Valentine's day is one of those gimmicky holidays in the year, sandwiched in between Christmas and Easter. Usually, marketed to make you feel bad that you aren't in a relationship or if you are in one probably thinking "why do we need a specific day to celebrate our love"? We are in the latter, yes it is nice to make plans and buy gifts for each other, but who says it has to be on the 14th of February.
When you are a parent time becomes a commodity - scarce but also precious - the hours seem to disappear, the days seem long and then you feel like you have blinked and the months are flying by. So it is important for your own self-care and well-being as a couple to not neglect your time together either and remember who you were pre-kids.
We have rounded up 14 of our favourite gifts which aren't OTT, as well as activities you can do together and likely spend the evening talking about the kids anyway. Plus these are all easily doable any day of the year to keep the spark alive and carve out time for both of you once in a while.
Baked Goods Delivery
Gooey is a well-known cookie bakery in Manchester, they're so popular that over Christmas they had a pop-up in Selfridges and recently opened up a cafe as well. They are THE best, super chunky and gooey in the middle, available for local delivery in the Manchester area in boxes of 6 or 8 and even do doughnuts. If you are elsewhere in the UK, search for local businesses or Ben's Cookies is a close second favourite for us and d nationally.
A Spa Candle/Bath Set
An easy way to win over your other half is to buy something that requires her to have some 'me' time and there's nothing quite like lighting a luxury candle or decadent bath oil and scrub. Rituals do great gift sets for both men and women and Neom is always a treat, especially their Perfect Night's Sleep candle which I light regularly.
Bubble Bath and Wine
Following the previous gift idea, the simple things really speak volumes for new mothers/parents. Why not run a super luxurious bubble bath, lots of candles, a calming playlist and open up a bottle of wine to unwind. Mums-to-be spend a lot of time having baths when pregnant because they are so good for you, but once the baby arrives you have zero time and want to run a bath unless of course it is poured for you and a total zen space.
Deliveroo From Your Favourite Restaurant
Once you have got the kids to bed, it's usually past 7.30pm and time is of the essence if you want an evening to yourselves, plus getting a babysitter is always harder than you think! So ordering in a Deliveroo is a great way to bring your favourite restaurant to you. Order ahead for a set time so you can tuck in right away.
An alternative to ordering in, if you aren't one to usually make dinner, then why not be the one to cook from scratch to really show you care. Set up your table to feel like a restaurant with candles, music, and your best dinnerware. Be sure to serve three courses for top marks.
Hot Tub Hire
Now, this is a little bit more expensive than our other suggestions, but, it is a real treat and if you like to go big with your gifts then this would deliver the wow factor. You can hire hot tubs for 3 days from several companies across the UK from £120 and some come with a canopy/gazebo in case the weather is off. It's fun and you can even stargaze and open a bottle of fizz together to make it extra special.
The well-known subscription service Bloom + Wild where you can have full bouquets posted through your door, yes really. All flowers come in a flat packed box ready to be cut to size, with flower food and a guide for how best to arrange and look after them. I kid you not, I still have a bunch which is going strong at 4 weeks now. The gift that keeps on giving.
The Cocktail Society makes the best kits complete with alcohol, mixers and even a cocktail shaker, all you need is to add your favourite glass and then cheers to your amazing self/partner for raising kids and surviving parenthood. You just might want to flip a coin to decide who is on wake-up duty if the kids are early risers up at 6 though!
Breakfast In Bed
This is one which really is a super thoughtful thing to do. I have had this a few times and it's always made me smile and feel super appreciated. If you can, give your other half a lie-in and creep downstairs to whip up their favourite breakfast to take up on a tray, like room service. Think granola, OJ, Coffee, Pastries, Toast + Jam, and Eggs. The more the better and then you can even join them to eat it (baby/kids dependent!).
100 Q+A's On Your Relationship
You can search for these on Pinterest and either download as a printable or just save to your phone. The idea is you both take turns to answer the questions on your relationship and see how much you both remember/share the same thoughts, for example, where was your first date? what is your favourite food? This a fun way to reconnect and remember the good times, instead of talking about work or your kids as usual (don't pretend you don't!).
If you aren't currently pregnant and already have kids, why not get them involved in making a gift for your partner. A quick scan on google or pinterest there are tonnes of cute ideas for cards using their foot/hand prints and playful puns. Nothing says I love You like a homemade gift, especially from your kids.
If you are subscribed to one of the many tv platforms it can be overwhelming to find something to watch. To help narrow it down we recommend on Netflix to filter to films only and then categories such as 'Award-Winning Films' where these are guaranteed to have you gripped and worth your full attention. Or, on Amazon Prime you can rent the latest film releases that have been in the Cinema and occasionally they even have on sale films for £1.99-4.99 instead of £15.99. Buy in your popcorn, chocolates, nachos and any other treats, turn that phone off and watch on the comfort of your sofa.
Escape Room In An Envelope
If you are a true crime fan either in documentaries or podcasts or even just really good at board games, then you can set up your own Escape Room and spend the evening trying to solve it. They can be personalised with your own names sent with everything in one envelope and are a great way to work together as a team.
This is a bit more expensive, depending on where you purchase, but it's also a really nice way to have something you will keep forever. I personally love Monica Vinader charm necklaces as you can add on to these each year or occasion and Mercimaman also do gorgeous keepsakes you can customise with children's names too. For the man in your life, you could go with something understated like a leather bracelet from Lisa Angel which would sit nicely next to a watch nicely.
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