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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

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Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday -- I start thinking about the holiday and the gifts I am going to give far in advance. On past Valentine's Days, I have given cashmere socks, books, perfume, ties, scarves and mittens, instead of the traditional box of chocolates.

Here are some non-traditional Valentine's Day gifts that would be perfect to give to your loved ones...

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Martha Stewart bejeweled Valentine's Day box craft (marthastewart.com)

1 Martha Stewart bejeweled Valentine's Day box craft (marthastewart.com)

Jewelry box for semiprecious candies. (marthastewart.com)

2 Jewelry box for semiprecious candies. (marthastewart.com)

Colorfully-packaged The O Dor tea (grouptheodor.com)

3 Colorfully-packaged The O Dor tea (grouptheodor.com)

Yedi Houseware Inside Out Heart Teacups (yedihouseware.com)
(photograph by Gregor Halenda)

4 Yedi Houseware Inside Out Heart Teacups (yedihouseware.com) (photograph by Gregor Halenda)

Stephanie Johnson Mumbai Buff iPad case. (stephaniejohnson.com)

5 Stephanie Johnson Mumbai Buff iPad case. (stephaniejohnson.com)

Stephanie Johnson Mumbai Coral iPad case. (stephaniejohnson.com)

6 Stephanie Johnson Mumbai Coral iPad case. (stephaniejohnson.com)

Stephanie Johnson Mumbai Turqoise iPad case. (stephaniejohnson.com)

7 Stephanie Johnson Mumbai Turqoise iPad case. (stephaniejohnson.com)

AVF Acrylic Treasure Boxes (alexandravonfurstenberg.com)

8 AVF Acrylic Treasure Boxes (alexandravonfurstenberg.com)

L-O-V-E pillow (gumps.com)

9 L-O-V-E pillow (gumps.com)

Pink heart sunglasses case (jonathanadler.com)

10 Pink heart sunglasses case (jonathanadler.com)

A Jonathan Adler

11 A Jonathan Adler "Lust" pillow. (jonathanadler.com)

From the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's -- a red enameled cast iron round pot. (macys.com)

12 From the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's -- a red enameled cast iron round pot. (macys.com)

Thomas Pink's pink Abson Herringbone Boxer Shorts. (thomaspink.com)

13 Thomas Pink's pink Abson Herringbone Boxer Shorts. (thomaspink.com)

John Derian Decoupage Tray (johnderian.com)

14 John Derian Decoupage Tray (johnderian.com)

John Derian

15 John Derian "Single" decoupage tray (johnderian.com)

16 "Cartier I Love You" book with photographs by Bruce Weber (amazon.com)

Lace Picture Frame Mat (marthastewart.com)

17 Lace Picture Frame Mat (marthastewart.com)

Heart-shaped African Violets (marthastewart.com)

18 Heart-shaped African Violets (marthastewart.com)

C de Cartier Rose Gold Lighter (cartier.com)

19 C de Cartier Rose Gold Lighter (cartier.com)

Papabubbleny.com candy -- I used this in my February 2011 Valentine's Day column in Martha Stewart Living.

20 Papabubbleny.com candy -- I used this in my February 2011 Valentine's Day column in Martha Stewart Living.

Another product featured in this month's magazine -- tasteofparis.us.

21 Another product featured in this month's magazine -- tasteofparis.us.

From michaels.com -- a beautiful gift for Valentine's Day.

22 From michaels.com -- a beautiful gift for Valentine's Day.

A satin eye mask from themonogramstudio.com.

23 A satin eye mask from themonogramstudio.com.

Gorgeous candles from vieluxenyc.com.

24 Gorgeous candles from vieluxenyc.com.

This February in Martha Stewart Living, I came up with a creative gift that I was able to assemble myself. Take a look at my Valentine gifts for 2011.

martha_stewart_valentines_day_gift_ideas_tie

Want more great Valentine's Day card and gift ideas? Check out more Martha Stewart sweet ideas for February 14.

Chic and Clever Valentine Card Ideas

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Valentine's Day is only a week away, and now is the time to start sending out your Valentine's Day cards to friends and family. It doesn't matter how you are sending your holiday cards, as long as they are beautiful and fun.

