Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and this is when we are overloaded on sugary goodies, the never ending ‘gift guides’ for him and her, and a near impossible day in which to make a dinner reservation. Oh, and don’t forget all the single people reminding us all that Valentine’s Day is also known as ‘Singles Awareness Day.’ However, in our home, Valentine’s Day isn’t just an excuse for us to be sappy and love on each other – it’s a reminder of how we should love each other each and every day throughout the year. This is especially important as we’re about to add another dynamic into our relationship here in just a few weeks.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
However, with that being said, what person doesn’t want to feel a little extra special on this one particular day? I’ve always been a lover of simple gifts that are fun, could be shared, or have sentimental value attached to them. Surprisingly enough my husband and I don’t do formal gifts for each other; waiting for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or…ahem…Valentine’s Day. We gift each other whenever the mood strikes us or when we’re financially able to.
I always keep an ear out for when my husband mentions something he’s been wanting and then surprise him with it when he’s least expecting it…or sometimes he’ll come home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers (aren’t these gorgeous?!). These gestures are extra special because it’s not something we do all the time. Other gifts we do for each other are date night dinners to a fancy restaurant where we spend a ridiculous amount of money on one delicious meal and wine – because we both love food that much. And every so often we are able to set enough money aside to do some traveling and get away from the every day hustle. Giving gifts in our household also includes the fact that our giving goes beyond the material stuff and can be as simple as taking out the trash or filling up the gas tank (serious adulting going on here when you’re excited when someone takes out the trash or fills the gas tank #justsaying).
So, this month’s Top Picks are all about celebrating love whether it’s with yourself, a significant other, or your cats. I hope you find inspiration of love in whatever form it may manifest itself this year. Keep in mind that these Top Picks of mine incorporate the idea of giving gifts, but most importantly, consider giving the gift of your time this year. Hope you enjoy!
1: valentine’s door wreath
Let’s face it, this holiday is all about us ladies and our men know it. So, why not decorate your home with this adorable ‘xo’ door wreath from TwoInspireYou on Etsy. I love the look of pip berries and the fact that they’re artificial means you can store it and reuse it every year.
2: custom etched whiskey glasses (set of 2)
A couple that drinks together, stays together. Especially when that drink is whiskey. Or at least this is true in our home. I love these custom etched glasses from a little shop called Scoutmob. I found them when I ordered a baby swaddle blanket and just fell in love with the quality and uniqueness of all their products – AND they employ independent makers and artists! What’s better is this is a gift that your man will have no problems using – plus they’re cute. It’s a win, win!
3: initial necklace
This is obviously a gift for her, but new moms everywhere will love the simplistic, yet sentimental, value of an initial necklace like this one from BijouxByDesiF on Etsy. I have used this shop for all of my custom personalization needs and have loved Desi’s craftsmanship and quality to everything she sells. As a soon-to-be new mom I would love to receive a necklace with my son’s name or initial. So easy and something I would wear all the time. Not a new mom? Get one with your initial (like mine!) and are always on trend and are such a cute accessory on their own or stacked with other necklaces!
4: blade buddy razor sharpener
Back to the man in your life (or lady for that matter). One thing I could never figure out is why replacement razors are so damn expensive. $14-15 for a pack of new razor heads?! Ridiculous. But, here to the rescue is this genius and innovative product from Blade Buddy that easily resharpens your dull razor blades like new again so you can get a few dozen more uses out of the same razor. Saving money and being more resourceful is something everyone can appreciate!
5: matching tattoos
A tattoo? Talk about commitment. The common perception is that couples should never get matching or tattoos of each other (especially names) because anything could happen in the relationship and the fear of regret. However, I’d like to dispel that misconception and prove that matching tattoos can be a fun and expressive way to show your love and unyielding commitment to one another.
Now, this doesn’t mean go out on a whim to any artist and get something inked, but rather spend time discussing ideas that you may want to get together. For my husband and I, we picked Picasso’s drawing of a dachshund to represent our bond with our dog/fur-child, Murphy. This tattoo has so much meaning between us and is something we wouldn’t regret even if things didn’t work out between my husband and I. Now that we have baby Greyson on the way we’re already thinking about our next matching tattoo!
6: tasting menu dinner
My husband first introduced me to this dining concept of a tasting menu back when we first started dating and it has been hard to look back or eat normally ever again. A tasting menu is a special menu put together by the head chef of a restaurant that features small bites, over many courses, and at a set price. However, don’t let the price tag allow you to pass on this dining experience. The tasting allows you to sample a variety of small bites that extends across the whole menu and allows you to get a taste of everything the chef has to offer. Typically there’s a wine pairing that compliments each dish and I will always recommend the wine pairing 😉
7: bed & breakfast getaway
A good B&B is a perfect way to get away from the chaos of daily life. It’s no secret that work, school, being a parent, or just life in general has a way of sucking up your time and leaving you feeling on empty. Planning a little local getaway is an easy way to spend time along with your spouse (alone!) and explore a new town or place you’ve always wanted to visit but never had the time. I will always recommend a place that is a bit further out and the less signal you have on your phone the better. This allows you to really connect (or re-connect) with each other and really take in the experience. Splurge on some great food and drinks while you’re out and just enjoy your adult time!
This week, I’m really looking forward to my husband and I’s trip back up to San Luis Obispo (SLO) and staying at our favorite place, The Garden Street Inn. It’s this super cute B&B right off of Garden Street in downtown SLO, within walking distance of the Farmers Market and restaurants, and is one of the few places that are pet friendly (because why wouldn’t we take Murphy with us everywhere?). I loved it when my husband took me at the beginning of our pregnancy and it’s even more meaningful to visit again as a little babymoon before Greyson is born.
8: do something HE likes
We all know that Valentine’s Day is definitely more about showering the ladies with gifts and love, but I think it’s so important to love on our men too on this day. It’s fun to take interest in what your man likes to do and you’ll be surprised as to how much fun you may have too. For us, my husband loves playing his PS4 with me (currently I only play Battlefront with him). I’m not super great at it, but it’s fun to play along with him…it’s this weird bonding thing through video games that brings us closer, haha. Another interest he has is wine so going wine tasting (more like sipping for me at the moment) could be a fun outing, too. Just consider what HE likes to do and spend quality time doing those things for the day. It’s an easy way to show how much you love and appreciate him and his interests.
I wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day that is filled with much love and happiness!