Oh, the pressure. Oh, the wonder. Will he remember? Will she like it? What if my affection is a one way street? And the classic: What if I spend Valentine’s alone?

Harry & David Valentines

Why does Valentine’s Day turn normal functioning human beings with emotions and relationships in check into forlorn, unsure teenagers awaiting the big reveal from a hopefully-he-or-she-likes-me-too-admirer?

Hope. It’s all about hope and love, baby.

I vividly remember Valentine’s Day during grade school. Decorating shoe boxes with paper doilies and cut out hearts, creating unique red, white and pink depositories for pieces of paper that somehow proved someone cared.

Harry & David Valentines
Every year I would review the valentine stash my classmates delivered, weighing the importance of one phrase versus another and searching, searching, searching for the special valentine with the lyrical prose of love from that one special boy—who at that time was at least a head shorter than me. And when I found it, the valentine would inevitably read “from, XX,” without so much as a hint of reciprocal romance.

That was 3rd grade. Circumstances didn’t change much as got older, or taller.

Harry & David Valentines
Lucky for me that now has changed. Valentine’s Day at our house is celebrated with love and both my husband and I know that its the little things that prove our love for one another. *wink

Okay, okay, okay. That was a bit on the sweet side for sure. The real deal is that surprises are always, always welcome if you want to thrill your beloved. So what sort of surprise is right? Well, you could always go rogue and do something all crazy like take your love sky diving—hmm…ulterior motives. Or give them something practical, like oh say, a vacuum cleaner—can you say immediate romance killer?

Let’s all agree to just say no to wacky and leave the practical to next week’s Costco run. Instead go with the essence of Valentine’s Day, the true hallmark of the cupid-laden holiday: Roses and chocolates.

Harry & David Valentines
Harry & David asked me to tell them what I thought about their Valentine’s Day Mini Roses and Chocolates from their Valentine’s Day gift collection, delivering a package straight to my door. My husband was home at the time and thinking it was an order he’d placed from another company—adding to his obsession with the San Francisco 49ers or more gear for his guitar—he opened the box.

The light bulbs went off in his head as he quickly realized his Valentine’s Day present solution was sitting right there in his garage. He was done! No shopping, no scheming. Add a sweetly signed card and boom, he’s sitting pretty with a romantic surprise for his bride.

Harry & David Valentines
Last summer I was a lucky duck and got to make chocolates with the Harry, the chief chocolatier at Harry & David and let me tell you, mine did not compare to these. These artful Harry & David truffles were devoured by the three of us. Three? Yes, Smudge is always in the middle when it comes to chocolate.

Her favorite of course was the red, heart shaped truffle, or as she called it, “the tye-dyed one.” Me? I’m all about the dense fudgy whole chocolate with a cup of milky coffee. Oh, hello breakfast.

Harry & David Valentines

Bringing some sunshine to this white winter weather, I like that the roses aren’t cut but rather potted and placed in a country-french ceramic wine chiller—hey, smart! I will happily reuse that!—giving off a much longer bloom and brightening my kitchen as I sit back and watch the snow fall.

And eat more truffles in a toast to love.

Thanks for reading and please keep in touch. This sponsored post is part of my working relationship with Harry & David and helps to keep this blog and magazine going so thanks for your support. All opinions are my own. Subscribe to FoodieCrush and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest and check out FoodieCrush magazine.