galentine’s day goodies

galentine's day goodies I’ve been leaving Ben a little surprise every day since February started, and we have the girls’  Valentine’s gifts ready, so I put together a little something in honor of Galentine’s Day! By the way, did you know 62% of women think Valentine’s Day isn’t that big of a deal, and 74% think there should be a holiday just for celebrating friendships (so enter Galentine’s Day!). Thus today, the girls and I (they’re my favorite gal pals) are going to go deliver these to some of my local friends. Most of these ladies are people with whom I have been friends with since high school, and we’ve experienced a whole lot of life’s ups and downs together. One of my close friends is THE reason my ex-boyfriend and I broke up (and well, I met Ben not too long after that, so the rest is history!) I always joke with my friend and tell her, “I’m so glad you were there to break us up!” HA! My friends and I have had fights too over the years, but I’m so thankful for all the forgiveness that has countered.

Anyway, the package has lots of goodies… some of Skinny Cows’ newest, gratifying treats, which include their ice cream (did someone say ice cream?!), chocolate candy (would you like milk chocolate or dark chocolate?), and creamy iced coffee (comes in vanilla latte, mocha latte, and creamy cappuccino). There are also some handmade things too, and of course, flowers. Each gift also came with a special poem; some are some silly (cheesy) poems I came up with, and others are a play off familiar poems. I used my (very novice) calligraphy skills to write out the poems, then I scanned them, digitalized my writing, and printed them out on card stock. Once I cut them out, I did a few watercolor brushstrokes on each one, and there you have it, every gift had a corresponding poem. I put all the pieces of the gift together in a berry carton, and now they are ready to be dropped off.

To go with the handmade necklaces (made with simple beads and leather cording)…
Galentine, O, Galentine
I’ll be your friend, and you’ll be mine,
Our friendship has gone through rain and shine,
Here’s a token to decorate your neckline.

galentine's day goodies To go with the flowers…
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I treasure our friendship,
And I hope you do too.

galentine's day goodies To go with Skinny Cow’s Creamy Iced Coffee…
Love is what makes the world go round,
I know for some in coffee that’s found.
If you find that statement to ring true,
Savor the Skinny Cow Iced Coffee that’s here for you.

skinny cow Accompanied with the Skinny Cow® Blissful Truffle Candy Bars (or the Skinny Cow® Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Bars for the friends coming over)…
You dear friend are a sweet gal,
We’ve talked about everything,
Even when our kids went through our birth canal.
You bring laughter and make my life bright,
So for you, enjoy this Galentine delight!

galentine's day goodies galentine's day goodies galentine's day goodies Heart Strings Garland

Heart puncher
1/8″ hold puncher
1 yard paper rope (per garland)

Cut out a lot of hearts in a plethora of colors, then hole punch the center of each heart. Mix up the colors and string onto your rope. Double knot each ends, so the hearts can fall out. I attached another one of my silly poems to the end of it, and wrapped the garland around all the gifts.

galentine's day goodies galentine's day goodies galentine's day goodies galentine's day goodies galentine's day goodies The poem that came attached to the heart strings garland and sums up the whole surprise…
Days go by, in and out they go,
Our lives get busy, as I’m sure you well know.
Even still, our friendship has stood the test of time,
You are special, dear friend, you are my Galentine!

This post is sponsored by Skinny Cow, and as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting this space and the companies I choose to partner with.



diy: tic-tac-toe, three hearts in a row!

tic tac toe Tic-Tac-Toe, Three Hearts in a Row!
perfect for Valentine’s Day

21″ square piece of fabric for the “fabric board”
1/4 yard patterned fabric for one set of hearts (5 hearts total)
1/4 yard patterned fabric for contrasting set of hearts (5 hearts total)
Fabric paint
Bag of beans
Hand-sewing needle
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine

Seam allowance: 1/4″

Directions for the fabric board:
Paint your 3×3 grid onto the right side of the fabric. Allow to dry completely, then iron to heat-set the design on. Fold in the edges 1/4″, press, fold another 1/4″ press, and pin in place. Sew around the entire perimeter of your square fabric.

tic tac toe Directions for the heart beanbags:
Create your heart template by drawing a heart about the size of the center square. Using that template, cut out 2 pieces of fabric per beanbag. With the right sides together, stitch around the perimeter, leaving a 2″ opening for turning. Clip the curves around the heart, turn, and press. Fill the beanbags with beans and slip stitch the opening closed. If you want to avoid any hand-sewing, just fold in the opening, press, and edge stitch as close to the folded edge as possible.

