Monday, February 11, 2013

A Mom's Guide To... Valentine's Day

I love this little jar!
I would love to make something similar.

Valentine's Day is coming! Are you excited? Focus on being with those you love, big and small.

And as far as Valentine decor goes... well, I am a sucker for pink and red. I love it.

As soon as the New Year arrives and the Christmas decor is packed away, I take out a few Valentine items to mix in with the leftover snowmen and snowflakes. Of course, we have our Valentine tree:

White tree, red and white ornaments that are not Christmas-y. I have white lights on every night when we are watching TV. So cozy! And the nutcracker on the left is carrying a sled in one hand and has hearts on him. He is a cute "winter" decoration, not just Christmas.

We also have this cute Little People set:

It was Big Girl's, and it's fun to pull it out every year. I wish we had more "holiday" Little People sets, especially now with the twins. At least they are festive and kid-friendly if you choose to put them on a shelf. (You can also see a kid-friendly Valentine pillow behind it. It has Cupid on it.)

Earlier this year I found a cute Valentine banner kit in Target:


It was only $1, and I had Big Girl work with the twins to complete it one night while I as making dinner. It came out cute, and I hung it across the top of our kitchen chalkboard. She was so good with them and it kept them busy at "the witching hour," which is what I call the 4:30-6 p.m.-ish time where I am making dinner and everything falls apart. I must write a post on this in the future!

But back to Valentine's Day! There are so many great little ways to celebrate. I don't believe in making other holidays like the grand gift-giving that goes on at Christmas. Hubby and I have stopped the V-Day gift giving, but I do give the kids tiny treats. This year, I found little felt bags at Target's Dollar Spot, and each has three treats: a small heart-shaped candy box, stickers (or a small notepad for Big Girl) and one tiny, tiny toy. Except for the toy, each thing was $1 each. The toy ranges from a 97-cent Matchbox car for Buddy Twin to a $3 Disney Princess cell phone for Bunny Twin and a $4 Lego Friends for Big Girl. That's it. Not a lot of cash needed (we don't have a lot, anyway), but still tiny treats to celebrate our love for our kids. If you are still searching, check dollar stores and Target's Dollar Spot for great treasures. Our little heart candy boxes also came from Target, $1 on sale. This is just enough.

If you can't find the banner kit shown above, it's pretty easy to recreate it with scrapbook paper, stickers and string or ribbon. I also saw this great idea on Pinterest:

Source: via Kellie on Pinterest

Isn't it cute? It's just playing cards and ribbon. This would be a great Valentine decoration that doesn't cost much, if anything, at all.

Of course, I also plan on making treats for the holiday. When Big Girl was little, I used heart cookie cutters to cute out frozen waffles, sandwiches, and just about anything. You could serve "red" food, like strawberries and apples, or make strawberry milk.

Or even simple Funfetti cupcakes are festive enough:

Big Girl, circa 2010, with Funfetti cupcakes for Valentine's Day.

It doesn't have to be fancy. Sometimes simple is better, right? I love this idea:

Valentine Chex Mix! Doesn't it look like a cute little treat? And it's not difficult. I also like this variation on a festive snack mix, called Cupid Crunch:

Both would be great to enjoy while watching Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.

You can also whip up a batch of this two-ingredient treat:


So those are just a few simple treats from my Pinterest findings.

As for the actual valentines? Big Girl wants to make her own, so we will be tackling that before the holiday. Our school doesn't allow food/candy anymore, so this limits our options tremendously. But I have a few ideas up my sleeve to suggest to her. Stay tuned!

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