gallamore west: Valentine's Day
Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts

Monday, January 12, 2015

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day!

Do you love Valentine's Day like I do?  I posted this picture of some of my favorite Valentine's Day things I picked up recently in the Dollar Spot at Target on Instagram and it was a hit. 


It seems that many of you share my love for the Day of Love.  It really is my favorite day of the year to craft and bake for, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that it's just not a super busy time of year for me so I actually have time to breathe and allow my mind to be creative.  And also, time to curl my hair!  It seems like it's been forever since I've had time to even breathe, so having time to do my hair is a big deal these days. #lifewithtoddlers

I'm in love with our It's Awesome Time shirts from The Printed Palette

So, as I start decorating and crafting away here for Valentine's Day this week I'm taking a look back at some of my favorite Valentine's Day posts from Gallamore West.  I hope you find something here that inspires you to get your Valentine's Day baking and/or crafting going.  And I can't wait until next week when I'm sharing a sweet little Valentine's idea that you can give to others, along with my new Valentine's Day crafts and baking ideas for this year!

This post is filled with fun Valentine's Day ideas! 



And if you're up for a whole 14 days of love countdown like I do with my kids, you'll love this post


And lastly... want to decorate for Valentine's Day?  Here's a fun wreath idea for you.


Have a great Monday friends!  I'll be back tomorrow sharing a secret on how I keep myself sane on my busiest mom days when I'm running not so fun errands with my little ones :) xoxo 


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baked Chocolate Donuts

These baked chocolate donuts are quite possibly the best thing that has come out of my oven... ever.  They are so decadent and incredibly adorable too, right?  And who doesn't like to eat adorable food?  

This little heart shaped cutie paired with a cup of hot coffee is a match made in heaven if you ask me.


These baked chocolate donuts are surprisingly quick and easy to make, but don't worry, you don't have to tell anyone else.  They look and taste like a treat from a fancy bakery.   I found the original recipe at an adorable blog, My San Francisco Kitchen, but I modified the ingredients a bit.  Mostly, I upped the amount of vanilla extract, used vanilla yogurt instead of plain yogurt, and used mini chocolate chips because they melt quicker than regular chocolate chips.


Baked Chocolate Donuts
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup white sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder   
1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp vanilla yogurt
¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract


Chocolate glaze

2 tbsp unsalted butter
¾ tsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
Sprinkles for decoration


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk together dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir very well, until smooth.  Pour batter into well greased mini donut pan, about 3/4 full.  Bake for about 7-8 minutes, until they spring back when you touch them lightly with your finger.  Place donuts on cooling rack.  Cool completely before adding glaze.

To make glaze:  
In a pan on stove top, add in the butter, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla extract.  Once butter is melted, stir in the chocolate chips until melted.  Once chocolate is melted, add in the confectioners sugar and whisk until well blended.  

Keep glaze on the lowest heat on stove top while adding glaze to donuts.  Sprinkle with decorations immediately, as the glaze sets quickly.  Enjoy... I know my family sure did!  I stopped myself at one because I'm in the middle of my 30 Day Shred.  But I really could've eaten the whole plate myself!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh my darling Clementine! {Valentine's Day Display}


 I always have a bowl of oranges picked from our backyard on top of this tall green dresser thing in our kitchen {let's call her Greenie} during the winter months, and because I really wanted to keep them there AND decorate Greenie for Valentine's Day, I came up with this- something fun, bright, and whimsical for Valentine's Day!


I love having lots of little nooks and crannies to decorate here, and this tall green dresser thing is one of my favorite place to decorate because it's in a central, visible place in our home, and because it belonged to my grandparents.  They were getting rid of it years ago and when I spied it in my parents garage one day, I laid claim to it.  Not really, but I did hint that if they didn't have a spot for it, I would loooove to take it off of their hands.   Some time later, she made her way to our house {yippee!!}

These are THE best oranges in the world.  Seriously.  I don't think they are really Clementines, but for the sake of Valentine's Day, they're happy to go along with it.

 
  Don't they look delicious, my darling Clementine?


In the space above the display, I added this quick little jute and heart doily garland.  I adore those little mini clothespins and seem to find ways to tie them into just about every project.

