Valentine’s Day

Chocolate, sweets, ice cream, cupcakes, Valentine's Day My Favorite Things, Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem

Who’s ready for Valentine’s Day?  There are so many great things to do, see, eat and buy for your loved one locally, I went a little overboard coming up with ideas, plus a great giveaway prize for one lucky winner.

For the sweet tooth, you can buy DeGroot truffles from Nevada City Truffle Shop, candies and chocolate from Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe, Jasmine and Violet ice cream from Treats, gift bags of chocolate dipped marshmallows or gourmet cupcakes from Emily’s Catering and Cakes, a bar of Cello Chocolate or something sweet from Lazy Dog Chocolateria.

There are some great local shopping options in Nevada City from My Favorite Things, The Parlour at Neva CoKitkitdizzi, J.J. Jackson’s, Gray Goose, Abstrakt, Maiden Lane, Judi’s or Nevada City Crystal & Glass.   Downtown Grass Valley offers gift options in Mint and Yuba Blue.  Or perhaps you want to get creative and make your sweetheart something special, stop by The Artist Workshop for some loved themed projects, reserve a table for Valentine’s Day. If you stop by on the 13th and 14th wearing red or pink you will receive 10% off your project and the opportunity to decorate a cookie, click here for their schedule.

So whether you’re going out to eat, heading to the Masquerade Ball at the Miners Foundry or drinking wine with the downtown Grass Valley Valentine’s Day wine stroll there are a lot of great events happening Valentine’s Day weekend.  Click here to see the Pinterest board I put together with more information on additional events and ideas.

And now the giveaway….  scroll to the bottom of this post to see the prizes, but one lucky winner is going to win a $100 floral arrangement with a decorative vase from the Magickal Florist, 2 complimentary wine tastings and a cheese platter from Smith Vineyards, a $10 gift certificate to Yuba Blue, a handmade Love sign by Lindsay Ostrom, a $10 gift certificate to The Artist Workshop, an Element Love hat from Mint, a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 from the Nevada City Truffle Shop and a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans from Carolines Coffee.  Who doesn’t want a love goodie bag worth $200?  Post a comment here about your favorite Valentine’s Day memory and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, February 11th, click here to see who won.  And the winner of the two tickets to The Second City comedy show is Beth (for a chuckle go back and read the comments).

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© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem

83 replies
  1. Allison
    Allison says:

    Our last pre-children valentines day date back in 2005 at Cirinos in grass valley. I was 9 months pregnant with our first boy and could hardly eat much… It’s the best memory from valentines day ever! 9 days later we welcomed our sweet David.
    5 babies and 10 years of marriage later, I still look back at that date with happy in my heart!

  2. Lindsay Ostrom
    Lindsay Ostrom says:

    My favorite Valentines memory is a tradition in our house. When my kids were small, the oldest daughter wanted to have a wedding. So, we all dressed up and she married her brother… over and over again for the next few years until it got ucky. I make a heart shaped meatloaf and we have a fancy dress up dinner. We still do… even though my kids are all over the globe, my hubs and i still celebrate with heart shaped meatloaf and dressing up.

    • erin
      erin says:

      Heart shaped meatloaf and marrying one’s sibling, that sounds like a great tv drama! But glad you’re celebrating the love. Thanks again for the fabulous hand painted sign.

  3. Stacy Heminway
    Stacy Heminway says:

    My favorite Valentine’s Day memory is my mom’s beautiful wedding at the Yellowstone Nat Park Chapel. After spending 10 years as a hardworking single parent, seeing her have such a happy day in that idyllic setting made my heart hopeful for everyone who thinks the best times are behind them. ❤️

  4. Donna C
    Donna C says:

    I splurged and put an ad in the special section of the paper. He told a friend who told everyone. It was mushy. He was embarrassed, but he still appreciated it.

  5. Linda toll
    Linda toll says:

    I met my baby grandson on Valentine’s Day 6 years ago. It is my daughter-in-law’s birthday and we celebrated both birthdays. It was a very special day.

