Valentine’s Day Ideas for the Clueless and on a Budget

Love is in the details.

I’d like to think that saying “I love you” every once in a while is the end-all, be-all of love, but it isn’t.  The more I think about it and experience it, the more I am convinced that love is in the little things.

Valentine’s day is a silly holiday.  It is supposed to be the one day a year when we go out of our way to show our loved one that we care, but this is something we should be doing every day.  Still, I do recognize that just like in an abstract sense New Year’s gives us a chance to start over, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to be extra sweet to the person who makes your life extra colorful.

I’ve talked to some of the most soulfully romantic people I know and have asked them about thoughtful ways to make the one we are with feel special without breaking the bank and as it turns out, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that don’t require a lot of cash.  All you need is a little imagination and some creativity.

Niurka Maldonado of NY based Luli Meets Tulle, and Renee Jones of Beautiful Purpose Events and Food So Good Mall shared their wisdom so that those of us who are clueless and on a budget can make the day extra special.

Write a love letter. 
If you need inspiration, find some poetry or maybe songs to take inspiration from. Then, make it extra cool and hide it in a place where your loved one is sure to find it during the day. Hugh once left a love note in my pack of cigarettes. It was a fabulous happy hour surprise 😀

Be original.
Instead of indulging in pricey designer chocolates, seek out hard-to-find candies from your beloved’s childhood. Remember Wonka Exceptionals, Candy Cigarettes, Taffy, and Chiclets?  While they may not be in wide circulation in the stores, there are plenty of online retailers that offer these treats for cheap. Niurka recommends Hometown Favorites.

Roses are red.
At this time of year, roses become increasingly expensive. If you are able to do so, skip the flower shop and buy flowers from a local merchant and make your own bouquet. Or forgo flowers altogether, get a helium tank and fill your space with balloons or candles.

Start the day right.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Make your loved one a nutritious healthy breakfast but make it extra special.  Wake up a few minutes earlier and add fresh fruit to their cereal or make those pancakes they like so much.

Change the scenery.
Pack a picnic with some yummy treats and a bottle of your favorite wine, and take a mini roadtrip to an out-of-season attraction such as a botanical garden, the beach, or an abandoned amusement park.

Have a date at home.
Make your beloved’s favorite dinner and serve it in a perfectly set table. Aside from scented candles, some dainty glass vases will look good when filled with colored chocolate and candies or colored stones and gravels. Dress up. Play some music. Take this time to connect and have a conversation about you guys and not just what happened at work.

If you wanna take it a step further, serenade your beloved for an hour.  Contact the music teacher from your local elementary school or highschool, and see about hiring a young local talent perhaps a solo violinist if you love the classics, a saxophonist if you’re into jazz, or a singer.

Recreate your first date.
Sometimes we forget how we got to where we are.  Take the time to remember.  If possible, go back to the place where it all started and fall in love all over again.  If it isn’t possible, download a song that was playing or if you met in Tokyo, maybe some sushi is in order.

The fact is that the possibilities are endless.  Like I said, love is in the details.

But whatever you do, remember to say “I love you”. 

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