Hearts and Flowers ♥ ♣ ♥

 Happy Valentine’s Day Girlfriends ♥  It’s a day for Hearts and Flowers, LOVE and DREAMS (just like yesterday!)    

This song’s for you!

 Need a last minute little thing for a special girlfriend, or for special YOU, I have a Valentine Bookmark — just click on here to print it out. (If you don’t have card stock, for extra strength, fold the paper in two; glue it shut and cut it out.) 

Valentine’s Day, one of the loveliest of holidays, a celebration of the thing that makes the world go ’round . . .

Not just the thing that makes it go ’round, but the thing that makes the ride worthwhile.


Not just for romantic love, but all love; moms for their kids, teachers for their students, sisters for sisters, brothers for brothers, best friends for their BFF, even love for the earth, the sky, tea, kitties, and everything in between, ALL LOVE; everyone should have a Valentine today so be sure to save some of that love for you!  Treat yourself to a little Valentine love today and be your own best friend.


There are lots of ways to celebrate a day of love; take a child to a special bakery and buy him a chocolate eclair (a great way to give yourself a Valentine!), take a long bubble bath with your book and a big bottle of cold water, call someone who is lonely and shoot the breeze, get the wonderful book Elizabeth and Her German Garden by the same author who wrote Enchanted April (Elizabeth von Arnim) and treat yourself to a little bit of early spring in a wonderful garden with a most interesting character; make yourself a cup of hot chocolate this morning and take it back to bed; watch a good old movie; walk through the woods or down to the water; or go to an animal shelter and choose a new pet; give yourself the gift that keeps on giving.


What else can I do to help you celebrate a wonderful day?  Maybe a little more time to sign up for our Valentine giveaway?  OK!  Scroll down ↓ to the next post and leave a comment if you haven’t already done that — just click on the tiny “comment” word at the very bottom of the post.  What else?  A yummy hot chocolate recipe?  Fast and easy and Valentine’s perfection?  OK, I can do that . . .

 More FLOWERS anyone?

Love yu Girls, have a Wonderful day!!!

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372 Responses to Hearts and Flowers ♥ ♣ ♥

  1. Tina in Ky says:

    Susan, this is off topic…(You don’t have to post this in the comments)… but I made your Apple Muffins tonight from your Vineyard Seasons book.. and I love them!!! just wanted to let you know 😉

  2. Marge says:

    Susan, you inspired me to host a Girlfriends Tea Party today! I used the lovely Lenox tea set that you designed a few years ago to serve heart shaped cherry almond scones with clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, red velvet cupcakes, raspberry pie pops, and Harney’s Lover’s Leap tea. My dear pals loved receiving their very own copy of your book, Love from the Heart of the Home, that I wrapped with a big pink bow and gave them as a favor and keepsake. We had a wonderful afternoon. Thank you for reminding me just how important girlfriends are in life.

  3. Terry B says:

    Thank you for sending your love out into the world!

  4. Linda from Oklahoma says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you for more of your beautiful art work to enjoy while reading a book. Your friends and neighbors must love driving by your home seeing the hearts in the windows. How cute!

  5. Mary Tullila says:

    Happy Valentines Day Susan.. thank you for the book mark! I LOVE this blog!

  6. laura lee hayes says:

    Good morning Susan!
    Thank you again for leaving us such beautiful words in every blog…they ooze love and creativity! My dear husband worked late yesterday..but knowing this..i made it aValentines-Girlfriend Day! I took a friend to a matinee to see ‘The Vow’. A sweet romantic movie, perfect for ‘heart’ day. We finished the afternoon with a piece of yummy chocolate at Godiva in Stony Brook…the perfect back drop for a very sweet day!

  7. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    I just wanted to let all the bird watching girlfriends know about the 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count going on February 17th – 20th. Here is the address for more information.
    Have Fun!

