Tag - Valentine’s Day

Fun and Easy Valentine’s Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate with kids. My girls love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time, so basically they cover 4 out of 5 of the love languages. If you haven’t heard about love languages check out my blog post on Exploring Love Languages.

 

Because they have different love languages we do a few things both leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the day itself. Here are just a couple new and old traditions that we partake in to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day Countdown – Make a paper chain, calendar countdown, or think of something creative to count your way down to Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter what day you start but here are some ideas of what you and your family can do to count your way down to the 14th.

  • Hug someone in your family
  • Read John 3:16
  • Make a craft with hearts
  • Say one reason you love each member of your family
  • Help cook a family meal or treat in the shape of a heart
  • Look at pictures from past V-days
  • Help someone in need
  • Spend time with another family
  • Invite someone to church
  • Color pictures for extended family members
  • Write a letter to a missionary or military family
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards
  • Decorate your home with words of kindness


Valentine’s Day Tree

We found this Valentine’s Day Tree in the dollar section at Target. It was made for the classroom, but I find a lot of great items that we can use at home are teaching tools or made for school. I love how easy it is to love with words of affirmation and kindness using this simple decoration.

 

There’s also something similar on Amazon*, and of course you could make your own as well:

 

Now that I’ve shared a couple of things we do in our home, I would love to hear your ideas for Valentine’s Day. Share how you celebrate by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you make a purchase I get rewarded too. I would never link something I didn’t think would be a good purchase for my readers. Thanks for supporting MommyB Knows Best and be sure to leave a comment!

Eternity Rose – Valentine’s Day Gift Idea

It’s not always easy finding the perfect gift, wouldn’t you agree? That’s why I appreciate companies like Eternity Rose and the beautiful selections of stunning jewelry and keepsakes. I can honestly say I have never seen any of the products that Eternity Rose has to offer before and I really love that I can give a gift that will be unexpected and appreciated.

This Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to give the one you love a rose, and better still these roses won’t wilt. A gift from Eternity Rose, the name says it all, a gift that will last for a lifetime and be treasured for that long as well.

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift for her this Valentine’s Day, whether she loves beautiful jewelry or adores blooming roses, she can have it all.

Eternity Rose has pretty pendants, necklaces, and earrings in their jewelry line. They also sell authentic dipped roses and rose vase sets, not to mention a couple of items if you’re shopping for him as well.

You will be thrilled with the quality of your purchase. Each item comes with a certificate of authenticity and is beautifully wrapped and ready to gift to that special someone.

Visit Eternity Rose’s website to pick out the perfect Valentine’s Day gift – eternityrose.com

 

Comment below: What gift would you pick out??

 

This is not a sponsored post, I received product to review. All my thoughts are honest and my own opinion.

Family Date Night – McAlister’s Deli Kids Eat Free

If you’ve been reading my posts lately you’ve probably noticed I’ve been featuring Love Languages and how we can learn about our own love language as well as how others like to be loved. I’m excited to feature quality time in my next series installment and with Valentine’s Day around the corner have been thinking of ways I can show my family through quality time how much I love them.

Thinking of the things we like to do as a family and activities that have been successful in the past are great ways to figure out what will be good options for family dates. Each family is unique, so I encourage you to sit down and think of what memories you have made and also consider some new family activities that will show love especially to those whose love language is quality time.

 

 

My girls would eat out at restaurants for every meal if that was an option, not just because the food is good, but they truly enjoy being able to sit down and talk as a whole family. While we always make time for conversations with each other, there’s just something about going to a restaurant that gives us more time and freedom to do that.

At McAlister’s Deli they encourage Family Date Nights and we love that because instead of preparing dishes or grabbing something to add to our meal, DaddyB and I can sit and enjoy more uninterrupted time with our kiddos. I mean what better dates could we ask for?!?!

 

 

We love how at McAlister’s Deli they bring the food to our table and clear our place when we are done, and that means more time to hear the funny stories our girls share. Plus, with great promotions like Kids Eat Free night we are able to enjoy our meal without spending as much.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, McAlister’s Deli is encouraging you to have a family date night with your loved ones. Head to a participating McAlister’s Deli near you on February 14th where kids under 12 eat free.

(More details here: McAlister’s Family Date Night)

Love family date nights??? How does a YEAR worth of family date nights sound??! Your family can enter to win today. Head to: McAlister’s Deli Sweepstakes and enter once daily through February 14th, 2017.

