February 14, 2011
A “Hearty” Night in a Snap!
Are there any of you that are “last-minuters” (I know, not a real word) like me? Well, if you are then this is the PERFECT Valentine’s date for you! I really wanted to do something special, fun, and most importantly, FAST for those of you who might not have planned anything for Valentine’s Day. Even if you did, this will be fun to do later in the week, or add to your special night!
Ok, just to start, I want you all to know that this date is going to have lots of different options and alternatives to try out, depending on your time limits and if you will have kids with you or not. If the first plan doesn’t fit you, keep reading because I have put LOTS of options for you to do.
This whole date is going to focus on putting your Valentine’s date together in a total of 1-2 hours! How great is that? I know that a lot of us work outside of the home, or even have crazy-busy schedules, so Option 1 is going to focus on those of you who only have 1 hour to plan and Option 2 is for those of you who have 2 hours to plan! Let’s get started…
Option 1A (the one I did):
This is for those of you who only have 1 hour to plan and have kids for the night.
Of course you have to have the basics for a wonderful date: food, fun, and your main squeeze! But because it’s such a special day, I also wanted to add some fun activities, gifts, and a little romance to the picture. We all know that Valentine’s Day is about love, so what better way to spruce up the date than to have the theme be HEARTS?! Everything I planned, from the meal to the activities, I incorporated hearts into it. It was fun!
I first started by making my own Valentine cards and placed them around the house, with candy attached (I used starbursts, conversation hearts, hershey’s kisses, and then some of Joseph’s other favorites), in areas where Joseph would immediately notice when he came home from work. For example, I put some on his desk, his pillow, hanging on the bathroom mirror, in the pantry (since it doesn’t matter what I have cooking, he ALWAYS goes in there to check what snacks we have), on the TV, etc.
I made 14 cards for him. Click HERE for your cards now! If you happen to have candy around then use that, or you can give the cards with no candy attached. Either way it’s great! Of course after I made all these Valentine cards, my printer refused to work – so I had to compromise. I had my kids help me cut out hearts and hand wrote all my sayings. They didn’t turn out to be as perfect as I wanted, but my husband LOVED them even more because they were made by our kids!
For dinner I thought of something quick, easy and items that most people would have in their house. I made homemade hamburgers, but shaped the patties, bread (or buns), lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, cheese, etc. into hearts! I experimented with buns vs. using bread, and found that bread was better because it had more surface area to cut, which made a bigger cover for the patty. To go along with the hamburgers, of course, fries or tator tots are perfect. I just happened to have tots at my house and arranged them in a heart shape on my plate. Then on the side of my plate I made my ketchup into a heart as well. If you want to add veggies, go ahead and try to make those into a heart too (although mine didn’t quite work out! Ha, ha. Oh well, everything can’t go perfectly!).
After dinner, our first activity was to make sugar cookies! I bought a mix and frosting at the store. If you don’t have time for these, just do any kind of dessert you want. You and your loved one can even make them together (to save time and enjoy each others company). Of course the kids LOVED this and the cookie making turned out to be a huge success! With the frosting you can add food coloring (if you have it) or write love notes on your cookies.
It was then on to the activities I had planned. I thought it would be fun to play bingo, using conversation hearts as the markers. I found this awesome website that allows you to pick your own style, size, etc. and then print the cards. In a flash, I had 4 cards printed off and ready to use. For yours click HERE.
That same site also has tons of different games to play. I decided to make Joseph a cryptogram containing a special message. To do a custom one for your special someone, click HERE (if you want to type in your own saying, make sure to read the text on the left hand side of the page. Then if you want the numbers attached to letters click “Solution included in code table but blanks are not filled in” and then the “build cryptogram” button).
After the games and activities (and putting the kids to bed), it was time for some romance. I actually had Joseph put the kids to sleep while I got things set up. I had some fake rose petals (from a few years back) that I used to make a heart on our bed. By the way, Walmart is selling these right now for $2.00 in their holiday aisle. I then added some fun outfits for us to wear. Also, I got the bathtub ready with Martinelli’s, wine glasses, and candles all around. When everything was ready, I went and got Joseph. He was surprised to see the relaxing bath ready for us and the cute outfits.
The night ended with my gift to him. As I have mentioned in almost ALL of my previous dates, Joseph LOVES to be pampered. My gift was a new manicure set. It was PAST time to replace my old manicure set with a new one. He was totally excited to see that he was going to relax even more. I love that he is so easy to please.
All in all, our ‘hearty’ night was a BLAST and it was so easy to put together! Please make some time for you and your special someone and make some fun memories!
#1: Have your kids help you with your Valentine cards so you can be preparing dinner while they cut and place the cards and candy!
#2: If you don’t have time to make your own hamburgers, but do have time to run to either McDonald’s or Wendy’s you can buy your own meal, take it home and cut those hamburgers into a heart. Then take the fries and arrange them in a heart on your plate!
#3: Use the conversation hearts in a game I like to call – “use it in a sentence”. During dinner randomly pull a heart and assign someone to use the word in a sentence. It’s pretty funny!
This is for those of you who have 1 hour to plan and NO kids for the night (I’m jealous by the way)!
Now, if you are lucky enough to not have kids on your special night, you can do so much more with the date I did! Just do everything on a more romantic level. Instead of just doing the heart shaped hamburgers, do a candlelight dinner with them! Also, include your Martinelli drinks during the main course. You can even play your games in the candlelight. After dessert, why not snuggle up to a romantic movie, before going to the bedroom. I take all the cuddles I can get from my hubby!
This is for those of you who have 2 hours to plan and have kids for the night.
Ok, so take my date and spruce it up a little. If you don’t have the dinner items laying around, take THIS grocery list I made for you and make a quick run to the store. While you are there pick up any candy you might want to attach to your Valentine’s cards. I included a quick list in my grocery list so you don’t waste time trying to decide what to buy (I can’t tell you how much time I spent just in the candy aisle!). The last thing to buy would be some ‘sparkly’ drink (for after the kids go to sleep). My favorite being Martinelli’s, but pick up anything you want.
#1: If you don’t want to print the Valentine’s cards I made, pick up a box at the store.
#2: If you don’t have candy, pick some up while you are at the store. The Dollar Store is great for this!
#3: Buy some kind of red punch to drink during dinner.
#4: If you don’t want to use a mix, buy the refrigerated cookie dough and make cookies from that. It is faster and again, super easy to do!
#5: Target has heart shaped plates in their dollar spot section (which is where I got mine) or run to a Dollar Store and buy some fun Valentine plates or utensils to use.
For those of you who have 2 hours and NO kids for the night (again, I’m jealous)!
Do all of the above, but add more romance. While at the store you can add candles to your list and have a candlelight dinner and bath. You can also make your own chocolate dipped strawberries by buying chocolate chips and strawberries. Just melt the chips in a saucepan or in the microwave and dip the strawberries in it. If you don’t already have some special glasses to drink your ‘bubbly’ out of, you can pick some up while at the Dollar Store.
That’s all the ideas I have. Good luck and have fun tonight!
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