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Valentine's Day hasn't always been hearts and roses. Over time it's been many things-- and why not?

It's been around for centuries, starting as an ancient pagan celebration of fertility until the 5th century when Pope Gelasius took over the date to honor Saint Valentine, a priest beheaded in 270 AD for performing Christian marriages.

Even then, the day was not associated with romance until the Middle Ages when poet Geoffry Chaucer linked the day with love in his poem "Parlement of Foules."

For this was on Saint Valentine's day,

When every fowl comes there his mate to take.

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A society obsessed with chivalry and courtly love took this image to heart and the holiday took flight.

The oldest known valentine was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. His jailer, King Henry V, must have been impressed because he hired his own writer to compose valentines. And from there the holiday just kept growing.

From the handwritten notes friends and lovers exchanged in the 18th century, to the masses of printed cards that are swapped today, Valentine's Day comes second only to Christmas for the number of cards sent. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine's Day cards will be sent this year. That, my friends, is a lot of love. And who doesn't love love?

But here at The Village we want to share the love beyond cards and chocolates (although those are very nice). We want to see how you spread love and kindness out to the world. Simply post a photo and description of the way you have used the holiday to bring some love and light into the world on the Village Facebook contest page. Some lucky participants will win a $25 Village gift card as our thanks for making the world a better place.

Did you donate a trunkful of clothes?

Pay in forward in the Starbucks line?

Shovel your neighbors driveway?

Volunteer in the soup kitchen?

Show us your big hearts, Rochester Hills, and win!

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Whether you're looking to use the gift cards you got over the holidays, or hoping to take advantage of some epic clearance sales, January is a great time to shop. Here are some of the best things to buy this month:

Outerwear- It's crazy because there is still plenty of winter left, but outerwear starts getting marked down in January. You can think ahead to next winter, buying a size up for the kids, or fight the winter blahs with a fresh look to carry you to spring. Check out several of the Village stores, like Eddie Bauer and Moosejaw for annual sales.

Home Decor- The Christmas decorations are put away and suddenly the house looks kind of bare. New throw pillows, colorful rugs, fun frames, interesting artwork. What can you find to brighten your home in the new year? Make 2016 about your kitchen, Williams-Sonoma has all the latest trends, gadgets and decor to make your gathering place feel cozy.

Furniture- The new collections come out in February so stores are trying to make room. The best way to make room: clearance sales. There's no better time to replace the couch the kids have been jumping on for the last 10 years (in their defense, they were avoiding hot lava.) Anyone can have a house, but Pottery Barn helps your house feel like a home. Home decorators are on staff and waiting to help.

Candles- Although the days are slowly getting longer, night still falls by 6 p.m.. Embrace the darkness with the warm glow of candles. They help turn cold into cozy. It's Semi-Annual Sale time at Yankee Candle and Bath & Body Works!

Suits- New year, new you, new suit? Fall suits are often on sale in January. Pick something classic and enjoy the discount. Great time to update a wardrobe... bring your significant other into the 21st century with a modern suit. Check out Jos A. Bank or even Banana Republic.

Flatscreen TVs- Sure, the Super Bowl is coming up soon but the real reason to buy that big screen television now is the sale! The Consumer Electronic Show just took place in Las Vegas and retailers need to make space for the new inventory coming in February and March. Take advantages of the discounts so on February 7 you can watch the big game in a big way.

Linens- It's time for the annual "White Sales." Inspired by snow? Or the fact that once all linens came only in white, stores are marking down sheets, towels and bedding. Pottery Barn may again be your go to place for the best deals.

Mattresses- Because wouldn't it be nice to put your lovely new linens on a firm, new mattress? Visit the Sleep Number Store and test out their mattresses - you can even take a little snooze!

Health supplies and equipment- Oh, the irony! The stores clear away all the cookies, treats and booze and replace them with vitamins and supplements! If your New Year's resolution included better healthy habits, most stores have discounted their at-home exercise equipment. Time to jump on it! Stop by GNC to get started...don't wait another day!

Organization- A lot of resolutions include getting organized and the stores know that too. Look for lots of items to help you put everything in its proper place.

Gifts- Now that you're so nicely organized (see above), how about thinking ahead to buy gifts on discount? The sales are there, now is the time to take advantage of them. Shop and file away gifts in a special box for the coming year. You'll thank yourself later. 

Christmas decor- And speaking of thinking ahead, Christmas decor is outrageously discounted right now. Stock up on wrapping paper, buy new decorations. It will be like a gift to yourself when you pull them out in December! Definitely check out Paper Source.

The first place blogger Laura Cassar visited when real estate shopping in Rochester Hills was The Village (Kruse and Muer, to be specific) and she's been hooked ever since! A Rochester resident for 13 years now, in addition to her duties as wife, mom and freelance writer, Laura is a Village of Rochester Hills cheerleader!

