Valentine Gift Ideas for Your Honey

valentines day heartsIt is amazing to me that Valentine’s Day is less than three weeks away.  Where did January go?  I’m not complaining about seeing the end of January, it is never my favorite month.  And now we get to move into a glorious month!  One filled with hearts and flowers – and ground hogs.  Okay.

So…what to do about the big day that lands in the middle of February – Valentine’s Day.  The answer depends on who’s your honey?  Of course.

You can always go the standard traditional route – flowers, chocolate, fragrance.  There is flowersnothing wrong with this.  But – if you’re going the traditional route, change it up a bit.  Go with the unexpected, but more requested.  Find out what flowers your honey loves the most.  My particular favorites are Tulips, Lilies, and Daffodils.  I know, sounds like an Easter bouquet and that doesn’t arrive until March.  What I’m saying is, not everyone loves roses. if your snookums loves Gerbera Daises, or Sunflowers, then by all means, get those flowers, not Roses. If you are unsure as to what flowers to get, just ask.  But don’t wait until February 13th to ask what flowers your special someone likes, ask today, and makes notes.

The same goes with chocolate.  There’s nothing wrong with giving chocolate – ever – except perhaps if your sweetheart is on a strict diet – then no chocolate, go with lake champlain chocolatesomething else.  But all chocolate is not created equal.  Sad, but true.  Find out what your darling likes as far as milk, dark, white?  Nuts, chews, soft centers, caramels, the list goes on and on.  Godiva, Dove, Lindt, Lake Champlain, See’s?  So much chocolate, so little time.

The easier course is with fragrance.  My suggestion is to find out what your honey is currently using and get a matching lotion, powder or shower gel.  My personal chanel_bath_body_rangeexperience is that I rarely repurchase a fragrance, so getting more is not always a good thing. And, I seldom purchase the special extras to go with the scent I’m currently using.  I love having the matching shower gel or lotion but it costs more money, and I don’t feel comfortable spending more money than I’m already spending on a fragrance.  Check out what your special someone is wearing, and get some body lotion, shower gel or powder to go with it, the gift will be greatly appreciated.

Then there are those that don’t go the traditional route, they give a gift that keeps on giving.  You do this by paying attention to what your special someone wants/needs/desires and go for it.  This course of action will require you to pay attention to what is going on – all year long.  And you will need to take notes!

wild birdsIf your loved one adores animals, birds or fish, go in that direction.  For example, we feed the wild birds, and a 20 pound bag of wild bird seed is a wonderful gift.  If your sweetie has a cat or a dog, see if a new bed is needed, or a toy or a new feeding dish.  Something along these lines is always appreciated. Please note: do not give an animal, bird or fish to anyone, this is something that the individual receiving the animal needs to pick out.

If your special someone is currently repairing a vehicle, get him or her one of the parts they need, or a tool that will help the project along.  If it is a woodworking project, find out if a new saw is need, or perhaps special wood?

Throughout the year, I am sure your Darling has said “I need a ___” or “gosh, I wish I had a ____”.  You fill in the blank.  Every time you hear “I want”, “I need”, I wish I had”, write it down.  When you’re out and about with your Honey, and you hear, “wow, I really like that”, or “isn’t that beautiful” or something to that effect, write it down.  Keep this information on a pad of paper, your phone, your Kindle, somewhere.  Then, when a celebration comes along and you want to give a gift, you will know what to give.

It is also helpful to keep a list of likes, favorite colors, sizes (fingers, hands, wrists, and making a listthe usual top, bottom, feet).  Keep track of favorite music, books, movies, coffee, wine.  Everything you pay attention to, and everything you keep track of, will give your sweetheart the message that you care, and what is more important than that?

Valentine’s Day is a day to be with someone you love, someone you care about, and someone you want to share your feelings with.  Giving a gift should be a way of showing that you care about that person.  Giving a gift that reflects how much you have paid attention to the wants and needs of this person really communicates how much you care.

One last little piece of advice.  If you’re going to go out for dinner, don’t go out on Dinner-party-finger-hordervs (1)February 14th.  Make it the following or the next weekend.  The restaurants are extremely busy on February 14th and you won’t feel special at all.  But, if you wait and go out the following weekend, you will not be rushed and you will certainly have a much better time.  Instead of going out for dinner on February 14th, why not cook dinner for each other?  Or, make it a group event, have a party of 6 or 8, assign jobs to each party member party that turns into dinner.

No matter what you do, where you go, or what you give, do it with love in your heart and you cannot do it wrong.



Does This Match?

I’m not going to talk about shoes, purses or accessories, that would take several weeks and too many pages and it still wouldn’t really encompass enough to cover that subject, no I’m talking about your face.  Yep, your face.  Hey – your face needs to match! If you’re fortunate enough to have a lifestyle that allows you freedom of choice, you’re more bronze goddessthan likely to have choices when applying your makeup.  Sunny Golden Girl today?  Bronze Goddess?  Gothic?  (okay, moderate gothic makeupGothic)?  Whatever your mood, not matter what direction you’re going with your look, your face needs to match.  This can be difficult, but not if you apply a few simple rules.

