Frosted Hyacinths

Wednesday was the official first day of spring, but to me, and I’m sure many of you, it seemed like the middle of winter. Here’s why.

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The True Meaning of Valentine’s Day

No, it’s not a holiday created simply for consumerism. Although it does rake in lots of money for the Post Office as the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas because approximately 150 million cards are exchanged around Valentine’s Day. Actually Valentine’s Day is a holiday with quite a bit of history. However, its history is mostly told in the form of legends.

So, as legend tells it, St. Valentine was a Roman priest around 270 AD. At the time, Christians were being denied the sacrament of marriage because the Roman Empire outlawed marriage for soldiers. Roman pagans thought that unmarried men made better soldiers. So, St. Valentine, believing in the importance of the sacrament of marriage, performed weddings for soldiers and his special touch was a heart cut from parchment that he gave the newlyweds to remind them of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians. Eventually, he was martyred for these crimes but before his execution he performed a miracle by healing a young girl of her blindness. On the day he was executed, February 14, he left the young girl a note that said, “Your Valentine.” St. Valentine’s heart-shaped parchments and the “Your Valentine” note are thought to be the origin of our modern celebration of the day. Legend also has it that the young girl who had been healed of blindness immediately converted to Christianity and planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near St. Valentine’s grave and the almond tree remains at the site as a symbol of abiding love and friendship.

Now, more than one thousand years later, the holiday of Valentine’s Day is celebrated through Valentines exchanged at school, red roses sent to loved ones, heart-shaped chocolates, and basically anything that can be colored red or pink. My favorite Valentine’s memories are from childhood, my grandpa always helped me design beautifully unique Valentine’s boxes for my school’s holiday parties including robots, airplanes, kitties, and more.

David and I don’t celebrate the holiday anymore but he made our very first Valentine’s Day very memorable. Our freshman year, we were living down the hall from each other in the dorms. On V-Day he picked me up with the “plan” to head to one of the few nice restaurants in our small college town. Then he told me that we had to go to his room because he had forgotten to put on his coat. Little did I know that he had made a romantic dinner for us in his room. The catch? He’d locked himself out of his room! So he had to find our student advisor to let him in while worrying that his yummy dinner was getting very cold. Luckily, it didn’t take long to unlock the door to present his surprise. It was my first Valentine’s with a boyfriend and he made me feel very special and loved with a romantic gesture. No candy, flowers, or hearts necessary.

Whether you celebrate the day of love with a significant other, friends, family, (a pint of ice cream on the couch), or simply ignoring the holiday, just be sure to spend it with someone (or something) that you love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our First Valentine's Day

Our First Valentine’s Day

My Outdoor Room

Our new house may be small but the yard is huge. The whole lot is .25 acres. That is a lot of fun space that we did not have before. So I have been racking my brains on how to personalize the yard a little bit. I was thinking lanterns, hammock, fire pit, table, colorful bunting, flowers…the works! The problem? This house is a rental and I so did not budget for a wonderful backyard. A girl can dream though.

Want to see what I settled on for the first step of my makeover?

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The View from your Window

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, a condo or a fifth floor walk-up, chances are you have a window separating you from the outside world. Is your view of the street? Another house? A green, tree-shaded backyard? If you’re lucky, the beach or the mountains? My view showcases the street in front of my house situated among several houses of varying sizes.

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DIY Memo Chalkboard

Last week I convinced David to go Antique Mall shopping with me. The trip was mostly unsuccessful ending with only one purchase and an idea in the back of my head. I purchased this old window for only $5!

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“Taking Care” of the House – Week 4

I am a day late with this week’s installment in my “Taking Care Series.” I had a crazy work week so I barely noticed when Friday finally arrived. I had a bunch of budding ideas but I simply could not choose a favorite until I read one of my favorite blogs, Dream Green DIY, to find that she had the exact same idea: rearranging!

After several rearranging mishaps in college, namely dropping a bunk bed on my roommate’s head freshman year, I learned that it is important to have a plan, and strong friends, before moving things around. In college, this meant 1) measuring everything, 2) cutting out furniture shapes, 3) drawing up the plans, and 4) rearranging the paper shapes. Trust me, that takes lots of time. So a few years ago, I found this Room Planner website by Icovia that makes it super easy to come up with a design. If I could fancy up the designs this would feel exactly like Hidden Potential on HGTV.

Current Living Room Floor Plan

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Taking Care – Week 4 Preview

Hi everyone! This week for my take care series I have been taking care of my house. I had the day off today so I’ve been busy but not quite done with what I have planned. So let me tell you what to look forward to tomorrow!

Some rearranging is in order….

Current Living Room Floor Plan

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Spring Wreath

So I just took down the last of my Christmas decorations this week. That’s pretty bad. The lights were on my porch railing for 4 months. I took down the garland last month but the festive lights decided to hang around. April starts Sunday so I officially decided enough was enough.

The good new is……

Spring is here! Flowers are blooming! Grass is growing! Because of all this a Spring wreath for my front door was in order. When I was home last week I mentioned this to my mom on a whim and she whisked me to the flower shop where she works to find me one. I looked at all their beautiful wreaths but couldn’t find the perfect one.

So she custom-made me one. When you can’t find exactly what you want you should make it! I picked out a nice plain one for her to embellish.

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