5 Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

5 Creative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Dating, single, or married Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays of the year. My husband has always been great to celebrate this day with as much enthusiasm as I have which makes it extra special for our kids. Almost every year there is a Daddy/Daughter date & dancing night,  as well as a Mother/Sons movie night around February 14th. The girls get their own bouquet of flowers from their daddy and I always make a special Valentines Day breakfast. It’s also one of the few times a year I LOVE giving gifts. I’m not really a big gift giver by nature (I’m more a quality time girl) but there is something about Valentine’s Day that makes me really enjoy showing those around me how special they are to me. I love coming up with new creative gift ideas. This year I’ve come up with 5 Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for 2014.

Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Idea No. 1
Custom View-Master style Reel and Viewer Set by Image3D

image3d

Image3D allows you to create custom View-Master style Reels and Viewer Set with all your own pictures. Imagine how your valentine will swoon reliving all the wonderful memories you’ve shared.

Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Idea No. 2
Engraved Compass from Stanley London

compass

For about $6 (plus the cost of engraving & shipping), you can be assured your sweetheart will always  find their way home, even if their gps is on the fritz. Imagine a romantic engraving like this:

(insert your sweethearts name here),
Follow your dreams
and may they always
lead you home.
Love Always,
(insert your name here)
 
Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Idea No. 3

Cook a Gourmet Dinner Together from Plated.com

Here’s the great thing about Plated, it’s a gift to both of you! Plated.com sends you EVERYTHING you need for a gourmet meal. No shopping, no meal planning, etc. Just a delicious, chef created meal delivered right to your door. All you have to do is get cooking together in the kitchen…what happens while things are cooking, wellll….that’s up to you. Use this link to sign up & get 2 free plates now.

Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Idea No. 4
DIY LEGO Interlocking Heart Pendant

  lego necklace

This is perfect timing for a Valentine’s Day gift the LEGO fan in your life will love. With just a few weeks until the release of the LEGO Movie, you will just need a few items to give the coolest most creative Valentine ever.

Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Idea No.5
Create a Valentine’s Video with Magisto.com

mixtape

 

Consider it the “mixtape” of the present generation. Magisto helps you to tell your story by incorporating the best part of your videos, pictures and favorite love song into the most fun & romantic gift ever. How do they do it? Well, its pretty much magic. Actually it’s Emotion Sense Technology. “Emotion Sense Technology allows users to collaborate with artificial intelligence to ensure that their Movie elicits the right sort of emotional response – users provide us with footage and supply emotional direction through choice of music and video style and we bring their footage to life in a Movie that not only compiles the best moments of uploaded footage, but also captures a mood.(aka Magic)” Best part : its free!!!

So, whether you choose to incorporate these ideas into your valentines this year or come up with something completely different I encourage you to be especially creative this Valentine’s Day and do something that is both fun and meaningful. Get those creative juices flowing!!!

I’m curious to know what your favorite gift to give or receive on Valentine’s Day has been…Comment below & share it with me!

Gift of Lights and Snow at Texas Motor Speedway

Disclosure: I was given passes for Gift of Lights and Snow Town for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. 

This Thanksgiving holiday we were blessed to have our family travel to our home. We had a great time together. We cooked, we ate, we talked, and then we were ready to play! With a large group we gave a lot of thought to what we all wanted to do. With everyone living in different cities (and states) now, we knew wanted to make some traditional holiday memories together. We wanted  snowball fights, hot cocoa, and merry Christmas music playing  while we drove leisurely driving looking  at Christmas lights. With a 70 degree day in Texas, it didn’t really seem likely that a snowball fight would be in our future. Little did everyone know that the Gift of Lights and Snow at Texas Motor Speedway was on our weekend agenda!

