Tag Archives: Valentine’s day

I Heart Movies

A scene from "The Notebook"

Whether you’re playing the field or not, attached or not, in love or not, staying in with a flick is an option that you should consider for Valentine’s. You’d be saving yourself from a whole lot of stress from traffic jams and dark, overcrowded restaurants. Plus it’s intimate and comfortable, and — with the right movie — as fun or romantic as you want it to be.

So if you’re considering staying in for Valentine’s, have I got some movie picks for you!

Will You be My Valentine?
The Date Movies

Couple watching a movie
So you’ve got a date for Valentine’s! Atta girl!

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet
    (Easily my favorite)
  • When Harry Met Sally – Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan
  • Pillow Talk – Doris Day, Rock Hudson
  • An Affair to Remember – Carey Grant, Deborah Kerr
  • Casablanca – Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman
  • Definitely, Maybe – Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher
  • Pretty in Pink – Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald
  • Elizabethtown – Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst
  • 50 First Dates – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore
  • A Lot Like Love – Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet

It goes without saying that happy endings are an absolute requirement. Some tears may be nice. The key is finding one that produces the right amount of tears. Nothing super heavy, please. That means no Nicholas Sparks — sorry. You don’t want your nose runny and your eye makeup ruined. Or worse yet, you don’t want to get so depressed afterwards that you’d need therapy. Even if you’ve been together for 5 years now, and are so comfortable and open with each other, this is Valentine’s day after all. Your S.O. (significant other) doesn’t need to see you dissolve in a puddle of tears, snot, and half-chewed oysters — that’s gross.

Wine and Whine:
The Girlfriend Party

Wine and whine with a movie and the girls

So you don’t have a date. No biggie. Being dateless on Valentine’s day holds immense potential for fun, especially if you’re spending it with people you love — your girlfriends! After all, these are relationships that you’ve probably had for most of your life! You can just wine and skip the the whine.
For your girls’ night in, bond over these fabulous girl power movies and revel in the warmth of friendship.

  • Whip It – Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore
  • Aliens – Sigourney Weaver
  • Mulan – Ming-Na Wen
  • Chicago – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellwegger

Or if you must indulge a bit in a little bittersweet pain, dip your toes in these films with themes of lost, unrequited or unconsummated loves. Again, you don’t want fall apart totally. Remember, this is supposed to be still fun.

  • Spanglish
  • Lost in Translation – Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
  • In the Mood for Love – Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung
  • Yentl – Barbra Streisand, Mandy Patinkin
  • (500) Days of Summer – Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Flirt – Martin Donovan
  • Roman Holiday – Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday"

If you just want to forget it’s Valentine’s — that’s an option too — here’s are some ideas:

  • Any Die Hard movie
  • The Hangover
  • La Femme Nikita
  • The Exorcist

Don’t forget the wine! And throw in some apple pie — and layer on lots of the ala mode.

The Wallow:
The Solo Party

Some Valentine’s days are just meant for marinating in pain and tears and licking your wounds. Letting it all out can be cathartic. If you feel like a good cry is what the doctor ordered, here are some movies that will really scrape the pain raw.

  • The End of the Affair – Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore
  • Shadowlands – Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger
  • The Notebook – Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams
  • Far from Heaven – Julianne Moore, Dennis Haysbert
  • Marley and Me – Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston
  • City of Angels – Nicholas Cage, Meg Ryan

Note: Be prepared. Stock up on ice cream, chocolate eclairs, and whatever comfort food you can get your hands on.

Posted in Culture | Tagged , ,

Be My Valentine

vintage valentines cardsvintage valentines from SerendipitySalvage

I can totally get why people don’t like Valentine’s Day; all the expectations, hearts and cupids, and the proliferation of red and pink (a colour combo that makes me more than a little queasy) but still I’ve never been ready to write the holiday off completely.  The idea of having one day a year dedicated to celebrating love and friendship doesn’t seem like such a bad thing if only it could be a little more inclusive and a little less gaudy. I’m all for reinstating the grade school model of Valentine’s Day; where you give valentines to everyone you know, and everyone goes to work with a big decorated box for collecting valentines on their desk. Okay, that may be carrying it a bit too far, but that doesn’t mean that we all don’t deserve a valentine or two.

mini valentines by gingibermini valentines by gingiber via poppytalk handmade

These mini valentines are much cooler versions of the valentines I remember giving and getting in grade school.  The illustrations are wonderfully quirky and I like that none of the cards are too sacharine.

