Celebrate Valentine's Day

There are so many wonderful and creative ways to celebrate Valentine's Day.  These might have some merit!

Unique Ways to Celebrate

Balloon Goodies  - Insert candy surprises into balloons before inflating them .  Add a fold-up Valentine's message then inflate each balloon. Tie with a red ribbon and attach to your loved one's chair for them to find Valentine's morning.

Family Affair - Have the children help you prepare red Jello with cinnamon hearts mixed in, mashed potatoes colored with pink food coloring, heart-shaped cookies and any other creative ways to present your Valentine's Day meal.

 The Gift of Time - Give hand-made coupons for work you can do to free-up time for your spouse, family members or friends. For example, coupons for chores, baby sitting or a romantic dinner.

Coupon Day - Each of you can create individual notes, say 4 or 6 each, to describe a special surprise - a back rub, foot spa, a bubble bath, kisses from head to toe, a special meal - fold up the notes and toss them into a jar. You can take turns having fun plucking a coupon from the jar and doing what it says.

Scavenger Hunt  - Prepare this one for your spouse or for your children to enjoy. Write up little notes about how you feel and what they mean to you and place them around the house along with a candy heart or other treat. Add a riddle at the end of each note about where to find the next note. At the last note, have something special waiting there.

 Less Fortunate - Visit a hospital or chronic care home to pass out small Valentine surprises to the residents. They will enjoy the care and attention from something so unexpected.

Alone? - No one special to share Valentine's Day with? Sure you have! You! Pamper yourself with a candlelit bubble bath, prepare your favorite gourmet meal and rent the latest comedy video. Or treat yourself to a day at the spa.  Plan for Valentine's Day at least a week in advance.  You'll find yourself looking forward to your special treats.

Picnic Fun - Place a blanket on the floor near the lit fireplace with candles on the mantle and have your Valentine's meal as a candle-lit picnic with a bottle of your favorite bubbly.

Valentine Notes - Little notes in their lunch boxes, on the bathroom mirror, in his briefcase, stuck on the car windshield, in his underwear drawer.  Or sneak a few chocolate kisses in breakfast cereal!

Write a Love Letter!

Long-Distance  - Call your a relative or friend far away and let them know you're thinking of them this Valentine's Day.

Do something just for you! - Give yourself a special Valentine's Day gift!  Give yourself something you have been putting off.

Love Potions, Spells and Charms!

(Email me and let me know if any of them work!  Even if they don't you'll have fun trying.)

1.   Perfume your sheets with sprigs of fresh lavender, a traditional herbal stimulant for love. Another magic-while-you-sleep technique: Snooze on lavender-stuffed pillows, or pop lavender sachets into your pillowcases.

2.   Dance with a broom to make your sex life better. This works only for women, according to The Supermarket Sorceress's Sexy Hexes by Lexa Rosean, and is best accompanied by sexy music and a romantic wish.

3.   Bake him a magic lovers' cake. To your regular recipe or mix, add a dash of cinnamon, a few dried rose petals and a bit of rainwater. And chocolate never hurts. (There's a recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry Torte below!)

4.   Make an altar of love with two fresh roses -- pink for romance or red for sex -- in the same vase. Before giving him a gift or a letter, place it on the altar.

5.   Give him flowers, but not just any flowers:   fresh daffodils signify deep spiritual love.

6.   So your man will never stray, give him caraway seeds to carry in his pocket. (Would a nice marble rye also do the trick? Worth a try.)

7.   Jewelry can influence love. Giving your lover an onyx ring can strengthen his fidelity, according to legend, while wearing malachite near your heart can expand your relationship and wearing rose quartz can help you attract a new love.

8.   Essential oils of rose, lavender and jasmine are said to inspire love. To make your own: Grind equal parts rose, lavender and jasmine petals; put the ground flowers in a bottle with some grape-seed oil and a dash of cinnamon; let steep for a few weeks.

9.   Make him a passion cocktail. Mix 1 1/2 ounces citrus vodka, 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier liqueur and 2 ounces passion-fruit juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a twist of lime. Serve very cold .

Chocolate-Raspberry Torte


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 jar (12 ounces) seedless raspberry preserves
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 pkg. (2 oz. each) sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
1 pint fresh raspberries

1.   Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9" round cake pans. Cover bottoms with wax paper, grease, and dust with cocoa powder.

2.   In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. With mixer on low, beat liquid ingredients into dry ingredients just until smooth; do not over-beat. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

3.   Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Grease racks. Run a small knife around edge of cakes, then invert onto greased racks, remove wax paper, and cool.

Assemble the torte:

1.   Slice each cake layer in half horizontally. Spread 1/4 cup raspberry preserves on cut side of each of the 4 layers.

2.   Whip cream with confectioners' sugar. Spread 1/2 cup whipped cream on each layer, stacking them to form the torte. Frost side of torte and pipe garnish around top edge with remaining whipped cream.

3.  Press almonds into sides and top with fresh raspberries.


However you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day

 fill it with people and things you enjoy!


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