Bring on the hearts and arrows, Cupid! This is the time of year to celebrate romance, love and all the goodies that come with it. And by goodies we mean decadent sweets, fragrant flowers, delicate jewels and any other creative form you think love takes. Valentine’s Day may only last one day in February – much to the chagrin of most women and delight of their male counterparts – but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate love all month long. Even though romance is certainly in the air, a thoughtful gift to any loved one on February 14th is a great way to say, “I love you.”
1. A great alternative to scarlet heels is always a crimson clutch. Clutches of course come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but make sure you snag one with enough room for all your necessities. The large bow is stunning when mixed with the shimmery fabric. Feet First, 4119 Magazine St., 899.6800.
2. Let your sweetie know she’s got the key to your heart – literally – with an eclectic gemstone pendant. Available in a multitude of sizes and jewels, this key-shaped adornment is a classic idea with a modern twist. The different hues on each pendant go with virtually everything, from day to evening, casual to that big Anniversary Dinner. Boudreaux’s Fine Jewelers, 701 Metairie Road, 831.2602.
3. This year, forget the boring bunch of a dozen red roses, and give the one you love an arrangement worthy of how great he or she is. Spice up otherwise-ordinary flowers with exotic blooms and imaginative extras for your valentine. A large arrangement, as opposed to a predictable bouquet, is also a welcome change. The Plant Gallery, 9401 Airline Highway, 488.8887.
4. The perfect compliment to your Little Black Dress, these killer heels in bright red satin will ensure all the attention is on you this Valentine’s Day. The bottoms are specially designed to provide extra comfort and grip, so you can dance the night away in these budget-friendly pumps. Bella Rouge, 3640 Magazine St., 899.1122.
5. If a gift of jewelry is what a girl wants, then opt for something different than the typical diamonds and gold. These pendants come in varying shapes and colors, but all include a brilliant red heart somewhere within each mini work of art. If a heart-shaped pendant seems too cliché, they come in other geometric sizes and they work perfectly with the mesmerizing swirls contained within their borders. Symmetry Jewelers, 8138 Hampson St., 861.9925.
6. If you want to break away from the tradition of giving chocolates in a shiny tin, a slew of cupcakes will certainly brighten anyone’s day! An order of six at Bee Sweet Cupcakes comes in an adorable box with ribbons, and the smattering of flavors and colors is up to you. Mix and match as many kinds as you want for a completely unique and individual gift. The red velvet cupcake is the perfect hue for the holiday, too. Bee Sweet Cupcakes, 5706 Magazine St., 891.8333.
7. A homegrown company with local flare, NOLA Couture decorates their ties, key chains, hats, tee shirts, dog collars and leashes with New Orleans motifs anyone would love and appreciate. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the company recently released their first bow tie. The fleur-de-lis print, in a vibrant cayenne red, is the finishing touch to your man’s ensemble and destined to become a classic. NOLA Couture, www.nolacouture.com.
8. Nothing says Valentine’s Day romance like a relaxing soak in the tub, be it alone or à deux. A luxurious bath can put even biggest holiday grump in the mood for love, so make sure it includes plenty of well-scented accessories. A fizzy bubble bath with essential oils in the aroma of your choosing (try French Quarter Nights) is good for your skin and soul, plus it’s not completely over-the-top girly, making it all the more enticing for both of you to unwind after a long day. Bath Junkie, 6071 Magazine St., 895.1458.