Now you can go green by choosing e-cards (Paperless Post has a fabulous selection) or take the traditional approach and mail-out stylish cards from iconic stationers like Crane & Co. or Mrs. John L. Strong.

Take a look at my top picks for chic Valentine's Day cards in 2011...

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A closer look at a card from Mrs. John L. Strong.

1 A closer look at a card from Mrs. John L. Strong.

Mrs. John L. Strong has such chic Valentine's Day cards -- the

2 Mrs. John L. Strong has such chic Valentine's Day cards -- the "I Only Have Eyes For You" card is placed in a gorgeous envelope that has a festive red interior.

A simple and elegant Valentine's Day card from Crane & Co.

3 A simple and elegant Valentine's Day card from Crane & Co.

Another festive Valentine's Day card from Crane & Co.

4 Another festive Valentine's Day card from Crane & Co.

The classic?

5 The classic?"XO" sign on a Crane & Co. card.

Paperless Post has chic cards and is a great way to send go-green cards for Valentine's Day.

6 Paperless Post has chic cards and is a great way to send go-green cards for Valentine's Day.

Another Paperless Post Valentine's -- this is such a fun '80s inspired card.

7 Another Paperless Post Valentine's -- this is such a fun '80s inspired card.

8 "Our Love Is Here to Stay." A Paperless Post Valentine's Day card.

This Paperless Post's card has chic text.

9 This Paperless Post's card has chic text.

A Martha Stewart card that is very easy to make and has a non-traditional look that your Valentine will love.

10 A Martha Stewart card that is very easy to make and has a non-traditional look that your Valentine will love.

A small and glamorous gift to give to friends for Valentine's Day (pens from Iomoi).

11 A small and glamorous gift to give to friends for Valentine's Day (pens from Iomoi).

Instead of sending friends and family an ordinary box of chocolates, put small secret messages that will be discovered under the sweets.

12 Instead of sending friends and family an ordinary box of chocolates, put small secret messages that will be discovered under the sweets.

Candy buttons cut in the shape of a heart will fit perfectly in an envelope.

13 Candy buttons cut in the shape of a heart will fit perfectly in an envelope.

These small but chic button-heart cuff links are easy to send to a Valentine.

14 These small but chic button-heart cuff links are easy to send to a Valentine.

A small box of matches from Iomoi for Valentine's Day is an unexpected yet creative gift.

15 A small box of matches from Iomoi for Valentine's Day is an unexpected yet creative gift.

A Mirror Button from Johnderian.com.

16 A Mirror Button from Johnderian.com.

My colleague, Emily, made these gorgeous cards. I purchased them at the Martha Stewart Craft Fair a few months ago.

17 My colleague, Emily, made these gorgeous cards. I purchased them at the Martha Stewart Craft Fair a few months ago.

martha stewart valentines day

Want more great Valentine's Day card and gift ideas? Check out my colleagues' sweet ideas for February 14.


Perfect Roses For Valentine's Day

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I know it's still January, but when I went to A Rose By Harvest's showcase of their 2011 rose collection I couldn't help but get excited for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday.

The shop is designed as a walk-in refrigerator and it is usually a cool 40-43 degrees Fahrenheit -- but for the showcase the temperature is set at 62 degrees Fahrenheit in order to encourage the roses  to open.  Managing Director of Wholesale Floral Inc., Natan Alpert, says it's so rare and very exciting to see the roses in full bloom around the store.

The colors of the flowers and the different shapes of the rose petals are unbelievable and varied. Over 98 percent of the roses come from Ecuador and the rest come from Japan. A display of 35  roses on a table in the back of the store are labeled by number and the shop is asking for customers' opinions on the different flowers. Before the growers decide to harvest large amounts of a specific rose they want to see which would be popular and best to sell. It can take years to plant and grow roses -- so it is important for the growers to know what rose people prefer.

Even though there are a couple dozens types of roses at the showcase that are not yet available for purchase, there are hundreds of other varieties available at A Rose By Harvest.

I hope you enjoy my photographs of the second day of the showcase...

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I love the colors of these roses. There are hundreds of varieties of roses at A Rose By Harvest in New York City.

