I remember well the days of high school sports when we were each assigned “locker buddies,” responsible for papering a teammate’s locker with encouraging signs on the day of an important game or meet.  I LOVED this tradition and took it very seriously.  Very.  Seriously.  This year – as my Valentine to you- I wanted to capture that same pure spirit of a bubble letter sign screaming “YOU GO GIRL!”  And, in my view, no one does it better than Rihanna in her radio anthem “Shine Bright Like a Diamond.”


So move over Lalaloopsy and Fancy Nancy…make way for the Rihanna inspired Valentine:


I love this playful gesture because it’s current and involves a hefty, four inch faux diamond that would look smashing on your desk or tucked in among other prized possessions on your bookshelf.  But, I also love it because the expression rings true for the many “glittery,” accomplished people in my life and it typifies the type of small gift that I truly enjoy giving.  Often we rack our brains to come up with a fun favor or token that will be “new” and “original” and never before seen at a princess or super hero themed birthday party when, instead, it should really just be a simple or whimsical item that means something to you or your child.  Package it with a little care and a thoughtful note and it’s hard to go wrong.  At a recent birthday party a little girl gave her friends small Barbies with a note reading “You’re a doll!”  You can imagine how well those were received!

Books, balls, towels, wings, wands, hoola hoops and bags of favorite sweets all make wonderful favors — especially when the presentation involves a bit of imagination.  Two resources that I lean on for go-to boxes and bags are 1-800 Gift Box and Clear Bags.  1-800 Gift Box requires minimum orders but the prices are very reasonable and you can stock up on standards like the craft paper boxes that I used for the Rihanna Valentine or these cool jute totes which coordinate with every shade of ribbon, tissue paper or wrap.


For ribbon, try May Arts or Papillon Ribbon.  Papillon stocks my favorite hot pink domino dot grosgrain ribbon that I buy in 100 yard rolls.  It always amazes me how quickly I go though it!


Again, although some of these sites may describe themselves as “wholesale suppliers,” in most cases they will agree to sell to “civilians” if you commit to a minimum order.  Michael’s, Paper Source and The Container Store are also great places for clever trimmings.  Having all of these things within arms reach can help you get creative when it comes to wrapping.

Finally, I am a sucker for stationery and having beautiful gift enclosures at the ready always adds panache.  Letterpress is my particular weakness and -as far as I’m concerned- no one does it better than the northern California based Carrot and Stick Press.  Carrot and Stick turns out heavenly, hand-printed pieces made on antique presses and also offers a retail collection of punchy, graphic note cards.  Find your favorite stationer and load up on whatever it is that strikes your fancy — you’ll always be prepared when you want to channel your inner “locker buddy.”


Happy gifting and Happy Valentine’s Day!   Shine on.




* Diamond paperweights available from Battery Operated Candles.