Get Inspired With Natalie McLennan

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Health | Leave a comment

Natalie McLennan loves to spin. And stand on her head. And sit very, very quietly. And she does all this with a full-throttle drive that leaves most of us in the dust. As a yoga teacher and spinning instructor at the Victoria Park Health Club in Montreal’s Westmount Borough, Natalie McLennan gets her loyal following to sweat, stretch and say Om with grace and enthusiasm. Miel Sisters Camila and Valeria love her energy, motivation and soundtrack, which is why they want to spread the word about this inspiring teacher!

Read about her sources of inspiration and motivation in this interview. A special deal awaits you at the end!

Natalie McLennan Yoga

As a person who spends many hours in and around a yoga studio, what role does fashion play in your life?

Yoga requires clothing that moves with you. Style is part of how we express ourselves and a way we communicate nonverbally with others. I choose what I wear based on function, feel and if I like it.

I have a pair of incredible gold sneakers that make me smile every time I wear them. That to me is an example of how fashion can have a beautiful impact on our life experience.

Miel LUNA Thong

What’s your jam: thong or panty?

Thong!

You teach both yoga and spin classes. Is there a natural progression between the two?

Spin moves energy, churns it up and can light you up, especially when paired with the right music. In my opinion, yoga is very complementary. It is grounding and creates space inside our bodies.

What got you interested in spinning? Is it for everyone?

I became interested in spinning because I was almost too grounded from doing and teaching yoga, virtually all day, every day. Spinning brought a lot of fun into my life. Fun is VERY important!

In this day and age of high-tech undergarments, what are your thoughts on wireless bras?

I love the comfort of wireless bras! I love the feeling of freedom with some shaping and support.

Natalie McLennan Yoga

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Cote-Durrer

What is your ideal workout outfit?

High-waist leggings, sports bra and a tank with an open back or cutout sides.

It’s March and I don’t know about you, but the transition from winter to spring is usually murder on my body—sleep, skin, mood… you name it. What yoga positions would you suggest to boost one’s immune system? Would you also suggest meditation?

Taking a few minutes to sit quietly with closed eyes and breathe every day can have a powerful impact on how we are able to handle each moment of our lives. There is so much outside stimuli, connecting to ourselves with meditation is like the best medicine for our wellness.

To boost your immune system, put a blanket down on the floor and lie down on it with your legs up the wall. It’s a restorative pose and great to do before bed.

Coconut OilWhat is your daily beauty routine?

I shower a few times a day because I teach a lot of sweaty classes. I use coconut oil as moisturizer on my body, Argan oil on my face to keep my skin healthy. I drink litres of water every day.

Natalie McLennan Yoga

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Cote-Durrer

Do you have a bucket list? And if so, can you share an item or two with us?

I don’t have a bucket list, maybe I should make one soon!

My focus is on being present for each moment of my life. I try to do something fun every day.

Share one of your guilty pleasures…

I’ll take coconut milk ice cream any day!

Last but not least, is there a particular woman who inspires you? And if so, why?

I am inspired by many of the women in my life: my mother, my sister-in-law, my girlfriends and the women in my classes. They all have strengths and qualities I admire and respect. One quality I love is seeing people set an intention and then seeing it through.

Get Inspired with miel!

Because we love Natalie so much, we’re offering a very special deal to all our customers! Enter code “miel4nat” at checkout and enjoy 15% off all miel items!*

*Offer valid until March 30, 2016.

 

 

 

 

Best Valentine’s EVER?

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Love | Leave a comment

Is all the hype surrounding Valentine’s getting to you? Do you sometimes feel like you’re missing the boat? The love boat, that is, the big white one that’s set to sail the high seas of expectations only to get caught up in the perfect storm of disappointment and run aground, leaving you emotionally marooned on a crumby desert island all by yourself?

Chances are, we’ve all felt this way at one time or another. Yet as I look around, I still see loads of people frantically searching for the perfect gift for that special someone in their life.

Don’t get me wrong. I love V Day as much as the next girl but sometimes, just sometimes, it hasn’t lived up to my expectations.

