10 Valentine’s Day Gifts We Love

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the day we celebrate love. We now have Galentine’s for those who aren’t a couple. It has thankfully become a day of love for lots of others, beside our significant others. The “love” industry includes chocolates, flowers, jewelry, baked goods, greeting cards and on and on. Why not spread the love all around with a few Valentine’s Day gifts?

Valentine gift giving starts in elementary school with homemade cards, tissue flowers, parties and lots of candy hearts. In this post, we’ll provide a list of 10 gift ideas that range in age from 5 to 95. Some are gifts to purchase, some are ideas of things to do with your lovie and some are recipes to try. 

This or That Valentines Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day Gifts Spread Cheer, Love and Gratitude

Since 2020 was more difficult than most years, this list includes ideas for staying in and making our gifts with our own hands. Our medical masks have covered more than our mouths and noses. More than ever, we need a real touch, sincere smile and gesture of genuine love. Seniors need to hear they are loved, children miss their friends and couples need a minute alone together for a refresher course in true romance. 

“Sometimes you get caught up in trying to be successful in school or in your social life, and [we need a] reminder not to forget that each day people are getting older. Nobody is promised tomorrow, so we should make sure that we spend quality time with quality people. ~ Anthony Hamilton, Back to Love

What better purpose for Valentine’s Day than to celebrate love for all?

10 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for All Ages 

#1 Gifts for Kids

Scavenger Hunt for Fun

Valentines Day Scavenger Hunt for kids

This family attaches chocolate hearts to each clue for each child. There’s a different color for each child and gifts at the end of the hunt.

#2 Breakfast for Valentine’s Day

The Love Notes Blog shares a simple idea for waffles, sprinkles, and fruit with lots of balloons. While this idea is geared specifically toward the kiddos, it can be equally fun for adults. Add pretty dishes, a couple of mimosa’s and a sweetly wrapped gift to make a lovely start to the day.

Valentines Day Breakfast

 

#3 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for a High School SweetHeart

Holidappy includes ideas for high school sweethearts. They include school flowers sold by clubs, teddy bears, cards, candy and flowers delivered to the classroom by a local florist. This giver will get lots of extra credit! There are also tips here for helping teachers make students feel special.

 

valentines teddy bear

 

#4 Gifts for Couples to Pick up at the Local Vintage Mall

 

CoziNest Vintage Decor

I would be remiss if I failed to mention all the great options in Booth #115 at Southern Antiques & Accents. CoziNest Vintage Decor offers jewelry, spa products like wraps, robes and headbands. There’s a box for love letters, champagne flutes, heart shaped dishes or trinket trays, silk-like pillow cases and gorgeous vases for a quick supermarket arrangement.

#5 Victoria Magazine’s Cookies and Brew for Mom’s or Seniors

Cookies and Latte

A lovely tray of sweet wafers with a warm latte and pretty dishes? Who wouldn’t love this little surprise on Valentine’s Day? Since we are staying in more now, it’s important to find ways to show our love and appreciation within the walls of home. While, Victoria shares the recipe for these delightful cookies, decorating store-bought cookies with the children and serving them on pink dishes will make Mom happy, too!

#6 Beautiful Dinner for Two

A table for two is perfect to refresh that feeling of true love. If it’s difficult to come up with an idea for just the two of you, here are 9 ideas from a previous post here on CoziNest.

set of three rose bouquets

 

#7 Agape Love Game for all Ages

This game is number seven for a reason. The number 7 represents infinity in several cultures and especially where love and forgiveness are concerned. In Matthew 18: 21-22, we learn that we are to forgive an offense 70×7 times. There’s no greater love than that of our Lord, so this game is the perfect addition to this list.

I heart you.

The game, Valentine’s Day Escape Room takes students back in time where they will solve mysteries related to Agape Love by decoding puzzlesanswering questions, and breaking secret codes! This “Print & Go” activity can be used at home, church, or school.

#8 Plan a quick getaway for the weekend

Veranda magazine has 18 different places to get away for a weekend of love. They suggest we cultivate our relationships with time away from it all.

 

#9 Write a simple love letter to anyone in your life.

Post a Letter

 

#10 Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant

camellia cafe fairhope al

We made our reservations on the first day of February. I strongly encourage you to make them soon. With social distancing, limited seating and everyone so eager to get out of the house, I assume restaurants will fill up quickly. On a personal note, find something your man/lady loves and order it as soon as possible. Shipping is also taking longer.

