Flowers, Cupcakes, and Really, Really Cute Owls

Now, I’ve never been a huge Valentines Day kind of girl. Somehow the holiday is just not the same when all you have to look forward to is some pajamas and chocolate from your mom. (But Mom, if you’re out there, I really do love getting Valentines packages still! :) This year is a little different. Not only do I have a honey… but February 14th just also happens to be his birthday! In addition to those two things, we will be traveling to Chicago that weekend for his cousin’s wedding which is *also* on Valentine’s Day this year!

Anywho.. on a recent trip to Target (honestly, is there anyone out there that doesn’t just love that store?) I picked up a few things to decorate with. I transformed our kitchen and eating area into a little Valentines scrumptiousness, and I thought I should share :)

Well, there’s the window cling-ons.

And the really cute placemats…

Oh and did you see the flowers on the table? My uber sweet boyfriend sent me some pink stargazer lilies– which are only my FAVORITE!! This is round 2 of the flowers… there were more in a different vase that I had to toss already, but four of the ones he sent were buds, and so they are now blooming. It’s like the gift that just keeps on giving!

Oh– by the way, this next shot is SOOC (straight out of the camera…no editing whatsoever). It’s a tad overexposed, but I thought it was pretty and had sort of an ethereal quality about it… so I didn’t even touch it!

Oh, and this next one is SOOC too!

I found this heart shaped teacup and saucer that must belong to my roommate. I washed it out before the picture, and it left these sweet heart shaped rings on the counter… how fun is that! This pic is processed two different ways… the second one using the Boutwell’s In-Faux-Red action.

And then there’s the tea towels. I just love these lil darlins!

Yes you need to see that cupcake-y goodness up close.

Oh– and this pic is from a couple of months ago… but it’s about chocolate, which definitely means it goes with Valentines Day :)

Do you know what this is, people? You should all be very, very jealous right now… because this is a box of chocolates from my boyfriend’s family’s store. They have been making homemade chocolate and ice cream and all kinds of other yumminess for 100 years. Too bad there’s no more chocolate left in this box…

I’m thinking of getting my craftyness on this Valentines and making a few things in the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living. One of those is these adorable antique Valentines. Back in the day they would make these “purses” that you wrote poetry along the edges to be read as it was unfolded. What a quaint, romantic idea, huh?!

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And my last little fun surprise for you… Did you notice that pot on my stove? Well, I really was cooking. I made a batch of Aunt Jana’s Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It is a favorite in our family, and we make it every Christmas Eve. I love it so much though that I’ve probably made it 5 or 6 times this fall/winter. Since it’s so chilly out there, how about you stay in and make you a nice pot of soup?? :)

Aunt Jana’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 6 T. vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cooked chicken breast halves, cubed

Garnishes: Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, Avocado (pitted peeled and cubed), Sour Cream, 2 corn tortillas, sliced and fried crisp

Directions: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro and onion. Sautee 2-3 mins. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt and cayenne. Simmer 30 mins. Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat. Garnish with Mont Jack, avocado, sour cream and tortilla strips.

Let me know if you give the recipe a try! Or heck– just leave me a comment to say hey! I’d love to know if you’re reading!!!

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7 Responses to “Flowers, Cupcakes, and Really, Really Cute Owls”

  1. Jessica Says:

    Hi, Jess! I’m reading your blog, and I think I’ll definitely have to try that recipe.

  2. Meagan Says:

    Loved reading your giddy and very girly post! Congrats on so much happiness! V-day is a month away, yet… but it looks like you are ready!

  3. Kelly Says:

    Jess- I always read your posts! You crack me up. I hope you enjoy the upcoming V-day!

  4. manda la espanola Says:

    precious. really.

  5. katie Says:

    Your kitchen looks so so cute!

  6. Katie Says:

    Glad to find you new blog. I wish we could have coffe some time and chat. If you ever happen down towards ATL, give me a ring!

  7. carrie b Says:

    i always love checkin’ out your cool pics!

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