I’m not one to make Valentine’s day a big deal. However, this year I decided it was time to bring the romance and try something new for my boyfriend. Between moving to a new apartment and getting a new job, we haven’t made time to go on an actual date, so this was the perfect day to do something special. I didn’t go crazy because after all it’s only one day and since we both having full-time jobs we would only be spending 2-3 hours at night together, but it was a nice surprise and he was very appreciative of the effort.

  1. I made dinner instead of going out to eat – Going out to dinner is great and we love to do it on the weekends but Valentine’s Day is the one day where I refuse to wait for a table and deal with the traffic. So I decided to whip up something healthy and hearty for dinner. I bought fresh salmon, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and avocado and roasted them in the oven. The best part is that they cook quickly, it’s a quick meal to prepare and it didn’t cost me more than $30. As far as alcohol, I had plenty of wine and whiskey bottles for the both of us.
  2. I decorated with inexpensive items from Target – I went to Target and bought a table runner for $2, a box of chocolate, some napkins that said ” Oh La La” and that was it. Those simple decorations made the entire table. I also dressed up the table with roses and flowers.
  3. Played a little Frank Sinatra – When Christopher and I first started dating, he was a huge Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin listener and got me into it. I thought playing a Frank Sinatra album would be the perfect background music while we enjoyed dinner. And of course NO PHONES.

Most importantly, we enjoyed ourselves. Even though it was a weekday and we were both exhausted from our work day, it was nice to spend quality time together without the stuffy restaurant atmosphere and noise. I spent the right amount of money and enjoyed the night in the comfort of our home. Cooking a homemade meal and going through the effort of making a nice dinner makes the holiday that much more special.

This year’s Valentine’s Day surprise made me realize we get very caught up in life and forget to take a step back and enjoy life a little. Between work, meetings, kids and life in general it can be hard to enjoy the present and take it easy.

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