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We are “Home for the Holidays” today with the Kuaba Gallery in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Take a listen to all they have to offer, with Jayne During.



By Michelle S. Cox

Whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with a loved one or going it alone, there are a few things that you probably want to avoid in your quest for that “lovin’ feelin’.”

Hollywood movies and television commercials for jewelers teach us that there’s nothing better than spending Valentine’s Day with the man or woman of our dreams. As such, many of us spend the day looking for something to compensate for what we feel we should be feeling. However, if you’re planning on doing one of the following things for Valentine’s Day in search of what those commercials are pedaling, you will more than likely be disappointed.

1. Dinner at “THE” restaurant: In most cities, there’s usually one restaurant (or perhaps a few) where would-be Casanovas take their significant others. While this may seem like a good idea, the problem is, the restaurant will more than likely be overcrowded, the staff will be stressed and the cooks will be less likely to attend to your food as they would on a less busy day. Instead of the cliche restaurant dinner, try something a little different. Bring a boxed lunch to a drive-in theater. Order take-out at home. While it might not sound as romantic, chances are you’ll wind up a lot less frustrated if you ignore that call to go out.

2. Romantic movie at the cineplex: When couples run out of things to do, the first thing they seem to jump to is the romantic movie that’s now playing at the local theater. No matter how many bad reviews or how cliche the trailers are, you may find yourself there come this Valentine’s Day. Word of advice: Don’t. If it’s not a movie you were already interested in before Valentine’s Day, then there’s no reason to suffer through it just because it’s February 14.

3. Lonely trip to the bar: For those spending Valentine’s Day alone, making a trip to the local bar to check out the dating scene will most likely prove to be a disappointment. Instead of spending your V-day at the bar, invite a couple of your single friends out for dinner at a local cafe or for a night of movies at home. You won’t be alone and you’ll actually enjoy your evening instead of looking for something in bar that you probably won’t find.

4. Get angry: You just got your Valentine’s Day gift from your significant other and it’s a bar stool. Sure. You wanted a bar stool, but not for Valentine’s Day, right? Instead of getting angry, laugh it off and perhaps later, explain that for Valentine’s Day, all you expect is a little extra affection and attention.

5. Romantic picnic: While this might work in some locales, this idea is often touted on “to do” lists revolving around Valentine’s Day. There’s only one problem. It’s wintertime! If you do opt for the picnic, ensure that it’s an “indoor picnic.” While it might not be as novel, at least you won’t risk losing a toe to hypothermia.

The most important thing to remember is that Valentine’s Day is just a day like any other day. If you spend everyday doing the things you want to do, you’ll have absolutely no reason to place so much emphasis on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the calendar year.

Of course, if you want to do something a little different for Valentine’s Day, consider dressing up and making a splash. Choose a Valentine Costume and make your Valentine’s Day a truly unforgettable event.

Source: EzineArticles

By Char Edwards

Here are 5 tips to planning the perfect Valentine’s day this year:

1. Set aside some time when you know you won’t be distracted or have other obligations to attend to. Maybe this means getting up an hour earlier or staying up later. On a work day maybe you take your lunch to the car one day and eat and plan in solitude. Remember we are just doing this Valentine’s Day planning once. It’s not like it is going to be a daily occurrence!

2. Get in the mood to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day. If you are up at 5 a.m. make a nice mug of some hot beverage that you can sip on while you plan. Also turn on some quiet music if possible. Think of why you love your guy. What has he done to make your life special and more enjoyable. Getting into a positive, loving state of mind will do wonders for your planning. You will feel more excited and creative and this planning process will go off well.

3. Brainstorm a list of things that your guy likes as well as things that he does not like. Then as you think of ideas you can eliminate them quickly if it falls under the “doesn’t like” side.

4. Consider where you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, what time of day it will be, how much time you will have and what the weather could be like. If you have kids, you will need to wait until they are in bed and do something at home or find a sitter so that you can go out, or have the house to yourselves while they are away. No kids, that will make planning easier for you! Will you have your dinner at a restaurant or at home on the patio or as an indoor picnic?

5. What’s your budget look like? Feeling a pinch? Then try to do something creative but easy on the wallet. Get out a package of construction paper and some markers and cut out dozens, if not hundreds of hearts! On each one write somethings special, funny or romantic. Then throw them into his car or scatter them in his office. He’ll be finding them for weeks! If you have more wiggle room in your finances, then buy some bags of chocolate and make them into words or hearts around the house.

Valentine’s Day is coming up pretty quick and if you want to make it a Valentine’s to remember, check out some of these Valentine’s Day ideas for him.

