Category Archives: Cards and ecards

The real meaning behind Cinco de Mayo – it’s not what you think. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t raise a glass.

Cinco_de_Mayo_dancers_in_Washington_DCNo, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16.  According to, “The 5th of May is the celebation of the defeat of Napoleon III in Mexico, but is largely only celebrated in the United States. The French army attempted to invade Mexico with over 14,000 troops. The Mexican army with only 4,000 men defeated Napoleon III and kept their land and freedom by winning The Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. The day is celebrated in the United States for many reasons, including keeping the French from supplying the Confederate Army with more goods and ammunition.”

So how did this celebration of victory over Napoleon become an excuse for drinking alcohol, sometimes to excess? The answer may be found on pepe.comThe day when Mexicans won a war for Pueblo is (analogous) to St. Patrick’s Day. During that day Mexicans are dancing to their traditional music – Mariachi, and they are drinking alcohol. In some regions celebrations last even all day. 

Or as suggests, “I’m not above using obscure Mexican battles to justify my drinking.”

Taking a higher road, Representative Joe Baca reminds us that “Cinco de Mayo has come to represent a celebration of the contributions that Mexican Americans and all Hispanics have made to America.” That sounds good to me.

I just returned from Iceland, where there is a Mexican restaurant called Tabasco’s in Rejyavik that claims to offer Icelandic specialities with a Mexican touch. If you’re in the mood to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by eating some minke whale, I think this is the place for you. Can’t vouch for it personally, as we never visited the restaurant, or ate minke whale for that matter. Wonder what they put in their margaritas…

It’s spring, the sun is shining, and why turn down an excuse for a celebration? Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone.

Happy Valentine’s Day – how it started and how to celebrate it in (conventional or unconventional) style

Love is all you need.

Love is all you need.

Happy Valentine’s Day! The historical foundation for this celebration of love and romance is a bit murky. For example, the Catholic church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. One was a priest in third century Rome during the reign of Claudius II.  Believing that soldiers would be more effective if they were single, he outlawed marriage. St. Valentine disagreed and secretly performed marriages. He was imprisoned and sentenced to death, becoming a religious martyr. In the year 496, Pope Gelasius made February 14 a celebration in his honor.

According to one legend, Valentine himself wrote the first Valentine card. Apparently, he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and sent her a letter, signing it, “from your Valentine.”

There is nothing like a handwritten note to express your love, but today’s technology offers you a wide variety of convenient ways to convey your feelings. Online sites such as (beware, there is music when you open their site) and (their website notes that “because of an influx of love” you might have trouble getting through to them today, so be persistent) offer ways to send cards ranging from sweet to seductive. Your local drugstore carries mass-produced valentines for everyone you might be connected to: spouse, children, uncles and aunts, cousins, work associates, grandparents, and more. Higher-end artsy cards in limited production can be found in high-end gift shops.

For those with less love in their heart for the entire Valentine’s Day experience, check out the anti-Valentine’s Day ecards at

I thought I had seen it all before a Facebook posting sent me to (WARNING: don’t click on the following link if you are offended by strong language) Calligraphuck. Their motto? Exquisite expletives. Boy, do they deliver, in the most elegant calligraphy, expressions of love I have never seen in print. Their blog is pretty cheeky, too. Based in London, they do ship to the United States – it may be too late for this year, but you may want to bookmark the site – there’s always next year.

As for me, well, I prefer a more conservative way of expressing my love for my dear husband. The photo featured in this post is a Pinterest pin that I made for our last anniversary, but it serves as a nice Valentine’s Day sentiment as well. It has proven to be pretty popular, with 150 repins, mostly from a board where you may find some inspiration for today: The Say It From The Heart group board.

And speaking of Pinterest, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I have added a new board on red weddings – you may find some inspiration there for a celebration of love any day of the year.

Here’s to love: the great adventure!

The greatest adventure!

The greatest adventure!