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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.  

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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.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE DAY

Celebration of Life Day on January 22nd honors the children and grandchildren who bring joy to our lives. The day is a reminder that each child and each life is to be held as a precious gift with the highest respect and dignity. 

Children grow up so quickly. They’re constantly learning new things and changing daily. Each day they delight us with their simple wisdom and observations. By spending time with children and demonstrating the care and love they deserve, we celebrate their life.

Crayola Inspiration Art Case Coloring Set, Gift for Kids Age 5+

by Crayola
Crayola Inspiration Art Case Coloring Set, Gift for Kids Age 5+

by Crayola


Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection (Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks) Hardcover – Box set, September 22, 2009

by Dr. Seuss  
Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Book Collection (Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks) Hardcover – Box set, September 22, 2009

by Dr. Seuss  

HOW TO OBSERVE #CelebrationOfLifeDay

Celebrate the children in your life. Share the day with a child, grandchild, niece or nephew. We’ve provided several suggestions.

  • Read a book with a child.
  • Get down on the floor and put a puzzle together.
  • Build something with your child.
  • Invite all the cousins to play board games.
  • Bake cookies and decorate them. Even the smallest child will learn something.
  • Make popcorn and watch a movie.
  • Tell the story of how Grandma and Grandpa met.
  • Get out the art supplies and create.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Show a teen how to change a tire.
  • Give a driving lesson.
  • Paint your fingernails together.
  • Everybody give the dog a bath.
  • Go swimming.
  • Make balloon animals.
  • Sing Karaoke
Spend time

Use #CelebrationOfLifeDay to post on social media.

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Amazon Home Services offers customers over a thousand different services from quality, hand-picked pros and backed by Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee. Top services available include: *House Cleaning *TV Wall Mounting *Smart Home Device Installation *Equipment and Furniture Assembly *Plumbing and Electrical *Handyman *House Painting

January 1, 2020! New Years Day

Happy New Year! If your bleary eyed and looking for Asprin, that was an energetic whisper instead of a yell…

Pensacola Pelican Drop with great friends.
The Pelican Drop may be gone but the memories live on!  Happy New Year! 

Well 2020 is officially here. Now if I can just train myself to write that year, on important things like billing, receipts and checks. If you haven’t adjusted your organizer, calendars, and yearly to-do lists, it’s a good day to spend quietly preparing to rejoin the world. (If you’re lucky enough to have time off to do so.)

First make it a point if you’re not totally digital to transfer any dates, notes, or important information to this tears planner. Sync the digital, worlds of desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you have your information handy. You should do a complete backup of your contacts, calendars, and any other vital information.

For digital media burn real back up disks. I know, it sounds old fashioned today, but that thumb drive, external hard drive, micro sd card can all be wiped out. The wrong delete command can undo all your hard work. What would you do if you lost all those irreplacable photos?

The Cloud?

Ok, like most of us I have cloud storage. So why do I need to do anything physical like a real disk? Cloud storage has gotten better but, experts still agree if you go with this method, you need more than one. A physical disk also lets me keep my private files…Private!

Data breaches happen all the time. Google, Banks, Stores where we shop, they appear in the news all the time. Sensitive information like credit cards, financial records, taxes, contacts, and any photos, you don’t want out there don’t store it anywhere that has network access. Yes, it makes it easier for you to get to your files but internet security is really only good until the next hacker breaks it. Do you really want to learn through social media that “That” photo is out there. With identity theft rates going higher, do not want to take chances with your sensitive information?

Staying on Track

As a blogger, and in charge of the family finances, I safeguard this information. I use a variety of both physical and virtual tools to make my life easier. To keep my days on track and remember appointments I still use a paper planner. Everything from holidays, birthdays, and planning for both my family and my blog go here. I find it easier to stay focused, complete tasks in a timely manner and use things like alarms on my phone for special reminders.

Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner, Flexible Cover, Twin-Wire Binding, 5" x 8", Laila

by Blue Sky
Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner, Flexible Cover, Twin-Wire Binding, 5″ x 8″, Laila

by Blue Sky


Outside of that and a secret stash of sensitive login information I’m fully digital.  We use app named Prism to keep track of paydays, bills, credit cards and so on. It let’s me track and make payments easily with an easy to understand interface that covers everything. It reminds me when the water payment is due. Keeps my bank balance, tells me the car insurance is next week and keeps up with my automatic payments. With bank-level security and automatic locking features even if I lose my phone no one else can get in.