I mean, it might be the time I was doing my damnedest to be sexy and alluring whilst nibbling on caviar and sipping vodka in a kitschy Russian lounge only to be totally upstaged by the drunken Russian singer trying to pick up my date. From Russia with love? I don’t think so lady. Or maybe it was the Valentine’s Day (I clearly remember it was a Friday) I won the prize for best dressed at work—just so you know, I never win anything and was literally tingling with all the excitement only Miss Universe might experience—and couldn’t wait to bestow my heavenly graces on my boyfriend only to discover that he’d gone out on his own for the evening… He’d simply forgotten what day it was and made other plans. (Who does that anyhow?) No wonder my mother still gives me chocolates.

Ok, now it’s your turn. How about sharing some of your juicy Valentine stories?

Best Valentine Ever Contest

4 Simple Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Health, Love, Tips | Leave a comment

Have you ever made a list of really cool New Year’s resolutions only to suffer from total amnesia within weeks? Let’s face it. It’s mid-January and many of us have already clean forgotten the promises we made to ourselves on the first. Statements like no more drinking, being happier or losing weight. Sound familiar? Take my grandiose declaration, for instance, “I resolve to be more patient.” Well, that lasted a whole day and half. Yep, big resolutions tend to crash and burn quicker than it takes to say mashed potatoes.

So what’s the secret?

Montreal career coach Sandra Chéry says the key to establishing and maintaining realistic goals is by identifying one’s inner source of motivation. In other words, we need to ask ourselves: what do I really want in 2016? Once you know what it is you want to accomplish, you’re more likely to continue doing it.

Here are some helpful hints to figure out what’s worthy of your time and dedication in the New Year:

Relaxing to better visualize your resolutionsDream a Little…

Find yourself a cozy spot, prop up your feet, close your eyes and… dream. Daydreaming about your ideal self, career, relationship or family life clears the clutter and
gets your brain in sync with your inner motivation.

Determine What’s Important

As your mind wanders, reflect upon your core values. What’s important to you? Do you want to feel better about yourself? Do you want greater challenge in your career? Do you want to spend more time with friends and family? Determining what’s important will ultimately guide you in making realistic resolutions.

Writing down your resolutionsRecord Your Resolutions

Committing something to paper makes it real. Write down your resolutions using positive terms and break them down into small, manageable objectives. Your resolutions become far more realistic.

Get Yourself a Resolution Buddy

Once you’ve committed your resolutions to paper, share them with someone you trust—friend, spouse or partner—who will hold you accountable. Peer pressure tends to make one commit.

As a last resort, try my fail-proof idea and look to the movies for a little inspiration: make your resolution sound like a movie title! There’s nothing like a snappy resolution with a sexy ring to motivate a girl. Case in point, resolving to do more yoga in the coming year, I turned to the movie marquee and declared my resolution in 2016 to be… “Star Pose: The Yogi Awakens.”

Now, isn’t this way more fun to share over dinner with friends?

Happy New Year everyone!

Match Made in Underwear Heaven

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Fashion | Leave a comment

From the time we step out of bed to the moment we tuck in for the night, myriad decisions affect the way we live and feel. Great big decisions like: thong or panty? Or the more devious and connotation-laden quandary of cozy pyjamas vs sheer nightie. The choices we make lead to definite actions… and consequences.

The career we choose. The people we choose to work with or for. The place we choose to live, work and play in. The smorgasbord of choices we make throughout our lives is vast and varied.

Take the Miel Sisters and Salua Lingerie, for instance. In a bid to create bits of magic for us ladies to wear, the two brands have decided to join forces. Not only do they share a cultural heritage (they both hail from Colombia), they also share similar values when it comes to dressing today’s woman.

Miel Lingerie

Opting to work together and base themselves in Montreal, Camila and Valeria, the designing sisters behind the Miel brand, chose to design alluring seam-free bras, panties and camisoles with today’s busy active woman in mind. Miel is designed to take a gal from the gym to a night out on the town in one giant seamlessly sexy step.

Yoga_underwear_blue

Miel in the Desert

Salua Lingerie

When Shadia decided to take on the Salua sleepwear made famous by her mother in Santa Marta, Colombia and set up shop in Seattle, she pursued the tradition of creating beautiful ethereal pieces in lace and soft breathable cotton. Pieces are designed in Seattle yet manufactured in Colombia, another important decision for the designer.

Salua_lingerie_nightie

Looking pretty in Salua

Match Made in Underwear Heaven

Where Miel fits and flatters, Salua flits and flutters. Lucky for you, our exclusive DULCE NOCHE set doesn’t require you to choose between the two! It delivers a Salua boyfriend nightshirt and three Miel undies in one sweet bundle. Finally, a no-brainer!

