February is here and the only special date that breaks up the month is Valentine’s day. Needless to say not all of us want to celebrate this holiday, while others actually do enjoy the romance of the season. I’m of the opinion that any excuse to do something different is valid, so if you want to spend it with your S.O. or your friends, here are a few ideas that might help you get that Valentine’s spirit going.
Mind you this is coming from a part of the World, i.e. Ireland, where it’s rainy and freezing now and should be all weekend, so I’m going to be keeping the outdoors activities to a minimum, although not totally nonexistent. Also I love pink, so apologies in advance for the huge amount of pink content coming your way, this season is an awesome excuse for me to go all out on it.
Bake Something Together
Obviously I’d start with this one, mainly because I enjoy baking and I could show off a little, so yey! If you’re trying this I would make the full thing an experience: Decide what recipe you’re both comfortable in trying and would love to eat, go buy the ingredients, get yourself a bottle of wine/ another drink of your choice while you’re at it, measure and mix together, and set it up to bake. Have yourselves a glass while it’s in the oven, and share the excitement when it comes of out of it. Sit down and chat while your baking is cooling and finally enjoy the fruits of your labor together. Eating something sweet is always a plus, weather your gifting a cake or chocolates, or you’re making it together, so win-win.
Easy cakes to bake together would be this Grapefruit Cake, conveniently pink and can be make in any other shape you like; or even simpler these Nuttella Truffles or last week’s Chocolate & Cayenne Crinkle Cookies; On a more delicate side, I would definitely recommend this Strawberry Cheesecake Swiss Roll if you are patient bunch; Or if you are looking for something that is not that difficult but takes a bit of time these Chouxnuts with Grapefruit and Ginger Curd are absolutely worth the time.
I’ve baked to gift this lovely chocolate layer cake, with strawberry jam and lemon buttercream, all covered with pink and white sprinkles, obviously.
Pros: It’s relatively cheap, can take as long as you want, and it’s addaptable to your taste
Cons: Baking can make some people anxious, requires having some baking utensils at home already
Go For a Hike
Matthew Hussey said it and we listened: going for a walk together is a brilliant idea to get closer together. Fresh air and exercise bring all the good hormones to a nice and cozy level, and there’s no other distraction except taking to each other, you can hold hands, and make out a little if you want, so all good things. You have the added bonus that you can reach a lovely destination of your choice, and can just enjoy lovely new sights together if you so wish. You can pick a hardcore hike if your both into it, or just a lovely and slow stroll in the park, what more can you ask for? Well I’d ask for a picnic thank you, so there’s another suggestion for you.
If you’re around Dublin, Phoenix Park is lovely for a stroll, although it can be quite crowded at times; Glendalough is farther away but offers beautiful sights if you’re into a good uphill hike; The Bray to Graystones cliff walk is lovely and easy if it’s not too windy, and you can even climb to the Bray Head Cross if you’d like a bit more of an uphill challenge.
Pros: It’s virtually free if you want it to be, and you can edit the root and what you do when you get to the final destination
Cons: Largely depending on decent weather
Food Movie Marathon
Just because Game of Thrones is over doesn’t mean Game of Throne’s parties have to be over. To be honest my favorite part of series premiers and last episodes were getting together with either my sister or boyfriend and just making copious amounts of food related to the series. Now a Game of Thrones Marathon might not be in the cards for Valentine’s day, but if you’re really big fans who cares? I mean you do you!
My favorite Marathons for food making are Harry Potter and there’s loads of recipes out there that give really good inspo, including the official fan website, web magazines, and an endless amount of pinterest posts. Star Wars is a good marathon, but weirdly enough I found it quite hard to produce salty food for 2 that provided good enough puns, however there’s loads of sweets recipes with this theme out there. Lord of the rings marathons, Hunger Games (pun: no food at all! ah!) , Before sunset trilogy (food of all the different countries they meet in), Avengers, the options are endless. When I do a party like this, the planing goes like this: check how much time we have to watch the movies, pick the movies, go on pinterest and check what can be achieved, supermarket, put together everything and voila! Bonus points for this idea, since i’ts Friday you can easily get some booze and make a drinking game out of the movies.
Pros: Fits different budgets, Adaptable to any tastes
Cons: Might take a little to prep all the food
Wine / Beer / Whiskey Tasting Tour
This one really depends on the area that you live in, hence the option for Wine, beer or whiskey tasting tours. In Portugal it would be way easier for me to find a wine or port wine tasting tour obviously, since it’s the main product of the area. Here in Dublin, it’s much easier to find a decent and affordable Beer or Whiskey tasting tour. Not to say there’s no wine tastings, but let’s face it beer and whiskey is the thing around here. I have yet to do this one myself, so I can’t give any advise from personal experience. However, I think this is relatively easy to achieve with a little planning in advance, wouldn’t take a huge chunk of anyone’s day, and trying something new is always good because it’s also a topic for conversation.
Pros: Easy to plan, Casual, no cooking skills necessary
Cons: Can be pricey, needs to be booked in advance
Treat Yo Self Date
I’m an absolute fan of Parks and rec and a major supporter of Treat Yo Self Day. So why not do it on Valentine’s day??
Think about it. Want to go to a couples massage? Go get it! Want to go shopping with your friends? Yes, please! Want to have your nails and hair done? That expensive perfume you were dreaming about? Anything goes, as long as it is treating yourself. Think about what brings both of you pleasure and relaxation and do it as a team. Even pick a couple of options and make the date last longer. If you were waiting for an excuse to get that expensive bottle of wine opened, this might just be it. Best day of the year!
Pros: Anything goes
Cons: Can get a bit expensive (ups!)
Alright so I think this is a new format of post for me, but in the spirit of trying new things, I’m giving it a go. I hope if you’re reading it you find this useful and maybe share with me if you went ahead with any of the suggestions 🙂
This week you can see me assemble the cake above on my instastories as usual.