Thursday, 10 February 2011

VALENTINE - Whats in it really?

And yes!  I am finally back in the land of the living, back from Portugal for what seems like my whole lifetime already but is only since 13th January and I have been soooo bad at keeping in touch.  I do have an excuse, I have been making so much soap as I was almost totally out of stock after Christmas and I really mean down to the last bar or so!  Anyway things are leveling out now so I feel a little more in charge....  Well maybe!
I agree with one of my favourite blogs, Learn Vest (making smart women smarter) they say.....

"We have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. We’re not a fan of commercially constructed holidays that contribute to needless spending and consumption; on the other hand, we can’t argue with an opportunity to tell our loved ones how we feel about them. Love is better than money, after all.
To that end, this Valentine’s Day, we suggest forgoing the random gifts that contribute to clutter, and bringing the holiday back to what it’s all about: the message of “I Love You” (and its variations). We hearken back to the handcrafted valentines that appeared inside our desks in elementary school to tell us someone cared about us–and found some grown-up versions.
Here are some unique, creative ways to send an I-love-you-gram, from an old school mix tape to something sweet to love gone bad."

Nice, my sentiments exactly, so what I am going to try and do is give you a couple of ideas of how to make your own, cheap but not 'CHEAP' Valentines.  Remember how great it felt to bring your Mum and Dad back that weird, slightly wonky and drippy first birthday card from school?  I really remember the cards and stuff my kids brought back to me, and I still have them ALL and treasure them ALL.  Why do we do that?  because it means something to us.  So, give up those commercial made cards, shop bought, hothouse flowers (that will last a disappointing 24hrs - if you are lucky) and give your loved one something that your have made/thought about/planned - you don't need to be an artist or crafts person - just look at the first suggestion....ITS SO EASY

SEND HIM/HER A CANDY GRAM or in English a sweetie special
Recapture the middle-school-dance-team-fundraiser spirit by sending this. Choose from a variety of candies--and let him know he's a Tootsie Pop, SweetHeart, or that you've hit Pay Day.

This is actually what I am going to do - Rik, my partner, loves chocolate, way more than I do, so (I hope he is not reading this) I am going to get a 3 stack of Cadburys big choc bars, Milk, Whole nut and Fruit and nut, wrap them with a huge pink bow and a label like the one in the photo.


Oh, oh, oh, I think this is sooo fab, unfortunately NOT available in the UK yet but when I read what it can do I just thought, I want it now.  Rik is a grumpy old man and if I bombarded him with the texts this thing can do all day, until Valentines day - he just could not fail to forget!!  soooo sad its not available here.  Anyway this is what it does
Call it the Cyrano de Bergerac of cell phones: If you're busy or just plain lazy, the boyfriend keeper iPhone app automatically generates and sends emails and texts to your beau. You enter in basic info such as how long you’ve been together, how serious your relationship is, how often you’d like to communicate, even what color your partner’s eyes are. The app sends pre-made messages on a regular basis, like: “Do you know we have been dating for 132 days and 7 hours?” To be fair: there’s a Girlfriend keeper out there, too - but only USA of course!!!!

Next is one of my most favorite craft/ideas sites Tipnut I really love them,  I subscribe and get regular ideas for crazy things that really fulfill my creative desires, if you are interested in crafts and really nice projects its well worth it.  so my Tipnut faves
 - take a look at these Vintage Valentine downloads lots of fab ideas for making your own, very simple cards.

Another idea - and I have done this.  Get an empty CD plastic cover.  back it with a lovely paper/fabric/print and then stuff it full with love heart sweets

Take the sweets out of the wrapper and arrange them on top of the paper/fabric/print backing, with the love message facing upwards.  I then clipped the CD cover closed and stuck it up firmly with super glue.  I glued a 'V' shaped piece of card on the back so it could be displayed like a photo frame and 'Bobs your uncle' A fantastic, bespoke card for your loved one that lasts and lasts (my man still has his on his desktop after 8 - 'YES 8' - years).
This is a truly lovely simple project, go on have a look Fingerprints

Again, OK this is American but the recipe sounds so delicious and the pictures (with Smarties on!!) I cant resist.....
Go to Cookie recipe

When a cookie is jam packed with chocolate chips, I’ll surely grab a few to munch on. But when a cookie is dissected into little bites, I’m less likely to eat more than one. Instead, I savor the individual flavors of a single cookie cup throughout the day. An M&M here, a bite there … it’s a slow process that helps me limit my sugar intake.

Form a ball of cookie dough in your hand, a little bigger than a ping pong ball and flatten it like a pancake. Press the dough into a standard sized, greased cupcake pan and mold the dough to the inside of the cup leaving a depression in the center.
Bake at 365 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until the center of the cookie is set.

I hear you ask, I have many solutions for the Valentine season but here are the best..


vintage rose
Another romantic, bubbly soap bar in a vintage style.  This soap is set to become classic, and is now a real favorite with everyone who uses it.  Made with whole Devonshire fresh goats milk with lots of Cocoa and Shea butter it really will leave your skin feeling fantastic.  Lightly perfumed with a pretty floral fragrance oil this soap, with its tiny rose buds on the top, it is the perfect gift, good enough to give to anyone, they will love you forever!  Now even better as is totally palm oil free.
A beautiful and romantic treat for all, delicately perfumed with rose fragrance oil, this is one of the most evocative scents of an English garden in summer.

For Men
Yes really! this beautiful bar of soap is made in celebration of the Bridge Inn, Topsham (our favourite pub and probably the best pub in the world) with real ale stout added and 78% cocoa chocolate and cocoa butter it is scented with black Cardamom and is simply lovely.  I am told by my son who won't use anything else, it makes a fantastic shaving soap.  One of my best selling soaps, once you try this you wont go back to anything else - and that's a promise!

So if you feel like getting a great Valentine go to Naturally Made Soaps and get the best that soap can give........  or try the other cool links I have added here.  Go on, Valentines should be about how you really feel not how a stupid card manufacturer thinks you should feel.  

Let me know how you get on please?  Did you try any of the above or get inspired?  I really would love to know.


  1. Great ideas! I too really like the idea of giving handmade gifts for Valentine's Day. It is such a great way to say 'I love you!' With a big exclamation point!

  2. Skin products for specific skin types have been available for a number of years now, and products like shaving soaps, shaving creams, and facial skin care which are formulated for men are slowly gaining popularity. However, before choosing what products to use on their faces, men should start with the basic issue, and that is to know specific skin type first.

  3. the picture with the sweethearts there is one near the middle that says kill! There is also one that says sweet gun???