Freebies, Holidays

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Roundup

The-Ultimate-Valentines-Day-Roundup!Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite times of the year! I feel like it is a great opportunity to not only celebrate love between the person you love, but with everyone around you, especially your family!

Every year I love to make sure that my whole family knows that I love them! Our Valentine’s Day festivities start on February 1st in our house. It all begins with “heart attacking” my kid’s doors for the next 14 days! Every night after my kids go to bed I make a heart and write a positive affirmation on it or something that I love about them. They absolutely love waking up every morning and finding their new heart and reading what it says!

The other tradition we have is to have dinner on Valentine’s Day as a family. I know some might wonder why we don’t spend this as a couple so here are my reasons. 1. There are so many people that go out on Valentine’s Day 2. My husband and I make it a priority to go on a date a few times a month already 3. The food on Valentine’s Day is not the greatest because they are trying to feed you faster so that they can serve more people. 4. It is hard to find a babysitter on Valentine’s Day because everyone needs one! So what we do is we make our own fancy dinner (yes, the kids love the get out the fancy glasses and have “special drinks” and sparkling cider) and we enjoy teaching our kids how to act at a fancy restaurant. After the kids go to bed Ty and I try to do something at home that we don’t normally do to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

So since I love Valentine’s Day so much I thought it would be the perfect time to come up with the Ultimate Valentine’s Day Roundup equipped with everything you will need this Valentine’s Day to celebrate with you and your family!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas

Valentines-Day-Dinner-Menu

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Dinner at Grits and Pinecones

Family-Valentines-Dinner

Family Friendly Valentine’s Day Dinner at Emmy Mom

t-bone-steak5

T-Bone Steak with Garlic and Rosemary at Kitchen Swagger

filet-mignon-malbec-mushrooms

Filet Mignon with Malbec Mushrooms at Self Proclaimed Foodie

Skillet-Chicken-with-Creamy-Cilantro-Lime-Sauce-3

Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce at Sallys Baking Addiction

pan-seared-sirloin-steak-772

Pan Seared Sirloin Steak for Two at Life Tastes Good

family-fondue-night-teachmama.com-2

How To do a Family Fondue Night at Teach Mama

heart-tortilla-chips

Heart Shaped Tortilla Chips at Smart School House

14-romantic-dinner-ideas

14 Romantic Dinner Ideas at Thank You Honey

Dessert Ideas

valentines-day-popcorn

Valentine’s Day Popcorn at Two Sisters Crafting

Strawberry-Cheesecake-Sweetheart-Truffles-1

Strawberry Cheesecake Sweetheart Truffles at This Mama Needs Cake

Champagne-Cupcakes

Champagne Cupcakes at Simply Made Recipes

Fresh-Strawberry-Cheesecake-main-768x768

Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake at Simply Made Recipes

French-Tost-Churro-Bites-Valentines-1

French Toast Churro Bites at Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts

red-velvet-cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting at A Strong Coffee

Rainbow-heart-cookies

Rainbow Heart Cookies at The Mini Mes and Me

hugs-and-kisses-brownies.jpg

XO Hugs and Kisses Valentines Day Treats & Tic Tac Toe Board at A Hundred Affections 

dark-chocolate-salted-pudding

Homemade Chocolate Pudding with Salted Dark Chocolate at Percolate Kitchen 

chocolate brownie bites with raspberry filling valentines recipe blogger foodie

Brownie Hearts with Raspberry Filling at The Mini Mes and Me

Cherry-cream-cheese-dessert

Cherry Cream Cheese Dessert at White Sand and Cool Breezes 

Valentine’s Printables

Have-a-poppin-valentines-day-printable.png

Valentine’s Day Popcorn Treats with Free Printable at Crazy Life With Littles

unicorn-valentine-printable

Unicorn Lollipop at Frugal Florida Mom

pokemon-valentine

Pokemon Valentine at Frugal Florida Mom

Owl-be-your-valentine-printable

 

Valentine’s Service for Kids and Valentine Printable at Look for Little Helpers

5-Candy-Free-Valentines-Card-Ideas-with-Free-Printables-Tickled-Scarlett

5 Candy Free Valentine’s Cards at Tickled Scarlett

Valentine’s Day Decor

valentines-heart-garland

Heart Garland at the Bear and the Fox

 

