Valentine’s Day Ideas You Can Still Pull Off

Happy Valentine’s Day! If it’s snuck up on you too, here’s a handful of ideas that you might just have time to still pull off: 

1. A giant balloon heart. Maybe on a smaller scale.

2. Breakfast in Bed. Or save it for tomorrow, when you’ll have time to enjoy it. 

3. Or, donuts for breakfast with a sweet note.

4. If healthy is more your style, try the heart egg toast!

5. Love note on the mirror. 

Happy Friday, and whether you spend it with your sweetheart or not, be sure to let the people in your life know how much you love and appreciate them!

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Pink, Prints, and Paperman

Along with several others around the blogosphere, I swapped mugs filled with goodies with another blogger for Valentine’s Day! It was so fun to pick out a mug for Omega of Selby Lane. I wanted to wait until Valentine’s Day to open the package she sent me, but after a stressful day, I changed my mind in hopes of finding some chocolate. What I found was even better!

Omega made the drawstring pouch, lanyard, and rings for me!

I’ve already worn the rings several times to work. They add a fun and funky touch to my red and khaki.

You really should check out Omega’s Etsy shop, Selby Lane. Just look at these amazing prints and colors!

Thank you for such a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift Omega! And thank you Caroline and Alissa for hosting such a fun mug swap!

And now, here’s a Valentine-gram for all my readers whom I love so well – a sweet Disney short film known as Paperman. Enjoy!

Style: Two Romantic Valentine’s Day Looks

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to indulge your feminine side with pink, frills, and sparkle.

Sweet Pink Valentine's Day

Racerback dress / Mid heel wedge / Heart ring / Earrings / Emi Jay hair accessory /Radiant Cosmetics

This romantic frock, ring, and shoes are all from Ruche, one of my favorite places to online window shop. These earrings from Hovey Lee on Pure Citizen are ethically made using fair trade and recycled materials in LA, and they’ll add some “frosting” to your outfit. The lipstick and blush are both from Radiant Cosmetics, and proceeds fight human trafficking.

Pretty in Peach Valentine's Day Look

Women’s retro, modest dresses / Chain necklace / Earrings / Lucky Brand yellow gold jewelry / Women’s retro, modest dresses

How lovely is this dress from Shabby Apple?! I love the layer of lace, and I love that a percentage of proceeds provides micro loans to women in third world countries. I think this glittery bow necklace (Go Jane), statement ring (Shabby Apple), and pearl earrings (Hovey Lee on Pure Citizen) are the perfect accessories for it.  These shimmery pumps, also from Shabby Apple, are perfect for any special occasion.

How are you planning to spend Valentine’s Day? Even if you’re staying home, I hope you have fun adding a little sparkle and pink to your outfit in celebration of the day!

Waxing Poetic Wednesday: How Do I Love Thee?

Today, I’m hoping to start something new with Waxing Poetic Wednesday – instead of posting a poem and image separately, I’ve combined them into one image. Feel free to use these for quote or mood inspiration boards. Also, instead of every week, Waxing Poetic Wednesday seems to work better once a month. Now, here’s one of my favorite love poems of all time: 
The first Wednesday of the month, I indulge my English Literature minor by sharing an inspirational poem. Share your favorite poem, it could end up on a future Waxing Poetic Wednesday!
What’s your favorite  love poem? Share it with us in the comments!

Tutorial: Easy Valentine Pillowcase

I’m super excited to be guest posting on Liz Makes today! If you’ve never embroidered before, don’t worry. I designed this project with first time embroiderers in mind. Check out the full tutorial, and while your there, check out Liz’s fabulous crafts, recipes, and style!

If you’re interested, here’s the tutorial for the sweater pillow that goes nicely with the pillowcases.

In other news, we made it safely home from our trip to California. If you follow me on Instagram, you got to see the incredibly thick fog we drove through early in the morning, the pretty rain soaked rose, leaves, and clover, the lovely backyard orange tree, and the Downtown Disney Lego store. And you also found out that I slept two and a half hours during the first 24 of the trip. I slept maybe six more the next night, and then I slept most of the six hours home. I’m exhausted!

But in other news, get ready for some amazing things coming soon here on the blog! You’ll find out probably this week.

 Hope you had a great weekend, and are having a happy Monday!

