Celebrating Valentine’s Day should be about having fun, not about emptying your wallet, cramming yourself full of unhealthy Valentine’s sweets, or allowing yourself to feel down and depressed on this holiday for sweethearts. Whether spending the holiday alone or with someone special, consider making it a DIY Valentine’s Day that can save you money and leave you feeling special!
Five ways to pamper on Valentine’s Day
1. Cook at home
Although it’s fun to take advantage of all that restaurants have to offer on Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to forgo that experience this year. You’ll avoid long waits and huge (unhealthy) portions, and save money by doing the cooking yourself. Instead, spread out a tablecloth, light some candles, and put a healthy meal on the table. Get your family or friends involved, or just enjoy a delicious meal solo. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
How about pasta with red sauce, accompanied by a colorful salad? You might have fun making heart-shaped pizzas with all your favorite toppings. If you are short on time, find a good pre-made pizza crust at the store and cut it into a heart. Don’t throw out the crust you cut off, turn it into breadsticks!
Remember that you’re more likely to make better decisions regarding portion sizes and ingredients when cooking at home. Choose an organic noodle, organic produce, a sprouted wheat crust, or fresh veggies to top a pizza. Bon appetit!
2. Do it yourself sweets
Valentine’s Day has to be one of the biggest money-makers for candy companies. If you crave sweets like me, treat yourself to sweets made at home so you can control the ingredients. Instead of boxes of chocolates and red or pink candies (containing harmful red dyes), consider a few sweet treats from your own kitchen. Find an easy brownie recipe and cut the finished batch of brownies into hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. (The baker and any kitchen assistants get to eat the scraps!) Have an ice cream sundae bar, using ice cream with very few ingredients, homemade chocolate syrup, and fruit or granola on the top. Bake a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes that resemble hearts; just tuck a marble in between the muffin cup and muffin tin for each cupcake. And don’t forget about these naturally sweetened homemade chocolates!
3. Get outdoors
February can be a long, dreary, cold month in many states. Improve your mood and boost your endorphins by getting outside for some fresh air and exercise. In colder states, bundle up and pack a thermos of hot cocoa. Take a hike in a forest, go snowshoeing, or cross country skiing. Get some people together for sledding, snow tubing, or a snow angel contest.
If you live in a warmer state or don’t have any snow, take a bike ride, stroll your favorite park, or go for a swim. Check for free events in your area that sound fun. One year Matt and I strolled the streets of a nearby city where ice sculptures were on display, stores had extended hours, and free trolley rides were being offered.
4. Pamper your skin
If your skin is showing evidence that winter has set in, treat it to a DIY spa night. Try a homemade facial for tired-looking skin. A mask made with equal parts full-fat plain yogurt and oatmeal can help replenish moisture and exfoliate.
Maybe you just need a good soak in the tub to relax. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to provide some aromatherapy. Lavender or chamomile essential oils are perfect for a calming bath. (Find 100% pure essential oils here.)
Use your favorite chemical-free moisturizer to pamper your tired hands and feet. Swap hand or foot massages with a significant other, friend, or even enlist your child for this spa treatment. Little hands do a terrific job!
5. Get some extra sleep
No matter what your Valentine’s Day celebration looks like, be sure to treat your body with some extra sleep at the end of the day. Conclude your Valentine’s Day activities early instead of partying late into the night. Love on your body by giving it the rest it needs, and your body will love you back!
What are you planning?
Holidays can be so much more fun when we don’t have post-holiday guilt from overspending, overeating, or allowing the holiday to pass without making fun memories. What are your ideas for a fun DIY Valentine’s Day? Let us know how you’re planning to create memories.
photo credit: qthomasbower