Wednesday, March 20, 2013

V-Day Gifts For Your Gal Pals, Guys, And Yourself!

Most people think of Valentine's Day as the time of year we buy gifts for our guys and give them hints for special items we'd like, but we are all buying gifts throughout the year for various holidays (Mother's Day, Father's Day, anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, showers, etc.) so please print this gift guide for your reference all year long. We've done the work for you!


Casio's S5 digital camera - This small but functional digital camera is ideal for him to take along on vacation, due to its compact design and sleek look.  Available in two-toned blue and silver (or in fuchsia and pink for you), the S5 is sleek, lightweight and helps capture not only great photos, but YouTube compatible videos. This is one camera that won't take up bulky space in the carry-on bag. After you capture all those great vacation pics and video, you can share them online. (http://exilim.casio.com/products_exs5.shtml, $129)

Vivabox --Two gifts in one: first he receives a tangible gift in a variety of different themes (BBQ, movies, wine, food, etc) and then a second gift that he can custom select. Vivabox bridges the gap between a gift card and buying him something that you think is cool, but he really doesn't like. (We've all been there!) It's the perfect gift for the hardest of people to shop for because you're really letting them choose exactly what they want. With a theme to suit almost everyone, there are several travel-oriented choices. The NYC Tapas experience includes bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to create your own favorite appetizer at home, and a gift card to be redeemed for dinner for two at one of 20 tapas restaurants in NYC. (www.vivaboxusa.com, prices vary)

CREED LIVE DVD-- Fans of multi-platinum power rockers CREED are in for a special treat as CREED LIVE, the first-ever live DVD from the group, was captured during the band's long-awaited "Full Circle" reunion tour and includes every favorite track a Creed fan would want, including "Higher," "My Sacrifice," "With Arms Wide Open" and "Bullets" plus new songs such as "Overcome" and "A Thousand Faces" from Full Circle, the band's first studio effort in seven years. The DVD also includes a revealing documentary that follows Creed throughout the "Full Circle" tour with exclusive band interviews and behind-the-scenes, and a photo gallery with over 100 intimate photos from the summer 2009 trek.


HOW I LOVE YOU: A Journal of My Affection-If you're looking for that unique "somewhat handmade" gift for him, this one is a sweet keepsake where you can chronicle your love story.  This journal has fun fill-in-the-blanks and multiple choice questions and your style can switch between endearing and humorous responses. You'll express to him the sweetest times in your relationship and also some funny parts, like "If we were a couple from a movie, we'd be..." (Harlequin Nonfiction/January 2010/$13.95)


JBL/Roxy Headphones --These comfy headphones are perfect for that next trip, on a plane or train, car or whatever the mode of transportation-most likely you'll be traveling with or next to someone. Listen to your iPod with these eye-catching over-the-head tech tools, available in blue/green for him (and pink/orange for you). They are also perfectly ready for that next beach trip as they come with a beach-ready carrying case. The velvet material won't snag hair and will be the envy of his seat mate. (www.harmanaudio.com, $69.95)


Animoto video-Another modern idea for creating something for him is using one of the best kept secrets for sharing photos, Animoto. You can create a video for him using your photos from the past year. It's simple but results in an ultra cool memoir of all your travels and fun times. Just upload photos, pick a song (from their library or your own), and let the video dudes at Animoto mix the best design of your photos. It will be something he can show his friends and family and save for a lifetime. Animoto is going to have a special Valentine's Day eGreeting option.  (www.animoto.com, $3 per video or annual pass for $30)


Gifts for You (give him hints): 
You need a few new outfits for that next vacation. We all know that, as chicks, we have more fun on our Chick Vacation when we're wearing new clothes. Here are a few e-boutiques you must check out for that next trip:

Shabby Apple- Take their "Fit to Flatter" online quiz to find the ideal dress for your body type. For instance, if you are an Apple, it will give you several dress selections that flatter that body type. The dress styles range from office to date night to party chic. One of my faves, Tender is the Night, is the little black dress with a twist-added ruffles to hide all those extra unwanted curves. The brand new line, Central Park, will launch on February 15th. (www.shabbyapple.com, prices vary)

