Lovely Links

Oh, how bitter I used to be about Valentine’s Day! Less bitter than I was in the old days, I’ve learned not to wait for someone else to give me what I want or need. It’s important to have pretty, delicious things in life, otherwise we STAY bitter, I think.

Here are a few links to neat items for you, a loved one, or a mom you know, for Valentine’s Day, any other occasion, or to create your own:

Rogue Chocolatier chocolates: Artisan chocolates created from bean to bar in micro-batches in NE Minneapolis. On sale at local shops such as Surdyk’s.

Chocolat Celeste: Truly beautiful chocolates crafted in St. Paul, MN.

Legacy Chocolates: Treasures from neighboring Wisconsin. Try their Potion 9 chocolate sauce over Sonny’s vanilla ice cream. Divine.

B.T. McElrath chocolates: I can’t pick one flavor to recommend: passionfruit, cinnamon/star anise, green tea, dark chocolate truffles. All are eye-rollingly good.

Pretty flowers. No need to buy for Valentine’s Day, when it will cost extra. When you do though, skip the cheap stuff: mums, daisies, carnations, baby’s breath, ferns. Go for just a few beautiful striking blooms, instead.

Bags! I’m going to venture outside of the Twin Cities and recommend Queen Bee Creations in Seattle, carried by Dabble in NE Minneapolis, among other stores. Super cute, well-made non-leather bags, wallets and accessories. Bonus, they just created stylish bike panniers that also have a strap for shoulder carrying!

Local jewelry! Northeast’s Dabble also carries a good selection of locally crafted jewelry, like the lovely, affordable items from Gazelle Beads that I can’t stop buying as gifts.

Shoes! I don’t know anyone who’d turn down a new pair of shoes. Something fancy and impractical, like strappy designer heels from Nordstrom Rack. Or warm, stylish boots to perk up the tail end of winter from Red Wing boots in Minnesota.

Use your imagination. No need to go for broke, especially in this economy; often the lovely little gifts are remembered most.

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