It’s February and that means Valentines Day. Every year we look for Valentine crafts that the kids can share with their class. My 2 grandchildren old enough to go to school are boys so we are always looking for “boyish” Valentines for them to share. Check out my post DIY Valentines for Boys to Give for “boyish” Valentine ideas.
Last fall we were blessed with twin grandbabies and one of them is a girl! (I have 5 grandchildren – 4 boys and 1 girl) I’m so excited to finally be able to shop and craft for a little girl again. Although baby Harper is barely 5 months old I’ve started to collect Valentine crafts that are “girly girly”.
Here’s a round-up of Valentines that every little girl will love to make and share, some of them even have FREE printables to use on your projects with your little princess.
I love this easy and inexpensive idea and FREE printable tags from Tatertots & Jello. Fill a dollar store clear pouch with candy, lip balm, nail polish, or other trinket, stick on a tag, and give them to your teen or tweeny. The girls can put together pouches to give their friends.
I think these games are a great way to interact with neighbors, specially those that you just greet in passing. The whole family will enjoy it. It’s also a great lesson in sharing. Kids can help put treats together and older ones can even drop them off at a neighbor’s doorstep. Everyone has fun guessing who left the treats!
For Valentine’s I’m sharing printables for a Valentine’s version of the game, You’ve Been Loved!. It works the same way as all the other You’ve Been…. games and can be played in the neighborhood, at work, in school, or anywhere else you can think of. I’ve made 2 versions of the sign to post on your door, desk, or whatever to indicate you’ve been loved, one for families and another for individuals. I;ve also made a page with directions how to continue the game.
Click on the image to be taken to the .pdf file you can print.
1. Make 2 copies of this page, and the other 2 pages that came with your treat. If you prefer you can download the .pdf files from http://tinyurl.com/ogf78d3. Just click on the images of the signs you want to use.
2. Display the “I’ve Been Loved” (or “We’ve Been Loved”) sign where everyone can see it.
3. Put together 2 treat bags. Include a set of the copies you printed of the 2 signs and this page with your treats.
4. Drop of a treat to 2 neighbor’s doorsteps without being spotted. If you are playing this at work or school drop it off on their desk when no one can see you.
A few days before Christmas I happened to be at my neighborhood Walmart and noticed that they were already displaying Valentine cards and candy. I thought “Wow, a bit early! I still need to get thru Christmas and New Year before I can turn my attention to Valentine’s Day!” Well, the holidays went by at warp speed, as did January. Valentine’s Day is in two weeks!
Every year we always have a hard time persuading my grandsons that it’s okay for boys to hand out Valentine treats that are pink! This never goes over well with 6 year old Devon who will not even consider touching anything pink. Last year we were fortunate enough to find small heart shaped boxes of chocolates with “boy” design lids, but it got rather pricey when we had to purchase them for his entire Kindergarten class of 28 students.
This year we found some really cut DIY valentine ideas that Devon will not only be happy to give out to his classmates; he will have fun helping make them! Here’s a round-up of our favorites….girls will enjoy making them and giving them out too!
The New England Patriots will be playing in Super Bowl XLIX next week. If you’re lucky enough to be headed to Arizona to watch the game live in the University of Phoenix Stadium great! Otherwise a less expensive option may be to head to one of the team’s home cities.
If you’re a Patriot fan then Boston is definitely the next best place to be on Super Bowl Sunday. Celebrate the big game at one of Boston’s many sports bars who are sure to be hosting grand parties and celebrations, specially if theirs turns out to be the winning team.
Here are a few venues that will be hosting Super Bowl Parties this year:
Clery’s hosts an annual Super Bowl Party for $25 per person. The ticket includes a guaranteed table for your group, 2 beers, an appetizer sampler the first half, and a pizza buffet the second half. If you get bored you can participate in their annual wing eating contest. Get your tickets in advance, they will likely sell out. Buy tickets at Clerys (113 Dartmouth St, Back Bay, 617-262-9874) or www.clerysboston.com
If you prefer head out to Foxborough for a tailgate party in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium (home base for the Patriots) and watch the game at one of the sports bars in Patriot Place next to Gillette.
