Page 1

Volume 3

Valentine’s Day 2009


Travel Food and Wine Valentine’s Day Advice Tips for Romantic Gift Giving 1



VALENTINE’S DAY GETAWAY 4 Where Are You Going This Valentine’s Day? Plan an ideal romantic surprise get away. 6 Three Romantic East Coast Destinations New York, Pennsylvania and New England offer charming spots to steal away with your sweetheart.

SWEET & INDULGENT FOOD & WINE PICKS 9 Lobster for Valentine’s Day Prepare lobster at home for a decadent departure from the usual Valentine‟s Day fare. 11 Sweet Wines for Valentine’s Day Choose just the right wines to complement your Valentine‟s Day meal and dessert. 13 Valentine Day Recipes Capitalize on the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate and strawberries and cater to your lover‟s sweet tooth.

VALENTINE’S DAY ADVICE FOR GUYS 15 The User’s Guide to Valentine’s Day 2009 Scot McKay‟s approach to Valentine‟s Day increases the fun and reduces the stress. 18 Men: Valentine’s Day is an Opportunity to get it Right A romantic plan of action to show how much she matters to you this Valentine‟s Day


CONTENTS february 2009

EXPRESS YOUR LOVE 21 Valentine’s Day Gifts--Give a Sensual Massage Sensuous tips for using touch as an intimate expression of the heart 24 Love Letters: They Can Work For You Put your feelings on paper this Valentine‟s Day to create a memorable gift of love.

CELEBRATING SOLO 26 Single on Valentine’s Day? Five great ideas for enjoying Valentine‟s Day revelry when you‟re unattached

FRESH PERSPECTIVES ON ROMANTIC GIFT GIVING 27 Gadgets Can Be Romantic Valentine’s Day Gifts, Too Recommendations for picking tech gifts and accessories for your sweetheart 29 Eight Valentine’s Day Gifts and Ideas Memorable ways to enhance the romancethis Valentine‟s Day 31 Sexy Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas Inject a little naughtiness into your gift giving to boost the playfulness between you and your lover. 32 Top Five Ways to Wow Your Valentine Skip the tired-and-true. Instead, use your imagination to impress your mate this year.


Where Are You Going This Valentine's Day? By Paul Mcindoe

Valentine's Day is undoubtedly the most romantic day of the year. And what better excuse is there for taking a night or two away from it all and perhaps even surprising your partner in the process? As far as the men are concerned, booking a romantic meal at a quiet location can prove a wonderful way to treat the woman in your life. In addition, if you choose to surprise her with a romantic break, you could call ahead and ask for some champagne and chocolates to be left in the room for your arrival. She's sure to appreciate every little detail like this!

But the great thing

is that you don't need to go too far to enjoy a night away from home for Valentine's Day. In fact, from doing a bit of research, you may find that there are suitable locations for a break close by that won't take more than an hour or two to get to. That way you will have more time to enjoy your time away, rather than spending it on the motorway, which can spoil even the most well planned break, no matter how nice the venue itself might be.

If you manage to find somewhere really romantic, you could even keep the hotel itself as a surprise. Women love to be pampered and taken care of, so if you merely say you are going out for a meal (having smuggled an overnight bag in the car first, of course) you can keep the surprise of the room until later on.

But the best

part about staying away from home for Valentine's Day is simply that you will be able to spend some quality time together. And if you have busy working lives, then this becomes even more important, as you can both wind down and enjoy each other's company.


Of course you won't want to stay in your hotel room for the duration of your time away. Plan to stay somewhere that is picturesque and charming if you can. And if you decide to plan a short getaway together, remember that you can still surprise your other half if you put some prior thought into it. Indeed, a woman might appreciate tickets to see a romantic film for example; whereas a man might enjoy having the chance to take in some kind of sporting event. Either way, make sure you pick activities that you will both enjoy in some way.

In the end, whether you keep it a secret or not, romantic breaks can really enhance your relationship and provide a romantic getaway from your normal everyday lives. And the best time to start thinking about it is now; leaving you plenty of time to plan the perfect surprise.

Article Source:


By Megan Hazel

Would you like to take your significant other to a romantic destination? If you can afford to take an extra day or two to do more than just dinner, there are a great many East coast destinations all within a couple hours of each other that are wonderful in the winter.

NEW YORK CITY Although it can be cold in late fall and winter, New York City can be very romantic place for couples. Many couples could use a relationship refresher, and what better way to get back to basics than with a romantic stroll through Central Park or a horse-andbuggy ride instead. Close by is Rockefeller Center, where you can ice skate on the open-air rink below the flags of the world and near all of the sightseers on the street. Top this off with a cup of steamy cocoa or some warm peanuts or almonds from a street vendor and you have a very romantic, enjoyable afternoon for not a lot of money. Of course, New York hotels do not come cheap, and a wonderful dinner that evening is a must. If you enjoy being downtown when you visit New York, the Soho Grand is a simple, boutique hotel that is even pet friendly should you need to bring a non-human significant other. It will not be cheap, but the room does come with a complimentary pet goldfish upon request! The Tribeca Grand is its sister hotel; and if you choose to stay there, you can visit Robert DeNiro's restaurant while you are in the area. Another unique and romantic suggestion is to dine on a yacht. New York's harbors boast wonderful dining aboard ships that sail around the island of Manhattan while you feast. What a memorable dinner that would be! Typical visitors to New York would, of course, make sure to see a show on Broadway after dinner or after their day out and about on the cityâ€&#x;s streets. Certainly, there is plenty to choose from if you decide to choose this city that never sleeps for your getaway.


