Happy belated Valentine’s Day friends!
I’m hoping that love’s own day found you enjoying yourself and amongst those closest to your heart! I was blessed to be able to spend the day with my little Valentines! We talked about the importance of a whole day dedicated to honoring and celebrating love, a special time set aside for the contemplation of our dearest ones!
I’m still in awe of how the love for my Valentines grows exponentially with each passing year. Even when I’ve thought I couldn’t possibly love them any more than I already do, my heart swells even more!
We certainly had a blast the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Here’s more of what we enjoyed:
We only have a few decorative items for each holiday. This makes for a festive atmosphere but also keeps things simple and easy to pick up and put away. Plus, we aren’t tempted to purchase every Valentine bauble we see while out and about. We already have (or can make) pretty much anything we need.
–Place Settings: On Valentine’s Day morning, I set out a festive place mat, plate, and cup designated for each boy to use throughout the day. It only comes out this time of year and helps add some excitement to our regular mealtimes.
–Valentine Tree and Table Runner: We make our Valentine tree the centerpiece of our festive table. I adore this little tree because it’s so versatile. With the changing of seasons and holidays, we fill it’s branches with traditional seasonal treasures. It’s our Easter tree at Easter and our Thankfulness tree at Thanksgiving… So this little tree is a real staple in our small collection of holiday decor! The table runner is another staple. It’s reversible too! We can use the hearts side for Valentine’s Day and the opposite side for Christmas or other celebrations.
–Valentine’s Banner: We made this banner as one of our Valentine crafts a couple of years ago and still bring it out. We used cotton lace for the string. Then, I attached the flags cut from the pages of a discarded book. I glued a paper lace doily to the center of each page. Finally, we placed heart medallions at the center of each doily. The book pages give a charming, old-fashioned quality to the banner, which warms my heart!
–Heart Moblie: The boys brought this home several years ago, after a trip to the store with dad. We hang it in the kitchen arch way and the boys love to watch it twirl and sparkle in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.
–Red Roses: My sweet husband picked up a dozen red roses, a classic symbol of love, at the market on his way home from work. We enjoyed them all week long and had fresh rose petals for sprinkling in baths and across the sheets for romantic evenings!
–The Valentine’s Box: Our boys have an affinity for anything on wheels! This year big brother suggested making our family Valentine’s box a red pickup truck. With much enthusiasm from little brother, we grabbed two shoe boxes and quickly got to work. Big brother did the designing and I did any difficult cutting. Dad helped with the paint. And the boys and I finished up all the little details. Even though the rest of the Valentine decor has been put away, this little beauty is still proudly displayed on big brother’s desk and will probably remain in its spot for a while!
–Homemade Valentines: On Valentine’s Day, the boys stayed busy either painting Valentines at the kitchen counter or at the dining table, turned makeshift crafting studio for last minute Valentine touch-ups. (The metallic hearts on our Valentines required several applications of glue!)
Meanwhile, mom stayed busy getting things ready in the kitchen…
–Chocolate Dipped Strawberries: I washed and dried these lovely berries, graciously brought home from the store by the hubby for chocolate covered strawberry making!
I prefer using a double boiler to melt chocolate but I was a bit short on time so I warmed Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted.
Next, I swirled each strawberry in the melted chocolate and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet to harden.
For an extra touch of love, I melted Ghirardelli Classic White Premium Baking Chips for drizzling.
Then, filled Wilton decorating bags with the melted white chocolate, making two passes of drizzle over each strawberry. Finally, I allowed them to harden at room temperature for half and hour before transferring them to a container for storing in the refrigerator.
Although, they might not all have made it, ha!
–Valentine’s S’mores: Our goal is to have backyard bonfires at least once a week. Realistically, it happens more like twice a month. But on special occasions and to the delightful squeals of the kiddos, I grab the stuff we need for s’mores making. For Valentine’s Day we used vanilla creme heart shaped Peeps and Reese’s hearts.
In my opinion, as far as junk fort is concerned, these were pretty tasty! And I just relish sitting together around the fire, watching the flames glow and listening to them crackle. It’s such a wonderful way to slow down, catch up, and enjoy each other’s company!
Our oldest boy promptly gobbled up his second s’mores immediately after this photo was taken!
And Finally The Party:
While my Valentine spent the day at the office, the boys and I were home getting ready for our Valentine’s Day party. I didn’t snap many photos at the actual party because we were busy enjoying the moment. But for a synopsis, we dimmed the lights and lit all the candles. I turned on some pleasant tunes. We served pasta and french bread for dinner, with sparkling juice to drink. For dessert, we indulged in more of the chocolate covered strawberries. Then, we folded Valentine’s Day fortune tellers with knock-knock jokes inside and laughed ourselves silly! To keep the giggles going, we also did a Valentine’s Day Mad Libs! (As I’ve mentioned previously, we are mad for Mad Libs around here! If there’s a special occasion and there’s a Mad Libs for it, we want to know!)
Finally, before heading outside for making the s’mores mentioned above, we exchanged our Valentines. They were all homemade and the boys each got a small box of chocolates and a little teddy bear too!
I’m so grateful for these times spent together doing ordinary things that make for some extraordinary fun!
What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Do you have any special traditions or did you try something new this year? Can’t wait to hear!