Balancing Kids and Romance
I am sitting here with my wife and kids watching a television special about a family with sextuplets. It reminded me of the little things that we would need to do to keep romance alive in our relationship. Taking a bath together late at night. Giving each other a back rub. Bringing home a nice bottle of wine and curling up together to watch a movie. We had very little time or resources to leave the house and had to be as inventive as possible to make time for each other.
I have mentioned this before, but doing the little, thoughtful things for the one you love can be very romantic. The other day I brought my wife a card -- it wasn't her birthday or our anniversary but just a "I love you" card and one of her favorite candles. What can you do?
A Funny Look at Valentines Day Gift Ideas for 2011
We shot a few short commercials about some of the typical gifts you might purchase for Valentines Day - and why you may want to rethink your plans. My kids are the actors - the scripts are real (my wife really did toss out my flowers!)See All Four Videos
Valentines Day Gift Ideas - Good and Bad
Valentines Day can actually be a little stressful. When it's the morning of February 14th and you find yourself roaming the aisles of a store like Target, Macy's or Costco, you may just end up with the "wrong" gift. Below is a link to a series of "funny" videos about valentines day gift ideas that could be better. Challenging Valentines Day Gift Ideas
Should you Celebrate Valentine's Day?
Valentines Day. Love it or not, it takes place every February 14th causing quite a bit of stress in finding the right romantic Valentines day gift to give your special someone.
I have had friends who chose to ignore Valentines Day. "She'll understand," they say. "It is just a holiday made up by the greeting card companies to sell some product." That may be true but how does that reasoning work when you explain that to your significant other? Here is how the discussion might go:
You: "Hunny, let's skip Valentines Day this year. It's just some made up holiday anyway. I don't need someone to tell me when I should show you how much I love you."
Her: "Oh, okay. I guess so. Do you want to do anything on Valentines Day?"
You: "Let's just treat it like any other day."
Her: "Okay -- if that's what you want."
Is it okay? While most of her friends will go out and celebrate and receive thoughtful and romantic gifts, she will have an ordinary day. Sure, you love her and you do your best to show her that every day. But how would you feel if, say, your birthday came along and your special someone chose to ignore it?
Valentines Day. Love it - or leave it - it's still coming. Being romantic isn't about the amount of money you spend. It's about the thought. The time that you put in to planning something or making a purchase that is not something you bought at Target on February 14th just before closing and wrapped in newspaper.
Do you have any favorite romantic gift ideas or Valentine's Day stories? We would love to hear them! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or comment on our blog. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Kate and Leopold Movie
There are a lot of great romantic movies out there. Two nights ago it was Pretty Woman
. Tonight it was Kate and Leopold
. In the movie tonight, it served a gentle reminder that part of romance is taking the time to do something nice for the person you care about. In one of the movie scenes, "Leopold" sets up a romantic dining area on a roof-top with candles, a nice table with linens, flowers, a violinist and a home cooked meal. Of course, with movie magic this is a snap but in real life, how appreciated would something like this be!
The wife of an old college buddy wrote on Facebook about how lucky she is to be married to her husband. What brought this on? He did the dishes and helped with the laundry and helped her with some errands. All without being asked. It's simple, isn't it? Time. Creativity. Thoughtfulness.
Great Travel Radio Host in the San Francisco Area
John Hamilton has been in radio for over 55 years and is a really nice person! Check out his radio show every Saturday morning on KGO 810 in the San Francisco Bay Area (we get a strong signal in Monterey). You can view today's programming link
to get an idea of what he covers.
Finding a long, lost love
I spoke with a client the other day that was really excited because he had connected with his high school sweetheart -- fifty years after the fact! They are both widowed and through a series of events, just happened to be able to restart a relationship.
Has anyone else out there had a similar experience? Maybe not so many years have passed by, but perhaps you have found an old flame and have begun dating again. We would love to hear your story! Just post your comments below.
Recent Client Proposal Story
We recently had a man who contacted us about setting up a special wedding proposal in November. He had been dating his girlfriend for quite a while and he was trying to find the right time to propose. The main problem was that she is very curious by nature and he had a hard time keeping a secret from her.