 
The "Clementines" looked a little lonely up on Greenie all alone, so I added a little Mason jar with red and white stripey straws {$2 at Michael's right now} and added lace doilies underneath.  Those doilies were given to us on our wedding day 12 years ago by my husband's Aunt.  They belonged to my husband's Grandmother many years ago.  I love mixing old things with new things, and especially when those old things have a story behind them.


And that little red glittered star... yes, I know it should really be a heart.  But while setting up this display, I had to stop and run out to the garage for something and that little red heart was lying on the garage floor.  It had somehow fallen off of a Christmas decoration and been lying on the garage floor for weeks without getting run over.  So I rescued her and hooked her onto the ribbon just to see how she looked.  I loved her there, so there she stayed... my little rescued star.


I have to admit that sometimes lately it's been hard to come up with fun, original ideas for decorating, baking, projects... anything!... now that Pinterest is here.  I LOVE Pinterest, but I feel that I sometimes let it suck my creativity away.  But every once in awhile, an idea hits me and I just go with it, just like the old pre-Pinterest days.  This was one of those days and I smile every time I walk by Greenie.  

Oh My Darling, Clementine... 
we'll be singing/humming/whistling that line for weeks around here! 

I'll be sharing this Valentine's Day Display at some of my favorite party places. xoxo

Monday, January 7, 2013

One Little Word for 2013: JOY

Happy 2013!! 

I'm back from my planned blogging break and so ready for a new year!  Every year I choose one little word that I focus on that year.  Whenever I'm having a hard time focusing, or when I'm struggling, all I have to do is think on my word and it always helps bring me back to a happy place.  

In 2012, it was balance.  
The year before it was simplify
For 2013, my one little word is JOY

free printable from Laura Winslow Photography

I want to find joy in the ordinary moments of life, and I will strive to find joy in my struggles.  For the past few years,  I haven't really quite felt like myself.  I think it's just that so much has changed, and although most of it involves good changes, it's been quite an adjustment.  We've added two little babies to our family just under 19 months apart, we moved, the boys started new schools, the job situation for my husband has been a very bumpy ride, my sweet Grandpa passed away very quickly last year, I had a health scare, and I miss my girlfriends.  


I am fortunate enough to have really good girlfriends- wonderful, treasured, lifelong friends.  But one moved away, then I moved away, one remains in the city we moved from, and one had moved away years ago.  So, I find myself in a weird spot where I'm feeling the need to reach out to make a new friendship or two.  And honestly, I kind of feel like the new kid on the playground, which for a creature of comfort like myself, is a hard spot to be.  But I'm looking forward to keeping the wonderful friendships I already have, while reaching out and making some new girlfriends too.

But despite anything that life throws my way, I have a choice on how to respond.  And I am choosing JOY.  


free printable from Worthy of the Prize

I'm thrilled to be back to blogging after my planned blogging break where I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday break with our four little boys.  I'm looking forward to sharing my updated craft area with you No really, I know I said that before but as soon as I clear off this pile of bills sitting here, I'll take pictures and share it's cuteness with you... I LOVE it, minus the pile of bills of course.  I'm also looking forward to sharing how I {appear to} keep on top of everything, how the cleaning fairies come to our house at night {it's awesome}, some new recipes, and some DIY fun with you.  And of course, VALENTINE'S DAY!  One of my favorite days of the year is coming up quickly and I can't wait to share how we're celebrating it this year.  

Here's what I did for Valentine's Day last year:







{with ideas for a 14 Day Countdown}


What about you?  
Do you choose One Little Word each year?  
What's your word for 2013?  

I'll be posting pics on Instagram with the hashtag #gallamorewestjoy and I'd love to have you follow me there too!

xoxo,
 Laurie



Friday, February 3, 2012

Cutest Cupids Ever! {looking back}

The boys and I made these adorable footprint Cupid Valentine's Day cards last year. This was right before I really starting getting into this whole blogging stuff, but it has pretty detailed instructions on how we made these so I thought I'd share it again this year since almost all of you weren't following me when I originally posted it. 

So get out that paint and start tickling your kiddos feet with a paint brush! :)



With such adorable little toesies on my boys, I just had to do a Valentine's Day craft with painted feet. Seriously, I cannot stop admiring that chubby little 3 month old cupid foot! I asked my crafty friend Alison at The Fickle Pickles {who is the Queen of painted feet crafts} how she would do a cupid. The one she did was adorable with vellum wings. I thought I had vellum but didn't and really need to get these cuties in the mail asap, so here are our wingless cupids. I made the bow and arrow from the Paper Doll Dress Up Cricut cartridge that I borrowed from my friend, Jenn. {Thanks, Jenn!}

I added a top page {font= cutie pie}. The cupids above are for Daddy so I tied them all together with ribbon and hung them on a nail begging for this cuteness!

