I can’t believe how quickly time is ticking along, valentines day just around the corner already? What! I don’t like to get too caught up in this holiday, as a lot of people are out to get your money by seducing you into thinking you have to follow a set of rules to successfully achieve a romantic holiday with your special someone.
Twelve long stem red roses… tick!
A giant teddy bear…tick!
A corny Hallmark card…tick!
A candlelit dinner amongst 100 other couples trying to achieve the same goal as you…tick.
And there you have it, you feel as though you’ve done it right. You are officially loved.
Well, personally these things seem to scream “tacky” to me. And a huge waste of money. Why do so many of us succumb to this “easy way out” options? Sure, it’s become a money-making holiday in which business’ seek out ways to make you feel as though you should spend more to impress your girl or your guy. But I’d love to see more people making an effort to change that. I am a huge fan of setting a whole day aside to go above and beyond for your other half, but it doesn’t mean we have to follow the ways of the world to get there. You know the person you’re with, do what you know makes them happy.
Last year, as some of you may remember, Shawn and I did V Day on a major budget. He cooked me dinner at home, which is just about the most romantic thing a guy can do, am I right ladies? On top of that he had handcrafted twelve roses out of paper, and they were beyond perfect, as well as making me a wire photo hanger which he attached some of my favourite polaroids of us, love notes, and chocolates! The whole lot would have cost him less that $40 and was such a special gift. Knowing that all this would have taken him hours to accomplish, and each part of it was made with love with his own hands, was the most wonderful thing. Later that night we drove back to my place where I had set up a blanket fort in my bedroom, complete with fairy lights and a mattress and piles of pillows. We watched a movie together and ate some yummy deserts I’d whipped up during the day. See the photo at the top of this post for reference!
The best thing about this night together was that it was just us. No one else. We were completely alone, enjoying each others company. And being able to do something special for each other was amazing. We were both able to take part and contribute and make the other feel so loved. This is what Valentines Day should be. I definitely understand that their are a lot of people out there who thoroughly enjoy the fine dining experience, or receiving the teddy with chocolates, and that’s so great! If that’s what you know your partner would love more than anything, do it. It’s the greatest feeling to have someone who knows you so well.
This year I challenge you to think harder, think more creatively and personally about your other half. What makes them smile? What have they commented on lately that they’d love to do with you? What is something that will completely take them off guard, something they would never expect from you? Do that. You don’t have to succumb to the pressures and cheesiness of V Day, but you can still go out of your way to make your special someone feel special.
If you or your girl/guy are anything like Shawn and I, (love the outdoors, the simple things, handmade stuff, picnics etc.) you might be able to snag a few of these ideas!
FIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR VALENTINES DAY THAT WON’T EMPTY YOUR BANK ACCOUNT (AND WILL MEAN A WHOLE LOT):
- Breakfast Treats
Start the day with either bringing a tray with her/his favourite breakfast treats (e.g. fresh fruit, pancakes, muffins, omelette, eggs and bacon etc.) and flowers or a small gift into the bedroom to surprise them, or setting the table beautifully and leading them out after they have woken. There’s nothing like a delicious breakfast accompanied with your favourite flowers and maybe a magazine or the paper to start the day! This is so so simple, yet is so appreciated.
- Morning Relaxation
Depending on what day Valentines Day falls on (this year it’s a Saturday, hooray!) you can spend the morning together relaxing. There’s nothing better than a few hours of down time together. Go for a stroll, sit and read on the couch together, or watch a few episodes of your favourite show (for Shawn and I, that’s ‘Friends’!), anything that you love to do together that involves relaxing.
- Afternoon Drive
If you’re in a warm climate like we are here in Australia, why not go for a coastal drive, roll down your windows, blast your favourite songs and sing along to every single word at the top of your lungs. Shawn and I love to belt some T Swift here and there, and it has to be one of the funniest things we do together in the car. I usually end up unable to breath from laughing so hard at our ridiculous off-key, tone-deaf voices when trying to hit all the notes. Stop anywhere you feel like along the way, get out and enjoy the view. And enjoy the time together.
- Ice Cream/Gelato
Why not pull over somewhere and grab an ice-cream, play with flavours you’ve never tried before. Or for a bit of fun, pick flavours for each other and surprise them, see how well you know each others taste buds 😉 Or if you’re in for some real good fun, track down your closest Gelatissimo store and try out their Valentines Day campaign, Gela-kiss-imo! All you have to do is give each other a little kiss in store and you’ll be rewarded with a FREE scoop of peppermint kiss flavoured gelato – yum! Check out the store locations and find your nearest HERE. Such a fun idea, I’m definitely keen to try it out! And single ladies have no fear, the kiss can be on on your best friends cheek as well!
Ahh… sunset, the ultimate romance inducing tactic, and works every time. I love golden hour, both morning and evening, I’ll never be able to decide on which is my favourite. Sunset is best spent somewhere high up, where you can see a lot of sky. This will allow more time in daylight, and to see the best colours. Here in Sydney, I would suggest the Blue Mountains to be one of the best spots. There are so many places up there that provide incredible views. If you are huge picnic fans like we are, this could be prime opportunity to max out you picnic packing skills and really set your lover up for a treat. Think outside the box, pack candles and cushions and extra blankets so create some comfort and romance. Now would also be a good time to whip out that love letter, song or handcrafted gift that you’ve prepared (..right?!). I am a huge sucker for handmade things. Sure new perfume is amazing as well, but something that comes straight from the heart is truly special. But hey, do not be afraid to attach said love note to said perfume bottle. Wink wink. Dinner doesn’t have to be a huge spread either. Think European style… a cheese platter, crackers, grapes, some fresh bread and wine. Mmm I’ve got my mouth watering. Simple, light to pack, and definitely hits the spot.
And lastly, here’s a few extra ideas for you to play around with:
- If she/he has to work on the day, make sure they have a full tank of fuel ready to go. Also run down to the car before they wake up, and cover it with love notes on the inside for them to find. Pack them lunch, and put another note in there. Deliver flowers to her work, yourself!
- Create a playlist for any drives you do that day, full of their absolute favourite sing-alongs
- Make a treasure hunt. If you get them a gift, make them work for it (in fun of course). This could be a hunt around the house, or if could go further and be around your city! Make little clues giving him/her hints of where to go, you could end up where you have dinner reservations or where your picnic will be.
- Write a message on the mirror for when they get out of the shower. E.g. “Good morning beautiful/handsome! Come and meet me in the dining room for breakfast. I love you!”
- Wrap small gifts that they can open at different points through out the day. Label them with a time and place that they can open them. E.g. when you get to the beach, have her open the present which has a pair of new sunnies in it, or a beach scented spray/perfume! When you arrive at your movie, give her the present which has her favourite movie snack in it.
- Leave “why I love you” notes around the house. E.g. in their underwear draw, in the kitchen cupboard, in the fridge, in their shoe, by the toilet (or onto the toilet paper! is that gross…?) anywhere and everywhere! They might not even find them all on valentines day which is even more fun.
Ultimately I think V Day should be about investing time and energy into one another. Life often gets so busy and complicated that we tend to not leave any time for the one we love. The 14th February should be a reminder to us that it’s important to spoil one another, to share more love, more of ourselves, and more of God together. Finish the day in prayer, be thankful, truly thankful for whoever God has placed right there next to you. And remember to make an effort for one another every single day, because everyday should be a ‘Love Day’!