BY LAUREN SEPHTON
Red raspberries, encouraging notes of adoration, and the sun’s warmth peeking through Winter’s breeze. Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate your loved ones, as well as brighten someone’s day who may be a little lonely. Follow along this short guide to Valentine’s Day surprises to catch those dazzling smiles.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to add all your favorite berries to your grocery list. Whether you save this easy breakfast idea for this weekend’s brunch or Valentine’s Day morning, a scrumptious DIY waffle bar will have your family eager to dig on in. Begin by simply making your favorite waffles. To be more festive, try slicing them into heart-shapes or use a heart-shaped waffle maker. Then, place little bowls of your favorite toppings. For example, try adding red raspberries, sliced bananas, dark mini-chocolate chips, chopped pecans, freshly whipped cream, maple syrup, Nutella, almond butter, and cinnamon to your DIY waffle bar.
For dinner, try pairing together browned chicken thighs with couscous and roasted whole carrots. Begin by seasoning the chicken thighs with salt & pepper, then cook each (skin side down) in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown. Add carrots into the skillet and roast at 450F until chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to its package directions. Toss the couscous with a little lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh mint and parsley, salt and pepper. Complement this delectable dish with the refreshing blend of fresh mint, chopped garlic, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Serve warm.
Surprise grandma and grandpa with a heart-warming, homemade Valentine’s Day card that’ll bring them tears of joy. If you have toddlers or a baby, try lightly dipping their feet in water-based acrylic paint, then pressing onto paper. Attach a sweet note to the card, such as, “From the tips of my toes to the bottom of my heart….”
Now, let’s get creative with tasty Swedish fish! Easily find a printable fishbowl image that you can customize by writing, “I saw you, and I was hooked” or “Glad we’re in the same school” or “You’re the only fish in the sea for me.” Then, place the cutout fishbowl image in a clear party favor bag with a few Swedish fish in front of the water portion of the fishbowl.
Or grab your kids to make a DIY S’mores Kit that their friends will treasure! In a clear party favor bag, toss together a large marshmallow, single graham cracker (split into two pieces), and a mini-chocolate bar for a single serving S’more. Make it more festive by finding heart-shaped marshmallows at your local supermarket. Attach a charming note, such as, “I need s’more friends like you.”
Thankfully, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, which gives you the opportunity to celebrate all weekend. As winter makes its final goodbye, the animals are getting ready for their season of love. Take your family for a fun and educational hike to spot the wild courtships of both plants and animals. For instance, try scanning the sky to find the local birds making acrobatic flights and squeals to impress their mates. Or try spotting the bees buzzing around the flowers as they pollinate them for Spring blossoming.
Need a little alone time with your special someone? Plan a sweet picnic in your backyard or a park nearby. No need to make a hassle about preparing an entire lunch, just pack along your favorites to have a little charcuterie. Don’t forget to bring a large enough blanket to sit comfortably on as you laugh and chat about your favorite memories together.
What a remarkable way to show gratitude for your loved ones, near or far, with these simple suggestions. Happy Valentine’s Day!