February 01, 2024
February is the month we always associate with love, and while the symbol we use most often to represent it is a heart, at partager la joie we’ve come to think of love as a circle. The love in our lives surrounds us, as we encircle our loved ones. And the love we give out into the world circles back around to enrich us in more ways than we can count—for us this is the true meaning of sharing the joy. As part of our February focus on love, let’s take some time to think about the important people in our lives who are part of that circle. This means our family and friends. Think of that person you love getting together with because they make you laugh so hard. That person who really inspires you, and brings a ray of sunshine to your day. That person who genuinely wants the best for you and is always there for you. That person who listens to what you're saying and makes you feel heard and understood. That person who would do anything for you, and loves you always and unconditionally.
It’s vital to us, as human beings, to focus on taking care of each other by sharing our sorrows and joys with people who care about us. Identifying and reflecting on our inner circle of positive, supportive love and celebrating those bonds is a beautiful way to experience gratitude and nurture each other. February is the shortest month of the year, so let’s make the most of these spirited winter days—celebrate love and look forward to spring blooms ahead!
On Our February Agenda
Cherishing the art of a hand-written note
Have you noticed how we seem to keep moving further and further away from handwriting? The convenience and speed of our technology is certainly responsible, but the act of writing as compared to typing words has been shown to stimulate brain development, creativity, and memory. It seems fitting this month that we give this some thought and consider taking the time to create a beautiful handwritten note as a wonderful expression of our love.
I’d like to share a little story with you, something I remember fondly as a kind of love note. My grandmother addressed all her letters and cards in calligraphy—it was just what she always did. As you could imagine, this could be a tedious task.. Looking back on it, I guess you could say this was her brand. When it came time for our wedding, I asked her if she would hand-address our invitations with her calligraphy. At first she was a bit reluctant because she felt her writing wasn’t up to her own standards. But for me this personalization—her writing, the time and detail she put into every card—meant everything to me, and is something that I hold so dearly in my heart to this day. It was an amazing and thoughtful gift of love from an incredibly inspiring, special grandmother.
The gift of our written expressions of love can become treasures for the beloved recipient. So, in celebration of the month of love, your Valentine’s plj challenge is to choose a few people who are very special to you and write them a love note, by hand.
Do you remember the thrill of getting Valentine’s cards from friends at school when you were a child? Be inspired to create your own sentiments for your circle of love this year. Perhaps it's sharing a favorite photo with a caption, a simple card, a video message, a small gift, or of course a handwritten note. Remember, it's the thoughtful little things that bring smiles and unforgettable moments of joy! Valentine’s Day is associated with romantic love, but it can also be a day for expressing all the affection of friendship and other close bonds we have in our lives.
And while we’re at it, what about love notes for ourselves? We consider keeping our own notes, thoughts, and inspirations organized in a journal or beautiful book as a great way to save our ideas. These notes can serve as brainstorming points for upcoming projects, gatherings or design goals. They are also helpful to facilitate communication with our team or family and a wonderful keepsake for us to remember our important moments, dreams, and aspirations.
Tips for staying motivated during the winter:
Love is what makes the world go round every day of the year, but February14th is a special moment to express it. We talked about Valentine’s cards/love notes above, but this celebration can also take the form of compliments, encouragement, and other kind words and gestures. If you’re proud of or impressed by someone and their efforts or achievements, tell them—it will make their day! Little things go a long way to building a healthy community of people who feel loved, so be inspired by the littlest acts of love today and everyday. Create a playlist of your favorite songs expressing love or affection and send it to someone special. Plan a special dinner or lunch, bake a healthy treat, meet for a coffee or take a walk, or plan another type of wellness-focused day with a friend. There are so many meaningful ways to share the joy! If you have a great idea for a special Valentine’s gesture, let us know or tag us in a post—we’d love to share your inspiration with the plj community!
We love the sweet sentiments and treats that always accompany Valentine’s Day but not the commercial aspect of those cute but superficial elements of the celebration. We’d like to dig a little deeper into the theme of love, taking it apart letter by letter.
L — Live with wellness in mind. Incorporate more healthy habits into your day.
O — Offer kindness in your day and look for opportunities to share this joy with those around you.
V — Vary the everyday. Indulge your spontaneous side. Laugh a lot and make changes to vary your daily routine, home, and menu.
E — Experience the new. This topic is woven into almost all our blogs because it is so important. We as humans are naturally curious and inquisitive; it’s discovering what we’d like to do that sometimes hinders us. Start small, choose something you’d like to learn about, and give it a try. If it's not for you, move on to something else. If you’re interested, dig deeper! Continuously learning and gaining new skills keeps us active, healthy, vibrant and connected to the special people in our lives. Let February serve as an opportunity to choose to learn a new skill or explore something you have interest in.
