A Little Love

My sister, Erin, found this adorable craft on The Party Event (http://thepartyevent.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/valentines-day-candy-and-sweets-for-your-sweetheart-photo-booth-props/) and made the best Valentine’s day gift for someone very special that lives far away. I thought that it was the sweetest idea and that it would be fabulous for my husband who works long hours and often comes home after Reagan is already in bed. This Valentine is perfect for when he misses her and needs a hug.

Erin and I both strayed from the way that the hug was created on The Party Event (http://thepartyevent.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/valentines-day-candy-and-sweets-for-your-sweetheart-photo-booth-props/) and I LOVE the final products!

I decided that Reagan and I were going to make three HUG Valentine’s, one for Reagan’s dada, one for my mother-in-law, a.k.a Grammy and one for my father-in-law, a.k.a PaPa.

Below are materials and instructions for how to make Reagan’s HUG.


Mod Podge
Paint brush
index cards
4 different colors of paint ( we used pink, red, white and purple)
4 large sheets of card stock light colored card stock- I used a very faded light blue
2 sheets of red construction paper
1 (8×10) piece of card stock
1 piece of paper (large enough to trace hand on)
sharp knife
Printed saying (http://thepartyevent.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/valentines-day-candy-and-sweets-for-your-sweetheart-photo-booth-props/)

Step 1:

Paint both sides of the four sheets of large card stock paper- one sheet for each color (let one side dry before painting the other, this should be obvious…)

Step 2:

Trace hands onto piece of paper and cut along traced lines.

Step 3:

Trace cut out hand onto red construction paper. Using both pieces of red construction paper, one on top of the other, cut out traced hands. We needed six hands for our three valentines.

Step 4:

Measure the length of your child’s arm span. Ask them to put out their arms as if they were giving you a big hug. Henry’s HUG was perfect! It measured his exact arm length! I struggled a bit to get Reagan to stretch out her arms so I could measure her arm span.

Step 5:

Take two cut out red hands and mod podge one side of one hand. Place one end of the arm span measured ribbon onto the mod podge and then the other hand on top (You are sandwiching the string in-between the two hand cut-outs). Press down firmly. I would recommend putting something heavy, like a book, on top of your hands until they dry. Repeat this step three times. You are only gluing one side of the string in between two hand cut-outs at this point.

Step 6:

Cut three different sized hearts out of index cards. You will be tracing these hearts. I only ended up using one of the three sizes that I cut out.

Step 7:

Trace the cut out index card hearts onto the 4 large painted card stock pieces of paper. Cut out the hearts. This is where it became a bit tedious…there were a lot of hearts that needed to be cut out, that I didn’t even use! These will be going into the Valentine’s box, so at least I saved myself some trouble for next year!

Step 8:

Using a sharp knife, cut two small slits (as wide as your ribbon) at the top of your heart.

Step 9:

Thread your ribbon through your slits and place a small dab of mod podge behind the ribbon to secure. Repeat this adding however many hearts that you want to add. We only ended up using four hearts for Reagan’s Valentine, her arm span is super short. I utilized the free printable (http://thepartyevent.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/valentines-crafts-for-kids-a-long-distance-hug-a-beautiful-present-for-someone-special-diy/), printed it on card stock, cut it into an oval and attached it to the string in the same fashion as I did with the hearts.

Step 10:

Take two cut out red hands and mod podge one side. Place the other end of the arm span measured ribbon onto the mod podge and then the other hand on top (You are sandwiching the string in between the two hand cut-outs). Press down firmly. I would recommend putting something heavy, like a book, on top of your hands until they dry. Repeat this step three times.

Reagan’s finished HUG

Erin and I did our own version of the same Valentine’s HUG and they both turned out fabulously! This just goes to show that you can take someone else’s adorable project and make it your own!

This isn’t just a HUG for a Valentine, it’s a precious gift that can be sent at anytime of the year!

Sweet Sayings

My husband LOVES snacks! So for Valentine’s Day Reagan gave him these cute little snacks with these clever sayings on them that I found on C.R.A.F.T (http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/100-clever-valentine-day-sayings/). She also made the adorable HUG craft that Henry made for Valentine’s Day.