Prism Bills & Money (Kindle Tablet Edition)

BillGO, Inc.

Or on Google Play
For fire tablet edition simply click the logo. Google Play Store here
Give yourself the gift of Prime Membership

Dec 31 New Year’s Eve

As today is also Make Up Your Mind Day, I have some fun and delicious ways to ring in the New Year! I took the initiative and made up this awesome menu to enjoy in style.

Pensacola, Florida drops a Pelican every year. So while I am no longer able to join the downtown crowds for the festivities ill settle for watching The Pelican Drop and fireworks at home. So our menu tonight will hopefully reflect the health, happiness, love, and prosperity, we are hopeful for in 2020.

PensacolPelican Drop
While they are not dropping the Pelican this year there will be plenty of fun and events in Downtown tonight.

Individual Beef Wellingtons made with tender ribeyes, Blue Chese, carmalized onions and Spinich. All wrapped in a delicate flaky puff pastry shell.

Blue Cheese, Spinach Wellingtons
Blue Cheese, Spinach Wellingtons

Winter Salad made with Bosc Pears, dried Cranberries, Pistachios, and fresh Parmesan. With mandarin oranges and a light yogurt dressing.

Winter Arugula Pear Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Yogurt Dressing
Winter Arugula Pear Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Yogurt Dressing


Followed by bubbly and my take on a Loaded Brownie. Chocolate chunks and chips mixed not the super fudgy brownies. Topped with Chocolate frosting, diced pecans, Reese’s chips, Salted Carmel Drizzle, and a touch of rich Hershey’s chocolate sauce.

Loaded Brownies
My Easy Loaded Brownies

Christmas Day

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. 

Give tge gift of joy to all you meet.
The best you can give to someone else is joy! Smile more, and let the spirit of Christmas follow you all year long.

WikipediaDate: Wednesday, December 25, 2019 

TrendingCelebrations: Gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc Significance: Commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus Observances: Church servicesAlso called: Noël, Nativity, XmasObserved by: Christians, many non-Christians

Christmas Dinner

As we celebrate this Festive holiday(s), we remember that not everyone can be home. A special seasons greetings to our Deployed military and families, first responders and those whose job keeps them away from their family. We are truly thankful for the job you do. So to our first responders let’s hope it’s a Silent Night. For our troops, no creature us storing not even a mouse. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Christmas memories
Make memories that last a lifetime.
Give Prime
The best gift to others or yourself.

NATIONAL UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER DAY, December 20

Since 2011, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown to be an international event. Now occurring on the third Friday of December, the celebration gives holiday lovers worldwide a chance to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters.

Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage – Includes Special Offers + Kindle Unlimited (with auto-renewal)

by Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage – Includes Special Offers + Kindle Unlimited (with auto-renewal)

by Amazon

In 2014, they partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign. 

Each year, ugly Christmas sweater wearers, decorate, shop, and do their darndest to out ugly last year’s ugliest sweater. Whether they sport the most lights or colors, bells or characters, ugly sweater wearers find the most ribbon and felt ladened sweaters and festoon them with glitter so blinding no Dustbuster invented will capture the wave left behind. The sweaters serve as beacons of light so bright, Rudolph himself will someday be out of a job.

Ugly christmas sweaters for everyone

However, don’t be sad. So often Rudolph is featured on many of the sweaters. Elfs, donkeys, snowmen, and many other holiday characters we love and adore find their way to these ugly monstrosities. It’s all part of the fascination with the holiday. So, join in the fun. Celebrate and donate, too.

HOW TO OBSERVE #UglyChristmasSweaterDay

Try these tips to take the prize:

  • Animal or cartoon characters with a holiday theme give sweaters a kitsch feel. Think reindeer, snowmen, mice, kittens or elves.
  • Select ridiculous colors. The more they clash, the better.
  • Embellish. Scratch that. Over-embellish! Pom-poms, bells, felt, tinsel, or any other glittery, jingly items lying around the house.
  • Add a collar, dickey, or ruffle.
  • Electrify it! Put Rudolph to shame and go to the head of the team with bright, flashing lights!
  • Give it some 80s flair with shoulder pads.

Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater. Use #UglyChristmasSweaterDay or #ChristmasSweaterDay to post on social media.

Last minute deals
Last minute gift deals

NATIONAL UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER DAY HISTORY

In 2011, ugly Christmas sweater lovers created National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day as a way to lighten up the busy holidays and to show off their absurdly, ugly sweaters. The day has grown in popularity and is celebrated worldwide.

Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa built in, Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, includes the Alexa Voice Remote
Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa built in, Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, includes the Alexa Voice Remote

Day of the Ninja

December 5 is the Day of the Ninja, a day to honor and celebrate the sneaky and stealthy masked warriors in black garb from ancient Japan.

Legend has it that this unofficial holiday was created in 2003 to commemorate the release of Tom Cruise’s movie, The Last Samurai. We loved this movie!

The Last Samurai

Timothy Spall (Actor), Ken Watanabe (Actor) 
The Last Samurai

Timothy Spall (Actor), Ken Watanabe (Actor) 

Professional Spies

Ninjas were professional spies in Japan. Active between the 13th and the 19th century, a ninja’s job included infiltration, sabotage, espionage, and even assassination.

LEGO NINJAGO Legacy Monastery of Spinjitzu 70670 Battle Toy Building Kit includes Ninja Toy Weapons and Training Equipment for Creative Play (1,070 Pieces)

by LEGO
LEGO NINJAGO Legacy Monastery of Spinjitzu 70670 Battle Toy Building Kit includes Ninja Toy Weapons and Training Equipment for Creative Play (1,070 Pieces)

by LEGO

While popular culture is full of stories about ninjas, usually featured as cunning, secretive, brave, and skillful fighters, there are very few historical accounts of them. Historians believe that in the Japanese society ninjas were not considered to be part of an elite class of fighters – that place was reserved for the samurais. Because of this, ninjas were often recruited to do unsavory tasks like arson and terrorism.

Did Not Dress in Black

In those days, a ninja, also known as a shinobi, did not wear the all black outfit ninjas are depicted wearing today in films, TV shows, and comic books. After all, one of the main tasks of a ninja as a spy was to infiltrate by blending into his surroundings. They would often dress as the locals to do their job.

The secrecy surrounding ninjas led to the rise of legends about their skills and powers – something that has now become a part of popular culture. Modern day depictions of ninjas show them having superhuman powers such as invisibility, ability to walk on water and shape shift.

Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL770) Blender/Food Processor with 1500W Auto-iQ Base, 72oz Pitcher, 64oz Processor Bowl, (2) 16oz Cup for Smoothies, Dough & More

by Ninja
Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL770) Blender/Food Processor with 1500W Auto-iQ Base, 72oz Pitcher, 64oz Processor Bowl, (2) 16oz Cup for Smoothies, Dough & More

by Ninja

“Got one for my mom it’s the best money I’ve spent in a long time.”

How to Celebrate?

  • Watch ninja movies or have a Teenage Mutant Ninja marathon.
  • Have a ninja themed party. Everyone dresses like a ninja.
  • Go to work dressed as a ninja and sneak up on your coworkers and friends.
Ninja Specialty Fold-Away Frother (CM407) Coffee Maker, Single Serve to 10 Cup (50 oz.), Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe

by Ninja
Ninja Specialty Fold-Away Frother (CM407) Coffee Maker, Single Serve to 10 Cup (50 oz.), Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe

by Ninja

Did You Know…

…that contrary to popular belief, ninjas were not all men? Women ninjas were known as Kunoichi.

We like the blender set so much this is on our Christmas list.

Mary B.
Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Fryer, Slow Multi Cooker with TenderCrisp Technology, 5 Pot, 3-qt. Air Fry Basket (OP101), 5-Quart, Black/Gray

by Ninja
Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Fryer, Slow Multi Cooker with TenderCrisp Technology, 5 Pot, 3-qt. Air Fry Basket (OP101), 5-Quart, Black/Gray

by Ninja

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