6 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

WARNING: this post comes with a High Schmaltz Content alert

Most people I know either fall into two camps: the pro-Valentine’s Day camp or the against-Valentine’s Day camp.

Me? I’m very much with the pros.

Love me a bit of romance. Yes, I do. And thankfully so does Mr SY.

We may have an aversion to the set menus at restaurants and balloon and stuffed toy arrangements that are usually associated with this day.

But that doesn’t stop us from marking the day on the calendar and making plans to celebrate in our own way.

Over the years the way we celebrate has varied on account of small children, times when V-Day fell mid-week and when romance got interrupted by a commute and/or a tight budget.

Here are 6 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day:

1. Share the love

It’s all too easy to dismiss Valentine’s Day for being too commercial. What about sharing the love with those around you? Doesn’t have to be just a thing for couples. Take your bestie out to lunch. Pop a heart-shaped chocolate into your kids’ lunch box. Send a beautiful card to a friend you’ve not seen in ages. Mr SY’s parents sent their kids anonymous cards each year. The kids knew they were from their parents but still got a kick out of it.

Valentine's Day share the love

1. Lush soap $6.95 | 2. {Scatter Love} postcards $16 for a set of 10

2. Stay in

If you have small children then often it’s more stressful to get organised to go out, which kind of defeats the purpose of what should be a relaxing evening out. When the kids were little we’d plan out a special meal for the night (food we wouldn’t normally cook but love eating), splash out on some champagne (so much easier these days on account of special offers everywhere – don’t think I’ve paid more than about $60 for French varieties for a long time – mostly around the $45 mark) and get the kids off to bed as early as possible. Simply set a beautiful table, light candles and enjoy each other’s company. If you’re single, why not invite others around for dinner? Have everyone bring plate to share and something to drink.

Valentine's Day - stay in

1. Voyager Belleville candle $49.99 @ Ambrosia Candles |  2. Twenty8 Romance & Intimacy essential oils blend $39.95 |  3. Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Gold Diamond Suit $61.99 @ Dan Murphy’s

3. Go out on another night

We love to eat out but find that on Valentine’s Day most restaurants create set menus. This might work perfectly for you but I know when we go to a restaurant we like to order our fave items from the menu. This year we’re going out on the 13th instead – works better for our babysitting arrangements and means we can eat whatever we choose.

4. Dress to impress

Whether you’re staying in or heading out, taking some time to think about what you’re wearing will not only give you a little lift, it shows a little self love too. In a couple? Keep it on the stylish side of sexy. Single? Dress in something that makes YOU feel fabulous.

What to wear Valentine's Day

1. Sacha Drake dress $249 | 2. Samantha Wills earrings $130 | 3. MinkPink clutch $34.97 (on sale) @ David Jones | 4. Molten Store ring $49 | 5. Diavolina heels $160 @ Marie Claire Shoes

5. Get your glow on

This is something that goes hand-in-hand with getting dressed to impress. Add an illuminator across the top of your cheek bones and by all means create a feature red lip but why not add a pop of sparkle to it with a lip gloss as well?

Valentine's Day beauty get your glow on

1. NARS The Multiple illuminator in Copacobana $58 @ Mecca Cosmetica | 2. Napoleon Perdis Limited Edition Love Birds lip and nail collection in Dove $49 | 3. Illamasqua lipstick in Maneater $25

6. Get clever with gifts

Mr SY gets it easy when it comes to finding gifts for me on Valentine’s Day. I love anything with a heart on it. Any time of year. I have a few guidelines when it comes to the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts of roses, chocolates and lingerie. Think quality and class guys. It will win us over every time. When it comes to flowers, think outside the square and find a florist who can create something with flare. Fine chocolate gets my vote every time. A small box of those shows more care than a quick pick up at the corner store on the way home. And lingerie? It’s a little bit of a minefield but if you go into a specialist retailer with specifics on size (don’t just hold your hands up cupped to indicate the size of your partners’ girls to the sales assistant!) then it could be a winner for both of you.

Valentine's Day gifts with style  1. Elle Macpherson Intimates chemise $109.95 | 2. Pillow Poet pillow case $49 @ Down That Little Lane | 3. Max Brenner The Love Story Praline Box $21 | 4. Claire Aristides Fine Jewels rose gold heart bracelet $175 | 5. Jam Jars flower arrangement $135 at Divine Flowers (Brisbane delivery)

So tell me, do you do Valentine’s?

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  • Pauld D. Mitchell

    Making dinner reservations for Feb. 14 might seem like a good idea, but you’re probably not the only one with that plan. Save the dinner out for a less popular night. Instead, make what Hart calls a “happy list.” Partners each write up a list of all the things that make them happy, then exchange the lists so each person can refer to the other’s throughout the year, she explains. So when your partner is having a bad week, pick something from his happy list to put a little sparkle back into his day — no reservation required. Thanks.
    Paul D. Mitchell

  • http://www.realitychick.com.au/ Rachel

    I’m a ridiculous romantic myself… Mr Chick is too, but he thinks V Day is a bit of a crock. Even so, we always celebrate with cocktails and he always appears at the door with a bunch of red roses so he clearly lives by that old saying, ‘happy wife, happy life’. I’m not complaining :) PS. How GORGE is that Elle McPherson slip?