  6. Alice Blandy
    Alice Blandy says:

    On Valentine’s Day in the early1950’s… I was a shy young girl sitting at my school desk, when the cute boy [ who I had a crush on ] was standing by me and looking down at my skirt, then walk away. I was horribly embarrassed to realize there was a long rip in my skirt, which exposed my bare thigh. Later I found a cartoon cut out Valentine on my desk, which was not signed, but it said
    ” I love your skirt” I never forgot that Valentine. Alice Blandy

  7. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    Hmm. Not sure about favorite, but I can think of a most memorable – our last Valentine’s Day before we were married, my then-fiance and I were living in separate states and were unable to be together. He knows how hard I find it to wait to give or receive gifts, so that year, he intentionally sent me a gift several weeks in advance … and put a combination lock on it. He refused to give me the combination until the day of! I’m happy to report that, despite his impishness, we are still happily married 8 years later. 🙂

  8. nanasbakery
    nanasbakery says:

    My husband can run, ahem, a little late….I was tearing my hair out while we were dating. At the time, I was working for Old Navy in San Francisco. I looked up from my cubicle on February 13, and security had let him in…..he was wheeling a fully grown, blooming rose tree down the hall on a dolly. The attached note said “Who says I’m late?”. We’ve been married for 20 years, and yes, he has gotten much better about being on time.

  9. Annie
    Annie says:

    My most memorable Valentine’s Day was in West Africa. I was in the Peace Corps and my then boyfriend lived in a village that was a 3 day bush taxi trip away. I embarked on the journey with his favorite type of meat (only available in the area of the country I lived in). I had it smoked and assumed it would keep for the journey. Unfortunately it hadn’t gotten fully smoked. The trip was full of car problems, a small accident, and ridiculous delays. When I arrived at my boyfriend’s doorstep with only a few minutes of Valentine’s day left, I was holding a bag of spoiled meat. I’ll spare you the details but needless to say, it was a gift he never forgot!

  10. Diane Richards
    Diane Richards says:

    Twenty years ago, after my husband and I first got married, we did not have very much extra money to spend after all the bills were paid with a mortgage payment and trying to furnish our home.

    KFBK, a radio station at work was having a Valentine’s Day contest with a lot of great prizes and the winner had to send in an entry on what embarrassing thing would you do for your valentine to show your love to them. They selected a person each day, two weeks prior to the Valentine’s Day, announcing the contestant’s name and what they were going to do. My submission was selected on a day I was off, so I never heard it read, but my husband did and all my coworkers at work. My husband told me the radio announcer said poor RJ. Not believing my husband, I called KFBK and they said I was the winner that day and asked if selected to be the grand prize winner, I would actually do what I said. I said of course! I was selected as one of the three finalists. The public had to call in, voting for the favorite contestant. I did not win the grand prize, but I did win a pair of tickets to Swan Lake and a half dozen Sherri’s Berries 🙂

  11. Christin Hunt
    Christin Hunt says:

    My first Valentine was my husband, after we started dating in college. He is an awful letter writer, but he wrote me a note, which I’ve saved to this day. That year had to be my favorite Valentines Day ever.

  12. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    We always celebrated with the kids…fancy dinner, fun dessert…now we are empty nesters…hmmm may have make up for 22 years and put the focus back on romance:)

  13. Katrina
    Katrina says:

    In all honesty, I do not have a very positive relationship with Valentines day. It must have been fun as a kid, with all of the parties at school and candy fun! But as I went in to adolescence, this day brought up a lot of loneliness, especially as i watched other girls receive a rose or note or something from their boyfriends. I wanted that, but I was a very late bloomer wrt romance! It took a couple decades until i reclaimed the day to be about LOVE instead of all the romantic ideals! The love I felt, not the love I received. And of course, total love of chocolate! So my best memories come since having kids, and having fun decorating the table with cut out hearts and sweethearts and flower petals and chocolate and watching my kids wake up in surprise and big eyes.

  14. Mellisa
    Mellisa says:

    My favorite Valentine’s memory actually involves my grandparents. It was a very special day for them. Grandpa had originally planned on proposing on February 14, but was so eager, he couldn’t wait and proposed a couple days early. Still, it was their day. They had the sweetest tradition of passing a greeting card back and forth each year, one year it would be Grandma’s, the next, Grandpa’s. It was started in the foggy, distant past (remember, I was a kid when I learned this) when Grandma gave Grandpa a card with a lipstick kiss. From then on, each year a kiss was added, until the card was quite full of bright red puckers. It was a cherished — and fun — memento of their love.

  15. Sue
    Sue says:

    My favorite memories are helping my 3 kids when they were little make and sign the Valentines card to take to school (these “kids” are now in their late 40s!). My husband, bargain guy that he was, would buy me a box of candy the day after when it was marked down!

