February 27, 2011


Photo by Amber Karnes via SF Girl by the Bay

Dear Readers, 

We just wanted to make sure that you know how grateful we are for you. Thanks so much for reading regularly, commenting, submitting stories - especially all the V-Day ones - and laughing and hoping along with us.

And (here comes the shameless self-promotion), if you do read regularly but don't follow, please follow us. Comment if we say something that makes you think. Even if it's just to tell us we're being crazy or way to critical of a guy (but be nice : ).

If you have stories, or have friends with adventure-in-dating stories, send 'em in.

We love hearing from you!


February 24, 2011


Yep, that means we're online dating again. And it's keeping us busy. This time we decided to try a local source - thought it might provide more interesting prospects. And so far, so good.

And, we got set up!

The first online date left us feeling deflated. We mean, the guy was nice, cute, interesting, etc. But...there wasn't much there. And we believed that he agreed. 

We wondered - how many first dates are we going to have go go on before we get at least a spark of intrigue and excitement? Where we feel confident that he feels the same? We don't think our expectations are that high - we know it's not likely that we're going to go on a first date and come home thinking "He's the one." But, we'd at least like to think more than "We guess it was OK and will say yes, we think, if he asks us out again." Just to see.

Second date was the setup. We've never been really setup before. Have you?

And it was so fun. Gave us hope again. Even though we were super nervous (not to mention the fact that we'd never even seen a picture of this guy - and believe us, we tried. Googling him and all. Nothing.). He was interesting, sexy, easy-to-talk-to, fun, left us wanting more.

We planned a second date right then. 

And, later that week we scheduled two more online dates.

Second date with the setup - he took us to a great neighborhood restaurant. Ordered wine. We ate and talked our hearts out. And then we kissed goodbye. Asked him when we'd see him again. And he said he hoped soon. And then we kissed some more. Right on the street. In front of the restaurant. How fun!

He told us we were beautiful. And it was perfect.

Tomorrow we have another online first date. And Sunday morning coffee with another. Whew - it's making us tired thinking of it! But, really, we can't wait to see setup guy again...

This is good, right?

February 17, 2011


Two years ago on Valentine's Day, we moved in with our boyfriend S. Not really a romantic way to celebrate. But it was a sweet, exciting step to take.

The only plans we had for the day were to do a lot of heavy lifting. 

We were outside loading the truck while S was putting his fridge stuff into a cooler. We walked past and saw that he was trying to quickly hide a box of chocolate covered strawberries inside. 

The surprise was ruined but we were touched. Isn't he a great guy?

February 15, 2011


Photo by Michael Harrison

Last night our hubby came home with flowers for our 2-year old daughter. Three gerber daisies in red paper. How cute is that? She has her first Valentine!

He got us flowers, too. But this was way more exciting.


We've been lucky to date a lot of really nice, thoughtful guys. But one stands out in particular.

1. We were long distance. A few weeks before Valentine's Day he sent us a box of fortune cookies with these instructions: Eat one a day until V-day, when we would see each other. It didn't take long to realize that each cookie had a custom fortune, ranging from favorite memories we shared, to little things he liked about us. Come on - adorable!

2) Sometimes it's the little things. Once, we stepped out of a shower to find boyfriend waiting for us with freshly heated (with a hairdryer) socks so our feet wouldn't get cold. 

3) He told us we were going to his cousin Tony's wedding in Portland. We drove down, got dressed up and headed to the event - gift in hand. We sat on the groom's side. It took us awhile to realize that this was actually Tony and Tina's wedding, the production! We loved that he tricked us. And had us going for awhile. We thought his "cousin" was nuts!

February 14, 2011


Things had been exclusive with this guy for about six weeks by the time Valentine's Day rolled around. But, because a) we're attachment-phobic and b) didn't totally believe that he was into us for real, we weren't about to bring it up.

So, we were shocked when he not only mentioned it, he wanted to take us out. Imagine that - a date with a guy we liked on Valentine's!

He proposed dinner and then catching his brother's show at the oldest bar in the city. When we arrived at his house (he didn't have a car, so we usually drove) he surprised us with roses. He hadn't struck us as the romantic type.

The sweetest thing wasn't even the flowers, although they were lovely. It was the fact that he'd ridden the bus to the florist and then BACK with flowers. On Valentine's Day. (He told us that several women-and-fellow-bus-riders even commented!) He really liked us.

