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Valentine's Day Romance

Valentine's Day Romance

Kids going to grandma's for Valentine's Day or have older ones who celebrate with their own Valentine? Here are some creative & romantic ideas...

* Find a small red mail box, addressed it to him with the flag up, and make your own coupons: Free manicure, Free foot rub, Free I'm Sorry, Free night out with the guys, (BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Fee wash and wax, Free 'I don't want to have to go to ________, Free to do what I want to do day, etc. You can be creative and cost-conscious at the same time.

* Get a big glass pickle jar from Target, Michael's or other, scrub it clean, and paint the jar with flowers, hearts, sunshine, clouds, etc. Then get a bunch of "fancy" doodle pads and begin writing reasons & reminders of how & why you love your husband. Don't stop there -- you can collect little poems, quotes, and song lyrics to add to the pot. When your husband is having a rough day he can open the lid and reach in for a "boost". This jar is easy to make and VERY personal, and he will enjoy it year around. You may find that you love to collect stuff for the jar as well - such as old concert ticket stubs or old tickets to a play etc.

* How about a special Valentine's Day dinner for the whole family? You can prepared all the food in shades of red or pink. For example: pink mashed potatoes, pink bread, red Jell-O, and a red tinted heart cake with pink icing. The kids won't quite know what to think but it will surely be a fun meal they will NEVER forget.




Frugal Ways to Show Your Love

Frugal Ways to Show Your Love


Frame the lyrics to your wedding song or other love song. The internet has several sites that list song lyrics, so just type "song lyrics" into a search engine. Print up the lyrics in a nice font, and frame.


This is a cute idea for your spouse or other adult. Take an empty pain reliever or prescription bottle and soak it in hot water to remove the label. After you remove the label, design your own label on paper, with something like the following: "Love Pills" - take one as needed. Then take strips of paper and write down the things you are willing to do for your loved one. Some ideas are: foot massage, back massage, your favorite pie, your favorite cookies, you choose the movie we see, etc... Take each strip and wad it into a little ball and place them in the bottle.

When you are not able to go out to an expensive restaurant for dinner, have it at home. Wait to eat until after the children are in bed, set your dining room table nicely with a tablecloth, candles and play soft music. Enjoy a nice dinner...preferably one that you don't usually have, and one that you and your spouse consider to be special.


If you do prefer to go out for your special day, but find yourself having a hard time paying for dinner and childcare, ask a friend to swap child care with you.


Find a branch outside that has several smaller branches coming off of it and place the branch standing up in a pot of soil, or even a coffee can filled with dirt would work. Cut out an assortment of hearts from different colored cardstock or construction paper and string each one with ribbon. Then have each member of your family write the things that they love on the hearts (one "love" per heart) and hang them on the tree. You can name just about anything you love: a beloved pet, grandma, sunsets, or even ice cream! If you want to create this tree as a gift for someone, write things on the hearts that you love about that person or couple.


If you have a gift for someone in your home, make them go through a maze of clues to get to their surprise. At the first "stop" (which should be a place in your home that this person is likely to go to), you should have a little poem of sorts which will tell them to go to the next spot in your home, and so on. At each point in your home have something telling your loved one where to go next until the end which of course will end up being their gift. I had a friend who did this for her husband's birthday. She placed his first note on the toilet since that was the first place he went to when he got home from work, and each note she cleverly told him where to go next in his home. After going from room to room, he came to the end which was a CD that he had wanted.

If you don't have a heart shaped cake pans, don't despair. Create your own heart-shaped cake by baking one layer in an 8-in round pan, and one layer in an 8-in square pan. Cut the circle in half and place the cut side of the halves against two adjoining side of the square to form a heart. Frost and decorate at desired.

Bake up some heart shaped sugar cookies, but insert a popsicle stick near the point of the stick and bake as usual. Decorate.


Take flat bottomed ice cream cups and place them on a cookie sheet or in a muffin tin (you can wrap bottoms of cones with crumbled up foil to make them more sturdy). Fill cones with 1/3 cup brownie batter and bake 35-40 minutes or until tops are puffed up and cracked. After brownie cones are cooled insert a fake rose in the center. You can also create a flower out of construction paper and secured it on a popsicle stick, and then insert this into the center of the puffed up brownie.


We have all heard of the idea of creating coupons which give of ourselves, but have you ever given your kids some? Why not create a coupon book for your child that has coupons such as: your choice of dessert, kids video rental, lunch out with mom (or dad), etc.