1 I love the colors of these roses. There are hundreds of varieties of roses at A Rose By Harvest in New York City.

Take a look at the long stems on these roses! They are almost as tall as Blog Editor Cayla Rasi (she is 5'3

2 Take a look at the long stems on these roses! They are almost as tall as Blog Editor Cayla Rasi (she is 5'3").

The showcase of the 2011 rose collection at A Rose By Harvest displayed their roses almost at full-bloom.

3 The showcase of the 2011 rose collection at A Rose By Harvest displayed their roses almost at full-bloom.

Today (Wednesday January 12, 2011) is the last day for the showcase -- the roses will be even more open than when I saw them on Tuesday.

4 Today (Wednesday January 12, 2011) is the last day for the showcase -- the roses will be even more open than when I saw them on Tuesday.

On a table at he back of the shop is a display of roses that are not available yet at the store.

5 On a table at he back of the shop is a display of roses that are not available yet at the store.

These roses on the back table are numbered and you are able to rate the roses and tell the rose distributors what you think about their flowers.

6 These roses on the back table are numbered and you are able to rate the roses and tell the rose distributors what you think about their flowers.

The reason why you can not buy these flowers yet is because they have not yet been produced in mass amount and the distributors are trying to decide if the flowers would be liked or disliked by rose-buyers.

7 The reason why you can not buy these flowers yet is because they have not yet been produced in mass amount and the distributors are trying to decide if the flowers would be liked or disliked by rose-buyers.

The roses on the table are so unique.

8 The roses on the table are so unique.

A rose that is not yet available in the store. You can see it on display today (Wednesday January 11, 2011) in the shop.

9 A rose that is not yet available in the store. You can see it on display today (Wednesday January 11, 2011) in the shop.

Take a look at how perfect the petals are.

10 Take a look at how perfect the petals are.

This rose is called

11 This rose is called "Snow Ball" and it is available in the shop.

These roses are called

12 These roses are called "Amaretto" and they have beautiful rippled-looking petals.

13 "Combo" is what these gorgeous yellow roses are called.

Look at the unique way these flower petals look when the rose opens.

14 Look at the unique way these flower petals look when the rose opens.

I love the multi-colored roses that are found throughout the shop. These do not have a specific name yet, for now they are called

15 I love the multi-colored roses that are found throughout the shop. These do not have a specific name yet, for now they are called "Hay 2003." Some flowers are so new they have not yet been named.

16 "Dovo Verde" is the name of these beautiful roses.

A close-up picture of

17 A close-up picture of "Dovo Verde."

These

18 These "Purple Haze" roses are gorgeous! I love the way these flowers have opened.

A closer look at

19 A closer look at "Purple Haze."

This beautiful rose is called

20 This beautiful rose is called "Maria Theresa." Take a look at how these flowers have opened.

A selection of roses in the store.

21 A selection of roses in the store.

The flowers are usually kept in the store that is cool and kept at about 40 degrees fahrenheit. For the flower show the shop has a warmer temperature, 62 degrees fahrenheit -- which helps the flowers open.

22 The flowers are usually kept in the store that is cool and kept at about 40 degrees fahrenheit. For the flower show the shop has a warmer temperature, 62 degrees fahrenheit -- which helps the flowers open.

23 "Prince Jardinier" roses -- Jardinier means gardener in French.

A close-up of

24 A close-up of "Prince Jardinier."

Freeze-dried roses are displayed out of their box for the event.

25 Freeze-dried roses are displayed out of their box for the event.

You can wire freeze-dried roses into your arrangements and they last a few weeks!

26 You can wire freeze-dried roses into your arrangements and they last a few weeks!

More freeze-dried roses.

27 More freeze-dried roses.

The display is on the stairs at the front of the shop.

28 The display is on the stairs at the front of the shop.

The display is on both sides of the main door to the store.

29 The display is on both sides of the main door to the store.

These roses are called

30 These roses are called "Ritz."

The entire store is a walk-in refrigerator and has hundreds of varieties of roses.

31 The entire store is a walk-in refrigerator and has hundreds of varieties of roses.

A display of flowers.

32 A display of flowers.

These roses are called

33 These roses are called "Zazu."

The company has been open since 1997 and originally had 5 different refrigerated trucks that went to several locations including Connecticut, New Jersey, and The Hamptons.

