The 2016 Valentines Day Gift Guide
So, since Christmas the shops seem to have become overwhelmed by shades of pink and red. I'll just come out and say that I'm not a fan of Valentines Day really - I much prefer the far more exciting and inclusive Pancake Day (Maple Syrup if you're asking) HOWEVER - I am rather good at trawling the Internet so I thought I'd put together my first ever Gift Guide! I love shopping for gifts for my loved ones and can take a considerable amount of time, and often overspend choosing the right gift for someone. However for this post I've tried to find suggestions for all budgets & personalities - each product is definitely something I've tried and would recommend or is something that I've been lusting after either for myself, or for someone else. I had a little help from my boyfriend choosing things 'For Him' - although I did pop in a few of my own suggestions too. Please take a look and let me know what you think - I've even divided my Guide into handy little subsections to help make it easier to pinpoint the perfect gift. GOOD LUCK!
THE GIFT OF FITNESS
(From left to right)
- Nike Pro Hypercool Tidal Capris - I decided to try and stick to the red & pink theme with my clothing choices, and why not as the pattern and colours on these capris are awesome! I spotted them whilst browsing at Westfield this week and it took a lot to not just buy them there and then. These would be ideal for the gym and for running when it gets a bit warmer.
- Nike Leg-A-See Printed Leggings - another awesome print. You can probably tell that I'm a bit of a bold, bright print lover!
- Nike Zoom Winflo 2 Running Shoe - now I couldn't tell you who these shoes would be best for, you'd want to get a professional gait analysis for that. But, as far as Valentines colours go these shoes are pretty perfect.
- Charli Cohen Sports Bra & Leggings - I really love the whole Charli Cohen range, I have a few leggings and tops and can definitely say they're super comfy, perform well and look great. There are lots of colours in this design available if pink isn't for you - plus they're currently on sale at Fashercise!
- Boxing Gloves - I got these for Christmas last year & I like imagining that the last thing someone sees before I knock them out is the gold stars coming towards their face.
- Running Socks - since I started running I've noticed how important it is to run in good, technical socks if you don't want to hurt your feet. I also noticed how you can never have enough - if your partner is a runner then I'm sure they would welcome a gift of some technical running socks. I think colour and brand would be down to personal preference & there are huge selections out there on any speciality running website. I've linked to this pair on Runners Need as I like the brighter colours, and they have a bit of money off. Win-win.
- Foam Roller - an essential piece of kit in my opinion. Perfect for easing out your muscles after a run or gym session, and also a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift. Another one where the design & colour is down to personal choice, my boyfriend uses a horrendous, spiky thing that wouldn't look out of place in a torture chamber whilst mine is bright pink and has more of a grid design. Having used both I'd say maybe start off with something griddier, then maybe work up to the torture roller.
- Kahtoola Mini Ice Spikes - my boyfriend has been using these lately whilst he's been going on training runs up Snowden and in the Lake District. He recommended them as a great Valentines gift for any runners out there, to help keep your training going during the icier conditions we have at the moment. You can simply attach these to your current shoe, and is a nifty piece of kit that you can keep handy in your running pack (as James does.)
- Men's Nike Dr-FIT Knit Running Top - I picked this out as another nice gift for a runner, or anyone who works out outside lots. Make sure your loved one has a nice base layer to wrap up warm in and prevent them catching any colds. I like the little thumbholes.
- Nathan Strobelight - Its important to be dress appropriately and be seen. Give the gift of safety with this nifty light.
- Like The Wind Magazine - A really carefully put together magazine for runners, by runners. Interesting articles about the experience of running rather than just a collection of training plans and nutrition tips. For those who love running, and love to talk and read about it when they're not.
If money was no object....... Garmin Fenix 3 Rose Gold Watch - very pricey but look how pretty it is! Also, a great piece of kit with multi sport functions. Perfect for keeping track of your workouts, especially if you like to include lots of different sports.
THE GIFT OF RELAXATION
- Yawn Lavender Bags - I love the smell of lavender and find it so relaxing. Pop one of these bags under your pillow to help you drift off, or in your underwear drawer to keep everything smelling fresh.
- Yawn Pyjamas - match your pj's to your lavender bag! I love Yawn's prints, especially this black cat one and will be giving sets as presents to a few friends this year.
- Lola's Apothecary Inner Light Ritual 'Delicate Romance' Set - I've been following Lola's Apothecary on Instagram for a while and they're products looks so gorgeous. I'm sure anyone would love taking a long soak in the bath with this oil! Plus I love the old school apothecary vibe you get off the stoppered bottle. Very pretty.
- Neom Tranquility Candle - another lavender scented beauty! Neom's a great brand and I would recommend any of their products. I often include their candles or pillow spray as stocking fillers for my very appreciative mother.
- Jade Facial Roller - I love popping mine in the fridge before using. The cooling Jade is very refreshing and I feel like i'm totally ironing away any stresses from the day that may have been caught up in a frown on my forehead. Also great for soothing puffy eyes. As it happens Pai Skincare wrote a great post on their blog about the benefits of using a jade roller, so make sure you check it out.
- Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts - these promise to give you a great nights sleep after using them in the bath. I cant promise that but I will say that they smell lovely and leave your skin very soft and glowy. A favourite in our household.
- Skinowl Beauty Steam - I use this in a beautiful May Lindstrom Steam Vessel. I feel like a witch whipping up a potion when I use this beauty steam! It makes my skin feel great and helps soothe my eczema.
- Mio Liquid Yoga Bath Soak - my ultimate pick for this list. I finally got my hands on this recently and I've been enjoying lots of long hot soaks using it! Great after a cold, wet run and the eucalyptus is great at clearing your sinuses.
THE GIFT OF INDULGENCE
- Bowl, Brush and The Problem Solver mask by May Lindstrom - pricey but effective. This is a lovely mask that gives a really nice tingly feeling on the skin. I feel that it sloughs away the dullness and makes my skin look a lot brighter, and of course using the little bowl and brush to mix your mask makes it feel like a really indulgent ritual. Perfect for 'me time', and another element of my bathroom 'potion making' sessions. Perhaps I should do a whole post on beauty products 'for when you want to feel like a Witch?'
- Diptyque Rosaviola Candle - a lovely delicate scent of roses and violets teamed with a romantic candle design. Lasts for ages (unless you burn them 24/7 like me - not advised!) & you can't really go wrong with Diptyque. For a much more detailed description please see The Sunday Girl's latest post.
- Bubble Sparkling Wine - I can't comment on the taste but how cute is this little bottle? It has a real Alice in Wonderland feel and would look lovely in your drinks cabinet or displayed on a shelf. Perhaps pair it with a nice edition of the book itself and a pack of beautiful playing cards?
- Hotel Chocolat Valentines Set - chocolates of course! And delicious ones in beautiful packaging. Marks & Spencer also have some really lovely selections this year that have been wonderfully packaged.
- Stella McCartney Lingerie - a real indulgence, but these sets are utterly gorgeous. Link to the second set pictured here
- Marks & Spencer lingerie - a less expensive but no less beautiful alternative.
THE GIFT OF BEAUTY
- Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne - A personal favourite. I don't think anything could ever smell so good, but that's down to personal preference of course. I find this to be a lovely, light floral fragrance that I like for the spring & summer. In winter I like to swap it for the Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt, and I've also been wearing my Jo Malone Amber & Tudor Rose scent that was limited edition last year. I love it so I'm holding out it'll make a comeback (please Jo Malone!)
- Charlotte Tilbury makeup - I know a good cosmetic product and most of my makeup kit now consists of items from Charlotte Tilbury's range. I picked out this limited edition lipstick set 'The Date Night Duo' and the Bar of Gold Highlighter as Ones To Buy Now. I would reaaallly like both of these but sadly I'm a bit skint so I'm hoping they'll still be in stock come payday!
- Otis Batterbee Leopard Print Makeup Bag - you'll need somewhere pretty to keep your new makeup!
- Lips Cosmetic Case - I loved the look of this, and it's not so pricey. Wrap the Charlotte Tilbury lipstick set inside to impress.
- Skin Owl Lavender Beauty Drops - these promise to transform your skin & I've definitely noticed a difference since using them. A gorgeous smell and the oil sinks into your skin straight away leaving it feeling nourished and with a nice dewy glow. They also have other smells available, all of which are recommended to different skin types.
- Content Beauty Superfoods Set - I spotted this in their store this week. Such a beautiful tin and a really nice selection inside. Perfect for a health conscious soul.
- Of course if you want beautiful skin then a good way to start is to make sure that you remain hydrated. I've included some lovely water bottles that would make great Valentines gifts. Try the peach and blue bottles from BKR, this Root 7 citrus zinger which allows you to infuse fruit into your water if you don't like the taste, and this lovely Valentines themed tumbler.
If money was no object.... The Complete May Lindstrom Collection. I can't rave about this skincare range enough and credit it with helping me get my eczema under control. Totally natural and totally indulgent - if you only wanted one or two products I would suggest the Honey Mud Cleansing Silk and Jasmine Garden spray to get you started. Smells gorgeous and beautifully packaged. I'll warn you to stock up on some Dairy Milk 'pots of joy' choccy yoghurt things though - as that is what you'll want to have once you wash your face with The Honey Mud! It has a lovely pudding consistency, and there's a slightly chocolatey smell mixed with the floral scent. I'm not sure that I've sold it well here but I promise you it is lovely, and it sinks into your skin making it feel incredible. A heavenly cleanser.
- Anything from Juniper Ridge - a lazy addition I'll admit, but the whole range looks and smells amazing. I just get my partner a set each year and be done with it. A wonderful brand to get to know &it really captures the smell of these great American regions. Get it in the UK at Toast. I wouldn't recommend one particular smell as they are all so nice, so try out a few different products. I'm a big fan of Big Sur as it reminds me of one of my favourite writers, Jack Kerouac, but this year I got James a whole load of Cascade Glacier & I'm liking that too!
