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Posts tagged Valentine’s Day

Recipes to Make Valentine’s Day Sweet

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, so we thought that it was only appropriate to gather up a few recipes to celebrate the day.   We have begun a search for some ideas for dinner and dessert for you to share with the ones you love.

I don’t know about you, but I always think of pasta as a romantic dinner.  Maybe I watched “Lady and the Tramp”  too many times as a child, but I know that I’m not alone in thinking that pasta dishes are romantic.   Here are a few recipe selections from around the web that I thought might be nice for Valentine’s Day.

  •  Shrimp in Love Pasta–This recipe for Kraft Foods is very creamy and delicate.   It was featured on their site a few years ago as the perfect Valentine’s dinner for your sweetheart.  shell pasta baked in a creamy cheese sauce wtih added shrimp and spinach
  •  Baked Shrimp and Shells–This is similar to the first selection, but is baked in a casserole dish instead.

Garlic Cheese-Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Any of these pasta dishes served with a delicious salad would make a delicious and well balanced meal.

Of course, no romantic dinner is complete without dessert.  I think that chocolate is the perfect solution, so I have selected four chocolate dessert ideas for finishing off your meal.

If you want something that isn’t chocolate, this recipe for a pink lemonade bundt cake looks delicious, or you can check out this list of Valentine’s day treats.  These recipes are so simple that you can even make them with your kids.

We hope that you like our suggestions.  What is your idea of a perfect romantic dinner? Leave a comment below and let us know.

15 Ways to Create a Fun Valentine’s Day with Family and Pets

Vintage, Antiques, and Candy

Sugar Shack

Valentine’s Day, that special day of the year for celebrating love and romance, will be here soon. Stores such as Sugar Shack in Oro Grande, a community in California’s Mohave Desert, are getting prepared.

Sugar Shack is a candy store plus vintage pieces and antiques. I saw an adorable sign for grandparents on their Facebook page today that says “GRANDPARENTS’ HOME ALWAYS OPEN”. Valentine’s Day can be fun for everyone. A typical gift on February 14th may include candy gift wrapped in red or pink with hearts. However, it’s okay to get creative with your list of things to give. When you think of love, what do you think of? Your beau? Spouse? Children, grandchildren? How about a pet?

Valentine's Day pets

Dress up your pet for Valentine’s Day


Here is a fun shopping list of gifts and things to do as you prepare to make this Valentine’s Day the best ever:

  1. Wrap candy in a festive bag, and tie ribbons with a key
  2. Give a gift of flowers to plant in a garden.
  3. Enter a Valentine’s Day give-away contest (hint: Sugar Shack and a shop next door, Silver Trails, are each giving away a basket of goodies and gifts).
  4. Go to an Improv Show.
  5. Make your own candlelight dinner at home.
  6. Buy your pet a big pretty red or pink bow (or tie for the male gender pet).
  7. Wrap up purple or pink stationery to give to your young daughter who loves to write (my parents did that for me one year — I was thrilled and have never forgotten it).
  8. Purchase a fancy vintage sugar container and fill it with red hots (hint…you might find something like this in the Silver Trails basket).
  9. Take your dog for a walk and treat both of you with treats.
  10. Surprise your hubby or wifey or significant other with a basket filled with bubble bath, candle, favorite CD, chocolate, favorite magazine, almonds, and berries.
  11. Give your granddaughter a red or pink outfit for Valentine’s Day, a pink ball — and bounce the ball outside with her.
  12. Give your grandson a red cap, red ball, and red car (a toy one preferably unless you’re up to buying a car for your older grandson) — and go outside with him to play ball.
  13. Cook a special breakfast that includes the favorite foods of your spouse and children.
  14. Give your pet a new toy.
  15. Treat yourself to dessert!

If you choose some of the listed items above for your Valentine’s Day plans, I’d love to hear from you. Share your Valentine’s Day fun and creative experience in the comment section provided.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


By Guest Blogger Mary Thompson



Poetry Contests

            The poetry you write and like will be viewed subjectively. For example, some people love only rhymed poetry, and some prefer modern or free verse that doesn’t rhyme. For either, what judges look for is a poem that is crafted and original. For instance, if you rhyme, are your ending words conventional or what you see and hear in music all the time (love, above, dove)? Remember, music can hide what is common, while plain words cannot. Do the lines flow naturally or does the rhyme seem forced?

            When I want to rhyme, I feel more comfortable with a traditional form, like the sonnet. Here’s the beginning of one I wrote after September 11th, “The Waste Land Revisited”:


Mr. Eliot, with all due respect,


April is no longer the cruelest month.


It’s September that we will recollect


As the time we created a new front,


Notice that “month” and “front” are not exact rhymes, but what is known as “slant” rhyme.


           How do we craft free verse, especially since it sometimes sounds like it came full blown out of the author’s head and so must be their first, inspired draft?  The best have been sculpted, returned to again and again after leaving the poem and coming back to it. Many have another poet read or critique their work. Here are five tips to consider:

  1. When I read it out loud, how does it sound? Does it flow?
  2. Do I use strong, concrete, unique images or do I have words that are too abstract, that one can’t touch or feel, words like “love,” “death,” “pain”?  The theme of a contest may be abstract, but your poem should not be.
  3. Does your poem say something about life in a new, condensed way, like a snapshot?
  4. Are the words at the end of each line strong words? Although some poets do it, try not to end lines with “a” or “the” with the thought carried to the next line.
  5. Have your last line be as strong as you can make it. Your reader has been waiting for it.In my poem, “Butterflies Alive,” the poet meets with a young girl, mid poem:“A girl with hairin simple cornrowsreads the sign that saysthey live for only a week or two.She confides, ‘I’m afraid of dying.’”

         There is a reason for ending each line where it ends. I describe the girl in concrete terms, but simply. The reader can read the sign along with the girl and poet, a sign that gets to the heart of the poem.


         Remember, from an image or concrete object, a beautiful, original poem can from you. Happy writing, and best wishes when you enter those contests.




See February 2014 poetry contest details at


Honoring Veterans on Valentine’s Day

Love & Marriage WWII

I changed up a couple of shelves on my baker’s rack the other day to bring in a Valentine’s touch and felt comforted by placing a particular photo with a theme of pink and family. The photo is one of my parents during the World War II era. My parents were married in June 1943, and Dad soon went overseas to serve in the Office of Strategic Services. They spent nearly 65 years together. Since Mother’s death in 2008, Dad has expressed how different it is without her. He often speaks of how he loved her and that she was the only girl he was ever really in love with.

Last night I spoke with my WWII veteran dad on the phone, and he reminisced of his war days when he was putting out fires in London. Our conversation was one of those remarkable times that Dad told me yet another story I had not heard before. He and his WWII cohorts already gave me their memoirs that were published in a book, Phantom Seven. This most recent story he shared was about the caring treatment he and other soldiers received from the British people during the London Blitz . The British invited them in their homes for meals and a place to sleep. Veterans are honored at special times of the year but usually not on Valentine’s Day. This month, however, the United War Veterans Council is encouraging people to honor veterans during February, a time most veterans may feel forgotten.

Think about the veterans like Dad that you know who are in their 80’s or 90’s and have lost their beloved sweethearts they spent a lifetime with. Recognize them on Valentine’s Day. They might not have need of much material things, but they have need of one thing. Conversation. They love telling their stories to someone who is genuinely interested.You will be rewarded by the inner feeling of making a veteran feel loved on Valentine’s Day.

May you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Visit Pink Saturday and see lovely home, garden, and gift ideas for your Valentine!

The Pink of Love








WWII to the '70s

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