What I know About Love

I’ve not had a minute to write any of the usual blog posts about Valentines day this year. I thought instead that I would share with you what I have learned about love in my 39 years on this planet. It took me almost 32 years to realise what love is and what it certainly isn’t.

I don’t proclaim to know it all and I’m sure I will never stop learning about love. What I do know is that I’m grateful for everything I have learned even the bad bits.

What Love is

It’s being able to tell someone you deepest darkest fears and insecurities and knowing they won’t judge you or use them against you in the future.

It’s being honest, even brutally so at times and knowing that you can speak the truth no matter how painful.

It’s knowing that someone has your back at all times, even when you are being an absolute horror.

It’s being able to laugh together even in the toughest of times.

It’s believing in someone with all your heart and soul.

It’s being able to be yourself completely, silliness and quirks included.

It’s loving yourself first so you can love others.

It’s respecting and embracing each others differences.

It’s scary, exhilarating, passionate, wild and comfortable.

It’s totally unconditional.

What Love Isn’t

It’s not putting yourself last all the time.

It’s not endlessly forgiving hurtful comments and actions.

It’s not a one way street.

It’s not crying yourself to sleep at night.

It’s not something that can be bought with flowers, gifts and fancy holidays.

It’s not manipulative, abusive, obsessive, violent or jealous.

It’s not hiding who you really are or pretending to be someone else.

Dear Angie (by FrugalMrW)

This is a sneaky little post that FrugalMrsW my beautiful wife doesn’t know I am writing let alone publishing!

With Valentines Day rolling around this year I thought I would write a little something to let her know how special she truly is and how much she means to me.

Dear Angie,

When I met you I was a little lost, I felt hopeless, useless and stuck. I had no self esteem to speak of and very little confidence. I was living in my old bedroom at my mums house at 30 years of age and at the time I thought I was probably going to be there until my boys were 30.

Then I met you, and you hit me like a train. The moment I laid eyes on you I wanted to know who you were. When you smiled at me the room seemed suddenly brighter, crystal clear. I was still lost but in a different way and I didn’t even realise it. I tried to tell myself “no”. I didn’t believe it was possible that you would see anything in me, I didn’t believe there was anything to see in me.

Now its seven years later, nearly five years married and two beautiful children, and I am not I different person. I am the same person I always was underneath, and you showed me how to be that person. You let me be the husband you deserved, taught me how to be the father our children deserve, and showed me that I am not the person other people see.

I am my own man, I am the father I hoped to be, and I am your husband, from the moment I met you and for all my remaining days.

I am yours body and soul, always, no matter what.

Chris.

How We Are Celebrating Valentines 2016 On A Budget

I know that celebrating Valentines day isn’t for everyone but I love little occasions like these throughout the year, they keep life interesting and fun and you don’t need to break the bank to celebrate either.

I love to include the little ones in the celebration, it’s a great opportunity to have conversations about love and relationships, we usually do a craft activity and bake something valentines related as well.

Here’s what we have planned for Valentines day 2016.

The Little Ones

I like to buy the little ones a Valentines gift so I gave myself a budget of £5 each, I came in under budget by picking up these lovely things from Home Bargains.

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These gorgeous cuddly monkeys have velcro feet and hands so the little ones will be able to wear them or hang them in their bedrooms, they are a really good size and a bargain at £2.99 each.

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In our house a celebration isn’t complete without a little chocolate, these cute little lady bugs and hearts were 99p each.

Valentines Meal

We were thinking of using £10 from our budget to treat ourselves to one of the ‘dine in’ special offers that the supermarkets usually offer this time of year, but we have some delicious steaks in the freezer from our bulk meat order, FrugalMrW will make some homemade chips, fried mushrooms and vine tomatoes to go with it and we will treat ourselves to a decadent dessert as part of our shopping budget.

Entertainment

We will spend Valentines day as a family, playing games, decorating love hearts with glitter and sequins and snuggling up on the sofa watching Disney movies, when the little ones go to bed FrugalMrW and I will choose a slushy romantic comedy to watch on Netflix.

Gifts

This year FrugalMrW and I have agreed on a £5 budget to buy each other something, I’ve asked him to spend mine on flowers which he will buy early in the week to avoid the inflated prices and I will buy him chocolate which he loves just a smidgen less than he loves me.

I also picked up this adorable frame for 99p from Home Bargains, I have some free credit in my SnapFish account so I will order a photo of us and display it on our bedside cabinet.

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I will always think that spending time with someone and not money on them is what truly counts in life but it is nice to treat each other a little as well.

What are your plans for valentines day ? will you be sticking to a budget ? leave me a comment below I love to hear from you.

