An Essential Guide to the Perfect DIY Valentine's Day Dinner…Ever!

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Do you love Valentine's Day but hate the dinner rush? Going out on the town always seems to be a good idea—until you’re faced with crowded parking lots and a 3-block hike to your restaurant-of-choice (in these heels…in this snow?), to be awaited by a 25 minutes wait time! It's almost too easy to let the tribulations of Valentine's Day rush spoil your special day, so why not do Valentine's a little differently this year? Skip the traffic, parking drama and dinner rush blues by celebrating Valentine's Day in the privacy of your own cozy home! We've put together a few DIY tricks and tips to turn your dining room into a romantic oasis—sure to make sparks fly. After all, no one ever said you have to go out to hire a babysitter.

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Set the Mood (and the Table)

Perhaps the most important thing about celebrating any occasion at home is making sure that it feels special. Putting extra time into festive decorations is what distinguishes an occasion from everyday. On Valentine's Day especially, festive decorations are one way to show that special someone how much you care—it will be worth the extra time!

You don't have to be an origami expert to spruce up your table settings with these adorable Napkin Envelopes! Slip a romantic note inside to surprise your Valentine with an extra sweet gesture. Top of the look with a foil-wrapped chocolate heart—but don't be surprised if it's gone before dessert!

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Did someone say mood lighting? (Did someone say wine?) Fashion your old wine glasses into elegant candlesticks. Place upside-down wine glasses over flowers on your dining table and rest a candle atop. Make sure the base of the wine glass is flat and that it is larger than the base of your candle—we might have said these ideas will make sparks fly...but we'd like to keep the fire to a minimum!

What’s on the Menu?
Now that the table's taken care of, it's time to get cookin'! Cooking with your Valentine (and a glass of red wine) is a fun way to spend time together before the main course. So, neither of you are chefs? No problem. Here are some fun, easy and equally impressive recipes that are perfect for Valentine's Day.

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As we mentioned in last week's blog, February is American Heart Month—and this colorful salad is a perfect way to implement heart-healthiness into your festive Valentine's Day dinner. Using a cookie cutter, transform slices of cucumber, tomato, cheese, and radishes into adorable little hearts. Toss over your favorite salad greens and...voila!

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Homemade heart-shaped ravioli is a perfect entree for your Valentine's Day Dinner. It's an impressive dish that's not nearly as difficult as you think. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to punch shapes out of your homemade pasta (check out our favorite pasta recipe here!). Stuff with your favorite cheeses, vegetables or meats (why not all three?!) and serve with tomato or Alfredo sauce. Yum!

We hope you have a very happy Valentine’s Day—tell us what your plans are for the big day in the comments!

Be well –
The WM Team

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