(photo credit: )
NEXT WEEK is Tu Be'Av, the "Jewish Valentine's Day," and we do hope we'll be able to celebrate this day instead of being preoccupied by the current fighting. If you do have the opportunity to mark this normally happy occasion, we can offer some romantic ideas for the day.
INTERNATIONALLY SUCCESSFUL Israeli designer Michal Negrin makes truly romantic jewelry decorated with her trademark excess of flower patterns and beautiful stones. All her necklaces, rings, earrings or pins would be considered an appropriate gift for the occasion but, especially for Tu Be'Av, Negrin has designed a necklace with a heart-shaped pendant decorated with roses (NIS 252) and a ring decorated with roses and a small, flower-shaped bell (NIS 188). You can find this entirely hand-made jewelry in the Michal Negrin stores.
AT THE Beadart stores and other selected jewelry stores, you can find the popular kabbalistic bracelets made from a red string with hamsin (hand) and heart-shaped amulets, symbolizing happiness, luck and love; the bracelets are NIS 99. The Stern jewelry stores offer 18-karat gold amulets in the shape of a heart or a key hanging on a red silk string; the heart casts NIS 1,464, and the key is NIS 672. A little naughty accent is given by the heart-shaped jewelry by Playboy, or jewelry with the word "love" written inside, featuring the little Playboy trademark bunny; prices range from NIS 80 to NIS 150.
CHOCOLATE FONDUE can provide a romantic and sweet dinner for two, and Kesem Hapri will deliver the ingredients straight to your house. Among the various fruit platters you can order from this company, is a platter of exotic fruits and chocolate - the chocolate is stored in a special fondue bowl with a tea light underneath to heat it up. You can choose to complement the meal with a bottle of wine or champagne. Prices for a platter range from NIS 200 to NIS 300. You can order by dialing *2022, or through the Internet at www.kesemhapri.co.il.
ANOTHER SWEET treat for two can be found at Dr. Lek ice cream stores. The store has a set of two individual-size ice cream cakes in the flavors chocolate mousse and Belgian chocolate, or caramel parfait with hazelnut whipped cream. The Duo Ice Cream Delight is sold for NIS 28. You can choose to have this sinfully delicious treat at home, or take it on a romantic picnic.
FOR REAL Tu Be'Av fun, you can find plenty of sexy underwear at the lingerie stores. For example, Fix panties with lace come in different colors and shapes, from bikini to a sexy string panty. Also available are Fix panties and camisoles figuring the cute comic strip character Snoopy. The price for a string panty figuring Snoopy is NIS 35, and a matching sports bra is NIS 45. The TNT stores have a gift package containing three pairs of boxer shorts, bikini or string panties with different designs for only NIS 39.90. At the Delta lingerie stores, you can find panties for women and matching shorts for men, with the same design. Also at Delta, a set of three heart-decorated socks for women is NIS 40.
SEXY AND romantic cosmetic products can be found at the Vintage stores, such as an edible massage gel, among other products. A set of a heart-shaped bottle of strawberry flavored massage gel, four small, heart-shaped soaps and four red heart-shaped candles is NIS 69. At the SuperPharm stores, a 250 ml. bottle of peeling soap with cherry fragrance, by the private label Life, is sold for only NIS 8 until the middle of August. In the Kasum store in Hadar Yosef, you can find sexy smelling white musk body lotion or vanilla body oil, both sold at NIS 55. For those who like it sweet, Cr ma has chocolate-scented cream wash soap, sold at supermarkets and pharmacies for NIS 18 for a 500 ml. bottle.
FOR A long-term romantic touch in your home, there are unique furniture and appliances available, such as a heart-shaped sink, sold at Modi Ceramics for NIS 1,395. At the Habitat stores, you will find a collection of furniture named Marilyn (after Marilyn Monroe) with round, wavy shapes, such as a bright red bed or a chaise lounge. Prices for the bed start at NIS 15,750. The designer Arik Ben Simhon in Tel Aviv sells a seating arrangement for two, consisting of two chairs with an attached seat and back - this model Two-Too sells for NIS 3,800. Amcor has a bright red refrigerator decorated with a picture of a kissing couple and the words "I love you." The fridge sells for NIS 7,800, or NIS 11,600 for a side-by-side model).
IF YOU'RE planning a romantic evening out, you will probably pay extra attention to your make-up, and red lipstick might be part of it. At the Giora Shavit make-up stores, you will receive a 40% reduction on lipsticks on August 8 and 9. For something lighter than a lipstick, and adding a bright shine, try the Clarins Color Quench lip balms, which come in a wide range of shades with fruit flavors. They cost NIS 108, and are available in SuperPharm stores). L'Oreal has lip glosses that add extra shine and have a heart-shaped applicator; these Glam Shine Crystals lip glosses are NIS 80 a piece.
TO SAY it with flowers is always a safe bet (except if your beloved is allergic to pollen, that is). The Zer4U flower stores have some special deals with a jewelry store and a spa, if you buy a bouquet this month. If you buy a piece of jewelry at one of the Coral stands, you will receive a NIS 30 reduction on a bouquet of red roses in the Zer4U stores and, if you buy any bouquet in this flower store, you can buy a flower-shaped golden ring with diamonds for NIS 449 instead of NIS 2,385 at Coral. Also, you can buy a package in the Zer4U stores consisting of a bouquet of roses, a bottle of wine and a coupon for a day at a Holmes Place spa, including a massage. The price for this package is NIS 389, and the deal is valid until August 15.
THE COSMETICS brand Marvell has a nice gift package of the True Love fragrance, containing a 60 ml. bottle of eau de parfum, a 100 ml. bottle of body lotion and a deodorant. This package, containing everything you need to smell delicious for a romantic evening, is sold at the pharmacies at the reasonable price of NIS 180.
CANDLES ARE always good to create a romantic mood, and at Anat's Gallery in Ganei Yehuda you can find original candles, in all kinds of shapes, resembling small statues. Gift packages for Tu Be'Av are available. In the Blue Bandana stores you will find many candles in beautiful stands or containers made out of wood, glass and stone. The Nerot Beshenkin and the Sabon Shel Pa'am stores offer a wide variety of candles in different sizes, shapes and fragrances, as well as soaps and massage oils. If you buy spend NIS 79 or more at Nerot Beshenkin on August 9, you will receive a heart-shaped soap for free. A 100 ml. bottle of massage and bath oil, available in four different fragrances, is NIS 58 at Sabon Shel Pa'am. At Ace, you can find cheap, heart-shaped candles and lamps decorated with hearts. Prices for candles Ace start at NIS 10.
IF THE woman you love likes to read, you can give her a heart-shaped silver bookmark, which can be clipped onto a page. Different colored strings are attached to the bookmark, making it easier to find them. The bookmark will be a sign of love long after the romantic holiday is over. Prices for the silver bookmarks, sold at the Hatsorfim jewelry stores, start at NIS 85.