I wrote their name and the year at the bottom of each cupid. I almost cried when I saw how big Sam's foot looks on the paper. He's only six, but it's practically a man cupid!

For the grandparents, I punched holes and tied them at the top. It's a little booklet of adorable toes... who wouldn't want that? :) We can't wait for the grandparents to open their Valentine's Day gifts!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Hearts!

These little homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Hearts were a hit!  Seriously... you should make them. 

They took about 10 minutes to make, plus another 10-15 minutes to set in the fridge, and my family thought I was a professional candy maker.
{I'm also a professional at putting socks on cold little feet... yes, one of my boys told me that the other night! }


 Here's what you need:

-6 squares of white melting chocolate 
{I used CandiQuik, but Wilton melting candy or white choc. chips would be great too}
- 3 whole graham crackers
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- sprinkles
-silicone heart mold trays 
{I got mine in that $2.50 section at Target that's right next to the $1 Spot- it comes with 2 trays}

I was inspired to make these little cuties when I saw these PB Hearts by PeasandCrayons.com.  I pinned them to my xoxo board on Pinterest and have been dreaming about them for weeks!  I thought a mini version would be so sweet.

Crush your three graham crackers into fine crumbs. I use my Kitchen Aid, but if you don't have one, just throw them in a Ziploc bag, seal it up and roll over it with your rolling pin, over and over and over until finely crumbled.  Add in 3/4 cup peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  
Set aside.

Melt 6 squares of your white chocolate in the microwave, stopping it and stirring about every 30 seconds.  
Continue until completely melted.  
My picture shows 4 squares, but I had to melt 2 more later {see note at the end... 1 more would've been plenty!}


Using a small spoon, fill each heart mold about 1/3 full of melted white chocolate.  Scoop about 1/2 teaspoon of your graham cracker/peanut butter mixture on top of the white chocolate.  

You really only need a tiny bit of the PB/graham cracker mixture since these hearts are small.  If you put too much peanut butter mixture in, they'll look like this when they're done... peanut butter popping out the sides {not really a bad thing though- it just doesn't look as pretty}.


Fill the remainder of each heart with a top layer of melted white chocolate.  Decorate with Valentine's Day sprinkles and pop the trays in the fridge until set, about 15 minutes.



I bagged these up for a sweet friend, but all the rest were on a plate in the kitchen and were gone so quickly!  


Just a note: this was the 1st time making these so I was guessing on all of the ingredient amounts.  I ended up with some extra white chocolate and lots of extra peanut butter mixture.  Not wanting to waste it, I put together some quick little graham cracker/pb sandwiches and covered the tops of them with the extra white chocolate and some sprinkles.  They were soooo good that I forgot to take a picture of them before gobbling them up!

I'm linking these sweeties up to my favorite link parties! xoxo

Ohhh, I'm SO excited to be starting our 14 Day Valentine's Day Countdown tomorrow for our boys!  I've switched some of the ideas that I originally posted... tomorrow is "Whooo's Crazy for You?" Day.  Mommy and Daddy, of course :)  I hope you'll check back often to see the fun we're up too these next couple of crazy weeks! 

And don't forget to enter to win one of my original handmade burlap wreaths here... it's the very FIRST one ever made for outside of our own home and I'm so excited to see where she'll be headed!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Valentine's Day Mantel 2012

"If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird"

It's my very favorite line from my very favorite movie {The Notebook}.  I even have an If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird board on Pinterest!  

I love decorating with cute little birds and bird houses all year long, but I think they're especially darling for Valentine's Day.  

Here's my Valentine's Day mantel for 2012... 

 {p.s.  I hope to get a paintbrush to that hideous rock/oak combo soon!  For now, imagine a beadboard mantel in Heirloom White and all those rocks a gorgeous coordinating shade of lighter/fresher neutrals, k?}

When I saw that Kelsey at Tattered and Ink made this adorable Valentine's Day printable {free for her followers!} I was so excited to incorporate it into my Valentine's Day mantel...


