Tag Archives | Shopping

The Fighting Couple’s Holiday Gift Guide

The trouble with travelers is they are so hard to shop for!   The Fighting Couple comes to the rescue. We have put together the perfect gift guide for your wandering colleagues. Trust us, a few of these items under the tree will have your traveler beaming like they just avoided a long TSA line!

The Perfect Pillow

Travelers are always dreaming of the lovely locations they have visited. Their homes are filled with pictures of the Colosseum in Rome and selfies at Machu Picchu. Ok… maybe that is just us… Regardless, the first stop you should make on your traveler shopping quest is to Finch and Cotter for a Custom Travel Pillow.   There you will find a great selection of travel themed throw pillows. We get lots of comments on ours! It lists all of our favorite places. We can’t count the number of conversations that have started when our friends looked at the pillow. Each destination is a memory to us. Be a traveling friend’s hero! Simply start your customized pillow by listing at least seven of your favorite destinations.   Finch and Cotter can make custom pillows in a week! How cool is that?  Facebook: Finch & Cotter

Pillow talk

A Little Pillow Talk

The Traveling Pouch

Travel these days takes a bunch of stuff: Passport, ID, itineraries, phones, Visas, boarding passes, ect, We have found the perfect solution. The Leather Travel Wallet from House of LH.   This handsome and useful travel folder keeps all of your travel goodies sorted and organized.   They are the perfect size to handle your cards, papers and even a special pocket for your passport. There is even room for one of Mike’s spreadsheets! This handy item is a must have. They are handmade out of real leather so they are tough enough to hold up any traveler’s demands.  Bon Voyage!

Leather Travel Wallet

Leather Travel Wallet

 

The Tough Bag

One of the most embarrassing situations we have had while traveling was our trek into the Amazon jungle in Peru. We were trekking novices. We showed up at the river bank with our roller bag suit cases. (Don’t do this.) Did they get wet? Yes. Did our clothes smell musty and river-ery? Yes. Were we happy about that after a week in the jungle? No. Since then, we have discovered the Dry Duffel from Lewis N. Clark. This handy bag looks small, but it is huge! There is plenty of room for your entire trip’s wardrobe. The best thing? It’s completely water-resistant. This bag is perfect for trips where weather can be an issue. Headed camping or in our case “glamping”? This bag is going to be your new best friend. While you are on their site, they offer loads of great stocking stuffers. We highly recommend a toiletry pouch. It is one of those TSA friendly bags that every traveler covets. Twitter: @lewisnclarkgear

Dry Gear Duffel

Dry Gear Duffel

 

A Tale of Two Cities

Just because you are traveling does not mean that you have to look scroungy. The challenges for every traveler is what to pack? You want to pack light, but you still want to look good. Actually, you want to look better than good, you want to look fabulous. One of the requirements we have for our clothing is that they serve more than one purpose. We give you the Book Scarf from Storiarts   Not only does this little number make you look smart, you actually are smart! Each scarf displays a passage from a classic novel. Luci picked the Tale of Two Cities, which is her favorite book. Again, this is another perfect conversation starter. These are easy to pack, easy to wash. and can be worn with different outfits. The perfect compliment to your traveling wardrobe.  Twitter:  @storiarts

book scarf

The Classic Book Scarf

The Gnomes

One of the hardest parts of being a couple on the go is the times when you are apart. Yes, we miss fighting with each other.  Both of us travel a lot for our day jobs. Recently our friends at Gnoments asked us to give a Gnoment a try.  Ok… at first we were a little bit skeptical. A talking gnome is a little out of the ordinary. I am sure the TSA agent that went through all of our unmentionables was wondering why in the world we were smuggling gnomes?   So this is how it works. With your smart phone, you create a message, pictures, or even a map for your loved one. Next step, hide your gnome when only your lover will find it (suitcase, briefcase, car, ect). Once they find the little gnome, they scan it with their phone and up pops your message. Cool huh? This is the perfect gift for couples that spend time away from each other.  Twitter: @gnoments

