Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More ♥'s



Furry Friends~


Heartbeats~




Le Lionceau



Je t'aime.




Added sptinkles..the way to go w/ 4 Littles..more exciting..



Le Bisou~


Snow angels..lol...Noah's mom captured this and she sent it to me;)

Noah and his funny friends:) In the snow..Michaela and Noah..are taking cooking classes together:)
She's so cute..that's her little brother Ben in the middle and there is a wee baby sister at home~ Abbie~
Littles and snow.. priceless.
You're looking at life ..that is normal for our family..my girls liked being silly and my Littles like it too..
I look at blogs from far and wide w/ much more decorum..and think..
we have never really known that.

Speaking of decorum..Downton Abby..you should hear my comments..:(
Jacques even laughs..

Mr.Carson?  Change now..or you have lost all my love.
Mrs Hughes? Bet you are wondering if you made a wise decision?
Daisy? Come on...Can you just let Mrs Patmore be..? After everything she has done for you?
Mr.Barrow..you have my undivided attention and empathy now.
Mary..every episode you seem smaller and smaller to me..in essence.
Do you love George? Ice cold mommy.
And I can tell there's no chemistry w/ your new beau.


The whole tour of Downton Abby and your ignorance of it's contents..all of you..
..shame on you.

I am so tough this week!






This guy..braves the winter ..in the manner his mistress sees fit:)
Lord Grizzly..freshly groomed..lol.


Every year sure as sugar,I come home w/ 4 furry friends for the Littles..for Valentine's day..and then Jacques and I think of which one goes better w/ which Little..this year we were polar opposites..
I let him choose...

Like our daughters names..we had a pact 42 yrs. ago..I pick the boys names ,he picks the girls..I never had a pick!
This year..it's his choices..
I was ready to pick numbers etc..lol..

too complicated he said..
he is right.
I bowed out.

So meet the 4 that made the cut for this year..maybe the last.

I made  special cookies for the Littles....I bought this cookie cutter last yr..many many many days after Valentine's..at our one and only WS..a day's trip away..almost.. w/ pay tolls..and boring views..

but a great place for General Tao....in that city mall area..IMHO..and fun shopping in a shopping city.
I used a recipe from Bake at 350..because..well...it's Bridget..
the recipe made enough for the 4 large cookies and the mini hearts ,that are in fact part of the cookie..

I have to give you tips re using these huge cookie cutters..see below...as many may have Christmas ones..like I do..



So these cookies are BIG..and w/ all the cut outs..the hearts..it makes them hard to lift when raw or just baked..

1.I rolled out each cookie on an ind.square of parchment ,so I could lift the cookie..on the parchment and place it on my baking tray..each tray held 2 cookies..and I baked the small hearts in another batch..because they are tiny and bake quickly.
2.I remove the small hearts before baking..I make sure that when I am pressing the cookie cutter..I stretch around each tiny  heart,well,so that every heart comes off..some still remain..don't lift the cookie ,lift the whole parchment and curl it back a bit to get that heart out..very few should remain..3 was tops on mine after I perfected my little method..
3.I put my cut out cookies in a screened in porch that has a cold outside temp..until they were stiff:)
4.Keep an eye..my cookies took longer than her recommended cooking time..maybe 10-11 minutes..you could need less..

5.When done ,lift the whole parchment and place on cooling rack..let cool..  and THEN..gently slide a spatula to remove from the paper and leave on rack till cooled completely .

6.I thought the boys would like a bit more special..so I put the Wilton gel..in the form of hearts and sprinkled the sprinkles..that do stay put ..where you placed the gel..
Place a waxed paper if you want to recuperate the sprinkles that don't make the cut..I forgot..I had a million sprinkles on my counter..so The Dirt Devil came in handy..then I sparkled everything..
I hope these instructions do not deter you from trying BIG ind.cookies..I know the Littles will be happy.

Chocolate cookie batter and I are not a match made in heaven..the cocoa powder..etc ..the batter..a chocolate mess..until all is well again.
Now that I know how easy these cookies can be..I look forward to ind.Christmas ones..I did make large Easter ones last yr..but not in chocolate.
Our youngest daughter turns 39 on the 21rst..we are celebrating this coming weekend..


