5 articles Tag Valentine’s Day

Ways To Surprise Your Partner this Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day just two days away, many of us will be thinking about ways to surprise our partner on the most romantic day of the year. Husband is insanely good at buying me gifts and getting me little surprises, and I’m pretty rubbish by comparison. With that in mind, I thought I’d look at a few ways that you can surprise your partner and make Valentine’s Day special.

Personalised Gifts

Husband doesn’t like big flashy gifts, but in the past I’ve had personalised gifts made for him, like the ones that you can get from Card Factory. As well as nice photo cards, I’ve had mugs made, large collage canvases and a few other things, and they always go down a treat.

A Nice Meal

For us, Valentine’s Day should be about spending time together, so a nice meal is ideal as you get quality time to talk. We like eating out, but as I’m a keen cook, I also sometimes surprise Husband with a nice meal at home. I think the steak with home made Diane sauce from a few years ago went down well as it’s one which has been requested again since.

An Experience

I’ve never bought Husband an experience gift but I think it’s something he’d like, providing I chose the right thing! He’s a fan of Islay whiskies, and I’ve always wanted to whisk him up to the Hebrides to visit some of the distilleries where his favourite tipples are made.

A Blast from the Past

Husband was a big fan of his Nintendo N64 back in the day, but never managed to complete  Goldeneye 007 on the hardest setting before his console died, so I’d love to find him the game and console to play through again. I’ve been keeping an eye on eBay and as soon as something comes along at the right price, I plan to scoop it up.

Male Grooming

Husband is, undoubtedly, the best-groomed person in the house. He always makes sure he’s well turned-out and loves an old-fashioned safety razor and shaving brush combo. He’s got a bit of a collection, in fact, and I’d love to find a really good quality addition to his current selection.

Do you have any big plans to surprise your other half, this Valentine’s Day? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to know how it went!

How To: Create Valentine’s Day Cards + Content for Social Media using the Instasize App

Who said Valentine’s Day was just for lovers?! We view Valentine’s Day as a day of love – celebrating with whoever you’re lucky enough to hold close. With social media playing such an integral part of our day to day lives, avoiding the massive amount of Valentine’s Day posts that your feeds and timelines are about to be flooded with sounds impossible. So why not join in on the fun? Instasize – a premier photo editor + content creating tool kit gives you the ability to completely transform the photos you’ve taken with your smartphone into engaging content pieces that both your friends and followers will love. The app is free to download for both IOS and Android platforms: http://instasize.com

Spice your feed up this V-Day with some border love. Create custom family collages to show the special people in your life just how much you appreciate them. The app currently has two available border packs that contain a plethora of Valentine-y backgrounds.  And at the start of this week the people over at Instasize introduced a flashy new Marble Border Collection we’re obsessed with. Keep reading to find out what types of content you can be creating for your various social media platforms – all created in under 2 minutes and with the Instasize App.

Borders & Collages:

You can find the Valentine’s Day themed border packs within the apps border editor. After selecting a photo to edit, click on the border icon (it looks like a square within a square) and from there you can download the “XOXO”, “LOVE”, and “Marble” border collections. Here is the step by step breakdown on how to re-create the collage above:

  1. Open the Instasize App (download here: https://instasize.me/xcSO/OdnBzRMzvK)
  2. Tap the “plus” sign to select which format you wish to edit.
  3. Tap the “collage” icon.
  4. Choose up to 6 images to be placed in a single collage. (we chose 3 to begin with)
  5. At the top, you may swipe left to see different layout options.
  6. Tap the layout option you wish to use.
  7. At the bottom of the editing screen, tap the “borders icon”
  8. Choose either the LOVE or XOXO border packs.
  9. Select Valentines borders of choice.
  10. Use the bar above to adjust border width
  11. Next to the “borders” icon, tap the “A” icon, meaning text.
  12. Write your desired message (we wrote “XOXO”) followed by the checkmark when complete
  13. Swipe left to choose from an array of fonts. (We love “Cute Love” font)
  14. Pinch with two fingers to move or adjust size of text.
  15. To add another text, swipe right at the bottom until you see the plus sign and tap.
  16. Next type your family’s name to complete your valentines card. (The Sorenson Family)
  17. Move Text to desired area on photo.
  18. Share with friends, family, and followers!

