Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Ideas for Exhausted Romantics

Valentine's Day is synonymous with red roses, Godiva chocolate, and love letters.  If you're like me, you'll want to spend the evening with your honey. But this sweet holiday comes with expectations and a price tag. Magazines are filled with eye candy, luring us with a Martha Stewart-Meets-Julia Child siren song.

Day by day, the world around us moves faster. We are expected to do more, more, more--and with less time, energy, and money.
Sometimes we heap pressure upon ourselves. We want to cook a five-star meal, something that begins with a hard-to-make appetizer and ends with a 57,000 ingredient dessert.
What if you want to serve something special to your loved ones, but you're tired, got the "pip," or you're pressed for time?
Rattlebridge Farm has investigated the matter, and we've come up with simple solutions for exhausted cooks.
Grocery store cupcakes can be dressed up with wrappers and sweetheart roses. (Just remind your sweetheart to remove the garnish!)

Chocolate-dipped strawberries take minutes, but they possess the Wow Factor.

If your sweetheart loves peanut butter (and mine does),
make him a batch of So-Simple-a-Cave woman-Can-Do-It Reeses Bars.

Egg salad bundles are elegant and easy.

Need a tablecloth?
Check your linen closet for red sheets and coverlets.

A sprig of ivy sends a coded message to your beloved:
"I'm all tangled up in you."

Polka dots, plaid, and roosters add whimsy.

Is your sweetie watching his weight?
Gild a grocery store low-carb cheesecake.

Don't have time to bake?
Buy adorable, beribbened cookies at Big Lots.

Nothing says "I love you" like red velvet cupcakes.
Are you completely frazzled but still want to celebrate?

Tuck a candy message in your honey's pocket.
Leave clues at the breakfast table.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Note: Photos by MLW. You are welcome to "pin," however no photos on this blog may be distributed or reproduced on t-shirts, mugs, paintings, sketches.
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  1. To die for awesome.

    I loved every single wonderful beautiful picture.....but especially love your pink bread egg salad bundles.

    I looked everywhere for it last spring in my town, to no avail.

    You take the most breathtaking photos. Eye candy. For. Shore.

    Happy St. V.'s Day!

  2. I send you Romantic and sweet wishes from my blog, My Old Historic House, to your blog. I love the toile table cloth. I have an antique down comforter with that same fabric, mine is a little more burgandy/ plum colored. It is among my favorite things. have a good one, I want a strawberry. Richard

  3. Happy Valentine's Day! I would love a slice of the lo carb cheescake. xo

  4. Beautiful presentation as always...just love the red toile tablecloth..such stunning photos! Happy Valentine's day to you and your family

  5. Wow
    What a perfect post. I was so entertained. I love the simple life. We are retired on a limited income due to the 2008 downturn. I have been learning to go back to basics just like the 70's. Sweetheart and I are celebrating 52 years of being engaged and tonight we are enjoying a simple dinner at home. Yesterday I received flowers, candy and the most thoughtful card.
    That's what life is about in my world.
    Thanks for sharing life in the real world...
    Betty from My Cozy Corner

  6. Happy Valentine's Day to you! I'm still enamored with your delightful Egg Salad bundles and your beautifully presented cupcakes!

  7. Beautiful photos. Love the dressed-up cupcakes.

  8. What valentine wouldn't be thrilled with any one of these gestures. Your ideas are beautiful, Michael Lee.
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your sweetheart! ~ Sarah

  9. Your posts are ALWAYS such a visual and (vicariously) scrumptious treat! We hope you saw our feature on your lovely "Romancing the Plate" post which we just had to share with our readers: http://www.bellenza.com/wedding-ideas/decorate/fabulous-feature-michael-lee-west-%E2%80%9Cromances-the-plate%E2%80%9D-for-valentine%E2%80%99s.html

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  11. I love the semi homemade shortcuts.

  12. It's been ages since I've been to visit...and as always I was dazzled by how pretty everything is.