Seems like yesterday~

I'll be working on a cake..and cupcakes...







67 comments:

  1. I turn 39 in May--Happy birthday to your youngest! ♥

    "Downton" this week, yes. BAH!!! Carson--That he is being this clueless and rude just doesn't even seem believable. He has spent his entire working life as a gentleman who uses the best manners and diplomacy; I'm sure the writer could have made the point that Carson's new at marriage and has some things to learn about it without suddenly making him into this rude character. And week after week--as with Lord Grandtham's ongoing clutching-his-stomach-every-week stomach pains--it's just getting old; it's been dragging on episode after episode now. Lazy writing, it seems to me. Bah! I wasn't a fan of this or the last episode much.

    Treasures of pictures here. ♥ That last one! :)

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    1. I agree with everything you wrote..
      Frankly I think I am tired of wealth and airs.Mr.Carson has inherited the airs of his m'Lord and Lady:(
      I knew someone..who..used to qualify people as "common"..if they were not in the social circles I guess..or if they dressed differently..as soon as she qualified the first person as "common"..well the bad part of me found her quite common to say such a thing.Forever more..in my mind.

      Thank you Val:)Certainly you would have not stood for any of it...

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    2. And neither Lord nor Lady Grantham has acted as snobbishly as the writer has had Carson do in these last few episodes with his "And-I-respect-her-very-much-for-it" wife, Mrs. Hughes. Sigh. Except that one horrid moment when Cora took Mrs. Hughes to task for "rummaging" through her things, but that too, didn't even seem remotely in-character for her either. It just seemed like the writer wanted to achieve something with these characters or moments but lazily dropped the ball with these dialogues that are just so out of character. Based on everything we've seen and heard of Mrs. Hughes so far, I would also expect her to speak up for herself. She and Carson spoke with each other honestly and respectfully before they married--even when they disagreed-that to see scene after scene of her just biting her lip, making asides (that Crason is suddenly too stupid or deaf to catch?! like this show is suddenly sitcom and he's the funny clueless stereotype of a husband), or banging unfinished dinner plates onto counters, just doesn't add up for me. A writer can't create a character to be a certain way for 5-5.5 seasons of a show and then decide one will suddenly be too dense or disrespectful to treat his new wife well, another who has always had a position of some respect and her own authority in this household and a relationship of friendship and respect with the man who would become her husband will suddenly put up with his not treating her better, etc. Will Bates cheat on Anna next week?! Bah!

      Pretentious people and I do not mix, no. :)

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    3. So well said/written..yes yes yes and yes..you put into words what I wanted to say:)
      But then you are an author:)
      Your last line cracked me up..

      And your last last line..I think hairs on my arms bristle when I meet them;)
      I literally get repulsed.

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  2. Oh, I would love a chocolate cookie, especially a thick, heavy one like yours. What has Noah cooked? That is so cute. I feel all the same about Downton and hope Carson retires and Barrow gets his job. Poor Barrow. I hope it all ends well. Love when you post. It is always fun to read and imagine it there.

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    1. Noah cooked red velvet pancakes..next class is Butter Chicken:)
      The little girl..her favorite show on tv is the one about the young chefs..
      I feel so bad for Barrow..who f us has not sat and cried on our own at one point ..just like that?Because of something someone said or did ..
      I have.

      I think we all enjoy imagining each others lives:)

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  3. I'm so glad to get the tips about the big cookies, I have several Christmas cutters that I haven't figured out how to use!

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    1. It's alot of batter to waste..once you get the hnag of it..you could just keep going!We can make some together at Christmas!

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  4. Thanks for those tips Monique on baking the big cookies. I know the boys will love them! I love the tiny hearts. Isn't it sad as the boys grow up and you know certain traditions will need to be replaced? Frankie still wanted his Hess truck last Christmas so maybe we can get them to enjoy our indulgences for a few more years. Can't wait to see the cake and cupckes. I know hey will be special. Best wishes to your daughter on her upcoming birthday.

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    1. I swear Lucas seems 15 these days..Oli is the only one who still sometimes shows signs of being Little;)
      You still have YEARS!!Lucky duck.

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    2. If Lucas is not rolling his eyes (or is that more a girl thin) and looking at the car with great longing you have a few years of Littles left in him. Enjoy all the celebrations this weekend!

