By Dian Mills
Ahh, romance. There’s nothing like feeling loved and finding creative ways to give others the same warm fuzzies on Valentine’s Day. A decadent dinner, a shopping spree, a weekend in Vegas … all swoon-worthy choices. This year, though, why not keep things cozy and plan a full day of at-home enchantment?
Your day of romance actually begins the night before. For refreshing, mood-boosting sleep, treat yourself to a luxurious silk duvet and head-cradling memory foam pillows from Novosbed. This duvet is the latest offering in their ultra-cozy line and, since it’s made of 100% Mulberry silk, it looks and feels like down but is completely hypoallergenic. The pillows are coma-inducing too, available in three varieties to soothe even the most acrobatic sleeper. Treat your bed (and yourself) to the best at http://www.Novosbed.com. Nothing calms the senses like an alluring scent, so give your bedroom a good spritzing with Amala’s Apothecary Renew Rose Room & Linen Mist. Featuring organic Turkish Rose, this delicately scented spray will keep you calm, centered and stress-free as you drift off to dreamland. Find yours at http://www.amalabeauty.com. Once you’ve turned your bed into a cloud, it’s time to find sleepwear cute and comfy enough to go from Valentine’s Eve right through to Night. Hästens Blue Check Pajamas are the softest, happiest pajamas around. Made of cool, supple cotton and featuring a chic blue check pattern, this adorably classy PJ set even has matching Down Slipper Boots to keep your feet toasty and pampered from the moment you step out of bed. Pick up a set for everyone who wants to get cuddly at http://www.Hastens.com.
As captivating as your bedroom has become, you’ll eventually have to venture out of it in search of sustenance. Be sure to have your kitchen stocked with quick, simple, delicious breakfast options. Coffee is a terrific sense nudger, and a microroaster like Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Company is your best bet for intriguing flavors and beans so fresh, they’re roasted and shipped to you on the same day. From Fair Trade organics to Jersey Diner-style blend, they’ve got something for every palate. Find your ideal kickstart at http://www.booskerdoo.com. Once the coffee’s on, it’s time to have fun with food! Grab a box of Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix and fill the air with the sweet smell of the ultimate morning comfort food. Made with a special blend of soft wheat flours, these fluffy and light pancakes are easy to prepare and hard to resist (available at grocery stores everywhere). If you fancy something with a bit more of a kick, slather some toast with Palmetto Cheese. This perfectly potent pimento cheese is a gluten-free, southern specialty featuring premium Wisconsin sharp cheddar and enough flavor to keep your taste buds buzzing for hours! Look for it at your local grocery store or order up all three flavors (Original, Jalapeno and Bacon) at http://www.pimentocheese.com.
For a cooler note, Chobani Greek yogurt always works as a sweet, creamy palate refresher. Available at your local grocery store in dozens of flavors and styles from classic Blended to mix-in toting Flip, they’ve got every taste covered. Speaking of mixing, you might just decide to toss your yogurt into the Ninja Ultima™ Blender along with every piece of fruit and ice you can find and put its Total Crushing™ and High Speed Cyclonic Blades to work whipping up the silkiest batch of smoothies you’ve ever sipped! The Ninja features a super-powerful 2.5 peak horsepower motor and dual stage blending, which means that it pulverizes everything from the middle of the carafe and the bottom simultaneously. The result: fast, thorough blending of everything from delicate sauces to frozen cocktails. It even comes with single serve cups that let you quickly and easily whip up and enjoy concoctions on the fly. Treat your home to one at http://www.ninjakitchen.com.
Now that you’re all rested and fed, it’s prezzie time! No Valentine’s Day is complete without a few romantic surprises, so let’s start with what we really want. For her, beauty: Teleflora’s Swirling Beauty Bouquet (available at http://www.teleflora.com). Warning: when this luxurious mix of red roses and pink lilies (delicately arranged in a dramatic swirling, crimson glass vase) arrives at the door, the resulting squeal might wake any neighborhood sleepers-in. For him, technology: Braun’s new °CoolTec Shaver! Hot off the press and featuring innovative Thermo-Electric-Cooling technology, it actively cools down skin during the SensoBlade three step shaving process. That means bye bye redness, burning, itching and any excuse he might have not to be baby soft and kissably smooth every day! Snap one up at major retailers and http://www.braun.com.
One surprise is never enough, though, and it’s just not V-day without a little sparkle and a lot of sweetness. Give her a one-two punch of glitz and sentiment with a “Datesake” Calendar Key with Swarovski Crystal necklace from Not Just Any Old Day…It’s Your Special Day®. Pretty and classy, this unique pendant is hand crafted in the USA from recycled, lead-free pewter and can be personalized to honor any date you like (anniversary, first date, your pet’s birthday … your call). Make her a memory at http://www.notjustanyoldday.com. Sweeten him up with some really terrific (and preferably boozy) chocolate! Moonstruck Chocolate Co.® Valentine selections include Merlot Sea Salt Caramels and wine-infused truffles, with just enough deliciously adorable non-alcoholically flavored options to keep him from thinking you’re trying to take advantage. ;-) Choose your sinful little weapons at http://www.moonstruckchocolate.com.
Finally, swap gifts that keep on giving: Love Coupon greeting cards from Papyrus. These gorgeous cards look romantic enough coming out of their envelopes, but the heart gem-adorned coupons inside take them to a whole new level. Back rub, anyone? How about breakfast in bed … or a secret fantasy? Available at Papyrus stores and http://www.papyrusonline.com.
With all the heavy lifting out of the way, it’s almost time to cuddle up and enjoy the rest of the day! Proper romantic relaxation involves a bit of prep work, though, and sinful snack collection is job one. Popcorn, Indiana® makes striking the perfect sweet – savory balance as easy as grabbing a bag (or six) from their Drizzlecorn collection. As if their crunchy, fresh, whole grain kettlecorn wasn’t delicious enough, now it’s coated with a generous drizzling of six combinations like dark with white chocolate (Black & White) and dark fudge with peppermint.
Choosing could take all afternoon, so make things easy and find out where to scoop up one of each at http://www.popcornindiana.com. All that decadence is lovely, but having a stash of equally delicious alternative munchables on hand is essential. Funley’s Super Crackers are bite-sized pieces of 100% natural heaven and come in Cheddar, Pizza, Ranch and Cornbread flavors. The kicker: there’s a different superfood (broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, spinach or sweet potatoes) hidden in each flavor! Find your nearest Funley’s retailer (and check out the rest of their yummy health-boosting nibbles) at http://www.funleys.com. Now that edibles have been secured, all that’s missing is a romance-appropriate beverage. What could possibly fit the bill better than Dreaming Tree wines? Performer Dave Matthews has been making wine almost as long as he’s been giving ladies everywhere the vapors with his music. His collaboration with Sonoma winemaker Steve Reeder had produced a beautifully balanced collection featuring a Cabernet Sauvignon as swoon-worthy as any note Matthews has ever played. Find your excuse to buy a bigger wine rack at http://www.dreamingtreewines.com.
Finally…pick out a ridiculously cheesy movie on TV, grab that snuggly silk duvet off the bed and sink into a pile of Infurn’s BigBoy Original XXL Bean Bag Chairs. These squishy seats are fun, happy (available in six colors) and incredibly relaxing. They’re also crazy durable, so any little wine whoopsies can be wiped away with a damp cloth. Add a little fun to your furnishings at http://www.infurn.com/us/bigboy-xxl-the-original.
Wherever it takes you … have a warm, fuzzy, fantastic Valentine’s Day!