Valentine’s Day Waffles

Valentine's Day Waffles

Make Valentine’s Day breakfast special with this quick little breakfast hack! No fancy ingredients or techniques needed for this wow-worthy meal, just frozen waffles, cream cheese, and jam. The great thing is that you can make this idea work for as many or as few waffles as you need! Make a solo waffle sandwich with just a heart cut into it, or if you’re feeding a whole crowd, spell out I LOVE YOU and make extra hearts too. Watch the video below to see exactly how we did it, and read the written instructions for even more tips.

Valentine’s Day Waffles from Kathleen Ballos on Vimeo.

what you need:

  • Frozen waffles
  • Cream cheese
  • Jam (raspberry, strawberry, or anything red)
  • Kitchen knife

how-to:

Valentine's Day Waffles

Step 1
Begin by toasting your waffles as you normally would. Once they’re ready, use a kitchen knife to carefully cut a heart shape out of the center of one of the waffles. Leave one waffle as-is.

Valentine's Day Waffles

Step 2
On the plain waffle, spread some red jam all over it. You can even try spreading a layer of cream cheese onto the waffle first, before the jam – we found this made the jam look even redder.

Valentine's Day Waffles

Step 3
Finally, put the cut-out waffle on top forming a waffle sandwich! Repeat this process, making as many waffles as you need. You could make a whole bunch of hearts, do I heart U like we did, or spell out “I LOVE YOU” if you’re feeding a crowd.

Note: As you cut and prepare the waffles, you may want to preheat your oven to a low heat setting (about 300 F) so that you can keep the finished waffles warm. Simply place the complete waffle sandwiches on a baking sheet and cover them loosely with foil. Once all the waffles are ready, remove from the oven and serve.

Valentine's Day Waffles
Valentine's Day Waffles

Looking for even more Valentine’s Day recipes? Try your hand at this adorable pink mouse cake or these heart-shaped strawberry shortcakes for the sweetest desserts around.  Running low on time? These white chocolate heart toppers come together super quickly and can be put atop store-bought cupcakes. Or check out these heart-shaped music note toppers for all the loved ones that make your heart sing.

Valentine's Day Waffles

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A-Frame Valentine’s Day Village

A-Frame Valentine's Day Village

Valentine’s Day is only a couple days away so if you haven’t already decorated your home, today’s super quick and simple DIY is exactly what you need! Inspired by holiday gingerbread houses, we instead gave them a Valentine’s Day look on these adorable A-frame structures. We made ours using recycled cardboard and craft supplies as we already have so much candy and other sweet treats around the house. The great part is that you get all the fun of decorating a gingerbread house, but none of the sugar-high aftermath! 😉 Make a whole village of these houses and arrange them down the center of your dinner table, on a windowsill, a bookshelf ledge, or wherever you like! Watch the video below to see the full instructions, or keep reading for the written step-by-step.

what you need:

  • Recycled cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Sharp scissors or craft knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Assorted items for decoration (ie felt, yarn, pom poms, washi tape, sequins, etc)

what you need:

A-Frame Valentine's Day Village
Step 1
Using a craft knife or a sharp pair of scissors, cut two triangles identical in shape out of plain cardboard. Measure the length of the longest side of the triangle and cut out two rectangles of any length but this exact height.
A-Frame Valentine's Day Village
Step 2
Glue the triangles to the rectangles to form the shape of an A-frame style house. Glue all edges together. Make a few houses in this technique, mixing up the sizes of the triangles and the length of the houses as well. Keep in mind where you’d like to display your village and make enough houses to fill that area.
A-Frame Valentine's Day Village
Step 3
And now the fun part: decorate the house! Make cute shingles out of felt or line the roof with pom-poms, cut-out a felt door or decorate with simple hearts.
A-Frame Valentine's Day Village
Great job! Your Valentine’s Day village is all set and you can decorate your desk or your kitchen table to help celebrate this day of love and friendship!
A-Frame Valentine's Day Village
And why not make a few puppets to inhabit your new village? This Valentine’s Day unicorn puppet and Queen of Hearts puppet look like the perfect tenants, don’t you think?
A-Frame Valentine's Day Village
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Ease your Valentine’s anxiety with a homemade stress ball! This isn’t just any stress ball – it’s an olive, because “olive being your friend”. Also, “olive you”. This DIY is relatively quick, doesn’t require many supplies, and will be super cute with all of the olive puns available.