Dulce_Noche_Lingerie_Set

Exclusively yours: the DULCE NOCHE set!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Love | Leave a comment

Do you have a female hero? A woman who inspires you and makes you want to live life to the fullest? Lucky for the Miel Sisters, inspiring women abound in their close-knit clan. Their mother Beatriz, for one, stands out as a role model. Fiercely independent and strong willed, this accomplished professor of sociology is a compelling force of nature, perhaps even more so now that she is abuelita, or grandma, to three adorable grand-children—Camila’s 1-year-old baby Fiona and Valeria’s 7-year-old son Miguel and 5-year-old daughter Alicia.

Strong female characters obviously run in the family because the sisters’ other major source of inspiration is their beloved aunt Coco. A lawyer in her native Colombia, Coco made human rights her top priority, always rooting for the underdog, and acted as a nurturing presence for the sisters and their friends over the years. Although she died of breast cancer in 2009, Coco continues to be a guiding light for Camila and Valeria who value the fierceness and love she exhibited throughout her life and illness. Named in her honour, their COCO camisole represents the unique blend of strength, support and comfort that made their tia Coco so special.

October is breast cancer awareness month and a time to celebrate our female heroes. In the midst of our busy lives, we should never forget their many victories and losses. Nor should we forget to take care of ourselves (get screened!) and have the sweetest time of our life.

Turning Your Underwear into Outerwear

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Fashion, Trends | 2 Comments

Blame it on the stars. Not the ones in the sky, the glitzy ones on stage and in the tabloids. Celebrities have been wearing underwear as outerwear with varying degrees of success for many seasons now and summer is no exception. Sure, Rihanna can rock a sheer jewel-embellished bra on the red carpet but is this trend sustainable in the real world?

Then again, it’s summer for all of us. Time to dive into the cool laid-back atmosphere of picnics, street festivals and lazy afternoons by the pool. Summertime calls for easy looks that you can pull together in a cinch. And what’s easier than walking around in your undies?

Camisoles

The easiest look to pull out of your top drawer is the camisole with built-in shelf bra. You can dress it up or down and make it totally yours with various accessories. Try pinning a small brooch or a cluster of tiny ones near the strap for instant glam. Add colour to your neckline with beads or a scarf.

For a casual and comfy style, pair a neutral form-fitting stretchy cami with loose and flirty bottoms (anything trimmed in lace is red hot). Tropical prints are cropping up everywhere this season and a smooth camisole provides a great counterpoint to this style.

Itching for something romantic yet edgy? Indulge in a creamy lace top over a sleek black camisole. Very chic.

Bras

Fear not, we’re not suggesting you walk out of the house in barely a bra. Indeed, there are ways of hinting at one’s intimates without revealing too much.

Consider the sheer factor. Light and flowing see-through blouses are enjoying their moment in the sun on all the runways. Cultivate your devil may care attitude by wearing a brightly coloured bra under a sheer t-shirt. Or go for tone on tone. Navy is big right now. Get on board by pairing a sheer navy blue blouse with a navy bra.

Have fun! If you’re going for a flirty look, then it’s okay to show a bra strap… the more colourful, the better. And if you want to go that extra mile? Steal a page from Gwen Stefani’s stylebook and match your bra with your purse!

Bandeaus

Bandeau-blackFor the young and restless, bandeaus are the quintessential summer garb. Who doesn’t love the sexy appeal of a bandeau peeking out from under a blazer, racerback camisole or blouse!

If you’d like to try out this look but prefer to err on the side of caution, wear a matching coloured bra with clear straps under your bandeau. Bandeaus with a stretchy ribcage band provide support and prevent slippage. Throw on a sheer blouse, light cardigan or blazer and you’re set for a glorious night under the stars.

A Few Rules of Thumb

When taking your bras, bandeaus and camisoles out for a spin, remember that this look works its magic in a relaxed and casual setting, not in the office or any other formal environment.

Another important thing to keep in mind: make sure your undergarments fit perfectly. You definitely don’t want any unsightly bulges or rib bands riding up.

See? You can make lingerie the star of your summer outfit in an elegant and eye-catching manner without resorting to see-through mesh shorts or fishnet onesies. Cheers to gracefully getting your underwear out of the closet!