  8. Karen P says:

    Transferring all my favorite recipes into my new Susan Branch Traditions binder today. I LOVE how you made it to match my kitchen, Susan! 🙂

    • Doreen Strain says:

      Seeing you mention doing this Karen makes me want to take mine out and get going on it. It looks so pretty all wrapped up and not opened yet. Although, I must admit, I’m going to love taking it out and using it knowing all my loved recipes are being held inside between those beautiful art filled covers. It really is so pretty! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  9. Heather Keidel Irwin says:

    Good morning! Loved the post about love! I’m spending this week in CA, here from CT (I live just one town over from the Taber house!) and even though my husband and I have tried to stay “unplugged” from technology this week, I just couldn’t resist checking out the SB blog. When planning this trip, I had told my huband all about the cross-country train trip that Susan and Joe take by train. We took a plane for our travel, but agreed that we just NEED to take the trip by train one day!
    I was just telling my husband last night about the Heart of the Home store, and how much I wish that it was still open! Does anyone have any recommendations for stores or places in southern CA that are Susan Branch-like?

  10. Gris Svejcar from Vancouver, WA says:

    Thank you Susan. I love Louis and that’s one my favorite songs. I hope you and the love of your life had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

  11. Heather says:

    You are right, thanks for mentioning love is for every one!
    “Be of love a little more careful than of everything else.” – e.e. cummings

  12. Ashlee says:

    Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you! You see the beauty in everything.

    xoxo Ashlee

  13. Nellie says:

    This is just the perfect Valentine’s Day post! Thank you for all the lovely wishes, and I am sending the same right back to YOU! xoxo

  14. Beth says:

    Great song! My New Year’s Resolution is to live life joyously! I find reading your blog keeps me in a joyful mood and always leaves a smile on my face! Thank you!

  15. Babita says:

    Hope you and Joe had a wonderful day.. you guys are soo part of my family now !!!! :o) Such sweethearts !!!!!
    Read the old diary entry about ur first date with Joe..
    Hoping a praying you guys love each other forever and be an inspiration to many lovers..

  16. Molly says:

    Susan thank you for having Paul McCartney’s Valentine’s song on your Blog. My mother in law had stayed with us a few weeks back and I told her about your Blog. She wrote me an emailed me and said how much she had enjoyed the song. She was married for over 50 years to the love of her life and she has been adjusting to his passing. We love your music choices!!!

  17. jan says:

    Love the music choice!!!

  18. Susan, you my dear are the sweetest of sweets! What a beautiful bookmark! And I love the little girl, can I make her a bookmark as well? Or maybe I well make her my background on my computer for awhile! Louis Armstrong, oh my! Love him! I am trying to think which Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie I heard that in. Anyone remember? Mmmm! Hot chocolate! Will I share or drink the whole thing! Okay I’ll share, after all it is Valentines Day/week!
    Hugs to Jack and Girl kitty!

  19. Debbie says:

    Hi Susan,
    Its funny…..this is my sisters favorite web site and since shes told me about it, its become mine…we are both school nurses and email eachother through out the day..She cracks up because now I tell her whats going on on your web site and all the reciepes and she gets hysterical saying ” thats my website!!! Shes my friend”hahaha Just wanted to let you knowthat thiese are our conversations at work 🙂 ps she’d love your heart shaped muffin tin, i would actually let her have it 🙂 have a great day Debbie( the bestest sister)

  20. JoAnn says:

    Loved the scrumptious orange chocolate tea cakes from yesterday’s post! I have a Wilton Whoopie Pie Pan that I use to make muffin tops (shallow, but heart shaped) so mine were a bit larger but thinner than yours. Yum & thank you!

  21. Janey says:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Heart shaped tins are sweet
    But not as much as you!

    Hope you had a lovely day with Joe x

  22. Terry says:

    After a very hectic day, I made a cup of coffee and settled in my favorite chair to view your blog. It’s such a sweet blog and it always puts a smile on my face when I read your posts and see your artwork! You are so talented!
    Hope you had a wonderful day today!

