Baking for one is challenging, but you can enjoy your handy work and give the rest of the sweets to friends.
When the daily grind has worn me down and I've spread myself too thin, I like to take a U–turn from my work routine and jump back into bed. And stay there all day with a few key ingredients. Join me as I pamper myself in celebration of Valentine's day.
Yes Valentine's Day can be about sharing red sparkly things with loved ones, but it can also be about honoring perhaps the most critical (and often overlooked) relationship of all, the one I have with myself. With this Valentine's intention in mind, I like to take myself on a date: in bed.
Inspired by John and Yoko, it seems to me a day off spent relaxing with a few heavenly items is not just an indulgence, it's a necessary reset button for my soul. In the era where wearing a million hats and juggling about four jobs is the norm, a few hours of prescribed, joyous down time sounds mad. Take a deep breath. I assure you, having a heavenly ritual (whatever yours might be!) is a luxurious right. Here's my recipe for a Valentine's date, with myself.
Recipe for Valentine's Day Indulgence
1. First, take a bath. You may or might not be a bath person, I am of the bubble persuasion. I like to fill the water as high as my clawfoot will let it go, flirting with a little overflow, as I settle into the comfiest position. Then, I slink back into the warmth and try to think about nothing. Or everything, depending on how this particular year's Valentine's is going. Some of my most wonderful ideas have come to me while stretched out, contemplating my toes near the faucet. It's helpful to have a notebook and pencil handy (just make sure it's one you don't mind a few splashes on) for such "Eureka" moments.
2. Slip into your softest pajamas or robe. Something comfortable, yet elegant — remember you are on a date!
3. Purchase a stack of your favorite magazines. Don't pass judgment on yourself if you find trashy, celebrity–focused rags in the stack or, on a different note, publications focused on getting fit (this is part of your happiness workout, equally important to the bod). Anything glossy goes here! Sure this part may cost a pretty penny, but the feeling of flipping through a treasured magazine — there's just something grand about it.
4. Have your current book tucked into the covers. Sometimes the magazines get a little tiresome, and one must swan dive into the latest novel. I've plowed through many entire books in such a state and there really is no greater indulgence than getting lost in a fabulous story. A few recommendations: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote and My Life in France by Julia Child.
Got a current indulgent-day-worthy read? Share it in the comments below!
5. Lay out a few tasty morsels and beverages on your prettiest tray. For a day of leisure in bed, you don't need fortifying, heavy meals; you need glorified snack foods and a dessert. For me, a slice of chocolate cake from my neighborhood bakery is a much–needed part of this equation. It could be different for you.
Whatever stirs up big belly sighs and illicit wide eyes when surveying the bakery's counter, that's what you need on the tray. Perhaps you are a lemon or a coconut person?
Even better, you make your favorite sweet. Calories are thrown out the window for this date. It's okay.
Along with my sweet vital, I enjoy crispy green grapes and a mug of milky black tea. Later on, I might move to a platter of Italian cheeses and crackers served with a glass of Pinot. Some might scoff at the idea of eating in bed, complaining of crumbs and such. I find that with a tray and a few pretty napkins, the bed stays clean and I feel like a fancy lady, what with all my accoutrements surrounding me. These components keep up the spirit of the date, indulging properly!
So there are just a handful of ideas of what you might bring in bed for your date. Remember, Valentine's Day can be a day just for you, if you want it to be. You can play hooky from real life, take time off and rejoice in the things you love — even if only for an hour or two — you'll be so thankful that you did.
Do you have any tips on pampering yourself and relaxing for Valentine's Day or any old day, for that matter?
Related: My Valentine's Day Tradition: A Brand-New Meal
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)