Monday, February 8, 2016

Be a romance Ninja!

Valentine's Day is coming this next weekend and if you are like me you find yourself with little money to spend lavishly on a gift for your significant other.  So how do you bring the romance without the funds? 

I am telling you that you can be a romance ninja using little or NO $$$... it just takes bit of time.
(Sorry not a lot of pictures just ideas!)

No money - no problem!

Ladies, don't let the man be responsible for all the romance,  you can just take a few minutes with NO MONEY and let him or her know that you care.

Idea 1 - does your other half go into an office?  If so pack a lunch for Valentine's Day and write a sweet note or just an I LOVE YOU on a post-it and tuck it inside a lunch bag.  Trust me when he/she finds the note it will bring a big smile to their face! 

Idea 2 - Put on some lipstick then kiss the mirror...yes you read right... KISS THE MIRROR!   When your better half  comes into the bathroom and finds the kiss on the mirror a smile will appear.  You can even draw a heart and or write a message in lipstick right on the bathroom mirror.  Heck you could even blot your lipstick on a piece of paper and tuck it in the lunch! 

Idea 3 - Steam up your bathroom I mean get the steam really going.  Now that the mirror is all foggy write a message or draw a heart with your initials in it then open the door or window and let the steam go away.  When your better half gets in the shower and gets the bathroom steamy again your message will miraculously appear! 

Idea 4 - Make a tissue flower and spray it with you perfume and leave it in his/her vehicle to find.  You can also take a moment to write another note or blot your lipstick on a post-it or other paper and leave it in the car. 
I once 'broke into' (okay I had keys) my husbands car when he was at work and left him rose petals and a note on Valentine's Day.  NOTE - rose petals are crazy expensive just buy a rose and break it apart. 

Idea 5 - I saw this on Pintrest - take post it notes and stick them to something in the shape of a heart.  Then write a sweet message on each one.  I've taken post-it notes and made a scavenger hunt for my husband on Valentine's Day I started in the bathroom and left a clue that led to the kitchen, where I pre-made coffee which led to another note then another until it led to his car where I left a home-made card.  He loved it. 

Have some money that you can spend on Valentine's Day?  Here are some ideas to be the romance ninja that may cost a few bucks. 

Idea 1 - Buy fresh flowers - NOT ROSES - I mean they get pretty expensive this time of the year due to the demand.  Why not try Peonies, Cabbage Roses, Carnations, Lilies or my all time favorite - Tulips!  Guys like getting flowers too.  I've surprised my husband several times with flowers at work.  I just buy them at the store go home and get an already on hand vase then arrange the flowers myself.  I take them to his office and drop them off for him at the security desk.    Don't forget a card.  He'll never know you didn't have them delivered and trust me he will LOVE the attention he'll get!!!!

Idea 2 - A card.  I listed this in the cost a bit section because cards are CRAZY expensive. But a card or even a hand-made card is very thoughtful and appreciated. 

Idea 3 - You set up the dinner date.  You make the reservation's at HIS/HER favorite place (even if it is a sports bar) YOU take the time to make the plans and 'kidnap' him/her for the day or night. Trust me on this... LOVE/ 

Idea 4 - A sexy RED nighty.  Let's face it men like women in red lingerie - don't know why but they do.  Drop flower petals on your bed, you can even spell out I LOVE YOU or make a heart... light candles - lots of candles.. So go buy that sexy nighty and let the good times roll. 

Idea 5 - A romantic dinner at home.  What is your better halves favorite food?  Cook it or order then set the table with your good china and candles.  This is one of my go-to's for romance so let me tell you how I do it. 

Setting a romantic dinner. 
We have a fireplace and on Valentine's Day I cook my husbands favorite, steak and baked potato with glazed carrots and rolls.  I do an appetizer of fruit usually pears or pineapple with melted chocolate.  I also have wine. Then there is desert, usually chocolate covered strawberries or strawberry shortcake. I set a table by our fireplace for that extra added romance. 

Here's some ideas on how to do this:

Set the scene:  Start the fire - sorry obvious ;-)
Choose the music - normally I'd select Metallica or something but you want this to be romantic and the music should be the background - so not too loud... I always play classical music, Vivaldi or Mozart.
Candles - I use a lot of candles.  I just buy different size white one from Walmart.  I like the white non-scented for this so the candles don't compete with the food smells.  I put candles everywhere - on the table, mantle, shelves, hearth and even on the floor (in a jar or something protective).  This is what you will use for your light to eat along with the fire if you have a fireplace. 
Remember to vary the heights of your candles.  I've used mirrors on the table as well as glass dollar store vase with red rocks and a rose dropped in.

Set the table:  I use a card table but you can use any kind of table you want OR you can make it a picnic and spread a blanket out in front of the fire.  I dress the table in my finest linens and cover the card table chairs with fabric as well - anything to make it not look like a regular card table and chairs!  I've even tied a ribbon around the chairs and one around the table with a big bow. 
Are you in a warm climate this time of the year?  Could you do this outside with lots of candles?  My husband proposed to me at dinner on a beach at Valentine's Day.. the table was set up on the beach surrounded by candles in a heart shape.  VERY romantic! 

I use my best china and glasses

I get fresh flowers for a centerpiece.

The food:  Make dinner - or order it and go pick it up.. now WAIT!  Think about the dinner - don't forget the appetizer, possibly cheese and crackers?  or fruit.  Don't forget the desert.  Valentine's day is a day to indulge a bit so think about your desert - chocolate cake or chocolate covered strawberries are always a hit but whatever is your or his favorite! 

Don't forget the wine!  Don't like wine??? how about a cocktail?  Gin and tonic or instead of tonic water a flavored water or sparkling soda like lemon or blood orange?  Even beer can be used here if served in the right glass.  My husband prefers beer with his steak while I like wine with mine so he gets a frosted beer glass and I get a wine glass. 

The Attire:  Even if you stay home, dress up.  Trust me... dress up.  Even if you are surprising him/her when he/she gets home from work... dress up.  You better half will appreciate it.  Put on perfume, do your make-up and fix your hair.. trust me on this. 

Finally enjoy your time with each other.  Talk, laugh and remember what brought you together in the first place. 

Now this is all well and good but how do you do this with kiddos?!  RIGHT...
I feed my kids prior then bribe them with a movie and popcorn and hope and pray they stay in their rooms for 10 minutes!  But even if they don't your better half will really appreciate the thought, time and effort you put into the night.  I can't tell you how many times I cooked up a romantic dinner to only have the kids join us (on our laps) within 10 minutes and eat half our food!  But hey this is all a part of the journey and you can laugh about it later.  Trust me you will miss that when your children are teenagers and do the eye roll when you ask them to stay in their rooms while you and Dad have a romantic dinner.....

When my kiddos were smaller I would do all of this cooking and setting the scene while my husband was giving the baths and putting the kids to bed.  So we wouldn't eat until 9 or so but hey we had time to ourselves and when the kiddo's are little that is important too!  So make time for you two!! 

Also remember Valentine's Day is just a day so PLEASE don't make this the only day you are a romance ninja.  Also you don't have to celebrate ON Valentine's day how about the Friday before or after?  The idea here is to remember to bring the romance back - BE THAT NINJA! 

I hope I've given you some ideas to try not only for Valentine's Day but for any day of the year to be the romance ninja!

If you have any questions please email me I'd be happy to help.  Not that I'm an expert but I've been happily married for 26 years now and I am a romance ninja! 

Have a great week! 
I'll be back next week with more.  Until then, stay safe!

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