happy super-valentine’s-lunar new year celebrations

the day of the super bowl, we {last minute} had some peeps over.

we had been invited to a party but we weren’t really sure what we were going to do. then, we thought, why not just spend it together as a family, cook food, and relax? sounded like a grand idea, non? well that was definitely our plan! then a day before sunday, everything spurred together last minute. well, my family is always welcomed and they know that but everyone’s plans were in limbo as well. so, a small group of friends and family came on over and we had our super lunar valentine’s day party! woo hoo!

we weren’t going to see some of these people again before valentine’s day, monday was lunar new year, and obvs, sunday was super bowl. so, yes, we literally celebrated all three in one evening! haha! it was super fun!

hc cooked the most amazing items…savory, delicious meatballs, pulled pork sandwiches with a horseradish compote, and a corn salsa for dip. i made an onion dip with chips, guacamole, and everyone else brought over a dish! it was perfect for the small group we had.

we intermittently watched the game but us gals spent most of our time in the kitchen talking, while the kids ran around and played, and the boys were glued to the t.v. ya know, it all doesn’t really matter until half time comes on and then we really pay attention to the telly! ha!

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[yes, we had a lunar new year, super bowl, valentine’s day party]

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[please be mine]

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[don’t mind the diapy sticking out. she had to be a part of the group so she insisted on standing on the chair to be with everyone]

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[my lunar new year part of the decor and yes, we are still remodeling the kitchen but we are allllllmost done! yahoo!]

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[the new year goody boxes for the kids]

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[watching the game and eating and eating and eating]

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[olive was having so much with the balloon with avery]

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[yummy]

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[opening their goodies]

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[she would draw on the mask and then proceed to put the drawn, not dried marker part on her face. she pretty much stamped her face with marker each time she did that. haha!]

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[such a modge podge kind of party! whoop whoop!]

the kids had such a great time, they loved their goody boxes, the food, and especially the desserts auntie kim brought! i must say, it was the best tri-celebration i have ever experienced, if i do say so myself. baahaha! anyhoozle, it was a fab evening. hc and i high five’d each other after everyone left. we truly love hosting and having people over and we truly had a great, great evening with everyone.

xoxo

watercolor valentine’s day cards

last year, miss olive helped mama make some valentine’s day cards to send out. this year, olive did it all on her own! i was so proud and excited!

i was out shopping with my sisters one night and we stopped by a paper store to peruse around. it was perfect because it was on my list to grab some extra supplies for olive’s valentine’s day cards. i had a lot of ‘stuff’ at home so i didn’t need much because i am a craft hoarder. haha!

one morning, i set up her table and asked her if she wanted to draw {duh, i obvs knew what her answer was going to be!}, she was so excited to ‘draw’. who knew this kid would be so entertained and paint for hours?! she was loving it. she painted heart after heart after heart. i didn’t think she would plow through so many cards! i had purchased a set of 20 and had a leftover pack at home, not thinking she would paint every single one of the paper hearts! she was having a blast.

i taught her how to wash off her paintbrush after each color and all of a sudden she became a pro! i didn’t have a paint smock for her but she is such a neat little girl, she didn’t get a drop of paint on her cute little outfit nor did she paint outside the heart’s lines!

after painting all her cards, i then helped her place her stickers on each one. i pulled off the sticker and she happily stuck it on each heart. it was too cute…she would place each sticker on there so wonky! crooked, sideways, or upside down if i didn’t help navigate her a bit!

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[the preparation]

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[a favorite valentine’s day decor…i actually bought this a few months after olive was born and didn’t have a place or a real purpose for it until this year!]

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[she is usually so careful but i realized i need a smock for her! although she did not get one drop of paint on herself at all]

via tandeminlove.com[we pulled out our valentine’s day books…our favorite, olive my love]

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[my baby doll]

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[she’s too cute…cleaning off her brush to pick a new color to paint with]

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[her final touch: placing stickers on her valentine’s day cards]

after we finished all the cards, i assembled them all inside red envelopes, sprinkled some with confetti, and addressed them with a silver sharpie pen. in hindsight, i would have totally bought a finer point sharpie pen because the thicker marker took up way too much space on such a little envelope! eep! i sealed each one with decorative, festive print washi tape and a pretty little spring time flower postage stamp.

hc dropped the cards off in the mail and we were excited at the prospect of everyone smiling when they opened up their little valentine’s day card from baby olive.

xoxo

easy vday treats

oh time. it’s always so limited in my life but i always want to be creative and do something special, festive, and fun. i really wanted to whip up something sweet, simple, and cute for valentine’s day. i used to be obsessed with pinterest but now it’s an outlet for me to quickly find creative ideas or get inspired.

