A Little Romance: Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Movies

Valentine’s Day has been a day for romance for hundreds of years. But in the middle of February, when the snow is piling up and it’s too cold to go outside, it’s hard to get in the mood for love. If you need a little inspiration for the big day, Hollywood has something to motivate you to make this a fabulous Valentine’s Day. Here are some of our favorite Valentine’s Day movies.

The Notebook Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook tells the story of a young couple in 1940 torn apart by family disapproval and war. But even with everything working against them, their love doesn’t die.

Dirty Dancing Set in 1963, Dirty Dancing is coming-of-age drama follows a privileged teenage girl’s relationship with a dance instructor she meets during her family’s summer vacation. With different backgrounds, they find common ground and love through dancing.

Somewhere in Time Somewhere in Time is just short of being a sci-fi romance. Christopher Reeve plays a young playwright who, plagued with writer’s block, travels back in time through self-hypnosis to meet an actress he crossed paths with as an elderly woman at his first play. What he didn’t expect is that he would fall in love with the elderly woman sixty years earlier.

An Affair to Remember Fate is a complicated thing in this 1957 film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. A playboy and a singer meet on a cruise ship and fall in love—despite the fact they both are engaged to other people. They agree to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building to see if their feelings for each other have changed.  An Affair to Remember is a reminder that while true love’s road is never smooth, it is worth the effort to travel it.

Sleepless in Seattle With only good intentions, a boy calls into a radio talk show to help his recently widowed father find a new love. Reluctantly, the father tells his story — touching the hearts of everyone listening. One of the listeners is so moved by it, she writes a letter in an attempt to meet him. With An Affair to Remember as inspiration, they meet, through dubious circumstances, at the top of the Empire State Building.

The Princess Bride The Princess Bride is a combination of romance, comedy, fantasy, and adventure. It’s the story of a young woman and poor a farm boy who fall in love. After he sets sail to seek his fortune, the young woman is informed he was killed by a pirate. Numb from her loss, she accepts a marriage proposal from an evil prince. But, with the twists and turns of a classic fairy tale, the farm boy returns having assumed the identity of the man the young woman thought killed him… but he must win back her hand from the Prince — which is where the adventure begins.

Better Off Dead If pure romance movies sound a little mushy to you, try Better Off Dead from 1985. It stars a young John Cusack as Lane Meyer, a teenager whose girlfriend just dumped him for an arrogant bully. While he deals with his feelings and tries to get her back, Lane must manage his weird family, wacky friends, and an obsessed paperboy. Through a mix of imaginative dark comedy, attitude and a hint of romance, the movie reminds us we are better off moving on rather than dwelling on a love gone wrong.

Casablanca A classic from 1942,Casablanca is, perhaps, the ultimate romance movie. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid set up a crackling love triangle in a desert outpost on the edge of a world at war. As the forces of Nazi Germany close in, difficult choices and sacrifices must be made in order to keep love and hope alive.


Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks and all the cupids and hearts are starting to pop up everywhere! At The Lakeside Collection, we want love to fill your lives so we came up with a list of products to inspire you. Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Valentine’s Day.heart-candle-box

The distressed finish of this bright Wooden Tea Light Candle Box adds a touch of rustic country to a table setting or shelf. Each of the 4 glass tea light cups has its own compartment in the box. Light from the flame shines through the themed cutout. Decorative rope handles and a distressed finish add an extra rustic touch. Box, 13-7/8″ x 4″ x 3-1/2″. Candle cups, 3-1/8″ x 2-3/4″ dia., each.heart-luggage

Vibrant 2-Pc. Girls’ Overnight Bag and Crossbody Set is excellent for sleepovers and other trips. The duffel has a full-zip closure, a zippered pocket on the front and a removable and adjustable shoulder strap. It comes with a matching crossbody bag that has a full-zip closure and an adjustable strap. Pack them full of clothes, sports gear, books and more. Polyester. Imported.love-letter-art

Personalized Love Letters Wall Art makes an elegant gift to honor a wedding, anniversary or engagement. It has photographed letters that spell out the word “Love,” and it’s personalized with names and a date of your choice below. This romantic print by artist Scott Kennedy makes a lovely gift for anyone. The wooden block mount is a contemporary way to display art without using a frame. Arrives ready to hang. Each line can be personalized with up to 25 characters.heart-pendant-scarf

