Aly's Newsletter: Monday Edition
Good morning, friends!
I hope you had a restful weekend! I spent the weekend hanging out with my furry little friends and tending to my window herb garden.
I don’t have any outdoor space where I live, so I spent a long time thinking a garden wasn’t in the cards for me. However, one positive development that came after the last few years of spending so much more time at home is that I began to use my window ledge for a bit of a capsule garden.
I grow fresh herbs there, which not only helps to make my small and sometimes cold-feeling space feel more alive, but is also a fantastic tool for grocery budgets. By growing my own fresh herbs, I never have to buy it, and that saves a ton of money.
Buying, say, a bunch of basil at your local grocery store can run you as much as $5, and it’ll start to wilt in a few days. Multiply that by a few kind of herbs and doing it week in and week out, that can get very expensive! But by growing your own, you only spend what you need in seeds (which is pennies) and you have as much as you need, fresh and ready, for as long as you need it. I can’t recommend it strongly enough! Right now, I have basil, mint, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and thyme on my window, and I’m soon going to add Thai basil to the mix too (because I think it makes a stir fry so much better). Try it, I promise you will not regret it.
Speaking of food and groceries, I sent out the weekly paid edition of my newsletter on Saturday - this week's focus was a rather long deep dive into how to plan and execute a great virtual cooking zoom that people will want to attend. Paid subscribers can view that post and any other paid posts at any time. Want to see it too?
Upgrade your subscription below! It's the kind of advice I give on my paid consulting calls, but instead you are getting it for a monthly fee of around the cost of a latte. As now we're in a time where there's a lot less "real" events and a lot more virtual events, it's information you may find useful.
Here's what I'm working on for this week:
1 - For RetailMeNot, I'm looking for statement candles that are so pretty, they may just be too pretty to burn. Statement candles are trending on TikTok and Instagram, and they're becoming a status symbol. I'm going to go into what these things are and why these things are. Why would someone want a candle they are not going to burn?! (Actually, me. That's the exact kind of candle I want. I live in a 4th floor walkup and I don't run very fast!). I'm looking to roundup a bunch, the crazier and more visually stunning the better, including Female Body Candles, Cube Candles, Bendy Candles.
2 - For Forbes.com, I'm still working on Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For A Romantic Dinner At Home and Valentine's Day Gift Guide: The Best Edible Gifts You Can Ship (That Aren't Chocolate). All these items must be shippable and available online. Please include a link to a high res image when pitching, in case I can use. And please make sure your item is actually in stock and available before pitching it, and the sale you are promoting is currently active. These slight details matter a lot!
3. For SPY.com:
I'm working on 10 Great Low Calorie Liquors To Try (and 10 To Avoid!) on a Diet. Would love if any experts want to weigh in on this one!
I'm also rounding up fun Valentine's Day cards you can buy online. I'm mainly looking at Amazon for these, but also Zazzle, etsy, Red Bubble, etc, as well as fun and unique ecards.
I'm also rounding up the best Ninja blenders/food processors that are out right now (I know there's TONS, but I'm going for the best of the best, and what make them the best.)
For all of these, please remember to start a new email thread, and email email@example.com. Do not just reply to this Substack. (I know I am always saying this…but people are also always ignoring this request.)
Here's some stories that have published in the last few days:
Valentine's Day Gift Guide: The Best Aphrodisiac Gifts
12 Purr-fect Valentine’s Day Gifts for Pets
The 15 Best Galentine’s Day Gifts for Your BFFs
60 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas That Say “Sure, This Holiday Is Commercial But I Still Love You”
Shop the 24 Best Gifts for Couples Just in Time for Valentine’s Day
10 Salmon Myths It's Time You Stopped Believing
The Best Ways To Use Your Dutch Oven
I tried a new game last night on my Instagram stories where people can ask me a question about anything whatsoever and I’ll answer. It was really fun and we learned a lot about each other. Please join us!