VALENTINE’S DATE IDEAS: ANYWHERE

Read on for a fresh batch of V-Day inspiration from our favorite bloggers – this time with a focus on ideas that’ll work wherever you are and whatever your budget.

Valentine's Date Ideas by Style Me Grasie

Valentine's Date Outfit Ideas

CELEBRATING WITH CHIPS & GUAC

L.A. Blogger Grasie Mercedes’ romance with her husband Damien began with a first date at a local taqueria. “Since that magical night, when we fell in love over chips and guac, Mexican restaurants have been our favorite date night spots.” This year, she’s recreated that margarita-loving atmosphere at home for a casual, colorful V-day date idea.Valentine's Date in men's suit jacket

Grasie’s top V-day style rule:
“Dress nice but be comfy.”

“This cocktail dress has the perfect party vibe and with a fit and flare silhouette, it’s also comfortable enough to wear at home. I paired it with super-cute, perfect for Valentine’s Day heels, in red of course! Damien kept it classic with slim fit jeans, a crisp white dress shirt and baby blue blazer sans tie. Fun, festive and dressy without being stuffy. “Valentine's Date Idea, chips & guac

“Bring lots of color to your tabletop,” says Grasie. “When I think of a fiesta, I think about bright, pretty colors and lots of them. I found this runner online and picked up some bright flowers and succulents as accents. I used our white dinnerware to balance out the decor.”

Valentine's Date Idea, chips & guac

For music lovers – and for guys that need to be dragged to the dance floor – Grasie recommends vinyl and a spin around the living room. “There’s nothing more romantic (& fun) than playing records at home and dancing around the house. Damien is a bit shy dancing in public, so this is the perfect way to get him to get down!”

Valentine's Date Ideas by Hello Fashion

Valentine's Date Outfit Ideas

ROMANTIC SCAVENGER HUNT

When Hello Fashion’s Christine Andrew and her husband Cody were dating, he impressed his lady love with an elaborate scavenger hunt involving her favorite places, songs and foods. “It is still one of my all-time favorite dates,” Christine recalls, plus, “You can adapt a treasure hunt for any wallet, whether you include budget-friendly ideas or go for the gold with extravagant ideas.”Valentine's Day Flowers

Guys, take Cody’s advice: “Valentine’s Day might be one of the holidays with the most pressure for guys to get it right, but just remember to stick to the basics and you can’t lose. Don’t forget flowers. Whether you’ve been together for 10 years or 10 days, you can’t go wrong with flowers.”

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt

“Make up clues to take him or her to meaningful places from your relationship,” Christine says. “Whether it’s where you first met or the spot of your first kiss, a walk down memory lane will be a definite hit.”

Valentine's Day red heels

“Who doesn’t dream of a shopping spree? Have a gift card waiting at your SO’s favorite store and let them indulge a little. I love the eyelet detail at the hem of my dress. And I love this red fringe heel – it’s the perfect festive touch for Valentine’s Day,”

VALENTINE’S DATE IDEAS: WEST COAST

What’s on your agenda for V-day? If you’re still thinking about ways to make it as special as the person you’re spending it with, our favorite West Coast style bloggers have stepped up to share their own romantic dates as inspiration, along with tips that work no matter where you are or what you do.

Valentine's Date Ideas by Eat Sleep Wear

Valentine's Date a picnic on the beach

A PICNIC ON THE BEACH

For their first V-day together as a married couple, Eat Sleep Wear blogger Kimberly Pesch and her husband Blake hit the L.A. coast for a simply sweet get-together on the sand. According to Kim, “I always want to chase sunsets with him and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a perfect beach date.”

Valentine's Date a picnic on the beach

“Even though our date is casual, I love to get dolled up. This flowing version of the little black dress moves in the wind on the beach. For date night I always take out a little cross body bag to fit my phone, lipstick, and a compact for touch-ups. Blake wore his go-to date uniform: skinny jeans and a patterned button-down. Guys have it easy to look good, am I right?”

Valentine's Date a picnic on the beach

“Pick a location that is special to YOU. For a romantic evening, the place needs to have some meaning. Don’t just pick the most expensive restaurant just because. You might not like the atmosphere. Be you.”

Valentine's Date a picnic on the beach

“Pre-prepared dishes or snacks always looks more elegant when you bring along a couple simple bowls, a wooden cutting board to present some of your snacks, and some real silverware! Don’t forget a cute blanket to sit on and wrap yourself up in when it gets a little chilly.”

