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Vivo Masks: Turn Your Valentine’s Day into a Masquerade

While channel surfing last weekend, we happened upon the masked party scene of the Fifty Shades Darker movie, which of course brought to mind movies where masked balls or parties played an important part of the story. Most movies with masquerade masks, like Eyes Wide Shut, Phantom of the Opera, Casanova, et al, ooze sensuality. We’re talking about both the scene and the wearer. There’s just something about the mystery and illusion of what’s hidden behind the mask that adds to the allure of these ornately decorated accessories. With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, why not bring some of that sensual mystery into your Valentine’s Day celebrations with one of the many beautiful selections of masquerade masks from Vivo Masks. Today we’re featuring three of our favorites, and the best part, they’re all a budget-friendly $29.00 – $39.00.

The above Vivo mask, the Catwoman Completa Gold mask, a beautifully crafted mask that is both daring and refined. It boasts a gold-plated and bejeweled body (it’s also available in black, blue/black, and red/black). The mask is crafted with delicate flowing swirls that form an edgy outline that comes attached with ribbons to secure it comfortably around your face.

If you’re looking to stick to the traditional Valentine’s Day colors of red and white, Vivo Masks has the perfect option for you. White and bejeweled, the beautifully ornate and airy Occhialino mask is perfect for those wanting to reveal their true selves while hiding some secrets. Covering the right side of the eye area, this mask features a lattice pattern, swooping swirls, and numerous crystals. For those who are not doing red and white, the Occhialino mask is also available in black, gold, and silver. The ideal piece for grown-up girls wanting to feel part of a fairytale.

The fantasy continues with Vivo Masks that are reminiscent of a butterfly about to take flight, like the stunning silver Phoenix Metallo mask featured above. This striking silver mask (also available in gold) is a beautiful starter accessory for a masquerade collection. It is versatile thanks to its silver hue, and beautifully feminine with its butterfly motif. It’s a compact piece that works well for a multitude of occasions and dresses.

Vivo Masks range in price from $29.00 to well over $1,000 (their most decadent and opulent mask retails for a whopping $249,000.00). Both lower, and high-end priced masks are all authentic and handmade in Italy. Whether you’re dressing up for a seductive Valentine’s Day, a masquerade ball or even prom, the intricate masks from Vivo Masks are all you need.

Could one of these masquerade spice up your V-Day celebrations?

 

Get Pinned: It’s Pretty Charming Lapel Pins and Other Cool Shit

We love discovering new brands, we find it a bit exhilarating to know about a new product or new designer before everybody else. We have many stories of our discoveries, many typical, many unique. Today we’re going to share one of our most recent discoveries. We joined a Facebook group because a friend of ours is a member, and through that group, we discovered Shantel Turner-Collins and her incredibly adorable accessories, the It’s Pretty Charming Lapel Pins. These very chic fashion pins prove that once again, good things do come in small packages. As we’re in February, Black History Month, and the month of love, it’s the perfect time to highlight the giftable It’s Pretty Charming Lapel Pins.

The adorable handmade lapel pins currently come in five options – Enamel iPhone, Enamel Parfum Bottle, Enamel Purple High Heel Shoes, Bucket of Flowers, and a Black and Red Coffee Travel Coffee Cup, and retail for $4.95 each on her Etsy page. All five It’s Pretty Charming Lapel Pins comes with a black backing for easing pinning. These perfect little accessories will make a big impact when you wear them on your favorite jacket, jeans, or handbag. The iPhone inspired enamel pin measures 21 mm x 25.4 mm; the Parfum Bottle enamel pin measures 25.4 mm x 20.17 mm; the Purple High Heels enamel pin measures 25.4 mm x 20.64 mm; the Bucket of Flowers enamel pin measures 25.4 mm x 20.17 mm; and the Travel Coffee Cup enamel pin measures 14.4 mm x 25.4mm in size.

Along with her must-have, It’s Pretty Charming Lapel Pins (seriously, we want them all), Shantel Turner-Collins also has some pretty cool tote bags, and coin purses available with some very blunt phrases. You can see them all on her site, www.shanieism.com.  They’re perfect for those times you’re forced to curb your language (raise your hand if you too want a “Saving My Coins for The Shit I Plan to Buy Retro Coin Purse?”.) As her slogan goes, her products are “creative shit for ladies who love swearing”.

