Marriage is the best thing in my life. When we openly and privately express our love for each other it only serves to strengthen our relationships. When I am actively thinking of ways to tell my husband how much I love him, it makes me love him more. I realize how happy he makes me and I appreciate everything about him. I see things and think, "How can I use that object to tell him I love him?" This makes me think of him all the time. It makes our marriage stronger and it makes us both happier.

Friday, January 30, 2009

squeaky clean valentines

My mom and I made these home made soaps this morning. We bought the stuff at various craft shops in town. With the 50% coupons that are often found for craft shops these soaps were not that much more expensive than store bought traditional bath soap. We simply followed the directions on the package, added color and glitter (made for soaps). We used rubber heart shaped ice cube trays, they were perfect because they popped out so easily.

These look way cute next to my sink in my bathroom. I think I will give some to my mother-in-law as a valentines day present in the next few days. She will love them.

Remember you can express your love and appreciation to other people besides your significant other on valentines.

Sweet Hearts for my Sweetheart

We made candy like this for my daughter's wedding a couple of years ago. They are fudge hearts dipped in chocolate. This year we found plastic heart shaped ice cube trays at Target. They cost $2.50 for 2. I also found them at the local dollar store. These are great. When we made them before, we used hard plastic candy molds. It was very difficult to get the fudge out of the molds. But with the ice cube trays, we just sprayed the mold with PAM, put the fudge in the mold, put it in the freezer for about a half hour, then we just pushed it out from the bottom. It was so much easier! The recipe makes a lot (100-150 depending on the size).

We used good quality molding chocolate to dip them in. It is easier to use than dipping chocolate. But be sure you get the good stuff. Not the kind that is available at craft stores. I buy it at Bakers Cash & Carry in Salt Lake. It's easier to dip the fudge when it is cold (not frozen). But after they are finished, store them at room temperature.

We bought the flowers and little hearts at Peppermint Place In Alpine, UT. It is much easier than trying to make your own (at least for me) and they are much cuter than anything I can make.

These are truly yummy. Here's the recipe for the fudge (don't refrigerate the fudge before making the hearts, put the fudge in the molds while it is warm, then after it is set up and you remove it from the mold, repeat with more fudge:

See’s Fudge

1 large can evaporated milk
3 12 oz. packages chocolate chips
½ lb. margarine
4½ cups sugar
1 8 oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients except milk and sugar and set aside. Mix milk and sugar in a sauce pan. Cook for 9 minutes at a full rolling boil. Pour over other ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Refrigerate until firm.

Valentines on other BLOGS

Download and Print:
Wood you be Mine? from mmmcrafts (super cute!)
Lollipop Holder Valentines from Tricia-Rennea illustrations
Zebra Valentines from Bunny Cakes
Variety of Valentines from the Toymaker
Candy Heart Valentines from Bunny Cakes

Sewn Paper Valentines from Purl Bee

Valentine Pins from Purl Bee
Felt Fortune Cookies from Martha Stewart
Valentine Treasures from Schlosser Designs
Valentine Vermin from the Junior Society

Valentine Pretzels from Mayamade

More ideas linked on One Pretty Thing in multiple posts titled Valentine's Day Roundup( 1, 2, 3). I would guess there to be more to come.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Money for my Honey

Several years ago I made my kids Valentines using six one dollar bills. It was fun seeing their reactions. My girls treasured them for a long time. I think one of them may still have hers. The boys, on the other hand, promptly took them apart so they could spend their money. A few years after that, my sister sent me a little shirt made from one dollar bill. The six dollar shirt is made on a template made of card stock so you can write a note on the back if you want. I put a message that read:

"I'd give the shirt off my back it you'd be my Valentine"

The instructions for the 1 dollar shirt are here.
The instructions for the 6 dollar shirt are here

Mama Mia, That's One Hearty Pizza

Did you know that Papa Murphy's makes heart shaped pizza? Well actually, they don't start making it until February 8th (unless of course you get a very helpful server like I did). Anyway, it is pretty cute. Or if you are ambitious, you can always make your own. Or if you are really, really ambitious you can make your own heart shaped pizza and cut all the pepperoni into heart shapes as well. I personally go for Papa Murphy's with a note that says:

