Gifts · Valentine Treats · Valentine's Day

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

This is a repost of an old post written to especially help men get an idea of what to do for Valentine’s Day.  My husband is the BEST at gift-giving, and you’ll find 10 ideas down in this post!  

This is the week of Valentine’s – I guess we’re all aware of that. If you have a Valentine, I trust he also realizes that! No slam is suggested in that statement, it’s just that not all men think about these things before the day arrives. So, I thought it might be appropriate to start out today by giving a word to the wise for Valentine’s. If you you or your Valentine could use some suggestions of things to do or gifts to give, read on!

Love is kind. I Corinthians 13:4

Sweet treats are always a good thing for Valentine’s Day! Last weekend I made a recipe of brownies then after they were completely cooled, I cut them in large squares. Using a small heart shaped cookie cutter a cut a heart out of the middle of the brownie as you see in the picture here. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but then I made up a butter cream icing, tinted it pink and filled in the heart with the icing. You could use canned icing too in your favorite flavor. I then wrapped each brownie in waxed paper and put them in cute little boxes and shipped them off to my two girls who both love chocolate! The cut out hearts make nice little bite-sized treats too!
 
Love seeketh not her own. I Cor. 13:5

Some of the other little gifts I put in the pillow pocket have been:

Two gel pens with the note – You are my “write” man!
A recent picture of us made into a Valentine Card.

“How much do I love you?”
(attached to note)

An OLD picture of us when we first started dating!

Another thought would be to go to Pandora (or Amazon music) and make a play list of music you loved while you were dating, and have it playing when you eat supper or when he gets home.

I’ve asked my husband to share some good ideas for dates and/or gifts for Valentine’s Day. He’s very thoughtful and creative and gets an A+ in this department! Here are his Gift suggestions for men to give their wives:

Ways to say “I love you”
1. Use a dry erase marker and leave a love note scribbled on the bathroom mirror or leave love notes in her purse, dresser drawer, on the fridge door, in her car or by the coffeepot.
2. Write in your own words 10 reasons why you love her and leave it attached to a dozen roses, a box of candy or a piece of jewelry.
3. Wash and vacuum her car; leave a love note on the steering wheel.
4. After the children go to bed, order a personal pan pizza and have a pizza date in the bedroom with candlelight and romantic music.
5. Invite your Sweetheart to Starbucks for a peppermint mocha. While there, play a board game or two and pay no attention to anyone else but your spouse.
6. Make her some chocolate covered strawberries. Pick up some strawberries at the grocery store and in the baking department, find chocolate that is microwaveable. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate, chill and serve on nice plate.
7. Schedule a manicure or a pedicure at a local spa. She needs the time away and the pampering will do her good. Pay for the treatment over the phone so all she’s responsible for is to show up.
8. Instead of going out to eat, order carry-out. Serve it up on your best tableware, have candlelight, and soft music. Be creative and have fun. If you cook, fix her favorite and in either case, clean up too!
9. If you go out on date, you schedule the babysitter, choose the spot, and treat her like a lady by opening the door for her, escorting her into the restaurant, and talk only to each other. Tell the waiter you’ll call him/her when you need them. Every couple needs a quiet date in a corner booth w/out any distractions. Both of you sit on the same side of the booth with your back to the crowd.

See why he gets an A+? 🙂 Oh yes!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Christmas · Gifts

Three Things I LOVE That Would Make a Terrific, Inexpensive Gift

It’s post-Thanksgiving! Have you started that huge (overwhelming) task of buying for everyone on your Christmas list? I know some people who just have a knack for buying the perfect gift…I’m not one of those people. I struggle with this so much! If you’re like me, I thought you might appreciate a few suggestions for the women in your life that need an inexpensive little something that is super-special in my book!