i jumped on pinterest last week and found a pic of valentine’s day chocolate dipped wafers. yummy! i just remembered seeing the pic but never clicked on the site nor did i dig any deeper. so, one day, while grocery shopping, i decided to make them! i mean, they are that simple that i didn’t even need to know what the ‘recipe’ called for.

i picked up vanilla wafers {i liked how the strawberry flavored ones looked but i am not the biggest fan of the taste…i am partial to vanilla!}, a bag of white chocolate morsels, and i already had different shapes of sprinkles at home.

i melted about a cup of white chocolate {maybe just a tad more than a cup} in a double broiler. i dipped some wafers and drizzled the others. i alternated between the two. as i coated the wafers, i placed each one on a large sheet of wax paper to dry. before i dipped the next wafer, i sprinkled each one with just enough fun and used different styles of sprinkles.

one after another, i coated each one and actually had a lot of fun doing so! they were turning out so lovely! i finished dipping the entire package of wafers and stepped back to look at all the festive prettiness going on. it is such an easy, quick dessert to make! i think next year, olive will be able to really assist me with making these goodies!

fyi, if you are interested in making these wafers for the masses {like giving them away to neighbors or co workers}, definitely purchase several bags of wafers. one package will probably gift 3-4 people. i was able to package 6-8 wafers per cellophane bag {festive valentine’s day patterns of course!} and give them to some family members and saved a package for miss olive to eat!

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ta da! simple, easy, fun valentine’s day treats for everyone {ok, almost everyone}! i am looking forward to making these desserts next year with my little helper in tow {and my other little one, but that baby won’t be able to help just yet!}!

happy day y’all!

xoxo

love day part 2

on valentine’s day evening, we swung on by my parent’s house for some love day fun. the boys were over and wanted grace and olive to come by to play. plus, we also had their vday gifts to give as well!

we started with a valentine’s day themed meal. we were crazy about anything heart shaped! we ate a heart shaped pizza, finished off our meal with a heart shaped cake on heart shaped plates! natch. the pizza was ordered by kim and the cake was made by terry’s mom, barbara! how sweet!

we munched away at our dinner and then our cake {delish!}, while the kids played and ate…well, mostly played! they were itching to open up their gifts. oh, kiddies…they have no patiences do they?!

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[how adorbs is this heart shaped pizza??]

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[twinning]

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[heart shaped chocolate cake by barbara]

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[b really wanted to be in the picture]

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we finally gave them the green light to open up their gifts. they were super excited! we lined them up and they were ready to go.

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[ready for presents!]

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thuy and the boys gave olive the cutest gifts! pretty outfits, toys, and make up! yes, you heard that right…make up. she loves to watch all the ladies of the house get ready in the morning. that’s her thing…sit on top of the toilet and watch me{us} put on make up and get ready. she loves to brush her teeth {baby toothbrush}, comb her hair, and put on bronzer. so, auntie thuy gifted her with bronzer, make up brush, and a hair brush for her purty hair. so fitting.

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[she loves make up and getting gussied up already…]

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[my cute tiffany blue colored pouch from thuy]

after the kids opened up all their gifts and reveled in the goodies, thuy surprised us with a little gift! how sweet and thoughtful! she gave me a beautiful tiffany blue zipper pouch…how cool. i love the color and the bag.

well, that was our valentine in a nutshell {or really in a two part blog 😉 }. we had a wonderful, blessed day celebrating with our loved ones. 

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” first corinthians 12:4-8

xoxo

love day part 1

yeah, valentine’s day was probably a three part event. well, kinda. it was quite the beeesy weekend for us. we had people over or did something three days in a row, so yes…it was beeesy. it’s so normal for me to not sit still and boy, i wasn’t sitting still at all this entire weekend.

friday, i spent the morning with my dear olive, then i dropped her off at my parent’s and skedaddled on my way to pick up miss grace {which is such a trip!}. that evening, we had terry and the boys over for wings and drinks {root beer for the kiddos and beer beer for the big boys}. the kids had a crazy time playing together…it was non-stop until they left! phew!

on saturday morning {happy valentine’s day!}, we woke up bright and early, thanks to miss olive, and got ourselves ready for our vday brunch in the city! hc had made all the plans…he made reservations for an early morning brunch at the carriage house, in our old stomping ground. oh, don’t get me started on the city! *sniff* how i miss thee on a daily basis.

anyhoo, we arrived at the restaurant and there was just a wee bit of a wait for our table. it was bustling. i do recall this place being built…hmmm, was it a year or year and half ago? we never ate there even though we lived down the street from it! but now it was our time.

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[grace and her dad]

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[carriage house]

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[i love, love her face in the pic]

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[aannndd this photo…olive’s face is priceless]

i loved the interior…very earthy and rustic. i was excited to try the menu and hc was excited to try the drinks 😉  we were seated in a comfy spot and ready to peruse the menu. we started out with drinks…an old fashioned for the hubs and juice {always orange and grapefruit mix for moi} for the gals. olive nibbled on some crackers and we had ordered her some cheesy grits. she was all about the grits {which were sooo delish} at first but then she turned her nose up at it. whaaaaa? it was so good but oh well, more for us!

