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Valentine’s Day Musings on the Heart

May we receive love and give love. May we honor the goodness in all beings.

Heart openings in nature

Heart openings in nature

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Valentine’s Day Children’s Literature: Pigs in Love

pigs_in_lovePigs in Love by Teddy Slater and illustrated by Aaron Boyd is a sweet book.

“They say it with flowers.
They say it with hearts
They say it with candy
and strawberry tarts.”
A new version of a holiday favorite–now with bright red foil throughout!
Pretty pink pigs celebrate Valentine’s Day, and show how many ways one can say the three most precious words in the world: I love you. In thoroughly sweet, un-swinish style, they tell their fathers and mothers, their pesky little brothers, their sweethearts and buddies. Some whisper, some shout, some sing of love, some write a poem. But no matter how and where they do it, these adorably expressive piggies are living proof that everyone is someone’s lovin’ valentine. Youngsters will want to share this with everyone they care for, on Valentine’s Day and all year long.

Valentine’s Day at 40: Money Can’t Buy Me Love

.bobby /Free Photos

I have been in a relationship with the same person since I was 20-years-old. I am thankful for this.  Of course, it has had its ups and downs, but we have endured.  We have two beautiful children.

Do we really need to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Recently, two of my good friends have ended marriages and found new “soulmates”. They are both very happy.  They have chosen a different path for their families, a path I am all too familiar with from my youth.  It is not a path I would choose willingly, nor did they lightly, but it seems that turning 40-years-0ld makes some reevaluate their lives.  We want the romance of youth.  But do we really?

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Valentine’s Day Advice: The New Science of Adult Attachment

Those of us who proclaim ourselves as natural parents are also advocates of attachment parenting.  But what about our partners?  Do we practice adult attachment?

A new book written by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. explores relationships. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-and Keep-Love is perfect for couples and singles to reflect upon this Valentine’s Day, if they so desire to examine their behaviors.  The premise of this book is that by identifying your attachment style, as well as that of your mate, and understanding how it affects your relationship, you will be able to build a sustainable life together.

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Recycled & Fun Valentines to Make With Your Kids

Recycled Crayons for Valentine's Day

Recycled Crayons for Valentine's Day

On a recent trip to the supermarket, I took a stroll down the valentine aisles.  Holy Canoli, that’s a lot of garbage is all I have to say about the experience.

The good news, amongst the THREE aisles full of valentine-y JUNK, I located 3 different boxes of eco-conscious Valentine cards (the little classroom trading cards).  Each had a different earth message, one was about saving the rain forests, another was about recycling, and the third was about animals.  They were labeled as using recycled paper and soy based inks.

I still wasn’t convinced to buy them.

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Passive Aggressive Notes to My Husband for Valentine's Day

Dear Husband,

I know it’s difficult being married to me. I won’t eat fast food, partially hydrogenated anything, red dye or any other Frankenfood. A box of chocolates will just send me into orbit because of the high fructose corn syrup and cut flowers leaves me cold.

I did make a few itsy, bitsy requests of you last week. But really, Valentine’s Day is like my Superbowl, and I’m getting all excited about it.

Darlin’ I want a dog. Yeah, I know, no dogs because puppies keep you up all night, pee all over the carpet and gnaw at the kids’ toys.

Guess what? I can totally fix that. I want Jimmy! Jimmy is potty trained and little (doesn’t eat much), he’ll occupy the right side of my lap (I’ve got one for the left), he doesn’t shed AND I doubt he has many teeth left. [Read more…]

Share the Love on Valentine's Day: Adopt an Animal

Embarrassingly, our family is still working our way through the piles of chocolate we received for Christmas, and cut flowers? I’m not a fan. 

Instead, our family will opt to support wildlife this year for Valentine’s Day by symbolically adopting a wolf couple.

