Valentine's Day gifts – a traditional take
There are a couple of occasions in life when my inner purist comes out – and picking Valentine's Day gifts is definitely one of those occasions. It's not that I don't appreciate outside-the-box thinking, but sometimes the traditional Valentine's Day gifts are just as good as that random idea you had one day when you heard your girlfriend talking about how much she used to love Care Bears*. (Trust me – any of these gifts is going to be better than Care Bears.) My birthday happens to fall a week before Valentine's Day, so asking my boyfriend to think about Valentine's Day gifts while simultaneously giving him no help with the birthday gift conundrum (because I have no ideas) is cruel, to say the least. (On a serious note: Valentine's Day gifts are not an essential part of life, I get that – it's just nice, sometimes, to recognise that you love someone on a day when some bitch in the office is bound to get a delivery of roses.)
Anyway, with all of that in mind (no to Care Bears; Valentine's Day gifts are nice, but not necessary), here are a few gift ideas I had that will go over really well with most** women.
A bunch of flowers
How gorgeous are these hat-box blooms from @bloommagic?! 😍 #ad It's about time to start thinking about Valentine's Day (or – cough – my birthday), and I'm a firm believer in going the traditional route and saying it with flowers 🌹🌷💐 I love that these flowers come in water, rather than oasis, so the massive hat box is reusable, too! (Nothing worse than a massive delivery when 80% of it ends up in the bin...) Bloom Magic will delivery anywhere in Ireland and offers same-day delivery to boot, with box arrangements starting at €49 which is pretty good value IMHO! 👍🏼
I never said these Valentine's Day gifts were going to be shockingly original, now did I? A special bunch of blooms – like these fellas from Bloom Magic Flowers – would go down a treat, and she gets a cute hat box, too! (I'm currently using mine to store shampoo and shower gels that I bought in Boots on 3 for 2 and haven't quite got around to using yet.)
A piece of jewellery
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? There's a reason jewellery is considered a traditionally romantic gift – because it is traditionally romantic! It shows that you value her; you've been paying attention to what she likes / dislikes; you're willing to put a little time into seeking out the right piece just for her. MoMuse is one of my favourite Irish jewellery designers; I have a few pieces (my Hope necklace, teeny gold hoops and a gold star pendant) from the collection and they're always being admired.
A cute love heart palette
Ordinarily, I'm against kitschy love-heart-shaped things, but this lovely (see what I did there?) palette by Too Faced* actually contains some gorgeous shadow shades. It would actually get used (as opposed to left in the cupboard to gather dust forever) and is just on the right side of cutesie – it doesn't over egg it, if you know what I mean.
A box of chocolates
This is why, to be honest, I don't really get My Stephen's stress over picking Valentine's Day gifts. It actually could not be easier – a bunch of flowers / box of chocolates and declaration of love and that's it – I'm into it. These chocolates are some of the best in town, made by Irish chocolatier Cocoa Atelier, and they do really interesting flavours all packaged up beautifully. So, so simple.
Lush's Cupid bath bomb
Okay, so this requires a little bit of research because some people just hate Lush. I am not one of those people; I love Lush and all it stands for (the Lush spa on the Kings Road in London is beyond amazing, I must actually go back the next time I visit). I love the solid deodorants and solid shampoos; I love its Buffy the Back Side Slayer exfoliator and I love its bath bombs. Get the picture? I love them. Ergo, this Cupid bath bomb would be a super cost-effective way of winning my affections.
A nice perfume
Okay, so there's nice perfume and then there's very nice perfume, and Tom Ford Neroli Portofino* definitely falls into the latter category – it smells insanely good. Honestly, it's like the Ben & Jerry's of the perfume world (Ben & Jerry's ruined all other ice-cream for me); you'll never go back. If €250 is a little out of your price range (and, er, let's face it, it is for most of us), other faves are the Miu Miu Eau du Parfum* (€60), Diptyque Philosykos Eau du Toilette* (from €83) and Chloé Eau du Toilette* (€53).
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**There will always be one. One woman who hates flowers, or thinks that a box of chocolates is your way of sabotaging her diet. That woman just needs you to run her a bath and leave her alone for a few hours. She'll get over it.