valentine’s day ’18

one day, maybe a month or so before valentine’s day, olive asked me if we could have a valentine’s day party. well, ok! i thought it was so cute that she asked! i then inquired who she would like to come to this party, and she, without hesitation, said, “reagan, bennett, and terry!”. alrighty then. i thought it was hilarious! so i text my sisters and let them know what olive had asked and who she wanted to come to the party. my sister kim said, “well, i didn’t want to come anyways!” hahaha!

so, we had our family over for a fun little party! of course we kept it simple. wink. wink. in all seriousness, it really was a simple and easy party to get ready for! olive and i did some food prep before everyone came over. we cut up some ingredients for the apps and olive helped me cut out heart shaped pepperoni for the heart shaped pizzas hc was going to make!

i decorated the kitchen area and we waited for hc to come home from work. he started pizzas while i started apps. we had mozzarella sticks, jalapeños filled with cream cheese, and guac dip. the heart shaped pizzas turned out so cute and delicious and after dinner, we served a yummy cake!

after dessert, we gave the kids their valentine’s day gifts and the kids played and had a ton of fun. olive is always excited to hang with her cousins! our evening was short for it was a school night. so after a couple hours of visiting, we wrapped up our evening and said our farewells.

the party turned out so cute {if i do say so myself} and a good time was had by all! it was definitely a day of love indeed!

via tandeminlove.com[roses from hubby charming]

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[kid’s table]

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[she’s such a ham!]

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[heart pepperoni]

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[hc and terry]

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[my girls]

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[cousins]

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[hc and kim twinning]

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[look at that pout face]

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[present time!]

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xoxo

from the heart

for the past few years, olive has made valentine’s day cards for her friends and family. we love this crafty moment; it’s a fun time for olive to learn about valentine’s day, create something pretty, and know that she’s sending out a little love in the mail.

i purchased the typical heart cards from papersource. i have bought them every year there for this purpose. i can’t tell you how much i love that store. when i lived in chicago, i used to go to the one in lincoln park, on armitage, allllllll the time. then they opened up the one on southport and i then had choices!!! i always feel like i could spend hours there looking at everything, wild with crafty ideas!

i pulled out my valentine’s day craft box and gathered all the crafty bits and pieces together to help olive create fun little valentines for her friends. she was loving it! she loves to paint and put stickers on everything! it’s one of her favorite things to do! she was waiting all week to do this!

she painted, then decorated, then signed some, and then got bored. hahaha! i must say, she completed a slew of cards…she does every year. i am always amazed by her tenacity and focus! like daughter like mama! i finished out her cards with a wish and assembled them all in light or hot pink envelopes. i addressed them {practicing my brush lettering}, literally stamped and stamped them, and we placed them in our mailbox to go! we love snail mail. it’s so old fashioned and fun.

happy valentine’s day my friends!

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[she’s ready to go!]

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[i love her little ankle cross]

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[painting her heart cards]

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[i love that smile]

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[kisses!]

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[oh that smile!]

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[her painted masterpieces]

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[putting her final touches on the cards]

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[full focus]

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[ta da! the almost finished product!]

xoxo

classmate vday cards!

now that olive is in school, it’s been fun creating birthday treats, teacher christmas gifts, and now we get to be creative for our valentine’s day cards!

since good ol’ pinterest has been around, creative ideas are in overdrive or overload or overwhelming. it’s like a pot o’ gold of ideas. well, of course i pinterest’d a valentine’s day card concept from there! i loved the one where you take a photo of your kid and stick a lollipop in their hand! i’m sure y’all have seen this one!

olive’s valentine’s outfit du jour for the pic? a heart headband and my little pony pj’s. that’s my girl! we love hanging out in pj’s all day every day!

everything cost just a few dollars apiece and it was quite inexpensive to make! everything was on ‘sale’ {i only quoted this because, lately, sale is usually the regular price}. the most time spent was looking for the supplies, only because i do love to shop and find the right pieces! my problem is that i love to look at everything, every shop, every possible option…not to find the best deal but to find the best stuff to execute the ideas that float around in my head.

hc printed out the pics for us, i bought the supplies, and olive helped assemble all the lollipops onto the cards! i stuffed each heart covered plastic baggies with a card, a few pieces of candies, a bubble wand, and stickers! voila! cute, fun packages to hand out to her classmates on valentine’s day!

olive was quite happy with the final results and i can’t wait for her to hand out her sweet valentines to her friends at school!

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[she looks thrilled doesn’t she?! hahaha!]

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[what do i do with this lollipop besides eat it?]

via tandeminlove.com[creating her classmate’s valentines]

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[she did it!]

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[focus!]