Showing to Love to All

There’s never been a better time (in my humble) to show others how much you care about them. Last year was a doozie, so spread some cheer! I’d love to hear in the comments what you are doing for your family this year.

Subscribe to Newsletter

This will be a year of helpful tips for spreading love and joy around our community. Please consider inviting me into your inbox for monthly ideas on all sorts of topics. I promise not to bombard you. Subscription box is below.

Love Letters of the Past

Are you inspired by things from the past? I am! Love letters between famous people in some way motivates me to write sweet things to the love of my life. In other ways, I laugh and think, really? This is a love letter?! Well, no matter how they inspire you, here are a few examples for the month of love.

As you read through these love letters of the past, may I encourage you to write a love letter to a special person in your life? After the year we’ve had, it could truly cheer someone to know they are still loved and thought of with warm affection.

If you need other items to help with the writing, visit Southern Antiques & Accents for more inspiration. I personally love to find a vintage piece and imagine who sat at this desk, who posted a letter in this chair? You just might find a vintage piece that you can’t go home without.

 

Love Letters of the Past

 

Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn

 

I beg to know expressly your intention touching the love between us. Necessity compels me to obtain this answer, having been more than a year wounded by the dart of love, and not yet sure whether I shall fail or find a place in your affection.”

 

Little Things has a list of other love letters, that you’ll find interesting; including Elizabeth Taylor, Napoleon Bonaparte and Johnny Cash to June Carter.

 

love letters of the past

 

What a beautiful writing desk! Does this get your creativity fired up?

 

Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

Darling – I love these velvet nights. I’ve never been able to decide … whether I love you most in the eternal classic half-lights where it blends with day or in the full religious fan-fare of mid-night or perhaps in the lux of noon. Anyway, I love you most and you ’phoned me just because you phoned me tonight – I walked on those telephone wires for two hours after holding your love like a parasol to balance me.’

 

painted writing desk

 

writing love letters

 

These vintage typewriters would be perfect for an “olde” letter to a new friend or for a touch of vintage decor. I picture them on a large desk or in a white bookcase. They would make a great gift to a writer, marketer or typist from a day before Microsoft Word.

 

Phoebe,
I love you and I might marry you.
Jacob. ”

 

This one made me laugh. That word “might”!
stationary for love letters
This beautiful stationary would inspire anyone to write a love letter by hand. When was the last time you used cursive?
writing desk and chair

George Bush to Barbara Bush

 

This love letter was written after their engagement was announced.

 

“This should be a very easy letter to write—words should come easily and in short it should be simple for me to tell you how desperately happy I was to open the paper and see the announcement of our engagement, but somehow I can’t possibly say all in a letter I should like to. I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life. How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you…”

 

Desk and Cane Seat Chair

 

The following is from my very favorite love story of all time, with the exception of the love of Jesus. I have watched everything I can find about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. I love their story.

 

Prince Albert to Queen Victoria

 

Dearest deeply loved Victoria, I need not tell you that since we left, all my thoughts have been with you at Windsor, and that your image fills my whole soul.Even in my dreams I never imagined that I should find so much love on earth. How that moment shines for me still when I was close to you, with your hand in mine. Those days flew by so quickly, but our separation will fly equally so. Ernest [my brother] wishes me to say a thousand nice things to you. With promises of unchanging love and devotion, Your ever true Albert.

 

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

 

So who will you write a love letter to this Valentine’s? Will you write it by hand? Add a personal note to a greeting card? Or would you love the opportunity to type out your feelings on a vintage typewriter?

 

Vintage typewriter

 

 

As always, you can find all of these items and more at Southern Antiques & Accents in Fairhope, AL 36532.

9 Birthday Gift Ideas for Her

Do you constantly search for the perfect birthday gift for a sister, friend, new wife or daughter? Vintage shops and antique malls are a great place to find something that is both unique and affordable. Here are 9 birthday or Valentine’s gift ideas to help you shop for that special lady in your life.

the perfect birthday gift

 

9 Birthday Gift Ideas for Her

birthday gifts

1. Pretty soap in a gift bag with face washing headband.

gifts for her

2. Set of 2 wine glasses with a special bottle of wine wrapped in a pretty wine bag.

gold wine glasses

3. M & M candy jar filled with the candies along with a gift card to her favorite ice cream shop.

M & M Candy Jar

4. Pair of champagne flutes with a bottle of bubbly.

gift of champagne flutes

5. Shower Cap with a bottle of Shower Gel

6. Sparkly pair of earrings or other jewelry

shower cap

7. Tea Towels for the Bath or Kitchen with hand soap

hand towels birthday gift

8. Cordials with her favorite liqueur.

gift of cordials

9. Mule slippers to keep her feet warm along with a throw or fuzzy socks.

white mule slippers

 

These are all gifts that you’ll have fun shopping for and enjoy giving to her. There’s this and so much more in Booth #115 at Southern Antiques & Accents in Fairhope, AL. We ship, too!