THE POCONOS Another wonderful but completely different East coast destination is the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains. Only two and a half hours from New York City, the Poconos offers beautiful scenery and plenty to do either during the spring and summer months or during winter. Depending on the town, it is full of quaint little shops and big manufacturing operations that offer everything from antiques to chocolates to candles. If you enjoy taking scenic rides and shopping „til you drop, this could be just the perfect destination. If you are more of an outdoors type, the Pennsylvania Poconos offers some very good skiing to keep you active through both day and night. Some of the resorts offer lodges with fireside dining and lovely villas to come home to after a full day of snow and sun. Some of the villas come with their own private hot tubs, and we know how romantic a hot tub can be! Perhaps you would rather have everything included in your short time away? There are a number of romantic, all-inclusive resorts in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Caesars Pocono Resort and Cove Haven are just two of the resorts that offer secluded, top-notch room selections. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can even book a room with its own private swimming pool! If you don't want to go quite that crazy, most rooms come with fireplaces and heart-shaped Jacuzzi tubs and complimentary champagne. It's all about togetherness at these resorts, and they cater to the couple. What more can you ask for from a romantic destination?


NEW ENGLAND SHORE Another top destination for romance on the east is the New England shore towns. Believe it or not, the shoreline can be extremely romantic even during the winter months. The towns are no longer full of the music and festivities of the summer, and long gone are the young and loud partygoers. Instead, you are left with the quiet calm of the locals, many of whom operate bed & breakfast inns throughout the year. You can still enjoy an amazing seafood feast in the later fall and winter months; the difference is that it is served in front of a fireplace at a bed & breakfast, rather than al fresco at some seaside cabana. While the latter is fine when you are sunning with your loved one, it can be quite relaxing and romantic to enjoy a bowl of hot chowder and fine sea fare at dinner, prepared in someone's home with the utmost care, knowing that a four-poster, warm quilted bed awaits you in this old farmhouse by the sea when you are ready to retire.

No matter which city or resort you choose, you really cannot go wrong with any one of these romantic East coast destinations.

Article Source:

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Lobster for Valentine's Day By Brian Schwartz

Valentine's Day is celebrated worldwide as the most amorous day of the year. Initially, it was a day meant for lovers only. In recent times, however, is not just confined to those in love; it is also celebrated by relatives, friends and colleagues. It does have a special meaning, though, for all those who are romantically involved. If you usually book a restaurant on Valentine's Day, this time try something new. Whip up a cozy lobster meal for two. You can save good money and enjoy an appetizing meal in the comfort of your home. A lobster extravaganza is probably the most appealing Valentine's Day gift that you could give your loved one. If you're planning a delicious lobster dinner, avoid fetching a lobster from your local supermarket. The ones you get there will be alive alright but with half their meat gone. Instead, go online and order a fresh live lobster that will be delivered overnight or within 48 hours at the most. The flesh will be tender and more succulent as compared to the superstore specimen. When you're planning a cozy lobster dinner for two, always go in for a full three-course meal. Kick-start your meal with a glass of wine. Follow it up with starters comprising of lobster salad prepared with mayonnaise and lemon garnishing. Spice up your main course with boiled, steamed or grilled lobster. It's simple and doesn't take much time or effort. You can also throw in lobster soup as a special treat. If you choose lobster to celebrate your Valentine's Day, you can eat to your heartâ€&#x;s content without worrying about packing on those calories. It is scientifically proven that lobsters are low in fat and rich in protein. Lobster Bisque is an exotic dish that you can try at home on Valentine's Day. Fresh live lobster is the most important ingredient. Here's how you prepare it. Take boiled lobster meat, soak it with sherry and keep aside. Heat a pan, melt butter and blend in flour to create a velvety paste. Stir continuously and gradually add milk. Keep stirring until the mixture gets thick. Add a dash of salt, pepper and seasoned salt. You can also use 9

steak sauce to add flavor. Slip the lobster soaked with sherry into the concoction. Cover the pan and let it simmer on low for about ten minutes. Remove, and voila, your lobster bisque is ready and good enough to be savored. A lobster meal on Valentine's Day will be a huge success only if you're able to get a fresh live lobster. The ones you get at your store may be costeffective, but do you really want a lobster that will taste only half good as one ordered online and shipped directly from Maine? On Valentineâ€&#x;s Day, you can also get a lobster meal at a reputed restaurant. But it kind of dampens the romance when you have to put up with screaming children, hovering waiters and other noisy diners. You can eat the same tasty dish at home with little effort and all the privacy that this most romantic of days demands. A lobster dinner is a great way to celebrate any occasion, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you toast that special someone on Valentineâ€&#x;s Day with a glass of wine and an exotic lobster spread. Celebrate, anytime of the year, anywhere in the country, with the finest live lobster from Happy Cracking! Article Source:


Sweet Wines for Valentine's Day

Which Wine Will You Choose to Celebrate Your Sweet One? By Alan Boehmer

Sweet or Dry? Ask tasting room managers how their patrons respond to the frequently asked question, "Do you prefer dry wines or sweet?" The response is almost 100%; the stated preference is always for dry. But when it comes to purchasing, off-dry whites (aka: sweet) often outpace the bright, acidic dry ones. The wine drinking public in North America is obviously confused, and understandably so. The typical table wines of a generation or two ago were notably sweet. Many even carried references to well-known sweet wines of Europe: Tokay, Port, Muscatelle, Rhine. But as wine writers began to influence consumers' preferences, we saw a shift towards drier table wines: Red Mountain, Green Hungarian, Chablis Blanc, Hearty Burgundy. These wines were never truly dry, but their advocates believed them to be so. These were followed by varietal wines: Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling. The American wine clientele was steadily moving towards drier wines. Then the traditional wines of Europe, once the province of the well-to-do, exploded onto the New World wine scene. Now we began to understand what dry really meant. We became acquainted with bone dry Muscadet, dry white Burgundy, steely Savennieres, crisp Alsatian whites, austere white Bordeaux. And even the reds lacked that mouth-filling richness associated with New World reds. They were lean and finished dry. Sweet wines declined in popularity.


