We made it to February! January was a really great month, until all the snow storms and cold hit – shutting down what seemed like the entire Midwest. The latter part of the month dragged and while I know that winter isn’t over, there is some relief in knowing that we’ve survived the polar vortex of 2019 and hopefully there are warmer days ahead.
Days filled with love.
I work in the wedding and floral businesses. So Valentine’s Day, it’s pretty huge. I’m not doing any valentine’s florals this year (but maybe next? We’ll see how the year plays out). Regardless, I think we all should celebrate. However, that doesn’t mean I think we should all fall into the commercialized trap of Hallmark cards, overpriced chocolates and lacy little nighties – unless of course that’s what you want to do (there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!). What I am saying, is we should always take time out of our schedule to celebrate love. To savor it and to appreciate the love that we all have in our lives. That might mean a spouse or significant other, but also the little loves that bring our homes to life. We should honor each other’s love languages and create a day, or even month, reminding them just how loved and special they really are.
With that being said, I’m sharing 14 ideas to celebrate. Whether you’re actually celebrating the holiday or need to just take a day (or 2) to focus on the people who are important to you.
Valentine’s Day is in the middle of the week. We all have work, kids, schedules, etc. and finding a baby sitting can be both difficult and expensive. When it comes to date night, my husband and I rarely leave the house. We spend the early evening with our girls, make them dinner and tuck them into be a couple minutes early (the advantage of having young children that can’t tell time yet) and then at 8:00pm our date night starts. We’ll make up a charcuterie board for dinner, have a glass or two of wine and sneak off to our bedroom to watch a movie, play a board game and just enjoy a meal and time together.
Leave a love note for your spouse somewhere in the house. Have a note tucked in their bag/briefcase/coat pocket to find while their out in the world. Have it waiting next to their toothbrush when they get up in the morning. Wherever the placement, surprise them with a sweet note sharing how much you care and reminding them that even when their out in the world on their own, they will also come back to you.
This takes the idea above and stretches it out a little. In this idea, for the two weeks up to Valentine’s Day, you leave a one line note every day sharing something that you love about your spouse. By the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, they’ll know 14 (if you start today) little things that you love about them and start to feel really special. This is a really significant idea if your spouses’ love language is words of affirmation.
Last year, my husband and I decided that instead of doing a large valentine’s gift or exchanging cards and chocolates, we were going to do 14 mini gifts – one a day for the first 14 days of February. They were small thoughtful gifts that didn’t cost much but were easy ways to say “I pay attention” and “I care.” Some examples, a package of my favorite pens, some clothes pins (along with the promise to hang a new clothesline for me once the weather turned nice), chap stick, new earbuds – we chose practical things that we recognized would make our spouses’ lives just a little better and again, it was an easy way to show how much we really do pay attention to each other’s needs. While it was fun giving and receiving something each day, it was almost more fun having something to look forward to each evening, knowing that we were carving a few extra minutes of out of our day for each other to do something just a little special.
Make your family’s favorite meal. It might sound like such a simple gesture, but something that’s cooked with love is going to show them love. It’s also a way to involve you children as well, giving everyone a taste of one of their favorite treats, making each person in your home feel loved.
We live in an area where wineries are very prevalent. However, taking the time to actually explore them is not something that we often take time out of our schedule to do. Going wine (or even beer tasting) is a relaxed and easy way to get out of the house and try something new, creating an experience together.
Don’t we all wish for just a little more sleep? Valentine’s falls on a week day this year, so maybe on that particular day it might not be possible, but what about gifting the promise of a quiet Saturday morning, staying in bed until noon. It doesn’t get more inexpensive than that and it such a treat! You could even top it off with serving a little breakfast in bed.
I’ve come to the point in my life where I’m constantly in my “mom uniform”. Jeans and/or leggings, big heavy winter sweaters and clothing that’s just practical for life. We rarely leave the house as just the two of us and as much as I do try to do my hair and makeup and keep myself “presentable”, it’s certainly not the extent of getting dolled up like when we were first together. So even if you’re not leaving the house, put a dress on, wear something nice and spend a little extra time to “wow” your spouse, reminding them of the of the girl they fell in love with.
We all know that lingerie and similar items are being highly promoted right now. Something new is always a fun way to grab your spouses attention. Or if you’re feeling a bit more daring, boudior photography is a gift that will knock his socks off. I’ve done it and it was a very well recieved gift. However, my piece of advice is find a photographer who’s work you love, you feel comfortable with and will make you feel like a godness. It can be so tasteful and beautifully done as a work of art. (You can read more about a boudior session I styled previously here.)
Photography: Kelly Sweet Photography
While spending a quiet night alone is the usual go-to idea for Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a day about love and maybe there are more people in your life that you’d like to share that love with. So why not host a party? Invite some close friends over, have a little wine and cheese spread, ask everyone to bring their favorite rosé or bubbly and enjoy great conversation. This is also a great way to include those single friends in your life who may often feel a little “unloved” on this day of the year – we’ve all been there.
We talked about Valentine’s Day being on a week day this year. Which means a normal day of work and school for most of us. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t start the day off right with a big breakfast treat. My husband usually sneaks out the door with a cup of coffee and a granola bar or banana, if he’s lucky. Wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise to have breakfast ready and waiting when he got out of bed that morning?
It’s that simple. Candles smell good and instantly add a relaxing, romantic glow to any room. What you do next is up to you 😉
I have come to realize how many of these ideas revolve around food but what’s that saying – the way to a man’s heart is through is stomach?? – or something like that. Making little heart shaped pizzas is festive for him and for the little ones in your life, plus, who doesn’t love pizza?
Stay with me here – this is designed around the idea of preforming an act of service for your spouse. Maybe cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash is at the top of their list of hated household chores – so clean it for them. Perhaps there’s some nagging happening about new wallpaper or lighting fixtures that need to be hung. Can you imagine if you walked into your house after a long day away and it was perfectly cleaned from top to bottom? I’d fall over with glee – what a great gift. Can you reverse that and clean his car/garage/man cave? Think of other little gestures that might be outside of your normal scope of duties but would make a big impact on their day.
Those 3 little words are huge. It means time and time again, I would choose my husband, regardless of what the last 8 years of marriage have held. Kel and Mel have an entire moment, with products designed to celebrate those little words. Words that at times are so much stronger than saying “I love you” because we all know people who have walked about from other’s that they love, but these words bring us together over and over again. Their website if full of sweet and thoughtful gift ideas.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate or even if you prefer not to acknowledge this holiday, I encourage you to remember love and keep it at the forefront of your mind in all that you do.