What To Consider when Buying a Gift for Valentine's Day?

Valentine's Day is a very special occasion and gives couples a chance to celebrate romance. When buying a gift for Valentine's Day, it is a good idea to consider the level of relationship before selecting something. Think about the message you want the gift to convey. The type of gift you choose can say a lot of things from “I’m having fun getting to know you,” to “I love you with all my heart.”


For those who have a casual relationship, a Valentine's Day gift should mirror the relaxed and informal nature of the relationship. Giving something too elaborate, expensive, or intimate may give the other person the wrong idea. Fun cards are a better option than those with loving sentiments. Cute gifts such as stuffed animals may also be good choices as opposed to something like jewelry, lingerie, perfume, or aftershave. If you’re thinking flowers, a single rose is a nice gesture for Valentine's Day, while a full dozen roses tends to imply more.

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The same is true at the other end of the spectrum. Giving a Valentine's Day gift that is too casual when involved in a serious relationship may give the other person pause. It is the thought that counts when it comes to gifts, but gifts often express more or less than what we intend them to do. One’s feelings about a relationship may be inaccurately judged by the type of gift given, especially on a romantic day like Valentine's Day, so be sure to put some thought into it.

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This is not to say that a Valentine's Day gift must be expensive. Sometimes the smallest gestures really are the most touching. One example is to select a Valentine's Day gift that represents that special person’s hobbies or interests. Personal or intimate gifts will also be well received when people are deeply involved. If you do want to give something substantial, it’s hard to go wrong with jewelry.

Aside from romantic relationships, many people also like to give Valentine's Day gifts to other people in their lives. For those you want to make feel special, without including the romance aspect, consider candy. You don’t have to choose a heart shaped box of chocolates, but candy is universally accepted as a gift choice. You might also want to put together or pick up a Valentine’s Day gift basket. Many are designed with particular themes in mind. You can choose a gift basket for the coffee lover or a similar option instead of selecting one with a romantic theme.

Gift Cards and Gift Certificates - When to give them and when not to !

Gift Certificates and Gift Cards are popping up everywhere. Well, yes we have them on our site too. What used to be the ultimate in lazy gift-giving has become this year's consumer's top choice, according to a recent survey.

According to a Discover Card survey of just over a thousand US adults, 58% stated they would be very happy to receive a gift card. Another 26% said they would “touched” by the thought behind the gift. Only 9% stated that they would be disappointed.
Other key findings:

- 76% would consider giving a gift card so that the receiver can get what they like
- 65% would purchase a gift coupon for the sake of convenience
- Giving a gift card is a far more popular option than sending cash

Retailers do not count a gift card as a sale when it is purchased-instead, they wait until the gift card is redeemed and merchandise is exchanged. As a result, some of the $24.81 billion spent on gift cards this holiday may not show up in "holiday" sales, but instead as sales in January or February, when the gift card is redeemed.

Read more of the DiscoverCard gift voucher survey results.

The cards appear to create a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses. Consumers are drawn to the versatility and ease of use of gift cards, and businesses benefit from the low labor involved in such transactions.

Reasons To Give Gift Cards or Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are a safe choice when you don't know the person very well. At the same time, gift certificates don't have to be impersonal. Since there are so many gift certificates available, you can find the perfect one for anyone's interests.

Gift certificates are also great for people you know are picky or for the person who seems to have everything. If you're going to include a gift receipt with the item anyway because you know they're going to return it, why not save everyone the hassle and just give a gift certificate?

Gift certificates are especially useful when you have to give a large number of gifts at once, like during the holidays. Save valuable time by choosing gift certificates for everyone on your list. Similarly, they are great options when you are buying gifts for many members of a group; if you want to thank your coworkers for helping on a particularly arduous project, you can give each of them a gift certificate.

Also, remember that the person receiving the gift card can buy stuff when they are ready and when the things they want go on sale !

But gift cards like Starbucks, Target, iTunes are very popular amongst teenagers. Great also for spouses who are stuck on ideas for a wedding anniversary, birthday or any special occasion.

When giving gift cards is NOT a good idea !

But I would not advice the gift card or gift certificate for people who love the whole aspect of opening a present. It is the experience of opening the gift and seeing what's inside that's a pleasure for both the giver and the receiver that will be missed.

The downside to gift certificates is that if you are actually close to the recipient, they might feel hurt that you didn't buy them a more personalized gift.

So its up to you and the recipient. Choose what is best for
  • the occasion
  • the person
  • time on your hands
  • and the experience you want the person to have !

For Posterity's Sake...this Valentine's Day !

Ever heard of Body Casting ? How about a gift to your loved one of a part of your body...you choose. What a unique gift idea....weird but cute. ....and very HOLLYWOOD !

