Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Old Souls

Clara Bow Heart

Clara Bow (

Happy Valentine’s Day, star-crossed lovers!

I have a feeling that some of you, like myself, are last minute Lucys.  So here’s a list of my very best ideas for ole Saint Valentine’s disciples on the fly (and mostly, on the cheap!)

Every town has a musty, building-code-breaking used bookstore.  Raid the literature behind the counter and give some love to the first edition of a great love story.  Sure, you’ll pay a pretty penny for the really great ones (this first edition of The Beautiful and Damned signed by F. Scott Fitzgerald is $7,750), but then again, they were all tragedies anyway.  Pay the troll toll and ask the shopkeeper about a second rate, first edition love story that ends happily ever after.

Signed First Edition The Beautiful and Damned

Signed First Edition The Beautiful and Damned (

Got a gal or guy whose idol is Harry Crane?  Whip up a classic bow tie out of fabric remnants in no time.  Floral, stripes, Winnie-the-Pooh, whatever they’re into can be a decorative piece for their delicate necks.  Mama Martha has a great tutorial on sewing up a traditional bow tie and even includes a printable template.  Click here or on the pic to begin an hour process that will win the heart of a would-be suitor.  Or you may just decide to keep it yourself and pop the champagne in front of the TCM channel.

Bow Tie Girl


Celebrate your gorgeous poisonous love with a forbidden fruit…tree, that is.  Fig trees are easy to maintain, reproduce their bountiful crop every year (in warm climates, year round), and can even survive cold winters provided they have warm summers.  Hmm, sounds like me.  Not to mention figs are accompanying just about every plate in fine dining and farm-to-table restaurants these days.  Head over to your local nursery and show up on her/his doorstep holding a jar of olives and a baby fig tree.  They’ll never receive another gift that keeps on giving as much as the Italian Everbearing Fig Tree.

Italian Everbearing Fig Tree

Italian Everbearing Fig Tree (

Ahh, nothing tugs at the heart strings quite like a slightly out-of-tune sonnet.  Head to your local music/instrument shop and wrestle a secondhand violin or cello out of the associate’s callused hands.  Show up on the doorstep of your object-of-affection and bow the best love song that you can.  Even if it’s only the Barney song.  Then take a bow and hand over the hunk of hollowed wood to the real string instrument aficionado.

Secondhand Violins

Secondhand Violins (

Nothing says pre-loved love like vintage finds from your local Goodwill or thrift store.  Dive in and discover tweed suit jackets, linen pencil skirts, leather or nylon camera bags, Wham! records, an old typewriter or Atari, signed brooches, a matching set of crystal champagne flutes, footed pajamas, silk button-downs, or hand knit cardigans.  They don’t even have to know where it came from if you scratch off the price tag glue.

Vintage Sewing Table

Vintage Sewing Machine (by Anjou - at Salvation Army)

No perfume, and I mean no perfume, has the complexity and headiness of a vintage bottle of Mitsouko or Vent Vert.  It’s a long shot, but head over to higher-end vintage shops, Goodwill Boutiques, or local estate sales and see if you can’t unearth some of Earth’s finest concocted scents.  Read up before you go and make sure you don’t waste your money on anything but pre-reformulated bottles.  I, for one, would keel over in delight if I opened a box with an original blend Mitsouko that was even only 1/4 full.

Vintage Mitsouko Bottle

Vintage Mitsouko Bottle

a very special toujours. always. xo.

Happy Valentine’s, Valentines.


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