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A Break from the Usual Valentine’s Day Decor

A Break from the Usual Valentine’s Day Decor

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and decorating the home for the occasion is something we all look forward to. Putting up the usual hearts, red roses, and cupids is all well and good, but it can get boring and run-of-the-mill if done every year. When you’re tired of the usual heart-y decorations, create a whimsical yet romantic display for your home with these alternative Valentine’s Day decorating ideas!

XOXO Wreath

Your V-day décor does not have to be all hearts and roses. An easy Valentine’s Day idea is to make use of a holiday wreath. If you have a burlap wreath from the previous Christmas, take it out of storage and put it up on your door or window. Then, pair it with a bunch of branches tied together to form an X. Display your branches above your wreath to complete the XOXO look!

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white wreath

    You can also hang your white Christmas wreath and decorate it with red baubles. For an even easier Valentine’s Day décor, simply wrap the wreath with red ribbon.

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    Books and Flowers

    tulips and books

      Books can be romantic, too, especially when accompanied by flowers. A simple bouquet of flowers paired with your favorite books can create a lovely Valentine’s display in no time at all. Arrange a few of your most favorite books in a standing position along your mantel, then add a vase of flowers from your garden or local store. You can also add a couple of candles to complete this sweet Valentine’s Day mantel display!

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        Another idea for flowers is to use blooms that aren’t roses. While roses are the ultimate flowers for romance, that doesn’t mean that your choices are limited. If you’re looking for a different type of flower to decorate the house with, try hydrangeas. They’re beautiful and they come in various colors such as white, pink, blue, and lavender. Hydrangeas look perfect when placed all around the house. So put up vases of these blooms in your kitchen, bedroom, entryway, and living room!

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        Valentine’s Day Mailboxes

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          If you’re the type who gives out letters and cards to your loved ones during this special day, then this Valentine’s Day idea is for you. Make February 14 completely special for your kids and loved ones with cute mailboxes. Buy or paint them in red, pink, or lavender, or paste cute cut-outs on them. Label the mailboxes and place them along your entryway so that family members can immediately see them. Afterwards, place your Valentine letter or card inside its respective mailbox for your loved ones to find—a simple and whimsical addition to your V-day décor!

          Valentine Tree

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            A Valentine tree is a great way to bond with your children and have a wonderful display for your home. Invite your children to make paper hearts from cardboard or newspapers, and put strings on them. Afterwards, gather a few dry branches from your backyard, and put them in a vase or Mason jar to resemble a tree. Help your kids hang up their paper hearts on the tree as you would a Christmas tree. You can also ask your children to write simple messages on the paper hearts for every member of your family for a more personalized look!

            With the availability of red, white, and pink artificial Christmas trees nowadays, you could also repurpose your whimsical Christmas tree to take center stage for Valentine’s Day. You can hang the paper hearts on the branches, or wrap a red garland or ribbon around the tree.

            Deck your home with these fun alternative Valentine’s Day decorating ideas! Which do you think makes a great hearts’ day display?

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            Last Updated on September 18, 2020

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

            1. Exercise Daily

            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

            The basic nutritional advice includes:

            • Eat unprocessed foods
            • Eat more veggies
            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

              5. Watch Out for Travel

              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

              6. Start Slow

              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

              More Tips on Getting in Shape

              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

              Reference

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