With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s all about the fuzzy wuzzy this week. So if you haven’t picked up a little somethin’ for your sweetie, here are some shopping incentives to inspire you. First off, can I offer the guys out there a little tip? If your lady loves the tradition of receiving a […]

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s all about the fuzzy wuzzy this week. So if you haven’t picked up a little somethin’ for your sweetie, here are some shopping incentives to inspire you.

First off, can I offer the guys out there a little tip? If your lady loves the tradition of receiving a dozen red roses, make sure your feelings for her are represented by flowers of quality, not one of those innocuous bouquets riddled with baby’s breath that anyone can lazily pick up at the supermarket. Same with chocolates. If they’re your signature sign of affection, seek out the highest quality you can afford. Also consider that lots of women are deeply touched when their fellow bypasses clichés that say more about marketing than sentiment. Instead, offer up some symbol of love that actually resonates with something meaningful about the relationship. The same goes for you women out there. Like the guy I know who treasures the wooden kayak paddles his wife had monogrammed a few years back, or the woman who still smiles about the time her bookish middle-age husband shocked her by getting a sexy tattoo of her, no matter what taste or celebratory style, going that extra mile to let someone know he or she matters, always matters a lot. Following are a few options to get you started.

Revamp your love nest during the Design Within Reach Bedroom & Bath Sale. You’ll save 15 percent through Feb. 20 on well-designed beds, linens, and other contemporary furnishings and accessories. 167 N. Broadway, 414-224-5353, dwr.com.

Present a big sparkling statement without breaking the bank during Lyle Husar Designs 42nd Anniversary Clearance Sale. All sorts of personal adornments from chains, bracelets and colored stone pieces to diamond earrings and pendants are marked down 25-75 percent. 17395 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield, 262-789-8585, lylehusardesigns.com.

If artisan jewelry is your thing, don’t miss the Sweetheart Open House Feb. 13 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.). at Atypic Gallery. Savor complimentary hot chocolate and sweet treats, and save $10 on purchases of $50 or more of unique, hand-crafted jewelry by American designers. 333 W. Brown Deer Rd., 414-351-0333.

Start celebrating V-Day early. RSVP for the Chocolate Extravaganza going on Feb. 10 (7-9 p.m.) at Vino 100. Just $20 per person (tax & tip included) earns you a glass of ChocoVine (a chocolate and cabernet beverage from Holland) and chocolate martini along with lots of mini chocolate treats created by Simma’s Bakery, Cold Spoon Gelatos, Niemann’s and Dove. 1442 Underwood Ave., Wauwatosa, 414-456-9463, vino100tosa.com.

Speaking of chocolate, mentioning this column now through Valentine’s Day will save you $3 off purchases of $25 or more of Niemann’s hand-crafted chocolates. Fill specialty boxes, like traditional red velvet heart-shaped, tuxedo, denim or animal print with mint meltaways, cherry cordials, almond butter crunch toffee, sea salt caramels, seasonal special cranberry crèmes, spicy hot diva fudge truffles with a hint of cayenne, chipotle and cinnamon and more.7475 Harwood Ave., 414-774-4940, niemannscandies.com.

When it comes to sweet devotion, Indulgence Chocolatiers offers up decadent artisan truffles in flavors like champagne, balsamic fig, vanilla-orange-almond along with a limited edition of smooth bittersweet truffles made from 70 percent cacao from the African island of Sao Thome. For a complete list of flavors and local stores, visit indulgencechocolatiers.com or call 262-510-9980.

Thief Winehas the celebratory trifecta of champagne, chocolate and wine covered. Make a reservation for its Feb. 13 (6:30 p.m.) Champagne for a Special Occasion Tasting ($40 per person), or drop by Feb. 14 (1-4 p.m.) when they follow up with a Wine & Chocolate Tasting sure to make you sing ($10 per person, no RSVP required).400 N. Water, 414-277-7707, thiefwine.com.

