Hi, I’m Lauren

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What to Do for Valentine's Day

What to Do for Valentine's Day

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Less than a month until Valentine’s Day!! I’ve always done something to celebrate the day, whether I was in a relationship or not. I think that it is mostly because my parents always made my sister and I feel extra loved that day. Before I got married, I had Galentine’s Day Brunches on the day and would love to do those again, the week before. Something I have continued to do is send Valentine’s Day cards to all my friends. This year I got these mailable cards, but they come in postcard versions and lots of kid friendly / classroom valentines too. SO CUTE!! You can get them (or any Valentine’s Day purchase - cards, prints, puzzles, etc) for 15% off with discount code VDAYLMENTS through 02/07.

Hill House Ellie Nap Dress | Dangle Chain Earrings (similar)


Anyway, this year’s Valentine’s Day is a little bit different, as we are amidst a pandemic. Here in Los Angeles, we only have take-out, no indoor or outdoor seated restaurants, anddd pretty much everything is closed. Now, we prefer to cook because it’s what we have always done for V-Day, plus we enjoy dong it together, but I know this changes it up or a lot for people. SO I wanted to share some ideas of how you could celebrate, socially distant and in style!

Just for reference, last year I shared Valentine’s Day Recipe Ideas if you plan on cooking and also a Valentine’s Day Plans and Gift Guide based on the 5 Love Languages. I also shared a fun date ideas mid-pandemic that are very relevant for Valentine’s Day. If you still need more ideas, keep scrolling!


If you’re having trouble thinking of something, trying going one of these routes:

  • Pick something that you both love

  • Pick something that is new to both of you

  • Pick something that is sentimental or nostalgic to one or both of you


  • Drive-In Movie Theater: Socially distant and fun!! There was one less than an hour away from me in Dallas, but I think there’s a couple closer now. There are several within an hour from me in Los Angeles, too.

  • Experiences:

    • Open Table App: Open the restaurant reservation app and pick “experiences” nearby instead of the “reservations” or “delivery & takeout” drop down. You might be surprised what is there. I only recently learned about this!

    • AirBnB: Choose “experiences” at the top of the webpage instead of “places to stay”. You just fill in the location and date! There is also an “online experiences” option!

    • Masterclass: This might be pricey if you don’t already have it, but would make for a good gift idea too. They have tons of classes on fun things like cocktails, cooking, and more. Plus it is from the comfort of your own home ;)

  • Outdoors: We love a good hike or even a walk around a pretty neighborhood! Can easily pack a picnic lunch and make it fun. Oooh a bike ride would be fun too!! We love the Secret Stairs of Los Angeles for more “urban hiking”.

  • Local Attractions: This is more along the idea we are doing. There is a fairly close library to us with a garden I have been wanting to visit for almost a year. What is around you? An arboretum? A zoo or animal sanctuary? Perhaps a museum that is partially open? The library we are going to isn’t actually open, but the garden is and I’m so excited! We are planning on having a picnic.

  • Coursed Meals: A lot of local restaurants are struggling, so they have pivoted to try and make ends meet. Even before Valentine’s Day, several “coursed” menus began popping up as “to-go” options. This is a fun and easy way to have a yummy / fancy meal without the work AND support a local restaurant.

  • Pairings: You know I love a good pairing! These are great if you don’t want to put together an actual meal, but still want a maximum result with minimal effort at that. This wine and potato chip pairing is my favorite, but you can also do wine and french fries. If you want to go all out with the Valentine’s Day theme, you could do this wine and movie candy pairing, but make it Valentine’s Day treats and candy instead. I’m currently working on a beer pairing and a non-alcoholic pairing too.

  • Rent a Car: Nick and I did this for Memorial Day and it was so fun! I let him pick out the sports car and we took it for a ride for the day. You can see what we did here, but we were socially distant and it was so fun!

  • Game Night: I shared a lot of games 2 people can play here and also shared some virtual options. You could personalize it like make your own apples to apple or cards against humanity cards that are inside jokes / only relate to you. It would also be sweet to make custom playing cards to show that person they are one of a kind ;) I gave my sister some for Christmas and she loved them!

I hope this list helped you out and gave you some new ideas!! Also know that this list works for friends as well as couples! Not just a day of “romantic” love!! Also on this note, I think there can be a lot of pressure and a lot of unmet expectations around Valentine’s Day. Be sure to communicate what you want / are wanting to do, what are expecting (gift budget?!) and you are sure to avoid a lot of fights. Seriously, no one can read minds, no matter how much love is present!

I couldn’t end this post without some gift inspiration. Here are some present ideas - all under $50! Perfect for if you are wanting to give something other than time. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a practical gift made personal. If you want to buy a mug, grab their favorite coffee, tea, or even coffee shop gift card to go with it. Same goes for glassware - grab a bottle of wine to go with the wine glasses you purchased, etc. I go into more depth about personalizing gifts here. With that being said, enjoy these gift ideas. Everything is clickable through the collage except the last slide which I linked below the images. Good luck finding the perfect gift!


I can’t link the above items via rewardStyle, which is why they aren’t “clickable” or a fancy collage. Everything is linked below though, so enjoy!

Valentines Cookies. These sweet treats by Cookie Culture are not only cute, but they actually taste good! I’ve ordered several batches from her and they are wonderful. She has local pick up in Texas, but also ships! See all her offering // other Valentine’s cookie options here.

Primally Pure Body Butter Trio. Such a luxurious and thick lotion. I love slathering it on after a hot shower. My favorite is the eucalyptus lavender, but with this set you can try all 3. Use code ELLEMULENOS for 10% off.

Estelle Colored Glass. Okay so this isn’t under $50 (the only one I included over budget), but I had to include it. It is beautiful, hand blown glass that is SO STUNNING. She has lots of other glassware shapes, so you aren’t limited to simply stemmed wine glasses. A great small business to support, with a fantastic product.

Rose Quartz Roller. My favorite roller ever! The ridges are great and the quality is unmatched. Use code ELLEMULENOS for 10% off.

Primally Pure Lip Balm. Any easy “goodie” for your friends and family, plus they play nicely into the kissing/ v-day theme. I think my favorite scent is grapefruit, but they are all good. Use code ELLEMULENOS for 10% off.

Primally Pure Flower Bath Salts. A treat-yourself kind of gift. The bath salts are perfect for relaxing or to give to someone who needs to take a minute for themselves. There is also a smaller packet version if you want to try it before you commit or try both scents offered!

Primally Pure Soothing Mask. My favorite face masks on the market! They have a honey base so they won’t strip your skin and are also super nourishing. You can also try the plumping and clarifying one, though those are a little over $50. Use code ELLEMULENOS for 10% off.

Compartes Chocolate. This brand is local to Los Angeles and so good! The bar I linked is Strawberry Champagne and Dark Chocolate, but all of them are divine. I love the potato chip + milk chocolate and the salty + malty.

Don’t forget to shop local! These are great for flower arrangements, dinner, desserts, and more! If you still need other ideas, I shared a blushing pink gift guide here, v-day fitness guide here, a date look here, and a cozy night in here. Have a great holiday and know that YOU ARE LOVED!

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