Valentine’s Day is on fast approach, which means it’s time to ready our hearts, minds and wallets for the groundswell ahead. Relative to gifting for that special someone, a “surge” may be more descriptive as consumer spending for this holiday continues to trend upward in billion-dollar increments. Last year, the National Retail Federation forecasted that Valentine’s Day spending would reach a near-record $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion the year prior. These strong sales figures not only exemplify fruitful retail activity specific to buying gifts for others, but also holiday-driven shopping for ourselves as well. With this in mind, here are a number of thoroughly vetted Valentine’s Day gifts and gets sure to ease, appease and unequivocally please.
Zumer Sport Ball Material-Made Gifts (www.ZumerSport.com) For the sport-lover in your life, Zumer Sport is a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift option. The company creates a wide array of lifestyle products out of actual sport ball materials—actual baseball, basketball, football, softball, tennis and soccer supplies. They feature items like backpacks, wallets, bottle openers, pillows and more. While other companies may create similar “sports” items, Zumer says it’s the only company that makes its products with true, authentic sport ball material, not a look-alike. So Zumer’s products don’t just look like the real deal, they are the real deal! The company makes over 200 different products. I’m particularly fond of their basketball line, which includes the patented Zumer Sport Basketball Material Duffel Bag created from, you guessed it, actual basketball material. It’s durable, puncture resistant and virtually spill proof. It's perfect for guys or girls of any age, in any environment. The bag includes multiple pockets and a separate shoe compartment. Any NBA or NCAA hoops fan will love this, or their other options, like lanyards, eyeglass cases and business card holders. The luggage tags (also available in soccer and other ball materials) are an eye-catching and conversation-starting way to easily identify your suitcase or bag while traveling.
MotoAngels Capsule Garment Collection (www.MotoChicGear.com) For the stylish gal or guy in your life who wants some additional flare, this Valentine’s Day consider a gift from MotoChic’s MotoAngels Capsule Collection. The line is composed of a unisex hoodie suitable for women or men, as well as an array of ladies mix-and-match tops all made from antimicrobial fabric helping style-seekers on-the-move look good and stay fresh, day or night. As a women's lifestyle brand, the MotoAngels Capsule Collection is an activewear meets loungewear line with boast-worthy fabrics. It’s super-soft and treated with an antimicrobial agent that mechanically destroys 99.9 percent of germs, including odor-causing bacteria, fungi and mold. Plus, there are magnificent white angel wings on the back of the white tee shirts that glow-in-the-dark. So this Valentine’s Day, don’t settle for fashionwear that’s less than what your own angel deserves.
Brooklyn Bedding Pillows and Sheet Sets (www.BrooklynBedding.com) Perhaps nothing is better than cuddle time and a restful night’s sleep with pillows and sheets offering optimal comfort. For this, head over to Brooklyn Bedding for a variety of fab options, like the company’s Bamboo Twill Sheets that deliver a luxuriously soft sheen with exceptional breathability for a cooler, more restful slumber. Rayon from bamboo has inherent thermal regulating properties that help maintain your ideal body temperature throughout the sleep experience. I also like Brooklyn Bedding's Talalay Latex Pillow constructed with premium natural materials. It delivers superior reactivity, contouring support and enhanced breathability for an exceptionally restful night’s sleep. Derived from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis (rubber) tree, and produced using eco-friendly methods, sustainably sourced Talalay latex is hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. Brooklyn Bedding's Premium Shredded Foam Pillow option delivers cloud-like comfort and exceptional versatility for every type of sleeper. A blend of deconstructed latex and memory foam is encapsulated in a zippered cover for easy removal, allowing users to adjust loft for a super personalized sleep experience.
Eagle Creek Luggage (www.EagleCreek.com) Travel-lovers will surely adore Eagle Creek, including its Weekend Warrior Gear Kit that‘s perfect for quick weekenders. This bag will refuse to let you over pack, while ensuring you’re organized and efficient. With it, you can bolt through the airports thanks to this Tarmac Carry-On’s oversized wheels, and easily lift it into overhead airplane bins courtesy of sturdy handles. Use the Add-a-Bag feature to affix a Cube or a daypack to the exterior for extra bags you may come home with. Parse your laundry with the included Pack-It Specter Clean Dirty Cube. And, keep dressier items wrinkle-free with the Pack-It Specter Garment Folder Medium. Other Pack-It compartments are included to organize toiletries, shoes and small accessories. For bigger jaunts, the Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 36 is a stellar option. It’s a durable, lightweight, dependable and efficient design ideal for every adventure. With wet and dry compartments, multi-point handles, a cargo net for internal compression or outside gear attachment, Puncture-resistant lockable zippers, central lock point security, over-sized treaded wheels, padded laptop sleeves and more, this luggage seemingly has it all.
GoodJanes "Flirty Girl" Lashes / ‘Kiss My Lash’ Mirror (www.GoodJanes.com) GoodJanes luxury “Flirty Girl” false eyelashes will have you covered for a romantic appearance this Valentine’s Day and beyond. Theses 100 percent cruelty-free mink fur falsies (collected from natural shedding) give surplus length, without unnaturally extreme thickness. They blend seamlessly with your natural lashes for a subtle pop. The lashes are stored in clear, protective trays and, with proper care, each lash can be reused up to 25 times. The company also carries a wide assortment of silk eyelash options. You can even pair “Flirty Girl” falsies with the Kiss My Lash mirror for effortless lash application. This novel triangulated mirror lets you to see your upper lash line from both above and below at the same time. The patented design provides the truest line of sight to get your falsies flush against the lash line on the first try! The mirror can be held in your hand, placed on a flat surface or attached to the magnetic, hands-free Kiss My Lash Stand.
