Living loved.

Listen up, lovelies. It’s almost Valentine’s Day.

The day in the year, second only to Christmas and Thanksgiving, that’s all about being with the one(s) you love. Or like a lot. Or like a little.

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day—or both! —I think there’s something even more important to this day that we often miss. February 14th is all about enjoying someone and celebrating them—their strength, their character, their passions, and their beauty—and so often the focus is shifted onto a significant other (or lack thereof) that we forget to celebrate another important person: ourselves.

She who so often gets overlooked.

Not overlooked by others, mind you, but by herself.

It’s not just about the “#treatyoself” mentality—but it’s about taking a moment to step back, breathe, and reflect on the lovely and kind, yet strong and fierce, woman that you are. And that confidence in who you are, that loving acceptance of yourself, will empower you to more powerfully love those that you’re in relationship with—whether sig o’s, friends, or family.

You see, when we don’t understand or believe in our own value, we make it impossible for others to fully see it, too! We unknowingly cheapen and sabotage our own relationships because we see them as something needed to complete us, rather than an addition to us. And, that need to “complete” drives a sentiment of desperation and a need for approval that others will never be able to fulfill. They weren’t meant to fulfill it.

“You can’t rely on me to make you happy.”

That’s what my dad told my mom back when they started dating. At first glance, it sounds extreme.

Isn’t that the point of relationships? you ask. Don’t they make you happy? Being with someone else and loved by someone else makes you happy?

Yes, it absolutely can. But, what my dad was wise enough to have caught onto here was the fact that if you rely on other people to make you happy—even the very best people—there will always be some day, some point that you’ll still feel…something missing.

Think of a gorgeous, handcrafted clay jar. And, the jar needs to be filled—it’s meant to be filled—but, if you always look to others to fill it for you, then your jar often be missing what’s needed to top it off. They don’t have enough to entirely fill your jar and theirs—and they weren’t meant to.

100% + 100% = 200%.

When we see our own value, and look for other people to add to us instead of complete us, we will always get more—happiness, fulfillment from our relationships, confidence in our jobs, and so on.

So, here’s what you need to hear loud and clear: you are worth loving.

And, this Valentine’s Day, it’s you who needs to realize that. Live loved, and you will be able to more fully love the life you live.

Cheers, dears! xoxo

P.S. If you’re in Fort Wayne…

I went to a really fabulous event last week at Jane Ford Art Studio that was all about celebrating women, sharing their stories, and empowering them to live in a way that makes the most of their strength and beauty each day. The event was sponsored by Hill Image Consulting, Kristine Logan Photography, and Solutions Skin Care—all experts in their field, excited about what they do, and all about empowering their clients and crafting styles, looks, and shoots that inspire confidence. If you’re looking to discover and share who you are—your personal brand—I’d highly recommend you stop in & see these ladies!

Review: La La Land

“It’s pretty strange that we keep running into each other.”

“Maybe it means something.”

 

So begins one of cinema’s most brilliant romances. A love story sparked through happenstance encounters that kindles a passionate relationship and an enduring flame—and takes audiences on a journey of reflection through loves desired, loves lost, and love shared.

 

But most of all, the movie dares to ask the question: what if?

 

What if you run into each other again? What if you wander through that door? What if you say yes? What if you dare to dream? What happens if it doesn’t work—or, what happens if it does?

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that La La Land ran away with my heart—from the stunning cinematography to a soundtrack that soars beyond all others this decade, its epic storyline to its wistful ending. Through it all, though, the film accomplishes the feat of feeling incredibly genuine and authentic—and perhaps that’s why we let it take the liberty of asking such bold questions. Because we reflect on those questions ourselves in our most personal, intimate moments. Because life and love are all about risk.

 

What happens in life is, at a basic level, the result of our decisions and the way we experience the decisions others make. It’s comprised of crossroads and choices. If we choose to give our heart away, do we ever really get all of it back? What if we choose to go? What if we choose to stay?

 

“That’s the dream! It’s conflict and compromise, and it’s very very exciting.”

 

As much as I protest, I did leave part of my heart in New York. And La La Land’s swanky jazz clubs, crowded concert halls, classic movie theaters, and brilliant views—all of it pulls me back into that romance until, before I can even stop myself, I’m transported to a different place and time.

