I hope you enjoyed Valentine’s Day!

We enjoyed a beautiful and romantic day here in Chicago. We spent the morning in Chinatown, attending the Chinese New Year parade. Yesterday was the first day of the Year of the Tiger, and Chinatown was densely packed with onlookers. You can see some photos from the day here on my Twitpic page.


After lunch in Chinatown and a relaxed and romantic afternoon, my husband and I had an absolutely amazing prix fixe Valentine’s Day dinner at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine. Over ahi tuna and guava martinis, we reminisced about Valentine’s Days past. We mused about how much our lives have changed, and what has remained constant for us.

Valentine’s Day is about love, and it’s also about celebrating the things that keep love alive. It’s about those tingly feelings in your stomach, the person who makes you feel them, and keeping that tingle going strong, year in and year out.

I promised back in December that I’d do a blog post about some those things for Valentine’s Day. So here I am, making good on that.

If you prefer your blog reading to be strictly rated G and preferably about hair, click here to read my latest post on BVHairTalk.com.

But if you’re looking to spice up your life with an Eden’s Fantasy gift card and you’re an adult, feel free to click the more tag to wander with me into PG-13 territory.

On that earlier post, one commenter asked a question that has lingered with me.

great ideas. Now if only you could give some hints on how one should talk one’s partner into trying this stuff. I’ve been married for 5 years now and we’re in a definite rut, though I’m the only one that thinks there is one.”

I gave an initial response in the comments, but upon further reflection I know SO many women who feel like that, and who never have the courage to speak up about it.

I think many of us are raised to be demure about our own desires. And I also think that communication is essential in every relationship. Part of that is being honest about your needs in every area of your relationship. The most important thing is to know what you want, and to know what excites you. It differs for everyone. But knowing what you want and what you enjoy is the first step to improving your relationship and getting out of the romantic doldrums.

One way to articulate what you may want, is to buy your significant other a birthday or anniversary gift that could make your evening more interesting. Let’s say a costume. Or a “honeymoon kit.”. Or a lover’s paint box. Exchange this gift item in a private moment, and maybe include a card. Or a coupon that they can cash in on at a later date. Romantic ruts are inevitable in long term relationships, but there are ways to get out of them. It just takes a little courage, and a little creativity!

Eden Fantasys offer a range of adult-themed items for sale — items that range from the romantically innocuous to the can-you-explain-what-this-is-for? And to spread the love, they’re offering a giveaway of THREE $25 gift cards to lucky Afrobella readers — single, married, or “it’s complicated,” — in the US or Canada. The idea is for you to expand your own sensual horizons, however you wish.

All you have to do is tell me about your most romantic Valentine’s Day in the comments below!

I’ll close these comments by the end of the week, and a winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!


