Dad’s Ultimate Guide to a Successful Valentines Day

Seriously were does time bloody go? Never mind the fact that Ted is growing up quicker than I can blink, it also only feels like the stress of Valentines Day was only yesterday!

What present should I get? Does she really want a card? Am I going to have to write more than a few words? Do I need to get the kids involved? Will a John Lewis gift voucher be sufficient? Do I need to cook? What is it going to take to plan a successful Valentines Day? How can I make the day extra special?

All these questions cause the annual male headache but this year, rather than a straight forward gift guide listing 10 good gift ideas, we’ve created a genuinely useful post, containing the best valentines day ideas, to get you through what should/could be the most romantic day of the year.

Ultimate guide to a successful valentines Day

The first thing to get straight in your head, before you even think about any of those kinds of questions, is that, yes. Valentines Day is important to acknowledge and/or celebrate in some way. It doesn’t have to be showering your partner with rose petals, but in some way, you need to show your partner that she is loved by you. By the time kids come along the concept of dating, for many, is long gone and the notion of anything linked to you as a couple is a distant memory. But it shouldn’t be like this and Valentines Day is a great day to focus on each other, remember when, how and why you fell in love and travel back in time to the pre children days and on you both as a couple.

Now that we’ve got that sorted, time for the nitty gritty.

1. The Gift

If you’re going down the gift route, remember that you don’t have to break the bank. Sentimental gifts are often the most well received on Valentines Day, so spend some time thinking carefully about what to get. Usually I trawl through a couple of websites to get some ideas and then something jogs my memory and it pops right into my head.

Etsy is a fantastic website to get small bespoke jewellery and unique gifts at fantastic prices. There’s so many wonderful boutique sellers that there really is something for all kinds of tastes and interests. It’s also a really reputable site so you know that you’re getting good value for money. Take a look for yourself if you don’t believe me. I got Jen a small little locket on a simple chain for about £15 but when I gave it to her I put a tiny picture of Ted in it and she absolutely loved it!

On top of Etsy, I also tend to browse on Marks & Spencer’s gift sections, John Lewis Gifts and PrezzyBox because they often have some nice bits n pieces. I’ve found that buying a gift is far easier from these websites. Perhaps it’s the way they collate things, perhaps it’s just there style & stock. I don’t know exactly what makes it easier, but for me, it is.

2. The Card

Arguably, this is the most important part of Valentines Day. You do need to get a card and you do need to write in it; at least a few sentences. On a serious note, I’ve found that writing down how I feel is sometimes much easier and less embarrassing than saying it, so it’s a really good way of communicating how you feel to your partner if you find that sort of thing difficult.

Feel free to buy a card, but what would be even better is to involve the kids in this part. Ted made the card below (with a little help) really easily. Finger painting limits mess, is good fun, pretty quick to set up and the results are really cute. Making your own Valentines Day card with the kids is a fool proof idea that Mum will love.

Date Night Ideas Featured

3. The Frills

The frills are extra and not a necessity. The frills are what make Valentines Day that little bit extra special for your lucky partner and it’s these frills that will be the difference between your partner sharing her day with her friends, or not. The traditional idea is flowers. Here you have two options. You can go to the shops and chose them yourself, but this can be a hassle. Fishing through the buckets to find the least damaged bunch, peeling off the £3.50 Tesco/BP/Shell/Sainsbury sticker and then getting them home without getting water on the car seats or on your suit trousers.

LB59_Scissors (2)

Or you can pre-order and have them delivered straight to the door. But will she be in? Will it limit your day if someone has to be in the house to sign for and receive the flowers? I have a solution…I recently came across Bloom & Wild. A UK company who aim to make the flower delivery service as easy as possible through their apps and website. They send their bouquets in packaging designed to fit through the letterbox, and are a mobile-first company with an easy to use Android and iOS app. I’ve had a go on the APP and it’s a breeze. This modern twist on the traditional bouquet for Valentines Day could be the special something you’re looking for.

