Tag Archives: Valentine’s

Sticky Wall Colour Matching Game

Sticky Wall Colour Matching GameOne of the little activities I set up for Miss and her friends to enjoy at our Valentine’s tea was this sticky wall colour matching game.  The idea came from No Time for Flashcards (an amazing activity resource for kids of all ages) and although I followed Allison‘s instructions pretty closely, I made a couple of little changes along the way.  

IMG 5537Needed for the project was construction paper in rainbow colours, a heart-shaped paper punch, permanent markers in coordinating rainbow colours, and clear contact paper {which can be purchased at dollar stores and home hardware stores}.

IMG 5538First off, I punched out tons of hearts and mixed them up really well in order to make the activity more challenging.

IMG 5540Next, I rolled the contact paper out on the floor (paper backing side down) and drew rainbow-coloured hearts inside one another on the non-sticky side of the contact paper (using permanent markers for this part is key).

IMG 5570The following morning I peeled the paper off of the corners, and taped the sheet up to the wall before peeling the entire backing off.  As you can see, I attempted to make it look cute by taping it to the wall with my black and white polka dotted washi tape, but it simply didn’t cut it.  The ugly masking tape had to be brought out, but it worked perfectly.

When Miss G’s little friends came over, they began popping up the hearts all over the place {somewhat to Grae’s dismay}.  And though most of them didn’t get put in the ‘correct’ places, they had a lot of fun with it.  In fact, at one point I think we had 3 toddlers pressing their faces onto the sticky wall and slowly pulling them away before sticking them back on again. ☺

IMG 5576Of course, once everyone had gone, she got straight to fixing things.  The beauty about contact paper is that the paper hearts can easily be removed and reattached if need be.

IMG 5575Grae worked hard on her project for a good long while and it’ll stay up for the next while for her to revisit when desired, which I know will be often.


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Our 3rd Annual Valentine’s Tea

IMG 5583A little tradition we started back when Gracen was just 5 months old and we were living in Kuwait is an annual Valentine’s tea.  Today we hosted our third celebration with a bunch of Grae’s good buddies, some awesome mamas, delicious treats, and some messy fun.  The sun was shining, us mamas got to sneak in conversations in between chasing toddlers, and the kiddos played happily.

Here are some snapshots from our morning…

IMG 5589Tea.

IMG 5545Heart-shaped pretzels made especially for us by SweetSalt.

IMG 5544Banana berry muffins {adapted from this recipe}.

IMG 5542Mmmm… Fruit.

IMG 5543Strawberry crispy hearts.

IMG 5584Hearts.

IMG 5585Treats for the mamas.

IMG 5598Tea for toddlers.

IMG 5580Berry-scented play dough.

IMG 5548Hard at play.

IMG 5550Water bead fun.

IMG 5567Aftermath.

IMG 5569Crafting.

IMG 5560A happy girl post-party.

Kind of crazy that we’ve had two teas here in Vancouver and next year we’ll be back to where it all started, but I’m looking forward to it.

Take a peek at last year’s tea here.


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Toddler Food: What Miss G Eats {27 – Valentine’s Edition}

IMG 5481Breakfast // Heart-shaped wholewheat flax oat pancakes with a tiny drizzle of pure maple syrup.  Strawberry hearts.

IMG 5484Special drink // Frothy strawberry milk (made with freeze-dried strawberries) with heart-shaped milk ice cubes.

IMG 5512Lunch // Veggie and wild rice soup with heart-shaped carrots (aka “love soup” according to Grae).

IMG 5528Dinner // Roasted veggie and feta pizza on a thin wholewheat crust.


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Valentine’s Day {2013}

IMG 5513With a Valentine’s party earlier this week, and our annual Valentine’s tea happening tomorrow, when Miss G asked to have a special day at home today instead of attending our Valentine’s celebration at Strong Start, I was more than happy to oblige.  It was a day of cooking together and doing special activities, topped off with a few hand-picked gifts for each of us at the end of the day.

Here is our day in photos…

IMG 5480Little breakfast helper.

IMG 5483A breakfast full of hearts.

IMG 5486A special drink.

IMG 5490Jello play dough experiment.

IMG 5500Play time.

IMG 5509A special project for Papa.

IMG 5511“Love soup”.

IMG 5523Proud.

IMG 5525Papa’s pizza topping.

IMG 5526Heart-shaped bacon warrants a regular rectangular pizza.

IMG 5527Regular roasted veggies means the pizza needs to be heart-shaped.

IMG 5531Finishing off the day with a few little gifts. A beautiful picture frame and some David’s Tea goodies for Papa, Fauberg macarons for Mama, and a handmade purse, a new book, and some scented stickers for Miss G.

Check out last year’s Valentine’s Day with my little lady here.