Valentine’s Day Crafts

Robot Juice Box Thumbnail

Juice Box Robot Valentines at Foxy’s Domestic Side

love-bug-juice-boxes

Love Bug Juice Boxes at The Gifted Gabber

valentines-craft-

3 Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids at Reluctant Stay at Home Mom

diy-valentines-day-canvas

Valentine’s Day Canvas with Toddlers at Mostly Under Control

valentine-crafts-toddler

Toddler Handprint Heart at Live Love Mess

easy-valentines-day-activities.jpg

Easy Valentine’s Day Craft/Activity at Mostly Under Control

toddler-diy-valentines-day-cards

Toddler Valentine’s Day Cards at Nicole Banuelos

Date Night Ideas

stay-at-home-date-night-ideas

20 Stay at Home Date Night Ideas at Easy Mommy Life

20 Ideas for Perfect Valentines date at Taylor 411

10-at-home-valentines-day-dates.png

10 Home Date Nights Ideas for Valentine’s Day at This Mama Needs Chocolate

Gift Ideas

Best-Valentines-Day-Tees-kids_Facebook

Valentine’s Graphic Tees at Wear Love Wanders

Share-the-Love-Cover

Children’s Books about Love atBabies to Book Worms

The-Gift-of-Love

14 Days of Valentines Gifts at The Gifty Girl

shop-small

Valentine Children’s Clothing at Nicole Banuelos

Valentine’s Books for Babies at The Very Best Baby Stuff

Other Great Ideas

4treetitle

Valentines-Day-at-Home-7-Steps-to-the-Perfect-Valentines-Day-at-Home

7 Steps to a Perfect Valentine’s Day at Home at Running in a Skirt

How to turn Valentine’s day into a meaningful family tradition at The Creek Line House

valentines-photos

Easy Valentine’s Day Photos Ideas at Take Time for Style

Love-Yourself-Party-2

How to Throw a Love Yourself Party at Kayla Dene Blogs

Feel Good Movies for Valentine’s Day at Midwife and Life

5 Ways to do Valentines with a Toddler at Parenting Expert to Mom

Letter to Son on Valentine’s Day at Tales from Mamaville

 

Happy Valentine’s Day Planning!!!!

Blogmas, Christmas, Holidays, Kids

How Older Kids Can Help Little Ones Still Believe

Welcome to Blogmas 2017! We are so excited to have Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger with us today!

I discovered that Santa Claus was a myth when I was 7 years old. Now, I say discovered, because I worked it out myself, rather than being told by my parents (or other kids in school). You see, that year, I had asked Santa to bring me a bike. But not just any bike, a specific, pink bike, with streamers coming out of the handles, and a little silver bell. It would be my first real bike, and I was super excited!

One day, I was playing hide and seek with a family friend’s niece, at his place. The family friend was a tiler, and he had a number of pallets in his driveway (which extended behind the garage door, and into the enclosed patio he’d had built onto his house). There weren’t really a lot of place to hide at this house, so I went out to where the pallets were. I noticed that one of them seemed to have a space in the middle, which looked like the perfect hiding place, so I snuck in to hide. Lo and behold, there, in the centre of this pallet, was a very specific, pink bike, with streamers coming out of the handles, and a little silver bell. I knew this must be my bike, which my parents had hidden here until Christmas, knowing I’d probably manage to find it at home. Rather than feel disappointed at the realisation that Santa was, in fact, my parents, I was pretty pleased with myself at having made this discovery. Yes, I was a bit of a smarty pants.

I didn’t, however, let my parents know that I knew. I guess I thought it would make them sad, or something. More importantly, I didn’t want my brother to find out! He was only 4 years old at the time, and really loved Christmas. So, I let my parents continue to think I still believed in Santa. After dinner, I would help Dad put out the milk and cookies he would later help himself to, pretending we’d had a visit from the jolly fat man and his reindeer. I’d go along on the “Santa spotting” strolls we traditionally took with Mum after dinner, while Dad presumably laid out the gifts under the tree. When my parents finally decided to tell me that Santa was make believe, I simply said “I know”, and was met with bemused expressions.

I knew it had been worth it (and, let’s not lie, it had been fun to go along with it all!), when my parents told my brother, a year later (prior to Christmas, when some kid in his class had spilled the beans). When my mother confirmed the rumor, my brother was devastated. He cried. I told him it would all be okay, he’d still get presents. This seemed to calm him down a bit, but he was still sad at losing the magic of that belief. And this is why I was excited to put together a post on this topic, for Confessions of Parenting. I love telling this story, because it really illustrates how the spirit of Christmas can be maintained, and what it means to the children who believe. Not blowing my own trumpet here, but it’s a good example of how older siblings can keep the magic alive for their little siblings.

Here are ten things your big kids can do to help their younger brothers and sisters believe:

 

  1. Read a Christmas Storybook

If your older children can read, get them to choose their favourite Christmas story and read it to their younger siblings. It’s a great way for them to spend time with their siblings, and perpetuate the myth of the man who knows if you’ve been naughty or nice!

pexels-photo-326581

  1. Make Handmade Ornaments

Doing crafts is also a good activity for older children to do with their siblings. Depending on the kind of activity, you may need to supervise (scissors, glue, disaster, whatnot …), but be creative! Kids can come up with amazing ideas given a bunch of odds and ends: macaroni, buttons, streamers, cardboard, ribbons, empty toilet rolls, egg cartons, lids, fake flowers – seriously, anything is useful. Once they’re done, make a big deal about each child hanging their ornament on the tree!

