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Valentine's Day

Show Your Love in Every (Love) Language This Valentine’s Day

Feeling uninspired this Valentine's Day? This roundup of the best local gifts and experiences should do the trick.
By Jamie Laubhan-Oliver, Jessica Otte, and Lydia Brooks | |Photography by Elizabeth Lavin
Valentine's Day plans for everyone
There's no need to stress over Valentine's Day. Whatever your love language, there's plenty to make you feel special this February 14. Elizabeth Lavin

No two people or relationships are exactly alike, which means your Valentine’s Day game plan should be just as personalized. One person’s flowers and candy are another’s Netflix and chill, as it were. If you’re in need of inspiration, we’ve rounded up the best local gifts and experiences to show the most important people in your life that you adore them, no matter your relationship status, life stage, or love language.

A Homebody’s Romantic Night In

The Destination: Nowhere—I’m bringing the best of Dallas to me. 

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Jamie Laubhan-Oliver Lance Trachier

You could say I’m a cynic when it comes to Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I don’t love love; I just don’t love all the things that are expected to come with it—planned dates, forced gifts, and cheesy greeting cards. I’d much rather enjoy quality time at home with my favorite people and things. My perfect Valentine’s evening would entail a to-go dinner pieced together from some of my favorite places in town. Though informality is part of the beauty of staying in, I still enjoy fancy loungewear to make the night feel special. A feather-accented caftan from The Conservatory would make the perfect gift. My husband’s love language is physical touch, so nothing would make him happier than dancing the night away to a Ray Charles record. (“Georgia on My Mind” was our wedding song!) It’s easy at home to let distractions creep in, so these “No Phones” beverage napkins from Bell’Invito  will remind us to stay focused on each other. (How’s that for words of affirmation?) The night would end the same way every night does, with my husband cleaning up the kitchen in the ultimate act of service. I’ll treat him to some luxe dish soap from Grange Hall  to make the task a little more tolerable. Who says I’m not a romantic?

—Jamie Laubhan-Oliver


“No Phones” beverage napkins ($37 for 30, Bell’Invito)

“No Phones” Beverage Napkins, $37, Bell’Invito

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Astier de Villatte dish soap ($45, Grange Hall) Scalloped plates and white flatware (from $140, Ellis Hill)

Astier de Villatte Dish Soap, $45, Grange Hall; Scalloped Plates and White Flatware, from $140, Ellis Hill

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Get Your Books Signed Together

It’s a date! Dallas’ own Donald Robertson will be signing limited-edition copies of his new book, Sofa King Great, on Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stanley Korshak.

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Love Matches, $68, Blue Print

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Ray Charles LP, $28, Spinster Records

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Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, $24, Sid and Ann Mashburn

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Leather-Wrapped Wine Opener, $595, Ellis Hill

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Noon Signature Candle, $46, Blue Print

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Hubs Sweet Heat Nuts, $28, Sid and Ann Mashburn; Handblown Carlyn Ray Honey Pot and Honey, $1,250; $28, Grange Hall

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Valentine's day gifts
Esque Studio handblown-glass cake stand ($745, Grange Hall), Ginori “Oriente Italiano” china (from $170, Madison), Spencer brass taper candleholders (from $50, CB2) Elizabeth Lavin

Food is the Way to Anyone’s Heart

My go-to stops for the perfect night in, any night of the week—no holiday required.

1. Cheers to That: Any meal is made better with a bottle from Vinito, a new beer-and-wine shop that specializes in Mexican varietals. 939 W. Jefferson Blvd., Ste. 125. 945-301-5581. 

2. Get Sauced: Prep a proper pasta dinner with help from Ari’s Pantry, a new Italian grocer in Oak Cliff. Score ingredients, tools of the trade, and even a recipe, courtesy of affable owner Ari Lowenstein. 1307 1/2 W. Davis St. 214-549-4059. 

3. I Melt For You: The charcuterie-board specialists at Grazed and Confused now offer a butter candle, a TikTok-trending addition to any spread.

4. Upper Crust: Accompany No. 3 with a sliced loaf from Oak Cliff Bread Company. Dip, enjoy, repeat. 1300 S. Polk St., Ste. 230. 512-540-2235. 


