Gift #1 - Personalized photo magnets - I was looking at my coupon blog yesterday and saw a post about FREE photo magnets through Shutterfly. It's a set of four 2X2 magnets and all you have to pay is shipping. I ordered mine, used the promo code lovemagnet at checkout and paid about $4 total. There's no guarantee it'll get here by Valentine's Day because I'm too cheap to pay for expedited shipping, but you can pay more to get a rush order. Note: Today is the last day for free magnets so get busy!
Gift #2 - Personalized cards - Cardstore.com is still offering 99 cent sheets of personalized school Valentine's Day cards (use promo code CEA4299). I actually ordered a couple of sheets with E's photo on them for our party next week. I bought three sheets at 99 cents each and paid $1.25 in shipping. If you order four or more sheets, the shipping will go up (Note: today is the last day for this deal). If I had been thinking, I would've ordered some with my face on them and put them in my husband's lunchbox all week. Damn it. Treat.com is also offering up a free personalized card AND free shipping for new users. If you're sending a card somewhere other than your house (I think they ship to APO addresses as well), you can pay less than 50 cents for shipping and send it straight there. Make sure you use promo code vdayfree at checkout.
Gift #3 - One of my favorite emergency gifts - food. I already know I'm going to use a couple of these ideas for Nate's lunch next week.
*Homemade chocolate-covered strawberries - Don't pay five bucks a berry at the grocery store! Buy a container of strawberries (grocery stores usually carry the long-stemmed berries around this time) some baker's chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips (splurge and get the Ghirardelli chips), heat up the chocolate on the stove or in the microwave, dip the berries and let them dry on a piece of parchment paper in the fridge. Bada bing, bada boom.
*Chocolate-covered pretzel rods - Buy the extra long pretzel rods and break them in half. Use the chocolate you bought for your berries and dip the pretzel rods. Sprinkle with festive Valentine's Day sprinkles and let dry on a cookie rack. Package in a cute treat bag.
*Chocolate Rice Krispie treat (are you noticing a chocolate theme?) - Make Rice Krispies according to the recipe on the box. Mix in white chocolate chips, then spread on a greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper). Use heart cookie cutters to make heart-shaped treats. Heat leftover white chocolate chips and dip one corner of the heart treat into the warm chocolate. Add festive sprinkles and let dry.
Gift #4 - Money.
Gift #5 - Something personal - OK, that last one kind of sucked (unless you plan on visiting your favorite lady of the night in which case it's not only expected, but a bonus would be nice). Another option is to ditch the romance and get your significant other something they actually want (this does NOT include appliances, even though I really want a steamer for my kitchen floor). Nate actively maintains a wish list online (wishlist.com) so I can look at the list and purchase something I know he'll like. This may require a trip to the mall or paying expedited shipping prices on Amazon. Punishment for being a late planner. Sigh.
Gift #6 - An experience - An extra idea because #4 sucked - My favorite gifts are the ones that I get to use, too. That sounded terrible, didn't it? I'm thinking wine-tasting, a cool culinary experience, maybe the spa for a couples massage. How about a brewery tour or a night on the town? Or maybe a night at a posh hotel away from your kids? The beauty of the experience gift is that you don't have to cash it in on Valentine's Day, which makes planning much more flexible while still producing the goods on the 14th.
I'm more or less sold on #1, #3 & #6. Any other ideas floating around out there that could sway me??