With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought I’d share a little bit of what we did around the house for the holiday. Our tradition is to make pink, heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast (and, if I’m being honest, sometimes for lunch or dinner too!). I have a set of pancake molds that I use for this and the kids love it. We also had some fun with a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter. Cutting hearts out of strawberries, cucumbers, cheese and even pepperoni – anything we could! Easy fun, right?
The kids valentine’s were simple this years. I just printed out these “Friends make life sweet” cards, cut slits and slid a pack of Sixlets through them. The kids glued punched-out hearts on top. For Graham’s preschool class, we made our own version of the Valentine’s snack mix you’ve seen on Pinterest. I feel like snack mix is such a win with young kids! Something for everybody in there.
Not sure what we are doing this year…but I am loving all the ideas I see online! So far, my favorite is this “Over the Rainbow” option. Other favorites are on my Pinterest board.
Is it bad etiquette to blog about your Christmas cards before they are even in the mail? Hope not!
This year, I was all set to buy a Shutterfly photo card with our family photo on it, but when it came time to send the order in, I just couldn’t. So expensive! And with postage, sheesh! So, I set out to make something a little less expensive. In the end, I did that – AND I was happier with the design than I would have been.
I had never used Washi tape yet – so I was super excited to find a use for it. So cool! All I did was tape our 4×6 photo to a piece of Kraft card stock. I also used some glue to keep the photo from popping up. And for the envelope, I just slid the card into a brown paper lunch bag, folded it over, and wrapped more Washi tape around it.
My kids even helped me with the tape – it was super forgiving and a perfect way for them to “help out”. And as a BONUS – The Washi tape can be “strategically” placed – notice how it masked Mommy’s hips?!
The cards only cost about 23¢ a piece. And if you printed your prints for free (here and here) – they would only cost 13¢. Not bad, compared to the $1 I would have spent per piece at Shutterfly. Yes, they did take considerably more time, of course. But, I really enjoyed it. Handmade is always better, right?
Photography by: Sarah Kaiser Photography
Paper: Hobby Lobby (Pack of 50 8.5×11 sheets for $2.50 <1/2 off>)
Envelopes/Bags: Walmart ($1/bag of 50)
Washi tape: I bought locally at Cottage Collective, but you can find online anywhere
Merry Christmas to you!
My sister-in-laws and I started a tradition last year for Christmas – we have an ornament exchange. I decided to try to make mine and planned to create small felt rosettes to cover existing ball ornaments. Seemed simple enough.
And it was. But multiply one simple rosette x 30 x three ornaments and you find yourself burning your fingers on the hot glue gun, watching Home Alone and cussing rosettes the night before Christmas. In summary – simple can also mean time consuming.
But it was worth it! I got three great ornaments to add to my tree. One was a plain ball ornament wrapped in beautiful yarn and embellished with ribbon and a sweet tag. My other sister-in-law added monograms to store-bought ornaments – they were beautiful!
I have been on the hunt for a new plan for this year’s exchange – thank goodness for Pinterest, right?!? If you’re looking for DIY ornament ideas, check out my board here.
For Graham’s 3rd birthday, we went with a fishing theme. He really wanted another train party, but I drew the line. (I can’t believe how much he still loves his trains!!!) I really had fun with the fish theme. Don’t you think that Pinterest and the web is totally changing the face of children’s birthday parties forever?!?
Want to download and print your own invitations like this? Visit my Etsy shop here.
The fish on his cake were made with orange candy melts. They were sort of an ordeal and I was not happy with them at all. One of those things you start and wonder why. I put wax paper of the printout of the fish shape and spread the candy to match the shape. But since the cake is round, I needed the chocolate to dry curved. Serious challenge. I’ll spare you the details since it didn’t work out that well. I think it’s time for me to get over my fear of fondant.
I had some more sugar cookies made and I LOVED the bobber cookie and the fish bowl. Almost too cute to eat. Almost, I say.
We set up a fishing game over the stairway, which turned out to be a pretty big hit. The kids played and played and played. They got real creative about what they could “catch” on the drop side.
For favors, I made these really simple goldfish bags and fishbowls of gummy fish.
Another thing I tried, but didn’t get a picture of, was blue jello with gummy fish in it. Here is Martha Stewart’s photo. Ours turned out a little murky – but it tasted great! I also attempted to make some water bottle aquariums (made from water, baby oil, a foam fish and blue food coloring in a water bottle) – they were fun but the kids lost interest in them pretty quick.
