Date Night Gift Baskets

With Valentine’s Day coming up in a couple weeks I’m thinking about date nights and sweet gifts so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share some ideas that combine both! Giving a gift basket that has a date night activity is a thoughtful gift that shows your loved ones that you value time with them over any material object. Find the ideas below and click through to get all the details of what you can include in each basket!

Cooking Dinner for 2 Date Night Gift Basket

Painting Date Night Gift Basket

Game Night Gift Basket for Couples

Dinner and a Movie Date Night Gift Basket

A Year Of Date Nights Gift Basket

Looking for other date night ideas?

5 Winter Date Ideas

50+ Date Night Ideas

Summer Day Date Idea: Recreate Memories On A Local Road Trip

One Year of Pre-Planned Date Nights Gift

Strengthen Your Marriage with a Year Of Dates 

 

I’d love to hear about your favorite date night you’ve had with your significant other! Chat with me on Twitter @aliciamarie112

PIN THIS POST TO SAVE THESE IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT DATE NIGHT!

 

How You Can Help Brighten Valentine’s Day For A Child In The Hospital

The Handfuls of Love campaign that I shared about last year is back! I’m excited to spread the news about this easy, free way to help brighten Valentine’s Day for a child in the hospital. Just imagine the young child’s face when they receive your message!

Participating is as easy as going to their website, picking out a specially designed card, and personalizing a special note of encouragement to a young patient at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The hospital’s goal is to hand deliver 15,000 cards to kids this Valentine’s Day!

I’d love for you to help me share about this great cause! Just click on one of the social media buttons below to share on that platform ❤️

An Easy Way To Send Love To A Child In The Hospital

Today I wanted to share a simple, quick, and free way to help brighten Valentine’s Day for a child in the hospital. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has created four specially designed cards for people to add a personalized note of encouragement in. The cards will then be given to children at the hospital and their goal is to hand deliver 15,000 cards to kids this Valentine’s Day! It’s easy, quick, and free to do online but will mean so much to a child that can’t be home for Valentine’s Day ❤️

 

Click here to be taken to the Handfuls of Love website to send a free card and put a smile on a child’s face!

Romantic Scavenger Hunt And A Game Night Date Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendingYourLove #CollectiveBias

When Sinisa and I first started dating he went all out with the romantic gestures, from roses covering my car to mushy Hallmark cards on the regular. Now that we have kids (and have been together for over 10 years), the daily romance has changed from gifts of flowers, cards and candy to acts of love like doing the dishes and bringing me coffee. I still get cards and flowers and things like that, just more sporadically than I used to.

For Valentine’s Day this year I wanted to surprise him with a romantic gesture worthy of those I received during the early stages of our relationship and decided upon a romantic scavenger hunt to find a date night gift basket. I went to Walmart to get the cards for the scavenger hunt and some special date night gift basket goodies, including some games for us to play on our date-night-in since game nights are such a fun way to spend time together. Walmart has the newest collection of Hallmark Signature Cards for Valentine’s Day, so I picked out a variety of cards to write scavenger hunt hints in.

Hallmark Signature Cards are premium, hand-crafted cards and I fell in love with the beautiful embellishments on them. One of my favorites had a lovely message embossed on wood which reminded me of the game pieces to one of my favorite board games. Since I love to get crafty, this inspired me to make a little gift to go along with the board game that I was putting in the gift basket.

I love cards because you can write special messages in them and another favorite thing to give is personalized gifts, like this letter tile craft. The craft itself is pretty easy to put together but does require some planning when it comes to tile placement (which I learned the hard way lol). I was originally going to just put “Alicia”, “Sinisa” and “Love” but that seemed too empty so I decided to add the word “Family” and add my boy’s names in as well. Everything looked like it fit but then I went to put the frame on and discovered some of the pieces were too close to the edge so I had to use their nicknames so that everything would fit.

Here’s what you need to make this letter craft:

  • Shadow box (mine was 8×8 size)
  • Scrapbook paper for the background
  • Letter tiles
  • Adhesive (I used a photo adhesive to adhere the letter tiles to the paper)

To make the craft:

Cut the piece of scrapbook paper to fit inside the frame and adhere it to the inside cardboard backing of the frame


Arrange letter tiles how you would like them and add adhesive to the back of the tiles, one tile at a time, sticking each tile in place where you’d like it to be. Once all the tiles are on, put the frame back together.

When you are done crafting, it’s time to put the basket together. Along with the frame, I added a snack, something to drink, a board game, a deck of cards and a cute Valentine’s decoration.

With the date night basket ready you are all set to put together the scavenger hunt for them to find the basket. You can choose to do the scavenger hunt around your home or at places that are special to the two of you (like maybe where you had your first date, a place your family likes to go, etc.) Since it’s winter, and I live in Chicago, I decided to do the scavenger hunt around the house.

I wrote notes in a few Hallmark cards and hid them around the house, with each card giving a hint of where he could find the next card. The first place I left a hint was on the front door so Sinisa would see it right when he came home from work.

Inside I left a message about the scavenger hunt and then led him to his next card with this hint: “your love makes my heart make music”. You could also say “your love makes my heart beat faster” or something else cute like that. This clue could lead to a stereo or musical instrument. Our son plays guitar so I put the next clue on the guitar.