  1. Go for a “Santa spotting” Walk

Whether it’s to distract them from a parent setting up the presents, or simply to add an activity to Christmas Eve, take your children for a walk outside. Get your older children to help you point out interesting things that may be signs of Santa and his reindeer. If you don’t look too closely – and use a bit of imagination – you can see Santa’s sleigh crossing in front of the moon (the dark shadows made by the moon’s craters). If going for a walk isn’t practical, pop out into your backyard or onto your balcony, and have your children look for shooting stars or the same “man in the moon”. This way, you may even be able to leave this duty to your older children, while you bustle about getting things ready for Santa’s visit.

  1. Write Letters to Santa

Have your older children write letters to Santa, to encourage your little ones to do so, as well. If your little ones can’t write yet, their older siblings may even be able to pen the letter while the younger ones dictate their wishlists! If the local post office or shopping centre is hosting a “Santa’s mailbox”, perhaps organise a trip to actually post the letters (and leave this in your older children’s hands, if they’re old enough!

pexels-photo-260498

  1. Decorate the House

Set out a box of decorations for your kids to put up around the house. If your little ones aren’t tall enough to reach, they’ll have fun instructing their older siblings on where to drape this bit of tinsel and hang that Christmas stocking! Putting up decorations in their own bedrooms will also add to the holiday cheer.

  1. Recount Past Christmas Experiences

Older children will often remember particular Christmases quite clearly. Ask your older kids to tell their younger siblings about their favourite Christmas, focusing on the make believe aspects that the little ones will relate to and enjoy!

  1. Bake Christmas Cookies

Involving your children in the preparation of the food that Santa and his reindeer will consume is a great way of selling the story. Santa needs cookies, so get the kids baking! Appoint the older children as supervisors for cookie decoration duty, or ask them to help the little ones select the choicest carrots for the reindeer!

christmas-cookies-553457

  1. Set the Table for a Feast

Okay, so you do get some benefit out of this one! Seriously, though, setting the table with special napkins, cutlery holders, centrepieces, and other Christmas-y tidbits can build excitement. Fancy place settings for the yummy dinner that will be had will impress Santa! Place the older children in charge of napkin folding or a similar activity, so that they can show their younger siblings how a simple Christmas napkin can become a fan or a sailboat! (Note: reasonable origami-like skills required for this one!)

pexels-photo-260493

  1. Take Santa Photos

Whether you head over to the local “Santa’s workshop” or DIY, taking photos with Santa is a sure-fire way of perpetuating the myth of the jolly fat man. Get your older kids to help you organise the trip or set up your own Santa throne (or whatever setting works for your location and family). If your older kids are photography aficionados, perhaps they can even do the camerawork while the little ones pose with Santa!

pexels-photo-260470

  1. Wrap Gifts Together

A great lesson to teach your kids is that giving is as good as receiving (better, even!). There is magic in seeing someone’s face light up when they’ve opened a gift carefully chosen for them. Place your older kids on supervisor duty, and have all your children help with wrapping the presents and putting them under the tree. This will encourage them all to work together, and, more importantly, to appreciate the thought that goes into gift giving.

 

Well, there you have it! Ten ways to get your older children to help your little ones believe. The younger ones will enjoy the magic for as long as they can, while the older ones will learn the satisfaction of helping maintain the sense of joy their siblings have during the holiday season. That is a lesson truly in the spirit of Christmas.

 

14183715_10154384151202394_1834188456286553740_n

Romina is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Her blog is a place to share her thoughts and experiences, so other mummies can find useful and friendly information, and to encourage them to believe in themselves and have confidence in their mummy-wisdom. You can find her over at Mini Mummi Blogger

 

 

 

 

 

HOw older kids can help little ones still believe

Blogmas, Christmas, Freebies, Holidays, Recipes

Gingerbread Cookie Sugar Scrub

Welcome to Blogmas 2017! I am so excited for Anna Panza, from PanzaAvenue.com to be joining us with this fantastic Gingerbread Cookie Sugar Scrub as a last minute gift idea! I am definitely making this for friends and neighbors this year and some extra for me! Visit her website and say hello! 

 


The Holiday Season is here and if you are anything like me, your holiday “buy for” list grows a little each year. On top of my list growing, there is the added pressure I place on myself to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list. Something thoughtful, something more than a gift card, and something most definitely unique. Can you relate?

As you can imagine, every year I am rushing around searching high and low for the perfect gift. I am usually rushing out for that last minute gift that meets a laundry list of criteria, too. Again, something thoughtful and something unique. I have finally realized the best last minute gift can be made at home.

I wanted to share with you a simple, last minute gift you can make for anyone on your holiday list this year.