Gift Guide: 5 Free Valentine Gifts

Valentine’s Day is a week away! So if you’re scrambling to figure something out — have no fear, bee life is here! Because trust me, it’s easy to forget about getting a Valentine gift, grabbing a card at the last minute and the last bouquet of flowers at the grocery store (p.s. I always love flowers).  In all the Valentine hype, I think we also forget that we don’t have to spend a ton of money to show someone we love them! My Valentine gift guide is not like the others… because these gifts will cost you $0 (or very minimum amount) and will still create a special memory and show your Valentine all the love!
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photo: Michelle M. Loufman Photography

Make a Spotify Playlist. This can be fun for you, while being super special for your boo (bonus: you can update it throughout the year)! I made a playlist for B, called #emnblovetracks (off of all of our hashtags) the playlist is stacked with songs we listened too when we first started dating, songs we love together, and other songs that just make me think of him, it’s the perfect mix to our love story. So once you spend some time creating your playlist, all you have to do is share the link with your mix-tape soul mate and a sweet little note!

Fourteen Days of Memories. It’s easy to just get something to check off the Valentine check list — so why not focus and show love before and beyond the holiday. Pick fourteen days to just share love. Whether it’s a daily text with a memory or compliment, a throwback photo, a handwritten note on a post-it note, or maybe it’s in the form of cooking dinner or an extra long hug.  Two years ago I did 28-straight days of little things for B and it was fun (& hard!) to think of different ways to tell B how much I love him — sometimes they were just lists of memories, things I love about him, or a cute little card that tied back to us.

Volunteer Together. Volunteering is the perfect way to share an experience together while sharing love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Consider donating/sorting books for kids, getting involved at a local animal shelter (we walk dogs at ours!), collecting canned goods or even just going through your clothes or old things and pulling together a bag or two of items to donate! This gives you an opportunity to find a new passion, spend time together and give back.
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Make a Paper Card. Literally just take a piece of printer paper, fold it into fours, grab some markers and doodle it up, with all words, phrases, memories, or hearts and a cute little love sentiment. Inside spill your heart out, tape a picture and share your love to your special person.  The last card I made for B, I wrote in black market writing my favorite things he is to me… “running buddy, the office binge watching, coffee drinker…”

Watch a Classic Movie. One of my favorite romantic comedies is When Harry Met Sally and you can watch it for ‘free’ on Hulu! The music is dreamy, the characters are funny and the story makes your heart ache. BONUS: The Notebook is also available on Netflix *grins* — so grab some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy a movie together.

We should always share and show love to our special people, and it doesn’t need to break the bank or be an extravagant gift every year — sometimes it’s good to just keep it simple and to the point 😍. xoxo

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Eight.

Okay, I totally lied. Last year I said it would be the last year ‘celebrating’ this little anniversary of B and I. But I can’t help it! Eight years ago today was B and I’s first date, which was supposed to be just a couple drinks, but ended up with B and I bar hopping and literally just talking the night away. And it was a night that I walked into being so nervous but also so certain and then as the night went on I was just completely done – like head over heels, cash the check, send the ring – soulmate.
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We have been very lucky in love, we’ve been able to create a beautiful home together while still being able to travel and do all the things we love to do.  We have our little family of three with Moz and we couldn’t be more obsessed with her. #dogparents
We of course have had our ups and downs, our disagreements and our trying times through these eight years – but we always come out together as a stronger team.

This year we really went crazy celebrating eight years – by finally finishing our bathroom project and ate some Chipotle because you know, Cinco De Mayo.

xox

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Seven.

This is going to be my last year ‘celebrating’ this date. Well… not even, because I told B we don’t have to celebrate it anymore, ha! But Cinco De Mayo marks seven years with B, a lucky seven years.  And although we have a new awesome anniversary every November to celebrate our marriage – this day will always be sentimental to me! It was a day that forever changed my life, the day I knew B was the one – that’s pretty major right?
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I’ve shared our first date story and I talked about how we’ve grown together especially through our wedding prep… so what else is it about my guy, B and us? A lot of it is everything we have in common, our similar hobbies and interests, but also that we help balance each other out.  I’m a bit more open and honest, B is much more reserved and kind.

