Galentine’s Day Gift Ideas

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. READ THE FINE PRINT.

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I’m so excited to share this list of Galentine’s Day gift ideas today because I’m pretty new to the entire concept of Galentine’s Day. Mostly because I’ve only just watched Parks and Rec in the last year, a grievous lapse in my television education that my Leslie Knope-obsessed coworkers helped me amend.

And I’m talking majorly obsessed. In an I’ve-been-invited-to-three-different-Parks-and-Rec-trivia-nights-in-the-last-six-months kind of way. Planning-to-get-tattoos-of-Ron-Swanson-on-their-bodies obsessed. Lit’rally-use-lit’rally-all-the-time fans.

But now that I’m aware of all the wonders of Pawnee, I am totally on board with the idea of Galentine’s Day. (And treat yo self. We’ll have to have another blog post completely dedicated to the treat yo self mentality.) I just started reading Text Me When You Get Home, a beautiful ode to female friendship, and it makes me long to wrap all my girl friends in bone-crushing hugs and shower them with affection.

If you have some boss babes who keep you smiling when work is long and boys are dumb and it feels like you just might explode from all the feelings, here are some Galentine’s Day gift ideas for you to surprise them with on February 13th!

$10 and Under

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

“hello, gorgeous” Mug | Target

Target has a few different lines of mugs that would be fantastic Galentine’s Day gifts. They’re all super affordable (this one is $6!), and nothing says “go forth and win the day” like a cute mug for your Galentine’s morning coffee.

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Compliments Greeting Card Set | ban.do

Whether you buy this set of fun “compliments” cards to give out as individual Galentines or gift the entire set to your friend who’s on top of the handwritten notes game, you can’t go wrong!

Wild Flowers Soap Petals | World Market

Bath bombs are great, but wouldn’t it be extra luxurious to give your friend a soap flower? These decorative flowers are beautiful and can also be used a petal at a time for hand washing.

$20 and Under

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

“Boss Babe” Candle | CZND

Wake. Hustle. Sleep. Repeat. Words the boss babes in your life can certainly live by! With scents of bergamot, cardamom, and cologne, your Galentine will tackle all her goals and take over the world with this candle burning on her desk.

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Inspirational Quote Poster | Homme Sur La Lune

Gift your Galentine with a little feminist inspiration to keep her going when the patriarchy gets her down! These gorgeous silhouette posters come with your favorite quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even Amy Poehler.

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Monogrammed Stationery | Rifle Paper Co.

Who doesn’t love Rifle Paper Co.? Their stationery sets have a perpetual spot on my Christmas list, and I also own a pair of shoes from their collaboration with Keds. These monogrammed stationery sets are a beautiful, thoughtful gift for all your Type A Galentines.

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Leslie Knope Enamel Pin | Sweet and Lovely

Could I really do a list of Galentine’s Day gift ideas without including some kind of Parks and Rec merchandise? This lapel pin is the perfect way for the poetic, noble, land mermaids in your life to let their Knope flag fly!

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Boss Lady Pen Set | Sweet Water Decor

This set of three ball point pens will remind your Galentine that a little hustle can make her dreams come true with every note she writes and to-do she checks off her list.

$40 and Under

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

“Honorary Gilmore” Sweatshirt | Brave Girl Club

Does anyone not have that friend who can recite entire episodes of Gilmore Girls? I adore these sweatshirts from Brave Girl Club (and basically all the rest of their merchandise, who am I kidding?), and it’s pretty much the nicest sentiment imaginable for a true fan of the show.

Plus if you use the code HEROINE2019, you can get 10% off your order (and I’ll receive a kickback to help keep the lights on here on the blog)!

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

“Nevertheless She Persisted” Scoop Neck Tee | Jordanden√©

I recently gave this shirt to a Galentine of mine because 1. I’m obsessed with Jordanden√© and their dumbly soft, subtly nerdy shirts, and 2. she’s the best kind of feminist who walks her talk (and now wears it, too). All this is to say that everyone needs this shirt, and Galentine’s Day is the perfect time to spread the love!

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Knitted Mermaid Blanket | Tobi

The very best thing money can buy for that one girl in your office who is always cold! I’m so close to buying one for myself because who didn’t dream of being Ariel at least once in her young life?

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Book Locket with Personalized Message | Silk Purse Sow’s Ear

Give your bookish Galentine a gift she will cherish with a personalized message tucked inside its pages! Might I suggest her favorite feminist quote or maybe one of Leslie Knope’s ridiculous descriptions of her best friend Anne?

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

“I Solemnly Swear I Will Smash the Patriarchy” Embroidery Hoop | Stitches of Anarchy

And finally, this brilliant piece will be your feminist, Harry Potter-loving Galentine’s new favorite decoration! I’m a big fan of little details, and the Deathly Hallows symbol within those beautifully embroidered flowers is a truly genius addition.