The card led to a map (hint: “I’m happiest wherever I am, as long as I’m with you”) which led to a pillow (hint: “I dream about you”) which led to the candy basket (hint: “your love is sweeter than chocolate”) which led to the car where the basket was hidden (hint: “you drive me wild”). This was such a fun thing to do and a cute way to start a date night!

The scavenger hunt was really simple to put together and a lot of fun, especially when it ends with a gift basket and a romantic date-night-in!

Don’t forget your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. If you are short on time just head to Walmart where it’s easy to get everything for your Valentine’s Day celebration – including the perfect Hallmark Cards. And, 1/29 through 2/14 (or while supplies last), earn $1 back on Ibotta at Walmart on any Hallmark Valentine’s Cards priced $2.97 and above! You can also keep your eyes peeled for an in-aisle coupon at Walmart – get $2 off when you buy 3 Hallmark Valentine’s Day Cards!

Visit the Hallmark Valentine’s Day Hub for more inspiration and to find a store near you!

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Disclosure: Products were received for consideration but all thoughts are my own.

Valentine’s Day is almost here and, for many, that means it’s time to show love with cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts. I thought I’d share some gift ideas with you all in case you still haven’t had a chance to go out and find something special. Whether you need a gift for your significant other or a “GALentine” gift for a friend, I hope this gives you some ideas!

“Dinner for 2” Date Night Gift Basket

I shared this romantic date night gift basket a few weeks ago but I love it so much I just had to share it again. It’s super easy to put together- just put some dinner ingredients in there, a bottle of wine, some candles and some Valentine’s Day decorations and you are all set to make dinner in with your sweetie!

Get all the details to make your own gift basket here.

Sweets Gift Box

Does your loved one have a sweet tooth? If so, you’ll want to get them this subscription box!  The SweetsGiftBox is filled with 4-5 goodies ranging from gourmet chocolates and cookies to artisan candies and treats. I loved the variety in the boxes and the few things I’ve tried so far from my sample box are delicious! I like that they are all items from brands I normally wouldn’t be able to find in a grocery store.

Learn more about the subscription service here.

Love’s Passion Bouquet by Teleflora

Heat up the romance and passion with this stunning floral arrangement that is sure to capture your Valentine’s attention. This gorgeous bouquet features a bountiful display of classic red roses, tulips, and white Asiatic lilies nestled within an elegant red glass vase. Each bouquet is professionally-arranged and delivered by a local florist so you can guarantee that every petal of your bouquet is freshly cut, carefully prepared and hand-made with love.

See Teleflora’s full line of Valentine’s Day bouquets here.

Custom Print from 78th & Newbury

I love getting personalized gifts and 78th & Newbury is one of my favorite online shops that offers them. At Christmas I reviewed their personalized canvas travel maps which would make a cute gift for travel lovers but I also think this love song print would make an amazing gift as well. If you are buying a gift for a spouse you could have a print made with your wedding song lyrics on it. How sweet would that be?

Find more gift ideas from 78th & Newbury here.

I love reading romance books so I’m very excited to read about the real life love story of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. If your valentine is an avid book reader you may want to surprise them with this cute book!

Buy the book on Amazon here.

What is the best Valentine’s Day gift you have ever given or received?

7 DIY Valentines With Printables

Valentine’s Day is about a week away so I wanted to share 7 DIY valentines that you can put together last minute. These are perfect for your kids to take to school because all of these are candy-free and have printables you can easily print out!

SILLY GLASSES Print the greetings onto card stock; cut out. Use double-stick tape to attach the glasses onto the card stock, or punch holes for each of the temple pieces, thread them through, and fold closed.

JACKS SET Insert scrap cardboard into a small muslin bag (we found ours on papermart.com). Help your child stamp a heart onto the bag; let dry. Print the greeting; cut out and insert into the bag, along with a jacks set.

CRAYONS & NOTEPADS Place crayons on top of a notepad and wrap with a rubber band. Print the template onto plain paper; cut out. Wrap it around the bundle and tape in place in the back.

PARACHUTER Print greeting onto cloud-patterned paper (we found ours at officesupply.com); cut out. Adhere paper to card stock with a glue stick. Attach parachuter with a glue dot.

ZOO ANIMALS  Print greeting onto card stock; cut out. Trim a piece of sushi grass (we found ours on amazon.com) to the width of the card. Insert the greeting, grass, and zoo animal into a cellophane bag; tape it closed.

YO-YO Print the template onto 8½-by-11-inch sticker paper (at office-supply stores), and have your child trim it out using pinking shears. Stick it onto the yo-yo, and you’re good to go!

PLAYING CARDS Print the template onto 8½-by-11-inch sticker paper; cut out. Wrap a box of cards once with washi tape, then stick the greeting onto the box.

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Thanks to Family Fun Magazine for sending me these great ideas to share! Find all of the printables here (look under Feb/March 2016 No Candy Valentines).

