It's that time of year again! When all the romantic gestures come out and this overly commercialised day of love rears its head once again.
This year I'm taking Valentine's Day to be a serious reminder for some self-care. You may well be have struggled through January - miserable weather, fighting coughs and colds and feeling like you still haven't quite hit that stride everyone talked about for 2018. I feel you.
It's time to ease up on yourself and have a browse through my little treats that might bring you some relaxation, positive vibes and happiness.
Whether someone else buys them for you or you get them for yourself - Valentine's Day should be about love in whatever form!
1. Healthy delivery box
I'm always looking for new brands making products and services that keep me feeling healthy. I'm lucky while I blog and work with the Health Bloggers Community I get to discover lots of brands and sample things to see what I like!
But for something more regular and to get someone else scouting out the best of the bunch for me, I've spotted Irish New3Fit Box™ which delivers to the door. They've got everything covered from gym gear to fitness clothing, healthy snacks, supplements and even the chance to try products first before they launch anywhere else (which is what I love most).
2. Creacon Wellness Retreat vision
I've been in touch recently with the lovely folks at Creacon Wellness Retreat lately and I have become a bit obsessed with browsing their lovely offerings. Yoga, mindfulness, meditation and a whole range of packages are on offer at their lovely retreat in New Ross, County Wexford.
For Valentine's Day Creacon is offering the perfect getaway for two with 2 nights bed and breakfast, a massage each as well as yoga and meditation sessions. Take someone you love for a pamper!
3. Kapotasana Reversible Sports Bra
Always looking for new activewear to inspire me to get moving, this gorgeous sports bra would be such a lovely addition to my fairly plain collection so far. Just love the straps at the back - I'm always admiring others with these numbers in the gym!
4. You Were Born Rich by Bob Proctor
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Chris Pinner from personal training company InnerFit as he's a regular contributor to the Health Bloggers Community Magazine. We had lunch and I think could have chatted for hours about all thing health, wellness, blogger responsibility and motivation. This is what I love so much about this community, meeting like-minded people!
Chris said he's reading You Were Born Rich at the moment and it sounded really interesting. Sarah Akwisombe from the No Bull Blog School has also started a course with Jennifer MacFarlane, The Money Medium all about money mindset, and I wrote about valuing yourself and your skills in my last blog post too.
Feels like the universe is trying to tell me something...
5. Sous vide
My boyfriend and I are complete Masterchef addicts and if you're anything like us you'll know that most of the chefs on the programme use the sous vide for a lot of their dishes.
A sous vide is basically a water bath for your food! The one I got for Christmas from Andrew James came with a vacuum sealer too and enables me to cook food at a consistent low temperate and lock in flavours, getting perfect results every time.
Sous vides are brilliant for things like steak and fish, where the moisture is all trapped in with any marinades or flavourings you've added and cooked slowly so it never goes dry.
Apparently you can even make your own yoghurt in them, as well as veggies and infused fruit which I haven't even started on yet. Endless kitchen fun!
6. F45 membership
I am absolutely loving my 2 week free trial at the new F45 gym in Dublin at the IFSC. It's reminded me how much I enjoy the classes. With F45's infamous mix of cardio and resistance and the huge range of equipment you get to use it really pushes me to do things I would never try in a normal gym on my own.
Know what I don't love about F45 though? The price. It's notoriously expensive, and while I get that it's a high end membership it's just not something I can budget for right now. But if you've got a generous cupid then maybe you should give it a try...
If you want to know what F45 is all about, check out my friend Ciara at the Irish Balance who has written a whole review of the month she's been doing with this new branch.
7. Pink fleck hoodie
I own one hoodie. It's from my final year at university in the uni orchestra and so that makes it a 2006-2007 classic. It's also white.
So yeah... I could probably do with a new hoodie, and Gym + Coffee would definitely be my brand of choice right now. The guys have just celebrated their one year anniversary and are really going places (the US being just one!). They're all about community too which I just love.
8. Doctor's Kitchen book
He has always been kind, listening to my experiences and introducing me to people he thinks might be of interest to me. Rupy judged the Free From category at the Health Bloggers Community Awards last year and chose me as a winner, so of course that's another reason I'm a big fan!
Rupy is a straight-talking NHS doctor who's created this first book to help people kick unhealthy faddy diets for good. In the book Rupy explains the principles of healthy living in a fun and relatable way with over 100 tasty recipes steeped in medical science which are easy and inexpensive to make. Just up my street!
9. You Got This mug
I made myself a vision board for 2018 with lots of words and pictures related to how I want to feel and what I want to achieve in the year.
The idea behind a vision board is that by having it somewhere you see every day it's like doing tiny visualisation exercises every day, with the messages and images being imprinted on your brain they become something that sticks and starts to manifest in your life. For more on vision boards have a read of this article of Huff Post.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I think it's a great idea to have positive messages around you that you see every day. And what better way than on a mug on your desk? I love this one.
10. Ski yoga retreat
I always like to go big for one of my Wish List additions and this one would be amazing.
I'm lucky enough to be helping out Ceri from Natural Kitchen Adventures at a retreat this month being run by Tally Rye from Girl Gains which I am beyond excited about. Having a browse through Ceri's other work I spotted she's doing all the food on this immense ski and yoga retreat in Les Arc, France.
Twice daily yoga, skiing, massages on demand and delicious food cooked by Natural Chef Ceri. Errrrr.... yes please. Sounds like the dream.