Valentine's Day Planner

Calling all Cupids! Make this the best Valentine's Day ever!
First, Ask What Kind of Romantic Are You?

Let's face it, some of us are upfront by nature while others hold their feelings in reserve. Most people are somewhere in between. It helps to know your love quotient before randomly planning your best Valentine's Day ever. Are you an in-your-face lover? Then go all out for the most dramatic glitz you can muster. Are you more subtle? You'll want to plan a quieter heart-to-heart encounter.

Second, Share the Love

Each day this month, deliver a message to your lover. Don't worry, you don't have to be a poet or a writer to make a great impression. Borrow from the masters -- they have written about matters of the heart from the beginning of time. Consult Bartlett's Book of Quotations or go online. If you wish, these messages can come with a tiny gift, a bit of pretty candy perhaps. Start here: "All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love." -- Leo Tolstoy

Third, Order Roses

If you wait until the last minute to order roses, you know what it's like: long lines and picked-over flowers. So take care of this task early. It's fine to shop around, but don't scrimp on quality for this all-important part of Valentine's Day. Ask the florist's advice on presentation as well. Of course, you may have your own ideas about that.

Fourth, Select Sensuous Snacks

Now that you've taken care of the visual centerpiece with roses, it's time to think about good taste. Chocolate, of course, is the traditional feel-good, warm-up snack choice. You can either buy fancy chocolates premade or, if you really want to go all out, make your own. Concocting your own sweets has the added advantage of filling the house with a seductive aroma.

Fifth, Make Your Own Valentine Cards

You have two ways to go here, cards for the kids and/or a card for your honey. You remember how excited you were as a kid about Valentine's Day cards, don't you? They can be store-bought, or for a fun project, make them with your kids. A personalized card for your honey may carry extra weight over even the nicest one you find in the store -- that's up to you.