You hold a PIZZA my heart!
I love you to Pizzas!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not Your Ordinary Valentine Cookies

These cookies are baked in a waffle iron, rather than the oven. If you have a heart waffle iron you can make really cute cookies (heart shape waffle irons bake 5 waffles or cookies at a time). If you don't have a heart waffle iron, you can use a regular waffle iron and make round cookies. I tried a Belgian Waffle Iron. It didn't work. If you decide that you want to buy a heart waffle iron just to make these cookie, look for one that has deeper holes and makes a thicker waffle.I really like these cookies. They are a little like brownies only they are a little crisper. I use cream cheese frosting on them (I use cream cheese frosting on just about everything I put frosting on). I used cake decorating bags and tips to decorate them, but you can use a zip lock bag with a little hole cut in the corner, or you can just frost them with a knife.

Here is the recipe

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

Melt together: 3 tbsp cocoa and ½Cup margarine or
2 sq Chocolate

mix in:
2 Eggs
¾ Cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup flour
Pour 1/2 cup of batter in the middle of a heart shaped waffle iron
Drop by tbsp onto waffle iron. Cook 1½ minutes Cool and frost then top with nuts (if desired).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Charis's Valentines

Hi I am the daughter. I loved growing up and watching my mother show her love for my daddio. Consequently I have decided to do it for my husband. Here are some of the ideas I have done this year for my husband.

I first of all got stuff that he needed, and tried to make it cute.

He needed new pants So I told him "You are my smartie pants" (gave him some canadian smarties too!)

He needed a new shirt and tie so he gets that on Sunday with a note that says we are the perfect fit.
He needs a drill and a level. . he is always wishing he had one so that is what he gets, with a note that says, "you know the drill, be my valentine" and one that says, "You are my life saver" you keep me "level" headed." oh yeah and he gets gummie life savers... his favorite.

I got him some of his favorite candy from England and a note that ties them together.
Some really stupid novelty things
I got him a childrens music CD so we can sing to our baby at night and a Signing DVD to help him learn how to sign songs to our baby. (everyone in our immediate family signs. . . so we are trying to expand our knowledge of the language).
He loves to play games with the family so I got him a game.

He loves to read to my baby, so I got him a book that is really cool

He loves to go hit golf balls, but it costs lots of money so I got him some foam golf balls and a driving mat so that he can go practice hitting them in the yard.
He ties balloon animals, so I got him a new book that shows how to make animals with lots of balloons, very cool.

I got him some treats that he likes to sit and share with the kids. They say things like "I am your fairly tale princess" and "you are my super hero" and "I know this is cheesy, but I love you lots and lots and lots and lots" Etc.
Really, you can make anything into a valentine, big or small, if you don't have a lot of money just use stuff you need anyhow and make it special. They will just love the fact that you thought of a special way of giving it to them.

Fruit Basket

I took this Valentine to my husband at work. He enjoyed sharing the fruit with his co workers.

This is what the card says:

I love you ”berry” much.
You’re one “peach” of a guy.
You are absolutely “grape”.
You’re the “apple” of my eye.

You’re one in a “melon”.
In the “lime”light you should be.
I am “nuts” about you.
Oh “Honeydew” you love me?

You and I are quite a “pear”.
I’ve gone “bananas” over you.
You’re “plum” perfect in every way.
“Orange” you glad our love is true?

Copyright by Christine Strong -February 2001

Key To My Heart

This Valentine is pretty simple. Even though it is pretty plain and straight forward, I like it because, the person you give it to can take the key off the Valentine and carry it on their key chain as a continual reminder of your love for them. I bought the key at an antique store. Antique keys come in all sizes. So if you are planning on them carrying it with them, choose a small one so it isn't bothersome.

