Many Moods of Valentine's Day

Do you remember when... You were in 3rd grade and sat down at the kitchen table, opened up your box of Smurf, He-Man or Barbie valentine cards, and started separating the cards into the "girl" pile and the "boy" pile? It was a monumental task to choose the right card for each class member. It's scary to think how much would be revealed in saying "You're special!" As 8 and 9 year-olds we played a tricky game of matching cards to classmates, especially when you had a crush on someone.

Do you remember when... You attended the Valentine's Day dance with a group of girls in 7th grade and that "special boy" asked you to dance the slow dance? It was a wonderful moment, even though he looked pretty "dorky" on the dance floor and stepped on your foot a couple of times. After dancing to one song, and limited conversation, you went back to your group of girlfriends, where you shared every detail and the "special boy" heard all the giggling.

Do you remember when... Your steady guy in high school brought you that big box of chocolates along with a single red rose? Wasn't he the most romantic guy ever?

Do you remember when... You were in college and all your friends had dates on Saturday night for Valentine's Day and you stayed in your dorm room, watched a romantic comedy, and ate chocolate ice cream with fudge topping. Men are jerks!

Do you remember when... You wore that flattering black dress to a candlelight dinner at your favorite restaurant? He reached for your hand, said, "I love you" and presented you with a diamond ring?

Memories of past Valentine's days are always filled with emotion. Whether it be anxiety about choosing the right card, giddy nervousness on the dance floor, starry-eyed love looking through red roses, rejection that drives you to chocolate or the assurance of a long lasting lifetime of love - this day has its moods.

So what about this year? What will your mood be? How will you remember February 14? Bring your heart home this year and create a mood of love for your family. Let your home be the haven where all moods will become mellow and warm. Start the day with heart-shaped pancakes. Make the time to serve up yummy heart pancakes topped with strawberry or maple syrup. Children of all ages will know that love starts at home!

For a family get-together project, make Valentine cards. Pull together all those extra pieces of construction paper, stickers, ribbons and lace. Make a list of names, assign cards to each person and enjoy a couple of hours of creativity. Neighbors, grandparents, teachers, coaches all love to receive something a little extra on this special day. Include a heart-shaped cookie when you present your homemade card.

What creates a better mood than a cake baking in the oven? For dessert, bake up some love with a heart-shaped cake or spread a little love around with mini cheesecakes. Our mini cheesecake pan makes the perfect size for a little bite of ambrosia and you can top these cakes with everybody's favorites!

With minimal effort you can make this Valentine's Day mood one of warm and friendly love. It may not be a passionate mood, but it's safe and familiar. Home is where the heart is!