Your guy is sure to love one of the many of the frugal Valentine’s day ideas such as leaving hundreds of hearts all over his office or sending him one email an hour for 14 hours on Valentine’s Day.

Source: EzineArticles

By Sean Carter

The more, the merrier! So this February 14, have a Valentine’s Day party with all you hold close and multiply the celebrations! A Valentine’s Day party is not like any other regular parties; it’s a party where love rules as a theme. So put all your innovative and romantic ideas to good use this Valentine’s Day and have a dream of a party ! And if you need any help with the Valentine’s Day party ideas, read on. Given below are some wacky party ideas for the big day–Valentine’s Day:


The invitations need to be sent out at least one week in advance. This will give you a fair idea of the number of people coming to the Valentine’s Day party and thus will help you in making the appropriate party arrangements. And it’s always a good idea to make your invitations attractive. Heart-shaped invitation cards are always a winning idea, or you may also send out invites in shapes of cupids, lock-n-key or roses.

Have a Theme Party

For your Valentine’s Day party, decide on a theme and have the decorations, gifts, games, and costumes based on it. For instance, if you have a jungle theme party, the guests can come as Tarzan and Jane or dress up in animal suits. Or they can don fur coats, fake horns etc. You can decorate your house with some outdoor plants or can have an outdoor party itself at your backyard. You can go for any theme you fancy–may be an Adam-n-Eve theme, or say a classical theme! Just let loose all your funky ideas for this day.


Games are an essential ingredient of any party, and for your Valentine’s Day party, have lots of games to add to the celebrations. Chin Balance, Things I Love, Candy Treasure, and Candy Quest are a few all-time favorite Valentine’s Day games. Have these at your Valentine’s Day party and let the fun flow!

Music and Dance

Music and dancing are synonymous with Valentine’s Day parties. So take time to decide what kind of music you want at the party. If the guests are more willing to have some intimate moments with their partners, then keep some slow, soulful ballads playing for some close dancing. If the mood is more vibrant and young, it’s better to go for fast dance numbers. But make sure that the most of what you play are love songs, because it’s Valentine’s Day after all.

The Little Darlings

How can one leave the kids out on this big day of love? So arrange for a Valentine’s Day party for the little kiddos too. Organize the party for one or two hours and start it off early at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon so that the little beings don’t tax it to much towards bed-time. Include games and some cute kiddy-dancing. It’s of course a good idea to arrange for pizzas, burgers and sandwiches as the kids would be overstuffed with candies and other sweets on Valentine’s Day. Make small heart-shaped name tags to welcome all the little guests. Also have party favors reserved for them.

Party Food

It is advisable to serve finger food at a Valentine’s Day party. It will be easier for you to arrange and the guests will love it too. Along with that, you can go for lots of cakes, cookies and Valentine’s Day special candies. Savor the flavor of love and joy as you hug and wish each other a very ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’.

Singles Fun

If you are single and feeling a little low about it on Valentine’s Day, then this next party idea will surely cheer you up. You don’t need to sit and sulk on Valentine’s Day. If you are a woman, then why not celebrate with all your girl friends together? How about having a slumber party with a good men-bashing session? Guys could have a kind of bachelor party with poker, booze and a lot of men-talk. These sure are cool Valentine’s Day party ideas for the single-and-seeking!

So with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, start planning for your big party. Try these party ideas while celebrating with your sweetheart and friends. Decorate the house and get all the gifts in advance. It is the season of love and celebrations and so make the most of it by partying and dancing and singing and most importantly, spending some precious time with the one/ ones you love.

Sean Carter writes on holidays, Valentine’s Day and world events. He is a writer with special interest in ecard industry and writes for

Source: EzineArticles

As Valentine’s Day approaches, consider going to the craft store instead of the card store and making your own Valentines.

Consider some of these ideas to be creative this Valentine’s Day.

Bookmarks: Make your Valentine into a bookmark he or she can use all year to think of you.

Bracelets: People of all ages like getting friendship bracelets. Make your own bracelet and attach it to your Valentine.

Cookies: Get a heart-shaped cookie cutter and create delicious, edible Valentines.

Candy jar: Find out your Valentine’s favorite candy and put it in a jar that’s decorated with hearts or a Valentine’s Day message.

Trinkets: Almost everyone loves trinkets (even adults love to have them as desk toys). Attach your Valentine to a fun trinket this year for a playful greeting.

School supplies: For kids Valentines, find Valentine’s Day themed pencils, pens and erasers to attach to a card.

