Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! 2017

In the past, I was never one to really get excited over Valentine's Day.  Mainly because the entire time that Joe and I were dating, I worked at a flower shop. Years of helping others celebrate the holiday was enough for me.

Besides, one year, Joe and I did attempt to celebrate Valentine's Day.  February 14 fell on a weekend (a Friday, I think) and as usual, I worked long shifts leading up to the day.  I also worked the day after, but a shorter day than the rest of the week, so we decided to celebrate a day late.  Joe picked me up from work and we went out for an early dinner.  I'm not sure if the restaurant was short-staffed or not, but it took a really long time for our food to come to the table.  After chatting about our week for a bit, I started to get really tired and by the time our food came out, I was having a tough time staying awake!

We realized then, that celebrating Valentine's Day with a date wasn't really an option for us!  So, in the years to follow, we just had a low-key dinner at home.  Sometimes we ordered take-out, sometimes Joe cooked, sometimes we just had leftovers.  Even after I stopped working at the flower shop, we really didn't make a big deal over the holiday.  Joe shows me every day how much he loves us and is committed to our family, I don't need one specific day to know how he loves us.

When Grace was about a year old, I think is when we started celebrating Valentine's day with her. She doesn't eat chocolate, so Valentine's Day for her meant pink and red cupcakes and a cute stuffed animal, a few decorations around the house and all of her shows having a Valentine theme for the day.

Then school started and we were celebrating Valentine's Day in a bigger way!  Special Valentine t-shirts, dresses with hearts, parties at school and Valentine cards with candy for the class!  How exciting!

For the past couple of years, I wanted to do personalized photo Valentines but never got around to taking a picture in order to create the cards.  So, when I saw that my friend Kristen (who also happens to be a photographer) was offering an amazing deal on a quick Valentine photo session, I knew I wanted to book a session!

Here's the card I designed for Grace's classmates:

Since our family is obsessed with all things Boston Terrier, we were super excited to find this awesome Valentine t-shirt at Walmart!  It was the last one and a size too big, but that's okay!  She'll be able to wear it again next year!

Speaking of being Boston Terrier obsessed, Grace wanted to include our Boston Terrier in the photo session!  Kristen is a great friend.  She adores Grace and also knows how much we love our dog, Remmy!  So she included Remmy in the next shot!

Look at that face!  Isn't it the cutest?!  Oh, yeah!  The kid is cute, too!

Local readers, if you are looking for a professional photographer at an affordable price, check out KDW Photography & Designs.  Here's another photo session of Grace taken by KDW Photography & Designs.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in any way for sharing the link above.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 2017 ~ Week of February 13th


Breakfast for Dinner

Eggs are on sale at Aldi this week, which means I'll be buying a few dozen.
It also means that I'll be eating eggs at least once a day
(most likely for breakfast or lunch) for the next week or two.
I seem to do better on my diet when I eat eggs for a meal or two each day,
so it's a win-win situation.  Budget friendly and calorie friendly!


Valentine's Day 

I wish I could say that we are planning a meal of heart-shaped foods
to impress our cute, 7 year old Valentine, but she's super picky.
While I'm sure she'd get a kick out of seeing a heart-shaped pizza
or red pancakes, I know she won't eat them.
So, at the moment, Valentine's Day dinner is undecided.  


Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon

Wednesdays are hectic in our house,
so it will be great to come home to this soup ready to eat
at the end of our work day.  


Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas
Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Click the link to see the picture of these amazing Black Bean Quesadillas!
I really cannot wait to try this recipe! 

Saturday and Sunday

This is a busy weekend for us, 
so dinners haven't been planned out yet.  
Although take-out is usually the direction we go on busy weekends, 
I'd like to try to keep away from the drive-thru.  
Grilled cheese sandwiches or even some eggs 
could make for a quick dinner for these busy days.  