Sweet Wines Are Making a Comeback But sweet wines are finding a new popularity today, even among those disinclined to admit it. New World Chardonnay has a decidedly sweet finish and has become the most widely planted varietal in California. Perhaps its monumental success with typical wine lovers has reduced their disdain for sweetness in wine.

Sweet Wines and Food Sweet wines have always been associated with desserts and cheese courses. Today we have a rich panoply from which to choose. One of the most gracious aspects of a fine dinner is a cheese course consisting of two or three artisanal cheeses and, yes, a sweet wine. Robust reds can work, too; but the classic pairings almost always call for Port, Sauternes or a late harvest white. While we could suggest a wide spectrum of delicious sweet wines for cheese courses, Valentine's Day calls to mind another special food: chocolate. And that brings to mind the knotty issue of pairing sweet wines with sweet foods. The generally accepted rule is that wines meant to complement sweet foods should never be sweeter than the food. There are notable exceptions. Many people enjoy a rich Port with chocolate, and even Julia Child recommended a sweet Sauternes with a delicately flavored soufflĂŠ Grand Marnier. Chocolate and Wine We've tried pretty much every imaginable wine with chocolate and keep returning to our original opinion. The combination of dark chocolate, especially in the form of a truffle or bon bon, is best complemented by a rich Cabernet Sauvignon, not a late harvest Zinfandel, although there are some who wouldn't turn that combination down. It seems to be the unique flavor profile of Cabernet Sauvignon that marries so well with chocolate, turning the combined flavor into something reminiscent of a chocolate covered cherry. So for a memorable Valentine's Day experience, why not finish off your meal with chocolate and Cabernet, then cozy up to the fire with a nice Port? Did I mention the Stilton?

Article Source:


By Jill Seader

Some interesting history about chocolate and strawberries: The ancient Mayans and Aztecs considered chocolate an aphrodisiac. Strawberries have been considered an aphrodisiac since ancient Rome. But the history of these two delectable treats hardly matters. All you need to know is that the combination is sure to please your lover on Valentine's Day.

Chocolate Strawberry Cake Squares The decadent chocolate fudge combined with the sweet flavor of strawberries in this recipe will have your lover wanting more. And the best part is that it's quick and simple to make. It serves two, so it is a perfect treat for Valentine's Day.

2 slices pound cake 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce 2 tablespoons Amaretto 8 strawberries, sliced

2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce, melted toasted slivered almonds vanilla ice cream

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce and Amaretto. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Put half of the sauce on one dessert plate and half on another. Place the cake slices on the fudge sauce. Put the strawberries in even layers on top of the cake. Microwave each cake square on high for 30 seconds. Top with the 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce, slivered almonds and ice cream.


Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Dessert A delightful treat for your valentine with Oreos, chocolate and strawberries. A perfect chilled dessert to help steam up your romance.

50 Oreos, crushed 4 tablespoons butter, softened 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 cup chocolate syrup 1 package (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed 1/2 gallon strawberry ice cream, thawed slightly 1 pint strawberries, sliced chocolate syrup

In a small bowl, mix the crushed Oreos and butter. Put 1/3 of this mixture into a 9x13-inch pan. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the chocolate syrup gradually to the cream cheese. Fold the whipped topping into the chocolate mixture. Put the chocolate mixture on top of the crumbs, and then add another 1/3 of the crumb mixture over this layer. Slice the strawberry ice cream into 1 inch thick slices and put over the chocolate layer. Top this layer with the remaining crumbs. Freeze at least overnight. Allow the dessert to sit out for about 15 minutes before cutting it into bars. Put the sliced strawberries on top of a bar and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

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The User’s Guide to Valentine’s Day 2009 By Scot McKay, X & Y Communications

Yes, I realize the title of this article can be read in at least two different ways. I'm still cracking up over that, actually; chalk that up to my pet peeve regarding how diamonds are marketed so heavily anytime there's a holiday around. You know, I might feel like an insufficient dweeb this Valentine's Day had I not dropped a two-carat rock on Emily for Groundhog Day over the weekend‌not. But let's backtrack a bit. The de rigueur attitude among stylish "dating gurus" these days tends to be to blast Valentine's Day and everything it stands for with every bit of raw firepower the arsenal can support. Me? I'm sort of on the fence. Here's the deal. Valentine's Day can flat-out rock, but only if you are in a steady relationship, and only if that's a happy, fulfilling relationship. And only if your significant other isn't, well, a "user" who packs a smokin' "entitlementality". And only if you are in the particularly hazardous habit of depending on a calendar to tell you when it's time to stoke things up with some extra passion and romance. Generously speaking, for better or worse, I'd say the two circumstances above work in tandem to cover a grand total of about ten percent of the population...max. The rest of us are left with a major crater in our schedule that has to be filled, either that or the opposite--a massive obstacle that must be overcome. What do I mean? Well, obviously, anyone who is dateless on (or around) Valentine's Day is likely pouring mostly imagined social pressure on him or (especially) herself. That's obvious. But even people who are living wildly successful dating lives are faced with a potentially serious plot complication around February 14th if they are dating several people at the same time. Ever thought about that one?