 

Honestly, it is exhilarating. They don’t make films like this anymore—with the artistry, scale, and skill. It takes me back to those West Village weekend nights, with the sounds of jazz softly coming from the clubs as one walks by. Or, to those Lincoln Center midnights, with the lone saxophonist serenading the City under my window.

 

La La Land captures all of those scenes and sentiments—in West Coast form, of course. It leaves you wanting more.

 

It encourages you to follow your heart and pursue your passions. “Are you doing all that you’re meant to do?” it asks. “What if you went after it with all of your heart?”

 

The characters are both aspirational and inspirational—and ultimately, it’s their relationship with each other that inspires both to brilliance. The film beautifully conveys the centrality of that romantic relationship—of having that person, your person—in the crowd cheering you on, delighting your heart when you least expect it, carrying the dream for you when you falter, and going to incredible lengths to show you that someone believes.

 

It’s a story of true, enduring love that captures the heart and captivates the mind.

 

And, turns to the future with the question, “What if?”

4 epic dates for days when going outside is just too much

With the holidays officially wrapped and New Year’s here & gone, we’ve officially entered that time in Winter that seems like a struggle. Rain tumbles down like a monsoon, the melting snow takes on a grayish hue, and the cold weather permeates your coat, gloves – and even your soul.

It may seem a bit overdramatic, until you’re walking 25 minutes home from work in NYC, jostled by all the people, annoyed by the traffic and, when you finally reach your apartment, it feels like a fortress away from all of the cold & craziness below.

Midwesterners, we feel the pain too – that trudge to the car, blowing on your hands as you wait for your car heater to warm up, & shivering as you make a run for it into work.

Long story short – wherever you are, there are days — and dates — that you just want to stay inside.

So, here’s 4 must-try ideas for epic stay-at-home dates.

These are pure gold, & a few of my all-time favorites. Try them – or put your own spin on them – and let me know how it goes!

Pillow fort movie night

Movie night is awesome. Movie night in a pillow fort is better.

Step 1: Choose your location – the living room is always a classic.

Step 2: Lay your foundation. Decide if you’ll want something to lean up against – like a wall or a couch. Spread out a down comforter or cushy blanket, & pull out all the pillows to make chilling with bae as comfy as possible!

Step 3: Top it off! This isn’t just child’s play – there’s real engineering involved! Get creative for how you create the roof of your tent – pull in chairs, couches & other pieces of furniture to create your ideal tent. Secure sheets & blankets with things that will be easy to remove – like laundry clips, rubber bands, and string.

Step 4: Get cozy. Pull your favorite blankets & pillows in the fort – even experiment with different colors / textures. String up some LED lights for maximum ambiance / instal-potential.

Step 5: Line up your refreshments. Who ever heard of movie night without popcorn? For something out of the ordinary, try Skinny Pop (LOVE the Naturally Sweet kind) or Poptique Gourmet Popcorn (a Ft. Wayne favorite!). & pro-tip: use a dining tray to keep everything neat & tidier.

Step 6: Lean back & enjoy the movie on your TV or a computer – whichever best fits your fort.

v dope. v chic. #ki date night in.

Cozy living room campfire

Spread out a faux sheepskin rug (like this one for $24), get your coziest blankets that make you feel like you’re at a lodge in colorado, and cuddle up in the living room. A fireplace is always a great option here, but if you don’t have one, here’s a fabulous little-known (and perhaps even better!) secret – a hibachi grill ($12). (Fuel is usually available at a local home improvement store.) Kabob skewers work well for roasting sticks – so get chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows & make your own s’mores.

Transport yourselves to an exotic location

Choose a country you’ve both been dying to visit. Set out a few trinkets reminiscent of that destination, or transform your apartment for the night – it’s up to you! Find a favorite recipe from the region, and make dinner / dessert together. Pop open a beverage or bottle of wine from that country, cue up a film about the country, and settle in next to each other for a brilliant evening staycation.

Example – Italy. I love to make a delicious focaccia, open a bottle of red, light my stone pillar candlesticks from Italy, and curl up in front of Cinema Paradiso.

Bond over nostalgia

Pick a decade – whether the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s. Go to the local music store and grab a few vinyl albums / cd’s of your favorite bands from that era. On the way home, stop by a local vintage store & choose outfits for each other so that you’re style matches the night’s theme. If it’s your thing, you can even look up the most popular drinks of the decade & take your hand at making / mixing them together! Have a dance party to the decade’s greatest hits. Then settle in the living room with a board game from “back in the day”, or a TV show about the “good times”. A few ideas – check out Netflix’s new series about the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s, That 70’s Show for – obviously – the 70’s, Stranger Things for the 80’s and, Friends for the 90’s!

