Calling all last minute gifters, this one’s for you! With one of the shortest posts on ctrl + curate, print out a few ‘secret’ compliment cards on cardstock and hide them for your friends or Valentine to find throughout the day.
These cards are the perfect way to make someone smile without ever having to say a word. But if a sentence isn’t enough, write your own compliments on the back. Nothing wrong with spreading even more love, especially on Valentine’s Day.
Going through compliment cards on Pinterest was the best part of this project. You find all sorts of gems like ‘you elegant eggplant’ and ‘you smile is as contagious as the flu, but less vomiting’.
I’m 1 work week away from donning head to toe blush and wearing my one matching set. It’s the final countdown to the loveliest, doviest, most tear jerker holiday!
And you my friends are here for the good stuff. 21 gender neutral gifts for that special someone right? A lot of these diy ideas I’ve actually gifted Michael and and they’ve gotten the boyfriend/fiance stamp of approval. So let’s get shopping or crafting!
A living plant (plus pun) beats flowers at the office everyday.
Forget 99 red balloons. Spell it out with L-O-V-E. Do you remember burning cd’s and carefully crafting playlists? Try a modern take with a personalized usb. Ya, they can get music from anywhere now, but the usb will be cute and show you thought about them.
Pretty Things Say it loud, say it proud withdiy message shirts. Make a matching pair for Korean idol levels of cute.
Put together a photo book of your 1st year of dating, the year in review, or places you’ve traveled. Next level tip: Throw in one ‘goal’ picture at the end as a surprise gift. (If you made a travel book, add a picture of a place you want to go together.) Tell you favorite coffee buddy ‘I heart you likeXO‘ with these (mugs).
Date Ideas Stay away from the bars and host a chocolate & wine tastingor beer tasting for two. The cheaper and cozier way to sample spirits. The Dating Divas have a date night and printables for every occasion. The Valentine’s Day ones are extra sweet.
My Drifting Deskhad 90+ free date night ideas already to print for a date night jar.
Nerd alert guys. When I was younger and it was Valentine’s Day in a manga, I wished and wished it was the norm in the States to hand make chocolate. In the books stores would be filled with decorative papers and chocolate ingredients that made me swoon. Store bought was for lazy people. Or so I thought until I actually tried to start from just raw, unsweetened chocolate and loads of sugar. Ack. That was disgusting. And held me at bay from trying any chocolate making again for awhile. That is until my mom made truffles!
The melt in your mouth, completely decadent, smooth chocolate are to die for. And it’s so, so easy to make! The only *slight* setback back is there’s no clean way to do this. Chocolate hands everywhere. But that’s not such a bad thing right? 😉
8 ounces semi-sweet bar chocolate
8 oz bittersweet bar chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp finely ground Himalayan salt
coarse ground Himalayan salt & cocoa powder to garnish
Important note- you have to use bar chocolate for the recipe to work. Chocolate chips don’t have the same fat content that will set your chocolate.
1| Chop all the chocolate as finely as possible. We’ll be relying on just the heated cream to melt the chocolate, so it’s important to have even, tiny pieces to start. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl.
2| Bring the heavy cream and finely ground salt to a simmer over medium heat. Quickly give it a mix and pour over the chocolate.
3| Let stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Cover and transfer the bowl to the fridge to set for ~2 hours depending on how good your fridge is. If you’re short on time, you can transfer the chocolate to a glass baking dish. Spreading the chocolate out in a thin sheet can cut your set time to 30 minutes. Once set, the chocolate should be soft enough to be scooped out and hold its shape.
4| Scoop ~1″ balls and loosely roll between your hands. Don’t worry about getting a perfect sphere. The rough shape is a nod to the truffles’ namesake, the truffle root, and is a mark of true handmade goodness (Thank you Martha Stewart ;D).
5| Drop the balls in cacao powder and top with a sprinkle of salt. Start lightly with 2-3 salt pieces on top- the pink sea salt packs a big punch. I love the sharp contrast between salty and sweet so I went very heavy handed. Prepare to wow all with chocolatey goodness.
