Strawberry Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

I have one Valentine's Day tradition; every year I make a heart-shaped, strawberry cake. They started out as cakes from box mixes. And then as my baking prowess progressed, I began trying my hand at "from scratch" recipes. This year, since cupcakes seem to be "all the rage", I thought I'd mix things up a bit and do strawberry cupcakes. As with most new ventures these days, my journey began on Pinterest. After pinning several ideas, I settled on two criteria: the cake part had to use fresh strawberries and there had to be a chocolate element. I settled on these cupcakes from Annie Eats, this frosting from Martha Stewart Living, and these chocolate filigree hearts also from Martha Stewart Living. What resulted was a moist, creamy, fresh tasting delicacy! The use of the fresh … [Read more...]

How to Create a Care Package for Your Long Distance Lover

There are many ways to cope with the difficulties associated with a long distance relationship, and one such coping method is creating a care package to show your partner how much he is missed. It’s a simple gesture that doesn’t take a lot of time but is so full of thought and love. Here are several ideas for creating the perfect package: Personalize the Care Package Contents The more you personalize your care package, the more impact it will have. If you include store-bought items, add your own personal touches to make them unique and special. For example, if you buy him a book, write a note on the inside cover or make a bookmark and hide it inside. If he likes chocolate, you can order personalized M&M’s. Get Creative With Your Gifts While it’s great to include some of … [Read more...]

Saying I Love You…in a Way He Understands

Saying I love you comes easily to me (in fact, it’s really not hard for me to say anything at all!). However, saying I love you in a way my husband understands…now that’s a different story. Taking time to understand the way your husband operates can reveal a lot about your relationship. The “less talk, more action” policy has never been truer than it is when attempting to show a man he is truly loved. For instance, here are a few husband gifts you may not have previously considered: Unexpected Love Notes My husband is a man of few words (aren’t most men?). But just because he doesn’t talk a lot doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to hear that I love him. While he may not hear my words, he does notice them when I write them down. That’s why I’ve started leaving him love notes. No…not old … [Read more...]

Oreos for Valentine’s Day

Share the love this Valentine's Day with this simple idea for Oreo cookies dipped in almond bark. With just a few store bought items, you will be on your way to celebrating the "holiday of love" (or any day) with this sweet treat! Beware, however, because after you have tasted them, you won't be able to eat just one! Here are the goodies you'll need: 1 Pakage of Almond Bark (I used CandiQuick - White) 1 Package Oreo Cookies (or other round dippable cookie) Wax or Parchment Paper Assorted Sprinkles or icing writers Microwave Cookie Sheet Directions: Step 1: Spread out wax paper across cookie sheet. Melt the almond bark in the microwave according to the directions on the package. Place your oreos and your bark to the side of your cookie sheet Step 2: Dip one … [Read more...]

The Most Fragrant Flowers

Whether it’s a blooming bouquet or a single stalk artfully posed in a glass vase, nothing brightens up a room like fresh cut flowers. It’s also a sure way to make any woman smile, as I like to remind my husband and children. And because there are so many venues to get them—wholesale and retail florists, farmers markets, roadside stands, pick-your-own operations, grocery stores, and even the internet—even last minute remembrances and impulse buys will yield beautiful blooms. Attractive flowers don’t necessarily have a pleasing smell or any scent at all. So if you are looking for a touch of aromatherapy with your flowers, then you will need to have some working knowledge of the more popular fresh cut flowers. Sunflowers, for instance, while remarkable for their color and size, do not give … [Read more...]

Purr-fect Kitty Valentine’s Day Crafts

My four-year-old's preschool class loves to play kitties, so we thought a friendly kitty Valentine would be purr-fect! Supplies: construction paper or cardstock for the card (we used a cut-up painting my daughter made at preschool) one large heart for the head (we cut ours from construction paper) two medium hearts for ears (we used foam stickers) one small heart for the nose (we used a sticker) googly eyes marker for drawing whiskers glue You can make your kitties out of whatever you have on hand -- paper, felt, fabric, stickers, doilies, etc. We made one kitty together, then my daughter was able to refer to that one to make the rest. We added a printed label that says, "You are a purr-fect friend!" On the back, she'll sign her name and tape on a tasty organic … [Read more...]