10 Valentine’s Day Desserts

A few years ago I shared a post of 10 delicious Valentine’s Day treats and it’s one of my most read posts ever. I thought it was time to share another post with ten more of my favorites since the last one was so popular. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Cookies from Family Fresh Meals

Valentine’s Day Candy Popcorn from A Helicopter Mom

Strawberry Brownie Kabobs from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Ice Cream Cupcakes from Bubbly Nature Creations

Hershey Kiss Cookies from Life Is Sweets

Valentine’s Day Patties from Mom on Timeout

Linzer Cookies from Cooking Classy

Pink Snowball Puffs from Pamela’s Heavenly Treats

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses from U Try It

Cherry Cordial Cupcakes from Lemon-Sugar

Chocolate Lovebug Cupcakes {Recipe}

Valentine’s Day is coming up and what better way to celebrate than with these adorable Chocolate ‘Lovebug’ Cupcakes! Enjoy!

active 15 min  total 25 min (plus decorating)

makes 24 mini cupcakes

cost per cupcake 27¢

Ingredients:

  • Mini paper liners
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Icing and decorations

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400°F. Line a 24-cup mini muffin pan with paper liners. 
  • In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy, then whisk in the oil and vanilla. Add the egg white mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate.
  • Divide the batter among the lined muffin cups and bake until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Decorate as desired.

Per cupcake 99 cal, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 51 mg sod, 1 g pro, 18 g car, 0 g fiber

Thanks to Woman’s Day for sharing the recipe with me. You can find this recipe and more delicious Valentine’s Day treats at WomansDay.com and in their magazine. (Image courtesy of: Kat Teutsch)

10 Heart Shaped Crafts

With Valentine’s Day coming up I thought a roundup of heart shaped crafts would be fun to share. Not only do they make beautiful things to keep for years, they can be used to make your home festive during the February holiday.

The first one I wanted to share is one Lucas made in school a couple of years ago and it’s still one of my most meaningful pieces of art I have. It’s super easy to make. Find the directions for it here.

Here are some of my favorites from the amazing bloggers in the Kid Blogger Network.

Valentine’s Heart Fizzy Painting from Gift of Curiosity

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Tissue Paper Heart Wreath from Happy Hooligans

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Heart Sensory Collage from Crayon Box Chronicles

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String Heart Art from How We Learn

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Heart Suncatcher from Fun at Home with Kids

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Stamping Glitter Hearts from Buggy and Buddy

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Pipe cleaner heart

This is super easy and requires two supplies- pipe cleaners and beads. Add the beads on the pipe cleaner and form it into a heart. Jacob made this one a few years ago and decided just to use a small amount of beads but your child can decorate the whole heart with them!

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Salt Dough & Perler Beads Valentine Ornaments from Meaningful Mama

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Tissue Bleed Valentine Heart from Powerful Mothering

Which craft will you be trying first?

Love You To Pieces Craft

love you to pieces craft

Looking for a last minute Valentine’s Day craft? Check out this adorable heart that Lucas brought home from preschool! It has added meaning to the parents of all the children in his classroom since puzzle pieces are symbolic to parents of children who are on the Autism spectrum.

Making this craft is super simple. Draw a heart on a piece of paper, glue some puzzle pieces on to the heart, and then paint it any color your child would like. What a special craft to make and give to loved ones!

Sweet Treats For Little Valentines

Make your child’s Valentine’s Day lunch or snack special this year by giving them a delicious treat. Cheryl’s sent me a beautiful tin full of cookies and other goodies to share with my boys.

The sugar cookies were really good and had a hint of lemon flavoring to them. I also thought the little bird cookie was adorable. The boys liked the frosted heart shaped cookies and the pretzels that were covered with sprinkles.

Looking on Cheryl’s website I saw a bunch of cute gifts for Valentine’s Day. The cookie bouquets were nice as was the “tweetheart” box. If you are looking to have cookies delivered for your valentine then make sure to place your order by 3pm EST today!

 

They also have $5 cookie cards that are perfect for every occasion from happy birthdays to get well wishes.

Preparing For A Long Awaited Date Night

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Sinisa and I on a date in 2007 <3

I am so excited to be going on a special date night this week! My mom is watching the boys and Sinisa and I are going on our first date night in a long time. It’s been at least a year, if not more, since we have gone out sans kids for more than the hour and a half that they are at Awana.

Sinisa is planning the whole date and made us reservations for a nice Italian restaurant. {He says it’s where we went for our first Valentine’s Day but my memory is so bad that I don’t remember that long ago.} I think we will be going out for drinks or a movie as well so it should be a fun night.

Since this is a special occasion I’m going to have to spend longer than 5 minutes getting ready. I plan to run to the store and get a nice top to wear for our date. I also am going to make myself up by doing my hair and makeup. He will be quite surprised seeing me transform from my sweats and ponytail!

I don’t normally wear more makeup than some mineral powder and lip gloss but I have some new Neutrogena makeup I’m going to use. I like Neutrogena makeup because it doesn’t irritate my skin and it looks natural.

