What to do on Valentine’s Day – loved up or not

Nikki ParkinsonLife 44 Comments

I was on location working yesterday with lots of beautiful young women around me.

Valentine’s Day came up in conversation and one of the women said that she was flying out to Adelaide for the weekend to escape the day.

It got me to thinking – and reminiscing (can you reminisce if something is a bad memory?) about Valentine’s Days when I was her age.

I also would have escaped if I’d been smart enough to.

The thing is February 14 does come around every year.

I won’t feel guilty that I now – as one half of a smug couple – embrace the romance but I do wish I’d never spent my single years wallowing in my own petty pool of self pity.

It’s just one day.

It’s a day when you can – and should – take matters into your own hands, partnered or not!

For the record, I also embrace Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas – regardless of any cries of commercialism they may bring with them.

I understand it’s not for everyone but, hey, I enjoy any excuse for a celebration.

So, I’ve put together some ideas on what to do on Valentine’s Day – loved up with someone else or not – so hopefully you can plan a day of love should you wish to.

Spread the love, I say. The world needs it.

And because I love anything with a heart on it, you’ll also find a collection of gift ideas that I’d be happy to receive any time of year!

Valentine's Day 2015 gift guide


1. Typo card $4.98 | 2. Twenty8 Romance & Intimacy synergy aromatherapy blend $41.95 | 3. Typo chalkboard pegs $4.95 | 4. I Love Linen pillowcase $29.95 | 5. Sassy Mama Lingerie set $69

What to do on Valentine’s Day


Plan ahead. February 14 is a Saturday this year so if you’re not working then plan out a day just for you – or for a group of your friends.

Go to the movies. Bradley Cooper is always a good idea. As is Reese Witherspoon.

Book a massage at a day spa. You’re so worth it. Choose somewhere where you can sit a while afterwards. With Champagne.

Book a weekend away – with friends – or by yourself. A health retreat weekend like Gwinganna is way better enjoy on your own.

Invite all your single friends over for a dinner party. Create a food theme, assign everyone a dish and ice down the sauvvy b.

Go shopping for yourself. Buy something outrageous and impractical. Or just plain fun. I fully endorse self gifting.

You don’t have to be in a relationship to like anything with a heart on it. Hearts are not just about romance; they’re about caring and compassion.

Valentine's Day gift guide 2015


1. Pinata Press card $6.50 @ Down That Little Lane | 2. Le Creuset pie dish $45 | 3. Kerrie Hess Illustration for The Dairy phone case $45 | 4. Piper-Heidsieck Champagne $39.95 @ Dan Murphy’s | 5. Winter Design Space satchel $105 @ Down That Little Lane

Smug couple

Don’t dismiss this as just another day. Embrace and acknowledge your relationship on February 14 – and every day.

Take matters into your own hands and plan something for your partner that you really love enjoying together. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate but it should be something fun and meaningful.

Have a willing and ready babysitter? Head out for the evening. Most restaurants do a set menu on Valentine’s Day. If this is not your thing, go out the night before.

Have a VERY willing and ready babysitter who can look after the kids for the whole weekend or the night? … ESCAPE! A hotel staycation is always a good idea.

No babysitter? Dim the candles, light the candles and cook up a favourite meal at home together – after the kids are in bed.

Champagne is always a good idea.

Put away the phones, switch off the TV and TALK. Not about what’s on the schedule for next week but about shared good memories and hopes for the year ahead.

Gifts don’t have to cost a lot – if anything. How about a playlist of all your favourite songs … the 2015 version of a mixed tape? A written letter or poem?

When it comes to the buying gifts on Valentine’s Day – like buying gifts at any time – the key is always thinking about what the recipient loves. Not what you do.

Come to some kind of agreement on what you’ll spend on each other. It doesn’t have to be any kind of grand or expensive gesture (but hey if you do want to go down that path, do not let me stop you!). Whatever the expense, it should have some kind of meaning.

If you or your partner is into hearts than don’t hold back. Too many are never enough. #justsaying

Self love

You know I like to get a bit woo-woo with you occasionally? Well I’m doing it again.

My good friend, author and aromatherapist Kim Morrison taught me five years ago that self care and self love is essential.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, this is the cornerstone to being happy within yourself. Other people can’t make you happy – only you can do that.

Valentine's Day 2015 gift guide


1. Lush soap $6.95/100g | 2. Cat Hammill necklace $39.95 @ Blue Bungalow | 3. Cartier LOVE bracelet (pink gold/sapphire) $6050 | 4. Fleurieu Gifts succulent heart centrepiece $49.95 @ Down That Little Lane | 5. Marquee light $219.95 @ Urban Nest Designs

So tell me … do you do Valentine’s Day? Escape or embrace? Anything on your wishlist?

Comments 44

  1. Valentines day has always been tricky with us as it is my birthday the day before, so we often went out for my birthday and then did something romantic on Valentines Day at home, then 8 years ago I gave birth to our only Daughter after 5 sons, 6 weeks early on Valentine’s Day- changed our Valentine’s Days forever! It’s all about her now!

