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. 

Outfit Post: Black and White

Do you ever feel like you have days where you’re crazy busy but accomplish little to nothing on your to-do list? I feel like I’m having one of those weeks. I either need more hours in the day or something to help me get laser focused. Can anyone help me out? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Anyways, on to today’s better late than never post…

As much as I love sneakers, I have avoided grabbing a pair of classic chucks (despite being constantly envious of how cute they look on Beth) since I think they accentuate my already epically large feet. But when Rack Room Shoes gave me the chance to pick a pair of shoes for a post, I figured it might be worth giving them another go. I’m glad I did since I needed a new pair of fresh white sneaks and these are pretty perfect with jeans.

But rather than go the standard jeans and tee route, I thought I’d switch it up and go all black & white with this causal look. Perfect for running around on a fall weekend* – polished enough for errands, comfy enough for lazy football watching on the couch. These Lysse leggings are pretty freaking fabulous too since they come with a built in tummy panel to help hold everything in – perfect for this post-baby bod.

* Speaking of fall weekend plans, this weekend Dress & Dwell is hosting their 3rd Annual Fall Flea. It’s making the move from the farm to downtown New Albany so there’s no excuse not to head over there to hunt for some antiques and other fun finds. All the details here. Check out my trip to last year’s event here.

Lysee Leggings (2)Black & White Tee: J.Crew (bought earlier this year but this sweatshirt is similar); Vegan Leather Panel Leggings: c/o Lysse; Converse Sneakers: c/o Rack Room Shoes; Necklace: BaubleBar (sold out but this one is the same color palette) ; Black Crossbody Bag: Sole Society (from last year but this year’s version is really similar)

I realized I’m a total fail today on providing links to the actual products – except the leggings & sneakers. So sorry about that but trying to shop the closet (#budgetprobs). Lysee Leggings (3)Lysee Leggings (5)Images by Whitney Neal.

 

 

 

 

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