Weekly Feature

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Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
Romantic movies can captivate everyone, from weepy women to tough guys. Today we take a look at the most memorable romantic movies, lists made by some venerable film organizations, and multimedia to engage your softest side — or just make you laugh.

The Gift of Song

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Mix CDs are great for anyone with a CD player or computer, but they remain a favorite mostly with the generation that grew up with Napster. But Mix CDs are a personal and long-lasting gift idea, especially with the Web involved: there are sites that help you make mix CDs, understand the “art” of the mix, and take advantage of catalogued mixes that other users have submitted, so you can borrow others’ mix ingenuity, in case you run out of song ideas.
High Fidelity, the novel by Nick Hornby, made into a movie with John Cusack, has as its centerpiece the mix tape, now a dying breed (though, naturally, it still has a fan calling online.
The joy of mix tapes, adopted by many mix CD makers, is in the order, theme, and reasoning behind each choice. Each can be clearly indicated to the receiver of the mix: create a CD inlay with lyrics or other interesting information about each song; order the songs in a way that tells a story; and even decorate the CD with free software like CDCoverCreator (for PCs) or ClickBook (for Macs).
Better yet, write your own love song. You can download a trial of music-making software like GarageBand, part of Apple’s iLife software package, and use built-in instruments and your computer’s microphone to record a romantic ditty—or a comedic one. Don’t rule out comedy on Valentine’s Day.

Home Delivery

Another way to spruce up Valentine’s Day is to create a lavish experience—a meal, a dance, or a night at the opera—in your own home. Below are a few ideas for the big day that might be particularly popular with women. And check out the section below that for gift ideas to please the forgotten gift givers of the 14th: men!
The opera: one of the most expensive and longest nights out. But it’s also one of the most traditional, luxurious, and memorable. The sheer power of the opera singer makes the experience hard to rival with a stereo or headphones. But if you can’t make it to the house, take advantage of the vast number of opera films that have been produced. Create an intimate, candlelit environment in your home, flip on the DVD player, and even dress up for the occasion.

By Candlelight

Valentine’s Day dinners remain the most popular choice for wooing a loved one, especially if a proposal of marriage is the goal of the evening. Several popular food Web sites cater to this trend with special Valentine’s Day dinner and dessert ideas. Try the Food Network’s five dinners for two, or this heart-healthy dinner idea from MedicineNet. For vegan lovers, the food blog Vegalicious has a few heart-shaped specials for dinner and dessert.
And About.com informs us that it isn’t so hard to make homemade truffles, after all. Check out About’s recipe, with pictures, here. iFood.tv, featuring solely cooking videos, also has a good truffle recipe, and an index that lets you know how healthy each of the site’s recipes are.

Lonely Hearts with a Purpose

Alternatively, get a friend a basket of Valentine’s-themed products from a cosmetic line like Lush, maker of fresh, homemade cosmetics and toiletries, or Sephora.

Ban the Gift Card

Love in the Wintertime

Flower Power

For quick deliverables, visit national flower delivery services like ProFlowers, FTD, which offers flowers by Vera Wang, and the old favorite, 1800Flowers.com.
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