I recently tried their MoistureSmooth color stick and was very impressed with it. It looks like a big lip pencil, has a texture like lipstick or balm but goes on smooth and feels like a lip gloss. This stick adds color I don’t normally get with lip gloss but doesn’t feel thick like I am wearing a lot on my lips. I also love that it isn’t sticky because I hate that feeling. The smell of this color stick was fruity which I liked as well. I was sent  the Sweet Watermelon color to review but will be going out and getting a few more colors since I really like it.

The mascara I was sent is their Healthy Volume Mascara. It has Olive in it which the package says helps plump the core of each and every lash. I don’t wear mascara often but thought this was a nice product. I liked that my eyelashes didn’t clump together like some mascaras make them do.

With both makeup products on and a nice, new shirt I think Sinisa will be surprised to see me when I come down the steps for our date night! If you want to treat yourself to some new makeup for your next date night, you can get a printable coupon for $1 off any NEUTROGENA® Cosmetics product at HealthyEssentials.com.

Chocolate Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is this Friday! If you are still looking for gift ideas I have a few to share from Fannie May and appreciate them sending me a box of chocolates to review. I shared around the Holidays how chocolates were my go-to gift to give and the same is true for gift giving around Valentine’s Day. Since most people love chocolate as much as I do it’s an easy gift to give.

When I received the box of chocolates last week, Jacob was excited to see all of the candy. Every day he has been picking out one to try and we take guesses as to what is inside the chocolate coating. It’s a special moment between the two of us and something we both look forward to each day.

Along with the typical box of chocolate, Fannie May has an assortment of special Valentine’s Day gifts. Here are some of my favorite:

Champagne Celebration Strawberries

Giant, hand-picked strawberries are generously dipped in creamy white and pink champagne-infused real chocolate and decoratively sprinkled with gold, platinum and clear sugar.

Assorted Chocolates – Heart Box, 2 lb.

Milk chocolate, dark chocolate or a combination of both, this essential assortment has something for everyone, from buttercreams and rich nougats, to buttery caramels. This is the box of chocolates that we received from Fannie May. I love the caramels and Jacob’s favorites are the wrapped chocolate hearts. They are housed in a beautiful box that makes this the perfect gift to give!

Loving Favorite Gifts Tower

A selection of favorite confections for your Valentine, each Loving Favorite Gifts Tower weighs 2 lbs, 9 oz and comes filled with: 4 oz Valentine Pixies, 1 lb Delights Individually Wrapped Chocolates, 5 oz Milk Truffle Hearts, 4 Milk Grahams, 4 Milk Cookies, 4 Milk Pretzels, and 4 White Pretzels. Yum! If you have multiple people on your gift list you could even split this one up and give the boxes in the tower out to separate people.

Which gift is your favorite?

Shipping Note: The website says if you order by today (2/11 at 3pm EST) you can use ground shipping and get the gift to your Valentine in time. Waited until the last minute? You can still order and choose overnight delivery on 2/13 for delivery on 2/14 or visit one of their Chicago area stores.

Valentine’s Day Hands-On Play Ideas {HOP}

I’m really excited to be joining in as a host of the Hands-On Play Party with some fabulous bloggers. This linky will be posted each Tuesday. I will be sharing some of my own activities for kids plus sharing some other great ideas from bloggers that link up each week.

This week I’m sharing some fun Valentine’s Day ideas. My boys loved playing in this Valentine’s Day sensory table.

How about a chocolate scented activity? Happy Hooligans shares a Play Dough Chocolate Shop that I think would keep Lucas, my four year old, busy for a whole afternoon!

Little Bins For Little Hands shares some great Valentine’s Day math activities. I’m planning to do some of these with Jake.

And check out this painting activity from Gift of Curiosity….this isn’t just normal paint- it’s fizzy paint! So fun :)

 

 Visit my co-hosts!

Construction Sensory Play from P is for Preschooler

My Name Quiet Book Page from Stir the Wonder

What Is Hands On Play? from Little Bins for Little Hands

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 Now it’s your turn! What fun hands-on play activities have you been creating at home? If you are a blogger you can link up your blog posts (no more than 3 please) or, if you don’t have a blog, share your activities on Facebook and leave a link in the comments below. Just looking for activity ideas? You can do that as well by clicking through to the linky at the bottom of this post.

(Please note: If you are linking up below you give the hosts permission to use an image with a link back if you are featured in a future HOP post.)



Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas From The Fruit Company

I love chocolate on Valentine’s Day but it’s also nice to give {and get} healthier options as well so that is why I wanted to share about The Fruit Company’s gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. You can give those you love some sweet, delicious fruit along with other goodies. We received the Red Pear Valentine Tower for review and it was great because it had something for everyone in it.

This gift tower is packed with four Red D’Anjou pears, chocolate covered cherries, zebra chocolate popcorn, strawberry yogurt pretzels and two Fuji apples. Sinisa loved the pears and the boys gobbled up the apples. Jacob thought the pretzels tasted just like his favorite drink, strawberry milk. My favorites were the chocolate covered cherries. They were really juicy and I thought it was a great mix of fruit and chocolate.

Some other gift ideas from The Fruit Company include:

Valentine Berries

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Organic Pink Fruit Basket

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 Chocolate Truffle Lava Cakes

If you are shopping last minute make sure to check out their website for special Valentine’s Day shipping. Choose Valentine’s Day delivery, and receive upgraded shipping at no extra cost as long as your order is placed by noon, PST, February 13, 2014.