 

What are you waiting for? Start making plans for family date nights. No cooking or cleaning but all the benefits of quality time, plus life is too short not to have family date nights!

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with McAlister’s Deli. Any opinions in this post belong to MommyBKnowsBest.com

10 Things I Heart

Sometimes I just can’t contain myself when I find things that I love I want to tell the world. Sometimes those things are products I’m checking out, sometimes it’s people that rock my world, and other times it’s just life in general.

I post a lot on how blessed I truly feel, no matter if life seems up or down there’s so much to be thankful for. So I wanted to share with you 10 Things I Heart with you, because you never know, you may like them too.

10 Things I Heart

1. This Blog – ThingsICan’tSay.com

I love Shell, in her blog she bares her soul and shares thoughts that we as mom have but never express. Her touching posts and the realness that she shows on her site inspire me and I heart Shell and her blog.

Things I can't Say Blog

2. Glue Dots – As co-room mom for Miss A’s 1st Grade class, I was in charge of the Valentine’s Day craft. I had originally planned a really cool heart chain with family activities for the rest of February {as they tore one heart from the chain}, then I ended up with a heart chain, and then after the V-day party was delayed I ended up going to A.C. Moore and picking up some super cute, but very nicely priced wreaths and used John 3:16’s VALENTINE and had the kids create their own to hang in their homes. Anyway, while I love helping with crafts I do not like waiting for glue or paint to dry. I used permanent Glue Dots for this project but they have different strengths for different needs. The only thing that would be “bad” would be that there’s the paper left behind for trash. PS Keep in mind this was a test run so that’s why the hearts are orange, but would be fun in rainbow or other colors too.

Glue Dots Heart Wreath Craft MommyB

3. Amazon Prime – We went unplugged last week. Yep, that’s right we gave up cable. DaddyB picked up a great antenna from Best Buy, and we’ve been trying out PlayOn {a cool computer program that pulls in video feeds of channels that some TV alternatives don’t offer, will put review up another day}, but I have been loving our Amazon Prime. I enjoy watching Intervention and Hoarders {sometimes I think I should have been a psychologist} and DaddyB and I have been watching shows from our past too like Are You Afraid of the Dark? Overall unplugging isn’t a huge deal, we watch some shows delayed but are much less attached to our regular shows and are saving a good bit of $$ too!

4. This gorgeous Spring-like weather we’ve been having, especially after last week’s snowpocalypse. Although we are missing the Snow Cream.

5. Our amazing realtor Kristi Vernon and the Zillow iPad app are doing a great job hunting down houses for our upcoming move in May!! We’re staying in North Carolina, just moving to a different area still in or very close to Charlotte.

6. Queen City Q – I really like this local BBQ restaurant in uptown Charlotte, we’ve only been twice, once with DaddyB’s family and once recently just the four of us. The food is amazing and the prices are really great. It’s never been too packed to enjoy ourselves. The only thing that bugs me is that they don’t have booster seats for the kiddos, {but they do have highchairs for the smaller ones} and the booths are pretty low (even for a short momma like me). I’m glad we don’t go more often, I would definitely gain 20lbs easily.

Q City BBQ MommyB

7. Disneyland Pinterest Boards – If you haven’t heard my family and I have been invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference this year. This will be our first year attending and I am beyond excited to have this opportunity. I get to see some awesome bloggers {aka my coworkers}, hang out with my family in DISNEYLAND, and hear some amazing speakers. So, I’ve been trying to do some research for our trips on what the best apps are, good places to eat, etc. Have you ever been? Any tips?

8. Jeremy Tankard and Mo Willems Books – We love these children’s books for the girls. They are hilarious and allow me to use my silly voices. Last year we bought Miss A 10 books for her birthday and most were from these two authors.

Piggie and Gerald Book

9. Amazing friends!!! You know who you are. The people I can pour my heart out with, the ones I go to for advice, and the ones I can share my life’s blessings with. I don’t know what I would do with you and I definitely heart you this month and every month.

10. Discount Valentine’s Day candy. Here in Charlotte there’s a lot of it, especially at Target. I may have grabbed a bag….to give next year of course….or maybe not. But seriously how can you pass on those deals???

What things would you put on your “heart” list right now???

Sweeten Up Your Valentine’s Day with a Delicious Date-Night Strawberry Smoothie

Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is about sweethearts and all things sweet. Whether your sweeties are your children, a spouse, or a significant other ’tis the season to treat them to some love-filled goodies.

