Gourmet & Gift Buying Guide

Buying gifts for HER: Shop by her Personality!

You know her best – her interests, her moods, her hobbies, what she would rather be doing when she has agreed to go to the ballgame with you and your buddies. So instead of buying just any gift for her this Valentine’s Day, think about what defines her, and surprise her with something that’s not about the price or the box, but about HER.

The Style Queen – Is your girl the stylish type? Does she always look perfectly put together no matter what’s she’s wearing? When you are out on the town, does she spend most of time admiring those designer clothes and strappy shoes in the store windows? If this sounds like the special woman in your life clothes, then here are a few ideas “designed” for her.

Designer—Give her a fashionable gift from her favorite name-brand designer like a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes, an Armani blouse, a Burberry scarf, a Coach or Dolce & Gabbana purse, or those “to die for” True Religion jeans. If you don’t know exactly what she would like from a particular designer, how about taking her for a special shopping trip, just the two of you, to a store that carries the brands she most loves. If she is the type that would rather shop with her girlfriends, maybe a gift card to her favorite store would be ideal. The point is to show her that you pay attention to what she likes.

Trendy— If your significant other is always reading trend magazines and looking at the latest styles, why not take the cue and buy her a gift that reflects her timely interests. Spend some time with her and ask her what styles she most likes now. When you are out with her shopping, pay attention to the things she says she likes, and then surprise her with a gift unique to her sensibilities.

Vintage—If your lady is into retro and vintage styles, there are many items from which to choose. How about a antique or retro styled ring, earrings, or necklace? Perhaps something that mimics the art-deco of the early 20th century? Maybe she’s more into style and trends of the 40’s and 50’s. There are many great dresses and accessories that mimic certain eras. If she’s a little more trendy and likes the vintage look but doesn’t care if it is the real thing, there are vintage style T’s and hoodies that mimic styles from the 60’s and 70’s.

The Beautiful Athlete—Would the woman in your life rather spend time jogging, practicing yoga, riding her bike, or playing golf than going shopping with the girls? You’re in luck! With the explosion of the wellness industry, there are almost limitless ideas for gifts for your athletic amour.

Athletic Gear—If she is into a certain sport, like tennis or golf, perhaps there is a new accessory or new piece of equipment she would like. Maybe it’s time to upgrade that aluminum racket to a graphite tennis racquet. If she’s truly into a sport, she’ll love your thoughtfulness. If she’s more into wellness and fitness, or into a particular type of training, you may want to consider yoga or Pilates clothing or gear like a new yoga mat.

Is there a particular accessory that would make her workout more effective? Does she love a certain type of running shoe? Just remember, if you’re going this route, make sure she really is into athletics and fitness and this isn’t a hint from you that she needs to be into fitness. Otherwise, your Valentine’s Day may not go as well as you planned.

Games—The Wii gaming system is hugely popular and many of the games focus on fitness and exercise. Wii-fit and Wii Resort are two of the more popular game packages available. Not only can she enjoy some fun exercise on her own, but the two of you can play together.

Avid Adventurer— Is your gal the outdoorsy type? Does she love to backpack and prefer to see nature up close and personal? She’ll love one of these ideas that will allow her to do the things she loves in even more comfort or give her ideas for more travel adventures.

Outdoor Activities—If your girl is a true outdoors person, perhaps one of the greatest gifts you could give her would be an outdoor adventure for the two of you, even if that is not your idea of fun. Tackle something new for the both of you. Try canoe camping down a lazy river or hike along a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Whatever you choose, it’s best if you can do it together.

Travel Books—If she’s already been on a lot of great trips, maybe a great travel book with fresh new ideas can spark the genesis for a new adventure or a travel diary so she can keep a record of her adventures.

Luggage & Travel Accessories– Give her what she needs to travel in style! Does she need a new carry-on bag or larger suitcase that is lighter weight than her old one? Maybe she has had her eye on some of the fun and colorful luggage that is available so she will have an easy time finding her suitcase amidst the sea of black bags on the luggage carousel? Shop online to find great deals on suitcases and travel accessories like FDA approved bottles for liquids or computer bags that eliminate the need to remove your laptop from its case.

Boots and Clothing—Although a bit on the practical side, boots and other outdoor clothing can be a terrific gift idea. Is she planning trip that requires spending some time outdoors in the cold? How about a new hiking jacket or a new windbreaker? Or maybe she is going somewhere sunny and needs a sun protective shirt or hat. Either way make sure you keep the receipt so she can exchange for a different size if needed.