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[i love that smile]

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[ta da! her valentine’s day card]

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[a valentine’s day card, bubbles, stickers, and candy!]

xoxo

happy love day!

our valentine’s day dinner was low key for us but snazzy fun for the girls!

sometimes hc and i will get out the weekend prior to valentine’s day for a fancy dinner with just the two of us but this year we weren’t feeling it. we were too busy and didn’t really put any thought into it. i know, i know…we should probably be more focused on us and do more fun stuff like that and we will. i desperately cling onto the innocence of my girls and love spending all my time with them and hc.

so, we decided to keep it simple with us and do something fun for the babes {ok…i did something fun for the babes!}. i concocted, in my head, a valentine’s day themed dinner for them. i shopped a week prior for cute little items for a festive table spread {target is my friend} and dug through my vday box of decor goodies in the basement {i am a hoarder of anything holiday}.

i grabbed fresh balloons on valentine’s day and came home to assemble the fun table for the girls. i put presents and cards inside their valentine’s envelope, i filled pink glass jars with bubble wands, candy, and toys. they had heart shaped plates, with heart design cups, with heart shaped strawberries, and heart shaped sandwiches. i sprinkled the center of the table with more toys and decor. overall, i loved how it looked! so festive, fun, and cute {if i do say so myself!}!

olive loved it all! she was so entertained by all the goodies, ate her fun food, and had a blast playing with everything. she especially loved going into her envelope and finding her card and presents!

as for our dinner, hc made the most delicious heart shaped burgers everrrrrrrr. the entire dinner was yummy and perfect! we had the best valentine’s day dinner all together. it was fun for the girls, relaxing for us {key word…relax}, and super fun spending it together!

i loved how we spent our holiday evening. it was perfect and cute! it was low key, full of love, and we celebrated as a family…how it should be! happy valentine’s day indeed…not just on the 14th but every day!!

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[festive, festive, festive!]

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[candy hearts, games, toys, treats!]

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[at first, they kept staring at everything! ha!]

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[checking out their goodies!]

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[hearts galore]

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[love these fun babes]

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[gorgeous flowers from the hc]

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[cute little heart burger hc made for dinner!]

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[she was so excited to open up her envelope and see her gifts!]

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[she looooooooves trolls]

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[gathering her goodies]

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xoxo

makey valentine’s day cards

yayyyyyyy! it was our yearly ~ let’s makey valentine’s day cards for everyone!

i love doing this every year with olive and love that she has fun decorating all the cards. i can’t wait until ellie is old enough to do this with olive, it’ll be cuteness overload when that happens!

i rummaged out all the fun decor i had stored away and created a fun little space of heart explosions, lots of red, and crafty stuff galore. olive was so excited to dig into all the valentine’s day goodness. she started out with painting the heart cards but became restless and went crazy with the stickers. she totally loved putting all the festive stickers all over the cards and loved the little, what she called alien, poms! those were her most favorite items, although they were just for fun and wouldn’t mail very well in a flat envelope! ha!

ellie joined in on the fun for a bit but soon olive finished up all her valentine’s day cards in style. this mama then addressed and mailed them out to all her sweet little friends! we hope all her buddies enjoyed their sweet little surprise in the mail! olive wants to know if you will be her valentine?! muwah!

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[long story: i bought one heart envelope on sale {super cheap, yearssss ago} and ordered it to get embroidered with olive’s name. it arrived not embroidered! i was super upset but apparently i must have ‘deleted’ the personalization part of my order and that was why it arrived blank. i called the company and figured out what had happened and i wanted to order another one because i wanted olive’s name on it! the customer service person was soooooo nice and helpful and told me to not bother to send the other envelope back because it was so inexpensive and it wouldn’t be cost efficient to send it back. well, thought, what will i do with an extra envelope? i almost gave it away but ended up keeping and found it in my valentine’s day box of decor this year! how perfect?! i then got the second envelope personalized with ellie’s name! it was meant to be!]

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[copious options]

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[she loved her ‘aliens’]

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[painting away]

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[she did such a great job!]

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[i love her]

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[she’s so fun]

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[gahhhhhhh, i love these girls!]

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[i couldn’t help but post every pic of her making the cards…she was so into it!]

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[her favorite items from the day!!]

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xoxo

heart pies

mmmmmmm yum yum!

i made heart pies the other day in lieu of valentine’s day! every year, i try to think of something fun to make/bake in celebration of valentine’s day. thank goodness for pinterest!!! i definitely need it to be easy and fun, stress the easy part…’cause this mama ain’t got time for that. bahhhahaha!

i found this idea and thought, perfect! easy and fun! just what i wanted. i bought the ingredients and waited for a good moment in time {maybe ellie’s nap?} to execute this cute recipe!

you could either make your own pie crust or buy the store bought kind. it depends on how much time you have carved out for this type of activity. i was stressed for that so i did the latter but i highly recommend making your own pie crust…it’s more delicious that way {my favorite pie crust recipe is here}. i felt the store bought pie crust was a bit too bland, good but homemade is always better!

anyhoo, time was the factor so pre made pie crust it was! i rolled out the dough, cut out the hearts, filled each heart with cherry filling, buttered the edges, fluted the edges with a fork, then brushed the tops with egg, and then sprinkled it with sugar! phew! that was a mouthful!

the best part when i was making these pies? olive! she wanted to help and i was over the moon! it made my heart so happy to see her interested and so eager to help me put together the pies! she rolled out the dough, she cut out the hearts, she helped scoop out the pie filling, flute the edges, and she even cut the x’s onto the pies! yes, i gave her a sharp knife and she x’d all the pies! she did a great job handling the knife {with my guidance of course!} and i was so proud at how well she cut into the dough and made the x’s! such a big girl!

she was so excited that she had helped out with making the pies and was even more excited to watch the pies bake! i told her that once the pies were done, she could eat one and that just made her eyes sparkle! my heart was so full seeing her eyes light up when i gave her a sweet little cherry heart pie pop! she devoured every morsel! yum!

i definitely want to make these again…maybe round pie shapes instead? we had so much fun baking together, i can’t wait to conjure up some more creative treat ideas so olive and i can have more mommy and me time! yay!

