With just a few days to go until the official day of love, there are many individuals sweating it out for being, well, lazy losers and not using foresight.
Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day – they all fall on the same date EVERY year so it pains us to have to help you out but here’s a list of some nifty ‘get out of jail free cards’ that might just save your bacon!
1) The Mulberry Metallic Leather Mini Lily Bag, £350, Houser of Fraser – okay, it’s not cheap and it holds virtually nothing but this is one stylish evening bag that she’ll get years out of.
2) Stay at home, cook your own and show her that you respect her healthy eating plan. The ‘one day won’t kill you’ attitude might not sit well but if you make something with her high protein, low carb meal plan in mind you might just be on to a winner.
Local company, www.thatprotein.com has mustered up these Blissful Raw Cacao Protein Hearts with Strawberry Chia Jam
Free from refined sugar and packed with protein, this recipe serves up 12 small moulds.
· 240g quartered fresh strawberries
· 100g water
· 1/2 teaspoon Palmyra Jaggery
· 14g chia seeds
· 120g cacao butter pieces or chips
· 120g That Protein’s Blissful Brown Rice and Raw Cacao Super Protein
· 50g Palmyra Jaggery
· Himalayan salt, optional garnish
Add the strawberries, palmyra jaggery and water to a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth then in a container combine the chia seeds and the strawberry mixture. Whisk together, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to thicken.
Once the strawberry chia jam has thickened, make the dark chocolate by melting the cacao butter in a double-pan over medium heat. Once it’s melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the That Protein Blissful Brown Rice and Raw Cacao Super Protein and palmyra jaggery until smooth.
Grab your moulds (you can use a muffin tin otherwise!) Pour 1 teaspoon of the dark chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
Drop 2½ teaspoons of the strawberry chia jam into the centre of the protein chocolate and carefully spread it. Pour heaping tablespoons of the protein chocolate mixture over the chia jam, using up all of the chocolate. Let is set in the freezer for another 20minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt. It keeps best in the fridge.
For more recipes see www.thatprotein.com
3) Wherever I Wander Wellington Boots , £35 and these Warm and Toastie Grey Welly Socks, £20 from www.storyhorse.com are the perfect accessory for a wintry walk in NI – which you’ll map out for her and afterwards treat her to a pub lunch. Double up with some festival tickets to really show her that she has good reason to own these babies.
4) Explore some of NI’s stunning locations that are offering an alternative loved up experience. Why not have a go at making a Lovers’ Knot to give to your sweetheart as part of the Valentine’s Day celebrations at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh. Afterwards soak up the romantic lakeside surroundings at Otter Lodge in Cookstown or make your way to the secluded picturesque village of Donaghmore for a meal at The Brewer’s House, which mixes the best of pub food with touches of contemporary cuisine.
5) If she’s a fan of Queen Bey then get on the ball quick and treat her to what will be one of Beyonce’s biggest concerts here yet. Taking place on July 9th at Croke Park, Beyonce’s Formation World Tour is the perfect ticket alongside a night’s stay at a hotel, meal out and of course let her chose her plus one… From £84.99 at http://www.getmein.com/tickets/beyonce-tickets/dublin-292958.html
6) One of the most rosemantic movies of all time, Ghost, is a favourite gusher for those into their weepies. Okay, Swayze’s character died in it but still! Ghost the Musical in all its theatrical glory is coming to the Grand Opera House this October from Tuesday 11th – Sunday 16th. Tickets cost £15.25 – £30.75.
7) For the unromantics, throw in a bit of humour and indulge her sweet tooth with this cracker wee number. £9.99, gettingpersonal.co.uk
8) For last minute availability on some food and stay packages, treat her to a night in at one of our stunning NI hotels. They’re all packaged up to accommodate most budgets and you’ll find them at http://visit-belfast.com/stay-in-belfast/special-offers We’ll take the Merchant’s package from £400 please. It includes one night B&B with Champagne and chocolates on arrival, as well as hydrotherapy, a five course meal in The Great Room and rose petal turndown.
9) You can never go wrong with an ASOS voucher. Treat her to a homemade breakfast in bed, iPad or tablet and allow her to shop from her slumber! www.asos.com
10) And finally, give your aspiring pro chef a subscription to Simply Cook’s recipe boxes (www.simplycook.com) where the essential spices and recipes for some of the world’s favourite dishes are delivered to her door. You might very well benefit from the meal for two portion sizes!