I was inspired to write this blog after viewing that ridiculous ad on TV for the Vermont Teddy Bear. Do you know which one I’m talking about? It pops up around Valentine’s Day every year, and each time I see it I gag a little more. If you haven’t seen this ad, click here to view You Tube’s version. I mean, seriously?  Do women our age actually want to receive this $49 teddy bear as a gift from their significant other? Do they truly want to wear a matching outfit with their stuffed animal? And are some men so clueless that they actually think this is a good gift?

If the Vermont Teddy Bear is not something that floats your boat, maybe you’ll find some of the ideas listed below a little more appealing. There are only four days left to plan a special day for your loved ones, so hopefully some of these suggestions will spark something for you!

In our house, Valentine’s Day is not a big ordeal. It’s the little things that count, right? So my husband I usually just swap something small – or if VD falls on a weekend night – we’ll treat ourselves to a night out. However lots of times we wait until the last minute to plan and can never get a restaurant table before 10 pm! So make reservations at your favorite restaurant now!

If you’re like us and want to keep things simple, you might want to suggest House of Plants to your honey. Flowers are always great, but a nice potted plant lasts much longer is even nicer! This is such a cute store in Winston-Salem, and if you click on our “Favorite Finds” page, you’ll see their banner ad coupon. Print it out and give it to your hubby for an additional 15% off!

When it comes to the kids, we usually surprise them with something crafty, and that’s just fine with them. Crafts plus fun food shaped like hearts (think pancakes, donuts, cookies, sandwiches, etc). You can always find a great coupon deal at Michaels for craft ideas for the kids. And don’t forget to visit Kaplan in Lewisville. They are currently having an overstock cleaning sale and offering 10% off and free shipping on all orders over $50!

As for the husbands, they can be a little tricky to buy for this time of year. If you missed our earlier post on “Last Minute Gift Ideas for Dad” this past holiday season, refer back to it often. We highlighted a bunch of local ideas that are reasonably priced, easy to get last minute, and ones you can give most any time of the year.

For a sweet, simple idea, consider Krispy Kreme in bed! I know that sounds kinky and just plain messy, but from now through February 14, KK is offering three different delectable heart-shaped donuts. And for each dozen purchased, you can enjoy 12 Valentine’s cards – each with a coupon for one free doughnut (send ’em to friends, and one to me!), or one free small hot chocolate or small coffee. Surprise your guy with a KK breakfast in bed one morning and he’ll LOVE it!

Or how about personalized beer glasses – made locally by this fabulous mom –  for just $19.99? Check them out atwww.Sodderbug.com!

I also just discovered you don’t have to be a big spender to enjoy a spa treatment! Have you ever visited Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Friendly Center? For a fraction of the price you THINK you’d have to spend, you can get your husband (or yourself!) – or both with a couples’ package – a spa treatment that makes you feel like you spent a million bucks.

It might be cutting it close, but if you are able to find a reliable sitter for the weekend, you could try and steal a romantic weekend away. I found this list of the Top 14 North Carolina Valentine’s Day Getaways, and some are not far from the Triad!

Or if you can’t travel far, consider an evening, overnight, or day – or all three – at Stonefield Cellars Winery in Stokesdale. On Friday, Feb. 11 they are having a Back Porch Orchestra CD Release party from 8-11 pm with no admission. Then on Saturday night, they’re hosting a Couples’ Night Out Dinner – a four-course romantic, candlelit dinner in the Stonefield Cellars Barrel Room. And Sunday, February 13 is their Sweetheart Sunday – a wine and chocolate pairing. How awesome is all that?

If your husband doesn’t embarrass easily, send him a love telegram from the Barbershop Quartet! The Triad Barbershop Chorus is accepting reservations from Saturday, February 12th through Valentine’s Day. Each performance includes a fresh cut rose, greeting card and two traditional barbershop love songs. The cost is $50.  If you live on the East side of the Piedmont call 336-288-6000 and if you live on the West side of the Triad call 336-774-4044. Ok, if you do this, you HAVE to let us know how it went!

Now, for anyone who wants to give a highly unique and personalized treat to someone special, we came across this idea. Wake Forest Athletics is offering DeaconGram deliveries from the Deacon himself.  For $150, the Deacon will make a personal delivery of a card, flowers, candy, balloons and two tickets to the February 19 Wake Forest vs. Florida State men’s basketball game to a designated recipient in the Triad (within a 35 mile radius of Wake Forest campus).  Plus, Wake Forest will send a photo of the Deacon presenting the gifts to the lucky recipient of the DeaconGram. Those interested should call (336) 758-5011 or email wfsports@wfu.edu to make arrangements.  Deacon deliveries will be made during one of two time periods (either 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.) on February 14. Due to time and delivery constraints, Wake Forest Athletics is offering a limited number of DeaconGrams.  All orders must be submitted by Friday, February 11. Proceeds will benefit WFU’s Mascot Scholarship Program.

Hopefully these suggestions are much more thoughtful and endearing than a Vermont Teddy Bear! Do you have any other suggestions? Add them to the comments below!