  1. The first rule is to know if you’re warm, cool or neutral.  Basically, if you look good wearing peaches, corals, golds – you’re a warm toned person.  If you look good in blues, purples, cherry reds, you’re a cool toned person.  If you’re able to wear all of the colors, you’re a neutral person.
  2. The most important rule is to keep the shimmer/sparkle limited to one place on your face.  It can be eyes, cheeks, lips, but not more than one or you begin to look like a glitter ball at a disco joint.
  3. If you’re going to a colorful eye, (and what’s not to love about that) then keep the color in the cheeks and lips to a minimum.  Go for a nude lip (my favorite is Charlotte bitch perfectTilbury’s Bitch Perfect) and a tawny cheek.
  4. If you’re going for the bronze goddess look, or sunny California girl, then keep the rainbows over the eyes to a minimum.  Use coordinating brown, black, gold, even sunset orange colors, but steer clear of the bold greens and blues.  If you want to do a pastel blue, that’s okay with this look but I’d limit the jewel tones.
  5. With the pale waif, moderate Goth or just when your skin is on the pale side, be very careful with the bronzer and contour.  If it’s too dark it can look harsh and a little too Kim K.  Go for the milk chocolate for the bronzer or a caramel bronzer (depending if Chanel Bronzeryou’re cool or warm toned.  I personally love the Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base for myself, especially in the winter when I’m a NC 20.  Bobbi Brown makes nice bronzers, they are in a nice matte finish.  Keep it about one or two shades darker than your bobbi brown bronzernatural skin tone.
  6. When going with the pale waif, and the lighter bronzer, keep the blush to a medium pink or medium coral (depending on skin tone).
  7. Use your brighter blushes when your skin tone is darker or you’re using a darker bronzer.  The brighter blushes help keep the bronzer and darker skin from looking muddy.
  8. When you are going for the dark smokey eye, keep the color on the lips to a minimum.  If you want to go with a color on the lips, keep it close to your natural color but you can go a few shades darker.
  9. When you have a nude or neutral eye, brighten up your face with either your blush or your lips but not both.  Nude eyes look great with a bright lip and a lighter blush.
  10. Last Rule – unless it’s the Christmas Holiday Season, never wear green eye shadow when green eyeshadowwearing red clothing.

Now that you’re armed with the rules, it is easy to create a look that is simpatico.  Check the weather, decide what you’re going to wear, where you’re headed and go forth!

However, we all know rules are made to be broken.  Of course it’s okay to go outside of the boundaries now and then, mix it up a little and have fun with your look.

Aw Honey….

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  One of my favorite days – it’s the sweetest day of the year.  I am a person that likes sweets.  Chocolate is of course my favorite but I’m not fond of chocolate wine.  Yes, I’ve seen it.  Chocolate and wine mixed and sold in a bottle.  It isn’t bad ice grapesfor one sip but nothing that I would purchase.  Now Ice Wine is another story.

Ice wine is a dessert wine.  It is very sweet and dense.  Sweeter than a sauterne (or Sauternes if it’s from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in Bordeaux), but because of the high acidity, ice wine is usually not cloying.  The flavors you get from the wine will depend on grape variety your wine is made from.  With a Riesling you’ll will typically taste peaches, apples, honey and pears.  It is a very unique type of wine that can only be produced in a climate that has temperatures that are cold enough (below freezing) with some regularity. Canada and Germany are the world’s largest producers of ice wines.  The Finger Lake region of upstate New York, Vermont and Michigan also produce ice wine.  This type of wine is difficult to produce because the grapes must reach a naturally frozen state, no cryoextraction (that is, mechanical freezing) allowed.

The grapes need to hang on the vine until fully ripened, almost over ripe.  A freeze must occur before the grapes rot or fall off the vine.  As soon as the freeze comes and the grapes become frozen, a labor force is called into action (this is usually in the very early hours of the day (3:00 am is typical).  The frozen grapes must be picked within a few hours, otherwise damage will set in and the grapes are lost.  The frozen grapes are then pressed while frozen.  The working ice wineconditions are difficult at best.  This results in a small amount of production which is why ice wine usually comes in a 375 ml or 200 ml bottle. It can be expensive, but you can usually find it for less than a dozen roses from a florist.

The grape variety typically used to make ice wine is riesling.  However, some growers are producing ice wine made from other varieties: whites such as Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, or reds such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, and even Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Pillitteri Estates Winery from the Niagara-on-the-Lake region of Ontario claim to be the first winery in the world producing Shiraz (Syrah) ice wine with the 2004 vintage, Semillion, and Sangiovese in 2007.  I’ve not tried any of the reds, but the Pinot Noir looks tasty!

I like to pair ice wine with a slice of pound cake and some fresh fruit such as raspberries, peaches or strawberries.  This will bring out the fruit flavors in the wine.  If the fresh fruit is not available, then I’ll pair it with sliced apples or a simple, not-to-sweet cookie.  Ice wine is so good, you don’t really need to pair it with anything but the fruit does bring out the different flavors in the wine.  Chocolate would go well with any of the red ice wine.  A cheese board would be nice, with some nuts, but I would use more of the mild cheeses.

Ice wine is the perfect ending to a meal.  It does not leave you feeling heavy and overstuffed as many desserts can, it’s just a bit of sweetness to finish your meal with.  It can also be served at ice wine pairingTea Time (instead of Tea) for a bit of a break.  Serve it in smaller wine glass with a narrow bowl or you can use a white wine glass to enhance the color and aroma of the wine.  It should be chilled but not overly so – about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).  As the wine warms the flavors will become more pronounced.   As your wine warms up, perhaps your evening will too.

valentines day wineHappy Valentine’s Day!