The best gifts are those that the recipients wouldn’t – or couldn’t – buy for themselves. Maybe it’s something that isn’t in their budget, or it could be something they didn’t even know they wanted. But I think the ultimate is a gift that has just a hint of luxury. Chocolates and flowers are nice, but Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to let someone know that you are willing to put in some extra thought. The items on this list are all practical, but with a special something that makes them perfect for gift giving. Better yet, you can tailor them to be romantic, playful, or friendly. Bonus? They’re all under $20!
Heart-Shaped Shortbread Cookies from Panera
It doesn’t take much to convince me to grab lunch at Panera. If we had one any closer to my house, I’d risk having to pay rent on a table. And anyone who has eaten there knows that they have some divine baked goods from artisan breads to yummy scones. Unfortunately, I always feel a little bit guilty snagging a dessert while I’m there. This is why these adorable heart-shaped, shortbread cookies would make such a lovely gift. I mean, if someone were to give them to me, I’d have to eat them, right? Plus, they’ve got some new lower-calorie menu items, so you and your honey can lunch guilt-free before you splurge on a delicious dessert.
Enter to win a Panera gift card so you can try Panera’s new healthy menu options and indulge in their yummy baked goods.
Pinkberry Swirly Gram
Honestly, I can’t imagine many better ways to brighten a boring day at the office than with your own Pinkberry Swirly Gram. You can send yummy Pinkberry frozen yogurt to someone you love for Valentine’s Day (or other special occasions). Swirly Grams are available in original, chocolate and blood orange flavors. And each one has some special toppings to make them even more decadent. Sure, flowers are nice and all. But frozen yogurt? Yum. Yum. Yum. If you’re too far from a Pinkberry for a yogurt delivery, you can also send a specially wrapped gift card to your sweetie. Trust me. This is a going to win you bonus points with the recipient.
Envirosax Shopping Bags
Everyone knows someone who has everything, yet has space for nothing. These people are nearly impossible to buy for. That’s what I chose these beautiful, yet practical Envirosax reusable bags. They don’t take up much space at all, but their cheerful prints are bound to make even mundane errands more fun. The bags hold up to 44 lbs and retail for $8.95 from the Envirosax website. If you’re giving one to that special someone, fill the bag with groceries to cook her a romantic dinner. For kids, choose a Sesame Street character bag and fill it with books or art supplies. For a crafter, try filling it with yarn and some knitting needles. See? They can double as gift wrap!
Paperblanks Journal from Levenger
I’m a writer and have been for as long as I can remember. While I am also a techie, I have a long-time love affair with paper. There’s just something about writing your ideas down in a physical form and taking them along with you. This Paperblanks peacock journal from Levenger is lovely (honestly, just about everything Levenger is fabulous). It has a magnetic flap closure, a ribbon bookmark and a pocket for storing trinkets. I think all journals should have a pocket! To make this a special gift, write a thoughtful note and tuck it into the pocket. The recipient will always have a memento to remind them of you.
Levenger has a wide assortment of sumptuous gift items, including quality pens, desk accessories, and even iPad and laptop stands. If the journal isn’t quite right, you’ll definitely want to take a peek and see if anything else catches your eye.
Phone or Gadget Skin from SkinIt
You didn’t think I’d make it through this whole list without something related to tech, did you? You can give a whole new look to a cell phone or gadget by applying a skin to it. Choose a favorite sports team, animated character, or make a custom skin with a special photo. This Mickey Mouse skin on my old Blackberry is from SkinIt. People would regularly ask me where they could get their own Mickey Mouse Blackberry phone! A gift like this shows that you’re willing to put in a little extra effort, and that you’ve been paying attention to what he or she is interested in. That’s what a Valentine’s Day gift should be!
Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be an expensive holiday. With a little thought and time, you can make an impact and show your Valentine just how much you care.
Disclosure: I received samples (in the form of gift cards) from Panera and Pinkberry for the purposes of crafting a review, as well as gift cards for giveaways. There was no promise of a positive review and the opinions contained in this post are my own.