Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Inspiration

Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Inspiration

by Cait on February 13, 2012

Kerri-Lynn McAllister is the Community Manager at, a site that compares Canadian mortgage rates. She brings her love of comparison shopping to all areas of her life, from dressing to impress to gift giving. Here are some of her inspired tips for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and 1) you don’t want to shell out $60 for uninspired red roses and 2) you have one day to get your act together! What is a girl/guy to do?

Well, first and foremost, collect yourself and rise to the challenge. At this point you have 24 hours to produce something special and not blow your budget.

A lot of retailers bank on the likelihood you will leave your Valentine’s gifting to the last minute and stock up on a pricey selection of long-stem roses, Belgian chocolates and velveteen Teddy Bears, often grouped together near exits as convenient reminders, of course. But don’t let the cost of convenience get you this year, and try one of these imaginative and inexpensive ideas to sweep your Sweety off his/her feet!

  1. Get your game on. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone and challenging your partner to a duel can be fun, especially if you set some special stakes for the winner/loser. The rise of urban game destinations in cities like Toronto – there’s SPiN the ping-pong place, bowling at The Ballroom, or Snakes and Lattes, a café stocked with board games, to name a few – give you a wealth of options. You could also check out a local dive bar and pool hall and swindle some other unsuspecting couple. Alternatively, you could station the game-playing at home and play a few rounds of “20 Questions”. Maybe there’s still a lot you can learn about each other!
  2.  Build something. So you’re not going to win Canada’s Next Handyman anytime soon? Don’t fret, there are things you can do at every skill level. Does your girl have a thing for Ryan Gosling? How about a cut-out Ryan Gosling for her to stare at those days you are in the doghouse? A friend of mine recently gifted me such a thing and I’m in love. Literally. It’s essentially a small cardboard cut-out with interchangeable magnetic quote bubbles. (See the pictures above.) Sitting on my mantle, Gosling “Hey Girl”s himself into my heart every day. For those of you more adept in the web sphere, why not set up a dedicated Tumblr photo reel of pictures your partner would enjoy, perhaps to the liking of – you guessed it – Ryan Gosling! Or his female equivalent, Emma Stone. Unfortunately, a Tumblr contrasting the cuteness of The Gos to puppies is taken; however, the same concept applied to Emma Stone surprisingly has not been claimed!
  3. Embark on an adventure. If you can’t afford to whisk your partner away on a romantic weekend, try being tourists in your own city! Pick a neighbourhood you love or have yet to discover and immerse yourselves in the local culture. You can even rent a bike to get around. If you are interested in getting away, going on a wine tour is fun and tastings are generally complimentary. Buy a few bottles and enjoy the scenic views of wine country.
  4. Antiquate. Ignore the thrift store stigma and poke around some antique shops for creative gift ideas. With some careful picking, you are sure to come across something interesting. The vintage whisky decanter in the photo above next to Ryan Gosling was a gift to my guy following his longstanding obsession with Don Draper of Mad Men. Also, it was a peace offering to allow my Gosling cut-out to hold his position on our mantle.
  5. Go Extreme Grouponing. All the deals-of-the day sites have been sending out Valentines-themed offers for weeks now: everything from horseback riding to hot air ballooning to couples massaging all at 50-70% off.

With ideas like these, hopefully you can plan yourself a special and guilt-free Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!



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