Update your look with a fashionable Fringed Pendant Scarf. Wear it over a T-shirt, sweater, or even a dress to add a finishing touch. Just tie it on and you’re ready to walk out the door. Scarf, 13″ x 69″. Pendant, approx. 4-1/4″ x 2-3/8″. Polyester and polypropylene. Imported.heart-charms

Carry thoughts of your little ones on a Birthstone Heart Handprint Charm. Heart-shaped charm (3/4″) has an embossed handprint and a sparkling crystal in their month’s birthstone color. It comes with a touching message printed on a card that accompanies the charm. Charm attaches to your own bracelet with a strong, lobster-claw closure. Add a few charms to the Silver Link Bracelet (8″) to start a collection of your loved one’s birthstones and your own. The more charms you add, the more meaningful your bracelet becomes. Bracelet has a spring ring closure that adjusts to fit comfortably around your wrist. Metal.

Valentine’s Day: Why We Give Sweets to Our Sweethearts

Valentine-CandyWe’re busy getting ready for Valentine’s Day! We’re swimming in red hearts, cupids and roses. There are only a few things we really associate with Valentine’s Day and at the top of the list is candy. Like Halloween, it’s almost impossible to make it through the holiday without eating a bonbon or two. But how did we start making that connection between candy and love? Here is a breakdown of why we give sweets to our sweethearts on Valentine’s Day.

Forbidden Fondness In the third century, St. Valentine was a Roman bishop who secretly granted marriages to soldiers and their sweethearts when it was banned. He was imprisoned for the crime and in his cell is where the Valentine as we know it was born. As the legend goes, St. Valentine sent a letter to the daughter of his jailer and signed it “Your Valentine.” There was no candy included, but this where the valentine tradition started.

Candy-Coated Love For hundreds of years St. Valentine’s tradition lived on, but it wasn’t until the 14th century that someone put pen to paper the custom of sending love letters called valentines. Geoffrey Chaucer, known for The Canterbury Tales, wrote a poem called “Parliament of Fowls” in which the first literary reference to Valentine’s Day was made:

Valentine-Candy“For this was on Saint Valentine’s day, // When every fowl comes there his mate to take, // Of every species that men know, I say, // And then so huge a crowd did they make, // That earth and sea, and tree, and every lake // Was so full, that there was scarcely space // For me to stand, so full was all the place.”

We waited another few hundred years for Shakespeare to make the candy connection in Hamlet with the words “sweets to the sweet” and we never looked back.

Delicious DevotionThe connection between chocolate and love can be boiled down to science. There’s a chemical released in our brains when we fall in love called phenylethylamine. Coincidentally, chocolate contains this chemical. The amount found in chocolate made today is too scant to be considered an aphrodisiac, but it was one of the early uses of the cocoa bean by the Aztecs. In addition to using chocolate as wedding gifts, Aztec leader Montezuma was known for consuming it before romantic engagements.

Cartons of Confections Chocolate was originally a drink. It wasn’t until the 1840s that candy makers turned it into solid morsels of food. One of the early chocolate producers — Richard Cadbury — is widely considered the person responsible for making these solid chocolates treats a Valentine’s Day tradition. He designed elaborately decorated boxes to package his candies, but the company that still carries his name does not claim he was behind those heart-shaped boxes we send our sweethearts today. That started, according to the New York Times, in the 1890s.

Valentine-CandyDelectable Dialogue New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) started experimenting with its signature Valentine’s Day candy around the same time Richard Cadbury was perfecting solid chocolate. NECCO started using the first candy machine in 1847 and about two decades later they came up with the iconic “Conversation Candies” which later became conversation hearts. Those conversation hearts have been in production since 1902 and the company continues the conversations with new words each year. 2016 words have not yet been announced, but last year’s phrases include “BFF” (Best Friends Forever), “TE AMO” (I love you in Spanish), “JE T’AIME” (I love you in French), and “Pugs and Kittens” (for animal lovers).

Let The Lakeside Collection help you make your sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day special. From gifts to sweets, we have hundreds items to show your loved one you care.