Make a quick jaunt to Cedarburg’s “Romancing the Snow” Winter Festival on Feb. 13-14 for a getaway weekend with a night’s stay in a quaint inn and an intimate dinner. Along with the lure of interesting shopping along Washington Avenue and in The Shops of Cedar Creek Settlement you’ll enjoy rollicking Irish tunes and romantic ballads performed by Derek Byrne (formerly of Riverdance), an art show, golf tournament, hayrides, bed and barrel racing, ice carving contest, chili cook off, pancake breakfast, snowball tournament, parade and beer samplings. For info visit cedarburgfestivals.org or cedarburg.org.

Hit the music, light the candles and create some sensuous couple bath time with Valentine products from LUSH. Their True Love Gift kit, filled with an aprhodisiac-infulsed Sex Bomb Bath Bomb, red glitter heart-shaped Love Soap, Yummy, Yummy, Yummy Shower Gel, soothing Vanilla Dee-Lite Lotion and sexy scented Heavanilli Massage Bar, has everything you need to get your night off to a good start. 2500 N. Mayfair Rd., 414-443-1177, lushusa.com.

Speaking of revving things up, The Club Vibe acSEXsory™ available at The Tool Shed is a new adult toy designed to literally rock your lady’s world. The discreet, battery-operated vibrator created by a former Apple employee comes packaged in a velvet pouch complete with a lacy black thong fitted with a small pocket to keep it um, strategically located during three modes of operation. In Ambient Mode, the pager-sized mini controller causes the device to vibrate in response to environment sounds whether it’s a DJ mix on the dance floor or whispered sweet nothings. Connected to an mp3 player in Music Mode, it vibrates to the beat and rhythm of favorite songs while Manual Mode offers seven preset vibrating patterns. If sly and sexy is her m.o., this could be just the ticket. 2427 N. Murray Ave., 414-906-5304, toolshedtoys.com.

Whether in the throes of blossoming affections or married for years, Blush helps you look your best this top date night of the year. During the We Heart Our Blush Girls special on Feb. 13-14, get a free lash application ($25 value) and free gift with every Flawless makeup application session booked. 249 N. Water St., 414-272-1718, blushmilwaukee.com.

The rapport small independent retailers establish with customers comes in handy when men buy gifts for women. Simply drop a hint that your guy should have a chat with the sales staff at your favorite boutique, which you have pre-alerted to your desires, can point him in the right direction, relieving him of all sorts of shopping stress. At Faye’s, for instance, busy guys appreciate getting expert style advice, easy phone orders, gift-wrapping and convenient store-to-office delivery. And if you were savvy enough to have signed up for the store’s weekly e-mail blasts with special deals, your guy could also be carrying a coupon granting him $25 off purchases of $100 or more. 1505 W. Mequon Rd., Mequon, 262-241-8386 & 18900 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield, 262- 432-0070, fayes123.com.

Vieux et Nouveau Boutiquealso takes guesswork out of shopping with a Web site posting of gift jewelry, so when your boy toy calls in an order, they can gift wrap it and send it out to him free of charge. To ensure fashionistas get what they really want, they’re also running a February Ladies Love Yourself Handbag Sale with $99 bags reduced to $64, 20 percent off one-of-a-kind vintage bags and 10 percent off all other purses. 1217 E. Brady St., 414-287-9049, boutiquemilwaukee.com.

Brady Street boutiques Aala Reed, Detour and Miss Groove (in tandem with Kil@Wat and the Well Spa at the Pfister) are spreading the love around with a generous Valentine’s Drawing. Make a purchase at any of the stores now through Feb. 14, and enter to win one of three gift certificate packages valued at $200 each. Show your receipt when purchasing something at either of the other two stores, and save 20 percent on your purchase. 1330 E. Brady St., 414-298-9185, missgroove.com; 1320 E. Brady St., 414-226-2252, aalareed4men.com & 1300 E. Brady St., 414-273-5156, shopdetour.com.

Goldiplans to shower its customers with lots of affection Feb. 12-14. Stop in and have a psychic give you the lowdown on your love life, hear local musicians, get pampered with mini massages and manicures, enjoy complimentary refreshments and enter a drawing to win spa certificates. 4114 N Oakland Ave., 414-431-4832, goldishoes.com.