- When I asked James for gift ideas for the fellas he suggested the Juniper Ridge Desert Denim Spray straight away. He's rather into his denim, owning an extensive collection of vintage jackets and numerous pairs of Levi's jeans. He also knows rather a lot about it, and how to take care of it properly. He recommends this spray as a great way to keep denim smelling fresh as you don't want to wash it too much. In the past he's burnt Smudge Sticks and Incense around his jackets to help get that lovely woody scent into the fabric. The spray might be an easier method.
- Norwegian Wood - Chopping, Stacking & Drying Wood The Scandinavian Way - an unusual book but one that James recommends. Especially anyone who enjoys the outdoors. James was lucky enough to get a copy signed from the order - maybe if you gift this you could write the date and a little message on the inside cover? This has been something I've been planning to do with all future books I give.
- Herschel Supply Co. Retreat Backpack - I've had my eye on this rucksack for a while but I think it would also make a great gift for any boyfriends. With a stylish look & a nice outdoorsy feel I can't see many people not liking it. I saw someone with one on the bus once and it looked great. I was very jealous.
- Murdock Grooming Stainless Steel Razor - A good razor should last him a lifetime and provide a very close shave. This one has a nice traditional feel and comes from a great heritage brand.
- Murdock Grooming Ebony Badger Hair Shaving Brush - there are cheaper options on the market, but why not invest in a superior grooming tool.
- Aesop Steel Shaving Bowl - us ladies have our own beauty rituals, so why not encourage the man in your life to indulge in one of his own? I think a complete shaving kit can be pricey, but would be a gift that would be appreciated greatly.
- Aesop Moroccan Neroli Shaving Duet - You need some products to go alongside your kit. Aesop make good quality ones that smell nice and aren't too soapy or feminine.
- Johnstons Ribbed Cashmere Socks - I come from the land of wool, tweed and cashmere and once even worked in a tartan factory. You can't escape having at least one cashmere gift, so I've limited it to socks. Cashmere socks are not so much a luxury as a necessity, perfect for cold nights as they are so snuggly and soft what person could not love a gift like this? There was also a piece on Countryfile recently making the case for good quality wool socks. Treat your feet with a pair of Johnstons of Elgin.
THE GIFT OF PRETTY THINGS
- Fox Notebook Collections - I love foxes and can't get enough of little notebooks. These designs are beautiful.
- Kate Spade Wit & Wisdom Journal - I treated myself to a Kate Spade year planner and have been enjoying meticulously filling it in each night. I saw these at the wonderful Quill London and might have to treat myself to one, although I don't know what I would write in it yet!
- Red Glitter Stickers - you need something special to help wrap up such beautiful gifts - perhaps stick one on the back of the envelope of your Valentines card like a sparkly wax seal.
- Heart Ribbon - this would look lovely wrapped around plain brown paper. Beautiful gifts should be wrapped with care.
- Notebooks - Quill London - a really lovely little shop that also sells online. You can personalise notebooks with gilt lettering also - perfect for any writers or pretty stationary lovers.
- LHN Jewellery - I love this style and am lucky enough to have my own ring from this designer. I hope to add a few more pieces to my collection as the years go by, although it's hard to choose from all the amazing designs!
My top pick ...... Di Antonio Pascal Dr Martens - I just love the design on these, and they are the world's best shoe. I have been asking myself do I really need another pair of Dr Martens? The answer is yes, yes I do really need another pair of Dr Martens. This pair.
THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE
Of course, great Valentines presents don't have to consist of material things at all. A really lovely present would be an experience that you can both enjoy together - or even just the gift of an experience that he or she'd really enjoy or a membership that they could make use out of. Here are a few more suggestions that aren't just dinner & a film, or theatre tickets (although both of these things are also good!)
- Memberships to organisations such as Historic Scotland, English Heritage, The National Trust and Historic Royal Palaces can get you free entry into thousands of heritage sites across the UK. As a history fan myself, this would be a really perfect gift - just think of all the fabulous days out you can enjoy together exploring the wonders of the UK! Plus you'll be helping to support these wonderful organisations with what they do and keeping these sites in good shape for generations to come.
- If you're partner is creative, or enjoys learning new skills then I would recommend signing them up for some of the workshops held at Quill London. Last week I took part in the 'Intro to Modern Calligraphy' and 'Intro to Brush Lettering' and really enjoyed them. I've been practicing my letters ever since and have definitely found a new hobby to enjoy. The shop itself is also a wonderful environment to learn in - although be careful as you'll find yourself creating a mental shopping list as there are so many lovely bits of stationary inside to tempt you!
- For a really soppy (but cheap!) option you could always choose to just send a card, but write a heartfelt love note inside. I'm sure your partner would cherish it, and it's always nice to recieve post. For beautiful cards try my favourites Quill London once again, as well as Rifle Paper Co.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my Valentines Gift Guide, and that I've helped create a few ideas even if nothing on this list suits. It's always best to get what you think is right for your partner - not everyone wants an ostentatious bouquet of red roses and many would be touched by just a love letter penned by yourself. Importantly I think Valentines Day is just a day to really appreciate your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you - whether that's with a small gift or a surprise holiday or just a card. And if it's your friends, your family, your partner or even just your dog that you spend it with then please just enjoy the day!