I must give it one last shot, I thought she was worth it. So I went all out with a grand gesture which she wasn’t expecting and she was so overwhelmed by it she kissed me. That was the day she shared our first kiss. Chris Mattews
It’s been a crazy year to say the least, each and every one of us has had our resolves tested. And though it’s still not normal, it is a new normal. The world has come together and shown resilience in the face of such unexpected adversity.
The new normal brings with it a new kind of a holiday season and it’s perhaps more important than ever to not let the times get to us. Now more than ever we need to keep the spirit of this season alive and thriving. During these months of isolation and social distancing it’s perhaps even more important to make the ones we truly care about know that we may not be with you physically but we are thinking of you and are with you emotionally and virtually whenever they need us.
So this holiday season we are making things a little easier for you. Your gifting worries can be quashed, we’ve done the research for you and we’ve come up with a great solution. When you don’t know what to gift, stick to Jewelry, here are our top 5 reasons why you should choose jewelry as your gift this holiday season.
- It Lasts. All said and done, if you take care of your jewelry you can use it for years and years and perhaps even hand it down to others. It’ll have a much longer life than most gifts. It will be with you through so many experiences and adds to the nostalgic value, there may be cherished moments that are reminded every time you wear the piece again.
- It works across most occasions. Whether it is young or old, hip or classic, birthdays or anniversaries or graduation or Christmas or Diwali or a New Year’s gift or something in between jewelry fits. A piece of jewelry won’t stand out, in fact it’ll always seem like the right gift to brighten the mood of someone you care for. The variety, versatility of the jewelry on offer these days from the different materials, colors, styles and product categories means there is something on offer for almost everyone.
- You can make a statement; A piece of jewelry can be an extremely intimate gift, given the type and style of jewelry you choose you can make a statement of intent. Your gift for example can tell her that you’re ready to take the relation to the next step. Through your selection you can show her how well you know her and that you are thinking about her style and how she would like to express herself through these fashionable accessories. And above all every time the person who has received your gift gets a compliment on the jewelry she’s wearing she’s reminded of you and your gesture. Jewelry as a gift could potentially be generating brownie points for you for years to come.
- Packaging and Presentation. Research suggests that one of the biggest charms of a gift is the unpacking and unwrapping experience and it peaks at the moment when the product first finally appears in front of their eyes. With something like jewelry, most of the time packaging is a key focus for vendors selling it, so you can bet on the packaging and unwrapping experience of jewelry will be better than most gifts.
- Goes well with the Spirit of the Season. The shine and glitter of Jewelry fits in seamlessly with the holiday spirit and this year more than others there is a need to remind people of this holiday spirit. To send them a sparkling gift to remind them that regardless of how tough the times maybe now you are with them in spirit.
Regardless of your age, your social standing or how or where you see your place on this 3rd rock from the sun chances are you have a style consistent with your life and whether you like to admit it or not, you care about it and want it to be better than it is today.
For a lot of us jewelry is a big part of that style. It’s not as out there as your clothing but for so many of us just as important or perhaps even more so to our style and how we choose to express ourselves. One reason for that is that while across most of the world clothing (regardless of what you choose to wear) is mandatory, whilst jewelry is completely optional it is something that so many of us rely on as an expression of our style, our mood and our identity.
Within every expanding mammoth industry there are many different categories but eventually the two main ones that they are split into are Fine Jewelry and Fashion Jewelry. There is perhaps some friction in the camps supporting both but apart from a few purists on either sides, most consumers are happy being customers of either depending on the motivation behind their purchase and the circumstances that led up to it.
However, let’s take a look at the key differences between the two.
Price means very different things to different consumers. Some look for value they want to something that doesn’t hurt their wallets too much for this kind of consumer generally fast fashion jewelry works best, but fashion jewelry doesn’t mean cheap bad quality etc. Fashion Jewelry is perhaps much broader and spans across a lot more materials and styles than fine jewelry because for one it targets a broader age group and a wider socio-economic group of consumers. Someone who can afford Fine Jewelry may still buy a piece of fashion jewelry if they like the design but someone who can’t afford Fine Jewelry or doesn’t have a budget for it would stick to Fashion Jewelry.
