My Little Valentine

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” Elizabeth Stone

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Wyatt and I are gearing up for Valentine’s Day! I’m thrilled to have more love to celebrate with this year. We happened to realize we were watching in our red and white the other day, so we decided to take a few photos.

The valentine in the photo is a valentine that my 90-year-old Pop-Pop received as a child. My mom has a whole collection of them.

I then I decided to do a slight blog logo re-design. I haven’t updated this space since I started this blog 3 years ago – – – what do you think?  overallsvday4 overallvday6 overallvday7

Happy Weekend everyone!

Celebrating Love

Female hands in white knitted mittens with a entwined vintage ro

Valentine’s Day gets a lot of grief for being a money-making “Hallmark Holiday”. I disagree. Yes, it can be ruined with people flaunting their perfect relationships, too many typical roses and CVS teddy bears and trying to impress your date with the “perfect” evening. But I think those people go about Valentine’s Day totally wrong. 

I simply look at is as a day to celebrate love. Of all types. And in the depths of a cold bitter winter, why should we shake our heads to a day set aside to celebrate the warmth of all the love we can find in our hearts and our world?

There’s always room for a little extra love! No matter what stage I was at, I made time to pause and to celebrate:

As a child my parents always made Valentine’s special at home. My mom was a first grade teacher, so she always brought home her classroom traditions, songs, crafts, and all around cheerfulness and added it to our home. There always special little gifts and treats and hugs.

In high school, when my best friend Kay and I always found ourselves perpetually single and bitter, we made up Weezer Day (in honor of our favorite band). We made special Weezertines for each other, blasted music, went out for dinner and generally celebrated ourselves and our love for Rivers and his gang. One year we branched out to also celebrate emo band Saves the Day, complete with making a Saves the Day Lamp. The base was a precious moments like girl saying “Boys Make Me Cry” (a treasure we found at Goodwill). We then decorated the lamp shade with our favorite lyrics and  band photos. (um is it a surprise we were single?) We still wish each other a happy Weezer Day even as we find ourselves in our thirties and married. 

Later in high school and college I’d find myself either single or in a relationship, but I don’t really remember many of my relationship celebrations, other than a poetry reading one year. Usually it was always me and my girlfriends having an extra excuse to share some drinks on a random night and noting how happy we were to have each other.

When I found myself single in the second half of my twenties, my other single girlfriends and I would always get together for the weekend that was around Valentine’s day. We’d look at it as a reason to get all dressed up and go out on the town. We’d gather together from our various states and make the weekend awesome. 

Since being with Ryan, we celebrate in a quiet way. Either making a fancy dinner at home and cuddling up to a romantic movie or going out for a low-key dinner. Champagne is always involved. Chocolate is always involved. And notes of love is always involved. How can you roll your eyes at champagne, chocolate, and expressing your love? I feel like we could all use more of that. 

This year, when Valentine’s Day is actually on a Saturday, I find it ironic that Ryan and I will be celebrating it apart. He is currently in New York City competing in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court competition. I’m very proud of him and he should be home on Sunday. Wish him luck!

I his absence I’ll be surviving the negative temps and going to lunch and a movie with a good friend followed my a crab cake dinner with my parents and Pop-Pop. Extra special activities with those I love! Ryan and I will do something together on Sunday, maybe just take out, if we can’t bear to go outside on what forecasters are predicting to be the coldest day of the year.

Valentine’s Day is simply an excuse to celebrate with those you love, whether it be family, friends, a partner, or your pets. It’s a way to pause from the routine and remember to be grateful for the love that is in your life. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

How do you celebrate?

 

 

 

 

 

What Movies Taught Me About Love

I don’t care too much for the rules of Valentine’s day, the ones that say you MUST shell out a week’s paycheck on a romantic candlelight dinner, overpriced red roses, jewelry, or anything else the world of advertising declares is the only way to show your loved ones that you care.

However, I do like getting festive in other ways – like making sweet treats, toasting with an extra glass of champagne, writing sweet notes, and watching my favorite romantic movies. I see it as another day to celebrate all that makes you feel loved – your friends, your family, your partner, or your dog and or cat.

I’ve always loved love stories – and what better time to curl up with your favorite romantic movie then in the bleak and bitter month that is February. They warm my heart and let me have a good cathartic cry. I can’t help it. I love it.

So in honor of my love of love movies I’ve decided to look into the love lessons I’ve learned from my 3 favorite love story movies (in order of their greatness) Love Story, The Notebook, and Titanic.

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These three movies all have a common theme. Boy and Girl from different socioeconomic backgrounds fall in love and stay in love against all costs, whether that be cancer, dementia, or the sinking of a ship. Let’s see how these famous movie couples taught me to believe and fight for love:

Love Story

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(I always wanted to be Jenny with her sleek seventies style – I tried to reenact their romping snow scene, but could never be as cute)

In case you’ve never seen it
My favorite romantic movie of all time tells the tale of wealthy Oliver and middle class Jenny and their journey to love and marriage against the best wishes of Oliver’s family. They grow close through hard times and love each other unconditionally. All seems ideal until Jenny is diagnosed with terminal cancer at the young age of 25.

Lesson’s Learned:

1. Love Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

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Many disagree with this classic line and I did too for many years. It didn’t make sense to me, love means ALWAYS apologizing, even when you don’t truly mean it.

As I got older I saw it in a different light. You don’t need to say you’re sorry to the one that you love and loves you in return because that one person knows that you will always be sorry for causing the other one pain (intentional or unintentional). You have enough faith in your relationship to know that it is strong, that apologies can be given with a simple look, hug, or recollection of your commitment to the other. They are your life long teammate.

