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Creative Valentine’s Day Gifts (That Aren’t Food!)

February 9, 2017
Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)

This year The Hubs and I will be having our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. We’d always given pretty traditional Valentine’s Day gifts in the past, with flowers and chocolate and all that good stuff. (I’m talking about wine here.) This year, however, we are just coming out of our first round of Whole 30 (We officially finished yesterday! Woot, woot!) and so are trying to avoid falling back into bad food habits with our Valentine’s Day gifts.

Growing up, I remember my dad struggling find Valentine’s Day gifts for my mom. “I can’t get your mom chocolate. She’s on a diet,” He would say. Then the great expanse of gift picking stretched out before him and he came home with chocolate. Maybe you and your honey are in the same boat; fresh out of your New Year’s resolutions and not wanting to derail your progress with loads of sugar (or alcohol) on Valentine’s Day. Maybe your significant other is working on their health and you want to find a way to love on them without introducing any unnecessary temptation into their life.

Here are some tips creative gift ideas that go beyond the regular Valentine’s Day Gifts (no chocolate, roses, wine or jewelry here!).

Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)

Find Valentine’s Day Gifts that the two of you can enjoy together.

Tickets to a concert, show or museum they’ve been wanting to see – Concerts are sometimes tricky, since you can’t always predict when a band you like will be touring. However, things like plays and symphonies are frequently accessible. Think about art museums or science museums that might be fun for you to visit together. Heck, even the zoo, aquarium, or arboretum are fair game. A lot of places have good winter deals in February(Like the Penguin Days at the Dallas Zoo!), so keep your eyes open.  Last year The Hubs took me to the Dallas World Aquarium and it was the greatest thing ever! Be sure to make it a destination that is unique to your partner and their interests and sit back and watch them enjoy it.

Music/ Vinyl Record – Is music something that you andyour significant other bond over? Is it somehow connected to your story as a couple? I think this is a great idea for a gift. We have a record player and enjoy vinyl records because it feels a little bit more intimate. I recommend something like Lovers [2 LP] by Nels Cline. It’s a mellow instrumental album that sounds great in the background while you and  your honey are mixing drinks(or your latest healthy recipe!).

Healthy Meal Subscription – Okay, I lied. This one is food. But it’s healthy food. The Hubs and I did Blue Apron for a (very) short time on gift cards from our wedding registry and we loved it! Unfortunately, it wasn’t something that was in the budget for every week, but it was a good way to bond and feel like we were having a special meal without binging on a ton of unhealthy food. On a lot of subscription services, you can start and stop based on need, so treat your honey to a week (or two) for the holiday.

Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)


Give a Valentine’s Day Gift that makes them feel special

Something you think they’d look great in – This is not, I repeat, not an invitation to be sleazy and buy your partner something that they would be uncomfortable in. You may go slightly outside of their comfort zone, and buy them something they’d never buythemselves, but don’t to it for your benefit. Maybe they’ve always wanted a certain look, but didn’t want to shell out the money to achieve it. This is your chance to help them out. Check your spouse’s Pinterest or Instagram and see what they like. Then go find it!

Time to relax- While scrolling through Facebook, I saw a comment made by a friend that read, “I have a six month old. All I want for Valentine’s Day is a bubble bath alone.” If your significant other sounds like this, give them some time to feel human again.  If you see that your love has been running ragged, take it upon yourself to schedule a little “me time” for them. It may seem counter intuitive, so spend time apart for Valentine’s Day. However, keep in mind that your significant other is not going to be able to enjoy your relationship if they’re running on empty. Book a massage, or a manicure, or just some time alone at their favorite coffee shop and send them on their merry way. Bonus points if you send them with a promise to have dinner ready when they return!

Creative Valentine's Day Gifts (That aren't food!)

Make your Valentine’s Day Gift something frisky fun!

Spa stuff to share – I’ve mentioned it before that I love a good couples bath.  I think that bath bombs (melts, soaks, bubble baths, etc) make great Valentine’s Day gifts.  Lush makes great bath bombs and melts. My favorite is The Butterball, but the Sex Bomb might be a fun choice for this holiday as well. Just watch out for the super glittery ones if your man isn’t into sharing a glitter bath with you. The bath melts are also really nice. They make your skin feel sooo so soft and sleek; great when you are your love are being a bit romantic.

