Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day is a made up Hallmark holiday, sooo cheesy, way overrated, and I lurve it. Why the heck would anyone be against a holiday that promotes telling people how much you love them, surrounding yourself with flowers, and eating chocolate/champagne?!

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If you have people in your life that love you, take the opportunity to show them you love them right back. Even if it’s as simple as a heart shaped grilled cheese! You could also take the time to slice strawberries into little hearts…just to have your kids tell you they taste funny. Ah, love!

My favorite Valentine tradition is indulging in complete gluttony with Chris. Nothing says romance like over-stuffing yourself with super rich pasta. This year we indulged the day before Valentine’s since Chris is traveling for work the rest of the week.

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Sundried tomato, baby portabella, garlic, shallot, Alfredo with filet mignon. We like to show our love for each other with a side of borderline diabetes.

Valentine’s Day is also a great excuse to pretend you’re a skilled “Pinterest Mom.” This year we went with a Lego themed card for obvious reasons. I found the easiest free printable card, had Brady cut them out, and ordered a 2lb. bag of Lego candy from Amazon for the win!

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I also love Valentine’s Day because it’s an excuse to drink champagne! I’m not sure if it’s our proudest parenting achievement, but our kids love when we pop bubbly!

Of course the best part of this oh-so-corny holiday, is lovin’ on your favorite people. In our family we use this day to not only tell each other “I love you” but we make a point to tell why we love each other. Chris and I have a scrapbook that we pass back and forth each year on Valentine’s Day with a list of the top reasons we love each other that year. This year it’s my turn to make the list for him. I used the fact that he’s out of town this week to postpone doing it until this weekend when we are doing a night away in St. Simons Island. We also made cards for each of the kids telling them why we love them. Love, love, love, love, LOVE! Super sweet, over the top, in your face, love! #NoShame #AllYouNeedIsLove #AndPasta

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all! Find someone you love, and show ’em!

Chomps and Kisses!

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day and we’re totally that family that buys into the whole “Hallmark Holiday” event. Yes, it’s cheesy and you should just show your love all year round, but what’s it hurt to have a little fun and go over the top with mushy stuff every now and then?!

As a wife I don’t expect expensive gifts or fancy dinners- in fact I really just like hanging out around the house and indulging in desserts and champagne. (Don’t get me wrong, flowers are appreciated too!)

As a mom, I just like having a fun day to look forward to with my little guys. We decorate the house, make fun food, give little gifts. Again, why not?!!

On top of our family celebrations, Brady also has a Valentine’s Day party at his pre-school. This year when I asked him what kind of card he wanted to give his little friends, he said, “Um. An alligator card.”

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Well who could say no to this little face?!

 

Hmm…the Gator fan in me loved this response. The mom in me was like, “Do they sell those? Oh gosh, what is Pinterest going to suggest I spend hours making?” So, to make it easy (on me) I had my handy hubby come up with a quick Alligator card design. After he designed it (and made all the changes I requested) all I had to do was print, cut them out with “fancy” scissors, and glue some Hershey Kisses on them. I helped Brady write his name on them, and we were done!

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I thought I’d share what we came up with in case anyone needs a last minute, quick Valentine for their little one. Just click on the link below the image. There are 2 cards per sheet.

Valentine 2015

Valentine 2015

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Just write your little one’s name on the card, throw some Kisses on it, and you’re good to go. Take that, Pinterest!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Feel free to go over the top and make it a cheesy and memorable day with your loved ones!

Happy, Healthy, Heart Pizzas! {Kids Cook Monday}

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Happy National Pizza Day! With love being in the air and all (Valentine’s Day right around the corner!) we decided to make heart shaped pizzas today.

Recently I read a study that talked about how much pizza the average kid eats and how bad it is for them. **Insert guilty mom face** Depending on what kind you eat, it can be high in fat, sodium, and empty carbs. No, we do not eat pizza all the time (maybe once or twice a month) but we do enjoy it around here- especially Nolan. Plus, it’s just so darn easy to order and have delivered! Well, even though I still stand by delivery pizza as an every once in a while treat, it’s always nice if you can “healthify” something you enjoy by making it at home now and then.

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Healthy, Happy, Heart Pizza Ingredents

 

We made our Heart Pizzas with a store bought whole wheat dough, but there are tons of great homemade whole wheat dough recipes like this one –  Ultimate No-Knead Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

We rolled out our dough on our counter top that we (washed) and dusted with flour. Once we pressed the dough out flat, we began to cut out our heart shape with a cookie cutter.

