Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Gifts and Sprucing:10 Ideas Under $10

Valentine's day is coming! Valentine's day is coming!
Valentine's Day 2012 Calendar
Image Credit: danielmoyle on flikr
The question is, what are YOU going to do about it?! Unless you have made some very specific pact with your love to skip out on the holiday altogether, you can expect that your significant other will feel a little disappointed if you don't take the time to do at least a little something extra for them on this day. Maybe it is stupid and terrible and unjust that the holiday encourages this unnatural and scripted show of love. And yes, we most definitely should make a point of offering romantic gestures to our significant others "just because" throughout the year. . .

Though, the way I've always seen it - there's no harm in doing something extra on a day like Valentine's day. And if you get creative, you can delight your sweetheart without having to drain your pockets in the process.

Here are ten ideas that you can use to spice up this Valentine's day - or any day! - for your love. (Little to no moolah required.)

1. Love Note Flash Cards - Cut up card stock into little squares. Hole punch and secure with a metal ring or ribbon. On the front and back of each square, write a reason you love your significant other. Things they do that you like, compliments on looks and character, the way they make you feel, the quirky things they do that make you happy they are yours. The every day things they contribute to your life. List everything you can think of. You'll find that once you start, the list only grows and grows and grows - as does your appreciation and love for your better half. I did this for Squire for our first Valentine's day together, and he absolutely loved it. He still keeps it in his dresser and reads it from time to time. Cost? About $2. Time required: 1-3 hours (depending on how many things you will be writing down.)
My first Valentine's gift to Squire, back when we were just dating. *Sigh*
2. Heart-Shaped Breakfast in Bed - Start the day the heart shaped way! Cut English muffins into hearts. Serve as a sandwich with heart shaped sausages and heart-shaped eggs (cooked on a pan while inside a metal cookie cutter.) Want to go even simpler? Heart-shaped pancakes are always simple, cheap, and easy to whip up. Might I recommend this recipe for AMAZING homemade syrup? :) Just make sure whatever lovely heart-shaped entree you decide to serve, that you deliver it to your love while he/she is still in bed. Cost: No more than $10, with leftovers to spare.

3. Hidden Treasure - Buy a bag of your love's favorite candy. Preferably they are individually wrapped. If not, wrap each candy in a small snippet of fabric, paper, or cellophane. To each piece of candy, attach a piece of a love letter that you wrote and cut up into puzzle pieces! (You can also buy a puzzle from the dollar store and write your love note on the back of those pieces if you prefer to save yourself the hassle and time required to cut out a puzzle yourself.) Hide the treats with their attached puzzle pieces all over the house where your love will find them throughout the day. Cost: Less than $10 (unless you upgrade to See's. . . Can't say I'd blame ya if you did!)

4. Surprise! I Love You Notes - Hide notes with innuendos in unsuspecting places - near their toothbrush, inside their lingerie drawer, inside the car mirror, near the milk in the fridge. If your love has to leave for work or school, send some love with them by writing a little note on their lunch napkin. Suggestive texts are always a plus on Valentine's day too. ;) ;) ;)

5. A Clean Cottage - Few things create a better atmosphere for romance like a clean house does. A day like this is always best enjoyed when the house is clean. If you really want to stoke the flames of romance, make sure the dishes are done, the tubs are scrubbed, and the counters and mirrors are sparkling clean the day before. You and your love are sure to feel like this lady if you do:

331/365 - CLEAN HOUSE!
Image Credit: SarahJeanPhoto on flikr

6. Your Love Story in Print - Write and/or draw out your love story fairy tale style. Ideas of things to include: a bit on each of you were before you met, the interactions you had leading up to your romance, your relationship milestones and a few intimate moments, and of course, a cheery optimistic ending looking forward to your future together! If you draw well, you could include illustrations. Squire did this for me last year. It was so simple - just done on white copy paper folded in half and stapled into a book. It was written in pencil. I absolutely love it. Cost: $1. Time: Several hours - several days of preparation, depending on how elaborate you make it.

7. A Love Trophy - Give your significant other a plaque or trophy featuring something they do that you think is really great. You can make/print/construct one yourself with things you find around the house, or you can even get one made at a professional trophy shop. I still chuckle every time I look at the award Squire gifted me shortly before we were married for, "Outstanding Spooning". Haha. A thoughtful lovey gag gift. Cost: under $10.

Haha! My very official "Outstanding Spooning" plaque.
8. Your love tunes - Make a playlist with songs that are special to you and your significant other. Have it playing throughout the day. Dance to the songs together in your living room. You know, Josh Turner style:

9. Obviously . . . - This next one is simple, so simple. Look good! Look extra special! Curl your hair and put on some mascara, blush and pink tinted flavored (?!) kissable lip stuff. Wear a red dress. Wear shoes that aren't sensible. Guys, shave, smell good and happily choose to wear an outfit we made the point to buy you. Cost: No extra cost necessary, just some extra effort.

10. Dip and Snack - Make and eat chocolate covered strawberries together. Delicious, romantic, and much cheaper and more fun than buying them pre-dipped. We did that a couple years ago together and loved it. You can check out our old blog post for some tips and tricks on the dipping! Cost: $5-$10 depending on the cost of strawberries and chocolate in your area.
Delicious home-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries. An activity and dessert!
So there you have it - 10 ideas to make your Valentine's special day better - 
 all below $10, and many of them free. I hope this list was helpful to you all! 

Good luck with your Valentine's Day preparations! :)

What creative gifts or ideas are you planning on implementing for Valentine's Day this year?

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