 

Niki Beaudreau on Food, Fashion and Fun in the Sun

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Beauty, Health | Leave a comment

ComNiki Beaudreaue summer, many of us love to dress light and eat right. Because healthy eating is such a vital ingredient in any balanced lifestyle, we’ve turned to Niki Beaudreau for some insight. As a registered dietitian in Montreal and author of the popular blog Niki Nutrition, Annique gives us the lowdown on her food choices, personal style and dream vacation.

You’re a proponent of clean eating and plant-based foods. Any suggestions for today’s busy woman on the go from morning to night?

Eat real, not fake. I try to eat as nature intended and avoid as many man-made foods as possible. For instance, it’s way better to eat apples instead of applesauce and soybeans instead of tofu. Not only is food from nature better for us all from a biological and digestive standpoint, it’s better for the environment—less transformations to our food means less overall energy needed to bring nature to market.

Many foods are already perfectly packaged by nature and easy to carry in a bag or purse, such as nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, dried fruit. Ask anyone, my purse is like a pantry chock full of delicious treasures. That way, I never have an excuse to not eat healthy.

Lastly, planning is key! On the weekend, I’ll often make huuuuuuge batches of food that I store in Mason jars for the week. For example, mix together quinoa, tomatoes, chickpeas,  garlic and cumin, and you have yourself a fun, light, healthy meal.

Does your food philosophy influence your fashion sense?

Of course! I own a lot of floral blouses and dresses… Go flower (and plant) power!

But seriously, as a vegetarian and a proponent of animal well-being, I certainly prevent myself from buying any new leather coats or purses, or suede boots, for instance.

Also, I like simplicity and colour, and prefer quality over quantity when it comes to fashion and food.

After a long and drawn out winter, the warm weather is finally here. What miel items will you be coveting this summer? 

I’m a big fan of seamless so I will definitely be rocking the NANA bra.

What is your daily beauty routine?

Again, pretty simple. I wash my face, slap on some SPF-50 face cream and organic mascara, and I’m good to go.

Regarding cosmetics, I like to go for products that haven’t been tested on animals and are exempt of parabens, sodium laureth sulfate and other endocrine-disrupting agents.

When I really want to go all out, l make homemade face masks using avocado, matcha green tea and lemon.

Before bed, I cover my face in olive oil (my boyfriend thinks I’m crazy). It leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated come morning.

You obviously lead a very active lifestyle. How do you stay so fit?

I’m all about mixing things up. I play soccer once a week (sometimes twice!), I practice yoga at least once a week to stay nice and limber, I train HITT style at least twice a week (thank you, YouTube) and I dance Zumba almost every day. As a Zumba instructor, it’s crucial to be on my A-game and up to date.

What was the best “active” holiday you’ve ever be on?

Costa Rica, hands down. My boyfriend and I travelled to this beautiful country in search of yoga and hiking. And that is exactly what we did for 10 days. We hiked to waterfalls, biked through shallow water to mysterious islands and did sunset yoga every night to the sounds of tropical birds and howler monkeys. Truly amazing. I highly recommend Costa Rica if you’re looking to rough it up, get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the beauty of mother nature.

Yoga-at-sunsetYoga-at-sunsetIt’s June and many of us want to make the most of the long summertime days. What foods or snacks do you suggest to boost our energy?

Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans), nuts, seasonal fruit, juices and water—lots of water.

Nuts because they’re easy to carry around and packed with tasty energy. I personally prefer salted cashews or plain walnuts. A few handfuls of either can provide you with enough protein and healthy fat to keep you full between meals. Then, quench that thirst (thanks salty nuts!) with some freshly squeezed juice made with orange, grapefruit, lemon, ginger and turmeric. This sweet combo makes me one happy girl!

Lastly, I’m going to channel a motherly tone here, but I can’t help reiterating the importance of drinking lots of water during long summer days. It’s very easy to get dehydrated when it’s hot, especially when you’re active, so be sure to keep your energy levels up by drinking lots of H2O. I like to add mint leaves or grated ginger to my water, just to make it more enticing!

What is one of your favourite healthy dishes that you like to whip up for friends or family?

Soups! Though they’re more of a side dish, they’re quick and easy to make. From gazpachos and miso soups to vegetable soups, soups represent a fantastic way to get some veggies into my loved ones. And, yes, comments from the peanut gallery are always positive!

What’s always in your fridge?

Soy milk, multi-grain bread, hemp seeds, fresh fruit, spinach and peanut butter.

Any guilty pleasures other than dark chocolate and red wine?

