fun

VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.  February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards. 

Ancient History

Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.

Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.

Modern Celebrations

Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes. 

Here are some great ideas for couples.  Use them to make Valentine’s or any special date.

Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists. 

Check out these great gifts.
VALENTINE’S DAY

Last minute gift?

HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay

You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.

Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.

Jen’s Fettuccini Alfredo Caprese
Garlic Butter Steak bites
Winter Arugula Pear Salad
Spinach, Blue Cheese, Beef Wellingtons

Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.

Today is also National Donor Day, and

International Book Giving Day

VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY

Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.  

Brides and grooms will receive the following key benefits: *Up to 20% completion gift off most products on Amazon *World's largest selection, plus Amazon's reliable fast shipping and world class customer service *It's universal - add items from other websites with the universal button * Fast, free shipping - Free shipping on orders over $25 or fast, FREE delivery on millions of items with Prime.
Brides and grooms will receive the following key benefits: *Up to 20% completion gift off most products on Amazon *World’s largest selection, plus Amazon’s reliable fast shipping and world class customer service *It’s universal – add items from other websites with the universal button * Fast, free shipping – Free shipping on orders over $25 or fast, FREE delivery on millions of items with Prime.

NATIONAL LIBRARY LOVER’S MONTH

The entire month of February is dedicated to the people who love whole buildings devoted to the reading, housing, organizing, categorizing, finding, studying and otherwise loving books.  It’every  s National Library Lover’s Month!

Start a liflinf love of reading.
Start a lifelong love affair with reading!

Check out some of these fantastic Authors and their books. I’ve said for years “Hollywood needs a library card. Guess someone finally heard me. ”  They currently have Movies or series based on the books.

Outlander

Books by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander Season 5

Season 5 premieres February 16 on Starz. Add Starz to your Amazon Prime

The Bridgertons

Books by Julia Quinn

Coming to Netflix in 2020

Game of Thrones

Books by George R. R. Martin



Stephanie Plum

Stephanie Plum

Books by Janet Evanovich


There are lots of great authors and books I cannot begin to list them all here. Make sure you bookmark and like our site for more.

Libraries provide so much more than a place for us to enjoy great novels or to discover amazing adventures and untold history.  Yes, they help us ace our research papers and provide a quiet space to study, but they do so much more.

For preschoolers, libraries entertain them with theater and hands-on activities exposing them to music, art and their first friendships. Many communities rely on their libraries for meeting space for public forums, socials, fundraisers and classes.

Libraries lend not only books but music and movies. Rotating art displays give local artists exposure to the community. Larger libraries provide preservation services, preserving some of the most treasured books, periodicals and documents for future generations.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Find a Library close to home. This directory is the most up to date for Libraries in America.

Continue enjoying your library, but consider volunteering your time, too.  If you don’t have a library card, it’s never too late!  Visit your library to get one!  Use #NationalLibraryLoversDay to share on social media.

Of course, if you’re even a fraction addicted to books as I am you may have to start your own library. Mine is currently occupying four bookshelves with some still boxed. Since I like to reread mine I use them frequently. As I usually read a full novel in about two days I have to carry a small ton from my local library or draw from my own. I wish ereaders had been around when I started.

If you want to pass this gift to others February 14th is also International Book Giving Day.

Our membership program offers special benefits including: * Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes * Borrow Kindle books * Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)
Our membership program offers special benefits including: * Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes * Borrow Kindle books * Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)

NATIONAL CREAM CHEESE BROWNIE DAY

On February 10, National Cream Cheese Brownie Day shines a spotlight on an irresistible dessert bar. Combining chocolate and cream cheese has long been a favorite in the bakery. When it’s added to a brownie recipe the results are spectacular. 

The brownie has been around since the 1800s but was first documented in 1906 in The Boston Cooking School Cook Book.  There are hundreds of cream cheese brownie recipes. However, we also enjoy them cut up into parfaits or mixed into ice cream. Add a dollop of whipped cream, berries or a sprinkle of nuts and fruit and they become a decadent dessert in their own right. 

Adding cream to the batter once it’s poured into the pan and swirling it around with a knife gives the finished product an elegant look. It even suggests a celebration when you look at it! No matter how you enjoy cream cheese brownies, we are sure that you will find one that you like.

HOW TO OBSERVE #CreamCheeseBrownieDay

Maybe you would like to bake a pan of these delicious brownies and share them with your family and friends! Enjoy my fun easy recipe. If you missed these Easy Loaded Brownies this recipe is great the whole year through.

These are a good way to reward yourself for cleaning out your computer and making sure your memories are safe. The computer working better and faster is good reward as well.


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Use #CreamCheeseBrownieDay to post on social media.

