One evening in 2004, then–high school student Robert Martinez was sitting with friends in a Long Island coffee shop when his now-wife, Christina Martinez, walked in to meet the group. “I knew from the second I saw Christina through the window that something special was about to happen,” Robert recalls. “We didn’t know each other yet, and I just remember watching her walk into the room and completely focusing on her. We talked well into the night and made plans to see each other the next day. I thought for sure she was just being nice, but she answered her phone the next morning and we made plans.”
Since that fateful meeting, the pair hasn’t spent more than a few days apart. They got married in 2013, spontaneously moved to Phoenix to start their new life together, and founded their joint fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog, New Darlings. Christina heads up the styling and modeling, while Robert manages the camera and lighting.
Inspired by their unique meet-cute and intertwined career paths, we thought they’d be the perfect source of wisdom for our yearly conundrum: What to gift our partners with for the holidays. Keep reading for foolproof gift-giving tips from the married couple, and find out which pieces from Hearts On Fire are sure to be a hit with your own S.O. this season.
How Their Style Influences One Another
Since Robert and Christina have been together for 13 years, it’s no surprise that their individual styles have started to rub off on one another. “Over the years, we seem to have balanced each other out with our fashion choices, each coming from different extremes,” says the blogger. “I’m very inspired by French style and partial to ’60s style icons like Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, and Françoise Hardy.” However, she admits that this time of year, she embraces her husband’s more minimalistic style, pairing a simple sweater with skirts, loafers, and a delicate necklace.
“Christina is definitely a bit more refined, and she knows how to take the right chances when she’s pulling pieces from her wardrobe,” Robert shares. “She likes to challenge herself, where I usually play it pretty safe.”
How They Do Gift-Giving
The couple tends to be pretty laid-back when it comes to gift-giving, preferring to gift small items at unexpected moments. “Every now and then we try to surprise each other. It can be anything from fresh flowers from the market to a handwritten note,” says Christina.
This year, however, when Robert was mulling over what to gift this season, he decided to go big with a collection of pieces from Hearts On Fire.
When deciding which items to buy, he thought about what jewelry pieces she typically gravitates toward. “She’ll usually stack and layer a few rings or necklaces, and it always looks so beautiful,” says Robert. So, he opted for a dainty necklace, stud earrings, and a few bracelets and rings to stack.
For Christina, Robert’s gift struck all the right notes. “I love the idea of wearing these bands on their own for a minimalistic look or stacking them with my wedding rings,” says Christina. “Mixing yellow, white, and rose gold is my favorite. Trends are always changing, and mixing metals gives you the opportunity to incorporate new pieces alongside some of your older favorites.”
Robert’s final piece of advice for other S.O.s shopping for gifts this holiday season: “Don’t overthink it or get overwhelmed; just remember they’re going to appreciate all the effort you put into the surprise.” (It’s always, always the thought that counts, right?)
And as for Robert’s gift? He’s just going to have to wait and see…
What do you think about when you’re choosing a gift for someone important in your life? Tell us in the comments below!