STARTING HOLIDAY TRADITIONS IN A FAMILY THAT NEVER HAD ANY

For as long as I can remember, my family never had those traditions that most families have when the holidays rolled around. Whenever it came to anything holiday related, my dad would be working for the extra money, and sometimes we’d go and see him at work for dinner. That was basically our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration every year for as long as I can remember.

About four years ago when I started dating my now husband, I began to see what the holidays should really be like. His family is very big on holidays to the extent of arguing over who gets to host which holiday each year. And that’s when I started to see how much fun the holidays could actually be.

My sister and I decided right then and there that we were going to make our own traditions. Forget the fact that all these years we never had any. We just decided with the snap of our fingers we needed to do this for us, and if we met others along the way that would join us, great! If not, we would still make it happen.

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We started with little things like watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version) and listening to Christmas songs when they played on the radio. Pinterest wasn’t as big as it is now, but we were able to find ideas through that and Google. We saw that “Elf on a Shelf” was big with parents, and how adults in general were using the idea of naughty elves to make funny jokes.

That year my husband actually bought us both an “Elf on a Shelf” for Christmas. It was one of the best things we’d ever received because we’d never had anything like it. We kept it in the box because we didn’t want to ruin it, but we put it to use the next year. The second year was a little hard to do anything because of health issues with my dad, but the year after we decided to wear ugly Christmas sweaters with our significant others, and they were FUNNY! I bought mine but my sister made hers and my husband’s that year.

Last year, we brought my husband’s cousin into the family traditions. We all chose to wear some kind of Grinch themed clothing and it was great! It made us all happy that we could start doing these small things which meant a great deal. This year we’re still trying to decide what we are going to do, but we are steering towards actually dressing up as our very own “Elf on a Shelf.” We are very crafty people so we might even sew our own costumes!

What hits us especially this year is that my sister is pregnant and will be giving birth around Christmas time. We’ve promised to give her daughter these traditions that we never had growing up, because we want her to be happy during a time that always felt like a chore to us as kids. It just takes one person (or two in our case) to decide that the holidays are going to be happy time, rather than something to dread.

Find new friends to start your traditions with by downloading the Hey! VINA app today!

HOW TO HANDLE NOT FEELING JAZZED ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. I’m a single mom to two boys, 18 and 6. I’m supposed to be decking all the halls in balls of jolly, but I just can’t get into the spirit. Every year, the holiday decorations arrive in stores just one week earlier than the last. Thanksgiving napkins get mixed in with the candy corn and candy canes. How does a vina deal with not feeling that sparkling holiday spirit?

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ACKNOWLEDGE IT

There is nothing worse than feeling bad for feeling bad about something that you’re not supposed to feel bad about. Everyone has their reasons for not embracing all the glitz and gold of the holiday season. Whatever you’re reasoning is, it should be something you acknowledge. Once you can admit that you are not psyched to exchange gifts or make cookies, you can get past all the emotions that are associated with the less than enthusiastic months.

As a mom, I felt guilty and bitter because I didn’t want to celebrate the holidays. Heck! Some of my worst moments have happened on or near these major holidays. But as moms usually do, I smiled and told people how excited I was for the gift swapping and holiday punch. At first, when I told people how I disliked the holidays I got the “oh, stop you’re a mom” and the “you’re only saying that because you’re feeling down right now” responses. But over time, I remained true to how I felt and people learned to accept it.

MAKE THE HOLIDAY YOUR OWN

There is an enormous amount of pressure to have a perfectly decorated house and gorgeous table arrangement. Pinterest and Facebook have everyone’s snapshot of their amazing winter scenes. The cool girls from college are all doing that annual group dinner. Whatever the case may be, don’t feel pressured to make your holiday experience like everyone else’s. You make a slammin’ breakfast casserole (which just so happens to be my personal claim to fame), then rock it! Find one thing about the holidays that gets you even slightly psyched, and own it.

FIND YOUR HOLIDAY TRIBE

Believe me when I tell you that you are not the only vina out there that doesn’t jump for joy for the holidays. There are other women out there that feel the same way but are most likely reluctant to mention it. Be honest about your likes and dislikes, and find that vina companion.

Another great way to get through the holidays is to totally celebrate them! You’re probably saying, “Um, ok she literally just told me it was perfectly cool if I didn’t.” But invite other vinas to a party and just celebrate being alive!

Whether your bells jingle or you Grinch it up during the holiday season, you are entitled to feel how you’re feeling. Make the best of each day and find a reason to celebrate anything that means something to you.

