Make your Valentine feel like YOUR Valentine!
Not Just Any Gift!
Let’s face it women! We expect a lot from the one we love on that special day, but rarely do we put much thought into how we can make that day special for him. Valentine’s Day is not like any other holiday, where a simple gift would suffice. It’s the type of day where you get to express how much you love someone in a variety of ways: words of affirmation, gifts, service, quality time, helping someone out with something. Therefore, the last thing you want to do is buy a cheesy, and mostly meaningless gift. Rather, to make the day special, you want to do things that have meaning to you and your relationship.
I remember the first Valentine’s Day I spent with my husband (boyfriend at the time). I really wanted to make it a special one. So, while I had no idea what he was planning, I decided to fill his entire day with little and big surprises. And, to my success, he absolutely loved it! So, I want to share some of these ideas with you, followed by some tips.
Surprise him with Redeemable Coupons or Tokens
1. It’s easy to make coupons out of cardstock and laminate them. For Valentine’s Day, you can make heart-shaped coupons he can redeem for a goody or a service. This makes it fun and exciting for him, and gives him something to look forward to after Valentine’s Day too, assuming he won’t redeem them all on the same day.
I found some wooden tokens at a craft fair awhile ago, and chose my favorite ones to give him. I cut out heart-shapes from cardstock and painted them with Mod Podge to give them some texture. Then, I used some adhesive spray to attach the wooden tokens. I then placed them throughout his house and car early in the morning so that he would find them throughout the day.
Ideas for Coupons or Tokens: Good for one hug, Good for one baked good, Good for one walk with me, Good for a massage, Good for one pep talk, Good for one home-cooked meal. And of course, you can make up your own too, depending on the nature of your relationship, and how intimate you want to get.
Ideas on Where to Hide the Tokens: On the dashboard of his car, on his bathroom mirror, on the dining room table, (or breakfast table), on his favorite chair in the living room, in his coat pocket, on his tie clip, on his pillow. If you’re able to place a couple at his office: on his office door, on his keyboard or on the monitor itself.
Surprise him with a Special Valentine’s Day Lunchbox
1. I was lucky to know somebody this year who was making, selling, and delivering lunchboxes for Valentine’s who had to work that day. You can visit her Lunchbox blog by following the link at the end of this section. The pictures to the right have been taken from her blog.
But with some thought, a little extra time, and creativity, a lunchbox can be made. Whatever you do, make sure he’s surprised. If you want it delivered to his work hot and ready to eat, you can have a friend, co-worker of his, or yourself deliver it. If you don’t mind whether it’s hot, you can put it in the refrigerator at his office, or on the passenger seat of his car so he sees it when driving to work.
What to Include in a Lunchbox: This is where you really get to be creative.
- Find a box that works, and decorate the outside. Some craft stores sell cardboard boxes with fold down lids that will work. A small-medium sized gift box will work, (you can buy these, or get them from retailers such as Nordstrom, when you make a purchase). You can even use a shoe box. You can use ribbon, tool, fabric, or if it’s already the way you like it, then don’t decorate it at all. To personalize the box, put a label on the outside that has his name on it, and a little Valentine message.
- Decide on a menu. The lunchboxes my friend made included: Golden Gate Grilled Cheese Sandwich, choice of Tomato Bisque Soup or Spring Salad, a cake pop for dessert, and a single serving bottle of Martinelli’s Apple Cider.
- Add a Special Valentine-Theme. My friend made Valentine labels for the Marinelli’s Cider, which included his name. She ordered Valentine straws (white with little red hearts) to drink it. She also had red napkins and plasticware. If you really want to make this feel like a gourmet meal, you can wrap silverware into a red cloth napkin, and tie it with ribbon. Also, be sure to create a menu, and place it in the box. You can either attach it to the inside lid, or roll it up and tie with ribbon so it looks like a scroll. Place the scrolled menu on top of the food, tie it in with the napkin, or attach it to the outside lid of the box.
- The Final Touch. I gave my friend a little sheet of paper with a personal Valentine message and a box of Hershey’s kisses to add to the lunchbox. You can also write a little Valentine message on his napkin, which will surprise him when he opens it.
To visit Deborah's Valentine's Day Lunchbox blog, click on the following link: http://aladyandherenglishman.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentines-day-boxes-revealed.html
Stay in and Cook
1. Rather than do what everyone else is doing on Valentine’s Day, and having to deal with the large and noisy crowds, and slow service because of how busy every decent place is, agree to cook a meal and stay in. Of course, this won’t be a surprise because you’ll have to discuss this so as to be sure he’s not making any reservations. But, you don’t have to tell him what you plan to cook.
Cook him his favorite meal: If you’ve been with him long enough, you’ll know what that is. If you don’t know, meat is a great place to start. For an appetizer, I made shrimp cocktail with a butter garlic dipping sauce. I cooked some juicy filet mignon for both of us, and I made sure they were cooked exactly how he likes them. For the side, I made mashed potatoes, how he likes them, and a steamed vegetable. This was a quick and easy meal that he loves.
Pay Attention to Small Details: If he loves coming home and eating right away, then make sure everything is done by the time he arrives. If he enjoys helping in the kitchen and munching while cooking, let him help and munch. If he likes watching you cook, then let him do that. Remember that this is his treat from you. So let him have it his way.
Get Dressed up: I don’t know about your valentine, but mine appreciates a nice dress and heels. I actually put on a red cocktail dress and black heels before I started cooking. When he walked into his kitchen and saw me cooking in a dress and heels, he was surprised and happy. Again, regardless how ridiculous and impractical it may be, the key is to let him know how much you love him.
Photo books and Movies
I originally borrowed this idea from my sister-in-law, who once made a photo book for my brother and gave it to him for Christmas. It’s easy to take some of your favorite photos and put them together in a photo book. I wanted to get a little more creative, however, and make a storybook. It was so much fun watching him read through the story and look at all the pictures. He read the entire story aloud to me, over dinner, and was smiling, and laughing with joy at all our memories together.
- Choose the Photos. I put the photos in order according to all of the adventures we had been on since we first started dating. This takes some time, and you want to make sure your photos have a high enough resolution to print. There were a few photos I used as watermarks on the page, with no other photos or words. I will explain why in a minute.
- Write your Story. Because I chose a storybook format, I was able to fill in many of the pages writing and dialogue. I actually wrote a story, the true story of how we found each other and all of the amazing adventures and fun we have had together. Note that, if you do a story, you will want to give it a title, and create a book jacket. You can even use the book jacket to write about the author (you), or add some fun/fictional book reviews.
- Order the book. A couple of things to note when choosing a company to order the book from, the only real good company is Adoramapix. The link to their site is: http://www.adoramapix.com/app/home They may be more pricey, but they do have good deals and coupons, especially around certain holidays like Valentine’s. Other companies such as Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Walgreens just don’t have the quality of paper, and binding that you want for a lasting photo book.
- Details and Finishing Touches. Once the book arrives in the mail, you can add some final touches. When I wrote the story, I left some pages blank, and I also used some photos as a watermark on some of the pages. For the blank pages, I printed that part of the story on textured cardstock and attached it to the page using grommets. For the watermarked pages, I printed that part of the story on velom paper and attached it to the pages with grommets. The velom paper allows him to read the story with the picture in the background. You certainly don’t have to do this, but does add extra details to the book that make it fun to read. One thing to note is that when you use grommets, you want to make sure you position them where they won’t punch through any picture on the other side of the page.
- The Final Addition. I also made a video version of the story. I transferred the video to a DVD, and made a DVD sleeve on the inside back cover of the book to hold it.