This month’s column was planned to be about Valentine’s Day. But when Valentine’s Day falls mid-week, the weekends sandwiching it can get lumped with the holiday.

That makes for more opportunities to shower loved ones with special outings. It also gives you an opportunity to cash in on promotions just for yourself.

Milk the week for all you can, and treat yourself to some of these upcoming events and specials.

Feb. 10: Aroma Therapy, Cooking and More

Who loves you? Whole Food at Skillman and Kingsley does.

That’s why it’s featuring some special demonstrations and promotions the Saturday prior to Valentine’s Day from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The lineup includes a cooking demonstration of healthy romantic meals led by a guest chef from Vegetarian Time magazine. He’ll cook up dishes from menus featured in the February issue and let the crowd sample the results.

Other food freebies include samples of gourmet ice cream and sumptuous desserts offered throughout the store. Drawings will be held for prizes, including flowers and body care products.

If the way to your lover’s heart isn’t through the stomach, try the nose. For pointers, don’t miss the aroma therapy demonstration. Eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and tea tree are among the essential oils employed in aroma therapy. Find out how to use them for relaxation or medicinal purposes, or just pure pleasure.

Whole Food also is hosting a jewelry show featuring hand-crafted jewelry from Indonesia.

For information, call 341-5445.

A word to the wise: Don’t look for these same specials at the Greenville Whole Foods store, where expansion work is temporarily keeping big events off the calendar.

Feb. 14: Eat, Drink and Be Merry

For a bargain Valentine’s Day dinner in a casual setting, try Café Brazil in Lakewood (2221 Abrams, 826-9522). From 7-10 p.m., the restaurant will offer dinner for two featuring beef tenderloin and shrimp, paired with potato flan, vegetables and a bottle of red wine. The cost is $24.95 a couple.

For a taste of European romance, try Fanki’s Li’l Europe (362 Casa Linda Plaza, 320-0426). In addition to its regular menu, Franki’s will feature special dishes for two, such as Chateaubriand and rack of lamb.

Dessert lovers get a Valentine’s Day bonus at La Dolce Vita Café (1924 Abrams Parkway, 821-2608). After 6 p.m., you’ll receive a free coffee drink with every dessert order. Choose from chocolate decadence cake, turtle cheesecake, New York-style cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, carrot cake, cream cheese brownies and homemade bread pudding. After 8 p.m., the mood turns romantic when a classical guitarist performs (a regular Wednesday evening feature).

Feb. 15-17: Theater at the Bath House

Third Planet Theater presents the acclaimed Russian acting duo, Molka and Sasha, in a bilingual (English-Russian) evening of Russian folklore featuring drama, music, songs and dance.

The evening begins with a performance of “By The Seashore”, a short one-act drama that tells a haunting tale of unrequited love. The second half of the evening is sheer fun, with music, dancing and lots of audience participation – and laughter. The actors size up the crowd, and when children are in the audience, they incorporate folk games into the act.

There will be three performances at Bath House Cultural Center, Feb. 15-17 (Thursday-Saturday) at 8 p.m. The Bath House is located at 521 E. Lawther. For information, call 670-8749.

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