Valentines on A Budget – 5 Tips to Save You Money!

Valentines is officially HERE! and while today may be the BIG V-Day, most people may opt to do something small today, with a bigger celebration more than likely starting tomorrow night and on through the weekend, right??

Valentine’s is the next most popular-est holiday, outside of Christmas. As soon as Christmas is over you can almost guarantee the week or two after, stores will begin to fill up with red, pink and white balloons, bears, candies and roses galore…I mean, that’s just how it rolls.

In Honor of Black History Month >> Check This Out >> My History, Your History, Black History Facts You Might Didn’t’ Know About.

However, while Valentines is a day that everyone (well not everyone, but you get it) uses to express their undying love and affection for a significant other – it can also be extremely COSTLY! Yes, LOVE really does cost a thing, especially on V-Day.

And that alone can be a little disheartening as everyone may not have the Benjamin’s to splurge on LOVE. Therefore, I’m going to give you 5 tips of how you can keep the cost down on the world’s most LOVE filled day.

Scavenger Hunt

Valentines Day is the perfect day to tell your significant other how much you love them and while words are great – ACTIONS are better. Get some nice paper, preferably construction paper. Fold it in half and cut along the fold line to make hearts, make sure you use different colors – it just makes the activity more fun and expressive.

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Write nice things you love about your sweetie on each one and put them all over your living space (preferably in places you know they always go). You might want to let them know you’re doing this and tell them you’ve placed little love notes throughout the space and send them on a little hunt to find it. Or, it can be a complete surprise. You can do it while they’re sleeping, to up the ante – you can tape little pieces of chocolate on, to make the surprise even sweeter.

Handwritten Letters

I know this is a bit old-fashioned, especially with the boat loads of technology we have today. Taking out time to sit down and actually write a letter shows that you not only care but it’s the sincerest affection to give. You can write a love note to anyone; your kids, your spouse, a good friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or just to let someone know how much you appreciate them. The fact that you took out time to do it, will be the greatest gift of love and adoration shown.

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Plan a Date night in Your Kitchen or Dining Room

Now, I know some people may already sit down to have dinner together, but V-Day is an extra special day that causes for an extra va-voom to your dinner/meal conversation. Use your phone to create a V-Day playlist to serve as your background music. Light a couple of candles or string a couple of lights around your chandelier or alongside your wall (get those creative juices going).

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During your meal, don’t talk about work or any outside disturbances. Use this time to talk about each other. What made you fall in love and etc. And if you’re flying solo, no worries plan a night with the kids (no phones, no talk about work) use that time to tell them something special about themselves and etc. Just keep the talk about LOVE. If you don’t have kids, then invite some friends over and chat it up.

You also don’t have to buy any expensive dinners, cook whatever you got in the fridge or cabinets because this moment isn’t about the food but being amongst those you LOVE.

Movies Anyone? – Favorite V-Day Classics

If you’re an avid follower, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE movies. What better way to settle in on V-Day or whenever you decide to celebrate it than with a good ole love classic and some popcorn. Listed below are a couple of my faves in no particular order…

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  • Valentine’s Day (2010)Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx
  • Serendipity (2001)John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
  • Pretty Woman (1990)Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
  • Love and Basketball (2000) Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps
  • The Notebook (2004)Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
  • Titanic (1997) Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
  • An Officer & A Gentleman (1982)Richard Gere, Debra Winger
  • 50 First Dates (2004) – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Spa Day – INSIDE

As a people I honestly don’t think we do enough self-care routines (I’m totally preaching to the choir on this one (AMEN!). So why not create your own spa day inside. Light some candles, turn on some soft music and create a bubble bath for one or two (wink..) You don’t even have to have those high-priced soaps that do all the special things – if you got some body wash that’ll do just fine for creating the bubble effect. Get you a glass of wine (sparkling or other) and just RELAX! And follow-up with a good skin care regimen.

