Valentines Day~Friday links


artist unknown

Valentines Day has always been my favorite holiday, I know many people look at it as commercialized or depressing, I am sorry that they think of it that way. I have always loved the idea that it’s an excuse to tell your loved ones what they mean to you.  I treasure memories of valentines past spent celebrating with my family as a child and with girlfriends as I grew up. My mother always made holidays special with crafts and cooking. And I remember hosting some great parties before I had my two sidekicks. One of the traditions that has endured beyond children is that Spartacus and I take turns planning a special date on Valentines. We alternate years for special surprises. Sometimes we have wonderful, creative and expensive (our trip to Belize sans kiddos) and sometimes we have been busy, exhausted and broke (last year right before the move to Switzerland).

This year I was so excited about the moonlight snowshoeing that I did last month, I was eager to bring Spartacus along to enjoy it too. SO for Valentines Day that’s exactly what we did. A mountain hike in the snow, lit by the moon and followed by a lovely dinner in a very authentically Swiss restaurant in the mountains. We were joined by 4 other couples and had a really fun night. I hope your Valentines Day was a celebration too. Here are some Links for the week- Enjoy!

  1. I have friends who I wish would join Facebook. I never really used it much until I moved away from the place I call home. Now I am not it nearly everyday, posting blog stuff and checking out whats going on in the world. I get your reservations, really I do. Here is a good article that articulates the dilemma perfectly- and makes a hopefully convincing argument why you need to get an account despite your reservations.
  2. This SNL skit saved my Valentines Day. My husband and I stumbled upon it on Monday and I think he got the message because thursday night he brought to me a beautiful bouquet of white roses from a lovely flower shop here in the valley.
  3. I love these wedges, I just wish I could find some reviews- they are rather high for me, what do you think?
  4. I am a base board fanatic- I really have a thing for dirty, dingy, scuffed baseboards. I used to repaint them every year (when we lived in a house for more than a year). This was made for me.
  5. I might have to make this one for the weekend. It looks irresistible.

Enjoy the weekend ~ oxox

p.s.- Do tell me if you celebrated Valentines in a special way…. I am always looking for ideas on how to make my favorite holiday more special and memorable.

Transforming grocery store flowers

My adoring husband sent me flowers for Valentines Day. He was out of town and had them delivered to me. In all fairness he would never have chosen this… less than splendid “arrangement”.

I quickly dismantled it and transformed it into a lovely little bouquet to set on my desk. Here’s how:

  • Select a different vase, something short about 6- 8 inches
  • peel off most of the leaves on roses and trim stems (see below)
  • peel off most of the fern “leafs” leaving only about 4 inches on top of a 6 inch stem
  • cut stems off babies breath, leaving it shorter than the roses.
  • I discarded other filler. I often discard all fillers, just depends on my mood. Roses are beautiful on their own in clusters. Since it is valentines day I thought the contrast of the delicate white babies breath against the red roses would be perfect.


  • Once in a floral arrangement class, I was told that cutting the stems at an angle and trimming off all the extra leaves allows the rose to absorb more water and use all the water to keep the flower looking beautiful longer, so I always do that first.

  • Put them in a small vase and voila- finished!


Charleston SC-Luzern CH (moving I)

I haven’t posted anything about our current transition to Switzerland since first announcing it at Christmas. I have been so busy doing it and trying to line up the details that I don’t want to bore you with my stress. As you can imagine, our house is currently in a state of disarray that is made livable only because of the excitement that motivates us to ignore the suitcases, boxes, and massive clutter surrounding us.  Over the past few months I have put my hands on EVERY item of “stuff” that fills our current 3000 square feet, and my husband sorted out the garage and potting shed. We have sold, moved, packed, stored, given away, and trashed everything. My boss at Sideshow Press, sympathetically shared that “the last 10% (maybe %20) is the hardest.”  I am almost to the finish line! We have found a lovely renter who moves in next week and off to the hotel we go, until the Swiss Visa’s (the long sorted ordeal that deserves a post of its own~if only I knew the whats and whys of this difficult process?) FINALLY arrive. I will be glad to have everything sorted out, packed up and waiting. I am deliberately exercising the power of positive thinking to convince our family that the final weeks here in SC (and the Hampton Inn) will be fun, free continental breakfast every morning before school might just get the kids moving quicker. I am also imagining it will be like living as a tourist in my own town:) After all Charleston is the number one city in the world to visit according to conde nast.

In case your curious- here are some of the preparations in progress.

Oh…and I’m in need of all the helpful packing, cleaning (I need to get this place spotless), and sanity-saving tips you are able to share! I promise to share all that I am learning right here, so keep checking back. We’ll get through this together!

Belize~a perfect valentines day

Dreary winter weather always makes me long for a holiday in the tropics. Last year at this time I was preparing for a fantastic trip to Belize, to celebrate Spartacus’s 50th birthday. It also coinsedentally coordinated perfectly with valentines day, So it provided The perfect way to celebrate both occasions.

Valentines day marks the last day of lobster season, So it is best to coordinate your trip prior to Valentine’s Day in order to enjoy this local delicacy. We scuba dive every day and would delight in seeing lobsters crawling on the reef floor, But in off-season they are strictly prohibited.
We stayed at a Wonderful and fairly new resort called Hatchet Caye. The island was about a Half mile in diameter and home to Less than 10 private cabana’s. We dined in an open air Restaurant only a few feet from the sandy beaches For breakfast lunch and dinner. It was fresh and delicious typical local food. The water was perfectly turquoise and the temperature was warm and sunny every day. I have never been anywhere that I thought was more like paradise. We booked our trip through LivingSocial and were delighted with the entire package, if you are so lucky enough to find it snapped it up. However painful price will still leave you convinced Of money well spent.

Once arriving in Belize city on a Delta, which was only three hours flight from Atlanta, we were able to quickly make a connection on a private flight down to our destination south to Placencia. The captain pointed out locally significant landmarks as we flew south and was delighted to share details about his country that he was obviously proud of. It felt more like a chartered airial tour than a commercial regional flight. He even pointed out his favorite gelato shop. We were then taken by taxi to the doc where our private “boat” arrive and quickly sped off toward the island about 12 miles off the coast of Placencia. The accommodations were beautiful, new, clean, and private. The service was impeccable, but casual. We spent most of our time scuba diving and were not disappointed! And when we were not diving the reef, we were snorkeling around the beach of the island, collecting conch and chasing tropical fish, sea turtles, & rays.

If we weren’t headed to Switzerland in a matter of weeks I would be trying harder to find a way to return to paradise. If you visit-tell them I said hello!

Where is your idea of paradise?