Call Me Cupid!

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(Scroll to the bottom if you are looking for gift suggestions and want to skip the V-Day rant)

Well… well… look what we have here…  Such a joyous time of year. Aside from the fact that it is February 7th and we are more than half way through winter, we are also ONE WEEK out from Valentine’s Day!

So the day of Cupid… I would be lying if I said I don’t care for the holiday, or that it is no big deal. Trust me I’ve dated some guys that made me convince myself that my love language is TIME… (insert the roll eye emoji here). I don’t mean in the, “oh you’re having a terrible week?… let me grab dinner, your favorite wine and a good movie.” I mean the, “Oh it is Valentine’s Day? Are you sure it is on February 14th?… weird that came up so quickly, I guess I will cancel my plans of watching an irrelevant college football game for a team I have no interest in tonight, to hang out with you…” So I am gifting this guide to the ones that are looking to avoid that fight… this is for the procrastinators or for anyone who is really busy and actually forgot.

I’m pretty sure Jonathan is having a slight heart attack editing this post. Like most men in the world, he is a procrastinator when it comes to planning his personal life. Give him a deadline at work and he is on it like white on rice, but ask him to make a plan for dinner reservations and he is checking for a restaurant while I am putting my shoes on to walk out the door. But let’s be honest there’s a few of us ladies out there that are floating in that same boat. I have to say I find myself guilty sometimes as well. Most holidays I am on Amazon looking for items with Prime two day shipping like its the last pair of perfect boots going at 50% off at the Macy’s one day sale.

Regardless of your gender or the gender of your recipient, I have put together a list of a few ideas for your significant other this Valentines Day. Not to worry… all of these items are available to be shipped in time for you to grab a gift bag from you local CVS after your morning Starbucks, and have it sitting on the dinner table by February 14th.

Before I get in to the guide let me throw this out there as well. For the ones with the partners that truly find TIME as their love language here is a suggestion. Being that Jonathan and I are juggling time consuming careers, schedule packed children for me, extra work projects for him, and a long distance relationship, we decided we would do a weekend trip to Minneapolis. Although he requested a trip with all three of us, he did keep Valentine’s Day in mind and asked me to line up a babysitter for a night so we can actually have a few hours alone and go on date, which will top off the weekend I am sure! So if a weekend trip is in your gifting realm, and you are currently struggling for time with your significant other, I would highly recommend this gift! Aside from that, here are a few other ideas to get you through this unofficial national holiday! I have added price ranges and links if they are available as well for your shopping ease.

Gifting a Woman:

  • Sephora’s Perfume Sampler- This is an awesome idea if you are not sure if she is ready for a new perfume or if you have no idea what type of scent she would prefer. You’re better off with this gift. She gets a few samplers and a certificate to trade in for a full size of her preferred perfume. – $65  (link below) https://www.sephora.com/product/perfume-sampler-P423550?skuId=1961812&om_mmc=ppc-GG_378477159_27759163119_pla-181495914279_1961812_97594803039_9020174_c&country_switch=us&lang=en&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1ZDtw6yU2QIVhbXACh1vjgNaEAYYASABEgJ7_PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
  • Flowers- Yes, I know this seems simple, but these flowers stay alive for a year! They are on the pricier end but if you are going to buy flowers why not splurge on something she can use as a centerpiece as well for a whole year. Personally I am not a flower person, I’m just not looking to add any more responsibility to my life right now… the watering the clipping etc. however these are an amazing alternative to the standard 12 count rose bouquet. – $249 and up  https://www.lafleurbouquets.com/collections/shop/products/petite-square?variant=42403101576
  • Dinner, Dessert and A Movie- Get tickets to the newest 50 Shades movie, a dinner certificate to her favorite restaurant and another at a bakery for after dinner. Make the reservations a head of time and ask her to be ready for a night out then give her the gift certificates and movie tickets on the way. Romance leveled up! – $150 and up
  • Makeup Subscription– There are a few companies out there that will curate a collection of makeup and skincare products for her every month based on her preferences. You can gift one box for a month, or one every month or anywhere in-between. I suggest Boxycharm as they send out full size products and start at $21 a box. If you’re feeling fancy go all out and subscribe a full year for her! -$21 to $210  https://www.boxycharm.com/
  • Jewelry- These suggestions are not listed in any particular order. This one however is last on my list for one reason. Most women have specific preferences on jewelry. I for example am not a fan of expensive jewelry because I literally loose everything. Usually I’m looking for my phone and keys while I’m holding them… but if you know your partner well enough go ahead and splurge. I suppose you can’t lose with a pair of diamond earrings, but proceed with caution and don’t say I didn’t warn you. And if you must go with jewelry here is a little suggestion. $200 and up                http://www.tiffany.com/jewelry/earrings/tiffany-twist-knot-earrings-11775519?fromGrid=1&origin=browse&trackpdp=bg&fromcid=287464&trackgridpos=15

Gifting A Man:

