25 free Valentine’s to give your love this year

Published: Thursday, January 01, 2015 @ 6:02 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 01, 2015 @ 6:02 PM

It is an American proverb that has been crooned by singers from Frank Sinatra to Janet Jackson, and is truest concerning matters of the heart: “The best things in life are free.”

Toward that end and in honor of this heart-shaped, candy-coated occasion, here are 25 things you can do for your beloved on Valentine’s Day this year — all for free.

1. Write love notes. Put them in unexpected places, like under her windshield wiper, taped to his deodorant or in her lunchbox.

2. Complain less. Focus on the positive all day. More readily give compliments. This might be especially good for married valentines.

3. Make a collage. Put together a collage of pictures of the two of you, family and/or friends.

4. Write a poem. It can be heart-felt or silly (or both), but taking the time to put your words about that person on paper can be a beloved gift. For bonus points, read it aloud to your valentine.

5. Dedicate time. Set aside a night for your valentine to pick what he or she wants to do, and help them do it. The time is free, and you can make any guidelines you wish.

6. Spell out “I love you” in Cheerios on the breakfast table, in lipstick on the mirror or in socks on the floor.

7. Carve a heart into a tree. Either using initials or names, etch your love in wood for all to see.

8. Make a gesture. Depending on where you are in your relationship and how you feel, consider making that next step: Asking him to go steady, making her a key to your place, saying “I love you,” etc.

9. Clean the house or garage. This is a good gift if it is something your valentine usually does or would like to have done. You also can offer to do it together. Other chores can work as well.

10. Request “your” song. Call your valentine’s favorite radio station and dedicate a song to him or her.

11. Make a homemade card. Pretend you’re 5 years old and incorporate macaroni and glitter.

12. Give kisses. Or hugs. Or whatever will best express your love.

13. Draw a picture. This can be as simple as a big red heart and as complex as a relationship timeline. Note romantic and important dates you shared.

14. Make a promise. Has your beloved been after you to quit smoking, lose weight or even just put your clothes in the hamper? Make a promise to concertedly work toward that goal, and do it.

15. Take a walk together. Especially near the beginning of a relationship, just spending time together, walking and talking can be fun and romantic. Make sure to leave your cell phones at home.

16. Give a massage. Make it last at least 15 minutes.

17. Make him or her breakfast. Take your time cooking his or her favorite breakfast and enjoy the morning together.

18. Make a CD. Express your love with music like you did with mixed tapes when you were in junior high.

19. Cook together. Make cookies. Make dinner. Make a cherry pie. Get messy and have fun with it.

20. Set up a movie fest. Tape movies on your DVR, borrow DVDs or scroll through your collection to set up a cozy night at home.

21. Have a game night. Either with just the two of you or with other couples, get together and play cards or board games.

22. Serenade your date. Sure it’s corny and old-fashioned, but it can be pretty cute.

23. Go to church together (if you don’t already). Sharing this time can be a loving, heart-felt gesture.

24. Draw a bath. Carve out the time, put in some bubble bath, light some candles and draw a bath for your valentine. You also can make it a bath for two.

25. Share the love. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love. Call your parents, kids, old friends or anyone else who is important to you and tell them how you feel.

Toddler with Down syndrome melts hearts on Valentine's Day

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 7:04 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 7:04 PM


            Toddler with Down syndrome melts hearts on Valentine's Day

The story of a boy with Down syndrome went viral after a local modeling agency rejected him for a clothing ad -- and now, he's melting our hearts even more this Valentine's Day. 

In July, Meagan Nash submitted her son's photos to a talent agency handling a casting call for OshKosh B'Gosh, the popular children's clothing brand owned by children's clothing retailer Carter's. She never heard anything back, and a few months later, she contacted the talent agency. 

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The agency told Nash that Asher's photos hadn't even been submitted because OshKosh "didn't specify that they wanted a baby with special needs."  

That didn't sit right -- and the internet took over. 

Related: PHOTOS: Toddler with Down syndrome melts our hearts on Valentine's Day

After Asher's story went viral, an OshKosh B'Gosh representative said, "We have extended an invitation to Asher to participate in an upcoming photo shoot and are excited to include him in our advertising.” 

Now, months later, Asher is still brightening the world with his adorable smile and making everyone wish he was their Valentine.  Photographer Crystal Barbee captured pictures of Asher Nash this Valentine's Day

"I love working with Asher, he's such a happy, loving, sweet little man," Barbee said on Facebook of her photoshoot muse.

