5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day in Orlando

My Instagram feed is starting to fill up with pink and red, which can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is almost hereAs someone who is currently single, I don’t have any major plans for next Thursday, aside from sneaking a chocolate or two. (Having said that: if anyone is platonically shopping for me, the heart-shaped Crunch candies are my favorite guilty pleasure this time of year!) However, as a fan of Parks & Recreation, I have always loved the idea of Galentine’s Day as a day to celebrate your friendships.

Here in Central Florida, there are a lot of fun ways to celebrate happy occasions with your friends, whether you’re hosting a Galentine’s Day, bridal shower, birthday, or simply a Tuesday. Check out my five suggestions for a fun Galentine’s Day or other group celebration in and around Orlando!

Note: Despite the title of my post, these activities can be shared with friends of all genders!

5 Ways to Celebrate Galentine's Day in Central Florida | Wellness & Wanderlust

1. Host a tea party at AntiquiTEAs.
Nestled in Winter Garden’s Plant Street Market, AntiquiTEAs is a local loose tea shop with more than 60 custom blends. With a little planning ahead of time, you can host your own tea party there! The owners set up tables out on the patio and can serve food and tea depending on your party’s needs. For my 27th birthday, I hosted a three-course tea party at AntiquiTEAs, complete with salads, hummus-based cucumber rounds, and delicious baked goods. We had vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free ladies in the group, but the fine folks from AntiquiTEAs did an excellent job of ensuring that foods were available for all dietary restrictions. Plus, the teas are amazing!

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2. Take a limo cycle tour in Sanford.
Bike around Downtown Sanford for a couple of hours with a group of 8-15 of your closest friends, and stop at the local bars along the way! My MBA class did a Limo Cycle Tour one weekend, and it was the perfect way to explore Sanford’s brewery scene while spending time with friends. (Disclaimer: Do not host a study group afterward.) Afterward, grab a bite to eat at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree for some German comfort food — and, if you’re brave enough, Das Boot. For 10% off your Limo Cycle private tour, use promo code WELLNESSANDWANDERLUST when booking the tour online.

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5 Ways to Celebrate Galentine's Day in Central Florida | Wellness & Wanderlust3. Make a pound of chocolate at Farris & Foster’s.
Much like the rest of my family, my greatest weakness is chocolate. That’s why I was so excited to spend my department’s holiday team-building at Farris & Foster’s! Located in Baldwin Park, this chocolate factory offers parties perfect for families or groups of friends. You’ll learn about the various chocolate-making techniques, while sampling pre-made chocolates available for your group, and you get to come home with some delicious treats of your own making. If you’re worried about the calories, you can always walk a few laps around Lake Baldwin when you’re done. 😉

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4. Go to a wine tasting at the Island Grove Winery at Formosa Gardens.
This winery, located in Kissimmee, offers a garden bistro and an array of fruit wines to choose from. Visit the winery for a tasting! For more info, you can read all about it on Courtney’s guest post here.

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5. Take a goat yoga class at Goat Yoga DeLand.
Based at Patty’s Parrot Palace, Goat Yoga DeLand regularly offers goat yoga classes on their farm. If you haven’t taken a goat yoga class, I highly recommend it! For animal lovers, this is a therapeutic experience that really brings in the “aww” factor, and not only do they offer Sunday classes (check their event schedule here), but they also can offer private events that you can book ahead.

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How are you celebrating Galentine’s Day this year? Sound off in the comments!

 

Link Love January: Rom Com Dialogue & Millennial Burnout

Now that we’re halfway through January, how are everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions holding up? Normally by now, I’d be back to my usual deviant habits, but so far my 2019 Happiness Project is going strong! My focus for the month has been to boost my physical health, and I’ve been doing that in a few different ways: embarking on a round of Whole30 (it’s getting easier!), tackling those nagging tasks to clear up “brain clutter” (we’ll talk about that in a future post), and even by simply acting more energetic when I may not feel that way. I’ve been more successful in some areas than others, but I’m happy to share that I am starting to feel a lot healthier than I have in a long time.

Of course, in the midst of all of these changes, I’ve been doing a lot of reading! Check out my latest link love below and be sure to drop your own favorites (along with a resolution you’re working toward!) in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: NatureCoaster.com

Be My Valentine: A Letter to My Younger Self

Strange and Unintentionally Funny Vintage Valentine's Day Cards  (1)February 14th lingers just around the corner, but for the first time in five years, I will be single on Valentine’s Day. For some, the thought of not being in a relationship at this time of the year can be downright depressing — and for a long time, this held true for me as well. After all, for melodramatic teenage Val, every year that a boy didn’t send a carnation to me in English class practically felt like a year wasted! It’s interesting to see how much our perspectives can change over the years. This post is a love letter to myself and to everyone else out there who is still searching. 🙂

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Dear Younger Me,

I know that not having a boyfriend feels like the end of the world, especially at this time of the year. I also know that you won’t believe me when I tell you it’s not. You have a lot of exciting opportunities in your life already (and I wish I could tell you about all the adventures you are going to embark on in the not-so-distant future!), but you still base a large chunk of your self-worth on your relationship status. For that, I’m truly sorry.

