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beyond hearts & flowers
7 better ways to say "I Love You"
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1. Craft a Valentine Remember those elementary school days of happily cutting out construction paper hearts, decorating them with sparkles and marker and lacy doily frills? Time to revive that tradition and make your honey a homemade Valentine. If your tastes have evolved beyond construction paper and glitter, go to an art store, craft store or specialty paper shop for inspiration. Have fun with fancy art papers – earthy, nubbly Thai papers; delicate, translucent Japanese papers; homemade papers embedded with pressed rose petals – and collage your valentine card. Get 3-D using flexible craft foam, or embroider a simple message onto a felt heart.

2. Write a love letter The other day, I was re-organizing my file cabinets and stumbled across a folder of old love letters that my boyfriend had written to me at various points in time when we weren’t fortunate enough to be living in the same house, the same town, at times, even the same country. It made me realize that perhaps the only thing I miss from those long-distance-relationship days is walking to my mailbox, and finding one of those letters waiting for me. Now, writing a love letter isn’t for everyone … it’s a scary, scary act, committing your deepest, sappiest feelings to paper, to be preserved for all eternity, so give this gift with caution. I wouldn’t, for instance, recommend choosing a love letter as the first place to reveal to a person that you’re in love with them – it’s just a little too much, you know? But if you’ve been together for ages, said so many I love yous that they’re starting to lose their impact, a love letter – handwritten, on nice stationery – is guaranteed to bring the "awwwwww" back into your relationship. And by all means, do send it by post … after all, who doesn’t appreciate getting real mail for a change?

3. Put together a photo album Start from when you met, to where you are today. Include all those little mementos that you’ve saved up along with the photographs – ticket stubs, love notes, that paper placemat you swiped from the Chinese restaurant where you had your first date. Reminisce while you flip through the scrapbook together.

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