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.

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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.

3 Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman

In 1988 our church hosted Anne Ortlund who spoke to the women of the church. Little did I know how very much her book, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman would influence my life. Do you make resolutions? Set goals every year for yourself, your family, your career? This book is timeless and if you struggle with deciding what is most important to spend time on, I strongly recommend reading it.

 

Anne Ortlund, a Beautiful Woman

anne ortlund

 

That Saturday afternoon I took notes of what she shared and was immediately persuaded to try things her way. She spoke about 12 disciplines that she suggested all link to 3 priorities of our everyday life. Many nights, up until that point, I would fall into bed feeling like my accomplishments for the day were mundane at best and useless at worst.

 

Priority of Family

I wanted to raise my children, see their first steps, hear their first words, kiss all the boo-boos. But, that was not a glamorous “career” in that day. Well into the 80’s and 90’s, women who stayed home were old-fashioned, practically medieval. Women with careers were accomplished, adding value to society and increasing the family bank account. While it may not have been said out loud, the narrative of the day was that stay-at-home moms added none of this value to the day. They even had to come up with a polite way to ask what you did in conversation.

“Do you work outside the home?”

While raising my children gave me great joy and I would not change it if I could, this stigmatism stuck to me like dust in a crevice. Every time that question was asked to me or any woman in my presence, I immediately wanted to defend women who chose to stay home.

Easter Family Photo 2006

The disciplines of Anne Ortlund not only helped me focus on the important things, but also gave me security in the choice I’d made. The 3 priorities put my own life in perspective and I came to believe that I was also adding value to society by investing in the future of my children. Not to say that those who work do not do this. I just chose to look at my own “work” differently.

Anne discusses 12 disciplines for women in particular that are all grounded in three priorities.

The First Priority

God. Yes, having a relationship with God was priority one. Developing a quiet time, recording or journaling what we talked about, what I learned and what others were learning as well, grounded everything. I began saving sermons, reading books by other Christian authors and journaling my prayers.

It was absolutely true that my sense of accomplishment at the end of a day started in fellowship with my Lord, ended on a much calmer note than those without. My faith in God began to grow, as did my faith in who He had created me to be. I too, could be a beautiful woman. Not in the worldly sense, but something much more valuable. Not that I’m there yet!!! The work will always be in progress, until I see Him.

The Second Priority

Use our gifts and talents to nourish the body of Christ and draw our own nourishment from them as well.

Of course, this is a universal priority of most time management or organization authors. It began with Jesus and His teaching to love others as we love ourselves. Stephen Covey, Rita Emmett, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, even Benjamin Franklin, all wrote about the importance of caring for our fellow man.

Stephen Covey revealed the 7 habits and part of that is naming all of your roles. Mother, daughter, sister, etc. Put first things first, seek first to understand – then to be understood are two of these important habits.

Rita Emmett, Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress, quotes Albert Schweitzer as saying, “The only ones among us who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh in Gifts from the Sea encourages women to use solitude to rejuvenate in order to nourish those around us.

And the great Benjamin Franklin said, “When I am employed in serving others, I do not look upon myself as conferring Favours, but as paying Debts.” What a noble thought! As I serve simple dinners to my family, I am paying debts – some I might not even be aware I owe yet.

The Disciplines of Serving Others
Photo Credit: sigmund-OWVF8-s-RYs-unsplash

The Third Priority

As we make lists each day of things we want to accomplish, Anne encourages us to take a good look at that list. At the top of that list is God, second is our loved ones and fellow man, and third is our work. She ends the chapter on our “Attitude Toward Work”, with these words,

“Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Col. 1:10

I look over the three priorities. God is really first, second and third. As I sit here at the age of 60, I admit that I’ve asked Him what is left for me in this life Lord?  But then I thumb through Anne’s book again and the page falls open to her quote of the ninety-second Psalm.

They will yield fruit in old age. They shall be full of sap and very green. To declare that the Lord is upright.

Anne’s Disciplines Include Setting Life Goals

Anne Ortlund helped me see in her chapter “Your Goals” that our individual goals reveal our identity. To have vague dreams without purpose, will only end our life on earth with immeasurable, hazy days of lists and checkmarks. I want more than that. My own goals became similar to hers way back then.

Life Goals

1. To know God deeply so that I bring glory to Him in specific ways.

2. To be the kind of wife that makes my husband happy and makes him proud of me.

3. To love and nurture my children so that Christ is the center of their lives. And to become a student, willing to learn from them as well as teach them.

4. To write something purposeful.

5. Be the kind of friend, sister, daughter, mom, daughter-in-law that I would want them to be to me.

6. Travel to exotic places in order to see and appreciate God’s creation. To see His handy work all over the globe.

What are your goals for 2021? Do you have a list of life goals? As I look over my goals from way back in 1988, I’d say I’m still working to make these priorities strong in my life. The one goal that is blaring at me now is #4.

I love writing. I love decorating, It’s important to me that my home reflects Christ, family, friendships and is a place that is comfortable to all who visit. That’s why I’m in this business. Hoping that my writing, furniture updates, decor and accessorizing will help someone to love their own home a little bit more and praying Christ is at its’ center.

Happy New Year and I pray all of our priorities give us purpose and satisfaction in 2021.

Hymns for Him-Just as I Am

Do you ever doubt your faith? The hymn, “Just as I Am” was written by Charlotte Elliott after a night of spiritual struggle. I’ve been here several times in my Christian walk, but never thought to do what Charlotte did. In the morning after her tumultuous night, she sat down to write all the things she was absolutely certain of in her faith. She made a list of sorts of all she knew about her own salvation.  The poem, “Just as I Am” was the result.

