What happened to Valentines Day?

Ok, lets get this out the way…I HATE the modern day version of Valentines Day.

I bet you’re thinking – well I guess she’s some super grumpy, unromantic person who hates all this love and fuss stuff? Ironically that couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me explain…

In an age before the internet, social media, Tinder, non stop advertising and the media trying to convince us we should all live/look/spend like the rich and famous whatever our income; a pretty paper card sent anonymously to a loved one was an adorable way to show that you loved/liked/wanted to court them. It was personal and coy and sweet and seemingly now something of a time gone by…Let me tell you a bit about me – I would describe myself as a very romantic person. I tell my fiancé lots of times through the day I love him (as he does to me), send romantic messages and notes, go on date nights, take time to look after myself and look nice/wear pretty lingerie etc (because it makes me feel good – making my boyfriend smile is an added bonus), spend time cuddled upon the sofa in the evenings and generally make time to do things that will make him feel loved, appreciated and wanted. I love being in love and couldn’t imagine living any other way. I don’t dislike the idea of Valentines Day…I hate what marketing and the media has made the day become.

I think because I am a romantic person who loves to make a fuss of the people I care for, it makes me hate the whole concept of the modern day Valentines Day even more. Let me tell you why…

Its fake – So who was St Valentine? The saint of Beekeepers and Epilepsy amongst other things. Why do we celebrate Valentines Day? Well that one is full of debate. One thing is for sure – the whole thing is a mix of other celebrations and twisted to fit in with a modern day event created to sell stuff.

It encourages people to spend money have on things they don’t need – Valentines Day is a marketing dream (I should know, its what I do!). Adverts begin weeks ahead, stores replace their Christmas stock with Valentines stock, magazines tell us instead of a £5 box of chocolates and a card, we should buy the person we love a £200 designer watch because bigger is better and we start to get brainwashed by it all.

A whole industry has emerged created fun ‘novelty’ gifts no-one in their right mind would want – Everyone loves a teddy with a heart on, pair of fluffy handcuffs or fabric rose don’t they? Oh right, they don’t. And don’t get me started on things like chocolate body paint…

There’s some women who use it to make other women feel like lesser beings – There’s always those people who want to show you their huge bouquet of roses, heart shaped balloons, diamond earrings etc. Good for them…but show offs are never fun to be around and there’s a competitive, nasty side to it that I just don’t like. Ladies we don’t need to be like this!

Men generally don’t like it – You know when another ‘special’ day exactly a month later is created (it involves steak and other things men love – see the cheeky details here) by men for men, that Valentines Day is not a thing men on the whole want to be forced to do. There is of course, lots of romantic men out there but who wants to be told when and how you should be romantic?

Its creates ‘the pressure’ – The pressure to buy gifts, the pressure to book an expensive restaurant, the pressure to send flowers, the pressure to have sex that night whether you want to really or not, the pressure to out-do your friends. If you’re single there’s pressure to be in a relationship as that’s what society tells us will make us happy…well, I know quite a few people in relationships who seem utterly miserable. Anything to do with love should feel free, not forced.Whether you are single or in a relationship we all know the truth – we are being manipulated. Don’t be told when to be romantic – in fact if you’re anything like me make an effort of be romantic EVERY day…and don’t expect a present because of it. Do it because you want to. Do it because being in love compels you to do so. For me that’s what true love should do…and the rewards are much better than getting a gift you’ve guilted your other half into buying you.

Personally this Valentines Day, I will choose a card, write a heartfelt message and that night have dinner, watch TV, kiss and cuddle and then go to bed with the man I love just like I would any other night.And you know what? Life is about freedom of choice – if you truly love the whole idea of Valentines Day then go for it – the candlelit dinner, expensive gifts, rose petals on the bed, slow-mo sex; whatever says ‘love’ to you!

But do it because you want to…and don’t share it all over your social media for the attention and likes – the odd pic might be cute but your whole evening?  Intimate moments of love should be for 2 not 200. True love is the most precious thing we can have in our lives – lets not cheapen it – its worth far more than that.All photos via my Instagram – to follow me (its not all romance I promise!) click here.

Doing Valentines Day your way…

Now lets start with a disclaimer…I am no fan of Valentines day. In fact I wrote a whole blog about it being a marketing ploy that we should not get caught up in (read my thoughts here). I personally don’t like being guilted in to acting a certain way and all these ‘holidays’ do seem to do that.

Instead lets talk about things I do love…

  • Fashion
  • Hearts
  • Vintage
  • Personalisation
  • Cute design
  • Being romantic

Regardless of the date, let me share some lovely ways to be cute around Valentines Day or Galantines Day or just a random day in February depending on your view, using things I love.