5 Best Christmas Gifts Under $35

11 days.

If that number strikes fear into your heart, it’s probably a sign that you’re still scrambling to find the perfect Christmas gift. I get it.

In fact, I’m right there with you. Tough to believe, I know, because my last few blog posts have been full of fabulous places to shop and wonderful experiential ideas! You better believe that I’m planning to #shoplocal this weekend, and that there are some fabulous “experience” gifts waiting for family and friends under the tree…

…but, it doesn’t cover everybody. There are still people that are either A) so special or B) so selective that I’m still #desperatelyseekingpresents for! #TheStruggleIsReal.

And, I’ll be honest – with my move this year & just buying a new Jeep with cash, I’m a bit low on $$ too.

So, if you’re at all like me, here’s an early Christmas gift to you: my top 5 favorite gifts under $35 that you can order online today! This hour! This minute!

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(Photo credit: Rhea Kulcsar)

A brilliant ring from coveted NY designer, Rhea Kulcsar ($30)

I met Rhea while shopping at the Chelsea Market over the summer, and own a couple of her pieces – like the Gold Floating Crystals Ring and the Cylinders Bangle – which I LOVE. (I’m wearing the bangle right now, in fact!) If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas present that makes them say “WOW” without taking too much out of your Christmas spending budget, I’d suggest one of her many fabulous rings. Each is a work of art, but I’d suggest her Delicate Baguette Ring or her Moon + Star Adjustable Ring.

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(Photo Credit: Chemex)

A handblown Chemex Glass Mug ($16)

“The perfect balance of form and function.” Say “Chemex” to any coffee aficionado, and their eyes will immediately light up. It’s a high-end brand known the world over for its elegant coffee maker which has won design awards and “makes perfect coffee.” Their Coffeemaker Kits start at $59.70 – but, they also make a handblown glass mug with the same iconic Chemex design, and available for only $16! The best part: You don’t have to drink ONLY Chemex coffee in the mug 😉 So, it’s a safe bet for any coffee lover on your list – whether they have a Chemex or not!

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(Photo Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Tillandsia, or “Air Plants” (5 for $15)

The succulent craze has been sweeping the nation for years now—so why not gift your friends a tasteful terrarium with their very own air plant? Air plants are succulents – except, they grow and even thrive without soil. You can purchase 5 of them on Amazon for $15 ($3 / plant) and then purchase a 3-pack of hanging terrariums for $13! (Note: the air plants will not arrive in bloom yet, so it may be best to gift that one as a gift.) You can either give all five plants in three terrariums to the same person, OR this could become a gift for three people – making each one just $9-10 a piece!

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(Photo credit: Tarte Cosmetics)

Tarte Cosmetics Limited Edition Rainforest of the Sea Hydration Travel Set ($29)

I am a huge believer in Tarte Cosmetics. In the summer, I love to use their Foundation – made from Amazonian clay, the foundation lasts 12-hours, provides a soft matte finish, and is also vegan friendly. But, the winter causes skin to dry out, and you need a solution to take care of that, too! Enter the Tarte Limited Edition Rainforest of the Sea Hydration Travel Set – it includes customer favorites, like the Deep Dive Cleansing Gel, Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer, Pack Your Bags 911 Undereye Rescue Patches, and their 4-in-1 Setting Mist. And, all first-time Tarte buyers get $10 off their first purchase today if you sign up for their email list – so that brings the set to just $19!

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(Photo Credit: Saturdays NYC)

Saturdays Surf NYC Coffee ($13.50)

Saturdays Surf NYC has taken off as of late, and grown into a global fashion brand. It still holds true to its roots, though, and its start as a surf shop that sold coffee is still at the heart of the company’s philosophy. Give your coffee connoisseur a taste of the good life with a blend of beans from Saturdays NYC – just $13.50.

5 Last-Minute Gifts that Will Also Be The Best Ones Under the Tree

Moment of honesty: I really don’t like getting people “things.”