I love SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener in one of the other loves of my life, coffee. Did you know though that although SPLENDA® is awesome as a beverage sweetener you can also use it for all sorts of things.

SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated can be used almost anywhere sugar is used, including cooking and baking. It measures cup-for-cup like sugar, but contains 678 calories less than sugar on a cup-for-cup basis. One teaspoon of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated contains the sweetness equivalency of one teaspoon of sugar with no calories or carbohydrates.

Here are a couple of sweet ideas for you to use this Valentine’s Day to treat your loved ones:

Replace another sweetener with SPLENDA®. While you’re making your heart-shaped cookies and rich chocolate fudge swap out your normal sweetener for SPLENDA®.

Create an awesome Date-Night Smoothie or daiquiri to share with your sweetie using this recipe:

Strawberry Splenda Smoothie

Adapted Image courtesy of WWWorks

INGREDIENTS

3 cups frozen strawberries
2/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 1/4 cups your favorite orange juice
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt {I love greek yogurt if you want a thicker smoothie}
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until you reach desired consistency.

 

 

 

Or if you’re snowed in this winter. Check out my recipe for Snow Cream and as a healthier version consider using skim milk, almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk and SPLENDA® to sweeten up the taste. This is a great, sweet treat to enjoy and snuggle up with your Valentine.

Love these ideas??? Love saving money???

HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering amazing printable coupons, tips & tools and so much more for all the products you and your family love. Get significant savings by visiting the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS website in February and signing up for extra-sweet HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® coupons and offers.

To sweeten the savings, you could get a free 30 minute nutrition consultation with a Registered Dietitian when you buy $10 of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products between now and February 17, 2014 – up to $75 value!

More details on this special offer at HealthyEssentials.com.

 

Healthy Essentials logo

 

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes {Guest Post}

Every morning, my one-year-old daughter greets me with a smile and exuberantly exclaims, “mama, breakfast, pancakes!”. As you might have guessed, pancakes are truly the way to her heart and a staple for breakfast in our household.

In my pursuit to provide a wholesome, nutritious breakfast and simultaneously fulfill her request for pancakes, I’ve tested dozens of pancake recipes. While I love cooking from scratch, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to take a little help from the store when you need it.

As a busy mom with a hungry child who hasn’t quite grasped the concept of patience, I can’t usually spare 45 minutes to prepare pancakes. So, I have actually found the best solution for a quick and healthy pancake breakfast is a combination of a prepared mix with a creative twist.

These “heart healthy” semi-homemade pancakes are made with whole wheat pancake mix, infused with cinnamon, and fashioned into heart shapes. Moms can be confident in the added calcium, fiber, and iron, while kids will love the fluffy texture, sweet flavor, and fun heart shapes, perfect for Valentine’s Day, or, just as in our house, perfect for every other day too!

Easy Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipe

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes

Ingredients

• 2 cups of whole wheat pancake mix of your choice

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)

• Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Heart Healthy Pancakes for the family

Directions

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)

2. Prepare the batter according to package instructions and mix in the cinnamon.

3. Grease the griddle and the cookie cutter(s) using butter or cooking spray

4. Place the cookie cutters onto the griddle and spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the cookie cutter (amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Also you might need to use the back of a spoon to even out the batter and push the batter into the edges of the cookie cutter)

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until you can lift the cookie cutter and the edges will retain their shape (i.e. batter will not run and the edges will be browned).

6. Remove the cookie cutter from the griddle (Caution: if using a metal cookie cutter, it will be hot)

7. Flip the pancakes and cook on the reverse side an additional 3-5 minutes

8. Serve with the syrup/topping of your choice (my daughter even eats them without any syrup!)

Bonus Tip

Mix your favorite fruit, like blueberries or bananas, into the pancake batter to add further flavor and extra health benefits!

What’s your family’s favorite healthy breakfast food??

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Dads

I received products in this post to give my personal opinions and recommendations on. This is not a paid post and are my honest thoughts.

