February 3, 2014

What to Give Your Gal for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day - Lady Edition

Although this adorable collage above looks like it's intended for women, it's a cheat sheet for the guys. Feel free to print it off and leave it front-and-center on the refrigerator or tucked into his pillow case. If he doesn't get the hint after that, well....you're on your own, sister.

Seriously, guys: PUT DOWN THE SKIMPY (and scratchy) LINGERIE and PAY ATTENTION. It's not that we don't appreciate getting pretty "under-pinnings" but there is a fine art to selecting quality lingerie items that we'll actually wear more than once (you know exactly what I'm talking about) and thoughtful gifts she can actually use will take you much further in the long run. Here's what we got...

1 | There is nothing more romantic than a guy coming home with a big, beautiful dress box with a big bow on it. Here is a scene (skip to 3:30 in) from Sex and the City where Carrie is surprised with a beautiful pink dress she found in Vogue and mentioned to her boyfriend. Well, HE REMEMBERED and bought it for her. Something about your man picking out a great dress that he knows you'll love and he'd love to see you in is just so dreamy and old-fashioned. It just seems like something Don Draper would do! If it makes you break out in a cold sweat just thinking of dress shopping FOR your lady, get her a gift card to Rent the Runway. Trust me on this, she will think you're the coolest guy ever. It's kind of like Netflix for designer dresses. Tell her to pick out a dress online and as soon as it arrives, you'll take her to her favorite restaurant (don't make her tell you what it is...you should know what it is and already have the reservation made). I promise you will be the talk of the town if you pull this one off.
2 | Makeup! If you show up with a wrapped box with the Urban Decay 'Naked3' eyeshadow palette in it, she will squeal with excitement. Every woman wants this palette. It's new, it's amazing, it's in-demand and she will most definitely brag to her girlfriends that her man picked it out for her. Plus, it kind of looks like a little box of chocolates filled with beautiful rose-gold shadows in it. Flattering for anyone! Keeping with the makeup topic, these Urban Decay 'Naked' Lipglosses just came out a few weeks ago and they are incredible. Colors "Liar", "Nooner" and "Naked" are really universally-flattering shades Pick one out to go with her eyeshadow palette and she'll be thrilled!
3 | A pretty, crystal ring holder to go on her nightstand. This Kate Spade one is SO cute and has very faint polka dots on it! Bonus points if you find her a cool ring to go on it! She will adore the thoughtfulness! 
4 | A leather wristlet. This Valentine's-esque one by Coach is perfect for the upcoming holiday! These little guys are perfect for those times she's going out with the girls and just wants to carry her ID, debit card, lipgloss and her phone. How cool would it be if you got her this and tucked a little voucher inside that says "Good for 1 night out with your girlfriends on me"....um...I can almost guarantee a trip to first base if you do this one.
5 | If you like getting your gal pajamas for Valentine's Day, this cute sleep shirt would be a fun departure from the trusty flannel ones! I have a ton of these. They're incredibly comfy and they come in a bunch of colors and prints. They're $35 each OR you can pick out 2 for $49.50! My favorite is this "Let's Sleep In" one.
6 | Jewelry. Hear me out, guys. You don't have to drop thousands of dollars on jewelry. There are some really amazing, quality pieces out there for much less and they will get SO much more wear than a pair of diamond studs that she's too nervous to wear other than for special occasions. It doesn't have to be pink (I was trying to stick with the Valentine theme for the collage). Find something in her favorite color (a watch with a green face, a pair of earrings in her favorite shade of blue, a ring with her favorite color stone in the middle...you get the picture). If she happens to like pink here are the links for the amazing pink and rose gold Marc by Marc Jacobs watch above, the BEAUTIFUL Kendra Scott oval drop earrings (which also come in just about every color you could ever imagine) and the simple but classic gold Kate Spade "Love" cuff bracelet (I want this). 
7 | If it's just not Valentine's Day unless you buy your Sweetie some sweets (see what I did there?) why not try something different and get her a box of French Macaroons? Trust me, she will TOTALLY love opening this. You can either choose the pre-selected box of flavors or you can create your own and choose from flavors like "Creme Brulee", "Chocolate Passionfruit", "Lychee Rose" and "Pumpkin Cinnamon" (there are 30 FLAVORS to choose from!) If she's a classic chocolate-lover (really, who isn't?) then this box of artsy-fartsy looking chocolates will totally surprise her! With flavors like "Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar" and "Blood Orange", this box of chocolates will impress the pantaloons right off her body. You are VERY welcome for that one.
8 | Got yourself a "do-gooder"? Grab her a pair of TOMS and feel good knowing you also provided a pair of shoes to a child in need (tell her about it if she's unfamiliar with how TOMS work!) The above pair is brand new for Spring and my favorite right now. They are called the Pink Space-Dyed Women's Classics.
9 | A meaningful necklace. I looooooove these necklaces. The one to the left is called the "Together Forever" necklace and has 2 inter-connected circles made from 14kt gold and sterling silver, respectively. The one to the right is called the "You Are My Sunshine" necklace and has a combo of silver, gold and rose gold charms. It needs to be noted that if you order either of these necklaces, the packaging that they do is INSANELY ADORABLE. Translation: you won't have to gift wrap because the boxes are so damn cute you won't want to cover them up.
10 | For as long as I can remember, my dad has always bought my mom new perfume for Valentine's Day or Christmas. They've been married over 30 years. Now, I'm not saying that buying your lady perfume will guarantee a lifetime of happiness, but I will say that it is one of those romantic gestures that goes a long way. I think it's absolutely adorable. Here's the tricky part...perfume is very personal. So, if you know your gal has a favorite, stick with that one. Sometimes certain perfumes will come out with different variations on popular scents. For example, Coach makes "Poppy" which is one of their best-sellers (and what I currently wear) , so they introduced "Poppy Flower", "Poppy Freesia Blossom" and "Poppy Citrine Blossom" to add variety. Find out if her favorite scent has a related "sister scent" by doing some research online or asking a sales associate. If she doesn't wear a particular perfume and you want to surprise her, I put two of my all time favorites above if you are totally clueless. They are very different from each other. The Calvin Klein "Euphoria" to the left is warm, sexy and sophisticated. The Chanel "Coco Mademoiselle" is very feminine and light, almost sweet and fruity but still has a luxuriousness to it. Little side note if you were ever wondering: if something says "Parfum" it means it's more highly concentrated (stronger) and a little bit goes a long way which is usually why it is more expensive. If it says "Eau de Toilette" it means it is a lighter scent or a lighter version of a "parfum" and much more subtle.

There you have it. 10 ideas to get the wheels spinning. If all else fails, thoughtfulness goes a long way. You don't have to spend a million dollars, but for Pete's sake...do NOT go on a tirade about how Valentine's Day is a made up holiday, created by greeting card companies to make money. I guarantee she will tune you out and then make a mental note to "have a headache" later on.

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