not-your-average chocolate bits

For not-your-average Valentines

There’s plethora of Valentine’s Day chocolate roundups floating around the media world, so we wanted to offer you a little twist on this tradition. Here’s a collection of uniquely shaped morsels, sure to warm up that special love or a cheer up a dear friend.

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For the Fashionista: High heel shoes, $36 from Gayle’s Chocolates

For the Beckham fan: Football jersey and shoe, $11 from Thornton’s UK

For the Hopeful: Frog Prince chocolates, $50 from Red Envelope

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For the Jilted: Chocolate voodoo doll, $8 from Wishing Fish

For the Decorator: Mounted deer head, $15 from the Chocoloate Vault

For the Kid-at-Heart: Penguins, $32 from Burdick Chocolates

For the Peace-maker: Buddha, $30 from Chocolate Deities

And for those wanting to heat things up, you may want to consider these bits from Chocolate Fantasies! Oh my!

From our partners

strangely appealing: tank u vases

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Allison R. and I just got back from a quick sweep of the NY International Gift Fair. It might be a sign-o-times, but we saw a lot of gun-and-weapon themed things, with this little Tank U Vase being one of the most unique. It reminds us a bit of SUCK UK’s gun vase, but slightly more feminine. I don’t know… a punk Valentine’s Day pressie, perhaps? You can get one for your soldier of love at Charles & Marie, for $80. — Angela M.

From our partners

help! i'm looking for cheap, hip valentine's cards

I usually send Valentine’s Day cards in lieu of Christmas cards – I can never get my act together in time. I’d like to find something cute and hip (and cheap! No more than $1/card…) this year instead of relying on the Hallmark standards. Any ideas? Thanks! :), Laura

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Hi Laura! Thanks for your email. We went to some of our favorite, amazingly hip stationery sites first. We were able to find lots of fun ideas, but none of them were as low priced as you hoped. You see, small companies make the most orginal cards, but because they are so tiny, their production costs (and thus prices) are high. Some that will have you tempted: These You Melt Me cards from Luxe Paperie, marked down from $2.95 each to $1.49 each. This You’re my carrot card from Broadway Paper, $3.50, would be perfect for that special valentine. These heart-shaped notes are more in your price range, $15 for 20, but they don’t come with envelopes. This You and Me card from Good on Paper is perhaps our favorite, $16 for 6. Its mod chairs remind us grade school when exchanging valentines was a big event.

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Although we weren’t able to uncover any hip, cute AND cheap cards for you, we do have another idea. Why not make your own! Pick up a rubber stamp, like these from Paper Source, for about $5. Buy yourself some lovely paper, or maybe some onsale Xmas card envelopes, and d.i.y. it!

Does anyone else know an inexpensive valentine card source for Laura? Please let us know!

From our partners

help! i’m looking for cheap, hip valentine’s cards

I usually send Valentine’s Day cards in lieu of Christmas cards – I can never get my act together in time. I’d like to find something cute and hip (and cheap! No more than $1/card…) this year instead of relying on the Hallmark standards. Any ideas? Thanks! :), Laura

shelter.valcards.jpg

Hi Laura! Thanks for your email. We went to some of our favorite, amazingly hip stationery sites first. We were able to find lots of fun ideas, but none of them were as low priced as you hoped. You see, small companies make the most orginal cards, but because they are so tiny, their production costs (and thus prices) are high. Some that will have you tempted: These You Melt Me cards from Luxe Paperie, marked down from $2.95 each to $1.49 each. This You’re my carrot card from Broadway Paper, $3.50, would be perfect for that special valentine. These heart-shaped notes are more in your price range, $15 for 20, but they don’t come with envelopes. This You and Me card from Good on Paper is perhaps our favorite, $16 for 6. Its mod chairs remind us grade school when exchanging valentines was a big event.

shelter.stamps.jpg

Although we weren’t able to uncover any hip, cute AND cheap cards for you, we do have another idea. Why not make your own! Pick up a rubber stamp, like these from Paper Source, for about $5. Buy yourself some lovely paper, or maybe some onsale Xmas card envelopes, and d.i.y. it!

Does anyone else know an inexpensive valentine card source for Laura? Please let us know!

From our partners

notes from the nursery: blabla birdie mobile

Happy Day! Megan’s back after a few months of getting to know her new baby. She’ll be sharing her new-mom learnings with us. Welcome back!

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Indeed, I’m living in baby babble land these days. My four-month-old and I entertain ourselves by taking “tours” of the house, making faces at each other in the mirror, and partaking in other very serious intellectual pursuits. Let me tell you how grateful I am for the few purchases that can keep my little girl occupied for more than a few minutes (ah, shower!). Now when those purchases also happen to be adorable, they get major points. This crafty-chic knit birdie mobile from Blabla has been one of my greatest investments. I just spin it and my chickadee is mesmerized (I have to keep twirling it every five, but believe me, that five goes a long way). I’ve also spotted Blabla’s vibrant kid coin purses and sweaters at gifts stores around the Twin Cities, but there’s so much more on their website — the veggie rattle set would be the cutest gift for someone’s soon-to-be. Shelterrific readers, give me some “blabla” on your baby obsessions. -– Megan K.

From our partners