When I was growing up and even when my children were young, the only big holiday anyone decorated for was Christmas. Today, most of us decorate for holidays such as Halloween and Easter often weeks ahead of the actual day the holiday falls on. Honoring Valentine’s Day has become one more holiday with which there are ways to decorate your homespace. Retailers have an abundance of accessories you can add to your home decor. Everything from red dishtowels and red coffee mugs to whimsical throw pillows with love quotes on them can be found in the big box stores such as Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and Restoration Hardware. For the month of February, love is in the air everywhere you turn in the home decorating industry.

I happen to be a decorator so certainly I like to decorate for any and all of the holidays my David and I observe. However, I also believe in being practical and cost-conscious so here are some ways I suggest decorating and celebrating the month of Love:

  • Find inexpensive things to purchase to help create the theme of love in your homespace for the month of February. Just like any other holiday you decorate for, keep all your “Valentine Theme Décor” in a container for that holiday in an easily accessible place. (HINT: If this is a new décor idea for you, like with all holiday décor, often the best time to purchase Valentine’s Day items is after February 14th then you can be ready for next year!)
  • Make a family picture on Valentine’s Day to commemorate one more year of love in your family. Add to the collection each year and for the month of February display all the past family pictures in a grouping in your homespace. Having everyone wear red for the “Kodak moment” makes it even more festive and fun!
  • Make your own “Love Tree” simply by making heart shaped cards on construction paper then writing different love quotes on each one. Hang them by string on a sturdy plant in your homespace such as a Weeping Fig or a Norfolk Island Palm. This is a fun activity you can get the entire family involved in or you can even invite friends to make a Valentine for your tree. (Remember, plants are a vital part of making a healthy home as discussed in a recent Blog post, Top Twelve Best Indoor Plants For Purifying The Air)
  • Make everyone happy with Homemade Pancakes this month – only use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make heart shaped pancakes. I guarantee you; smiles will be abundant in your household! (For my fave recipe for Pancakes check out my post, Homemade Pancakes – What Could Be Better?)
  • Switch out your decorative candles to red (or even pink) ones, particularly in the more personal spaces such as bathrooms and the master bedroom.
  • Nothing beats fresh flowers for any occasion. For the month of February fill your homespace with the colors of love – red carnations, red roses, etc. with splashes of pinks and whites.
  • Go to your local bakery and pick up a few professionally decorated Valentine’s cookies and display them in a glass cake saver for pure delight. Better still use festive looking doilies for them to sit on to add more interest! (Remember, you can freeze these cookies and display them from year-to-year.)
  • Fill your homespace with the aromatic scents we connect with feelings of love in your nebulizer or with scented candles. For a relaxed, peaceful feeling of love look for oils such as Rose Oil or Rose scented candles. (Oil from the Pink-Red Damascus Rose is one of the best.) For feisty (feelings of love that is) look for spicy scented oils such as Ginger and Cinnamon. Regardless of which scents suit your taste, diffusing essential oils into your homespace definitely enhances the mood of your space. (See my post, Aromatherapy In Your Home.)

HELPFUL HINT:

The most important thing to remember in decorating is my motto “Less is more”.  There is absolutely, positively no quicker or better way to destroy a classy look than to take a theme into overdrive.  So with the color Red being the warmest color on the color wheel (as I discussed in my post, Seeing Red) subtle uses of the color will speak volumes.

Picnic of love

Photo Credit: Kristin Vining Photography

Enjoy loving…

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I turn 55 in just a few days.  I share the day with my dear twin brother, Craig.  So, I don’t turn 55, We turn 55.  (Although I am 55 minutes older and wiser than Craig!) You see, I never think of it as my birthday.  I think of it as our birthday.  Any of you readers that are a twin, you know what I mean.

Anyway, I thought turning 21, 30, 40 and then 50 would be the most memorable birthdays for me.  Certainly, to this day I remember specifics of each of those milestones.  But, absolutely positively this birthday is gonna be the Mack-Daddy.  I can feel it brewing already.

Why you ask?

It is simple.

Once I flew only while no one was looking.  Now I soar all the time.

In other words, I have learned to be me… Embracing the good, the bad and yeah, the ugly.  How freeing.  How exhilarating.

So, since it’s my party I will celebrate because I want to!  (Remind you of a 1960’s song though different words?!?)

And, what better way than to share with others a few of my favorite things!  Originally, I planned to list 55 things.  You know, one thing for each year.  My David chuckled over this and said no one would last through the whole article, not even him!  So, instead I am listing  5/5 or five faves in five categories I want to share.  I hope you enjoy!

My Top Five Products

  • My Cutco Knives
  • My Kayak
  • My Dyson Vacuum
  • My Apple Ipad
  • My Trek Cruiser Classic
Trek Cruiser Classic

My wheels. Photo credit: David Solganik

My Top Five Kitchen Must Have’s

  • My Pampered Chef Garlic Press
  • My Aprons
  • My Iron Skillet
  • My Bamboo Pot Scrubber from Crate and Barrel
  • My Ceramic Spoonrest
Well seasoned iron skillet

My well seasoned iron skillet. Photo credit: David Solganik

My Top Five Gifts I Have Received

  • My Faith.
  • My family, with the newest addition being “Little Bits”.
  • The chance to be with my Dad as he neared death and to witness him seeing “The other side across the bridge” he described to me as he saw departed family beckon for him to cross over.
  • My David, who has given such unconditional love that I have had the room to spread my wings and fly – and then, soar!
  • My necklace that David gave me to commemorate Benjamin’s upcoming wedding.
David Solganik

My David. Photo credit: Jamie Balzer

My Top Five Tips For Creating Homespace Beauty

  • Less is more.
  • Color means everything.
  • Decorate and design with a sense of studied indifference.
  • Make all your senses come alive in your Home Décor.
  • Your Homespace begins at the street or door to your space.
Beautiful entryway

Beauty begins at the street. Photo credit: David Solganik

My Top Five Quotes For Inspiration

  • “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1
  • “Two roads diverged, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” Robert Frost
  • “Live the life you love.  Love the life you live.” Bob Marley
  • “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix
  • “With every challenging situation we experience, we can choose to be a ‘Victim’ or become a ‘Victor.’  The choice is ours to make.”  Jamie Balzer’s Mantra
Road less traveled

The road less traveled. Photo credit: Susan Muehl

In sharing these favorite things of mine, I hope you take the time to reflect on your favorites as well.  Share them with someone you love.  It reminds me of one other quote I live, “It is in the giving that we receive the most”.   Pay it forward to someone and share yours!

Today might not be your birthday but, you have cause to celebrate regardless.  Every day is worth celebrating.  Seize the opportunity!

Enjoy the moment, enjoy the day and enjoy life!

Oh, and here’s to you Craig!  I love you!

Craig Balzer

My twin, Craig Balzer. Photo credit: David Solganik

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