Valentine’s Day is tomorrow!

Love in a Manilla Folder I'm a sucker for holidays. What better excuse to dress up, make crafts, and bake things than Christmas, Halloween, Birthdays, Canada Day, etc.! Regardless of my relationship status, Valentine's Day is just another day for me to get my creative on. It's easy to hate on V-Day if we fall into its consumeristic trap, but when you strip away the spending, all that remains is L-O-V-E and fun ideas on how to spread it. Yes, I believe that we should shower our loved ones with affection each and every day of the year, but let's face it--sometimes we forget to show how much we care. Doing sweet things on the 14th of February may not atone for our forgetfulness, but it's a step. I have made up a list of Valentine's ideas, some of which are free! If you're taken... 
  1. Take your sweetie skating. There’s nothing cuter than gliding hand-in-hand, especially if it is snowing.
  2. Make heart-shaped Jello-Jigglers. All you need is red Jello, a large Tupperware container, and cookie cutters. (These items are easy to find at the Dollar Store.)
  3. Dress up in your best formal attire and enjoy a nice candlelight dinner - at home, or at a restaurant.
  4. Compile a playlist for your love with romantic or sentimental songs. Or make a collage!
  5. At midnight, bundle up in your warmest winter wear, choose a destination and meet up to lie in the snow and look at the stars together.
If you’re single and looking for love... 
  1. If you like someone in one of your classes, secretly slip a cute note into their binder or if you’re daring, write your number on their notepad. If they don’t call at least you can be proud of your boldness.
  2. Casually ask your potential lover if they’d like to go for coffee. Every relationship has to start somewhere...
  3. Throw a V-Day Party! Decorate the room/apartment/house with paper hearts and ask everyone to throw their name into a hat. At the end of the night draw names. Ta-da! Who knew it was so easy to play Cupid?
  4. Do you have a cute friend that you know another friend would fall head-over-heels for? Play matchmaker and set them up on a blind date. Trust your friend to return the favour and make it a double!
  5. Have a rose delivered to that special someone. Attach a subtle clue that hints at your identity.
If you’re happy where you are... 
  1. Who says you need a date to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Have some much needed "me time" - have a bubble bath or watch a movie!
  2. Eat chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Without having to share. Yay!
  3. Get together with your friends and write cheesy love poems. Make them as silly as possible and distribute them to anyone that looks as though they need a good laugh.
  4. Wear red, pink and white or hearts if you can and take advantage of the opportunity to be creative with your clothing choices.
  5. If you live in an apartment: Choose two random rooms on a certain floor (or every floor, depending on how much time you have). Make a Hershey’s Kiss chocolate trail between the two. Knock loudly on the doors. Hide in the hallway so you can witness the confusion when your subjects meet in the middle.
Have fun! I will have updates on my romantic plans tomorrow! 🙂  

SuperBowl Sunday

I'm not one for football. To be honest my sports knowledge doesn't extend much past what I've learned about touchdowns and field goals from popular Adam Sandler movies. I actually have no idea what a field goal is, but Roger so kindly offered me the vocab and I'm running with it - like a running-back! 😉 SuperBowl Sunday is upon us and even though I'm not 100% sure if we are participating in the conventional beer-drinking and team-cheering sense I'm super excited for it nonetheless. Embarrassingly so, this will be my first year embracing the event. Sure, over the years I have entered a living room or two for a half-time show if I like the performer, but other than that I am a complete football virgin. My small high school didn't even have a team. Whenever I attended games in University, I often watched the cheerleaders instead. We currently do not have cable TV, nor have I had it for the past 5 years. Pretty much I have been living under a rock. I do; however, like all traditions surrounding the SuperBowl. The getting together with friends, the fatty food, the excuse to day drink on a Sunday with no shame. The idea for this post developed out of my aching desire to one day host a SuperBowl party in my own home with all the necessary fixings. For starters I would need this exquisite home theatre set-up:

Luxury Home Theatre

The side bar is an absolute must. My someday vision is to invite friends over for fun little appetizers and veggie dips, along with a large Crockpot of homemade chili. I have been Pinteresting a lot lately and can't get enough of creative food recipes. Like this charming cucumber killer whale ---->; how amazing would that be coming out of a spinach dip?? Cucumber Whale Today I plan to keep my recipes a little more simple. A few weeks ago I made really yummy gluten-free nachos for a quick and easy (but not so healthy) dinner. I roasted thinly-sliced sweet potatoes @ 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. In the meantime I shredded leftover chicken breasts with a fork and heated them in a frying pan along with black beans, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, pepper, and salsa. I spread the mixture over the sweet potatoes and served with lettuce, shredded cheese, and sour cream. A deconstructed taco. Roger helped with the sour cream dollops, hence why it looks so.......... wonderful. This is a deconstructed take on regular tacos I suppose.

Sweet Potato Nachos

The SuperBowl wouldn't be the SuperBowl without snacks. That's why I plan to make popcorn as well. We have a new obsession with stovetop popcorn. We use grapeseed oil for it's high smoke point and have experimented with many different flavours. The best by far is what I call "Cayenne and Honey" popcorn and making it is as simple as it sounds. Today I am going to try it with Cayenne Pepper and Agave Syrup. The sweetness and the spiciness complement each other perfectly.

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn

So even if my SuperBowl Sunday is filled with questions and confusion about game plays, at least I can bite my tongue and indulge in some yummy treats. I'll call it cultivating ideas for my elaborate party-hosting self of the future! GO team GO!