Give a gift that will grow! Without your loved one knowing, plant a tree in your yard. You may also want to make a small yard sign that will sit near the tree and that says who the tree was planted for, and the date.


Call up two other couples and arrange a progressive dinner. Everyone will go to the first couple's home and enjoy some appetizers, at the next home you will go for the dinner, and at the last home, you will enjoy dessert. After your progressive dinner, you may want to go out together to a movie or some dancing.


Parents Date Night

Parents Date Night

Forget the extended planning, hunting down and retaining the sitter, and concentrate on arranging an evening of togetherness. After all, isn't that the whole point? But don't forget to make this night special, different from every other night of the week.

Here are a few tips on how to accomplish this:

* A bottle of wine. Take a trip to the liquor store and pick out something special. If you don't know wine from grape juice, just ask the proprietor. He is usually quite knowledgeable about which wine is good and will suit your particular tastes.
* Specialty Foods. Have a light dinner with the kids, but save your appetite for after they go to bed. Then take out the Brie and water crackers, perhaps a little jar caviar, or a couple of shrimp cocktails. How about a couple of rich chocolate truffles for dessert? Whatever you choose, make sure it is extraordinary. These delicacies may cost more, but they'll still be cheaper than what you were going to pay that sitter!
* A good movie. This is why there are videos and DVDs. Rent something sappy and romantic, or a laugh riot to blow off a week's worth of steam. Maybe a good horror flick, to encourage ‘protective' snuggling? Perhaps something a little racier from that back room of the rental store? It is all up to you tonight, and you aren't at the whim of theater offerings or their start times.
* Music. Either after or instead of the movie, pop in your favorite CD, push the coffee table aside, and do a little dirty dancing. There's nothing like a spin around the floor to warm the blood - even when that floor is covered with wall-to-wall carpeting!
* Talk, talk, talk. Have a real conversation! Instead of discussions about the kiddies and school, take this time to chat about grown-up topics. Discuss books, gossip, commiserate about work, or just cuddle up and talk about your old college days. It is amazing how much even long-married spouses can still learn about each other when they get the chance.
* Make out. If you are confident that no little people will invade your space, try necking on the sofa like you were still a couple of teens. Take the time to enjoy the kissing and caressing.

Remember, this is your night - include whatever you want! The important thing is not to give up dating because of time and budget constraints. When you can't get out of the house for romance, simply bring the romance home to you.




Family Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Day typically involves chocolates, roses, and romance. Where are the kids? They get sent to a babysitter or a grandparent while the parents set out for an intimate evening. Though the romantic time may be well-deserved, what if you want to share Valentine's Day with the kids?

* A family twist on a couple's date. Showing love by sharing a favorite meal, a bouquet of fresh flowers, a soothing ambiance, and surprise gifts. With a twist for kid-friendly treats, use these to create a family Valentine's Day.
* Breakfast jump-starts a happy day. While time can be an issue on a school day, cook something new or someone's favorite this morning. Baking molds can transform an ordinary breakfast into a delightful heart-shaped chocolate chip muffin or three-cheese omelet. Add fresh fruit, like strawberries, or a drizzle of chocolate chips to jazz up the plate. Design toast with heart-shaped cookie cutters. Kids can bake their favorite muffins ahead of time.
* Choose a family dining experience. Treat the family at a restaurant with kid fun like crayons and puzzle pages. From local mom-and-pops to big franchises, many restaurants cater to families. Especially if you're planning on going out on Valentine's Day, call ahead for reservations, which would make the evening go smoother.
* Create a fun dinner at home. Make dinner fun by adding kid favorites like veggies and dip, fun-shaped chicken nuggets, and dessert like a heart-shaped cake. Kids enjoy candlelight too, so light your red tapers for a grown-up treat. Decorate the house with red and pink balloons, crepe paper, Valentine's window clings, and confetti hearts for the table.
* What about presents? Use your imagination. Create homemade coupons for free hugs, extra phone time, extra text messages, or a hang-out night at home with their friends. Little ones enjoy stuffed bears, Hot Wheels cars, or carnations. Create a candy kiss path all the way to a wrapped toy for added suspense.
* Remember the cards and decorations. Give them a variety of paper, foam sheets, glitter, glue, crayons, markers, and stickers so they can create Valentine's Day cards for you, siblings, or grandparents. If your kids are not artsy, then involve them in decisions like choosing the meals or hanging balloons.
* Involve everyone. From the planning to the sharing, a family Valentine's Day can create loving memories and strengthen your family. And what a great way to spend Valentine's Day?