Dress the part –

Don’t worry, I’m not talking sexy underwear (although most men would agree its never a bad idea, I’m sure!). I’m talking a cute reference to the season without looking like you tried too hard. This cropped jumper looks great and I co-ordinated it with a leather skirt for a low key sexy look. It has a sense of humour (a key part of fashion for me), is a great price and best of all you can wear it any day of the year! After all, who doesn’t love LOVE!

Jumper / Divided at H&M, Skirt / Very.co.uk

Get retro –

As you may know I love vintage (I run a vintage shop full of curated pieces on Etsy – take a look) and buying vintage items is a cheap and cheerful way to add a unique touch to proceedings. I discovered these 1960’s glasses in a local secondhand shop and just had to have them.

…and they came in a pair so are perfect for a glass of bubbly with a loved one during a cheeky romantic meal – or how about using them for a yummy dessert?

Smell great –

They say our sense of smell plays a huge part in arousal and smelling good makes you feel confident which in turn makes you sexy. So add a few sprays of a great scent onto your skin and see what happens! Lately theres been some fantastic perfumes launch that don’t break the bank, in fact my two favourites at the moment are actually budget buys from Missguided and Primark.

Pink Candy fragrance / Primark, Babe Power fragrance / Missguided

Wrap a gift but make it personal* –

I discovered Pretty Gifted just before Christmas. They are a fantastic online seller of personalised gift wrap – you pick your paper colour, your print foil, your font and your message and they do the rest. For £7.95 you get a large sheet of fantastic quality wrap, a gift tag and a metallic pen. This time I chose the new rainbow foil effect and went for a cute little message to my boyfriend to wrap a token gift in – ‘can I borrow a kiss? I promise to give it back…’ I’m smooth right!?!

Wrapping paper / Pretty Gifted, Ribbon / Wilkinsons

I have kindly been given a code for my followers to receive an exclusive 10% off all orders – bluesky18val . It is valid until their Valentines cut off (midday on Friday 9th Feb)

Have a nibble –

My local independent baker makes the cutest cookies and cakes for Valentines (and lots of other seasonal events) and I bet yours does too. For just a £1.50 or so you can pick a super cute treat for a favourite person to have with their coffee which is guaranteed to make them smile and remind them how much you care…oh and you get to support a small independent business too!

Be cute not crass –

One of the reasons I’m not a fan of V-day is the pressure it creates. It encourages us to spend money we often cant afford on booking restaurants or spending £50 on roses that will be dead in a week, feel we must be waiting in red underwear ready to ‘perform’ as if we were in a XXX movie and the fake world of social media has just made it even worse. Thanks Facebook/Snapchat/Insta but I don’t need to see 37 photos of *insert name here*s Valentines day…no one does!

Often a token gift can mean much more than something expensive but with no thought behind it. A pretty pair of earrings because he knows you love to dress up, a lip balm because he loves to kiss your lips, a Lego mini figure of a favourite comic book character, a book mark because he knows you love reading…These type of things mean much more to me and are the things I have come to cherish particularly as I get older…

Heart Peg / The Works (pack of 10), Earrings / F&F, Trinket dish / Clintons, Lip balm / Beauty Base , Silver Love Heart / Suck UK , Love potion bottle / East of India, Harley Quinn figure / Lego.

So for a simpler way to celebrate, put your phone away, don’t broadcast what you’re doing or not doing and just do something that makes the person you love (whether its a lover, a friend or yourself – self love counts too remember) happy. Write a note, share a memory, make a favourite meal or just sit on the sofa watching a favourite film. Obviously feel free to do any of the other ‘Valentiney’ things if thats your bag, but do them because you want to and can afford to, not because you’re trying to out-do the rest of Facebook, impress your friends or feel pressured to by others.

Celebrate or don’t celebrate, but do it you way!

…And most importantly, none of the ideas shown in this blog cost a lot… because I truly believe love shouldn’t come with a price tag! xx

*items marked with an asterisk denotes a gifted item but all views stated are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer section.

Monday Mantra

Yep, its the beginning of the week again, the weekend has flown by and here we are at Monday morning! Here is todays quote or thought that has inspired me and I hope it inspires you too. Have a great week!

Todays thought –

  Source – my Pinterest

Do you overthink? I do sometimes and its a very destructive habit. I’ve discovered a few things that help me though…

Find inspiration – use that amazing brain we have for positivity…read great books, watch fantastic films and TV, embrace art or start writing (blogging is a great way to achieve that).  

Exercise – when I run my mind works freely, exorcising all those negative thoughts we carry. You get to see nature close-up as being on foot makes you see the world at a different level. Listen to music.  And when you return, your mind will feel free of all the clutter that was there before.

Detox your life – remove toxic people and don’t allow yourself to be in negative situations. Learn to say no – we all have responsibilities of course but you don’t have do things you dont want to do. 

