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Cute Valentine’s Day Ideas To Show You Care

51% of women believe the main purpose of Valentine’s Day is to show you care according to a recent survey and quite right to. There’s enough hate and disruption in the world around us, why not take any excuse to show the love? Perhaps you always celebrate 14th February, perhaps you and your partner let it breeze by without so much as a card. Whatever your Valentine’s Day style, these cute Valentine’s Day ideas are sure to shake up your Valentine’s Day traditions and have you smiling about your memory of Valentine’s Day 2017 for years to come.

Spoil Him

Did you know that in some Asian countries Valentine’s Day is focused on the man in the relationship, and the woman has to buy the man presents. According to the same survey, only 41% of men believe Valentine’s Day has a point, but you can convince any man of its purpose with the right approach. Sure a snuggle in the morning might get him a touch more excited about things, but why not spoil him rotten all day? What would he most love to do on Valentine’s Day? Maybe you can set up a gaming den and play his favourite computer games with him for a couple of hours. What about an activity he loves you have always refused to try – surprise him and book both of you in to do it. Maybe he is a big foodie – plan a food tour of your local city, accounting for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You might even want to go Big Bang Theory AKA the Valentine’s episode in season 6, where Amy plans a completely no pressure, no romance evening for Sheldon because she knows he hates Valentine’s Day. Only you know what would tickle his fancy, but he will probably be very surprised to find the focus on him this  February the 14th.

He’s got all of the Valentine’s Days for the rest of your life to spoil you, so why not this year, make it all about him?

Who Doesn’t Love Holidays?

A holiday is the most popular valentine’s day gift or, at least, the most wanted gift anyway. Clinking coconut cocktails on a sunny beach somewhere tropical, sharing a bag of hot chips and a cold can of pop on a blustery UK coastal town, stargazing from a hot tub in a remote lodge as it starts to snow – sigh – even we want a holiday for Valentine’s Day now! Escapism is always a romantic prospect, whatever the occasion, the only problem is, it can be extremely costly to go away for Valentine’s Day because everyone else is.

The solution? Give a holiday for Valentine’s Day. Don’t start remortgaging your house just yet, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. This could be one night in a hotel somewhere a couple of hours drive away, or two weeks somewhere tropical. There is a trip to level out against the amount you usually spend on perfume, flowers and a meal out. This prolongs the joy of Valentine’s Day because it gives you both something to look forward to.

Food Is The Food Of Love

Food, relates all of us because we need it to live and to thrive and everybody has certain dishes they get excited about. Food also brings people together, creates a shared experience and it adds to the occasion and atmosphere of any event. Cooking for your partner, is an age old Valentine’s Day tradition, but, that doesn’t make it irrelevant or dated. If anything, with all the amazing ingredients we have access to, the social media sharing of recipes and presentation and the embracing of taking our diets into our own hands, it is the best time to be cooking and sharing that experience with a loved one. There are endless ways you can share the foodie love with your significant other, here are just a few great ideas:-

  • Make homemade truffles and gift them in a pretty chocolate box. Try out this easy chocolate truffles 4 ways tutorial.
  • Make breakfast in bed complete with naked apron attire, rose and an incredible breakfast spread. This ultimate pancake recipe guide should come in handy.
  • DIY sushi rolls – lay out all the ingredients and then make the rolls together. There’s a lot of fun to be had with chopsticks, sticky rice and a shared experience. This how to make sushi guide is a great starting place.

Why go out for food, when you can have so much more fun at home?

Give Love To Others

On Valentine’s Day we focus on our love in our relationships. This is a wonderful thing to do, but when you think about all the different places where love is lacking, you might feel inclined to take this day and spread your love a little further. A lot of people volunteer at Christmas, but Valentine’s Day is just as fitting and you will both feel so good about yourselves sharing the experience of giving. Some ways you could spread the love could be:-

  • Spending the money you would spend on gifts for each other on food for a local food bank, on blankets for a local dogs home, or as a donation to your favorite charity
  • Spending an afternoon volunteering at your local dogs home
  • Spending the morning chatting to local elderly people who may have lost their significant other/s
  • Gifting a hot breakfast to a homeless person
  • Buying a Big Issue
  • Spending some time with a single friend you know gets down in the dumps during this holiday
  • Cheering up somebody you know who is spending this Valentine’s Day alone for the first time in a long time
  • Volunteering at a charity shop for the day

In a world that seems to be so full of hate, why not share the love? Use this charity database to find a charity near you.

