Be unique this Valentines Day

Instead of going through the motions, be unique this Valentines Day!

One might say that Valentines Day is the epitome of cheesiness, but naysayers need love too. So go ahead and skip the candlelight dinner, roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, and try one of these cynic-proof Valentines Day ideas.

1. Burlesque Show

Spend this Valentines Day getting sultry by taking your date to a burlesque show. These old-timey acts are more sexy than skanky (think feather boas, long gloves, fans and tasseled pasties). Talented performers often accompany the campy humor and killer costumes.

2. Indoor Picnic

Skip the restaurant scene, where you’ll inevitably be stuck with an overpriced pre-fixed menu and a seat that leaves you knee-to-knee with other star-crossed lovebirds. Spend your Valentines Day dinner enjoying an indoor picnic instead. Spread out the blanket, break out the fancy accouterments — and don’t forget the bubbly. Phoenix hasn’t been all that warm lately so why not be comfy on a rug…maybe even light the fireplace.

3. “Glamping”
Let’s face it: camping isn’t always sexy (bug spray and outdoor toilets can be a romance buzzkill, to say the least). But “glamping” (glamorous camping) can make for the ultimate Valentines Day staycation. Pitch a tent (not that kind) in the backyard or even the bedroom, whip up a batch of s’mores, light up the fireplace (on DVD) and get all cozy in that sleeping bag for deux.

4. Roller Skating
Most dates will be hitting the ice skating rink come Valentines Day, so go old school by taking your date roller skating instead. Bust out your tube socks and short shorts — the roller rink makes for a super-fun Valentines Day setting. You can hang out in the arcade, buy your date a candy necklace, and get cozy for a couple’s skate.

5. Bowling
Bowling may not reek of romance, but c’mon, it’s fun! Throw back a few cold ones, grab some junk food and settle in for some healthy competition this Valentine’s Day. Make things a little more interesting by keeping score and promising the winner a Valentine’s Day “prize.”

6. Comedy Show
Some say laughter is an aphrodisiac, and who are we to argue with that logic? Also, what better way to celebrate Valentines Day than to laugh your butt off? Grab a date and head to the nearest comedy club for an off-the-grid VDay experience.

7. Hot Yoga
Flexible? Get steamy with a Valentines Day “hot yoga” class for two. The flow of the poses in the heated room will increase blood flow and boost your endorphins — plus your partner will look sexy in a sweaty downward dog. The best part? A shower is absolutely necessary after this type of class, so make it a shower for two.

8. Concert

Skip the opera this Valentines Day and head straight for the ultimate rock-n-roll date: take your Valentine to see his or her favorite band. Or just hit up a local music venue for a live show. Seeing Jay-z or Fun. is a perfectly romantic Valentines Day gift.

9. Sexy Scavenger Hunt
Design a sexy scavenger hunt for your honey this Valentines Day. Create clues that lead to special places you’ve been together and reward them with sexy prizes. (Try recreating your first kiss.) Bonus: This can be completely free, and you’ll score major points for creativity.

10. Salsa Dancing
You don’t have to watch “Dancing with the Stars” to know that salsa is super sexy. Work off your Valentines Day dinner by hitting up a Latin club, or take a lesson for two. Online deal sites like Groupon.com and Livingsocial.com often offer coupons on dance lessons, so check before hit the dance floor.

Best Peppermint Bark Recipie

Total Time:1 hr 0 min

Prep 5 min

Inactive 45 min

Cook 10 min

Yield: about 2 pounds of candy
Level: Easy 
 

Ingredients

  • Crushed candy canes, to yield 1 cup
  • 2 pounds white chocolate
  • Peppermint flavorings, optional

Directions

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.) Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle.)

©Television Food Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved.

 

How to wrap the perfect gift!

How to Wrap a Perfect Gift thumbnail
Wrapping a gift beautifully is a process.

A beautifully wrapped gift contains more than the present inside the package. Perfectly wrapping a gift means paying attention to the components that comprise gift wrapping. With each step, from box to bow, you will see the ideal in your head meet with the product of your careful efforts. You can wrap a perfect gift.

Instructions

  1. Box and Paper

    • 1
      Perfect gift wrapping begins with the box.
      Perfect gift wrapping begins with the box.

       

      Choose a box. The right box should accommodate tissue paper with room for your gift to easily fit inside.

    • 2
      Use wrapping paper that matches the occasion and the recipient's personality.
      Use wrapping paper that matches the occasion and the recipient’s personality.

       

      Select wrapping paper, matching ribbon and a bow that suits the occasion and the recipient. You may want a solid color or paper with patterns. The Container Store recommends selecting paper with small print for small packages and larger print for larger boxes.

    • 3
      Tissue paper comes in many colors.
      Tissue paper comes in many colors.

       

      Line the box with tissue paper. Allow enough to hang over the sides of the box. Place the gift in the box. Wrap the tissue paper over the gift. Put the top on the box.

    • 4
      Cut wrapping paper to fit the box that holds your gift.
      Cut wrapping paper to fit the box that holds your gift.

       

      Spread or unroll a sheet of wrapping paper on the table. Place the box upside down on the paper. Situate the box on the paper so that it will fold across the box and overlap on the bottom (which is facing up) of the box. Leave enough paper on the ends of the box to fold and cover the ends of the box.

    • 5

      Fold the paper with one side over about an inch of the box bottom, and tape in place. Wrap the paper all the way around the box, over the secured side and even with the edge of the box. Secure with two-sided tape.

    • 6

      Turn the box right-side up. Push in the sides of each end, creasing the top and bottom of the paper in toward the box ends. Fold the bottom end of the paper up, and fold the top end of the paper downward to cover the bottom end that is taped to the box. Fold the top edge of the paper so that it aligns with the bottom of the box end. Tape in place.

    1. Ribbon and Bow

      • 7
        Select a ribbon color to complement wrapping paper.
        Select a ribbon color to complement wrapping paper.

         

        Set the box facing up. To make a basic bow, wrap ribbon from a spool around the box length and bring the spool to the center of the box. Leave sufficient ribbon to form a handmade bow.

      • 8
        Tie ribbon around a box to meet in the center.
        Tie ribbon around a box to meet in the center.

         

        Cross the loose ribbon end with ribbon on the spool end, wrapping each ribbon end around the box width. Cut the spool end of ribbon to match the length of the the other end. Tie the ribbon in a knot where the ribbon crosses in the center.

      • 9
        A handmade bow is simple to make.
        A handmade bow is simple to make.

         

        Make a handmade bow by cutting wire-edge ribbon in a length to accommodate the size of bow you want to make. Make two matching loops, and cross the right loop over the left. Tie the loops in a knot. Tie the bow tight, and make the bow loops match. Tape to the center of the ribbon on the box.