Looking for Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas?


Hi everyone.. So here we are in February 2016.. the month of love :). Couples all over the world, want to express their love to their partners on Valentine’s day.. some do with expensive gifts (good for their spouses 😉 ), flowers, cards, dinners and what not..  Cheesy ways.. non cheesy ways or both! 😀

For us, February is special but for a different reason..  we got married in this month (No, not on the 14th! That would have been cheesy! ) 12 years back! (Yes, a dozen! – can’t believe it! ).  12 years ago, on Feb 4,2004 we started our journey together.. and like every marriage it has been a roller coaster ride with more ups than down ( Thank God for that!).  I moved to Doha with him and here we are today with 12 years of precious memories in this place we call our home for more than a decade now..

We normally don’t do anything special on Valentine’s day.. nothing against it.. but we feel there are many more ‘significant’ days in our lives which are personal and closer to our hearts.. our wedding anniversary, our birthdays, kids birthdays,etc. etc.  I have nothing against it.. and would love an extra date night on 14th Feb, but its not a must – must celebration that Mr. Incredible would get in trouble for not celebrating…(he would get in deep trouble if it was my birthday or anniversary!!!!).

For us gifts are all about emotional stuff (though I love when I get a nice gift too 😉 ). So last year for our 11th anniversary I was looking for ideas for yet another emotional surprise for him. And I came across these balloons with pictures hanging at the ends.. I totally loved it and HAD to do it! It totally reminded of the Disney movie “Up”. I loved some parts of the movie very much.. the adorable couple, their bond .. (yeah yeah , I know I know.. but I LUVE animated movies). I could see myself and Mr. Incredible lying there and re-living the memories.. so in my head this what I imagined it to be like..

Here’s what I did, for each year we have spent together . I made a picture collage of all the significant milestones of that year. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed doing this! Going through old pictures and memories was so nostalgic.. Our wedding, first home, first car, our first anniversary, holiday trips , family trips, first umrah, first pregnancy, my first mother’s day, our first born Violet , her milestones, her first birthday, her first day of school, the second baby Dash, our third one Jack- Jack (I hardly remember anything between these two births …except for chaos ;)) . It took me a looooooooong time to make these collages because I would spend so much time looking at the pictures!

IMG_1969 b (Large)

Once done, I printed these out, pasted on card stock paper, got 11 balloons and tied the picture collage at the ends.. each balloon represented a year.  Violet was excited to help me and surprise Daddy when he comes back from work..IMG_1967 yester (Large)

He totally loved it!! But we didn’t get to lie down there and look up at these memories how I imagined we would.. because I forgot something very important… the three monkeys!!!! They each grabbed the balloons with their year of birth…(2008, 2012 and 2013 balloons went missing from this arrangement within 5 minutes of surprising Daddy! ) claiming it to be their memory balloon.. and they were right.. their birth was the most significant thing in those three years – in fact in all these 12 years!

But one day, when we have grown old, I would love to recreate this again.. with much much more balloons (InshaAllah), so many that it would make our home fly “Up” in the sky. And probably then we would be able to lie down underneath them and re-live all these memories together..

ellie and carl
Image- Disney Pixar’s Movie “Up”

This idea of memory balloons can be used on birthdays, anniversaries (like I did) , farewell parties, graduation parties etc. etc. And it looks great too! Try it out!

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