  16. sasha c
    sasha c says:

    Whoa! What a great post! My favorite VDay memory is showing up to dinner at Sushi in the Raw with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers waiting for me at the table. I thought they were just part of the table decorations at the restaurant until my love told me he put them there ahead of time 🙂

  17. Erin Paige
    Erin Paige says:

    I didn’t know it then, but my favorite valentine’s day memory has everything to do with major childhood rejection. I was in the fifth grade when I knew, without a doubt, that I was in love with Trevor Hyland. I was so much in love that I made him a very special Vday present which I nicely wrapped in a brown paper lunch bag that I decorated with stickers. To this day, I remember the contents of the bag: one m&m filled heart, two heart shaped lollipops, and a note that read, “Trevor, I really like-like you. Will you be my valentine? From, Erin.” I waited the whole day at school to work up the nerve to pull that bag out of my backpack and give it to him. After school, when he and all of his friends were gathered around the bike rack, I finally did it! I walked right up to Trevor, handed him the bag, and said “here!”…then… I ran. As I hid behind the door of mrs. Radcliff’s 5th grade classroom, I watched as Trevor opened my gift, read the note out loud to his buddies, and threw the paper bag, with all if it’s contents, on to the ground. I ran back over to him as he got on his bike and begged him to take the gift home. He finally said “okay” and took it from me. I watched with googley eyes as he road his bike down the street near our school. Before his friends caught up to him, he threw my gift into the road and ran it over with his bike- then he sped off… laughing. I remember walking to pick up the shattered remains of pink and red candy. And I remember carrying the crumbled bag and broken candy all the way home that day. Staring at my feet as I walked. But that valentine’s day taught me one very important lesson… Trevor Highland is a complete ASS! (and I don’t need him anyway).

  18. Mags
    Mags says:

    My favorite Valentine’s memory is traveling with my husband in Belize. We had saved and prepared for a year of traveling for education, volunteering and fun. Belize is an amazingly beautiful country with rain forest and Caribbean shores. We spent 3 weeks in the jungles, with part of the time at a nature preserve. We would wake to the sounds of howler monkey overhead, and spend the days among iguanas, toucans, parrots, and more learning the traditional healing techniques of the Maya. There is nothing like being among Cacao trees to appreciate the fine points of chocolate on Valentines day

  19. Rosanne Stratigakes
    Rosanne Stratigakes says:

    Unremarkable Vdays in past. Last yr. was pretty special. My husband gave me chocolates and a dozen red roses AND we had nice dinner at home with a prettily set table and an ironed,cotton tablecloth. One of my sons gave me bouquet of flowers also. I wanted to give to my kids and husband so my gift to them I has been putting away a small amt. of money each day into jars which I’ve kept in kitchen-purpose of which is to encourage investments. It’s been successful. I like giving AND receiving. Don’t know if I’m going to do this year.

  20. Chris Smith
    Chris Smith says:

    My favorite Valentines memory is still happening every year and has happened as long as I can recall. My dad, who is now 86, has always given his three daughters a valentine. A small gift, a single flower or a box of chocolates and always with a simple note, love you! Dad. Oh, so simple! In looking back he truly was my first love and set the bar high. Im grateful for his example of how to love and what to expect from a man. I’m grateful that this Valentine’s Day I can receive, one more year, a valentine from Dad.

  21. Kiana
    Kiana says:

    I love waking up and seeing my mom have sweets and desserts on the table, and then going to school and passing out valentines to my classmates.

  22. Denise Bryant
    Denise Bryant says:

    I remember exchanging Valentine cards in grade school. I had such a crush on a boy in my class and remember picking out a very special Valentine for him. We were in 5th grade I think, and his name was Richie.

  23. Amanda Gray
    Amanda Gray says:

    My favorite Valentine’s day memory is easy. My husband and I were 23 and 24 years old at the time. We were living together on our own, my husband had just lost his job and we had like $20 to our name (seriously.. it was ramen noodle land at our house.) Anyway, we had made big Valentine’s day plans but because he lost his job, we didn’t get to go and I was really disappointed, but we had decided we would just go on a picnic. However, on Valentine’s day, it was pouring. Like, thunder and lightening and the whole nine yards. I was just getting sick, and had to work, and came home feeling really sorry for myself because I knew our picnic was out of the question when my husband blindfolded me and guided me out to our truck. After about 20 minutes the truck stopped, and the blindfold came off. We were parked next to a fountain in our hometown, and the truck lights were off. My husband had a few of those fake candles glowing sitting on the console and dashboard, and he had went out before hand and picked up my favorite fast food (Carl’s jr), put it on plates so it looked nice, with some sparkling cider to drink out of Dixie cups. If that wasn’t enough, he had picked up two of those little personal cheesecakes for dessert and handed me a homemade Valentine’s Day card. He then gave me a nickel and a dime, and told me not to worry, that the hard times in life were like nickels. They look really big, but they’ll never add up to all of the good times (the dimes) in life. That Valentine’s day was my favorite one yet and this year will be our 13th one together. He’s my rock and my saving grace. (Sorry for the long post, but your question made me smile and remember one of my favorite memories.)

