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Filtering by Tag: Valentines Day Ideas 2014

Valentine's Day Ideas for Dudes

Seth Strickland

By Seth Strickland

This Valentine's Day is a great time to step it up, deliberate dudes. It's clear that the cascade of hearts and pink champagne and chocolates is the face of this holiday, but it's easy to let it be all of the holiday. Too many guys buy a big heart box and hand it in like some sort of half-forgotten homework. This Valentine's Day, put a little more deliberation into your celebration. You're seeking to live deliberately, so here's a chance to show it. A few ideas for those in relationships:

Newbies:

If you're in a new relationship, or not yet at the place where you feel comfortable uttering the word 'relationship' out loud, here are a few ideas based around getting to know each other:

  • Play your favorite record for her & have her play hers for you. Challenge each other to see who can find the sappiest song. It's a fun activity that can help you get to know each other, set the mood, and potentially help you find "your song."

  • Take her to your favorite local BYOB restaurant and have her bring her favorite wine.

  • Go on an adventure. Ask her what her favorite sort of shop or activity is, and find a nearby unexplored spot & get to know it.

Oldies:

If you've been in a relationship for a little while (or a long, long while), take this year to refresh a memory. Think back to one of your first great dates or memories, and build your activity on that. Even a dud the first time around can brighten with a second visit. A few suggestions:

  • See if any of your favorite bands are playing in your area or check out the lineup at your favorite venue to find something new.

  • If you are musically inclined, learn your partner's favorite song & sing/play it for them – everyone loves a little creative effort even if the end result isn't perfect. Too cheesy? Check out a comedy show for some good laughs.

  • Revisit a restaurant dear to both of you but which you haven't visited in a while. Alternatively, hit up a farmers' market & cook an old favorite. 

  • Go on an adventure. No reason not to. Make a new tradition; try something for the first time.

For ye single dudes, celebrate the love of friendship. Most of the dearest people in the world are simply your close friends. Take Valentine's Day to have some killer bro time. As Michelle wrote, love is selfless. Don't take Valentine's as an excuse to go on a self-pity bender – give something to someone else. Give time, give effort, give words of encouragement. Invite a group of friends over for a movie or board games – or take all your single girl friends out for ice cream. Give the gift of a good example: it's vital to act in a way those young guys who look up to you can emulate.

So, in the face of gushing romcoms and be-hearted teddy bears the size of, well, bears, take this Valentine's Day to be a man. February 14th is more than a Friday this year; it's more than a girly chocolate holiday: it's an opportunity to give something meaningful to someone very close to you. Take that opportunity by the horns, and give deliberately. Give love.  

Spreading the Love: Valentine's Day

Michelle Park

Transient

By Michelle Park

As Valentine’s Day has been dubbed the national holiday of romance, it’s no surprise that February 14th can be a day filled with a lot of…emotion, and whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, running on just emotions can get really stressful, really fast.

What’s more, the presence of emotion often gets confused with the presence of love and discerning the difference between the two can be quite important for both singles and committed relationships. The cure for this confusion is simple: love acts, and it acts selflessly. It compels the human heart to look outside itself, to deliberately overflow—and not just for one day, but all year-round.

So whether you have a special Valentine or not, everyone has access to the presence of love. We just need to reclaim it. And where do you start? Maybe it’s a word of encouragement to the waitress who’s spending V-Day in an apron, or finally taking some time to call your parents. Maybe it’s cooking dinner and buying gifts for a single mom you know, or baking cookies for a friend who’s hurting from a bad break-up. Or, if you’re up for it, maybe it’s all of the above.

And for those of us who are partaking in some good ol’ romance on V-Day, we can take up the challenge to be deliberate in honoring our loved ones. Put your phones away, serve each other extravagantly, hug deeply, and tell them why you’re proud to call them yours. Consider getting an impacting gift that isn’t just the hottest new product at Barney’s, like this unique jewelry from 31bits, which help women in Uganda rise above poverty. Through informed purchases, you can demonstrate love to both your special someone and to a complete stranger miles away.

Here’s some simple tools to make love a lot more deliberate on Valentine’s Day 2014:

  • Fresh farmer’s market flowers
  • A couple batches of home-made cookies, to box up and give to quality friends or that very special someone. (Recipe below)
  • Sketchbook to handwritten letters paired with a great scented candle
  • Good vibes music play-list (dance party may follow)
  • Bottle of red wine or lavender tea
  • Fair-trade dark chocolate

Need some more ideas? Here are a few ethical gift ideas our research team pulled together: 
Ethical gifts ideas for her || Gifts ideas for him

Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sprouted Kitchen:

  • 1 stick/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. maple extract
  • 3 T. maple flakes (optional)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • heaping 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips/chopped chocolate


Heat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, sea salt, vanilla and maple extracts and mix again to combine well. In another bowl, mix the almond meal, oats, white whole wheat flour, pinch of cinnamon and baking soda together. Add the dry to the wet mixture and stir until almost combined, being careful not to over mix. Add the chopped chocolate and give it one more stir to combine. Allow the mixture to chill for at least 20 minutes, or covered overnight. Place your cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet or silpat, leaving space between for them to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until the centers are barely set. They will appear underdone, this is good. Allow them to cool and enjoy. 

Photo Credit: Michelle Park.