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

I love that it is so functional too! Or should I say “olive” that it is functional? 😉 It’s a nice alternative to passing out candy, and the teachers will love your child for not contributing to the Valentine party sugar high!

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

what you need:

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

• Flour
• Funnel
• Small plastic bottle
• Spoon
• Balloons (red & green)
• Scissors
• Hole punch (small)
• Baker’s twine
• Cardstock
• Printer or marker (not pictured)

what you need:

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Step 1
Use a spoon and funnel to place flour in a small, (empty and dry) water bottle. Fill the bottle a little more than half way.

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Step 2
Place the end of the red balloon over the mouth of the water bottle, and hold it in place. Squeeze the bottle and shake the flour into the balloon. Once the balloon is full of flour, squeeze off the “neck” of the balloon before pulling it off the water bottle. It may have some extra air in it, so slowly let the air out over your kitchen sink, as it may also shoot out some flour! Make sure the opening is facing downward into the sink. Tie off the end of the balloon. Re-shape the water bottle before filling the next balloon.

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Step 3
Cut off the excess neck of the balloon after you have tied it off. Cut off the entire neck of the green balloon, and slightly below the neck.

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Step 4
Stretch out the green balloon over the flour-filled red balloon. Make sure the tied end of the red balloon goes in first. Shape the balloon a bit with your hands, until it is oval-ish and olive-ish!

Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Step 5
Print off an olive pun on white cardstock, such as “Olive you” or “Olive being your friend”. Cut the words out in a strip, and cut a triangle into each end of the strip. Punch a small hole into one end of the tag, and use baker’s twine to tie the saying to your olive stress ball.

Olive Stress Ball Valentines
Olive Stress Ball Valentines
Olive Stress Ball Valentines
Olive Stress Ball Valentines

Now your Valentines are ready to de-stress your friends, while expressing how much you love them! Olive Valentine’s Day, don’t you? Happy crafting!

Mix ‘n’ Match Snowman Magnets

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Build a snowman (or a snow lady or snow kid) without ever stepping out into the snow! These mix and match magnets are fun to make and even more fun to play with. Create one snow person, then change out a piece or two for a whole new look!

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Use these magnets on a magnet board for a fun snowy day activity. Or keep them on your refrigerator so the whole family can join the fun of designing snow people!

Templates for snowman accessories make it easy to jump in, but you can design your own items for the snow people to wear too. Maybe your snowman wants boots or your snow lady could wear a skirt. They could even have animal ears!

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Do you want to build a snowman? They grab some supplies and get started!

what you need:

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

how-to:

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Step 1
Paint the front of the discs white. It will take several coats of paint, so continue with the steps while you wait for each layer of paint to dry.

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Step 2
Print out the Mix ‘n’ Match Snowman PDF. Trace the pattern pieces onto the non-shiny side of the freezer paper. Group the templates by the color you want the pieces to be.

You may want more than one of some pieces, just in different colors.

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Step 3
Iron the freezer paper to the felt pieces. The shiny side of the freezer paper will hold to the felt and make it easier to accurately cut the shapes.

Cut out the shapes, then peel the freezer paper away.

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Step 4
After the discs are all painted and dry, add a few details with paint.

I painted simple carrot noses, dots for eyes, and a little smile. The dots don’t have to be perfect because they represent lumps of coal. You can also add buttons to some pieces and a headband for earmuffs.

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Step 5
After the painted details dry, start attaching the felt pieces. Place the pieces on the wooden discs first to see what parts hang over the edges. Add glue only to the areas that will stick to the discs.

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

For the felt elements with more than one piece, layer the pieces. Decorate as many snow people pieces as you want!

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Step 6
Glue a magnet to the back of each disc.

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets
Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Grab three magnets and design a snowman! Take a few more pieces and build a few more snow friends!