 

Still looking for a perfect gift for the special dad in your children’s lives? I found some gifts that are a little different, but still good choices to show him you love him this Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Dads

Want to get your guy something other than jewelry but something that he can carry with him every day? Isabella Grace Jewelry has some pretty cool things for men including this Super Dad keychain. This key chain is pewter, not so big it’s clunky {just the right size}, and has an awesome saying on the back that will melt your kids’ hero’s heart. Check it out: Super Dad Key Chain

Got a science-loving daddy? I really loved how cool and unique this t-shirt is. If you look at the “elements” you can see different phases of fatherhood, great for a proud dad to display. I know DaddyB will love wearing this shirt. Check it out: Periodic Tee of Daddy Elements

Whether you are expecting your first child or the dad in your life is a pro-daddy, Daddy Scrubs has a product to shout out that your man is a father. My favorite part of these shirts is the tagless reminder that, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy!” Check it out: Daddy Shirts

Last but not least, for the music loving dad, we heart Jabra products!! DaddyB is a huge fan of all kinds of music and even listens to quite a few podcasts. This Jabra Solemate mini is perfect for dads to take to work, put in the garage, or out in wilderness. This wireless speaker is splash and dust resistant, durable, and pumps out quality sound. We got the red version, but you’ll have to check them out to see what other great colors they offer. Check it out: Jabra Solemate Mini

Would you purchase any of these items for dad? If so which ones??

 

This is not a compensated post. I received products in order to give my honest opinion about these products. Your opinions may vary.

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Practical Mom – Belk Gift Card Giveaway

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Belk.com

I tend to be a mom who asks for things for my home for Christmas, in fact, one year I put “new vacuum cleaner” on my Christmas wish list from my mom, no kidding. While I know it’s not necessarily the norm, I also know I am not the only mom out there asking for and really hoping she gets practical gifts.

This year, working with one of my favorite department stores, Belk.com I came up with some practical gift ideas for mom.

Valentine's Day Gifts for the Practical Mom - MommyB.jpg

Handbag or Wallet – Every mom needs a handbag or wallet, but how about getting her a cute designer wallet from Belk.com. I love that at Belk.com I can purchase great brands like Michael Kors, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Coach, and not break the bank.

{Pictured above: Lauren Ralph Lauren Thurlow Zip Around Leather Wallet}

Kitchen Appliances – Be careful on this one, some moms want anything other than kitchen or household supplies, but if you have a mom who has expressed interest, Belk.com carries a great line of appliances. If they like cooking or baking for their family they may enjoy a Calphalon No-Peek Waffle Maker, beautiful counter cannisters, or even appliances that will make entertaining easier. 

Sheet and Bedding Sets – Every bed needs sheets and bedding, but instead of buying the usual, consider purchasing higher thread count, better quality sheets like the Hotel by Biltmore 800 Thread Count Sheets and maybe a few coordinating throw pillows. Practical and pretty!

Watches – Most practical moms are also Type-A moms and try to be on time {when it’s in their power}, so naturally a watch is a great way to tell time and keep moms on schedule. Belk.com offers so many options when it comes to watches, whether you want something classic, or something fun, or even something with a hint of whimsy and romance like the Betsey Johnson Rose Gold Tone Puffy Heart Watch pictured above. Definitely a great Valentine’s Day gift!

Beauty and Makeup – Choose everyday makeup and beauty products with a boost. If you know they typically wear brown eyeshadow, pick up this beautiful Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Eye Palette or treat them to a gift bag of their favorite facial cleanser and a few new products. If the practical mom in your life isn’t big on beauty products or makeup think about buying them something subtle, they may have a change of heart {I’ve done this several times with my own mom.}

Even though these gifts are sensible, they’re definitely not boring. This Valentine’s Day, head to Belk.com to make your Valentine’s Day gift purchases whether or not you’re shopping for a practical mom, funny dad, awesome kids, or someone else you really love.

And if you’re looking to splurge on that extra special person, check out Belk.com’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.

That’s not all, I’m giving one lucky MommyB Knows Best reader a chance to win a $75 Belk gift card. You won’t get it in time for Valentine’s Day, but I’m sure you can find some great ways to spend it!!

Belk.com Giveaway on MommyB

Enter here to win a $75 Belk.com Giftcard:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received a Belk.com giftcard in return for my gift picks and opinions. I have been a Belk shopper for several years and truly love this brand. I’m honored to bring information regarding this brand to you. Your opinions may vary.

Valentine’s Day Breakfast – “Inside My Heart” Fried Egg French Toast

“Inside My Heart” Fried Egg French Toast

Valentine's Day Inside my Heart Breakfast.jpg

I’ve heard it said that you “eat with your eyes” first. I think that’s not only true for adults who instagram pictures of every meal, but also for kids too.

In my experience, children are more likely to eat something that looks fun to them. I remember babysitting a little girl who wouldn’t eat a sandwich unless it was cut in the shape of a star. So, sometimes we have to cater to the kids and get a little creative when it comes to food. That line of thinking inspired me to put together this breakfast recipe, one that might even win the “hearts” of those picky-eaters.