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{Heart-Shaped} Strawberry Crispy Rice Treats

I must admit, since creating our first batch of healthy{er} crispy rice treats, we’ve made several batches since. The good news is that through all of the ‘testing’, we’ve learned that they last really well in an airtight container on the counter, they can be made into fun shapes using silicon moulds and ice cube trays, and they can easily be cut into shapes with cookie cutters {all while holding their shape just as well as regular Rice Krispie treats do}.  The one lesson we’ve learned along the way is that if you overdo the cereal, they turn out crunchier, more dry, and not nearly as yummy.  Lesson learned.

Healthy Strawberry Crispy Rice TreatsWhen planning some of the treats we’d serve at our annual Valentine’s Tea, Gracen’s most enthusiastic suggestion was “Crispy treats! Valem-time ones!”  Making the treats pink came to mind first, but since I’m not crazy about feeding Miss G a bunch of unnecessary food dyes, that got nixed shortly there after. 

IMG 5456The next thing that came to mind was one of Grae’s favourite treats… Freeze-dried strawberries.  We buy ours at Trader Joe’s, but I have seen them in other stores as well.  They’re just strawberries, but the process of freeze-drying them causes them to be super crunchy and astronaut food-like.

IMG 5458I asked Grae if she’d like to experiment with making strawberry crispy rice treats, and she was on board all the way.

IMG 5460IMG 5462To get started, we took about a half a cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground them to a powder in our food processor, and added them to the wet mixture while following our usual crispy rice treat recipe.

IMG 5466Of course, Miss G licked the cashew butter spoon, because, well… That’s probably the best part about helping with this recipe.

IMG 5468Once we’d combined the cereal and the wet mixture, we took another portion of freeze-dried strawberries, crumbled half into the mixture itself, and then sprinkled the other half on top of the mixture after pressing it down firmly on a baking sheet.

IMG 5472IMG 5472We let the mixture cool completely, then used a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.  Miss G liked helping with this job, but it required some serious muscle, so I had to help out.

IMG 5477It’s a simple twist, but so far the feedback’s been great…  Strawberry crispy treat success! ☺


Healthier Crispy Rice Treats

  • 1/2 cup of organic brown rice syrup (found in the all-natural aisle of most grocery stores, somewhere between the nut butters, syrups, and honeys)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew butter (macadamia works great too)
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground into powder
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
  • 4 cups of crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, gently crumbled

Measure the brown rice syrup, cashew butter, ground freeze-dried strawberries, and maple syrup into a large pot.  Warm over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.  When the mixture is hot and liquidy (but not bubbling), add the vanilla, give it another quick stir, and remove the pot from the heat.

Add in the crispy rice cereal and mix well to ensure the cereal is evenly coated with the sticky mixture.  Next, add in a 1/4 cup of the crumbled strawberries and stir to distribute them evenly.

Dump the mixture onto a parchment-line baking pan and press it down firmly.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of freeze-dried strawberries on top of the mixture, and gently press them down into place.  

Allow the mixture to cool completely (or almost completely).  Use a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.



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On Love.

While laying in the big bed chatting this morning…

Mama: Grae, do you remember what Valentine’s Day is all about?

Gracen: Yes. (very surely) It’s about love.  


And love is all about LICKING!


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Sugar Cookie Felt Board Set

Sugar Cookie Felt Board SetToday, while enjoying some downtime together as a family, I put together a quick and easy new felt board set for Miss G…  A sugar cookie cutting and decorating set.  All it really required was a few sheets of the cheap {recycled from plastic bottles} felt, a pair of sharp scissors, a plastic cookie cutter, and about 40 minutes of {interrupted} time.  Because Valentine’s Day is coming up, I went with a heart-shaped cutter, but any shape would be fun.

IMG 5335To start off, I traced the cookie cutter onto the tan felt several times, placing them as I’d cut out cookies from rolled dough (making sure to leave a decent amount of space between each).  The only tricky thing is that in order to keep your ‘rolled dough’ piece intact, you have to very carefully cut the shapes out without cutting through the borders.

IMG 5336Here’s what you should have when your shapes have all been cut out.

IMG 5337Then I quickly rounded the edges to make the rolled dough piece look a little bit more realistic.

IMG 5350Next, I cut out smaller hearts in different colours (and two sizes) to act as the frosting.

IMG 5353The last {and easiest} job was creating ‘candy sprinkles’ by chopping up thin strips of felt.

IMG 5345Miss was dying to get her hands on her new game, and began placing the cookies into the dough immediately.

IMG 5346Then it was straight to cutting them out using her cookie cutter.

IMG 5354Next up – the best part…  Decorating!

IMG 5355Almost as much fun as the real thing… If only felt cookies tasted delicious. ☺

You can find our easy and inexpensive felt board tutorial here and some of our other felt board games here.


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Valentine’s Slime Sensory Tray

Valentine s Day Slime Sensory TrayAfter putting together our ‘Will you be my Valen-slime?’ favours this afternoon, Miss G and I got out a few things and put together a really simple Valentine-themed slime sensory tray.

IMG 5176Slime is just one of those things that never gets old.  Miss G’s spent quite a lot of time playing with it in the past, but was every bit as thrilled to play with it again today.