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    3. :) No rolling eyes at me yet..they just left:)

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  5. I did not see Downton!
    Love your stuffed things...is that your puppy?
    Enjoy your week..
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. It's our daughter's Morkie..cutest thing ever but what a buys guy..like his mom and brother;)
      You too enjoy EVEYTHING:)

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  6. I am behind in watching Downtown....just watched the wedding. Must try to catch up so I can add in my two cents! Love your sweet heart cookies. What a treat for all! Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. You too Kate..I should really zip it for at least 1 week after DA..we watch it the next night..

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  7. I love that Noah is taking cooking lessons! A budding chef in the making? Peut etre? I agree with you all about Downton. I have been biting my tongue for months not wanting to spoil things for you North Americans! Carson has always been a bit snobby, but never so much as he has in this latest series. One wonders what television writers have against people just being happy. Sigh ... I would be happy with that. Why must there always be struggle and trials. Ho hum. Love LOVE the giant cookies! Love also your tips for moving them to the bake sheet, etc. Very good! I have not ever seen such a large cookie before. How simply wonderful. Love all the pics of the kiddos, so happy. And a very Happy Birthday celebration to your lovely daughter! God bless you all! Happy Valentines day! xo

    PS - what a cute puppy and those stuffed animals. So sweet!

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    1. You are amazing at biting your tongue and even more amazing at making me anticipate all the great feelings I will have with Call The Midwife!♥
      Another show that is so ingrained w/ angst and corruption..that I used to enjoy..is Suits.
      Harvey can be sweet to look at and all the clothes and Mike's place..but..everyone is so spiteful..
      Jessica though..what a face..such a beautiful one.
      Have a wonderful Sunday/Valentines' with your sweet T.

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    2. We are still on series two of suits, so not too bad yet. That one guy, I forget his name, he is really sneaky and mean. I do not know if the legal arena is that bad, but I suspect that it must be! xo

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  8. What a sweet pic of your daughter :-)
    I'm sure the cupcakes and celebration will be very special.
    What a handsome pup!

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    1. Debbbie..she was just so adorable..thank you:)Now she mans the fort ..of 4 boys.Well 3 and her husband;)

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  9. Hello and bonjour!! I still haven't sent you les petits sapins and now it is almost Valentine's Day!! Bientôt, je te promets! I have an art show at my library with 2 workshops to give, and it is taking up so much more time than I would have thought! And then, there is a weekly class of teaching a little French to school children! Et, et, et, de plus, de plus, de plus!
    Silly, that is my favorite way to be in the world! Rire, c'est merveilleux! Les petits dans la neige sont mignons et ils et vous tous, vous avez la belle vie, n'importe quelle saison!! My new blog? I hope soon!
    PS I have peeked in on Downton and know that at some point I will probably get accrochée!

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    1. Wait till Christmas! No rush.and when things weigh on us..it's no fun!
      Wait and enjoy this time of exhibiting and teaching!
      I would take an art class from you in an instant.
      Les petits doivent adorer leurs classes avec vous:)

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  10. Love the snow angel pic! Great faces. And your daughter from when she was a little girl- such a sweet photo. I love the angle of it.

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    1. We've held onto that pic for a looong time:)Thank you!

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  11. I think that picture of your snow angels is precious. They are the most beautiful snow angels I have ever seen. Funny, you pick the boys names Monique. Who would have known! As far as Downtown Abbey goes, it gets stranger and stranger to me. I suppose if I had grown up at the Abbey as Carson has, I would have been "rather spoiled" myself :)

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and Jacques. You two are very special!
    Sam

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    1. I am hoping..we are moving towards a great finale that will make us feel the way we used to about DA:)
      Thank you Sam:)
      I think you and Meakin are VERY special!

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  12. Did you notice that two of your snow angels have heart shaped tongues?!! How appropriate.
    I love your huge chocolate cookie. I have found with big or complicated, or delicately shaped cookies, I roll them on parchment and leave it on that same parchment, so I don't have to move it. I just remove the scraps and then slide the parchment onto a cookie sheet. Sometimes I just use a little pizza roller and only roll out enough for that one cookie so I can do several cookies on the same sheet.
    Don't say that about Downton Abby - I am not caught up yet!!! I will hate it if they ruin it!!!