Showing Love With Baked Goods {Gift Card Giveaways}

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as part of Rich Products #bakerybecause program but all thoughts are my own.)

My boys love their sweets so for Valentine’s Day I wanted to give them some gifts they could enjoy for a special dessert. I’d love to bake but don’t really have much time to do so, so I head to my local grocery store to pickup their favorite cookies and cakes. Instead of just picking up items from the store and giving them in the bakery boxes I decided to get a little creative and figure out some special ways to share them.

I had some chocolate brownies and I decided to make the large brownies into bite sized pieces so they were easier for my kids to eat and not as messy. Once cut I packaged them in a couple different ways.

I used a gift card box and took out the insert inside where the card was supposed to go. I added Valentine’s themed mini muffin wrappers and then put a piece of brownie in each wrapper. Put the lid on, add a couple pieces of tape to the sides, and voila….a little box of yumminess!

For the second half of the brownies I decided to put them in these cute baking wrappers I found. You could even add some mini marshmallows in with them! Once in the wrappers they can be enclosed in clear cellophane.

I found a lot of fun ways to give the cookies. Some I put in little dollar value boxes I found. Some I put into treat bags decorated with curly ribbons at the top. I found a mug with some candies in it and took the candies out and refilled it with cookies which I think would be a great gift paired with a package of coffee beans or a gift card to a coffee shop. I also found little Valentine’s take out boxes with heart cut outs that I thought would be a hit with Sinisa as a special dessert after a Chinese dinner.

I also found a box of mini chocolate cakes adorned with frosting hearts. They were adorable so I wanted to display them. These will be given in a heart shaped tray wrapped in the heart cellophane that the white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies are wrapped in.

What is your favorite way to gift baked goods and who would you give a delicious gift to? Check out the giveaway below!

GIVEAWAY

Three people will win $25 gift cards

HOW TO ENTER

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me who makes your life special

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Leave a comment telling me what special way you’d gift a baked good

4) Subscribe to this blog via email

Giveaway ends February 20, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to win.

Cute As A Button DIY Valentines

Looking for a cute idea for Valentine’s Day cards? Country Woman magazine shared these adorable ones with me. They are easy to make and I think they are a charming way to let a friend or family member know how much you care.

Simply print and cut out a design of your choice and glue it to a larger square cut from colored card stock. Using a needle and thread stitch a few pretty buttons on to the valentine.

For a full list of instructions and materials, please visit: http://www.countrywomanmagazine.com/project/cute-as-a-button-valentines-card/

5 DIY Valentine’s Day Decorations Kids Can Help Make

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is going to be here in just a little over a month!? I thought I’d gather some DIY Valentine’s Day decorations that kids can help make. There is nothing more precious than homemade hearts and other crafts made with love.

Heart Garland from Buggy and Buddy

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Cardboard Roll Heart from Kitchen Counter Chronicles

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Heart Suncatcher from Happiness Is Homemade

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Heart Ornaments & Valentine’s Tree from PlayDrMom

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Love Canvas from The Inspired Treehouse

Aren’t those all adorable? If you are a blogger and have a kid’s Valentine’s Day decoration post feel free to share a link in the comments :)

My Valentine’s Day Playlist

Some Of My Favorite Romantic Songs

Tank- Next Breath
Savage Garden- Truly Madly Deeply
NeYo- Let Me Love You
Sixpence None The Richer- Kiss Me
98 Degrees- I Do
Brian McKnight- Back at One
K-Ci and JoJo- All My Life
Rascal Flatts- Bless The Broken Road
Bryan Adams- Everything I Do, I Do It For You
Steven Curtis Chapman- I Will Be Here
Luther Vandross- Here and Now
Whitney Houston- I Will Always Love You
Edwin McCain- I’ll Be

What are your favorite romantic songs?

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I’ve been enjoying using my Windows Phone 8X by HTC to play music. It has Beats Audio. Here’s a little more about what makes it amazing according to HTC:

The 8X has a dedicated amp built right into the phone, so it pumps more power to your headphones than ever. Plus, Beats Audio is coming to Windows phones for the first time ever. Take that combination and transform your listening pleasure with deeper bass, crisper vocals and detailed high notes for music, games, movies and videos.

 (Disclosure: I am a member of HTC’s Troop 8X and received this phone to review. All thoughts are my own.)

Love Locks Getaway Sweepstakes {And A Giveaway}

I love working with brands who make it easy for people to give back so I’m excited to share this special promotion and sweepstakes Master Lock is doing. Don’t miss the fun Valentine’s themed item one lucky reader of this blog is going to win as well!

To raise awareness for American Heart Month, Master Lock is offering people the chance to win a trip to Paris, France through their MasterLoveLock.com website. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Lock Up Love & Getaway Sweepstakes encourages visitors to the site to create, send and have their recipient accept a virtual love lock, and by doing so, become eligible to enter the sweepstakes while simultaneously benefitting a worthy cause.