And guess what, you could win 3 months of letterbox flowers, starting with a bouquet of your choice! All you have to do is enter using the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can get £10 off your first order as well! Just follow this link and a bunch of gorgeous flowers could be straight on their way in a matter of minutes and delivered through your letter box for your partner.

Offer ends Feb 15th Midnight. One entry per person.  See full t’s and c’s at

You can thank me later ;)

Still within the ‘frills’ category, could be doing something a little out of the ordinary. I’m just gonna throw some ideas out here, and I’m not saying they’re 100% fool proof, but they might get you thinking:

  • Decorate the house/a room with hearts.
  • Write a message on every page of her journal/diary so she’ll have one to read everyday.
  • Leave handwritten ‘I love you’ notes all around the house.
  • Cut her morning toast or poach her morning egg into a love heart.
  • Make a photo collage and age them/turn photos black & white. There are loads of online places to help. I use all the time!
  • Turn the bathroom into a sanctuary. Spray essential oils, play spa music, light some candles and sprinkle petals. All women love ‘me’ time.

It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture but just something to make her aware that you have been thinking of her.


There are other frilly things you can do and they don’t need to be expensive. Take a look at this list of 27 date night ideas for less than £10. That’s right, less than £10 and some are even free! I think that cost often puts men off, but it really shouldn’t be a deterrent.

4. Hints n Tips to almost guarantee success

This is not a magic formula to guarantee a successful Valentines Day but these ideas will put you in good stead.

  • I’m gonna say it. Digital detox. Even just for the evening. Turn your phone off, leave it upstairs, put it in a drawer. It doesn’t matter how or where, but just get rid of it. I, for one, forget how much that damn device is in my hand. And if it’s not my phone, it’s a tablet or a TV remote or something. The truth is, she married you or had kids with you because she loves you and loves spending time with you. So without sounding totally arrogant, give her that. Undivided time & attention with you.
  • My wife and I have this rule when we go on date nights and it’s harder than you think. We have 3 things we are not allowed to talk about: 1) Kids, 2) Work & 3) Blogging. Remember when you were first dating? Probably before kids? What did you talk about then? Obviously not the kids, so try and recreate that a bit. Valentine’s Day is about you two; the kids have the other 364 days of the year!
  • The stereotypical man doesn’t often talk about his emotions. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have any. Give yourself time to think about them, acknowledge them and communicate them to your partner. Perhaps over dinner or in her card, tell her how much you love her and the reasons why. Open up and let the feelings flow!

With a little bit of planning, your partner could feel very special this Valentines Day. And one more thing, the fact that you can’t get out because of the kids, isn’t an excuse either. Here are 18 date night ideas that don’t need a babysitter!

You don’t think I could actually write a post about the best Valentines Day ideas without sharing a few gift ideas, did you? We’ve even got some suggestions that I just know you won’t have thought about.

  • Heart interior ‘toy’ bag
  • Heart leggings/clothes for the little one to wear on the big day
  • A cosy valentine or heart jumper for Mum and for baby. #Twinningiswinning!
  • Champagne – personalise it with a hand-chosen label.
  • Home interior things, like cushions or… stuff.

You ‘probably’ won’t go wrong with any of these bits ;)

Valentines Day is a mystery to many men and for so many, causes more stress than we’d really like. But it doesn’t have to. I’ll leave you with my biggest piece of advice, and that is, plan. Plan your gift early, plan your date early, and get organised sooner rather than later.

I wish you and your partner a very happy Valentines Day.


1 Comment

  1. Tommy 1 February, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    Great ideas Al. As usual, Jo says it’s just another day. True I guess, but it’s also another excuse to show her how I feel (not that I need an excuse lol). This year, I’ve got my mum to have the kids and I’ve told Jo I’m cooking her dinner. In actual fact, the plan is an indoor picnic (an idea I got from one of your blogs). Food, basket, wine and great company. She has no idea though, she thinks it’s macaroni cheese or stuffed chicken breast. Have a great V day yourselves

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