Hello ladies! Johnny here and I’m very glad to be back writing a gift guide that will remind your man you’re thinking of him this Valentine’s Day. Think of it as Valentine’s Day gifts he’ll actually want. No wasting your money here as these 14 gifts are tried-and-true items. Like my Christmas gift guides, I’m doing my best to give you a glimpse into what will make him swoon and remember how much he loves you. Use these gifts in combination for an extra boost.
This One is for All the Lovers & Crushes.
What is life without some decadence? A full stomach means a full heart, so let’s start there.
THE TRIFECTA OF STEAK, CHOCOLATE, AND WHISKEY.
For the meat-loving men who still don’t have all the requisite tools to cook a steak on a grill, here’s the next best set of tools to get grill marks and the perfect sear.
He’ll need a tried and true cast iron grill pan. He can probably fit a bone in 32 oz. tomahawk in this thing. More likely, he’s cooking you both a set of filet mignon medallions or New York strip steaks.
Adding a meat thermometer to his toolset will make a world of a difference. I know…he thinks he can “feel” how well it’s done. Your mileage probably varies. Help him cook with precision. Medium rare steak has an internal temperature of 135 degrees. Medium well, 150. Well…just leave it on the pan and then throw it in the trash (just kidding…I’d never waste a steak). The difference matters and the meat thermometer will raise his level of consistently good.
If he aspires to cook often, like the kind of person who has a monogrammed apron with Chef (fill in the blank) then add the book Meat: Everything You Need to Know. His inner food nerd will love it.
If you get him the cast iron grill pan, be sure to send him this link afterward: Cast Iron Pan Quickstart Guide. These babies need some tender love and care, but they’ll take care of you for a lifetime. Easily one of my top Valentine’s Day gifts he’ll actually want.
If he has a sweet tooth, this one’s for him. It’s been a dream of mine to someday walk home to a box or pyramid of Ferrero Roche. These little nuggets are like small chocolate bites of heaven. Additional tidbit – born into a family of immigrants, these treats are also a status symbol. They’re a sign you’ve made it. If your partner has a similar background he’ll probably feel what I feel when I see these.
If you actually have a serious wet bar or bar cart, this bottle of whiskey is a mandatory addition. He’ll really appreciate High West Double Rye. There are more elusive versions, but they’re crazy expensive. This bottle is a fantastic value. Ask any “whiskey person” and if they’ll tell you the same. You can’t go wrong here.
Whiskey is an experience. It’s shame to enjoy whiskey neat, on the rocks, or cocktail without beautiful glassware. This one is for the James Bond-style old souls in your life. If you’re with a man with a modern aesthetic, this set is for him.
CHANGE HIS EVERYDAY HYDRATION FOREVER
I have to recycle my Corkcicle tumbler recommendation because it’s that good. Like my recommendation, one of the best things you can do to reduce plastic waste is to reuse containers. These tumblers are tough and sleek. I got my “Waterman” edition in matte black and use it every day. It keeps my drinks cold for 9+ hours and things hot for 3 hours. I love the Corey Wilson edition and just got the “Night Swim.” Ocean waves under the moon always give me a sense of mystery, but calmness. The dipped black or white editions are also very sleek. I think whichever you get for him, it’ll become one of his most prized possessions. Yes, it’s practical but part one of those easy Valentine’s Day gifts he’ll actually want.
P.S. you get 10 cents off at Starbucks when they make you drink in a reusable cup and at some venues they give you an even bigger discount. I’ve heard of one in Dallas who gives you 20% off.
The classic Anthropologie monogram mug in “gunmetal” or “noir.” They mean black. Get him a monogrammed mug for a touch of personalization. He’ll be happy you pay attention and know the first letter of his first or last name. I got several of these as Christmas gifts and they were a hit!
SHARING PASSIONS: DON’T BE SCARED TO GET A PAIR
It’s Superbowl weekend if you’re reading this right when I published this. That means it’s the time when football is ending, basketball is hitting its stride, and the baseball offseason is nearly over. Whatever sport he follows, look into getting some matching SPORTS TEAM GEAR FOR COLLEGE OR PRO SPORTS to rep your favorite team. There’s nothing more adoring than a couple who has embraced their fandom together.
If he has some sort of work uniform, there’s very little real estate to show off your personality. These SOCKS WITH PERSONALITY are a subtle and great way to do it. I’ve gotten several compliments over the years when I’m at an event and someone notices my special socks. Being dapper can start with his feet.
Moving up from his feet, these LOUNGE PANTS – AN OFFICIAL PART OF MY WEEKEND UNIFORM – will transform your lives. I recently had a friend get these for himself after reading my Christmas gift guide. At first he thought they were “too soft” to be workout pants and was proven wrong after a few strenuous workouts where he quickly transitioned to normal life. They’re so comfortable you’d think they were pajamas. Be careful…he may start living his entire life in these and no one would bat an eye. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re cuddling up with the softest pair of pants on God’s green Earth.
IF YOU’RE FEELING MORE AMBITIOUS…
For those who love a little crisp in their life without the guilt. Second to pots and pans, this Air Fryer is my most used appliance in 2020 so far. From making chips, potato wedges, and fries effortlessly to finishing steaks without cranking up the entire oven, an air fryer is a must-have. I’ve made fried chicken, hot wings, and many other things in this puppy without any guilt of eating “fried foods.” Not to mention there’s no big mess afterward. It can take up a lot of counter space, so make sure you have a place to store it or have it be a part of your daily kitchen landscape. I love this thing and couldn’t imagine my kitchen without it.
If you’re married, the Minted Vows Foil Print, seems like a no brainer. Your home should have a place to memorialize one of the biggest days of your life. Get him this foil print to remind each other of the bond you forged. Plus, this is a perfect way to reuse photos you’ve invested in on Valentine’s Day gifts he’ll actually want.
If you’re not married yet, then use the same gift to send a message of love and kindness. My version would either simply say: “Heart & Armor.” It’s our little inside mantra.
If I could fit as many words as I wanted, I’d use one of our favorite quotes: “Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away. When all the pretty blossom have fallen from the branches and find that you are one tree and not two.” ? Louis de Bernières, Corelli’s Mandolin
Last, but not lease, the Airpods Pro are on my official lust list. I think they’d really change my life, so I haven’t even tried Hoang-Kim’s. If he’s a fan of in-ear headphones, he’ll love these. Whether this helps him take calls more easily, listen to more podcasts to learn, or just jam out, the Airpod Pros will give him a renewed sense of peace when he turns on the noise canceling. I want these because the basic Airpods don’t stay in my ears when I go for a run. I might be a cyborg with these someday though. Honestly, I can’t look at a person taking a phone call the same way anymore. When they have to hold the phone up to their ear, I think to myself, “I should get him/her some Airpods.” It’s a first-world injustice!