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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Halloween Is A Great Time To Prepare For Valentine's Day

I know that it seems wierd to be thinking about Valentine's Day when Halloween is just around the corner. But there are a lot of things in the stores now that are great for Valentine's Day, that won't be on the shelves in February. There are lots of miniture size candy that can be used for classroom valentines. But the greatest things out now are the many somewhat odd things that you can make into valentines. I found a heart shaped Jello mold the other day (not a valentine heart, but a real heart). I am going to make a Jello for dinner with a sign that says "You make my heart quiver". I know it is a little gross but it is still funny. I've also seen jello molds for hands and brains. You could make notes that said something like, "I want to hold your hand", or I can't get you off my mind". There are candy Eyeballs available that you can put a note with that says, "Can't take my eyes off of you". Or there is bone candy that you could with a note that says, "You really rattle my bones", or, "No bones about it, I want you for my Valentine".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

Did you know that you can use the Tupperware funnel as a mold for large candy kisses? I made mine out of Rice Krispie treats. But you can use molding chocolate and make real chocolate kisses, too. Just make sure if you mold something that is runny (like melted chocolate) that you put plastic wrap over the small opening of the funnel before you fill it.

I printed, "KISS ME, I'M IRISH", in green on the computer and cut it in a 3/4 inch strip and wrapped the Rice Krispie treat along with the paper strip in gold aluminum foil (available at kitchen supply stores).

Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 cup margarine
1 10.5 oz. pkg marshmallows (about 40 regular size)*
5 cups Rice Krispies

1. Melt margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Cook over low heat 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
2. Add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated.
3. Press into buttered 9x13 pan, using wet fingers. Cut into squares. Or, press into mold sprayed with PAM.
*can substitute 2 cups marshmallow cream, but heat 5 minutes longer.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Pillows

OK. I know Valentine's Day was last month. But I figure any excuse to say, "I love you", is a good one. Besides, St. Patrick's Day is kind of like Valentine's Day. They are both named after Saints. It's pretty close to Valentine's Day and Shamrocks have heart shaped leaves. So maybe Valentines celebrations should just last until St. Patrick's Day.

I now have these pillows on my bed. My daughter thinks that "Feelin' Lucky?" pillow is a little too suggestive for a family friendly blog. If you agree, let me know. I might take that pillow off. But, in my defense, it is in my bedroom, not the living room.

I chose the font I liked and printed the the words on paper, then traced them onto white fabric using disappearing ink. Then I embroided the words on the cloth and sewed the St. Patrick's fabric around the edges and made the pillows. I used premade pillow forms for the stuffing. My pillows are 14 inches by 14 inches and 12 inches by 16 inches.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine Swag

I have this swag hanging in my kitchen window. To make one like it, using a disappearing ink marking pen, draw a variety of different sized hearts (2 to 4 inches in diameter) on the right side of different pieces of Valentine fabric. Sandwich a piece of "Warm and Natural" between the piece of fabric with the patterns drawn on it, and another piece of Valentine fabric. It can be the same or a contrasting fabric. Stitch on the outline of the hearts you drew. Cut around the stitching with pinking sheers. Attach a piece of ribbon 12 to 15 inches long to the top of the heart. Tie the other end in a little bow to another piece of ribbon. Repeat with the other hearts. It can be as long as you want your swag to be. Leave enough ribbon at the ends to attach the swag to the window frame or a banister or wherever you want to hang it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Strawberry Ice Water

Tonight we had New Beginnings at church. We served ice water with the refreshments. But instead of putting lemons in the water, we sliced strawberries. It looked very pretty and the water had a slight strawberry flavor. It was really very good. We used pebbled ice, instead of cubes. Pebbled ice is often available in the meat department at the grocery store if they don't sell it with the regular ice. It's also available at Sonic drive ins.

