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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas | How to Impress Your Date

by Penguin Air on February 3, 2017

Rose bouquet on table - Valentine's Gift IdeasValentine’s Day is right around the corner and you want to plan the perfect romantic evening. But you don’t have a gift! Luckily, Penguin Air & Plumbing is here to give you some ideas for expressing your love and appreciation. Your home will feel the love too.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

1. Plants and Flowers

Nothing quite compares to a beautiful flower. In times of joy and sadness, flowers are always there to cheer us up. Flowers make us healthier and happier. They provide benefits to the mind as well as the body, helping you to breathe easier and feel happier and more alert.

Learn the language of flowers:

  • Bachelor Button — anticipation
  • Begonia — deep thoughts
  • Daffodil — chivalry
  • Delphinium — boldness
  • Freesia — spirited
  • Gardenia — joy
  • Hibiscus — delicate beauty
  • Holly — domestic happiness
  • Jasmine — grace and elegance
  • Larkspur — beautiful spirit
  • Casablanca — celebration
  • Sunflower — adoration
  • Tuberose — pleasure
  • Orange Blossom — fertility
  • Orchid — delicate beauty
  • Pansy — loving thoughts
  • Passion Flower — passion
  • pink — admiration/caring/appreciation
  • red — passionate love
  • red & white — unity
  • white — purity/forgiveness
  • yellow — friendship/ secret admirer

Houseplants have been proven to absorb harmful indoor air contaminants and use them to fuel growth. Plants help eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air that have been linked to respiratory problems and chronic diseases. If you are buying a houseplant instead of flowers, choose one from NASA’s Clean Air Study of the best air-cleaning houseplants (NASA recommends around 15 houseplants per 1800 square foot home).

Here’s a list of air-cleaning houseplants that you can put in your bedroom to help facilitate sleep and relaxation:

  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Snake Plant
  • Aloe Vera
  • Gardenia
  • Spider Plant
  • Valerian
  • English Ivy
  • Peace Lily
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Gerbera Daisies
  • Golden Pothos

Before you go out and turn your home into a greenhouse, make sure the plants are nontoxic to children and animals. Just like your air filter, if your plants gather dust and debris, they won’t be able to work as well. Periodically wipe down the leaves to encourage photosynthesis and air filtration.

In addition to presenting your sweetheart with a bouquet of flowers, consider a houseplant or two. You can pair this with some homemade scented candles and blow here away.

2. Plant a Tree

If you are looking for a gift for your loved one(s) and want to do more than just a houseplant or flowers, planting a tree as a symbol of your enduring love is a great idea. Planting trees around your home not only adds beauty to your home and neighborhood, it also improves home comfort and reduce energy bills.

Shading is one of the most cost-effective (and beautiful) ways to cut your cooling bills. In order optimize the shade effect, however, you should know the size of the tree and the approximate area it will shade.

Use this image from the Arbor Day Foundation to help you plan your tree planting strategy:

how to plant trees for energy and HVAC savingsWe recommend planting a large deciduous tree on the east and/or west sides of your home so you take advantage of shade in the summer and sunlight and get a windbreak effect in the winter. Consider planting your tree in an area where it can provide shade for your outdoor HVAC unit!

plant a tree to shade your HVAC unit

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

You also want to think about garages, patios, concrete, and your yard. Trees can provide useful shade for all of these areas. Your tree-planting strategy will be customized to your needs and the layout of your home.

While adding plants in and around your home will help save you energy and improve air quality, there is simply no substitution for professional annual HVAC maintenance. One of our trained technicians will conduct a thorough examination of your home and recommend any improvements or adjustments to make sure you and your loved ones are safe and comfortable.

Read more about Indoor Air Quality to learn how you can improve comfort and costs at the same time.

3. Hot, Home-Cooked Meal

cook hot meal for Valentine's Day

Source: Unsplash | Katie Smith

Spice things up with a dinner date at home. Nothing says “I love you” more than a homemade meal. So replace your doubts and fears with her favorite drinks and eats and get to work. After all, the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach.

A word of warning: this is NOT a good first date idea unless you know the other person really well. She may not think you are a secret serial killer, but it still comes across as creepy. Wait until at least the 3rd date to make this proposal. That way, you will know each other and have a much better sense of the kinds of food and drink she prefers.

Here are some tips for throwing the perfect dinner date at home:

Be Prepared

Don’t wait to start cooking or setting the table. Have this done well ahead of time. You can impress your date by choosing some easy date night dishes here and here. Don’t forget any of the ingredients and measure everything out before hand for quick and impressive kitchen maneuvering.

In addition to getting as much food prep done as possible, you want to make sure that certain tasks have been accomplished before her arrival. This includes cleaning the house, setting the table, and making sure there are drinks and appetizers available.

Watch Out for Dietary Restrictions and Messy Foods

You should know if your date is vegetarian, pescatarian, or any other –arian before you choose your at-home date meal. If you don’t know if there are any dietary restrictions, make several different types of dishes just in case.

You also want to make sure you have plenty of different drink options. Don’t assume that she’ll like the expensive wine you bought. She may prefer a romantic cocktail instead. Have non-alcoholic drinks available as well, such as soda and juice. Options will save you here.

Now is not the time for Sloppy Joes or messy tacos. Don’t choose spaghetti and meatballs, shell fish, or soup either. All of these meals can potentially cause stains and a mess. But, you should always have a salad. Make sure the lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables are cut small enough to eat.

Learn Some Manners

Some things like chewing with your mouth open may seem obvious, but too many of us have never learned proper dinner etiquette.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Learn how to set a table.
  • Place the napkin on your lap, not in your shirt.
  • Break bread with your hands, not a knife.
  • Bring your food to your mouth, not the other way around.
  • Don’t blow your nose at the table.
  • Don’t chew with your mouth open.
  • Don’t talk with food in your mouth.
  • Avoid placing your elbows on the table when eating.
  • Don’t reach; ask for the item you need.
  • Don’t get too drunk!
  • TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF!

Read this list over 2 or 3 times to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything. When the meal is over, make sure you clean up the table. But don’t waste any time trying to clean everything to the way it was before the meal. Just put the dishes in your sink or dishwasher. You only have a few precious hours with your date, so make sure all of your attention is focused on them.

Have a Backup Plan

Accidents happen. Whether that means you burnt the steak or the main entrée fell on the floor, make sure you have a backup plan in place. If anything goes wrong, laugh it off and show your laid-back, go-with-the-flow style. Your reactions to unforeseen accidents reveal more about you than the things that go right.

Have a few take-out options in the back of your mind in case you need to order pizza or Thai food. She’ll appreciate your humble charm and ability to live life on your terms.

K.I.S.S.

No, not kiss the cook—Keep It Simple, Stupid. Don’t go overboard. If you’re not a cook, choose a simple meal. And forget about a fancy dessert. Pre-bought ice cream, cake, or pie will do.

Some Practical Romantic Gifts

Related Resources

Wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day weekend!

Will you be our Valentine?

Penguin Air & Plumbing is available 24/7, even on major holidays, for all your plumbing and HVAC needs. NO EXTRA COST, and we will get there fast! Just save us some dessert. 😉

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