If wolves aren’t your favorites, there are many other ways to protect animals and their habitats- there is certain to be a deserving organization that fits your family and your budget. [Read more…]

An Open Letter To My Husband On Valentines Day

Thank you Darling,

The last 13 years have been wonderful. I’ve had necklaces in champagne glasses, a proposal on Wesminster Bridge and gourmet dinners lovingly prepared when we lived on love (because we sure as heck weren’t living on money).

This year Valentine’s Day will be on a Saturday. I think we all know what that means.

This year Valentine’s Day is about all four of us being together. We’ll bake something pink and do a pomegrantine lemonade.

But darlin’ you’ve still got to pony up with some gifts. Here’s what I’m demanding I’d really like. [Read more…]

Top 5 Green Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

green heart leaf

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, if you haven’t thought about what to give your sweetheart yet then it is time to get ready. On top of picking out the perfect gifts to give, you also have to consider just how green your Valentine’s Days gifts are. From chocolates to flowers there are environmentally friendly gift alternatives to help you add a little green to cupid’s arrow. Here are the top 5 green Valentine’s Day gift ideas for you to give.
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Valentines You Can Feel Good About: Recycled Cards for All Occasions

I’ve mentioned before that we aren’t big into Valentine’s Day around this house.  That said, we aren’t fun killers either and our children do fully participate in the Valentine fun at school. (I’m the Mom signed up to bring a fruit tray to the party… any ideas on making a super fun fruit presentation, please share!)

Recently I visited with Oregon’s own Kate Rosenthal, owner of Stubby Pencil Studios.   She started Stubby Pencil out with these amazingly adorable, DIY, Color N Kids Cards.  (Shown here with a set of Soy Crayons, 8 count for $1.00.)  The Valentine version of the cards come in a set of 12 for $7.95.  I adore that these cards come in a variety of images and sayings so there is something appropriate for everyone in class, a “love ya” for the BFF and a “cool dude” or “smile” for less close classmates.  I’m a firm believer in taking a Valentine for each child in the class (it’s part of our “love for all” family promotion).   [Read more…]

Valentines Day: Do it Fair Trade

Around the Polka Dot Household we don’t buy into the whole Valentine’s Day thing… I just can’t get beyond the consumerism. Besides my husband gives me flowers every couple of months for no reason at all… why wait for V-Day?

That said, the kiddos do have Valentine’s celebrations at school and enjoy giving (and receiving) notes and sweet treats.

Here’s a better way to do it! The Fair Trade Valentine’s Day Action Kit. This kit includes: A box of individually wrapped fair trade chocolates (your choice of dark or milk), a bundle of 12 Valentine Greetings which feature a train and the saying, “On Valentines Day there’s nothing so sweet…as giving loved Ones Fair Trade chocolate to eat ” and facts about cocoa. Also included in the kit is An Amore/Love Papel Picado banner (perfect for the classroom party!), and An I Love Fair Trade Iron On, compliments of Transfair USA. The kit comes packaged in a recycled (red) Kraft handled bag and runs $17.00. (Read more about Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Chocolate Campaign.)

If you are looking for recycled cards, check out Stubby Pencil Studios DIY color cards. Here are some homecrafted ideas we’ve enjoyed in the past: [Read more…]

A Greener Valentine's Day

lg-dozen_chicks.jpgSure you can buy your sweeties organic flowers or chocolate and have your children decorate Valentines made from recycled paper; however, in my family, we have another tradition. Every year for Valentine’s Day, we take the opportunity to buy a fruit tree or rose bush. What better way to express our love than to give a gift that may offset some of our carbon footprint?

I love chocolate as much as the next guy/gal, but I am not a fan of cut flowers, even though I worked in flower shop in high school. Lavish bouquets purchased to celebrate holidays have spawned a thriving industry that heavily relies on pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. According to the Wise Geek:

Most cut flowers are grown in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia in large greenhouse environments staffed by underpaid, non-unionized workers…Because cut flowers are grown in nations with more lax environmental laws, many banned substances including DDT and methyl-bromide are used in flower production…Some cut flowers may be shipped thousands of miles, adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at every step of the way. [Read more…]