Create the perfect Valentine's Day experience for your someone special while supporting small vegan-focused businesses!
I don't know about you, but being stuck at home during this pandemic has made me miss one thing more than everything else - experiences. I miss travelling. I miss trying the new trending restaurants. I miss hanging out with friends. And even, admittedly, I miss the chance at sitting beside a stranger on a bench without holding my breath.
This Valentine's Day, we're giving you unforgettable experience ideas you can create for a loved one, family member or friend this year - together or from a safe distance. The best part? We highlight 18 small businesses you might have never heard about who are doing amazing things for animal rights, the environment and the health conscious consumer.
1. Serene Spa Day
After the past year we've all had, who doesn't need some alone time to relax and pamper themselves with luscious, plant-based items that nourish the body and mind? We recommend bundling a spa-theme gift basket full of items that will soothe the skin and de-stress the mind.
When we think of spa day, baths are number one on the priority list. Grab an eco-friendly, zero-waste Bamboo Bath Puff to lather with all-natural soaps accompanied by bath bombs. Use coconut-soy burning candles with natural wood wicks to create the most serene bath-time ambiance. And aftercare, which is just as important, can be achieved with Shea Butter Lotion Sticks to moisturize the body. Finish off with a paraben and fragrance-free cosmetic bundle to freshen the face for the day ahead.
2. Mouth-Watering Brunch
If you're creating an experience for a foodie, brunch is an awesome way to try locally made items like jams, spreads or mixes and cook special dishes that take a little too much time for the every day. We recommend creating a mini-buffet of the person's favourite breakfast food items. Why not whip up some Norwegian gluten-free waffles or crepes, complete with a topping station. Ingredients like shredded coconut, vegan chocolate, fresh berries, low-sugar fruit jams and maple syrup make for great ways to customize flavours. If you're not a fan of cooking, grab a spread of fresh vegan pastries or baked goods from a local bakery.
3. Get Outdoors
Craving a little adventure outside your home's four walls? Spend some restorative time in nature by going skating, planning a hike or an outdoor stroll. There's a great app called All Trails that allows you to find suitable trails and hikes for your location, hiking level and desired distance. If you're not a big hiker, go for a walk in a nearby park. Grab an eco-friendly tumbler and fill it with a hot, nourishing drinks like small-batch roasted organic coffee or Reishi Hot Cocoa. Grab an elevated trail mix and some plant-powered energy balls to refuel along your trek and give you energy to finally summit the peak (or playground!).
4. Drool Over Fondue
Think vegan fondue is impossible? Think again. Vegan "cheeses" have exploded on the market along with vegan chocolate. Grab an inexpensive fondue set and your melting ingredients of choice - vegan cheese or vegan chocolate (do you prefer sweet or savoury?). Cut up some fruit, bread or other items to dip and voila! An easy, cheesy, Valentine's Day delight!
If all else fails, create an unforgettable movie night by queuing up some classics or checking out flicks on the 2021 Golden Globe's nominations list. Snacks are what will take your mediocre movie night to the next red carpet level. We recommend grabbing some gourmet vegan popcorn for those that like crunch, vegan gummy candies for those that prefer some chew and allergy-friendly cookies for those that suffer from common food allergies. And what would a snack haul be without chocolate? Grab some sugar-(and guilt)-free pumpkin seed butter cup minis to curb those chocolate cravings.
Just because we're still in a pandemic, doesn't mean we can't have fun. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of creativity to reinvent the way we celebrate holidays. What are you planning on doing this Valentine's Day and who are you spending it with? Let us know in the comments.