Love is in the Air

printableValentinesQuotes

OK….it’s Valentine’s Weekend. It’s Sunday. But, of course, you already know that. Whether you meet this day with dreams or dread, it’s coming your way. Now, it can be awfully commercial…there’s no doubt about that. But, don’t let that stop you from celebrating it. Just elevate it.

Kristen Kilpatrick Photography, Camille Styles, Camille Styles Recipes,

Instead of buying a store bought card, get out your most plain stationery…yes, plain. Now, write a sweet message. From the heart. It doesn’t have to be profound. Just make it personal. Now….spray it with your favorite perfume. The one that whoever opens the envelope will recognize immediately. For me, that means Chloe. Now….drop in some confetti or flower petals. Finally….seal with your kiss on the back. Yes…actually, put on some lipstick and kiss the envelope. Viola….you have a very romantic, personal, inexpensive Valentine.

Now….it’s time to make some chocolate. Whaaaaat, you ask? Yes…you can do this. Get a bar, a really quality bar, of dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cacao. Chop it up and melt in the microwave (or in a glass bowl above a pot of boiling water) for 30-60 seconds at a time. Drop it onto some parchment paper in 2 inch rounds. Sprinkle liberally with a mix of healthy add-ons: such as, pistachios, almonds, chia seeds, pepitas, goji berries, blueberries, dried fruit….and let harden. Pop in the fridge for a half hour and you have homemade, healthy, luxurious dark chocolate.

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Fill a couple of glasses with some bubbly…and you have a full fledged Valentine’s celebration. Sadly, my big Valentine will be on another continent, but I’ll be celebrating with my little Valentines. So, it might be dark chocolate and hot cocoa…but I know it will be fun.

Wishing you loads of love, leisure and romance this weekend!

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Kristen Kilpatrick Photography, Camille Styles, Camille Styles Recipes, The View from Great Island

You’ll Love These

il_570xN.896782042_dcuhI am such a huge fan of Natalie Chang and the designs she continues to produce, that elevate the “everyday”. For Valentine’s, she has raised the bar on to-go cups and coordinated lids. So have your friends over for coffee or an afternoon cookie break….or package them up with a hot cocoa mix or a gift card for a local coffee shop and surprise someone you love. il_570xN.898361996_2e7mil_570xN.896541759_jucdil_570xN.898359438_4ctx il_570xN.896538577_qwgoWe’re never too old to celebrate love or to elevate our every day!

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Holiday Treats

final 1Better than eggnog! Here’s the Gingerbread Milkshake by The Kitchn, that you can make for the whole family with just 4 indgrients.

Cover one gingerbread cookie with 1/2 cup milk. Blend. Add, 1 scoop vanilla ice cream (size up to you) and blend. Top with a little rum if you’re over 21. Blend again!
process 1process 3 process 4 process 5-1final 4Then, top off your luscious drink with a whipped cream, nutmeg & a little festive garnish – either a gingerbread person or a little gingerbread house. Have on hand for hot cocoa breaks, too! Both available at Williams-Sonoma.Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.20.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.21.36 PMBest enjoyed with those you love most! Here’s to the holidays and all the sweet treats that how with them!

Plan diet for January!

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images: Maxwell Ryan for The Kitchn