Monday, February 1, 2010

It started with Cookie

This Valentine's Day will mark 25 years since Cookie and her husband, Nazih's first date. So, in Cookie's words, "Valentine's Day is extra special."
Cookie is one of my mothers. And I am one of her daughters. A long-time friend of my parents, I had only ever heard of Cookie until I became a Mormon missionary and ended up in her neighborhood. She took care of me in the cold winters of Northeast Ohio. I taught her a bit about my faith. She taught me a lot about life.

I could write a thousand posts of what I've learned from Cookie. I could write about blending families and cultures beautifully. I could write about overcoming life's trials. I could also write about the best place to buy hummus or where to find the fanciest shoes.

But today is February 1st. February 1st! (Oh the glory of this red and pink time of year!) So today I write about Cookie's Valentine's Day Party tradition.

Every year Cookie hosts an extraordinary Valentine's Day party-- complete with lunch, a fancy cake, games, and love enough to go around. She sends out charming invites and bedecks the house with hearts. All guests are required to wear red and pink.

Fabulous, right?

So I took a cue from Cookie and adopted the same tradition. My tradition is pretty simple. I invite by email or word of mouth. And I don't even do lunch. Just cupcakes (of course).

This was Valentine's Day 2009

And I am busy planning Vday 2010.

I will do the same brownie heart cupcakes as last year, plus I'm thinking some red velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting and raspberries, and some double vanilla cupcakes with vintage cupcake toppers.

I love these. (Find them here.)

Also these. (Available here.)

I'm making 2 Vday pennant banners--one with large red pennants, one with small pink pennants. Instructions here.

I'll grab some cute plates/napkins/etc. at the dollar store and serve milk with the cupcakes. And that's it. For me, the fun is in the decor and the cupcakes, and the children's eyes.

Of course you can make it as simple or elaborate as you wish, but, either way, I highly recommend that you adopt this tradition. 'Cause here at the blue house, we LOVE Valentine's Day. It helps us shake the dreary out of winter and flutters up our hearts.

Hope you'll join us in the tradition! Send us pics and links if you do!


Banana said...

I love this idea, and all the links! Thanks!

Heather said...

What a great idea! I love it, I think I'll do a little something like this!

Melissa said...

My daughter wants to have a Valentine's Day party soooo bad! I want to let her have it. It's just that it would be sandwiched between the younger sister's 8th birthday party and baptism. I'm thinking that as long as we get it in the month of love, we can still call it good! Do you have the recipe or directions for those brownie looking heart cupcakes. They are making my mouth water!. :D

courtney said...

love this idea!!
and i love this blog :)
thanks so much.

Bloom said...


Those are chocolate cupcakes (use whatever recipe or box mix you like) topped with pink buttercream frosting (1 stick of butter, 1 1/2 cups pd. sugar, 2 tbsp milk, and vanilla to taste, plus food coloring of course). For the brownie hearts I just use a box mix, but bake them in a big cookie sheet (obviously it needs to be a pan with sides) so they'll be a little on the thin side. Then I cut the hearts out with a cookie cutter.

have fun!

Alicia said...

cookie was the one that made all of your baby shower favors for blaine, right? she's awesome.

i love the idea of a valentine's day party. i hadn't really thought of it before. can i get away with doing valentine-y cupcakes at johnny's first birthday party?

thanks for the ideas! they look so fun!

Anonymous said...

Anne - I don't know if you remember me, it's Amy, Johnny and Lily's mom. I love this blog and the story of the Valentine's Day Party. To this day, still one of my favorite days of the year. Love to you all!

Louise said...

Dear Anne, Your mom told me about your Blog and I read with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I am Cookie's "sister" cousin, Louise.I still can't believe she is gone. How often I go to call her and stop in my tracks. How beautiful you are carrying on Cookie's tradition. Apparently we too are having a small party this year. A little different-hosting it at the nursing home where Cookie's mom resides so she can be a part of it all. Holly and Hannah had the idea and I know Cookie would want the "show to go on." Have a wonderful V-Day. Love, Louise