Brides and grooms will receive the following key benefits: *Up to 20% completion gift off most products on Amazon *World's largest selection, plus Amazon's reliable fast shipping and world class customer service *It's universal - add items from other websites with the universal button * Fast, free shipping - Free shipping on orders over $25 or fast, FREE delivery on millions of items with Prime.
Brides and grooms will receive the following key benefits: *Up to 20% completion gift off most products on Amazon *World’s largest selection, plus Amazon’s reliable fast shipping and world class customer service *It’s universal – add items from other websites with the universal button * Fast, free shipping – Free shipping on orders over $25 or fast, FREE delivery on millions of items with Prime.

NATIONAL IOWA DAY

On February 8, National Iowa Day recognizes The Hawkeye State.

The 29th state to join the United States is known for fertile prairie, rolling hills, raising innovative people and some nostalgic movie moments. From the Mississippi River to the harvests in Plymouth, Harrison or Fremont counties, Iowa’s history, beauty and hospitality flourish.

The state was named for Iowa Native Americans who populated the area when European settlement forced Eastern tribes westward.

Acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase, Iowa Territory settlement didn’t start to take place until around the 1830s.

Other Fascinating Faces and Places

One of the later settlements that remain today is the Amana Colony. A congregation of the Community of True Inspiration, their faith and persecution in Germany led them to immigrate to America for religious freedom. Iowa supplied fertile farmland and a home for them to practice their skills and their beliefs. Today, they open their community to the public. Shop for handmade gifts, homemade baked goods, wine and stay for a home-cooked meal.

In the southwestern part of the state, Madison County boasts beautiful covered bridges which were featured in the movie by a similar name. While touring the bridges, be sure to stop by Winterset and take in the birthplace of John Wayne.

The Bridges of Madison County

Meryl Streep (Actor), Jim Haynie (Actor) 
The Bridges of Madison County

Meryl Streep (Actor), Jim Haynie (Actor) 

Duke in His Own Words: John Wayne's Life in Letters, Handwritten Notes and Never-Before-Seen Photos Curated from His Private Archive Hardcover – October 27, 2015

by Editors of the Official John Wayne Magazine (Author), Ethan Wayne (Introduction)
Duke in His Own Words: John Wayne’s Life in Letters, Handwritten Notes and Never-Before-Seen Photos Curated from His Private Archive Hardcover – October 27, 2015

by Editors of the Official John Wayne Magazine (Author), Ethan Wayne (Introduction)


Not far from the Mississippi River, The Field of Dreams home is just outside Dyersville. They built it so that you would come.

Field of Dreams [Blu Ray] [Blu-ray]

Kevin Costner (Actor), Amy Madigan (Actor), & 1 more
Field of Dreams [Blu Ray] [Blu-ray]

Kevin Costner (Actor), Amy Madigan (Actor), & 1 more


For fantastic performances in a historic rock and roll venue, check out the events at the Surf Ballroom. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper played their last concerts at the Surf Ballroom the night they perished in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.



    





The Real Buddy Holly Story

Sonny Curtis (Actor), Paul McCartney (Actor, Producer), & 1 more

The Real Buddy Holly Story

Sonny Curtis (Actor), Paul McCartney (Actor, Producer), & 1 mor
Complete Recordings

Including La Bamba
Ritchie Valens 
Complete Recordings  Including La Bamba Ritchie Valens  

Nature lovers will find plenty of adventure in Iowa. Effigy Mounds National Park will satisfy those with a mystical and historical curiosity. Rockhounds should seek out Geode State Park. The Corps of Discovery’s Louis and Clark Trail come through Iowa, too.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalIowaDay

From the Quad Cities to Shimek Forest, Iowa offers city and country to explore. Join National Day Calendar as we examine the 29th state’s dynamic people and pioneering history. Travel byways and discovery Iowa’s stunning scenery! Use #NationalIowaDay to share on social media.

For a complete list of Texas State and National Parks & Historic Sites visit www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks and www.nps.gov. Check out a few of the featured sites around the state below.

Dolliver Memorial State Park – Lehigh

Geode State Park – Danville

McIntosh Woods State Park – Ventura

Shimek State Forest – Farmington

http://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/ParkDetails/ParkID/610136

Viking Lake State Park – Stanton

http://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/ParkDetails/ParkID/610135

Iowa Old Capitol Building – Iowa City

Salisbury House – Des Moines

Effigy Mounds National Monument – Harpers Ferry

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum – Decorah

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library – Cedar Rapids

Union Pacific Railroad Museum – Council Bluffs

MacNider Art Museum – Mason City

American Gothic House – Eldon

Living History Farms – Urbandale

Sergeant Floyd – Iowa

Museum of Danish America – Elk Horn

Western Historic Trails Center – Council Bluffs

Little Brown Church – Nashua

Historic Squirrel Cage Jail – Council Bluffs

Bentonsport National Historic District – Bentonsport

Beedle Park Heritage Train – Cresco

Amana Heritage Museum – Amana

Antonine Barada – Folk Hero – (August 22, 1807 – March 30 1885)

