• valentines day

    Ideas to Strengthen Your Relationship on Valentine’s Day

    So maybe last Valentine’s Day was a bust. One of you worked late; no one made dinner reservations. Maybe one of you even forgot. Whatever the case, this is the year to make it up to your significant other.

    Forget traditional flowers, chocolates and a fluffy teddy bear holding a heart. Get creative by seeking gifts and ideas that will strengthen your relationship. Here are five small, yet meaningful ways you can ensure the best Valentine’s Day for you and your significant other.

    Give an Experience

    Over the years, Valentine’s Day has become more materialistic. Who can buy the biggest diamonds, the reddest roses or the most chocolates. Break away from the materialistic mold this year by gifting your significant other an experience instead of something tangible. If you’re looking for a concert, show or musical, purchase tickets through Telecharge for an artistic and performance-filled evening with you and your loved one.

    Get Crafty

    A good ol’ homemade gift shows your significant other how much you care. However, if you’re not a very crafty person, let photos do the work for you. Find a great frame or photo album, and fill it with pictures of the two of you. Don’t forget to leave space for your future memories as well.

    If you want to find your way to your significant other’s heart via the stomach, festive baked goods are a great way to go. Make heart-shaped brownies, pink frosted cupcakes or stud-muffin treats. For a traditional yet creative approach, decorate your own vase or pot for a unique twist to hold Valentine flower favorites.

    Stay Local

    I’m not talking about your local restaurant or bar, but even more local — your own home or apartment. Invite your significant other over for a three-course meal you make. Or do the cooking together while sipping wine and dancing around the kitchen to your favorite tunes.

    Set the table with your best china and candles to create a romantic ambiance. After dinner, watch a movie you both enjoy and cuddle up on the couch. The best part about staying local: no reservations, no overpriced Valentine’s Day menu and no crowd to beat home.

    Send It in the Mail

    If you’re spending Valentine’s Day apart, UPS or FedEx are here to help. Create a care package for your significant other filled with lots of favorite goodies and knick-knacks. If you’re at a loss for ideas, throw in favorite snacks, a book they would enjoy reading, photos of the two of you and personal care items such as lotion or cologne.

    Write It Down

    Although Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day you should tell your loved one what they mean to you, it’s definitely a day you shouldn’t forget. If you’re not great with spoken words or just want something your loved one can read whenever he or she wants, write it down. It doesn’t have to be a love song or a poem, although those would be greatly appreciated.

    Write the story of when you first met or one of your favorite memories together. Write a love letter that speaks from your heart. If you’re looking for some inspiration, consult one of these famous love letters guaranteed to get your juices flowing.

  • Dateless? Time to Revamp Your Online Dating Photos

    Were you still dateless last month? Don’t think for a minute that the problem is with you. Take a look at your Online Dating Photos.  There’s someone special out there for each of us; we just have to find each other. And that’s the trick, isn’t it? Whether you’re young, time-strapped and singly focused on building a career, recently divorced and struggling to adapt to the modern dating scene or a silver-haired fox ready to embrace new experiences; finding that special someone can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    Online Dating PhotosWhat you have to do is improve your odds. In effect, you need to make that needle bigger, color it bright red and stud it with diamonds so it can’t be missed! How? By giving your online dating headshot and dating profile a head-to-toe makeover. Today, 1 in 5 committed relationships starts online. Seventeen percent of the couples who walked down the aisle in 2010 started their romance on an online dating site. People find true love online every single day and you can too. You just gotta have faith!

    If love hasn’t sent you an email lately or the online contacts you’re getting aren’t from people you consider datable, there’s an obvious disconnect between your online dating persona and your heart’s desire. It’s time to take another look at your online posting and perform a little cosmetic surgery that will get you noticed.

    The first place to start is your online dating photos. When your first contact with potential dates is online, posting fabulous profile photos is hugely important. It may not be PC to judge people by their outward appearance, but it’s human nature. Your dating headshot and any other photos that appear with your online dating profile create that critical first impression that determine which way Cupid aims his arrows.

    Next time: Tips for getting great dating profile photos

  • Being Single on Valentine’s Day Can Really Suck!

    I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you, sometimes being single sucks. Especially over Valentine’s Day and most holidays. It seems like everyone goes out of their way to make you feel more alone.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to just sit back and take it….So how do you get through Valentines Day and stay sane? alone on Valentine’s Day

    1.  Go out with your friends and have a good time.  Gather your single friends and maybe some of your attached friends too (if their significant other has to travel over Valentines Day).  Go to a fun boisterous restaurant…. probably won’t be too many lovey-dovey couples there…and try forget the fact that there’s not significant other in your life.

    2. See a movie. If you don’t have a significant other to watch a movie with, that doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice seeing the movie you want to see on the big screen.  Many people think seeing a movie is ONLY an activity to do with another person.  I don’t agree.  You don’t talk to the person, usually, during the entire movie, so why do they need to be there?  Why cheat yourself?  Even if there are couples in the theater, don’t fret, the lights will go down and you’ll forget all about it once the movie starts.