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration, you can check out my past menu plans.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dollar Store DIY ~ Boston Terrier Valentine Mail Box

Ever since Gracie started school, I was excited to help her make a Valentine Box for her classmates to drop in their cute little Valentine cards.  I didn't realize that her classes didn't make Valentine boxes for Kindergarten or First Grade.  I was bummed.

I cannot even begin to describe how happy I was that Grace and I could work on designing a Valentine Box for her to take in to her 2nd grade classroom.

One afternoon, last week, Grace and I sat down and browsed Pinterest for some cute Valentine Box ideas.  We saw lots of creative boxes and Grace decided she wanted us to create a Boston Terrier Valentine Box.  Since, you know, we're obsessed with Boston Terriers.

I'll admit, I was really proud that Gracie chose our favorite breed as the theme, but I was a bit nervous about designing a Boston Terrier Valentine box.  I really didn't have any idea on how I was going to go about putting that together.

We started by choosing a box that fit into the size specifications given by her teacher.  After that, the only idea I had was to cover the box with wrapping paper.  I figured either black or white paper would work.

I stopped at Dollar Tree to see if they had plain white or black paper and I was thrilled when I saw a super-glittery Boston Terrier gift bag!  I suspected it might be the perfect size to cover her box, so I grabbed three!  Just in case we messed up and needed a spare!

So after gathering our supplies, Grace and I got to work on assembling her box.

  • empty box
  • wrapping paper
  • card stock
  • Boston Terrier gift bag
  • marker
  • glue stick
  • clear tape
  • glitter tape
  • paper doilies 
  • stickers
  • scissors

We were both very pleased with how it turned out.  The only thing we didn't do, was make a trap door for removing her Valentines either at her social at school or after she comes home.  We did make the slot a bit on the big side, so Grace should be able to slip her hand inside and get her cards out.  I'll have to remind her to reach in carefully so not to ruin the box, since I have a feeling she will want to add this to our Valentine decor for years to come! 

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday ~ A Date with Daddy

Since Joe works a lot of weekends, Grace and I tend to have a lot of Mommy-Grace Dates.  When Joe is off on the weekends, we tend to do things as a family.  Rarely, do the two of them get to spend time together, one on one.

Girl Scouts hosted a He and Me Dance over the weekend, so this was the perfect opportunity for the two of them to have a Daddy-Grace Date.  Time together without Mommy getting in the way!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Dollar Store DIY ~ Kid's Valentine Door

I'm sure you've all seen this idea done before.  It's been all over Facebook and Pinterest for a while now.  I came across the idea several weeks ago and completely forgot about it, so I was glad when Grace's aunt sent me this link:  Valentine Heart Attack by Skip to My Lou.

Right away, I loved the idea of posting little love notes on Grace's door telling her all the reasons that we love her.   Just like Cindy at Skip to My Lou, suggests, I planned on taping a new heart to Grace's door each day from February 1st until Valentine's Day.

So, when I spotted these great, heart-shaped doilies at Dollar Tree I knew they would be perfect for the little, positive, love notes for Grace to wake up to every day!  What's even better is that they are only a dollar for a pack of 30.  One package would have been plenty, but I knew that Gracie would like the combination of pink and red.  Plus, for the price, the leftovers will be a great addition to the craft supplies stash!

I grabbed a piece of pink card stock from my craft supplies, attached a doily to it with some tape and wrote "We love you because..." with a black marker.  Then I taped it to her door.  The best placement ended up being over a Princess decal that was already stuck to her door.

After that was done, it was time to start adding a new heart each night after bedtime.

(don't mind the stickers that Grace has started adding to her door as well)

Since we still have some time until Valentine's Day, this is still a work in progress.  I'll come back and add another photo or two as we add more hearts to her door!

Grace loves waking up to see her new love note attached to her door each morning.  I love that this is such an inexpensive and easy way to make her feel special and surprised.

What better way is there to start the day than to be reminded that you are loved?

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