Most people feel a certain way about Valentine’s Day and almost no one is in the middle of the spectrum: you either love it or you hate it. Conversation hearts are either revolting or sweet. Red roses incite sighs of adoration or sighs of annoyance.
For me? I’m pretty much middle of the road. I will always jump at a reason to celebrate the people I love, and won’t ever say no to an excuse for a nice dinner or gathering. This year, I’m having brunch (sorry, Mom) with my boyfriend and a whole bunch of close friends and, in the process, completely cutting out the corny parts of this holiday. And for the first time in a long time (except for Valentine’s 2015, of course), I’m really vibing on Valentine’s Day!
Flowers are a tradition part of the “holiday” as everyone knows, but in my personal opinion, it isn’t worth the jacked up prices of a bouquet of red roses. I’d rather someone pick up a unique flower or just wait for the flowers till another time. After all, the whole point of this blog is to talk about how to get past the big box stores that sell arrangements, save a little money.
So, instead of waiting for the 14th, I hit up my local Trader Joe’s a few days early to see what they had in stock. Insider secret: Tuesday’s and Saturday’s tend to be the best days to get fresh blooms from TJs…it’s when their orders come in.
Sure enough, on this Tuesday, I was welcomed into the store by bright tulips, pre-grouped arrangments, and big ol’ pails of red roses. Unlike a lot of places, TJs managed to stock more than just red roses and had a number of colors to pick from–all for $12/dozen.
Compare $12 (or $24 for two dozen stems) to the standard $50 for a basic red rose bouquet from 1-800 flowers or Pro-flowers, and it’s immediately obvious which option is more original and more heartfelt…right? Right!
I picked up one bundle of tulips for $5 and one bundle of BRIGHT pink roses for $12. So, for a grand total of $17, I got three amazing arrangements for my little apartment! It’s a Valentine’s Day miracle!
The picture above of the roses was taken after a long night’s soak in some water, without the plastic around them. They opened up so much and were a lot easier to work with after they relaxed a little. If you have the luxury of time, I’ll always suggest giving your blooms a long soak before you start arranging. Did the same thing with my tulips, too. Here’s what I came up with:
I wanted to bring the light pink tulips into my mostly-blue room (can you tell it’s my favorite color?) to add a little Spring-y cheer in the middle of this cold snap we’re experiencing.
Then, for the living room and bathroom I used the roses and some fun greens that came with the stems to make two simple but crazy beautiful arrangements. All it took was a diagonal snip on each stem, and making sure no leaves were below the water line–anything the gets stuck in the water will quickly turn the stem and the water into a goopy, moldy mess. You’ll extend the life of your flowers by multiple days if you take a few extra seconds to prep them before plopping them in water!
Kind of simply gorgeous, right? And a great natural Valentine’s Day touch to our little apartment! But wait…there’s more! These roses turned out to be true superstars. In the couple of days since I put the arrangements out, they have opened even more, making these massive neon pink blooms that almost look like peonies.
They may be my favorite roses yet! What are you doing for Valentine’s with your gals, pals, or partners? Anything floral-related? Would love to see how creative you get!