• Jen

Celebrate Valentine's Day at home

Some people grumble about Valentine's Day and how it's just about commercialism and it's an expense you don't need so soon after Christmas. I personally see it as a day to take some time to show some lovin'.

I LOVE Valentine's Day. It's probably one of my favourite holidays / special occasions of the year. Closely followed by Shrove Tuesday (I love pancakes). Having a day dedicated to love - to give it and to receive it, is wonderful. In the world we live in today I sometimes think there isn't enough love to around, so why not spend a whole day dedicated to a bit of lovey stuff.

It doesn't have to be full-on smoochy love either. It can be giving a friend a hug, spending quality time with your kids, buying donuts for your work mates or just doing something nice for someone today. And this doesn't cost anything! Well, apart from a few quid for the donuts. Or indeed a few pence depending on where you get them from. I'm the best at sourcing cheap donuts!

People can often whinge about the cost of Valentine's Day, but it's not about buying the largest bouquet of long-stemmed roses or reserving a table at a Michelin star restaurant. It's the little gestures of love that count. It's about making someone smile and feel loved and you can do that in so many little ways. We are all so busy in our daily lives that sometimes we forget to kiss our loved ones goodbye when we're dashing out the door with a slice of toast in our hand. So having a day to remind us that showing a little love is important is alright with me.

So, I wanted to share my ideas with you on how to create a love-filled Valentine's Day at home, without it costing a fortune.

A little bit of prep' goes a long way to impress your loved one. So whether that is baking a Valentine's cake (in secret) ahead of time, so you only have to decorate it later, or secretly writing little love notes to use on the day - it's all worth it to create that feeling of being loved for your "lobster."*

1. Something sweet

We all love a bit of sweetness every now and then. So grab your apron and bake your Valentine their favourite cake or dessert. You could decorate the cake with icing hearts or lettering. Make something special like strawberries dipped in chocolate. Fill a jar or bag with 'valentine' themed sweets/chocolates. Make a chocolate fondue for pudding and have a range of foods to dip into melted chocolate. Or bake some heart-shaped cookies.

2. Secret love notes

Write lots of little notes to your Valentine and hide them in places they will find them throughout the day. Those small luggage or price tags are perfect for this as they come with string so you can tie them onto things. You could hide them in their travel pass, car visor, wallet/purse, handbag, laptop bag, lunch box, trouser or coat pockets. Depending on what you write on them, it could build excitement throughout the day!!! I'll leave this to your imagination...

3. Heart confetti

Similar idea to the love notes, but it's heart confetti so it will scatter when they find it. Depending on where they will be during the day you will have to be a little more thoughtful about where you put this. But it will be a fun surprise.

4. Bottle of bubbly in the fridge

Have a bottle of bubbly chilling in the fridge ready for the evening. Crack it open once the kids are in bed! This doesn't have to be a bottle of Bolly. Prosecco is perfect and can be picked up at any supermarket for around a fiver. Bargain.

5. A carpet picnic

Create a picnic out of your Valentine's favourite foods and eat it in front of the fire with cushions scattered for comfort and candles to create a lovely soft and romantic glow. And make use of the bottle of bubbly from Idea four!

6. A bubble bath

Not many people have the time to enjoy a bubble bath on a regular basis, so this can be a real treat. Light some candles, pour in lots of bubbles and if there's room, you can both get in it.

7. Massage

I bet most of us have a bottle of massage oil at the back of the bathroom cupboard somewhere. Create a warm atmosphere and lay a soft towel on the floor or bed and treat your loved one to a massage. I don't mean a full-on sports massage where you are manipulating tense muscles, and bending limbs in odd directions! Just something nice and gentle will be perfect.

8. Candles

It's all about creating the right 'ambience'. I love that word! A few flickering candles dotted around a room will create a lovely soft glow and a romantic atmosphere. Even if you're just curled up on the sofa together watching the telly, the candles will make it feel a bit more special.

9. Treasure hunt

The treasure is totally up to you. It could be a small gift, chocolates, a note promising something of your choice, the telephone number for their favourite takeaway for dinner, or the prize could be you! Leave little notes around the house and clues to find the next one until they get to their prize.

10. Making memories

Create a journal of memories you have made together, include photographs of you both together with handwritten notes. Or make a collage of photographs and frame it. You could create a list of future memories, things you would like to do together - places to visit, activities, dreams. You could book/plan one of these as a gift.

All it takes is a little imagination and some prep' to create the perfect, thoughtful and low cost Valentine's Day for your "lobster". And not a restaurant booking in sight!

Here's to a day filled with love and kindness. Wishing you all a happy Valentine's Day lovelies.

*"Lobster" Refers to the person of whom another is meant to be with forever. The term originated due to the fact that lobsters mate for life. (At least, according to Phoebe from Friends.)

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