How to Treat Yourself for Valentine’s Day

ValentineValentine’s Day is a day we set aside for honoring our sweethearts. It feels good to do something thoughtful for the ones we love, but it’s nice to do something nice for ourselves occasionally. This Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to indulge! Here are 5 ideas to treat yourself for Valentine’s Day.

Eat Chocolate. We love chocolate. It’s the best! Not only does it taste awesome, but, if you get the dark chocolate, it’s good for your health, too! Chocolate has antioxidant properties that reduce the risk of heart disease — among other benefits. While you’re losing yourself in that sweet, velvety chocolate bar, you’re also undoing any damage you might have done with that bag of potato chips.

Entertain Your Guilty Pleasures. Read the tabloids. Find out who’s wearing what to the Oscars. Listen to boy bands, Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande. Dance and get silly. Watch romantic comedies and get lost in the boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-chases-girl-and-wins-her-back-with-a sugary-sweet-fairy-tale-ending. Do the things no one else knows you like to do (and that you’re a little embarrassed about).mask

Take Five. Shut off your brain and relax. Meditation sounds corny and a little new age-y, but there are real benefits from getting complete silence for a few minutes. You can even meditate while giving yourself a facial treatment. According to the Mayo Clinic, it reduces stress, helps you focus on the present and reduces negative emotions. Who wants to feel anxious and angry on Valentine’s Day?

Make Something. Crafting and artistic challenges are not only fun, they also have psychological benefits. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, making art helps people focus on positive experiences and increases self-worth. Not only will you be creating a one-of-a-kind keepsake, but you’ll feel better about yourself while you’re making it.

Pet-ThrowCuddle Up with a Furry Friend. While we love having our pets for companionship, having them around actually has health benefits. According to the American Heart Association, owning a pet reduces the risk of heart disease and can even lower your cholesterol. Cats and dogs are a lot of work to take care of, but they’re worth the love, affection and long life they provide.

While you’re planning Valentine’s Day for your sweetie, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Remember what Samantha Jones told Smith Jerrod: “I love you, but I love me more.” If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

valentine-coupleOn Valentine’s Day, chocolate and flowers are what we expect, but not everyone needs more sweets or flowers in a vase. Every valentine wants or needs something different — even if it’s a practical gift, it can be a thoughtful gift. Here are 5 Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

Treats If you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, try making a treat from scratch. You’ll have to spend time putting something together and baking it — that you went outside of your comfort zone to make something with your own hands is a gift that will melt your valentine’s heart.

maskSpa Day A gift of relaxation is appreciated by just about anyone, but doing the treatment yourself is priceless. Wrap up spa-wear, body scrubs and facial kits to package your gift and let your sweetheart choose a day to cash in on cupid’s coupon.

Flowers… That Take Root Anyone and everyone loves to get a bouquet of flowers — but they never last as long as we want them to. For a gardener, give the gift of flowers your sweetheart can plant that will sprout, grow and bloom beyond February. It’ll be a gift to remind your sweetheart of your love for months rather than days.

A Day Off Between running the kids to and from school and getting to work on time, life is tough to keep up with. Give your beloved the gift of a day off  to show your appreciation. For one day, take over all the errands, chores and cooking your honey does in a day. Sometimes the best gift if the gift of “nothing.”

Clean-houseA Clean House Having a clean house is not only lifting the burden of doing housework, but it can also be quite relaxing. Removing clutter from your field of vision and not having chores hang over your head can ease some of the daily anxiety adults get bogged down with. Whether you take on the responsibility yourself by organizing each room and scrubbing everything from top to bottom or you hire someone to do it for you, your partner will be grateful for such a thoughtful Valentine’s Day Gift.

Valentine’s Day is a day to show your appreciation to the person you love. You don’t have to give chocolates or cards to let your dear know he or she is special — sometimes thoughtful Valentine’s Day treats are nothing more than making your sweetheart’s life a little easier.

Fascinating Facts About Valentine’s Day

valentines-dayValentine’s Day is coming up — we hope you’re prepared to treat your sweetheart! Though it’s never a surprise — it’s on the same day every year — some of the history behind the holiday is surprising. Here are 8 fascinating facts about Valentine’s Day.

