Happy Valentine’s Day! #AmorConBritax

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It’s Valentine’s Day!

All week long I’ve been sharing Valentine’s Day posts, like a fun, educational Alphabet Match-Up and ideas on spending the day with your kids.  It’s one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about love…and who can’t use a little more love, right?

Love can take on many forms.  For instance, you love your husband differently than you love your kids, and you love your siblings different than, say, you love cheesecake.  But probably the most important form of love you can have is the love for yourself.  YOU are the most important person in your life and, if you’re anything like me, you need to be reminded of that sometimes.

So as I sit here, having gained a very unhealthy 20+ pounds, I think to myself…

What in the world happened to my love for ME?!?!

I used to take so much pride in the way that I looked.  I kept my weight in check, I bought nice clothes, and even glammed it up from time to time.  How sad is it that since I got married I’ve kind of been…blah.

So today, on Valentine’s Day, I realize that I need to love ME more often and start taking care of my appearance.  I have said this many times  before, but I have got to get back to loving the way that I look.  Because right now I just…don’t.  For starters, I’m going to tackle this huge ring of fat that’s hugging my midsection.  I need to work out at home, get the Britax BOB stroller out of the basement to go for a walk with my son, and start keeping track of my calorie intake.

Love-Yourself-Amor-Con-Britax

That’s it.  It’s time to love me.

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with the ones you love.

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Kids

This post is part of 14 Days of Valentines on The Princess & Her Cowboys.  Check out the rest of the posts!

Valentines

It’s not just for lovers anymore!  These days Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating with those you love – and that often includes the kids.  Don’t believe me?  Just check out the holiday aisle at your local Target.  It’s full of cheesy stuffed bears, kiddie cards, and all kinds of chocolate.  Things all kids love.

Valentines-Day-With-Kids

Are you celebrating with the kids this year?  Here are a few ways you can make it special for them.

Order in.  Usually my family orders pizza on Valentine’s Day.  Many local pizza joints even shape your pizza to look like a heart – at no extra charge!  But no matter what you decide to eat, just make sure it something the kids will love.  If McDonald’s is a special treat for your family, go for it!  It’s only one day, and the kids will be forever grateful.

Make each other Valentine’s Day cards…together.  How fun would it be if you gathered up all your craft supplies on the dining room table and had family craft time while making each other special cards?  You could even draw names out of a hat so that everyone only had to make one card.   And you could make it a contest too to see who make the coolest card.  Hours of fun to be had here.

Valentines-Day-Alphabet-Match-Up

Find a teaching moment.  You can find a teachable moment in just about any activity.  For Valentine’s Day recently, my son and I made this awesome Valentine’s Day craft that helps develop fine motor skills and cognitive abilities.  Fin, crafty, and educational…a win-win all around.

Love, love, love.  While you don’t need a reason to shower your kids with love, on this day – especially this day – make sure you let them know just how much they mean to you.  Make them heart-shaped pancakes or heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and just give them a huge squeeze multiple times – especially on Valentine’s Day.

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Educational Valentine’s Day Activity for Preschoolers: Valentine’s Day Alphabet Match-Up

Valentine's Day Alphabet Match-Up - an educational & fun toddler or preschool craft!

I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet that loves the alphabet more than my toddler.  He would play with his letters all day long if we’d let him.  We have magnetic letters, foam letters, block letters, sticker letters, plastic letters…name it, and I guarantee you that we own it.  I won’t complain too much though…undoubtedly his love of letters will only benefit him academically – I can’t wait till he starts school!  But, until then, I’ll do anything I can to help him learn at home.  Pairing the activity with a holiday is just a BONUS!  That and, of course, the development of fine motor skills and cognitive abilities.  The Valentine’s Day Alphabet Match-Up is a fun, educational activity that toddlers and preschoolers will love!

First we colored in the hearts.

Valentines-Day-Alphabet-Match-Up-Coloring

I had my son color in each heart a different color – that way he’d have to match the capital and lowercase letters, and the color would help him determine if he was correct.  So it’s an alphabet match-up AND a color match-up!

Then we cut them all out.

Valentines-Day-Alphabet-Match-Up-Cutting

Finally, we (roughly) cut the zig-zag line to divide the hearts in half.  I stacked a few together and cut them at the same time, but they all would’ve been neat and straight if I cut them out one by one.

Valentines-Day-Alphabet-Match-Up-Cutting-Hearts

For the last step, you could also have your child help you cut them out.

Then let the matching begin!

Valentines-Day-Alphabet-Match-Up-Game

Valentine’s Day Alphabet Match-Up (PDF)

Enjoy!