What’s your favorite birthday gift?

How to Turn a Blah Cabinet into a Beautiful Corner Curio

Turning this blasé cabinet into a more modern corner curio was a quick project that turned out lovely. While on a trip to Nashville, (pre-covid), my sister and I visited an antique store. I came home with this corner curio. The antique store was Gaslamp Antiques and if I lived in Nashville, it would be hard not to go everyday.

The Before and Afters of a Corner Curio

 

 

It’s surprising how much can be stored in this curio. I decided to try it out for a while before I sold it in the booth. The bottom housed all my Christmas China and glassware, while the top held another china pattern with even more glassware. Then I decided the upper interior section needed to be a bit brighter.

Corner Curio

Corner Cabinet

I removed the window panes, cleaned the entire piece with Krud Kutter and painted the interior top cabinet.

A Lovely Corner Curio

 

Updated Corner Curio

In the booth now, it has become a jewelry display cabinet. I was so pleased with the outcome that I almost moved it back into my house.

White Interior Corner Curio

I love how bright this turned out. Everything shows up much better. The rounded front sets this piece apart from other corner curios.

Great storage in corner curio

Whether your style is modern or traditional, showing a little tender loving care to an antique can update it to fit into your home.

Goodbye 2020! Good Riddance! New Plan for 2021

Goodbye 2020! This time last year, I made a new plan for 2020. Like most everyone on the planet, not many of my well-made plans came to fruition. But, I have already received my new planner and I’m setting goals for 2021. The major difference this year is that I realize and accept that I am not in control.

New Plan for 2021

 

Goodbye 2020! Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out!

 

I learned a lot in 2020. I celebrated my daughter’s wedding and new son-in-love in January. Then, I lost my 16 year old shih-tzu in February and grieved that loss, thinking it was of the worst thing that had happened in a long time. In March, the world changed. April brought us a new puppy and I thought she would help us get through quarantine with a breeze.

Then, in my world, catastrophe! My dad, who was a dementia patient, was rushed to the ER in late April with shortness of breath. It’s a long and very sad story, but after multiple hospital mistakes, comforting him through Zoom and watching his decline through windows, he passed away on May 1.  He didn’t have Covid-19. I’m not sure any of my family will ever recover from the way he died.

However, we have no doubt that he is likely fishing with a few buddies along with a few celebrity fisherman that walked the earth with Jesus. It is comforting that he is in a better place with a completely healed body. but oh goodness, is he missed! And his death is mourned for so many reasons.

We lost several friends and family members throughout the year, some with Covid, some not. We attended 3 funerals where we were allowed. There were multiple others where gathering wasn’t allowed. 2020 was the year of loss. But, I’m hopeful things are better next year.

 

Hello 2021! New plan… in pencil.

 

I am not in control. I’m reminded of the verse that says “man plans his way, but God directs his steps.” So my plans for ’21 are goals written in pencil. He knows what’s best, even when I don’t understand. So, here is what I’m praying about for the upcoming year.

 

Be Still and Know that I am God.

 

  • The physical and spiritual welfare of my friends and family. As I write this, several extended family members have tested positive for Covid.
  • My own spiritual, mental and physical growth
  • A vaccine for Covid
  • Our country and our new president
  • New ideas and opportunities to be useful
  • To put others first, including my customers and business associates
  • My business plan

New Business Plan

 

Planner and Pen

 

One of the good things to come out of 2020 was the time I had to read about and research business strategies. I’d like to share a few of those here in hopes it will be helpful to other antique vendors and/or bloggers.