They created a little video on how it all works:

The Perfect Print

The traveler’s home is a museum of their adventures.   We are always looking to surround ourselves with inspiration from our previous adventures.   We recently added a new print to our “palace”: A World Travel Map Print from The Oyster’s Pearl.  The thing we love about this little shop is that it is run by a husband and wife team!  (Wonder if they fight?)  Their work has been featured in: Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Southern Living, Country Living, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Buzzfeed & more!  They can do custom prints of just about any state. Isn’t that cool?  What we love most about their store is that everything is custom designed.  We love gifts that are personalized just for us.  Be a winner this season and have something unique made for your loved one.  Twitter: @theoysterspearl

Adventure print

Follow your own adventure!

Aren’t these some amazing ideas? This time of year is a wonderful season for friends and family. A thoughtful gift to your traveling loved one will mean more than you know. A word of warning. Many of these items are handmade and are in short supply. We strongly encourage you to not delay your order. We would love your feedback on any and all the items above!

A number of the items listed above were supplied for us to review. Does this affect our honest review and impressions? Not one bit. Happy Holidays!

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How to buy Murano Glass in Venice

Few souvenirs can match the beauty, craftsmanship, uniqueness of Murano glass from Italy.  It is truly the finest glassworks that money can buy.

How to get from Venice to Murano by vaporetto.

Many a tourist wanders from Venice to purchase a treasure.  We have put together a few tried and true tips for getting the most for your money on Murano.

murano glass1)Take emotion out of the equation, then put it back in at the end.

Huh?  Yep, we said it.  Take the emotion out of the equation.  It is critical to be realistic with what your budget can afford.  Before you take one step off the ferry, decide what your budget will be.  Seek agreement with your significant other on what the parameters will be.  This place is not for the faint of heart, or worse yet for a weak wallet.  Take the emotion out the purchase.  Once you have agreed on a limit.  Double it.  This is Murano!

Be realistic with what you can carry back home.  Glass doesn’t pack well.  It is heavy.  It is fragile.   Shipping delicate glassworks is also a bit of a risk.  Who is going to be responsible should it break in route?  Most turistas are going to carry their purchase with them the rest of the trip to avoid theft, or breakage.  This is a huge commitment if you are just beginning your holiday.

2)Keep Walking

One constant that we have found in shopping during our travels is there is always, always a better deal, just a few feet further.  I don’t know how many times we have “thought” that we received a steal of a deal, then walked a few more feet and found it for half of the price.   (Enter fighting couple fight #445).  The rule applies to Murano.  Candidly, we found the further we walked deeper into the island, the better deals and quality.

3) Ask Questions

One of the first questions to ask, was this made in Murano?  It’s a fair question.  The answer might surprise you.  Assuming you have a vendor with integrity, the answer could be no.  Which is fine, don’t get us wrong.  You just need to go into the purchase with your eyes open wider than your pocketbook.  Ask how it was made.  Ask about the colors, what were they made of?  Ask about the artist.  Questions will not only protect you from being shammed, but will also lend intrigue to your purchase.  Of course the key question is to ask for a certificate of authenticity, validating what the handsome salesman has explained to you.

One of the best questions we asked our salesman was, “what else do you have?”  A warm Italian grin formed and we were led back to the workshop and back sales room.  This is where the good stuff is kept.

Italian glass4) Let the Games Begin.

Remember you are in Italy.  This is not Wal mart.  You are not bound by what the price tag might say.  Granted in Murano, small glass items like jewelry, trinkets and coasters will likely be a fixed price.  Once you beginning bidding on larger pieces, price becomes secondary.

One key to good negotiation is finding a flaw in the piece that you want.  Pointing out a flaw in the glass will be easy due to the nature of glass blowing.  Your salesman will be offended at first at you boldness to point out a flaw in his “masterpiece”.  Simply smile and refer to the vendor down the boardwalk that had one similar with out the flaw.  Prices will suddenly become more fluid.

