Valentine’s Day Snack Ideas for Kids from Family Fun Magazine

There are just a few more days until Valentine’s Day! Shane has been looking forward to this since the day after Christmas, so he’s all ready to go. His cards have been signed and he’s in the process of drawing pictures for each kid in his class. He doesn’t have school on Friday, so we will be doing some fun & festive activities that day.

If you’re looking for some cute last-minute snack ideas to make Valentine’s Day special for your little ones, Family Fun magazine has a few great ideas! They’ve given me a few of their ideas to share with you- or to inspire you to come up with your own!

Cookie Wands for Valentine's Day

SAY IT WITH SPARKLES! WAVE A WAND

To make the cookie wands, sandwich white frosting and a lollipop stick between two small cookies, such as Lorna Doones. Freeze them for 10 minutes. Heat candy melts with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Dip the cookies in halfway, then sprinkle on edible glitter (find it, plus the sticks and candy melts, at craft stores). Let them set on waxed paper overnight.

Shiny Shark Candy Cards  for Valentine's Day

RELEASE SOME SHINY SHARKS

These creatures (backed by clothespins for a fully functional Jaws effect) are sure to inspire toothy grins. Start by drawing the shark’s top and bottom halves as shown or tracing our template (get it at familyfunmag.com/printables) on glitter card stock. Cut out the halves, then apply tacky glue along one side of aclothespin and adhere them. Place the shark on waxed paper to dry. When the glue is dry, slightly bend one tail section forward so that when the mouth opens, the tail parts smoothly pass one another. Glue on a sequin eye. Cut a paper heart (we used pinking shears to trim a “bite”), write your message, and glue the heart to a treat.

Cupid Kebabs for Valentine's Day

CUPID KEBABS

Let your kids make these simple tomato and cheese skewers and they just might fall in love with healthy snacking. Start by diagonally trimming away the ends of two grape tomatoes and trimming small pieces of cheese (we used cheddar) for the arrow parts. Then have your kids assemble the pieces on a toothpick as shown.

 What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day themed snack?

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14 Romantic Chocolate Recipes for Valentine’s Day

This post is brought to you by Foodie. All opinions are my own.

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the same could totally be said of most women. In fact, chocolate has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries! Modern research indicates that it’s all psychological, but it still wouldn’t hurt to indulge in a bit of chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

14 Romantic Chocolate Treats for Valentine's Day- from cookies to cakes, you'll find something for everyone!

With that in mind, I’ve collected 14 of the best chocolate treat recipes for Valentine’s Day! Scroll through the slideshow below for inspiration for next weekend, or just find a new favorite to try for another special occasion. Whatever you make and whenever you make it, don’t forget to save me some!

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Homemade Soap Valentine’s Day Cards {with Free Printable!}

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is already next week? If you’re looking for a cute, non-candy Valentine’s Day idea, look no further than these Homemade Soap Valentines! With a few simple steps and the free printable below, these valentines can be a fun activity to do with older kids- or even by yourself! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make soap, so I asked my friend Brittanie to show me how it’s done. I’m hoping to try it myself this weekend, but if you give it a shot I’d love to hear how it goes!

Homemade Soap Valentine's Day Cards with Free Printable!

Materials Needed:

-Heart Silicone Mold
-2 pounds of Clear Melt and Pour Soap Base
-Soap Color Bar in a variety of colors {The Crafter’s Choice brand is a good brand}
-Microwave Safe Measuring Cup
-Skin Safe Soap Fragrance Oil {In the scent of your choice}
-99% Isopropyl Alcohol
-Spray Bottle {Can be found at Dollar Tree}
-Spoon for mixing
-Sharp knife for cutting soap and colorant

Directions:

1. Cut off a small block of soap from your 2 pound block. This will essentially be about ¼ of the entire block of soap.

2. Cut the small block of soap from step 1 into small cubes and place into your microwave safe measuring cup or bowl. Tip: If you plan on making several different colored bars of soap you will want to estimate how much soap you will need to melt for each cavity of the mold. If you are making them all one color you can melt as much as you want to fill the cavities.

3. Microwave cubed soap in 30 second increments. After every 30 seconds, remove from microwave and stir. Repeat this step until all the soap is completely melted. This step needs to be completed by adults since the soap will become very hot.

4. Cut a small slice off your color bar and gently stir into the melted glycerin soap. Continue to do this until you reach your desired color. If the soap gets too hard during this step you can place it back into the microwave to remelt it just be careful not to burn it. {5-10 second increments is good at this point}

5. Add 3-4 drops of your chosen fragrance oil. Be care not to add too much as the scent will be quite strong. Tip: If you choose to use a vanilla fragrance beware that it does turn your soap brown over time so if you want it to stay a vibrant color choose a fragrance without vanilla in it.

6. Pour your soap mixture into your heart mold filling each cavity to the top.

7. Pour some of your isopropyl alcohol into your spray bottle and spritz the top of the soap with a few bursts of the mixture. This will help get rid of any bubbles on the surface of your soap.

