valentine's day

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: Thoughtful gifts under $50

I have a confession: Nick and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. The reason being is over 15 years ago, we met for the first time a week before Valentine's Day, so our first Valentine's Day was not a day we spent together at all, and well, the tradition of not celebrating has stuck. That said, I write a LOT about Valentine's Day: Last year I gave you some ideas of things to do around Cleveland, I've talked about places to shop, and so on, but this year, I wanted to do something a little different.

If you're going to give a gift on Valentine's Day, it should be something symbolic, meaning that when your loved one looks at said gift, it makes them think of you. Ideally, its something your loved one really enjoys and uses often so they think of you a lot. Because that's the whole point, right?

1. One of my favorite gifts is a S'well water bottle? Why? Because its probably something I use the most. Who isn't drinking water, or carrying water to the gym, or traveling with it? I gifted this exact one to Nick last year, and he uses it almost every single day. Personally, I own a gold one, but it comes in a variety of colors to suit any taste or color palette. I prefer the 17 oz size because its lighter and easier to carry, and fits in your car's cup holder. Prices range from $35-$42.

2, Give the gift of wanderlust. This past year, Nick and I got a year subscription to Conde Nast Traveler, and the day it arrives in the mail is always the best mail day of the month. I've been bitten by the travel bug, and flipping through the magazine makes me want to get my bags and travel the wide world that exists all around us. $6-$10 depending on what subscription you choose.

3. I love flowers. But I don't love how quickly they die. But what if you gifted someone flowers that come back every single year instead? I plated peonies this past fall, but if you're looking for something that can be planted this spring, calla lilies or rose bushes are a great alternative. I love ordering my bulbs at brecks.com - I've been ordering plants from them for a number of years and have never been disappointed by my results (and for the record, I do not have a green thumb). $26-$46

Source:  Brecks.com

Source: Brecks.com

4. Is there anything that says love more than cooking a carefully prepared meal for someone you love? But what if you took it a step further, and then gifted them the book that you cooked from? Of course you could take this in many different directions based on culinary preferences, but given that I'm Indian, I thought you might like to know about my favorite Indian cookbook. I've cooked a number of recipes from this book, and each one has been absolutely delicious. It is available right here via Amazon for about $20.

5. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite gift to give and receive: jewelry. Finding a quality piece of jewelry under $50 can be a challenge, especially if you're looking for something with semi-precious stones. Lucky for you, Bombay Taxi Boutique offers a number of options under $50, most of which include semi-precious stones!

Source: Bombay Taxi Boutique 

Source: Bombay Taxi Boutique 

Source: instagram.com/bombaytaxiboutique 

Source: instagram.com/bombaytaxiboutique 

I hope this has given you some great ideas for a gift. If you have a more flexible budget, you could also pair any of these gifts with some locally sourced artisan chocolates, or a fancy dessert, because why not? 

Wishing you a sweet and happy Valentine's Day!

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Five Date Ideas for Valentine's Day in Cleveland

Valentine's Day will be upon us in three short weeks, and while you may be thinking "Oh, I have plenty of time," procrastinating would be a mistake. For one, it gets harder to make reservations anywhere as we get closer to the date, and second, it just sounds impressive to be able to say to your loved one "Babe, I've made special plans for us for Valentine's Day." Sure, you could make reservations at a restaurant, and that would be fine, but I've come up with a list of 5 interesting date ideas, with input from Nick. 

1. Cheese Tasting at L'Albatros Brasserie: This is one of my Top 3 restaurants in Cleveland. Not only is it a little taste of France, but the restaurant has a reputation for carrying some of the BEST cheeses in Cleveland. Grab yourself a glass (or bottle) of wine from their extensive selection, and ask the fromagier (that's a cheese expert) for his/her recommendations! Its fun to pick out cheeses with your date, and the presentation is really impressive. Did I mention the cheese will BLOW. YOUR. MIND!? 

Photo credit: Cleveland Magazine

Photo credit: Cleveland Magazine

2. Parisian Desserts at Coquette Patisserie: This small yet charming spot specializes in wine, oysters and the most decedent, delicious french pastries and desserts that are almost too pretty to eat! Live dangerously and get dessert for dinner!

Photo credit Suzuran Photography

Photo credit Suzuran Photography

3. Spend some time outside at the Tobaggan Chutes: Now this only works when the temperature isn't below zero, but what better way to get some adrenaline pumping that flying down a hillside at over 50 miles/hour!! If you want to get really fancy, you could even do a private rental

Photo credit: yelp

Photo credit: yelp

4. Play some games at Superelectric Pinball, 16-Bit Bar, or TableTop: Whether you prefer pinball, arcade games or board games, these three venues have you covered. A little friendly competition always makes for a fun evening, although if you or your date are super competitive, I would perhaps reschedule this for another time.

Photo credit: yelp

Photo credit: yelp

5. Get tickets to a show: There are a number of theatre options in Cleveland from Playhouse Square (presenting If/Then) to smaller venues like Near West Theater (presenting Godspell.) A full list of performing arts venues is available here

There you have it: 5 fun and interesting date ideas for Valentine's Day, or date night for almost any time of year! Do you have any favorite date spots in Northeast Ohio?





 

 

Shop Local: LINGG (Valentine's Day Ideas for CLE men)

Over the holidays, I made my first ever trip to LINGG-- an independently owned jewelry shop and art gallery, located on Chagrin Blvd. in Woodmere. Its not a very big jewelry store, but has a completely unique collection of jewelry, at a range of prices. Heidi and Beth travel to New York multiple times a year on buying trips, so you can be assured that you are seeing some of the newest jewelry lines and styles available. They also work with local artists, so its a well rounded out collection.

On my very first visit, I completely fell in love with this bracelet, and lucky for me it was on sale!!  Needless to say, it came home with me.




I visited again a couple of weeks ago, and there are many, many items priced under $100 that are perfect for Valentine's Day, as you can below:






In addition to jewelry, LINGG also carries a selection of bags and even some clothing, so  you should definitely go check it out!!