Sweet Ways to Say "I Love You" on Valentine's Day

From romantics across the country, as well as editors here at home, enjoy these fresh, fun ways to share your feelings on Valentine's Day -- or any day of the year.

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Let Food Do the Talking

    Make Pancakes

    Cut heart shapes out of your family's morning pancakes or waffles. For a supper or dessert surprise, sliced veggies or candy pieces make great letters to spell out messages, too.

Let Food Do the Talking

    Whisper It Sweetly

    Every year, Sweetheart Conversation Hearts feature new messages. Share some with your sweetie.

Let Food Do the Talking

    Fill the Fridge

    While they're gone for a weekend or overnight, stock a loved one's refrigerator or pantry with the foods they love so they'll return home to their favorites.
    -- Leslie Holland, Louisville, Kentucky

Let Food Do the Talking

    Let It Rise

    Cooking or baking for people you love remains one of the oldest, best ways to convey your adoration of them. Sweet treats are often favorites, of course, but don't feel you have to limit yourself to cookies and homemade candy. "My kids love it when I bake bread, and I love it when their faces light up. It's like getting a double hug."
    -- Pamela Gould, Golden, Colorado

Put It on Paper

    Message in a Bottle

    Float your handwritten love note in a glass vessel. Start by jotting a romantic message on a scroll of pretty paper. Roll the message and stuff it into a clear glass bottle. Then hide the bottle in a place where the object of your affection is sure to look, such as a sock drawer or medicine cabinet.

    Source for bottles: anthropologie.com

Put It on Paper

    Text Your Children

    Traveling? Send quirky text messages to your kids. It's a quick and fun way to remind them that you care.

Put It on Paper

    Write a Book

    Fill scrapbooks, journals, or family cookbooks with more than just photos, letters, and recipes. In the margins, write down someone's great attributes or favorite sayings, too.
    -- Rosalind Eskew, Sarasota, Florida

Put It on Paper

    Get an E-Groove On

    Send flirty e-mails via electronic card services (great for long-distance couples, including servicemen and servicewomen).

Put It on Paper

    Handwrite a Letter

    In this fast-paced, high-tech world, you may not remember precisely the last time you got a letter written by hand, but you probably remember how good it felt to get one. Spread that feeling by writing one yourself. No need to make it a love note; just share your day with someone.

Put It on Paper

    Fill the Days

    Get a daybook or daily calendar and write down the reasons you love someone on every page. Make them a mix of silly and serious reasons, and see how long it takes you to come up with 365.
    -- Michelle Knoller-Dell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pamper the Ones You Love

    Card Shower

    This Valentine's Day, organize a sweet surprise for a friend or favorite relative. "Shower someone with love and good wishes, and ask all of his or her friends and family members to send cards that day," says Debbie Tenzer, author of Do One Nice Thing. Include a heartfelt thought, such as "You inspire me" or "Just hearing your voice makes me happy."

Pamper the Ones You Love

    Take Your Turn

    Do each other's chores once in a while. "I watch our baby while my wife attends fund-raisers. It's just a little way to show I support her."
    -- Adam Kluger, New York, New York

Pamper the Ones You Love

    Share the Wealth

    Guys like getting special treatment, too. Treat him to a morning at the spa, a professional massage, or even a pedicure (clear polish is just fine).
    -- Barbara Purcell, New York, New York

Pamper the Ones You Love

    Candles and a Bath for One

    Valentine's Day is a time of year to show special people how much you love them -- and that includes you. So pamper yourself. "Draw a bath, light some candles, enjoy some indulgence. If you don't care for yourself, you have nothing left for everyone else."
    -- Stacy Kaiser, Los Angeles, California

Pamper the Ones You Love

    Make Coupons

    Coupons are something any family member can make by hand or on a home computer. Kids might make them redeemable for chores or other good deeds. For a sweetheart, you could make them good for a kiss, hug, or back rub at any time.

Pamper the Ones You Love

    Remember In-Laws

    Even if you don't have the best relationship with them, remember: They created the love of your life. Show your appreciation with a note, some flowers, even a homemade casserole.
    -- Dina Koutas Poch, New York, New York

Pamper the Ones You Love

    Feed Them

    Remember: Pets need love too. Be sure to pamper them regularly.

    Hint: Keep the treat jar stocked with their favorites, especially during February.

Make It Quick

    Put Your Heart on It

    Sweet nothings are not just for whispering. Write "I love you" on a family message board or draw a heart on a steamed-up mirror to brighten the morning of a special someone.
    -- Anna Catherine, Glenside, Pennsylvania

Make It Quick

    Post It

    Leave notes beside a toothbrush or in a desk drawer. "Someone hid 40 'messages of love' around my house one time. Weeks later, I was still finding notes in coat pockets, between cereal boxes, and under lamps."
    -- Juliana Guerriero, Long Beach, California

Make It Quick

    Tell Them at Work

    A heartfelt note slipped into a briefcase or lunch pail, a message on their personal voice mail, or a gushy (but safe-for-work) e-card to their office address are all great ways to brighten their day on the job.
    -- Beth McRae, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Make It Quick

    Find the Good

    Jot a short note to a friend or family member and tell that person just one thing you love or appreciate about her. She'll remember that unexpected act of honest praise far longer than any other gift you might give her.
    -- Cheryl Karpen, Anoka, Minnesota

Say It Out Loud

    End a Fight

    Being the first one to say "I'm sorry" -- even if you're still feeling hurt -- sends a whole lot of love.
    -- Mona Barbera, Providence, Rhode Island

Say It Out Loud

    Give Them Contacts

    Make sure your loved ones know all the different ways they can reach you -- your direct line at work, your cell phone number, and all of your e-mail addresses. Tell them they can call you for any reason. That's love.

Say It Out Loud

    Sign It

    Make up your own special language or signals to express yourself to loved ones. Example: Swirling a finger in a circle, then making a dot could mean "I love you." This is especially great to use on kids since you can say how you feel in public without risk of embarrassing them.
    -- Ellen Bookman, Marietta, Georgia

Hang with Your Soul Mate

    Play Games

    Compete in a sport together -- tennis, golf, even football. Admiring each other's strengths is a big turn-on.
    -- Patricia and Alexander Klier, Orlando, Florida

Hang with Your Soul Mate

    Boogie Down

    Pick a regular date to indulge in a mutual passion. "We've loved music since we were young, so my friend and I celebrate our birthdays by going to concerts together."
    -- Saretta Holler, Irvine, California

Hang with Your Soul Mate

    Find Your Center

    Do yoga together. "The purpose of yoga is finding yourself. Then you can share openly with ones you love."
    -- Tess Kienow, Little Palm Island Resort, Florida

Focus on Your Kids

    Drive with Devotion

    Driving your kids doesn't have to be a period of awkward silence. Use those opportunities to say what you feel: "I really enjoy our time together. You're a special kid."
    -- Nancy O'Reilly, Springfield, Missouri

Focus on Your Kids

    Get Active

    After dinner, take the kids power-walking, jogging, or to a family-friendly yoga class. Feel-good endorphins generate closeness and promote healthy living.

Focus on Your Kids

    Sing It

    If you sing or play a musical instrument, convey your love through music: Write a song just for them, or at least learn one or two of their favorite tunes. Heck, try singing to them even if you can't sing. A moment's embarrassment will give them a lifetime memory.
    -- Jeanie Bonansinga, Chicago, Illinois

Focus on Your Kids

    Crown Her

    Name your kids King or Queen for the day and devote that day to enjoying their favorite activities.

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