At plj we’ve taken our desire for new experiences to heart in many ways with our love for travel, motivation to live well, and desire to learn the many skills needed to grow our brand. Every day can present a new learning experience and many times challenging ones, but one thing's for sure, we love every minute! Follow along with us on IG and let us know if you’re embarking on something new—we’d love to hear from you! Inspiring each other is the best way to grow a community focused on positivity and joy.
If travel is part of your winter plans, we’re here to share our tips! We’ve been traveling quite a bit and have created a foolproof carry-on packing list template for you and your family, so everyone has what they need on their next flight:
For your carry on/personal items:
Take February to Heart
We put a lot of emphasis on hearts as an emotional symbol in February, but let’s not forget that it is Heart Health Awareness month! As you may know, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. At partager la joie we’re always striving toward a healthy lifestyle and look at this month as an opportunity to renew our focus on heart health and encourage the ones we love to do the same. After all, is there a better way to show love for yourself and the people around you than by embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle? We can make a significant impact on our wellbeing by eating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, daily exercise, adequate sleep, and reducing stressors—all simple changes to keep our hearts healthy.
Here’s our ❤️healthy reminder to renew or consider taking a class to learn how to perform simple but life-saving CPR. It may not be something we like to think about, but people with basic CPR and AED training are most likely to use those skills on a loved one or close friend. Let’s increase our awareness and readiness to give the kind of help that can save a life. For more information on cardiovascular disease and tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle or CPR classes, visit the American Heart Association.
Let’s talk about passion fruit
Did you know that passion fruit is a superfood? It’s full of health benefits—iron, and antioxidants the body uses to make cartilage, muscle, bone, and collagen. It's also relatively low in sugar compared to other fruit, and helps with lowering inflammation in the body and protecting against cell damage. Could there be a more fitting fruit for this month of love? Have one as a snack or check out our epicure for a few ideas of how to incorporate this superfruit into your February menu. In addition to all things passion, our epicure this month is inspired by healthy recipes and a little bit of chocolate love!
Passion Fruit Juice
Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
No-Bake Superfood Brownies
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Lilikoi Posset (Passion Fruit Pudding)
Raspberry Bread Pudding
Soy Ginger Salmon with Bok Choy
Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas
Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Reduction
Vietnamese Fresh Rolls
Love Staying Home
Flowers we adore
Subtle, simple, seasonal arrangements that hint at spring are our inspiration this month. Quince and cherry blossoms bring a joyous bundle of pale pink or white to an entrance, kitchen island, or dining table. Flowering branches alone make a beautiful statement, or you can anchor a few blooming cherry branches with hydrangeas and ornamental greens for a fragrant and stunning arrangement.
Set your table with nature’s blooms
Incorporating nature into your tablescapes during winter months adds brightness and a sense of new life to your gatherings. Flowering branches, potted plants, and assorted fragrant greens or herbs are all wonderful choices. Let spring come early to your interiors and try growing some beautiful bulbs now indoors. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths are perfect choices for indoor containers.
Here’s how we do it:
Remember to keep your bulbs in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to use them.
Brighten and Refresh Indoor Living Spaces
Forage through your home, both indoors and out, for unique elements to lighten up your living style. This is a fantastic way to utilize what you already have—something as simple as restyling your nightstand or coffee table or filling a vase with fresh or faux greens or flowering branches in your entryway or kitchen. Small containers with a simple sprig or a bouquet of favorite flowers bring a welcome touch to any room. A freshly painted creamy white wall, changing up the pillows on a sofa, adding a new area rug or a new piece of artwork… These are all easy ways to revitalize and brighten a tired space. Once you get comfortable with your own creativity and style, you’re going to love looking forward to editing your style design with every season.
If you’d love to give your home an edit but you’re not feeling particularly inspired or you’d like a fresh perspective, we’d love to help! Reach out for more information on scheduling an Inspiration Workshop with us.
Gifts from the Heart
Looking for something special? Browse our style, home, and wellness collections to shop our February finds—luxurious loungewear, stylish faux fur separates, cute caps and mittens, and charmingly practical wool pouches and carryalls to keep cozy on blustery days. We’ve got you covered for all your winter plans with our super soft travel collection and accessories to keep you comfortable on the go. Give your table a little love and warmth with beautiful linens and olive wood and woven accessories. Shop our Refresh and Relax bath salts, lavender eye pillows, rose hydrating mist, and a rose quartz Love & Harmony candle—perfect for creating balance with your winter self-care routine. Our luxurious throw blankets, soft leather blush journals, adorable striped tees adorned with a red heart and can't wait for spring floral dress make perfect Valentine’s Day gifts.
Love is at the Heart
Often the most important gift we can give our loved ones is spending time with them. Quality time with family, friends, and the community is how we draw and connect with our circle of love. The sweet little touches of thoughtfulness we share during this month of love are wonderful symbols of love, but it's truly this connection that matters most. The memories we create together can last a lifetime. Make the effort to nurture these relationships—celebrate love by living, laughing, and making time for each other. Embrace your circle of love and celebrate them by letting them know how special they are❤️
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