The evening was perfect. A spicy dinner, great music and the best company. (We even convinced the door guy to draw a heart on our wrist with Sharpie instead of his regular X!)

And, even though things didn't work out with the guy, we dried-and-saved one of the roses for a long time to remind us to believe in surprises and that we are lucky and loved.

February 10, 2011


Photo by Leah Reich via sfgirlbybay

We had been dating T for about four months. We were a single mom and our son's sixth birthday was coming up. We love parties but they can be overwhelming, especially when you're like us and obsess over the most ridiculous details. This particular birthday was putting us over the edge.

T offered to make the party favors. We were touched by the offer. 

Being a control-freak, we normally wouldn't have accepted. But, we were completely overwhelmed and knew it. So we took him up on it. And told ourselves we weren't going to tell him what to do. We were so grateful. 

We expected standard favors - little bags full of candy, leggos, plastic toys, puzzles, etc. Or something.

T arrived with CD’s illustrated with an image of a train. Each one was filled with great kid’s music including “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Iz, and were protected in individual colorful CD holders. He passed them out when all of the guests were leaving.

This is when we knew - this man was a serious keeper.

February 9, 2011


A few years ago we were single for the first time in seven years on Valentines day. We were dating a lot but nothing serious. We decided to have a non-romantic but not-lonely night with a guy we had been hooking up with off and on. He came over and brought us a flower. We got to it and he left. We admit it, it felt just right.

The next year, we were in a relationship that looked like it could go all the way. We had been dating for about 10 months and it was our first V-day together. He made a big fuss about not liking Hallmark holidays so we expected zilch. 

On Valentines day, a Saturday, we woke up to the most amazing custom-ordered chocolates from our man. We spent the day in bed together, enjoying the chocolate and whatnot. From then on we've called Valentine's the Chocolate Holiday. Not bad, huh? 

Two years later, we're marrying him. And we know what we have to look forward to for the rest of our lives!

February 3, 2011


This is the story of the Valentine's Day that never was.

One year, we were dating a couple of guys. Sort of. Not really. Our love life was actually quite a sad mess.

And we had been working way too much. We worked our ass off all summer long, never went camping, or to an outdoor concert, or even a picnic. It was all work, allthetime.

We get it. The truth about men who are afraid of commitment is that they disappear a few weeks before Valentine’s Day...and reappear a few days afterward. This was the case that year. 

So, we decided to treat ourself to summer-in-the-middle-of-winter in February with a trip to Australia.

On February 13th, we flew to Sydney, Australia. And in the middle of the night, we crossed the international dateline and instantly it was February 15th.

The plane landed on a bright, happy autumn morning and we recall the bells of St. Mary’s Cathedral ringing to greet us as our taxi took us to the hotel. 

We had completely skipped February 14th, and it was perfect.

February 1, 2011


Photo via Design*Sponge

Sometimes it's something small that's just the thing. We're loving these downloadable stickers from Twig & Thistle for a DIY Valentine's touch.


Last year a bunch of us - singles, couples, all good friends - decided to go away for Valentine's weekend. We retreated to Orcas Island, just a quick drive and ferry ride away from Seattle. The house in the woods was the perfect spot for cooking great meals (including the above butternut squash galette via Design*Sponge), vino, Apples-to-Apples games and a puzzle or two. 

We also went on a crazy-and-amazing tour/adventure of the Lambiel Museum - a private collection of Orcas Island artists (from fine art to folk), Oriental rugs, antique grandfather clocks and more. The experience is pretty indescribable, but we say it's a must-see if you ever find yourself on Orcas island. 

For a festive brunch we made special heart-shaped pancakes and then rushed-off to the ferry line. If you ask us, it was the perfect way to spend a holiday. Truly lovely. 

And that's what Valentine's is all about, right?

We die over these pancakes and are sure that anyone you ever make them for will know that they're truly loved.


3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 c. ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Butter, for griddle
1 jar prepared lemon curd
Fresh raspberries, for topping
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Preheat a nonstick griddle or skillet.

Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until combined (don’t over mix).

Brush the hot griddle with butter. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Repeat. We kept batches warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Empty the contents of the lemon curd into a small saucepan and warm over low heat (we just used the “double boiler method” and put the whole jar in a sauce pan with a few inches of water – cleaner!).

Drizzle a few tablespoons of the curd over the pancakes and top with fresh raspberries. And, if you want to go all-out, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

*Adapted from Bobby Flay (if you can believe it!)