8. Allow your soap to harden in the mold for at least 2 hours. This process may take longer depending on the level of humidity in your home. You can check by poking your soap with your finger to determine how hard it is.

9. Once your soap has completely hardened you can push out the soap from the backside and it will pop right out of the silicone mold.

10. You are now able to use your soap immediately. You can also wrap it in clear plastic or store it in an airtight container. Do not leave the glycerin soap unwrapped as it will develop something known as “glycerin dew” which looks unpleasant.

Homemade Soap Valentine's Day Cards with Free Printable

To get the free printable to go with your soap, just click here or on the image below!

Valentine's Day Soap Tutorial with Free Printable!

Have you ever made your own soap?

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

Now that a month has passed since the holidays, I’m getting excited about Valentine’s Day! Shane is pretty into Valentine’s Day so after Zac’s birthday this weekend, we’ll be putting out a few decorations. We’ll probably whip up a few treats, too, like these homemade brownies with strawberry frosting that my friend Brittany made!

I consider myself to be a good cook, but baking is always hit or miss with me. This recipe looks easy enough though- I’m even going to have Shane help me out since he’s on another kick of wanting to be a chef.

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting for Valentine's Day! A great weekend activity to get your kids in the kitchen- or a nice surprise for an after-school treat

Supplies Needed:

Brownie Mix {recipe below}
Strawberry Frosting
Powdered Sugar
6 Heart Silicone Baking Tray {I recommend this one}
Homemade Heart Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

Brownie Mix:
-1 cup white sugar
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start the mixing process.

2. Grab a medium size mixing bowl and pour in all the dry ingredients followed by your water, vegetable oil and eggs and mix it up until all ingredients are blended.

3. As soon as all clumps and powder are gone your mixture is complete.

4. Spray some pan in your heart shaped muffin tin and pour a big spoonful of brownie mix into each heart cut out.

5. Place your brownies into the oven for 20 minutes and once they are done remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes.

6. Once they’ve cooled place them on a piece of parchment paper and refill the hearts again and place in the oven until all the mix is gone.

7. Once on the parchment paper take a sharp knife and cut off the top of the brownie to make it a smooth and flat surface.

8. Once all the brownie hearts have been cut and smoothed down it’s time for the frosting.

9. Fill the Strawberry Frosting into a piping bag and pipe the frosting in a heart shape in on the top of your brownies.

10. Now add the other brownie piece onto the top of the brownie and press down. Top the brownies off with some powdered sugar and they’re ready to enjoy!

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting for Valentine's Day! A great weekend activity to get your kids in the kitchen- or a nice surprise for an after-school treat!

Whether you’re baking for your own special Valentine or having fun with the kids in the kitchen, be sure to give these brownies a try!

What’s your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?

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7 Unusual Gifts for Valentine’s Day

This post is brought to you by a guest contributor.

Valentine’s day is not to everyone’s tastes. The usual unimaginative platitudes of flowers, chocolates and cards can be bought out of duty rather than desire with the day being ticked off as either ‘done’ or ‘must do better’ by people’s better halves. That’s why it is worth making an effort this Valentine’s Day and being a little creative with your gifts by avoiding the clichés and card shop suggestions. Here are a few bits of inspiration which may give you some ideas on how to be a bit leftfield this year.

St. Valentines Day background with pink flowers, blue bow and he

Weekend Away

This is a great idea for a gift as the memories you will get from a weekend away will last much longer than a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. It is also the perfect chance to get romantic and give yourselves a much-needed early-year break.

Personalised Gifts

There is now a wealth of websites that sell all sorts of things which can be personalised with images and text. Mouse mats, tablet cases, clothing and sports equipment can all be printed or embroidered with yours and your partner’s likenesses or names to make the gift feel special. And if you think you have left it a bit late, Zippi offer personalised mugs with next day delivery option.

Diarised Dates

Here’s a gift which you can make which doesn’t (necessarily) have to break the bank but will show a lot of thought. It is also a ‘gift that keeps on giving’. Set out some dates over the next few months – go for a meal, a walk in a local park, a night at the pictures – write them in a diary and hand over the diary as a gift.

A Hamper

Prove you have noticed what their preferred products are by gathering them all in to one hamper put together with love. These can be anything from beauty products to items of clothing.

Theatre Tickets

Another ‘experience’ gift which will give you memories rather than the transient pleasure of chocolate or flowers, a night out at the theatre is romantic and perhaps unusual enough to earn brownie points.

Art Work

It’s not easy to find affordable unique artwork but occasionally it is possible to find local artists who will do commissions for a reasonable price. Alternatively, have a look on Etsy for some great handmade gifts from artists around the country. The great thing about this website is you can search by your partner’s interest e.g. ‘Star Wars’ and then find lots of quirky, unusual goodies.

A Tattoo

This certainly won’t be the ideal present for everybody but if your partner who is someone who has always talked about getting a tattoo but never took the plunge, a gift voucher for a tattoo parlour is the perfect incentive and Valentine’s Day, the perfect opportunity.

What would you love to get for Valentine’s Day?

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