My son Orion was so excited to see the house decorated for Valentines day. While eating his heart bologna sandwiches at dinner tonight he was excitedly explaining how much he loves hearts and Valentines Day. Red is his favorite color and hearts are his favorite shape. Sounds like a match made in heaven.
Before I had kids I would have thought you were crazy if you told me I would have an entire bin just for Valentine decorations. Somehow it seems less like work when you see the kids faces light up when they see the new decorations. I try to keep things simple. New dining room table decor is a must, swap out the christmas wreath for a heart. A few touches here and there a blanket, window clings. I changed out the Christmas ornaments in a few centerpieces so that only the red and silver balls are out. It took me half an hour. Every room has a little something and instead of being sad that the Christmas decorations are gone the kids are over the moon about Valentines Day!
This year I surprised myself. Tonight when I opened my pink bin full of Valentines stuff I found things I didn’t know I had. It seems last year I vaguely remember shopping clearance 70% off at Target after Valentines Day. Turns out I have a new tablecloth, plates, placemats, a heart shaped wreath for the door, a fleece blanket, window clings, pirate valentines, and cookie cutters! Oh boy!!! I think I might surprise myself again next year. I do love clearance shopping!!!
There are decorative pinwheels and pinwheels that really spin. This picture tutorial shows both. The directions are basically the same until the end. Once your paper is cut and folded into a pinwheel if you want your pinwheel to be purely decorative you can cut a paper circle and glue it to the center. For a pinwheel that spins you can use decorative push pins, a bead, and a wooden dowel or in my case today a pencil. To make a pinwheel you need to start with a square piece of paper.
For Orion’s 2nd Birthday we had a pinwheel party. It only made sense, he loved pinwheels more than anything. I ended up making the invitations. I printed plain invites on the computer and then made tiny pinwheels for the tops that I attached with small brads. I also made pinwheels for the party favor bags. The favor bags along with snacks and bubbles included a small rubber duck with a number two on it and a make your own pinwheel craft both bought from the Oriental Trading Company. I made pinwheel flower pot arrangements for center pieces. I also found pinwheel cupcake picks that really spin! I threw in some fun monkey plates and napkins because we call him monkey. He loved it and we got lots of compliments on the unique party theme.
Valentines Day is coming! We are just starting to decorate. Last night we made paper heart chains. Here is how you can make some too. Fold your paper like an accordion. Draw a heart on your paper. You need to leave a portion of your heart on each side open so that the hearts stay connected when you open it up. Cut out the heart. I make multiple chains from each piece of paper and tape them together.
My son Orion loves to paint and I love and treasure every one of his paintings. There just aren’t enough rooms or walls to display them all. I keep a bin with all of his artwork and use it for all kinds of craft projects and holiday decorations. For Valentines day I used his painting to make a heart paper chain. He loves seeing his artwork being put to use. I feel better knowing I didn’t just throw them all away.
I started making this meatloaf about six or seven years ago. I had ground turkey and i thought about making meatloaf but I was out of oatmeal and breadcrumbs so I was trying think of what else I could use I was actually going to the pantry to grab the rice when I saw a box of stuffing mix and thought yummm! This meatloaf incorporates all the flavors of turkey and stuffing just add your favorite side dish and enjoy thanksgiving dinner all year long. You will need
2lbs ground turkey
1 package stuffing mix (I used the grainless baker gluten free stuffing. This particular stuffing needs to be crushed up a little because the pieces are big. I also find the grainless baker stuffing to be a little under seasoned for my taste so I would add a tsp of celery salt and sage)
1 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cup craisins or chopped apples
4 tbsp flax meal (this is optional but I like to sneak flax in wherever I can)
This recipe makes 2 meatloafs I always make two one to eat now and one to freeze for later. The directions are simple just mix everything together add salt and pepper if you like and bake for 45 minutes to an hour on 350 degrees. I sometimes spread a thin layer of cranberry sauce over the top like you would ketchup.
I’ve also added sausage to this we usually add maple sausage to our stuffing. You can add anything you normally would put in your own stuffing.
I found this recipe on the internet and thought I could make these gluten free! A blog called Kevin & Amanda first published this recipe in May 2011 and called them the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar chip-cookie-n-oreo-fudge-brownie-bar.html. They were crazy enough to turn these into a hot fudge brownie sundae, which I may just have to replicate sometime. Trust me you’ll know when I do because I’ll be blogging about it. I believe it was the Londoner that coined the name “Slutty Brownie” in her June 2011 blog post in which she explains that they are called slutty brownies “because they are more than a little filthy and oh so easy”. Mine are gluten free but yours don’t have to be.
What you need:
1 box brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker gluten free brownie mix)
1 box chocolate chip cookie dough mix (I used Betty Crocker gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix)
1 package Oreos (I used Glutino gluten free cookies)
Eggs (if you use the same mixes I did you’ll need 3)
Butter (if you use the same mixes I did you will need 1.5 sticks of butter)
Follow the directions on your mixes. I added just a touch of extra liquid to my brownie mix because the gluten free mix is a little stiff and I wanted to be able to spread it. The cookie dough goes down first, then the Oreos, then the brownie mix on top. I followed the baking time for the brownies, about 30 minutes. These slutty brownies are over the top and oh so good!