VALENTINES | THE DAY OF LOVE

"Any day spent with you is my favorite day." - Winnie the Pooh

Anyone else believe LOVE should be celebrated throughout the year? I'm a firm believer in showering those you love (including random acts of kindness) at any given moment and for no particular reason. But that may just be me :) 

On Valentine's, I like to make it fun & cheesy! Filling it with DIY crafty hearts, festive streamers in the colors of red and pink, and wearing my appropriate valentines headband. But, I know many aren't fans of the mushy, festive day. The list can go on of why people would rather the day be filled with gloom, which makes me think of Carrie and Miranda's not so great Valentines Day dinner - when both were newly single and crushed. My fave is when Carrie try's to leave but the darn balloons! The feels and mood that mimics how many, I'm sure, fee on Valentines.

As always, my take in life is to make the most of a situation and look for the positive - even if you have to dig hard for the positive! 

Trust me. I've been single, pre and post becoming a mom. And now I'm married, but we both have a tight schedule with work and life schedules, the calendar doesn't miraculously clear-up on occasions we would like to just be together over some coffee or dinner. My point is: regardless of your current Facebook relationship status (single. married. complicated. etc). If you're on the down and don't want to celebrate, change that mindset and enjoy the day! If you're a parent and have no time, MAKE TIME! Get that sitter. Celebrate on the weekend. OR better yet, celebrate it with the kids. If you're single, get those friends together and do something together. And know, Valentines doesn't need to be mushy and with endless amounts of flowers. There are so many ways to celebrate the day: hiking, a stroll down the beach or park, catch a movie, bake or buy your fave dessert and champs (or hot cocoa), go vintage retail-therapy-shopping, treat yourself to a little something from your fave store. The list can go on. 

I love Valentines day not because of anything romantic but simply because of the memories my mother created when my brothers and I were young. Every year she would order us all our own mini heart-shaped cake, which was decorated in festive Valentines Day frosting. On Valentines Day, soon as we came home from school I would rush to the fridge and see the pink cake boxes! And then devour in half of my cake, saving the rest for later (anyone heard of: cake for breakfast?). Traditions are fun and traditions aren't reserved only for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And Valentines Day isn't only for the hopeless romantics. Valentines is for everyone!

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In the spirit of L-O-V-E, here is a list of gifts, DIY crafts and things to do

-kid + budget friendly-

If you have kids and no sitter, have fun as a family because it won't be this way forever and you'll create so many memories - just as my mom did.

BAKING + DIY CRAFTS

 Skinny Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies?  //  Healthy Strawberry Snacks  //  FOOD In Heart Shapes  //  Rose Garland  //   Cupid Crispies  //  Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies  //  Heart Shaped Pizza!  //   V-Day Kids Lunches  //  Chocolate Spoons  //  PRIS' FAVE Popcorn!!!  //  Sweetheart Cinnamon Rolls  //  Pancake Hearts  // Bugs + Kisses  //  Donuts!  //  JENGA  //  Animal Jars  //  Cookie Hearts  // BEST (vegan) Sugar Cookies  // DIY Painted Heart Book Bag  //  EASY V-Day Decor  //  Strawberries + Cream Puppy Chow  //  DIY Craft Games  //  

GIFTS

Sprinkle's Cupcakes - Care Bears!  //  Disney's UP Necklace  //  Embroidered Monogram Necklace  //  Heart Pizza Tee  // Heart Espresso Cups  // Cookie Stamps  //  Cookie Cutters  //  Chocolate Deco Pens  //  Trinket Trays  //   Love To Give Tee  //   Pizza Tee  //  Heart Tights  //  Your Stuck With Me  // Valentines Day CARDS //  Elephant Succulent Planter //  Tea  //  Tea  Again // Coffee  //  Coffee Again 

THINGS TO DO

Gandola Ride //  SD Heart 5k Walk + Run  //  Coronado Valentine's Day 10k, 5k, 1 Mile Fun Run  //  Shopping In The Heart Of I.B.  //  Movie Night + Order Take Out //  Game Night + Pizza At Home //  Dessert Night Out  //  Drive-In Movies  //  Go On A Date As A Family: Ice Cream, Dessert, Pizza, Donuts + Hot Cocoa  // Visit: Sprinkles, Eclipse Chocolate, Extraordinary Desserts, Claytons Coffee Shop, Donut Bar, Tartine,  //  Pamper Yourself With Your Fave Homemade Facial Mask  //  Get Those Nails Done  //  Get That Hair Did  // Visit Your Fave Vintage Shop  //  Treat Yourself With A Little Something From Your Fave Store  //  Bake That Fave Sweet Of Yours  //  Layout A Blanket In The Family Room For Game and/or Movie Night, Filled With Snacks + Treats  //  Hike Your Fave Trail  //  Take A Stroll At Your Fave Park Or Beach  //  Buy A New Journal + Write Your Thoughts, Over Your Fave Coffee/Tea & At The Park, Coffee Shop Or Somewhere New  //  Make Plans With Friends  (Just no Carrie & Miranda angry Valentines dinner scene's LOL).

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We hope we've encouraged another perspective for this festive day and we hope you share with us how you spent the day!

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DATING

M A R R I A G E + D A T I N G

When Jimmy crossed over the friend zone we were in our thirties, and at a point in our life where we knew what we did and didn't want in a partner. We were kinda stubborn, but it worked towards our benefit! 

One desire we wholeheartedly and firmly agreed on was to date our spouse.

Dating your spouse, to us, means we are choosing to put marriage first. Does this mean our marriage is perfect? Absolutely NOT! But we are making a commitment to one another in wanting to build a solid foundation and keep love alive. The world can get crazy, but our marriage, family and home should be our sanctuary. Life with kids in school and sports, having full-time jobs, cooking, cleaning, meetings - you name it - and the list can go on. I'm a mom and completely get it. Its exhausting from the moment of the alarm queuing you to wake-up, to the moment of setting your alarm back on at night. And so, this is why dating each other works for us and many others. Our dates cause Jimmy and I to push aside life and all that it entails of and forces us to focus on each other. 

RULES HELP

We set rules for date nights (and even family outings) where its a 'no phone' zone . . . after we take that selfie or pic of our yummy food, of course ;) I've heard of couples creating certain rules with topics they are NOT going to discuss. Kids, finances, or other topics can be distraction which can instantly turn date night into a meeting. Letting go of the such topics (and the phone) is not easy but it is totally worth it! One important rule, make date nights consistent! Don't let 'no babysitter' be the excuse. Please make your marriage a priority by dating your spouse once a week or once a month. Even if that means marking each others calendar in bold letters: DATE NIGHT!

Dating your spouse is an investment into your marriage

Most of all have fun. Dating was exciting and filled your tummy with butterflies before marriage. Lets revive those feelings and memories of him picking you up, and when you cleared out the closet to make that perfect outfit to wear.

DATE IDEAS

Dates can literally take place anywhere but here are a few of our faves:

  • The beach, best place for a stroll or simply sit and gaze out in the ocean.
  • Go to a small diner, find that perfect booth and order your favorite dessert. [If you're in San Diego, Clayton's in Coronado is our fave]
  • Coffee shops are our thing, as they are to many others. People watching is always fun :)
  • Search the internet, find interesting or cool places to visit (museums, art walks, hikes) and make it adventure - we do this MANY times, even during family time.
  • If all else fails, Yelp it!
  • Flowers can make a girl swoon - make this a mental note fellas! 
  • Lastly, a movie + pizza night (with a beer or champs) is alway a WIN in our home. Just be sure to not make it a habit!

would LOVE to hear:

why you LOVE date nights + your fave date night ideas?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35