Compared to Christmas or Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day is a relatively low-key holiday. You don’t have to give gifts to everyone you know, or host out-of-town guests. But at the same time, there can be pressure to make it feel really special by hunting down the perfect reservations or gift. After just recovering from the holiday season, however, I realized a few years ago there’s no reason to go all out to just wind up with a slight hangover from Champagne and an upcharge for truffles. But I still love the holiday that’s all about love, so I’ve come up with some ways to celebrate that still feel special and laid-back.
- Movie Night
OK, movie night is already a staple of at-home date nights, but when was the last time you tried to make it memorable? The good news is that it’s easy and inexpensive to make your home feel a little bit more like a movie theater: Go big on the best movie theater snacks, like popcorn, licorice, and M&Ms. Pull out all your coziest blankets and pillows. If you want to make it feel less like dinner and a show and more like a small vacation, make or order food inspired by the movie beforehand. You can also take it really over the top with one of Georgia Furniture Mart’s motion sofas that lets you snuggle up and lean back.
- PJ Brunch
You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day for overcrowded restaurants overcharging for food: look no further than brunch. I love avocado toast as much as the next gal, but sometimes the hassle isn’t worth mimosa. Plan a decadent brunch on Valentine’s Day with all the trimmings. Make a fruit salad and breakfast casserole the night before and you’ll just need to preheat the oven and brew the coffee in the morning. But even breakfast favorites like pancakes are easy to whip up—and sometimes better fresh from your own pan. Pair with your favorite brunch cocktail and comfiest PJs and you may never want to brunch out again.
- Takeout with a Twist
If you’re not big into the idea of a romantic dinner at home followed by dishes, that’s what takeout is for! But to save you from another night of eating out of styrofoam, plan ahead: put out your nicest tableware and actually eat on it. Rather than eating from the pizza box, plate everything as nicely as you can. Figure out how to serve courses, too. Get a few apps and leave your entrees in a warm oven while you eat. (I like to set the oven to 200 degrees then turn it off, creating a warm space for food that won’t overcook it). Another easy way to jazz up takeout: Go to your local wine shop and ask for pairing recommendations with your order and buy two of them to see what you like better. And, of course, nothing makes takeout feel like a restaurant than eating it on a new dining set.
- Some Assembly Required
If you are a couple that loves the kitchen, pick an interactive recipe. Two of the easiest are sushi and pizza: Chop up all the toppings ahead of time and create a DIY station for the two of you to try different combinations. With pizza, keep the oven hot and you can snack as you cook, seeing what new favorites you’ve concocted. With sushi, you can snack as you go or serve everything up on a giant platter and sit down to a feast. If you buy pre-sliced vegetables from the store and do your prep ahead of time, you’ll also be left with very little cleanup whichever you choose.
- Picnic Indoors
Another super-easy almost-no-cook meal? Anything you’d take to a picnic: meats and cheeses, sandwiches, pre-made salads. Of course, it’s February, so it might not be picnic weather, but why not bring it inside? Clear out space in the living room for a blanket and some snacks, put on some summery tunes, and snack away. Whatever you “pack” should be finger-food friendly–just don’t forget dessert.
Live Beautifully Today,
Mia, The Furniture Girl