Mr. and Mrs: Valentine’s Day Recap

Sometimes Brian pretends he has plans to surprise me, when actually he’s just totally forgotten that the particular occasion is coming up. So, when I casually let it slip that I was excited to put up Valentine’s Day decorations, and he said, “Oh…when is that again?” two day’s before, I didn’t really believe him when he said he had “secret” plans for that day. I didn’t really  blame him, since he’d just lost his job a few days before. 
School monopolized my time leading up to Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t have time for the more elaborate decorations I wanted to make. I did make this easy banner, however, that I found on Pintrest from This Is Glamorous: 
Thread paper doilies onto thread or fishing twine, combine with Christmas lights, and done! It gives an simple elegance and romantic ambiance. 
Brian might have been bluffing, but on February 14th, I woke up to a very pleasant surprise: breakfast in bed! (cue applause!). Brian got up early and made stuffed cream cheese and apple French toast! He also bought us chocolates, and a rose for me! The French toast was so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating long enough to take a picture of it. Hence, the post-breakfast picture:
I also had a present for Brian. Well, actually it was more for both of us. I didn’t have time to make Brian a Valentine, but thanks to DaySpring, for Valentine’s Day we got to start using the long coveted Mr. & Mrs. – Gift Set!
The Mr. mug is missing in that picture, because it was already in use… 

It’s now Brian’s favorite mug. 
The mugs have sweet details, like the verse along the rim: 
And the heart at the bottom: 
We also received the Mr. & Mrs. – Coupon Book. I love these coupon books, they make great little gifts to brighten your spouse’s day. I also used them in Brian’s Christmas present banner last year. I especially love these coupons because they have scripture on the back of each one! 
Here’s a few of them:
I really like this one: 

Check out more reviews at (in)courage’s inspired deals page! 

In addition to the mugs and coupon book, DaySpring also has a Mr. & Mrs. – Mr. Love Notes – 32 Note Set:

Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection - Mr. Love Notes - 32 Note Set image

Mr. & Mrs. - Two in One Inspirational Journal image

Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection - Notes & Memo Pads Gift Set image

Or several combinations of the above. Check them all out here: Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection from DaySpring.

 I know it’s after Valentine’s Day, but if your husband has a birthday coming up, or if you have some weddings to attend this summer, these make great gifts. I think I’ve given the mugs to at least two couples, and both of them love them! 

And just because I want to show my lovely readers some love too, here’s a code for 15% off:

15% off on all gift purchases. Coupon code: 15OFFGIFTS

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

Disclosure: I received these products from DaySpring free of charge, but my opinions are still my own! Also,  scroll to the bottom of my site to see my disclosure about affiliate links. It’s for a good cause! 

A penny for your thoughts? To leave a comment, click on “Links to this Post” below.

Happy February!

Happy first day of February! Earlier this week I gathered several links from across the blogosphere and pinterest-world into one awesome Valentine’s Day Decor, Gifts, Food and Freebies post over at Newlywed’s Bliss. It’s a giant love-fest of hearts, roses, chocolates, and goodness, so I hope you’ll check it out!

If you’re looking for more inspiration, try my tutorial for my Easy Valentine’s Day Banner from last year. Tragically, I can’t find it anywhere, which means I’ll have to make a new one.

And, if you’re looking for more gift ideas, this post has something for everyone.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
A penny for your thoughts? To leave a comment, click on “Links to this Post” below.

I’m A Cheap Valentine: How we celebrated with $17

Many people don’t like Valentine’s Day because it’s pricey- gifts often include perfumes, jewelry, and bouquets of roses. Prices for everything romantically related, especially roses, skyrockets. With a little creativity, it doesn’t have to be expensive at all; in fact, you could do Valentine’s Day for almost free! 

I started off Valentine’s Day with a doctor appointment:  not my idea of fun! But thanks to some wonderful blogs, websites, and my friendly neighborhood Goodwill, I’d already prepared for our celebration.

The Decorations
You might have already seen my “Easy Valentine’s Day Banner” that I posted about earlier this month.

This didn’t cost me anything, since I used scrapbooking paper I already had and the free hearts printable from At Second Street
I also printed the Valentine subway art from the blog eighteen25, and put it on the bookshelf in the dining room.

I used the print I made, of the adorable owl. You can download it for free, just go to my “Free Stuff” link in the top left corner of the blog. 
Owl image from The Graphics Fairy.
I was going to make these, also from eighteen25, but I never got around to it. It would have also been “free” since I already have all the things I’d need to make them. 
I think I still will make them, because really, that’s a message that can stay up for longer than just February!

