10 Couple's Gifts That You Can Both Enjoy This Valentine's Day

iStock.com/pixelfit
iStock.com/pixelfit

This Valentine’s Day, don’t just do the standard flowers and chocolates. Instead, get your sweetheart something that you can enjoy together. From ravioli-making kits to date-night games, here are 10 couple's gifts that you will both love.

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1. Urban Cheesecraft Deluxe Cheese Kit

Urban Cheesecraft's cheese-making kit will fix up to 30 batches of five different kinds of cheese—mozzarella, ricotta, paneer, queso blanco, and chevre—all with easy-to-follow instructions that take just an hour. You just need is milk (either fresh or store-bought) and a little effort, and you and yours can be eating fresh, homemade cheese together in no time.

Get it at The Grommet for $55.

2. Repast Ravioli Making Gift Box

For an at-home date that rivals your favorite Italian joint, try out Repast Supply Co.'s easy ravioli-making kit. Repast provides all the necessary tools to get you started, including a special ravioli rolling pin, a ravioli cutter, olive oil, and semolina flour. Pasta night has never been so romantic.

Get it at The Grommet for $135.

3. Olympia Provisions Salami of the Month Club

Get the gift that keeps on giving: a cured meat subscription. The Olympia Provisions Salami of the Month Club sends out a new variety of sausage each month along with information about where each link is from and what it’s best paired with, so you can put together a perfectly curated appetizer plate for you and your significant other to enjoy. (If meat doesn’t fit your fancy, we also recommend the Pickle of the Month Club.)

Get it at Food52 for $160 for 12 months.

4. Marital Bliss Couple’s Card Game

Despite the name, the Marital Bliss card game is for couples of all kinds. The game is designed to inspire a full week of romantic gestures between two partners, sending both players on "secret missions" to carry groceries, cook dinner, and otherwise pamper each other while earning points. The person who has the most points at the end of the game can choose between a variety of rewards from their partner—like breakfast in bed or a romantic ice cream outing—but really, everybody wins.

Get it at UncommonGoods for $15.

5. Long Distance Friendship Lamp

If you’re far from your partner this Valentine’s Day, try out these lamps designed for long-distance pairs. Each of the two WiFi lamps alternates through an array of different colors when the other is touched, so you can wordlessly let your loved one know that you’re thinking of them, no matter how many miles separate the two of you.

Get them at UncommonGoods for $85 each.

6. Framed New York Times Crossword Puzzle

Show your partner how much a particular date in your relationship means with a framed copy of that day’s crossword puzzle from The New York Times. Signed by legendary crossword writer Will Shortz, the print comes with an extra copy of the puzzle so that you can solve it together without marking up your keepsake.

Get it at The New York Times Store for $150.

7. Omaha Steaks Valentine’s Day Dinner and Diamonds

Skip the steakhouse and cook up a romantic dinner for two at home with a Valentine's special from Omaha Steaks that includes everything you need to turn your kitchen into a fancy restaurant at a fraction of the price. This decadent surf ‘n’ turf dinner is specifically designed with date night in mind, and comes with a pair of free lab-made-diamond accent earrings—as if filet mignon and two chocolate lava cakes weren't romantic enough. (Even you already have plans for February 14, steak dinners are timeless—check out Omaha Steaks's other options for non-holiday feasts here.)

Get it at Omaha Steaks for $70 ($35 a person).

8. King Arthur Flour Bread Intensive

A baker rolls bread dough
iStock.com/ZoranZeremski

Homemade sourdough bread is all over Instagram these days, but whipping up a loaf yourself isn’t easy. If you or your loved one has recently gotten into baking bread, there’s no place to sharpen your skills quite like King Arthur Flour’s baking school. The trek to King Arthur’s locations in Vermont and Washington state might be a splurge, but for many amateur bakers, it’s worth it for the expert tutelage. Intensive workshops on bready topics like sourdough, whole grain, and pastry typically run between three and five days and cost between $375 and $700, depending on length and skill level. Sure, it sounds pricey, but think of the money you’ll save on store-bought bread once you’re both expert bakers.

Sign up at King Arthur Flour.

9. Wine & Design Paint-and-Sip Art Classes

A painter dips a brush into a palette that sits next to a glass of red wine
iStock.com/MarijaRadovic

Just because cooking isn't your thing doesn't mean you and your partner can't enjoy making something together. Show off your creative side at a boozy art class, where amateurs can learn how to paint in a low-key environment, usually with a little wine to loosen up your paintbrush. It's perfect for those who like a little Pinot with their Picasso, but even if you don't imbibe, it's a great way to get the creative juices flowing while meeting new people and learning from local artists.