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    1. I am not going to say one more word about DA..!I am not..then we call say what we want to say:)
      I see little hearts everywhere in the pic now♥
      Yes ind.parchment and placing the parchment w/ cookie on the sheet..or yes..even rolling on the parchement on the sheet and pulling away all the bits and bobs..
      Hope that's what I said;)

      Jacqueline..I hope everyone gets to see what a great macaron maker you are.
      Ils sont magnifiques.

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  13. I LOVE your cookie posts, and always find them so inspiring. In fact, you inspired me so much the last time that I bought that set of bee cookie stamps from Sur la Table. This afternoon, having unearthed a heart shaped cookie mold among my late mother's Christmas decorations, I'm going to try to make some molded cookies. I've never tried this before, so I'm hoping for the best.

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    1. Have fun:)Good luck..wouldn't that be so nice to give new life to your mom's ornament:)

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  14. Monique, I'm in love with your Valentine cookie cutter! It makes the cutest miniature hearts. Have a delicious Valentine's Day!! I'm sure you will and wishing your daughter a very Happy Birthday!!
    Hugs,
    Jody

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    1. You are so sweet Jody..I just just mentioned u on Purple Chocolate Home:)
      Thanks for all the good wishes!

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  15. mmm here smell and look all love and all little hearts dear Monique :) :)
    hugs

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    1. I hope the boys get excited:) Thank you gloria.

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  16. I'm a little disappointed in this last season of DA. I'm so sorry that it is ending. Maybe the characters are just being true to their nature despite the circumstances. Carson has very rigid beliefs that govern the way he runs the house and its no surprise he would feel the same way in his marriage to Mrs. Hughes. Thanks for the tips for making large cookies. Love the big heart and the little tiny ones. I always enjoy your family pictures.

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    1. He's too rigid..:( It is his way I know..but you would think he could loosen up for his love;)And he is incredibly mean to Mr Barrow.
      I seem so opinionated ..I am sure Julian knows what he is doing;)

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  17. You should have been a writer for Downton Abby! Can you make coffee Mrs. Carson - blah, blah, blah - I would have smacked him! The snow angels are beautiful! The cookie really calls out to me - love it and Lord Grizzly has the perfect face - wonderful post!

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    1. Thanks Tricia!
      I would have written the most boring DAs..we must admit..the writing..decors..everything has been top notch! We can't have snowflakes falling on Mary and Michael forever..:)

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  18. What precious Valentine animals! My favorites are the lion and the hedgehog ♥ Maybe Lucas and Max are getting too big I'll bet Oli and Noah would still love one next year. One thing I know they will never tire of and that's your baking. Love the hearts within a heart and the sprinkles makes it pop. I haven't done ANY Valentine's Day baking and probably won't. A darn cold had me down and out this past weekend and I'm trying desperately to get rid of it before CA. Love the photo of the snow angel and little C. Sweet as can be! And little Grizzly - Stinkin' Cute. I think everyone feels the same about DA - no spark (except for the occasional great line from Violet). I loved your recap :)

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    1. You're not the only one w/ a nasty cold..poor you..amny I know are under the weather.Thank Goodness it's BC..(Before CA;))
      My baking LOL..I made cookies we love yesterday..bus duty..Cara's Cookies..Oli picked every raisin out and had the saddest face..so yogurt..banana and chips and chocolate milk..he loves raisins..just not in a cookie w/ choco chips..Max was iffy too..Lucas and Noah are the best eaters.
      Max gags on mashed potatoes and Oli picks parsley out..LOL

      well our eldest still won't touch a mushroom..so tastes are very personal my lady:)

      He's all beige..his streaks disappeared..Grizzly..wonder if they grow back..he is a cutie..

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  19. I love your cookies. I did notice that two of the grands have heart-shaped tongues. Too cute. I never got into DA because when I started the episodes were out of sequence and I could not figure out who or what was going on, however, Doc Martin is scheduled for two more years and that makes me happy.

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    1. We ♥ Doc Martin..(I wish he would just..lighten up..) but then where would the charm of the show be?
      Both Jacques and I favor that show immensely!

