Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Weekend Brunch A Deux or Breakfast in Bed

Valentine’s Weekend Brunch A Deux or Breakfast in Bed


Need a fast, romantic Valentine’s Day idea?

Serve your lover a leaning tower of hearts.  Pile a stack of heart shaped pancakes or heart shaped waffles high on a pretty dish.  Drizzle red berry preserves and top with a bit of whipped cream.   Yummy! Bring along a steaming fresh pot of coffee and a mimosa or a simple glass of Champagne; Add a raspberry or strawberry to the glass for an extra special touch.  Don’t forget some pretty flowers on the breakfast tray-Cyclamen have romantic heart shaped leaves.

Have a great Valentines!


Share the Love–Celebrate with Red Velvet Cupcakes & The Recipe


Share the Love–Celebrate someone you love with a token of affection and a little party.

I was just baking Red Velvet Cupcakes for various Valentines’ activities. See recipe below.

It is a cool California-winter day and the oven made my kitchen feel all warm and cozy. It feels like a day to enjoy your home. Anyway, since I was feeling cozy and wanted to share my pleasant mood I decided to give my neighbor a call; I invited her over for a homemade Red Velvet Cupcake and fresh brewed coffee. We had a nice visit without the kids running in and out and I got to spoil someone I love with a surprise treat.

If you are baking cupcakes or cookies for your kids classes or for your family why not make a little extra and invite your mom, sister, neighbor, dear friend over to share–that’s a special Valentine just waiting to happen!

Happy Valentine’s Day!






  • 3 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1 oz bottle red food coloring


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt.  Add lightly beaten eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract and red food coloring to dry ingredients.  Mix ingredients until combined.  Place cupcake liners into muffin/cupcake pan.  Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester inserted near center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on wire racks.  Frost with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with additional crumb, if desired. (Recipe doubles)

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups cream-cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 pound package confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch of salt


In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until creamy.  Beat in vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar.  Add pinch of salt.  If frosting is too stiff (is too stiff possible?), add warm water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Eat Your Heart Out Celebration


This post is a throwback to a blog post form Valentine’s week 2009.  It’s a great party idea but also a bit nostalgic for the 2009s (in case you are feeling nostalgic).  I hope you enjoy the dark humor of this celebration.

This is a fabulous, really fun party for the foodies in your life or for the singles or the long married because it is all about strong full flavored foods. Think garlic, onions, peppers, coffee, red wine, booze, and all those other ingredients you can’t enjoy if you have to worry about your breath.

Invitations: Send a dark red rose invitation. Nothing says special like an invitation received in the mail (if this is a last minute feast you may call or send an electronic invitation). On the invitation ask your guests to dress in attire befitting a sophisticated dinner party-for some that may be black tie, for others cocktail dresses and if your crowd is a jeans crowd then ask them to wear some red and black with their jeans (I am thinking red heels).

Set the Scene/Tablescape: When designing this Celebration Royal Tart was inspired by the fabulous dinner party scenes a la Lipstick Jungle or Sex in the City. This Celebration is wonderful as a sophisticated gathering of dark smoky colors and pretty china. You can use your existing dishes or purchase a pretty set from Royal Tart. We chose black and parchment dishes in different patterns mixed with a beautiful dinner plate rimmed in red with delicate black roses. Set the table with red cloth napkins, a red table runner, lush, open red roses and candles and you have the makings for a stylish, sophisticated Valentine’s Feast without placing a single heart anywhere. Of course you should light the fire, turn down the lights, chill a bottle of bubbly and turn on some crooners like Nat King Cole or Harry Connick. For a more rock-n-roll vibe put on a little Bruce Springsteen-he sings about a pink Cadillac and a tunnel of love-now that’s hot; again while setting the scene keep in mind sophisticated beautiful people.

The Menu:




Dirty Vodka Martini



Garlic Cheddar Cheese Bread

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms



Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Oven Finished Filet

Fettuccine Alfredo with Garlic 2 Ways



Mocha Chocolate Fondue

Pound Cake

Coconut Macaroons

Gourmet Marshmallows

Biscotti or other Italian Cookies


Hot Passion Coffee Drink


Party Favors: Give your guests a Valentine of mints-Altoids would be appropriate for a strong flavored meal. Plus the tins are red and white—again Valentine’s like without the heart.

Have a great Valentines Party!



