Valentine’s day is a special time to show the ones you love how much you care. This year, Scout Guide Huntsville Editor/Owner Dawn Pumpelly shares her suggestions for a new kind of Valentine’s gift-giving. In this “gift guide with a twist,” Dawn and Louisa DiLeone, a licensed professional counselor and owner of Bloom Counseling, share how to care for ourselves and our loved ones with meaningful and impactful gifts. 

The gift of strength/longevity/physical health:  One of the best things we can do as we live and age is to develop movement to strengthen, balance and challenge our bodies. The approach of Sybil and Jenny at Pilates Center of Huntsville is customized to individuals whether you are one of the strongest athletes or one in need of repair and restoration. The gift of private sessions and/or classes is a very thoughtful one that can improve quality of life immediately and over time. Besides the benefits of the practice of Pilates itself, taking classes or sharing private sessions with a loved one can build and shared hobby to last.

The gift of wellness/nutrition: The owners of Duncan Farms, a permaculture farm based in Gurley just outside of Huntsville, founded their farm to grow healthy food for their young children. Today, they share that gift of good nutrition and health with the community through their CSA delivery program. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a biweekly delivery program that includes a bag of fresh & local food delivered to your home. Produced locally, they strive to create the cleanest food possible, and never use any chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, herbicides, or hormones. The gift of a month or even a year’s CSA delivery is thoughtful, healthy, and is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year.

The gift that feeds the soul: Monica Yother’s Studio 127 is a conservatory for creativity where non-artists can discover, nurture and grow their creativity. Art journaling is an appealing focus at Studio 127 because it is about the process, not just the finished page, and gives you time to express what is really on your heart. Monica leads her participants through art journaling and helps them relax because instead of trying to force a particular outcome, you allow it to unfold resulting in delightful surprises and connections. The gift of a class, in-person or virtual, or even a series of classes will provide hours of self-exploration and joy.

The gift that feeds the relationship: People are so busy, and even when there’s nowhere to go (during the pandemic), many have a hard time sitting still without completing a project or being hooked to their phone. Louisa DiLeone of Bloom Counseling suggests that gifting someone your time, whether it’s a tech-free evening with your spouse, offering to look after your best friend’s little ones so she can have an hour alone, or providing someone with a lesson of something you’re really good at (decorating, baking, anything!) can be so meaningful and something they will never forget. 

The gift that supports emotional health: We always think about flowers for Valentine’s Day, but plants have actually been proven to improve emotional health. Being around and taking care of a plant improves mood, decreases stress, and lets people see with their own eyes that transformation and growth are possible. Just a walk around the greenhouse at Brooks & Collier can be invigorating. The gift of a plant gives us so many to choose from and something easy to care for all year through.

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Many thanks to our Scouted Valentine’s Day Participants:

Louisa DiLeone, LPC, Bloom Counseling Services

Jenny Barnack and Sybil Shearburn, Pilates Center of Huntsville

Donovan Duncan/Kaitlin Duncan, Duncan Farms

Monica Yother, Studio 127

Kim and Greg Brooks, Brooks & Collier

“Scouted” is a video segment created in partnership with WAFF 48’s “Tennessee Valley Living.” Scout Guide Huntsville Editor | Owner Dawn Pumpelly contributes to Tennessee Valley Living on a biweekly basis where she shares her view of the very best of LOCAL HUNTSVILLE.

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