Favorite Things + Shopping: Secret Cupid Valentine’s Day Gift Exchange

February will be here tomorrow but no doubt you’ve already seen rows of Valentine’s Day candy, trinkets and treats in stores. I can’t say that I LOVE Valentine’s Day. I do think it’s basically a trick to buy more candy and make men the pressure to pull off a movie-style romantic evening. While I do love candy and a nice evening out (at this point I’ll take dinner just about anywhere if I means I can finish my food without 16 questions from a four-year-old), those things can get a little tired.

So a couple years ago, all the girls at my office thought it would be fun to do a Secret Cupid gift exchange. It’s, by far, one of my new favorite things when it comes to Valentine’s Day because I know I’ll end up with a pretty sweet gift (no pun intended).

Let’s all be serious. When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, we all just want a few of the fun, maybe cheesy or silly, cute items that stores (namely Papersource) stock this time of year.  So the Secret Cupid is perfect. Nothing fancy when it comes to organizing one – it’s basically the exact same thing as a Secret Santa exchange but we do it with just girls and a $25 gift limit. You can get a bunch of little things or one big gift – it’s up to you – we just make sure that it’s something the person would love. Which around our company usually means kitschy office supplies, funny gift cards and anything Rifle Paper Co.

If you’ve got more than three ladies in your office, I definitely recommend throwing one together (you can do it on Monday – it will make the start of the week WAY better). Or just send out an email to all your girlfriends, swap names and deliver the gifts on the 14th or plan a girl’s night out before or after.

Here’s a few of my favorite gift ideas. I’ll also be adding some to the rotating favorites in the side bar so check those out too!

Outfit Post: Caped Crusader + Alex and Ani

After traveling with a {now} four-year old all weekend, I need a vacation. We packed up and took D3 to Chicago for a weekend of touristy fun and a visit with my friend Cara. In just one day we hit up the Bean, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, Portillo’s (for hot dogs and milkshakes) and the holiday L train (it is amazing). I am exhausted but it was one of the most fun trips I’ve taken in a long time (although I haven’t taken many trips lately… so there’s that).

But there’s no rest for at least a couple weeks so I’m back at work trying to make it through to another jam-packed weekend. The holidays can be exhausting in the best possible way.

Unfortunately I’m not quite as put together today as I was last week when I donned this cape for a day of meetings. I love the color mix but wanted to add a little something underneath to toughen it up so I paired it with this faux leather jacket I’ve been wearing non-stop. Did double duty of keeping me warm and giving the outfit that extra touch it needed.

I also mixed it up with these Alex and Ani bracelets borrowed from Gumer Jewelry. I layered up a bunch of them but couldn’t help but love the blue/green stone combo the best. These bracelets make a great gift for those hard-to-buy for gals on your list. Especially since they won’t break the bank so you can snag a couple that fit their style. I’m loving this feather one big time.

Tan Cape with Leather Trim: Ann Taylor (bought it last year but this year’s version is similar AND 40% off); Faux Leather Jacket (underneath): ASOS; White T-Shirt: Forever 21; Necklace: Bauble Bar (old but love this option + save 30% off with code INSTAGLAM); Jeans: True Religion; Heels: Jessica Simpson (so old); Bag: Kate Spade

Bracelets: Alex and Ani – All Available at Gumer Jewelry (225 Hurstbourne Parkway)
 Stop by their store this Thursday for a special shopping event. No big party or high-pressure environment – just a relaxing spot to break away from the crowds and check a couple gals off your shopping list. I heard there may even be a little bubbly. Sounds like my kind of shopping. 




Photos by Hayley Grant. 


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Gumer & Co. Jewelry. All opinions and random musings are my own. 

Shopping: Cyber Monday Deals & Gifts Galore

Let’s just get straight to the deals since I know that’s what you’re looking for. Here’s a list of my favorite Cyber Monday sales + a smorgasborg of gift ideas. All of these are from sales with great deals. Happy Shopping!

* Ann Taylor50% off everything with code CYBER50
* Anthropologie – Extra 20% off sale items with code HOLLYJOLLY
* ASOS – Get 30% off everything with code ILOVEMONDAYS
* Banana Republic – 40% off everything with code CYBER
* BaubleBar - 20% off with code CYBER20 with the chance to save up to 30% off
* Bloomingdale’s - Take 25% off your purchase
* Brooks Brothers – 10% off your purchase with up to 30% off some items.
* C.Wonder - 40% off everything!
* Dress & Dwell – Use code LUCKYCYBERMONDAY to see what you save between 25 – 35% off.
* Forever 21 - 20% off order $60+ with code CYBER20; 30% off order $120+ with code CYBER30
* GAP - 40% off everything with code CYBER
* J.CREW - 30% off with code MONDAY
* Kate Spade – 30% off with code CYBER30
* LOFT – 50% off everything with code MONDAY
* Nasty Gal – Up to 50% off
* Nordstrom – Up to 40% off
* Old Navy – 40% off everything with code CYBER
* Sephora – Free Seven Piece Sample Bag with $25 purchase
* Sole Society - Save 30% off shoes and bags.

 

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