At some point this month, make a night alone your Valentine to you.

First off, for the record, I adore my husband, worship my son, love my friends, enjoy slipping on fabulous dresses for big events and honestly believe I have the world's greatest job.

But the moment was as beautiful as it was rare: It was a Saturday night, my husband had gone to play poker with friends, my baby was asleep, the girlfriend who was going to come over ended up home with a sick kid, and suddenly, there I was - alone with aspotless house (God bless a man who cleans!),not an e-mailleft unanswered and no plans.

Cue the trumpets andpour the wine ... Do I truly have five hours alone? To do whatever I want?With not even a load of laundry to squeeze in?

Ilit some candles, uncorked a bottle of Rioja, pulled out a Godiva chocolate bar, curled up on the couch and rented "Sex and the City 2."

It. Was. Divine.

So here's the idea I'm proposing: At some point this month, make a night alone your Valentine to you. Send your husband out. Let Grandma take the kids. And don't even ask your girls over. Just hang with you, and for a few blessed hours, do whatever it is you darn well please.

Speaking of Valentines, I love romance and surprises and all that good stuff, but I never think hint dropping is bad. If there's something you want, tell your spouse. If he has a better idea, more power to him. If he doesn't, he'll be relieved.

Right now, I'm loving Belle Street jewelry, made by a talented local woman and sold at Enjoy Co. (Granville), Fritzy Jacobs (Worthington) and On Paper (Short North). Her jewelry is dainty and sophisticated (and she sells lovely mother's necklaces that you can adorn with charms for each child). Prices range from $25 to $200.

Also, if you're looking for a fun V Day gift for your daughter, Stile Salon & Spa at Easton has manicure prices good enough to justify some quality together time: $25 for a Delux Manicure for you, and $12 for a Little Miss Manicure for her.

And fashion lovers, you may also want to pencil in the year's two biggest award shows so you don't get wrapped up in Sunday night dinner and homework time and forget: The Grammys (Feb. 13) and The Oscars (Feb. 27).

The Oscars, especially, makes a good excuse for a casual party, so get planning. Your options are many, from assigning each guest a movie and asking them to bring an associated food and wine to doing a dips-and-desserts-only potluck. Enjoy!