You're a Fox Valentine by Rifle Paper Co.You’re a Fox Card by Rifle Paper Co.

Finding cards for men is always a tricky feat. It often seems like the only options are either too flowery or too juvenile.  This card on the other hand, adorned with an exceptionally charming gentleman fox, is a winner, because who doesn’t like being told they are foxy every once in awhile?

By Honeytree, 3 pack of postcard valentines that can be hung like artValentine 3 pack by honeytree

If you’re planning on giving out lots of valentines this year these postcard-style sets are beautiful. The nice thing about this style of card is that you can frame them or pin them up when the holiday is over.

Shot Through The Heart ValentineValentine by letterhappy

Nothing like a little Bon Jovi to let your ‘special someone’ know they are your valentine. Although I’m not too surprised that they left out the rest of the lyrics. A card bearing the message “you give love a bad name” doesn’t seem to rate quite as high on the romance scale.

Letterpress Love ValentineValentine by letterhappy

Nothing like a little Bon Jovi to let your ‘special someone’ know they are your valentine. Although I’m not too surprised that they left out the rest of the lyrics. A card bearing the message “you give love a bad name” doesn’t seem to rate quite as high on the romance scale.

Something's Hiding Here's Valentine BannerSomething's Hiding Here Valentine Banner Valentine banner by somethingshidinghere

Somethings Hiding in Here is my go-to online shop for unique paper goods and gift ideas. I love the idea of giving someone one of these banners instead of a traditional card; that way you can hang it again next year!

Hope you’ve found the right card for your valentine (be they friend or more.) If not, you can’t go wrong with an old fashioned letter.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Posted in Culture, Design | Tagged

Happy Black Day

Photo credit AspectVisuel via AsianOffbeat.com

We all know about Valentine’s Day, love it or hate it, come February try to escape the ubiquitous drug store candy.

Our neighbours to the east celebrate just a bit differently:  February 14th sees the celebration of couples for sure, but its women who gift tokens of affection to those that make their  hearts skip a beat. On March 14th, known as White Day, the tables turn and it’s the men who celebrate their loves.

Image credit Park Shin Hye

But in Korea it doesn’t stop there.  April 14th, today, is Black Day, a day for singles. Donning dark clothes those less lucky in love congregate in local restaurants over bowls of noodles covered in black bean paste called jajangmyeon for some lively commiseration.  It’s a mainly fun affair and a signal that youth are shedding traditional views on the importance of early marriage (and shame over singlehood).  On the other hand, a friend reports that it’s been a total boon for the dating services industry.  Ahh well…

But today, if you’re single, here’s to your fabulous self!  Consider celebrating you, with or without the noodles!

DIY Valentine Ideas

I’m not a fan of crappy drugstore chocolate and clichéd greeting cards.  Valentine’s Day is a pretty commercial affair for sure. And I don’t like to exclude those uncoupled (hello smug marrieds?).  I do, however, like to indulge those I love – and myself – and am all about taking some extra time to prepare a thoughtful meal for my family, or send a love note and sweet surprise a special someone’s way. (I also love when all this is reciprocated.)

Here are a few swoon-worthy DIY Valentine’s Day day-brighteners:

Treasure Hunt

Tiny love notes containing lyrics from favourite songs. Sweet idea from Daisy Chain

Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?  I’ve been known to put together some elaborate ones involving sidewalk chalk and some good-natured shopkeepers and neighbours.  So why not put together a treasure hunt this Valentine’s Day?  Make it a family affair by hiding notes of affection for the members of your household along with small treats. Or do something sexier for your beloved.

Click on through for instructions on how to put together the tiny love note hunt from Amber at Daisy Chain. Lovely idea!