Because of that, you aren’t particularly picky right now. In fact, you would likely allow someone to treat you poorly 80% of the time if you had their love and positive attention for 20% of the time. I know that sounds harsh, but over the next few years, you will ignore a lot of red flags and accept some pretty harmful behavior in order to avoid being alone. You will receive flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day, but the person who gave them to you won’t necessarily be that best friend and support system you need and deserve.

By getting into a relationship mainly for the sake of being in a relationship, you stop trusting your inner voice and start accepting things that you should know in your heart are not okay. By muddling through something that doesn’t make you happy, you end up breaking your own heart and putting a strain on other close relationships in your life.

I wish I could shield you from some of the bad decisions I know you’ll make over the next few years, but I truly believe that what you’ll learn from them will only make you stronger and more resilient. Still, that knowledge doesn’t make a toxic relationship any less toxic, and knowing what I know now doesn’t mean I can just turn back time.

I’m writing to you at 25 now, and (spoiler alert!) we’re single again. Valentine’s Day is in just four days, and the beautiful flowers in my kitchen are not from a secret admirer; they were just a gift I bought myself a few days ago. I wouldn’t mind being in a relationship again, but now that I have a clearer picture of what I want, I’m not willing to settle for less than I deserve. I’m not spending Valentine’s Day alone — I’m spending the long weekend with loved ones, and I couldn’t be more excited. I do things because I want to do them, not to earn someone else’s approval. I spend more time creating fun memories with old friends and cultivating relationships with new ones.

I am technically alone on Valentine’s Day, but I’m not lonely. I know in my heart that another relationship will come along in the future, and in my quest for true happiness, that relationship is just one part of the equation. Besides, who knows what our future self will be writing to us in a few years? 🙂

For now, please be kind to yourself and remember that no situation is permanent. Enjoy your single time, learn from the rocky relationships, and appreciate the good times. Don’t let your friendships fall to the wayside. Remember that you deserve a lot better than you often allow yourself, and never allow fear to strand you in a harmful situation with no way out.

All my love,

Valerie

Valentine’s Day Article Roundup

valentines_dayValentine’s Day is finally here – as if you didn’t already notice the towers of chocolate in the grocery store, the lovesick couples engaging in the most obnoxious of PDA or the embittered singles who keep griping about how they just want this day to be over. Whether you’re in madly in love or simply doing your own thing, this last-minute Valentine’s Day Article Roundup will provide you with 10 links that will make you laugh, smile, think and maybe even tear up a little bit. There is a little something in here for everyone.

Links are provided in the parentheses, and for last year’s roundup of articles, click here.

Valentine’s Day Article Roundup

1. The Love Stories of 10 Intellectual Power Couples (Flavorwire).
This list takes a look at some of history’s greatest minds and shows that like often attracts like. Sad that you’re single on Valentine’s Day? Don’t be. It’s because you haven’t met someone whose intellectual prowess and quick wit match yours… yet.

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2. Ada Bryant, Robert Haire (The New York Times).
When I came across this wedding announcement in The New York Times a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but tell everyone about it (or at least post a link on Twitter and tell my roommates about it!). The announcement is for an elderly couple who fell in love after she painted a portrait for him. This one is so sweet that even the Valentine’s Day skeptics will smile.

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52-Reasons-Why-I-Love-You-Deck-of-Cards_thumb3. Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day Ideas (Peanut Butter Fingers).
Still don’t have a gift for your significant other? Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers has compiled a list of thoughtful gift ideas based on her own experiences, her friends’ experiences and her findings on Pinterest. There are a lot of creative gifts on this list – and you can make them your own!

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4. Very Definitely Not Dinner & A Movie: 50 Alternative First Date Ideas! (Gala Darling).
These are “first date ideas,” but it doesn’t mean you can’t apply them to Valentine’s Day with someone you’ve dated for a while. So go to an art museum, hunt for photobooths, take a really long one-way walk to an unknown place – the ideas are all here!

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5. How To (Really) Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Love Twenty).
Everybody familiar with the chick flick genre has seen How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, right? This article discusses how to -really- scare off a significant other! (Still need help? Click here for more on that subject!)

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6. Live Better: Fall in Love… With Yourself (Feather Magazine).
No one can really love you until you learn to love yourself. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, this article talks about ways to treat yourself better and increase your own self-worth. Definitely worth the read for anyone!

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7. 5 Ways to Reclaim Your Life After a Breakup (The Daily Muse).
For the heartbroken readers, this advice piece from the Why Don’t You Ask Molly Ford? column discusses some of the ways you can pick up the pieces after a breakup.

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8. The Top 100 Most Strange, Odd, Perplexing and Unintentionally Funny Vintage Valentine Cards EVER! (Mitch O’Connell).
These vintage Valentine’s Day cards are some of the creepiest things I have ever seen in my life. Had I seen them sooner, I would have printed up a bunch and sent them off to all my friends! Be careful – I literally laughed out loud when I saw these late at night, and I honestly hope I didn’t wake anyone up!

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9. Will You Still Love Me on Sunday? (Thought Catalog).
Not so much a Valentine’s Day post, but this piece is all about loving someone even when it’s difficult and not so glamorous. Chelsea Fagan is one of my favorite Thought Catalog writers, and this post does not disappoint.

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10. The Disney Prince Hotness Ranking (Buzzfeed).
If all else fails, there’s a Disney prince out there waiting for you! My personal favorites are Prince Eric and Flynn Ryder, but go through the list and decide who is worthy of your love. 🙂

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Any good articles you’ve read at this time of the year?