VALENTINE’S GIFT GUIDE | Extra Special Gifts For When Flowers Won’t Do
Valentine’s Day is quite like Marmite; it’s either your thing or it isn’t. Well actually I sit in the middle. Sometimes I can take it as I can leave it and often we as a couple aren’t particularly fussed about Valentine’s Day – and that’s okay. That’s what makes Valentine’s so meaningful when you do make a thing of it.
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This year Mr C and I are celebrating 20 years together so it feels a bit special. What Valentine’s Day is good for, is kicking you up the butt to make a concerted effort for someone you’ve quite possibly taken for granted, and after 20 years, well, a bit of appreciation (and maybe a touch of romance) wouldn’t go amiss!
There’s always a place for the generic Valentine’s gift – yes, even the foil heart balloons and cutesy teddies proclaiming love for you. But there comes a time when something more personal and a bit more “wow!” is necessary.
Here I’ve curated a list of extra special gifts to treat the love of your life. If like we are, you’re marking a special anniversary or just wanting to express your feelings without flowers, you won’t go far wrong with these brilliant ideas:
‘Love You to Pieces’ Pendant (The Gift Experience, £42.99)
I’m not one of those people who wear jewellery everyday, but I do still love a bit of bling all the same; a beautiful pendant or pair of earrings can perfect an outfit and makes me feel properly dressed up. I especially like jewellery that has a bit of sentimentality attached, so most of my pieces have been gifted over the years; some were items the other half and I bought each other when we started going out (we were much more romantic back then!)
I admired the ‘Love You To Pieces’ necklace even before The Gift Experience approached me so we were a match made in heaven. What’s lovely about it is how it combines a modern fashion style with timeless quality, and you’d never guess it’s a personalised piece if you weren’t told. I think that hint of secrecy encapsulates the essence of a thrilling romance. Suspended on a delicate gold tone metal chain is a glass pendant containing tiny metal jigsaw pieces. On one of the pieces is a personalised inscription. You can pick three characters such as ‘S&B’ but I went with the word ‘BOO’ which is a pet name Sean and I just picked up and started calling each other way back in 1999. Yes, before it became the in-word! I also call Reuben, boo, or mini boo, sometimes too. It means ‘love’ or ‘my love’. So I love that I now have a gorgeous piece of special but everyday jewellery that has a special meaning.
A4 Personalised Photo Book (Photobox, from £34.99)
Although me and Mr C have been together for 20 years, we’ve only been married three of them. It was my late Dad’s illness that prompted us to finally tie the knot, and while I was gutted not to have my Dad give me away, it was still one of the best days of my life. Our wedding was the perfect spring day and I enjoyed every minute of it from getting ready in the morning to the moment we crashed.
I love looking through our wedding album but since having our wedding photos made into a book it’s made it so much easier and more of a joy to look through. The classic Photobox photo book appealed to me because it offered such a wide range of personalisation. From the choice of an A4 or A3 size book, to the design and size of the images on each page as well as a choice of font and text boxes, I could make the book custom to our wedding style. To reflect our wedding colours which were candy pink and grey, I made my cover image black and white with a pink title. There were some additional costs, the biggest being the amount of pages I used (the starting price covers 26 pages – I used 140), and I opted for the contemporary matte finish cover which, granted, does lend the book a more professional feel and a softer tone, so when you start adding on extras it can get a bit expensive. But overall it was an easy process and it’s a pretty reminder of our special day, definitely setting itself apart from a standard photo album.
Deluxe 2 Night Camping Pod Break (Buyagift, £195)
Did I ever say how we never had a honeymoon? When we arranged our wedding the priority was all about tying the knot so I wasn’t fussed about having a holiday. We ought to have really, especially as two months later I was pregnant and then life got the best of us. But now we’re a cosy little family of three I’m craving all the adventure we can get. While a short break won’t necessarily be all romantic (besides, we’re still co-sleeping with the toddler anyway), it can still be quality stress-free time with the one (and little one!) I love.
I’ve long wanted to experience spending the night in a glamping pod so now is the perfect chance. The Buyagift ‘deluxe two night break’ in the Lake District is the perfect way to experience camping in style. The beautiful wooden camping pod, or wigwam, offers home from home comforts with the provision of kitchen, dining and en suite facilities, as well as heaters to maintain a snug little space away from the elements. And there’s tickets included for a cruise on the nearby Ullswater Steamers and the further afield Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway which will certainly make for some family fun. From the gorgeous lakeside venue to the inclusive experiences this is such a quaint English staycation.
Wolf Leather Jewellery Case (Wolf, £79)
I don’t wear a huge amount of jewellery but I have amassed a small collection of fashion jewellery and special pieces that I’d hate to lose. Necklaces my mum and dad gifted me, my engagement ring, jewellery from my sisters over the years. And when it comes to staying away and having to take my jewellery with me, I never seem to have anywhere appropriate to store it. It ends up going wherever it fits – in my purse, make up bag, somewhere that’s small enough to locate but never the most sensible of places.
The Wolf jewellery case is a gorgeous little box that’s just the right size to carry in hand luggage but can safely hold so much. In a cherry red genuine leather, the quilt stitched case opens with a leather tassel on a chunky gold tone wrap around zip. Inside there’s ample plush velveteen storage segments for rings, necklaces, bracelets, even watches. And behind a compact mirror, a second compartment is revealed that’s ideal for larger statement jewellery. It’s a lovely little case that looks super luxe sitting on the vanity table, while protecting your smallest valuables.
Gioteck TX40 Headset (Argos, £24.99)
I love listening to music and will play it anywhere; the kitchen, the car, even the bathroom. But these days while my evenings are spent in bed with a sleeping toddler beside me I resort to my headphones for some personal chill out time.
If your significant other is a lover of music like me or a hardcore gamer, a good set of headphones may be the easy answer this Valentine’s Day..
The Gioteck TX40 headset is a solid pair of wired headphones capable of belting out some impressive sound. Acoustics are deep and immersive with the benefit of noise cancellation producing a smooth rounded sound. The white and red TX40 is a beautiful headset too, boasting silky metal extenders and supremely comfortable cushioning, projecting that modern luxe style.
Sterling Silver Marmite Lid (Engravers Guild of London, £75)
Diamond’s aren’t this girl’s best friend, Marmite is. Okay, I’m not *completely* obsessed with the yeasty spread but I do declare myself a ‘lover’. Nothing goes with a nice crisp slice of wholemeal toast like a dollop of the old Marmite and I’m proud the mini man of the house has developed a taste for it too.
Marmite gifts are always so cool but I’ve got to say, the silver Marmite lid beats them all. Engravers Guild of London have created something beautiful from what is essentially just a jar lid. Your lucky Marmite lover’s name is engraved onto the highly polished solid 925 sterling silver lid atop a 250g jar of Marmite, helping you express the ultimate declaration: that you love them even more than Marmite.