How to Buy a Good Gift: Valentine’s Day edition

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Buying a gift for someone is something that a lot of people find to be really stressful. I happen to love buying or making gifts for people, it’s always an amazing feeling when someone REALLY likes what you got them.

For Valentine’s Day, there seems to be a lot at stake. But keep in mind, any gift you give does not have to be something that screams hearts and candies. Only you can decide on your budget, but there are a few good tips to keep in mind to make sure you get someone something that they’ll love you for.

These may seem like no-brainers, but sometimes simple things get lost when you’re wracking your brain.

Think of their hobbies – So simple. What does this person like to do? My boyfriend likes beer, so I could easily get him beer. Or something beer related for his homebrewing adventures, for example, I had a custom tap handle made for him a couple of years ago to put onto his kegerator.  If your other half likes to hit the gym, you could get them a fitness tracker… for a Valentine’s Day couple-y twist, get one for both of you and work out together!

Figure out what they do they do to treat themselves – Valentine’s Day is not just for chocolates anymore! If your boo likes spicy stuff, put together a sriracha pretzel mix or a specialty hot sauce. If you have a health food nut, hit up your local Whole Foods or Health Food store and pick up an assortment of healthy snacks. Does your girl love to take baths? Lush makes some serious bubble bars and bath bombs that are to die for. Or you can make your own. Or you can make a nice body scrub yourself. I know whiskey can be a real love for some, why not get a really nice bottle of aged whiskey or a sampler pack of a few kinds. You can get gourmet coffee blends.

If you want to get a floral arrangement, branch out. Red roses are the sign of the holiday, but what is your girl’s favorite flower? It makes a much more of an impact if you make the gift personal.

If you must do chocolate (I know I can destroy a box of chocolates), forego the cheap box of chocolates at the grocery store or drug store. Opt for a local chocolatier. In Delaware, there’s a lovely family owned chocolate company called Govatos that has been churning out chocolate for over 100 years. Pair it with a favorite bottle of wine! …Or just get a whole bunch of wine!

Go for a Cuteness Attack! – Make a little scrapbook of your adventures and give it to them. I use Walgreen’s photo book making service, but there’s always Shutterfly. Make cheesecake conversation hearts (they are so cute I just can’t stand it! I know I still like getting stuffed animals as Valentine’s Day presents. It’s something my mom used to do for me as a kid.

Plan an activity to do together. Giving an item is all well and good, but giving an experience can leave a lasting impression. What you do entirely depends on your budget and how long you’ve known the person. You don’t want to come on too strong! Instead of going out to dinner, recreate the high class dining experience at home for a more personal touch and some savings! If you live in the DE, PA, MD, NJ area, go to Longwood Gardens and check out Orchid Extravaganza! You could also take a weekend trip to a romantic place like a cabin in the mountains. Pick something that just the two of you can enjoy together!

XOXO,

Caitlin

New Recipe!

I tried out a new recipe last night and thought I’d share. I’d never made beef lo mein, but it was pretty simple, so I’d make it again! 10984568_10203665406610965_2354417078597066401_n

I got the recipe at Mom’s Dish. One thing I’d recommend is to really make sure you’re not cooking it too long, my meat got a little tough. It takes a few pans and pots, but it’s worth the time, enjoy!

-Caitlin

New Year and New Crafts

I wanted to start off the year with some creativity. I was sick all of winter break and I wanted to get back to using my brain again. In the middle of some present making, I had the time to make a couple of items. The first was a gratitude jar. I’ve seen these popping up on Pinterest and Facebook, so I thought I’d make one of my own. The premise is that every day (or whenever) when something good happens or something makes you happy you write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, you open it up and read about what an awesome year you had!

10409564_10203439422201496_7089937805555287768_nI decorated mine fairly simply, with metallic Sharpie markers and a bit of yarn. I’m into this turquoise-y color right now so I wanted to find a way to incorporate it, so I used the yarn and the paper to bring it in with the gold and silver of the markers.

My next order of business was to make a new wreath for my office door. I’ve been making them throughout the year for each season/holiday and now that Christmas is over but it still feels too early for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d make an interim one that could be used at any time of year if I wanted to sub it in. image1IMG_1213IMG_1214

I’ve got more to make this week, so more pictures will be posted soon!

-Caitlin