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Swap out a piece to try out a new look for your snow person. What scarf does this snow person want to wear today?

Mix 'n' Match Snowman Magnets

Add all these magnets to your fridge or a magnet board and see what other kinds of combinations you can come up with!

Happy crafting!

Glittery Good Luck Charms

WHAT I’M READING RIGHT NOW (AND YOU SHOULD TOO!)

It’s no secret that Jane Mosbacher Morris is one of my very best friends on the planet.  What you might not know is that Jane and I have traveled across the US (and the world!) together.  Remember our amazing Haiti pictures and videos?

WHAT I’M READING RIGHT NOW (AND YOU SHOULD TOO!)

Her first book, Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better is OUT this week, and I’m already in love (you can buy one here!).  It covers how every one of us can be a conscious consumer – regardless of budget – and includes topics like coffee, chocolate, gifts, apparel, and shoes!  It also talks about ways to repurpose items we may no longer need, including recommending some great charities that specialize in specific types of donations.  Below are a few of her and my favorite suggestions for category-specific clothing donations (just a sneak peak of why you should grab this book today!)!

Dress for Success: Preparing for a job interview can take a lot of thought. Worrying about the affordability of an appropriate interview outfit shouldn’t be an additional burden. So goes the thinking of this international nonprofit that provides professional attire for vulnerable women seeking employment. The nonprofit also offers life- skills training and a support system to help women move toward economic independence. Local affiliates accept gently used clothing and accessories and unused beauty products.

Becca’s Closet: In high school, Rebecca Kirtman decided to collect hundreds of prom dresses to donate to girls in South Florida who might otherwise skip the dance due to the high cost of the dress. Becca’s Closet awards “dress scholarships” to high school seniors who have shown leadership in their communities. You can donate your gently used dresses by finding your local Becca’s Closet chapter.

WHAT I’M READING RIGHT NOW (AND YOU SHOULD TOO!)

Brides Across America: This nonprofit helps military brides, many of whom are living on a small salary, feel like Cinderella on their wedding day by giving them beautiful (used) wedding gowns. To donate your dress (and wedding accessories, such as a veil), fill out the application form online.

Once Upon A Child: Once Upon A Child is the largest U.S. resale franchise that buys and sells gently used kids’ and baby clothing and gear, helping moms in two ways: by selling safe, clean products at a good price and by offering parents the opportunity to recycle children’s nearly new items and get paid on the spot.

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

This post is sponsored by Plaid Enterprises.DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

If you haven’t already tried Folk Art’s Glitterific Acrylic Paint, get ready to add glitter to everything you own! It’s SO much fun to work with and has an amazing finish. For today’s project, we made this set of decorative mix-and-match glitter speckled mugs, inspired by so many gorgeous handmade ceramics we’ve been admiring lately. No need to get out the potter’s wheel to craft speckled ceramics from scratch – we used a variety of mugs from the dollar store and gave them this quick makeover using just paint!

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

We love the glossy, sealed finished on these mugs – you definitely don’t have to worry about losing any glitter! Paint any ceramics you like – we’re planning to display these ones on a shelf with some succulents inside. Or, use them as handmade storage vessels for your loose change, craft supplies, or as a pencil cup! Keep reading to see the glitter-filled directions below!

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

what you need:

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

how-to:

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

Step 1
Begin by prepping your mugs to be painted – peel off any stickers and give the mugs a good wash so that you’re starting with a blank slate. At this point, you can apply a coat of multi-surface acrylic paint if you want to add a pop of color – we did this on some mugs, but left others plain. Make sure to read the complete guidelines on the paint bottle that list exactly how to paint on dishware. Let dry.

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

Step 2
Time to add some glitter! For this mug, we kept it super simple and skipped any other colors. Turn the mug upside down and apply Glitterific to the base and work your way down the sides of the mug. Once you’ve covered it as you like, let dry completely.

Note: Glitterific paint is not dishwasher-safe or permanent on ceramics, so these mugs should be used for decorative purposes only. Read more about Glitterific on Plaid’s FAQ page here.

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

And repeat as many times as you like! We had so much fun putting this mix-and-match set together.

DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs
DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs
DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs
DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs
DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs
DIY Glitter Speckled Mugs

Happy crafting!!

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Are you in a pickle, trying to figure out what to give your friends for Valentine’s Day? The best way to show a friend they mean a great dill to you, is with a little pickle piñata! Fill it with some dill-icious Valentine candy and prizes, and your friends will be dill-ighted! They will really relish it.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

These would also be fun for party favors honoring a pickle enthusiast! We have one at our house for sure. You could also use them for a “pickles and ice cream” baby shower! The tag could say, “Thanks a great dill for coming!” Let’s make some pickles, shall we?

Pickle Piñata Valentines

what you need:

Pickle Piñata Valentines

• Twisty balloons
• Balloon pump
• Newspaper strips
• 1 C flour, 1 C water
• Craft foam beads
Folk Art Acrylic Craft Paint (alfalfa, black & white)
• Wax paper
• Tacky glue
• Clear tape
• Sponge brush
• Pouf mesh sponge
• Box Cutter
• Cooling rack
• Scissors
• White cardstock
• Baker’s twine
• Marker or printer (not pictured)
• Small hole punch

how-t0:

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 1
Tie a knot in a twisty balloon, about 1.5” from the opening. Continue to tie knots in the balloon, about 1.5” from each previous knot. Use a balloon pump to blow up the first section. Tie off the end, and then cut the section off just above the first knot. Blow up the next section, tie off the end, and cut just above the knot. Continue to blow up each section, until you have several pickle-shaped balloons. Tape down the knots on each side of the balloons.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 2
Mix 1 C flour and 1 C water. Dip a newspaper strip in the mix, and use two fingers to “squeeze” off any excess paste. Lay the first strip across the top of the balloon. Continue to glue newspaper strips to cover the entire balloon. Glue at least two layers of newspaper to each balloon, and smooth out any lumps. Place on a cooling rack to dry overnight. Repeat with each “pickle” balloon.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 3
Once the paper mache is completely dry, paint the pickle white using a sponge brush. Allow to dry.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 4
Paint the pickle alfalfa green. Allow to dry.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 5
Place a small puddle of alfalfa green on a piece of wax paper, and place a dot of black in the puddle. Mix together with the end of a paintbrush. Dip your mesh pouf sponge in the paint, and dab off any excess. Use the sponge to apply splotches of paint to the pickle, and allow to dry.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 6
Use a box cutter to cut three sides of a small rectangle into the back of your pickle. This will be the door that will need to open enough to place small candies and prizes inside. Pull out the remaining balloon, and shake out any glue flakes. Fill the pickle with Valentine goodies, and close the small door.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 7
Paint a bunch of craft foam beads alfalfa green on a piece of wax paper, using a sponge brush. Once dry, glue the beads to your pickle, randomly spacing apart. Allow to dry. You may want to touch up the paint on or around the bead “warts”, using a paint brush and alfalfa green. Allow to dry, and then you may also want to re-apply some of the darker green (made using alfalfa green and black) using the mesh pouf. Allow to dry once again.

Pickle Piñata Valentines

Step 8
Write or print “You mean a great dill to me” on white cardstock. Cut a rectangle around the writing, and cut a triangle in each end of the tag. Use a small hole punch to put a hole in the end of the tag, and use baker’s twine to attach the tag to the pickle.

Pickle Piñata Valentines
Pickle Piñata Valentines

No big dill, right?! Your pickles are ready to go! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pickle Piñata Valentines
Pickle Piñata Valentines
Pickle Piñata ValentinesPickle Piñata Valentines
Pickle Piñata Valentines

Valentine’s Countdown Board

Valentine's Countdown Board

Do you get as excited about Valentine’s Day as we do? Get ready for February 14th with this DIY countdown board filled with little notes of love and hearts (or maybe even some fun activities!).

Valentine's Countdown Board

To create the watercolor look on the back of this board, we used Folk Art Watercolor Acrylic, but you can decorate yours however you like. Paint it solid, use stencils, or even leave it plain.