PurePlacid Adirondack-Inspired Bath, Body & Home Products (www.PurePlacid.com) What is a deal breaker in nearly any relationship? Distinct odor ... and not the good kind. So whether for yourself or a loved one, get the gift of amazing scent this Valentine’s Day with PurePlacid. This personal aroma and home fragrance line is inspired by the Adirondack Mountains. You can experience Adirondack life through products inspired by, and created in, the Upstate New York forest preserve, including scented lotions, cleansers, creams, hand-poured candles, room sprays and more. The company’s products are free from phthalates, SLS and synthetic preservatives. The product line is also eco-friendly, committed to the community and to conservation of natural resources—a value system interlaced throughout each product. Great options for Valentine’s Day include the Whiteface Hike hand soap, Rose and Berry hand soap, Sunday Morning soy candle and Cashmere Sweater room and linen spray. Go ahead, indulge.
n:p beautiful Hair Dryer (www.NPBeautiful.com) Surely everybody struggles to achieve the perfect hairdo, right? On Valentine’s Day, we all want to ensure we have lovely locks. For me, the struggle is all too real. But the good news is there are modern tools that’ll help you nail your desired look. Among these is the n:p beautiful hair dryer. Sexy and sleek, this tourmaline blow dryer makes every day styling a breeze. It’s lightweight, has a high-wind performance motor, a protective tourmaline-coated grill that dries hair super-fast, a cool-shot button to seal your look in place and an extra-long cord for effortless styling. This professional hair styling tool is also ergonomically designed, allowing for flexible handling and styling. It has a long-lasting, high quality engine that produces a concentrated airflow flushing through the nozzle for fast drying. The unit actually includes two double-injected durable nozzles for long-term use. Its powerful AC motor proffers a faster, highly efficient blowout. Perfect for all hair types, it’s a great way to get a smooth, high-shine finish.
Cake in a Jar (www.CakedUpCafe.com) New York’s “Caked Up Café” started from humble beginnings and has quickly grown into a world-renowned, celebrity loved bakery focused on creating tasty treats using nothing but all-natural ingredients. The company’s single-serve “Cakes in a Jar” are particularly perfect for your Valentine, although they also make amazing party favors for events. Choose from either the 4-ounce or 8-ounce sizes that can be shipped anywhere in the country, and there are a variety of flavors to choose from, such as Brownie Sundae, Cannoli, Cheesecake, Chocolate Chocolate, Churro, Cinnamon Bun, Cinnamon Streusel, Cookie Dough, Dulce De Leche Cheesecake, French Toast, Hostess, Maple Bacon, Milky Way, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mocha Latte, Nutella Hazelnut, Oreo and Red Velvet. Caked Up has reportedly made custom cakes for celebrities such as NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, NFL Pro-Bowler Odell Beckham Jr., Rihanna and many more. The A-List-approved company sees each of their creations as more than just a mouth-watering treat for your taste buds; they see it as a work of art.
‘Dessert for Two’ Cookbook (www.DessertForTwo.com) Also for those with a sweet tooth is the “Dessert for Two” cookbook by Christina Lane, the innovative creator of DessertForTwo.com. Like many of us, food has always given Lane that beloved connection to home, but, when she would make her mom’s recipes, there were just always too many leftovers. It would become wasteful when uneaten items were discarded. So, she began making the recipes smaller (fewer servings) and blogging about the process, and her concept was born. The same cupcake recipe that her mom made to get twelve cupcakes, Lane scaled down to make four. She soon found a huge population of people from singles and newlyweds, all the way to empty-nesters that loved her smaller recipes. Upon being asked for more savory recipes, she followed up with multiple books, and is now releasing her fourth entitled “Dinner Just For Two” that will be released this April. If you need an inspiration or idea for an intimate meal this Valentine’s Day, buy without wasting resources on an abundant amount of leftovers, this is the right Lane!
Paper Rebel Cards & Gifts (www.PaperRebel.com) Physical greeting cards are still a sweet and romantic offering these days, but nothing says “I love you” quite like a romantic (or romantically naughty) card—or even a gift—from Paper Rebel. The company’s boutique greeting cards are inspired by real talk, random thoughts, raw emotion or something laugh-out-loud funny. Often irreverent or downright edgy, they're perfect for someone who's tired of boring, generic cards and prefers something more decidedly personality-laden. They’ll help you stand out this Valentine’s Day with something out of the ordinary to catch your significant other off-guard, but in a good way. Other of their gift items are cute and apropos for the occasion, with a plethora of “house stuff,” “travel stuff” and “desk stuff.” Their “opinionated journals” are among my faves, as is their pen with “truth teller” emblazoned on the side. Their “I’m sorta in a hurry” sloth travel mug is too cute. This is your place for unique gifts for fun-lovers.
'Virtuoso' Documentary Film DVD (www.BianaKovic.com) “Virtuoso” is a heartwarming movie that’s lovely for the occasion. On March 1, 2006, an 89-year-old woman, Matty Kahn, volunteered for the Never2Late project to begin learning to play the cello in a month's time. You read that right: one month. Having no prior musical knowledge, she bravely embarks on the path of musical training to rediscover the strong connection between life and music. From Biana Kovic, a cellist, teacher and filmmaker, comes this moving and inspirational documentary film. The gripping story offers powerful insight into the secrets of aging. It features experts on the topic, Concetta M. Tomaino and Dr. Veronica LoFaso, and an adult cello student, Anne Wigglesworth, who all share their views on the positive impact learning music has on aging—and how the training helps improve cognitive and muscular function. Virtuoso is also a two-time award-winning film, having won the British Film Festival of Los Angeles and the South Africa International Film Festival.
As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
Photo Courtesy of Zumer Sport