Valentine’s Day Birthday, Part I

I think this will be the best year of my life. We’re only two weeks into February — one week away from my 27th birthday — and the hubs and I already have big things coming together for 2015. My husband is moments away from inheriting a cottage in Northern Ontario that has been in his family since the 1920’s (don’t get the wrong idea, it’s a money-pit) with intentions of rescuing it from back tax limbo and restoring it to it’s former charm and I achieved a big goal of seeing something I made in a for-real, brick-and-mortar shop window when Craft Arts Market opened up a few blocks from my house, just to name a couple. When I was a child, I always thought 27 was the best age a person could be. I felt it so strongly that the feeling alone has survived in my memory far longer than the reason why I felt it. I can’t believe I’m finally here. I think it’s time to plan the celebrations.

Building a Backdrop \\ Sophster-Toaster

With a birthday that always seems to land on the same weekend as Valentine’s Day, I don’t think I’m ever had a birthday party colour scheme other than red, pink and white or a theme other than today is also Valentine’s Day. This year, I’m branching out. I’ve chosen pink, orange and gold as my decoration colours and the theme of … birthday party. Alright, I’m not great at themes.

I’ve spent the last two weeks making my invitations and decorations, and planning food, drinks and furniture arrangement. For the most part, I’m treading in unfamiliar waters and choosing nondescript seasonal decorations and food ideas over festive ones. However, there is one tradition, started by my mother, that I have never gone a year without and have decided to continue, with restraint: there will be one heart…

Heart Backdrop \\ Sophster-Toaster

… and I’m making it a big one. (Find the DIY I used to make the backdrop here.)

Building a Heart Backdrop \\ Sophster-Toaster

Valentine's Date Outfit \\ Sophster-ToasterBow Tie \\ Sophster-ToasterValentine's Day Outfit \\ Sophster-ToasterPoetic Licence Heel \\ Sophster-Toaster

Dress: Modcloth // Bow Tie: Sophster-Toaster // Tights: H&M // Socks: The Green Room (old) // Shoes: Modcloth (old) // Hair Clip: H&M (old) // Earrings: Modcloth (old) // Bracelet: Sweet Auburn Studio

Chair is Ikea.

Handmade Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

My favourite grocery store is currently brimming with plush roses, brightly coloured boxes of cheap chocolate-like product and, inexplicably, giant stuffed bull dogs holding hearts in their mouths that say “I woof you”, or whatever. Does anyone actually buy this stuff? I’ve always assumed these things were for 14-year-olds to give to other 14-year-olds, maybe because that’s what my middle school Valentine gave to me.

I’ve always thought that something lovingly handcrafted by your partner makes the best Valentine’s gift, but if you don’t have the time or know-how, handmade gifts from skilled artisans are a close second. Let’s leave that weird, mass-produced stuff on the shelves this year and get our Valentines something they will actually use and enjoy, like:

Handmade Valentine's Day Gift Guide \\ Sophster-Toaster

1. Plexida 2. RossLab 3. NAHINAshop 4. Pousse Pousse Citron 5. Sea & Lake 6. Sophia Victoria Joy