Today is International Women’s Day.  We hope you’ll take a moment to consider the role that women play in society and the vast injustices that are still carried out against half the planet’s population.  We’ve posted here some sites you may find of interest …

To read about the history of International Women’s Day, we suggest you visit this site:    Note: due to high traffic on this particular site, it may take a while to open ….        Photo by Deborah Deal-Blackwell. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

For a great article on women’s entrepreneurship, read this piece:   Unleashing Women’s Economic Potential

For an interesting editorial in the U.K.’s Telegraph today, CLICK HERE.

To mark International Women’s Day, UNESCO and the UIS have jointly released the World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education, which includes over 120 maps, charts and tables featuring a wide range of sex-disaggregated indicators.  The vivid presentation of information and analysis calls attention to persistent gender disparities and the need for greater focus on girls’ education as a human right.  The atlas illustrates the educational pathways of girls and boys and the changes in gender disparities over time. It hones in on the gender impact of critical factors such as national wealth, geographic location, investment in education, and fields of study.

The United Nations’ web site section on the Global Issues on Women is:  HERE


Sometimes the best Valentine’s weekends are those you spend close to home!  My weekend with my friend included escaping the cold on Saturday night to stay home and watch movies, play with the dogs and eat pizza and other goodies like these lovely bakery treats here.                               I think these cupcakes are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen … and they are certainly the most beautiful I have ever eaten!  They came from Harris Teeter … I can hold my own in a lot of “crafty” areas, but a cake decorator … I am NOT.  [click to continue…]


If you are like me and don’t want to use the pre-made flimsy garland and cheesy banners in your Valentine’s Day decorations, try this  Romance Renaissance Quick Trick …

Take a pack of Rick Rack you might have around the house or in your sewing basket already … this strand is great because it already had sparkles on it. I got it from a JoAnn Fabric and Craft store ...


These cards were not only pretty, they were pretty sturdy as well — and inexpensive!


Sit them on top of the rick rack. These cards were perfect for a banner because they were all alike and opened at the bottom. This made it possible to SIT them on the rick rack without having to glue or staple them. Now, they can be re-used.




I  bought one pack of six to decorate with, and one to send out. [click to continue…]

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For a great gift for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day or just to celebrate the coming of Spring, visit our new selection of pins and pin-pendants.

  Click here to visit our lovelies.  To purchase, click on the photos …


That beautiful, romantic snow that blanketed the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Greater Metro D.C. area is gone!  Luckily, I was able to capture some of the lovely peacefulness before it totally melted away …

Rose with ice

My poor rose bushes don't know what to do -- bloom or hibernate - so we get scenes like this one ...

Today — on February 1 – we have temperatures in the 60′s …Regardless of what you think about Global Warming or Climate Change, there’s no denying it has definitely been warmer this Winter.

We didn't have much snow to begin with ... what we did get is gone now!

It appears Spring is springing, and Winter has wafted away.  (We should still remain vigilant. We could get pummeled in February or March by a rogue storm.)  But, all in all, its been a freakishly warm winter in the U.S. So how does the apparent change affect us and what is anybody proposing we do to prepare for it?  

Well, in the United States, we are beginning to get more serious about it. On Jan. 19, the Obama administration released a draft of a plan to coordinate responses to global warming across the country.    


It’s called the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, and while the United States has no national strategy for curtailing its contributions to climate change, it does now have a partial strategy for responding to its effects.

The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is a call to action — a framework for steps that can be taken over the next five to 10 years based on climate change projections for the next century.

It is designed to be a key part of the nation’s larger response to a changing climate, and to guide responsible actions by natural resource managers is a comprehensive, multi-partner response to the threat of climate change in the United States.

The Strategy is being developed with input from a wide variety of federal, state, and tribal representatives, along with active engagement and input from non-government organizations, industry groups, and private landowners. To learn more, visit:  


Now, I know it’s not exactly a dinner worthy of being noted on a blog called  ”A Romance Renaissance” but it tasted pretty good nonetheless.  And besides, sometimes one wants to focus on other activities besides cooking.  Such was the case tonight.  So wrapped up in a bunch of other things, including settling back in from a trip to London, I had neglected stocking the pantry.  

What to do with an overabundance of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls before they start to get old? Well, start using it for other things -- like Pizza Crust in a Pinch!

to finish reading this story, click HERE

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We finally have some real snow here in Virginia.  Not a really deep one, but a decent covering nonetheless. I like the quiet that envelopes the world after a good snow fall.  Here’s one of my favorite poems about snow I remember from childhood …


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Whose woods these are I think I know.   
Snowy fence in Middleburg, Virginia

Snow takes an otherwise boring, dark day in Winter and makes it special. I love the quiet stillness a new frosting brings. Here - an estate in Middleburg, Virginia. Where are the horses? Snug in their stalls ...

His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
Snowy Road in Middleburg, Virginia

And miles to go before I sleep ... miles to go ...

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Middleburg, Virginia Christmas Parade 2011

Middleburg, Virginia Christmas Parade 2011

Middleburg, Virginia Christmas Parade 2011
Middleburg, Virginia Christmas Parade 2011

Talk about Romantic! 

Horses, dogs, a parade in a cute little historic town – add this to your book of romantic places and events to see and do!

Today’s Parade of Roses – it’s Monday, Jan 2, 2012 – made me remember to post the photos from the Annual Middleburg Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 3, 2011.

The first event of the festive day in downtown Middleburg was "The Hunt" parade at 11:00 a.m.

The first event of the festive day in downtown Middleburg was "The Hunt" parade at 11:00 a.m.on Saturday, December 3. What a sight in this attractive historic town!

Middleburg, Virginia Christmas Parade 2011

Hounds and horses - but where's the fox?

 The parade is actually TWO parades …  

These are the photos from the horses and hounds brigade – I guess they call it The Hunt, which took place at 11:00 a.m.

Middleburg dogs have their people bring them to see the fox-hunter hounds at the annual Christmas parade.

Middleburg dogs have their people bring them to see the fox-hunter hounds at the annual Christmas parade.

Middleburg, Virginia is famous for its horse farms, fox hunting and celebrities. I would also add that it should be famous for the number of dogs who live there too!  I’ve included photos of some of the pets who showed up to see the fox hounds in the parade!

A pug, captivated by the number of fox-hunting hounds at the Middleburg, Virginia, Christmas parade.

A pug, captivated by the number of fox-hunting hounds ...


  for more, click HERE

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We have wonderful low Christmas shopping prices now on all our listings on Ebay –

Click Here

or go to and enter A Romance Renaissance in the search portal.

If you are close to South Riding, we can deliver free of charge.  Just send me a note at:


I just want to thank you all for your kind birthday wishes today!  (I’m marking another anniversary of my 29th birthday today.)

It’s kind of an “different” birthday for me.  

My Mom died a year ago yesterday, so last year’s birthday and Christmas were nothing to celebrate.  In fact the whole month of December was pretty awful as we could not get her “placed” until December 22.  (There was, and probably still is, a back-up of funerals at Arlington National Cemetery because of the warfronts.)  The rest of the year was “strange” as well because I had been looking after Mom for several years, and had so many helpers and caregivers around, that I had forgotten how to live by myself. And I have really, really, missed my Mom …

I’m starting to remember how, now.

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