Which Galentine’s Day gift ideas would your bestie appreciate the most? Do you plan to celebrate with your girls this year?

P.S. Your Galentines might also be interested in some of my best self care tips for the new year!


Did this post help you? Excite you? Make you stop and think? Click to share it on Pinterest!

February 13 is right around the corner, and I've put together a list of Galentine's Day gift ideas so you can impress all the ladies who mean the most to you. Includes gifts under $10, $20, and $40. | An Aspiring Heroine

Friday Finale: My first nikkah ceremony and a little Harry Potter in my work life

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. READ THE FINE PRINT.

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

Hello, heroines! Welcome to my latest series, the Friday Finale. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a series here on the blog. There was Something Blue about all things budget wedding planning and the incredibly inventive Seven On… in which I discussed seven aspects of one topic.

Now that I’m back to posting consistently, I thought it made sense to create a new monthly something to share with you all. And so the Friday Finale was born!

On the last Friday of each month, I’ll write about things I’ve loved from the month that haven’t found their way to the blog yet. Books, articles, experiences, songs; anything that doesn’t quite warrant an entire blog post but feels important, cool, or poignant enough to share with you. Let’s jump right in!

At the very beginning of the month, Spencer and I found ourselves back in Georgia to celebrate the nikkah of our friends Jose and Mahalia. I had never attended a Muslim ceremony before and so was insanely excited not only to see our friends take the first step on their marriage journey, but to experience something completely new. It was also a perfect excuse to buy a new dress to celebrate the occasion (because I owned nothing that covered my body from wrist to ankle!), and I ended up resembling the Regency heroine of my dreams (because empire waists).

The ceremony was short but momentous, the dinner the next night was delicious with the sweetest, most buttery naan I’ve ever had in my life, and then the unimaginable happened: we got to spend a few hours with the bride and groom! During their wedding weekend! I know. Overall, I feel very fortunate to have been a part of a such a significant moment in our friends’ lives!

I was that kid who loved school and treated August like the most exciting time of the year. There was nothing that compared with opening up a new planner and organizing every aspect of my life. Now that I manage social media for a living, my planning system is even more important, and I always rely on Moleskine’s 12-month large daily planner.

In the past, the limited edition themes have included Alice in Wonderland and the Peanuts. This year, it was even more exciting because they had Harry Potter-themed planners. I’ll be rocking this one for the next twelve months, and I couldn’t be more into it. (In case you didn’t know, I’m quite a big fan of HP.)

For the last two years, I’ve participated in a Goodreads challenge with two of my coworkers. We all read regularly and then come together at the beginning of each month to check our page totals. Two years ago I came in second; last year I trailed miserably behind. But, I have met my book goal each year, so I can’t get too down on myself about it!

To mix it up a bit, we all decided to read one book together this year, and luckily we chose All The Light We Cannot See because it was fantastic. The novel so skillfully navigates between different points of view and time period, and it handles the idea of World War II in a completely new and poignant way. I cannot recommend it more.

In a very, very, very loose way, I tried out Sugar Free January with Lindsay from Pinch of Yum this year. No, I didn’t follow it super strictly during the two weekends we had weddings, but otherwise I tried my very hardest to cut out all added sugars and refined grains.

I love taking soup for lunch during the winter months, so that’s what I did throughout January. Lindsay has a great variety of sugar-free soups that are chock full of veggies and are filling enough to hold me over until dinner. Some of my favorites are her Golden Soup (turmeric and cauliflower, yum), Spicy Carrot Soup (that I did not do in the Instant Pot because do we all really need another kitchen appliance to take up counter space?), and the Creamy Potato Kale Soup. Whether you’re going sugar-free or not, make these soups and you won’t be sorry!

I wasn’t really expecting to have five items in this list, but I just had to add Sex Education here at the end. I watched all eight episodes last week on Netflix, and I’ve already checked to see if it’s been greenlit for a second season. Sex Education is a bit like a John Hughes movie meets Skins, and I absolutely adored it.

I laughed, and I cried, and I said, “Oh wow, Netflix isn’t playing around with this explicit stuff.” But really, the characters are really lovely and well-developed, and I felt myself really connecting with all of them, even some secondary ones. I would completely recommend the series, and with only eight episodes, it’s not a huge undertaking. Do yourself a favor and go watch Sex Education!

And that’s the new and the notable about my January! What was the biggest highlight of your month?

P.S. I began the year with a look back at 2018 and a look forward to some of my goals for the new year, in case a little context would do you some good!


Did this post help you? Excite you? Make you stop and think? Click to share it on Pinterest!

Friday Finale: My first nikkah ceremony and a little Harry Potter in my work life | An Aspiring Heroine

Kyoto Day Trips You Must Add to Your Japan Itinerary

Photo by Joey Huang on Unsplash

It’s been over a year since Spencer and I spent a week in Japan, and I’m still not over it! I would go back tomorrow (if I had the time off to spare and the money to get me there). So while I was daydreaming about cherry blossom season, okonomiyaki, and our inevitable second trip, the idea for this blog post came to me! Kyoto day trips filled our time in Japan, and I wanted to share my favorites with you.

