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Tuesday, 12 February 2019
With only one full shopping day until Valentine's Day I thought i'd put together a last minute guide.

Traditional Gifts

With Clintons you'll find traditional Valentine's Day gifts from brands like Willow Tree, Me To You and Boofle. They also offer other gifts that work for any occasion like Yankee Candle. The majority of their stores carry a lot of their online stock but if you want to order online make sure you do by 2pm for next day delivery. 
Card Factory
This company doesn't carry character brands but they do have a wide variety of gifting categories. You can again get next day delivery by ordering before 2pm but unlike Clinton's you'll find that they carry more in store than online.

Need something more personal?

Traditional gifts are great for new couples but if you've been together a while or your partner isn't one for teddy bears or mugs then you may need to do some digging. I think buying them their favourite chocolates, alcohol or something like jewellery are great ideas but there's nothing like surprising your partner with what you know about them.
You'll firstly need to know what area you want to go for and then start searching that area. You may be thinking I only have one shopping day I don't have time for this but it can be so simple. 
For example, your partner likes makeup? Look at brands, celebrity's or online influencers they like. Do they have something new or have their own makeup ranges, check. Do they offer in store stock or next day shipping, check. Then the biggest hurdle to be secretive with, look at what makeup they have. I'd always say to stick to a palette with colours you've seen them use or buy beauty tools like makeup brushes or sponges. That way you won't buy something like a foundation that isn't the right colour match.

Date Ideas

Some restaurants may be booked up but it's always worth calling and double checking. Here are some restaurants who are advertising Valentine's Day offers on their websites: 
Zizzi - 3 courses for £19.95 (Set Menu)
Frankie & Bennys - 2 courses for £13.99 or 3 for £16.99 (Set Menu)
Bella Italia - 3 courses and fizz for £19.99 (Set Menu)
Harvester - 2 courses for £12.99 3 for £14.99 (Set Menu)
Miller & Carter - 3 Course Valentine's Day Menu (Prices Vary By Location)
If you fancy a night in instead, some Pizza chains have Valentine's day offers on their websites but offers will vary by locations:
Papa Johns
Pizza Hut

There are many other date night activities that you could do like Cinema, Bowling, Theatre..etc but it's always worth having a look in your local area for something out of the box you may both enjoy. To give another example, last year about a 30 minute drive from me a local artist had an exhibit of paintings she'd created of many different couples she knew. There was a lovely one of her parents wedding that I particularly loved.

I have done a post previous on Valentine's Day date ideas with you can click here to see if you are still stuck.

Are you pulling everything together last minute? or Did you plan ahead?
If you celebrate Valentine's Day, What have you got planned?

As always, thanks for reading...
Monday, 4 February 2019

An American Celebration

When I was putting together Halloween content last year it dawned on me how we in the UK have adopted a more "American" way of celebrating the holiday. We've even started to stick to rules like only trick or treating at houses with a pumpkin outside their door. Something I found schools are starting to teach as well as parents. 
It made me think of other holidays, Valentine's Day in particular where the usual responses I find throughout the UK are "it's just another day" or "why is there a specific day to celebrate love?". 
Looking at how it's celebrated in America, one thing that struck me is that it's celebrated at a very young age. Schools in the US will do a project for younger children in which they make a Valentine's Mailbox for cards that were either again handmade in class or at home or brought from the store and each child in the class writes a card to each student. 

The Mailboxes

Here are some amazing Mailbox ideas I've found via Pinterest.

When I see these I am in two minds. I feel that it can be elaborate and over the top for school age children but the concept itself is something I would do for a partner or loved ones. Looking at arguments online a lot of parents are saying it is outdated and should be scrapped or be reserved as an activity for kindergarten to 2nd grade age children to make for family. This is because it creates an environment of forcing children to be nice to other children against their own feelings. It's like saying to your child I know you are bullied by "Sarah" but you need to write her a Valentine's Day card saying what you like about her and how much she means to you as a friend...It's a little warped right? On the other hand does something like this create opportunity for children to open up with their peers and create friendships?

Should the UK adopt Valentine's Day Mailboxes?

I think we should but not as a way for school children to be forced to make nice with other students. I love this idea for two reasons. 
Firstly, as a way for children to build stronger and more open relationships with their parent(s). I think the argument that we shouldn't have to have a day to tell your loved ones you love them is valid, but with how busy people can be we can grow into this culture of saying "love you" as a way of goodbye rather than meaning it. I think actions like this where children can be creative whether it's with pictures or words is another way to demonetise holidays and focus on why we are celebrating in the first place.
Secondly, as an idea for adults. Again going with the argument above, you can demonetise the holiday if you are having trouble financially and still want to do something or if you plain don't want to put any money into it. But, you realise that you are falling into that saying "love you" as goodbye culture and want to solidify to your partner that you do still love and care for them.

What I Think

I personally love this idea for when I am married or have children and I won't just use it for Valentine's Day. I like the idea that my child(ren) or partner could open it one day and have a little card or memo from me to remind them that I love them and that I am always there for them. The creative aspect is great for children too as they can decided to make new mailboxes with different characters or colours as they get older and their tastes grow. 
For Valentine's Day itself I like this idea to home gifts for someone if you do gifts. Especially if you have a tin one as it's reusable year after year and it can keep someone like myself that likes to go overboard to a size limit at least, haha. It's a new way to package and if you've seen how I wrap Christmas presents then you'll know I like to be creative.

What do you think? Should the UK adopt the idea of Valentine's Day Mailboxes? Do you celebrate the holiday? Will you be making one of these for someone you love?

As always, thanks for reading...

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