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Angela xx

Here are some posts I’ve written about Valentines day in previous years:

Low budget, No Babysitter Ideas For Valentines Day

Toddler Makes – Easy Valentine Chocolate Treats

Valentines Day Dedication For My Husband

Low Budget Ideas For Valentines Day

Chris and I have decided not to exchange gifts this year for Valentines day and it’s not because we don’t believe in celebrating it.

I wanted to focus this year more on experiences rather than things I’ve spent so much time decluttering lately that I don’t want to bring anything unnecessary into the house.

We also only have a small circle of people that we would ask to look after the children. They themselves will probably be busy so going out on the actual evening itself isn’t an option. So it got me to thinking about things couples could do to celebrate Valentines on a small budget and without the help of others.

The Sacred Gift Of A Lie In

A lie in is like the holy grail of parenting little ones, we mourn it’s loss and wonder if it will ever happen again. We berate ourselves for not appreciating it while we had the luxury. It would be a lovely gesture if you could offer to take it in turns to have a lie in over the Valentines weekend, totally guilt free.

Cinema At Home

Going to the cinema isn’t a cheap date anymore, it involves a second mortgage, a babysitter and taking a huge bag to sneak your bargain goodies from the supermarket in (oh, is that just me ?). It can also involve a very numb bum or falling asleep if you are a sleep deprived parent and then cursing the money wasted.

There are so many rent at home movie websites now. You have the paid subscription ones like Netflix and Now TV or movie rental services that have some of the latest releases on like Google Play. Movies are roughly £3.49 unless you want HD and watchable for 48 hours which is great if you do drop off during the action.

With some yummy snacks, the aroma from the microwave popcorn and dimmable lights. Without the buttock numbing chairs and annoying tall person who always sits right in front of you (oh, that’s just me again !) you can almost imagine you are at the cinema on a date.

Posh Grub For Less

If you can stretch you budget a little further you could enjoy a nice three course meal with wine and chocolates in the comfort of your own dining room for £20 or under. You could even keep your pyjamas on if you like.

Most supermarkets have followed suit of Marks & Spencer’s ‘dine for’ offer. Most are available year round on the shelves but I’ve seen quite a few tempting Valentines Day ones this year. You would definitely spend more than that eating out and you will be saving the cost of transport and the need for a babysitter.

Technology/Social Media Switch Off

Wouldn’t it be nice (or a nightmare in some cases !) to just concentrate on each other for an evening with no distractions like the TV, Facebook, Candy Crush and the other endless list of time and attention stealers. You could talk, cook a meal together or play a board game. As this is a family blog I will leave the other alternatives up to your imagination but you get my point, a whole evening of just focusing on each other as a couple.

Of course there are loads more low budget, no budget ideas to help celebrate Valentines Day. Have a search of Pinterest for some fun creative ideas.

No matter what you do remember to take a minute to think about everyone you love and how it feels to be loved back, in the immortal words of Moulin Rouge…..

 

 

Valentines Day Dedication To My Husband

The last couple of years Chris and I haven’t exchanged gifts on Valentines day, finances and lack of planning have all contributed, that and the fact that neither of us can actually think of anything we would like and that we could afford on a budget, so I thought what better gift than to write a little blog post about my husband and what his love means to me.

Those of you of a non-soppy disposition turn back now !

My Husband, My Best Friend

Chris and I have a relatively new relationship compared to a lot of people, we have been together 4 years this year and what a whirlwind it’s been, four house moves, numerous jobs, highs and lows and two babies !

I’m not going to go into details of how we met for personal reasons but what I can say is without a doubt is that when I first met him I felt like my heart recognised him, those of you that don’t believe in love at first sight won’t get it but those of you that do will know exactly what I mean.

We spent so much time in the beginning talking, telling each other every single detail of our lives, our experiences and we also chatted a lot of nonsense but that didn’t matter because I couldn’t get enough of his company. I told Chris things that I had never told another person, not one single other person knows as much about me as he does.

I had always been really hard on myself but Chris accepted who I was right from the start and this gave me the freedom to open up and really be myself for the first time ever, and what an amazing feeling that was.

Chris and I have been through so much in the last four years, most of it you couldn’t make up but it’s just made us stronger and more determined to fight hard for the life we both want and deserve.

We got married 2 years ago at the local registry office, just us and a few witnesses, exactly how we wanted it.

Chris works so hard for our little family, he works long hours and rarely has a Saturday off for very little reward, I don’t know how he does it but he very rarely gets down about it, I only wish I had as much strength and perspective as he does.

Of course we have tiff’s like other couples it wouldn’t be normal not to, the silly thing is they are very rarely about us, sometimes the stresses of the outside world creep in and we only have each other as a sounding board.

Thank you Chris for being my best friend, for listening to my worries and fears, for telling me every day how much I am loved.

Let’s grow old together, the best is yet to come………

Always

No Matter What x