A few weekends ago, to celebrate our birthdays, Jenny and I visited Santa Monica where we toured the Getty Villa, shopped on 3rd Street, and ate buttery croissants in the hotel beds. We also bar hopped through downtown Santa Monica, having a cocktail and appetizer at each of four bars, and I highly recommend this kind of fun when visiting a city. We started at an alehouse where we had wine and a goat cheese quesadilla, moved to a cafe where we had honey cocktails and spring rolls, then stopped in at an Irish pub for margaritas and ravioli (I have no idea...), and ended at a cheesy themed fish house for Irish coffees and cake.
Our husbands, jealous at all the fun that didn't include them, spent the weekend concocting their own plan to go golfing, eat burritos, and play tennis. The first weekend they were both available was Valentine's weekend and we, being the amazingly wonderful wives we are, encouraged them to just go ahead and book the trip despite the holiday (which was on Monday, anyway, so it's not like they'd be missing the actual day).
And, so, our husbands spent Valentine's weekend at a hotel on the beach. They played golf, went out for drinks, watched a college baseball game, played tennis, and ate at a seafood restaurant on the ocean. I think they even walked on the beach.
As they enjoyed some quality guy time (no doubt telling stupid guy jokes), Jenny and I got to thinking: they did leave us home on Valentine's weekend. So, despite the fact that their weekend away was in response to our weekend away, we should get another girls' weekend away, to even things out. Fair's fair.
3 ounces Lillet
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1 good splash Campari
2 pieces of orange peel for garnish.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients except orange peel. Stir rapidly until outside of shaker is frosted, then strain into a chilled martini glass.
Hold a piece of orange peel by the edges and, with the skin facing drink, about 3 inches above surface. Strike a match and hold between peel and drink. Squeeze so it bends toward match to spray flaming citrus oil onto surface of drink. Garnish drink with remaining orange peel.
Oh, you all KNOW how I love a good Valentine pun and I'm absolutely beside myself over these free fruit pun stickers from Twig & Thistle. There are stickers for apples, pears, oranges, bananas, passion fruit, berries and even a general sticker for everything else! So cute!
By far, my favorite article in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living is the Valentine's Crafternoon article, in which a group of talented crafters came together to make handmade Valentines. The results were stunning and, if you are looking to create handmade Valentine cards this year, you might want to check out the ideas.
Two of my favorite SLO gals, Jenna and Stacey, and I decided to host our own Valentine Crafternoon on Saturday, which was the day our husbands had planned an overnight trip to Santa Cruz to play volleyball. Or, well, maybe they planned the trip after we decided to host the Crafternoon, deciding that glue sticks + pink paper + scalloped scissors + yards of ribbon + mimosas sounded like way more girly-ness than they could possibly handle. Either way, with the guys off in Santa Cruz, we lounged all day in my kitchen cutting and pasting.
Stacey brought her waffle iron--an industrial sort that makes giant Belgian-style waffles. Jenna, the artist, brought loads of crafting supplies. And I, doing what I do best, supplied a giant bottle of champagne and orange juice.
We seriously got our craft on.
In four hours I made a grand total of four cards and they aren't even that impressive. I blame the mimosas. When we got hungry again, after hours of glue sticking, we walked to High Street Deli for the 4:20 sandwich special. I'm not sure Martha would approve (she suggested gourmet pizza sandwiches in the article, which are less, um, hefty than the High Street variety) but the kitchen was already plastered in waffle batter and caramel sauce. You should never have to clean a kitchen twice in the same day is my policy.
Happy February! It's the first day of my favorite month of the year!
A few notes to start the month off in style:
+ First, you MUST go get your free $10 credit at Design Story. It's a modern design site that offers weekly deals on amazing products. For one more day they are offering gorgeous Rifle Paper products and, starting on my birthday, Droga Chocolates (among other fabulous things)!
+ To kick off this fabulous month, I'm giving away a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's book Committed, which was a great read!
I love when the world starts getting all Valentine-y. It's my very favorite holiday, hands down, and I'm absolutely crazy for all things red and hearts and pink and lovely. I'm currently smitten over the ban.do website and, in particular, their Valentine page.
P.S. I was Grand Love in 1998, which helped fuel the love of love. Any former Rainbow Girls out there?