HVD!

red hots and pink lipsHVD guys!  I hope your day is filled with romance and yummy sweet treats.  Daddy’s of boys, training begins now.  Teach them what it means to be a good husband by example.  No sexy time needed.  Wash a dish, maybe?

*We will return to our regularly scheduled ‘Dirty Side of Blogging‘ next week.

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How to Buy Last Minute Gifts for Your Wife or Girlfriend

how to buy last minute gifts for your wife or girlfriend.  Ladies - forward this to every man you know. Ladies.  We are just 2 days away from Valentine’s Day.  It’s crunch time for the men in your life.  Forward this to any man you know who could use some tips for shopping for their significant others.  And feel free to add your own tips in the comment section.  Let’s help husbands and boyfriends give better gifts!  (Really this post is just suggesting they put some thought and a little effort).

Hello, men

Valentine’s Day is in two days.  Do you know how you will celebrate it with your wife or girlfriend?  P.S. bookmark this site for future occasions (Do you even know when your anniversary is?  Her birthday?  The first time you held hands?  HOT TIP:  you will get even more brownie points for doing any one of these things for no reason at all.

First off, use your noodle.  You need to think for a moment about how your woman is.  Would she scoff at, what some might consider to be, smaller gifts, then this post is not for you.  Grab your wallet and head to your nearest luxury department store.  Buy a $400 pair of sunglasses, have them wrap them up for you and you are set.  But if your gal likes you to put a little bit of thought in to the gift, read on.

champagne and leopard is always a winning combo.  Add one little extra touch to make a so so gift, great.My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that the only real gifts that we would buy for each other, each year, would be birthday and Christmas.  We will potentially enjoy a nice meal out for our anniversary but we feel we have a lot of nice things already and don’t need any more stuff.  Depending on how your significant other is, choose one or more of these items to gift her.

If your gal likes to have a cocktail, grab a bottle of bubbly, something that most people do not splurge on or buy for themselves.  The Veuve is a nice, recognizable bottle and crowd (in this case, your lady friend) pleaser.  In my opinion, it is far better to purchase gifts that fit in to your price range than just trying to impress someone (who knows how much you really make).  So if you can’t swing the $40 bottle, look for the La Marca.  It is an Italian prosecco, $12-$14, and tastes delicious.  But how much effort does grabbing a bottle of alcohol really take?  Consider adding on an auxiliary gift.  The auxiliary gift can be inexpensive but should be something that either goes with the drink you are giving or be something that the gal would love.  These leopard print coasters actually came from the Dollar Tree.  Remove all packaging and tie up with string.  Simple.

Stance socks are super fun and a great quick gift idea for your lady friendSocks?!  You say.  Yes, socks.  Browse the internet for a humorous saying to go on the gift tag or use the old stand by, “cold feet, warm heart” or say something about snuggling.  While socks are a practical item, there are some really fun, design forward pairs out there.  You can’t go wrong with Stance socks.  You can find these at most of your local skate or surf shops including the larger chains like Zumiez.  Look for pairs that remind you of her.  Pick a flower from the garden to give along with one -3 pairs of socks and get ready for a hug.

jazz up store bought flowers for your sweetieStore bought flowers are totally ok.  This particular bouquet came from Wal-Mart.  But she doesn’t have to know that.  Most women like their men to put in a little bit of effort to make them feel special.  This was seriously the tiniest bit of effort.  First, remove the store-bought wrapping.  Then cut part of  a paper grocery sack, wrap it around the stem and wind some pink nylon string (found at both Home Depot and Lowe’s) around it.  How easy is that?

fill her favorite candy in a cute box.  Show a little tiny bit of effort.Does your gal have a sweet tooth?  Chances are you know a few of her favorite candies.  This box was from the Target dollar bin. All you have to do is repackage things to make them look like you spent time on it, even if you really didn’t.  She likes something salty instead?  Take a moment to look around for a larger divided container (perhaps in the home decor or kitchen areas – even a divided dish would work) and fill with savory snacks.  Add a note that says something about her being sweet and you are totally getting lucky tonight.

A gal loves a pedicure, so give her some cash and send her to pamper herselfThis one is especially great for women with children.  Sometimes the best gift for a mom is getting some time by herself.  It might seem tacky to just hand her some cash but hear me out.  Most women love to get pedicures.  And there are little nail places all around town.  Chances are, she has a favorite.  She may have even mentioned it to you before.  But wait, was it Lucky Nail, Nail Lucky, Happy Nails…the chances of you getting that one wrong are high.  Tell her that you know how much she does for the family and that you want her to go pamper herself.  The fact that you be taking care of the kids and planned this out will show her that you care and she will be beyond excited.  And she will have the choice of where to go.  Nail places are not created equal.  Are you seeing some gifts or combos of gifts that might work for the lady in your life?