In 2012, Master Lock donated more than $10,000 to the American Heart Association and is stepping up to the plate once again this year. In addition to another $10,000 base donation, Master Lock will donate a dollar for each completed and shared love lock on the site through the month of February, up to an additional $5,000. Besides being the month of love, February is also American Heart Month, a time dedicated to bringing awareness to heart health and building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease.

Visitors to MasterLoveLock.com can lock up their love virtually and enter to win the Lock Up Love & Getaway Sweepstakes, which includes flights, hotel accommodations and spending money for two guests. While in Paris, the couple will have the opportunity to witness the love locks tradition in person at the Pont de l’Archevêché. For decades, sweethearts have participated in this romantic custom around the world by affixing padlocks to fences, gates and bridges, and then throwing away the key, to symbolize their everlasting love.

Those who participate in the sweepstakes will also have the opportunity to win additional prizes, including a $1,000 Visa® gift card; Valentine’s Day themed gift packs filled with flower arrangements, luxury candles, chocolates, romantic DVDs, the Master Lock 1509DLOV Love Lock and more.

To enter, visitors select a lock and one of seven famous bridges to virtually affix the chosen lock. Next they upload a personal message for their loved one. A customized “love lock invitation” is then sent to the recipient via email. Once the invitation is accepted, the love lock sender will receive confirmation and a link to the sweepstakes entry form.

GIVEAWAY:

One Making Time For Mommy reader will win Master Lock’s heart-studded 1509DLOV lock

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment letting me know why you want to win

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Like Master Lock on Facebook

5) Enter the Master Lock sweepstakes

Giveaway ends February 16, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years of age and older.

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. This post is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

Love Notes {Printable}

{image via Paper Coterie}

Paper Coterie has another great printable out! This one is perfect for Valentine’s Day and with over 15 designs to choose from there is something for everyone. Find the printable here.

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post.)

Send A Valentine To The Kids Of Hurricane Sandy

The Postal Service wants to surprise 650 students at the John C. Thompson School (PS-52) of Staten Island and you can help.

Following Hurricane Sandy, the school was closed from Oct. 31 to Nov. 19. Many children and their families lost everything. Today, the children (grades pre-K to 5) are working hard.Things are getting back to normal but will never be the same.

Operation Bear Hug hopes to make February 14th extra special by providing Valentines to every child in the school. Send your Valentine wishes to:

Operation Bear Hug

PO Box 10213

Staten Island NY 10301

 

Cards will be delivered to each child by the Postal Service’s “I Love You” Bear mascot on Valentine’s Day along with as many hugs as they can bear.

(Disclosure: This isn’t a compensated post. I just love the cause and wanted to share a fun way to give back for Valentine’s Day.)

Jacob’s Valentines This Year

This is Jacob’s first year of school which means it’s his first time exchanging valentines with classmates. He is in Preschool so I wanted to make something fun that the children in his class could enjoy. He wanted to do Valentines with candy but edible items aren’t allowed. I had a bunch of ideas I had found when putting together my 10 DIY Valentines post so I chose to make the heart shaped crayons. I wanted to do something a little different so I got little notepads at the store and Jacob decorated each one with stickers. We got all of the stickers out and he decided what each of his classmates would like the most so each little notebook was personalized. I then printed out handwriting sheets and had him practice writing his name 15 times and used those for the “from”. I think they turned out really cute.

Making Heart Shaped Crayons

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Jacob's Mailbox To Receive Valentines

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Ready for the Valentines Exchange

Valentine’s Day Sensory Table

My children have sensory processing issues that make sensory table a must have item in our home but I think sensory activities are a great activity for all young children. I like to create themed ones around Holidays or certain things that interest my children. Our latest table is Valentine’s themed.

 

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A close up of the items that are in the table

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Items in the table:

-mini themed erasers

-mini spiked balls

-clear decorative stones

-red heart shaped stones

-white feathers

-white pom poms

-red,white, pink shaped heart beads

-white yarn tied in bows

-pieces of white ball garland cut into smaller strands

-small heart shaped containers with lids

-heart shaped bowls

-Valentine’s themed cups

10 Valentine’s Day Themed Lunches

{Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they come from}

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10 Valentine’s Day Themed Breakfasts

{Click the pictures to be taken to the posts they come from}

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7 Valentine’s Day Decorations

Love these DIY Valentine’s Decorations {click on links to be taken to the posts they come from}:

Valentine’s Day Tree

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Yarn Love Letters

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Framed Prints

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Valentine’s Mobile

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Ribbon Tree

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Valentines Centerpieces

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Twig Heart

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Looking for more ideas?

Check out these 8 DIY Valentine’s wreaths :)

NanoStyle Jewelry Review & Giveaway {From Our Hearts To Yours Event}

WithOurBest button

Welcome to From Our Hearts To Yours hosted by Life With Two Boys, With Our Best, and Mama-Nibbles. There are over 100 bloggers participating in this hop, and each blogger has their own prize package of at least $25 worth of Valentine-related items! So after you have entered my giveaway, I encourage you to hop along and see what the other bloggers are giving away too!