He decided to book a flight for them to San Francisco with a connection up in to Canada. Or so she thought. Upon landing in San Francisco, they instead took a short flight in to Monterey Peninsula airport. Was she suspicious? Yes.
But he downplayed the whole thing. He told her that instead of spending time with his family, he thought it would be nice if they had some one on one time together. She had told him how much she loved the city of Carmel so he booked a hotel room and made plans for dinner in a nice restaurant.
Okay, she KNEW what was going on, right? They would check in to the hotel room, get all dolled-up and then walk to the restaurant. The waiter would bring a glass of champagne with a ring in the glass. Or maybe the check would arrive with her engagement ring. She was feeling quite excited!
But no. No ring. Her boyfriend did not get down on bended knee in a restaurant full of strangers and ask her that all important question. Instead, the check came, he paid and they left. The only unusual thing was that he left the table twice to use the restroom. Or so she thought.
Instead, he was texting us while we were decorating his hotel room with an ETA on their arrival back in to the room. So as they made the slow walk back to the hotel room - in the midst of a slight rain shower - he was extremely excited and she was feeling a bit disappointed. To add to her sadness, he told her that he had a stomach ache and wanted to go back to the room and just go to sleep.
When they got back to the room, she opened the door and was shocked. The room was dimly lit by candles and the wood burning in the fireplace. She followed a trail of rose petals through the living room area and to the bed which was decorated with rose petals and an assortment of romantic decorator items. Flowers filled the room. At the center of the bed was a special message (on burned parchment paper) on top of a glass heart gift ("You Have My Heart"). At this moment, with her favorite music playing in the background, he asked her to marry him. She said yes.
To finish up the evening, he had it timed perfectly so that a bath had been drawn to just the right temperature. Surrounding a jetted tub filled to the brim with bubbles were rose petals, candles and an assortment of luxurious bath and body items. The hotel offered up a complimentary bottle of champagne to toast their engagement.
Afterward, this gentleman had mentioned that his girlfriend had always wanted a really romantic proposal. He couldn't do something predictable or ordinary. Mission accomplished!
Holiday Gift Doesn't Have to Be Extravagant
Time is already starting to run out on finding the right holiday gift for the one you love. With the economy still in a fragile state, most everyone is looking for a bargain. But when it comes to having your significant other opening up a gift at Christmas time, do you really want to go cheap?
The answer is: yes and no. The best gifts come from the heart and they don't always have to cost a mint. Think about when you buy a bottle of wine. You go to the store and you find a bottle that retails for $95 and a bottle that cost $15. Will the $95 bottle taste better than the $15 bottle? Perhaps - but not always. The savvy wine shopper will know where to find the best quality wines at the best price - and sometimes that is going to be the $15 bottle!
With a romantic gift, you could spend hundreds on a piece of jewelry that she will really like. Or you could spend $50 on a gift that has so much meaning to it, that she will appreciate it all the more. Price and enjoyment do not always go hand in hand.
We have some great personalized romantic gifts for under $50 offered at www.creativeromanticgifts.com
or you can shop around and find something else that you think your loved one will really treasure.
Renewing Your Vows
For all married couples, one great way to celebrate the Holidays is by renewing your wedding vows. If you set it up as a surprise for your spouse, you can really make it a memorable experience! Best of all, it's a gift that cannot be returned!
Many weddings can end up being more about the guests in attendance and less about the couple getting married. When you renew your vows, you can focus on just the two of you. No parents or best friends to please. No stress about the budget, the catering, open bars and all of that. The ceremony can be anything that you want it to be.
For couples in the California area, we now offer a renewal ceremony including a photographer, officiant, renewal certificate, flowers and ceremony decoration. Even your hotel room is decorated with a romantic theme for your "wedding night."
The main idea is to keep it simple, romantic and all about the two of you. After all, you have a lifetime to share together.
Can you go overboard with Romance?
Recently, I had a hotel worker tell me that he thought one of our clients was going a little overboard in making his girlfriend feel special. In one day, he took her horseback riding, on a picnic, for a beach bonfire (where he proposed) and then back to the romantic hotel (which was simply and elegantly decorated with rose petals, candles etc..). Can you do too much to impress a girl? What do you think?
