Gifts of Love to Give All Year

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Written by contributor Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute.

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and the web is abuzz with all kinds of brilliant ideas for making the day special for your kids.  You can write them secret love letters requiring spy-grade decoder wheels to translate.  You can send them on a sweet and simple scavanger hunt for a fun surprise.  And you can make a special V-Day breakfast that’s as simple or complex as you like.   All of these are spectacular ideas, and I plan on putting a few of them to work in my own house this week.

But while these celebrations are fun and important, they aren’t nearly as important as the gifts of love we can give our children all year long.  Here are just a few of the most important gifts we can give every day. [Read more...]

Pink smoothies for my Valentines

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Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

I‘m one of those mushy folks who loves Valentine’s day and all of the silliness and sweetness that go along with it. Actually, I tend to enjoy silly and sweet all year long, but especially in the name of love.

During the month of February I like to decorate with hearts and pinks and reds and lots of X’s and O’s.  My Valentiney silliness spills over into the kitchen, too, where I cannot help but spoil my sweets with sweets.

Yesterday was a rainy day and kind of dreary.  We needed a little treat to add some sunshine to the day.  So, I made pink smoothies for my Valentines.  Lucy, my four year old, was my sidekick in the kitchen (as she usually is).

While a food photographer I am not, I thought I’d share what Lucy and I whipped up so you and your Valentines can enjoy a sweet treat, too.

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Despicable Me 2 Valentines from Makes and Takes

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Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

On Monday I shared with you our watercolor postcard Valentines that the kids are sending to their grandparents and great-grandma. But that certainly isn’t the only “Valentining” we’ve been doing around these parts.

Today I wanted to share with you a fun Valentine that my kids are going to give some of their friends and cousins:  these cute minion Valentines from the movie Despicable Me 2 designed by Marie of Makes and Takes.

My big kids loved the first movie and are getting excited for the sequel coming out this summer. The little yellow minions are their favorites, so I know these little Valentines will go over well.  Plus, this craft involves using the printer, cutting, and those sticky glue dots (some of my six year old Max’s favorite crafty things right now).

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Photo by Makes and Takes

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Our watercolor postcard Valentines

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Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

This year the kids and I decided that we would paint watercolor Valentines to give to the Grandparents and Great-Grandma.

All four of my kids really enjoy painting, even the toddler (though I have to watch her like a hawk to make sure she doesn’t eat the paint, ha ha!) and we have a painting day as part of our weekly rhythm.

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Valentine’s Day sweets and treats

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Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

February is right around the corner, bringing with it Valentine’s Day.  If you’re looking for a simple way to celebrate love with your little sweethearts, why not surprise them with some special Valentine’s Day food?

Heart Shaped

With a cookie cutter or a knife, cut their food into a heart shape and even normal every-day peanut butter and jelly becomes special.  There are plenty of foods that lend themselves to this simple, heart-shaped trick that would make a fun Valentine’s Day twist such as apples, cheese, or your favorite cookie recipe.

Don’t forget those X and O cookie cutters from your alphabet collection, too.  We could always use extra hugs and kisses!  Or, you could serve red and pink food, not from food dye, but food that is naturally found in these cupid-friendly hues, such as red peppers, beets, purple cauliflower, red grapes, and more.

From breakfast to dessert, here is a round of up heart-y treats! (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun)

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