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“What?! Valentine’s Day is this week?! I haven’t done anything!”

Unfortunately, I am no planner like my wonderful sisters! Holidays always seem to sneak up on me, leaving me scrambling last minute. (Is it fair that my boyfriend is a hopeless romantic and way better at all this than me?) But Valentine’s Day does not always mean Hawaiian get-aways and diamonds.

Lucky for me (and you!) romance is all about the thought! And who cares if you thought about it two weeks ago or the day-of? The important thing is you’re thinking about it now, and there’s still time to make this special day special for the one you love. And the best part? You can do it without breaking the bank. Or if you did pull out all the stops for Valentine’s Day, use these ideas to complete your night! All of the ideas below are F-R-E-E (that spells ‘free’), but can show how much you care.

Fun fact: Almost all of these can be adapted for little ones or for your “Gal-entine” best friend!

Make Them Breakfast with Hearts

This is one of my favorite things to do for everyone I love! It’s so easy, because you’re using things you already have (*cough cough* PANCAKES). But it also adds a sweet twist to the typical breakfast-in-bed, and makes your loved one feel special. Go for heart-shaped pancakes, heart-shaped French toast, or even make hearts in their oatmeal with strawberries! Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with food.
Fun twist: Instead of hearts, turn all the food pink!

Write a Secret Love Note

They say that pictures are worth a thousand words, but my love language is definitely Words of Affirmation. We rarely take time to say the things that we feel for our loved ones. My mom used to make each of us a Valentine that we would read when we got home from school about why she loved us. It meant so much to me!

Make it fun by hiding it in their bag or their car! Or for your significant other, write a note on the mirror in lipstick so they find it when they get up for work.

Make a Paper Bouquet

Flowers. Yeah those get pricey real fast! But paper bouquets are a free and even more thoughtful alternative. Just write things that you love about your loved one on strips of rose and roll them up! You can use whatever is on hand for stems (pipe cleaners, thin popsicle sticks, or even real sticks from outside). For a romantic twist, spray the flowers lightly with your perfume/cologne and leave them somewhere they will be sure find them.
Click here for the tutorial!

Scavenger Hunt

This is definitely one of my favorites. I love writing the clues and also setting it up! I used to do scavenger hunts for my family members all over the house, and now it’s even more fun with a romantic twist! You can decide what treasure is at the end, whether it’s a gift or YOU! (Because as Frozone’s wife rightly stated, “you’re the greatest good they are ever gonna get!”)

Let Your Creative Juices Flow

If you’re into poetry, I think you’re pretty cool. But your significant other will also think so! Write a poem, or a song, or compile a picture collage to tell them why you love them. Let your creative juices flow. There is nothing sweeter than something you made yourself!

For the techies: Make a slideshow of pictures, words, and songs all combined to show them why you care!

Create a Time Capsule or a Bucket List

Nothing says love better than “Future”. Make something that you will open together in the future that will remind you of where you are together in this moment in time. It’s a good time to go through photos and items that mean so much to you right now. Be sure to pick out a great place to bury it or hide it, and also a time to open it!

Or, make a list of things you haven’t done together yet! It can be exciting like “Skydiving” or something simple, such as “Go to the French bakery down the street”. Anything that you can think of can go on the list! Hang it somewhere where you will see it often, and have fun crossing off the ideas together!

Dance

Music seems to bring back all the feels. My boyfriend and I are taking a dance class together, and it has been so fun! We just learned the foxtrot, and although it took some practice, we got it down! For your in-home Valentine’s Day, move the furniture and look up some tutorials to try! Or put together a playlist of songs that are meaningful to you and go somewhere romantic to slow dance alone. Tops of parking garages actually give you a lot of space to dance, and then you can look over the city lights together.

For your Gal-entines, have a fun dance party with all of your favorite you-go-girl songs!

Look Super Hot

I know that he thinks you’re beautiful without any makeup, and I know you like his sweatpants and baseball cap. But for one night, it can be a gift to say, “You’re worth the effort” to curl your hair or wear the tie. Bust out that hot dress you never wear, or the heels that pinch your feet. Come on, he’ll love it.

Coupons

Coupons are like free gift-cards! Some pretty common ones are coupon books for future back rubs and massages, but they can be for anything! A future date, a trip, or an activity that you will do together. My favorites are the coupons for meals (go figure).

Service

Another love language is Service, and this one speaks volumes. Maybe their car hasn’t been cleaned for years. Or they still haven’t taken that suit to the dry cleaners. Service can come in all shapes and sizes, whether that is filling up their gas tank, making sure their laundry is clean in the morning, or taking the dog to the vet. Do something for them that they normally do for themselves.

Watch the Sunset Together

Gold. This idea sounds cheesy and romantic because IT IS. Unlike a movie, watching the sunset gives you time to talk about you, about them, about you two together. But you also get to snuggle and watch a beautiful sky. Be sure to bring a blanket, and if there are mountains close, go watch it from new heights. Just last week, my boyfriend and I took dinner up with us and watched the sunset while having a picnic.  10/10 would recommend!

Make “I Love You” Food

—Cook a fancy dinner for them! Bonus points if combine this one with the “Look Super Hot” idea. Spell out “I Love You” or a sweet message in the food. Be creative! Here are some amazing recipes for a fancy home-cooked meal!

—Make a dreamy mocktail for them to go with a fancy dinner, or for a late-night treat! Look at this amazing list of concoctions.

—MaLee made this darling ABC Cake for her boyfriend a few years ago. Does anything say “I love you” more than chocolate?

We hope you liked these ideas! What special things do you do to show your love? Comment below!

—Makayla

Celebrating long-distance? Click here for more ideas on how to make it special across the miles!

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