Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Focus: Chocolate or Checkbooks?

Typically, the short month of February is a blur due to our focus for the perfect Valentine’s Day plans. Whether or not we are in a relationship, we succumb to the pressure of buying or planning something for someone we know. Doused in reds and pinks, we forget to realize that this is a capitalist holiday which causes us to empty our wallets on a dime.

In a relationship, both parties should love one another, and celebrate that love when it is felt. It should not be feasted upon by some day on a calendar that claims that waxy chocolates and overly priced dinner reservations will portray a perfect relationship. The US News Forum reports that annual spending for the holiday is approaching $19 billion dollars. Most of the money is typically spent between candy, flowers, and eating out. As the second biggest “Hallmark Holiday,” it is not surprising that greeting cards follow. If you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t need the stigma of the day to remind you of why you are in a relationship with someone.

Single people? They are targeting you too. You don’t need that “singles mixer” that is dragging every person you could find on Tinder out of their house, only for the venue to serve you overpriced drinks. It’s unfair to push yourself into a toxic or ill-fitting relationship to meet a “standard.” It’s easy to think that you are alone at this time of year, but think about how buying and receiving affects us as everyday consumers. Buying and receiving things makes us feel better, makes us feel like we ARE more when we HAVE more. Just think, you are saving money, saving calories, and keeping out the clutter of oversized teddy bears.

Moral of the story is, a cheaper restaurant is still as good as any restaurant. Netflix and RedBox are a lot less expensive than movie tickets, and it is just another day.

 

Written by Zoe Pierson

Top 10 Romantic Getaways in the US

We all need a vacation sometimes, and that’s inevitable. What better time to start planning a romantic getaway than in the month of love? Whether that means a getaway accessible by car, or by hopping on a plane for a few hours, I have a few beautiful trips that don’t even require a passport.

#10 Indianapolis, IN
If the city is your cup of tea for a vacation, this city does it all. Many of the hotels here celebrate their love of art, sports, or both. A short walk leads to museums, restaurants, shopping, monuments, and sports arenas. At night, a lighted Canal Walk gives a tour of the city and sinks you into sweet dreams.

#9 Ketchum, ID
With a “small town” and European blend, this vacation was meant for keeping a packed schedule while relaxing. Breathtaking mountains offer stunning views that are also known for skiing. Music and art play a large role in the community, and day trips to the nearby Sun Valley offer many outdoor adventures.

#8 Portland, OR
This location truly has something for everyone. Contemporary art tends to be a common theme throughout the city with modern inventions making their way into society. City life sits right on the water, and you are always a short ride to mountains and hiking. Music and museums reign, night life is bustling, and a good restaurant is always in reach.

#7 Gatlinburg, TN
Maintaining timeless beauty for years, the mountains in Gatlinburg are a second home that call to you once you’ve begun to return home. With plenty of dining and shows to see within 30 minutes of anywhere, there is a guarantee to never be bored. Horse and buggy and skyline rides offer an insider’s view that can never be forgotten.

#6 Napa Valley, CA
Modern cottages are nestled in acres of wine country in this part of California. With elaborate pools, 4 and 5 star restaurants, and plenty of shopping, Napa Valley will make for an unforgettable experience and some great pictures. If hotels aren’t your thing, there are many camping sites that allow hunting, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

holding-hands-1599054_1920#5 Pittsboro, NC
Writers, authors, and musicians have all been bred from this area due to the luscious landscapes and the love for the arts. Bed and breakfasts and small inns are popular in this neck of the woods, and the Fearrington House is your perfect destination for a place to stay and a full blown spa.

#4 Barnard, VT
Many writers and journalists have passed through this area of Vermont, and have described the crisp air and clean spirit that it holds. This vacation would be perfect in the fall; leaves changing with the background of cottages, barns, and old farms. Silver Lake State Park provides beauty through the seasons, and peace and quiet are sure to help you wind down in this small town.

#3 Newport, RI
Many mansions serve as hotels in this little town, and they sit quietly on the coast. Despite how warm or cold the weather, the sound of water lapping the rocks and views of sailboats always cleanse the soul. Downtown, you can explore small, privately owned shops and great food. If you’re looking for a tan, small stretches of beach can be found all around town.

