Welcome to my blog!

This is a place to share my many ideas, (along with a story or two), about party planning from the theme to the thank you note, organization from your closets to your kid's artwork, and home decor, from wall color to window treatments. I have a passion for graphic design, fine art, photography, interior design and a great party! Creativity and the visually aesthetic get my juices flowing and I hope this blog can be a place to have fun exchanging ideas and resources and help your creative juices flow too!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

V is for Valentine

I wasn't going to do a Valentine's Day post.  And here's why:
I kind of hate Valentine's Day.
Maybe "hate" is too strong a word.  I guess I just find the day to be crummy on several levels.
The one good association I have with Valentine's Day is only in retrospect.
Valentine's Day 2000, I was recovering from a recent break-up and had deemed myself the, "Anti-Valentine".  I refused to wear even a stitch of red as a protest of the day, but the good that came out of it was that it was also the day my husband first introduced himself to me and gave me his phone number.  Four days later we had our first date and the rest is history.

But back to my thoughts on Valentine's Day...
For a person not in a romantic relationship, Valentine's Day can be a crummy day for obvious reasons.
I think most of us can agree that at least at one point, Valentine's Day has been a day of sadness, loneliness, envy and disappointment and it's just felt like a faux holiday created by a team of marketing geniuses at Hallmark, Hershey's and FTD.  
If you've never felt that way, you should probably keep that to yourself.  Certainly keep it from me.

For a person in a romantic relationship, Valentine's Day can be crummy because as with Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, the day can so easily end up being a giant let-down.  We are told what should "ideally" happen on these days: who we should be with, what we should be doing, saying, feeling, buying, receiving, eating and drinking, that if the check-list isn't fulfilled, it's so easy to experience a range of negative emotions.

Furthermore, why should there be one day out of three hundred and sixty-five, in which we are expected to profess our love to someone as well as expect to be told that we are loved.  Aren't expressions of love more meaningful when they are unexpected.  I'd much rather discover a Post-it note with an affectionate message on it, stuck to the refrigerator on any given day, than receive a card on February 14th, simply because it's Valentine's Day.
That said, I didn't feel this way when I was first married because I felt then that I finally had a Valentine for life and with that came the expectation that I would finally enjoy the "holiday" the way I imagined other people in relationships did.  That was an error.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like my husband and I don't acknowledge the day.  We exchange cards.  And that's only because he knows I like receiving and keeping cards from him, because while he isn't the most expressive person, when he gives me cards, he writes the sweetest messages that melt my heart ev-e-ry time.  That said, after that moment has passed, the rest of the day is just like every other day and somehow I feel like we're supposed to be in some cloud of rekindled romance while we're dealing with the kids and every day stuff of life.  I suppose we could get a babysitter and go out to dinner but we just don't. I think we're subconsciously rebelling against the day and have become a kind of Anti-Valentine couple, which I think is actually romantic unto itself.

And what about adolescence?!
That's when the days of bringing in Valentines for every one in your class were over and the day just became a way to clarify who was in the "popular" clique, and who was not.
Did anyone else  have candy grams and long stem roses in middle and high school on Valentine's day?
Worst.  Idea.  Ever!  And I'm guessing my Alma Mater put the kabbash on that practice.

Hence, I titled this post, "V is for Valentine", because now the day for me is all about the little kids.  I think it's a sweet holiday, both figuratively and literally for them, and an opportunity to make things with hearts, lots of pink and red, and as with any holiday, GLITTER.
So, here's to celebrating a day of love and friendship with the the young and innocent valentines in your life.  I hope some of these cute, fun and yummy looking treats inspire your creativity and help make the day special for you and those you love.

P.S. If you don't have a grown-up valentine this year, it would be my pleasure if you would be mine.

Happy Valentine's Day
I think I'll go write my husband a Post-it note :)

Crafty Valentines:

A Sweet Shovel from Family Fun

Bear Your Heart from Family Fun

O'fish'ally Be Mine valentine from Tammy Mitchell Photography

Valentine's Day Candy Jars from Tami Wilson Photography

Box of Kisses from It Is What It Is

Custom Kiss Stickers from Posh Pixels via Etsy

Sweet Spot Hearts from Martha Stewart
Lollipop Flowers from Family Fun

Lollipop Holder from My Chic'n Scratch

Hershey's Kiss Roses from Mom on Time Out

Pencil Valentines from Pazzles Craft Room

Rock Candy from Family Fun

You Rock from  Fiskars

Valentine Bookmarks from Melissa's Bargains
Pencil Toppers from Family Fun
Cookie Cutter Heart from Family Fun
Crayon Hearts from Family Fun

Crayon Card from The Long Thread

Conversation Hearts from Artsy Fartsy Mama

Free Printables:

Blowing Kisses Your Way from The Mother Huddle

Valentine Faces from Blonde

Chews You Tag from Love the Day

FIN-tastic Valentine Card from Everyday Mommy Ideas

You Are Amazing Card from 

Friendship Bracelet Valentines from Dandee

Magnifying Glass Valentines from Dandee

Superhero Valentines from Litte Bit Funky

I Dig You Tag from Fry Family

Circle Tags from Anything But Perfect

Mini Treat Bag Labels from Sweet Metel Moments

Heart Breakers from Made

Kiss Dots from Happy Home Fairy

You Make My Heart Glow from The Teacher Wife

Butterfly Valentine from Skip to My Lou

Yummy Valentines:

