A Hand Made Valentine

There’s a tradition in my house. Every Valentine’s Day, since the first year I was born I believe, my mother has made my father a home-made Valentine. Always out of construction paper, sometimes with paper doilies, almost always featuring a picture (or 12) from the last year, and progressively more witty/corny as the years pass. We’re talking almost 30 years of hand made cards.

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Valentine Circa 1989 (I’m the shorty on the right)

It’s one tradition my sisters and I always look forward to. Usually pictures of “all of Daddy’s girls” make it into the card. The crowning jewel in the collection is the year we moved into the new house, Mom worked the lyrics of our family theme-song “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads into the card:

“and you may find yourself in a beautiful house”

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“with a beautiful wife”

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“and you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”

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Ever since my hubs (what?!? Still so weird to say) and I moved into our apartment I’ve carried on the tradition of making hand-made Valentines. I always look forward to breaking out the construction paper, glitter, scissors, and glue and rifling through the last year of pictures for a theme/idea. Lets just say this year’s is going to be epic (and easily 100 pages long). I can’t post this years just yet (need to keep it a surprise for my Valentine).

One of my favorites from years passed is our 5th Valentine together.

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They aren’t super fancy and polished, but they don’t need to be. Getting down and dirty with old craft skills and slapping something together is sometimes the best way to express your love. It’s also something to cherish forever. These Valentine’s are also great for a last minute “oh no I forgot to get a present!”

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A Little Cabin in the Woods for Lucky Number 8

I met the man of my dreams March 1st, 2005. Which means March 1st, 2013 was time to celebrate our 8 (EIGHT!!) year anniversary. Every year we plan a get away to escape our hectic lives, his fire pager, preferably hide somewhere with no cell service and just be us. We’ve done everything from an extended weekend trip to Montreal, to a quick 1 day overnight in Mystic, Connecticut.

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Hanging out with the Beluga Whale at Mystic Aquarium circa 2010

This year we were hurting for a magical weekend get away. And this year, for the first time ever, the future hubs did all the planning. I told him all I wanted was a quite place away from the world where I could bake all weekend. And my Pretty People, did he deliver.

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We escaped to the Catskills in the great state of New York to the most perfect little cabin in the woods one has ever seen. He even pulled some strings with Mother Nature and had a constant gentle snow fall all day. It was like living in the happiest little snow globe for the weekend. The cabin was originally built in the 1950’s, and recently lovingly restored. The owner, a contractor, didn’t overlook a single detail.

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The little square windows in the bathroom were by far my favorite

The cabin is brand new, spotless, and design wise it was perfect. Being a designer myself I appreciated every hand selected antique detail he added back into the cabin to fill the old/new cabin with some nostalgic charm.

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We definitely relaxed and recharged (much needed to gear up for wedding planning). I also baked some yummy treats so stay tuned for some easy and delicious recipes!

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Just like Two Kids in Love

Time for a little lovey dovey super simple date night idea. Since The Fiance and myself are basically on opposite schedules most days we cherish a night together, especially one that receives the coveted title of “Date Night”.

There’s no reason Date Night needs to mean little black dress fancy restaurant and dropping easily $100 for one romantic evening together. Sometimes you want to behave like two little school kids, complete with mac and cheese and blanket forts.

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That’s right it was a pj totin’, “Goonies” watchin’, blanket fort buildin’ kind of date. (Really is there any better movie to watch in a blanket fort than “The Goonies”?) Building balnket forts as adults is basically a million billion times cooler than 6 year old blanket fort building mainly because couches can be turned on end and moved around for optimal fort awesomeness. We also incorporated Christmas lights for a more romantic ambiance.

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The Mac and Cheese was probably the best home made style I’ve ever had. Recipe was thanks to Pottery Barn. I highly recommend you all to give it a whirl. The cheeses I used included Parmigiano Reggiano, Gouda, Montery Jack, and White Cheddar. I also used French’s Dijion Mustard with Chardonnay Wine, I secretly think that mustard choice added the amazing flavor.

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It was probably one of the best dates the two of us ever had. No cares, no worries, just an excellent youthful movie and a kid favorite all grown up dinner. Did I mention dessert was brownie sundaes with rainbow sprinkles?

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Yeah that’s right. We don’t mess around in this house. I highly recommend a regress-ful date night (or afternoon). Acting like a kid is some of the most fun an adult can ever have. And best part of blanket forts in your own grown up apartment? No “Dad” shows up at 5 from work saying “alright, looks like you had fun today now take it down.” That sucker was up for easily a week of enjoyment.

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