Family life · Gifts · Husband

Family Friday – Valentine’s Day On a Low Budget

wp-1486639108012.jpg

Valentine’s Day is next week and you have little money to celebrate! What do you do?

All is not lost!  There are a ton of ideas to make the day special for you and your spouse!  Let me give you a few affordable suggestions:

  • Get a pad of sticky notes at the Dollar Tree.  On separate pages, write
    • attributes you love about  your spouse
    • a memory of special events/happenings in your relationship over the years
    •  clues to find a hidden gift (more on the gift below)
  • Put the notes
    • All over the inside of his car!
    • All over the house
    • Inside the shower
    • In his daily path –
      • inside his Bible
      • on the bathroom mirror
      • on his coffee cup
      • in his closet
      • in his shoes
      • on the computer screen
  • Give a loving gift
    • Fill a box with little things he loves
      • His favorite candy bar
      • A favorite pen
      • $5 gift card to favorite fast food or coffee place
      • A  favorite movie dvd (even checked out from the library!)
      • A favorite Bible verse printed out from the computer
      • The favorite cookie or brownie you make
      • A favorite picture of the two of you in an inexpensive frame
    • Get him a small journal where you can record your dates and what you do in the next year!
    • Go to a used book store and find a great book he’d love.
  • Dress up for an evening at home.
  • If you have children, make dinneritme a time for the family.  Set the table with red and white.  Add conversation hearts scattered on the tablecloth (yes, add a tablecloth), burn some candles or votives.  Serve salad first, then clear the dishes and serve the main course.  Dessert idea below.
  • Give the children little heart boxes of their own chocolates – if Whitman’s is too expensive, they have cute boxes at the Dollar Tree!
  • To make a heart shaped cake, mix up a box of cake mix and pour half in a round pan and half in a square pan.  After baking and cooling, cut the round cake in half.  Put the square cake on a platter so it looks like a diamond shape.  Put half of the round on the top right and the other on the top left – voila!  It’s a heart!  Cover with pink or white icing.
  • Give the children their dessert after supper.  Save yours and your husband’s for later.
  • After the kids are in bed, serve dessert by candlelight in your bedroom.  Serve it on your good dishes.  If you need to bring in a small table, do so.  Make it special!  Light candles in the room.  Turn on some soft music.
  • If you need a chocolate dessert idea, here’s a favorite of mine!

So, is there an idea here you think you could use?  I hope so!  I also hope you take these ideas and implement them into every day of your marriage!  Valentine’s Day isn’t the day to get caught up or to make up for what you should’ve been doing.  Make the day special, then keep it going all year!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Denise Signature 150 px

home · Home decor

Make Home Special with Valentine Decor

Happy February!  Seasonal decorations make home fun for our families.  It communicates life, care and spontaneity.  You don’t have to go crazy, but just little touches here and there make it special!

Here are some of my Valentine’s Day touches around the house…

The mantle in our bedroom…

I moved my chalkboard upstairs because I needed a tall picture to offset all the little things. I enjoy doodling on that board sooo much! And it’s good to remember that God does love us so much!

A simple banner is hung in the dining area. I have a fresh arrangement on the table, too. I love buying fresh flowers in the winter – it reminds me of the life of spring, just around the corner!

In the kitchen I just added a couple of my heart-shaped cookie cutters to the centerpiece on the island…

The living room…

I made a banner from scrapbooking paper and twine.

A little soft lighting for the bookcase…

These are all simple additions to add  Valentine touches without overkill.

It’s fun to have seasonal decor – even if you just add a centerpiece on the kitchen table. It’s the little things that your family will appreciate and remember.

  • You could fill a mug with a heart on it with carnations.
  • Fill a mason jar with  candy conversation hearts. Tie A ribbon around the neck of the jar.
  • Line up your red mugs on a shelf.
  • Use heart-shaped doilies as a banner. Use tiny clothespins to hang them on a piece of twine.
  • Spray paint small branches white and attach small pink and red hearts.  Place the branch in a white basket or vase.
  • Set out your February magazines on the coffee table or add red covered books to your bookshelf.
  • My Scrabbble tiles on the coffee table are used as part of my decor, too.  What message could you leave for your family?

Of course Pinterest has hundreds of great ideas for you to get inspiration from!  The point is to just do something because everyone loves Valentine’s Day!

What do you do to decorate for Valentine’s Day?

Denise Signature 150 px

Marriage · Uncategorized

Twenty-Six Ways to Show Your Love

ABC’s of Sharing your Love

Looking for some ways to express your love to your husband this Valentine’s Day? Here are 26 ways to love him all year long.Admire his physical characteristics.
Buy him his favorite candy bar, snack or treat.
Call him on the phone while he’s at work just to tell him you love him and are thinking about him.
Dress up for him – look your best when he comes home!
Express the reasons why you love him – write it on the bathroom mirror in dry erase marker.
Find a picture of the two of you when you were dating. Write a note on the picture and post it where he can see it.
Greet him at the door each night when he comes home.
Have your own signal to say “I love you.” A tug of the tie, a secret number code, etc so you can express your love even in a crowd.
Initiate a date and take care of all the details.
Joke and tease with him like you did when you were dating.
Kiss him before he leaves the house!
Leave notes for him – in his car, on his pillow, in his brief case, in his Bible…
Make his favorite dessert and serve it by candlelight in your bedroom after the kids are in bed.
Note on a large-blocked calendar things your husband has done for you. Keep track all year, and then give the calendar to him as a journal of sorts.
Openly share your love for him in front of your children. They need the security that Mommy and Daddy love each other!
Poems are creative ways to tell your husband how you feel. If you can’t write one, find one that says what’s in your heart.
Quips and cartoons are fun love notes to leave. Read the comics and the “Love is” cartoon in the paper and cut out one that is appropriate for him.
Run an errand for him – even if it’s out of your way.
Share a special treat together – a milkshake or a small personal-size pizza.
Tell him what you admire about him – this is different than why you love him…this is about who he is – not what he does.
Understand his need for space.
Vanish away together! Plan an overnight trip and surprise him.
Wash the car for him
Xtra loving care…give him all he needs.
Your attitude can change his bad day. Make sure your heart is right with the Lord so you can encourage him!
Zest for life can make a boring marriage an exciting one. Do something new together!
Share your ideas of ways you express your love here in the comment section.
Lovingly,
Home decor