  1. In the third century, under Claudius the Cruel, soldiers were forbidden to marry because they were thought to fight better unattached. He did, however, encourage temporary relationships. According to the Smithsonian, during a yearly festival, each man would draw the name of a woman who would become his companion for the year. He would then wear her name on his sleeve for a week. This is one of the theories of how we get the term “wear your heart on your sleeve.”
  2. During that period under Claudius the Cruel, a Roman priest we now know as St. Valentine allegedly performed marriages of soldiers in secret. He was jailed for this.valentines-day
  3. As the legend goes, St. Valentine wrote a love letter to his jailer’s daughter signed “Your Valentine.” That’s when the valentine as we know it was born.
  4. During the mid-to-late 1800’s in England, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.
  5. Today, about 1 BILLION Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year.
  6. In the United States, Richard Cadbury is popular for his Easter chocolate cream eggs, but he is the man who is credited (though the company lays no claim to Valentine’s Day boxes) for the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. That was in the mid-1800s — today, about 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day every year.
  7. Venus, the Roman goddess of love preferred the red rose. Today it’s the most popular flower given on Valentine’s Day — more than 50 million roses are bought for the holiday every year.valentines-day
  8. On Valentine’s Day 1876, Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone. His invention has evolved considerably and today it’s keeping sweethearts connected across states, countries, continents and oceans.

Though Valentine’s Day has a grim history, it’s a holiday that brings out the love in most of us even if we don’t have sweethearts. Whether you’re sharing your heart with your one-and-only, your family or your favorite furry friend, anyone can appreciate the sentiments of Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day: Show Your Dogs You Love Them

Puppy-loveWith Valentine’s Day coming up, you want to show your love to everyone important to you — not just your sweetheart. Of course, your cute canines are on the short list for affection — and we have a few ideas to make their Valentine’s Day special. Here are 5 ways to show your dogs you love them.

Grooming Dogs spend a lot of time licking themselves. They do this mostly to keep themselves clean, get rid of parasites and to remove chemical irritants from their coats that they picked up from our environment. It’s a lot of work to keep that coat shiny, so why not give your dog a break? Show your pups some love by doing a good grooming for them. You can do it yourself or make an appointment to see a professional. The American Society to the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals recommends having them groomed every three months.

DogGet a Checkup As humans, we go to the doctor regularly — even when we’re feeling OK — just to make sure everything is in working order. Dogs need the same kind of routine. They can’t tell you they have aches or pains or even if they’re feeling anything unusual. Veterinarians are trained to see and feel things on our pets that we can’t. It’s worth taking them to the vet to make sure nothing is wrong and for peace of mind. The Humane Society recommends taking your dog to the vet at least once a year.

Keep Your Dog Fit Every dog owner wants their pups to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. Just like humans, they need to keep their weight down for longer, healthier lives. Talk to your vet about how much food your dog should be getting every day. Keeping an eye on how much they eat and taking them out for walks and giving them toys to keep them active can help keep them maintain a healthy weight to prevent health problems like arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.

Play Dates and Dog Parks Dogs are pack animals — instinctively, they are drawn to other dogs for socializing and playtime. Not only is it fun for them, but getting used to people and animals outside your family helps train them to be calm and cooperative outside of the home. While your love and affection is important to keep them happy, show them a little bit more love by taking them out to play with other dogs.

Dog-bedCreature Comforts Just like humans, dogs love a good soft toy or blanket to cuddle up with at night. Not all dogs do this, but it’s not unusual for some to get attached to items to bring them comfort. Give them a little bit of love by getting them a new comfy pet bed or a new cushion to make their house a little more cozy.
However you decide to honor your dog on Valentine’s Day, The Lakeside Collection has ideas and products keep your pup feeling loved and happy. If you haven’t done it already, check out our Paws and Kisses Pet Photo Contest and show us just how lovable your pet is!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas: Products to Show Your Sweetheart You Love Him

Valentine-coupleValentine’s Day is coming up! But, after the holidays, we might be a little drained from figuring out what to give everyone — coming up with a gift for your sweetheart might not come to you very easily. We have a few ideas for your Valentine to take a little pressure off you. Whether he is a sports fan, a history buff, or just needs to relax, we have something he will go wild over! Here are a few Valentine’s Day gift ideas to show your sweetheart you love him.

sports-cardsSports Fan A die-hard fan can never have too many pieces of home decor and accessories with his team’s name and colors on them. Complete his collection of sports cards with ones decorated with 23-Karat gold. If he has other interests in addition to sports, you may be able to find a way to combine them in one gift, like a grill cover with his team’s logo on it or golf balls.