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We topped our pizzas with our favorite jarred marinara sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese.

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Brady picked his favorite veggies to top the pizzas. (I tried to get him to pick a red pepper for a pretty Valentine Day color, but he insisted on orange.) Here he is munching on his veggies!

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We chopped them into shapes that we could use for making happy faces on our hearts.

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Then we decorated our happy hearts!

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We baked our hearts for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

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These came out so cute and definitely satisfied a pizza craving for my boys. It was a fun way to kick off Valentines Day or just an overall love of pizza.

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Happy National Pizza Day! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

February Happenings!

February is always a quick month, but it feels like it’s really flying by this time around. Although I never like to wish time away, I’m certainly ready for Spring to hurry up and get here! There have been a ton of snow days this winter and it’s really made me (and my fellow Northerner mom friends) get creative with how we entertain our little ones. I must say, I totally underestimated how brutal winter can be up North. As Floridians we have a tendency to think we get it because we have our occasional cold day here and there, even getting frost on our windows every once in a while…but it’s a totally different thing when you have 4-5 months in a row where you must wear a jacket everywhere you go, have to put hats on little ones, and drag wet slushy snow into your house every single day. Even though I lived in Ohio until I was 9, the “up North” lifestyle is a whole different ball game as an adult, especially an adult with two kids!DSC_0318

Because sometimes cabin fever sets in and you just don’t know what else to do with your kid…

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The world’s cutest little men!!!

Anywaaaaaays, we’ve embraced our chilly life this month and have had some really fun times! Despite the fact we’ve missed several days of pre-school because of the snow storms, we have managed to get out and have some fun play dates with our friends. A few days before Valentine’s Day we hosted a play group for our kiddos to exchange Valentine’s cards. Unfortunately cold and flu season kept some of the little ones from being able to come, but the other kids still had a good time eating snacks, playing with balloons, and chasing each other around the house.

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Brady’s Mickey themed Valentine’s for his friends.

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Some of our Valentine’s playdate treats- notice the little pretzel snatcher!

We got a bunch of snow the day before Valentine’s Day, so thankfully my smart hubby thought ahead and brought me a little Valentines snack (and flowers) earlier in the week…just in case we were snowed in and he couldn’t give me anything on the actual day. I know Valentine’s day is supposedly a made up Hallmark holiday, but I still love it! Flowers, candy, candles, cards…I’m a fan of all that stuff!

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Pink Champagne and Raspberry Truffle. OMG.

In an effort to get a change of scenery, we tagged along with Chris for a 4 day trip to Buffalo, NY. He had to work, so me and the boys did a little sight-seeing on our own and just had some fun trying new restaurants and playing in the hotel pool. We were determined to see Niagara Falls and it did not disappoint! It was every bit as magnificent as I would have imagined even covered in snow and ice, but dang, was it cold! Side note…we told Brady we were taking him to a big waterfall. He was all excited until we got there and realized it was not what he had expected. Apparently he remembered the small waterfall in the bass tank at Bass Pro Shop and was super annoyed that Niagara wasn’t as cool. You just never know what a toddler is thinking!

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Just love that Chris was rocking my super girly backpack in these pics!

We also made a point to go to BOTH of the famous wing spots in Buffalo- Duff’s and Anchor Bar. Anchor Bar claims to be the “Original” and definitely has a cooler atmosphere, but I gotta give Duff’s the award for best wings. They were SO DELICIOUS! And I’m sure Duff’s is so honored to have won the “Our Blessed Adventures Favorite Chicken Wing Contest.”

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The boys and I also managed to make our way to the Aquarium of Niagara. It was terrible weather to drive in. Like, my mom and my husband would have had a heart attack if they’d have seen how icy and snowy the bridge was that I drove over! But, totally worth it because we saw a Sea Lion show! Still questioning my judgement on that one…

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You know you’re desperate for a break from your normal day to day life when you’re willing to do a 6 hour road trip with two kids to Buffalo…in February! Buuuut, it was really fun and we came back feeling happy to be home and grateful for safe travels. I’ll leave you with a short video taken on our way back. The kids were surprisingly good (they slept a lot on the trip home) but when things got a little crazy I busted out the bubbles for entertainment (the Gymboree brand are the best!) I just love Nolan’s little giggles in this clip!