Romantic Decor

Scatter the flower petals, light the candles, put out some red accessories.  Or go all out like designer Justina Blakeney and create a totally awesome love fort (via Design*Sponge.  Visit D*S for more great images and how-to info!)

It's lush, plush, romantic and fun - designer Justina Blakeney's Love Fort via Design*Sponge

Unique Love Notes

Your message needn’t be long or even poetic, but heartfelt words go along way to brightening a day.

Williams Sonoma cookie cutters also give you the option of personalizing the message

Use these in packed lunches throughout the year. Thanks Twig and Thistle!

Here’s a wonderful free fruit sticker template from Twig and Thistle (via Not Martha).  This is only one of many crafty design downloads available on this site that are as adorable as they are genius.

Say it with flowers

Tips for assembling your own bouquet

Whether you’re surprising your loved one, or sprucing up your home, arranging your own bouquet is cheaper than visiting a florist and more beautiful than the grocery store’s bouquet.  If you lack an intrinsic talent for understanding what bloom shape, size and colour work together, these tips can help:

An arrangement of beautiful tulips with a few filler flowers to give it volume and depth. Image via Interiordec.about.com

Less is more: stick to lots of one flower type for a dramatic bouquet.  You can spruce it up with some greenery and filler flowers (typically tiny bloomed flowers and berries) in the same colour tone, if you want a fuller bouquet.

Beautiful! Image via Dolls House Heaven

Alternatively stick to two complimentary colours, such as the blue hyacinths with a pale yellow tulip pictured.  A perfect kick of spring in the dead of winter!

Here’s a handy video from the good folks at Sweetpea’s in Toronto on arranging flowers in a tapered vase:

The symbolism of flowers

You don’t have to stick with red roses to convey love.  Flower symbolism has been practiced for centuries, gaining momentum during the Victorian era.  Here’s a quick list of flowers with their modern day symbolic meaning via Living Arts Originals (visit their site for a full list of flowers, some cool floral history and mythology.)

Amaryllis – Pride

Bird of Paradise – Freedom

Calla Lily – Magnificent beauty

Daisy – Innocence

Lily – Chastity and Virtue

Magnolia – Nobility

Orchid – Love and Beauty

Peony – Happy marriage

Tulip – Perfect love

Zinnia – Thoughts of absent friends

Valentines: A Return to Innocence

“The truth is, there’s gonna be other girls out there. I mean, I hope. But I’m never gonna get another first love. That one is always gonna be her.” –from Little Manhattan (2006)

Though a lot of us may laugh flippantly at our younger selves in the throes of puppy love, psychologist Nancy Kalish says that it’s serious and real–first love is real love. In an article about teenage love in Psychology Today, she even writes that it is a crucial moment in a person’s life, because it is then that life-long attitudes about love and self are formed.

We may have become ever-so-slightly-jaded, we may have lost our naivete, but in our gut we know this is true. We do recall the time when hand-holding was huge, and hearts really did go pitter-patter, and butterflies took permanent residence in the belly. There was giddy, intoxicating joy, alternating with beautiful, searing pain, just from the merest glance. It’s the whole world balanced on the head of this one particular pin. All very magical, but all very real. Very special.

The Lovers by Pablo Picasso

The Lovers by Picasso (image from ocaiw.com). There’s a freshness and artlessness about the romance here. See how gently and tenderly he holds her, and how shyly she puts her hand in his?

This Valentine’s, why not pay homage to your innocent, unrestrainedly enthusiastic self? Skip that supermarket greeting card rack and relive how painstakingly you crafted and glued the embellishments on that paper Valentine heart all those years ago. You can, again, carefully and deliberately inscribe on it your humble poetry, and present your creation nervously to the object of your affection.

Yes, having laid out your heart and your meager talents, you will feel scared and vulnerable. That’s part of the beauty of the experience. Perhaps this vulnerability will be the key to the most positive reception of your tribute.

Here are some simple yet potentially heart-melting ideas from Craft Bits to get you started.

Here’s a Valentine card I made myself, using one of the tips in the link above. Now, who to give this to?