  24. Dana Tanner Powell
    Dana Tanner Powell says:

    My husband is a bartender and works 4-5 nights a week…so we don’t always get to spend Valentine’s Day (or other holidays or birthdays) together. We have learned to celebrate when we can, and it’s fun that way. It almost makes it more special, as we get to choose when and how we celebrate. Sometimes it’s a few days before the actual holiday, and sometimes it’s a few days afterwards. As for a favorite Valentine’s Day memory, it’s always what we make it…whether it’s a quick getaway, a ski day, or a romantic dinner at home by the fire. Either way, it’s always special…and romantic. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  25. Zoey
    Zoey says:

    Last year I got a fly fishing rod and lessons on valentines day! I was happy to spend time together : ) I even had beginners luck and caught a fish!

  26. Ingrid knox
    Ingrid knox says:

    I’ve always loved sending cards so some of my favorite time prepping for Valentines Day is finding the right card for everyone on my list. I did like the years when Warren and I gave chocolates to eat other so there was plenty for everyone.

  27. Roshan
    Roshan says:

    One of my favorite Valentine memories is of how thoughtful my husband was one year. He made me a homemade dinner and invited my single girl friend too. He made sure he bought her some Valentine’s candy too. My friend was so touched. Another favorite is the years of making homemade Valentines with my children.

  28. Ann
    Ann says:

    One year year, as I spoke with my Mom-in Law on the phone on Valentine’s, she asked me what her son got me. I said nothing. He then handed me a box with a lovely pair of earrings. A bit of crow on my part. I was very lucky. And you’ve mentioned Emily’s which is my new favorite bakery, and the Truffle Shop is awesome!

  29. Chris Hansen
    Chris Hansen says:

    On Valentine’s Day 3 years ago we signed the papers and received the keys for our first home! Such a special memory.

  30. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    A valentine’s day about 8 years ago when my husband got into my scrapbooking supplies and hand made me a sweet card with stamps, ribbon, stickers, pinking shears,… you name it, he used it! It was absolutely mismatched and the most adorable heartfelt card ever.

  31. meshawn
    meshawn says:

    Probably the first year we started our iron chef style menu planning…about six years ago we decided to split the menu (d does appetizers, drinks and dessert, I do main course) with one common ingredient and it’s all a surprise until it’s served. The first year was lavender, this year is hibiscus (ideas???). It’s been a fun tradition and combines things we like to do – cook, be creative, and be together!

  32. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    I’ve always managed to be single on Valentines Day, but not this year! Romance is in the air and I don’t need flowers to put me on cloud 9 because I’m already there! (But flowers sure would be a nice bonus!)

  33. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Went to the Yuba River for V-day and the flow was so low at my special spot that the rocks forced the water to appear like a huge heart. I felt God’s sweetness that day and it didn’t cost a single penny. I ate a little treat in celebration, but the gigantic heart formation made of rocks and perfect river flow “took the cake” for sure!

  34. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    When I lived in Santa Cruz, many years ago, I when out to get into my car to go to work and found it covered with flower petals—inside and out. My boyfriend had spent most of the night running around the neighborhood stripping every flower(mostly roses) from every yard to cover my entire Convertable Volkswagen bug in flower petals for Valentine’s Day.
    Don’t know how happy the neighborhood was about this but I was pretty thrilled!

  35. Jeannie Nyberg
    Jeannie Nyberg says:

    Favorite Valentines Day is watching a romantic movie, Dr. Zhivago with husband and enjoy a glass of Nevada City merlot, with a box of truffes.

  36. Justine Riley
    Justine Riley says:

    My favorite Valentine’s memory would be a few years ago when our 3 daughters made place settings out of heart shaped doilies. We ate breakfast for dinner since that is the kind of food we love… Heart shaped chocolate chip pancakes, heart shaped fried eggs, and bacon strips formed into shapes. Our daughters had the idea of everyone taking turns saying what they loved most about each family member, including themselves. It is important to recognize and acknowledge simple and small things that make us happy.

    • erin
      erin says:

      Does that mean you’re the kind of girl who will eat anything, like bugs? Just dye it pink and call it candy? Or does that mean you’re the mom making the organic homemade from scratch Valentine’s Day treats for your kids’ school parties?