  2. Nikki, you FABULOUS woman you!!! Cannot thank you enough for giving us a little “shout out”- Sassy Mama Lingerie.

    Love ALL of your ideas for Valentine’s Day, hopefully- and if the other half actually pays attention- I would like nothing more than a bottle of Champers and my weight in Chocolate dipped strawberries…

    xoxoxoxo… Valerie sassy mama lingerie

    PS. Quoting the fabulous Rupaul here, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else– can I get an Amen!” Finger snap!

  3. Nice article! Valentine Day is all about love, loving yourself or someone else. you can buy a lot of beauty & makeup products for yourself ( i do that all the time, no matter what the occassion is), and if you are planning to gift something to your boyfriend, i can say that try giving him shaving gift boxes or perfumes(guys love these)! and one more thing, try to plan ahead about your outfit! what you are planning to wear and choose the dress, so that you can buy matching accessories & cosmetics to go with that dress. Also take a good care of your skin before the valentine’s day come, so that you can wear or put on anything you would like!


  4. We never used to celebrate Valentine’s Day apart from a card but 10 years ago our marriage was in serious trouble & we had to work hard to re-ignite the passion so now we take any opportunity for a weekend away to spend quality time together. This year we have pre-ordered a seafood platter which we will take & enjoy with a nice bottle of bubbles at the surprise hide-away that my husband has organised!

  5. I embrace it! What can I say? I love love! As you know, this year we’re headed to Brisbane for the weekend to go to the Chet Faker concert. And I can’t believe you featured that ‘I love you more than Instagram’ card – I literally ordered it this morning to give to Chris for our wedding anniversary, because that is A LOT! x

  6. I like to do something little for my daughter but after reading today’s post I am definitely going to plan something from the list for next year. However this Valentine’s afternoon I will be spending with two dear friends and Nikki at the Unlock Your Style event in Newcastle and that sounds pretty good to me ! ❤️

  7. Valentine’s Day is special for me as I share my love for my daughters buying something significant for them showcasing my love for them. A number of years ago I bought them a heart shaped cactus each. V x

  8. We usually have a nice dinner and spend time together and exchange cards!
    Not elaborate or fancy but still nice! great gift guide Nikki ,have a lovely weekend I hope you have a relaxing one planned Xx

  9. We have our wedding anniversary celebration this weekend, and being so close to Valentines Day we usually don’t celebrate it as my husband is a bit of a scrooge! However, I do always give him a handmade card and we have a special family dinner together.

  10. I’ll use any excuse to celebrate (and drink champagne) so my honey and I always do something on Valentine’s day. We don’t necessarily exchange gifts anymore but we definitely try and do something fun together. When I was single I used to go out for dinner with my girlfriends or watch romantic comedies at home. I didn’t really care that I was single so long that I could watch Hugh Grant in peace and stuff myself with chocolate in the process.

  11. Can we talk about the Cartier bracelet? I saw another one recently, that carried through the idea of needing a screwdriver to get it on and off, but at a less gasp-inducing price. But…so pretty in pink gold, like my grandmother’s wedding day bangle.
    We do Valentine’s Day but we long ago got sick of the set menu thing. This year we’re having Sunday lunch at a favourite local spot, to avoid the limited options V Day itself.

    1. I do love the bracelet and there without the sapphire it’s less but you can also add a diamond and make more. My thinking is you’d need a couple or wear with your watch or stacked with something else … I’m only dreaming at this stage but a girl’s got to dream!

      And good work on the Sunday lunch idea!

    1. I was gong to say the same thing.It’s gorgeous isn’t it? I think with the proceeds going to charity, it doesn’t even need justification!

  12. I’ve always celebrated Valentine’s Day and was planning to again this year but we have a friend’s 40th. Needless to say that champagne will still be involved! Happy Val’s Day! xxx

  13. have never really done valentine’s day … a bit too prescriptive for me!
    we always have “honeymoon days” and always revisit our beautiful memories! … we make things special just for us!
    my ex was once interviewed on tv on valentines day! when asked what he was going to do? he said ” nothing! she knows how I feel about her!” … classic! lol … btw I know what you are coveting hun! mmm! love m:)X

  14. I am not into Valentine’s Day at all, but I was a bridesmaid for a beautiful couple that celebrate their anniversary on the 14th, so I send them a little message every year wishing them lots of love.
    I love all the gift ideas for other celebrations.
    I will probably cook a nice meal for my bloke and me and have some chocolate and see what follows but that could be any night of the week …
    Those gift suggestions are neat, I would buy myself the marquee light or succulent wreath or heart pie dish or pillowcase or bracelet to embrace love anytime.

  15. I took myself out for dinner on Valentine’s day once so I didn’t miss out just because I was single……and guess what? I ended up marrying the waiter!

  16. Love the Typo card! My partner isn’t a romantic in any sense of the word. Last year I asked him to take my car and clean it completely inside and out. If I want anything I buy it for myself – but I’m time poor constantly so having the car done was great. I ordered that stripey Metalicus dress – that is my Valentines present to me. He always says he doesn’t want anything, but I will buy him some English chocolate or lollies (he is a Pom) and he always loves that. Lovely ideas Nikki, imagine receiving that bracelet! Have a great weekend 🙂

    1. Good choice for a lovely gift for yourself Kathryn – you know I approve of such things! And yes, imagine receiving the bracelet! Or walking into the store one day and just buying – a girl’s got to dream!

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