How to Harmonize

A harmony is a series of notes that blends with a song’s melody to add character and please the ears. From figuring out the best combination of notes to singing without straying from your part, harmonizing is tough. Sing along as you play notes on a piano first to get a feel for how harmonies work, then practice with apps, recordings, and alongside other singers. With the right techniques and practice, you can even learn how to harmonize by ear to any tune you hear.

EditSteps
EditLearning How Harmonies Work
Sing a C major triad to get a feel for intervals. A triad is a chord created by 3 notes; the C major chord is made of the notes C-E-G. Sing or hum along as you play the notes on a piano (or a virtual keyboard app) one at a time. Then play all 3 notes on the piano at the same time, and notice how the notes blend and agree with each other.[1]
The root note in this chord is C, and the distances between C and the other notes in the chord are called intervals.

Different intervals create harmonies with distinct tones. In relation to C, E is a major third and G is a perfect fifth. These intervals blend well with the root note, creating a pleasing harmony.

Practice finding a root note’s major third. Find the C key on your keyboard. If you count the 4 black and white keys to the right, you’ll land on E. For any root note, a note that’s 4 half-steps away will always be a major third.[2]
On a piano, a half-step is the distance between 2 keys that are right next to each other. For a white key that’s next to a black key, the black key counts as a half-step and the next white key over is a full step. However, white keys like E and F, which aren’t separated by a black key, are a half-step apart.

Sing or hum along as you play root notes and major thirds on the keyboard. Play a note, then count 4 half-steps and play that note. Singing a root note and its major third will help you learn how to find a good harmony note by ear any time you hear a melody.

Move onto minor intervals after getting a feel for major chords. Instead of playing C-E-G, play C-E♭-G (E♭ is the black key to the left of E) to create a C minor chord. Sing or hum along as you play each note one at a time, then play all 3 notes together. Note how a minor interval sounds darker or more unstable than a major chord.[3]
Count 3 half-steps to find a root note’s minor third. Sing or hum along as you play a root note and its minor third.

While there are countless exceptions, in Western music, composers often use minor thirds to evoke sadness and major chords to convey happiness.

Understanding major and minor thirds is key, whether you want to write harmonies or sing a harmony by ear when you hear a tune.

Try holding and moving the harmony note as the melody note changes. As the notes in a melody change, you don’t necessarily have to move the harmony note with it. Try keeping the harmony note the same as you play a melody on the keyboard. Pay attention to how the note combinations blend, convey feelings, or clash with each other.[4]
For instance, the harmony note doesn’t need to change with the melody to maintain a major third interval. It may stay the same until the melody moves to a note that clashes with it.

Experiment with note combinations to get a feel for coming up with your own harmonies. If notes clash or sound bad together, try moving the harmony note the same number of steps as the melody.

EditPracticing on Your Own
Continue practicing with a piano. From kids’ tunes like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” to contemporary pop hits, play basic melodies on the piano and practice singing along. To focus on hitting the right notes, hum or sing “La” instead of singing a song’s lyrics.[5]
A piano or virtual keyboard app can help you visualize the relationships between notes, which is the foundation of harmonizing.

Listen closely for harmonies in your favorite songs. Now that you know more about creating harmonies, listen closely to your favorite songs. See if you can identify relationships between melodies and harmonies. As you listen, ask yourself what kind of intervals a harmony employs, if it blends seamlessly with the melody, and if there are dissonant, or tense, note combinations.[6]
As you listen to a song, work on memorizing the harmony. To make things easier, look online for harmony-only tracks of the song.

Practice with a sing-a-long harmony app. Useful apps include Sing Harmonies and Harmony Voices. Download an app, learn a song’s harmony, then practice singing your part as you play the melody. When you first practice singing the harmony, lower the volume of the melody so you won’t get drawn away from your part.[7]

Harmonize with recordings of yourself singing melodies. Record a track of yourself singing a melody, then play it while you sing the harmony. Gradually increase the volume of the recording each time you practice. This will help you learn how to stay on your part without getting distracted by other singers.[8]
Additionally, note any rough spots when you listen to recordings of yourself singing. If necessary, spend extra time practicing those sections of the song to improve your pitch and timing.

