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Say No To Bush-League Valentine’s Day

Why can’t Valentines Day be as easy as it was in grade school? Everyone in class would put their brown paper bag on their desk and it would be filled with conversation hearts and small To and From notes sponsored by the giver’s favorite cartoon character. No one is let down or left out of the holiday! I actually enjoy this holiday due to my parents, they were great Valentine’s Day role models. My dad didn’t have a lot of money to spend one year so he bought a small shrub, planted it in the front yard, and took his hedge clippers and shaped it into a heart. My mom swooned over that damn bush and Ron gave his children a “That’s how it’s done” look. So dudes, be creative and stop making bush-league Valentine’s Day moves.

Roses - Wow you really thought outside the box on that purchase. If you are going to go the rose route mix it up by replacing one red rose with different color rose or flower. If you're in a new relationship, you can write on the card “You stood out from the moment we met.” If you are in a long term relationship write “You’re the one”. It shows you actually took more than 5 seconds out of your life and went the extra romantic mile. There are shit load of flower websites, but give your local florist some love.  

Chocolates - I am sure she will love the box of Russell Stover Assorted Chocolates you pick up at the drug store. While you’re at it pick her up a extra shot of espresso so she doesn’t fall asleep over your tired ass gift. Chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate martinis are sexy, you making the dessert and cocktail is sexier!

Chocolate Martini Recipe
2 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 oz of Smirnoff Vodka (spice it up with a flavor…marshmallow, whipped cream, carmel…)
1/2 oz of chocolate liqueur
​Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Clean 1lb. of Strawberries
Chop 4oz of semi-sweet chocolate
Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals - stir until smooth
Dip half of strawberry in melted chocolate
Let cool on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper
Throw them in the fridge and chill them for at least 30 minutes
Is that too tough?

Dinner Date - If you are taking your lady out to dinner, for the love of all that is holy, make a reservation! You will extinguish any heat you had when you drive from restaurant to restaurant or wait over an hour to get a table at Applebee’s. We have a lot of amazing locally owned restaurants in Southern Illinois which I encourage you to support. You can go to a chain restaurant any night, make it a special occasion and check out a new place to dine!

Miss Emily’s Cathouse - American
(618) 993-7705
107 East Union Street, Marion, IL 62959
Great Food, Cocktails, & Craft Beer Selection

Alongi’s - Italian
(618) 542-2468
18 West Main Street, Du Quoin, IL 62832
I love the atmosphere - old pics and exposed brick! Salivate over the homemade italian dressing. Wonderful Pasta.

Rare Chop House - Fine Dining / Steaks
224 S. 10th Street, Mount Vernon, IL 62864
I dream about the ribeye, wine selection is phenomenal, gorgeous surroundings

Tres Hombres - Mexican
(618) 457-3308
119 North Washington Street, Carbondale, IL 62901
If you love the fresh authentic Mexican cuisine and margaritas you won’t be disappointed!

Jack Russell Fish House - Seafood
(618) 439-3474
106 East Main Street, Benton, IL 62812
Pretend you are in Key West, order fish tacos and a bucket of Corona

Sakura - Sushi
(618) 740-0567
208 East Main Street, Salem, IL 62881
Sushi lovers rejoice!

Centralia House - American / Cajun
111 North Oak | Centralia,IL 62801
Historic Atmosphere, awesome service, get the Centralia House Shrimp!

Dine In & Netflix - Maybe you have kids and dinner out seems like more of pain in the ass than a romantic gesture. First off, ask yourself the question, can you cook? If the answer is no, then don’t try to make lobster. Violent vomiting and a trip to the ER isn’t putting anyone in the mood. Most guys I know have their one go-to recipe. My husband, Chris, unfortunately didn’t; you can take a guess from what I wrote above as to what he attempted to make. Our friend Gabe’s is a baked spaghetti casserole. If he can make it anyone can…no offense Gabe.

Pair this Italian feast with a bottle of Apothic Red Wine. If she is a sweet wine gal pick up Alto Vineyard’s Heartland Blush. After dinner stream a movie you will both enjoy.

Romantic Movies my husband, Chris, doesn't hate:

Jerry Maguire


Forest Gump

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

The Family Man

A Bronx Tale

Low on Funds
If your girlfriend or wife says “Honey, don’t worry about Valentines Day. I don’t want you to go through the trouble or waste any money.” Warning!!!!! This is a bold face lie and a test. No, she doesn’t want you to spend any money, that part is true. The lie is “not going through any trouble”. She is testing you to see if you make an effort, or if you are a lazy piece of garbage who doesn’t appreciate her. Here are few cheap and easy solutions to make your significant other feel special!

For Your Girlfriend
Detail Her Vehicle - You can probably find enough spare change under the floor mats to pay for a wash at the local self serve car wash. I think the aroma of a pine tree air freshener dangling off the rear-view mirror is an aphrodisiac.

Make a Photo Album - In the age of digital pictures it is rare that anyone prints out pictures. There are many photo printing stations that print pics quick, easy, and cheap. The Mail Pix website prints 4x6 prints for a penny on Wednesdays

Hit up your favorite dollar store for a picture album…BOOM! Memories!

For Your Wife / Longterm Love
Masterpiece - Check out your local thrift store and resale shops for a piece of art. It can be weird or quirky, but it is original! My friend in college gave a big framed picture of a rooster to his girlfriend. When she asked why the rooster he replied, “To remind you of what a big strutting cock I am!”. I don’t advise the rooster print scenario unless your mate has a fantastic sense of humor. If you have kids, give them an 8x10 piece of paper and tell them to draw a picture of their mom as a princess. You can help them as well. When their artwork is complete, head up to Hob Lob or WallyWord and get a frame. This will cost under 10 dollars and will be more valuable to your wife than a Picasso.

3 B’s:

Bottle - Barefoot Wine is under 6 dollars

Book - has 1000s of title under 4.00 bucks and shipping is free

Bath - Bag of lavender scented epsom salt is $5 bucks…stop buying bubble bath!

If you have children the extra B would be Block…as in block the door and give your mate an hour alone.

Ok dudes if you F-up this up it is on you, I did my best.