It seems inevitable that a lot of money is going to have to be spent. Worse, your hierarchy of "favorites" could be exposed to the cold scrutiny of everyone involved. We're on record around here as being full supporters of dating more than one person at once. Life is too short to let serial exclusivity run its course one person at a time. The goal is to deserve what one wants, which involves practice and, indeed, a solid level of experience in evaluating what one wants in a potential long-term relationship. But the fact remains that one's priorities will inevitably show through like a red thong under a white skirt on Valentine‟s Day, especially considering that February 14th falls on a Saturday this year. Ouch. Whoever isn‟t out with you that night will probably get the message…loud and clear. So how can this issue be dealt with effectively? Well, you could tell everyone involved that you're going to "just say no" to Valentine's Day this year. Hey, it has been done before. But I'll tell you straight-up that those who you are dating will ALL feel deprioritized by that pronouncement. Somehow, that you would be bypassing V-Day altogether is just hard to believe for most MOTOS (Members of the Opposite Sex). Or you could just leave town for the weekend. Actually, that‟s not a bad idea at all. So assuming you can get the juggling act solved, what about the potential expense associated with Valentine‟s Day? A great strategy is to set expectations (especially with people you haven't been dating for very long) that there's no pressure to spend lots of money. But hey, if you've got extra cash to drop and can pull off doing so without coming off as a needy approval-seeker, go for it. But for the rest of us, clear communication makes much more sense. Most will be relieved by this notion-especially if they're dating others also. If they throw a fit, you're dating the wrong people anyway...right? Just buy cards. Better yet, be creative. I know one guy who even bought the pack of valentines elementary school kids use and handed them out. Classic. Dating lots of people can be crazy, huh? But such times are to be enjoyed, not stressed over. So save the money and focus on enjoying the company of the MOTOS you've been hanging out with lately. And what of the other problem? You know, the "dateless" one. Well, have I got a solution for you. (What, did you think I was going to leave you hanging? Not a chance.) The first order of business is to get outside of your own head, stop being self-conscious about it and realize that 95% of the rest of us are griping about Valentine's Day also. Guys, women everywhere are absolutely sparking with nervous energy over whether they'll have a date on Valentine's Day or not. There is probably no other time of year that women are more approachable than right now, at about a week to ten days out from V-Day.


Nowhere is this more evident than online. When I was at the peak of my online dating action, I was floored by how women would become much more direct around Valentine's Day. I'd get more messages from women than usual. Women who had dropped off the map would suddenly write or call out of nowhere. And women I wrote to would not only respond even more often than usual, they wanted to cut to the chase more quickly also. It wasn't at all uncommon for women to want to bypass e-mail and lengthy phone conversations. They just wanted to maximize their chances at meeting a guy and hopefully not sitting home alone on Valentine's Day. And mind you, these women were often the particularly attractive ones. The self-imposed pressure, ironically enough, seems to be even higher the more attractive the women are. I'll tell you what. If that isn't a massively valuable enough secret for you, here's another: If you think the week before V-Day is a bonanza, you haven't seen anything yet. The week after Valentine's Day is arguably the most primo opportunity you are going to get all year long to get dates with amazing women. Why? Well, if they didn‟t get a date for Valentine's Day, the weight is immense. They feel left they missed out. Plus, to your benefit, there's no longer any social pressure to spend money or go through the trappings of the holiday. Seriously, guys, the next two weeks of your life are absolutely mission critical if you have "online dating" written anywhere on your radar screen. It's time for you to step up and be that very guy women might miss out on if they don't meet you between now and the 14th.

Scot McKay and his wife Emily are dating coaches and founders of X & Y Communications. They met online, naturally, and now live happily together in San Antonio, Texas. Scot‟s program designed to maximize online dating success for men is called Online Dating Domination ( Emily‟s online dating program for women, Click With Him, can be found at Both Scot and Emily can be found on Facebook or on Twitter at @scotmckay and @emilymckay respectively.


Men: Valentine's Day is an Opportunity to Get it Right By Sam

Time and time again your words and actions fall short of what you truly want to say to the woman you adore. You are a busy man taking care of your responsibilities, and perhaps your Valentineâ€&#x;s Day offerings in the past weren't all they could have been. She, on the other hand, cares for you, supports you, fulfills your needs and deserves to feel like the beloved goddess she is. So check out these great tips and suggestions for getting this Valentine's Day just right.

Realize That Valentine's Day Is an Opportunity It's sad to say, but we are only given so many opportunities in this lifetime to celebrate Valentine's Day with our loved ones. Vow right here, right now to take advantage of your opportunity this Valentine's Day to make it special and repeat after me: "I will not stop by the card store or flower shop on the way home from work this year to pick up the same old, tired and too often used Valentine's gift this year. I will take the time to plan something special and meaningful for her this Valentine's Day".

Ok, now that you've taken the vow, that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. It doesn't mean you have to go out and buy a diamond ring (unless this is already in your plans). It does mean that you will take the time to think of what would make Valentine's Day special to her! Here are some tips to help you live up to your vow.

Don't Hesitate - Valentine's Day Will Sneak Up On You! Procrastination is the number one mistake a man can make concerning Valentine's Day. The right Valentine's Day brings the right moment, and this requires planning. Don't wait until the week of or a couple of days before. Get to it right now. Request the day off from work; do whatever you have to do to be there for her and deliver the best Valentine's Day ever. You'll find that careful planning, even when itâ€&#x;s not perfect, will be very rewarding for the time you spend with her.