For the notes, print out the kawaii envelopes and fill them with loving words, silly jokes, or Valentine’s activities.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Get ready to start the Valentine’s countdown!

what you need:

Valentine's Countdown Board

how-to:

Valentine's Countdown Board

Step 1
Paint the front of all the clothespins red. Set these aside to dry.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Paint the wood panel with the watercolor acrylic. To use this paint, start with a wet brush and dip it into the paint. Make a few brushstrokes, which will most likely look like the full color of the paint.

Use a little more water and paint and brush it onto the wood panel. To blend the paint and create a watercolor look, add more water and leave some areas sheer and others with bolder color.

Set this aside to dry for at least a few hours, especially if you used lots of water.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Step 2
Print the Valentine’s Countdown Envelopes PDF page on card stock. Cut out the foldable envelopes. You only need the ones numbered 1 to 14, so you can use the extras for something else.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Fold the bottom edge up to the bottom of the triangular flap. Fold the flap down.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Step 3
Figure out the best spacing for the 14 clothespins on your wood board and mark where each clothespin should go. Run a thin line of wood glue on the back of each clothespin and place it on the board.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Add all the clothespins and let the glue dry overnight.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Step 4
While you wait for the glue to dry, start writing messages, simple activities, or prompts in the envelopes.

Valentine's Countdown Board

Step 5
Once the glue is dry, fold up the envelopes and clip them to the board. You can place them in order from 1 to 14 or mix them up so you have to look for the next one to open!

Valentine's Countdown Board
Valentine's Countdown Board

All those notes lined up look so cute and so enticing as you look forward to Valentine’s Day!

Not sure what to write inside your envelopes? Try one or more of these ideas!

  • Short notes of love or encouragement (“You’re so special!”, “I’m proud of you!”, “I love you.”)
  • Valentine’s Day jokes
  • Activities (Cut out paper hearts, make candy jewelry, bake cookies)
  • Drawing prompts
  • Kindness practices (Hold the door open, help someone with chores, give a hug)
  • Names of people to write notes to

Valentine's Countdown Board

Each day as you open a new note, hang the opened envelope back on the clip so when Valentine’s Day comes you can see a board filled with love!

Happy crafting!

Wintery Snowfall Cake

Wintery Snowfall Cake

Is there snow where you live? If so, we’re betting you’ve been busy this winter shoveling your driveway. Why not enjoy some cake with your hot chocolate when you come in to warm up? Or if you’re lucky enough to live in a place that doesn’t get pummelled with snow, maybe shoveling the icing off this chocolate cake is the only snow clearing you’ll ever have to do!

Wintery Snowfall Cake

This would be a super fun cake to bake with your kids on a snow day this winter, or any chilly weekend really! Keep reading for the quick how-to below!

Wintery Snowfall Cake

what you need:

Wintery Snowfall Cake

  • Foil tray
  • Wooden skewer
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cake with white frosting

how-to:

Step 1
Begin by carefully cutting out a small rectangle of foil from your tray – make sure to use a pie tin or roasting tray and not just regular tin foil, as the trays are stiffer and will hold their shape much better for this. You’ll also want to cut a small length of the rolled edge of the tray to use as the top handle on the shovel. Next, cut a piece of wooden skewer a couple inches long.

Step 2
Prep the pieces by bending the rolled edge of the tray into a D shape, trimming off any excess. On the foil rectangle, use the leftover wooden skewer and a ruler (or any straight edge) to gently engrave one horizontal line followed by several equally spaced vertical lines below it. You can also gently curve it to make it look even more like a snow shovel.

Step 3
To assemble, simply use a dab of hot glue to attach the handle onto the top of the wooden skewer, and another bit of glue to attach the bottom of the shovel on as well.

Wintery Snowfall Cake

When decorating the cake, use a spatula or similar to clear the frosting snow off of part of the cake like we did. You can really use any flavored cake under the frosting, but we like that the chocolate cake gives a nice contrast to the white “snow”, kind of like you’re shoveling your actual paved driveway! Rest the shovel on the cake and enjoy! And don’t worry, you can always keep some extra frosting on the side in case whoever gets the shoveled slice wants a little bit more!

Wintery Snowfall Cake

Happy winter crafting!