Valentine’s Day

In Photos: Our Valentine’s Soirée


Be You



Day Fourteen: Be You. No matter how you celebrate this day, be yourself. Because you are Be-You-tiful!


Happy Valentine’s Day! Well, we did it! Fourteen days of romance, ideas, and inspiration. I can’t wait to do it again… next year!

This morning my son handed me his handmade Valentine: full of his heart. And it reminded me, once again, that the most important thing we can do for those we love, is to bring our best selves. If we’re not, we’re missing out!

As you can imagine, I have a lot to say about that topic. But this morning I found out that we have surprise visitors coming tomorrow: so in the midst of our Valentine plans today,  I need to clean up all the mess fun I’ve had in the past 14 days. Our house looks like a cherub exploded. *wink*  So, I’m going to go focus on those things: family first.

But I want to let you all know: you really are amazing. I hope you have a lovely and romantic Valentine’s Day!


Ding Dong Dashing the Neighbors



Day Twelve: Ready to “Ding Dong Dash” the neighbors on Friday! 

Ok, almost ready! Geo, bless his soul, made handmade caramels for family and friends last night — my job today was to wrap them up and assemble little care packages. I had cut all all the wax paper,  assembled all the ribbon and cello, and made one package when my day said, “Hello, other plans!”  

Who knew Wednesday could be so pushy? 



So, guess who will be wrapping up these babies tonight and tomorrow? Yeah, this girl!

If making caramels isn’t your thing (and I tried, the kid won’t give up his “secret” recipe) and you don’t have an adorable college student to talk into doing the job for you, this little package works just as well with store bought candy or cookies or really anything you’d want to leave as a gift! You can make these door packages in 3 easy steps!



  • Candy
  • Cellophane
  • Ribbon
  • Wire Garland 


  1. Cut out a large square of cello. I just plop whatever I’m wrapping up on the roll of cello and cut a square that will give me a bit of extra at the top.
  2. Tie closed with ribbon of your choice. 
  3. Cut a piece of wire garland (about 15″). Create a “loop” by twisting it closed at about 3-4″ from the ends. Then twist those ends around your package where you tied your ribbon. And that’s it.

Now the hard part: leaving them on your neighbor’s door without getting caught. Good luck! 

Pie Crust Valentine Cookies

Pie Crust Valentine Cookies


Day Seven: Be Sweet — Pie Crust Cookies

Hello friends. We’re still snowed in here and we’ve been joying watching the Olympics and keeping the fire going in the fireplace. So cozy! After stocking up on provisions yesterday (we’re waiting for the 3rd part of this storm to hit later today), I decided to bake some lovely hand pies for us to enjoy during the Opening Ceremony.  I’ll post those later, but I thought I’d share what I did with scrap pie dough.



When IZ was a child, his mother used to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on pie dough scraps when she made pie. He remembers those bits fondly and usually asks, “What are you going to do with the scraps?” (hint hint) so, I love experimenting and making these little cookies for him.  And they’re so versatile! I rarely make them same way twice. This time, I used dried dates and semisweet chocolate, but you can use any dried fruit/nut/or chocolate combination. The trick is to finely chop up your fillings –especially if you’re using smaller cookie cutters. The finer the ingredients, the better they incorporate into the dough and the easier it is to cut your cookies. 

I had left over apricot jam glaze, so I used it on these cookies. But you can also glaze them with an egg white and sprinkle sugar on top. Or, leave them plain. 

Use heart cookie cutters or, if you’re in a rush, you can block the pie dough and cut little squares or rectangles. These make cute dunking cookies for tea!

Continue reading →

Romance is Remembering



Day Six: For you procrastinators,  free printable  adult Valentines via Camille Styles.

Despite all my posts about romance this week, the heart of intimacy really isn’t about the gifts you give or the how they’re wrapped. It’s about connecting with your loved one at a deeper level: and that means romance can take on lots of different forms. One of my favorites is something I call a “Remember When Walk.”

It’s nothing formal we do, although that would work too. But, sometimes when IZ and I are walking the riverfront, we fall into a pattern, “Remember when. . . ” one of us will say and then begin to share a memory that binds us. We ping pong back and forth, reweaving the connective threads of our combined story. After nearly 30 years of friendship and love, there’s a lot of story to recall. 

We remember the beauty: a baby born, a favorite trip to our beloved Santa Barbara, a cherished moment when we felt connected and loved. We recall the hard times: babies lost, moves and changes, the times when we felt most distant from each other. And we retell all the tiny little “inside” jokes that would make no sense to anyone but us –yet make us laugh, over and over again. 

Here’s the thing, though — sometimes, I don’t remember when. IZ will share something and the memory isn’t fresh for me. Or even recognizable! For whatever reason, what stood out to him about a particular time didn’t find its way into my memory bank. In the early years, this would have hurt some feelings. Especially on my part. Feeling like we should share the same memories, that somehow we might not be on the same page if we hadn’t prioritized the same set of moments.  But through the years I’ve learned what a gift it is that we are so different! In these rare moments, I get to see the world differently than I normally would: through his eyes, his memories. And his point of view never ceases to amaze me! 

We have both learned to ask the deeper questions, “What made you remember that?” “What about that moment was important to you?” Even “What on earth brought THAT up?” In the process, we’ve learned more about each other; because here’s another thing — it’s always MORE than the memory. There’s always another thread to the story, waiting to be told. Waiting to be remembered. When you look deeper and ask those questions, you learn something (often something new!) about this person walking beside you. Every time! What you learn becomes another reason to love this person walking beside you. And if you need a reason to fall in love again, remembering how you did so in the first place is an excellent way to begin. 

So, this Valentine’s Day–I encourage you to consider taking a long walk to remember when. No matter the length of your relationship or the depth, your story is one worth remembering, repeating, and in the end, rejoicing over. You found each other. And that’s something worth celebrating. 

Need some help? Here are some questions to get the ball rolling: 

  • Do you remember when you knew, for certain, that I was the one?
  • Remember our first fight? (have a good laugh at the hard times… or a good weep!)
  • Remember when we decided to have babies together?
  • What do you think has been the biggest obstacle we’ve overcome together? 
  • Remember our first kiss?
  • Remember when. . . (I bet you can fill in this blank!)

PS: sometimes, this is a lot of fun to do while holding hands. Which, as it turns out, is also a romantic thing to do!