I think it’s part of the reason I’m so bad at Christmas shopping. I keep holding out, thinking, “This would be a good gift, but it’s not it. There’s something missing. I want something that’s just a little…more. Something that feels right.” If you’ve ever been stuck in this holiday gifting rut, I know exactly what you feel—and, I’ve figured out the perfect solution. Track with me here:

How do you find the perfect Christmas gift when no gift seems to fit? What do you buy for the person who has everything?

Answer: Gift experiences.

Sometimes, the best things to give aren’t things at all. The best way to light up someone’s face on Christmas morning can be with a wonderfully thoughtful, personalized experience.

My parents are MASTERS at this art. One Christmas, they drove my brother, cousin and I to the Disney store. They told us to hold out our hands for our Christmas present. And, when we opened our eyes, we were all holding Mickey Mouse scarves. We looked at them, a bit perplexed. They were both smiling ear-to-ear, and we couldn’t quite figure out why.

“For your Christmas gift this year, we’re going to DISNEY WORLD!”

And after an initial moment of shock and surprise, our faces lit up and we started jumping up and down, hugging our Mickey Mouse scarves and each other. It was magical.

Now I am NOT saying that you should buy your mom, dad, sister, cousin, or significant other a trip to Disney World (unless that’s your thing – then you do you!).

But we ARE in the Christmas crunch time! So let me help you out with five outstanding home-run experiences to gift this Christmas that you can put together in less than a day!

To make it easy on you, I’ve listed what you should put under the tree, and what the real gift should be to maximize the shock & awe value.

Less than $50:

*Under the tree: Buy a trendy wallet or card holder. Fill it with $20-$50 worth of $5 gift cards to the gift receiver’s favorite places – including coffee shops, movie theaters, stores, etc. (That’s 4-10 gift cards!) Wrap + put under the tree.

Total gift: When they open the wallet, tell them it’s good for an afternoon out with you. Use the gift cards to grab coffee and go shopping, see a movie – whatever you’d like!

*Under the tree: Place a new workout top, lux fuzzy robe, or slippers.

Total Gift: Tell the gift recipient that you gifted them a spa day or fun workout class – like Pilates, Yoga, Cycling – something fun for both of you to do together! Follow it up by getting juice / coffee and giving the gift of time.

*Under the tree: This one is a bit flexible. You can beautifully wrap the person’s favorite bottle of champagne, two candlesticks, two champagne flutes, two napkin holders—whatever you’d like!

Total Gift: When the gift recipient opens the package, let them know that the gift is that you’d like to make him / her a special dinner! Tell them the date, and that the meal is a surprise. On the night of, go all out – set the table to reflect their style, make their favorite dish, and top it off with their favorite drink / dessert!

(HINT: You can make this a gift for your parents, too! Offer to make them a delicious dinner & give them a memorable evening.)

Less than $100:

*Under the tree: Hop on Ticketmaster, and find a concert, show, or event coming up that the gift recipient would really enjoy. You can search Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Chicago, Kalamazoo – wherever! Then, buy the gift recipient something that relates to the show. Maybe it’s a t-shirt from the band, a shirt / accessory for them to wear to the show, a punny gift that gives them a hint as to what you’re seeing (e.g., a cat stuffed animal for the musical Cats), something that represents the city you’re going to to see it (e.g., Chicago-style pizza for Chicago)…get creative and give them something that will make them say “WOW” or will make them laugh! Wrap your package with this gift on top, and the tickets underneath.

Total Gift: Well, take them to the event of course! Make it a fun outing – get coffee before or drinks after. Give them a memorable (and Insta-worthy) evening.

Less than $250:

*Under the tree: There’s all sorts of travel deals this time of year! Find one on a great hotel / lodge / B&B between 45 minutes and 3 hours away. (I’d recommend searching AirBnB, Priceline, Hotwire, HotelTonight – even the hotel / lodge themselves may be having a special!) Write three clues to where / what it is, and place them in separate envelopes under the tree. When the time comes, have the gift recipient(s) open one at a time, and try to guess where they’re going!

Total Gift: Take the overnight with your special someone, friend(s), or family! One room usually sleeps 4 people, so this one is also perfect for gifting to a close group of friends or the fam.

Have other great ideas for Experience Gifts? Email them to me at info@kenzi-caudill.com!

