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Hate to break it to you, but I totally love a good Valentine’s Day. Does that make me a total girlie-girl? I don’t expect to be woo-ed by fancy restaurants, complete with chocolate covered strawberries and lobster. Although, dang. But I do love when a little thought goes into the holiday.
Cam and I have had our fair share of memorable/hilarious/absurd Valentine’s Days together. There was the very first one, when he sent flowers to my house the weekend of my sister’s wedding with a note that asked “will you be my valentine?” And me and my about-to-actually-get-married sister googled what that meant for a solid hour before her rehearsal dinner. Does that mean he’s my boyfriend? Then there was the year that Cam took me out to a fancy dinner and forgot his credit card and I cried (funny now, not as funny then). And who can forget the year we ordered a heart shaped pizza from Papa John’s and went boozy bowling, mixing gin with the bowling alley food stand mountain dew in front of many children and envious parents.
Whatever you do this year, it really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re with people you love; your best friend, your mom and dad, or your cat. It’s all good. But if you’re having a hard time deciding what to do and what to give to your significant other, that’s where I come in. I’m going to break it down to 4 different date ideas and what to give to your sweet honey for each activity.
1. Progressive Restaurant Dinner
So Cam and I actually did this for our second Valentine’s Day together and it was such a blast. We booked separate restaurants for appetizers, the main course, and dessert. The key to doing this for V Day is to make sure that your restaurant choices do not have set menus for the holiday. If so, you won’t be able to just get one course, you’ll have to pay a set price. We did this while we were in college and it was such a fun night exploring a new town a half hour away from our school. It was really exciting to see what was next and try a lot of different cuisines in one night. I still talk about the dinner place we went to and want to go back so badly.
If this is your Valentine’s date plan, you’ll want your man to look snazzy and sharp. These gifts are all about styling him for the night. On a side note, one year I bought a plain white long sleeve t-shirt, painted my hands and arms with black paint, put the shirt on one of my friends, and hugged her with the paint all over my arms. Talk about a cheesy long distance gift! So that’s always an option too…lol.
2. Picnic, Blanket Fort, & Projector
This has always been my dream date night and maybe this year it will come true 😉 I have always wanted to set up a cozy fort with twinkly lights and fuzzy blankets, order some take out, grab a bottle of wine, and project a movie onto the wall. Doesn’t that sound so romantic? If it were up to Cam and I this year, I can see us ordering Chicken Tikka Masala from the local Indian restaurant, drinking champagne, and watching a cheesy chick flick with Ryan Gosling.
If this sounds like your ideal night, then I want to hear all about it when it happens! You’ll definitely need to gift the projector, a cozy blanket that reminds him of you, AND these amazing joggers from Tommy John Wear for him to slip on for movie time. I was recently gifted a pair for Cam from Tommy John Wear and he is obsessed with them. They are so soft. And that is fine by me! Get your sweetie a pair ASAP!
3. Cocktails on the Town & Chopped at Home
Ok regardless of whether this happens for Valentine’s Day, put this on your list for fun date ideas. The night starts off with happy hour at your favorite local dive bar or a ritzy place you’ve been meaning to step inside, but maybe just for drinks. On the way home, swing by the supermarket and separately pick out 3 items for your DIY Chopped basket. You see what I’m doing here? If you feel like that’s too risky to depend on for dinner, delegate types of food i.e. one person gets a vegetable, grain, and sauce and the other person picks a meat or fish, another veggie, and another condiment. And now it’s time to make dinner together!
I think this sounds like such a blast, but make sure he’s prepared with all the things he’ll need. For these gifts, focus on cooking essentials, like a cast iron skillet, a simple cookbook if he’s a struggling chef, or a subscription to a monthly food shipment. Cam and I don’t make meals together often because we typically like to go out for meals together on the weekends we spend together. But the last two weeks in a row, we made dinner together while drinking beer and wine and it was so much fun. I’m sure normal couples do this like every night, but, ya know, long distance.
4. A Second First Date
Has anyone ever done this? Recreated their first date? If not, it’s time. Do everything exactly the way you experienced it the first time! Unfortunately for Cam and I, the restaurant we went to in Gettysburg, PA has since shut down. So I guess instead we will have to recreate the frat party where we first locked eyes. Anyone want to help? What was your first date, I’d love to hear!
These gifts are all about nostalgia. Pick something from your relationship that is meaningful, maybe a trinket from the town you met in or tickets to a concert for the band you used to love or frame a meaningful picture. For Cam, I might get a cool camo jacket because that’s what I was wearing when we first met or a French cookbook because our first date was to a French restaurant.
And here are some bonus ideas just for fun:
Go dancing | Watch the sunset with a bottle of wine | Go for a long walk with mugs of hot chocolate | Get a massage or do an at-home spa night | Make chocolate covered strawberries together | Eat them | Go out just for molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream | Take out sushi | Skip presents and save for a future trip | Go to a local coffee house concert or open mic night | Set off your own fireworks and sparklers
Can’t wait to hear about all of your fun Valentine’s Day adventures! Comment below to tell me a funny V Day story from your own archives. I love a good laugh! And stop by my last post for my outfit details and the link to my new favorite Levis!