Motherhood

Giving Love at Home For Valentine’s

February 6, 2018
giving love

One thing I’ve always been absolutely desperate for my children to grow up knowing is that, though ours is a slightly unconventional family situation, they are completely and wholly loved. This has been one of those ‘make it up as you go along’ type things; there’s no easy way to explain to your small-sized kids that though a marriage might break down the children borne of it are still the most important people in the world, so I’m totally OK admitting that I play the ‘giving my kids tons of love’ thing by ear.

As my usual knowledge hack doesn’t work in this situation – i.e. Googling the hell out the thing I don’t know the answer to until I find a solution – I just go with my gut (as well as the above ear. And every other cliche’d body part). And that means heaps of cuddles, enough kisses to sink a Rom Com and the constant repetition of the words I LOVE YOU.

giving love giving love My Love twinning tshirts, £15, notonthehighstreet

As post-Millennial children of the celebratory internet age, mine have grown up with every single notable date being marked in a big way. Whether it’s Christmas day, Pancake day or a Tuesday we celebrate it in this house: we so enjoy being all over the occasions that make us happy.

And so for us, Valentine’s Day always seems like a great time to talk about all the love we have in our little family! Nobody needs an excuse to go Ga Ga over hearts and chocolates and I’ve always appreciated the fact there is a day to enjoy how much love there is in the world.

giving love giving love

Handmade heart garland, £7.50, Origami paper hearts, £49, Copper LOVE letters, £60, notonthehighstreet

This harks right back to when I was a little girl myself. Valentine’s day was always a family occasion, one that all of us would get excited about. My dad would send my brother and I (and mum!) anonymous love letters in the post (signed ‘your secret admirer’ with his left hand, natch) and take us out for dinner to celebrate. I remember on one of the loveliest Valentine’s evenings we had as a family he secretly visited the local restaurant we’d be going to later that day. He dropped off little gifts for each of us so that when we arrived at our table we all had something lovely waiting for us, again from our persistent ‘secret admirers’.

We always knew it was him, of course, but it was such a lovely way to celebrate our family.

giving love giving love giving love Which is why I love doing the same for my little family of three, and this year we teamed up with notonthehighstreet for their #LoveThoughtfully campaign – an initiative they’re running so we can all show whoever we care about a massive big dose of LOVE! I chose Elfie and Hux of course, because as much love as there already is in our house, we can always do with more.

notonthehighstreet is a place I shop frequently. It’s actually where I bought my boyfriend’s calligraphic Valentine’s Card last month (which I can’t show you yet obvs), and many brilliant small business women I know through Southwood Social Hub sell their wares here, too. So a couple of weeks ago I perused the site with glee to find some gorgeous products that we could use to celebrate giving love at home in style.

giving love giving love I spoke to the kids about how they’d best want to spend an afternoon just the three of us and it was unanimous: PIZZA PARTY. We’ve been having these ever since the children were weaned and it’s one of our very favourite meals to eat together. Mummy makes the dough – recipe to follow soon – and the kids pick their toppings: usually margarita for Hux and pepperoni for Elfie (I go garlic mushroom and ricotta).

This time we decided to go in a somewhat different direction and make a massive pizza for us all to share, though I MAY have had to repeat the old ‘sharing is caring’ adage a couple of times to get everyone to agree that it was a good idea.

giving love giving love I set up the table with our paper heart garland and origami from NOTHS, adding Emma Bridgewater heart napkins. We even dressed the part in matching Your Love tees, which brilliantly remind me of those friendship bracelets much beloved of my friends and I back in the late ’90s. Our new LOVE copper letters sat on the sideboard (where they will now live permanently – they are so clever).

giving love The three of us had the loveliest little celebration. Though it was pretty much impossible to get a photo where neither of the kids a) had their tongues out, or b) were doing a mega-cheesy thumbs up, it was so nice for us all to sit together and talk about what family love meant. Often in our day-to-day we get so bogged down in running from Brownies to birthday parties to school plays and playdates that we just don’t connect as much as I’d like, and it’s made me resolve to put at least a day in the diary once a month to do exactly that. Thank you to notonthehighstreet for inspiring us to #LoveThoughtfully – especially as it involved food!

I’d love to know if you have any Valentine’s traditions with your families. I think pizza is one that might just stick with us…

Thanks to NOTHS for supporting More Than Toast

 

 

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  • Reply The Pramshed February 7, 2018 at 11:46 am

    This looks fab! And we used to all get each other cards in our house when we were younger, but somehow moved away from that as we’ve got older. I think this year we will definitely get our daughter involved, she’s already been making cards, and maybe they’ll care for Daddy from here. Your pizza party looks great…..maybe we’ll do something similar. Claire x

    • Reply alice February 7, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      i love how children make cards on Valentine’s day. I think it’s such a lovely time to encourage them to think about those they love the most xx

  • Reply Becky at PinksCharming February 7, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Ah what what a lovely little party! Absolutely love thirst tshirts, I had a similar necklace to. And the copper letters are lush, they look great. We don’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day but I do they the girls I love them several times a day – to the reply of “You just said that” or “I knowwwww!l” xx

  • Reply EssexKate | Counting To Ten February 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I love Not On The High Street for interesting presents, I’m always browsing the site. I’ve totally forgotten Valentine’s prep this year and I’ve left it so late I think I’ll have to give an IOU.
    It is really hard to explain to children about parents not being together. I remember a few years ago talking about it with my eldest and she was worried that as I had stopped loving her Dad that I would stop loving her too. A really tough conversation because of course I will never ever stop loving my girls, but I don’t think you can appreciate just how intense parental love is until you have children.

  • Reply Jenny @thwbrickcastle February 8, 2018 at 9:55 am

    That’s such a sweet thing of your Dad to do – what an amazing memory and tradition. It is lovely to be able to celebrate with your whole family and he really set you up for that to be special for life :)

  • Reply Colette February 8, 2018 at 9:59 am

    This is just the cutest! I love those tees!

  • Reply Madeline (This Glorious Life) February 8, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Those t shirts are just brilliant, and I now have Whitney Houston stuck in my head, no bad thing! I loved the story about what your Dad did for Valentine’s day, it was just so sweet and thoughtful! Love notonthehighstreet too, it’s my go-to place for unique and special presents, I can always find so many lovely bits from there. x

  • Reply Kirsty Dee February 8, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Pizza is always a good tradition and I love the photos. I always find one of my kids will have their tongue out on photos too lols.

  • Reply Katy from Modern Mummy February 9, 2018 at 9:55 am

    LOVE the sound of a Valentines Day pizza part-AY! We have always celebrated as a family too, we have a Valentine’s breakfast here (it usually involves lots of chocolate) x

  • Reply Morgana February 9, 2018 at 10:31 am

    This is so lovely Alice. What a sweetheart your dad is! I love little family stories like that and carrying on traditions. Like you, notonthehighstreet I my first port of call for special occasion presents. You get to support a small business and buy something a little bit more special and unique. Win win I say! x

  • Reply Shopdealman February 11, 2018 at 4:12 am

    Valentine’s Day is approaching and you are squeezing every ounce of brain juice trying to come up with ideas for gifts for your girlfriend. Odds are you will find something that may perk your loved one’s interest. Starting from taking her to some romantic places to fix a table in a Romantic restaurant , everything that makes her happy should be taken in to account.

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