Hunting For Rhinos

The story of Sherry’s Valentine’s gift starts last month when I got an e-mail entitled “OMG I need this for my birthday” that included a link to this white, ceramic rhino from Z Gallerie.  Her birthday is in March (and I already had gift plans for that), so I figured this would be the perfect V-day gift, right? Wrong. It was out of stock and Z Gallerie couldn’t tell me if it’d be available in time for Feb 14th.


You see, Sherry had been searching for a ceramic rhino for at least a year, since she first laid eyes on this baby in the Nate Berkus-designed room pictured in his portfolio, which she blogged about almost a year ago, never knowing that the most-likely-super-expensive-rhino (maybe this one?) would someday be made by Z Gallerie for the masses.

Knowing Sherry should never be denied the company of a white, ceramic animal, I pre-ordered it anyways and offered it up to my sister Emily as a birthday gift she could give to Sherry in March. Well, I’m not a great liar. Sherry could tell I’d ordered it and quickly became convinced she was getting it for Valentine’s Day. Uh oh. She even went as far as to gush to Emily about this beautiful rhino I was giving her. Emily thought it was hilarious, but I was starting to panic. Even though the rhino did arrive last week (to my office), Emily wasn’t planning to give it to her for another month. Not to mention that the gift I did get her for Valentine’s Day was more on the practical side. Sherry was surely primed for disappointment.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, as I held Sherry’s real Valentine’s Day gift behind my back, I told her one last half-truth: “I ordered your rhino, but it didn’t come in time. You’ll get it for your birthday.” Then I handed her our digital camera which now contained a new Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card. Again, not the most romantic gift, but I knew my favorite little blogger would save lots of time uploading pictures now that our camera could do it automatically and wirelessly. It went over very well (a big relief to me) and seemed to distract her from the absent rhino for the time being. Being able to turn on the camera in any room of the house and effortlessly upload new pictures is pretty sci-fi. And Sherry loves anything that allows her to blog smarter so there’s more time to fit in more projects that we then get to blog about.


Later that evening we headed over to Emily’s house for a Valentine’s Day party as planned. Sherry didn’t know it, but her horned ceramic mammal awaited. Emily and I decided it’d be too cruel to withhold the present for another month, so she decided to give Sherry her birthday gift early. But not without having a little bit of fun first.

Emily took me aside when we arrived and started pointing to various picture frames around her living room. Inside each of them was a picture that she and her kids had staged with Sherry’s rhino (see a few samples below). We figured the usually-very-observant Sherry would notice in no time. Instead, it took her nearly an hour. During which, by the way, she even pointed to the photo of our niece Olivia reading to the rhino and said “ahhh, cute” without noticing the ceramic animal snuggled nearby. We basically had to say “Sherry, did you look closely at all the new pictures?” for her to finally catch on.


Needless to say, Sherry was thrilled and the scavenger hunt ended with the happy reunion of girl and rhino. I was relieved that I didn’t have to keep secrets for another four weeks and that, with the help of my sister, I hadn’t disappointed my wife on Valentine’s Day. And I’m sure the rhino is very content in his new home in our living room:


All-in-all, a very happy (if not intricately schemed) Valentine’s Day. Do you guys have any funny V-day stories to share? Any gifts you gave that went over particularly well or particularly, um, not so well? Do tell.

Images courtesy of Z Gallerie and Eye Fi.


  1. says

    Love the story….so cute! Can’t say I love the rhino, it’s really NMS. But it does remind me of the rhinopotomus that my dad made when he was a little boy that I do love! (It’s sentimental) Just think of what a hippo & a rhino would look like if they were crossed…kind of. It’s also white, too!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      The rhinopotomus sounds adorable Stephanie! John actually drew a picture of a strange bear-ish lion-ish animal with a colorful exploding mane when he was a kid. Underneath he wrote: “bear + lion + fireworks = bionworks.” Gotta love hybrid animals of all kinds! And little boys seem to have the best imaginations for ’em.


  2. SSM says

    Well animals are NMS, but I am digging the wireless card. I am googling it as we speak. I may need to convince my own husband to get this card for me. He hates trying to find the cord to upload pics.

  3. says

    What a fantastic story! My favorite part is that your relatives redid the photos in their living room frames! That’s the best. A true scheming family.

  4. says

    Fantastic story, particularly the scavenger hunt part. What fun!! While I think the rhino looks fab on its new living room perch (perfect fit for your space, by the way), I think I’d go nuts over that Eye-Fi wireless card!! In the mean time, I need to give my hubby a kick in the behind because I didn’t get anything for V-Day this year :-( Okay, I’m being melo-dramatic… we did go out for an early V-Day dinner on Thursday and for a lovely hike yesterday (with a little smooch at this magical spot on the trail… ahh!), so the guy’s not all that bad!
    Victoria @ DesignTies

  5. MaryB in Richmond says

    I love the story about Sherry looking at the pictures but not actually *seeing* them! Hilarious — AND I have to admit I like hearing that youngsters do that kind of thing, too! Happy Valentines Day to you both!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Erin,

      There was once a time that we didn’t understand what the kids these days were saying. But then we got schooled. NMS= not my style. But it’s always used in a nice way and of course we don’t expect everyone to understand my penchant for ceramic animals!


  6. says

    Do wireless cards work with all cameras/computers, or do you have to already own one or both that are “wirelessly capable?” I would love the ease of uploading wirelessly!

    Also, Sherry- I absolutely love the card catalog that you bought John for spices/spatulas!

  7. says

    I absolutely love the rhino – it is my favorite animal and we have many of them (different sizes and colors) around our home. I will be pointing my guy towards this lovely ceramic one as part of an ongoing collection :D

    One of the amazing parts of being a rhino fan; many people mix them up with hippos. Not the same, folks. But good for a few laughs.

    I do like this idea of the rhinopotomus, though.

  8. YoungHouseLove says

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to answer all the questions about the Eye Fi card (yes, I realize it’s second fiddle to the rhino). So far it has worked out great. It takes a little getting used to and reminding ourselves to leave the camera on while it downloads. The only hiccup we’ve had is when we took so many pics that we ran out of memory on the computer and Eye Fi kept trying to download the same pic like a broken record. But that was our fault, and once we deleted a few old folders of images we were good to go.

    To get Eye Fi to work you must have an existing wireless internet connection (like our Apple Airport Express). You install the Eye Fi manager software to your computer and select your wireless network from a menu. Then the SD card automatically downloads pictures to your computer whenever it picks up the wireless signal from the designated network (basically, whenever you’re home and the camera’s on). We’ve found the signal isn’t super strong – like it doesn’t work from one side of our house to the other – but that’s fine because we like being near the computer in the den (right next to the wireless hub) when we’re downloading anyways.

    If anyone else has an Eye Fi card we’d love to hear their experience. And we’ll keep you posted if anything interesting happens with ours once we use it more.


    • YoungHouseLove says

      And now that John has talked about all the technical stuff, I’ll chime in and say iloveitiloveitiloveit! I highly recommend an Eye Fi card for anyone who’s ready to cut the cord and download on the go. Automatic anything is great, and this is especially handy given that fact that we take around 300 pictures per post. OK so that’s a slight exaggeration, but not by much…


    • YoungHouseLove says

      That rhino is CRAZY expensive! I just might have to add that link to the post. Thanks!


  9. Megan says

    I keep seeing it, so I’ve got to ask. What color did you paint that bookcase that the rhino is on? I have one that’s almost identical that I would LOVE to paint that color!

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