Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day for Couples Who Don't Like Valentine's Day

Ben and I have never been big on Valentine's Day. It falls only two weeks after our anniversary and we aren't usually looking to spend more money on hotels, dinners out, or gifts. However, for all my disdain at that red and pink bonanza that fills grocery stores and websites, I always love coming home to a pretty bouquet of flowers on the coffee table. I thought I'd share a few tips for a low-key, personal Valentine's Day for the couple that doesn't love Valentine's Day!

For Him:

1. If his love language is liquor, buy him a bottle of his favorite spirit, preferably local! If you're in Portland, I love Bull Run Distilling and their American whiskey and bourbon are in almost every liquor store. I'm also obsessed with Aria Gin. It's likely to convert even non-gin lovers!

2. If he's more motivated by quality time, plan a favorite outdoor activity for Valentine's Day. I know Ben would love it if I'd agree to go on a hike with him out in the Columbia Gorge. Or perhaps an "I promise to play frisbee for over 20 minutes, outside" IOU.

3. If he has a sweet tooth, what about chocolate for him? And not a Whitman sampler or a box of Safeway truffles. In our house, I love salty and Ben loves sweet so we usually have totally different cravings. Ben is obsessed with ultra dark chocolate. In the past, I've gone to a gourmet grocery store and selected about three to five 60-85% cocoa bars (try the local Moonstruck chocolates!) and wrapped them up! It makes for a great tasting panel of different chocolates. This'd work for any sweet or snack - gourmet popcorn, cured meats, cheeses.

For Her:

1. There's nothing I love coming home to more than a clean apartment. When Ben wants to say sorry (or surprise me), he tidies the house. It takes about 30 minutes to load the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, fold up the blankets, and clear off the coffee table. But it takes all of my stress away. Seriously guys, it's a free, but extremely effective gift!

2. Ben has made me hand-dipped strawberries for most Valentine's Days we've celebrated. Though it's a bit of a Valentine's Day cliche, homemade chocolate dipped strawberries are far beyond any store-bought version. It's also fun to make them together! Here's an easy recipe.

3. My love language happens to be wine and a simple bottle of wine goes a long way in making me feel happy and loved. Pick up a bottle about $5-10 more than your normal price range (for us that'd be a $20-25 bottle) so that you don't break the bank but still make the bottle part of your special occasion. I'd recommend, again, going local. I'd love to try something I haven't had before, like the Evolution bubbly from Sokol Blosser or an Evashem Wood Pinot Noir!

How do you make a day characterized by giant floating mylar balloons, cheap teddy bears, and forced sentiment unique and romantic to you?


  1. These are great suggestions. I think a special home cooked meal, staying in, and a bottle of nice wine would be perfect and romantic.

  2. Valentines Day sort of went out the window for my husband and I once our daughter was born (her birthday is Feb 13th and she's at an age where her birthday is a BIG DEAL) but these are some great suggestions.

  3. I never tire of wetland - wildlife pictures - so beautiful. I have heard about the Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge but we have never been; it looks like we have to add it to our weekend hike list. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Looks lovely, even in the winter. I've wanted to go to the Tualatin River Refuge for a long time. I drive by it fairly often. We will have to make it a priority soon.

  5. Great suggestion! Thanks for sharing them.

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  6. I love the idea of coming home to a clean house on V Day! We don't really celebrate either way, but I'd still like that :D

  7. we have been wanting to try this one! Someday soon!


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