5 Places #ShopLocal & Find the Perfect Gift

Baby, it is COLD outside.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly saying goodbye to warm weather things and saying hello to the styles and traditions of the Christmas season. I’ve said adios to sandals and brought out my stilettos, traded in light leather jackets for full-on fur vests, and – last night – put away my zippy BMW Z3 convertible (the “James Bond” car) and took out my new Jeep Cherokee Sport with 4-wheel drive.

Just in time too, it seems! As I’m sitting here, writing this note to you all, I’m staring at a scene reminiscent of a Thomas Kinkade painting—mug of tea in hand, fire in the fireplace, 5 inches of snow outside.

You know, it’s beginning to look a lot like…

WAIT. I HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED CHRISTMAS SHOPPING YET.

Now, if you’re like me, you have one of two options:

  1. Scramble to find something on Amazon and ORDER ORDER ORDER – hoping it gets here in time! (Let’s use those Prime memberships, people!)

OR

  1. You can find gifts for him or her that are 100% unique, high-quality, uber trendy, and incredibly thoughtful – best of all, you could even have your Christmas shopping done this week! (No sitting with fingers crossed, hoping your package arrives in time!)

“Of course, option #2!” you say. “That sounds exactly like what I want. What goodness is this that sounds to great to be true? Teach me your secrets, oh Kenzie!”

Okay, well, maybe that’s not EXACTLY what you said. But sure, I’ll share my secret anyways! Here it is:

SHOP LOCAL.

Fort Wayne is full of one-of-a-kind stores and boutiques, many of which just opened this year!

I’ve listed a few of my faves below.

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Idlehour: This fabulous spot is a thoughtfully curated athleisure boutique, selling everything from luxury activewear to all-natural soaps and lotions to beautiful accessories, baubles, and paper goods. The owners are on the pulse of the “studio-to-street” trend, and even serve wine and goodies in the store on occasion! There’s lots of trendy gifts (including bralettes!) for under $35. (Plus, I teach Pilates at Pure Movement next door, so you & your girlfriends can stop in after shopping to take a Pilates class with me! Email info@kenzi-caudill.com for details!)

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(Photo Credit: Dancer Concrete Design)

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(Photo Credit: The Find FW)

The Find: Perfect shop, perfect selection, perfect location. The Find just opened inside the new Ash building downtown – right next to the Golden! (HINT: So you shop on your way to / from brunch!) The Find has a fun selection of gifts, mens & women clothing, accessories, and home goods! Best of all – their stuff comes from Midwest artisans and designers – #supportlocal!

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(Photo Credit: Visit Fort Wayne)

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(Photo Credit: Lace + Arrow)

Lace + Arrow: “Um, I’d like to order one of everything you post on Instagram, please.” = me erryday. Lace + Arrow is another new Fort Wayne boutique – and it’s taking the City by storm. Their chic selection is composed of clothes, shoes, and accessories for her – perfect to gift to a girlfriend or wear to a Christmas party. Personally, I’m planning to grab one of their flowy, velvet camis – perfect under a blazer or sweater, or all by itself – for a fun & flirty holiday look!

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(Photo Credit: Outer Grace Boutique)

Outer Grace Boutique: This is one of my favorite stops on the Holiday Trolley Tour every year. Shop here if you need great stocking stuffers (candles, hats, and bath bombs) or a gift sure to “wow”—beautiful jewelry, vests, and long-sleeve T’s. An added bonus – their festive line of Christmas shirts! (My favorite saying: “If it’s not snowing, I’m not going!”

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(Photo Credit: Urban She-K)

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Urban She-K: I’d be lying if I said my Christmas list wasn’t heavily populated with pictures of clothes from Urban She-K. This store just opened on the Southwest side of town, and has so many fabulous gifts for the season. Personally, I’m hoping to see their black velvet oversized sweater, super soft blue / black plaid winter jacket, and gold / black leather fringe necklace under my tree. They’ve also got a fun selection of faux fur and leather purses – all under $45!

Alright loves, happy shopping! Post your finds on Instagram and message me with your favorite shops – I’d like to do a Part 2 of this post!

#KillingIt this Christmas: 7 of Fort Wayne’s most outstanding dates (& all under $16)

Guys, listen up. The holidays are rough. Your girl is super cute in that white fur hat, talking about Christmas magic and all of her #goals…until it sets in. That moment when you realize that it’s you – yes YOU, sir – that has to make those #goals happen. And it seems daunting and expensive AND…

…CALM YOURSELF. I get it. I’ve been that girl. (Okay, okay – sometimes I still AM that girl.)

