As some of you already know, Valentines Day is my favorite day of the whole year.  It’s Christmas, my birthday, and the 4th of July all rolled into one.  Yes, I am a big, affectionate, romantic smoosh, and I just adore this one day of the year when it’s ok for me to get all sappy and draw hearts and let all the people I love know just how much they mean to me.

Valentines Day to me is a celebration of love.  Love certainly does not just mean romance – it comes in many forms.   I loved Valentines Day even when I was single.  I am blessed to have so much love in my life. . . love in my family,  love in special friendships, love in my sweet dog, and love in my precious kitties.  Now that is something really worth celebrating in my opinion.


Valentines Day in our house looks something like this.

And this.

And even this.



If decorating the house isn’t enough, we even decorate ourselves.


I love to shower little gifts on my sweeties.  Bear got a new baby and a special cookie.

The kitties got this special Valentine house that we made for them as well as their favorite snack – freeze-dried chicken bites.


Of course, my big sweetie was not left out. I got him a few little special things.  And he surprised me right back with some special treats too.


img_8642Yes, pink and green roses, not red.  Because these were the colors from our wedding.

I’m missing my sweetie, Nick, but we’ll celebrate next week when we’re together.  I can’t tell you what I got for him because he actually reads his mom’s blog, which makes him my favorite son. <3


Food is a big part of the day of course. (OK, ok, you got me – food is a big part of ALL of my days!).  We started the day with a breakfast of oven-baked almond pancakes in heart-shaped pans with heart-shaped strawberries and heart-shaped bacon . . . and mimosas in glasses with (you guessed it) little hearts on them. <3

Even Bear got to have bacon.


For lunch we had heart-shaped reuben paninis and x’s and o’s fruit salad


We spent the morning making ravioli.  It was my hubby’s first experience with making pasta, but he did a great job building the raviolis.


We had a special Valentine Bubble Bath Happy Hour, complete with love songs, candlelight and our last precious bottle of champagne from our trip to France.  We had olive tapenade bruschetta too, but it was a little tricky eating it without getting the bread soggy (and keeping the kitties from trying to lick them!). 😂



Dinner was jumbo shrimp cocktail, portabello and 2 cheese raviolis with a truffle butter sage cream sauce with crispy sage leaves and shaved parmesan, and heart-shaped caprese salad with balsamic glaze.



And of course, no Valentines Day is complete without my favorite food group – CHOCOLATE.  I made this 4-layer dark chocolate cake with fresh raspberry buttercream between the layers and smothered in ganache yesterday.  I was barely able to focus on anything else all day,  knowing it was there, just waiting to be the cherry-on-top of our Valentines Day.  It was very nearly breakfast instead, but my willpower won out.


Valentines Day came to a close in our house snuggling on the couch with my favorite romantic movie of all time, Moonstruck.

Rose:        Do you love him, Loretta?

Loretta:   Aw, ma, I love him awful.

Rose:         Oh, God, that’s too bad.

Sigh. This movie is pure romantic magic. <3



All in all, a perfect day with my Valentines.  Hoping you all are spending Valentines Day your own special way.  As long as you have love, you have all you need. <3




Written by Jennifer Cartledge



OMG!!!! You are unbelievable… I have never seen such talent! You are truly gifted in more ways than one… Your ❤️ is so big and full of so much love! I wanna celebrate at your house! Your husband is one lucky guy!

Teresa Roland

I L-O-V-E YOU, Jen Jen!!! ~ <3 ~ I definitely can't let my [romantic] husband read this…….He might suggest I learn a few lessons from you! 😉 You certainly make this day beautiful <3


I Love You, Jennifer! You are one Very, Very Special lady & I am blessed to call you My Dear Friend! You not only bring Joy & Love to your family, but to everyone who knows you!! God Bless your sweet heart <3

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