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hc ordered the chicken and biscuits, i ordered the mushroom, truffle, and egg {with a side of bacon} and grace ordered the beignets. mmmmmm. it.was.so.tasty. i was a happy camper. the sun was shining. i was brunching with my loves. we were in the city. the restaurant was cool. the food was delicious. it was valentine’s day. life was good.

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[cheers to love]

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[mushroom, truffle, and egg with a side of bacon]

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we even dressed the part! hc had on a red sweater, as well as grace. i wore my red hunters as my nod to the day and olive wore hearts all over herself! happy valentine’s day it was! we had the most wonderful time having brunch together. hc did a great job coordinating it all!

i hope everyone had a fantastic love day with their loved one. we sure did! as i stated it the beginning of this post…i still have more love day goodness to come. stay tuned my lovies!

xoxo

flashback friday

today takes us back to…2014! i wanted to post a pic of me and rich from a few valentine’s day ago but i couldn’t resist this photo!!!! oh em gee. look.at.her. i die. soooooo sweet, small, cute, & perfect! such a little peanut! *sigh*

i’m dying over her short, shiny hair. her round buddha belly. her fat chunky, chubby, cheeks. she is barely 2 1/2 months young here. what a doll! plus, i loved her sweet little outfit: a pink cardi & heart printed pants. she was definitely my valentine!

oh, how time is flying. i can’t believe how tiny my babes was. *sniff, sniff* i seriously wish she could stay little forever. don’t get me wrong, i am loving every moment with olive as she grows but looking at photos like these makes me miss her at this size! soooo stinkin’ cute.

last year, we celebrated one day with our family {my sisters and my nephews} and exchanged gifts. then we celebrated at home {sweet home chicago} with just me, the hubs, and olive. it was pretty awesome…having the new babes and all. it was a very special valentine indeed.

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well, i hope everyone has an amazing valentine’s day! i hope you are spending it with someone special, your family, or friends! enjoy this day of love! happy valentine’s day lovies!

xoxo

makey valentines

we loooooove making cards…especially valentine’s day cards! it’s always a fun project & i love racking my brain for creative ideas. i didn’t get as detailed with this diy as i typically can get. i was a bit rushed, but nevertheless…we got ’em done and they turned out cute.

we set up the workstation and we were ready to go! olive was excited to finger print her cards {but then her controlling mama got her in a tizzy near the end}. she was a good girl, she finger printed all her cards and was a happy camper to be sticking her finger{s} all over that ink pad.

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[i love the valentine’s day mailer envelope!]

i love, love this table and chair set from auntie kim, terry, and the boys. it’s so purrfect. i have future plans to jazz it up a bit. i definitely want to add a little pizzaz to the set but i haven’t had the time as of late. so i am hoping to be able to accent it soon…just a little color and design to the stems and attach a paper roll for fun, drawing, coloring activities! soon. soon.

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i put out a bunch of fun valentine’s day trinkets to entertain miss olive. she loved the little pom pom creatures. she did such a good job {with the help of momma} stamping all the cards with her ittty bitty finger!

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[my sweet babes…always so serious]

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[ready to makey some cards!]

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[finger printing!]

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[i love this face & those cheeks]

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[swak!]

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once all the cards were finger printed by olive, me, and hc, i went to work on detailing them. normally, i would add more depth, layers, pizzaz, glitter, and details but i was stressed for time. oh, it’s so me…i always take on toooooo much! so, a few paper cutouts, stamping, stickers, and drawing was all i could do. 🙂

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[aaaanndd they are ready to be sent!]

well, there they are! our diy valentine’s day cards by us! signed, sealed, and ready to be delivered!

xoxo

i heart you s’more

now, who wouldn’t want chocolate covered heart s’mores?!

i had been contemplating the idea of making something fun for valentine’s day. i wasn’t sure what. i had sugar cookies on the radar. i bought the raddest copper cookie cutters the other week {pictured on instagram} and totally want to use them {no worries…i will definitely find many uses!}. anyhoo, i love hearts, i love s’mores, i thought why not make conversation heart s’mores?! i got my inspiration from love from the oven but i fine tuned some things to what i preferred. i love making anything s’mores!

my stash: graham crackers, lollipop sticks, a bag of nestle milk chocolate chips & two bags of white chocolate chips, edible ink pens, fluff, and a small {1 1/2 inch by 2 inch} heart cookie cutter.

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[ingredients]

i first cut out the graham cracker hearts. yes. it’s pretty cool to do so and they don’t break! i love it. make sure your surface is free of debris {sweep the crumbs off to the side of the counter after each cut} and evenly apply pressure as you press and ta da! heart shaped graham crackers!