There are plenty of local studios that specialize in these “paint and sip” classes, but one of the biggest chains is Wine & Design, which offers classes at 82 locations throughout the country.

Check out Wine & Design for locations, dates, and pricing. Prices vary by location.

10. Wine Down Box

If your main squeeze is a wine snob or a cheese lover, a Wine Down Box subscription is the perfect treat. Each month, the company sends out a curated gift box that contains a bottle of limited-production California wine, a cheese, a charcuterie pick, and crackers, with a sheet that explains ideal pairings for those specific items. It’s hard to skip out on date night when it’s delivered straight to your door every four weeks.

Get it from Wine Down Box for $70 per month for one month or $63 per month for 12 months. Shipping is included.

These Grass Straws Are an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastic

Kickstarter
Kickstarter

We know plastic straws have created an incredibly serious environmental issue, and while many alternatives have been introduced, there are definitely some drawbacks to each of them. Paper straws, for example, tend to dissolve faster than you can finish your beverage. Some companies have tried to get around the issues paper and plastic straws present by introducing a special lid to sip cold beverages through. But they’re still made out of, well, plastic.

A Kickstarter campaign is offering a solution by producing sturdy grass straws that work perfectly in hot or cold drinks and decompose in just 15 days. With $3606 raised, the startup La Couleur Monochrome is still working toward a $27,877 goal, but you can back this project until January 31. For as little as $6, you can receive 100 straws in a reusable, eco-friendly zip-up bag, and the more expensive tiers offer bigger rewards.

The straws are made from hollow-stemmed grass that is grown and hand-harvested in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. After the grass is harvested, it is cut into 20-centimeter pieces and disinfected through a boiling process, rather than with harsh chemicals. Buyers have the option of selecting either dried-out straws, which can last for up to one year when stored at room temperature, or fresh straws, which can remain in the fridge for up to six weeks. According to the startup, both straws are suited for hot and cold drinks, but when using the fresh straws, you’ll get “a slight scent of fresh cut grass without changing the drink's taste.”

Grass straws
Kickstarter

If you’re worried about the environmental impact of harvesting the field, there’s no need. According to the campaign, the grass regenerates itself within a year. Currently, the startup is producing 1 million straws a month, but they hope to up it to 10 million by July 2020. Also beginning in July, the company plans to only send out orders once a month to create a more sustainable shipping program.

With so many large-scale changes that need to happen to help the environment, starting with a simple straw may seem inconsequential, but it’s not. Estimates have put the number of straws littering the world's coastlines at anywhere from 437 million to 8.3 billion.

If you want to visualize how much plastic humans have produced, it's equivalent to 25,000 Empire State Buildings or 80 million blue whales. And of all that plastic, only 9 percent has been recycled. At this pace, some have predicted that the amount of plastic in the ocean may outweigh the ocean's fish by 2050.

Cutting out straws is a great way to start reducing single-use products in your everyday life, and you can head here to find out more about the Kickstarter.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Attention Movie Geeks: Cinephile Is the Card Game You Need Right Now

Cinephile/Amazon
Cinephile/Amazon

If you’ve got decades worth of movie trivia up in your head but nowhere to show it off, Cinephile: A Card Game just may be your perfect outlet. Created by writer, art director, and movie expert Cory Everett, with illustrations by Steve Isaacs, this game aims to test the mettle of any film aficionado with five different play types that are designed for different skill and difficulty levels.

For players looking for a more casual experience, Cinephile offers a game variety called Filmography, where you simply have to name more movies that a given actor has appeared in than your opponent. For those who really want to test their knowledge of the silver screen, there’s the most challenging game type, Six Degrees, which plays like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, with the player who finds the fewest number of degrees between two actors getting the win.

When you choose actors for Six Degrees, you’ll do so using the beautifully illustrated cards that come with the game, featuring Hollywood A-listers past and present in some of their most memorable roles. You’ve got no-brainers like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (2003) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) alongside cult favorites like Bill Murray from 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Of course, being a game designed for the true film buff, you’ll also get some deeper cuts like Helen Mirren from 1990’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Sean Connery in 1974's Zardoz. There are 150 cards in all, with expansion packs on the way.

Cinephile is a labor of love for Everett and Isaacs, who originally got this project off the ground via Kickstarter, where they raised more than $20,000. Now it’s being published on a wider scale by Clarkson Potter, a Penguin Random House group. You can get your copy from Amazon now for $20.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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