While my husband and I are all for romance and enjoy the hype of Valentine’s Day, this is not our favorite holiday. We believe that every day is an opportunity to express love to your spouse or loved ones or yourself.
Over the years, I have realized that Valentine’s Day is also about loving yourself. When you love yourself you are able to attract love and you are able to send positive vibes and energy that will naturally have people treat you in the positive way that you want.
On Friday evening of February 12, my husband surprised me with a huge bouquet of flowers when I came home from work. I love flowers! Flowers bring me happiness and bring me instant smiles the moment I see them. It has been a tradition (at least 4 years in a row now) that he offered me flowers a day or two before the Valentine’s Day because he knew that I wouldn’t be happy when he spent a lot on flowers on Feb 14 (since the prices of flowers on Valentine’s day have skyrocketed as occasions like this have become highly commercialized).
Then we decided to book a table for three at Celeste Revolving Restaurant for Saturday (February 13) afternoon to get some fresh air. Plus, we missed the beauty of the outside world and it was our son’s first experience at the 360 degrees revolving restaurant. We went there at 5PM (just a few minutes after it had opened) to evade the crowd. It was tranquil, and we enjoyed watching the stunning sun receding below the horizon while nibbling crème brulee. And we were fascinated by the spectacular beauty of Phnom Penh’s skyline on fire.
We left the place in the twilight of dusk, and looked forward to a leisurely sumptuous dinner in a quiet and colonial setting at Anise Restaurant.
On Sunday February 14th, we had a more relaxed celebration at home (which we always did even before the pandemic) to shun away the hustle and bustle of the occasion. It was sweeter, less expensive and less stressful, instead there were more smiles, more compliments and more kind words that would linger in our hearts forever.
I prepared Bilao Family Love for Valentine’s dinner. What is a bilao? It is a round winnowing tray made from woven wood originally used for sifting rice free from chaff, dirt, etc. Nowadays, it is used as a food container, where it is lined with banana leaves on top and arranged with a lot of food. Personally, I named it Bilao Family Love – I arranged fresh shrimp and vegetables spring rolls, bola-bola (meat balls), bbq, asparagus wrapped with bacon on top of the bilao. I also prepared cheesy bacon spinach dip in a bread bowl. It was so good!
After I cooked the food, I set the table – dressed it up in white and I dressed the plates with rattan placemats. I kept the centerpieces to the minimum. It totally elevated the experience and made everyone feel special.
Certainly one of the loveliest weekends that we’ve ever had as it provided us an excellent opportunity to cherish quality time with one another.