Origami cards: Get creative and make your Valentine an origami creation.

Fortune cookies: For a really unique Valentine, order customized Fortune Cookies with your own personal message in the inside.

Personalized candies: Write your Valentine’s Day message on personalized candies.

By M. K. Scanlan

Ah, Valentine’s Day; the day men secretly love to hate. Since it comes around every year without fail, why not embrace it this time and give her an amazing surprise to show her you not only remembered the wonderful day of love, but also care about her and want to show it. If you want to go for boyfriend-of-the-year, try incorporating a few of these ideas throughout the day and really sweep her off her feet!

10) Spoil her with a shopping trip together: Let’s be honest, next to Christmas, Valentine’s Day might be one of the most materialistic days of the year, minus the good will towards men. So why not embrace the consumerist day of love and spoil your lady? Fun for her, and easy for you. She’ll be delighted to not only go shopping, but spend the day with the man she cares about. Have fun getting her to try on a nice outfit for her to wear to dinner or let her choose a beautiful piece of jewelry you might have been too afraid to buy for her on your own. Make a day out of it by booking a reservation to a restaurant so she can wear her new Valentine’s Day gift out with you.

9) Rent a horse and carriage or a limo for a night out: Depending on where you live, arranging a private horse and carriage might be a bit of a challenge, but renting a limo is just as romantic and both will be sure to surprise her this Valentine’s Day. Make an evening of it, by taking a long drive around town and taking her to a romantic dinner. Have fun in the back of the limo by sipping champagne, and rolling up the barrier and making out like you’re teenagers again. She’ll feel like the most special lady in town and it will all be thanks to you.

8) Learn together: This is surprisingly more fun that it sounds. Has she ever mentioned wanting to take a couple’s cooking class or dance class with you? What about scuba diving lessons or learning Italian for that trip to Italy you want to eventually take together? There are endless classes available for whatever she’s interested in, and taking them with you will not only give her someone to go with, but show her that you care enough to want to share them with her.

7) Make her breakfast in bed: Start the day off by surprising her with breakfast in bed. Cook her favorite breakfast with all the extras she loves, and take extra care to display it on a beautiful breakfast tray. Make it fun by including little Valentine’s Day themed treats with the breakfast tray such as cinnamon hearts or personalized M&Ms with messages such as “you + her” or “I love you” on them. Be sure to include a single stemmed rose or a bouquet of her favorite flowers, and take it up a notch by also including a handmade note or Valentine telling her how much you care about her.

6) Pamper her: Whether you treat her to an indulgent day at the spa, go on a romantic couple’s massage together, or take matters into your own hands by creating your own spa at home, the possibilities are endless. You can turn your own bathroom into a spa sanctuary fairly easily by dimming the lights, lighting some candles, running her a bath filled with rose petals, and turning on some relaxing music. Crawl in together and have fun relaxing. Afterwards, continue the indulgent experience by having the bedroom prepared to give her an amazing massage. Products such as scented massage oil, or massage bars help to make the process extra luxurious.

5) Cook her favorite meal: Whether you’re a cooking rock star and want to pull out all the stops, or have cooking skills that would make Martha Stewart cringe, making your girl her favorite meal (or attempting to) is one of the sweetest things you can do for her this Valentine’s Day. Research her favorite meal online and choose a highly-rated recipe to follow, so you can be sure that you’re on the right track. If you’re brave, try making her a dessert to go with the meal. Easy ideas include chocolate mousse, or chocolate fondue with strawberries or fruit. Don’t forget to dress the table up for Valentine’s Day with a bouquet of her favorite flowers.

4) Create a romantic scavenger hunt: Have some fun with Valentine’s Day this year, and let your creativity run wild as you surprise your lady with a love-themed scavenger or treasure hunt. If you’re feeling up to it, create an elaborate scavenger hunt by using your relationship and past experiences as the theme. Use clues and familiar locations to lead her all over collecting new clues and little gifts and rewards at each point. Use questions such as “our first date”, or “where we first kissed” to keep her heading all the way back to your place, where you can surprise her yet again with an amazing dinner cooked by you or an indulgent massage. A sexy treasure hunt in your place is another fun way to surprise her. Scatter clues and sexy gifts all around, such as massage oil, or lingerie, eventually leading to the bedroom to put those treats to use!

3) Re-create your first date: Arguably once of the most romantic things you can do for her. Revisiting the same restaurant you two first had dinner at or going back to the same mini-golf joint brings back a ton of nostalgic memories and is sure to conjure up those early giddy feelings of butterflies and excitement. Tell her you’re going out for Valentine’s Day, but don’t give her details. Once you two arrive, she’ll quickly realize the reasons for your choice. Women always remember the little things, and knowing that you remembered your first date will mean a lot to her and make her grateful to have you.