While we spent our first two-ish days in Tokyo, Kyoto was our home base for the majority of the trip. We got a little Airbnb convenient to the rail station and spent our days going back and forth to all the places we’d dreamed of seeing. I would definitely recommend Kyoto as the place to stay if you’re day-tripping through Japan because 1. it’s gorgeous in its own right with way more to see than you’ll ever get to, and 2. it’s convenient to so many cities.

I picked four of my faves plus one that’s still on my bucket list below:

Hakone

Time by train: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Last year, I spent the most magical week in Japan, and now I've put together a day-by-day itinerary so you can see the best of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and more! Read more for sights, food recommendations, and over 70 photos of what to expect out of the best week in Japan. | An Aspiring Heroine

If you’re looking for a way to experience the grandeur of Mt. Fuji without going all the way out to the base, Hakone is the way to go. It’s on the way to Kyoto from Tokyo by train (by the way, I’m very pro-Japan Rail Pass), and we took a half-day to do the full Hakone Loop, complete with a cable car system, ropeway, and pirate ship!

Yes, it’s a little touristy. Yes, it’s still worth it.

The entire loop cost us about $35 per person when we went, and we cycled through each stop on the trip before catching another shinkansen and arriving in Kyoto.

Nara

Time by train: 1 hour

Last year, I spent the most magical week in Japan, and now I've put together a day-by-day itinerary so you can see the best of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and more! Read more for sights, food recommendations, and over 70 photos of what to expect out of the best week in Japan. | An Aspiring Heroine

It’s nearly impossible for me to pick my favorite of these Kyoto day trips… and then I remember Nara and I swoon. The ancient capital city of Japan, Nara is beautiful, it’s peaceful, and it’s teeming with arguably domesticated deer who will eat crackers out of the palm of your hand.

Oh, and they’ll bow for them. I’m not making this up.

Nara houses the largest Buddha in the world along with dozens of other historically significant sites, but my favorite part was simply strolling through Nara Park, visiting the different shrines and imagining how many others had walked the paths before us. In the hustle and bustle of vacation (because I always overfill our schedule and suffer for it), it was a perfect, relaxing moment to take a breath and just enjoy how beautiful Japan is.

Hiroshima

Time by train: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Last year, I spent the most magical week in Japan, and now I've put together a day-by-day itinerary so you can see the best of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and more! Read more for sights, food recommendations, and over 70 photos of what to expect out of the best week in Japan. | An Aspiring Heroine

Himeji

Time by train: 45 minutes

Last year, I spent the most magical week in Japan, and now I've put together a day-by-day itinerary so you can see the best of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and more! Read more for sights, food recommendations, and over 70 photos of what to expect out of the best week in Japan. | An Aspiring Heroine

Real talk: Spencer and I had planned to visit Himeji after our morning in Hiroshima. We even got off the shinkansen and headed out into the town surrounding the castle, and then we realized it was pouring so much that we could hardly see the castle from the train station for all the rain.

For reference, Himeji Castle is huge and also exactly 1 mile from the train station. Which has a completely unobstructed view. And we still couldn’t see it.

Since everything we wanted to see (and there was so much of it!) was outside on the grounds of the castle, we decided to skip trudging through the mud in the rain and added it to our “when we come back” list.

I can say it’s easy to get to from Kyoto, and if you’re already heading out to Hiroshima, you should make the stop in Himeji. It’s on your way, and that castle is a beaut even in the rain!

Osaka

Time by train: 30 minutes

Last year, I spent the most magical week in Japan, and now I've put together a list of Kyoto day trips so you can see the best of Nara, Hiroshima, Osaka, and more! | An Aspiring Heroine
Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

Osaka is so close to Kyoto that it’s practically criminal that we never made it there during our trip. But we had a limited amount of time to explore with a big a list of priorities, and Osaka wasn’t one of ours.

Now, if your list contains city life (because Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan), nightlife, and food, then you’ll probably want to add Osaka to your itinerary. It’s supposed to have a very different vibe from Tokyo with a more bright and playful feel. And there’s also a Universal Studios Osaka? So if you need your theme park fix, that’ll do you!

Osaka is a port city that boasts great seafood restaurants and neighborhoods dedicated to different styles of cuisine. It’s definitely on my “when we come back” list.

Which Kyoto day trip are you wanderlusting over?

P.S. For my entire one-week itinerary for Japan, including what we saw, how we traveled, and everything we ate, check out this blog post!


Did this post help you? Excite you? Make you stop and think? Click to share it on Pinterest!

Last year, I spent the most magical week in Japan, and now I've put together a day-by-day itinerary so you can see the best of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and more! Read more for sights, food recommendations, and over 70 photos of what to expect out of the best week in Japan. | An Aspiring Heroine