Here are seven things, you may not know about us:

  1. Throughout the year we write memories on little pieces of paper, throw them into a jar and then read them to each other on January 1st of the new year!  I then tape them into a note book so we have each year “handwritten” according to us!
  2. We attend church weekly, usually on Saturday’s at 4pm with all the old people
  3. We have a daily banter which consists of me talking as Moz to B – it could be a comedy skit, although maybe it’s only funny to us… *grins*
  4. We both cook and clean the house – our rule is whoever makes dinner, the other one does the dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher!)
  5. B and I both have a crazy sweet tooth, surprisingly sometimes his can be worse than mine!
  6. Our saying was you had me at “Yeah, Me too” – because when we first talked we would follow-up by saying, “Yeah, Me too.” We had a custom cake topper made with this phrase too for our special day!
  7. I finally got B to join me in my bootcamp classes (he actually really likes them!)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again only because each year the ways change slightly but we still continue to be blessed by each others support, laughter, honesty, teamwork and love.

Love you, B! ❤

 

 

 

 

P.S. I’m not naked in that picture – I had a strapless dress!

Six.

Today mark’s six years with B and about 6-months until we’re married (!!!) and although we will have a new anniversary, this will always be our first.

As we’ve been prepping for our wedding with vendors, meetings, and security deposits, we’ve also been prepping for our wedding through the church with a series of quizzes and even an all day ‘prep course’.  I can hear some of you asking, a quiz? A course? Who is the church to decide if you’re able to get married? Valid, yes. But it’s our faith and how we grew up and a part of our wedding that is important to us, that it’s recognized in the church.  So during our all day course, we had to separate and write down where we saw ourselves in 5 and 10 years (among other things). And as we read these back to each other we laughed because they were nearly identical.  And although we talk about the future, our hopes and wants, it was nice to sit down and write these things down and discuss them with each other. Our “marriage prep” with the church has allowed us to talk about a few more things proactively vs. in the moment of life.

Every year together we grow a little more, we challenge each other, we become stronger, we love a little harder, we laugh, we try new things, we go new places, we support and encourage each other.

I can’t wait to walk down the aisle to this man and keep tallying up the years and memories together.

I love you, B! ❤

Five.

Today marks 5-years with B.

5-years ago, I was a nervous wreck, yet so excited to go out on this date with this guy who I had hit it off with the weekend before on an advertising competition trip (nerdy, I know). We were meeting up after my night class and were going to grab a drink at a local spot near campus, yet not your typical college bar, it was called Corks (which is sadly no longer).  We met-up in the Communications building and walked down to Corks, we sat down and literally talked the night away, nonstop.  We had so many similarities growing up, it was crazy! We eventually ended up going to a different bar, because we realized we should probably grab some food, so we went to the Viking Tavern and got some chicken tenders, the talking and drinking continued, although still very casual and intently talking about everything. We then wound up at yet another campus bar, Becky’s and ended the night with some PBR’s.  I think we talked well into the wee hours of the morning, until we finally parted ways.  We made plans to go for an 8-mile run the next day since we were both training for a half-marathon. Yes not your typical second date. 247195_10150253120955692_5463259_n
And since that day, 5-years ago, it was pretty much the end to the beginning, we never looked back, we never questioned our relationship, it just was. B said in his proposal love letter to me that he knew that first weekend at the advertising competition that I was the one. I knew he was the one after our first date.

B has forever changed my life, and makes me a better version of myself each and every day – we challenge each other and we love each other and it’s the perfect balance and flow of us.  I’m excited to see what this next year will bring leading up to our wedding and next stage in our lives, he’s the best partner and teammate.12141595_10153635960645692_3058254985265414869_n
So here’s to the next five… fifteen….twenty… forty… forever years ahead of us.