I bought the bird houses from Michael's for $1 each, painted them, put them on pedestals I put together and added a burlap ribbon... because if you know me, you know I LOVE to incorporate burlap into just about everything I make. 

Hmmm... wonder if my hubs would like some burlap sheets?! :)


And I cut this quick little burlap banner and added on little hearts {the center of a white doily with the center of a red doily taped together} on each pennant, strung together with ribbon I bought on clearance after Valentine's Day last year...


I painted the wood blocks and added another one of my favorite quotes in vinyl {I tried to paint the letters, but it was a major fail so I flipped the blocks over and did vinyl instead!}

And that adorable, vintage, shabby chic birdhouse... it was actually brand new from Michael's {used my coupon} and painted it a quick coat of white paint to look aged.  And those cute little white love birds in it are actually our salt & pepper shakers {a genius idea from my 4 year old!}


Sitting on the hearth is the cutest pillow cover ever, from Shabby by Melissa.  She's a sweetheart too... a lucky Gallamore West reader just won one of her adorable pillow covers last week!


 Besides the fact that the mantel itself is dreadfully outdated with it's colors, another challenge is that the fireplace is in a corner so the mantel goes around on the side too.  Here's what I put on the side... my red burlap bubble wreath and some sweets, of course! 


Happy Valentine's Day from Gallamore West!




I'm linking up my Love Birds Valentine's Day mantel here...

Home Stories A2Z

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Saturday... and a giveaway winner!!

Happy Saturday!  

I was out and about playing with my boys at the zoo yesterday, acting like monkeys and hanging out with lions


so I'm a little late announcing the winner of the 
Shabby by Melissa giveaway winner...

Congratulations to Emilie!!  You're the winner :)  
An email has been sent and Emilie has 72 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.  

Thank you to all who entered and a big thank you to Melissa @ Shabby by Melissa!!  I adore her creations and I hope you'll keep her in mind for adorable, handmade items.  

Also, thank you so much to all of you following Gallamore West!  Seeing my number of followers here on the blog and on my Facebook page JUMP the last few weeks has been so exciting for me... I'm truly grateful to have each one of you here following along.  Have a great weekend!
xoxo

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pies

There are so many delicious looking Valentine's Day recipes floating around blogs and Pinterest lately.  Here's one that I came up with yesterday while my boys were home for the MLK Jr. Holiday... 


After pinning these cupcakes from Glorious Treats via The Tomkat Studio to my xoxo board...


I came up with my Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pies because I loved the ingredients for the cupcakes and the look of the sandwich cookies.

Here's how I made them:

Have you ever made cookies from a cake mix?  It's SO easy!  Just mix the dry cake mix {any flavor you choose} with 2 eggs and 1 stick of softened butter.

 Your cookie batter will come out stiff like this...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees... then roll cookies into small balls, one at a time and drop them onto your parchment lined cookie sheet {I was out of parchment so you'll have to see my well-used cookie sheets}


Once on the cookie sheet, shape it into a heart {this was the hardest part because the dough is very sticky, but just do your best... you'll be able to fix them a little bit when they first come out of the oven}


Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they are no longer doughy on top, but not browned on the edges.  When mine came out they didn't look much like hearts anymore...


So while they were still hot, I gently used a butter knife to push the center of the cookie back into a heart shape like this...


Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

  While they're cooling, make your frosting... by the way this made WAY more than plenty, you could probably just make 1/2 of this...

2 sticks softened butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons cherry juice from your jar of maraschino cherries
15 or so maraschino cherries, chopped into small pieces

Make sure you wear an apron or just not your favorite shirt while chopping those cherries... they're juicy!

Your frosting will look like this... a pretty pink color without having to add any food coloring, thanks to those cherries.


I used my piping thingy {I think it's called a Decorator Pro?} but a butter knife would work fine too...

Pipe {or spread} your frosting onto one cookie, on the bottom of the cookie like this...


Place another cookie, bottom side in touching the frosting to make a little sandwich...


And ta-da... simple and delicious semi-homemade 
Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pies! 

p.s. Don't they look pretty on my new cake stand from Costco???  

If you have a Costco nearby and a cake stand collection like me, 
you'll want to get these too... just $19.99 for 2 gorgeous cake stands!


I'm linking up to some of my favorite places!

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