In the illustration above, his girlfriend (now fiance) loved the extra special attention. Of course, it is always going to depend on the woman and on the amount of time you have been together. If you are out on a first date and try to "wow" her with a day full of romance, you more than likely will scare her off.
Would You Like to Get Engaged....and Married...On the Same Day?
Eloping has become more popular these days. After all, who has the money to spend ten or twenty thousand or more on a marriage (an article today cited an NBA basketball star spending $2 Million for his wedding..and he called it off!). If we could do it all over again, my wife and I would have eloped...or at least had a smaller ceremony.
So here's the deal. We are looking for a guy who would be willing to propose - and get married - on the same day. Propose in the morning - get married that same early evening. In California, this is perfectly legal as there is no waiting period and no blood test are necessary.
Just give us a shout by commenting below or email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you with the details. Your proposal that we coordinate for you will be completely free. The ceremony will be highly discounted to include the officiant, flowers, ceremony decoration and a wedding photographer. What a Vegas thing to do (without the smoke, Elvis impersonators, one-armed bandits).
Even Romance Can Survive A Recession
You've heard it before a million times. Now, if you only had a dollar for every time someone said, "This is the worst economic time since the Great Depression." Ugh.
Romance cannot be killed by this harsh financial situation. Why? Because you don't have to spend a mint to remind the person you love (or really like) how you feel about them. It can be as simple as a kind gesture. An unexpected hug or a kiss. Wildflowers picked from a field. You get my drift.
Of course, we operate a site that sells romantic gifts -- albeit inexpensive ones. But our core concept that developed what we do is all about using creativity and a little thought to make yourself a true romantic. It doesn't have to be hard.
In the interest of saving money, we have this special offer. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use the comments box below, to let us know why you think you are a "romantic." All you need to do is to participate and we'll send you a discount certificate good for 10% off of your next order. Easy - right?
Just remember to put in some effort when it comes to being romantic. A little thought goes a long, long way.
There is something about this time of year that makes people want to be engaged. Are you planning on proposing this Christmas or New Years? Let us know what your plans are by commenting to the post. We have been fortunate enough to witness a lot of proposals and would love to provide any last minute advice (or we can just shut up and listen to what you have to say).
A Romantic Anniversary Celebration
People often ask me if I do anything romantic for my wife. Spending my days providing a service that allows other people to show their romantic side, tends to leave me with not a whole lot of romantic creativity by the end of the day.
For your 10 year wedding anniversary, I did something simple that was really appreciated and shows that the concept for this business (creative, unique and not too costly) really does work. Although there were a lot of things we did and places we went on that special day, one thing stood out.
I surprised her with a trip to the hotel where we spent our first night as an engaged couple. She is a photographer so I had arranged for the hotel to display her best work in their breakfast room. When they escorted us in to show us around the hotel, she was shocked to see her work hanging in a public display.
Afterwards, we were taken up to the exact suite where I had proposed. Although the room was not decorated, I had done a "tub decoration" -- candles, rose petals, flowers, bath and body items, music. It is rare to relax in a bath and spend time with just the two of you - no distractions, no kids - just you, in the middle of the day. It was great.
Out of everything special that we did that day and evening, the thought of the picture and the set up of the tub stood out the most.
Sometimes We Forget About Romance
It has been a while since my last entry which is a reminder that all of us sometimes forget about romance. I have been married for almost ten years and people assume that I must be the most romantic husband in the world. The truth is -- I might be one of the most unromantic husbands since I spend so much of my time creating a romantic atmosphere for everyone else.
So, how do you remember to be romantic? It's the little things that matter most. Doing something special for her when she least expects it. Maybe it is as simple as making dinner or getting a baby sitter and surprising her with a night out at the movies. It could be taking the time to set up a romantic evening in the bedroom so that when she gets home the right atmosphere is set (and it's not an after thought like "Honey, let's turn off the TV early tonight and make love -- but we better do it now because I have a 7 am morning meeting). Yuck!