history-booksHistory Lover If your “honey-sop” relaxes by exploring the past, you can give him a gift that takes him back in time. Look for a book or DVDs on a favorite topic or era, or fascinate him with shocking crime stories. For something more personal, check out a coin set from a significant year.

beer-holsterPersonalized Decor Personalized decor for his home or office lets you give him something made just for him. A sign with his name on it announces to all who visit just who the king of the man cave is. Personalized pint glasses or beer steins are a distinctive touch for any home bar. Photo frames with your names on them are a wonderful way to display holiday snapshots. Even just a monogram brings sophistication to drinkware, a beer growler or even a beer holster.

Whatever your guy is into, The Lakeside Collection has a wide variety of gifts to help you show him how much you love him. Our values and shipping deals make romance more affordable than ever. This Valentine’s day, celebrate your love with gifts and decor from Lakeside!

National Compliment Day: Compliments to Win Over Your Valentine

CoupleJanuary 24 is National Compliment Day — you may not think it’s an idea worthy of devoting an entire day to raise awareness of…. until you receive a compliment and feel how powerful it is. It feels good to be recognized and appreciated — especially by loved ones. With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought we give you a few ideas for National Compliment Day with 5 ideas for compliments to win over your Valentine.cake

  1. Point out the little things. That cute mole, that wildly adorable cowlick, the crooked smile — those things that no one else would notice but you think is lovely should be said out loud. It’ll make your valentine melt.
  2. Highlight the things your valentine works hard on. The masterful way he or she can curate knickknacks on the mantel, how he or she can diffuse a heated situation between the kids, how well that chocolate cake came out on the first try. Your valentine will love you all the more when his or her hard work is noticed.
  3. Shout out loud that you are proud. Telling someone that you are proud of him or her is an all-encompassing compliment, but it lets that person know you are better person for having your valentine in your life.
  4. kids-on-ballsUnderscore parenting. Telling your valentine she’s a good mother or he’s a father, is about the best compliment you can give anyone. That someone is able to shape a child into a good and admirable person, is no small feat. While you’re at it, your in-laws might appreciate a similar compliment.
  5. Rare combinations. He’s smart and hilarious. She’s creative and warmhearted. He’s interesting and can sing beautifully. When your valentine understands you think he or she is the total package it will make your heart and your valentine’s heart swell.

While we want others to feel good, they want you to feel good, too. Remember that it’s just as important to graciously receive compliments as it is to give them — be prepared to give and receive lots of love this Valentine’s Day!

Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Treat: The Blondie

BlondiesJanuary 22 is National Blonde Brownie Day! The blonde brownie is also known as a blondie. They’re similar to brownies in how they’re made, only the recipe doesn’t call for chocolate. According to foodtimeline.org, blondies don’t derive from brownies at all — it evolved from gingerbread bars. However, they are as versatile as brownies — you can find them with all sorts of sweet embellishments: butterscotch, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, caramel, walnuts, coconut — just about anything you think would be delicious in a dessert. Some people take it to the extreme with Oreo blondies or birthday cake blondies — there’s even a recipe out there for Roasted Strawberry and Goat Cheese Blondies — but anyway you make it, it’s moist, dense and rich just like the brownie — and it’s way better than a cookie!

At The Lakeside Collection, our favorite blondie recipe includes white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. It’s very simple — only seven ingredients (five if you make it without the nuts and white chocolate) Although we’re making blondies to celebrate National Blonde Brownie Day, it’s our favorite Valentine’s Day treat. Blondies


  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375℉.

In a bowl fitted to a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the sugar and butter on medium speed until it’s well-combined. Add vanilla extract and eggs one at a time and mix until it’s creamy and smooth. Slowly add the flour and mix well.Blondies

Turn the mixer down to low speed and add white chocolate chips and nuts. Spread mixture in a 9”x9” baking dish. Bake the blondies for 40 minutes or until the edges are dark brown and the top is golden brown. For extra measure, stick a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Let cool completely before cutting.


Of course, you can make blondies any day of the year — not just National Blonde Brownie Day or Valentine’s Day — they’re a perfect dessert for just about any occasion.