Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day goodies

Have I mentioned that I LOVE Valentine's Day? It's crazy, and I don't know why, because I don't consider myself a sappy person at all, but there's just something about Valentine's Day. Nate scoffs and says it's just a holiday created by Hallmark to sell a bunch of cards and junk.

But I really do LOVE all that pink and red stuff, and the heart shaped sugar cookies, and the red foiled chocolates, and the bags of pretty colored M&M's...

I've always held onto the hope of a romantic Valentine's Day, but it's never really happened that way.

One of the most memorable Valentine's Days for me happened the first year Nate and I were married. A new hotel had just opened in Mesquite, and Nate's uncle had some connections there, so I secretly asked him to book us a room for Valentine's Day. Nate worked a long shift that day, and I stayed home planning my surprise. I worked all day making a nice dinner, wrapped some romantic gifts, including some silk boxer shorts with hearts for Nate, and a little something sexy for myself to wear, and got the hotel key early to decorate the room with balloons, candles, flowers, chocolates, and hearts galore.

When Nate's shift finally got over, I picked him up and blindfolded him, telling him I had a little surprise trip planned. I drove the poor, tired guy all over Mesquite until he had no idea where we were, and then carefully led him up to our room.

He was surprised and somewhat disoriented. We ate our dinner by candlelight, snuggled a little while Nate caught up on the sports scores for the day (yeah, you read that right) and then...

Nate fell asleep.

The end.

Did I mention that it was a reeaaaallly long shift?


And yet, I still have faith in Valentine's Day, which is one of the reasons I try to make cute valentines for my kids to take to school every year. I know they'll get ripped to shreds and eventually thrown away, but I have fun making them just the same.

This year, the plan was to make these little mini shovels with candy. I ordered a whole mess of them off ebay so I'd have enough for Noah's preschool class, Zachary's class, and my Primary kids, but only a few of them arrived. I finally contacted the seller and it turns out they lost the rest of my order.


These were one of the easiest projects I've made to date. I printed out the sentiment on address labels, which I stamped and stuck on a strip of cardstock. The candy is in a mini cello bag and just tied on with ribbon.

I got the idea after seeing them here.

So, since I didn't have enough mini shovels to make treats for Zachary's entire class, I moved onto Plan B, or what is known in the paper crafting world as 'sour cream containers'. (There is no actual sour cream used in the making of these, they're just called that for their funny shape, see?)

I needed to find something easy to make en masse, so I decided to try my hand at these. It's basically a 4 1/2" by 5 1/2" sheet of paper glued or taped to make a tube, filled with M&M's, and then glued and crimped on the ends.

I made 30 of them and I think it will be the last I'll ever make. They're kind of a pain, especially if you're crimping impaired like I am.

And, because I'm just plain crazy, I'd also volunteered to make treats for Zachary's Valentine's Day party at school.

Here is Noah helping me make 3 dozen cupcakes this morning. He always insists on being right in the middle of everything, and me being a bit of a germaphobe, it drives me nuts. I made him wash his hands several times because he kept licking them. And I'm not joking when I say he sneezes into EVERYTHING he ever tries to help me make - cookies, zucchini bread, cinnamon rolls, cheeseballs, you name it. Today, he sneezed into the paper muffin cups before I filled them, so those went into the trash before I even started while I yelled at him for the umpteenth time about turning his head and covering his mouth when he sneezes.

(Rest assured though, if you ever get something baked from me, it means it was NOT sneezed on by Noah. I don't let it outside my kitchen if it was. Come to think of it, he's probably figured that out. Maybe this is just his way of ensuring I don't give away all the goodies?)

Yet, despite my germaphobe tendencies, I let my kids lick the spoons and bowls when we're finished and yes, I DO know there's a risk of salmonella poisoning from raw eggs.

Go ahead. Report me. I dare you.

Here's the finished product ready for the party, and not a minute too soon. I rushed to the school to drop them off, but an aide delivered them because they wouldn't let me go into the classroom with my younger son.

Later, after the party when I picked Zachary up from school, he wondered why I hadn't brought a treat to his class like I'd said I would.


Oh, and when I asked if he'd had enough valentines for his class, he said he was short. Then he thought about it for a minute, and said, "Hey, was I NOT supposed to put one in my own bag?" No, you weren't.



CntryMomma said...

Mmmm . . . I could go for a cupcake now. Yummy!


JenniSue said...

Natalie you totally rock as a Mom! I can only hope that I can be as creative as you are when Brooklyn goes to school.

Mark 'n Mindee West said...

I too am waiting for my romantic valentine's suprise from my husband. My memories are like yours - of nights I'VE planned. Oh well I guess we'll just settle into reality and make ourselves cookies and cupcakes. Yours look delish and I wish I lived closer so I could come steal one! By the way - Rob, Hans and I will be in Phoenix March 1-3. So you and the boys should meet us for dinner again. I thought I would let you know since they won't get around to it until like an hour before. Would love to see you

disabilitydiva said...

Oh my gosh natalie-what a Valentine story!!!! Seriously that happened? Also I am stealing the shovel idea for next year. You rock. This year I made ipod candy I'll post a pic and had James give a pencil with "Valentine you're all write " You are SO freaking creative so glad I found you again!!! Here's to a great Valentine's

Vickie said...

Angela loved her Valentine from Noah. Red is her favorite color, and she once had a red shovel that the dogs ate. She's in seventh heaven. The ones you made are way cuter than the one you linked to.

I've had some rotten Valentine's in the past, too. Ben is not romantic, and I knew that when I married him, but I'd hoped that we'd be able to scrape together something for our first Valentines as a married couple. I asked him what he wanted to do, and he noted that he was running low on clean socks or some such, so we ended up at the laundromat doing laundry. He has been trying to live it down ever since.

Maureen said...

as always you crack me up......

Erin Noel said...

Hunter has been carrying around his shovel all week. Such a cute idea for Valentines.

Janice said...

Just coming by to see what you have been up to. You went all out for valentine's. You are a better women than me. I just bought a box of generic cards and let the girls put the kids names on. That is it. I did nothing.
But, I did do a valentine's breakfast and enjoyed doing that.