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[graham crackers]

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after i cut out the hearts, i spread half of the hearts with fluff. i then melted the chocolate and spread the melted milk chocolate {for a dozen hearts…i would use 1/4 of the bag…don’t over heat the chocolate!} on the other half of the crackers. i placed the sticks {about an inch} on one half and took the marshmallow covered heart and gently placed it onto the chocolate heart and stick.

i placed the pops into the freezer to stiffen them up and moved onto making the white chocolate. i used food coloring to get the desired color for the hearts. ok, ok. so i know there are so many opinions out there. folks say to not add anything to chocolate, because it’s already such a delicate form and you should use colored chips instead. plus, people also say to not use nestle chips for dipping. that candy melts, almond bark, and chocolate melts are best for dipping. honestly, it doesn’t taste as good! so, nestle chips it was! adding the food coloring didn’t do anything to the chocolate’s consitency but i definitely should have added shortening to the chocolate to thin it out! next time. it will definitely create a smoother coat.

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i let the chocolate dry for an hour or less. after they hardened and cooled, i took my red decorating pen and wrote fun messages on each heart. so cute! i then individually wrapped each heart in a festive cellophane bag and voila! a cutesy valentines’s day treat for your loved ones!!

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xoxo

love day decor

so, i don’t usually go crazy in the decorating department for valentine’s day but i do love to jazz up the house just a wee bit. nothing big, but i like a spark of color…especially since january {and february} can be such a dreary month!

a few of the banners i hung, i made myself last year. yes…while the little babes was just a newborn. i crafted some quick banners to jazz up our house because being at home on maternity leave during the polar vortex {a.k.a chiberia} was monotonous and bland. putting color in our place was mandatory!

i totally enjoy valentine’s day decor. it’s pretty, fun, and brightens up the home! so, i placed a few banners across the living room window, it looks so pretty when the sunlight is shining through. i strung the festive strand of circle paper cutouts across a wall in our living room as well. i drew up some fun lettering and design on our chalkboard in the kitchen. i also nabbed an awesome gold heart for our front bay window! i didn’t get to snap a pic of it, but maybe later, it’s pretty darn awesome! i ordered red, pink, and white heart lights as well…but they haven’t come in yet. i want to drape it around the gold heart for a pretty, festive effect. there are still a few things coming in the mail that i will add to the decor around the house. once those items come in, i will {almost} be done! 😉

of course, i then snapped a few pics of miss olive with some delightful valentine’s day props. it was too sweet and she is too cute!

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[my handmade banners…doily hearts + crocheted little circles and a hand cut paper ‘kiss me’ banner]

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[die cut paper circles strung together on twine]

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[my valentine’s day chalkboard]

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[baby olive getting into the valentine’s day fun // that’s the gold heart i mentioned above…it was relocated to our bay window!]

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[nordstrom’s baby bling headband, zara scarf & shirt, heart leg warmers, & stitches and soles latte bow moccs]

well my lovies, what fun decorating ideas do you have for this valentine’s day? it’s always so sweet to add a little festive love fun to your abode, non?!

happy decorating!

xoxo

my little valentine

so us goofy gals {okay, olive has no choice || right now|| but to be a goofy gal with me} decided to coordinate our p.j.’s in celebration of valentine’s day!

yes, corny me is getting excited for valentine’s day! i’ve been thinking a lot about what to do, what to make, when to decorate {i am hoping i have the time to squeeze in some fun stuff…it’s so precious lately}. i’m a fan of this upcoming holiday…it’s a day to celebrate love, love for your family, love for your husband, love for your significant other, love for your friends, love for your children, love all around!

alright, lots of mommy and olive pictures coming right up! we had a blast hanging out in our heart p.j.’s for the day {well, really for the evening}. i love coordinating our outfits but it’s a once in a blue moon kind of thing. i’m into that idea {love it} but i’m not into the dedication, time, and effort! i only wish i could sit around all day and think, coordinate, and buy outfits that matchy matchy. shyeah right. i’d rather put an effort in to get creative with her ensemble but sometimes that is a fail! so, typically for special occasions, i’ll whip together a cute twinnie outfit of the day.

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[victoria’s secret pj’s & leveret footies]

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[my funny gal]

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[what am i doing in this photo? i’m not sure…chillaxin’…being pensive, or just waiting for miss olive to return to me so we can snap more pics?!]

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[so sweet]

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i hoped you enjoyed our twinnie outfit of the day! olive was somewhat cooperative. she’s a babes on the move, as of late. getting her to snap some decent photos is a complete challenge! i’d say we were quite successful…i’m loving our heart pajama session. anyhoo, on that note, i love valentine’s day and can’t wait to celebrate it.

xoxo