Listen to Her Communication is very important to a healthy relationship. Both men and women need to be able to express themselves to one another and communicate their desires and dislikes. This, however, also requires the skill of listening. To help prepare for this Valentine's Day, take an extra dose of caffeine and pay close attention to the magazines she's sifting through and what she says while reading them. You can also pay close attention to what she says during the Valentine's Day ads that show on television. You'll find that women aren't usually silent about what they want for Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day Plan of Action There are some fundamental basics to providing an excellent Valentine's Day: location, activity and gift. In order to get it right, be sure to pay close attention to each detail, one at a time. Breaking your ideas down on paper and making yourself a Valentine to-do list is a good way to start. Keep the list handy as you head into Valentine's Day, and jot down your thoughts and ideas. Finally re-write and prioritize your list with your plan of action as the day approaches.

Valentine's Day Location To decide on the right location, think of where she expresses dismay over not having been. If her busy schedule interferes with what you have in mind, go for a one-day, sure-fire excursion of the obvious nature, like a picnic in the park, theme park, mini golf, concert, zoo or carnival. If the weather keeps you indoors, you can make a cozy love nest for two out of your living room. Does she have a favorite restaurant? If so, make your reservation early to ensure there won't be a wait when you arrive. When all else fails, and you haven't thought of a place, just ask her where she wants to go.

Valentine's Day Activity The activity usually falls right in line once you've chosen your location. However, if you find yourself at a park, theme park, mini golf or zoo, a picnic would be an excellent touch on any day. Be sure to pack an attractive picnic basket with snacks, sandwiches and drinks. A portable cooler could also be a help as could a romantic wine and cheese basket filled with her favorite treats.


Valentine's Day Gift Gifts are undeniably the grand finale of an excellent Valentine's Day. By February 1st, you should already have a good idea of what you are buying for your lovely lady. Be it jewelry, an iPod, a pet or a stationary set with flowers and a card attached, you want her to be impressed. The best course of action, when deciding what type of gift, is to ask way in advance. Ask her playfully to tell you three different things she would be happy to receive. If you prefer to surprise her and still need help, ask her best friend or her mother.

The Extras Your creativity and special touch is all that is missing from the more simple and explanatory ways to create a great Valentine's Day. This is, by far, the most challenging and rewarding part of making Valentine's Day special for the woman you love. Dig deep into your vocabulary and plan on expressing your feelings openly this Valentine's Day. In case you still need a jump start, here are some simple hints:

Notes of love in her pockets or purse

A gift card to a shoe store taped to the mirror with a dry erase note of love

Slippers by her bedside with notes on them in the morning

A rose on her pillow and lingerie between her sheets

An array of lipsticks and blushes on her vanity (ask a cosmetics girl at a department store)

Her favorite perfume with a bow on her car seat

With these ideas and tips, your Valentine's Day ideas will improve, making your Valentine's Day one that she'll treasure for the effort you put into it. Article Source:


By Staff Writers

With origins that some estimate to date back as far as 300 A.D., Valentine‟s Day has held its own through the centuries as the day to celebrate affairs of the heart. Although its beginnings are clouded by time, one thing is certain: couples around the globe continue to recognize the gift of each other on this day dedicated to lovers. What will you do for your love this February 14th? We have all invested time and energy in searching out the “perfect” Valentine‟s Day gift for our partner, an intimate expression of heart that is somehow defining of our feelings for one another. Some years we succeed gloriously; while on others, we may be left to grasp at the commercial simplicity of yet another box of chocolates or a dozen roses. Now, many of us can extract a significant amount of pleasure from almost any box of chocolates, but it would seem that Valentine‟s Day should involve a greater sharing between partners, an opportunity to continue their journey with one another, while refreshing their state of intimacy, an aspect of any successful relationship that daily living can slowly chip away at. In our view, there are few choices that allow for an expression of intimacy as succinct as a sensual massage. The gift of time, effort, and sharing is one that is rarely forgotten, and almost universally appreciated, and enjoyed. Not all of us have had an opportunity to learn the art of sensual massage, and some may even let fear of failure inhibit their desire to try. Well, fear no more, for we want you to get your hands working and are going to guide you through this wonderful process, step by step, and just in time to share it with your beloved, this Valentine‟s Day.

There are a number of considerations before you begin the experience of giving and receiving a sensual massage. First off, you need to advise and invite your partner! Give him or her plenty of advance notice, to ensure that you have each other's complete focus, and attention. The next 21

thing you'll need to determine is where the best place to share the massage experience will be. Often, practiced couples will use a bed, a padded tabletop or a pillow-covered floor as the location of choice. You'll also need to plan ahead for those little extras you may want available to make the experience specific to your relationship: oils enjoyed by each of you, candles used during earlier romantic encounters, the list is endless, and personal to each of your adventures. Some towels and/or covering cloths are also suggested for cleanup of excess oils or for ensuring the recipient‟s warmth and comfort during the massage itself.

Preparing your space carefully can help ensure a peaceful and romantic evening or afternoon, one that is certain not to be forgotten for some time to come... 

Unplug your telephone, lock the door, make alternative arrangements for children and pets

Turn the lights down low or light a few candles instead - create your own “cabin in the woods”

Ensure the room temperature is comfortable for a “clothing optional” situation. We would recommend a setting of close to 80 degrees. Prepare a musical selection that is tranquil and that consists of favorites for all participants. Set the CD player to play all songs, so as to produce no poorly timed interruptions.