Another cool accessory is the above gold-plated, 3 Piece Macaron Multi-Color Keychain, Purse, and Handbag Charm. These chic french favorites are available in four colorways and retail for $6.95 each. How freaking cute are they? We definitely need these delectable keychains in our accessories draw. What about you ladies? Any favorite items you must possess from It’s Pretty Charming?

 

New Relationship? Gift These V-Day Gifts from Logitech and Ultimate Ears

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and while those in long-term relationships know exactly what to get their significant others, there are many who are in new, budding relationships that may be clueless as to what to get the person they’ve just started dating. We’re here to help you get the perfect Valentine’s Day tech gift for your new love, with great gift ideas from Logitech and Ultimate Ears. With these cool V-Day gifts, you’re sure to make a lasting and wonderful impression with your new love.

As the lyrics to the 1980’s song, “Computer Love” by Zapp goes… “I no longer need a strategy, Thanks to modern technology…”. Thanks to these modern tech gifts, all of which are priced at $200 or lower, your new relationship can blossom as you listen to your favorite songs together on the UE Boom 2, set the mood and lighting with the Logitech Pop Home Switch, and keep your conversations going safely with the Logitech ZeroTouch Air Vent and Dashboard Smart Car Mounts.

1. UE BOOM 2

The perfect for the music lover in your life which you can enjoy together. This 360-degree wireless speaker blasts loud, amazing sound in every direction – perfect for those romantic nights in or spontaneous dancing while out. The UE BOOM 2 is designed to get wet, muddy and beat up with its go-anywhere shape, 15-hour battery life, 100-foot wireless range, and waterproof, dust-proof and shockproof acoustic skin. While we recommend gifting the Cherryboom or Yeti to honor the classic Valentine’s Day colors, the UE BOOM 2 is available in several eye-catching colors. The UE BOOM is also always unlocking new experiences through its recently updated UE BOOM app, including PartyUp where you can easily connect as many Ultimate Ears speakers as you can get your hands on as well as Siri and Google Now voice integration. The UE BOOm 2 is available for $199.99.

2. Logitech Pop Home Switch

What’s more romantic than setting the perfect mood for a romantic night in. The Logitech Pop Home Switch makes smart lighting and other smart home devices useful for everyone by providing direct access that would otherwise require multiple apps. Control smart lighting including brightness and scene presets, or access your Valentine’s Day or romantic playlist, all with the Pop Home Switch. And, if you connect to an existing Harmony hub-based remote, you can trigger one-touch Harmony Activities such as “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music.” The Home Switch Starter Pack is available for $99.99; Add-On Home Switch for $39.99.

3 & 4. Logitech ZeroTouch Air Vent and Dashboard Smart Car Mounts

It’s a fact that when you’ve started a new relationship, you want to speak with that person all the time. The Logitech ZeroTouch Air Vent and Dashboard Smart Car Mounts for Android, together with Logitech’s voice-controlled app, allows you to do so safely, thanks to its hands-free, in-car experience. Enjoy the best features of a connected car, without buying a new car. The app is automatically triggered when you dock your phone to the magnetic air vent or dashboard mount, allowing you to use your voice to call, text, navigate, and play your special playlist, all without ever looking at your phone. The Dashboard Mount is available for $79.99, and the Air Vent Mount for $59.99.

What are your thoughts on these V-Day gift ideas from Logitech and Ultimate Ears? What’s on your Valentine’s Day wishlist?

Valentines Day Aphrodisiacs: SomruS Cream Liqueur Cocktails

While Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love, let’s not forgot that a part of that love includes the sensuality we feel for our partners, the lust, the expression of our sexuality and physical attraction. That is why we’re sharing these very sultry aphrodisiac Valentine’s Day cocktails made with SomruS Cream Liqueur. A few drinks to savor while you are enjoying each other. Trust us when we say these seductive cocktails  are ones to enjoy beyond the day of celebrating love.

SomruS Cream Liqueur Cocktails

What makes this decadent cream liqueur so intoxicating and seductive? It’s ingredients of course, specifically, it’s  many aphrodisiac ingredients:

  • Rose: Everyone knows how indispensable roses are in romance. The very scent of the essential oil from the flower can arouse you.
  • Cardamom: In the Arabian Nights, you can read about the use of this ancient spice as an aphrodisiac. Cardamom is warming and pungent, and can increase blood flow, which probably accounts for its aphrodisiac properties.
  • Almonds: The aroma of almonds supposedly arouses passion in females — or so thought the poets and scribes of bygone eras. French writer Alexandre Dumas dined on almond soup every night.
  • Saffron: Worth its weight in gold, Cleopatra was said to bathe in saffron-infused water before initiating any important intimate rendezvous. Saffron’s reputed longstanding aphrodisiac properties revolve around Crocin, a natural carotenoid chemical and potent anti-oxidant found in saffron threads.
  • Pistachio: In central Asia and India, it is believed that pistachios arouse sexuality and cleanse the blood.

