Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Surprise

    Thanks to Pinterest, I had no shortage of ideas for what to do for Tim for Valentine's Day. I really wanted to do something special for him since he hasn't gotten as much attention from me since Owen was born. And when I found this idea, I was a little apprehensive about the time and money involved, but then I decided to just go for it and surprise Tim with a really unique and fun gift. 

    So for this Valentine's Day (our eighth!), I sent Tim to work with a bag full of gifts to open on the 14th minute of every hour. So at 8:14 a.m. he opened the first one, 9:14 a.m. he opened the second one, and on and on for a total of 14 gifts throughout the day. He had four to open once he got home from work. His gifts were mainly small, but meaningful. Some were romantic, some were practical, some I bought, some I made, some were sugary, some were playful, and some were serious. I had the best time coming up with ideas for gifts to get him. After buying or making all his gifts, I wrapped them in red wrapping paper and then labeled each of them with a shipping label printed with "Open me at..." and then the time. The original blogger had a template to use when printing the labels, but when I tried it, they printed off incorrectly so I had to make my own. The gifts turned out really awesome and had a really impressive visual effect when you stack them all together.
What's that on the right, you ask? My early Valentine's roses from my sweetie.
I love the fun tags.
  Here is a list of the gifts that I got Tim and the times that he opened them. It may seem expensive, but I got several of the things for free and found online deals for pretty much everything else. And of course, the candy and other sweets were cheap too. The things that I made were pretty inexpensive as well because I had a lot of the supplies already on hand.

8:14 a.m. - His Valentine's card from me. I personalized it with photos from our engagement shoot, our wedding, and some of Owen and printed it online at Tiny Prints during one of their free promotions. 
9:14 a.m. - Energy in a Jar. This is an idea that I found on Pinterest where the original crafter packed Mason jars with various items and labeled them "Energy in a Jar," "Refreshment in a Jar," and "Pampering in a Jar." I thought that "Energy in a Jar" would be perfect for a guy who wakes up at 4 a.m. to go in to work. So I bought some energy bars, a small pack of peanuts, a small bag of M&Ms, some single serving packets of coffee and an energy drink and packed them in a large Mason jar that I had already. Then I printed off the label, glued it on, and voila! My label didn't print as bright as the original, but I still think he'll like it. And when he uses all the contents up, he can bring it home and I'll refill it!

This is the jar that I made. 
10:14 a.m. - Chocolove chocolate bars. I got two of these chocolate bars online during a free promotion. Tim really likes dark chocolate so I hope he'll enjoy these. 

11:14 a.m. - "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion. Nothing says "romance" like a love story about zombies, right? Here's a description of the book: "R is a young man with an existential crisis - he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades... After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world." It sounds a little weird, but definitely unique. And they're making a movie of it sometime later this year, so it must be pretty interesting. 
12:14 p.m. - Dunkin Donuts Strawberry Shortcake coffee. Tim is a coffee-aholic, so I searched high and low for a Valentine's Day flavor. The best I could find was strawberry shortcake from Dunkin donuts. It smells really good actually, so I have high hopes for it. 
1:14 p.m. - Little Debbie Will You Be My Valentine? cakes. Who doesn't love Little Debbies? They always make me feel like a kid again when I eat them. And they make me remember my great grandma, who always had a cookie jar packed with swiss cake rolls and oatmeal creme pies. 
2:14 p.m. - A giftcard to My Froyo. This is a fun frozen yogurt place that they seem to only have around here. You pick your yogurt flavor and throw on a bunch of toppings and pay by the weight. I figure it will make for a nice date one day. 
3:14 p.m. - The book "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. I know this isn't the most romantic of presents, but Tim and I have been trying to be more of a team when it comes to dealing with our finances. We have been working on staying on a budget and keeping up with our receipts and working towards paying off our debts and I figured some tips from Dave Ramsey couldn't hurt.
4:14 p.m. - a bag of Dove chocolates. Tim's absolute favorite type of chocolate is Dove Chocolate. I generally buy him one of the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, but since I was doing such a big set of gifts this year, I just bought him a bag of the chocolates. Plus, they cost about a fourth of what a box costs.
5:14 p.m. - Tim's Valentine's Day card from Owen. This was from another free card promotion that I found online so I ordered a card to give Tim from Owen. I personalized it with one of the photographs from Owen's newborn photo shoot. It is so sweet.
6:14 p.m. - the book "Real Marriage" by Mark and Grace Driscoll. I know, I know. Another book. But this one is about marriage and I thought it would be an interesting book to read together. It's written by the pastor of a large church here in Seattle. We have another one of his books, "Vintage Jesus," and we both thought it was really interesting and funny. 
7:14 p.m. - The I Like Book. This was another one of my online deals. The I Like Book has spaces for every day of the year to write something you like about your spouse (they also have books for your kids). Then you can look back at all the sweet things you wrote about each other. I thought it would be a fun little exercise to remember all the reasons we fell in love with each other. 
8:14 p.m. - Heart boxers from American Eagle. This is a cheesy gift, but it is also a much-loved tradition for us. I have gotten him boxers for several years now and he has always loved them. The cheesier, the better. I generally buy them from American Eagle or Old Navy because they make them better quality than ones you would buy from Walmart or somewhere and they also are generally pretty funny and cheeky (no pun intended). These ones have glow-in-the-dark wording. Last years, his boxers came with 3-D glasses. Haha!
9:14 p.m. - An "I love you because..." frame. This is another Pinterest idea and a gift that I was able to make for very little. The frame itself was from Walmart for $3. And it looks quite a lot like the one from the original crafter. I just loved how romantic and classic hers is. I found a lot of other designs on Pinterest, but this was my favorite. You basically print "I love you because" on scrapbook paper and put it in a frame so that you can write a personalized message on the glass in dry erase marker. I thought this would be a neat thing to have either on our dresser or on a wall in our bedroom so we can write sweet messages to each other.

This is the one I made. I hadn't written on it when I took the picture, but before I wrapped it I wrote, "you have been my Valentine for eight years!"

     And there you have it. I know I had mentioned what I was doing to a few people and I figured they might be interested to see everything I did for the surprise. Tim was really surprised and seemed to like the anticipation having to wait an hour for each new gift. He said he really liked the Energy Jar and the picture frame and the Like book. He also seemed pretty happy about the chocolate. :)
      For dinner, we had shrimp arrabbiata and steamed asparagus with wine from a local winery. And for dessert, we had brownies with Love Potion No. 9 ice cream that I picked up from Baskin Robbins earlier in the day. Yummy!
     After dinner, we opened Owen's presents and cards. He was so excited! He loved ripping open cards and presents and he really seemed to like his present from my inlaws.
Owen had heart-shaped toast.
Loving his card from Haley. Maybe a little too much...
Card from Papa and Nana.
He already thinks dinosaurs are cool. Must be a boy.
His barn animals from Nana and Papa are so cute.
Checking out his new book.
     During the day yesterday, I constructed another surprise for Tim that I found on Pinterest - a grown-up fort! I dragged our guest bedroom mattress into the living room and draped a sheet over the top and attached it to our dining room chairs and then filled the inside with pillows and soft blankets and Christmas lights on top. It was very fun and romantic. We opened presents together and ate dessert and watched a movie, which was a treat in itself because we don't have a TV in our bedroom (and never will) so we never watch movies in bed. Oh, and in case you're wondering what I got for Valentine's Day... I got diamond earrings! Guess I'm not the only one capable of surprises on Valentine's Day.
For those of you saying "Ick!" because I posted this photo, I had a request from a friend to do so.
Owen also had fun playing in our fort.

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