Toast1

Ingredients *Recipe is for 4 servings (4 slices of French toast)

1. 4 slices whole wheat or whole grain bread of your choice

2. 5 eggs

3. ¼ cup half & half (or milk)

4. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

5. 1 tbsp honey

6. 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)

7. Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Directions

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)

2. Using a cookie cutter, cut out and remove a heart-shape in the center of each slice of bread. Set aside.

Valentine's Day Egg Inside Heart French Toast

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 egg, half & half, honey, and cinnamon

French Toast Mixing MommyB.jpg

4. Dip each slice of bread (with the heart cutout removed) into the egg batter

5. Grease the griddle using butter (or cooking spray), and place each slice of bread onto the griddle

6. Crack the remaining eggs into the heart cutouts in the bread (1 egg per slice)

7. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the egg looks set

8. Flip the bread and cook the reverse side for an additional 3-4 minutes

9. Serve with a drizzle of syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a dusting of powdered sugar, as desired

Egg Inside My Heart French Toast Valentine's Day Food.jpg

Bonus Tip Save the heart shapes you removed from the bread slices and use them to make heart- shaped PB&J sandwiches for lunch!

What will you be making your little sweethearts for Valentine’s Day breakfast??

 

About the author:

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

Harvard Sweet Boutique – Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, 10 days to go to be exact. I love getting my husband and girls gifts for Valentine’s Day to show them that I care, and to be completely honest I like getting Valentine’s gifts and treats as well. It’s a fun holiday to celebrate whether you’re celebrating with your significant other or the entire family.

I enjoy getting at least one edible treat for this holiday and this year I got a taste {literally} of Valentine’s Day early. Harvard Sweet Boutique sent me some samples of their brownies and cookies so I could tell you what my honest thoughts are on their products. But first, let me tell you a little more about the company itself.

Harvard Sweet Boutique Logo

Harvard Sweet Boutique is a gourmet, all-natural dessert company that offers hand-made goodies for any occasion. The mouth-watering artisan brownies, decadent cookies and dissolve-in-your-mouth toffee can be easily bought online and shipped to friends, loved ones and business associates for any occasion. Even for those with specific dietary needs, Harvard Sweet Boutique offers low-carbohydrate and gluten-free treats! They have a huge customer following and have been featured in national magazines like Every Day with Rachael Ray and InStyle.

My first thoughts when I received my package was how great their presentation was. If I had been receiving this as a gift from hubby I definitely would have been beyond excited to open it. As I opened my package I saw a bunch of individually wrapped treats to enjoy. As far as the look of the treats they were okay, the Vanilla Sea Salt Carmel Brownie was a little gooey in the package, but the only item that was damaged was my, “Perfect” sugar cookie. See the irony?!?! I’m not too picky though when it comes to looks of the goodies, I’m more about the taste. Although I must say the Mint Chocolate Fudge Brownie did look pretty in it’s package.

Harvard Sweet Boutique MommyBKnowsBest

Now, to the taste, in my opinion, the most important factor, among presentation and price. I did taste each of the items in my basket and my favorites by far were the brownies. If you are a center-brownie person, and like the really fudgy ones these will make your mouth happy. I loved the Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Brownies, there were a few spots where the salt was concentrated, but all together this was the best brownie I have ever eaten. I also really enjoyed the Mint Chocolate Fudge and regular Fudge Brownies.

Harvard Sweet Boutique Brownies

As for the cookies in my box, to be completely honest, I wasn’t super thrilled about them. I like my cookies like I like my brownies, soft and a little gooey even. But for those of you who like crispy cookies you will totally enjoy these. My girls, however loved each of the cookies they got to try out. When it comes to cookies they’re not picky, but the conversation heart sugar cookie was their favorite I assume because of the way it was decorated.

One last thing that I can TOTALLY appreciate about Harvard Sweet Boutique is that they have gifts in several different price ranges. I like that they have some treats that are under $20 and even a fun Miniature Brownies & Bars box for only $11.00, that’s pretty decent.

Visit HarvardSweetBoutique.com for your gift orders whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or another occasion this year. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter too!

 

As I mentioned above I received samples of Harvard Sweet Boutique products in order to give you my honest opinions of their products. The opinions and thoughts expressed above are my own thoughts, yours may vary if you are a brownie corner connoisseur.