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[ellie chillin’ while olive and i make pies]

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[mama’s little helper]

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[rolling the dough]

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[she loved pressing the dough into a heart shape]

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[she was so excited to see the heart shape she pressed!]

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[the sweetest face]

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[my favorite jelly jam]

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[spooning on the filling]

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[buttering the edges so the pie seals together]

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[sealing the heart]

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[the finished product!]

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[devouring her pie pop]

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[she’s the cutest]

xoxo

it’s a girl!

eep! happy valentine’s day!

yay! and it’s going to be another baby girl for us! yup! we are pregnant with a little baby girl! how exciting! i knew it! i knew it! when we announced our pregnancy on christmas eve and day to our families, i told everyone that it was a girl before i really even knew. haha!

it was definitely hard to keep it a secret. oh my. everyone and their grandma asks. i would definitely say being pregnant is a cause to not telling the truth. you deny that you’re pregnant the first twelve weeks…you tell people you don’t know the gender because you know peeps are going to harass you. it goes on and on but i am sooooo glad the cat’s out of the bag and we can talk about it, get excited, and plan for this baby girl!

i am all about olive having a sister! she does have grace but grace is so much older and unfortunately, not around as often as we would like. so, a sister close to olive’s age is going to be so much fun, so much fighting, so much craziness! i am looking forward to it. i feel like sisters are built in best friends. i think women really hold families together. i love our mother/daughter bond and i can’t wait for olive and her baby sister to do things together, hand in hand. i am ready for some crazy girl time!

as hc always says, it’s almost impossible for him to have a boy. he has a group of best friends that all have little girls. between the four of them, i think they all have 9-10 girls? and no boys! they call themselves the X men. haha!

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[my favorite! look at her pose]

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[i love these pics so much!!! obvs, this is not a maternity dress…haha, but even when i was skinny, these darn pockets still stuck out!]

well, happy valentine’s day indeed my friends! we are so excited to welcome our baby girl! we can’t wait to meet you sweet lady, we are so in love already!

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

deeelish cookies

i’ve been making sugar cookies almost my whole life. it was what i did and do. every holiday season went hand in hand with making sugar cookies. yup. i actually have never kept a recipe. i would go from one version to the next because you can always find a sugar cookie recipe.

but i have searched no more. i have found the most perfect sugar cookie recipe. i’m in love.

so let me back this up a bit. i’ve been a bit obsessed with copper cookie cutters. yes. i want to buy 50 styles of cookie cutters but that would cost an arm and a leg. they are expensiiiiiive. well, i’m collecting a bit here and there so i can build my collection. anyhoozle, when i purchased a batch of cookie cutters from copper gifts, they came with a cute little booklet with a few recipes inside. i decided to try them! boy oh boy. it turned out the most delicious, buttery, perfect sugar cookies.

they had great tips {unlike the traditional way i use to make them} and it was sooo much easier and practical. the cookies came out substantial in size, thickness, and were perfectly baked to buttery goodness. mmmmm.

they also had a recipe in the fold over for royal icing. unfortunately, this was a last minute baking bonanza and we didn’t have any meringue powder in the house, nor could hc find it on his excursion out. so, i made icing without it and it was just fiiiine. it took longer to harden but it was, nonetheless, tasty good. my other problem or lack of effort?? i didn’t have the time or the energy to pipe my frosting. it was already soooo late {and i was damn tired} and i wasn’t in  the mood. shame on me, non? i just hand decorated each one, so my lines are a bit wonky…c’est la vie!

2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks room temp)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

gently mix butter and sugar, then beat until light and creamy. beat in eggs and vanilla. gently stir flour before measuring. combine dry ingredients and add a cup at a time to butter mixture. beat until completely blended. roll cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper. continue rolling all dough between parchment paper and placing in stacks on a cookie sheet (that fits in your refrigerator or freezer). cover cookie sheet with foil. chill dough overnight or 1 to 2 hours. remove one sheet of dough at a time and cut into shapes. bake on baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or just until the edges begin to slightly brown. this recipe will make at least 2 dozen, 4 to 6-inch cookies.

for the icing, i used powdered sugar, warm water, clear vanilla extract, and food coloring. i made small batches of different colors to ice the cookies.

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[♥ xoxo i lov~e]

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overall, i was a happy gal on how they turned out {despite it being a last minute baking session}! annnddd, they were oh so delicious. i.can’t.stop.eating.them.

well, i hope y’all try this recipe! it’s so yummy. happy baking my lovies!

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