Features Editor details great last minute Valentine’s Day gifts Monday, Feb 14 2022 

By Tate Luckey —

Whether you’re shopping for someone you love in your family, your significant other or just want to show your friends you care about them, Valentine’s Day is THE day to express how you feel to those around you. If you still don’t know what to get that special someone, here are a few ideas that can help for less than $50 each.

Get them some tea

The “Brewed with Love” blend from Sis Got Tea. A blend of Sencha green tea, hibiscus and powdered prickly pear. Decorative gold dust can even be added for an additional charge.

Loose tea is a great way to express your love and support for someone. From regular black tea, herbal green teas to pu-erh, the rich taste and history of sharing a cup of tea make this gift a great one. Some local vendors include Sis Got Tea (who currently has an exclusive “Brewed with Love” blend) and Heine Brothers. I recommend the coffee shop “Mickey’s Uptown” across the river in New Albany if you want to sit and enjoy tea while browsing a good book. 

Or perhaps a cup of coffee

Of course, who could forget coffee? A good cup of joe to share with your loved one is a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day. Sites like Trade Coffee offer you a subscription-based service of personalized coffees and, of course, there are plenty of local shops to peruse as well. Like plants? Cultivator Coffee in New Albany is a great place to visit. Want to read a giant book on horoscopes? Mickey’s Uptown. Want to experience coffee of a different culture? I thoroughly recommend Ntaba Coffee Haus.

Flowers are great, too!

Flowers are another great traditional way to show that you care about someone. Kroger and Nanz and Kraft offer unique arrangements of flowers you can buy to give to that special someone. But what about an Edible Arrangement? This is a very fun way to give your lover “flowers” and eat them too!

Make them something personal

If you’re the kind of individual who doesn’t necessarily like buying gifts, making something for your significant other is a great way to show your affection as well. Buy some cardstock and other colored paper and make a nice scrapbook of your favorite memories or maybe bake their favorite dessert. The bottom line is that there are plenty of ways to show your affection this Valentine’s Day to whoever you love in your life!

File Photos // Sis Got Tea and Edible Arrangments //

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Valentine’s Day looks a little bit different for singles this year Sunday, Feb 14 2021 

By Riley Vance–

As the first Valentine’s Day of the pandemic approaches, many single students may feel relief that they won’t be the only ones at home by themselves this year. 

For some, Valentine’s Day is full of chocolate, flowers, and cards from their loved ones. For others, it’s a dreadful day that comes once a year and couldn’t pass by faster. 

The anxiety or fear of missing out (FOMO) on fun events is a real phenomenon that most people have probably experienced from time to time—especially college students. 

Lalin Anik, assistant professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, analyzed the ways in which FOMO has continued through the pandemic.

“We wanted to see what might happen to FOMO during this time of COVID-19, when people are stuck at home, largely unable to travel, attend large gatherings or do many of the things we would normally do for fun.

“FOMO in the pandemic stems from the difficulty of catching up with all of the things being offered online, far more than we can be a part of or watch all at once,” said Anik.

In the pandemic, this means missing out on social gatherings via Zoom, conversations over social media or other online activities that might only be available for a short time.

This feeling of missing out can definitely be stronger on Valentine’s Day if you’re sitting at home binge-watching rom-coms like a hopeless romantic while simultaneously scrolling past couples posting pictures of their significant others sitting across the table from them at a fancy restaurant. 

This year, however, is a completely different scenario. 

Yes, there will still be a million Boomerangs of people clinking their glasses of wine or champagne together to celebrate their everlasting love for each other. 

There will also be a number of people laying low this year as well, which some people may find comfort in. 

Abby Ebersold, a senior communications major, is spending her night doing just that. 

“I’m just spending my Valentine’s Day at home with my roommates. We’re going to watch movies, make dinner, and bake a fun dessert. There’s definitely no shame in having a low-key Valentine’s Day especially during the pandemic,” said Ebersold.

We all fall prey to blaming the pandemic for being lazy, unproductive, or anti-social. Now, you can blame the pandemic for spending your Valentine’s Day by yourself. You don’t even have to feel bad about it, because you’re technically doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re kind of saving lives.