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Friday Faves 2/15/13

I can hardly believe that Valentine’s Day has already passed this calendar year.  To say that time is flying by would be an understatement – it’s more like speeding by like a Formula One race car!  Well, in honor of Valentine’s Day this week, today’s Friday Faves will be all about love.  Or, things that remind me of love.  Here we go…

Valentine's Day Craft for Toddlers

1.) My Valentine’s Day Bouquet – I’m pretty fortunate that my mom was once a preschool teacher.  She helped my son create this beautiful bouquet of hearts for me for Valentine’s Day.  My son was pretty into the holiday this year too – I think he said “Happy Valentine’s Day” about 50 times!

Serendipity_Movie

2.) Serendipity – Both the movie, and the luck!  But mostly the movie.  I fell in love with the film, Serendipity, the very first time I saw it for a bunch of reasons.  One – I love romantic comedies. Two – I think John Cusak and Jeremy Piven (both from Chicago) are great actors, and Kate Beckinsdale is one of my favorites.  And three – I wholeheartedly believe in the romantic notion of destiny, or fortunate accidents, or the the idea that something is meant to be.

The Cure

3.) Just Like Heaven – The Cure.  What would a love “favorites” list be without a great song mention.  I guess I could mention any of today’s hits that I love, but, since I’m feeling a bit nostalgic at the moment, Just Like Heaven takes me back to my high school days.  I fell in love with alternative music in my teens and listened to bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, Violent Femmes, Nirvana, 311 and other 80’s and 90’s alternative bands.  Thank God for Pandora – I still listen to these bands regularly.  I once read that Robert Smith, The Cure’s lead singer, wrote Just Like Heaven for his wife – and you just can’t get any more romantic than that.  And, c’mon admit it, I know you’re loving the 80’s Aqua Net hairdos too!

Well, that wraps up my Valentine’s Week faves.  Be sure to come back next week to check out some more of my favorite things.

Her Thoughts On: Valentine’s Day

My husband and I have differing opinions when it comes to this holiday.  Just the other day, while I ran down my list of errands to run and mentioned that I had to stop at Target for my daughter’s Valentine’s Day gift, he kind of scoffed and said “Valentine’s Day is for couples.  I don’t see why you still buy her all these presents.”  For the record, I don’t buy her something for every holiday.  There are no four leaf clover gift baskets on St. Patrick’s Day, and no extra gift along with her turkey on Thanksgiving.

Valentine’s Day, however, is a holiday to celebrate because it is the holiday of LOVE.  Love, in my opinion, is not limited to sweethearts on Valentine’s Day.  It is a day to celebrate loved friends and family members and, of course, my daughter is one of them.

Before I met my husband, my daughter and I were perfect partners.  Attached at the hip.  And for many years, she was my only Valentine.  We were in it together and, honestly, she helped me feel less lonely on Valentine’s Day.  The holiday didn’t bother me as much as it bothers many single women because, at the very least, I shared it with her.  We’d hang out for the day, go to dinner, and do whatever we felt like doing…together.

This is one of the very first Valentine’s Day cards she ever made me (in pre-school, of course).  I loved receiving her card every year – and still do.  Although now they come from some place called Hallmark.

Then, along came my husband.  Suddenly, my little twosome blossomed into three (and shortly after, four) and I had so much more to be grateful for on Valentine’s Day.  Big red hearts and flowers and boxes of chocolates?  Bring it on!  I don’t mind spending a bit of extra cash for the big Love Fest – I’m simply blessed and honored to have more “Valentine’s” to share it with.

This is my daughter’s Valentine’s Day basket (she’s now twelve).  I look forward to sharing the day with her and the rest of my family and hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  Please let the ones you love know how much they mean to you (candies and gifts and treats totally optional).

I Won – Something!

So remember when I told you about the Godiva Coffee Facebook Giveaway?  (If not, you can read all about it HERE.)  Well I’ve got news for ya – I WON!

Well, no, I didn’t win the grand prize, but I did win a Godiva Coffee apron!  I got a nice little email from them saying,

“Congratulations! You are one of the weekly winners of the Godiva Coffee Share the Love Contest and have won a GODIVA COFFEE APRON.”

Cool, huh?  See – people really do win stuff from those Facebook contests.  Yeah, I wish I would’ve won the gift card, but I am genuinely grateful to have at least won something!

Now have I peaked your interest enough to enter?  Go to the Share the Love contest on Godiva Coffee’s Facebook page and describe your Valentine’s Day plans.  Took all of 2 minutes.

Good Luck!

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