5) Timing is Everything

One of the most difficult things about buying anything in Murano is the time factor.  Time is not on your side.  You hit the island with a gaggle of other turistas.  You have the ferry schedule in one hand and a melting gelato in the other.  You are always pressed for time.  Thoughts that “I will never, ever find this again.  I must buy.”  WRONG!  You will.  And it will have more (insert fave color) in it.  And it will be 100 euros cheaper.  Don’t fall into the time trap.  Key to effective glass buying and negation is the ability to turn on your heels and walk out on your dream purchase.   This is painful.  It must be done.

We hope that like us, you fall in love with Venice and with Murano.  Stay in a wonderful bed and breakfast nearby.  Make multiple trips over to Murano.  Spend those Eurodollars!

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The Fighting Couple on Pinterest?

Pinterest!!???   Are you tired of seeing beautiful hair bows and amazing looking tuna casserole on Pinterest?  Are you looking for something with a little more KICK?  The Fighting Couple are finally on Pinterest!!!  Luci and I both post our finds onto our Pinterest site. We are always on the hunt for new topics, pictures, ect, so please share if you find something that we should share.  We are relative Pinterest virgins, so give us a follow and we will follow you back!  We promise!

1000 Fights Pinterest Boards:

Besides our ever popular “Fighting couple” board, we have a couple more that we want to give you a background on:

Flight Fashion–  One of our more popular posts was our review of the flight fashion of some of the leading airlines.  Haven’t read it?  You have come a long way baby!

Finding Hemingway-This is my favorite board.  I am such a Hemingway fan.  This is my chance to collect some quotes and unique pics of papa.

Una Historia Sin Palabras (a story without words)-We admire great photogs.  Sometime one picture can tell you a novel.  This is the case with this board.  I stare at these pictures and they summon emotion, wonder and passion.  My fave of this board is of course the Tiananmen pic.

Je Ne se Quois– This is Luci’s section.  Do you ever stumble across a picture that just takes your breath away?  It could the beaty of a fall scene, or a tender moment of a child.  Of course George Clooney made this board!  Enjoy!

 

So do you have a favorite board?  Can we be Pinterest friends?

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My Glen Ivy Escape

The words Glen Ivy SpaLos Angeles Spa makes me go weak in the knees. Located only 60 miles southeast from Los Angeles in Corona, Glen Ivy is an oasis of spa heaven. I first discovered Glen Ivy 10 years ago when I escaped to Los Angeles for the weekend to get away from my husband and children. My friend took one look at me and said, “You need Glen Ivy.” Boy did I ever. I was a working mom in my mid-20s with two kids, a heady job, and dirty house. (Now that I think about it nothing has changed in 10 years, except my age.) I needed a break or mid-life crisis. I opted for the break.

When my friend told me we were going to a spa, I figured it would be in a strip mall with mediocre massages, shag carpet, and maybe a free glass of water if I was lucky. Not even close. As we drove up the entrance it was clear to me Glen Ivy wasn’t just a spa; it was a complex, so vast it would make a Vanderbilt or Kennedy blush.

We walked up to the admittance office and then I beheld what I was to experience. The attendant handed me a map. A spa that needs a map? Yep. It’s that big. We walked into the area and I was as doe-eyed as a five-year old’s first trip to Disneyland. There were signs to the mineral baths, Roman baths, lap pool, the hot pool followed by the cold plunge pool. Fourteen pools total. We hit the mud first.

Mud? Yes. Your admission gets you access to every pool plus Club Mud. There’s an entire area dedicated to mud. Not just any mud, but Glen Ivy mud, a red clay mixed with the natural hot springs that will tighten your skin. Plopped on giant wheels, you grab a handful and  slather the special mud on your body. Let it dry in the California sun and then wash it off. Your skin will feel soft and revitalized.