EditHarmonizing with Other Singers
Practice singing chords with 1 to 2 partners. Using a piano or virtual keyboard app as a guide, start by practicing a simple C major chord. For the note C, sing “one;” sing “three” for E and “five” for G. Sing “one” together at C, then have one person sing “three” at E while the other 2 hold the C.[9]
Then, have someone sing “five” at G while the other 2 hold a C and E, respectively. After practicing C-E-G, try other combinations, such as G-B-D and F-A-C.

If you’re practicing with 1 other person, just work on 2-part harmonies.

Learn your part perfectly to avoid getting distracted by other singers. It’s easy to get distracted by other singers when you’re harmonizing. The key to sticking to the harmony is to learn your part inside and out. Work measure by measure to commit each of your part’s notes to memory.[10]
If you’re in a choir, don’t rely on others in your section (such as other altos or baritones) to stay on track. Additionally, don’t assume that you’ll always be surrounded by other members of your section when you perform.

If you have trouble sticking to your part, practice singing with a recording of the melody. Play it softly at first, then gradually increase the volume.[11]

Join a choir to put your harmonizing skills to the test. The best way to learn how to harmonize is to sing with others in a group. Look for a choir or chorus group at your school or place of worship, or look online for one in your community.[12]
If you’re a soprano and want to harmonize better, try to join a choir as an alto. Sopranos usually sing the melody, while alto, tenor, and baritone sections sing harmonies.

Take lessons from a voice teacher. While apps and other resources can be super helpful, nothing beats working one-on-one with an experienced voice teacher. In addition to harmonizing, a voice teacher can help you with other singing techniques, such as breath control and vocal health.[13]
Additionally, consider taking classes in music theory to learn more about how harmonizing works.

EditRelated wikiHows
Memorize a Song

Find Your Own Singing Voice

Win a Karaoke Contest

Write The Vocal Melody for Music

Practice Sight Reading Piano Music

Sing a Duet

Read Music

Sing

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How to Make Tapioca Pearls

Have you ever wondered what’s in those big pearls at the bottom of your bubble tea? If you want to cut out preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and commercial colors, make your own tapioca pearls. It’s easy to mix together a dough of water and tapioca starch that you can form into small balls. Boil these tapioca pearls until they’re tender and enjoy them in your favorite tea or bubble drink.

EditIngredients
EditTapioca Pearls
1/2 cup (65 g) of tapioca starch

of water

A few drops of black food coloring, optional

Makes 75 to 100 tapioca pearls

EditSugar Tea Syrup
of hot water

2 tablespoons (25 g) of brown sugar

1 teabag of black tea

Makes of syrup

EditClassic Milk Bubble Tea
1 black teabag

of boiling water

1/4 cup (80 g) of cooked tapioca pearls

of sugar tea syrup

of cold milk

Ice

Makes 1 drink

EditSteps
EditMixing the Dough
Bring of water to a boil. Pour the water into a pot or kettle and heat it until it’s vigorously boiling. Keep in mind that some of this water will evaporate as the water comes to a boil, but you’ll only need for the dough.[1]

Put the tapioca starch and boiling water into a bowl. Place 1/2 cup (65 g) of tapioca starch into a heat-proof bowl and carefully pour in of the boiling water.[2]
You can find tapioca starch near cornstarch and flour in your grocery store’s baking aisle or at local Asian markets.

Stir the mixture to combine the ingredients. Use a spoon or chopsticks to stir the boiling water into the tapioca starch until the dry powder isn’t visible. The mixture should look chunky and somewhat dry.[3]

Knead the mixture to make a thick dough. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can use your hands to knead the mixture into a thick dough. This should take about 1 minute for the dough to come together into a firm dough.[4]
If the dough is too sticky to handle, sprinkle a little more tapioca starch over and work it into the dough.

Keep in mind that if you dyed the dough, it may stain your fingers or work surface. Consider putting the dough on a plastic mat or piece of parchment paper to prevent staining.

