Friday, February 12, 2016

Use Your Words: And a Black Eye

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words | | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I’m using: card ~ love ~ flowers ~ wine ~ yelling ~ black eye

They were submitted by: Not That Sarah Michelle.

I love Google.Well, we're two days from Valentine's Day so what better time to announce your love, right?

But the truth is, I have no idea how I made it through day to day life before there was such a thing as Google. How I found out all those little bits of information I needed or wanted or even just plain never knew existed. 

Like today. I got these words and I thought " card, love, flowers, wine, I can do that, especially two days before V. D." I even thought "yelling, that could work too, after all, yelling doesn't have to be in anger. There's that whole shouting-from-the-rooftops thing". And then I got to black eye. All I could think of is "huh? how the hell am I going to work that into a Valentine's Day post? I got a black eye when I fell from the aforementioned rooftops following a love proclaiming yell-fest?"

Enter my good friend Google. Saved my ass this time. Because guess what that know-it-all Google told me today? That there is a winery called Black Eye. Don't believe me? Google it. HA!

Red Hot Cocoa: Delicious hot chocolate infused with a bit of cinnamon spicyness and a kick of liqueur. Perfect for Valentine's Day | Recipe developed by | #recipe #drink #ValentinesDay

Red Hot Cocoa
Red Hot Cocoa: Delicious hot chocolate infused with a bit of cinnamon spicyness and a kick of liqueur. Perfect for Valentine's Day | Recipe developed by | #recipe #drink #ValentinesDay

I know that many people don't believe in celebrating Valentine's Day. I'm not one of them. I am a full participant in the celebration of V.D., love it in fact. The holiday, of course, not the disease. Although many people believe that the holiday was created by greeting card companies or chocolatiers, it's not really so. Valentine's Day seems to have its roots both in a fertility festival celebrated in ancient Rome and as a way to honor up to three early saints named Valentine in three different parts of the world but all of whom were supposedly martyred on February 14th. I'm fairly certain I know why no one names their kids Valentine any more.

Even in terms of the connection between the holiday and romance I'm pretty sure Hallmark has plausible deniability. Valentine's Day was first associated with love back in the Middle Ages. It seems most likely that the first correlation between the two was in a poem by Chaucer dating back to the 1300s and references St. Valentine's Day as a day for lovers.

How do I know all this? Yeah, I Googled it.

The truth is, whether it's become completely commercialized or not (doesn't take Google to attest to the fact that it has), I just see no problem at all with setting aside a day when we all are reminded to stop and take some time to express our love, make or pick out a mushy card, brighten up someone's winter day with some pretty flowers and chocolates, share a romantic dinner and a bottle of wine, put aside any anger and yelling, and, whatever you do, refrain from giving any one a black eye

Unless, of course, it's the wine.

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Red Hot Cocoa
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (4 servings):
1/2cup heavy cream
1 TBSP Cinnamon Schnapps (such as Goldschlager)
3 TBSP powdered sugar

1/4 cup water
1 TBSP chocolate syrup
3 TBSP Red Hot Candies
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
dash of salt
4 cups milk
OPT: 4 oz Cinnamon Whiskey (such as Fireball)

*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the cinnamon schnapps and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator while making the cocoa.
*Crush the Red Hot Candies. Set aside 1 TBSP for the garnish.
*OPT: Place 1 ounce of Cinnamon Whiskey into each of four mugs.
*Whisk the water, chocolate syrup, 2 TBSP crushed candies, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Lower the heat and whisk in the milk.
*Heat, whisking now and then, until the mixture is hot but do not allow to boil.
*Divide the hot cocoa evenly into the mugs.
*Top with a dollop of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed candies.


  1. No black eyes around here. We usually do something special for each other. I usually cook his favorite meal and he does horrible chore that I detest like anything besides laundry haha!

  2. I love what you did with your words so much! The way things are going around here this morning, my husband might be sporting a black eye on V-Day lol and I'm taking the whiskey option for sure!

  3. That's awesome, the black eye winery! Google rocks! And I have a new item on my travel bucket list.
    I guess if I had to use those words a "black eyed peas" concert ticket or at least a song playing would have appeared in my story.
    V-Day is not big here in Switzerland. Some chocolate, some lingerie and some flowers are being sold, and 99% of the guys claim they can tell their significant other they love her on any given day.

    1. I know there are people who don't like it, but I do think Valentine's Day is a fun distraction in the middle of a cold winter.

  4. The only time I can remember 'celebrating' Valentine's Day is when the kids were little and they gave cards to their classmates. To me, I can take it or leave it. My hubby loves to surprise me with flowers for no reason and that means so much to me -- especially if I have had a rough week or for no reason at all. Even better is when I get the awesome cards expressing his love. Consequently, Feb 14 is just another day and hubby's birthday is two days later so he knows he'll be treated with his favorites LOL

    1. No question that being surprised for no reason is meaningful too!

  5. I love love! Especially shared love for Google which has taught us so much! Happy Valentine's day Karen!

    1. Thank you, Jenn. Same to your, your husband and your mom.

  6. This post made me literally LOL! And as I sit here drinking chocolate almond hot chocolate I'm wishing I had some red hots and whiskey!

  7. PS: for the love of all that is romantic PLEASE stop saying VD!!!! ROTFL

  8. It is appropriate to say, I love this Recipe and your love of Google and all things Valentine. I don't drink but I could totally make this hot cocoa and I do love red hots, I mean who doesn't?

  9. For the record, despite my recently posted views on romance, I am not anti-Valentine's Day. I do, however, think it should never be referred to as VD, as it conjures up images of a less savory kind. ;)

    Great recipe, BTW. :) Can't wait to try it... when I can have adultish beverages again.

    1. I think when you have teenagers you refer to the day as VD as a passive/aggressive subliminal message kind of thing . . .

  10. I demand you come to my house, and woo me with a cup of this deliciousness. Yum.
    Fabulous use of Google and your words. Now, I'm craving a big bowl of black eye peas. Yum. Excellent post. Thank you.

    1. This Hot Cocoa is so easy to make, you don't need me to come do it. Although California does sound like the perfect place to visit right now.

    2. I need to make this, this year. With all of Gigi's dental work... I'll be needing this in my life.


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