Let’s be honest, life is stressful but the people around us make that stress seem so non-existent, they empower us, inspire us, they make us smile even when the wind has hit and it feels like our faces may stay in a permanent frown. Valentine’s day was originally a holiday from ancient Rome, which celebrated fertility, however, in today’s society we’re a little bit more complicated since the development of “feelings” (cooties is what I called them as a child!).
Whilst we’re all not so overly rich just yet after the damage of Christmas, some of us may still want to share the love be it to ourselves, family, a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, Yes to ourselves! Singletons, being singles on valentine’s is not doom and gloom, the most important love you can feel in this world is definitely a love for yourself (and maybe the love you feel from chocolate or a new video game).
To make like cupid this Valentine’s Day or you could even use some of these ideas for other occasions, I have a few little recommendations up my sleeve on how to get the value for your money. Let’s just say we’ll skip the flowers and chocolates, let’s make room for these excellent and practical gift ideas that will be used and appreciated all year round.
Buying gifts for the special lady in your life can be seen as an art form at times and its easy to fall into the tried and tested traps of jewellery, flowers and chocolates. But how do you balance the glam with something she needs and something that’s thoughtful? Hopefully the following gift ideas will give you some alternatives that will show her you put a little thought into getting her something practical.
The busy antics of day-to-day life can ware down any person, so this gift can really be for either males, females or yourself; if you find you or a loved one are feeling particularly stressed or anxious, this lovely little planner can do some wonders. The Happiness planner is a neat little book, adorable as anything and filled with not just the basics of dates, times and calendars, but it’s also complete with some mindfulness, self-development, positivity and gratitude exercises to help relax your loved one in times of mayhem and stress. Although a single undated 100 day planner is £20 if you want to splash out, the total price however is £48. Alternatively, we have a planner, which is very similar called “Every day matters” for approximately a quarter of the price on Amazon.
Jackets are things which ladies always need, especially in Britain, however if they are like myself, they don’t always necessarily wish to buy them. Jackets are very expensive, but a classic leather jacket that can be combined with a hoodie for those colder days or worn in summer on it’s own, it is something which will not go to waste; it fits with every outfit for every season, will keep the warmth in and will show off that excellent figure that you love so much.
Of course I’m going to recommend some Lush products to you, I would be a terrible girl if I didn’t. A choice of five lovely gift boxes to give to your loved one this Valentine’s (or as a treat to yourself) you’ll have them (or yourself) smiling in a matter of 0.2 seconds, the closest way to woman’s heart is through her bathtub and these sets are just adorable. Cheapest one at £9.95 is titled “in your dreams” and comes with a total of two products; unicorn horn bubble bar and Titsy Totsy bath bomb and the most expensive at nearly £46 having a total of eight products, how can you say no? Whilst you’re thinking “how is this practical?” Well, dearies let me just explain that with ingredients such as Lavender oil, which is known for its relaxing qualities, mixed with Neuroli oil known to be a natural anti-depressant, yourself or your valentine will leave that bathroom feeling like a much more cheerful self.
Is it just me or are men always that much harder to shop for? If you’re like me and usually find yourself stuck for ideas for the special mister in your life then hopefully these gift ideas will help.
If there is one thing I have learnt in life, it’s men tend to only own two pairs of shoes and they will wear these shoes until they eventually break from being worn or used so much, only then will they consider buying a new pair of shoes. Whilst we do not want to change our loved ones, buying them an emergency pair of shoes or slippers for when the others break can be a very thoughtful gift and often if they’re like my step dad, they do not want to be handing out more money on shoes. It’s thoughtful, practical, saves them money and you know they’ll wear them until they’re on shoe-death door. Of course, you want to personalise it to your partners tastes but these are just some very stylish examples, which will pretty much go with anything and you don’t need to spend a ridiculous amount on a pair of shoes. Office or T-reds is very good for high end shoes, however, they will come at full price where as, for similar shoes you can go to TK Maxx where you can get the high brand at a discounted price, although you are not always guaranteed to find something to his or your liking.