EditShaping the Pearls
Line a sheet with parchment paper and cover the dough with a towel. Place a rimmed baking sheet next to your work surface and lay a piece of parchment paper on it. To prevent the dough from drying out as you roll the pearls, cover the bowl with a damp towel.[5]
Use a rimmed baking sheet so the pearls don’t roll off if you need to move the sheet.

Roll 1/2 of the dough into a wide rope. Place the dough on your work surface and use the palms of your hand to roll the dough into a long, evenly sized rope. It should be about wide.[6]
Repeat this with the rest of the dough, so you have 2 long strips of dough ready to cut.

Cut the strips of dough into pearls. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut individual tapioca pearls from the strips of dough. You can make them any size you want, but keep in mind that the pearls will swell a little as they cook.
Most standard tapioca pearls are about in diameter before they’re cooked.

Set the tapioca pearls on the baking sheet for up to 2 hours. Transfer the pearls to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and leave them at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Ensure that the pearls aren’t touching as they dry or they could stick together.[7]
If you’d like to store the tapioca pearls for later, freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To make the pearls, boil them without thawing them, but add about 3 to 5 minutes to the cooking time.

EditBoiling and Using the Tapioca Pearls
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Set a large pot on the stove and fill it at least 1/2 to 3/4 full of water. Turn the burner to high so the water comes to a vigorous boil.[8]
If you’d like to cook only a handful of tapioca pearls, you can use a small pot. To make a single bubble tea drink, you’ll need 1/4 cup (80 g) of cooked tapioca pearls.

Add the tapioca pearls and boil them for 15 to 20 minutes. Slowly add the pearls to the boiling water so the water doesn’t splash and the pearls are completely submerged. Stir the pearls and then boil them uncovered until they’re completely tender.[9]
The pearls will float to the top of the pot once they’re half-cooked.

You may need to adjust the heat if it looks like the pot may boil over after you add the pearls.

Drain the cooked tapioca pearls. Turn off the burner and use a slotted spoon to scoop the tapioca pearls out of the boiling water. Transfer the pearls to a bowl and let them cool a little before you add them to tea. If you’d like to sweeten the pearls, soak them in a sugar tea syrup for at least 1 hour.[10] of hot water with 2 tablespoons (25 g) of brown sugar and 1 teabag of black tea. Steep the tea for 15 minutes before removing the teabag.}}
Use the pearls the same day you boil them, since they’ll begin to stick together and become tough.

Make a classic milk tea bubble tea. To make 1 drink, steep 1 black teabag in of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove the bag and let the tea cool until it’s at room temperature. Place about 1/4 cup (80 g) of the cooked tapioca pearls into a serving glass. Pour of sugar tea syrup (even if you used sweetened tapioca pearls) over and fill the glass with ice. Then pour in the cooled black tea and of cold milk.[11]
Serve the bubble tea with a wide straw and enjoy it before the ice begins to melt.

EditTips
If you’d like to make bubble tea, but don’t have time to make the pearls from scratch, you can purchase dried tapioca pearls from most Asian markets. Follow the package instructions to boil and use the pearls.

EditWarnings
Children under the age of 3 can choke on the tapioca pearls.

EditThings You’ll Need
Measuring cups and spoons

Heat-proof bowl

Large pot with a lid

Slotted spoon

Spoon or chopsticks

Towel

Rimmed baking sheet

Parchment paper

Knife or bench scraper

Serving glass

Wide straw

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Today in History for 14th February 2019

Historical Events

1630 – Dutch fleet of 69 ships reaches Pernambuco, Brazil
1859 – Oregon admitted as 33rd state of the Union
1966 – Wilt Chamberlain breaks NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points
1978 – 1st “micro on a chip” patented by Texas Instruments
1980 – Soviet cross-country skier Nikolay Zimyatov wins first of 3 gold medals at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics when he takes out 30k event; also wins relay and 50k gold
1982 – “Night of 100 Stars” takes place at NY’s Radio City Music Hall

