So…um…guys? Valentine’s day is coming. In two days. And guess what? If you forget and don’t surprise your Valentine with something good, you will be getting a shoulder that is even colder than this frigid Chicago weather. And before you even try, there is NO WAY you can go the “I didn’t know what day it was” or “It’s just a stupid Hallmark holiday.” None. What to do? Check out my Valentine’s Day guide for the Lazy Guy. Because…well…you need all the help you can get.
WHAT WOULD SHE LIKE
First off, you need to think about your valentine and what her expectations might be for Valentine’s Day. I mean, before we had kids, I expected dinner at a nice steakhouse and maybe something in a package from Victoria’s Secret or my favorite jewelry store. Now that we have two boys, all I really want is to not have to worry about making dinner that night and to be able to sit and actually RELAX instead of tackling the dishes in the sink or doing the million other things that are expected of me. Just like you, her priorities can definitely shift and you need to be in tune to that. I mean, these are valentines that moms REALLY want to receive.
How will you know how she wants to spend Valentine’s Day? ASK HER.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE LEFT
You might be hesitant to ask her how she wants to spend Valentine’s Day if it is 11 p.m. on February 13th. I get it, really, I do. So what’s your back up option? Text her sister, best friend, mom squad, etc. and ask their opinion. Chances are that they love their friend/sister so much that they won’t tease you too much for dropping the ball.
If you are waiting ‘til the last second, chances are that you won’t be able to deliver flowers to her office…but that’s okay. Why? Because in my experience, those flowers are typically over priced and not too Instagram worthy. If you are local to Chicago, head over to my favorite flower shop, FlowersFlowers in Evanston and have Joanne help you pick out something special. Even the way she packages the flowers is swoon worthy. If you aren’t local, then head over to Costco (yes, Costco) because they have some of the BEST flowers of fantastic quality at great price points. There might not be a wide variety of flowers, so when in doubt go with roses or tulips in all one color—they look more dramatic and impressive that way.
Let’s be honest, if you haven’t made dinner reservations by the time you are reading this article, you are screwed. So what to do? Carry out from one of your favorite restaurants and have a cozy date night in. As a heads up, sushi and Italian travels very well from restaurant to home. Surf and turf? Not so much. To elevate your at home “carry out” dinner, use a nice (NOT PLASTIC—I shouldn’t have to point this out, but I’m worried about some of you) tablecloth and light some candles. Oh, and try to leave work early to prepare things so you aren’t as rushed. That way you are both relaxed and your evening will be much more pleasant.
Really want to take your valentine out for dinner? Then make reservations for the weekend AFTER Valentine’s Day (you can still save face, I promise) at some of the most romantic restaurants across Chicagoland. If you have a family, go the extra mile and actually book a babysitter AS WELL AS get things ready for when the babysitter comes (make dinner, write caretaking notes, etc.). Simple things like this go a LONG way.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Don’t want to simply settle for dinner and a movie? Good! Because there are so many fun and unique things that you can do together to celebrate your relationship. Here are my suggestions for the Ultimate Date Night, as well as ways to have a fun and memorable daytime date. Too overwhelmed with all of the options for a Valentine’s Day date? Then keep it simple. If you ask me, there is nothing better than a hike in nature (the Morton Arboretum has snow shoe rentals) or strolling through some of Chicagoland’s beautiful conservatories.
I could bombard you with tons of affiliate links for cute and memorable Valentine’s Day gifts, but most likely you need something that you can get IMMEDIATELY. So, here are my top three last minute picks:
Unique jewelry—I’m not talking about diamonds (but those are nice, too). Instead, look for beautifully unique jewelry that features your valentine’s birth stone or simply her love of Chicago. Head to Stumble and Relish in Evanston or Virtu in Bucktown for help finding the perfect trinket.
Gourmet treats—C’mon, we all know that chocolate is truly the star of Valentine’s Day. So check out these swoon worthy spots for the best hot chocolate and other cocoa themed treats in Chicago.
Gift cards are nice, too…especially when they are for the spa. But honestly, I would prefer a cozy blanket and a cuddle session with my valentines over a massage ANY day.
Lastly…a very important message. Try your best to play it off like you were prepared. Your secret is safe with me.