Valentine’s Day

2019 shaped up to be quite the little Valentine’s Day with my loves. From homemade valentine’s for the kids to hand out in class to our own little celebration at home, it was definitely one for the books.

While I recognize the exploited nature of days like Valentine’s Day, I still absolutely love the day. Why wouldn’t one embrace a day that literally exists as a reminder to spread love and kindness to the special people in our lives? Really, who doesn’t need a reminder?

So of course, I have to go over the top.

On Valentine’s Day, I woke up VERY early to make heart-shaped french toast with berries before my 6am workout. I hung up Charlotte’s homemade Valentines on the window and put their Valentine’s Day gifts up on the counter. Everything was set.

When I got home from my workout, the kiddos were in a blissful state. So happy with their breakfast and SO pumped to open their gifts.

Charlotte had been oogling this absurdly soft teddy bear named Puffles for weeks. She’d asked for it many a time and the answer had been no. SO… of course, I had to get her the damn bear for Vday… because she just loved the stupid thing. AND, a pair of stuffy slippers.

Hem got a light-up book, a wind-up dinosaur and a pull-back monster truck.

However, my favorite gift of the morning (besides my new leggings from hubby), were the socks I got for Marky! SO funny!

The kids spread love all day with their Valentines.

I also made chocolate covered popcorn with V-day sprinkles with little tags that said, “You Make My Heart POP”… but of course, in the fun of it all, I forgot to take a pic (although you can see it in the picture of Mark’s socks!)!

Then, at dinner, they got their favorite meal, which is noodles with fake butter. Seriously… favorite meal. AND, Marky and I got our favorite meal: RAMEN!!!

It was just such a good day. It might not seem like much, but there was just so much happiness oozing all over the place.

 

DIY Memory Game

I wanted to come up with a fun DIY Valentine’s Day gift for Charlotte this year. I searched the Internet high and low and finally came across this Custom Memory Game.

Of course I didn’t want to just order it, so I decided to make my own version using Adobe InDesign.

Instructions:

  1. Open up an 8.5″ x 11″ document
  2. Create (6) 3″ x 3″ photo boxes per page – I used 18 photos total, so I had 3 pages.Photo Boxes
  3. Start to fill each photo box with close up photos of family, friends, and pets.Filled Boxes
  4. Find a background design that will go on the back of your card. I chose hearts. I snagged the image from Google. My image was too small to spread across the whole backside, so I used the image three times, spread across columns that were slightly larger than the fronts of the card.Back of Card
  5. Once everything is all set up in InDesign, it’s time to print. My printer isn’t amazing, but it was definitely good enough. I printed the front sides first onto cardstock. Remember, you need to print TWO COPIES of EACH PAGE.
  6. Then, I put the printed-on cardstock back in my printer to print the back side.
  7. Once the printing was complete, I started to cut out my cards using a paper cutter.
  8. Then, I used this corner rounder punch to round all of my edges and give my cards a slightly more “finished” look.
  9. Next, it was time to laminate. Again, we don’t have a fancy laminator, so I just used a standard 5mil thick lamination sleeve to laminate my cards. I was able to fit 12 cards per sheet.
  10. Once everything is laminated and cooled, I cut the cards out and was done!
  11. I ended up buying a little zipper pouch for card storage. I ordered this one (I used the small one with the little heart cut out) from Amazon.

The final result was well worth the effort and tediousness of all that cutting. Charlotte LOVES the cards. She doesn’t understand how to play Memory quite yet, but she matches the cards and loves pointing out all of her friends and family. Definitely a success!

   
    
 

DIY Glitter Sensory Bottles

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With Charlotte in school this year, I thought it was the perfect time to make DIY Glitter Sensory Bottles as Valentines for her class. My intention was to have us do the project together.

Yes, I thought a project that involves glitter glue, GLITTER (excessive amounts), hot water and a hot glue gun would be a great activity for my toddler and I to complete together. I was wrong. In fact, Charlotte’s only real participation was shaking a few of the bottles up for mommy.

So I did what any improvising Momma would do… I put Charlotte to bed and binge watched TV while I finished making TWELVE glitter sensory bottles.

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Instructions to Make ONE Bottle

Materials (there is a bit of a trial and error that needs to go into this, but here’s what worked for me):

  • Plastic Bottles (I used 11.5 oz Fiji water bottles because they’re cute and small and sturdy – NOTE, I didn’t want to waste the water, so I drank about 80 ounces in one night and then saved the rest. I had to pee fiercly all night.)
  • Glitter glue (1/3-1/2 a X ounce bottle)
  • Extra fine glitter (I bought an X ounce bottle and could have literally used it for all 12 bottles. You really only need about a teaspoon… in my opinion.)
  • Hot Water
  • Glue Gun
  • Tiny Figurine (I added one tiny animal figurine per bottle because I thought it’d be cute. My toddler and her friends confirmed. The figurine is a fun addition.)
  • Essential Oil (optional – I used lemon)

Instructions:

  1. Consume water from water bottle.
  2. Peel off the label from the water bottle. This was a HUGE pain in the ass for me. I tried using this Goop Off Soap, soaking in HOT water, a scrubber sponge, vegetable oil, prayer… nothing was working. So, I Googled ways to get label adhesive off of a plastic bottle and found the most effective solution. Simply put a couple drops of essential oil on a paper towel and rub the adhesive off. It was SO much easier and so much faster. Just make sure to use a child-safe essential oil.
  3. Put the glitter glue into the bottle. Then, fill the water bottle to about 2/3 – 3/4 full with HOT tap water. Add the glitter.
  4. Cap it and shake, shake, shake.
  5. At this point, you may need to add glitter or glue (the glitter glue will help slow down the flow) depending on how your bottle is shaking.
  6. Note that at this point, my bottle filled with bubbles. So once I perfected my glitter to glue to water ratio, I waited for the glitter to settle at the bottom and squeezed all the bubbles out.
  7. Then, I filled my bottle up with hot water the rest of the way. Leave enough room to shake the bottle, but honestly, you can go pretty high. My water line was at the little plastic seal from the cap.
  8. Add your figurine, cap it and shake again.
  9. Once you’re in love with your bottle, put some hot glue on the inside of the cap and twist the cap back onto the bottle. Voila! You’re done!

Tips: 

  • At first, my glitter was totally sticking to the sides of the bottle and just not working. Turns out I had used too much glitter and too much glue. I simply poured my mixture out into a paper cup and then added a fraction of the mixture back into my bottle and added hot tap water until my ratio made sense.
  • Make sure to glue the cap onto the bottle. Otherwise, babe might unscrew the top and either a) make a huge mess or b) drink glitter. Both are terrible.

Toddler-Made DIY Gift Tags

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One element that Charlotte helped with was the little gift tags used on each of the bottles.

  1. Facilitate child painting or drawing on cardstock (we used cardstock that was finger… well, hand-painted a few days before)
  2. Use your favorite paper punch (I bought the cutest dang heart punch ever on Amazon. I’m obsessed.) to cut out shapes from the best areas of the artwork.
  3. Write your note!

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