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1923 – Jay Hebert, American golfer (PGA Championship 1960), born in St. Martinville, Louisiana (d. 1997)
1931 – Phyllis McGuire, vocalist (McGuire Sisters), born in Middletown, Ohio
1967 – Calle Johansson, Swedish NHL defenseman (Washington Capitals), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
1968 – Jules Asner, US television personality, born in Tempe, Arizona
1987 – Joseph Pichler, US actor, born in Bremerton, Washington
1992 – Freddie Highmore, English actor, born in Camden Town, London

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1714 – Maria Luisa of Savoy, Queen consort of Spain to Philip V (1701-14), dies tuberculosis at 25
1885 – Jules Vallès, French writer (b. 1832)
1908 – Georges Jean Pfeiffer, French composer, dies at 72
1942 – Adnan Bin Saidi, Officer of the Malay Regiment killed in the defense of Singapore (b. 1915)
2006 – Lynden David Hall, British singer (b. 1974)
2010 – Doug Fieger, American musician The Knack (b. 1952)

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Style Flannel

Flannel, a warm material usually made from wool or cotton, is a closet staple during the cooler months, but styling it correctly can be a little tricky. If you get it wrong, you could be giving off lumberjack vibes in all the wrong ways. Luckily, flannel shirts are extremely versatile, and there are plenty of ways to incorporate them into cool outfits that will keep you warm in any weather.

EditSteps
EditPicking the Right Flannel
Choose from classic flannel colors for a conventional or grungy look. Flannel is a warm fabric that usually features checks or plaid, but it can also be a solid color. The most common colors for flannel are red, green, and black. Choose one of these options if you want to go for a more classic or grungy look.[1]
Other common colors for flannel include grey, white, and brown.

These colors are perfect for wearing with jeans and sneakers for a casual weekend outfit.

Opt for unusual colors if you want to stand out. If your style tends to be more eye-catching, look for flannel in unconventional colors. This will give your look a little extra edge.[2]
Look for fashion flannel in purple, yellow, neon, or pastels, then wear it unbuttoned over a T-shirt in a coordinating color for a unique outfit.

Wear your flannel oversized for a slouchy look. If you’re going for a casual, slouchy vibe, pick a flannel that’s 1-2 sizes larger than what you normally wear. This will give off you a cool, grungy look that channels the 90s.[3]
To keep your outfit from looking too dated, opt for a slimmer silhouette in the rest of your outfit. For instance, you could wear your slouchy flannel with a pair of skinny jeans and ankle boots for a night out.

Choose a slimmer fitting flannel to look more put-together. If you’re planning to wear your flannel buttoned-up and tucked in, look for a flannel that fits a little closer to your body. Choose a shirt with a shoulder seam that sits right at the edge of your shoulder. Look at the shirt sleeve, as well, to ensure the cuff doesn’t hang past your wrist.[4]

EditGoing Casual
Wear your flannel open over a T-shirt with jeans for a cool feel. An unbuttoned flannel over a T-shirt is one of the most classic fall looks, and it suits almost every personal style. You can opt for a plain white T-shirt, a solid color like grey or black, or a graphic tee. The options are endless![5]
For instance, a classic red-and-black checked flannel looks just as great over a white T-shirt as it does over a black graphic tee featuring your favorite band or a cheeky slogan!

Wear loose-fitting jeans for an ultra-casual weekend look, or opt for sleek boot-cut jeans for a night out!

Pair a long flannel with leggings and boots for a casual feminine outfit. If you’re going to be running errands on a cool day, stay warm by wearing an extra-long flannel over a pair of leggings, either in black or in a coordinating color. Then, finish the outfit with a pair of knee-length boots, and you’ll be ready to go![6]
Top off this outfit with a chunky scarf, but keep the rest of your accessories simple. For instance, you might add a pendant necklace or a pair of stud earrings.

Make sure the flannel is long enough to cover your rear, since leggings aren’t typically considered acceptable as pants otherwise.

Pair your flannel with destroyed jeans for a carelessly casual look. Distressed denim will give any look a casual edge, but destroyed jeans take that to the next level. The more shredded and ripped up your jeans are, the edgier your flannel-and-denim look will come across.[7]
Stick to a slim-fitting T-shirt with this look to balance it out.

