Sweet (+ handmade!) Valentine’s gifts
There are so many ways to show your love for someone—hanging out, giving a gift, lending a hand or doing something sweet. As the ol’ adage says, ‘it’s the thought that counts’! Just like our Artisans pieces are handmade with love by mamas in Kenya, here are a few ideas where you can use your hands to create a Valentine’s gift bursting with love.
1. Craft a coupon book
You can make a digital version of this or get crafty with paper and scissors! On each page, make a coupon for things you can’t buy. Here are a few examples: foot massage, car wash, vacuum a room, one load of laundry, etc.)
Download our super cute and printable coupons here!
2. Create a killer playlist
Select songs that remind you of your friend, family member or special someone and make a playlist they can easily download to their phone or iPod. You could even go old school and burn it on a CD with a cover made from a photo of you two together.
We’re loving these songs right now:
Hurricane Love: You Are The Sun
Selena Gomez: The Heart Wants What it Wants
3. Print fun photos
Hardly anyone prints photos anymore…we have them on our phones or computers and tend to share digitally. Make a nice old-fashioned gesture by printing off a few of your favourites together and framing them! These are some favourites from our trip to Kenya.
4. Sentimental sticky-notes
Share some hand-written sweetness by writing down compliments and nice quotes on sticky notes, then stick them all around the house, their locker, the inside of their car or anywhere they’ll notice!
5. Make ’em a meal!
What’s their favourite dish? Pizza? Tacos? There’s loads of recipes on the ‘net you can find to cook up something sweet and spicy without emptying your wallet at a fancy resto. Here’s two of our favourite recipes: Risotto with heart-shaped beets and a layered chocolate cake. They’re a lot easier to make than you think!
VEGAN RISOTTO WITH HEART-SHAPED BEETS
Risotto is a yummy Italian rice dish that’s super rich and creamy! The beets will turn it slightly pink for the full Valentine’s effect.
2-3 beets, with leaves and stems cut off
2 tbsp of olive oil
2-4 Garlic cloves depending on personal taste
1 tbsp minced onion – we used Simply Organic (optional)
1 cup of Arborio/Risotto rice
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (optional – adds B vitamins and cheesiness!)
Vegan parmesan to taste (optional)
Pepper to taste
- Boil beets in a pot of water until you can easily pierce them with a fork (about 20 mins). Set them aside to cool.
- Cook the leeks, minced onion and garlic in olive oil in a pan over medium heat, stirring often until the onions become soft. Add rice and stir for one minute.
- Add broth in small doses—about a half cup each time, stirring constantly until the broth is absorbed by the rice.
- While that is cooking, prep the beets—slice them into tiny pieces. Set a few larger chunks aside so you can take a pear knife and carve hearts out of each slice.
- Once risotto is near completion add the beets and let cook for a couple minutes so the beets heat up again.
- (optional) Add in the nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan at the end for cheesy goodness
- Garnish rice with heart-shaped beet slices and enjoy!
MINI CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKES
1 cake mix of your choice (we’re chocoholics)
1 can of frosting of your choice (we chose vanilla to mix it up)
1 wide-mouth glass or round cookie cutter
- Make the cake according to box directions and pour batter into a 9 x 9” baking dish. We used a round pan, but you can use anything that’ll contain all the batter.
- Let cool completely. Once cool, take a round cookie cutter (preferably 3”) and punch shapes out of the cake. If you don’t have one, use a wide-mouth glass or a knife to carve out rounded shapes. Make at least 4 circles, 2 for each cake—one for you and one for your lover!
- Frost the top of 2 cakes and stack together to form one, like a sandwich. Do the same to another set, then frost the tops of each and sprinkle your favourite candy on top.
- Make as many mini cakes as you can, or use the leftover cake to make cake pops! Simply mix it with frosting and roll into balls. Keep them in the fridge before serving or freeze to eat later.