Tag Archives: Valentine's Day

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day During the Pandemic

By Hermaione Sanchez

The pandemic has hit all of us hard. Many things have changed and that is without question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself and have fun on Valentine’s Day.

A quite popular idea that has been going around on TikTok is having a picnic. Now, if you are by yourself, you can simply have all this in your room or wherever you prefer and watch your favorite movie while enjoying the snacks and a cute set-up. If with your partner or best friend, you can have this at a park (away from strangers) or your front yard if you’re more comfortable with that.

Here is what this picnic consists of:

TikTok cake picnic, featuring cutting the cake with a wine glass!

It has very “vintage” vibes. Drinking out of wine glasses with your favorite drink, like lemonade, cranberry juice, soda, etc. Your choice, of course. Then, there’s a special way to eat the cake–this is the trend going around. You get a cake–usually it’s a cute/weird cake like a frog cake, or something unique (maybe even something homemade, which can only add to the fun). To eat this cake, you get an extra wine glass and just stick it in. You scoop the cake out and now you have a glass full of cake (pictured, above). There you go, that’s how you are going to eat! Fun right? Well, for some people. It is different and fun to try out.

Usually, there is a lot of fruit at picnics, too. Try a cute, medium-sized fruit platter with your favorite fruit or all kinds of berries. For the main food, you can either buy fast food or make something homemade. Usually, people will have a platter with ham, cheese, bread, and anything else they enjoy to make their own sandwich. You can customize this to your liking, of course. 

With this picnic comes some type of fun activity. If you’re alone, try reading your favorite book, watching your favorite movie, drawing, or painting. Doing whatever you love is ideal. If you’re with someone, the same thing applies–you can paint together, watch a movie, listen to music, or simply talk. Having a photoshoot is also great because of the cute picnic as a setting.

If picnics aren’t your thing, you and your partner can recreate your favorite fancy food or fast food at a table. To add a little bit of spice (no pun intended), you can have a cook-off.

Buying simple snacks and watching your favorite movie is always a fun simple option, too. Learn something new together or show each other your favorite food combos.

If you’re spending this day alone, make it all for you. Wear a beauty mask, take a warm bath or shower, play your favorite video game or movie, eat your favorite snacks or even a yummy cake! It’s all up to you to make this day amazing. Being alone doesn’t mean being bored and sad. It means you can do whatever YOU love and eat whatever you want. Love yourself always and remember to stay healthy and stay safe.

Best Romantic Movies for Valentine’s Day

By Angelica Moreno

Even if you’re anti-Valentine’s, movies are still awesome no matter what they’re about. There is always a story to tell and actors trying their best to act. So here are some romantic movies to watch before the month is over.

Before Sunrise (1995), dir. Richard Linklater

With a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is a must see. Two strangers meet on a train and decide to spend the day together from the instant connection they feel from one another. They only have just one day to get to know each other because our main character is leaving for America the next day. The heartbreak sticks with you days after watching. It’s been with me for two years. P.S.: It’s also a trilogy, so the two additional movies connected to this one are just as good (Before Sunset-2004 and Before Midnight-2013).

Pride and Prejudice (2005), dir. Joe Wright

The story of enemies turned lovers, but they were in love the whole time and just pretended to hate each other. Innocent, sincere, poetic love is the only way to describe it. You don’t see stuff like this anymore unless you’re reading Shakespeare, but this one you can more easily understand.

About Time (2013), dir. Richard Curtis

Our main character can time travel, and he meets the love of his life. Every time something goes wrong, he can go back and do it over. He learns a life lesson by the end.

When Harry Met Sally (1989), dir. Rob Reiner

A rom-com classic. Almost an enemies-turned-lovers arc but they never had sincere hatred for each other, just dislike. Instead, friends become lovers as Harry and Sally bump into each other several times over the years. They never thought they would date because it was strictly platonic, but something just happens overnight.

Love, Rosie (2014), dir. Christian Ditter

The main characters have been friends since they were teens. They have an accidental kiss and it is never talked about after. Both pretend as if it didn’t happen, but time goes on without confessing their love for one another. Later, the girl gets pregnant–not by the love interest, but she keeps it a secret from him for most of the movie.

Sixteen Candles (1984), dir. John Hughes

She’s sixteen and crushing hard on the popular kid at school. He takes notice and somehow things are never in their favor for them to meet. A cute teen romance and ‘80s classic.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), dir. Lorene Scafaria

Just about a week left until the world ends, everyone on earth is living life to the fullest. Ending relationships, drinking to oblivion, and other promiscuous things are going on, and the main character gets dumped. His neighbor brings him three-month-old mail and he discovers he has received a love letter from his high school sweetheart. The neighbor then makes it her last mission on earth to have them meet once more… but there’s another plot twist…