Slouchy sneakers are the perfect shoes to wear with this outfit.

Toss on a puffy sleeveless vest to stay extra warm. If the weather has an extra chill, even a flannel shirt might not be enough to keep you from getting cold. If that’s the case, an insulated sleeveless vest will pair perfectly with the outdoorsy style of your favorite flannel.[8]
You’ll look perfectly at home on a hike if you wear this with a pair of khaki cargo pants and a pair of rugged boots.

EditDressing up a Flannel
Stick with darker denim if you wear jeans. Light denim tends to look more casual, so if you’re trying to dress up your flannel, it’s best to wear a darker shade of denim. Also, straight-legged, skinny, and boot-cut styles tend to look dressier than relaxed-fit jeans.[9]
Black denim adds an especially edgy touch to any outfit.

The exception to this is colored or white denim. A pair of purple skinny jeans with a purple-plaid flannel, for instance, would look great at girls’ night.

Tuck in a buttoned-up flannel to look more presentable. Instead of wearing your flannel untucked or even unbuttoned over another shirt, button it up all the way to the collar, then tuck it into a pair of straight-legged slacks. This look is perfect for a dinner-and-a-movie date night![10]
Chinos and dress shoes are great for wearing with a tucked-in flannel.

For a more feminine take on this outfit, tuck a slim-fitting flannel into a skirt with a narrow waist. Finish the look with tights and ankle boots.

Wear your flannel half-buttoned over a crop top for an edgy feminine contrast. If you want to wear your flannel for a night out, but you don’t want to cover up your figure, wear a crop top under your flannel. Fasten the bottom 2-3 buttons, or leave the shirt unbuttoned if you prefer.[11]
You could also opt for a lace cami or bodysuit under your flannel, if you prefer.

Depending on your style, you could make this look more tough with boots, or more sophisticated with a sleek pair of heels.

Make baggy flannel more stylish by wearing it with skinny jeans. If you want to elevate an oversized flannel shirt, pair it with your favorite skinny jeans. This will balance your silhouette, taking this casual outfit to the next level.[12]
Give this outfit street-style glam by wearing your cleanest pair of high-top sneakers.

Add a feminine edge to the look by wearing a pair of stiletto heels.

Top with a fur vest for a glam look. A vest is a great way to stay warm, but they’re not always the most fashionable way to finish a look. Get the best of both worlds by topping your flannel shirt with a fur (or faux-fur) vest and skinny jeans.
Keep the fashionista mood going strong with a pair of oversized sunglasses and a big bag.

Wear your flannel under a sweater for a preppy, warm look. Flannel doesn’t always mean grungy or outdoorsy. If your style is more classic and preppy, slip on a flannel, then top it with a rib-knit sweater. Finish the look with chinos and a pair of loafers for an outfit that’s clean, stylish, and cozy. [13]
A capelet is another great way to top your flannel while still looking clean-cut!

EditAccessorizing Flannel
Go traditional with a chunky knit scarf and beanie in cold weather. Flannels are all about comfort. If it’s chilly out, bundle up in your warmest flannel, a big chunky scarf, and a knit beanie, and you’ll be ready to take on the day, no matter what the wind chill says![14]
Of course, you don’t have to wear both. If you prefer, you can choose just the scarf or the hat!

Keep your wristwear simple with a leather cuff bracelet or chunky watch. Flannel is a bold look, and it’s best suited by heavier accessories. A leather bracelet or a big, bold watch will complement your flannel shirt much better than a delicate tennis bracelet.

Pair your flannel with a string of pearls for an elegant touch. A string of pearls is the perfect complement to almost any outfit, and flannel is no exception. Whether you’re wearing your flannel with leggings or tucked into a pair of jeans, a simple string of pearls will let everyone know that you might be casual, but you’re still classy!
If you’re trying to create an edgy vibe, avoid pearls.