  23. Debra V. says:

    Hello Susan,

  24. Debra V. says:

    I’m new at this blog stuff. What does it mean that my comment is awaiting moderation? I never notice any answers to questions I ask, and some times I’m hopeing that other gals might know some of the answers and will reply. But when I go back to the comments to see my entry it is not there. I asked once about the Almond Bark, which was fantastic. However, mine was grainy. Was there something I did wrong? Was I stirring it too much? When you make it is it cloudy and a little grainy too? Well it was delicious, but if it could be less grainy I’m sure it would be even better. Also it never really hardened, so I hade to keep it in the refrigerator. If you or anyone can answer these two questions I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      It means that I ran to the post office and to the market and wasn’t here to approve it! I get so much spam here in the back end of this blog, crazy nonsensical comments, so I have to approve each comment and delete all the spam before it can go up. Sometimes I get behind, and every once in a while I think the blog actually eats some of the comments! But for the most part, sooner or later, you should see it come up! Sorry, here it goes! I’m thinking that maybe your are talking about my almond brittle? I don’t have a bark. Not sure about the grainy or cloudy part, haven’t had that happen, and my chocolate definitely hardens as soon as it dries. Maybe it’s the chocolate you’re using? I’m not sure, hard to say from way over here!

  25. Carol C says:

    Hi Susan, Just wanted to tell you that I made your ribs in juice on Sunday when a friend whose wife is in a nursing home came to dinner. We had your fabulous chocolate sauce over ice cream and strawberries for dessert. Both were BIG hits with all of us. Then, for Valentine’s I made The Steak au Poivre and Potatoes Anna from the Love book. Also wonderful! I have never been disappointed in any of your recipes! Thanks for adding a little pizzaz to our meals!

  26. Carol C says:

    p. s. How do you get the music to play as background while reading the blog? When I click on the music it takes me away from the blog while the song is playing. I have a MacBook.

    • sbranch says:

      You just leave it on, and come back to my page and let it play while you read! 🙂

      • Joan says:

        THANKS!!!! I have been trying to figure this out with each blog and never could – never asked either – my fault! Anyway, this is great, music and blog!

  27. Tiina says:

    Hope you had a wonderful heart day!

  28. Dolores says:

    I got to do one of my favorite things, spend a few hours with my lovely daughter! We meet half way between our two cities (in different states) at Cracker Barrell and enjoy yummy southern food and lots of girl talk! Good for my heart and soul! A lovely time to cherish always.
    Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your sweet fellas (that includes feline fellas)!

  29. Carol says:

    There’s nothing like love day! I have always believed that men should receive flowers too. They love them! I’m off to watch the latest film production of “Jane Eyre” with Mia Wasikowska & Michael Fassbender. Sigh!

  30. Darlene says:

    I love this blog I really really do!

  31. Terrie McMahan says:

    Hello, Dear Sue! Another contest? Hurray! Am I too late to enter? In the hospital for the last few days and I am behind on my reading. Belated Love to you and Joe ~ Valentine’s Day lasts all year for those of us who BELIEVE!! xoxo Terrie from Atlanta, Georgia.

  32. Mary Beebe says:

    How was YOUR valentine’s day? <3

  33. Fiddlesticks says:

    Happy Valetines Day to you Susan…..your blog makes my heart smile….thank you!
    <3 julie

  34. Denise says:

    Love and kisses to all you special ladies!

  35. Marilyn the nurse says:

    Thank you so much for this post, as usual it is truly beautiful!!!!

  36. Suzanne says:

    Hi Susan. I could not take a chance on not winning the heart muffin pan, so I ordered it! Thanks for sharing the neat products you find.

  37. Carolyn mixon says:

    Thanks for all the sweetness you send to all of us girlfriends. Your blog is the high light of my day. Hope your heart day was as good as you made all of ours-what a beautiful blog you created just for us to make our hearts happy.