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Rachel, I’d not be complaining either! And the slip is lovely x

  • http://www.realitychick.com.au/ Rachel

    I’m a ridiculous romantic myself… Mr Chick is too, but he thinks V Day is a bit of a crock. Even so, we always celebrate with cocktails and he always appears at the door with a bunch of red roses so he clearly lives by that old saying, ‘happy wife, happy life’. I’m not complaining :) PS. How GORGE is that Elle McPherson slip?

  • http://www.thefashionablemum.blogspot.com.au/ Vicki | The Fashionable Mum

    I’m afraid I’m going to be the odd one out here and say we don’t do Val’s at all. I think it stems from me being all cool and aloof when we first got together and saying I didn’t go for all that schmaltz – but you know what? I think I’d happily receive a dozen red roses or some pretty new undies! I think I may have to start dropping hints…

    Oh and that rose gold bracelet is just divine!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Why not treat yourself? Self love is best of all!

      • http://vicky-lifeonthehill.blogspot.com.au/ Vicky Finch

        I have a confession to make… I reluctantly read this post. caught in the valentine trap of its all about couples…

        But I’m so glad I did. I’m sending out valentines to all my beautiful friends, and my bambinos.
        And I’m going to treat myself. Because you’re so very very right – self love is best of all.
        xx

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          It is the best of all Vicky. I totally understand your reluctance to read this post – I’ve not always been in a couple on V Day. I like the idea of sharing the love though and loving ourselves. xx

  • The Plumbette

    My hubby’s birthday is on Valentines Day and we still celebrate Valentines Day. I remember the first time we were together for his Birthday and he spoiled me as much as I spoiled him. After being together for 13 years things still havent changed. I’m a lucky gal. :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh that is beautiful Bec … and how it should be x

  • Nic

    I love Valentine’s Day! I’m not a fan of the cheese, schmaltz and commercialism that can go along with it though. Love going out for a special dinner, even some prawns and a bottle of champers on the beach is fabulous. My squeeze is overseas so those Scatter Love postcards are perfect. x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh get on those then! And prawns and champers always works for me too.

  • http://www.smaggle.com Smaggle

    I love Valentines day! But honestly I usually spend it with my single girlfriends while Mr Smags plays video games online with his bro… cheeky I know!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s still sharing the love Smags x

  • http://soniastyling.com/ Sonia from Sonia Styling

    We celebrate V-Day in a low key way – no gifts, just dinner at home with some wine and music. How bombshell is that Sacha Drake dress? Love it!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I actually thought of you when I saw it Sonia!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I always celebrate valentines day in either a big or small way.We either go out depending on the day of the week or have something special like prawns for dinner it does not have to cost a lot of money which is good we just had to replace the dishwasher the vaccum cleaner and the pool cleaner so our budget is a bit small but you can do lots of things on a smallish budget I have found even a picnic by the river would be nice,great suggestions Nikki!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      You so can do things on a smaller budget Lisa … just takes a bit more planning I think!

  • Petra @ daisymaycupcakes

    Over the last couple of years I’ve started to decorate the kitchen/dining (don’t ask me why those particular rooms!) with V-Day kind of decor – e.g. pretty flowers in vases and pink bunting. The cost of flowers on V-Day is disgusting so I tend to buy them a couple of days before (the last 2 years hubby actually bought me flowers – with my prompting!). I like your idea of even taking a bestie out – that’s cute!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Petra, I love that you decorate like that. I would keep that kind of stuff up all year if I could. Oh hang on, I do … in my office!

  • Johanne Taylor

    We do celebrate V Day and have done so since we first started going out, by swapping cards and having a meal out. Couldn’t agree with you more, Nikki, re the aversion to set menus, so our meal out is not on the 14th these days. This year we have booked dinner for the 15th at a restaurant we’d been planning to visit for awhile.
    Looking forward to getting frocked up and enjoying a night out together.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh I’m glad I’m not the only one who avoids the actual night at a restaurant if at all possible! And I love the frocking up too Johanne.

  • https://www.facebook.com/BridgetDevantierStyle Bridget Devantier Style

    We don’t normally do valentines day but now I’ve seen those Marie Claire heels and the bottle of Moet I see at least two good reasons to start!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, do it for yourself Bridget! So much love!!

  • http://irismaystyle.com/ Bev | Iris May Style

    What’s not to love about hearts? When I’m sitting at my desk, procrastinating I always doodle hearts…such a romantic!
    We never go out to eat on Valentines though, instead we prefer a special meal at home and a glass of bubbles x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think we were sisters in another life Bev! x

  • Kathryn

    Oh my, the Scatter Love postcards! So sweet. I’ve just ordered 2 packs :) Mark and I usually acknowledge VDay in some small way – with a small gift or note. This year, we’re heading out for lunch somewhere. We will be most definitely avoiding places with set menus!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It is tricky to avoid them Kathryn but you might be able to with a lunch date! The Scatter Love cards are the brainchild of my friend Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim and they’re gorgeous!