Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and as we are all very aware by now, this year’s celebrations are going to look a little different but hey that does not mean you cannot still have a romantic date with your significant other! Personally, I have never been a fan of the holiday, it is corny to me and romantic stuff is just not my thing, but I do think there are non-traditional ways to celebrate your love and this year is the perfect excuse to give something new a try.
Maybe you are the ultra-romantic type, and you love getting all dressed up an going to that sophisticated and romantic restaurant that is reserved for very special occasions. If that is you then great! I wish I were that level of bougee! Unfortunately, most restaurants in Southern California are still not open for indoor dining and while a patio is nice, there is limited capacity. My advice? Bring the restaurant home with you! Grab takeout from your favorite steakhouse and then take it home, and very important, plate it! There is nothing romantic about a takeout box so be sure to jazz it up like you would be served in a restaurant. Next is transforming your dinner table into that romantic corner booth. Lay out a tablecloth, napkins, and light some candles. Dim the lights and put on a slow jazz Spotify channel to really set the mood. Okay now the most important and my favorite part of this date, get dressed up as if you were going out. Put on the dress that has been in your closet since your friend’s wedding last fall got postponed, do your hair and makeup, and spritz the Chanel on your wrist. It may not be quite the same but a night like this will feel so different compared to your pizza and Netflix date nights.
Speak of pizza and Netflix date nights… that is how I want to spend my Valentine’s Day, and there is nothing wrong with that! Put on your coziest sweatpants, grab a fuzzy blanket, and cuddle up. Maybe instead of Dominos you order the fancy pizza as a special treat. Maybe instead of White Claws you pour a glass of white wine. Or maybe not! Valentine’s day should be celebrated in a way that makes you feel loved, so if that is greasy pizza and a horror movie then do that! I personally would probably choose a rom com but that is just the female in me.
Okay the next thought takes a little more planning, but it is definitely special and still safe during these times. Plan a surprise staycation! Book a hotel room at a local boutique hotel, order some room service, and put on the fluffy robes. Okay that got a little corny but really who doesn’t love spending a night in a hotel? My personal favorite spots for a staycation in San Diego are the Guild Hotel and Estancia La Jolla. The Guild is more of a city feel whereas Estancia feels like a Spanish escape. No matter where you decide to stay make sure it is relaxing!
For my Valentine’s Day we are getting out of town! Granted it was not our idea, we are attending a wedding, but it made me think a little weekend getaway is perfect especially since Monday is a holiday this year and a lot of folks have the day off! If you are local to Southern California maybe take a trip up the coast to Santa Barbara or Monterey for a quiet beach getaway. Or pop over to the dessert for some warmer weather in Palm Springs or Joshua Tree! I myself, am heading to Vegas which is another great option if you feel like making the drive or are comfortable flying right now. Getting out of town is a great way to celebrate and have some new experiences this Valentine’s Day.
In terms of gifts, I am no expert because the last time I gave or received a Valentine’s gift was in high school and it was a giant stuffed bear… but there are a few not overly corny gifts that I think even I would enjoy.
Roses are a classic so maybe mix it up with a bouquet or lilies or a wildflower inspired arrangement. Girls love flowers, even if we say we don’t, we do. And we want to post a photo of them on our social media so find a cute vase please!
Donuts! I am not a box of chocolates girl, there are always flavors I know I will not like in there, but donuts are a no brainer! I am a big fan of Krispy Cream heart shaped ones but maybe find someone local and get an assortment of her favorites.
Handmade gifts. Be careful with this one! Really, I only suggest this if you are a genuinely crafty/handy person and can make something she will actually like and use. Otherwise, I would stick to flowers and sweets!
Last and I think my personal favorite, a handwritten card. I love giving and receiving cards and I think the personal notes are always so telling of a person. So, sit down and think about it when you write her a card, don’t just scribble an ‘I love you’ and be done with it. Tell her what you love about her, how she makes you feel, or a special memory you share together. Just make it heartfelt.
This day, although not my favorite, is about celebrating love so whether you do it in a small way or big way just be sure it is genuine. We all want to feel that one-of-a-kind love and that can only be expressed when it comes truly from our hearts. Think about your partner and share with them why you fell in love with them and why you continue to love them each day. Hold their hand and give them kisses on the forehead. Do little things to make them smile. It might just be another day on the calendar, but it is also an opportunity to show someone you care.