Hearts on the Horizon

I know we just came through the holiday season, but there’s always another one just around the corner. You can’t escape it at the stores and for someone who likes to plan ahead, I might as well start thinking about it.  Especially since baby girl is due in February and I want to make sure I’ve got all my ducks in a row.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day.  In fact, I used to wear black in protest.  Now that I have a husband and children, occasions like these are just another excuse to show them how special they are to me.  Okay… and eat [dark] chocolate.

Last year I started the heart paper trail tradition and will be doing it again this year.  I saved all the paper hearts I cut out and will scatter them across the floor from the kiddos’ bedroom doors to the kitchen table, where I’ll have some sort of treats laid out.

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This year I stumbled upon make and take’s Counting Down to Valentine’s with 14 Acts of Love.  Not only is it simple, pretty and something fun to involve the kiddos, I love that it capitalizes on doing nice things for others.

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Since I’m always looking for non-candy treat alternatives, I’ll most likely make heart-shaped fruit “lollipops” or kabobs to go along with breakfast again; those were a big hit last year.  Sometimes the healthiest foods are treat enough for the kiddos.

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If I do break down and make treats, I’ve got a few things in mind…

Strawberry Mousse

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Valentine Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

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Chocolate Cherry Bark

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Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

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There’s an endless array of ideas for crafts and gifts the kiddos can make.  I’m trying to narrow down the options!  Last year we did handprint hearts, which came out really well, and this year I’m thinking something with fingerprints?

Thumbprint Valentines

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Thumbprint Valentine Day Bookmarks

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Although there is this lovely handprint heart

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For crafts with the kiddos…

Gwen would love these tiny matchbox heart babies.

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Tissue Paper Hearts, almost like stained glass!

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And since I’m half Danish, I would love to teach the kids how to make Danish hearts (apparently, you can make baskets out of ’em too – great idea for Easter!).

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I have mini mailboxes that I decorated for Phil and the kiddos and I’m always trying to figure out what to put inside other than conversation hearts (which I never really liked, truth be told).

DIY Valentine Surprise Balls

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Felt Valentines

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Matchbook Photo Valentine

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Although it’s nice to think of heart-related items to make and give for Valentine’s, I may just stick with sibling gifts that I’m contemplating for the kiddos when the new baby arrives.  I got Little Things to Sew from the library and plan on making doll carriers for each of them; how precious would that be?

credit: Ressica Jachel on flickr.com

*See my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board for more ideas & inspiration.

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