Office Romance: V-Day Stories from Nordstrom HQ

We channeled Cupid and flew around the office asking some of our Nordstrom Headquarters coworkers about their favorite Valentine’s Day memories, gifts they love to give (and receive) and how they like to spend February 14. Read their stories and get inspired to create your own special day filled with love.


What’s been your favorite Valentine’s Day so far?
In general, my favorite way to celebrate a day of love is to spend it with the people I love! But my absolute favorite Valentine’s would be the ones I celebrated as a child. I loved all the excitement the night before—making sure that all your cards and treats were signed and aligned. And the celebration you had in class was the BEST!

Favorite Valentine’s gift to give?
I think it’s important to have some thought behind it, so I love personalized gifts. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money—it’s more important for the gift to have a special meaning.

Advice for someone who’s a little nervous about planning a Valentine’s Day date?
There really is nothing to be nervous about if you are celebrating this day with someone you love. They will love you no matter what. Keep that in mind!

Do you like to dress up for Valentine’s Day or keep it more casual?
I am definitely one who loves to dress up in general and will take every opportunity to dress up. But I also don’t mind a casual night. Mainly, I think it’s important to feel comfortable and confident in what you wear, whether you dress up or down.

You’re a great cook—any tips for creating a Valentine’s dinner at home?
Don’t overcomplicate things—cook something that you are familiar with. If you don’t usually cook, stick to something basic that you can exceed with! Remember, it’s the effort behind the cooking that counts.

[Pictured: Moon and Lola Personalized Monogram Earrings | kate spade new york monogram necklace | Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook]

What is or was your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?
Decorating the box that would hold all of my Valentines from my classmates. I would spend hours cutting and gluing paper and glitter on the shoe box. Then strategically picking each card that I would give out to each person.

Dine out or a home-cooked meal—have a preference?
My husband and I say, “We celebrate our love every day, we don’t need Valentine’s Day.” We go to a dive bar for burgers, and we try to outdo each other with cheesy cards and marked-down candy.

Valentine’s Day sweets: what’s your pick?
Amarena Toschi Italian Cherry at the bottom of my Rye Manhattan, as made by my husband.

[Pictured: kate spade new york old-fashioned glasses & decanter | Luigi Bormioli Martini Glasses]

What’s been your favorite Valentine’s Day so far?
There’s nothing like spending Valentine’s in Rome, eating Baci chocolates on a bench in front of the Fontana di Trevi at night. It’s truly la dolce vita.

Your most memorable Valentine’s gift—who gave it to you, and what was it?
One year my love surprised me with a very dainty ring he co-designed with a friend of mine who is a jewelry designer. The thought that went into it was more precious than the gift itself.

Who’s typically on your list for Valentine’s presents? Any tips for finding just-right gifts?
I always buy CHANEL lipstick for my besties and my mom. The shade I give them is called ‘Passion’ and it’s perfect for puckering up. I love signature gifts that people can come to expect from you and then finding clever ways to package them so there’s still an element of surprise.

Do you like to go out or stay in for Valentine’s Day?
It really depends on the weather! If it’s cold out, staying in for a cuddle is never a bad idea.

An always-important issue: date-night dressing. What are your go-to picks?
Keep it simple and sexy! A fitted LBD, lacy undergarments and a pointed-toe power pump are my staples.

[Pictured: Herve Leger Bandage Dress | Nordstrom Makers Chocolates | kate spade new york pump | CHANEL LIP COLOUR in ‘Passion’]

What’s your most favorite Valentine’s Day?
I loved celebrating Valentine’s Day as a kid way more than I do as an adult. Nothing about Valentine’s Day for grown-ups compares with covering a shoe box with construction paper and trying to make it look like a real (pink and red!) mailbox. The thing that I loved the most, though, was finding a Valentine from my mom and dad at my place at the breakfast table. A tiny gift—I remember earrings, maybe socks with hearts on them, just something small—and a card that my mom always signed, “Love, Mom & Dad.”

How do you celebrate with your kids?
I always get them a little something and leave it at their place on the kitchen table. Last year it was Tattly tattoos. It was just a little bit awesome to get matching tattoos before breakfast on a school day.

Your most memorable Valentine’s gift—who gave it to you, and what was it?
I’m afraid that I have a much better memory for gifts I’ve given than gifts I’ve received, and I don’t think any of my best gifting ideas were actually Valentine’s presents. I tend to go all out for our anniversary rather than Valentine’s. One year I designed and knit my husband a cabled sweater. It’s not a great fit, if I’m perfectly honest, but he loves it and wears it often. This year, I made him homemade pancetta, and that was pretty memorable.

Sweet Valentine’s treats. Any favorites?
My kids love to help with any and all baking projects, but their very favorite is cutout cookies. At 8 and 12, they can do everything: make the dough, roll it out, cut, bake, frost and decorate. However, they have very little interest in staying on message with their chosen shapes, so we almost always have rockets and frogs and palm trees.

Do you and your husband have a favorite date-night destination?
We both really love Palace Kitchen—it’s dark and cozy, and it smells like wood fire and roasting meat. We especially like going for a late dinner after a movie and getting a bunch of things to share. It’s easier to justify picking a lot of things if you’re not eating them all yourself!

[Pictured: Nordstrom Patterned Tights | MARC BY MARC JACOBS Earrings | Alex Toys Tattoo Kit]

What’s been one of your favorite Valentine’s Day memories?
Going to an “anti-Valentine’s-Day” dinner with two then-single girlfriends a few years ago. We had a delicious dinner at Palace Kitchen in downtown Seattle. The best part was that we posed for a pic together, and it totally looks like I’m the fifth wheel on their date!

How did your family celebrate Valentine’s Day while you were growing up?
My dad makes sure to call or e-mail all of his ladies (my mom, my sister and me) to say Happy Valentine’s Day.

A favorite gift you’ve given or received—what was it?
Back in my freshman year of college, it was the late ’90s and the beginning of the rise of Internet chat rooms. I became friendly with some guy on the other side of the country who sent me a Valentine’s Day card—all in good platonic fun—with a little fun-size pack of M&M’s. I never turn those down!

[Pictured: Sugarboo Designs Love Notes Notepad & Heart-Shaped Sticky Pads]

See even more Valentine’s Day ideas for your loved ones in our Valentine’s Day Gifts Shop.