To find your holiday tribe, download Hey! VINA and start swiping! Or create an open plan — holiday craft night, anyone? — and meet more vinas that way.🎁🌲

 

 

5 PERFECT FALL VINA DATES

Fall is, without a doubt, the. Best. Season. Ever. It’s nice enough weather-wise to do just about anything outside, but also cool enough that you don’t feel bad curling up on the couch under a warm blanket with a nice cup of tea. Whatever you’re in the mood for, here are five vina date ideas to spice up your fall!

SCARY MOVIE NIGHT

Curl up on the couch with your fave vinas and binge-watch all your favorite Halloween movies. Choose between a hether a horror movie marathon or seasonal childhood favorites and watch away!

CARVE PUMPKINS

What better way to get ready for Halloween than to carve a pumpkin with your vinas! Must-have items include some wine, some Halloween tunes, and the funniest designs you can find. What more could you need?

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GET LOST IN A CORN MAZE

Nothing is more fun than exploring a corn maze and ending up hopelessly lost for an hour in the gorgeous fall weather. Stick together and finding the exit with your vinas is a great bonding activity that will make you closer than ever before!

GO APPLE PICKING

The crisp air, the crunchy apples and the special fall photo-op make apple picking the perfect weekend activity. Plus, you could take your freshly picked apples and learn to bake an apple pie for you and your vinas!

GO TO A FEAR FARM

Fear farms are simultaneously the best and worst part about Halloween.  Something about that adrenaline rush from the jump scarese is so fun to experience with your vinas.

No matter what you are doing, being with your vinas is all that really matters. So go out and enjoy your day with your fave girls!

Ready to do one of these activities? Start swiping on Hey! VINA to find your vinas and make it happen! 

THE PERFECT HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FOR YOU & YOUR VINAS

Halloween is the perfect holiday to hang with your vinas—and what better way to bond than to coordinate Halloween costumes? Choosing Halloween costumes can be a difficult task, but no fear. We’ve got you covered with a list of the perfect Halloween costumes for you and your vinas!

MEAN GIRLS CHARACTERS

If you and your vinas love to wear pink, you can definitely dress up as the plastics from Mean Girls. It’ll be extra special because Halloween is on a Wednesday this year and everyone knows, on Wednesday’s we wear pink! Just make sure you don’t fight over who gets to be Regina George.

RIVERDALE CAST

Season 2 of Riverdale premieres in October, so if you and your Vinas are big fans of the show be sure to rock Riverdale costumes! You and your vinas can be Betty, Veronica, Cheryl and Josie. Choose the character that reflects your personality or a character that is your total opposite; it’s Halloween after all!

DISNEY PRINCESSES

Everyone knows that you and your vinas are queens, but maybe for just one night you can settle for being princesses. This costume is particularly great if you have a large friend group because you can dress up as every princess from Cinderella to Moana. If you don’t want to look childish you can go for a more casual Disney princess-inspired costume instead of a dress.

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MARVEL HEROES

If you and your vinas can’t wait for the next Avengers movie, what better costume to wear than Marvel superheroes! You can dress up as all the female superheroes like Gamora, Nebula, Black Widow, and Scarlet Witch or dress as the female version of your fave male heroes. If you’re feeling extra creative you can incorporate characters from the comics like Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, and Captain Marvel too.

OCEANS 8 CHARACTERS

One of this summer’s hottest movies was Oceans 8. The cool thing about the movie is that it featured a completely female cast! You and your vinas can dress up characters from Oceans 8 for the ultimate girl power costume.

KARDASHIAN/JENNER SISTERS

If you and your vinas are almost as close as sisters, then dressing up as the Kardashian/Jenner sisters for Halloween is perfect for you. The best part is you can be super creative when it comes to this costume. Carry around a lip kit as Kylie, dress up in the same outfit Kendall did for a magazine cover or take selfies all night as Kim!

MINIONS

If you and your vinas are still kids at heart, why not dress up as minions! Not only is the costume super easy to put together (even last minute for all my procrastinators) it’s also super cute. As an added bonus, the neon yellow minion color is a great way to easily spot your vinas in the largest of crowds.

BRING IT ON CHEERLEADERS

If you and your vinas are always the most spirited friends wherever you go, then dressing up as the cheerleaders from Bring It On is perfect. Half of your vinas can dress up as the Toros and the other half as the Clovers for some friendly competition. These costumes are the ultimate throwback which is sure to make everyone nostalgic.

