Valentine’s Day

14 02 2012

If you know me, you know I’m a little bah-humbugish about all these so called “holidays”.  Before I had kids, I ignored them completely, buying candy for Halloween just to head off any potential eggings (and failing, I might add), and ignoring Valentine’s day completely, along with St. Patrick’s day, cinco de mayo…you get the idea.  I give you this line from Wikipedia, the source of all easy-to-find knowledge: “No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs [Saint Valentine].”  There were 2 (or maybe 3) Saint Valentines, and none of them related to love, marriage, or anything of the sort.  And yet we must buy cards, chocolate, flowers, jewelry?  I always found it so pointless.  But once the kids are old enough, it becomes inevitable.  At school, they had parties yesterday (for BB) and today (for LB), kids hand out valentines, heart-shaped crafts are made, little girls are decked out in pink, red, and heart-emblazoned outfits.  BB has already decided that this whole valentine business must be for girls, because they like pink.  Astute or prejudiced?

Well, we had to do valentines, so valentines we did.  I searched Pinterest for some good boy-ish ones, since BB’s class is all boys.  I found this awesome one on stitch/craft, printed it out, added the glow bracelets we had left over from Halloween (I bought them as non-candy alternatives; you can guess how popular they were), and voila!


Super-cool, and very easy!  And wow, BB’s handwriting looks just like his mom’s, haha!  No, my writing is ever so slightly more legible.  He’ll get there.  I also volunteered to make cookies, because I’m masochistic like that. 


“Please, give me the job that’s the most work!”  I’m often the last one at drop off and pick up, which means I’m often the last one to sign up for the party supplies list.  Anyway, I was going to do cutout cookies, but decided at the last minute to inaugurate my cookie press, which I’ve had for ages and never used.  Not bad, eh?  It was easier than rolling cookies, but not by a lot. 

Today I made some very, very last-minute valentines for LB.  I found some cute printables here on one charming party, edited the jpg to be just one image, made a table in Word, copied and here it is:

valentine screenshot

I cut them out and stuck them on fruit flats, and there you go, a valentine fit for a 2-year-old who only cares about the fruit flat.  I managed to confiscate all candy after each child had 1 lollipop.  Not too bad. 

Now I had met the minimum holiday requirements.  And yet, I felt like I should do more.  I blame this entirely on Pinterest, which makes it look like everyone does special holiday-themed meals.  (And also handmade valentines.  For anyone whose children are not old enough for this nonsense, or who doesn’t have children period, let me give you a reality check: ours were the only handmade ones in the lot.  So making lovely handcrafted valentines is definitely not a requirement.  Not that ours were lovely; they were very basic and utilitarian in that they used up things I needed to get rid of.  Anyway.)  For breakfast, I added a small heart made of jam to our usual peanut butter and banana oatmeal. 


For lunch I brought along some of these wonderful pretzel turtles that I first saw on facebook (thanks Mandy!), then looked up (where else) on Pinterest.  No picture, but if you like turtles (the chocolate, caramel, and pecan kind), check out that link!  Yummmm!  They were really easy.  I made some for LB’s teacher, and some extra for us.  Then for dinner I made pizza, and just for kicks, and because I had beet powder lying around that I need to use up (who doesn’t?), I made pink pizza dough.  I made 2 little heart-shaped pizzas, and let the boys top them themselves.  They loved it!




They even (gasp!) ate toppings on the pizza!  Red pepper, to be precise.  It was pretty exciting.  Finish it off with a flourless chocolate cake, and call it a day!


What became of Christmas – a very belated post

12 02 2012

January found our advent tree looking like this:


Look closely and you will see that time stopped for us on December 22nd, when family rolled into town.  Follow that with a trip out of town and a bout of illness, and I’ve been away from the computer for a while!  So here is a quick rundown of what I managed to put together as far as handmade gifts.  For my sister, I made another buttercup bag:

IMG_0171 I was so happy with how it came out, and I think she was too!  The t-shirt flower is just attached with a pin, so it can be changed out if wanted.  The strap was an old belt; the lining an old shirt… I am making a slow but steady dent in my “to recycle” pile of old clothing.  Another one to add to that score: a scarf for my mom!

IMG_0048 I didn’t get a picture before I gave it to her, but here it is in action, on Christmas morning!  I made it using this tutorial, from an old cashmere sweater that she had given me to make into pants for the boys.  :)  Well, LB won’t wear “fuzzy pants”, so I found a different use for it!  If I find the time, I might just have to make one for myself….

For LB, I was running out of time, but I quickly put together an apron for him.  Not just any apron, this is an apron that matches mine and BB’s; it signifies his promotion to bona fide kitchen assistant!  He was, well, not overwhelmed when he opened it.  Not as exciting as the huge and wonderful toys he received.  But when the commotion died down, he was thrilled to don his apron and “do cooking”, as he calls it. 

IMG_5223 As an aside, the very first sewing pattern I ever bought was for an apron.  I can’t believe I spent the money on it!  I’ve made 3 now with no pattern, and it’s super easy.  The only thing I did differently for LB’s was make the neck band of elastic.  Toddler heads are so big!  Now we all have a matchy-matchy set of green linen aprons.  Yay!

For BB, I also didn’t have much time to make something, but I knew a LOT of lego was in our future, so I made a lego sack

IMG_0085 Not a great picture of it, but you can see the idea.  Toss the legos on the sack (the white circle), pull the strings, and voila!  The legos are contained in a sack.  It’s too bad I don’t have a picture of the outside; it’s a very cute flannel print with monsters.  The one thing I did differently than the tutorial was to put 2 buttonholes on each side, so that the rope can’t get pulled inside the casing.  It’s working out very well to contain the explosion of legos so far!

So, that’s a brief update from the domestic front.  If I have a chance, I have several other (more recent) projects to post!