In the mood for luuuurve!

Have you ever noticed how Valentine’s day seems to creep up on you from nowhere? I’m noticing Valentine Cards and cakes wherever I go and ideally would love to be one of those super-organized people who don’t leave it till the last minute rush to get a Valentine Card for my husband – what you mean to tell me that you are not one of those kind of people? Yes –  you’ll catch me in the supermarket aisle giggling away to myself at all the funnies in the Valentine Cards section – I have no shame! But hey life is too short to waste a good giggle!

 

There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine”. Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

Valentine’s Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia. The lives of young boys and girls in those days were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl’s name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry. Awwww!

For me Valentine’s Day is the one day in the year where lovers can afford to be lavish with one another – splash each other with gifts, cake, cards, Cake, flowers, cake – actually have you noticed I’m obsessed with Cake? Particularly Valentine’s Cakes!

No my husband won’t be buying me any cake as I bake for him every day! However for those of you who love to drool – here are my Valentine Cakes – just dripping with hearts and flowers (red roses and chocolate – what more could you possibly want?)

you can order them from Cake Heaven – right on time for Valentine’s Day!

http://www.facebook.com/cakeheaven

Photos compliments of http://www.andreapittam.com

 

From Kitchen Table Top to Success…

Today I’m welcoming my guest blogger Barbara Fowler -the inventor of and brains behind MyBabylog.Barbara was one of the finalists on Jo Malone’s High Street of Dreams programmeon BBC1 and she is passionate about being in business and inspires others to find their hidden potential.

Here’s her story…

From Kitchen Table top  to Success…

I’m often asked by people – ‘how do you take a concept from your head and develop it into something that becomes tangible?’

Initially when I dreamt of MyBabylog I had the idea because I wanted a keepsake box to store all my daughter’s precious little memories and keepsakes.

Photographs – First baby picture – lock of hair – first tooth – favourite toy – her first drawing etc…etc…

These are things…in my opinion that can never be replaced or replicated in the event of a house fire.

If your house caught on fire… what is the first thing that you would want to save… besides your family? 

So to answer the above question – my passion to preserve family heirlooms and precious treasures

and memories was so strong that I had to do something about it.

I have always been sentimental and kept a horde of everything my darling daughter fed from – touched and played with from the time she was born. My only concern was that everything was scattered all over the house – what would I grab first in an emergency?

 This obsession of mine led me on the quest for a perfect solution to my dilemma and so MyBabylog was born.

Eye of newt and nose of dog….

I know you’re all going to remind me that “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas…” well I have to say that our lives have not had a dull moment since ‘Bleu’ arrived into ours.

I’ve been brought up with dogs (yes I mean actual real dogs). My dad was a vet so we were used to having pets as part of family life and he bred dobermans. I have very fond memories of going into the kennel, which was a huge garage and ooohing and ahhhing over the litter of puppies our dog Sheba had delivered. So we were used to the cycle of life and the poos and cleaning up that went with having puppies.

Perhaps I developed amnesia about the toileting habits of a puppy but the yearning to have a dog of our own was so strong over the years and I honestly couldn’t bear my children growing up without the joys of owning their own dog and not just wishing that every dog they patted on walks could belong to them. You see I had this romantic picture of them running with their own dog and his little ears flapping and this picture just wouldn’t go away in my head.

So finally after doing my best – “Please can we have a puppy” face to my husband he finally agreed and the next month we scrimped and saved to purchase Blue – our adorable, oh so gentle and cuddly Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel, thanks to my friend Rachel Jeffries – dog breeder extraordinaire!

Today we’ve just got back from dog sniffing – watch out I’m not being rude. It works like this – you take your dog out for a walk and he sniffs usually an average of 17-20 dogs per walk – all very entertaining but a great way of getting to know other doggie owners whilst on the beach!  But the greatest joy is actually seeing how it’s helped my young sons become more outgoing and Bleu has taught them about taking responsibility and caring for something else other than themselves.

Yes you’ve guessed it my dream of the boys and their dog running together is now a reality – funny that – what shall I dream up next?

 

“Mummy – Is it rude to poke?”

Ok I may be new to the world of poking and I have to remember after all that Facebook has been devised by the Americans so we being British – should we poke or should we not? That is the question!

Now if my nine year old was looking at my facebook profile and the immense fun I’ve had this morning poking friends old and new I would be extremely embarrassed by his question. “Ok Samuel… eh well it depends…on what you understand about what a poke is” “Mum that’s not answering my question”….

Ok wikipedia describes poking as

Poke most commonly refers to the action of tapping and/or softly jabbing an object or person using a finger, stick, or similar object etc.

Poke, Poké or POKE may also refer to:

So looking at the above it means different things depending on where you’re coming from. If I’m referring to poke as in Facebook then in reality it’s not rude it’s a bit of fun with no apparent purpose or meaning but a way of saying hello. However being that I’m naturally inhibited, (I know some of you might find this incredible to believe me on this one) I associate poking with staring, or being made fun of, or someone actually poking me with something.  I still feel rude doing it. Am I the proverbial naughty girl, a prude or am I being friendly? If I’m poking any other place, then according to my mum I’m being nosy so what do you think?

Perhaps I need to disassociate negative meanings from my mind and just enjoy poking for the fun of it!

Here’s my boy’s  illustration of poking by light saber 🙂