Sorry the picture isn't the best. It really was pretty.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sometimes You Just Need A Sense of Humor

The sentiment on this pillow isn't very romantic. It isn't even true. I really do care if my husband loves me. But when I saw it, it made me laugh. It made my husband laugh, too.

It says:

He loves me
He loves me not
It doesn't matter
I'm all he's got.

It was designed by Lindsey Ready for "Stars-n-Stitches". If you want to get the pattern, her her etsy store is here. She has several other really cute patterns as well. What a creative lady.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Have To Say "I Love You" In A Song

Give your Valentine a CD with your favorite love songs. Or, make a playlist of them and put it on their iPod or mp3 player. Choose songs that mean something to both of you. Make sure you either own the original CD or that you download them from a legal website like ITunes, Walmart or Amazon. You can download songs from them for 99 cents to $1.29 each. Burn the collection onto a CD and make a cute label for it. Or if you don't have any favorites, just make a CD of songs that say I Love You. Here is a list of songs that have the words "I Love You" or some variation of them. It is a long list but I'm sure it is far from complete. Some of these songs are pretty recent. Some are really old. Some are kids songs and some are just plain dumb. Most of them are available on ITunes or Walmart. If you can think of any others, let me know in the comments.

Al Green--I’m So In Love With You
All 4 One--I Can Love You Like That
All 4 One--I Swear
Anne Murray--You Are My Sunshine
The Archies--Sunshine
Back Street Boys--I Will Love You More
Barney--I Love You
The Beatles--I Love You
The Beatles--P.S. I Love You
Billy Joel--Just The Way You Are
Billy Joel--To Make You Feel My Love
Blackhawk--I’ll Always Love You
Brad Paisley--Then
Britney Spears--I Will Still Love You
Captain & Tennille--Love Will Keep Us Together
Chicago--Call On Me
Chicago--Color My World
Chicago--We Can Last Forever
Chicago--Will You Still Love Me
Celine Dion--I Love You
Dan Fogelberg--Longer
Delfonics--La La Means I Love You
Diamond Rio--One More Day
Dionne Warwick--I Say A Little Prayer
Dolly Parton--I Will Always Love You
Donna Lewis--I Love You Always and Forever
Doris Day--A Bushel and a Peck
Eddie Rabitt/Crystal Gayle--You and I
Elton John--Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Elvis Presley--I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You
Elvis Presley--I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
Eric Clapton--Wonderful Tonight
Faith Hill--Please Say You Love Me To
Firefall--Just Remember I Love You
Frankie Valli--Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Harry Connick Jr.--All The Way
James Taylor--How Sweet It Is
James Taylor--You’re Smiling Face
Jason Mraz/Colbie Cailat--Lucky
Jeff Larson--Valentine Note
Jennifer Hudson--Love You, I Do
Jessica Simpson--I Think I’m In Love With You
Jim Brickman--You Are The Love Of My Life
Jim Croche--I Have To Say I Love You In A Song
John Lennon--Grow Old With Me
Keith Urban--Making Memories of Us
Landon Pigg--Falling In Love At a Coffee Shop
LeAnn Rimes--I Do Love You
Linda Ronstadt/Aaron Neville--Don't Know Much
Lionel Richie--Hello
Lionel Richie--Truly
Lobo--I Love You To Want Me
Madonna--True Blue
Mandy Gledhill - All About Your Heart
Marc Anthony--I Need You
Marc Anthony/Tena Arena--I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You
Mariah Carey--I'll aBe Lovin You Long Time
Mark Wills--Because I Love You
Martina McBride--I Love You
Michael Bolton--Said I Loved You...But I Lied
Michael Franti--Say Hey (ILove You)
Minnie Ripperton--Lovin’ You Is Easy
Minnutes--More To Luv
Mostly Sunny--More Than Anyone Else
Nat King Cole--L.O.V.E.
Norm Wooster Singers--I’m Lovin’ You Lots and Lots
Olivia Newton John--I Honestly Love You
Partridge FamilyI Think I Love You
Paul McCartney--Silly Love Songs
Peter Cetera--Glory of Love
Peter Frampton--Ooo, Baby I Love Your Way
Phil Collins--True Colors
Phil Vassar--That’s When I Love You
Plain White T’s--1,2,3,4 Queen--You’re My Best Friend
Randy Newman--We Belong Together
Reo Speedwagon--Keep On Lovin' You
Restless Heart--I’ll Still Be Loving You
Roberta Flack--The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Rolling Stones--Honest I Do
Rod Stewart--Have I Told You Lately
Ronan Keating--When You Say Nothin’ At All
Savage Garden--I Knew I Loved You
Savage Garden--Truly Madly Deeply
Selena--I Could Fall In Love With You
Shania Twain--Don’t Be Stupid, You Know I Love You
Sharon, Lois & Bram--Skinnamarink
Spiral Staircase--More Today Than Yesterday
Steve Earle--Every Part of Me
Steve Poltz--Everything About You
Stevie Wonder--I Just Called To Say I Love You
Sugarland--All I Want To Do
T Minus 5--I Love You
Taylor Dayne--I’ll Always Love You
Tevye (Fiddler On The Roof)--Do You Love Me?
Train--Marry Me
Van Morrison--Have I Told You Lately
Whitney Houston--I Will Always Love You
10CC--The Thing We Do For Love

