Believe it or not, I used to dislike Valentine’s Day. I was so sick of the excessively large stuffed teddy bears and triple priced heart-shaped candies (except for the Reese’s peanut butter cup hearts). I used to think of Valentine’s Day as “The Holiday to One Up” meaning that I thought everyone just wanted a date and gift so they could brag about it on Facebook and Instagram. Now that I’ve found the love of my life, he’s changed my view. Christian once told me during college that “Valentine’s Day” is just a reminder of how every other day should be: a reminder of love, rather than a holiday of love.   To celebrate this reminder of love, rather than crazy, commercialized holiday, here are some every-day (or V-day) date ideas that my beau and I have tried!

  1. Themed dinner and movie at home: What’s better than Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday plus some homemade (or not) spaghetti and meatballs? Nothing. Nothing is better 😉


  1. Cake-testing: Engaged? Or just want to pretend? Grab your babe and go sample all kinds of wedding cake as a fun day date!


  1. A second first date: Throw it on back to how it all it all started and re-visit that first café, restaurant, or bar for a fun way to share old memories and love.


  1. PEDICURES? : Yes, it’s true. Guys can enjoy these too. If my 6’5, gun-loving, 100% manly man could enjoy this, then yours can too. Christian and I went for a relaxing pedicure and even brought beer!!


  1. Staycation: Find a cute little boutique hotel in your city and stay for a night. Maybe even enjoy the spa/pool (if it’s warm enough) or even a workout class together.


  1. Bake together: If you’re like Christian and I, we love to cook together. Bake a heart-shaped cake or decorate cookies together for a creative little sweet treat.


  1. Farmer’s Market: I know this doesn’t sound “romantic” per say; however, we LOVE the Farmer’s market. Christian and I go almost every Saturday and I totally take for granted the time we spend together walking around. You can even pick out some farm-fresh flowers!


  1. Take a hike: Enjoy a sunrise or sunset (or middle of the day) walk/hike together. You could even bring some goodies for a picnic!


  1. Shop for candy the day AFTER Valentine’s day: Every now and then after a holiday, Christian and I will go to the grocery store just for candy and clear the shelves. You can find some really good stuff for 50-75% off!


  1. Dinner doesn’t HAVE to be on Valentine’s Day: Some places increase prices on Feb. 14th (and some also have special deals); feel free to do a dinner date on another night before or after V-day. We always skip the crowds and order a heart-shaped pizza from Domino’s or Papa Johns.

I hope these Valentine’s Day date ideas give you and your love some ideas of how to celebrate February 14th (or any other day) without breaking the bank or sitting on the phone forever to make a fancy dinner reservation. At the end of the day, it’s all about love right? And we can (should) do that any day, any time!