Hopefully, these Valentine’s Day ideas have given you some inspiration so that you can have the most incredible 14th February this year. Whether you’re feeding each other, walking dogs without a home or excitedly planning your next adventure together, just remember to enjoy yourself, as there is never a bad reason to celebrate and share the gift of love.

Almost a Third of my Life…

Today is a bit of a special day here in the MTW house – it marks the exact day TEN years ago that Husband and I became a couple. Ten years have passed, not without some major ups and downs, but quite honestly, I think Husband and I have basically beat the odds. No-one expected us to last as long as we did, especially when we announced our engagement just six weeks after meeting, but a decade later, almost a third of my life, one dog, two babies, eight house-moves, new careers and a whole load of life in between, here we are. As much as I’d like to remain dignified in my self-satisfaction, what I actually want to do is give a MASSIVE middle finger to all of our doubters.

via GIPHY

I think most people who’ve been with someone for a whole decade will agree that marriage takes work. Unless you’re one of those weird couples who never argue (and I’m not sure they truly even exist, if I’m being honest), there will always be friction. Sometimes that friction feels too much to bear and I’m terribly guilty of failing to communicate at times, but Husband and I both work to make sure our relationship stays strong.

What I will say, though, is that although we sometimes argue, although things aren’t 100% perfect all the time, I’m still convinced that I made the right choice. I still find Husband absolutely hilarious, I still love our shared interests and tastes in music and films, as well as our differences and the fact that we learn from one another all the time. And, obviously, I still fancy him rotten *blush*.

With all that in mind, in honour of a DECADE of not killing one another, I thought I’d write some new vows for the next ten years together, just because no relationship is completely unchanged after ten years and I’m certainly not the same person I was when I was 21.

I promise…

…to do my best not to turn into my mother.

…to try to keep my tendency to over-react and be passive aggressive to a minimum

…to avoid rolling my eyes when you tell me how much you hate washing up

…to try stay awake through at least ONE film per week

…to be considerate of the fact that you’re not a happy passenger in cars and not take it as criticism when you point things out when I drive

…to never use the kids as a weapon or use you as a method of discipline when you aren’t here

…to put up with your farts…as long as you put up with mine

…to serve you smaller portions of dinner because I KNOW you can’t not clear your plate

…to try to stay young at heart and enjoy each other as the years go by

Romantic, huh? Maybe not, but sometimes it’s the practical considerations that we make for one another that remind us how much we’re loved. The fact that Husband knows how I like my coffee, or when he hoovers the car out even though I’m the one who let it get disgusting, or when he listens to me talk endlessly about the dramas which have turned me upside down over the past couple of years, always remaining on my side. That’s love, that is.

So, here’s to another ten years with my best friend and the best Dad I could wish for, for Sausage and Burrito Baby. Now, if he’d just vow to put his clothes in the washing basket, life would be perfect…!

Maldives, August 2006Look how young we look! (Ignore the random Maldivian man in the background…!)

Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Lovehoney lickable candleOkay, so I realise I wrote a post last week talking about how most people simply wanted time with their partners for Valentine’s Day, but no-one specifically said that they DIDN’T want an actual gift! With that in mind, I thought I’d give you a few suggestions for the big day:

Something Naughty

We’re all grown-ups here, we can talk about sex toys without blushing, right? Right?! No? Okay, well that’s fine because Lovehoney is the perfect way to buy sex toys and other naughtiness with complete discretion. You can buy online in the privacy of your own home and the packaging is always a plain brown box, saving your blushes! Plus, there are some great
Lovehoney voucher codes around to help you get a bargain.

A Promise

Cinema vouchers, in my opinion, are a really nice Valentine’s gift as they’re basically the promise of future date nights. If you’re busy people or parents, getting yourself out of the house for some dedicated alone time might not always be a priority, but if you have some vouchers sitting around it might give you the impetus you need to do something together.

