The day starts off with the smell of roses; the bright red color brings some life into the gray, wintry month. While at work, it’s a day of anxiously waiting for those reservations you scheduled three months in advance. You leave work just a tad early–not early enough for anyone to notice, of course–so you have plenty of time to do your hair and get into that expensive outfit you bought just for the occassion. You arrive at the restaurant early and wait a bit for your table. Then, it’s candles, champagne, an expensive meal, a beautiful dessert and maybe even some diamond earrings. Does that sound like your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day date? In my opinion, status quo sets the bar a little too high for the Hallmark holiday, but most end up buying into it; in 2017, Americans spent an average of $136.57 on Valentine’s Day. As much as I love red and pink, this is not how Mr. and Mrs. Powell will be spending the night.

Although we haven’t identified exactly what we will be doing to celebrate each other, I’m sharing some awesome ideas we’ll be considering.

SNOW/BEACH DAY

If you’re lucky enough to live near the mountains or the beach, this is definitely at the top of the list. A.J. and I LOVE to go out in the Jeep and explore this beautiful area we call home. We pack up–without forgetting the pup, of course–and gallop around, taking in the natural beauty and enjoying each other. Why I personally love this idea is because there’s usually little to no cell phone service, so it’s almost like a time to unplug and focus on just having fun. To make it a little more romantic and less about the four-pawed “human,” just bundle up, bring some food and have a picnic, go for a hike, snowboarding, etc. Options are endless when you’re up thousands of feet in elevation… as well as when you’re at sea level. How romantic is sitting at the beach, watching the waves crash at sunset? You can pack a dinner, or even just a cooler.

MAKE DINNER AT HOME

This is something we normally do; one, because A.J. is my favorite chef and can literally whip something out of nothing that tastes better than anything else I could’ve ever imagined eating… But, it’s also bonding in the kitchen, working together to create a beautiful meal and then after all of the hard work, enjoying that meal together. You aren’t distracted by the sounds of a restaurant phone ringing, or the loud, tipsy voices booming from the bar. Instead, you decide what you’re listening to–whether you’re in your pajamas or still getting dressed up–and you won’t have to risk waiting for a table. Plus, it will be significantly cheaper than anything at a restaurant.

GO TO A MOVIE

A.J. and I love to go see a movie; sitting in the theater, munching on some buttery popcorn, having a huge screen and surround sound, I mean, does it get much better than that?! This is a super cheap and fun date night, especially if you end up eating your dinner at home. Plus, if you go in the day, it’s all about that matinee price. This is like the classic date night, and if you’ve picked a great movie, you really can’t go wrong.

NETFLIX AND CHILL

Or maybe you don’t feel like getting dressed up for a movie… which is totally okay–especially when you have Netflix. I mean, who doesn’t love to watch a great movie in your comfiest clothes next to your S.O. and your dog?? To top the night off, why not order some delivery and literally sit on your couch all night long? I’m in!!

BOARD GAMES, ANYONE?

How fun is building a tower, anxiously hoping it tips over when that one wood piece is removed so you can win, but as soon as you touch one, you hear your opponent yelling JENGA?! Board games are a great way to enjoy each other and share oh so many laughs together. We recently have bought several board games and every Sunday night, we sit at our dining room table and laugh until we cry. That sounds like a great Valentine’s Day to me.

SKIP THE EXPENSIVE DINNER AND GO TO YOUR FAV FAST FOOD

If only In-N-Out was in Bend… There would be no question as to what we would be munching on. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about what people make it out to be, it should be about love… and if you love fast food and saving a buck or two–head to your favorite drive-thru–or even sit inside–and indulge in some double doubles and animal style fries. YUM!

CELEBRATE ON ANOTHER NIGHT

If you’re still dying to go to a restaurant, it will usually be less expensive on any night other than Valentine’s Day. Why? Because most restaurants capitalize on this holiday; they know you’re going to want to eat out, so they usually have a fixed menu for a certain price–and although it may sound like a deal, it probably wouldn’t be how much you would normally end up spending per person if it was any other night of the week.

DON’T FORGET THE TRUE VALENTINE’S DAY MEANING

Most importantly, Valentine’s Day isn’t all about the roses and the champagne and the diamond earrings–it’s about celebrating your love… and every love is different, so do something that is in sync with your love story.

What are you going to do on Valentine’s Day? Comment below to share your plans!

Categories: Lifestyle

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