My sponsor for this giveaway is NanoStyle Jewelry. I received a beautiful necklace for review. The necklace chain was very good quality and the pendant was black onyx. On the pendant is “I Love You” in 120 different languages engraved in 14 karat gold. I’m not normally a silver mixed with gold jewelry wearer but I love the uniqueness of this necklace. It also came with a key chain that has a mini magnifying glass on it so that you could read the words on the necklace. I thought that was a nice little touch that really made this company stand out. I can’t wait to wear it!

I am really excited because I get to give away a $50 gift certificate to this online jewelry store. You can see more items that they sell here. I liked the “I Love You” jewelry the most but they also have ones with crosses that were pretty, too.

HOW TO ENTER:

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do)

1) Leave a comment telling me who you want to win this for

2) Like NanoStyle Jewelry on Facebook

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Follow NanoStyle Jewelry on Twitter

5) Follow me on Twitter

6) Share this giveaway on a social network

7) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends on February 14, 2012 at 11:59pm CST. Open to Worldwide.

(Disclosure: I received a necklace to review but all thoughts are my own.)

(Disclaimer: Please note that the From Our Hearts To Yours Giveaway Hop hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prize. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize in a timely manner. While we are not responsible, we will make every effort to assist the winner in obtaining their prize.)

FIND MORE GIVEAWAYS HERE:

10 Valentine’s Day Treats

{Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they come from}

{Update 2/2015: See the bottom of this post for 10 more Valentine’s Day dessert ideas!}

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Click on the below image for 10 more desserts!

DIY Valentines {10 Ideas}

Want to make Valentines this year instead of buying them? Check out these ideas found around the web!

{Click on pictures for directions}

Crayon Valentines

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Pirate Valentines

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Fishy Valentines

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Lollipop Valentines

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“I Dig You” Valentines

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Rockin’ Valentines

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Magnifying Glass Valentines

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Mustaches!

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“Make Your Own Paper” Valentines

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Glow Stick Valentines

8 Wreaths For Valentine’s Day

Time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day :) Enjoy this roundup of fabulous Valentine’s themed wreaths and click on the pictures to visit the sites they came from!

XO Wreath

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Heart Wreath

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Paper Heart Wreath

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Cockscomb Wreath

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Red, White, and Pink Wreath

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Button Wreath

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Valentine Book Wreath

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Double Heart Wreath

{Bloggers} Sign Up For The “Giveaway Love Is In The Air” Blog Event

I’m joining in on another Valentine’s giveaway hop! This one is called “Giveaway Love Is In The Air” and is hosted by Matter of Cents and The Maven of Social Media. It runs from February 1-7th. All the prizes will be love/romance/relationship themed. You can find more information and how to join in here.

{Bloggers} Sign Up For The All For Love Valentine’s Event

I just signed up for the All For Love Valentine’s Event which is a giveaway hop event being hosted by Real Mom Reviews and Mama Chocolate. I love these types of events because they introduce our readers to new blogs and they can enter to win lots of amazing prizes. This hop runs from February 1-7, 2012 and all giveaways must have a value of $25 or more.

If you are a blogger and are interested in signing up for this giveaway hop you can visit Real Mom Reviews to learn more and sign up!

(Disclosure: I am posting to participate in this giveaway hop and want to spread the word so more blogs join in. All thoughts are my own.)

Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine’s Day Celebration

Here are ten of my favorite pictures from our day long family celebration of Valentine’s Day :) See more Top Ten posts at OhAmanda.

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Jacob built a block tower with mommy and daddy. Here he is being goofy :)

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Daddy reading Valentine Day books to Jacob while Jake snacks on candy hearts

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Jacob and Lucas opening their Valentine's Day surprises

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Luke tries on his froggie sunglasses

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Jake tries putting on his sunglasses himself.

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Lucas loved the chocolates. He only had one and couldn't figure out how to get the other ones out of the box.

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Jacob helped make sugar cookies

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Lucas fingerpaints for the first time. We didn't have much red so he used yellow.

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Jacob fingerpainted foam hearts (and then the paper)

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Lucas then decided to paint his face letting us know he was done painting.

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What about you? Did you do anything fun with your family yesterday?

RedEnvelope.com Giveaway

Still looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one? Check out RedEnvelope.com! Here are five of my favorite items in their online store:

 

Nickname Coffee Cups

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Sculpted Jewelry Organizer

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Monogrammable Locket Cuff Links

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Picnic Backpack

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10 Reasons I Love You Truffle Box

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Find all these items and more at RedEnvelope.com. Want to shop for free? Enter to win a gift certificate!

GIVEAWAY:

Enter to win a $50 gift code to RedEnvelope.com!

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Leave a comment below telling me who you would buy a gift for (it’s ok to say yourself!)

2) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

2) “Like” RedEnvelope on Facebook

3) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

4) Follow @redenvelope on Twitter

5) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy via email

6) Tweet: “Enter to win a @redenvelope gift certificate from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com”

7) Enter another one of my giveaways and let me know which one you entered.

Giveaway ends 2/10/11 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I was given a gift certificate to RedEnvelope.com as compensation for this post but all opinions are my own.)

