Thursday, January 14, 2016

Personalized Valentine's Gift Ideas

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Since we share finances it's hard to surprise Joe with gifts. For Christmas I tried really hard to keep his gift under wraps. I bought a gift card at the grocery store and then bought his gift so it would just look like I'd bought groceries. I was patting myself on the back for finding a loophole to surprise him. But then his present arrived with a giant picture of what was inside on all sides of the box while I was away and he was home. So all my sneakiness was for nothing. Thanks Amazon.

For Valentine's Day I prefer a more DIY gift approach. Maybe not homemade, per say, but something personal that takes a little time and effort. A few of these ideas are gifts from the past few years, and the others are cute ideas I found while browsing Etsy. Such a dangerous place.

1. 101 Quizzes for Couples - This book has some fun, light-hearted questions, ie: Friends or Seinfeld? as well as more in depth questions, like "What's one trait you hope I'll pass on to our kids?" It really covers all the bases, from jobs, to bucket lists, to how you like the bed made, to sex, to raising kids. Turns out you can cram a lot into 101 quizzes. And for the most part there are no wrong answers. Except maybe the "What's my most annoying quality?" question. That one's a trap, fellas!

2. Illustrated Portrait - We have a love of caricatures over here, but there are so many great artists, on Etsy or elsewhere, that have amazing styles for illustrated portraits. It's definitely a fun addition to a gallery wall.

3. Your Love Story - You can create your own illustrated love story using Love Book. They have templates for characters, backgrounds, possible page ideas (like: I love your abs), or blank pages so you can write your own story. Such a cool idea, and under $40 too.

4. Heart Collage - I may be slightly addicted to these heart collages. I made one for Declan's room using his birth and newborn photos. I also made one for each of the grandparents for Christmas using pictures of Ez and Declan from the past year. It's already heart-shaped and if you made one with just the two of you without <gasp!> the kids, it's a pretty cute Valentine's gift.

5. Photo Book - You probably think I work for Shutterfly with as much as I plug their brand, but nope, I just love their stuff. I should probably own their stock based on how much stuff I buy from them. I know there are plenty of great photo book companies out there, but since I've already got tons of my photos on Shutterfly, I'm in too deep to switch brands. I made this particular book pre-kids, and it's a bunch of our date photos all in one place. Ez loves to look through it too.

6. Couple Magnets - These are adorable. You send the artist of picture of the two of you and she creates personalized felt magnets. I kind of want some for all four of us.

7. Scrap Book - For the most part I like to purge my belongings, but when it comes to sentimental things I'm a bit of a hoarder. I have a tendency to hold onto stuff like ticket stubs, wrist bands, brochures, and maps for no good reason. After I'd brought my little bag filled with date memorabilia along on three different moves, I finally decided to compile it all into one scrap book and give it to Joe last Valentine's Day. I just bought a fairly cheap photo book with the self-sticking pages, some heart stickers and red and silver washi tape, printed out some photos, and went to town. I'm no scrap-booking expert, but it's fun to be able to look back at all the mementos that wouldn't make their way into a Shutterfly photo book:

Anyone else like to DIY for Valentine's Day? 


  1. Very cute and creative ideas! It's always more special when it's it homemade and from the heart. :)

  2. Wow! Great ideas! I love the thought behind doing a personalized gift like this. The portrait would be awesome and the magnets are amazing!

  3. Such great ideas! I always fall flat when it comes to a V Day gift for Brian lol. Ive been wanting a family potrait for years!