M&M’S

One of the most simple costumes is an M&M. You can buy the costume or easily DIY the costume by drawing an “M” on your favorite dress or shirt. You and your vinas can be every color of the famous chocolate candy. The assortment of colors will look adorable for any pictures you take!

PAGEANT QUEENS

If you and your vinas love being extra, dressing up as pageant queens is definitely for you. You can put on your favorite evening gowns and a tiara to match! The best part is you can DIY your pageant sashes with a blank one, writing the “pageant title” yourself. You can each choose your own pageant title and be as creative as you want you, from “Miss Universe” to “Miss Halloween.”

Good luck with your costumes, vinas! And remember, you can always find your costume crew on Hey! VINA!

 

YOUR VINA-APPROVED OCTOBER FUN LIST!

It’s officially 🍂fall🍁, which means this month is filled with Halloween costume planning, apple pie making and of course, everything pumpkin spice! For some vinas, this is the highlight of their year—for more than one reason. Sure, the days get shorter, but the sleeves get longer, the sweaters get warmer and the fun gets going. As a vina who personally loves fall, I always have a ‘Fall Bucket List’ of activities that I can only do this time of the year without any shame at all!

PUMPKIN SPICE, SO NICE

I know. . . it’s a total cliche, but who cares?! It seems like the whole world is engulfed in pumpkin spice this time of year which is so right! So bring out the pumpkin-scented candles, brew some pumpkin spice coffee, and make some delicious pumpkin pie! Embrace everything-PS that comes with this new season.

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FALL CLEANING

The beginning of fall has vinas opening windows and letting the cool, crisp air in. There is nothing better than getting your pad comfy and cozy with some clean space. Welcome in the fall with some new curtains or a fall-inspired duvet set. While you’re at it, it’s a great time to purge all those summertime dresses that you will never wear again. This is the perfect opportunity to refresh your closet and get fall attire!

MAKE SCARECROWS

Remember how we just purged our wardrobe? Well, let’s get creative! Buy some hay from the local market or check out a craft store and make a scarecrow. Host your own plans in the VINA app in the plans page and get local DYI-loving vinas together to make a group of scarecrows that look like yourselves. Dress them up in clothes, hats, and accessories, then put them up to decorate your house or apartment!

FALL FESTIVITIES

The weather is so pleasant this time of year and people are still looking to get out and have fun. Check out local festivals or find the nearest Oktoberfest. You’ll be spending a day enjoying the outdoors, sipping on beer or hot apple cider, and tasting some of the season’s best foods and desserts. Invite your vinas and have a blast!

JUST ENJOY!

The best way to spend fall–or any season–is by being present and staying in the moment. All too often the leaves change colors, fall to the ground, and become a crispy remembrance. Look at the leaves and notice the orange, red, and yellow colors. Appreciate the gift of a new season and enjoy what is around you. Take advantage of the time and make sure your fall season is packed with activities, crafts, and a little pumpkin spice!

Looking for some vinas to enjoy this fall with? Get the Hey! VINA app now and start swiping!

 

GETTING AWAY WITH THE SAME COSTUME TO EVERY HALLOWEEN PARTY

Yes, vinas. We know the Hallo-weekend struggle is real. You are one popular lady and were invited to 6 parties. You are ambitious enough to try to attend them all, but your selfie game is also very real. It’s important to you that your tagged photos don’t feature the same tired Halloween costume for all six events.

Here is the 1-2-3’s of getting away with murder with the same costume to every Halloween party:

1. YOUR FOUNDATION IS BLACK LEGGINGS OR A LBD.

Choose a costume foundation that is comfortable and sweat-resistant. You will be sweating up a storm, moving from party to party, dancing with your vinas, changing your costume in the back of a taxi. Be smart and wear your Lululemon lifesaver.

2. SAVE A HIGH-MAINTENANCE SHOWSTOPPER FOR YOUR FIRST COSTUME.

The most high-maintenance outfit should be saved for your first costume. With something as difficult as a grape costume á la purple balloons, your preparation time should take place at home – not in a moving vehicle or a public restroom.

3. SHORT APPEARANCES ONLY REQUIRE ACCESSORIES

For parties that are more for face value than extended stay, save the time and effort and put on an accessory, like a wig, hipster glasses, or animal headband.

4. SAVE FACE PAINT FOR YOUR LAST PARTY.

An easy transition into the last party is to face paint your face into an epic costume. Turn into the Snapchat dog filter or go full mime with a red beret and a trendy striped top.

(Featured image by Popsugar)