Everyone loved the idea of visiting Gift of Lights together but we hadn’t told the kids yet about Snow because we wanted that part to be a surprise. We packed extra jackets, scarves, coats, and gloves in the back of the van and all piled in to go look at the Christmas lights.  We soon arrived at Texas Motor Speedway and while it was super easy to find where we were going, there were attendants ready to direct traffic and helpful with any questions we had.  We dimmed our headlights and began our drive through the bright displays set up along the the path.We had a lot of fun looking to the right and then to the left of the car deciding which displays were our favorites. There were so many displays! Collectively, we decided that the tunnel of lights was hands down our favorite to drive-thru display of the evening.  According to the website there were over 600 unique displays and two million LED lights spread over the  1.7 miles!

the Gift of Lights and SNOW at Texas Motor Speedway

After we had driven through the wonderful light displays, we made our way to SNOW! The Snow Village at TMS features a tubing hill, snow ball gallery, and a snow play area. Kids can also visit Santa and make s’mores. This was super fun for everyone!  Finding something to do with a group of wide ages and activity levels is always a challenge but Snow was great for this. Everyone in our group got involved grandparents, parents, teens and kids. Do make sure to bring coats and gloves and even extra clothes to change into if you have other plans afterwards. I had our kids wear their rain boots. This is real snow so prepared to be seasonally chilly and for the kids to be a little wet if they’ve been playing in the snow for awhile. It really is a so fun so everyone will want to stay for awhile.

The Gift of Lights and SNOW at Texas Motor Speedway

The kids were definitely surprised to see all the snow. The first thing they did was to make a run for the huge snow play area! Snowballs were promptly created and the tossing of snow ensued. Then we worked together to build a snowman and a snow fort. When our hands needed a break from the cold we decided to grab a tube and enjoy the snow tubing. Everyone got in on this one. The tubes were closed on the bottom so little ones didn’t have a problem staying in their tube and you stayed dry.  It was unlimited tubing so we could take as many trips down the snow hill as we liked.  We spent several hours playing, tubing, and making memories. It really was a wonderful outing that everyone in our group enjoyed.

If you are interested in playing in the Texas SNOW with your family Visit giftoflightstms.com for event hours, Santa’s schedule, and pricing.

My readers can save $2 per car to Gift of Lights Drive Thru Light Show PLUS $2 Off Per Person to Snow Village with this exclusive coupon : Save$2.00

PRO Compression Coupon & Spoiler Alert

I am participating in another 100 mile challenge for December and it is taking some commitment and creativity to fit these extra miles into our already busy holiday schedule. I had completed a previous 100 mile challenge in November, from the 1st – 30th. The newest 100 mile challenge is to be completed within the first two weeks of December. The miles can be walked , run, biked, daily activities, etc. Just 100 miles. So far, I have been running and walking them.  I am 18 miles in.  Because I was taking a significant rise in my daily distance, I was a little concerned about fatigue and recovery times. Recently, I got my first pair of compression socks and can tell a big difference when I wear them.
If you are looking for a great deal on compression socks & sleeves here is a great PRO Compression coupon for 40% off and Free Shipping right now on compression socks and calf sleeves in amazing Holiday patterns! These would be perfect for a Santa run or stocking stuffer. Save 40% off and get free shipping  when you enter coupon code SNOW at checkout.
 
 

Click here to order now and enter coupon code SNOW at checkout.

 

SPOILER ALERT : Keep an eye out because tomorrow I have an awesome review & fitness related giveaway starting!! You will not want to miss it!

Fitness Friday Black Friday

Black Friday.
The day after Thanksgiving.
The day after turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, & pumpkin pie.

Not typically the day you want to update your blog on your fitness progress, right?
Well, its fitness friday. Good, bad, or ugly….this is the honest story.

We missed the Turkey Trot we had planned on participating in. Super disappointed about that. This year I did my best to plan a healthier Thanksgiving menu. It was Martha Stewart perfection and so delicious and not full of unnecessary calories. I skipped the rolls but I still indulged an extra slice of pumpkin pie. Ya win some, ya lose some.

I expected a huge set back this morning but to my surprise when I did my weekly weigh in, I was still on track with my goals! Woo Hoo!! Keep moving forward.

Fitbit mileage report

My total Fitbit miles for the 1st day of the 100 mile challenge

Recently, a friend of mine invited me to join a 100 mile challenge beginning on Nov 29, to be completed in 2 weeks! Black Friday to some means early morning shopping, this year it meant early morning running if I was going to get 100 miles done in two weeks. Lucky for me I got a Fitbit for my birthday to help me keep track of my miles. By the end of the day I had logged 7.09 miles. Only 93 more to go!

