14 days of love {last minute gift ideas}


It’s the 13th of February which means if you are going to do a craft, make a valentine or offer up a gift it’s the ninth hour!

I thought I would round up a couple of ideas I had rummaging around my head given more time and money.

One thing I really almost bought this year was this Mr/Mrs Journal by dayspring. I actually found it at Hobby Lobby yesterday and had a 40% off coupon burning in my pocket. Alas I decided against it right now, but it’s still a great little gift I have in mind for our anniversary coming up this spring. They have a full line of Mr/Mrs items from post it notes to mugs to all sorts of other random things.

One project I’ve almost started a couple of times is this idea of making a book of 52 reasons I love you using a deck of cards. The chick who came up with the idea even has a website dedicated to just this idea now.

It’s too late for this now, but it would be fun to do this 7 days of love leading up to valentine’s day (or an anniversary).

Our plan for tomorrow is to have a special breakfast (probably some donuts from this amazing local donut shop in town and we are celebrating with our community group by having chocolate fondue!

What do you all have up your sleeves?

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14 days of love {mustache valentines}


There are a handful of mustache oriented valentines floating around the web. My guy did not want to do suckers, so we took an idea that I had seen on etsy and made some photo booth like props for his valentine this year.

We looked around for pixie sticks to be the mustache holders and didn’t have much luck. So we opted for pencils instead.

Mustache valentines 2013

I found this mustache printable here and all we did was simply print it out onto cardstock, cut them out, write a little note on the back and tape them onto pencils.


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days of love {fishy valentines}


We have a tradition of making our own valentine’s and this was the year that I realized how perfect this holiday is for my gift oriented daughter. Actually my husband is the one who looked at her this weekend all excited about making her class valentine’s and realized that this is the perfect day for her. A week of creating things for her friends and a day of giving them all out. There are a million reasons why I need to pray daily for her husband, but it’s days like this that I realize how much I need to pray that God would be raising up a man that would see this in her and answer it.

I gave her a couple of options for Valentine’s that I had pinned.

with chalk…




swedish fish…





She loves swedish fish and hoping that she would get to eat some of them I think led her to choose that idea.

I bought a giant bag of swedish fish (walmart for ~$5)
a box of snack size baggies (food city $2)
and made my own printable based on this idea (you can download it here)

Fishy valentines 2013


She has had so much fun writing her name on the back, stuffing the baggies and sneaking a few fish every now and then (“this one doesn’t have a good tail, I can’t give that one to my friends!…”)

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14 days of love {day 7}


Today I’m sharing our Valentine gift to our kiddos. Last year we did a year of family adventures. We did pretty well overall, but I did pretty poor planning when it came to the family budget and these adventures. Some months it took us a few extra months to get the activity done and we still have 2 hanging on our fridge. That said, this year we decided to do a mix of individual and family dates.

Our kids are 9 and 6 and at the ages where they are more apt to have a good conversation with us if we are one on one versus as a whole family. I divided up the year and went back and forth between dates with my husband and I and then we have 4 family adventures thrown in there. When one date with a child had money involved I tried hard to make up a frugal or free date for the other one and then swap up as the year progressed. We’ll see how I did as this year goes through!

Valentines year of dates 2013

I printed out labels with distinct clip art, one for the boy and one for the girl. Then I went through and made little cards with the date written on it and whether it was with mom, dad or a family date. My mom had a huge stack of random little envelopes so I just used those and glued down the month labels on the outside and stuck the date cards inside. So this year they will each have a little envelope to open up the first of every month.


Valentines year of dates 2013

Now I’m trying to figure out what to store them in. I know Target has those little fun mailboxes so I may just go grab a couple of those or I might make little bags to hang somewhere in the kitchen where we won’t forget them.


Here are a few examples of our dates:

for the chick:
trip to coffeehouse, pedicures at home, ice cream date, tea party with dad, craft/sewing activity with mom, buy a plant at a nursery and bring it home and plant it, bake holiday treats

for the boy:
trip to coffeehouse, batting cages with dad, fishing, woodworking project with dad, bake a fancy cake with mom, visit to a local museum

for the family:
chocolate fondue night, family water gun fight, day of giant blanket forts, children’s choice holiday activity

If you are interested in a pdf version of my templates, please email me and I’ll be happy to send you a copy.

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14 days of love {day 6}


Today I’m sharing my valentine for my Valentine 🙂
One goal my husband and I have (and are seriously failing at) is going out on dates or even just connecting at night after the kiddos go to bed. I’ve seen lots of different ideas like this posted around the web and pinned on Pinterest. I sort of combined a couple of different ideas and made up my own.

valentine dates 2013

I decided to make 12 cards for 12 months. The idea being that we open one up the first day of each month. They aren’t labeled by month, but sorted by cost. The envelope clip art is for dates that are less than $5 and the clip art with the couple are more than $10 dates and/or require some planning and/or babysitting.

valentine dates 2013

After I folded them up and taped them closed, I put them all in my little silver mailbox waiting to give on the 14th!

Here’s a sample of some of our date ideas…
make milkshakes at home
rent a movie
play a game of cards
plan and do a practical joke on the kids
make ice cream sundaes
play video games
order take out and eat by candlelight
bed and breakfast (either go to one, or get a sitter and stay home with a special breakfast out the next morning)
dinner and a movie
dessert only date
fondue night
golf range or batting cages (my one token man date!)

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