I wanted a little gift for Chris and Natalie (I already had a little owl "big girl" cup for Abby, along with a small box of chocolates with yet another owl, lol), so when I saw a similar idea online, I knew I had to try. It didn't take me long to write my own poem. :)
ThenI collected all the candies - Riesens, Goobers, LifeSavers, Starburst, Symphony, and Kisses...
I got a laugh from Chris and an "lol" from Natalie (after Chris sent her a picture on his phone) which was quickly followed by "That's not actually candy is it?!" (We're all trying to diet).
A school Valentine's Day party calls for an extra special hairstyle.
Like a fishtail braid! (Abby couldn't really see it, but she got a kick out of the name).
And extra-special matching cousin dresses! These were the easiest things to make once I'd figured out the applique panel. Just cut a square of your favorite material, sew three little felt hearts randomly on it, attach it to a store-bought shirt, then attach a matching skirt to the bottom of the shirt. Voila! Even sewing-phobic me was good with these. I'll post a tutorial in a bit.
After I dropped Abby off at school, I headed to a local beauty shop for a girl date with my running partner! We agreed that getting our nails done is waaay more fun than trying to increase our run/walk ratio :)
Isn't this a fun color? The selection at the salon wasn't all that great, or else I don't think I would have normally considered it, but now that I have it, I love it! Strangely, so does my family. :) Thanks to Beanhead and Darrell for the gift certificate - you totally didn't have to, but it sure was fun! :)
My owl ring is a gift from my running partner, who knows of my love for owls and has a similar ring which I've threatened to steal many times. :) Best of all, it actually FITS! (I have chunky fingers lol so finding rings to fit is a challenge).
Chris brought me home flowers and a beautiful card (with a mouse!)
(The note cracks me up... Sydney - their doggie - and I have been needing serious relationship counseling lately...)
So, at our house this year we kids drew each other's names out of a hat for "Secret Valentines". The idea was to do special things for our Valentine throughout the day, being very careful to be secretive, then do a reveal at dinner. I came home and found my bedroom door had been decorated!
And then later on I discovered my bed had been covered in chocolate hearts! :) I may have shrieked in happiness just a little...
Dinner was on me this year, as everybody else had quite a busy day. I wrote out the menu earlier in the week - appetizer salads in bacon bowls, heart-shaped meatloaves, roasted green beans, homemade mashed potatoes, and a chocolate raspberry cake for dessert.
Here's a quick tutorial on how to make bacon bowls.
Invert a muffin tin over a jellyroll pan. I used a tin with extra-big muffin cups and it worked great.
Place the halves on the tins, overlapping slightly. I don't know how else to write that, but hopefully the pictures will help!
Wrap the final slice of bacon around the base of the cup, and SECURE WITH A TOOTHPICK. This is important. (The ones below had toothpicks stuck in them too late) If you don't do this, your bowls will look like this:
If, on the other hand, you DO secure the ends with a toothpick, they will turn out like THIS:
This is better. :) Cook until cooked through but not crispy, wiggle them off the muffin tin, place them upright on a baking sheet, and finish cooking.
I filled them with baby greens and herbs, chopped tomato, cucumber, and thinly-sliced radish, and drizzled them with homemade raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette dressing. They were amazing. :) I'm gonna post the dressing recipe up here soon. I also painted a tiny heart with dressing on each salad place.
Our heart meatloaves turned out well.
The green beans gave me fits but turned out well, too. :)
After dinner, we all had a glass of sparkling cider, revealed who we'd gotten as our secret Valentine, and shared a few qualities or character traits we loved most about our valentine.