To me, being romantic can be as simple as thinking of your partner before you think of yourself (this works in the bedroom as well). As you get older or have been in a relationship for a while, you may find that you have less time to do things that are over the top (e.g. planning a day of picnics and hot air balloon ride). A simple, unselfish gesture can be just the thing you need to be "a romantic at heart."
Avoid a Rough Valentines Day
"What did you do for Valentine's Day, Sandy", asked Heidi.
"Oh, nothing much," sighed Sandy. "Dave brought home some flowers and take-out and we watched some movies at home."
"Well, that sounds like fun I guess," said Heidi. "At least he remembered to recognize Valentines Day. My husband forgot and at the last minute ran to the store and bought a box of heart shaped candy."
"Still, that's kind of thoughtful," Sandy surmised. "Who doesn't like chocolate?"
"People who are allergic to chocolate!" exclaimed Heidi.
A lot of people out there view Valentine's Day simply as a made-up occasion sponsored by the greeting card companies. Regardless, it is one day where your special someone would like to be recognized as being someone that you really care about. If you ignore the "holiday," you are going to have a problem.
Buying the right gift is the big dilemma. Much like a birthday or anniversary, you want to provide something that has meaning. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money -- in fact, some of the best gifts out there are available for under $100.
The big mistake that you can make is just randomly selecting something that someone else deems a "romantic gift." An elegant piece of gold jewelry is romantic - unless the receiver of the gift doesn't wear any gold and prefers silver. A weekend away at a ski lodge is romantic - unless the recipient despises the cold and prefers warmer surroundings.
The key is to listen. Are there any gift items that they have mentioned? Are there any activities that they have wanted to do with you? Have they used the phrase "I wish you were more romantic?" Has your special someone ever mentioned something romantic that one of your friends did for their spouse?
For me, I really enjoy it when my wife gives me a thoughtful gift that comes with a card that expresses her feelings. All of us have busy lives and very few of us take the time to tell our significant other how we feel about them. This applies to men and women alike. Even the most macho guy wants to know that he is important in the eyes of his lover.
This year, take the time to find just the right gift. Investing in a thoughtful, creative and romantic gift will be remembered forever.
The Most Popular Romantic Gifts -Women
What are some of the most romantic gifts that women want for Valentines Day, an anniversary or birthday? We did some research on the internet and asked friends, family and coleagues and here is our top 10 list (no particular order):
- Jewelry (Diamonds of course followed by heart pendants)
- A planned Romantic Getaway
- Favorite Flowers
- Perfume (also her favorite - don't guess)
- A day at the Spa (no kids)
- A Romantic Dinner (at home #1 followed by an intimate restaurant)
- A thoughtful gift (something she has mentioned before).
If there is one commonality amongst these items, it is that all of them require some time and thought on the man's part. That's why a romantic dinner cooked at home scored higher than dinner in a restaurant. It's also why planning a surprise romantic getaway with planned activities scored high as well. Women love when a romantic evening has been completely planned out (hotel, romantic items for the room, babysitter, transportation).
The surprise factor was also important. Planning something that you know she would like but does not expect. Basically, women want to feel loved and . Doing special things (in any capacity) to make a woman feel loved and cherished and appreciated is the ultimate romantic gift!
Just Being Nice is Romantic
I just got off the phone with a really nice woman from San Francisco. She is traveling here to have a romantic getaway with her boyfriend who she rarely gets to see. She was such a pleasant person to speak with and it struck me that just being nice can be romantic. Listening to your spouse or boyfriend/girfriend can make them feel important. A lot of studies out there say that the feeling of importance is our number one need in life. A feeling that you matter -- that you belong.
So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and don't have time to converse with your special someone, stop and take a moment to listen. You might be surprised by what you hear. And when it comes to finding a gift for your next anniversary or their birthday, you might actually get it right.
What Women Think About Men
There was a movie that came out years ago with Mel Gibson called "What Women Want." His character had the ability to listen in to what women were really thinking. Wouldn't that help resolve a lot of questions!
Of course all men are different and all women are different. I asked someone who has been married for over 50 years what was most important to her about her husband. "Character", she said. "Without a doubt, it's all about who he is and not what he looks like."