I thought of a poem you could add to this valentine:

Treasure this old key,
And never from it part.
A reminder that you’ve unlocked
The love that’s in my heart.
©Christine Strong February 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

All Boxed Up

At Christmas, my son's friend made him 100 little boxes like this to reply to his invitation to the dance. She made them out of Christmas paper. Needless to say, I was quite impressed. Now that I know how easy they are, I'm still pretty impressed. But they are super easy to make and are really cute. You can make 2 boxes and 2 lids out of one 12x12 inch piece of paper. A 6x6 inch piece of paper makes a box that is 2x2x1 inch. It will fit about 6 Hershey Kisses. Or you could fill it with anything you want. You can make to bottom white with a decorated lid. Or you can make the bottom and the lid match or make them out of coordinating papers. You could make them in graduated sizes and put one inside the other or stack them up. I cut the paper for the bottom box 1/4 inch smaller than the paper for the lid and I used a small piece of double faced tape to make the points stick on the bottom. You can find instructions on how to make them here

Gourmet Food Stores

If there is a specialty or gourmet food store near you, check it out for Valentine ideas. My favorite is PirateO's in Draper, Utah. They carry some unususal candy bars from Europe and really cute foil wrapped Chocolate. These candies make great Candygrams. Because they are not the typical American candy, they are much more fun than the normal Candygrams. Items change from time to time so you may need to stop by often.

My pictures aren't great and are a little hard to read, so, here is what they say:
Don't Be A "FLAKE" Be My Valentine
Take "TIME OUT" To Be My Valentine
I "LOVE" You
You Are The "TOPIC" Of My Affection
We've Been Struck By Cupid's "AERO"
You Make My Head "TWIRL"
Have You "HERD"? I'll Be "UDDERLY" "MOOVED" If You'll Be My Valentine. (Chocolate Cow)
Aargh, You've Stolen Me Heart, Matey (Chocolate Pirate)
Of All The Fishes In The Sea, I'm So Glad That You Caught Me (Chocolate Fish)
Happy Valentines From Your Favorite Chick (Chocolate Fish)
I Don't Mean To Bug You, But, Will You Be My Valentine? (Chocolate Lady Bug)
Rah! _____ Loves_____, _____ Loves ______, Rah (Chocolate Parrot)
Some Bunny Loves You (Chocolate Bunny)
My Love For You Is UN"Bear"able (Chocolate Teddy Bear)
I'm Plane Crazy About You, Valentine (Chocolate Air Plane)
There Snowbody Quite Like You (Chocolate Snowman)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pirate Hat

Next to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Valentines Day my family's favorite holiday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19). Every year my hubby and I, and any kids we cah coerce into coming along, dress like pirates and go to several neighbors homes and tell pirate jokes (clean ones) and give them a package of Chips Ahoy cookies (Pirate's favorite cookies) and a bottle of Ginger Ale. We do all this while talking in our best pirate voices, of course. I know you are wondering what this has to do with Valentine's Day. But today I found the best Valentine for my husband. It is a really beautiful pirate hat (it was at a going out of business sale at a costume shop by me). I know, it's probably not the greatest idea to share because most men really wouldn't want one and it really has nothing to do with the day at hand. But my poor husband has had to settle for a crummy bandana for the past several years. He will be absolutely thrilled!!

My point is, anything can be made in to a valentine. Whatever means something to you or your husband can make a great valentine. Just use your imagination. Be creative. Have fun.

By the way, I'm making a card that says, "Arrgh, You've stolen me heart, Matey".

Oh, and what ever you do, don't tell my husband. I don't want to ruin the surprise!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

hot pads

My friend made a set of these for me for Valentine's Day a few years ago. I, in turn made some for each of my sisters. They are my favorite hot pads. They are the greatest shape and work perfectly. I use them all the time. Not just around Valentine's Day.

Find the pattern here

I found some instructions on how to make them on a blog. She gave me permission to include her instructions here.

Pillow Cases

I made these pillow cases for my bed this morning. Some of my kids made similar pillow cases in their beginning sewing class. That can give you an idea of how easy they were to make. It took me about an hour (maybe an hour and a half including the applique). I made king size pillow cases and it took 1 yard of the print and 10 inches of the red for each.

I used the following instructions ,and then appliqued the letters on the sides.
I think I'll put them on my pillows sometime around the first of February.

Stud Muffin

Some of my husband's favorite Valentines are the ones that he can share at work.

My friend, Barbara made a valentine for our Valentine exchange using a muffin sitting on a 2x4.

She included a poem that says:

Any which way you cut it
Measure it however you can
You have certainly nailed it
As my lovin' STUD MUFFIN man!