Chocolate Rolled Cookies from Glorious Treats

Spiral Cookies from Sprinklebakes

Heartfelt Cookies from  Delish

Double-Decker, Stripey, Valentine Cookies from Bake at 350

Peanut Butter Hugs from Daily Nibbles

Valentine Pretzel Button g*rated

Rice Krispie Hearts with Basket Weave Technique from Martha Stewart

Pink Heart Shaped Rice Krispie Treats from Life of Foodie and Her family

Tattoo Heart Cookies from Whipped Bake Shop

Glazed Brownie Hearts from Betty Crocker

Chocolate Cheerio Marshmallow Hearts from Betty Crocker

Chocolate-Dipped Heart Cookies from Pillsbury

Raspberry Tarts from Family Fun

Conversation Heart Cookies from Cooking on the Side

Conversation Heart Sugar Cookies from Kelsey's Kitchen

Personalized Cookies from Amy's Cookies

Rice Krispie Treats from A Pretty Cool Life

Conversation Heart Dipped Oreo Cookies from 1-800 Baskets.com

Conversation Heart Fudge from Family Fun

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from Annie's Eats

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies from Bakerella

Photo Courtesy of We Heart It

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies from Glorious Treats

Cranberry Cookie pop from Pizzazzerie

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops from Glorious Treats

Cranberry White Chocolate Bars from Glorious Treats

Pretzel Buttons from Happy Home Fairy
(I made these delicious treats for my Super Bowl Party with waffle pretzels but I love how the traditional pretzel shape looks like a heart)

Vanilla Bean Donuts from Whipper Berry

Valentine's Day Donuts from Love from the Oven

Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Love From The Oven

Peep Pretzels from Love From The Oven

M&M Samoa Blondies from Six Sisters' Stuff
Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies from Red Riding Hood Edibles

Candy Cane-White Chocolate Pops and Popcorn Balls from Pleasant Home

Valentine Popcorn from She Wears Many Hats

Valentine Confetti from Nest of Posies

X's & O's Cupcakes from Martha Stewart

Sweetly Stated Cupcakes from Wilton

Layered Heart Cupcakes from Martha Stewart

Love Cupcake from Whipped Bakeshop

Sweet Cupid Cupcake from  Family Fun

Cupid's Arrow Cupcakes from Bakerella

Cupcake Love from Bakerella

Cake Pops from Bakerella

Truffle Cake Pops from 1-800 Baskets

Sweetheart Cake Pops from Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats
Chocolate Dipped Heart Shaped Krispie Treats from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Gluten Free Brownie Valentine Cake Pops from Gluten Free Canteen

Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Strawberries from Glamour

Valentine Jello Shots from Indestructables

Frozen Yogurt Pops from WebMD
Valentine Jelly Pops from Tablespoon

Perfect Heart-Shaped Pancakes from Gatorade Military

Parents.com Heart Fruit Kabobs via Best Friends for Frosting

Heart Shaped carrots from  Super Healthy Kids

Puppy Love from Family Fun

Heartwarming Pizza from Family Fun

Valentine Pizza from One Charming Party

Valentine Drinks from Shindig Parties to Go!

Time to come up with what I'm going to do for my kids' class valentines.  I don't feel comfortable with sending in loose candy and there are always pencils, stickers, tattoos and and Hersheys Kisses.  Last year I wasn't very original or creative giving Fun Dip valentines for my daughter's class and heart-shaped lollipops for my son's class, so this year I wanted to do something a little more unique, without much cost or effort.  The other day, I saw these Jelly Belly Conversation Beans and had to get them.  They spoke to me (get it, spoke to me?) because I've always liked the look and concept of Necco Sweethearts (commonly known as "conversation hearts") but never the chalky taste, and figure kids don't like the taste too much either.  I think it's safe to say that most kids like Jelly Belly's, I know I do, so I bought the remaining boxes at Shaw's (they had them at Michael's, but only a few were left), and now I don't know what to do with them.  
There's a place on the back to write in who it's for and whom it's from, but the problem is that then you'd need to remove the shrink wrap and at that point they're the same as loose candy.  I was thinking I could make a heart tag and tie it around the box with ribbon.  Or I could just tape a tag on the back.  I tried putting the box in a cellophane bag but it seemed odd to bag a box.  Anyone have any other ideas?  Whatever I end up doing, I'll take a pic a post it below.  Thanks!

Conversation Beans from Jelly Belly

I don't have enough Jelly Belly Conversation Beans for my son's preschool class and was going to see if I could get my hands on some more, but this morning I found these adorable "Fun Dough" valentines at Walgreens and think they're the perfect for his little friends.  Each one has a heart-shaped To: and From: sticker to put on the back.  So cute and only $3.99 for a pack of eighteen!

Fun Dough Valentines

I saw these cute, valentine mini-pain cans at Michaels when I was looking for an idea for my daughter's class valentines, but there were $2.00 a piece which was too steep for me since she has fifteen classmates.  I happened to be at Micahel's today and saw a few of them on the clearance rack for $1.00 each, so I thought they'd make special teacher valentines for both of my kids' classes.  I bought a bag of valentine M&M's and had these pink tags in my scrapbooking stash.  I love how they turned out :)

Teacher Valentine: Mini Paint Cans with M&M's


  1. since you're the sharpie queen--break out those bad boys and write ON the cellophane! :)

  2. I wasn't sure that would work, but yah, you're right, Sharpie's write on ANYthing! It's not exactly creative, but neither is a box of jelly candy, so if you approve, I'm fine with that : ) Thanks, Kristin!