Valentine’s Day Inspiration–Heart Home Decor

Valentine’s Day Inspiration–Heart Home Decor

Check it out.  I attended a Seaside Soiree put on by the lovely Elena Etcheverry of Charity Wings, in November 2014.  It was an awesome event.  I promise to post sometime in the future all the amazing art I made.  What does this have to do with Heart Home Décor?  Well one of the workshops was put on by the illustrious Ruth Rae.  She taught a really cool class whereby we created a wall hanging box from flat cardboard, plaster cast material, paint and wax (plus embellishments). I love, love, loved the class.  Fast forward a couple of busy months.  Late January 2015 was the first opportunity I had to design a piece using Ruth Rae’s techniques.  Here it is.

Finished Heart Box Home Decor

Here are some images of this beauty’s creation

photo 1 (2)        Drying hearts

After I shaped the heart from an old cardboard box, I covered it in layers of plaster cast.  I allowed the heart to dry– it took 4 days.  Then I painted it with four different colors of red and pink acrylic paint.  I used Liquitex Crimson heavy bodied paint, 2 craft paints and Golden’s magenta.  Then I highlighted the heart with Golden’s burnt umber paint and black, silver and gold acrylic crafters paint.  Once that was dry I covered the whole heart in a few layers of wax.  After each application of wax I wiped it off with a paper towel.  I was looking to create a heart with textural depth.  The sheen from the wax adds to the overall effect.

Next I inserted the vial.  I found this lovely decorative vial at Michael’s.  I added shredded book paper from an old book I love.  I attached the vial using metal wrapping techniques I learned from Jen Cushman (My technique still has a lot to be desired).

Heart detail image

Loved the process!  Love the results.  This is one piece of home décor art I am proud to have created.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



Trish’s Tuesday Tag Valentine’s Day

Trish’s Tuesday Tag Valentine’s Day

Hi.  Happy Valentine’s (week).  Hey, so today I want to walk you through my Valentine’s Day tag creations.  I created not one but nine tags as I was just so inspired, my creative juices were flowing.  I was inspired by none other than the amazing Tim Holtz.  On his blog he hosts a 12 Tags of the Year.  He posted his February 2015 Tag earlier this month.  Check out his step by step instructions on his blog post: http://timholtz.com/12-tags-of-2015-february/

So as I collected my supplies I quickly realized that I had a lot of “left-over” ephemera, stickers, scrapbook paper and embellishments.  So I decided to create a stash tag.  And since I was saving my $$ for the Rose Bowl Flea Market on February 8 (more on that fabulous adventure next week), I decided no new purchases; though I think Tim Holtz’s metal arrows are awesome.

I began my first tag using mostly stickers and really liked the outcome.  I noticed I had a ton (maybe a bit of an overstatement) of stickers and decided to continue with tags.  Hence the nine tags.  I probably could have kept going but really.  So after I stuck all my stickers on my two sizes of tags (#5 & #8) I added some scrapbook and book paper.  Covered everything with a coat of Mod Podge and let them dry. See my 9 beauties below before any highlighting or lowlighting.

Valentine's Day 9 drying tags

As you can see some of the colors are a little strong.  I followed Tim Holtz’s step by step instructions and added some “white” paint.  His steps are easy to follow.  I followed his steps until he started adding ephemera pretty closely.  Sometimes, I don’t follow steps very closely but this time I did.  Back to the unifying “white” paint.  I used Distress Paint in “Antique Linen.” I liked the softer “white” as my tags were already stickered in “old” papers/stickers.

Once the tags were softened with Antique Linen I highlighted the tags with Black Soot Distress Marker. Then I began adding my ephemera.  Below are the tags with the ephemera laid out but not yet attached.

Valentines Day Tag w ephemera 021015

I attached (Thanks Jen Cushman for always “attaching”)  the ephemera using hot glue, Tombo adhesive, and metal wire.  And finally, I used the shipping twine that was originally on the small tags.  I wanted to de-emphasize the top of the tag as the tags themselves were so interesting and sort of strong and masculine.  I did age the twine with scattered straw.  And when I thought they were all done I decided to edge the tags.  I added some ColorBox Terracotta ink and some Scattered Straw Distress Ink around the tags.

These fast and easy tags added to the Valentine’s Day holiday decorating theme that I inadvertently started.  My Valentine’s decorations this year are red and black, with a dash of book paper.  I have a final three that I liked best–but really I am pleased with all of my tag designs.   I love the results!

Valentine's Day Final three



P.S. I forgot to share all the supplies I used.  Below is a picture of the supplies minus the stickers and book paper.

Valentine's Day Tags Supplies