 

 

The lights are up and The Village of Rochester Hills is showing its festive spirit!

Whether you are meeting friends for some holiday cheer or looking for a place to relax after power shopping, The Village has four great Happy Hour options: 

DSCN2325B Spot Burgers wants you to "slide on in" for Happy Hour and they've got the specials to entice you to do just that. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, the B Spot features slider specials. One slider is $1.99 or you can get six for $9.99 or a dozen for $17.99. To wash them down, draft beer is $3, wine $4 and B Spot's wide selection of bourbon is $5 for a 1.25 ounce pour. If your looking for something more, signature cocktails, like the Bacon Old-Fashioned, is $6 or well drinks are $4.

Get there early as the bar fills up fast.

Right next to theVillage's popular Santa Snug, Bravo! Cucina Italiana celebrates HappyDSCN2316 Hour Monday through Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to close Grab a seat around the large rectangular bar to enjoy special pricing on bar plates, like Bravo fries with crumbled bacon and gorgonzola, and drink deals including $5 Martini Wednesday or $5 Wine Pour Thursdays.  We're hoping the scrumptious Hot Apple Cider Martini comes back for the holidays!

Looking for a warm, relaxed atmosphere? Max & Erma's is ready for you. Their Monday through Friday Happy Hour is from 2 p.m. to 6 pm. and includes great drink specials and featured appetizers. The drinks start with domestic beer for $2, craft beer for $3 and featured cocktails for $4. Appetizers, like nachos, meatballs and pretzels, are only $5 during Happy Hour.  

If you're craving seasonal spirit in liquid form, they've got that too, with special drinks like Fiery Cider (Fireball cinnamon whiskey with Angry Orchard hard cider) for $7.25.

mitchellsAt Mitchell's Fish Market they call it Martini Hour but don't worry, the specials encompass much more than that. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday domestic drafts are $3, imported drafts are $4.50 and wine is $5 a glass. Martinis and cocktails, including the Vermont Apple Martini, are $5. There are four levels of munchies pricing starting at $4 for shrimp potstickers or fried zucchini, $5 Asian chicken lettuce wrap, $6 crispy calamari or $7 Baja fish tacos and much more.

Mitchell's Market Bar is spacious with a variety of high tops, tables and booths. It's the perfect place to put down the shopping bags and kick back.

Wherever you choose to unwind, Happy Holidays from The Village!

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The Village once again continues the tradition of a visit with Santa-without all the commercial hype. It is a free visit and no cost because you get to take your own photos. Enjoy the magic of "Santa's Snug" and start your holiday tradition at the Village of Rochester Hills.
 

Upload your photos to our Facebook or Instagram feed for a chance to win a $25 gift cards throughout the holiday season. #thevorh and #bestsanta

 
 
Helping to bring Santa to the Village in 2015:
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santa and girl

 
The Village once again continues the tradition of a visit with Santa-without all the commercial hype. It is a free visit and no cost because you get to take your own photos. Enjoy the magic of "Santa's Snug" and start your holiday tradition at the Village of Rochester Hills.
 

Upload your photos to our Facebook or Instagram feed for a chance to win a $25 gift cards throughout the holiday season. #thevorh and #bestsanta

 
 
Helping to bring Santa to the Village in 2016:
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SANTA HOURS:

Santa Visits-November 2016

  • November 19, 4-8p
  • November 20, 12-5p
  • November 21, 5-8pm **Food Truck Night
  • November 25, 4-8p
  • November 26, 2-8p
  • November 27, 12-5p

Thanksgiving - CLOSED

2016 Black Friday Hours - 8:00am-9:00pm 

Santa Visits-December 2016

  • December 2, 4-8p
  • December 3, 2-8p
  • December 4, 12-5p
  • December 5, 5-8pm **Special Needs Only
  • December 9, 4-8p
  • December 10, 2-8p
  • December 11, 12-5p
  • December 12, 5-8pm **Food Truck Night
  • December 16, 4-8p
  • December 17, 2-8p
  • December 18, 12-5p
  • December 19, 5-8pm **Pet Photo Night: $10
  • December 23, 2-8p
  • December 24, 10a-4p
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family fun, healthy choices and helping hands….

The Fifth Annual Scare Away Hunger Family Event has it all.

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Helping hands 

Taking place on October 24 at The Village of Rochester Hills, this is the fifth year for the 5K event that raises funds for the Rochester Area Neighborhood House. The event's motto is "put hunger on the run" and that's exactly what it has done, raising over $70,000 for the Neighborhood House to provide food, clothing and emergency financial assistance to neighbors in need.redrunners2014

"We like to say it is truly neighbors helping neighbors, with 90 percent of our funds coming from the community and 100 percent of our funds staying here," said Michelle Zelazny, Fund Development Manager of The Rochester Area Neighborhood House. 