Matching underwear- I’m a huge fan of this. The Hubs and I even wore matching undies on our wedding day (It was my something blue!). We get ours from Me Undies and they’re super comfy. They make your butt look great too! (and who doesn’t love that?) They are a little pricier than a normal pair of undies, but that’s why they’re great for a special occasion like this.

I hope you look at Valentine’s Day as a fun opportunity to celebrate your relationship with your sweetheart. Expectations and stress tend to make it a difficult holiday for a lot of people. It doesn’t have to be this way! Use this time to shower a little appreciation on your significant other. And if you’re single? Appreciate yourself!

I’d love to hear what you and your honey are doing to celebrate the holiday. Let me know in the comments!

Lifestyle Marriage

What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage

February 1, 2017
Yarnsley Lane - What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage: Notes from A Newlywed

The Hubs got married in November of 2016 after dating for almost two years. Before marriage, we had both lived with our parents. The Hubs had lived on his own before, but I had never lived away from my parents (I know.). Although we saw each other every day (perks to dating a guy who lives 1.3 miles away), we had never experienced life from the same household.

After we got married, we moved into an apartment 20 minutes from home; with an amazingly large bathtub and closet designated solely for guitars (Hint: not mine.). As you can imagine, the first month of marriage brought a whole new level of closeness to us as a couple.  It also brought a whole new set of challenges. We learned a lot about each other and about marriage in general in the first month as newlyweds. Here were the biggest lessons I learned in our first month of marriage:

What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage - Notes from a Newlywed

1.  You get that weird early dating tension again.

Oh gosh, he left the room. Should I follow him? Should I give him his space? Did he mean for me to follow him? Is it going to hurt his feelings if I don’t? You remember having these mental conversations early in your dating relationship? It was part of the fun, part of the chase, but man, the tension was exhausting! It takes time to navigate the newness of a relationship and find boundaries that work for the both people.Welcome to  the first month of marriage marriage. Get ready to do it all over again.

Just like in the early days of dating, that tension comes from the fear that the good feelings will go away. Maybe you’re afraid of looking too needy, or you are scared to express how much you care. You analyze every reaction and conversation for signs that things are going smoothly. As in dating, the newlywed tension phase passes fairly quickly, but in the meantime you get to deal with lesson #2:

2.Say goodbye to your alone time.

This might just be a me thing, but I need some serious alone time. I’ll admit it. I’m an introvert. When I was single, I always hated having so much alone time. I spent most of my time alone thinking about what I’d be doing if I had someone with me.

After the wedding, I swear I didn’t take a bath alone in the first two weeks of marriage. I’m all for doing things together (and I love a good couples bath), but during that first month of marriage I was aching for some space. Marriage will cut down on your alone time. Going from being independent to sharing a room and a bed and a bathroom with someone can be a bit of a shock. Navigating your newlywed life may have the two of you in each other’s hair for while. After the new wears off a little bit, you and your spouse get into a groove and it’s not quite so stressful. You each find ways to be independent,  or you learn to adjust to having another body with you in bed, on the couch, in the tub…

That’s okay, because you still have a lot of learning to do in lesson #3:

3. Just because your spouse is a part of your family, doesn’t mean they will act like your family.

We all get used to our family’s habits. We can predict their behavior and how they will react. We know what they will say in response to various situations, right down to the tone. Similarly, you respond to your family in certain ways. These are your habits.

While you probably know your spouse quite well, you probably don’t have a baseline for how they respond in each and every situation. Several times early in the first month of marriage, I found myself bracing myself for The Hubs to react like my father. I was always rather surprised(and occasionally often grateful) when he did not. Your spouse is going to act differently from your family. Embrace this. It’s a good thing. At the same time, carefully examine your actions and make sure that you are not succumbing to bad family habits (only good ones). It’s also good to stop and check your assumptions about your spouse, and make sure to ask them for their opinion before you decide in advance that you already know it. 

What I learned in the First Month of Marriage

Overall, the first month of marriage wasn’t as drastic a change as I thought it would be. In many ways, it simply felt like I was playing house. I always got the sense that, “well, this has been fun, but I better go home. My mom is probably wondering where I am.” Luckily, the human capacity to get used to things is pretty extraordinary and that limbo phase doesn’t last long. It still stays fun though.

Treasure this time with your spouse.

Don’t forget to breathe.

Don’t ever stop being in awe of your spouse and don’t forget to let them know either.