By now everyone knows that Super Bowl XLIX will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area for the event then Super Bowl Central in Downtown Phoenix is the place to be.
As expected the city of Phoenix is going all out for both the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl which will be played at the same stadium the week before. Super Bowl Central or #SBCentral, is an outdoor block party with live music, parties, fireworks, and more. Best of all many of the events are free!
A couple of the free concerts at Super Bowl Central are the band “Walk the Moon” on Friday night and “The Roots” on Saturday night.
Broadcasts out of Phoenix during the week will be done from SB Central. Shows like The TODAY Show, NBC Sports, and more will have celebrity guests so star sightings in the area will be very common. Hang out here with your camera ready, you might catch a glimpse of your favorite celeb!
You can also tour 12 News’ home studio by signing up in advance for the 12 News VIP Experience.
They will be welcoming guests at their plaza with games, beverages, snacks, and giveaways. You can tour their studio and more. Click here for more info!
Photo 12 News
Here are some other activities in the area that may interest you.
The centerpiece of SBCentral is the Grand Canyon Experience. It’s a rock-climbing wall and waterfall that showcases this natural wonder. Cost is $5 to climb.
The ice rink at CityScape will be open for ice skating during the Super Bowl. The cost is $12 for kids and adults with discounts offered to Military, seniors, college students, and groups.
Check out the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. There will exhibits and activities for the whole family. Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for kids 12 and under. For more info click here!
There are concerts by Eric Church and Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull and a Suns game at the U.S, Airways Center.
Whatever you decide to do on Super Bowl week remember that traffic in and around SBCentral will be restricted and security will be tight. Plan your routes ahead and consider public transportation in and out of the area.
Super Bowl Parties are fun informal events that should be easy to organize and put together. The theme has been taken care of, football decor of course, and the main activity is watching the game. All you really need are a big screen TV, some comfy seating, and lots of snacks.
Tho the game, half-time show, and commercials are the main draws of Super Bowl Sunday, food comes in a close second. For some gorging on snacks is the main event! The informal nature of this event begs for food stations and bars; no one wants to sit down to a 5 course meal, everyone wants to grab snacks they can munch in front of the TV.
In recent years no Super Bowl Party seems to be incomplete if it doesn’t have a Snack Stadium. It can do double duty as decor and food. It’s a fun, easy, and informal way to feed a crowd. If you’re looking for something a bit more sophisticated you might consider one or two food action stations such as a DIY Burger Bar and a sweets or dessert bar. Here are some food station ideas for your Super Bowl Party. I’m also including a snack stadium or two for anyone who must have one at their party.
One of our Christmas traditions is a Christmas Eve Box. We allowed the kids to open a gift on Christmas Eve years before images of Christmas Eve Boxes started popping up on Pinterest. We’ve been doing this since the children were small and now the grandkids get them too!
The kids were always nagging to be allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve and I would always buy them Christmas PJs to wear to bed on the same night. Years ago I decided to combine the two and everyone was happy. The kids got to open a gift and I didn’t have to buy an extra gift for it. The boxes have evolved over the years to include a “fun” item that can be used that day. Past boxes have included Christmas books, CDs, and DVDs.
Now that my children are grown with families of their own they each get “Family Boxes”. This year’s boxes include:
Cute Christmas themed nightgown for my daughters and daughter-in-law
Flannel pajama bottoms and thermal shirt for my son and son-in-laws
Christmas pajamas for the grands
The classic Christmas poem “T’was the Night Before Christmas”
Fleece Christmas Throw
Plush Rudolph toys for the grands
Hot Cocoa Mix with toppings
I love this tradition and the kids do too, they usually hurry into their new Christmas nightwear to take a Christmas Eve photo by the Christmas tree. They make for great before Santa photos and also great for Christmas morning photos when we all gather around the tree to open gifts after orange juice and cocoa.