One recent example of the Neighborhood House at work is a young woman that returned home from serving in the military. She was interviewing with an automotive company but the hiring process was taking longer than she had planned for. On the verge of becoming homeless with her young son, she turned to the Neighborhood House. They were able to assist her with rent until she was hired, allowing her and her son to stay in their home until she was back on her feet and financially independent again.

"When people hit some kind of emergency, we help them," Zelazny said. "Education is a big part of what we do," Zelazny added, describing programs in place for long-term problems, like Financial Focus that works with families to help them learn how to manage their finances more effectively and become self sustaining.

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The Neighborhood House also helps clients find jobs and provides counseling. These services were used by a local family when the self-employed husband stopped working to care for his wife, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. He came to the Neighborhood House with an eviction notice that would put his entire family, including three children, out on the streets. The Neighborhood House reached out to the landlord, advocating for the family so they were not evicted. They also provided emotional counseling when the wife passed away and helped the husband find a new job. 

Healthy choice

The heart of the Scare Away Hunger event is the 5K, which can be walked or run, and is chip-timed.  The race begins and ends at The Village of Rochester Hills, the first time the event is being held at this location. For information about the race, please visit the Scare Away Hunger website at http://scareawayhungerrun.org.

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Check-in on the day of the event is 7:30 a.m. with a start time of 8:30 a.m. All ages are welcome to participate and awards are given to winners. AMP Radio will keep racers moving with motivating music and race announcements. 

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Registration closes on October 21. Early-bird fees for the race are: $25 for individuals and $20 for family members, students and individuals running as a corporate team. Fees increase by $5 on October 13.

Family fun

In addition to the race, The Village of Rochester Hills, a core supporter to civic events that raise both money and awareness in the community, is hosting a Family Fun event to coincide with the race. As part of the 5K entry fee, participants and their families are welcome to enjoy bounce houses, train rides, crafts, face painting, games and entertainment. 

At 10:00 a.m. trick-or-treating takes place at The Village stores so costumes are highly encouraged. The Family Fun event is from includes the race at 8:30 a.m., and all other events from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For those not running, the Family Fun event is $5 per child or $15 per family, or a donation equivalent in canned goods. Connect on our Facebook event page to learn more and let us know you are coming!

The Rochester Area Neighborhood House is a private, non-profit human service organization that was founded by communities of faith in 1968.  Neighborhood House has grown over the years to become a full service agency servicing any qualifying families in need from Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Oakland Township, and Addison Township.  The agency mission is to assist the community during times of hardship, partnering with the community and other social service providers to help struggling individuals and families move toward self sufficiency.   The community is invited to go to www.ranh.org to receive more information about Neighborhood House.

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The Village of Rochester Hills is a 375,000-square-foot outdoor shopping district in the heart of Rochester Hills, Michigan. Set up much like a bustling downtown, the Village of Rochester Hills is the first in Michigan to utilize the lifestyle streetscape concept. It hosts over 20 events a year, helping to both entertain shoppers and help its community.

Metro-Detroit, it's your time to shine! WE ARE ON STEP #4 AND NOW IS METRO-DETROIT'S TIME TO VOTE FOR THEIR NEXT TOP MODEL. CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/1LvP2ei TO CAST YOUR VOTE ONCE A DAY UNTIL OCTOBER 30th. 

tombipinkfavoriteThe Village of Rochester Hills has teamed with Real Style Talent Agency to find the Next Big Thing!

Could it be you?

Here's how to enter:

1. Find your best photo and post it!

Post your photo on The Village of Rochester Hills Facebook page. Photos must be posted by October 9, 2015. We are looking for all ages, all races, anyone who has that spark! There's just one rule: no one under the age of 4 is permitted to enter.

2. Selected models will be invited to meet with Real Style!

Real Style will use their expertly trained eye to select the top models from the postings on The Village's Facebook page. Those chosen will be invited to an onsite event with Real Style (and other industry influencers.) Selected models will be posted on Facebook on October 10 with the event taking place on October 15 at The Village. This is a great chance to be seen and considered for modeling, commercial and extra opportunities with Real Style.

3. Top models get the vote out!

Top models selected at the October 15 event will be added to a "voting page" where metro-Detroit can vote on their favorite. Voting takes place October 17-30.

4. Win!

The top model with the most votes wins! First place prizes include a modeling assignment for The Village holiday campaign (may include social media, billboard, print or commercial), the opportunity to be on the official Village social media model and a $300 Village gift card. 

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Second place receives a $150 Village gift card and the third place prize is a $75 Village gift card.

Winners will also be chosen at random for $50 Village gift cards throughout the competition.

About Real Style

Real Style is Michigan's foremost talent agency representing and developing fashion models, commercial talent and extras. Owners Rose Gilpin and Kathy Remski have been in the business for over 15 years and have over 50 movies and television shows on their resume.