2) 1) You do NOT need to spend $60 – $150 on red roses. $20 of red carnations dispersed around your home is very romantic. I usually put the carnations and baby’s breath in fluted glasses (kind of like mini vases) and I can get about a dozen full glasses all around the room.
2) You also do NOT need to have chocolate for dessert (how many times are we going to have chocolate covered strawberries?) This year, we’re making strawberry ice cream sandwiches with oatmeal cookies, coated with pistachios – very sexy!! (check out my non-chocolate dessert from about 3 years ago Individual Heart-Shaped Ice Cream Cake)
3) COOK for your Valentine! Nothing’s sexier than someone cooking you a meal from the heart (making reservations on Feb. 14th can get very expensive.) Ditch the everyday meal and go fo something different, maybe some new spices or exotic proteins like elk or bison. Sometimes, an apron covering just a nude body may be all you need to perk up an evening. Oh!
4) Do NOT give someone you’re dating a black velvet box on Valentine’s Day, unless your planning to propose with an engagement/promise ring (I gave a woman I loved a black velvet box and she was so disappointed to find a pair of earrings inside.)
5) Here’s one of my simple table-top tricks: cut up heart shapes from shades of red and pink construction paper and sprinkle your table with them. Then set your table with plates, cutlery, and glasses on top of all those hearts for a festive look.
6) Cookies (either home-made or store-bought) look more elegant on a little cake stand rather than a plate. It makes a great centerpiece too.
7) For an inexpensive cocktail, use your blender – puree some frozen fruit (such as strawberries or raspberries) and place about 2 tablespoons in a champagne glass. Add Prosecco (Italian Sparkling wine) and you have yourself a beautiful and delicious cocktail. A good Prosecco runs between 8-12 dollars for a bottle. A good Champagne can run you from $30 and up…you do the math.
8 ) Strawberry Shortcake is quick an easy and you CAN use store bought items in ANY grocery store. All you need do is slice some pound cake, place strawberries on top, then whip cream, another slice of pound cake, strawberries, then whip cream again. (If you buy fresh strawberries, rinse them, pat them dry, place in a glass bowl with a 1/2 cup of sugar, refridgerate for at least 3 hours – this will make it’s own juice/syrup)
9) If you’re sharing Valentine’s Day with children, bake cookies or prepare dinner with them. Let them take part in the little “touches” you do. Have them come up with some gift ideas, make them part of the celebration (children should witness the romantic side of your relationship – how else are they going to learn how to be “romantic?”) Our son says all the time, “I can’t wait to travel and enjoy the oceanside with my girl…holding hands and kissing while watching the sunset in her eyes…I can’t wait to be in love.” Studies show (here I go…) that children learn how to interact within a relationship based upon their parents relationship. If you’re romantic, caring, selfless, patient, and loving, your children will probably be the same way when they get into their relationships. If you’re nasty, cruel, snippy, and evil…well, you get the picture. It’s important to show them that it’s about romance, an appreciation, a consideration of the one you are in love with, it’s not about a sex thing.
OR – order a few pizzas and lock those kids in their room (tell them to invite a friend or two – their parents would love you for that, especially on Valentine’s Day), give them their iPods, video games, and cellphones and trust me, they will not come out.
10) If you’re romantic throughout the year, then Valentine’s Day will not be an “expectation” to be romantic. If you give your special someone your undivided attention every time you see them, then there will NOT be a specific date where you must “perform” an act of love. A foot rub, massage, warm bathtub, or even an early nap together is all you need on Valentine’s Day, if you’re romantic throughout the year. Flowers, reservations, chocolates, diamonds – who needs them on February 14th (prices are tripled) when you give/receive these things (and so much more) throughout the year?