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I know Valentine’s day may not be a big deal to some people’s world and that’s okay as it doesn’t take a holiday to show LOVE. However you choose to spend V-day, just make sure you’re showing yourself some love and/or spending time with the people you do. Time is precious and LOVE, whether a holiday or not is worth giving.

Glazed Cherry Bread
Looking for something delicious and different to whip up for V-Day? You’ll love this cherry bread recipe made with delicious maraschino cherries. To get the full recipe and view the video of how it’s made visit Tastes of Lizzy T.

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10 Black Movie Classics You Must See or Re-watch for Black History Month

Black-History-Month-gen

Black History Month is here and while the month is short and will be over before you know it, it’s a month where African-Americans of times past and present are honored for their sacrifices, achievements and accomplishments marked throughout history. It’s a time for us to reflect on that rich history and celebrate the lives of the ones lost and present whom paved the way for generations of other African Americans to walk in freedom and while this movement is still a “work in progress” for the most part, we’re proud that they stood fearlessly in the face of adversity to make sure we have some of the luxuries we have today such as the right to vote.

One way to honor and look back on African-American culture, history, activists and the actors that played them or played parts representing such troubling times is by way of a movie. I personally love watching movies, especially the ones that portray the African-American men and women whom did so much for us. So, if you just happen to have a down day this month and want to celebrate the occasion, listed below are 10 Classic movies portrayed by African-Americans that you should watch in honor of Black History Month. In no particular order they are:

‘Purple Rain’

pURPLE RAIN

What better way to celebrate black history and the life of late-great music legend Prince. The musical drama features some of Prince’s most iconic songs and killer outfits.

‘Malcolm X’

Malcolm X

‘Malcolm X’ is was Spike Lee classic, portrayed by Denzel Washington. The movie chronicled the life of the civil rights hero.

‘Selma’

selma-movie-poster

Ava DuVernay made history with ‘Selma’ in 2014, becoming the first black woman to have her film nominated for “Best Picture” at the Oscars. ‘Selma’ is a portrait piece of Dr. Martin Luther King as he led the march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.

‘Glory’

Glory

Free black men were conscripted to fight in the Union Army during the Civil War, but as this 1989 period drama shows, not even their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country was enough to shield them from racism and segregation. Denzel Washington stars in the role that would nab him his first Oscar.

‘Barry’

Barry

‘Barry’ is one of two drama films (of what will surely be many) that take a glimpse at the life of a younger former President Barack Obama, the man who would one day become the first black president of the United States.

‘The Princess & the Frog’

Princess and Frog

In 2009, Disney made history by featuring its first ever African-American princess. Anika Noni-Rose portrayed princess Tiana in this film. It’s a beautiful film in which is sure to inspire little girls of all diverse backgrounds that she too can be “A Princess”

‘The Color Purple’

Color Purple

Okay, so there’s really nothing to say about this one but – CLASSIC!!! – No matter how many times I’ve seen this movie – I always need my tissues….

‘The Wiz’

The Wiz

‘The Wiz’ in which stars Diana Ross and a very young Michael Jackson is the black version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ story.

‘Carmen Jones’

Carmen Jones

Dorothy Dandridge became the first black woman to be nominated for a Best Actress award at the 1954 Oscars for her role in this epic musical, based on Bizet’s tragic opera ‘Carmen.’

‘A Raisin in the Sun’

Raisin in Sun

Starring Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier, this 1961 adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry‘s play is a film about an African-American family search for the American Dream and what happens when that dream is derailed. While the older version is a true classic, the newer 2008 version in which stars Sean Combs (a.k.a P. Diddy), Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald & Phylicia Rashad are performances in which you wouldn’t want to miss.

These movies are sure to give you a dose of the richness of the African-American culture and a sense of why we should celebrate this month each year. We’re not just celebrating the culture but we’re acknowledging the people whom broke barriers in every arena which makes us glad to be a part of such an amazing history. You can find other classics listed here. Did your favorite make the list? If not, then what African American movie(s) are your favorite classics? Let me know in the comments.

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager