Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Survival Guide

I know that this time of the year is, for some, riddled with anxiety.

-->"What gift do I get?"
-->"Do I give a gift?"
-->"I can't believe I'm fucking alone on Valentine's day!!"

So, in the spirit of which this blog was spawned (helping/helpfulness, etc) I'd like to offer some advice for all of my one reader. {I pretend that there's more of you or could be one day...}

My biggest piece of advice is this: YOU DON'T HAVE TO SPEND A LOT TO SAY THAT YOU CARE.

I know that's so cliche, but seriously; sometimes the smallest gestures can be the most profound.

With the economy in recession, I'd like to propose that doing something small might even relieve some pressure off your partner. Hey, they're worried about their finances, too! All of the ideas I'm going to propose could potentially cost under $30 & of course more depending on how extravengent you wanna' get! I'd like to think that some of these are so cheap, you can even mix 'n' match for added pizaz!

Unfortunately, I'm a girl so the majority of my advice will be geared towards those who play the more masculine roles in the relationship, but hopefully any lady/feminine readers will find useful tips in here, too!

My second, but equally important, piece of advice: MAKE IT MEMORABLE, MAKE IT UNIQUE.
In other words, try not to bore them to death with run-of-the-mill gifts.

Let's get started, shall we?

A. "Say it with flowers..."
No matter what anyone tells you, flowers are almost always an ace in the hole. I find it rare that any girl would get upset because her significant whatever bought her flowers. In order to follow rule 2, you're going to have to think outside of the box. Unless she's just a gigantic rose fan, NO ROSES!!!

Here's what you do:
you go into your local grocery store & pick a bundle of flowers that isn't pre-arranged. Any bundle! Just try to make sure they're not wilting or bruised & go for something that gets your attention. These bundles usually range between $4 & $12 for a few stems.
Flowers that are commonly at most grocery stores & are sure to get her attention/win her heart:

Orchids-->my personal favorite. Nothing tells a woman how exquisite she is more than comparing her to an orchid.

Tiger lillies: Women LOVE these. No idea why, not my favorite but certainly a popular & beautiful choice.

Hydrangea: One bundle of these goes a looong way! They are beautiful, voluptous bundles & come in a variety of colors. I've never heard someone say they're a favorite, but I can't imagine anyone objecting!

Sunflowers: they're so perky & fun to look at! A bundle of sunflowers says "You make me happy."

If you wanna' jazz up your bouquet, take them out of their celophane wrapping & replace it with a tissue paper complementary to the color of your flowers. As long as you take them out of the celophane, you're good to go, really.

For ideas based on meaning, or to look at flowers to see what your partner might like, check out:

& if your partner has a green thumb, which some do, you can try buying them a live plant as a symbol of your growing together, your continuing relationship, your growing love. Cheese-tastic, yes? :)

B. "The fastest way to the ♥ is through the stomach."
as in cook for them!
My favorite romantic recipe book is Make Out: 60 recipes for gettin' it on, by Tonia George. & you can purchase it at a steal!

Some of my favorite little recipes:

1. Chocolate covered strawberries
-->you need:
baker's bark (white, or regular, or both if you're feeling adventerous)<--I prefer Ambrosia brand wax paper micro-wave safe bowls I promise, this will be easy! first, put two or three chunks of the bark into a bowl, set it in the microwave for 30 seconds wash your strawberries lay out wax paper Once your chocolate has melted, you'll dip the strawberries in one at a time & then set them on the wax paper to cool. See? Easy Schpeezy! If you wanna get fancy, do your strawberries in either the white or regular chocolate bark & once they've cooled, use the opposite color bark to accent them. (ie Regular chocolate strawberries with white chocolate decoration). The easiest way to do this is to dip a spoon into the opposite color bark & allow the melted bark to drizzle over your strawberries. It'll make neat little zig-zag/ criss-cross patterns if you do it right. Some people like to add whipped cream to their strawberries once they're finished. I think it's good, but unneccessary. Use your descretion! Total cost: about $12-15 <--maybe even less since I'm guesstimating! 2. 21 & UP ONLY! Strawberry shots! Yuuum! You need: strawberries a bottle of Parrot Bay & whipped cream First, carve little wholes into the top of your strawberries. Then, fill with parrot bay! Top with whipped cream Tada! 3. Cupcakes! -->Buy a box of your favorite cake mix, your favorite icing (I usually just go with white because I can make it any color I want by adding food coloring! Like Blue!) & cute cup cake cups!
Follow the instructions & trust me, everyone loves cupcakes!
Add maraschino cherries on top for added sweetness!

4. Dinner: Go Italian!
Why? Because it's easy, cheap, & hard to screw up!
I suggest spaghetti or lasagna.
Google a recipe, pick your favorite that fits your budget, & make it happen!

C. "Words, Words, Words"
This actually works & I think it's the sweetest. If you're low on funds, why not just write a love letter? Just sit down & take the time to say everything you forget to say or have been to shy to say. If you want to be extra adorable, put it in a bottle, like an empty wine bottle, & just make sure they'll be able to get it out. :)

If you're afraid you don't have the right words, you can always borrow. My favorites are Shakespeare & Pablo Neruda->just make sure to let them know you didn't write it yourself!

D. "If music is the food of love..."
Make a mixed cd for them.
Just pick 9-13 of your favorite love songs.
after you've burned the cd, pick your favorite line from each song, write it down. Dedicate those lines to them.

E. "Make it a blockbuster night"
Rent a Movie!!!
My recommendations:

Ten Things I Hate About You
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
Sixteen Candles
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Shakespeare In Love
Lucky # Sleven
The Notebook

& really, it can be any movie! Just try to pick something both of you will like! It can even be a historical documentary; the point is you're together. No joke, I once watched the national spelling bee championship on ESPN with a boyfriend. Neither of us were particularly interested, but for some reason both thought the other was watching it, & we actually had fun.

F. "I made this for you"
Print off your favorite picture of the two of you.
You can write a sweet note on the back with a sharpie,
you can paste it onto a canvas or piece of cardstock & make a collage with magazine cut outs
whatever you want to do, I'm like 80% sure they'll love it.

G. "7 minutes in Heaven."
Take turns giving eachother massages! It's fun, it feels good, it's amazing.

You can buy edible massage oils from Victoria's Secret OR my favorite are the soy-bean oil candles available at cindie's-->even when the candle is lit, you can pour the wax onto your partner's body without burning them! AND the wax becomes massage oil once you rub it!

Not to toot my own horn, but I think some of these ideas can still translate over if you're single this season.
For example, you can invite friends over to have dinner, drinks, and watch movies & still have a rockin' valentine's day!

& this is my v-day advice for 2010. you don't have to follow it!
P.S. --> Big gestures are STILL fun & if you have the funding, by all means, go for it! I'm just saying, money can't buy me love. haha. But really, small gestures, with the right amounts of sincerity behind them, can mean just as much or more than the big ones!

Now go out & be fruitful, you crazy kids!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!

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