Valentine's Day is just around the corner. If you haven't gotten your valentine a gift yet, don't worry, all is not lost. With a little creativity and a few quick stops, we're making this Valentine's Day something special without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas.
Using Old Photos for New Gifts
With just a couple days before Valentine's Day, how do you get a personal, sentimental gift? It's pretty easy, actually. All you need are a memory stick and your local drugstore. I don't mean to brag, but Vanessa, my wife of eight years, and I have one pretty cute family. And we have the pictures to prove it!
With a memory stick and do-it-yourself Kodak Picture Kiosks at drugstores like CVS/Pharmacy and certain chain stores like Target, you can create a number of gifts using your old photos. With thousands of kiosks nationwide you can design personal greeting cards with photos and text, create a personalized photobook or PYNK collage frame. Just load your photos on a thumb drive or memory card and plug it into the kiosk. In about an hour, you'll have three unique gifts, all for under $40. I made a Kodak photobook and personal greeting card for Vanessa but there are a number of options when you check out the kiosks.
When we think Valentine's Day, we think chocolate, right? Everybody loves chocolate. It's great for the last-minute gift. The key, however, is not just to get any kind of chocolate, you have to get something special. To help me find the perfect candies, I reached out to Diane Kron, who runs K Chocolatier. They have locations in California and New York City.
"We are geared for you guys," Kron told me. "We are geared for last-minute shoppers, we have your number." She said she's not just ready for the last-minute shopper, she's ready for the guy who comes in a day late!
She showed us some of her best creations — the gift that kills two birds with one stone — the box of chocolates with bouquets of roses on top.
If you can't get to the Upper East Side of New York before the holiday, don't despair. The idea is to get special chocolates. Look for a store in your area that sells homemade chocolates. Even if it's small -- if it's unique, then it will be remembered.
Too Late for Dinner Reservations?
Two stores down and I'm almost done. What to do about dinner? Even though I haven't made a reservation yet, all is not lost. Websites like OpenTable.com can hook me up. I just have to enter the location, what kind of food we want and when. When you sign up, they'll even send you recommendations of your neighborhood's most romantic restaurants.
But why stop there? I found tons of last-minute deals online. Websites like Groupon and Living Social offer Valentine 's Day specials across the country -- all for a fraction of the regular price. There's wine tasting for two, couples massages, even tango lessons.
But when all is said and done, Valentine's Day is really all about the love. And maybe the chocolate.