Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

With a sprinkle of ingenuity and drizzle of devotion, Valentine’s Day can become a celebration of both love and simplicity. Rather than surrendering to midterm season stress, work around your busy schedule by milking the simple pleasures of life. Luxe five-course dinners accompanied by a strand of pink pearls may charm the visual appetite, but there exists a different sweetness in humble dates completed with inexpensive eats. Get inspired by these simple and modest date ideas revolving around easy foods that are sure to bestow a loved one with those delightfully pesky butterflies.

Outdoor Sushi Love

For those concerned with the visually-appealing wonders of life, a picnic sushi date should alleviate those matters. Boxed sushi from a local store may even better suit the occasion, truly capturing the daintiness and delicacy of the date. To maintain the traditional aesthetic qualities of the foreign cuisine, throw in a blanket patterned with geometric or minimalistic art to emulate the typical interior designs of a high-end sushi bar. Let the outdoor breeze and sunshine handle the rest of the upcoming good vibes.

Farmers Market Stroll

Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a fortunate Saturday this year, so consider visiting Santa Barbara’s Farmers Market on the corner of Santa Barbara and Cota Street. Take a loved one to stroll through sunlit aisles of gleaming fruits and leafy greens. And while observing the varied hues of all the produce and baked goods, naturally learn a little more about each other. Devoid of superficial distractions, a cozy date within the Farmers Market could uncover your loved one’s collection of quirks.

Hiking for Two

Hemmed in by the intimate whispers of nature, a moderate hike down Santa Barbara’s well-known Inspiration Point could be the solution for your Valentine’s Day quandaries. Pack easy-to-peel, citrus fruits and refreshing juice blends to beat the heat. Maintain the sentimental values of Valentine’s Day by selecting particularly red or pink foods, such as sliced grapefruit or blueberry-pomegranate blends.

Don’t succumb to the commercial hype that elevates the romance of lavish gestures featuring steaks and diamonds. No cooking is necessary, just love — appropriate for the average college student on Valentine’s Day.