Tuesday, February 11, 2014

FREE Valentine's Printables

Love is in the air! With Valentine's quickly approaching here are a few fun designs you can use as easy gifts for your loved ones!

"Mint" to be cards are a fun way to tell the people around you that you're thinking about them :) They are quick, easy, inexpensive and not to mention super cute!

Click Here for instructions and supplies you will need to make the "Mint to Be" Valentines!

Here for your free "Mint to be" Template!

Or for any other time of the year, a "Love" notecard is perfect for sending to friends, family or whomever!

Click Here for your free "Love" Notecard!

And for your young ones, a handprint note is a great craft project and a perfect gift for any family member!

Click Here for your "Handprint Note"!

Enjoy! Brit


Chocolate Pretzel Hearts

Heidi also found these fun pretzel hearts you can make for or with your kiddos! A special treat for everyone to enjoy:)

  • Pretzels – the regular minis look like a heart shape already!
  • Bag of Hershey’s Kisses OR Almond Bark Chocolate Melts
  • Valentine M & M’s (I just saved the red from our Christmas M&M’s)
  1. Spread out pretzels in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil.  Place one chocolate  on top of each pretzel.
  2. Place in a 275 degree preheated oven for 3 minutes to soften the chocolate.
  3. Remove from oven, SLOWLY push down Hershey’s Kiss with an M&M.
After they’re cooled you can start snacking – these are so yummy but highly addictive!  Also – you may want to seal them up in a big ziploc bag quickly, so they don’t get stale.

(Recipe can be found here!)

Elegant Beef Blue

Heidi has had someone make this meal for her and she says it's delicious! A yummy, Valentine's Dinner you can cook up for your Valentine if you plan on staying home!
Elegant Beef Blue

  • (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • 1/2 cup beef consommé
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • small asparagus spears 
  • 1 1/2 ounces crumbled blue cheese 


  1. Rub steaks with chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add oil. Add steaks, and cook 1 to 3 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks, and keep warm; reserve drippings in skillet.
  3. Stir wine and consomme into drippings; increase heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in half-and-half, and cook, stirring constantly, until reduced to 1/2 cup or desired consistency. Keep warm.
  4. Snap off tough ends of asparagus; remove scales with a vegetable peeler, if desired. Cut spears in half, and place in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Top steaks with asparagus, and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Broil 6 inches from heat (with electric oven door partially open) 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately with sauce.
(Recipe can be found here!)

Restaurant Pick--Five Restaurant Bistro

Five Restaurant Bistro
650 Edmonds Way

Hip décor and a friendly staff in addition to delicious food make Five a great date night (or date lunch?) pick.  Wood fired pizzas, fresh salads and a selection of thoughtfully constructed entrees, such as the amazing carne asada , will be sure to please most palates.  Open weekdays for lunch, and 7 days a week for dinner service, this restaurant is easily accessible and their large dining capacity enables a party of 2 to get in with relative ease on most occasions. Also to be noted is the daily happy hour where $5 personal pizzas are served from 2-5pm daily, along with other food and drink specials.  A personal favorite is the Five Caesar, or the fish tacos both available on the happy hour menu.  While this restaurant selection is dedicated to a “date night” pick, it also should be noted that Five is kid friendly, and is actually the favorite spot for mac and cheese for my children.  Kids and adults alike devour this gooey, oven baked dish!  Enjoy the atmosphere, the food and the time away at Five, and be sure to end your meal on a sweet note; the Bolinhos (think homemade donut holes rolled in cinnamon and sugar) equate to a warm delectable indulgence, are a guarantee to please you and your sweetie!

--Quinn Manning


Appreciating Valentine's Day

I remember thinking Valentine's Day was exciting as a kid. We would make little mailboxes for our desks and pick out cute Valentines to put into each mailbox, saving the really cool ones for the friends we liked best.

As I got older, and giving Valentines weren't an obligation made by my second grade teacher, the holiday lost its appeal. Every time I was single, the day was just a square on the calendar that may as well have been a box of salt pouring itself into the glaring wound that no one liked me that year. The term 'Single's Awareness Day' is what we called it. 

Now that I'm married and have kids I'm trying to figure out if I am not a fan of this holiday--which seems to be a marketing ploy for sugary sweets, overpriced Hallmark cards, and flowers that will die in 2 days (at least on my watch). Or if maybe, there is something important to love about all of this.

A common response from people who give a big, fat thumbs down to celebrating February 14th is, 'we should show people we love them everyday, not just Valentine's Day.' I hear ya, I can get on board with that train. But, the problem is...we don't! Thinking back, my Facebook newsfeed glittered with people giving thanks and appreciation for life during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then came January and the post-holiday blues and it went back to people complaining about how much Mondays suck and how people suck at driving and how the weather sucks and how life...sucks. Unless of course you just won the Super Bowl;)

So, while I risk the label of "jumping on the Valentine's Day bandwagon," I have to say I appreciate the marker that reminds us to love our people. To do something nice and fancy and out of the ordinary that February 13th and 15th don't call for. To send our friends, spouse, parents, or kids a card or gift reminding them we don't just appreciate them during Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries.

But, that we love them in the middle of February, too.

--Lisa Barton