Stick with sneakers or boots for a casual feel. Flannel is typically considered a casual material, so when you’re picking your shoes, sneakers and boots are usually your best option. Just pick something that’s comfortable![15]
If you wear hiking boots, keep in mind that your outfit will look very outdoorsy. If this isn’t the style you’re going for, opt for sneakers instead.

Opt for loafers or flats to add a little dash of elegance to your look. If you’re choosing to elevate your flannel, opt for footwear that’s a little nicer. They don’t necessarily have to be dress shoes—your favorite loafers or flats should be just the right touch.[16]
Ankle boots and heels are also good options if you want to dress up your flannel and you have a feminine style.

Tie the flannel around your waist to turn it into an accessory. Give off some serious 90s vibes by tying on your flannel. Just wrap the arms around your waist and knot them in the front for an effortlessly cool look. It’s functional, too—if you get cold, you can just untie your shirt and put it on to get warm![17]
You can wear your flannel around your waist with jeans and a T-shirt, or you can tie your flannel around a slip dress for a casual twist on a dressy outfit.

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How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to celebrating love. While it is typical for people to exchange affectionate gifts or treat each other to special outings, there are many different ways to celebrate this holiday. Enjoy February 14th with your significant other and plan a romantic day together, host a Valentine’s Day themed party for your friends, or make the holiday a personal day to pamper yourself.

EditSteps
EditSpending the Day with Your Significant Other
Surprise your significant other with a special breakfast in bed. Cook an assortment of your loved one’s favorite breakfast foods, like bacon, pancakes, waffles, or scrambled eggs. Serve the meal on a tray with a glass of juice or coffee. Your loved one will appreciate the thoughtfulness.[1]
Consider filling a plastic bag or squeeze bottle with pancake batter and draw the pancakes into the shape of a heart on the hot skillet.

Do not forget to make a tray or food for yourself. Snuggle back in bed with your loved one, and enjoy the meal together. This is a great way for the two of you to chat and hang out.

Plan a fun activity to experience something new and exciting together. Instead of adhering to Valentine’s Day traditions, take some time to plan a fun and bold adventure with your significant other. Figure out something that you both have always wanted to do, and enjoy experiencing the activity together.[2]
Go skydiving or bungee jumping and enjoy the thrill of the extreme sport together.

Pack up the car with snacks and take a day-trip across your state. Plan to visit specific sites, or be spontaneous and stop at random places along the way.

Visit a local national park and immerse yourself in nature. Find a romantic spot within the park, and enjoy watching the sunset together.

Snuggle on the couch with your significant other and have a movie marathon. Grab some cozy blankets and some snacks, like popcorn, chips, or candy, and enjoy a relaxing evening with your significant other. Decide on a collection of movies or a television series that you both will enjoy.[3]
If you and your significant other both have busy schedules on Valentine’s Day, this is a great way for the two of you to relax, chat, and share some laughs.

To make the simple movie-night more romantic, purchase some Valentine’s Day sweets, like decorated chocolates or chocolate covered strawberries.

Make reservations at a fancy restaurant to celebrate the evening in public. Treat you and your loved one to a romantic dinner at a local restaurant. Pick a couple of restaurants that are within your budget, and call to see if they have Valentine’s Day reservations open. The fancy food and atmosphere of the restaurant will be a special memory for you and your loved one to have.[4]
Just make sure to make the reservations well in advance to Valentine’s Day. Otherwise, you may not be able to eat at that particular restaurant.

Continue to enjoy the evening by taking a stroll around town or a walk through the park. This will give both of you time to enjoy each other’s company.

Plan a romantic dinner at home to make the evening more intimate. Select foods that you both will enjoy, and try to only tackle recipes that you can realistically make. The meal does not have to be elaborate to be special or romantic. Dress up the dining area with a nice red tablecloth, candles, and fresh flowers to make the setting more intimate.[5]
Consider making a simple spaghetti a meatball dish with homemade meatballs and a homemade tomato sauce or dress up a simple oven roasted chicken by stuffing it with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese.

Make cooking the dinner part of the date and have your significant other help you prepare the meal. Not only will this speed up the cooking process, but it will also give both of your time to bond and chat.