  1. The first book I read and put into practice was “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz. Because my business is very small, I adopted some of his suggestions, but not all. I chose what will work best for me. The best thing is that it gave me a plan, a focus and confidence in how I manage funds. As my business grows, I will implement more of his suggestions. For now, I manage everything in Excel and I see much better results as I take my profit first. Read this book for more info!
  2. I adopted Tailwind as my portal to Pinterest and Instagram. The growth is incredible and I’m planning to use it even more in 2021.
  3. Another platform I use for Instagram is Preview. I like how I can see a preview of how my whole feed looks as I post.
  4. Out of dissatisfaction with MailChimp, an associate and I tried out multiple email networks and ended up with Klaviyo. It is brand new, so I’ll let you know how that goes.
  5. I use PicMonkey to create and resize images. And I love creating graphics on Canva.
  6. The new plans for the blog this year are to help other antique vendors get started and let readers know what is in the booth.
  7. There’s a surprise planned each month for the mall and I’m so excited to be a part of it. Stay tuned!

 

Out with the Old, In with the New Plan or Is it?

While some antique shows and auctions were cancelled or postponed this year, new Zoom sales are paving the way for antiques to be showcased in the digital age. Real wood is sturdier and stands the test of time, compared to furniture kits and particle board. Vintage and retro have become terms in vogue compared to colonial or Early American. Styles are now described as Primitive, Cozy Cottage, Farmhouse, Coastal or Cabin.

But, there’s one old tradition that I’m personally glad has never gone out of style. Ringing in the New Year with the song “Auld Lang Syne” never gets old. So in the spirit of all things old and treasured here’s to 2021! Happy New Year!

 

new plan for 2021

 

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

 

saxophone

 

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

 

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

 

CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

 

CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

 

 

1 Velvet Covered Bench Transformed into an Exclusive Throne

Velvet Covered Bench

According to Napoleon Bonapart, “a throne is only a bench covered in velvet.” Well, my throne is finally complete and I can’t wait to show it to you. I chose a more subject-oriented fabric instead of velvet, but I still love the idea of being queen of something. So, my “velvet covered” bench is now a throne! Even if it’s covered in linen. I’m more of an ordinary duchess I guess, than a queen. 😉

My Bench is a Throne

Several months ago, I visited a favorite antique mall in Birmingham, AL. Irondale Pickers is wall-to-wall treasures and on this particular day, I struck GOLD! I found an antique bed with a curved footboard. And, it was marked $60. It had some damage to the footboard, so even at such a low price, I asked if this was a firm price. The shop clerk called the booth owner and they said they would take $30! I said yes, please and hurriedly paid before the owner called back to say they’d changed their mind. I saved the kingdom quite an expense.

antique bed

This antique was my “stag in the mist.” I had to save it.

 

Nothing like the idea of good save to cheer up a queen. No spoilers here.

 

footboard damage

 

Back to Reality

As I loaded the bed in my vehicle, I had a few problems. I had to unload and reload and pull from the front of the car and push from the back. After several tries, I finally got it in the back of my Range Rover SUV. Dignity was absent, but I was determined to get this to Fairhope, where my furniture guru lives. I immediately called my handy, furniture repairman and asked how soon he could get to it. I sent pictures of the damage and he assured me he could fix it. I was elated!

 

Turning an Antique Bed into a Bench

The minute a spot opened in his workshop, I dropped it off to begin the project. I showed him where I wanted it cut and how I wanted the footboard attached to the headboard. After a few weeks, Jeffrey sent me a photo of the finished piece.

 

Bed as a Bench

 

I sent out a decree to all my subjects. The queen has a throne!!! I drove my carriage right over to pick it up. I sent the royal seamstress the measurements of the seat and she had the 4 inch foam cut to fit the bottom. The linen and pillow fabric were sent over and I picked it all up yesterday. My crown is secure.

 

Curtsy Please! The Bench is Now a Throne

 

Velvet Covered Bench

 

The “velvet covered bench” – throne was placed in our foyer where bowing and curtsying have been a regular occurance for 24 hours. The queen of Sheba has placed Fall pillows for now, but Christmas decor is coming out next week. Another thing to love is that it can be a reading bench, foyer bench, small day bed for a royal grandchild, sun porch seat… the options are endless.

This is not my first bench makeover. I’ve also upcycled a few other pieces that you might like to take a look at. But, I can say without a doubt that this is my favorite.

Bench in Foyer

Bench with Halloween Pillows

 

Unfortunately, my iPhone photography was not the best. The royal photographer was not available to snap these shots. Ok, enough with the royal treatment! I am tickled with my linen cushioned bench. Napoleon likely wouldn’t agree that linen is a good substitute for a velvet covered bench. But, my throne is currently the crown of my recent furniture makeovers. Better Homes and Gardens has a great collection of makeovers. What do you think?