Conversation Pieces-This is the e-boutique to peruse for that perfect vacation dress to dazzle your loved one or just have that special girl's night out. These styles truly are conversation pieces-you'll have people coming up to you to compliment you on how stylish you are! They sell on-trend indie designers made in the U.S.A. with most designs from Los Angeles and everything is under a $100. But all of the pieces are limited quantity, which means you won't look like the other girl next to you in the restaurant with the super-sexy bandaged dress. A few of my faves are "Flarin to Go" (wear with or without straps) and "Blossom". (www.shopconversationpieces.com, prices vary)

Gaiam Apparel and Accessories-This is one of the best e-boutiques for comfortable travel wear, including everything from super chic yoga clothes to great-for-travel pants and sweaters. These days, yoga apparel can be worn around town, on the plane, in the restaurant, and of course, for that workout you'll need on vacation to burn those extra calories. Check out the new convertible sweater and the ActiveSoy Ruched shorts with a flattering flat front from Gaiam. (www.gaiam.com, $99/ $39)

Jill-e camera bag-Are you a chick who likes to click? You will want to get your hands on this fashionable travel accessory. While marketing camera accessories at Kodak, Jill E. Wight wondered why there were no camera bags that were aesthetically appealing to women.  Targeting female photographers (and chick travelers) jill-e produces a line of stylish alternatives to drab, black male-oriented bags. jill-e bags come in a range of sizes and the whimsical polka dot padded interior has configurable compartments offering flexible use to carry photo or tech gear or whatever you need when traveling.  All of the bags fit the FAA requirements for carry-on bags-and you will want to use this for your own travel purse, too.  Each bag comes with a matching wristlet that offers protection as well as style and is just the right size for a slim camera, iPod or phone. In honor of Valentine's Day, red bags are 14% off for the month of February and a percentage of the proceeds for each red bag sold will be donated to the American Heart Association to support the "Go Red for Women" research fund.  (www.jill-e.com, Target, Amazon.com and at camera stores, $20-400)

Agapantha Jewelry-Do you have a special necklace that you like to wear when you travel? Perhaps it's a necklace that a loved one gave to you? Maybe it's your lucky charm for a safe flight? Agapatha Jewelry has several appropriate choices for someone to express their love through a necklace. Check out the "key to my heart" necklace or the Anais charm necklace. The Anais charm necklace is a sexy combination of gemstones and charms on 17" of diamond cut chain. (www.agapanthanyc.com, prices vary)

Pacific Designs jewelry-You'll want necklaces to take on vacation that are small and easy to pack. Whether you're headed to the beach or not, you'll want to wear this beach glass necklace, a dainty turquoise glass design. This necklace doesn't overplay your outfit but makes a feminine statement. And, the best thing about this necklace is its price! (http://www.pacificjewelrydesigns.com, $20)

Absolutely Audrey shoe clips--The perfect Valentine's gift for women who love stylish, fashionable accessories.  Travel with a variety of shoe clips to create many different, trendy looks to your wardrobe without the heavy packing.  You can take one pair of shoes and your array of shoe clips, and match every outfit in your bag. A fun way to add style to your wardrobe and allow for creativity in changing your look, shoe clips are the new emerging trend originated in the 60's; a vintage look making its way back into the world of fashion. There are over 65 various styles available in rhinestone, enamel, leather, pearl, satin fabric, grosgrain fabric, etc. (www.absolutelyaudrey.com, $11-30)

Theme fragrances-We all want the smallest perfume bottle available for our travel bag. Who wants a bulky bottle to take up extra space? Of course, we have to smell wonderful! The smallest perfume bottle I've found are theme fragrances. They've developed a myriad of different scents and come in 2 ml bottles. Choose the travel sample pack and get 4 little spray bottles in a small carrying case. You can also choose a roll-on or the small tassel bottles. These would also make great gifts to carry with you for friends and loved ones. (www.themefragrance.com, $10-15)


Soft Hugwear Blanket & Eyemask Set --Keep warm and cozy under a premium plush blanket that you can travel anywhere with. In pink and red, travel-sized and full-sized blankets, a Deluxe Travel Essentials Set and a Bear with Socks Set will be just what you need to cuddle up and enjoy this Valentine's Day. (Wal-Mart, $15-25)

Marika Flatt has been a freelance writer since 2002, writing for publications such as AustinWoman magazine, FamilyTravel.com, Plate & Vine, EDGE online magazines and BabyScoopAustin.com. She is also the founder of PR by the Book, a media relations firm catering to authors and publishers, www.prbythebook.com. Flatt lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and children.
FTC Disclosure:  The writer received products as part of the review process.  For any further questions please contact us at info@chickvacations.com