Dinosaur Train Make A Match Game Giveaway

With Valentine’s Day coming up I am excited to share some Dinosaur Train Valentines that you can download FREE and share with friends and family. Click on the image below to get yours:

Now to the giveaway…

Game Description:

In the Dinosaur Train Make A Match game, buddy and his friends sharpen children’s memory skills  in this special matching game that features a Buddy figure! To begin play, 48 game cards featuring favorite dinosaurs from Dinosaur Train are shuffled and laid face down in 6 rows of 8 cards each. Players take  turns turning over any two cards–so all players can see them–to find a matching pair. The game features “Take Buddy” cards, “Wild Cards” and “Lose a Pair” cards to add to the excitement. Players count their matching card sets  at the end and add extra points for the player holding Buddy to determine who wins. The Dinosaur Train Make A Match Game is for 2 to 4 players, ages 3 to 6, and is available at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide for just $9.99.

One person will win a Dinosaur Train Make A Match Game!

How to enter:

1) Tell me who you are trying to win the game for.

2) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) “Like” Henson Company on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 (me) on Twitter

5) Follow @hensonparents on Twitter

6) Tweet “Enter to win a Dinosaur Train Make A Match Game from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com”

7) Enter another one of my giveaways and let me know which you entered

Giveaway ends on February 25, 2011 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.)

 


Goodnight Sweetheart Review and Giveaway

With Valentine’s Day coming up, many of us are looking to reconnect with our significant others and I love this card game, Goodnight Sweetheart- Couple’s Edition. Their website says, “2 cards…2 people…2 minutes… Sweet, FUN, adorable!!!!  Create your “better together” today.  A card each before bed….or play it in its longer version for a DATE NIGHT that will become your favorite.”


There are “sweetheart cards”, “action cards”, “sharing cards” and “wild cards” for couples to choose from. Here are a couple of samples of what’s on the cards:

Action Card: “Give me three little kisses”

Sharing Card: “Who was your first crush? Describe him or her.”

Sweetheart Card: “Name something that I did early on in our relationship that made you think, “Hmmm…this person could REALLY be someone significant to me…”

Wild Card: “Draw a sharing card OR nuzzle me, behind each ear”

We are all busy so I love how this game reconnects couples in just two minutes a day. The game was fun to play and I like how there was a mix of serious questions and  fun questions.

It should also be noted that Goodnight Sweetheart also has other editions including Goodnight Sweetheart: My Teen, Goodnight Sweetheart: My Tween, and Goodnight Sweetheart: My Child. They also have Goodnight Sweetheart: Nightcap Notes, which are notes finished by you.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a Goodnight Sweetheart: Couples Edition Card Game

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Visit the Goodnight Sweetheart site and tell me one thing you learned about the products.

2) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) “Like” Goodnight Sweetheart on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Follow @GNsweetheart on Twitter

6) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy via RSS or email

7) Enter another giveaway and tell me which one you entered

8) Tweet “I entered to win a @GNsweetheart game from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com”

Giveaway ends on 2/25/11 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I was given a copy of Goodnight Sweetheart: Couple’s Edition and Night Cap Notes to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

 

 

Pear Tree Greetings Valentines Giveaway

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Do you or your children hand out valentines? If so, you have to check out Pear Tree Greetings line of valentines. I love them! Here are a few of their designs:

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GIVEAWAY:

24 free Kids Valentine’s Day Cards of your choice

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Leave a comment telling me one fun thing you or your children will be doing for Valentine’s Day

2) Tweet: ” Enter to win Valentines from @PearTreeGrtngs and @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com “

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Giveaway ends on January 23, 2011 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts are my own.)

Tot School- Love (2/15-2/19)

Since Valentine’s Day is today (the 14th) I decided to focus on the theme of LOVE for the week after the Holiday.

Activities:

*Color the snow- put some red food coloring in a spray bottle of water and spray the snow to color it

* Heart path- Hearts taped to ground, jump from heart to heart

* Make Valentine’s Cupcakes

* Make Jello Jigglers

* Gather all heart shaped toys and count them into a red valentine’s basket

* Play with red playdough- make a heart shape

Crafts:

*Potato Heart Stamp Project from Elise Blaha (found on Cafe Mom)

*Decorate a construction paper heart with glitter, crayons, and stickers

* Handprint Valentine w/ words “I love you this much” in between hands

* Love Collage- pictures of people Jacob loves glued on paper

* “Things I Love Book” (idea found here at Creative Homemaking)

* Love Bugs (from Just For Fun)

* Popsicle Stick Picture Frame decorated with hearts and will put picture of family in it

* Kissing Hand Necklace (idea from No Time For Flashcards). As a working mom I love the idea of this necklace. The Kissing Hand is a great book. I own it but it is currently in storage with the rest of my preschool books.

Songs:

* “I Love You” (The Barney Song)

* If You Love Me (to the tune of: If You’re happy and you know it)

* Jesus Loves Me

Board Books:

* I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

* Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse

* Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

* I Love You Very by Flavia Weedn and Lisa Weedn

* Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben

* Max’s Valentine by Rosemary Wells

* Hugs and Kisses by Roberta Grobel Intrater

and a variety of other small books about love

 

Find my winter themed lesson plan here.

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FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

http://www.makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/