Showing posts with label valentine's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label valentine's. Show all posts

"Stuck on You" Valentines

My little boy, bless his heart, has always been my pickiest.

Choosing his Valentines proved to be no different.  

I showed him about 50 ideas on the internet.  Then I thought up some gems and explained them. 

He was stuck on the idea that he would find his Valentines at the dollar store.  
That kid talks me into going to the dollar store at least once a week.  (He's enamored with the fact that he can afford the toys there.  He earns a dollar for school achievements.) 

In an effort to cross this task off my list, I took him there.  He carefully combed through the options until he found the "STICKY GUYS!"
boy valentine

He was in love!

These little guys that crawl down the walls, are his Valentine dream come true.  

Six for a dollar.  Not bad!
And they were already in a little bag!  I just made a simple topper and called it good.  If you can find some of these sticky guys at your local Dollar Tree store, and you would like to print these toppers, you can download it here.
boy valentine 2

My 9 year old, surfed pinterest for about an hour and decided on a darling printable.  And my 12 year old wanted to make sugar cookies for her friends.  So it's all decided and almost all done!  Now to figure out some romantic plans for the most important Valentine of all!

Go here to see last year's printable boy Valentines!

Conversation Heart Cookies

Today I'm sharing some cookie instructions I guest posted on somewhat simple last year. Enjoy! 

Conversation hearts are just a necessary part of the Valentine holiday.
Never mind that they taste like chalk. 
We still buy them, give them, and decorate with them.  Because they're cute.

So the sugar cookie version of conversation hearts should be no exception.
But if you don't have a steady hand and mad piping skills, or a projector to provide a guide, never fear!

Just start with a basic iced cookie that has dried at least 12 hours.  
You can reference recipes and tips for this part of the process in my  "sugar cookie basics" post.

Then, you just need a little stamp set and edible ink pens.  I had this set of stamps in my scrapbook stash, but they actually had no evidence of ever being used, (along with lots of my dusty scrapbook supplies).  I used my americolor brand pens to ink the letters and stamped right onto my dry cookies.

Drying time is super quick and you can package them and wrap them up in a jiffy.  
Wow!  Did I just say jiffy?

So that's my old take on conversation heart cookies! 

I hope your Valentiene's prep is going well. Only 2 days to go and I've got a lot left to do! 

Gingerbread Houses Aren't Just for Christmas!

Instead of admitting I'm behind on posting my Christmas gingerbread houses, I'm going to pretend I'm on the ball and posting this picture BEFORE Valentine's day.  

Yes, I'm here to state my humble opinion that:
Gingerbread houses aren't just for Christmas!
I used some left over Christmas candy to make my own little house of love!  
valentine's house

I picked out some red and white candy but this time of year they sell lots of things in 
red, white and pink which would make it easier.  
I lined it with hearts instead of icicles and put heart buttons on my gingerbread guy.   
valentine's house 2

I also made a "New Year's themed" house.  
new year's house

I found it kind of hard to frost while the walls were vertical so with this one I actually decorated the quatrefoil roof while it was flat (with the assistance of my kopykake projector).  After it dried completely, I glued them onto the house.  

Also, it's a little hard to sprinkle disco dust on the house when the walls are vertical.  If I really want to make a professional one in the future, I'm going to decorate all of the pieces before they are assembled.  
new years 2
This has me really excited about all of the holiday possibilities!
I'm feeling that Gingerbread Leprechaun houses and Gingerbread  Bunny houses
are going to be very necessary for the upcoming holidays.  
Of course they are still very appropriate for Christmas time and the smell of a fresh baked gingerbread house is the most wonderful during the holidays.  I love the Christmas creations my kids came up with.  They loved the decorating them and eating them even more.  

I did a lot of experimenting during my gingerbread house trials and I'm excited to share with you the best recipe I tried and some assembly tips in my next blog post.

Here is the link to my favorite gingerbread house recipe.

Linking up with I Heart Naptime

Valentines- 2012

I wish I had posted these BEFORE Valentine's Day...

But "on top of my game" is not the scenario around here.
Nonetheless, I will document the Valentine's that the kiddos and I made.

My oldest wanted to do matchbook valentine's ever since I made these.

We experimented with a few papers and I even tried putting a decorated cookie in a matchbook.  But they were a little too thick for it to close correctly.  If I did this again, I would roll the cookies out thinner.  We decided on the colorful chevron pattern paper that was red on the other side.  I printed it all out and when we put them together, my daughter said she was too embarrassed to have them say, "we're a match."  Whaaa?  It's like the cutest saying ever!  But I understood the scariness of 6th grade politics and we changed it to say, "two of hearts" and put two heart candies in there.

The middle child chose the most time consuming Valentine.
She is a middle child, so I want to overcompensate sometimes.
We made chocolate lollipops.

We put them in the freezer after each step which made the process with one mold, pretty slow.
So we added some ladybugs to the mix.  As you can imagine, the tags included, "you are sweet" and "lovebug."  It ended up that all of the kids and I worked on these most of the time.  Now she can never claim she is deprived, right?

And for the preschooler... a really easy label glued to some crayon gum.