#2 Savannah, GA
Historic buildings and cobblestones bring many people to this location for their vacations. Southern hospitality keeps shops and sidewalks full, and meal times aren’t ever set in stone because deciding on a restaurant is far too difficult. Scary ghost stories don’t keep people from going out at night and even going on ghost tours. Music, water sports, and theaters are also large parts of the community.

#1: Little Torch Key, FL
It’s as close to the Caribbean as you can get without leaving the country. Little Torch Key is a small town in Florida that is right off the coast, accessible by boat or small plane. Tiki themed barbecues and thatched roofs throughout the small island provide the lasting impression of a friendly Caribbean town, and the white sand and crystal waters don’t hurt either.

 

Written by Zoe Pierson

Give a Gift They’ll Really Love

Don’t wait until the last minute to do your gift shopping, especially when you’re on a budget. Here are a few ideas to help you out:

For your leading lady: 

Kate Spade Tumbler
With a multitude of patterns and colors, you can keep their drinks cold and stylish!

Cupid Bath Bomb 
A blend of rose and bergamot will fizz away the stress of the day as it melts in warm bath water.

il_340x270.1041904003_gaajAmethyst Air Plant
If she loves foliage around the house, this is a great gift for her! A fully functional plant resides in the amethyst and only needs a little water and a little sunlight once a week to thrive. There are a variety of plants and colors available.

 

For your #ManCrushMonday:

asos-trunks-in-gift-box-with-heart-print-3-pack-black-1481669215ASOS Heart Print Boxers (3 pack, ASOS) 
Keep him comfortable and festive with this mix of black, red, and heart adorned cotton boxers.

Sugarfina Single Malt Scotch Cordials 
With a dark chocolate shell on the outside and a Scotch filled center, it is sure to shock the tastebuds off of your man. The perfect blend of the ingredients is sure to mean they wont stick around long.

Tile Finder
Never lose your keys again! You can attach the tile to just about anything, and when you don’t know where you’ve left it, use the Tile App to locate it.

For the little ones:

Free People Heart Sparklers (Free People)
Eyes wides and hearts aglow, these sparklers are sure to keep the little ones involved in the festivities.

recycled-conversation-heart-crayonsHeart Shaped Message Crayons
Sets of 5 crayons that reminisce on conversation hearts are the perfect gift for the artists in your family. Packaged in cupcake liners, they look almost good enough to eat!

Don’t forget–regardless of your recipient–ChocolatePaper has the cutest array of greeting cards ranging from sentimental to hilarious! Check out their website here.

 

Written by Zoe Pierson

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Flowers and chocolate are nice, but let’s be honest–it isn’t that hard to go to the grocery store, grab those items, and make it look like you actually thought about Valentine’s Day for more than three seconds on the way home.
Surprise your Valentine with unique and creative gifts that appeal to their personality this year–it only takes a few extra seconds to find something beautiful, thoughtful, and perfect for the one you love. Here area  few of our favorite ideas:

VDay_Paramour2Paramour Valentine’s Day Archipelago candles: These candles are elegant, and they smell wonderful also. This is a gift that your Valentine can appreciate for quite some time, and the glass containers make wonderful keepsakes once the candle is gone!

Bubblecake Cupcakes: Again, candy is great… but we love cupcakes! This option is perfect for any sweet-loving male or female in your life. Plus, they are having a really great deal this weekend. Head over to their Facebook page for more information!

word-notebooks-declan-3pack-coverWord. Notebooks: We featured these in our February issue, but we have to mention them here as well! There are many different styles of these notebooks available, making them the perfect gift regardless of gender. Plan an adventure for your Valentine, but don’t forget to give them the notebook first–that way they can record it and remember it forever!

2016 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Registration: The Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate of Susan G. Komen is hosting their Race for the Cure on April 9 this year. Surprise your sweetheart by registering them and yourself to participate! Take advantage of their sweetheart deal, which offers the lowest race registration prices available, before it ends on Monday, February 15. Click here for details!

