Valentine's Inspiration

25 D A Y S from T O D A Y is V A L E N T I N E ‘ S  D A Y 
We are planning on celebrating over the weekend with a few of our favorite things.
On Thursday the 13th, I have my monthly rubber stamping and card making class with my Mama, and I can’t wait to get my hands on all the fun new Valentine’s Day stamps and embellishments. I think handmade cards are a gift in themselves, and they are especially nice when giving giftcards to friends or family. A giftcard isn’t always the most creative gift (but let’s be honest, it’s always an AWESOME one!) and by pairing a giftcard with a handmade card, you really touch the person in a special way.
On Friday the 14th, we are going out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants where they serve the most amazing fancy rotisserie chicken and asiago mashed potatoes. (I’m telling you, I’ve never cared much for mashed potatoes, but these are the bomb). I have a new black dress to wear and Dustin always enjoys getting dressed up since for work he doesn’t wear a suit and tie during the workweek. It will definitely be a fun night out.
On Saturday the 15th, we are doing a date-night in. Why not, right? “Celebrate all you can” is my motto. We plan to cook one of our favorite meals at home and enjoy a movie after Our Little Valentine is tucked in to bed. I’ll probably do some baking or come up with a special dessert for the two of us to share and maybe make some Valentine’s Day popcorn for the movie.
I will of course be dressing Olivia up in special Valentine’s Day outfits for all 3 of the celebration days. I can’t wait to give her the gift we chose and to celebrate our first Valentine’s as a family of 3.
Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not for the gifts or the red+pink  decorations everywhere, I have always just loved it for no reason at all. It is going to be even more special this year because not only will Dustin and I be each other’s Valentines, together we will share Our Little Valentine, Olivia.
Here is a little bit of my Valentine’s inspiration 
As I look through fun Valentine’s day photos and pins, I have been loving all the pink + gold combinations in garlands, desserts and accessories for Valentine’s day. You can never go wrong with gold and the pairing with a soft pastel pink makes it feminine and romantic.
For those of you who are DIY-ers, I think it would be so much fun to make cute paper hearts out of pretty patterned scrapbook paper. Learn how to HERE. This will definitely be an activity that Olivia and I do next year when she’s a little older. I might give it a go this year on my own, just to be sure it will go smoothly next year. Besides, any excuse to play with beautiful paper is a good one. 
Finally, arrows are such a classic sign of love and they conjure up images of cupid and lovestruck hearts. How fun would it be to make some of Cupid’s Arrows with kabob sticks, white feathers and Valentine’s scrapbook paper? Learn more about DIY arrows HERE.  They would make the perfect gift topper with a big red ribbon and would be equally adorable sitting upright in a glass vase on a coffee table (next to a big bowl of Valentine’s M&Ms of course!)
So it’s no secret that I LOVE food and I love to bake just as much as I love to eat. Strawberries dipped in chocolate have been traditionally associated with Valentine’s day, and I remember years ago when we were first dating, Dustin and I made our own chocolate-dipped strawberries. This year instead, I am thinking of making a chocolate cake with raspberry filling.  Add a dollop of some fresh-whipped cream and a few raspberries on top and it will be the perfect Valentine’s dessert! 
I also think these cupcakes with lettering are so much fun - how creative and still so simple! You could really make any flavor cupcakes and then just add a chocolate ganache on top and pipe on letters (XO, anyone?) and you’re ready to impress everyone at your Valentine’s Day party! 
Looking for a fun snack for your kiddos? Grab some pretzels (my favorite can be found HERE) and dip them in some milk or white chocolate and add some festive sprinkles. You can even buy them gluten free! These would make a great treat to pack in your little’s lunch on Friday the 14th.
I have the belief that you can’t ever go wrong with fun pillows. We have them all over our house and these “X’ and “O” pillows would be adorable in a master bedroom. You can purchase them HERE. Because they’re neutral in color, you could keep them out all season and they would always look great!
The last few things I wanted to highlight as part of my Valentine’s Inspiration are included above. How sweet are those “Hello Handsome” and “Hello Beautiful” chalkboard prints? They are free printables HERE and would make an adorable Valentine’s Day card. 
I also LOVE the pom pom flower bouquet with the tag that says “I Love You” - they would be so easy to make and be so sweet sitting on a table or tied on top of a gift box. All you would need is pom poms, small sticks, super glue and a little bit of cardstock for the tag, which you could customize to say anything you wanted.
Finally, I love the simple and rustic-looking heart garland. With a pair of scissors, some paper or fabric and a bit of thread, you would have a fun garland that would spruce up any area. Because it is so rustic looking, I picture it over an old fireplace or hanging in a three-season porch. Why not decorate every room of your house this year?
(All the other individual details of these projects and the inspiration can be found HERE).
Happy Monday!

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