2) Plan a romantic getaway: This doesn’t have to be as expensive as it sounds. The possibilities are endless and can be completely tailored to your budget without compromising on the romance factor. If you two can only get away for a weekend, then book a cozy bed and breakfast lodge and enjoy the time alone snuggled up by the fireplace, or go cross-country skiing, or wine-tasting for the day. If you have the time and money for it, a week-long vacation to a sunny destination makes for a spectacular surprise. She’ll be able to brag to her friends about what an amazing man she has, and you’ll be a boyfriend rock star.

1) Pop the question: A bit intense, maybe. But if you were mulling the idea over for a while now, and waiting for the opportune time to do it, Valentine’s Day is perfect. It’s not only the most romantic day of the year, but also kills two birds with one stone by taking care of a gift too. She’ll be elated, you’ll be prince charming, and everyone will be happy. Just be sure to properly plan the proposal, and put some effort and thought into it, women really care about details, and this is certainly a time to make sure the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.

Source: EzineArticles

As we approach February 14th it is time to think about relationships and their meaning.

Ponder the following:

1. Most people spend more time shopping for a new vehicle than finding a partner. Slow down and consider what you need and can offer before you commit.

2. Dating is way of determining whether you are compatible but does not guarantee long-term happiness, especially if you aren’t being honest with yourself about what you need.

3. Going from dating to common-law in a short period of time is risky. Determine to date for a year without living together so that you can see how the other person deals with holidays, seasons and problems.

4. The “honeymoon” stage doesn’t last long. What used to be “cute” can become “annoying”, especially when the bills come in, the career is stressful and illness shows up.

5. Maturity and good mental health practices offer more stability for a partnership than physical attractiveness. Do good trumps look good!

6. People don’t divorce because of conflict. They divorce because they don’t know how to resolve the conflict. Learn how to deal with issues in a healthy manner.

7. Over fifty percent of married couples divorce. (Stats do not include those couples who are separated). Be thankful if you are happy and look forward to spending time with your partner.

8. Some couples are unhappy but stay together for a variety of reasons (children, finances, religion, shame). If you are both willing to seek professional help, learn some new skills and forgive, you can improve your situation.

9. Statistics for second marriages that end are higher than for first marriages. You can’t just blame your first spouse for everything! Work on your weaknesses or you will marry and be the wrong person your second time around.

10. Better to be 80% happy on your own than 100% miserable with a partner.

This Valentine’s Day instead of just focusing on romance, try thinking about and showing love to those around you. A paper heart for a child. Cookies for a shut-in. A smile for a stranger. Extra help for a co-worker. Donations for a charity. Encouragement for a neighbor.

And, if you have made a romantic commitment to someone, try using honest and well thought-out words to communicate how thankful you are to have him/her in your life! Because they are more powerful and longer lasting than cut flowers they will be treasured for years to come.

Love you to at Valentine’s Day!

And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit

From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker

Source: EzineArticles

By P.K. Martin

Valentine’s day is the festival of love and flowers are one of the oldest ways of expressing our love to our loved ones. Even in today’s hi-tech era when mobile phones, email messages and social networks have been becoming the primary method of communication, still people prefer to surprise their love by going before them with a bouquet of flowers. But what you may not know are the hidden meanings behind those flowers – yes, each bouquet and flower carries a different meaning with it. So read on and find out what his flowers really mean to you:

Roses: Unsurprisingly this classic flower is the most popular Valentine’s day choice among lovers. It may be because it symbolizes love and romance. Plus, it’s also a symbol of beauty. The following stats are enough for showing you a craze of rose on the “love fest”: 223 million roses were produced in 2013 especially for Valentine’s day. Due to this insanely high demand it also becomes the costliest flower at February 14th.

Gerbera Daisies: Daisies are the symbol of beauty, purity and innocence. The Gerbera variety of these flowers carries an additional meaning of “cheerfulness” due to its large flower heads.

Tulips: Tulips are a symbol of perfect love. These elegant blooms are one of the most popular flowers in the world but are often linked with Netherlands because they flourished there in the 17th century. These classic and affordable buds communicate comfort and warmth which makes them a fine pick for the day.

Peruvian lilies or Alstroemeria: These long-lasting petals convey the message of friendship and devotion. They’re native to South America but can be found in nearly all parts of the world at the time of Valentine’s day.