    3. Get in a great workout. Go to the gym or better yet, do that workout class you’ve been thinking about.  Being around lots of people will make you feel energized and you’ll be doing something great for yourself.

    4. Going on hike or a walk. Go to a neighborhood park or walk around your block.  Even if it’s cold outside, it’s nice to be outdoors AND it’s a great way to clear your head.

    First and foremost always remember to take care of yourself.  Keep a healthy mind and spirit by doing things are good for you.

    Now go and have the BEST Valentine’s Day of your life!

    Got any tips for us?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you do.

  • How to Plan a Fun Valentine’s Day Party for Singles

    Even if you are single, Valentine’s Day offers an opportunity to have some fun. Consider having a party to eliminate the feeling of being alone. Do not try to make it an event to meet Mr. or Ms. Right—celebrate simply for the fun of it. Throw a party just because Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity between Christmas and spring events and breaks up a long winter.Valentine's day party

    Inviting Guests

    Make your party as large or small as you want. You do not have to invite only your single friends. As long as everyone gets along well, you’ll have the makings for a great party. Decide what day and time you want to have your celebration and then consider your friends’ work or school schedules. Let your guests know that your party is just for fun. People might become concerned if they think you are trying to set up a bunch of blind dates.

    Photo by Malia Karlinsky- Yesterday on Tuesday

    Sending invitations by email is quick and easy. You want to request an RSVP to know who will be attending and confirm that guests receive the invitation. Try Evite for a great selection of party invitations. If you use regular mail, make sure you use the correct postage; the USPS is increasing the cost for First-Class Mail.

    Decorations

    Decorations do not need to be complicated. You can decorate with red, pink and white streamers and balloons. Pick up a few paper centerpieces for table displays. You can find a huge assortment of decorations at Party City and have them delivered directly to your home. If you want to find truly unique items, check out the decorations category on Etsy.

    Photo by Enokson via Flickr

    You can even make your own heart-shaped piñata. If one or more of your friends is recently single, this could end up being one of the highlights of your Valentine’s Day party.

    Food Ideas

    Unless you are planning a sit-down dinner, snacks and appetizers are the best choice for a fun, informal event. Keep it simple with chips and dips along with cut vegetables. You can also create a meat and cheese platter with crackers on the side. Create small sandwiches and cut bread into heart shapes. Beverage choices can include strawberry lemonade or any red-colored fruit punch. If you want to serve alcohol, Bloody Marys go right along with your theme.

    Photo by stu_spivack via Flickr

    Chocolate is one of the staples of Valentine’s Day. According to CNN, consumers spent approximately $1.6 billion on candy in 2013. Create a dessert tray full of chocolate goodies. Chocolate covered strawberries are a great choice and add a cheerful touch with a hint of spring on the way.

    Party Games

    Depending on the size of your group, add in a few games to keep the party moving. Set up a table for poker or another favorite card game. Play the game using candy hearts, chocolate kisses or hot cinnamon candies for betting instead of chips or money.

    Photo by kurafire via Flickr

    Fill a large jar with candy hearts or kisses and have everyone guess the number of candies in the jar. The winner gets to keep the contents of the entire jar. Create a CD with a series of love-related songs, happy or sad, and challenge your guests to name the title or performer. This game choice also does double-duty as background music for your party.

  • Common Sense Valentine’s Day Dating Advice

    Valentine’s Day receives a full court press from American advertisers. Commercial America would have you believe that Valentine’s Day is the make it or break it moment in a relationship. Deliver the perfect date and Cupid will fire his arrows of love in your direction. Screw up and you’ll be dateless forever. Talk about pressure! It’s easy to get sucked in if you don’t maintain a firm rein on common sense. Before asking your online sweetie out for Valentine’s Day take heed of the following advice from dating experts:valentinesday_card

    Stick within your budget. Spending more than you can reasonably afford on a date places too much pressure on both you and your date. If things don’t go perfectly, you’ll wind up kicking yourself and blaming your date for wasting your money. If the date is a hit, it could be awhile before you can scrape together the money for a follow-up date. When you don’t call, your date could decide you’re not interested and move on. You win the battle but lose the war.

    Don’t overstep your relationship. If this will be your first date or if you’re in the early stages of dating, planning an overly romantic or financially extravagant date or giving your date an expensive gift can scare them off. Successful relationship building is a gradual process. Too much, too soon sets warning signs flashing when your partner has not reached the same level of commitment. Keep dating plans appropriate to the current status of your relationship and allow the relationship to unfurl in its own time.

    Banish unrealistic expectations. Valentine’s Day is so over-hyped that it’s easy to develop unrealistic expectations for the evening. This is real life, not a Victoria’s Secret commercial. Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you and your date are going to hop between the sheets. Take the pressure off. Relax, have fun, respect your date’s feelings and see where the evening leads.