Ahh, the day of love. Back in the day (or maybe recently), did you ever have a super awkward Valentine’s Day with someone you just started dating? Like, way before the relationship was anywhere near love status and think “dear god, who is this holiday for?” Whew, me neither. 😉
Thank goodness those days are gone and I can now cozy up with someone comfy, someone who knows me. And, even though this is a someone who typically lets me do all the planning, ahem, for everything (see, he knows me) there is no one I’d rather be with on a day dedicated to love.
These photos above are a couple of our engagement pictures, taken when we still lived in Nashville, almost 7 years ago to the day (when fedoras were still acceptable). Pinky proposed to me on vacation on my birthday and a week or so later we were posing for this sappy awesomeness. Aww.
How does the TME team celebrate sappy Valentine’s awesomeness, you might ask? See below. We detailed what we’d actually be doing this year (think low-key, casual evenings out and Netflix & chill evenings in) and shared a few little items on our wish lists.
Do: Pinky and I used to go to a favorite spot in Nashville every year on Valentine’s Day. Since moving to Portland over 5 years ago, we haven’t quite developed the same tradition (ahem, baby) but we do have a favorite, not-too-fancy, super cozy restaurant that never disappoints. Grain & Gristle is near the house we rented when we first moved here. The food is amazing, the menu updated daily and the service always friendly. It is rustic, insanely-delicious food with the warmest vibe. We like to plan our dinner out a week or so after the big day, since my birthday is the 9th and the 14th is filled with over-packed restaurants and pricey prix fixe menus. We typically exchange a small gift and handmade cards. Awww.
Wear: Betsey Johnson Faux Fur Jacket – Slip on a basic tee or a sexy cami and this jacket and you’re cozy and fabulous. I’d pair it with coated black jeans and these lace up peep toe shoes (sold out but here’s another option) with toes painted in this gorgeous shade of polish above.
Eat: Moonstruck Chocolates – A local Portland chocolatier, but lucky you! Available online! Theses are decadent, amazing chocolates with the loveliest packaging, too. There’s a reason chocolate is a popular Valentine’s Day gift…it’s good (especially these!)
Buy: Herbivore Botanicals Instant Glow Mask – Something a little bit indulgent but that will give me a youthful glow like I have in those pictures above is what’s on my wish list.
Drink: Miraval Rosé – I know it’s not really rosé season, but it’s my favorite. This is not only a delicious rosé, but the bottle is so lovely, too!
Do: Cook and watch Netflix! We just finished Stranger Things (to satisfy the sci-fi nerd in me) and The Last Kingdom (for the history nerd in me), both of which I highly recommend . . . SO good. We’re now watching Schitt’s Creek, which is hilarious. Any recommendations out there for a new show??
Drink: Cosentino Winery The Franc with glasses from Wine Enthusiast: My favorite wine ever, discovered at my favorite restaurant (The Vierling in Marquette) . . . drunk in my favorite wine glasses that are dishwasher-safe, shatterproof and break-resistant. Definitely worth the extra money for glasses that last forever (and are replaced with no questions asked if broken . . . I can attest personally to that!).
Eat: Vodka Cream Pasta & Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Mint: I first saw this recipe on Oprah when Rachel Ray was a special guest. They called it “You-Won’t-Be-Single-For-Long-Vodka-Cream-Pasta,” and I remember being intrigued . . . and I’m pretty sure I tried making it the first time based solely on that name. (Did I mention we weren’t married at the time??). It’s easy and delicious and especially good with crusty bread and red wine. Perfect for a “special” night in. The Endangered Species chocolate with mint is the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Hands-down. (And I’ve tasted LOTS of chocolate).
Wear: Barefoot Dreams hoodie & lounge pants: I have been eyeing these up forever. Reviewers LOVE them and rave about how soft they are . . . they’re obviously on the more expensive side, but I think of it in terms of price per wear and how luxuriously comfy they’ll be to lounge on the couch and drink wine in!
Buy: Black Opium perfume for me . . . I love the design of the bottle and the smell is heavenly. This hoodie for Zack . . . the Inspi(red) one is no longer available, but this Hoodie from Alternative apparel is similar and super soft. Perfect for layering and/or lounging on the couch. And these festive pink and red Minnie Mouse pjs for G. (sold out but here’s another pair from Target!) She’s OBSESSED with Minnie Mouse and is there anything cuter than toddlers in onesie pjs?? (The footless ones last longer as they grow).
Wear: something comfortable, but also a little flirty. I’m thinking about wearing a dress like this Zara dress (sold out, but here are two other options: Topshop & ASOS) over skinny jeans…and ohmygoodness a pair of hi top Vans would look so cool…and would keep things on the casual side (which is especially good for standing all night!). I’ll probably throw my moto jacket over the dress, too, BTW. It is still Winter. ha. (my moto jacket is sold out, but Blank NYC make so many amazing options!)
Do: I LOVE to bowl. It’s kind of my favorite date. My boyfriend beat me last time we went (ugh) so why not get a little redemption on Valentine’s Day? South Bowl Philly is close by and has an amazing happy hour. As much as I love an excuse to get all fancy, I’m definitely going cool jeans > dress for this one.
Wear: This BLANKNYC Morning Suede Moto Jacket is a great piece. You can’t go wrong with ANY of the colors (and trust me, I’ll be wearing my red way beyond Valentine’s Day) and I love the quality for the price. All of the TME girls agree this is a great find. To keep it festive (yeah, I do) I’d pair with this Heart Tassel Crossbody Bag (sold out, but Free People does a really cute one too!) and some interesting booties.
Life is too crazy these days to try and make a thing of Valentine’s Day….so we always just do the best we can on the actual night (think: balloons), and call it good enough.
Make: Have you ever made your own raspberry sauce? It’s dead easy: In the morning, throw a bag of frozen raspberries into a bowl, add a tablespoon of sugar, a dash of vanilla, and stir. Let it sit out all day, and by night, you’ll have the freshest, most amazing (and festive) topping for ice cream (or vegan ice cream). If you are the type who needs a recipe, here.
Read: If we gift anything to the kids on Valentine’s Day, it’s usually a book. And this one, based on Virginia Wolf and her sister, is about loving someone even when it’s hard.
Once the kids go down…..we’ll probably fall asleep on the couch. HA! But if a miracle happens, here’s what I’m thinking:
Wear: After a visit to Brooklyn Fox a few weekends ago, I’m totally and completely obsessed with everything Clo Intimo. This pretty set is my current fav. (Navy is just as sexy as black. Says me.) (This set is sold out, but Third Love has amazingly comfy yet sexy bras. They have nursing options too!)
Sip: While in Barcelona this summer, we both got hooked on Cava. It’s the closest thing to champagne (like seriously I’d never be able to tell the difference), without the hefty price tag.
Wink-Wink: Good vibes only, courtesy of the Eva, a little hands-free device for couples. I’ll admit, I’m intrigued…..
What’s your favorite way to spend the holiday? We’ll probably do take-out and Love Actually (it’s not just for Christmas, ok) on the 14th since we’re going out a few days later. Ooh, or make that vodka cream pasta recipe Scotti mentioned. YUM. It’s 9:15 at night while I’m writing this and I’m super tempted to just go whip some of that up right now…
All the x’s and o’s,