Country Cute Valentine’s Day Garland

vanilla and hears 027

When I was in  high school, Valentine’s Day was centered around a huge carnation sale.   Every girl would anxiously watch to see who got the most red (I love you), pink (I like you), and white (just friends) carnations on that day.

Sadly, if I ever got a carnation it was from my mother who knew the toll the day usually took on me.  It wasn’t easy watching  some of the girls receive so many flowers that they needed a floral van to get them all home. 

Having gone through the pains of realizing I was never going to be one of those girls who needed a floral van, I am amazingly still a romantic at heart.   Lately, I have been aching to make a rich, chocolate dessert as a trial run for this years Valentine’s Day celebration.  However, I’ve also been trying to be good and avoid extra calories so I’ve limited myself to creating a non-fattening Valentine’s Day projects instead.  Please stick with me – one of these days my willpower will break and I will produce something much more irresistible than paper heart garland.  I promise!

For this project I used my Cricut

To make this project you will need:

Six – 4” hearts (as shown) cut from card stock

Six – 1” hearts (as shown) cut from a pretty print paper

Six – small strips of paper folded in half (glue on the back of each heart to string the rick rack through)

Six small buttons (you can use the same color, or mix and match like I did)

A Valentine’s theme stamp

Ink Pad

Embroidery thread

Thick needle

Rick Rack

Glue

Instructions:

Glue the small 1” hearts to the larger 4 “hearts.  Sew the buttons onto the 1” hearts.  Glue the small strips of paper to the backs of each 4” heart.  Stamp your 4” hearts last so you avoid smudging the ink.  Let everything dry thoroughly and string the hearts on a piece of rick rack that’s been cut to your desired length.

vanilla and hears 024

vanilla and hears 017

Are you a romantic?  Do you enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Be creative; make your own cupcake picks

dip 062

When I was a little girl my mom would take my sister and I to a local bakery, and on occasion, she would let us pick out a cupcake as a treat.

The first criteria in picking out my cupcake was usually it’s flavor.  Chocolate usually won out over vanilla.  But sometimes the decorations won me over before the flavor did. 

I loved the cupcake picks the bakery used, and I imagine today they might even be described as vintage.  Ah, nostalgia…

Recently, I decided to make my own cupcake picks.  Although they are not identical to the picks I got in my cupcakes as a little girl, they are very bright and cheery.  Something most of us could use a little more of during the winter months.

With a little help from a Cricut that my hubby bought me a couple years ago – my plan came together.  

food pick 0264

You can be as creative as you want making these.  Different shapes, colors, layers – it’s all up to you. 

 

 

flowers and hearts 057

I opted to make a variety of hearts since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  And I couldn’t resist making a large bouquet of flowers that radiate fun.

flowers and hearts 003

flowers and hearts 022

 

The only thing these picks are missing?  Cupcakes…

Now for the best part of this post.  I just couldn’t keep all of these bright cupcake picks to myself.  So, I’m giving away one dozen picks (6 hearts and 6 flowers) to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post between now and when the contest officially ends at noon  January 18th. The winner will be picked randomly. Good luck!

Thanks for entering the giveaway.  The contest is officially closed and we have a winner.  Congratulations Debbie Alve!

Have a heart – cookie that is….

I suppose what  inspired to make these cookies was a recent trip to Panera Bread.  As I was ordering my healthy lunch I couldn’t keep my eyes off of their heart-shaped shortbread cookies.  I love Panera’s shortbread cookies. My observant husband asked me if I’d like a cookie and I told him I would on Valentine’s Day.  He just grinned.  He also asked me if I’d like a heart-shaped donut from Dunkin Donuts too.  He knows me so well.

I found this sugar cookie  (not shortbread) recipe at  Wilton’s website.   Their sugar cookie recipe is quite different from my tried-and-true recipe.

I have never made a sugar cookie that the dough was this easy to work with, I think it’s because of all the butter.   The recipe specifically advises you not to refrigerate the dough prior to rolling out your cookies.  In this case, I put the dough on a lightly floured  piece of parchment paper.  The dough rolled out nicely without sticking and transferred to the cookie sheet with ease.  Prior to baking the cookies I sprinkled the tops  with pink granulated colored sugar in an effort to cut a few calories that frosting would have added.

These cookies should transport easily if you’re going to a Valentine’s Day party. The verdict on this cookie is at a tie in our house.  I prefer my tried-and-true recipe over this one.  My husband on the other hand, feels just the opposite.  So, I guess you will have to bake a batch of these and let me know what you think of them.

Does anyone have a great shortbread cookie recipe that you would compare to Panera’s?  If so, are you willing to share it?

**Update** I tried the shortbread cookie recipe that one of my readers recommended below.  To see the cookies, and get my opinion, see my blog post Get out your sifters for these shortbreads.