On February 3, my husband Michael and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage. 30 years, two children, seven moves, two states, several jobs, and countless ups and downs. So, this Valentine’s Day seems a little more special somehow. No marriage (or any relationship for that matter) is perfect. Even though it’s a cliche, it’s true—you have to work at it. Every. Single. Day. No year has that advice played out more in our marriage than in 2019. It was a challenging year for several reasons, including the death of Michael’s mother. And throw in me leaving a stable job to start freelancing as a graphic designer, and the start of the last year of college for our youngest. When you are with someone for a long time going through the daily motions, it is easy to let the romance go by the wayside. But the good part about being empty nesters is that even though there is a sadness that comes with children leaving home, there is new found time to focus on each other and why you fell in love with in the first place—before diapers and dance lessons, school plays and science projects.

Here’s hoping that you and your special one will go the extra mile to make each other feel truly loved and cherished—on Valentine’s Day and every day. There are lots of ways to make that happen for little to no money, but hey—gifts can be nice too, right? Just in case you are looking for that special something, I have gathered a few shopping ideas here for you for the ladies AND the men, in a range of prices. I do receive a very small commission when you shop through these links, and I really appreciate it!