So, this year for Valentine’s Day, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, watch your favorite movies, buy yourself some chocolate and flowers, and have an awesome night in by yourself. Take pride in knowing that you’re not contributing to the widespread transmission of the coronavirus.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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Get creative this Valentine’s Day with COVID friendly date ideas Friday, Feb 12 2021 

By Grace Welsh —

Valentine’s Day may feel daunting as it creeps around the corner. While it may seem like your options are limited this year, there are plenty of ways to show your special someone that you care. Whether you decide to spend the special holiday with a friend, significant other, or yourself, here are some ways you can safely celebrate.


Fortunately, we live in a day and age where technology allows us to connect with others in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

If you and your loved one are celebrating from a distance, consider using FaceTime or Zoom to spend the day together.

You could both cook the same meal from your separate homes and enjoy them together over FaceTime. You could also watch a movie together using a site like Teleparty that allows you to stream at the same time while still being able to talk to one another.

Another great way to show someone you care (from a distance) is to mail them a love letter. It sounds cheesy, but who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten token of appreciation? If words aren’t your strong suit, show your love by curating a playlist full of special songs that they might enjoy.

Stay home together

If you play your cards right, sometimes at-home dates are the most special. Hosting together time in the comfort of your home can take the pressure off of a traditional “going-out” date and allows you to get more intimate with your partner or loved one.

You could set the mood with some lovey-dovey music, crack open a bottle of wine, and enjoy a fancy candlelit dinner. Or, watch your favorite movie and cuddle on the couch.

If you and your person are feeling creative, challenge each other in a bake-off. Or, bring out some canvases and follow along to a Bob Ross video. You could also write each other corny notes, or play a get to know you game like the “36 Questions That Lead to Love”.

If you’re fiending for physical closeness, bust out the rose petals, dim the lights, and have yourselves a romantic bath; this is a great way to show yourself love, too.

If you live with roommates or family and want a night alone with your partner, consider getting an Airbnb for the night and using it as your sacred hideaway.

Get out

There are plenty of ways to go out together while still being mindful of COVID-19 guidelines.

If you’re feeling outdoorsy, you and your loved one can go on a peaceful hike at a local park such as Jefferson Memorial Forest or Iroquois Park. Learn to mushroom hunt, take photos, or just mindfully enjoy the scenery together.

When it’s dark out, consider going to a safe, remote location and watching the stars together. Get a stargazing app, such as SkyView Lite, bundle up on a blanket and point out the most vivid constellations you see.

Many museums, such as the Speed Art Museum, which is free for U of L students, are taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so booking a couple of tickets to view some art may not be a bad idea. Mask up and head to the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge afterward to get a pretty glimpse of the city.

However you decide to spend your Valentine’s Day, be present. Being able to put aside other priorities to celebrate this day of love is a beautiful gift. If you don’t have a partner, then treat yourself to these activities or do them with a friend. Remember, Valentine’s Day is about love, and there are many different types of love!

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Giving back to parents on Valentine’s Day Friday, Feb 7 2020 

By Zoe Watkins–

Valentine’s Day is about giving presents or spending time with loved ones, including parents. Here are some ways to give back to them and send messages of love and affections.

Set up a night on the town

It’s not easy for parents to have time for themselves especially when raising a family or working a full-time job. So, make them reservations to their favorite restaurant or to a diner they’ve never been to. Giving them some alone time when they haven’t had any in years might be a good thing to do.

Mementos of the family for keepsakes

Parents will always love their children no matter how far they are. Take a picture or write them a note they can have. Maybe get a little artsy with the present like a drawing or a knitted scarf if the skills are there.

A hand-crafted item shows a parent that their child took some time and effort out of their day to create a wonderful masterpiece in their eyes.

Take care of their daily duties

Let them have a break for once. Take up the responsibility of household chores for the day and maybe go the extra mile and do something they’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten to yet. If there are siblings around, it will make the work go by fast and more chores can be done quicker.

Give back what has been taken

Parents help children all the time from driving them around to paying rent if money falls short. Even though most college students have left the nest, do something in return for all the years they’ve helped. Fill up the family car’s gas tank, go out and buy groceries for the week or maybe do a meal-prep, help pay bills or rent and take care of siblings occasionally.