A Recipe

Cooking a meal for someone is really nice, but cooking together can actually be really fun and rewarding. When you write their Valentine’s card, print off either a menu for dinner or the recipes and slip them inside, then have all of the ingredients ready for an evening of culinary togetherness.

Something Personal

Now that Google is a thing, it’s really easy to find map co-ordinates. If you have a special place, for instance the place you met or the place that you got married, you could have the co-ordinates printed on a small canvas. It will look like a jumble of numbers to anyone else, but you and your loved one will know that it represents somewhere very special.

Consideration

Sometimes, it doesn’t take lavish gifts and spa days to make someone feel special, just a few hours of letting them get their own way! Declare your other half to be “King/Queen for a Day” (or President, if you’re a republican!) and allow them to make ALL of the decisions; they get to choose what’s for dinner, what TV you watch, whether they get to sit in their favourite armchair. Little considerations like this can make someone feel very special indeed and it costs basically nothing.

What are you hoping for, for Valentine’s Day?

What Women and Men REALLY Want for Valentine’s Day (and it’s probably not what you think!)

Valentine's DayEvery year, starting around Christmas time (I got my first one on Boxing Day!), I start getting a slew of emails from PR companies about the ‘perfect gift’ for him or her that their client has released for Valentine’s Day. They range in price and quality from tiny trinkets to clusters of diamonds and everything in between, many emblazoned with declarations of forever love. Every year, I wonder if this is really what people want for Valentine’s Day? For me, V-Day is a bit of a Hallmark Holiday (generated to sell cards and flowers without any real substance) and, maybe because I’m lucky enough to have a Husband who can be thoughtful all year round, I don’t put a lot of stock in the whole charade.

I thought I’d take to Facebook and ask others, both men AND women if they’re getting what they REALLY want for Valentine’s Day and the answer was genuinely a surprise. Here are some of the replies:

“All I want is a date night. I know I sound like a prick but quality alone time with my husband is my favourite thing!”

I just want someone to babysit so I can have some time with my husband, I don’t need a present or anything, just his time”

“Hubby and I have been together for 12 years and we have always said that we should show each other love everyday not just one day of the year.  We are fully aware that prices are bumped up for that day too. We used to get each other a card and re use them with a new written message each year until they were full. Now we have children we make cards to each other with their help. We are happy with a take away so no one has to wash up, a bottle of bubbly stuff and a movie. We make sure we are both free that evening to spend together. The kids and I usually make some valentines cakes or cookies or something. (I did get an eternity ring one year though!)”

“Don’t give two hoots about Valentine’s Day but wouldn’t mind a break on Mother’s Day!”

“I’d want a voucher for a day out such as a spa or concert or theatre or even cinema! Maybe some sort of activity like segway/quad bike (don’t mind, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie!) basically a day evening out just me and the hubby.”

I’m hoping for a trip to cinema with my other half to see Deadpool – so romantic!”

“I’m taking my hubby to see Rihanna for Valentines day; belated as she doesn’t tour till June!”

“I get flowers every year which I love and I cook dinner just for the two of us. We make a bit of an effort to get dressed up. Bottle of wine and then a film.”

“Date night.”

“Married 15 years and don’t really do anything, but if I had to choose I would love a cleaner for the day”

“An afternoon & evening together without the kids! As much as I love them dearly…”

“A day off. Just me and him, no kids or school runs or business to run, just pjs and TV. I might not even talk to him, but merely coexist with him in blissful work/business/child free serenity…A girl can dream…!”

I think the most remarkable thing about all of these comments is that not one person has mentioned flashy jewellery, perfume, flowers, any of the usual things. All they seem to want is time. As a parent, I know how it feels to be “time-poor”, and Husband and I often remark about how we feel like ships passing in the night sometimes, even though we both work from home and probably spend more time than your average couple in the same place. It’s about the QUALITY of time that you spend together, I think.

And as for the men? Well, one requested a night with Rihanna, one replied with an answer that I simply couldn’t publish on a family blog and my own Husband said “nothing really…no fuss”, so I think that adequately illustrates the mars/venus analogy!

What do YOU want for Valentine’s Day?