Assemble an array of your favorite oils, either premixed or custom made to your wishes, see our assortment of recipes specifically for lovers below.

Consider these recipes, derived from both research into mixes with “aphrodisiac” qualities, as well as suggestions made by our generous and amorous readers. For each, mix ingredients in a clean, dark glass bottle, shaking the blend before using.

Sensual Massage Recipe One    

4 ounces of your preferred carrier oil 15 drops of rose oil 15 drops of ylang ylang oil 10 drops of jasmine oil

Sensual Massage Recipe Two     

4 ounces of your preferred carrier oil 15 drops of rosewood oil 10 drops of geranium oil 8 drops of jasmine oil 4 drops of neroli oil


The Spicy Sensual Massage     

4 ounces of your preferred carrier oil 15 drops of sandalwood oil 9 drops of cinnamon oil 6 drops of peppermint oil 5 drops of black pepper oil

Don't forget to test your oil mixture before applying too liberally to your partner's skin. Apply to a small area and wait a few minutes, watching for any kind of reaction. As always, those with highly sensitive skin should take additional care when considering the application of essential oils to the skin.

The sensual massage has been called “the dance of love”. It is a gift of intimacy, which by definition incorporates caring and communication. Likewise, the giving of a truly sensual massage requires that one listens carefully to the needs and wishes of their partner. Start by ensuring that your partner is comfortable, warm and relaxed. Begin the massage by applying warmed oils, mixed with a mutually enjoyed carrier, to the area of the body you want to work first. Many begin with the back rub, an excellent area through which to achieve a heightened level of relaxation and a more open line of communication. Keep your strokes light at the start, listening attentively to the reactions of your partner. His or her communication will be both spoken and intimated through body language. The lighter the stroke the better, unless indications are that additional pressure would be preferred. Continuous movement is important to the flow of the massage. When working on the back, begin at the neck, taking your fingers gently down the spine, and off to the side in a smooth, fluid motion. Let one stroke lead into another, avoiding sudden movements, always focusing on the needs and responses of your partner. Keep your massage varied, using different strokes, and shifting to changing areas of the body. Balance opposing limbs, working one, then the other. Some couples enjoy using “props” to take the sensory nature of the experience beyond what simple fingers to skin can bring. Consider incorporating feathers, silk or fresh flowers into your event. But don't rub too lightly or you may send your partner into a tickle induced fit of laughter - enjoyable in most cases, but perhaps not as sensual a moment as one may be hoping for! Always pay close attention to the state of relaxation your partner is in. Sleep is a possibility with any massage, but a true sensual massage walks this line carefully, ensuring a partner who is aware, capable of communicating their needs and enjoyment, and of sharing in further intimacies that tend to flow naturally from such moments! Engaging your partner in a moment dedicated solely to one another is one small way of ensuring a relationship that is positive, communicative and intimate in more ways than one. It is one of many gifts worthy of giving, one that will ensure a loving and happy Valentine‟s Day! Article Source:


Love Letters 

Whether You Call it a Flirt, Romance or Dating, They Can Work for You By Greg DeHart


letters are intended to express your innermost feelings for another person. Often love letters express thoughts and feelings from the heart that may be hard to share in person, face to face. Can it be said that love and romance can ever be complete without love letters? I think not. Love requires communication. It demands the expression of one's heart in both action and word. I've heard it said that the greatest of all love letters is the Bible, which was brought forth to express the greatest love that could ever be, the love of God toward us of His creation.

Was the need to communicate love the reason behind Valentine’s Day? Perhaps this is exactly why the celebration of Valentine‟s Day was started in 496 A.D. with the exchange of love letters between couples. Since that time, the exchange of love notes and letters has voluntarily flowed from the hearts of countless friends and lovers who have understood the need to express their hearts‟ feelings. Could it not be said that this very tradition supports the idea that there is no greater force than love? I think so. The Scripture itself testifies to this in 1 Corinthians 13:13, where it says, And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three: but the greatest of these is Charity (love). Valentine‟s Day is celebrated in many different ways in many different places. It is interesting to note that Valentine‟s Day marks the biggest shopping day of the year, when it comes to chocolate and flowers. On the occasion of Valentine‟s Day, or on any ordinary day, a love letter written by your sweetheart can definitely overwhelm you.

Love letters can be tools in your relationship. Couples have testified that over the years that writing love letters and notes to each other enhanced their relationship, sometimes even dramatically. But it is apparent that others allow their insecurities about their own writing ability to stop them from taking action. These people need to know that there are services available that will provide them with the basic structure of love letters, notes and poems. Companies offer the basic format; the individual needs simply to, so to speak, “fill-in-the-blanks”. Perhaps it should be suggested to those who think it is too impersonal to just fill-in-the-blanks that the next time they give flowers or gift to their spouse or a friend, they should make sure they plant and grow their own flowers and manufacture their very own gift, if in truth that is what it takes to make it entirely personal and a token from one's own heart.


Love letters can be bland, very decorative and scented. Anything is better than nothing. Love letters are usually a little more presentational than normal letters. Love letters are usually written in ink; but if your handwriting is especially horrible, you can always choose a beautiful or unusual font from the writing program on your computer and/or print the letter out on designer paper. Traditionally love letters were also scented with the writer's perfume. Scented love letters relate a particular fragrance to the person who writes the missive. I've received love letters adorned in flowers, in colored print, in plain print and in block letters. Yes, the decorative and dramatic or the silly and playful are fun and good; but simple and plain is all the world better than nothing at all. Each is fine in my book; but no letter, no sentiment, no communication‌that is unthinkable! It has been said that open hatred is better than secret love.