  37. Hilary
    Hilary says:

    Last years Valentine’s Day, being able to spend it with all my kids and husband. Hard to do with two in college. They are all my special valentines. Then spending my birthday with them two days later.

    • erin
      erin says:

      I recently went ice skating at Squaw, lots of fun and the view is amazing. Doubt I’ll go for Valentine’s Day, but if you want to think of something fun to do that’s a bit closer then NYC.

  38. sspierings
    sspierings says:

    My favorite Valentine Day surprise was when my hunk o’ burnin’ love told me I was going to England with him to meet his Mum in 2012…we were sitting at the counter of the Classic Cafe having a glass of red wine…<3

    • erin
      erin says:

      Oh Paule must be thrilled that you call him your “hunk o’ burnin’ love.” But, meeting the parental units is huge… even for us mature individuals.

  39. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    In sixth grade I got a candle and a v-day card hand delivered to my home. Little Marc brought the gift to my door while his Mom waited for him in the car. The candle said “You’re a 10”. Still makes me smile.

  40. Jennifer Porter
    Jennifer Porter says:

    My Favorite recent Valentine’s memory is when I cooked a Boeuf Bourgogne and we had one of the wines we saved from our trip to Mendoza. My husband got me a beautiful bracelet and earrings from La Cache. And we watched old movies in our jammies

  41. Anastasia Kreiss
    Anastasia Kreiss says:

    My favorite Valentines Day was last year. Me and my husband had just moved into a new house and we didn’t have very much money. We decided to cook at home and he made a beautiful stake and veggies. He didn’t know it but while he was cooking I covered our patio with candles and fabric and pillows. It was beautiful, I pored Wine and when the food was done I said “Why don’t we eat outside for once” He loved the surprise. It just goes to show that its not about expensive things its about love and kindness.

  42. Taylor Jean
    Taylor Jean says:

    My favorite V-day? Has to be when I made my boyfriend dinner for the first time in our new home about 5 years ago. It was quaint and romantic. He got me the most lovely bouquet of flowers. It is the simple pleasures that I remember. The card he gave me with the love note inside was super sweet, mushy I know. But have kept every card from him since.

  43. Patti Glenn
    Patti Glenn says:

    As an adult, I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day much, but as a kid, I always had a Valentine’s themed birthday party, as my birthday (and my twin brother’s birthday) falls just a few days before V Day. My mom would make heart-shaped cakes, one chocolate and one vanilla. I associate Valentine’s day with happy care-free childhood birthday parties and homemade Valentine’s Day cards made with lace doilies and candy hearts.

  44. Megan Hammond
    Megan Hammond says:

    My favorite valentine’s day memory is my husband cooking am incredible four course French cuisine meal and enjoying a romantic night in.

  45. Ciara McSweeney
    Ciara McSweeney says:

    My favorite memory was my husbands and my first valentines day. After being together 6 months he still hadn’t said “I Love You”. The day before valentines we had gone out and when we went to say good bye he held me right and said “I Love You”. I was so happy and in love with this man I knew we had something super special together. He gave me two cards that Valentines day a funny one and a super sweet sentimental one (he doesn’t usually do sentimental cards) both saying how much he loved me and was so grateful I was in his life. 13 years later and two wonderful boys my hubby still makes me smile, gives me butterflies and is my best friend. A lifetime with him isn’t long enough and I always love to have him hold me and say those sweet words. Love is special and when you find it don’t ever let go. May everyone find that special love

  46. Gianna
    Gianna says:

    I have never been able to spend a Valentine’s Day with my sweetheart… This year is our first! (He used to be military and then worked out of town 9 or so months out of the year and I have always worked in the food industry) I am so excited that this will be our first valentines together and we get to spend it with our gorgeous 4 month baby girl!

  47. jennyg24
    jennyg24 says:

    What a great giveaway Erin! Honestly some of my best Valentine’s Day memories have been with my closest girl friends. Copious amounts of chocolate and wine involved of course, and the more chick flicks the better 🙂

  48. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    My traditional Valentine’s Day of late is to take my Dear Son Aiden to dinner at his favorite local restaurant du jour. Last night was an early Valentine’s Day celebration… At Friar Tuck’Tuck’s — where I saw Erin Thiem! 🙂 … The chocolate fondue is to die for.. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY NEVADA CITY-STYLE!

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  1. […]   If you’re still looking for Valentine’s Day ideas, check out last week’s love blog post or my Pinterest board for local ideas and suggestions.  And for those of you who are unfamiliar […]

  2. […] of Schools for organizing this great event, time to get reading.  And the winner of the Valentine’s Day giveaway is […]

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