2. Life is Fleeting, Share and Celebrate Your Love Before It’s Too Late

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 Jenny and Oliver fell in love quick and surely didn’t hide their love away. Good thing since their love story was cut short. You never know what tomorrow may bring, if you love someone let them know. Then celebrate it, shout it from the roof tops, live our that love each and every day. Or else, end up bitter and alone like Oliver’s poor father…

line The Notebook

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In case you’ve never seen it…who are you?
The movie tells the story of Duke, an old man reading a love story to a woman suffering from dementia. Duke recounts the true love between Allie and Noah, who fought for their love as the world (mostly Allie’s disapproving parents) tried to tear them apart. After seven years of separation the young lovers reunite and realize they are still deeply in love. After hearing this story time and time again, the suffering dementia patient realizes that she is Allie and Duke is Noah – just in time for the two of them to die peacefully together.

Lesson’s Learned:

1. True Love Can Defy All Odds if Both Parties Truly Believe In It

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There is no doubt about it, love is a risky endeavor. But once you take that risk and fall down that rabbit hole into the world of love you must both put 100% faith and trust into your relationship. When you are both in it together, miraculous things will happen. Faith and Love are one in the same to me.

2. You Must Follow Your Own Heart

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The world will try to tell your otherwise. People will try to tear you apart. Ignore the haters and follow your gut. Listen to your heart and take action. Only you can create your own happiness.

 lineTitanic

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In case you never saw it…really…who are you?!
Jack, a romantic drifter, and Rose, a wealthy young girl engaged to a snob, meet and fall in love aboard the doomed Titanic. Jack rescues Rose as she contemplates suicide to escape the social repression of her life. Within the next few days, the two fall deeply in love as Jack shows Rose a whole new world and way of viewing life. When the boat begins to sink, Rose choses to stay with Jack, rather than escape with her wealthy family. The two struggle to survive as the ship goes down, and nearly do, until Jack dies of hypothermia. Rose carries Jack’s memory with her and lives out an adventure and fruitful life. 

Lesson’s Learned:

1. That Mysterious Artsy Guy Who Isn’t Afraid of Taking Chances Makes a Great Romantic Partner

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 When you need a little push or motivation, guys like Jack, will always be willing to hold your hand and lead you on adventures leading to a life of surprises and passion. These guys have a big heart and big dreams and think outside of society’s norms.

2. Love Is Playful

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Life’s too short, live a little! Love’s not all about the big passionate moments. Love should be playful and make you feel alive Take that spontaneous trip, try new and exotic food, pull an all nighter before a big day, let your hair down! Take Jack and Rose’s lead –  Let him draw you naked, have hot sex in the back of someone else’s car, have a spitting contest, dance like fools.

3. Challenges Bring You Closer

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No doubt that when you and your love must endure a great challenge (hopefully not a sinking ship) your love will grow and you’ll learn to trust the other in ways you never did before. When life throws you struggles you’ll learn to lean on one another and tide the storm together. Who knew what would have happened to Jack and Rose if the ship safely landed in the States?

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Spread the love!

xoxo Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Velvet Cookie Cakes

Red Velvet Cookie Cakes Recipe

These little cookie cakes are heavenly. I call them cookie cakes because although they look like mini cup cakes they are most definitely rich cookies. They are simple and fast to make and are fun for a Valentine’s Day treat or any other occasion for a lover of red velvet cake in you life!

Before I reveal this recipe, I feel the need to confess.

I always feel a little like a fraud with my recipe post.

Three years ago the most cooking I ever did was fajitas, brownies, or spaghetti. My kitchen cabinets were empty and I had to borrow most cooking supplies from my mother. It was not a priority and it was not fun.

Flash forward. Now I have a hungry man to feed (seriously, how do they eat so much?) and a tighter budget and I’m finding that I love spending time cooking.

My meals are still a far cry from gourmet. Yet, they are  but they are far closer than my grilled chicken, canned green beans, and peanut butter and pretzels menu pre marriage. I still have a hard time making a recipe with more than 10 ingredients or any that takes longer than 45 minutes.

It’s funny though, how when something became a priority, I found that I actually enjoy it. I find solace in cutting and chopping and a great peace when you have a finished product that is rewarding not only for you but for those you share it with. I still get majorly frustrated when things don’t go rights. For instance, the first batch of these cakes got a little burnt. I blame our ancient oven in our rental with a broken top heating unit. As Ryan said yesterday, “Katie, you can get a little nasty when you’re baking”. I still find baking the hardest of cooking. There’s such a small unit of time between “lightly crisped” and “extremely burnt”.

But after some practice I feel like I can now call myself a good cook and baker – and actually look forward to meal planning and discovering and creating new recipes.

For example – these cookie cakes! Yum!

Red Velvet Cookie Cakes

Ingredients:

1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup Canola Oil

1/3 cup Powdered Sugar

1 bag of Cookies and Cream Hershey Kisses

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to  350 degrees

2. Mix together the cake mix, eggs, and canola oil. Blend in mixer for about two minutes.

3. Roll small balls of the dough and place in a sprayed mini muffin tray. The balls should fill the muffin tins 2/3 of the way.

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4. Bake for 10 minutes (I found this to be the magic number after burning the first batch)

5. While the cookies are baking, unwrap your Hershey kisses.

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6. Let the cookies sit for 2 minutes and then remove from tin and place on a cooling rack.

7. Sift powdered sugar on top of the cookies and then place a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

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red velvet cookie cakes

xoxo Katie