Possibly the best Black Friday deal I’ve ever made!

Our Trip on the Polar Express

The Polar Express is one of our very favorite Christmas stories, both in book and movie form. We were thrilled to be able to schedule a real life train ride on the Polar Express Train ( Texas State Railroad ) in Palestine Texas last weekend. It was quite a drive but certainly worth it for the wonderful memories and unforgettable experience!

Beautifully decorated Polar Express Train Depot in Palestine, TX.

Beautifully decorated Polar Express Train Depot in Palestine, TX.

We arrived early as we were told to give ourselves enough time to park, check in, and do any shopping in the git shop. We did have to park a little farther from the train depot but there were several carts offering rides to/from the depot.  We checked in by giving our reservation name and they presented us with admission tickets, hardback copy 25th anniversary edition of the Polar Express book and special memory tickets for the kids that the conductor would come along to stamp on the ride. You must have a ticket for the Polar Express you know.

Ticket to the Polar Express

Polar Express train ticket for the kids. The Conductor came along to stamp each child’s ticket along our ride.

PJ's

We didn’t have to wait too long before the Polar Express had arrived! The kids had dressed in their PJ’s & robes (this was encouraged) and were ready for a ride to the North Pole.  Our train car was a lot of fun. It looked like a vintage silver bullet train car. We were seated on the upper level and the whole train car was decorated with white, silver, and evergreen Christmas decor. Waiting for each of us at our seats was a delicious chocolate chip cookie. We waited to eat it though because soon after we started moving the attendants on our train started singing and delivering souvenir warm mugs of hot chocolate to accompany our cookie. They came around later and offered whipped cream for our hot chocolate too.

Souvenir Polar Express Mug of hot chocolate and cookies.

Souvenir Polar Express Mug of hot chocolate and cookies.

Chef on the Polar Express

The chef who delivered our hot hot hot chocolate to us. “Here we only have one rule: Never, never let it cool.”

After our hot chocolate had been delivered, a recording of the Polar Express played and we got to read along in our copy of the Polar Express. This made it great for kids of all reading levels.

reading along with the Polar Express

Sebastian reading along with the story.

Before we know it an announcement was being made that we were arriving at the North Pole! The lights in the train car dimmed and we all rushed to one side of the train car to get a glimpse. Sure enough, there were elves dancing and even Santa himself waving to all the passengers.

The North Pole!

The North Pole!

We got to spend several minutes of our trip “Oooohing” & “Ahhing” at the North Pole.  Soon we were ready to make the return trip back to the depot but not before we were told that Santa himself had gotten on the train! The kids were thrilled- they would get to meet Santa in person soon! Santa and his elves came by and gave every child a silver bell so they would always believe  in the magic of Christmas. Santa signed our copy of the Polar Express and he even took a picture with the kiddos too.

Santa signing our copy of the Polar Express

Santa signing our copy of the Polar Express

Santa & his elf

The kids were thrilled to get their picture with Santa and an elf as he presented them each with their very own silver bell. Never Stop Believing.

Santa had many more kids to visit before the train ride was finished. So after Santa left our train car staff really stepped it up. They had been leading us in songs and dancing the whole time but the energy after Santa’s visit was very high.  They would invite the kids to dance with them one at a time and we all sang along and clapped for each child dancing. Sebastian was shy but Kaitlyn loved being asked to dance and danced with several of the attendants.

Dancing on the Polar Express

Dancing on the Polar Express

Before we departed our souvenir mugs were washed, wrapped up, and returned for us to take home. The staff interaction was really so wonderful and made the experience unforgettable. Our whole family had a great time and the kids slept great the whole ride home.This would be wonderful holiday experience for any family to enjoy!

To make your own family reservations on the Polar Express go here or call 877-726-7245 to climb aboard.  You can follow them on Facebook & Twitter too!

*My family was provided tickets for our experience on the Polar Express to review. All opinions are 100% my own.