Printed out or hand written sayings
Construction Paper
Cut out painted hearts– we had painted card stock hearts left over from another project

glue – we used Mod Podge
Candy and/or snacks– we used a Snickers bar, a box of Reeses Pieces, two rolls of Smarties and a plastic bag filled with Rainbow Gold Fish.

Using the card stock hearts, cut out sayings, construction paper, ribbon and glue- we created these cute Valentines that my husband LOVED!

Birthday Love

Year after year I struggle to come up with an idea for a gift to give a man that never wants anything, that says that if he did, he would get it for himself. He doesn’t want a party in his honor or even everyone getting together for a Happy Hour to toast his years on earth. Ugh… So this year I wanted to attempt to give him a feeling. Sounds weird, to want to give a feeling, I know. My husband is a hard worker and is always doing for others. I don’t think he often stops to realize the fabulous qualities that he possesses and the wonderful thoughts and memories that his friends and family have of him.

At the beginning of January, my sisters, our father and our husbands (Jason and Ryan) threw our mother a surprise 60th birthday party. It was a blast and we created a few special things that I know my mom will treasure forever.

Caitlin found this fabulous memory idea on Nothing But bonfires (http://nothingbutbonfires.com/2011/06/sixty-years-memories) and ran with it. The result was lovely and my mother enjoyed reading all of the wonderful memories and thoughts her friends and family have of her.

I thought that this would be such a great way for me to give Ryan a fabulous present without having to ‘buy’ anything. I enlisted Ryan’s brother, Tyler, to help me out and I tweaked the original letter from http://nothingbutbonfires.com/2011/06/sixty-years-memories and we sent the letter out through email to family and friends, past and present. I was anxious to see who would respond and to read all of the fabulous memories. It took some email reminders and a phone call or two, but we ended up receiving 54 memories, which was awesome! Some memories came through email and others were hand written and mailed to Tyler’s house, so Ryan wouldn’t find them. I received memories from a 5th grade girlfriend, an old neighbor, coworkers, out of town friends, family and so many more.

My original idea was to fill Ryan’s office with helium filled balloons and to tie a string to each balloon with a memory attached to the end of each string. I wasn’t thinking of the fact that helium and the freezing cold Rochester weather wouldn’t mix very well (balloons deflated a bit and got wrinkly when I did a test run). So for me to be able to accomplish the office balloon idea, I would have had to fill the helium balloons at his office and lets be honest, what mom of a busy 15th month old has time to do that? So the the plan changed and I decided to place each memory into a white envelope and to number the envelopes from 1-54.

On the morning of Ryan’s birthday while he was still asleep, I fanned out the envelopes onto the coffee table so that he would have a comfy place to sit, drink his coffee and read the notes that his family and friends sent. I was hoping that he would love it. I was hoping that he wouldn’t think that it was cheesy and be embarrassed by the fact that I contacted people for a memory that they had of him.

He thought that it was anything but cheesy and I think that he absolutely LOVED it…yay!!! Reagan had a blast helping her dada open his notes and she of course thought that the ones that included pictures of her were the best! The plan is to put all of the memories into an album so that he can cherish them forever!

Reagan’s Happy Birthday sign that she worked so hard on, hung in the family room for Ryan to enjoy while opening his memories.

I wrote little notes on large index cards and while he was still sleeping the morning of his birthday I placed them around the house in spots that he goes to in the morning. There was a note on the coffee maker, in his bathroom drawer, in his closet, on the mirrors, on the coffee creamer, on the window above the sink (from our dog, Colby), just to name a few. I thought that these could be little reminders of how Reagan and I feel about him.

To finish off our gifts to dada, I had a t-shirt made for Reagan with Ryan’s business logo on the front. My husband is an AMAZING realtor (http://www.rochestersells.com) and has the most clever logo; a bobble head of himself holding a ReMax balloon..very eye catching since he’s so handsome! Reagan rocked the t-shirt and Ryan thought it was hilarious!

So it was a HAPPY birthday and I’m glad that my husband felt special on his day. We love him and wanted to show him how amazing he really is. I hope that I was actually as successful as I think that I was in my attempt to give my husband a feeling for his birthday…a feeling of being loved. By the look on his face, I think I nailed it!