What’s Valentine’s Day without roses?

When I was too sick to go to church Sunday, and had to stay in bed and work on school work, Brian bought me the most gorgeous rose! I put it in a recycled bottle and arranged it on our coffee table.

I found these wooden letters at Goodwill! They were 99 cents each, and they’ll look wonderful year round! (In the background is an art easel I also bought, but I didn’t use it for anything related to Valentine’s Day, in case you’re wondering.)

 The Presents
I printed these free valentine’s from Peptogirl, gave some away, and hid some around the apartment for Brian to find. My favorites are “Just My Type,” “Sew in Love,” and “Owl be yours.” Too cute! I snuck some into his lunch box, I taped one to his computer, and one to his shaving cream.

I also printed this adorable valentine and wrote a message to him inside. This valentine was also free, and I got it from mmmcrafts.

{What can I say? I love puns!}

For Brian’s main gift, I was inspired by “How To Make A Marriage Bed” from A Holy Experience. I shared the link to this post before, so if you’ve read it, you’ll remember the letter to Ann Landers. Ann Voskamp shared a letter to Ann Landers from a daughter writing about her very-much-in-love parents. Every time they made love  they put a dollar into a box, saving for their dream trip. On their 50th anniversary they went on a second honeymoon to Hawaii.

I found the perfect box at Goodwill for $2.99.

The quilted top had to go. With a screwdriver, it was easy to bend back the metal prongs holding it in the back, and take out the top. I replaced it with scrapbooking paper, a wedding picture of us, and a sticker, all of which I already had.
I wanted to protect the picture, so I used a clear scrapbooking protective sleeve, slipped the wooden top with the paper and picture on it inside, and cut off the edges. 
I copied and pasted the letter from Ann’s post into a Word document and printed it out. I slipped it in the inside of the lid. 
The Plan
I really wanted to go on a picnic, so I  thought about going up to Canyon Lake again, but remembered we’d have to buy a pass, and I didn’t want to mess with that. So I did some research and found a nice park not to far away with nice picnic areas, grassy slopes, and a lake. Perfect! 
I wrote the directions from Google maps on pink sticky notes and placed them inside an envelope. I added a leaf that happened to fall off of the rose; it was supposed to be a clue, signifying that we were going somewhere outside. 
I decorated the outside with a number one, and I incorporated the “bon appetit” scroll from these free printables for a picnic at home from Eat, Drink, Chic. There’s two of them, and you’re supposed to attach them to your silverware, but I liked how it looked on the envelope. Plus, it was another clue for Brian!

 After our picnic, Brian was supposed to open the second envelope. In this one, I had this sticky note:

Unfortunately, by the time we got to the park, it was dark. It was really too bad, because I had outfits picked out and ideas for the pictures, and it would have been so cute! Next time, I guess!

 So Brian opened the third card. In this card, I put the rest of the free printables for the picnic at home: the heart and movie tickets.

Eat Drink Chic
We didn’t have take-out or champagne, but it was close enough!
Eat Drink Chic
I‘d been awhile since I got a musical/Disney movie fix… Enchanted fit the bill perfectly. Plus, we watched that movie the evening after Brian proposed to me, and Brian gave it to me on our first Valentine’s Day together as a dating couple. 
Unfortunately, Brian isn’t as musical and Disney crazy or sentimental as I am, and he didn’t want to watch it. Instead, we lit candles, cuddled, and read books and magazines together, which was still nice!

I’m really proud of the numbers… I drew them free-hand. 
This is what Brian saw when he came home from work.

 The Food
When he walked through the door, The kitchen was covered in powdered sugar, and I was wearing an apron, mixing frosting, looking a little flustered. In my mind, I had the ideal cupcake: tall, soft confetti cake, topped with fluffy pale pink frosting and adorable paper toppers, TomKat Studio style.

TomKat, Ice Cream Shoppe Party
I suppose that was a bit unrealistic. 
First, I only had three cupcake liners. Second, I was short one egg. Third, the cupcakes turned out really…flat. Like, maybe two inches tall. Fourth, I had to cut the frosting recipe in half, because I didn’t have enough butter. Fifth, the frosting turned out so runny, I literally dipped the cupcakes in it, because it was impossible to spread, and it was a bright, Peptobismol pink. When it actually dripped off the cupcakes, I scraped it all off and added almost the entire bag of powdered sugar to thicken it, and re-frosted them. 
It was STILL runny, as you can see. But it made a nice glaze. 
I finished the cupcakes with free paper cupcake toppers from the blog Free Pretty Things For You. I printed the circles, cut them out, taped toothpicks to the back of each one, and inserted into the cupcake.

the sugar sign is from Eat Drink Chic

On the cupcake to the left, you can see how runny the frosting was, and the remains of the first batch. Notice how flat they are? I substituted 150 ml of milk for the missing egg. Someone online said it would work, and I believed them.