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  20. No matter what path they take with Downton Abbey, I'm still going to miss it so much.

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    1. Too true..but in a way i am glad I don't love it as much as I used to..will make the parting easier to handle perhaps.

      How many years have I looked forward to it.
      I have my friend Nancy to thank..

      she brought us the PBS DVDs of the first 2 seasons..we had missed them..they came at an important time here.
      Will never forget her kindness.

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  21. I need some littles! We used to celebrate very similar. There was always a stuffed animal, always sweets and a special dinner. So much fun. I miss it.

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    1. Chances rae it can happen to you;)

      Thing is..shhh..don't tell anyone..they seem to grow up faster than our children did...it IS fun to have a second go-around.

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  22. Thank you for all the spoilers on DA!!!
    When we ever get it in Paris ;(
    To hell with chocolate!!
    Adorable heart cake/cookie thing!!

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    1. I know..I made a promise up above..NO MORE DA spoilers:)
      Promise.

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  23. Since the move, I lost track of Downton. Will catch up a little tonight. Sympathy for Mr. Barrow?????
    Love the oversized cookies...so cute and such adorable photos of the kids.

    The move was downsizing...always so difficult. From a house to an apt. Sold things via amazon, eBay and a local auction house. Had never used Amazon before, my daughter does it with her art books all the time. Was surprised how simple it is. Got rid of half my cookbooks and books. So many things my kids wanted to me keep (things I would have sold) and so many they weren't interested in (like silver). They live different lives than I did. Interesting. I should be done and dusted by Sunday. I think.

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    1. I hear you on different tastes..

      I am certain my tastes were different than my mom's and we let a lot of things go..what did I know? 19.
      The silver and dining room set I have of theirs are treasures.
      I remember my brother who is 68..doing homework on it..now I sometimes sit there and do homework w/ the boys..They feel different sitting in those massive chairs w/ lions heads..etc..I hope it stays in the family..it was my father's father's chambers table.
      The silver..will they keep it? Polish it? I do it out of love;)
      And I like the old wordliness of it all..if that is a word..
      I had never hear of Amazon apart from books..good to know!
      I have bought reseller books there.
      Oh you must be so fit to move so much!!
      I bet it's lovely.
      Happy new nest to you Barbara.

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  24. These cookies are gorgeous. I just love them ♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  25. Replies
    1. It is! I am grateful to have people to think of at this time of year:)

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  26. Your cookie cutter is so great, I love it. I need to hurry up if I wanna find something like that for Valentine's Day! :)

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    1. I wish your posts would come to me..going to see what you have beautifully been up to;)

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  27. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures and stories from the past 2 posts M.

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  28. Your "Hello February" watercolor is divine xoxo I love this post. I would not be so brave to perfect the big cut out cookies as you have, I think a lot of dough would have been eaten. Stay warm and cozy with your loves this weekend.

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    1. Thank you Gail..I watched a movie last night and thought of Hugh and you:) For the art..the views..the plein air painting..Summer in February,true story about AJ Munnings/Artist.
      Slow..nothing exciting..quite tragic in fact..but his atelier..etc..you just might like it;)

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  29. The cookie looks amazing, Monique. Happy valentine's day!
    Amalia
    xo

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  30. I was very surprised to see how big the heart was when held…that is some cookie. My sentiments exactly about Downton Abby. If they had all acted like this in the first year, I wonder how popular it would be. If you have anything to do with it, I know your daughter's birthday will be wonderful. Pass along birthday wishes to her.

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    1. Thanks Karen..that's nice of you..it was last night and it was fun..Indian food was the them..yum!

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  31. You are right on the mark about Downton!!! I keep forgetting who knows about Marigold and who does not - Mary? Look at those HUGE cookies, and the "stuffies", as my smalls call them. It's been so hectic and so very cold (minus 10 with a wicked wind) I gave up on V-day, let the Moms do it this year:) I love your celebrating all year long! Happy Valentine's Day, Nana!

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    1. You too!

      I am into Valentine's because of the Littles..my poor husband I make him promise..no cards no nothing..too commercial..I stick to the deal,there's a card on the kitchen island written don't be mad..it's from the Dollar Store:)
      Quiet freezng little sunny day today..when we drove home last night -18F and that was no wind chill..

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