5 Memorable Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day!

We LOVE Valentine’s Day, but then again, we usually say that about every single holiday! When it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, we all aim to make the day extra-special for our loved ones. So whether you have a valentine, you look forward to creating special memories with just your kids or grandkids, or you need an excuse to treat (spoil) yourself or friends, we have some memorable ways for you to enjoy the day!! These are all great ideas to consider and we hope one or more will inspire you!


Do you enjoy a night out or staying in watching rom coms? What are you plans for celebrating this day of love? Either way, we’ve got you covered!


Gigi Lori




My grandson Jackson is filling out his Valentines's Day cards today. He is a fan of Star Wars and has chosen Grogu, the baby Yoda, as his theme. The excitement of showing his love for his classmates is just precious. Valentines's Day is all about expressing kindness and love to others.


To bring the spirit of love into my home, I have created a centerpiece for my table. It is easy to make and looks so festive on my table. I bought an eight-inch clear vase and put a smaller vase inside. I then filled the space between the vases with red hot cinnamon candies. The grandkids love the candy-filled vase!


Whatever you do on Valentines's Day, may your day be filled with love and the joy of family and friends.


Happy Valentines Day!


Gigi Lori


"We love because he first loved us" 1 John 4:19


Gigi Susie


I've always enjoyed creating crafts and making meals together with my daughter growing up and more often than not, my mom was right there with us. Two of my older granddaughters love craft projects so crafting always seems to work its way into our times together. Sewing was never a big part of projects when my kids were young because I didn't know how to sew. Within the last year, my friend, taught me how to use a sewing machine and helped me to create holiday memories for my grandchildren. If you missed my blog on how to make adorable Trick or Treat bags for your grandchildren, you can read it here. Because this holiday is all about those we love, I would make Valentine's placemats for my family.


I remember when my children were younger, they were so excited to receive and put up seasonal decorations. If you have older grandchildren, this is something that they can do with you. I will warn you though: these will take a little while to cut out, mark and sew. If you are making quite a few like I did, spread them out over several days. When I do these for my family, I consider them a labor of love for each one of them as each one holds a special place in my heart.


Materials (makes one placemat)


Main fabric cut 19" x 14"

Trim - cut to 21" x 16"

Batting for middle - cut to 19" x 14"

Pencil

Ruler

Thread

  • Wash and iron materials first

  • cut into suggested sizes above

  • Lay trim (right side facing down), batting and main fabric (as shown in picture 2) & pin

  • Take a ruler and draw a line with pencil from corner to corner making diagonal lines (picture 3)

  • Repeat starting at the opposite corner so you make diamonds

  • Sew all the diagonals being sure to follow along the pencil marks

  • Cut excess threads

  • Fold over the trim 1/2 way, iron and then fold again, place clips & iron

  • Sew along the trim

  • Cut excess threads

Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies


I've never been great at cut out cookies no matter how hard I try; however, a year ago a friend told me about this recipe. It has never failed me and I've made these for several holidays: Easter, Halloween, Birthdays & Thanksgiving! This is also a wonderful activity to make with your grandkids or gal pals. Trust me, you will not regret making these!

Recipe taken from Sally's Baking Addiction


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon and leveled), plus more as needed for rolling and working surface

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 or 1/2 tsp almond extract

  • Royal Icing *below

Instructions

  • Whisk the flour, baking powder & salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again, as needed to combine.

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be relatively soft. If the dough seems too sticky for rolling, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.

  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place each portion onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness. Use more flour if the dough seems too sticky. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4" thick.

  • Lightly dust one of the rolled out doughs with flour. Place a piece of parchment on top (This prevents sticking). Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on top. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours and up to 2 days.

  • Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough.

  • Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3" apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.

  • Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

*see Sally's baking addiction website for freezing instructions and tips


My Favorite Royal Icing

Courtesy of Sally's Baking Addiction


Ingredients

4 cups confectioner' sugar - sifted

3 Tbsp meringue powder

9-10 Tbsp room temperature water

optional for decorating: gel food coloring


  • In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat all of the icing ingredients together on high speed for 1.5-2 minutes. When lifting the whisk up off the icing, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 5-10 seconds. If it's too thick, add a little more water. If it's too thin, add a little more sifted confectioners' sugar.

  • Icing completely dries in about 2 hours at room temperature. If you're layering royal icing onto cookies for specific designs and need it to set quickly, place cookies in the refrigerator to help speed it up.

Love is in the air,

xoxoxoxoxo

Gigi Susie


Lala Malana


I am not sure who gets more enjoyment out of the Valentine's Box that I send to my grandchildren, me or them. I love searching for all the fun items that I think they might enjoy.

