Tuesday, February 15, 2011

our valentine dinner

For our Valentine dinner, we decorated the table with pop-up love napkin rings (created with this Lifestyle Crafts die) and ate heart-shaped mini pizzas with heart-shaped pepperonis and heart-shaped parmesan breadsticks with red (marina) and pink (creamy marina) dipping sauces. If it can be dipped, Liv will eat it.

Then after dinner for FHE, Adam gave the girls books, iTunes gift cards and jelly bean jars...which were really just my excuse for buying the large container of JellyBellys from Costco. And now after consuming more jelly beans than anyone should, I'm remembering why I tell myself the large container of mixed flavors is never a good idea. I end up eating them all when in reality I only really like a few of the flavors. Adam, stop me next time I'm flashing the $4 off coupon and remind me it's not worth it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day

lifestyle crafts valentine party post

Below is the post I did on the Lifestyle Crafts blog showing some of the projects we created for Elle's Valentine Party. Visit the Lifestyle Crafts blog for more great ideas....

Hello! This is Michelle from Product Development, and I'm so excited to show you some of the projects I made for my little girl's Valentine party yesterday! I'll be honest when I was younger I hated this holiday. I specifically remember faking sick on Valentine's Day in fourth grade just to avoid any awkward moments with boys...boys were scary (and I'm hoping my girls inherited this sentiment - at least until they are much, much older)! But now, I can't get enough of the red and pink, the hearts, the cute projects and food...so I decided to plan a party with Elle - my 3-year-old party planner in the making.

One of my favorite things about dies is how easy and simple it is to make any project look professional. With just a few of the Love release dies, we created several projects that made our party a success. It was easy, fast and if I would have started sooner (we made most projects the night before the party) we could have created several more things to enhance the detail of the event.

Happy Valentine's Day!


At the party each child was asked to bring valentines for a card exchange. For Elle's we used Mini Valentine (DC0044) and Banners and Bows (DC0046).

Each child also had a mailbox with their name to put all of their valentines (thank you dollar bin at Target!). To label we just die cut the smallest heart from Nesting Hearts (DC0042), wrote their name and adhered to the front of the mailbox.


We wanted something to give each of the kids when they arrived at the party. For the girls, we made sequin heart clips for their hair. For the boys, we made felt heart pins to wear on their shirts.

To make the sequin hair clip:

Step 1: Die cut 2 hearts from felt for each hair clip. We used the smallest heart from Nesting Hearts (DC0042).
Step 2: Glue strand of sequins to one felt heart starting at the outside edge. Hot glue works best.
Step 3: Cut small slit at the base of remaining felt heart and insert bobby pin or clip. Glue that felt heart to the back of the felt sequin heart.

To make felt pin:

Step 1: Die cut heart and banner from felt. We used the second smallest heart from Nesting Hearst (DC0042) and
Step 2: Stitch I (heart) Mom on banner with black embroidery thread.
Step 3: Glue banner to heart. Glue pin to back of heart.


At the party we also had each child get their picture taken in front of our chalkboard wall. We die cut several hearts in different sizes from Nesting Hearts (DC0042) then taped them to the wall. Because we were using a chalkboard wall, we just drew white chalk designs around the hearts leaving a space in the middle where the child would stand. If you don't have a chalkboard wall, you could easily create this on a large piece of butcher paper and hang up or simply attach die cut hearts and shapes to a wall or door where a child could stand for a photo.


I've seen these felt heart wreaths popping up on several blogs. I'd been wanting to make one but never seemed to find the time to go look for a stryofoam or metal heart wreath form so I figured I'd try to create one myself completely from die cuts.

To make the heart wreath:
(I used felt, but you could also use fabric or paper)

Step 1:
Nest the two largest dies from Nesting Hearts (DC0042) on your Epic platform and die cut.
Step 2: Die cut several circles of felt. I used Nesting Circles (L-CC-001)
Step 3: Place a small dot of hot glue in the center of a felt circle and fold in half. Fold in half again to make a triangle shape and glue to hold in place. Repeat with all felt circles.
Step 4: Attach the folded circles to the die cut frame. I alternated the direction of each circle.


It seems like we make some type of die cut garland for every season/holiday in our house. It is such an easy project for kids. Elle made this heart garland all by herself which brings me to a quick "kid tip". The Revolution is the perfect tool for kids to use by themselves. They're back for a limited time, so if you have kids and don't own a Revolution I'd snatch one up before they're gone! It's used almost daily at my house.

valentine's party

Last Thursday, Elle threw a Valentine party. While it was definitely filled with chaos, I think everyone also had fun! (thanks to Laura for the photos)

10 3-year-olds
9 moms
6 younger siblings
2 older siblings

Photos on the chalkboard wall with sequin heart hair clips (girls) and felt heart pins (boys)
We taped die cut hearts to the chalkboard wall and drew white chalk designs around the hearts. Each child got a hair clip or pin to wear and their picture taken in front of the wall.

Musical Hearts
We put several die cut hearts on the floor and played music while they danced and moved around. Once the music stopped, they had to find a heart. Each time we took away hearts until we had a winner.

Valentine Exchange
Each child brought valentines to give away. We found metal mailboxes at Target in the dollar section for everyone to collect their valentines.

It was mid-morning so we wanted a healthy snack. Heart shaped granola bars with fruit leather embellishments, grapes, apples, yogurt and a mini bottle of water.

Decorating Cookies
We rolled out sugar cookie dough on sheets of parchment paper for each child to cut out heart shaped cookies. We baked their cookies while they molded and played with the remaining dough. After the cookies cooled, the frosted and decorated their cookies to take home.

We bought mini 6" heart shaped balloons and filled with helium for the guests to take home.

3-year-olds (minus Ayden and Nate who came a little later)

Chalkboard wall photos.

Musical hearts.

Passing out valentines for the valentine exchange.

Align Center
Collecting all of the valentines.

Snack time.

Heart shaped granola bars with fruit leather embellishments. We made homemade granola bars and then cut them out with heart-shaped cookie cutters.

Yogurt with wooden spoon and fruit for dipping. We put vanilla in first and dropped spoonfuls of strawberry yogurt on top to make a heart.

Cutting out sugar cookies.

Frosting sugar cookies.

Playing with balloons.