Valentine Decor at Home

Valentines 1

I’m so thankful for holidays and seasons that allow us to change or add decor to our homes.  I think adding a decorative touch for the little holidays like Valentine’s Day tells our family that they’re special.  School classrooms get decorated, store windows are embellished, and magazines are filled with special touches.  Home should be the most special place, and one way to do that is to add decorative embellishments.

I thought I’d share my simple Valentine touches with you today.  With my love for Shabby Chic, the pink and white, the roses and the feminine pieces are perfect!

Of course the first place I love to start is my chalkboard.  The picture below was my inspiration found on PInterest :

Valentine's Chalkboard Art:

Here’s the drawing on my chalkboard:Valentines 1.jpg

My mantle is red and white – a heart=shaped box, a book that says. “Love” on the cover and other red and white books, roses and a red candle.

a

We have our kitchen table pulled up to the fireside for the cold months, which is a cozy touch for Valentine’s Day, too!  I love the painted mason jar that’s holding my pink daisies.

 

Valentines 2c

My bookcase has lots of red-covered books – I DO sometimes buy a book for it’s cover, though I’d never judge it because of it!  =)

Valentiines 4a

The paper and lace doily banner hanging below was found in Target’s dollar section.  I made the red and white toile chair covers several years ago, and their color is  perfect for February decor!

Valentines 3

My entry way just has a simple red berry and gingham wreath and a heart hanging from my old window.  Red M&M’s are the chocolate treat in the dish.  Kisses would be perfect, too!

Valentines 5.jpg

I hope you’ve added some fun touches to your home for Valentine’s Day (I’d love to hear about it!), and if you haven’t that these simple pictures might inspire you to do so!

With love,

 

 

dessert · Main entree

Something Savory, Something Sweet for Valentine’s Day

Salmon 1

It’s February!  If you’re thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day and a special dinner for your sweetie, I have a couple suggestions for you!  One is a main dish and side, and the other is a dessert.  Both would are special, but not complicated and taste like elegant restaurant food!  Dessert comes last in the meal, so we’ll look at the entree first.

Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon is a recipe I found in my Southern Living Magazine and pinned onto my Pinterest board.  It’s cooked in about 10 minutes and the prep takes about 5!  

Here are the ingredients:

Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon and Veggies

4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 pound fresh medium asparagus
8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed – I used just the asparagus
1 small orange, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices – (I just added orange peel instead of the oranges)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt – I found this way too salty! 1/4tsp. would work!
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (5- to 6-oz.) fresh salmon fillets
Garnish: toasted sesame seeds

Preparation

Hands-on: 25 Minutes
Total: 25 Minutes

1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Whisk together honey and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Place asparagus, green beans, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to coat.

3. Place salmon in center of a heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. Brush salmon with about 2 Tbsp. honey mixture. Spread asparagus mixture around salmon.

4. Broil 4 minutes; remove from oven, and brush salmon with about 2 Tbsp. honey mixture. Return to oven, and broil 4 minutes more. Remove from oven, and brush salmon with remaining honey mixture. Return to oven, and broil 2 minutes more. Serve immediately.

salmon 2

You could make this on a busy weeknight and have dinner on the table faster than going out for dinner!  This is a healthy meal and absolutely delicious!  It won’t make you feel too guilty about eating this dessert.  It is from Cooking Light, so that’s another reason you can eat it and enjoy it!


I love, love, love chocolate and raspberries together.  When I saw this next recipe in my new cookbook, I couldn’t wait to try it!  I made it for our deacons group and it was a hit!  These were so yummy that it would have been dangerous to have a whole pan of these lying around.  Talk about temptation!  There was one left in the pan.  =)

Rasp. brownies

Cream Cheese-Raspberry Brownies

Ingredients

FILLING:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white
BROWNIES:
Cooking spray
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, melted
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons raspberry preserves

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the filling, beat the first 5 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended, and set aside.

To prepare the brownies, coat the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray (do not coat the sides of the pan). Lightly spoon 3/4 cup flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine 1 cup sugar and the next 6 ingredients (1 cup sugar through the 2 egg whites), stirring well with a whisk. Add to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spread two-thirds of batter in bottom of prepared pan. Pour filling over batter, spreading evenly. Carefully drop the remaining batter and preserves by spoonfuls over filling; swirl together using the tip of a knife to marble. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack.

These cut much better after being refrigerated, if a clean cut is important to you…and if you can wait that long before tearing into them having a square!

Rasp. brownies 2.jpg

You could win any heart with this meal!  Who else is planning a Valentine dinner?

With love from my country kitchen,