Without further ado, we present four delicious cocktails, you will be enjoying on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Lotus Blossom

Lotus Blossom
1.5oz Somrus
1oz Cognac
1.5oz Almond Milk
3/4oz Cardamom Syrup
½ oz Green Chartreuse
Finished with rose smoke (dried rose petals run through a smoking gun or light dried rose petals and cover with drinking glass to trap smoke)
Served in cocktail glass (see pic)
Add all ingredients to shaker and shake with ice
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with rose smoke

Sexual Chocolate (Serves 2)

Sexual Chocolate
8oz Somrus
Preferred drinking chocolate
½ cup Strawberries
Served in sharing bowl
Using SomruS instead of milk or cream make your favorite hot chocolate, gently warming the Somrus so it does not boil and adding your preferred drinking chocolate
Add chocolate mix and strawberries to blender and blend until smooth
Add mix back to the pan and warm until sensual
Serve in a sharing bowl to be enjoyed by two prior to bedtime
Garnish with a platter of sweet treats to dip and share with your partner

Suspended Congress – layered shot

Suspended Congress – layered shot
1/4oz Kahlua
1/4oz White Crème De Cacao
1/4oz Amaretto
1/4oz Somrus
Garnished with chocolate shavings
Put on a dazzling display of your cocktailing skills and a shot that Using a bar spoon to slow the pour, add each liqueur in the order above to a shot glass with the Somrus added last to sit on top for the aromatics
Garnish with chocolate shavings

Prone Tiger

Prone Tiger
2oz Somrus
1.5oz Aged Rum
1oz Espresso
1oz Amaretto
Garnished with cinnamon stick
Served in rocks glass
Add all ingredients to shaker and shake with ice
Strain into a chilled rocks glass and garnish with cinnamon stick stirrer

These recipes and other SomruS Cream Liqueur cocktails are currently available in SomruS Cream Liqueur’s Soma-Sutra recipe book, available online now.

Four Roses Bourbon for Valentine’s Day

We’ve always found the alluring, dark hue of bourbon whiskey quite sensuous; as if there are many fascinating secrets to be found behind its translucid amber tones. So when we were approached to come up with a Valentine’s Day cocktail recipe featuring the aptly named Four Roses Bourbon Small Batch Whiskey (you can’t really enjoy valentine’s day without roses), we jumped at the chance to dive into the allure of this spirit.

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Four Roses Bourbon Small Batch Whiskey is known for a palate that bears a hint of cherry, so we knew we wanted to enhance that hint with a cocktail where cherries were the starlet of our little tasty production. We also wanted to amp up the spiciness a little with a little ginger. The result was an irresistible success (we think so anyway, at least, based on our drink count), an enhanced sensory overload for the tongue and nose (it looks pretty darn sexy too). So without further ado, we present our Four Roses

Four Roses Cherry Seduction

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1oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
1oz cherry juice
1/2 oz amaretto
1/2 oz ginger brandy
2 oz cherry cola
5 maraschino cherries
Muddle the five cherries at the bottom of the glass, then add ice. In a cocktail shaker add Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, cherry juice, amaretto and ginger brandy (we recommend Hiram Walker Ginger Brandy but feel free to find your own favorite). Pour over ice, top it off with the cherry cola and stir. Add additional cherries as a garnish if desired.

We hope we’ve left you with a new, enjoyable cocktail to add to your drink list for this Valentine’s Day, and beyond. We certainly enjoyed making this Four Roses Bourbon Cherry Seduction cocktail. Whether you’re enjoying it with your partner, your single girlfriends, or solo, you’ll love the smooth, spicy, and sweet taste of this cocktail.

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Tell us what you think of our Four Roses Bourbon Valentine’s Day cocktail, do you think we have a winning recipe? To see other recipes and learn more about Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, click www.fourrosesbourbon.com.

