This Valentine's Day, I'm all about treating myself to a bit of well-deserved TLC. Whether that's buying myself a scented candle I've been coveting or snuggling up on the sofa with a favourite film or book, I'm more interested in looking after ME than in receiving chocolates and champagne. That's not to say that I wouldn't be delighted with a gift or two, but let's be honest, what we all need more than anything at this time of year is a bit of comfort and a whole lot of love. Here's how I'll be spending Valentine's Day.
Stocking up on blooms
I love treating myself to fresh flowers, especially if they are highly-scented – roses, gardenias, freesia and lavender are fragrant favourites. On saying that, I adore a simple bunch of daffodils. They remind me that spring is just around the corner, and as they're so affordable, I can have them all over the house! My local go-to for flowers is Jane at Graham Greener in Whitstable. Her shop is a treasure trove of all-things-floral, as well as gardening paraphernalia – flower pots, trugs, trowels and forks. The perfect place for plant lovers!
Surround myself with scent
Scented candles are a bit of a weakness. Nothing makes taking a bath more of a treat than turning off the lights, lighting a scented candle – or two – and lying back for an undisturbed soak. Bliss. I've recently fallen in love with Jo GB's Slojo Scented Candle, £65 a delicious blend of calming patchouli, lavender, geranium, cedarwood and labdanum. All Jo's candles are made from pure plant-based wax and they burn for up to 50 hours. A real treat, and so worth it.
Turn it up
Listening to music is something that I count as a treat. What's more uplifting than putting on something you love – turning up the volume – and singing along or dancing with yourself – or even both! I'll be honest. I have an eclectic taste in music, so I'll be revisiting some of my most-loved artists – I'm a huge fan of glam rocker, Marc Bolan – or getting lost in a film soundtrack. The Mission is top of my list. I love a bit of Ennio Morricone. Everyone has their guilty pleasure!
Light my fire
I love nothing better than to curl up in front of the fire. I'm going to stock up on wood (I always ensure that my logs and kindling are from renewable sources and local suppliers) for a cosy evening in. Lights out, scented candle lit, feet up – you get the picture!
A good read
I'm always running around trying to catch my breath, so what better way to slow down on Valentine's Day that indulging in my favourite pastime – reading. For me, browsing in my local bookshop, Harbour Books is heaven. I'll be reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – it's not a newbie, but it's been on my must-read list for years!
My favourite way to spend Valentine's eve? I'll be cosying up on the sofa with a few of my favourite films. I love the classics – I have a soft spot for Breakfast at Tiffany's and Love Story – and I can't get enough of Baz Lurhmann's Romeo and Juliet. Every time I watch it, I still hope it might end differently and that they'll end up together!
At the end of the day, a luxurious soak in the bath always helps me to wind down, taking me from stressed out to blissfully chilled in seconds. I've stocked up on one of my all-time-favourite indulgences. Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil, £49 with Vetivert, Camomile and Sandalwood essential oils for deep relaxation. It's the most comforting and calming bath oil I've used and a little goes a long way. The aroma fills the whole house when I run a bath!
However you decide to spend this Valentine's Day, make sure you put yourself at the top of the list!
Main image: Photography by Chris Craymer; Make-up by Frances Prescott; Hair by Sam Hoad; Styling and art direction by Karena Callen; Models - Inke and Neele Hoeper from M&P Models; Cashmere sweaters by Wyse, London; Location - Beachstudios.co.uk.
Lavender image by Brigitte Tohm