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Unique Valentine's Day Gifts Image by: instagram.com/bitebeauty/
Think outside the box this Valentine's Day and pick up something cute, funny or thoughtful!
Valentine's Day is full of clichés. Chocolates, lingerie, flowers—it's not for everybody (though no judgement if you're all about that OTT romance). Which is why we've put together a list of gifts that we think aren't as obvious. Some are silly, some require a personal touch—but we're sure all of them will be well-recieved. Take a look.
Simply say "I love you"
TheThinktree card, $5.50, etsy.com.
If a simple card will do the trick to say “I love you,” then it may as well be a cute one.
Remind them of your favourite (shared) things
BonMotPrints wedding song print, $25, etsy.com.
Do you and your person have a song? Was there something special you played at your wedding, or a tune that always puts a smile on your partner’s face? This personalized poster is the best way to honour that ditty.
Talking Tables glitter banner, $18, indigo.ca.
Staying in with your honey this Valentine’s Day? Dress up your home with a few cheesy—but very cute—decorations. It’s the little things that will put a smile on your lover’s face.
PlumPerfection pillow cover, $32.50, etsy.com.
Get straight to the point with this fun pillow. It’s the perfect gift for new couples.
Miniature Bonsai Tree Kit, $16, urbanoutfitters.com.
Taking care of something together—like a pet—is a great way to expand your relationship. But not everyone is up for a new furry friend. Instead, pick up a plant, or better yet, grow a plant together. This Bonsai Tree Kit is the perfect way to watch your love grow—without the animal allergens.
Bite Beauty Lab, starting at $55, bitebauty.ca.
Kissable lips sort of go hand-in-hand with Valentine’s Day, so get your love the gift of healthy lips—with a twist. Sign your lover up for an opportunity to get her makeup professionally done, or if you’re in Toronto plan for your sweety to check out BITE Beauty Lab—she’ll get to make her own personalized lipstick shade.
You Had Me At Merlot wine glasses, $16, urbanoutfitters.com.
If yours is a love that was nurtured over a bottle of wine, then you should probably pick up these cute glasses.
Principal ballet dancer Sonia Rodriguez depends on her body for support, whether she's rehearsing in the studio, performing onstage or playing with her kids. She shares her best advice for staying strong and healthy.
Maintain your muscles
As a dancer, Sonia needs strong muscles to perform challenging jumps, control her body during choreographed balances and support herself through all those pirouettes. And every woman needs strong muscles to protect our joints, fire up our metabolism and carry out daily tasks—but we naturally lose muscle as we age, so strength-training exercises (which use free weights, machines or a person's own body weight to develop muscle strength) are essential for maintenance. When Sonia is short on time, she pares her usual morning workout down to a plank, which works the core (key for good posture and balance) as well as the upper body and legs.
Keep your fitness goals small and achievable
Ballerinas spend hours a day working on their form and striving for perfection, but Sonia knows that perfection is achieved one detail at a time. "You can't improve everything at once; it's impossible," she says. "Look at small goals. That's how you make improvements." For Sonia, that might mean spending one rehearsal day focusing just on maintaining a strong supporting leg. For the rest of us, it might mean concentrating on proper breathing during yoga or engaging our core during strength training.
Strategize your snacking
Sonia fuels her workouts with balanced snacks. "I get very cranky and can't focus if I don't have snacks throughout the day," she says. The best way to avoid feeling "hangry" is to eat fibre- and protein-rich foods such as nuts, edamame or veggies and hummus, which are more satiating than simple carbs, and to prepare snacks to have on hand so you can eat before hunger interferes with your energy levels.
Stretch it out
The poses ballerinas are known for are achievable by only the most flexible athletes. Still, having a degree of flexibility is important for all of us; it will improve posture and reduce the risk of injury. The best time to do your stretches? After a workout. "Your muscles are warmed up, so you get more benefit out of the stretch and there's less chance of hurting yourself," says Sonia.
Try Sonia's one-legged plank: Starting on your knees, lower yourself onto your forearms and extend both legs behind you, planting your toes on the ground for support. With your shoulders over your elbows, your torso flat and your legs straight, lift one foot; hold the pose for as long as you can. Repeat with the opposite leg. Lifting one leg increases the difficulty by forcing your muscles to support more of your body weight.