i love LOVE *b* list {beckynovacekphotography}


Tom and I just had the best weekend celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary! We spent all weekend together, doing lots of the little things we like to do when we have a day off together. Tom knows me well and pays attention to what I like. He knows that I am not a huge red roses fan, so he typically buys me pink or yellow roses.

M18A3059 I think being able to honor your loves on Valentine’s Day, special occasion or every day is simply a matter of paying attention and being thoughtful. We can all give good gifts, if we pay attention. It’s really not always about how much we spend either. Although if you’re a guy buying for your woman, you may not want to opt for a cheap candy bar and a single rose…unless you’re in grade school. This is not referring to Jamal anyone in particular. Today I want to share a list of simple and not so simple ideas for gifting your loves.

*b* list of love gifts

ideas for the woman in your life:

  • flowers. Always fresh, always what she loves, not necessarily what the florist is suggesting, unless you have a great florist who knows the lady in your life. I pinned this great image and link a couple of weeks ago. GREAT resource!


{pinned with link to source}

Two of my very favorite flowers are featured in this image: ranunculi and peonies. Harder to find, but even more meaningful when you receive them, right? As hard as it is for me to believe, some women don’t like to receive flowers, so make sure you know this about your lady.

  • jewelry. I love to receive flowers, but I’m one of those not so normal women who doesn’t really enjoy receiving expensive jewelry. Now this statement needs a little explanation…I like to receive really special jewelry on occasion, but I don’t like to receive jewelry year after year just because it’s tradition. If Tom had to go out every year and find some special piece of jewelry that I would like (I’m super picky about jewelry), I would guess it would stress him a lot. This may sound crazy, but I love receiving jewelry from my good girlfriends, because many of us like the same jewelry makers and know each other’s taste. I buy jewelry for Donna almost every birthday and I think she likes it because she wears it often. So my suggestion to my friend’s husbands is just to know what she likes. If she loves receiving jewelry from you, you should know it and do it. Also, make sure you know what she has, so you’re not buying something similar to what you’ve already gotten her in the past. That would lose points for sure.
  • candy. It’s my opinion, if you want to give candy to make it very special. If I were a local dude, I would check out The Cordial Cherry. They have some beautiful special options. So if your love is a chocolate or sweets lover, make sure you are giving a quality gift, not a drug store option.
  • plan a date. You know what your love likes, so plan something that will thrill her. Surprise her with a date that involves some planning on your part. For me, the perfect date would be a road trip to some of our favorite antique and thrift shops, and lunch or dinner at a quaint spot (not a franchise). Tom knows this and plans days like this often, not just for special occasions. If you know your love likes to spend the day shopping and loves to have you with her, make the sacrifice and go where she likes to go…not the sporting goods shops (unless that’s her thing). Having a small gift for her to open sometime throughout the day would be nice too.
  • a love letter. Don’t laugh. If you have never written her a love letter or note, do it! Tom doesn’t write me love letters per se, but he does leave me sweet notes. When I got home from a trip about a year ago, he had a welcome home note taped above my computer and I left it up for almost a year!
  • acts of service. If you are a guy and you are reading this, don’t let your mind go where it probably just did : ) If you know that she has wanted you to build her a custom shelving unit, or paint the bedroom, or tear out flooring and replace it, offer to do it without complaint. Or if you know exactly what she wants, take a day off and do it to surprise her.
  • relating to her interests. This is something that is so easy if you pay attention and know what she loves.
  1. If she is a reader, check online and see if she has an Amazon wish list.
  2. If she is a gardener, surprise her with a gift card to her favorite seed catalog or local nursery.
  3. If she loves scrapbooking, pay attention and purchase a gift card to Studio Calico (you would seriously make points with this!).
  4. If she has a favorite custom jewelry maker (like Beth Quinn or Lisa Leonard) order something that will make you look really good.
  5. If she is into photography, surprise her with a new lens (on the high end) or a beautiful camera bag (that she’s pointed out) or a reflector (on the affordable end)
  6. If she is a baker or loves to cook, and she’s pointed out a new knife set or tools that she would be unlikely to buy for herself, go out and get them and have them beautifully wrapped.
  7. If she’s a techie, pay attention to what she talks about wanting to add next or what upgrade she’s jonesin’ for.
  8. If she is a girly girl who enjoys a spa day, go that route.
  9. If she likes the mix of vintage and modern and making your home a delight to live in, order her the new spring issue of Souvenir Magazine (she will be so surprised and impressed!). souvenir-magazine-springcollage3

 She might even see a few images that I may have contributed 🙂

I have so many great ideas for men to buy for their ladies! Not so easy to buy for my man, but I’ll throw out a couple of ideas.

ideas for the man in your life:

  • plan a date. Tom would fall over if I planned a day at the races or a daytrip on the Harley, so planning with your love in mind and not necessarily on something that I would think of for myself. Cooking a favorite meal served by candlelight would be good too.
  • music. This would work equally well for either gender. After the grammys, I have been thinking more about music and how much it adds to our lives. I think a mix of new favorites and/or a mix of older favorite love songs would be a great gift.
  • relating to his interests. This is probably my most common go to for gift buying for Tom.
  1. If he is into his car, bike, or board, go to the local shop and if your man is like mine, they will know what he’s been looking at or for and can help you out. Tom knows everyone at the local Harley shops, so I always easily find help with buying for him…large or small gifts. I just asked Tom while he was home for lunch, what the best gift I ever gave him was and he said it was his ape hangers for his Harley. I just wrapped up a little plastic gorilla and a couple of hangers and let him guess. When we took his bike in to have them put on, I took care of the bill. That was so fun! He says that was the most pleasantly surprised he’s ever been about a gift.
  2. If he is a runner and you know what he likes, buy him new running shorts, socks, and/or shoes.
  3. If he is a clothes horse, buy him a really great tie or shirt. This wouldn’t be for Tom. I bought him three new shirts last week and he definitely appreciated them, but if I had wrapped them up for Valentine’s Day,  I don’t think it would have been a favorite gift. Some guys I know would love this, so just know your man.
  4. If he is a foodie, find a gourmet shop or a restaurant that he’s been wanting to try and plan a date there or purchase a gift card.
  5. If he is an outdoorsman, surprise him with a tent, hiking boots, fishing gear, a canoe or kayak (that would be fun!)
  6. If he is a musician, gift him something musical 🙂
  • gifts of service. Keeping our minds clean, I think being aware of what your man might be feeling depleted about…not enough time alone, not enough time with you, not enough time with his buds, or maybe a neck rub or massage. I know that we as women have a lot of pressure to take care of lots of details in the home and with the children, BUT I think today’s men are expected to do so much too. So I think often times just having the freedom to go and do what they want for a few hours, or maybe just some free time at home, is a good thing.

See, I’m not as good with the ideas for your man. Most of these ideas are gender neutral, but I will say that Tom is such a man’s man, that many of the gender neutral ideas wouldn’t work for him….he would be mortified to receive flowers at work. MORTIFIED. Therefore, I’m reiterating that we all need to really know our beloveds. Listening to what they like and not thinking we know better. The only thing I can think of that I “decided” for Tom, was to buy him an iphone. I knew he would fight it and say he didn’t need it, but I also know him well enough, to know that he would love it once he had it….and he does.

So have fun with all your lovely surprises! Be creative! I still need to get Tom’s gift, but I know what I’m doing, so I have the hardest part done!

God bless your day!

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February 12, 2013 - 3:48 pm

melanie - you are amazing, B. love reading your insightful words always.

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