A simple text or phone call can go a long way

A lot of students at U of L can’t live at home because they live too far away from campus or have a home in a different state or country. Sending them a text saying “I love you” or “Happy Valentine’s Day” can make their day feel a little bit special. If there’s enough time in the day, try to call them and wish them a happy Valentine’s Day and just catch up with them to see how things are going

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Mamba may be dead, but the mentality will never die Thursday, Feb 6 2020 

By Ben Goldberger —

Opinion editor Ben Goldberger reflects on the deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant and the importance of family

I was walking back to my dorm room after another Sunday of putting the week’s newspaper together when I first saw the reports. I immediately dismissed it as clickbait, since it seemed impossible for a legendary person to die so unexpectedly.

It wasn’t until I saw “Sportscenter’s” tweet confirming the death of Kobe Bryant that I let myself believe the reports, utter disbelief and shock seeping into my body.

To me, Kobe Bryant was just an amazing basketball player. But to many of my friends, he was a role model, an idol even a parental figure to some. So many kids grew up wanting to be just like Kobe, buying his jersey and shoes, treating the “Mamba Mentality” as scripture and yelling “Kobe!” whenever they shot a paper ball into the trash can.

It makes sense why the whole sports world froze for a day when the news broke out.

Then an hour or so later, the reports came out that Gianna, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter and future basketball star herself, was also killed in the crash.

When I heard this, I could not stop thinking about Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother. The thought of losing your husband and daughter at the same, unexpected time crushed me. She didn’t even get to say goodbye, just a “see you later” that was never fulfilled.

I am from Virginia, meaning I don’t see my family except over breaks and occasional weekend visits throughout the semester. Bryant’s death made me realize that tomorrow is not guaranteed, and every time I say goodbye to my family and friends could be my last.

This is a horrifying truth to wallow in, and it is impossible to live a healthy life if you are constantly worrying about you or a loved one possibly dying tomorrow. But it does remind you to prioritize what is truly important in life, and for me, that is family.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the small things in life like little grudges held on your siblings for eating your leftovers or disappointment that your significant other didn’t get you the gift you wanted for the holidays.

It’s almost human nature to get absorbed by the materialistic aspects of Valentine’s Day, spending bundles of money on getting the most expensive gift.

Sure, big flowers or extravagant jewelry is nice, but the best gift of all is being able to spend time with your loved ones.

When you are gone, your loved ones can get all of the gifts they want to, but nothing will ever fill the shoes that you once stood in. The memories made during any shared experience, whether a vacation across the world or baking cookies together at home, will always outweigh any gift you could give.

Kobe and Gianna, along with the seven other people killed in the helicopter crash, no longer have the opportunity to give or receive this gift.

But you do.

This Valentine’s Day, focus less on extravagant, materialistic gifts and more on making new memories with your loved ones, whether that is your significant other, your family or yourself.

Pursue things that make you happy and motivate you to succeed, and make them an everyday part of your life.

After all, that is the true Mamba Mentality.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // Louisville Cardinal

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Horror movies that scream love Wednesday, Feb 5 2020 

By Delaney Hildreth —

Watching romantic comedies has been a token activity for couples and single people on Valentine’s Day, but sticking to the same genre every year can be boring. 

Here are a couple recommendations that’ll get hearts racing, but stick to the theme of Valentine’s Day. 

Phantom of the Opera  (1925 & 2004)

This 1925 classic story of a terrifying man living in the depths of an opera house isn’t a typical black-and-white horror film, but it has the same elements that mix wonderfully with romance, making it an especially great pick for Valentine’s Day. For something more modern, there is another option.

The 2004 version has a hauntingly beautiful score which mostly makes up for the weaker performances.

Either would be a good choice for those not up for extreme scares.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

In 1900 Australia, after a Valentine’s Day picnic, three students and a teacher from a girls’ academy go missing on a mountain, perplexing the school and the town. When searching for the four, confusion arises as to where they might have gone, and the secrets that the wilderness hides become more perplexing.