Where do I even begin? Popcorn. Oh man, when it comes to popcorn, I’m bad. Whether binge watching Mindy Project or reruns of Happy Endings, I can crush a bag of popcorn all on my own, no problem. Wait. Is that a problem?

Let’s wrap this up with an easy recipe involving something sweet like honey. Anything you care to share?

I thought you’d never ask. My chickpea blondies recipe is one of my all-time favourites.

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Shopping | Leave a comment

Here is the Miel Sisters’ ultimate gift guide for all you beautiful, active moms! Whether you’re shopping for a mom you know and admire or hoping to nudge your significant other in the right direction, here are some great ideas to celebrate mothers in style.

To top it all off, we’ve teamed up with two of our fave brands, Salua Lingerie and Soak modern laundry care, for a fabulous Mother’s Day Sweet Giveaway on Instagram and Facebook. Enter and you might win this fantastic trio:

  • Salua Lingerie’s new spring 2015 tank top and shorts set
  • Soak no-rinse wash
  • miel® camisole and panty

Contest ends at midnight Sunday, May 10. The winner of prize draw will be chosen at random and contacted via email or Facebook for size and shipping details. Good luck to all participants! Click here to enter.

Gift Guide

1. Fabletics Activewear

Today’s active woman wants to look stylish whether she’s at yoga, having coffee with friends or out with the kids. Who has time to change? Fabletics covers all bases in various styles and colours.

Fabletics Activewear

Photo courtesy of Fablectics Facebook

2. Salua Lingerie

Sweet dreams call for Salua Lingerie’s boyfriend pajama shirt. Soft, silky and very womanly, it’s perfect for a cozy night at home.

Salua-Lingerie-PJ

Photo courtesy of Salua Lingerie Facebook

3. Bombas Athletic Socks

Funky and colourful, these “mind-blowingly comfy socks” are out on mission. For every pair sold, Bombas donates a pair to the needy. Need we say more?

Bombas Athletic Socks

Photo courtesy of Bombas Facebook

 4. Yosi Samra Footwear

Follow in the footsteps of the cool urban crowds! Yosi Samra’s foldable flats, sandals, loafers and oxfords are windows to the best-looking soles walking this planet.

YS Flats

Photo courtesy of Yosi Samra Facebook

5. Oh Joy! Lifestyle Book

Billed by Time magazine as one of the most influential people on the Internet, Joy Cho has turned her colourful lifestyle blog Oh Joy! into pure joy for millions of fans. Her new book is just as delightful!

Oh Joy Book

Photo courtesy of Oh Joy! Website

6. Soak No-Rinse Wash

Soak is “modern care for the laundry you love.” Perfect for lingerie and workout clothes, this no-rinse wash comes in original scents and adorable packaging. Check out their cute soakbox gift sets!

Soak

Photo courtesy of Soak website

7. Miel Sisters Lingerie

This gift guide wouldn’t be complete without a touch of miel®… How about this weekend favourite?

Miel-Cami-PantyCoco camisole and Iris hipster in white

 

Getting to the Bottom of my Underwear

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Fashion, Love | Leave a comment

Dear reader, it’s time to pack up my panties and head south for a little R&R. Well, this might be an overstatement. Hubby and I are taking the offspring to the land of Mickey. Fact is, I don’t know how much relaxing I’ll be doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m looking forward to this little trip of ours. But I’m gonna need all the support I can get. And you know what this means, don’t you? My underpants better be up to snuff.

When I first started wearing miel®, I fell in love with their seamless design, bright colours and super soft touch. They look—and feel!—so good. But there’s more to them than just good looks. The Miel Sisters are quick to point out that their unmentionables not only are breathable and moisture wicking but also keep a gal feeling fresh from morning to night.

Breathable? Moisture wicking? Gosh, I just want a nice pair of panties.

Miel Underwear

Moisture-Wicking Underwear

Miel® intimates are made out of a Spandex and microfiber blend with the power to wick away moisture. Neat, huh? Yes, but … what does this mean? My trusty Oxford partially helped by defining “to wick” as the ability to “absorb or draw off moisture” but I was too distracted by the expression “to dip one’s wick”(which you can look up for yourselves) to pay much attention to anything else.

So I turned to the experts. (How did people manage before Google?) To wick away moisture means that the fabric weave forces moisture out instead of absorbing it. Moisture is released to the exterior where it evaporates upon contact with air. So you always feel nice and dry in your knickers. That’s a plus when you’re having a long day. With a couple of screaming kids. At the world’s largest amusement park.