Life is short and I’m aiming to not spend it battling with my pointless, negative, critical thoughts. What a waste of time and energy that would be…

What words have inspired you recently? I would love to know.

Monday Mantra

Not done one of these for a while…but with 2016 now upon us it seems the perfect Monday to do one! Happy New Year!!!

Todays thought –  
Source – my Pinterest

I wonder what 2016 has in store? I am not one for New Years resolutions but if you are, good luck with them, and may this coming year may bring you whatever you desire. Its a new year and it can be a new start if you want it.

Me? I’m just going to continue on the path I set myself a few years back, keeping fit by running regularly and making sure I do not gain back the 6.5 stone by counting calories 6 days a week plus making sure I keep the balance of my work and home life on the side of my home and family. I also always aim to travel somewhere new with my partner every year. I have a new challenge in the form of a part time marketing job, I will continue to run my Etsy shop selling vintage and of course post all my style blogs here!

What adventures are you aiming for in 2016? I would love to know.

Monday Mantra

Yep, its the beginning of the week again, the weekend has flown by and here we are at Monday morning! Here is todays quote or thought that has inspired me and I hope it inspires you too. Have a great week!

Todays thought – 


Source – my Pinterest

Are you a parent? Its hard isnt it? As parents we are often toughest on ourselves and this week I am making a conscious effort to stop obsessing on all the things I think I should or could be doing better as a perfect ‘super mum’. Instead I’m going to celebrate the tons of stuff that I am doing and do everyday. 

What words have inspired you recently? I would love to know.

Monday Mantra

Yep, its the beginning of the week again, the weekend has flown by and here we are at Monday morning! Here is todays quote or thought that has inspired me and I hope it inspires you too. Have a great week!

Todays thought

 

Source – my Pinterest

Love to be creative? Is there a piece of art, a story, an idea or project bubbling inside you? Let the sky (and beyond) be the limit…

What words have inspired you recently? I would love to know.

Monday Mantra

Yep, its the beginning of the week again, the weekend has flown by and here we are at Monday morning! Here is todays quote or thought that has inspired me and I hope it inspires you too. Have a great week!

Todays thought –  

Source – my Pinterest

I’ve always been a bit ashamed of being so emotional, wearing my heart on my sleeve, my wild nature and my heart over head mentality. But this clever quote makes me remember hearts are meant to be like that. My heart will never be tamed!

What words have inspired you recently? I would love to know.

Love is in the air…well on my chest at least!

A few weeks back I blogged about how I had fallen in love with quite a few items from M&Co.’s SS15 range (see blog here). I decided to treat myself to a couple of pieces and today I’m wearing a casual look with the ‘LOVE’ jumper I just had to have! 

When I saw this jumper I wanted it immediately. A grey marl knit with flecks of pink and a hot pink intarsia logo spelling “love xx” it is perfect for a easy casual outfit.  I’m wearing a size 10 here and I’d say its a normal/slightly generous fit.  M&Co.’s main range runs 10-20 so if you want a size 8 you need to go to the petite section.

 

 

I wore the jumper with dark indigo skinny jeans from New Look and heeled boots from Marks and Spencer.  I added a pink vest from Matalan underneath for an extra pop of colour and some co-ordinating lipstick.  I also added two necklaces from Claires Accessories for a pretty layered effect. 

I think I’m in love with my new jumper! It is lovely quality, with a dense yet soft knit and well worth the money. Look out for the other fabulous M&Co. item I bought in a future blog coming soon.

NEWSFLASH – This is now £14 in the sale… grab it before it sells out!

Jumper – M&Co. 

Vest – Matalan

Necklaces – Claires Accessories 

Jeans – New Look

Boots – Marks & Spencer

New Years Eve thoughts

I’m not one for new years resolutions as I’ve broken far too many in the past but I do believe in challenging & pushing yourself and my hopes for 2015 are just to continue in the same direction.

I’ve worked so hard this year in my fitness and trying to continue a career while settling a new home/family. 2014 has been a great year – Russ and I bought our first house together, our relationship has gone from strength to strength, we travelled and we had so much fun.

I started this blog while writing some great paid blogs for others and I ran 3 times a week every week. My body changed as did my mind and I’m so happy with the results.

Our kids are all happy and our life is now full of potential, something it wasn’t before. Each year I wonder if this loved up feeling will wane but its still going strong and long may it continue! It is a wonderful feeling to feel someone adores you, is totally wrapped up in you, thinks you are the sexiest and most gorgeous woman around…and thats how he makes me feel.

Life isn’t easy, I’m not totally where I want to be, but I consider myself very lucky to have all this. Yes, I worked for it, but I am grateful and will never take it for granted…

Have a wonderful night tonight whatever you are doing and heres to 2015!