Have your significant other set up a 'wishlist' on pinterest for easy gift buyingThis last suggestion is not something for last-minute purchases but will surely help you on your gift giving journey.  Suggest that your gal pal make a “wish list” board on her pinterest.  You can look at this like a personal gift registry.  You can ask her to begin pinning things that she would like to get as gifts from you or even others.  Then whenever you need to, you can check out her list and potentially buy them straight from the link.  What is also cool about this is that it still leaves a little bit of the surprise factor for her when opening gifts.  Do you see that, up there?  I have 40 things on my wish list so I would never be able to guess what things I might get.  I’m sure she will happily show you how to navigate to that board (but you really should bookmark it or save it as your home page).

I hope this has helped you learn how to give gifts to your significant other.  All we really want is a little thought and effort to know that you care.

*Ladies, feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments section!

 

Easy Gift Giving with Store Bought Treats

*This post is sponsored by Rich’s Products as part of the Bakery Because “Give the gift of deliciousness” campaign.
Easy gift giving with store bought treatsIf you know me well, you know that I over think everything.  Often, I get an idea and it spirals out of control until it is so big, and such a production that I don’t have the energy to do it anymore.  But if I can get out of my own head, I can simplify things and not lose the intention behind it.  Take for instance, sweet treats.  I love sugar.  And most other people do too.  But I don’t need to spend days baking special treats to show someone my appreciation or love.  Store bought treats are there for me, ready to use.  While they might be a little plain for my liking, all it takes is a moment to jazz them up and put a little “me” in it.

cinnamon-rolls-and-sugar-cookiesYour local grocery store’s bakery section is an untapped resource.  For real.  Mine has a crazy amount of baked goods, decorated cakes, cookies, and even accessories (the coolest candles and sprinkles!)  So why not embrace it and take some of the stress off of yourself.  And guess what else?  These things taste amazing!

use duct tape and cardstock to create cookie pouchesI decided to pick up some goodies and give them a little repacking makeover.  All I needed was some cardstock and Duck tape to get me started.  Super easy.

store bought cookies are perfect for gifting to othersThese little cookie pouches were really quick to make and I LOVE how they look!  Who wouldn’t want to get a bright pink cookie package?

Repackage store bought treats to share the love easilyI used plain cookies and then picked up other supplies at the store to create individual cookie decorating gifts.  For no other reason than to make someone’s day.  But of course these would work as Valentine’s too.  But guess what?  The store also has frosted cookies!  Instead of these kits, you could just pop the pre-decorated cookies in clear cello bags – letting their cuteness show through.  Even easier.

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Easy Valentine’s Treat for Kids – Fun Dip Whipped Cream

Super easy Fun Dip Whipped Cream for a Valentine's SurpriseYes, you read that right.  Cherry Fun Dip Whipped Cream.  I like to think that my kid’s don’t eat a lot of junk food.  But I would be kidding myself.  Due to food allergies we steer clear of ice creams, cupcakes and cookies when out and about.  But I am learning that I over compensate for that with candy.  I really am trying to work on that this year.  But there are a few days out of the year, when an extra special treat just makes sense.  And Valentine’s Day is just that.  If you didn’t see my Stout Brownie post the other day I became obsessed with all the things you can do with homemade whipped cream.  So I decided to see if I could flavor it with candy.  Well, let me be perfectly honest.  I originally tried cherry jello, and since I am a novice in the kitchen, I had no idea that the gelatin would make the heavy cream get crunk.  That is really just the best way to describe it.  It’s not just a dance you know.  It is totally what it turns in to when you add jello to heavy whipping cream.   I mean it started out fine, and then BAM!  Crunk.  Lauren suggested trying a powdered candy and I knew right away she was on to something.

Fun Dip Whipped Cream IngredientsNow is the perfect time to find multi packs of Fun Dip at Target.  I didn’t think I would have trouble finding Fun Dip, but it isn’t easy to just buy one or two bags of it (Note to my local OC peeps:  the Irvine Spectrum has a candy store in the Target wing that does sell them by the piece).  I picked up a package of Valentine’s sized Fun Dips and picked out all the cherry (blue would just be super grody – not really – pink is just cuter).  Making the Cherry Fun Dip Whipped Cream is really easy.  I use a cup of heavy whipping cream, a TBSP of powdered sugar and 8) .5 ounce packs of cherry Fun Dip.  I’m not sure if the regular, individually sold packages are bigger than this so just know that you will need about 4 total ounces of the powder.

whip the cream, sugar and fun dip for a rad Valentine's Day treat for the whole family. Mix it up for about 3 minutes, watching for soft peaks.

