Breakfast (approx $30ish):
Wake up a bit earlier than usual and surprise your sweetie with a big beautiful bouquet of 2 dozen roses ($19.95 V-day pricing at Trader Joes) and breakfast in bed and . Check our this delicious and easy Bananas Foster French Toast recipe (V-day tp: Use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut out your slices of thick cut brioche):
After breakfast (FREE): If your honey usually checks their email in the morning, skip the traditional greeting card...go to Flickr.com to create a short and sweet (free) slide show of a few of your favorite pictures together.
While your love is reading his or her emails suggest that you take the day off from your normal weekend chores and spend they day hiking, biking or strolling through a nearby park.
If he or she agrees, pack a surprise light lunch for the two of you to enjoy Parisian style (I picture spontaneously eating a baguette and piece of brie on the broad side of a old romantic bridge).
Smoked Turkey, Brie, Green Apple, and Watercress Sandwich
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard
1 (8-ounce) French baguette (or your favorite bread)
6 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey breast
1/4 pound Brie cheese, thinly sliced
1 cup trimmed watercress
1 cup thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dinner ($35-40): Before heading out to a romantic dinner, go to Restaurant.com and purchase a $25 gift certificate to your favorite restaurant for just $2 when you use the promo code "HEART." Your chosen restaurant will have it's own rules of how to use the certificate, but usually you're required to spend a minimum of $35-$50 and leave an 18%+tip on the full, pre-discounted price.
My hubby and I will probably go to Ketchup in West Hollywood, (as seen on Girls Next Door and Keeping Up with the Kardashians) http://www.dolcegroup.com/ketchup/). If we spend $50, use our $25 gift certificate, leave a 20% tip...the bill including tax will come to $38.24 (plus $2 for the $25 certificate). If we don't used the certificate, the bill will total $65.55.
Image Source: Myspace
Dessert ($15-$20ish): After dinner, as your sweetie slips out of their formal wear from dinner into something more comfy, pop open a split of sparkling wine (I recommend Cristalino). Monday is a workday, so a glass of champagne each should do.
Place a generous dollop of Nutella on a platter with some of your favorite goodies (fresh whole strawberries, pineapple chunks, cookies, pretzels, etc.)...and voila...instant fondue. A simple and romantic end to a perfect day spent together.
24 Red Roses:$19.95 at Trader Joes (roughly $21.70 w/tax)
Breakfast:$5-$10 (depending on which ingredients you already have)
Lunch: $10ish (depending on which ingredients you already have)
Dessert:$15-$20ish (depending on which ingredients you already have)
Of course if you don't have the time or the budget to do everything, pick and choose the elements that inspire you. If all else fails, just give your loved one your undivided attention for the entire day (no email, cell phones, etc.). This alone should do the trick.
Happy Valentine's Day!