Did you know there are two different types of cocoa? Yup, and which one you choose can affect your truffles! Serious Eats breaks down the difference between natural & Dutch processed cocoa. The short of it is, use Dutch if you want a darker color and more bittersweet, earthy, balanced flavor and use natural processed if you want classic chocolate flavor.
I love holidays where you can go all out, and Valentine’s Day can be one of the most over the top! You can gush all you want over your friends and loved ones and they won’t bat an eye!
Show some extra love to the friends who are always there for late night talks or dubious testers for new recipes. They deserve some really nice Galentine’s gifts this year 😉
Cards are nice, easy way to start! If you and your bestie share the love of Galentine’s Day via Knope & Ann, honor the original Galentine’s crew with printable Knope compliment cards.
Another reason Valentine’s is one of my favorite holidays, the puns are out in full force! Grab a pack of punny dog cards for your pack. And is there anything more luxurious in a card then letterpress? How about the letter pressed, hand illustrated goodness that oozes from Hello!Lucky? Honestly, I couldn’t just pick one card from them, so go check out their ‘Love & Friendship‘ cards.
The best gifts are sometimes the unexpected. Deliver a breakfast surprise with a punny doughnut& DIY Galentine’s balloons so they can start the day with love. If you & bestie are long distance, snail mail some heart socks and a ‘You’re toe-tally awesome’ note ;). (I did say Valentine’s Day has the best most puns)
Party I’m waiting for the time when my friends and I are all in the same city again. If you’re so lucky, gather everyone together and throw an amazing party! Studio Diy’s throwback slumber party is a nostalgia trip. Or try a daytime soiree with sweets, crafts, + cocktails.
Style Me Prettyplanned a whole event with treats + printables for you as well!
It’s taken me awhile to figure out a ‘mantra’ for 2017, but I think I got it now. 2017 is the year I ‘say no to being timid’. But because this isn’t a resolutions post, I’m just going to say this diy fits the bill. This had been sitting in my project queue for too long but I was scared when there were so many great wall hanging tutorials already out there and how much it would cost for a project I wasn’t sure I could pull off. Well I’m glad I finally got off my butt and did something about it because look at this Pantone cutey!
This started with a trip to the holy grail of inspiration, IKEA. I was looking for picture frames when these rattan hula hoops caught my eye. $18 for 2 ginormous, natural rattan hoops! I might have squealed and happy danced all the way to check out! Besides the hoops (I used the smaller of the two to better fit the standard dowel length) you’ll need:
I used 4 oz. of each roving (the green fluffy stuff) and half a skein of yarn. The knotted white yarn was an easy way to add texture to the hanging without any extra effort on my part (win!). PSA: Oak dowels best match rattan’s color and texture.
To frame out the piece by securing the dowel to the hoop using a Japanese Square Latch with natural rope. This knot is perfect for 2 perpendicular pieces and looks just as pretty from the front as the back. After this project I’m convinced I could build a raft.
With the dowel secured, start tieing on the yarn and roving using lark’s head knots as seen above or in this video. This basic macrame starting knot is very therapeutic once you get into a rhythm!
Use a Dropper Loop Fishing Knot and secure it with a basic hitch on both sides to create a hanging loop. I’m pretty amazed that a few simple loops are so secure, but here he hangs proudly on the wall.
Tips on working with roving: Roving is very soft and will loose it’s ‘togetherness’ if played with too much! The extra knots originally came from tying extra roving on to give it more length and volume. Then I discovered bobby pins work just as well on keeping roving in place as hair and kept the knots for looks 😉
To get nice, soft tails on the roving (if you cut straight across a bunch you’ll get a very blunt end) take a small comb and pull the ends through.
Now I just can’t decide where he goes- he was always supposed to go above our bed, but he looks so at home in the dining room. Though with the rattan 2-pack, I can always make another!
What are your goals for 2017? I’d love to hear from you!