Valentine’s Love

I have always loved Valentine’s Day!  It’s by far the holiday I miss the most from my teaching days, and one that I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid.  To me it’s more than showing love to that one special someone in your life (although that’s important too), but to all your special someone’s: your best friends, your kids, parents, siblings, students, or co-workers.  It’s showing a little love and thought to those who mean the most to you all year long.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming, a card, or flower or homemade cookie can go a long way!  This year I’ve had so much fun sharing the Valentine’s Day love with my little one.  Gianna and I took advantage of the much needed rainy days we finally had last week and hung inside creating Valentine’s for our loved ones.

Oh, and when we did go out in the rain she got to wear her adorable rain jacket my parent’s brought back from Italy for her.

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Okay back to crafts..

Cards –

We created cards using a combo of some pinterest ideas I found for toddler Valentine crafts (follow me on Pinterest and see where I got lots of inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/noelschap/ ) and a little of my own craftiness.  Here’s what we came up with and how we did it.

I started with the inside of the card and painted G’s hands to make heart shaped hand prints. Now this was fun but messy and a little crazy…some cards ended up with random handprints on them, and there was lots of paint smearing.  I opted to trace where the heart shape was supposed to be as it was a bit hard to tell on some, apparently telling and trying to guide a two year old to put their red painted hand exactly where you want it is a little more difficult than I thought.

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For the outside I wanted to use burlap and some cute V-day scrapbook paper I found at the craft store, but also wanted a way for G to be part of the front of the card.  I used a Pinterest idea of making a heart shaped stamp out of a toilet paper roll for her to use to help decorate the front.  Again, trying to guide her to stamp right where I wanted the stamp didn’t happen but they still turned out super cute.  And isn’t that the point?  Letting go of perfection and letting the little ones create.  A very wise art teacher would tell me students that “perfect art is boring”, and I am finally learning to agree!

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Making our cards not only saved money, which my husband loved, but also saved me the agony of standing in the card aisle with a restless two year old trying to pick the appropriate card for everyone on our list.  Plus it was so fun creating with Gianna so it was really a win for everyone!

Candle Holders –

I saw these DIY candle holders on where else…Pinterest, and knew it was the perfect craft for me this year.  I have tons of mason jars piling up in our garage from parties so I knew I could do this craft for family and friends all with items I had right at home. Here’s the original pin:http://www.pinterest.com/pin/244320348508908901/  and a here’s how mine turned out.

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Just some colored tissue, and a paste (water and Elmer’s glue) to attach the tissue hearts to the glass and then frost the glass with and you’ve got it. They really look awesome lit up!

Wreath –

This was actually my first Valentine’s craft this year and I  was so excited about it I put it up as soon as I got it done, even though it was a few days before February 1st.

I used a styrofoam wreath ring, painted it red and wrapped it in red burlap garland I found way on sale at Beverly’s Crafts.  Side note – the red die from the garland totally dyed my hands, shirt and craft mat red…maybe that’s why it was so discounted…

I bought the wooden x’s and o’s and painted them with craft paint I had at home.  Then I cut the triangles out of burlap and painted a heart on each.  I used red puff paint to outline the heart then brushed the paint in.  I free-handed them and kind of like that they aren’t all the exactly the same.  I used hot glue to attach the burlap hearts to some twine and then tied that into the wreath.

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I hope you enjoy these crafts and they inspire you to get in the Valentine’s Day spirit this week and show a little love for all the special people around you!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Christmas Prep

Over the last two weeks our house has been bustling with holiday prep.  We’ve been decorating, Elf on the Shelf-ing, shopping, wrapping, and even doing a bit of crafting.  I am so loving how into Christmas my girl is this year!  She points out decorations all over town and is into all the classic Christmas kid movies.  She has a few fave Christmas songs and can even sing most of them (although if I have to listen to “Frosty” one more time in the car I might go crazy!).  She loves her Elf, Snowflake, and looks forward to adding one more magnetic ornament to our Christmas tree count down calendar each day.  It’s by Melissa & Doug and it’s so cute, I hope it lasts for years to come.

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Today I want to some Christmas crafts and some fun pics of our family enjoying the season.

Décor –

Holiday Trees:  I got this idea last year from where else…Pinterest.  Find the original pin here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/244320348506396292/.  I got all my supplies from Michael’s craft store and went to town.  Here’s what you’ll need: Styrofoam cone trees (multiple sizes), decorations (tinsel, boas, feathers, holly berries, be creative), and silver spray paint. I started by spray painting all the cones to help fill in any holes or areas that could be seen through the decorations.  Then I pulled out my hot glue gun and got to work.  The tree wrapped in tinsel or a boa were the simplest.  FYI hot glue and feathers (the tall white tree) are a dangerous mix, but sure looks pretty.

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As you can see my trees turned out a little more Vegas, than vintage as in the original pin, but I love them, and let’s be real I live in a subdivision and don’t have tons of acorn caps etc. laying around my yard to craft with.  Just goes to show that Pinterest is full of great ideas, some you copy exactly and some are fun to make your own.

Christmas Wreath:  I can’t take credit for my holiday wreath this year, but it’s so pretty I wanted to share it.

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My mom made it for me based on this Pinterest pin:http://www.pinterest.com/pin/104779128800449064/ .  All you need is a craft letter, background paint, fake holly berries, a glue gun, and some pretty ribbon to hang it.

Comin in Hott!: The last craft I’ll share with you is the craft Todd and I are giving to our family and friends as this year’s homemade gift.  Gianna and I made a crafty gift as well but that is a surprise for some grandparents and great-grandparents who read this blog, so I will be sharing that after Christmas.   Anyways, this year Todd and I decided, after seeing a quick-fire challenge on Bravo’s Top Chef, that we wanted to make our own hot sauce.  We both love spicy foods and hot sauce and wanted to have something fun and homemade to give out to family and friends over the holiday season.  After some research, and a few trips to different grocery stores searching for ingredients, we got started.  The process took a few nights and there were a few bumps or I should say burns along the way.  One the night Todd de-seeded a few pounds of hot red peppers (gloveless) and ended up with burning hands and a few other body parts he inadvertently came into contact with during the process…  The other was the night we bottled the sauce and Todd tried to “slowly” pour a large pot of boiling hot, hot sauce into a small funnel that I was holding over the bottle we were pouring the final product into.  I ended up with a few instant blister burns, but got out of doing the dishes that night and took some joy in watching Todd ladle the rest of the sauce into the bottles as I had suggested in the first place.  All in all it was a fun process and we are so happy with our final product, a bit of kick with sweet notes as well.  Look for an exact recipe soon!

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Here is the rest of what we’ve been up to –

Elf on the Shelf:  A few favorites from the last week or so.  Follow me on Instagram http://instagram.com/noelschapmire to see what Snowflake is up to each day!

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8Last weekend I was so lucky to attend the San Francisco Ballet’s performance of the “Nutcracker” with my mom, sister and grandmother.  It’s a tradition we used to do when my sister and I were young and it was so special to go all together again this year.  I can’t wait to share that experience with Gianna in the year’s to come. photo 1I hope you all are able to take some time and enjoy the joys of the Christmas season with family and friends over the next week.  I can’t wait to share with you all of our Christmas week happenings as well.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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