There are love letter aides for the hurried or those that feel awkward. Jill Brennan noted the need to help people write their own romantic love letters. So she has written an e-book and started her own web-site offering letters, notes and poems for others to use. This can be a perfect solution for you if you are unable to write a letter that you are happy with or simply don't have time to make your love letter a masterpiece. She has collected 101 love letter templates so that any one of us, who perhaps is hurried or feels awkward about coining our own letter from scratch, can have perfect love letters that flow beautifully and can be easily copied word-for-word or used only in part. I ask you, can love and romance ever be complete without love letters? Article Source:


Single on Valentine's Day? By Beiling Lee

This year, rather than feeling sorry for yourself, here's what you're going to do. Stop feeling bad for yourself. Pick out a great outfit. Put some smell-good on, and get ready to paint the town RED!

1. Go out to dinner with your friends. If you have other single friends, call them up and tell them that you're going out. Keep in mind that most restaurants are going to be packed, and some require reservations for Valentine's Day; so be flexible if you don't already have plans.

2. Hit the clubs. There is no better way to meet other singles than to hit the clubs. Sure, you're going to run into the pawing couples, but there are going to plenty of other singles anxious to meet new people.

3. Not in the mood to get all dolled up? Fine, go to Barnes and Nobles. You might run into a wellread man or possibly a fellow geek hanging out in the technology section.

4. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Don't hesitate in making the first move. Guys sometimes get the wrong impression; women don't always send the right signal that tells a guy we're interested or even available. So, if you see a guy and think he's cute, just say, "Hello." What's the worst that could happen?

5. Stop feeling sorry for yourself! Not every girl getting flowers is happy in her relationship. Valentine's Day lasts for only 24 hours, and a happy relationship is far more than a dozen roses. Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single, just donâ€&#x;t be a pitiful single. People can smell desperation from miles away, and they usually run in the opposite direction. No matter what you end up doing, don't let it be in front of the tube. And please put the ice cream down. There's a whole world out there. Now get out and enjoy it!

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Gadgets Can

Romantic Valentine's Day Gifts, Too! By Xenia Maria Solano

Some people might say gadgets and gizmos are for the certified geeks and not for those who have active social lives. Well, technology is for everyone. Everybody, from the workaholic businessmen to gadget geeks to party animals, awaits the launch of every cool gadget being released in the market. So, we have established that gadgets are everyone, but can they be for the romantic ones, too? Oh, definitely. Gadgets can make very cool and romantic Valentine‟s Day gifts. How? Gadgets are not just limited to cell phones, laptops and music players. There are so many gadgets and gizmos out there that cater to various interests and hobbies at a very wide range of prices. Valentine's Day can be one of the most stressful days of the year. Unlike Christmas, it tends to lean towards couples. And, of course, Valentine‟s Day gifts are expected between couples. Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that, somehow, Valentine‟s Day gifts are just as important as gifts on any other occasion. The gift need not be too expensive, but it has to be thoughtful and full of love. After all, Valentine's Day is first and foremost for couples. Here are some tips to make your Valentine‟s Day gift unique, functional, romantic and, most of all, techie: 1.

When choosing a Valentine‟s Day gift for your partner, you should consider your partner's interests, hobbies, career and other favorites. The best gift you can give is one your partner can cherish, use and find very thoughtful of you. If you do have some dough to spend, then go ahead and choose the latest cell phone, laptop or music player. But if you are on a budget, then why not accessorize the gadget your partner already has? You know, those attractive screen or film protectors for mobile phones…or maybe some trinkets, like studs or Swarovski chains. If your partner has an iPhone, how about some apps?


If your partner likes collecting toys and gizmos, then you might want to check out different remotecontrolled toys. If he or she is a collector, then it could help to check out functional or fun trinkets related to the item he or she is collecting.



For those who love the wild outdoors, there are so many tools that will make any trip or hike more convenient or even exciting. Camping trips can be very romantic, you know.

The most romantic gift is the most thoughtful gift. It need not be expensive, but it should show your partner how special he or she is by acknowledging and appreciating his or her favorite things; collection, hobbies and interests; or even his or her career. And don't forget, unique gifts that are both fun and functional make perfect Valentineâ€&#x;s Day gifts. Article Source:


Eight Valentine's Day Gifts and Ideas By George Tee

Are you having trouble thinking of the right Valentine's Day gift for your significant other? Have you planned what to do and where to go for your romantic evening on Valentine's Day? Well, if you already have something in mind, good for you; but my guess is that plenty of guys and ladies out there are having a hard time. I‟m sure that for most of us, we have been giving little gifts here and there; and all the romantic ideas seem to have run out. Here are some of my ideas to help you create a romantic and memorable Valentine's Day. Number 8 -- Personalized Photo Locket This makes a very sweet and personalized gift for your loved one. You can engrave your photo on the metal itself. A precious gift your loved one will keep close and a memorable gift that will last a long time. Number 7 -- Lingerie Buy sexy, beautiful, exotic lingerie that she‟s always fantasized about wearing. If you watch “Desperate Housewives”, there are lots of ideas you can draw from. Number 6 -- (a crazy idea) Yourself Put yourself in a huge gift box you can fit into, and get a group of friends to deliver it to the place where you‟ll meet your sweetie. But first, wear something out of the ordinary so when he or she opens the box, he or she will be surprised and amused at the same time. Number 5 -- (my fantasy idea) Words in the Sky

Perhaps you have seen this in the movies. The air plane smokes the sky with the words, "I love you, (name)". Of course it's not going to be cheap or environmental friendly, but I'm sure he or she is going to remember this for life.