Casa Blanca Lilies: These different and oriental lilies typically symbolize beauty and style. The heady fragrance of these stunningly different blooms also makes it a great choice for your valentine. However, these lilies are expensive in comparison to some other cheaper flowers.

Orchids: These rare and unique buds are a symbol of beauty, love, strength and luxury. Plus, they also convey a message of exotic seduction. Orchids can also be held up well in bouquets and flower pots for a longer time in comparison to other sensitive flowers.

Carnations: These ruffled flowers symbolize the message of new love and fascination. Due to some reason they’re understood as a bad rep, but at some places people like them. These awesome and cheerful blossoms are affordable and hearty.

Sunflowers: Just like sun, they represent warmth, freshness and happiness. One more message that they convey is loyalty.

Irises: Irises stand for hope and faith but at some places they also indicate royalty. You can mix them up either with red tulips of daisies while preparing a striking combination for your bouquet.

Gardenias: Loaded with lots of fragrance, these beautiful and elegant flowers are a symbol of purity and joy. Since they’re pricey and are sold as separate blooms, they surely make a statement of differentiation on the day.

This article was written by P K Martin for increasing awareness in people about holiday flowers.

Source: EzineArticles

Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate – and even enjoy – Valentine’s Day. Here are some ideas for how singles can spend the holiday.

Host a singles party. Find all of your single friends and invite them over for a singles-only Valentine’s Day party.

See a movie. Find a few friends and go catch a movie. If you want to avoid a bunch of couples, maybe opt for a horror flick instead of a romantic comedy.

Have a movie marathon. Get sappy in the privacy of your home by watching a marathon of romantic comedy movies.

Go to dinner. Get dressed up and make dinner reservations for you and your closest friends. Celebrate your friendship on this holiday.

Have a spa day. Relax and spoil yourself with a trip to the spa.

Babysit. Be a good friend or relative and offer to babysit for a couple so they can have a date-night. While with the kids, create a fun Valentine’s celebration at home with treats, movies and even decorations.

By Graciela Sholander

We all know how to celebrate Valentine’s Day but what about why or how it started? Here are three things you may not know about this popular holiday.

1. The real Saint Valentine is shrouded in mystery

Even though he lived in the third century AD, almost nothing is known about this saint or the life he led. It’s not even clear how many holy men named Valentine there were, or which one is honored on Valentine’s Day.

Regardless, bits and pieces about the saint have made it into the realm of legends. The consensus is that he was a priest who broke the law doing what he believed in. Some stories say he conducted marriages between soldiers and their beloveds. In Rome during that time, this was against the law. Soldiers were not allowed to marry. When Valentine was caught, he was imprisoned and put to death for defying Roman rules.

Another story also involves his imprisonment, but this time for practicing his faith and refusing to worship the emperor. While in prison, he became friends with the jailer’s daughter. He prayed for her, and she was healed of her maladies. On the night of his execution, Valentine gave his friend a note to comfort her. It read, quite simply, “From Your Valentine.”

2. Matchmaking was an ancient roman tradition that preceded Valentine’s Day

Lupercalia was a festival that took place each year in ancient Rome between the 13th and 15th of February. Its purpose was to cleanse and protect the community. Some of the festival traditions were meant to get rid of evil spirits and bless crops.

There was also a matchmaking component to the festivities. Women put their names in an urn. Men picked names from the urn. The couples formed by this lottery system were expected to stay together for a year. Surprisingly, many of these random matches resulted in marriages.

Centuries later, this ancient celebration merged with the newer tradition of honoring Saint Valentine on February 14. The newer holiday was much more subdued, but some of the festival’s romantic aspects carried forward.

3. Valentine cards became all the rage in Victorian England

In the Middle Ages, noblemen wrote (or hired others to write for them) impassioned love notes to their dear ones. But it wasn’t until the Victorian Era in the mid-1800s that sending valentine cards became a popular custom.

First it was handmade cards embellished with lace and ribbon. These were fancy cards with intricate designs that included cutouts and pop-ups. The tradition was popularized in England and made its way to the U.S. several decades later.

With advances in printing technology, cards began to be mass-produced. Today 180 million valentine cards are exchanged each year in the U.S. alone. Designs continue to evolve, but heart and floral themes remain as popular as they were in Victorian times.

Graciela Sholander is a researcher, writer and editor who has ghostwritten two dozen books and now writes eBooks designed to inform and entertain. Learn more about Valentine’s Day through her most recent eBook, Valentine’s Day: How We Celebrate Love And Friendship Around The World.

Source: EzineArticles