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Let Your Love Show 

Valentine's gifts straight from the heart

Heart in the right place -- Around a woman's neck is always the perfect place for a ruby and heart pendant set in 14-karat gold on a silk cord by Le Vian, $999.99, from Jared Galleria of Jewelry (3400 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-2221).

Heart rocks -- Exotic stones such as pink druzy, watermelon tourmaline, Australian boulder opal, star ruby and garnet are cut in various shapes and assembled in lovely patterns on sterling silver in a bracelet, $550; necklace, $195; and ring $210; all from Sabai (3115 Magazine St., 899-9555; 924 Royal St., 525-6211)

Hearts and hours -- Girlfriends of all ages will like the combination of beauty and utility found in a watch with a hot pink strap and an oversized square face by Ethel & Myrtle, $40; and an ebony metal cuff with pink and purple jewels in hearts and other shapes, $32; both from All About Me! (3256 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-6463; 1201 E. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, 278-3400; www.allaboutmestyle.com).

Wearing your heart -- An 18-karat gold heart pendant on a black leather cord has small, yellow diamonds in a clear enclosure in the center of the heart by designer Frank Reubel, $340; a sterling silver large-link chain with a heart pendant and toggle clasp on the front is perfect for more casual days, $60; from Sue's Jewelry (3122 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-0882).

Relaxing gift -- Make your shopping easy and the giving sweet with pre-wrapped Aveda gift sets such as the Recipe for Serenity package, which includes an aroma candle, soothing aqua therapy and a sea grass basket, $29, from Paris Parker Aveda Concept Salons (The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., second floor, 568-1124; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 106, Metairie, 888-990-2468; 4900 Prytania St., 888-992-2468; 4900 Hwy. 22, Suite 1, Mandeville, 888-990-2468).

Toast to love -- Blue and green splashes of color are swirled in hand-blown martini glasses, $12 each, from Wish (3316 Magazine St., 897-0088; 306 Chartres St., 552-4301).

Photo courtesy Pass Christian Soap Company

Smell of Success -- Play to several of her senses with a Luscious Pink Gift Set by Mississippi's Pass Christian Soap Company. The gold-boxed set comes with a bright pink ribbon and is filled with a 9.5-oz. bottle of perfumed body crème, a 7.5-oz perfumed soy candle in a decorative glass; and a 3.5-oz. bar of luxury soap, $46, from Bellini Boutique (474 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-2021).

Spring fever -- Candy-colored shades and tasty textures are the hallmark of the new spring line from Lorac, including eye shadows that can be worn alone or with each other, wet as an eyeliner or dry as a shadow in mango, guava, cocoa and kiwi shades, $16 each. Peppermint-based Sweet Temptations Lip Polish comes in a bottle that looks like fingernail polish and is scented with vanilla, $17.50; or go for the Gloss Stick, which supplies high-shine shades in a convenient twist-up stick in sheer shine, sheer peach, sheer plum or sheer berry colors, $15. Add another touch of fashion whimsy with a "Chameleon" brooch made from colored glass beads and Swarovski crystals by local artist Cheryl Blaize of Bodacious Brooches, $40; all from Tracy Ewell Cosmetics and Skin Care (5500 Magazine St., 269-8490)

 

Love of hunting -- In the tradition of fox hunters, these pewter "stirrup" cups have sculpted animal heads (these are of an elephant and an elan, but others also are available) that when turned over act as stable bases for the cups, $45 each, from Arquitectonica Design (1925 Sophie Wright, 261-6736).

Bedroom essentials -- Sexy but extremely comfortable at the same time are a red Tuscan satin gown with Venice lace by Bella Notte, $100.95; ivory knitted cashmere slippers by Amy Jo Gladstone, $86.95; a vintage print, heart-shaped hot-and-cold relaxing herbal pillow by Jane, $24.95; and a "Kiss Me" trio of lip balm tubes in "Yummy Red," "Peppermint Patty," and "Sugar Cookie" flavors by Philosophy, $25.95; all from Earthsavers (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie, 835-0225; 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; 3414 U.S. Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133).

 

Passionate red -- A red taffeta hard-shell bag with gold beading and a jeweled handle by Two's Company, $38; or a handmade red fabric bag with feather trim and a beaded handle by Northshore artist Susan Capitelli, $95; both from All the Best (3215 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 835-1499).

A girl's best friend -- Marilyn Monroe sang it best when she intoned "diamonds are a girl's best friend," and this ring delivers the goods with a 1-carat princess-cut diamond in a half-bezel setting with round brilliant diamonds flat-set as accents with filigree and fleur de lis engraved in a platinum setting, $6,000; from Symmetry Jewelers (8138 Hampson St., 861-9925).


What a deal! -- Give your loved one a double-whammy Valentine's gift with flowers and a night of dance by the Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, presented by the New Orleans Ballet Association. If you buy flowers for your sweetheart at one of the participating florists listed below, you can buy two ballet tickets for the price of one. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, one of the world's most prestigious ballet companies, will perform Cinderella at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 and a mixed repertory at 8 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre of the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $26.50 to $75.50, with discounts for students and seniors. Participating florists include: Bouquet Boutique Florist (4408 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-1514), Flora Savage (1301 Royal St., 581-4728), Reggie's Flowers & Gifts (3826 Elysian Fields Ave., 949-4491), and Villere's Florist (1107 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-3716 or 834-7045).
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