 

Valentine's Date Ideas by Gal Meets Glam Valentine's Date in Wine Country

A DAY IN WINE COUNTRY

“I’m all for appreciating your significant others throughout the year, not just on one particular day,” says blogger and true romantic Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam. “However, it’s always a nice excuse to use for a date night, getaway or even just a little love note.” This year, Julia and husband Thomas decided to celebrate V-Day with a return to an inn in California wine country where they enjoyed a happy anniversary.Valentine's Date in Wine Country

 

“We kept things classic. I love this simple cocktail dress that’s understated and elegant yet still feels chic for an evening out with my husband. I paired with black tights and pumps and added a ribbon to a low pony and cat eye to pull the look together. Thomas added this blazer over a crisp white dress shirt paired with slim black jeans and dress shoes.”Valentine's Date in Wine Country

 

“Skip the crowded restaurants and do something intimate (even if it’s at home),” says Julia.

 

As Julia notes, aiming for the perfectly elaborate Valentine’s date is a good way to end up disappointed. Enjoying each other’s company is what’s most important. “Keep it simple. Don’t overthink or over-plan. Instead of gifts, we like experiences like taking a cooking class, going hot air ballooning or taking a trip. Whatever you do, leave your phones behind and be in the moment.”

Valentine's date in Wine Country

Valentine's Date Ideas by SazanValentine's Date at Santa Monica Pier

 

LETTING LOOSE ON THE SANTA MONICA PIER

With lots of work-related travel coming up, Sazan Hendrix and husband Stevie chose to celebrate Valentine’s Day early in a fun, easy way. “We decided to be a little cheesy and head out to Santa Monica Pier for the sunset (complete with cotton candy and popcorn, of course),” says Sazan. A true believer in keeping V-day simple, the blogger had a few ideas for how to make it special without a lot of fuss.Valentine's Date at Santa Monica Pier

 

“Communicate with your Valentine and find the perfect activity that both of you will enjoy,” Sazan advises. “Keep it lighthearted with a fun daytime activity like hiking, roller skating or shopping. ;)”Valentine's Date at Santa Monica Pier

 

“Make a milkshake together in the kitchen and share it with two straws – or go to a festival and indulge on cotton candy and popcorn.”Valentine's Date at the Santa Monica Pier

Sazan says, “Don’t be afraid to let your hair down and go wild! This little black dress I’m wearing was the perfect piece for our casual yet romantic date night. My hubby didn’t look so bad himself. His blazer and black jeans were classy but comfortable enough for him to run around and be the crazy goofball that he is.”

RECAP: ESPN THE PARTY!

Will & Devon at ESPN The Party

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Will & Devon at ESPN The Party

Held at San Francisco’s historic Fort Mason Center, ESPN The Party featured D-Nice at the DJ table and a live set by Nick Jonas. We were parked right next to the red carpet, where the Express Interview Lounge co-hosts, ESPN’s SportsCenter correspondent Will Reeve and Express model Devon Windsor, had exclusive access to the VIP lineup.

Will looked like he’s after a modeling gig in his navy suit and Devon owned that halter top and skirt. Kudos to our girl for being a total pro despite a major travel delay that had her flying cross-country just in time to make it. (Whew!)

ESPN The Party

The pair got the scoop on game predictions and party dream guests from stylish football players past and present like Tyrod Taylor, Marcedes Lewis, Dhani Jones, Santonio Holmes, Anthony Hamilton and Sammy Watkins. Comedian Finesse Mitchell stopped in, along with Miss USA Olivia Jordan and Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach (if their game was seeing who could work a cut-out dress harder, we’d call it a draw). Also on the guest list: Tim Tebow, Terrell Owens, Reggie Bush, Ashley Greene, AnnaLynne McCord and a dressed-to-kill Chanel Iman.

Guests at ESPN The Party

Recap of ESPN The Party

Express ESPN The Party

Inside, a crowd of over 2000 grooved to D-Nice’s party mix and lined up at our booth to snap pics, check out new looks and snag an exclusive Express/ESPN tee. Nick Jonas took the stage to cap off a stellar event, then out came a surprise guest: his brother Joe, to perform “Cake By the Ocean” from his band DNCE.

Photo Booth at ESPN The Party

Such an exciting night. Thanks to ESPN, Will, Devon and everyone who came out to our booth or watched on Snapchat or Periscope. We’ll see you at the next party!