Alternatively, take some of the date-night pressure off and plan a romantic picnic in the park. This will not only eliminate some stress, but it will also give you a chance to spend some quality time with your loved one.

EditPlanning Gifts and Surprises
Make a homemade card tailored for a special someone in your life. Skip buying a standard card from the store, and instead, opt for making a personalized one. Use a piece of cardstock to create a sturdy base for the card. Then, decorate it with humorous or poetic words and images that will let your significant other know that you love them.[6]
Feel free to also make Valentine’s Day cards for your friends and family as well! The holiday goes beyond your significant other. Make sure that your friends and family know that you love and care for them as well.

For large groups of people, like a classroom of students or peers, consider attaching simple notes to pieces of candy like lollipops.

Tie special notes to a bundle of balloons for your significant other to read. Fill a dozen or more red, pink, or white balloons with helium. Write the notes on simple cardstock with a pen or marker. Use a hole-punch to create a hole in the note, and attach it to the knot of the balloon with a piece of string or ribbon. Leave the bundle of balloons in a place for your significant other to see.[7]
Include reasons why you love your significant other on the notes or recall a series of special moments you shared together to create a timeline of your relationship. Maybe even accompany the memory with a photo to make the display visual.

If you have a low ceiling in your home, allow the balloons to float to the ceiling and scatter them around the room. The different colored balloons will help decorate the room for the special occasion.

Alternatively, inflate the balloons normally and scatter them around the floor of your bedroom or living room. Slip a special note into each balloon before tying them off, and have your significant other pop the balloons to find the message.

Design a coupon book that your loved can use beyond Valentine’s Day. Create a little booklet out of colored paper or cardstock, and decorate each page with doodles or stickers to make each coupon unique looking. Fill the coupon book with favor tokens that will make your loved one laugh and feel special.[8] Some coupon ideas could include:
Treat your loved one to a day of pampering and write, “Good for a back massage and a bubble bath.” Then, draw bubbles around the coupon or the outlines of hands to make the visual theme match the message.

Let your loved one choose the film for a movie date night and write something like, “Pick a movie and I will make the popcorn.” Design the coupon to look like a movie ticket, popcorn bucket, or television.

Design a coupon to look like a chef’s hat and write something like, “Good for a home cooked meal of your choice.”

Stash love notes around your home for your loved one to find. Write little messages on colored cardstock, listing reasons why you love your significant other or recalling memories you shared together. Then, place the notes around your home where your significant other can easily find them. Your loved one will not only enjoy reading the notes but will be surprised each time they find one.[9]
Hide the notes in creative spots, like on your loved one’s favorite coffee mug, in their jacket pocket, or on the television remote. Just make sure to pick spots or items that your loved one frequently uses; otherwise, your message may go unfound.

Alternatively, place the notes all in one spot, like on your loved one’s bathroom mirror. Write the messages on pink sticky notes, and arrange the notes in the shape of a heart on the mirror.

Give your significant other a classic gift of flowers and chocolate. Purchase a bouquet of your loved one’s favorite flowers, or choose classic red roses to mark the holiday. Pair the flowers with a box of chocolates or other sweets. Then, either give the gift to your loved one in person or surprise them by having the gift delivered to their home.[10]
This gift is perfect if you and your significant other have only just started dating, and you are unsure what gift to give.

If you don’t mind spending more money, accompany the flowers and chocolate with a special gift to mark the occasion. This could be a nice piece of jewelry like a watch or necklace, or this could be something more personal, like the latest book or video game your significant other has been eyeing.

EditSpending Valentine’s Day with Your Friends
Invite your friends over to your place for a potluck dinner. Ask each of your friends to bring a prepared dish. Arrange the food on a long table or counter, and then enjoy an evening filled with a variety of warm foods and great friends.[11]
Simplify the evening further by ordering take-out food from a favorite restaurant. This is a great alternative for last-minute get-togethers.

