I was never really a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I’ve always thought it was kind of corny and never really cared about celebrating it. (You should tell someone you love them every day, right? Plus, crowded restaurants are the worst.) But then I married Greg, whose birthday is Valentine’s Day. And then I had kids, and kids make every holiday more fun and special. So this year I busted my butt a little bit trying to make things sweet and lovey-dovey for everyone.
Vada got to hand out some cute little valentine pouches in preschool. Remember when we were little and just handed out paper valentines? At least that’s how I remember it… Vada’s only 3 and there are 12 kids in her class – I think she got more candy on Valentine’s Day than she did on Halloween! I got the little valentines (which doubled as stickers) from Target a while ago and wanted to do something a little more special. Good thing I did because I would have looked like a complete slacker otherwise. The little baggies turned out exactly how I imagined them, which doesn’t usually happen for me. I don’t really consider myself a very creative or “crafty” person. (At least Pinterest makes me feel that way! AmIright?)
Then I made Greg’s special BDay/VDay heart-shaped brownies. Brownies are his favorite and he loves the edges the most. So when I make him brownies I usually just bake them in a muffin tin. (All edges! No fancy as-seen-on-TV pan needed.) Then I found a cute hearts tin a few years ago and I’ve been making these for his birthday ever since. I didn’t get as fancy this year as I have in years past, but they were still delicious.
I made a special Valentine’s Day Dunkin’ Donuts delivery for everyone at Press Press, made a Mill Mountain vanilla espresso cooler run for Greg, got chicken parmesan takeout for Greg’s birthday dinner (he loves chicken parm, I hate making it) and THEN surprised him the following night with a trip to Kabuki with a few friends, per his request. I also knit him a scarf and framed a family photo for his shop, gave him a case of his favorite Girl Scout cookies, Caramel deLites, and a cute little wooden robot for his desk. PHEW.
My birthday is the 9th, so I get spoiled then, and Greg gets most of the VDay glory. (A post about my extreme birthday spoils coming soon!) But he did surprise me with some pink roses and a card. Then the FedEx guy dropped off a special surprise – this cute little heart ring that was supposed to be backordered until the end of the month, but just so happened to show up on Valentine’s Day. How sweet, Anthro :) I’ve wanted that thing for SO long.
So, there are little bits of Valentine’s Day still lingering around the house, and I don’t really mind it. Maaaaayyyyyybe I’m slowly turning into a VDay-lover… ♥
I am out of control nesting like a crazy person. This morning I sprung out of bed and it was like a race against the clock to see how much I could get done. I cleaned and tidied and did laundry and sewed and baked a pie! Come on, baby, let’s hang out!
Will I ever get over the good and satisfaction that I feel every single time I grow, harvest and eat food from my own backyard? Right now we only have lettuces and a bunch of herbs, but it’s already so rewarding. Vada has her own little strawberry plant, which just gave us its first perfect red berry. ♥
This a tasty little lunch I cooked up for myself the other day. It’s really fast, really tasty, and healthy too. I’m just guessing at the quantities of these ingredients. Use your best judgement if you feel like you need to use more/less of anything.
Sautéed Baby Kale with Shallots
yields: 1 serving
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 big handfuls of baby kale
2 tbsp water (or broth)
parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until tener, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for a minute, being careful not to burn. Add kale, water or broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything around, coating the kale with the oil/water or broth. Raise heat to high and saute for about 4 or 5 minutes, until the kale is tender and the liquid is evaporated. Serve immediately, garnished with some parmesan cheese and a little extra pepper.
Let me know what you think ♥
1. I started The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery‘s Dessert of the Month x-stitch club! Each month you are emailed a super cute dessert-themed cross stitch pattern that will eventually become a big sampler. I’m almost finished with this month’s little champagne truffle. I’m really excited about this project because it’s totally doable. The patterns are all really small (about 2.5″x2.5″) so they’re quick to stitch, but adorable. I’ll post a picture of my finished little truffle once he’s finished.
2. We are still (slowly) converting what used to be my sewing/office/play room into Vada’s new big girl room. I have a huge cork board (in the photo) and an 8’x8′ quilt design board that will hopefully make their way into my longarm studio. I think we might be on schedule to paint the walls this weekend.
3. One of my new favorite lunches! Baby spinach pizzas on Ezekiel english muffins! They are so good and really filling. First, I toast the muffin in the toaster, then top with sauce (we always have Rao’s vodka sauce on hand,) mozarella, baby spinach, a little parmesan and some pepper. Put it under the broiler for a few minutes and you’re done! So fast and so good.
4. Friday the 13th (and the weekend that followed) really got us this month. Vada puked in the car and was sick for 2 days, the dog got out, I got sick (still am)… it was just a miserable time. I’m trying to kill this illness with lots of rest and vitamins and stuff. I don’t want it to get worse because I’m not into the idea of taking antibiotics (or really any medicine) while I’m pregnant. Vada was a good helper yesterday and brought me some lunch in bed to try to make me feel better. Such a sweetie!
5. Our bathrooms are almost finished (thank GOD.) Downstairs just needs a light, mirror, and a cabinet door. Upstairs needs a little more work – a light/fan over the tub, mirror and light fixture over the sink/toilet, finishing trim work and some work on the little linen closet we have in there. Even though it’s still under construction, it feels like pure luxury in there compared to what it was before! I really love how both the bathrooms are turning out. I can’t wait to decorate, and most importantly take a bubble bath, once all the construction is finished. I’m on the lookout for some super luxurious bath salts and bubble baths if you guys have any suggestions! I like lavender.
6. I started Project Life for 2012. It’s basically just a photo album/scrap book that you make to document the year. I’m doing approximately one page per week, sometimes with a little extra. It’s really fun and you don’t have to have a lot of stuff to make it look pretty. I can’t get into traditional scrapbooking, with all those annoying punches and papers and stickers and stuff. I don’t have a problem with sliding pictures or notes into interesting photo sleeves, though! This picture is from one that I started working on last year. I’ll post some 2012 pages soon.
I hope everyone is having a nice 2012 so far! I’m feeling optimistic. ♥