Monday, February 21, 2011

A Belated Valentine's Day Post

Lately, I have not been a fan of Valentine's Day. In fact, over the past few years, I've started looking at it as just another day, not getting what the huge deal was. Then I read this inspiring post by TB over at Year 31. She basically says that Valentine's Day should be spent celebrating all kinds of love, not just for couples. I am totally on board with this. And when I looked at Valentine's Day from that perspective, I started getting excited.

I was also envious of the awesome Valentine's Day crafts that she created with her son, and was finding myself regretting that I hadn't planned anything like that for Owen and Ben. But then she kindly pointed out to me that Valentine's Day wasn't here yet, so I still had time to do something. And I did. We totally winged it, but here's how Owen and I celebrated Valentine's Day:

Owen attends a playgroup at a local college that meets every Monday and Wednesday (two hours with just one child!) We were lucky enough to be assigned snack duty on Valentine's Day. We wanted to make something Valentine-themed, but unfortunately, the one time that I actually went to the store, I forgot to pick up decorating items for his snack. So, I improvised. His playgroup is in the morning, so I didn't want to do anything super sugary for snack. I settled on making apple muffins and disguised them as cupcakes. (I'm tricky like that sometimes)

We had some white frosting leftover from my birthday (it was still good, I read the label), and through a stroke of genius, I realized that we could use some strawberry Jell-O powder to color the frosting pink. I am brilliant. (And as an added bonus, the frosting became strawberry flavored!). Owen decorated the "cupcakes" with some red sugar leftover from Christmas cookies.

He likes to keep things centered.

They turned out looking like some pretty convincing cupcakes.

I did this one. The sugar is too spread out to have been done by Owen.

On Valentine's Day itself, we baked Daddio one of his favorite desserts, a Boston Creme Pie. It came out okay. Owen wanted the cream inside to be pink like his cupcakes, but that turned out to be a big disaster. Note to self: Coloring vanilla pudding with strawberry Jell-O mix will result in an unnatural orange, gelatinous goo. (Duh moment. Pink + yellow = orange, NOT pink! Someone obviously did not pay attention in art class).

I'll confess. It didn't really taste any better than it looked.

Owen wanted to make a Valentine for Daddio, so I busted out my new Cricut that I received as a gift from my mom for Christmas (first time being used!) and cranked out some hearts and flowers for Owen to use. He was into it for about ten minutes.

So many fun decorations to choose from!

Things got a little sticky.

The end result.

I also decided to try to decorate the dining room and make it look "festive" while the boys were resting/napping. With very little to work with, I ended up pulling out red place mats from Christmas and hung up some hearts, also made on my Cricut.

I should at least get an "E" for effort!

Complete with our Valentine goodies.

I think that I did pretty well for throwing everything together at the last minute. I will definitely be more prepared next year! But all in all, Owen had fun decorating and baking, and was delightfully surprised with his treats. And of course we already know how Ben spent his Valentine's Day:

Throwing one back in honor of single guys everywhere.


  1. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! Thanks for the shout-out. I thought I'd lost you when you discovered that I am a crazed stalker-type MMC fan.

    That was a great idea making the muffins into cupcakes! I need to do that. The Kid barely ever eats the cake part anyway, so I may as well make them semi-healthy.

    Thank you, also, for reminding me about the wonders of Jello as a food-coloring. I completely forgot that my mom used to do that...brings back happy memories! :)

  2. Don't worry! It takes a lot more than obsessing over teen idols to lose me! :-)

    Owen actually wanted to take muffins for snack, but as we discovered last time we took them, not all of the kids like muffins. But I believe they all ate them this time around!

    I had never thought of using Jello as food coloring before this. Your mom is brilliant!

  3. I'd say you did pretty darn well. Did you see all the goodies you have on your table? Um... yum!

  4. Thanks. The majority of our goodies were actually provided by Grandma and Aunt W and Sam and other members of Daddio's family. However, I made out like a bandit; a bracelet, earrings, a watch and chocolate from the boys (someone must have been trying to make up for Christmas and my birthday), and a bracelet from Aunt W ("from" the boys).

  5. Ooh... fancy. And all I got were some flowers, some chocolate and a trip to McDonalds. (Which, in all honesty, was a little much for me. I mean, flowers AND chocolate? Who does that?)


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