I don’t know about you ladies, but I love a good bag in fact, so much so I have a whole draw full. But for many of my male amigos a bag is just an inconvenience until we have loads of things to carry or need it for work, again like shoes it isn’t exactly something the men I know would love to spend a grand deal of money on however, it is something practical that they would need or get a lot of use out of. Backpacks are particularly my favourite style because personally, you can fit everything in them, they usually have a lot of compartments and they last a very long time so you could definitely get a lot of use out of this whether you use it for work, the gym, a shopping trip etc. Superdry often make their bags out of very good material however, if you don’t want to spend too much you can find a bag just as slick and more affordable in New Look or many other stores.
(wallet, phone case, belt, ties etc.)
Another thing, which I feel all people, whether male or female, may dread buying is the boring bits of every outfit; accessories. In particular, not really sure I’ve ever seen a male get overly excited about buying himself a new wallet, phone case, belt, tie for work etc. They are the things, which are more necessities as oppose to the luxuries, which we would normally love to buy for ourselves. Really personal belts and wallets can be purchased on ebay or even, websites such as “your design” where you can create your own gifts. They’re practical, affordable, personal and thoughtful what is there not to love?
Showing yourself compassion, love, understanding and appreciation is highly important for your well-being as well as to the people around you. Whether you have a valentine or not, never lose sight of the fact that you are important, you have grown as a person and you should give yourself some love for all your accomplishments. You don’t need someone else to love you, you’re an independent person, you’ve been through so many experiences and come out of every single one a stronger person, taking steps no matter how big or small, towards becoming the person you want to be; that is someone who deserves a lot of love, so go ahead and love yourself this Valentine’s Day with some of these treat yourself goodies.
Never underestimate the magic powers of a hot bath, whether you are male, female, cat, dog, fish or polar bear, the water has many positive benefits in particular when it’s at a lovely temperature of not-burning-my-skin-off-but-It’s-still-hot. Hot water helps to relax muscles, improves blood circulation, helps us soothe into a nice sleep, lowers blood pressure and many other amazing benefits including moisturising our skin and relieving headaches. What better way to love yourself this valentine’s than by running a bath with your favourite Lush products, Epsom salts, aromatherapy oils, that book you’ve been dying to read and a lovely facemask to go with it; don’t be afraid to put the candles on to a lovely atmosphere is also very relaxing.
New restaurant that you’ve been wanting to try? Craving food from your local Italian diner? Whilst you might think “I don’t want to be sat alone eating on valentine’s” do you honestly care what that couple on the opposite table thinks when you have that three course meal coming? You could meet new people by dining alone, perhaps take your favourite book with you or something, which you enjoy doing, maybe take notes on the way the food tastes so you can cook it at home. You do not need to be sat with someone else to enjoy your food, has that ever stopped you before? Why is it stopping you now? You can pay for it yourself, so go get it! Anyone would be lucky to date you and to be honest; your own company is sometimes the best company. If you don’t need feel like eating out, there is the option of cooking yourself your favourite meal, ordering your favourite take away or maybe even taking a family member or friend out for dinner to show how much you love and enjoy their company, it is just as much for you as it is for them.
This should be something that you are doing every single day, but I see it countless times over and over, you should always be kind and understanding towards yourself. There are days where we won’t be feeling our best, we won’t want to do exercise or we’ll have extremely bad feelings towards ourselves from time to time, but in situations like this it is overly important to be kind to yourself. So this Valentine’s I would like you to be kind to yourself, give yourself that much needed break or take things slower, remind yourself of all the wonderful compliments you might have received or all the things that you love about yourself, that make you proud of who you are. You are a wonderful person and I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, remember to love yourself.
So there you have it. The complete gift guide no matter what you may be up to this Valentine’s day.