I’m As Comfortable As My Drink: A Basil Hayden’s Valentine’s Day Cocktail

Let’s discuss what real comfort is.  With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, some of us may choose to sit up in bed, gleefully watch and embrace it as it comes over the horizon. However, there are also those of us who would rather pull the covers over our heads and rouse ourselves from a too-long slumber well after the horizon, high noon and sunset has taken place.  For whatever motivates, thrills, ails, or annoys you about Valentine’s Day, take comfort in this fact. Whether you are with the one you love, searching for that one you love, crying over that one you love or in a great place not having to deal with love at the moment, there’s comfort to be had.  That comfort comes in a glass of Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Isn’t it funny how when we’re sad, we drink. When we’re depressed, we drink.  Lonely?  Pour me a glass! On the prowl? Fill’er up!  In love, ‘how about we share a glass’? Content, ‘then pour a glass to celebrate my life’.

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Comfort foods are supposed to be looked upon as enjoyable little fattening concoctions with not much thought given to waistlines and gym memberships.  So while they don’t consider certain pleasantries of life, they do still bear the moniker of comfort. That also makes me ask that if we don’t find little bits of enjoyment every now within the disciplines and abandonments in life, is it still living?

Dave, Basil and Toddy's Somalian Retreat

So for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share my own Basil Hayden’s recipe for two memorable points of comfort I had this winter.  In late 2015 I enjoyed the most amazing hot toddy in Midtown and last month I had a delightful culinary experience with a Somalian tea in Harlem.  So when thinking of my profound bachelorhood this Valentine’s Day it made me realize that in the downtime between relationships while you’re getting to know yourself again, you find those times to teach, enlighten pamper and comfort yourself through discipline, introspection and of course dining.

I call this “Dave, Basil & Toddy’s Somalian Retreat”

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2 ounces Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Why:  It’s a great bourbon when spiciness and a full-bodied flavor profile that really enhances a toddy
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar
Why:  I didn’t want it too sweet and I find that honey sometimes overpowers
1 cup of hot water
1 Fresh nutmeg grated to a pinch
2 -3 Cloves
1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon of Cardamom
1 Fresh Cinnamon stick grated to a small pinch
Fresh Ginger grated to a pinch
2 Tablespoons of Milk
1 Lemon
Why: The presence of lemon & milk will curdle, so the lemon is here mainly for a little bit of the zest)
Black tea bag
Add the boiling hot water to a cup then add the Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Next add in your nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger.  Stir then add sugar, more or less to taste and milk and stir again.  Finally, run your lemon over your zester 2-3 times, throw in the grated cinnamon stick and the tea bag and you’re done.  (The tea bag is really just to slowly permeate through the toddy with an intensifying flavor/garnish).

Basil_Hayden_Kentucky_Straight_Bourbon_Whiskey3

I’m no chef or mixologist, but I am an avid foodie and do relish in a nice flavor profile and I really enjoyed my Basil Hayden’s “comfortable” little mash-up of my favorite comfort drinks this season.  With whatever or whoever you’re doing this Valentine’s Day or this winter, may it bring you comfort enough to either land a screw or be just fine with screwing the 14th.

As always please remember to drink responsibly. 

Bald Guy Greetings: Not Your Typical Valentine’s Day Cards

Do you find yourself to be a bit more on the blunt side when it comes to expressing yourself emotionally? Maybe you self-describe as anti-Valentine’s Day, but still need a card for your partner. Or maybe you just haven’t found a Valentine’s Day card that properly states how you really feel about the one you love? If you’re looking for VDay cards that perfectly capture your wicked sense of humor, then you’ll love the following hilarious, sometimes sarcastic greeting cards from Bald Guy Greetings. These funny cards are sure to perfectly sum up your real feelings, despite the overly sugary sweet sentiments that normally surround this holiday.

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Valentine’s Day is not at all short on sappy, overly sentimental greeting cards, but let’s face it, not everyone likes or wants these Saccharin greeting cards. For those of us who appreciate a little dirty humor, the Valentine’s Day cards from Bald Guy Greetings are just hat the love doctor ordered. The above are just three of our favorites from the fourteen available cards that are just waiting to be sent off to your love. So if you’re looking for “a refreshingly honest, sometimes brutal, always sarcastic, but never the less very caring card”, head over to the greeting card company that tells it like it is. f the above three do not catch your attention, maybe one of the others we’ve featured below is more your speed.

