Some say it with chocolates, some with champagne and yet both might not be quite right for the bariatric. Flowers always do it for me and I have enjoyed a day pass to a special spa with Mr B as a Valentine treat. This year I’m planning a special meal for both of us. I often peruse the supermarket meal deals in the hope of finding something suitable but look at the dumping syndrome or ‘love handle’ inevitability and then get my apron on. I may be playing cupid but I am not stupid! So we’ll enjoy a meal I know is special and nutritious without the later heart-break.
Guessing that you might be thinking along the same lines I have added 4 more Valentine gift ideas
for perfect presents to those we have suggested in years gone by (see our previous postings at the bottom of this feature and click through for inspiration). There’s a fabulous cheese package part of which I am using to make a lovey-dovey recipe which is outlined below; a heart-shaped walnut cracker that I think also makes a great stress buster since it’s so tactile in the hand, and lasts more than just the one year; and some tea which might sound boring until you look at its name!
Finally, we also have a special gift from us to you. For just 3 days only we will give away with every order placed on the website a special Antique Silver Tibetan Loser’s Bench Charm (pdf downloads are not eligible, one charm per order not per number of items ordered unless these are ordered separately). It looks fabulous, as you can see, on a bracelet but also fetching on a necklace and just as special on a key ring. It would make a lovely gift for a loved one, a special friend or even yourself – Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for self-gifting!
OFFER NOW ENDED
AVAILABLE 9TH, 10TH & 11TH FEBRUARY 2016 ONLY (see here)
* Order immediately for delivery in time for Valentine’s Day (UK only, overseas will take longer). While stocks last.
But gifts and spending money of course aren’t the full story or even real meaning of Valentine’s Day, so take a look at these ideas …
Before you get caught up in this whirlwind of nonsense, remember the maxim-as important in romance as in everything else: Less is more. Here are our top tips for showing true love, without spending a thing.
- Make him/her breakfast in bed. It’s a bit of a cliché, but when was the last time you did it? It really is a nice, special touch. All you really need is your beloved’s beverage of choice, the best quality of which you can get, and a small vase/glass/jug with a few hand-picked garden flowers. That. Is. It.
- This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday. Get your lover up early and go for a walk. Hold hands, chat, and just enjoy being with them. Easy peasy.
- Then go home and go to bed for the rest of the morning. (If you go to sleep, you’ve missed the point a bit.)
- Most people – women in particular-crave some time alone, especially if you have children or a busy work life (or both). Remove their phone, hand them a book (one they like would be good!), plump up on a cushion on the sofa and tell them they’re alone for the next hour. (Then-obviously-leave them alone!)
- A tip for men: You know all those scented candles you have cluttering up your shelves? Grab a couple, light them, put them in the bathroom, and draw a bath. Add bath oils or bubble bath if you have it. Ta-da! A home-made spa experience. (If you’re in the early throes of a relationship, join them in the bath. Otherwise-combine this with tip #4 above, and leave them to it.
- A tip for women: We don’t want to be stereotypical, but most men LOVE watching football (or whatever preferred sport) while having a beer. Without feeling any guilt. So grab a piece of A4 paper, cut it into equal-sized slips, and write “Bearer entitled to go watch the footy in the pub without feeling bad” on each one. Staple together, and hand over. Watch his little face light up.
- Go on-line. Fine a love poem. Get the ink pen you never use, and write it out. Leave it on his/her pillow to find later.
- Remember why you’re with this person. You love them. Now tell them.
Ideas courtesy of Balance Box
4 ideas for gifts when words fail you …
1. As mentioned above, consider a bariatric gift that lasts and has some usefulness … peruse our books, plates, bento box and gift packs that will all come with a free Loser’s Bench Charm (see here)
2. Will you brie mine? If cheese is your thing (and great for the protein and calcium) then choose the Godminster Heart to Heart Gift Pack. It pairs their signature Vintage Organic Cheddar with its handmade Organic Brie both in pretty heart shapes. Available from delis, independents and www.godminster.com priced at £17.45 (including P&P)
3. Perfect for someone with a nutty side to their nature. A heart-shaped Alessi Walnut Cracker that’s certainly a looker. Insert the point at the base where the two halves meet, then twist and – voila – the halves split apart. It works brilliantly. £13.50 from alessi.com/en
4. Kama Sutra Tea? I kid you not! No, not the kind of tea you might serve to the Vicar but gimmick aside, this sultry mix of cinnamon, orange and rose petals with a hint of pepper, does taste rather good. There is also a recipe for using the brew in a cocktail if you prefer something more chilled. £10 for 70g from East India Company stores or at eicfinefoods.com
My favourite is the cheese package and I have used the brie to test this recipe that would make a great light meal or starter on Valentine’s Day or a few days later.
BRIE WITH WATERCRESS AND BALSAMIC SHALLOTS
2 tbsp balsamic glaze (I used Waitrose brand)
small sprig of fresh thyme
11/2 tsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 handfuls watercress
75 g/3 oz Brie, sliced
about 10 chopped roasted hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F/gas 7.
- Put the shallots in a small roasting tin. Mix the balsamic glaze with the thyme leaves, oil and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the shallots, cover with foil, and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, basting twice during cooking. Allow the shallots to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Divide the watercress between 2 serving plates. Arrange the shallots and sliced Brie over the top. Scatter with the hazelnuts and dress with any juices from the shallot pan. Serve at once.
WLS PORTION: 1/2-1
V suitable for Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION: 225