  38. Sandy Fox says:

    Love your bookmark gift to us! Thank you so much! Printed out to give to my Mother whom I love dearly!
    Hope your Valentines Day was very special since you bring smiles and love to each of us every time we read your blog, or read your books! You have a very loving heart!
    Happy Late Valentines Day to you! 🙂

  39. Charlene says:

    Okay am I going crazy or did the hot chocolate recipe disappear?

  40. Debbie '51 says:

    Such a sweet post – and Louis is one of my “most favoritest” artists.
    Hope your Valentine’s Day was terrific!
    Thank you for the wonderful gift of love that you share, Susan!

  41. Victoria says:

    You make everyday Valentine’s Day with all the Love you send straight from your heart!

  42. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Just ordered the heart shape pan! After all, it doesn’t need to be Valentine Day’s to show your love, right?! I also bought the Emma Bridgewater Diamond Jubilee mug!!! I feel so special xoxoxxo!!!

  43. Gamma Rori says:

    Good morning Sweet Susan,
    My sweet man gave me your book, ‘Sweets for the Sweet’ for Valentines Day and what a thrill it was to receive!! I was drooling after looking through the book for less that a minute…so many YUMMY recipes and so little time, lol
    I made orange muffins with chocolate chips inside and then served them with a wonderful cup of tea, mmmmmmmmmm
    Thank you once again for all your inspiration and delicious recipes…..life in better with scrumptious food ideas >>>>>> hugs <<<<<<<<
    Gamma Rori

  44. Jill says:

    Dear Susan,

    I love your table settings. I look forward to your new cookbook.

    Jill G

  45. Kim Henning says:

    Thank you for the first glimpse of spring.
    You really put me in the mood.
    I can’t wait to use some of your great ideas.
    I have a few pieces of Rose Chinz …. the teacups would look nice with
    on my hutch.
    Happy Spring<3

  46. Kathy Clarke says:

    Please let me know what Joe finds in the basement. We have one too-almost 100 years old but they (people before us) enclosed the door and stairs so it is part of the house.
    Love your pictures Susan!
    Kathy from Atascadero,Ca.

  47. Becky Pittenger says:

    Becky from Yankton, SD:
    Thank you Susan! You are a day brightener!

  48. Sherryl says:

    So funny. I would have reacted just like you upon seeing that lovely spot green… awww look! and then OMG LOOK! I live in Southern California (born and raised) and we don’t have basements here except in very VERY old houses (I think earthquakes probably have a lot to do with that) – but I would love to have one and an attic too. I think they must be very special places if only because you can make up such wonderful stories about them! (they could be romantic stories, not just spooky, ya know). In fact, your post just sent my imagination on over drive. Fun! Enjoy your lovely wonderful home – and appreciate that fabulous man, you lucky woman.

  49. Judy Leopard says:

    Hi Susan. I love your post…the plant growing up from your basement…how interesting…i feel the same as you do about attics and basements…scary…
    Hugs judy…Centerville,Ohio

  50. Alice R. Thompson says:

    Hi Susan,

    Love your daily emails so very much. I always look forward to your cheerful, charming blogs. They lift my spirits and your wonderful photos are added to my screen saver so that I see them over and over again. Thank you for sharing your terrific talent with us this way!


  51. Sonya Hewes says:

    I’ve already left a post about those beautiful teacups, but wanted to add that I live in Anchorage, Alaska where so far this winter, we’ve gotten 110 inches of snow! I’m originally from Minnesota where they haven’t had any snow yet. Very strange indeed! Have a blessed day!
    Sonya ♥

  52. Janet says:

    From out of nowhere today, this popped into my head… Whatever happened to the little green vine you discovered in your dining room a few weeks ago? I imagine its demise must be imminent – or maybe it’s already occurred? What with so much going-on as you get ready to leave for a few months…

    • sbranch says:

      My housekeeper pulled it out!!! It was getting big too, and still very interesting, I kind of loved it. She didn’t know!

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