He begged for these at the dollar store, so I thought if he like them, his friends would too.  I made a label and glued it around the box.  His only job was writing his name on the back.  I guess you could also use it on a real pack of crayons too!  Click here if you'd like a download this Valentine Crayon Printable.

So another year of last-minute Valentine making success!  Success meaning, it got done!    Can someone please remind me to be on top of this early February next year?  Kathryn?

Oh, and p.s.
I just had to pick up one of the boxer short chocolate molds when I was buying the others.
It just made me laugh.  The kids asked why I was making "shorts" chocolates.  I evaded the question.
I think the hubs thought I had gone too far in my food crafts.  But I got a laugh out of him.  :)

I Love Clear Packaging

I have a special place in my heart for clear packaging.

Clear boxes are a food crafter's way of showing off letting their food take center stage!

We are dedicated to the details of our edible creations, (mixing the perfect shade of icing, getting the right consistency, adding some sparkly luster dust for "cheeks," and cleaning out the tiny #1 tips, etc.)

So why not show them off?
Why should the lucky recipient of these happy heart cookies* have to open their gift to smile!?

I think they will already be smiling the second you hand them this cute little clear box!

Or how about putting them in a simple clear CD sized envelope?
{A little twist on my usual cellophane bag routine.}

I do enjoy packing my treats about as much as I enjoy making them.  I love specialty boxes, unique favor bags, colorful gable boxes, and everything in between.

But lately I'm just obsessed with the understated simplicity of clear packaging.

Because the second someone sees you walking down the hall holding this box, the cupcakes will scream, "Hi!  Look at my handmade Valentine garnishes**!" Yep, these babies TURN HEADS!  People start striking up conversations with you in an effort to become instant friends and possibly gain a cupcake out of the deal.  Then when they realize you aren't giving them one, they request to purchase them.  Then when you decline to sell, they will start salivating.  {True Story}

Because this box is CLOSED!  But look at how rad the cupcakes still look!  Try being trapped in an elevator holding these.  You will fear an impending attack.  {Also a true story}  But it will all be worth it when you hand over a special edible gift and eyes light up.

Am I making a big deal about this?  YES!  But apparently I'm not the only one who is enamored with clear boxes.  Ever since this post, I've had several emails asking where I got my clear cupcake box.  The answer is that I bought the single square box at my local cake store, which doesn't help you all.  But then came a revelation as I discovered  Yes, a whole company dedicated to clear packaging!  And they have a whole section of food safe clear packaging (including single cupcake boxes like the one I used)!

That is where I purchased these half dozen boxes.  I was really happy with the quality.  They were strong enough to stack and hold the cupcakes pretty stable for safe transport.  I liked them so much, I just placed another order.  I wish I could buy a million of every size clear bag and box.  One can dream.

So consider being anti-opaque, when packaging all of your adorable Valentine creations!

Let them shine, let them be seen!
Let them be drooled over from across the room!

*The happy heart cookies were made with these tips and recipes.
**The cupcake garnishes were made with the same royal icing, piped onto parchment paper, instead of a cookie.  After the icing dries, it will pop right off the parchment for you to use on your cupcake.
The designs were inspired by these cupcake garnishes by Sweetopia.

A... You're Adorable

I'm trying not to poop out as I parent number six. Even though I mostly just want to sit on the couch and read, I have to stay strong, I've got years of parenting in me still. So, the baby just turned two. Sniff. And it's time to start teaching him his letters. I made an ABC book in 1997 for my kids that are now teenagers. It's looking a little dated, I'm wearing tie-dye. Yikes! Time for a new one.

I love this song that the kids have sung at school over the years called 'A' You're Adorable originally recorded by Perry Como but it has been redone by many, including Sesame Street, listen here for a trip down memory lane.


I cut these letters out of cardstock and did a photo shoot against a black sheet.


It was a good idea until little monkey wouldn't hold the letters and I resorted to taping them to his shirt.


And then he thought it was fun to crinkle up or tear the letters. And I'm chanting to myself "Don't poop out, stay strong!"


He was not enjoying the photo shoot and by now I was thinking he wasn't so adorable. So, the new plan was props.


Ashleigh called during this fine mothering moment and told me that I could get like twelve apps for 99 cents each that will help kids learn letters.

That might have been a better idea.

But, I'm not pooping out. And I will not be defeated by a two year old so I gave him a nap and persisted through the alphabet.

After adding the words in photoshop and developing the pictures, the laminating was the easiest part thanks to laminator love from Ash which we gushed over in this post.

I'd like to say he loves his book and goes to sleep with it every night. He doesn't.

But, if only to prove to myself that I'm still trying to be a good mom, it was worth it.

....but then again, 99 cent app sounds like a really good mom to me.

Class Valentines bulk-food style

The last time I was grocery shopping I passed by the bulk-food bins and decide to multi task and buy some Valentines! I didn't have a plan, but I'm a make-it-work kinda gal so I buy first, plan later.

First I saw these candy necklaces. I knew my 6 and 8 year old girls would think these were the bomb dot com! They are already wrapped and they were 15 cents each! You can't even get a store bought My Little Pony Valentine for 15 cents. Score!

