Happy Valentine’s Day!

Husky Happy Valentine's Day

Last year, you might remember that I made the kids a fun photo collage (you can see it here) using Pixlr.com and they absolutely loved it.  I decided do it again this year …of course it’s always difficult since Kaya absolutely HATES the camera.

kayahuskyfrontstoopdon'ttakemypic

I scored some unique large white heart shaped ceramic plates at the dollar store of all places!  I bought the last 7 they had in stock …so cute! I will use them all year long!

heart shaped bowl

This year I whipped up some red velvet cupcakes which I topped with little chocolates – they look so professional! The pretty paper cupcake liners and little chocolates are also from the dollar store (triple score!).

red velvet cupcakes

Hope your Valentine’s day is better than Kaya’s!!  LOL!

Kaya: Siberian Husky with red bow tie

Julie

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from the heart Valentine gifting for kids & teens!

Valentine's Day: breakfast nook

tiered cupcake holder from HomeGoods

As the kids get older, it becomes more difficult to make Valentine’s day special (especially when your two oldest are teenage boys!).  Still, no matter how old (or cool) they get I know I can show my crew how much I love them by baking up some sweet treats!  This year chocolate cupcakes with cherry flavoured icing will greet them when they get home from school.

valentine cupcake

JELLO icing: 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream, 1 pack of (cherry) jello, about 2 cups of icing sugar. With hand held blender whip until set & fluffy! 

I have never been a big fan of spending on a lot on gifts for my kids on VD.  I feel like, aside from the usual birthday and Christmas kids get stuff all year long, all of the time -am I right?  New clothes, shoes, movies, McDonald’s, amusement parks, craft supplies, ice cream …it never ends.

valentine's day gifts

keeping it simple …and silly!

Still, I will usually gift them some Valentine’s chocolates (this year I purchased a little less candy and opted for pop tarts – I never, ever buy them, so they will probably devour that before anything else! – and I usually also purchase a small little item, like a book or a month’s worth of mints or gum to keep in their lockers for fresh breath at school!  For little kids think; pack of small toy animals, a new headband or colouring book.

valentine gifts girl

For the girl who wants to be a veterinarian : I scored the vintage horse first aid book for $0.50!

More importantly though I think, something from the heart is really what Valentine’s Day is all about. Everyone, no matter the age wants to know they are loved and to hear something positive about themselves.  You don’t have to buy a card …get out a pen and piece of paper or hop on the laptop and print out a little something thoughtful about each child to slip it in with their Valentine’s treat!

valentines day teens

valentine's day : teens

Our dog KAYA: siberian husky valentine photo collageIn addition this year I managed to take some pictures of our dog Kaya  (she has a weird fear-hate with the camera so it’s almost impossible to ever actually get a photo of her looking straight on) and I made a funny little collage of them using PIXLR express (Efficient)  I put it on Facebook and tagged them as a surprise (…I know, I know… but when it comes to their dog, it’s perfectly OK!  Public messages from me or any other photos of course are an absolute no-no!)

silly valentine

 Happy Valentines Day!

Cheap Valentine

I still think handmade little love notes -weather it be a heartfelt scribble on a napkin sneaked into a laptop bag or a sexy-fun note for your eyes only are still one of the top (not to mention, free) ways to express I love you.

Napkin Love Note

My Funny Valentine

But check out what else I have discovered for this 2010 VD holiday : these cute  From My Heart Pillow Cases.  This brand has several different designs (and mugs to match).  They also carry body pillow cases which makes a perfect gift for the pregnant Valentine on your list!

From My Heart Pillow Cases

If your Valentine enjoys humor more than mushy romance this set of 45 Cards (below) will be a hit:

Example from: Express Your Invaluable Love For Under $10 by Brook Lundy & Duncan Mitchell

Maybe because this season has been unusually cold and snowy everywhere across North America or the fact that the 2010 Olympic Games are about to start but I think these patriotic knitted hats (and scarves) sold at Nordstrom’s are a great  “not romantic but I want to get her something” gift.

American Flag Hat

Canadian Flag Tuque

Ladies, let’s be honest.  You already know what your guy wants for Valentine’s day.  If he’s like most of the men I know then the best present (for any holiday really) is you wearing the least amount of clothing possible.

Although if you really want to buy your man a little gift I like these cool stones that work as ice cubes called Whiskey Stones.  Soapstone workers in Perksville Vermont created this little company.  Available at gift shops and cost around $20.  Gift these along with a bottle of his favorite liquor and you’re all set.

Whiskey Stones

Or how about the Hidden Message Tie Clip from Red Envelope ? At $20 it’s a practical and romantic gift.

Hidden Message Tie Clip, RedEnvelope.com

He doesn’t drink or wear ties?  Well, the expression “the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” has some serious truth.  A juicy steak and baked potato is my man’s weakness -find out yours and start cooking!

Guys, if jewelry is really her thing but you can’t afford the good stuff then I am begging you to not buy the real yet tacky (diamond flakes? ugh) jewelry.  Instead shop at your local TjMaxx, Target or Winners and choose something simple she’ll wear for years like tasteful silver hoop earrings -you can’t go wrong and she won’t have to pretend that she likes it and then never wear it.  But if you’re certain she’d like something a bit more unique then these three suggestions (listed below) are budget friendly, romantic and fun:

#1. The Forget Me Knot ring.  Very sweet and perfect for a young relationship (if you have more cash to spare this style is also available in real gold or silver from places like Uncommon Goods ).

Forget Me Knot Ring; FredFlare.com

#2. These necklaces come in 9 different sayings such as Crazy In Love, Baby Mama and Fireworks.  You could also find something similar at your local department store and have it engraved with a more meaningful word or message.

Heart Necklace, FredFlare.com

#3.  A couple of years ago a friend of mine received a very nice, very fake diamond ring from her husband with a letter explaining how one day when they were more financial secure he would surprise her with an identical but  real ring.  She loved it.  Department stores and places like Overstock have a great selection for under $20.

Fake Bling

I am pretty sure I speak for a lot of women when I say that not having to cook or clean along with a glass -ok two (fine, the bottle) of wine is enough to get me in a romantic mood.   Pick up a bottle of something she likes, order in some take out and light a candle.  Done and done.

It really is the thought, and your time that counts!

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