A Celebration of Love

So, for whatever reason I completely forgot to include in my last post that John and I went ice skating! We had both been before, but not together and not for a number of years. Since the rest of the week had been snow-themed thanks to the first snow storm, it seemed like the thing to do. It also got us in the spirit for the (then)upcoming Olympics. I forgot how hard it was! I can say without question that my best friend for the evening was the wall. It was a blast though and I loved watching John skate around while I hugged the wall alongside the five year olds. It made it even sweeter that our entire date night was a whopping $9 thanks to Groupon. We even snagged some free hot cocoa at Starbucks before we took the trip to the ice arena using a gift card. So, note to the wise- check out savings sites like Groupon, Living Social and the Daily Deal among others before going out. It can definitely pay off.

As you can see in the video above, I did a lot more "prancing on ice" than actual skating. 
I can't watch this without laughing. Keep your eye on John, especially towards the end. Who knew he could skate on one foot?

Snow came again last week, but this time John was home and it came in the form of fluffy dream-like snow rather than the scary kind from the week before.  After it had died down a bit, John went outside to take Henry for a walk. So, I tagged along and threw snowballs at them. It seemed like the right thing to do...until John retaliated and I took a few hits. It was so much fun though! See the video below.

Earlier in the week I received a package from my mom. She is pretty festive and loves the holidays (that must be where I get it from) and sent me a Valentine's package. It enclosed a new tube of Estee Lauder lipstick and moisturizer and two tickets for the Home and Garden Show. So, Thursday once the snow melted and the roads were no longer white, John and I went to the BJCC for the show. Since we aren't currently homeowners, a lot of the information we received will be of use in the future rather than now. We still had fun though and greatly enjoyed all of the free food and drink samples. We managed to stay Whole Life compliant too until John spotted free BlueBell ice cream. I'm going to say that I counterbalanced it by grabbing some free fruit for the road.

Thursday night I made a trip to DoDiYo's in Homewood for my friend Lauren's lingerie shower. Some of the booths, like the one our group sat in, have window benches and curtains that you can use to close yourselves off from the rest of the restaurant. I hadn't noticed them before, but definitely think it would be fun to return with a group and have a more personal setting for a dinner out.

All of the place settings had one of these pretties beside it. So cute!
On Friday, John's snow days at home were over and he returned to work. While he was at work, I planned to use the time to finish up my Valentine's gifts for him. However, when I woke up I received a surprise! When I went to brush my teeth I saw a rose in my toothbrush holder with a note above it from John. As I continued to go from room to room there were more notes and more letters. I gathered them as I went and then went downstairs to make breakfast, but before I could get to the kitchen I came across another surprise. There on the dining room table was a big beautiful bouquet of handmade flowers along with a candid shot from our wedding with a final letter written on the back. I was so shocked and in awe of John's creativity and romance. It was by far my favorite Valentine's gift ever.

As far as my Valentine's day gift for John, I gave him little gifts for the twelve days leading up to the holiday. Everyday when he got home I would give him a piece of paper with the day's gift. Each gift correlated with the number of days left until Valentines. For instance, on the second day (eleven days until Valentine's) he received eleven hugs and kisses and on the third day (ten days until Valentine's) he received a coupon for a 10 minute massage. He loved it and it made it fun to countdown the days until the holiday.

For his actual day-of gift, I made and wrote him a little book and gave him a years worth of dates. Since I didn't have any envelopes on hand, I made some out of construction paper and filled each month's envelope with a different date idea. Some months have simple ideas for dates while others have printouts and more detail. He opened this month's envelope and it enclosed a paper that said "take a trip to a local art gallery".  We both love art galleries and museums and since the Birmingham Museum of Art's Delacroix and the Matter of Finish exhibit opens on the 22nd- this month will be a great time to visit!

For dinner, we decided to stay in and make it together in order to avoid the crowds and spend more time with one another. The menu included peppercorn encrusted steak with red wine-butter sauce, sautéed spinach, and rustic mashed sweet potatoes with a side salad. For dessert I made a painfully simple but oh so decadent dark chocolate and raspberry pots de crème. I couldn't get over how wonderful it tasted for being so easy.

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Pots de Crème

1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
raspberries for garnish

Blend chocolate, vanilla and eggs in a high speed blender until well blended. Meanwhile, heat coconut milk on stovetop until its almost boiling (it should be steaming, but not hot enough to boil). Slowly pour scalded coconut milk into blender with other ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into ramekins (this recipe makes enough for 2) and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Top with raspberries. 
After we finished up our delightful meal, we sped off to Workplay downtown to catch a spot at the sold out Lord Huron show. I have loved those guys since they came into existence and after that show, I love them even more. Since we got there early, we snagged front row spots. I was ecstatic! 

This Valentine's is one to go in the books. I used to not like the holiday, but have grown to appreciate it and not just because I'm now married and have a "forever Valentine". It's about more than that. It's about celebrating love itself. The love that we have for others and cherishing the love others have for us. 


  1. Umm... where is the recipe for the steak and potatoes? Looks simply fabulous!