Happy Monday, loves! Can you believe Valentine’s week is already here? I feel like so many people roll their eyes when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but I personally really love it. For me, Valentine’s Day is so much more than just mushy romantic love. Growing up, my mom started some really neat traditions for our family that I have had so much fun continuing with my own family.
The tradition my mom started was corny and fancy all wrapped up in one meal. Every Valentine’s Day my mom would prepare a big family dinner. She would serve it on her best china and we would always eat in our formal dining room. The thing about this meal that made it so different though was that it was all pink and red. Every single item we ate was the color of Valentine’s Day – anything from strawberries to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. I loved how fun and lighthearted that meal was and yet it was still so special and sincere. Carrying on this tradition has been a true joy, especially since my girls are so young and think a red/pink meal is “so cool.”
Speaking of littles, it can make going out for a date a bit challenging on Valentine’s Day. This year proves especially tricky for Travis and I as he was gone the weekend before Vday and I’ll be gone the following weekend. We also love being with our girls, so we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave our girls with a sitter on Valentine’s Day. Instead, we’ll be having date night in at home.
Date night in is actually something we do often if we can’t sneak away. When we do have date night in though, we try and change it up a bit from our normal weeknight of sitting on the couch and talking or watching a movie. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of eating dinner on the couch and flipping on our favorite shows. So, we sat down together last night and put together a list for you guys of some of the things we do to make date night in special.
HOW TO MAKE DATE NIGHT IN A SUCCESS:
- PLAN AHEAD – if you know when you’re going to have your date night in, write it on the calendar. We both feel like it builds anticipation if we both see that there’s a date night coming up. It’s honestly just as exciting as date night out. We also recommend planning as much of your night ahead as possible to ensure that date night actually happens. You want date night in to be special, so plan out what you’re going to cook in advance. Get all the ingredients you need and make sure your bar is stocked with wine. I added the wine part, but I mean you gotta have wine. This will keep you guys from wasting time on the day of staring at your fridge or sending someone on an emergency grocery run. Planning ahead maximizes your time together and removes some of the stress. I’ll keep you posted on what we plan on cooking for Vday this year!
- SET THE MOOD – I think this might look a little different for each couple, but for us it means putting on one of our favorite playlists. Once the girls are down we turn on our Italian Cafe playlist and turn down some of the bright lights. It helps your date feel legit as opposed to having the TV on in the background.
- TURN OFF ELECTRONICS – this is so key. Think about when you go out to a nice dinner; rarely do you have your phone out or are watching tv. So, turn off the TV and put your phones away and enjoy some “face time” as our friends like to call it. The only exception to this rule is our Echo (on SALE today!!). We use Alexa to play our music and for setting timers when we’re cooking.
- TREAT THE EVENING LIKE YOU’RE NOT AT HOME – this was one of Trav’s tips and I totally agree. Treat the night just as your would if you were going out. For us that means keeping on something nice instead of changing into our sweats. It also means showing a little extra love and grace as you would if you were on an “official” date.
- SET THE TABLE – When we’re cooking at home, we set the table with our nicest dishes. Although we have china, we like our Juliska dishes better, so we usually stick with those and use linen napkins. Something about a good place setting makes you feel like you’re on a fancy date.
- CANDLES, CANDLES, & CANDLES – I’m a major candle lover and the combo of fire and a good smell just helps set the mood! Also, if you like dimming your lights like we do, it’s so romantic to have some candles burning around the room or on your table.
- ALSO, FLOWERS – for the record, I added this one. I felt like it was necessary in relation to Valentine’s Day, but I also think it’s key for any and every date night in. Something about your significant other coming home and giving you a beautiful bouquet of flowers just speaks volumes. It lets you know he’s been thinking about you all day and is excited for the date. They’re also so pretty to look at and to smell and we typically end up using it as the centerpiece for our table. DISCLAIMER: if you don’t like flowers (my mom doesn’t) make sure you relay that to your spouse and give them some other options!
photography: fort lion studio
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