Beyond Valentine’s

    This week’s newsletter is not for you. It’s for your other half. We’re giving them some tips and tricks on how to please you not just on this holiday, which happens to fall on a Tuesday, but every day. So, print, cut below on the dotted line and leave it somewhere they can easily find. They’ll get the hint.

    And, if you happen to be single on Valentine’s Day these tips apply to you, too. Share this day with anyone you love and treat yourself. Cook a luxurious meal for you and a friend or go out and party. Your time is your own, so take advantage.


    Dear __________,

    Doing something romantic for your loved one on Valentine’s Day is sweet. Doing something sweet for your loved one on any other day is romantic. Here are some tips on how to bring some Valentine’s Day magic to any time of day on any day of the week, without busting your wallet or schedule.

    Love gp

    7AM or before they wake up:

    Surprise them by pre-loading a playlist onto their Ipod (or getting a mix onto whatever device they use to listen to music) with whatever songs are significant to you two. You’ll be on their mind throughout their morning run, commute, etc. Here are a few love songs we, well, love.

    Romantic tunes:

    Valentines Day
    by Bruce Springsteen

    by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs

    By Your Side
    by Sade featuring The Neptunes

    8AM or before they rise: Fail-Proof Breakfast in Bed (in 5 Minutes or Less).

    While breakfast in bed on a Saturday is lovely, breakfast in bed on a weekday is completely unexpected, and truly special. We’ve listed some super-simple recipes for even the most culinarily-challenged that can be prepared in five minutes or less to bring some unexpected romance to an otherwise normal day.

    Berry Yogurt Parfait

    The presentation of this parfait fools your loved one into thinking you’ve toiled for her/his pleasure when it fact the preparation is about as simple as pouring a bowl of cereal.

    Makes 2

    • 14oz (2 small containers) of thick Greek yogurt
    • 1 pint of fresh berries (we used blueberries, but whatever berry you can find is perfect)
    • 1 cup of raw oats or granola
    • honey or maple syrup to drizzle

    Add half the yogurt to the bottom of two pretty glasses. Sprinkle on a layer of raw oats or granola. Add a layer of blueberries. Repeat. Top with as much honey or maple syrup as you desire.

    Easy, Cheesy Omelette

    Makes 2

    • 6 eggs
    • 2 handfuls of any cheese you like (we used cheddar and goat) cubed or grated
    • salt & pepper
    • 2 tabs of butter
    • a few basil leaves or any fresh herb you like (optional)
    • 2 handfuls of blueberries for garnish (optional)

    1.Break eggs equally into two separate bowls. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, place frying pan with tab of butter over medium heat. Once butter melts, add one bowl of eggs. Let simmer for about 30 seconds.

    2.Add cheese. When the eggs become firm (about another 30 seconds) fold into an omelette. Flip. Heat for a few moments more until cooked through, and slide onto a plate.

    3.Garnish with fresh herbs, a handful of blueberries on the side and a super-simple side salad (see below for recipe). Repeat.

    Super-Simple Side Salad

    Makes 2

    • 2 handfuls leafy greens, washed
    • cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (if you’re feeling ambitious)
    • half a lemon
    • drizzle of olive oil
    • salt & pepper

    Divide greens between two dishes. Top with cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and lemon.

    And, don’t forget a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and French press coffee.

    1.Cut 3 oranges in half and juice each half individually. Pour into cup.

    2.Pour about 1 cup of hot water over 1.5 level scoops of ground coffee in a cafetière. Fit the filter on top and plunge down slowly.


    Set an alarm on their phone to go off at this time that tells them to check their 1. pant pocket 2. wallet pocket 3. purse pocket, or whatever place you think they would not have naturally checked by now. In this pocket, you have placed either a love note, tickets to a play/movie/event that evening, a gift card to their favorite store, or an address and time of where and when they should meet you for a surprise evening activity of your choice.

    3PM: Flowers

    Here’s a very simple project that goes a little beyond the typical bouquet. Maybe these arrive via delivery. Maybe you deliver?

    • 6 – 12 flowers (remember, not everyone loves roses)
    • 3 – 4 sheets of colored paper (preferably construction)
    • scissors
    • twine

    1.Draw 6 – 12 hearts about 2 inches wide on sheets of colored paper. Cut out the hearts and make a ½ inch slit on the side of each heart where you can slide a string through. Write a message on the hearts – maybe all the things you love about them, or an invitation to dinner at home (see below).

    2.Slip a 3 inch long piece of twine through each heart and tie one heart to each rose.

    6PM: Simple Dinner

    One of the simplest and best,pleasures in life has to be coming home to a warm plate of food, especially when it’s been cooked by the person you love. Despite the fancy name, Chicken Paillard is one of the simplest dishes to make. The pounding not only tenderizes the meat, but it reduces cooking time to about five minutes for each cutlet. When paired with a simple salad (recipe above) this makes a beautiful, healthy and satisfying meal.

    Chicken Paillard

    Makes 2

    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 2 tablespoons of flour
    • olive oil to coat skillet
    • half a lemon
    • salt & pepper
    • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)

    1.Place the cutlets between two pieces of parchment paper, cling wrap, or plastic. Grab a heavy pan and pound the cutlets with the bottom until they are about a quarter of an inch thick. Season the cutlets with salt, pepper and a light dusting of flour. Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and bring to medium high heat. Cook cutlets about 2-3 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through, but not dry. Plate the chicken and dress with lemon.

    2.Place sliced avocados over or on the side of the chicken.

    3.Spoon simple salad over the top.

    10PM: Later... (over 18's only!)

    Kama Sutra, Original Weekender Kit, $24.99

    This little kit, small enough to carry discretely in your purse or a large pocket, includes love oil, a pleasure balm and even some honey dust with a titillating little feather applicator for some fun wherever you end up.

    101 Nights of Grrreat Sex, by Laura Corn

    This is not just another sex book. 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex uses “secret sealed envelopes” with special instructions for a love task or favor that each partner tears out and completes for one another. Sounds simple but the anticipation and mystery makes even the smallest gestures pretty thrilling.

    The goop collection