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5 Tips For Creating a Romantic Night and Fun Dinner at Home

Valentines Day is just around the corner and maybe you're already thinking how to make this occasion really special. Here are some ideas for a romantic and fun dinner at home either for several couples or just for two.
Sensual Scents
Whether planning for one guest or several couples, let robust spices (think cloves, canela, cardamom and black pepper) help set the mood with the help of a standard frying pan. Toast the spices just to their smoking point, and the room will fill with an inviting--and delicious--bouquet.
Pairing Is Caring
When prepping for a perfect evening, pairings are a fun way to turn any meal into a special occasion and spice up the fun. Plan three courses and pair each with a small cocktail. A fun and easy way is to use one base spirit in three different ways.
Make It A Group Effort Let your guests in the kitchen and encourage them to enjoy the tactile sensation of the food as it is prepared. Start the party early and enjoy cocktails as you cook.
Forget the Utensils Feed…

Marriage-saving gadgets

What makes a marriage stronger? Sure, a romantic weekend away or a fancy dinner out is nice, but cutting down on the everyday annoyances that cause strife goes a long way, too. Take a hint from these couples. They turned to a simple product or device to help them solve an exasperating problem—and drew closer as a result. Check out eight gadgets that can help you and your marriage.

Marriage saver: Heating blanket

HE: Is always cold

SHE: Is always hot

SOLUTION: "We got a heating blanket last year, and it has made us both less cranky. The blanket stays on my side. It has stopped my whining about how cold I am—which was irritating him."—Lauren Gard, 32, Oakland, Calif.

Marriage saver: Sleep mask

HE: Loves to go to bed early

SHE: Loves to stay up late

SOLUTION: "We used to argue over the lights. He’d go around shutting them off, and I’d follow behind, turning them back on. So I asked him to put my sleep mask over his eyes. That suggestion changed our lives—it’s a miracle mask!"—Lesley Dwyer, 33, Sarasota, Fla.

Marriage saver: TV sleep timer

HE: Sleeps with the TV on

SHE: Can't sleep if it's on all night

SOLUTION: "We have a TV in our bedroom with a timer setting. When [my husband] is in the bathroom brushing his teeth, I grab the remote and set the timer, and he is none the wiser! I set it for the amount of time it takes him to drift off to sleep. Then the TV clicks off, and we are both happy and getting good rest!"—Cathi Carpenter, 44, Marietta, Ga.

Marriage saver: GPS

HE: Drives on road trips

SHE: Is a backseat driver

SOLUTION: "I have trouble knowing north from south, east from west. To stop the arguing and save our relationship, we bought a GPS device. It turned out to be one of the best purchases we’ve made. We arrive at our destination with a lot less aggravation."—Enid Schwartz, 65, Sierra Vista, Ariz.

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