Imagine, if you will, Valentine’s Day morning… and it’s quickly dawning on you that you’ve got nothing purchased or planned. Ye gads! Zut alors!
We’ve all been this person at one point or another. But fear not—for the gift giving experts at CIRA have just the thing to take this sad song and make it better.
We’ve put together—queue the confetti cannon—a complete Valentine’s Day with .CA!
That’s right—we’ll walk you through an entire, fun-filled day—from breakfast in bed to post-dinner bevvies—and provide plenty of sensuous, scrumptious and surprising Canadian gift recommendations along the way.
Start with breakfast in bed for your valentine.
You know how they always say, “you shouldn’t skip breakfast.” Well, it’s especially true on days like this!
Brew up a robust Brazilian coffee from Rogue Wave Coffee. They’re an independent, Edmonton-based roaster that ethically sources some of the boldest beans from all corners of the globe.
As you get the coffee going—and the aromas flowing—why not whip up a stack of fluffy pancakes? Just be sure to skip the table syrup and go with a bold, flavour-packed, single-batch Muskoka maple syrup from Maple Bluff Farm.
Next—throw together a quick and tasty yogurt granola bowl topped with raw, organic, flavour-infused honey from Chandler Honey. Heck, they were even nice enough to provide this killer clementine and mocha granola recipe for you to try.
Once you’ve polished off the granola, boost your body and mind for the day ahead with a delicious turmeric-based elixir from Moonshine Mama’s.
Show the love with a heartfelt .CA gift.
We’re a group of old-school romantics here at CIRA. So, as your Valentine’s breakfast digests, take a look at this small tasting menu of classic, can’t-miss, .CA gifts guaranteed to show the love!
It all starts with a great card. If your crafting skills aren’t quite up to snuff, there’s Press Land General! Scoop up one of their whimsical, colourful cards and strike the right goofy-but-romantic tone.
Okay—now, what screams “Valentine’s Day” more than a decadent box of chocolates? Especially one from Raven Rising. This indigenous-owned chocolatier uses traditional, organic fair-trade ingredients to create miniature, melt-in-your mouth masterpieces.
Another sure-fire valentine-pleaser? A slick, solar-powered watch from Solios. Not only are they beautifully minimalist in design, but they’re made sustainably with recycled aluminum and vegan leather. Plus—solar power means your watch will go the distance from date-morning to date-night.
Pro tip: Take advantage of Solios’ Valentine’s Day offer and add a personalized engraving for a sentimental touch.
Make it a day to remember…with a dash of adventure!
Sure—“adventure” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Though having fun doesn’t always need to involve hunting for lost Incan gold in a booby-trap laden temple. In fact, our lawyers tell us that we can’t promote anything TOO extreme.
But here are a few (safe, but fun) ideas that’ll make for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.
What about a day of tree climbing and zip-lining in the Laurentians? If heights aren’t your thing, there’s always laser tag—or maybe even a racetrack session behind the wheel of a Lamborghini! Through Giftjoy, you can pick and choose from a wide range of adventures and experiences—from the mild and mellow—to the wild.
Speaking of wild—there’s nothing quite like getting off the grid for some unplugged, together-time in the woods. If a hike or cozy camping weekend is in the cards, stock up on rugged, compact outdoor gear from VSSL. You’ll find everything from survival gear essentials to high-quality coffee grinders for those that can’t go anywhere without a good brew.
For a more soulful, stay-at-home experience, pick up a luxurious, sustainably sourced cork yoga mat from Zenful Yoga and have yourself a restorative yoga session.
Once you’ve achieved inner peace, snuggle in on the couch for a movie marathon ("The Notebook", anyone?) and dig in to gourmet, farm-fresh popcorn from Cornpopper.ca. It’s movie-theatre quality kernels or bust, as far as we’re concerned.
Settle in for some self-care.
Now we’ve arrived at the “post-adventure” part of the day where it’s time to relax and unwind with some good old-fashioned pampering. Bonus: any of these ideas can be enjoyed solo—‘cause hey—sometimes, you’ve got to be your own best Valentine, right?
Start with a soothing bath and let any angst melt away. Cold-pressed, small-batch soaps from Soaps & Such will leave your skin feeling nourished and silky smooth.
Climb out of the tub and spoil yourself with some rejuvenating skincare from Stoic Beauty. Their cosmetics are free of harmful chemicals or synthetic scents—so you only apply pure goodness.
Get comfy and curl up with a new read from Ink Drinker’s Booktique. They painstakingly hand-pick every pre-loved selection in their online store, so there’s bound to be something that stirs your soul.
And if your Valentine’s experience has been—shall we say—less than great as of late. The gift box gurus at Crying Out Loud also offer a thoughtful “Healing Heartbreak” care package with all the essentials—chocolate, bath bombs and more—to help you over an emotional hump (or two).
Sip on a good, stiff drink to cap off the night.
You’ve breakfasted, gifted, adventured and self-cared. But a proper Valentine’s Day with .CA isn’t complete without a nightcap!
Dim the lights, put on the Barry White and pour a stiff drink or two to end your night.
Transport your tastebuds to BC’s famed Okanagan Valley, with a one-of-a-kind wine from Sandhill! Every bottle is made from grapes that come from one of their six vineyards—each with unique flavour characteristics.
Enjoy a smooth, Valentine’s-appropriate beer from Ottawa Valley’s Whitewater Brewing Company. Their Hazel Amour is a chocolate hazelnut stout that’s pretty much coziness in a can!
If ciders are more your thing, check out Revel Cider—whose motto, by the way, is “Fruits, flowers and feelings.” They produce lively, refreshing, small-batch ciders from naturally-fermented, farm-foraged fruits. A brilliant beverage for the most romantic day of the year, no?
Up for a little mixology to close out Valentine’s Day? Create your own custom drinks using high-quality flavours and ingredients from La Botanique Cocktail. Here’s their excellent recipes page, for a little inspo to get you started!
No matter which way you go with your gift giving, we think that .CA is the way to show all the special people in your life (and your local makers) just how much you appreciate them. For even more excellent gift ideas, hop over to our complete small business gift guide.