It's the season of love, and with Valentine's Day just around the corner, we know many of you will be scrambling to find that special something for your special someone. But finding the perfect present can be a challenge, and it's easy to fall into the same old tired stereotypical gifts.
Young Post is here to help, with suggestions on how to think outside the box (of chocolates) this Valentine's Day - without breaking the bank.
A bouquet of a dozen red roses is the automatic go-to for unimaginative romantics. It's a sweet gesture, but also boring. This year, instead of roses, get your date a more meaningful flower. Red carnations mean a deep romantic love - but don't get the yellow ones because those mean rejection and disappointment. Red chrysanthemums also mean love, and the yellow ones symbolise something precious. Daffodils mean both love and respect, and jasmine represents unconditional and eternal love.
Or you can get creative with your plant choices. Asparagus might not be as pretty as a rose, but it symbolises fascination and is a much more interesting gift. Combine it with lettuce - which means never giving up - and you can craft a bouquet with a message tailored specifically for your date, that also doubles as a salad if they get hungry.
Valentine's Day is a restaurant owner's favourite holiday. With set menus and high prices, they know everyone is going to be booking a table for two and paying top dollar for a romantic candle-lit meal. But you can find ways to make a meal special without spending every last cent of your lai see.
Instead of going to a restaurant, pack a picnic instead. Grab a blanket to keep warm, and pick up a selection of nice treats you know your date will enjoy. Pick a scenic park, or somewhere with a nice view of the city, and enjoy snuggling up as you share a thermos full of hot cocoa.
Or try making your own romantic meal - together! Try a cooking class like the Valentine's cookie decorating one at The Mixing Bowl in Central, and enjoy making treats for each other.
A box of chocolates is the most expected - and overused - Valentine's Day gift of all time. Instead of getting your Valentine a gift that says "I am not creative", try your hand at an easy alternative that instead says "I care".
Chocolate-dipped strawberries are also quintessentially romantic, but they're also incredibly easy to make. And that handmade touch is what really counts when it comes to romance and love. All you need to do is melt some chocolate in a bowl in a microwave, dip the strawberries, and set them on a baking tray in the fridge to cool.
Get creative with dark or white chocolate, or add some heart-shaped sprinkles for extra love. Going the extra mile to make treats yourself will not only impress your date, but also saves you money.
Along with roses and chocolates, the go-to Valentine's gift is heart-shaped jewellery. But not everyone likes wearing their heart on their sleeve - or around their neck, fingers or dangling from their ears.
Instead of getting a clichéd piece of jewellery anyone could buy, make something yourself that will be truly unique for the special person in your life. Pei Ho Street in Sham Shui Po is the perfect place to find the beads, chains and tools you need to craft your own accessories and make your own statement piece.
If you don't have a clue where to start when it comes to designing or making your own things, try taking a glass art workshop (check out www.rubywooglass.com where you can learn to make your own special glass pieces for your Valentine.