Want to spend Valentine’s Day feeling the love, but without all the pressure and faux-romance and all of that? Maybe it’s time to look to the tiny tots in your life for Valentine inspiration. After all, they’re pure love, giggles, and joyousness (except of course when they’re not). That’s why Heart Love Photography is offering special mini-sessions for baby portraits just in time for Valentine’s Day. The sessions result in absolutely gorgeous (but also super cool, non-Anne Geddes-style) portraits that are pretty much guaranteed to be the best Valentine’s Day gifts you’ve ever received (or given, for that matter).
What It Is: Lovely, 100% soy wax candles with fragrances inspired by our favorite wines. Each candle has about a 60 hour burn time, and comes in a handcrafted glass votive made from a repurposed wine bottle. Available at Miy Home. $28.
It’s Perfect For:
Your Wine Friend: Sure, maybe this is a no-brainer, but if you’re not a big wine aficionado, it can be hard to pick out a good wine gift for those in the know. After all, their knowledge of every vintage known to man makes it unlikely that you’ll be able to find them a bottle or vineyard they haven’t tried. And plus, you don’t want to accidentally pick a variety they’ll look down their nose at. A candle or two makes an ideal gift that they can appreciate without too much comment, and that will burn much, much longer than a bottle of the stuff would.
Part of that Valentine’s Day Package You’re Working So Hard On: We’re not here to put the pressure on. In fact, we’re trying to relieve some of the pressure. But we all know that procrastination (particularly in the field of romantic gift-giving) never pays. You probably won’t be too well-received if your entire Valentine’s Day offering is a candle or two. But nestle them in between some chocolates, jewels, flowers, airline tickets, and poetry, and there you’ve got yourself a gift idea.
Here at Catch of the Day, we pride ourselves in only recommending those things we’re personally intrigued and excited by. We figure, if we think it’s cool, maybe you’ll think it’s cool. And likewise, we try not to pass along anything that makes us go, “Dear God, NO!” Well, today’s the big exception. Because surely there are those of you out there who’ve been waiting your whole lives to register for the Cupid’s Undie Run. And more power to you. Yes, the run is what it sounds like. A whole lot of people running (about a mile). On Valentine’s Day. In their underwear. Sound like your kind of thing? Read on.
Okay, so technically a quintessential gentleman (or a person who loves him) would probably not be caught on Valentine’s Day without having already secured the absolutely perfect gift for their beloved. But sometimes life (or snow) gets in the way. But that shouldn’t mean you’re stuck with whatever dented Russell Stover boxes the local drug store has left. After all—it’s the (semi-belated) thought that counts, right? Well thanks to The Quintessential Gentleman, you can still (go now!) show up with a very impressive package of locally sourced flowers and to-die-for chocolates that are sure to allay any suspicions that you might have forgotten the big day (uh, you know, today).
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without at least some mention of unmentionables. If your sexy Mrs. Claus nightie is feeling just a wee bit post-season at this point, it might be time for a stop into Polina’s Prive. We love Polina’s, because they love making women feel (and look) great. According to Polina, “a beautiful outfit, like a beautiful woman, begins with what’s on the inside.” Ah. A lingerie store you can trust. Plus, if you’re the type to be befuddled by sizing and measurements, leaving all that to seasoned professionals is absolutely the way to go.
Several different artists are represented in the collection of 13 Baltimore-themed love notes. Some are too good, like Michael Gold’s speed camera valentine, pictured above. In eight words it manages to be flirty and to rag on the city in a way that only a true Baltimorean would understand.
Another favorite is this one by Olivia Hubert-Allen:
Just one more day to submit your love story for the chance to win dinner for two at Pazo and a bottle of Roederer Estate “Special Cuvée” Brut NV from Bin 604 in our “How I Met My Honey” contest! Read the moving story, below, about a courageous cancer survivor finding true love when she least expected it.
Love at the Cat’s Eye Pub
I had a better chance of being struck by lightning or being attacked by terrorists than I did of meeting a guy in 2010. I was a divorced, middle-aged woman who was bald and missing a body part that made my sweaters look decidedly uneven. Thank you, mastectomy and chemo.
I was also puffy. My oncologist even admonished me about the weight gain. But it was a side effect of my job, not the drugs. I have to eat a lot as the food editor for Baltimore magazine.
But, amazingly, I did connect with someone that year in a most unlikely place—a Fells Point dive bar. My friends convinced me that listening to the afternoon blues bands on Saturdays at the Cat’s Eye Pub would lift my spirits. It was worth a try.
It did help distract me until that summer when I went through another surgery for reconstruction. Trust me. We’re not talking body beautiful. We’re talking just feeling whole again.
Soon, I was back at the Cat’s Eye. This time, looking like a deranged poodle as my hair grew out in a weird corkscrew style. People were polite about it. I tried to ignore my new look.
That was when I met the bass player for the band Nothin’ But Trouble. He was from Delaware. I used to live in Delaware.
We soon became Greg from Magnolia and Suzanne, formerly from Old New Castle. It was a greeting we shared with a smile during the band’s once-a-month gigs. But we were ships passing in the night. He had someone in his life. I was still trying to recover.
One evening, much later, fate intervened. We ended up sitting next to each other at the bar before the band played. The reporter in me kicked in: “So what’s your story?” I asked.
And he told me. He wasn’t just a musician. He was a special-ed teacher, a dad, a son, a brother, and a really fascinating guy. And he was unattached.
Valentines Day is of course the day we go all out to show our love for those special people in our lives. But how about making it extra special by not just saying, “I’m thinking of you,” but also “I’m thinking of all our furry and feathered friends” or “I’m thinking of your intolerance for lactose”? Pretty romantic, right? But in all seriousness, a gift from Charm School Chocolates cannot fail to wow. The young, Baltimore-based confectionery makes all of its chocolates without the use of any animal products (and many are even soy-free, as well). Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth, but with a few dietary restrictions as well.