Romance in a Recession: Five Last-Minute, Budget-Friendly Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

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Online Wellness Community, InnerRewards, Offers Tips for Avoiding Predictable and Expensive Valentine's Day Gifts

News Facts:

The old saying "love doesn't cost a thing" could really come in handy this Valentine's Day as most of us are feeling under increasing pressure to scrimp and save. But "budget" doesn't have to mean "boring." Online spa and wellness community, InnerRewards, has found some unique and unusual Valentine's Day ideas.

1. The Spa Staycation:
"Book a couples spa experience a day or two before the 14th -- this adds an element of surprise and helps avoid the holiday rush. Send a steamy email, Vmail, or text to your partner with the instructions to meet you at a location near the spa with a bathing suit and an open mind. Many larger spas have couples or VIP areas that can be rented as part of a package or are complimentary with your services. Some spas simply have couples-only hours -- even cheaper. Couples experiences can range from a simple couples massage to packages including self-administered scrubs and showers, private whirlpools, and saunas. If the spa does not have catering services for private rooms, ask if they will allow providing your own fresh fruits (with dipping sauces of course), cheeses, champagne, wine or soft drinks."

2. Learn the Art of Sensual Massage:
"Hold on, this is book learning here, you will not be in a room full of strangers doing foot massage 101. You have two courses you can take: 1) Buy the book, or check one out from your local library (free if you can find a copy), study up on your own, and then whip out your skills at the appropriate time and place; or 2) Read the book together and try the exercises that titillate you both. Prepare a massage kit with fresh towels, a massage pillow, oils (aromatherapy, edible, warming…), candles, candles that melt into massage oil, and any other goodies that might come in handy and stash them in your massage area. Keep your Valentine happy and relaxed all year long with your new skills."

3. Visit a Tantric Specialist:
"Have you tried everything? Are you feeling a little risqué? Maybe its time to try a little tantra in the bedroom. First make sure that this is something that would interest your partner. Try dropping some not-so-subtle hints to test the water. Leaving out a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tantric Sex might do the trick or download a tantra podcast and listen to it together -- be creative in raising the subject. Make sure your partner knows that the purpose of the session is not to fix problems in your sex life, but to enhance what you already have and increase the intimacy."

4. Create a Home Spa:
"This one takes a lot of prep work and requires that you arrive at the location before your partner, so plan accordingly. Maybe you don't want to venture out at all on the 14th, so bring the spa to you. Head to an aromatherapy or health food store and stock up on candles, bath salts, bubble bath, sponges, incense, inflatable bath pillows, edible oils, lotions, and anything else you need to transform your bathroom into a home spa. Choose a theme for your purchase or buy a set -- chocolate flavored/scented everything works well. You need a spotless bathroom -- a gift in and of itself -- to start with. Remove or hide everything that you will not be using during your spa ritual; this may include the shower curtain if it cannot be secured out of the way. Artfully place your purchased spa items and fresh towels around the room. Light the candles, arrange the flowers, put on some music, and wait. For an added luxury greet your partner at the door with a decorative bowl of warm water scented with bath salts and a few flowers petals for a welcome home footbath."

5. Take a Yoga Class Together:
"Go online and find some partner Yoga videos (see our suggestions below) or purchase partner Yoga videos online or locally. You can either watch the videos before hand, learn the moves, and teach them to your partner or watch the videos together. If possible download them to your desktop so you don't have to go searching for URLs thus interrupting the flow of the session. Take the evening low-tech with an illustrated partner Yoga book such as Lovers' Yoga: Soothing Stretches for Two By Darrin Zeer. Choose five-seven poses to try and go for it."


Great Jones Day Spa
Tru Spa
Spa Space
Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists
Om Yoga in NYC
Yoga for Life in the San Francisco Bay Area
Moksha Yoga

About InnerRewards:

InnerRewards is the first complete online wellness community and e-commerce platform that connects businesses with new and existing customers. Consumers interested in health and wellness can get information, connect with one another, and buy products and services, while wellness providers can reach new customers, build their brand, and drive sales via innovative and measurable online marketing techniques. The company was founded in 2008 by Julie Elaine Brown, former new media executive for Johnson & Johnson, and includes a team with experience at companies such as PayPal, Yahoo!, Apple, and Razorfish. For more information, visit


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Kari Straley
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