Valentine Crafts

Swedish Paper Heart Valentine Craft
Fill this traditional Swedish heart basket with treats for your sweetheart!

(Special Event Page Graphics) WovenHearts.jpg
Admittedly, these woven hearts are a bit tricky to learn.
But, with practice and patience you'll see they aren't so hard after all.
Once you get the hang of  it, you can experiment with felt, craft foam, fabric etc. This project will be easier for kids 10 and up. 

To make a woven Heart Basket, you will need:
Two pieces of paper, each a different color ( craft foam, fabric 
or felt will also work)

First cut two paper rectangles from colored construction paper and round off the ends. The exact dimensions of the rectangles don't matter as long as the two pieces are the the same size. You may want to start with larger pieces while learning.

(Special Event Page Graphics) WovenHeart.jpg
Fold the strips in half and cut 2-3 slits through the folds. 
Do not cut all the way to the edge.

You'll be weaving "through and around", as opposed to the 
"over and under" in traditional weaving.

(Special Event Page Graphics) Woven2Heart.jpg      (Special Event Page Graphics) Woven3Heart.jpg
Begin by weaving strip 1 through slit A, around strip B, through slit C.
Push this row to the back, where the slits end. Continue the weaving with strip B. Weave it through slit 1, around strip 2, through slit 3. 
Until this row is finished. 
Continue until all the rows are done. 

To make an optional handle on your basket cut a strip of matching paper and staple the ends to the front and back of your basket.

(Special Event Page Graphics) Woven4Heart.jpg

Chocolate Kiss Mouse Valentine Craft
Say "Be Mine!" with a sweet chocolate kiss mouse Valentine craft.

(Holidays) ValentineKissTwinMouse.jpg

You'll Need:
Two wrapped chocolate kisses
Construction paper, craft foam, or felt
Wiggle eyes
Very small pom-pom
Glue Dots if possible
Craft glue

Cut a 1-2 inch tall heart from the paper or fun foam..
Place it between the two kisses ( bottom to bottom) and secure them with glue or glue dots. This is the mouse body and the heart makes the ears.

(Holidays) ValentineKiss1Mouse.jpg (Holidays) ValentineKiss2Mouse.jpg
Remove one of the paper labels strips to make room for the face.
Then use your craft glue to attach wiggle eyes, thread whiskers
and a pom-pom nose. The other paper tag is the tail.

(Holidays) ValentineKiss3Mouse.jpg
Try gluing a yarn tail on the end instead, then you can attach a note to your mouse valentine.
Using cardstock paper, stiff felt or craft foam makes it easier to cut small hearts.
Or to really save time purchase a bag of pre-cut hearts.

For little hands, or to cut down on supplies, make the mouse nose with red glitter glue and the eyes with a permanent marker.

How Do You Keep the Romance Alive?

It's the little things. Although we've only had 2 date nights in 7 months, we make a point to sit down and have dinner together almost every night of the week. We ALWAYS kiss each other goodnight and say 'I love you' before leaving and before hanging up the phone. If someone forgets to say it, it feels weird now after 8 years together! -Heather


We take every single opportunity to just snuggle together, have some coffee at home, or cook together. When our son is in bed at night, we try to watch a movie together, before our son cries and one of us go to check on him. At night without him noticing I put a small message in a piece of paper in his laptop, or on the door so he could read it before he goes to work. One day my son and I baked bread at his preschool and we stopped by at daddy's work place to bring him a piece of a warm bread bun with butter. It is the small things of life that we cherished, and we share with each other that makes us feel loved and special. - Aurora


We don't miss a day or phone call without saying "I love you" and always give each other kisses. We enjoy snuggling up together and watching a movie and taking walks near the beach. This will be our 10th Valentine's Day together and we always make sure to plan a romantic evening for the occasion including a very nice dinner out. Not a year has gone by that he hasn't brought roses to me at work and gotten all dressed up, shaven and smelling especially good. He likes to make me happy and that alone does. I like to put together a special gift that says I love you and know you like no one else does. I also annually send him a Candy Gram and sometimes balloons too to his work! - Lisa