Another friend adapted it by making a box out of 2x4's and filling it with lots of minature muffins. We then delivered them to the office for everyone to enjoy.

wall lettering

Another cute thing, that my neighbor did was made a vinyl lettering for the wall. this is simple and can be custom made to say anything you want. There are plenty of places on line, or at boutiques that you can order these things. they go up easily and come off without a problem but will stay as long as you leave them there. My husband loves this because he sees it all the time and it reminds him of how much I love him.


One of the things that I did last year for my husband was made him throw pillows for our bed. I stitched cute sayings on some of them. and others I just made, like a red heart and a soft fuzzy red squishy pillow. To do this all I did was find sayings that I liked, then typed them up on my computer in a cute font (see fonts on the side bar for places to download cute fonts) and then traced them on to muslin in pencil and stitched over it. then I created pillow covers with them. Very easy, but time consuming. My husband really likes them, but not so much on the bed, so he moved them out to our front room where they are displayed nicely on our couch.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It seems that in February every magazine published has really cute Valentine ideas. Many have websites that have even more available. Check your favorite magazines either at the store or on line. They have tons of crafts for adults as well as children. There are recipes galore. Take a minute to browse through the links to some of my favorites in the column at the left.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


It's fun to make your own valentines on the computer. If you can find the Broderbund CreatACard software or Broderbund Printshop, they help you make great cards. However, CreatACard is out of production so if you don't have it, and you want it you'll have to find it on eBay or someplace. It was one of my favorite programs, so it makes me kind of sad that they don't make it anymore. Hallmark also makes a card program. It's not as verstile, but it still works.
Another thing that will make your Valentines more fun, is cute Valentine Fonts. There are a lot of them available for free on the internet. Just type "free fonts" in your search engine. Look for Valentines, Hearts or Love in the search box at the site and see what you come up with. I have put links to some of my favorites in the column on the left. You'll have to click on them to see what they look like. If you click on the "heartbreaker " it will take you to a site that has a lot of other fonts on it, too. Mix them up. Color them. Fonts are just a lot of fun!

Lunch time treats

Kids love getting Valentines in their lunch. If your child packs a lunch to school, it's easy to put a little Valentine in with the lunch. You can also put it somewhere in their backpack where it will be easily found. If neither of those options work, They can be given as after school snacks. These are a few ideas that can used for lunches for kids:

Orange --Orange you glad I picked you for my Valentine.
Ham sandwich cut in a heart --You know how to ham it up.
Cheese sandwich cut in a heart --I know it's cheesy, but I want you for a Valentine
Carrot Sticks-- If you “carrot” all, you’ll be my valentine.
Pretzels --I’m all tied up in knots over you.
Potato Chips --You're a Chip of the Old Block, Valentine.
Apple --You're the apple of my eye.
Banana --I'm bananas over you.
nuts --I'm nuts about you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's Never Too Early

It is never too early to begin looking for things to use as Valentines. Just Friday, I found some great Hershey's Kisses that were at a Christmas clearance sale. They are wrapped in black and the little paper tag says "Naughty". There were silver ones that said "Nice" too. I haven't decided yet what to do with them. But I think they will be great for something and if I hadn't been looking for Valentines already I would have passed them by. There are also great things available at Halloween. Once I found eye ball chocolate balls. I put them in a cellophane bag with a cute bow and a note that said "I only have eyes for you". Again, if I hadn't been looking for Valentines, they would have been left on the shelf. You can make a Valentine out of just about anything.
Christmas clearance sales are a great time to buy Candy Kisses, Rollos, Reese's Peanutbutter Cups and all the candy that is wrapped in foil. Just separate it by colors, Red & Silver, and Green & Gold. Use the Red and Silver (and possibly the gold) pieces for Valentines. Save the Green and Gold to use on St. Patrick's Day in March.
Another great resourse, if you are thinking way ahead, is yard sales. I have found a lot of cute baskets (heart shaped) and candles and heart shaped soap at yard sales. I even found a heart shaped paper lamp. They are not neccessarily things I would choose to decorate with all the time, but they are great and cheap for Valentines. My only problem with yard sales is that after you have the stuff, you have to store it until Valentine's Day. Then I sometimes have a hard time remembering what I have or where it is. Now I have a Rubbermaid container in my storage room that has Valentine stuff init. That makes it a little easier. If you have limited space, storage might be a problem.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Neighborhood Activity

When I was little, it was common for children to secretly put valentine's on their friends doorstep, ring the bell and run (I know that shows that I'm an old woman). That no longer seems to be a custom. But none the less, it was a lot of fun and I think it is kind of unfortunate that it is no longer continued. In that spirit, for a couple of years, my neighborhood did a Valentine cupid. Each family that wanted to participate was assigned another family. During the week before Valentine's Day, they deliver treats or small Valentine presents three times to the assigned family. Families with small children love this. My kids loved it when they were small. It teaches them to be kind (sometimes to people they don't even know well). And they love being on the recieving end as well.
We delivered the following poem when making the assignments to the families.

