Hello beautiful people! I hope everyone enjoyed a great VDay with the people (or person) that you love! I had an AMAZING weekend with my boyfriend. It was great to experience new things with each other, spoil each other, and just express our love for each other. Valentine’s Day enables us to take time out of our busy schedules and enjoy life together. Here are some of my tips and ideas for a great and unique Valentine’s Day that you can use for future reference. Hope you enjoy, and remember to spread love every day, not just on VDay!

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1. Start Your Day off Right With a Pink Latte– I am a religious coffee drinker and my boyfriend loves coffee as well (especially when it’s sweet…the only way to really drink coffee). Working at Starbucks has fueled this obsession, and we recently got a small espresso machine at my house that I use to make drinks much HEALTHIER than those from Starbucks. Using organic milk, organic espresso, Torani raspberry syrup, and Stevia to make the most delicious (and festive) VDay latte. Torani syrups contain much cleaner (and fewer) ingredients than other syrups, and are much tastastier! Top it off with whipped cream and sprinkles for the perfect start to the day with your love.  Check out this recipe under Healthy Recipes, Drink Recipes.
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2. Cook a Romantic VDay Theme Breakfast– For my first VDay with my boyfriend, I surprised him with a romantic heart themed breakfast. I picked out some cute vintage plates with pink flowers, added some candles, scattered paper candy hearts, and topped it off with delicious food! I made Nutella and Strawberry French toast with bacon, both in the shape of hearts, along with a glass of orange juice. My boyfriend absolutely LOVED it and he was so appreciative. Check out the recipe for the French toast and bacon under Healthy Recipes, Holiday.

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3. Take a Painting Class Together-My boyfriend was very artistic in college but recently he hasn’t been able to paint or draw much because of his extremely busy job. I on the other hand wanted to be an artist so badly in middle school but I was absolutely TERRIBLE.. so I eventually gave up on that dream. However, I saw an advertisement for an art class at a studio called Wine and Design in Asheville where they walk you though the painting step-by-step, and you can bring drinks and food to enjoy while you paint! They had a VDay special that included two canvases that go together to make one awesome picture, so I booked the class for me and my guy. It was so much fun! The class was very lighthearted, and our paintings turned out really well! I packed some yummy treats that included Lindor Truffles, Girl Scout cookie popcorn, and a non-alcoholic sparking grape/orange juice; they supply the paper products. There are Wine and Design studios all over the country, check out their website for the closest on near you!

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4. Try an Authentic Restaurant– I love trying new foods, and I’m slowly getting my boyfriend to branch out on what he eats as well. This weekend however, he took me to a new restaurant that was DELICIOUS! We went to a Brazilian steakhouse in Downtown Asheville called Brasillia Churrasco. It was such a unique (and yummy) experience. These servers, called Gauchos bring around these sticks with different types of meat such as steak, lamb, bacon wrapped chicken, sausage and let you try as much as you want! This little green card pictured below is not a coaster (like I thought it was) but a card that indicates to the Gauchos whether you want more food, or if you’re taking a break. If the card is on the green side, they will continue to bring you food. If you flip it to the red side, they will not continue to come by your table; this is a really cool dynamic. The best part about the restaurant was the grilled pineapple they served…holy moly. The pineapple was grilled in a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture that was TO DIE FOR! It’s so much fun to try new things together.

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5. Watch a Nicholas Sparks Movie– VDay is the perfect time to force your guy to watch a sappy chick flick. Nicholas Sparks movies are PERFECT for Valentine’s Day because they are so romantic and sweet! Of course my all-time favorites include The Notebook, The Lucky One, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Last Song, but we watched the newest one this weekend called The Choice. The ratings for the movie were really bad, which was weird because I really enjoyed the movie. My boyfriend was about to kill me because he thought that it was going to end badly, but it ended….well, I can’t ruin the surprise now can I? You’ll just have to watch it to find out.

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I hope these ideas help you out for future Valentine’s Days to come, or even just to add some spice to your normal love life. Cherish those that you love and NEVER let them go.

Much love,

Ashlyn Tori <3

A CHARLIE BROWN VALENTINE - Produced and animated by the same team that gave us the classic "PEANUTS" holiday specials and taken directly from the late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s famed comic strip, "A Charlie Brown Valentine" will air Saturday, February 10 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (©2002 United Feature Syndicate Inc.)