But TODAY, I’m here to help. How can you make magic happen for #bae while still being able to afford gifts for your mom, brother, and Great Aunt Louise?  Here’s 5 of Fort Wayne’s most memorable dates that will keep you #killingit in the romance department while still being kind to your wallet. (&, if you do as I say below, they’ll all be under $16 for two people!)

(PS. These also include stellar things to do with friends!)

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Photo credit: INFortWayne

See Bruce Willis at the Cinema Center.

Fort Wayne’s downtown movie theater, the Cinema Center, has special showings of Die Hard and Batman Returns on December 16th and 17th. Matinee ticket prices for two people will set you back about $14. (All other times, tickets are $9 each.) If you’re looking for something a bit more in tune with the season, take your girl to go see Cinema Center’s showings of It’s a Wonderful Life – running from December 22nd – 24th.

Total cost: $14.

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Photo credit: SaltToday.org

Get cultured with Picasso at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

SECRET: The FWMoA was just given a rare collection of Picasso and Leger masterpieces – something you’d usually travel to Chicago or NYC to see. For $8 / person, impress your date with works by some of history’s most revered artists. WHAT. #dying. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about art – even looking at the pieces sparks fun conversations.

Total cost: $16.

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Photo credit: WANE.com

Get classy at Wine Down.

It’s like taking a trip to Tuscany without the jet lag. Sink into a leather couch in one of Wine Down’s private alcoves, or grab a seat at the bar. Whatever your style, Executive Chef Chuck Blevins and his team whip up a menu of mouthwatering tapas that are absolute crowd pleasers (and many plates are under $10). My recommendation? Start by splitting the Sweet Potato Fries (served with espresso ketchup, $4) and follow it up with the Chocolate Moose ($5) or Chef’s Cheesecake for dessert ($5-7).

Total cost: $9-11.

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Photo credit: The Journal Gazette

Roast s’mores at the Hoppy Gnome.

This is a sure-fire stunner and an absolute crowd-pleaser. The Hoppy Gnome is a fantastic spot located right in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne, and it’s always buzzing around the holidays. Stop in here & order their S’Mores – $5 will get you a personal roasting fire delivered to your table, with s’more sticks and 5 homemade Tahitian vanilla marshmallows (with chocolate and graham crackers of course)!

Total cost: $10 (because, clearly, 5 s’mores won’t be enough for two 😉

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Stroll down Main Street for dinner + dessert + Santa.

I’ve lived in New York, visited Chicago, and spent time in California and I’ve got to say, there’s no classic like a Coney Island hot dog. Start things out right with “Fort Wayne’s Famous” dogs (~$4 for two coney dogs), then head over to the City’s latest, hottest dessert spot, the Yummi Bunni, for dessert! This place just opened last weekend and LET ME TELL YOU WHAT. Owner McKenna Click has a hit on her hands. The Yummi Bunni specializes in well, Yummi Buns. (Essentially, doughnut ice cream sandwiches that are to DIE for.) Grab your buns, walk outside, and turn to your right to end the night with Fort Wayne’s legendary display of lights – Santa and his reindeer. (&, this is also the perfect spot to lean in for that sweet kiss. #KI.)

Total cost: $14.

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Photo credit: Catablu Grille

Go out for Mac & Cheese at Catablu.

Chilly outside means comfort food inside, and the Mac & Cheese at Catablu can’t be beat. Catablu calls itself an “everyday escape” – and it’s roaring fireplace and friendly staff make it a great retreat around the holidays. You can order the lobster mac & cheese ($19), or stick with their plain mac & cheese ($6, and which I personally like more). (Tip: Their plain mac & cheese is actually listed under “Sides”, but can be ordered a la carte and is big enough to feed a hungry soccer player – speaking from experience.)

Total cost: $12.

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Brunch at Fortezza Coffee.

Maybe you’re not at the dinner date stage yet. Never fear – Fortezza is here! It’s a big city spot nestled in the heart of the Fort, and has expanded its coffee shop menu to include brunch. (#letsbruch #brunchsquad #brunchgoals #ilovebrunch) I’d recommend the quiche – it’s artfully presented with a small yogurt parfait & raspberry salad included as sides. Or, if that’s not your thing, Fortezza also offers a variety of alternatives – from french toast to delicious breads & pastries.

Total cost: $13ish.