While not being traditionally scary, “Picnic at Hanging Rock” has a mysterious aura and eerie editing that heightens the suspense. Viewers must be able to handle slow pacing and an ambiguous ending, but “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is worth the watch.

It Follows (2014)

A supernatural entity that can shape-shift into anyone follows the protagonist, Jay, after a curse is passed on to her from her ex-boyfriend. The creature stalks her wherever she goes and is strong and unstoppable.

As creepy and unsettling as it is, “It Follows” shows strong and solid relationships through the characters who stand by Jay’s side and protect her from the creature. This movie is beautifully captured and told, but with that beauty comes the everlasting paranoia that the leading lady feels. 

Additional recommendations: “Dracula” (1992), “The Cabin in the Woods” (2012), “Jennifer’s Body” (2009) and “My Bloody Valentine” (1981).

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Stay at home date ideas that will make the night special Tuesday, Feb 4 2020 

By Blake Wedding —

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and with it, comes the question of how to celebrate. To make things simpler and a little more stress-free, here’s a list of what to do at home instead.

1. Cook at home and Make a Valentine’s Dinner 

It’s traditionally thought one of the best ways to show affection for significant others on Valentine’s Day is by taking them out to dinner somewhere fancy and expensive. 

College students don’t always have the money to take someone special to Chris Ruth Steakhouse, so sometimes it can be a better idea to make dinner at home. 

In most cases, people find it more romantic that someone took the time to prepare dinner for them instead of taking them out and spending far too much money on them because it’s more personal.

2. Netflix and Chill

Most people would rather binge watch their favorite show with their significant other, rather than spend about thirty dollars to go see a movie they may not even enjoy. 

To make things more romantic, preparing dinner beforehand and having their favorite show or movie prepared by the time dinner is over.

3. Personalize Valentine’s Day By Designing Everything Around Their Favorite Things

One way to make Valentine’s Day truly special and memorable is by simply showcasing thoughtfulness. Including a partner’s interests and showing how much they are valued is important. 

Try personalizing all of the evening’s activities around them. Get their favorite foods and movies, and make them gifts to remind them why they are so special.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Valentine’s Day Events in Louisville Saturday, Feb 1 2020 

Valentine’s Day Events in Louisville for the entire family. Enjoy Valentine’s Day with your kids (or on a date)! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here are some sweet events for celebrating this holiday in Louisville with your kids! If you are looking for Valentine’s Day events for 2021, we have some options for you. There are some actual [...]

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Smooch Valentine Party Wednesday, Feb 13 2019 

Smooch Valentine Party DIY Louisville

Smooch. Smoochie. Smooches. I took this Valentine party up to a personal level. Because if you don't send your love grossly affectionate words of endearment, do you even have a Valentine?

Smooch Valentine Party DIY Louisville

This party was planned with my dear crafty friend, Craft E Magee, and it is the starter project of a big idea we have to continue to put together parties that we love. We're just getting started on some serious baby baby steps, but you can find more of our parties in the future over on Party in Lou. We'd love to have you stop by and follow our instagram, too. You know, if parties are your kind of thing.

Smooch Valentine Party DIY Louisville

Craft E Magee worked her magic on the seriously adorable pompom banner and I designed the Smooch cake topper and lip kisses in Silhouette. The cake was from Kroger and I can't get over its cuteness with the Valentine sprinkles and tri-colored cake layers. It's simple to add your own flair to cakes with personalized cake toppers and decor. Parties should be fun and not stressful, so take a look around your grocers' bakery to see what they're offering and don't be afraid to cut corners with store-bought cakes and pastries.

Smooch Valentine Party DIY Louisville

Here's to lots of love and smooches this Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, DIY'ers!


Hello Friday Friday, Feb 16 2018 

Hello Friday

Hello week filled with lovely Valentine loveliness. Hello paper roses and craft night with my favorite crafty ladies. Hello morning kisses and surprise flowers from my love on Valentine's day. Hello filling my home with heartfelt quotes from our favorite books that make my heart swell. Hello Galentine brunch and silly laughs with my gal-squad.

Hello you. I hope your Valentine week has been filled to overflowing with love.