12 Ways To Make Sure Your Valentine’s Day Is Brilliant

What To Do, Gift, And Eat This

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year giving you the whole weekend to celebrate. However, you do not need to officially celebrate Valentine’s Day to enjoy any of these ideas, Chinese Lunar New Year events are included as well. Have fun!

Do

Visit the solarise: a sea of all colors exhibit at the Garfield Conservatory to experience various art installations and the “amazing relationships between two remarkable forces of nature – light and plants!”  Free and open daily 9:00am – 5pm.

Image via Chicagoist.com

Image via Chicagoist.com

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show begins on February 13th. Surround your senses with fragrant blooms and vivid colors with over 10,000 orchids.

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey on Sunday, February 14th a the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade. Have dim sum at one of the many restaurants in Chinatown then head to the parade at 1pm.

Also part of the Chinese New Year, Art Institute Chicago Gallery Talk given in Mandarin February 13, 2016 from 12pm – 1pm, included in museum admission.

Late night laughs at Second City’s Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu. The 11pm showing is still available on Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th, Feb 14 is sold out.

Gift

Etsy has a great list of Editors’ Picks for him, her, kids and even pets. I’m loving the Romantic Cocoa and Mallows gift set.

Image via CitrusAtelier Etsy.com

Image via CitrusAtelier Etsy.com

For the travel lovers the scratch map is the perfect gift. Have fun scraping off the places you’ve visited and get inspired for future destinations.

Image via Scratchmap.org

Image via Scratchmap.org

Fields & Forest Grooming Set that includes beard balm for the facial hair inclined person in your life.

Eat

Image via RM Champagne Salon

Image via RM Champagne Salon

The Chicago Tribune compiled a list of 120 restaurants with information on prix fixe menus and Valentine’s Day specials.

An ultra romantic Parisian-chic spot is RM Champagne Salon, they also deliver macaroons V-Day weekend.

Show your love with a homemade meal – you can never go wrong with breakfast in bed. Here are 5 Valentine’s Day pancake recipes.

Dinner more your speed? Try this lemon gnocchi for two menu.

 

Walking the Cultural Trail on Brick Lane – East End, London

Let’s Adore and Endure Each Other Great Eastern Street London

Named for the brick kilns brought by the Flemish in the 1500s, Brick Lane has a wealth of history brought by the many Russian, French, Muslim, Jewish and Bengali immigrants throughout the years.

Maps of 20 historic sites are provided on Brick Lane and online for you to plan your time. With only two hours to spend I concentrated on the street art and whatever popped up along the way.

Brick Lane London | AliciaTastesLife.com

Brick Lane London | AliciaTastesLife.com

Graffiti

‘Drinking problems’ on the Truman Brewery Gates. Brick Lane, London

‘Drinking problems’ on the Truman Brewery Gates. Brick Lane, London

There are many street art tours available but setting out on your own and discovering the art on and off Brick Lane is Continue reading

An Ode to Berlin’s Favorite Snack – Currywurst Museum in Berlin, Germany

Currywurst Museum | AliciaTastesLife.com

Currywurst Museum | AliciaTastesLife.com

Make your way past the wiener-shaped seating, giant french fries and enormous ketchup dripping from the ceiling and enter the Deutches Currywurst Museum – ideal for foodies, museum-goers and anyone that likes to have fun. Conveniently in the Mitte neighborhood close to popular tourist spots like Checkpoint Charlie so you don’t need to veer off the path too far to participate in something different.

Currywurst Musuem Berlin |AliciaTastesLife.com

Currywurst Musuem Berlin |AliciaTastesLife.com

Invented by Herte Heuwer in 1949, currywurst is German bratwurst (pork sausage) steamed and fried, usually sliced, served with a spicy ketchup topped with curry powder. The Currywurst Museum is designed to be an interactive experience that takes you through the history of Berlin’s favorite fast food snack. From the currywurst food truck where you can make a currywurst, to the Curry Up video game and the room full of spices, you can smell, listen, see, touch all things currywurst. Best of all the admission includes a delicious sample.

Still hungry? The cafe attached to the museum serves a variety of currywurst including a vegetarian option.

Stunning Views from the Rooftop at Azotea in Madrid

Azotea in the Círculo de Bellas Artes is where you want to be to watch the sunset. In the heart of Madrid, Azotea has a 360 degree views, relaxed and sophisticated ambiance and great chill music. It doesn’t get better than watching the changing hues of peach, pink and orange splash over beautiful Madrid while basking in one of the plush couches.

Plan ahead to snag a reservation for dinner at the Tartan Roof restaurant. No reservations are needed for drinks and view at the bar.

Inside Tempelhofer Feld – From Nazi Airport to Public Park in the Heart of Berlin

Tempelhof Berlin Runway

Tempelhof Berlin Runway

Built in the 1920’s, Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport was a busy hub taken over by the Nazi’s in the 1930’s, the Russians in 1945 in the Battle of Berlin and finally handed to the US as part of the Potsdam Agreement and used throughout the Cold War years for military and commercial use. This historic landmark is a must-see and  Continue reading

48 Hours in Louisville – City Guide to Sites, Dining, Shopping and More

Welcome To Kentucky

Louisville is a five-hour drive from Chicago but a world away, full of Bourbon, Kentucky Fried Chicken, horses and changing neighborhoods. Here are must-do activities to experience some of the best food, drink, shopping and sites of Louisville in a short amount of time.

Day 1 – Morning: From the Marriott Louisville Downtown head to Market Street to get to NuLu, also known as East Market District. This neighborhood is rapidly changing, a.k.a getting hipsterfied, and is a mix of industrial companies, restaurants, shops and galleries.  My prediction: in five years it will be over-saturated with shops and chains, however, now it has a great vibe with interesting art and people.

Grab a coffee and pastry at Please & Thank You. Sit outside to people watch or stay inside and pick out some vinyl from the record store in the back. Then Continue reading

Dose Market – Chicago

Dose Market is one of my favorite markets in Chicago ––they feature a creative mix of local food, clothing, chefs, artists and designers. The market on Sunday was held during the FX Summit in the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center. It’s a fun way to spend your Sunday, meeting up with friends to discover the Chicago vendors Dose put together.

The next Dose is May 10th at the Soho House and is free for all. Go get inspired, eat delicious food and get a gift for Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Ideas – What to Give, Do, Drink and Eat

BigPinkHeart

GIFTS:

Funny Valentine cards from Etsy

His and Hers highball set. Cheers!

Via Kate Spade - His and Hers Hiball Set

Via Kate Spade – His and Hers Hiball Set

Valentine’s Day macarons, who doesn’t like to receive sweets? RM Champagne Salon will send the Chef’s favorite macaron flavors to that lucky someone. Delivered by RM or you can pick-up.

EAT:

Forgot to make dinner reservations? Check out what is still available in Chicago. You can also go a little rogue and see if your favorite restaurants have openings on Friday or Sunday instead. You might get to skip the obligatory Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu if you opt for a different day.

So you want to steer clear restaurants here are some ideas for cooking at home. A decadent menu and a casual menu.

Image via Bon Appeit

Image via Bon Appeit

DO:

The Tinkerlab has a nice round-up of 30 Valentine Activities for Kids.

DRINK:

Drink some beer at the Brew of Hearts. The Chop Shop will host several brewers such as Soma Ale Works, Goose Island Beer Company, Transient and more.

The 9th Annual Hideout Makeout Party. Drink, laugh and maybe…makeout.