tic tac toe tic tac toe tic tac toe If you’re not making this for a gift, it’s a good project that children can help out with. They are usually pro at tic-tac-toe, so more than likely they can paint on the grid with their eyes closed. Filling the beans bags are also good for little hands and helps them develop their motor skills. Of course once it’s all made,  the kids will have fun playing this game over and over again. If you just want to make the beanbags, you can have children draw a 3×3 grid on the concrete with chalk; I’m sure they will love that too. We painted a heart on a little tote, and put all the pieces of the game inside, so we can keep everything together.

tic tac tow tic tac tow tic tac tow tic tac tow tic tac tow tic tac tow The California weather has been extra glorious and we are ready for spring. Well, I guess since it’s California, it’s pretty much spring already. I totally love the look of rompers and jumpsuits, and while I try to rock it, children are way more capable of pulling it off. It won’t stop me from trying though! True’s floral number and Glow’s polka-dotted one (this one is so cute too!) are both so adorable and perfectly suited for welcoming spring. Glow loves hers so much that she was asking if she could wear it to sleep too. Soul’s not one for rompers, as she needs a dress or skirt because it must always have some “twirl” she says. Brave’s been into wearing bright socks lately, so these were just the radiance she was looking for. If it’s not “play tic-tac-toe outside kind-of-weather” for you yet, hang in there, spring will come!

on true: floral romper & socks, c/o old navy. shoes, vintage. on brave: striped dress & socks, c/o old navy. checkered vans, on soul: chambray dress & leopard shoes (we cut off the elastic), c/o old navy. on glow: pink romper & sneakers, c/o old navy.

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. All kids & baby items are currently on sale (until 2/12) at Old Navy, so be sure to check them out online or your local store. Thank you for your continuous support of this space and the brands I partner with. 



diy: hanging paper hearts

hanging paper hearts Hanging Paper Ornaments
inspired by this pin 

1/8″ hole puncher
Baker’s twine, cut to 6″ strands for each hanging heart

Draw your heart, and cut it out to use as a template to create other hearts. Cut out all your heart pieces; each ornament uses two hearts. Pair up all of your hearts. On one of the pairs punch a hole near the top (below the center V), and then cut a slit 2/3 of the way up towards the hole. On the second heart, cut a slit 2/3 of the way downward toward the bottom point of the heart. Tie your twine through the hole, and knot the ends together. Insert the two slits together to form your 3-dimensional heart.

hanging hearts hanging hearts After doing some research to see the source of this pin, it led me to this Valentine’s Day tree project (from house that lars built). Her tree is a bit fancier with the addition of wee birds and multicolored hearts; it’s so whimsical and fun! We are perfectly happy with our simple tree, and it’s getting the girls excited for Saturday. We do have some gifts for the girls, so we will put it under the hanging hearts, and we will be celebrating the day with an adventure and probably dessert. Honestly, I’ll take dessert any day.



wives can romance their husbands too

i love you i love you i love you i love you i love you I posted about this little thing I’ve been doing for Ben this past week over on my instagram (see here), and I think that was my longest caption ever on instagram. It’s probably why I’m better at blogging than instagram-ing; I like to chat (type) a lot. When I think back to when Ben and I were dating, we were surprising each other with things up the wazoo. Nothing expensive, just thoughtful ways of letting each other know how much we loved and appreciated one another. I used to surprise Ben with a bouquet of flowers (who said only boys had to give flowers), and notes on his windshield, and other little sweet things. Now, after 10 years if marriage (almost), and four kids later, those extra sweet things are few and far between. Ben is really good and does something something unexpected from time to time (like this), but I realized I don’t really do anything like that anymore.

I know the way we show love to each other is by me tending household (and children) things, and he goes to work everyday. Those things are great acts of love and very much appreciated, and neither of us is complaining about wanting more from each other. We know by the end of the day, we are both spent, and we are both working hard for our family. We are a team. But marriage is work, and we should never ever stop working, so I’ve been reminding myself that lately. It’s work to stay on the same page, communicate, and to keep the fire alive.

I’m thankful both our parents modeled good and loving marriages to us. He saw parents who communicated well and worked as a team, and I saw passionate fiery love from my parents (they were a team too!). Of course, both our parents fought, his were probably much more civil than mine (I totally remember my mom kicking my dad out of the house a couple times… hi mom and dad!), but both worked together to get through these things. There was a lot of messiness, but there was a lot of love and forgiveness too. I think that’s normal in marriages. By the way, I’m no expert, I’ve only been married (almost) ten years, so I’m sure so many of you are much wiser than me. And I’ve had a taste to see how really messy marriages can be, but I’ve also seen God work through extremely hard situations and bring restoration, so I’m not ignorant to the really lows of marriage.