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentine Mobile

I have this mobile hanging inside the front door of my house. I like it there because I see it often and am reminded that it is Valentine season. It helps me remember to be a little kinder to the people I love. It sort of drives my poor husband crazy though, because he is much taller than me and he bumps his head on it all the time. Oh well, at least it is soft so it doesn't hurt. (and, no, he doesn't need to be hit in the head to be reminded that Valentine's day is coming up).
Using a quilting pen (with disappearing ink), I traced different sized hearts on a variety valentine fabrics. I then stitched on the line, leaving a small space unstitched so I could stuff the hearts. Then I cut around the hearts, using pinking shears. I stuffed the hearts with fiberfill stuffing and stitched the opening closed. I attached the hearts to grosgrain ribbon and attached the top of the ribbon to an embroidery hoop. Then I wrapped the embroidery hoop with grosgrain ribbon, attached some more ribbon to hang it with and hung it up.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mmmmm...Junior Mints

Yesterday while I was grocery shopping I found some Valentine Junior Mints. I don't remember them from past years but maybe they have been around for a while. They are heart shaped with red filling. So fun for Valentine's Day. And they taste good, too! You can put a note with them that says:

Me and You,
You and Me,
That's the Way
It was "MINT" to be.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Individual Cake Pedestal

At a Christmas party my sister attended, the host made individual dessert pedestals as favors for each of the guests. They were filled with candy and wrapped in cellophane and tied with a pretty bow. But I think they would make cute Valentine gifts as well. And they would be really cute to serve dessert on for a party for little girls.
They were made by gluing a small white china plate to the bottom of an inverted ice cream sundae cup. Use an epoxy glue so it is permanent and doesn't wash of. You could use a clear plate as well. The ice cream cups and the plates were purchased at the local second hand store so the dessert pedestal is really inexpensive.

You could include a note that says "I've put you on a Pedestal. Be My Valentine".

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Divinity Hearts

My mother always made divinity at Christmas when I was little. My mother in law made it, too. It was one of my favorite things when I was little. But whenever I tried to make it, I failed. However, I finally found a recipe that works for me. Last night I made some and used a pastry bag with a very large star tip (B6) to make Heart shaped divinity. It took a little practice, but I think they turned out to be pretty cute.
Don't bring the first hump of the heart clear down to the bottom of the point (make it smaller) Then overlap with the second hump, bringing it down to the point of the heart. Squeeze the bag a little at the top of the hump and release the pressure as you pull the divinity to the point.
Divinity sets up rather quickly so you have to work fast. I was only able to get about half the batch to work as hearts. The rest I just formed into normal divinity.

