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7 inexpensive ideas for Valentine's Day

It is February 12th.
That means that 'sweethearts day' is just 2 days away.


Which means an amazing dessert, paper Valentine's and dreaming up a fancy schmancy romantic inspired table all needs to happen like... tomorrow.
Truth be told, we don't do too much for Valentine's day.
We are more all year long romantics. 

And when the babies were born, it was much more of a family kind of day rather than just a sweethearts day. So instead of a cheesecake for 2 or a romantic candlelight dinner at a favorite restaurant- we would do pizza night with the kids, a chocolate cake and little boxes of chocolate all around.
Such great memories.

This year... it is just my husband and I at home.  
 For the first time in like... 25 years. Which - is kind of crazy.

Though- we don't have any big plans believe it or not. Dinner at home and a quiet evening by the fire is perfection this week. We have a couple big trips on the calendar coming up so enjoying a bit of down time before schedules get crazy.

But that doesn't mean I won't be setting a pretty table and making a special dessert (I am making this cheesecake) while keeping it simple and easy for a date with my husband.  
And so... 7 ways to have a romantic date at home - and that don't involve dining out,  expensive jewelry or boxes of chocolate with overpriced roses...
(in case you missed this in yesterdays post- see why this is the
  worst time of the year to buy roses- but until Thursday and you are golden

#1. Ambiance

I am all about that ambiance over here. Candles, twinkle lights, a roaring fire...  bring it all.
For Valentine's day- think flicker rather than bam. 

Scatter candles (be safe and use LED in rooms you aren't in) 
and set a romantic scene with low light rather than full blast lights. 
We have dimmers on our chandeliers that are always perfect for evenings when you are winding down and candles on the coffee table and on the mantel add the perfect warm flicker.

Don't worry- I don't have Christmas up... this is from a recent post at Balsam Hill. 
Though... Christmas twinkle lights are a great way to add ambiance. 

#2. Dinner & Dessert

Such a simple thing- but when was the last time you enjoyed a favorite special dinner and dessert?Why not make it special? Set a table in an unexpected spot- outdoors if it is warm enough- or maybe by the fireplace?  And cook that favorite eggplant parmigiana recipe-order in from your favorite restaurant - or make something as simple as a burger if that is what you don't always have. 
(Veggie burger over here- this is a favorite

And don't forget dessert- for  ideas- 

#3. Handmade Card

A confession. I have a bit of an issue with those commercial cards. 
Especially on Valentine's day. Over priced expressions of love on paper for those special someones.  
Not doing it. 
So, think handmade. 

Red and pink construction paper, doilies and sentimental notes. 
(Stay tuned for a story and simple idea) 

#4. Breakfast in bed

I am a toast kind of girl. My husband? Eggs and omelet kind of guy. And I am also that girl who likes to set the coffee maker the night before so that when I roll out of bed- I am pouring a cup right away. 
And one of our favorite things when traveling is to stay in a b&b and enjoy breakfast in bed or in our room. So why not recreate that at home?

 Get up a few minutes earlier and treat that special someone to hot coffee and their favorite breakfast in bed?

#6. Talk about your first date

I remember our first date like it was yesterday. Was it his choice of music that made me raise an eyebrow? Maybe. Or maybe it was that Chinese food we ordered that was absolutely the best Chinese food I had eaten. It was so.good. and the funniest thing? I was so hungry that night- but I nibbled on the food like a mouse because I didn't like eating in front of a cute guy. 
Thankfully- he knew that I was hungry and sent those little boxes with me when he dropped me off. 
I ate every last bite that night before going to bed. :) 
(side note- totally got over that and started stealing his food when we would go out to eat- because his always looked better than mine haha.)

#6. Favorite playlist 

You know how when a song from comes on pandora and all of a sudden you are that 16 year old girl learning how to drive, falling for that cute guy on the football team and dreaming about the future? You probably remember exactly what you were doing when you used to listen to that song... and what you were wearing, what kind of gum you chewed while you doodled those hearts and his last name with your first. Right?
So why not create a playlist for your special dinner? One that is from when you were first dating or maybe your wedding. I recently started playing some of the music from when my husband and I were dating. 

#7. Dance

This past summer, a Garth Brooks song came on Pandora one night while we were relaxing outside. And instantly it took us both back 20 years to when we were young and we would pick up the babies and dance while holding them. 
Country dancing wasn't something that I knew how to do when I met my husband in Montana.
That twirling, spinning dance that I swear you had to wear boots to get it right and look like you knew what you were doing.  I grew up in the suburbs of the Bay Area but I did have my cowboy boots- because I was one of those girls who always dreamed of country living, horses and marrying a cowboy- and so, he took me horseback riding and taught me how to country dance. 
So put on a favorite song from when you were dating- or when you got married- or something else that you love.

Simple, easy, romantic. 
These are things you can do without spending any or a ton of money 
and they come from the heart and will be even more appreciated.
And if you are looking for some romantic table setting ideas-

So what do you have planned for sweethearts day this year?
 Anything special? Any other ideas you would like to share?

And yes, will be picking up those little heart boxes for our big kids and a treat for Sweet Pea too

Happy Monday everyone.


  1. Courtney, I so enjoy reading your post and perusing through dream land and find much inspiration. Would you please share the resource for those lovely pillows posted. Thanks and Happy Valentines Day! Janie

    1. Hi Janie! They are actually at a favorite B&B- so I don't have a source for purchasing. Sorry about that!

  2. You are so fantastic! AND you also have great ideas. I wish you and Hubby a wonderful Valentine Evening.

  3. Love the blue stem ware, source? Love your blog!

  4. This Valentines, we won't be eating lobster...he actually doesn't enjoy it that much! We will be eating filets and asparagus (dessert to be determined) in the living room by the fire using his Grandmother's tea cart. The leaves pull up and make for a sweet dining table! I told him since I got red roses for my birthday in January that I'd love peonies...if he can get them....He hadn't ever heard of them...
    I have his card...yes, we buy them....I don't always feel crafty...
    And after tomorrow, I will be changing the rooms from their red touches to blues and the quilt I made for our anniversary will be sitting on the bed.....
    Happy Valentine's day!!

  5. Oh so beautiful and great inspirational information Thank you

  6. That’s cool that your hubby took you horseback riding and country dancing! A Gino Vanelli song from the late 1970’s is an old favorite my brothers and I would put on our record player in our family’s barn ~ How Much I Feel. England Dan and John Ford Coley songs... That’s dating me! Hubby still loves Eagles, Journey and Boston. Now my son and his bride love those old rock songs, too!

    Thanks for fun memories! I’m thinking of asparagus and a meatloaf. Not sure about a dessert ~ might just have ice cream. 💕

    Enjoy your Valentine’s evening with your hubby,
    Barb 😊💞