“Hymns for Him” is a series of prayers for the newlywed bride to pray for her husband. See other prayers like, How Great Thou Art, The Lord’s Prayer, and Be Thou My Vision.

Just as I Am

Just as I am—without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee—
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am—and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot—
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Repentance

Just as I am—though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without—
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am—poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find—
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am—Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe—
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am—Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone—
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am—of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above—
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I Am

The Lord God is Indeed God

I’m reminded of the verse Deuteronomy 7:9:

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes His unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.

Amazingly, He does this for each of us, just as we are, if we believe and call out to Him. Billy Graham knew this. This song became the signature hymn at the close of his crusades. Many people have been moved to repentance through the words of this song. So how does this song relate to a newly wed bride as she prays for her husband? I can suggest this:

Prayer for Newlywed Husband

O Lord, my God,  just as I am, I come to You. I thank you for the blood you shed for both me and {insert your husband’s name}. Thank you for calling us into Your kingdom. You are the Lamb of God! We come to You.

Lord, we will not wait to rid our soul of even one dark blot. Your blood is powerful, O Lamb of God.  Cleanse us both of any spot that separates us from Your goodness.

Struggles Come and Go

You know the struggles we have, Lord. There are fears in our soul and fears in our world. There are conflicts every day. We come to You, for we know that Your burden is light. Thank you for sharing the load.  Thank You for blessing our marriage. Keep us safe. Give us strength for temptation and enough love for You to choose righteousness. You became our lamb of sacrifice. We come to you with any doubt and trust in You to see us through.

Just as we are, Lord. We bring You the blindness and weakness of our faith. Show us the way to spiritual sight. Heal our mind. Help us not to entertain thoughts that pull us away, but to always come to You.

You Keep Your Promises

You are faithful, O Lamb of God! I believe in Your promises to receive, welcome, pardon, cleanse and relieve. All the worry. All the angst. Are we good enough? Have we confessed it all? Is this sin to much to forgive? You receive us into Your arms. We are welcome to empty our weary souls into Your hands. You pardon our offenses. And oh, Lord, the relief we feel when it’s all at Your feet. You handle it all in Your time, in Your will and in Your way.

It is Your Love, O Lord, that breaks every barrier between us. Your love brings us into Your perfect peace. It is Your love, that makes us Yours. We can do nothing to earn Your Love. He has done all the work. Paid the price. O Lamb, we worship You.

Father, we have a breath of life here on earth. Let us come to You to experience the breadth, heighth, width and depth of Your love. We know that there is so much more to learn of You. Lord, we come. We come.

Be assured dear bride, that He hears and receives every sigh, every yearning. Go to Him.

10 Ways to Enjoy World Kindness Day

November 13, 2019 is World Kindness Day

I will be just returning from the Holy Land on this sweet day in November. As I think ahead to this post, knowing I will have the dust of sacred footsteps in my suitcase; I can’t imagine a more precious act of kindness than what our Lord did for us.

In honor of His sacrifice, I have a challenge for those who practice random acts of kindness. Christians are known as the bride of Christ, as someday we will join the marriage supper of the Lamb. So as part of that bride, I challenge each of you to do something special this week for a bride you do not know.

Here’s an example:

This Chapel of Love story will melt your heart. These nurses organized the sweetest wedding. I wish I could have attended just to see everyone’s face.

world kindness day

Weddings are the happiest time of our life and the most stressful. My precious daughter walks the aisle in January 2020 and I can’t imagine adding the heartbreak of this story, or any like it, to the planning of the big day. However, as this bride said, “But God!” HE IS BIGGER!

While I’m not suggesting you go to the extreme of what these nurses did (but hey, it would be awesome) here are a few suggestions to make the day of a random bride or someone in her party a little better. You’ll feel pretty good afterward, too.

Random Acts of Kindness for the Bridal Party

  1. Contact a wedding venue and ask if there is something simple a bride wanted but couldn’t afford and offer to pay for it anonymously.
  2. Search for local engagement announcements and send a gift, signing the card as a raktivist. (Random Act of Kindness Activist)
  3. Ask your favorite hair stylist if she/he can recommend a bride for a free hair appointment.woman with scarf
  4. Give a manicure or pedicure to the mother of the bride. (This is not a hint! 😉 )
  5. Prepare a meal for a family who is a week away from the wedding.
  6. Purchase pocket squares or handkerchiefs for the groomsmen of a wedding being held at your church.
  7. Leave a basket of flip flops or slippers for bridesmaids on the day of the wedding.
  8. If you know a hostess giving a shower for the bride or groom, offer to help clean up after the shower.
  9. Offer a floral arrangement to the mother of the groom for the rehearsal dinner.Floral random act of kindness
  10. Drop off a few packs of thank-you cards on the bride-to-be’s porch.

These are just a few examples. I’m sure you have even more great ideas for World Kindness Day. If someone has recently been kind to you, please share in the comments below. And, if you have ideas to share with others for more random acts of kindness this week, please share them on my Facebook page.

Praying someone shows you extreme kindness today.

Behind the Scenes of a Bargain Antique Purchase

The Pain of Bargaining with Your Customers

Who truly loves to haggle over price? If wrangling for the best deal conjures up visions of cowboys and bull horns, then dig in your heels and hold tight. Since a good bargain increases your profit margin, it is a good idea to know your standings. Continue reading for a behind the scenes look at a bargain antique purchase.

Continue reading “Behind the Scenes of a Bargain Antique Purchase”