Then I tried to think of a clever little saying to go with it and every combination of sweet, neck, around, love sounded creepy, so I went with a classic, "Happy Valentine's Day. First graders don't read clever sayings anyway, right?


Then I happened upon a bin of fairly giant jawbreakers. Individually wrapped. They were more like 90 cents. But, they're so cool. And when you are a fifth grade boy, you've got to be cool. And, he's my middle child...and we moved to a new school this year...and I may have some guilt issues...and I'll stop now. Let's just say, I bought the jawbreakers. Here is the front and back of the tag.


I bought a huge bag of Hot Tamales to see if my teenagers wanted to give out candy. My fourteen year old boy took me up on it. Surprising...Maybe he figures until he hits his growth spurt he can impress the ladies with candy. He he.

Once again, I had a little trouble coming up with a cool and clever tag. Hope you have a "Hot" Valentine's Day..I think you're "hot"....Have a "fiery" Valentine's Day. These might land him in the principals office. So I played on the fact that his favorite color is red and he thinks it's sweet that his name has the word red in it. And, he's easy to please.


The moral of the story is...stop and browse that bulk-food section. You never know what Valentine treasures you'll find.

Think Ink- Guest Post

I'm guest posting over on somewhat simple today!

For all of you who have told me "I don't have a steady enough hand to pipe out detailed cookies" or
"I'd rather scratch my eyes out than spend 30 minutes decorating something my kids were about to eat..."

Well, this post is for you!  You are going to have to ice a base layer first.  But after that, you will only need your stamping and spray painting skills.  No piping detail here...

Go take a look!

Valentine Cookies

Here's a look inside the cookie jar.

There's lots you can do with just pink, red and white frosting.

For the sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe, refer to this post.

I outlined and immediately filled for nice clean frosting edges.

I think my favorite one was my sassiest cookie yet.  I'm really walking on the wild side with this one.
This cookie is "sealed with a kiss."

I used my trusty alphabet cutter set to make hugs and kisses.

I used "wet on wet" techniques for a flat cookie.

And some were done with a "wet on dry" technique which results in a dimensional/textured cookie.

I made these little lace darlings without a projector.  {Cue applause}

These were just simple scalloped edge hearts and I attempted to make them look like they had a lace edge.  You might have to look close...

After the red was dry, I made a white edge.  After that was dry, I put a little more icing on and used my paint brush for a little "brush embroidery" style edge.  This one is only done on one side.
Can you tell the difference?

And I also made some big cookies (that weren't made to fit in the jar).
But I do love a basic rectangle cookie that is open to all possibilities.
I busted out my projector for this little phrase.
IMG_9929 copy

And then I broke down and tinted some icing a really light turquoise.

So we will end on that sentimental note:  Love is... going out on a limb.
How do you like my cookie equivalent to a greeting card?
Hallmark, if you need me to write for you, let me know.  hehehe.

Linking up to The Girl Creative!

Valentine in a Jar

Jars are meant for cookies.

Cookies are meant for jars.

Ahhhhh the beauty of a "cookie Jar."

I had wayyyy too much fun putting my jack-o-lantern cookies in a jar.

Then some of my genius cookie friends blew my mind with their "parts of parts" cookies.

Munchkin Munchies made an adorable Thanksgiving treat with her "Turkey Cookie in a Jar."
You have to see it assembled.  Cutest turkey I ever did see!

turkey in a jar

I'm pretty sure kids would love this as much as building a real snowman! 
Meaghan is so rad, she has a Sugarlicious book coming out.  I can't wait!

Then I saw these Mr. Potato Head cookies from Oh, Sugar! Events.  
This little toy was what got my brain thinking about this stuff, then Angela went and made it!
Perfectly executed, wouldn't you say!!!  I think these would be the BEST at a Toy Story party!
potato head

I can't tell you how happy I was to see each of these ideas because that IS the beauty of blogland!  Sharing ideas and creativity is so rewarding.  I am constantly inspired by these and other cookie ladies so I felt, for a second that I was "giving back to the cookie universe."  Oh man, that was dramatic.  But I really am in love with all of these cookies, and their jars.  

So I now I have all of these Holiday cookie ideas in my head.  But Valentine's really stumped me.
I thought of cupid...  But I just couldn't bring myself to make parts of a little cherub.  I knew it would involve a bare bootie cookie and I just didn't go there.  So although these aren't cookies to be assembled, I still dig the way my Valentine cookies look in a jar.

There are valentines, lace, hugs and kisses (xoxo), roses and love notes all bottled up!

And I love to top it off with a spray painted lid, great ribbon and a tag!

A tag which you can download here if you are doing this project.

And also!  My friends at eighteen25 posted an adorable tag today that could also be used for your cookies in a jar.

So make those cookies and buy those jars guys!  (I got mine at Target).  If you're doing jar cookies, or "parts" cookies, I'd love to see them!  Send me an email or comment.  Keep it alive cookie makers!!!

Pretty soon we'll be doing Make-your-own-Leprechaun and Build-a-Bunny cookies!
Won't you join me?

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