Super easy Cherry Fun Dip Whipped CreamThat is all it takes.

yup.  there is fun dip in the whipped cream.And since you have all those leftover Lik-a-sticks you might as well put it to good use.

add special whipped cream to chocolate milk for Valentine's Day breakfastHow awesome will your kids think you are when you surprise them with this on Valentine’s Day morning in their chocolate milk.  Oh, you don’t serve this type of trash to your kids that early?  Then by all means, save this for afternoon snack.

A fun Valentine's treat for your kidsIt is tart and sweet and cherry-rific.

kids love chocolate.  so why not add some special whipped cream? There really is very little way that your kids wouldn’t like this.  I’d like to pretend that this photo was taken very early in the morning due to both kids still being in their pajamas…

Cherry Fun Dip Whipped CreamOk, so who is going to try this?  Also great for ice cream sundaes, brownies, pies, birthday parties, baby showers and bat mitzvahs.

chocolate-milk-with-fun-dip-whipped-creamDo it.

Easy No Sew Fabric Heart Pillows for Valentine’s Day

Easy No Sew Heart Pillow DIY for Valentine's DayValentine’s Day IS hearts.  Plain and simple.  So I made Easy No Sew Fabric Heart Pillows.   I wanted to make tiny little heart pillows for my kids but guess what?  I hate to sew!  I have been exploring alternative methods for fabric adhering lately.  Luckily, I had a chance to check out the CHA show (full wrap up of all the cool things tomorrow!) last weekend and was given some supplies that were absolutely perfect for this tutorial. (This post is not sponsored but I do want to let you know that I was given product)  While the hold is pretty permanent, I always want to remind you that pretty much all of my crafts are not heirloom quality.  The cost is low and these can be tossed after the holiday.  Or as I am sure will happen in my house, they will be ripped apart and the stuffing will be thrown at each other like snowballs.  That is what happens when you have little boys.

No sew fabric heart pillow diyChoose your favorite fabrics, a pair of scissors and for this I used two kinds of fabric tapes: the Permanent Fabric Sheets and the Permanent Fabric Tape.  I love these tapes and will totally use them again.  Originally I had bought Fabric Fusion to use, but the dry time is too long (well, it’s not really THAT long, but I am a super impatient crafter).

grey and white stripe fabric for heart pillowsI do not free-hand so I cut several hearts out of paper until I found the perfect shape.  Then I made a smaller version to decorate the front of the pillow.  I traced the heart on to the fabric (2 hearts for the pillow and 1 small heart for the decoration) making sure to leave an overhang.  I removed the backing of one permanent fabric sheet and placed the smaller heart fabric on it, making sure to smooth out any bubbles or lumps.  Then I cut out the smaller heart following the outline (Because this is going on the front, I wanted to make sure I could see the tracing.  I just tried to cut just on the inside of the line so you wouldn’t see it on the finished pillow).

orange and red heart with grey and white stripe heartThen I removed the second side of the adhesive sheet and stuck it to one of the larger heart pieces.

Use fabric tape for easy no sew pillowsI turned over the heart and started using small section of the permanent tape.  I wanted to make sure that the fabric would hold together but leave an overhang around the edge.  I just liked that it looks a little floppy.  Once the shape was finished, I started peeling off the back to expose the adhesive.  Then I tried to match up the edges as best I could of the second heart and rubbed to get the tape to adhere really well.  See that one little open spot at the bottom?  That is where you will stuff the pillow.

use stuffing to create a little heart pillowSo then, duh.  Stuff the pillow.  I bought this enormous bag of stuffing 1) because it was on sale for half off and 2) because I couldn’t find a smaller one.  So what that means for you is that I am now going to attempt to stuff everything.  Yeah for puffy crafts!  Once you have it as full as you would like it, use another small piece of the tape to close off the opening.

Easy no sew heart pillow diyPretty cute, right?

heart pillow craft for valentine's dayHow cute would these be as a little bedtime surprise on Valentine’s Day for the kids.  Or even on your hubby’s pillow.

No sew DIY heart pillow tutorialSuper easy, no sew heart pillows.  I want these all over my house.

Valentine's Day Kid CraftHe liked them too.  If you like things all nice and neat use some pinking sheers or some of that fabric edger stuff that stops the fraying.  You know I like my stuff a little messy so these wayward strings do not bother me.  And you guys,  I heart you.  Really I do!

*Full disclosure:  I was given these permanent fabric tapes in a goody bag from the show.  Which was super awesome because I literally was going to go buy them on that following Monday so this saved me about $16.  But then bought the Fabric Fusion for $8 so I’m up just $8.  But still!  Yahoo!