Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2013

Text and image by Gabrielle.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers! Are you doing anything fun to celebrate?

St. Valentine’s Day isn’t really a thing here in France. I mean, you can see it on the calendar. And there are a few stores with hearts in the windows. But there are no Valentine exchanges at school. No restaurants offering a sweetheart’s menu. No crazily-priced bouquets of roses.

Our family tradition is a Valentine Breakfast with pancakes, raspberry milk and a little gift on each child’s plate. Something small — a token really. But today’s morning schedule happened to be unusual, so we decided to turn our Valentine Breakfast into a Valentine-After-School-Snack instead. We’ll skip the pancakes, enjoy a tarte from the patisserie (plus the traditional raspberry milk, of course!), and open our little valentine gifts.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re offering an extra dose of love to the people in your life today. Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. — One of the girls received the glass heart necklace above. I picked it up on our Venice trip when we visited the island of Murano — famous for it’s colored glass — and have been saving it for Valentine’s Day. Pretty!

Raspberry milk is super simple and will take you about 1 minute to make in your blender.

Blend 1/2 to 1 cup frozen raspberries, 3 cups cold milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar (or whatever sweetener you prefer) until it’s super frothy and the palest of pink.

That’s it! I don’t know what it is about this simple concoction, but my kids adore it.

Note: those 3 cups of milk will get so frothy they’ll fill your whole blender! So I always work in 3 cup batches. Also, I usually eyeball the proportions when I make it, so sometimes is tastes a little more tangy or a little more sweet. But I measured out a batch just for you, so the numbers above are a good place to start! You can make it tangier or sweeter as you prefer.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag February 14, 2013 at 11:14 am

Miss Gabrielle, how do you make your raspberry milk? That sounds amazing! :) And Happy Valentine’s Day!


2 Design Mom February 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Oh! I didn’t realize I hadn’t shared how we make raspberry milk. I’ll update the post.


3 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity February 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

What a sweet tradition you have and I love that necklace (lucky daughter). Today is not only Valentine’s Day but our 32nd wedding anniversary so we are having a few extra treats for dinner and a nice bottle of red wine. I also made my husband a card in art class last week.

I recently read that in Finland Valentine’s Day is called Friend’s Day and is celebrated mostly by women giving cards and gifts to their friends. Isn’t that a sweet spin on it – love to friends of all types not just romantic love.


4 Design Mom February 14, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Happy anniversary, Grace! Your evening plans sound romantic and wonderful.

And I love the Finnish take on Valentine’s Day. Perfect way to focus on others instead of feeling lonely.


5 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay February 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I love that idea too. Spreading the love.


6 Ann February 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Growing up Valentines was always one of my favorite holidays (born a hopeless romantic) but it always made me a bit melancholy as well. I love the idea of giving each child a small gift, something for them to look forward to and treasure! And raspberry milk sounds yum! Do you just use raspberry syrup? Happy Valentines Day to the wonderful Blairs!


7 Design Mom February 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I think the thing that saved me from growing up with melancholy Valentine’s Days was my father. He would buy flowers for each of his daughters. (My mom would buy a little something for the sons.) Nothing expensive. In fact, usually a simple carnation. But even when I hit my teen years and wished for a boyfriend, I knew I would get flowers on Valentine’s Day.


8 Susan February 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm

It’s been a day full of love around here! Sweet presents to and from the men in my house (husband and son), son took “Grumpy Cat” cake he made to his love, made heart cookies with my “borrowed babies” for their mom and dad, phone call from grandson thanking us for his “Balentine goody box”, and plans for a wonderful homemade steak and salad for dinner with my men. Then back to the real world as my husband and I head downstairs to our home office for our evening job. Whew!
Hope your day has been as full of love, and perhaps slightly less hectic than mine!


9 Design Mom February 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I have no idea what Grumpy Cat cake is, but I think it sounds fantastic!


10 Alex February 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Love how you so thoughtfully planned ahead by picking up the necklace when you were in Venice- I am sure that will make it extra special for whichever Blair girl is the lucky receiver!


11 Design Mom February 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Olive was the lucky necklace receiver. But I think Maude got pretty lucky too — she ended up with a pretty leather coin purse I picked up in Venice and squirreled away as well. : )


12 melinda ke February 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I’m curious, how do you make raspberry milk? Your family seems to have so many sweet traditions, I feel very inspired to start some new traditions when I start a family. Hope you have a sweet Valentine’s Day!


13 Design Mom February 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I will update the post with our simple directions.


14 Marie February 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Can you tell us about how you met Ben Blair?


15 Design Mom February 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared our story. Here’s a part of it I shared in a 2010 interview:



16 Jan February 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Sounds sweet! Happy Valentines!


17 Lark February 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I love the glass heart necklace. My daughter just brought out a glass charm I bought her in Florence years ago. It made me smile when she told me she keeps it in a special place with other more valuable jewelry.


18 April Louise February 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Raspberry milk sounds yummy and your family tradition sounds so sweet!


19 l o v e l y t h i n g s February 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

That is so sweet. I can imagine how much thought goes into each little gift and how excited they are to show each other. And raspberry milk…what a “sweet” tradition!


20 Pamela February 15, 2013 at 2:09 am

here in paris there was no shortage of over-priced roses! and my kids who attend the american school had valentine exchanges..boy was i missing a target or michael’s!


21 Catty February 15, 2013 at 4:13 am

This is so sweet- can’t wait till I have kids to give little things to. This is what I made for my boyfriend http://butternutb.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/valentines-day-special/


22 Jana February 15, 2013 at 6:14 am

I was in Murano some time ago and I got a very similar necklace. I’ve forgotten about it completely, thanks to this post I remembered it :)


23 A Day in May Design February 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm

That might be my favorite Valentine’s Day tradition ever! It’s so simple and sweet, I wish I had read this in time to try it in my home. And what a beautiful necklace!


24 Regina February 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm

My husband and I don’t really “do” Valentine’s because we find everything horribly overpriced and there are traffic jams all over the city. But I think this is really sweet and I want to start this with our family next year!


25 hayley March 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Hi Bradley and H

ayley love Bradley xxxxxxx


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