Back in college I seem to remember a lot of girls who were more interested in a guys looks or if he was associated with popular people on campus. I think as we all get older, our needs change. The importance of looks and status are often replaced with a need for companionship and similar ideals.
What do you think? Send in your comments.
Making Christmas Romantic
When it comes to a romantic holiday, the first time of year people think of is Valentines Day. However, Christmas is one of the most popular times to give a special gift to that special someone you love. Christmas Eve is also a day when many couples get engaged.
There is just something magical about the Christmas season. It signals the end of the current year and the start of another. It's a time when you show appreciation for others. It's a time of reflection on the past and looking forward to the future.
Many years before starting this company, I used to give some really bad gifts to my girlfriend (although she still became my wife). One year, it was a curling iron. Another year it was a hairdryer and the first year it was a sweater. Even though these were things that she mentioned she really wanted, it wasn't really my place to give them to her (better her mom or brother or grandmother gift them to her).
Try to give something with a personal touch. If you are short on funds, it could be an invitation to a home cooked candlelight dinner at home or a picnic for two in a beautiful secluded setting. If you make it personal, it's hard to go wrong.
In leaving a local business today, the clerk mentioned that she was a bit down about Christmas this year. People had already started to rush through her store like there was no tomorrow so that they could scratch another name off of their Christmas list. Don't be someone who rushes through the holidays buying a gift just for the sake of having to make that purchase. Put in some time and effort (and creativity) and it will be one of the best Holiday Seasons.
The Summer of Love
There is something about summer that brings out the best in a relationship. Perhaps it is the warmer weather and longer daylight hours that makes people a little more relaxed and willing to take a chance on love. Of course, life does not stand still and you still have responsibilites to take care of (unless your a student without a summer job) so you have to make the effort to plan out "date nights." With the change of seasons, some great things to do include a sunset picnic in the park, bonfire on the beach, and outdoor candlelight dining (restaurant or at home). If you have an old fashioned drive-in theater nearby you can make a unique evening of dinner and a late night movie.
Valentine's Day can be one of the most romantic times of the year. Even though some people might view it as just a "Hallmark created holiday," it is still important to show that someone you love that you appreciate them on February 14th. Better yet, use some creativity and thought to make your gift stand out.
If your a good cook, you can decorate a table in your home and serve a romantic, candlelight dinner. Using some of our products, you can decorate your bedroom at home (or a nearby hotel) and surprise them with an ultra-romantic evening. If you give a card, try something more unique such as purchasing a beautiful handmade card, opening it up and writing some beautiful poetry and framing it. With our new Message In A Bottle, your message (parchment paper scroll) is enclosed in a thick glass bottle with dried rose petals and packaged in an elegant velvet bag with "Key To My Heart" attached around the rim.
Coming to Monterey for Valentine's Day? Give us a call and we will help you plan a fantastic Valentine's Day getaway.
Are you thinking of popping the question? Christmas might be the right time to ask.
There are a lot of factors to think about. Where are you spending Christmas? If it is with her family, do you feel confident enought that she will say yes? If you think she may be on the fence, either propose in private or wait until you know how she really feels about you. Otherwise, you may have a bit of trouble choking down that Christmas ham in front of your "should-have-been, could-have-been" in-laws.
How do you do it? There are a lot of clues out there on the net. Some guys do it as simple as wrapping a ring inside of a small gift box and presenting it on Christmas Eve. Others will take a more elaborate approach including:
- Placing a ring INSIDE of an ornament and hanging it on the tree for her to find.
- Wrapping yourself up in a large, wrapped box and having her unwrap you holding the ring (don't forget your air holes!)
- Dressing up as Santa Claus, taking her requests and offering the ring.
Just a few ideas. We have our own proposal ideas listed on the site that you may want to check out. In any event, take some time to plan it out. There is nothing worse than a story about a half-baked proposal (example: I handed her the ring while she was coming out of the shower).
Most of us think of Thanksgiving as a time to spend with family, eating too much food and watching a little football. It's also a time to give thanks for what you have. If you're married to a wonderful woman, take a moment during dinner to express how much she means to you. It's not a grandiose holiday like Christmas or Valentine's Day -- but it one where your surprise speech will have quite an impact.