A Parents’ Weekend Getaway

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Jessica Otte Lance Trachier

My husband and I have three young kids, which means Valentine’s Day doesn’t look like it used to. This year, we’re reclaiming the romance of the holiday by escaping to Fort Worth for a couple’s staycation. A piece of new luggage would be a perfect start to our getaway. Our itinerary will begin with a physical-touch-heavy private pottery class at the Kendall Davis Clay studio, followed by some window-shopping. (A visit to Estelle Colored Glass is a must!) We’ll grab a drink at Locust Cider, which donates a portion of their proceeds to support research on hydrocephalus, a condition that affects our daughter. Finally, we’ll stay the night at the newly opened Bowie House, part of the new Auberge Resorts Collection, for some one-on-one quality time. Fingers crossed that the art-filled hotel inspires my husband to commission an Align Studios painting made by my kids—who, by now, I’m ready to get home to!—or a piece of fine jewelry inspired by their sketches. Hotel bedding always reminds me that our wedding-registry linens could use an upgrade, so I’ll gift my husband new sheets  and a custom pillow while I’m at it. As an acts-of-service guy, he could use a good night’s sleep. For me? Some original poetry would be all the words of affirmation I’d need.

The Destination: Fort Worth’s new Bowie House offers fine dining, a luxe day spa, and cool accommodations from the people who brought you the Commodore Perry in Austin. 3700 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. 855-683-4092. 

—Jessica Otte

Don’t Kid Yourself

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14k Gold All My Hearts Bracelet, $2,800, Blue Print

Cast from loved ones’ drawings, this bracelet is as beautiful as it is sentimental. 

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Poetry From the Heart

Dallas poet Marco Cavazos sells original works out of his Bishop Arts studio and bookshop. 506 N. Bishop Ave. 469-350-3047.

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Wheel-Throwing Class for Two, $260, Kendall Davis Clay

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Love Notes On-The-Go

Leave your littles a love note with pint-size “lunchbox” cards.

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Rose Gold Aluminum Carry-On, $625, Away

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Fresh, New Shades

A percentage of proceeds from the kids’ section—dubbed “The Friend Ship”—at Roam Fine Goods’ new Lakewood location helps send kids in need to summer camp. Win-win! 2025 Abrams Rd. 214-484-9775.

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Art Class for the Kiddos

Align Studios’ Gina Marie Dunn guides your mini Monets in the creation of a display-worthy masterpiece. 3738 Haggar Way, Ste. 106.

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Valentines brunch
Manicures, journaling, and brunch with friends makes for the perfect Galentine's Day, no matter your relationship status. Elizabeth Lavin

The Single Girl’s Galentine’s Day

Lydia Brooks
Lydia Brooks Lance Trachier

For this single lady, Valentine’s Day means acts of self-love and the chance to spend quality time with my BFFs. My friends and I live to get dressed up for a girls’ brunch, and it just so happens that my go-to spot, Mirador at Forty Five Ten, has at long last reopened after its 2020 closing. Prebrunch, I’ll indulge in some physical touch in the form of an at-home makeover, blowout, and manicure to make sure I’m glowing for any photos that make their way to Instagram. I’m a bit of a Francophile, so as a postbrunch surprise for my pals, I’ve booked us a macaron-making class, where we’ll master the art of the Parisian pastries. The day wouldn’t be complete without treating myself to a gift—maybe a Shay Fox Jewelry diamond squiggle bracelet, because I don’t need a partner to pamper me—and something meaningful in the form of a relaxing breathwork class. The latter is an act of service to myself (and a chance to take my new meditation pillows and sound bowl out for a spin). Finally, journaling words of affirmation will end my Galentine’s Day celebration with gratitude for self-betterment and the great ladies in my life. 

The Destination: Forty Five Ten’s in-house restaurant, Mirador, returns with an elegant facelift by Dallas design studio Swoon and a revived menu full of new takes on old favorites. 1608 Elm St. 214-945-8200.

—Lydia Brooks

Self-Care in All Forms

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Find Your New Look

Let the salon come to you with Glamsquad’s on-demand, in-home hair, makeup, and manicure services. 

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Bake the Day Away

Macaron master Kelli Watts, the founder and CEO of Savor Patisserie, leads students through the process of creating the notoriously tricky treats in public and private classes. 9440 Garland Rd., Ste. 142. 972-913-4900.

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Renoo Meditation Cushion Set, $140 Roam Fine Goods; Renoo Seven Metals Meditation Singing Bowl, $74, Roam Fine Goods

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Five-Minute Journal, $30, All Good Things

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This story originally appeared in the February issue of D Magazine with the headline “Love in Every (Love) Language. Write to [email protected].

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