What About Feeling Fresh?

My miel® undies do keep me feeling fresh a lot longer than my old cotton briefs. And guess what? There’s actual science to back this up. Did you know that all miel® lingerie includes a built-in botanical antimicrobial protection against stains and odors? Derived from essential oils and minerals, Guardin™, an eco-friendly natural product, is added during the textile manufacturing process. It prevents the growth of nasty bacteria causing odor or stains so bras and panties remain clean and odorless for a nice long time.

Knowledge is key when it comes to dressing for a trip fit for a mouse. Looks like I’m all set for a fun-filled stay at Disney. Now, if only I could get my kids to be more like my underwear: fresh, odorless and stain free.

The 7 Best Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Posted on by Miz Miel / Posted in Love | 2 Comments

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Actually, now that we’ve tucked away the Super Bowl, V Day’s virtually here, there and everywhere as witnessed by the invasion of red hearts, pink cards and white stuffed bears in supermarkets, pharmacies and department stores. There’s no escaping it. Love is in the air, whether we like it or not.

miel-wireless-bra-and-seamless-hipster-in-red

Will You Be Mine? Wireless NANA Bra and Seamless IRIS Hipster in Radiant Red

Apologies to former boyfriends but try as I might, I can’t remember a single Valentine’s that blew my socks off. Too much expectation, too much hype, too much pressure. (Too much wine?) Heck, it’s probably too much for any healthy relationship. In fact, my most vivid Valentine memories hail far back to my childhood: the heart-shaped caked with pink frosting my mom made, the boxes of assorted chocolates, the cutout Valentine’s Day cards we’d give to our grand-parents and best friends. For me, Valentine’s has always been, and will always be, about friends, family… and my sweet tooth.

Whether you’re happily single, merrily coupled up or cozily nestled in a family, why not take this once-in-a-year chance to do something special and loving. Here are 7 sweet ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day:

1. Send a Valentine’s card to your best friend. Lovers may come and go in our lives, but good friends are around for the long run. Let your best buddy know just how special she (or he) really is.

2. Treat yourself to a spa day. Lord knows how tough February can be on our skin, hair and nails, and we need all the pampering we can get. A good facial, deep tissue massage or soak in a whirlpool is just what the Love Doctor ordered.

If you have a favourite spa in mind, remember to reserve early, as Valentine’s falls on a Saturday this year.

However, if like me, you have an aversion to overcrowded tubs and are in the mood to stay home, indulge in a nice long bath (to avoid drying out your skin, add essential oil such as lavender or eucalyptus), a homemade face mask and a cozy robe. I’m loving these easy home recipes.

3. Enjoy some quality alone time. Splurge on great takeout, a fun movie or the latest bestseller (and no, it doesn’t have to be 50 Shades of Grey). Plus, nothing says indulgence quite like a glass of bubbly… Champagne, sparkling wine, spritzer… It’s your day, choose what you love best!

4. Throw a dinner party. I’m no Nigella Lawson, so I need a nice leisurely afternoon to prepare, cook and taste. Maybe even nap. Before guests arrive (or loved ones start whining for food), set the table and change into something fancy. My grandmother always used to get dressed up for dinner, guests or no guests. Some customs are worth revisiting, especially for a special evening.

5. Plan a game night with family members or a group of friends. Scrabble, Risk, Monopoly, go for the classics or try newer board games like Settlers of Catan. Load up on nibbles and hand out candies and chocolates as prizes. This is a great opportunity to turn off all electronic gizmos and tune in to each other.

6. Reconnect with Mother Nature by going for a long walk. According to one Harvard biologist, “we have an innate need to connect with the environment. Nature makes us feel whole.” (For more info on the topic, see the December edition of Vogue.)

7. Slip into something a little more comfortable

Why bother with stiff bras and scratchy panties that feel tight and uncomfortable? Remember girls: sexy is a state of mind and the ultimate luxury is feeling good in your own skin. To slip into something comfortable without sacrificing sexiness, now that’s the essence of femininity. I’ll take comfort and freshness over starched laced any day. Trust me, nothing says sexy like a happy woman. And when I’m wearing my IRIS hipster, I’m one happy woman.

How will you spend Valentine’s Day? Are you a hopeless romantic or a jaded cynic?

Share your comments with us, we’d love to hear from you!