We go out at least once a month, without the baby. - Lucila


Humor. We laugh at everything and try to see the light side of a rough day. We try and take moments out for us, even though our friends say we don't do it enough, we try to have alone time. Our favorite thing is breakfast at D'Angelo's. - Kim


We go out to dinner at least once a week, and even though we bring the baby, it still feels like a date. We flirt constantly, and I have fun toying with him when I know we are on our way out somewhere. We often give each other full body massages complete with oils. The excitement is still very much alive. It is amazing what just a look and a light touch will do to ignite the fire. - Jerilyn


We schedule date nights at least once per month, and swap babysitting duties with our friends to make dating affordable. - Mary

Expressing our love through our actions is key for us. We make a point to verbally affirm our love for one another but it's the thoughtful deeds that make my heart swell. When I'm tiered and my nerves are frayed from my teething son crying, nothing is more romantic than my husband taking my son for a walk so I can take a bath or relax on the couch.

We also make a point to spend quality time together after my son goes to bed. We will play board games or have long talks on the couch while eating huge bowls of ice cream. Sometimes we save our dinner until after the baby is asleep so that we can eat without having to bend down and retrieve the Sippy cup for the millionth time. - Amy


We have dinner together when our 13-month-old son goes to bed at 7:00. That way we have a chance to check in about our days. We also have date nights once a month. Plus, we leave each other love notes on post its all over the house! - Julie


We have always kept our romance alive by scheduling a date at least once a week - it doesn't need to be a dinner date - but it can be a date in the afternoon for a walk or something small that just carves out time for the two of us to our "selves" for awhile, not just parents.

We also take time every night to read to each other. Usually a humorous book, something that makes us laugh together - because nothing turns me on more than his laughter.

We also send each other flirtacious - sexy emails throughout the day and make a point to call and touch base and say I love you. - Elaine


We try to plan date nights once a month (although that will often stretch much longer) even if it's just a movie on the couch cuddling together. - John


Date night on First Thursday downtown--dinner and strolling through galleries.

Kissing, holding hands and telling each other, "I love you" every day, even if we're too beat to do more than that!

Laughing together at ourselves and with our two-year old and three-month old

Getting revved up about politics and debating ideas about teaching and education (He's a professor and I'm a teacher.)

Dreaming aloud together about buying a house and international travel plans. - Joy


We take walks together, hand-in-hand every day. This is our chance to talk, to share, to vent, and to reflect. Our philosophies on general topics might not always be in sync, but we value one another and truly are interested in what the other has to say. Honest, open communication benefits a relationship in all the other important areas of a marriage or relationship. - Linda


Romance for us is just being able to unwind when the baby goes to bed and catch up on some TV shows or a good movie. An occasional dinner or movie out really helps too but we're lucky to both be pretty low maintenance when it comes to romance since it's hard to come by when you have a 6 month old! - Katie


First of all, we keep laughing at our crazy life as parents. Secondly, we make special "rendezvous"dates where we meet at our favorite spot for cocktails at sunset. When all else fails, the closet is always a great place to sneak in a kiss! - Jill


We have monthly date nights when we leave the kids with a sitter and spend some quality time together. It is a great opportunity to talk about our future and remember that we were a couple in love long before we were parents. - Rechelle


2013 Holidays



Gift Ideas

Homemade coupon book for 5 free 10-minute foot massages, head massages, shoulder rubs, or whatever is his favorite.

Pamper the men for once at a luxurious Barber Shop. Your guy can get a shave, haircut, facial and a cigar. They have gift certificates.

Purchase 4 catered dinners to be delivered. One each week for a month so your wife gets a break from the cooking. There are great personal chefs that can prepare & drop off a dinner for the whole family.

A gift certificate for a massage/pedicure or facial is always a great way to pamper your Valentine.

Kids & Valentine's

Valentine treasure hunt:
Buy a pkg. of children's valentines or use the leftovers to hide cards around the house with clues to the next card. Include a small gift with the last valentine.

Help your child cut out hearts by folding them in half and cutting them and display all over the house or hang above your dining table with fishing line.

Lunch: Heart Sandwiches:
Take either a large heart- shaped cookie cutter or with a knife shape your bread into a heart.

Dinner: Pizza
Purchase a heart shaped pizza for dinner on Valentine's Day from Valentinos Pizza

Treats: Heart Shaped Cupcakes:
Put a marble or small ball of foil between the muffin liner and pan in each cup to make the heart shape. Pour batter and bake as usual, being careful not to fill the cups too full.

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