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.

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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