Monday, January 20, 2014

"Be my Valentine" - 10 Fun Valentine's Day Ideas

Given that Valentine's day normally falls right in the middle of my kids' winter ski break, I tend to forget about all the fun I had as a kid making Valentine's for my family and friends. Some people think that Valentine's day is just a commercial holiday meant to make money...which, I must admit, I also believe is true! Why do we need one day a year to tell people we love them when we can do it every day of the year?? However, this being the case, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to go out for an expensive fancy dinner or spend lots of money to give something special to someone you love. Why not have a party with your kids and some of their friends, or even your girlfriends, and make something fun and/or delicious? Send a handmade Valentine to those special people in your life who may not hear "I love you" or "You are awesome" or "Thanks for being my ...(friend, mom, dad...)" as often as you would like. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven't had time to speak to recently. Make cookies with your kids and share with your neighbors. The possibilities are endless! And, if you choose to make something, the handmade touch will make it all the more special!

I've rounded up 10 fun ideas from various websites that will help you in your quest for the perfect Valentine's day gift:

1. Make cute little burlap gift bags to fill with treats. All I can say is...adorable!
(from The Casual Craftlete)
 DIY Valentine's Day Burlap Gift Bags #burlap #Valentines #giftbags #DIY #treatbags

2. Make these cute Valentine cards with clothespins. How simple would this be??!
(from Simply Kierste)
clothespin valentine |

3. Make pretty "stained-glass" hearts to hang in your window.
(from Just Between Friends)

4. Print out this free printable and give to your kids and their friends. I couldn't resist the birds...!
(from Pretty Providence)

5. Round up your kids (or girlfriends) and have a Valentine's party (wine included for the girlfriends :-)!)
(from Brit Co)
Make-Your-Own Valentine Station.

6. Make treat bags for your friends, neighbors, teachers, kids and anyone else you can think of!
(from Black Eiffel)
Martha Stewart Kid's Valentines

7. Make DIY felt heart handwarmers - a great gift for a cold winters day!
(from Henry Happened)
Felt Heart Hand Warmers

8. Bake heart shaped sugar cookies and let your kids decorate them. Share with your neighbors!
(Royal Marigold has links to the recipes in the pic below)
lil heart sugar cookies

9. Make heart cupcake toppers and serve on your favorite cupcakes (homemade or store-bought).
Image below was taken from Pinterest - it is so darn cute! You could also just punch or cut out hearts, add some glitter or little buttons and glue them to a toothpick. Et voilĂ !
Super cute! Stuffed book page heart with bunting.

10. Make Valentine's day party poppers - you could also fill with small candies or toys instead of the photo banner!
(from Flax & Twine)
Make these Valentine's Day Photo Party Poppers with Martha Stewart Crafts Punches! Get the DIY Instructions from Flax & Twine! #marthastewartcrafts #12monthsofmartha

Enjoy your week and don't forget to give someone special a big hug!
J xx

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back to work...2014 goals!

I think when we decide that our life has meaning and purpose no matter our size, colour, shape or age we can start living...


Well, I think I have finally recovered from the craziness that goes with Christmas markets, holiday orders, last minute gift purchase for Christmas, ski trips and getting the kids back to school once all that is over! It is tiring just thinking about it...! I hope you are having a great start to 2014 and are full of energy for what this year will bring.

During the quiet time we had in our new flat in Klosters over Christmas and New Year's, I managed to put together a few goals for myself for the coming year. Some are pretty mundane ("drink more tea and less coffee") while some will be quite a challenge for me ("stop nagging kids so much" and "keep office tidy, e.g. put things away once I'm done with a project"). I also have quite a few goals related to building my blog audience and my business opportunities in Switzerland, including opening an on-line shop. I've been wanting to do this for the past two years and have done research several times to help me get a better understanding of what it will take to open my own shop. And... I've finally decided that it is finally time to just bite the bullet and do it. I'm in the process of setting up a shop on Etsy, which is an amazing place to find beautiful, unique, handmade products from around the world. Now all I need to do now is make some stuff to sell in the shop (easier said than done :-)!)...

I love the quote and art above that I found on Pinterest some time ago and will embrace it in my new adventures this year.

What are your plans for 2014?

J xx

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2014 has started off on a positive note for you!

We are celebrating the holidays this year in our new apartment in Klosters, Switzerland, and got to check out one of the local traditions for New Year's day, the annual "Hotschrennen", or "pig race". For many in Switzerland, pigs are a symbol of good luck, so of course this would be something they would come up with to entertain the crowds of locals and foreigners alike on the first day of the New Year. In essence, they block off a small area right in front of the train station with wooden fences, add some snow (hills included) spray painted with lines going down it, and race 10 pigs in a series of races until one little piggy is the winner! Strange, but true! Given the huge crowd, we didn't actually see a race but the pictures above were taken when they were walking the piggies back and forth after one of the races :-)! We were also awarded with some music from a local band and from a group of Alphorns that stationed themselves on the top of the train station (picture above, too). What more could you ask for to start off 2014?

Best wishes for a happy and creative 2014 and I look forward to sharing more fun projects, some tutorials (yes, I have given myself a resolution to actually do a tutorial this year!!!) and much more!

J xx