  1. Bath & Body Works Bubble BathI’m always on the lookout for a good bubble bath that smells wonderful and makes the best bubbles! I found Bath & Body Works Bubble bath this year during one of their super sales. I love this stuff so much that I probably won’t ever change! There are other fragrances, but I love Rose & Vanilla! If you wanted to bump up this gift, you could include a super-soft, large bath towel.

2. Bath & Body Works Hand and Foot Cream – With all the extra handwashing and sanitizing we’re doing, hands are taking a beating. Also, those rough heels need some TLC, too, right? I apply this cream at bedtime and in the morning it feels like I’ve had a spa treatment! My skin is so much softer after application! It’s super thick so it can really penetrate through that dry skin. If you wanted to bump up this gift, you could include some cozy slippers or plush socks.

3. Hobby Lobby Pillow Slipcovers – If you want to keep your home decor to a minimum, buying slipcovers from Hobby Lobby is the way to go! They have a zipper that allows you to throw your pillow in there. That means you can put the slipcover into the wash, if needed. Aaaaand, you can snag these at 50% off if your watch their sales. I got two of these fuzzy covers for a total of $15! What? You can’t even buy one pillow for that price! I love that it adds a winter touch to my couch, but I’m not stuck with having to store a whole pillow in the warmer months!

Don’t you think these would make great gifts for a woman on your list?

Which of these three items is your favorite?

Happy shopping!

Christmas · Christmas decor · Crafts · Gifts · Hostess Goals

Homemade Rae Dunn-Like Ornament

 

Rae Dunn.png

My church is hosting a Ladies’ Brunch and Ornament Exchange on Saturday morning.  I’m always up for a fun event at church where we can fellowship over good food, open God’s Word together, and share the special Christmas season!  Because we could have visitors who might not come prepared for the ornament exchange, I decided to bring some extras with me.  I wanted them to be special and pretty, but not too pricey.

I had seen some Rae Dunn ornaments that were lovely, but they were way more than I wanted to pay since I needed about six.  Then when I was Hobby Lobby this week, I got inspired to try to mimic the look of the Rae Dunn ornaments.  Let me show you my finished product then I’ll tell you how easy it was to create. Continue reading “Homemade Rae Dunn-Like Ornament”

Christmas · Gifts

Practical Gift-Giving Guide

Gift giving.jpg

My Monday’s posts are typically food related, and while today’s post does have some food, it’s primarily food ideas rather than recipes.

With Christmas approaching, I wanted to use today to share some fun and terrific gift ideas with you! Figuring out what to give people is hard for me.  Maybe it is for you too, so I thought you might appreciate some suggestions from a friend of mine. She has the gift of giving the perfect gifts! This friend is Vickie Stykes. She has prepared gift baskets to welcome our guest speakers at church or visiting missionaries in years past. She could think of such clever things to add to each basket to make it personal and useful! She has also made and purchased gifts to give away at our church’s ladies’ retreats, and trust me, those gifts are always much desired!

Some years ago Vickie shared a list of ideas with our church ladies about baskets and bags of gifts to give to certain categories of people.  Single moms, grandparents, teens, bakers, crafters,  there are gifts for all!  I’m sure you’ll find some wonderful ideas for even the hardest person to buy for!

CHRISTMAS GIFT BASKETS/BAGS
Christmas gifts do not have to be expensive, just filled with love from you. Here are some of my favorite suggestions. — Vickie Stykes

1. For the single person or newlywed couple: Make a favorite meal gift bag/box. Examples:
“Italian Feast”- Include a box of spaghetti, noodles, homemade or canned spaghetti sauce, can of mushrooms, bag of salad, loaf of bread and checked napkins to complete the gift.
“Favorite Sunday Dinner” –Prepare a roast ahead and freeze, wrap thoroughly in aluminum foil to include in gift bag/box. Include potatoes, carrots, onions, can of green beans, pkg. of rolls and homemade dessert or even a frozen fruit pie would be good. Meal can be ready in a short time.
“Pizza Please” – Include a box of pizza dough mix, pizza sauce, pkg. cheese, mushrooms, pepperoni, green pepper, onion, or any other pizza toppings you may want to include. You may also add a bag of salad mix. For an extra bonus include a pizza stone and cutter. You may want to add a video gift card for a “pizza and movie night”.

