Treat yo'self: A few of my favorite things for Valentines Day


I love Valentine's Day, because after a month of post holiday blues, and typically less than ideal weather, it's nice to have something to look forward to. Making valentines with my son, frosting cupcakes and all the pink and red everywhere, I'm a total sucker for that stuff. Our family tradition is to make cheese fondue and drink champagne at home. Sounds fancy but it's really easy. You can make your own fondue with gruyere and white wine, but Trader Joe's and Ralph's make great pre-made ones that all you have do is heat! In an attempt to make it healthier, in addition to bread chunks we spear cherry tomatoes, and my personal favorite, sliced mushrooms. 

Janna Conner Xo mismatched stud earrings

Janna Conner XO Stud Earrings 

These studs are simple and sweet and they highlight one of my favorite jewelry trends, mismatched earrings. I almost never wear a matched pair of earrings, preferring to instead select different ones that look good together. Either thematically, color-wise or scale.

 

Ilootpaperie hand made valentine stationary

Type Dirty To Me by ilootpaperie

I sent this card by ilootpaperie, a local sister duo business based in Pasadena, to a writer friend of mine. When you see how much generic cards cost in the drugstore why not spend the same on supporting a local female run business?

 

 

Janna Conner rose cut garnet locket necklace in rose gold

 Janna Conner Garnet Rose Gold Berget Locket Necklace

I created this necklace to have a sentimental sort of feeling to it. It can accommodate your or your loved one's birthstone to commemorate special occasions. In this case, I put rose-cut garnets together with rose gold.

 

I am a big fan of K-Beauty. I regularly use sheet masks, essence, serums and the like. I recently bought myself this sleeping mask and love it. It smells amazing, and I love that it can be used for a 10 minute quickie version on days when I need a little extra oomph, because let's be honest being a working mom doesn't always make you feel or look like a supermodel.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask

 Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask

With all the fondue and chocolate, I'm going to want to be comfy. Well, when don't I want to be comfy? Um, never. So, I'll be wearing this cute JCrew Champagne sequin t shirt that not only I bought for myself, but my sister gifted me one as well. I guess I'm pretty predictable, eh?

Jcrew Champagne sequin t shirt on model

JCrew Champagne T-Shirt

What do I want to eat on Valentines day? Well, on any day if we're being honest....Chocolate! My husband Raf is Belgian so we spend a lot of time eating / talking about chocolate. My mother-in-law stuffs her carry-on with our favorite Côte d'Or bars - dark chocolate and marzipan for me,  praliné for him. I'll never forget when handed a smores smothered with Hershey's chocolate shortly after his arrival in the US, how incredulous he was at how it could be called chocolate.  He spat it out on the spot and refused to try anymore. Thankfully, this recipe has the opposite effect, even though Raf doesn't like dessert he always comes back for seconds of this one.

 

Gramercy Tavern Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

Opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern,  recipient of eight James Beard Awards, is a New York City culinary institution.  This recipe will make you feel like a fancy chef using vanilla bean and brioche while still being fairly simple to execute. The most complicated step is tempering the milk and chocolate but that's really more time consuming than difficult. Anyways, this is the best thing ever, I dare you to make it and not eat the whole thing!

Gramercy Tavern Chocolate Bread Pudding

Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan

Unsalted butter for the pan
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted in a small bowl
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate pieces (about 1/3 cup)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound Brioche (recipe follows), crusts removed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 ounces milk chocolate pieces (about 1/3 cup)
1 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped (optional)


3 comments


  • tachira wiltshire

    I love all of your picks. The necklace is my fave it is beautiful. I think simple pleasures like fondue and bread pudding are a great way to enjoy any event in life.


  • azzama

    I will definately try the watermelon mask and the chocolate pudding.


  • Veronica

    So much love in this post! I’m going to be bookmarking that bread pudding recipe – looks like a winner!! ♥️


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