Heart Cookie Cutters for Valentine’s Day Treats

heart-cookie-cuttersIf you’re racking your brains to come up with fun Valentine’s gifts for your kids to take to school, there’s an easy and fun solution. Bake your own!

The kids will have fun baking them, even more decorating them and their friends will enjoy eating them too. Plenty of mess but no waste!

These cookie cutters are a great investment as you can use them for all sorts of baking all year round: for birthday parties and anniversaries too.

Here’s a cookie recipe to go with the cookie cutters that is easy and delicious, plain enough to smother with frosting but tasty enough to eat plain for adults with a less than sweet tooth.

Ateco Graduated Heart Cookie Cutters, Set of 6 currently cost $10.26 from Amazon.

Romantic Raw Chocolate Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Golden-Spiral-Sacred-Heart-BarsIf your love is a vegan, a raw food health guru or organic devotee with a secret passion for chocolate, this is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day!

Sacred Chocolate hearts are made from the purest raw chocolate, sweetened with healthy alternatives to cane sugar and retain all the super-food nutrients of cocoa. They come in a whole range of flavour varieties, each one hand-poured and hand-wrapped. The chocolate hearts aren’t huge, only 1.44oz each, but well worth it for a burst of pure chocolate guilt-free goodness!

I can’t think of a better gift for a romantic chocoholic – these certainly beat your average heart shaped box of ordinary candy hands down!
Raw Sacred Chocolate Amazonian Heart (1.44oz)available at $7.99 from Amazon, or order direct from Sacred Chocolate themselves.

Here’s a detailed review of the chocolate hearts if you want to know how the chocolate is packed for delivery and all the gen on the raw chocolate and health benefits.

wooden heart buttons with flower patterns

Flowery Wooden Heart Buttons

wooden heart buttons with flower patternsThese wooden heart buttons are so pretty that I’d be tempted not to use them for sewing at all, but to frame them exactly as they are.

Or use them as decorations rather than buttons or part of an embroidery project. Let them start off a creative impulse of a flowery variety. Off course they would also look great as part of a sewing project.

There are 20 buttons in the set, in a random mix of colourful flower designs each measuring about 17mm or 2/3 inch across.

They are for sale on Etsy by Rainbow Lollies for $5.50 the set.

Heartfelt- heart decorations

Felt Heart Decorations from South Africa

Heartfelt- heart decorationsSimple, elegant, bright and cheerful these heart decorations are exactly what I’d make myself for a friend’s Christmas present. Hand-made by the ladies of the Heartfelt project, they are full of love, just as if you’d made them yourself  – giving the extra the joy of a hand-made gift.

To tell the truth, I’m a little nose out of joint here, as Heartfelt was the name I’d picked in the unlikely event that I actually got around to creating a business out of my own felt sewing projects. I never did and they have, so I wish them very well with their initiative and am glad that they have so many lovely products to be worthy of such a brilliant name!

Heartfelt are a community initiative in South Africa, creating employment in a poor rural area and bringing new skills to the community. They create all sorts of felt products besides these (think magnets, keyrings, toys and mobiles) so go and browse for inspiration if you are looking for a special and individual gift. The website has a proper shopping cart and converts prices into several international currencies, so makes online shopping very easy – a welcome change from so many small sites and a sign of an efficient business!

These felt heart decorations cost R29 (about $3.50)

Hand-Painted Metal Heart Decoration

painted metal heart from IndiaI love finding unusual hand-made heart decorations and this one is a definite for my collection: bright colours, delicate detail and a lovely design that looks almost like embroidery. It measures 10cm (approx 4inches) across and is available in assorted colours and designs .

The painted heart comes from India, supplied by Fairtrade organisation The Little Feet Company. They donate 30% of their profits to social projects and orphanages in Central Vietnam and have strong links with that country. They are a UK-based website but have very reasonable postage rates worldwide.

This painted metal heart costs £5.00 (approx $8) from The Little Feet Company.

Hand-painted Kenyan Soapstone Hearts

Orange soapstone heart from KenyaThese funky soapstone hearts comes in several cheerful colours and designs.Sizes range from 1″ for the minis to 4″ for the large paperweights.

They are carved and painted by Kenyan men and women in a Fairtrade project that creates employment for around 800 families in rural Kenya. Soapstone is an amazing renewable resource when properly managed. It is hand-dug from pits where it naturally occurs. The pits are refilled after excavation and then left for 5-10 years when the soapstone reforms itself. The land is owned by the local people who work the soapstone and manage the land so that it stays in good condition. Mini soapstone hearts

And from all that sustainable care come these beautiful hearts: great gifts for the eco-conscious romantic in your life.

These soapstone  hearts are sold through One World Projects and cost from $6 to$12 according to size.

Darth Vader Heart Chocolate Box

darth vader heart chocolate boxI had to include this heart chocolate box just because it is so bizarre. Hearts are all about romance, so how on earth does Darth Vader get to be cover boy on a box of Valentine’s day chocs?!

Darth Vader and romance are about as diametrically opposite as you can get – big scary bloke in black armor with a serious breathing problem, endangering all the good guys in the galaxy… not my first choice in romantic icons!

So if you are into major irony and/or your guy or gal is a huge Star Wars fan this could be the perfect gift, but otherwise I’d run a mile!

If you are tempted though, the Star Wars Darth Vader Collector Valentines Day Heart Box Caramel Chocolate costs $9.95 from Amazon.

Updated for Valentine’s Day 2014:

This is the latest Darth Vader chocolate offering this year – I don’t like it as much as the previous version, but for an ardent Star Wars fan, you might as well go for it!!

Fairy Heart Chime

fairy heart chimeSimple heart shape and smooth stainless steel, this looks like one of those feel good toys that would appeal to adults as well as kids. It’s aimed at little girls who believe in fairies I think, perhaps to emulate Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, but I could imagine it going down well with bigger girls too just as a beautiful toy.

There are no reviews that describe the sound of the chime, which makes it difficult to assess on sound appeal, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a little gift to please a young daughter or niece, or a special stocking filler.fairy heart chime

Fairy Heart Chime costs $9.98 from HearthSong via Amazon.

Mexican Tin Heart Ornament

Mexican tin heart ornamentGorgeous and gaudy, these hand-made and hand-painted tin heart ornaments and plaques are a great way to add colour to your home. I love the energy of the bright colours and the fact that each one is slightly different, as they are all hand made by artists in Oaxaca in Mexico.

There are a wide variety of wall plaques and smaller tin heart ornaments too, which would be great to decorate Christmas trees.  They are bought directly from the artists and imported by Phil Saviano  at his website Viva Oaxaco Folk Art, based in Boston.

The tin heart plaque pictured measures 7” tall and costs $5.79.

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