Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

Happy Valentine’s Day 2017!

February 14, 2017

As we reflect on “love” and the important people in our lives, allow me to share one of my favorite poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise,
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints -I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Originally published in Sonnets From the Portuguese in 1850.


Love is in the Air!

February 12, 2017

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (on Tuesday).  Are you ready?  In case you are curious here is an infographic that show how other countries celebrate this event (and provide you with some gift ideas if you haven’t already decided).



Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2014

heart_shaped_lake_swiss_alpsWow, we are halfway through the month of February already!  I’m not sure why, but Valentine’s Day always seems to sneak up and catch me a bit by surprise.    Perhaps following the seemingly extended Christmas holiday season, February is just way too early in the year to have another celebration.  But you had better not miss this one or you will forever be in the dog house with your significant other.  Last month I ran across this link to an article that highlighted (via photograph) the top thirty heart-shaped lakes in the world.  What a joy to peruse!   Here’s an idea . . . next year, why don’t you plan a trip to one of these lakes on Valentine’s Day?   I’d opt for the one in Switzerland, myself, but you can certainly make your own decision on this one.  So many choices, so little time (and money, of course).

Happy Valentine’s Day, 2013!

February 14, 2013

There are quite a few romantic love songs out there, but my all-time favorite would have to be the Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers . . . Happy Valentine’s Day!  Enjoy!

Necktie of the Month — February 2013!

February 3, 2013

???????????????????????????????Regardless of your personal taste (and style) there are four types of neckties that no closet should be without: a nice conservative necktie (translation: boring, and yes, I do have a few that would fall into this category even though the majority of my neckties are more on the “bold” side in terms of color and/or style), the occasional “novelty” necktie (holiday- or theme-specific), the proverbial “power” necktie, and bow ties (you can take the easy road and purchase them pre-tied, or you could be a bit more daring and buy them untied — I actually have both variety.  But now that I’ve learned how to tie them, I’ll never get another pre-tied bow tie ever again). The necktie that I will be highlighting this month (solid red) can serve a dual purpose: it can serve as the ultimate power tie, and, it can be a great tie to wear on Valentine’s Day (coming up in a couple of weeks).  The versatility of a solid red necktie is also a bonus.  With the proper shirt and suspender combination, this necktie can be paired with just about any suit (black, charcoal, gray, and even some browns and tans).

Cheesecake of the Month – February 2012!

February 14, 2012

First and foremost, a very Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you.  And what better way to celebrate than with a decadently delicious dessert?  Since I posted my Red Velvet Cheesecake recipe last year, this year I’ll highlight something chocolate.

Hot Fudge Cheesecake

1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 Tablespoons sugar
6 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup butter
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs

1. Combine the first four ingredients and stir well. Firmly press into bottom and up sides of a lightly greased 7-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Set aside.

2. Reduce over temperature to 300 degrees. Combine chocolate squares and 3/4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.

3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 3/4 cup sugar; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared crust.

4. Bake at 300 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until almost set. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake cool in oven 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

5. Gently run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to release the sides of the pan and remove the pan carefully. Serve with warm Hot Fudge Sauce. Garnish (fresh sprigs of mint), if desired.

Hot Fudge Sauce

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels (12-ounce package)
1 cup half-and-half
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine chocolate morsels and half-and-half in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.

Truly yummy!

Happy Valentine’s Day — Part II!

February 14, 2011

Here are some “fast facts” regarding Valentine’s Day (courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau).

  • 1,317 = manufacturers of chocolate or cocoa products (in the United States) in 2008 (38,369 employees).
  • $12.2 billion =  value of shipments of chocolate and cocoa products.
  • 24.3 pounds = American per capita consumption of candy (2009).
  • 18,509 = the number of florists (in the United States) in 2008 (89,741 employees).
  • $18 million = wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses (2009). 
  • 26,683 = the number of jewelry stores (in the United States) in 2008.
  • $2.4 billion = the amount of jewelry store sales in February 2010.
  • 2.1 million = the number of marriages that took place in 2009 (5,800 per day).
  • 6% = the percentage of currently married women who had been married at least 50 years (as of 2004).

Have a special day one and all!

(Graphic is Courtesy of

Necktie of the Month — February 2011!

February 2, 2011

This month, the month containing Valentine’s Day, I will highlight one of my red neckties.  I do not have a specific Valentine novelty tie, so this power-red bow tie with polka-dots will have to suffice.  I used to only wear bowties with my tuxedo.  All of my pre-tied bow ties are either black or silver, have matching vests, and are much more suited to those formal occasions requiring a tuxedo.  However, I have now acquired several bow ties that are not pre-tied that can be worn on non “black tie” occasions if I so desire.  Learning to tie a bow tie was quite the challenge for me, but as with all things, it just took a little bit of time to practice.  Let’s tie one on today!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2010

Who was the original Valentine?  The most popular theory: a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome in spite of Emperor Claudius II, who felt that marriage weakened his soldiers. However, in A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages, and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers.

Here is a hodgepodge of facts, vocabulary words, and quotations to inspire your Valentine’s Day!

I’ve just listed a few here, but here is the complete web page devoted to Valentine’s Day  facts courtesy of the Census Bureau.

23.8 pounds
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2008.

The number of florists nationwide in 2007.

27.6 and 25.9 years
Median age at first marriage in 2008 for men and women, respectively.


\bil-ay-DOO\ , noun;
plural billets-doux \bil-ay-DOO(Z)\
1.  A love letter or note.
And, even though “cupid” is contained in the next word, it has nothing to do with the emotional form of “love” (but rather, the “love” of money).


\kyoo-PID-uh-tee\ , noun;
1.  Eager or excessive desire, especially for wealth; greed; avarice.

Here’s a definition of “love” out of the Cynic’s Dictionary:

“A dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species.”  (Somerset Maugham)