34 The company has been open since 1997 and originally had 5 different refrigerated trucks that went to several locations including Connecticut, New Jersey, and The Hamptons.

These roses are called

35 These roses are called "Big Apple."

36 "Lady Moon" is the name of these roses. I love how all of the roses are blooming.

A close-up picture of

37 A close-up picture of "Lady Moon."

I love seeing gorgeous roses that are multi-colored.

38 I love seeing gorgeous roses that are multi-colored.

39 "Twilight" is the name of these roses.

The rose's name,

40 The rose's name, "Orangina," is fitting. I love the color, it reminds me of my Hermes boxes in my bathroom.

This rose is called

41 This rose is called "Dutchie." I love how silky these petals look at the store -- and even in this photograph!

These roses are called

42 These roses are called "Chillis."

Gorgeous! These are called

43 Gorgeous! These are called "Wham."

The middle flower in this photograph is practically flawless. That type of rose is called

44 The middle flower in this photograph is practically flawless. That type of rose is called "Wanda."

A variety of flowers that you can purchase at the shop.

45 A variety of flowers that you can purchase at the shop.

46 "Fado," the rose pictured here, is an elegant shade of pink.

47 "Cumbia" is the name of the roses photographed here.

98 perfect of the roses in the shop are from Ecuador, other roses are brought in from Japan.

48 98 perfect of the roses in the shop are from Ecuador, other roses are brought in from Japan.

A flower that is not available yet in the shop.

49 A flower that is not available yet in the shop.

Another flower that isn't available yet. I love the shape of the petals!

50 Another flower that isn't available yet. I love the shape of the petals!

Again, roses that are not available yet. The price of the roses that are available range from 65 cents to $3 a stem.

51 Again, roses that are not available yet. The price of the roses that are available range from 65 cents to $3 a stem.

With the temperature raised in the store, the roses are able to open must faster. I love the way this rose's petals fold and take shape in the center.

52 With the temperature raised in the store, the roses are able to open must faster. I love the way this rose's petals fold and take shape in the center.

This rose is called

53 This rose is called "Piano." The way the petals lay is so beautiful. I love the way they fold inside one another.

A large selection of different types of yellow roses.

54 A large selection of different types of yellow roses.

These roses are not named yet, so their temporary name is

55 These roses are not named yet, so their temporary name is "Hay 2019."

A picture of the shop. Anyone can stop by to see their showcase of their 2011 rose collection  -- the last day is today (Wednesday January 12, 2011).

56 A picture of the shop. Anyone can stop by to see their showcase of their 2011 rose collection -- the last day is today (Wednesday January 12, 2011).

A close look at a row of roses.

57 A close look at a row of roses.

I can't believe how gorgeous this rose is, and I love the name ...

58 I can't believe how gorgeous this rose is, and I love the name ... "Miss Piggy."

I love the bicolored roses that you can find throughout the store. This one is called

59 I love the bicolored roses that you can find throughout the store. This one is called "Crazy One."

Another bicolored rose called

60 Another bicolored rose called "Fiesta."

A rose called

61 A rose called "Sweetness."

62 "La Belle" -- the name of a gorgeous bicolored rose at A Rose By Harvest.

These roses are really blooming! These roses are called

63 These roses are really blooming! These roses are called "Esperance."

These roses --

64 These roses -- "Silverstone" -- have a color between silver, grey, and purple.

This rose,

65 This rose, "Darcy," has petals folded so elegantly.

66 "La Lampanella" has a fantastic color and I love the shape of the petals.

I love that these petals have a little bit of bicoloring to them.

67 I love that these petals have a little bit of bicoloring to them.

These roses are available for purchase at the store.

68 These roses are available for purchase at the store.

This beautiful rose looks like the petals are made of velvet.

69 This beautiful rose looks like the petals are made of velvet.

70 "Black Baccara" roses displayed at the back of the store.

These roses are not named yet.

71 These roses are not named yet.

There's nothing better to give on Valentines Day than red roses.

72 There's nothing better to give on Valentines Day than red roses.

More perfect roses.

73 More perfect roses.

Another flawless rose called

74 Another flawless rose called "Black Magic."

The showcase started on Monday January 10 and the last day is today (Wednesday January 12) -- if you live in the New York City area, you must see the gorgeous display of fully bloomed roses.