It’s 2 days before Christmas, the hope is all the gifts have been purchased and ready to wrap. Gift bags are the easy option and definitely have their place under the Christmas tree; they’re handy and can wrap oddly shaped items, but they can get costly and may seem somewhat generic. I’ve always been a big fan of “presentation” and always take the time to creatively wrap all the presents.
I think being a product of a girls only Catholic School and many hours of detention have made me an obsessive gift wrapper. I spent many afternoons before Christmas with my cohorts in the conference room under Sister Maureen’s watchful eyes wrapping Christmas gifts for each girl in school. Sister Maureen was an exacting taskmaster, every present had to be perfectly wrapped with square corners and invisible seams then topped with a perfect bow. So other than a great education I graduated 8th. grade knowing how to perfectly wrap gifts.
The secret to professional looking gift wrapping is simple: More tape; less paper. Here are a few tips along with some ideas to help you wrap your gifts.
1. Measure the girth (around) and the length of the gift.
2. Cut wrapping paper to fit the gift.
3. Place gift on wrong side of paper, tape one edge of paper to gift. If you want invisible seams don’t tape the edge to the middle of the gift, tape it to one side so that there is enough paper to overlap the taped edge and fold over and will tape to the edge of the gift.
4. Wrap the untaped edge to the gift making sure it covers the whole gift. For invisible seams overlap the paper to the taped edge, mark the gift edge on the paper and fold excess paper under to be even with the top of the gift edge. Tape paper to the gift.
5. Gift ends: There are 2 ways to do this: 1. fold top part of paper down, tape to gift. Fold paper sides towards gift to form a triangular flap on the bottom part of the paper. If the edges don’t match up cut the paper to make sure the paper folds so that the edges all match up and the corners are squared, crease sharply at folds. Tape as you fold. Do this to both ends.
2. Fold both sides inward forming slanted flaps on top and bottom of the paper. Sharply crease slanted flaps. Fold bottom flap up and tape. Fold Top flap down to overlap the taped flap and tape.
6. Tie ribbons, bows, and accessories to gift.
7. Tie or stick on gift tag.
Here’s a YouTube tutorial on how to tie the perfect bow
We’re getting down to the wire, Christmas is in 3 days. Some of us are still racking our brains for that perfect gift, a gift that won’t break the bank, or just a couple of extra gifts for unexpected guests.
Here are a few DIY ideas you can put together quickly.
Kids and parents will love the Lego Tray by Somewhat Simple. Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
If you want to be a bit fancier, make it a Lego Table instead. Just use an old end table or pick up a cheap $7 table from Ikea.
Sharpie Mugs by Lillian McKay. You can personalize them or write a holiday greeting.For instructions click here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
I happened to find a great sale on refrigerated pie crusts at my local grocery store the other day. A package of 2 pie crusts for .99 cents was just too good a deal to pass up. I bought all they had and stuck them in my freezer.
I am trying different recipes that will use the pie crusts I have in my freezer. Here’s one I made yesterday that uses Hershey Kisses which I happened to have in my pantry. It’s really easy to make and is a great snack. You can use any type of kisses, I had plain milk chocolate and almond ones so that’s what I used. I got 2 dozen “pockets” out of a package of 2 pie crusts.
1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts per package)
24 Hershey Kisses unwrapped
1/2 cup egg wash (1/2 egg white w/1tbls. water)
Sugar for sprinkling
Directions: Pre-heat oven 350 degrees
1. Roll out pie crust on lightly floured surface.
2. Cut circles using a 2 1/2″ cookie cutter ( if you don’t have a cookie cutter use a wide mouth glass or jar)
3. Place kiss in center of circle
4. Fold two sides over kiss and pinch together
5. Fold other side over kiss and pinch together
6. Pinch all edges together to seal
7. Place on parchment lined baking sheet
8. Brush with egg wash
9. Sprinkle sugar over each “pocket”
10. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-28 minutes.
11. Remove from oven and cool. Store in airtight containers.