Valentines Card w/ Text:

These easy to make cards are the perfect addition to any Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and/or Instagram feed. The Instasize App comes equipped with over 30 fonts to choose from for creating themed content online. Best part? You can make add text to any photo in under a minute. GO.

  1. Open the Instasize app.
  2. Tap the plus sign at the bottom.
  3. Tap the “photo” icon to choose your image.
  4. Apply desired filter on top.
  5. At the bottom tap the “A” icon meaning text.
  6. Type your message “My Loves” and desired color of text.
  7. Choose font (we used Playlist Script)
  8. Position text on image.
  9. At the bottom scroll all the way to the left until you see the “+” sign to add another line of text.
  10. Repeat steps 6-8
  11. To create the lines on either side of your text like pictured above above, repeat step #9 and type — side by side to create a “line”
  12. Create two and add to each side of text “My Loves”

Unlock new fonts, filters, and border collections every month with a subscription to Instasize Premium – enjoy a free 7 day trial on us: https://instasize.me/xcSO/OdnBzRMzvK

Valentine’s Quote w/ Background

Another great addition to any Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and/or feed are themed text posts. We’ve discovered that our borders (typically used with photos) make phenomenal backgrounds for quotes! Here’s how to recreate the above image on your own device.

  1. Open the Instasize app.
  2. Tap the plus sign at the bottom.
  3. Tap the “photo” icon to choose an image (it can be any image, we’ll be removing it from the frame so we can have full access to the border).
  4. At the bottom scroll to find the borders icon.
  5. Choose desired border from the “XOXO” or “LOVE” pack.
  6. Pinch your photo to make it small and slide it off to the side until you no longer see your photo.
  7. Find the text icon below
  8. Type out your Valentines message.
  9. Choose font (we used Blackout Midnight)
  10. Position text on border.

With 20 different border backgrounds to choose from there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be posting some fun + engaging content this Valentine’s Day! Tag the Instasize app on Instagram for a potential chance at being featured.
Instagram: @instasize.official

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?

Alternative Valentines

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought I’d hop aboard the Hallmark bandwagon and have a peruse of The Broadway during my lunch hour and see if I could find something to surprise Husband with in the morning. I went into a shop that sells generalised Object D’Art and other pointless, middle-class tat and noticed that they had some cards, and I toyed with the idea of getting one, despite the fact that we don’t usually do greetings cards.

The offerings on display reminded me why. There was either unbridled schmaltz with “You’re my Soul Mate” plastered all over it, homogonised sexuality declaring “You’re a Love Machine!” and attempts at romantic humour with “Me Love You Long Time!” (although, quite why anyone would give a card to their loved one with a famous phrase uttered by a Vietnamese prostitute in a war film is quite beyond me). Each and every one of them made me feel nauseous. There’s no way I’d say any of the things written on these cards to Husband, despite the fact that I love him and if I believed in soul mates, he’d probably be mine.

I got to thinking that I’m probably not the only one who feels like this, so I thought I’d come up with some alternative Valentine’s Day card slogans, for those of us who like to keep our breakfast down.

“To My Husband – Thanks For Making Me Feel Sexy, Even Though My Neck Smells of Baby Sick”

 

“My Darling – I Love You (especially when you put your dirty washing in the laundry basket)”

 

“Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, You Cook a Wicked Steak and I Right Fancy You”

 

“I’ll never be as young or limber as I was when we met…but I’m a better cook now, so that makes me about even, right?!”

 

“Fuck it, Let’s Get a Bucket”

 

What would your perfect Valentine’s card say?