That’s why I think we all have to work. If we base marriage on feelings, those feelings will definitely fade. Sometimes, I don’t feel like loving Ben, especially when we are fighting. My phrase after, is always, “Okay, I love you again.” So while I do love him a lot, I do want to (and need to) go the extra mile to let him know. This extra mile isn’t being walked everyday, but I do want to challenge myself more often than I have been doing. Thus, this past week, I’ve been leaving him an “I love you” note on the door, so he sees it when he comes home from work. It’s been fun trying to think of various ways to present this, and I get all giggly inside right before he comes home because I’m excited for him to see it.

I know I love romance (though I’m not much of a romantic movie watcher) and romantic gestures from my husband, I realize I could be doing the romancing too. Also, I think if we as wives go the extra mile, it might encourage our husbands to do the same. I’ve had friends complain that their husband isn’t romantic, but I say, “Why not be the romantic one!” That may spark something in our husbands, so you never know. For sure it would encourage him and let him know you love him, and I’m sure he would love that. So I encourage you ladies, work on going the extra mile once in awhile. I know we’re busy and our plates are full, but it doesn’t even have to be fancy… just a sweet little reminder that you love him!




happy groundhog day!

I shared this quick project over on my Instagram (@cakiesblog), so if you want to learn how to make it, get the directions here. This was part of Soul’s lesson for the day, but we all ended up making one. I added a little message on mine because I’m going to hide it for Ben to find when he gets home. I love when Ben romances me, but I totally think girls could (and should) do the romancing too. Anyway, according to Punxsutawney Phil, looks like we will get six more weeks of winter, so most people can’t frolic in their spring clothes just yet.



diy: wooden ring holder

wooden ring holder Wooden Ring Holder 

Small wooden box
High density foam (size will depend on the height of your box)
Spray adhesive
1/32″ thick birch plywood sheet
black velvet fabric (size needed will depend on size of your box; I needed a 1/4 yard for my box)
Serrated bread knife
2-3 small pins (or staple gun)

wooden ring holder Directions:
1. Measure your box. Cut out a piece of birch plywood 1/4″ smaller (all around) than the size of the inside of your box (the plywood is so thin, I used scissors to cut it). Next, cut out the foam just 1/8″ smaller than the inside of the box. Then, use the spray adhesive to attach the foam to the piece of birch plywood. The inside dimensions of my box is about 3″ x 2″ x 7″, so a 2″ thick foam worked for what I needed.

wooden ring holder 2. Measure and mark your rows (mine are about 1″ apart from each other), then using your serrated knife, cut straight down into the foam, stopping about 1/2″ away from the bottom of the foam piece. Cut out your velvet fabric about 5″-6″ longer on each side. You’ll want to make sure the fabric is large enough that it will cover all the sides, keeping in mind some of the fabric will also be inserted into the rows.

wooden ring holder 3. Center the fabric on top of the foam, and with your ruler (straight edge), insert it down into one of the rows until it is nice and snug in the crevice. You’ll want to do this slowly to prevent as many wrinkles as possible. Repeat for remaining rows. Fold the fabric neatly around the bottom, and overlap the fabric ends together (the long side) and pin. I originally wanted to staple the fabric to the bottom, but my staple gun wasn’t working, and my glass pins are so tiny that it worked just as well. Make sure all the fabric edges are folded around the foam and secure, then insert into the wooden box. I just pinned the long fabric ends and folded my short ends in as I carefully inserted the foam into the box.

wooden ring holder wooden ring holder wooden ring holder I wanted something to hold some of my rings, and in my research came across these instructions on how to use foam ring holders in drawers. I don’t have that many rings where I needed a whole drawer, but thought a small little box might do. Thus, when I came across this old, wooden, cheese box, I knew it was just what I needed. And because I think my box was much smaller, I was able to do without some of their suggested steps. I didn’t have to staple between each row as my velvet stayed put once I used my straightedge to insert it in, so that saved me a step (and time). I loved the way it turned out and now I can see all my rings when deciding what stack to wear for the day.

wooden ring holder wooden ring holder wooden ring holder Most of them are from Ben, a couple from his mom, a couple from my parents, one from my sister-in-law, and a couple I gifted to myself. Each one has a little story, and as you can tell, turquoise is my favorite. Also, most of them are antique pieces (it’s something I collect!). There are two modern rings in there though, one made by Emilie Shapiro (this ring) and another from etsy (this one that my parents got me a few years ago).



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