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Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Our New Approach to Valentine’s Day

2 Feb

Brian and Wendy Engagement - Series 1-27

It might surprise some readers to learn that Valentine’s Day isn’t high on my list of favorite gift-giving occasions. Maybe it’s just where we are in our lives as parents (utter chaos with two little ones!) but the idea of giving some trinket of affection when all we want is 8-consecutive hours of sleep seems silly. And over the years, the ritual of hunting down the requisite chocolates/flowers often feels forced, commercialized, and impersonal.

Therefore this year, I suggested a new approach. Now I should remind you that “gifting” is one of my love languages. I will never NOT find immense pleasure in gift-giving, because for me, the thought and care I put into selecting what I give someone is the highest expression of my love.  Now I know some couples don’t gift at all, choosing instead to put effort (and funds) towards travel or other large purchases, but I personally, wouldn’t find much satisfaction in that. I’d rather prioritize the effort and care of gift selection and keep travel or saving for large purchases a separate aspect of our lives.

Still, in an effort to take some pressure off, I suggested that Brian and I take turns “gifting” and planning out how we will celebrate various anniversaries and occasions throughout the year. He is planning and gifting for me this Valentine’s Day, and I’ll plan and gift to him for our wedding anniversary. Squee!! I’m already giddy!!

I can’t take credit for this brilliant idea though — I learned this awesome tip from Jordan Page of Fun, Cheap or Free. In one of my YouTube walkabouts last month, I watched the above video where she and her husband explained how they plan out their entire year in advance using Google Calendar, (including date nights) and how they alternate planning and gifting each other for Valentine’s Day and their Anniversary. The idea absolutely thrilled me. (Here is a link to the post detailing how they do it.)

Immediately, I set up a standing Saturday night date night for Brian and I which we alternate planning. Brian is in charge of planning our next one and it’s almost silly how excited I am to see what he is planning. When we first started dating, he planned the most fun, interesting, and different dates. We went to museums, lectures, wine tastings. It was a constant flow of new and different activities and adventures which “fits” both of our personalities really well.

Brilliant, right? After so many years with a partner, who doesn’t long for those exciting “dating” days. Well, this is exactly how to re-inject some of that back into your life. Another tip I remember reading sometime in the summer of 2018 was to just book out a bunch of dinner reservations, put them all on your calendar and then when you see the reservation — boom: you have plans for the night without having to agonize over what to do and when. Possibly another idea by Emily Ley, who I’ve blogged about before.

Anyways, I strongly encourage you to consider this approach if you’re feeling a little weary of the traditional “roses, chocolates & dinner-out” type of Valentine’s Day. Spice it up! And alternate planning and spoiling your partner.

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Food is Love: Valentine’s Day 2014

17 Feb

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We went big. Not quite as big as 2012, but as always, the day and weekend largely revolved around food. (And Brian spoiling me WAY too much.)  Since we had a very late dinner reservation, we snacked on crudites and prosciutto at home while we sipped some wine before heading out for cocktails at a cute spot Brian thought I’d like called Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge. The atmosphere was retro-glam/old-Hollywood so it was right up my ally. Any excuse to wear some fur…

IMG_9441_editdress: Cynthia Rowley/jacket: Anne Taylor Loft (old)/belt: BCBG

All their fruit purees are made fresh so I was excited to try the “Brain Teaser” with caçhaca rum, strawberry puree, lime juice, and champagne. Brian had “The Avenue” with Maker’s Mark, Daron Calvados, passion fruit puree, orange blossom water, and pomegranate. His was a little too “alcohol-y” (is that a term?) I thought, but I’ll definitely try to re-create mine at home sometime soon, it was so fresh and fruity. After we snagged two bar seats, we happily sipped our vintage cocktails before heading to dinner at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel in Boston.

20140218-231412.jpgThe wine selection at Scampo is vast and thoughtfully chosen

Dinner was absolutely delicious though we had a bit of a rocky start when we were seated 45 minutes late. Nothing a few glasses of wine and some incredibly creamy, oozy burratta and prosciutto flatbread couldn’t fix though — we’re easy to please. As much as I loved our entree, (we ordered the same), I think the spaghetti bolognese was the highlight of the night for me. Well, that and the Super Tuscan I drank with our apps.

20140218-230843.jpgSo thrilled we finished off leftover Valentine’s-themed gift wrap. Finally!

Wow, three whole paragraphs devoted to food. Priorities, right? I suppose you might also be interested to hear what we gifted each other? I’ve almost given up on ever outdoing Brian’s incredible thoughtfulness when it comes to gifting because he blows me out of the water every.single.time, but I’ll share more details on that later this week… there was chocolate involved.

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