There will be occasions which will define the need for many of the consumers. For example, if the item in question is an engagement ring then there is a big chance that the consumer would want a real diamond ring with 18kt gold which would put it exclusively in the fine jewelry category. But if you’re looking to buy something which will be part of your camping holiday or adventure trip which has a higher likelihood of breaking or falling or getting damaged then perhaps you’re better off buying something less expensive, something which won’t pinch as much if it comes off your hand when white water rafting for instance.
Design & How it looks on you
Above all jewelry is an ornament and its most valuable attribute is the design and how it looks on you. So if you are walking by a store or scrolling on a website or a social media platform and come across a striking design which you are enamored by and it’s within your budget chances are that you won’t care much about how that product is classified. If you like it, you will buy it because chances are that finding the same design in different materials will range from either difficult to near impossible. And somewhere there is a story and a reason behind that design and why the creator chose specific materials to make this product. And we are staunch believers of the intention behind the design and the crafting of a product, it all adds value.
These are some of the main differences between Fine Jewelry and Fashion Jewelry. At the end of the day everything comes down to what you are in the market for. There is enough place in the market for both categories, and both have had a lot of really creative and passionate designers, crafters and above all customers without who through their purchase bring a sense of reward for all the work that goes into a piece from the inspiration, to the design, the materials, the crafting, the distribution and finally the premiere when the piece of jewelry is first worn by the end consumer.
You saw, you liked, you bought or perhaps another probable scenario they saw, they thought of you, they bought and they gifted it to you. Either way, you have yourself a beautiful piece of Jewelry one you can imagine wearing proudly for many years to come. Immediately though this strange feeling takes over you as you realize that you’ve had that same excitement before but now as you stare down at your jewelry box those pieces that once excited you have lost their luster, their shine, a few others have empty spaces where there were once shiny gemstones. Suddenly the reality of normal daily life wear and tear dawns on you and you’re afraid that this gorgeous ring or bracelet or even a delicate set of earrings will end up with the same fate.
Don’t worry, that’s where we come in, we have done extensive research and testing and come up with our guide of the best ways to care for your jewelry and maintain so they can be part of your expression for years and years.
- Just Soap Nothing Fancy – Many people will try to sell you over the top products with fancy packaging to clean all the dirt and dust and sweat off from your jewelry but the simple truth of the matter is that just a normal hand soap works equally well if not better (you could even use a mild dishwashing detergent). Just take a little soap, a few drops of water and scrub gently with an old toothbrush and rinse softly. And dry with a soft polishing cloth or a soft napkin.
- Mindful Storage – Out of mind, out of sight. That is a major problem with our generation, we love to use products but storing them in the perfect manner seems too cumbersome. But with storage, a little effort goes a long way. Try and use a jewelry box with different compartments for storing your individual pieces so there are fewer chances of scratches. Try and keep pieces in individual zip lock bags, this works even better for silver jewelry as it tarnishes easier than some of its other metal cousins when it comes into contact with oxygen and Sulphur. If you want further protection throw in a small piece of chalk or silica gel (that’s right, the same one you find inside shoe boxes)
- On last/Off First – Put your jewelry on after you’ve applied your cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, and hairsprays. When removing it, try and wipe each piece with a soft cloth to make sure you don’t leave behind any sweat or oils.
- Avoid Direct Sunlight during storage – Once again it is absolutely fine to roam around in your jewelry under the sun for as long as you like, it’s the sustained sunlight at an angle to on part of the piece which can cause some damage to it, so be wary of it.
- Don’t Sleep in Jewelry – Jewelry may look delicate at times, but at the end of the day it’s made of metals and stones, two things that can make their presence felt and resist to tight places. So in order to best safeguard yourself and your jewelry, it is advised to sleep with them safely tucked away in their jewelry box or case.
- Awareness of Design Intention – Very often the jewelry you buy has intention behind its creation, often it is lost in the distribution channel somewhere. But it’s best to be aware of what the original creator of the design had in mind when they were choosing the materials and designs and colors for a particular style. Some silver pieces are designed while keeping the patina in mind, so that the piece tells a story of its time with you, if you polish it to make it look brand new you may end up taking away from the experience the creator intended for you its final owner.
These are just some of the tips we think would help you make the most out of your glimmering pieces of expression for the longest possible time. Though we would like to end on a lighter note, don’t forget to have fun. Yes, it pays to take care of your things but remember you own them, they don’t own you so it’s ok to put up your feet sometimes and let things be where they are, if it’s been a tiring day, you could always leave them on the dresser overnight and put them in their designated spots the next day.