Number 4 -- Candle Light Dinner at Home You may think this is too traditional; and if you are not a good chef, this is going to be tough for you. Youâ€&#x;ll have to learn to make a good dish within a few days, but it's the effort and sweat you put in that counts! Do not just spend some money and go to a restaurant. Start to learn how to prepare his or her favorite dish now! Number 3 -- Rose Petal Pathway Lay rose petals all the way from your door steps to the bedroom to form a grand welcome while you lie in the bed waiting for his/her arrival. Prepare a champagne bottle beside the bed to enjoy. Number 2 -- A Warm Fragrant Spa Enjoy a romantic spa with your loved one.

Number 1 -- ??? What's the Number One thing that your loved one adores and dreams of in a relationship? It's up to you to find out without letting him or her know. Then deliver. It's not about the money or how creative the idea. It's about the effort and the time you put into your gift for your significant other. This will truly give more juice and happiness to the relationship.

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Sexy Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas By Katie Rose

Christmas is over—that time of year when we spend our time and money on our family and friends. Valentine's Day is quickly approaching—the time of year to spend time and money on ourselves and our lover. Sexy lingerie is a Valentine's Day gift that pleases both of you. What makes lingerie such a sought after Valentine's Day gift—more treasured than chocolates, flowers, stuffed animals and even jewelry? Lingerie says, "I love you, and I want you." It says, "You are beautiful and deserve to wear beautiful things." Sexy clothing is not the only Valentine‟s Day gift you should give her. If your lover is a chocolate fiend, then you better get her some fancy chocolates, too. Flowers are never a waste, but opt for two or three smaller bouquets around the room instead of one big, overbearing grouping. Choose different types of flowers…daisies, wild flowers, carnations, maybe one rose…tied with a ribbon. The rose will be romantic, and the hardier flowers will last longer. Think about adding a slim book of erotic stories, some massage oil, adult toys or a special piece of jewelry with an encrypted romantic inscription. Take the time to write a note to tell her or him exactly what it is about your relationship that turns you on. Don't be afraid to get a little naughty. It will be remembered for many years to come. From a practical standpoint, it can be hard for guys to know what kind of lingerie to choose or what size to buy. If you make a purchase at a lingerie store, the salesperson can often help by showing you what is popular or suggesting something in your price range. They may even have size guides to help, but try to sneak into your gal's dresser beforehand and check out the size on something similar to what you want to buy. A short Internet search for "Lingerie Shopping Tips" can also give you many pointers and ideas. If all else fails, a gift certificate for a shopping trip may be an option. You get the idea. Many lingerie stores on the web have people qualified to help, too. Try using the customer service or "contact us" buttons on a lingerie website. Usually an honest description of your gal with size ranges or measurements can help the sales person narrow down the selection for you. Most people in the lingerie business are very accustomed to helping men and women pick just the right sexy lingerie outfit from the thousands available. Whatever you decide to do, make it personal. Take time to think about your girl or guy and what romantic times you have had in the past or have discussed as fantasies. You do not have to spend a lot of money to make the day unforgettable. The thought that you put into doing something unique and loving is much more important than the price tag. Article Source:


Top Five Ways to Wow Your Valentine By Donna Fontenot

Sure, common wisdom says that Valentine's Day was invented by greeting card companies to bring in sales during a slow time of year, but Valentine's Day means love; and if you don't celebrate it with that special person in your life, you're going to be in a lot of trouble! Speaking of trouble, let me keep you out of it. Don't waste your time and money buying red roses and a box of chocolates for your sweetheart. Rather than being a noimagination lover, do something incredible this Valentine's Day. Here are five fabulous ways to show your Valentine how much you care.

1. Celebrate Valentine's Day at Home with a Catered Dinner For Two ď ™ Call you favorite restaurant and order ahead. Hire a waiter for the night to serve your meal, complete with candlelight and fine china. Then have him whisk away the mess before he leaves the two of you alone - when the romance begins.

2. Spend the Day at a Spa before Going to Dinner ď ™ A nice steamy bath followed by a couple's massage and a pedicure for two is a great

way to relax and get ready for a night of love. If you book a room at a nice hotel with a spa, you don't even have to travel far to dine before retiring to your suite.


3. Make Valentine's Day Exciting and Adventurous  Arrange for a romantic picnic hundreds of feet up in the air courtesy of your local hot air balloon rental company. You'll waft along in the breeze, laughing at all

of the people running in and out of the flower shops below you.

4. Make Your Valentine's Fantasy Dream Come True  Who knows what fantasy lives in the mind of your Valentine? I bet you do, so go ahead and make that special fantasy come true.

5. Spend a Couple of Days at a Romantic Bed & Breakfast Inn  If mountains and snow are your idea of romance, stay at a cozy inn up north in the mountains where crackling fires warm the two of you as you sip hot chocolate laced with a bit of Bailey‟s Irish Cream. If hot sultry nights are more your style, head down south and claim a bit of beach in Florida. Get fired up as you dance the night away to steel drums, and then celebrate the new day with a romantic breakfast for two as you watch the sun rise over the ocean.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX If these Top Five Valentine‟s ideas aren't quite right for you, hopefully they will inspire you to find the perfect way to spend Valentine's Day and really WOW your sweetheart! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX Article Source:


Sexy Singles Magazine Valentine's Day Issue  

Valentine's Day tips and advice for singles who use online dating to find love and romance.

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