Here is the recipe I used:


4 cups sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 drops food coloring

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir only until sugar has dissolved. Do not stir after this point. Cook syrup mixture until it reaches hard ball stage (260 degrees at sea level).
While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Once the sugar mixture reaches hard ball stage, carefully pour a slow steady stream of syrup into the stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly at high speed. Add the vanilla and food coloring and continue to beat until mixture holds its shape. (this will take 5 minutes or more).
Using 2 spoons, drop the divinity onto waxed paper or parchment paper, using 1 spoon to push the candy off the other. Or put mixture in a pastry bag and pipe into heart shapes.

Always remember to calibrate your candy thermometer so it measure correctly for your altitude (hard ball is actually 253 degrees at my altitude)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mixed Up Valentine Dinner

I have no clue where this idea originated. I got it from my sister who did it in her neighborhood. I did it with couples from my church many, many years ago. My daughter did this dinner with a group of her friends for a girl's choice dance a few years ago in high school. As long as you are with a group of people with a good sense of humor, it is a lot of fun.

As everyone sits down at the tables, they are given a menu. The items on the menu are not easily identifiable. All items, including utensils, are listed as menu items. Each person chooses five items for each of four courses. All selections for each course are chosen at the beginning of the dinner, before anyone is served. Nobody knows what they will be served and each person gets a different thing at each course. Someone could end up with all utensils and no food in one course. Or they might end up with some very sloppy food and nothing to eat it with. They may end up with dessert first and the main course last. You will probably need a lot of help in the kitchen.

Every time I have been to a party like this, everyone has had fun. It's probably not a great idea if your party is a formal event.

My daughter's dance was called "Dog Patch", the theme was a "little Abner" dance. That's why they called their pretend restaurant "Daisy Mae's Diner". But you can call it anything you want.

You can get a printable copy of the menu here and here.

This is the menu:
(don't write the name of the real item on the menu)

1. Chip Off the Old Block---------tooth pick
2. Manure Spreader-------------fork
3. Eve's Delight------------------apple juice
4. Jack Frost---------------------ice cream
5. Drunken Log------------------large pickle
6. Good and Plenty--------------main course (spaghetti)
7. White Cloud------------------marshmallow
8. Greaser----------------------knife
9. Twiggy-----------------------pretzel
10. Jacob's Well-----------------water
11. Square----------------------napkin
12. Sticky Stuff-----------------cake
13. Underground Icicle---------carrot stick
14. Gold Water-----------------orange juice
15. Rooster Tail----------------fruit cocktail
16. Greenbacks----------------rolls
17. Pucker Power--------------lemon pie
18. Lover's Delight-------------spoon
19. conglomerate--------------tossed salad
20. Popeye's Friend-----------olive
21. Nervous Pudding----------jello

Friday, January 15, 2010

World Market

I just got home from a trip to World Market. What a fun store. I like to browse there, but rarely buy much. However, today I found some really cute cinnamon heart crackers and some fun heart shaped pasta. They also had some cute valentine sprinkles for cookies or ice cream. I'm excited to use them for some sort of Valentine treats.
World Market had all kinds of other Valentine stuff. If there is one by you and you haven't been there, go check it out. If you have already been, go again, it's worth the trip (if it's close) It's a great place to browse!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cards For Assisted Living Center

Last week, the Young Women (12-18 years old) in our church, got together and made valentines. We provided colored card stock, some scrapbook paper, scissors, glue, paper punches, stickers, ribbon, lace, sequins, craft foam, paper doilies, markers and what ever else we could find. They provided the creativity. We had a few preprinted ideas for girls who couldn't think of anything, but most of them came up with their own ideas. They did a great job and I think they turned out really cute.
In February, we are going to visit the residents of an assisted living center in our neighborhood and deliver the Valentine's to the people there. The girls are excited. They had a lot of fun coming up with the Valentines and are anxious to deliver them to the people at the assisted living center.

link within

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