Elizabethtown (2005), dir. Cameron Crowe

Right before Orlando Bloom’s main character hilariously fails at a “suicide attempt,” he gets a call from home that his father is dead. He goes back home to Kentucky to arrange the funeral and meets the love interest on his flight, the flight attendant played by Kirsten Dunst. She’s the quirky, go getting, interesting girl who changes his life. It’s an easy watch. Sort of in the dark and quirky comedy style of 500 Days of Summer, if that helps.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012), dir. Wes Anderson

A cute, young romance. Two preteens run away together because they are in love but are soon found by a search party. Their romance is sweet and innocent.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), dir. David Fincher

A peculiar and interesting story based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Benjamin is born at old age. His bones and body are that of an 80-year-old on the brink of death as a newborn; but as he gets older, his body gets younger as he ages in reverse. He also meets the love of his life at fifty-seven years old but nobody wants them being friends because he looks like an old man. From there, the story unravels itself. Although being last on the list, this one made me cry the hardest and longest (for a good thirty minutes, I believe!).

Homemade Desserts for Valentine’s Day

By Ximena Cabrera

Valentine’s Day is the time to celebrate love and friendship, and what better way to celebrate it than by making some homemade desserts for your significant other, friends, and loved ones.

Here are four recipes under $25.00 that you can easily make at home.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Cooking Classy)

Ingredients:

  1. 1 ⅓ cups of all purpose flour
  2. 4 tsp of cocoa powder
  3. ½ tsp of baking soda
  4. ¼ tsp of salt
  5. ½ cup of unsalted butter
  6. ½ cup of granulated sugar
  7. ¼ cup of brown sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 ½ tsp of gel red food coloring
  10. 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  11. 1 tsp of lemon juice 
  12. 1 cup of white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined by using an electric mixer.
  3. Once you have a cream-like texture, mix in the egg. Add in red food coloring, vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Mix in ¾ cup of white chocolate chips.
  5. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for 1 – 2 hours or until the dough is nearly firm. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Scoop dough out and shape into balls about 1 ½ tbsp each. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches in between each. 
  7. Bake one sheet at a time, until cookies appear set on the edges but slightly underbaked in the center, about 10-11 minutes. 
  8. Remove cookies from the oven and carefully press some of the remaining white chocolate chips into the top.

Cake Pops (from I Heart Naptime)

Ingredients:

  1. 15 ounce box white cake mix, bake it according to the package instructions in a 9×13” pan.
  2. Two 10 ounce packages of white chocolate chips melting wafers.
  3. Oil-based food coloring of your color of choice. 
  4. 1 stick salted butter
  5. 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar 
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  7. 1 Tablespoon of milk 

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whip the butter. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add the vanilla and additional powdered sugar, a little at a time. Add 1 Tablespoon of milk to make the frosting thick and creamy. 
  2. In a separate bowl, crumble the prepared and cooled cake into fine crumbs. Add 2 spoonfuls of the frosting to the cake. Combine with your hands or a spoon. Keep adding frosting until the cake holds together if squeezed. 
  3. Measure medium size balls of the cake mixture, and roll them until you have created your desired shape. 
  4. In two small microwave safe dishes, melt a few of the white chocolate wafers. Begin by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Repeat until all the wafers are melted. 
  5. Add about 2 drops of the food coloring to one of the bowls with the melted chocolate and stir. Keep adding food coloring until you have reached your desired color. 
  6. Dip the end of the cake pop stick into the melted chocolate and then push the stick into the cake pop. Repeat until all cake pops have a stick. Place the plate of cake pops in the freezer for about 20 minutes. 
  7. Right before taking the cake pops out of the freezer, melt more chocolate if needed. Melt enough for the cake pops to be dipped in the bowl. Use a spoon if needed to completely cover them. 
  8. Once coated in chocolate, gently tap the stick on the side of the melting bowl to let the excess drip off. 
  9. Let the chocolate covering harden on the cake pop. Then, using a spoon or fork, drizzle some chocolate on top. 
  10. Push the cake pop stick into a styrofoam block or use a glass filled with rice to hold them upright.  The chocolate will be set in about an hour.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries (from Food Network)

Ingredients:

  1. 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips.
  2. 3 ounces of white chocolate chips.
  3. 1 pound of strawberries with stems, washed and dried very well. 

Directions:

  1. Put the semisweet and white chocolate chips into two separate microwave safe bowls. Begin by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Repeat until all the chocolate chips are melted. If your chocolate is too thick you can add a bit of vegetable oil to make a smoother. 
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip it into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly yo let any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set the strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining strawberries. Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
  3. Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Cheesecake (from my family recipe!)

Ingredients:

  1. Premade cheesecake crust 
  2. ½ a bar (8 oz) of cream cheese 
  3. 1 can (14 oz) of sweet condensed milk
  4. 5 oz of evaporated milk 
  5. 3-5 drops of lime

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and the drops of lime until they are all combined together. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the premade crust and put it in the oven.
  4. Bake the cheesecake for 20 – 25 minutes or insert a toothpick, and if it comes out clean the cheesecake is ready.

I hope you enjoy these treats for Valentine’s Day, or throughout the month of February. Happy Valentine’s Day!