“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
– A. A. Milne
Yes, it's that time of year, again, gentlemen! So, how are you planning to show the woman in your life that you love and appreciate her this Valentine's Day? Did you make reservations at that expensive restaurant? Buy a sentimental card? How about jewelry, chocolates, a bouquet and maybe a weird stuffed animal holding a satin heart? In theory, there's nothing wrong with any of the above but sometimes it feels like we go through the motions in an automatic, commercially-driven lockstep. We invite you to hit pause, sit back and exhale. Now hit refresh. With just a little reflection and a couple of creative tips, you can breathe authenticity and fire back into your celebration and give her a night she will always remember.
Let Me Count The Ways
We don't want to get too philosophical here, but... unconditional love is a state of appreciation and acceptance. It's a place where you get when you give. Romantic love is fueled by the senses. Your goal for the evening is to express a mixture of both! Let's face it: women notice stuff. They are nuanced. They are particularly impressed when you notice stuff and express genuine appreciation. They tend to value thoughtful gestures and creative effort. It doesn't have to be huge or expensive but it does have to be personal and heartfelt. (Proves you've been paying attention and that you care).
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to creating your romantic evening but there are some upsides to doing it at home.
- It's more intimate and you have privacy
- You're not in a crowded sea of couples which allows you to focus each other
- You can make it unique and just for her
- You will have the freedom to express yourself openly
- You will control many of the variables to set the mood
- You can save money on food, liquor and entertainment
You could also design a hybrid evening - half at home and half on the town. An example might be a play or comedy show followed by a romantic dinner at home.
When planning your evening, we suggest you build it around her tastes or tastes you share. This is where you get to show her that you've been paying attention! You can accomplish this in so many different ways. At first blush, some of these may seem insignificant but they won't be to her.
For instance, if there's a special scent she enjoys you could use a diffuser or candles to build the sensory mood. Do you have a special song together or maybe a favorite genre? Taking the time to put together a playlist for the evening is a great idea. (Make sure to put some slow dances in there!) Does she like you in certain clothes? Wear them! Do you like her in a certain outfit? Consider telling her how much you'd like her to wear it and how good it looks on her. (That's a big one!)
Is there a particular movie, romantic or otherwise that she loves? If she loves humor, make sure she laughs. Shared laughter is a great aphrodisiac! Think of things that are unique and special to the two of you and bring these to the forefront. It might be a quote or poem you could make into a card. It might be a reflection on a date or wonderful experience you shared. Does she have an obsession with Llamas? If so, be playful and integrate them into the celebration. Has she always dreamed of going to Barcelona? You could create a Spanish-themed evening. Does she have a favorite flower? Present them to her or use them as a centerpiece on a carefully laid table. Does she do a lot of the cleaning, cooking and serving? This is your opportunity to turn the tables on her! Does she love back rubs?
There are so many possibilities! The key is to let her know by word, gesture and deed how much you appreciate her. The one caveat is to keep it real. Keep it true and it will resonate. She will love you for it!
"Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate" - Aland D. Wolfe
Of course, the centerpiece of your Valentine's Day will be the dinner. Good food and wine awaken and inspire the senses and act as aphrodisiacs. They also stimulate good conversation and mood. So, whether you're planning to dine at home or at a restaurant, getting it right is important.
This is where we can help! Caroline's Fine Foods is offering a delectable Valentine's Day menu for you to enjoy at home. Pre-order your dishes here on our website, pick them up on Valentine's Day, and then reheat at home for an amazing Valentine's Day dinner for you so that you can focus on enjoying your romantic evening together!
In honor of Valentine's Day, Caroline's sister company, The Pot Pie Bar, is offering a hand-crafted braised short rib pie in red wine reduction topped with heart-shaped puff pastry dough cut-outs. You can place your order here.