Unite your family and friends by hosting a Valentine’s Day party. Give your favorite people an excuse to mingle during the holiday and plan a Valentine’s Day party. Decorate your home with red, pink, and white balloons, streamers, and cutout hearts. Line a table with an assortment of sweets and finger-foods, and create a fun ambiance with some bouncy music.[12]
Valentine’s Day is not everyone’s favorite holiday. Instead of a Valentine’s Day themed party, pick a different theme to eliminate any Valentine’s Day reservations your friends might have. Make the party “Anti-Valentine’s Day” themed, or choose a random theme that all of your friends will enjoy.

Enjoy a night at home playing games with a close group of friends. Ask each friend to bring a favorite board game, card game, or snack. Then, spend the evening chatting with your friends and playing a variety of games.[13]
Some fun games that will support a range of players are Charades, Pictionary, and Cards Against Humanity.

EditCelebrating the Holiday Alone
Treat yourself to a day at the spa or fill a bubble bath at home. Take this holiday to pamper yourself. Sometimes, you can be so swept up in the hustle of life that you forget to take the time to take care of yourself. Schedule an appointment at a local spa, or create a calming atmosphere at home with a bubble bath and scented candles.[14]
If going to the spa is not your ideal way to pamper yourself, then choose an activity that is. Maybe you find yoga to be relaxing and you normally don’t have time for it, or maybe you want to hike a mountain trail that you have been thinking about. Find something that will give you time to relax.

Take the time to dress up even if you are spending the holiday alone. Throw on a pressed button-up shirt or slimming dress and take a stroll around town. There is no need to hide in your pajamas on Valentine’s Day if you don’t want to. Dress up for yourself and no one else.[15]
The fancy clothes will give you a round of confidence that will carry you through the rest of the day.

Purchase your favorite Valentine’s Day sweets and enjoy the indulgence. Just because you want to celebrate the holiday alone, does not mean that you cannot partake in some of the festivities. Purchase your favorite Valentine’s Day sweets and enjoy shamelessly eating them throughout the holiday.[16]
Pair your sweets with your favorite form of entertainment. Grab a good book or movie and spend the evening relaxing in your pajamas.

EditTips
Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money to make Valentine’s Day special. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to show your significant other how much they mean to you.[17]
Feel free to celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends and family. You don’t need a special someone in your life to enjoy this holiday.[18]
EditRelated wikiHows
Say “I Love You”

Plan a Romantic Valentine’s Day Date

Make Chocolate Coconut Bars

Bring Love Into a Relationship

French Kiss

Make Valentine’s Day More Meaningful

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 13th February 2019

Historical Events

1575 – Henry III of France is crowned at Rheims
1943 – German assault on Sidi Bou Zid Tunisia, General Dwight D. Eisenhower visits front
1972 – XI Winter Olympic Games close at Sapporo, Japan
1990 – Larry Bird (Celtics) ends NBA free throw streak of 71 games
2000 – The last original “Peanuts” comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies.
2010 – A bombing at the German Bakery in Pune, India, kills 10 and injures 60 more.

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Famous Birthdays

1908 – Gerald Strang, Claresholm Canada, composer
1911 – Jean Muir Fullarton, American actress and educator (Fugitive in the Sky, The Aldrich Family), born in Suffern, New York (d. 1996)
1937 – Sigmund Jaehn, German cosmonaut (Soyuz 31/29), born in Muldenhammer, Germany
1979 – Rafael Márquez, Mexican footballer, born in Zamora, Mexico
1980 – Kristy Powell, US gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Stuart, Florida
1997 – Michael Jackson Jr., son of Michael Jackson, born in Beverly Hills, California

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Famous Deaths

1315 – Jean I of Chalon-Arlay, mayor of Neuchôtel, dies
1883 – Richard Wagner, German composer (The Ring of the Nibelung, The Flying Dutchman), dies at 69
1906 – Albert Gottschalk, Danish painter, dies at 39
1963 – Harry Steers, bowling hall of famer, dies
1990 – Ken Lynch, actor (Paratroop Command, Legend of Tom Dooley), dies at 79
1991 – Bernard Sauer, Yiddish actor, dies of heart attack at 67

More Famous Deaths »

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