Listen, if you love fashion, you’re going to adore what’s going on at Valentina and Falcon. In addition to offering 60 percent off all fall and winter fashions, they’re dipping to down-and-dirty liquidation pricing on lots of fabulous stuff to make room for new merchandise. Offering discounts at both stores up to and beyond 90 percent, who knows? Somewhere on a rack marked $35, $50, $75 or $100 you could find something originally priced $2,000 and pay a whole lot less. 1505 W. Mequon Rd., Mequon, 262-241-4122, evalentina.com & 315 N. Broadway, 414-271-9100, falcon315.com.

Got a lady or two in your life that loves what Fred & Luscious boutiques have to offer? Take advantage of their Buy One, Get One Free gift card special running through Feb. 14, or their $75 Honey-Bunny package, which includes a $50 floral arrangement (delivery not included) and $50 gift card. 524 N. Water St., 414-270-1109, fredboutique.com & 4407 N. Oakland Ave., 414-967-7760, shopluscious.com.

Lelagets sweet with its customers with its We Love You Sale on Feb. 10, which saves shoppers $10 on every $50 spent. 321 N. Broadway, 414-727-4855, lelaboutique.com.

Really, can anything beat the charm of sophistication? Hardly, so help keep the man in your life looking dashing and distinct by shopping Harley’s Super Week Sale where all winter fashions are marked 60 percent off Feb. 8-13. 3565 N. Oakland Ave., 414-332-3404, harleys4men.com.

If your heart feels fine but your body aches, head to the Valentine Pampering event at Third Ward Chiropracticon Feb. 11. This introduction to professional massage therapy services includes complimentary samplings of moist heat applications, knuckles therapy, vibratory massage, chair massage and hot paraffin hand treatment, plus food and refreshments. 150 N. Jefferson St., 414-271-1717, thirdwardchiro.com.

If art is what bonds the two of you, did you know that Artfulhome.com, Wisconsin’s own online retailer of juried fine art and craft, is now offering work from the estate collection of Ken Nahan, owner of Nahan Galleries and publisher of fine limited edition prints? Whether you’re up for spending $300 or $8,000 on art abstract to surreal, check its special boutique Web site for art perfectly suited to your tastes.

If a foodie has found his or her way into your heart, forget everything you’ve always heard about the folly of giving kitchen appliances as presents. That is at least when it comes to Poparttoaster.com. These clever, colorful toasters not only make terrific toast but also have interchangeable, stainless steel plates that make it easy to transform your bread into love letters with a variety of words and images, including double hearts or phrases like LUV U, I’m Hot and Yes Dear.

Guys or gals with some beauty prep to do before their big night of romance should head to prettycity.com and print out a 20 percent off coupon good for any skincare, waxing, makeup or massage service at Eva Luna Day Spa. 8653 N. Port Washington Rd., 414-748-1141, evalunadayspa.com.

On Feb. 13 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), stroll the Indoor Urban Market at the Milwaukee Public Market to shop a potpourri of last-minute options, including photography, fashion, accessories, hand-crafted jewelry, baskets, candles, yarn, soap, lotions, potions, greeting cards and more. 400 N. Water St., 414-289-3107, milwaukeepublicmarket.org.

And for all the ladies out there who didn’t get exactly what they wanted on V-Day (as well as those who want to add on to what they did), on Feb. 18 (5-9 p.m.), the ultra-strollable Village of Wauwatosa presents Diva Night, a very special shopping, sipping and sweet treats event hosted by Vino 100, Gracie’s Boutique, Urban Laundry, Magpie, Blue Lapin, Little Read Book, Magnolia & Co, Underwood Gallery, JUXT, Authentic Journeys, Tuesday’s Child, The Flower Lady, Salamander and Oro di Olivo. Along with receiving a special coupon packet, shoppers can enter a prize drawing to be held at evening’s end. For more info, visit villageofwauwatosa.com.

Finally, speaking of things we love, it’s time to say so long to that cool and adorable children’s boutique freckle face. For five year’s, it’s brought a fine energy to the Historic Third Ward with it’s well-edited selection of unique fashions, furnishings, toys and baby gear, fun and interesting store events and always-enthusiastic community involvement. My guess is, with as passionate as she is about the city’s retail future, we’ll be hearing more about Deanna Inniss, the store’s titian haired proprietress, real soon.