Verve

02/02/2012 1:48 PM

02/17/2012 12:55 PM

Day-trip destination

Looking for an excursion with a romantic twist? Try a jaunt to Escazu Chocolates in Raleigh. This unique destination sources, sorts, roasts, grinds, tempers and pours their own truffles and other chocolate confections. Considered one of the first “bean to bar” chocolate creators in the South, this spot offers tours of its special process on the first Friday and Saturday of the month. And their new, history-inspired hot chocolates are not to be missed. While you’re there, try lunch next door at Market Restaurant, featuring Southern cuisine with an exciting twist. For more information, online shopping and tour reservations, visit www.escazuchocolates.com and www.eatatmarket.com.

Gift for him

For the guy who wants one-stop-shopping in the toiletries department, this is the product for him. With a masculine yet fresh scent – look for notes of lavender, sandalwood, amber and musk – this two-in-one product leaves both skin and hair clean and moisturized. $14. The Body Shop, Northlake Mall. www.thebodyshop-usa.com.

Decadent design

Who says home décor can’t be sexy? Pick up a few ideas from interior designer Moll Anderson, author of the newly released (Feb. 10) “The Seductive Home.” With an abundance of beautiful images, Anderson shows readers how fabrics, furniture, walls and even floors can add a sense of decadence to a home. $55. Available at major booksellers. www.mollanderson.com.

Love note

On first glance, you may not see the message on this dainty gold fill and silk necklace. How about now?: — — — — — The beads on this necklace spell out L-O-V-E in Morse code. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this piece of jewelry go to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a national organization providing free information and support to women affected by breast cancer and their families. $36. Everything But Water. www.everythingbutwater.com.

At-home spa

Get prepped and pampered for your big date night with ingredients you already have at home! Try these recipes by beauty blogger Erika Katz for home spa bliss.

Strawberry Scrub: To get your skin in tiptop shape, try a homemade exfoliating strawberry face and body scrub using pureed strawberries, olive oil and vitamin E.


Raspberry Honey Face Mask: Red raspberries contain loads of vitamin C, essential for maintaining a healthy glow. Try a mask of pureed raspberries, honey and rolled oats for moisturized, clear skin.


Rose and Honey Milk Bath: Mix milk, honey and rose oil and add to a warm bath. Sprinkle rose petals in the water and soak.


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