Valentine’s Day is coming.
It’s just around the bend.
A time to show each other
We’re glad that we are friends.

The cupid is a symbol
of the love that we all share,
A reminder to each one of us
to show someone we care.

For someone else’s family,
The cupid you will be.
It makes you feel so good inside
as you will plainly see.

We’ve given you a family
to provide for in this game.
And in return, someone else
will do for you the same.

Three times within the week
before this cheerful holiday,
sneak something fun onto their porch
then quickly run away.

The game is rather simple
and so much fun to do.
Enjoy yourself and share some love.
Happy Valentine’s to you!

You have been assigned the _________________family.
©Copyright by Christine Strong - January 2001

group activity

Many years ago 3 of my friends and I decided to make Valentines for our husbands. We each came up with 3 valentine ideas and made 4 copies of each. Then we traded with each other so we each had 12 Valentines to give our husbands. The next year we invited 10 more friends to join us. Each person came up with one idea and made 14 copies. Then we were able to give one Valentine to our husband each day for the first two weeks of February. We put a price limit of about $1.00 for each Valentine, so nobody spent more than about $15.00. We have continued the tradition for many years, and surprisingly, every year we get new ideas. It is a lot of fun for us as well as our husbands. Each year the people who participate varies. Two of the original four no longer participate. Occasionally, we have had unmarried people (engaged) participate. So the rules may have to be altered to fit the situation. You may not want to have too suggestive of themes if you include people who are not married yet or are just dating. Some ideas could be used for friends and other family members as well
We found candy bars or inexpensive toys that we could put creative phrases with to make the valentines. Some lists of ideas will follow later.


Make personal Coupons for your loved one.
print them up, hand write them, make them sexy or silly what ever you want.

Some great ideas were found on a package of valentine boxers at Super Target:

Breakfast in Bed (wake me when its ready)
Night Out With the Guys
Get Out of Mall Shopping Free Card
30 Minute Massage
Let’s Go to Dinner (You’re Paying)
Dinner for Two (You Wash the Dishes)
Free Day of Golf or Fishing
Grant Me Three Wishes 1.2.3.
Congratulations. You’re Out of the Doghouse
Let’s Go to a Movie (My Choice)

Fortune Cookies

Buy fortune cookies, they can be found at oriental or world markets, and sometimes in the foriegn food sections of local grocery stores.

Carefully remove the fortunes in them (you may need to use tweezers), and replace with your own fortunes. Print your fortunes in red ink on pink paper. Cute Valentine Fonts are available at several websites. Look for "Free Fonts" on your search engine (see the column on the left side of this blog).

Buy a take out chineese food box from a chineese resturant (they also can be found at craft stores, walmart, or super target in valentines patterns)

Place cookies in the box.
Include a note that says "It would be my good fortune to be your Valentine".

fortune ideas:

♥You are surrounded by people who love you♥
♥Love abounds when you’re around♥
♥You will come home to someone who loves you♥
♥Someone wants to be loved by you♥
♥Today’s you lucky day♥
♥Hugs and Kisses are headed your way♥
♥Someone is thinking good thoughts about you right now♥
♥You are one smart cookie♥
♥Pick up your socks... ...or else♥
♥A neat and tidy room will lead to a happy and prosperous life♥
♥There is much wisdom in obedience to your parents♥
♥You are an important member of you family♥
♥Your family is fortunate to have you♥
♥Treat your wife with love and kindness and you will be well rewarded♥
♥Grow old with me: the best is yet to be♥
♥Marriage should be a duet - when one sings, the other claps♥
♥Confucius say: Man who say wife can’t take joke, forget she took him♥
♥A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person♥

link within

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