Barack and Michelle Obama share sweet Valentine's Day messages to each other

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 4:59 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 4:59 PM


            Barack and Michelle Obama share sweet Valentine's Day messages to each other

Valentine's Day may be bittersweet for some, but it's filled with love for the Obamas.

Harper's Bazaar reported that the two shared affectionate messages with each other across their social media channels Monday.

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"Happy Valentine’s Day, @michelleobama! Almost 28 years with you, but it always feels new," the former president said in a tweet to Mrs. Obama.

The same message was posted to his Instagram page. Accompanying each message was a photo of Barack Obama leaning into Michelle Obama, who has clasped arms and a beaming smile.

Michelle Obama shared a photo of the two with their feet in the sand, captioning social media posts with, "Happy Valentine's Day to the love of my life and favorite island mate, @BarackObama."

Happy Valentine's Day to the love of my life and favorite island mate, @barackobama. #valentines

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

The Obamas were seen vacationing with Virgin Group founder and billionaire Richard Branson in the British Virgin Islands.

The former first couple took a break after leaving the White House and following the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Waffle House to host romantic Valentine's Day dinner

Published: Thursday, January 28, 2016 @ 8:08 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 12:14 PM


            Waffle House to host romantic Valentine's Day dinner

Trending on Facebook

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Candlelight, white tablecloths and ... waffles?

Waffle House is promoting itself as a romantic destination for Valentine's Day, especially for couples who have to stick to a budget. 

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This year's theme is: "Valentine's Day with BAE" (bacon and eggs.)

Select locations across the country aim to show that bacon, waffles and eggs can be just as romantic as roses and chocolates. The candlelit dinner will include specials along with traditional menu favorites, and plenty of candy.

The special night is expected to be so popular that some locations are accepting reservations.

5 things you didn't know about Groundhog Day

Published: Monday, January 30, 2017 @ 1:09 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 @ 12:28 PM


            5 things you didn't know about Groundhog Day

The desire to forecast the weather dates back thousands of years. Long before there were meteorologists with state-of-the-art technology for tracking atmospheric patterns, humans have relied on many things -- including furry little critters -- to help them determine changes in the weather and seasons.

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Thursday, Feb. 2, is Groundhog Day, and according to lore, the groundhog will emerge from his hole after a long winter’s nap. If it’s a sunny day, he’ll become frightened when he sees his shadow and skedaddle back into his burrow for six more weeks of winter. However, if it’s cloudy and he doesn’t see his shadow, it means spring is just around the corner.

Here are five things you may not know about Groundhog Day:

1. The holiday has its roots in the ancient Gaelic festival of Imbolc, held halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It was the day when a female weather deity called the Cailleach, which means hag, was close to running out of firewood. If she wanted a nice, long winter, she’d make it a bright, sunny day that was good for going outside and gathering lots of firewood. But if it were cloudy, it meant the Cailleach was snug in her bed and sleeping and didn’t need to gather any more firewood because spring was on its way. Over time, Imbolc became Christianized and became St. Brigid’s Day, which was followed by Candlemas on Feb. 2.

2. The first reference to Groundhog Day in America was in 1841 in a diary entry by James Morris, a storekeeper in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. He quoted old poems -- from England, Scotland and Germany -- that equate a sunny Candlemas with a long winter.

3. The modern Groundhog Day tradition, however, really got started in 1887. Clymer H. Freas, a savvy businessman and the editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper in Pennsylvania, promoted the town’s very own groundhog as the official Groundhog Day meteorologist, thus turning Groundhog Day into a newsworthy event.

4. Groundhogs hibernate over the winter, and the males actually do come out of their burrows in February, interested in lining up future mating partners. They check out the burrows of the lady groundhogs, then go back into their burrows and hibernate until around early March, when it’s time to mate.

5. Groundhogs aren’t the only creatures thought to predict winter. Back in the late 1940s, Charles Howard Curran, an entomologist and the curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, began studying woolly bear caterpillars, which are tiger moth in its larvae stage, in early autumn. The woolly bear’s front and end are black, and the midsection is brown. Curran believed the wider the brown band, the milder the winter would be. Present-day entomologists say there’s no science to back up Curran’s claim.