Valentine’s Gift Guide for Cooking Lovers

Valentine’s Day. Some hate it, some love it. I am somewhere in between. Do you know how the holiday originated? I didn’t until recently. If you keep reading, I will share what I learned along with a holiday gift guide.

On February 15th, the Romans celebrated Lupercalia. During this festival of sorts, men and women took part in ‘activities’ that were believed to increase fertility. This celebration eventually became known as a period of both fertility and love. It is believed that the Catholic church disapproved of Lupercalia, but could not put an end to it. Instead, the church named festival after St. Valentine, who was executed on February 14th. Valentine was known for performing marriages in secret for men who were destine for war and forbidden to marry. Later, during the Shakespeare Era, love was emphasized and handmade Valentine’s cards became popular.  Then in 1913, a little company in Missouri began mass producing Valentine’s Day cards….that company was Hallmark (source: NPR and NatGeo).

There you have it folks, Valentine’s day may have some deep rooted history, but I suppose you could say it really is a Hallmark holiday in the U.S. If you chose to celebrate the holiday and embrace what it is about, here are some gift ideas that the home chef in your life will love. 

This marble cheese board is similar to one that a friend gave me. It’s pretty and great for entertaining. To keep holiday decor  simple, items like spoons, spatulas and dish towels are perfect. They dress up the kitchen, but are still practical. I also love this mason jar spoon rest. I use a spoon rest every day and love mason jar decor. Recipe boxes are little old school, but hand written recipes are special. My mom gave me a recipe box at my bridal shower filled with recipes from my guest. I love also trying out Ina Garten’s recipes; she’s is one of my favorite chefs to watch on Food Network. Her newest cookbook is all about cooking for her husband! I will be definitely be cooking up a special dinner for my hubby this Valentine’s day, which I am sure will include our favorite bottle of wine. This rose gold wine stopper is a perfect little gift for any wine lovers you know too.

If you have been following my blog and  Instagram account you probably already know that I am in love with my Le Creuset Dutch oven. I have seriously gotten so much use out of it since it was gifted to me in October. This is definitely a major purchase, but a great idea for someone who loves to cook. They come in a lot of fun colors too.  Pink or red would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Another great gift idea for your valentine who loves to cook is a class at Sur la Table. I have take a few classes there and think they’re so much fun. They usually schedule classes a few months in advance and they offer specific ‘date night’ classes {or ‘girl’s night’ for your galentine}.

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Wedding Planning|Giftguide for Parents & Special Guests!

When it came to wedding gifts for our parents I knew I wanted to get the something special. It was was hard to think of a gift for people who already have it all. I didn’t want the gift to be just another “thing”  to put in their homes. After weeks of brainstorming, the idea finally came to me when I was looking through old photos with my parents. When I was little my mom always had a film DSLR camera there she took everywhere {I later used it for my high school photography classes} so we have a ton of photos. She loved to have her favorites made into 8x10s which really helped me out with this gift idea. Both of my parents happen to point our their favorite picture of me and them. I took the photos home with me to scan to my computer for our DJ slideshow. For their gifts, I scanned their favorite photos to Snapfish and ordered two 11×14 sepia toned canvas prints. They came out great and I was able to use a coupon code to get a good deal!

I wanted to get Mike’s parents the same gift, but unfortunately all of his baby pictures were small and I wasn’t able to get clear scans. His siblings live out of state and since we’ve been together we haven’t had the chance to get many family pictures. We did manage to get a great photo together at our engagement party. I had it made into at 10×25 sepia toned canvas. I love the shape and size of this one. All three canvas’ came out great and our parents loved them. My mom hung hers up as soon as she got home from our rehearsal dinner.

My uncle is an amazing florist. I knew he was going to make our wedding day beyond beautiful and I was right! I LOVED our flowers. They really pop in our photos and we received so many compliments. To thank him and my aunt for all their hard work and generous gift we got them tickets to a Broadway play. Ticket to a show would also be a great gift idea for parents. It just so happens that’ my dad really doesn’t like going to plays {sorry mom}.

We had a few more special guests that we wanted to acknowledge at our rehearsal dinner. My aunt who helped out a lot with my planning along with aunts, uncles and friends who would be reading during our ceremony or singing at our reception. As a little thanks, we got them our favorite bottle of while or a book along with a sweet thank you note. I think the key to wedding gifts is to remember to be simple, practical and thoughtful.