Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2010

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Years ago, when I was in elementary school, my mother made hot milk cake in individual heart-shaped cake molds for my brother & I, topped with cream cheese icing and cinnamon hearts.   This is a tradition I’ve kept up with my own kids, although since Olivia’s food allergy diagnosis a couple of years ago, it’s been individual heart-shaped peanut-treenut-egg-soy-and-dairy-free cake with icing made from palm oil, icing sugar & rice milk.  She is allergic to cinnamon and you can’t find those cinnamon hearts that aren’t packaged in a factory without peanuts & treenuts, so decorations have been Enjoy Life’s peanut-treenut-egg-soy-dairy-free chocolate chips.  (AKA the “golden chocolate chips” because of their cost!)

You do what you have to do.

This year is Olivia’s first since passing her dairy challenge, so I’ll make peanut-treenut-egg-soy-free yogurt cakes in a heart shape, topped with cream cheese icing.  I might even go wild and decorate them with pink & red Smarties, made in a peanut-free factory!

I got an idea from Chris & Gwen’s blog for exchanging Valentines among the family.  They give out five color-coded post-it notes per person.  Each member of the family has to write an array of “I love you because…” messages for their family members on the color-coded notes and they get hidden around the house to find.  I’m totally stealing this idea this year!  (this is a step up from my normal cut-out construction paper hearts with loving sentiments…)

We’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day here on the 15th because the kids will be at my parents’ for a sleepover while we host our annual Chef’s Dinner at the B&B.  One of the things we learned early on when working in the hospitality industry is that you have to make your own holidays!  After all, shouldn’t we appreciate our Valentines each day of the year?!


Getting Organized

February 10, 2010

I have spent the past few days at the computer and boy are my back & shoulders feeling it!  My Inbox was up over 2500 old messages, so I’ve deleted & organized enough that I only have 725 left to go through.  An awful, tedious task – how long did I feel I needed to keep confirmations of those old reservations anyway?

In the meantime, I’m trying to develop a website for my high school reunion.  We’ve finally set up the bank account, a pay-pal account and most of the major pieces are in place.  I’m just trying to figure out how to set up an online registration form and hopefully we’ll be good to start taking registrations later this week.  It sounds like it’s really going to be  a fun event with a wine & cheese, a run, picnic in the park, family swim, reduced golf fees, topped of with a big party!  We’ll be closing out that weekend to regular guests, and we’ve already had friends put in requests for rooms.  I’m starting to get really excited to see everyone again!!

Being involved with the Marketing of the  Bed & Breakfast Association, I’ve been trying to figure out “Twitter”.  I understand and “get it” that it’s a conversation, but am still trying to figure out all the symbols of how it works…  I seem to be finally catching on because it is now taking up much less of my time, and I’ve seen traffic come to both the association’s website & our own website as a result!  This is a new world we’re living in!!

We have our big Valentine’s Dinner coming up this weekend so I’ve got to get the house organized for that.  Each year, Dan (a chef we used to work with), comes in and puts on a 5-course meal.  We’re offering it on two nights this year to spread it out.  Most of the other “date” restaurants in town are closed on Valentine’s Day this year – not really sure what they’re thinking,  but it works out well for us – we booked two more tables yesterday!   The kids are excited to go spend the weekend with their grandparents!

In organizing one of our bookcases, I found the two missing library books!!  Phew!  The “Maisie” valentine’s haven’t turned up yet, despite the fact we have bought and filled out “Dora” replacements.  I was sure that once we bought new ones, they would show up!

Bit by bit, everything is getting caught up.  I wonder if there will ever come a time when everything is caught up  and doesn’t get undone again right away?

Probably not until the kids move out…