As the Momma of a blended family, I’ve made the focus of Valentine’s Day all about my entire family for a few years now. My sentimental side likes to build my family up with words of affirmation, while my crafty side enjoys creating a meal to celebrate the day.
This year, I am sharing 3 family Valentine's Day Gift Ideas with you! The practical gifts in this 3-part post will feed the spirit AND bellies of your loved-ones!
I saw this idea circulating online almost 3 years ago, and have been doing it for my family ever since!
I purchase multi-colored construction paper from the Dollar Store. I cut hearts from the paper and write a love note to each member of my family on them. Each note simply states something that I love about them. I write the notes at night and place them in a special spot for them to find in the morning. I start on February 1st and end on February 14th.
(5 family members x's 14 notes = 70 reasons to love someone!)
Over the years, I’ve gotten hip to making this easier for me - as this can become a bit overwhelming…
Do yourself a favor and purchase pre-cut hearts from a craft store. I am really looking forward to not cutting hearts out of construction paper this year!
We are so used to saying that we "love" our family members, but have you ever stopped to really appreciate everything that you love about them? After the 4th day of this experience, I started drawing a blank when it came to what I loved about them. (Yes, I obviously love them, but picking something different for 14 days became a bit of a challenge.)
"Dang - I already said that!" passed my lips a few times. This pushed me to really focus on each individual to come up with a different aspect of their being that I loved.
This 14-day gift is a family favorite that will continue this year.
Pictured: My youngest girls on February 14th, from the past few years
Plan to share a meal with your family either on or close to Valentine’s Day. Prior to your meal, task each member of your family to come up with 3 things that they love / admire about one other family member, to be shared during your meal. Everyone can either verbally share their sentiments, or a simple card can be created a few days prior to your meal, to be given to family members at the table. This is an activity that my family enjoys regularly. We tend to verbally share our sentiments, but some of us made cards last year. However you choose to share, the outcome will be the same: The words of affirmation will fill them up!
Pictured: Last year's card that my baby girl (Tap) made for her older sister (Sneak) who has nonverbal autism.
Speaking of meals…
My last idea would make a fun, festive and healthy breakfast for your family!
Source: @SuperHealthyKids (Insta)
If your family likes homemade pancakes, you can make these Power Pink Pancakes for them.
The pancakes are colored with BEETS (yes…BEETS) which add a punch of color and nutrients to the pancakes - but no flavor!
The beets are also healthier than using Red #40 dye - which is the Devil for my daughter with autism.
To be honest, I made these while my my kids were asleep, and when they came to breakfast, they assumed that the color came from strawberries - since I garnished the pancakes with a few.
Did I tell them that they were wrong when they “assumed” that the pancakes were colored with strawberry puree? Nooooo!
Did I wait until they cleaned their entire plates, raving about how yummy they tasted, before I told them that they were colored with beet puree? Yeeeees!
I found the original recipe via Super Healthy Kids, but modified it to make it even EASIER for me:
Purchase 10 - 12 slices of beets from the salad bar at your grocery store
Grab a carton of strawberries for garnish
Prepare your favorite pancake mix recipe, using the measurements for 1 1/2 - 2 cups of mix (this will make 12-14 mini pancakes)
Add all of your liquids, eggs, etc. I personally use the “just add water” mix…but DO YOU!
Throw your beet slices into a food processor with a teaspoon of water and blend into a puree
Add 1/3 cup of the beet puree to your pancake mix. Stir until blended
Cook your pancakes as you normally would
While they are cooking, get your paring knife and carve some hearts out of those strawberries, to garnish your finished pancakes with
TIP: Make the pancakes smaller and don’t cook them too high, as they will come out brown - instead of pink
Enjoy watching your family eat those nutrients without having to hear: “BUT I DON’T LIKE BEETS!”
So, there you have my 3 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for your Family!
Let me know if you try the Love Notes, Love Talk or Love Cakes, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!