Month: February 2016

Nice Stuff

Here in Dublin the sun in shining and I am feeling hopeful for Spring. It has put me in a good mood and I want you to feel the same. With that in mind I’ve put together a short post of things that are nice. If the sun isn’t shining where you are I hope the clouds clear soon.

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Fan of House Of Cards? Check out this Dublin version

This is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

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“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.” – Maxim Gorky

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An (Almost) Free Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and with it can come the pressure to spend a lot of money. The costs add up very quickly if you feel the need to conform to typical Valentine’s Day purchases. You may be expected to buy flowers, chocolates, and go out for dinner. On average people spend at least €100 on this one day! Usually unaware of how much both florists, shops and restaurants mark up their prices.

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If you want to do something nice for that special someone but are already feeling stressed about how much it will cost. It’s important to remember that doing something nice for your significant other doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you want to take this day to enjoy being a couple then all that matters is spending time together. Keeping that in mind I have outlined a day long itinerary, or a menu of sorts. That way you have the option to pick and choose whatever you feel suits you best. With the goal being getting to spend time and not cash.

Wake-up rested (free): If possible give yourselves permission to sleep in. The effects of getting a good night’s sleep are huge, from better mood to overall well-being. You don’t want to start off the day irritable and crabby, whether you live under the same roof or not decide to begin slowly. Remember, today is not about feeling pressured but feeling content.

Brunch (€10): Grab a few things to make something yummy you’ll both enjoy. A few quid spent on eggs, bread, orange juice or their favourite coffee is really all you need. To make it feel special it just needs to look special. Clear off the table, set it, add some folded napkins and viola! Special Valentine’s Day brunch at the ready.Country-kitchen-table

Fun and Games (free): Stress or the familiarity of routine gets in the way and couples can forget to have fun together. Take a few hours and play board games, card games or ask each other fun and random questions. Have music that you love playing in the background instead of the television or Netflix and keep the social media sharing to a minimum. Being present to each other means you have to keep the distractions at bay.

Head outside (free – €10, if you want coffee or hot cocoa): Although it’s the middle of February, walking hand in hand in the chilly weather can be fun and romantic. Grab something warm to sip on and go explore! Check out a park, or take a hike somewhere you’ve never been. If you cannot imagine spending time outside then just leave the house and head to a museum, an art gallery or pop into a pool hall and play some games (this may cost you, but only a few a few €).  None of these have a high price tag as many museums and galleries are free.photo-1417962779624-1790ed01e8d5

Dinner (€20 – 30): Heading out for dinner on Valentine’s Day is really where you can end up spending a fortune. Instead of being surrounded by strangers, enjoy the comfort of your home. Then you can say goodbye to set menus and the already mentioned markups. Why not have a romantic picnic on the floor? Or in a  fort? Lay down a blanket, some pillows, light a few candles and string some fairy lights. Remember if it looks special it will feel special! If you don’t feel like cooking or you are worried about your talent in the kitchen. Mix and matching from your favourite take-away will still be a small percentage of what you would be paying to eat out.

Gift Giving (Max €5): If you feel like spending the whole day together is not gift enough. There are things you can give that don’t break the bank and unlike flowers won’t need to be thrown out in a week. You don’t need to push yourself to spend more than you have. Here are some lovely gifts that prove it really is the thought that counts. Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 19.13.40

  • Write a poem.
  • Make a list of all the little things you love about them.
  • Print and frame photos of the two of you together.
  • Make a slideshow put to their favourite music.
  • Bring back the mixed tape (or mixed thumb drive).

If you were to do everything mentioned above the entire day would only cost €55! As you can see you don’t need to do something big and extravagant. The days we consider special are most often the ones filled with fun experiences. If you want to make this Valentine’s Day (or any day) memorable, show the person you love that all that matters is the connection you share. At the end of the day that is something that cannot be purchased.

“I want to be in a relationship where you telling me you love me is just a ceremonious validation of what you already show me.” – Steve Maraboli