mizChartreuse says:
February 16, 2010, 12:29 am
My favorite Valentine's Day was last night, for two reasons--obviously it was Valentine's Day, but it was also my one-year-anniversary with my boyfriend! And how did it become our anniversary? Last year, he picked me up from work, gave me flowers and a card, took me to a cool bar on Chicago Ave, and asked me to be his girlfriend. We'd been talking for a few weeks before that point, and the timing was perfect. Fast forward one year to this past weekend- Saturday night we had another couple over and after they left, at midnight Sean was like, "Let's go put on our robes!" I put mine on and realized there was something big in the left pocket. It was a pretty Tiffany's box holding a little green bag! Inside was a beautiful silver ring, but not an engagement ring (and I wasn't expecting one, to be completely honest). It has a little heart on the top of it and is perfectly darling and I loved it! Then on Valentine's Day, we went out to dinner at the McCormick & Schmick's restaurant on Wacker Dr. I called a couple hours ahead of time and asked for them to personalize our menu. The top of it read, "Happy Anniversary, Charlotte and Shawn!!" They spelled his name wrong, but it was still very cute. =) It took him a minute to realize, but Sean was SO SURPRISED. We returned home, popped some Asti Spumante bubbly, and watched the first half hour of "Just Married." It was such a ridiculous joke of a movie that we turned it off and watched "U.S. Marshalls" with Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes and Robert Downey, Jr. Not romantic, but MUCH BETTER! Eventually the wine got the better of us and we made some sweet, sweaty, amazing love on the couch. Mirrors and a lot of fun stuff were involved! It's been a great year, and I'm looking forward to many more. And it's not always about the amount of money you spend or how fancy you dine, but the fact that you take time to really appreciate and love one another. We do, every day, but it was nice to have a dual-celebration. Good V-Day memories all around!
Stephanie Lai says:
February 16, 2010, 3:42 am
My most romantic valentine's day would be last year's v-day. My boyfriend woke me up at 4am for breakfast/champagne in bed. Then told me to get dressed (warm) and that he had somewhere he had to take me. After driving for an hour & a half or so(while I slept), we arrived at a wineyard, and I still had no idea what he was up to. Some guys came up to him and told him that they have hot chocolate and light breakfast ready for us. We had a light breakfast, then we got into their van. Turned out, he booked a hot-air balloon ride for us~ We enjoyed some champagne and cheesecake during the ride. After we were done with the ride, they dropped us off at another vineyard for a nice lunch buffet. =)
Maria says:
February 16, 2010, 4:01 am
This past Valentines day was my boyfriend & I's 3 year anniversary. I stayed up all night transforming empty jars into makeshift photoholders/frames for him to wake up to. In the morning while I was *just* waking up, I could hear a guitar playing & him trying to practice a song. He then came into the room & serenaded me :) I've been trying to get him to do this for me for YEARS! After that, he cooked us some sausage, eggs, & pancakes for breakfast as he remembered I've been wanting pancakes for weeks! Later that day we took our mountain bikes out for a ride. I told him to stop at a park & I surprised him with a box of goodies I packed complete with candles, a vase, & my handmade bouquet of hearts made from wire. We had a mini picnic at the park despite it being 25 degrees. Lol. A totally different Valentines Day, which I enjoyed.
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February 16, 2010, 9:31 am
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Carmesha says:
February 16, 2010, 2:01 pm
My most romantic Valentine's Day was this past weekend! Couples massage, dinner at a new restaurant, and my love gave me a gift bag wit my favorite candybars, a label maker(I have been eyeying one for over a year and didn't know he paid attention to me!) and made me brownies (my favorite dessert!)
Traci says:
February 16, 2010, 2:39 pm
My most romantic Valentine's Day involved my ex. I received a total of 6 dozen roses! 2 dozen red roses at work, 2 dozen white roses at home and another 2 dozen red roses presented to me at dinner at my favorite restruant. To top it off, when we arrived back home, he had a beautiful arrangement of Black Calla Lillies (my favorite flower) waiting for me. It's been five years since we've parted but I will NEVER forget that day.
circa1978 says:
February 16, 2010, 3:20 pm
This might not be the most romantic Valentines Day to everyone but it is to me. Our first Valentines Day as a couple we planned to go out and have a nice dinner but my work schedule can be crazy. And on that day it was pasrticularly hectic. I worked late and was so tired and frazzled our plans were canceled. When I finally got home, I heard soft music playing, candles were lit, the house was clean and the aroma of something tasty on the fire. It was such a relief and a warm welcome from the day and the cold outside. We had a nice quiet dinner at home and just talked. A beautiful orchid he brought for me was our centerpiece. It felt like he really knew me and what I needed at that moment. That was 6 years ago and it has become our tradition every Valentines Day. We got married last year. Since I didn’t work this Valentines Day. We had brunch instead and a little movie marathon sunuggled up on the couch.
Ashley says:
February 16, 2010, 10:38 pm
My most romantic Valentine's Day was when my husband and I were in high school. The Sweetheart's Dance was actually on Valentine's Day and I ended up with mono the week before so we couldn't go. Instead he came over and he had bought me The Notebook so we sat and watched that. Surprisingly he didn't end up with mono even though we were *might* have kissed. It doesn't sound like a romantic day but it was so sweet that he was there with me when I was that sick.
liberationtheory says:
February 17, 2010, 11:07 pm
Last V-day, my partner was 9 months pregnant with our beautiful daughter (though we didn't know the sex at the time). It was her turn to make all the Valentine's Day arrangements but I couldn't do that to her. So instead, I surprised her with a pedicure (what woman with swollen ankles and feet wouldn't want that??), a trip to our favorite hotel in dowtown Dallas, and a heart-shaped pizza. We spent the day and evening, eating pizza, chocolate dipped strawberries, and watching movies in the room. No, it's not an extravagant, expensive evening, but for a woman that hadn't seen her toes in months and was too tired to walk most of the time, it's just what the doctor ordered :)
Henr aO. says:
February 18, 2010, 3:19 am
My most romantic valentine's day has to be the day I got married. Yes, Valentine's Day is my anniversary! We were married in the Berkeley Hills in California on a day that seemed magical. Our wedding photographer commented that our wedding had to be one of the most "happy and peaceful" weddings that she had ever attended. Was it the classical guitarist? The gourmet hors d'oeuvres? The wonderful food and dining staff? The eclectic mix of guests? The Rolls Royce waiting to wisk us away afterwards? The sunshine that greeted us specially for the entire wedding after a fore night's rain and the shower of sprinkles that followed us on our way home? I don't know....but I do know that it was wonderful. :) sazzyfrazz(at)gmail.com
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