I liked the Club Med, but I really liked the Grotto. For an extra fee, you can experience absolute soft skin. You walk into the Grotto area and then go down an elevator and enter a cave aka grotto. Your attendant will take a paint brush and paint you with a light green cream. It smells divine because it’s made of aloe vera, shea butter and coconut oil. Go deeper in to the grotto and sit in the “hydrating chamber.” You’ll feel like you are breathing butter, but the longer you sit the better your skin will feel. Then go rinse off. My hands felt soft and subtle days after I returned to the desert of home.

Los Angeles SpaA visitor to Glen Ivy could spend all day just drifting from mud to grotto to roman bath to mineral bath to sauna, but Glen Ivy also has traditional spa treatments. On my first visit, I was treated to scrub, wrap and massage.  Heavenly. Since, I have tried other Glen Ivy’s treatments including the clarifying facial.  Check out their pedicures and manicures as well. A massage or facial will cost roughly $100 per treatment.  On my last visit, I discovered the Glen Ivy Getaway package that included your choice of one 50 minute Swedish massage, 50 minute Glen Ivy facial, or a 50 minute body treatment, as well as grotto admission, and lunch for only $139. Admission is extra and will cost you $46 or $59 depending on whether you are there on the weekdays or weekends. If you buy a service that’s 50 minutes or longer, your admission is discounted.

Plan your day wisely. I like to get my treatments early in the visit, then eat lunch and spend the rest of the day vegging by the pools and ending the day with grotto. You’ll be wasted by the time you leave so expect to be in a fog.  Don’t forget to go to the gift shop. I like to pick up a container of mud and the grotto paint. That way when I’m back home, looking at my dirty house, exhausted from my job, frustrated by my mediocre mothering, I can open up the container, breathe deeply and let Calgon, I mean, Glen Ivy take me away.

Los Angeles has so much to offer!  If you are looking for a great Los Angeles accommodation to go with your spa visit.   Look no further!

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Two Must Have Travel Gadgets

Periodically the Fighting Travel Couple reviews helpful travel  gadgets and gizmos.  This installment features two items that make couple travel easier!  We are even going to give you one of our lucky 1000 Fighters one of them!  Sweet huh?

 

The Travalo

Problem:  Fancy perfume and cologne  is extremely expensive, comes in fancy glass vessels, and is heavy!  On top of that, try to get that much liquid on an airplane.  Not gonna happen.  So what to do?

Problem Solved:  The Travalo is one of the most unique  travel products we have come across.  It is a great solution for the chic traveler.  So heres how it works, take the Travalo, uncap your fave fragrance place the little Travalo over the straw of the fragrance and gently pump it full of the elixir.  Its just that easy.

The nice people at Travalo have given us one to give away to one of our loyal readers.  That could be you.  All we ask is that you leave a comment below with your fave fragrance and where would you love to take your Travalo (Milan, Tokyo, or Paris).  We will pick a random reader and send them one of these!  So, who are you wearing?  Our lucky winner will also be entered to win a $400 travel voucher from Travalo.  YES!

 

 

 

www.idmybag.com



Problem:  You, like us and 99% of the traveling world bought a black piece of luggege.  Why do we do it?  We own three large black roller bags.  Occasionally we place bets on how many other colored bags show up on the baggage claim.  So black baggers, what do you do?   Tie string onto the bag and hope that it stays put?  Spray paint your bag pink?  NO!

Problem Solved: With a bag tag or bag strap from our friends at www.idmybag.com you will never again take the wrong bag.  we we love about IDmyBag is that they use really great materials and craftsmanship.  What good is a bag strap if it rips or tears?

The real value in these tags is preventing theft.  How likely is it that a thief is going to snatch a bag with a tag like this off the carousel?  Very unlikely.    The good folks at www.idmybag.com offers custom stitching and colors!  Cool!  Want to avoid couple fights?  Buy one, better yet buy two.

 

Do you want us to review a product?  Shoot us a message. 

 

Disclaimer:  We are not paid for our reviews.  That wouldn’t be very fair?  We do receive sample products to review.   We will do our best to give you candid and honest reviews.  We always put reviewed products to the test in the field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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