For a gift, we took Graham to the pet shop and let him pick out a goldfish. Sadly, the party balloons lasted longer that “Three”, as Graham named him. We are NOT a family that should have pets!
We also had a fish fry with fish sticks for the kiddos. My husband jumped at the excuse to pull the fryer down from storage. I was on board cause I can never pass up an opportunity to have fried okra. One of my big weaknesses.
Overall, Graham had a great day and I had a lot of fun looking for and trying out all the fishy ideas. If you want to see any of the other ideas I collected, you can check out my Pinterest board.
Happy third birthday to my little man! He is getting more and more ornery every day! In this photo, he is giving his “Frank Martin Stare”. If you’re not from Kansas, you probably don’t know what that means. But around here, it always gets a giggle. To which he replies, “Frank Martin doesn’t smile!!” (Frank Martin is the head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats basketball team and has become well-known for his facial expressions, including a pretty mean stare.)
Kids’ valentines ideas are all over the web right now. I especially love all the ideas that aren’t sweets. Like the homemade heart-shaped crayons, felt bookmarks or bouncy balls.
For both of my preschoolers, I ended up putting together these little glow stick Valentines. I was inspired by this blog and found the glow sticks in the dollar bins at Target. (15 for $1) They are incredibly simple to make and I know my kids love glow sticks, so surely they’ll be a hit!
Download your own printable here.
PRINTABLE GLOW STICK VALENTINE PDF
Some of the other ideas that I thought were awesome are below. Click on the image to go to the source.
Happy Valentine making!!!
Last month, my baby turned one. Sit and cry about the passing of the last year? Or smile and celebrate the triumph of it? Maybe some of both. We have had an awesome year with Owen with some really great parenting milestones worth celebrating. We got Graham out of diapers and are counting the days until we can train Owen. Really looking forward to the milestone of not having to take a diaper bag with us everywhere we go. I threw out my nursing bras and said good riddance to the pump. And we finally stopped storing all the baby clothes. Once Owen outgrows it, it’s out the door!
Don’t get me wrong. I am very sad that he is growing up. His independence is everywhere these days. He walks. He talks. He makes sure we know what he wants. But he still loves to cuddle. And he still enjoys a bottle. Still my sweet little baby.
On to the party:
With a December for his birthday month, I went with a snowman themed party. We baptized him the same day we celebrated his birthday and had one big party to commemorate. I made a triple-layer cake and frosted it white to make a snowman head. The nose is made from a sugar ice cream cone and covered in orange frosting. The eyes and mouth are just chocolate that I shaped out on wax paper and let cool before adding.
We ordered cookies from a lady from our church and she did an awesome job as usual. (If you want her contact info, just let me know.) I loved the sweet little mittens and stocking hats. Another treat we made were chocolate dipped marshmallows. They were fun and the kids loved them! My two older kids even did the dipping for me. They went perfect with the pot of hot chocolate we had at the party.
Owen got all dressed up for his party and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Not much cuter than a little boy in a suit. His outfit even had a pocket hankie that matched his neck tie. So handsome.
His baptism was beautiful. I am definitely a bit weepy that it will be our last baptism. The vows and song we sing to him are so true and precious to me.
Happy 1st birthday to my sweet baby.
Remember my pledge? Welp, project number one is complete and I’m here to report substantial progress on the quilt I started as well.
With I had to take down my Halloween mantel decorations, the mantel was looking sorta bare. So I put together this super simple, quick “Fall” banner.
See – easy, right? Just cut some squares of burlap, hand lettered the FALL letters and hot-glued on some rick rack. I would like to add some sort of garland or foliage to the mantel still, but this was a quick fix.
In other fall décor news, guess which 11-month old has been dining on my decorative balls? Seriously!! What the heck?? We are constantly taking these away from him. I am being really stubborn though and keeping them on the table, hoping he’ll eventually learn that they are not toys (or food!).
And I have completed the quilt top I started. Next, I need to find a backing fabric and get it all quilted together. This part of the process always overwhelms me, so starting is the biggest step.
Last night I had bunco with the girls and came home to find that the hubby had helped the kids make me a little turkey craft. How sweet was that?! They made it out of their hands and were SUPER proud of themselves. I love those kiddos!