  • Tickets to a sporting event or concert- win him over with this one. Do a little research if you don’t already know his favorites – $50 and up
  • Sephora’s Perfume Sampler- (for both genders) This is an awesome idea if you are not sure if he is ready for a new perfume or if you have no idea what type of scent he would prefer. This is an essential toiletry so it definitely won’t go to waste – $65  https://www.sephora.com/product/cologne-sampler-P423555?skuId=1961846&om_mmc=ppc-GG_378477159_27759165159_pla-181486898679_1961846_97594805079_9020174_c&country_switch=us&lang=en&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2_qxyKyU2QIVkbXACh2uwgnVEAQYAiABEgIR6vD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
  • Watch- Timeless 😉 HAHA get it? Men don’t accessorize as much as we do but every man needs a watch. It might just be me, but I am a sucker for a man with a nice watch. – $100 and up                                                        https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/timex-fairfield-chronograph-mesh-strap-watch-41mm/4610716?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK
  • Dinner, His Kind of Dessert and A Movie- Get tickets to the newest movie he has been talking about, possibly Black Panther, dinner at his favorite steakhouse and bottle of his favorite scotch. -$120 and up
  • Tour of a Brewery/Distillery– If you’re guy enjoys a cold brew or a beverage on the rocks he’s probably going to love a surprise date at one of these. Top it off by gifting him a beer or liquor from the brewery or distillery before you go as a hint on your surprise date. – $80 and up
  • Car Detailing- If he is really into his car purchase a car detailing certificate for him. Throw it in a gift bag with a few other fun items like a gas gift card and a few air fresheners. I know a few men that obsess over their cars and this would probably be their top pick! – $100 and up
  • Comedy Show- Aside from the standard dinner and movie option take him to a comedy club for a show. It is probably an upgrade from your usual scene. -$100 and up

I hope these tips will help you on your gifting struggle this week! If you are looking for help finding a more personal gift, send me a message or DM me on Instagram @stilettosinasandbox and I would love to help! May the odds be in your favor.

Travel Bug

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Aside from fashion and beauty, I have always had a passion for traveling. Being that I am an Island Girl, born and raised in Sri Lanka for the first part of my life, I love to get away from the cold as much as possible. There is something about packing my bags and experiencing a different lifestyle, food, culture, people and frankly a different weather forecast!

As much as I love my culture and roots, living and traveling to so many different places in my life, has given me an interest in exploring as much as this world has to offer. Since becoming a mom that hasn’t always been top priority but it is pretty close to the top of my list. Baby steps… I try and take my children to a different state every year, fulfilling my travel need and teaching them about the world outside of our home. Now that my younger son is at a better traveling age we plan on exploring other countries in the near future!

This past year our family has done a ton of traveling. Luckily, I spent a year working for a major online booking company and have learned a few tricks along the way. With trying to balance a long distance relationship and Jonathan being in Texas, we sure have been racking up a few too many sky miles. Any and all tips I have learned along the way I’ll be sharing with you. Hopefully this will get you a few more stamps on your passport and keep you in your budget! I’ll dive into a few of these in more detail later on my blog, but if you are looking for more in depth ideas on how to maximize your dollars when booking travel feel free to shoot over a message or DM me on Instagram @stilettosinasandbox

If you haven’t given these any thought try it out when planning your next trip!

  1. Credit Cards- If you’re in the market for a credit card I would highly suggest checking out your options through an airline or a credit card that rewards you with flight miles.
  2. Travelling with friends- By traveling and lodging together you can purchase one package deal that includes a hotel and your friend(s) can add on a flight. This saves on the cost of hotel prices.
  3. Air BNB- This one seems obvious, but you would be surprised to know how many people don’t know about this! (My brother runs one in Hawaii and would probably love visitors!) If you haven’t checked it out head over to their website. This site is not just to find yourself inexpensive lodging but to really get you to experience unique, trendy and fun styles of lodging. If you are lucky you may get a host that is willing to show you around the local areas.
  4. International Airports- As much as possible try and fly out of an international airport. If you hate driving like me, you can find low fares from local airports to airports in major cities. That way you save money on your round trip flight while avoiding the drive and parking.
  5. Train- Although trains can be pricey when you’re heading directly to a destination, trains between local airports to major cities can be fairly inexpensive and a lot of fun. You don’t have to worry about parking, driving and weather. I would highly suggest this when a train route takes you through a scenic area.
  6. Timing- Although there is no proven amount of time prior to booking a flight to guarantee low prices I have a few theories. Jonathan is an extreme procrastinator (outside of his career) and I am an over planner (in every aspect). I’ll let you guess which one of us finds better deals on flights 😉 I would say for domestic flights you want to shoot outside of 3 weeks before your flight and international flights you want to shoot outside of 2 months-4 months. However, if you are looking for just a get away with no destination in mind, most booking websites will have last minute offers that are hard to pass!
  7. Smaller Airlines- Familiarize the smaller airlines and their flight routes. Many times they don’t advertise on the big site to save on marketing costs. Going directly to the airlines websites you can find route maps, deals, and significant pricing differences.

Give these few tips a try and I will reveal more as we go along! Let me know if you have any other tips that you have tried that work for you!