Happy Valentine’s Day from your Bella girls! We hope you have a great weekend!

 

Valentine’s Day Style

If you’re still looking for the perfect outfit to catch the attention of your significant other this Valentine’s Day, look no further than these fun ideas! Turn heads in this red statement dress, paired with gold love-struck heart earrings, scalloped black flats, and a chic hair accessory to match!

Modcloth Dress A red dress for Valentine’s Day is nice, but add a couple of subtle accent colors to the bottom and you have something you can wear all year! You can find this one here!

earringsAccent your dress with a cute pair of earrings from ModCloth!

 

 

sam edelman Augusta flatsHeels are cute, but flats are our best friends! Check out these comfortable staples from Samedelman!

Goody headbandAdd a headband from Goody to complete your look! They offer several sparkling, dressy options. However, you can never go wrong with plain black!

No matter what style you choose, we hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with special moments shared by loved ones!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Thinking of You on Valentine’s Day!

With your choice of 18 different scents, the Tarah Jade Aroma Candle Collection is a great gift idea for anyone special in your life! This Valentine’s Day, treat your spouse, sibling, or friend to a unique scent they will love.
Options like the Sandalwood Musk or French Tobacco are perfect for the man in your life. Lemon Verbena or White Leaf make great gifts for the ladies! Don’t forget to pick up the Noche Cubana or Asian Pear scented collection for yourself!

candleWhile their candle’s shape may appear similar to countless others, they ultimately stand above the average candle product for a few reasons:

  • The Tarah Jade company proudly proclaims themselves having “natural, ecologically and socially sustainable products” and thus allows them “to connect, personally, with our growing world community”. True to their word, their candle wax is made of organic soy.
  • Each candle is hand crafted, and poured individually, in Los Angeles, California.
  • The wood wicked of the candles have a burn time of 50 hours, a little over two days.
  • For $30 (and free shipping!), you can buy the Tarah Jade Aroma Candle collection now on their website!

Pick up a copy of our February issue for more Valentine’s Day gift ideas!

Written by Madison Correiro

Bella Loves: Plum Deluxe Tea Blends!

During the winter days filled with blistering winds and icy chills, a hot drink can go a long way! Treat yourself to quality and delicious choices from Plum Deluxe. Their tea is organic and GMO-free, with no sulfites or artificial chemicals! They also list all of their ingredients online and on the packaging, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
chocolate-hazelnut-477x477Plum Deluxe emphasizes the importance of “making moments that matter,” and sells around 14 different blends that help achieve that including Mindful Morning (Earl Grey), Chocolate Hazelnut, and a Self­ Care Tea Blend (elderberry & apricot). Currently, their most popular blend is the Reading Nook Blend, a combination of black tea, lavender, rose, and chamomile. With Valentine’s Day arriving soon, the company is even selling Raspberry Cocoa Truffle Tea for the month of February!
Although you can buy a signature blend of your choice, Plum Deluxe also offers ­ for $10 a month ­ a membership with the Organic Tea of the Month club. Each month you would receive an ounce (around 15 to 20 cups) of the monthly tea, along with a sample of another artisan tea, an invitation to their private tea lover’s community online, and free shipping. If you’re not sure you want to commit, try the Tea Tasting Flight for $4, in which you receive two to three samples of blends of your choosing!
In addition, Plum Deluxe runs a blog called The Blend, ­and sells various tea accessories including Orange Blossom Honey Sticks to put in your tea, a Heart & Soul Tea Infuser, and even a Herbal Bath Sachet for relaxation!

Written by Madison Correiro

14 Days of Love: $85 Gift Card from Salon Del Sol!

14 Days of Love: DAY Thirteen!!

1292876787_CCSOne lucky winner will get to pamper themselves or a loved one with this $85 gift card from Salon Del Sol! You can use this card towards their Elemental Massage– a personalized experience based upon the Aveda Elemental Nature philosophy and your favorite Aveda aromas. This full-body therapeutic massage will increase circulation, help eliminate toxins, and reduce stress.

Visit our Facebook page for details on how to enter!