Date night?

Hubz and I went on a date TRIP to Amsterdam!
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I love Amsterdam. And, I love my hubby for putting up with 2 hours of walking through 7 million tulips at the Keukenhof gardens–the disneyland for the elderly, and me =)

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…as long as I kept him happy with dutch strawberries and creme, of course.

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Buon San Valentino!

Happy Valentine’s day–the modern day way!

Valentine’s Day isn’t all heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and cliche sentiment. Its origins are of bloodshed, martyrdom, drunken debauchery and sexual lottery rituals dating back to ancient Rome in the third century A.D. from a festival called Lupercalia celebrated between February 13th to the 15th.

The greatest poet and playwright of all time, William Shakespeare, romanticized Valentine’s Day in his work which became popular throughout Europe. Paper greetings also gained popularity in the middle ages which was inspired by St. Valentine, a priest who illegally married people against the roman emperor Claudius Gothicus’ demands–who abolished marriage because it prevented people from joining his bachelor army. While arrested, St. Valentine fell in love with the jailers daughter and wrote her a farewell note before his execution on February 14th saying, “From your Valentine”.

During the middle ages in England and France, February 14th was associated with the beginning of birds’ mating season. Women of these times were superstitious and would tell what kind of man they’d marry by the first bird they spotted. Of course, this was due to Chaucer’s poem, “The Parliament of Foules” which became the first poem to depict Valentine’s Day as a day for lovers that tells the story of birds choosing their mates.

Later, handmade paper cards became gifts which made its way to the New World and the commercialization of Valentine’s Day cards became mass produced thanks to Hallmark in the early 1900s.

So, here we humans are today, taking bizzare twists and turns throughout history that led us up to breaking the bank with flowers, jewelry, and weekend getaway’s all in the name of love and… fertility; while we ignore the bloody roots of our ancient history that is the true Saint Valentine’s Day.

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Above is a coincidental painting that CJ made and gifted for me this Valentine’s Day. BIRDS. Oh, Chaucer, we’ve chosen each other! haha 😉

My own take on The Starry Night.

Last Saturday, a few friends and I went painting at our base community center and the painting of the night was van Gogh inspired! The Eiffle Tower under a Starry Night? I’ll try!

This is how it turned out–

Paint night!

Once I finished, I stepped back and looked at it from a distance. Because everything from a distance looks better. Sure, the Eiffle Tower looks like the Belgian waffles I had in Brussels–but then I asked myself, “would I buy this?” The answer was YES. Yes, I would because my favorite part of the painting was the reflection on the water given by the street lamps. Not to mention the 3.5 hours it took to paint! With every stroke of the brush came passion, determination, cramped fingers and delightful memories of walking down Champs-Élysées and into 31 Rue Cambon! I guess that would make this painting PRICELESS.

I’m an artist!