IMG 5180Her favourite part of today’s set up was definitely the heart-shaped cookie cutters.  She’d imprint a bunch of hearts, watch them slowly melt away, and then loudly exclaim, “MAMA!  THEY DISAPPEARED!!” before making more.

IMG 5186My favourite part was that because this batch turned out just a tad firmer than our last, there was zero mess.  It didn’t stick to her hands, it didn’t goop up the bowls and kitchen utensils, and it didn’t cling to her clothes.  (A seemingly messy activity sans the mess = win!)

IMG 5184We left this out for most of the afternoon and evening, and Miss G came back to it again and again before it finally had to be sealed up just before dinner.  But before that happened, she wanted a guarantee that her tray and container of slime would be left out and ready for her to enjoy first thing the next morning.  

IMG 5193


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Valentine’s Day Slime Favours

Sparkly Valentine s Day Slime FavoursOkay, so not the most traditional of Valentine’s Day treats, but when you ask a two year old what she wants to give her friends for Valentine’s, you have to be open to the suggestions.  And those just happen to be heart wands and sparkly slime this time around.

IMG 5153Luckily, fun-to-play-with slime is a cinch to make and requires ingredients we always have around the house.  Plus, we’re slime experts after whipping up 50+ slime treats this past Halloween.  

IMG 5155Detailed instructions can be found here, but basically all you have to do is mix the glue, glitter, food colouring, and some of the water together…

IMG 5157And the other bit of water with the Borax separately.

IMG 5158Then pour the two mixtures together, knead it together a bit…

IMG 5164And watch oozy gooey slime form.  It’s honestly so easy that Miss G can do almost everything (save the measuring) on her own.

IMG 5165For packaging, we like using these 125 ml mason jars because they’re the perfect size and can be reused for something else afterwards (plus they’re pretty cute!)

IMG 5167Filling the jars with was Miss G’s favourite part of the process this time around, especially when she discovered that she could create all kinds of silly noises by forcing the slime down into the jars.

IMG 5169Though she’d asked for red slime with red sparkles, this is what our finished product looks like {even after using a half a bottle of liquid food colouring}.  Luckily the pink and red combo is perfect for the occasion and Miss G was pleased with how it turned out. 

IMG 5324For the tops, we created simple paper circle inserts that include a little ‘Valen-slime’ saying and a sparkly red heart.  Here are a few close ups…

IMG 5318‘Be mine, Valen-slime.’

IMG 5316‘Be my Valen-slime.’

IMG 5315‘Will you be my Valen-slime?’

Surely we’re the first ever people to give out slime on a holiday centred around love and friendship, but who wants to be run of the mill anyways?  

Sparkly Slime

(This is essentially the exact same recipe we used last time, but in a bigger batch.  This recipe yields 24 – 26 mason jars of slime – perfect for a class of kids – or in our case, 12 mason jars and a big batch to use for sensory play.)

  • 3 cups of white glue (approximately 6 regular sized bottles)
  • 2 1/4 cups of hot water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of fine glitter
  • food colouring (as much as desired)
  • 1 1/2 cups of hot water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of Borax
Combine the first set of ingredients until the mixture is smooth and free of glue globs.
In a separate measuring cup or bowl, combine the second set of ingredients until the Borax is dissolved into the water.
Slowly pour the Borax mixture into the glue mixture, stirring as you pour.  When the slime comes together in a large mass, knead it for a minutes until if is soft and stretchy.
Package in pretty little mason jars and gift to friends.
*While clear glue with work just fine for this recipe, environmentally-friendly versions will not.  Trust me.  We’ve tried it.  TWICE.*
*If your finished slime seems too ‘thick’ and not soft/stretchy/runny enough, simply add some really hot water to it, knead it in vigarously, and let it sit a few minutes.  The texture will improve greatly.*
 *Borax is a laundry booster and can be found near the bleach/stain remover/oxy clean in most big stores.*
*If you wonder about the safety of using Borax with children (as I did) this post is extremely helpful.*


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‘Heart in a Hole’

Heart in a HoleThis morning Gracen and I made one of our go-to breakfasts… Eggs in a hole.  Except we always make ours with a fun shape instead of a plain old circle and then change the name just a tad. ☺  On this morning’s menu?  Hearts in a hole. 

IMG 5136 I love this breakfast because it’s so easy, but it’s more fun than just plain eggs and toast.  Plus Grae gobbles it up every time and all you really need is eggs, bread, a little bit of oil, and a cookie cutter of some sort.  

IMG 5138This is really so simple that it doesn’t warrant instruction.  Just place the cookie cutter in the middle of the bread…

IMG 5141And really push down.

EggsThen place the bread, along with the cut out in an oiled pan warmed over medium heat and carefully crack the egg into the hole.  Because we like our eggs cooked hard, we cover the pan right away.

CookedWhen the white appears cooked through, flip everything over and let it cook a couple more minutes.

IMG 5146That’s it – breakfast is served.  And today, just for fun, we added strawberry hearts too.  (This meal may just have to be repeated on Valentine’s Day.)

IMG 5152


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