Outdoor Equipment—There is a great variety of outdoor equipment made specifically for women. If she loves backpacking, maybe a new pack designed for a woman’s smaller frame. Or how about a new GPS unit so that she always knows where she is and where she’s going? Because outdoor recreation always has new and exciting gadgets that can make any outdoor activity more comfortable or safe, consider a new “toy” that you know she has had her eye on.

The Art Maven–She loves Monet. Caravaggio’s boldness makes her weep. The strains of Verdi make her giddy. You are in love with an artistic woman. You can please her in many ways with some of these selections.

Books or Music—If she truly loves art, music, or architecture, she may already have many books on these subjects. Maybe there are books that feature an artist similar to one she already loves. Is there a particular version of a Broadway show that she loves but doesn’t have a copy of?

Supplies—Is the lady in your life a true artist? Does she paint, sculpt, or write? Perhaps she would like some new art supplies that fit her particular gifts – brushes, oil or acrylic paints, art pencils, canvas or paper will help support her talent and show her that you are interested in helping her pursue her passion.

Trips—If you want to splurge, plan a trip to see art, theatre, or architecture personally. You can read all you want on a subject, but there is nothing like seeing, smelling, and touching the real thing. Even if you can’t afford a trip to the Metropolitan Museum, most cities have artwork by the masters and unique exhibits from traveling shows. Although a trip to New York to see a Broadway show would be amazing for the theatre buff, don’t despair if that is not feasible. Most medium to large size cities have off-Broadway shows that are sure to please. Take a look in your local newspaper for shows coming your way soon.

Intellectual– Have you teamed up with the beautiful intellectual or a womanly bookworm? Does she love to stretch her mental muscles? Choose a gift that will show her that you understand that she enjoys learning and expanding her mind.

Books – Most people love reading, especially those with an intellectual bent. If there is a particular author that your lady loves, try to find out if there is a new book coming out by the same author or a new author of the same style. Also, for those electronically inclined, Amazon makes an amazing e-book called the Kindle. Depending on which version you get, you can store between 1500 and 3800 books! It’s wireless and operates on a 3G network, so you can download a book in less than a minute.

Skill Builders – There are some great brainteasers out now, including Sudoku. These can be purchased in either electronic or paper form. There is also the traditional crossword and work search games, and travel versions of favorites like Scrabble. There are even electronic dictionaries available for crosswords, Scrabble and more.

The Princess – She’s a woman’s woman and you love her for that. Appeal to her with gifts designed to appeal to her feminine side.

“Girly stuff”—If you know what types of perfume she prefers, buy the matching body wash or lotion. Or try a new bottle in a similar scent to her current perfume. This shows you pay attention to her likes and she’ll love you for that. You can also get her a gift that is distinctively feminine such as a beautiful silk scarf from Pucci or Fendi, or a silk robe. If you have a good understanding of the type of clothing she likes, you could also get her a flattering, feminine blouse or a flowing skirt.

Pampering—Who doesn’t love to be pampered? For the feminine woman, a trip to a day spa is a terrific and thoughtful gift. This is a chance for here to get away from it all for a little while and let someone else take care of her needs and treat her like the princess she is. For those with a smaller budget, help pamper her yourself with spa-like items such as wonderfully scented lotions, massage pads, or even a good, old-fashioned back rub. There are some great spa themed gift baskets online that take the guesswork out of gift giving.

All Women—You really can’t go wrong with the traditional gifts women have always enjoyed.

Chocolates—Most women (but not all) really love chocolate. Some are into the smooth milk chocolate while others love the richest of truffles with exotic fillings. Make sure you get her the kind of chocolate she enjoys so it has more meaning than just a standard box of chocolate.

Cards—Women also love beautiful, meaningful cards that really show how much they mean to you. Take care to pick out a card that reflects your true relationship, or how you want your relationship to be.

Flowers—Although a bit clichéd, women do love flowers. Not all women love the same flowers, so pick something that exudes romance and joy to her. It could be the flowers you had at your wedding, or a particular bloom you encountered hiking the Appalachian Trail. You know her, and you know what she’ll enjoy.

Jewelry – Jewelry is a traditional Valentine’s gift and it can be a necklace, charm for a bracelet, earrings, brooch, nose ring, belly button ring, engagement ring or just a regular ring. Word to the wise though…if you are not already engaged; be careful about giving a ring to your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day so as to avoid confusion or disappointment.

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