Buffalo Bill Cody - Scout - (February 26, 1846 - January 10, 1917)
Buffalo Bill Cody – Scout – (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917)


Ringling Brothers
Ringling Brothers


Lee de Forest - (August 26, 1873 - June 30, 1961)
Lee de Forest – (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961)


Herbert Hoover - President - (August 10, 1874 - October 20, 1964)
Herbert Hoover – President – (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964)


Eugene Burton Ely - Aviator - (October 21, 1886 - October 19, 1911)
Eugene Burton Ely – Aviator – (October 21, 1886 – October 19, 1911)


Carrie Lane Chapman - Activist - (January 9, 1859 - March 9, 1947)
Carrie Lane Chapman – Activist – (January 9, 1859 – March 9, 1947)


W.H. Carothers - Chemist - (April 27, 1896 - April 29, 1937)
W.H. Carothers – Chemist – (April 27, 1896 – April 29, 1937)


Grant Wood - Artist - (February 13, 1891 - February 12, 1942)
Grant Wood – Artist – (February 13, 1891 – February 12, 1942)


George Gallup – Statistician – (November 18, 1901 – July 26, 1984)

Glenn Miller - Composer - (March 1, 1904 - December 15, 1944)
Glenn Miller – Composer – (March 1, 1904 – December 15, 1944)


Marion Mitchell Morrison - Actor - (May 26, 1907 - June 11, 1979)
Marion Mitchell Morrison –
aka John Wayne – Actor – (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979)

Winifred Asprey – Mathematician – (April 8, 1917 – October 19, 2007)

Bob Feller - Baseball Player - (November 3, 1918 - December 15, 2010)
Bob Feller – Baseball Player – (November 3, 1918 – December 15, 2010)
Dan Gable - Wrestler - (October 25, 1948 -)
Dan Gable – Wrestler – (October 25, 1948 -)


Johnny Carson - Talk Show Host - (October 23, 1925 - January 23, 2005)
Johnny Carson – Talk Show Host – (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005)


Hand-signed autographed Peggy Whitson - Astronaut - (February 9, 1960 -)
Hand-signed autographed Peggy Whitson – Astronaut – (February 9, 1960 -)


WORLD NUTELLA DAY

World Nutella Day celebrates what happens when hazelnuts and chocolate collide. For example, millions of people celebrating all on February 5th each year!

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention. Adding hazelnuts when cocoa is hard to come by may have been an Italian trick during hard times. In the 1800s, in the northern Italian city of Piedmont, they made a paste of chocolate and hazelnuts at a time when the nuts were abundant, but the cocoa was not.

At the end of World War II, cocoa was once again difficult to come by. Pastry Maker, Pietro Ferrero, made loaves of this sweet paste and called it Giandujot. Soon after, the Ferrero Company was founded on May 14, 1946.

It wasn’t until 1951 that Ferrero made the paste into a spreadable form. We wouldn’t even recognize the spread by name until 1964 when Ferrero’s son Michele gave the jar of creamy hazelnut and cocoa the name Nutella.

Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, 26.5 Ounce (Pack of 1)

by Nutella
Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, 26.5 Ounce (Pack of 1)

by Nutella


HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldNutellaDay

Enjoy your favorite hazelnut spread. It’s that simple! Of course, we always suggest celebrating with a friend or family member. Celebrations are best when shared. Create a new recipe or try the one you’ve itching to try. Share your favorites while you’re testing and tasting, too!

Use #WorldNutellaDay to share on social media.

For more fun today see National Shower with a Friend Day.

WORLD NUTELLA DAY HISTORY

Sara Rosso founded World Nutella Day in 2007 in celebration of and a way to introduce her favorite spread to her friends. She first discovered Nutella while living in Italy as a food blogger. Read more about her discovery and creation of World Nutella Day at whenihavetim

Introducing Prime Pantry - Everyday Essentials Delivered to You
Introducing Prime Pantry – Everyday Essentials Delivered to You

NATIONAL SHOWER WITH A FRIEND DAY

On National Shower with a Friend Day on February 5th is a tongue in cheek way of educating people about the benefits filtered, chlorine-free water. 

Check out the link below to see if you should shower in filtered water. https://www.uswatersystems.com/the-truth-about-chlorine-in-your-shower-water

Luxury Filtered Shower Head Set 15 Stage Shower Filter For Hard Water Removes Chlorine and Harmful Substances - Showerhead Filter High Output

by AquaHomeGroup
Luxury Filtered Shower Head Set 15 Stage Shower Filter For Hard Water Removes Chlorine and Harmful Substances – Showerhead Filter High Output

by AquaHomeGroup


Winter is the coldest and loneliest season of the year. With dwindling daylight and Valentine’s Day at its heart, February can often leave people feeling dejected and somber. The day injects a bit of humor into the season while also serving to educate people on the benefits of showering in fresh, filtered water (and the effects of chlorine).