I do this for all of the holidays when I can't be with them. I always include paper plates and napkins for the current theme so they can use them all week during breakfast. This Valentine's selection is perfect for the heart shaped pancakes they love to make. I also found cute baking dishes in the shape of hearts so they can create their own special desserts. They have both taken an interest in cooking so this will give them another fun activity. Of course, there are always fun socks involved. My grandchildren got a new kitten for Christmas this year so the "kittycat" sock theme is sure to be a hit. I also include some decor items for my daughter. I found a pretty heart table runner and cute gnome dish towels to add to her Valentine's decorations. I try to limit the candy but it is Valentine's Day!!


It doesn't matter what you send. If it is from the heart it will be well received. This is just something I love to do and something that helps bridge that gap of long distance. My thoughts of them are constant while I am gathering and filling their special box and it warms my heart knowing they will love it.


Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Lala Malana


Mimi Jackie


So many of our cherished memories are made around the table with our loved ones sharing a meal and Valentine’s Day is no exception for us! As the years have passed, we’ve come to prefer a quiet and intimate night together at home as we light some candles, relax and enjoy the ambiance. In previous years, we’ve created many delicious dinners together, however as we begin to reflect and realize that the best gift is each others company, we’ve simplified our dinner menu and we’ll typically share a heart shaped pizza, a Valentine’s Day cocktail or two and then we finish up with this sweet dessert to share, which is simply chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a heart shaped pan and topped with vanilla ice cream! We create the vibe of a fabulous night out, right at home, with cozy fireside dining for two!



This would definitely be a fun Galentine’s Night-In as well, watching rom coms, eating pizza and sharing cocktails together, it's sure to be a memorable way to show your friends how much you value them.


I hope your day is full of love!

xoxo,

Mimi Jackie




I have another really CUTE craft idea you may want to create for your grandkiddos or better yet, have them help you make them!! It's a craft that has been around for awhile, but as a fairly new Mimi, I haven't made these for my grandchildren, until NOW! I love this adorable craft and hope you do too!


Candy Soda Shoppe Valentine Treat



A very good friend of mine created Soda Shoppe Valentine Treats for her grandchildren last Valentine’s Day and they were just so adorable that I knew I had to replicate them for our grandchildren this Valentine’s Day! What’s even better is that they’re so simple and fun to make.


Here’s all you will need:

  • Sundae glasses (you can find them at Walmart, however I found mine at Goodwill for .25 each!)

  • Valentine M&M’s

  • Glue gun or All Purpose Glue Dots

  • Pink & White Taffy (any color you prefer) OR Candy

  • A Styrofoam Ball (make sure it fits the top of your sundae glass)

  • Cute Valentine Straw


How to Assemble Your Candy Sundae:


All you do is simply fill your glass with the M&M’s. Next place the Styrofoam ball (cut in half) on top of the glass, and secure it with hot glue or glue dots and lastly, hot glue or use the glue dots to attaché the taffy or candy of your choice onto the ball and stick a cute straw on top for a sweet added touch! I also attached a note saying: Here’s the Scoop, Mimi loves you!!


Happy Valentine's Day, friends!!

xoxo

Mimi Jackie



Nana Alison

Charcuterie and Wine by the Fire Pit


My valentine and I have been together for 37 years, so we are well past the point of trying to get reservations for a fancy dinner. Instead, we usually celebrate in our favorite way, by opening one of our “special occasion” cabernet wines and sharing a charcuterie (shar-KOOT-uh-ree) board outside by the fire pit. We often have such a big board that we are full and don’t even need to bother with dinner or cleaning the kitchen, which leaves plenty of time to stream a good rom-com. I can usually talk my sweetheart into watching Jerry Maguire for the umpteenth time.

To build our board, we like to include a variety of deli meats, cheeses, nuts, and olives, plus some fruit such as apples, grapes and strawberries. The honeycrisp apple is our favorite and we found that if you dip it in a good honey mustard, like Woeber’s Simply Supreme, it makes a wonderful savory and sweet combination. Pretzel bread is a great addition because of the saltiness, but your favorite crackers will work too. Just about anything you like can be added to the board, but to celebrate Valentines' Day, be sure to include some dark chocolate for your heart (see our last post for more about that). You can use a platter or a cutting board of any size, depending on how big of a spread you want. My sister-in-law found this large rimmed one on Amazon. If you want to make your board look like a pro did it, check out this short video from Natasha’s Kitchen.

As far as wine, if we’re splurging, we like the 2017 Napa Valley Grgich Hills Estate cabernet. You can find it in some of the higher-end grocery stores for around $60. It is described on their website as having “flavors of dark fruit, black olives and blackberries.” I just describe it as smooth and tasty.




So grab some deli snacks, fruit, crackers, a bottle of wine and enjoy an evening by the fire. You will love it! However you celebrate, and whoever you celebrate, I hope you have a full heart on Valentines’ Day and every day!


With love,

Nana Alison


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