Valentine's Day. Two words that, when put together, comprise one of the most dreaded phrases in the male psyche. There's a lot of pressure, to be sure. Pressure to cook the right meal (or choose the right restaurant), buy the perfect gift and not wait too long to snag some chocolates and flowers. Here are my picks for the perfect Valentine's gifts—all available locally.
1. Lele Sadoughi makes some beautiful, vintage-inspired pieces that work singularly (as a statement piece), or stacked with other jewelry. Her slider bracelets are particularly popular, and available locally at AshleGryre in Atlantic Beach. Prices range from $100-$325, depending on the size.
2. Pablo Neruda is the man (so to speak) when it comes to love poems. This book is not only beautiful, but it includes poems in both English and Spanish (Neruda's native language). $11.95 at Anthropologie
3. You can't go wrong with Chanel polish. The bottles are like little pieces of art, and it's a mini-luxury that won't break the bank. $27 at Dillard's
4. No matter how many pounds of the stuff I've consumed over the years, I will never get sick of chocolate-covered popcorn from Peterbrooke. Check out our February issue for more about the history of the concoction. $8.50-$58 at all area Peterbrooke locations
5. Chocolate and bubbles go together like peanut butter and jelly. Instead of the standard bottle of bubbles, opt for Sofia Coppola's cute, juice box-like containers of Blanc de Blanc. $14.99 at World Market
6. Roses are tired. Surprise your gal with a bouquet of fresh lavender or a heart-shaped wreath from Mos Home, Garden and Gifts in Jacksonville Beach. Prices vary
7. Delicate underpinnings are a pretty standard Valentine's gift, but this cute little chemise from Eberjey is modern, comfortable, and not over-the-top sexy. $79 at at Penelope T Boutique in Jax Beach
8. When in doubt, go with a great card—just be sure to write something more heartfelt than "Happy Valentine's Day" inside. The Write Touch in San Marco has a stellar selection of cheeky, romantic and downright gorgeous cards. Prices vary
9. If your Valentine is a book-worm, or just loves pretty things, they'll surely enjoy this fabulous set of bookends from Cottage by the Sea in Jacksonville Beach. Mermaids are mysterious, romantic and make a unique gift on a day full of generic presents. (PS. The Cottage is hosting a Valentine's event this Saturday—they'll be serving red velvet cupcakes, doughnuts and champagne so, if you are looking for a present for that special someone, that might be the day to go shopping.) $39 at Cottage by the Sea