Lifecasting or bodycasting is the art of taking molds directly from the human body. It is an ancient art form dating back to the time of the Egyptians where body casts were made as a means of transport to the next world.

Once cast this Body Casting is a unique piece of fine art that can be displayed wall mounted, standing, or even suspended! The people who do this also say that the casts do not always have to be taken on a naked body - they look equally sensual with sexy underwear (even denim shorts!) or strategically draped fabric.

This website has moulds for the face, hands etc.


One of the best - and most memorable - gifts that I have ever received was on my most recent vacation. A friend, whose life seems to be filled to the brim with family and work and activities, gave me the gift of time. She took me out for a leisurely Sunday brunch, during which we talked about those things that are most important to us.

The keys to this being a memorable and loving gift were: we were completely relaxed, unhurried, and I felt like we could spend as much time as we liked; and we talked about things that are more signifcant to us than the superficial aspects of our lives. This brings home the idea that taking the time to spend with a friend is truly a valued gift, one with soul value.

It’s time to expect more from your phone !

With travel becoming easier one would want a phone that works everywhere in the world. The Cingular 8525 PDA Phone does just that and more. Its a mini computer, MP3 and Video player and more....

I saw it for myself. My husband bought it because of its many features and the fact that it can do all the things listed below.

The Cingular 8525 lets you do things you'd typically need a PC to do, like email, text messaging, instant messaging and Web browsing--all from one integrated device. What's more, the phone's software is designed to sync seamlessly with email, contacts, and calendar information on your PC. The 8525 also offers great mobile music and video options, thanks to Windows Media Player. Other design features include a unique slide-out QWERTY keyboard that makes messaging, note-taking, and other writing tasks a breeze.

The award-winning Cingular 8525 3G Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0-based Pocket PC phone, with its compact size and ultimate connectivity, is truly the complete mobile office solution. Roam anywhere in the world and use the phone's high speed Internet access, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi capabilities. The 8525 gives you more control than ever over the way you work.
5 Stars from me ! Anyway, just thought I would let you guys know.

The History Of Valentine's Day !

Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailer's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.

Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goat hide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn.

The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman 'lottery' system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February -- Valentine's Day. In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century.

By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum.

In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap". The heavy sentimentality of yester year has been replaced with a much lighter touch. More often, a valentine card accompanies a gift as well. Today, valentine cards are manufactured on an enormous scale that covers all types of feelings about love: sentimental, sophisticated, humorous, ridiculous and sublime, just to mention a few. Even dogs and cats can receive valentines, (although to date, they are still unable to stamp them and put them in the mail). In terms of the number of cards sent annually, Valentine’s day ranks second only to Christmas.

So, don’t hesitate, my friends, to demonstrate your love and affection with the nicest card you can find on this holiday designed for lovers everywhere.

The Golden Globes First To Implement "No More Gift Baskets for Awards Show Presenters"

The Golden Globes will be the first awards show to implement the 'no gift bag for presenters' policy that has been put into effect as of 2007. I'm sure everyone who has watched awards shows like the Oscars or the Golden Globes has wondered why each presenter gets such a lavish gift bag, sometimes worth over $100,000.

Presenters at prestigious awards shows like these are famous actors, actresses and singers who earn more in a week than most people do in a year. Million dollar movies, records and multi-million dollars homes are how these people live their lives. So why is it that they're rewarded with overly expensive gift bags? No one really knows.

So what prompted the sudden ban of the gift bags? A few things actually. Apparently the decision was a combination of the threat of having to pay taxes as well as Edward Norton's very public opinion on the subject.

Edward Norton has called the bags "disgusting and shameful". He goes onto explain his take on the subject: "The gift baskets, worth amounts of money that a low-income family could live on for a year, (are given to) people who have so much already. It gets depressing. You sit there, going this is an embarrassment".

And it was Edward Norton's opinion that persuaded the IRS to make presenters pay taxes for the gift bags. The IRS responded by stating "Whether you're popping the popcorn, sitting in the audience or starring on the big screen, you need to pay your taxes. There's no red carpet loophole for the stars".

Norton's short-term solution for the gift bags - giving a donation to the charity of choice in the name of the presenters.

The Gift Of Health For the New Year !

Can $15.60 change your life? Well, I have been on the road to living healthy since the time my kids were born. One of the most frustrating things we work on is.....ourselves ! Whether it is the physical, insightful, metaphysical or otherwise. The New Year brings thoughts of change and making resolutions. Change is inevitable and good. So why not make it part of your new life.

In the effort to make this change I bought this book by Bob Greene...........the trainer who helped Oprah. The Best Life Diet - gets it right ! Although the principles remain the same - eat less burn more - the delivery and path are what I liked. Being a dietitian and foodie myself, this book has quite a few takeaways !