Even in their imperfection, they’re still kinda cute.
For our picnic, I made jello and egg salad sandwiches, and used pink plastic plates and cups that I had left-over from my bachelorette party last spring. 

The day after Valentine’s Day, we went to Walgreens to pick up my prescription from the day before. Of course, all the Valentine’s stuff was 50% off, so Brian picked out a classic gift for me: a heart shaped box of chocolates, complete with a picture of a puppy, for $1.50. I bought myself this little rose plant for $2. 
So, the total price for Valentine’s Day: $16.50. The most expensive and least useful cost was the rose, which cost $6. Compare that to my plant, which will last longer, for $2. 
Moral of the story: 
  • As far as gifts go, it is the thought that counts! It doesn’t have to be expensive to be perfect.
  • As far as decorations go, you can find great stuff online for free! 
  • And, you’ll never have to buy Valentine’s again; there are SO many blogs and sites that offer them for free!
  • After Valentine’s Day, get ready for next year! 
  • When you look at the stuff that’s 50% off, think about how you could re-purpose it for Mother’s Day or a birthday coming up.  

How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Did you use any free stuff or thrifty finds? Tell us about it!

My Funny Valentine

I thought my head would explode.

Thursday I felt a little under the weather, but overnight it turned into monster sinus congestion.

I had to go to the church to print and fold the bulletins Friday morning. Let me tell you, when your nose is running like a geyser and your head hurts and your chest hurts and your everything hurts, folding 90 bulletins feels like 900!

I made it home, and crashed on the couch, forming a nice bunker of blankets, Kleenex, meds, snacks, and school books. Somehow I made it through the afternoon without taking a nap; I had assignments due and I had to keep plugging away through the cold medicine induced fog.

Now, when Brian was sick with bronchitis a week or so ago, I tucked him in on the couch, brought him water and snacks, cuddled with him, patted his head, and cooed soothingly. But Brian, he makes fun of me. And he won’t come within feet of the couch!

On his way home from work,  Brian bought me a thermometer. No temperature. Just misery.

Friday nights are our date nights, and it was his turn to plan our date. “I guess you don’t feel like going out, do you?” He asked dejectedly.

“No, not weally,” I snuffled. “What were we going to do?”

“I thought we could go buy the stuff you need for your sewing machine.”

My jaw dropped. Not go to Ultimate Electronics or play Scrabble? I was in awe of his sweetness.

Since I couldn’t go out, Brian wanted to pick up some wings from Fry’s deli for dinner. He agreed to pick up some other groceries too, so I made him a list. After boneless wings, milk, and coffee creamer, I added:

A good bedside manner

He didn’t notice until he was almost out the door. He stopped. “A good bedside manner? What aisle would that be in?”

“Ummm,” I giggled as I searched for a good comeback. He beat me to it.

“Feminine Care?” 

If laughter is the best medicine, I should be cured pretty quick!

I’ve heard this song twice recently, and I just love it!

Have a happy Valentine’s Day! Share THE love!

What’s Your Love Language?

Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages, The Secret To Love That Lasts,” is truly a wonderful resource, and I highly recommend reading it. But, if you’re short on time, just take the quiz! This quiz shows you two statements and asks you to choose which you feel more strongly about.

It’s kinda hard! I felt strongly about almost all of them! So I took it twice. The first time I got “quality time” as my top language and “words of affirmation” as a close second, and the second time those two flipped around.

I really like that the quiz doesn’t just end there, it explains your language and gives examples of what makes you feel loved and what makes you feel unloved. It goes on to offer suggestions for using your love language.
Couple Watching the Sunsetphoto © 2005 steelight | more info (via: Wylio)

You can take the quiz here. You’ll see there is a quiz for wives, husbands, singles, parents of teens and parents of younger kids. Pick whichever applies to you best!

If you do, come back and let me know what you got! Was it accurate? 

You can buy the book through my amazon bookstore for $6.63. I think that is about the lowest price out there. Plus, my commission on your purchase will benefit Food For the Hungry!