Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year again – where all of the aisles in Walmart are littered with pink and red hearts – and chocolate – oh the chocolate!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner – how will you be celebrating?

I really think Valentine’s Day is more fun now than ever before because I have children. I think that rings true for every holiday – holidays are just so much better through the eyes of a child.

What makes Valentine’s Day special? How cheesy it can be. What makes being a mom on Valentine’s Day special? How cheesy we get to be – and no one will even think twice about it. Especially since Caleb and I are NOT the most romantic of couples (although, I would never complain if he decided to wake up one day and flip his romantic switch… that’s a real thing right?).

We get to celebrate Valentines Day twice this year – seeing as the official day is on a Saturday. But the kids will be celebrating with their friends on the 11th! (Here in Alberta our fabulous teachers head to Teacher’s Convention the 12th and 13th — yay! That means, thanks to Teacher’s Convention AND Family Day, I get 5 whole days with my kids!)

My childhood Valentine’s Days revolved around those store-bought valentines you would buy and address to all of your friends – leaving one for you to secretly deliver to yourself, signing it with a mysterious “secret admirer”. Admit it – you did it too.

Now – I get to help my kids experience these memories for themselves (I promise I’ll keep you posted if any of their cards come home reading “secret admirer”).

Lucky for us – we have Pinterest. I honestly don’t know if I will ever look at a store-bought box of valentines ever again. There is this huge collection of adorable and FREE printable valentines for your kids ALL OVER PINTEREST. I should really do a top 10 of my favourites, but there are just SO MANY – I want you all to check them ALL out!

I’ve made a Pinterest Board for Free Printable Valentines – please, please, please check it out here: https://www.pinterest.com/mrsfricker/valentines-day/

I went through as many as I could with my kids before they got bored, (cue – “mom… just pick one.”) And we ended up making some fabulous choices! Of course, for my birthday I was gifted an Adobe subscription so I couldn’t RESIST creating my own… and share them with you!

Feel free to download and use them for yourself! I cannot take credit – these ideas belong to all of you fabulous bloggers on Pinterest – and there are so many different styles of each – I can’t even pin down one blog or two for the inspiration!

Here are the valentines my children will be handing out on that special day:

For their friends! Hailey (my budding writer) will be giving her friends the heart-shaped valentine along with an adorable Valentines-themed pencil we picked up from the dollar store.  Zach will be giving his friends a little sky-diving parachute character. We found them at the dollar store as well. The favour bags I had picked up a while ago from Michaels, although I'm sure they can be found almost anywhere!  On the back of Zach's valentine there is a box that says "From" for him to write his name! :)
For their friends:  Hailey (my budding writer) will be giving her friends the heart-shaped valentine along with an adorable Valentines-themed pencil we picked up from the dollar store.
Zach will be giving his friends a little sky-diving parachute character. We found them at the dollar store as well. The favour bags I had picked up a while ago from Michaels, although I’m sure they can be found almost anywhere! On the back of Zach’s valentine there is a box that says “From” for him to write his name! 🙂
For their teachers, we'll be giving them a spatula and a box of Brownie mix (because you doesn't love brownies?!) I picture myself making one of those mason jar cookie mixes with a favourite family recipe - but for now, Duncan Hines saved the day!   
For their teachers: we’ll be giving them a spatula and a box of Brownie mix (because who doesn’t love brownies?!) I picture myself making one of those mason jar cookie mixes with a favourite family recipe – but for now, Duncan Hines saved the day! We REALLY do FLIPPIN’ love them!!! I am so thankful to have such amazing mentors in my childrens’ lives!
Pencil Valentine
Pencil Valentine
Flipper Valentine Tag
Flipper Valentine Tag
Parachute Valentine
Parachute Valentine

If you are AT ALL interested – feel free to download their PDF files here: (just click on their thumbnail photo)

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Alberta Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker

For me, the Nutcracker Ballet has always been an important Christmas tradition, one I look forward to every year. It’s almost impossible to believe that it all began in 1892 Russia. Spanning generations as well as continents, the Nutcracker has become a true symbol of the season. Tchaikovsky’s compositions instantly send us into the Christmas spirit, my favourite being his iconic “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”.

In Christmas’ past, watching the Nutcracker meant digging out an old rerecorded VHS tape of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Production’s version from 1986, complete with commercials to be fast-forwarded through and three white lines that would dance their way across the screen from time to time. This year, it has meant bringing Hailey out on the town to take in a live performance by the Alberta Ballet, Western Canada’s largest ballet company. Continue reading

Counting Down to Christmas

Advent calendars have most definitely developed into an industry of their own, a far cry from the stale and waxy chocolate I enjoyed as a child. Every major chocolatier has come out with their own version of the advent calendar – from Lindt to Kinder through to Godiva, and not to mention the toy companies. Big players like Lego, Playmobil, Barbie, and Littlest Pet Shop, in an attempt to only name a few, have all given parents a great candy-free alternative to help their children countdown to Christmas morning.   Then, for all of the do-it-yourself-ers out there, there is this wide array of gorgeous examples of handmade advent calendars all over Pinterest.

Or you have me. The mom who doesn’t even realize it’s December until the first week is over and all of those beautiful advent calendars disappear from the shelves. Continue reading