Archive | creative VALENTINE

a VALENTINE advent project

Here are the steps I took to make this project …for my little Family!
I got the idea HERE from Shabby Chic Crafts blog
1st…I downloaded & printed 3 sets of these FREE “I love you because…” TAGS!
2nd…I filled them out for each member of my family & attached them to cute paper (I’m not a fussy crafter…so I do not worry about cutting perfect lines or the perfect paper…I just like to make it special and not worry too much about the details)!
3rd…I made a spot for each of them to find their notes each day! Paige & Grant get one each in this little mailbox every morning (from the $1 spot at Target)! And Aaron gets one on the mirror each morning!
4th…I will attach them to our little pink strand of lights that are currently hung on our decorative window in the kitchen.
5th…I will either save them in a little jar or attach them to the pages of their love letter journals or discard them…we’ll see how I am feeling when the project is all said and done!
What a fun way to tell your loved ones how much you care!
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squirrel mix {aka muddy buddies} & grandma Lil’s potato leek soup

 So here is a new idea for Valentine’s Day…something for your neighbors or teachers that will warm the soul!
First you can double this potato soup recipe, add a loaf of bread and a bag of this scrumptious dessert and you are set to make someones day! How delighted would you be to receive something like that on a cold afternoon?  Here is a great attachment for a free gift tag you can print to add to your package:
grandma Lil’s potato leek soup
2 ½ cups Chicken or Veg Broth
(or 2 ½ cups water + 4 chic bullion)
4 or 5 Medium Potatoes (cubed)
2 or 3 good sized Leeks (washed well)
2 or 3 good sized Celery stalks
1 piece of Bacon (plus more for garnish if desired)
Lots of Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Place chopped bacon in the bottom of a medium-sized pan with butter (or oil)…after a few minutes of browning bacon add veggies and cook until sautéed. Season with Salt & Pepper.  Add broth and cook about 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add more seasoning, to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, green onions, bacon, sour cream; any or all will be great with this soup. Enjoy!
*For a creamy texture…slowly add 1 ½ cup milk at the end of the 30 minutes. I did not add the milk, it was so good with out it!
*If you are not a bacon eater just use your favorite sausage or skip this all together and just use your favorite oil to brown the veggies for a minute before adding the broth! Be sure to season it well if not using the salty bacon!

 
Squirrel Mix {a twist on Muddy Buddies}
For my Muddy Buddies (or Squirrel Mix as we called it) I used a slow-cooker recipe that allowed me to make the soup on the stove while the chocolate was melting in a crock-pot on the counter.  I added craisins, pistachios, dried cherries and almonds to ours.  We gave it away as gifts so I tried to make it more personal by calling it “Squirrel Mix.” We call Paige our little squirrel these days because she loves to pile little “treasures” into tiny boxes and bags and hide them in corners all over the house.  She carts them around as she scurries about her day and can always find what she is looking for even if it’s in a random & tiny spot…that girl keeps us laughing. You can often hear us saying, “Don’t squirrel that!” as she scurries away with a stolen treasure! Click on this link from www.cookeatshare.com for a Traditional recipe for “puppy chow OR muddy buddies” (I don’t like to bake so this is a good dessert for me to whip up and somehow feel more domestic)!
  
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{HOME-MADE FOOD GIFTS}

::Lemon-Infused Vodka::

Check out how to do it on your own HERE and HERE!

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::Panfilio Family Cherry Walnut Bars::
Part #1:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
Directions:
Mix the flour, sugar & butter until crumbly.
Press into a 9×13 pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 min or until crust is lightly browned.
Part  #2:
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1-2 oz. jar maraschino cherries
Directions:
Beat first five ingredients.
Drain and chop cherries (10 cherries), reserving liquid.
Stir chopped cherries, walnuts & coconut into egg & sugar mix.
Pour on top of crust.
Return to oven and bake fro 25min. Remove from oven & cool.
Part  #3:
1 Tbsp. softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
Liquid from cherries
Directions:
Combine 1 Tbsp. of softened butter & 1 cup of powdered sugar w/ enough liquid from cherries to spread.
Frost (sprinkle w/coconut if desired) & cut into bars when icing has set.
Full Ingredient List for Shopping:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
12 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1-2 oz. jar maraschino cherries
1 Tbsp. softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
Liquid from cherries
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Check out more fun ideas from:

REAL SIMPLE


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{KID CRAFTS}

Crafting with kids this time of year is great…its a win-win!  Even if you don’t like to craft try it. The kids get to do the work and you get to make them into gifts that people (like your family members) will love! My friend Mishawn was just telling me they make an ornament every year for the grandparents and write the kids names & the year on the back. Now it’s a tradition that everyone looks forward to! So get creative…have fun…and enjoy!  And be sure to check out the dollar stores and dollar sections of stores like Target…they usually have great ideas like these “stain-glass window” ornaments!

 Here is one where I had to get really creative…my snowman is on the left and Paige’s is on the right.  I just grabbed a few random things and we made it work.  If you have not used oil pastels you should check it out…they work great on colored paper because the colors stand out  more than crayons. This is just plain old black construction paper. Paige’s snowman family consists of a “pom-pom” child,  a mommy (made with the cotton disks used to remove make-up), a “button” child, and a pastel drawn daddy! There is no wrong way to do it…with a little guidance and open mind you can have fun!
 
Wrapping paper fun…
 If making the crafts into gifts is too much of a stretch for you…why not make the wrapping paper?  Just add pretty ribbon!  Elsie helped me make this wrapping paper a few years ago…it’s just brown paper on a roll and finger paints!  You can do this with sponges or stamps.  You can make stamps with corks, apples and even potatoes cut into any shape you like!  Play around with dipping different textures like wadded up plastic bags or Brillo pads or even loofah’s in the paint and make a pattern.  Throw some stickers on there and call it good!
Finger paints are so fun that Paige and i did this last year…these became little pieces of wrapping paper for books and CD’s…I just figured stripping her down was the best way to go to avoid going crazy if she stained something!
Here are some other fun ideas:
Happy Crafting this weekend!
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