2. For the grandparents: Give car wash coupons, gas cards, favorite magazine subscriptions, grocery store gift cards or beauty/barber shop gift certificates, photo albums, etc. Decorate a gingerbread house for their Christmas enjoyment.

3. Let your children make special help make a memory album including a video or tape recording messages for those who live miles away. Include some photos throughout the year of special events, birthdays, vacations, etc.

4. Stationery Basket: Can be used as a hostess gift, for a college student, the newlyweds, grandparents, senior saint, someone recovering from surgery/illness, secretary, a special friend, teacher, etc. Include: stationery for those who still write letters or notes, thank you and various other cards, stamps, monogrammed cards or seals, address book, pen, etc.

5. For the baker – Baking Bag/Basket: Include items for baking such as 10-X sugar, chocolate chips and other flavored baking chips, nuts, cocoa, Eagle Brand Milk, cake mixes, a dessert cookbook, etc. May also include a baking sheet, spring-form pan or Bundt pan, Silpat sheet for cookies or parchment paper, cookie cutters, cookie sprinkles and cake decorating equipment, gingerbread house kit, etc. Complete kits can be purchased for around $10.00. You may even want to complete the gingerbread house and give it as a kit to someone special.

6. Wrapping Paper Bag/Basket: Include a variety of wrapping paper, gift bags, tape, scissors, blank gift cards, ribbon, tissue paper, etc.

7. Card-making Bag/Basket: Include a storage container for supplies, a variety of card stock, envelopes, decorative papers, scissors, glue sticks, stickers, etc.

8. For those serving in the military or who have served in years past: Prepare a photo frame with the soldier in uniform to give to his wife, children, or parents. If more than one generation has served in the military include photos of each one, include the branch of service, purchase military seals, etc. Make a shadow box of the soldier’s medals, hat, special pieces of uniform, etc. Use patriotic fabric as a background or include a small flag draped across background.

9. For your adult child: Prepare a history story beginning with their birth up to the present including dates, schools, friends, special events and awards, first events (first haircut, lost tooth, overnight stay, camp, etc.) 

10. Cookie Jar Recipe: Prepare a quart jar filled with layered baking ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe. Cover top with decorative fabric or paper circle, tie with ribbon and attach mixing/baking instructions. Also include a batch of the cookies with the jar if possible.

11. Hot Cocoa Mix: Prepare batch of homemade cocoa mix, place amount in zip-lock baggie for 2-3 cups. Purchase a decorative mug and place cocoa mix inside with instructions for amount to use. Give cocoa mug alone or with a dozen homemade cookies. Could also give several mug sets for a family gift and include larger amount of cocoa in decorative tin. This makes a good teacher gift, neighbor gift, doctor or special person gift, etc.

12. Recipe Book: Write your own favorite recipes, poems, stories, traditions, photos and include in a notebook as a special gift for your adult child, friend, relative, etc.

13. Basket from Grandma: Perfect gift for grown grandchild from grandmother or to give to grandparents or teachers! Include a jar of your favorite homemade jelly/jam or apple butter and a loaf of homemade bread. If you are not a bread maker, include muffins or muffin mixes to eat with jelly/jam.

14. Auto-Care Basket: Gift for a college student, grandparent, for a boy with his first car, for dad, a boss, etc. Include car wash coupons, gas cards, car deodorizers, Rain-X, Amoral, chamois cloth, car wash mop, personalized license plate, travel atlas, maps, roadside emergency kit, Kleenex, paper towels, trash container, music CD or book, etc. for unique gifts.

Be sure to bookmark this page; it will be helpful not just at Christmas, but all year long!

Which of these ideas are your favorite?

Refresh your gift-giving with a clever suggestion!

Denise