What’s Not to Love?

February 6th

Heart cupcakes for delivery

That dreaded holiday is upon us when babies with bows and arrows descend from the heavens to send all first world consumers into a fit of bad jewelry (with stones harvested from brutal child labor in Africa), flowers (harvested by children in Ecuadorian factories) and missed expectations (set from childhood fantasies created by Walt Disney. )


How’s that for a cynical take at St. Valentine?

{Don’t stop reading. It gets decidedly sweeter in the next paragraph.}

beautiful pink rose

You have options. Valentines can either be a commercial day full of fake platitudes. A day of expensive gifts. A day that goes unrecognized. A day where you take 2 minutes to call your grandmas to say “I love you!” A day where you sit down with your toddlers and let them finger paint with delight because that is what they love to do, even if it is a pain to clean. A day when you can go out to eat and roll your eyes at all of those silly couples madly in love. A day when you can get sporting tickets and hope to be on the jumbotron for the kissing couples moment.

Heart cookie

What will it be?

Mother's Day in China Town

You know what my choice is. Last year I did the great Valentine brownie bake off and spoiled my friends. This year, I’m bound to show my love in handwritten notes, baked goods and mixed CDs. In doing so, I realize this is about me sharing my love — not about it being reciprocal.

feb12 017

Plus, homemade brownies and chocolate cake made even those cynical “VALENTINES IS A COMMERCIAL MADE UP HALLMARK HOLIDAY” folk smile and say thank you. (And, perhaps, even feel a touch loved.)

For those looking for a blingy Valentine’s shopping guide — a few favorites (without exploited children!):

– in gray or black, stunning

-hilarious and fun stationery

-Frida-approved quirky jewelry

-A book you’ll love

-A movie you’ll love


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Celebrate!, Journal
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11 Responses

  1. Well said! I hate the commercialized version of the holiday, what a waste. We’ll be making hand stamped cards and homemade cookies for our loved ones 🙂

  2. I love that you are chosing to celebrate by sharing your love. When I began doing this it actually became a holiday that I ENJOY!

  3. Those calaveras earrings are awesome! I love Dia de los Muertos stuff. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Great ideas! I don’t see the bag you chose when I use the link, but would love to see your choice. Ad I have loved all the posts from your vacation too, such an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Brava, Ms. Kelli! Thinking about you today and hoping your weekend was wonderful. Love this post and the suggestions, but must admit to drinking just the minutest dram of “The CoolAid” on the subject of Valentine’s. I admit it…the “bling” (unless hand-made or hand-picked by my buddies or family–including noodle necklaces from my nieces) doesn’t really make my heart do flip-flops, but I do buy into some of the heartsy-fartsy kitsch. I Love, for instance, delicious cupcakes with pink icing hearts (although my pants size, ahem…doesn’t), and wine and champagne and chocolate in all forms…NOM! And a sushi and movie date with my Honey…wooo. But simple things, like a little love note scrawled on the back of a napkin by the coffee maker from my husband, or a good belly laugh over one of yours or Finny’s posts, or a nice trot (that’s about as fast as I can go these days–see chocolate and wine) through the woods in Oak Glen with my husband and dog…THESE are the best things that really make my heart sing–and are honestly something I celebrate every day. Hope this doesn’t make you hate me..and I’m not saying “Come to the Dark Side” Kelli, but as many have alluded to prior to me…”We do have cookies…”. 🙂 *Hugs* Sweet Friend…hope your week is FABULOUS…

  6. P.S., your baked goods above are swoon-worthy, friend! 🙂

  7. Have you had a chance to see the movie “Julie & Julia” yet? If not, I highly recommend it (and not only because I’m a sucker for movies centered around cooking and/or making (edible) things.. I think I can watch “Chocolate” once a week, and not just for J. Depp, but mostly for the gorgeous, I-can-basically-taste-it-in-my-mouth chocolate being made throughout the movie – if you haven’t seen it yet, do it. Or, read the book.).

    I have no idea what we’re doing for Valentines this year, but it’s right around the corner for the Norwegian mother’s day, so I guess something might be scheduled (dinner, maybe, movie, maybe – or just an extra hug). Valentines hasn’t really gotten all that big yet over here, but you see it’s commercial side in the stores a couple of weeks before. But, then again, homemade stuff are alway better than the commercial sold-everywhere stuff (this generally goes for every occasion, really) – and I can’t wait for my little boy to make his first cards (although I think he might just eat the crayons if I try to give them to him now..).

  8. Beside, telling someone you love them doesn’t cost a thing……

  9. After more than a decade of married life, I’m still giving my husband a little love note every day from 1 – 14 February. That’s how I chose to celebrate.

  10. I’d love a handmade card from my loved ones 🙂