Stuff We Like: Sweet Valentines
I have a distinct memory from my middle-school years, circa fifth grade, when Valentine’s Day suddenly took on a whole new meaning. That year, Feb. 14 became much less about pink and red decorations, cupcakes, and cute cards for all your classmates and much more about (gulp) crushes, kisses, and romance. I’m not sure whether this shift is felt universally at the tender age of 10, or if it was the new and (looking back at it now) strange ritual my middle school was pushing: Buy a can of Crush soda for $1 at lunch and have it sent, secret-admirer-style, to the person you had a crush on. As I sat there at lunch, waiting in vain for a can of Crush soda to come my way, my zeal for cupid’s holiday fading to null, I solemnly decided: Valentine’s Day is dumb.
A decade and a half later, though, after a few more disappointing and some not-so-disappointing V-Days, I’ve come to terms with the holiday we love to hate. Really, Feb. 14 is just an excuse to remind the people you love that you love them. Not so bad, right? Here are a few ways to do just that, all of which are way better than a can of Crush:
Say It in Style
For little kids: Peaceable Kingdom’s Scratch & Sniff Valentines ($7 per pack) are sure to be a hit at the class party. Each pack comes with 30 themed cards that can be personalized with one of 50 scratch-and-sniff stickers. Themes include Puppies & Kitties (cherry scented), Peace & Love (strawberry), and Crazy Sports (cinnamon).
For big kids: We love the quirky cards from Brooklyn-based Seltzer ($3.50 each), especially this Sock Pair card that says “I was lost until I found you” (inside reads “We’re the perfect pair”). The cards are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and printed with eco-friendly (veggie-based) inks.
Say It with Sweets
For cookie monsters: Sweet Andy’s Cookies
Andy Terry, a father of five on Long Island, baked his first batch of chocolate-chip cookies after he lost his job and wanted to thank the friends who were helping him and his family get back on their feet. Three years later, you can now order Andy’s cookies by the batch at sweetandyscookies.com ($5.99 per package of 5 cookies). If your love is more adventurous than chocolate chip, try flavors like peanut butter chip, mint chocolate chip, or pumpkin sugar.
Manhattan-based Baked by Melissa has created a variety of limited-edition Valentine’s Day treats. From Feb. 10-14, the special valentine minis will come in three decadent flavors (pictured) – chocolate cake with chocolate icing and heart confetti, red velvet cake with cream cheese icing topped with a heart candy, and red velvet with chocolate icing and a heart candy. Baked by Melissa will also be selling special gift packages of its In Chocolate variety (miniature stuffed cupcakes enrobed in dark chocolate); the In Chocolate 8-Box, featuring chocolate graham, coconut cream, New York cream, strawberry, coffee caramel, birthday cupcake, peanut butter fluff, and sooo baked; and the In Chocolate 3-Box. Prices vary from $1 per cupcake to $10 for special packages. All are available in store, online at bakedbymelissa.com, or by calling 212-842-0220.