Bald_Guy_Greetings

The Valentine’s Day cards from Bald Guy Greetings retail for $3.50 each, and can be purchased directly from www.baldguygreetings.com, or just use their store locator to find the nearest retailer near you. What do you guys think of these biting greeting cards from Bald Guy Greetings, would you give your significant others one of these funny cards, or would love to receive one? Let us know in the comments below.

Teleflora’s #WhatIsLove Campaign for Valentine’s Day

How many of you remember that wonderful feeling of getting a love letter? Sadly in today’s world of emails and texts, letters have taken a backseat, and love letters….sadly they’ve been reduced to a sentence in a card. But this Valentine’s Day, Teleflora is bringing back the wonderful art of love letter writing with a love letter writing campaign and service that will perfectly pair with your gift of Valentine’s Day Flowers. We joined Teleflora for a wonderful afternoon of tea for a closer look at their new valentine’s day bouquets, and the new social media Teleflora’s #WhatIsLove Campaign.

Teleflora-Valentines-Day-Flowers-www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

To celebrate their wonderful new campaign, we were treated to a love note coaching session with Hannah Brencher, the brilliant founder and “heart” behind The World Needs More Love Letters, a global organization that uses the power of social media to write and mail love letters to individuals in need, during the event.

Hannah-Brencher-www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com Hannah-Brencher2-www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

Flowers are considered the most romantic gift to give on Valentine’s Day, it is also the most appreciated gift for friends and other loved ones, and Teleflora offers six breathtaking bouquets that are perfect for your beloved, your BFF, and your family. These bouquets are sure to make your loved one’s day extra special, and leave them with a special keepsake they’ll cherish forever. The following six bouquets, in order of clockwise appearance, is as follows:

Recipe for Romance, $52.95 – Turn on the charm with this elegant white and crème bouquet made up of  Crème and white roses, white gladioli, white miniature carnations, white lisianthus and delicate white waxflower are contrasted with touches of variegated pittosporum, delivered in a shimmering Mercury Glass Vase.

Sweet Thoughts Bouquet with Red Roses, $39.95Heart of bear grass and purple waxflower blossoms form a heart that appears to float above the large velvety red roses and variegated pittosporum in this delightful bouquet, arranged in a ruby-red cube vase. Send this beautiful floral arrangement to someone you love, and they’ll think sweet thoughts about you!

Best Friends Forever Bouquet, $54.95Your bestie will absolutely love the graphic statement this contemporary, Valentine’s Day cube-shaped vase, filled with a burst of red and white roses, red miniature carnations, white cushion spray chrysanthemums, pitta negra and lemon leaf. With an intricate heart design wrapped playfully around the cube’s edge, this ceramic keepsake is a delightful choice to show your love!

Pair Of Hearts Bouquet, $69.95 – Steal her heart this Valentine’s Day with this majestic mix of classic red roses, delicate white alstroemeria, red miniature carnations, lemon leaf and pitta negra, all hand-delivered with love in Teleflora exclusive hand-glazed vase, wrapped in a shimmering metallic band adorned with a pair of hearts, it’s an extra-special reminder of your love.

Wrapped With Passion Bouquet, $99.95 – Nothing steals her heart on Valentine’s Day quite like a ravishing bouquet of long stemmed red roses accented with fresh lemon leaf! These fresh, fabulous blooms are hand-delivered in a gorgeous hand-blown glass vase with hand-applied glass ribbon, two gifts in one that your beloved will never, ever forget.

Lovely Hearts Bouquet, $59.95 – Make their heart dance with this delightful mix of peach spray roses and pink spray roses, arranged with light pink alstroemeria, red miniature carnations, pink heather and lemon leaf, hand-delivered in Teleflora’s adorable oversized mug! Decorated with painterly, hand-applied hearts, the sweet ceramic mug is a food-safe keepsake they’ll love sipping from for years to come. It’s a playful Valentine’s Day keepsake for any loved one!

Now that you’ve selected your flowers, make sure you take advantage of Teleflora’s #WhatIsLove Campaign, which provides complimentary Valentine’s Day love notes, thanks to their Love Note Concierge. Teleflora will help you write the perfect sentiment to your significant other, best friend, or family member, free of charge. All you have to do is call 1-844-IT-IS-LOVE, from February 3rd – 12th, between the hours of 7:00 am and 11:00 pm to speak to a personal coach.

Will you be taking advantage of this amazing free service? To find out more about Teleflora’s #WhatIsLove Campaign, join the Teleflora #WhatIsLove Twitter Party on February 3rd and February 9th at 10 am PST.