Learn more about how chlorine is harmful to shower or bathe in or consume.

For a sweet treat today check out World Nutella Day.


Wonwo 100% Cotton Bath Towels, 600 GSM Luxury 6 Piece Set - 2 Bath Towels, 2 Hand Towels, and 2 Washcloths - Gray

by Wonwo
Wonwo 100% Cotton Bath Towels, 600 GSM Luxury 6 Piece Set – 2 Bath Towels, 2 Hand Towels, and 2 Washcloths – Gray

by Wonwo


HOW TO OBSERVE #ShowerWithAFriendDay

Shower with filtered water. Learn more about the harmful effects of chlorine and how to filter it. Use #ShowerWithAFriendDay to post on social media.

Brides and grooms will receive the following key benefits: *Up to 20% completion gift off most products on Amazon *World's largest selection, plus Amazon's reliable fast shipping and world class customer service *It's universal - add items from other websites with the universal button * Fast, free shipping - Free shipping on orders over $25 or fast, FREE delivery on millions of items with Prime.
Brides and grooms will receive the following key benefits: *Up to 20% completion gift off most products on Amazon *World’s largest selection, plus Amazon’s reliable fast shipping and world class customer service *It’s universal – add items from other websites with the universal button * Fast, free shipping – Free shipping on orders over $25 or fast, FREE delivery on millions of items with Prime.

Jen’s Super Sandwhich

So, as I was trying to answer the, “What’s for dinner?” question once again. I went with a super Sandwich creation, for Super Bowl Sunday. I have to satisfy some very good sized appetites and keep them diet-friendly for low-carb, keto style. With several of us needing these requirements for our health, it makes satisfying both regular and special diets a challenge. It’s an even better one when you can satisfy both, without sacrificing taste. I’ve been told by everyone who has them they are better than the sub shops and Deli’s make. So here’s my recipe for a great sandwich.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP

by Victorinox
https://www.cookscountry.com/equipment_reviews/1433-chefs-knivesVictorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch Chef’s FFP

by Victorinox

https://www.cookscountry.com/equipment_reviews/1433-chefs-knives

Ingredients

  • 1 medium purple onion sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 lg beef steak slicing tomato
  • 1 medium head Green Leaf Lettuce
  • 1 – 16oz pkg deli-sliced turkey breast
  • 1 -16oz pkg deli-sliced black forest ham ( I like the Land O Frost Brand)
  • 8 oz extra sharp sliced cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz sliced aged swiss cheese
  • 16oz Bacon Cheddar Ranch dip
  • 12oz sliced bacon cooked extra crispy
  • Yellow mustard
  • New York-style Rye Bread Or Dark Pumpernickle or low carb alternative
  • I got 7 full-size sandwiches from 1 loaf and had meat and cheeses left over.  If your crowd is bigger plan accordingly.


Directions


  • Spread 1 tsp Bacon Cheddar Ranch dip on each slice of bread.
  • Layer on dip onion slices on one, bell pepper on the other. Sounds easy but the order is important so it doesn’t slide out of your sandwich.
  • Next comes turkey breast folded and evenly layered. (I put 4-5 on onion side to build)
  • Add 2 full slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1.5 slices of super crispy bacon
  • Thin sliced tomatoes
  • 1 slice extra sharp cheddar
  • 4-5 slices black forest ham
  • Cover with little yellow mustard
  • Add Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Top with second dip and bell pepper bread.  Cut in half to make easier to hang on to. Quarters work too, especially for made up trays.  We added whole wheat original Sunchips with a little of the dip. 
  • HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set) | Juice Grooves w/Easy-Grip Handles | BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe | Multiple Sizes (Set of 3, Gray)

by HOMWE
    I like to prep my vegetables first for easy assembly. HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set) | Juice Grooves w/Easy-Grip Handles | BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe | Multiple Sizes (Set of 3, Gray)

    by HOMWE


    Our membership program offers special benefits for a low monthly fee: *Prime members can add subscription services like HBO, Showtime, STARZ and more to their membership *Manage subscriptions via Amazon Video on any device *No cable or satellite account necessary *Watch popular TV shows and blockbuster movies
    Our membership program offers special benefits for a low monthly fee: *Prime members can add subscription services like HBO, Showtime, STARZ and more to their membership *Manage subscriptions via Amazon Video on any device *No cable or satellite account necessary *Watch popular TV shows and blockbuster movies.

    Don’t forget Outlander is back February 17, 2020
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